Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween pt 1

I started off the day by making Leilani the breakfast she wanted - pumpkin shaped pancakes (used the "bisquick" mix I made the other day). I had no syrup, so macerated some strawberries for a fresh fruit syrup.

After breakfast, we knocked school out because I'd told Leilani she couldn't put her costume on until she was done with school. So school pretty much took no time flat. We all donned our costumes (mine is literally just a witch hat) and headed off to WalMart. I've been getting most of our fruits and veggies frozen, because they're cheaper and more economical. I mean, if I don't use an entire bell pepper, I've just thrown away money, but if I have pepper strips, I can just pull out what I need, no waste.

I had all the best intentions of making Natalia's baby food, but reality is biting me in the butt - Natalia won't let me put her down long enough to make her food. I wound up buying the best option they had, organic, and on the vegan options, it even says vegan, how cool is that? After I got all the groceris put away, I un-costumed Natalia and fed her. I've never seen a baby so excited to eat "real" food.

Staying in our vegan-ness, did you know oreos are vegan? Well, they are, and it's Halloween, so I got Leilani and I each a small pack. You know, the individual size servings. Hardly healthy, I know, but it's probably going to be my only treat today. And Leilani can eat hardly any of the candy she'll be getting, what with dyes and animal products and all. I'll proably relax the animal product thing, but can't really relax the dye thing, since she seems to be allergic to them.

We're planning on going to a trunk or treat at a church that's down the road. It should be fun, and I'm hoping it's mostly indoors since it's supposed to be raining off and on all day. I'll blog about that tomorrow, and have pictures :)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Thankful Tree

I made another project I found on Pinterest. I just went off the picure on the pin, didn't actually go to the website it was from, but if you want to check out the original, it's here. I'm doing mine a bit different, since I don't have the time to sit down and cut out all the leaves at once, we're going to put the leaves up each night and I'll cut them as we need them. Each day during November, we're going to each write something we're thankful for and tape it up, then on Thanksgiving, we'll go through them and see what we've been happy about over the past month.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Living Frugally

We're trying to cut our expenses, so we can get out of debt and start some savings. In the spirit of frugalness, I've been doing all sorts of money saving activities.

First, I've been making our own bread, well, until my bread maker conked out on me. Right after I threw out the sourdough starter, of course. Then, since we eat quite a few beans and bean products, instead of buying cans of beans, I bought dried beans in bulk on amazon, and have been cooking beans everyday in my slow cooker for the past five days. I figured that I'll save around $150 over the course of the beans' life. That adds up to quite a significant savings! I also want to avoid cans because of the BPA in the lining, I don't want to put that into any of our bodies. SO between trying to save money and cut out icky chemicals, I have my work cut out for me *grin*. I made my own "bisquick" mix today, it only took about 3 minutes.

I've also been reworking our leftovers into new meals. Like on Saturday I made baked potatoes with "cheezee" sauce and broccoli,so Sunday I took the potatoes, cubed them, tossed them with some frozen broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, carrots and squash and roasted them. Then today, I took what was leftover from that, seperated out the potatoes and blended them with some soy milk, mixed it all back together, heated it through and - waalaa! - potato-vegetable soup.

Then, I'm going to use all our boxes left from the move to make different decorations and artwork to put up around the house.

Basically, I'm just trying to look at things we don't use on an everyday basis and see how I can rework them into something we need and would use more often. And eliminate as much waste as possible. It's a good exercise for all of us in being content with what we have and creativity.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Girls' Bathroom

The girls' bathroom already had a jungle theme - from the previous tenants, I guess - so I decided to just go with that. I had pinned some silhouette things on Pinterest so decided to use that idea to spruce up the room and make it more relaxing. I cut out eight elephant silhouettes and hung four to a ribbon, then cut out a monkey, giraffe head, parrot and lion head silhouettes and put them in some frames with a backdrop of some of Leilani's art from when she was littler. It's definitely original :) The shower curtain and border were already up, and the lion trashcan and monkey cup were left here, too, so got incorporated :)

I'm not sure how I feel about the lion head, I think it looks more like a bush, but I think the rest of it turned out cute :)

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Show-and-Tell Saturday

Natalia has started doing this hug thing. She puts her arms around my neck and holds tight, it's so cute. She also knows who she wants and when. Like if Jeremy's holding her and she wants me, she'll lean as far away from him as she can and reach for me. Or if he's holding her and trying to give her to me and she doesn't want me, she leans into him and away from me. Or vice versa. If she wants you to pick her up while she's sitting on the ground, she'll lean far forward and put her arms behind her, almost like she's trying to take off. She's a bit sneaky, too. Like if I put her down to go take care of something really quickly, she'll send up a cry like she's hurt or scared to get me to come running and give me the hugest grin when she sees me. Almost like "you've been punked, mama". She also gave her first kiss Thursday night. As soon as daddy got home she went to him and puckered her lips and leaned forward.

Leilani's adding 1's, 2's and 3's and seeming to love it. She's also blending a few consonanats with short vowels. She learned five new sounds this past week. We made an obstacle course on Thursday using our little exercise trampoline, kiddie picnic table, kiddie lawn chairs and small slide. We jumped on the trampoline, went over the picnic table, weaved in and out of the chairs and went up and down the slide. Afterwards we made a strawberry banana smoothie. Leilani's new favorite game is sliding down the stairs. She's pretty fast! Nothing like stairs to keep a five-year-old occupied.

I decided to scrap the sourdough starter. It was too much work, especialy since using the breadmaker I can throw together a loaf in three minutes while holding a baby, then push a button, and forget about it. For where I am right now, it's what works.

I did some stuff I'd pinned on Pinterest...the girls' bathroom has a jungle/safari theme, so I cut out silhouettes of a giraffe head, lion head, parrot and monkey to put along one wall; then I cut out elephant silhouettes to put on the other wall. Once I get my camera charged I'll see if it's working (it, too, got water spilled on it) and get some photos of the finished project.

I made baked potatoes with broccoli and "cheese" sauce for dinner - quick, easy and cheap :). Leilani loved the sauce, she was eating it by the spoonful.

We're slowly getting through the boxes. The kitchen, living room and dining room are box-free. Finally. I have about six boxes left in the library/school room. I've found a few more toy boxes, so the playroom nearly has all its toys in it. I've been working on a cleaning schedule to keep the house clean, something nice and easy so I'll actually do it.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Funny Card

As I was unpacking the whole half a box I got done today, I came across a card my grandpa gave me for my graduation from Le Cordon Bleu. It was probably the cheeriest card I've ever received *heavy sarcasm*. It reads:
Dear Elizabeth,
Congratulations on your graduation. I'm sure sometimes you felt it would never happen, but you kept going. Your grandma was watching over you all the way. On to bigger and better things, and it may not get much easier.
Love from both of us,
Grandma and Grandpa

Actually, for my grandpa, that was a really sweet, sentimental and optimistic card.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Today, we tackled addition. Yikes, I'm so not ready for this! Fortunately it was 0+0=0 and 1+0=1. But I'm still having a hard time believing my little girl is old enough for addition!

I got a few more boxes done this morning since Natalia slept in. They're broken down, put in the garage and everything! I'm to the point that I just can't stand the boxes anymore, but still can't get them put away since Natalia's always wanting me to hold her. Not moby her, that's not good enough apparently, but actually hold. And as I keep reminding myself "Babies don't keep". I made up for it by putting her down to nap (which means shorter naps) and getting stuff done. So really, I'm feeling pretty good about the amount I got done. We even walked down to the mailbox. Leilani complained that she was chilly, so I taught her a new word - "nippy". She then said "nippy" the rest of our walk.

