Monday, April 25, 2011

My Kitchen Helper

Raising helpers is something that comes naturally in my family. We like to cook so the kids end up congregating around the kitchen floor at an early age and as soon as they can follow basic instructions we try to turn the adults from a cooking show to a real world classroom.

Three is the perfect age for mixing without spilling, getting and returning things from the pantry and helping to combine ingredients.

This is Layla in the kitchen making a salad for a recent BBQ with George and Devon.

Thanks to salads like these she'll know the name of a variety of vegetables and she may one day even become willing to eat a few more of them.

What are your favorite real life classroom lessons?

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Friday, April 22, 2011

To Anyah on her 1st Birthday

My Darling Ani-Bee,

A really? This year has gone by so fast. Just a moment ago you were a snuggly little baby who barely fit in her newborn onsies and now all the sudden your walking around the kitchen, a full teethy grin on your face, talking to your sister and trying to steal my cookie cutters from the drawer. So fast, it moves so fast...time just kept on going and we went right along with it.

You are all new and improved this week. You got a walking/riding toy from Godfather George for your birthday and since that time you've been an unstoppable walker. You've always been timid about letting go and just walking. You'll do it but it takes some prompting. Suddenly, you've got a little car to hold on to and the world, it is at your disposal. Not that you need it, because girl you drag it behind you instead of using it to hold yourself up...but it does make you feel better.

You know what else makes you feel better? Food. Oh lordy, you are such a little foodie just like your mother. You'll steal a bite of just about anything off of just about anyone's plate. You flirt until they hand it over and then you tell us "good" and "nom nom nom" over and over insuring that you might get some more.

You still don't like strangers, or loud noises. You're not fond of apricots, corn or hot dogs. You dislike wind coming through open car windows and when you can't figure out how a toy works.

You are twice as independent as your sister was at this age. You are continent to crawl alone to your room to play by yourself with your toys or spend 30 minutes figuring out which cups fit inside each other in your nesting toy. If no one bothers you then you will play with the same toy for much longer than most babies. Today you played with your tea party set for almost 30 minutes, opening and closing the lid so it would sing and dancing then putting treats in and out of it and laughing.

Your my quiet one. You are a little tiny watcher. You remember everything. You take it all in. You're curious but cautious. You're sweet and flirtacious with an explosive temper which takes forever to tip off (much like your daddy).

You love to crawl to daddy as soon as he gets home and make him carry you around. You love giving mommy kisses and making Nannie play with you. You are turning into to quite the little stinker when you put your mind to it.

Layla and you push each others buttons but even now you're the first one there to comfort her when she blows up like a little drama queen and she is the first one to cheer you on when you finally get brave enough to take a step. You compliment each other so well, helping each other with the things that require a little back up to get through. You're already starting to show how well you can love each other and it swells my heart.

Never before has there been a baby more calm and determined. These two gifts, I am sure, will prove to be your blessings from God. Some day that calm reserve and determined resolve are going to great things. (Or perhaps he knew about your sisters temper and just wanted to give you the tools you'd need to deal) Either way, it's gonna be a great blessing.

And you, you are our great blessing. Happy first birthday love.

Mommy and daddy are so proud of you so far and can't wait to see what the next year brings. We all love you so much.

1st Bday Delay

Additional letters and posts for Anyah's first birthday will be up later today, until then sustain yourself with the cuteness...

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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Room to Grow

Give her something to push and a wide expanse of open floor and suddenly she's all over the place.

Today we started homeschooling. Preschool started with A is for Apple.

We spent time learning while I listened to little people shuffle in circles behind me.

Everybody is growing.

Maybe they are like goldfish. Maybe they just needed a bigger bowl so they could start growing.

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Friday, April 15, 2011


I'm off prepping for Anyah's Birthday Party Sunday...

Much clean up might be needed to make her presentable, so no blogging until Monday... Sorry.

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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A Yard

A place to stand in the shade and watch them explore

A place to play ball and watch bugs on the concrete

A place to ride really fast down hill and turn really slowly because your too busy watching your peddles and ringing your bell

A place for running it out and catching adventurous new creatures

A place for singing at the top of your lungs and using your outside voice

A place for sidewalk chalk drawings, hopscotch and ABCs in pastel from wobbly little hands

A place for bubbles and a juice on the steps watching the neighbors

Just what they always wanted...

