At 3 and a half years Vera Winters Cater...

*spends most of her day drawing, coloring, cutting up her drawings and colorings, doing puzzles over and over and over and dressing up. And asking to "watch something."

*loves her letters and writing. I think she can write almost all the uppercase letters and knows how to spell her own name, mom, daddy and maybe Eden. It's fun to have her help making a grocery list or something - she feels so grownup :)

*has been talking with Bunny a lot. I overhear little conversations like the following, not sure who is saying what:

This book is about dinosaurs.
I love dinosaurs!
You do?
I didn't know that!

*still does not understand what parents are supposed to do and does not handle discipline very well: "Don't you remember what I said??!! I said you cannot give me time-outs anymore!!"

*is a very loving, caring, helpful, enthusiastic big sister.

3 stories I'd like to remember:

*At a party last weekend she was running around having tons of fun with some other kids. They were pretending there were monsters in one room and would run in and shoot at them over the couch. Only thing is Vera has no idea what shooting or guns are so she was just blindly copying her little friends. She clasped her hands but didn't keep her pointers out and smacked her palms together (hard to explain - basically she had it wrong) and shouted pow piaow! pow piaow! The innocence was so cute.

*We have a princess sing-a-long video with clips from Disney movies. A little while ago I secretely watched her watching "Kiss the Girl" from the Little Mermaid. When they are about to kiss she was so cute - a huge smile, but all embarrassed, hiding behind her hands. How does she already have that instinct??

*Kind of old, but I wanted to remember Christmas morning - the first that she really understood Santa and stockings and all. We were sharing a room at my parents' and I saw her wake up and stretch and then calmly with that I'm-trying-not-to-smile smile walk out to see her stocking. After she went through it, she said in her sleepy, raspy little voice, "Santa knew what I liked!! He didn't even ask!" So cute :) She was mostly referring to her pink scissors and some chocolate coins. Seriously those were her favorite gifts, the only ones she talks about!


Sarah [one of my bestest friends] and her fiancee came through town a couple weeks ago on the way to their new life together in Denver. It was so so great to finally meet Doug and sooo great to have my old friend here to share morning mate with. I had a mini sad meltdown as they drove away - why can't we all just live down the block from each other?

Anyway, I love this picture and have been meaning to share:


*el sueño

..thoughts on bedtime..

So every night is basically the same: Eden is super tired and ready for bed at 5:30. I nurse her and lay her down in her bassinette. She wakes up after about 30 minutes and I go in and rock her for a while until she's fast asleep again [not easy] and then lay down on the bed with her until I'm sure she's asleep - usually taking about an hour or more [the whole process is the same, even if it's started at a later time]. She usually then wakes again around 10:00. At first I was distraught about it all as my night basically ends at 5:30 with that half hour to finish dinner and eat. I'm usually too tired to do much after she's down and before I go to bed.

So anyway it was really stressing me out, but I made a conscious decision in the last week or two to just enjoy it: feeling the warm weight of her body in my arms, looking at her adorable little face and her little sleeping smiles, watching her little mouth twist and start sucking - looking for her binky, being needed and loved by this little growing girl. Also taking the opportunity while it's quiet and I'm alone to pray. [Of course sometimes I'll be thinking all this and she starts to squirm and wake and cry - then I get frustrated again :)] I remember after Vera learned to go to sleep on her own, she would almost never fall asleep in my arms anymore, and so I'm going to savor these moments of holding my sweet sleeping baby.

[not bedtime pictures obviously, just a sweet sleepy baby]

*la comida

I want you to know I am not totally consumed by babies and 3 year olds and their sleep issues. I still get really excited about a meal and take pictures of my food:

pesto from our garden!
goat cheese
toasted pinenuts


*la colección

Vera is really proud and loves to show off her "collection" which has been going since the summertime. She's especially excited because it's just like Don's on Dinosaur Train!

One bottle cap, one shell, 2 dried leaves, a glass rock, a plastic eyeball, a dried flower, a sparkly ribbon [found at the park yesterday] and most importantly the real fossil of a trilobyte from Grandpop.



I keep meaning to look back and see what Vera looked like at Edie's ages... I just did and am so surprised at how different they look! I was thinking besides the hair color, they looked a lot the same. I see now how fair Vera was/is! Edie looks like she has a little tan - especially on her tummy :) Also Vera was so bald whereas Edie has this noticeable little layer of brown fuzz.

Look how pink Bunny was!!

Vera was a lot stronger - I have a video of her rolling over before 3 months.

Look - she slept in her crib! Edie has slept 'till morning in her bassinette probably 3 times.



Did you know Bunny and Monkey are married? They even have a baby bunny. Here is Bunny all dressed up to get married [they already had a long time ago, this was a second ceremony apparently]. Monkey was still getting ready and wouldn't let me get his picture.

A side note, Bunny has a hole in her face. Vera says it hurts :( I bought a little iron on patch at JoAnn's - hope I don't make a disaster out of it!!



Several of you gave me permission to take more pictures:

Vera thinks this one is hilARious


She totally knows and loves her daddy, it's so sweet.

..getting ready for tubby-time..


*unas fotos

I know I said I was trying to take less pictures... well it's harder said than done. Here's some random ones from the last week or two:::....