I took the taco "meat" from the other day and the cheezee mac from yesterday and mixed them together to make a casserole. Threw it in the oven and topped it with some bread crumbs and tada! Less waste :).

Speaking of less waste/saving money, I finally found all the cloth diapers. While it was nice having the military move us, the packers put the cloth diapers and wipe in three - yes, three - different boxes. I was getting pretty frustrated, trying to find everything.

I found the Christmas stockings my sister-in-law crocheted for the girls, so yesterday I stitched their names on them and I'm planning on putting trees and other things on them. I think it's so awesome my girls will have hand made stockings from their aunt. And yes, before you ask, I'm so ready for Christmas! Now that we have room, I can't wait to put up the tree, decorations and everything. Do you think the day after Hallowe'en is too soon?

Monday, October 22, 2012

Busy Day

We managed to keep pretty busy today. That sourdough starter I started just a few days ago is already ready to use. I must've made some really strong wild yeast! So this morning, I made up a batch of sourdough bread and refrigerated the starter, because I don't think we're going to be making that much bread! Leilani knocked her school out fairly quickly (the promise of hair gel and Backyardigans when she finished really worked lol).

We made Cheezee Mac for lunch, added in some frozen pea and diced tomatoes for a bit more nutrients. Leilani ate two bowls, so I'm guessing it was a big hit. We'll probably be eating it for the next few days, as it made a HUGE batch.

After lunch, we made pumpkin brownies, something I found on Pinterest. Just take a can of pumpkin and a box of brownie mix and waalaa - pumpkin brownies. We did amp ours up a bit by using a pumpkin cookie cutter to make them truly pumpkin brownies. They were a bit chewy, more like fudge, but turned out really cute.

The bread tasted amazing, just like sourdough should. And it's whole grain, so less guilt *grin*

Both the girls have new favorite shows (yay for Netflix...mommy has new favorite shows, too). Leilanis is Wonder Pets (not my favorite, but the melodies and harmonies are pretty good) and Natalias is Sesame Street (big surprise, right?). My new favorite shows, well, there are quite a few - Doctor Who, Downton Abby, Sherlock Holmes and Lost.

Anyway, we're off to watch some Sesame Street.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

More Unpacking....

We've been slowly unpacking. I'm still working on the library/school room. Natalia will only let me put her down for like five minutes at a time, which means I don't get a lot unpacked before I'm holding her again. I ordered a jump-a-roo, which should get her by the middle of the week, and I'm hoping that will buy me time to actually unpack and put away.

Honestly, as I look around, I wonder how on earth we managed to fit all this into a tiny two bedroom apartment, and then I remember, we were tripping over stuff and around half of it was in the garage. It's so nice to have room to spread out and have everything in its own place!

I made a sourdough starter a few days ago, and it's going quite nicely. I've fed it once, (last night) and it's doubled in size, so the wild yeast is nice and strong. I'm going to feed it again before I go to bed, and hopefully we'll be having fresh sourdough bread pretty soon!

Leilani and I got our hair cut yesterday....Leilani's hair chopping of the other day led to an unexpected pixie cut for her, and the anticipated pixie cut for me. I've gotta say, I love my new 'do. Leilani looks super cute in hers, too. All her hair was hiding it, but she has great cheekbones *grin*

Natalia ate some baked potato for dinner. I was going to make tacos, but after I made the veggie meat (seasoned already, naturally), shredded the lettuce and diced the tomato, I realized "hey, I don't have any tortilas or shells" so I baked up some potatoes and used the taco fillings as toppings. Natalia loved her quarter of a potato...ate the entire quarter, actually! Then she topped it off with some breastmilk and took a little nap :).

Friday, October 19, 2012

Playroom Done!

Today my new washer and dryer were delivered! The first thing I washed (with the sanitize cycle) were Natalia's diapers. I was ridiculously excited to get them nice and clean. Then I washed the clothes. Super exciting, right? But since the appliances were supposed to be delivered between 9 and 11 I kind of wasted my morning waiting and playing on the computer. I made up for it, though, by getting the playroom done (besides the few boxes that are in the wrong places, so are yet to be found). I got some done in the library/school room, too. Hopefully I'll get that room all done tomorrow. Especially since I'm planning on starting school back up on Monday.

