23 November 2015


The weather has turned so lovely that we cant resist taking long walks everyday. Also magically, whining doesnt seem to exist in universe "outside of my house". 
 2015 week forty-seven

All we did this week was craft and go on walks.

We have discovered the magic of crafting. Well, V has discovered the empowerment of scissors and finesse of glitter. I have discovered allowing mess in small doses will not ruin my day.

"Mama put my exercises on. I need my yoger mat." 

Peanut Butter toilet paper bird feeders. Sadly we havent seen any birds take our bait yet.

This outfit and this attitude brought to you by Vera. I try to not be annoyed by her changing outfits 10 times a day in order to allow her a bit of autonomy. 

More crafting, this time princess style. "I'm a Princessh."

An AMAZING park in Carollton. That is a 3 story slide. That tiny thing is my daughter climbing up. She was so brave and though was slightly terrified by how fast the slide was, she went down at least a dozen times. Honestly, I was far more terrified for her than she was for herself. 

Vera LOVES broccoli. She ate an entire plate of broccoli and completely disregarded her soup. 

Vera also LOVES Cinderella now. She had the time of her life watching this before bed the other night. At one point she ran screaming to find me just to ask me what happened to the wicked step-sister princesses (i.e. why aren't they on screen). 

Reunited with Papa and it feels so good.  We had a perfect Saturday together followed by the Saturday night from hell: vomiting, up for 3 hours humming and tapping the vomit bowl, reading books to her fox AT 3 AM! We were all a little destroyed Sunday morning. Except Theo. He was just business as usual. 

V reading a book, "Mama, can I go in this page? Can I go into this book? Mama, can I have this [insert object from book] out of the book? Mama, take it out of the book!"

On a walk Vera was going crazy with the questions. OK, I was the one going crazy from all the questions, "Can I eat these berries? Can I go in peoples yards? Can I break peoples houses? Can I go in the tree? Can I eat the trash? Can I swim in this pool? Can you leave me here? Can I walk on the cars? Can I sit on the wall? Can I take these shoes off? What is that man doing? What are those ladies and mans walking? Are those mans walking? Is this our house? Where is my giraffe? What's going on in that house? Where are the people? Can I touch this? Can I put this flower in here?"
This went on in an uninterrupted stream for the 45 minutes we were outside. Ok, it was punctuated by finding a stick from a sucker on the ground and immediately putting it in her mouth... Surprisingly, she didn't ask first.

V, "I'm wearing clothes just in case."
Me, "Just in case, what?"
V, "I'm wearing clothes just in case."
Me, "Ok, you are wearing clothes just in case what?"
V, "I'm wearing clothes just in case."
Me, "Never mind."

"We're going in the car, Mama. The giraffe and me and the fox we're going in the car to to go Christmas."

Whining horrifically, "Mamaaaaaaaaa! I want the fox to sit properly!"

Any time that was in the past is "yester."

"Mama, it smells like sausage in my mouth."

Any time in the future is "nexterday."

"Hi squirrel! HEY SQUIRREL!!! HIIIIIIIIII! We're going on a walk!"

V suddenly looks down the hall. "Who is that person?"
Me, "What person?"
V, "Is that Papa in the hallway?"
Me, "Vera, is there someone in our hallway?"
V, "Uhhhhhhm, nope."
You are too creepy child.


No story this week. We're all suffering today from lack of sleep last night. Instead here are some Thanksgiving recipes for you! Have a wonderful Happy Thanksgiving!

Clam Dip

Grandma Ronnie's Sausage Stuffing

Meringue topped Sweet Potatoes But instead of puree, we like the sweet potatoes coined and baked until soft tossed with butter, brown sugar, a pinch of salt, and a handful of chopped pecans.

Apple-Sour Cream Pie

Cranberry Sauces

Beef Jerky (contributed by Matthew, we are not responsible for the tasteless title)

Pumpkin Pie (from a Real Pumpkin) with Ginger Snap Crust

1 sugar pumpkin (or just a can of pumpkin puree)
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups cream
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

Ginger snap cookies (the hard crispy ones)
pinch of salt
stick of butter

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Cut the pumpkin in half, remove the seeds, place the pumpkin halves in a pan, shell side up, and bake for 35 minutes to1 hour or until the pumpkin is tender and exudes liquid and the shell starts to sag. Scrape the pulp from the shell and purée it with a fork or potato masher or in a blender. Measure 2 cups of the purée and set it aside. Reserve any additional pumpkin for another use.

Lower Oven Heat to 375 F.
Crush the crispy gingersnap cookies to a fine powder (just like making a graham cracker crust) mix with salt and enough butter to make a crumbly crust. Press into a pie pan and bake for 10-12 minutes. Let it cool.

Increase the temperature of the oven to 425°F.

In a large mixing bowl lightly beat the eggs. Add the purée and the remaining ingredients and stir to blend. Pour the mixture into the gingersnap crust. Bake for 15 minutes and then reduce the heat to 350°F and bake an additional 45 minutes or until a knife inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool slightly before serving.

16 November 2015


Morning at the park. This was five minutes before panic flashed in her eyes and she started to scream, "I need to poop! Help Mama! It's coming out!!"

 2015 week forty-six

V got to take the long awaited trip to the Zoo with Papa! And I got to sit in a silent house and watch a sad French film.
V was amazing and calm while amusing herself at the post office while we waited FOREVER. I'm not sure who does the scheduling, but shouldn't there be more than one person on staff at 9am? At least Theodore didn't fuss the whole time...oh wait. :) 

And several photos of Theo sleeping. Because glorious baby does this all day long -but not at 5 am. 

Library time with cousins. 

In City Hall waiting for Theo's birth certificate. She loved climbing the beautiful stairs. 

Everyone adores this sweet boy. 

Eating lunch (buttons. buttons made of antlers) with her giraffe. Ikea utensils are ill equipped to successfully scoop buttons into the giraffe's mouth -hence the extreme concentration. 

At the Zoo with Papa! 

and with the cousins! 

But of all the awesome things at the long anticipated zoo trip, the carousel was clearly the winner. She wont stop talking about it. 

And now we say goodbye to Matt for a week. :( 


Any time V plays make believe it is about birthdays and birthday parties. "It's my birksday! It's happy birksday time for the giraffe. It's for my party. It's my present for my birksday."

Matt took V into Petco to look at all the animals. A few days later she was telling me about all the animals she saw: birds, cats, dogs, and "skinny pigs."

"Mama, I want to go to the danger store."

Matt: "Are you my bug? Are you my Vera?"
V: "No! I'm a jelly peanut cookie ice cream!"

V likes to mix up the colors of her pens caps; she thinks it's really fun. One day while doing this she told me, "I'm putting on the pens pajamas because they're sick." Later she put all the correct caps back on and told me, "I'm putting the pens clothes on now." She is really interested in putting on pajamas or clothes on herself, her doll, and her giraffe -and of course, pens.

"Excuse me dragonfly, go away."

"Mama? Where are you?! Oh  I found you! You silly girl!"

"No Mom! It's my vinegar! It's not for my hair; it's for making cookies." Later, in the bath. "Ok duck, I need some vinegar, oil, and eggs."

On a walk V picked some berries from a bush. "Look, Mom! I found it! I found my poison."

"Mama. I want to call Auntie Mel and say thank you for the dress up."


One day this week Vera was in a really silly mood while I was doing some yoga. She was running around me giggling and shrieking. Then she started to climb on me during the poses. She thought it was absolutely hilarious and would try to climb up my legs in downward dog and tumble away shrieking madly. Then the other night she went into the sewing room and brought out my yoga mat and unfurled it in the living room. Then she went into the back room "to put on exercise clothes" which was just a cardigan not only completely buttoned up but also inside out and backwards, and her slippers. She asked me to put on the exercise show and for 10 minutes she stood on my mat trying to  copy the poses. Two can be awfully cute at moments.

I moved Vera's closet bar down so she can start getting her own clothes and so she can start learning how to put them away properly. This means she changes her clothes 3-5 times a day -and doesn't put them away yet. Or rather, she tries to put them away but they end up in wonky places or barely balanced on a tangle of hangers. We have this beautiful pink dress given  to us by my old roommate that I love. It is a 6 to 12 month size but it loose and the shoulders tie so it has effectively transitioned into a shirt at this point. She decided one day that she was done wearing it and wanted to wear her gross grey dress up dress (The gross one). So she went into the back room to change. And some how in that process lost the pink shirt. I kept asking her where it was and the only reply I would get was a smile and "Where is it? Where did it go?" It was driving me crazy. I started to get really frustrated but clearly V had no idea what she did with it so hounding her wouldn't help (as my husband gently pointed out). Three days later my frustration over this hadn't abated. Where could it have gone? I scoured this house from top to bottom from likely to impossible-to-reach. We are not cluttered. Have you been to my house? It's basically Spartan! There is no place to hide! Really though it'd be a terrible house for hide and seek.  How could she lose something in my house?! I was starting to wonder if she threw it away and I unknowingly whisked it to the trash can. And then yesterday morning I got out of bed and there it was: in the middle of my floor. It obviously wasn't there the entire time. Where was it? How did it get back here? Something must have spirited it away. That is clearly the only reasonable explanation.

