Friday, May 25, 2012

Pussy Willows or Getting Crafty Like Beastie Boys

Almost the size of the dino's femur... do dinosaurs have femurs? 

So I think it's fair to say that I am not crafty. Yes I love to cook & bake, garden and entertain, but those are entirely different than "crafting."

I don't really sew. I don't knit or crochet (I can hardly spell them). I'm terrible at quilting and I don't have the patience for cross-stictch. 

You will not find a glue-gun, pipe-cleaners or those awesome colored puff-balls that any basic/good craft room would have on hand. It's just not my thing. Everyone has the same 24 hours in a day; we all just decide how to use them. That said, crafting is not usually on our docket.

So today I decided to check out the Museum of Ancient Life with my kids this morning (one of my yoga students surprised our family with a season's pass this year - SCORE!). It was kind of overcast outside, and I figured we didn't really have anything specific to accomplish for the day. My house has stayed relatively clean this week, so I figured a great way to keep it straightened was to get the heck out of dodge. So I packed a lunch, got the kids dressed and we headed down south (Thanksgiving Point is in Utah County, but not really "of"Utah County.") 

Zoë is such a chill little babe, - she napped on the drive down and back, and spent most of the time in the Ergo while Holden wandered and discovered. (I learned how to discretely nurse her in public in the pack on our vacation to Orlando last month; so it's awesome to be able to attend to her hunger needs instantly ... hands free and walking around. ) 

Anyway, in a rare photo-op moment, I took her out of the pack and placed her beside this dino from the Jurassic period... yes, directly on the gross floor that everyone walks on. (I chalk it up to added immunity -- and she's obviously a second child because I would have NEVER done that with Holden at 5 months).  

Speaking of Holden, when we got home and Z went down for a real nap, we tried our hand at being crafty -- Disney's "Family Fun" magazine provided the idea, I drew the branches and Holden provided the fingertip print-puffs.  His creation framed below:

We're playing around with the title, but currently calling it:
 "An introspective on the injustice to Creation (i.e. "Nature")  resulting from negatives of the Industrial Complex & Capital Machine" 

...though we also liked "Pussy Willows." Here's our little Van Gough with both ears showing off his masterpiece. 
Mixed Media:
Colored pencil and Stamp Dad

Man, I should start a craft blog...or not. 

The second amendment with my 3yo

Holden: Mom, can I have toys with guns?
Me: Do you think that's a good idea, or a bad idea?
Holden: Um I think a bad idea. I don't like guns. Um, maybe could we get toys and you take the guns off my Starscream?
Me: We don't need guns
Holden: Yeah, we don't need guns.
Me: That's right, we have imagination and fortitude.
Holden: Could we have guns and fortitude?

I just laughed.

Friday, May 18, 2012

double dose of m&t AND zoë's swimwear

Oh! I almost forgot to tell you!

Zoë on April 27th at 4 1/2 months,
This is a special month because it's twice the fun at Make & Takes. I've got two articles published at the fancy website.

The first, is a topic super near and dear to my heart: Green Entertaining! And yesterday's article spotlights a few ways to get your "Grass a Little Greener" in every sense of the word.

Please check them out. In the entertaining bit I make a Julie Andrews reference and disclose I'm not actually a cat relevant to today's larger climate change discussion.

Check 'em out. And if you'd like to be so bold as to leave a comment, it may help my editor think what I'm saying is relevant and that I've got a cult-following or something. (Oh, and it's also very validating for me, you know?)

Can't wait to FINALLY get my thoughts down about last week's TIME cover, and tell you about how we're EXTREME parenting at the Mangum casa. (Who's Mom enough? We're not really sure.) But in the meantime, you can enjoy the pic of Zoë in a "12 mo" swimsuit. Purchased for our trip to Orland last month, I especially enjoy how it digs into the tops of her shoulders...that bebe is one chunk of delisciousness.

Cheers my friends.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

I don't care about Mother's Day

Sounds a bit harsh, eh? Actually, I'm just being hyperbolic (which, oddly enough in my head, I just pronounced hyper-bawl-ic.). But the reason why I am not too concerned with tomorrow, is because as today--as a mother--my day was near perfection. (I'm happy to celebrate my mom and my mother-in-love tomorrow, but let the record show - I'm complete).

Holden and I had a baking day on Friday -- we were out of frozen cinnamon rolls, so this morning we got to nosh on fresh ones with ooey-gooey cream cheese frosting for breaksfast. (I think I've mentioned I make these at least once a month, and then freeze what we're not using and treat them like Rhoades.) With breakfast we had bacon, OJ with lots of pulp (just how I like it), and organic watermelon and strawberries Danny had picked up from our food co-op (Bountiful Baskets this time).

Danny had moved the lawn by the time Zoë woke up for the day at 9:45 (I know, dream baby right?) And we were out the door to Costco just after 10ish (love the WVC locale because even at 11am on a Saturday (after coupon mayhem has begun) it's not crowded... we bought more marigolds for the garden, superhero books for Holden, lots of butter, eggs and white flour (yes, white flour... at least it's milled locally). And a bunch of other things because how often can you really visit Costco without dropping at least $200.

