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, 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 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 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, 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 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.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

It's Coming

I see the weather turning. I feel the chill in the morning. I put little feet into little striped socks and I make sure that the long sleeve shirts and jeans are in the dresser drawers.

Autumn, late arriving as always here, seems to finally be coming to the front lines.
I wait with eager anticipation for the smell of other people burning wood in their fireplaces and I browse the soup recipes and bookmark bread making ideas for once the weather turns the rest of the way (perminantly) and I can turn on the heater and pack away the last of the sandals until next year.
I look at my Halloween decorations and take a deep breath of the Autumn scented candle burning on top of the piano and I know that soon the colors outside will make those inside and I can take Layla to pick apples and to gather leaves for craft projects.

I satisfy the overwhelming desire to stand outside in the rain and listen to the windchimes whipping in the night air by watching yet another movie from my collection of favorites and planning the Thanksgiving menu on my laptop.
I know it's coming... I can sense it... I can feel it in me... it feels like coming home.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Night & Day- Peek a Boo Version

When Layla was little I would cover my face and pop open my hands like shutters and say "PEEK a Boo!!" and she would laugh, kick, giggle and SQUEEL...wash/rinse/repeat. Good times. Fun game. The height of tiny person entertainment.
Also, with Layla she had a lot of tummy trouble from being a premie so we fed her baby mush for a long time. She was probably 9 months old before table food made regular appearances instead of being sneaky bites from people when they thought Mommy wasn't looking. She loved to eat baby food. When we switched to soft table food she loved her mashed potatoes and hated most of the sturdier cooked foods.
So now it's Anyah's turn and I cover my face and she gives me this (what on earth are you doing that for look- see above) and then I pop my hands open and she sighs. But, unjaded I try "PEEK a Boo!!" and she makes bitter beer face and cries.
So I bounce around and play and tickle until she laughs and think... ok she didn't know what to expect maybe I scared her so I'll try a softer approach. Dude- We.Can.Do.This.
I cover my face with her birdie blankie. She whimpers. I say "where's Anyah-bean?" and I start to pull it down (the whimpering continues) and when my face is revealed I say "there she is!" and she twinkles her eyes for about half a second before the single tear escapes her little eye.
I wait 2 weeks. Wash/rinse/repeat.

This baby HATES peek a boo.
She also hates mashed potatoes. This last weekend while at lunch with my mom she got to witness the 'mashed potato face' which is similar to the bitter beer face but with sound effects like a hair ball. (Least you think it's the table foods so early...she munched down some spinach, a little brocolli and some mushed up pasta-ness and her tummy -and the rest of her for that matter- are just fine).
Today I asked her if she was confused and perhaps thought she was Canadian because everyone likes mashed potatoes. She laughed. I think that's a no.
I honestly believe she is concerned for my sanity when I ask where she is when I clearly know she's right there. I also honestly believe any game where people pop out from behind things is not going to be popular in this house for a long time because the little one...she so doesn't like suprises.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Going Places

Layla is in the "I go too" phase of little kid-hood. So imagine her suprise when she discovered the play area at the mall had little cars that you could pretend to drive. Even better, they had a "Nannie Blue Car" which she immediately recognised and asked me to take her picture in.

She's full of imagination this one. She pretended she drove to the store and got out and asked me if I wanted to walk or ride in the cart. Hopefully, that's a trait we can keep incouraging in her.

Because having imagination and being able to think outside the box isn't something I want my child to grow out of any time soon...preferrably never.

Do you see it?

For the person who asked...yes her hair on top is long enough to do a Fraggle Rock Pony Tail.

(Although, she hated it and I had to take it out pretty quickly but we'll work on that)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Turn Turn Turn

The life clock is ticking away and I find myself grasping for little moments in time trying to hold on to them as tightly as I can only to realize that time is slipping away from me no matter how much I try to catch it.

Layla had her 3 year old pictures this week. She's a totally different kid. Actually that sentence sums up the change...she's a kid now. KID.

Anyah has her 6 month check up next week. SIX MONTHS. Wtf? Didn't we just have a baby like yesterday or something.

Today I went yard sale shopping and out to lunch with my mom and both girls. Anyah sat in the high chair through the whole meal...that was a first. I fed her things off my plate (we live to break baby food rules) and Layla was an absolute pleasure.

I could get used to this. I took pictures to remember. My iPhone ate them.

Tonight Layla was scared to go to bed in her room. Last night right before Jon came to bed something happened (we don't know what) that scared her and she slept in our family bed (4 people + 1 bed= entertaining). Anyhow, tonight he took her upstairs armed with lanterns, glowing pumpkin flashlight, a glow worm doll (the only doll she likes by the way), a few stuffed animals, favorite blankets and best pillows and layed (still fully dressed in work clothes) talking and playing pretend with her until she was comfortable enough to stay in her room alone. I married the perfect man. Yes. I. Did.

