02 March 2015


Monday. That is not snow. That is a collection of tiny ice balls. 

 2014 week nine

We finally got a taste of that icy winter down here.

V loves her little dinosaur and horse. She makes them kiss. She took the dinosaur on a walk this weekend. If you ask her to bring you a book there is a high likelihood it will be the informational book about Dinosaurs. 

Other obsession: mardi gras beads and cups. I stopped counting the number of meltdowns she had over "needing" more cups for her beads.

Wednesday. Hey it looks like Texas again.

It was hard to find enough things to do when we couldn't run errands because of the icy roads.

Friday. Proper snow. It snowed all day, and eventually the grass was completely covered!!! :)

Last year at almost the same time. 

The cat found a plastic bag and entangled herself in its crackly recesses. 

When my husband makes cookies I feel so much love for him. When he insists on listening to gangster rap while making cookies that feeling weakens...

Yzma was really unhappy about the snow. She would exorcist twist in your arms when you had to throw her outside to relieve herself.

Cold family walk.


This is her fake laugh in action.  It's really done out of pity for us because she knows we're trying to be funny, and she wants to encourage us, but it only makes us think of this:

Saturday night we had friends over to make homemade pretzels and play a game. We tried to put a movie on for the wee ones, but if the adults aren't trying to watch a movie, they must be doing something more fun, obviously.

This sign has been like this for months...
Inspired by a friend who said she started to read her boys a poem every night, I have also been trying to work in more varied literature to our day. Heaven knows we love Goodnight Moon and Madeline, but if I have to read The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and The Big Hungry Bear again, I might cry. That or Hop on Pop. *Shudder*
Matthew has an old Barnes & Noble edition of Aesop's Fables for Children. He received it as a birthday gift when he was eight. We now keep it on the shelf in the kitchen with my cookbooks. Every morning at breakfast we read a fable. I initially wanted to just do it for Family Home Evening, but I love reading them so much that we just read one every day. Even if this fizzles out, I want to remember that I did this and maybe do it when my kids are running off to school in the morning. What a great way to start a day. A prayer and breakfast with family and then a fable. The morals at the end are great, but the stories of the animals really stick with you.
Additionally, I straight out copied my friend and started reading a poem to Vera every night after scriptures. I borrowed a book of poems for children from the library and we devoured it. Some poems, like Paul Revere's ride, took a few nights because they were so long. But after only a week Vera started to request poems, not just at bed time, but at nap time, and periodically throughout the day. It gave me a thrill to hear her little sing song voice ask for a "po-uhm." After we finished that book we moved on to our own copy of Where the Sidewalk Ends. There is a great place for Shel Silverstein, but what I loved about the other book was the breadth of authors that we got to read and the various styles and subjects.
I think my friend started it just because she loves poetry and reading poems with your children is such a lovely thought. And I agree! But I also started to think what a lovely thing to do in general because these poems are often built into our culture's world understanding, it is exposing Vera (and myself, let's be honest) to different writing styles and forms of language, and it makes bedtime special. Often we are rushed to get her to bed because she's exhausted and we are no different. Having a new poem every night to whisk her away to sleep it such a treat. It softens my heart as a mother to make a part of her world beautiful and magical every night.

Also, Happy Texas Independence Day/ Dr. Seuss Birthday!

23 February 2015


Using the model on the right, I was able to figure out a little dress for V based on the shirt she loves the most. I'm pretty proud.

2015 week eight

Signs my husband is sick: he not only is happy to eat soup for dinner, but also requests it, four nights in a row; he wants to take a bath; he doesn't want to draw or play with his drone; he asks me to just sit and snuggle him; he says he  would be happy to just watch Downton Abbey or Dr. Who with me. Poor thing, he must really feel awful.

Mardi Gras Cat.

I don't even know what was going on in the back seat when Matt turned around and saw this crazy face. 

Matthew has been so. sick. this week. To give him a little break I took V outside to pick all the weed flowers. 

It was the best game ever. We found a few dandelions that had gone to seed and when I blew them away Vera squealed, "Bubbles!"

