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There She Grows

adventures in mamahood with corsakti and lilah joy

January 22nd, 2014

Dress Up

Man my kids love their dress up clothes. We have a big box plus a big drawer, both overflowing with stuff, due in part to my thrift store habit.

Vi’s favorite 3rd birthday present so far was this Tiana dress which I got for $1. She loves Princess and the Frog a lot. :D

check out these wild ninja movies. every house needs a ninja..

ninja styles

posted in good finds, sisters, the every day | 0 Comments

June 5th, 2013

Nursemaids Elbow! The first cast of our kids.

Do you find yourself hearing your joints crack a LOT and have a bad habit of cracking your knuckles several times a day? YOU TOO might have loose ligaments. I do. my sister and dad do. Apparently, having ‘loose ligaments’ runs in my family. And from the moment V was an infant, she seemed to have the ‘cracky’ thing like me. I heard it happen sometimes when I was dressing or changing her, something I’d never noticed with L.

Didn’t think much of it, until she was suddenly in A LOT OF PAIN after a wrestling session with big sis. All of a sudden she was crying uncontrollably for some time – and then didn’t use her right hand for the rest of the day. We were convinced she had a fracture in her hand or wrist. Little did we know it was her elbow. It had been dislocated, the urgent care doctors told us. They popped it back into place (YIKES!) and all was supposed to be well.

But, it wasn’t. Later that night she must have dislocated it again, because she was continuing to treat it gingerly despite docs assurance that she’d be acting like nothing happened within 20 minutes. Her pediatrician confirmed that it was indeed dislocated again, and showed me how to pop it back into place as she did it a second time (YIKES!).

All seemed well for about a day. And then the next night she cried out in pain and again dangled her arm weirdly. I knew by now what had happened, and with no hesitation I popped it back into place myself (YIKES!) It was easy to do, but also hard because she appears to be in major pain each time it happens.

So finally we nipped this in the bud at an orthopedic doc who put her arm in a cast – after informing us that the ligament had been stretched a bit and thats why it kept happening. It had to be held in place assuredly for some time for the ligament to regain its proper shape. Usually they can accomplish this with a hard splint but because she’s oh so little, the cast just made it easier. We thought she’d be so annoyed and hindered by it, but nope. She was nervous during the process, but was clearly so much happier as soon as it was on. Probably because she no longer had to worry about using it/putting pressure on it/being hurt.

2 weeks of the cast flew by like nothing because she was so ok with it. Thats how long it took to ensure the ligaments would kinda go back to normal and it would stop happening. The only hard part was keeping it dry since she’s a filthy playful kid. It certainly got pretty dirty, and so did her hair because we were only giving her spongebaths for this duration. But when it was off, all was finally well! Haven’t had a problem since, but now we know that this is a possibility, especially until she turns 5.

So, now they rough-house about .5% less hard.

posted in health and body, milestones | 0 Comments

May 25th, 2013

L’s First Pinkeye. and Spring Fling.

Bummer – L was out of school for an unprecedented 3 days!

She was able to return this morning in time for the school’s Spring Fling performance, which was a good time. The K classes did a group dance to ‘Gummi Bear’ which will now be running through my head for the rest of my life.

I can’t believe her first year of school is almost at an end. 1st grader? 6 year old? whoa.

posted in education, health and body, milestones | 0 Comments

May 24th, 2013

She Has Always Been a Singer.

Today I walked into Lilah’s art class as they’re finishing up. Now and then, as everyone worked, she quietly sang a line of an unfamiliar song. No one seemed to mind. She has a genuinely.. nice voice. I mean I feel odd saying that, about my own kid, but its sort of always been a thing. She can also be, how can I put this. A tad loud and overbearing at times. I wonder how distracting it gets to those around her, when she sings to herself.

L has been singing since she could talk. And she has brought the trait with her to the classroom. I once picked her up from the after-school room to find the kids loudly taking turns performing songs into some ‘mic’ stand for the rest of the group. The counselor said, “This was Lilah’s idea. She just started singing, and all the kids ended up getting into it.” Her kindergarten teacher has often told me “she’s always so happy, and singing,” and she has taught many songs to her classmates.

So today, walking out of her class, she says “I think I have a nice voice, it gets noticed a lot of times, people say that. I love singing.”

Apparently their art teacher had told her that. And I know she’s heard it before. I told her, “You do have a really nice voice. But.. there is a time and place for singing a lot…”

“I know, but I will burst if I can’t sing, I love it! Its my thing!”

“…and you want to make sure its not disturbing the class,” I finished, even though I loved what she had just said.

“No, they liked it. They wanted to know what I was singing. I tried to teach it to them.”

It was a song she had made up, which she’s been doing a lot lately. I asked if I could hear it, and she said it was way too long. She gave me a bar or two, and it was really quite lovely. I mean her melody, but also the lyrics. I don’t remember exactly, but it was some dreamily empowered business.

I have to say, it felt really good to watch my kid basking in the glow. I think she sees it as her special talent and is proud of that. I really want to nurture this in some way so that she can explore it as far as she wants. Or, at least start recording her once in awhile. We try, but videos at home are not what they used to be. She gets in front of the camera and it devolves into who can be the loudest and craziest, everyone’s happy but loud, and then suddenly someone is crying. I need some calm moments, which she clearly experiences when she gets in ‘the zone’ during class. Hard to come by in our house.

posted in Li speaks, the every day | 0 Comments

April 2nd, 2013

Two and um, dodo. Its a V update.

V turned 2 in Jan, and is a hilarious little person.


Some things she’s doing lately:

Speaking in lots of sentences with more word combinations now. Her vocabulary is beyond measuring anymore. Making a lot of very specific demands and connections, as her vocab and understanding grow. Joking around. Stringing beads. Helping me when she can (and of course, only when it is her idea). Being obsessed with the wonder pets. And always, trying to do everything her sister does. Sharing, playing, laughing, wrestling, fighting and competing with her sister. And adoring her.

She delights at calling any octopus “applesauce” and tadpoles “apples”. She pretends to be a cat. She still loooooves hide and seek. Plays brazenly on big-kid playgrounds. Wants to swim freely. All by herself. NOW. (can’t yet, yikes!) Loves books, and finally enjoys flipping through and “reading” them on her own, too. Determines and announces her favorite things (the zoo is currently her favorite place, strawberry her favorite fruit.) She erupts into “acting class” after most meals. Acting class is when she goes down from her chair, stands in the middle of the floor and twirls/throws herself around while insisting on everyone’s full attention.

Using the potty! She’s not fully trained, but doing great with using the potty many times a day. We’re still using diapers all the time but she has tried undies here and there (always resulting in an accident, eventally. but today she kept them dry for hours, asking to go to the potty twice!)

Sleeping in a big girl bed. We removed one of the crib walls and lowered the mattress so she can get in and out of her own bed at will. It has gone completely well so far! The first night she toyed with this newfound ability, and came out of her room several times. We kept letting her take different toys into her bed to quietly play with, an exciting novelty for her. From that night on, there’s been no problem.

One thing she doesn’t need in her bed anymore: a paci. Thats ancient history now.. I employed a slightly revised version of what we did with Li. Instead of creating a paci fairy, bringer of special gifts in exchange for snipped ends of the paci nubs… I just cut the damn things. I mean I warned her I was doing it – she wanted some simple thing off the counter and i said she could have it as long as I could cut a tiny snip off the end of her paci. She obliged – ever in the moment. And that was that! I did it to every paci in the house, at the same time… she continued using them for a few weeks, snipped & all, with no arguement from me. I let her get over it in her own time. And she shortly did. As soon as she stopped requesting them, I threw them out and it hasn’t been mentioned since.

Hmm, what else. She freely converses with strangers when in the mood. We’ll be walking Marl, pass someone and Vi erupts into some lengthy introduction and explanation. “My mommy right here. My doggy: Marley. My sister in school. Daddy work. My Grandma lives in Chi..ca…go.” (She usually stresses the “my” in these sentences). The pedestrian will be like um..ok. what? but she is getting more and more clear by the day.

Except when she’s in a whining huff, which can be brought on by something entirely nonsensical and last WAY too long. Then, all she will do is cry and whine and sulk. I have taken to speaking sternly to her, perhaps more than I should, but what can I say. Sometimes a stern word from me is the only thing that will snap her out of a drawn-out, dramatic funk when all else fails.

