Let me count the ways

My love for Miss Talitha June grows fonder every day. She has such a particular way about her… she has all of the normal three year old tendencies, lots of questions, a wiggly body, and temper tantrums.  But then there’s the part that makes her uniquely Tilly.  The way she introduces me to her friends at preschool “Mama, I’d like to introduce you to my friend Cooper.  Cooper, this is my mama. (and then whispers) I’m going to marry him one day!”  The way she constantly assigns roles to everyone as if she’s the director in a play.  “I’m the chef, you’re the cook.  I’m Ariel, you’re Prince Eric.  I’m an animal, you’re the zoo keeper.  I’m the mama, you’re Tilly.”


The way she swoons over makeup and jewelry, not because she doesn’t like herself the way she naturally is, but because she likes the feeling of the sticky lip gloss, the clink of the bangles, the way the clip-on earring brushes against her neck when she twirls.  The way she gallops everywhere.  Rarely a run, occasionally a walk, but most often, it’s a gallop.  The way she tries to turn everything into a lasso so she can play cowgirl, and how she asked me if she could be a bull rider when she grows up.  10458036_10100330984701159_8477875335559805832_n

The way her eyes lit up when we saw the astronaut costume in the grocery store and we decided she just had to have it.  The way she is fascinated with her body and how it works and “wants to know EVERYTHING.” She told Buzz the mechanic next door that she got a library book about bodies so she can learn how butts work.  10711131_10100347303917319_1959437937023443028_n

The way she is baby crazy and wonders when she’ll have a baby of her own.  She makes references to her future little sister all the time, saving old toys and favorite dresses for her.  The way she grabs the ukulele whenever a good song comes on and seriously rocks out.  She has certain faces for slow songs and other faces for fast songs – it’s all in the eyebrows.  Usually mama is assigned the fiddle role and papa is asked to be drummer or bass player.   10345547_10100345192184249_4890279201896755881_n

The way she says “I love you” out of the blue to us about thirty times a day.  The way she thought to stuff a picture of me in her coat pocket when I leave for the day, so that she can pull it out when she misses me.  The way she worries about Josh when he plays soccer on Monday nights because he’s going to be up too late and may not get enough sleep.

Tilly – you are my precious, strong willed, kind, genius of a daughter and I LOVE YOU!

Flower Girl Love

View More: http://birdsofafeatherphotos.pass.us/whitney-and-anthony-weddingWe were honored to have Tilly act as flower girl in our dear friend Whitney and Anthony’s wedding!  I met Whitney in dance & theater class growing up and we’ve remained close family friends ever since.  Josh and Anthony bonded over soccer years ago, and we were so happy to see one of our favorite couples tie the knot!

I got Tilly’s dress for $40 on Etsy (here’s the store link), and Whitney’s aunt made the coordinating sash.  Doesn’t she look like a doll?  The photographers at Birds of a Feather Photography were amazing, I’d highly recommend them if you’re in the DC area.

Whit and Tony, thanks for letting our family be a part of your special, gorgeous, romantic day!

View More: http://birdsofafeatherphotos.pass.us/whitney-and-anthony-weddingView More: http://birdsofafeatherphotos.pass.us/whitney-and-anthony-wedding View More: http://birdsofafeatherphotos.pass.us/whitney-and-anthony-weddingView More: http://birdsofafeatherphotos.pass.us/whitney-and-anthony-weddingWhitney and Anthony Wedding-Reception-0184 View More: http://birdsofafeatherphotos.pass.us/whitney-and-anthony-wedding View More: http://birdsofafeatherphotos.pass.us/whitney-and-anthony-wedding View More: http://birdsofafeatherphotos.pass.us/whitney-and-anthony-wedding Whitney and Anthony Wedding-Reception-0096

She’s THREE!!

Tilly at three years old is so much FUN!  She has her moments, but all in all, she’s delightful.  Easy to travel with, tells funny jokes, is fun to play games with, shows kindness to others, and even has pretty good manners if I do say so myself.  Her favorite activities include watching princess movies, playing dress up, hosting tea parties (real life or ipad), snuggling with her stuffed animals, singing songs from Frozen, kicking the soccer ball (with her left foot!), running on her tippy toes, putting on makeup (ugh), eating ice cream and lollipops, pretending to read books when she really has the memorized, typing on the computers at the library, getting her hair braided, and absolutely ANYTHING to do with the color pink.

On her birthday I brought cupcakes to her school and read her three favorite books to the class.  (St. Francis and the Wolf, Penguin and Pinecone, and Ballerina).  That night we went to Straw with my aunt, dad and step-mom and it was awesome!  Totally kid-friendly, which is hard to find in this city.

