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. :)

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Highlights of Alexander's 11th month with teeny tiny pictures to illustrate!

First birthday! Notice the ruler paper on the right page, like he's growing? hehe

Claire helping me cut out cookies. Every time she said, "I make circles!"

These next two are pages about inaguration day. I know someday they will ask me what we did that day and I will be ready with an answer!

These next two are their Christmas layouts, one for each. I took so many pictures but couldn't narrow it down any further so I resized them to be teeny tiny so I could fit them all on. After I took these pictures I numbered each snapshot and explained them on the back of the paper, so if someone browsing my scrapbooks is so inclined, they can take out the page and get the whole story. :)

Claire always wants to go outside when Noah is working out there, and by help I mean play in the leaf piles he spent 45 minutes raking. :)

Meeting Landon!! Again with the ruler paper, :)

an ode to the outside boots and the mud puddles she jumps in, :)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

project 365: day 56

We spent the morning at the mall and of course we had to stop and put our hands in the fountain. Six times. :)

We had a lot of fun. I rekindled my love for all things Anthropologie (if you have never checked out this store, you must google it and look online. Their catalogs are gorgeous. Such eye candy.) and bought Claire some flip-flops for the summer. Just in case you were wondering, one of the pairs is on her feet as I type, and the other is tucked into bed next to her. :)

project 365: day 55

So how much of his lunch do you think actually ended up in his tummy?

I always think, "wow, he's eating really well today!" and then I look at the floor (or his lap, or his chair or some other place food could fall), and I see what seems like twice as much food as I gave him strewn about.

Luckily he's a chunky monkey or I might think he is malnourished. :)

On a sidenote, we went to toddler sing-along at the library this morning, and a mom asked me what I did to make my kids grow so well. At first I thought it was a rhetorical question, like she was just joking that they are good-sized (she said her kids are all "puny"), but she was serious. She honestly thought I did something different, like maybe I feed them some type of superfood that makes them tall and chunky. Hehe!! Nope, just awesome genes. :)

project 365: day 54

I really wanted to take a shower in the morning instead of at night today, and while Claire was still asleep, Alexander was awake, and I so do not trust him where I cannot watch him every moment, let alone the fifteen or so minutes I'm nowhere near him and sopping wet and soapy to boot. So I improvised: I hauled the highchair down the hall, buttered some chunks of bread, moved him out of reach of the counter after I discovered that he was playing with floss and soap boxes, and we were both happy. Mama got her shower in the morning so her hair looked decent and Alex got his carbs. :)

project 365: day 53

I spent naptime organizing my new rolltop desk (I have always wanted one...they are so old-fashioned and romantic, and plus, you can hide your mess). Lots of compartments for buttons and ribbons and small things I use in scrapbooking (which is what the entire desk is dedicated to), so I decided to color-code. I'm so proud of my color labels. :)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

new pages

I finally got around to doing a few pages about our early relationship!! Hehe, our kids are so going to laugh someday at these pictures of their daddy and mama when we were young'uns. :)

This one has a few random shots of Summit, which is of course, where we met. I recorded a few favorite memories in the words around the edges, "studying/sleeping in the big comfy chairs in El Mercado...Daniel Morales, who knew each of us separately before he knew us as a couple...my first glimpse of my future- a tall, dark and handome vision at the wok :) ... the Cool Kids Club, aka the supervisors...group breaks during the summer where hilariously innapropriate discussions were the norm...dishroom. Enough said. :) ...Ofelia Gonzalez- she worked 75 hours a week and always had a smile...cilantro-garlic mayo..."Emily" breadsticks (lots of tomatoes, garlic, and parmesan)...supervising with Laura those few, happy times. :) "

"Back then our love was just beginning to bloom"
The journaling: "The on-campus bedroom I shared with Brigitte McKiernan...Just home from a busy shift (and probably smelling like the dishroom :)...Almost six months into this journey of love...two crazy kids."

"from baby to big girl in one fell swoop"

No journaling because the pictures make it obvious...the one on top is Claire's crib, and the one on the bottom is her bed.

"Your mama is goofy"

journaling: "By the unamused look on your 4-month old face, I'm guessing you already knew that (and hopefully love me anyway). I like to dance around the house (but I'm not graceful) and I like to sing songs (but I did not inherit the gift of voice). I love to laugh, but tell really bad jokes. I may be goofy but I love you more than life. And there's nothing goofy about that."

Saturday, February 21, 2009

just a little baby boy...

