Thursday, December 31, 2009

a year in review

to celebrate the successful end to the year 2009 (meaning, we're all alive at the end of it AND we all have our limbs), i'm going to list some of my favorite entries and pictures. i know, great, right?

1. putting a package of disney stickers to good use

2. ava's tummy hurt. now mommy's head hurts

3. dear breastfeeding,

4.big kicks and big ice cream scoops!

5. where i was on monday

6. discover your personality today!

7. ah-ah-alimony

Favorite Picture of Ava: 102

Favorite Picture of Seth: go sleep little baby

Favorite Picture of Ryan: beach boys

Favorite Picture of the Year: 57

to all of you who actually read this thing, thanks for hanging in there. perhaps one day you'll get something out of this. like maybe one of those to animals where you put candy in it and then you push a button and the candy comes out like the animal's pooping. because honestly? i can't think of a time where that's gross or tacky. and isn't that one of those things that everyone should own? like a toothbrush?

anyway, thanks for being here. and here's to an eventful, yet successful (and again, i'm talking non-death and all limbs intact) 2010.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

2009 biggest, brightest, mostest

biggest accomplishment: how about the fact that i started my own business? that, or the fact that i managed to wash my car SEVERAL times. i mean, that doesn't really last very long, BUT IT HAPPENED.

favorite news story: probably obama winning the nobel peace prize. so meaningful and yet, so not.

best pet: buddha. those chickens were neat-o mesquito and they made me the coolest house on the block in the small children department, but buddha sleeps with me at night.

best way to blow all of our money: ava's trip to the er.

most stylish: ryan. because he found a pair of shoes that totally fit him and a belt in his cubicle that had been there for who knows how long. since no one claimed them, he got them. when his coworker saw the new shoes he said, "dude, those shoes are pimpin' hard."

most likely to succeed: anchor and bird photography.

most popular: ava. sorry, seth, but you poop far too often for us to consider you most popular.

most snuggly: that was a close one between ryan and seth, but since seth is more clingy, i'd have to say seth. sorry, ryan. perhaps you should try crying whenever i leave you to win next year.

best read: bleak house by charles dickens.

worst read: austenland by shannon hale. just plain weird. i didn't know what to feel about what she was doing.

best discovery: the habit.

favorite celebrity: barack obama. am i right?

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

it's all about love.

ryan and i dated about five (and a half!) months before we got engaged. then we got married eleven weeks after that. when we're being generous, we say we dated for six months and were engaged for two. that's eight months total (fast!)

"dude," my friend susanna told me, "that's either so right it's good, or so bad it's stupid."

so far, it's not stupid.

happy five years, manly.


Saturday, December 26, 2009


sometimes i forget about the important stuff and i get caught up in the silly stuff. and you know what? the silly stuff is lame.

reminder: this is what's important. and sometimes that means that we just sit in bed all morning and read stories.

and that's okay.

Friday, December 25, 2009

dear world wide web

happy christmas. and love and joy. and peace. lots of peace.

(and fudge)


bird, mouse, anchor and guy

Thursday, December 24, 2009

christmas card

did NOT manage to get a christmas card out this year, so enjoy this little gem and read back a couple posts. that ought to do it.

oh yeah, and merry christmas!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

beach day

Monday, December 21, 2009


dear jeremy,
thanks for being at the beach at the exact same time as us at the exact same place.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

weekly mouse

weekly guy

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


i showed ryan this picture and he didn't say anything for a minute. then he said, 'i think i don't like this picture as much as you do.'

Monday, December 14, 2009

point taken

first of all, i guess i should admit that yes, i am the one who bought her cat a santa suit. to be fair, though, it was ava's idea. and it was such a good idea, i had a hard time saying no. plus, it was only a dollar. so i put it on what i consider my good natured cat, and he spends the rest of the day anxiously awaiting the opening of the back door. well, to be honest, any door. as if he just couldn't wait to get away from us. and i was all, "really buddha? really? one santa suit makes you that miserable? do the words ANIMAL SHELTER mean ANYTHING to you?" and he was all, "of course not, miriam, i'm a cat."


from my favorite place in the conejo valley: the kid's adventure garden. ava was in love with this birdhouse. 

Saturday, December 12, 2009

the wiles of a three year old.

ava walks up to me and hands me her tube of toothpaste. "here mom," she says, "i just finished drinking a little bit of this."

me: "gross, ava. i don't want you to do that again."

ava: "I know, mom. that's why i went into my room where you can't see me."

she's so smart and yet, not.

Friday, December 11, 2009

skirball and a date

saturday morning began the way it always begins: pancakes, disco music and a list of things we need to get done. i, of course, had a huge list and ryan, of course, had a huge list. breakfast ended and as "boogie wonderland" played in the background we stared grimly at the yellow legal pad we'd scribbled all over.

"i want to go to the skirball instead," i said.

ryan hopped up. "okay," he said.

and that's what we did. we went to the skirball, where ava is just the right age for the set up they have (a noah's ark with animals to play with and a little jungle gym that, despite the fact that it terrified both kids, was brilliant), and we played all day. it was absolutely the best. and then, as if that wasn't enough, ryan came up with the brilliant idea of going out that night for dinner. so he called his mom and started talking about a plan. like, maybe we could go to dinner about five? and we'll probably get home around ten or so?

"ryan," i said to him when he hung up, "what on earth are we going to do for FIVE HOURS?"

he shrugged, "maybe i just want to hang out with my wife, okay? you got a problem with that?"

"for five hours?"

we didn't make it the whole five hours, but we did sit at the table at the restaurant long after our food was consumed and talked. it is SO nice to talk to ryan withOUT the little voice piping up in the background, "EXCUSEMEMOMMYEXCUSEMEMOMMYEXCUSEMEMOMMY".

heaven. as much as i love the little fuzzy heads who climb into bed with us every morning, as much as they enhance my love for ryan,  the fact remains that i didn't marry him just because i thought he'd make a great dad. i married him because of all of the other aspects of him, the thinker, the goofball, the historian, the salesman, the romantic--and i love it when i can sit down and focus on all the other ryans. he's (they?) (are) my favorite.

Monday, December 7, 2009

what seth did this week part 3

1. he pooped everywhere. like, everywhere. either that, or he just pooped in one spot and transported all of his poop to other places. and he smeared it. like, in his hair. it was a time when i wished for a strong hose with which to clean him off. but that sounded mean, so i wiped what i could and bathed the boy with strong smelling soaps and hearty disinfectants.

2. he climbed a wobbly table and danced on it. then, he fell off.

3. he went to let the cat out of my bedroom and somehow, ended up locking himself in.

4. he sat on santa's lap and FREAKED out.

5. he climbed out of his crib after a nap and scared me half to death by greeting me at the door when i went to go get him up.

6. he challenged me to a duel while we were out hiking. i accepted.

7. on the one day his blankee smelled so foul i couldn't take it another minute, he became both sneaky and attached. so when i got it away from him, he somehow managed to get it back. it was distressing. it also postponed the cleaning of the blankee for two days. TWO DAYS.

mothering a boy is more active than mothering a girl, but i have to say that i really am loving it. i guess i thought i wouldn't. but it is so amusing to watch seth's brain and see how different it is from ava's.

an example: we have chickens. and both kids want to hold the chickens. so ava gets one, and she holds it. she just sits with the little hen on her lap, stroking her feathers. when seth gets one, he's content to just hold the thing for a second and then, you can see him look around, the wheels in his head turning. and then, he'll do something. like put the chicken in the stroller and try to push it around the yard. or put it on the bike. or try to lock it in a cage and feed it pieces of grass.

i love seeing the differences in my children, i love watching them grow and develop. what a fascinating thing it is to be a mother!

pictures from out adventures at the skirball cultural center tomorrow


skirball cultural center

Friday, December 4, 2009

why is it, that after every bath my children take the bathroom looks as if they bathed outside the bath instead of in it?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

photo by hernan bogado

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


to see the rest, click here

what seth did this week

1. vacuumed the cat. it worked splendidly. he thought it was hilarious until the cat reacted.

2. fell into a rose bush. the scratches make him look as though he had vacuumed a thousand cats. taking him out in public is now slightly embarrassing. watching him point to each one and tap it lightly with his little finger and pity himself is adorable.

3. pulled my dresser drawers out and climbed them like steps to reach the forbidden--and highly coveted ipod earphones. it was impressive and terrifying all at once.

4. pulled a pair of ava's underpants and got them mostly over his diaper. that bad boy was sportin' princess jasmine like no boy child ever has.

5. ate sand. and then had some more. then, he washed it down with a little ocean water, then he had some more. the beach was amazing, the weather perfect, but the sand consumption was less than ideal. and now that seth is mobile the beach is a dangerous place. nothing will stop him from diving head first into the ocean water. it was partially cute, partially exhausting and partially terrifying. my baby is going to drown before he sees his second birthday.

weekly mouse

photo by hernan bogado

today she asked, "mommy, can i have a piece of chocolate?"


elated, she clapped her hands and danced around, "thanks mommy! i love you so much!"

sheesh. apparently all i have to do is offer sweets. i'll bet that's how ryan won that best parent award he's been shoving in my face all this time.

Monday, November 30, 2009


so the first time i ever saw ryan, he was dressed sort of like this (minus the glasses) and he had this really intense gaze and he just. . .looked at me. and it made me feel important. or relevant. or special? pretty? i haven't actually figured it out yet. i do know that i liked the way i felt when he looked at me and when i took this picture, i was reminded of it and i just had to do SOMETHING. the person closest to me was hernan, so i grabbed him and shouted, "ISN'T HE THE MOST ATTRACTIVE MAN YOU'VE EVER SEEN?!?" he said nothing, which led me to realize that what i have suspected all this time to be true: i am the only one who gets giddy when ryan looks at her. two thoughts upon this realization:
1. how sad for you.
2. hooray for me.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

dear internet,

i wish you a happy thanksgiving. also, i wish you lots of peace and joy all the time, not just in this holiday season. and i want you to know that i'm thankful. really, i am.



Wednesday, November 25, 2009

hernan is here and we are full of cheer!

went to the beach yesterday. oh. my. gosh. it was perfect. PERFECT. amazingly, beautiful, wonderful and perfect. i'm never leaving california. never. not even for a house with a barn and a greenhouse.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

things seth did this weekend

1. dragging his blankee through the pile of dust, crumbs, cheerios, leaves, dirt, etc. that i'd swept into a nice pile on my kitchen floor. he did this on purpose. i know because he giggled.

2. helping my mother in law by grabbing glass items and running away with them. this was also done on purpose. i know because again, he giggled.

3. NOT hiking on the trail but instead, hiking anywhere else. like, the creek. or the poison oak. and guess what? he giggled the whole time. i think we can guess what that means. . .

4. collecting sticks and sword fighting with anyone else who happened to be holding a stick. or any bush that had sticks poking out of it.

5. dropping ryan's keys in the toilet. we can't be sure if he did this on purpose because ryan didn't discover it for a few hours and seth was asleep at the time of discovery. but, after living what we lived through with him this weekend, my guess is that yeah, it was on purpose.

6. also, this isn't so much as a story to tell, but more of a daily, no, hourly, occurrence in my life: he won't hold my hand. i mean, WON'T HOLD MY HAND. as in, would rather die than hold my hand. there is no way to guide that boy. i spend an awkward amount of time chasing and then an awkward amount of time trying to hold the wriggling, wiggling boy child who can sure kick well.

boys! they are a completely foreign substance and i find myself chasing after him with a growing feeling of desperation. how long can this possibly last? perhaps i've just discovered the reason why i am so tired all the time:
i'd offer you a view from the front, but it is a side of him i see seldom these days.

Monday, November 23, 2009


so buddha's like, "well i've been here for awhile and i was thinking about having a party. you know, to show off my moves."
and i said, "you have moves?"
and then he did the running man with such precision i actually thought he was a running man.

Friday, November 20, 2009

weekly mouse

this is ava going down the driveway. it's not everyday you see enthusiasm like that.

weekly guy

this week we spent a lot of time riding bikes down the driveway. seth watched ava do it once, pushed his little car up to the top, climbed on and pushed off. i was both terrified and impressed. he was thrilled.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

cinnamon rolls

it is during seth's naptime and ava and i are making cinnamon rolls. this thrills ava. she asks lots of questions, insist on pouring everything, asks more questions, repeats everything i am saying, etc. finally, to get a few moments of peace, i hand her a lump of dough and let her have at it. this does the trick, the girl child keeps her mouth shut and concentrates very hard. after a few moments, i glance over to see how she's doing. well, she's eaten her dough. and now, having nothing else to do, she is casually dumping handfuls of flour on to the floor. THE FLOOR.

"ava!" i shriek, "what are you doing? you are making a big mess!" grumpily, i get her down and sulkily, she watches me from the other side of the room where she will stand long enough for me to know that being mean thing? that stopping her from doing whatever her little heart wishes? SHE IS NOT FORGETTING THAT.

finally i finish, put the rolls in the oven to rise and turn to the enormous mess of flour across my kitchen floor. to drive a point home i say, "now i have to sweep this up because SOMEBODY made a huge mess."

ava is interested now. she eyes the floor without emotion and then asks, "you mean me?"

i have no words. only thoughts. none of which are polite.

uh, yeah. i do.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

some early morning thoughts

things were quiet this morning. i sat in the middle of the couch in the middle of my clean living room and i got to read and write and think. everything was so still around me, even buddha was sleeping. of course, every five minutes i heard ryan's snooze alarm go off and then the sound of his repeatedly pushing the snooze button and then quiet again.

and then, suddenly, everyone was awake. ava was dancing naked in the hallway, singing a song and cheering for the new day. ryan was calling out for her to pick up her overnight diaper and throw it in the trash. the shower was starting. seth was crying because i wouldn't let him take his blankee into the bath. buddha was protesting ava's attempts at getting him into the tub, i was calling out for her to "stop! leave the cat alone!"

just two children is so noisy, so active. i can't only imagine what my mother was doing with six children (well, i can remember hearing the sound of my brothers running down the hall laughing and screaming at 6 in the morning, labrador in tow. and then WHAM! all of them hit my bedroom door with all of their weight because apparently, it is more fun to slam your body into a door than to simply turn and continue running toward the kitchen).

the other night we were having dinner and somehow, in order for me to tell ryan about my day or the other way around, we had to yell over ava and seth. you'd think that with all that food to put in their mouths they'd be quiet and concentrate on that, but somehow, that isn't the case. and the noise is impressive. it reminds me of a family dinner at my parents house where recently my mother was placed between two of my brothers. suddenly she stood and shouted, "the volume! the volume!" all the while moving her hands in a gesture that i can only describe as being the opposite of raising the roof. everyone stopped, blinked a few times, then continued right on with the yelling.

so those rare mornings when i'm actually awake enough to brave the cold and slither out of bed and into some very attractive knee-high socks, i feel like a lucky girl. it is quiet and i am alive to hear it.

Monday, November 16, 2009


hey look! another old building!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

ladies and genteleman, may i introduce you to. . .

the wrath of a 3-year-old. you parents of children who are wide eyed in amazement at the wrath of your 2-year-old? SIT DOWN. seriously. YOU HAVE NO IDEA.

so we go to a local pizza place to have some fun monday family time and when we have to go, ava freaks. like, she's really mad. the most amazing part of this story, however, is the fact that once we got home, she was still mad. as i went to open her door she fiercely reached over and held it shut saying through clenched teeth, "i'm. not. getting. out."

and i just stood there, trying to figure out what was going on. then i threatened to remove her myself. then i carried out my threat and she pedaled her legs madly in the air (as if that would stop me!). and then, once in the house, she stayed mad. perhaps there are parents out there who are laughing at my innocence, but let me tell you, she's never acted like this in her life. only a week ago i would have described her as easy going. but now? i don't even know where to begin! when asked to describe the girl i simply say, "she has blonde hair and blue eyes." because that, at least, is true no matter what is happening.

naturally, once indoors, ryan and i documented the moment with camera. because when you're child is holding a grudge toward you for the first time, what else are you supposed to do?

kids these days, i tell you what. . .

