Wednesday, July 11, 2012
In the Gospels, Jesus is called a tekton, which is literally translated into someone who works with wood, or a carpenter. It’s a small detail that’s only mentioned twice in the New Testament once in Matthew 13:55 and once in Mark 6:3. Of all the things that Jesus is known for, it’s of no surprise to me that He is known for the work of His hands.
My nails are always uneven and my polish always chipped. My grip on things that aren’t mine to control is too tight, and often I drop everything that I am carrying. Books. Phone. Friendships. Appointments. That‘s the work of my hands.
And my son. He has recently become fascinated with clips, switches, wheels, and anything little that he can do with his hands. We spend lots of time turning on and off the switches of things, putting small pieces of toys into larger boxes, and then taking them out. His little fingers work only as fast as his brain can learn, which is at such a rapid pace. See, my mind, and heart, get stuck in a rut. I see things black and white and I don’t believe they can change. But not Chip. He sees possibilities. New outcomes. Actions and reactions.
And so to cultivate this curiosity and outlook on life, my husband made this beautiful fine motor skills board. In all honesty, it turned out so much better than I envisioned. Because, again, I don’t always see things in the vivid color that they can be. But my husband does. And Chip does. My husband added locks, a wheel, light switches, hooks, clips, ropes, and doors. All for the sake of cultivating his fine motors skills, yes, but also the curiosity, the perseverance, and the character that is built by learning to work through things. And to work with our hands.
Carpentry. Working with wood. But also just learning to work with our hands. As I watch my son’s little fingers move the locks and push the switches, I am reminded of the importance of getting our hands dirty, our polish chipped, and a few paper cuts here and there. And while this board is accomplishing what it’s intent is, and Chip’s fine motor skills are being sharpened, I hope that he also learns a few more things from this piece of carpentry as the years go by.
I hope he learns to persevere when he can’t get something the first time. That he sees that his actions have reactions. And consequences. Both good and bad. That wheels turn in all directions and can guide us back home or farther out to sea. That locks have their place, but that our home is a space where people are welcomed. And most of all, I hope that he learns to work with his hands. We all have moments when perseverance feels too hard, and the building of character is hardly the reward we’re looking for. My hope is that in those moments we can remember that a little dirt on our hands, compared to nails in His, is hardly anything.
DIY Fine Motor Skills Board
All of these pieces are merely guidelines. Watch the little one you are making this for and choose the appropriate pieces!
1 medium to large piece of wood
4 small squares or mounting blocks to place on the back of the board in order to mount it to the wall
paint - as many colors and designs as you'd like!
2 light switches
1 rope with hooks placed at the top of the board
3-4 clips which open different ways
1 wheel from your favorite toy manufacturer
2-3 different types of locks
1 spring door stop
Be sure to measure the distance that you'd like each item to be placed. Some of the locks you'll want to create a door for, and you don't want the open door to hit the other pieces! Also think about what you'd like in the door. A picture of you? A mirror? The child's favorite animal? The possibilities here are endless, and we found that it was very stimulating for Chip to not put all of the like pieces together, but instead spread them out so that as our son's attention wandered, he'd get interested in another object on the board.
He truly loves this board, and will play with it for long periods of time on end! It's so fun to see him learn all the hooks and switches!
Thursday, January 19, 2012
Our son got sick a week or so ago. He feel asleep in my husband’s arms holding an uneaten cracker. I wrote about how hard it is to see your child sick. And, with babies, you feel a bit helpless when what you can give them is very limited.
As he was on the mend, he spent his nap times and night times coughing up a storm, which meant he got no sleep, which of course served to be a few, really long, days. Anytime I can, I’d rather give our family home remedies instead of medication. Of course, if the home remedy doesn’t work, then I’m all for the tylenol/advil/etc.
But, in this case, I’m stoked to say that the home remedy was AWESOME. Seriously. Cough was gone in about a day in a half, and I only had to give him maybe 4 teaspoons of this in that time.
I found this recipe on a myriad of websites, but was sold on the idea off of LIVESTRONG, which of course, means that Lance himself approves, right? I mean basically it’s safe to say that this cough syrup got him through the Tour de France.
And here’s the deal people. This has two ingredients: onions and sugar. Yes, I just said that. Let’s be real for a minute though. IT TASTES LIKE ONIONS. Everyone on the internets is saying that this doesn’t taste like onions, but it does. How could it not? But, my son still drank it and actually really liked it. According to Lance, onions have components that thin phlegm (sick word) and cause coughing which forces your throat to get rid of it’s congestion that’s blocking your lungs and clear up rapidly.
