Monday, April 26, 2010

Moment to Moment

I had the most amazing time a few days ago hiking up in the hills. It seems like it's been months since I've been able to get out into nature on my own. Last week I had been feeling low, it always takes me a few days to recalibrate after Ivan's been gone. I found it hard to breathe, to focus, to do anything other than try to survive one moment to the next and take care of my boys. With Ivan home, it finally felt like I could exhale.

We took the boys back to our small, gentle beach last Sunday. You could see the love and peace in Ivan's face to be back with his family

I've been spending a lot of time watching in wonder as my boys get older. Luca has been having so much fun with his older brothers playing and laughing with them. He really likes being one of the gang. I am amazed at how my baby just doesn't seem so much like a baby anymore

... and my Matteo... sigh, my oldest son, Matteo. This past week has been a flurry of activity getting all the forms, medical records and paperwork for Kindergarten registration. In all honesty I've been anxious. He's been in the protective cocoon of our home and care, with a few days a week at a loving, small preschool. Soon he'll be in a much bigger place and while I know he can handle it, I worry more over whether I can. So if any of you been there, done that mamas have any words of advice and consolation, I'd love to hear them.

In the meantime, I'll just keep hiking and working this all out within myself. Thank you all so much for your very kind and supportive comments and emails when I face my husband-less weekends. I feel like such a wimp compared to those whose husbands travel regularly for work. For those of you who are in that situation, my deepest admiration.

Wishing you all a blessed and wonderful week

Friday, April 16, 2010

Little Farmers

Oh my, where has this week gone?! I really can't believe it's Friday already. So much has been going on, but the highlight of our week was going to visit my parents in the Central Valley, about 80 miles away. My dad has an amazing garden which my boys have really taken an interest in this year. On our last visit, they planted squash and wanted to call my dad daily to remind him to water them :). Needless to say, my dad LOVES this time with his grandsons, passing along his wisdom and love of gardening on to them.

Nico was happy to harvest some red leaf lettuce for us

Luca LOVES sugar snap peas!

Does anyone know what this is? The leaves are enormous and bitter! It's some kind of lettuce, kale or chard. I tried steaming it, and it ended up looking like collard greens, but would need a lot of doctoring up to make edible... I would love to know what it is and if anyone has a recipe for it since my dad has a few of them and doesn't know what they are either.

We found a little visitor in our harvest when we got home :)

I'm gearing up for Ivan's absence this weekend, stocking the refrigerator, tidying up the house, folding laundry so I can focus just on the boys over the next few days. Fortunately it looks like there are many fun, free things to do in the Bay Area this weekend, may be you can help me decide :) ?
...or I could just go with the flow and see what mood strikes us when we wake up :)

Thanks for visiting and I hope you all have been enjoying the Great Outdoor Challenge!
I hope you all have a wonderful, fun weekend!

Monday, April 12, 2010

At The Beach

When we get there, they're always dressed warmly for the brisk weather
and they play a bit at the waters edge

Despite the cold, shoes come off and pant legs get rolled up

and before you know it, they're splashing in the water

it's hard to mind too much when you see the joy in their faces

Hoping that you're enjoying your time outdoors!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Letterboxing with Friends

The boys and I have really become addicted to Letterboxing since our last adventure and it became more fun for us this afternoon when we met up with our friends Nicola, Lala and Finn for a new outdoor treasure hunt at sweet, old, rustic park tucked away in the hills!

Since Lala was the big kid of the group - you know, being 5 and knowing right from left :)- she helped us out immensely with the first direction...
"go to the staircase furthest to the right"

For the next set of directions, Matteo had his trusty compass
"go up the staircases to the absolute most total northeast corner of this glorious old park"

"There you will see an old bay tree with a few holes in it next to about 20 stone stairs"
"At the top of the stairs is a redwood tree. Between the bay and the redwood, at the base of the redwood is the letterbox under the leaves"

...and there we found the wonderful journal and stamp left by HeartGirl on Valentines Day

It was such a pretty hike, with a gentle waterfall
many steps to climb
and an ancient playground that time forgot, with an actual see-saw!

I think Luca fell in love with the sweet Lala...
I know I did!

and I know that the boys had a wonderful time with friends and each other!

It's been a wonderful, amazing first week of this Great Outdoor Challenge! I've really been inspired by seeing how others enjoy their time outdoors. Here's a link where you can check them all out!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Matteo, the Nature Photographer

One of the things I love about taking pictures is that you learn to see beauty everywhere. When I am outdoors, my eye begins to notice the details, colors and organic lines that Mother Nature has laid everywhere for all of us to enjoy. Today I handed Matteo our old point and shoot camera and invited him to take pictures of what caught his eye while we were walking. Once in awhile, I'd encourage him to get up close to his subject and I showed him how to work the zoom, but for the most part, I left him to his own devices. Over 300 (!!) photos later, I have to say I was stunned by the beauty my son found and captured. I really have no words, but wanted to share some of my young photographer's images with you...

I really encourage you all to try this with your children. It really just left me in awe and full of joy to see the beauty of the world through his eyes.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Come Out and Play!

With three young boys, being outdoors is a way of life for our family. We live in a somewhat urban environment, but are fortunate to have a yard to dig in, beautiful parks within walking distance and even a beach a few miles away. Last year I was moved by the book Last Child In The Woods. It describes how many of today's children have lost their connection to nature and how exposure to the outdoors is essential to their development and well being. The book really resonated with me as I had been thinking a great deal about how technology, as wonderful and necessary as it can be, can also be taking us away from the gorgeous, natural world we live in.

The Children and Nature Network has designated April to be Children and Nature Awareness Month and the really awesome and awe-inspiring Lisa of 5 Orange Potatoes has challenged us bloggers to go outdoors with our children and show the world how we play :)! Every day, rain or shine, we will take photos of our kids outdoors and post it onto our blogs (as many of you have surmised, I'm an inconsistent blogger at best, but will show my boys outdoors with my posts). I hope you all will join me, blogger or not, and spend a few minutes each day outside... loving, learning and playing in nature.

We had actually spent the morning yesterday at one of our regional parks attending a gardening workshop for kids. There was a brief talk in the beginning where a naturalist described the basics of plants and what they needed to grow...

Then the kids all went outside to see some of the native plants in our area...
and plant some seeds of their own...
Here they are as hummingbirds helping pollinate the plants
...and at the end of the workshop they made their own gardening pots
with cannellini beans inside to grow
Thank you all for joining us on our outdoor adventure!
We can't wait to see yours!

Here are the others who are playing in the Great Outdoor Challenge, please go check them out!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Kaisa's new home is...

"Thanks so much for the opportunity to adopt :-) Very sweet of you! My soon-to-be 2 year old daughter (and our entire household!) is still Bambo-less and we would love her if we were lucky enough to get her!"

Thank you so much all of you for participating! Kaisa will be going to her new home with Rebecca's family!

Next week, I will be giving away an Organic Blanket Bamboletta Baby to re-home (open to all as a thank you to the Bamboletta community and my blogging friends!), so please stop by again!

pssst... Rebecca, email me at pablohoneysf at gmail dot com so we can make Kaisa's travel arrangements :)