Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Gobble Gobble

At last, a work in progress that is finished! Here are the turkeys we did for Ada, Esme, and Ada's baby. The "feathers" are actually pockets for napkins, silverware, etc.
They were very cute on the table at Thanksgiving, but quickly became characters to play with after dinner.

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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A little treasure inside

This little treasure came to us by mail last week. My dad, who has some dealings with fish from time to time, came across this seahorse while cleaning a swordfish. The seahorse was *inside* a 20-pound sea bass--and, get this--alive. My dad was duly impressed. Unfortunately, the seahorse died quickly after coming out of the sea bass's stomach. The next best thing to having it in an aquarium, he figured, would be to save it as a treasure. And he thought right away of giving it to his granddaughters, which he did.

By the time the seahorse arrived in the mail, he was on the stinky side--but still amazing nonetheless. We are currently drying him out and deciding how to preserve the exo-skeleton. Any ideas?

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Work in progress

Yet another on a seemingly endless list of "works in progress." This stack of corduroy, silk, cotton, and felt will soon become a pair of turkey placemats, just in time for Thanksgiving, I hope!

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Friday, November 9, 2007

A Great Game of "In"

Esme's has a new favorite game. She calls it "in." We call it cute as can be.

She can now climb up to sit "in" a chair.

And she loves to put the elephant "in" the A-frame house.

She also puts things into baskets, buckets, and toy bins. She puts Mommy's shoes into paper grocery bags, and puts her feet into Ada's boots. She helps put the groceries away--cat food in the pantry, and cheese in the fridge. And she's a whiz with helping load the wet clothes into the dryer.

Something that's not as cute or fun is finding out that our cellphone does indeed go "in" the dryer lint slot--all the way in--down into the vent. 30 minutes and 2 bent-up wire hangers later, Mommy decides maybe having Esme's help with every chore is probably not such a good idea. And maybe letting her play with our lone cellphone is not the brightest, either. Maybe Mommy needs a few more hours "in" dreamland--fast asleep.

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Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Because I have nothing else to do...

I've started a second blog. Yes, I'm crazy.

It's a cooking/recipe blog. I've been wanting to collect and organize our family's favorite recipes for a long, long, time. Way before there even was such a thing as blogs. When I started playing around with this blog, I realized that a second blog might be the way to format that collection. Blogs are the perfect medium for sharing recipes, and for recording ideas, steps, etc, to cooking. So, here's my attempt: Our Recipe Project. Take a look, and send me your recipes, too!

I apologize in advance--The first post is a really long one because the process is pretty involved. Most posts won't be this long, I promise!

The end result of this project will be a little self printed book (cool and cheap from Blurb) for us to use, give to our kids, and send to some friends. If I can keep posting regularly, we should have some great recipes collected in a year's time! You can help me by sending me feedback and your own favorite things to cook. Thanks for looking.

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Monday, November 5, 2007

Ta Da!

The Tooth Fairy has been waiting to pay us a visit for Ada's second tooth. Ada insisted we wait until her long-requested pillow was done. So, for over six weeks now, I've been sneaking in pillow-sewing time during naps and late nights. At long last, here is the Tooth Fairy Pillow.  If you click on this photo, you can see the detail a bit better.

The idea for the pillow is that the TF won't actually have to go under Ada's pillow to get her tooth. And who really wants someone poking around under their pillow in the wee hours of the night, anyway? Now we can hang it on a door (downstairs, please, says Ada), and keep Ada's sleep undisturbed. Makes sense to me.

Ada was pleased with it and so was I. Now to see what that fairy thinks. Do you think she'll bring Ada a little extra in appreciation of the fine handiwork?

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Sunday, November 4, 2007

The latest Buzz

The buzz is that we had a great Halloween. We were a family of bees buzzing around a little flower. Somehow we timed it with J. Seinfeld (which was completely accidental, by the way). More PR for the already ubiquitous marketing of that movie--oh well.

It was great fun to see Ada feeling brave, even at the spooky houses! And now we have WAY WAY too much candy. I managed to limit myself to one day of snacking, and now I've sworn off the stuff. Eight pieces in one day proved to me that I actually don't like chocolate as much as I thought I did. At least for now.

Our little flower Esme did have a taste of a candy bar, which she has named "mmmmm." I can see we'll need to keep her away from the candy dish, too.

