I really am - I have many many moments of whining, complaining and grumbling, but I always [by God's grace] come back around to being grateful. I'm so thankful for the people He's put in my life, for the experiences I've had -good & bad-, for the abundance of needs that He meets and for teaching me to be content when those needs [wants] are delayed.

We're off to California this afternoon : I can't wait!! to see everyone, to see Vera see and enjoy everyone, to eat so well, to maybe have some warm weather, to be in company of family we love ... Hope you have a happy/thankful weekend too!




There's nothing like alone time in my own house. Even if Vera takes a long nap, I still feel like I have to tip-toe around and don't feel like I get a lot done. This morning though, Ben so kindly took Vera and Boone for a hike, and I took full advantage. First I set itunes to play the entire LATIN genre and then got busy cleaning like crazy - laundry sorted and started, floors swept and vacuumed, recycling/trash taken out, toys picked up. I even had time to sit down at the end with some mate and got some letters written. So nice :: love you Ben!



Don't you love to promote something you love? Well I am now an official promoter of one of my most favorite brands!! Ben's sister, Jessie, gave Vera a few outfits when she was born and I immediately fell in love - such incredibly cute prints and fits. Also, everything is made with super-soft organic cotton by a company I can respect - something that is increasingly important to me!!

Anyway, I get to offer my friends and family [and their friends and family] a 15% discount! When you order off their website, just mention the code "redbutte" at checkout. Like I mentioned to a friend, this isn't like my Girl Scout cookies that you feel obligated to buy: I'm just excited to be able to share this awesome brand [with a bit of a deal] to my friends! Fun :)

Here's a few of my favorites:

**yoga pants! these fit so well and are so so cute! perfect for fitting over cloth diapers - or regular ones too**

**these little jumpers are so cute - and really easy to layer with. Vera had this one and I loved it**

**the kimonos are so adorable on a litlte little one. Vera had one with the starburst/dandelion. I want to get her something with the horse :)**
**the little tees are so soft and perfect for layering under stuff**

::take a look::

don't forget the code: redbutte


*el artecito

I love the idea [from Montessori] of bringing things down to your children's level - literally. Small tables and chairs and shelves they can reach. I tried to follow Jenny and Tara's lead in putting artwork too at Vera's level. She just loves the little pictures Sam & Amelia have by their table! You can see it makes them all feel special to have such pretty things to look at [things they are interested in, like kittens and birds and farm animals].

Isn't it kind of funny when we think of a child's room - all the pictures at the adult's eye level? Vera's room is sure like that. The other day I pointed out the cute print of an elephant and bunny above her crib - it occurred to me she'd probably never looked up there! So anyway, I've hung one by her table and one by her kitchen. Not too sure she's into VanGogh's bedroom chair [it was the only postcard art I had. I love Van Gogh's bedroom :)] I need to find a cute bunny or puppy for her.

I also bought these plastic frames for pictures of her with me, ben, both sets of grandparents and her best buddies. It didn't turn out as well as I'd hoped and looked a little cluttered. Three of them fell off the wall that night anyway. So I'll keep working on it, but thought I'd share a fun idea. Look at the twins' for a more successful example to follow :)


*la cena

It's funny how you [I] fought and rebelled against things your parents enforced when you were young. My parents were always strict about eating dinner as a family and I of course was probably the one who gave them the most grief about it. In and after college though I really started appreciating what a good thing it is to eat - together. I miss all you roommates/friends who would come over and let me feed you!!

However, Vera goes to bed between 7:00 and 7:30 and it's just easier for us to eat after. For most of her demanding life I had to start making dinner after she went down - at least now I can get it going before! I'd really like us to get the eating-together tradition going. The few times she's eaten with us were so much fun. You can just see the enjoyment she gets from it, sittin' up with mom and dad. So last night we sat down for a delicious dinner [real quick I will mention that I learned from a SouleMama post to add a few glugs of balsamic vinegar to your tomato sauce! It is so so good!!]. I even put out placemats, thinking she'd think it was fun. Well within a minute she put the placemat on her head and whined for her tray, only to dump her milk and swish it around with the bits of pasta.


Tonight was going to be a second attempt, but dinner was ready 1 1/2 hours after her bedtime. Man though it was good!! I made Ina Garten's [yes, her again] chicken pot pie from this great food site. Wow, it was amazing. Please please make it. Be forewarned it has a ton of butter. I didn't add as much as it called for and substituted a little olive oil - I'm usually all for full-fat, but this one was over the top. ok! Sorry, long post. By the way, if any of you good friends have some good recipes you want to email on over, I'd love it :)


*more bunny

I can't get enough of Vera and Bunny. Here she is a year ago clutching her little friend - before they really got to know each other and he still had a face.

It's just so darn cute to see how happy she is when she sees Bunny after a long day - she laughs and oooohs and buries her face in kisses. She holds him out to see what's on the TV, makes him kiss Peter Rabbit or the other bunny in Goodnight Moon and usually shares some of her milk with him. I don't know why it makes me so happy. Anyway, here she is [bad picture, hard to see] holding the cell phone up to his ear:



I'm tired. The past month Vera has been in a serious I-want-my-mommy phase. I think it may have started when she was sick and I kept her out of the church nursery and most other such situations. Or maybe she's just in that phase [in which case, someone please tell me that it will pass!]. I can't even go downstairs to check on the laundry without her freaking out [she loves daddy, but just needs me there too.] On one hand it's really sweet and flattering that she wants to be with me, and on the other it's just exhausting. I've thought a bit about why it's so exhausting - I mean we do a lot of playing and walking and hanging out with our friends. All fun things, so why am I so tired?? I read a dear-abby type article on a friend's blog that explained it pretty well: you're responsible for every bit of the care that dependent little person - keeping them fed and dry and safe and clean and happy and [constantly] held takes a lot of effort and constant attention. I've also really been trying to be a better housekeeper and not waste precious naptime on .. um .. the internet. So anyway, when she goes to bed I just want to sit. and sit and sit. and watch tv and do nothing at all. and then I feel guilty. and then I vent it on our [my] blog :)

{an unrelated picture of Vera in her little fort between the couch and the wall. this little girl tires me out, but i love her so so incredibly much: it's beyond worth it.}



I used to make the suggestion that we put Bunny to bed or a diaper on Dollie. In the last week or so, though, Vera will get a real determined look on her face and go off into her room, coming back with a blanket or a diaper. She then gets to work arranging blankets, moving the blankets, laying them [sorry, lots of thems :: bunny and dollie, sometimes monkey, puppy or bear too] down, opening the diapers, putting them on their heads, etc. The other night she put both Bunny and Dollie to bed and then brought them back into her room, propped them up and spoon-fed them from her little cups [she makes the (y)um! sound for them too :)]. It's so wonderful to just sit and watch this little person...


*la cocina

It's getting easier and easier to make things with Vera around. We made the Barefoot Contessa's banana crunch muffins a couple weeks ago and it went so well [and they tasted sooooo good] that I tried again today. I just gave her a pot with some granola to stir and she happily helped the whole time! She seems to really love doing things in the kitchen: watching & helping me stir, add salt, etc. She's always willing to try something if she had a hand in the making. I like to think she'll be like Tita from Like Water for Chocolate, raised in the kitchen and possessing fantastic culinary skills :)
** if you don't have her cookbook, you should google the recipe - they are delicious! I even substituted a little whole wheat flour and left out over a 1/2 cup of sugar and they were still amazing.**


