20 March 2017

ELEVEN

Theodore caught in the act of pounding me with his plate while I'm preparing dinner. It was understandable though, that grilled whole chicken diavolo was perfect. It tasted of summer -which today at 87 degrees doesnt feel too far away. 

2017 week eleven
The next day V asked if she could play with play-doh just before I started to cook dinner. I was initially inclined to say no because I would need to set the table and no one would enjoy eating dinner with their plates sticking to the little pieces of goop on the table. But then I thought, what about the outside table? And voila! They were contentedly busy while I cooked. No one breaking drawers or throwing plates and bowls. I'm looking at you Theodore. 

This morning I decided to put off whatever minutiae usually keeps me "busy" all day and sit in my bed and read while V had a lunch date with her giraffe. She got my scarf as a table cloth and kept bringing out different courses to share with her giraffe. I'm really glad I didn't wipe down the counters instead of watching this.

Theodore and the glorious hair -and well truly, the glorious pear. They were both perfect. 

I got better acquainted with the neighbor girl's grandmother while the little girls played dress up and doll house. And two hours later she brings me a plate full of chicken tamales. I blended up some salsa and they made a fantastic second dinner, and lunch, and snack... etc. When I returned the plate, I had to return the gesture, so I cut two "Matilda-style" slices of chocolate cake. It was the tastiest way I could say "Thank You." And I didn't even need Google Translate. 

Sometimes "Thor" can be a diminutive of Theodore. It fits my son. One of this pre-dinner pillages of my kitchen resulted in completely bending back and irreparably damaging the drawer slider. How does a 17 month old do this? We bent it back as far as we could but the drawer requires two hands and a fair amount of elbow grease to open and close now. I guess this works as a sort of "Baby Proofing." And now that he can't access the kid cups and plates, he's going to be forced to learn dinner patience? 

We didn't get any photos of our St. Patrick's Day dinner with some friends, but I made sure to take a photo of my favorite part of St. Patricks Day festivities: the morning after breakfast. Corned beef hash with leftover soda bread and marmalade and coffee. Too bad corned beef only comes but once a year in this house, because this breakfast is scrumptious. 

On Saturday, our friend and real estate agent rented out a whole showing of Beauty and the Beast. They had glow sticks and ring pops and a real Belle. 

This little one wants a lot more practice sitting still and quietly. At least the theater was full of kids and babies so no one really minded except his parents. 
Quotes:

V -"Mama can I sleep with my Cora Cat tonight?" Wooden carved cat from Jamaica.
Me- "Sure."
V- "I love this cat. I like it when her eyes glow in the dark."
Me- "What?!"
V- "The cat's eyes glow green in the night and I like to see them."
Me- "Are you teasing me? She's made of wood. Wood can't glow. Are you telling me the true thing?"
V- "Yes. When it's really dark and really quiet her eyes start to glow."
Me- "That makes me feel scared."
V- "Not me. I like it."
Me -"I want to believe you. We only tell each other the true things, so please tell me. Are you being honest or are you teasing?"
V- "I'm telling the true thing."
Me- "...Ok. I will believe you."
Five minutes later her door opens and closes and she had thrown the cat into the hallway. In the morning she said she had been teasing but I still couldn't tell if she was being honest with me. It was all very peculiar. 

"Aw. Look at my little tortilla. It looks like the moon."

V- "There is chocolate on him!"
Me- "Yes. I can wipe it down."
V- "Can you wipe it down?"
These nonsensically repetitive conversations happen frequently. 

"Wow. I just had a really sloppy toot."

Me- "I'm so tired today I just want to lie down and watch a movie."
V- "You can do that. That's ok."
5 minutes later
V- "It's really ok if you just want to put on a movie and lay down."
5 minutes later.
V -"It's ok if you want to put on a movie. Why don't you just put on a movie."
1 hour later
V- "Are you going to put on that movie? It's ok if you want to!!!"
Me- "Do you just want me to put on a movie so you can watch it."
V- "Yes."

V likes to have conversations with her friend in the mirror.


"You can hold giraffe so you can remember me. I gave her my love so you can remember me and hear my love in her heart beat."





I forgot to mention that the reason we went to Utah was two-fold. Primarily, Matt was going for a trade show for the company he works for and I wanted to tag along to see my friends. The bonus reason was that the company that is publishing Matt's drawing book had a booth at the same trade show and Matt got to sit in the booth for some of the day to promote his book in a "Meet the Author" role. I'm very proud of him. This it the preview video for his upcoming book.




