About Me

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I'm a hand-holding, swing-pushing, story-telling Mama with a creative streak and a nurturing spirit. I like growing food and flowers (and people, hehe), sewing clothes and quilts, cooking and eating and running, a long, tight hug and the color yellow. I love date nights at home, spontaneous trips to the bookstore and hearing my babies laugh. I am indecisive, exaggerrative and I overuse parentheses. I am reflective and sentimental and quick to laugh. I think I still picture myself as a 22-year old, yet every year my life gets more fulfilling. I am still figuring out exactly who I am. :)

Sunday, August 31, 2008

It's the 31st, which means...

...this little buddy is seven months old today!!!

For some reason, as I type this, I am seeing crazy-computer-programmer script, not the actual pictures that I added, so I cannot type in between them to explain each one. They're pretty self-explanatory; Alex going for his first ride sitting up in the stroller (he was way more amused than he appears to be!!!), Alex sporting some UCSD pride (I love how you can't read the entire shirt because of his chunky rolls!)and Alex stealing big sister's toy. Uh oh, on the last one. He goes crazy with the joystick- it seems video-gamer-genes are genetic and he has been given a bunch from his daddy!

I am loving the ages of my kiddies right now. Claire is old enough to almost have a conversation with and I can teach her things, like "no soap on the face!" which I taught her to repeat and abide by after she discovered the joy of lathering soap and did so right in her eyes and mouth. Needless to say, soap in the eyes is a hard lesson to learn! And Alexander, well, he is such a joy. So happy, go-with-the-flow, and not old enough to say "NO!" or throw toys.

Claire's latest technique to prevent the inevitable onset of bedtime is to beg for milk- and then when we rationalize with her that we have just brushed your teeth so if you are thirsty, you may have water- to beg for more water (when she is tucked in and the light is about to go out). Luckily we have nipped this in the bud and we say, "sorry, you just had water. You may have more in the morning," and she knows that means she's not gettin' any more water! It's pretty cute though, to see her desperately grasping at an excuse, any excuse (more shoes, more babies, more stroller, you get the point) to delay bedtime.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Four little words

"Mama, out of bed," she said, clear as day, at six in the morning.

And my first thought was not, "geez, it's six in the morning and I was up three times with Alexander last night and I'm not ready to get up yet" but rather, "hey, that's a FOUR-word sentence!"

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Picture This


an almost two-year-old little girl with two nubs on top of her head

going down a slide by herself for the first time

talking to other kids at the park (including a little girl also named Claire)

saying "quack, quack, hi ducky!" when we stopped at the duck pond

finishing all of her veggies at lunch AND dinner

me hearing "hi mama" from her, awake from her nap and walking down the hall,
just as I had closed my eyes to rest.

helping me mix together ingredients for turkey burgers

arranging giant legos all over the living room, then putting them back in their
box, dumping it out and doing it again, and again, and again...

standing at the window watching the big kids play outside on their bikes

helping mama give Alexander a bath by dipping her hand in the water and rubbing it
in circles on his head, then showing him the rubber ducky and singing to him

grabbing my neck and pulling me in for a kiss smack on the lips when I was
tucking her in to bed.

begging for milk after already being tucked in and giving up and going right to
sleep after I firmly told her "no Claire, you already had your milk tonight."


an almost seven-month-old baby boy in a bucket swing for the first time (and
licking the seat, ewww. Mama put a stop to that right away, hehe.)

in a tiny baseball hat going down the slide at the park on big sister's lap
(with mama spotting from the side!)

smiling at other babies/toddlers/parents at the park

laughing when mama tickles his tummy (first time I got him to laugh!)

rolling down the hallway, across the living room and all over his room. Man this
kid has lots of room to explore (much more than the tiny space Claire had-
remember the couch barrier?!)

spitting out ALL the babyfood I tried feeding him today.

smiling at his sister as she helped bathe him.

smiling at his sister as she almost threw a lego at him (a firm NO from mama
FINALLY worked).

snuggling up to mama as I sang him to sleep.

sleeping soundly on his tummy with crossed leggies.

