Thursday, July 2, 2015

Olivia at Three

Olivia is my snuggle bunny. She is cuddly and cute. She stamps pictures on small pieces of paper, and then offers them to me as books and asks me to read them to her. She can make Alessia laugh and is in general a charmer.

She is also the terror of the household. When she's mad she hits and screams at Alessia, and when she decides to have a three-year-old style meltdown, she can spend a half hour looking for reasons to scream no at me. She will march into a room full of toys and other kids and start playing, but if one of those other kids touches her she screams in protest.

She told me yesterday, in a very serious tone of voice, "mamma, I like pretty things. I like fancy things." When we have peanut butter for snack she wants the little silver teaspoon with the flowers on it. She prefers the jeans with the embroidered flowers down the leg, and likes the girly, blousy t-shirts which she calls "dresses."

A few weeks before her third birthday, she had "milk" for the last time. She's a little sad about it, but overall the transition has gone really well. She has transfered all her attention to my belly button, which is very funny.






Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Stuff on Bread for Dinner

We're having one of our favorite dinners. Stuff on bread. I made gf bread and am setting out a wide assortment of stuff that goes well on or with bread. I've found that this is a good way to use up bits of this and that and to provide one dinner for a family with varying tastes. Alessia is a picky vegetarian. Olivia is a picky toddler with allergies. So here it is:

A third of a tub of hummus

A chunk of goat's cheese for Olivia

A chunk of cow's cheese for Adam

A crudite plate made up of half a red pepper leftover from a different meal, the carrots left from Alessia's lunch, and the second tub of buy-one-get-one-free cherry tomatoes

A bowl of hard boiled eggs

Steamed green beans (Alessia's favorite)

Arugula and chive salad from the garden (for Adam and me)


Sometimes I open a can of sardines with this meal. Sometimes I take out some olives. If there's a leftover sausage in the fridge, I slice it up and the meat-eaters among us each get a bit. Whatever goes.



Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Alessia's Story with Parenthetical Notation by Mamma

Bugs Bunny opened a snack shop after closing his barber shop (Bugs Bunny's Barber of Seville). The snack shop is at the Amtrak station (we take Amtrak to see my family in New Jersey each summer). Amtrak is having a free day (the MBTA had a free day a few weeks ago). Dogs are allowed on the Amtrak (unlike in Cynthia Rylant's book Mr. Putter and Tabby Take the Train), but cats aren't, because they don't like to go for walks (which is why the new water fountain on the Greenway is for dogs and not cats). Your allowed to blow bubbles on the train since it's warm outside (summer=bubbles), and the train has a snack car (a highlight of our annual Amtrak trip).
At this point I needed to go make dinner, so I'm not sure where the story went from here.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Raising opposites


Alessia is a vegetarian. Olivia will tell you her favorite food is meat.

Alessia withers in the face of criticism. Olivia laughs at us when we put her in time out.

Alessia is a plain Jane when it comes to food. She likes her beans straight out of the can. Olivia has been dubbed "the spicy girl." She likes salame and prefers her beans cooked with tomatoes, onions, and bacon.

At the Museum of Science a few weeks ago, some little boys took away the play nectar Alessia was feeding her baby bees. She looked at them as if to say "I don't need this" and stomped off to become a bird. At the same time Olivia charged straight up to the boys, tore the nectar out of their hands, and shouted "these are mine!"

Alessia breastfed for a week. Olivia still has milk twice a day.

Alessia eats plain tortillas. Olivia only likes them wrapped around meat, preferably Yucatan pork, thank you Uncle Anthony.

Alessia is a daydreamer. She is always the last one at the table, eating her peas one at a time by hand. Olivia eats with great focus and NEEDS to be let down from the table when she's finished.

Alessia stays up later and sleeps in later. Olivia likes to be asleep before 8:00 and is up at the crack of dawn

And we love them both. And they might not say it much, but they love each other.




Saturday, February 28, 2015

Activities from the Kids' Junk Drawer

At the ages of 2 and 4, my children have their own junk drawer. You know, the tub with all the small random toys that don't go with anything else. That pack of plastic fish from the aquarium. The dice that they got at the MFA. The plastic pumpkin head wind up toy from Halloween. In the past few months, I've come up with a few activities that make use of the stuff in that drawer.
Make Your Own Eye Spy Game
Using blocks and toys from the junk drawer we created and then photographed a scene like in our Eye Spy books. Alessia is good at rhyming and helped me write the riddles.
Color Sorting
This one was inspired by an episode of Curious George. George helps clean up the city streets, but finds more treasures than trash. When told a pile of junk is not in itself a collection, George turns his treasures into a color collection by arranging them by color. I laid a big piece of paper on the floor, divided it into columns, and wrote the names of the colors of the rainbow with markers. The kids and I then went through their junk drawer, sorting it by color. With older kids, you could probably sort light to dark as well.
Make Your Own Museum
A few weeks ago the kids and I made our own museum of science out of blocks. (Yes, we are that geeky here.) We then used stuff from the junk drawer (and from our Noah's Ark toy) to create museum exhibitions. This activity was really about sorting things by theme - animals, shapes, colors, etc.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

An Alphabet Game / Un Gioco del'Alfabeto

A post about language in two languages....

(Vedi sotto per l'italiano)

Yesterday we played a new alphabet game. I printed out the letters, but you could write them on small pieces of paper, and we used masking tape. I picked a letter and Alessia (with a little help from me) found things in the living room and dining room that start with that letter. She taped the letters directly to the objects, walls, and floors. We have alphabet books that we enjoy, but Alessia had a lot of fun finding real objects and running around taping the letters to them. We played the game twice, once in English and once in Italian. Some objects ended up with two letters. R for rocking chair and S for sedia a dondolo, for example. L for lamp and L for lampada. This is a game that we should be able to repeat now and then. We'll try it in other rooms like the kitchen or the kids' bedrooms.

Ieri abbiamo fatto un nuovo gioco del'alfabeto. Ho stampato le lettere, ma potete scrivere le lettere sulla carta, e abbiamo usato il nastro adesivo di carta. Ho scelto una lettera e Alessia (con un po' di aiuto della mamma) ha trovato una cosa nel salotto o nel sale da pranzo che inizia con la lettera. Ha fissato le lettere sugli oggetti, sul pavimento, e sullla parete. Abbiamo i libri del'alfabeto che ci piacciono, ma Alessia si è divertito tantissimo trovando gli oggetti e fissando le lettere. Abbiamo fatto questo gioco due volte, prima in inglese e poi in italiano. Alessia ha messo due lettere su alcune cose. R per rocking chair e S per sedia a dondolo, per esempio. L per lamp e L per lampada. Questo gioco si può fare ogni tanto, lo proviamo nella cucina o nelle camere delle bambine.



Friday, January 2, 2015

A preemptive fridge clean out!

This morning Adam took the kids to the library and I tackled the fridge. Normally when my fridge needs tackling, it is because there are things that have gone bad in there. Inspired by The Frugal Girl's blog series "Food Waste Friday" I engaged in a preemptive fridge clean out today. This resulted in:

Four cups of pudding (leftover butternut squash from the fridge and coconut milk from the freezer)

A pan of roasted cabbage for lunch


A fermentation-crockful of shredded and salted cabbage


There is still a whole cabbage in there, but cabbage lasts weeks in the fridge so I have time for that. There are some bits of cheese, but Adam is working his way through those. There are also some carrots in need of eating. I'll make pasta with carrots and onions in the next few days, and if that doesn't finish them up I'll have to think of something else. Roasted? Pickled? Fermented?