Posts Tagged ‘Ryan’

Indian Summer (October Challenge: Day 8)

Sunday, October 9th, 2011

The thing about fall in the Bay Area is that it is incredibly subtle, and it’s taken 15 years for me to develop the sensitivity to notice it. To an East Coaster used to dramatic autumnal color changes and huge temperatures shifts, fall in Northern California is a bit underwhelming. Even though we get most of our warmest days of the year during September and October, the air develops a crispness (particularly at night) and some even trees lose their leaves.

But unlike the east coast, winter here is the greenest season, when the rains feed the plants and major growth happens. Temperatures rarely drop below the mid-fifties during the day and frost only comes a handful of times at most. The most dramatic shift is actually the wintry light – even though it doesn’t feel particularly wintery, the light shifts as the sun sits lower in the sky. Shadows are different. And, even in the greenness of it all, it’s winter-like. Albeit a mild one.

And so this afternoon, we enjoyed a beautiful fall day in Oakland – the sun was warm, but the air was crisp. The light cast it’s autumnal shadows and we enjoyed the season. We had our first rains last week, and the garden is starting to green up. Here are a few snapshots of our day:

Chasing bubbles...


... caught one!

Art - au plein air.

All smiles!

By the power of technology - Grand Dad was able to join our outdoor fun... from Pennsylvania!

Spray bottles make for hours of artistic and watery fun!

It was a lovely afternoon, full of family time and fun. We’re gearing up for a dramatic and stressful few weeks here at THL (more on that later), and so a day of simple fun in the backyard was the absolute PERFECT way to spend the day. It was lovely to just stop and enjoy the fleeting moments of indian summer. Tomorrow the week starts, and we’re off and running again.


Back-to-School Night (Day 6)

Thursday, October 6th, 2011

Late night tonight. Back-to-School night at daycare. A few hours of work still to do. So, tonight, I’m just going to let the kiddos take the ball and run with it.

Making music and having fun at the park.




Ira vs. Jerry (Day 4)

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

An unforeseen side effect of the October Challenge is an internal struggle about what each post should be like – tone, tenor, theme, topic. I mean, today was a pretty lousy day, and I’m fishing for something to write about. Where to start? Dan taking the day off to hang out with Ryan while she recovers from hand-foot-mouth? When the washing machine started leaking water all over the kitchen floor? Or maybe when the pipe snake got stuck in the drain and now we have to call the plumber. Again. for the third time in a month. Oy.

Perhaps I should channel Ira Glass and craft vignettes of the day that elevate mundane tales of everyday to reflect the universal nature of humanity? Or maybe I should model my writing on Jerry Seinfeld, and blog about NOTHING? And then try to make it funny.

I’m stumped, and I’m realizing that this challenge is going to be tougher than I thought it would be…

So, I’m going to default to the best blog post back-up plan ever: A cute kid pic.

Ryan and her buddy, Naveen. Can you really beat those smiles?

Hey, it works in the movies…

~ Susan

Time flying by…

Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

The summer has flown by here at THL! It’s been quite a whirlwind around these parts, and not because we’ve gone on any fabulous holidays or traveled to distant shores. Nope, we’ve spent most of our time nesting here at Chez Hartmann and getting ourselves used to my new professional gig.  I finally sat down tonight to post a 20th-month update and realized that I had completely ignored the 19th! Geez, what kind of blog parent am I?

So, without wanting to rewind back too far, here are a few pics showing what our girl’s been up to lately.

Lots of thinking and processing new concepts, particularly words. She’s pretty chatty – can’t imagine where she got that trait!

Taking care of Baby! And Bunny and Mousey and Moo and all the other fuzzy friends who hang around the house.

Obsessing about footwear. Seriously, this girl loves her shoes! (And mine, and Dan's...)

Practicing her mad rodeo skills. Uncle Adam gave her this gigantic stuffed dog last year. Yee-haw!

Giggling. Lots and lots of giggling. Giggles galore.

Reading books and identifying the pictures. One of her faves is "The Smartest Giant in Town" sent by Nicole from the UK. She also loves "Little Blue Truck" and pretty much anything involving Elmo.

