*cloth this time around

I love to see clean, colorful stacks of freshly folded diapers.

I was pretty good at using cloth diapers with Vera [look how cute she was!] - especially from 6-7 months on. However, I never used them at night and I would often use a disposable if we were going to be out of the house for a while or if I just felt like it. I was a little more determined with Edie, since I had all these diapers that I'd already bought! I also received a few new ones as gifts, bought some nice used ones on diaperswappers.com (some I think weren't actually even 'used'), and borrowed some extras for the newborn stage. Ok and I bought 2 expensive ones for nighttime use. For the first few months I would still use a disposable at night and sometimes during the day. I finally decided I needed to go all or nothing to really reap the savings.

So several months ago I made a little challenge for myself [usually a good way to get myself to do anything! I am a little competitive you could say]: mid-May I had one pack of diapers and told myself that I couldn't buy another until July 1. I started using them verrry sparingly - like just at nighttime. Then one night I didn't have one to use! I'd even searched in the car, the strollers, under the bed, etc. And guess what?! It wasn't that big of a deal! I'm not saying she smelled super fresh in the morning, but it hadn't leaked and I was doing a wash anyway. After that I bought some diapers when we were at Lake Tahoe [though I also used some gdiaper compostable inserts we were given - they are great!] Then I *challenged* myself to not buy any more wipes. I mean $6 for a pack that lasts ... a month? That's 2 lattes :) I already have a lot of cloth wipes that were given to me, the wipe solution, a wipe warmer - but was often using disposable because it's slightly more convenient. You throw it all in the washer together anyway. So now I don't buy wipes except for the diaper bag. I will admit that laundering has been a bit of a hassle. We have really hard water and a very small front-loading machine that doesn't use a lot of water. It's taken a lot of experimenting to see what gets the diapers the cleanest. I think I figured something out, hopefully it will keep working until she potty-trains [hopefully earlyish like Vera!] So that's my long story. I doubt anyone is reading anymore, haha. I like to have it documented.



The other day, Vera colored for almost six hours straight. I am not exaggerating! She started around 9:00, took a small break for lunch and then kept on coloring through quiet time. She worked through 2 hello kitty books [one of those really fun books where they give you the ideas to fill in the picture], a do-a-dot coloring book and some melissa and doug pages. It was quite amazing - I doubt she has ever in her life focused on one thing for that long!

I love the smiles she added to the hello kitties!


*la cocina

Like everyone else, I am LOVing the Fall bounty. That along with that slight difference in the light, the cool air in the morning, a sweet little baby more lovable every minute, Vera so glad to be back in school - well I am just feeling happy. I feel in a rush to eat as many fresh herbs, tomatoes, cucumbers, basil, herbs, basil (along with fresh mozzarella, goat cheese, feta...) as I can!! and wine, it goes pretty well with it all too. There's [almost] nothing I love better than pasta with fresh herbs, tomatoes, pinenuts, garlic and parmesan. This has actually been the worst year ever for my garden, especially for tomatoes. Bummer because I have the time and energy this year to can/preserve! Last year I had to force myself to can the remaining boxes and boxes that ripened in our basement after Edie was born. I think the cherry tree by the garden shaded it too much and I may not have watered enough in the beginning. Also it was a slow, wet start to the season and I know a lot of farmers haven't done as well. Not my neighbors though - theirs are exploding. and I know Tia doesn't mind if I hop over to borrow a few :)

My favorite way to preserve the tomatoes is making a roasted sauce and then just freezing it flat in ziplock bags. I got the recipe from this awesome Stonewall Kitchen harvest cookbook I have [maybe I've shared this before?]. Basically you just half a bunch of tomatoes [I scrape out most the seeds and liquid], quarter an onion or two, a couple whole cloves of garlic, some red pepper flakes and chop up any sort of vegetable you [or your neighbors] have: zucchini, yellow squash, carrots, bell pepper, fennel... Then drizzle olive oil, salt and pepper and roast it hot for about an hour, stirring once or twice in the middle. You can then add some fresh herbs, sugar or balsamic vinegar, puree it and then eat or freeze! It's especially good with rigatoni, italian sausage and mozzarella. I LOVE this!! It's so great to have in the freezer all winter.

We've been going through a pretty rough period with Vera. A lot to think about. One thing I realized [again] the other day is what a nice, sweet time we have together when she helps me make something in the kitchen.

When Vera was small, I rarely attempted to cook anything if she was awake. I guess I've figured out how to manage a little better. Edie will stay content in the ergo for a little while, in the high chair with some snacks for a bit and then is pretty happy to play around in the living room for a while too. I usually have time to make the thing, but not enough to clean up : )

I my plate from Granada!

Speaking of good eating, Ben and I got to go out last weekend for a really good dinner at the Copper Onion. We shared a really really amazing caesar salad, beets and fries. I had a tri-tip steak with chimichurri and fingerling potatoes and Ben had beef stroganoff on house-made pasta [that sounds gross. but it was amaaaaazing]. For dessert I had a goat cheese with quince paste. My whole meal felt "típico" of Argentina. So I was happy :) and the wine was so good! Juan Gil - look for it. Ben's mom treated us to the wine as a congrats to Ben who won a fellowship in the last week. He's been working so hard on his dissertation [chapter 3!] and it was a nice treat to go out.


*más videos

Vera has a renewed interest in dancing and I finally got a video the other day:

and another of Eden:

Edie is so excited when I get home, it really makes me feel loved. I tried to catch it on video the other day - her reaction wasn't quite as intense as it usually is, but still sweet :)

I made the mistake a long time ago of letting Vera play with the couch cushions - it's hard to go back on that rule. Anyway, we took them all off the other night and Edie thought it was so fun. They were so cute bouncing together. and yes, Edie is wearing a coconut bra.


