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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Bub Bub Bubbles!

It is cold. Freezing. Below freezing. -13 with a windchill of -25 to be exact.
What else is there to do than play with bubbles?
We saw this experiment here. So we had to give it a try during Babe-ala's naptime since it was a "snow/extreme cold day" and Diet Coke Papa was home.

Truth be told, Babe-O was interested for the first one or two bubbles, then his cheeks got too cold and he went inside to observe from the window. Papa and I had the most fun with this one. Although Babe-O was fascinated when the bubbles didn't pop as they landed on the snow.

We made our own bubble solution with dish soap and water. We added a few drops of food coloring just for the added fun and beauty of rainbow bubbles. We also had a bottle of Crayola colored bubbles. The Crayola bubbles worked the best: more bubbles per blow and they froze more quickly without popping first. We will be experimenting with our cold weather bubble recipe. We'll let you know if we perfect it.

We have also been blowing a lot of bubbles indoors these days because, well, honestly, what is better than babies and bubbles? 
Nothing. Nothing is better than babies and bubbles.


Time goes by so fast. They say.

Everyone said this to me after The Babe-O was born. But I felt time was dragging by at a glacial pace.
With parenthood came, so much responsibility, so much of my identity uprooted and replanted, all kinds       of mundane and routine. Everything and everyone so new and such an archetypal role for me to fill - Mama. And wanting to do it all perfectly.

Truth be told, for all the precious moments of new baby bonding, snuggles and pride I have also secretly wished Babe-O to grow up. Wished time would pass just a bit more quickly.
Get us out of colicky, sleepless nights, diapers, the terrible twos that apparently extend into the threes.

With Babe-ala time has gone so fast. I am used to all the responsibility, a little more secure in my parenting skills or at least more trusting of my intuition. I have made friends (not besties but good friends) with the mundane, and am so very busy with a baby and an active three year old. Everything is much more of a blur. Time has gone by so fast. With Babe-ala I secretly wish to keep her small, to snuggle her for longer, to have more time to know her as a baby. And Babe-O is so big, so busy and spends more and more time exploring his independence.

Perhaps these are just the ways of mothering first and second children - not knowing what to expect, having high expectations for them and for myself, realizing how fast time has past, wanting to hold onto infancy/youth theirs and mine.

I am so grateful for the time we have together. I don't have to leave them to go to work. All of our days and nights are spent together. But do I really savor the time we have? Sometimes I just get through. Sometimes I am clinging to the walls waiting for Diet Coke Papa to get home. Sometimes I am so tired at the end of the day I have no interest in reliving the magic of growing that has occurred in the daylight.

I am resolving to savor the time we have together. Yes, even the certain drudgery that accompanies parenting at times. I am resolving to really soak in every moment, even the difficult and boring ones.

I want to SLOW DOWN.
Take notes and deep, deep breathes. Memorize the little things.
Say yes to more playing and play with my whole heart.
Organize the pictures and write the letters so that I will remember.
I want to keep them close...not rush them.

I want to give them my one REAL time: my whole attention.
Because isn't that the best feeling in the whole world?
Knowing that the one you are with truly and totally just wants to be there with you doing exactly that thing that you are doing.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

A Moment

My intentions this week did not match reality. I had posts prepared and ideas to write about. I was ready to post everyday. I am one post down and it's Saturday. How did that happen?

SO MUCH happened this week. Anise got some new very painful teeth! Our computer gotten eaten by internet aliens. Freezing temperatures kept us in most of the week but we had a play date with a new friend and tried out some new cookie recipes. We learned more about jellyfish and outer space! (Babe-O's latest fascinations!) We watched the new data relay satellite blast into space. We got a NEW (to us) van on Thursday evening! So to celebrate and get out of the house a little bit in a vehicle that has heat we took a trip to the toy store to spend a Christmas gift card. Here is our moment for the week.

Yea for cars! 

Monday, January 20, 2014

Simple Supplies

Hours of fun for Babe-O and Deo began with popsicle sticks.
Babe-O found a jar of popsicle sticks of different colors and sizes and began "writing letters" on the floor. A is his favorite. T and H are also goodies.

Soon he moved his sticks to the table to play with Deo. More letters were made and popsicle stick drawings were created too (lots of wheels, triangles and cars).  Then "Elibet" the crazy haired Mama doll showed up with some scrap yarn and some play dough. Soon "Elibet" was skiing, sledding, and maneuvering bridges and tunnels, as well as dangling from ropes.

