What We’re Reading

This kid of mine LOVES books! She sits and looks at books in the morning, she brings me books throughout the day and she sits and reads with Daddy every night. I didn’t even know children this young could be so interested in books.

So, since books are a favorite of Ellie’s and since we regularly visit the library these days, I thought I would start talking about what we read together at home. Being a preschool teacher for over twelve years before staying home with Ellie, I know a thing or two about children’s books. And if you know me personally, you will also know I, myself am an avid children’s book collector. Let’s just say, Ellie had a whole library of books waiting for her even before she was born.

octobers books

What we’re reading this month:

Ellie in The Fall by Egmont

Meeow and The Big Box by Sebastian Braun

Wuthering Heights : A Weather Primer by Jennifer Adams

Where Does The Brown bear Go? by Nicki Weiss

MoonBear by Frank Asch

Autumn by Gerda Mueller

Where Is Baby’s Pumpkin by Karen Katz

What books are you reading with your little ones this month? (I’d love to hear books for older kids and even what you are reading too!)


* By the way, you can find me over at Anchor and Plume today as well, writing creatively. 


Spirited Child

The old man sat on the bench, watching us interact. Ellie walking quickly up and down the sidewalk, trying to figure out a way to launch herself into the water in front of us to be closer to those boats. Every time she got too close to the edge of the rocky slope that ran into the jetty, I would try to redirect her. But no chance. This girl wanted to be in the water with those big boats. I spoke to her calmly, “I know you want to be close to those boats, but you will get hurt if you try climbing down there. Let’s see if we can find some more birds instead.” She would throw her body back in frustration with her Mama not allowing her to take a swim with the boats and I would gently pick her up and try to move her along to safer areas. The old man in the red coat smiled at me as I passed him with my daughter flailing around in my arms. “She’s a spirited one. Knows exactly what she wants.” I smiled back at him and replied, “She’s always known exactly what she wants, that’s for sure.” I gave my spirited child a squeeze and asked her if she would like to visit the beach across the way.

run free



She stopped flailing and nodded enthusiastically. So we crossed over to the beach side and walked to the water. We discovered rocks and shells and dried up patches of seaweed, chased birds and climbed sand dunes.



one baby


up up up


The beach is good for your soul and good for the spirited child. We laughed as we toddled down the dunes, enjoying the chilly autumn beach air. We struggled when Mama had to pick Ellie up to cross the street, but then, after a silly game of finding Mama’s car we recaptured the hours we just shared to make the drive a little easier. Ellie listens intently and nods in serious agreement when I get to the part where she wanted to join the boats in the water but couldn’t. I can see her in the mirror. “Da Da”, she says, her way of saying, “yes, yes.” This girl of mine is quite something else. She’s smart, she’s strong and she’s spirited. And I couldn’t imagine her any other way.



my spirited child


It was a pretty uneventful weekend here. We spent a lot of time walking around, Ellie’s new favorite thing to do. Walks around the block, walks downtown, walks through the farmers market, walks in the morning with the dogs, walks in the evening with the dogs. We are a walking family these days. Saturday we did walk on down to our neighborhood’s annual Halloween block party. It was fun and festive with Ellie’s favorite song “What Does The Fox Say?” playing at least three times while we were there. She danced and enjoyed all of this newfound independence. Sunday we had pumpkin ginger waffles for breakfast! They were so good, I declared them our new sunday before Halloween tradition. Groceries were bought, errands were run, the World Series was watched (go Red Sox!), naps were had and we had Gramma and Grandpa over for a curry pork chop with saffron couscous, sunday dinner (Jeff cooked and yes, I know I am VERY lucky to be married to a man who’s not afraid of the kitchen). It definitely feels like fall here by the beach by the way and I’m enjoying every minute of it! How was your weekend?

walking downtown

i like to walk

waiting for the block party

the stoop

the block party

spooky house


they're playing my song

pumpkin waffles

reading on sunday


smile ellie

(this last shot is me asking Ellie to “smile” – what a ham!)

-joining Amanda at The Habit!

An Anniversary Garden

For our anniversary this year, we thought we would stick with the “traditional” fourth year gift of flowers and plants. We both wanted to do something special and so we decided to pull out what was left in the planter boxes and plant an herb garden for the winter. This past weekend we finally got to the garden center and the weather was perfect for some anniversary garden planting.

a peek

new flowers

the garden

side view

other side view

This is our first time growing herbs in a larger space. Usually we stick them in smaller containers but now that Jeff is cooking with them more often, we thought devoting a whole box to many different types would be fun. Our own winter kitchen garden! It was also one of the best anniversary presents. Our whole family got to pick out the plants together, be outside together while planting them and we will all get to enjoy them when they are roasted on the chicken, stirred in with the soup or even mixed in with the homemade bread.

This Sorry Lot

Our house needs to come with a warning to stuffed animals.

Ye stuffed animals who enter, may end up getting their eyes bitten out by fierce French Bulldog.

We are pretty good about picking up Ellie’s toys when we leave the house, but every so often, a stuffed toy get’s left out and Charlotte goes to town. Maybe she’s angry at us for leaving her, maybe we need to walk her more, or maybe she just doesn’t like stuffed toys staring at her, but twice now, we have returned home to eyeless stuffed animals. After a good Charlotte scolding, I get out my sewing basket and go to work mending. We now have Patch the Bear and Patch the Horse. Kinsfolk.

charlotte no!

look away

the posse

one paw

the duo


Don’t tell Charlotte, but I kind of think they look rather adorable with patches.


bats in the sky

the spread



happy halloween

ellie and gramma



bobbing for apples

swinging with my fox

the view

some writing

a new garden

dancing with auntie l

dancing 2

halloween reading

We made the trek out to the hills of Los Angeles this weekend for an awesome pumpkin carving party my cousins were throwing. What a fun, lovely, festive day! Ellie thoroughly enjoyed the pumpkin patch (climbing the hay bales), bobbing for apples, the puppies (yes, they had puppies!) and the incredible array of food and desserts. It was a lot of fun for all of us and so very nice to catch up with cousins, family and friends, whom I hadn’t seen in quite a long time.  Sunday was spent mostly lazing about. I got some early morning writing accomplished sipping tea on the porch. There was some cleaning and some laundry sprinkled in and some dancing to the Beatles and Otis Redding albums with Auntie Lindsey. A new garden was planted (I’ll talk about that in more detail sometime this week) and we ended the evening with Daddy reading books with Eloise and Mama getting some reading in as well (I’m reading Irving’s  Legend Of Sleepy Hollow, just in time for Halloween). It was a lovely weekend all in all. How was yours?

-joining Amanda with Weekending!

Portrait Project


beach girl

eloise: you’re funny, you’re smart, you’re beautiful. You like to dance and push strollers around and walk as far as your little legs can carry you. You give me kisses on my lips because you see me do it that way to Daddy. I never liked the idea of kissing babies on the lips, but you insist and now, it tickles me to no end. You love to laugh and sign “more” when I tickle you. You sign “more” when I sing you songs. You sign “more” when I read you books. You love animals, especially foxes, elephants, cats and your puppy dogs. You like picking things up. Rocks, shells, pokey seed pods. The world has suddenly opened up and you are exploring every inch of it. And, I, your Mama am loving being your guide.

-joining jodi for ten more weeks of the 52 project!

{this moment}

*I know I’ve been absent in this space lately. We’ve had a teething, uncomfortable, non-sleeping baby here for a few weeks and I’m trying to keep up.  I’m hoping to be more present here in the coming weeks.

“A single photo. Capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor, remember.” – joining soulemama! 

pumpkin patch