*2 and 1/8

*imagination is growing. other day she told me there were porcupines in her little coin purse. lots of 'em. likes to pretend she's a butterfly (as in the picture) or a bucking horse or a penguin.

*loves the books: monkey and me, little pea, little mommy, are you my mother?, cordouroy, and ladybug's gift.

*loves to talk on the phone and is pretty good about answering questions correctly. She alllways wants to call MimiSam.
*has been copying a lot of our words apparently and says, "one second!" and "after this!" when we ask her to do something. she also bosses her animals around, I've heard her tell bunny, "no, never [touch this]!"

*has been talking to her reflection in the mirror. I overhear her saying "name, Vera. uh-huh. right back!" or telling parts of her day like "mimi sam, mycycle (tricycle) 2 of 'em!!"
*naps and goes to bed easily still!

*has good and bad potty-training days. yesterday bad, today great! diapers for sleep.

*continues to make mommy/daddy/baby families out of everything: pumpkins, stuffed animals (monkey=daddy, bunny=mommy and hello kitty=baby), trees...

*still loves signing time. we get a new one every week or so at the library - she has learned so much! it amazes me how she remembers the signs and often uses them while she says the words. I highly recommend the program!


*la médica

Vera recently discovered that these earplugs look like a stekastoke [stethascope]. The other night instead of reading stories at bedtime, we checked each and every stuffed animal for a heartbeat. She would softly make a dumdum.dumdum sound and we'd say yayyyy they're ok!!! :)


I've been having an urge to overhaul our whole house, rearrange, paint, throw things away... but then at the end of the day I'm tired, or we make other plans, Vera's sleeping, etc. and so I haven't done hardly anything. Except I did frame and hang these two pictures that I love. One is a print I bought in Paris traveling with Liz just before Ben and I got married: Le lit by Toulousse-Lautrec [doesn't it look so cozy and wonderful??] and the second I bought in Seattle on our honeymoon: Encourage by [my (and my bff's) favorite] Nikki McClure. It only took five years.

hard to photograph!


*potty training week uno

A little synopsis so I'll remember if anyone ever asks or for when the next one comes along. ..because I am asking everyone I know what I should be doing! So Vera has seemed ready since late July when - if she was running around diaperless - she would recognize when she had to go and would make a beeline for the potty yelling pooooottttyy!!! I think it helped to have had a 'potty book' to have in the back of her mind. The one we had was a garage sale leftover. It doesn't have a cover, but I think the title is "Once upon a potty" - it's pretty funny. One of her first memorized book lines came from this book: "He sat and sat and sat and sat..." We also have "My Potty Book for Girls" which is good and a little less ... explicit about body parts and such :)

So she had seemed so ready, but then didn't want to have anything to do with it right before I'd decided to go for it. I was a little frustrated because I wanted to get the process going, so one day a couple weeks ago I threw out, hey Vera you want a treat? That worked of course and she would go for a treat [Annie's fruit bunny snacks] pretty often. I think I made a bit of a mistake here and should have done stickers or something non-food. Anyway, so last Saturday I decided to stop using diapers except for nap/bed. I didn't do it very structured, just every hour or so would ask if she needed to go [or if she wanted a treat] and especially right before we went somewhere. The first 2 days went awesome, hardly an accident and she even went in 2 public restrooms. Then I think she started getting bored/annoyed with it and I started getting a little stressed about that and then she rebelled against that and then.. etc. So the middle of the week wasn't good and she peed her pants like every time. [sidenote: she has not gone #2 yet - always in her diaper at nap. how do I fix this??] Everyone has said you really have to be calm about it and so the last couple days I did so and voila! she's going on the potty again. That would be my advice so far: be calm and encouraging and don't ask every 5 minutes if they have to go and don't make them do it. and obviously all kids are different, but this is Vera's Potty Story so far.

don't smile!

*sorry for the boring post!



It was too cute and I couldn't resist a photoshoot of her pink ones - she always chooses pink over any other color:



I don't know what it is today, but I am seriously loooosing it. Like I want to pull out my hair and scream and kick and tell her to freaking stop freaking out!!!! In the whole scheme of things, it's not awful. She got up before 6:00 and has been understandably tired and probably a little stressed from potty-training (!) and maybe getting her last molars in. I'm having a hard time handling it and am confronted with one of those please Lord God help me do this days. Thought I'd share that in case you've started thinking everything is always rosy and cute around here, making pestos and going on hikes. Nope!

unrelated: laying out with bunny the other day



Our newest passion: composting! I can't wait for next Spring to spread some nice, black, good, free soil on my garden!

Just one more thing added to the list of "things my mom would do that I would roll my eyes at and now do myself." ie. tear up at sappy commercials, wash and re-use plastic bags and add wheat germ to everything.


