Thursday, November 11, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Playroom in Action

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

It's Time ...

It's time for us to dig into the garage for E. to find one of the two trikes buried in there and just let him go at it. His sister didn't master it until she was closer to three years old but yesterday we were at a park and Super E. jumped on another kid's tricycle and started to pedal a bit.

These 2 kids are so different -- always keeping me on my toes.

It's also time for me to restart up my kid's music blog. I used to really enjoy it.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Colors of our Weekend

We are a family that is happiest surrounded by color. Our house is a reflection of this and so are our weekends.

This weekend's colors were MULTICOLORED as we celebrated Day of the Dead at the Walters Art Museum.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


I love Sundays. The eternal laziness of the day. Well, most of our Sundays are spent that way. Not this one though.

Today by 10AM we had already:
- made super cheesy scrambled eggs and cornbread
- put a second coat of paint on the playroom (photos later)
- moved a huge pile of sandbags and mulch since those projects are NOT getting done for now
- showered (and I'm online while Mister showers) and then we're headed down to our favorite museum for THIS.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Saturday Letter

Dear E,

The amount of time that Mommy has put into your baby book is absolutely no reflection on how much I love you. Instead it shows how I'd rather spend time living the moment with you rather than documenting your weight, height and tooth count.

Do you buy that?

Well, let's face it - we barely make it out the door on time to any place and I'm running circles to keep up with the four different schedules we've got going on right now. If I sit down to: 1) write 2) make a call or 3) type -- it's an instant signal to you and your sister that I need to come to your (this week) 1) tea party 2) circus or 3) be a swamp monster.

But you're doing really good, kiddo. We laugh a lot, we play a lot, we dance, sing and make messes. And you are just one heck of a character - you are goofy and silly. My kind of guy.

Just know that you were healthy and happy -- even if it's not written down.


Your Silly Mommy

** photo by Brooke Baker our go-to photo gal (

Friday, November 5, 2010


From a strange dream involving college friends, I jolt from slumber's warm embrace to the early morning yells of my son.

"I want MAMAID"
"I want MAMAID"
(louder)"MOM-MEEEEEE I want mamaid!

Next the bleary-eyed stumble into E's room.

"What's wrong, honey?"
"MaMAID - wha my Ma-MAID?!"
(howling) "Ma-MAID! I need my MA-MAID!!!"
(finaly dawning) "A Mermaid? You want a mermaid??"
"Yes!" (beaming at me)

I look around with half quinted eyes to find a fairy figurine on his bedroom floor. "How about a fairy? She's a friend to the mermaid." He opens his hands to accept it and I stumble back to bed.

Having an older sister means this boy is equally obsessed with mermaids, fairies and princesses. All things girly. And I'm totally OK with it. Loving on this post this week. You HAVE to be the right kind of mother to your son. I don't force stereotypes of gender on my daughter and my friends find great humor as the feminist in me still rankles at her princess obsession. But I feed her imagination with all sorts of books with females in strong roles. And I want to feed my son's imagination -- and let's face it, fairies fly AND sparkle, mermaids are beautiful and tea parties ARE fun!!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Take a Seat ....

Take a seat ... just shoved in the garage.
A little spray paint on a sunny day. add some scrap fabric and TA-DA
a perfect art desk chair emerges for Super A.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Mottos in action

Read, every day, something no one else is reading. Think, every day, something no one else is thinking. Do, every day, something no one else would be silly enough to do. It is bad for the mind to continually be part of unanimity.
~~GE Lessing

Monday, November 1, 2010

Rally in DC

So, my first post this month will just be a quick tour through my experience at the Rally to Restore Sanity this past Saturday in D.C.

Originally when the announcement for the rally was made I had many friends from all over who were interested in attending. We live close to D.C. so our house could become Hotel L. for the weekend. But unfortunately the weekend was also Halloween and said friends also felt that (understandable) parental obligation to their kids for the weekend festivities.

The Mister insisted that I go along and enjoy the day visiting museums and then stay for the rally. He and the kids had Halloween-y plans anyway. I knew other groups of friends were going and made plans to meet up with them throughout the day. Upon waking to our first truly frosty autumn morning, I layered up my clothes and jumped in the Red Monster to head down to the closest Metro station. I was excited that it was early and I would clearly have lots of time to enjoy myself.

