Thursday, December 9, 2010


"Ummm... excuse me sir. My mommy needs to keep that piece of fabric because you see she is hoping to twy and gwow me a baby sister in her tummy, and she just might need that to sew her a beautiful dwess. (truth = 4 year old very much wants a baby sister. )

Rowan go back to time out!
You see mom, I was just talking to God and He taught me to be good and change  my heart, and He also said my time out could be finished. (how do you say no?)

(At Music Together from his teacher, in a very diverse group.) Rowan please tell us what your favorite song was this semester. (imagine his response belted out in a deep toned, gregorian chant style) "I love Jesus and the Holy Gho-ost... go in peace"

Rowan I'm sorry I get frustrated. Sometimes I lose my patience because I know its my job to guide you to be noble and help make your heart choose to be good. And when I can't do it I feel sad.
(In a very patronizing voice.) No, mom. It is not your job. Only God can make my heart good. You just need to wait with me until He's worked a bit more in my life...

Who would have known that little baby would so quickly be filled with such personality?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Kites + Stethoscopes = A Midnight Flight

Tonight we had some friends over for a bonfire, and I delighted in watching the magic of children's imagination unfold before my eyes. It can take so little to spark new worlds and adventures. Ben read the recently re-published Elsa Beskow book The Land of Long Ago to Rowan and his sweet friend. Then they spent the rest of the night trying to recreate the events of the book so that they too could enter into that magical world of mischievous gnomes, flying trees, princesses, trolls, dragons, and knights. We overheard adorable conversations, "Ok, so we just need one gnome, a fallen twee twunk, and a bwoken umbwella... hmmm... we don't have any of those... wait yes we do! we have a wood pile, if we pwetend we could make a whole world out of that!" The next half hour consisted of them disappearing into our home and reappearing with a huge kite that was attached to their backs with a stethoscope, then disappearing into the night and reappearing with corn cob skewers pilfered from the friend's home to use to ... get this... CLIMB THE SIDE OF OUR BUILDING SO THEY COULD GET TO THE ROOF AND THEN FLY OFF USING THEIR KITE. Can you tell their dads are rock climbers?

Such sweet silly things served to fill my heart, and re-delight me with motherhood.

Now Ben and I are fantasizing about midnight climbs and majestic flights. Isn't that what every kid thinks their parents do after they go to sleep anyways?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Handmade Holiday

Today I finished up Cedar's last Christmas present. Inspired by this amazing mama made waldorf doll, I wanted to make my lil guy a masculine doll that mirrored his sweet soul, that he could pour his love into. I want to nurture his growing ability to nurture. So I took my cabbage patch doll from the 80's and some left over felted wool I had from dissected sweaters and went to town. His hat is of an elf ish style with a wooden toggle closure under his chin so it stays put. He has a wool tunic belted with a leather belt salvaged from extra attachers for my bike basket. He also has wool sleeves and pant legs tied on. He has a little pouch attached to his belt to collect acorns and stones and a walking stick in his hand to help him on his journeys. I am quite pleased with how it has turned out even if his face is plastic and he can't have that great, crazy, waldorf hair. (My heart melted watching him carry around this same doll pre makeover in a play silk turned baby sling. Lots of kisses. Adorable.)

I also sewed some very simple wool longies today for lil guy from another dissected sweater. I just took a portion of the sweater near the waist band and sewed it into a tube and then sewed on the bottom portion of each sleeve and voila... pants. And then I made some socks.

I had a goal to do as much as I could by hand this year, using materials we already had and I am thoroughly enjoying the process :)

What are you making for Christmas?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

No Mercy for Sweaters

Sweaters faced great peril in my home today. Struck by great inspiration I dissected two wool sweaters and made;, a gnome hat for Rowan, a stocking cap, a lavender pillow for Cedar's bed, an "herb collecting bag for healing the animals" for Rowan, and a pair of Long Johns!  I took a pair of my lil guys boxer briefs and sewed them to the arms of an old cashmere sweater . Result? Cashmere long underwear for free!  It feels good to have the (silly) yet creative juices flowing again.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A Weekend Away

This weekend my sweet man took me away to Frog Hollow Farm B and B for a belated birthday/ early five year get away. Wonderful. He made me feel beautiful, appreciated, and I LIKED it! Thanks Ben for the trip and thanks mom and dad for the baby sitting that made it possible. A couple of days full of hiking, climbing, perusing art shows, eating chocolate, taking steam showers, and watching the stars truly filled my soul.

Friday, October 15, 2010

This Moment - Valley Forge

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see. 

Friday, October 8, 2010

This Moment 4th Birthday Party

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see. 

Thursday, September 30, 2010

its been a long long time

After a long summer outside I am returning to my Autumn self - cocooning into my home, crafting, creating, and blogging.

A little yoga by the water

My families amazing swedish stuga

Story time with cousin and Grandma
Our summer was a beautiful mix of home and away, visiting family in Chicago, Michigan, and St. Francisville. I also marinated in the sciences taking three intensive courses while I had my husband home to care for the boys.

Goodbye summer! Hello lovely Autumn.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Return to Yourself

My first  baby is now four and it is time to celebrate him; his smile, his energy, his vivacity. To celebrate him with strawberry topped cheesecake, with golden packages filled with tools to ignite his blossoming imagination, with a treasure hunt and water balloons in our local woods. Cheers Rowan!

Friday, July 16, 2010

This Moment

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. 

