kool + sweet stuff

 

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I love this outfit.  I wish it was mine.  Hand printed organic onesie + linen karate pants.  Wow.  

 

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A fit almost as koo (cool) as the boy.  Look at him.  This is our buddy Mateo. He's the youngest in our "family" of baby buddies.  (Really my nephew Ravi is the youngest, but he lives in the Philippines.  I can't wait 'till he gets  here to meet all his other "kapatid." (siblings)) Teo's gorgeous mama up there is one of our best friends.  Look at the way she looks at him.  

 

It's a bummer that outfit won't get passed on to us, but I know it will keep on going.  At this point, anything I buy True goes on to 7 other kids.  Yeah, really.  And most of Real's cutest clothes come from his "brothers & sisters." 

 

In our culture, it doesn't matter if you're really related.  You're related because you say your related.  Family is a made-up excuse to give folks you like everything you've got.  

 

You should hear me when these kids get together, "Here Mahal, eh, True I mean Keo, I mean, Mateo, I mean, Free, Real, Mekhi, er, Lake, eh...Kaleo."  Luckily, we just treat them all the same.  Love, love, admiration.  Love.

 

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The neighborhood kids decided to start excavating my yard for geodes.  They haven't found any, but my lawn is littered with distinct  & orderly pyramids of micah, granite, clay, sandstone & pebbles.

 

We're on an accidental rock unit.  We asked for an impromptu construction-zone tour yesterday.  They were digging up the water lines & we got to see how under the black top is a thick layer of cement & large gravel, below which is solid clay, at least ten feet deep.  And that clay - it's beautiful.

 

True did some rock climbing at the Farmer's Market & loves it.  I'm very excited to have a bouldering partner.  I think this is a great sport for his age ~ it's physical & intuitive without a lot of rigid, repetitive movements while still having a clear set of safety guidelines & a definite technique to master & build on.  So it takes a certain level of responsibility.  There's room for style points & it's self-correcting: if you mess up, you fall.  No need for criticism or opinion from mom or anyone else.  

 

Maybe more importantly, it's totally self-fulfilling, because the higher you go, the more alive & natural & accomplished you feel.  I've always felt that rock climbing is a spiritual exercise.  In any case, there's no need for "good job!"-ing, which can take away from a child's sense of personal accomplishment & put the emphasis on being acknowledged by someone else.  (More on this in Punished By Rewards by Alfie Kohn)

 

We "Good Job!" all the time, it's a hard habit to break.  I don't think there's anything wrong with it, it feels natural & right to encourage & affirm them, but I do notice it takes them out of the zone a bit.  They seem to react better when we say something like, "You got past that hard spot!" or, "You were under the rock & now you're on top of the rock!"  It makes me think they don't want to be noticed for what they did, they just want me to notice what happened, & to share in their joy.

 

There's also the built-in incentive of sweet climbing gear.  It's the same for both of us: once we stick with it enough to know we'll stick with it, then it's time for our own climbing shoes.  Once we're belaying, it's time for a harness & - ever popular with boys the world over, carabiners.  I'll be getting us some chalk asap, because I'm dying to sew us little chalk bags.  (The chalk keeps your hands dry so you don't slip)  So he should be feeling pretty legit here, now.

 

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A friend went upstairs with a diaper & came downstairs with 8 pairs of underwear.

 

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Went to a Filipino breakfast place & couldn't get over their tomatoes, so I tried this at home:

 

Chopped Tomatoes + Medium-Boiled Eggs + Chopped Onion + Lemon Juice.

 

So Good over fried fish.  I had extra seasoned gluten-free flour that I didn't want to waste, so we sliced some mushrooms & dredged & fried them, too.  They were moist & crunchy with just enough saltiness to make the steamed collard greens sing.

 

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We had to giggle at our 1 year-old, coming out of the house, stepping off the deck, down the path, down the steps, around this compost pile & a half-block down with a helmet over his face.  He couldn't see a thing.  No idea where he's going, just going.

 

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Free, age 3, & always the lover of photography, took this very intentional shot of my clothes + moving hand.  I hadn't realized all the detail before. 

 

Color.  Babies.  Food.  Learning.  Art.  

 

Apparently my life is a prayer.