Wednesday, August 27, 2014

fresh basil pesto

If nothing else, we've eaten what we spent on the garden in pesto.  There is so much fresh basil around here and I am in love.  We're eating this pesto at least once a week (let's be honest: twice) and I'm not even close to sick of it (can't quite say the same for hubby but I'm the one cooking and he doesn't complain).  I originally got the recipe {here} but now I don't measure, I just go for it.
Here it is, my current favorite basil pesto recipe:

Stuff your food processor with fresh, clean basil, then add:

  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup olive oil
  • juice and/or zest of a lemon or two
  • salt and pepper
  • a couple tablespoons of freshly grated parmesan
  • a tablespoon or two of cream cheese
  • a couple cloves or spoonful of minced garlic
  • a handful of pecans or walnuts (better to toast these but I often don't)

Process until nice and smooth, and add to your favorite pasta with some blanched garden veggies or finely chopped broccoli and shredded chicken.  so. good.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Maisy thumb sucker! {a respectful parenting introspective}

Maisy spent the past two days in bed, almost all day long.

She has been working really hard at her hands lately -- sucking on her little paw, chewing on her fingers -- just constantly trying to figure out those amazing extremities.  A few nights ago, I went up to bed and found her there lying on her side sucking her thumb -- a big accomplishment and was she into it!

So then, day before yesterday... I took baby girl upstairs for her usual second morning nap around 10:30 or 11:00, gave her some nursies, left her in a daze on the bed and off to sleep she went.  And then, also as usual, we went about our business, listening for sounds from her and peeking in occasionally.  Normally she might spend a couple of hours up there, sleeping then waking and wanting us, or waking and looking around for a while and then wanting us, letting us know with her little grunts or cries.  But yesterday the two hours passed and I checked and she was up there on her side, sucking away at her thumb again, eyes almost closed, little paw helping to hold her left hand in place at her mouth.  It was taking every ounce of baby girl's concentration to control her arm and stop it from flying away and keep that thumb in her mouth so she could suck on it.  Clearly she was busy, so I left her to it.  She fell back to sleep, she woke and worked her thumb into her mouth and sucked again.  I checked and checked all afternoon.  At one point I snuck some photos and laid my face down by hers and smiled a little and whispered quietly, "I'm so happy for you.  I love you so," very intentional about not interrupting her focus but just offering a little love and support.  She squinted at me and made a few little grins at mine.  I went to leave once and she let out a sad whimper, so I took that as a sign that she wanted me to stay and put my head down by hers for a little longer.  And then I did leave and she slept more and sucked more.  And when she was finally making noise and ready to greet us with smiles, it was after 4:30 in the afternoon!  Yeppers, an almost six hour stretch on the bed.  Then, yesterday we followed a similar pattern.

I may have been tempted to pick Maisy up after three or certainly four hours of "napping" saying, "she's been resting long enough!"  But I've been reading {this book} {thanks, sara} and it's helping me become far more intentional about letting Maisy focus when she's busy, leaving her in her zone to stare or kick or suck her thumb.  Because to us it could have seemed like nothing, but she's been working hard the past couple of days to lock in her newly discovered skill and hobby.  Without the time and quiet to practice (she can't do it anyplace but on the bed yet; scratch that, last night she managed to suck her thumb while I was holding her) she might not have gotten it.  Instead of helping Maisy develop her focus and attention span by quietly observing, I easily could have interrupted and undermined the importance of what she wants to learn.

This concept applies to the boys as well, of course.  And while we are less inclined to interrupt our children than our babies, we still do.  Lunch need not be served at twelve o'clock on the dot if the littles are engrossed in what they're doing; a natural stopping point will come and then we can move on.

Lots of food for thought.  I totally recommend the book.

Friday, August 22, 2014


Gardening isn't completely foreign to me; when I was growing up my Gram and Pop spent their summer days working the garden, and I spent mine driving trucks in the dirt and taste testing string beans and tiny carrots.  As a child, a teenager, a young adult, doing actual work in the garden had no appeal for me (other than tending my own little potato patch that Gram let me plant when I was little).  I never had a house plant I didn't kill.  And yet, with all this land around us, how could we not grow food?