Instead a studio picture from Layla earlier this week will have to hold you over. I am off TWO DAYS IN A still my heart... tomorrow I might actually get to finally clean the upstairs bathroom, or perhaps do some cooking/baking with my lovely little kid and if that falls through...I'll blog. Because as eager as I am to catch moments and log them here for all of eternity for my children to see...

I'm more eager to just have those moments.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Guess what?

75 Days Until Christmas
I guess I should start shopping for the kids now, right?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Guess What I'm Thanking About

I find myself wondering...pondering really...
What will Layla be willing to eat this year?
Will Anyah like the mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce?
Should I make one chocolate cream pie for Jon or two?
Yeah... daydreaming about cooking food for a month from now...totally something I do.
Cajun Turkey, Sourdough Stuffing with Sausage & Apples, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Cranberry Sauce (this year instead of Cranberry Relish), Deviled Eggs, Green Beans with Bacon & Onions (instead of that same old Green Bean Casserole), Homemade Rolls and pies... oh pies... I love to hate pies.
This year I'm cutting back the number of dishes. There are so few of us now and I always over do it. Plus I have 2 kids and I'll be working the graveyard shift. The menu... it's reduced to the best stuff... well what we think the best stuff is.
We'll save the ham, candied sweet potatoes, two extra veggie dishes and the cranberry relish that takes 2 hours to make for a change...instead maybe we'll actually have some room left in our tummies for 2 pieces of pie...
then again maybe not.

Last Straw

Sometimes the worst picture ever is the greatest picture ever...
this is definitely one of those times...

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Can I eat that?

Anyah is officially in the "is this edible?" phase... which is interesting for me as a parent because Layla really didn't put things in her now it's not "Anyah's first time on the swing" so much as it's "look what Anyah did when I put her on a swing for the first time".

Corn Maze & Pumpkin Patch

Today after Jon and I got off work we headed off to the local (ish) Corn Maze & "pumpkin patch" at Fantozzi Farms in Patterson. Layla had never been to a corn maze and I wanted to let her pick her own pumpkin (even though Nannie brought her "the Great Pumpkin" last week (seriously folks I think that pumpkin weighs 50 lbs).
I must say the corn maze part was fun, even for Anyah who kept bouncing about in the stroller (she was asleep when we got there so I opted out of the sling which would have been less bouncy). She laughed away as we bumped and dodged around the smallest corn maze following Layla and Daddy.
Layla loved the corn maze but was more impressed with the train which was decorated like a cow. I think if we could have just rode that over and over she would have had even more fun. She tried everything once though, the corn seed pit, the tricycle races, climbing the hay bale pyramid... everything but the hay ride, which really didn't look that fun.
It was another item off our Autumn List and I am glad it was. Although next year I think I'll put in a real trip to a different pumpkin patch in addition to the Corn Maze because their pumpkin area left something to be the general feel and enjoyment of a pumpkin patch. Stick to the corn maze, no really, stick to the corn maze. Still a fun little family outing, if I do say so myself.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Version 3.0

I swear to you I didn't talk about it for awhile because I didn't want to curse it but it's been a few weeks now and I am quite impressed. Literally, the day after Layla turned 3 she woke up older. She is more independent, more confident, less inclined to argue or throw fits. She is more accepting of her baby sister. She is more willing to try new things. She stopped acting out in the potty department. She decided she can use her words.
She's branched out into a new level of independence where she wants to pick her own clothes, have a say about her own lunch and determine exactly how many times you're going to be reading that doggy book before bed. She decided she sleeps on her futon in her room not her bed, for instance.
But, if that is the price we pay for this brilliant little girl to stay brilliant and happy all day... then let the opinions roll because Mommy and Daddy were SO DONE with terrible two's.
Now....let's just hope it sticks.

Thursday, October 07, 2010


She laughs just like him when she thinks you're making an ass of yourself. She smiles like him when she is being a goofball. She sticks out her tongue a lot when you try and take your picture, just like him. As the anniversary of his death gets closer... I am reminded of him in a thousand little ways but mostly I am reminded that he will always be a part of me, a part of her... because she was born on his birthday and he's obviously keeping an eye on her...because she's a stinker... just like he was.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Autumn List

Half asleep in September watching Halloween Movies and having popcorn (she didn't want my caramel popcorn) Attending the Fall Festival in Newman and watching it's parade
Feeding the ducks at Donnelly Park in Turlock (no picnic but we brought a snack and had that)

Making Bread with Mommy on an Autumn Day...

