Sophie asked me a few weeks ago for a picture of the three of us, and I realized we have very few of these! So my dear cousin Lisa took some shots of our little family last weekend, even Sous in all her goofy glory. Annie is looking off to the side at Lisa’s kids, who are hamming it up, trying to get a smile.



mom moment

Mom moment: I hear a sputtery noise and think, “that’s the sound poop would make if it sprayed out the front of a diaper,” just as I see an orange-brown stain starting to spread across Annie’s torso, like a wound.

It was a 12-wipe event.

brisket exchange

Cousins-in-law Bryan and Eric hatched a plan last weekend to take turns smoking brisket. The winners of this Klingner-Dreher match? The Hall family. Several branches came over yesterday for the first installment of brisket. We had a great time bouncing baby, eating beef, and drinking beer. This parenthood thing is not cramping our style.

Mmmmm, beef.

Mmmmm, beef.


life lesson

Bryan nugget: Parenting has taught us to give up the futile quest to get everything squared away forever. No problem can be solved for the rest of our lives, or even the rest of our day. She’s going to wake up from that nap in an hour and need everything we just gave her, one more time. We’ve got to use the moments of time we have to do things we need and want to without feeling the need to check every other box first.


more pool time

We took Annie to the wading pool around the corner yesterday, an important lesson in coping with Texas summer heat. We figured the water was probably no more than 20% toddler pee.


first contact

Bryan started this so should really get to do the bragging, but he’s painting the front-yard fence, so I’m gonna.

A few days ago he noticed Annie making a sort of popping noise with her lips, opening them with a little suction, so, as we do, he started echoing the noise back to her. And then—breakthrough—she did it again. And so did he. And then there they were, having this first-ever intentional exchange.

So now we can do this with her. You make the noise, and she looks delighted. And then you make it again, and she concentrates really hard, and a few seconds later, remembers how to make it back. And then we go back and forth for a little while, both of us grinning like maniacs. And she’ll start the game, too. She was beginning to get frazzled a couple of days ago, spiraling down for a nap; I put her in her swing and listened to her fussy noises, and then suddenly, “mmpop!” With a look of great triumph.

It sounds so trivial but feels so profound, like first contact with an alien race.

UPDATE: Caught on video!