Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Cat Who Loved to Play Baseball

A story by Ernie Wonder


a cat Loved to play basedall.  but one day she found out that half of the game was on Sunday.  She was so sad.  She talked to the Coch about it the nexet day the Coch said. We changed it to one Sunday.  Nobody wants you to come to that one.  So you can play.

the end

(Bears a striking resemblance to a story we read together last month in the Friend magazine, about a little boy.  Heeehee)  

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Feburary 28th

We were hardcore home schoolers last week- so hard core, that we barely saw our home!  Haha, it was wonderful.

  • Monday, we drove out to see Northwest Trek
  • Tuesday, we spent the morning with my Grandpa (hi Grandpa!  Thanks for the mint starts!)
  • Wednesday, I made a fool of myself in my sister's Zumba class and LOOVED IT, and we took the kids swimming afterwards.  
  • Thursday, I took the kids out to the aquarium.
  • Friday was our weekly Grandma Day for the girls.  In fact, Wonder Daddy and I even got a little crazy and dropped Cocoa off in the evening to have a night on our own.  We ate way too much indian food, and then went out for ice cream.  We drove in the truck.  It was absolutely perfect!  (THANKS Mom and Dad!)  
Coming back to book learning was a bit of a shock this week for Ernie, but she's doing really well.  (She's learning cursive- it's hard!)

010

In fact, Mimi is doing well too!  Behind my back, she's been learning tons from her sister!  She can count to 30...she can sing her ABC's...she knows all her colors and shapes...it's wild.  I pulled out her workbooks again this week, after a hiatus- she's powering through and loving every bit of it.  THIS is what I love about home schooling- having the joy of watching the kids, waiting for them to be ready, giving them a bit of knowledge to go on...and watching them reach the stars.  On their own.  

tweezer, puffball, and counting work

Ernie is loving piano still- her new books finally arrived in the mail, and I told her she was free to play as much as she wanted.  I'd be listening, and would correct her and give her help, but she didn't need to wait for me to sit down with her and give her permission to move on to the next song.  She loves the autonomy, and I love hearing her love that instrument.  She's so funny, she sits down and tries to teach Mimi to play the beginner books she's just recently finished.  Mimi is determined to learn too- she asks permission to practice, to get ready for her "piano wessons."  I know M is just banging around, but it's so darn cute.

Ernie learned a bit about slavery and the abolitionists this morning, in her social studies book.  It was merely a few paragraphs, and then we read a poem about "following the gourd."  (Instructions given to runaway slaves to find freedom in the northern states- head towards the Big Dipper, aka "Drinking Gourd."  And now I'm having flashbacks to middle school choir, and all of us in our bright blue sweat shirts ending a song with a flourish, pointing to the ceiling and bellowing "Follow the Gourd!"  Wow.)  BUT, I've been wondering when to introduce Ernie to the American Girls books, and handed her the Addy collection this morning.  Addy is a little slave girl, and she runs to freedom with her mother.  Quite a bit darker than the Berenstein Bears books E loves so much, but my gosh.  I've completely lost her today.  She's never read a book that large- she looked at me with big eyes before lunch and said "May I read all of this??"  Sure honey- knock yourself out! Read as much as you want!  She's had her nose stuck in the book for hours- her grandpa came to visit tonight, and she snuggled next to him on the couch while we chatted, and just read and read and read.  I could see her glance up at us, pick up the book mark and start to put it in....and her eyes would catch the words again....and the bookmark would drift back down to the couch beside her...I love that she loves to read.  My goodness.  

OK, I had to snap a picture of Ernie's outfit yesterday, too.  She's just so gosh darn logical.  She wants to wear her adorable new dress- great!  She wants long sleeves- sure, she just puts a shirt underneath!  She needs something on her legs- why not wear electric blue shorts, with old candy-striped leg warmers?  (You can't see it, but she's wearing black socks with orange dots and a big glittery pumpkin at each ankle.)  I adore this girl.  And we did the laundry today.
013

016

Monday, February 20, 2012

Fun Stuff

We've come out of the woods of the week-long grumpies, and have some super fun stuff going on right now.