On exiting the beltway I saw this mass of humanity arranged in a rather orderly line at the Metro station. The queue had to be at least a 1/4 mile long. But again, because it was early we got through at a decent clip. Everyone was chatting and chilly - happy to be experiencing the day. As the Metro pulled out we saw a very long traffic jam to get into the parking lot. I heard later that this was the beginning of the daylong jam.

Enough has been written about the day, but I truly was thrilled to be there. I got a rather decent spot up front where I could see the stage and bopped along to the Roots and then I got antsy. I was getting a little claustrophobic (being short in a crowd can do that) plus the journalist side of me really wanted to do a walkabout and take in the day. I sensed a lot was going on back behind the stagefront crowd and I was right.

There was no hope of meeting up with friends as the phone service was jammed so texts and phone calls weren't going through. I did go to a designated meeting spot but didn't find anyone at our set times Later we compared notes and we were all at opposite ends at different times.

At 2pm I was amazed to still see hundreds upon hundreds of people still streaming in from the Washington Monument side of the mall. The Metro stops were still massed with crowds arriving. At the end, the official count was 215,000 to 250,000. This total definitely doesn't take into account those that remained in the closed off streets, never making their way down to the mall area.

The best part of the day was definitely taking in the vibe of the crowd and the funny, poignant and apolitical signage. See a gallery of some here and here and here.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Renaissance Festival

Monday, October 25, 2010

Etsy: Window Shopping

1)Frida charms 2)Frida pillow 3)Little Frida 4)Casa de Frida 5)Skull earrings 6)Frida t-shirt 7) Frida purse 8)Frida-inspired mirror 9)Pink Frida headband

Frida Kahlo is one of my favorite artists - I draw inspiration from her color palettes and imagery. And so do many others, it seems. I did a little Frida-esque window shopping on Etsy and found the following charming items amongst hundreds of others.


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Soups On ...

I just awoke from a 3-hour nap and I don't know what to do with myself. Except maybe crawl downstairs to the couch and wince at the light emitting from my laptop. The kids are gone -- off to play with Daddio on the loveliest of autumn days. The plan was to celebrate Halloween at a kid's amusement park and I'm super sad to be missing it.

It's been a week that I've been suffering and I finally admitted defeat, lucky too as I had a sinus infection (ugh). I did get a dose of antibiotics and then caught a cold too.


I usually can soldier through, but I'm being a big baby with this cold. The only remedy - call my mommy and have lots of soup.

I am loving on my spicy homemade
Mulligatawny soup. Heavy on the curry, heavy on the cayenne. mmmmmmmmmm!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Caught in the act ... fun/fascination with forks

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

People in the Neighborhood ...

I love living in a neighborhood where we can walk places - interesting places too.

Having a 2-year old with a typical fire truck obsession, we can stroll up the street and visit the library and then go around the building to the fire station. He starts to skip as we near the building. The guys at the house are super friendly and nice. If the bay is open we can walk around visiting all of the trucks.

Other days we stroll the opposite way down the lane and at the end is a horse farm. There is always some large vehicle or other doing some busy work. We'll stand and watch for awhile and then head back home -- sometimes just in time for the mail woman to be parking in front of our house. She is super friendly too and lets E. jingle her large ring of keys.

Of course, I cannot help but hum this song during our strolls. Dig Bobs big sideburns.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Changing it up ...

My mother is an amazing cook. She grew up on a farm with fresh produce, meats and cheese so she can whip together everything without touching a processed food item. She can adapt and change on a whim, not restricted by rigid recipe requirements. She does have a huge cookbook collection though, as she loves to try new things too.

One of the things she's been doing over the past 5-6 years is changing up many of her favorite recipes to allow for the shifting diets of her children. I'm vegetarian and my brother and his girlfriend are vegan. My other brother and my sister and their families are also eating healthier so it benefits us all.

