Monthly Archives: February 2011

hump day nuggets: sweet challenge

hump day nuggets: little bits of the season in photos and words about the last weekSnow continues to fall and my kids continue to grow. It’s nice to rely on these things. Last week over dinner, Margot turned to her dad and said, “You know, I like children’s museums more than I like children.” Last week I sighed and Ruby leaned over and gave me an open-mouth kiss on my nose. Sometimes I want to pause my kids. It all feels so safe and funny right now. It’s a good thing we get to grow with our children, that I have the spring and summer to sift through my emotions about Margot starting preschool. The changes happen so quickly and yet the cadence somehow feels manageable because the sequence makes sense and unfolds with or without my permission. With every phase I find myself wishing to stop time and excited for the next chapter because, with every phase, there is sweetness and challenge. blizzard outside, bed-romping inside nuggets. :: Margot regularly asks me to help her make a nest for she and Ruby to read in. It’s one of my favorites right now. :: We had a sicky sick blech weekend. Lots of reading and soup and hugging and sleep. both of my kids really love these teas and I really think they work wonderfully  :: The weekend was challenging. In hindsight, the slow, healing pace seems sweet. I think most hardships are that way. :: And, man does it feel good to get out after we’ve been pinned in. :: One of my current parenting challenges is Ruby’s desire to be within six inches of me if I am visible. I love holding her. And I am ready for her to feel comfortable playing in the living room while I make dinner. We’ll get there. Actually it is often both of my kids that want to curl into the palm of my hand. We had a “picnic on the floor” for dinner a few nights ago and Margot and Ruby both pawed at my food and my lap. I asked them if they perhaps wanted to visit their dad (who lounged peacefully and gracefully ate spinach salad). Margot stopped still and said, “Mom, your children just want you when you are eating dinner. That’s all.” That’s all. :: Ruby is learning to walk. Margot walked at 10 months so we kept thinking Ruby would up and go like her sister. But this sister is on her own trajectory. She is completely hilarious when she’s upright, often giggling so uncontrollably that she loses her balance. Her favorite is when Margot walks with her. She goes back for more even when Margot decides to pick up the pace and not let go of Ruby’s hand. Come on Ruby! Good job! Isn’t this fun? :: “Mama, I really think Ruby really wants to be up here on the bed and not playing with that doll. I think she wants me to play with that doll.” :: Winter is the best season to photograph Alice. :: During the rough, sick weekend,  Margot asked what I was feeling and I told her I was grumpy and frustrated. It was the truth, a lot of it because Margot had continually pushed and pulled on Ruby all morning. I had yelled a few times, I felt like I wasn’t a very fun mom. Margot centered me, held my face in her little hands and said, “Mama, I like you.” And, just like that, grumps evaporated and Margot softened toward Ruby. Words are powerful.  New hoodie in the shop, a design collaboration with sparkley-darker-blue-loving Margot :: All the photos in this post are taken with my loaner camera from Vann’s. It’s an affordable little point and shoot (I used the manual settings) and a great camera (available through the link below). I am still waiting to get my hands on my Dreamboat… THANK YOU for your participation in the poll and comments. I think you will be very psyched with the deals Vann’s has composed for you, in response to your desires, including a discount on apple laptops and several point and shoots, lenses and DSLRs. Click here to see the fabulous deals that can be yours and how to grab ‘em before they are gone (while also supporting a locally-owned, mama-supporting business)! All offers end at midnight on February 25. Thank you, Vann’s! Happy hump day out there. Read more on hump day nuggets: sweet challenge…
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a bag for mama

Last night, after an exhausting day of caring for my sick family, I decided to not even consider my pile of work. I needed to do something for me. It was late, snowing and cold. I couldn’t find a leash and I couldn’t stand to be inside for another moment so Alice and I headed out into the snowy night, boundless. I walked hard and fast. The cold air burned. I let go a little bit with every deliberate step. I came home, walked through the messy kitchen only stopping to put the entire pot of chicken noodle soup in the fridge. I poured a glass of thick wine, descended to the studio put on some loud music and made myself a bag. Our hen, 16 months, digs the new accessory I’ve had this bag in mind for a while. My criteria: Read more on a bag for mama…
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chores and cameras

