Montessori-Inspired: Finger-Knitting with Oliver


Some of my favorite times at home are when I find one of my boys doing a quiet, relaxing activity in some corner of the house. Most likely, it is a lesson they have brought home from Montessori. In this case, Oliver’s directress had taught some of the students in his class how to knit with their fingers. While it is not work they can do during their structured work period at school, they are allowed to finger-knit during free time (recess) or read-aloud time. I love that children are given the opportunity to do a quiet activity while listening to a story; when I was a girl, I vividly remember having to put my head down on my desk during read-aloud time to prevent me from becoming distracted and (gasp!) doing something else while listening!  Continue reading “Montessori-Inspired: Finger-Knitting with Oliver”

Dress That Mama: Cream & Yellow


Ah, October weather is just the best — brisk nights and mornings, clear bright skies in the afternoon, that smell of leaves and spice in the air, it makes me smile all month long! The colors of fall are also all around us — including the goldenrod we see in the fields of wildflowers just outside of St. Louis. Drive a bit west, and that color is everywhere. Continue reading “Dress That Mama: Cream & Yellow”

Listening to…


The Party, Andy Shauf (cover art by Meghan Fenske)

I’m a long-time fan of Andy Shauf, Canadian songwriter and artist who plays all the instruments in his songs (with the exception of the strings in The Party, played by Colin Nealis) — the clarinet is his defining sound, in my opinion. I have been listening to this album with all the windows open lately. It reminds me of a retro album from my childhood, and each song tells a story, so listen. Just sheer joy. Thank you, kind sir, for continuing to make such beautiful music. And please, for the love of your American fans, please come tour in the U.S.!

Listen to (and support!) Andy Shauf’s full album, The Party (I think my favorite song is Martha Sways)here. And he’s just as great live. Check him out on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert:

Maeystown Oktoberfest


This past weekend, we ventured an hour away from St. Louis to Maeystown, IL for their annual Oktoberfest celebration. It was beautiful weather in a beautiful setting: a picturesque creek bubbling by an old stone mill surrounded by historic buildings. The smells of kettle corn, baked goods, and bratwurst filled the air… and yet, the timing was just all wrong for us.

You know when your family just has one of those days? A day full of whiny, sulky moods and pouting no matter what wonderfulness surrounds you? That was yesterday.


Looks can be deceiving…


I think any other day, this would have been fun, but we left after just an hour, without the promised funnel cake, without skipping a single stone into the creek, without choosing a bunch of cool-looking greenish pumpkins to cart back to our city house. It just didn’t work out this time, and that’s okay.

Part of what occurred was completely expected. Milo and Oliver had their lower elementary camp-out on Friday night and slept zero hours. We figured they could rest and recover all day Saturday (which they did), but it turns out they needed just one more day to lounge around the house. It always amazes me how sensitive our boys are to sleep, but it shouldn’t surprise me. I’m the same way!



We did come away from the festival with a few goodies. Emil found a baby, of course. Oliver chose an old-fashioned toy cash register that really works, and Milo came away with a cool wooden puzzle of the United States. And we managed to avoid the craziness occurring only two blocks from our house: the second Presidential Debate. The excitement was palpable. Streets were shut down, there were thousands of media people, protesters, and police officers encircling the university. Even though this entire election season has been a complete circus, it was exciting to have our city and even our neighborhood part of history.


Hope your weekend was a good one!