Monthly Archives: August 2007

dragonfruit, daily craft, popcorn, and wrestling

Have you ever tried dragonfruit?  Peter asked me if I could please do grocery shopping while he’s at his dad’s, but when we arrived in the produce section, he said “now this is why I love grocery shopping with you, mom…”
Those are lychees in front and a dragonfruit in the mix. I know a cookie isn’t fruit. I didn’t put that there!

I love the outer-spacey look the dragonfruit. Peter has long claimed that dragonfruit is one of his favorites, but he only actually “knew” it from trident (kids with sensory integration dysfunction often do better when gum chewing, so he’s tried every flavor!) and vitamin water. It almost appears to be from a vintage star trek episode (like brussels sprouts on the vine do.) and I love the colors:

After opening the outer skin, the inside is also surprising:

Peter, brave as always when it comes to new foods dove right in. It tastes like a really mild melon favor, with a fun texture. If you see one at your local market, you should try it. They are worth the $1.99 for the novelty alone!

mmmm new fruit adventure

After the foreign fruit fun, I was thinking about my commitment to doing a bit of sewing every day.  I wish I could say that I’ve lived up to that goal, but I haven’t.  I do try to at least partiticpate in something crafty each day, at least.  Today was a bit of a stretch in that department.  After taking Peter to his dad’s for the long weekend, and stopping at my favorite Lebanese restaurant ever (disclaimer: have never been to Lebanon so what do I know?), J and I brought Ella back here to play, and so J could work, and my craft-time was replaced with play-time.  Ella and I did listen to a podcast interview from about the founders of BurdaStyle and open source sewing, which was quite interesting.  I think I might need to do more of that, since Ella isn’t really a big fan of my sewing room yet (toy area and new decorating/org should fix that).  My mother recenty donated her overlong-kept stash of embroidery floss and even gave me a storage container.  Little did she know, I’d spend the week talking about colors with Ella while doing this:
organized, thanks to mommy
I regret to admit, I didn’t keep every single thread. I only kept and wound the colors with lengths longer than 12″ and containing more than one strand (my mom saved EVERYTHING from her embroidery projects). I’m still not done organizing her stash, nor adding mine, but already I started on my new kitchen towels inspired by one of my new favorite craft blogs the purl bee. More to come on those later.

So, to change the subject rather abruptly, if you haven’t read yet, butter flavor additives of a certain chemical compound are proving to be toxic in some microwave popcorn brands. Fortunately, the boy scout fundraiser brand has been reformulated, so my yearly investment in Max and Cas’ troop fundraiser can continue.  This is good news, because we are a serious popcorn house.  J thinks we should go back to making it the old fashioned way, which takes me back to mom’s bungalow on Carter Ave, in Allen Park, Michigan.  I loved Saturday nights with my sister and Mom as a kid.  It always meant popcorn cooked in a big pot on the stove, then seasoned with Lawry’s Season Salt and consumed in front of the Love Boat and Fantasy Island.  (I say always, but there was that brief foray into “hot buttered cheerios” territory.  Perfect snack for a couple of fat kids!) Sara and I would always cover our eyes for the kissing scenes on the Love Boat, but I peeked through my fingers.  After the Love Boat, Sara the morning person would go to bed, but I stayed up (without permission, of course) while my mom showered so I could catch Fantasy Island. The more I think about it, the more I realize that Fantasy Island was really Scooby Doo for grownups!

Ella is trying desperately to walk and talk, but one skill she has perfected is brother wrestling. She can take either one of them in one pounce.
ella has peter pinned

…then she gloats.

As I look at their cute faces in their store bought clothing, I realize I should be sewing!


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what a great tool.  This way, I can help my sister learn to sew.  (She’s moving to Memphis next week, which is still too far away, but she and her family will be happy there.  I’m so happy for them.)

I need to spend some more time browsing other instructable tutorials, but so far, the tool is easy to use, and I love the way the finished instructions look.

I made an instructable myself, today, in response to a question about slash pockets on my ottobre_english sewing list.  Cannot believe Ella allowed me time in the sewing room, but she had her own motives:

(notice that everything is off the floor, including the garbage can) She will soon be tall enough that I’ll have to finally organize my sewing room with shelves (up high). I figure I have 2-3 months as it is now.

I found my grandmother’s button stash. I have had it for years, but never thought to look for anything in the bag where it was hiding. I dumped them in this bucket until I can sort them. No way Ella can reach these.

Some of them are just BEGGING to be used on an “artsy clutch” from Amy Karol’s Bend the Rules Sewing (and some are begging to be thrown out. Really, when will I need blue plastic buttons? ummmm, as soon as I throw them out, of course!)

I received a load of babysoft babywalecord today (amongst other treats). I love to return home to find a friendly, large box sitting on my porch. I even love prewashing! (and touching my fabric, and wrapping the baby in it, and playing peekaboo stright from the dryer, and leafing through ottobre backissues to decide what to make.) I definitely need more time with my machine.

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useless as a lullabye, but i sing nonetheless

…the dancing continues…today Ella danced to the neighbor’s lawnmower, and to twinkle, twinkle, little star.  Even the version I hum around in the baroque style.