Thursday, October 18, 2012


It's hard unpacking boxes all by yourself. Jeremy had to go in to work (big surprise, righ?) so I was on my own with the girls and around three hundred boxes. Since I got most of the kitchen done yesterday, I decided that today I'd concentrate on the play room so Leilani'd have a place to play, especially after yesterday (which I'll
get to in a minute). I got through about fifteen or so boxes, and now the room looks like it qualifies as a national disaster area. I'm organizing as I go, so it's taking me a bit longer, but in the end will save me a lot of time. Well, as long as Natalia isn't as clingy as she was today.

Now, about yesterday. I guess Leilani decided Rapunzel and her long tresses were just so last city because she came out from behind some boxes and announced she'd cut her hair. At first I didn't take her seriously, thinking she just meant she wanted either me to cut it or to go get it cut. I continued unpacking and Jeremy continued taking care of Natalia. A bit later, Leilani came out again, and said the same time. This time, I actually looked at her. What she had done wasn't so much cut her hair as it was chop. It's butchered. It doesn't even reach her shoulders anymore. And in some places it's as short as Jeremy's. Or Natalia's for that matter. We're going to have to go to a salon to get it styled. Since I've been wanting to get a pixie cut, I'll get mine done at the same time.

Today we got paid (finally!) so had to restock our pantry. I know I made Jeremy's day by waiting until he got home to go shopping, but I figured with the girls and the amount of stuff I needed to get, there was no way I was going to be able to do it with one cart or by myself. So we now have a full pantry. Well, almost, I decided amazon's prices were better for beans, some nuts, and other things, so they'll be arriving sometime next week. I did use a trick I found on Pinterest to keep the fridge clean. We'll see how it works. I took Glad Press 'n Seal and put it on the shelves to keep the fridge itself clean and cut down on cleaning time, because all I'll have to do is peel the old stuff up and put new stuff done. Should be easy-peasy *grin*

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

One Exhausting Day

The movers arrived bright and early with all our stuff. Jeremy took the inventory while I directed boxes to their proper homes. Because of the pay issue (which is almost resolved) we were running low on food, so I bundled the girls up and we ran to get bread (this WalMart has the coolest vegan bread!), peanut butter, jelly, apples, bananas and almonds. We now have food to eat, even if it's the same thing again *grin*

Then I found out my grandpa died so spent the whole afternoon trying to find out if that were true or not. It is. And my owm mother didn't let me or any of the family know. So I've been dealing with that on top of having to unpack and get things put away.

I'm exhausted. Hopefully a good nights' sleep will help me feel better.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Getting All Moved In

Tomorrow, all our stuff will be delivered! I cannot wait until we get all our stuff and get completely settled in!

Today, we had to get a washer and dryer because the house didn't have one, and we desperately need one. No way can I go to a landromat with dirty diapers every two days. We got one that sanitizes, so Natalia's diapers can be super duper clean.

I've figured out what each room is going to be...there's a room on the main floor that counts as the fifth bedroom, but really seems more like an office, and I'm going to use it as our library/school room. There are four bedrooms upstairs, obviously, one is the Master suite. The 5-piece master bathroom has an absolutely amazing soaking tub. I've already tried it out, naturally. The walk-in closet is nearly as big as Leilani's tiny bedroom at our old apartment. There are three other bedrooms upstairs, one has it's own bathroom, and that one will be our guest room (and I'll also use it for yoga and pilates and stuff, after all, I don't think I'll be having stay-over guests every day). The other two bedrooms will be the playroom and girls' room. The bathroom between them already has a border with safari animals, the matching shower curtain, and trash can.

