Sunday, December 23, 2007

Wii-ing All the Way

Uncle Fireball really, really, wants a Wii. He worked and saved and finally had the required funds...and couldn't find one. CAN'T find one. J and I were at Big-Box-Mart Friday morning, just to see if a shipment might have come in that morning. But, shipments don't come in until noon. And UPS doesn't deliver on the weekends. And a clerk had told J's mom previously that they would get just one more shipment before Christmas- Friday or Monday it would be, folks! So...Friday it was not. But a game store two doors down had started a Wii-Wait List that afternoon- sign your name, PAY YOUR CASH, and you would have a Wii in your possession by January 20th. Apparently they can promise this, even though they have no earthly idea when the next shipment might come in? Let's hope so, for Uncle Fireball's sake. He's number 3 on that list, and all Friday afternoon he'd chirp the store's name whenever the phone or doorbell rang. We're thinking maybe we'll put a phone next to his head early tomorrow morning and call him just to hear him say it one more time. For his sake, I really hope it comes tomorrow. For our sakes, too.

On the Ernie front, she finally hit her limit today. After being warned not to put a certain toy in her mouth and chew the rubber globe, she did it again and Daddy confiscated the precious toy until tomorrow morning. Oh my- kicking, screaming, arching back- she had it all. She came to me- I confirmed the confiscation's time limit. She went to her beloved Nana- nope, Daddy said no. She went sobbing into Nana's room, and tried to climb under the bed in her misery. A few minutes later she came out to confirm how MAD and completely distraught she was. I scooped up my flailing, wailing, bundle off the floor and carried her away to lay her on our bed to cry it out. Didn't work, but after about 15 minutes she decided that maybe reading a story, sniffling and occasionally laughing in my lap, would be an OK substitute for her beloved "eeyight" (light) toy. For the record, it's a rubber globe over a color-changing strobe light, on a flexible wand. It's a Disney park toy, and looks REALLY cool in the dark at their Electric Parade I'm sure. We really don't need that rubber globe getting chewed off and filling her mouth cavity. She also doesn't need to put found objects in her mouth, period. Right? I could hear J's mom in the other room explaining to her kids "See, all kids do this. It's part of being 2." And I might have imagined it, but I hope she said something about needing to stay firm, because for me sometimes it's hard to know which struggles to pick!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

We're Up In the Air!

After many more nights, we made it to Nana's house! It took 11 hours of driving to the airport, flying to Vegas, connecting to Pheonix, driving 2 hours...we're here! It's 5,000 feet elevation and 20% humidity and this sea-level, lots of rain, girl is feeling a little parched. Nana and Grandpa, and all J's siblings, are over-joyed to have Ernie here. We walked in and Nana handed her a candy cane and it's only gone up-hill from there.

Yesterday we did shopping and J and I visited with a childhood friend of mine and his wife. It's so amazing to realize that the last time I spent any large amount of time with him was 5th grade. Back then we went to church together, and caught the bus at the end of his driveway between the wheat fields in the country. It was a family of 4 boys, so my sister and I were his mother's adopted daughters, and her official daily hug. His wife is an AMAZING knitter- she even makes her own yarn sometimes. She's making an adorable set of mittens for Ernie, and she gave me a gift of a beautiful knitted washcloth. I promised her a fabric roll-up for her knitting needles, ruler, and other items she needs on hand to knit. Her home is amazing- felted cat beds, knitted rugs, afghans and quilts (a childhood hobby with her mother.) She was able to make all of her Christmas presents this year, except her husband's.

One last thing: Happy Birthday Mom!! We love you!Mom and Elizabeth

Sunday, December 16, 2007

What to do?

What do you do on a Sunday, with a sick toddler? We both have runny noses and achy everything else (including eyeballs.) So, I kept her out of nursery and myself out of Relief Society. Nursery has children who get so close they bite beads off her necklace WHILE SHE'S WEARING IT, and Relief Society has women who are 85 years old, and mothers of children who will soon be out of school and needing their moms firing on all cylinders. So, what do you do on a Sunday with a toddler? Movies are out, of course. I guess we could go for a walk but it's blinkin' cold outside. My mom and brother need birthday cakes- we could make those, if we wear surgical masks. She's filled the memory card on my phone taking pictures, and then called the nursery leader. We've had pancakes with syrup, read books, taken showers, and she picked out J's tie (it's her job to pick it out every Sunday.) We can clean the kitchen- she likes to put the dishes in the dishwasher, and the drain board.

At least there's only an hour left until nap time!

No, I don't know why she's starting posing like a movie-star for photos, or why she loves her monkey shirt so much, or why she wants to chew on this medicine dropper all day. No, I don't.

Friday, December 14, 2007


This is a great season to remember blessings. President Henry B. Eyring recommends writing them down every day! So, here are a few of our recent blessings.

1) Aunt LoLo found my church keys in the bottom of a bag of baby toys, at the bottom of the toy chest, in the basement. That's some deep digging!
2) Aunt LoLo went to the grocery store for me this morning, to get ready for a wedding reception I'm putting on tomorrow.
3) J passed a section of the CPA exam.
4) Ernie isn't sick this week.
5) We get to visit my grandparents every Thursday.
6) My Dad is taking Ernie overnight, which frees up a lot of time to get ready for tomorrow's piano recital and wedding receptions, Christmas, and our trip.
7) 4 years ago I was sealed for eternity to my husband.
8) 1 year ago I was called as Relief Society President.
9) We're leaving to see J's family next week, and we're staying for his brother's sealing.
10) Ernie.

What are you thankful for today?

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Family Night

For our Family Home Evening activity last night Ernie and J helped me make another tray of this year's Christmas treats: pretzel-rolo-pecan bites. (I don't know what they're called!) Basically, you stack a Rolo candy on a small pretzel, bake at 250 degrees for 4 minutes, then smoosh down with a pecan half. Let them cool for a few hours, and peel them off the tin foil you used to line the baking pan. (You can put them in the fridge for about 10 minutes to start the process, but my counter is much larger than my fridge.) They are absolutely amazing little candies, and MUCH cleaner to make than 200 cookies. (I have a big Christmas list this year.)

Ernie is a very organized little girl, so this activity was right up her alley. In this shot we see that Daddy had put one on upside down, by accident, so she started to flip them ALL upside down. What happened to my little girl to make her this way??

Ernie is still busy topping her pretzels, but do you see what Daddy is doing? He's sorting pecans, pulling out the "whole" ones for us to use.

Any more questions about my daughter? Yeah, not so much.

Friday, November 30, 2007

I love Winter

I love this time of year. It's the first day of December, and we woke up to a white world. Now, I'm sitting a the computer after successfully finding a shirt for tonight's office party, Ernie is asleep, I have a fresh loaf of bread from the bakery, and my entire house smells like oranges and cloves thanks to a reed oil diffuser from my aunt. (Thanks!) I met with a few Relief Society sisters this morning in the first round of visiting teaching interviews, and it's always so wonderful to have them in my home and to hear how they care for the sisters on their routes, and how they appreciate their companions.

J's office party is tonight- it's my once-a-year chance to dress up. I'm just afraid that one of these years they'll make it "business attire" and I won't get to dress up any more. We suggested to my parents that maybe Ernie could sleep at their house tonight, so no one needs to spend hours alone in our house after she goes to bed. With no television channels, no Wii, and only a computer screen to watch DVDs on, it can get a little boring around here for some people! Well, they (or Grandpa) agreed! So, Ernie will go to church with them tomorrow and we'll catch up with them at my grandparents' house after church, for our monthly "Fast Sunday dinner with Grandma and Grandpa." Thanks, Mom and Dad!

Last night we met up with Aunt LoLo and co. for our annual trek through the botanical gardens winter lights. They do a beautiful job, making wisteria, parrots, bird of paradise, primroses, fuchsia, and even a giant banana slug out of Christmas lights. The girls were enchanted, the moms were completely camera happy, and the dads were frozen. In typical style, Aunt LoLo and company hit the mall afterwards, and we just went home so J could study.