  • No school this week for local kids means no piano lessons- we're living it up!  
  • Today was Ernie's 100th day of school.  Quickie test lesson today, but way exciting to be so far along- 60 more lessons to go, and we'll rip into the huge 2nd grade curriculum box that's sitting in my school room!  
  • I accepted a request to accompany a rather large musical shin dig at Easter time (local folks, please hit me up for details, it's going to be amazing!)  It's an Easter presentation at my sister's church, with full choir and symphony.  I'm the pianist!  The binder of music is huge, but this is a good sort of challenge.  I'm pretty excited!  Wonder Daddy will be in the choir, so that the Friday night rehearsals can be "together time"....kind of.  Well, it's our normal date night, and we'll be in the same building....he's a total gem for letting me divert this much time into a project I'm so excited about.
  • The Berninger (one of my daughter's and my good friends) is celebrating her mumblty-ninth birthday tomorrow, and took us all to Northwest Trek to celebrate today.  (A concatenation of member pass privileges and a weekly special for "kids are free" got us all in the door without a cent exchanging hands.  That rocks.)  My goodness, it's far away from us, but so much fun!  The land was donated to the city in the 70's and made into a wildlife preserve- we saw beavers, raccoons, fishers, mink, and otters, bald eagle, golden eagle, bison, caribou, mountain goats, long horn sheep, moose, skunk, trumpeter swan, black bear, brown bear, grizzly bear, owl, lynx, cougar, coyote, wolf...such an amazing place to see local wildlife!  All but the "deer family" were in enclosed habitats- we took a tram ride to see the four legged grass eaters in their 435-acre habitat.  All three kids had an amazing day, and this surprise outing was just what everyone needed to break our funk and reward the kids for being the amazing people they are.  E and M got up this morning and played quietly, M watched cartoons while E started independently on her math...they really are such, SUCH good kids.  We stopped at Sonic on the way home- the kids have a new favorite place to eat!  Now, if only there was one closer than 90 minutes away haha.  The kids were rock stars in the car, we were driving for over three hours today!
And, I don't have a single picture for today!  The Berninger is an amazing photographer, I can't wait to see what she snapped today :)  

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Backwards and Forwards

Backwards.  We're going backwards.  This normally means someone is getting ready for a huge leap forward, either developmentally or in height, but still.  Sigh.


  • Ernie dumped her breakfast down the drain, and rinsed her cup and spoon so she could load them into the dishwasher and hide the evidence.  We're estimating she lied to me 7 times, so she's lost screen time privileges for 7 days.  OH MY GOSH, the tantrum when she figured out I wouldn't let her get on the computer to do her math games.  First, she loves those games.  Second, she will now be unable to check off every box in her academic manual each day- I'll let her catch up next week.  She spent at least half an hour raging in her room.
  • Mimi peed on the floor of the bathroom, and then went to her room to get ready for her bath like I'd asked her to.  WHY!?!  Why not just get in the tub, like we always do, and peel clothes off there?  (Mom, I promise she'll be wearing a diaper tomorrow.)  She had...2 wet accidents, plus a dirty diaper before she changed out of it in the morning yesterday.  BACKWARDS.
I need to admit that I have been completely hardcore on meals this week.  Much, much stricter than I've been before.  Ernie is getting sick again, and I'm taking part of the blame in not serving enough fruits and vegetables.  At the end of our unemployment, I was in full panic mode, not knowing when we'd find a new job, and I think I went to the grocery store about twice a month.  We were working with storage apples, onions, potatoes, and carrots, plus green salads.  And the kids don't eat lettuce willingly.  Eating seasonally always sounds so great, until February, doesn't it?

But, back to the strict: I am serving vegetables this week.  And fruits.  And they will go on your plate, and you will eat them if you want more of anything else.  This really isn't a new rule, but Ernie has reached epic levels of not-gonna-do-it.  She's ALMOST at that fantastic level where she can will herself into throwing up just by looking at a meal.  I kid you not, her eyes were so red at dinner she looked like she'd been punched.  Big puffy red bags underneath, red all around.  The issue?  She begged for lemons today, to make lemonade for lunch.  She didn't drink it at lunch, I put it at her place at dinner.  I looked up, and she'd transformed into Big Red.  Her dad laughed at the face I made, till I said "Ernie, look at Dad."  "WHOA!  What happened to you!?"

