15 September 2014


Angry stuck.

2014 week thirty-seven

Vera gets stuck in things.

Happy Stuck.

Angry Stuck

Happy Stuck

Stuck in this conversation

Very proud that she crawled into this planter and then got stuck, so she peeled off some bark and tried to eat it. I guess she figured all hope was lost and she had better learn to live off the 2'x2'  land. 

On Monday night last we decided to take our FHE to the mall and get a candle! This does not sound like fun, I understand, but we enjoyed it. V got to run the entire length of the mall and go up and down escalators and get a spank on the legs for not coming when she was called repeatedly. I'll cross that off in case you want to judge me then you can pretend it's not there! We decided to splurge on a fancy Yankee Candle hoping that it would give off more scent than the crappy dollar store ones. Why don't things that cost a dollar work as well as things that cost $30? Well, let me tell you, that Yankee Candle store sure knows how to pick employees. I'm always wary of small stores that don't get a lot of foot traffic because I'm not interested in being hounded until I buy something and then leave. We walk in and in a very serious tone, the employee asks us what we're looking for, almost but not quite as if we came into his house and he's being extremely polite but wants us to leave. I roll my eyes (inwardly, I hope) and say we're looking for a new candle and we're just going to smell around for a bit until we find one we like. I hope that will shake him off and he can go back to tweeting about impossible customers behind the counter. No. "Well what kind of scent are you looking for?" I don't know, one that smells nice. "Fresh, floral, fruity, festive, or food." I tried to lighten the gravity of his tone by asking if there were any other "f" adjectives. "No. Those are the 5 f's of scent, ma'am." It went on pretty much the same for the next 30 minutes as I'm trying to sniff as many candles as I can while not letting V knock anything over. He did not laugh at any of my jokes. He did laugh at  all of Matthew's jokes, but was not pleased when Matthew told him that the candle he said was his favorite smelled like Bath and Body Works to us. This man, however, truly loved his job. He would uncap candles with a flourish and wave them under our noses and go on at length about the right type of smell for each room. And in the end he gave us one candle for free so that was pretty cool, but he was so weird. He really loved his job a little too much. Also he looked like he probably had a sword collection at home. I'm sure it hangs on the wall over all of his favorite Yankee Candles.

08 September 2014


She overcame her fear and has fallen madly in love with the trampoline.

2014 week thirty-six

Labor Day fun and helping around the house. 

She will stop whining if she can sit where she can make sure I'm really not doing anything fun without her. 

Swimming at the pool park with Papa and cousins. Despite the look on her face, she was loving it. 

Fresh Basil Pine Nut Bread. I wish I could post a link to this recipe, but it came out of a cookbook. It had the most perfect crispy crumbly (parmesan sprinkled) crust. We ate a whole loaf that day. 

Helping wash herself in the bubble bath.

Helping to encourage Sam to cut down on screen time. 

Helping us all enjoy the cheetah hunt with a very spirited hunting dance.

Helping to wash the dishes and not pouring water on the floor at all. 

Best homemade dress yet. Now that I've taken a photo I can see it's not perfect but I'm still so proud. 
Vera is at the age of being so wonderfully curious that she wants to be involved in anything that I'm up to. Which roughly translates to, if mama is in the sewing room, I better have free reign of the pin cushion and all the pins or I will make sewing as unimaginably miserable as I can (try to imagine you actually like sewing, ok? And then try to imagine someone trying on purpose to ruin it, and then imagine that someone is not actually capable of purposeful malice). I try to allow her to hand me pins when I need them but if I don't need them fast enough she pokes me with them and shouts "I did it!", which you probably would hear as "Idideh!" I let her sit on my lap while I sew even if she repeatedly unthreads my needle and tries to poke her chubby fingers into the needle, but if I have a quick seam to sew and I don't let her sit on my lap she whines short little gasping whines until I turn to her with the sweetest of expressions and stroke her hair out of her face and say, "Oh dearest darling girl, you must wait only one minute please." I want her to be involved and learn all the things I do and am interested in. But after an hour of fielding whines I want her to go away for a minute or ten. When I have nothing to do? She plays so happily in a little corner babbling to herself or pretending to read. Good work V.

 Now, this dress. I wish I could give you a tutorial. But I honestly was making it up as I went, after I searched forever for a helpful tutorial. This is what I did: I took a dress that's a bit big for V and used it as a base for a pattern to try to copy this

Not a perfect reproduction, I know, but close enough to the look I was going for without shelling out for shipping from France. Ok, the more I look at the photo of mine the more I think it looks homemade (read crappy). Oh well. Keep trying, right. Someday I want someone to come up to me and say, "Where did you get that adorable dress/shirt/whatever?" And I will be able to say, "Oh, I made it." And they wont believe me. Sigh. A little prideful probably, but that would be living the dream.

02 September 2014


She really wants to go on a walk
 2014 week thirty-five

August is over, the fall garden is planted, and Husband surprised us with having Friday off! Not pictured, the very exciting weekend full of cousins.

You are absolutely in the way, V. 

Wearing her almost finished designer (designer=mama made it) dress and her favorite accessory and also terrorizing the baby with too much love.

You don't fit. She is obsessed with this suddenly because I let the daycare baby sit in it. 

"Witching Hour" is alleviated by pool time.

Naked pool time. Always. 
Vera is going through a language renaissance these days. On the one hand has started whining like crazy as if she no longer cares to use the words for things. It's so bad I have to check myself before I scream at her after the 5th "wait, please." She's having a hard time with delaying gratification. If she says "up" and she's not already in my lap her "up" will be followed with "hmmm, hmmm, hmmm hmmmm, hmmmmmmmmmm, hmmmmmmmmmmm!" until my brain short circuits and I hulk out. It's not that she's lacking for words it's that her words aren't getting her what she wants immediately, so she's trying alternative forms of communication (read tantrum).

