she *loves* rolling around on our bed!

*la pintura

Vera has always loved to paint, but until recently she didn't get to do it too often. It always seemed like such a hassle and a pain to get everything out, to cover surfaces, get her clean water etc. However, in the last couple months she has been painting every single day. I just let it go and realized it's not that big a deal. Sure her space is kind of a mess, but it doesn't extend elsewhere. I do get her clean water, but she pours her own paint, finds her own paper and can pretty much do it independently. Once in a while I clean up her table and organize her paintings - which, of course, are impossible to throw away! I love each and every one :)

Here's a few...

a TV in the middle, a bottle of rainbow juice on the left:

She likes to fold the paper to make a mirror image [learned at preschool]. This was Edie's birth announcement which I've been meaning to post on here [for 4 months now] since I got really disorganized sending them out and lost track of who got one! sorry if you were one of those!

one of many family portraits - I love the little Eden:
the art table:

She pretty much does what she wants. I walked downstairs here as she was painting her hands to make prints:



Ben sent me this picture while I was at work today - it made me smile.

"Edie's rehearsal dinner"


*el pan

Hopefully Vera learns better from her grandma than me: my bread is always heavy and dense - my mom's is light and fluffy and heavenly :)



Ben hid some treasure for Vera in her sandbox today: nuts, bolts, marbles and pennies. She wanted "a lot of jars" to store her treasure in and came in to tell me she also needed "a lot of tops." I wasn't able to help her and so she got busy making her own. I used to love cutting things up, gluing and taping them together to make what I needed - it's so fun to see Vera be creative in that way. Which reminds me that she didn't watch anything this afternoon and didn't even ask! This is what I'd like every afternoon...

*una ensalada

My parents treated Ben and I out to a fancy dinner date this week, it was such a treat - we both LOVE to go out to eat.

Our salad was so incredibly good that we recreated it the next night:

lettuce [that heirloom lettuce costco has now was perfect]
fava beans [just blanched and shelled]
pepitas [I sauteed the raw trader joe's ones in olive oil and salt]
whole mint leaves
shaved ricotta salata

red wine vinegar
a very little bit of olive oil
[My mom made the vinaigrette, so I don't know the proportions]

I'm telling you, it was so delicious!! Obviously I don't get the credit, but I was sure pleased that I was able to copy it so well :)


*7 mesitos

These last couple months Edie really has started to show us her personality, and it's been so much fun! Not so much when we're out in public, but at home she laughs and smiles and babbles a lot [now saying babababa instead of just uhhhhhh]. She's started kind of playing with us - if I try to change her diaper on our bed, she flips over real fast, looks back at me with a grin and starts rolling all over trying to get away. She loves to grab my hair and pull hard, twisting it around her drooly little fingers. I probably shouldn't yelp and say HEY! - she definitely thinks it's funny. She also just started putting her little head on my shoulder once in a while in a little act of affection - so sweet, Vera was never a cuddler as a baby [she is more now].

She is still waking usually twice a night - sometimes 3 times and wonderfully last night just once at 5am. I would like her to sleep all the way through, but actually kind of enjoy a middle of the night cuddling time with her - just one though... we need to figure out how to make that work because she does not need to be waking 3 times! I don't let her fuss back to sleep if it's taking too long, because it doesn't seem fair to sleeping Vera. Anyway, we'll see what I report at 8 mos. :)

she was actually laughing here because she'd just peed on our bed: nice.

*el parque

last week:



*dando pecho

I thought I'd share a little about my new job! After nearly a month of training, in the last few weeks I've finally been able to start working as a lactation counselor. I can't tell you how much I have learned - it is really amazing! You might remember me complaining about how badly nursing went with Edie [you might not have caught how truly horrendous it was - I'm not kidding and I am surprised myself that I stuck with it!]. Well as I go through my reading, training seminars and conversations, I can make a long long list of all the things I Wish I Had Known. That's really why I'm so excited to have this job - to help moms to succeed in feeding their babies the best*, to educate them beforehand and to be there when things aren't going well. When I was having problems with Edie, a few of you friends gave me advice and I can't tell you how invaluable that was.

It's amazing the misconceptions that are out there, as well as the lack of "baby-friendly" practices in the hospitals. I read, for instance, that over 50% of "breastfed" (not babies who are going to be formula-fed) babies are given formula supplements in the hospital! I can tell you from experience (with Vera) that that is setting you up for some serious difficulties with breastfeeding and immediately increases your chance of weaning early. Another misconception is that so many mothers think they don't produce enough, or that their milk started "drying up" - when in fact it's really rare. Not that they are lying - they really perceive it that way and it's sad because there are many ways to help them either produce more or see that they are producing enough. It is the #1 reason babies are weaned early.

ARG. I had written a whole lot more, edited and saved it last night to find it mostly erased just now. I'm just going to leave the above as it is now. Anyway, I'm really excited about the job - especially that I get to speak a lot of Spanish! I've had several moms give me a sincere thank you and that is such a big reward.