*the haircut and the dress

Matty brought home this absolutely beautiful, sweet dress from Shanghai [made in China!]. It fits just right and I'm going to have her wear it until I can't possibly zip it up anymore. She loves it too and I think feels rather pretty :)

[this pose was her idea]



Stella is back! It's amazing to see how much both girls have grown and developed just over the summer. It is seriously 100 times easier now that they are both toddlers - not one toddler and one baby. It's hardly any work for me - they play together and I can even get things done in the kitchen or fold clothes or whatever. With the gorgeous fall-ish weather we spend most of the morning in the park where both are big enough to go down the slide on their own or play in the sandbox where Vera slides off the side/falls on her butt and Stella cracks up. I know this won't last but they are even overlapping naps slightly! I get some really important facebook-checking done during that time :) I'm really grateful for this bit of work that allows me to be home with Vera! Stella and her mom are so great too - I really consider them friends.

[often these hugs end in both toppling over and 1 or 2 crying]

[I can't lie: Vera was actually being a real pill here. Mines! No, mines! she only wanted whatever spoon S had]

[showing Stella how to jump rope (wave the shoestring and jump up and down). I should upload the video...]


*corte de pelo!

I just realized I didn't get a good after picture. It's cute - blunt little bangs and cleaned up a bit around the sides. It brings out her eyes and she really looks like a little white-blond chinese filipina :)


*Alta en el verano

We went on a little Labor Day hike yesterday up at Alta. Really, we live in an amazingly beautiful place!!

Vera hadn't napped and so it was quite frustrating at times. Also we'd forgotten the backpack. Here she is saying "No! This rock! Stay here!!!" Grrrrr

Talking to her Auntie J on the way up. Jessie, I didn't 'let' her answer the phone. All of a sudden she was talking and we could hear someone on the other side :) You probably didn't catch it, but she was telling you she was talking on two phones:


*en la cocina

One of my favorite things about having a garden has been to stock the freezer with pesto each summer/fall. I think it started way back when I housesat in San Diego. I don't know if she knows this [or if she reads this blog??] but I had grand plans to have her freezer stocked with pesto and pumpkin puree when they got back - only problem is I think I ate it all first :)

Anyway, this afternoon Ben took Vera for a little hike with Boone - something they haven't done in quite a while. Really the best gift he can ever give me is just an hour or two alone at home. By myself -cleaning or cooking usually- is for some reason so restorative. Restful and happy and nice.

[I wish you could have smelled this moment! mmmmmm]

So today I made and froze four batches of sage-walnut and regular basil-pinenut pesto. I also roasted some tomato sauce with our own(!) Romas, onion, garlic and neighbors' squash and bell pepper. I really love the idea of 'putting food away' like that. I haven't had too much success with actual canning [but will try again this year of course], so today I just froze everything. I used a new idea from my NEW FAVORITE BOOK and froze everything flat in its own ziploc - quite handy as it will all stack so nicely!

Ben and I ended our day with a lovey local-esque meal of which I don't have pictures: grass-fed [so elite :)] ribeye steaks, green beans from the market, an enormous and delicious Brandywine tomato from the garden with olive oil and himalayan pink [julie!] salt... and a yummy Spanish wine :) Mmmmm everything was delicious and perfect. We even ate in our actual dining room - right next to where Vera slept. A good day!



Some random tidbits about our big 2 year old that I wanted to write down before I forget. Also, I was just thinking today how I'm entering that annoying phase [annoying to you, my family, etc.] where I'll tell you all the *cutest* things my child says. Oh my goodness today she said _____. Are you ready? :)

*When you ask her a question lately she'll start with "ummmmmm... [yes, blue, there, etc.]"

*Sometimes to ask for something especially earnestly she'll say "Please, Mommy, have it! Want it! Need it!"

*She can count to 12, always skipping 5. Her newest project is trying to count on her fingers at the same time (which she can't really do at all). If you ask how many of anything she has/wants/sees she just counts as far as she can go. loudly and emphatically.

*She can identify almost all her letters. It's crazy how fast they can learn these things!! I bought a really cool Charlie Harper ABC book after I saw it at the library - it really helped. She also got a Melissa and Doug ABC puzzle for her bday which she loves.

*The other day she had some sunglasses around her neck and held it up to my knee like a stethoscope and then said "doctor!" which was cute. Then she said a very clear "pediatrician!" I was like whaaat did you say? We had watched "Elmo goes to the doctor" before her 2 year appointment. I highly recommend it :)

*When we were on vacation we only brought a few books which we obviously had to read 100 times. Towards the end one night I tried leaving off the last words to all the lines and she knew them!

*She is going to bed happily and taking naps. Long ones! She isn't in the pickiest of eating stages and isn't throwing hit-the-floor-pull-her-hair-out tantrums. The only thing that really frustrates me lately is that she won't let me put ponytails or barrettes in. I am actively thankful for this easy moment since I know it cannot last!

*una calabaza

¡ from our garden !



A highlight of our trip was hiking to Tamarack Lake with Matty and Josh - 12 miles round trip with a couple really long uphill climbs. It left me feeling tired, hungry, happy and accomplished :) We stayed up at the lake for a few hours fishing and resting. Ben and I also had fun throwing big rocks into the water to hear the enormous ker-plunk :)

Vera had a blast with Ben's parents while we were gone, though at first she tried to argue me out of going on the "long hike" and with her on a "small hike Vera!"