Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Down with the Sickness

Anyah is sick. Not an easy kind of sick either. With working nights there comes difficult moments occassionally, like that moment when you go off to work and leave your sick baby and your exhausted husband to stay up off and on all night and with 2 hours of sleep under your belt you make the best of an 8 hour work day in a place that's exactly where you wish you weren't even though it makes to since to wish to go home to the land of sickness and crying... yet you wish you were home, to hold her...

A Look Back On Christmas

Red & Green dresses and toys that make noise...
Tutu's and adorable tights to match your adorable smile...

Two delicious meals with family...

Oh the joy of presents from Santa and watching bed heads dance about in excitement...

Christmas eve jammies start off with the promise that Santa is coming and with him he brings the anticipation of twinkling lights, trees covered with ornaments, candy canes, holiday jingles and yummy treats to it's much anticipated moment of truth...
It came.
It was beautiful.
It was our Christmas.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

To Santa with Love

Cookies on a plate and carrots for the reindeer. New Christmas jammies with little heads tucked snuggly into warm beds. Presents spilling out from under the tree and stockings toppled over from the weight of sweet suprises inside.

Bed head over french toast with sleepy eyes glazed over with the wonder of what Santa just brought. A celebration and story about a little baby who changed the way the world would love before nap time.

A month of to do lists that never got finished. Presents missing their bows because they got too close to tiny fingers. Christmas treats made with love and completely silly looking from the kind of help that keeps life interesting.

The smell of candles burning while the kids play. Cameras clicking. Lasagna bubbling in the oven and garlic bread smothered in butter. Christmas cake.

Too much goodness for one day. Which... I am going to go off and enjoy.

Wishing you and yours a wonderful Christmas filled with a million little love moments.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Letter to Anyah @ 8 Months Old

My Anyah~Girlie,

If the last month was consistant in anything it was that you were in a constant state of change. You are such a beautiful big girl all the sudden and I love watching you learn and explore. Each little change you make sets you off on another adventure that leads you to yet another change, a never ending cycle of amazing discovery.

At the beginning of the month you started the army crawl which you have now mastered and can do as fast as most kids crawl on their hands and knees. You also, occassionally, take a few timid steps on your hands and knees. You can transition from laying to sitting and back on your own so you're all over the living room floor getting yourself into trouble and have successfully located every crumb of food off the floor for me.

In fact about a week ago your sister left a cupcake on her little white chair in the middle of the living room floor and much to both of our suprise you located the cupcake, took it off the chair and ate it. Yum.

You love to eat and to nap. You love to watch your sister and play with her. You love songs with clapping in them and the way your giraffe from the zoo feels when you chew on him. You have 4 teeth now. Four. Amazing. You use your four teeth like a rock star and love to eat anything we hand you (well except peas). You tip your head back and "nom nom nom" and I have started calling you my birdie girl because of the way you eat and the way you are always squeeking.

You're all personality and cuteness these days. You attempt to say "hi" when prompted letting out a loud "ha" sound and pumping your little hand open and closed. I thought you were going to make Mama your first word, your really close, you yell it instead of crying sometimes...but alas... you started yelling "laylaylaylaaaaaa" recently. So Layla gets the honor of being your first word. You like to yell at her when she is running around and it cracks me up.

You love the bath now that you aren't forced into the bath seat. I just sit you upright in the water and let you kick and splash with your sister until it's time to wash your hair. You also have a great appreciation for the Christmas tree and like to lay under it and talk to the lights while running pine needle covered branches between your toes. But nothing says Christmas adventure quite like your never ending quest to get bows off of the Christmas presents and ornaments off the tree. That tree of temptation could very well be the only reason you learned to crawl at all.

You like Kipper the Dog on the TV, Christmas rock music, stealing Layla's crayons and trying to eat them, graham crackers, the swings at the park, car rides, playing with people, rolling around on the big bed and toys...suddenly you're very into toys.

You dislike peas, cold water on your face, loud noises, strangers of the male gender and when Mommy leaves the room.

You're an easy baby with a big amount of love which you spill over on to people with a lopsided toothy grin and crazy hair. You make me laugh with your facial expressions and your constant bid for your big sisters attention.

How did we ever go so long without you?


Wednesday, December 15, 2010


The decorations are up, well most of them. The lights twinkle, well most of the time. The Christmas Village may or may not be covered with snow and or up side down at any given moment.
It's Christmas with kids done by people who like their kids.
It doesn't have to be perfect. Heck it doesn't HAVE to be anything. So take those ceramic figurines and act out a scene from Mickey's Christmas Carol or pull all the balls of the tiny tree on the kitchen table. Push boxes wrapped with bows around on the floor like a train, and put it back *almost* like it was...
only better...
better because it was enjoyed and that's what Christmas really is about.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Sprinkles, Now Available with iPhone Pictures

Ok so it's a whole month of bullet point blogs, but it's December and I haven't abandoned my blog which is more than I can say for some of the blogs out there with tumble weeds and spider webs for goodness knows how long... I'm trying people. I'm trying.

