Wednesday, February 23, 2011


My oldest child turned 9 last week. 9!!!!!!! Craziness I tell you. My first baby is just one year away from double digits! I don't even really know what to say about this. It makes me feel kinda old, but also kinda proud. Very proud of Sam, of course, but also proud of myself- 9 good years of parenting under my belt and going strong! Being a parent is the hardest job around, for sure, but also the best. I've had such fun these past 9 years, caring for, teaching, loving, hanging out with Sammy. What a great kid he is, if I do say so myself!

Turning 9 is a pretty intense time of change for a child as well. It reminds me a lot of the time when you slowly watch your child morph from a toddler to a real kid. Sam is going through similar changes, but its a morph from kid to...older kid, I guess. He's not a preteen yet (thank goodness!!), but he is also not a little kid anymore. He has moments of such surliness and attitude, that it feels like we are living with a teenager already. I sometimes wonder- where did my sweet little boy go? And then he reappears, happy to play with his brothers, spin around the block on his roller blades, or just contentedly lay on the couch and read. Emotions are riding high, and close to the surface at this age, even for mellow, steady Sam. He is emerging from the shell of childhood, and starting to peek through to the adult world out here. And I imagine it can be kind of scary sometimes, and exhilarating at others. Kind of like life.

Sam chose to celebrate this birthday with a trip to Alcatraz. He, Jeff, and friend Fynn spent the day in SF, taking a ferry out to the island, tour of the prison, lunch in the city and a trip to the vintage arcade nearby. We also had a family party for him with Grannie and Grandpa. Sam's menu included Grannie's world famous mac n'cheese, cauliflower cooked with bacon, and a green salad. I made him a vanilla roulade cake, filled with Meyer lemon curd and covered in whipped cream. We ended the evening with, drum roll please, a viewing of Star Wars!!!!! Sam and Patch were SO excited to finally watch this movie and I'm please to report that everyone made it through the entire film, with no problems. Empire Strikes Back, here we come!

Opening presents with brothers.

Legos still rule!

Star Wars!!!!

It was a beautitul day for a ferry ride.

Listening to the tour.

Obligatory cell shot.

Working on their Alcatraz ranger badges.

Beautiful San Francisco.

Happy Birthday Sweet Sam!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Quote of the day

This morning I was eating a bagel with some smoked salmon on it. Atti asked, as he does all day long, "Whats dat?" "Smoked salmon," I informed him. "Oh. Try it?" he asked. "Sure" I answered, giving him a few bites of the fish. He tasted it carefully, then looked back at me. "Mmmmm. Tastes like pancetta."

It's good to be the son of a chef!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Sam had his first big school project assigned to him last month. They have been studying dwellings in his class, and each child was to choose some sort of shelter, research it, and then build a model of it, along with a short presentation. In honor of Grandpa Craig and his amazing house in Northern Iowa, Sam chose to do a Mongolian yurt, or ger. After a few false starts, Sam got pretty into his project and it was fun to watch his excitement grow, as the house came together. Pretty much every adult in Sam's immediate family was a part of this project- a true family affair! Grannie and Grandpa took him to the park to find natural building materials and to the library for books, Jeff did online research together with Sam, and I provided lots of crafty advice and gentle (and sometimes not so gentle) encouragement to get to work! Sam's yurt was made out of wood that he scavenged and then whittled to the appropriate width and length and wool felted by Grannie. The hot glue was the only synthetic material that was used! Overall, the project was a success and a good lesson to all of us that you really can't get started on a big homework assignment too early!!

Oh- and for those of you who don't know, Craig does not live in a woolen Mongolian type yurt, but a beautiful one made from wood that he also built himself. If any of you find yourselves in Decorah, IA, I strongly advise you to go check it out!

So much news, so little time!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Somehow my middle child, my brown boy, turned 5 today. And he is so grown up too! I just filled out his kindergarten entrance paperwork for next year, marveling all the while at the incredible speed of aging children. You always hear about how hard it is to be the middle child, and I'm sure it does come with it's difficulties and hardships, but most days, I feel that Patch is so lucky. He has this amazing older brother to look up to, who still loves to play with him and cuddle with him every night. And he has this crazy little brother, who makes him giggle, and teaches him how to be gentle and take care of someone smaller than he. In my opinion, he has made out ok. And we are so so lucky to have him. He is so sweet and loving, always ready with a hug or a kiss. I love his imagination and independence. He is incredibly funny and says the most hilariously ridiculous things. I wish I could think of a really good one to share with you now, but it's been a long week and my brain is pretty tired of thinking of things to say. He did say in the bathroom tonight, while we were getting him ready for bed, "I am so done with 4." And he is. He is ready for new adventures and challenges. Bring it on 5!