making mountains out of mole hills.


If you know me, you know I love sweets (as you recall my sweetened condensed milk ridiculousness), my house is decorated brighter than spring, I completely believe that numbers are of the devil, I’m strangely particular (Joe don’t sell me out), I wear flip flops in every occasion, and I don’t like working out.  Call me crazy.  All the huffing and puffing, feeling like I might pass out and die, and the getting all sweaty, it’s just not my thing.  But here’s where we got wild.  This past month, we went hiking … (wait for it) … twice!  It’s true!  I got in my sneakers and climbed two mountains!  In my story they are mountains, if Joe heard my story he might roll his eyes and say “one was a mountain, the other was a hill.”  That’s fine, if it was a hill, it was a big hill.  And here’s why I fell in love with hiking our big hill— we tackled this beauty over Easter weekend.  It was a perfect sunny afternoon.  Naomi surprised us and marched straight to the top, and except for the steep end, she did it all by herself!  And except for being carried entirely by me, Aria did it all by herself too.  In about 25 minutes, the four of us were perched on top of Battle Mountain (even the name declares it’s a mountain, just saying).  We were looking over all of Rancho Bernardo, the rolling hills of southern Escondido and glittering Lake Hodges.  What heightened the memory for me is that hovering over us stood a giant white cross.  So meaningful at Easter.  As a family we sang “Jesus loves me, this I know…” I’m smiling even now as I think about how Naomi’s darling voice danced over the neighborhoods below.  Together we worshiped with the sweet gentle breeze and all the meaning of Easter swelled up around us.  I suppose it’s memories like that which pushed us to do the crazy again.  We packed up the babes early Saturday morning and made our way to Poway to meet up with good friends, the Woodalls.  And with each of us carrying a 20/30 pound baby on their back, we conquered the 6.63 miles, 1000 ft climb, 3.5 hour hike of a mountain, repeat mountain.  And yes, I got sweaty, I huffed and puffed, acquired a few bruises, got sun burned, and totally exhausted, but I loved it!  There’s something about tackling adventures with family and friends that make it for me.  If I had the choice, I’d do them both again, absolutely.  But don’t think I’m about to join the ladies for a run, jaunt or gym class.  I’m happy to be that girl that supports the local coffee shop and its comfy oversized chairs.  You can find me there with my sweet tea and flip flops.

          Naomi (2 years):  *Daddy woke up at 7am to your footsteps, but when he went out to find you, you were no where in sight.  Not in your room, not in the house.  That’s when he heard the knocks on the front door, at 7am.  Then came the voice, yours.  “Hello!”  Daddy opened the front door and there you were, outside, in your pajamas, delightfully playing house (gasp and heart attack).  You turned the bolt and let yourself out the front door Naomi!  We now decorate our front door with an ugly, and unreachable, chain lock.  *You saw a pizza commercial on TV and went straight to daddy and wanted pizza for dinner!  *Mommy put on her newly purchased pants and you said “You so cute!”  I kissed your sweet forehead as my heart exploded.   *You ran up to the gopher hole and shouted “Helloooo Gophers!  Come out and play with me, I want to play with you! Come out please!”  *You request “piano song!” in the car all the time.  When Ingrid Michaelson’s “Turn to stone” song gets rolling, you fall apart with glee as we all play our air drums!  *You love lasagna.  You run to your booster chair, pull your shirt off, ready to enjoy a messy dinner of “brown ahnya.”  *Brooklyn, Garrison and Leeland came over one night, and you couldn’t get enough of going down the slide in a train with your friends!  You love “cowisen” (collisions) and pile ups at the bottom of the slide!  You thought it was so much fun to all get in your pajamas and dance under the stars in the backyard!  *Since our hike of Battle Mountain, you always spot the cross, and shout “Hello cross!  There it is, I see it!  See you next time cross!”  *Thanks to Doc McStuffins, instead of saying the dreaded NAP word, we now say “it’s time to recharge your batteries” and it somehow takes the edge off.  *Your favorite phrase of the month: “Let’s go team!”  It puts me in stitches every time.  *You’re very honest.  There have been times I don’t see the squabble between you and Aria, but when I ask you what happened, you’ll straight up tell me “I pushed Aria.”  It’s hard to put you in a time out for your behavior, when it seems I should somehow reward you for your honesty. Tricky.  *You and Daddy have this funny game where Daddy says “I think they’re called Banonos, Baninis, or Banunus!” And you think it’s so funny, and say “No, no Daddy!  I think they’re called Bananas!”  *While hiking Iron Mountain on daddy’s back you said “Come on daddy, almost there, step, step, step, keep going, good job daddy!” I love how encouraging you are!  *Getting you to stay in your room after bedtime is rough.  We’ve tried every tactic in the book.  You love coming out and announcing your grand arrival.  *You and Aria actually play together!  You both held your plastic blue tea cups, and together you both shared a tea party on the floor, complete with fake sipping noises!  Huge.  *You love to help Aria practice her walking!  You try to help her to her feet, and hold her hands so sweetly, and then you say things like “Come on, you can do it, let’s go sweetie.”  *As Daddy got ready for work, “No, no, no daddy, don’t put on your shoes. Stay right here.”  *You decided you were going to rally breakfast, you opened up the pantry “Okay, let’s see here…”  you pulled out the giant Costco size Cheerios and held them high above your head, “Okay, here we go!”

          Aria (11 months): *You are lifting yourself into a standing position!  And at 11.5 months, I think it’s safe to say you’re walking!!  We’ve caught you take as many as a dozen steps as you dive to your next destination!!  Mommy’s new workout has just begun, and you, darling, are my personal trainer, please be kind to me.  *You have fallen in love with your aqua blanket that your Ama knit you!  Just before it’s time to sleep, we put your aqua blanket on our shoulder, you throw both arms around our neck, and nuzzle your head into your blanket!  *You were sick sick sick with crazy high fevers, an ear infection and a bacterial skin infection, to the point that I thanked God that your fever was only 103.6.  *Good thing you’re super cute, otherwise those 5:45am mornings would be the end of me and daddy.  *Your teeth, sweet Jesus, your teeth!  They have finally broken through the gums, and all at once four of your upper teeth are coming in.  *You’re still a pointing machine, telling us where you want to go, but mostly, it’s your favorite to point at the swing.  *You are making noises that more resemble words than baby babbles!  *When we say “Give me a kiss!” a big beautiful open mouth slobber kiss is coming!  *When we say “Where’s the moose, you look right up at our ceiling and gleefully point at the dangling moose on our air vent (that’s right, Trader Joe’s isn’t the only one hiding stuffed animals around their joint).  *One of your most favorite thing is giggling with your sister as you both roll around on the floor!  *Your mother’s cat like reflexes caught you midair upside down as you dove, head first, out of the bath tub!  You certainly keep us on our toes!  *You’re a champion eater, sometimes you’ll polish off all your food and Naomi’s leftovers!  *You still love peekaboo!  *As you ate your final piece of chicken, I brought you strawberries.  The minute you saw the strawberries, you pulled the chewed up chicken out of your mouth and made room for the sweet red goodness.  *You point to daddy, when we ask you “Who’s dadda?”  Cue heart melting.  *You love music darling, you clap and dance with pure joy plastered on your face.

               Family:  *Laughs with Sawyers and Cutrones at MixTape downtown!  Month off at Flood (enjoyed the time off, but a huge adjustment to get back into the swing of ten hour Sundays!), *Joe finally uses his remaining Paternity vacation days and we pack up the girls and enjoy a day at Disneyland!  Girls do great, Aria even keeps her normal nap schedule!  Naomi didn’t nap, but finally passes out at 5pm with her leg dangling from the canopy stroller in midair!  *Joe heads to urgent care after his fingertip collides with a basketball!  His dangling fingertip is the result of a torn tendon, and he’s stuck in a splint for 6 weeks! *Joe hosts playoffs pizza night, with Aric and Tim, with too many to count Naomi sneak outs.  *I enjoy a Sushi night out with Ashley and a friend with a gorgeous Australian accent.  *Children’s museum with Uncle Todd and Squish!  And Allied Gardens park and Ikea venture later in the month too!  *Angela and I laugh and cry our Friday night away at Happy Sushi— our 3 hour dinner has us closing down the joint 1.5 hours after closing time!  *I start teaching piano lessons to Meredith, a sweet five year old with spunk!  *Playdates with the Lalkin boys!  *Ladies night at C-Level.  A four hour dinner of loving on our departing Jame.  *GrampBill comes for another three day visit, the same time as a midweek storm!  *Ramli girls join us for a sunny fun afternoon.  *Joe becomes a pest hunter.  From smoke bombs to poison, he’s mastering the tricks to put an end to these gopher and black widow horribles!  *White and Torres families join us for a last minute Friday BBQ, too much fun, filled with nonstop slide trains, and pajama dancing under the stars!  *A spider gets stuck under the elastic of my sweat pants, and I’m forever convinced I’m a black widow survivor.  *Joe and I are enjoying NBA Playoffs together, who knew that a little innocent wager could bring such angst and elation!  Rinoculus and wild flowers (that my mother mistook for weeds) are finally blooming, oh joy!  *Surprise party for Brenda turned out to be a surprise night of silly laughter with strangers that quickly became beautiful friends.  *We enjoyed a meaningful Good Friday at Mission Hills, and a very difficult watch of Passion of the Christ with the Toscano family.  *Joe and I get a date night at Islands and Tango (amazing!).  *I enjoyed tears of laughter with the Last family over a solid boys vs girls game of Pictionary!  And for the record I did not cheat.