  • Last night was a pretty crummy night at work which was then topped off by accidently running into a picture of JB when I least expected it leaving me so emotional that I came home with a box of donuts and promptly shoved 2 into my mouth (not at the same time though, that would be dangerous for my shirt)
  • To get Layla to nap today I may have promised we'd decorate sugar cookies when she got up, which means I need to get to baking some "almost homemade" goodness ASAP because I don't have any sugar cookies ready to decorate (On the behalf of working mom's nationwide I'd like to thank Pillsbury for this mother of the year moment *ahem*)
  • Anyah is crawling around trying to pull things off the tree *strike that* she has a glitter snowflake now which is waving around in triumph.
  • At the parade, Nannie let Layla take pictures with her iPhone (how jealous is that little girl behind her-VERY) but what's more fun then a picture from my iPhone of Layla taking a picture of me with Mom's iPhone
  • Layla loves Christmas cards and rearranges the wall I have them taped to at least once a day.
  • Anyah says something that sounds a lot like "ma ma"... I am hoping this is going to turn out to be "ma ma" because MAMA wants to be a first word this time.
  • Jon downloaded more Christmas music off iTunes and put it in my phone for me to listen to at work tonight. While I know iTunes is user friendly I find the husband downloading App to be my favorite so far.
  • I am off and running for the HOLIDAY SWOOP. What you don't have a swoop? Well that's when you have nothing really all December despite asking people to book things earlier in the month if possible then you get to the 16th and you have something biggish every day until the 26th when you fall with a swoop on to the couch and glare at your holiday decorations in exhaustion.
  • Hey, guess what? Turns out the Christmas party at work is formal-ish. Lucky me, guess who gets to buy a dress before Friday. *sigh*
  • Anyah has discovered her inner diva whine. Oh.My.God.Make.It.Stop.Puh-Leease...
  • Layla is in love with Christmas. It's giving me a new fond appreciation for Christmas lights and Silly Songs. My new favorite song "two turtle ducks and a share cake in a bear tree"...so what if she doesn't know the words...her version is much more entertaining.

And on that note... I bid you farewell until I find more bullet points... I seem to have run out. Perhaps they are with the sprinkles.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Presents Were Wrapped (again)

Oh to be done Christmas shopping, but this year it just seems to linger longer and longer into December. It's been a long month. A VERY VERY long month. It's half way done and I feel like I've done it twice. Some parts of it I have done twice (or more).
I've had to re-wrap a few things. I keep putting the same ornaments on the bottom of the tree over and over again. I swear I've done these dishes already. Didn't I just pay rent.
And not necessarily in a bad way. I'm actually enjoying Christmas this year. Layla into the magical season finally and Anyah loves the music and the lights. My pants are all tight from the high amount of yummy treats I'm enjoying. I may or may not be singing Christmas Carols in the shower and going out of my way on the way to work to see the bitchin' lights displays around town.
Perhaps it's the anticipation of the look on Layla's face Christmas morning or the last few hold outs I'm still waiting for replies from in order to make my holiday calendar all tied up with a little red bow. It just seems like a lot of waiting...and suddenly I'm 5 again...and that advent chain seems so dang long.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Family Traditions- Christmas Lights Parade

We live in a small-ish town. Our small-ish town remembers when it was a small town and still has it's fair share of downtown events. I love downtown events. I love them almost as much as I love cake. They make me feel all warm and fuzzy (events, not cake).

One of the traditions we really love is the Downtown Turlock Lights Parade. Jon used to march in the Christmas parade when he was in highschool. I always attended the parade with family and I seem to recall being in a parade or two myself. (Debra Morgan dancers- this shout out is for you).

Anyhow, we like a parade covered in lights. We like Christmas. We dislike crowds but not enough to dislike this event.

We got GREAT seats this year. Also, because the rain was coming it wasn't too cold. The rain started to trickle just as we went back to the car which was perfect because it meant Layla wanted to get into the car.

The parades here are long, loud and have a huge variety of random. It's always a good time and I'm glad we went and that we stayed all the way until Layla waved at Santa at the very end.

Eventually more pictures of this event will be available on the girls blog as I didn't take pictures of the parade really, only my kids. Priorities, yo.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

What?! You want more sprinkles?

