Thursday, July 30, 2009

AND I grew this! and this too!

My first carrot and what may be my entire crop of shelling peas. I'm going to have to use that ounce of peas for something really special! In other news... I think I might have blossom end rot on some tomatoes. I don't know what that is yet but the butts of my first few tomatoes are black and rot-ty looking. I guess I'll have to look it up. Any words of advice? 99.9% of my toms are still green so maybe there is something I can do...
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A lost front tooth!

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Friday, July 24, 2009

"I No Love Mommy"

We have a new form of communcation around here. Talia can write me notes. Previous to now she could only write "I love Mommy" but her genius has kicked in and now she can add "no" to the sentence and really communicate. Ron thinks I shouldn't "let" her say that to me but I'm thrilled. I'm so proud of her for coming up with the idea in the first place. I also want her to be able to identify her feelings and say what she feels. There are too many women who don't know how to express that they are mad at someone. Of course she's allowed to be mad at me! We're not going to always get along and to deny that is false. If she isn't allowed to tell me she doesn't like me, what on earth will we talk about when she is a teenager? I think on this day she wanted something from me and I said no. I was watering the garden and she kept running out with these little notes. Inside I could hear her asking me, "How do you spell FEEL? How do you spell SAD?" I thought it was adorable and very smart. Within 20 minutes the notes turned back into love notes... just the way I like 'em.
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Saturday, July 18, 2009

Hungry Caterpillar Quilt

So... I made this for someone and then Alex kept hugging it and pointing to it and saying, "That mine?" What's a poor mom to do? I gave it to him and am now scrambling to make something else for my friend! Once again I'm getting behind...
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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Good Clean Fun

I don't see what's so great about summer. I'm not the kind of person who needs to spend a lot of time outside. It seems like it would be nice but I always find better things to do. My kids are the same. If I take them to the park they'll be happy:

-as long as it's not too hot
-as long as I have the proper amount of water and snacks
-as long as friends can be found there
-as long as we don't stay too long
-as long as I have sunscreen and bug spray
-as long as they don't have to walk too far
-as long as our park doesn't smell like natural fertilizer (ok, shit) which our park often does
-as long as I brought the right sand toys, bikes, sports equipment, whatever

Honestly, I have to pack as much for the park (a one block walk) as I do for the pool. My kids are just as happy at home. I know I'll rue the day I wrote this once winter settles in but as much as I say I want to go walking on the nature trail (bugs) or take my kids to the zoo (yuck) or even to the pool (oy) it's more the fantasy than the reality.

At the same time, I'm totally sick of being the activities director for my kids. If I hear the words "What can I DO?" one more time I'm going to scream. Talia has school three days a week as well as tennis, arts and crafts, ballet and swimming. This is not enough? You just wait until kindergarten starts sweetheart and you'll be begging me for some time off! Our days consist of a rotation of coloring, playing with Polly's, tv watching and chasing Alex around. Throw in some book reading, a few puzzles and a game here and there. I don't remember anyone playing with ME when I was little. I've got stuff to do too you know. Alex, of course is an angel and entertains himself well-- without all those activities.

I tell Talia to go into the playroom which is FILLED with toys. Legos and other building materials, puzzles galore (but I want you to HELP ME mom!), dolls and stuffed animals, trucks and trains, My Little Ponies, Littlest Pet Shop figures, Smurfs, musical instruments, dress-ups, books, games, a play kitchen, medical sets, colorforms, magnets, a fairy tent-- I could go on and on and on. Not to mention the basement, her bedroom and a HUGE art closet with EVERY material imaginable. I don't mind setting her up with something to do and even helping her do it. I want her to COME UP WITH what she wants to do. It's a real problem.

To that end, sometimes the kids really surprise me. I notice lately that when kids come to play they seem to really make their own fun together without taking out tons of toys. This Friday evening FOUR kids ages 6, 5, 4 and 2 played together with no parental involvement. I think all they used was the basement slide and the cozy coupe and maybe climbed on the treadmill (unplugged, of course). It was a dream!

Ron and I have been slowly making progress on cleaning out our storage room over the last week. One of the reasons I want to get in there is to find some new (old) toys and do a better job of rotating the ones we have out. We cleaned out a lot of boxes and I offered them to the kids. Talia wanted to make an airplane out of one of them so I helped her cut windows and attach "wings." THAT'S the creative type of play I dream of for her and I'm more than happy to facilitate it. SHE came up with the idea of what she wanted. She and Alex have been decorating her oosh (That is what Alex calls airplanes because whenever we see/hear them we say "Alex, see the airplane? Whoooosh!"). On the downside, that activity seems done-- 24 hours later.
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Monday, July 13, 2009

I grew this!

I've been meaning to write a garden update for a long time. It's growing strong and I've learned some new lessons (namely, that squash plants grow really big and shade everything else. Actually I learned that last year but this year it has really sunk in!) We've eaten a crop of radishes and a crop of sugar snap peas so far.
This is my first head of broccoli. Broccoli is my favorite vegetable and we eat a lot of it in my house-- mostly just roasted in the toaster or regular oven with olive oil, salt and pepper. Sometimes with a little lemon or soy sauce. Everyone likes it but Alex. Considering we rarely all eat the same thing in this house, 3 out of 4 people is an accomplishment.
The main reason I wanted to grow broccoli is that I didn't know what it looked like when it grew. Is it a big tree or bush with lots of broccoli heads on it? Or does it just come out of the ground like asparagus? Actually, it's sort of a combination-- a big plant with lots of leaves and one head of broccoli in the middle. I'll post of a picture of it when I get to that garden post.
Anyway, growing this one head of broccoli felt like an accomplishment. I had heard rumors of pests attacking, like slugs or something. I had no problem with that but I will say the other head of broccoli isn't growing quite as well. Either way, it's broccoli for dinner tonight!

Monday, July 06, 2009

The Dahlia Quilt

I finally gave this quilt to baby Dahlia, who is now about 5 months old. I think this is the first quilt I made using Kaffe Fassett fabric, although I have more. Sometimes it can take months or years for me to cut into a collection of fabric. I find myself buying a new yard of the same fabric because I can't bear to cut the first one!

I had originally started another quilt for baby Dahlia that was unisex (darn those people who choose not to find out the gender!) and when she turned out to the third girl for my friend's family I decided I had to go more girly. I bought some fabric with dahlia flowers on it and then... get this... I lost it. I kept bringing it with me to find some suitable coordinating fabrics at the store and it disappeared, along with a pattern for a top for myself. I still think they will turn up some day. I found this dahlia fabric and finally sewed it up. Once again I didn't know how to quilt it and came up with... following the backing fabric, which is all circles. So yes, I quilted it from the back side. Oldest trick in the book!

We had a really nice time out east this past week. My new nephew is adorable and really good. The kids love seeing their cousins. All Alex wanted to do was hold the baby. Is he giving me a hint? We spent quality time with NanaPapa and got to see a few friends.

It's nice to be home though. It will be nicer tomorrow, when the kids are in school...
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