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. :)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Just a Few

Just a few pictures of my brood to (hopefully) make you smile.

They light up my life. :)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A glimpse into the very distant future

Today Claire told me she wants to take care of lots of babies when she grows up.

And she wants me to make them grilled goat cheese sandwiches and tomato soup, and she wants Daddy to play with them in the backyard while I am making said sandwiches.

And she wants to name them Silky, Kook and Pop.

You heard it here first. :)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Pink + A Busy Week

I was having an awesome phone conversation with my mom when I looked over to see Littlest Angel with a pink ink pad in her mouth.


This week I am going to be getting very friendly with my kitchen.

13 dozen cookies for Noah's classes + 2 dozen for Angel Girl's class = lots o' cookies.

Good thing I have one humongous counter.

Now I need to go clean it off, hehe. :)

For the record, I like making these cookies for Noah, but it is getting harder and harder.
When I first volunteered, I had one baby who liked to sleep a lot (still does).

Now I've got three (one of whom does not need that much sleep, and another who prefers to sleep in my lap), so you see my alone time in the kitchen is scarce at best, and usually non-existent . 
And that's ok.
Except that I need to bake 15 dozen cookies.

So the plan: prepare dough tomorrow and Wednesday.
Freeze individual portions.
Spend every spare moment of Thursday baking.

Oh, and finish a few teacher gifts for Friday and another couple for Saturday.

I can do it!!

Friday, December 3, 2010

I do love this time of year (a stream of consciousness ramble)

Perfect days that are chilly, cloudy
 and colorful.
 We crunch leaves on the way to and from school
 and are our park's most frequent visitors (I'm sure of it).

We smile and laugh and cook and bake (two batches of brownies just came out of the oven)
 and swing.
And it is cold enough to wear flannel jammies and coats and pants and tights but not so cold that we don't want to venture outside.

The air is cool and fresh (a nice change from our stifling summers).

There is a small, temporary layer of white on the grass each morning, and as the wind picks up, little showers of leaves fall from the trees.

And in our house, warmth.

Yellow walls, crinkly quilts, soft afghans, the hum of a new heater.

Three kids running, jumping, crawling, laughing, squealing, snuggling.

Pancakes in the morning, hot chocolate in the afternoon, we spend so much time in the kitchen.

Sewing a little everyday, sometimes with three helpers who both lengthen and brighten the fun.

A husband who is home for dinner.
Every night.

Whose laughter comes more quickly and fully now that his coaching is done for a few months.

Presents being bought, made, thought over, wrapped, hidden.

Talking about the true meaning- the giving, the hope, the traditions.

And also the magic.

This is the first year Santa is so real in our house.

Letters have been written, but not mailed because I can't bear the thought of not having them forever.  

They love to hear about when we were kids, and I've been telling them all about my childhood Christmases.

Their favorite is how my brothers and sisters and I used to sleep in the same room on Christmas Eve, and they've been talking about doing that this year.
Oh, I hope they want to do that for a long long long time.

Littlest Angel's first Christmas.

She is going to love the tree!

I've got to find a First Christmas ornament.

Will she be our last?

Probably not, but possibly.

I feel so fulfilled.

XOXO. :)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Funny Faces

Mom and people with older kids always talk about when kids go through the stage where they don't want to smile for the camera, they just want to make funny faces, and man, has it happened to her!

 Also, many many many clips in the hair.
And, just like I told you yesterday...cookie-cutter sandwiches!!
Very hard to tell, I understand, but hers is a snowflake and his is a snowman.
We've been bringing lunch along when we pick up C from preschool, and then picnicking when we stop at the park on the way home.

It is so much easier than playing at the park until they all (especially L) are ready for naps and then scrounging (amidst crying kids) to make lunch when we get home.

I love figuring out a better way of doing something! :)

p.s. I finished a hugely essential Christmas present last night of which I cannot share pictures until it has been received, but dang it, I'm so happy it is done!
And I love the way it turned out, so, bonus!!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Laughing Lucy

Boy can they get her going sometimes!!
This time it was Alex pretending to eat his carrot. :)

decorating cookies

We spent most of Sunday baking cookies for Noah's players (and us too, of course!)

