Saturday, July 31, 2010

Today's Bouquet

I cherish these little treasures that she picks for me. This one was at Carolina's birthday party. Most of the kids were riding their bikes or scooters. Gracie wanted to pick flowers for me. She is the sweetest!

A Year Ago...

It is hard to believe that this was us a year ago. Ryan made a fire by our creek and we enjoyed the dwindling days of summer. Time goes by so fast. Now I have another human being growing inside of me and this time next year, the three of us will be enjoying the fire while papa adds another log or two. He is chopping wood as we speak. Good therapy, I tell you. Good therapy. If only I could make sure work doesn't call him in later tonight. He is looking forward to changing little diapers and chilly nights when we'll "need" him to build a fire for the growing family.

We had a great day celebrating our friend, Carolina's birthday. I actually left the house early this morning to head to Tiny Tots boutique in Campbell for their summer sale. Unfortunately, there wasn't much in Gracie's size (I stocked up last year and bought practically her entire wardrobe for $10 each.) I was hoping to have a one stop shopping spree this year but no such luck. I did find a couple of things for the baby...imagine that. And I got a two in one toilet seat, one big hole for adults and one little hole for kids. Gracie was beyond ecstatic about that. Adorable clothing vs. a toilet seat. Who knew?

After playing hard at the party we came home and all three rested a bit. I do love nap time!
Then off the dinner at Oaxacan Kitchen aka Chicken. They are selling the restaurant to spend more time with their kids but they will still be at farmer's markets and on their new taco truck. They will also start cooking classes again and trips to Oaxaca. What a dream! When I pointed to my belly they understood that we can't join them for a few years. Maybe a class or two though. Handmade tortillas? Mole Negro? Tamales? Count me in! I may just have a baby or two hanging onto me. That's how they cook in Mexico though so it should work out just fine.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Wishes and Worms

We had quite a perfect day yesterday. We met dear friends at Cafe Barrone for lunch, where we actually met three years ago at a moms group. I am so glad we did as these are such important, precious people in our lives. It look like Gracie is kissing William but she is actually telling him to close his eyes when he makes a wish. And who can forget the joy in rolling down a grassy hill?

Then we headed to the Stanford Jazz Concert for dinner and frozen yogurt--I am not sure why everyone in LA is crazy for Pinkberry though. After we ordered Gracie had a HUGE smile and said "Mama I have ALWAYS wanted an ice cream cone!" We have had frozen yogurt, gelato, ice cream plenty of times. I guess the cone makes all the difference.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Wacky Wednesday

Gracie is obsessed with Wacky Wednesdays. She looks forward to it every week, actually every day. "It is Wednesday Mama? Is it going to be Wednesday tomorrow? Is it going to be Wednesday soon?" etc.
Sometimes being wacky is just having breakfast for supper, or wearing our shirts backwards or inside out. This week, she wanted to wear every color hair clip that she has because "that is so wacky."

But, after I put them in the hair, I stood back to look at her and she didn't look wacky at all. More like an etherial fairy princess with flowers in her hair.

Just don't tell her that it's not wacky.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

First Crush?

On the drive home from the summer concert tonight I asked Gracie if she liked the band as she was standing very close to the stage (with earplugs!) staring at the band members and dancing just a little.
G: "One of the men playing the guitar was beautiful. I think he is the right man for me to marry."
B: "Don't you think he is a little old for you?"
G: "The other men were really old but he is young and would be a good husband just like Ryan."

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Creek Crawl

Thank you, dear friends, for playing with us in the creek. It was so much fun!!!

Fog Faces

"I gave him legs."

Monday, July 26, 2010

Today's Bouquet

"Wait until you see this bouquet mama. It is amazing!"

Sunday, July 25, 2010

On Our Bookshelf :: Living Simply with Children

WOW! I love this book and highly recommend it to any parent out there, even if not living the "simple life." I picked it up a the library and finished in two days. That good. Next up... Your Money or Your Life.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Spring Cleaning :: Under the Kitchen Sink

**Let me preface by saying that this was probably THE most rewarding organizing. This is the most commonly used area, and usually the most cluttered, so I should start here next time. Next time?