The other morning V let us sleep in a bit. At about 715 she started calling to me from her room. Her door was open, she just felt communication would be better this way or something. She was hollering something only half intelligible. "Mama! mumble mumble mumble living room!" I said, "Matt, what is she saying?" "She's going to the living room, I think." But the syllables weren't matching. So I got up and went to her room and asked, "What did you say?"
Vera, "Mama, there's someone in the living room."
Me, "Uhm, what?"
Vera, "There's someone in the living room.'
Me, "Are you saying there is a person in the living room right now?"
Vera, "Yes."
Me (panic rising a little), "Well, who is it."
Vera pauses to think, "It's not Papa."
Freaking terrifying toddlers.
Me, "Ok, show me."
We slowly pad out to the living room peeking around corners. I'm trying not to act scared so I don't freak Vera out. And happily there is no one there. Not the most peaceful way to wake up though.
toddler, "Hey Mom I know you're sleeping and the baby kept you up half the night, but I just wanted to let you know that I'm shouting in my room, so probably the baby wont be sleeping much longer, and also, it's morning. And hey, I think there's an intruder. Or at least I'm going to shout something really creepy so you wake up in a slight panic. That's a good way to start the day right? Right?! MAMA! Maaaaaaa-maaaaaaa!"

09 November 2015


Things haven't been the easiest around here so we started a strict schedule of activities and times to do them. Baking is one of those activities. And even though I feel a little sugar overloaded lately, I love making cookies with this girl so much I might just keep it up anyway. She finishes up the activity covered in sticky cookie dough and exultant after such a long amount of uninterrupted mom time.  
 2015 week forty-five

 So, Vera discovered how to not tell the truth. That's fun. So are her little naughtinesses peppered with pauses looking at me to see if I recognize that she's acting naughty. Yes, V, I see you. Stop please.

Someone sneakily dug the stickers out of the trash when I wasn't looking. Death to those eyeball stickers that are EVERYWHERE now. 

New favorite activity now that it's no longer hot outside. Though a few mosquitos are still holding on and biting hard. 

A walk on a day meant for puddle stomping.

Helping me stuff Theo's baby announcements. They'll be on there way sometime soon. Maybe by Thanksgiving... :)

"It's a rainbow spider going uptown, Mom." Oh right. Yes, of course.

Milky jaws.

I love a hand-knit baby.

Now that there are no mosquitos, there is just enough light to eat a quick early dinner outside these days. I love eating dinner outside. I'd eat outside for every meal probably. V is telling Grandma all about the green and purple cat she's holding in her hand. "And then I *smacks hands together* POP the cat!!!"

"Mom! Picking Pecans is so much fun. It's just as fun as trick-or-treat!" And the pecan pancakes this morning were spot on. Mmm, I wonder if pumpkin pecan pancakes would be good? Well, I guess I know what I'll make for breakfast next weekend.

Woolens all day long. 


Bears can't wear clothes. They're just too wild.

I'm so cute because I love you so much all the way.

Me: Why are you doing that?
V: I'm just doing that because I'm weird.

V with a big sigh: Mama, I just love our trees and grass.

V telling me about her chalk drawings: A popsicle, umbrella girl, singing girl, running outside, phone fightly (???), winter snow, and a cat.

At breakfast, V: I want to watch labyrinth.

V who has recently become obsessed with Matt's collection of Calvin & Hobbes books after I found her in the guest room lovingly stroking them in a huge pile all around her, asks me to read them all day. V: Read.
Me: I am reading.
V: No, read this page.
Me: Yes, this is the page I'm reading.
V: Read this and this and this page then you can turn the page and read THAT page.
Me: Yes, I know how books work.


Theodore had developed a scary looking diaper rash so we took him to the doctor. He was 3 weeks old that day and was up 2 whole pounds from his birth weight. This is why I feel so hungry all day long. He's grown out of newborn diapers at this point.

Veronica loves books. I have to stop myself from saying no to her when she asks to read another book or wants more books in her bed. Her new books in bed limit is two because otherwise she'll keep herself up reading books to her giraffe. Every night when we go back to check on her before we go to bed I have to pull four or five extra books out of her bed that she grabbed after tuck-in and lights out. One morning she had pushed her pillow off the bed and was using Amelia Bedelia as a pillow instead. I love to see her treasure and hoard books and read them over and over. I think it's so sweet when she asks to bring books in the car, and we are determined to do everything we can to provide an environment wherein our babies never grow out of loving books.