I used this along with a humidifier during Chip’s naps and night times for 2 days, and it worked like a charm!
Homemade Cough Syrup for Babies
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
1 medium sized onion
1 cup granulated sugar
fine mesh strainer
air tight bottle for storing
Chip onion into a few pieces and place into small pot. Add one cup of sugar and put over medium heat. Allow mixture to boil, and stir frequently. Reduce to a simmer for about 20 minutes, and continue to stir frequently. The juices of the onion are being extracted during this process and combining with the sugar to create a syrup. Once finished, and syrup has formed and is thick, pour through a fine mesh strainer so that onion pieces are not in syrup. Using a funnel, our into an air tight container. Lasts for a week in the refrigerator.
Chip is one and I used one teaspoon per dose.
Saturday, January 14, 2012
I don’t make New Years resolutions, because I feel like if I want to change my life, I should just get up, and do so. I have no idea though, when that became so hard, or when I became so old. Chip never wakes up and then groggily says, “Please, mom, just 5 more minutes.” But I literally am peeling myself off my sheets in the morning to get up.
And I honestly wish that it was different. That I was a morning person. But the truth is, is that I’m not a morning person or a night person really. So I’ve implemented a few things to give myself more energy.
Such as, eating dinner earlier.
Such as, more protein.
Such as, a smoothie every day.
Ugh I’m tired of typing “such as.” Isn’t there a video of a beauty queen saying “such as” too much?
And of course, a little surprises in my day gives me more energy. Yes, this smoothie has oats! Not cooked. Just blended!
What do you do for more energy?
Dairy Free Weekend Smoothie
Yield: 2 smoothies
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Cook Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
2 heaping scoops of some sort of peanut buttery type food. I used sunflower butter.
1 cup rice milk (or other milk if you prefer)
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
honey to taste (optional)
Pour all ingredients except honey into blender, and blend for 1-2 minutes to ensure that the oats get blended real well. Add honey if you deserve for smoothie to be sweeter and blend again. Enjoy!
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
My son was sick this week. The type of sick that is worrisome. His temperature was 103.5, he would not eat, he would barely sleep, and his normal demeanor that I like to classify as crazy, was subdued. He didn’t wan’t to explore. Hardly smiled or laughed. And he fell asleep at 5 pm in my husband’s arms holding an uneaten cracker.
Around 8 pm he woke up and his body was on fire. His legs and arms, however, were covered in goosebumps and he was shivering. I held him all night, and we desperately tried to get him to take medicine, and keep him hydrated as best we could. I remember sitting there in his rocker with his turtle lamp that illuminates stars on to his ceiling to keep me company. I wonder if the manufacturer’s who put those pieces together know and understand the comfort that assembled product brings. I wonder if they know that as my son was shivering in my arms, yet his skin was almost too hot to touch, that those stars brought me hope. I wonder if they knew these things, if they’d have a renewed sense of purpose to what they do. Maybe I’ll write to them and let them know.
And so there I was, holding Chip while Cy went to Walgreens to get some Motrin. We had given him Tylenol but our close friend who is also a pediatrician suggested switching between Mortin and Tylenol every three hours as needed. And so we did. I don’t know the semantics behind medicine, but I do know that our Dr. does and when you have a fiery-hot body in your arms who is shaking and his teeth are chattering in his sleep, you do what the doctor says. And you also pray. Because honestly that’s all I know how to do. It gets me through the day, grants me forgiveness and teaches me to grant the same, and brings me comfort and hope.
I’ve been reading through Psalm 145 these past few weeks, and when you spend time reading the same passage over and over, the words start to stick in your brain and they become part of your beating heart. And it was there, in that dark room that I was reminded, “The Lord is faithful in all His words, and He is kind in all His works.” (Psalm 145:13b) And I thought back to the Gospels and the stories of Jesus healing the sick and the weak, and I begged and I pleaded that He would show that same grace and mercy on Chip. And me. and Cy. And us. As a family.
And as I meditated on this, I’m made so very aware that if I choose to say these words and to believe them then I must believe the no matter what the next few hours bring, or what happens with Chip’s fever. I must hold on to the fact that I truly believe that Chip is God’s child first. And if I, made up of broken and sinful love, love him as much as I do, and Cy loves him as much as his sinful being does, then how much more, does God, who is perfect and whose love is far greater than I could ever grasp….how much more does He, love Chip? Infinitely more. And so I must press on. And I must believe that He will heal Chip for He loves Him and He cares for him.
Also in Psalm 145 it says, ” One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts.” (v.4) And I just get this picture of Chip, older, maybe in college or beyond and he’s living his life which we all know has its ups and downs. And he’s tired, frustrated, worried, and he’s contemplating where God is. And, if he’s like me, which he is in so many ways, he is questioning why situation “x” has happened and he’s calculating his steps and wondering why he is deserving what he’s getting. Or, he’s happy, joyful, over the top excited about life, and he’s so excited that he’s speechless. Yet he’s jumping for joy and if he’s like Cy, which he is in so many ways, he’s looking for an opportunity to shout it from the rooftops. And it dawned on me that I don’t want those moments to be the first time that Chip is aware of God’s faithfulness. I want him to know that God has been in his life, working in his life, and guiding his life from the day he was conceived. That since he was little, God has always been there.
That He stopped him from pre-term labor so that He would develop to his full potential.
That He brought him here safely.
That He provided food and nourishment for him every day.
That at 6 months when he was sick and wouldn’t eat solids for a week, He was there.
I want him to find comfort in the ways that God moved in his life. To find joy in looking back and seeing how and what God did.
Starting with this fever he had, that he no longer does.
And so I bought a journal and the first page has that verse. A command that each generation should tell the next generation of God’s faithfulness. The verse that as a mom, I must, MUST carry on.
And I plan to tape his hospital bracelets to it, so that it’s always identifiable. And I will write of ways that God was faithful, and I will write of exciting things, scary things, and in all things I will give God glory. Even when I don’t understand the circumstances, I will write down what God is doing. For I truly believe that one day, as Chip reads these notes, he too will see God’s hand. And the times that we aren’t sure or when the details I’m writing about seem so small and insignificant, that someday, in this life or next, it will be made known of why God moved the way He did. And how good He truly is.
Thursday, December 15, 2011
This Giveaway is closed.
FRIENDS! I am so very excited about this giveaway! It’s the season for getting and getting. For Christmas lists, and Santa. For acting surprised when you saw the package that came in the mail. Stockings. Lights. And everything that winter is all about.
And if you are in my home, it’s the season for re-arranging your furniture because you can’t decide where to put your Christmas tree. And then you realize that you have a HUGE blank spot on your wall and you are DYING for some sweet photography. Wall art. That Pops. And screams modern, fun, and delicious. All at once.
And this, is where my dear friend Melissa from Melissa Tomeoni Photography comes to the rescue. A little formal introduction…drumroll please….
Melissa Tomeoni Photography specializes in portraits, high school senior portraits, newborn and children photography. We are located in Portland, Oregon but also service areas such as Seattle, Tacoma and Vancouver, Washington, as well as Southern California locations Malibu, Thousand Oaks and Orange County areas. You will find our style to be modern, classic, unique and fashion forward.
Melissa lives with her husband Joshua and puppy Persay, in Portland, Oregon and constantly finds joy in them both. Whether working internationally or just around the block, this photographer is well versed in life, love and the passion of image making. Someone once said “… perfection … is not in making a perfect picture but in creating the perfect balance between what you see and what it triggers in you.”
And a little informal, behind the scenes knowledge of this beautiful person. We’ve been friends since college. Our husbands were college roommates. She’s a red head. She’s vibrant. Fun. Alive. And makes you feel that way too. She’s been there for me through so many experiences, and it is truly my honor to encourage and support her in her endeavors. And it’s pretty easy considering, SHE’S AWESOME!
Like Melissa, her food photography is fresh, hip, inspired, and joyful. And for these reasons, I can’t imagine any other artwork that I want on my living room wall. And guess what my friends? She is giving away TWO prints to you fine readers of Bonnie the Baker!
This, could be yours:
Along with a photo which represents a scenario that is near and dear to the heart of all foodies:
AHH! I can hardly handle how lucky all y’all are!!
- Each print is 5×5 and will be mailed to you directly from Melissa Tomeoni herself. The only prints which can be won is the “Orange” image as well as the “Orange Peel”, no exchanges are permitted.
- Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this post, although Melissa is a kind soul and gave me two prints for my naked wall. Because that’s the kind of person she is: generous.