When Margot was like six weeks old, Andy and I sat cocooned together with her on the couch. I asked him what he was excited for and we had a dreamy conversation about our future kid and all the activities we couldn’t wait to enjoy together. And then he said, “I also can’t wait until she can do chores.” We laughed and then he said, “Seriously though, won’t it be nice?” nursing Ruby is hardly a chore but it is one of my responsibilities, a task I love Currently, Margot’s “chores” mostly involve halfway cleaning up her own messes. But as I look around our home, to-do chores in every corner of every room, I get what Andy was saying. Margot now feeds our cats and dog every morning and night. And, somehow, Andy has managed to make her excited about learning to vacuum. vacuuming is most fun when naked from the waist down For whatever reason chore has a negative connotation to me. It sounds like a forced activity. I like to think we, as a family, are participating, collaborating for the greater good of our home. Overly flowery? Perhaps but I have unloaded approximately 789,000 dishwashers in my life so maybe that’s why I don’t like chores. It was my chore and I wore it like an albatross. And since it was also my mom’s chore as a child I GET why she promptly passed the baton. It will indeed be lovely when Margot and Ruby can Participate and Collaborate in the unloading of dishes. I do hope to change it up though. Make it fun! Is it possible? I tasked Margot with gathering photos for last Wednesday’s nuggets. I just left her camera out and she chose what to capture but there were a few times when I really wanted a photo from her perspective, like Ruby taking her first steps, when Margot firmly told me it was not her vision. Fair enough. I had the vision and no camera to capture it in the way I imagined. I do think of photographing as a way I contribute to and participate in my family. It’s a chore I love. So, you know my camera is broken, right? Right. I have been channeling every nerve in my universe, believing some sort of magical camera elf would work this all out for me. Big picture (pun!), I know having a camera is small potatoes but I feel got by you all. Anything seems possible as your amazing emails, that made me buzz with appreciation and a few tears, arrived to my inbox. People offering their cameras, offering to contribute to a purchase, brainstorming sponsorship approaches, well-wishing…amazing, gorgeous people you are. Thank you. My elf is skipping around my home and his name is Vann’s. Vann’s is my local appliance and electronics store (with an awesome online store, no sales tax and free shipping on most items). They have a great selection and we’ve purchased many items there, including our range, dishwasher and washing machine. Vann’s generously gave me a camera to use (I pick it up today! yay!) and we are working towards my Dreamboat Camera. I need your help to get to the Dreamboat. Pretty please take a sec to answer the poll at the upper right of my blog, answering the question: What is the number one electronics or appliance item you wish you could get a discount on? And, please leave a comment answering this question: If you were offered a discount on that item, would you purchase it? The poll is open until Tuesday, February 22 and the next day, in nuggets, you will learn what sort of lovely offer Vann’s has composed just for YOU. Thank you in advance for your help. Maybe a sweet little purchase (made sweeter by a deal) would make your chores easier. What was your childhood chore? Do you hate unloading the dishwasher? to adoring chores, dig Read more on chores and cameras…
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hump day nuggets: Margot’s lens

hump day nuggets: little bits of the season in photos and words about the last week My camera is broken. I feel a little sheepish admitting the heartache I feel over it. The thing is, sure, I use it for my work both here and on etsy. I need it for my upcoming art exhibit. I want it because I love to document. But, more than any of that, my camera is daily creative outlet that is really important to me. You know. she was a present from my parents for my 30th birthday I have been talking about, thinking about, dreaming about cameras a lot this last week. I can’t afford a new one and I just keep waiting for the perfect answer to emerge. It’ll come. In the mean time, Margot is now the member of our family with a camera.* And, at the suggestion of a reader (Whitney!), this week’s nuggets come from her unique, hilarious perspective. The photos in this post are taken by or directed by Margot Bea. And she helped me with the commentary which was one of the funniest experiences I have had as of late. She’s a great kid, that one. nuggets. :: Margot and Ruby play with three pals two mornings a week. She took her camera on Monday and when I asked how it went she just shrugged her shoulders and said, “Well, fine I guess. The memory card is, like, full.” Getting nuggets together is tough work I tell you. :: We go through an unreal amount of bread in our home and, no matter how much I make and buy, at least once a week we find one lonely heel where we thought the loaf should be. Consequently, I have been searching, tweaking, hoping for a perfect, quick, healthy, quick, very quick biscuit recipe. And, beloveds, I am there. And it is good. Supa Quick Whole Wheat Honey Biscuits The Whole Family Loves 2 cups whole wheat flour1/2 teaspoon salt1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon baking powder2 tablespoons ground flax (optional) 2 tablespoons honey 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold butter1/2 cup milk Mix the flour, salt, baking powder and ground flax in a bowl. Cut in butter. In a separate bowl, whisk honey into the milk. Add honey milk and stir until just mixed. It’s pretty dry so, at this point, I just get my hands in there to form a dough ball. Divide dough into 12 biscuits and bake at 450 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Easy. Delish. :: “Margot, tell me about this photo.” A little annoyed, with an exhale, “That’s Ruby, mama.” :: We took Margot skiing last weekend, her first time on real skis with hard boots and oh my. I found myself teary more than once at the total happiness and beauty of the day. When seeing this photo, bug said, “That’s me skiing, mama. Skiing is fun and that’s the ski hill, mama. I love skiing!” She skied on our backs when she was one, on strap-on skis when she was two and, now, at three, she’s skiing. It was awesome and completely exhausting in the most wonderful way. I was a ski instructor in college and worked a lot with three year-olds. It is quite cool to teach my kid to ski. And, holy holy, what a proud mama I was. She was spirited and fearless. And, after two bunny hill runs, she was skiing begging me to “just move please mama because I want to go really fast.” These photos by Andy and Gramma Joan, assisted by Ruby. :: I transcribed Margot’s birthday card message to her bff, Owen, on his third birthday: Read more on hump day nuggets: Margot’s lens…
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be mine

Hello sweethearts. Margot wanted to make a ‘happy valentine’s day video’ and took the opportunity to sing her favorite song.  I remember making and passing out valentines in elementary school into tiny baskets on each kid’s desk. I was always so excited to see what my classmates chose to give me. Like my horoscope, I’d always read what I wanted to read. If my crush gave me a Kermit card, I just *knew* it meant he wanted to hold hands. I remember high school where simple handmade cards turned into buying carnations for classmates. I think the intention of the organizers was to send warm fuzzies to your pals but, like most things in high school, it felt like a competition. How may carnations were waiting for me in homeroom? It always gave me anxiety. I didn’t like how my feelings were directly related to the size of my bouquet. Also, there was always an anonymous love flower whose giver I’d never know. I didn’t like the not knowing either. Just give me a Kermit card and let’s hold hands already. Memory is an interesting thing, what our brains choose to hold onto, how out bodies choose to revisit stories. I have been thinking about this a lot lately as Margot is three and, at three, I have many vivid, exaggerated snippets in my brain. I wonder what she’ll remember and I wrote about it in this week’s mama digs: remembering three.Photos taken with webcam, my beloved camera is broken. Happy Valentine’s Day! Read more on be mine…
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