On the other hand she's learning words like crazy, which is so fun for me. Her latest words are neck (nyeh!) and breasts (bhehs). Luckily no one understands her words very well, her parseltongue "please" (plsssssssssh) excluded, because when the home teachers were over the other night she pulled down my shirt and yelled "breasts!" before I could stop her. They did not notice. The best thing she's learned to do is ask what things are. "Dah?" and a point, meaning clearly "What's that?"I'll tell her the word and she'll try to repeat it. All fruit now is either called a banana (nana) or peach (pee). And she FINALLY can say giraffe!

Happy September everyone. We are finally in the "ber" months -my favorite months.

25 August 2014


Baby brush inception.
 2014 week thirty-four

Dollar Day at the Dallas Zoo. Greatest, hottest, crowded-est, day of young V's life.

Vera's favorite part of the zoo. 

Look it's a "dgi-ra" 

After riding an elephant this is the greatest thing that has ever happened to me at a zoo. 

Dollar day at the zoo. Gotta love dollar buckets of popcorn. V devoured every piece. 

I spy a cricket on the sponge in the bath. This bath definitely ranked in the top 5 of most exciting baths of all time, until the cricket died 2 minutes in.

It's a tough life when your head is too big to escape the poang arm rests.

"Bee-beeeeeee!" We watch this little guy for a few hours a day now.  I'm having a hard time getting over how much he looks like my highschool boyfriend in baby form.

Good thing I have this book memorized...
This week we got to go to the Dallas Zoo. I normally would have avoided the zoo on a 100 degree day, but when it's a dollar, well, all bets are off. Dollar admission ($8 parking! boo), dollar soda, dollar popcorn, dollar icecream, dollar hot dogs, and 36,000 other people. I really didn't mind it being so crowded, I realize how many cities there are around the world that are as crowded as the zoo was but every day and everywhere, so no complaints. The best part of the zoo had to be the giraffes. Vera loves giraffes. Her giraffe stuffed toy is the current and long standing favorite. It was $5 to feed them so I was going to pass and just see if I could pet one, but our friend's kids were too nervous so we got the extra crackers (which promptly went into V's mouth before I could stop her. mmmm giraffe wheat thins). V had absolutely no fear. She stuck her little fist out cracker extended and a huge rough tongue wrapped around her arm and took the cracker. It was there nibbling only long enough for me to touch his soft little nose. It was so fun. Giraffes have got to be some of the craziest looking creatures. Dallas Zoo, you win. Thank you.

I got to tour an Amazon distribution center. It was even bigger than you imagine. 1,000 copies of my house could fit in that warehouse. one freaking thousand. 

18 August 2014


Sometimes, you just have to go to bed with your sunglasses on.

2014 week thirty-three

RIP Dinah beneath our pomegranate tree.

We filled our kitten-less days with going to the park. Also we've had some much cooler mornings lately.

She climbed all the way up and went down the tall twirly slide all by herself. She didn't realize it was a slide initially. By the time she reached the bottom she thought it was awesome though.

A brief moment of reading at the library. The rest of the time was spent shouting "hi!" to everyone around.

For some reason we've not been to the water park that is 3 minutes from our house and only $4 to get in (free if under 3!) I'm glad we did finally because it was perfect.

She can now proudly climb up onto the chair with her books and "read" them to herself.

The last photo taken of Dinah. And she is peeing on Vera.

I know it looks as though everything is dead, but we just started planting our fall garden. I'm always so excited when planting time rolls around. Speaking of planting, the bit of green in the far right corner is the pomegranate tree that we planted over Dinah's grave. Let's hope the tree fairs better than she did.

We walked into the back room to find V toilet training her giraffe. That has to be a good sign, right?

Running the bases before the stake kickball tournament started and the heavens deluged us.

Run home baby. 

This week's story is a sad one. And also another about our cat. So, though I tried to make all of her vomiting seem humorous last week, it was apparently a sign of extreme illness. Last year when she got really sick we decided if the Lord called her home then we wouldn't stop Him. He didn't. But we decided to not really treat anymore of her illnesses because we were told that she was probably just a sickly cat from birth and would always get ill. Well, she started vomiting (see HERE) and then was drinking an immense amount of water and then she stopped grooming and was laying around the house (even more than you would anticipate from a cat in summer). Out of what I thought was laziness (and I was none too kind to her about it, either), she started to pee everywhere. She rarely pees in the house. But she was peeing a ton and all over. Even when I caught her and picked her up to throw her outside she couldn't stop it and just peed all over herself. When that happened I called the vet. They said it sounded like a UTI and to bring her in to get some antibiotics. I brought her in and the staff were puzzled by her weight loss (a full pound down in 6 weeks. she was weighed when we brought her in for yearly shots) and how tiny and bony and mangy she looked. The vet said she had very little internal fat to keep her healthy and asked to do blood work. I'm sure that I knew at that point that she wouldn't be getting better. I said a prayer to reaffirm myself that I was ok with sending her home. The blood work came back with signs pointing to complete kidney failure. They had never seen a cat so young with it so bad. They anticipate it is a genetic issue she's had from birth, but the bottom line was that there was no hope for this little thing. I kept her for another day and just held her and loved her and kissed her little dusty face. We gave her a big bowl of wet cat food and sent her home. Husband planted a pomegranate tree over her little grave. Poor sick kitty. We loved you Dinah. You were a very sweet cat.