19 June 2017


Grilled salmon and potato salad 

Harassing Gus the cat. Despite the "stress shedding" we miss our guest cat. 

In order to play "wolves" properly, one must be naked and have shoes on ones feet and hands. 

Helping me cook dinner. 

Saturday morning waffles. Theo always requests a bow in his hair to match his sister. 

When pool time abruptly turns into mud time. 

Snack outside.

Early summer in our backyard. 

I love the shade so much, but also resent it. It certainly makes it difficult to have a productive garden. 

I finally discovered a good blend of plants that work rather well in our too hot too clay-filled front yard soil: Mediterranean plants. For the first time we have enough sage to just grab a handful to use instead of calculatingly plucking leaves one or two at a time to preserve the plant. I love it. 

Fathers Day breakfast: biscuits and gravy, coffee and construction paper cards. Theo was trying to say letter sounds as he scribbled along side Vera. 

Sunday morning at the park and in the woods. 

Happy Father's Day to Matthew a truly fantastic father and an example to our whole family. 


V “I don’t have any rest.”
Me “You need to take a rest.”
V “But no! I don’t have any rest in my heart.” Watching Anne of Green Gables is having its effect on Vera.

V “My heart is broken!”
Me “Do you know what that means?”
V “Does it mean the muscles are just snapped in half?”

Theodore “knee” = “owie” This started because he got his first scrape that bled on his knee. He kept pointing to it, and we would say, “Oh your knee? Does your knee hurt?” Now anything that resembles an injury (including zits on my face) he will gently touch it and sadly say, “Knee.”

“This fairy wants a gun to shoot bad animals who want to eat her. This wand shoots fire and lights the animals on fire.”

“HEY! I didn’t like that you stinky buddy!” Vera was mad at Theodore for taking some toy of hers.

Frequently we’ll hear Vera scream angrily and look outside to see Theodore running away as fast as his strong little legs could carry him with a toy clutched in his hand and a huge grin on his face.

“I’m being a cubby bear!” bear cub

“Wow, I saw that woman’s huge nipples! She must have huge nipples because she’s a mama.” She could not see anyones nipples, she saw a woman with large breasts and a tight shirt.

“Will I have to put my hand in the drink to get the toy?” Vera was confused about how a toy would “be inside” her first ever happy meal.

11 June 2017


This little goblin is having a frustrating go at learning how to propel herself on the swing. I told her the day she turns 5 no one will push her again so she'd better start actually trying to learn, not just pouty kicking when I try to explain it to her...
2017 week twenty-three

Italian-style grown up "beanie-weenies" for dinner. One of our Monday night bean dinner staples. 

We've been experimenting with the baguette recipe from Great British Bake Off. Vera helped me one day and was so proud to knead and roll out her own baguette. 

Late spring mornings in the garden -as seen by Matthew spying on us from the house. 

Pool goblin. 

Navigating the finer points of ramen, part one. 

part two. 

Chubby toes and noodle piles. 

Theo is almost 20 months these days and has started to understand the feeling of needing to use the bathroom. Almost immediately, he learned how to manipulate us into letting him inside or out of his bed with urgent cries of "Pee! Pee!" 

Beignets for snack.


"Mama, I'm a little kid cat. And my little kid cat name is Lisa Macourt." 

"OHKA! OHKA!" Theodore doesn't say "yes" he says a garbled up "OK" instead.

Matt and I are inside enjoying a cup of tea together during the kids outside-play-time. We suddenly hear Vera scream an almighty bellow. We thought for sure she smashed her finger in the woodpile or got stung by a wasp. I rush outside.
Me "What is wrong?! Are you hurt?!"
V "No!" sobbing "There is a creature and I am so scared!"
Me "What kind of creature? Did it get you?"
V still scream sobbing "No it jumped at me and I am so scared."
Me "Where is it?"
I go over by her kitchen and a fat lazy toad is sitting by the wall behind her kitchen. Apparently it jumped out of the woodpile and hopped away across her path behind her kitchen. She was really really frightened. So Matthew and I playfully teased her about toads coming to get her for the rest of the day. 

Like I mentioned above, we've been experimenting with a new baguette recipe which means we OUGHT to have a lot of bread lying about. However, Matthew eats it almost as quickly as I can bake any.
Me "I think you have a baguette problem."
Matthew "I don't. They are delicious, fresh and cheap. Three of the best defining characteristics I share with them." 

Every day I send my kids outside for at least an hour after snack time. Sometimes they are very grumbly about it.
V "I am bored I have nothing to do!" 
Me "You may not use that word. Bored is a very ungrateful, poor-attitude word."
V "Fine. I am Miserable. I have nothing to do."

V "Theodore, what's your name?"
T "ME!"
Me "Theodore, say THEO."