The breakfast issue was over a banana+ice smoothie, with milk, and spinach, and oatmeal.  The oatmeal was the real issue, she's tried one of my smoothies before with lots of raw oats (how I like it) and she didn't.  So, she stared at that cup for about 20 minutes without even trying it, before disposing of it while I was showering.  I gave her Cocoa's leftovers at lunch, she was less than thrilled.  Well, she finally drank it, it wasn't so bad, and she got lots of pesto pasta.  She ate strawberries.  But by this time, she is seriously missing calories, because we've been playing this game all week and she's missing a lot of meals.  

I took pity this afternoon and made a big batch of hummus- the girls ate about a half cup each, with corn chips, and then ran around the house dancing and singing "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" at the top of their lungs.  E and I did a bit of school, and I turned them all loose to do whatever they wanted.  I spent the afternoon writing.  Unstructured seemed to be the answer.

I know our steps forward are coming!

pushing him on a pillow

pushing him on a pillow

pushing him on a pillow

pushing him on a pillow

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Growth

It's a good thing Ernie has a good brain.  She called to me from across the house this morning "Mom?  Doesn't Cocoa have a doctor appointment this morning?"  Oh...SNAP!  It's in 20 minutes!  Mimi found her shoes, Ernie got dressed, I got dressed, and we were in the car 4 minutes later.  THAT, folks, is a record!

Oh, and yes Cocoa is growing nicely.  27 pounds.  32 inches.  Totally normal for a 2-year-old.  That's my boy!  (Actually, yeah, because ALL of our kids have been normal for kids double their age, when they were young.)

Lunch was anticlimactic today- I served the girls their chicken noodle soup from last night, they decided they weren't hungry anyway, and they went down for naps.  (Heh.  Their faces at dinner, when I sat down to a big plate of pesto pasta and spinach salad, while they looked sadly at their chicken noodle soup again.... priceless :)  Both humbly requested MY help in spooning their noodles and carrots and onions into their mouths, they didn't have the will power to do it themselves, but my oh my did they want pesto pasta!  They both ate half a plateful of spinach salad, after small servings of pasta, just to get MORE pasta....and then Mimi ate three rolls...hungry much?  :)

When Cocoa woke up, I pulled everyone out of bed.  We are GOING OUTSIDE!  Cocoa chilled on a blanket, I attacked the bushes that swallowed my side path (seriously, it was GONE, under a barrier at least 6 feet high.)  The girls dug in their garden box and played on the swings.  I love these little sun breaks in February that we get!  It was cold, in the 40's, but gorgeous.

My bush clippings yielded berries for my favorite yearly wreath-
berry wreath

berry wreath

berry wreath

I really don't know what these bushes are, and I whack them back every year, but I keep them around just for these berries.

I saw some major signs of growth this afternoon, too.

daffodil shoots

Spring is coming.

(Oh, and guess what?  He's doing this like it's no big deal.  Like we haven't waited 1 year and 2 weeks for him to stick a toy in his mouth.  Mom?  I admit I was a bit shocked to find my baby in your lap, drunkenly sucking on a lollipop, Saturday night.  But you're like some kind of evil genius- you totally broke the barrier for him.  Thanks.  Nothing lollipop-shaped is safe from him now!  Score!)

012

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

So, did I tell you the news?  I've SLEPT?  Cocoa goes down around 9:00, and gets  up around 11:30 and 6:00.  I will totally take it.  Since I put an extra blanket on the girls' bed, they've been sleeping like bugs in a rug too.  I should just turn the heat up- the girls have three quilts on their bed, and I sleep under 4 quilt layers.  But it's cozy for Winter, right??

We spent our morning with the cousins, playing and decorating cookies.  I love that we live so close to family, and that the kids have cousins to play with.  (So excited to have them meet their other cousins this Summer!)  We came home a bit after naps- Ernie insisted the entire way home that she was NOT tired.  NOT.  (In between sobs at having to leave her cousins' house.  She was SO tired.)

So, she slept about three hours, woke up at 4:00.  It's 9:30 pm, and she's sitting on the couch reading, haha.

Valentines Day 013

The kids were all excited about dinner- biscuit nights are not taken lightly around here.  (Yes, biscuit nights- they only pay enough attention to the soup to eat what I give them so they can ask for another biscuit!)  Heart-shaped cookie cutters pretty much made me Mom of the Year, sa-weet.