*el lenguaje 2

So I always thought baby signing was kind of corny. But then I saw this adorable post of little Ella and thought hmmm maybe we should give it a try. So one day at the library I happened to see two copies of the Baby Signing Time DVD - one for us and one for the twins who we were meeting with that day. I'm telling you, these videos are amazing!! All three were totally hooked. Us parents were hooked too - Ben would even tell me to turn it up because he couldn't hear from the other room :) It took a while of watching and constantly trying to get her to sign [mostly "more" and "eat"] until she finally started doing it. She'd add a sign here and there and it was just so exciting to be able to communicate with her! I'd say for the first few months it was mostly labeling things: like she'd sign milk when she was drinking it, or bird if we saw one. In the past few weeks she's really started signing a ton. It's amazing because she'll not have seen one for over a month and will somehow remember the sign for it, or you can show her the sign once and she gets it. The really neat thing about it is that it shows you how much a little child is capable of thinking/ understanding even when they can't express it in words yet! The other day she even signed a couple two word "sentences." She said please ...... eat! and then later - banana, all done!

It's really been so much fun for all of us. Maybe a little too much fun: Vera walks up to the TV constantly and either signs "sign" or says "sah, sah sah!" I really think this specific series is amazing - she just wasn't into the Baby Einstein. I also think it's really helped with her speaking. So yeah, I think signing is great - I love being able to already get her in learning mode and being able to communicate. So so fun :) Sometimes if we have someone over she gets all show-offy, we'll have to secretly video her then. Here's one from the beginning of September - the only semi-decent one we've been able to get:

*I also meant to note/remember that a couple weeks ago she saw my mate gourd and signed mom - and the day before she saw a beer bottle and signed dad :)


*el lenguaje

If I could get 5 Master's degrees, one would be in linguistics. It's a subject that completely fascinates me - I've been able to take a few classes both in San Diego and through the graduate program in Montana. It's really fascinating me to no end observing how Vera's language develops. Lately she'll try just about anything you tell her to say, and it's so funny the arrangement of sounds that come out of her mouth [my favorite is pretzel = zip-pa!]. I mean she has no [or little] idea how to take the sounds she hears and reproduce them in her mouth. Bilateral glides, labio-dental fricatives, voiced/unvoiced glottal stops? Interesting too is how she is already [this is kind of obvious] on her way to being an English speaker. There are sound combinations she can make that a Spanish speaker might have a hard time with - like STella [ever notice in Spanish it's always ESTella or ESPanish?] or shoES [the zzz sound].

It's a reminder that I should really speak to her in Spanish as much as possible to get those Spanish sounds wired in her little brain [like the other day we listened to my Latin club mix and practiced our "Movimientos Sexi" - um before I realized that's probably not appropriate...]

Anyway, right now she's in that classic baby phase of talking - like when you were little and would pretend to be a baby:

baba = bottle
mehmeh = milk/more/mama?
caca = cracker
doodoo = dirty
dohdoh = Dollie
papa = pumpkin/grandpa
ba [points to diaper] = I pooped
saaaaaaahhh/meemee = sam/amelia :)

She's got some other ones too that I wouldn't know how to spell phonetically. I keep trying to get a video but she doesn't cooperate. Here's a picture from when I was trying last night:

**Lots of what I write is so I remember things. I don't expect y'all to be interested in every little thing Vera says/does :)**


*more from yesterday

I took like a hundred pictures yesterday because she just kept being cute and doing funny things. Hope I'm not boring you, but thought I'd share/record for my own memories!

So downstairs I saw her doing this and thought oh cute, she's folding the wipes like mommy!

... but she was really setting it up to be a pillow. Her good friend Amelia taught her by example how to play naptime.

Then she showed off her new color sorting skills! I kept wondering when she'd figure it out:

Then I thought we could play with the homemade playdough our friends gave us. She was repulsed, scared and wouldn't touch it for anything. At one point she even hid behind the bookshelf. Sorry, Jenny :)

Then we made soup.


*una sopa

So I made this* amazing soup tonight. It's so great now that Vera is old enough to play and entertain herself while I cook. Tonight I thought it would be fun to have her make her own soup at the same time. I got all her fake food together [I love play food!] with a pot and spoon, and she knew just what to do. She focused for a minute or two on adding ingredients, stirring, tasting [mmmmm] and saying it was hot before she moved on...

