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Trains, Trollies, Art and the Best Big Sister

This morning, the kids and I took a train down town to the New Children’s Museum.  Andrew had to work to help one of his client migrate their new server (um–what?) so Maria and I packed a back pack, I dug out the Ergo and woke the kids up early.  This was Maria’s first train trip.  Finley work his conductor hat, and each boy brought a tiny, wooden Thomas.

The train was crowded in the morning, the us four had to cram into two little aisle seats next to people who didn’t seem to be very happy.  That didn’t stop the two boys from pointed out the surfers catching early morning waves as they whizzed by the windows from the second story, the mossy lagoons with egrets  serene in the gray mist and airplanes flying at our same speed and level.  “MAMA!!  MAMA!!  LOOK!” they pointed eagerly across the seats, chirping at the sights as Maria and I praised them.

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Elijah was on my back, and Maria wore all our day’s items in the back pack #TeamWork!  This day could not have happened if it weren’t for Maria, we were such a team.  At first we were sad Daddy couldn’t come, but looking back, I am glad Maria and I had this expereince of travling with the boys together, we work so well together, so insync.   Even–sneak preview, running down the sidewalk, each with a boy in our arms, and barely making the connecting trolly.  We could NOT have been happier when we were sitting in those seats, us four.

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Maria does art every day, but I told her this Museum has art you can play with, she couldn’t wrap her mind around what I could mean by that, since most of her art is done on paper or canvas.  But as we all learned today, art is more than technique on paper.  (Our friends got free tickets for us at the library, who knew!?)

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Rolling out clay


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Swinging makes the music


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Painting a real tractor



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Wobbly fruit in the sink


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They told me they were Max in his sailboat sailing towards the Wild Things


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Working on Back Bends


And Finally, the worlds best big sister, just being herself, always able to gather two little wild things right into whatever she is doing, which is always to help, love, teach or show them something kind.

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It was just after noon and the boys were nearing that done moment after an incredible moring immersed in art.  I check my clock…we had very little time to catch the train at 12:27…the only train before 3PM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  We would still have to catch the trolly, which wasn’t too close.

“Awwww nah!!!”  So, heads up, I am NOT a planner, or detail oriented, but, maybe, “Do the best with what we have,” mentality…?  I think that’s how I would describe myself.  And usually everything turns out better than great, so we’re good :)

But anyways, once I looked at my watch I looked at Maria and said, “We have to run.”

She scooped up Elijah, and I scooped up the heavy Finley and we ran.  I was trying to type, “Trolly Station,” into the walking directions of my phone, but I kept typing the darn wrong letters!!  Running with a heavy toddler and one free, bouncy arm just doesn’t mesh.

We cut through some grass, which Finley obviously had strong feelings about, “No graaaasssssss….”

“We can’t miss this train!” I tell Maria, she knows.

A trolly is pulling up, one on each side, which do we pick, I ask a homeless man, “Does this trolly go to the Santa Fe Depot?”

“Um, yes, this one on this side that is leaving right now…” so we squeeze between the closing doors and Maria and I flop onto two little seats, “Oh my gosh!!  This is working!” I tell her, the boys are silent in our arms, ready for naps, Maria and I smile at each other, catching our breathes.

Two stops down we hop transer to the open doors of the train.  It was empty, “Does this train go to Encinitas?” I ask a woman and a man in full glitter.

“Um….like, you mean….going…um…North?”



We had made it!!!  Save three hours of terrible no nap tears.  We even had room to stretch out.  :)

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Cozy and stuck with mama in the ergo


And we sailed right home, and into naps!  It was amazing.  Ahhh, what would I do without my sweet, incredible preteen?  Without whom, this day would not have been possible.  Such a rockstar!

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She finished her library book on the final trip home (Which also, oh my gosh…if someone were to have told me one year ago….I think I should do a whole post about that later, such a brave little hard work. Such an overcomer!)


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Ok so I’d love to hear, what about you?  Do you brave public transit often with your little ones?  There seems to be an initial learning curve.  What are you up to this weekend?  What kind of museums are the favorite for your kids?  Let me know, I’d love to hear!



Someday when God does away with borders and flags and what separates us, I think we’re going to wish we would have seen each other as equal.  Loved like our lives depended on it.  Maybe wished we would have opened up our spare rooms to prostitutes, or scooped one of the lonely kids off the floors of an orphanage, and welcomed them into the flow of our lives.  Still living life, but adding in more to the flow of what already is.

Sometimes people have been asking me if I want one more ‘of my own.’  I always think that question is so strange.  I try to help them out, by looking at the three of my own right here, and reminding them, “In a little while, I will have four of my own…four is kind of a lot.”  Maybe that’s just what happens, no matter how many you have, people always ask if there will be more.



Loving and living for other people doesn’t make life easier, but it makes life richer.  So much so I can’t describe it.  Sometimes I try to think back on what we used to do with all our time, and the only answer I can think of is a whole bunch of sh*t—I kind of remember Bed Bath and Beyond somewhere in there.


Warm Coconut & Kale Salad

Summer was rough on our garden, maybe the heat.  Either way kale is our best crop this summer, second being our tomatoes.  My kids have learned to like it raw, picking it themselves, and we love making our kale pesto, but this salad, well–we’re in love.  It is so delicious.  Andrew’s eyes opened wide when I let him try a spoonful.



It’s just three simple, powerfood ingredients and an easy dressing.

We picked about 10 or 11 leaves of kale, and since it’s chopped and mixed, it’s ok to use the ones that have tiny holes :)


-11 leaves of kale, chopped

-1 cup of large flake coconut (Oftentimes found in the alternative baking section)

-1/3 cup chopped almond

-sprinkle of sesame seeds for garnish

-1/4 cup coconut oil

-1 teaspoon sesame oil

-2 tablespoons tamari

Preheat the oven to 350.  Whisk oils and tamari together, add kale, coconut and almonds and mix until coated.  Spread evenly onto baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes, until the coconut starts to turn golden.  Serve warm.


“Mama!  I ‘mell sumting!”












-Serve as a lunch with two cups of rice or quinoa mixed in.

-Add some red pepper flake for a kick.


Let me know if you try it!  This recipe is so simple and delicious, it would even make a non-kale lover a fan of this ultra good for you superfood.



“A medical student in Germany a century or so ago asked his professor where to start a practice. The professor replied: Look in the gardens. If you see kale, move on to another town.”

Pin for later—-> http://www.pinterest.com/pin/181762534936244392/