Friday, September 28, 2007

Meredith is Two! (But Please Don't Tell Her)

Our precious one is two, but it's a secret, cause we're not having her happy party (her phrase) 'til Monday. Rather than risk birthday confusion, we just decided to have all the fun on Monday. I'm already answering approximately 432 questions a day about Walt's whereabouts, since he went out of town for a couple days, so I just couldn't face the prospect of additional questioning related to happy parties. Toddler parents, I know you understand.

Okay, that said, I can now properly celebrate, blog style, Meredy's second year.

One of the best parts of taking a walk, as far as Meredith is concerned, is taking a break from the walk.

Just sweet.

One of Mer's favorite activities is still playing in the car. And now that it's cooled off a little, I don't have to worry that this hobby will kill her.

Pockets are a current obsession. Her own, mommy's, daddy's. All pockets, all sizes. Unfortunately, she's often trying to fit things in pockets that are not at all "pocket sized"...tends to frustrate a kid.

We love serious Meredith. She puts on this squinty frowny face and talks in a squinty frowny serious voice. It would be really funny if it weren't so obviously a somewhat unflattering interpretation of me. Anyway, this is the voice/face she uses when she's saying things like "should we have quesadilla for dinner? yea? yea! let's have quesadilla."

Pretend naps are also a big source of entertainment. She likes to put herself down for a nap on the bottom step. If that little blanket looks rather retro, it's cause my Aunt Daryl made it for me in about 1976 (at least I think that's its history). At any rate, Mer loves it and she also uses it to help household objects take naps. Gardening tools, puzzles, and books are all subject to her naptime whims.

Shoes show no signs of fading as Mer's #1 love.

Our neighbor Mike brought this train over for Meredith the other day and she loves it. It has a working headlight. Okay, I'll admit, I love it too.

So here's the age-two run down: She counts to 10 (especially if Daddy will hide while she's doing it and then come "scare" her when she's done). She says the alphabet, but she rearranges it: LMNOP ABCD HIJK WXYZ, etc. She sings a LOT: "today is Friday, today is Friday, all day long, all day long, gonna have a gweat day, gonna have a gweat day, all day long." And that prayertime classic "God ah Fadda God ah Fadda " -- she sounds like a mobster when she sings that one.

She loves to watch soccer with Daddy -- even requests it. She's a great help at the grocery store, handing each item to the patient checkers. I promise, we only do that when there's no one behind us. She constantly wants to know the whereabouts of all her loved ones: "where's papa? where's kayle? where's mamu? where's gigi? where's daddy?" Most of my words each day are used to tell Mer where people are. And, as mentioned above, heaven forbid that anyone go out of town -- or not answer the phone when we call. Hours of speculation ensue. That's all the little sweetnesses I can think of at the moment. Thanks for loving Mer with us for 2 years. Not that she makes it so tough.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Finally, the Zoo

We've lived about 4 blocks from the zoo since, what, March? And we'd never been. So when Olly and Walt suggested a trip today, we decided it was time to check it out. Unlike our previous post, this is something that you would think would be fun...and it WAS!

First, you gotta dip your fingers and toes in the fountain.

Then you hold hands on the way to the primate section.

Next, cross the red bridge.

Check out the giant goldfish pond (it's possible these guys have a more technical name than giant goldfish).

And here's proof that we were actually at the zoo, since it seems I didn't take lots of pictures of animals.

One of the great thing about kids is that they can make your average Thursday morning feel like a pretty special day.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Things You Might Think Would Be Fun but Actually You Would Be Wrong

With high hopes and the best of intentions, we set out for the downtown farmer's market at about 9. We'd been up, in turns, since 5:45, thanks to Meredith's returned norm of waking with bakers and newspaper boys. But it was a gorgeous fall day, and there were copious amounts of fun to be had, so we slurped down the coffee and hit the road.

And the farmer's market was fun. We were quick about it, picking up some stew meat, Japanese turnips, purple okra and muscadine grapes--and of course tomatoes--before heading to our next stop, the Cooper Young Festival. Who doesn't love a festival? Toddlers. They really don't. It's too much for them, too much for us, and at times, too much for the innocent folks who encounter our party (Meredith's screams of protest when being made to leave behind a desired activity are reaching an epic, horror movie volume lately.) We started at the drums, 'cause our neighbors (see the twins) were performing. Despite the fact that Walt and Mer are both pretty into drums, this was "Too loud."

We proceeded to the moonbounces, cause kids love moon bounces. Sure they do, unless there's a six year old in there doing flips and kicking you in the face.

Next stop, corn dogs. Here, Walt defends his against a persistently begging Meredith. In addition to the spoken word, she used the sign for please (a sure sign that she's DESPERATE) more times in this encounter, than perhaps in her entire life up to this moment. Chris quickly got her one of her own.

Then we took a left on Young to visit Goner Records and the Midtown soccer club tent. There was slightly less congestion on this street, so Meredith took the opportunity to sprint headlong into the crowd.

And these, my friends, are honestly only a fraction of the travails encountered during today's "fun" at the festival. Grandparents take note: You're all invited to Memphis next year for the Cooper Young festival. We'll attend in shifts and LEAVE THE ANGELS AT HOME.

Thursday, September 13, 2007


It's been a great week and we've had a ton 'o fun. I figured I should document last weekend's fun before this weekend starts!


Mer and Nora get artsy at the Romp. Apologies to the Conways for the bad influence of Dad Lareau, who once again, encouraged the kids to draw on themselves.

Mer found some big girls who were hiding from someone named Ivy. She felt she should remain with them. Solidarity.

We were entertained by the Little Darlins from Murfreesboro, TN. They were great, and Mer definitely tuned into the fact that they were chicks, and their music was a bit more mellow than some of their predecessors on the Rock N Romp stage. I thought they rocked, too.

What's better than pot roast, the first day of NFL football, a USA vs BRAZIL friendly match AND a break in the weather? We huddled up in the living room with our friends the Bibles for some American football and rest-of-the-world football. USA lost to Brazil 4-2, which if you follow soccer, is practically a victory for our boys. And the Chargers and the Cowboys both won. A good start to things, all in all.

Chris may take the soccer a little too seriously.

Mer was glad to see that Dad's intensity was actually happiness.

Is Marshall precious, or what?


A beautiful day in Overton Park. Mer is jealous that she can't do what this boy is doing. She keeps pointing and saying "that? that?" as if I can make it happen for her.

So instead, she carried 2 bottles back and forth for about half an hour. That's okay, though, cause earlier she had mom slide down with her about 962 times. I'm actually kind of glad there was no one to take a picture of that.

We headed over to Peabody Park for the last day of sprinkler park season. As soon as we were suited up, keys in hand, the rain crashed down. No problem. We changed course and headed to the Spicklers for some tunnel play. Check it out.

When the Spick's neighbor Tom got this tube in the mail, he was smart enough to realize that toddlers would make good use of this thing. Here, Walt demonstrates how you send your car into the tunnel.

Mer gives it a try, not too sure what's become of the car.

The cars all end up here. The tube is so long, I swear they get up to 10mph. I really love this tube. I seriously wish I'd had one when I was in my Matchbox phase when I was about 8 and my brother was about 4. It would have taken things to a whole new level.

So that's it for the weekly Lareau report. If the weather holds, the upcoming weekend will be fabulous, so stay tuned.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Happy 10th

Yesterday was our 10th anniversary. And I don't care how you count, that makes us old. But happy.

Chris completely surprised me with a new camera. See how Mer is out of focus, but the flowers are in focus? Now that's mostly just cause I don't know what I'm doing, but with the other camera, Mer's movement would probably have caused the whole thing to be out of focus. I don't really want to retire Old Bessie (the other camera) cause she's been a good camera, but I look forward to learning lots more with Gerta. That's the new one. I just came up with that, but I think it fits. I think we had a car named Gerta once...a Volkswagen Fox. Or is it Foxx? At any rate, I love my husband, I love my camera, and I love my daughter.

It's been a good 10 years. Oh...and on second thought, that Volkswagen's name was Liesl. She was a beaut.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

A Visit from the Lareaus!

Chris' mom and sister came to visit over Labor Day weekend and we had a wonderful time showing them the splendors of Memphis living. Kayle had been here before, but Karen was new to the Bluff City, so we tried to break her in easy. We just hit the essentials: the mighty Mississippi, Central BBQ, Graceland, the Orpheum, the packed a LOT into 3 days! We can't wait for them to come back so we can hit the rest of the essentials...BBQ Shop, Brooks, the Zoo, the Pink Palace. This city ain't so shabby. Come back soon, girls; we've got lots more to do!

Grandmas are the best.

Now at first glance, this may appear to be your typical poorly lit tourist photo. But the well-trained eye will quickly realize that Chris and Kayle are in the Lisa Marie, Elvis' airplane. And that's cool.

Meredith and Kayle pose with Blue Dog.

In the Dixon gardens.

Mer loves the turtles.

The Lareau women at the Dixon.

Downtown after lunch with Daddy.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

23 Months!

Here are some outtakes from life with Meridy.

When Daddy says "Let's roll," Meredith replies with "Let's roll, Daddy."

Mommy often says "Let's go, sister," to Mer. Meredith has started saying this to random women.

Mer likes to encourage Mommy when she's really getting into the coloring: "Go Mommy, go mommy."

Meredith has started yelling "No talking!" when grownups around her converse. Luckily we've already learned this tactic from another wily toddler, so we know that all we need to do to stop the yelling is focus all attention entirely on her. Aren't we clever?

She rolls her head around in a Stevie Wonder-like manner when listening to any soul or funk music. I guess it's in the genes?

Mer will eat anything, as long as she's not encouraged to eat it by a parent and as long as she's not sitting in a high chair. Yogurt is the exception to this rule.

My name is Meredith and I'm addicted to yogurt. I would eat eight containers a day, if my dealer --I mean Mommy--wouldn't hold out on me.

But dahlings, I'm almost 2. I just tell that old Mommy that resistance is futile and the world belongs to the young.