Valentines Day 014

chicken noodle soup

biscuits

After dinner, the girls cleared the dishes so Ernie could pass out our Valentine's bags.  I had fun this afternoon writing up Wonder Daddy's cards- this is our tenth Valentine's Day together!  There was a card for each year, with a little about what happened that year, and a little something mushy.  There are so  many things to love about that man.  We've come a long ways in the past ten years.

valentine bags

I had a little something extra made up for Wonder Daddy, too- the kids were mightily impressed!
chocolate covered marshmallows

(chocolate covered marshmallow, chocolate covered marshmallows with coconut, and chocolate covered peanut-butter-smeared marshmallows.  Om nom.  I anticipate he will share heavily, since I made four of each kind.  Or not.  He likes chocolate a lot...there's a reason I call his son Cocoa.)

What fun to have a day just to tell my family how much I love them!  Last year, Valentine's Day completely slipped by me- I was so grateful that my fantastic mother-in-law left love notes for everyone as she left for the airport after her long post-baby visit.  It means so much to the girls to have special days.  (Nana...the girls send hugs!)  My mom slipped the kids their Valentine's last week when she saw them- they've been wearing their special necklaces ever since.  It's just little things.

valentine garland

heart garland

Monday, February 13, 2012

A Lunch Snapshot

So, I went to bed just ON FIRE last night.  I had great one on one time with E yesterday, everyone had a fabulous and happy day, we were going to start this week off perfect.  Cocoa even SLEPT last night, just getting up at 11:30.

I kind of forgot that my kids still have the choice to wake up grumpy, mumbling, crying, and whining.  Whoops!  They were better after breakfast, but school was a no-go this morning.  After getting through math and reading, I let the girls goof off with playdough and card games, Ernie and I tried again after "nap" time.  Science, handwriting, and spelling weren't a big deal then.

I got the camera out to mess around with the new lens- it's a fixed lens, I can't zoom at all.  The lowest F stop is 1.8, which is pretty low- it lets in a ton of light.  It's amazing for indoor shots, especially here in the gloomy PNW.

Muffin tin lunches for the girls- tried to get a rainbow in there.  (Ernie's native diet is white on white, no matter what I serve.  She finds a way to only eat the white parts.)  Red apples and ketchup, orange carrots, yellow cheddar cheese, green broccoli, and dried plums stood in for all the blues.  Quartered ham sandwiches for E, and bread fingers with honey for dipping for Mimi.  The apples weren't a big hit- I think it's time to cook them, they're getting a bit mealy.  They've been stored since last November.
mtd

Cocoa kept himself busy while I made lunch
mess

Of course, it was something I just threw together.  No big dill.  *Sigh*
mess

The girls have been loving the easel lately- I'm loving this little town they drew together.

chalk drawings

The classic Ernie smirk.  She pretty much loved that her sandwiches were on sticks.
013


Poor Cocoa is teething fiercely...by the end of the day, his face was fairly shellacked with goobers, tears, drool, bananas, and whatever part of our frittata he ate at dinner tonight.  One head of broccoli, one onion, a couple handfuls of crimini mushrooms, lots of garlic, lots of pepper, and a goodly amount of spinach, sauteed and bound together with eggs.  E had 3 helpings!  Score one for mom!  E is getting sick again....is it just an end of winter Thing?  Probably has a lot to do with our grain-heavy diet in the winter- they're mostly whole grains, yes, but still.  Girl needs some veggies in her life.  We're working on it- definitely need to get better at including produce with snacks and lunch.  Dinner is normally pretty good in the veggie department, but that doesn't count if she doesn't eat it, right?  Summer is good for her- she loves berries, loves fresh green peas, loves fresh tomatoes.  They just don't taste as good when they're flown in from south america, my kids don't LOVE them like they do in the summer!  My dad's been slipping us huge boxes of California strawberries now that they've hit the stores, the girls have loved that.  Spring IS coming!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Epic

Epicness has been happening around here.

Friday, some large packages arrived- I guessed they were for my husband, he's been doing some for-fun ordering on his birthday gift cards he received a bit ago.

"Open them up!"  he says when we got home that night.  "Your name is on them, isn't it?"

