O' Warmth, Where Art Thou?

The promise of summer and warm weather always spurs an outdoor nesting of sorts--preparing the spaces outside of the home for enjoyment and play. Noah, most excitedly, has thrown himself into all of the tasks to be done--helping Daddy break ground for our first Canadian vegetable garden, helping to nail little wooden steps to his favorite climbing tree and offering building tips and advice from inside the window to the workers building the new deck below.

Despite the snow and freezing temperatures that the Canadian spring has sprung on us today, I am hopeful that we'll be able to get back to our nature nesting soon.


All In A Good Week's Play: The Backyard Edition.

I guess you could say it's typically spring-like around here--sunny and warm one afternoon, rainy and cool the next. No matter the bite, we try and bundle up at least once a day to bank some much needed and enjoyed hopping, swinging, digging, skipping time. While we can't wait for the warmer temperatures of summer and all the outside dinners, firefly catching and water play that it brings, we'll take what we can get in the meantime. After all, sunshine is sunshine.


A Hopping Easter Indeed: Baskets, Bunnies + Bogs.

Easter passed with a fluttering of the eye--here and gone before I knew it. Noah was up at the crack of dawn on Sunday morning to seek the stash left by ol' cottontail. So excited that many of his eggs contained bouncy balls to add to his ever-growing collection, he barely noticed the few that did contain a few of his favorite treats. After an exhaustive hunt, we settled down to an oral tall tail tale with felt hand and finger bunny puppets finished in just the nick of time (Fern's got a little stitch or two well into the next day...but, shhhh, she'll never know).

Dean took Monday off and we found ourselves enjoying the cool but sunny day exploring the Sifton Bog. A boardwalk over the bog extends along for most of the main trail and dead ends at a small pier overlooking a pond surrounded by wild cranberries and brush dotted with tiny orange butterflies. The smaller trails that wrap around the outer skirts of the bog were thick with bush and fallen trees--all excellent fodder for the small herd of white-tailed deer spotted nibbling for a late afternoon bite. 

The holiday weekend was all that it promised to be and I am once again reminded of how fun holidays are with little ones around. They infuse the day with such wonder, excitement and awe--the simple little things that bring the kind of pleasure that is harder and harder to often come by as we age.

peter, polly, paul + pedro.

6:00 a.m. hunt

cracked eggs

dos hikers

pier snack

"there are FISH in there!"

bog baby

bog fauna


Hoppity Hopping Into Easter: Felt Bunny Crafts + Naturally Dyed Eggs.

Easter is a wee on the early side this year, but with the spring-like weather I don't mind a bit. We gave another go at coloring eggs with natural dyes this year and achieved the most beautifully muted shades of pinks and yellows using combinations of freshly grated red beets and ground turmeric. I have a hunch that I enjoyed the process more than my little cottontail, but once it comes to seeking out those little beauties from beneath bushes and behind trees he'll be happy we did.

Easter crafting, too, has hit full swing as I busily prepare handmade goodies for Noah and Fern's baskets. Last year, a half dozen crocheted eggs and two bunnies--one knitted and one sewed felt (a la our Waldorf class)--were all I could muster. This year, I am hitting the felt crafts big time thanks to these too-sweet-for-words bunny finger and hand puppets over at The Purl Bee. To be perfectly honest, the whiskers on the finger puppets gave me a hell of a time the first go round. But the rest was as easy as pie. So, whip out your sewing needles and give these little hoppers a go--you've still got time!


Natural Playscapes.

Moving from California to Canada has gifted us a real backyard--the fenced-in, green-grassed, tree swing kind of backyard--the kind of yard that inner-city and beach ranch living just don't make possible. Any plans to settle into our backyard oasis last year were a bust. Just 6 months after moving in, the birth of Fern in late May combined with summertime travels put a kibosh on planting a garden, composting, rain barrels, clothes line, hammock hanging and any other kind of backyard cozy-up. We built a sand box, hung a tree swing, and that was the extent of it. But, since spring has met us early this year and the warm temperatures have lured us back out for patio dinners and long swing pushing sessions, we have begun to ponder once again all that we'd love to do with the space.  

Aside from all of the functional uses mentioned above, I have also been envisioning ways to incorporate inspired playscapes--something in lieu of the traditional purchased play structure--and imagining what I could do with stumps, limbs and branches and began scouting out viable sources for wood. Luckily, a neighbor of ours was in the process of removing a tree to make way for a garden of their own and offered the wood for my outdoor endeavor. It's still very much in the making, but it's a start and already a hit with Noah. Stump jumping, reading and snacking in the fort and constructing roads and towers with cut wood blocks has been added to his list of favorite backyard past times. The imagination and ingenuity that a natural playspace has the ability to encourage with its limitless possibilities of creation is what draws me in the most. I love its impermanence and fluid construction--the ability for it to be one thing one day and something entirely different the next. I hope to add large stones, a fire pit (for the family), tree house and perhaps large logs on their side for sitting, balancing, etc. It's clearly been as much fun for me as it has been for Noah.

Happy Playing!


Ward's Island Love: Toronto, Can You Get Any Better?