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Dancing for Joy

            "Mom look! I am dancing, dancing for JOY!" Rowan getting fitted in his harness.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Steph Davis: Diamond Free Solo

Rowan " I want to do that someday!"

Me "Great! But could you please do it with ropes?"]

Row "Nope, I want to do it just like her."

And he probably will...

Friday, May 7, 2010

{this moment} - or three Norwegian moments

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment.... A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. ~Amanda Soule

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

New Life - and healthy chocolate cookies

I have always seen myself as having a black thumb - we automatically purchased almost everything for our garden this year certain that I would be unable to start anything successfully from seed. Yet...

this morning I baffled all three of my men by being utterly awed by this...

I sat, and stared, and sat and stared...

I have made our proud announcement to all who walk by... our sunflowers came through! What magic! The mammoth with its seed so large and its leaves pushing, pushing, to break free. The evening sun with its ruby toned stalk proudly pressing upward. What a miracle. Never before.

Well everyday most places, but never before here. And our strawberries are THRIVING!

And all the tiny seedlings in the background? Pretty sure they are the poppies and wildflowers we also were sure hadn't made it.

Enthralled I rushed over to our community garden and peeked... sure enough! There too my sunflowers had finally come through! I had given up completely! And what's more, my radishes that I planted on Saturday are already through and thick! And somehow the zinnias that I accidentally planted weeks ago where the radishes were meant to be and that I had presumed dead, popped through too. We'll see how they co-habitate!

PS I have been delighting in making cookies from Veganomicon and adapted this one enough that I thought I could share it without it being stealing. ENJOY!

PB and J Chocolate Cookies

1/2 cup strawberry preserves
1 c honey
1/4 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
1/3 cup canola oil
1 t vanilla
1 t almond extract
1/2 c plus a little unsweetened cocoa
1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
3/4 t baking soda
1/2 himalayan rock salt (just what i had!)
1/3 c natural peanut butter

Preheat oven to 350

Mix wet ingredients and dry separately then add dry to wet in three batches.
By last batch it will be workable like play dough and you can add your pb in however you desire (or save it to make sandwiches with the warm cookies! yummmm)

Roll dough into walnut sized balls and smush then pop on the sheet (they dont spread) in the oven for 10 min, cool for 10 more, and ENJOY!!

(I had kids running over on the playground to beg for these, so make lots.)

PPS Thanks for all of the prayers and advice for Rowan. His rash seems much better today. His first request upon waking was to head to the park. He even pulled on his shoes over his jammies!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A Spring Update and Erythema Multiforme with vasculitis

It's been a long time since i've sat down and written. The sunshine was inviting and more recently i've been nursing a sick little boy back to health. But before I share about that I want to catch you up on the Cramer family spring... (this is going to be a long one)

We prepared for Easter with a candle ceremony...

Delighted in home grown wheat grass, husband harvested forsythia, Easter dinner with friends, and  baskets full of thrifted books, natural art supplies, felted and wooden eggs, new cups and mugs, and even some organic candies...

We are still enjoying our wagon and walking copiously in our lovely Princeton spring...

hosting family on four different occasions and having a blast showing off Ben's campus...

playing (and nursing) in our amazing university library...

practicing a bit of yoga...

doing some home improvement projects...

exploring some local historic spots...

 loving watching our garden grow.
Strawberries, leeks, spinach, and arugula, radishes, carrots, chamomile, calendula, zinnias, and sunflowers, romaine, tomatoes, rhubarb, and basil, cilantro, dill, snap peas and onions... so much coming to life.

 Cedar is willing to try anything these days from riding his brothers old tricycle to mowing the lawn.
His especial new favorite is eating dandelions. Thank goodness our lawns are not treated here. Look how happy it makes him! The nurture of all this will hold off my baby cravings this summer as my 10 month old toddles all around me, NOT wanting a hand to hold, NOT needing his mama, (unless of course he starts craving yet another mommy milkshake.)

And we have loved relaxing and reading in this hammock my sweet husband bought for me to prevent me from moving our bed onto the porch when the weather got nice...

My three year old came down with a mysterious and terrible case of hives that was diagnosed as erythema multiforme with vasculitis. I have been further encouraged in my pursuit of a nursing degree through this experience as I have been dissatisfied with my doctors ability to communicate. She spoke quickly using unfamiliar technical terms, diagnosing without listening, not inviting questions, tossing a prescription at me and commanding me not to research his condition as it would only make me worry unduly! 

I would have loved for her to sit down calmly and ask me what we had experienced, what i thought might be going on, examined him, giving me her theories and the reasons for them and descriptions of them, and a variety of treatment options. I would have loved for her to at least try to help me figure out what had triggered the outbreak. I know that she went to medical school and I haven't so she might not feel it time efficient to listen to me but...ugh. My recent pediatric experiences have left me with a terrible taste in my mouth. (My last ped. wouldn't allow us to stay with the practice if we didn't immunize). 

I can't even imagine what it's like to be the parent of a child suffering with worse. I have new compassion.

Has anyone encountered this condition before that could share some knowledge with me? It is difficult to have a feverish little guy shouting at you bc his purple and gray, hivey, legs are so tender he doesn't want to walk on them or be touched. There are only a few square inches on his body that are rash free. I was given a prescription antihistamine and a push out the door informing me that he would start looking and feeing better in a week or two. That is a LONG time to be covered in welts uninformed.

To those who are still with me... thanks :)