Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Changes on the Home Front

Warning: this will be a long one because I haven't had time to write in so long...so consider yourself warned...

Much has been occurring in this household as of late. For those who have children or who are well-acquainted with children's development, they just grow up by heaps and leaps; once they get the hang of something, it's a flurry of new learning! All of a sudden, where we once had a little baby, we now have an almost-toddler...

Shiloh is saying a hoopla of new words! Up, down, hi, baby, book, apple, cookie, block...and of course mama, daddy and dog...she is only 9 months old! She also responds when I ask her questions ("What do you need right now, Shiloh?" and she signs "milk.") Oh yes, and she also knows signs. I am surely an admiring mama, so I can be a bit biased, but she is a clever little gal. Furthermore, she can get down from our bed (the mattress is on the floor) with her feet first, which if I am not mistaken, seems to be a precursor to walking. She pulls up onto furniture and people, too. I shake my head in disbelief.

In other news, Valentine's Day was an immense celebration for our family. I'm not into the commercialization of the thing, but for sure, I love to love and be loved. Friday, Michael brought home Thai food (yum!) which meant I didn't have to cook (a nice reprieve here and there) and he also brought me flowers (although Shiloh has by far had surpassing joy with grabbing their fragile petals off and attempting to eat them.) On Saturday, Shiloh and I hung out at home while Michael worked. That evening, we went to our friend's mother's home and partook of salsa dancing lessons and a huge, home-cooked SCRUMPTIOUS meal. With loads of chocolate. Of which I only had a sampling. But I digress. On Sunday, I surprised both my hubby and child with going to a nearby farm that is nationally known for their award-winning milk and cheese. At the farm, we enjoyed a Valentine's Day Brunch complete with a stack of tortillas (eggs, cheese, avocado, cilantro and fresh salsa within corn tortillas) which I replicated the next morning for breakfast and a chocolate and cherry bread pudding, which I could only HOPE to someday replicate because it was just that gooey and amazing. What fun to celebrate my family with so many adventures.

And Shiloh's favorite food would have to be blueberries. It's a daily routine now. Do they make a Blueberry Morning lipstick shade? If not, I've found the perfect tint. It's on her lips (and mouth) every day.

We have this book called Piglet is Entirely Surrounded by Water. Ever heard of it? It's an old-school Winnie-the-Pooh storybook, written by A.A. Milne himself. Was he British? I ask because I can't help but read the book to her with a British accent. The day I began doing that has gone down in infamy! Now, she doesn't go anywhere without her book! She carries it with her, wants it in the car, holds it while nursing, etc. I love that all of the corners are full of tiny teeth marks because of her little nibbles. Here are some pictures:

My personal favorite is the one where she is sleeping on it. And yes, she is in the Ergo!

My parents-in-law just left a few days ago from visiting us. As always, it was a grand time! John Dad and Michael fixed the washing machine. What a considerate offering! Heehee, I giggle when I think about Michael telling me that "my" washing machine was fixed when it was all over. Oh, so it's mine now, eh?? We've compiled a list of 13 items that are currently broken in our home. Sound familiar to anyone else? I suppose that when one goes, they all decide to go. How kind.

I have to share about Trading Day! My friends have this bartering day set up once a month or so in their home. Families bring homemade and gently used wares, anything from cookies to jewelry to hats to books (obviously the cookies aren't used), and then go home with stuff that they would like in return! Everything is assigned a point value based on its actual monetary value, and then we went shopping. It was fun for Shiloh and me to engage in such travels. I came with unhulled sesame seeds, succanot, and a huge bottle of Peppermint Bath Soak I made. I left with a handmade wooden sword, an Amish Shoo-fly Pie, Amish bread, carmel sauce, blueberry jam, an immense piece of material perfect for making curtains, a handmade glass bead bracelet, a little wooden person, and oh-so-much-more that I cannot remember. Many of the items were made by children. I remember being a child and wanting adults to find what I did special, so I try to return that now as an adult. I love this living simple stuff.

