Why Lemony?
(the “About Me” page)

June 21, 2007

one of those great moments of living with a two year old

With arms waving wildly and with determination to make it all the way to the corner without falling, Teresa ran home from the pool yesterday. "Go, Maya Baker, go! Go, Teresa Baker, go! Go, Mama Baker, go!" she shouted encouragingly without breaking stride. I felt myself walk with a little spring in my step, feeling genuinely encouraged.

Posted by Bahiyyih at 11:26 PM | Comments (1)

Here, chick chick chick

Billy holding a chick for Teresa to pet.

And Maya getting tickled by little chick feet.

Even cuter was Billy affectionately holding a duckling, but I never got a shot of them that wasn't completely blurry. Oh well. It exists in my memory. For now.

All this poultry holding happened at Billy's cousin's wedding which took place at one of the family farms in Champaign county. It was a very sweet and farm-y wedding- this rooster kept crowing during the ceremony and making everyone laugh. Cheeky monkey.

This was also the first thing we saw when we pulled up- chickens running around the yard, pecking around in the flower beds.

And look at these great farm-style table settings. I love the glasses and the apples in vases.


Here's my favorite attempt at a group picture of all of Grandma Amy's descendants. She's saying something funny to make them laugh that apparently required Heidi to act something out. Maybe one of them will remember what it was and tell us in the comments.

Oo, I really like this picture of Georgia. She wasn't upset, just squinting.

Posted by Bahiyyih at 10:54 PM | Comments (0)

June 14, 2007

the whole tagging thing

I've been 'tagged' in the weblog version of chain mail where I'm supposed to say seven random things about myself and then ask seven people to do the same. Like Liza (who tagged me), I'm also usually the death of chains of mail, but since she jumped off a bridge, I guess I will too.

1. I learned about astrology from my mother as a child and have forgotten most of it except that my element is air. It sticks with me because I very often come back to the qualities of air when I am trying to understand or explain what it's like to be me. Hmm.. I think I'll write a poem about that.

2. I've been walking in the woods/park almost every weekday morning since March or so. Here are some of the many gifts I've received on these walks: a great horned owl feather, a red tailed hawk flying right over my head, 'reciting the verses of God' to the deer family most mornings as they sit silently and still, staring at me, wild black raspberries, watching the baby geese grow from bobbing puff balls to awkward adolescents, really appreciating spring as I see the gray sticks in the woods turn into lush, green paradise, sharing my gifts in hushed or jubilant tones with fellow walkers and with my Bakery. That's seven inside the seven.

3. I really don't like it when my socks get wet.

4. It's been about a year since I last nursed a baby and over two since I gave birth and my body still feels like it's adjusting to it's new status.

5. I bought the 'Idiot's Guide to Cleaning' today. That about sums up where I am with the whole keeping of the house issue. Trying to learn the zen and the science of it, trying to be humble, struggling.

6. Related to 5, I really hate vacuuming. I wish the whole house were hard wood floors because my favorite cleaning job is sweeping. To me, when the floor is shining clean, the whole house looks clean.

7. I can never have too many plants. I feel a little obsessed with my garden this year, mostly because I know how much I don't know and so I have to keep being vigilant in case I miss something important.

Well, that was painless. I could go on and on about myself. Hmm...

So now I'm supposed to say, 'tag, you're it!' to seven people. When you read your name, you are tagged: Billy, Khalil, Layli, Mama, Lucy (both!), Michael (yes, you), Danny (yes, you too). If you don't have a weblog to post to, just post in my comments below.

Posted by Bahiyyih at 03:09 PM | Comments (6)

June 10, 2007

really playing


I just got back from a quick trip to St. Louis with Georgia and Maya to visit their famous children's museum, called The Magic House, and I have to say that this is what I meant when I said that I wanted to have children. They're so independent now- they can do all the basic living skills for themselves like feeding, dressing, etc. and they can transition from car to hotel room to pool to car to museum with minimal emotional assistance. And their hard-won, strong little plants of spiritual qualities are shooting up so fast. Witness a gem of an interchange today:

Maya (to Georgia after G. has finished her cookie): Here, you can have a piece of my cookie.

Georgia: Wow! Thanks Maya! It even has chocolate in it. That's so caring of you! You're so kind.

(Maya gently beams and stands a little straighter.)

Georgia: That makes me want to do something caring for you too. Let's see, what do you want, Maya?