My day with the kiddies in a nutshell. I am blessed.

Monday, August 25, 2008


I am going through complete Olympics withdrawals. What am I going to do???? I know- youtube!!! Unlimited gymnastics, from montages of my favorite gymnasts to international coverage of events (like the world championships) that were never aired in the U.S. (well maybe on some obscure cable channel) to those goosebump-inducing visa "go world" commercials (I LOVE the high jump one!)

Today was Noah's first day back at school, and while I missed him being home, it was nice to get back into my routine. We ran errands this morning; picking up a part from OSH for Noah's irrigation work in the backyard and making some returns to Target (buyers's remorse). I love going to OSH- it seems like the clientele is mostly older folks, and I had at least four of them tell me today that my kids were so happy and cute and I should consider myself blessed. They were so friendly, I loved it!

After Claire's nap, she and I played a little wii bowling. I'm trying to perfect my technique so I can beat Noah again. It hasn't happened since the first time we played, grrr. I love the little "mii" ("me," but spelled like "wii", get it?) characters. We created them for ourselves and for Claire and Alexander. Claire's has short hair with a side little half-up-half-down thing going on, and Alex's has a little baseball hat. It's so cute because when Noah and I play, the Claire and Alex "miis" are cheering us on. I love it!

We bought a treadmill yesterday from Sears and I am SO excited for Noah to put it together! We got a great deal on it- regularly $2500 on sale for $1500! We had a fun time getting it unloaded off the truck (by the way, it took 3 Sears employees to load it up and Noah thought he and I could handle it alone!). Two neighbors offered us help, but Noah turned them down. We were able to get it out of the bed of the truck and onto the driveway, but it was just too heavy to heave the whole box from there into the house. So we opened the box and took the parts in one-by-one. (Aforementioned neighbors must have been cracking up at us). All's well that end's well, because we got it into the house safely and without breaking our backs. Can't wait to run on it! Half-marathon here I come! It's on my "things to do before turning 27" list (random age, I know).

Friday, August 22, 2008

Catching up

1. SOOOO happy that Steven and Bri are having a BOY!!! He and Alexander will be best buds!

2. Last night, I woke up to Alexander crying at about 3am (I don't really remember what time it was, just that it was the middle of the night). What was odd was that Claire was lying next to me in bed and I had my arms wrapped around her. I don't remember lifting her up into bed with me (that's how we start our mornings- she comes in to wake me up and I say "uh uh, I'm not ready to get up, come sleep with me for a sec"), but I must have because it's too high for her to climb up herself. It was such a sweet moment, but then I remembered that my other baby was crying, so I had to get up, put Claire in her own bed and tend to Alex. And when I got back into bed a few minutes later, I was smiling at the thought of my two kiddies, sound asleep and happy.

3. We went to a water polo scrimmage today- Clovis vs. Clovis North (I'm
wondering when they are going to need a sixth Clovis high school. I wonder what they'll call it...well, they already have Clovis, Clovis West, Clovis East, Clovis North and Buchanan - seems out of place; it's named after an extremely influential superintendent- I guess it's only obvious to name it Clovis South!). It was HOT so we didn't stay long, but it felt good to get back in the groove of watching Noah coach. His players played awesome, so it's a great start. I remember last year, when I only had Claire to watch at the games, and it was not easy because she was at the stage where she had just learned to walk and wanted to be moving constantly, and I thought, how am I going to do this with two? Well, it's not that bad. Funny how what once seemed really difficult suddenly becomes ordinary!

4. I am SO ready for fall and non-triple--digit temps. I even bought some tulip bulbs from Costco today to plant in the fall for spring bloom! YESSSSSSSSSSSS!