*this is edie!

We have a lot of videos of Vera as a little one, and so I've really been trying to catch some good ones of Edie. I finally just compiled bits from the last couple months, so we can remember what she was like at this stage. Of course she would rarely perform her tricks for the camera, but I got some cute moments. Mostly of her looking at books - I guess I just like to see her little brain working as she flips the pages, thinks about what she's seeing. One video in the middle I saved because there was a presidential speech on in the background. I thought it will be interesting to hear it someday in the future. He talks about the "dismal state of our country" - it's kind of sad to hear as you watch an innocent little baby playing on the floor! Anyway, here it is. You will likely find it boring, but I'll have it to watch over and over when my baby is no longer a baby:

By the way, I added a link to our youtube page on the right of the blog. For you family members who like to watch them over and over too : )



Sam and Amelia came over yesterday after school as their mama was getting ready to have their baby sister (!) They had a great afternoon playing together - such good little friends. When we dropped them off, Vera said she wants to live with them.

This was right after Vera asked Sam to marry her, "because she's a grown up now." I think he said yes - see her smile :)

Here they are discussing what they are going to play. I didn't catch all of it, but wrote down a few snippets.

We are good princesses and you are a king.
How about I be a bad turtle?
No, how about we be bad princesses and you be a bad king and...
Do you want to marry us?
Ugh! You have to marry us!
Ha, I turned you into a prince.
I don't want to - I turned myself back into a little boy.
[not too much later] Ok. I will marry you, as long as you don't be mean.


*déjala sola!!

[leave her alone!!]

Vera is constantly wanting to hug and squeeze and touch and kiss and grab and pat her little sister. Mostly it's harmless, but it still drives me a little nuts. Please just let.her.a.lone.! I've tried to not let it bother me as much in the last few days - I mean she really just loves her to pieces and can't help herself. A few times it's not so innocent. Like yesterday: Vera what happened? Well, um, you see.... um well my teeth were there and then her hand was there. and um then her hannnnd was um, near my teeth and...


*11 months

What an incredible incredible joy this little Edie is!!! Her first 5ish months were a little rough - she always seemed to have little tummy troubles and was quite fussy. You could never tell now - she is so happy and fun and mellow and silly and wonderful. I absolutely love all her little ways and keep failing at catching them on video. The way she shows you something, snatches it away, shows you again saying "zshish!", how she babbles and talks like she really thinks she's saying something, how excited she is when Vera gets up in the morning or when we say hi to Daddy after nap or how she reacts when I get home from work. How she sucks her thumb when she is sleepy or wants to nurse or lately when you hand her any of the soft little toys she usually sleeps with. How excited she was when I started giving her whole crackers not too long ago. I love her teeny little wiry body, pulling herself up on any and everything.

as far as development.....

She is cruising pretty easily and took one kind-of step yesterday. She was standing away from any support, took one step in place and then fell down. I kind of think it doesn't count as a first step - but it's a start! [Vera was already walking by this point] She has a couple words which is hard to believe, but she has said them more than once in the right context. She says leaf "zsheaf" and started saying bird "biiir" the other day. When she sees Boone she says Ba or Da and I think she gets Mama and Dada. She can bockbock like a chicken and woof [kind of ] like a dog. She is good at mimicking what we try to get her to say which is pretty neat. She has said byebye a few times and signed "more" for the first time yesterday - we'll see if it repeats. Her napping is inconsistent - sometimes great, sometimes not, but at least she takes them! I'm also muuuch more relaxed about it :) She sleeps downstairs in the guest room now and pretty much sleeps 12 hours at night with a few minor cries here and there. and she has four little tooths.

I wanted to get a picture of her in her sweet little dress today - I remember it being the same one Vera wore when she was exactly 11 months, but she somehow took it off during her nap today. Ben said she cried out once and then fell back asleep - poor thing, kind of funny imagining her trying to take it off :)

Here is Vera at 11 months. [Jen, the picture was from Graham's baby shower!]



Bunny lost one of her eyes [again] a week or two ago. Vera was really upset and wanted to take her to a real hospital. I suggested we call our neighbor, Bryan, who is a nurse but she was concerned because he's not an animal nurse. Anyway, Bunny spent the day sick in her little sleeping bag. I still haven't fixed her eye - I'm worried about making things worse!

It all makes me think of the Velveteen Rabbit. A friend gave us a copy not too long ago and it was really interesting watching Vera as I read it to her. She was intrigued, but also a little wary. She does not want her Bunny to leave anytime soon to become real. At the end of the story I had big tears streaming down my face - it's such a sweet story and pulls at your emotions in all sorts of ways. It's been really sweet to watch Vera grow with her relationship with Bun and I don't want to see it fade because that would mean she's growing up :(

I made this little sleeping bag for Vera's birthday :)


Edie is really into books lately and I LOVE it. Yesterday I watched her flip through this big animal book for like 15 minutes. She was making all sorts of noises, pointing at the pictures, kissing them, growling at them, talking to them. I just sat and watched - it's so magical to see a baby become aware of the world around them. Then I tried to sneak away to grab the camera and of course broke the spell. The ones she usually gravitates towards are the big "100 first animals" we have from the library, Where is Baby's Belly Button, Pat the Bunny, this little collection of Winnie the Pooh books [which I find surprising since she obviously doesn't understand a story.. I think she likes their size] and anything with dogs.



She couldn't quite figure out how to eat a cracker and suck her thumb at the same time: