Friday, November 13, 2009

My princess turned 1 on Wednesday and I can't believe it! She's wearing the Birthday outfit I bought her (that I've been wanting for a while). I'm kind of obsessed with it for the moment because I love Russian dolls and Dahlia looks so cute in it. When she put the beaded necklace on her head yesterday I just had to get a photo of her as my little hippie baby.

She's such a joy and as active as they come. She's a very smiley baby and gives other people reason to smile as they pass us. Little tantrums have begun and it can be very frustrating when she needs my help but does NOT want it. But, I love it at the same time. I love her fiery and very communicative personality and I'm glad she can hold her own. Here's to strong girls!

She loves climbing up on to things and one of her latest favorites is a tin can (photo below). She is joy to my heart. I love my little Dahlia.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

If you want to build a ship, don't drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea. -Antoine de Saint Exupery

Monday, November 02, 2009

I'm good at jumping over walls

A few months ago we were leaving my sister's house and Soren accidentally dropped one of his precious toys over a wall. The other side was a terrace garden and the ground was lower. Jason attempted to climb the wall/fence but didn't quite make it. I think he might have ripped his jeans (don't worry babe--it's obvious you're much strong than me ;). . .anyway, I gave it a shot and got over pretty easily and rescued the straggler.

I forgot about doing this and then oneday whilst at the park with Soren, Dahlia and some friends I was reminded of it. My friend Niki's son had done pretty much the same thing that Soren did while they were playing so Soren told them that I would be able to get it since I was good at climbing over walls. . .I think this one was much higher though. . .

That made me feel pretty tough. There are some perks to being a dancer. I'm good at fake fighting too. When Soren has just watched Power Rangers LOOK OUT cuz here we come!!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

eight things

I was tagged oh so long ago and I've tried to do the first question a couple of times and I just realized that I need to changed it a bit. Every time I tried to remember 8 things I did yesterday I just couldn't. I know that is so sad but here are 8 things I did today:

took my pink coat to the dry cleaners
went for a walk with the kids to the new children's clothing store Peace & Jam (very cute stuff)
ran into a friend on the way to the gardens with the kids (we didn't make it to the gardens)
brought her little boy home to play with Soren
went to rehearsal
put Dahlia to bed. . .

8 things I'm looking forward to:

Jason's graduation
Dahlia's Birthday
living in a ground floor flat or a one story house
living near family again
teaching a fun Halloween dance class on Halloween
spending more time with Jason

8 favorite shows:

The office
Parks and Recreation
David Letterman
. . . and that's it. I don't have TV so I watch shows that Jason brings home :)

8 Favorite Restaurants:

Little Italy
Bombay House
La Cucina
La Buca Di Beppo
my sisters' houses :)--better than eating out
authentic Mexican restaurants
. . .and I can't think of another one. We don't eat out much.

Now I'm tagging:


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A couple of months ago I ran into my friend Fanus. I was on my way to Lupe Pintos, a cool shop where I like to buy good Mexican and American food, and she was on her way to a shop that specializes in African products and produce. I was with Soren and she was with her daughter as well, who is the same age. Our kids have grown so much since we first met. She told me that she had been given refugee status and can now remain in Glasgow without fear of deportation. This was exciting news and it also means that now she can leave the UK and go to see her mother. While waiting for refugee status she wasn't allowed to leave.

Fanus is a member of the Maryhill Integration Network where I teach and one of the groups that they sponsor is the Writers Group. She was also a part of this and published her story in their book called "Second Home". Her writings left a deep impression in my heart and mind and brought me to tears.

She has given me permission to share some of her story with you:

I wish I could say this to my mother

when my father passed away and left you with four kids, you worked hard and brought them up well.
One day one of them despaired of her life at home. So for her own sake, and the sake of the people she loved and cared for, she decided to get away. Do you remember that day when she came to you? She was crying. She said she had to escape from her army work. She could take no more. You were crying too, but because you're a mother, you wanted her to have life. You helped your daughter get away. You came with her through the jungle to the border. Since that day you haven't heard from her.
You must be asking so many questions: Is she alive? dead? You blame yourself for letting her go, for you think, 'I'd rather have her die in front of me that die alone.'
Mother, Aday, I know I've broken your heart. I let you down. I am desperate to be with you. I want to see your face, to kiss you-but how can I? They'd catch me. Aday, God gave me to you. You are the most generous, beautiful, special person in the world. I promise I'll see you soon. Not in my dreams, but SOMEWHERE in reality. Good bye, my dearest Aday - for now.