That man cleaned out my Amazon wish list, guys.  But what made me cry like a baby was that he'd included a note, in his order, for each item.  Love notes, via Amazon, that came on little square printed pieces of paper in the bottom of the box.  The camera tripod thanked me for being strong and immovable.  The danish dough whisk commended me for whipping the family into shape.  And so it went, for my new favorite album, the 1.8 lens I've been pining for, a spare lens cap.  I have saved probably every scrap of paper that man has ever penned a note to me on, even the "I'll be home late tonight, I promise I'll do the dishes tonight!  Don't do them!" notes from our early marriage.  I love notes so very, very much.

009
Late night point and shoot, SOOC, with Cocoa and my new lens.  Swoon.  I have much work to do, and much to learn, but I love it!

What also happened Friday is that my house got cleaned.  Top to bottom.  It took HOURS, and not my hours- we hired a woman to come out every other week and help out.  She needs the job, badly, and we need the help, badly.  If I could point to one thing that I have never, ever been good at it's cleaning.  My room was always a mess at my parents' house, I was always behind on vacuuming out my car as a teen, and it just goes on.  We made up our minds that if I was going to spend 5 hours a week teaching piano lessons, and spend 8-10 hours a week teaching school (yes, really, that's all!), and make it priority to make as much of our food as possible (hello bi-weekly double batches of bread dough!), when Wonder Daddy found a job we'd find a spot in our budget for help with the house work.  I am so grateful.


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Winter Event 2012

Today was our annual Winter Event.  When we started home schooling Ernie, I decided to do a quarterly party, like a class party.  We invite a few moms and kids over (we had an even dozen kids today, ages 2 to 9.)

The girls were excited to help make the treats- got this sweet idea off Pinterest.  Donut snowmen!  I know, right?  (Powdered sugar mini donuts, candy corn, and mini chocolate chips.  Who knows WHY I stocked up on a bag of candy corn at the after-Halloween sale, but I'm glad I did!)

making donut snowmen

making donut snowmen

We did chores in the morning to get ready, and I did a blitz clean on the house after I finally got all three down for naps.  I made a batch of our yummy popcorn marshmallow bars, and set out slices of bread with honey.  We had construction paper, glue, scissors, stickers, markers, crayons, and pens on the table for kids to make valentine cards (and bags to decorate to hold their cards.)  Oh, and googly eyes- I found a bag of them at the Dollar Store yesterday.  So, so, so fun.

The party was insane- it's definitely a winter party!  Everyone is so stir crazy.  Somehow there were toddlers everywhere, it seems, and all holding powdery donuts or sticky marshmallow treats, or boxes of jelly beans.  They kept sneaking away from their moms.  There were kids banging on drums, kids in princess gear, kids running outside in rain boots, kids waving magic wands, kids playing with trucks, kids making cards, KIDS!  I'm gunning for sunshine for our Spring Event- kids need space!  So fun, though.  The girls love these things so much.

I managed to make a no-brainer dinner (because I didn't have a brain left after this afternoon!) that everyone really enjoyed- I used the remains of a rotisserie chicken to make a really great pot of chicken stock that finished its 24-hour-simmer this afternoon.  I threw in a sliced onion, some egg noodles, garlic, a bit of pepper, and some pinches of salt for a quick chicken noodle soup.  So, so good.  Perfect for a crazy day, and a house full of little people with little wintery sniffles.

(Have I mentioned that now ERNIE is waking me up in the middle of the night?  No joke.  I find her next to my bed, wanting to tell me she can't sleep.  Last night I put an extra blanket on her at 12:30, and didn't see her again after that.  Fingers crossed I don't find her in my bedroom tonight.  Seriously, this is crazy.  The night before, she was in my room at 4:00 am, crying and claiming not to have slept AT ALL.  I know she slept, I checked on her before I went to bed, but she doesn't remember sleeping, and she's freaking out because "IT'S NIGHT AND I CAN'T SLEEP AND I'LL NEVER SLEEP!"  I remind her that her only job is to be in bed and resting- if she doesn't sleep, she can sleep later.  That's the beauty of it all- there's always another chance to sleep.  Please, please, please don't stress yourself about not being able to fall asleep!  She is a champion stresser, I can't imagine where she gets it.  (*guilty*)




Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A Really, Really, Really Good Day

037

We managed to be done with morning chores, piano lessons, school, and Cocoa's nap by 11 this morning, so we all piled in the car for a grocery store outing.   Exciting stuff, taking three kids to the grocery store!  As we're loading up, Ernie is explaining just how VERY good they will be, because they know that Mama doesn't take leaving the house lightly.  If this doesn't go well, they will not be going with me to the grocery store for another month or two, I'm not even joking.  (I only go grocery shopping once every week or two, so it would be rather easy to not take them with me.)