Z fell asleep again in the car on the way home from errands and I spent the day in the kitchen while the boys installed my much anticipated drip-system for our front yard garden-boxes. LOVE LOVE LOVE. Holden loves being outside, and though I know things take longer with him around, Danny was a super sport about it -- and Holden was in heaven "helping" his Dad. (We only suffered a few causalities -- mostly just marigolds.... oh, that could be a cool band name "Mostly Marigold"... not quite riot grrrl, but definitely female infused indie-vibe.

I digress.

I was a maniac in the kitchen. Key Lime pie & Strawberry-Rhubarb crisp for dessert at my sisters tomorrow. Plus, I made just over 10 pints of strawberry freezer jam (I keep saying next time I make jam I'm going to use pectin because it's soooooo much faster, but then I go through this whole debate in my head about using the least amount of preservatives possible... and technically there's already pectin in the fruit... and so I end up cooking my jams for hours trying to let them boil down and gel. Which according to Mark Bittman happens at 224degrees; but my stuff spent over an hour at 200... then I gave up. It's a really rich dark red, almost like Smuckers... next time I'm just using pectin (and not cooking it...I SWEAR).

While Danny finished up the drip system and Zoë laid on a blanket outside practicing her "rolling," Holden and I worked more on his garden.  We gave him another little plot in the back yard... he picked four marigolds and placed them strategically (I've got to get a picture and show you), and then planted chives, squash,and basil. Somehow I read the package wrong on his squash, and where it said seeds inches apart in hills, I thought that meant the hills were four inches apart... instead of the 3 feet!!! So we've got basically a package of seeds in a 1'x1' square of soil. So awesome. I can't wait to see what happens. Last year he did something similar with the Zuchinni and we still got a few good veggies... I'm just loving the process.

In fact, I'm kind of digging the process of this while motherhood thing. So sure, celebrate me tomorrow, but today (the present) is a present indeed.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The 3 Year Old Goth

My sister, Cicely, has this awesome tradition ofinterviewing her kids each year for their birthday. I tried it with Holden thisyear – just days after his third birthday (February 1.)  Yes, I'm REALLY behind on blog posts. As I recall we went on a Disney Cruise a year ago and I still have yet to write about it...

In the Utah Honeysuckle at our house
Any-who, before I get to the interview I just want to point out someof the things I really love about this kid… he gets sarcasm and irony. (Maybe that’s not something to be proud of, but between Danny and me, it’s needed for survival round these parts). He loves playing outside in the dirt, going to parks, rides at amusement parks, looking at and playing with animals, dinosaursand making friends.

He’s always introducing himself to strangers: “Hi, I’m Holden!”  Often followed by “That’s mymommy.” He refers to children he likes as “my kids” and if they are extraspecial to him, they get crowned “cousins.” I guess that speaks highly for hisreal cousins, because he really loves those people.

He helps me set the table.
He’s adorable with Zoe. “I think shers likes me!” (Shers of course is a cross between she and her = shers. Grammar is hard.)

He has super big emotions. He’s much more likely to cry fromhaving his feelings hurt (having to leave an activity before he’s ready) than falling off a rock wall (yes, both have happened… ah experience, the greatest teacher.)

He’s interested in good and bad. For instance, today at the Zoo he said “Mom are lions bad guys?”
“No, I replied, just misunderstood.” We find ourselvesusing that phrase a lot – to describe dinosaurs, and spiders, bees and monsters, et cetera, et cetera.
“Mom, is everything just misunderstood?” I paused, thinking that there was a lot more depth to this question than either of us could reallycomprehend.
“Yes, pretty much.” I responded.

Anyway, I love his questions – his mind, his delight in the world around. I love that he still asks to be held and there are few things that can’t be solved with a lovey, a kiss and perhaps milk in a sippy cup.(Funny fact – if you want to have a drink at my house, your options are pretty much a sippy cup or stemware. And yes, he uses both).

OK so back to the interview, a couple of things I noticedtranscribing the interview from my trusty iPhone mic: he pronounces “presents”as ‘peasants’ and the interview turned a bit gothic towards the end. I don’t particularly remember listening to The Cure that much whilst Holden was en utero, but it could always be a contributing factor.


With Cyclops at Universal Studios in Orlando 4/30/12
Me: Ok, how old are you?
Holden: Fee (three).

What’s your favorite show?

And what’s your favorite toy?
Some transformer toys.

Oh, ok. And tell me who’s in your family.
Um…. Anne!


And who else?

We’re, were be superheroes.Here’s some superhero p-peasants to open.

Me: OK, and who’s your favorite superhero?
Happiest Little Sister in the World - on the place to MCO 4/28/12

Me: What’s the name of your sister?

What’s Zoë’s whole name?
Zoë Seet Mangum(suite)

Whats your whole name?
Holden Dan, Seet Mangum

(I laugh out loud at his confusion, for the record he’sHolden Daniel Mangum.)

And what are you thinking about?
I’m thinking about monsters

Ok is there anything you’re afraid of?
I’m fraid of dying inStarbursts caves.

OK, anything else you want to tell me on your birthday –around your birthday?
I did open thepeasants and there’s a bad thing to sleep with.


Bruce Banner (aka THE HULK) at Universal Studios 4/30/12