Monday, March 28, 2011

Not Just the Nanny Anymore

I was a full-time nanny for over a year before beginning college and then again for a summer towards the end of college. The youngest child in each family was around a year old when I started nannying, so I've always felt familiar with children once they reach the year mark. Last spring when Edwin was born, I remember thinking that the newborn/infant stage was totally unfamiliar territory, and if he had been born at a year, then I'd feel like I knew what I was doing.

Now that he's almost a year old, and he's beginning to do some of the same things I remember my charges doing, I keep having nanny flashbacks. They're good. I can reassure you on that point. Both my nanny experiences were positive - both families were great to work for and I loved the kids.

But it's kind of funny, interesting, etc, that Edwin isn't my first toddler experience. When I see how much he likes dogs, I remember being able to distract Baby J in the car while trying to keep him awake by mentioning dogs. And when Edwin seems to be getting into everything, I think: "I don't remember Baby J getting into stuff all the time." Or when I found a t-shirt with a back-hoe on it, I remember the cute shirts Baby J wore that had trucks, tractors, and back-hoes on them.

Edwin just started trying to pick up food using a fork and spoon, and I remember Baby L using a fork and spoon (or at least holding onto one while picking up food with the other hand).

It's been a fun way to reminisce. Those babies are no longer babies, and I look at pictures of them (or when I see them in person), I can hardly believe they are as grown up as they are.

And what's even greater, is that I'm not Edwin's nanny. I'm his mom. His number one favorite person (or maybe #2, if Dan beats me out on that position) for right now.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Why We Like Spring

I recently cleaned up our garden and started getting it ready for planting. As a result, Edwin got to have some time to play in our back "yard" (We have no grass, just a deck, patio and a square of dirt for gardening.).

Discovering dirt

Yesterday it was 75 degrees out, so we ate supper outside. While I was getting it ready, Edwin got to spend some more time puttering around.

I think he's going to be a first-rate gardener.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

(One of) My Latest Project(s)

I decided to unravel a cashmere (yes, cashmere!!) sweater that I didn't wear at all this year and use the yarn for something else. I'd bought it at a thrift store, so I didn't feel bad about taking it apart. After watching an online tutorial, I got started.

Yarn from one arm.

All the yarn

Wetting the yarn in order to get the kinks out.

It kind of worked. It's not kink-free, but it's good enough for me to crochet with.
My problem now it making sure I have it wrapped well enough as it dries so that it doesn't become tangled while I crochet. I haven't perfected that skill yet, so with each little bit I've used, I have spent some time untangling the yarn.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Meal Musings

(What Edwin does while I cook)

A while ago I posted about my decision to have a weekly schedule of sorts where major housekeeping tasks were designated for certain days of the week. Along with that burst of organization, I've also been more intentional about meal planning. I've been menu planning the day before I grocery shop, and it makes grocery shopping much nicer. I need that focus when shopping. Plus, when I go to make the meal, I have everything I need. Most of the time.

I'm not some one who lists cooking as one of my top hobbies, so sometime during the fall I started getting a little weary when trying to figure out what to cook for supper. I cook a lot more now than I did when Dan and I were first married and living in Baltimore (part of that is because we were part of a 2x per week dinner club - which was wonderful, to say the least), so I started thinking that I needed to expand my repertoire of meals.

I asked for some "Moosewood" cookbooks for Christmas and got two. (Some other dinner club members in Baltimore often used Moosewood cookbooks for some pretty spectacular meals, which is how I heard of them.) If you're not familiar with Moosewood cookbooks, and you like vegetarian food, you should check these out. There are a bunch of different ones to choose from.

I now have the Low Fat Favorites and the New Moosewood Cookbook. I've been using them a lot and am having fun with new recipes.

Dan also gave me a bread book by Bernard Clayton and it has just about any kind of bread you'd ever want to make. Just as exciting are the directions for making an outdoor clay/brick oven for baking bread. If we weren't renting, I'd be really tempted to make one. I always think it's too hot in the summer to bake, but if I had an outdoor oven...

Anyway, I'm excited about new meal options, lots of bread options and dreaming of someday baking bread in an outdoor oven!