13 March 2017

TEN

He kept taking his book around the living room and laying on his stomach to look at it. His Papa likes to do this too. Very sweet. 

2017 week ten

Waiting for our airplane to take us to Utah!

This was Theodore's first experience with snow. He kept reaching for it and cooing at it. I would put his finger in it and he would immediately make this face. 

This was my whole reason to travel to Utah: to spend as many hours as possible chatting with my two favorite women. I love both of you so much. To sound rather dramatic, you are woven into who I am. We were beyond lucky to just "end up" together at university. I just barely missed seeing Lauren's baby, but at least I got to visit with you and help you time contractions and feed you eggs en cocotte. I miss you. I hope it's not another 2.5 years before we see each other again. 

Cafe Rio dinner with the cousins! They were so sad Vera wasn't with us, but seemed to be fine with "Baby Feo" as a substitute.

Theo whined until he had a fork and unfettered access to my pork barbacoa salad. 

Meanwhile, back in Texas, Vera is having the time of her life with Grandma. On this day she got to have lunch at school with her cousin. 

On the train.


I love trains. There's something about them. I get so excited and happy to sit on a train. 


V had a Little Mermaid filled week. Apparently she sang the songs and pretended to be Ariel non-stop. So clearly, she was thrilled to sleep in a bed next to this poster.

This was the first time I ever left Vera overnight anywhere and we left her for 5 whole days! I thought she'd be shy and sad and miss us. Hardly. She was kind of bummed when we took her home because, in her own words, "I'd like to go back to grandma's house and watch more movies."

I got to have some of the young women over to teach them how to make basic baguettes. It was so fun and we got to eat delicious bread at the end of it. 

Vera has an interesting theme when playing: Exhibit A

Exhibit B 

Theodore's hair was so fluffy this morning. He looked like a fluffy little cockatoo. 

Going to the park on Sunday mornings is one of my favorite things to do with my little ones. Despite Vera's seemingly grumpy face, she loves it too. 



Quotes:

"It's ok Mama. Theo can use my car seat for the whole month until we die."

"Mama, when are we going to die?"

"Mama, are we going to be really old when we die? How many numbers until we die?"

Listening to Hamilton in the car, V- "Mama, what is a revolution?"
Me-"..."
V- "Excuse me, did you hear me? What is a revolution?"
Me -"That is a hard question to answer, you might not really understand."

Me -"Excuse me little one, why are you pestering me so much today?"
V- "Because I just have things to tell you that I HAVE to say. La la la la gah gah grah bah!"

V talking mostly to herself while playing Ariel, V -"No, I don't want to get it!"
Matthew- "What? Malaria?"
Almost offended, V -"No. Stop Papa." 
Matthew -"Aw. My first embarrassing Dad joke."


06 March 2017

NINE


Vera was a runner up in a little contest to memorize a poem or song in French. She won a book. She was so excited to get the package in the mail. When she was opening her book she kept saying, "I have to close my eyes!" and then tried to unwrap it. It was unsuccessful. 

2017 week nine

And she really enjoyed reading the book over and over for the rest of that day.  She especially loved that she had the same pair of red sandals as the girl in the story.  Thank you again to The French Library in NOLA.

One of my old college friends has a particular fear of cats watching and plotting against her. When I felt something watching me while I was mowing the lawn, and saw this I had to take a photo and send it to her. This particular cat is the softest cat I've ever had the pleasure to pet, though he does look a little sinister perched on the window like that.



Vera has been really interested in climbing the tree in our front yard this week. It's all she's been talking about. She's very proud of herself. She lives to climb this tree, even though I make her climb down all by herself -even (or especially) when she gets scared and starts to cry. In fact, she's almost more proud of herself when she climbs down in tears. She feels very accomplished. 

My little Dandelion Prince is having to work overtime these days picking all the flowers in our lawn. PS can you spot the wild cilantro growing amidst our clover?

If ever we can't find Theo, he's sure to be right here.

Other than dandelions, we've had our first hint of spring poking through our garden. The bushes and trees are in bloom, the peony is coming back, and our first purple green asparagus has popped its head through the straw.

Friday night we went to a local production of The Little Mermaid with a group of friends. Though V was up WAY past her bedtime she was so good during the play. Well, as good as can be expected. During every scene change (and there were QUITE a few) she loudly asked, 'Is it over now? Is that the end?" I was so glad we got to take photos with the cast afterward. We beelined for Ursula who did such a fantastic job. She was Vera's favorite (my favorite was Scuttle) and even though V was slightly terrified ("I thought she was going to hurt me!) she still wanted to get a photo. It's so funny to watch Vera learn about and discover the world. I'm noticing she gets very withdrawn around large groups and wants to be held a lot. She keeps telling me she's feeling sensitive and shy. It reminds me that even though she's learning to read and add and climb trees and seems so big most of the time, she's still rather small. 

Quotes:

Referring to the other mermaids in the play "I don't like to see those other girls dancing. They are making me feel sensitive and shy." I really couldn't unpack what emotion she was feeling here.

"I am so hungry I could eat a WHOLE potato." Wow.

"It's my first time ever climbing a tree. I've GOT to tell Papa!"

At lunch she was dipping her pear into some mayonnaise. "Mama, this is so delicious you really need to try a bite."
Me- "Please don't make me. That sounds so bad."
V- "I'm sure you'll like it if you try it. We always try one bite Mama."
Me- "*Sigh* You're right. Ok. I'll try a bite."
I regret having to set that example and follow the same rules we set for her. It was so awful. So awful. I think there was a hint of ketchup on my bite as well. *shudder*

We're in the process of getting hard wood floors. We had to go to the floor store a few times. 
Me- "Alright we need to get ready to go. We need to go back to the floor store."
V- "Florida core store or Lord Licorice store?" (floors and decor or lumber liquidators. haha)

Theodore calls Veronica "A-ca-ca" I think as she gets older she will not like that.

"This mean girl does really e-mazing dances. They're so good I want to be her! So I'm being a really mean girl who dances."

Me- "Tell me something you love about me Vera."
V- "I don't understand the question."
Me- "Ok, well I love that you are brave and try to be kind and helpful to your brother and me."
V- "Ok. Well I love that you make me macaroni and cheese."

"Look at my little tear!" Amid crying while climbing down the tree. 






27 February 2017

EIGHT


Pre-bedtime nonsense to make sure everyone's nice and calmed down.

2017 week eight

Helping me roll pasta. I loved borrowing this pasta press so much I want one for myself.

February? What is February?

When your children are at my house I apparently will make let them cook their own lunches. 

Enjoying a mango smoothie in the warm February afternoon. Theo thought the straw was more fun to use as an instrument for flicking milkshake everywhere. 

He took a bath and was lotioned and brushed and put into fresh night things. I left him in his room to go retrieve a possum and find him happily sitting in the cooled off bath water fully clothed. Reminds me of someone else...


at the exact same age. (nearly to the day)

Matt and I had a little date on Friday night and left the kids with Matt's brother Sam and his girlfriend Larissa. The end of evening report was not favorable. Vera got the opportunity to write her first apology note this week. 

Someone is so excited about her Daddy-Daughter Chick-fil-A date. 

Look at those anguished eyes.

Trying so hard to resist laughing at her Papa's silliness.

Obviously she felt much better once they got there. We love Chick-fil-A and the fun little activities they coordinate. They even gave her a rose to take home. 

Dear Theodore, this is not a way to climb on a chair. 

Seriously. He made himself a personal toddler pillory. 

Quotes:

Vera got in trouble for something and later we were talking about it.
Me: I used to get in trouble a lot when I was a little girl.
V: You did?
Me: Yes, when I would get into trouble Oma would yell at me if I did something really naughty.
V: You would do naughty things because you were little and Oma would yell at you.
Me: Do you like it when I yell?
V: No.
Me: Do you think it's better to yell or spank sometimes?
V: I think it's better to just give hugs and use a calm voice.

"My heart is being magic and my body is being surprised!" Referring to her "trick" of climbing on the couch backwards over the armrests.

Woman at the park: "Do you have a nickname?"
V: "Yes. You can call me Cupcakester."
This is her favorite nickname. Her eyes glow with confidence when she asks me or strangers (apparently) to call her "Cupcakester."

I got Theodore up from using his toilet and there was liquid in it! Yay! Then I noticed the drool trail down his body and into the toilet. He drooled enough that I thought he had peed. He's like a St. Bernard. 

"Mama, what color is cricket blood?" Says Vera (feigning innocence) in the backseat holding the bag of crickets we bought to feed the tarantula. I nearly threw up. 

"Can I have a pinch of salt to eat?" Every meal time. Every. single. time.

Theodore has a comfort book. It's a little ABC board book a friend gave us when he was brand new. He wants to sleep with it and hold it at all times. He's just learned to say "Please" and he's usually referring to being handed his book. As you can imagine, with all that love, it's falling apart fast.