Sesame Street Blog

Sesame Family Robinson – From making Muppets to Raising Moppets

Entries with tag tagripley .

A New Bunny

We love our animals out here in the country; the domestic and the wild, as long as the deer don't eat too many of the plants and the coyotes keep away from the cats. Our system seems to be "keep an open mind, and the pets will come."  Our little Cavalier Spaniel, Nell, came to us after Annie's Mom passed away (a formerly un-housetrained pain in the neck who is now most dear to us), the cat was my oldest daughter Lauren's when she was 12 (she is 28 now and the cat is still here), the turtle Bob (Evans) was a castoff of our goddaughter in NYC who had grown too sophisticated to own a reptile, my dear rooster, Larry, was a fertilized egg left by a house sitter, and people keep gifting us with bunnies. Our Bernese Mountain dog, Beary, is the only pet we actively sought out. During the October freak snowstorm a branch fell on our bunny corral, “Feckless" hopped out, and was taken by (most likely) an owl. Recently we were gifted with a new bunny; "Loolee the Princess Bunny", as named by the girls. The following film is a short chronicle of her first day with us.

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No Daddy Nights

Curriculum of the day: Problem Solving

Marty still has a few more days of intense shooting for the show and desperately needs his sleep. So last night and tonight he’s sleeping downstairs on the pullout sofa. This leaves me flying solo from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m. They’re getting up every two hours for their 2 ounces of formula. I feel like a robot. We have little bottles already made up and in a cooler in the bathroom. So, I just have to put them in the bottle heater, and then pop them into an open mouth without ever having to go down to the kitchen. Tara is putting in big, long days to help me out when Marty is gone. I could not be doing this without her. I’m still pretty much clueless on how to take care of them. I read the books, didn’t I? Still, I’m relying on her for everything—how to bathe them, wipe their little rears, put on diaper rash ointment. I keep saying to the girls that Daddy is downstairs sleeping, so they should sleep, too. Hopefully, I’ll get some sleep as soon as Tara arrives.

Yes, Ripley did hold that bottle all by herself. She hasn’t done it since. But what a champ.

RIP Roaring Ripley

Word of the Day:  Spunky

My daughter Ripley was born at 4 pounds, 9 ounces. She fooled the ultrasound computer into saying she was 6 pounds because she was very long. Marty watched her being lifted out of my uterus. Her eyes were wide open, greeting the world with her inquisitive stare the moment she arrived. All I heard when she was pulled out was, “Oh, she’s much smaller.” She was quickly shown to me and then rushed off to be put on the respirator. Everyone was sure she’d need it for at least a day or two. She was off it in an hour. She sucked down a bottle of formula not long afterwards. This is Ripley. She’s named after the Sigourney Weaver character in the Aliens movies. She was well named indeed.

For the week in the NICU, she constantly proved to be the character of the group. Always staring out at the world, she’d make faces that would have impressed Soupy Sales. When she was eating, she’d make cute little, “ump, amp” sounds as if she was trying to talk with her mouth full. Being so small, she was wrinkled and had little fat on her face so she looked like Marty will when he’s 100 years old.

At home, she’s been the one who sleeps less and whimpers more because of her aching intestines. We finally moved the girls into their one big crib in the nursery because Ripley has been keeping us awake with her grunts and groans. But she’s also the main actress in many of our Handyman films because she’s just that much more alert and doesn’t get as fussy as fast as Lyra. She’s also still a champion formula sucker. She’s already caught up to Lyra in weight to the applause of our pediatrician.

And, she gave us the first real, recognizable smile. I’ve thought I had glimpses, but this one definitely was for real, responding to Mom’s morning “puzz” on her tummy. I hope she follows in her namesake’s fictional footsteps, protecting little Newts and saving humanity from aliens with acid for blood.

Such a good little napper.

Ricey Goodness

Word of the day:   Solid

Our babies have started on solid food!

