It's been hard to keep up with the blog lately... busy, tired, extra step of plugging my phone into the laptop...   Anyway I am always happy I've recorded things, so here's a few random bits from the last while:

 I love seeing where their imagination goes - these cardboard bricks are sometimes used for building things, but mostly used as cakes.  Here they are singing happy birthday to someone:

 I love love love seeing her sound things out.  I will decode at the bottom of the post, in case you'd like to guess:

I made gnocchi for the first time in like 5 years.  It was really fun and really delicious, like the best batch ever, if I do say so :)

I took these pictures our last time at the Utah Natural History Museum.  This huge glass exhibit is so awesome.

sweet Marilyn came for tea and scones a couple weeks ago:

We tried a little Asian fusion place down the street and were so excited to find they had Vera's favorite eggy soup.  I just love this picture of Edie! They were both so great, trying all the different foods. Edie thought the raw tuna [doused in wasabi soy sauce no less!] in my poke salad was tomatoes and stole most of it - made me proud!

*it says: One day I did see a bird and it did talk to me. Kind of a hard one :)



*I think that's how you say sold.... goodness, my Spanish is fading :(

We were in Salt Lake briefly this weekend to pick up the remaining things left at our house and to sign the papers to close on its sale.  I had been there for a quick weekend with the girls in October too and felt like I dealt with the sadness/weirdness of it all then. This time for the most part I felt normal and just happy to see our friends.  I will say that as I walked through the house once last time I couldn't help the tears... hearing the girls voices echo through the empty rooms was pretty heartwrenching.  There is just so much about place.  The place we moved to as a couple and left a family of four.  I have always thought about Wendell Barry's book about place [haven't read more than the first ten pages, but feel like I know what it might say anyway - haha isn't that academic of me?] - there is just a connection.  Anyway....... I was just meaning to post some pictures of our trip.

I am awfully sick of roadtripping.  This is our 5th long trip since the end of August and we have one more coming up next week.  I was thankful this time to be driving my parents' suburban equipped with a DVD player.  Unfortunately [yes I supposed it is a good thing], Edie still doesn't have the attention span for a whole movie, but it was still good for a bit of quiet.  The way there she didn't nap at all and the way back she closed her eyes for literally 90 seconds before waking up to scream at the top of her lungs.

This was the view of our neighbor's backyard the day before we left. I love this picture:

A big storm blew through over the couple days.  This was our Utah house the morning after we arrived:

We stayed at Tia's which was wonderful, but sad as she was gone the whole time!  I stood in for Tia and got a pedicure from Vera:

We did see a lot of friends and I regret that these are the only two pictures I have:

tea at the beautiful Rose Establishment with Shannon:

3 sad amigos.  unfortunately this was shortly before one amigo got sick.  We brought that sick home with us - another story :/ :)

Driving away - bye-bye eleven-seventeen...

sad, but hello some $$ in our bank account!!!

[in case you are wondering - we sold it for about 6K less than we bought it for in 2006, which is pretty good considering the economy.  We left with some down payment and equity and are very thankful. I am glad to be rid of this house before some massive plumbing disaster breaks our bank!]


*dat be bad!!

I just want to remember this about Edie lately.  The last few nights when I put her to bed she stalls a bit and says, "Guess what, Mama? Fall down from he-ya (here)... dat be bad!  go hopical (hospital)! yeah. give kiss, all betta. need bad-aid."  Ok, Edie. Yes, good-night. 

Just now I had already put them both down but heard them talking. Vera appeared at the door [remember our house is very small] to tell me Edie wanted me - to relate the whole hopical story.  I see people posting on facebook about struggles with kids keeping each other up talking at bedtime - I think we are entering that stage! 

*la tarea

Vera had some homework to do today before school.  Edie freaked out a little wanting to write her name on the paper.  Vera obligingly and sweetly made Edie her own homework- copying the whole thing onto another sheet.  It's not always easy having a little sister - especially a feisty 2 year old little sister.  Vera has her moments, but for the most part is an understanding and accommodating big sister. It really made me happy and proud today.  So Vera went checking off the circles, squares, triangles and rectangles she found outside while Edie contentedly thought she was doing the same.

*she paused here a moment to listen to the wind and to watch the blowing leaves.  A blustery day for sure :)
** Vera had her first parent-teacher conference yesterday. She got a 4 - exceeding expectations - for effort. I totally saw that today, so focused and excited to find her shapes!

*little chef

I was a little lazy today and had the food network on in the background most of the afternoon.  After watching Barefoot Contessa and Paula Deen [yes, I should have turned the TV off by then!], Vera had the amazing and fantastic idea of creating a recipe!!  She excitedly told me how we would get some chocolate chips, melt them in the microwave, something something and then something with ice cream.  Eventually Ben took her to the store and they created "Frozen Cream" together, melting the chips on the stove, adding ice cream, butter and milk. They froze that and then she mashed up some strawberries and froze them too.  We used it as a topping on vanilla ice cream.  She is such a creative, motivated kid and I love that about her!!