Before: YIKES!

During: I took everything out and cleaned the shelf. Maggie (above) helped quite a bit.

After: I installed another wire storage shelf for dishwasher soap, Gracie's soaps, lotions, etc.
(Someday we will have a real bathtub !?!) 

What do we keep under the kitchen sink? I remember reading a great article years ago on exactly that, I believe in Martha Stewart Living. We keep only items we regularly use. All others go into the laundry room. Our list includes: compost, trash, recycling, Charlie's soap to clean (on left), vinegar, extra dish soap, a few flower vases (for our weekly farmer's market bouquet, the ones Gracie picks for me, or this hybrid of market dhalias and wild sweet peas that she picked)

and of course bubbles.

Bubbles? Yes, bubbles! These are our favorite which have been around in Germany since 1948. We always have them handy.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Summer Pleasures

Popsicles are at the top of our list!

This homemade popsicle could not be any easier. It is simply organic mango lemonade (Santa Cruz) poured into BPA free popsicle molds. What is at the top our your list of summer pleasures?

Monday, July 19, 2010

Fun with Friends

We just got back from a fabulous play date with our dearest friends, Max, Maia and Margarita. Here is a glimpse of the fun we had.


Snacking on Sea Stars

We had a fun lunch yesterday and Gracie pointed out that it looked liked a sea star and where its stomach was. Quick, simple and we both enjoyed it.

preheat oven to 400 degrees
place whole wheat naan  (which I keep in stock in the freezer) on a baking dish
cover with organic shredded mozarella (also in freezer)
bake for 10 minutes

serve with sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers sprinkled with yeast
or tomato sauce for dipping

Sunday, July 18, 2010

I want to wear THIS!

"Mama, I want to wear THIS!
It's good for breastfeeding."

**It is a maternity swim top--thanks Adriel xo

I, on the other hand, love wearing non-maternity clothes that I can wear after the baby arrives as well.
This is actually a SUPER comfy bathing suit cover-up I got at Target for $10 before Gracie was born.
Perfect for a growing belly. 
Oh yeah, and it's good for breastfeeding. 

Friday, July 16, 2010

Crazy with Excitement

We are so excited about this arriving baby (52 days and counting each one of them) and the yummy little things that come with that...even diapers. Call me crazy, I know I will at 3 am in a few weeks, but I LOVE DIAPERS! I spend time standing in front of our changing station, stroking our new cotton prefolds (thanks mama), counting the old and researching the new (covers), arranging and rearranging diaper paraphernalia. And yes, I have even resorted to diapering Gracie's stuffed animals. Okay, maybe I'm going a little crazy.

She is in the bedroom for an hour of quiet time in lieu of an actual nap (insert heavy sigh here) and she is waiting patiently for the kitchen timer to go off. Then I hear this.....

"MAMA, I NEED A SNAPPI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

We are all crazy.  Crazy with excitement!!

***And I have never been prouder, as she was actually putting the diaper on correctly all by herself. It was a hair scarf but it was correct. (insert heavy, heart-filled sigh here)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

One of those days

Yesterday was one of those days. It started with Peet's (whose coffee I usually love) grinding our espresso too fine and it clogged our machine. cappuccino. Silly I know, but just the beginning in a series of unfortunate events which include but definitely not limited to: running over a squirrel and looking into the rear view mirror to see it limping away, the washing machine's cold water clogging so I am filling the machine with a hose from outside, Gracie losing her naps which is one of the most challenging aspects in this motherhood adventure, the laser breaking and Ryan having to spend another night away, trying to locate him in the laser hall to at least give him a car to get home in the middle of the night but with a crying, tired toddler in the backseat. As I was waiting for him at the security gate ( the wrong one I might add) I actually had to get out of the car to take a breather from my own child.

Then, as I got back in she said "mama, I am sorry I made you upset."

We got out of the car. I held her tight. She put her head on my shoulder and we stared at a gorgeous crescent moon. A beautiful ending to a not so beautiful day.

On Our Bookshelf :: Jerry Pinkney

We are loving Jerry Pinkney's illustrations!

He has illustrated over one hundred books, received a Caldecott Medal (our favorite way to select books, just look for the gold or silver medals,) five Caldecott Honor Medals, five Coretta Scott King Awards and for Coretta Scott King Honor Awards. 

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Fun with Playsilks

As you can see, she is dressing herself. 

We made a new purple playsilk the other day. This really is THE best toy a child can have. It can be water for a boat, a sling for a babydoll, used for dressing up (cape, wings, hat, skirt, etc, etc), stuff  the middle with cotton and use a rubberband to form a neck for a fairy, or throw it up into the air for endless fun.

"Mama, it's opening up just like the octopus." We have been to the Academy of Sciences probably 20 times and this week was the first time it was out and really putting on a show. No camera of course!

DIY Playsilks:

mix vinegar (1/4 cup) with food coloring in a large stainless mixing bowl
for the purple one I used 24 drops of red and 16 drops of blue (the cake mix quantities on the box)
pour a kettle full of boiling water into the bowl
use tongs to stir the silk until it absorbs the dye and is super saturated
we bought our silk squares at a silk shop but you can find them online
rinse a few times in cold water until no dye is leaching out of fabric
hang dry and ENJOY!
redye as needed

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Oh What Fun!

We had a GREAT day at Coyote Point Museum today!

The Fussy Baby

An interesting article about colic. 

"Colic ranks high on the list of medical mysteries, but a new study out of Italy is helping us creep closer to a potential cure. After noting that colicky babies tend to have a lower amount of probiotics (healthy bacteria) in their digestive systems, researchers treated 90 colicky tots with daily drops of either a probiotic known as L. reuteri or simethicone drops (a standard treatment for gas). The result: A whopping 95 percent of the babies receiving the probiotic had fewer colic symptoms after one week, compared to just 7 percent of the infants on simethicone. While some docs in Italy now use this treatment, it's not yet common in the U.S. Still, L. reuteri is a safe probiotic currently found in many yogurts; with further testing, it and other strains of lactobacillus could become the colic treatment of the future here, too."

My theory is that maybe we wash babies, especially newborns, too much and too soon. I read of other cultures making sure they do not wash a newborn's hands. 

Does the vernix (the cheesy white substance that protects a baby's delicate skin from the amniotic fluid) have babcteria that if a newborn was allowed to suck on its "dirty" hands, the bacteria would help jumpstart bacteria growth in the gut? Does the amniotic fluid and/or birth canal also have bacteria that are beneficial? We have all heard of the danger of washing our hands too much with antibacterial soap. It is good to have some bacteria on our hands, on our bodies, in our bodies too.

Regardless, we had a crying baby that had to be walked outside, every night for hours to stop her crying. I am going to give #2 probiotics from the start. 

p.s. I promise not to name the baby #2. 

Monday, July 12, 2010

A Wonderful Resource

We installed the baby' carseat yesterday, facing the "wrong direction" Gracie would add. George (the sock monkey, and honey bunny (her most beloved) both rode in it today. Gracie noticed that I did not have the babies entirely buckled in. Good practice big sis. 

Then she held George's hand for our adventures today. More good practice big sis.

We headed into the city today (Ryan took the morning off since he worked all weekend) to one of our favorite baby shops--Natural Resources. This place is such a wonderful resource full of natural baby products. Gracie picked out a few birthday presents for the baby: a bird's eye maple teether from multiplemediums, a cherry teether from Camden Rose, and a baby sleepy frog from miYim. Nana gave her the large "sleepy frog" awhile ago and my dear friend and mama mentor, Anne, recommended matching gifts for the baby and big sis, so when we saw the itty bitty version of one of G's favorite animal babies, it was a no brainer.

We also bought a new changing pad from Naturepedic. It is made out of organic cotton and free of PVC and other chemicals in normal pads. When I look at how much diaper time (UGH!) that the baby spends on that pad is it well worth the investment. We multitask with our changing pad, using it as a co-sleeping pad in those first itty bitty days, as well as a play cushion with our much loved Selecta Musina wooden play gym (best baby toy ever!!!)

I had to get a couple of adorable  and warm newborn outfits from Under the Nile. Soft organic cotton, kimono style for ease in dressing a floppy newborn, and hand covers for those long but tiny nails. Under the Nile sets up a sale booth at the Green Festival and we always stock up there but I am so glad that Natural Resources carries this affordable, organic brand as well.

We picked up a reusable diaper pail bag and as I was washing the diaper pail this afternoon, the hose broke and a high pressure blast got me soaking wet. What is up with all of this water up the nose?!!?

More good practice I suppose.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Never Enough

We can never have enough of Nature. 
Henry David Thoreau

Living in the Redwoods

Unfortunately, my camera can not capture the immense beauty of the fog as it comes over our hills. As the cold air comes from the ocean, the moisture drops onto the redwoods and the clouds disappear before your eyes. I keep taking photo after photo of it and we keep pulling the car over as we drive down the road into town to take in the beauty. It is amazing. We are so fortunate to be living here. 

Thursday, July 8, 2010

T-Shirt Diapering! A Mini Tutorial

Now I know what to do with Ryan's old shirts or the ones that laser companies give him but he can't legally wear at a National Lab.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

A word to the wise

Do NOT carry a full sun tea container by its flimsy plastic handle. You will undoubtedly:
a. have to use every clean towel in the house
b. have that swimming pool sensation when too much water (aka tea) goes up your nose
c. have a good excuse to finally mop the floor
d. have very little sun tea (aka one glass) left to actually enjoy.

A Sign of Peace

This girl is going to bring lots of peace and love to the world in her lifetime. I was kissing her belly yesterday and saw this. How have I not noticed this before?

Martin Luther King Jr.

Gautama Siddharta

The 14th Dalai Lama

Mahatma Ghandi

Quinoa Tabouleh

With so many great cucumbers, tomatoes and parsley at the farmer's market (and hopefully our garden soon) I can;t seem to get enough tabouleh. We were heading to a birthday party on the fourth of July and with the traditional bulgar wheat not working, quinoa came to the rescue. I think I may even like it better. Quinoa is a complete protein too so it is better for you as well.

Quinoa Tabouleh:
1 cup quinoa (I used red and white)
cook with 2 cups water 20 minutes or so
chopped tomatoes
chopped cucumbers
chopped parsley
lots of lemon juice
olive oil

Monday, July 5, 2010

In the kitchen :: Orzo Salad

We are all in the kitchen these days, cooking up something tasty!

Thank you Grammie for the play kitchen. It will be loved for years to come.

Harvest Salad with Corn, Tomatoes and Basil adapted from Soule Mama

4 TBSP fresh lemon juice
2 TBSP red wine vinegar
1 tsp black pepper
2 TBSP olive oil
1 tsp salt
3 cloves garlic, crushed
16 oz Harvest Grains Blend TJ's (Israeli Couscous, orzo, baby garbanzos, red quinoa) 2 cups grains
16 oz organic cherry tomatoes (4 cups)
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
16 oz TJ's organic frozen corn kernels (2 cups)
1/2 cup vertically sliced red onion (optional)
Prepare all dressing ingredients and place in a jar. Cover tightly and shake thoroughly. Prepare grains according to package directions. Add corn to grains to cool down. Drain and place in a large bowl. Spoon half of the dressing and toss to coat. Let cool to room temp. Add the remaining dressing, corn, tomato, onion, and basil to the pasta. Let stand for atleast 30 minutes.