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Monday, October 22, 2007

Rule #2: Be Where You Are

For a few years now, we’ve been creating a set of rules for our family to live by. I originally thought they would be good for teaching Ada simple lessons, but these rules are turning out to be great touchstones for all of us. As trite or silly as it seems, it’s nice to be able to just repeat a simple phrase to yourself when you’re a bit overwhelmed. If nothing else, the rules remind us of some basics, and it’s nice to know we, as family, all share the same “code.”
Lately, I find myself recalling our second rule, which is the rather Zen-like, “Be where you are.” Simple enough in theory, but hard to do in practice.

I recite that most to myself when I notice I’m worried about the ever-increasing “to do” list, or when I get into spiral of “It will be great when…”

And it will be great when I…
Clean the kitchen floor
Finish Esme’s quilt
Sort the last year’s photos
Lose 30 pounds
Wash the front windows
Refinish the studio stairs

One big problem with waiting for things to be great later is that once these goals are actually done, nothing really changes. That's not to say I shouldn't set goals--it's just to say I shouldn't set my happiness on them.

So forget the “will be great.” It is great right now. And now. And now. Each moment is great, and full, and in it I have enough. I have to remind myself of that from time to time, and it helps me to focus on what is at hand. Plans are good. But noticing what I have, and what we are right now is good, too. So here’s to Rule Number 2 and focusing on the moment.

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Saturday, October 20, 2007

Latest great reads: The World Without Us, by Alan Weisman

You know you’ve got a great book when you have to stop every chapter or so to exclaim aloud “Wow! This is so good!” (Yes, I am that much of a geek--not only because I actually do this, but also because I admit to doing it.) The World Without Us is just one of these books. And whether you’re a geek or not, you will certainly find something new and interesting in Weisman’s research. Essentially, this is a look at what the Earth might be like if humans were to, well—leave. It asks the question, “How big a footprint do we as humans really leave on the Earth?” And I was surprised a bit by the answer he proposes.
While the title might imply some sci-fi take on doomsday, this is pure non-fiction. I saw it at Barnes and Noble filed in the nature section, but I would say it goes beyond a discussion of ecology-it’s also a look at history and geography, oceanography, and sociology. If you are even marginally interested in the “natural world,” you should take a look at this one. It’s well-written in the best way, which is to say it’s not only good research, but it’s also engaging. I had a hard time setting it down. Page turning non-fiction? Indeed.

It’s going on my shelf next to Michael Pollan’s Omnivore’s Dilemma, another absorbing and provoking read—and one that had me exclaiming aloud many times last summer.

What's on your shelf? I'm always eager to find new things to read!

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

School at home

We are well underway at our "home" school. We started formally devoting most of our day to kindergarten-level schoolwork in July, and it's great so far. Ada is now starting to read on her own, and we are through our first two sets of Kumon math (an excellent program for anyone--check out their website).

We get a lot of questions about why we are doing this, and the main answer for us is that it works for Ada, and it works with our family right now. I spend a great deal of time with her one-on-one, and I think that is going to make a big difference in how fast she picks up certain things.

And not least of all our reasons for home schooling is how much fun it is to do "lessons" with her (most of the time!). In addition to the usual kindergarten requisites of handwriting and phonics, we do lots of other things, too. Some of our favorites include reading about early American history, doing projects with leaves and tree identification, and making a story journal with illustrations.

I love watching Ada accomplish so much. She is taking some real pride in her achievements.

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Friday, September 7, 2007


A very busy summer left me with little time to post. Add to that a sick computer, and, well, so much for posting on the blog.

But I return now with some great photos and a few thoughts to post.

Some highlights of our summer:

A reunion with old friends from high school left me being grateful for what I started with, and being glad I was lucky enough to grow up with the people I did.

An impromptu helicopter ride over our area. A sail in a beautiful boat on a lovely, foggy day.

A digging day at one of my favorite childhood haunts.

Add to this great vegetables from the garden, nights with quiet cricketsong, the happy sound of pattering toddler feet, some visits with family, and the general happiness of our little girls, and you've got a pretty great summer.

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Thursday, June 21, 2007

A scene from a regular day around here

Here's a shot of just a regular day around our house. Notice especially how Ada has attached "wings" to Esme. What's a little chaos when you have two cherubs flying around your family room?

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Welcome, summer!

The strawberry patch is the perfect place to start summer. Ada is an expert at choosing the best. Now to make some strawberry jam! Maybe next week...I have a feeling we'll eat these well before then.

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REM says (yes, 80s girl, REM) "Stand in the place where you are."

For Esme, that's the theme of the summer. She's standing up every chance she gets, from the moment she wakes up, literally. Yea, Esme!

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Wednesday, May 30, 2007


The summer birds have reminded me that early morning is a great time to be quietly alone. In these green hours, my best company (besides our beloved tabby cat on my lap) is a book. For years, I have been making a stack of summer reading for myself. Sometime after the weather starts I scavenge our shelves for books I may have neglected, and have a bonanza at the bookstore. Here are the books on the summer shelf this year:

Narcissus and Goldmund. Hermann Hesse
To Say Nothing of the Dog. Connie Willis
The Hummingbird's Daughter. Luis Alberto Urrea.
The Best Science Fiction, 2007. Rich Horton, Ed.

Committed to Memory: 100 Best Poems to Memorize. John Alexander, Ed.
Good Poems for Hard Times. Garrison Keillor, Ed.
(Note: Keillor’s talents extend beyond folksy storytelling. He is an excellent editor. The first collection, Good Poems, was one of the best collections I’ve ever found.)

His Excellency, George Washington. Joseph J. Ellis.
How to Practice: the Way to a Meaningful Life. Dalai Lama
Revolutionary Characters: What Made the Founders Different. Gordon S. Wood.
Devil in the Details: Scenes from an Obsessive Childhood. Jennifer Traig.
The Educated Child. William J. Bennet, Chester E. Finn, Jr., and John Cribb, Eds.

Not on this list are the many little mystery novels I call my "potato chip" books. Those silly little series with recipes, etc...they are so fun and quick to read! Rest assured I'll be reading a bunch of these, too.

And yes, Uncle Edward, Corelli’s Mandolin remains on the list, too. Why don’t I just give in and read it, already?

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Saturday, May 19, 2007

Cupcakes part 1

When you mix together some free time, a visit from Grandma, an exuberant 5-year old, and an over-the-top shopping spree at Michaels (courtesy of Grandma--thanks mom!), you get cupcakes! Ballet cupcakes. Because it's a rule in our house never to bake unless you share the bounty with people outside of the home, we made them for Ada's class. Ada is the best froster, we decided. And I'm not bad at smoothing out the shoes. Grandme is best at cutting (and tasting, Ada reminds me to say) the fondant. We made a great team. What will we make next time Grandme comes?

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Thoughts on the reunion, and a girl in the mirror

For the past few weeks, I've been spending an unusual amount of time looking backward. Planning a 20th reunion will do that to a person, I suppose. So many names, so many people. I was not, by far, a popular or well-known person, but for some reason I remember almost everyone. There were 450+ members of our graduating class, and I am determined that each one is invited individually.

Ideally, we would all attend the reunion. We would all be the amazing grownups we thought we could be. We would leave behind us the grudges, the resentments, the cliquishness. Ideally, we would instead make a celebration of the past--the good and bad of it, and acknowledge how our adolescence influenced the people we've become. We would be one, big, happy group, the same as the day we graduated.

Oh idealist! Of course, this assumes there was a real unity to our class--a happy unity, at that! And there wasn't. How could there be in a group so large? We may have been physically "together" in the same building and in the same town, but we were not all "together," were we?

Still, there is something to be said about remembering those formative four years, and the fact that we all did have the same environment. We did start together. We have a something of a shared past, whether our memories of that time are happy or angst-ridden, or most likely, both. And that's why I'm spending time on the reunion. Contacting people has been such fun--I am revisiting memories I had long forgotten, and hoping others are doing the same. Good memories, bad memories, formative memories. These are a few of the roots of the me I am today.

Here I am, reflective in another way, sometime around 1985. I love this photo--me, in my favorite Esprit pants, no doubt worried about what I saw in the mirror. I look at her now, and I feel--well, love. Thank you to her and to my parents and friends and all who brought me to happy today.

It's funny to spend time in the past, with these photos and memories. Esme and Ada, and life in general, have a way of keeping me firmly rooted in the now--the right now!--kind of present. These reunion diversions are fun--and between the laundry and the dinner and the nursery rhymes and violin lessons and ballet class and diaper changes, I think about these things and wonder what Ada and Esme will think about when they wax nostalgic...

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Monday, April 16, 2007

Really, get real Monday—why do I blog?

Lately, I’ve been getting a lot of questions from my non-blogging friends. “I don’t really get blogs in general, but yours is cute,” a friend will say. Or, “What’s it for?” Or,“What’s the point, why not just send pictures, or keep a diary?” Good questions.

