Monday, April 30, 2012

Thrift store find

She enjoys the machine that looks like a computer. "But how do we send the letter?" she asks

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

this beef stew will change your life.

I may have mentioned that I am a tiny bit obsessed with the stunningly wonderful cookbook, Well Fed. I have made this stew three times in the short time Well Fed has been in my house and holy yum. You won't be sorry. There are a few (minor) changes to the recipe from the website to the book, but the online version looks delish too.

Don't skip the orange zest, it sounds fussy but it makes the stew special.

Local tip: yesterday, I picked up a 10 lb. bag of California oranges for $5 across the street from the magic Goodwill.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

dear claire.

Today you are six.  The only motorcycle I want to see you on the back of is this one.  And only when it is safely parked in your dad's shop.  I love that you still want to live across the street when you grow up.  I love that you've revised your original plan of having 100 babies and decided that 3 is plenty.  I've loved watching you come out of your shell at school and bounce into the classroom with a wave.

You have made huge strides this year, girlie.  You read.  You've introduced me to Junie B. and I've shared Ramona Quimby with you and now we're reading Charlotte's Web. Watching words come alive to you is magic.

Since you were tiny, you have helped me in the kitchen.  Now, when you help you call yourself the Shoe Chef.  Last night, you set the table.  Then you looked at me and said, "I'll never be five again."  My head knows all of this, but the heart sees you as every age you've ever been.  And I'm in no rush for you to grow up and out, even if you do just move across the street.

I love you, girlie.

Monday, April 23, 2012

ingrid ru.

Confession: I don't sneak in and look at you at night the way I did when your brother and sister were babies. I rarely smell your stinky baby head and kiss you on the cheek after you go to bed at night. You do not care to be disturbed by my displays of motherly affection for your sweaty self after you are in your crib. You want to be left alone. So mostly, I abide. But sometimes I sneak in, even though I know I will be met with screams of protest. You will require that I pick you up for a moment to snuggle and settle back down. And I'll do it. Because you are my baby.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

a location-specific guide to friday fun.

This idea really only works if you live where we live, but it was an easy fix to a dreary day.

They were arguing out of boredom, so I loaded the kids into the car and planned the destination while we drove.  We crossed the walking bridge at Riverfront Park.  Once we reached the west side, I told the kids to pick up as many sticks as they could carry.  Everett found 3 giant clubs.  Claire found 7 regular sticks.  Everett also found dog poop.  "But I didn't touch it, Mom."  Gold star, buddy.

Then we crossed back over and dropped our sticks into the river.

That's it.  On this day, I was their favorite person ever.

Thursday, April 19, 2012


My boy is dairy and egg free living amongst serious egg eaters. Today I made him some muffins. I accidentally ate 2 of them myself. Wow.

2 cups spelt flour
1/2 cup coconut sugar (you could use regular)
1 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)
2 mashed bananas
1/4 t. cardamom
1/4 t. ground ginger
1 t cinnamon

Combine all ingredients. Extra points if you let a 3 year old do the banana mashing himself.

Bake however you normally bake muffins. My oven is weird, so you don't want to bake it at the temperature I chose. Unless you're into crisp muffins.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

on having a boy who has a bff.

I spent the morning cracking up at the three year olds in my backseat. Here are some highlights:
Wyatt: I got a motorcycle, Evie.
Everett: Me and my dad made a motorcycle.
Wyatt: Did you?

Everett: Do you like construction sites, Wyatt?
Wyatt: Yes, I do like construction sites.

Everett: Let's kick each other.

Wyatt: Want to lick my boot?
Everett: Ok. Want to smell my stinky old sock?

I love these boys. Hours of entertainment.

Monday, April 16, 2012

on having a boy.

Most mornings, my day begins with Nate bringing coffee to me before he heads downstairs to work. Without fail, 20 minutes later I am greeted by another sweet little voice. A shout heard across the house:
"Mom, wipe me off, please!"

And I come. This morning I didn't feel like doing that particular job. He looks up at me and says, "Why does your face look grumpy? How are you?"

He is three. Still needs help getting his jammies with feet back on, yet he notices when his mama is weary.
Here we are, looking fierce. His latest facial injury is still fresh. Yesterday at the park he did a face plant off of his skateboard. He ran to me, cried and got right back on.

Sunday, April 15, 2012


You are slow to warm. This morning in the park a little girl told you her name. You said yours as fast as you could and then jetted down the pole in attempt to avoid conversation. I suggested you ask her name so you could make friends. Your answer, "I don't really want to be friends, Mom." You get frustrated when things don't go perfectly. You can't roll with it. You need order. You like structure. Waiting is impossible for you. You like it when we wear matching dresses.

You are the child who made me a mama. Sweetness and stubbornness and both of us wrapped up in a smile that's missing a front tooth.

Your teacher told me this week that you light up a room. Indeed, you do. You blaze through math packets and reading work. You love learning. You want the other kids to love it as much as you do. I asked you recently if you had any goals for the summer. You said you'd like to learn some magic tricks.

Your teacher is right. You light up a room, sister.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

well fed this wednesday.

I made this recipe as a dare. It sounded gross. The photos were not appetizing. There was the strange little combination of hard boiled egg, tasty meatball and pork rind (I made myself feel slightly better about by referring to them as
ChicharrĂ³n). FYI ChicharrĂ³n really stink.

But, as mentioned, I've already blazed through a ton of the recipes in Well Fed and none have disappointed. Plus, I had all of those eggs that the kids dyed from Easter. So, I braved the recipe for Scotch Eggs, similar to this one, but with slightly different spices. Everyone in my house LOVED them. Ingrid, who does not realize that one is not supposed to think a hard boiled egg inside a pork rind covered meatball is delicious, ate with abandon.

Claire declared them really good.

Everett's was missing the egg because of his stupid no-egg diet. Thank you, naturopath.

Nate and I were fans. I may have been a tiny bit disappointed when he took the last one to work.

Monday, April 09, 2012

I can't believe I forgot the camera!

I wish I had a picture of him for you. Of a small boy with white hair and a striped shirt and bow tie. With black cowboy boots and shorts. Sunday best for my little Mister. Instead, I give you this vintage picture of my boy. Love him.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

8 years.

When we dated, Nate ripped the cord off of his record player and rigged it to my cell phone so it would hold a charge longer and we could talk each night. It was one of the first of the countless things he's modified, repaired or fixed for me. We were friends for a long time, but he started acting like my husband almost instantly. Fixing broken things, taking responsibility for my car, showing up at meal times.

And that is marriage. God uses us in our brokenness to make us into something new.

Monday, April 02, 2012

mama math.

In my limited experience as a stay-at-home mother, I maintain that
one boy= 2 girls. Boy energy is just intense. However wild my one boy is (and at moment, he is running the backyard, soaking wet in batman undies), he doesn't really do pouty or manipulative or mean. SO maybe my earlier equation is flawed.

Parenting young children on a rainy day is a billion times harder than on a sunny day. And this is something I know; it rains and rains and rains here. When the weather app on your phone shows an image of a raincloud each day for a week, for an entire month, 65 degrees and dry is cause to celebrate.

Around here, a celebration involves pool time in your undies.