Downstairs there is also the great room, a decent sized living/family room, gourmet-type kitchen, with all black appliances (a side-by-side fridge/freezer, electric stove, microwave, and very new and very awesome dishwasher), a dining area, laundry room/pantry and garage. I love this house. It even has a medium sized back yard! And, the price is really fantastic, cheaper than some of the smaller houses we were looking at. Granted, it's a bit farther away from work, but I think that's a fair price to pay (especially since I'm not the one driving it *cheeky grin*)

Monday, October 15, 2012

New House

Well, we're in our new house! Our stuff will be delivered on Wednesday, so for now we're sleeping on air mattresses . I can't wait until I have photo capabilities again, so I can put pictures up. But for now, we're sort of settled in and excited.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Another Day

Leilani was going on about the bad guys who broke into our car, insisting they'd broken into mine as well as Jeremy's. I explained they hadn't, and she said "well, I need to get it clean so it shines in case they come back so they won't take it". I told her the bad guys weren't on base or where we are moving, and she said, "oh, they're only in four places, Seattle, Tacoma, North Dakota and South Dakota." She's so freakin' adorable, my little girl.

Today we checked out of the TLF room we've had, to make room for reservists. Only in the Air Force do they give reservists the best accommodations. We're going to be in a one bedroom at TLF for the next few days. We had a couple hours of downtime between moving out of the one TLF apartment and moving into the other, so we drove around base and went to the exchange and commissary. Back when Jeremy and I first got married, I thought shopping on base was so freaking cool, now, I don't think they have the greatest deals, but they don't have sales tax. I think wal-mart and target have better or similar pricing, and much better choices. And the commissary has terrible choices if you're vegan or at all health conscience. For vegans, they have six different choices of tofu, and all they veggie meats have eggs or milk, definitely NOT vegan! But we'll be living off base, so those shops won't even be the closest choices for me. Plus, I plan on doing most of my shopping at Whole Foods and just going once a month or so. I really want to figure out how to do once a month vegan cooking.

We made portabella burgers for dinner. Super delicious. Then we watched some Food Network and chilled. We'll see how sleeping goes, we only have one bedroom. Leilani's heartily sick of all this upheaval and it's showing. Actually, we're all tired of it. Monday can't get here soon enough.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Good News!

We have a move-in date on Monday! We went with the big five bedroom with the gourmet kitchen and backyard. Another piece of good news, as we went through our vehicles, we found the thieves hadn't taken our most important papers, like socials and birth certs....thank goodness!

But back to the house...I've been going through my boards on Pinterest to find idea for our house....I have all kinds of beautiful and fun ideas that I just can't wait to do.

We've been in TLF for the past few days, a two bedroom with a kitchenette, so we've saved some money on food, fortunately, since the pay issue hasn't been resolved yet. Hopefully by the middle of next week.

Leilani has loved having a bedroom again, especially one with a TV. Natalia has enjoyed having a pack 'n play, a nice safe place for her to hang out.

And me? I just can't wait to get into our house!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


Well, it's been an interesting couple of days...first, yesterday started off with realizing Jeremy's car had been broken in to. They took whatever important stuff was out there, paper work, dirty clothes, tools, 2-way radios, basically, it sucks. Then, we went to look at three houses yesterday. There were three great choices-a five bedroom with a gourmet kitchen, a four bedroom with an office, and a three bedroom for a great price. We were going to go with the first choice, but then we found out BAH is less than we we're talking about changing plans. However, there is a hiccup in the pay now, too. So we're currently in TLF on base, trying to figure out what our next step is. For now, Jeremy's calling about the pay issues, and we'll go from there...