My mom and I touch base on the phone when either of us tries some new adaptation of a family favorite. I have been completely stumped on creating a vegan version of the classic No Bake Chocolate cookie that my brothers adore so much (they used to pay me to make it for them in high school). It just won't set without the real butter/margarine but I keep trying.

But just yesterday I put together a great version of my Mom's Apple Pie using whole wheat flour and vegan butter. And of course a whole bunch of apples that we got apple picking at a local farm. I was so happy that it turned out perfect with the changes made. Plus it was the perfect way to celebrate the first day of October.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Sunflower Fields Forever ...

Super A. had a fabulous morning -- one of her school friends had a birthday party at a yoga studio. There was music, stretching, painting and kid-inspired yoga. She left it completely happy and relaxed.

I decided we would take a little drive on the sunny day, listening to the Beatles and enjoying the windows down. Our destination was the sunflower fields of Clear Meadow Farms.

We probably visited on the last viable day for many of the blooms. We took a walk through a path in the middle of one field. We laid down and did some cloud watching and butterfly counting.

Before we headed back to the car I remembered a trick my Dad used to do with the pollen heavy flower heads -- pick a few buds off to make a sunflower happy face. My daughter had the same silly grin on her face that I did when my father first did it for us.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

More Firsts ...

Today was E's first day of co-op.
I was happy to find a new co-op preschool close to our house. My first experience with this type of preschool for A. was amazing -- it fostered a real sense of community with the other moms and kids. Each class there were 3 "Helper Moms" plus the teacher. We were assigned different areas each time, snack, craft, tool bench, dramatic play plus all of us on the playground. We all got to know each other and our children. And the bonus was that I brought E along with me and there was a babysitter in the next room. I could go in and breastfeed and comfort him whenever he needed.

Everything was perfect about the experience ... except the commute. I had to sit in rush hour on our way there. A 10 minute drive was often 30 minutes.

So, I was pleased to find a co-op preschool up the street (a lovely 10-minute drive through winding farmlands) for E.

I hesitated about enrolling him. I struggled with it. I really don't feel preschool is necessary for a 2-year old but I plan on going back to work soon so I hoped it would be a good step towards preparing both of us.

I look forward to another great co-op experience.

My little guy delved right in and had no problem with me leaving the room.

He's not the only one growing now ... and letting go.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Wordle for September

Having a little fun with the Wordle applet. The Mister and I are making some of the word art graphics to print and frame for our Music Room. We've been having fun coming up with combinations of music-related phrases and descriptors.

I made a graphic (above) with some words describing my goals for September. I think I'll print it up just to inspire me.

Make your own at Just type in some words, pick fonts, colors, etc to generate your personal word art --- great to make gifts and wall hangings.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Around the World: Maryland Science Center

Friday, September 3, 2010

Guest Post on Cool Progeny

Today I have a guest post over at the Cool Progeny blog recapping our visit to the Maryland State Fair.

Click on over to see the post. Cool Progeny is a great blog for any parent in the Baltimore area. Heather does a great job of previewing events, interviewing interesting folks and capturing regional fun spots.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Back to reality ...

The larger the island of knowledge, the longer the shoreline of wonder. ~Ralph W. Sockman

Today was our first day back in the rhythm of the school year. Super A. had her very first day of Kindergarten today. Now, I'm not one of those moms that is a weepy mess about it. I've been super excited for her all summer. I so vividly remember Kindergarten. It's just such a sensational thing as a parent to watch your child experience.

She excitedly dressed herself and went down to the playroom this morning. She stayed in there for quite some time before emerging for breakfast. I asked her what she was doing and she replied, "I was building a roomful of train tracks for Emmett to play with so he won't be too sad today". Cue the tears!

Wow, I was so proud of her thinking of her brother. Because he does suffer her absence with such a sad demeanor. "Where is Sissy?", he would ask all day during summer camp.

Later on as she fussed and fussed about her headband and bracelets and I attempted to rush her, she sighed and said, "Mom, you only ever get one first day of Kindergarten". Wow. It's so true too.

So-oooo, first half-day of school under our belt. A fantastic day. My only worry? Ten pages of artwork produced in a few short hours. I have to get a better handle on it.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

All together now ...

