May 22, 2012

Busy Busy Bumble Bee

A few years ago, Porter's Grandma Teri and Aunt Anna became bee keepers. Before that, his Granddad Craig and Grandma Teri were (and still are) avid gardeners. As we all know, bees and plants have a symbiotic relationship, without which our world would cease to exist. And the beautiful gardens we know and love would suck. Now, because of a stuffed bee, Porter also has a thing for stripey honey makers.

Bees are good and necessary.  We like bees, despite their kamikaze tendencies. So, as you can imagine, the whole Colony Collapse Disorder was understood and taken seriously by our families. It's bad, real bad. Just a few weeks ago I came upon this article in "The Week" magazine, explaining where Colony Collapse probably stems from. Low and behold, it's caused by current pesticide practices. An entirely human caused conundrum. Here's what the article says,

"Why Honeybees Are Disappearing

The mystery of the massive die-off of honeybees may have been solved. Three new studies point to a widely used class of pesticides called neonicotinoids as the main reason for “colony collapse disorder,” in which millions of honeybees and bumblebees have died off in the U.S. and Europe in the past decade. Developed in the 1990s, neonicotinoids disrupt the nervous systems of insects that destroy crops. The pesticides are commonly used in agriculture and backyard gardening products, and have made their way into the corn syrup that many beekeepers feed their hives after harvesting honey. Around the time colonies started collapsing, farmers began heavily treating corn crops—used to make the syrup—with neonicotinoids. Studies indicate that the pesticide can be found in many honeybees, which pollinate more than a third of U.S. crops. “It apparently doesn’t take much of the pesticide to affect the bees,” Harvard University biologist Chensheng Lu tells Scientific American. He found that even trace amounts killed off hives within six months. In other studies, honey-bees fed neonicotinoids got lost while foraging, and bumblebees produced radically fewer queens. Says Pennsylvania beekeeper Dave Hackenberg, “We’ve got a toxic mess.”

I'll leave you with that to ponder while I show you how bees have been playing a role in our everyday lives. Porter received a stuffed bee for Christmas and has been sleeping with it for the last few months. Luke and I jokingly called it Busy Bee, in reference to the movie Best In Show. It stuck and now Porter calls it "Bei Bee". Busy Bee makes going to sleep a little easier when travelling and sometimes makes it to the living room after waking up in the morning. Mostly he lives in Porter's bed and sleeps, a lot. It is the least busy bee I've ever known. But it is soft and cuddly.

The bee that started it all, in it's habitat, bed.

Bees like flowers, and we happen to have a small field of them blooming in our Thyme lawn. If you listen closely to the buzzing, they're all shouting, "Hurray!!" and singing their busy bees working tune.

As of today I dubbed Porter the bee whisperer. He's fascinated with the insects, and having hundreds of them working in our front yard is naturally intriguing for him. He got the memo about not touching them, but not so much about walking through them. I looked up and found him standing in the middle of the bee zone with 10's of bees flying all about him, head to toe. I knew I had to keep calm so the bees wouldn't sense my freak out-ed-ness and then freak out on my baby in turn. He just stood there, smiling happily watching the bees zoom around him. Not knowing that bees sting he was delighted to be in the midst of their thrumming and buzzing. I asked him to walk to me on the driveway, and after a few LONG seconds, he did. Totally unscathed and unaware of any danger. It was a good thing!

Post bee whispering

Demanding to be given the camera.

Me and my bee loving baby.

May 18, 2012

Not So Baby, Baby Food

As an homage to the many food blogs out in there, I have decided to do a post about all the food Porter eats in a day.

Organic Bunapi Mushrooms- Porter loves mushrooms, and after reading from Dr.Weil that button and crimini mushrooms can be carcinogenic, I've been looking for alternative shrooms. These are perfect.

Alien planet?

No, just cute little mushrooms.

Onions, bell pepper and mushrooms sauteed in coconut oil.

The already finished banana. This is actually the first food item that he eats each day. If I time it just right, demands for "nanna!" will carry through the cooking of the meal.

I LOVE the Camelbak water bottles for kids. They are the only ones I've found that don't leak, at least when being used properly. Porter sips on water all day long.

We share the sauteed veggies and scrambled eggs for breakfast. P doesn't get cheese on his eggs since the calcium in cheese will brutally rebuff the iron in the eggs. I however, enjoy the cheesy eggs.

Biting the cap off a little mushroom.

Until very recently, Porter only drank water and mother's milk. I've started introducing him to kombucha, just a little at a time. He seems to like it, even though it makes his mouth feel a little sparkly.

Ingredients: organic raw kombucha, blackberry juice, passion fruit juice, and 100% pure love.

He cleaned his tray, as always.

He doesn't drink milk, but loves yogurt. I take whole milk yogurt and homemade applesauce  and shake them in a bottle with a straw. Sometimes he'll have kefir instead.

Suck on that Dannon drinkables!

And berries. His all time favorite food, ever.

He also helped me finish off the cucumber in my salad. The lettuce was appealing, but hard to chew without molars.

It's true. I feed my child fruit and veggie packs. He loves them and they're easy for him to eat himself. Happytot is all organic and only contains the actual fruits and veggies. In this case he's having green bean, pear and pea with chia seeds.

Grilled cheese with Tillamook (home of the Baby Loaf) Colby cheese on Alverado St. sprouted grain bread with a slathering of butter.


He likes crackers a lot. "Cah cah" was his first intelligible word. I'm not a fan of the Plum Super Puffs, but we were trying something new.

Preparing him for Lucky Charms perhaps? Plus, if you accidentally step on one it immediately crumbles into a fine powder that is impossible to clean without getting the vacuum out. I won't be purchasing these again.


Friday nights we get take out for dinner, so this isn't what he usually eats. Typically it's a pile of veggies and beans and whatever he'll eat that Luke and I have. Tonight however, Porter and I shared Thai Green Curry with chicken and rice. He doesn't like meat a whole lot, so this is really the only time he eats it since I slap chop it and mix it with the rice. He seriously loves it. Probably because I ate it so often when I was pregnant. I seriously love it too.

He's getting better at keeping the food off the floor, but with rice it's tricky. He 's also desperate to feed himself with a spoon, which is difficult with this meal. I will tell you that there has been improvement in this arena lately, which means I spend less time on my hands and knees cleaning the floor after meal time.

Not included in today's photo essay is the nursing that happens periodically through the day. I'm no Time Magazine cover model or anything, soapbox up but yeah to answer their question, I'm mom enough. And so are all of my mommy friends out there doing their best to raise happy healthy babies. Soapbox down.

So there it is. A baby foodie's tour of a day in the life.

May 17, 2012

Porter Takes Capitola

Every time I go back home to Capitola I envy my friends who never left. I miss the beautiful scenery, all year round, the temperate climate, the foggy summer mornings and the family that still lives there. It also helps that my parents have a home a hundred feet from a cliff overlooking the Monterey Bay. It's a pretty sweet set up and I took it for granted when I lived there through high school and college. Maybe we'll move back one day?

Then I get back home to Boise and am nostalgic for a couple days, but I eventually get into the frame of mind which I'm in today. That is, I'm really happy here in Idaho. I have a handful of friends and family who have also left California's greener pastures in search of lifestyles that suit their own families needs. They've landed in places throughout middle America, just like us. (Technically Idaho is part of the Northwest, but it's no coastal state.) I suppose what it comes down to is where our priorities lay, and for my family it is quality of life. California offers beautiful scenery and a great state of mind, but it's hard to enjoy it if you're constantly keeping your nose to the grind day-in and day-out in order to afford it's high costs. In those cases, you'd better hope that you love your job. Luke and I love the work we do here in Idaho, with the added bonus of living in a truly great small city.

The high desert climate sucks, comparatively, but in the Spring and Autumn I love the dry sunny days. The Winter isn't so bad, at least in the beginning. Then the days start getting longer and that gives me hope. Summer has the potential to be REALLY hot, but as I recall, last summer wasn't so bad. Plus I get my fair share of vitamin D with all the extra long sunny days. Add to that my amazing friends, an affordable cost of living, home ownership in an increasingly friendly neighborhood, 3 kitties to cause me just the right amount of angst, and the ability to spend lots of quality time with Luke and Porter doing things we really love. It's a great life we've created for ourselves here and I won't mind staying as long as we have to, or until the next adventure arises.

Something else that makes life grand, is that we get to visit Porter's grandparents, who live in two of the most beautiful places in California. The central coast and Sierra Nevada foothills. Last week Porter and I got to take a trip to Capitola to visit Porter's uncles Steve and Kumar. It was a fantastic visit, and more of a vacation than I've had since Porter was born, because of their attentiveness to his need for running, climbing and exploring. Paired with the crazy amount of travelling to places around the country, and maybe internationally (stay tuned for that!), and any issues I may have are merely first world problems. Life is good!

Enjoying a bagel on the deck.


Taking a moment to smell the roses.

That ball is trapped in a prison of thorny beauty. Luckily he was able to save it.

With Uncle Steve.

Looking into the atrium, and the bathtub which was big enough for the both of us to take a bath every night. It was glorious.

Porter really truly loves Steve.

I think Steve feels the same way.

Smell it!

The handle. So close, yet so far away. Story of this kids life.

Bet you didn't know that P plays the jazz flute too.

Reading with Uncle Kumar.

This piggy book warranted some serious discussion.

Yes, the stairs. Lots and lots of stairs.

Capitola Wharf

Soquel Creek and the Venetians.

Capitola Beach

Bending Steve's ear about some very important world matters.

Breakfast at the Wharf House.

He's blowing to make the wheel turn, like a "whee" (fan).

BIG BALLS! Do the happy dance! Do the happy dance!

The sea gull kept walking away from them. It's like he knew Porter's affinity for  grabbing at animal feet.

Porter strikes his best casual male model pose.

He was deliriously happy to be walking on the wharf.

One of my favorite gardens of all time.

And, it's on the beach!

Looking off the bridge into the creek. 
Waiting for coffee at Mr.Toots.

I felt this was necessary to document since Porter's first natural disaster was indeed a tsunami, in Maui.

This is what it's like to visit Uncles Steve and Kumar. SO MUCH FUN!!!