Some random things about Vera at the moment:

*She LOVES pink, specifically light pink. For months now it has been a major part of our lives with her exclaiming at least 3X a day that Vera loves pink. If you offer her anything, she asks for a pink one? I never dressed her in a lot of pink and never made the suggestion that "girls like pink." I wonder how she came to favor it??

*Her latest favorite pasttime is perusing the Pottery Barn Kids catalogue. Look Mom, a pink bed!!!! a pink towel!!! loooook, stroooller a pink one! Baby one, sooooo cute!!

*She's only taking a nap or maybe two a week. She stays in her room for about an hour playing, reading and [sorry] going #2 in her diaper if I haven't tricked her into going earlier [long story].

*Probably because of the no-napping, maybe 2 year molars, terrible twos, whoknowswhat, she is in a major crying phase. The other morning she cried for about an hour after I started to help her get her arm out of her sleeve - which she wanted to do by herself. Another night she cried for just as long because I folded the washcloth she wanted to wrap her baby pig in. Tonight we turned her movie off for dinner and there was more of the same. And it makes me .very.angry. and it takes everything I've got to keep calm.

*I am amazed at her memory. She's constantly reminding me of something that happened months ago. Mom, 'member Eliot chased me? [last July]; Mom, 'member Adam? [the chef at my old job]; Mom, 'member Isabella? [little girl we met this summer]; Mom, 'member Snoofy's yucky beard? at the store? 'member dat? [this was today - I had no idea what she was talking about.]

*One of her favorite games is to call me Mommer. Then I say heeeeyyyyy don't call me that! and then she says it again and I tickle her. and then she'll keep it going, sometimes switching to Mommer Dommer! oh my.



I am getting so intolerant to cold! I want Summer back!! Seriously - I know it was over 5 years ago now, but living in San Diego spoiled me.

Anyway, I wanted to provide Ben proof that we braved the cold and took Boone to the dog park while he was gone.



Ben was in California for a wedding this weekend and we were both so happy to pick him up today! Vera kept saying Daaadddddy, my daaaaadddy. My daddy's fun!



I just came across this old picture of Vera and Bunny. I can't believe how big and new and clean he was! Here he is now after 2 years of lovin. She's been asking me to give him new eyes - pink ones!



We seem to be entering yet another clingy, sensitive, tantrum-throwing, yelling at Mommy, stubborn phase that's left me a little ragged. Moments like this, where I heard her quietly going through each of her favorite books, saying the words she knew out loud was so wonderful and so welcome.



I started playing indoor soccer again about a month ago - finally!! After the first game I literally couldn't move my legs forward, they were so tight and sore. It really motivated me to get running again too - I've run more in the last month than I have since before I got pregnant with Vera! Anyway, I was out in the backyard one day practicing my skillz and thought I'd see how Vera likes soccer. As you can see, she doesn't quite get it yet:


*more daily

Another almost-daily thing we miss when we're gone or have visitors is time with our best buddies! Pretty much every night when I ask what Vera wants to pray for, she says "Mimi, Sam, their mama Jenny and their daddy [and their slide/new house/Grandma etc.]" and she is always wanting to call them on the phone. The 3 little amigos are getting cuter and cuter in their play and quasi-conversations together:



[not a real street!]

*la cotidiana

We seem to do a lot of traveling, which of course I love and am so thankful to be able to do [thanks in part to parents' who help pay our way home and free flights thru our United and now Southwest Visa!]. On the other hand, it's so refreshing to get back home and into our daily routine. A litte vida cotidiana:

spending time with tio+tia next door

coloring with daddy

playing in "bunny's house"

reading the mail

making a pie!


*la viajera

Vera is definitely quite the little traveler. I was completely amazed at how well she behaved on the way there and back with all the flights, long layovers and hour+ drives. She didn't nap at all, and literally only had one bad moment. I didn't blame her after an hour drive, a 4 hour flight and a 3 hour layover she started to cry saying she was too tiiiired and that she wanted Daaaaaaaaaaddy [who was on a different flight, long story].

I always strategize for plane trips and this time around I had an AWESOME big Sesame Street sticker book, new markers from Ikea and a pack of blank cards, a couple Babybug books, and some good snacks - the best being a lolly-pop ring from her Auntie which kept her happy for a LONG time. I had some DVDs which we didn't even have to use on the way there, and just a little on the way back! She used up one entire flight making cards for Grandparents, friends, etc! I had been uncertain what to do about her going to the bathroom, but I followed the advice of a friend: I bought some pull-ups and told her they were "airplane underwear." That way she could use the lavatory if she needed, but we avoided any accidents during takeoff or landing when we weren't allowed to get up. It worked perfectly!

I wish I could say she was dreamy perfect the whole trip. However, she seemed to use up most of her *goodness* during the traveling and was rather grumpy and clingy, probably from being overtired and a bit sick. There were lots of stubborn moments like this:

okay Vera it's time to go now.

"no, stay this."



*la ciudad

The other major highlight for me was spending the day in New York City. I seriously want to live there. Really, seriously, we have to make it work someday somehow. Ben + J took us on a perfect little overview tour of both sights and places to eat. I wish I took a picture of each little bite: rice cakes in Chinatown, pork sandwiches [I want another right now], cupcakes, Venezuelan arepas, lobster sandwich, good coffee [the guy made me a cortado, Liz! he knew!] and some amazing thin crust margherita pizza. We stopped in Chinatown, went over the Brooklyn bridge, rode the subway, took the bus down 5th Avenue, walked and played in Central Park and ran back to the car through the rain - and I didn't feel rushed or tired at all. Even Vera was a little trooper subsisting on milk, cupcake frosting, reeses pieces and pirate's booty all day. Of course she LOVED the subway and the bus. It was Halloween too, which made for a fun day with people in costume [sometimes you couldn't tell if it was a costume or not] all over the place. What a great day - thank you Ben and Jessie!

[walking on the promenade in Brooklyn]

[Chinatown: all the little ladies admired our butterfly/tinkerbell]

[the bus]

[the subway]

[a bit of traffic]

[the park]

[perhaps my favorite picture: both of them :)]

*auntie J and uncle Ben

We really had a wonderful time out visiting Ben's sister + brother-in-law. We often comment on how we wish we lived closer and could eat dinner together regularly and just spend time getting to know them as friends [which we obviously do, but to live in the same place would just be fun and obviously better than seeing each other once or twice a year]. The trip wasn't filled with tons of sightseeing or exciting adventures or anything, but we mostly did just what I had wanted to do: spend time together :) They live out in the countryside in an amazing old farmhouse that -of course- Jessie has decorated like it belongs in your favorite magazine. So beautiful and relaxing. They also have a fish pond about 30 yards from the front door - seriously it couldn't get any better for a little one. Here's a few pictures from around the house:


[nail polish and lipstick makeovers]


[games - easier played after bedtime]

[carving the pumpkin. she couldn't handle the actual carving]

[making grumpy faces: new favorite thing to do]

*el este

..a bit overwhelmed by all the photos from our trip to NJ: still sorting..