We had a  playground party on Saturday at Mother’s Meadow in Golden Gate Park.  A few family members, four friends and their parents came, we ordered pizza and had pink cake.  It was low stress and the sun even came out!  I’m pretty positive she loved it!

On Sunday we made cast-iron waffles with our visiting family before they headed for the airport and then flew kites with Kyle and Kate near Hippie Hill.  I had forgotten how relaxing kite-flying can be… a perfectly mellow end to the big weekend.

In a few weeks we’ll be having another little gathering at my mom’s house in San Clemente for our So-Cal family and friends.  I swear, I keep trying to make birthdays low-key but its in my blood to go over board on the celebrations!

Tilly’s 3!! from Mary Pendleton on Vimeo.

Preschool – 3 months in

15178_10100226588342299_627955403_nTilly has been going to preschool for three months now!  It was a tough decision to sign her up because she loved her daycare so much, but getting into a preschool in SF is so complicated that when we were offered a spot, we jumped on it.

We’ve been on a waiting list for the UCSF preschools for over a year and they say we don’t have any luck of getting in for another year.  This blows my mind!!  (here’s a funny article that helped calm my anxiety.)  So when I found out in January that I could no longer bank on Tilly attending one of UCSF’s three amazing preschools, I asked around and was referred to a small program out in the Sunset District.  It ended up being a great fit for us and (maybe?) best of all… we’re saving $600/month compared to daycare costs!  Tilly’s been going 4 days a week to preschool, but is still at daycare one day a week.  It’s been a helpful transition… she loves to see her old friends on Mondays and gets some extra special attention in the home daycare setting.

10257086_10100253438209949_3483071276670216389_nAt first, Tilly really struggled with preschool.  She even went on a strike and wouldn’t participate in the art projects for 2 weeks!  Every day when I dropped her off, I’d beg her to make some art for me, and each day she would refuse.  UGH!  But finally she broke the boycott and now we have a cute new something-or-other for our fridge every day.  Joy in my heart!  The drop offs are still a little tough, but each day when I pick her up, she wants to stay and play for a little longer, so I know she’s enjoying herself.

photo 1One of the highlights of my day is picking her up right at 5pm, just as they’re walking back from the playground.  I join the kids on the rug as they eat their snack and chit-chat with all of Tilly’s friends.  Gabriel asks if I’ve seen The Avengers and Maya tells me about her birthday plans.  Sophie comes and gives me a hug and Mia offers me a raisin.  IT’S THE BEST THING EVER!  I can tell Tilly is so proud to have me there, and I’m so proud of her too!  It’s a love fest.

photo 3

Kate’s Single Days are Gone

Last month we threw a super cozy sleepover bachelorette party for my friend, Kate (aka Kick).  We rented a house on Air BNB that could comfortably sleep all 12 of us, ordered some pizzas, crafted dorky cute crowns, made up dance routines to our favorite band HAIM, played truth or dare, and stayed up super super late. The invitation was even a mix CD of all our favorite dance jams, hand delivered by party planner extraordinaire, Rachael Tipton!  Here’s the video I made that recaptures it pretty well:

Kate’s Bachelorette from Mary Pendleton on Vimeo.

TJP Cribs

first night in bedYesterday was a major milestone in Tilly’s life… we removed the outside of her crib and transformed it into a bed!  We’ve been talking about doing this for months, but were always a little hesitant. She’s never tried to crawl out, but now that she’s potty trained, she’s been waking up in the middle of the night asking to go to the bathroom.  Hopefully she’ll be able to take her self down the hallway eventually!

For now, I’m happy to be done lifting a 30 pound toddler in and out of the crib multiple times a day.  Last night was pretty successful.  I don’t think she realizes that she can get out on her own yet… it’s going to be tough when she starts showing up in the living room doorway after we’ve put her down for the night.

The major downfall of last night was literally a downfall… Tilly rolled out of bed around 11!  Josh helped her back into bed and she went straight back to sleep.  Today I went and bought a pool noodle, cut it in half, and created a little barrier with it under her mattress sheet.  Cross your fingers that she stays put tonight!

*I realize it’s been 6  weeks since my last post!  So much has happened so far in 2014.  I’ll try to catch you up this week.  :)

Love day


We’re celebrating Valentine’s Day weekend with Jackie, Jessica, and the Job family! It’s SF Beer Week and Josh’s birthday week too so there’s plenty to cheers to. With two extra adults and two extra toddlers in our 700 square foot apartment for 5 days, you’d think we’d go crazy. But we’ve become experts at the nap time shuffle and even got everyone bathed today. I’ll post all the pics next week, but prepare yourself for the cuteness that is Tilly, Sydney and Wyatt!