Enjoy the pictures!!




Wednesday, November 28, 2007


Well, she caught another bug. She wouldn't eat much yesterday, and was a little too dramatic and prone to crying. She also kept grabbing her tummy. So, if anyone spent time with Ernie or BBJ in the last out! BBJ had the same symptoms yesterday, so they must have caught the stomach flu bug at the same time from somewhere.

You've been warned! And make sure you have lots of clean sheets and jammies.

And for the record, she wasn't scared at all. Pretty pleased with herself, actually. And, she was convinced that since she was up, might as well go watch a movie! Nothing better to do at 1:00 a.m., right?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Secret Stuff

We're home now, and the house is almost back to normal. It's amazing what happens around here when Ernie and I pop in for an hour or two every couple days to teach piano and maybe take a nap, and then dash away to take care of other things! But, the house is vacuumed, mail is taken care of, and the kitchen is re-stocked and ready for action.

Thank you to everyone who helped Aunt LoLo and I celebrate our birthdays this year- the gifts were all so kind and thoughtful, and Aunt Bert made us the most amazing, YELLOW, cake for our "golden" birthday. Thanks, babe! It was beautiful, and I think she used at least an ounce of liquid food dye to color the white frosting. Dad, the stroganoff was amazing- I wish there was a recipe for what you do in the kitchen, other than "dump these things in a pot and cook them till it tastes good." How are we supposed to pass THAT down through the generations??

We had a lot of fun at Grandma and Grandpa's house. We found out that Ernie is a football-watching kind of girl. She especially likes saying "He fell down!". She gets to say it a lot during games. She and I are very lonely now, with only each other to keep ourselves company during the day. Also, a VERY special thanks to my brother for teaching Ernie to fence, the two of you chasing each other around the house for 45 minutes with a long wooden spoon and the poking-stick blender companion!

I've been busy making Christmas presents...but since most of my reading base will be receiving these presents, I don't think I should post pictures quite yet! But, after the holidays are over I'll be sure and post pictures of everything, and rough instructions. There are some fun things going on over here!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Mama Die!

I know what you're thinking about the post title- I thought the same thing the last few weeks...until we figured out tonight that "die" means "do it." "Mama do it" is apparently an integral phrase in her life! If SHE wants to do something however, she just says "Baby!!" Oh, the Ernie language. If I can, I'm going to get a video of her drawing. She scribbles a circle, then "Mama?..........Ah." Scribbles again, "Daddy?..........Ah." Scribbles, "Baby?.........Ah." Each "ah" is very emphatic, with a deep head nod. She uses the same nod when she asks a question she WANTS to know the answer to. Points to the snack cupboard, does the sign for candy...."ah." Off she goes- she's got the only answer she needs!

No pictures today- we're stabled at Grandma and Grandpa's house, while they tour Turkey, Greece, Istanbul, Barcelona, and many other wonderful places. It's a blast- Ernie is loving the space here. There's a long, wood-floored, hallway that's become her take off runway; new corners to hide in; and BOB, the ultimate stroller. We're getting lots of miles out of BOB- we take the "Loop" every morning (local folks know), and she loves it. She settles in and just gets in the zone. She loves being with her Aunt and Uncles, too, and they just smile and nod at her antics, and accept the hugs she starts from halfway across the room, running to get up enough speed to knock the wind out when she finally collides. Ahh, fun times!

Friday, November 9, 2007

My Daughter

My daughter is a chocolate fiend. During my shower, she pushed the barstool over to the counter and ate Nesquick WITH A SPOON. I assume that she felt it to be "uncivilized"- I also found a large water glass 1/3 full of Nesquick, and a clogged straw.

My daughter is a parcel.
My daughter is a photographer. I found 15 shots of this on my camera.

My daughter is very, very neat. This is her lunch.My daughter is the sweetest pumpkin in all the land.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

The New Wonder Woman


For those of you who were around in the Spring, we planted potatoes this year in a garbage can-- Dad calls them my garbage potatoes. I drilled drainage holes, put about 8 inches of dirt in the bottom, and planted 5 seed potatoes (a mix of yukon gold and reds.) After the vines grew 12 inches, I covered all but the top inch with hay and kept adding more hay till they grew out the top of the barrel. When they all died back in the fall we dumped it out and harvested our "treasure." (Instructions are from Cisco the Gardener, found in the PI.)