...pushing a car around the living room and making grunty engine noises. :)

project 365: day 52

hehe. Continuing the tradition of Wearing-Daddy's-T-shirts to bed. (Nevermind she is wearing Daddy's t-shirt to bed because she had TWO accidents through TWO pairs of perfectly clean Elmo panties and TWO more weather-appropriate pairs of jammies. It's all good though, because I tucked her tight under the covers so she's nice and toasty and I'm fairly sure there is no excess liquid in her body that might need to be emptied in the middle of the night.)

Hopefully I won't wake up at 3am to her snuggling up next to me and a wet (just cleaned, too) sheet underneath me, like I did last night. :)

Friday, February 20, 2009

six years ago...

...a shy girl named Emily sat down next to a shy boy named Noah on their dinner break.

The rest is history. :)

click to enlarge

project 365: day 51

Allow me to explain.
We took a field trip to Barnes & Noble today where we spent too much time and too much money but had tons of fun! I even squealed when I saw a book I've had my eye on for awhile...I need to drop some really obvious hints to Noah... When we walked in those double doors to heaven, I kid you not, Claire exclaimed, "LIBRARY!! BIG library!!" Hehe.

But I digress. Ah yes, the picture.

She tripped in the parking lot (of course because her shoes HAD to be unstrapped) and skinned her knee. She was happy with a mama kiss to make it feel better, but also wanted a bandaid when we got home. I was happy to oblige and wanted a picture (I don't really know why, probably because it made me feel good that my kiss made it all better and I wanted to remember how two simple things like a well-placed kiss and a bandaid could fix all of her hurts...again I digress), so here you go- her showing me her bandaid that you can't even see. :)

project 365: day 50

Taking apples for rides in her stroller.

"Hold on tight!" she told them, and then proceeded to ZOOM around the house.

When she got back to the kitchen (where I was playing with Alexander), the apples were in the back basket, and I asked why.

"Because he fell out of the seat. Now he's safe." :)

p.s. love the headband.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

because this blog has been lacking some Claire-Bear lately...

project 365: day 49

Hehe. Our attempt at a relatively peaceful dinner. It's a win-win: The applesauce occupies him while I have the privilege of eating only slightly faster than a normal person (instead of wolfing down my food to be ready to give him a bath when he decides he is done with dinner) and without having to intersperse my own bites of food with feeding someone else.

project 365: day 48

Yes, Claire and I went a little crazy at Target in the gardening section. There are 24 seed packets in that little box, baby! Some are veggies- carrots, tomatoes, bell peppers; most are flowers, alyssum, morning glories, nasturtium, snapdragons...things I just know I can grow! Hehe, I can't wait until the "danger of last frost" (as per the recommendations on the back) passes so I can get these puppies in the ground and start seeing some color in my garden!! I'm already seeing my tulip and hyacinth bulbs come up and I can't wait to see them bloom!

Monday, February 16, 2009

the story of how we met :)

proof that really cute babies can take really bad pictures :)

project 365: day 47

Her first experience with Mario Kart. Happy girl. Happy Daddy. :)

project 365: day 46

Hehe. We spent the day at Nana and Grampa's, playing Sequence, eating chili, putting a desk together (that was Noah), eating way too much chocolate (that was me) and getting frustrated with a certain little girl who suddenly could not go on the potty, among other things.

And this little buddy, well, he decided to clap his hands for the first time, but only in front of Nana and Grandpa. I kept trying and trying to get him to clap for me and all I got was this look.

He's totally messing with me. :)

six words

Have you heard of Six-Word Biographies? Apparently Mark Twain wrote an entire story in six words- "Baby shoes. For sale. Never worn." Or something like that (what a sad story.) So a bunch of people have taken that idea and tried to sum up the essence of their lives in six words- there is even a book filled with biographies of people famous and not.

I heard about this on NPR- they asked people for their stories of love and heartbreak (in six words of course) in honor of Valentine's Day, and it gave me an idea.

Noah and I wrote our love letters this year in six words. I liked the idea because I have difficulty being concise and I liked the challenge; I suspect Noah liked the idea because it seemed easy. :)

So it might be TMI, but here are our letters.

Emily to Noah: Love is too small a word.

Noah to Emily: Wife, Mother. Chef, Lover. World's Best.