Deo created this cool structure and decorated it with yarn.
Even Babe-ala had fun with popsicle sticks! It makes her so happy to do the things the big guys are doing!

So much fun had by all! Spur of the moment, Babe-O led, and with such simple supplies!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Wordless Friday (late but good)!

As Winter Break comes to a close this weekend and Diet Coke Papa heads back to work next week, here are a few pictures to capture the fun we had together.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Apple Squash Muffins (a.k.a Sweet Cinnamon Muffins)

The Babe-O is always looking for a treat, especially after shoveling snow and pretending to sled in the backyard! We invented these "Sweet Cinnamon Muffins" to warm us up today. (Don't you love the date stamp on my picture? So tacky! And how about the ratio of coffee to muffin. You could sink that little sucker in that cupppa jo! Just my kind of afternoon!)

They are better for him than another round of chocolate and there is squash hidden in them so that makes me feel smart. He ate three of these today. (I might have too. But I shared mine with Babe-ala).

Apple Squash Muffins (makes 8)

1 c. quinoa flour
1/2 c. coconut sugar
1/2 c. applesauce
1/4 c. butter
1T coconut oil
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp vanilla
cinnamon (I let Babe-O shake it in. As much as he wants.)
2 eggs
1/4 c. butternut squash grated

Preheat to 350 degrees. Cream butter and sugar together.
Beat in eggs. Stir in applesauce, vanilla, and grated squash.

In separate bowl stir together dry ingredients. Add to wet ingredients and stir until combined. Pour into prepared muffin pan. Bake at 350 for about 12-15 minutes. Until firm to touch. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan. (We couldn't wait that long. They were more difficult to remove from the tins.)

There you have it! Sweet Cinnamon Muffins. I am proud of them and so is Babe-O. He shared one with Papa as soon as he got home!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

A Day of Breaks

We did not get along today. One of those days.

Our  intentions, our wishes, our demands, our spirits were so very misaligned today.

On these kinds of days I try to...
be grateful that our paths are usually, mostly, and pleasantly synchronised.
be mindful that you are small even though your presence can be so very big.
remember that fewer words are more
and more quiet loving contact is welcome.
remember that tired Mamas are not perfect.
Perfect Mamas don't exist.
remember that we can take breaks from each other, even without announcing them.
remember that I won't remember
    and that one day I will wish that I could spend this day with you
    all over again.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

At the Library.

We are at the library. It's a quarter to eight (at night). We are closing down this piece!

Diet Coke Papa's last few days of winter break so, we went on a day trip to a great Children's Museum. We stopped at a diner for dinner. (AWESOME - no cooking tonight!)

Neecy Bee fed herself  broccoli, meatloaf, potatoes, and lettuce. She LOVES lettuce. I wait, preparing myself to do baby Heimlich with every bite. I am so afraid that the lettuce will slide into her throat and block her windpipe. She always spits out bits of slimy lettuce and smiles at me.

Babe-O had junk food (mini corn dogs and french fries). Yes, I just posted gluten free banana cookies. No, I don't let him eat this crap often.

 Anyway, I am eating my dinner and watching Neecy Bee nibble on broccoli.
  I am like: 
          Ooohh, she's so sweet. Eating broccoli. This one's going to be so different. She will never eat deep fried hot dogs for dinner. She's going to eat vegetables. How cute is our baby girl, she's eating broccoli. "Look Diet Coke Papa."

Diet Coke Papa's like:
 " Look at her or at Babe-O?" 

I look up and see Elias with a hot dog hanging out of his mouth like a tongue and two fries, one dangling out of each ear. To reward him for this behavior, we laughed hysterically and bought him chocolate ice cream. He will be up until midnight, buzzing around the house and hanging on the curtains pretending to be Batman.*. We decided the best place for him to expend some sugar induced energy is the library. Makes perfect sense if you ask me. 

So here is how our grand entrance to said library went:
(In the main entrance where the check out desk is and all the kiosks for looking up books are located. Essentially the busiest part of the library.) 

Babe-O: (in a really loud voice) Mama, do you like me?
Mom-O: I love you.
Babe-O: (in a really loud voice)Yeah, but sometimes you yell at me.

Once again, laughed hysterically (perhaps to cover up guilt and embarrassment). Diet Coke Papa laughed so hard he farted (a few times). Yes, we are at the public library. (There I feel better, at least I didn't fart. I only got called out for yelling at my 3 year old.)