As you can see it was a very scanty treasure, with some potatoes the size of marbles! I had doubts about doing the same thing next year, no matter that the cost was almost nothing since I already have the garbage can and lots of straw. I'd just need more dirt and some seed potatoes. But the TASTE..oh my, folks. These potatoes are incredible- I boiled them Monday evening, and the skins were tissue-paper thin and delicious, and the vegetable itself was buttery smooth and so POTATO tasting. No seasoning needed. I'm definitely doing this again, even if we only get one meal's worth. (Now that I've said this, everyone is going to ask why I didn't invite them over for our Monday meal :o)

Changes for next year, and for anyone else who wants to grow- I'm going to use more dirt. Maybe start with 12 inches to plant in, then cover the next 12-18 inches with dirt as well. I really like doing this in a garbage can because they're so easy to dig out in the fall, and you can dump the whole thing into a tarp, pick out the vegetables, and load the whole thing into the yard waste cart. I don't know how many more potatoes I'd get if I didn't use any straw. I don't think we'd get more than 2 feet of dirt populated with potatoes- they seemed to all be near the surface, anyway.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Folk Magic

I have a new weapon in my arsenal against the common cold: onion syrup. Basically, layer slices of one large onion with one cup sugar in a glass jar, cover, and leave on the counter 1-2 days until all the juice has been pulled out of the onion. Store the syrup in the fridge (recipe from Seattle PI). It's a mucus thinner- I may be just desperate and crazy, but after I give E a half teaspoon of this stuff I can hear her cough change. It has that "mucus is breaking up" kind of sound to it, where it didn't before. And it's just onion juice and what could half a teaspoon hurt? She likes the taste, too. Cold medicine has been banned for small children, and I always felt like it didn't help much to begin with (I want the cold OUT of her body, so stopping her runny nose won't help me.)

This can also be done with garlic or ginger. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Halloween is over- costume in the wash, candy sorted (sorry, no "fruit chews" for this baby!), and pumpkin lanterns packed away.

We decided E was well enough last night to bundle up and attend Grandma and Grandpa's trunk-or-treat. She's still sick, but getting better...which is an awkward stage. She's a little bit more cranky, because she'd LIKE to do a lot more now, but she's just too tired. That would make anyone cranky! But regardless, she had a blast at the party.

Oh, and you don't know how many sizes my heart swelled up last night when E drank ONE AND HALF glasses of milk when I went into check on her at 1:00. That's almost more than she'd drank in the previous two days combined.

Enjoy the photos!

"Think anyone will notice if I snag another piece?"

A beautiful "urban witch." Lookin' good, Bert!

Aunt LoLo and Co.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Something Beautiful

Yes, E is still sick (but still happy!) However, I got SO little done yesterday, and I went to bed so VERY tired, that I just had to get something done today. So, we've done laundry, cleaned and tidied, and I did a little bit of yard work during her nap. In the spring, I ordered some very inexpensive, VERY small, lavender plants through the mail. They were really just about 3 inch high little wands, with roots attached. I was SO surprised when after I planted them in our newly-made flower beds along the walk way, they GREW! They thrived! They actually had flowers! Today was the day to harvest the lavender because:
a) a few bushes were growing over the sidewalk and
b) I needed to add something beautiful to my Kleenex and cuddle filled week. (On the sickie front, she slept until 9:00 this morning rather than 5:00, and she ate 2 chicken nuggets for lunch. She won't even eat ice cream! She MUST be sick.)

So, here are pictures of the lavender I harvested, and what I did with a few of the wands. The rest will be dried, flower buds rubbed off, and either made into sachets or lavender lemonade. Or ice cream. Or something else really good that I've always wanted to try, but never wanted to pay for someone else to make so I could purchase it at the grocery store! I'm looking forward to a much bigger harvest next year- I have about 10 plants. The craft instructions can be found here. Maybe I can make enough to use as Christmas gifts next year- it smells fabulous.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Fun....and not fun.

