Family: October 2008 Archives

Bedtime

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4yo: "Poppy, can you lay down with me?"

"Of course, Pumpkin."

Seven minutes later...

"Poppyyyyyy!"

"Yes, Pumpkin?"

"Not so lo-ong!"

"Sorry. You can say that nicely, you know."

"Well, you can sit on the floor if you want."

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Pray for my sister!

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by mama-Lu

This year on December 28th, my sister will make her final profession as a Carmelite with the Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles. We are very happy for her and excited about visiting. Please keep her in your prayers are she prepares for this blessed event. (I should also add that Sister Mary Louise is a regular reader here so if you would like to leave a message that you are praying for her, she will see it.)

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"What's up with that?" Wednesday (II)

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by Mama-Lu

What's up with Curtis Orchard? My sons love our local orchard and pumpkin patch. We spent a lovely afternoon there this week. The boys had fun feeding the goats (with food they had picked up off the ground,) driving the play train, and walking in the maze. After our friends left, we walked out and visited the pumpkin patch.

Back inside we looked around at all the nifty stuff to buy and watched the electric train. Finally we went to check out. I was not buying apples or pumpkins because I knew those were understandably expensive. It is harder to make a buck with a small family than a mega farm. All we wanted were donuts. However, I was a little shocked when I discovered that the price I expected for a dozen was actually the price for just six.

So I wonder, are they really charging a fair mark-up, or are they taking unsuspecting city slickers to the cleaners? Not that I begrudge anyone the right to make a buck -- and they do deliver a good time. I just wonder. I also wonder if they would be interested in carrying my pumpkin hat next year. :)

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The Musical Fruit

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by Mama-Lu

In these tight times, I recommend eating beans. They are nutritious and cheap, and can be delicious. They do have some side effects, but when you are with your family (which you have to be because you cannot afford to go out,) that is not so bad.

The trick to great beans is to start with dry beans. After attempting to cook dry beans many times, I had given up. They always came out tough! Then I read an article in Cook's Illustrated which gave me the secret ingredient -- salt. If you add a generous amount of salt to your soaking liquid, the bean skins will melt in your mouth. The other trick is to keep out acids (tomatoes) until the end.

To prepare my family's favorite black beans, simply boil 1 cup of cleaned beans in 6 cups of salted water (or broth) for about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let them sit for about and hour. Return to medium heat, add a diced onion and cook for about 45 minutes. Add 2 cans of diced tomatoes and cook for another 10 minutes. These beans, served over a simple rice pilaf, make a fabulous comfort food and a very cheap meal.

Happy Eating!

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"What's up with that?" Wednesday

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I do not want to be an angry blogger. For that reason, I am going to limit my complaints, rants, and general grousing to Wednesdays. [Ed. note: Here's where I mention that Mama-Lu will be contributing thrice weekly.] Today, children's pajamas. Doesn't sound like a problem, does it? First, I received sticker shock. If I can buy sweats for $10, why not pajamas? Then, I was surprised by the slim lack of choices.

Being in a crafty, thrifty mood, I said, "That's ok. I'll make my own." Off to the fabric store I went. There I found a pattern on sale and started looking for fabric. Here is where I hit a brick wall. The store had about 8 different kinds of flame resistant fabric (naturally mostly girly) and they cost 12 dollars a yard! (Also they were all made in Taiwan, but I'll save that for another Wednesday.) It seems that the federally required flame resistant fabric is not easy or cheap to make.

So, do children really need to be in flame resistant pajamas? I don't know anything about the history of this law or the research to support it (if there is any.) Yet, I feel compelled to buy flame resistant pajamas for my children. Part of me rationally says that it probably doesn't matter, but another part of me sees a child going up in smoke. I do not want to buy into this law, but I cannot escape the guilt it imposes. Let's just hope I can resolve my internal conflict before Matthew notices that his pajama pants keep getting shorter.

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"You got a genius baby over here!"

A boy from across the street said that to me after having a conversation with Matthew about how to process walnuts. I was not surprised. Even as a newborn, Matthew was alert, strong and already "talking," though he never cooed like some babies -- he litigated. I have always known that Matthew has a good mind, fierce independence, and tremendous enthusiasm for life.

As a baby, Charlie's astounding physical ability soon set him apart. Walking by 9 months was a feat in itself, but watching him push himself up to a standing position without holding onto anything at 8 months was, to me, even more shocking. Now it's not surprising to see him pull off with grace things that make other mothers tremble.

Then along came Tony. His great talent seemed to be sleeping. When he began crawling at 6 months it was a surprise, but not terribly remarkable after Charlie. But once he became mobile, I began to see that he has a great talent for solving his own problems.

All of my boys are very bright and they challenge me to keep up with them every day. However, I think the title "genius" will have to go to Tony, who recently said his first word. Granted, saying one word at 9 months is not miraculous. It was his choice of words: "Mama."

Yes, I got a genius baby over here!

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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Family category from October 2008.

Family: September 2008 is the previous archive.

Family: November 2008 is the next archive.

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