20 February 2017


Theo sporting his new hat. We are so lucky to have a Grandpa who knits such awesome hats!

2017 week seven

Valentines day breakfast. Pancakes with raspberry sauce and orange juice and valentines. Vera got a pink flamingo bath bomb from Lush and some mango Hi Chews. Matthew made her a valentine that had Ariel on it and said, "We mermaid for each other." Matthew gave me and V some flowers and he brought me back some nougat when he was in Germany (one of my favorite candies!) and I gave him two bags of spicy Cheetos because he's my "flaming hot" valentine. 

And I made some Valentine's Day meringues (one of my other favorite treats). 

With some whipped cream and shaved chocolate an already perfect meringue becomes a "merveilleux"and they were delightful. 

My baby Valentine.

Fuss pot needed a creative outlet for her griping, so I helped her make lunch for herself and brother. She was so proud to serve up the scrambled eggs she made herself. She even collected some cilantro from our lawn and ripped pieces of it decoratively on their plates. She was in a much better mood after that. 

This is a photo of Vera "playing" with the neighbor girl. She and Angela talk to each other through a knot hole in the fence and pass each other little pieces of trash -or as V likes to call them "presents." 

Friday night dinner with friends. Lemon roasted chicken with homemade parmesan garlic chips, and a little salad. Delicious. 

Sunday afternoon is for eating cakes. Orange cake and tiramisu. 


"Meet me in St. Louise! Louise! Meet me at the fair..." This is how she thinks the song goes and I think it's precious. She likes to sing it together. 

Playing with playdoh. "I killed the mama chicken so she couldnt have her babies and then Mousie could eat her for dinner."

13 February 2017


Vera at the park pt 1

2017 week six

Vera at the park pt 2

When Matthew got home from Germany, Vera knew there were treats in his suitcase. He refused to give her any unless she could drag the suitcase to him. She did it, even with the added weight of a little brother (notice the dandelion cup in his hand).

I think she was happy to have Matthew home.

Happy Birthday little Fridel Deedel. 

At Target. Vera was really excited to be Lego Batman.

Apparently this is the look I give Matthew when he says something snotty like, "Are you sure those are cooked all the way through." Get out of my kitchen.

Everyone was excited to find a child-sized toilet in the family restroom. He didn't use it, he just thought it was a fun game. Actually, he might be trying to wink at me in this photo.

Gardner baby trying to figure out how to get around this chicken wire to dig in the real garden. A bucket of potting soil is not enough for him. He wants the composted cow manure. Then he wants to stamp those cow manure footprints down the hall and on the couch. One day this week he came in toting his usual cup of dirt and dandelions and poured most of it onto Matthew's head as he was laying on the floor. He is given a bath every night because he is usually covered in a fine layer of sandy dirt. And I absolutely cherish it. 

I came in from outside because I heard Vera excited squeal, "Look what I made Papa! It's a ship!" It was such a tender moment for all of us. Vera had been quietly constructing a lego creation to bring to show Matthew. It promptly got put on the shelf by Matthew's lego truck.

Matt was coaching Vera through a game of Sudoku with Theo's little arm across his neck. A few minutes later they were tumbling around in a huge down blanket on the floor giggling and squirming. I turned to Matthew and told him, "Drink this in. This is pure happiness." Sometimes I have to stop myself during the day to drink in and try to remember how happy our little lives are together.

In the yard collecting dandelions in his cup. All day. Every day. Our yard is only too willing to yield up scores of sunny little flowers for my Mother Nature's Son to collect. 

My favorite store. Lush. Look Matthew! Look at the size of these soap blocks! I was so tempted.

While I was making dinner Vera asked if we could play Candy Land I told her not until after dinner, Maybe. She then proceeded to lay out the directions for play.
Me: Yes, I know how to play Candy Land.
Vera: Yes, well I DO TOO!

"Hundred and Wonder Dalmatians." She's been all about this movie this week.

"Mama, what is pain?" Excuse me, are you an alien?

"Mama, when will we be dead?" What is going on in your little head?

"Oooh! Mama! I want to see your blood! Can I see it run down your neck! Wow! Look at all that blood. I LOVE to see your blood. Now she's sewing your neck with blue thread!" The running commentary at the dermatologist while I had a cyst excised. 

Chanting, "Compost, compost, commy commy compost."  Probably this is what people chant who believe composting is a hippie liberal idea. Haha.

05 February 2017


Standing in line to buy mushrooms all by herself at the farmer's market. 

2017 week five

I love the looks on the ladies' faces behind her. She was so proud of herself. She even picked out the basket of mushrooms she liked best. Maybe I can convince her to eat some because they were the special ones that she bought? We'll see. 

Messy hair, 2 pm still in pjs. When Matthew is gone we're kind of lazy and sad. 

Vera took some photos of me swinging with Theodore in the lovely sunshine. 

My children are masters at making strange/grumpy faces in photos. They definitely get it from their Papa. 

You'd think he was either really not enjoying the swing, or really not enjoying this special moment being interrupted by paparazzi sister. 

Vera brought me a bit of grass the other day and it turned out to be cilantro. Surprise, cilantro growing in the middle of my "lawn." You can't really call our Texas eco-friendly (read: weeds) ground cover a "lawn." But there you have it. We transplanted it to a pot, we'll see if it survives. 

