Monday, January 28, 2013

Mrs. Hazelnut's Youngest Two

Yesterday I was reading a family favorite, Woody Hazel and Little Pip, to Zosia and Lily.  It's such a sweet story, one that we usually read in the autumn.  I love the whole story, noticing a different character or element each time I read it: a story that is captivating for adults and children alike.  Yesterday I was especially charmed by Mrs. Hazelnut, accompanied to Mrs. Acorn's house by her two little children.  Beskow writes simply, "Mrs. Hazelnut arrived for coffee with her two youngest behind her." Such a simple sentence.  And there's a picture of Mrs. Hazelnut climbing the tall steps to the treehouse with two little children following behind her like ducklings.

Any mother of little children understands what this really means, what it looks like.  When you have a string of little children, there is a permanent presence with you.  In our family it always seems to be those littlest two, but I have friends where it is even three (or four!) little ones so small that they accompany you everywhere you go.  Of course with time this shifts and changes, as little ones grow older and more independent, and perhaps new little ones join the family.  

I spend the entirety of my days with my littlest two.  They accompany me everywhere, and I know I can count on their chattering, their playfulness, and of course their mischief to keep my entertained.      What a gift, to be in the presence of such joyfulness.  There is side by side play, cooperative play, and a healthy dose of pushing one another's buttons (and of course you'll have to read the book to see to what exciting adventure the curiosity of Mrs. Hazelnut's littlest two leads!).

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Anatomy of a Snow Day

 Just upon waking, all of the children realize that it has snowed, which we have dreamed of for so long.  Enough snow for a 2 hour delay.  It takes about 5 minutes for everyone to be dressed and out in the snow.  And by everyone, I mean everyone but me, who stayed inside to enjoy a cup of coffee in solitude.  I love Zosia's dreamy look.  So pretty.
The children come back in after about 30 minutes with chilly hands and big smiles.
I am obsessed with those red cheeks.  Adorable.
 I was a wimp and didn't really go out. 
Ben gets a fire going for us before he leaves for work.  It has been chilly chilly chilly in these parts.
Hugo takes advantage of the opportunity to help/climb/hug Ben.
That is a pretty amazing fire, Ben.  Nice work.
And I like the hat.
 Zosia goes into school late, and the little ones and I spend the morning enjoying the fire. 
  I love the hands in this picture.  It's as if to say, "What's the big deal?  I'm simply enjoying a fire in the nude."
Lily entertains us all with a puppet show.  She's sort of an entertainer, this one. 
Will you look at the genuine look of concern on her face?  Apparently this horse has just eaten one of the other puppets, which is very sad. 
And Hugo is still finding ways to be funny.

Are you enjoying the snow day?  I think we'll get out for some more snow play this afternoon, but I've been loving a cozy day at home.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Picky Little Thing

This one has given us a run for our money in the picky department.  Food?  Who needs food?  He's happy to survive on love and adventure.  When I was a new mother a few years ago, I remember reading a Dr. Sears book that discussed picky toddler eaters (don't you love that man?).  He suggested taking an ice cube tray, filling it with various foods (fruit, cheese, crackers) and then leaving it out for your toddler to graze on.  

As it so happened, our first two were very enthusiastic and even adventurous eaters.  We never had to worry about it.  But Hugo.  Oh, Hugo.  The current rule in the house is that Hugo gets just about whatever he wants to eat whenever he wants it, because this boy just does not care about food. We actually tried preparing our own version of a peanut butter mix used to fatten up children in developing countries (thanks, Irene!) to no avail. He's just a skinny little thing.  Don't worry darling Hugo, you're just fine. 

Current foods that are tolerated include scrambled eggs, rice, strawberries, and cereal.  And of course everything tastes better when you feed yourself.

Any tips from moms and dads of picky eaters?  

Thursday, January 17, 2013


On the menu: cinnamon rolls, bacon, sausage, fruit salad, and virgin Tangerine juice mimosas.
Cinnamon rolls are so pretty.
Ben, Michelle, and Hugo: blurry, but I can't pass up a photo of Ben in an apron.

Isn't life so much better with cute babies in your midst?
Michelle looking lovely.
Hugo is learning how to be funny.  Putting an apron on your head is definitely funny.
Holding my baby,
and another cute baby.  
See?  He's funny!
Some mama baby love.

Now I'm looking for another excuse to have a brunch.  Isn't breakfast food the best? 

Monday, January 14, 2013

A Saturday Outing

What better way to spend a Saturday morning than meeting friends for cupcakes?
These three are ready to take on the world together, let me tell you.
Lily loves to have pictures taken, often shouting "Look at me, mama!"  And also gets to dress herself most mornings, leading to some pretty awesome fashion choices.
Thanks for the Christmas boots, Ben (and thanks for helping him choose them, S)!
It could be our family photo at first glance.... wait, how did HE get in there?  He is really good at magic...
Zosia loves getting snuggles and tickles from her dad.  Too sweet.
Warm weather, cupcakes, and good friends.  A perfect Saturday morning, if you ask me.