*baby gap

Somewhere I saw that Gap has a contest going where your little one could be chosen as Gap's next top model or something of that nature. Anyway, as a good mom I think Vera is pretty darn cute. However, I don't think she'd be a good candidate as most of her pictures look like this:

Why has she always stuck out her tongue like that?? Anyway, she looked adorable just kickin' it up there on the changing table so I kept taking pictures. A few more flattering:



I've been thinking of some realistic little changes I want to make in my life. I figure if they're written in stone here on the internet, I might come through:

1. Make homemade bread [my mom did, why can't I?]

2. Get up before Vera to read my Bible [the first day I tried this, she got up an hour early :( ]

3. Waste less food [it's so easy to ignore the stuff in the fridge and go to Barbacoa 3X/week]

4. Drink more water [lately I'll realize all I've had is mate].

5. Eat less ice cream [sad, but I have to do it].

6. Sign up for a 1/2 marathon for the Spring [the only way I can motivate is to pay the fee].

7. Cut flowers from the garden [both our moms did - such an easy way to make things pretty].



Yesterday I twice observed Vera's little problem-solving skills emerging. I was feeding the baby in the high chair and Vera pushed her little chair over and climbed on top of it so she could see better! I don't think she's done anything like that before. Later she was bringing me books to read and picked a particularly heavy one. She couldn't carry both the book and her milk at the same time. I could see her little wheels turning as she paused to look at both. She put the milk down, came over with the book, turned around to fetch her milk and then came back to sit in my lap! So cute. and smart.

However, this morning I watched her try to get through the door sideways with the swiffer. She just kept pushing harder and harder. I thought she might try backing up and starting over, but nope :)

Also she has been incessantly climbing up her high chair. She's great at getting up but hasn't figured out how to get down - so far she holds her arms out to me and leaps.

...we have some things to work on...


*we love bunnies

I was going through the next size bin of hand-me-downs and found Vera's Halloween costume for this year. I couldn't wait to have her try it on: it was stinkin ADORABLE.

Sorry, Sarah, no Brittney Spears again this year - maybe next.



.::Ben trying to cuddle with Vera::.


*new toy

Thanks, V.

...didn't even have to show her what to do :)



Ben's first fish - with his dad and grandpop:

...near Rock Creek...

*did I speak too soon?

Wow, I hope my new 'everyday days' don't look anything like today. Little baby had a very bad morning and big baby had a very bad afternoon. The former isn't a good napper/stroller rider yet and the latter is one or all of the following: sick, teething, jealous, over-tired, ate too many of our neighbors' tomatoes. Baby's mom brought a bottle of wine when she came to pick her up - almost worth it :)

Anyway, here's a picture that has nothing at all to do with today. It's from last September (8 weeks old). I thought it was a cute picture, but Ben thought she looked like a prairie retard [sorry, that is really really un-PC. but he can say it if it's his own daughter right?].

Have a good weekend!

[ok... her eyes do look a little crooked. still cute.]



I'm taking care of a new little one a few days a week. It's been interesting so far trying to juggle 2 at once, but I think it's going to work out. She's a really easy-going, happy, cute little baby [6 months old - we'll call her *baby*], and it's fun watching Vera interact with her. She loves to tickle her toes and give kisses, hugs and pats on the head. She also likes to take the binky away and play older sibling, dictating who gets what toy when.

I'm pretty sure she was trying to be loving here:

After kisses and hugs, Vera goes through the diaper bag:

Poor baby doesn't know what to think:


*did you know

...that her name rhymes with SARAH? You may have noticed our friend Sarah conveniently spells it Varah. Anyway, VEEra is a Russian name that means gift of faith. Varah is an Italian name that means true. Just thought I'd clear that up.

....adding this later: Coincidentally, this afternoon we were walking through the park with our friends and met a very sweet Romanian couple who wanted to meet all the babies. When I said her name was Vera, he said [in a very adorable accent] Veera - like the Russian name? Yes I said - with older people I usually just go with that since it's what they know. But then I asked him if there was an equivalent in Romania and he said Ve-ra, just like we say (well with a Spanish sounding Ve-da). Anyway that made me happy - I like confirmation that this whole thing isn't something I made up in my head. :)

[tamara, i was trying to get a flower-petal picture...]



We have a possibly teething, runny-nosed, stuffed-up needing 2 naps but only taking 1 [25 minutes!!], grumpy little bebe on our hands.

I just wanted to get a picture of her adorable little outfit [thank you - you know who :)] - but she just wanted the camera. This is Vera-sign for please put that in my hands:

This was as good as I could get before she melted. Still pretty cute:


*13.5 months

I don't have to wait for a round number to give an update :) Vera is literally learning and understanding new things every day, leaving us ever amazed. I wanted to write some things down before she moves on and I forget:

She loves helping me with things - turning out lights, closing doors, holding something for me, helping me cook [telling me that it's "(h)ot!!"]. If the gate to downstairs is open she'll responsibly walk up and close it. If I say, Vera what's in your mouth? She'll immediately take it out and hand it to me - or if there's something on the floor I wouldn't want her to have, she hands it to me before I ask. I love her little smile when I thank her and give her a kiss: the I'm-trying-not-to-smile-smile. I encourage her little servant's heart as much as possible, it's so sweet to see. [Of course she's not all sweetness and her little temper flares quite often. Don't you try to take that pen away or bring her inside before she's ready...]

In her own little way she's now saying banana, hot, flower, ouch, shoe and apple. She can tell you what a cow, monkey, cat and dog say and she signs milk, eat, bird, fish, sleep, ball, baby and sign [meaning she wants to watch the baby signing dvd].

We love being a mom and dad - watching this little person develop!!

*oh, and she gives us lots of kisses now :) - "ba!" she says because she can't make the muaa sound. we can't get enough.



Ok, some of you may know that I've been working on this. Hard to believe how long it's taken me [original opening date was in June I think], but I have started an Etsy shop! Yes I did!! I'm having a strange reaction to typing this and am finding myself kind of nervous. Anyway, please have a look if you'd like. Don't feel obligated to buy anything - unless you really pity me :) Do feel obligated though to tell anyone you might think would be interested. There's birthday cards and thank you cards and some notecards with my most favorite inspiring hymn. Also, I welcome any [kindly worded] constructive criticism as I'm still a little unsure of how it all looks and how this all works.



Normally we don't let her have at it with dinner. The other night though we just sat back and watched...

I always used to think, "ohh brother..." when people had framed pictures of their kids in dad's baseball hats or with food smeared all over their faces. It seems like the must-have picture of your baby, doesn't it? Well when it's your baby, it is the cutest thing ever. I mean just look at her - she's crazy, hilarious, what on earth is she doing??! I might not share our pictures of Vera in Ben's bball hats [we do have them...] but I do have an understanding now.

[and um if you want to see her cute
little expressions close-up, click on the picture]


*la manzana

I love apples [..ah pink ladies...], and I thought this Vera-sized apple was adorable.

¿remember this apple?


Ben went camping with a friend Saturday night - taking advantage of the quickly retreating summer. Apparently Joel was better prepared with a top-of-the-line sleeping bag and two pads. Ben had an old skimpy bag and slept on Boone's carpet :) Perhaps it's time to invest in the good stuff. Anyway, sounds like they had some good bro' time.

. [I had a nice time too in case you're wondering: watched a girlie movie, ate ice cream with dulce de leche and almonds and slept diagonally across the bed. not too bad.] .



This is Vera:......

......:watching this video:


*el jardìn

To be honest, the garden is a little sad this year. I thought we were off to a good start, but I think we didn't prepare the soil enough, didn't water enough and weren't back there tending enough. The tomato plants are a third the size they should be, the beets never came and the radishes were too hot. We ate a few and then left the rest sitting there until they were literally the size of cucumbers with 2 foot tall spiney foliage. It was disgusting. We are getting some tomatoes though and the butternut squash seems to be okay. Ben harvested an ear of corn which was really tasty and sweet. Our little apples trees produced this year too. Ok, it's not so bad.

The herbs have done well too - good because they're my favorite anyway.


Vera loves to go out and pick tomatoes, dig her thumbs in and then eat them like apples.

Here she is smelling the corn, making sure it's ok to eat.

We'll try again next year - hopefully remembering what we learned this year.