22 May 2017


Walking through Cabo holding hands with Grandpa Dean

2017 week twenty

Annual Baja trip 2017

After a long long morning of travel and errands we finally got to tramp down to the beach and enjoy the cool sand and warm waves. 

Theo did not like the waves and never got used to them. I'm not too disappointed. I would rather he ran away when the waves came for him than running head first into them like Veronica does. We have to convince her to be wary.

V couldn't handle the stench of the fish blood bucket (empty or otherwise) so she found this car air freshener and used it to plug her own nose. 

This year, our friend Travis came with us. He dreamed of sleeping in his hammock on the beach but it took a few days of work to realize that dream. The garage was a good second though.

At the "neighborhood" pool for the sand castle competition. 

Vera swam to the bar at the center of the pool and ordered herself a Topo Chico. Dear Topo Chico, feel free to use this photo in an advertisement. 

I didn't bother to bring much "real" clothing this year; and as I suspected, Vera was in dress up 95% of the time. 

Though Theo looks determined and precise with the legos in this photo, most of the time he would just swipe them onto the ground or fling the box across the room. Then he would cry about the legos being covered in sand and dog hair. 

Morning walk on the beach

The tide was so low every morning. It gave us lovely little wonderlands of tide pools and rocks to climb on and enough still water for Theo to play in. But there were urchins. And they were seriously poky. Matt can attest to that. 

Our beautiful isolated beach. 

Matt and my dad spent every morning fishing for our lunches. 

Travis used most of his mornings for proper beach vacationing, i.e. sleeping in. 

After a couple days of digging in the sand and setting up posts, Travis was able to set up his hammock on the beach and sleep there fairly comfortably. 

Despite the (misleading) rumors of man eating sharks, we all still went to Cabo Pulmo for snorkeling and playing in water with gentler waves -still not gentle enough for my uncharacteristically timid son.

Building a sand pool to trap the rock crab that Matthew caught. 

After a fight, and a blood-drawn battle with the rock crab, Matt decided to return him to the sea. 

Playa de los arbolitos.

More low tide magic.

This area had magical geological stripes running through the rock. 

I thought the little caves were interesting. Vera thought they were terrifying. This is as close as she would go. 

The best shrimp tacos after a long afternoon of playing at the beach.

We came home to a garden bursting with garlic and onions. And this is only half of it. Our neighbors said they had been eating our ripe blackberries and tomatoes all week hand over fist. It's good to have neighbors to water your garden and rescue the produce from the birds.

We had so much fun in Baja. We always do. The addition of Travis and my dad's girlfriend Lauren made it even better. It was all delicious meals and lots of laughing all day every day. We're so grateful to be able to spend time in that house every spring and get some good Grandpa Dean time in. Hopefully we can keep up this tradition for many more years to come.

15 May 2017


If you leave a bucket of utility sand in the backyard, it will instantly become play sand. Just a cautionary tale for others. Also the wind wasn't blowing Theo's hair back like that. That is just what it does sometimes.  
2017 week nineteen

Our photos this week perfectly match what we spent our time doing: being outside in the soft spring air. 

Giving silly kisses. 

My lovely Vera. (until she and Theo tried to reenact "Hop on Pop" on my back) 

I feel so connected to the ages when I make bread. Except that I use a mixer because who has 15 minutes to stand and knead bread? Not even "the ages", this is why they discovered sponge and sourdough starters. 

Just your ordinary mid dinner prep with a little goblin. Note the bear (or "Bo") that Theodore is holding at the bottom of the photo. 

My children do not appreciate the lengths I go to get them to be quiet when I need them to be. I'll spend an hour on an activity that will keep them quiet for 20 minutes. Moana felt doll dress up. 

Born a poor young country boy, Mother Nature's son. 

V- "Can I bring this playdoh to the park?"
Me- "No. Then you'll be distracted from playing with your friends."
V- "But I can play baseball or football with them with this playdoh!"
Me- "Do you know what those games are?"
V- "No."
Me- "No playdoh at the park."

V- "I'm playing footsies with you!"
Matt-"I don't want you to pull my sock down with your toes."
This conversation happened twice this week.

V brought me a menagerie of stuffed animals and proceeded to name them all for me.
"This one is Tuna, and this one is Luna. This one is Edda. And here's Fredda. And I think this one is named Inga."