So, as you can see, we’ve been pretty busy lately! We’ll get back to the blog now that summer’s coming to a close. Promise. I’ve already got the next few queued up! Stay tuned…


A 4th of Firsts

Tuesday, July 5th, 2011

Happy (belated) July 4th, everyone! It’s been quiet here at THL, but we’ve been keeping VERY busy. New job for me. Dan’s got lots of client work. And Ryan definitely keeps us on our toes. At 18 months, she’s a girl on the go. In fact, I dug around in the archives and reread last year’s Independence Day post. To quote that old billboard campaign – We’ve come a long way, Baby.

This July 4th, it was all about spending family time together and enjoying a few milestones. We thought we’d let Ryan share her latest adventures for herself!

My first balloon! I needed a bit of help from Daddy to get the hang of it.

But once I did, it was pretty much the most fun ever!

First haircut! Check out my new bangs!

My first corn on the cob! I love it. It's crazy fun.

My first 4th of July feast! Barbequed chicken, fruit salad, corn on the cob and salad with fresh cherry tomatoes. How's that for summer eating?

My first spray bottle! (I've been carrying it around for days. It's the coolest. High technology is totally overrated.)

So far, I only know how to spray myself...

My first patriotic inspiration...

... to save the world from alien attack!

We hope you all had fantastic July 4th holidays full of fun, sun and good times! (And we promise to start posting more regularly now that life seems to be settling down a bit.)


Happy Summer!

Monday, May 30th, 2011

It’s been quiet here at This Hartmann Life lately. Not because there hasn’t been anything going on, but because we’ve been so busy that blogging has taken a back seat to actually getting things done! We’ve overhauled the backyard (details forthcoming), and were able to enjoy some of the warmth and sunshine of the holiday weekend. We bought a brand-spanking-new kiddie pool and set up for an afternoon of fun. Here are a few snapshots of a lovely afternoon full of family and fun with the kiddo…


Testing the waters.

Splish splash!

Ryan ultimately decided that it was too cold to stay in the pool, so much of the afternoon was spent running around, exploring, splashing and throwing things into the water. It was windy out – hey, she’s no dummy!

Watching Daddy blow bubbles in the wind.

Ready to put out some fires!

Exploring the flowers in the garden. (Verbena bonariensis for those who are curious.)

Future Gatorade model, perhaps?

Who am I? I'm Ry-Ry!

We hope you had a fantastic weekend and managed to have some fun in the sun!


16 Months! (well, almost)

Sunday, April 3rd, 2011

Ryan here! It’s been a while since I checked in, so I thought I’d share some of the cool stuff I’ve been up to lately. Can you believe I’m 16 months old already?! Man, before you know it, I’ll be asking to borrow the car keys… I’ve just mastered the word “car”, so I’m well on my way.

Actually, there are a bunch of words I’ve started using lately. It’s making my parents’ lives much easier. I do what I can. So far, I’m pretty good with:

  • All done!
  • No
  • Car
  • Daddy/Dada
  • Mommy/Mama
  • Emily (more like, Eh-eee, but I’m consistent)
  • Duck
  • Hi
  • Bye

There are more, but that gives you a good sense of where I am language-wise. I must say, I am particularly pleased with my animal sounds. We go to the zoo all the time and it’s pretty much my favorite place to go (blogged here and here, with video!). I’m adding to my animal repertoire all the time, but the current list stands at the following: Baaa (sheeps, goats too), Woof (dogs), Quack (ducks, also geese), Cluck (chickens), and Ooo-Ooo (chimpanzees, monkeys in general). I also really like turtles and giraffes, but they don’t really make noises that I can imitate. Oh and bunnies, too!

So, anyway. Here are some fun cool photos of some of my latest adventures.

Spring flowers are crazy cool! And since Mommy and Daddy haven't mowed in about a zillion years everything is tall and jungle-like. Fun!


I love sitting on Mommy's lap when we play and read books.


I like crayons a lot. Mostly I just eat them, but sometimes I make some pretty pictures too!


I love to play with my baby doll. We call her "Baby" and I like to cover her with a blanket and feed her with a bottle.


Ikea is totally fun. I hope Mommy and Daddy buy some crazy plastic furniture for my room someday!