E had a great Saturday- we went for a walk, played games, and went to the ward's "Trunk Or Treat" This is our second one this year (first was Aunt Lolo's ward), and she has FULLY grasped that when we put this costume on her, she gets to grab her bucket and run around a parking lot collecting candy from every car. This outfit is now her favorite thing to see me pull out! That's a big improvement- at first, the only redeeming quality was the velcro I used to keep the back of the neckline shut- she could undo that, and have it all off in a flash. I didn't feel so smart about spending so much time picking out coordinating colors that would work with her complexion, cutting, sewing, ironing...didn't feel smart at all! May as well cut two holes in a pillow case and call her a ghost!

After the trunk or treat, there was still time before bedtime and Daddy craved gelato- how many people can say there's a gelato cafe 2 blocks from their house? (Un)fortunately, we CAN say that, and now the shop owners know us by sight! I ordered mango and berry, and Daddy ordered passion fruit and coconut. This was E's first time, and she loved it- she ate my gelato, she ate Daddy's gelato, then she danced around on the stage they use for the Friday night jazz-guitarist.

So Saturday was all fun, and Sunday was all fun (she loves Nursery now- pulls Daddy all the way down the hall after sacrament meeting!), but she woke up from her nap with a 101.7 degree fever, runny nose, deep cough, sore throat, runny must be almost November! She spent a few weeks last year sick last year, either sleeping, watching movies, or nursing. Almost no other food passed her lips, she didn't was so sad to watch. She's not quite that bad (fingers crossed), but this time we know: no cold medicine, use a humidifier in her room, and give her lots of liquids. I'm actually giving her juice, which I've never done before at home. Her hands and lips and skin are dry, her eyes are red...she's my little sickie, but she's such a trooper. She doesn't whine or fuss, and shows me what movies she wants to watch or just cuddles in my lap. She didn't sleep much the last few nights- waking up every 2 hours, then finally asking to get out at 5:00. BUT, she's been asleep for her nap for almost 2 hours now, which is promising! She hasn't eaten since eating lunch yesterday, but has drunk a glass of milk and a glass of juice.

I've canceled music lessons and play dates, canceled visiting our 87 year-old friend yesterday, and will probably cancel visiting my grandmother. So everyone, wish us luck...and we'll see you when this is over!

If you'd like to see more pictures from October, please head over to our Flickr account!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Getting Dressed

Ernie got to do more baking this week- our friend needed an outlet to use some freshly-ground wheat flour, and we needed something to fill our morning! The loaves turned out beautiful. Thanks, Kathy, and to her fabulous husband who just loved grinding the wheat so much he finished an ENTIRE bag!

We've been working on "getting dressed" this week. A few examples:

Ernie is diligently trying to put her shirt back ON, all by herself!

It's a tough go. But then again, she has a great role model in Aunt LoLo. Nice pants!

Ah well, she'll get it eventually. I hope.

Somebody looks faaahbulous!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Growing Up

Ernie is growing up so fast! Monday evening she learned how to play "Red Light Green Light." She was howling with laughter. She was so intent on stopping when Daddy turned around her feet stopped before her belly could and she went flying through the air, to land in a giggling heap at Daddy's feet.

Yesterday was our first Story Time at the library- she was so intent on the story! I had her in my lap and tried to get her excited about things, clapping around her and whispering in her ear things like "Look! They're getting in the bus! Look, it's a plane!" She finally slid off my lap, took my face in one hand, put a finger to my lips and looking into my eyes very seriously said "Shhh." Story time is serious business! After that, she stood silently in front of me, totally intent on the stories our librarian told. We learned about things that go- cars, boats, planes, trains, tractors, and feet. At the end, all the children were handed a felt "feather' for Tom the Turkey, and we sang a song to call each color of feather up one by one to place on the flannel board. I was SO PROUD of my little girl when she walked up to the front of the room all by herself to carefully put her white feather on the board like she'd seen the other children do.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Angel Baby

Angel Baby. That's what we call Ernie when she's good, and today she was VERY good. Mama had to be gone for the morning, leaving Ernie with Aunt Lolo and BBJ. In the past, this has been Very Bad. And since today is Wednesday, Aunt Lolo has many piano lessons today and not much time for Very Bad situations, but she is a sweetheart and straight away offered to babysit when I called to ask her how to get through a morning with Ernie sitting in the car for 3 1/2 hours. (Which, by the way, is how long I was on the phone last night. Did I mention that EVERYTHING seemed to happen yesterday?)

