Thursday, November 29, 2012

thank you, mary poppins

"mama, how do you spell 'supercalifragalisticexpealidotious?'"  --noah
"uh, that is way too long for me to spell.  what do you think?" --me

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

our fourth annual halloween harvest party

photo by christina

we love hosting this event every year!  this year was a packed house, and unfortunately the rain kept us mostly inside.  but aaron did devise a unique rain cover in the yard and despite the rain we powered on with the donut-on-a-string eating and the treasure hunting in the hay.  isla was a lovely princess, which should come as no surprise.  noah was a lego man in an awesome daddy-made costume.  ezra was a cozy little green monster.

aaron had some old sails someone had given him, and hung those as a small dry zone in the yard.  we added some christmas lights and the new leaf-stamp autumn garland i made.  it was really pretty and cozy!

this year's craft was sun catchers, which were a big hit!  i got the idea here.  aaron cut out the holes in the paper plates at work, which was a big help.  friends brought some dried flowers, which were really pretty.  we also used ripped up pieces of tissue paper, kite paper and other pretty paper, and some watercolored coffee filter leaves we'd painted.  (we got the idea for the watercolored leaves here.)  there was a great variety of designs!  isla has made at least five, with more to come, i'm sure.

the craft area was a disaster by the end of the party!  but isla was undaunted.  she kept crafting all night long!
we also made a few new glass jar lanterns this year, using the watercolored leaves as well.  last year we made this one with real leaves, and it is still holding up nicely!  and for martinmas we made some more small ones with colored tissue paper pieces.  we certainly have a lovely variety of colorful light receptacles around here.  now what we need is the light!

 it's fun to have an annual event that you can use as a barometer for measuring time.  i just looked through last year's pictures and am amazed at how much the kids have grown!  

look at big isla and autumn this year!  (photo by christina)
and last year!  (photo by christina)
and when they were one!  so cute!  isla had just started walking.  (photo by christina)
and noah last year.  he looks so little compared to now.  look at those cheeks!

Monday, November 19, 2012

poem for today

below is today's poem from the writer's almanac.  it really resonated with me.
read it or click here to listen to garrison keillor read it to you.

Advice to Myself

by Louise Erdrich
Leave the dishes. Let the celery rot in the bottom drawer of the refrigerator
and an earthen scum harden on the kitchen floor.
Leave the black crumbs in the bottom of the toaster.
Throw the cracked bowl out and don't patch the cup.
Don't patch anything. Don't mend. Buy safety pins.
Don't even sew on a button.
Let the wind have its way, then the earth
that invades as dust and then the dead
foaming up in gray rolls underneath the couch.
Talk to them. Tell them they are welcome.
Don't keep all the pieces of the puzzles
or the doll's tiny shoes in pairs, don't worry
who uses whose toothbrush or if anything
matches, at all.
Except one word to another. Or a thought.
Pursue the authentic—decide first
what is authentic,
then go after it with all your heart.
Your heart, that place
you don't even think of cleaning out.
That closet stuffed with savage mementos.
Don't sort the paper clips from screws from saved baby teeth
or worry if we're all eating cereal for dinner
again. Don't answer the telephone, ever,
or weep over anything at all that breaks.
Pink molds will grow within those sealed cartons
in the refrigerator. Accept new forms of life
and talk to the dead
who drift in through the screened windows, who collect
patiently on the tops of food jars and books.
Recycle the mail, don't read it, don't read anything
except what destroys
the insulation between yourself and your experience
or what pulls down or what strikes at or what shatters
this ruse you call necessity.
"Advice to Myself" by Louise Erdrich from Original Fire. © Harper Collins Publishers, 2003. Reprinted with permission.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

in the library basket

the library basket is overflowing these days.  i went a little crazy with requesting things, and now we have no shortage of reading/listening/watching material.  here's some of what's in our basket and on our shelves.

we are actually still waiting for this new album by elizabeth mitchell, whom we saw last weekend in concert!  it was such a fun, interactive, child-centered show.  i only wish it had been longer!  and that she'd played more songs from my new favorite cd, little seed.

