I think that's how you say dress-up/costume...

Anyway, Vera is really into her dress-up box lately, coming up with all sorts of fancy combinations.  She plays pretty well by herself, lost in make-believe worlds. I love love seeing imagination at work!!  She also puts on nightly performances where we have to sit on the couch with most lights off as she dances ballet around the room or sings a modified Cinderella or Tangled song.

 I thought this fancy footwear was pretty special!

 a little friend from church who we are trading babysitting with:

she tied this one on herself!  
she can now tie bows and is pretty proud of the new skill.

rapunzel is a big theme - see her loonnnng hair?

We got to see Stella and her mom a couple times just after Christmas!  It was really wonderful to see them, felt like no time at all had passed.. Stella is starting Kindergarten in the next month - it is so neat to hear all the Dutch she is learning!!  Did you know knuffle [as in Knuffle Bunny] means hug in Dutch?? I love that :)  Anyway, the girls didn't skip a beat and got right to playing - not even any of their usual sibling-like bickering :)  Vera talks about Stella a lot still - wouldn't it be fun to visit them someday?

oops accidentally uploaded this one of edie putting pennies in the piggy bank... 
a favorite activity! 


*adios food co-op!

I'm sad I didn't take my camera to the last day - 
our good friend Dale gave me this copy.

I've often meant to write about the Food Co-op here, but never did.  We all got an unexpected email a couple weeks ago that they were closing up and this past Saturday was the last distribution!  Five years ago I was feeling like I needed to volunteer in some way at our church - to be involved, to serve and really to meet people. Soon after I started, they asked me to be "team leader" - basically coordinating the site volunteers and communicating with the warehouse people.  I was pregnant with Vera when I started, and after she was a few months old started coming with me.  It was really neat to have her help out, to see people in the church serving the community and especially when she'd come along to drop off boxes of food at the YWCA etc.  When she was little [and now Edie] she looved to hand out people's share list and say "thank you!" and she loved getting her bagel with pink cream cheese from Einstein's [later years that would be my bribe to get her to come], helping prepare the bagels for people who'd come, doing little tasks other volunteers would give her and of course she LOVED the boxes.  We almost always have a co-op box in our living room that is of course used for a million different "not a box" things. 

I was so grateful for the people I met through the co-op.  They really showed me what it means to serve Christ not by standing on the corner with a sign or by handing out tracts, but by joyfully giving their time and their money to help out the community.

Really sad to see it go - a lot of people really counted on it for low-cost fresh food.  That box Edie is sitting in would be almost full of produce for just $10!

 ::on another note::
 I posted on my other blog tonight!  It only took me like 3 months to write the post and find the photo to scan.  I feel like I am so out of practice writing - I write fewer letters now, and it sometimes seems like my head thinks in facebook 'likes' and texts. That's not a good thing, so this was good exercise getting my brain working.


*el clima

It's been the mildest winter so far this year! Pretty nice, really :) We had so much snow last year, at least the average of the two years will be decent.

Here we are on our way to drop off some muffins for our neighbors. After we got everything ready to go and had all our big, hot snowgear on, we spent what seemed like an hour looking for Edie's other boot. Seriously sometimes it is so exhausting to just get out of the house!!


A super fun morning at Sam and Amelia's this week where they painted on the snow with food coloring and then moved on to the sandbox to make some slushy, muddy, food-colored cakes:

Then today it was a balmy 55 [is that right?? I think that's what the car said] with a nice overcast sky and none of the typical January haze.  We walked around the block and Vera rode her bike through the puddles in a cul-de-sac, came home and they played on the swingset a bit. Sadly we had to cut it short to get to Edie's 15 month well visit. Hopefully tomorrow is more of the same!

it's not letting me embed the video: click here if you want to see it.


*más disney

Here's some more pictures from our day at Disneyland:

a still from the video Ben B. took on Thunder Mountain:

Edie's early exposure to Disney princess (sighhh):

Posing on the princess throne while Vera met Aurora:

listening/dancing to a fun pirate band after pirates of the carribean:

It was so pretty and magical on Main Street!



Posting some pictures that Jessie forwarded from her camera.  So many good ones!

she looks so pretty and grown up here!!  I love how she always layers on the Christmas gift costume jewelry as she opens it...

fun with uncle ben - matty and tio playing a duet in the background:

a delicious Christmas dinner. the stewed prunes were such a good accompaniment - who would have thought?  I can't remember the funny nickname someone (ben b?) gave them, but that's just as well.  

helping edie with a drink on the way to the mission:

 waiting for tacos at pedro's:

the mission was so beautiful. we had such a nice relaxing afternoon, just walking around, sitting on the grass, feeding the fish in the fountain.  reminded me of some of my favorite isabel allende novels [I think her Zorro takes place in this setting?]

even more to come! 



It's nice to have things back to normal after the busyness of the holidays. Here's some *everyday* moments from the last 2 nights:

Vera dressing up as a "movie star fairy cinderella who cooks dinner":

She's so cute with her daddy. They both are.

vera made us all get fancy tonight for dinner. edie even had a barrette and a necklace.. then she picked up a disney princess coin purse thing - nooooooot yet!

I remind myself of my mom here.

cheering for the 49ers [such a good game!! I do like to watch football - it reminds me of growing up] I love how babies always seem to think you are clapping for them and then they clap too.


*15 months

At some point during our trip, Edie transitioned from that cute wobbly toddly walk to a little speedster.  Like you take your eyes off her for a second and she has disappeared around the library shelves, or into the front yard of your relatives' house and is walking over a stone bridge toward the little garden waterfall...  She is just the cutest thing still and we are having so much fun getting to know her.  She has stopped biting when she's angry or tired - now she throws down whatever she is holding and then will throw down anything else in reach too. She also will swat at my face or grab Vera's hair.  Sometimes my reprimand sparks the cutest little quivering lip sad face and she is quick to give a kiss and a hug, signing "sorry."  It's so stinkin cute and hard not to laugh at her feistiness.