Remember the Autumn List? Well in case you forgot it... just wanted to point out the things we've done off of it so far...
And later this week we have plans for the pumpkin patch/corn maze..

I Wear You

Because my hands are full but not as full as my heart. I wear her. Because she feels me breath and she knows she is safe. I wear her. Because the day is long and tasks are many. I wear her. Because my eyes glance over her head at my older child running as fast as she can and I know that the confidence to be an individual who takes risks is born from knowing that someone is always willing to hold you if you fall. I wear her.
I wear her because I wore her sister. I wear her because for centuries we have carried them... on our sides, on our shoulders, in our arms, on our backs and in our hearts. I wear her because there is no path I could walk that hasn't been walked before me and the women who choose this path have also created beautiful little souls.
I wear her because I am a citizen of the world and I want my child to go out into it and experience it...safely.
I wear her because there is no safer place than Mommy. And, as I grow as a mother... my confidence in standing up next to those I am proud to call my own has grown.
So I wear her...
And I am not alone.


Today, due to rotation, I am off work. Today is my Saturday. Ironically, Sunday is my Sunday. So the split has it's ups and downs. The upside is you have a day mid week to do things occassionally. The downside is when that happens it's several days until you're second day off. Not having two days off in a row, often times feels like you didn't have any days off. Losing this problem is one of the many things I am looking forward to about changing my job.

Today, the girls woke up VERY early. Anyah woke up when Jon left the house at 4 am for work. Layla only slept until 6:20. It was an early day. We stumbled downstairs in the "still darks" and we snuggled under quilts with the front door open (Layla insisted) and watched Olivia in the dark.

Eventually, we crawled out of our warm and cozy cuddles to try out a new roll recipe and make home made bread. Yummy! It worked out pretty well but we'll have to triple the batch for holidays and I want to practice it a few more times before Halloween.

Then we laid on the floor and played together. Me, my girls, and a pile of doggy treat shaped graham crackers... it was quiet. It was lovely. Eventually, Anyah took a nap in her crib and Layla got dressed. There was lunch...which Layla made for herself. Then Layla took a nap and Anyah played on the floor.

I talked on the phone to one of my girlfriends. I texted with people. I played words with friends. I had a long talk with an old church friend. Naps ended. I shared a Pepsi with Layla.

We put our shoes on. I took the girls to the craft store to get a feather for my "indian" costume for work tomorrow. Layla spotted a witch (a lovely woman in goth attire, with a tattoo and jet black hair). She yelled "a witch, mom, a witch, a real witch, look a witch" while pointing. I didn't die from embarrassment, I made her apologize for yelling at someone. She said sorry. Ironically, she wasn't being mean, she loved the witch. She probably would have let her come home with us. I would have let her come home with us. She was a HOT witch and she was hella cool. She was a bigger girl and she was beautiful. I hope she knows that, I wish I had told her.

Then a girls day at the park. We fed ducks salt free saltine crackers. Layla called the geese "giraffe ducks". We ran on the grass. There was a multi-school track event at the park. We watched other people run as we walked all the way across the park to get to the playground from our parking spot in hell the sun. I wore Anyah in the sling. She chewed on my braids and made happy noises at kids running around beneath us on the big wooden playground. She stared into the trees. Layla yelled "it's so fun" about 11 times at the top of her lungs. She hugged another little kid who then proceeded to chase her up and down a bridge at least 12 times.

We went hunting for shapes and much to Layla's suprise ended up back at the car (I'm a tricky Mommy) then we strapped up and went home to make Daddy dinner while Layla sang a song about ducks and slides. Anyah managed to get her hands on her socks and pulled one off. No one cried...we left the park and NO ONE CRIED. Parents everywhere just gave me 2 thumbs up.

At home I made tacos and we all ate dinner. Jon tinkered with the desk top computer. I downloaded pictures from my phone/camera. Anyah went to bed. Then I took a shower. Then after some Animaniacs and gold fish crackers Layla went to bed with her little lantern. The dishes got done. The floor didn't get redone (we just did it 3 days ago but those darn goldfish are everywhere).

The door is open and the candle that is burning smells like fall. I am excited to think that Christmas shopping, turkey leftovers and twinkling lights are going to slowly start making appearances in every day life. I don't even mind that I have to work a half day on Saturday because I know when I get off I am taking my big girl to the corn maze.

I find Autumn to be refreshing. I find the cool air stirs up things inside myself I almost forgot to acknowledge. And I day dream... not of things far off that I'll never get...but of things near by that I never want to forget...

Like how just another Wednesday could be the perfect day.