Would you willingly enter this building? Yeah, that's exactly how I was feeling. But we paid money, and voluntarily locked ourselves inside a room with strangers and a zombie to complete locks and puzzles to try to escape. We all died, and I was the first to die,  but we had a fun time. 

Popsicles with Matt's cousin's husband in Dallas at Steel City Pops. The coconut was the most perfect coconut popsicle you could imagine. I got strawberry balsamic. It was interesting. It had an intriguing sweet and sour salty thing going on. Next time, I'll try avocado.

Her face was too cute to not share even though my hair looks lank and stringy. Probably you didn't notice, but I do not love this photo. Also, if you look closely you can see Vera's little "rat teeth" as Matt calls them. She's only grown in her two middle bottom teeth and she looks like a little rodent at times. 

Then we had dinner with Matt's cousin and husband at Remedy in Dallas. Their thing is a "what you'd buy at any ol' diner if it was made from the best possible ingredients." It looked like you walked onto the set of Great Gatsby inside. We sat outside where V wouldn't really disturb the posh Lower Greenville avenue patrons. 

We had a smoked ham plate and deviled eggs for hors d'oeuvre and I got the filet o' (texas Rock)fish with fries, Matt got the fried bologna sandwich, Erica got the Amish fried chicken with mashed potatoes and green beans and a beet grapefruit salad, Melvin got the bourbon pork chops with brussel sprouts and ancho chile spoon bread and a pork belly and turnip salad. Everything was just perfect. And the waiters and maitre d' kept waiving and dancing at V through the window. Which, of course, she loved. At the end of the meal we let her hold the doggy bag and she danced around the patio while we finished up.  I want to go back, right now.

And in conclusion, does anyone know where we can find a back bracket to fit this "L" shaped drawer glide? It bends at a 90 degree angle at the back. There are freaking no brackets like this that exist online. And Matthew broke the other one.

A short story. I watch two daycare babies now. A few weeks ago I had the older one later in the evening one day. He had been feeling off and I noticed that he smelled that horrible telling smell. So I grabbed a diaper and wipes and tried to hold him on his back (near impossible) to change this diaper. I was unprepared for the yellow liquid sewage in the diaper. But I got him all wiped and the new diaper under his bun. I lifted his legs to get any off of his back and a super soaker of yellow sewage sprayed directly onto my shirt, arm, wall, carpet... At that exact moment Matthew walked around the corner to see the squirt and hear my scream. I had to take off all of my clothes because the smell seeped through.  I soaked the stain, but the shirt was irreparable. Good bye favorite stripey shirt. Matt just called it an "occupational hazard." 
Veronica, have I told you lately how much I love that you use the toilet? 

16 February 2015


Poor Bug. She fell asleep all the time this week. In the car for 5 minutes? Asleep. On the couch with a blanket? Fell asleep. While I'm sewing? Fell asleep on the floor. She would wake up periodically in the car to scream, "My eyes!" Hence the skewed sunglasses. 

 2015 week seven

Vera has been sick. So sick. I've forgotten, do toddlers know how to speak in anything other than a whine? Do they know any other words besides, "no" and "hold me?"

Working on a new quilt top. I'm not really sold though...

Manly flowers and silly cookies for my love on Valentines Day.

V perked up enough to eat a cookie, naturally.  All of the greenery in this bouquet is made up of Texas native plants. So manly. It was really fun to buy Matthew flowers on Valentines Day, since he buys me flowers periodically throughout the year.

I had to make dinner, so Papa was allowed to hold her... 5 minutes later, they are both asleep.

For our Valentines date we took out a little cash and went to the fancy Central Market grocery store to look at all the fancy things and buy fancy treats that we would never normally buy. Chocolate covered gummy bears, gummy centipedes, french olives, green peppercorn dijon mustard, etc. But at this fancy store, you can also apparently buy fancy bath salts in a variety of fragrances. This is the fragrance for "if you want to take a bath like Jesus." -Matthew

The illness has caused her to regress. I can't get anything done with her crying for me to hold her. Problem Solved. She hated it so much she let me put her down and figured out how to be happy as an alternative. :)

If you look closely, Yzma is none too happy about me disturbing her nap in Vera's bed. I spy a little kitten paw giving me the finger.

