Sunday, December 16, 2012

15 December

Yesterday was a big deal if you are a Sumner kid.  First, both boys got haircuts.  This was George's first-ever cut.


Then, we rode the train into the city to see both Papa's office and Santa, at Macy's Herald Square.

The train photos are so precious.

They were so excited about that train.  And the train after that one, and even the final train, on the way home (although one of them fell asleep, lounging across my lap, while the baby chirruped and giggled all the way back to our stop).  They also loved Papa's office.  They stood on the air return in the glass corner of his floor and exclaimed over the Christmas lights below, completely unfazed by the height.

And Santa, well let's just say that they were less happy about Santa.  H was a deer in the headlights until the end of our two minutes with the big guy, when he told what he wanted and what G wanted.  G had already been whisked off of Santa's lap and into my arms.  Too traumatic.  Here it is:

And this is officially the most mommy-bloggy post I've ever written.  Can't help myself sometimes.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Our Sandy

As the storm was gearing up, we saw white egrets walking across our lawn, hunched into their bodies against the wind.  The light was definitely hurricane light, gold but dark.  There was a bit of anxiousness on my part-- I hate it when I know something is going to happen, but not when it will happen.  In the end, the winds were fierce, but we didn't get that much rain, and the whole thing had passed by the time we woke up Tuesday morning.

We were only without power for six and a half days.  I spent much of the time looking for light: firewood, batteries, flashlights and candles, and (strangely) my iPad.  My husband spent much of his time keeping us warm, setting fires and tending them.  It's no surprise that all of my photos from that week are of different fires.

I loved sitting with my children and watching the flames, and I even mostly loved having them camp out on their mattresses in our room.  Everything felt very slow and comfortable until my husband had to go away on business and it got cold, both on the same day.  And then the kids and I skipped town, headed south to Virginia.  Of course, four hours into the five hour drive the neighbors called to say that the power had been restored.  Sigh.  I know we had it easy, compared to those who were severely affected in the city and in New Jersey.  I am grateful, and I think of those folks often.  But I will remember Sandy as a dark and quiet time with some warm points of light.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Little lamb, who made thee?

After Sandy, they postponed Halloween.  The rescheduled festivities were Sunday night, but it didn't seem like many families were participating.  Just as well, as none of us needs the extra sugar.  We took a nice Martinmas lantern walk with the children in costume instead.  They were entranced by their lanterns, and the fact that they got to carry real candles!  Ravelry notes on the lamb costume.  (The Gaydee the flying dog costume deserves a post and explanation of its own!)


Working hard at the farm.

New hat

He's so proud of it.  'Want hat! Want hat!"  He can put it on himself.  It is well and truly fall and he is almost two.  Ravelry notes.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Knitting catch-up: Antler and Moss cardigan

Sooo, I have many many knitting projects that were never documented here.  Starting with this Antler and Moss cardigan I made almost a year ago.  I got to test-knit, and was so excited to do so.  (Look how teeny H looks!)  I really loved this pattern-- the knitting was so relaxing and yet it came out beautifully.  It was a joy to make.  I used a Virginia yarn, and knit it extra-densely so that he was able to wear it a little like a jacket.

Two issues in post-production, as it were:  1) Those pewter buttons were just too inviting to little teeth, and H ended up chewing all but two of them off; and 2) Now that I look at it in comparison to some others' projects, I think I somehow made the "antlers" upside-down.  Ah, well, lovely knit.  I only wish I had made the sleeves and body longer so he could still wear it this year.  Ravelry notes.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Goodbye house

We loved our little brick house in Arlington.  When we left for the last time, I wanted to mark the occasion a little.  I made a banner, and we all told our favorite things about the house.  Then, before sitting down for a special "Goodbye house" dinner, we all sat in the grass in the front yard and made sketches of the house.  Papa and G worked on the same piece.  H's drawing is below.  From the stone walk and the smoke coming out of the chimney, to the actual semi-correctness of the rendering, I think it's wonderful.  

H is really on a huge drawing kick.  He fills pages and pages each night during our after-dinner music and art time, and there are still intricate stories to go along with each picture.  I hope I can keep him interested as the years fly by.

We will miss our sweet little first home, the place we brought our babies home, but I will always have the memory of watching my family sit on the lawn, drawing together.


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Bamboo forest

So now it's fall.  I've skipped over summer here.  That's because this spring my husband took a new job and we spent the summer moving from Virginia to New York.  Things are different here, but there are so very many really good things going on.  I'm trying to embrace it.

Over the weekend we went to a fall festival at the wildlife sanctuary.  There was a storyteller telling spooky stories in the "bamboo forest".  My kids could have stayed in there all day, shaking the stalks and climbing around, and I was happy because the light was really cool.  More soon.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

This year's strawberries

We did our annual strawberry picking on Friday. (Last year, two years ago)  It rained, and the actual picking only took about half an hour, before the thunder.  The kids were great sports.

Since bringing the berries home, we've made strawberry kefir pancakes (which became strawberry shortcake for dessert after dinner), strawberries and whipped cream (probably my kids' favorite-ever dessert), and have of course eaten many many berries out of hand.  I've decided not to do jam this year.  My kids prefer honey over jam in most situations, so I still have strawberry jam left over from last year.

I've been reading Tamar Adler's book An Everlasting Meal  over the past couple of weeks, and it has been inspiring.  I am a good cook, but in the past I have learned recipes, for soups and sauces, for example, and then extrapolated on them, instead of cooking individual ingredients well and then combining them into good meals.  This book has inspired me to use whatever herbs I have in the crisper with whichever vegetables are also there-- to cook what's in season and to use all of it: rinds and skins, shells and bones.

And somehow her book has let me admit that while I like to think of myself as the sort of person who makes strawberry jam each year, I'm not really the kind of person whose family eats a whole batch of strawberry jam in a year.  So we're using them as they come to us, and freezing the rest for the now-daily smoothie ritual.  Can't wait for the blackberries and raspberries to come in.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Signs of spring

"Spring, Spring, Spring!" sang the frog.  "Spring!" said the groundhog.  It was spring.
*from Home for a Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown*

Some of my favorite signs of spring around our home.  I always forget how beautiful and delicious these spring artichokes are.  I could eat them for a week.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Wild Wednesday

 (Aside: I so remember this oldest sibling feeling, of wanting your little brother to behave in the family pictures!)

The buttercups are out in full force.  Rain was threatening to fall, and I drove the car down into the cow field so we could get to our beloved creek and tadpoles quickly.  H wanted to lead the way, walking ahead of me and G on the cow paths.  The grass is growing tall past "cow creek", and all the little thick green grasses are filling in on the banks of the creek.  The tadpoles are everywhere, crowding the shallows, not just in still puddles, but in the transitional edges of the creek itself.  H and G spent a long time talking to the tadpoles, who are still very small and black, trying to touch them as they wiggled away (to G's giggling pleasure), and bringing them "special rocks".  G reminded us to say bye bye when it was time to leave.

On the way back up the hill, H wanted to look for bones on the other side of the cows' stream.  I had to pass him across the stream because it was running a little deep, over the tops of his boots.  We found a couple of cow femurs with black and brown slugs hiding on the bottoms, close to the ground.  (Every day since then he's been singing this song, but replacing the lyrics in the refrain with "sluugs and bones, slu-ugs and bones, slu-ugs have houses called bones".  Hee.)  I love Wednesdays.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Dining en plein air


For the second time this spring.  Hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill.  His special deer mug.  And (always) the attempted escape when the sun goes down and it's time for bed.