Dean's work space has experienced radical shifts over the years--from a Sunset Boulevard recording studio, to a home studio on the cliffs of Malibu, and most recently to an Industrial Park in the White Oaks neighborhood of London, Ontario. While his current gig does leave a stealthy lot to be desired in the aesthetic department, it does occasionally bestow trips to Toronto in business' name. This time it was to speak, mingle and schmooze at Canadian Music Week, again--and the kids and I tagged along to hit the streets and sights.

We found ourselves staying harbor-side for this visit instead of a hustling city center spot as per usual. Cityscape, construction, and harbor views from our window kept Noah engrossed for much of the stay and our proximity to the water required that we venture to the islands just on the other side of the bay. We took the late afternoon ferry after kissing daddy adieu on the first day only to find ourselves swooning on the shores of a quaint and cozy little finger of land just spitting distance from the towers and skyscrapers of downtown. With not a car in sight--only bicycle and walking shoe cladded locals--and charmingly understated, and in some cases brightly painted, cottages it looked and felt a lot like the tiny island in the Bahamas that Dean and I honeymooned on. The locals were just awakening from a long winter's slumber as the summer-like temperatures had everyone out raking leaves and otherwise preparing the earth for spring's fresh buds. A few crocus and daffodil were already peeping from beneath the heavy moss. As we made our way down to the beach on the opposite side of the island, I was plotting how we could establish a permanent homestead on this newly discovered paradise. The rest of the day was one for the history books. Noah splashed and played in the frigid and eerily still waters of Lake Ontario, collecting smooth stones and digging holes in the sand while Fernie and I soaked in all of the afternoon's rays. It was by far one of my favorite days in Canada so far.

A stop for a wee bit of window shopping and tacos on the Danforth and exploration, albeit tiredly, at the Science Museum with friends who came up from London to join us rounded out the cooler and rainy days that followed. It was a fabulous trip and though we didn't get to see much of Daddy, it's one that we would gladly do again and again as Toronto continues to capture our hearts with each visit.


Feeding Little Foodies: Rescued, Soon Renewed + New Recipes.

Many of you read my sorrowful post regarding the purchase of my www.feedinglittlefoodies.com domain a few weeks back by someone in Spain. Well, all smoothed out just smoothly and the domain is happily back in my hands and to kick things off, there is a brand spankin' new super simple and delectably delicious recipe. So, come on over and give it a taste:  Coconut Shrimp Curry & Easy Homemade Naan.

Thanks to all of you who sent your heartfelt support and concern during the debacle. It is touching to know what a resource the site continues to be. Thank you.

Happy Feeding,

The Mama Behind, Feeding Little Foodies


Fern's Floor Bed Featured On Bedstart!

My post a few weeks back about Fern's new Montessori floor bed has brought many visitors to the blog--apparently the floor bed is making a real come back--and Anne, of the brand new website Bedstart, was one of them. She sent me an e-mail a few days ago asking if she could feature Fern's room. I, of course, enthusiastically agreed and, et voila, the site launched today! Stumble on by if you have a chance.

As a last note, it's been nearly a month now since we began experimenting with the new sleeping arrangements and are so very happy to report that all eyes are still slumbering seamlessly. Though the transition has signaled the end of exclusive co-sleeping with Fern, the floor bed has maintained the established sleep connection while providing a new physical space that both encourages and fosters "independence, concentration, movement, self-esteem, decision-making, and balanced, healthful development of body, mind and spirit". I can still snuggle, nurse and cuddle as often as needed--something that just couldn't be done with a crib. For more reading on the Montessori floor bed visit my earlier post, The Montessori Floor Bed: Connecting Space, Sleep, Play & Development.


Teases of Spring!

The happiest baby on the block has the blues, the teething blues. We've been in somewhat of a teething hell lately, literally. Several days following 3 days of an otherwise symptomless fever, Fern has been in worse spirits without it than with it and from what I can tell it's all due to those blasted top two front teeth that have just begun nudging their way beneath the gums. She has been a whining, fussing, crying, little wee teether who wants to be no further away from me than my butt hair, day and night. It's proven exhausting and most especially because outside of another quick and isolated teething episode she has truly been our easy peasy smiley and bright kind of gal. I guess she's allowed. But I hope she'll make it snappy--for both of our sake's.

All of this enameled agony has not kept us from enjoying this somewhat surprisingly early spring here in Southern Ontario, however. Last year, we were still shoveling our way from beneath snow and frosty temps well into early May. Think, Easter egg hunting clad mitten and snow gear. Not exactly the Easter we're used to. But this year we've already picnicked in the park twice and that Irish day of green has not even lucked on by yet. Lucky, lucky us! Last weekend found us playing in the park and hiking down alongside the river and today, at the sugar bush (maple syrup "farm") soaking pancakes with local sweetness and going on a horse-pulled carriage ride. Once we got home from syrup tapping, I dusted off the outdoor furniture and toys as I resurrected them from their basement hibernation. Noah was most giddy about discovering his red crocs from last summer. The frosting on the cake was that they still fit.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin