Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thanksgiving the Nourishing Traditions Way / Apron

We are going to Jeremy's cousin's house today for a Thanksgiving meal - she's been missing the big family Thanksgiving get-together since she moved to Israel about ten years ago. Now there are three Milikow families here - just enough to have a small Thanksgiving meal ;)

Since I've been on a Nourishing Traditions kick, I made three recipes from NT - Sweet Potato Puree, Sweet Potato Cookies and Onion-Cranberry Compote. The onion-cranberry thing is a substitute for the standard sugary cranberry sauce. It's ok. Meets the need. The puree tastes pretty yum - I made a tiny bit in a small pan to taste and I was happy with it. I love sweet potato, though, so it's hard for a sweet potato recipe made with delicious organic sweet potatoes to go wrong! The Sweet Potato cookies are DELICIOUS! All the boys love them! We ground barley using my grain grinder, but it's manual and so hard to use, Jeremy had to do half of it for me and it was even tiring for him. After that bit of grinding, he seems open to getting an electric grinder ;) A few people on my natural mamas yahoo group (Greentaramama) recommended this one. We'll see. I really do want a dehydrator too b/c my oven doesn't do low temperatures with much certainty. I made crispy almonds and I think they burned a little which would explain why the almond cookies I used them for don't taste good...

I also finished another little apron today - this one for my niece. I LOVE the fabric - it's called "Sunbonnet Sue", based on a quilting character from times past. The fabric is a linen/cotton blend and is really pleasing to the touch. I'm definitely going to have to use more linen. I'd love to make myself a linen apron - still on the to-do list ;)

Oh and I finally made labels for the doll quilts I'm giving as gifts. Definitely easy and worth the few minutes to put the label on!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Elie's Name for Me

Elie calls me "Em-Eee-Yeh". I think it actually started as "Em-Eye-Yeh" but now he has it a little closer. Just wanted to post so I don't forget ;) It's too cute - my favorite is him standing up at the top of the stairs calling "Em-Eee-Yeh" for me to come get him.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Mean / Finger Crocheting / Unconditional Love

There's a cat living by our doorstep and it hissed at Elie yesterday so I don't want the kids to play with it without an adult. Jeremy was just explaining why Yoav shouldn't stay out there alone and he said sometimes cats can be a little mean. Yoav asked, "What's 'mean'?" I love that my 5yo doesn't know the word mean :)

Finger crocheting is really a beautiful thing. Yoav has decided he wants to make belts out of all his yarns (lucky for him he has about six balls!). He's doing yellow now and is counting as he does it and just said he wants to get up to 100 stitches. Nice. So 100 stitches for each of six balls of yarn - should be enough time to write a blog post :)

So, as I said, Five has been a big step forward from Four, but it still has it's issues. There have been a few in particular that seem to have become an Issue. The Issues are:
* Yoav has a bunch of toys in "his" room that he *sometimes* doesn't want Elie to play with;
* A related Issue is that Yoav will *sometimes* scream at Elie if Elie tries to play with one of these toys - would be fine if Yoav actually kept them all in "his" room, but they're often out in the hallway upstairs because Yoav says "his" room isn't big enough;
* Yoav *sometimes* screams when he gets water on his clothes - sometimes he'll want a new pair of clothes and sometimes the demands are more anxiety-filled and difficult to meet - sometimes he'll just scream about the water but say that he wants to keep that same shirt on but he wants it to not have water on it;
* Yoav has become a little kooky about our Enki Community Songs CD that we play in the car. He knows what song is what number in order and knows many by heart now. He sometimes gets very anxious about them and screams if he misses any or if Jeremy turns down the volume to take a phone call. Or Yoav will scream if we didn't start the CD right at the moment the car started.

Anyway, so just various anxiety Issues. BUT right now, for instance, he's happily finger crocheting and we haven't had a single Issue of any kind all day. So I know a big part of the anxiety is rhythm. The more we're home, the more we're in our rhythm, the less stress he feels.