I had grand master plans for them to be water polo balls, but they just look like cookies with yellow icing. Or maybe suns. I just could not get my smallest decorating tip to cooperate in drawing the lines on the "balls," grrr. 

Oh well, they still tasted great! I mean, how can they not when the icing is half butter and half sugar??

There is nothing quite like homemade icing. :)

And you know what the biggest compliment was? When I handed Noah the last cookie, my usually-passes-up-sweets-for-some-ungodly-reason husband was super excited (for him anyway) and grateful, as the girls practically inhaled the ones I sent to school with him thereby leaving him cookie-less.

I set up this table for the kids to decorate their own cookie.

As you can see, they took it very seriously. :)

And Lulu was busy playing at the play kitchen and forcing me to resist my natural impulses to eat her thighs. Seriously, they are so edible. :)
And since I now have an excuse to use my adorable Christmas-themed cookie cutters, more will be coming. :)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Princess Loving Heart

Little kids dressed up as pilgrims and singing a song about a turkey strutting by.

Not much that's cuter than that!
 It was, of course, C's preschool Thanksgiving feast.

Nana and Oma & Opa came (and were extremely helpful to me in keeping an eye on the littlest one and the mischievous one) and after the song and requisite pictures, we feasted on turkey soup and other delicious items prepared by the teachers. 

(Can you imagine making soup and sides for 24 kids and their families?? That's a lot of food.) 

It was fun to see all of their fall crafts and decorations ("I'm grateful for..." acorns, leaf placemats, pinecone turkeys, handprint turkeys and handprint cornstalks), but the best part, by far, was this:

Princess Loving Heart.
 Each kid was given a Native American-sounding name that highlighted an aspect of their personality, and some were funny and some were cute and some were sweet, but this one, describing my little girl, almost made me cry right there.

I mean, of all the things Noah and I wish for our children, pretty much at the top of that list is that they are kind and generous and sweet, and, well, have a loving heart.

And I know this sort of sounds like I'm patting myself on the back, but, I guess it means we must be doing something right.

For someone like me, who tends to worry (understatement) and second-guess myself, it is both a relief and a gift to know that someone else sees in her what I see.

That despite a mild propensity to be strong-willed (from Daddy) and easily-frustrated (from me), she is kind and loving and full of empathy.

And gosh darnit, I am proud of her for that. :)

XOXO, Angel Girl

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I Have Never Seen Him Jump So High

It was a true underdog story.

The team with nine Valley Championships (including the last two) under their belt v. the team with none.

The team ranked third in Northern California v. the team ranked eleventh.

The only undefeated team in the section v. the team that (unsuccessfully) chased them all season.

And then, in the only game that REALLY mattered, the last game, the FINALS, that underdog team played with their hearts.  And won.

It was the best kind of game- a nailbiter, straight to the end. I always ask him (after wins) when he knew they were going to take it. Sometimes it is very early on, when they've gone ahead by three goals in the first quarter. But this time, it wasn't until the last 26 seconds, when they were up by 1 and had taken possession of the big yellow ball.

And then it was over.

And it wasn't the buzzer that tipped everyone off. No sirree, that buzzer was easily drowned out by the cheers and screams of euphoric players, parents and coaches (and one crazy coach's wife, hehe) and the sight of a certain handsome and overjoyed coach, launching himself about seven feet into the air, arms pumping and his trademark hat flying.  

And then the moment he had been waiting for.
He put up a bit of half-hearted and futile resistance, but it didn't take much for them to get him in.

Coaches and players, splashing and cheering and dunking each other, holding up one symbolic finger, together celebrating their hard work and the very best possible end to their season, as their parents (and again, that crazy wife, now with a baby in one hand  and a camera in the shaking other hand), cameras clicking, celebrated with them from the pool deck.

Good thing he thought to bring a change of clothes.