Another sick moment caught on camera by my mom while she was visiting and looking at houses in the area. :)

AND, more pony photos from last week:

You can hardly spot the veiled panic in her eyes.

Birthday cousins. Exactly one year apart. 

My husband has the wonderful determination to work on one project for a long time. He's currently working on a project that has been in the works for over a year now. He draws every. single. day. And he doesn't get tired of it. I, on the other hand like small manageable projects that I can rotate frequently. I'll go through a making baby dresses phase, then a quilts phase, then a knitting phase, then a devouring books phase (not a project but it's in the rotation), then a tailoring clothes for me phase, then a cross stitching phase, etc. So after cross stitching for a while I've had the hunger for more quilts, even though we live in Texas, don't use quilts for much of the year and I will endure hearing  "How many quilts does one home need? We only have 3 beds!" -Matthew Cole :) So I started the blue quilt. I liked the colors in the store but when I got them home (and already cut them up) I really wasn't sure. But I finished it anyway dreaming of my next quilt -for which I have already purchased and cut out the fabric. So the day I finished the blue quilt top we rushed to Joanns in the limited time, with the snively toddler to quickly buy the 2 yards of other fabric I needed for the next quilt. We grabbed them and ran to the cutting counter and yanked off a number. Hurray! There were only two people in front of me, and two workers at the cutting counter. We waited for 35 minutes. We went to the bathroom (twice) walked down the trims and ribbons aisle, selected more thread, sang some songs, looked at other fabric, looked at the Easter decorations. We didn't venture down the yarn aisle because that will last at least an hour and I was certain they would be done at any minute. Eventually we just went back and waited. By now the line was 6 people long and others were starting to get frustrated. The two original women were still having fabric cut. I started to count the bolts. Each women had no fewer than 20 different bolts of fabric that all needed to be cut at different lengths. Are you kidding me? Over 40 bolts of fabric?! When the woman saw my measly two bolts and my measly two yards she felt so bad for me. It probably didn't help that Vera looked so pathetic and sad. But probably, shame on me for taking my sick toddler out. I didn't think it would be an all day thing... 

09 February 2015


After watching me use the chopsticks for 10 minutes, V grabbed them asked so nicely for them and correctly used them! 

2015 week six

During church Vera was brandishing a straw menacingly at people and hissing. My baby was casting spells in parsletongue in church. Should I be concerned or proud?

What happens when you ask your toddler to feed the cat. Yzma was in heaven. 

A second day care boy! Vera loves him. She loves to help me too. But she would prefer to just put the bottle in and take it out over and over. Liam does not love this.

Getting the itch to make V clothes again! 

I delight in watching her help me. It is so fun that she wants to do what I do and she really tries her best.

Vera vs the mini pony

"Horse! Horse! DOWN DOWN HORSE! Please!" 

Surprisingly she was less afraid of the big horse. 

Flying mini kites with cousins. She's probably saying her new favorite phrase, "Come on baby! Come on! Baby!"

I have three stories this week.

The other day V was playing happily in her room and I went to peak in and check her. She was trying her hardest to bounce/jump and kept yelling, "BEAM! suuuuun-BEAM!" I don't have to tell you about the big fat tears when I heard her trying to sing This Song. Other funny things she has said/remembered: We pulled into Target and from the back seat she chanted, "Target!" We must go there too often... She has learned to close her eyes during a prayer. She squeezes them tight as hard as she can and during the whole prayer says, "Prayer, close eyes. Close eyes." About two months ago we had to throw away some socks that had holes in them. One day while on the toilet, V points to the trash and said, "Socks. Trash. So sad. Broken Socks." How do you even remember this?!