  • On the night of the Christmas Parade we had my mom come early so that Jon and I could borrow her SUV and run to get a tree. Layla FREAKED OUT when Jon tried to leave the house without her. So...she got to go to "the Christmas Tree store" with us. We had no trouble picking a tree quickly. Then we brought it home, tossed it in the garage and went to the parade. That night while I was at work and the kids were in bed Jon got it into a stand and into the living room. The next day we sent Layla to my mom's and put Anyah down for a nap and Jon decorated the tree. Good times.
  • Jon went to South Carolina. Then Jon came back. Now randomly Layla will decide she has to lose her shit when he is gone for too long. Like last night when he went to work. "oh no Daddy missing" became her battle cry and if I had another car we would have went to Daddy's work to say hi...because it was that bad.
  • We got NetFlicks on Demand, I think I mentioned that. Layla and Anyah love the variety of new stuff. We have now been introduced to Angelina Ballerina and Thomas the Train. As adults, Jon and I are less thrilled, but I did manage to get some things done this morning with Thomas playing on loop.
  • Yesterday Layla and I made cupcakes that are both high in sugar and food coloring. They taste like sugar. Layla loves this but it mostly makes me want to brush my tongue with something. Ewww.
  • I got invited to a Christmas party. I know? Right? That never happens to me... I am pretty excited.
  • Anyah took her nap this morning with Daddy who desperately needed to sleep in. I can hear her up there talking to him and I am sure she is petting his facial hair and that any minute now they will come downstairs.
  • Layla may or may not have had scrambled eggs, bacon and a cupcake for breakfast. She's cute. I caved.
  • Yesterday Layla left a cupcake on one of her little chairs in the middle of the living room. Anyah discovered the cupcake and worshiped it by spreading it all over herself, making happy noises and nom nom noming it to bits all over the carpet. First cupcake smashing ninja success.
  • Right now my iPhone is syncing for the first time since October. Needless to say it's taking awhile. I really need to get better about that.
  • Speaking about things I am behind on, I have this weekend off. I am hoping this means I will finally catch up on the 2 months worth of pictures I need to post on the girls website.
  • Christmas Tree Lane is calling me with it's flashing lights, animated wooden cut outs and pop up inflatables... if only it would stop raining on the days I plan to go, that would be AWESOME.
  • It's raining by the way.
  • The white car is gone. We are down to one car. But, it's one car that works. We are also up one parking spot. Which is good considering we stopped parking the garage (with two kids to load/unload it's just too hard).
  • Jon brought home presents from SC. He brought Layla a little Delta plane like the one he flew home on. She is convinced it is a rocket. It just blasted off Anyah and landed on the piano. Anyah finds this game very amusing, except for the part where she can't touch the airplane for any reason.
  • Anyah crawls
  • Anyah has 3 teeth now
  • Layla can write her name, but only if she wants to
  • The Christmas bug is calling. Jon's mom still hasn't gotten me that fudge recipe. So I am about to go wing it (again) wish me luck.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Random Sprinkles of Goodness

oh.my.god. it's a bullet point post... it's been one of those weeks people

  • Layla calls Christmas Lights "sprinkles" sometimes, it's adorable
  • Anyah is on the move and boy is she quick, she's a Christmas present bow snatching ninja
  • Jon has only been home a few days and already my house looks and feels much better
  • We got a tree (pictures to come eventually)
  • We went to the Downtown Turlock Christmas Lights Parade (pictures to come eventually)
  • We got Netflicks on Demand (this may increase the time it takes to get those pictures because OMG we have something to do)
  • I am not done Christmas shopping (I usually am by now) but I am close
  • I am done shopping for my girls which is really all that matters to me
  • Any suggestions for a dress to wear to my office Christmas Holiday Suprise Party? (Why it's a Suprise Party I do not know- considering we all obviously know about it).
  • This is my rotate week to weekends off so this week only I will be off TUE, WED, SAT, SUN (woo hoo!!)
  • I am not sure if I work Christmas or Christmas Eve so I can't plan anything
  • Costco tamales are yummy
  • I had PMS and no husband for a week... my kids lived... I want a gold star
  • Jon's mom is going to send me her fudge recipe which might result in non-crappy fudge

After asking for suggestions for my Christmas meal menu we're down to two options Lasagna or Steak. The one I pick will be soley based on time available and how many people RSVP.

So now Christmas opinion number two is needed. If you had to choose between chocolate cake with butter cream frosting or chocolate pie with whip cream...which would you have?

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Day 4

On day four of Daddy being M.I.A. Layla has decided there is something HORRIBLY wrong and that we might actually need to run around screaming "WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE". Of course, she is three, so she can't articulate that sense of panick and no amount of Mommy reassuring her and letting her talk to a peaceful and happy daddy on the phone is fixing it.

Yesterday she bit me. Then for good measure she peed on me while crying "Daddy takes me a potty, no you, a Daddy, I no go till Daddy comes." (At that point we had 24 hours left)

Today she has tossled between whining, screaming at me, whining, crying, screaming in general and then rinse, recycle, repeat.


Terrible 2's have been gone for awhile. I am not handling the Oh.My.God. FREAKOUT phase well.

Please send reinforcements, tell them to bring chocolate mice, malibu rum, pepsi and more ice.

And if you can't do that... just pray that Jon's flight arrives on time and that he gets home safetly because at this rate his child will still be up at midnight crying "I NO GO NITE NITE WITH NO DADDY" because that was how nap went down and at this point... Mommy has given up trying to tame the wicked wild child that just misses and loves her Daddy too much.

After all...

I sorta feel the same way when he's gone too long.

The Christmas Train & Holiday Menus

Today I will be driving all over the planet again, dropping cars off for the Hubby's return from South Carolina, doing some last minute shopping and of course being a mom.
I am trying to get some last minute Christmas stuff wrapped up. Tomorrow night is the Downtown Turlock Christmas Lights Parade and we always go to that. I also want to try and take Layla to Christmas Tree Lane some time in the next week.
I'm trying to lock down my Christmas Dinner menu. I can say honestly at this point that I doubt it will involve turkey as I am still the proud owner of half of the Thanksgiving Turkey in my freezer waiting to become soup and/or enchiladas.

I can't decide between 4 different Christmas Dinner choices. So if it was you would you have...
* Grilled Steaks, Baked Potatoes, Salad
* Lasagna, Salad and Garlic Bread
* Pork Loin, Au Gratin Potatoes and Steamed Asparagus
* Enchiladas, Mexican Rice and Black Beans
My top two choices so far are the steaks or the lasagna. But I just can't seem to keep that train on track...

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Airplane Stores & Zoos

Sunday night I worked from 10 pm to 6:30 am and then I ran home and jumped in the car with my mom, Jon and the girls and we went "through the mountains" (as Layla likes to say) to San Fransisco and we "dropped Daddy off at the blue door Airplane store" where he has been "up in the sky" for several days (as far as Layla is concerned).

To distract from the fact that Daddy was getting on an Airplane and flying away from us we went to the San Francisco Zoo.

Me (with no sleep or makeup) and my two pretty girls at the zoo. Anyah was miserable in the stroller but once we pulled her out she liked the zoo.
We let Layla (for the most part) pick which way we walked and what we did. The zoo itself pretty much sucked and we'll be faithful to the Fresno Chaffee Zoo from now on... it is much better as far as my 2 cents are concerned.

We stopped for a bit for Layla to play at the playground and I put Anyah in the grass. It was a little damp so I set her on my sweater which lasted about 3 seconds because she moves now so she ended up on her belly in the grass.

Layla didn't enjoy the animals much *mainly because the zoo sucked* but she did enjoy the statues, playgrounds, walking, the gift shop, the lunch, and the picture stops.

She also liked the penguins and giraffes, as that's about the only 2 animals that didn't suck.

(see in the stroller she was SOOO unhappy) I forgot my new Sakura Bloom sling, it would have made my afternoon better...
But we didn't stay too long because after we drove all the way back I had to take a quick nap and go back to work. Good times.
Layla is very anxious to go back to the Airplane store where we forgot daddy. She'll be very happy when she wakes up Friday morning and he is here. Zoo's are nice, but they aren't distracting enough to stop missing Daddy.

With Family

Jon's grandma passed away on Saturday and two days later he was on a plane to South Carolina to be with his family. The girls miss him. I miss him. He'll be home late Thursday night. Our prayers are with them today as it's the buriel and memorial service today.

Downtown Turlock Christmas Tree Lighting & Festival

If you know me, you know I love a good local event, and Jon...he's a local boy so he's all for going downtown and keeping up a tradition for his wife's sake. Our tradition, it appears, involves Jura's Pizza and Hot Wings followed by the Downtown Turlock Christmas Tree Lighting & Festival.

Layla wanted some flashing green mouse ears, which of course I let her have because how cute is that cookie covered flashing little girl? Very cute... I agree.

Sugar cookies on a stick are something we seem to get at every local festival. They are tasty but she never finishes one. She of course picked the lighted tree since it was the Tree Lighting.

Anyah fell asleep as we were walking around looking at all the vendors, it was past her bed time. She slept right through the tree lighting countdown and everything.

As usual we danced on tables in our new winter coat. The whole thing went pretty well. It was a nice way to spend an evening before the holidays. Maybe we'll see you there next year?

Thankful & Belly-full

Thanksgiving was at our house this year and thankfully it was a small crowd. We had Nannie, PopPop, Daddy, Mommy, Layla and Anyah...then a little later Papa stopped by.

Layla was a big helper the day before helping me get things ready and this year she actually ate things that were served for Thanksgiving dinner.

Anyah was a huge fan of smothered green beans and sweet potatoes. She ate so much I had to cut her off because she was going to give herself a tummy ache.
Then after we ate, I let Layla bust out the first of our Christmas stuff. Her Fisher Price Lil' People Nativity and Christmas Village.

And when that stopped being fun, Nannie started spinning little girls in circles on the office chair...
Then there was napping. Much Napping.

Because we were content, thankful and mostly...full.

Friday, November 26, 2010


That would be 29 days until Christmas if you are wondering. The good times, they are here my friend. Yes, they are here.
I worked Thanksgiving, and today, this weekend too...but it's ok... it gives me time to plan in my head where I want the Christmas tree to go and think of ways to sneak out decorations when the kids aren't looking.
I can sit and plan what is on the menu for Breakfast after the stockings and for Christmas dinner. I can look for Christmas Jammies for the adults that match the ones I got the kiddos. I can make a list and check it twice.
Because I've got the spirit...
Rockin' around the Christmas tree sort of spirit...
Deck the Halls , fa la la la la la la la sort of spirit...
Do you hear what I hear? sort of spirit...
No Grinches, Scrooges, or lines at the post office shall hold me back.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Giving Thanks