We made it all the way through the store, with a bulging cart (mostly because Mimi insisted on sitting in it, and she was mostly happy rolling around with our broccoli, cauliflower, onions, tangerines, graprefruit, blood orange, canned beans, whole chicken, marshmallow, powdered sugar donuts, and mini marshmallows.  More on the treats later.  Is that  a weird shopping list?  What do you buy at the store?  Oh, and I had a half pound of the most AMAZING green olives, con pits.  They're bright green, round, and just amazing.  No, Mom, I'm definitely not pregnant!)  I had handfuls of seed packets picked out, too, before I realized there was no coupon on them this week, like there was the past two weeks.  If there's no coupon next week, I'll just go ahead and get them anyway.  It's time to start tomatoes and cole crops inside!  I'm kind of excited about that detail of February.

Ernie had packed along her old-lady wallet (seriously- it used to be my grandma's, it's one of those big ones that can hold a check book, and it's made of a patchwork of dyed leather, all plums and greens.)  She and Mimi had grand plans of buying something at the store...maybe a coloring book!  Since they didn't have time to jail break Mimi's coins from her bank, Ernie offered to let Mimi use some of hers.  I swear, money means nothing to my kids- it's awesome.  Ernie gave Mimi her old piggy bank for Christmas, because she had two.  After Christmas she kept asking me for jobs to do to earn money...because Mimi didn't have any money, and Ernie though she needed some for her bank.

I asked the girls if they'd like to go to a magical place called the Dollar Store, and NOT spend $6 on a coloring book this morning.  Oh yeah!  So we trooped home for lunch and naps (both girls actually slept today, which is good because they've been CRAZY EYED lately.)  This afternoon we took a long adventure.  First stop, the gas station and car wash.  The fellow at the car wash was working for tips, and working hard- he spent about 5 minutes scrubbing our car down pre-machine, and then towel dried it afterwards, and this was just a basic wash.  He totally earned that tip.

Next stop, Dollar Tree!  My girls went bonkers- "Look Mom!  Look Mom!  Look at this Mom!"  Haha.  It took three trips around the store, but Mimi finally chose a bag of chocolate hearts, and Ernie picked out a pretty dandy little sewing kit.  Quick stop at the bank on the way home, then pizza for dinner, baths, a chapter of Harry Potter with Daddy, and lights out.

Good day, y'all.  Really, really, really good day.  

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

One Year- A Letter to Cocoa

chocolate cake

007

013

023

the group shot

cake

cake

cake

095

cake

cake

Cocoa Puff, we love you.  I love your calm, I love your belly, I love your cheeks.  I love the way you push your head down and huff and pant when you crawl to me.  I love how you crow and scream with delight when you find a new trick to do with a toy.  I love how you drum everything you can.  I love how you sit and bash your heels against the floor- your core muscles must be so strong!  I love how you sneak away to your sisters' room after I tuck them in for the night, and I love hearing them laugh and giggle when they discover you.  I love how you love your daddy, and your sisters, and me.  I especially love how you love me.  I love how your legs wear 9-month clothes and the rest of you wears 2T.

As I'm typing this, you just learned how to draw on my wall with a crayon.

You don't put things in your mouth.  Not anything.  A week ago, you put a toy in your mouth but it was just a fluke.  You didn't get to eat your birthday cake, except for the little morsels we put on your tongue, as consolation prizes.  Your first birthday cake was not your favorite thing ever, you would have liked it so much more had you tried to eat it!  (I made you a one-bowl chocolate cake- Grandpa thinks it should have had frosting, and I totally agree.  The rest of us had a Texas chocolate sheet cake.  Oh my, it was good!)

When we hold you up in the air, you kick and kick and kick your legs.  Your daddy holds you up more than I do- since you learned to crawl last month, I've carried you less and less.  You are so big!

You don't sleep well at night.  Last night, you woke up every hour between 10:30 and 2:30.  Or maybe 3:30?  But then, you slept till 7:30.  You're nice like that.

You've been teething since you were 4 months old, but right now you only have three teeth- two on the bottom in the front, and one incisor in the top.  It's on the left side, my left.  Your whole mouth looks like it's ready to bubble and boil, your teeth are right there.  Poor kid.

