Wednesday, October 15, 2014

On Undercooking the Vegetables

Sometimes I look at the littlest Llama and I just think, "what?"

Like yesterday. When she chowed down on frozen vegetables. And I mean really went to town. On frozen. Vegetables. But only the peas and the carrots and the corn. I couldn't pay her enough to not throw the green beans onto the floor. Because honestly, Mom.

Exhibit A:

Do you see the frost on those carrots?

I don't know about you, but it never would have crossed my mind to eat them without putting them in the microwave first. Still, the pediatrician did recommend frozen peas a month ago for the teething monstrosity, and yesterday she wasn't a monstrosity, but I was lazy. And the kid totally dug them. She ate probably triple what I expected her to, which is a total breakthrough because lately she has been all about the bread and fruit and the dairy and extremely, deeply, down in her soul against vegetables of any kind except steamed carrots. So success!

I'm thinking next time we'll try frozen tamales. Maybe my laziness is the key to her having a well balanced diet.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

What's it like staying home with my daughter?

Some days its like, "Of course I'll read you a book, how could I not when you climb into my lap so sweetly? Wow, you slept for three whole hours. Are you ready to play? Of course we can go outside and play with your car. Thank you for sharing your cracker." And then other days its more like, "No! Put that down! Those are Mommy's books. I don't understand why you're crying. No, I don't think that goes on your head. I don't think the straw sippy will work when you tip it that way. Please let Mommy go potty." And the funny thing is that I love both types of days. Even though after one I'm left exhausted and touched out and quite possibly a little irritable (ask my husband), I still feel... accomplished. Because when you've spent all day averting tantrums and cuddling through the tears and standing your ground sometimes and giving in others... you know when you go to sleep that you've accomplished something.

"Today I kept the baby alive." And that's totally enough because there were moments where you were tempted to just shut yourself in your room and let her climb all over everything and take the kitchen apart and throw every piece of food in your refrigerator on the floor, but you didn't.

"Today she was a terror." And she definitely was, because she wouldn't let you cook dinner without screaming for attention and you couldn't handle one more melt down without melting down yourself, so you threw your hands up in the air and said "do you want a cracker?" because she thinks cracker means food, and you fixed her another peanut butter an jelly sandwich.

At the end of the day though, after she's in bed and she has woken up for the second time crying, and you're holding her in your arms letting her tears fall on your shoulder again, you remember how fiercely you love her, and how fleeting it all is. So you rock her and sing to her and pat her back, and even though she's still crying you can feel her calming down and getting drowsy, and you let her just smile at you for a while because you will never ever get eleven pm on this Saturday night to happen again.

That's what it's like, even on the awful days. It's knowing that you'd rather spend the bad moments with her than away from her, because you love her more than you love yourself, and even when she's scrunching her face up and throwing a fit she's the most beautiful thing in your world.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Talented Mr. Llama

Last night Mr. Llama baked me a cake. And no that's not a euphemism for anything. He baked me an actual cake. A carrot cake, to be exact. It was oh so tasty, more-so because he did it all himself. And just so you understand what this cake meant to me, I will tell you that my husband is not a baker. He likes to eat the fruits of my labor, but anytime I pull out the all purpose flour and the sugar and the eggs, he clears out. He says the kitchen is too small for more than one person to be in it at a time, but I know the truth. Mr. Llama thinks baking is mysterious and a bit girly, so he leaves it to me.

Not last night though, last night he baked for my birthday and discovered that it's not quite as mysterious as he might have imagined, all you have to do is follow a recipe and be patient. I will say though, that as delicious as the cake was, I'm not sure I want him baking for me more often than once annually. I mean, there has to be something I do better than him, right?

Now, I wanted to get some pictures of the baking and the cake to share here, but Leighton was having none of it (for a photogenic man, he doesn't enjoy being photographed), so instead I'll leave you with today's picture. A happy baby, brought to you by Baby Signing Time. This kid loves that video.

Now please excuse me while I try to cheer up the chastised baby who thinks it's good fun to bite mommy's knee while she's typing on the laptop. 

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Great Subject Matter

You could probably tell from my previous posts that I enjoy photography. There's just something about a picture with good composition and lighting that makes me happy. Ruby is an especially good subject. Her skin is soft and clear, her hair glimmers in the sun, and those lips are so perfectly shaped. All I have to do is point a camera at her and the two of them do the work. It doesn't even need to be my good camera, she looks good on an iPhone just the same.

Still, even though the baby practically makes the picture, I like to practice all the same. And recently I've had the opportunity to practice with some new subjects. Sure, those kids photographed just as well as mine, but they did move slightly more, so I had to work just a tad harder to get a good shot. I surprised myself with more than one good photo, and realized in the process that this dream I've had of starting a small photography business on the side may not be a complete fantasy. I toyed with the idea of starting a Facebook page to advertise myself, but as I began last night I had this overwhelming urge to hide and do nothing, because if I tried everyone would see what a poser I am, how unrealistic my expectations are, and how unprofessional my photographs actually are.

