A couple Sundays ago, Abe and I realized Lydia had never experienced grass. She’s seen it from her stroller, but she’s never touched it or sat on it or rolled down a hill of it. We felt like bad parents for depriving her of those basic experiences, so we hightailed it to the nearest park.

"That dirt looks so tasty--I should eat some!" --Lydia

When we put her on the grass, Lydia started eating the dirt. Abe brushed off my alarm by saying. “It’s just dirt–nothing healthier.” Ten seconds later we saw a man with his dog head for our patch of grass and we realized–oops!–we were in the doggie part of the park. A little closer look at the mounds of “dirt” proved that there were indeed healthier things our baby could be ingesting. We quickly relocated to the spinner.

Wheeeeeeeeee

Lydia was a little bewildered by her whole park experience, but she is not bewildered by toothbrushes! She loves to watch us brush our teeth, and even better, she likes to use BOTH of our toothbrushes to brush her own.  She recently acquired her very own toothbrush, and so she no longer has to resort to using both of ours (simultaneously) to clean her teeth.

Two at a time!

And happy belated Valentine’s Day! Here are our valentines:

Abe: got me roses. I: baked him a cranberry upside-down cake. (Okay, okay. I ate more of it than he did. Yeesh.)

And the next day I discovered this on the floor of the basement. It's a poem with little hearts that record special memories we've had together. Recently, this has proved to be a wonderful diversion for Lydia while I do the laundry. While I fuss with the machines, she crawls around and examines all of the different hearts. So much better than the days when she headed straight for the furnace!! I don't think this valentine is getting disassembled anytime soon...

Lesson learned

Somebody had a birthday, and it wasn’t Lydia or I! Abe turned 28 on January 28th, and since he couldn’t be home that day, he took us with him to Moab. We spent three days there, and we didn’t go hiking once. Instead, we lazed around the hotel..

Lydia explored the room thoroughly. Here she is trying to figure out what’s under the closet door.

and ate all too frequently at Pasta Jay’s. On Abe’s birthday, we actually considered eating lunch AND dinner there, but we I was too embarrassed. That would mean we would have patronized their restaurant three times in less than 24 hours, and the wait staff would have judged us.

Lydia helps Abe open one of his presents at lunch.

But even though we didn’t go there for dinner, we stopped by after dinner to pick up a piece of their to-die-for cake. Seriously, I’ve never had a better piece of cake–and I don’t even really like chocolate cake! Give me carrot anytime…except when this is around:

It looks like a triple mouse, but it isn’t. No, it’s better. (did you think that was even possible? ‘Cause I sure didn’t…)

Lydia helps her daddy blow out the candle. Well, actually she just sucked her binky ferociously while Abe blew out his own candle, but she provided moral support.

When we got home, my mom came over for dinner. As she and I were prepping, we heard Abe exclaim that Lydia was climbing the stairs. We rushed out and saw this:

So proud of herself!

I should have known this was bad news, but it was so cute and fun that I didn’t think ahead like I ought to have. Specifically, I should have realized then and there that we need baby gates, and I should have made an immediate run to Target for them. Instead, I just applauded and cuddled Lydia for being cute. And today I learned my lesson. It started out with a mess:

After pulling everything off the shelf, she’s on to bigger and better things–like our full trash can!

Lydia returned to this mess after dinner:

stripped down to her diaper, Lydia sorts through her earlier work.

And since she was going to bed shortly thereafter, I thought I could get away with quickly cleaning the mess before she went down. At that point, Lydia had moved on to her stuffed lady bug (or so I thought). Not thirty seconds after I start cleaning the mess, I hear a BOOM! and then a loud wail. Lydia had fallen down the stairs.

After I rushed to pick her up and ascertained that she was miraculously okay (thank you, guardian angels!), all the worst-case scenarios played through my head. Right now, I am feeling intensely grateful to God for looking out for my daughter, and I also know the first thing I’m doing tomorrow: buying baby gates.

And to celebrate Lydia’s new, safe space, I am going to use up the very last one of these:

My Auntie Geri sent me these luscious lemons from her backyard tree in California. Aren’t they gorgeous? Thank-you, Auntie Geri!!