Here’s how you win!! You can get one entry for every one of these AWESOME things you complete which will, of course, increase your chances of winning. So have at it!
1.) Visit Melissa Tomeoni on Etsy
and tell me which print is your favorite and why.
2.) Tweet this phrase and comment here telling me you did so: ” Y’all! I entered to win 2 Gorgeous Food Art Prints by @MelissaTomeoni from @BonnieBakes! http://bit.ly/t9YYQ2 ” (You can leave out “ya’ll…but it’s more fun to include it.)
5.) Follow me on Twitter
(and comment here and tell me you did so)
This contest ends at midnight on December 22, 2012 in which the winner will be randomly selected and announced before Christmas. GOOD LUCK!
WOOO-HOO! Nicole, from I am Honey Bee has won the two prints from Melissa!! Congratulations Nicole!!
I used Random.org in order to get a true, random, winner.
Monday, December 12, 2011
A year ago, this week, I was about to have my first child and I made a version of these cookies. Literally, the post date on that post is December 13, 2010. WHAAAT? Fast forward 365 days, sleepless night, first steps, tears, kisses, and a million other things, and here I am again, making and eating these cookies. I am pretty sentimental, but I didn’t plan this. Promise.
This year I participated in the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap. In theory you were to make three dozen cookies that is either your own original recipe, or a twist on an original or other recipe, and then send them to three different food bloggers that you were paired up with. In theory, you were to then get three different dozen cookies in the mail. I received two batches of cookies, one from Lisa from the Splattered Apron, and the other was from Joelen from What’s Cookin, Chicago? They were delicious! I felt like I was back in college getting care packages form my mom. I still have tons left, and we’ve been eating them every day! Thank you so much ladies! However, I only received two, and am bummed that I did not receive all three!
I sent cookies to these wonderful bloggers: Natalie from Oven Love, Sarah from Daily Nibbles, and Phyl from Of Cabbages and Kings. I hope you guys enjoyed your cookies!!
But anyway, those were the precepts for the cookie swap, so I whipped these babies up because they are the perfect combination of salty and sweet, and they have a little bit of holiday cheer.
And I’m not talking booze. I wish I was talking booze. Not really. Because then I’d be at home eating 5 of these and then suddenly I am not longer a fun mom who is on a sugar high, I am an irresponsible adult. But seriously, y’all. I’m talking candy canes!
I put these into a food processor and in ten seconds they were done. Ok. Let’s be real. I first put them in a double zip lock baggy, and then I used a small hammer to crush them. I then rolled them with a rolling pin. And broke a sweat.
And I made hearts and Instagrammed them and acted very domestic like rolling candy canes was something I always do this time of year.
And then my dear sweet husbands says to me, “Why didn’t you just use the food processor?”
And so we find ourselves staring blankly at one another waiting to see who will laugh at me first.
Welcome to our home.
And a Merry Christmas to you!
Candy Cane Milk Chocolate Chip Cookies with Sea Salt
A delicious twist on the classic cookie. Recipe adapted from the Nestle Toll House bag.
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter (room temperature or slightly melted)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups Nestle Toll House Milk Chocolate Chocolate Chips
1-2 boxes crushed candy canes (depending on how much candy cane you want present in your cookie)
sea salt for sprinkling when cookies are out of the oven
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Unwrap candy canes and place them in food processor until they are crushed, but not powder. Set aside. In mixing bowl with whisk attachment, combine sugars, butter, and eggs. Add in baking soda, salt, and vanilla extract. Add flour in small doses, making sure to scrape the sides of the bowl so it's well-combined. Turn mixer off and stir in milk chocolate chips with wooden spoon. Add candy cane sprinkles and fold into dough, just as you did with the chocolate chips. Use two spoons or a small cookie dough scoop to place on a cookie sheet, leaving enough room between each cookie so that they made spread out. You may want to use parchment paper on the cookies sheet, but you don't have to. It's just easier to scrape off with the spatula, and a bit neater. Bakes for 9-11 minutes. As soon as the cookies are out of the oven, sprinkle them with sea salt, just enough to have a light dusting. The sea salt should only be a light dusting, not a coating or sprinkles like a decoration, otherwise they will be too salty. Cool the cookies on cooling racks, and the salt will stick as it cools. Eat slightly warm with milk, or the next day, any time and any way that you would like.