(Maya thinks for a while and makes up some strange request that outsiders like me would not understand, but that they agree on wholeheartedly. Something about a game and getting called away and continuing for someone else. Nothing to do with material things or future cookie paybacks.)

Life is really good in moments like those.

And I highly recommend The Magic House. We spent 11 hours there, minus quick snarfs of Subway to maintain energy levels for playing, and we kept discovering new great things to do up until the minute they closed. It's got a homey, twisty-turny layout because it's a crazy old Victorian with many additions and they really get a lot of things right where they've distilled the fun parts of childhood into activities that are irresistible and well-thought out.

Here's an example: There's this fishing pond where you fish for like metal fish with a magnetic fishing pole. I've seen this done lots of times in children's museums but here's where the details make it so much better than average. The 'fish' are in real water and after you catch one, you run over to another pond and throw your little fish back, and then it goes right into this little stream which runs right through the floor with plexiglass over it so you can watch it bob along all the way down the stream until it finally floats back to the pond you caught it from and you grab your fishing pole and do it all over again. The fishing pond is part of the Children's Village which has so many more great things about it, and again, mostly in the details. Like a little library where you get to be the librarian and give out real library cards and a real scanner that goes 'beep' when you scan a book, and due date card stamp machine that really stamps the cards with something ('Books are magical' instead of a date, but that's good enough). And the library has very good actual books in it, with library binding and call numbers and everything. (Can you tell that I like libraries? And maybe that I spent a lot of time in one growing up because my mom worked there, and later that I had my first job there?)

And can you tell that actually got to play with my kids instead of just herding the older ones to activities and then trying to entertain/nurse/lull to sleep a baby/toddler while distractedly answering their questions? Nothing against my sweet babies (and, in fact, I recently had a great time 'teaching' all three of them how to make mud pies, regardless of toddlerhood), but this was a really great thing. The three of us bonded in a new way.

Posted by Bahiyyih at 03:47 PM | Comments (1)

June 05, 2007

more canoeing please!

I had a wonderful birthday weekend up at mom and Layli's place. Here are the pictorial highlights, courtesy of Billy:

Birthday still life with flowers

"Aaaaa! Teresa has the lighter!"

The crisis was quickly averted and we had a successful birthday ceremony where the only fire was at the top of two candles- one for each twin. The next day we went out canoeing on the Fox River. (Thanks mom!) It was wide and serene and we saw cranes, a couple big fish, and we barely missed several things that splashed into the water loudly before we could see them. We also saw pretty yellow irises that grew along the river bank.

The birthday girls doing a paddle high five here after coming back from our first venture. We braved rain (which cleared up after a few minutes) and a whiney toddler (who became too curious to want to go back right away) and came back triumphant for having had a great time.

I managed to paddle just fine with Teresa on my lap, the only place she would consent to sit on the canoe. She hung on tight with her legs, but often leaned over really far to the right for some reason, causing a little tipping of the canoe and a little shakiness in the mama.

We went on another adventure with the older girls and had a good time introducing them to canoeing. They did a great job and got a kick out of trolling for water plants and dipping their feet in the water.

P.S. Lucy asked for the cake recipe, and since it's made for wheat and sugar sensitive persons, I thought other people might like to know it too. So, adapted from a La Leche League of C-U recipe book called "Family Favorites", originally created by Kim Marino and called 'A to Z Bread', here is:

Magic Muffin Cake

3 c. spelt flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
3 eggs
1 c. oil
1 1/4 c. maple syrup or honey or 1 c. sucanat (add 1/2 c. water if using sucanat)
2 1/2 c. blueberries (fresh or frozen and thawed a little)
3 tsp. vanilla

1. Sift dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl and set aside.
2. Beat eggs in a large bowl, add oil and sweetener of choice and stir vigorously until thoroughly combined.
3. Add blueberries and vanilla, mix it up.
4. Add dry ingredients, yeah- mix some more.
5. Pour into 2 round cake pans, greased and floured if they're not teflon; pour a splash of oil in the bottom even if they are teflon- it's a pretty moist cake.
6. Bake at 325 degrees for about 30 minutes. Actually I don't remember how long I cooked it, but that's my best guess. It's done when it doesn't shake in the middle and is a nice brown all over. I spread fruit-sweetened black raspberry jam thickly between the layers so they would stick together. Keep it covered and eat or freeze by the second day or it will dry out.


Posted by Bahiyyih at 06:32 PM | Comments (3)