That said, we aren't home all the time and we do screw up the rhythm some to do spontaneous fun family things, and Sundays are always random since they're our "Family Adventure Day" and we tend to be out of the house from after breakfast until after horseback riding, which starts at 6PM.

So I've been thinking a lot about how to handle things when Yoav *is* anxious and is making kooky demands. To use some Scott Noelle ideas, in these moments, I have to simply connect with my Inner Peace and REMAIN CALM!!! What works best is if I take a breath, think about a time when the same situation was happening and we got through it - so sort of look through to the other end. And visualize that and stay with it. KNOW that Peace will come.

I think that kids don't get as much Power as they want simply because they are kids. Even with us being a Power-With rather than Power-Over family, Yoav isn't running his life completely and bumps up against natural obstacles. So if he finds that he gets Power from doing something - like if he screams about his wet clothes and me or Jer get anxious (he's *causing* us to have a reaction) - he'll keep doing it. He'll do it over and over and over and over because he's getting a show. So we have to take the Power away by not letting his anxiety affect us.

Sometimes I think about Naomi Aldort's language about children being our teachers and I wonder if these sorts of Issues are simply our life lessons. The child does this Power play over and over until we learn the lesson of Unconditional Love. Until we respond with Trust and Respect and no judgment, the child will continue to test/teach us. I like to think of it that way. I like thinking of my kids as my little Buddhist masters :)

Sourdough Bread

I just ate a piece of my first homemade sourdough bread and it was GREAT! And Yoav approved!!! YAHOO!!! The starter is made by mixing water and rye flour and adding more rye and water each day for seven days. Then the bread itself I made with organic spelt. Yoav just had two pieces with almond butter :) It's a Nourishing Traditions recipe. This is a non-yeasted bread, since yeast destroys most of the grain's nutritional value. Plus the phytic acid content is very low sine the dough rests overnight. It's actually quite easy to make and can sit out of the fridge for up to a week and you can freeze leftover starter. And I just started another batch - you can use some of your leftover starter to start another batch. Hopefully I can get into the habit and just always have it going...

For those who don't have the book, there's a recipe here.

I also have chickpeas and rice soaking :) I'm getting the hang of this. Before when I've used Nourishing Traditions, I've used individual recipes for dinner, but I'm really starting to work the ideas into all of our eating. For the last week or so, almost all the kid's food has been NT-approved :)

Oh and I made rice crackers yesterday that were a hit. A bit too crunchy for me, but Yoav really liked them spread with almond butter. And he won't touch rice, so I'm very happy to add this to his diet! I used organic red rice. Not sure what the deal is with red rice, but it was the only rice available this week at Lib (the cool warehouse on Moshav Adanim with organic produce, grains, spices, and a few other products. There's rarely anyone else there, so I love shopping there. My understanding is that they mostly sell to restaurants.)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Cute Creative Play comments

Yoav has been doing some pretty intense creative play with his farm house and wood/felt/knitted play animals. I just heard him say, "Ok, we're delighted to have you!" (one animal speaking to another). And earlier, a few animals were talking about how long to do something and one said, "But not 1,000 hours! That's like two days!"

I'm about to make sourdough bread from "Nourishing Traditions". I made the starter - you have to add rye flour and water each day for a week. It's pretty ooky and stinky (it's supposed to be). I hope the sourdough bread is good or at least edible. I'm also roasting nuts and soaking rice to make some rice crackers. It'd be nice to have a dehydrator and/or a second oven. I guess I'll have to take the nuts out of the oven when i bake the bread.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Revised Enki Rhythm

I'm going to revise our rhythm a bit to take into account the seasonal changes - it's getting dark here now around 4PM so it's not working for us to have afternoon outdoor time after Elie's nap since it's usually just about dark by then! So I'm going to move outdoor time to morning (which we've been doing for the past week or so, but not rhythmically, so I'm thinking that posting it will motivate me more to get outside in the morning. It's been in the mid 70s here during the late morning, so I really have no excuses!)

My previous rhythm is here.

New one below. I wrote Enhanced Exercise Walk, but we've given up on Circle and I'm going to try reincorporating a Circle in the form of an Enhanced Exercise Walk. I'm going to start by just running/skipping home from the playground while singing "Sally Goes Round the Sun". Then next week if I'm able to get that basic part of the rhythm working, I'll add a few movement songs and Owl close to do once we get home.

M - Painting; T - Baking; W - Craft; R - Cleaning; F - Challah / Shabbat Prep; Sa - Shabbat; Su - Family Adventure and Horseback Riding
Core story will be read M, T, R.
Core Story this week: Thickhead
Craft: Undecided
Baking: Sourdough bread with the sourdough starter I made!

Wake Up / Snuggle
Clean briefly while children play
Outdoor Play & Snack while at the playground
Attempt to follow with Enhanced Exercise Walk
Creative Play indoors until Jeremy gets back from his morning class
Nature Walk with Jeremy while I prep lunch
Quiet Time for Yoav, Elie naps
Core Story on M,T,R - start with lighting a candle and chiming pentatonic xylophone
Project while Elie naps
Outdoor play if weather/sun permits or Free Play indoors
Dinner Prep and Dinner
Bed Prep (me) - make sure towels are in bathroom, little potty by bed, sippy with water in fridge to bring to bed after snack
Indoor play while I clean and prep snack
Bed Routine - the routine that's working is I make sure both boys pee, then they play on the bed for a bit, then when it seems like they're ready to settle, I ask Yoav to choose two animals, we get under the blankets, turn the light off and I tell two stories (one per animal) - the format of the stories is always about an animal who has a problem that is somehow resolved (Yoav calls the stories "Problems", then I sing "Gone to Bed" until they fall asleep)
Children Sleep
Clean, relax and prep for next day

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Food Overwhelm / Beach

I've been busy studying Nourishing Traditions and The Waldorf Kindergarten Snack Book and also the Autumn Menu from Little Acorn Learning that I got. The Little Acorn Learning Menu is based on Nourishing Traditions and is amazing, but quite overwhelming! I'm going to try to dip my foot in slowly, but, as that's not really my Temperament, it might be hard :) We already priced out a few freezers. Hopefully we'll find a reasonably-priced one in the next week or so. Jeremy is traveling again in two weeks so I at least want it by then so I can start stockpiling stock (no pun intended) and foods for the kids...

A different grain for each day is part of the Waldorf Kindergarten and connected to the cosmic origins of the days of the week. A different grain a day fits in with the nourishing weekly rhythm the kindergarten thrives on. The most common listing of grains I have seen is the following, taken from The Waldorf Kindergarten Snack Book:

Sunday (Sun): Wheat
Monday (Moon): Rice
Tuesday (Mars): Barley
Wednesday (Mercury); Millet
Thursday (Jupiter): Rye
Friday (Venus): Oats
Saturday (Saturn): Corn

I don't understand the origin, but I figure it can't possibly hurt to have a broader range to our grain diet, as long as it's in line with the Nourishing Tradition cooking methods...

Each day I'll have Breakfast (B) / Snack (S1) / Lunch (L) / Snack (S2) / Dinner (D) / Snack (S3). I'm going to start laying out my ideal since it's so overwhelming and I'll just work over the next few weeks on it (both finding recipes I think will work and testing on the kids) - so this page will stay my template. I'll include what book it's from (Nourishing Traditions NT, Little Acorn LA or Waldorf Kindergarten Snack Book WK) or just my own simple ideas to fill in gaps will be without a reference. I'm starting off heavy on the Little Acorn since I have it all organized already - I'll slowly test recipes and modify this menu to suit us. My S3 will be the same each night - depending on how the sourdough bread that I'm making works out, ideally it will be sourdough bread with almond butter.

Sunday (Sun): Wheat - B: Wheat Pancakes (NT, p. 478) / S1: Fresh fruit / L: Sprouted whole wheat bread with almond butter / S2: Macaroons (NT p. 532) and fresh fruit / D: Scrambled eggs, Israeli salad, hummus, whole wheat pita / S3: Sourdough bread with almond butter (NT, p. 490) [We're usually out of the house for S1 - S2 on Sundays since it's our "Family Adventure Day", so the food choices reflect that.]

Monday (Moon): Rice - B: Apple Pie Autumn Smoothie (LA) / S1: Rice Crackers with Almond Butter (LA) / L: Simple Chicken Soup (LA) / S2: Coconut Brown Rice with Raisins and Cinnamon (LA) / D: Spaghetti with Rice Noodles / S3: Sourdough bread with almond butter (NT, p. 490)

Tuesday (Mars): Barley - B: ? / S1: Coconut Flour Apple Muffins (LA, if I can find coconut flour) / L: Eggie Pasta (LA) or Fried Egg (NT 437) / S2: Tuesday is our Baking Day, so we'll make a different snack each week from NT, LA or WK / D: / S3: Sourdough bread with almond butter (NT, p. 490)

Wednesday (Mercury); Millet - B: Bear Mush (LA) / S1: Toasted Millet Squares (LA) / L: Fall Veggie Quiche (LA) - will see how this is with oat milk instead of regular milk / S2: Fruits and Nuts (LA) / D: / S3: Sourdough bread with almond butter (NT, p. 490)

Thursday (Jupiter): Rye - B: Broccoli Breakfast Casserole (LA) / S1: Rye Bars (LA - not sure if I'll use this recipe since the grains aren't soaked first - I'll have ti figure out how to modify) or Rye Crackers with avocado (NT p. 518) / L: Pizza (LA) / S2: Carob-Banana Delights (NT p. 522) / D: / S3: Sourdough bread with almond butter (NT, p. 490)

Friday (Venus): Oats - B: Oatmeal with maple syrup (NT, p. 455) / S1: Apple Slices (NT p 522) / L: Fruit and Nut Sandwiches (LA) / S2: Hummus with Veggie Sticks for Elie and Avocado and Veggie Sticks for Yoav (LA) / D: Roast chicken with sweet potatoes, carrot/ginger soup, hummus, challah (not related to oats, but it's our standard Friday night Shabbat dinner and I've never heard of an oat challah LOL) / S3: Sourdough bread with almond butter (NT, p. 490)

Saturday (Saturn): Corn - B: / S1: Avocado with corn chips / L: / S2: Popcorn with Nutritional Yeast (LA) / D: Meat and corn tortillas / S3: Sourdough bread with almond butter (NT, p. 490)

We also went to the beach today and it was amazing. We went with our friends who live nearby - N & N and their three kids. I want to get into some sort of beach routine. The sand play is such a great Sensory Integration help for the kids, especially Yoav - he was running around barefoot, digging for shells, playing with the water. The whole experience is SO much better for him than anything I can provide at home. It would be great if we could go once a week, but probably every other week is a reasonable goal. We could go on Sundays before horse back riding. I took a great photo of Yoav running and smiling. I'll get it uploaded eventually... I actually had a really good talk with N also about Yoav's anxieties - like not wanting water spilled anywhere and such. She didn't say anything I didn't know already (that I need to remain calm and offer alternatives and I shouldn't let him control our lives in a negative way, which Aldort also says and I agree with...) but she said it all very compassionately and it was really helpful to me especially as it was based on seeing us in action. It's amazing Jer has a few very natural friends here - I got really lucky! N does work with Flower Essences, one of Jer's friend's wives is an acupuncturist, two send their kids to a Waldorf School up north, one of his friends lived without electricity for about ten years and built his own home up north, and another also built his own home up north and has goats, makes his own cheese, makes wine, has a few kids who go to a Waldorf school... Amazing since I don't really think Israel overall is necessarily so into natural living (probably similar to the States).

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Yoav Counted to 100 and Butterfly Mobile

Yoav just counted to 100 by himself! He asked me how to write a Google and I said it's a one and then one hundred zeros, so he then counted the zeros aloud to keep track so I got to hear him count... That's one of the few (only?) Enki Kindy goals, so I can check that off and relax. :) Not that I did any teaching, but was waiting for it... I'm sure most 5-year-olds can count to 100, but since we've never done any random counting for the sake of teaching counting, it's a fun win for unschooling. We've only ever counted objects, per John Holt's theory that it's confusing for kids to understand numbers when they are learned in the context of just saying the numbers in order... Yoav just learned from his own interest in being able to count objects (lately he's been really into math regarding his Enki Community songs CD - he does a lot of addition, subtraction and counting related to those songs).

This was the cool craft we did today. Yoav's is on the top and mine is on the bottom (I made the top part of Yoav's and attached his wooly ball things). I got the idea from the Omer store in Neve Tzedek - my MIL happened upon the store while she was visiting! I knew about the online store, but nothing like a beautiful physical store for inspiration!!!! The basic idea is that the top of the mobile is three thicknesses of pipe cleaner twisted around eachother so the diameter is about 8". I used six pipe cleaners total. Then you take wool roving and gently twist around the pipe cleaners to cover. I did two layers of a thin amount of roving. Then I used silver DMC thread to hang the butterflies - I started with a 6" piece of thread and added two inches for each butterfly. The butterflies are made by taking a thin piece of roving, fold down both sides, twist one side 180 degrees and tie with a tiny piece of roving and then use a felting needle to set it all in place. If that's not clear and you want to do this, write that in the comments and I'll take a few photos of the butterfly-making process to clarify. Yoav made his shapes by twisting up wool with the felting needle. It's a great project to do with a child because you can each make one and do any shapes you want for the pieces that hang down.

Also Elie did a funny thing on Sunday when we went to breakfast with my in-laws - as we were getting up, I said thank you to the waitress and Elie signed thank you :)

Oh, and another funny thing - today as I was getting dinner ready, Elie was banging his cup on the plate and I said that it could break. He then made his funny "whoopsie" face and did a shoulder shrug to Yoav and they both laughed and laughed about it...

And here's a photo of the kippah I crocheted using this pattern:

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Crocheted Kippah

I finished my first crocheted kippah last night. I blocked it and gave it to Yoav this morning who tried it on, said he liked it and put it somewhere - I have no idea where, though and didn't take a photo yet, so I'll hopefully do that tomorrow :) I used brown organic cotton fingering yarn and used the Crocheted Passover Yarmulke pattern from The pattern is a little too pointy at the beginning. Next time I'll do more 2 sc's for the first few rows to keep the kippah flatter in the center. It came out fine after blocking, but I'm not sure how it'll hold up - it might have to be reblocked occasionally.

Enki Weekly Planning:
Core Story: The Four Friends (from Western Europe - I'm excited for this as I know Yoav will love it - it's about four farm animals who escape their farms and build a home together and at the end work together to keep a wolf from getting into their house.)
Craft: Canvas Purse (Enki Crafts, p. 129) - I'm going to use my new organic cotton canvas fabric for this and the beautiful "The Road to a Friend's House is Never Long" that I got here from Lillalotta on Etsy. I'll cut out the fabric and ribbon on Tuesday night and hopefully find a nice button. We'll start the finger crocheting (Enki Crafts, p. 75) on Monday.
Baking Project: Macaroons from Nourishing Traditions

Next, I'm going to organize my meal plan for this week. I have two friends who have been pretty organized lately with their Nourishing Traditions-inspired cooking and I'm starting to feel negligent! So this week will just be a start to get myself going. I've had ups and downs with NT and lately have been sadly lazy in my cooking, I must admit. So here's my start (like Amy, I'm mostly posting for my own benefit to stay organized). I need to add some veggies in. Too tired to think anymore, so I'll work on it more tomorrow. I have tons of leftover salad from our BBQ this weekend, so I'll use that for tomorrow.

To do: soak oatmeal

Breakfast: Oatmeal (soaked in yogurt overnight)
Snack: Mango
Lunch: Fried Egg
Dinner: Browned meat & chips
Bedtime Snack: Oatmeal
To do: During the day, I'll making whole wheat pita and then make pita chips on p. 521; Also, start soaking wheat berries for crackers later in week; start making sourdough starter (p. 489)

TUESDAY (Baking Day)
Breakfast: Pancakes (p. 478, spelt soaked in yogurt overnight)
Snack: Mango
Lunch: Fried egg
Dinner: Shnitzel
Bedtime Snack: Oatmeal (soaked in yogurt overnight)
Baking activity: Macaroons (p 532)
To do: Make chicken stock

Breakfast: Oatmeal (soaked in yogurt overnight)
Snack: Avocado and pita chips
Lunch: Almond butter on whole wheat toast (for now, from grocery store, will use sourdough once I get that going)
Dinner: Chicken with Walnuts (p. 288, from stock chicken)

Breakfast: Oatmeal (soaked in yogurt overnight)
Snack: Apple slices (p. 522)
Lunch: Fried egg
Dinner: Browned beef

Breakfast: Oatmeal (soaked in yogurt overnight)
Snack: Sprouted Grain Crackers (p. 518 with sprouted wheat berries)
Lunch: Almond butter on whole wheat toast (for now, from grocery store, will use sourdough once I get that going)
Dinner: Roast chicken, challah, sweet potatoes, hummus

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

More Brotherly Love

Yesterday we were all playing Hide-and-Seek and Elie wanted me, him and Yoav to all hide in a tiny coat closet while Jer looked for us. While we were squishing in, Elie's hand was near the door that Jer was about to close. Yoav took Elie's hand and held it while Jeremy closed the door so it wouldn't get hurt!

We made these today for our craft. It was beyond Yoav's ability and really wasn't a great craft idea, but it would be great for an older child closer to seven. Yoav helped with the folding of the tissue paper and he did the gluing at the end. And I do think it's good for him to see various crafts. He's seen some origami but not much. So now he'll have this project tucked away in his head to work on as he gets more adept - it's tricky to fold the tissue paper - if you're going to do it with a young child, at least use kite paper...

We're having 70 people over this weekend :( ALL of Jer's Israel family. I made a massive batch of matbucha last night. I roasted all the veggies during the day and thought it would take me about half an hour to peel them but it took almost three hours! I was choking on the fumes of the hot peppers. I definitely won't be suggesting that I make matbucha for 70 people again :) Tonight I have to start cleaning. The worst thing about having so many people over is that you have to clean and cook to get ready and then you're cleaning for a few days after to get the house back to where it was... And it's very hard for me to get food organized for the family when I'm thinking about this... I'll be glad when things are back to normal again next week. Yoav's birthday will be over and this event and I can just get back to a calm rhythm and get more sleep! Our rhythm has actually been fine, just my sleep that suffering...

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Brotherly Love

Today Elie was crying and crying about some craziness or another and it was going on and on and Yoav was trying to help by offering Elie all sorts of fun things - crochet hooks, yarn, fabric :) Then Yoav said, "I wish it were me crying instead because I love him so much." See, I told you Five is awesome!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Glorious Five

So I think age five might just turn out to be a glorious year. In the past week, I don't even recall the feeling of frustration, much less anger! Although my friend R tells me that the word for anger and frustration is the same in Indonesian - interesting food for thought! Anyway, I don't know if it's Yoav or me or the weather or Five (likely a mix of all), but ti's been great. We still have the late bedtime, but the rest has been smooth sailing.