I need a long shower Ladies and Jungleman...a very long shower. 

* Following in the footsteps of my son... to be perfectly honest:
We will critique Babe-O for his poor eating habits, his deep and abiding love of sugar and salt, his politically incorrect behaviors and commentary, but we will go home and pat ourselves on the backs for his articulation and well developed vocabulary, his superior intellect, his creativity and above all his exceptional sense of humor. All my "yelling" hasn't totally spoiled him yet!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Babeo's Banana Bat Cookies

The Babe-O is obsessed with Batman these days. How did this happen?

We give the credit to Grandpa who bought him Batman rain galoshes for his birthday. That's how it started. Diet Coke Papa will take the credit for developing his interest (particularly in the classic Batman movie with the rubber shark) and well, I haven't passed up any Batman library books lately.

So Batman Babe-O is swinging on anything that even remotely resembles rope and fighting crime at every turn with "no time to waste." AND we not only have a bat mobile, bat-copter, bat plane, bat boat, and bat cycle, we have a bat bed, bat couch, bat sweaters (those are our capes) and well, you guessed it bat cookies! Here is our easy recipe, pretty healthy, no-gluten Banana Bat Cookies. (Batman likes to help make these too!)

Babe-O's Banana Bat Cookies (makes 12-15 cookies)

2 bananas, mashed
2 T coconut oil, melted
1 c quinoa flour
1/3 c brown rice flour
1/4 c shredded coconut (we used sweetened)
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 t sea salt
1/2 t vanilla
semi-sweet chocolate chips (I didn't measure. I just used what was left of the bag, about 1/4 c. You can adjust to how chocolate-y you like your cookies).
2T unsweetened coconut milk (Just enough or a little more to make the dough come together).

Preheat oven at 350 degrees. Lightly grease cookie sheet with coconut oil or line with parchment paper.

Combine mashed bananas and coconut oil in a medium mixing bowl. Then in a 2 cup measuring cup I combine the next 6 ingredients. (I like to create the least amount of dirty dishes for Diet Coke Papa).

Add dry ingredients to the bananas and oil. Mix well. Add vanilla and chocolate chips. Combine.

Add the coconut milk to create the texture of dough that can be rolled into dough balls. Place dough balls on the cookie sheet and press them down about .5 inch  thick.

Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes. Until firm to the touch.
Then... to the BAT CAVE to enjoy the Bat cookies until "Commissioner Gorvan flashes us the next Bat Signal."

For the record, Neecy Bee had spinach apple smoothie (which means spinach and an apple got together in our new nutribullet), ham, and a few tomatoes for dinner. Very soon, very soon Robin... you too will partake in Batman's (oops, Babe-O's) Banana Cookies!

Monday, January 6, 2014

"We really let winter in!"

We have been reading Owl At Home by Arnold Lobel.

I confess. I picked it out at the library because it looked like one of those books that would put Elias to sleep at night. It's a chapter book and it's kind of a "quiet" read (not like the current favorite Batman, The Story of the Dark Night). I thought if I used my monotone voice it would be a good sleepy-time book.

Wrong. By the time we got to the story "Upstairs Downstairs" we were scream laughing!

Anyway, the first story is called The Guest. Winter pounds on Owl's door and he kindly invites Winter in for a warm up. Winter behaves badly, running around the house, blowing snow and wind all over. Owl has to throw winter out so he can get toasty warm in front of his fire once again. (Sorry I ruined the story for you.)
"Winter, you can't come in!"

It is brutally cold here. -12 degrees with windchill making it feel like -46. Yes, "ladies and jungelman" the Arctic Front is upon us! What better day is there to invite winter in to get warmed up?

We brought snow in on a baking sheet. Put on our best snowball makin' gloves and played with winter at the dining room table. (Messy and cold! But if your house looks anything like mine, you won't mind if snow and paint get on the floor cuz it will give you some motivation to finally wash it.)

Babe-O kept saying, "We really let winter in!"

To liven things up even more, we decided to make glowing space snow! We have done a few glowing projects in the past. Thanks to the awesome blog
Growing A Jeweled Rose and their recipes for all things glowing. We made some glow in the dark and fluorescent paint watercolors, added a black light, and got to "glowing up" our snow balls.

We stuck googly eyes and tooth picks into our snow balls. We built a little glowing snowman. Before long we had to smash winter out of our house! Babe-O had fun whacking the snowballs and our little snowman to pieces with tongs. Very messy and very fun!

Babe-ala also loved this project.She was enthralled with the radioactive nature of things when the black light was turned on. Here is a few pics of glowing Babe-o and his robot and outer space jams AND glowing baby!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Wordless Friday

On wordless Friday I will post a picture...moments I want to remember from the week.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

New Year's Flags for Everyone!

Wanted to share our process and experimentation with making New Year's Flags here. This was a project, enjoyed by everyone: 2 adults (one very art phobic Hottie), a three year old (Babe-O), an eight month old (Neecy Bee), and a 23 year old with cognitive and physical disabilities (Deo). Everyone with their own abilities, visions, and attention spans took part in this project and enjoyed both the process and the outcome.

One of my favorite blogs to refer to for art and craft projects is The Artful Parent. I spied the Stained Glass Bunting project there a while back and have always wanted to try. Here's how we adapted it for our needs:

Everyone got a sheet of wax paper, large enough to fold in half and cut a triangular flag from.

Using tissue paper, newspaper, and other scraps everyone decorated their wax paper by cutting and pasting shapes. (Babe-O loved this. He is obsessed with using scissors these days. Today he cut a phone charger cord because he was searching for string to cut and couldn't find any. Neecy Bee loved this because, well, she loves, paper, any paper, that she can put in her mouth or crinkle between her fingers.) Next, we tried grating crayons with a cheese grater onto the wax paper. (Deo loved this. He was able to grate all by himself and the end result was so awesome). We also squeezed glitter glue sticks onto the wax paper. The glitter doesn't sparkle in the sunlight but it was super fun and messy to use.

We folded the wax paper in half so that the crayon shavings were pressed inside. I microwaved the whole creation for about 50 seconds, being careful to be there when the time was up, as the paper needs to be "pressed down" right away to help the melted crayon bind to both sheets of wax paper. (Using the microwave replaced the need for a hot iron with small kids around and a big kid with some unpredictable movements).

We made two flags each this way. We were having so much fun. Then we decided to experiment further. We used permanent markers to color on the wax paper. Creating yet another interesting and beautiful stained glass effect. This was a quick way for Deo to get a lot of color on the paper. Then we went ahead and grated more crayons. Experimenting with how much crayon we could melt between the wax paper before it turned to grey mush instead of speckled rainbow goodness.

I cut out our triangular flags, folded the top over a string and stapled the flap to the string. (Didn't want to use our time at the sewing machine. This went quickly and will serve us just fine for a while).

While we were creating we were also talking and thinking about a word that could describe our goal or wish for the year. Mine was nourish. Nourish my body, my children, my family. Nourish our creativity. Nourish my soul by being present with my kids, carving out time with my husband, making things. This word dangling in the window will help me remember my direction this year.

Once the flags were dangling in the window, catching the sun, I wrote everyone's words on the flag of their choice. Now during meal times through out the day we can see our words illuminated.

These first days of the year pass and the moisture from the window and elements will eventually degrade our flags and we will take them down. By then we will have a new project to do to revive our words and remind ourselves which direction(s) we are headed in.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year! 2014

A simple New Year's Eve:
Naps for all the babies in the afternoon, an appetizer party with some good friends in the evening, and a bubble party at home to welcome the New Year. A quiet farewell to a challenging yet spectacular year.

The days leading up to New Year's 2014:
A time to remember all the birth, growth, and happiness our family has experienced this year. Especially, this year! In spite of health issues, car issues, home repair issues, work issues, money issues - oh! there have been SO MANY issues this year. We have thrived.

A time to revisit the goodness and joy we share. First, lamenting the challenges (gotta get that out of the way). Then watching home videos, looking at pictures of  baby Neecy Bee, taking time to sit back and enjoy the maturing and imaginative goings on of The Babe-O, reviewing Deo's accomplishments. Making and crafting together! A snowman, a snowbot, some magical stained glass bunting.

Sending out our hopes and goals for the New Year together with our beautiful New Year's flags. (This idea for stained glass bunting came from The Artful Parent. We experimented and added our "word of the year." I will share our New Year's Flag process soon.) A great project for everyone to enjoy making and to remind us, daily, of the loveliness we can create together.

Even Papa got in on the artmaking!
A project for all to enjoy.


Bye 2013! We'll see ya next time!