Thursday, November 26, 2009

so Thankful

A day to be grateful for, dear friends from Vancouver merge with our current life so seamlessly, a second annual walk to Glen Park Canyon, a frenetic cooking session made fun by Neema, a bike ride to Thanksgiving dinner down Valencia Street with Eva on the back, a flurry of garden games with children and a feast tasting even better in fresh air. 
Menu: turkey cooked to prefection by Ed + his family stuffing with sausage, Art's sweet potato pie
(mashed veggies with marshmellows), roasted pumpkin with roasted vegetables, salad with pomegranted seeds + persimons, roasted squash, brussel sprouts with pancetta, rustic apple tart, chocolate cream pie, pumpkin pie.

Monday, November 23, 2009


We've been debating about animals for a year now, I was becoming used to the idea of getting a dog, though I'm not a dog person per se. I watch them at Crissy Field, interview people about their pets but I could not resolve the steps backwards I'd be taking when I just emerged from those infant years. last month I woke in the middle of the night and it came to me clear as day, we'd get Eli a bird for his birthday and Eva something in the rodent family (have since decided it'll be a guinea pig). that morning over breakfast Eli asked me if he could have a bird for his birthday, he's always doing this kind of thing with me. i overheard him asking Shu Shu for a bird a few weeks later. so the Saturday after his birthday, we surprised him with a visit to the bird store we visited on his second birthday and told him we'd be getting a bird. he, after many discussions with the owner and staff, on a lineolated parakeet, a little bird with a big bird personality. Eli immediately named him Tico after the bird in the Leo Leoni story that we love. ever day or so we'd go and hold him, he's 4 1/2 months old and had not been hand-trained too well so we felt it worth the wait, and now that he's home, he definately was. it's not unusual to see Eva sitting around knitting with Tico on her head or Eli talking to him through his cage. he's a fine addition to the family.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


we got some new Kapla blocks to add to the collection from Shu Shu. the other morning while I was making breakfast in the kitchen I heard the children doing a nice job on collaborating on a creation with the blocks, not the usual mode for them a battle usually ensues. this is what greeted me when called in to see the cobra for myself.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Dagmar's tee pee

over halloween weekend the kindergarten teachers at the children's school transform their classrooms in to Indian villiages, it's a sight to behold. eli is always proud to celebrate his birthday during this time. it's a tradition to give an Ostheimer figure to the kindergarten teachers, this year Dagmar requested a Native American figure from the cataloge, only to find out they are no longer carrying them. I was able to get the last "mother" in the city. I decided to sew a mini-tee pee like Eli's to give to her as well. this little gift put a smile from ear-to-ear on her face. we'll miss being immersed in this experience next year!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

what a treat

Neema + Tim just made dinner tonight, how amazing to eat a lovely dinner in our home prepared by such great cooks. the menu included steelhead trout with lemon and herbs, couscous with mint, julianned zuccini with sauteed almonds slivers in was delicious. they can stay FOREVER! another treat was when they walked to the market to get groceries Sameer opted to stay at Auntie Jan's. I love having a toddler in the house, hearing the chitter chatter as he pushes trains along the floor, clapping and laughing on command, watching him adore the big kids....I'll keep this one.

Pumpkin makes her maiden voyage to school

last Friday, I took my maiden voyage across town to school. I'd gotten the first good night sleep in weeks and woke up ready. I also found Neema to be a good cheerleader getting me on the bike. I was so nervous I paced the house a while before leaving and left an hour and half in case I needed to stop several times along the way. I just have to say Pumpkin was wonderful. that being said, when I got part way down Valencia Street in the bike lane, my legs were already feeling it and my mind started racing, "can I do this? I'll be coming back with child in tow!" i quickly switched gears remembering I ran a 1/2 marathon in June and had learned you can't let your mind race forward and if I can run 13.2 miles I can do this (4.5 miles) and I did without stopping. I got there with 45 minutes to spare. I invited Susan Brandabur to meet Pumpkin and she did all the propper ooohing and ahhhing. the biggest treat was when Eli came out I handed him his helmut and gestured down the sidewalk, her ran to greet her with enthusiasm. Dagmar, his teacher looked over with a big smile asking if this was Eli's birthday present, I said it was an anniversary present for the entire familhy. she came over and kept saying how beautiful and how nice it was and had a grin the likes I've never seen on her face. our ride home was smooth, we walked up the one big hill I prepared Eli we'd do but the rest was coasting along. i've asked the chilren to stay as still as possible while mama is getting used to the bike with passenger. when we got 3/4 of the way home Eli blurted out, "not looking around means I'm watching your butt wiggle the whole time." I nearly fell off the bike with laughter. I'm looking forward to the next jouruney.

Friday, November 13, 2009

tis feudal times....

from Eva's point of view, November 12th is a tough one. she was so excited about the big day she went to sleep hours after her bed time and woke up at 4:50! yes yes yes. when Eli finally woke up, she was already an expert on his Indian Villiage, leaving nare a surprise for him to uncover. this did not seem to phase him, he did not whine nor fuss but slowly he made his claim on all the items. luckily I'd purchased two guords for each to have but the two baskets of rocks Eli would not part with, leaving his sister in a bawling mess on the floor. I finally got her back to her papa who read a chapter of Castle Corona to her and snuggled with her until she felt better. the new banner, too was too much, all for her little brother. as we were leaving for our special day at school, eva looked up at me begrudgingly and muttered, " you treat me like a peasant child..."

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Pinecone's big day

what a birthday!  teepee, Dutch Baby breakfast with special guests Neema + Sameer, amazing celebration at school including a white cape and crown with Eli's story shared with all his friends in class,  a day spent in the forrest at the Presidio, a playdate with Silas at home playing, making sail boats, followed by Naomi, Leon, Marcel visit to help us eat mini pinecone cakes and Gialina pizza. Eli was feted to no end. when I woke him the next day with, "how's the birthday boy?" he replied, "I'm not the birthday boy, my birthday is over." there you go, it's over.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

on the eve of Pinecones sixth birthday...

so much excitement in the air, and it's all mine. I was a mad flurry moving through my day, preparing for Eli's day and the arrival of Neema + Sameer. thanks to Peter drilling holes in the bamboo, I finished the tee pee, and to Suzanne for the little baskets/acorns and directing me to Coast for dried gourds for the set-up and Peter's wood scraps for the boat project for E + friend tomorrow. The Indian settlement is up and waiting for the boy to wake up and discover. Eva crept out while I was showing Neema the tee pee and nearly scared us both to death, you'd have thought it was our mother catching us with a beer bottle. Eva is on the secret now and I know she'll keep it, unlike in years past. I also finished the two banners: BIRTHDAY + BOY, this ought to surprise Eli who's been critical of Art's birthday garland. as I sewed the stitches I thought of my boy the entire time, there was no sense of urgency, just time to ponder this sweet boy of mine.

I've been thinking about you and your little boyness as it's slipping away from me, here are some of the things I love and'll miss:

you won't always...
  • want to run into my arms and be twirled just because they were open and waiting for you
  • say milozine instead of limosine
  • listen to the birds instead of my voice
  • give me your special leg/night-time hug
  • call "MAMA" first thing in the morning and want to be carried to the table announcing, "special delivery"
  • want to be a gnome for halloween
  • sing so sweetly
  • call Eva, Sis
  • ask for the keys, run ahead, lock me out only to let me in as soon as I arrive because it's our deal
  • need your special blue blanket to sleep
  • need me to hand you a towel when you get soap in your eyes washing your hair
  • stop at a stream of water heading to the gutter to float a leaf
  • climb to the top of the tree to ponder
I love you Branch Elias Pinecone Bender.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009