*el dedito

Edie has been sucking her thumb for a couple weeks and it is so freaking adorable - at least I think so :) She mostly does it when she's tired or hungry and when we [usually me, since I'm associated with food] pick her up or lay her down in bed. Ahhhh!! I love it how she snuggles into my shoulder, overcome with comfort.



I just found my camera cord after a week or two of it missing - here's a few random pictures from the last couple weeks:

Edie loves her jumper more than ever. I get worried sometimes she's going to get shaken baby syndrome!

Vera and her little buddy, Graham:
making lemonade with Amelia:

a beautiful day at the park:
the double swing:



Vera just came out of quiet time holding four bean bags: "These are to kill the Elians [Aliens] that are in our house! There are real ones - in my room! The bean bags are for shouting at them and saying go go go away! Then when they are gone we will have a party and Mom, you'll make a strawberry cake. Two of them! The Elians are going to die, so that's why we have to shout! and kill them!" She even showed me one of the Elians - a baby my little pony hidden in a rainbow slinky. There was even more about swords and spikey bodies and bean bags knocking them over, I lost track and can't transcribe that fast.



These two girls are so blessed to have the daddy they do. When I met him he couldn't even remember meeting a small child, and now to see him so natural, comfortable, FUN and LOVING with his daughters is just amazing. Vera loves him so so so much, you have no idea. Even little Edie's love for him is apparent and I just love to see her light up when she sees him. Fatherhood suits you well, Ben!



Our zoo has a special exhibit going on right now with pretty realistic, moving, roaring, spitting dinosaurs scattered around the park. Vera had already been there with Ben, and so the whole ride there she assured me that they are just pretend and not to be scared. Well she was pretty scared! We had a fun morning checking them out with our friends. Thankful for the zoo membership my brother's family got us for Christmas!

I bribed her to take this picture with me:

Sam's not scared! Or at least doesn't know quite what to think...


*ocho mesitos!

8 months already!! I hate to say it, because we all know it's true, but time is flying by. Seriously! Now that she's past the small baby stage, I want it to slow..down.. We all love this little cutie so much - she brings so much happiness and fun into our lives. She's on the verge of crawling, maybe another week or two [Vera crawled at exactly 8 mos.]. She has two little toofs on the bottom now and her hair is growing and not standing straight up anymore. She's finally started to seem interested in reading books, or is at least noticing the pictures. She's never been either excited about or averse to baby food, but seems to really like the tiny [more like micro] bits of solid food I've started giving her: mango, avocado and grape so far. I have a horrible suspicion that she is going to have major problems with dairy, which would be -to quote Vera via Strawberry Shortcake- the worst thing that could happen!! I'll try yogurt again in a month or so - the two times she's had it she seemed to have a major tummy ache the rest of the day: hopefully it's just coincidence. I just love her little babbling voice, when she puts her head on my shoulder, how she's started to suck her thumb [today she fell back on her head and was crying pretty hard. I cuddled her against my chest and she leaned against me, sucking her thumb for several minutes - it was really adorable], how she loves to laugh with Vera: it's all so fun.

She still doesn't nap well - anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour (once in a while longer). Nighttime is much much better than my last report. She goes to bed between 6-7 and sleeps until 5-6am when I feed her and put her back down for another hour or two. If she wakes before then I ignore her and she falls back asleep on her own pretty quickly, usually without even crying. She's been sleeping downstairs in the guest room for a few weeks now which has helped - it has actually been really easy! One night [the one I proclaimed on facebook] she slept alll the way through. It hasn't happened again, but I'm fine with waking once a night.

Every day when she wakes up from a nap we knock on Daddy's door to say hi and play a couple peek-a-boos. She gets so excited - I love it.

hanging out with daddy for a minute


*una lista

I love lists. My sister's friend had a blog devoted to just lists of things which I thought was a great idea [she hasn't posted a new one in at least a year - are you reading this?]. Isn't it fun to get inspired suddenly to write a random list? I hate when a good list starts in my head when I'm out on a walk or something without a pen.