It’s a sight to behold. We mix up the rice cereal—Ricey Goodness since their formula is known as Milky Goodness— put it in a cup, take their little spoons and glide it right into their mouths. And their chins, and cheeks, and fingers. I almost put a spoonful right into Ripley’s eyeball.  

Ripley’s getting the hang of eating much faster than Lyra. She actually opens her mouth and swallows. Lyra sticks her tongue out and tries to lick the spoon, or push it down her gullet using her tongue. Still, I’m sure some goes down, and it isn’t only on her chin and hands and clothing. Ripley likes to grab the spoon, which makes it a little tough to keep the momentum up. She won’t let go and I have to disengage her fingers to get it back. Then, she complains so I try to feed her again, only to get into spoon-lock once more. The dogs are stationed at the bottom of each high chair to catch any goodness that gets flung down to the floor.

It is utterly entertaining. Marty has the video camera rolling. Lyra does raspberries when she gets a good mouthful, sending Ricey Goodness everywhere. We can’t wait to try Pea Goodness and Banana Goodness. The possibilities are endless!
Ripley with a tight grip on her spoon.


Babies of mass destruction strike again

Curriculum of the Day: Safety

The BMDs are at it again. We’re attempting to clean out our “rumpus” room on the main floor so it will truly be their rumpus room, rather than Marty’s office, equipment room, and drawing studio. The cleaning isn’t done yet, but the BMDs have this room in their sights now and keep heading for it. Ripley in particular has a sixth sense of danger. I am thrilled by her curiosity and bravery, but also terrified by it. How am I going to keep this girl safe? If I leave my little hand drill on the floor two rooms away and turn away to feed the birds for 30 seconds, she will find it. The bathroom door always needs to be closed when the girls are on the loose or they’ll be trying to shovel kitty litter into their gullets when we turn our backs. This has lead to kitty accidents because they can’t get into the bathroom to use the cat box!  

Gates have been going up like mad around the house—the top and bottom of the stairs going up, and the top of the stairs going down to the lower floor. They attack these gates like inmates, pulling as hard as they can and making the gate bounce back and forth in its lock. Ripley even took her sippy cup and scraped along the bars like someone out of Shawshank Redemption.

And they are taking their spills. Ripley has a scrape on her nose today and Lyra has a bump on her chin. Even with constant supervision, a sudden fall as they’re reaching behind the animal food bin to snag our wedding picture can result in a little bruise. Out with the witch hazel once again. The spirit of adventure must not be stifled, but it must be very carefully watched or the BMDs will explode.

Lyra attacking the safety gate.

Lyra attacking the safety gate.

The Sesame Family Robinson Box Ride.

A good way to keep BMDs from causing too much damage.   The Sesame Family Robinson Box Ride.

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Mail Box

Like your family we have twins, boy/girl, that turned three last month. I saw your blog entry for January and it looks like we have something in common, potty training twins. Like one of your girls, my son WILL NOT pee in the potty but his sister was doing well until she caught on to "Bubbie" not trying. I was just letting things run their course but our local pre-schools/mommy day out programs require the children to be potty trained and this mommy needs a day out. Bribery isn't working. Have you had any success?


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How often is the telly puppet renewed or replaced?

Katherine Sydney, Australia

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I read in 40 Years of Life on the Street about an incident involving Snuffy's puppet where a sombrero caused the wood frame to collapse on you and Bryant Young. Did they rebuild the puppet after that or did they just make a new one?


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I just wanted to say thanks for the blog. My daughter Kylie (who just turned two yesterday) loves to ask if we are going to see "the babies." Thank you so much to you and Marty for bringing the joy of Sesame Street into our lives every day.

Kendal and Kylie Montreal, Canada

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I've noticed that there are fewer Muppets and people in an episode now than there were twenty years ago. Does everyone show up on the set for filming days or only certain ones? Who decides who gets to play the Anything Muppets? There are some voices I hear more than others.


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