Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Strawberry Post

I actually (by "actually", I mean, I took them ALONE) took the girls strawberry picking on Thursday. We went to Legare Farm in Calais, which was a lot of fun. I'm pretty sure they aren't organic because I didn't see any signs saying it was organic, but I could be wrong. At least they are local, and they are definitely delicious. Not only was the farm very kid friendly, my kids actually did very well! Strawberries were not stepped on! Strawberries were not eaten until washed at home (however, fingers were licked)! They both took to the task like naturals. I guess they knew it was a good cause. Fiona did not find it "boring" or "too hard" nor got "too tired" and Sophia got her little concentrated look on her face and picked, picked, picked. On the way out, Sophia accused some kids of slurping on the strawberries while their mom picked away. Mom looked a little guilty. Sophia was confused. I felt like Overprotective Mom. Ah, the baggage we carry as parents. Anyway, I just distracted Sophia and it was all good. So, I don't think the farm really cares if the kids eat the berries.

We picked about 11 pounds? of strawberries I think. So far, I have made jam, a crostada, ice cream, strawberry shortcake and syrup. I'll make floats with the ice cream and the syrup. If we don't eat all the ice cream.

Legare also has excellent creemies. Fiona had a fresh strawberry one and Sophia had maple. Sophia seems to be insulted by the idea of using strawberries in anything. Fiona and I were talking about all the things we would do with the berries and Sophia wailed "No, NO, NO!!!". Sophia didn't eat the crostada (just a free form tart, like a galette), didn't eat the strawberry shortcake, and didn't eat the ice cream (much). However, every time I go to take berries from the sheet pan in the fridge, some of the berries have huge bites out of them. I am pretty sure this is Sophia. I really hope it is. Sophia loves strawberries to pieces (unadorned, as I said). She really prefers to just take one big bite and move on. I imagine this huge tray of strawberries in the fridge is just too tempting. It must seem enormous to her (it is to me, so how does it look to a three year old who adores them?). The only way around this is to cut the leaves off and give them to her. She will eat bowls of them plain.

The only exception to this is jam. Jam is okay. Even homemade jam. Fiona declared the homemade jam the best ever and said she now hated the store bought jam. I don't believe that for a second, but I did let her have more.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Well, there's the usual things: flowers... chocolates... promises you don't intend to keep...

Okay, forget that promise. I will write when I can. Sorry.

I don't seem to be doing too well with reaching my goals these days...

So Fiona's last day of Kindergarten was yesterday. We won't find out who her new teacher is until mid to late summer. She already really misses her teacher and the familiarity of Kindergarten. In her journal she wrote: "In Kindergarten, I am happy. In first grade, I am sad". Sniff.

I wish these things would get sorted out before summer vacation (they do in some schools). Less anxiety for both child and parents. I have heard the Kindergarten teachers are the best teachers in the whole school. That was great for this year, but now I hope it's an exaggeration. There are three first grade teachers. One was a music teacher and is fairly new, one I know nothing about and was new last year, and one has been there for years, has a good reputation, apparently has a bias for science, and is the grandmother of one of her classmates (in fact, the first boy she was crazy about this year. Right now, it's actually still J). You can probably guess which one I have my fingers crossed for. (The science teacher!!)

Six teeth are missing. She pulls them out. Twists them. Asks her dad to help. She knows better than to ask me now. I am feeling faint just writing this out.

Sophia has been going to a nature preschool camp this week at the North Branch Nature Center. This meant dropping her off for a couple of hours and leaving with Fiona. I expected the worst, but it went very well. The counselors there are also very sweet and Sophia just dived right in. Her devotion to wearing dresses, however, is strong enough that she will not consider wearing shorts or pants...even to nature camp. At least she wears her "running shoes", or tennis shoes (That is what she calls them, and it is very accurate. She runs everywhere. Or skips. She doesn't really ever seem to walk). Fiona and I had rare time alone together. Many, many stops have been made to Gesine (the divine coffee/pastry shop from earlier posts). And today is pie day, so I'm afraid we may end up there again. We will hopefully go for a hike today if we don't get more thunderstorms.

Speaking of thunderstorms, we have had some real storms lately. One even came with a tornado watch (Nooooo, nooooo, listen, weather, I don't DO tornadoes anymore. K?) I heard there was a funnel cloud spotted over UVM (in Burlington) but I refuse to believe it. I did buy batteries for our radio (and it didn't work...sigh) because I just knew the power would go out. And it did. Luckily, we just had lots of branches in the streets and nothing more. At least we have basements up here.

Both girls participated in a dance recital this year. It was actually extremely cute. Sophia only did one performance (hopefully, that is the one on the DVD they aren't allowed to videotape the show), and that was enough.

Sophia will start at the The Child's Garden Waldorf school next year. We've met the new teacher (all these new teachers!) and we feel pretty good about this. She will go in the morning on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. She already loves the space there and every one loves their playground. The real question is: what do I DO on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings?