*sicky sick sick

Poor Vera has been sick since we got home from Montana. Stuffy nose turned into hoarse throat turned into fever turned into everything going right through her [know what I mean?]. Yesterday was the worst - I've never seen her so miserable. Her poor little bottom :(

It has made her more snuggly which is sweet for us. Last night she didn't want to take her bath alone and so Ben got in with her [shorts on] and she laid on his chest while he poured warm water over her. I want to remember that picture. She also woke up around 11:00 last night with the 30th dirty diaper of the day. After I changed her I got to sit and hold her while she slept for a bit. I even had SouleMama's words going through my head - just sit and be still and enjoy the moment [a little sappy? maybe.] I want to remember it forever. Sweet little baby sleeping cozy in momma's arms... I can't believe I'm a mom - the one that comforts her little ones and holds them and changes the sheets three times in a day.

Here she is this morning. She laid on Ben's lap and watched PBS and Signing Time for an hour. I gave her water in a bottle and bananas and toast [thankfully she didn't throw a fit that it wasn't milk: pretty unbelievable]. She kept calling out "muh!" [more] and "banana!" [this sounds a lot like her word for banana]. It was pretty cute and reminded me of those days when you're little and stay in bed watching videos and hollering to your mom for more 7-up. She's been feeling better since then and is hopefully on the up.



I bought this cute little dish at a garage sale this weekend. I've been excitedly reading a couple Montessori books [I'll elaborate later] and admit I may be rushing things a little. I wanted to see though how long Vera could focus on the task: moving rice from one side to the other [for starters I should have used something a little bigger like dried pasta or beans... it got really messy really quickly]. She lasted what seemed like a long while - probably only a minute and a half - before dumping it all on the ground and working from there. It's just so much fun to see her learning and doing things purposefully that I'm a bit over-anxious and need to remember she's not even 1 1/2 :)


*15 months!

At 1.25 years of age, Vera...

..is amazing us as always.

..loves to sign. Her new favorites are book, train, please and thank you [these 2 my favorites as well].

..is becoming quite the climber. I've given up asking her to sit down.

..is pretty proficient at using her spoon. She even knows, "Ve-ra, use your spoon please!" when she starts shoving fistfuls of oatmeal in her mouth.

..loves to say/sign daddy. She knows the sign for mama but doesn't use it and definitely doesn't say it.

..takes one 25 minute nap every day. exactly. why?????????!

..loves her milk. We can't say it or she'll run straight to the fridge. We call it leche or spell it.

..likes to feed, kiss, hug and rock Bunny, Bear and Dollie. Today I think she was even singing to Dollie which was pretty cute.


*la finca

We went to the farm yesterday with our friends and their sweet little cousin and Auntie [I especially liked that we kept saying "we're going to the farm."] It's an old historic working farm nestled right in the middle of the city - though you can't tell when you're there. It was a fun - and entertaining - time for all. The craziest were probably the ducks: some seriously bold and agressive ones they were. The cutest were the baby pigs: they were so stinkin' cute, chasing and bucking each other. You can read and see more [better] pictures here and here [all of us utilizing this of course].

Vera and Sam looking at the ponies:

Vera can't say mmm so she says "boooo boooo" for a cow:

One of my favorite moments [although the favorite was Amelia strolling right into the icy duck pond]. All the fun animals to see and these 3 converge to fight for the stroller:

Does Vera kind of look like the piglet?

*a nice moment from yesterday

{:fyi: i was frantically trying to get some bottles ready after a very unsuccessful walk to the park. the camera was right there and i couldn't resist.}



Music to our ears. Seriously nothing makes us happier than to hear Vera laugh. Tired delirium, chasing and tickling usually do the trick:

And this is just cute and sweet. I realized the other day we don't have many pictures of her smiling - which she does a lot:


*Fall Break

We had a fantastic time in Missoula!! It was bittersweet seeing all our old friends and walking the same paths we used to every day. Things have changed a lot, reminding us that it would be impossible to hop right back in where we left off [I think Ben would say it's worth a try :)]. I still can't believe I forgot the camera - there were sooo many moments I wished I had it. Here's a few mental pictures I'm trying to retain:

::The view from the bridge on Higgins: an early dusk light, beautiful fall colors, the river...

::Greta teaching Vera to jump on the bed.

::Vera exploring our pastor's amaazing backyard: several acres of wooded lawn with squirrels, birds, baby deer [ok we didn't see a baby deer, but they said one was born there earlier this year], dry leaves...

::Our many dinners with friends. Oh we ate well.

Here's some pictures we did get. Thanks Beth and Cody :)

The only thing cuter than a baby doing a cute thing [like taking a bath] is two babies doing the same cute thing [except the night Vera pooped in the bath, that wasn't cute. It was pandemonium getting everyone out and V was a little traumatized]:

On our way to the Farmer's market. One of my most favorite things about Missoula is that you can [and do] ride your bike everywhere:

Vera thought these were apples. AT-tah! AT-tah!

Here's our little stinker of a daughter. In the latter half of the week she developed a very possessive attitude about Greta's car and would immediately march over to remove Greta. I tried to intervene every time, but it didn't seem to get across her 1-year-old head that it was Greta's turn.

finally: Thank you Beth and Cody and Greta for letting us stay with you! We had so much fun with you ... as always. We love you and loved meeting your adorable sweet little daughter!!

El fin.

*just lunch

..Vera likes her new big-kid table..



A very memorable 29th birthday. My Grandma Kay and I had one of those special times that made me feel like I was a little girl - I almost even ordered dessert first at the restaurant. It was such a treat for both of us to later see Isabel Allende speak in person. She's a spunky petite little Latin lady who fit right into the image I had in my head. She's somewhat of a hippie - in the make love/not war sense. Her humor, wit and perspective on life were really inspiring. I heard things that I do in church every week - those things I really need to pay attention to. Her main topic was mamisma - a word whose origin she wasn't quite sure of. It basically means "abundant [female] love" - as in the generous motherly love seen in people like Mother Theresa.

I've thought about her talk on and off since then and especially today. In the last few years, months, weeks and even hours, I've been confronted with issues of hurt-forgiveness-reconciliation [for everyone's reference, I'm not talking about any one instance, but many one-instances. So if you think I'm talking about you, I'm probably not ;)]. I think we can pretty much count on the fact that we are going to hurt our loved ones at some point - and they are going to hurt us. When there is true sorrow and repentance on one end, it really pains me when there is not a full sense of forgiveness on the other. I've found this so intensely true particularly in marriage where if we didn't move on from those hurts, we'd be in a constant state of grudgery. I don't even know where I am going at this point: I've written and erased countless sentences already. I'm just feeling on the hurt end right now and I believe I'll just pray for the grace to love abundantly in these [oh and in so many other] ways.

*p.s. I am just rambling here. I'm not intending to preach, just trying to get out some of the feelings heavy on my mind today.
*p.p.s. We didn't get to meet her in person. We were also towards the back so I didn't get a picture of her speaking - I wish I'd taken one anyway.


*dear fan base,

We're okay!  Last week Vera and I were in Nevada.  My grandma and I got to hear my most favorite author - Isabel Allende - speak in Reno which was pretty awesome.  We flew back Friday morning and the three of us drove out that afternoon for Montana!  We've been having an amazing time catching up with old friends, businesses [ie. Big Dipper, Le Petit, Scotty's], sights and general nostalgia.  Unfortunately in the 2 hour window at home I accidentally unpacked my camera :(  We've taken a few with our friends', so hopefully I'll have some good ones to post.  



*una flor

[seeing how soft they are]

[trying to put the petals back on]


*los pañales

A few friends have asked me about using cloth diapers and I thought I would just share what's worked for us. To be completely honest, I was a bit of a wuss at first. I was really into the idea from way long ago and had them all stacked so pretty waiting for baby to come. Then I had a 9.25 lb. baby who didn't fit in the diapers I'd bought and pooped every hour: not conducive to motivated cloth-diapering. Not to mention the fact that [during the one week they did fit] her cute little newborn onesies wouldn't fit over her big bottom. So I used them off and on for the first two months and then forewent them completely until about 6 months when I kicked myself for letting those diapers I'd paid for sit there while I bought disposables. I feel pretty comfortable now and am hoping baby #2 will be a breeze.

So when I went to buy diapers online, I had no idea what the heck to get [one reason I'm writing this: maybe it will help one of you friends?]. There are so many different kinds and there's a whole cloth-diapering lingo which was incredibly confusing [and a little annoying :)]. So I finally ended up meeting a girl who had a really good, cheap, easy-to-understand system. Per her advice I bought 3 G Diaper covers per size and instead of using their flushable inserts [which are great, I hear] I have a dozen or so flats. The flats look like dishtowels which you have to fold. To be honest, I like folding the diapers - it's calming, relaxing and allows me a minute to think.

So this little system is quite cheap and works really well. However, I finally figured out the cloth-diaper jargon and now wish I could buy up all the fun, new, trim, cool, hemp, organic, adorable diapers out there. Because cloth diapers aren't just eco-friendly, they are stinkin' adorable. Like this one:

So - I have the GDiaper system for everyday use with a few doublers [makes them more absorbant] for naps. I have 2 BumGenius' for times we'll be away from home for an extended period [you can't let them sit in the diaper like with disposables], and then one cute Bummis cover (above) which I put over random pre-folds [the ones our moms used] and fitted diapers I've acquired. I use disposables at night, by the way. And sometimes I'm just feeling lazy and use them then too.

So! I know it's not for everyone, but if you're considering cloth diapers, I'm telling you it's not as hard/gross as it sounds. The laundry is really not a big deal at all - especially if you have a front loader. Don't worry if you're not that into it - I'll still be your friend :) But I think it's a really good thing! Ok! Done.

*el otoño

After some 80+ degree weather, it looks like fall is coming back. We need to head up to the mountains to see the color before it all blows away!



This has tentatively been the last week I'll nurse Vera. She only does before bedtime and doesn't seem to really need it, getting distracted easily and such. Plus with some trips and other things coming up it seems like a good time to wean. It's really been an easy process from the beginning since she's not much of a snuggler and has always been so interested in the world around her. I think we've gone this long because I'm the one that wants to snuggle :)

Nursing has been a surprise to me. I always knew I wanted to for the bonding, the baby's health, and well ... the weight loss reasons. I didn't realize though what a sweet and amazing thing it is. It was hard at the beginning - as I've learned it is for most moms - and there were many moments where I bawled devastatedly [that a word?] when little newborn Vera just couldn't/wouldn't do it [some advice: don't let them give your baby formula in the hospital!!]. As things began to fall in place though it became such a sweet quiet time to spend with my little baby. I made many mental notes to not forget this moment, holding her sweet little hands, adoring her sweet little body curled up next to me. I remember when she started looking up and smiling at me - it was so adorable and I had to try to not smile too much back or we'd be there forever. Of course it was also often that time I could relax on the bed and fit in an episode of Arrested Development :) Lately though, like I said, she's just too distracted and it's just time for her and me to ........ well you know. This evening I started thinking that this may have been the last night and could just feel the tears surging up my chest [that make sense?].

Tonight was just confirmation that it's time: a minute in she looked up at me and says, "seh?" - which is her new word for the baby we watch. What?? I say... and she taps her hand with the other, puts it up to my mouth and then up to her mouth. "seh?" she says again. Ohhhh she wants the baby's pacifier. Wow, she actually explained to me in Vera-talk what she wanted. So I call to Ben to bring it and she alternates nursing, putting it in her mouth, and putting it in mine. Then, she raises her hand up to me for a high-five! So I give her a high-five and she starts giggling - as do I. Finally she sits up and points at the crib and asks for bunny. Wow, when your child is old enough to give you high-fives while nursing, is that when it's time to stop?? That's what got me all on-the-emotional-edge afterwards and I'm just fighting amongst myself with holding on and letting go. Anyway, I apologize for the long and possibly uncomfortable nature of this post :) I wish I had a picture of her breastfeeding [you probably don't] - I always thought the ones of us with my mom were special.

*nurnies. I gleaned it from a SouleMama post a long time ago. Like many phrases, it started out as playful mockery and was soon adopted as daily speak. Please don't tell anyone we called it that.