Sunday, November 7, 2010

Her Infinate Wisdom: PART 1

Luka has many things to share and many of them are so insightful. For those who have children, you will know exactly what I am saying. For those of you with out kids, these are those kind of things that come out of your childs' mouth that make you stop in your tracks and reevaluate, refocus, and remember what it's like to go about your day with curiosity, wonder, and simplicity.

While driving to the beach for a picnic, Lu saw the park out her window. She changed her mind and wanted to have our picnic there instead. So we followed her nose and turned to head to the park. There was a ton of construction and so I was not able to take the usual route I would have taken. I turned down a side street and the construction blocked my way again. I said out loud: "shoot, I went the wrong way." Luka pipes in from the back seat: "It's ok Mama, It's not the wrong way it's just another way."

Where her infinate wisdom comes from at such a young age I don't know, but I am happy to have it.

Thanks Luka.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy Halloween

Glowing Pumpkin, Roaring fire, Sweet baby profile
 Hope everyone had a fantastical Halloween. The clock ticks on and my child (and us) gets older by the minute and I am sitting by watching (not idly, mind you) this crazy miracle happen. She's so amazing. So wonderful, and full of..... amazing things. Tonight she walked up to the door of several homes alone (we were standing closely... don't worry) knocked, and quietly said "Trick or treat!" and then with some occasional prodding remembered to say thank you. Everytime someone kneeled to offer her the candy bowl, she shouted "Um, tsk (sort of a 'tisk' sound of her tongue) I like.... OH! The princess one." She refused to let anyone carry her candy bucket, even when it weighed her down, and made her wobble from side to side with each step as she tried to schlep it with her weight. We only went to a handful of houses! One guy just about dumped the whole bowl in her bucket. We met up with friends at a little Halloween party at C&P coffee.  It was awesome! So many decorations, kids and fun kid stuff. Cam was out back behind the half door attaching "fish" (aka goodie bags) to the fishing pole, pizza was on the table and the C&P gaggle ran amok. It was lovely. Eiler and Luka took to the streets after an hour or so of partying and raked in quite a load. I had hoped that the night would begin a little sooner so that we could come home for a fire and to pass candy out to the other trick-or-treaters. But maybe next year... How do people normally do it? One parent goes out with the kids, and the other stays home?

Well enjoy the fun I had playing with our Halloween photos below... Happy Halloween!
Having Fun with - Goulish little Cowgirls

This is how she poses for me. I have about 15 shots of this.

Another fun thing

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Tonight we took the side rail off Luka's crib. We purchased a twin big girl bed for her the other day, but it seemed like too much of a jump to put her in the giant twin straight from a crib. So we took the front rail off and added the toddler guards.

Our usual nightly routine is Lu's special ni-night song which involves an ending where I am cradling her in my arms and then I lay her down. Tonight I made it as far as laying her down before she stopped me and said, "no mama, I do it my self". She then crawled out of bed and climbed back up in with a big smile on her face. I still tucked her in. ;)

15 minutes later she climbed out of bed and came to the door to tell me that her binky fell down. But its been about 30 minutes and I think were good. I am not kidding myself to think that my smartie little girl is not going to figure out ways to push the envelope... I know there will be nights I end up with a toddler in my bed, but I love my little girl even when she is skeeming.
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Monday, October 18, 2010

Luka at her first Concert

I am a HUGE Ray LaMontagne fan. If you don't know who he is, go find him. He's an amazing lyricist, vocalist, instrumentalist etc. I love him and could listen (and do listen) most every day. I came unglued when they added Seattle to their recent tour. We initially were going to have a date night, but we decided that Lu would love it too so we brought her. She did in fact love it. The people you'll hear laughing are our "neighbors" on the grass. They loved her. I love it when she see's their faces and realizes that they are giggling at her.

laughter is the best remedy

This video was a little late to catch the best of the laughter, but its pretty good.

Lu and Gracie have bot seen eachother in a while and we got to hang out for the afternoon. Much of the day was filled with side splitting laughter. Not just for them but for me.
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Sunday, October 10, 2010

Potty funnies

Luka is doing a pretty dang good job on the potty. She's struggling a little with the #2's and has had a few accidents.... but we are on a path to success. The other night things were a little too quiet, and Lu's door to her room was shut. Dan cracked the door slightly to see what she was doing. He found her on the potty pinching her nose closed from the stink. Ha Ha.

*Yes, the potty is in her room because that's where she would go to make #2's.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Times are changing in the Jaramillo house. For 1 year and 5 months of Luka's life she has spent 3 days of her weeks with Addie, our nanny and Addie's daughter, Gracie. After several months of trying my hand at caring for Silas I realized I was not cut out for the job of being a nanny. Craigslist to the rescue! I found a gal who wanted to make some extra money and watch another child at home with her little girl. It turned out that this sweet little baby was 10 days Luka's Jr. Sweet little Gracie Mae and her Mama Addie turned out to be the best craigslist find I've ever found. I distinctly remember the day we interviewed her. Luka crawled right up in Addies lap. The girls were immediately happy together, and you could see their connection instantly. When we left the car was silent for a little as Dan and I both processed what we had each experienced. About 3 minutes passed and we looked at each other with giant smiles on our faces and asked "Do we really need to interview any one else?" We didn't do another interview. We've had it great. Addie is a fantastic mother to Gracie, and I've always felt that I had a confidant in the battle and joy that is motherhood. She knows my child nearly as well as I do. We could sympathize and relate with eachother because we were experiencing exactly the same things. Not only as individual parents to our children, but she helping me raise my child when I could not. Everyday we would share the struggles and joys in our morning talks, over facebook and through texts and phone calls. Addie has decided to make a career change, and while we are beyond sad to see her go we are happy for the new experiences it will bring for Luka. I hope that we can keep these two girls together as BFF's for as long as possible. They are like sisters, and I have no question that their smart little brains are going to understand what it means to miss one another. Hopefully we can keep their lives coordinated enough that they won't have to.

And so now.... Craigslist to the rescue for the 2nd time!! With another ad for a an amazing caregiver Luka began the next chapter in her early learning career today. On to Tiny Tribe! Jena received the Caregiver of the Year award in 2008 and it was hands down obvious why when we visited. On top of her organization and her ability to orchestrate the day, the children and her teachers, she sent me 5 photo texts today! I was dreading loosing this connection to Lu through out the day, and apparently I won't loose it. Then did you see her blog?? She cooks all organic food, and thinks of all these fun crafts, and MAN these kids really clean up after them selves. I am in awe.

Jena sort of made me feel overwhelmed with all that I am not doing for her on the days when I am with Lu. I don't ignore her, we play and have a great time, and she's so smart so I know I've not been too far off the mark, but seeing all that can happen in the day... SHEESH! I'm overwhelmed but excited to see what Luka will be able to accomplish. I am overjoyed to have found this place.

Thankfully Jena had an opening for Silas too! So Lu gets to be with her other best buddie. When we came in today. Silas was sitting at the table eating his breakfast, he said "Hi, Yuka! I eating oatmeal!" Then when she sat down next to him, he said "Yuka, You want to sit by me?" Made my heart sing.

A big day like this can only be complete with a special treat from her papa. Quesadillas, and chocolate milk shakes. That's my girl. 

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Nice to meet you, Ma'am

This last weekend we purchased Luka big girl panties and it got me thinking about Luka's milestones (and thanks to this post from Amy) and also about my lack of blogging and journaling. When Lu was a newborn it seemed that every day I could not go with out a post or an entry in my journal about how much Luka was doing. First it's the small things like coming home from the hospital, taking our first after dinner walk as a family, going to the grocery store for the first time with my newborn, first public breastfeeding. Then comes the babies first milestones; the meconium, sleeping through the night, rolling over, reaching for toys... Just like Amy said, you go nuts over the smallest detail. Everything is important. It's a sign you're not f'ing up, it's a sign your little one is healthy. I am still going nuts over her milestones but I guess the fact that she has to watch Elmo, or lately it's Snow White, when the computer is out that's been preventing me from making more posts about her. I can't imagine if I'd be able to do this with 2 kiddos.
So since my last post some of Luka's milestones include, her first airplane ride quickly followed by her first visit to another country -England. England held several firsts; first movie on the big screen (ok it was in the living room... but still you should have seen her eye balls), mushy peas, seeing the North Sea (a first for mama too). It was an exciting trip, and one we want to repeat.

Luka also celebrated her 2nd birthday - with three parties!!

She loves telling everyone she meets she's TWO! The other night we went for a walk and she shouted to a man across the street, "HEY, I'm two!" He laughed. She got her first stroller and her 3th baby named Else. She loves the name Else.
So proud of her undies!!
The most recent milestone is her big girl undies! She's been going on the potty now for several weeks. Actually, she's been fiddling around with it for months, but she's been pretty serious since just after her birthday. We pretty much goes with out diapers, or pants for that matter, for most of the day. Outings included! We are still in diapers for bed time and naps, and she's struggling with number 2's on the potty. But I think those are normal things. We rewarded her success by letting her pick out a couple of packages of panties this weekend. She loves them. She chose the princess ones of course - but her 2nd choice was a package with Nemo, Jessie (from Toy Story), Cars, etc... she like the cars on it.

We are so proud of her and most important she's proud of herself.

Aside from the experiences in her life, theres all the amazing things that are happening in her head. She's off the charts with her vocabulary and her talking. She's speaking in complete sentences, and she's quite the mimic. It fascinates me when she says simple things like "I am going to the store to get cake." It's a complete sentence!!!! It has structure, and nouns and modifiers (what are those again?), there is an object, and an action. It's NUTS I tell you. For those of you who've taken a foreign language you might remember how hard it is to form a sentence... she's just doing this. She hasn't memorized flash cards, she just says it. Oh ya and she calls her self Goosie. How cool (and cute) is that?

I love this kid.

Tonight when I came home from work, she ran into the bathroom where I was using the restroom, she said two awesome things.... "Nice to meet you, maam." and then followed it up with a whopper..... "GOOD JOB MAMA, You went potty! You need to wipe?"

So far two is not terrible, it's pretty awesome.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Beginning a Tradition

Dan and I have talked for such a long time about making Tamales. We have also talked many times about creating family traditions to have as our family grows up. Dan used to make tamales with his family every Christmas. They have since lost this tradition and we keep talking about starting it up again.

Memorial Day began and we had no plans. The weather did not look too promising, and we laid in bed reading books and tickling and talking for a long time. Luka had a sleepless Saturday and Sunday and it seemed that she would be catching up on her sleep for Memorial Day. She went down for an early nap, and Dan said... "hey we should make tamales! I'll run to the store and get the ingredients." I was penned with cleaning the kitchen after our delicious breakfast, while he shopped.

He came home with all the fixings. My mouth was watering already! We researched a few recipes online and in an old Mexican Cookbook I have from the 40's. We did a combo of them but mostly followed this recipe. We added a few things to suit our own tastes--------

We ended up getting a 3 hour nap out of Luka! Dan and I enjoyed an unusual morning of working together to craft these tamales, with out interruption from a little one.  It was so pleasant, fun, and something that we both miss - time for just us. You know, us?? The people who are making this family. Oh yea, we still exist. We got the meat boiling and the peppers softened. By the time Luka awoke, we had a break in the cooking action that was coupled by a break in the clouds and some actual SUNSHINE!! We took off to the park and a visit to Grandma.

Luka decided one nap was not enough and she went back down for another 2+ hour nap when we got home. We put her down, and set back in the kitchen working hand in hand. Making Chile Sauce, making the Masa, and shredding the pork. We shared some laughs, and talked, and really were able to enjoy the company of one another. I enjoy so much being able to work together on projects with Dan. He's a great teammate, and it's so easy to talk while we work. We really do work well together, and both love being productive. It was wonderful to have an experience like this to reinforce our relationship.

The Chile Sauce came out great, the meat made the house smell amazing, and the corn from the Masa really made me think of the smells of dinner time in my neighborhood as a kid. I grew up in Southern California and the streets at night had a very distinct smell of tortillas on the stove. It's one of those things that you suddenly realize one day is ingrained in you. It took a trip back to that town for the smell of cooking Mexican food, and the smell of Eucalyptus trees reconnect me with my childhood in a new way.

The recipe made enough meat for 30+ tamales, but we fell short on the Masa dough for some reason. I had to borrow ingredients from the neighbor so we could make another batch of the dough. (another thing I love to do.... silly I know, but it makes me feel safe to know that my neighbors are there for me in my times of need, however small.)

By the time we were done rolling the tamales, we had some meat left over, and we made taquitos for dinner with it. I am not quite sure how there was any meat after all the bites we took as we made them! Infact, I had to wake Dan from a small food coma over the tacos we made so that he could try some of the tamales once they finished.

We took the tamales to Amy, Phil and Else for dinner the next night. They were heaven. Good company, delicious food, and happy babies. Life does not get any better.

Thanks for reading my most giant blog ever.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Big Girls, Big Plans, and some plants Part II

:: continued from previous post::

The weather this last Sunday was incredible. Almost 70 degrees!! We took advantage of it and began our garden!! I cannot describe the utter joy I have over having my first garden. My Mom and Dad always had a garden when we could. I loved picking the beans and eating the delicious benefits. We plan to have 2 beds in the front yard - which we were able to install on Sunday. As well as a row of veggies on the side of the house. I think Luka will get as much enjoyment out of it as us. Last summer she was a tomato freak so we got 4 different types of tomato plants to feed the need.

 I watched Gracie the other day and the above photo is the view from my kitchen sink as I washed dishes. The girls are talking to Ollie our cat. They (the cat included) loved playing together. It really got me thinking about having another kid. I've been really nervous, apprehensive, scared, dumbfounded, at a stand-still, etc etc on the topic of another kid. Being a parent, while it's been one of the most joyful things Dan and I have ever done, and while Luka has been far from difficult, has added strain to our relationship as a couple. I miss my husband some days - I miss just being a girlfriend. Some days it feels like we only exist together. And the daily joys we experienced sharing the thoughts tumbling around in our heads, silly wrestling matches, and serious planning talks, etc --- they're not gone, but it's hard to find time to make those things priorities. All that being said, I want Luka to have a sibling. I don't want her to be alone. And having Gracie over for the afternoon, gave me some more insight into what it might be like. I laid my head down that night with a smidge more positivity about having another kid.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Big Girls, Big Plans, and some plants

Luka's getting bigger and bigger in every way. All she wants is to do it her self - "I do it!" or do it like a big girl - "Big Girl, Mama, BIG!" For a few weeks I was even beginning to wonder if we were going to have to convert her crib to a big girl bed. She had managed to crawl out of 2 different porta-cribs during nap time! One of those times Addie figured out she had crawled out of the when she heard knocking coming from the other side of the door. Pretty Funny, Luka. For several nights after her successful attempts to get out of the portacribs, I think she was attempting to get out of her own crib at home - at 2am. Not funny, Luka.  She seems to have gotten over it, and we've had a week or so of no escape attempts. I'm knocking on wood right now... or probably sticking my foot in my mouth.

Luka, my mom and my self are preparing for trip to England in June to spread the rest of my Dad's ashes. His best friend, Chris Spencer, lives in Norfolk - in a converted Chapel! My Dad visited him during the filming of the 21st century Mummy film. Their special bond grew and grew over the short time that they knew each other into a strong everlasting friendship. When my Dad returned from his visit to Chris he could not stop talking about how peaceful, beautiful, and amazing the Chapel was. He said once that he wanted to live the rest of his life there --- well he's getting his wish. And Chris will get to forever be with his friend - at the Chapel and in peace. Luka was uber excited about her passport. I cannot get over how cute a passport is with a little girls photo on it. I have to say, I am a little nervous about my very social, active, and independent child being on a plane confined to my lap. Yes, I said my lap. I could not stand to pay another $1100 for her to have her own ticket. So pray that she falls asleep at some point, and does not annoy our neighbors. And while your praying.... maybe ask that I might get a wink of sleep too??

Thursday, February 18, 2010

First Hair Cute.... er, I mean CUT!

And remember in my earlier post when I was talking about her being full of emotion. Check out this photo. Perfect example of why she needed a hair cut and how crazy she can be. Love it!

So full of emotion


Our child has no shortage of emotions. This photo shoot was taken over the course of an hour. Her face is so expressive.





She's really blossoming into a little girl, I am feeling like the baby in her is less and less with every new word she utters and every milestone that we pass.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Friends & blogging

Luka has a ton of friends. This last week we had so much fun with a lot of our friends. We hosted Wes & Jenny on Tuesday for coffee and Scones. It was great to catch up and to help encourage Wes in walking. He was on the very verge of walking and looks like he's done it! Good luck Jenny & Jeff. Walking is fun! Jenny's blog is pretty inspiring and when we talked about how jealous I was of her smart, sassy, informative, and well done blog she told me her secrets. She said that while she is crafty she's not a scrapbooker. She found a website where she could download her blog posts and turn them into a printed book! She's done one a year since she discovered it. So she makes her posts of good quality, well written, and edits her photos so they looks awesome. Plus she's a great photographer so that helps. I am totally going to do this! Her trick for editing is a quick and easy online photo editing call I've tested it out with several... ok ok so more like a ton, of photos. I love the 1969 tool. It rounds the corners like I love and the colors are too cool.

So back to our friends. Wednesday we watched Joey. It was a blast! I've been taking Lu to the play gym at the Community Centers on Tuesdays with Leah and Silas. We missed out because of our play date with Wes, but Wednesday came and Lu was BEGGING to go. She was so insistent. GYM! GYM, mama! We found another community center that was open and the kids had a blast. It was so hard to get the out of the gym to go home for naps.

Friday night we hosted Gracie for an overnight, so her Mom and Dad could move into a new house. The girls have a very strong love-hate passionate relationship. Mostly dictated by Lu's attitude, which is pretty sassy. We DO NOT watch wrestling, and Dan and I really only have tickle wars (which are not violent), so I am not sure where she learned how to do a suplex. But she loves to come behind Gracie, wrap her arms around her chest, lift her off her feet and then slam her into the ground. Gracie is a though girl, and getting tougher by the day. I have no doubt that she'll turn the tables on Lu one day. The girls had a very fun bath which left my bathroom a soaked mess. It was fun none the less.

Lu's word flow is utterly incredible. We had her 18 month well check up and the Dr could not stop talking about how smart she is. Said, "Her vocabulary is well beyond that of a 2 year old. Be prepared for her to be talking like a 16 year old when she's 3!" Yaoza. She's doing great with he ABC's, she can count to 5. She's says other numbers beyond 5 just not in order. She loves tea parties with Papa, loves to color, and Playdough is especially cool.

These are her new boots, she won't really wear them, but they are a 9 so I am hoping that her chubby feet slim down a little in the next year or so so she will wear them. How cute are they?!?! Every girl needs some red boots!

Well, that was a giant post. Thanks for following us and keeping up with our family.