Tuesday, November 8, 2011

And What'll You Do Now, My Blue-Eyed Son?

Frazier at 28 months is extraordinary. And I don't just mean his hair. :)
It's hard to remember what it was like to have a Frazier that didn't communicate. My favorite part of having a two-year-old is talking with him. He talks all the time. He talks to me, himself, his toys, the dog. After two years of narrating our life aloud for him, he now does the same for me. I love it.
For Frazier, "my" serves as my, I and I'm, though he does use "me" correctly most of the time. He always announces his arrival, "My tummin'! My tummin'!" or that he's returned "My back!" or "My fall down again!" or "My eat-a lunch?"

He runs. Everywhere.

At any given moment he may engage you in a swordfight. En garde!
He repeats everything I say, and sometimes he even rephrases things as though he's practicing; trying out different ways of saying the same thing.
He's always thinking.
He'll furrow his brow and ask random questions out of the blue, which is great. I often wonder what thought process preceded them.
One day we were singing Jesus Loves Me in the car and when it was over he was quiet for a bit then asked, "Jesus love you too, Mom?" Yes, darling, Jesus loves us both.

Today he asked me what I'd like to eat from his kitchen, so I requested a cookie. He looked at me for a minute and then walked to his kitchen and said, "I'll make pizza."

He has an imagination I envy. When we are home he entertains himself continually. He takes orders via the telephone in his kitchen and then goes right to cooking. He pulls out things like a train and Gumby and Spiderman and creates little scenarios in which they go on a trip or play ball or eat birthday cake. He doesn't even require a toy. One day last week I found him laying on the couch on his back with his hands in the air above his head telling some story about a spaceship. He'd put his hands together as if in prayer, start them resting on his chest and then blast them off into the air. Night before last he build imaginary houses along the edge of the tub...one for each of us...and Gatsby. The other day he fed his fire truck. Birthday cake. In a pot.
Sometimes he grabs his football and runs out into the backyard yelling "Football time!" He is his father's son.

Frazier is always ready to paint or to cook, but rarely up for sleeping.

He wakes up happy every morning.

He is very strong. And quite the acrobat.
If he'd let me, I'd give him a hug every five minutes or so just because, but he's oftentimes too busy for hugs so I just tousle his hair lovingly instead. One day I was sitting on the couch and he came running in, stopping just in front of me. "Hi, Mom." he says smiling. "Hi, sweet
heart," I say smiling back. He stands there like he's waiting for something, then finally says expectantly, "Pet my head..." Guess that just seemed like what should come next.

I would never say that one could read enough, but when we've read ten books in one evening and he wants to read another one...I might come close.

Sometimes he wants to go outside and just run. So we go outside and just run...in big circles and figure eights around the yard and he laughs and laughs and periodically he falls down and rolls in the grass. Then he gets back up and starts over. I'm glad I was a runner before he was, because I would not be up for this...it's grueling. And so. much. fun. One day I watched him running around with leaves in his hair and wondered why I'd never thought of this before...running and rolling and laughing. It was beautiful. I tried to etch that afternoon on my mind so when we are both older I could remember us like that...just running and laughing. With leaves in our hair.

Yesterday we had an afternoon storm complete with hail and thunder so we just curled up in bed and listened to the rain for a long time and I wanted to remember that forever too.

I don't suppose I deserved one afternoon so wonderful, yet I get one every day.

What an extraordinary life we lead.
And what'll you do now, my darling young one?

Friday, November 4, 2011

Halloween '11

We started with our church's Farm Fair Saturday night, Frazier as a soup can...Josh and I 50s style. It was fun as always- games, band, food...and we got to help man the games in the preschool area for awhile.
Frazier had fun and was quite the hit in his soup suit. :)Then Monday evening we donned the costumes again......and had a chili dinner here with friends......then took our whole troop of trick-or-treaters around the neighborhood!While I don't think he remembered trick-or-treating from last year, Frazier did pick it up pretty quick! He had a couple of friends to show him how. He only walked into one house (I mean, hello...that is what you usually do when you knock on someone's door and they open it, right?) and we had to coax him out.Our neighborhood is just about the right size for little trick-or-treaters...just one big circle!
We only had to carry our little soup can some of the way.Happy November!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Pumpkins, pumpkins!

Yesterday we had our second annual pumpkin party! This year I had four sweet friends help host and it was even better than last year! The weather was lovely (a little warmish, but no rain!) and lots of our friends got to come. It's always special to have a house and backyard full of so many of our favorite people!