For a family which I love.
For a God who loves me.
For a bounty of food at my table.
For a home which keeps me safe.
For technology which allows me to be close to those far away.
For Pepsi with ice and other favorites that really are "little things".
For people who protect us, serve us, believe in us, and motivate us.
For friends who we wish we saw more but love just the same.
For laughter, when things (much like this picture) just don't turn out the way you expected.
For sisters who love each other even if they refuse to sit together.
For playing pretend, making messes, dancing on the furniture and snuggling for naps.
For husbands that love well, look hot, and take out the trash without being asked.
For movies, music, art, science, and books which inspire us to just imagine what it would be like outside the box.
For butter because it really is better with butter.
For chocolate when you need it and cupcakes when chocolate just isn't enough.
For curly topped babies with fuzzy pajamas who rub your face until they fall asleep.
For confident little girls who never shy away from having a life lived in BIG moments.
For pictures that speak a thousand words...or just one.
For loved ones we miss but will see again some day in heaven.
For the chance to change.
For the traditions that are always the same.
For dreaming big, living with adventure, and for being content with what you've got if those other two things aren't working out.
For forgiveness.
For hope.
For tomorrow is another day and this too shall pass.
For standing up for what you believe in.
For standing up for someone else because you believe in them even if they don't believe in themselves.
For a world that is only as big as are hearts let us see and as small as our ambitions let us experience it.
For children of a global culture.
For one more day, hour, minute, second, glimpse of what the future holds.
For that ability to find more things to be thankful for than I could possibly ever get around to listing.

For you. Yes especially for you.
For days when we give thanks even if it's not thanksgiving and days of thanksgiving to remind us if we ever forget...
For we are thankful...
so very very thankful.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Counter Gremlins

When this posts, I'll be cooking. I should start Wednesday morning with dough making, pie baking, side dish prepping and general clean up so that Thursday all I have to do is ...well...everything else. I love to cook, I actually look forward to these holiday meals more than you could possibly imagine.
The cooking bug...it's viral around here. Layla already has it and it doesn't matter if I am scrambling eggs or prepping for dinner guests... my little helper becomes a counter gremlin until I let her help. If I don't let her help she'll lay across the counter and watch me like I'm doing my own cooking show.
I usually let her help.
Anyah already loves to watch us cook and I know by this time next year I'll have two counter gremlins. Which I guess means that in a few years I won't have to peel my own potatoes anymore, gotta love that.

Plus, worse things could happen then spending time teaching your kids an awesome skill and bonding together... I mean she could like golf...*yuck*

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Places You'll Go - Winter Addition

Autumn is a quick season in the central valley and we didn't come close to finishing that list of things to try out...but that's ok, it's not a to do list, it's a list of ideas in case we're looking for something to do.
Winter is gaining on us fast and we're all ready to go. The cupboards are stocked with supplies for big hearty pasta dishes and simple simmered soups. Jackets have been purchased, as well as, hats and mittens in preparation for the first big cold streak.
The rains have come. Thanksgiving is just days away. I think it's time to start thinking about what we'd like to try out this winter.
  • I would still like to try and make it to the Discovery Museum
  • We have plans already to paint some pottery at Color Me Mine
  • I took off time from work so we could Attend the Downtown Turlock Lights Parade
  • We need to make a trip to Christmas Tree Lane once it's open
  • In family tradition, Anyah will need official Santa pictures this year to document her first Christmas
  • Layla and Mommy have some Christmas crafts and decorations to make
  • We've started pulling out Christmas movies but we're going to have a Claymation Movie Marathon soon
  • I invision Homemade Christmas Sugar Cookies and eat them with Hot Chocolate stirred with a Candy Cane
  • We're going to make and use an advent chain this year
  • We have to take a family trip to the Hallmark store so that everyone can pick out their ornaments for this year
  • Layla has expressed interest in going to the post office and mailing a package and since so much of our family lives far away, we'll get to do that eventually.
  • There will be new Christmas Jammies on Christmas eve and all the magic and wonder that comes with Christmas morning
  • We are going to attempt *again* to make fudge, maybe this year it will be yummy
  • Lastly, I'd like to take the girls to the snow

What about you? What would you like to do this winter?

To Anyah @ 7 Months Old

My Ani,

You are watching me type this, your sitting up (straight) on the floor, staring at me like I should stop what I am doing right.this.second. and come play with you. Pay no mind to the fact that I just started typing... you want to be PLAYED WITH. I think you'll survive until sister gets up from her nap to entertain you... so we press on.

This month several things have changed...you became very interested in toys, you sit up unassisted all the time, you eat solid foods (by yourself with your fingers) and you have discovered that in a sitting position you can scoot yourself across the floor or that on your tummy you can turn in circles, plus you're not above rolling to get somewhere quickly. Your sister loves that you're suddenly so interactive but she'd greatly appreciate it if you would stop trying to eat her Fisher Price Lil' People... bless her heart she really believe's your going to hurt one with your single tooth.

You're still a little people watcher but recently you decided your not necessarily a people lover and now strangers occassionally reduce you to tears by trying to make eye contact and say hi to you. That's always interesting to watch. It's sort of like a tiny adorable time bomb I can throw at people whenever I want.

You like to bounce in the bouncer, ride in the car, and sit in swings at the park now. You still don't like mushy foods, loud noises or (as it turns out) most socks because girl you are VERY picky about socks and hats...they must be soft...but not fuzzy or thick. You've totally changed tides on that whole bath thing since we started putting you in a big bath with your sister. There is nothing more fun then kicking and splashing other people (unless of course you are the other person).

