Saturday, November 26, 2011

St. Nicholas is coming


Saturday next we're having a tea party for St. Nicholas Day--a few days early, but it fits our schedules best. I so hope we can share that fun with friends. Zoë is getting excited, and Eric and I are planning the treats.
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Thursday, November 24, 2011


Each year is different. This one, 2011 (with bits of 2010), leaves me thankful for...

-Sweetness and his true, friend-hearted companionship despite our varied interests--he always encourages and helps me do the things I think are important or just special/neat

-my Zoë whose heart is bottomless and whose little mind is brimming with new ideas

-my Eleni whose connection fills me with the most tangible peace I've ever known even though she can storm with the best of them. :)

-my Momma--she spent the better part of 2010-2011 helping me while I birthed Eleni and then cared for her (and me and Zoë) during her most vulnerable year

-my Daddy who drove back and forth tirelessly to still be with us and Mom and who still does things for his little girl to be helpful anyway he can

-our friends and extended family who share our special times with us

-the times when both girls are feeling well at the same time

-that both of my children are so genuine and have the love and support from all of us to be themselves no matter what

-the small patch of time when I improved my health and lost some weight (18 lbs actually)--it reminds me that it's possible even if it takes a while

-the ever growing knowledge and wisdom that I have the ultimate say in my wellness and can choose the right things/ways if I have the guts and discipline to

-all the books I get to read when I find moments

-tea, hot tea (preferably with books)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Unconditional Parenting

Lately all I post is pyrex and crafty fun (or our kids' environment stuff). I promise I'm still reading...

I recently finished Unconditional Parenting: Moving from Rewards and Punishments to Love and Reason by Alfie Kohn. His book came to my attention via parents/blogs that advocate showing children respect and working with them rather than just creating momentary compliance. Since I felt something was amiss in our time-outs with Z, I decided to delve into it.

It was very challenging to common ways of negotiating discipline (even in terms of schools), and I wanted more practical ideas for the way situations really play out. Still, there was so much evidence in Kohn's presentation and ideas. Even with the discomfort of the unknown, it's worth pursuing.

Confusing to me was the developmental levels of very small children like mine in terms of building the solid moral foundation that his ideas go after. I wrote a note on his site, and he responded within a day of my question which was greatly appreciated...

Thanks for your note. There's a lot of "pop-neurobiology" floating around that leads people to draw somewhat overstated and reductive conclusions. While it's true that the brain continues to develop through childhood, it's also true that cognitive, moral, and social development are becoming ever more sophisticated during that process. Ever since Piaget detailed how significantly the capacities of a 7-year-old exceed those of a child only a couple of years younger, the field of developmental psychology has revealed what children are capable of (including decision-making) at different stages alongside what their limitations are.

It would be a mistake to treat kids as if they were adults (which is why we don't hold them equally responsible), but it would also be a mistake to assume they can't plan, reflect, and imagine the perspectives of other people.

I appreciate your taking the time to write.

-- Alfie Kohn

So perhaps it's even more important now to go back through the ideas, chew on them as regards our time so far as a family and see what's possible for us. Certainly there's a lot!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Our pyrex

Here are the pieces I have (so far). I don't plan to be a collector, but there are a few things I would still like to have and functionally use. (I just got a rust red floral bowl from ebay.) I'm like the friendship bird pattern, snowflake and horizons. I don't have any true blue in terms of color. One of each thing in different styles sounds good so that I get maximum form and function. We aren't fans of dust-collectors.
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Vintage Pyrex really is divine...




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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sunday cooking

I know it's not Thanksgiving yet, but I had a craving for homemade cranberry-orange sauce. It's super easy to make. Some zest, some sugar, low heat, voila!

Tagine or no tagine? I didn't follow America's Test Kitchen's Healthy Family Cookbook's recipe very well, but most of the same ingredients reside. :) Artichokes, red bell pepper, chickpeas, olives, yellow raisins, garam marsala, onion, garlic, veg stock, honey...
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Saturday, November 12, 2011

our first lantern



We got this idea from the Garden Mama blog.
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More Martinmas Lanterns


We got the idea for these lanterns from Our Day Our Journey. Ours aren't as sophisticated (and I couldn't find the modge podge, ack!), but a three year old and glue make the project more rustic. :)
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