Friday, November 30, 2012

Advent Calender

I've made a kind of Advent Calender I found on, naturally, pinterest. I used the idea of getting a bucket and wrapping up things to do each day, trying to use things I already had so as to not spend too much money. In that strain, we used the packing paper left over from our move, red and green folders we've had for a looonnnggg time, and things lying around the house made into new things.

Each day, we're going to do something fun:

1 - bake cookies
2 - bake brownies
3 - make fudge
4 - play with the Veggie Tales nativity set
5 - make a "year in review" ornament
6 - read a book
7 - red and green playdough
8 - indoor snowball fight
9 - hand print ornament
10 - handprint Christmas trees
11 - Christmas jokes
12 - letter to Santa
13 - read a book
14 - make pine cone birdfeeders
15 - make gingerbread house
16 - make coffee mugs
17 - make snowglobes
18 - make snowflakes
19 - read a book
20 - Christmas bingo
21 - go Christmas light hunting
22 - make gingerbread cookies
23 - read the Christmas story
24 - Christmas Eve box

We're looking forward to having lots of fun this Advent season.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thankful Thursday

It's been a while since I've done one of these posts! Over the past few weeks, a lot has happened for me to be thankful for

-We got a fantastic house with plenty of room. And, much to our surprise, we filled it without having to buy anything lol.

-After my grandpa died and that whole fiasco, the love and support that surrounded me was amazing.

-How much Natalia is growing. She's almost crawling. She gets up on her hands and knees, bucks, bounces, spins and backs up. SOOOOOO close.

-Leilani's love of learning. She loves learning, just not me teaching lol. So I'm also thankful for schools - she's been loving school. The last time I saw her this excited was during VBS when she was with friends and in a "school type" setting. I mean, she's bouncing off the walls she's so excited.

-A fully stocked pantry.

-Our Christmas tree! :)

-Netflix, for keeping Leilani entertained when I'm taking care of Natalia

-Getting all settled in

-Our family hike a couple weeks ago - fun and a real adventure. We took a shortcut that wound up being incredibly steep. While fun, I must admit there were times I was a bit scared, having to use a rope to keep on my feet and to get down then back up with the baby in the Moby - a bit stressful. But fun at the same time. Leilani loved it, and Natalia loved looking around and seeing so much green (we ARE in Washington State, and it's known as the Evergreen State for a reason, have I mentioned it's BEAUTIFUL here? Well, it is!).

-Leilani showing her love for her baby sister - it's so sweet to watch her hug Natalia, talk to her and be concerned when she's crying. Leilani is such a tender and sensitive child.

-Our safe journey here - it was a long trip, but some parts of it were so incredibly beautiful.

-Our first vegan Thanksgiving - it was a huge success, and even though Leilani had a case of the sniffles, we enjoyed all the food (and, for Leilani, the herbal tea for her sniffles)

-Natalia saying her first word "mama". It may be just making sounds, but hey, I'm counting it!

-Getting most of my Christmas shopping done. I can't wait to see Leilani's face Christmas morn, with all the fun stuff. Plus, I"m excited to see Natalia with her gifts - her own toy laptop so she can stop eating mine lol.

-the library. It's been fantastic for finding new books, and fun for Natalia and I.

-the new shop I found yesterday - a quilting/crafting shop, with tons of cross-stitch kits and equipment, plus quilting classes (which I'd love to take, we'll have to see if I can swing it *grin*)

-Natalia's cute personality and milestones - she threw her first tantrum today. Maybe not a huge positive, but it shows she has her own mind and knows what she wants!

Friday, November 23, 2012


Just some health photos I've found on the internet. Good things to remember, especially during the holiday season!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Natalia's First Thanksgiving

We're stuffed to the gills over here - tofurky, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, green bean casserole, dinner rolls, cinnamon rolls, sweet and salty roasted chickpeas, and pumpkin pie. Not only was this Natalia's first Thanksgiving, but it was her first plate of food. She enjoyed playing with the plate more than eating the food off it. After she dropped the plate a couple times, I quit putting any food on it and she didn't even notice the difference; she just kept happily dropping it, smiling every time she heard it go plunk.

We started off our day with fresh baked cinnamon rolls. Leilani ate one and a half, and Jeremy ate three (I ate two, but we're not telling anyone), so I'm thinking everyone liked them. That was kind of sealed when I was told they were better than my moms. That made me happy *grin*.

The tofurky got mixed reviews. I liked it, Jeremy didn't, and Leilani loved the fact that she could call it turkey and yet it didn't need a turkey to be killed for us to have it. Natalia just threw hers on the floor, as she did all her food.

