*la conejita

I off-handedly told Vera a couple months ago that maybe she could get a real bunny when she turned 5.  It was one of those things you say, not thinking they will give it another thought.  Well not Vera!! She talked about it all the time and for a few weeks would tell anyone she saw that she was getting a bunny on her birthday.

Then, last weekend our friends asked us along to the farmers' supply store to see the baby chicks.  You might know that I too, [dare I say more than Vera?] am obsessed with bunnies and really hold the memories of mine growing up very dear.  Two of the bunnies there were just so ridiculously cute that I immediately decided we had to get one.  Long story short, we got Vera her first bunny.

After we were at the store but before we went back to get her, I was talking to my dad on the phone about it.  He said if we named her something French [one of my french lops was named Louis L'Amour] he would help us out with the purchase. My dad is funny like that - he gives funny conditions, though you know he just loves to give.  Vera had said she would name the girl bunny "Ellie" and so we suggested "Eloise" be her full name.  Now that we have her, Vera loves the name Eloise and that's what we call her. Or just "the bunny."

She really is a sweet thing and seems to like being held.  It's been so much fun already - Vera has even conquered her fear of being in the back of the backyard alone.  The first few nights she didn't want to go to bed, because she was thinking of her bunny and just "wanting to hold her."  I was surprised how tough Vera is with all the scratches!  She's usually one to avoid anything where she might get hurt, but it doesn't bother her and she hasn't even asked for a bandaid.  Edie is a little ... worrisome and we have to closely supervise or really just keep her away.  She is very intense - hiiiii buh-buh!  hiiiieee!! - squeezing, hitting, poking eyes, pulling ears, etc. It's a little stressful.

She always holds her like this - like a baby. It makes me cringe a little, but Eloise really doesn't seem to mind.

The first thing Vera did was introduce Eloise to Bunny and Becca Bunny:



There is nothing like that heart-swelling happiness that comes with Spring.  The warmer temperatures, the coolish, almost warm breezes, the bulbs coming up, the need to be outside enjoying it all - I will never get over it.  Today I was a little overcome with Spring fever and actually got Vera her first bunny.  More on that little sweetheart later - meanwhile here's some Spring photos I downloaded from the camera today:

We've been up to Red Butte a few times already with Jenny and her little ones. Such a perfect time of year before it gets too hot.  Here we were trying to get a picture of our 5 kids together.  Just before Vera let go of poor Jubilee who nose-dived into the dirt :(

Jenny brought some fun nature coloring sheets and we had a pleasant little picnic on the ground here:

Edie adores baby Jubilee:


Both girls love spotting birds out this window - there are a ton of them for some reason - sparrows, robins, quail, finches..  Some little ones must live in Tia's roof and go in and out a little attic vent with bits of grass and things.  I admit I love to watch sometimes too.

"Edie can you wiggle your nose like a Bunny?"

Edie loves Boone and loves to throw his ball for him:

showing me some seeds:

I was trying to get a good picture of their faces here to send to my Grandma.  It is hard to get a good picture of your kids!!

I tried to get her to look at me here by saying, Edie what's on my head?? and she just pointed to her own :)



Ben taught Vera how to play hangman the other day which has been fun. When it's her turn, she does "cat" about 90% of the time, so you have to pretend to not know for a bit :) A simple game we all know how to play - but such a new concept for a very beginning reader! It's neat to see when she can guess what the word will be from her small assortment of known sight words: bunny, daddy, etc.


*el iphone

I am now the proud and grateful owner of an iphone!  I was reluctant to make the switch from a regular ol' phone to a smartphone, but well I guess the time had come. The thing I looked forward to most was the camera - I love it!!  So much fun.

Here's some favorites:

Vera was happy to pose for my very first picture:

wittle cutie pie:

eating her hummus at mazza:

 beading her hair:

cool day at the park:

riding her "bike with pedals and no training wheels!"

first flowers at red butte gardens:



*2 comidas

I thought I'd share these two winning meals we've had this week.  The first is a recipe that I got from the chef at that restaurant I worked at a few years ago and haven't been able to find since then - though I knew I'd made it once and it was a hit.  He wasn't really excited to share the instructions to his own creation, but I got it anyway  :)  I love it because it is cheap and delicious and a good way to get my girls to eat some protein without knowing it!  I scribbled the brief recipe on a notepad:

Pasta with Chickpea Sauce
boat ton of olive oil + chili flakes [his words - funny another chef's recipe I have calls for a sh*t ton of something :)]

add onion [finely chopped or in cuisinart], rosemary, thyme [whatever you want, oregano sounds good too?]

add pureed chickpeas and some whole san marzano tomatoes [pulsed the chickpeas in cuisinart unti smooth. this time I just added a few regular canned romas and broke them up a bit, hardly any of the sauce]

That's all I had written - minus the notes I took now.  When I made it the other day, I added some of the cooking water from the penne to the sauce and grated some good parmesan and made sure to add plenty of kosher salt. It's kind of a funny color, so it's not the prettiest - but super tasty.  We all loved it! Next time I will be sure to have some really good quality olive oil on hand to finish it with.