She also has, in the book, the story of her escape through the jungle. I'm so impressed and taken back by her courage to do what most will never have to confront. While in the jungle she was threatened by the man that was to help her to safety. He tried to force himself on her. She resisted courageously and screamed as loud as she could. This allowed the enemy to hear them but it also made the man realized his awful stupidity and terrible error. She made it to safety and eventually to Scotland. . .

Now she is in contact with her mother. This brings me great happiness. What an amazing woman she is.

Friday, October 16, 2009

some ramblings

I'm sitting in my pj's and have a bit of that tight chest feeling (the one that makes me think "how am I going to make it through the day). I haven't showered, the white noise is going while Dahlia rests and I look out the window. Autumn is here. I love her. She brings fire to the trees that then falls off and is carried through the wind. The sky is blue. Thank you, sky, for being blue. I needed you to be blue today. The house is pretty cozy but my feet are still cold. Why are my feet always cold? A bath will warm them. I feel heavy today and a bit alone with people all around me and the sound of someone coming up the stairs and shutting the door to the neighboring flat.

Yesterday, Jason and I went to Edinburgh with Dahlia to get her passport. The grasslands in view outside the train window were lovely and lonely to me too. It must be my mood. I don't mind it. We'll go to the park. I'll see friends there. West end Glasgow is amazing like that. I can be thinking that I need to go and see someone in particular and most likely in the coming weeks I will without any effort on my part. We'll see each other at the park, shopping--the normal comings and goings. . .

I love windows today. I love the trees outside my window and the sweet little birds who move their heads just so. It makes me smile. Dahlia is very aware of the birds now and gets excited when they fly overhead.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Two New Videos

This is our little darling Dahlia. After months of determined attempts to stand, she started walking at 9 months. It has been a while since our last post. . .and now dahlia is 11 months. She's a real cruiser and a bruiser.

And, this is a video of Soren dancing to the music at the end of one of his movies (You may have to turn up the volume all the way to hear the music though).

Thursday, August 27, 2009


My little Dahlia has taken her first steps (and yes, she's only 9 months)!! My mom and I saw her take three today and Jason saw her take four before that. . . Charla and family are on their way to China for 5 months. . .and Dahlia has her seventh tooth.


Sunday, August 23, 2009

My Grandma turned 90 at the end of July! I've been putting together a photo album for her and the photos that all of the family has sent me are just wonderful and I feel so honored that she is my Grandma. I wanted to post a few of my favorites. She grew up in San Francisco and then moved to New York with my Grandpa to raise her family. The photo below is of my Grandma and Grandpa with my Dad on the "stoop" in front of their home.

Below is a photo of my Grandma in Cairo. She was a fulbright Scholar in Beirut and this was a side trip she took. I just love this photo. She looks so glamorous.

The last photo is of my Grandma in Vista, California where she lives now. Her home is so lovely and surrounded by orange trees, flowers and other wonderful fruits. I'm so glad I was raised in southern California. I loved taking Soren to her house to frolic through all of the trees and colorful scenery before we moved to Scotland. I remember him wanting her to lead him around and we could tell he knew she was the lady of the house. It was so sweet.

Happy Birthday Grandma!

Sunday, August 09, 2009

here are all of the Ausman side of the family cousins together (we were only missing Codey and Isabella). Yes, my daughter is screaming. She was a bit overwhelmed by all the newcomers but it was a wonderful time. And yes, Dries is wearing skinny jeans. . . he's awesome.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

I love Italian culture and here are a few reasons why. I was just reading my sister's post about their trip to Sardinia. I've never been to Sardinia but Italy is pretty much gorgeous wherever you go and the people are so friendly. . .anyway, she posted about trying to find a good camping site for their trip. I called for her and it wasn't the number we had expected but I asked the guy on the phone if he new any good camping places and so he said, "hold on" and asked his friend. They gave us a number to call and in the end it was just what Bridget was looking for and they ended up staying there. They're just cool like that :O). This experience took me back about 10 years to when I lived in a town called Foggia. I was with a friend in bad traffic--bumper to bumper--and someone ahead of us decides he wants to get out of it and go the opposite way. So, there is some signaling and talking and honking (friendly) and cars start to back up in this bumper to bumper traffic!! There's no way would that happen in many other places. I loved it and was completely surprised. It was like a living Mentos commercial.