The mashed potatoes, green bean casserole and dinner rolls were a huge success. Natalia actually had a bite of the potatoes, and a gnaw on the roll. The pumpkin pie and coconut whipped cream were a huge hit, too.

I printed off some Thanksgiving coloring sheets for the girls. Natalia pretty much just banged her crayon thing on to the paper and tried to eat the paper, and Leilani lost interest after a while. A very short while, but at least we got a few cute photos.

After dinner, and before dessert, Natalia settled in for the traditional "after Thanksgiving dinner nap". All that plate dropping, crayon banging, watching mommy cook and nursing really wore her out.

We went through our Thankful Tree and saw what we'd been thankful for over the past month. Here's our list (in no particular order), followed by pictures from our day:

-the world
-the sky
-the Christmas tree
-the water, sun, stars, snacks and ants
-the "Jonah" movie
-having a house, my sister & mommy & daddy
-my sister Natalia, my mommy, and Pippin
-our backyard
-for getting the mail
-the backyard
-the trees
-for our Christmas tree again
-for the hike
-the trees
-the sunshine, hugs from mama, and sister kisses

-Leilani had a great first week at school
-Natalia napping in the car
-family time, our beautiful hike and the Moby
-Leilani learning and getting worksheet practice
-Leilani's 1st day of school and getting time with Natalia
-doing crafts with Leilani
-my two beautiful little girls
-being able to make choices
-sleeping in
-my friend and her help and advice about schools and family, right when I needed it
-the amber teething necklace and technology for getting things taken care of
-a good nights' sleep
-putting up the tree

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Baking Day

Today, I knocked out the rest of my baking - coconut whipped cream (sooooooooo yummy - Natalia loved it too, she licked the spoon clean!), vegan cream cheese frosting for the cinnamon rolls, vegan green bean casserole (made the cream of mushroom soup, which was super easy and tasty), dinner rolls (my wonderful husband bought me the dry container for my vitamix, so I used it to make my rolls, so much fun *smiles*). Tomorrow morning, I'll bake the cinnamon rolls for breakfast, then start the Tofurky, get the green bean casserole to room temp to bake, make mashed potatoes and gravy. I know tomorrow's probably going to be a little emotional, it being my first Thanksgiving without family, but I'm excited to get to try so much new stuff and I'm focusing on the positive.

I had to stop by the store - again! - to get some olive oil and I got some guacamole, which I gave to Natalia while I did some baking. She was a mess, but had such a blast with it. We also went to the library (I think Wednesdays may become our library day) - I had a few books on order (Magic School Bus for Leilani) and found a guide to Doctor Who episodes. I have a book for me on order - JKR's new book The Casual Vacancy which I'm excited to read.

I made a lovely present for my in-laws today, but since I know they read this, I'll not say what it is - just know that I think they'll love it *grin*.

Leilani has mixed feelings about no school for four days, she wants to go to school but is excited to not only have so much time off, but eat all the yummy food I've been baking and put all the Christmas decorations up outside.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Leilani's Thanksgiving Book

The Thanksgiving book they made in class today (and I would never have come up with something like this) (also, page 5 wouldn't scan, but it had a fish, an ear of corn and said "Friendly Native Americans showed the Pilgrims how to catch fish, pick berries and plant corn")

(insert imaginary picture of fish, corn and a berry with the text "Friendly native Americans showed the Pilgrims how to catch fish, pick berries and plant corn")

Leilani's also been singing this little ditty they learning in school today
Way up high, in the apple tree
Five red apples smiled at me
I shook the tree as I could
Down came the apples, mmmm, they were good
Pretty much non-stop, but she sounds so cute when singin *smile*

Leilani's been having a fantastic time. And I've been using the extra time to a)keep my sanity, b)play one-on-one with Natalia c) clean, and d) get my Thanksgiving baking taken care of. So far, it seems to be a win-win for all involved *smile*

Monday, November 19, 2012

It's Monday

Well, it's Monday again, and that means Leilani's back to school - she's been wanting to have pumpkin pie, so after Natalia and I got home (and napped) we made one big pumpkin pie and a dozen individual pumpkin pies to fit in her lunchbox. To make the individual pies, I just used a cookie cutter and put the crust into a muffin tin. The pumpkin pie turned out super yummy! Vegan and easy to make, even Natalia loved the filling - she ate her entire spoonfull *smiles* I had a hard time making myself stop eating the little pies, I never knew I liked pumpkin pie before.

Speaking of Natalia eating - she loves crackers, she gums those little things to death. And while we're on the Natalia subject - she has the most beautiful smile. Her eyes light up and shine. She loves it when I read to her and she has this absolutely adorable way of bouncing up and down to try to get ones attention when she wants to be picked up. While sitting on the couch next to me, she grabs onto my arm and bounces into a standing position. She's crawling backwards super fast, and occasionally taking a tiny scoot forward. She's just weeks from actually crawling.

