Archive for June, 2008


Our friend Jeet defended his PhD while we were in Madison. Bryan saw the defense and said Jeet did an amazing job. We joined him at the terrace on Wednesday afternoon to help him celebrate his success with some great Wisconsin beer.

As Ava said, congratulations “Dr. Jeet!”

Lianas and tigers and bears

We spent the last half of our Madison trip with Liana, who joined us at one of our favorite spots, the Henry Vilas Zoo.

Badgering the baby

We stayed with my good friends Jim and Melissa for part of our trip in Madison. They have two wonderful children and an adorable dog, Badger. Badger seemed relatively sure that there’s nothing sweeter than a baby. He’d start licking Olivia’s hands, but couldn’t stop himself there. Fortunately, Olivia delighted in the very wet kisses.

A step back

I realized that I should have started the Madison post extravaganza at the airport. We left home at about 5 am–Ava had approximately five hours of sleep the night before due pre-vacation excitement.

We’re accustomed to long car trips, which allow you to travel with the things you need, the things you think you might need, and the things you know you probably won’t need but bring anyway.

This isn’t the case with air travel, but I wasn’t able to adapt as well as you might expect. We had two checked bags, a double stroller, two car seats, two carry on bags, Big Bird, Ava and Olivia.

Fortunately, Midwest has curbside check-in.

Bryan likes to be at the airport a full four and half hours before the flight departs, so we had some time to kill before we took off.

Olivia studied the safety manual. Then tried to eat it.

We had a direct flight into Milwaukee, which took less time than the car trip from there to Madison. The girls handled the first leg of the trip well, and both did surprisingly well on the plane.


We spent last weekend visiting friends in Madison, Wisconsin. We moved from Wisconsin about two years ago after living there for six. Our group gets smaller each time we go back as more and more friends finish grad school and move like we did. Fortunately, though, we have a core group that has put down roots.

Our first stop was Lori and Chuck’s. They run a horse farm outside of town, an undertaking they document here. Ava was thrilled to have the opportunity to see the horses, including these two new ones. Athena was born right about the time Olivia was.

Here’s Lori on the right; my friend Melissa is holding Olivia.

That’s a big bucket of horse poop, appropriately labeled.

Alisa and Ava meet Monty, a beauty belonging to Lori’s daughter Maddy.

Chuck, Melissa and Olivia:

Ava was very excited about the opportunity to ride a horse, so Lori and Maddy very kindly helped her onto Monty–bareback!

You can check out more photos on Lori’s blog here.

More Madison to come!

Happy baby

Despite cutting three(!) new top teeth, Olivia’s in good spirits.

Hat trick

Given the challenge it was to get this shot, the title of this post could easily be “brats in hats,” but I know the grandmas would never approve.

Olivia Fix

Fun at the park

We’ve tried the whole “soft music, nice bath, lavender aromatheraphy, cup of herbal tea” bit with Ava come bedtime, and you all know how well that’s worked.

Now, we’re trying my friend Lori’s technique, which was also suggested by our family doctor: Run them ragged by 8 pm. So, we took the girls to the park on Tuesday night to play for a bit.

Ava slid down the four slides countless times, and she and I literally ran home. I can’t say that she fell asleep any faster, but Bryan and I certainly did.

First bites

I’m inching toward table food with Olivia. The last two nights, I’ve been able to process what we’re having for dinner and share it with her. While the herbs and spices are new (and, I’ve decided, impossible to introduce one at a time), the only real “first” in recipe for pasta with sweet potatoes and leeks are the leeks. And the garlic. (And, okay, the pasta, but really, that’s just semolina–who’s allergic to that?) I did hold the Parmesan–you have to draw the line somewhere.

Despite her usual trepidation, she warmed to the dish.