I think part of the reason we've been doinig so well is that I read this amazing article by Marshall Rosenberg:
I love the analogy about anger at the beginning. He says anger is like a fire alarm. If you smoke in bed and the alarm keeps going off, you don't move houses because you want to find a place where the alarm doesn't keep going off, you stop smoking in bed! Anger is the fire alarm and if it's going off, it's a warning sign that something is wrong long before that and the something wrong is that you're living in a Domination System - so read the article if you want to know about that part. I've read several NVC (Non-Violent Communication, which Rosenberg founded) books, including the main Rosenberg one, but somehow this article really resonated for me. Maybe the timing in my life. It just really clicked for me.

Bedtime-wise, I've gotten the routine down so it's relaxing, but it's still too late for my comfort. We eat a snack, do the bedtime transition song (Gone to Bed), pee, jump on the bed a bit, choose two animals for two stories, lights out and then I make up two "Problem" stories with the two animals. I actually tell Yoav that the "Story Fairies" tell me the stories. I've been saying that for years. I should probably find out why so I know when to switch to just saying that I'm telling the stories. It works really well though, because I just tell him that the Story Fairies only can do two stories at night, so he doesn't pressure me to do more... I'm finding that the stories are SO much better for the sleep process than books because the lights are already out when I'm telling them and there's no chance for asking for more more more. The stories are mostly pretty lame IMO and tend to repeat more than they should, but Yoav loves them. It's always an animal having a problem that is resolved somehow. Like tonight one was about a giraffe who accidentally got confused about her mother and followed a different giraffe far from her home and got lost. She was able to get partway back by following her footsteps in the sand and then a butterfly found her and guided her the rest of the way. The second story was silly, although I guess it didn't seem so to Yoav - it was about a goat who lived on a farm and was standing on the little goat house and fell off and his horns got stuck in the ground and he couldn't get out. None of the animals could get him out so all the animals on the farm made their respective noises until the farmer came out to see what was going on and helped the goat. In the stories, the animals always have names and Yoav always likes to hear how old they are.

We did our Enki story and painting today while Elie was awake because he napped in the car on the way to meet Saba and Safta for lunch. It was the first time he was awake for any of our Enki stories or crafts. For the story, Elie just looked at his own book so that worked out fine. For the painting, I only have one painting board, so he just sat with me and watched. I think if I get another painting board he can start doing painting himself. It's a relief for me, because I tend to skip the story on days that Elie naps late.

What else? I started crocheting a kippah for Jer. I learned how to crochet when I made Yoav's doll so I want to get better while it's still fresh for me. I ordered a set of crochet hooks on Etsy and they came in less than a week from the States. Very cool! I'm using this pattern from

And a few cute comments:
* Yoav wants me to make a copy of his Enki Community Songs CD with only the songs involving animals. He listed "There's a Hole in my Bucket" in the animal song list and I asked why that's in the list. He said, "Because it's Georgie. George..." Meaning that it has Curious George in it ;)
* When Yoav was jumping on the bed before going to sleep, I heard a noise in the bathroom, looked over, and saw Elie standing on the seat peeing into the toilet ;) The downstairs bathroom has a stool that he stands on to pee into the toilet standing up so I guess he wanted to do that and is way too independent to even think of asking for help. I can't believe he was able to climb up.
* At Yoav's last horseback riding lesson, Na'ama (his instructor) told Jer that he was learning to throw a horseshoe on a pole from a distance. First he did it a few times sitting on the horse while the horse wasn't moving; then after a few tries he was able to do it while the horse was moving! She said he did it three times in a row and that he was very excited with himself. He didn't even mention it to me when he told me about his lesson.
* At lunch today (with Jer's parents), Elie pointed to the napkins to ask me to get him a napkin. When I gave it to him, he used it to wipe off my elbow, which had soup on it ;)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Sweet and Spotty Needlecase