02 November 2015


The daily uniform: purple leotard under a purple tutu and rubber boots. I was serious about this being "daily."
 2015 week forty-four

Happy Halloween! We did our annual homemade donuts for trick-or-treaters, and finally found the perfect spot of number of donuts for the amount of kids. And Vera had the most enchanting time discovering what Halloween is all about: trick-or-treating! I probably cried a little too much seeing the marvel and wonder in her little excited eyes. "Mama! I HAVE TWO CANDIES!!!"

Family Halloween movie night with the cousins. We watched Nightmare before Christmas. For the rest of the week when a song from the movie would play on my Pandora station V would so excitedly exclaim, "It's the song! From the movie! The halloween movie songs with the cousins!!!"

Costume day at the library with friends.

She's asking for the 100th time if she can take off her costume. 

On this day I was lazy about my no dress up outside rule. She was in heaven getting to go on a walk in a leotard, (disgusting) grey dress and her boots. Oh well, at least she was loving it. 

Master Theodore. He is such a sweet baby. I wish he didnt have the hiccups or gas all. night. long. Somehow he manages to sleep perfectly during the day. :)

Oh look, we're back in this charming outfit again. I caught her being darling stacking her blocks by color. 

And more dress up outside. I was just so happy that a) she wanted to play outside, and b) it was cool enough to play outside that I didn't argue. She happily drew with chalk for almost an hour. And then when I told her she needed to clean up the chalk to take a bath, she did it. THE FIRST TIME I ASKED! I almost couldn't believe my eyes. After bath she donned her glow-in-the-dark skeleton pajamas and ran around outside again for another 20 minutes. It was one of those evenings when everything aligns and the weather is gorgeous and your toddler is being super compliant and happy, and the cinnamon broom is making your whole house smell amazing. I could probably sit here and gush for another couple paragraphs about how wonderfully obedient she was that day, ( Uhm, she didn't whine once!)  but it would only serve to show you how rare and magnificently special those days are. :)

My skeleton chili pie. I was so pleased to find out that I actually won the ward chili cook off this year! Not even having to change peed-in pants (Vera) could dampen my surprise and glee. It's literally just a chili with a pie crust. But I actually liked that idea and thought the crispy crust provided a nice foil to the soft warm chili.The skeleton grin also really helped. 

Halloween morning the local high school put on a Cinderella breakfast fundraiser. V wore her Cinderella dress. Matthew wore the sexiest thing a man can wear: a baby. 

With friends at breakfast. 

We got to meet the high school cast of the Cinderella musical. V wouldn't sit here by herself. Also that boy had the most gorgeous voice -I honestly choked back a sob when they were singing. Clearly there has been a lot of crying going on over here. These nursing hormones are making everything seem especially precious lately. 

Yes, I definitely cried when she folded her hands in her lap like this. Also, Cinderella definitely wears rubber boots -this is mandatory. She would sleep in them if I let her -or gave her the idea.

Sweet baby Cinderella's with the Queen.

And speaking of Queen... Happy Halloween! Matt painted our faces so perfectly. You can't really see because Vera wouldn't move her arms, but she is the 2 of spades, and Theodore has a little spade pinned to his shirt. And yes, Vera asked to take the costume off every 5 minutes the entire night. 

Lovely rainy walk with my babies. Theo is under the poncho. 


"Mama, remember last day I went outside and the mouse got my bun?!" 

When I was saying a prayer at dinner Vera added at the end, "And in the morning have cold cereal."

"Aww! Look at the little baby sugar bear." -referring to Theo

V has been doing really well finding the letters "A" "B" and "C" in her books and on signs. She brought me a book and pointed out a few letters and said, "I'm so clever!"

Me, "I'm sorry you cannot wear dress up to the store."
V, "This is a sweater that I need for my body though."

V singing to the tune of Twinkle, Twinkle, "Heavenly Father in the sky, how I wonder what you are."

V, "Mama, I can't lick my finger."
Me, "That's right. That's gross."
V, "But I can lick ketchup though!"

V, "Can Papa feed Baby Brother?"
Me, "No he can't." 
V, "No, Papa only has little tiny nipples."

V stomping up the steps, "It's GHOST BUSTERS!"

V, "Mama, what are we eating?"
Me, "It's called Split Pea Soup."
V slowly, "Slip-py poop!"

V nestling into my pillows, "Wow, it smells bad in here!"
Me, "What does it smell like?"
V, "Pizza... meat. Pizza meat."

Matt helped her put some pj's on her giraffe and she said, "Thank you Papa. I appreciate it."

"Oh Mama, these tights are dar-LING!" 


No story this week, I'm a little exhausted from all the festivities -and probably from the crying. :)  I'll share our halloween donut recipe though! Happy Halloween!