Friday, February 25, 2011

9 months

yesterday this little babycakes turned 9 months old. 
dear sweet ruby, 
these are my favorite things about you...
your infectious laugh
& incredibly mellow disposition
that said, also smitten with your feisty and stubborn spirit 
(which will serve you well against your big sister)
the way you flip and roll around on the floor like a little fish
the way you wriggle your little body and head around when you are happy
your love of snuggling at any hour of the day or night
the sound of you plotting silliness with your sister

i maybe don't love the fact that your love of snuggling means you still wake up in the very wee hours of 3 or 4 a.m. to eat, 
or that your feistiness means that you can scream full throttle 
for hours on end in the middle of the night, 
or that your sister love means that the two of you don't nap but instead have a giggle fest.

can't believe you you have been with us for almost a year.
{love you completely}

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

two years ago...

two years ago today, after a long and hard fight (that i feared we would never win against the big, huge insurance company, although i fought my little heart out) and so much anticipation
m had her bilateral cochlear implant surgery. 
(post surgery)

in some ways, that day seems so long ago. but then i scan back to what i wrote that day and week, and it is fresh and so recent and even raw on some level. (doesn't she look so tiny in those posts?) i strangely felt incredibly calm during the surgery, but there were so many unknowns looming ahead of us.

there are days that change everything in the trajectory of one's life; it seems like most of the time you don't realize that a day will affect so much in the future- say, when you first meet your future spouse or the day you decide to take a class that ends up determining your vocation.

on february 23rd 2008, we hoped that that single surgery on a single day would fundamentally shift the possibilities in our daughter's life. we waited and trusted that surgery would open our daughter up to the world of sound. we hoped she would have a lifetime of hearing moments and that someday she be able to hear us say her name, or sing her to sleep, tell us what happened at school, or many years from now hear her beloved say "i love you" to her or the laughter of her children. but two years ago, we didn't know what would happen after m's surgery. it was uncharted and scary territory.

our baby had lived, well-loved, in a world of silence since the day she was born. and now, two years later, it is hard for me to imagine this child who sings and talks to herself and anyone who will listen not experiencing sound. every day i marvel at her insistent little voice, and how it seems as if she was made to talk and listen, even though she was born deaf.

m's hearing birthday, the day her implants got activated and she first heard sound isn't until next month, but today i celebrate this very special day that marks the journey our daughter began from silence to sound.  my deaf daughter loves to sing and be sung to; her favorite latest mash-up is a self created and ever evolving version of 'it's a small world after all' mixed with 'he's got the whole world in his hands.' the words, especially since they come from her, seem more appropriate than anything else i could write.

It's a world of laughter

A world of tears
It's a world of hopes
And a world of fears
There's so much that we share
That it's time we're aware

He's got the whole world in his hands
He's got the whole world in his hands
He's got the whole small world after all

Sunday, February 20, 2011

hitting the road

bye oakland!
see you in a few days!

matt has study leave this week, so we are heading down south until thursday.

our friends are crashing at our house,
so if you are a sneaky person who reads about empty houses & then steals things,
nice try.
our house will be busy with activity.

enjoy the end of the weekend!
hopefully i'll have time to post while i'm gone.

ps. thank you, sunshine for shining on me today. i missed you.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

sweet surprise goodness

so, the other day, i got this comment on my valentine's day post:
i had no idea who anonymous blog follower was!
i asked matt.
negative, he had no idea what i was talking about.

then, my brother aaron showed up at our door that afternoon, grinning from ear to ear and holding a huge stockpot inverted over a plate.
he announced that he was my anonymous blog follower,
and with a flourish, pulled the pot up to reveal the amazing and delicious surprise underneath.

you might remember that my siblings are very creative, 

remember this post?
well, my awesome brother made. the. cake.
and not only that, but he improved upon it. 
check out this amazing love written out on top of the cake.
and then, for the surprise inside!

sidenote: my brother has never made a cake in his entire life.
ruby is smart, so she's quick to try and grab some.
(of course she didn't eat any, my friends- what, are you crazy? she's 8 months old!)
so rad.
have a lovely and sweet day, my friends!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

ruby finally gets something to eat

sweet ruby loves nursing.
but since she turns 9 months old in a week, 
we figured it was time to start her on some solid food a couple of weeks ago.
mind you, m started on solids when she was 5 months or so, 
so we are running a little behind. 
but take one look at those cheeks and you'll realize that ruby has been managing just fine.
these pictures are from the second time she ate solid food...
 as you can see, she was ready. 

 she finally grabs it and tries to eat the final tastes of rice cereal...

 empty bowl, happy baby

 that would be ruby, sticking the spoon in her mouth all by herself.

 killing me with her big eyed messy face
she's moved on to bananas, peas & carrots, although she attempts to grab anything and everything that i put into my mouth, so her next meal may be meatballs & onion tart at this rate!

Monday, February 14, 2011

happy valentine's day!

i'm home with these two valentines today
(aren't they little munchkins?)
 i am behind on some of my deadlines, so plenty to fill the day- including making treats for m's class valentine's day party tomorrow. plus, i'll be makin some extra treats for our neighbors. (i'm making these!)

meanwhile, this is what our first thing valentine's morning looked like:
 our thematic breakfast- easy with a cookie cutter & red plate...
 a valentine from my love to enjoy while i eat breakfast

 little reminders of today on my mantel

a pretty bouquet from my valentine

i'm not into the sappy, romantic valentine's day. 

maybe i am too scarred by those days back in high school when valentine's day meant candy grams- a brilliant idea by the leadership class or the administration to highlight the divide between the most and least popular or the single and the dating by distributing flowers and candy to kids in the middle of class, all day long. 

candy grams.
pretty much 7 long periods of hoping you got a cheap carnation with a piece of candy glued to construction paper. some people had empty desks, and some people had desks piled high every period with candy-grams from their bff's and significant others. (it's kind of the cruelest form of a public popularity contest for teenagers, especially of the girl variety.) don't get me wrong, i did get and send candy-grams, but i still remember the only time that the candy-gram was from a boy that i liked and who liked me (i was in senora charnow's spanish class when my friend in leadership dropped it off-funny the things we remember); the rest were from other girlfriends or boys who were just friends and single who, like me, didn't want to sit through valentine's day with an empty desk.

fast forward twenty years
(wow, i'm getting old)
 i love valentine's day, not for the love part of it, 
because i know there are plenty of people who don't have valentines,
but just because it is an excuse to bake and do sweet things for other people.

i hope you have a sweet day!
do you celebrate valentine's day?

Friday, February 11, 2011

hello, sweetie!

here's a valentine's day tip!
go buy one of my cards for the one you love.
here are two for you to hunt down, but there are others out there...

(you'll score big points)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


{meister last month}

yesterday afternoon
my mom's dog meister died.

you may know -or maybe not- that i am not so much a dog person.
or a pet person.
(except for my college roommate adriane's cat, who was awesome)

meister was in a lot of pain, physically incapacitated and had aged really, really quickly, 
and it was sad to see him struggling so much.
meister had been a part of the family for a long time; he originally was supposed to be my youngest brother aaron's dog, but because aaron's living situations never allowed, meister always lived at my parent's house, then at my sister's house when my parents were no longer together and my mom couldn't keep him at her rental, and finally, at my mom's once she bought her own place.

although he used to drive me crazy when he was a young and hyper golden retriever,
he was a sweet dog.
in some ways he was a perfect dog for our family-stubborn, social, liked to sneak out (ok, maybe that was just when we kids were in high school), a snacker,
and needing to be within 2 feet of human contact at all times.
hmm. maybe some of the reasons i used to get so exasperated with him were related to the traits we shared.
well, that and that it was a lot of additional work for my mom to take care of him when she always already had a full plate.

this past year especially
i was always reassured that he was napping on the floor at my mom's house,
guarding the house and keeping her safe.

my mom is kind of sad, but relieved that he isn't hurting anymore.
m made my mom a card yesterday, because i told her grandma was probably having a hard day.

she drew four airplanes on the cover of her card:
one was hers, one was her grandma's, one was our neighbor boy freddy's,
and the biggest, purple one was for meister.


{this pretty much sums up a lot of life these days- m needing some extra snuggling & ruby needing some extra nursing. love this picture of my little family}

Outside my window...a crisp morning & bright sunshine! grateful for the warm sun after a night of getting up and down with the girls.

I am thinking...of my list of work to get done this morning-freelance, tax prep, the online course i'm taking, to do's around the house (why is the list always longer than the amount of time i have?)

I am thankful for...another morning of life & health, for the sleeping baby up in the crib, for m's independent spirit and strong will, for (small moments of) time and space to think and create

From the kitchen...the low buzz of our refrigerator, lady grey tea brewing on the counter, an empty plate of crumbs (a couple of hours ago it held matt's remaining amazing scones)

I am wearing... a black sweatshirt, a grey striped shirt, slouchy boyfriend jeans, and super cozy sweatery boots that my sister got me for christmas (they instantly make me warm).

I am creating...a typographical poster for the online class i'm taking (more on that in another post!), potential easter card designs for papyrus

I am learn how to become more patient, kind and fair(thanks to aforementioned daughter of independent spirit & strong will).

I am reading...if a tree falls, by jennifer rosner (a memoir written by a mother who has two deaf daughters)

I am hoping...that i get in the habit of making time to exercise more often. dear endorphines, i miss you. and i miss your friends burning calories & muscles too.

I am hearing...the swish and whir of the washer downstairs, the intermittent click of our heater, my fingers on the keyboard and not much else.

Around the house...folded laundry to put away, receipts and files to organize for our tax appointment on monday, little reminders-scattered toys missed during cleanup, abandoned crayons-that we have children

A few of my favorite things...a striking sunrise rising and spreading beauty over our not-always-so-beautiful corner of east oakland 

A few more of my favorite things...getting a real, handwritten letter in the mail (thanks to nicola in way too far away england, i got just that this week! xo), sleeping in, freshly sharpened pencils, a new magazine in the mail, clean sheets, my mom's nobake cookies, sharing a flight of fenton's ice cream with my besties

A few plans for the rest of the week: meeting brand spanking new baby keeran jack, baking some treats for the staff at the elementary school around the corner, mailing out the valentine's m made, knocking out some fabulous new card designs.

what does your day look like today?

(p.s. just a reminder that it isn't so hard to comment. you don't need an account. you can post anonymously, or just using your name. just click on the little "0 (or whatever number of comments are posted already) comments" link at the bottom of each post. then leave your comment in the provided text box. then click on name/url and type in your name or click anonymous. your choice. i do love to hear from you.)

Monday, February 7, 2011

reading time

m's latest favorite activity: to read to her baby sister. 
 she is very serious & focused, and makes up a story or summarizes the real thing from memory
 then she points to the page and asks, "can you find the window?" or "what do you see?"
savoring these sweet sister moments,
because soon ruby will be able to grab the book or be a little less compliant with her big sister's agenda.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

be still my beating heart

um. this looks amazing.
and just in time for valentine's day!

you can find this heart cake tutorial here.

(from i am baker, but i spotted this loveliness on ali loves curtis)

of course i am so wiped out today that to imagine making this is pretty laughable, but nonetheless, it is pretty & maybe, just maybe, someday...