Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Ow. Lady Bite Me.

My eldest child has beautiful brown skin that has deep tones of chocolate and hints of warm cinnamon. She is now at the stage where she is noticing skin color and refers to her own skin as "chocolate." It is something she is fiercely proud of, and likes to announce it to strangers and passers-by, much in the same way that a child would announce that she was wearing new shoes.

Today at the store, my daughter did this very thing, telling a woman who had stopped to say hi, "I chocolate." Usually people say, "Yes! So pretty!" or something like that. But today, the woman said, "Oh, that's OK, honey. It is still a pretty color." And she points to her own very tanned, almost paprika-hued skin and said, "Look, I'm white." My daughter looked very quizzically at her because, so far, in her world, white is a crayon in a box and it looks nothing like this woman's skin. Then, the woman reached out to my daughter with an extended index finger and scratched a little on her arm as she walked away. "Ow. Lady bite me," she said.

I still don't know what to make of the whole scenario and so I'm just putting it out there to share. My daughter said nothing to indicate that she was apologizing for the color of her skin. She was using a happy voice and had an open, engaged expression. I was most bothered by her telling my daughter, "Oh, it's OK, honey. It is still a pretty color" as if my daughter was announcing her skin color wasn't good or pretty or nice. She was just announcing her shade of brown and how the woman chose to respond is...well...interesting. Additionally, if you're trying to talk skin tone with a two year old, it is better to use descriptors that more accurately describe colors. Chocolate, vanilla, peach, french toast, butterscotch, caramel. We are all beautifully and wonderfully made.

PS Check out The Colors of Us by Karen Katz. It celebrates some of the delicious colors we see!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


A CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) is like a share in a farm. Farmers offer a certain number of shares, and people can buy one or more of those shares and receive a share of the harvest during farming season. Some farmers augment their deliveries with goods from other farms, others do not. Some CSAs allow you to choose what you receive in your box week-to-week, others do not.
Our CSA describes itself as a "culinary adventure," which is a nice way of saying you don't get to pick what you get. I thought I might share some of our "culinary adventure" with you. I actually do like getting produce that I normally would not buy. It seems I want to use every last bit of the produce and find new favorite recipes that way.
Like you would expect, the yields begin rather small and expand as fruits and vegetables grow into season, then wane again as the harvesting year comes to a close. The top picture is from week 1, the bottom is from this week (week 3). I have some baby bok choy that I need to figure out what to do with, but otherwise everything is already spoken for!

If you haven't already, check out to find a CSA in your area!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Marbleized Paper Craft

I once attempted a craft blog, but managing one blog seems plenty for me, let alone two! So, I may periodically share a craft idea for kiddos here. I do love doing crafts with my girls, so when I come across something fun, I like to share it with you! (Although, to be clear, "crafting" with toddlers is much more about the process than the product!)

And a big "thank you!" to the preschool teacher, Susan, who shared this idea at a recent training for (bleary-eyed) parents of young toddlers.

Food coloring or Liquid Watercolor in assorted colors
Shaving Cream
Hair Pick, Fork or other tool with tines
Paper (white copy paper works well)
Spatula or Paint Scraper
Tray (optional -helps contain the mess)

Process (invite your child to participate in as much of the process as appropriate for their age and interest):
Spread the shaving cream over the tray
Sprinkle food coloring or liquid watercolor on top of the shaving cream
Use the pick or fork to swirl color around
Lay the paper down on top of the color. Don't immerse, just lay on top and press gently
Lift paper and lay it down on a solid surface
Scrape off excess shaving cream

Voila! You have beautiful, marbleized paper!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Love Made Visible

Today the dishes didn't bother me. Neither did the laundry. Tidying up after the children was enjoyable. Except for a minor mishap at dinnertime, food prep was fun. Craft time went by without a major incident or need for pressure washing. It is 9:00 and the dishwasher is humming, the laundry is churning, the floors are free from stray toys, books are on shelves, and life is pretty sweet. What made the difference? This:

Homemaking is small gestures of usefulness and compassion; love made visible.
~ adapted/paraphrased from Shea Darian in Seven Times the Sun (1994) p. 80-81

Love made visible.
Because of this reframing, my outlook has changed dramatically and it has made an enormous difference in our day. I hope it helps yours, too.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

{A Thousand Words}

I love the 'Wordless Wednesday' posts from Interrupted Wanderlust and {this moment} from Soule Mama. So, I think I'll try my hand at it. Here is my first attempt. (Though I have failed already because I typed. It won't happen again - I promise, but I think it needed a little explanation.) Thank you to Kristi for the original idea and to Soule Mama for the little { } doohickeys.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Easter Plans

As time goes by, I'm trying to decrease the total number of toys my children have, as well as increase the percentage of toys that are made from natural materials and encourage creative play. At present, I have two bags stuffed with toys for the Goodwill, so I have a little room for getting some quality in there. For Easter this year, the girls are going to get some handmade (felted) play food for their little kitchen. An artisan at Etsy has some great items, plus on sale, so I had to nab a few (see above pics). Hopefully there are some left over for you!

above image is from Simple Mama on Flickr

I'm also trying my hand at needle felting and will (maybe) have created some Easter eggs for their baskets. There is a great tutorial here. I plan on making a few of these plain to add to their felt food. If you don't feel like making them yourself, try these.

Meanwhile...wish me luck!