Monday, August 31, 2009


O.K., guys, I've examined all of the radiators and we're ready for the change of season. Are there any other winterization chores that we need to address? Oh, we need to set a warm cat bed under my block table? Task completed - consider it done and done.

We hope that everyone is enjoying these final days of summer. And we're sending special Happy First Day of School wishes to Ivy's cousins in LaCrosse. Adalia and Finnian are experienced pros when it comes to first days of school.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

March of the penguins + Ivy

Penguin incognito. . .

Can you find a silly penguin?

And a serious one?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Back to the garden

I'll be right in, Mom. I just need a few more minutes in the garden. We've got some creeping Charlie that I'd like to dig up before lunch. Keep my scrambled eggs warm, `kay?

Hey, Dad - would you please bring me a glass of lemonade?

Friday, August 21, 2009

Just chilling out

So, what's a family to do when vacation falls during a rare cool and rainy week in August?
Snuggle. Lots and lots of snugglin'.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

A summer visit

We spent a few vacation days at Grandma & Grandpa B's house. They have a very rare tree in their backyard in which Winnie the Pooh & friends have built a wee house at the base of the trunk. The first thing we do at each visit is check Pooh's tree for messages and special treasures.

After Ivy checked in on Winnie the Pooh she picked apples with her grandma and daddy:

Grandma made delicious apple pie and homemade applesauce moments after we picked these apples! We could still taste the late-summer sun.

Ivy's Aunt Kersten, Uncle Jim and cousin-friends, Finnian & Adalia, joined us for a scrumptious summertime dinner. And so did my very own cousin-friend, Jo. All the girl cousins had a great time together and Finnian entertained everyone with his hilarious pickle jokes.

The next day Ivy and Grandpa made some beautiful music together. Ivy loves to sit on my lap and practice her own style of picking and strumming while I play chords on my guitar, so she needed to show Grandpa all her new skills. She rocks our world.

Thanks, Grandma and Grandpa, for a wonderful time!

Monday, August 17, 2009

A Day in the Life

Have you ever had a perfect day in which you found complete bliss in all things comfortable and familiar? Yesterday was one of those days. I love slow, easy, late-summer Sundays and yesterday we started our day with breakfast at Manna Cafe, where we ran into our friend Phyllis. Ivy showed Phyllis many of her tricks and then we drove a mile north up Sherman Ave. to the Northside Farmers Market (even though we live in a city with what many consider the best & largest farmers market in the country, we prefer the smaller Northside and Eastside markets). Ivy helped us pick out eggplants and peppers and charmed the farmers with her animal sounds.

Ivy woke up from her afternoon nap and played with her daddy while I made a lovely and luscious ratatouille. (The recipe comes from the book, A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg - check out the recipe for Roasted Eggplant Ratatouille on page 124 and please tell me that this is the best ratatouille that you've ever made and eaten, too.) Ivy is a great eater and gobbled up every last spoonful of her ratatouille and chunks of baguette. She also presented us with signs that she's going to be a great cook and helper in the kitchen.

After dinner we sprawled in the living room and, after a few moments of angelic rest, Ivy ditched the halo . . .

. . . and attempted a swan dive from the loveseat.

Our day was a perfect one and we all went to bed early and content. Kevin and I are on vacation this week and we look forward to many more moments of family bliss.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Good Mornin'!

Markie is with her sisters at a family reunion today, so I'm taking a few hours off and spending the morning with my little girl. Ivy and I had a gals' breakfast with our great friend, Annie, and her awesome mom (and top-notch teacher), Kerry. Annie is an amazing friend to Ivy and we are so lucky that she and her mom and dad live just across the alley from us. And... we were especially lucky last December when Annie's parents continually fed us during our first weeks as a family! Annie teaches Ivy so many things and points out the natural beauty all around us on our summertime walks through the neighborhood. Annie's parents celebrate the Driftless region of WI, the part of the state I call home, and knowing that we're both River Rats makes me feel very connected to this special girl.

Today the 4 of us had breakfast at a favorite neighborhood hangout, The Iron Works Cafe. Ivy gobbled up a bunch of scrambled eggs & zucchini and tasted the raspberry sauce from Annie's French toast before her morning sleepies set in. Getting together with girlfriends was a great way to start our day and now Ivy's enjoying a sweet mid-morning nap.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Animal Farm

It was a hot day and Mama was away at a conference -- the first time ever away from Ivy for more than eight hours at a time -- so we were going casual (shirtless), since normally The Girl is dressed to the nines. Listen in as we discuss the sounds some animals make, and don't miss a very clear and unprompted "Mama!" (something that made Mama very happy to see on film when she returned home). In the background, Grandpa makes some sweet sounds on his guitar.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Chew on this!

The first corn of summer!

. . . and I'm so glad I have teeth!