Monday, June 29, 2009

Sadie's Veil

I had the cutest Sadie moment today. We were sitting in the play room upstairs at Nani's house, packing for tomorrow's trip out to Boston (nine long hours on the plane, if you count a one hour layover in Houston) and had just picked out my two mantilla's and was about to pack them. Sadie was sitting on the floor watching me and I decided to put one on her head and see what she would do. Since the white one was already in a little cardboard case I took the black one, which is a medium sized rectangle and draped it over her head.

When it sat on her head it was huge. It reached all the way down to her elbows, like a wedding veil. The funniest thing was her reaction. There's a mirror on the entire closet door so Sadie could see herself easily and I pointed to her reflection. She held perfectly still with her little hands extended out to her sides and stared at her reflection. Then she pointed at her reflection in the mirror. After about thirty seconds she raised her hand up and touched the veil, which started to slip off. "Careful, it'll slip off." I whispered, and she froze and let me readjust it. Once it was back on she continued to stare, holding perfectly still for another minute. Finally I reclaimed it to pack and was surprised when Sadie threw herself onto the floor and had a complete meltdown. She wanted "her" veil back. I will definitely have to get her one of her own soon, probably one with a little ribbon that goes under her chin so that it stays in place.

These days she's so into wearing Mommy's things! It's very cute!

I'm not sure how much time (or internet access) I'm going to have when we're gone. Hopefully I'll be able to keep the blogs updated (my other blog is ). If not I'll be home on the ninth with tons of new pictures and stories. Have a Happy Fourth of July if I'm not on before then!

Packing and Repacking

We've spent the day rushing around the house packing. It's hard to decide what to bring and what to leave, but I have Sadie's bag and my bag packed and I'm working on figuring out what to bring in our carry on bags to keep Sadie occupied when she's awake (I'm hoping she's going to sleep through most of the trip).

Sadie wasn't a great helper when I was trying to pack my bag. She crawled over and sat next to the suitcase, looking very innocent. That should have been my first clue that she was up to something. Then when I turned my back to grab some freshly washed clothes that I'd folded on the bed she sprang.

When I turned back around she had pulled my clothes out of the suitcase and was shaking two of my dresses out on the floor. "Sadie, no, we don't do that." When I said the words I was laughing because she looked so cute, but she definitely understood that she was doing something that she wasn't supposed to do. She threw herself on the ground and stuck out her bottom lip, which started to tremble immediately. I knew we were on the verge of a meltdown. So I tickled her until she started to laugh and then we were back to packing.

I probably won't have a blog tomorrow because we'll be on the road. Hopefully Sadie sleeps all the way to Boston!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Sadie's Odd Taste in Food

We are in the middle of a week that has been way too warm. When Nani checked the thermometer this afternoon it was 103 degrees. Poor Sadie has been trapped inside with me and today was more then a little impatient to go outside. She just doesn't understand why we can't go out and sit on the porch and swing on her swing. Hopefully it will cool down soon, but the weather report for tomorrow said that it is supposed to be 107 in Redding tomorrow (today it was 108). Yuck! I miss the rain and thunderstorms that we were having two weeks ago. Now it's hard to keep the lawns green even though we're watering them every day and the lettuce is wilting!

Sadie is eating more and more grown up foods and the funny thing is that she really does seem to be influenced by the things that I ate while I was pregnant with her. She gobbles up all of my favorite foods. I let her have little bites when she wants to (which is almost all the time) and some of her favorites have included dill pickle, garlic (she actually nibbled on a garlic clove) and a little bite of onion. She also loves avocado, artichokes, apricots and toast. And she still has her old favorites like yogurt and oatmeal and her gerber graduates.

A Sweltering Tea Party

I was debating going into town for the tea party yesterday because it was supposed to be so hot. I went against my better judgement because the idea of an afternoon tea party was so much fun, and took Sadie, along with my mom and grandmother (four generations all together), and went into town for the tea party. It was 101 degrees when we got there.

Sadie refused to take her nap all morning and fell asleep about five minutes from the tea party in the car. She actually slept through getting out of the car and stayed asleep through the first half hour of the tea party, which turned out not really to be a tea party at all, because it was so hot and no one was willing to drink hot tea (there was iced tea)!
Instead it had turned into a pool party, which not everyone was happy with. Apparently many of the guests hadn't gotten the message (I hadn't!) and were still dressed up, so most of us sweltered on the pool deck (and most of us who were dressed up were not all that happy about being splashed, which the swimmers thought was hilarious). It wasn't quite like the tea party last year, which was absolutely lovely (and much cooler)!

Sadie had fun though! They had astro turf down on the ground and she crawled around under my feet and even took a turn wearing my hat. She's at the age where she may not be happy about wearing her own things, but if she has a chance to wear Mommy's things she's ecstatic! Maybe she will keep on a veil in Church!

Oatmeal Raison Cookies

I tried out a new recipe yesterday from my Martha Stewart Baking Handbook. My goal is to bake once a week (which usually turns out to be on Saturday for some reason). These turned out well. I substituted normal (artificial) pancake syrup for the pure maple syrup that the recipe requested, because when I went into town the pure maple syrup at the grocery store was 34 dollars and there was no way I could justify such a ridiculous expense. They turned out fine with the regular syrup. They weren't super sweet like some cookies can be, but I'm not usually into super sweet pastries so they were perfect!

Oatmeal Raison Cookies

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup sweetened, shredded coconut
2 sticks unsalted butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 large egg
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup raisons

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In one bowl combine flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt and then stir in the coconut. In another bowl beat butter and brown sugar until light. Add the maple syrup and mix. Add the egg and vanilla. Beat until combined. Mix in flour mixture. Mix until combined. Mix in oats and raisins.

Shape 3 tbs of dough into 1 1/2 inch balls. The recipe calls for putting the cookies on a baking sheet with parchment paper, but I just rubbed a bit of butter on it so that they wouldn't stick. Place the scoops of dough 2 inches apart and bake for 15 to 20 minutes. If you have two trays start one on the bottom level and one on the top and switch half way through. Let cookies cool on sheet for 2 minutes.

Saturday, June 27, 2009


Sadie loves her new word. She's been saying "dada" all day long. It seems to be her word when she wants to get her way and she doesn't feel like she's getting it fast enough. However she does know what it means because when we were sitting on the couch and Paul was on the other end she started saying it and I asked her where Daddy was. She pointed straight at him and kept her little hand up, pointing, for about a minute.

When she's feeling small though, it's straight back to saying "mama!" in her littlest, whiniest voice.

Right now Sadie and Daddy are sitting on the couch watching a princess special on Disney. They are very cute! Now it's dinner time! Sadie finally took a late nap so now it's time for a late dinner.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Sadie's Cooking in the Kitchen

Sadie is like a little tornado, leaving a path of destruction across the downstairs area of Nani and Grumpa's house. We pick up her toys at least three times a day, which she takes as a sort of personal challenge. I think she thinks that it's time to redecorate when I clean up. She doesn't like the sink to be in place in her little kitchen, which is one of her new favorite toys. She takes the sink out and puts it in front of the kitchen so that she can see down inside the stove and microwave.

After removing the sink (two to three times a day) she ventures throughout the rest of the house, picking up whatever knicknacks that she can find and bringing them back to her kitchen. She then stuffs them inside the oven. It shouldn't have taken me five days to realize that when something has disappeared in the house that was lower than four feet off the ground, it's probably been relocated into the to oven (and can probably be spotted through the sink).

Since I started writing this blog Nani came in from watering her garden and decided to try to put the toys in the kitchen back in order. Before she was half way through Sadie came tearing across the room, picked the sink up, which had been in place for less than five seconds and flung it onto the floor. She's now cleared off the entire counter (onto the floor) and in celebration, found a binkie before standing and surveying the destruction.

Now it looks like she's headed over to untie Grumpa's shoelaces. She has so much energy and it's almost eight o'clock!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

"Dada. Dada. Dada. Dada!!!"

Sadie's favorite word of the week is "Dada." She says it constantly, especially when Paul walks into the room. He worked a night shift last night and didn't get down to the cabin until just before five, but that didn't stop Sadie from demanding his attention two hours later when she woke up. She sat up, looked at him and started to giggle hysterically. When he didn't move at all she stopped, stared at his face for about a minute and then started to giggle even louder. He finally woke up and said good morning to her and I took her up to Nani and Grumpa's house so that he could get some sleep.

After Paul woke up we headed into town to go the pool. There were pool noodles everywhere (sometimes they're still in their garbage can container). Sadie was obsessed with them. She insisted on holding a turquoise one. I finally took it away from her when she started biting off pieces of the end. She found another one when we were over by the stairs and when it was time to leave I managed to wrangle it out of her hands, which resulted in the first meltdown we've had at the pool.

The best part about going to the pool (okay, the second best part... the best part is all the fun we have playing.) is that when we get home Sadie is so exhausted that she doesn't fight nearly as much when it's time to take her nap. That makes the rest of the day much more pleasant because she's well rested at dinner and bath time!

Now it's time to get ready for bed. Sadie and Daddy are having quality time reading on of her word books and looking at the pictures. They're quite the picture of cuteness with Sadie clinging to her little bunny balloon from her birthday!

Time to Buckle Down and Knit the Bears

I have been procrastinating. In less than a week we leave to visit our family outside of Boston, and there's so much to do! One of Paul's older brothers and his wife are expecting their first baby and I told Paul I would crochet a blanket (and promised myself!) and knit a matching teddy bear. The blanket is finished, but halfway through body of the bear I got distracted when I learned a new crochet stitch (and broke down and started a new blanket). While I've done quite a lot of knitting (and tend to think of myself as a knitter) I only knew on crochet stitch (now I know two). That was two weeks ago and I haven't picked the little bear up since. Now I need to focus in on the bear.

That bear really isn't the problem though. I could finish it in a couple of days, although it will probably take a bit more time with Sadie "helping." The problem is that I need to bring a present for our two year old nieces birthday party, which will take place while we're there, and with our suddenly smaller budget I need to work with what I have. The beautiful merino wool I had set aside before Sadie was born to make a sweater (for myself) with, is about to become Bear #2. I need to hustle to finish in time. And since I don't want to haul a bag of stuffing with me on the plane I am not counting plane time as knitting time. My new rule for the coming week is no working on the blanket (which is for Sadie) until the bears are done.

I've also started working on a list of things I need to pack. Maybe I can come up with a "What You Need To Bring When Flying Across the County with a Toddler" list. Any suggestions of baby items you can't live without during a week away from home?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Angel Soft Baby

Sadie is in love with the Angel Soft Toilet Paper Baby. Nani had brought some into the house after a shopping cart but hadn't put it away yet when Sadie set eyes on the little guy. She crawled over and crawled on top of the it and looked at me. Then she leaned over and gave the baby a kiss. She gave the baby between twenty and thirty kisses tonight, but she isn't giving anyone else one.

While she went through a kissing phase where she was giving everyone kisses, that phase is (sadly) now over. I think it has become a game where she dodges kisses. I (or anyone else) leans in to kiss her and she leans away. At the last moment she'll even twist her neck so that you kiss the back of her head. Sometimes she even makes a little puckering face (a sour face, not a kissing face) to show what she thinks of kissing. I hope this phase ends quickly. Her little pecks were so sweet! I'm trying not to make a big deal of it, because I really don't want it do become a big game!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

How I Know I Need Reconciliation

This morning I was trying to figure out whether or not I needed to go to confession. My husband and I had argued yesterday and while I didn't feel like I had to go I felt like I should. I must admit, I don't like that feeling.

Receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation is high on my husbands list of favorite things, but I still get a queasy feeling in my stomach beforehand. I usually try to go every month, but sometimes I go as long as two months. He's been told by one priest he goes to when he's in the City that he could cut back to a few times a month.

As we drove to Mass I reasoned with myself, coming up with reasons not to go to confession first. And that's when it struck me: if I was coming up with reasons not to go to confession, then I really did need to go. Because when I don't need to go the idea of receiving this sacrament doesn't bother me. It only bothers me when I've done something wrong.

Ten minutes later I was glad I'd asked the priest to hear my confession before Mass. I felt better and I didn't spend Mass worrying about whether yelling was venial or not.

Our Brave Little Climber

Delilah (one of our cats) has learned to hide in Sadie's play pen when Sadie is out and about. Sadie usually doesn't see her in there but the other day she spotted the cat and got as close to Delilah as she could though the mesh. Delilah played it cool. She's pretty confident that Sadie can't climb in and get her. Yet.

Sadie is a climber. She climbs anything that she can get her little leg up and over. She climbs her little chairs and stands on them. She spent a good portion of yesterday trying to climb into her little shopping cart. She even put her little feet on the wheels to try and get high enough to get in. I managed to convince her that putting her doll in the cart was a better solution, but I'm not fooled, she'll try again soon. Once Sadie gets it in her mind that she's going to do something, she isn't easily dissuaded.

And that brings me to the latest thing that Sadie has decided she is going to do. She is convinced that she is big enough to put her face in the water at the pool. She must have got the idea by watching everyone else, and she has decided that she is big enough to do it. She spends half of the time at the pool craning her neck to put her face in. On five separate occasions today she was close enough and she dunked her face and then jerked backwards, gasped and looked shocked. I'm constantly surprised by how brave she is.

She also tries to push off of me to swim to other people. I don't let go (and I keep her from going under water because she is still really little!). We are definitely going to have to watch her like a hawk around water. Sometimes I think she's too brave for her own good!

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Birthday Cake!

Today is Sadie’s birthday! Her party was yesterday because we didn’t want to have it on Father’s Day. It’s hard to believe that it’s been an entire year since we welcomed Sadie into our little family. She is such an amazing little girl.

For Sadie’s birthday party Nani and Grumpa got her a store bought cake that matched our Bunny themed party.
Today though, I used the recipe that my mom made (from a cookbook she got when she married my Dad) for my first birthday to make my cake. It may not be as pretty as her Bunny Cake, but it was made with love and Sadie loved it.

And here’s the recipe from the Old Fanny Farmer Cookbook!

Fresh Banana Cake

¼ pound butter

1 ½ cups sugar

1 cup mashed banana

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

½ cup sour cream

Heat oven to 350 F. Butter and lightly flour a 9” square cake pan. Cream the butter and slowly add sugar and beat until light. Add banana, eggs, and vanilla. Beat well. Mix flour, baking soda, and salt, add to the first mixture and blend. Slowly add the sour cream and beat until well blended. Spread into pan and bake for about 45 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes before turning out onto a rack.

And I frosted it with a glaze, which was basically confectioners’ sugar with hot water slowly added to it while it was being beat, until it was a good consistency to pour over the top of the cake and dribble down the sides.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

A Year in Pictures

I can hardly believe that it's been a year! To commemorate Sadie's birthday I wanted to put together a year in pictures so that everyone can see how much she's grown!

Pregnant (Less then a month to go)

0 Months (Sadie's Birthday)

1 Month (Baptism at St. Patrick's)

2 months (Family Vacation in Bandon)

3 Months (Hanging Out After Mass)

4 Months (Getting Ready to Go Trick or Treating!)

5 Months (Enjoying Thanksgiving!)

6 Months (Christmas Morning)

7 Months (Crawling)

8 Months (Ash Wednesday)

9 Months (Family Vacation to Crescent City)

10 Months (Our First Band Aid)

11 Months (Standing on the Porch!)

The Birthday Girl!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Party!

Here is Sadie's birthday cake. I was so excited when I saw it because the bunny turned out so cute. The cake lady at our local Top's market really is an artist! I'm making Sadie's cake for tomorrow (the family party on her actual birthday) and it won't be nearly as spectacular, but it will be made with real bananas!
I'm referring to this as the picture of the princess's throne. Sadie loved her high chair with the balloons tied on to it. I thought that it would be hard for her to focus with the balloons, but with all of her guests (there were 18 in all) Sadie seemed more interested in the rest of the room then in trying to eat the balloons (although she did keep one balloon in each hand.
Here is Sadie's first taste of cake. She really did like it, although you can't really tell that by this picture. We tried to let her feed herself, and while she seemed to get the idea of what she was supposed to be doing, she obviously didn't like the feel of it on her hands.
Here's the picture of our little family from the party. Sadie was such a big girl. At the end of the party, after playing with her presents, she walked back and forth behind her lion at least a dozen times, smiling at everyone. She really had a blast. As soon as everyone went home she passed out and had a nice long nap! I know I've said it almost every day this week but I still can't believe it's been a year!

Nice to Meet You!

Welcome to the Grand Opening of my blog, A Woman's Place... A Woman's Place is a blog for wives and mothers who are determined to living a life dedicated to their families and their God. With a little time and a little work I hope this site will blossom into a page with recipes, gardening and craft tips and bits and pieces from day to day life. Hopefully we can share experiences and blessings and grow in our faith!

I'll begin with a quick introduction.

I'm a stay-at-home mom and a convert to the Catholic faith. I was raised and baptized in a small, Southern Baptist Church and when I told my husband that I would follow his lead, join RCIA and raise our children in the Church I had no idea how completely our lives would be transformed. The more I learn and grow the more I have to realize that the rather flippant, not at all thought out decision (neither my husband nor I had attended any churches services regularly for years) was the first step on a journey towards an amazing treasure. The grace of God has wrought amazing changes in our lives!

God has entrusted us with an amazing little girl who will turn one this month. She is truly a blessing and she brings joy and smiles to everyone that she meets.

My husband is currently in graduate school, earning his masters degree in theology. After he finishes his MA he plans on going on to get his JCL to become a Canon Lawyer. We've been busy this summer learning Latin for his studies. He hopes to be admitted to the Angelicum in Rome in 2011, but that's still a ways off!

We escaped from the San Francisco Bay Area in 2006 and live a few hundred yards from my parents and grandparents homes (which means that with the arrival of our daughter we have four generations here). Our humble home is a one room cabin (which is 10 x 15 feet) with no running water. We do our best to live in accordance with the teachings of the Church each and every day, with each and every decision. As a result we are very conservative by our culture's standards.

And, for the sake of keeping this brief introduction short, that is my life in a nutshell. Thanks for visiting the site!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Getting Ready for the Party!

We are busy busy busy! Sadie's birthday party is tomorrow morning. When I gave out invitations at Church I wasn't sure anyone would come (we live about fifteen minutes from town and it's kind of hard to find because any time the county has tried to put up a sign on our road one neighbor or another has taken it down). We've gotten lots of RSVPs though, so it looks like it's going to be kind of big. The theme is Bunnies by the Bay. Mrs. Bunny, one of Sadie's favorite babies, is a Bunnies by the Bay bunny and when I saw that it was an actual theme for a birthday party (there are hats and plates and everything!) I decided that it would be absolutely perfect.

Nani and Grumpa have been hard at work in the yard and it looks absolutely beautiful. Grumpa even power washed the house (with dirt roads things get very dusty around here)! And while the sunflowers don't have actual flowers yet, they are lining the garden and are about five feet tall. I'll take lots of pictures! I can't believe that it was a year ago tomorrow that we headed to the hospital trying to figure out if my water had broken (it had!)!

Today's picture shows Sadie when she was one month old, taking a nap with Mrs. Bunny.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Where is Kitty?

I've found a way to get Sadie to come back to me when she's got her sights set on "redecorating" a different part of the house. First I tried calling her. That didn't work. Then I said "here kitty, kitty, kitty." It was worth a try, because she's obsessed with cats at the moment and I thought that if she heard me calling a cat she might be persuaded to come back into the room She headed straight on into the kitchen. So I tried something new. I said

"Sadie, where's your lion?" She paused in the doorway to the kitchen so I repeated myself. After another moment she turned around and zoomed back into the room. She went straight over to her Lion walker/cart and tapped his nose. A while later she was on her way out of the room again and I thought I'd give it a second try. So I asked where Kitty was. She crawled right over and picked Kitty up and showed her to me.

Later in the day she was playing in her playpen so I thought I'd try another test to see how much she understands. The playpen is currently stuffed full of toys, although there is enough room for Sadie to move around and practice taking steps (as long as she steps over the stuffed animals!). She has two stuffed cats now. One is "Kitty" who she's had since December and the other is the cat we made at Build-A-Bear last week. The new cat, who we named "Neko" has a pink nose just like Kitty does and Sadie got very excited when we told her that Neko was a kitty.

I asked Sadie to bring me Neko. She smiled and sat down then turned around and fished through the other stuffed animals, pulling Neko out immediately. Then she brought Neko over to the side of the play pen and threw her out. After that I asked her if she knew where Kitty was and she did the exact same thing with Kitty. She's really starting to understand names!

Right before dinner I told Grumpa about what she had been doing and he thought he'd give it a try. He asked Sadie where his tractor was. The big red tractor was sitting outside on Nani's lawn (where it shockingly didn't do any damage). Sadie changed directions and rawled over to the glass door and stood up and looked out at Grumpa's tractor and then looked back at Grumpa. I can't believe how much she's learning every day!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


I just watched Sadie stumble across the room. She looked a bit like a drunken sailor. After that we read one of her "Your Baby Can Read" Books. She started to scream each time we finished, so we read it three times before she decided she could play with the book on her own. But when we read the word "ear" she tugged on her ear. It was the first time she recognized a word. Today has been a bit crazy (we did get to go to the pool again!) so tonight's blog is short. But she is consistently standing up on her own now! She's getting so big. And only four more days until her first birthday!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A Busy Day

Today was much better, probably because Paul dealt with Health and Human Services while I stayed in the car. We stayed busy this morning. We went to Mass and then, after a quick stop at Health and Human Services to drop off our paper work, headed to the bank. Since the bank wasn't open yet we decided to go on a walk. Our walk took an hour (with a break in the middle at the town's bakery where we got maple bars). I should have worn flat shoes, and I'd actually left some flat shoes in the car just in case I needed them, but the walk was still a lot of fun. I had my sling with me and I wore Sadie on my front on the way to the bakery, and on my back on the way back. After the bank we headed to the park where Sadie went on the swing, played in a tunnel, and slid down the slide. She still cries as soon as we take her off the slide.

We had a snack in the car and were about to go to the pool when Sadie fell asleep. It had been a very exciting morning! So Paul sat in the car with Sadie while I swam laps. I haven't had a chance to swim laps in years, but I managed to swim 42, 1050 meters, before Sadie woke up and Paul brought her in to go swimming. She still doesn't think floating on her back is much fun, but she did make a friend.

A little boy who looked to be a few months younger than Sadie came to the pool with his Nani and Mommy and sisters. He and Sadie were fascinated with each other and kept watching each other. After we got out of the pool Sadie squealed at him and smiled. When he squealed back she was shocked and got quiet and started acting very shy.

We relaxed for the rest of the day and took a long nap when we got home. And now Sadie is taking all her toys out and dragging them around the living room.

Monday, June 15, 2009

About Two Seconds from Crazy: Working Towards Getting Medi-Cal

Sadie is strolling around the living room right now, taking quick breaks now and then to check in on what's happening on Wheel of Fortune.

We had a very busy day, which nearly ended with Mommy (me) have a nervous breakdown. It started out alright. We went to Mass and then counted the money from the weekend and then headed out to breakfast. After breakfast Sadie fell asleep in the car, so we parked in the parking lot by the pool and talked for an hour while she napped. At noon the pool opened and since Sadie had been asleep for over an hour I eased her out of her car seat, which woke her up. We went for a swim and played on the astroturf by the side of the pool for a while, reapplying sunscreen twice in the one hour period. Things were going pretty well.

Then on the way home we stopped to get the mail and as I flipped through it I saw the return address. Health and Human Services. Paul and I have been trying to get health insurance since we lost it last July (a month after Sadie was born). Our application has been in the process of being processed since it finally made it's way to Medi-Cal in October of last year. That would be nine months ago. Despite the fact that I meticulously completed the list that they gave me various problems and hurdles have come up. Each time they have asked for something new I have brought it in and hand delivered it to them the very next day. Then several months of silence will pass before we are informed in a terse letter that there is some new requirement that must be met in a very short amount of time (the letter I got today said they needed the papers by tomorrow) or our application will be denied.

The new letter nearly pushed me over the edge because they informed me that I hadn't given them Paul's pay stubs from November of last year. I specifically remember making copies of those pay stubs, along with the pay stubs from October and December and checking and rechecking them before I turned them in. Unfortunately I had some sort of completely undeserved confidence in the offices ability to not lose the papers I'd given them. For some reason when I was trying to get organized, my obsessive spring cleaning got out of hand. I had put all the pay stubs from last year (and there are a lot because Paul gets paid each week) in a box. And now the box was in a storage locker. To make matters worse, when we cleaned out the room at the rest home last week those boxes went in front of my boxes. After two trips into town, a trip under the garage and two trips under the house to look for the correct box I found it (in the storage locker). I finally found them but I'll let Paul go in and deliver the copies in person. There's always some new problem when we go into the office and I just might start screaming in the middle of the office.

So, now that I've written it out I feel a bit better. Maybe this will be it. Maybe we'll have health insurance soon!

Sadie is ready for Mommy to play so I better go. Good night!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Home Sweet Home

It's so good to finally be home! We were only gone for four days and we had a lot of fun, but we spent a lot of time in the car. First we drove to the Bay, which probably ended up taking around five hours (because it was the south bay). Then we drove all around the south bay. On Friday we did some more driving around the south bay (although after getting lost on Thursday evening we were more careful with the GPS). Sunday's driving was from the south bay to the city to go to museums, and then to the north bay to the hotel, then back to the south bay to meet some of Paul's friends from school, then back to the north bay to go to bed. And that brought us to this morning. After getting up to go to Mass at St. Raphael's in San Rafael we drove home (we left the church at 10 and we got home at 4) and while Sadie slept for a solid two and a half hours, the rest of the time passed very slowly. Sadie was not entirely convinced that the time spent in the car was necessary and there was a great deal of whining (but blessedly little crying) and even more singing to make the whining stop.

To make up for all this driving I made Sadie a promise. The promise was that we would try to swim every day while we were away. With the exception of today, which was really spent getting home, we did just that. Sadie's first experience swimming was in the pool in town at the beginning of the week. Sadie was pretty scared when Paul brought her over and handed her to me in the water. By our second swimming experience, in Los Altos, Sadie had decided that pools can be fun. On Friday she was no longer clinging to me and would hold my hands and giggle while we twirled around in the water.

Yesterday Sadie truly became a water baby. When I went to get into the pool (I was going to have Nani hand her to me) she reached to go with me. We were twirling and jumping and walking through the water and Sadie was having a blast. She thinks it's hilarious when I hold her up above the water so that her face is above my face and then go under water and blow bubbles. Maybe that's when her new little idea started to form. When I was holding her hands she suddenly made a concerted effort to lean forward and put her face in the water. I realized what she was doing a moment too late to stop her, but I quickly lifted her up. She looked shocked for about ten seconds, and then the expression melted away and she looked pleased with herself. She tried another four time to put her face under water again, with varying degrees of success. Sometimes she only dipped her mouth in, other time she managed to get her nose and eyes too. She looked surprised each time, but she didn't cry or make a sound (other then one little surprised cough once).

As of today it's only a week until Sadie's one. I can't believe how fast time flies!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Day One: Our Trip to the Bay

We made it safe and sound down to the bay and I was very impressed with Sadie.  She slept for about three of the four and a half hours and then she sat quietly and listened to her music for the remainder of the trip, which was about an hour and a half.  I did have a secret weapon.  I had bought a little baby mp3 player that I planned to give Sadie on her birthday.  Before we left on the car trip I thought it might be useful, so I brought it along.  When she started to get fussy about half an hour into the trip I pulled the music out and turned it on.  The player is really neat.  It's designed for little kids and babies and it's completely childproof.  It can be dropped down stairs or thrown or have water spilled on it, but the soft plastic on the outside protects it.  

I only planned on playing the music with the player out of sight, but as soon as Sadie heard it she started to smile and frantically looked around to try and find where the music was coming from.  I finally caved and let her have it (it took all of five seconds).  She was delighted.  She played with it for a while and then held it up to her ear and fell asleep.  The best part of the player is that it is designed so it can't go up too loud and be harmful to little ears.  It entertained her for the rest of the trip when she was awake, and she held it when she was in the doctor's office (where there were lots of tears).  

Sadie weighed in yesterday at just under 21 lbs (which puts her around the 60th percentile for weight) and at 33 inches (which puts her in the 99th percentile for height).  I can't believe how tall she's getting.  I had noticed that her pants were getting shorter, but I really thought that the growth spurts had slowed down.  

When we got to the hotel we had just enough time to run down and take a quick swim in the pool and this time Sadie loved it (last time she wasn't totally sure about it, although I did get a few giggles).  This time she laughed hysterically for the entire ten minutes, and kept pointing at the pool when we had to get out to go to a family function.  Hopefully it will warm up enough to go again today!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Tomorrow's Road Trip

We've spent the day gearing up for a trip to the Bay Area with Nani and Grumpa and Nini and Gigi.  Paul and Sadie and I will be in one car and everybody else will be in the other car.  We're making the four hour (each way) drive to go to my cousin Will's high school graduation.  Our first stop, however, will be at the doctor's office tomorrow morning.  It's time for Sadie's one year immunizations.  I have been dreading this day since the last immunizations.  I hate seeing Sadie upset and she hates getting shots!  

I am hopeful that Sadie will sleep for most of the trip, but after she stubbornly resisted taking a nap all day today (she finally crashed at three o'clock this afternoon after a number of tantrums and fussing each time I tried to get her to sleep) I'm a bit less optimistic.  

I was hoping to take a break from all the packing today and take Sadie back to the pool, but some early summer thunderstorms hit and it poured down rain for a good part of the afternoon.  She did get to swing for a while on her swing on the porch (I was desperate to get her to sleep, but she resisted even the swing) but it wasn't quite as much fun as swimming.  

Sadie is in a temper tantrum phase.  When she doesn't get what she wants she throws herself onto the floor and bursts into tears.  The tears look real.  They're giant.  During other tantrums she just screams.  The other day she burst into tears three times while I was working in our church's office because she wanted to pull the giant packages of paper of the shelf (and the shelf is a little wobbly so I was worried that it was going to fall) and I wouldn't let her touch it.  She also bursts into tears almost every time we come into the house (because she wants to stay outside).  She bursts into tears when I don't turn the page fast enough when we're reading a book (which brings me to the fact that she bursts into tears each time we finish reading her favorite book).  I'm hoping that when she learns a few more words and can express herself a bit better the tantrums will starts to dwindle.  For now I've been covering her eyes and playing peekaboo with her to distract her when we come in the house.  And it works!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Sadie's Great Grandma

We have had a very busy week.  Sadie's Great Grandmother, who had been living in a memory care facility for the past three years, passed away on Monday night, in her sleep.  We have been blessed to be able to see Hoho at least once a week during the last year since Sadie was born and Sadie really brightened her days.  Even though she wasn't able to speak very much, she would light up when she saw Sadie and Sadie would smile and coo and giggle and play peekaboo with her great grandma.  Sadie had become very popular in the home, as the only baby that was around, and would usually attract an interesting crowd of fans, most of who thought that she was a boy, no matter how fluffy or pink her dress.  
It's going to be very strange not going to the home between one and three times a week every week from now on.  

Hoho's memorial service is going to be at Point Lobos, where she grew up, on her birthday this autumn.  

Now Sadie is demanding my attention.  She's working on walking and has gotten pretty good at standing on her own.  
She stood in front of the couch for a full twenty seconds without falling, without holding on to anything!  

We also received a book by her favorite author, Karen Katz, in the mail today.  It's "Where is Baby's Birthday Cake" and while it was only opened this afternoon, we have already read it seven times.  Each time we read it she pulls herself forward at the end of the story and gives the birthday cake a kiss.  Only two weeks until her big day.  

Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Little Green Mouse

I only have a few minutes before we head down to the cabin for bed, but I thought that might be enough time for a quick Sadie Update.  Sadie had a very busy day today.  After sitting like a perfect little angel during the first three quarters of Mass she managed to struggle into a position where, if she threw all her weight backwards, she was able to thunk her head on the pew in front of us.  This resulted in a bloodcurdling scream.  

She really didn't bang her head hard at all (compared to the way she throws herself onto the ground when she's in pursuit of one of the cats), but she was already a little bit cranky and so a meltdown ensued.  After standing in the back for about five minutes we made it through the rest with only a small sobbing episode at the very end.

Nani and Grumpa were in Redding today with Sadie's Great Grandma and Paul worked most of the afternoon, so Sadie and I were on our own.  We made sure the horses were fed and the vegetable garden was watered and we sat on the porch and swung on the swing (well, Sadie swung and I pushed) for a while before heading back in because of the heat.  Sadie has fallen in love with artichoke hearts and avacado (she's definitely a native Californian) and had mashed avacado and toast for dinner.

Sadie has also learned a rather clever little trick.  She realized this morning that our cat Sammie loves chasing her little green mouse.  So she grabbed the mouse and crawled into the middle of the living room floor and then dangled it between her thumb and index finger while staring at the cat who was across the room.  The next thing I knew Sammie was charging at her, eyes focused on the mouse.  Sadie managed to force cuddle Sammie before I intervened.  Fortunately both of them appear undamaged by the encounter.  And I hide the green mouse from Sadie after she repeated the scene two times.  

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Chunky Monkey and the Peddler's Fair

Today was a beautiful day.  Before I went to get my camera to download some pictures for the blog I glanced up at the hill on the opposite side of the river and there was a beautiful rainbow that touched down on the very top of it.  Now, less than ten minutes later, the sky is almost dark, and it looks like we may have another round of thunder heads coming in from the north east.  The wind has picked up though, so at least the mosquitoes won't bother Sadie and me when we walk down to the cabin tonight.  

Paul worked until 3 o'clock in the morning yesterday, so we knew that he would sleeping late.  When he wasn't up at eleven we headed over to Lewiston for the Peddler's Fair.  The few times we've gone to the Peddler's Fair it's mostly just been antiques and junk, but I knew that Sadie would love watching all the people walking up and down the streets.  

It ended up being very crowded in Lewiston, but I think the high point of the trip (for Sadie at least) was when Grumpa let her hold the Chunky Monkey ice cream that he was buying while we finished up our shopping at the market in town.  Sadie has figured out what ice cream is, because she gets little tiny bites when we have it, and she was pretty sure that she was going to get through the top of the Chunky Monkey to eat the ice cream that it was holding.  Her hands were almost popsicles when I took it away from her and Grumpa let her hold his watch for the rest of the trip.  

If holding the Chunky Monkey was the high point of the trip into town, the high point of the entire day came when I let her hold her own sippy cup when she was playing in the middle of the living room.  I usually take her cup away from her when she starts to spit water, but she was having so much fun that I let her be for a while (until the brand new dress that Nani had gotten her at the Peddler's fair was soaked through) and tried not to laugh too much (I don't want her to think that spitting is something we do all the time).  After taking a few real sips she got full and spent the rest of the time taking a sip out of her magenta octopus cup and then spitting the water out, and then taking another sip and then spitting it out again.  She doesn't spit the water far, it just goes down her chin, but after she'd do it she would laugh hysterically for about thirty seconds, before doing it again.  

It's almost time to go down to the cabin and the winds are so strong I can't see any of the thunderheads from my seat.  There are just little wispy clouds and the sky is pale pink.  Maybe tomorrow will be another beautiful day!

Friday, June 5, 2009


Sadie said another new word today and it was quite a surprise.  We went to Redding to do some food shopping and we were driving to Trader Joe's to pick up a couple of things before we headed over to Costco to get the bulk of the shopping list checked off.  Sadie was getting fussy because a trip to Redding is a lot of driving (three hours round trip, not including driving from store to store) and I was talking and singing to her to prevent a total meltdown.  I was saying,

"Who's a Bunny?  You're a Bunny.  Who's a Bunny?"

when she said

"Buh-nny!"  in a perfectly clear voice.  It was clear enough that Paul heard it and understood what she was saying from the driver's seat.  Her perfect little word quickly turned into "na na na na na" as things turned in a whiny direction.  Luckily we were only a block from the store.  

We had hoped to break up the trip to Redding by going to the kids park in the mall when we first got into town.  Unfortunately, apparently every other mother who was out shopping had the same idea.  When we walked in the mall we saw about forty kids running around the little play area.  The toys in the play area are designed for pretty little kids, preschoolers mostly, as the slides are only about two feet tall and the slopes are very slight, but we have yet to really be able to play in there, because there are always at least one, and usually more, eight to ten years old who run around, knocking little kids over.  So instead of playing we watched the big kids knock over the little kids from outside the play area (while their parents' laughed and talked and did nothing) until the crying was so loud that we decided to leave.

Sadie held our hands after that and practiced walking in between us.  Sadie's walking more and more.  She also practices going between Nani and me, grabbing our hands and then letting go and stepping and then grabbing on again.  But now she's announcing in no uncertain terms that it's time for for her bath.  I better get going!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Zoom, Zoom, Zoom

Sadie is all over the place.  She's standing by herself and clapping (clapping is something that she finally really mastered today) and zooming around the downstairs behind her lion.  Twice today she tried to walk to me after standing for a while next to her lion.  Both times she took one step and then squatted down really quickly, before launching forward to crawl the rest of the distance.  I don't think it will be very long now before she's zooming around the house on her own two feet.

She has also discovered door handles.  One of the doors that leads outside opens outward (it happens to be the one next to the hearth, which is one of Sadie's favorite places).  We have to make sure it's always locked now, because if Sadie stands on her tippy toes and reaches with her finger tips she can just barely grab it and pull the handle down.  She usually has a cat on the other side of the door and when she sees a cat it always offers motivation.  

Lately the weather here has alternated between three digits and sweltering and eighty degree humid thunder storms (with pouring rain every night).  The weather, along with the mosquitoes, means we haven't spent very much time outside.  Sadie loves her time outside, although none of us realized quite how much she enjoyed it until now.  Now, whenever we come back inside, she bursts into tears and starts screaming.  Nani finally figured out that we have to say "Sadie, let's go inside and get a drink of water" before we go anywhere near the door.  Apparently getting a drink of water, preferably from a cup with a straw, is a worthy reason of going back in the house.  

Actually, I just posted this blog and as the page was loading something happened that I had to go back and add.  Sadie just stood up by herself and took two whole steps all by herself!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

A Tough Day

Sadie had a tough day today.  We went to Redding to see Hoho, her great grandma who hasn't been doing well.  While Sadie started out the ninety minute car ride with sleepy eyes, she fought falling asleep the entire way.  Eighty five of the minutes were spent whining (a large portion of the whining was because I wouldn't let her break the chain of my gold cross necklace) and the other five minutes were spent fussing.  The whining and fussing only quieted when I was singing silly songs and even then she was clearly unhappy.  

Later in the day we met a bunch of our family that was up to visit Hoho at Olive Garden.  Sadie was still holding out on her nap, but other than that she seemed to be doing fine.  She had even had an inch of a sixteen ounce Jamba Juice.  A few minutes after the food arrived it happened.  She leaned forward and was sick.  It was not the same as a baby being sick.  It was like a grown up being sick.  She was very, very sad.  

About a half hour later she fell asleep in my arms, slept through the transfer to the car and then slept for the next hour and a half (the drive was even longer because the freeway is being torn up and repaved and the waits on our two lane freeway are long!).  So she's having a hard day today, which is why this is a short blog.  She's feeling better now and we even sat outside of her little swimming pool and played with her rubber duck.  Hopefully she sleeps well tonight!