Thursday, December 23, 2010

New Haircut for Christmas




Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Gymnastics, prayers and pages

For winter break, Kylie has been attending a special three hour camp at Little Gym. She has had a lot of fun and it has worn her out! She has taken a great nap each day. Today is the last day they offer the camp and I will be sorry to see it go.

Here is a video of Kylie. In addition to our nighttime prayer, Kylie has been adding prayers for things that she is grateful for. Tonight, she was grateful for food. Sorry for the weird red lighting on the video. It was taken with the just the light from her nightlight.

And here are a few Christmas scrapbook pages. You can click on the picture to see the credits.


Here's the story/journaling on this page.
On Friday 12/17, the last day of school at Discovery before Christmas break, Kylie brought home her presents for us-- chocolate covered pretzels. She said the teachers helped her dip the pretzels in the chocolate and then she decorated them with lots of colored sprinkles. The teachers helped her wrap the pretzels in saran wrap and then decorate the package with ribbons and a foam ornament with Kylie’s picture. The pretzels tasted delicious and Kylie was so proud.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Bento lunches

I've been a bento slacker for a while.

I still pack bento lunches for Kylie every school day. But the lunches have been a bit mundane lately and I just haven't been taking a picture of them.

I figure there are only so many times you want to see turkey sandwiches on pumpernickel bread, no matter how I cut it--although this elf cookie cutter was fun.

When we get back from our holiday break, I want to work on putting some creativity back into her lunches. If any of you have ideas for food for her lunch, please let me know!

But for now, I find a new product that I thought I would share with you.
The noodles are a vegetable rotini from Hodgson Mill. They are made from wheat flour mixed with spinach, tomato, and beet. And Kylie loves them- even cold or at room temp. I love finding a new food that she enjoys. And she really eats these noodles up.

Thinking about this post got me wondering just how many different items I've used in her lunches. And because the kiddo decided to take a nap today, I thought I would make a list.

Turkey sandwiches, Boiled egg, Bacon, Laughing Cow Swiss Cheese, American & Cheddar Cheese, Shredded cheese, Hot dog, Go-gurt, Red beans.

Fresh fruit
Bananas, Blackberries, Blueberries, Cantaloupe, Clementines, Grapes, Honeydew melon, Kiwi, Mandarin Oranges, Peaches, Pears, Plums, Raspberries, Strawberries, Watermelon

Dried fruit
Apples, Applesauce, Apricots, Craisins, Pineapple, Prunes, Raisins, Yogurt Raisins

Carrots, Celery, Cucumbers, Peas, Peppers

Wheat Thins, Pirate Booty, Pretzels, Goldfish, Cereal bar, Raisin toast, Ritz crackers, Fruit roll-up, Macaroni, Teddy Grahams, Granola bar.

And some things I've tried that Kylie hasn't liked
Ham, Bologna, Roast beef, Pepperoni, Hummus, Mango, Grapefruit.

It's disappointing that I can't pack any nuts in her lunch (someone in her class has a nut allergy) since Kylie loves all kinds of nuts. But this way, she gets to enjoy them as a snack.

Again, if any of you have something your kiddo likes to eat that isn't on this list, please share it! I'm hungry for new ideas.

Here is a link to all the bentos I've made and photographed. Happy Healthy Eating everyone!

Monday, December 20, 2010


From hysterical tears at 8 months old...

to 2009 and "Santa, you are kind of weird. This whole thing is strange."...

to "Wow! I got to meet Santa and he gave me necklace and candy cane!"

Ah, time flies! That baby picture makes me laugh every time I see it.

Friday, December 17, 2010

{this moment} 12/10/10

this moment} - a Friday ritual. A single photo capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Kylie came up with this idea all on her own. She cut out the paper, covered the paper with markers, put on the eyes and drew the mouths all by herself.

She called them her "monsters" and she put them under her pillow in her bedroom.

{this moment} posts are inspired by SouleMama's Friday posts

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

These days

These days Kylie is infatuated with pouring water. Pouring water from a large container to a smaller one is one of the practical life exercises in her Montessori school. And now, that practice is in our house. I've been trying to steer Kylie into letting me set the scene for her pouring experiments. Kylie prefers clandestine tea parties instead. She'll get quiet for a bit and I'll go to find her. She's amazingly fast in her water experiments.