5. Claire has figured out how to somersault and it is freaking adorable. Then I showed her that I know how to roll too (backwards too!) so now she says "mama roll!" and I do.

6. This kid is SO happy!!! I wonder if it is because I am more relaxed as a mama or if it is just his natural temperament? I don't care why, I just hope it stays!

7. We have a really great hall for rolling...

...and rolling...

...and rolling... and yes, he made it into the bathroom!

p.s. still LOVING the yellow walls!!! Boo-yah!

8. When I went to check on Alexander during his nap today, this is what I saw. Cuteness with the crossed ankles! Claire used to sleep like that too!!!
9. Noah teaching Claire how to bowl with the wii! Oh my gosh, it is SO much fun!
10. And high-fives for a spare!
11. One evening last week we all were outside, me weeding, Noah cementing, Claire exploring and Alex chewing on that sun, and I was distracted by the leg rolls. I had to stop and get the camera. I LOVE it!!!
12. He must get his book-worm genes from me. Already a Dr. Suess fan. You know what would make this picture even better? If the book was upside-down. Claire does that sometimes, where she'll be "reading" a book outloud and it's upside-down. Cracks me up every time.
13. Last week Claire said her first three-word sentence- "Uh-oh baby roll!" (maybe that's a four-word sentence?) when Alexander rolled across the room. (For the record, the age-appropriate language milestone is two-word sentences.) She's genius, let's face it.

Ta-ta for now. More to come.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

And a few pictures

A little late- Noah on his birthday with the "cake" I made him. He's not a humongous fan of cake so I made him his favorite pie, blueberry (from fresh blueberries). It was delicious, if I do say so myself. And blueberries are not my favorite. But I keep hearing how they are one of the "superfoods" and are so healthy, so eat up! By the way, I did not make the crust- frozen, baby! Why take the time when we don't eat it anyway? Girlfriend loves her blueberries, and mama never dneies her them (even though they make her booboos black, tmi sorry)
I love the suspicious look, like "mama why are you trying to take a picture of my feet?" "Because, Alexander-bo bander-fo fander-sho shander-mo mander- salamander, wait you're not a salamander, you're a baby, mama LOVES chunky baby feet, and they won't be this chunky forever!"

"oh, okay, snap away! I'll even throw a smile in for good measure!"

This one courtesy of my budding photographer, Claire. Seriously. I might have to get her one of those meant-for-toddlers cameras that actually take digital images that you can print. Maybe for Christmas. Or maybe just because.

Lovin' Lovin' LOVIN'...

  • the mild weather- it's only 77 degrees right now (11:15am) and it usually only gets that cool at like 3 in the morning! Please don't go away too soon, lovely weather!
  • having a doctor in the family. Claire and Alex have had a bug the past two weeks, and though it has been pretty tame compared to a certain other illness we have had to deal with, there has been lots of fussiness, sleepless nights and frustration. So when Noah's dad came over today to check out Alexander's rash (he scared me last night when he said "does his neck seem stiff?" and I said "I don't think so, why?" and he said "because if it is, it could be meningitis." Yeah, I didn't sleep too well thinking about that possibility...), and said he looked great, it's just a run-of-the-mill viral rash that all babies (especially those with older siblings) get and that will go away with no problem, I breathed much easier. I am WAY too paranoid. I've got to learn to control that or I will live the rest of my life in anxiety over my children's well-being.
  • the fabric I got in the mail yesterday which will sooner or later become our living room drapes! I was a tad nervous ordering it online, because you just never know, but if I had walked into a store and seen this fabric I would have snatched it up right away. Score!
  • my "healthy" brownies (made with half oil/half applesauce)- they still have delicious flavor but HALF the fat. Boo-yah!
  • the thought that fall and the holidays are not too far away!!!
  • life in general (with healthy kiddies and a not-too-stressed-yet husband because polo season hasn't started in earnest yet. Just wait...)