And in a way it was like when we got engaged (at 2 in the morning) or found out we were expecting Angel Girl, or got the call that Little Buddy was being relesed from the NICU, or the time he delivered (er, caught) Littlest One seconds after we burst into the ER: I wanted to shout it from the rooftops- "THEY WON! THEY WON!" as if everyone had been holding their breath, just waiting to hear and share the joy.

And now, three days later, we are still reliving it.

Several times a day.

Their school's very first Valley Championship in Girls' Water Polo.

I have never been prouder of him. :)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

backpack baby

Ok, ignore the tired, squinty eyes. :)
She complained about being strapped in it, but as soon as she was on my back, oh my gosh, she loved it!

The only drawback is her close proximity to my hair = lots o' pulls. :(

Monday, November 15, 2010

Right Now.

Learning to write.
Learning to read.
Can sight-read "the" "and" and "it" as well as all of our names.
Has been spotted playing School with Alex. :)
Would like a scooter and a pink quilt for her Teddy.
Is probably allergic to dairy :(
Jumps out of bed every morning asking if it is a school day. Is sad when it isn't.
Called over her shoulder back to me "I miss you already!" with a huge grin on her face when Noah took her and Little Buddy to the park yesterday. :)
 Climbs into bed with me every night.
Would rather swing in the bucket swing and go sky-high than the big-boy flat swing and go only halfway.
Puzzles, puzzles, puzzles.
Sometimes smothers the Littlest One with hugs...for fun.
Is very into the rhyming song "Mama Mama bo-Bama banana-fana-fo-fama mee-mi-mo-mama Mama!" and his favorite rhyme is Truck. Try it. :)
Has her first tooth!!
Fought me when I tried to get her out of the swing this morning at the park.
Fought me when I tried to put her in her carseat.
Fought me when I tried to change her diaper.
I lost her in the house today (three times so far)...tunrs out she was in Little Buddy's room climbing up the slide!
Is learning to protect herself against her brutish big brother with smacks and scratches.

And there you have it! The little ones. Right now. :)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Self-Portrait Bookmark: A Collaborative Project

I got the idea from Amanda Blake Soule's Handmade Home.

Claire drew herself and wrote her name on a piece of fabric, then I embroiderd it in her favorite color. 
It was quick, easy and fun.

And she takes the bookmark very seriously: it has to be placed just right in her book, so that the ribbon loop is just poking out the top. :)

I also had her draw me and write my name for my own bookmark, which is, of course, embroidered in yellow and marking my place in my current read. :)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

better late than never...

My little fairy princess, firefighter and ladybug. :)
 How she deals with unwanted kisses (which come from Alex both often and less-than-gently, which explains the unwanted part)

Did you think C would be anything BUT a pink pink pink fairy princess? :)

And A, hehe, he was so cute correcting neighbors who called him a fireman. "No, I am a firefighter."

Way to be gender-neutral, Little Buddy. :)

If ever there was a perfect costume for L, it would be a ladybug, mostly because it was so fun to call her Lucy Bug. I was hoping it would stick as a new general-purpose nickname, but alas, it has not. More like Lucy-Loo-Who, Lucy Love and Lulubelle, which are all, in my very unbiassed opinion, quite adorable. :)

Though they had fun trick-or-treating around our small cul-de-sac, their favorite part by FAR was handing out candy.

C stood by the front door, clutching the basket of candy and I wished so hard so get lots of trick-or-treaters so she could do her job (which she took very seriously, placing one candy in each basket/pillowcase/bag), because she was just so excited and happy and proud to do so.

I thought it was so cute when I was helping C get ready for bed, and we heard some kids ring the doorbell. She was nakey-buns, so I said, "Hurry, hurry get dressed so you can go give them treats." Instead, she poked her head out the window and said, very matter-of-factly, "I'll be right there, I'm just getting dressed. One minute." I think you had to be there, but it was pretty cute. :)

Luckily we got lots. We even ran out of candy, and since that happend in the middle of a big group we had to improvise with some of our own stash. By then it was 8:30 so we turned off the light and that was that.