This is the outfit she begged to wear all day. Minnie Mouse nightgown, pink flip flops, and a checkered bowl cover that she loves to pretend is a hat. 

Theo strikes again with the crazy face. "Help! She's holding me!" Vera looks so tall and calm. You wouldn't know that two seconds prior to this she was jumping off the couch and screaming. 


With Matthew gone, I've been pretty bad about taking photos and writing down quotes. Here are the few I managed to get.

"Maybe when I'm really big, like eleven, I can go to Africa and catch a dung beetle for you."

"Look! I'm going to show you a present in my pants!"

Singing "Some bees are mean and they will sting you but nice bees do sting you too if you bother them."

"Here Mama, I made you a drink. It's called 'cognac.' It's some water and I squeezed a tomato in it. It will make you feel better."

"When Giraffe had puppies she dropped her whole business of ice cream on the ground and the puppies licked it all up and then ate all the ice cream that she dropped on the ground and they got so sick from too much ice cream and then they died. I already buried them."

She's been really into naming things. She'll name different movies or books or games that "Giraffe taught me." She likes to invent names for herself as different princesses. Her favorite naming ritual is to be constantly searching for a new name for Giraffe. "Maybe Snaffy Giraffey's name can be cuddle wuddle, and her middle name can be veepee, and her first name can be Alishadios." This happens at least 5 times a day with various rhyming and often very Utah-sounding names. :) 

She likes to write letters down on bits of paper and bring them to me to ask what they say. I always try to sound them out for her even though they are nonsense. I remember specifically doing this as a little one and being frustrated and annoyed when adults said, "It doesn't spell anything." "Of course it does!" I though, "It might not be a "real" word or whatever, but I know that the letters together make sounds." So I always sound it out for her.

29 January 2017


Italian olive bread. Baking bread is one of my favorite things to do. I love bustling in and out of the kitchen throughout the day to tend to a little bit of flour and water and yeast. When I break open freshly baked bread I just want to swim in its perfume. I pester Matthew to stop whatever he is doing and come smell the bread. It smells of history. Its scent carries the daily rituals of millions of people throughout time. It carries with it farming and cultivation and civilizations. The heady scent ties me and my kitchen to all who came before me and all who perform these same rituals throughout the world. It is my transportive connection to all people. Bread is beautiful.

2017 week four

Texans don't know what to do with winter. One day we're splashing in ice water in the backyard, 

and the next day Mama doesn't even think to grab anyone shoes or jackets when we left the house. Luckily the kids had blankets because it was actually just barely above freezing. 

Saturday morning brioche.

Stomping in my still hibernating garden beds.

Happy Chinese New Year! Sam and Larissa joined us for dinner and brought homemade fortune cookies with funny fortunes. Your fortune is coming true, Sam, you did make it onto the blog. We had chicken broth with tapioca pearls (probably not a repeat recipe for us) "asian" carrot salad (shredded carrots tossed with avocado oil, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, a splash of soy sauce, salt and pepper), chili garlic noodles, and Chinese style ribs. Vera wrote everyone's name on their red envelope and put a penny inside. Theodore ate most of the oranges pictured here. 

Golden baby curls. The last baby curls I will ever snip. I tried not to let sentimentality overcome me. I had to try really hard. 

"Wow, it felt like I just farted in my mouth!" Let's start this week off with a real classy quote.

"Theodore-suh-boy" What Vera calls Theo when she's trying to console him or gently correct him using a very strange baby voice.

 V- "Well maybe that will make my business feel better."
Me- "What is 'your business'?"
V- "My business is my brain."
I guess this is what she thinks I mean when I ask her to mind her own business.

"I want a red basket because it will match all my redness!" Vera was wearing ALL red for Chinese New Year. I suggested wearing one thing red because of the holiday, she came out with every red thing she owned. She doesn't mess around with "This Chiney Day" as she kept calling it.

"Maybe sometime when I'm an astronaut I can get a piece of the clouds for you to hold, Mama."

23 January 2017


Theodore has his first ear infection. Getting to finally ride on one of these silly things made his day a bit better... until it was time to leave.

The warm days broken up with rain has turned my back porch into a mud pit. Vera has an old paintbrush outside and she lacquers everything in muddy water. Theodore pounds at the window screaming and sobbing until I let him outside into his glorious mud.

On one such muddy day, Vera ran inside to say to me, "Mama, do you want to hear a really funny joke?" I said, "Ok, what's your joke!" Vera happily chirped, "Theodore drank a cup of mud water!" The weather was warm and I had my windows open with music drifting out, I went out to investigate and Theo was dancing in his supreme joy of being covered with muddy water.

Sunday morning snuggles -all of my favorite creatures.

Matthew finally finished assembling his Lego truck and Vera was an enthusiastic listener and participant in all its various complicated functions. It's a rather impressive piece of engineering, especially when you consider that it's made from Legos.

Sunday walk with Grandma around some neighborhood trails. The wind was brisk and Theo was enamored with the water and every. single. wheeled. vehicle. 

He also stopped to pick some dandelions.

On our walk, Vera recited the poem she made up to her grandma: "The little blueberry pushing his cart. The snow fell plop into his basket. He rode his bike to school, then he rode it home again." She's very proud of this little poem.


This week I was too busy laughing at all the silly and clever things Vera was saying to write any of them down.  :(