I left Ernie at her house at 8:45, with a container full of hard-boiled eggs, her favorite food (yesterday.) She was so excited about that egg until she saw Aunt Lolo's centerpiece- a gorgeous, glistening, chocolate bundt cake sitting pretty in a cake stand. Ah. There goes the egg idea. I hear she actually ate half a banana before being allowed half a slice of wonderful cake. And that she happily watched a movie while piano lessons were taught, and bravely tried to ignore the small bug-girl who was grinning and swatting at her blanket.

She enjoyed her walk today with Aunt Lolo and little bug- we try and take a nice long one everyday, while the weather's good. We dropped some soup and pao de queijo off at a friend's house, stopped at the Vietnamese deli for a steamed bun filled with chinese sausage slices, a pork meatball, and a boiled egg quarter. (tai bao, Aunt Lolo tells me. It was Delicious, and for a buck seventy-five, I intend to go back!) The girls were great in the asian market we went to next, and didn't even fuss when we walked them the mile back home in the rain. What troopers!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The Girls Have Fun

Today was a day of action and adventure! Well, at least a lot of telephone calls. I never knew so many things could happen on a Tuesday!

The most monumental thing to happen this week (so far) is that Ernie and Cousin BBJ can play together. Nicely. For the last few months it has been Ernie's mission to make her cousin cry whenever possible, and to back into a corner shrieking whenever said cousin comes near. She scared of her? She wants to dominate her? I think the closest I've come to the truth is that Ernie needs order in her life. She could spend 45 minutes stacking and unstacking yogurt cups when she was 1. Chicken nuggets must always be served on a plastic Ikea plate. We must sit on the second step to put on her shoes. Then along comes this moving, noisy BABY with antennae, ready to do who knows's a little unsettling! (Check out Cousin BBJ's hair on you'll see the said antennae!)

So, things Ernie and BBJ can do together:
1) Ernie can feed her cousin "treats." Like you would a dog.
2) Peek-a-Boo. Ernie hides, and BBJ and I pull off the covers. Picture above is Ernie, pre-Boo. Or "boy," as she likes to carefully say. I think it's just as scary!
3) Much like the first, but Ernie can share her snacks with BBJ.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

The Original Wonder Woman

This is my mother- the original Wonder Woman. Not only did she and my father raise 5 children to (nearly finished!) adulthood, she has a bounteous garden, is working on finishing her degree, and pulls out the 5-inch-thick "Webster's Dictionary" whenever someone asks "What is a...?" She ALSO babysits Ernie every Friday night- now THAT is wonderful!

By the way, for those who don't know, a cockle is a noun:
1.any bivalve mollusk of the genus Cardium, having somewhat heart-shaped, radially ribbed valves, esp. C. edule, the common edible species of Europe.
2.any of various allied or similar mollusks.
3.cockleshell (defs. 1, 2).
4.a wrinkle; pucker: a cockle in fabric.
5.a small, crisp candy of sugar and flour, bearing a motto.
–verb (used without object) contract into wrinkles; pucker: This paper cockles easily. rise in short, irregular waves; ripple: The waves cockled along the shore.
–verb (used with object) cause to wrinkle, pucker, or ripple: The wind cockled the water.
9.cockles of one's heart, the depths of one's emotions or feelings: The happy family scene warmed the cockles of his heart.

That's what the dictionary said!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Get it While You Can!

Ernie has FIRMLY learned the sign for "candy" (fist with the pointer finger extended, rotating the finger tip on your cheek) and she knows where every scrap of candy is in this house. She makes her rounds- ice cream in the freezer? No. Hard candy in the baking cabinet? No. Vitamins in the spice cabinet? Only one. Lift me up on the counter so I can see what's in the snack basket? Uh-uh. Making dinner is always fun, because she figures if I'm in the kitchen, I must be there to get her a snack! This is how I kept her occupied- see all those dishes? She loaded them ALL by herself. Very firmly and decidedly. She knows a good job when she see it.

Something else she knows is good: cookies. Our house has been baked-goods free for 3 weeks now. In those three weeks I've lost 6 pounds...I think it's safe to say it's a good thing I've stopped baking! However, last night was J's Teacher's Quorum presidency meeting, and snickerdoodles were in order. Feast your eyes, because you won't be seeing these again for a long time!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Suckers, Strollers, and a Mall Walker

Ernie has a bit of cold, and so is on the cranky side of lovely this week. She did however manage to cheer herself up yesterday- I was so glad she was entertaining herself quietly while I worked on a project, I didn't think to wonder what she was doing. My house is almost Ernie-proof when I shut all the child-locked doors, so I don't worry much about what she gets into.

She found a sucker, and slowly wandered in to show me after 15 minutes or so. Notice the sly, "What are you gonna do about it?" look, the dribbles down the shirt, the quiet aura of contentment surrounding her tummy....truly, a content child!

We discovered something else that makes her a content child- after picking Daddy up from work yesterday, we decided to go out to dinner at the local "buffet-style" restaurant. There are lots of food choices, quick food delivery to the child, and soft-serve ice cream. Perfect! Afterwards we let Ernie run off her steam in the mall halls, and we just followed her around her shopping excursion. She was a girl on a mission! She wandered into a "lotions and potions" store, just to check out what's in their bins, then into a clothing "big box" store- that was hilarious! She's a mall walker extraordinaire- the faster she went, the faster her arms and knees pumped. She doesn't run, she trots quickly with knees pumping towards her tummy, fists clenched, sometimes with a low "aaaaaaaah" just to hear her voice bounce in rhythm with her shoes. She wandered down the purse aisle, took a left to the bikes, found a baseball and threw it towards the skate boards, and checked out the strollers (that was exciting- "Baba! Baba!", naming them after Grandpa A's stroller, Bob.)

To cap the night off, she got a call from Nana! She was pretty excited to hear her voice, and Grandpa J's, too. Unfortunately, Grandpa J wanted to pass the phone back to Nana and said goodbye to she brightly said "ai!" and hung up, so pleased with herself to have mastered the art of phone conversations.

Monday, October 1, 2007

It's a new day, it's a new life

First day of a new week! We love Mondays- it's cleaning day, after the busy weekends, and it's the first day to try out new ideas. Last week, I tried to counter-balance my toddler- the louder she yelled, the quieter I spoke. Seemed to work pretty well!

This week, we're trying to be "green." I've been buying my produce from fruit stands and farmer's markets, we use canvas bags for shopping, and try to line dry as much as we can. It's not perfect, but it's a start! I am also trying to get chemicals out of our house. Baking soda or vinegar will clean almost anything around the house, and I've found a recipe for washing detergent that is free of chlorine and phosphates (they travel into the waterways and promote algae growth, which chokes out the fish and native plants.)

Mix together 1 cup grated Fels-Naptha bar soap, 1/2 cup washing soda, and 1/2 cup borax. Use 1 Tablespoon per load, and I like to throw some OxyClean into the wash as well, to help with protein stains, and vinegar into the rinse water to cut down on static cling and and residue left behind from the minerals in the water. Works great! The clothes smell so clean- I'm really excited.

My daughter, Ernie, isn't so excited. The laundry hanging over her changing station really irks her- a girl needs her space!

Welcome to the Wondering Life!

Welcome to my life as Wonder Woman! I spend a lot of time wondering- why does soap work, why does my daughter do what she does, what am I supposed to do next... and thought this would be a good way to keep everyone updated on what we're up to, now that the family is getting more spread out. Enjoy!