When V was little she would look at photos of herself and say, "You" when Theodore looks at photos of himself he says, "Me." I think it's very interesting. 

V "When I am big can I have three babies?"
Me "If you want to."
V "Yah, probably I can ask my husband for three of his seeds so I can have three babies. He will probably say yes, or no. Then I will name them Fala, Dala, and Mala, so their names will be easy to remember."
5 minutes later
V "Or I can just name them when I grow up."

V *buuuuuuuurp* "High five!"
Me "Try again."
V "Excuse me burp."

"Excuse me burp, you're in my way! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA"

"Look at me! I'm lighting up the night!"

"That was the first real time one of my dreams came true! Isn't that e-mazing?" 

05 June 2017


When you are so messy you get cake in your pocket... 

 2017 week twenty-two

Dinner outside. Grilled zucchini, radicchio and red onions from our garden, steak pizzaiola and homemade focaccia. Vera got to make her own little pan of focaccia that she could not remember how to pronounce. She kept wanting to call it "manachos."  

Vera's favorite climbing tree. 

The first half of the week was hot enough to swim and then it rained and rained and rained and it was glorious. 

Other than the packaged ones, all of these tomatoes came from our garden this weekend. I love hearing my children's wide-eyed gasps over our tomatoes and beg for some at each meal. 

I started our yearly canning this weekend. I tried a new method I read about in Mrs. Wheelbarrow's Practical Pantry. It was easier and lovely, and I learned a bit more of the science of canning. Also based on her advice, that I usually feel like I'm above, I checked the seals and found that three failed! I always just took for granted that they would be properly sealed. Also we had so many large jars go to waste last year, I'm only ever canning 8oz jars of jam again. Strawberry, cherry, and blackberry jam complete. 

If lining up all my lovely jewel colored jars is the best part of canning, this photo displays the absolute worst part of canning. If I hadn't made this mess myself, it probably would have made me cry. 


"Nyhaooooo" How Theo says "No" with a squinty-eyed, dimple-cheeked smile when you ask him to do something, or when he's being silly and trying to tease you.

"Giraffey spikes" What Vera calls dirty spikes of fur on Frida or food-matted smudges of Theo's hair after meals.

Theodore trying to avoid the post-meal wipe down. 

29 May 2017


Each afternoon this week ended up looking something like this: outside, partly dressed, partly wet, partly grumpy

2017 week twenty-one

He just realized that while he was outside playing I started cooking dinner. He's angry because he would rather be crying in the kitchen stamping on my feet pushing me away from the counters. He doesn't understand that demanding to be held makes dinner take longer. 

Grilled pizza night. I love their abstract rustic shapes. 

Playing turtle. The hair bow clipped to her panties is her "tiny little turtle tail" obviously. 

Drawing with Papa. 

Our first set of onions dried properly so we fashioned their braided tops as a little crown for my naked garden fairy. 

Theodore prefers to ride his bike using his Bo (bear) as a cushion.

Outside on the stray cloudy morning this past week. 

One day Vera wanted to be a "Ballerina Girl." She had very specific requirements for her outfit and her hair. 

Dinner outside. Eggs en cocotte with peppers and proscuitto, grilled corn and fresh baguette. 

Snack time in the fairy house. 

Cleaning up after Vera can be fascinating. Here I stumbled upon a very private and secret meeting of our lego men. 

"I think white and brown-like-human-skin are really pretty colors."

"I'm not scared of monsters in the back of the house when I'm with Theodore because he eats all the monsters like HyAHM hyAHM!"

Matthew -"You're looking very fashionable today."
V- "I had two diarrheas and needed to take medicine."
Matthew -"That's not really a response to what I said."

V singing something nonsensical.
Me- "What song is that?"
V- "It's from Giraffeys favorite princess movie called Ampa."
Me - "Oh."

V has been very concerned with if other people will like her dress or think she is beautiful or if we think she is beautiful. We're trying to redirect this.
Me - "What do you do that makes you beautiful?"
V -"Try to be kind."
Me -"What do I do that makes me beautiful?"
V -"Try not to spank."

Theo -"Bo" bear "UUUUUUUUUUUUUH" the sound a bug makes "Car"

If you pick Theodore up out of a dead sleep he will hastily look around and find a car in the room or outside and say "CAR"

"Can I climb up you as fast as a turtle can when they're like ducks and trying to run away from crocodiles and bears and hyenas? Oh and horses and bears? And wolves and crocodiles? Like a turtle?"
V speaks in hasty half nonsense sentences all day phrasing comments as questions (that do not need to be questions) and will be frustrated if you dont respond to her like it's a proper question. All day. Some days she has timeouts from speaking. In many ways she is my little Anne Shirley. 

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.