But then, Leighton gave me this look like, "don't be crazy," and started helping me think of names for my little business. So once that's done I think I will make a Facebook page and just put my photos up there and hope someone needs some cheap amateur portraits of their photogenic children.

Oh! And I figured out how to make a watermark in lightroom! I'm practically a pro.

Many thanks to Peter and Zachie's mommy and daddy for bearing with this novice photographer. <3 

Monday, April 28, 2014

Wake Up, You.

Sometimes, my writing soul hibernates and I leave my not so secret corners of the internet to grow weeds. That was my October through April. Its not that I wrote nothing, because I did flex my fingers to type an embarrassing amount of fan fiction that I'll never share here. No, its that my heart didn't compose as it went through life anymore, and that is a terrible place to be for a blogger.

But then, a few weeks ago it happened. I was going about my day, watching completely ordinary things go on around me, and it all looked like magic. I could hear lines forming in my head and could practically feel the key strokes under my fingers because I knew that if I were to write about my day, I could turn it into something beautiful. Of course I didn't. I was out of practice and scared to pick back up my microphone. What if I got it wrong? What if this break was the one during which I'd managed to lose my voice and what I wrote sounded more like an assignment than like me? What if being a mother had dried up this special part of who I am, the part that looks at the world like its a story needing to be told?

I'm still here though, it turns out. My writing brain was just resting and now its back, which is excellent because I have more to write about than ever before. My baby is ten months old now. Ten months! She can almost walk and she looks more like a little person than an infant every day. I don't want to forget this time, I don't want to forget the way she tries to bite my knees when I'm sitting, or the way her face lights up when she sees me pull out my lap top. I want to remember it all, be able to look back and laugh and smile because I caught it all here like a butterfly in a bell jar.

So good morning world, I'm here again.

Also, I don't want to forget this.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Park Days

Today was another lovely day. We woke up late (because mama was a silly goose and didn't go to sleep until midnight last night) and had a big steaming bowl of oatmeal (me) with a side of boob (Ruby). Then it was off to the park where a bunch of sweet girls from church meet on Wednesdays to chat and let their children play. Ruby hung out on a blanket under some shade and just stared at the whole wide world around her. It was pretty adorable. 

Anywho. The park was great (75 degrees and mostly sunny!) but Rubyroo eventually became tired and cranky because she is a baby and that is just what happens when you're a baby and there's a lot going on. So we left and stopped at the store to get some frozen pizzas from the store which I'm planning on feeding to some missionaries tonight along with whatever pastry I decide to make.

And in other news, trying to run with a jogging stroller is HARD. Like seriously, out a fifteen pound weight in a stroller some time and go for a jog. See how far you make it, because I went maybe a quarter of a mile before I had to stop. 

Now here's my view at the moment to say ciao with. 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


So having a car is divine. I never realized before how awesome being out of the house is. I mean, when we lived in Arizona I worked from home and we went out on dates and I could just up and leave whenever I had the inkling because There was always a car at my disposal. But then we moved to California and Leighton started bringing home that delicious bacon and I had a baby and then I was home all day with her and netflix is really a vortex so I got sucked in and watched three (THREE) whole TV series in just a few months. And I'm talking hour long shows with seven seasons or more. My brain is fried.

Which is why Dolores has changed the name of the game. Yesterday was so sweet. SO. SWEET. Baby Llama and I woke up and did a couple chores and then loaded into our new car to head to a friends house, where we made some pretty tasty very streusel muffins and consumed them. Then we headed to a park where we got to hang out on a blanket and stare at the trees and the sky and the kids playing on the (really low) monkey bars. It was great.

 After that it was home for a nap and then off again like a flash to the bank and some random person's house where we picked up a $20 jogging stroller and then to the pet food store where we bought Cedric's very special and rare grain-free doggie food because he breaks out into hives when he eats anything else other than people food. Because he is a drama llama dog.

And guys, our whole day was exhilarating. I felt alive and occupied and not like I should eat the house out of boredom. That's the thing about being home all day every day, you have a tendency to live around meal times, whereas when I'm out and about, meals are more of a secondary thing and I don't feel hungry at random moments because I'm focused on doing cool things.

Case in point. What I did at home this evening.

And yes, they were delicious, but I now I have to stop myself from wasting all my weight watchers points on eating every last one of them. 

Which brings me to my next picture. 

Since I started Weight Watchers two and a halfish weeks ago, I've lost about 11 pounds and am down from  180 at the end of my Arizona trip (rootbeer floats for breakfast, yo) to 169. So that's good I guess. It's progress, so I'll take it, but I've still got another 17 pounds until I'm at my pre-pregnancy weight and 34 until I'm back down to my goal. I'm willing to do it slowly though, healthily. I'm eating well and am hoping to take that jogging stroller out for a spin soon for funsies. 

Ohandplusalso, I've given up meat for a while. I got myself a vegetarian cook book and a bunch of beans and lentils and quinoa and veggies and I'm trying to branch out in my meal planning. I felt as if all of our meals were based around meat and were really boring, so I made a change and I'm learning more about food and variety and I like it. And that's all I have to say about that. At the moment. 

Now it's off to bed so that I can be well rested for whatever adventures tomorrow might hold!