Circumstances were against us on Monday and I took V to ballet with me hoping they'd let her stay. They did, and she was fantastic. For all of the barre work she sat right next to me munching cheerios and saying, "Dance. Another song. Mama dance." Everyone loved her. But her restraint wore out when we moved to center floor. Then she was running around trying to dance with us. I really felt bad monopolizing the class, but the teacher loved it and thought it was inspiring or something that this little one was trying to dance with us. It will probably never happen again but it was so sweet to have her there with me.

The other night I let Yzma out in the wee hours of the morning (as usual *grumble grumble cat) and had a hard time falling asleep because cats were meowling for the rest of the early morning. Cat screams, hisses, yowls; I ended up having weird dreams. In the (proper) morning we went outside to call her in and her little jingling bell did not come running. So we tried the front door. Outside my door were two enormous bear-cats. Bear cats because, they were huge. The burliest cats I'd ever seen. They sat sentinel at the end of my driveway staring at me unmoving. I love cats, but it was unnerving. Then I hear a poor little mew from the neighbors  roof. There is Yzma. When the cats saw her they stared at her and hissed and yowled some more. I tried to shoo them away but they wouldn't shoo! Meanwhile V has taken off her pajama pants and is nude from the waste down dancing in the driveway in the 45 degree air. I picked up her pants and shooed away the cats effectively and herded V inside. I told Yzma I couldn't help any more than that to get her down and we went back inside. An hour later she picked her way down somehow and flashed through the door as soon as it cracked. She wouldn't leave my side and put her paws on my knees to be held. Poor little kitten. Thought you were too big for your britches messing with those bear-cats.

02 February 2015


Papa nap. #wakeup

2015 week five.

Having a toddler who speaks in clipped (under 120 character) sentences is very similar to having someone live tweet your life. #kidssaythedarndestthings

These are direct quotes from Vera; even the hashtags.
Noonoos. (noodles) #sonummy

Ice cream! #familytreat

More more icecream, Mama. #please

Bike outside. #sobig

Tractor. #soloud

Cat outside. #heyfriends  (there were no friends outside, or maybe just invisible ones)

Coloring. #moremorecolors

LUUUUUUUM! (lunch) #bigmess

A funny! (drone) #sofunny

More more funny Papa! #dancedancefunny

More words courtesy of Vera:

Flamingo = Flying Mangoes or Mingo

Blueberries =balloon bears

Cranberries =cran bears

Toilet Paper = Paper Toilet or sometimes Lights (?)

I have a story about a refund. Recently Boden was having a big sale, and several dresses that I have always loved but was not about to spend $130 on, were much cheaper. I have a difficult time spending more money on any dress than I spent on my wedding dress. Though I did get an amazing deal on that on Ebay. ($75)  But I could stomach these prices a little better. Well their sizes are very weird and when they arrived they were too small. Boo. I had waited over  a week for them. So I went online to make sure they still had more in my correct size, and guess what?! They were even cheaper now! So I ordered more in a bigger size and repackaged the small ones to return. I felt fussy and antsy about getting them sent back for a refund since it was supposed to take 2 weeks. So, because Matthew had the car, we jumped on the bike and booked it to the post office to get there before they closed. When we arrived there were no bike racks, I wasn't about to wage war on the two stage doors with my bike and chariot in tow to park it inside, so in my fluster I stopped a man and asked him if he would drop off the prepaid package for me. He looked startled and uncomfortable but Vera was whining so he took it from me. Five minutes later I stopped. There was a tidy sum of money locked up  in that box. That box, that I handed to a complete stranger. That box that I wanted that complete stranger to mail for me. That was probably illegal. What if he doesn't return it? What if the post office wont send it because a STRANGER gave this man a box and asked him to mail it!?! But it was too late. I felt 100% confident in that moment that he would send it for me. Of course he would, I look nice and normal. In hindsight, he didn't really look nice or normal. What is wrong with me?! So I had to swallow the rising panic-dread and go home and hope he was actually nice and normal, and that the package got sent off properly.

Good news. I got my refund this morning. 10 points for humanity.