Layla and you have a special bond. Yesterday I gave Layla a cookie and she broke off a tiny piece and put it in your mouth. True love is actually evident any time a toddler is willing to share chocolate chip cookies. I think it was all the time you spent bonding over Backyardigans, because you both LOVE to watch that together.

We went to take family pictures earlier this month. They didn't go over well. But, in a moment of calm this little gem of a picture was taken of you. Your curly hair, your impish grin and tiny little elf ears... you look so much like your sister and yet so different, both beautiful but different... different is good.

This week is Thanksgiving, you'll have turkey and mashed potatoes and some sweet potatoes and more green beans (because you love a good green bean) and then all full and happy we'll cuddle in for a group afternoon nap (which has become a trend since mommy started working nights) and it will soon become my favorite thing about Thanksgiving, better than any parade or any feast... my two girls cuddled up with me and taking a nap.

Then Christmas will come to town and you'll see your first Christmas lights, and we'll sing silly songs (we already started that part actually) and you'll cry at Santa and watch the Christmas lights parade...and you'll have another milestone, and another tradition will be started, and another day I will spend marveling at how perfect you are as an addition to our family, just what we needed, like finding the last piece of a jig saw puzzle and snapping it into place.

Because love is always the perfect fit. And we love you, more and more every day.


Sunday, November 14, 2010

On having your cake & eating it too

Anyah's first Chocolate Mouse
(a family favorite from Olde Thyme Pasteries here in Turlock)
Layla and Mommy made sprinkle cupcakes on Mommy's last day off before moving to the night shift
Around here I have the firm theory that you can't have it all but damn it you can sure try! I let the kids eat cake when they want it and you know what, they don't want it as much as one might think (at least not most of the time) because when you're allowed to have cake, it's good, but it's not *forbidden food of the God's* type of good.
Sometimes I feel like I am tanking the mommy ship. I feel like a complete and absolute failure at being Super Mom. But who doesn't right? I mean no one is super mom...and maybe someone out there is damn close but it's not gonna be me. At least not this week. But, dang it all, I am still going to TRY.
First week of night shifts officially almost sorta done (ok more like 2/3rds done because I started with 8 days in a row- stupid rotation). I'm not as tired as I expected and I seem to be doing ok with it. The girls don't really know I'm gone so they're doing well. Jon is having to cover for me while I sleep, that's tough on him, but he's growing... it's the growing pains we're not so fond of lately.
But it seems like an ok choice. I love the staff at nights, I love the work, I don't feel stressed and I'm getting better pay. But you can't have your cake and eat it too... or so they tell me so we're stretching thin on some things this week and I am hoping that all works out for the best soon.
Because I'd really like to try and get as close as I can to that next slice of cake.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Ta Da!

So I am getting ready for my second work day on the night shift...or work ngiht...oh well you know what I mean. I am remarkably awake both during the day and at night when I need to be so for that I am grateful. My wonderful husband picked up the slack today letting me nap whenever a baby was napping or a toddler was napping and entertaining whomever was left.
The thing I seem to be struggling with so far is that overwhelming tummy confusion that comes from having a lunch break at 4:30 am and then not knowing when the heck you're supposed to eat the rest of the day.
I loved being able to come home and snuggle my babies still in their toasty beds this morning and I enjoyed my cuddled naps and the time downstairs listening to Layla play using her imagination and watching Anyah roll herself towards things she's not supposed to have.
I think I might like this.
I think I might.

Friday, November 05, 2010


Today was my last "day shift" at work for awhile... you know... like a year. I celebrated in true adult style...I bought a snack from the vending machine, gave myself hives, and had to take benadryl...not once...but twice in order to get the swelling in my head to go down. I eventually finished my shift, stumbled home and took an hour nap. Then Jon and I went to the grocery store, and got dinner (since I had a migraine)...now that the babies are in bed and the house is cool and quiet I feel a little better (or at least like I am not dying).

I have grand plans for tomorrow and the rest of my last weekend off for 4 weeks (also I work 8 days next week so that should be interesting). Plans like cleaning house, sorting baby laundry, hanging out in my pajamas, possibly walking to the park and letting the girls play in the grass and playground.

Jon's car died, so we've been down to one car for a few weeks now. It's a special kind of interesting juggling two opposite (yet overlapping) schedules. Tomorrow I won't have a car. Sometimes not having a car has perks, for instance, it's not like I can be expected to go somewhere this weekend with two kids and nothing to drive.

In other interesting points of note, I recently volunteered to work Thanksgiving and the day after. My shift is at 10 pm so it's not like that will muck up my turkey day plans and holiday pay is always pleasant, plus I'm the "new" girl so I think it probably looks nice. I've started gathering my Turkey Day supplies, I wish there was room in my freezer for a turkey because those are really inexpensive at Safeway this week.

Family pictures are scheduled for next week. The girls both need jackets. I can't find my tiny travel diaper bag. These are the things on my mind at 10:15 pm on a Friday night, this means I am officially a boring adult, right?

Layla has decided that she must verbally narrate every single thing that happens all day long. I feel like there is a sports commentator following me whereever I go. While I know that this is a stage in development, it is officially driving me and Jon crazy. CRAZY. crazy.