To call her moody would be accurate. The two sides of the extreme two-year old:

Moments later she’s so warm and cuddly again, and funny and thrilled to try things and just the cutest happiest thing ever. What a mush she is. Great hugger. Constantly saying things like, “My Marley, my doggy… so heavenly!” Or, “Mommy! Love you so much. Miss you so much!” Or, “I love my Miles!” (her best bud).

posted in sisters, the every day, Vi speaks | 2 Comments

March 31st, 2013

Eggs were dyed, eggs were hunted

Easter was celebrated in its most secular family-friendly glory.

And celebrated. And… celebrated. Easter sure does encompass a ton of events when you have little kids! I did none of this stuff in my own childhood… but I’ve embraced and am ok with the fact that we’re doing it now.


Obligatory pesach treats we brought to an easter dinner. :D Who doesn’t like matzah toffee brittle, anyway!?

One more spring party (with another egg hunt!!!?) is still coming up mid-april, and I’m providing some fundraising bake-sale treats. It continues!

posted in the every day | 0 Comments

March 12th, 2013

One of my most favorite photos

posted in sisters, the every day | 0 Comments

February 21st, 2013

Thank You, LA Astronomical Society

The other night, several members of the Los Angeles Astronomical Society brought gigantic telescopes to L’s very own Elementary School for our first-ever Star Party, as part of a public outreach program. Our PTA group, of which I am a member, was there serving hot chocolate and popcorn to the stargazers. Kids and their families were out way past dark enjoying the generosity and expertise of the society volunteers.

They do these events for free, and every local school should contact them to bring this unique experience to their students. These guys were super-awesome and knowledgeable. Here’s some info about the society from their website:

The LAAS has over 300 dedicated members who share a passionate interest in Astronomy. Their ages range from children to adults with skills from beginning astronomer to professionals in the fields of Astronomy and Space Science. Our members are helpful and courteous and have a real desire to help YOU explore the night sky.

The mission of LAAS is to promote interest in and advance the knowledge of astronomy, optics, telescope making and related subjects. In furtherance of its mission, LAAS conducts public star parties and other outreach events that are intended to enhance the public’s understanding of astronomy and its enjoyment and appreciation of the beauties and wonders of our universe.

Here’s a pic of L right after looking at Jupiter. We were able to make out the stripes, and some of the moons in orbit around it.

posted in community, education, good finds | 0 Comments

February 15th, 2013

My morning valentine date

L was in school, passing out our hand-made Valentines cards to her classmates…. while they were passing HER huge bags of candy! Seriously, there was so much candy it was on par with Halloween, maybe even more so!

posted in events and occasions, the every day | 0 Comments

February 11th, 2013

Atwater Elementary

For those of you who are interested in checking out our local school options, there is an open house at Atwater Elementary on Feb 22. And later that night, they are having their first ever ‘star party’ that we’re hoping will be a cool, family-friendly thing to do on a friday evening.

From Friends of Atwater president Shelli-Anne Couch:

We are hosting our Annual Open House plus a new Star Party on Friday Feb 22.
The Open House runs in the morning from 8.30am-10.30am, while the Star Party with LA Astronomical Society is at night on campus from 6pm-8pm.
All are welcome to tour the school, meet + greet students, staff and parents. All are invited to come and see for yourself why the school’s API score has soared to a historic high of over 800! Enjoy learning about the school’s unique educational programs plus enrichment including our Edible Garden, Yoga Classses, Chess Club and more. Further information visit www.atwaterelementary.com.

posted in community, education, events and occasions | 0 Comments

February 2nd, 2013

Find me, mommy!

(hiding! hide, while!)

posted in the every day, Vi speaks | 0 Comments

January 28th, 2013

Happy Birthday, 2-Year-Old V!

Just as soon as the hubhub of the holiday season came to a close, well our little miss V went and turned 2!

We were able to begin her birthday times a week beforehand, when our family took V’s best buddy Miles and his family down to Disneyland on the day of his birthday. They are exactly a week apart. Good times were had at good ol’ Disney. Our cousins came too, we had quite the crew.

The night of her birthday we celebrated as a family with a few yummy treats, and the next day she brought cupcakes to preschool.

That weekend we had a party at our house for both V and Miles, who sadly came down with a cold and couldn’t attend. Still, the backyard was full of happy little toddlers riding on toys, playing mini basketball, sticking puffy stickers onto crowns, and using the new slide. And, eating the very bizarre cake-concoction I ended up with. Who knows what I was thinking… it kinda looked cool though. :D

Here’s some pics of our now 2 year old little lady.

At just-turned-2… V is a force to be reckoned with for sure. She’s talking more and more. . New words all the time, more clearly, more sentences. She is still fiercely independent when it comes to doing things herself, and plays at the park like a much bigger kid. (she can even swing herself now… something her 5 yr old sister only JUST figured out. :D) She loooooves to cuddle with her family, she sleeps though the night in the room the kids share, like a champ. Not as ravenous with food as L at this age but still a decent eater. She’s very very silly, she loves to sing and dance, likes pretend play with her baby dolls and toys, enjoys running around in circles.

She also sometimes has intense tantrums that are different from anything her sister did at this age. What causes them is different, and what works to stop them is also different. So far – pretty much nothing but time will do that trick. We’re working on it.. If you can call it that. Otherwise, things are going swimmingly – what a character though!

posted in events and occasions, family and friends, milestones | 0 Comments

December 28th, 2012

Family Highlights of 2012

The year began with V turning 1!

(she STILL loves her kermie)

L turned 5 and graduated preschool, end of an era.

Grandma is able to live & work in LA when she visits, so she comes once a month.

SR & O got engaged

Kids became friends with new neighbors and spent a lot of time hangin with them.

Mike started doing stand-up comedy which he is super psyched about. (plus we celebrated our 11 year anniversary)

Annual family reunion times in Chicagoland & the beach house

Little V started preschool

Papa’s health is improving

Miles spent a lot of time with us

Big kid started kindergarten at our local public school,
I’m now involved in various organizations therein.

This halloween I decided to design a t-shirt for our neighborhood & ended up raising over $1000 for my kids school.

We (with help of Grandma) hosted our first thanksgiving here.

Holiday trip to Chicago, reunions with family and friends, plus V has her very first experience with snow.

The baby became a fiercely independent toddler and a major personality.

The kids have became great friends.

posted in family and friends, the every day | 0 Comments

December 25th, 2012

Happy Holidays from our family to yours

posted in events and occasions | 0 Comments

December 20th, 2012

This Year’s Holiday Treats

Like many families, we like to make holiday treats to offer friends, family and neighbors this time of year. and I opt for simple stuff the kids can help out with.

Like last year, we made a HUGE amount of ‘reindeer paws’, the easiest thing in the world that everyone seems to enjoy. Nothing but a pretzel and hershey’s kiss with a holiday themed m&m pressed into the top, after melting the chocolate for a couple minutes in a 250 degree oven. Beware, these things are suuuper addictive. Last year we used cherry cordial m&m’s but since I couldn’t find those this year, we opted for mint – also a winner.

We also made homemade lollies the same way I did for the easter soiree and for Lilah’s 5th birthday. I guess these lollies have become a fast party tradition. Its easy to customize them to any occasion simply using different colors of hard candy. This time we used holiday themed lifesavers for christmas colors and flavors (peppermint and spiced apple). A unique treat, and again, ridiculously easy. :D

And of course we made a ton of basic sugar cookies using our christmas and hannukah cutouts. The kids love every step of this process from dough to cut-outs to decorations of course. No good pics of our cookie batches this year…

I made a rustic pear & blackberry tart to bring to a Hanukkah party and it did NOT turn out right. I’d go so far as to say it was a disaster! But it looks kinda pretty, anyway. Its made in a pan and then in the oven – this is before the dough is added.

And I made a couple loaves of what I call ‘hodgepodge bread’ to bring to holiday parties. Another thing the kids love to help make, and people devour it. I call it hodgepodge because it contains zucchini, banana, apple sauce AND an abundance of chocolate chips. It also happens to be milk and egg-free for those who care about such things (not I). I’ll post the recipe someplace at some point. Works well in bundt-form too.

Bonus treat! Our friend Doug has been making mustard and has perfected his recipes enough to start a gourmet mustard business: West Coast Mustard. We gifted a bunch of them to friends and hosts, and kept some to enjoy with our Christmas Eve ham. Now I’ve been putting it on everything. They are seriously delish! Way to go, Doug. Check out westcoastmustard.com.

posted in crafty things, eating and cooking | 0 Comments

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