Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Check out my love letter to the park on the Chicago Moms Blog today.
Monday, April 28, 2008
In the dark, cold depths of a Chicago winter, I curled up in my bed each night, read a few pages of Kingslover's odyssey and dreamed of my garden and farmer's markets. Although I loved reading about her family's day-to-day agricultural activities (i.e. harvesting asparagus, planting heirloom tomatoes, hunting truffles), I was mostly drawn to her approach to food and feeding her family.
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle advocates for a connected approach to food and family. First, know your food. Buy local when you can -- it is good for you and your community. Be mindful of how your food has traveled from harvest to your home. Eat together. Enjoy your food and each other.
For me, food is totally wrapped up with family and love. I hope that the food I give to my little ones feeds them in all sorts of ways. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle has wonderful ideas about procuring and preparing food that I have already started to incorporate into our life.
And oh do I have big plans for the summer! We are all going berry picking in June and I am going to freeze the strawberries (real, small, sweet strawberries -- not the huge flavorless ones I have been buying from the grocery store all winter) picked at the peak of freshness to use in yogurt smoothies later on (same for blueberries). When my garden is overrun with ripe tomatoes in late August (hopefully), I am going to dry and can those we can't eat. And when my apple tree lets go of dozens of apples a day in late October, I am going to be up to my elbows in homemade applesauce to save and share.
This book was on my mind yesterday. In the morning, all four of us headed over to Ellie's school to work in the school garden and get some vegetables planted (lettuce and radishes for spring and pumpkins, squashes, and melons for when the children return in the fall). The children worked alongside the adults (when not happily running around and playing in the sandbox). It was happy and satisfying work. In the afternoon, Ellie and I made a stop at the nursery to choose some more plants for our own garden. Then Ellie, Brendan, and Daddy worked together to roll pizza dough and topped it with delicious toppings (the fontina, roasted shallot, and crispy pancetta was my favorite).
Delicious food and a happy family all wrapped up together.
Saturday, April 26, 2008
Here it is (minus the candles so you can better see the individual pieces). I bought it from The Wooden Wagon. We used our ring to celebrate Ellie's birthday last week and we will use it again to fete Brendan in the coming week. I bought pieces that represent both of their experiences in the past year.
Our ring includes: the numbers four and two, a little house to represent our new house, a horse for Ellie's fondness for all things equine, a ballerina in honor of Ellie's dance exploits, daffodils to remind us of playing in our new backyard, a tree similar to our apple tree, a choo choo train in homage to Brendan's love of all things transportation-related, and a dolphin in honor of our happy times spent on Sanibel Island.
Friday, April 25, 2008
Our family life has been very busy (both terribly and terrifically). Between more medical woes for Papa (not good), a lovely but exhausting backyard birthday party for Ellie and her friends (very good), and a four-day excursion to Western Pennsylvania to visit family and soak up the beautiful spring (also very good), my computer and I haven't had any time to get together.
And truthfully, my yard calls me outside to feel warm and dig in the dirt in preparation for planting our garden. My computer can wait. Be back tomorrow.
Monday, April 21, 2008
Friday, April 18, 2008
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Monday, April 14, 2008
Friday, April 11, 2008
I also asked Ellie and Brendan what they wanted for their birthday presents. The answers were interesting. Read about it at the Chicago Moms Blog.
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Ellie: "Mommy, these pups are going to do some 'breast milking' because they are all really, really hungry. But I am going to set it up so some 'breast milk' with the mama dog and some 'breast milk' with the daddy dog. Isn't that smart of me? So the daddy dog can be more of a helper with all of these babies."
Waaay smart of you, El.
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Monday, April 7, 2008
I know. I know. The boy is almost two. Have we not been paying any attention to him for the past year and a half? I don't know how we hadn't noticed this. I have no explanation.
So anyway, he always holds utensils in his left hand (on the rare occasions that he isn't just using his fist to shovel food into his mouth). If you hand him a ball in his right hand, he switches it over to his left hand to throw it.
I am pretty excited about this development because I am left-handed myself. So is my Dad. And left-handed people are special (at least, that is what my Dad has always told me).
Friday, April 4, 2008
It's Birthday Time. Spring time is birthday time around here (spring being the perfect time to birth babies, if you ask me). Ellie will celebrate her fourth birthday in three weeks. And Brendan will be two shortly thereafter. On our "to do" list: invitations, Ellie's first "real" birthday party in the backyard with some friends, special cakes and cookies, a few presents, and finally getting to see what Ellie is talking about when she says you "walk around the sun" at school when it is your birthday.
Planning and Planting. Now it really is time to plan my garden. The daffodil and hyacinth bulbs I planted in the fall are popping their heads up. In springs past, I would walk around my neighborhood and see a beautiful plant or landscape design and think, "If I had a yard, I would definitely do something that like." And now I do have a yard. I can plant whatever I want. So thrilling. Now I just have to figure out what it is I want to do. I am reading. And reading. And growing. And thinking about what supplies I need and what plants should go where. My heart flutters a little just thinking about it.
First picnic I love a picnic -- always have. It is a right of spring at our house. Packing up a lunch and heading to the park for a leisurely morning. Stay-at-home Mom bliss. I am thinking about trying to make something along these lines to bring on our picnic excursions. Might be a little complicated for me, but I am adding the idea to my project list.
What else ? Oh yes . . . wedding showers, the return of wild salmon to our dinner plates, blowing bubbles and making art with our sidewalk chalk, a little gelato here and there, bike rides, eating outside by candlelight, a quick trip to Pittsburgh to visit Grandma and Grandpa and see how Auntie Bethany's baby is growing.
Gotta go -- so much to do!