Sunday, October 7, 2012

House Hunting

Today we looked at seven houses. Four wee just drove past and three we actually went in to. The first one we drove past we ruled out immediately, neither of us felt like bouncing along for a couple miles on he bumpiest gravel road I've ever been on. The second one we drove past was ok,but not really what we were looking for. After that we met up with the realtor so got to enter a few homes. The first one was really quite nice,with a pretty large yard, a great soaking tub and four bedrooms. The second was a large four bedroom with a great kitchen and an apple tree in the back yard. The third was a fantastic three bedroom with a loft area, huge walk-in closets and a beautiful kitchen. Wow, now I feel like I'm on House Hunters and we have three houses and have to decide which one we're going to choose. We did go drive by two more houses. The first was in a gated community,but it had so many speed bumps it felt like we were back on the bumpy-gravel road of the first house we drove past. The second one of this drive by time was in a dumpy area and we couldn't find it, either. Tomorrow we're going to look at a couple more houses and drive around the housing areas on base. Hopefully we'll find our house by tomorrow (and it may be one we saw today...).

Saturday, October 6, 2012

We're Here!

We made it. Finally. It took forever, we had some good adventures along the way, saw some beautiful scenery, and most of all - we made it! Montana was beautiful, Idaho was too. It's so strange, being back on the west coast after all these years. Seeing the five again, but so far north instead of in SoCal (I'd love to live there again sometime). We've only been in Washington for just over 24 hours, and we've already run into some vegans...I think as many as we met total in Cleveland ;).

The girls couldn't wait to get out of the car, the past few days have been incredibly difficult, we've all had a serious case of cabin fever. Both girls are whiny and irritable. So am I.

So now we're on to our next adventure - house hunting. Hopefully it goes smoother than Cleveland and we wind up with a bigger place that also has a yard. With a fence, naturally. Oh, and a few bedrooms and washer and dryer. That's really the extent of my must-haves. My want list is a bit longer, like a rec room, a modern-ish eat-in kitchen,, a basement, carpets, a fireplace, those would be nice, but aren't absolute necessities.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

More Travels

Tuesday felt exceptionally long. We left the hotel about nine and went to the grocery store to get some more snacks. The grocery store was amazing! They had so many vegan and raw options, it was incredible! If the stores near where we lived in Cleveland had had these options, being vegan would have been so much easier! So many different cheese, drinks, snacks, and they actually said "certified vegan" which meant it was easier to figure out what to get. Not as much reading the labels.

Natalia is hating being stuck in the car. I sung every song I could remember from The Sound of Music, Oklahoma, The Music Man, The King and I, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and Mary Poppins. And then I moved on to the ABC's, the wheels on the bus, and so on. I also sang a moving rendition of "Waking Up is Hard to Do" to the tune of - you guessed it - Breaking Up is Hard to Do. Natalia had woken up from her nap in a rather grumpy mood. Wouldn't you if you were still in the car?

Leilani isn't liking the drive too much more than Natalia. She's randomly not watching movies, trying to figure out how to bust out of here, or staring out the window saying "there's a hotel, lets stop there!" I think all of us just want to be in Seattle already

The hotel, however, was pretty fantastic. There was a pool that went up to three feet, so Leilani could stand up in the whole thing, there were two big water slides and a kiddie area, all indoors! Leilani got bored with the kiddie area, so we asked the lady at the front desk to turn on the big slides. There was a 100' one and a 210' one. The smaller one we did countless times, then we decided to see if the bigger one would be too big for Leilani. I wasn't sure how much she'd like it since the first part was in total darkness. She loved it. I mean, really loved it. The first time she went down, I had to climb up the steps with her, and she had to give me and Natalia several kisses before saying " okay, I'm ready, push me down!" After that, there was no stopping her. Natalia loved being in the water, which was nice and warm. I got a few photos, but once again, they'll have to wait to be posted until I actually have a computer.