When I was about 9 or 10 years old, my aunt and uncle gave me a sock monkey kit. Those were all the rage for a while. You may have even made one. Well, scared to try but intrigued, I faithfully looked at this sock monkey kit every so often until one day, I decided to make it! This is redemptive in my personal story because of my fear of messing up things. I have to show you what he looks like.
Do you see his fat lip? I love it because, as I tell Shiloh, he can give better squishy kisses.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Raw Foodist Colony

Shiloh was just sitting on my lap, typing on an old computer keyboard we have sitting around, while I checked my e-mail. This makes me want to be careful what I do even more because I know she's watching what I do. This cannot become legalistic, but can only spring from God's humbling, perfect love.

I'm going to do it!! No matter where we happen to be living this spring/summer, I'm going to plant a HUGE garden. I am so sick of shelling out money for organic and local produce when I could grow it in my own backyard (actually, it might be the front yard, which would be hilarious!! Our backyard is on a problematic downward slant. So we shall see. When you come to visit, you may have to weave through some tomato plants and quinoa stalks in order to reach the front stoop!) I've had a multitude of reasons as to why I couldn't start it before now. But no more.

Here's more thought for food!! We're soon to switch to raw milk through an Amish farm's co-op near us. We've already switched to raw cheese through another co-op. Yum; I love it! Another foodie change is that I am now a quasi-raw foodist. I would say we're eating about 50% raw, 50% cooked...or maybe 75% raw, 25% cooked. Mike pondered that if a bunch of raw foodists lived together, they would have to be called a raw foodist colony...food for thought...

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Pancakes are Love

Is it illegal to steal a line from a movie and use it as a blog's post title? Well, I just did. (Are there Blog Police?) Speed Racer, I do not jest here, is a simply funny movie. That's where that line came from. Seriously! The evil head of the big corporation trying to buy out Speed Racer's family's business says that to the Racer family before he embarks on a pancake fest complete with syrupy goodness. Do you like Pokemon? I always thought it was a bit annoying...you know, all of the jerky motions and lights and dialogue that never quite meshes with the character's moving mouths...but the same strange antics totally work in this movie. No doubt, watching it at 2 in the morning probably made me think it was all the more awesome (because I was tired.) Then again, any movie that has the line "pancookins l'amour" (translation: pancakes are love) has to be at least a little bit good. Go rent it, but only when you're in a weird mood. Or if it's late at night. My advice.

So! January was a busy month! Our family attended 2 weddings (on the same day!) and a birthday celebration, along with the typical grocery store adventures, house church meetings, friends coming over and such. I met with my parents' friend from Liberia to interview him concerning his story. Michael's work is going splendidly. And the word of the month was crawling! Shiloh is all over the place! She loves the 3-CD changer tower and speakers. In no time she'll pull all of the CD's and DVD's that we are currently listening to/watching if we don't catch her in time.

Story time. Pull up a carpet square and bring it in close, because this is a good one. So, the other day we (Shiloh and I) were watching a rock concert on DVD. I actually listened to a lot of rock music while pregnant (should've seen me bee-bopping all over when I was 9 months pregnant) and even listened to rock while I was in labor. Basically, she's heard this group before (they're called Red) and so she was rocking out along...clapping her hands and bouncing up and down in front of the TV. Must've decided she liked her rock lmusic ouder because she proceeded to turn up the volume with the little knob--and I mean it got LOUD...so I turned it down again and said something like "oh, that's a bit too loud", in a kind and loving voice. Then, she swiveled her little head to look at me and GRABBED THE VOLUME KNOB AND TURNED IT BACK UP!! Whoa! Laughed my head off, I did! After I picked myself back up, I grabbed her blocks and we were playing with those. Looking right at the lead singer singing into his microphone she picked up one of her curved blocks and SANG INTO IT! We have a little genius rock star in our midst.

I have resorted to wearing my winter coat in the basement when I work on the computer. There is quite the chill in here and I do believe it is colder in here than outside.

Pancakes are love. Be sure to tell someone you love those three little words today. It could change your loved one's life.