Baby Sophia and her new teeth are big fans of pears.
Miriam hard at work spreading the dandelion seeds:
In which Sophia tries to eat the lens cap, and there are shenanigans going on in the background:
Today we had our very first Westside babywearing meetup. I put some feelers out last month, seeing if anyone would be interested, as all the Portland meetups are way too far for me. Another mama jumped in and found a space and time for us, and we had four mamas and seven kids at our first meeting at a local coffeeshop (including a tiny five-day old little squish!). I wasn’t sure what to expect – is wearing babies really enough of a commonality to organize a group around? But I realized that wearing my babies has been something that started as a practical necessity but has grown into an integral way I parent my children, and sometimes I take for granted how much a part of my life it is. I also forget that it can be much more frustrating than comforting for some mamas and babies just starting out. Seeing how happy two of the mamas were once they were helped along with getting their little babies snuggled up in a ring sling or a woven wrap, a process that had previously been only frustrating and uncomfortable for them, made me think that it really is a great blessing to have always had my babies happily snuggled up close, comfortably for both me and for them. It’s a joy to be able to pass that experience on.
We hope to meet twice a month, sometimes in a coffee shop or meeting room, sometimes just to have fun at the park. If you are on Portland’s west side and want to join us, just drop me a comment and I will pass on the details!
I have so many ideas of what to do this spring and summer, I have to get it all down! I am so optimistic for this season of good weather. Here in Oregon, it rains quite a lot during the late fall, winter, and early spring. Late spring through early autumn is unbelievably perfect, and we need plans to take advantage of every day! We just moved into a new house, with much more room to have guests, and we have a huge yard and a gas grill on the way as an awesome gift from Paul’s parents. And I’m not pregnant! Summers when pregnant vs. not pregnant are very different :)
1. Go someplace beautiful, every week.
Portland Rose Gardens
Elk Rock Gardens
2. Invite friends over to play (daytime) every week
3. Invite people over for dinner, every week.
4. Go to the beach
5. Go to Ireland!
6. Do a new art project every week, preferably a messy one
7. Plant something every week, especially perrenials
8. Eat outside most of the time
9. Go berry picking
10. Plant fruit trees
11. Find a place to go swimming (river, lake)
I spent some time sketching out our lenten menu for the next several weeks, and I thought I’d post them here each week, as it’s always helpful to me when others do this, and then I have them recorded for next year. Of course, every family needs to follow their own fasting rule, according to their family’s needs and the advice of their spiritual father. For us, with a breastfeeding mother and young children, I make a few allowances, like serving fish on Sundays and occasionally eggs, and we might decide to make some other changes as time goes on. I feed my kids (and myself, if I feel I need it) other things if I feel it’s necessary, even if they are not on the official menu. I say this just so no one is scandalized that my menu might mention fish or eggs occasionally, and also to be honest that our menu is often even more non-lenten than it appears on the menu.
Many of the recipes are things I have made for a long time or that I have in cookbooks at home, but if there is a link, I will provide it. This week is heavy on recipes I don’t have links for, but for online inspiration, I have a Lenten Pinterest board to peruse. Our own family’s food preferences are to eat little to no soy or other processed foods, as few grains as we can get away with while eating lenten, and as many vegetables as we can fit. It’s mostly me who avoids a lot of grains, so where there is oatmeal or toast on the menu, I usually eat an avocado, sardines, or just the smoothie, and where there is rice or tortillas with a meal, I just skip it.
Breakfasts: oatmeal, green smoothies with almond butter toast, chia seed pudding, banana oat pancakes (the comments say you can leave out the egg with no problem), pumpkin pancakes (I have a lenten version in a cookbook that I’ll try to adapt to use oats like this one).
Lunches: Mostly leftovers with this miso sweet potato and broccoli bowl, or these broccoli noodles with thai peanut sauce when there aren’t leftovers. There will probably be hummus with pita bread and cut veggies and peanut butter sandwiches for the kids.
Monday: Cuban black beans and rice (from Vegan Planet), salad, mango chunks
Tuesday: Mujeddara with tomato sauce (I prefer koshari, which is the Egyptian way of eating lentils and rice, which includes a spicy tomato sauce, but I’ll skip the pasta, so it’s kind of half mujeddara, half koshari)
Wednesday: Slow-cooker dolmas to take to the potluck after Presactified Liturgy.
Thursday: Seafood curry (I make this up – if you have a Trader Joe’s, they have frozen bags of mixed shellfish (scallops, calamari, and shrimp), or if you don’t have that, just shrimp would work too. I stir fry a pile of veggies, add the seafood mix, and when it’s all cooked add a can of coconut cream, a bunch of curry powder, some lime juice, and some Thai fish sauce. To be strictly lenten you could use soy sauce. All of us love it).
Friday: pinto bean burritos with avocado, tomatoes, and olives.
Saturday: Thai butternut squash soup (from Moosewood’s Simple Suppers), Thai salad
Our sweet, smiley girl is six months already! She is so happy, so loving, so affectionate, and we all love her so. She rolls over every time I set her down, and sometimes I find her way off her blanket, having rolled several times. She is in the height of separation anxiety – she wants Mama most of the time, and can get very hysterical very fast if she wants me and I’m not the one holding her. Luckily, she still does pretty well with other people holding her if she can’t see me. We kept waiting to see if her blue eyes would turn brown like her siblings, but she seems to be keeping her sparkly blue eyes!
Stop taking pictures and pick me up, Mama!