The Tragic Optimist

mostly pictures

I feel like I haven’t posted enough pictures recently.

I’m still loving the bread baking. Here’s a recent whole wheat loaf that I baked.

Good enough to knock Zoe’s shirt off

Thoughtful on the porch (maybe one of my favorite pictures)

Zoe loves her new wagon

In a clear indication that we’re related, Zoe immediately started playing in the potting soil the other evening while we were out. She just seemed to love the feel of the dirt in her hands. I did feel like a hypocrite when I had to tell Zoe, “no, we don’t put rocks in our mouths.” Maybe in a few years she’ll be mature enough to understand the geologic usefulness of a good rock licking. Until then, the rule is no eating rocks.


“Does she mimic you?” Was one of the questions at Zoe’s 18 month check up last week (50th percentile weight, steadfastly refused any measurement of height). The answer was yes, a thousand times yes.

I’m not a fan of kids who are pushed to be little adults – I especially hate the figurines of kids dressed up as miniature bride and groom. But there’s something way too cute about Zoe imitating things that we do. Anything that is small and rectangular becomes a phone, which she holds between her ear and shoulder. After seeing us go through horrible colds, every tissue or napkin she sees is used for blowing her nose. She’s constantly feeding us and trying to give us things to drink – which is fine, except that she doesn’t really have a sense of how fast the water tips out of the glass, or how much liquid we can manage to drink at once. If we put lotion on her hands, she’ll carefully rub her hands together and then rub the lotion into our cheeks or her baby doll’s cheeks (it’s been a long, dry winter and we needed to moisturize). The best though is her cleaning her glasses. It happens at least three times a day, and it’s not just her glasses. Anyone around with glasses will have them “cleaned.” Chris wrote a much more detailed explanation of the whole process on the Little Four Eyes blog. Sadly I don’t have a picture of her cleaning her glasses, maybe because when it happens, she has inevitably taken my glasses and I can’t see my way out of the room, much less to find the camera.



  1. She’s SOOO cute!! I love the thoughtful picture too 🙂

  2. The girl is so cute! Thanks for posting these. I really like the last photo. I just love how you seem to be both worried (thinking of washing her and her clothes) and really glad (pride that she likes the things that you like) watching her play in the dirt. That’s how I interpret the photo, anyway. I think a lot of motherhood is that mix of emotions.

  3. I can’t tell you how much the “thoughtful on the porch” picture reminds me of Chris’ “I’m pondering” look 🙂 Love all of them. Oh, and I seem to have lost track of the name of the bread cookbook you’re using – that Wheat looks AMAZING…I might have to encourage Doug to start baking some of it.

  4. chrisgwinn

    The bread book Ann is using is Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day.

    And yeah, Zoe definitely got my facial expressions.

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