Blog a la Cart

Bats (but of a much cozier variety than those in my last post titled “Bats”)

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I couldn’t resist this pattern for cozy, plush bats (of course I couldn’t). Adorable. Ridiculous. Relatively quick. My kind of knitting project. I love that the feet have holes for dangling upside down, and that the wings can be secured lovingly around their bodies for sleeping. Courtland delights in buttoning and unbuttoning the wings. “Mama, the bats are cold. I have to make them snug and warm and cozy!”

They are an awesome Halloween present, indeed. And far more adorable than the bat in this post from last summer.

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Details on the project and pattern on Ravelry here

Anna on Parade

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Yesterday was the annual Halloween parade conducted by Courtland’s preschool. The kids march through our tiny, one way “main street,” popping in to local shops along the way to wish merchants a “Happy Halloween.” Ninjas and princesses and superheroes and kitty cats and even a hot dog or two cling to a rope and parade through town, charming passerbys as they go.

I am going to miss this tradition so much when Kaki moves up to Kindergarten like her big sister.

Courtland is beyond excited about Friday’s impending festivities. So excited, she even let me braid her hair, TWICE, to emulate Anna’s pigtail braids, and agreed to wear the hat, cape AND mittens as part of the costume (a feat rarely beheld in this household). When she caught sight of me in the spectator line of the parade route, she aggressively and eagerly shrieked, “I AM READY FOR TRICK OR TREATING!!!!”

Ain’t that the truth.

Our Anna will look even more the part of Friday, however, with her big sister Elsa, father Kristoff, mother Sven and Auntie Olaf in tow. While we will certainly not be the only Frozen costumes on the block, we are gunning for the most spirited. Pictures forthcoming…

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Days like today make me so grateful to be raising my daughters in this community. The number of text messages from friends and fellow parents of our little Anna around town further enforced this feeling. It was a good day.

Around the Farm // 22

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Last Monday, Sunny had the day off from school, so I took a day off from work and we had a simple, sunny, relaxed morning together. Walking the dogs. Collecting eggs. Picking flowers. Dancing in leaves. Living a life that sometimes feels like the stuff of a fairy tale. (That dress from Momar sure helped set the stage.) If her childhood teaches her nothing else, I hope that she’ll always look for the joy and peace in everyday moments.

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Rainbows and Suns and Whales, oh my!

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About a year ago, while wandering Brooklyn with the wonderfully talented Katie of Paperfashion, we lingered in the jewelry shop Catbird and were fortunate to cross paths with the equally talented Elisa Solomon (one of Catbird’s many jewelry designers). I knew Elisa’s work because my friend Amanda’s wedding band was designed and crafted by Elisa, and I’d been an admirer ever since laying eyes on that ring. Elisa was as delightful in person as her beautiful, colorful, unique jewelry suggests. We became Instagram buddies, and I began dreaming about having one of her pieces in my own collection.

For our sixth wedding anniversary this September, James made it a reality. We had Elisa design two gold charms to represent the girls; a sun filled with an assortment of rainbow stones for Sunny and a whale with purple and blue stones for Kaki. It has not left my neck (save for this pictures below) since it arrived in September. The girls quickly figured it out, and Courtland now proudly declares, “Mama wears a whale because I’m WHALEY CART! THAT’S ME!” One day, I’ll gift each of them their charm, but for now, I’m keeping it close for safe keeping…

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For more of Elisa’s jewelry and to shop her designs visit here

42/52

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“A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014.”

Sunny: A little Saturday morning fairy frolicking.  

Kaki: This weekend, these two played and played and danced and played and laughed and played and fought and played and giggled and played and argued and played and yelled and played and smiled and played and played and and and… sisterhood is an incredible thing to behold.  I love watching their relationship grow. They moved into one room last night (after multiple attempts at bunk bed assembly. Third times a charm!) and James and I lay in bed this morning delighting in their conversation upon waking. It feel so right to have them sharing a space at this stage in their lives and relationship.

More details about The 52 Project here. To view all the portraits in the series visit here.

Parenthood got us like…

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This week has been consumed with wallpapering our downstairs bathroom in vintage New Yorker covers and cleaning up human bodily fluid. Yes, stomach bug number 2 has struck the Cart family.

HOORAY FOR PARENTING SCHOOL AGED CHILDREN!

Of course, we had disconnected water to the downstairs bathroom and completely dismantled the sink not 45 minutes before Sunny awoke and vomited all over her bed, the carpet, and an assortment of clothing piles lying around the floor of the room. (This would be one of many issues with renovating multiple rooms simultaneously. Apparently.) The following morning, we discovered in our sleep deprived, nausea-inspired haze that I had purchased the wrong sized sink cabinet from Ikea. Guess how James and Sunny spent her sick day at home? (Kids bounce back like you wouldn’t believe – so I suppose a seven hour round trip to Ikea and back isn’t a terrible idea. Although I’d argue that James’ choice to feed both her and himself hot dogs for dinner before their ride home was questionable. PLAYING WITH FIRE, CART!).

Fortunately, we are now set to (mostly) complete the bathroom this weekend. Wish us luck and strong stomachs (as of yet, Courtland, James and I have been spared intimacies with the porcelain throne). Happy Weekend, y’all.

FCK(exploitation of children in the name of feminism)

Yesterday I watched the FCKH8 commercial that used young girls as the mouthpieces for the ads “feminist” message. It was positioned as hip and provocative, and it quickly went viral.

I, however, was left feeling wildly uncomfortable, and it wasn’t watching children my daughter’s age drop F bombs and speak with stereotypical, obnoxious Valley Girl accents as though the only way to break through popular culture is to mimic the trope of a “dumb” female, that caused that nauseous pit to linger.

Today, my friend Meg shared a link to this post that unpacked so much of that unease:

It would be really great if FCKH8 would realize that using little girls as shock-value props in their t-shirt commercial is not feminist in any sense of the word. No little kid should have to wonder aloud whether or not they’ll be raped one day, and especially not just so some grownup can make money.

Look, I’m all for putting feminist ideology out in to popular culture but not at the expense of children, namely the young girls that this company is alleging to protect.

Pipe Cleaners + Glitter + Pom Poms + Pumpkins = The Stuff of Preschool Dreams

Sunny insisted that I share with all of you a few of the masterpieces that she and Courtland created with Auntie Kimmy a few weeks back.

I love a good pipe cleaner, glitter, pom pom bonanza. They are proudly on display on our front porch for the two people that live at the end of our dead end dirt road (we are second to last) to enjoy. You’re welcome, Katie and Will!

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Also, her hair. She wanted to be sure that you saw her hair, namely the flowers.

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Patterns on patterns on patterns

What happens when James goes shopping in his father’s closet…

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The man never ceases to make me smile. Also? The front porch is finally complete. HOORAH!

Kale Soup Recipe

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Pediatrician asks about her favorite food. She replies, “Kale soup.” Doctor smiles approvingly toward me and James. What she doesn’t realize is that the “kale soup” is really Parmesan cheese and sausage soup with a side of kale. But we’ll take affirmation about our parenting wherever we can get it. Especially from a physician. Recipe below, because it really is that delicious (and is an easy way to use up the abundance of kale that is our last vegetable standing after Penelope went on a Swiss Chard raid. The pig figured out how to lift the vegetable garden gate off its hinges so she’d have easy access to the Swiss Chard bed. When James discovered this, he proceeded to chase after her in his boxers with a pooper scooper but it was too late. The Swiss Chard was gone. And Sunny wept dramatically because “SWISS CHARD IS MY FAVORITE VEGETABLE!” Maybe we are doing something right.)

Enjoy!

Hearty Kale-Potato Soup from “The Cleaner Plate Club”

1 tbsp canola oil
3/4 lb sweet Italian sausage, chopped very small
2 garlic cloves, chopped (we mince ours through a garlic press at home)
8 c. broth (veggie or chicken)
1 lb potatoes (chopped to 1/2 in pieces)
1-2 Parmesan rinds, if available
6-8 stems of Kale (although we often use more)
1/2 lemon
1/4 c. Grated parmesan

1. Cook sausage in oil. Add garlic for last minute of cooking. Set aside.
2. In pot, add broth & potatoes. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes until potatoes are tender.
3. Add kale leaves and parm rinds and simmer for another 12-15 minutes
4. Remove parm rinds. Use an immersion blender to purée kale, potato and broth. (or scoop into blender or food processor to purée)
5. Add sausage to mixture. Squeeze lemon juice into soup and dust with parm, salt & pepper as desired!