Sunday, June 28, 2009

Gotta Scoot

Noah has been playing with the cart that Grandpa made him quite a bit lately. He likes to stroll his dolls around the living room and down the foyer's hallway. When that gets old, he'll climb onto the cart, sit down, clench onto the sides with both hands, and then call for me to drive him -as if it were a car. We then race back and forth from the kitchen to the bedroom at incredible speeds. Only at the end, when we slow down, does Noah yell 'buh bye!'. Once that started to get old, Noah thought to himself, "Now, what else could I use this cart for?"

Then, clever Noah came up with interesting idea, "What if I were to turn this cart around and go the opposite direction?" He started using the cart as a scooter! We quickly grabbed the video camera to capture his first attempts.

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We can't wait to see what his little imagination will come up with next!

-Curtis

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Everything Grows!

We returned from a week-long family vacation in the north woods filled with water activities, yummy food, and relaxation to find lots of growth in our garden. It is amazing what some warm weather, lots of rain, and a week away will do!




There were a few weeds too, of course, but nothing that 10 minutes of pulling couldn't handle. Actually, I found that they are much easier to pull when they are a bit bigger. We have been enjoying lots of lettuce, and I tried my first recipe with swiss chard: a beef stew with mushrooms, carrots, and swiss chard, served over quinoa from The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook. Now I need to figure out what to do with our bush of Italian Parsley.

I was suprised to see a few blossoms on the alpine strawberries that I started from seed. Of the three varieties I started, this one (called Fresca) seems to be the most hardy and is the only variety with blossoms so far. Now we just have to keep an eye out for berries and either fight off the birds or build a cage for over the strawberry bed.

Some of the herbs were getting a little out of control, so I cut some to dry. The line in our hallway where we hang holiday cards is out of a job recently, so I turned it into an herb drying line instead.

While I can recognize the herbs in their natural form, I thought it may become difficult as they dry and shrivel up, so I made some pretty little labels with a leftover piece of a watercolor painting I did last year.

Now I just need to find some cute little spice jars. Maybe we will do a little thrifting/antiquing this weekend?

-Jen

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Playing Music

The other day as I was watching Noah play the piano, I started thinking about all the time he has spent on that piano bench in his little life. As music is a big part of our lives, we even incorporated our piano into Noah's newborn photo shoot. Before he was born, he spent countless hours in utero listening to me play the three B's (Bach, Beethoven, and the Beatles, of course!) and Annie Get Your Gun (the musical I played piano in while I was pregnant). After he was born, he would sometimes doze in the sling while I played. Here he is just days before his first Christmas, listening to carols.

By the time he was two months old, I was able to prop him on my lap and play. He loved to watch my hands move around the keys, and even tried a few notes himself.

When he could pull up to stand, he could often be found at the piano bench, plink, plink, plinking away.

Now he is a big boy, getting up on the bench all by himself. There he will sit for long periods, alternately gazing out the window and then playing a few notes and singing along while his body sways back and forth and his little legs swing along.

Rarely does he pound on the keys or just try to make noise. Instead, he chooses his notes carefully and deliberately. To some, it may sound like just a bunch of random notes, but to him it is music. It struck me that as adults we lose our ability to just 'make music.' As in many other parts of our lives, we get caught up with all the rules. Rules that make music what we think it is supposed to sound like. Rules that impose on our creative energy. We are critical of the sounds we make just by playing with music, while a child can swing and sway to a song created out of one or two notes, just by playing and experimenting with the rhythm in which they are played.

To listen to a child making music, or to make music with a child opens up a whole world of creativity that is lost to us. Maybe I will stop reading the music once in a while and just play the piano like Noah.
-Jen

Friday, June 5, 2009

Sweetly Singing

Noah has become quite the singer lately. Sometimes he makes up his own songs, but it seems his song of choice is Baa Baa, Black Sheep. Mostly he just repeats the first line over and over again, with some 'mamas' thrown in there for good measure. Last night he was just singing away in the bathtub, so we recorded some of his sweet singing to share with you.

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