Monday, August 18, 2008


Alexander is finally asleep after crying for at least 75% of the past three hours. Let me tell you, it wears you down when you try and try and try to fix whatever is wrong and you cannot find it and your little buddy is still screaming and nothing is working and his big sister is bouncing off the walls full of energy because she finally got a good nap in (yay) after a VERY rough night when mama was up five times with Alex and once with Claire (who had a fever and was crying at her door, which she knows how to open but she wasn't trying to open it, she was just standing there crying) and I know this is a massive run-on sentence but I am so relieved that Alexander finally found what he was looking for. Sleep. May he sleep soundly and peacefully.

And may mama not worry too much about him. Yeah right.

Friday, August 15, 2008

I *heart* the Olympics...

...but they get me WAY off my schedule! Can you believe they didn't start gymnastics until 11 last night? Grrr.

I went to check on Alex during his nap and I saw this. His chubby little foot, caught in the crib slat! He wasn't really complaining all that much though and I just pulled it out.

Even when he's sick and feverish, Alexander smiles and plays with his daddy.

I LOVE seeing this.
She finally took a good nap after days of not much sleep. And she woke up so happy! She helped me make dinner (pancakes) too! I LOVE her ribbon. So old-fashioned and classic.
And this is what little buddy does while we cook. He plays and bounces and watches and coos and drools and smiles and is cute as can be!
And another page I did today- a very girly page about how I am a girly girl!!! Sorry, it's blurry :(

Go Nastia, go Nastia, it's your birthday...

...yay!!!! I was so happy Nastia Liukin won gold in the all-around. She is the most beautiful, graceful gymnast. And yay for Shawn Johnson too, she's adorable and bubbly!!! One, two sweep, just as I hoped. I was worried after the near perfect vault from Nastia was scored way lower than it should have been. I was like, "oh no you di-n't, judges!"

And while I was watching, I did this...

...for Alexander's album about the first time Claire asked if she could hold him and how much she loves him.

...for the family album about how the last two years have been one big, beautiful blur, going by WAY too fast! Looking at it now, I should have put a picture of her as a newborn and a recent one to show the difference...oh well.

...for Claire's album, an ode to her cleaning habit. Seriously, every time she spills, she goes to the rag drawer and goes to clean up the mess. And at random times she'll clean everything from the curtains to the walls to the clothes we are wearing. I wonder which one of us she gets that from?

...for Alexander's album- he is wearing the hat Nana knitted for him in the picture!

...for Claire's album (along the same vein as the first one on this post) about how often I wish I could stop time because it's going far too fast for me. I love a quote from I don't know whom, "The days are long but the years are short." So true.

If you feel like, tell me which is your favorite in the comments...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Wednesday Randoms

  • Alexander is getting his second little tooth!! It's the other one on the bottom, and it is the cutest tiny sliver!!!

  • Claire's new curtains are up in her room! They are her birthday present from me and Noah, and I sewed them from a really cute pink bedsheet with white polka dots (bonus: the matching fitted sheet and pillowcase fit her bed!) What I love most about them (besides being extremely cost effective) is the rose-colored light that bathes the room when the sun shines through them. It's perfect for a little girl's room and is exactly like looking through rose-colored sunglasses!
    • I bought this adorable sewing case on etsy.com a couple days ago. Perfect for toting my sewing supplies from room-to-room (I currently use an awkward tupperware container)! It opens like a book and has several compartments for all my tools! Can't wait to get it!

    • I am loving the Olympics. As much as I love watching the swimming, diving, water polo (it's really fun when you can kind of understand what's going on) and gymnastics, I love the commercials (especially Visa's "go world" ones) and the constant reminder that more than being residents of a certain country, we are all residents of planet earth. More than being different, we are the same. Just like Morgan Freeman says in the commercial that always makes me cry (darn those post-partum hormones that are still raging six-and-a-half months later!), we cheer for the winners, of any country, because a triumph for them is a triumph for us. Go World.
    • I am very sad about the way the gymnastics commentators treated the Romanian women, saying they looked sloppy and "it's the end of an era." I miss my Andreea Raducan, Simona Amanar and Alexandra Marinescu.
    • I'm still in awe over the Opening Ceremonies. Visually unparalleled.
    • I'm an all-or-nothing kind of girl. Case in point: up until two weeks ago, Alexander had no set routine. I knew when he was hungry, sleepy, etc. and gave him what he needed when he needed it, and it was working great. When we got back from our camping trip, he practically put himself on a schedule, and lucky for me, it very closely matches Claire's. All of a sudden, if his nap is thirty minutes later than the "schedule," I freak out. Who knows why, when, only two weeks ago, the "schedule" was "food and sleep on demand" more or less. Funny, huh?
    • I am working on my very first quilt for myself- an appliques sunbonnet sue with my favorite lavender fabric that I have hoarded for two years. Pictures soon!
    • Alex now rolls to get places, and will roll, roll, roll, over, over, over until he hits a wall or the couch or a pile of books, etc. Pictures of the process soon!
    • Claire is going through a lack-of-sleep stage. She wakes up with the sun (ok, not sunrise, but about 7am or so) when she usually woke up around 9 or even 10. She gets HOURS less sleep a day than she used to, and believe me, she is grumpy to prove it. We're thinking of maybe putting her to sleep earlier (since she wakes up at the same time no matter what time she went to bed), and seeing if that helps. Crossing my fingers...
    • Getting my sewing machine fixed in preparation for a flurry of sewing projects: kitchen valances, living room curtains and valance, master bedroom curtains, sunbonnet sue quilt, a sewn scrapbook for Alex, the list goes on. I hope it doesn't cost too much to fix!!!

    Monday, August 11, 2008

    Can you believe...

    ...that this little guy is 19 pounds? That's right. 75th percentile, baby (compared to six-month-olds born at term, which, we all know, he was not). Well-baby check-up went great, Dr. Chang said he is extremely healthy, thankfully. He did get four shots, but he has been a trooper (the nurse said babies with chunky legs don't feel as much pain as babies with not so much fat on their bones) and has slept a lot today (Claire always slept a lot when she had shots too). Wow, there are a lot of parentheses in that paragraph. :)

    26 things I LOVE about Noah on his 26th birthday

    On August 11, 1982, a stubborn breech-baby was brought into this world via c-section. 26 years later, his wife is thanking her lucky stars that she decided to go to UCSD, that she applied for a position at Sierra Summit dining hall (where that baby- all grown up, was working) and that she had the courage to sit by him that fateful Thursday night when both of them were on their break in the Sequoia room. And as they say, the rest is history!

    Happy birthday babe!

    Here are 26 things I LOVE about you on your 26th birthday!