I'm making Natalie Lymer's adorable Sweet & Spotty Needlecase. I finished all the embroidery. Unfortunately I used two slightly different DMC threads - one is slightly darker than the other. I didn't even realize but the second I showed Yoav he mentioned it. Of course, he's so sweet he said he liked it with the two colors and I can barely tell and it's a project for me anyway, so I'm just going to leave it. If it were a gift, I'd probably fix it. Also I did all the inside flowers Laisy Daisy stitch instead of Satin because I'm lazy :) No, actually it's just because I don't like doing satin stitch. I need a Pigma Micron Size 1 pen to get it a little better - my lines were a bit thick which makes it hard to do perfect embroidery. I used a water soluble fabric pen, which was quite thick, but at least it completely erases at the end, which is nice for people who don't do perfect embroidery ;)

Yoav also did some beautiful drawings with the new drawing paper and crayons he got for his birthday! As I wrote yesterday, I'm trying to wean him from pen use, which is too fine a point for this age. I love the picture because it's SO Waldorfy - the background is all filled in, very dreamy, a boy with a dog walking and a butterfly and sun in the sky. I love that he used the side of the block crayon so much ;) Gosh, I'm such a Type A conformist within my non-conformist sub-society ;)

Friday, November 6, 2009

Lack of Posting / Enki Update

I've been so bad about posting lately. I had the sewing frenzy the week before Yoav's birthday with the doll that completely exhausted me and got me out of the blogging habit, mostly because I had to catch up on everything I didn't do during that week!

We seem to be reducing our Enki-ness as the weeks go by. I probably need to re-read the Guides for a kick. This past week, we did a story that Yoav wrote as our Core story (his request - I'd include it, but I can't find it - d'oh!) It was similar to the Birthday Story I wrote but with a lot more rhymes per Yoav's style. We did drawing as a Craft because I'm trying to wean Yoav from pen use and get him to use the sides of the block crayons more without drawing outlines first, per Enki/Waldorf style. A big part of the problem is that the kids have been going to sleep really late and Elie napping late, so I'm having a hard time doing the focused activities with Yoav (since it's late in the day and brief that Elie naps). I get one call with Beth, the founder of Enki, and I think I'll probably talk to her about our late sleeping habits...

Jeremy's parents came to Israel yesterday and we spent the day with them today. We had a really fun day - very relaxed.

A funny comment by Yoav: "Does meat come from plants or trees?" :) I'm afraid to tell him the truth - he might turn into a vegetarian - which would be fine for most people, but Yoav doesn't eat beans so he'd get very little protein and iron without meat...

Also, Elie's really doing well with his pottying. I can't remember the last time I washed a wet pair of undies. His sign is to hold his penis and say, "Uh!" in an urgent voice. Seems to be working pretty well. Our only issue is that he has started saying he has to pee in the car as a way to get a car break.

Elie's too cute - Jer just looked at his watch and Elie moved his arm to look at his wrist in just the same way. ;)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Ribbon Delivery

I just got delivery of some of the sweetest ribbon you've ever seen! It's even cuter IRL than online. I ordered two patterns from:
I got the one that says "The road to a friend's house is never long" and the horizontal wonky houses.
It's so cute!!! Any project I do will be infinitely cuter with this amazing ribbon. Anna is a genius! The Road to a Friend's House one I'm thinking of using for a small purse.

Update: Yoav saw the ribbon and agrees that it's too cute. Now he wants some but I love it so much I don't want to share without getting more, so it looks like we have to get more. I gave him a little of what we have so far and I'll have to get another yard...

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Finished Waldorf Doll!

Yay - I finished Yoav's Waldorf Doll, just (barely) in time for his birthday! For anyone reading who's thinking of making a Waldorf doll, my advice is to leave a LOT more than a week to make it!!!! And don't tell your child you're making it for a birthday unless you're sure you can get it done without staying up until 2am for multiple days in a row :)

I'm starting to think that Yoav is significantly smarter than me. He can do mental gymnastics that are way beyond me. Like today he listed in backward order ten songs in a row from his CD. And not as a show of feat, just as a review of the songs. And he pretty much knows the order of the entire CD (34 songs). I know everyone thinks differently, so it could just be a difference in brain function and thought processes, but it's interesting to watch.