In the last month she's also started signing please and thank you, several animals, friend...  She asks to watch Baby? Baby? all the time and knows how to open the DVD player.  It doesn't matter how many times I say no, Mama does it.  She also will not stop walking around to the back of the tv asking for "baby" - I'm wondering if she thinks the babies from the video are behind there??  She LOVES babies, followed a poor little 3 year old around the library today asking to hold her baby doll.  

What else is she doing......  one thing that I want to remember from our Christmas vacation was sitting around the dining table 'quizzing' her on all the family's names - we'd say wheeere's Lola?  and she'd look right at her or whoever else.  She knew she was on the spot and had the cutest look.

She and Vera are so cute together - giving each other lots of kisses, falling down hugging, playing hide and seek, reading.  She asks for "Wawa?" a lot, I love it.  She's also saying "Daddy" and it's so adorable.  One day at the tidepools I was wearing his flannel and she thought it was so funny, kept patting me and saying Daddy! Sorry I keep saying it, but it really is all so adorable :) She will often babble away about something and then laugh about it, and then repeat the gibberish again.  Babadbda ghheez hahahaha.  babada gheez hahahaha.

She's a pretty good little eater, though if she doesn't like it she will not just spit, but sputter it out her mouth all over the place.  She seems to be gaining some weight which is great.  I am still nursing her twice a day and she is finally doing ok with cow's milk.  I think she's just got a sensitive little gut that takes some time to get used to digesting new things - even as a newborn with breastfeeding, starting solids, milk protein..

I'll take a picture tomorrow perhaps and add it later...



I have had "make a quilt" on my list of things to do for a long time now.  I saw this one on Katie Did a few years ago and have had it in my head ever since as one I'd like to try.  She later did a tutorial of this go-to quilt.  [her blog was one of my absolute favorites as far as the beautiful, creative, original, modern things she sewed up.  her girls were adorable, fun little models too!  thankfully she still has her archives up, you should look through them if you need sewing inspiration] With Ben's immediate family we choose one name and have to make our gift - I knew this was what I wanted to do this year for Matty.  I even copied her colors because I liked them so much and thought he would too.. though I did choose the quilting thread colors :)  As usual, it took me forever to accomplish each step: buying the supplies, the fabric cut, the layers assembled, etc.  I had the invaluable help of my friend, Sydney, from church - she is an accomplished quilt maker, winning first prize at the Utah state fair at least once [imagine the quilters here in mormonland!].  She showed me how to get started and some really good tips along the way. It was a little embarrassing to show this expert my sloppy job, but I guess that's the nature of your first project.  I am really excited to experiment and get a little more creative with piecing things together and such. I started a board a while ago on pinterest of all the quilts I am inspired by.  

Anyway, I was awful proud of myself
and glad I have a blog to let you all know about it :)

It was about 60"x70" and a little difficult to manage through the sewing machine at times!



Edie is really into smelling flowers lately [wait I just realized it was only in California... no flowers around here!]. I just follow her around, my heart swelling with the cuteness of it. 

 she tried to eat this one if I remember right.



We had a very memorable Christmas this year at Ben's parents!  The days were filled with activities: a hike above El Moro, tidepools at Shaw's Cove, shopping in Venice Beach [walked out of a store as Tim Robbins walked in!], Disneyland, San Diego [among the highlights were my turkey cobb sandwich at Con Pane], the Mission at San Juan Capistrano and visits with friends.  It was pretty busy and I did feel badly for Edie who only napped in her bed twice the whole time.  She was a little trooper though and is on her way to sleep recovery now :)  It was really neat to get out and really do and see some things I hadn't before - and with such good company.  

We ate extremely well as always - I especially loved my poké bowl at Tommy's, the take-out Indian for Christmas Eve, the smoked salmon spread on Christmas morning, the gorgeous roast and fixings Christmas night, and then a veritable feast of Chinese and Filipino food that we had on January 1st to celebrate Ben's grandmother's 100th birthday [she was in Hawaii].  I wish I had pictures of it - artwork I tell you!

There was plenty of downtime at the house too. It was so special to see the girls really feel at home with everyone!  There is nothing, nothing, like seeing your kids connect with your families.  I didn't take a whole lot of pictures, but am hoping for the rest of the family to share theirs... :)

peeking into her stocking while waiting for everyone to wake up:

 I always look forward to how Matty is going to wrap his presents each year.  This was a teeny japanese chapstick [bought at the amazing japanese imports store in venice beach, such beautiful things!] in my stocking:

 Lola and Grandpop and their two grandgirls:

 nice, Edie:

 Our old neighbor, Tio, lives in California now and came down to spend Christmas and the week after with us.  It was very sweet how Vera still connected so well with him after all this time!

Her playdough ice cream store.  Such a hit - I always wanted something like this too!

 a beautiful long hike the day after Christmas
[longer than we'd planned but wonderful nonetheless...]:

watching some baby signing time together:

Vera taught Edie ring around the rosies while we hung out on the lawn at the Mission in San Juan Capistrano.  Edie looved it.  So cute to see her try to figure out how to fall down.

 it was such a gorgeous day

watching the waves over sunset cliffs... crazy to think I walked along them every day for a few years!  we are on the point loma campus here for those of you who don't know ben... not bad, eh?

in venice beach:

I love this picture of Vera and Jessie!  Reminds me a bit of this one which I've always loved:

I just spent 30 minutes looking for that picture, mostly just reading old posts. I really really love that I've kept a blog, it's so much fun to look back and remember things.

***Hope you all had a wonderful, memorable Christmas too!***