I guess I wondered these things myself before I started blogging. Isn’t it a bit, well, self indulgent to keep a blog? It is sort of like a diary, but with pictures, and more importantly, an audience who is reading that diary. Which makes it sort of narcissistic, too, a bit of “look at me! Look at me!” Yikes. I don’t really mean it to be that way, but there it is…

And it’s not totally honest, either. It’s not like I’m posting the countless bad photos we take, or the disorder that seems to follow us in the course of the day. Having two little kids is messy, and exhausting, and sometimes disheartening, that’s all there is to it. That stuff doesn’t usually make it to the blog posts. At first impressions we are all sweetness and light. Hence the need for a “get real” Monday (thanks Randi, at I Have to Say).

Now I’ve concluded that keeping a blog reveals some of my more base qualities--my self-indulgent or narcissistic tendencies—talk about dirty laundry! (Look at our messy, messy studio these days!)
But honestly, doing the blog serves a bigger purpose for me, and for most bloggers, I suspect. Connection.

We are so busy, all of us! Connection is the casualty of all that “busy-ness”. How often do we see our closest friends and family? For someone like me, far removed from family, it’s not often. Of course, we are on the phone all the time, but that’s something else again.

And while we may have lots of activities with friends and colleagues, I think I’m so busy running from thing to thing, getting countless tasks “accomplished” each day, I don’t get the chance to spend time with friends the way I once did, before grown-up life happened. No lazy days at a beach swapping secrets and jokes, or late nights in the dorm, waxing philosophical and dreaming of the future. Grown-up life eats up almost all the extra energy and time, and for me, most of my mental energy gets tied up in the practical, day-to-day management of our home and family. And that’s how it should be. Our focus is our family.

With the little bit of leftover energy I have, I like to make things—crafts, food, words. I like fabric, and paper, and hand-written notes. I like to cook for my family and with my family. I like to take pictures. I like to read. I like to design little projects. I like to plan, and play.

This blog gives me a little outlet for all of these things—it helps me make new connections to other people who like to make stuff. It’s a way to update our friends and family on what we’re up to, what we’ve been thinking about. Blogging about my plans for making things makes my plans public, and that tends to make me more accountable to myself. Thinking about a blog from a rhetorical perspective, it is like a diary, a day-planner, a Christmas letter, a sewing circle, a letter, a photo album, and an email all rolled up into one.

Of course, our life is blessed in that I do get to make daily connections with my daughters, and my parents, and my best friend—my husband. Keeping a blog shortens the distance between me and the rest of the great people in my life. So that’s why I do it…for real.

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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Sabine Kim's quilt is finished

I got word this week that Sabine's quilt is finished. I got this photo from Meghan, at Z and S Fabrics. It was she who organized the quilting. Look at the detail! You can see more photos of the quilters at work here.Thanks to Shanna and Patricia for organizing such a worthwhile project! It was a pleasure to be involved in making a block. Ada and I picked the fabric together, and then we learned about applique and embroidery together. Here's the block I made. I'm eager to make another bird study like this, perhaps in a different color.

On a more serious note, I must say that projects like this make the blogging community a real thing. Working on the block for this pretty little quilt--well, it gave me a chance to feel connected and to express, in some small way, my deep sympathy for the Kim family's loss.

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Easter and eggs

Ada loves Easter. The bunny, whom she suspects is perhaps Santa dressed up as a rabbit (because "rabbits don't really walk around and carry things," is very generous with her. Last year the rabbit delivered two separate baskets of treats--one to our hotel room, and one to our house for when we returned from vacation. That bunny. Always so thoughtful.

This year was no exception. Somehow the bunny heard of Esme's desire for a baby of her own (she is always playing with Ada's dolls--a major no-no around here). Now Esme has a little baby girl called Rose (Ada helped pick the name). And Ada got a coffeemaker, which every new mom needs, as well as a couple of mini Playmobil sets. What a great thing that Mommy loves Playmobil, too.

Somehow I managed to rein in our egg decorating this year. Only 10 eggs, and Ada enjoyed coloring each one.

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Apron swap--what we sent. And how much fun to make!

We love making things, and this swap was a great opportunity for Ada and I to work together on another project. Here is the apron we made for Patricia's Marley at Willow Lane:

I went with a classic retro style and print--teacups and flowers that Ada helped me choose. As I was working with these old-style fabrics, I couldn't help but thinking about both of my grandmothers--both very crafty in her own way. One was a Swedish farm wife who quilted and knew how to stretch out her materials. The other grandmother was a city lady, refined, interested in collecting, and a very accomplished knittter and needleworker. I just know they both would have loved this sort of swap, and they both would have loved the prints we chose.

For the lining of the pockets, we used a wonderful dotty print. It was so cute, we used a bit more to make a chopstick holder (or an ipod holder--great idea!). And we got extra for a few more things I've been dreaming up...

And then finally the recipes. We had such fun putting this together, I think I'm going to start a whole new recipe project. More on that later...

We just loved this swap. And I can't wait to do another.

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And more!

mini swap recipe cards
Originally uploaded by jinjur.
Look at the cute little cards Sarah made for us. (I used her photo--it came out so much nicer than mine.) All of these recipes look delicious, and Ada and I are eager to make them all. Look for a post on that strawberry bread soon!

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Apron swap! Lucky us--look what we received!

Look at the lovely apron we received in our apron swap! Thank you so much to Sarah at Jinjur, who spent a lot of time making the cutest little apron for Ada, and a matching bib for Esme. Ada has worn it several times already. SO, so cute! The funny thing is that Ada used to think she was a bunny, and she would correct people when they would say, "oh, aren't you adorable!" She would say, "I'm not really a 'dorable,' I'm a bunny!" Bunny or no, she is certainly cute in this adorable apron..

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Sunday, April 1, 2007

Princess Esme

Ada decided we needed to add some regality to our home. A few snips, a few stickers, et voila! Enter Princess Esme. It was great until she decided to taste her crown...

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Friday, March 30, 2007

The "other" website

So this is where I've been spending all my time....

Take a look, and spread the world, you DHS alumni! If you register and buy your tickets now, we can repay ourselves for the deposits! My husband thanks you in advance!

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The latest obsession...

Our high school reunion. It's been 20 years, and so much has changed, and little. The big change is that I'm actually really involved in the reunion planning itself. It's so fun talking to people I haven't seen in years, and even more fun imagining how great the reunion will be. There are 12 of us working hard to make it an amazing event, and trite as it sound, "this is going to be the best reunion, ever!" (I sort of picture myself as Reese Witherspoon when I say that--hmmm." I haven't changed THAT much.

Anyway, look for some great photos of me back in the good old 80s. The scanner awaits...

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Monday, March 12, 2007

Fabric swap

My first swap packages were sent out! What a great idea to exchange scraps. It made me look at my fabrics in a whole new way. Now, to find some time to get going on all these fun projects...

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Back to that same old place, Chicago.

And in spite of (or because of?) a crazy-busy schedule, we had a great time. Two nights in the city, three days in the suburbs, plus three different parties (a baby shower for Missy, a 6th birthday party for second-cousin Sarah, and a general get-together for Ada and Esme), and we were exhausted! But what fun! We got to see so many friends, so many family members!

The first two days of the trip we spent in the city, showing our girls the sights. Ada was especially interested in seeing where they film ER (yes, I let her watch the medical parts, but not the “grown-up relationship” parts, just in case you’re worried!). I think she was disappointed to find out there isn’t a hospital at the Chicago stop on the brown line. Oh well.

Some highlights of her city adventure: the Art Institute (especially the miniature rooms), our old loft building, the Palmer House, and the American Girl store.

And then for the big gathering on Sunday, over 80 people showed up to share the afternoon with us. Thanks to my mom and dad, my Aunt Judy and Uncle Tom, my cousin Sara, and Chef Patrick, we had a fantastic spread of food and beautiful flowers. They worked so hard to put together a nice day for all of us, and was it ever!

And thanks to so many who came from far away. Bob and Margaret and Mrs. Hallas came from Canada, and Nancy and Rick and the cousins came from Iowa, and Marie and Gerald and their beautiful girls came from Indiana. And thanks, too, to all the friends and family nearby. I know how busy Sundays can be—it was great you could make it!

The kids had a great time playing together, and Ada was in her element. I loved so much seeing the children of so many friends in one place, all running and laughing together. Ada is sometimes shy with kids here, and it was reassuring to see how “kid-like” she can be when she lets herself!

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Friday, February 23, 2007

Goodie, goodie!

Oooh--goodie! That sounds ridiculous, but that's exactly what I felt when I saw these finished. Finally! Sometimes I actually do something in addition to taking care of kiddos. Now to find some time to finish a few more pairs. And maybe squeeze in the laundry....

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A new discovery for Esme--the johnny-jump-up is more than just a hammock. She can bounce! And what's more fun than an evening of boing, boing, boing, boing, boing, boing.

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

A fan of the scan

Oh fun toys! We've got a scanner, now, and I'm busy scanning away. Here's a sample of Ada's flower arranging. Look for lots more artwork from her, and maybe even from D and me.

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Catching another nap.

Here is Esme napping with her friend, Teuce.
And I promise, Esme does more than sleep and eat (or eat and sleep).

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Little Fisher and Big Fisher discover the Johnny-Jump-Up. And after the swinging is done, it makes a great hammock. For only a minute, I swear--just so I can take this picture. Now shhh! You'll wake the baby.

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Eat Like a Lady--sort of

Esme practices eating rice cereal every day. Thanks Auntie Missy for the bib!

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Rice is Nice

Our little baby has been eyeing our food for a few weeks now. Her wide-eyed gaze has been following each forkful of food we eat, and she has been smacking her lips as she watches us chew. We took it as a hint that she might be ready to try eating something, so we gave rice cereal a try this week.
And rice is nice, Esme decided. But it’s still not helping her sleep through the night, though!

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Thinking of Food and Kid-ness--a Mini Meme

Yea! My first meme. It’s part of the apron miniswap on What's Cookin'

1. What is your first food memory? Sweet things—thick, o-shaped gummy candy; bubblegum pink buttercream frosting on a birthday cake; blue “Mr. Freeze” frozen pops (those kind in the plastic sleeve). When I was a little older, maybe 11 or so, I remember my mom making a lot of whole wheat bread and my dad making chicken soup. I know they actually did cook good food for me. I wonder what my kids will remember us cooking!
2. What was your favorite dish/food as a child? I loved Thanksgiving stuffing.
3. Name one of your mini's favorite foods: I asked Ada, and she said the following: “salmon cakes,” sushi, avocado. If you push her, she will also confess to loving frosted cookies and icecream with sprinkles.
4. What was your mini's first solid food? Did they love it or hate it? Ada ate lots of great things in Korea with her foster family, before she came home to us when she was 7 months old. One things we fed her right away was sweet potatoes. She loved them.
5. What was something you were excited to make for your mini for the first time? I loved cooking anything for her. I vividly remember making her steamed apples when she was 8 months old. When she got bigger, we were excited about letting her try shellfish.
6. What is your favorite food memory? Cooking with my family. I love planning the menus for holidays with my husband, and I even like the “add-ons” my dad makes at the last minute.
7. Your mini's birthday party : All out theme with perfect kid food ala Martha? or Quiet family home party with scrumptious cupcakes? Something in-between? Ada responded that she likes just a few friends and her family. She loves nice food, so a-la-Martha would be perfect, but on a small scale.
8. Name one thing you absolutely love to make and eat when you are feeling like a kid again: peanut butter and bananas.
9. Name something you ate as a kid that you now look back on and wonder "what were my childhood taste buds thinking??": I guess I wonder why I *didn't* like certain things--like spice and flavor. I hate anything hot, even mustard, and I missed out entirely on kimchi, even though my family ate from time to time.

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Friday, February 9, 2007


This week I was browsing some of my favorite blogs, and I saw that Hillary at wee wonderfuls was eyeing a yellow baby sweater from a vintage catalog. It’s almost exactly the same sweater that my mom recently gave to our youngest daughter, Esme.

The weird thing about Esme’s sweater is that it was kind of a hidden treasure. My grandme must have started it sometime in the seventies. Many years after my grandme died, my mom found a stash of sweaters. The first set, she found just before our Ada arrived—and they were the perfect size. And then, five years later, she found this yellow sweater just a few weeks before Esme was born. The yellow sweater was unfinished, and my mom had to stitch it up and add the ribbon.
Just looking at it makes me feel more connected to my mom and grandme.

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Thursday, February 8, 2007

Sew beautiful

Ada's latest project. Her first embroidery--of a duck, by her own design. I'm in love with it. And my great-grandmother, Ada, who was a fantastic needle artist, would have been so proud.

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A remaining decoration from Christmas, and I just don't have the heart to take it down. It's my ambition this spring to make new mail holders like it for other seasons. I see various hangings with hearts and flowers and leaves in the future. But for now, I'm still crazy for this tomten, and will be filling it with Valentines for all of us by the end of the weekend.

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Tuesday, February 6, 2007

In the winter kitchen

On this cold day, Big Fisher Ada and Little Fisher Esme are warm in the kitchen, cooking up a storm.

How great to be little! I remember loving my kitchen toys, especially when going outside was impossible.

And cold it is, but the only snowflakes we have here are the ones hanging on our railing. And those are in danger of disappearing, too. Peeper-kitty is convinced they are birds, and we wake each morning to find small bits of paper in our shoes.

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