Of course they are already immortalized on a scrapbook page commemorating the event. :)

project 365: day 45

Pancakes are delicious, there's no denying the truth. How much better are they when they are shaped like hearts? Infinitely. :)

Happy Valentine's Day. :)

Friday, February 13, 2009

project 365: day 44 ( February 13)

Back. One year later. To celebrate. :)

Rain or shine

In my mind I was going to take lots of pictures of the kids, frollicking near the sculpted trees, climbing on the bronze statues and maybe smiling for a picture or two (at the same time).

Mr. Rain decided to get in the way of those plans, but I still HAD to get to Children's Hospital today to commemorate the first anniversary of bringing Alexander home.

There were donations to be made.

Pictures to be taken.

Memories to be recalled.

The entranceway (it looks much happier in the sunshine!)

The wing where he stayed (the rooms had great views of green hills).

Even though we never got out of the car (except for me, wading through the puddles in my trusty brown flip-flops, to drop the donations in the box), I am so glad we went.
And just like he did on the last ride home from Children's, he slept the whole way. :)

I remember

I remember in December 2007, helping my mother-in-law pick out some things for co-workers at the gift shop in Children's Hospital (to support the hospital, not because anyone we knew was staying there), and saying to her, "I hope none of my kids ever have to come here."

I remember, not even two months later, the doctors telling me that Alexander, only a few hours old, needed to be transferred to Children's Hospital where they were better equipped to take care of him.

I remember Noah and I first arriving at Children's later that night, searching through the dark and empty labyrinth of a hospital for the NICU.

I remember the nurses were surprised to see me there so soon after delivering him (what, did they think I was going to stay in the maternity without my baby??? Heck no.)

I remember asking if I could hold him, but just looking at all the tubes and wires knowing what that answer would be.

I remember the first time I finally did get to hold him, four very long days later.

I remember Noah asking me what I wanted for Valentine's Day and my answer: I wanted to bring Alex home.

I remember the moment the doctor told me I could bring him home the next day- I had learned to not hope too hard for the good news, so when it came I was stunned and thrilled.

I remember driving home that night, knowing that the next time I drove that route I would not be accompanied by my tears but by my baby.

I remember the next morning, waiting for Noah's dad to make it over to watch Claire so that I could go get Alexander. It was sunny and Claire was playing outside. She fell and chipped her front tooth and instead of bursting into tears like I know I would have done had I not had the knowledge of the joyous homecoming soon to happen, I counted my blessings that the whole tooth wasn't knocked out.

I remember the large packet of dismissal papers, to which I was supposed to be paying very close attention, but which was only secondary in my mind to the angel baby in arms.

I remember insisting on changing his outfit to the one I had bought many weeks before as his coming-home outfit. I was determined to bring him home in it even though it was a size too big, hanging far past his hands and swallowing up his tiny body (although he was tall enough for it!!)

I remember taking a picture, thrilled to see a hint of a smile, as if he knew he was coming home. :)

I remember gathering all his things together and strapping his tiny body into the carseat, and thinking back to when I first laid Claire in that very same seat, a first-time mama both anxious and nervous to be going home.

I remember the sweet nurse, helping me wheel him out to the waiting car, posing for pictures with Alex and sharing my joy.

I remember that hat he was wearing- the same hat I had bought for Nathan before he was born. It was so big it would fall down to cover his whole head if I left it to its own devices.

I remember he was kept warm by Claire's hundred-good wishes quilt, since the one I had been making for him was not done yet.

I remember driving home, every bit the new mother, driving well below the speed limit (even more than I already do!) and stopping every chance I got to look back at him, who of course slept soundly the whole way.

I remember videotaping Alexander's first moments at home so that Noah, who was at work, could see it later.

I remember Claire's first reaction- curious, confused and tender.

I remember finally feeling like the family of four that we had been for thirteen days.

I remember my most favorite Valentine's Day present ever. :)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

I'm just gonna say it...

...she's potty-trained!!!

Today we celebrated two full days of not one single accident in her panties, and we are still going strong!!!

How sweet it is to only have one in diapers. :)

project 365: day 43 (February 12)

He may not wave bye-bye, but the boy LOVES to give high-fives!!

Seriously, it's the cutest thing. Especially when Claire says, "Oh, good job Buddy! You gave fives!" :)

project 365: day 42 (February 11)

Good morning Sunshine!!!

How fun is it to be greeted by this smiling face in the morning!?

(Even if that smiling face belongs to the baby boy who gave his mama grief the night before. Maybe he was making up for it, hehe. :)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

up close and personal

Completed during naptime. :)