So here we are, family farmers, and now the number 30 isn't the only proof that I'm an old lady; it must be official because finally: I love weeding.  I guess because finally, three kids in, gardening is an escape instead of a chore.  There's no whining or pooped underwear, just weeds to pull, and actual progress to be seen!  The weeds, though they do grow back, don't pop up nearly as quickly as a large bucket of duplos reappears all over the floor after it's been put away.

These photos are old (a month ago or more) but you can get the idea...

Our earliest harvests: green beans, snap peas, and baby kale, swiss chard, and spinach -- a little lunch appetizer platter of foods the pups wouldn't normally be all that excited about if they weren't just plucked from our garden.
Some young purple carrots.  These things are huge now!
So many cucumbers!  I've composted most of them, sad to say, because I didn't get my pickling gear together in time.  But we have enjoyed them in salads, and they boys have eaten a few whole.
An early harvest of beauteousness.
A look at the garden...
The snap pea jungle!
Our fancy stick trellis which all the neighbors admire... It'll need some adjustments next year but it sorta did its job.  And at the bottom, my prize basil crop.
Swiss chard and romaine...
... and kale...
... and brussel sprouts...
... and tomatoes (these are softball-sized golden tomatoes now!)
Pupper's potatoes...
Pea blossoms...
Another look at the garden from the opposite side...
One last look -- the view toward the garden from our front porch.
Oh, and-- along with our new love for dirt, our growing gives us a new appreciation for rain.
It's a beautiful slice of life, this right here.

Oh, and if you're still here... Thought I'd share my growing inspiration: {here} and {here} but really {this book} planted the garden seed in my head.

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Maisy at three months {cuteness overload}

Did I say two months was the sweetest?  Because I meant three.
I'll let the photos from the past few weeks try to tell the story of the joy little Maisy Lou brings.

This face!

These feet.
 We've graduated from the Moby wrap to the Ergo.
 Kissing footsies:
 A little photo shoot in a little vintage dress:
 Picnic lunch.  Maisy doesn't eat yet but she does enjoy tree watching.
 A photo by Bob.  Not bad!
 Maisy's preferred sleeping spot: in her king size bed.
 She just wants you to smile at her all day and she'll smile right back.
These brothers are over the moon for their baby girl.  Pupper openly proclaims Maisy to be his favorite person in the family.
 Bobby reading to Maisy = one of the sweetest things ever.
Check out Bob's camera skills.  {Lest you be too impressed, I set the settings and he snapped 20 shots quickly, 18 of which were completely blurred.}
 Maisy and one of her great grandmothers.
 Her first bottle!  Not exactly a feeding success, but most definitely a cuteness success.
 This face.  I mean... no words!
And then... Pupper and I discovered the adorableness of headbands.  And Pupper gave his baby sis one of his bracelets.
 This onesie was Bob's -- a baby shower gift from Jakes!
Stop it right now with the white bow, Maisy.  Too much.
 This girl.  She is just so darn precious I can't stop smiling and snapping at her.
Cutie girl on the go.  I haven't purchased much for Maisy girl because no need -- but one thing I did buy and love is the aden + anais burpy bib.  It's the perfect shape for hanging over your shoulder and gives nice total coverage as a bib with a small snap to keep it in place.  The fabric is super soft, and gets softer as you wash it.  Perfect for drooly little three month olds.
Maisy Lou will rarely take the sucker, but once in a while she's been known to go for it.  Here she's indulging me with a hands free meal at the fish fry last Friday.
Maisy's leg warmers inherited from Owen.  My sweatshirt inherited from Cass.
 Passed out mid-change when I was called away for some other emergency.
 And... a little three month photo shoot, just because.
Better than her pacifier, she likes her hand and her "little paw" as the boys affectionately it.
 Comfy and content.
 Giving the weird boys some weird looks.
 This girl -- what a delightfully scrumptious little person she is.  We are just too lucky.

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