She will have gotten water either from the water jug in the kitchen or her bathroom sink or she'll drink and spit the water from her sippy cup. She's inventive! She will have her pretend teapot and teacups with water in them. She also sneaks a towel from her bathroom or linen closet to clean up the inevitable spills. Its just water but it's disconcerting to step into mysterious puddle in the house. And the cats just hate it. I keep encouraging her to let me set it up for her but she prefers to do it on the sly.

Yesterday, after finding two puddles, I put her to work scrubbing potatoes. She loves to do this! Afterwards, she washed and de-stemmed bunches of grapes.

  • These days, Kylie enjoys playing with her megablocks legos.

    As she made this scene, she sang her own made up song, "Make a room, make a house, make a city".

  • These days, Kylie's favorite iPhone app is The Talking Dinosaur. This app records your voice and plays it back to you with funny effects. Kylie likes the talking hippo, bird, and Santa too. She particularly likes it when we hug and kiss and roughhouse a bit before school. She likes to hear our sounds played back through the dinosaur. Many times before we leave, she'll say, "It's a talking dinosaur morning" which means she wants me to hug, kiss and tickle her while the app plays.

  • These days, Momma Karen has been working out and getting some great exercise in the very early morning at her gym. She gets home, showers and is off to work. But Kylie gets to see her Momma for just a bit which delights her. Of course, we get to have the hang-on-the-leg-don't-go moment but it is very sweet.

  • These days, Kylie talks more about her birthday than Christmas. She has an elaborate birthday scenario that she likes to share with us. Try as we might, we can't get her as jazzed about Christmas as she is about her birthday.

  • These days, her artwork looks like this. She draws herself and then me, Momma Karen, our two cats, her friend Lily and Lily's dog.

    These days Kylie can get quite intense and adamant both in her actions and her communication. Her intensity and stubbornness can get trying for me sometimes but every day I'm grateful for my darling girl.




  • Friday, December 10, 2010

    {this moment} 12/10/10

    this moment} - a Friday ritual. A single photo capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

    With temperatures here in Florida in the 30's and 40's, it has been cold enough for coats and hats. Kylie likes to run a few circles in the driveway before she gets in the car to go to school. She tells me she is "feeling the weather".


    {this moment} posts are inspired by SouleMama's Friday posts

    Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

    Thursday, December 09, 2010

    Christmas around the house

    Our first Christmas in Florida and our house is all decorated. From the Christmas tree

    To the stockings and Nativity on the wrap-around fireplace.
    This year's new purchases are the wreath that lights up at night positioned above the fireplace and the pillow on the couch (thank you Mom for the early Christmas present!)

    Are you doing "The Elf on the Shelf"? We got the elf and book for Kylie. We read her the book the day we put up the tree. I didn't think she was paying much attention. But when her friend Lily came to play the next day, Kylie told her the whole story of the elf flying to see Santa during the night and telling Santa about your good or bad behavior. One night, Kylie was having a bit of a fit before bed. She was overtired and weepy and argumentative. I said, "Remember, the elf is watching you". And she quieted right down.

    The most fun she's having with this is looking for the elf's new position each day. I'm glad we got the this sweet elf!

    The last bit of Christmas around the house is this new custom-built piece we had made for our bedroom. It was delivered last night and I'm already in love with it. It's going to provide us with a ton of storage.

    Wednesday, December 08, 2010


    My dear readers,

    Some harsh news has hit our family.

    On Friday, December 3rd, Karen's sister, Amy, was diagnosed with several cancer metastases throughout her body.

    I can't begin to tell you how much I love Amy and her family. She has been unfailingly warm and generous to me. Sensing my shy nature, she always draws me out to make me feel so welcome in her family. She has a soul a mile deep. She has a wide community of friends and all of them have only the best things to say of her. She truly is one of the best people I've ever met.

    It's hard to put into words how this harsh news has rattled us all.

    Here are some pictures of this beautiful woman.

    Karen, Amy and Kylie in April 2008.

    Loving Aunt Amy

    Karen has created a blog to share updates on Amy's condition. You can read more here and here.

    Please take a moment to visit the blog and give Amy and her family your prayers and best wishes in a blog comment. And if you feel inclined, please make a donation using the donate button on the right sidebar. Her current and future medical bills, along with her medical leave status from her career, make this a difficult financial time for the family. Any amount whatsoever would be so greatly appreciated.