This next one was a "go-to" from one of the ladies at the mom's group I attend.  It is so easy and so healthy and delicious - I'm determined to make it one of my regulars as well. The girls had something else, but I bet they might even like it..

Kale and Sausage
Brown sausage [I used this uncooked chicken, spinach feta from Harmon's, but she says she uses any kind] in a pan with some olive oil and a few chili flakes. 

A minute or two in, add chopped red onion. Saute until sausage is cooked through, browned and onions are nice and golden [they started to burn a bit which was the tastiest part].

Add washed, chopped kale and saute just a minute or two until it is wilted. Top with kosher salt.


My parents and brother+nephew were here [at different times] in the last month. Besides the fact that Edie sleeps 100x better in her own basement room and has to give it up when visitors come - we LOVE having family.  It just makes me ache inside that we don't live down the block from grandparents or cousins.  One reason it was so sad that Ben didn't get the job in California - I let myself get so excited thinking about being near the Caters.  

Anyway, here's a cute little video of Papa Sam and Edie:

Someday we will have more seating both in the living room and at the dining room table! someday :)

We do live near my oldest brother which has been really amazing as I never really knew him that well otherwise [he's 12 years older]. His kids are a lot older than ours and are really busy with sports and activities, so we don't spend a whole lot of time with them. Vera has always been enamoured with them though, and I was especially touched how Katie spent time with her this last time we were there for dinner.  Edie doesn't know them really well but you could see she was 'enamoured' as well :)  This was the night we were there with George and Tyler - I thought I had a picture of Edie and George but I think it was deleted somehow.  She was a little shy with him until he started feeding her his ice cream and brownies...


*17 months

Edie and I made muffins this morning while Vera was at preschool. I love love love this stage - I mean it's just more fun every day.  I know I keep saying that but it's just true!

She was mad here below because I put the muffins in the oven and she didn't understand that we couldn't have them right now.  So she threw herself on the floor - doesn't kick or scream, just lays down on the floor in protest.  Don't worry, I don't let her get away with being naughty or having fits - it is pretty funny though and we often have to hide our laughter at her little antics.


*do mastics

aka gymnastics. It's funny how a kid hears a word :)  Our church was able to get some tickets for the Utah meet last night. We took Sam along and all had a great time - it is really big here and far more exciting than a basketball game :) We got there pretty early and the actual meet didn't start up until they had put on a little show for senior night, so we didn't get to stay until the end. These two were pretty funny - awestruck at everything, super excited about the people, the cheerleaders, the red lantern things, the fans dressed in full body green leotards...  Sam watched the actual gymnastics a little more intently than Vera who was more concerned with whether I was going to let her have more cotton candy.

They were like who/what the heck is this??  ok I guess I will let it hug me and take a picture if you say so.  Last year when Vera and I went she was really into the mascot and kept asking, Where is that turkey? 

It was quite a show!

Vera loves being in charge of her own ticket. I love this age when they are still so excited about little things.

I asked Sam how he liked the cotton candy:

toward the end they got a little silly. tired silly.

They also danced a lot hoping to get filmed and put up on the big screen, it was pretty cute.

Meanwhile Ben and Edie spent some quality time together.  They went to Smashburger where he said she devoured her french fries -- until he let her have a sip of his chocolate milkshake which she just about freaked out over.  She apparently said HI! to every single person she saw and pointed out every baby and "Papa" looking man.  Isn't this the cutest?



Various photos from recently:

*hi there!*

Picnicking outside on a warm February day:

First time putting boots on by herself last week - no matter they are different boots.  She is now mastering this skill - the other day she put Vera's mary janes on/off for about an hour.

a box in the house! the girls were immediately jumping up and down in excitement. Edie went through the tunnel over and over and over.

Graham was over the other evening and I got the biggest kick out of just listening to them.  Vera desperately wanted him to play "mommy and daddy" and kept calling out to him: Graaah-amm! I'm making cooo-kies!  Graaaaaaham it's our baby's birthday, come on!!!  He played along for a minute or two and then would go back to crashing block towers.  A few times he finally yelled out, "WHAT?!" when she called his name for the 100th time.  It was pretty hilarious.  Thankfully they finally settled into something they both agreed on and spent the rest of the evening laughing and telling each other silly stories.

She got super-fancy for him and even had the idea to put these beads in her hair.