Friday, 31 January 2014


One of the most special things about Clementine is her eyes.
They are so bright and always seem to catch the light in the room.  
She smiles with her whole body, which I think she gets from her Dad.

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Guadalupe Part Dos

After the first shop we were headed to Ahwatukee to meet my friend Stevie for her ultrasound.  Before we left, however, I saw how neat and colorful the other buildings in the area were and I *needed* to take more pictures.  I am more than happy to be the goofy tourist on this trip.

We only got as far as this building because we had about 5 minutes until 
we'd be late if we weren't on the road.

Of course as soon as we pulled over, we realized the building was a little food stand... 
so obviously I needed snacks.

Hooooooly crap this food was good.  I told the dude at the counter I was about to be late, so he made some bean and cheese tostadas real quick.  They were no joke the best ones I've ever had.  
I wish we'd had time to try more things.

I didn't take pictures because we ate them too quickly.

I couldn't include the blasting mariachi music coming from a jukebox around the corner, but it was there.  It sounded like my childhood.

Guadalupe was more than worth the visit.  Hopefully we'll be back soon.

And then we were finally back on the road.  This is the thing about driving in Phoenix.  
Even in the middle of the "city," you get these vast expanses of horizons.  Everything is flat and 
usually the only sign of life is the other cars swerving around you.  
Sometimes all the light gives me a headache, but other times it feels calm and patient.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014


Tuesday we had a little adventure and ventured into Guadalupe, which is the Reservation for the Yaqui people, right in the middle of the city.  It's the sort of place where one would inexplicably turn up on a wrong turn while driving between Tempe and Phoenix at 3 am (just like those airport exits!).  I guess it was always a "bad" neighborhood.  I was excited to see what it was really like during the daylight.

We went mostly to explore this place, Mercado Mexico, in hopes of finding some Talavera to bring back to Melbourne.  This place is a gold mine of reasonably priced goods and the owner was lovely.

Alec immediately found the most metal thing in the store.

These guys were about three feet tall, I WANT ONE.

Armadillos.  Also definitely not suitcase sized.  

Tree of Life.  I'm still deciding if I will have enough suitcase space to bring one of these home.

In addition to the inside, there was also a yard filled with even more things.  

Snack time.

This guy was so huge we didn't even notice when standing right next to it.

Boxes and boxes of painted tiles.  My future dream house bathroom will be filled with these.

This ferocious little dude kept an eye on us.

This is Jesse, the owner.  We chatted with him for a while, apparently his son is married to an Australian woman.  He was friendly and blushed when I asked to take his picture.

Clementine was a champ through the whole thing, although maybe she is 
slipping in a subtle message here.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Afternoon Walk

This morning we woke up to discover that my Mom had left for work with the carseat and stroller in her car.  Facing a day with no significant mobility, we took a few walks.  Walking around my neighborhood gives the sensation of not really getting anywhere, but having been walking for some time.

The streets are wide, the sky is incessantly blue.  A day this perfect in Melbourne would be a miracle.

Wolfgang sees we are in the front yard and comes over for a pat.  The walk can now begin.

This sun hat is adorable and almost getting too big for her.

Neighbor truck

Neighbor dog lets us know he sees us.

I used to walk by this bear sculpture thing at night when I was sneaking out of my house.
It has red lightbulbs in the eyes and is totally creepy but awesome.

....And then my camera battery died, so I didn't get the cacti pictures I was really after.  Next time!

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Back in America

I stopped writing for a little bit because the week before we left for Phoenix, Melbourne had a major heat wave.  It was up to 45 (or about 110-113 F) during the day which feels gross.  Therefore, anything beyond basic functions was really, really difficult.

We sort of moved into Malia's house for the week because she has AC.  It felt like a grownup sleepover.

Now we are at my Mom's house in Phoenix for a few weeks.  Somehow we all missed having serious jetlag this time, I think because Alec and I stayed up through the whole flight.  Clementine slept the whole way mostly and didn't cry or fuss as usual.

My Mom's house is full of interesting treasures.  I wish I could take all of her pots home with me.

A few years ago we adopted the front porch as the meeting place for all the siblings to hang out, do adult things, and talk about how crazy our parents are.  It has big comfy chairs and in the winter the weather is basically perfect.  We spend long afternoons talking and looking at the blue, blue sky.

This is Wolfgang.  Technically he belongs to the neighbors, but he's been sleeping on my parents chairs for years.  He is extremely friendly and drools constantly.  You can't sit out here without him marching by for a requisite cuddle.  He's a bit up there in the years. 

Uncle Sam loves his Clementine.

Stevie and I got hungry and brought Bertha's back for everyone.  We'll call this one sandwichocalypse, which also included mini cookies and brownies and lemonbars.  
I missed iced tea which we don't have in Australia.

She is trying desperately not to succumb to the calming feelings of her "sucky."

...but it was hard, so she took a nap instead.