All ready to party...
We had LOTS of yummy food. Taco soup...
...and all this good stuff:
There was pumpkin decorating...
...a candy corn relay...
...and pumpkin seed spitting!
We also spent last Friday celebrating fall with friends at Danville Farms. They had this huge pillow to jump on...
this spider web to climb on...
...a corn box...
a tractor ride...couldn't get a smile here
...a corn maze, goats to feed, a barrel train (which Frazier wouldn't ride even if I rode with him) and several adorable photo ops with some pumpkins and gourds...but my camera battery died so, alas, no more pictures! :(

Happy happy Autumn!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Happy Food Day!

To learn more about Food Day go to foodday.org.
(poster available here)

In observance of Food Day and as a follow up to my Food For Thought post I wanted to post some food ideas. I took some pictures of really easy stuff we've eaten recently so I could share them. :)

The rule at our house is that if it's raw and a fruit or veggie eaten alone (like without dip or spread or something) it's unlimited. You can eat as much of it as you want anytime. And I challenge you to find a snack or side dish easier to make than washing an apple or peeling a banana or throwing some baby carrot sticks in a bowl.
Next up? AB&J oatmeal. I just make plain oatmeal and stir in a little raw almond butter (which contains nothing but raw ground up almonds...period) and spreadable fruit. It's seriously yummy.
Kashi Roasted Vegetable Pizza is my favorite and if we're going to have pizza- this is it...or sometimes I use sprouted grain pitas with tomato sauce and cheese. Either way, it only takes ten minutes in the oven. The plate below plus some Greek yogurt was lunch for Frazier the other day. I had pretty much the same thing...minus the raspberries because they're expensive. The things we sacrifice for our kids...;)

When Frazier was a baby I made most of his food, but since a wide variety of organic produce isn't easy to come by in these here parts, I used store-bought organic versions of fruits and veggies I couldn't get fresh. At the time it wasn't always easy to come by. Now Wal-Mart carries Sprout babyfood (co-founded by chef Tyler Florence). Frazier would actually still eat it right out of the pouch...and does sometimes, but fruit and veggie purees are still super handy for lots of things. I slip them in all sorts of recipes from muffins (think: roasted apple) to pasta dishes (think: butternut squash). They're especially good for smoothies. Beats making your own purees and you can easily get ones now that only contain the fruit or veggie...no additives; no preservatives.
One of my favorite ways to use them is as pie filling. First I make my recipe for pie crust:

1 1/3 c whole grain flour (I usually use a combination of spelt and graham)
pinch sea salt
1/4 c coconut oil
1/4 c coconut butter (or 1/2 c of either)
2 egg yolks
2-3 T cold water
Mix just until combined. Chill before rolling out.
Then I roll it out and use my ravioli maker to cut an even number of circles (one batch of pie dough and one pouch of Sprout puree makes me 8 little pies so I cut sixteen circles.) I stir a teaspoon of pie spice or cinnamon into a pouch of puree...this particular day I used sweet baby carrots, apples and mango, but apricot, just apples or sweet potato are also good. My ravioli maker crimps, too so once I put a dollop of "filling" on eight circles, I top and crimp them. Then into the oven at 425 for about 10-12 minutes. They're perfect little snacks, breakfasts or desserts!
If you've not tried spaghetti squash you need to go get one. I've used it as a replacement for noodles in several dishes including this spaghetti bake...literally spaghetti squash (cut in half, seeds removed, microwaved 12 minutes, scraped free of skin) topped with spaghetti sauce and cheese. Done.

In honor of fall we've been having pumpkin smoothies. This:
plus this:
= delicioso.
This is a chicken I basted with no-sugar added homemade apricot jam and grilled. Easy peasy. I have always been of the opinion that anything served with a side salad, fruit and yogurt or cottage cheese more or less constitutes a meal. This chicken was no exception.
I make big batches of pancakes sometimes on weekends and freeze them for easy breakfasts. I like this recipe (adapted from Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon):

2 c whole grain flour (I usually use spelt for these)
2 c buttermilk, kefir or yogurt
2 eggs
1/2t sea salt
1 t baking soda
2 T melted butter
Soak flour in buttermilk, kefir or yogurt in a warm place 12-24 hours (optional in my opinion- it makes the grain more easily digestible and accessible to your body, but won't affect the turn out of your pancakes). Stir in other ingredients and thin to desired consistency with water. Cook on hot oiled griddle or cast iron skillet.

I've said it before, but it's not about eating all raw or all organic or all vegan or like a dinosaur. For me it's just about eating REAL food...not the artificial stuff. It's about fueling your body- not weighing it down and sludging it up. It's about getting what your body needs in a form it can use it best.

Food. It's what's for dinner. :)

Keepin' it real,