    1. You are an amazing daddy- always up for a game of hide-and-seek with Claire or a tickle session with Alexander!
    2. You always thank me for a "delicious dinner" - even when it's not:) - and tell Claire to thank me too!
    3. You are the most honest person I have ever met.
    4. You introduced me to really cool things I never would have explored on my own, like Star Wars and Lord of the Rings
    5. You tried to make a gamer out of me (remember the Secret of Mana debacle?) and didn't get upset when it didn't quite work out...
    6. You can fix anything that breaks
    7. You are a true do-it-yourself with installing a new kitchen faucet and water filter, the cement border in the backyard, the garage door opener...and hopefully a fountain someday so your wife can be lulled to sleep by the sound of running water...
    8. You are the most honorable person I've ever met.
    9. You are so careful with money- I never worry that we will have enough money to pay our bills or send our kids to college or retire in style (I'm seeing trips to Europe and a house with lots of beadboard...)
    10. You are so smart- I could never have navigated the fine print of buying our house, but you understand it all!
    11. You crack me up- like when I was in labor with Alexander and you wanted me to get the epidural right away because you remembered how much I hurt your hand squeezing it through contractions when I was in labor with Claire, and you didn't want to relive that.
    12. Family is always your number one priority.
    13. You are so darn healthy- hardly ever eating sweets (and when you do, in complete and utter moderation) and perfectly content with my whole wheat-flax-blueberry pancakes!
    14. You have a real competitive spirit- like last Saturday after I beat you at Wii bowling, you kept practicing until you got the technique down. So now you'll probably beat me. And your explanation for your loss to me was that you were nervous because I was so good! I don't think you have ever admitted that I was better than you at anything. Except maybe having babies.
    15. You would be (and were, for much of Claire's first year of life) content with rice and beans for dinner most nights of the week (this goes back to #13).
    16. You have very specific brand preferences for some things (like chocolate soy milk- anything other than Silk is unacceptable)
    17. You didn't mind sharing our bed with Alex for many months.
    18. You "get" scrapbooking (but not the part where I spend money on it...)
    19. You and I see eye-to-eye on all the things that matter most, like how to raise our kids.
    20. You are true to yourself.
    21. You laugh at the same things I laugh at- ("dork is spork..." I have no idea how to spell it, but you know what I mean)
    22. We have lots of words and phrases that only we understand and/or think are funny (see #21)
    23. You watched "Pride and Prejudice" and "Becoming Jane" with me, even though I fell asleep during "Transformers" and "Constantine"
    24. You carry me to bed if I fall asleep on the couch.
    25. You call me Emmy.
    26. I trust you with my life, with our children's lives and with all of our futures!
    I love you with all my heart and all my soul!
    Love, Emily

    Sunday, August 10, 2008

    I felt it...

    ...a tiny sliver of a tooth!!!!!

    Alexander's first one (it's been trying to come in for WEEKS), on the bottom front right!!!
    Man, it's like one thing after another. Sometimes I wish I could stop time. Ok I wish that a lot.
    And a little late, here is his monthly shot- I love those leg rolls!!!


    We finally got the blinds and vintage quilt up on the wall in the dining room! The blinds make a huge difference, blocking out the sun and I love the way the quilt looks on the wall!

    you know you've hit the terrible twos when...

    ...you put one end of your tunnel on top of the table and attempt to slide down and...
    ...you climb into your brother's crib...
    and jump...
    ...all within 15 minutes!!!
    p.s. Claire took me by the hand this morning and showed me behind the bathroom door..."ninny hide" she said, because that's where nathan was hiding last night when they were playing hide-and-seek. Cute, huh?
    I forget to mention something else cute she's been doing lately. One day last week she kept saying "I'm Sorry, I'm Sorry, I'm Sorry" with an emphasis on the "s", and I couldn't figure out what she was sorry about. Then I realized that she was emphasizing the "s" sound because she couldn't pronounce it before. She's all proud of herself! I guess no speech class. :(

    birthday party!!!

    claire bear's second birthday party was yesterday, and we had all of her grandparents, two of her great-grandparents, all of her uncles and all of her aunties (minus auntie mira :() in attendance!

    She got some pretty clothes and an adorable doll cradle...
    ...and some really cute clip-on earrings that she loves to put on and then shake her head so they dangle! (blurry picture but it shows her with the earrings so i love it)
    she was really into unwrapping the gifts herself

    LOVE this one...will definitely make an appearance in the scrapbook!

    love this one too!

    lemon cake from a box and icing from scratch

    she had to sit by uncle nathan!

    we can't forget little buddy, now, can we?

    Noah also got a few presents, including the wii (which was the main source of entertainment) and the game Smash Brothers for the wii. I also love the wii; after the kiddies were in bed last night we played bowling on it and i discovered one of the few things at which i am better than noah- yep, i beat him at a video game! this will go down in history. of course after we were done and i had slaughtered him (by 30 points!) he practiced until he perfected his technique. so now he's up to my level. :)