Friday, July 30, 2010

"In sleep he sang to me. . ."


I've had a time figuring my two year old lately. Yesterday afternoon and evening as well as this afternoon, she seemed lethargic, sad, weepy, clingy, mopey. Yes, yes, I remember that this child has a colorful personality (she's somewhat spirited or strong-willed). There's something more at play here. Growing pains? Separation anxiety? Sadness?

This afternoon, after the girls' naps and snacks and playing outside, we headed downstairs, where Troy and I did some vocal exercises and sang. Victoria was still mopey, lethargic, sad, clingy. But, she got excited when I started playing "The Phantom of the Opera," visible not only from her body language. She started singing the song. "In sleep he sang to me. In dreams he came. That voice which calls to me. And speaks my name." So moved was my page-turner (my spouse), that he forgot to turn the page. My baby, the youngest, who's only two, was singing the words to "The Phantom of the Opera." My 3 year old sang along as well; equally impressive.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

My 2 year old's latest sleeping companion

Not long ago, I wrote about the girls' loveys here. Victoria's choices of objects is beyond me, sometimes. Here are three objects she's spent time carrying around with her: the first one, far left, is some sort of cap she found while at Denver Seminary's playground. The middle one came with the garage sale toys we picked up for them awhile ago. Not entirely sure where the far right one came from - garage sale? Isabella seems to think it came from Sally's stash. Hope the latter's not the case, because Victoria will not be happy to part with it.

It's a basket. A red basket.

In the last few days, Victoria's become extremely attached to it when sleeping time arrives. Last night, in the middle of the night, I kid you not, she woke up screaming, asking for the basket. Where, or where, did she throw it.

By the way, just now, this evening, as I was trying to finish this post, she apparently accidentally dropped it. Threw a FIT. Took me awhile to find it in the partial dark. Didn't want to turn on the light in their room, so I was at the mercy of the hall light.


Hey, how did Isabella and Henry get in here?


Take a wild guess. I was taking photographs this morning, and Isabella insisted on Henry being included, too. Hi ya, Henry!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Making my head spin

I feel like I've been living in a perpetual state of being dazed and confused, nearly always exhausted. This post is almost guaranteed to lack coherence and any complete thoughts. Ready?

* This past weekend, Troy gave me a health scare, with some physical symptoms that were present before he was hospitalized with strep pneumonia back in May. His heart was doing some irregular and sometimes fast beating; he complained of muscle aches all over his body; and he could hardly stand, let alone walk. This was Saturday night and all of Sunday. For good portion of the weekend, I was a single parent of two small children, and I was utter exhausted.


* As promised, on the lack of coherence, what do you think of the shirt my husband's sporting in this photograph? It was one of four shirts he received for Father's Day from us. It was also the last of the four new shirts he tried and wore. Wearing such a color was seriously branching out for him, even though it's certainly not pink.

* My girls think that waking up before 6 o'clock, particularly the younger one, is acceptable and welcome. No way, jose. Not in my book. I had trained Isabella that some between 7 and 8 o'clock, preferably well after 7 am, is an acceptable time to arise and eat breakfast. Doing such training with Victoria hasn't been quite so easy, since the girls share a room. Victoria's quite vocal and is quite capable of waking her sister up; in fact, she has been doing just this for the last week or more.

* This morning, the girls were ready to eat breakfast by 6:30 am. What? Girls, I just had a rough weekend with no break whatsoever in taking care of you. Give me a BREAK.

* As if that's not enough, Victoria gets in her mind and cannot be convinced otherwise to wear the clothes she's seen wearing in the following photograph.

Not a big deal. Except for the fact that she fished them out of the laundry basket full of dirty clothes. She couldn't be convinced otherwise. Trust me.

* I've also exhibited plenty of clumsiness lately. Today's blunder included missing the cup when pouring the yogurt smoothie.

Not at all smooth.

* Since I do very little work on Saturday and Sunday and our family seems to go through food like no tomorrow, I needed to cook. Today was hot, reaching over 100. Cooked hot and sour soup in the morning and taco stuff in the evening. Sweaty mess. All. Day. Long.

* True highlight of the day. Hanging out with a relatively new friend Cecily. . .


and her dog, Oscar, with whom the girls engaged, gave treats, and played. The girls got brave as to let him eat right out of their hands and from their fingers. Victoria's even opening her mouth to encourage Oscar to eat his food.

Isabella enjoyed comforting and hugging the puppy.

Coming up with activities with and for the girls at different times in the day and getting them out of the house, all while doing household stuff utterly exhausted me.

See why I needed this?

Okay I luv ya, bub-bye.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Immediate enjoyment vs. saving for later

I've been asked about personality differences between the two girls. Victoria's still a bit young to tell how certain aspects of her personality are going to reveal themselves. But, at least one bold difference comes to mind, and this has been present for some time now, not just in the last few days or last couple of weeks.

In terms of food treats, Isabella likes to enjoy her treats immediately. Victoria, on the other hand, likes to save her treats for later.

This past Saturday morning, they got some pumpkin loaf samples at Starbucks. Dear Valerie dropped one sample in a sample cup for each child. They ravenously devoured them, as if I haven't fed my children in eons. She gave each of the girls one more, a second sample piece. Last one. I warned the girls that this was their last piece.

My first born, Isabella, took perhaps five or ten minutes tops to eat hers.


Not so much with Victoria. She left hers in her cup and held it carefully but firmly. This was not to be taken or enjoyed by anyone else (i.e. her sister). On the car ride home, she still held on to the cup with the contents untouched. Some ten minutes passed. When we got home, Victoria's grasp of her treat didn't change, but she showed interest in other stuff around her. It wasn't until half an hour or more after she received her treat that she consumed hers.


Want some?

Too bad, because it's gone. Into the tummies of two eager little girls.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Phantom of the Opera is here

My new "The Phantom of the Opera" C.D.s arrived in the mail this morning, complements of my friend, Abirami, who visited recently. I am so very excited. Thank you, thank you, friend! Did I mention I am super excited?!

It's not that I'm collecting copies of exactly the same music. When I first got interested in "The Phantom of the Opera," in high school, I got copies of the original London cast recording, with Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman singing in it, on cassette tapes (perhaps that information is dating me) and C.D.s.

Well, at some point, my beloved little darlings got a hold of some of my more cherished music, including my The Phantom of the Opera C.D.s. Somehow, in their care, some of these got scratched beyond repair. This music is significant not only because it continues to brighten my day but it is often Victoria's preferred bed time music.

Here's my first copy of The Phantom of the Opera.

I'm ever glad to have a copy that's not scratched. However, there is one major disappointment in the new copy. . .

Feast your eyes upon this libretto. The earlier purchased one. On the back side of the cover page is the cast. The cast is also available for viewing on the backside of the cover. The first libretto is almost double the size of the one I got today. The first included pictures of the original London cast.

Nowhere in the libretto or the cover of the music I got today indicates who is singing what role. No cast is included whatsoever.

That's a bad, bad way to save money, folks. Give the artists and company due credit. Please.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Ladies' tea

Love intriguing surprises and mysteries. Instead of the usual family plans today, I went to a ladies' tea. The hostess and guests were a mystery. Last minute, I was given the hostess's location.

For the last tea I attended, I was caught with my drawers down. Not literally. But, I was quite under dressed. Though I love to dress up, I hadn't realized that there were parts of America that still dress to the nines. On that particular occasion, women and even the daughters that attended were dawning large, fancy hats - the sort one would see at the Kentucky Derby - whilst I was attending in T-shirt and jeans.

This particular occasion, this morning, I had the opportunity to go without any necessity of a diaper bag in tow. So, I took the occasion to dress a little more properly. Still not convinced this was going to be a high tea occasion, I left any fancy hats in my hat box. In hindsight, that was a prudent choice.


I wore a lovely black linen dress that a dear friend, Diana, gave me not long before I departed Texas. When I last tried that dress on, I could not zip it past my upper back/chest area. I was less than 2 months post partum. I am happy to report it zipped with ease. Recognize the necklace and bracelet made by yours truly?

The tea was ever so lovely. Beautiful, freshly cut flowers from the hostess's gardens were an exquisite touch to the sandwiches, fruit, and other goodies that accompanied the tea whilst we conversed. Eight ladies and two young girls were in attendance. I was acquainted with one lady but I didn't know any of the others, though all of them attend our church. Broad range of ages spanning a variety of different walks of life. I very much enjoyed listening to the stories everyone told, though I was much quieter, observing and listening. I'm not really sure how to strike a balance between letting the bubbly, talkative side of me surface whilst being the sensitive, considerate person that is also a very real part of who I am. Regardless, I had a blessed time, pantyhose and all (except for the painful and not-yet-broken-in Mary Jane heels I wore), and look forward to more such occasions.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Memories, traditions, visits, lasting friendships

Fourth grade, at the age of 9, we met. Abirami is her name, though most know her by Abby. Recently, she came for a visit, during the 4th of July weekend. Saturday morning, we enjoyed a ladies' coffee and a walk around outside shopping at "A Paris Street Market," before heading to The Children's Museum.

Whilst Isabella and Victoria were sleeping that one fine Saturday, we went bead shopping.

When the girls went to sleep for the night, Abby and I enjoyed watching a movie and making necklaces. We were up way too late doing this, but we sure had a blessed time. A tradition we seem to continue is creatively creating. As little children, we painted designs on t-shirts together.

Final product.

Of the two of us, I'm the more experienced jewelry maker. Abby was quite a sport in trying this adventure. Whilst she was finishing her necklace, I made a matching bracelet.

What a blessed time I've had visiting with a childhood best friend . . .

and spending time with other dear friends, Manda and Johnny. Not it's quiet. So. Very. Quiet.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Good friends, good times

Manda, Johnny, Troy, and I first became acquainted before children were in the picture and before anyone was pregnant, over 4 years ago. We have a history that ran deep rather quickly because of the things we saw each other through.

Nowadays? There are three children and one on the way.

We miss our peeps so much. We were blessed to see them twice, once for Manda & Johnny's surprise baby shower and once yesterday.

Who's who? We've got: Troy, Isabella, Johnny, Sydney, Manda, me, and Victoria


It's a miracle that nearly everyone is looking at the camera and people actually look pretty good. I mean, how do you convince little ones to stare merrily at a camera on a tripod? Seriously? And, how do you prevent the adults from staring at the children (instead of the camera) and making faces at them to get them to smile for the camera? I'm amazed.

The Huddle family - Manda, Syd, and Johnny.

The firstborns.

Another miracle - everyone is looking remotely in the direction of the camera and no one is crying. Later, not many frames later, Victoria's not too happy her sister's trying to hold her hand. Probably figures her sister's trying to steal her snacks.

Did I already say that we love these people?

The men with the firstborns.

The ladies.

Really, we were quite blessed to have some time to catch up. Thankfully the children cooperated. And, a very huge thanks to Manda's side of the family - Sally, Ashley, Mike - for graciously giving up precious time so we could catch up like old times. Yay!


On a completely unrelated note, whilst writing this post as quickly as I could muster, one daughter was busy eating her lunch . . .


And the other was busy, getting to sleep. On my bed.


A budding young photgrapher in the midst

I was running around yesterday late morning like a chicken with its head cut off. We were having dear friends visiting from out of town over for lunch. I wanted to make fresh guacamole and after that is prepared, it's supposed to sit (and do its stuff) for an hour before consumption. I'm extremely slow at cutting, especially if chopping finely is required. Besides cutting and preparing guacamole, I had taco stuff to prepare and cook. Had chicken breast to cut, onion to cut, and red bell peppers to wash and cut. At first, I was planning on adding my cooking fare to my recipe blog and left my camera on the dining room table.

Little did I know that little hands, specifically that of a two year old, had grasped my somewhat fragile instrument and she was snapping away. Like her mommy.


Victoria took about a dozen photographs. Quite good, especially for a two year old. She's only two years and a month old, folks. The photographs are in focus. Decent composition; the subject matter fills the frame. Good job on the color. I'd say, well done, little one.