Lastly, Anyah's 6 month old appointment was this week. She's 17.4 lbs. She is 26.5 inches long. She's 65% for height and 50% for weight. Perfectly average but a tiny bit tall. She is ahead on milestones (sitting up, swapping things hand to hand, rolling speed). The Doctor confirmed her cat allergy treatment again. He also encouraged my co-sleeping, baby-wearing, and table food giving parenting tactics. I love our pediatrician.

So that's it here. Every thing changing, growing, adapting, loving...

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Out Back

It's that time of year again... park time. I hate being hot so when the Autumn weather kicks in and it's finally cool again we find ourselves at the park. Any park will do. We've been to three parks in the last week.

Swings. Slides. Shady spots to look at the trees. Running as fast as you can on cool clipped grass. Things we'd do in the backyard every day if only we had a real back yard.
So for now... the park is our backyard...when we can find time to go there.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010


Layla can't say Halloween...she says "hall O Eenn" and she would rather you said trick or treat and she gave you candy... but she was still the most spirited pixie I've ever seen... there was a lot of dancing going on in this costume.
It was like something out of a fairy tale, watching a little girl experience life...

And Anyah was a true kitten, all playful one minute and then sassy the next minute...

But, like any good 6 month old she was 'purr-fect' once she got some treats in her tummy...

And me? Well I had a wicked good time too... the hubby (not pictured) went with us trick or treating some local family and we truly enjoyed most of our Halloween.
Hope you and yours had a Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Autumn List...Check & Check

I wanted them to attend a Halloween carnival or festival. We ended up at the Downtown Turlock Harvest Festival Farmer's Market...There were balloon animals, music, trick or treat candy and pizza for dinner so I think it totally counts...

We also made it out to Pa's ranch finally, only it rained the day we went so we settled for visiting horses and feeding them instead of riding them...

Thursday, October 28, 2010

My Christmas Wishlist

I would like the Supernatural Deluxe Charm Bracelet made by Laughing Vixen and available on Etsy.
I would like two of the sets of silver finger print charms sold by smudgeprint on Etsy. This is probably my most desired item this year.
I keep putting a True Jelly Roll Pan like this one from Target on my Christmas list every year.
I want more Sinful Perfume from Anchor Blue.
I still need the first 4 Mercy Thompson Books by Patricia Briggs in hardcover.
I think I'd look charming in an XL Cupcake T-Shirt by Bakerella.
I would like Old Navy gift certificates because I could honestly use more clothing that fits.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Ten on Tuesdays

Almost every Tuesday I see Ten on Tuesdays on Courtney's blog because she's a regular contributor so I hopped over about a month ago to Roots & Rings to check it out and I decided I really liked that blog, too...so now they are both in the blog reader and you know what... I wanna play too!!

So here is my first Ten on Tuesdays...

1. What is your favorite decor item in your house?

I am a big fan of pictures. We obviously have pictures of both of our daughters, of our friends, of places we've been and of our wedding... I love walking down memory lane no matter where I look.

2. What is your favorite hair product?

I use Dove shampoo, Dove conditioner, and Dove detangler... I am a Dove girl. Products, I really don't use those. I tend to put my hair in two pig tails every day, that doesn't really lead to an addiction to styling products.

3. Are you a good dancer?

That depends, are you 3? Because I can rock the hokie pokie or I'm a Little Tea pot. Just sayin'. But, as far as adult dancing goes... I'm alright unless I've been drinking in which case I think I'm awesome and you might want to get out your camera for black mail later.

4. You get some good news, who’s the first person you call?

Call? Um... I text. I would send a text to Jon for sure. Usually I also text my mom and my two best girl friends. I rarely call though.

5. Would you rather take pictures, or be in pictures?

I would rather take the pictures I am in while smashing my face up against someone I love to spend time with. Self portrait for Facebook anyone?

6. What is your shoe style?

I'm a 9 or a 9 and a half which is ironic because before I had kids I was a 10 and usually that works in the other direction. Most of my shoes are flats in various colors although I do have a hot pair of knee high brown boots and a pair of black and white checked high heels that make regular appearances. I prefer to be flat on the ground though because I am not so good with the balance since I developed vision and vertigo problems this year and am usually carrying a baby.

7. How often do you eat out?

That depends, is it September? We usually eat out about once a week. The exception to that is birthdays/anniversaries/celebrations done with other folks. September has always been our hot ticket month. I think this September we ate out more than in.

8. If someone has food in their teeth, do you tell them?

Yes. I would want them to tell me.

9. Do you fold your underwear?

No, in fact I am usually far enough behind on putting laundry away that I just grab them from the nicely sorted basket (now torn to shreds of chaos) my loving husband has washed each week.

10. Milk, dark, or white chocolate?

Milk to eat, dark to cook with and white in my truffles and coffee.

For more Ten on Tuesday you can go here.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Ho Ho Ho & Stuff

61 days or so left until Christmas and boy am I busy... I decided after last years HORRIBLE Christmas experience this year we were going to be getting a head start.

I've already made a list and checked it twice and I've decided (as far as we're concerned) who's been naughty or nice. And while the girls are sleeping all tucked up in their beds I'm scrolling online catalogs for presents and doing wishlists in my head.

The girls big presents have all been taken care of. I will still have a few small things to pick up and stockings to stuff.

Several other gifts have been arranged for or taken care of as well. I want to be done by November 1st. No Black Friday shopping for me this year...at least I hope not.

In other news, I already started the very small list of things I want to do with the girls this winter. I am so looking forward to Christmas that I have been thinking about my own very small wishlist.

Perhaps, I will post my wishlist in the near future...all 10 things on it... lol... good times.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

To Anyah @ 6 Months

My Ani,

When did you get so big? I was doing laundry and you decided you wanted to be sitting up on the bed talking in my general direction and waving your sisters old Happy Meal Toy around with wreckless abandon and I was washed over by that feeling... where did the time go? my baby is so big!

It happens to every mom. That moment when the person they used to swaddle close to their chest and whisper quietly to sleep starts rolling over with the speed of a Nascar Racer and the next thing she knows you are sitting on the bed playing while I get something done and as a mommy I have to admit that you are a part of me but that you are not a part of me...you are you. You are your own little you.

So in addition to sitting up you decided this month to cut a tooth all the way. You also decided you HATE baby food. No seriously, HATE! There are 3 flavors (maybe 4) you will tolerate if you are hungry. You prefer bites of what we are eating. You beg and squeel for table scraps. It's cute. And you know what? I feed them to you because in other countries babies eat what everyone else is eating and you my dear are a little tiny part of a global culture...a big big world... and I like following my instincts (and I like the look on your face when you discover a yummy bite of pasta on your tongue).

Likes this month include but are not limited to things that light up (like the toy in this picture), things that make a clicky jingle sound, squeeling, Backyardigans music, riding in the car, the sound of rain, bubble baths, blowing bubbles, the bouncer, squeeling, sitting up, rolling over to your tummy to reach things, squeeling while watching your sister do...um...anything, when Daddy says "ahhh", grabbing people's hair, making motor boat noises, squeeling, socks or blankets that are fuzzy, rice, squeeling...and I think I got everything...did I mention the squeeling.

Dislikes are a short list now-a-days... loud noises, things that make you itchy, baby food, green beans (in any form), mashed potatoes, loud noises, strangers (or family you don't know well) who talk to you, and mostly loud noises.

You're still the little people watcher and I can't wait until those little squeels turn into words and you can finally tell me what you're thinking over there. I mean I am dying to know why you chuckle at people in the grocery store sometimes and why you giggle like crazy at your sister when you roll over and she's sleeping next to you. What's so funny about sleeping? I gotta know, kid, I gotta know.

You a half a year old. A HALF A YEAR! oh my...

when did my baby get so big

While part of me wonders where the time went as it flew past so much quicker than I imagined there is also a part of me that feels like you have always been a part of our family and you've always been here. I am taken aback by pictures before there was you because you are missing, something is missing, you...belong. You will always belong with us. You are a perfect little addition to our group...calm, peaceful, and watching...

Half a year... and already AMAZING and oh so LOVED


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Ch Ch Ch Changes...

It's the season of change. Every day it gets a little darker a little earlier. Every day the temperature changes a few degrees cooler and the autumn showers become a little more common place. Every day the foliage outside changes a little more and the colors of summer fade away.

Inside the changes are trickling by as well. Anyah sits up unassisted and she has her first tooth. Layla has mastered unlocking my iPhone and has tripled her vocabulary in the last month. I am training for my emergency certification this month and soon will make the move to working the overnight shift. Jon is making his way down a honey-do-list of car repairs, toy repairs and general unfun that will some day (hopefully) help clear up that cluttered life feeling.

Everything changes and everything remains the same.

When Layla was born I made a commitment to her that I would always stand up for her and support her no matter what happens. I made a commitment to Jon when I married him that I would always be supportive of his life goals and love him faithfully with all of my being. I made a commitment when Anyah was born to teach my daughters about family the way that I remember my grandmother teaching me about family...to invest in a tradition of togetherness and to involve my girls in an everyday life that is meaningful and excepting of who they are.

So I just take it all in. I have a toddler that has more get up and go then anyone I've ever met. The other day someone offended me by joking that Layla needed Ritalin and I simply replied that she was more spirited than most but there shouldn't be anything wrong with living a big life. And I believe that. I believe we live in a culture that teaches people to medicate away parts of themselves because it will make them more "normal" and we forget how beautiful being unique really is.

On the other extreme of that, Anyah is the most watchful and observant child I've ever encountered. She gets upset if she notices someone or something appears to be having a bad time. She can read the vibes in a room in seconds. And because of this her "normal" is one that is keenly aware of every change around us. She may not understand what is happening but I assure you her body language and her appetite can tell you whether or not she thinks there is something worth worrying about.

They change and they grow and yet some parts of them will always be the same, the core parts of who they are and the fundamental building blocks that Jon and I try to invest in them as a culture, as a religious family, as people who are part of a big big world... those things they are starting to show up as statements of opinion and declarations of emotions and that change to little people who know they are part of a big world and can influence it...

It has always been the change I am most eager to see.