In case you were wondering, Beatlemania is alive and kicking in 2014!  Tilly is OBSESSED with Ringo Starr.

tilly starrIt all started when she saw “Help” for the first time a few months ago – In the movie, a lady’s chasing Ringo the whole time because of a special ring he’s wearing.  I don’t know if it’s because of the correlation between the words Ringo and ring, or if she just likes his dorkiness, but she was sold!

We’ve now gone through our Yellow Submarine phase and have entered into the realm of Hard Day’s Night.  We’ve recreated a drum kit out of bongos, a giant pot, and one drum stick and one chopstick.  We’ve taped up the liner notes from the DVD on the wall in her room and she points to each one and says their names “John Lennon!  George, Papa’s favorite, he’s winking!  Paul McCartney plays the bass guitar!  and…… RINGO STARR!”

So… now I’ve started to sing her a special lullaby.

Twinkle, twinkle, Ringo Starr.  How I wonder what you are.

Up above the world so high.  Like a Lucy in the Sky.

Twinkle, twinkle, Ringo Starr.  How I wonder what you are.

She thinks it’s the best song ever!!  (After Yellow Submarine, of course.)

Christmas Video

I forgot to share our 2013 Christmas Trip video… ta da!  Here it is.

Christmas 2013 from Mary Pendleton on Vimeo.

So Long Old Friend

Living is a gamble, loving’s much the same.


It’s with a heavy heart that I share the passing of our beloved beagle, Tank.  I still can’t even believe it’s true.  Last week he got sick and after being in the vet’s ICU for about 5 days, we had to put him down.  Apparently he had a weak kidney to begin with, and a bacterial kidney infection simply took the life out of him.

As I read these sentences I think to myself “What!  That’s impossible!” I am totally in denial.  Tank had been staying with our family in Fullerton from Thanksgiving to Christmas, since we have been traveling back and forth so much.  We would have brought him home with us next week at the end of our Christmas visit.  Lucky we were also visiting last weekend, so we were there while he was sick and were able to say our goodbyes two days before he passed.  I’m so thankful I was able to tell him that he was such a good boy and thank him for keeping me warm and apologize for calling him an a-hole so many times.

We only knew Tank for 5 years, but it feels like longer than that.  He was born a few months before Josh and I got engaged and he was with us as we welcomed our first child into this world.  a true Tank from the start.  I fell in love with his grandpa face from the moment I saw him, and dutifully applied his eyeliner every morning for the last five+ years.  (not really but that’s what I always told people.)  He is the handsomest dog I’ve ever known!  He moved with us from the suburbs to the city and taught me what responsibility really was.  When we first moved here, he was still “in tact” and some people in our neighborhood started calling him the Regal Beagle because he still had his family jewels.

 He was the best co-worker I’ve ever had and even got me jogging again these last few months.  Our floors were impeccably clean, as he graciously ate any food we happened to drop.  When someone new came to the door, he played the role of security guard and made sure our visitors were safe before they fully entered our apartment.

His crate has acted as our coffee table ever since we’ve lived here – it’s going to be weird to rearrange.  His favorite chair, the bamboo one, is always available now and no one will have to fight him for it again.  So unbelievable.

The day he died, I had to get out of the house, so I walked from Stanyan down to Broderick and back.  At first I listened to Local Natives’s Hummingbird Album, specifically Black Spot and Heavy Feet.  It fit my mood perfectly and helped me contemplate on what exactly was happening.  Then I listened to Mississippi John Hurt’s Library of Congress Recordings, from 1964.  Further Along, What a Friend We Have in Jesus, Weeping and Waiting – I felt like they were all being sung by Tank himself.

His appointment was set for 4pm, and Josh met me in the panhandle at around 3:45.  We walked in silence together, arm in arm, tears streaming down our faces.  At 4pm, we were right near St. Ignatius Church (at USF), and we heard the bells chime on the hour.  Then, gong, gong, gong, gong.  4pm.  T-A-N-K.  L-O-V-E. We wept.

We decided to tell Tilly that evening, but couldn’t bring our selves to do it.  We decorated our Christmas tree and took turns leaving the room to cry.  We barely got through.  Jules Holland came on the TV, and one of the performers sang a cover of Simon and Garfunkle’s “Blues Run the Game.”  I broke down – I felt like it was written just for us in that moment, as we were eating our delivery dinner and feeling cheated out of a friendship we had worked so hard for.

The next morning as we were getting ready for daycare, I told Tilly that Tank wasn’t coming back anymore, he had gone to Doggie Heaven.  She said “Oh Wow!  Cool!”  I guess it does sound pretty cool.  My friend Jackie said she’d rather go to Doggie Heaven than human heaven – me too.

And so it goes. I’ve been taking myself on walks twice a day, just like he would want me to.  Our day to day life is easier without Tank but it’s colder and emptier too.  But no matter how painful losing him may be, I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.

Rest in peace old friend.  Our souls will be reunited one day.

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