Don't you wish we could ALL get along as well as this diverse group of friends? Yeah, me too!!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

To Do ... Done

And just like that ... summer is almost over.

I measured our days with joyful idleness, where laughter and the simple beauty of being together as a family reigned. Geetar Dad and I reconnected as a couple after the bustle of the school year schedule, spending evenings just talking and listening to music. I felt unhurried and in love.

I napped*, swam, wiggled my sun-kissed toes in the sand. I gardened in the morning before the blaze of the day smothered me, I tried new recipes and new creative ventures, started (but didn't finish) many house projects and I made promises to myself. I laughed a lot and stayed up way too late (*see napping).

While we wanted our days to be idyllic, Daddio and I also worked up a list of new adventures and favorite past times for our Summer To-Do list.

We went to D.C. several times, saw outdoor concerts, volunteered, made ice cream, took after-dinner walks. We toured the "best of" list of local playgrounds, had family dance parties and cooled off at the pools, water park and beaches.

We built things. We celebrated birthdays (mine and Super E's) and the summer solstice. We had picnics at the gardens, parks and arboretums. We day tripped and daydreamed.

We rode every miniature train in the tri-state region and went to amusement parks, we biked local trails and caught up with friends and family by hosting here or traveling to visit.

We star gazed with telescopes, practiced roller skating and hula hooping, caught fireflies, pressed flowers from our gardens, enjoyed nature walks, roasted marshmallows and shopped the farmers markets.

We enjoyed. Thanks, summer 2010!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Summer Snapshot:

It's hard to believe summer is on it's way out ...

Thursday, August 5, 2010

I've got my eye on you, MISTER!

Alright Ken, I've let you in the house .... what now?

I know you've got those plastic-y good looks and now you're sporting some royal regalia of velour tunic and satin pantaloons with knee high pleather boots. My very first Ken doll looked more like a cast member from Ron Burgandy's anchorman team (complete with paste on facial hair).

But seriously, Ken -- you came in a consignment sale bag full of Barbie fairies and princesses. I really wasn't ready for you to be here in the house. Because sure enough, you got naked right away. Luckily that anatomy lesson had already been established during the first bath time Super A. had with her baby brother. Just lay off on anything else with the gaggle of blondes, brunettes and redheads that live in the same bin with you. Keep it G-rated and I may even get you a little buddy so you can trade off velvet pantaloons. Or maybe you would prefer a stick on beard and a lovely plaid blazer.

1973 Ken doll

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Off with my head ...


Sinus Migraines!!!!!

We have been struck with day after day after DAY of this horrible "pending rainstorm", blanket of humidity and hovering 100 degree weather.

I'm armed with neti pot (out damn snot), sinus migraine meds and a weary countenance. And two little balls of energy that try to make me push through the pain. So I just counted down the hours until Daddio came home. Sigh.
Tomorrow's weather -- more of the same. Meh!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Summer Snapshot:

No Boys Allowed ...

Dig this, Daddy-O!

E's new phrase is "Craaaazy!" I'm trying to get him to add "man!" to it, then we can work on "dig it!". He's the littlest beatnik of the bunch.

Super A. is still working on her finger snaps, but we have the bongo drums and a mix of berets in the house. Just cue the stand up bass and let's get down, Daddy-O!

Speaking of beats .... some favorite inspiration

Dr Suess' & Friends "Hand, Hand, Finger, Thumb" book

Jack's Big Music Show Animal Jamboree game

Awesome little drums and thumb pianos from Africa from Ten Thousand Villages store

DIY shakers, drums and noisemakers from Kids Craft Weekly.

Attending the free weekend workshops and concerts at the National Museum of the American Indian in D.C. Kids love the dancing, costumes and drums.

An Indian Summer Showcase, a summer evening concert series outside on the Welcome Plaza, is presented twice a month from June through August on the 2nd and 4th Fridays at 5:30 p.m. The concert series features Native music from throughout the Americas.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Me! Me! Me!