Anyway, I found this one in my cookbook binder today and I think I'm going to put it up in my cupboard. It's always so hard to think of what to make for dinner! This was a list of the top 20 meals I make on a semi-regular basis. I would really love to hear anyone's -say- top 5 list in the comments :) I like new ideas and am more likely to make it if someone I know [and trust] says make this!

In no particular order. With comments because I feel like commenting on them:

1. spaghetti
2. 5 1/2 hour no peek stew [via Rosie]
3. broccoli pasta [a nostalgic favorite from San Diego days and my friend, SH. Ben doesn't love it.]
4. chile verde [I have no idea how this made it on the list. maybe I made it for the first/only time that day]
5. meatloaf
6. rice and bean bowls w/ salsa, avocado, etc. [I could eat this every other day]
7. tomato/feta/basil/pinenut pasta [via Rosie. I it! ask if you want the recipe!]
8. lasagne [I like it w/ italian sausage, spinach, bechamel, red sauce and lots of mozzarella]
9. meat + vegetable [so simple but I never think of it. what my parents eat every day]
10. taco soup [via Jenny. soo good]
11. chinese chicken salad [Rosie's recipe is the best]
12. grilled cheese and tomato soup
13. chicken pot pie [I only made it once but Ina Garten's recipe is SO GOOD]
14. empanadas [I use an old recipe from saveur... I love empanadas. I could eat like 20]
15. crockpot chicken w/ greens [I made this once. can't remember]
16. pizza [jamie oliver's dough recipe + tips from Benji at Luna Notte: milk and honey]
17. baked rigatoni with italian sausage, marinara and mozzarella
18. creamy polenta [ben doesn't love polenta: I do.]
19. pasta genovese [a favorite from a jamie oliver cookbook: pesto, green beans, potatoes, parmesan]
20. macaroni and cheese

and 5 more I added today:
21. spiced lentil tacos [epicurious.com]
22. burritos with refried beans, cilantro rice and homemade tortillas [made with coconut oil, yum]
23. pasta salad with leftover chicken, random vegetables and a little balsamic vinegar
24. grilled burgers [how was this not on my original 20?]
25. panini with prosciutto and grilled summer vegetables. [so so good, I always forget about this one.]

and Ben added:
26. fish and chips [we get this good frozen battered cod at whole foods and those frozen sweet potato fries. yum. vera loves dipping the fish in malt vinegar!]

*please do add a mini list in the comments!* even if it's just carob chips ;)


Ben got this old swing set from craigslist this weekend. It was going to be $20, but after he had to purchase a metal file to get the old bolts loose as well as kill the wasps' nest inside, she let him have it for free. Totally brings me back to our old swing set on Iris Street - especially the 2-seater see-saw swing. So far it's a hit!

*firefly (luciénaga?)

The other day Vera had a great idea [she always has "an idea!!"] - she put her wings on and then had Ben duct tape this flower planter to her bottom for a tail. She put a small bottle of nail polish in the tail "so that it will glow." Pretty stinkin cute... and funny. She got really mad because Ben probably couldn't keep a straight face and took pictures - and then got really mad because she didn't want me to even see the costume [I was putting baby to bed]. The whole thing ended with her having a bit of a fit in time-out. Poor thing :)



Edie loves this - I set her down in front of the toy box and she rifles through the whole thing. It keeps her busy for while - like long enough for me to do the dishes. One of those "antiSoulemama" moments we have around here :)

mom, look at this one!



This is Fiona - Edie's first little baby friend . Fiona just turned 1 and was 5 months old when Edie was born. It's been fun to see the age gap between them slowly get smaller and smaller. It will be so fun to see them play together!

Vera and Jack (her big brother) are about the same age difference and they have always been the greatest little friends, 2 peas in a pod for the most part. They definitely love being super silly together - one of the first times we went for a walk with them they shouted nonsense words back and forth from their strollers the whole time, laughing hysterically. The last couple times we've gotten together they come marching in from the playroom playing their instruments in a little show, it's really cute. Here was a perfect little photo opportunity as they read together on his little couch - I was about half a second too late and will have to try again:

Edie at their house practicing crawling skills:


*del jardín