Monday, September 10, 2012

Mermaid City

Thank you for reading Petals and Moss, but I'm moving on from this space and pleased to introduce my new blog: Mermaid City.

"... I have created this blog as a promise to myself: I will work on . . . "Art" . . . any creative activity that feels completely indulgent, therefore inspiring and not a chore."

Monday, March 19, 2012

Family Biking

Our preschool commute: that's FOUR on one bike!  Okay it's all downhill and I'm only using the brakes, but it looks so serious.  Here's my story and what I've learned about biking with babies.
   I stared biking with my daughter when she was 20 months old using an iBert seat in the front.  I loved our ability to chat intimately while riding together.  We lived on a steep hill so I didn't have to go far to get a work out.  Soon, I got braver and braver and was comfortable travelling across town.  It was becoming addictive; the exercise + running errands + bonding with my child combination. 

  I started in the summer by buying a cheap used bike from Recycled Cycles.  I wondered how long into the autumn I would ride.  We found ourselves biking at night to see Christmas lights!  We rode year round and continue to do so.  It was the same with my second pregnancy, I wondered how far into it I could ride.  I was still heaving my big belly over that bike at 9 months. Then once I had my infant I wanted to know how soon I could get back on with him too.  I waited until he was 7 months old.  He still wasn't able to hold his head up well and I knew a helmet would put too much weight on his head and neck.  I was inspired by reading Kent's Bike Blog on How to Transport and Infant by Bike.  Although the Chariot company does not reccomend it, we chose to strap the infant carseat into the trailer.  I like the idea of the carseat being "a huge, full-body helmet."  Our double chariot trailer would act like a roll-cage that completely surrounded baby.  This worked well until he was about 10 months and able to sit upright in the iBert wearing his nut case helmet (which uses a magnetic buckle that makes getting it on SO much easier!) 

  So here we are currently using the double chariot for my five year old and a friend with baby in the front.  Baby also likes to sit with sister in the back during nap time too.  Naps can be a bit of a problem in the iBert.  They often fell asleep in a forward fold over my handle bars.  Not the easiest for balancing the bike and looks really weird to drivers! You'll find everything you need to know here about front child bike seats, some with wind shields.  If you have concerns about the safety of biking with your kiddos, check out this knowledgable Mama.
  far as gear goes, I'm a minimalist but I do require a few things to make winter biking pleasant for my babies:
  • warm lined booties
  • wool hood for babies head and neck
  • warm suit with fold-over mittens (nothing that detaches or can get lost)
  • aforementioned nut case helmet with awesome buckle
Now I'm trying to decide what's in our future.  I've seen a few of these lately, so versatile!
However, I'd always thought I'd upgrade to an xtra cycle.  Decisions, decisions.
Post any inspiring stories or links about riding with kids in the comments!

I'll leave you with the words of my inspiring and sassy riding Mama friend Madi,
"I bike because I'm too lazy to find parking!"

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

For the Love of Burlap

Oh burlap how I have been longing to sew you up into buckets with your polk-a-dot lining.  Finally, these
Nesting Burlap Buckets are filled with potatoes, onions and cans.  How cool that all the burlap scraps were compostable.  I challenged myself to knit the jute yarn taken from the seems into a veggie scrubber like some industrious crafty mama.  I'd always been curious what to do with the burlap bag I bought at the farmer's market and this is it! 

Monday, September 19, 2011

Our Hay Bale Garden

Here we are way back in May at the beginning of our growing season
There's plenty of garden space at our new place
... mostly all in the shade.
So instead of using beds or pots, we planted our starts into soaked hay bales and plopped them right down onto the sunniest parts.

We bought four bales.
Two for the patio and two along the side of the house
Things began to grow for sure! A wide exotic variety of mushrooms popped up between our green bean plants. We decided NOT to harvest them.
Then the green beans took off!

So did our tomatoes broccoli and basil.

Now at the end of the growing season, when the sunflowers have already bloomed,
and my baby is in his full plumpness, we appreciate another garden that fed us and taught us a bit more about how our food grows.

Friday, June 17, 2011

The Jesus Thing

Her: "Mama, do you think my caterpillars are dead?"
Me: "Honey I have no idea what's going on in there. It's a miracle. Let's wait and see."
(In my mind, I think they are total goners. The chrysalises are turning from brown to black and the prospect of beautiful painted lady butterflies looks bleak.)
Peeking caterpillar and friend already in chrysalis

We've been watching them for a week, watching these caterpillars grow exponentially everyday. All of them will soon hang from the top of the jar and change into chrysalises

That's the way, but doesn't that one on the bottom look like it's in trouble?

Then there was yesterday, we sat on the couch and witnessed the last butterfly emerge from her chrysalis. This is a butterfly kit from the local drugstore from this site.
The amazing thing about watching something like metamorphosis take place before my very eyes, was how I lost all hope. Even though, we all know and have all been taught how it works, I thought, "This time it won't work. We messed it up somehow. Our caterpillars are broken." However that little voice inside me said, "But you know this is what happens, they look dead and then after a while butterflies, emerge." The non-believer voice said, "Yeah well not this time, sorry." My husband reminded me, it's the Jesus thing.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Vernal Equinox Tea Party and Other Springtime Rituals

Little Ita received an invitation in the mail to our second annual First Day of Spring Tea Party in the backyard. Happy Vernal Equinox!

  • Baby
  • Mama
  • Little Ita
  • Two friends
On the Menu:
  • Nettles tea
  • Sliced banana
  • Amaranth graham crackers
  • Chickpeas in olive oil with salt
One of the guests was at perfect sniffing level.

The day after that appointed first day of Spring, the sun came out to make it official.

I was then able to use that which marks the change of season to me, my beloved clothesline. We've been apart for nearly five months and look at her, strung up with diapers. How glad I am to have part of the family chores be outside, folding clothes that smell like outside, nothing compares.

Next on the agenda for Springtime rituals, filling the bird feeder.

But what is one to do when the birds don't know it's there?
Why send out a written invitation of course!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Urban Rivers

After yesterday's thunder and lightening hail and torrential down pour,
we needed a boat for this river.
Let's use some bamboo!
Fold over one third of the leaf. Peel two slits into that fold
(tearing through only about 1/4 inch length.)

Insert one side into the other leaving the middle part flat.
Repeat the entire process on the other side
One little bamboo boat.
Go boat go!

I remember the days when I was fascinated by
gutters and drains coursing with freshly fallen rain,

and soon he will be too.