09 January 2017


Princess birthday party for a friend. Vera dressed as Rapunzel. You can see her hair pooling at her feet. 

2017 week one
Look at these festive and sparkly decorations. It was a princess haven for these girls. 

Vera was resurrecting her love for play-doh this week since we are not equipped with clothing to play in the 20 degree weather.

The frustrating fate of play-doh. Today when she pulled it out it was all a mottled greyish purple. Not nearly as fun, but every child must mix the play-doh. It's what you do. 

After a couple weeks of 70+ degree weather we got some snow in Texas! 

Quite a bit of it too. ;)  It was very magical for Vera. She was too excited to take a nap, but had no desire to play in it. 

My friend Lauren sent me this photo she had on her phone of Vera at Theo's age. My baby. 

A friend of ours handed down this large stuffed bear. Theo loves it. He sleeps with it every night in some sort of dog pile configuration. It's very cute to find him curled up underneath the bear completely hidden beneath it. 

I am now the proud owner of a waffle maker. Our first run was with a yeasted waffle batter, it was very tasty. Our local grocery store sells in-house squeezed orange juice that is the best and my favorite. A new waffle maker was excuse enough to splurge on some nice juice.

Sunday morning was the perfect frosted morning for a family walk.

When Texas freezes it is almost magically beautiful. There will be pockets of ice and frost with startlingly cold air and skies that write the definition of "clear blue."

It was beautiful and absolutely still. A perfect way to round out the morning after waffles.

And some people complained the whole time.


V- "Why don't you like to wear the color yellow, Mama?"
Me- "Because my skin has a lot of red in it so I don't think it looks good."
V- "Yeah, the red is from all your blood."

"GAH! Theodore! He's being such a turd mushroom!"

"This is the way you kill your family, kilt your family, kill your family, this is the way you kilt your family on a cold and frosty morning." 

"I just wish that there was snow all around and there were little ice wolves and ice giraffes and ice caterpillars and ice bears and ice turtles!"

"My business just LOVES this adventure!"

"I'm being a mean girl called Attacka Wolf. Attacka Wolf is a type of mean girl who wears purple polish eyes. She always likes to be naked because she's the type of mean girl who likes to be naked."

Me- "It's winter and cold. You have to wear clothes."
V- "I just want my body to be absolutely free and naked so I can run around with just hair."

It's 17 degrees outside. "But I have to take off my sweater and socks because I'm just hot and sweaty! You have to let me take my clothes off!"

"Giraffe's favorite movie is a ballerina giraffe movie called "Tippy Toes."

02 January 2017


Theodore loves his Papa so much. Every morning he wakes up and the first thing he says is, "Papa!" He also really loves bikes. He enjoyed pretending to ride Matthew's bike when we were sending him off to work. 

2016 week fifty-two
My kids will take any chance to be naked playing in water -even if it's only barely above 70 degrees. 

Family photo on the last day of the year. photo cred: Jacob Cole

In winter, when the days are nice I try to keep my kids outside (and apparently unclothed) as much as possible. When Vera whines about it I tell her it makes her strong -that doesn't win her over. When I tell her she will be able to send her kids outside and lock the door when she's a Mama then she gets a mischievous glint in her eye and happily skips outside. The thought of wielding power over others one day is enough to cheer her right up.

Then the next day it felt properly wintery again. 

My children (and the dog) love that we are dog sitting this weekend. The dog we are watching doesn't know how he feels. The thing he likes most about Frida is eating her food. The thing my kids like most about him is that he doesn't growl at them.

Happy New Year!


"This is TOTALLY awesome!"

Theodore's words: Duh! (done) Papa, eeeEEEh! (lights, shakes heads, I say "It's not hot." Laugh, repeat) Mama (but only in reference to food. As in he will only say my name when I'm in the kitchen, feeding him, not feeding him and he wants me to be, at the table, someone else is giving him food.)

"Oh! My candy looks so good and tasty and thick and adventurous and pretty."

Vera likes to play the rhyming game. She walks around our house rhyming nonsense words all day. Unfortunately it can be kind of funny for us at times, "Kitten, blitten, shitten." "Duck, wuck, f--" you get the idea.

"I can't leave my mermaid in the road or a car might roll over her and break her business."