You love to nurse.  You are huge, and you pretty much only drink milk.  My body is still in new baby mode, trying to keep up with you, but we're doing it and I'm grateful for that.  I have the rest of my life for my self to be my own- for now, it's yours.  You like to eat a dozen bites of whatever I'm having for dinner, and then when you get bored of eating I let you play with the spoon and your bowl of food, in the hopes you'll learn to put it in  your mouth.  You poke at it, and then throw it all over the side of your tray.

Cocoa, we love you so much!  Happy birthday!

--Mommy

Monday, February 6, 2012

A Giveaway

Head over to Motherhood Reflections today, and you can enter to win a big prize bundle, including a dainty little nest necklace from my shop!  (This is the twin sister of the necklace I sent.)

petite silver nest with three robin egg beads

In similar news, I put up a shop update over the weekend- I'm pretty excited about new color combos!

2012-02-03 etsy

Things have been quiet in this space- I'm sorry about that.  My children have decided they don't need sleep, and my free time is very small right now- I spend more time feeding and rocking Cocoa than I do in my own bed, I think.  Once he falls asleep at night, I rush off to find my own bed.  I sincerely wish I had the ability to sleep while sitting up, or while touching somebody, but no: I can only sleep alone, in my bed.  Of course, Cocoa slept great last night, just got up two times (1:30 and 4:00.)  I put him back to bed at 4:00...and lay in bed till 5:00 when my husband's alarm went off...and lay in bed till 6:30 when Cocoa got up again....yawn.  I spent my dark morning hours holding Cocoa, and googling the effects of long-term sleep deprivation.  Did you know the last time I slept through the night was August?  And it happened, like, three times that month?  Those were nice nights.  (There might have been a night last month that we slept all through the night, but I can't remember- sometimes I wake up in the morning, and can't remember what I did all night.)

I have one more year until I can expect Cocoa to sleep through the night, consistently, if my girls are any indication.  So I'm not complaining, I know this story already.  I'm just really, really tired.


Saturday, February 4, 2012

Nest Necklaces, Flying Away

two silver nests with two blue and one brown bead

A friend wrote to me last week- I'm getting rid of (never worn) shirts in your size.  Do you want them?  Hmm...yes!  (I hate to shop.  She loves to shop.  I think I should hire her!)  She sent me six gorgeous, floaty, arty, flimsy-fabric, beautiful shirts.  I would never think about buying stuff like that- I mean, come on.  I'm normally a jeans and rubber boots kind of girl on the weekend.  But they're so beautiful!  I sent her these two necklaces as a thank you- one for her, one for a friend.

I also slipped in a pair of these, she'd admired a pendant in this style earlier.

tear drop glass pendant earrings with brown wire wrapping

PS- I'm going to tell you more about this necklace on Monday!
petite silver nest with three robin egg beads


Friday, February 3, 2012

Cocoa's New Room, Step One

Still a work in progress on the final details, but here's where we're at after just switching rooms.  I already love it so much better- I love Cocoa's things in the yellow room, and the girls' room, with all its pink, looks so much better put together with the crisp green stripes and chair rail.

First, Cocoa's new room:

These paintings were done by my incredibly talented sister-in-law.  She painted them for Mimi's nursery, copied from the "baby animal" print my talented mother-in-law used for Mimi's nursery bedding- we kept it for Cocoa's room, it's just perfect!  The letter blocks were a gift to my mother from a family friend, when my little brother was small.  (He's in his 20's now, he won't miss them.)

Coren's Room

After his first nap in his new room, the girls were happy to help him really wake up.  Because, remember, every cleared off floor becomes a dancing stage.

dancing, to help Coren wake up from his nap

You can see the animal print below the crib.  The blue and yellow quilt on the bed was done by my Great Grandma Susie- she did her quilts entirely by hand, I feel so blessed to have some in our family!  The green quilt was my husbands, made by his grandma.  So...we have three generations of bedding in this room, plus one extra generation with the paintings.  Amazing!

I want to find decorations for the wall near the crib.  They'll either have to be bolted to the walls, or be feather light- this is earth quake country, we're always mindful of what we put near our heads when we go to sleep!

So, still a work in progress, but nice to see progress being made!  The kids love their new rooms.

just waking up from his nap

rocking in the chair