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Monday, April 11, 2011


This week while we were laying about with Influenza C and cursing swines everywhere something happened.

First the showers stopped. Then the breeze seemed eerily perfect. I noticed the sun was bright but not too bright.

Oh crap...

Spring has sprung and we missed it...

So today Layla and I busted out the sidewalk chalk and while she worked out her "I am all better now" cabin fever, I hacked up a lung and listened for Anyah's nap to end so I'd have a reason to take my still mildly sick self back inside.

While the evidence of the spring sprung is now drawn on my sidewalk I am still reluctantly feeling like the chick who didn't hatch on the first warm day.

Perhaps tomorrow there will be more spring in my step.

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Sunday, April 10, 2011

Not so Dark

The girls room was HORRIBLY painted when we got this house. Dark, dark brown with white stripes. Layla found it very scary, she does like it when a flashlight doesn't make a room less dark.

So today there was tinted primer and paint.

Maybe someday she'll actually sleep there...

But not tonight she snuck back to our bed about 20 minutes after bedtime.

Perhaps we need more hanging lanterns.

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Saturday, April 09, 2011


This is our back yard as seen from my bedroom window. This overwhelming overgrown patch of life is a pretty big metaphor for how I feel this week.

I am off work again with a highly contagious influenza which Anyah also has and Layla and Jon are just getting over.

There is a 1st birthday party here in 8 days and it will be slightly scaled down but hopefully a celebration of Anyah and the fact that we can all breath again... Then after that maybe we'll think about the yard.

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Wednesday, April 06, 2011


Turlock is sporting a new ice cream parlor and burger joint and much to our luck it's just around the corner. It's always nice to have a lunch option your kids are excited to visit.

Anyah and Layla had chicken strips and fries. My mom and I tried the cheeseburger. The food was good, nothing too special but the chocolate ice cream was yummy... See...

By far the star of the afternoon was the family size order of garlic fries... Yum.

You know how much I love local small eateries so we know we'll be back soon.

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Because One of These Things...

Is not like the other, yes one of these things, just isn't the same.

Passive baby...

and not so passive baby...

Well I think we all know who's going to be making and changing the rules in every game the play for the rest of their loves.

Our Adventure

The girls have been sick and with all the moving going on we needed a little change so today we took a long walk which entailed finding a baseball game to cheer at, picnic dinner at the park, saying goodbye to the old house and making new friends by the swing-sets.

Tomorrow it's back to unpacking and fixing in prep for Anyah's birthday party... but I think today's adventure break was just what we needed to refuel our motivation.

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Saturday, April 02, 2011

And We're Outta There

The last u-haul moving truck of misc. belongings sits in the driveway. It's waiting for morning...mainly because the hubby needs a break and I don't blame him. Many many loads of belongings have been ported from one house to the other and anything bigger than a repurposed diaper box was toted by the hubby, most of the time solo and only this afternoon for a few hours with friends and volunteers from our old college church group. While the helpers were awesome and appreciated, Jon mostly moved alone the first day and the second morning. Then tonight we did a load solo and he just didn't have it in him and instead we decided to take a mini vacate until morning. I on the other hand have been a packing and unpacking fiend and while it takes much much longer to unpack with babies under foot... we're now own a family room, a girls room worthy of playing (until it gets repainted), a mommy/daddy room, and a guest room (affectionately called the Nannie room). The kitchen hutch needs to be assembled and the front living room and garage are both overflowing with things that need to be put in other rooms. Monday there will be a trip to clean the old place and I go back to work. Then Tuesday we'll meet with the manager for the final walk through and I can call the townhouse a place of my past. *thank you Jesus* I find myself wondering where all this stuff was in the old house because we now have almost 3 times more space and I can't for the life of me figure out where to put it. There will be posts about the new house once I have time and get some rooms set up, but I am sooo not there yet. I am just testing out the uverse wifi we just had installed and I promise I'll come write a new post later. Probably much later...