Matt's little brother Sam and his girlfriend Larissa babysat for us one night to have a date to pick out a new calendar -a simple but very fun date sans children. When they arrived to babysit, Vera ran to the door and yelled, "It's Uncle Sam and Aunt Larissa!" I explained she isn't an aunt, but it didn't matter, as we were leaving I heard Vera saying, "I just love you so much Aunt Larissa." :)

"This is my Elsa licorice medicine. It's snowflake flavor."

My children together make up the many aspects of Calvin's personality from Calvin & Hobbes. Giraffe is Vera's Hobbes without a doubt. She plays with her all day and in every situation. Giraffe has a steady and kooky personality separate from V. V has the precocious loquacity that I associate most with Calvin. And Theodore is the Calvin who is smashing cars together and climbing on the roof to try to fly like a pterodactyl. One day Vera wanted to play with her dollhouse but Theodore kept pulling the furniture out and throwing it. I told her I would block him out of her room so she could play by herself. I put the couch in front of our hall entrance. In about 2 minutes, he had taken his toy airplane and used it as a step stool to climb onto her school desk and throw markers (without lids) everywhere. So I blocked him out of the front room and hallway entirely. In 3 more minutes, he had dragged a basket to the back of the couch, upended its contents, used it to climb on top of the shoe rack and then up over the back of the couch, down over the side and running down the hall yelling and banging his way into her room. But she was already coming out saying that she was too lonely to play by herself. I can hardly keep Theo back from anything. And we wont even go into mealtimes. Mopping is a much more regular occurrence in my kitchen these days.

26 December 2016


Christmas cookies this year: raspberry cream cheese stars, harvest spice cookies, hazelnut cookies, spicy gingersnaps, and Swedish coconut cookies.

With Grandma.

Waiting for Santa at Bass Pro Shop.

Playing in the "snow". 

Too much anticipation ended in just terror. She wouldn't even tell him about the mermaid with the green tail. Luckily, he's Santa so he knew about it already. 

All those sweet cheeks.

Sticky note crown.

Boy King. 

My mom sent me some slippers for Christmas. They're made in Poland. I love them. 

Christmas bath is not fun if you're a pup.

For Christmas Eve dinner, I made Peking Duck with a sweet sauce and spicy mustard on the side, homemade potstickers (Matthew took one bite and said, "This is all I want for my birthday. 60 potstickers all to myself."), steamed snow peas, and rice. Everything was so tasty. 

Theodore ate at least 10 oranges that day. 

Christmas Day dinner was a cheese and condiments spread. We contributed the worst cheeses (hah) but everything else was super good. 

Lovely hazy Christmas afternoon. 


V- "This is not a secret but can you please not listen to my words?"
Me- "Uhm ok?"
V- "I was all alone and there was no one around to see me and I accidentally ate a bite of a candy cane."
Me- "I think it would be hard to accidentally eat a candy cane. Were you being sneaky?"
V- "Yes... But I told the truth so I'm not in trouble!"

"I'm breathing really hard to make the car warmer for you mama!"

"Ouch! I hurt my little toe when I fell! Look at it it's so terrified."

Me- "Why aren't you in your seat buckled up yet?"
V- "I had to fight my wolfness first."

"I wrote this note for giraffe's sister... Allison." (We don't know anyone named Allison. I don't know where she pulled that one from.)

"Papa, I want a story about a monkey ripping Tinkerbell's skin apart."

"Look at your flowers are popping open! And when they all pop open then they're going to die in a couple days!"

Vera found a little turtle toy. "*Gasp* Look! It's little turdy!"

Some of Vera's commentary during Christmas church.
"Mama I was singing this song so loud about my SNAFF!"
"I sang about Giraffe again! I'm so grateful for her."
"Wow, that was so loud in my ears!" (just as the choir finished)
Sobbing so loudly "I DON'T WANT TO SIT BY PAPA!"

We were at Target and the parking lot was full of grackles. They were all chirping and cackling and Theodore points at them and starts growling loudly as though that's the noises they were making. I tried to get him to say "Tweet Tweet" but he would just growl.

When Theodore sees bears, in pictures or toys, he points and growls at them. When we were waiting in a check out line a large, grizzly, kind of dirty, man walked up behind us and Theo pointed at him and started growling. :)

19 December 2016


Vera thinks she's found a loophole to be able to watch more shows: Frozen themed Yoga videos. 