My friend Laura from Italy is back in Pescara with her family for the Summer and I miss her. We don't get to see each other as much now that we both have two kids but I just love her. Our friendship isn't based on how alike we are but on appreciating each others opinions and enjoying each others company.

I have all of these posts going through my mind that I'd like to write about but I feel like there is never enough time. . .I will get caught up though. My wonderful Grandma turned 90 and my sisters came to town! We were all together for a week of fun and craziness with 9 cousins all together for the first time since Dahlia and Dries were born.

Stay tuned. . .

Thursday, July 23, 2009

punk rock madness

Dahlia's hair is starting to change and calm down so I thought I'd better document it. It's awesome. It's out of control and it sticks straight up. She was born with dark brown hair but now it's totally blonde leaving us bewildered. . . genetics. . .youuuu. She looks more like my sister Bridget's kids or Jason's brother Doug's. . .but she is ours. Her hair and easy-come smile make others smile as we walk by.

She's 8 months now and is pulling herself up to standing constantly. She crawls and says da da and ma ma and it's so darn cute.

ciao ciao

Monday, June 22, 2009


My sister, Bridget, and her family went to Ireland recently and they brought us back this adorable jam--traffic Jam. It's three flavors!

I have a new friend. She's the sweetest woman and I met her at church. We talked about organic food and gardens and other things we love. The next Sunday she brought me this gorgeous potted gourmet lettuce! It's all eaten up now and she told me to just bring back the pot and she'll fill it again. I'm already thinking of what I can fill it with for her when I send it back. She also loaned me a book called The Art of Tibetan Living that I'm eager to start. When I was younger and out with my dad we use to sing the song "make new friends but keep the old, one is silver and the other is gold". We would sing it in a round and my dad would start. As soon as I came in he would start to sing his lines to my tune. I remember saying "no dad, now you're singing my part" and we would laugh and have so much fun. That's such a great memory for me. My friends are so precious to me. Thanks Dad, for teaching me that song and for being my dad and also my friend.

We love Mexican food and my mom was always good at cooking her own black and aduki beans. I love making them now as well and think they are so lovely to look at while they're soaking. I just added onion, garlic, salt and some olive oil and they were so yummy . . .and so simple.

When the sun comes out in Glasgow sun hats are all the rave. So, naturally, Dahlia had to have one too. We can't have her little head getting too much sun (in a place where the sun never shines. . .it can be shocking to the skin when it does come out though).

Soren has many great pairs of socks. Today I was looking at the bottom of the socks he was wearing and saw that the heels were so thin! I thought "how can this be?" then I quickly realized that it's because many, if not most, go to other uses such as the dog above. His name is Duhdo.

The flowers are leaving us . . .but the green will never leave! xo

Thursday, June 18, 2009

When I started my dance degree at University I began wanting my life to be outside the norm. When I was younger I took loads of dance and gymnastics classes. Two of my sister's did as well. I know it was a pretty penny for my mom but she wanted us to be of part of good things. As I began a serious study of dance in college I noticed that I had been very blessed and that this wasn't the case for many.

Before Jason and I were dating he came over to my house one day and we had our first conversation. It was kind of a "get to know you" one and we expressed what we wanted to do with our studies. I remember telling him my dream of teaching dance to kids that wouldn't normally have the chance. . . he told me about a non profit group that he had started with his friend. We remained friends and that was that. Little did we know that one day we would be married and that each of us would be able to realize our dreams of non profit work in our fields of study.

My life is very real, normal and annoying at times but it's mine and I love it. I put my dreams out there and the stars were listing. I change diapers and get mad (Jason and Bridget can tell you that as well). I stress about things that don't matter. I cry easily. I'm totally scared of worms. I love. I love getting hugs from my babies. I love to dance with women from all over the world. They are just like me. They are me. We are one. There is something about art and the art of dancing together that fills my soul. Tonight I performed with the Maryhill Integration Network and the piece was a mix of contemporary dance and cultural dances that move me.

I think about when we will be leaving and I know that the hardest part will be saying good bye to the women, my sisters, at the MiN.