08 May 2017


"Mama, do I look JUST like Anastasia when she is walking in the snow?" ...uhhhhh

 2017 week eighteen
Me -"Why are you taking a photo?" Matthew -"Don't you want to see a snapshot of a moment of pre-bed chaos?" It might not look like chaos but everyone was being WAY too loud in this moment. The noise definitely contributes to "chaos."

Those socks...

"You really need to take a photo of my matching hair with my Ariel doll." In a coincidental likeness to my own childhood, Vera received several Ariel dolls/figurines for her birthday. I can still hear my own mom saying, "You got five Ariel dolls for your birthday. That's too many. Dont you think we should return a couple and you can get something else?" My response, of course was, "No! I want all of them!" 

On Wednesday, Grandma took the kids for a special play time and lunch together at Braums. V talked about that hamburger for days. 

Theo loves the hammock. One morning this week I put him in the hammock and honestly forgot about him for a while since he can get out by himself. When I remembered him, he was fast asleep. It was perfect. When I tried to move him to his bed, however, I noticed he'd messed himself and after being changed was unable to go back to sleep... 

Theodore loves his "bo" (bear) but the only problem is that he considers this bear's size to be no obstacle to toting him everywhere an ordinary-sized stuffed animal would go. 

What a sad turnout for quotes this week.

"*gasp* Are there any real spiders in this village?" One of the iterations of her question to mean "do they really exist?"

"I was miserable when I went away from you and I missed you so I came back." She had only gone to the other side of the playground.

01 May 2017


One sleepy morning we sat on the front step watching the clouds gather and waving goodbye for the day to Papa, when all the rain that had been threatening for days just finally gave in. Vera begged to run around and play in it. I happily obliged. After five minutes of happy shrieks and puddle jumping they came in and took a hot bubble bath while I did the morning chores. Texas has the magic of spring down perfectly. 

2017 week seventeen
Vera got some new clothes for her birthday. Some of which I sewed for her. While I was working on a couple items one day, she grabbed some extra fabric and took it to her "own sewing machine" to make a blanket for her stuffed giraffe. She was really excited about it. 

 Theo toddled around the house that morning in a puffy cat costume gnawing on a carrot while Frida hopefully trailed him. 

This boy wants to do everything exactly like Veronica does. It is unfortunately a lot of pressure for V to do the right thing all the time, because whenever she slips up he's immediately copying her. Sadly, she might get in trouble two-fold for inspiring naughtiness in her brother. But, in addition to the inspired naughtiness, she has inspired this silly boy's obsession with bows. One is usually not enough either. 

My big four-year-old girl. 

She wanted a birthday braid crown and two bows for her big day. 

All she wanted to do on her birthday is go to the mall to ride the carousel and the coin-operated rides. Because it was her birthday, the carousel gave her, and some friends, a free ride. All you have to do is sign up at the kiosk. It was very exciting. 

Picking out party favors from a sparkly and girly dollar store. 

She got some really lovely gifts for her birthday, but no one will contest that the mermaid swim suit with tail cover up stole the show. She's been wearing it basically nonstop. 

A week or two before her birthday I was watching Marriage, Italian Style. An old Italian movie starring Sophia Loren. It was so good. Even though V couldn't read the subtitles she enjoyed sitting and watching it with me. One scene in particular struck her: the two boys being offered a table full of pastries. When we got to this still from the film V said, "I don't want a cake. I want to eat THAT on my birthday." So, instead of a cake, she got cream puffs. 

My attempt at a strawberry cream filling was lackluster -should have stuck with the classic whipped cream for more than just half of them. But everyone was powdered sugar dusted and happy. 

Her local cousins came over to eat dessert and play after dinner. V spend most of her time affecting this mermaid pose and singing Ariel songs at them while they ran around. 

V got a couple headbands for her birthday and now Theo has a new love. My eyes are saying, "Oh, you're still taking photos." 

Saturday night Matt and I got to drive to Ft. Worth for a music festival. It was fun to walk around in the unseasonably chilly weather, but we were really there for only one reason:

Run the Jewels. It was a fun festival -a fun break from our usual nights out. 

"Sometime in the night I'll turn four! I don't know when but I'll sloooooooowly turn four!"

V, "It will be really really hard for me to turn four because I'm only three."
Me, "Will it hurt?"
V, "No."
Me, "Will it tickle?"
V, "Yes, of course!"

"Look I climbed up here all by myself with my sticky toes!"

"Oh look at my precious little eyebrows."