* I should add that one of her favorite shows is Chopped :)

*otoño: dos mil doce

 *I love our backyard*

It has been a gorgeous Fall - not one of those disappointing ones where the leaves turn from green to brown and then just fall off.  The colors have been just beautiful, the weather has been cool at night, crisp in the morning, warm during the day [until today! cold and windy - just right], clear blue skies...

Everyone got together to rake up the 2 square feet of leaves that had fallen [had they waited until today...] and took turns running through.  So great :)

 Mills Park - hadn't been here in like..... 15 years!   

Cottonwoods are my absolute most favorite tree - everything about them makes me happy and filled with all sorts of nostalgia.  However, I am aware that they are a bit dangerous and so it's nice that we have these ones just behind our house, yet over on the neighbor's side :)


*halloween slash nevada day

It was a fun Halloween this year - a little hurried as we had returned from California the night before.  Vera had made a little flower headband from a gifted kiwi crate and I convinced her to use it with last year's Tinkerbell dress to be a "garden fairy."  She and her friend, Greta, have been playing flower/garden fairies [with paper dolls made with the kiwi crate too!], so it was perfect. Before school we took an old pair of wire wings, reshaped them and stretched over some new nylon.  She snipped little fake flowers off the branches while I hot-glued them on. She is in such an art project phase right now and it was so fun for her to really help!

Edie was a little fairy at school drop off.  She refused to put it all back on prior to trick or treating so I quickly went through the dress up box and she went as a little chinese man/Confucius character :)

We went to Greta's for pizza before going out.  They were SO excited and so adorable. I just loved watching Edie get the hang of it.  She was so mini :)

Around the Governor's Mansion has always been very Halloween-y. It is way MORE so now than when I was little - like blocks and blocks of super-decked out houses, roads blocked, policemen patrolling on horses...  We went by my old house, but it was all dark.  I actually felt a little badly that we didn't go out earlier and that we went by some pretty creepy places.   I snuggled with her for a while at bedtime just in case she had been affected. 

* and happy Nevada Day!!! 
I was so bummed to miss the parade the year I am finally living in Carson :(



I have been anxiously waiting for Edie to show signs of readiness to be potty trained - we are plain broke and I don't want to buy more diapers for trips and I am done washing and buying detergent.  She just didn't seem to get "letting go" until the day before we left for California - a very inopportune time to potty-train.  So the night we got home I put her in undies to just save a diaper before bedtime. She ended up going #2 on the potty for which she received two m&ms and a whole lot of high-fives and jumping up and down excitement.  I hadn't planned anything, but just decided to go for it and put her in underwear the whole next day.  She had no accidents - even out trick or treating!  One poopoo accident when I was on the phone and not paying attention.  So far it has been really easy!!  She's even ok going on the big toilet, at the store, holding it in the car...  A couple times I think to myself what on earth are you thinking: things were so easy and now I just handed myself a level of stress.  I am going to be very easy-going about it though and not freak out if she decides she doesn't want to do it and I am preparing myself for major regression at some point.

Anyway, that's the story :)  I know most people aren't interested in these things, but I like to document it and remember how it went.  It really is so cute to see her mini bottom in undies too :) and the way she makes a big sigh before she goes - that's how I tried to get her to learn to 'release' haha.  Also the huge smile when she goes - just so cute.  ok, that's all!



Vera: "We're not going to San Diego, we're going to California!!!"

We drove down to Southern California this last week to attend the wedding of a good friend/almost family member.  It was also an opportunity to spend some time with Ben's Granny who is now living with the Caters.  Además [that's the word that came to mind :)], we never pass up any chance to spend time with Ben's family - we just love them all.  I am such a lucky girl to have married into this family!!

Anyway, here's some pictures. I do apologize to all our friends - it was a family-full weekend and I wish there would have been time for friends too!!  Next time.

First of all, the drive was spectacular. We left at 7am just when the sun was coming up and the snowstorm was lifting.  The first four hours down along the Sierras were just breathtaking.

Here is Vera and Edie super excited to finally arrive:

The wedding was at the Hotel del Coronado. I keep trying to type words to describe that place... if you've been there, you know what I mean!

After dinner we snuck up to the room [had a babysitter for the girls] to get Vera so she could dance and have cake. She was on. I wish I had a video of her dancing and just loving it all.  Jessie and Ben's nephews were there and they just love Vera, and she them. It was so adorable.

When I lived in San Diego we would come weekly to the Del to eat ice cream and walk around.  I literally got a little choked up when we got in line [that may have also been the vodka tonic I just had...].

[earlier in the room getting fancy and enjoying cocktails]

I feel like I had more pictures of everyone from back in Tustin, maybe on Ben's phone.  

I just love this one of the girls and Granny.  She has really declined in just the last couple weeks and it is difficult to communicate with her. I felt like they had a little connection here cleaning up the almonds that Edie spilled :)  I could tell Vera was a little unsure at first how to talk to Granny, but here I was so proud of her - speaking loudly and with such kindness in her voice.

so much fun :)