*I just cut and pasted this from an email Ben's mom [who is an amazing cook!] sent a few years ago. It is such a yummy yummy soup. And eating kale just makes you feel healthy.

(for 6-8)

Italian sausage, 2 trays cut up into 1 1/2" chunks
(regular or spicy)
[I only used 1/2 and it was plenty]
chicken broth (3-4 qts.)
(I use Knorr bouillon plus water)
4 crushed, minced garlic cloves
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 1/4 tsp. fennel seed
1/2 tsp red chile flakes
10 medium potatoes, peeled, cubed large
3 bunches of kale [I don't know if she meant handfuls? I bought 2 "bunches" and have A TON of kale]
1 pt. half and half or 1 cup whipping cream
[I used whole milk plus a bit o cream]
1 tbsp flour
olive oil

Cook sausage in 2 tbsp. of oil until browned. Pour off most of oil. Saute garlic and onion in olive oil until clear. Add sausage and chicken broth. Stir in Italian seasoning, fennel, and chile flakes. Bring to boil, then turn down to simmer. Cook for 30 - 40 min.

Add potatoes and cook for 10 - 15 more minutes. (Be careful to cook potatoes until just pierce-able. Sometimes I forget and it's not much fun eating potatoes that are already dissolved!)

Thicken milk with flour by making a paste in a small bowl. Add 1 cup of heated broth to bowl, whisking to blend. Stir mixture into the soup and heat through.

Just 5 or so minutes before serving, add kale (I like alot because it's so healthy, so I'll usually put in 2 bunches, saving the third for the next meal.) and heat to wilting.

You could add red bell pepper for color.

We'll call you and Ben later tonight.

Love, Rosie


*ben's first blog post


{{It's cozy and all, but not yet!!}}



... yesterday I said to Vera, let's put a diaper on Dollie! On her own though, she first went and got the A&D ointment and dabbed it on her baby's bottom ... :)


So we went to Metallica last night. I thought we were just going out to dinner, but about 2 hours before we were to leave, Ben said he couldn't handle the excitement anymore and revealed the big surprise that WE'RE GOING TO METALLICA!! TONIGHT!!! So Ben's dream came true :) I should have been the one to surprise him. It was actually a pretty fun night/show [I kind of always liked bands like Metallica b/c my cool older brother did]. Plenty of good people watching too.


*un año

You know I like to look back in the picture files to 'one year ago' [started with you, Emily :)]. Well this was last Nov.2 and I remember the day well. We had just got back from California where Vera took champion-sized naps every day. The very day we returned home, however, she refused to go down. Little 3 month-old arching her back and screaming her head off. So we went for lots of walks. She had never been grumpier and had such a cute little scowl on her face. If I tried to help her sit up better, she squirmed and growled at me :)


*la conejita

To be honest, I don't usually like Halloween. There's just something though about dressing little babies up as bunnies and pumpkins and little bears that makes you want to freak out because of the cuteness [all you other blogging friends better post your halloween pictures!]. Vera got to wear her bunny costume both Thursday and Friday night. The first time I put it on she hated it - until we got to the neighbors' and they began exclaiming how cute she was. She warmed up then.

Last night we had so much fun just watching her do her normal things [reading books, swiffering the floor, turning in circles] - but dressed as a cuddly little bunny. When the trick-or-treaters started coming she was a little hesitant at first [by the way, most of them were hispanic and would exclaim conejita! :)]. By the end of the night, though, she loved it. At one point when the doorbell rang, she was all the way in the kitchen. I yelled - hurry, Vera!! I've never seen her move so quickly and with such a look of urgency on her face :) She kept looking at the door and signing/saying more, more, more [meh! meh! meh!]! I'm pretty sure she meant 'more kids'. Oh my, it was so fun to see her excitement. She even moo-ed at a little cow that came to the door. As I laid her down in her crib she was still pointing towards the front door and I had to say, "all gone, all done! good night kids!"


{last year}