*I don't want to sound preachy or know-it-all or anything with all this - I just want to share what I've learned! Breastfeeding vs. formula has become so polemic lately and that's really sad. Formula isn't evil - my one brother who was formula-fed is the most smart, healthy, successful, affectionate one of us. But research does show that breastfeeding is so incredibly beneficial and superior in so many ways: I just wouldn't want someone to resort to formula because there wasn't anyone there to help/educate them otherwise. I work at a low income clinic and these are the moms who really need the benefits of breastfeeding both for their babies and themselves!

**In case you're wondering - I'm only working 8-10 hours a week. The job is super flexible and most of my hours are during preschool and nap times when Ben isn't too inconvenienced by watching the girls. I feel really blessed to be able to do this!




You can't not give her kisses:

this last spot is the best : she giggles every time


*en la cocina

Vera still loves making pretend food - both in her kitchen and her sandbox. She now asserts that it's not pretend and was really trying to get me to let her use real chocolate in this soup. It's hard because once you do, it's almost impossible to go back. She also wanted to put it in the real oven - she even used a metal bowl this time, because the other day I told her we couldn't because her bowl was plastic! I compromised and put it in the toaster oven for her for a few minutes, which was pretty exciting. She then took it down to Ben in his office and he *got* to try it :) Water, salt, pepper, parsley and one gummy vitamin, mmm.

This is one of my all-time favorite videos. I love how she communicated - how she was so intentional with her "words." Also she did something here that she never did again - when she "talks" about how funny daddy is. It was SO CUTE. Another that -as a mom- I can watch over and over and over:

*una madre muy agradecida

I'm feeling really thankful today for the immense blessing of my family and the privilege of being Vera and Eden's mom. It's hard work and often tedious, boring, "unfulfilling" in the worldly sense to stay home and dedicate myself to taking care of two little human beings. I mean I just spent the first part of Edie's nap folding diapers - I thought about how much time I spend just focused on keeping her peeing and pooping sanitary. Or the time I spend picking up toys, or the ENDLESS dishes and endless laundry [the dishes really get to me. why can't it just stop for a minute?!]. All for kids who will sometimes tell you outright that "Daddy is my favorite" or who will yell and cry and fuss all afternoon for no [discernible] reason. This is totally cliché, but really it is amazing that despite all the hard parts about it, you wouldn't trade it for anything.

These are the moments that will stay with me: seeing Edie smile at Vera's silliness, peacefully nursing her at 4am, when she buries her head in my chest or grabs me with two hands and tries to eat my face, getting her up from a nap and taking her over to Ben to play peek-a-boo for a minute, her adorable little naked body, seeing glimpses of pride on her face when she can wiggle her way over to a toy 2 feet away and her little excited noises that still have no consonants: all ooohhh and uuuhhh. I love listening to Vera read to herself during quiet time, watching her love for painting lately and the dozens of family portraits she's made, seeing her practice and practice something until she's satisfied she knows it well - currently "sounding things out" and counting to diez in Spanish, watching her have so much fun with her friends who she really loves dearly, the way she awkwardly uses her hands for expression when she talks, her amazing hearty laugh when she watches old Donald Duck youtubes with Ben... and the list goes on :)

This morning all I wanted was to sleep in and to have a croissant from Tulie. Ben also surprised me with a framed copy of this picture of me and my girls. Yesterday we went to Red Butte Gardens - it was so beautiful!! A really wonderful weekend.

Edie in the new Ergo. It's nice, but I do wish she could face out like in the Bjorn..

Going down the pole for the first time:



It's not as easy as it once was to give Vera an answer and have her just accept it. Tonight, for example:

Vera: Can I watch something?
Me: No, we don't watch anything before bed.
Vera: Why not?
Me: They say you shouldn't watch TV before bed.
Vera: Who says that? God?
Me: Um... no, [thinking "researchers" or something..] the doctors.

I need to be quicker to think! Same thing this last week at the library when Vera found a silly and shockingly "grown-up" Barbie book [ - about going on a date with Ken. She looked a little too Orange County for my tastes and I'd really like to protect Vera from Barbie as long as I can] She wanted to check it out and I, unable to think quickly, said they don't let us check that one out :) Why not, she asks? Um, I don't know, they just don't. And it's for older girls. I did feel badly outright lying about it and am really going to make an effort to think things through before I speak.


The girls and I were locked out of the house for a while one afternoon last week. Though I was, of course, *a little* frustrated and upset, we tried to make the best of it weeding the garden and playing in the sandbox. It was one of those times I was thankful that Edie is breastfed, otherwise it would have been a little more desperate! After I fed her in a camp chair in the garage, she fell asleep in my arms. I just stared and stared at this beautiful little face and enjoyed her sleepy little form. ♥



This is a fairly uneventful video... I feel like Edie is relatively unrepresented in our youtube "library" and I'm trying to remedy that. I like this one because she does her favorite little noise (which I have no idea how to describe). Plus, this is just 'daily life' and that's what this blog is supposed to be about! It doesn't really matter either how boring a video is, because I watch them all over and over and over anyway :)

Yikes my house is a mess. I'm trying to keep up, I really am.