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

raise the roof, he was born 28(!!!) years ago

this man.

and may i just say, at the risk of boring you to death, that this man is my favorite thing about my life so far?

it's more than love. it's more about your sweetheart being your best friend or your best friend being your sweetheart, it's more than "because two people fell in love", it's more than feeling butterflies when i see him, or laughing at all his jokes. . .

it's that steadiness. that manliness. it's his inability to shut the closet door, or hang up his own towel and yet be bothered by the fact that my towel is on the floor. it's the fact that i can trust him implicitly. it's the fact that i hold him in the highest esteem.

he is a good man. and i can lean on him.

and also, he knows all three seasons of arrested development by heart and can find a quote to apply to any situation we may be in and that always makes me laugh.

manly, happy birthday.

and chris and kristine? well done. seriously. you raised a doozy of a man. and that's why, when you're really old and senile and you're constantly loosing your teeth and trying to wander the neighborhood in only your diaper, i'm going to take care of you. with a smile on my face. although, if you're also shouting at your neighbors about conspiracy theories and accusing them of attempting to take down government, that won't be too hard (maybe that won't happen).

Sunday, November 8, 2009


ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce to you. . .
b boy buddha pest

for those of you who would like to know what a b boy is (hi dad!), allow me to direct you to the wikipedia page.

Friday, November 6, 2009

it'd be plagiarism if i didn't write this

so, the halloween costumes. aren't they cute?

i have to admit, my mom and my sister are mostly responsible for that. i bought the most difficult patterns i could find (by accident, of course. i just happen to be attracted to the most complex or the most expensive of anything. it's a curse) and then i pinned and cut out the lion pattern. then everyone got sick and my mother sewed everything.

all i did was cut out the ribbons and sew them on. until my mom and i thought about it for a minute, realized that seth wasn't going to be able to reach the ribbons in the back of the hood and we glued them on.

so i didn't really do all that much, my mom did.

and isn't she amazing???

we made forts. and then played in them. all. day. long.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

introducing. . .a baby cat

ryan and i watched home videos on sunday night. in them we saw our cat, zuma, who was the recipient of all our parental energies due to the fact that he existed before ava and seth. then he ran away. since we live where we live, he was probably eaten by coyotes, but perhaps, just perhaps, he found a nice farm family up north and is spending his days catching field mice and bopping them on the head.

i think he probably is.

so after watching that cat sniff a brand new ava with suspicion, i went on craigslist. and found an ad. for free kittens. so ryan came home from work and i opened my mouth and ryan said, "uh oh. what is it?"

yeah, he knows me.

so i talked really fast, batted my eyes and threw in a charming smile for extra measure. and ryan laughed and said, "sure. get a cat."

he is the best husband. ever.

ava was thrilled. she was in the car bouncing around and saying, "we're getting a kitten! my daddy said yes. he is so nice. he is the nicest daddy. i love him. i love daddy, mommy, sethy and the kitten. but mostly the kitten. and daddy. because he said we could get it!"

i love how i am the advocate for the pet getting and all ryan has to do is say yes and suddenly he's the awesome parent. yeah, i'm a little jealous.

now we have a cat! and he's adorable!

a problem: ryan has issues with naming things. first of all, we have completely different tastes in names and secondly, he knew too many kids named ryan growing up. so if a name i suggest sounds like it just might have some sort of level of popularity, it's out.

so, dear readers, will you help us name this cat? because i'm dry and ryan wants to call it buddah, which i feel is a tad disrespectful. the thing is, if i can't find a name to replace buddah, then buddah it is.

please help me name our cat!

this is the last of it, i promise

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

halloween in photographs

trick or treating
lion costume complete with stuffed seal
the first house
obviously, he was thrilled

Monday, November 2, 2009


Sunday, November 1, 2009

confession, list and thoughts. and a reminder.

item 1: it is so very odd how much i enjoy watching the pips kick their heels up and pump their fists in the air behind/beside miss gladys knight. and it is very odd how much i want to be one of them instead of her. but seriously, if you could sing the words, "superstar, but he didn't get far", wouldn't you choose pip? uh, yes. yes you would.

item 2. i forgot that ava used to answer every question with, "yes. sure!" and now i know why tyson would fall over himself inventing questions for ava to answer in the affirmative. because after watching home videos last night, i agree with him: it is totally way cute. and i miss it.

item 3. now that halloween is over, this marks the beginning of my favorite time of year. also the time of year when money is the tightest, i am the most frustrated/stressed and we are the busiest. and i hate all those things (feeling stressed about money, being too busy to enjoy life and feeling frustrated and stressed). so this year, i solemnly resolve to take it easy this year.

is it bad if you solemnly resolve to do something you know you won't do?

confession: i love the smell of cigarette smoke. a lot. i mean, a lot. ryan thinks it's bizarre. people have asked me if i used to smoke. no, i haven't. i just really love the smell of cigarettes. and, if it's cold out and it smells a little like rain, i just might ruin my sense of smell from smelling so hard. because those three things together are amazing. truly.

item 4. halloween started with me rushing to joann's for ribbon and then rushing to my mother's where i cut out a million strips of ribbon and hand sewed them into loops, then hand sewed them on to the hood of seth's lion costume all the while thinking of that one time when i tried to get the hood on his little bald head he screamed and squirmed. so, i might be (probably was) doing all that work for nothing.

well guess what?

HE WORE IT. ALL NIGHT. he is officially the most cooperative child i have ever had.

and ava rocked her little red riding hood costume. and once getting over her very oddly placed fear of saying "trick or treat" (house number one was a good friend's house), she was on fire. so was seth, once he figured out that these strange people in these strange houses were passing out bags of m&ms.

pictures to follow.

a thought: halloween is WAY better when you spend it with small children instead of adults dressed up in as little costume as possible. perhaps the slutty costume is part of the fun. . .you have to give as few clues as possible to what you are and in order to do that you wear as little as possible. . .i don't know. i do know that i didn't feel nearly as grumpy as i usually do this year.

also, enter the giveaway! it ends soon!

Friday, October 30, 2009

in honor of halloween. . .a list!

things i fear:

1. broyles from fringe. dude, i love the guy until the lights are out and i'm standing in the hall outside seth's bedroom thinking, 'why don't we own a shotgun?'

2. the crazy man who kidnapped elizabeth smart. terrified of him. every night before i kiss the children goodnight, i check to make sure their windows are tightly closed. then i go around and check all the doors. and it is him that i am thinking of. i also think, 'why don't we own a shotgun?'

3. a homeless man seeking shelter in my garage without telling me. don't ask. i have no back story.

4. a lizard taking a rest on my hair. go here for explanation. keep in mind that the writer of the tale is a dear friend.

5. being trapped under water. and then drowning (or, as some would say, "drownding" which i have to admit, sounds worse).

6. being stuck in an elevator. funny story: did not know that was a fear until i got stuck in an elevator in germany with my mother and my sister, who thought it was great fun and JUMPED. of course, the elevator shook. my reaction? i almost strangled her death. it was an accident. i still feel bad.

7. owning a shotgun. because the movie sixth sense? when the boy comes to the door and asks, "want to see where my dad keeps his gun?" and then he turns around? AND THERE'S NO BACK OF HIS HEAD (because he got shot)? THAT. IS. TERRIFYING.

um, of course the usual stuff frightens me, like the "my children are kidnapped" kind of fears, but that's not too terrifying for me as it would be for the person who kidnaps my kids. because then i'd have to go all vigilante on his ass. and believe me, i terrify myself when i think of the trouble i will bring to that person's life.

so those are some of mine. what about you?

happy halloween!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

only funny to the mormons. . .(sorry)

holy cow, i actually snorted when i read this. that blog seriously so blessed has me first laughing because it's so hilarious and then groaning because i have read a million blogs JUST LIKE IT. i am hoping beyond hope that mine isn't one of them. . .because seriously? how awful would it be to feel scornful of YOURSELF?

on an unrelated note, i am hosting my very first giveaway from and you can enter to win a cute photo album from dwell studio by entering to win.

do it. when you win, you'll thank me.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

weekly mouse

yeah, yeah, yeah, everyone knows who these people are. but what you don't know, is that they came over on sunday night and tyson got to read ava a good night story and she talked about it all day on monday. i love the people in this picture.