Leilani had a bit of homework tonight, which we knocked out as soon as she got home. Leilani loved the pumpkin pie, and has been eating tons of bananas all day. She's still loving school, but was a bit disappointed today, since it was raining, they couldn't play on the playground but instead had to play in the covered area. She said it was too loud and she couldn't hear the bell, but was so sad she didn't get to play longer. (Her exact wording, there) We've been reading a chapter of Charlotte's Web a night, and she got her first book from the school library today, which made her incredibly excited! She loves books so much, which makes me happy, too. Yesterday, she read the first BOB book, with just a bit of help. Natalia was fascinated by her sister reading to her.

Tomorrow I'm planning on making cinnamon rolls, which I'll bake Thursday morning, then I'm going to make dinner rolls. I'm really excited to have my first vegan Thanksgiving - I've wanted to try a Tofurky for years, and now I finally get to *smiles*.

Friday, November 16, 2012


I can't believe how quickly we're adjusting to Leilani going to school. She wants to leave earlier and earlier. Natalia and I are having a good time having one-on-one time. Today I've managed to get the kitchen and dining room mostly clean, done some dishes, and laundry.

I gave Natalia a bath today - I did let her bathe a bit longer than five minutes, I put Aveeno baby eczema oatmeal bath stuff in it. She was just so happy, grinning, splashing and playing, I decided I'd just slather her up with extra lotion. She had a little turtle toy that she was banging into the water, then she hit a duck with it. When the duck fell over she turned it right side up to knock it over again. It's safe to say, she thoroughly enjoyed her bath.

I've decided to start using the green/yellow/red ticket system at home. Leilani's teacher uses it, and Leilani's so excited toi get green tickets, because when she gets ten of them she'll get a special prize out of the treasure chest. It makes her so excited that I think it's going to help her behave well at home. I'm not sure what sorts of prizes I'll use, but I'm thinking something along the lines of mommy-daughter dates, extra TV time, little things like that, that would make her super happy and wanting to obey.

Leilani's been doing brilliantly - she got a green ticket everyday this week! Jeremy got home early, so he was here when I brought Leilani home. He asked her if she'd learned anything today, and she said "no". He said "well maybe we shouldn't send you to school, then". Leilani had the brilliant response "I don't get sended like I package, I get taken to school!"

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Going to School

Yesterday was Leilani's first day at a real school. She loved it, and did pretty well, too. There were a couple mishaps were she got into the wrong line (and consequently wrong classroom), but other wise did pretty fantastic. Did I mention she loved it? She gets to play on the playground with lots of kids, has structure, and wants to get ten green tickets to get a prize out of the treasure chest, which means she's obeying and not whining. At least, as of day two, she is *smiles*.

She loves getting her backpack and lunch bag (both of which are Hello Kitty) and taking them. She loves wearing her backpack so much she wore it in the car this morning, while buckled. She loves having a say in what's going to be in her lunchbox (today it was a heart-shaped sandwich - she wants a pumpkin shaped one for tomorrow). She likes having her name on everything, too *grin*.

When she gets home, she's all tired and hungry, so she gets a snack, which makes her awfully excited, too. Today, after her snack, we put candy canes up on the tree then read a few books.

Natalia and I have had some fun bonding time, too. We've read books, played with toys, giggled and watched some Sesame Street. I also got the living room straightened and vacuumed! I got most of my Thanksgiving shopping done, I just need to grab a few things from the grocery store that the super Wal-Mart doesn't carry (like vegan cream cheese and silken tofu). I also did some Christmas shopping today - it'll be nice to actually be able to surprise Leilani this year, since she's not going shopping with me.

Today, for me, was a bit harder than yesterday. As I watched Leilani go into the school, a lump jumped up my throat. Yesterday was all excitement, today was more emotional. I think it seems more "real" today.

It'll be fun seeing how she grows, how Natalia and I do, and where life takes us. It's the beginning of a new path on our journey!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Past Week in Status Updates

November 4 - Natalia loves Marmite...go figure lol

Day 4: I'm thankful for the beauty of nature. We went on a hike, collected a few seashells from the Sound, used a rope to go down and then back up some steep areas, and enjoyed the beauty around us and the time together. All with Natalia in the Moby - something else I'm thankful for :)

November 5 - Day 5: I'm thankful for Natalia's new amber necklace - best night of sleep we've had in who knows how long! She's only had it for 12 hours, and already acts like she's in less teething pain.

insurance....such a pain.

Doctor Who!

November 6 - Day 6: I'm thankful for the ability to get out and vote. Even though I voted early with an absentee ballot. Voting, it's an amazing thing!

Natalia's at the age thaat she loves being thrown into the air, but she's so heavy I can't do it for long...20 lbs is a lot to toss up repeatedly lol

let the fun begin - Leilani broke the first ornament of the season and is having incredible tearful remorse.

November 7 - Day 7: I'm thankful for friends and family who love me, help me as I work through the crazy stuff from my past, talk to me and listen to my complaints and problems. I value you guys so much! Thank you all for being there and helping me.

Okay, Dora, if you're going to teach my kid Spanish, at least teach it correctly

Well, now I know why Vesuvius blew, thanks to Doctor Who. Also, I'm not much fond of Donna. And I can't wait to watch the next episode: "If your ood is happy, then you're happy" Yep, I'm officialy a Whovian :)

November 8 - well, it's official. We just went school supply shopping, I'm filling out the registration and Leilani should start on Tuesday. She's so excited she's bouncing off the walls and has been talking non-stop for three days now. Not that that behaviour is in any way out of the norm, it's just been amplified lol

Day 8: This one’s gonna seem strange to those of you who’ve never been in my situation, but I’m thankful for the ability to make choices. Choosing which brand of peanut butter, pasta, sauces, etc.; choosing what to make for dinner; choosing what brand of diapers and type of diapers to use on Natalia; choosing a doctor; choosing my beliefs; choosing how to school my kids; when to put up the tree, all sorts of things. It’s an amazing thing, especially when your whole life has been controlled down to the type of toilet to buy. Choices are amazing things. And until that right has been taken away, you don’t realize how important it is.

November 9 - Day 9 : I'm thankful the registration is done and Leilani definitely starts school on Tuesday. She is beyond excited!

November 10 - Day 10: I'm thankful for my husband, Jeremy. He helps out around the house A LOT(awesome, I know) and this morning he kept Leilani occupied and quiet so Natalia and I could sleep in. Thanks, honey. I love you ♥

well, Natalia's crawling, just the wrong way. She can do a backwards scoot pretty darn fast :)

vegan egg nog, roasted chickpeas with cayenne pepper and the Avengers. :)

November 11 - Day 11: I'm thankful for central heating on this cold day. Brrrr.

migraine, migraine, go away
don't come again another day!

November 12 - Day 12: thankful for well checkups, doctors, and meds :)

Natalia got ahold of the Wii remote and decideed we needed to watch Andy Griffith, it had barely loaded when she decided "nah", fast forwarded through the whole thing, and has been browsing through the movie options since lol

Poor Natalia, did NOT like her shots, plus she has incredibly dry skin so I have to get different eczema cream for her - hopefully this one will work! But I think the worst part is, that now she's only supposed to bathe 3 times a week for no more than 5 minutes a bath, and she LOVES baths :/ Poor baby, it's not been a fantastic day for her

Oh, yeah, Natalia is in the 95th percentile for both height and weight. I knew she was a big baby lol

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Setting Up the Tree

I told you I'm seriously in the Christmas mood! We set our tree up today, Jeremy and Leilani set the tree up while I cooked and took care of Natalia, then Leilani put up most of the ornaments with occasional help from me, Jeremy, and even Natalia (who more chewed ornaments rather than putting them up, but still...). Now Leilani's ready to wrap presents and put them under the tree *grin*

I eventually want to do once-a-month cooking, but for now, whenever I make a meal, I'm making double and freezing the second batch. Just trying to do little things to make life a bit easier.

Natalia's been ALMOST crawling all day. She gets up on her hands and knees and bounces, turns circles, and kicks. She's so close!

I know we did more than that, today, but the day got a bit derailed by Leilani throwing a massive fit and spending a lot of time in time-out. It sort of works, time outs. I'm not really sure what works with her, I just know that this isn't a particularly fun aspect of parentingh, but an incredibly necessary one.

Bnh jbn7vnmn87m - this is Natalia's contribution to today's post *grin*

We're still doing our Thankful Tree, it'll be fun to go over it on Thanksgiving and see what we've been thankful for :).

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Halloween pt 2

Well the church thing was a was more of a haunted house than a trunk or treat, so we walked around the neighborhood and Leilani had a blast ringing doorbells and saying "Trick or Treat" and "happy Halloween". She also sang a halloween song she learned from Little Einsteins, which got her two pieces of candy *grin* Natalia was so cute, dressed as a unicorn. Both girls' looked adorable! Leilani had a couple suckers and some crackers, and tomorrow she's going to get to choose a few pieces to keep. And yes, before you ask, I did raid her candy bucket...a parents' privilege, right?

All in all, a pretty good Halloween - now, on to Christmas!