I love how when she dresses up she doesn't care if her hair is full of tangles or she has her pjs on underneath. Here she was dressed up as "The Princess.............of the Soul" and her unicorn was dressed as "Mervilla the Zoo".

Helping me look like a princess:

poor Edie gets a little too much love from her sister:

Sorry, I just think she's so cute!!! Especially so in her little tea dress from my friend, Shannon. I love to hold her like this in front of me and have little cooing, smiling baby conversations.

She always has her hands in her mouth:

Yesterday and today were amazingly warmish again. At the park with Tia:

She really wanted to wear her tank top, so I explained layering - which she didn't quite get. Notice though the skinny jeans I once bribed her to wear but she now loves!! All it took was Auntie J embroidering a pink heart by the pocket:

all bundled up for a walk. sporting her new elfish hat from Sam + Mimi's grandma:



::notice Edie's new little double chin::



January is notoriously disgusting around here with an inversion that gives us super cold and super smoggy air - like the worst in the country. Well I guess notorious to the locals - no one tells you until you move here [same with Missoula!]. So anyway we hardly get outside, especially with little Eden. Today was slightly warmer and slightly clearer - I could see all the way to the traffic light at the end of the street! I couldn't find the bjorn or sling so we just walked up and down the block once. Seriously even that 5 minutes of being outside was so refreshing!! I am vowing to get out and do that every day no matter what.



Edie thinks it's sooo funny every time I tell her "you're a little stinker!" -
like after this 20 minute nap.


*tres mesitos!

Happy 3 months, Eden!

I am seriously in love with this little baby - I love her little body, little legs, little hands that grab anything, little coos and squeaks and baby conversations, little big smile that lights up her face when she sees her mommy, daddy or sister. Ben has heard little almost-laughs, but we're still waiting for a big one :) Vera did right at 3 months, so we'll see.

I keep having to tell myself that things will keep changing, it's not going to stay this way. Right now we're on a not-so-easy stretch. We try to put her to bed around 6-7 when she looks super sleepy but she just will not stay asleep! I lay her down and 25 minutes later she's awake and I have to rock her another 45 minutes and lay down with her on the bed until she's finally in a deep sleep. Then she may sleep 4-5 hours but then is up every 1.5-2 hours after that. I am exhausted especially because I often don't fall back asleep until right before she wakes up again and Vera has been waking up once or twice as well to be tucked back in. She had been doing great napping as well - since coming home from Christmas I could lay her down peacefully awake for all her naps which were almost always 25 minutes long but at least she'd take them! The last couple days she's been fussy when I lay her down and if she sleeps, still fussy when she gets up. I don't know how to make her sleep as long as she obviously needs to!! I know everyone who reads this blog is so interested in my children's sleep habits, so there you go :)

On a good note, breastfeeding does not hurt anymore!! YAY!!!



Vera spends a lot of time making things - I love it. She especially loves making and sending cards to her friends :) Here's one she made for me - "NON"

Last week she made "fans" for all of us using her her new scissors - she was so proud of herself. She also likes making books for us, with lots of letters and glue, sometimes some tape:

I love seeing her do these kinds of things and try to encourage it! I have great memories of making stuff out of our craft cupboard which was always filled [overflowing] with glitter, glue, construction paper, wooden peg dolls, paint ... I need to find a good way to keep it all organized in this already cluttered and small house...


We went out last night and the picture in front of me was too cute, I had to run out and get Ben's phone. This didn't quite capture the moment - Ben and Vera both eating hot dogs and onion rings and Edie smiling big smiles my way. A dad [this dad] and his girls is so endearing.



Vera and I just shared some hot chocolate. It was lovely, but I was wishing we could share it with someone else too :( Like if Pierce and Paige were to stop by, or Tamara, or Auntie J or Liz or Sera and P or Grant and Cale or Jilly and Reagan or .... anyway if you get the drift I miss old friends!! Please come visit us and we will make you hot cocoa!

New [as in the last 4 years] friends are always welcome as well! You are fast becoming old friends and we love you too :)


*la nena

look at this little face ♥



Here's a bunch of random pictures from our break. I would like to make them cuter on picnik.com but I think that may never happen, so here they are. I just noticed Ben isn't in any of them - he was probably off playing pool :) Ivor and Eliot were off making trouble somewhere and my dad was likely in the backyard cleaning up after the 5 dogs. I did try to take less pictures this year because really, we don't need to capture and remember every.single.moment. I tried instead to be in the moment :)

My mom's [originally Grandma's?] famous Sheepherder bread:

Painting with the cousins. Note Vera's "twirly whirly princess dress!"

Mike and Rosie surprised us with a 24 hour visit! It was such a fun treat to see them and have our families spend some time together :)

Babies LOVE Gegi:

it's nice to be the smallest of the cousins:

getting to know cousin Marie:

Friends!! I love Heather in the background here :)

Vera really embraced her job as appetizer server:

I miss my parents' quiet, carpeted house where Edie took some good naps:

These are my favorite cookies. Normally I wouldn't touch anything resembling these "food-like substance" cherries, but I grew up eating these and therefore love them. I couldn't eat less than 6 in a sitting:

I love this one - making gingerbread boys and girls:

I went for 3 whole walks over the 2 weeks:

Vera's favorite Christmas gift. Not the dollhouse - the pink scissors she's using to open the furniture: