This was a blog about my adventures with Joe. Then, along came Nia. Four years later, along came Stage 3 breast cancer. Fast forward two years, and I'm now caring for my dad while he fights his own cancer battle.
You know that feeling you get when you have time and energy to parent the way you always thought you would? I'm basking in that feeling today (gotta bask while it lasts, right?). Today it comes down to a "Nibble Tray." I read ages ago (maybe even while I was still pregnant) in a Dr. Sears book about this idea for setting out a bunch of little tidbits for toddlers/pre-schoolers to eat over a couple of hours. I loved the idea, but never put it in motion.... until yesterday.
I got out a muffin tin and filled 6 of the cups with hummus, crackers, salami & cheese, carrots, apples, and almonds. It was great! As Nia played, she'd every so often cruise by her table and dip a cracker in some hummus, or grab an apple slice. I think she liked being in charge of what she ate from all the choices. I liked that she could graze and whenever she said, "Mama, I'm hungry" I could simply point her toward her table and she'd skip over. (Doesn't it sometimes feel like your just their short order cook and you never seem to get a break between preparing food & cleaning up messes?!)
Seems like so often these days when Nia starts getting grumpy or frustrated it has to do with simply being low on fuel. Having some food out that she can nibble from frequently might help us avoid those low spots. We'll see. In any case, I'm enjoying feeling like a mom who's on top of it... for at least a little while!
Here was yesterday's tray:
Here's today's tray with black beans, hard boiled egg, crackers, strawberries, pea crackers, and sunbutter for dipping:
Fabric designer Heather Bailey says, "Love & nurture your family, be true & honest with your friends and make good stuff -- three necessary ingredients for a happy & beautiful life." Cannot agree more!
The first thing we did this morning was run outside to start on the Great Gardening Project. Over the course of the day, we built a redwood 4 x 4 planter bed, filled it with 6 bags of soil & compost (and worms!), added a little stepping stone path, planted some seeds, and watered. By the time we were done, it was dusk and we were dirty, tired and hungry.... ahhhhh.
In case you're wondering, we planted Marmande Tomatoe, French Breakfast Radish, Chantenay Carrot, Nasturtium Flowers, Rouge d' Hiver Lettuce, Mammoth Melting Snow Pea, and Maxibel Haricot Vert Beans.
And so a new sewing project begins... I love this part: The gathering of new materials, and the hatching of an idea. I love that I walked in the fabric store with one idea for colors and patterns and ended up buying something totally different: All solids, all in the yellow family. I love how while sitting on the floor, looking at fabrics, these just started calling my name (luckily they were speaking louder than Nia trying to get me just to forget fabric & play in the kid's area). Nia picked out that fun bias tape. Wish me luck as the actual sewing unfolds. This will be a celebration garland in honor of Nia's birthday coming up.
I remember going to fabric stores as a kid. Those are not fond memories. I remember linoleum floors, florescent lights, bolts of gaudy-looking fabrics stacked to the ceilings, out of date-looking pattern books... So I avoided the neighborhood fabric store, Hart's, for a very long time. Not so now. Pam talked me into going into it when Nia was a baby, saying she might enjoy the colors and textures. I was so surprised to see Hart's was not the fabric store of my youth. Sure, there are bolts of very strange looking fabrics going up to the ceiling, but there are also fun, hip, beautiful fabrics there, too. Amazing colors. Fresh ideas. I hope I can keep the fabric store a fun experience for Nia, and not something she comes to dredge.
For a few days now, every morning the first words Nia says to me are, "Did the Easter Bunny come?" How fun this morning to finally say, "Yes!" We've been reading a little German folktale about a village that was very poor, and one Easter the mothers in the village worried that they didn't have enough money for the sweets they normally suprised their children with. Although they had many eggs, they knew the children would not be excited about the chicken eggs they saw all the time. But then one mother had an idea and soon all the mothers knew the idea but none of the children knew about it. On Easter morning, the mothers went into the woods with baskets, but no one knew what was in the baskets because they had colored cloths covering them. When the women emerged from the woods, their baskets were filled with wild flowers and the cloths were tied in their hair. After church, the children were sent into the woods to play until dinner. Before long, one children cried out, "Hey, I see a RED egg!" Another child said, "I see a BLUE one!" "Who laid these eggs?" "They are the size of chicken eggs, but chickens don't lay colored eggs..." The children ran all over collecting the colored eggs. Just then, they spotted a rabbit hopping out from a bush. "They are bunny eggs!" they cried. "Hooray for the Easter Bunny!"
So we've been doing some Easter Bunny-ing in our house this week.
The dyes we used for the eggs came from Eco-Kids, and were made from plant & vegetable extracts.
Here's where the Easter Bunny part comes in. Last night, after Nia went to bed, Joe and I decorated and set out her Easter Basket. Some of the colored eggs were hard boiled, and some were fresh. So we blew the fresh eggs and I tied them to this blooming pear branch from my dad's tree. When Nia saw it all this morning, she had just the delighted reaction I was going for. :)
Of course there was some chocolate, too -- this is my kid, we're talking about! At McKenzie's the other day Nia selected a chocolate sow, filled with chocolate piglets.
And we did an egg hunt, too, around the living room. It's been a long time since the Easter Bunny has visited my home. So fun!!
In this picture, Nia is standing with her Great-Aunt Berit, and her Great Grandmother Liv. We met for tea in Capitola at the Bloomsbury Tea Room, which is incredibly fun -- especially with a little one who enjoys new/different experiences!
This afternoon Nia & I went to an event at Live Earth Farm in Watsonville called "Sheep to Shawl," which was all about wool: sheering, spinning, weaving, carding, felting, dying. Nia did some of her own felting and dying, which was really cool. But she told me her favorite part of the day was feeding the goat, and I think my favorite part was the strawberries. All in all, a fun spring-feeling day in an beautiful environment.