Sometimes I play so hard that I get totally worn out - and then, what else is there to do, but nap? Sometimes Daddy joins me on weekend afternoons.


This is my buddy Marco. We like to go out for pizza.


I can be pretty silly. My teachers at daycare say that I'm kind of a goofball and like to have fun playing.


I really like to eat, and look forward to my meals. I'll pretty much eat everything, but I like to keep my parents guessing. Sometimes I'll eat the green stuff. Other times, it's chicken or blueberries and string cheese only. I like to keep them on their toes.


I love to watch the big kids, especially the older girls. This is Abby, she's the daughter of Mommy's college roommate, Beckah. She had the coolest sparkles on her shirt and played with me at the zoo. She's totally cool.

Oh, and do you like my hair? I like to change it up, but I usually request “ponies” in the mornings these days. A girl can’t leave the house without hair accessories!

See you soon!



Color Musings

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

This has been a rather quiet blog lately, what with all the traveling, wintry sniffles and general lack-of-sleep going on.

And so, in the interest of posting regularly and keeping my mother our readers happy, I bring you Ryan’s latest musings on color theory and the role of aesthetics in the 21st Century. Enjoy!

There’s more action coming this way soon! Promise!


Halloween Fun

Sunday, October 31st, 2010

We didn’t think we’d do Halloween this year. We’re kind of like the Ebenezer Scrooges of Halloween. We generally don’t get into the whole costume thing and we haven’t given out candy for a few years (our neighborhood doesn’t have many trick-or-treaters). Besides, Ryan is too young to eat candy and goes to bed far too early to partake in either tricking or treating. However, when my co-worker invited us to a Halloween party for little ones, we decided to join the fun. So, I did what any self-respecting knitter would do and immediately grabbed my needles, dug into my stash of yarn and cast on for a costume.

Honey Bunny 2010

Her costume was the oh-so-original pajama/bunny suit combo. Sadly, none of my pictures show her feet – they have little bunny faces with ears. It was quite an ensemble.

This photo shows off the ears better.* Too bad I didn’t have a spare carrot lying around to use as a prop.

The party was loads of fun, and our first real “kids” holiday party. Most of the kids in attendance were toddlers and preschoolers, so you can imagine the excitement in the air. Sadly, I didn’t get any pics of the party – it was fairly crazy and I had my own kiddo to tend to. But the costumes were fabulous! One boy was a rocket ship (VERY cool felt costume) and his baby brother was dressed as the chimpanzee who rocketed into space. There were a couple of witches, a BP Oil spill, a unicorn, a fast car (NOT a race car), a firefighter, a tiger, a pancake chef and many more. It was fun. Game four of the World Series was playing and Ryan was riveted by the game (we don’t watch a lot of TV, so it’s quite a novelty for her – she seems to particularly enjoy sports).

TV Baseball Zombie. Seriously, she couldn't take her eyes off the game. When we left the Giants were up 2-0.

When all the big kids left to go trick-or-treating we decided to head home. Ryan was hyped-up and totally exhausted by all the fun. We had a great time and can’t wait until next Halloween!


* In case the knitters want to know the specifics – the yarn is Cascade 220 superwash in a light pink and a darker pink. The hat pattern is just a basic 2×2 rib brim and then stockinette knit in the round. The ear pattern came from the rabbit stuffed animal pattern in Last Minute Knitted Gifts that I used to make Ryan’s stuffed bunny a while back.

Keeping Busy

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

Ryan here. Just a quick check-in about some of the fabulous things I’ve been up to lately. You know, a modern 10-month-old has a lot to do to keep busy and stay up with all the trends! Here is a photo essay of some of my favorite things to do these days.

I have a lot of fun playing with my friends at Blue Skies. Marco and I are old friends – we’ve known each other for ages!

I love to stand up! I'm getting pretty good at it, if I do say so myself.

Sometimes, I contemplate the important issues in life ... this piggy bank is named Flowers.

I often watch and wonder about the world around me.

I help Daddy assemble Ikea furniture.

I really like chasing the kitties. (Even if they always run away! )

I'm pretty chatty and like telling stories when I'm playing in my room!

Mostly, I melt Mommy and Daddy's hearts with cuteness.

Thanks for checking out my photos! I’ll be sure to update you more soon!