    Here are pictures of Amy with her awesome husband Tony (picture from April 2008)
    Amy & Tony

    Her children Josh and Emily.
    Amy, Tony, Josh & Emily

    And a more recent picture from October 2010.

    Thank you.

    Tuesday, December 07, 2010

    Gay Parents, Happy Kids


    This from Parents Magazine January 2011 issue on page 29:

    Children raised by two lesbian moms grow into psychologically healthy teens and have fewer behavioral problems than those born into a traditional family structure, according to recent research. "A possible reason for our findings is that the pairs of mothers shared parenting and household responsibilities. And even if moms separated, most couples continued to coparent," says study coauthor Nanette Gartrell, M.D., associate clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco.

    Hurray Lesbian Moms! And big kiddos to Parents Magazine for publishing this!


    Monday, December 06, 2010

    The water and the bike.

    Since the race, some of you have asked what might be my next steps. Well, I know I want to run the half marathon again next November. And in 2012, I want to do a triathlon.

    The triathlon is a HUGE goal. Mainly because I can hardly swim or bike.

    When I was young, I had an accident in the pool that left me scared of deep water. Actually it was a phobic fear of deep water. As such, even though I loved water and playing in pools, I never learned to swim.

    This changed when I went on my first cruise in my early thirties. My friends all went snorkeling at a beautiful Carribean island. I put on my life jacket and snorkel mask and waded into the ocean with them. And had an anxiety attack the moment I got to 4 1/2 feet of water. My friends all swam away from me while I was stuck, frozen in fear.

    I came back from that trip pissed at myself. I immediately found a swim class for adults who had water fears. That class was fantastic. The folks in the class with me were all terrified of different things. Some people couldn't put their face in the water. Some couldn't let go of the side of the pool. Some were afraid of deep water like me. Our patient coach got us all swimming by the end of class but mostly we simply learned how to move in the water (front crawl and backstroke) rather than really learn great swimming form.

    Freeing yourself of a deep fear is very liberating. I started lap swimming at my local gym that year. And the next summer, I took another cruise with my friends and went snorkeling in the ocean.

    But that fear remains. I always have to breathe through it when I first get in the water. The more I swim, the easier it gets. But the anxiety is always there. I've started lap swimming again. But I kind of suck at it. I can only front crawl one lap. Then I backstroke one lap. (I love the backstroke; it's my favorite way to swim). I can do this combo for over 45 minutes. But when I try to crawl more than one lap, I freak out a bit.

    Luckily, my sweet wife has granted me some swim lessons as a Christmas gift. I'll meet one-on-one with a coach who will help me work on proper form and teach me how to really swim. I want to learn to swim properly. I want that base of knowledge. I want to learn how to do a lap-swimmers flip. I want to be able to crawl 2 laps, then 4 and so on until I can crawl a mile. Then I want to learn to swim in the ocean.

    A very tall order indeed!

    This is a picture from April 2006. This is when I FIRST learned to bike. I never learned as a child. Instead, Karen taught me. And for a few months, I actually cycled a little bit. There was a fantastic biking trail close to our house where we would bike together.

    My most memorable moment was trying to cross a bridge. Now mind you, this bridge was on the biking path and was at least 9 feet wide. Just looking at it made me freak out. I crashed right into the side of the bridge. Fortunately I was going at a snail's pace and didn't hurt myself too much. I have to say that any time I went biking, I felt like a complete idiot.

    A few months after I learned to ride, I got pregnant. And I haven't really been on the bike since. Our one trip biking to the ocean made me sweat buckets.

    So as you can imagine, I have a long way to go. First I need to learn to bike without screaming and coming to a grinding halt when a car passes me. I need to learn to gain lots and lots of confidence because right now I feel like a complete spaz. I need to learn to bike on a sidewalk and in the road. Then I'll need to learn to bike some distance. And then some speed. And learn to bike with others. At some point, I'll probably have to get a faster bike than my little granny bike.

    I have a long, long way to go.

    John Bingham wrote:
    However fit you are today, a year from now you will be either more or less fit. The choice is up to you. and

    As I set new goals, conquered new fears and overcame new doubts, I became a new person.

    So, a triathlon in 2012!

    I'm terrified.

    I'm excited.

    Friday, December 03, 2010


    Making cornbread.

    Christmas window decals.

    Waiting at school drop-off.

    A gift from a friend.

    That outfit!

    The photograph itself doesn't interest me. I want only to capture a minute part of reality. ~Henri Cartier Bresson