We got a later start this morning, since a semi decided to block us. He was really only in the way for about ten minutes, it just felt like forever. It's been raining/snowing almost all day. At first we couldn't figure out which it was, but later it became obvious - it was snow. Big fat snowflakes, and they were sticking, too. And then it hit me, Natalia doesn't have a heavy winter coat. She's warm enough at them moment, a nice warm sweater, socks, etc, but I'm going to have to get one. I have no idea how I overlooked that. We stopped for some gas, and - did you know there are actually a lot of "accidentally vegan" foods out there? I not saying they're healthy, but at least there aren't any animal products in them. I got Natalia some crackers, and as I was giving her one, I asked her "Tally wanna cracker?" (That's pronounced like Polly, btw). She couldn't stop grinning at that.

We stopped in the big ol' town of Billings, Montana. There were like three hotels to choose from, Cheap Inn, Pay-Little Motel, and Best Western. (First two hotels not their real names). The time change is making it very strange, Natalia was usually going to sleep around 9:30, which means tonight, she was asleep by 7:30. She usually wakes up by 9am, so that means 7am will be the new wake up time. Do you realize that means on Pacific Time, she'll be awake by 6 in the morning? I'd say I'm not looking forward to that, but I can just go to sleep earlier, I suppose :).

Monday, October 1, 2012

Beautiful Drive

Yesterday, we made it to Baraboo, Wisconsin. Say "Baraboo" a few times, it's quite addictive and funny sounding. It turned into a lot of laughs in our car, "badabing, badabong, Baraboo", plus, it made Natalia giggle like crazy for a good five minutes.

The drive was beautiful. The trees were so many colors, deep reds that were almost burgundy, bright reds that were almost pink; yellows ranging from gold to bright, sunshiny yellow; oranges that were burnt orange or pumpkin-y, mixed with the greens of trees yet to change, and some evergreens, some of which were blueish. It was a truly beautiful drive.

We stopped to see Jeremy's aunt Lonette, whom I had never met. So over the past couple days Jeremy and I have both met members of each others families. It really was a pretty good day in the travel department. When we got to the hotel, Jeremy ran into the office to check in so I made up a song to entertain the girls. No rhyme or melody to speak of, but I sang that I loved them and my husband their daddy and both seemed thrilled. Then Leilani, not to be outdone, sang that she loved her mommy, sister Natalia and daddy named daddy. It was adorable. The pool has a hotel, so we went down there for a little bit. Jeremy and Natalia didn't get in, but Leilani and I did. Leilani had a blast swimming around, and I got to do a couple laps while she looked on. Natalia didn't seem too crazy about not having mama for thirty minutes, but once Leilani and I had showered and Natalia got me back, she was fine. Oh, Leilani fell out of the shower, she was saying "I can't get out!" And the next thing I knew she was on the floor looking up all confused.

This morning I bribed Leilani to get up and dressed by saying "let's see if there are any cartoons on." It worked and I discovered Natalia likes Mickey Mouse as much as Leilani.

We got back on the road by about nine. Leilani did a few of the worksheets I brought for her. Fortunately, she seemed to enjoy them, which means she won't forget everything she's learned over the past few weeks! We stopped at a rest area that had a walking trail, which we "hiked" was beautiful. Vibrant yellows, reds, and oranges. Still some green on some trees, dead branches here and there. Incredibly picturesque. Leilani loved it, she and I raced, then on the way back down she and Jeremy raced. Natalia kept trying to take her jacket off. Actually, she did three times manage to get it off. She seemed to enjoy being out of the car, looking at the beauty all around. We were rewarded for our uphill hike with a gorgeous vista - looking out, over the trees right close to us, there was a tapestry of oranges, reds, yellows, and greens as far as the eye could see. So many different shades of each of the colors, some of the reds had enough brown in them to look almost purple, some of the reds and oranges looked almost pink, and the yellows ranged from yellow green, to bright sunshiny yellow, to marigold. It was restful for mind, body and soul, and I think we all felt the benefit of it when we had to pile back into the car to head west on our long trek.

We stopped at a hotel with a pool again. Leilani and I went down there for a few minutes and did a quick swim. Natalia fell asleep, and then Leilani woke her up so both girls are still awake, and all I wanna do is sleep, I'm tired :)