2016 week fifty

I tried to do an old fashioned christmas tree this year: paper snowflakes, ribbon, popcorn and cranberry strings. The popcorn string lasted about 5 minutes. I came into the living room and Theo was nibbling one end while Frida was nibbling the other.

Rolling in leaves.

Vera has been really enjoying drawing on her magic magnetic board. Here she's narrating, "Mama, whales have really tiny tiny little ears. I'll give her a baby whale too."

"Look at this creature's sad face!" Me- "Why is it sad?" V-"Because it's Mama wouldn't let it wear its special shoes." Me- "What kind of animal is it?" V-"A tornado."

I was sick this weekend, but it was kind of the best because it was on Saturday so Matthew had kid duty literally all day long. And though I was nauseous and had a raging pressure headache (The wind that day blew the temperature from 74 to 22 in 3 hours!!) it was really nice to have an actual true real sick day. I thought Matthew had taken a photo of me sleeping because he thought I looked cute or something. But I was mistaken. He was lured in by this stinky little face:

"Go home Theo you're drunk." Sweet disheveled baby after a nap. His love for this Christmas tree outweighs his desire to be modest.

Vera is really into making up her own poems. After I make her recite the poem we're currently working on she tells me a poem that "Giraffey taught me." Here are two of her latest:

"The quickly of no. The no-ly of quick."

"Trashcan walked trashcan walked. He walked until he found a friend and I danced down the road."

15 December 2016


Making Sarah Bernhardt cakes. I keep forgetting these are in my freezer and then getting little thrills when I remember and I go grab one. Recipe HERE

Anything with wheels he will try to sit on. He's obsessed with bikes. Any bike we pass he points and grunts and wants to touch it so badly. 

Lesson in Fashion from Vera pt 1: a scarf is anything you want it to be.

Lessons in fashion pt 2: messy hair, weird staring eyes, full body patterns mixed with a stripe neutral bien sur.

If I play my cards right and show enough enthusiasm mixed with, "But I just don't know if you're really big enough..." I may get to relieve myself of this duty for good. 

Holiday felt placemat 2016. V touched the moon before it was dry, naturally.

On Friday we headed to California for a long weekend. 

Making (eating the candy off of) a gingerbread house with Oma.

Look closely and you'll spot three dogs on the chair. 

At the fanciest restaurant V and Theo have ever been to. My trick is to get them there hungry and feed them a constant stream of amazing food. Moonstone Bistro was fantastic for breakfast. 

Visiting Grandpa Dean means getting lots of Grandpa Dean candy (Reeses cups) and when Grammy Kristy comes for a visit too that means we get cute new clothes and fun toys. 

Visiting my childhood home. Vera strikes her paparazzi face and Theo lets his belly hang out. 

With Oma in front of the old house. I'm sure the people were home; I'm sure they thought something weird was happening in front of their house. ("Who one earth is taking photos in front of our house?!") 

At Starbucks V got to wait in line by herself and buy her own cheese stick. She was very brave and very proud of herself. She came back to the table and announced, "I was SO brave and wise." Everyone around us thought it was just too precious. 

Smashing the gingerbread house. You can see Theo's little face in the background, "That looks a little dangerous. I want to help."

Little girl on the ramp.

"I need to read about these people on the airplane before we can leave. Can you wait just a minute before you ask me a question, Mama?"

Back home Wednesday morning. I made them play outside while I got a little cleaning done. V was in dress up heaven (she promptly tried on every dress we did not allow her to bring first thing that morning. Theo was angry at me for locking him outside. You can see the anger dripping from his nose. 


V-"Papa's first name is Matthew."
Me- "What's his middle name?"
V- "Poop."

"I'm just the princess of Neverland!" She's never seen Peter Pan. So obviously she's just been there herself. 

"I'm SO excited!" The first thing she said as she jumped out of bed at 430am to leave for California.

She's been trying hard to use the word "recently" properly. She hasn't got quite the hang of it. "I thought my animals were on the couch but recently it's just a ball."

V- "Oh I'm just HORRIFIED of going into places and staying there."
Me- "What does horrified mean?"
V- "It means you really really really want to go somewhere."

"Hold on tight Vera! Hold on tight little girl in the beautiful dress!" Said to herself while she was sitting on a rocking tiger.