I write this not because it’s anything special to share, but because I want to remember how wonderful and precious my little pixie is right now.  So “here’s what I did today:”There was a very severe thunderstorm today, complete with weather sirens and black skies.  I called my mother to find out if the weather siren alway means tornado – get in the basement and hide or what? (she says it means “severe weather, period.  whew.”) J is out of town and Peter is with his Dad and new baby brother (sibling #6 for my formerly only child…from only to middle of 7 in 3.5 years) and J+J are back at their mother’s, so Ella and I were alone tonight.  J feels like he’s “dumping her on me” sometimes, but I don’t feel that way, ever.

We went to Trader Joe’s to get tofu and our new favorite Kashi Crackers.  (I always feel better having shopped there…everyone is so NICE!) and made it home right before the storm.  Ella and I had the last of leftover quinoa/rice/french lentil timbales along with garlicky kale and tahini sauce (and she had an extra serving of cheerios, too) before the massive storm hit.  I unplugged the electronics and we sat on the exercise ball and bounced to the raindrops. 

I sang her “Ellabella Song” to the tune of Mantra Girl’s Wahe Guru.  As she dozed off I moved her to the bed, and in typical Ella fashion woke with a smile, asking for milk.  I nursed her a bit and hummed, then sang twinkle, twinkle, little star.  She bolted upright, laughing, and started dancing.  She even clapped and worked on standing on the bed.  I think her little brain is making so many leaps and bounds in development, she can barely sit still for all the excitement.   Standing on the bed, clapping, and laughing, I told her “i love you,” to which she sat, gracefully, gave me a slobbery kiss, and lay her head down to nurse back to sleep.

As Keegan-Michael Key said in a MADtv sketch, sometimes I think she’s made of “magic and sugar cubes.”

I need to be writing about the benefits of customer connections and vehicle maintenance services, so I’ll leave you for now.

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found ella kickin’ it old skool yesterday

she found J’s reading iPAQ and opened mediaplayer by herself.  When the twinkly opening of Peter Piper (Run DMC) stared, she held the phone up with both hands and started dancing!  How’s that for 10 months old?

Every time I notice something funny about her, she does something even funnier.  Earlier this week I noticed that the first 5 seconds of ANY song warrants a mini-dance from her…even if it’s her brother Jack humming.  The baby finds music in every sound, it seems.  She hums along with the juicer and dishwasher, dances to a dropped coffee bean can, and bangs her head (not literally) to any guitar solo.

Naming her after Ella Fitzgerald was prophetic, I suppose.  I just picked up a CD called “We All Love Ella” – a tribute to the First Lady of Song.  My favorite track is Queen Latifah singing “Lady is a Tramp.”  I’ve been meaning to get framed a picture of Ella and Louis (Armstrong) for little e’s room…I simply must now that she’s a musician.

Dancing while playing piano....again!
She plays a mini concert at least once a day.  Thanks to Dad and Mary for the piano.

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we have teeth…and pictures!

Ella’s tiny bottom front pearly whites finally burst forth from their gummy restraints on the same day!  Now her top teeth and bottom eye teeth are threatening to join them.  I had dreams that I’d wake up one morning and she’d simply have a mouthful of teeth.  Fortunately they are appearing two by two and not all at once.

Since my sister’s in town and the last family picture we had taken was when *I* was in 8th grade, it was time.  My mother said she knew it would be like herding cats, so not to expect much.

I spilled spinach  (methi malayee mattar, actually) on the neckline of the white shirt I purchased expressly for this event, then managed to set the stain with the dryer, so I had to go rummaging in J’s closet.  Also should have washed my hair yesterday, but this wasn’t about “me”…so that’s all I’m going to say.

 Sophia is my neice who is 2 months younger than Ella.  She’s a tough little monkey.  She comandeered Ella’s toys when she was here, and grabbed little (big) e’s dress during the photo shoot today.   Don’t get me wrong, though, she is sweet, very sweet, and I love her.  Peter even participated nicely, which says a lot for a 9 year old boy, in my opinion.

Here are the girlies:


I love how Ella is breaking free in this one:

Peter and the Girls

Mom and her grandkids:

There are more in my flickr stream to the left.  I love having the girls together.  It’s so interesting to see their personalities unfold, and to witness their interactions. (I wish Sara and Matt and Sophia lived closer.  They are moving from Atlanta to Memphis, but that’s the same distance and more expensive plane fare…oh well, there’s always Elvis.)

Afterward  I took Peter and Ella for a walk in the neighborhood.  It’s about a mile each way to the nearest ice cream store.  Peter rode his scooter and Ella had a ride in the stroller.  She’s unpredictable, but she was great tonight.  She loves when she can see Peter in front of us.  I think she has also finally discovered a way to get really comfortable (leg up and lean to the left) so she can concentrate on the view.

 Peter said he thinks I can get back to what I looked like before Ella by the time she’s one.  (I did *not* have an ice cream) We agreed to have nightly walks to help me get there… I love having walks with my kids.  It’s a time when Peter and I get to talk without Ella butting in, but she’s still with us, relaxed and present.  I’m a very lucky mom.

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teeth even hurt at bathtime

seattle07_07 028

Originally uploaded by Pranamama (formerly Reed-LePage-Andrews Family).

This was a couple of weeks ago, but the poor thing has been teething for months now. She’s even started drooling again.

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no teeth, lots of gums, lots of crying

poor ella.

It’s as if her teeth are all lining up beneath her gumline waiting to emerge together.

She has a mouth full of pink-covered teeth shapes.

She’s miserable.

We’re miserable.

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