i just watched this movie, and isla watched a bit with me too.  it is about young ballet prodigies vying for a few scholarships, and their lives are so stressful!  but the dancing was amazing.

we've had this book from the library before, and i think it is going to need to be under the christmas tree.  isla wants to read it over and over.  the illustrations are amazing, and the story is clever and heartwarming.  and it's about knitting! 
i've also had this book from the library before,  and i've spent lots of time thinking about how i'd love to make all these cute baby things.  well, i finally made one!  i made the "quick change trousers" for ezra, and i am pretty proud of myself.  it was my first time really using a pattern, measuring, etc.  they are fully reversible and fit just right.
and they're super cute!  (or maybe that's their model.)

aaron gets to listen to some good radio at work sometimes, and comes home excited about the good songs he's heard.    "man on fire" by edward sharpe and the magnetic fields is one of the latest favorites, and we're on the waiting list for their new album at the library.  but in the meantime we're enjoying this older album, and especially the song "home."  it's good dance music for the whole family!
this book just came out, and we have been waiting for it for a while.    we get to pick it up today!  noah is very excited. he loves this author, sean kenney, who is a "lego certified professional" in new york.  we own a few of his other books.
i've only been skimming this book, but i really appreciate it.  the title sums it up--steady days: a journey toward intentional, professional motherhood.  i would love to have more steady days!  and i like the idea of viewing stay-at-home-motherhood as a respectable profession that requires a lot of intentionality and work.
i've wanted to see this movie since i saw the trailer many months ago in the theatre.   it includes a few actors from some of my favorite shows (parks and rec, new girl).  hopefully we'll get a chance to see it this weekend!
this book was recommended by my friend kristin.  the author challenges parents to loosen up on our protectiveness of our children: to teach them well and then trust them to explore the world on their own (within limits).  it is making me think about my own fear, and how to let go.  and it is really funny!
after a long wait, i finally got this sequel to "wildwood."  i am in for some sleepless nights!
(well, more sleepless than usual, i mean!)

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

ezra august, half a year

 he was born when the bleeding hearts were just beginning to let their blossoms fall.   now we've cut them back and their roots are hiding in the cold ground, waiting for another spring.  he was born on a sunny afternoon with a warm spring breeze.

now the days are cold, often rainy, and he is bundled in a bunting to go outside.  these two seasons have passed so quickly!  where is that tiny little newborn boy??

he has turned into this bigger, funnier, laughier, grabbier, scooty, toothy, red-haired little guy.  
he makes us all smile all the time.

this boy loves to jump!!  he will spend a long, happy, jumpy time in this thing, watching the activity, munching a toy or two, twirling himself around and jump-jump-jumping. 

he has teeth now!  he got all four front ones in one hard week.  and now it seems he is beginning to like munching actual edible things too.  he loved these frozen blueberries in this funny net thing.   he has also enjoyed peaches, pears, bananas, applesauce, sweet potatoes, yogurt and those funny baby mum-mum crackers.  he is fickle, though; some days he's into food, some days he's not.

he loves being outside, taking walks, swinging in the baby swing, watching his siblings play in the yard.  he has also gone for a couple bike rides in the trailer and enjoyed them too.

ezra has started to scoot all over the place.  you leave him in one spot, come back and he is somewhere else!  mostly he still scoots backwards, but he is beginning to get up on his knees like this and flop his belly forward a bit.  he is very motivated to lunge toward interesting things!

and he has red hair!  really!  i am sure of it now.  his first lighter baby hair is gone and this new thicker hair that is coming in is red.  really!  it is so cute.  i am so happy to have a buddy on team red!

ezra is the smiliest, laughiest of all our kids.  it is such a sweet thing.  he loves his big sister and brother so much and is so much happier when they're around.  they often stop what they're doing to say hello to him and give him a kiss, and they are rewarded with this huge dimply grin.  

my only complaint about this sweet little guy is that he does not excel in the nighttime sleep department.  he still wakes up every 2-3 hours to nurse.  oh well.  i am trying not to feel jealous of the people whose babies sleep through the night early on...  and i am trying to remind myself that he will not wake up this often forever.  right?  right?  he won't, right?

ezra august, half a year, we love you!