One of the bonuses of moving to the Eastern Shore/Capital Beltway area is that my best bud makes a lot of business trips to the area. She is perfectly content to hang with the kids (who adore her) but I take the opportunity to hit the town with her to see a different side of Charm City. We moved here with kids so we've never gotten to explore it the way a singleton or DINK would.

This weekend - yummy food at Golden West Cafe, Roller Derby with the Charm City Roller Girls, shopping, laughs, sangria soaked dinner and a great show by Interpol.

I like getting in touch with the weekend ME of old - it's a refreshing recharge so I don't feel like the hamster in the wheel on these hot & sticky dog days of summer.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Skirting the issue

Dear random lady at the grocery store,

Thank you!!

Thank you for calling out to me. And then calling out to me AGAIN (when I ignored your first shout out of "Miss! Miss!"). Thank you for telling me that my skirt had become wedged UP MY ASS when exiting my car. Because it's a lovely layered boho skirt I had somehow not noticed. EEP!

Thank you for looking out for another gal!

And thank you to the lady at the Farmer's Market for telling me that I had a "cool look". Those are the kind of things that can just really make a gal's day. Week. Month.

This post brought to you today by random acts of kindness.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Summer Snapshot:

Beating the heat at the Walters Art Museum

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Feeling Tarty

Tomato Tart

  • Pick some tomatoes from the garden (YUM)
  • Pick some basil, rosemary or other herb garden goodies
  • Preheat oven to 400
  • Drape pie crust over pie dish
  • Slice tomatoes thinly, layer the bottom of the dish with grated cheese (I use Trader Joe's Formaggio blend), lay the tomatoes in a overlapping circle, season & drizzle with olive oil, cut up basil/rosemary on top
  • Fold the edges of the crust over the outer edges of the tomatoes and crimp
  • Bake and enjoy a delicious summer harvest tart - mmmmmmmm

Monday, July 19, 2010

What goes up ... must come down

We have a plethora of building supplies around the house; various blocks sets, the legos and duplos, the magnetic builders, etc. The kiddos love, love, love building and work on it well together.

But soon enough, Super E. reaches the point where the structure has been standing long enough. HE.MUST.STOMP.

I've talked to A. about it so she doesn't get upset. I tell her how much she enjoyed doing the same when she was two. She is insanely patient with him and will usually laugh and tell him "good one" and start to rebuild. I truly don't believe I was as kind with my little brothers.

And when she has had enough she always asks me to tell her a tale of madcap hijinks of my life with not ONE but TWO little tagalong brothers.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Word, YO!

Super A. is on the adventure of learning to read and spell. She likes to write out her friends names or the characters in her favorite books. She'll go through each word and we sound out the letters and she will scribble each letter into one of the many notebooks she has around the house. She loves to sound words out herself. I love watching as she gets so excited with the process.

Both kids are at such an amazing age! E-man's vocabulary is exploding too and he's stringing lots of sentences together. It helps that he has a sister that chatters at him all day long. She also has a "word of the day" she likes to teach him.

Today's word: Boob. Umm ... really, kid? When I made a quizzical face she sighed deeply and said, "Alright, EYEBALL then".

I had to break it to her that he knows both those words well. One from nursing, one from poking me in the EYEBALL. Which reminds me -- E learned another word that day. Starts with an S -- ends with a HIT.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Flounder? Hedgehog? Elephant Man?

The kids and I like to have fun with food. And what could be more fun than pancake shapes?

I've been branching out and attempting some images outside of my usual repertoire of shapes and letters. One of the shows that escapes my media blockade is Max & Ruby (yeah, don't go there, haters).

So, I attempt to make a simple bunny face. I struggle with the outline but it's somewhat discernible.

I think.


Super A : "What is that, Mom?"
Me : "Guess."
Super A : "Hmmm ... is it a flounder?"
Me (squinting): "Nooooooo"
Super A : "A hedgehog?"
Me (mumbling to myself): "It's the Elephant Man"
Super A (with super ears ): "Oooooh, yes. It's an Elephant Man. It's a really good one, mom!"

Gotta love both the munchkins. They cheer me on and tell me what a good job I'm doing even when I'm not.

Good thing they don't know this man exists: Jim's Pancakes