I wanted my life to be fulfilling and it is.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

New Music & More Conversations with Soren

Current obsession: Swedish pop rock band Hello Saferide

Anna is my new favorite song. It's one of the most beautifully written sad love songs and I almost cried. Do you love it too? The Quiz is awesomeness as well. Jason likes to find new songs that he thinks I'll like and put them on our play list.

Thanks, Jason, for finding these songs for me. I love you.

My little Sorentino has been giving me a good laugh with all the funny things he says so I'm going to share the joy of having a 4 year old.

More conversations of a mom and her boy:

Mom: Do you want to get your hair cut like Isaac?
Soren: I want it all done so it's just my brain.

Mom: Did you get your lunch?
Soren: We nearly forgot it! (nearly is one of the words used more in the UK that he's picked up--I love it. Bridget kids are saying it too)

Soren: I was meanting you to see how small the ice cube is.

Soren: When I grow up can I be a show and you'll come and lots of people will come to see what I'm doing?
Mom: You want to be a movie star?
Soren: Yeah!

Soren: Do you know when I grow up I'll have a muffin face. . .it will be shaped like a muffin.

Soren: Guess what! I've got a brilliant idea.

Soren: I suppose we shouldn't bring this. The wind is properly strong to brake this.

Soren: Can I have some sarsaparilla?
Mom: What's that?
Soren: It's nuts. It's a drink.

Soren loves to say it's my Birthday and make me "cakes". One was a banana with candles on it and the other was a slice of bread with candles and grapes on top. He sings "Happy Birthday" and then we blow out the candles. It's good fun. The last time we did this he said, "no, first you gotta say Master of the Cakes". I guess he still loves the word master.

And. . .Jason was away for 8 days to a conference to present a paper and then to visit his mom who has not been well. I knew he needed to go and kept encouraging him to do it but when the time drew close I started to panic! But, I have to say that the few days leading up to it were actually harder than the 8 days alone. My survival instinct kicked in and although I got little sleep, I just kept going and didn't feel tired. The first few nights when the kids were both asleep I had the hardest time winding down to sleep and it was totally frustrating but . . . that is all behind me now and I did it!!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Baby Love

My babies love each other. Soren has loved Dahlia since she was born.  He wants to go see if she is awake as soon as he wakes up every morning and to kiss her good night before going to bed each night. And, Dahlia loves Soren just as much. Cammie and I can make Dahlia laugh (she is such a happy little girl), but Soren has single-handedly made her laugh more than everyone else put together. They are really sweet to each other, and I often walk past a room and see Soren laying on the floor in front of her so they can look at each other and laugh.

This is Soren making Dahlia laugh in her swing:

And, this one is Dahlia and I shooting Soren with his foam rocket gun:

Friday, May 15, 2009

This little dreamboat had the Pox too . . . the Chicken Pox!  Oatmeal baths saved us again.  She's all better now and here's a photo of the dress I bought her just after we moved and just before the outbreak.  It makes me smile seeing this picture.  I love her little hand.

We've started a bit of solid food as well--steamed pears, apples, plums, sweet potatoes, butternut squash and fresh avocados, bananas, and oat porridge.  I thoroughly enjoy cooking and preparing all of her new foods as I did with Soren

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

In the last 2 weeks we have made it through a move to our new flat and the Chicken Pox. I'm so glad that both are finished. Soren had Chicken Pox in his mouth and one in the middle of his tongue! When he first got them it wasn't bad at all and we thought it was going to be easy. . .little did we know they come in batches and more kept coming.  Two or three of the days were rough (especially at night).  Oatmeal baths were a real help with the itching and by the end of the week we had cabin fever and were dying to get out of the house.

The windows in my kitchen makes me happy. A few days ago I made a vegan Coconut Lemon Cake that my sister Charla recommended. It's amazing. I think it's my new favorite cake and I'm anxious to make it again.  I can hear the birds churping outside my window right now and although it's grey again I can't help but feel peaceful with all the green leaves layering the trees. The birds are probably building their nests that we usually only get to see in the winter when all the leaves are gone.  Nest spotting is one Soren's favorite pasttimes.   Strawberries are abundant in town again too.  Two days ago Soren was convinced that we needed to make strawberry muffins.  I've never done that and I just prefer fresh strawberries but with some serious persuading on Soren's behalf we made strawberry bannana muffins (I used a chocolate bannana muffin recipe and substituted the chocolate with strawberries).   They were actually quite nice.

Dahlia having a zen moment

The modern day hand cart--Soren's got it rough

The front of our new flat

Soren under the weather a few weeks ago--my beautiful boy.

The Coconut Lemon Cake

Me and my Honey

Thursday, April 16, 2009

We're in the process of moving and moving with a 5 month old and a 4 year old makes things take A LOT longer that you think. But, we are getting it done and I'm SO happy with our new flat!! Did someone say botanic gardens, transport links, university, nursery school, shops galore. . .Oh yes, it was me and we're next to all of those things that are a part of our life.

Fact of the day: my husband has the strength of an ox. This is very handy when moving to a new flat.

Moving stinks (and sometimes literally when you find icky stuff in a cupboard that you didn't know was there).

I love my little darling baby Dahlia. Her smile makes me smile all the time. Love, hearts, hearts, love.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Where is my mind?

So I've been wanting skinny jeans FOREVER and was just thinking about it. Then, I remembered that I DO have some! Here's the story: right when I got pregnant with Dahlia I took some jeans to the tailor to be made into skinny jeans and it took forever for her to finish them (and the other stuff I brought for that matter) and by the time I got them back I was a big lady. Anyway, they went in a dresser and I forgot about them. I thought about them right before Dahlia was born but then forgot again. Well, yesterday I remembered I had them and it was like Christmas. I tried them on and they were perfect. I felt like a new woman!. . .but, umm, how do you forget you already have jeans that you've always wanted?

Moving on. . .

At night Jason and I take turns putting Dahlia to bed and singing to her. Jason sings Tom Waits and the Avette Brothers and she's a happy clam. Some of my songs and noises include Twinkle Twinkle Little Star (it was her favorite for about a month), Italian hymns, train sounds and saying mama and random things in a sweet high voice. Yesterday . . .the song that came out was even a shocker to me. And no, it wasn't "where is my mind" by the Pixies. The title was referring to the first half of the post but I'll give you a hint: "Shot through the heart and you're to blame. . . " Yep, Il John Francis Bongiovi, the Jovster, The Great Bon Jovi! He's Rad with a Capital R. So, stay cool. Have an awesome summer. It was fun talking with you in Science class. K.I.T.



PS. I love your senior picture!

PPS. Words of Wisdom by Soren: "Mom, when I eat a sweetie it makes me feel like eating another sweetie. . .Mom, can I have another sweetie?"--I love the honesty.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Flowers, Family, Feet and Food

Last Saturday we went to the Botanic Gardens and then took a short walk to our new flat! It's so close to everything and I think my life as a walking everywhere mom has just improved. When I go to the gardens I feel so happy. All the colors, petals and lush green give me serenity and the warmth in the greenhouses is mmmmm, yummy. And just to keep it real, we had a couple of kinks at the start of the day. I stopped to look in my favorite charity shop and got separated from Jason and the kiddos. I thought he was walking ahead to the gardens and he was waiting nearby on a side road. We eventually found each other. . .

Red Angel Trumpets

Little Dahlias-- (I had bright red dahlias in my wedding bouquet which became the inspiration for our sweet Dahlia's name). There are so many beautiful kinds of Dahlias and I love how the petals are overflowing and bursting with life. Below are some other Dahlias I found online. The first one has an amazing design.

Camellias --The flowers that I was named after

We also spent some time in the children's garden where they grow fruits and vegetables that the kids can pick at. Soren is always drawn to the fresh chives that are growing. He's love to eat them and come home with chive breath!

Soren took this of me while I as standing on my head. He's getting pretty good with his photo skills.

One time Jason and I were at a whole foods market and they were selling roasted vegetables so we tried them. Jason decided he could make them and make them better. Well, he did and his recipe is AMAZING! If you'd like it just let me know. I've since learned how to make them and they're actually easy!

I made this cake for Soren's nursery school. It's a vanilla cake and instead of using regular milk I used vanilla rice dream. I think it made it even tastier. I have this obsession with bunt cakes and was lost without mine when we moved here. Last October Bridget got me this one for my Birthday!

Finally, here is Soren doing his iceskating move on his buggy board. Such a great invention. He can hop on and off whenever he wants to.