Tuesday, March 31, 2009

walk on, walk on

theodore is getting very close to walking! a couple weeks ago we made a trip to the thrift store and picked out a few "new" toys. one of his favorites turned out to be a little quad walker.

the first couple days he tried to use it only led to frustration. it requires a delicate balancing act and teddy put too much pressure on the handle bars so it tipped over. by sunday though he got the hang of it! i have a hunch he will be jaunting about all on his own before we know it :)

video content warning: proceed on to the video with caution. there is a VERY obnoxious commentator speaking in a loud baby voice throughout the long recording. for that i apologize.

"i'm learning to fly, but i ain't got wings. coming down is he hardest thing." - tom petty

Sunday, March 29, 2009

quick (and not always clean) hands

lately teddy's little hands nab anything with lightening speed. cell phones, wagging tails, bowls of freshly prepared grub, all commonly fall victim. yesterday however, he reached for a much less desirable item...

i was in the middle of changing his diaper when spry little fingers reached in and pulled out a poop. i was stunned. what does one do when your child is holding human droppings?

a.) grab the poop from him.

b.) yell at him to "put the poop back in your diaper young man!"

c.) accept that the damage is done and allow him to hold the poop while i finish changing his diaper.

i settled for choice "a", accompanied by a loud shriek. teddy of course, was terribly disappointed that i'd seized his prize possession and couldn't understand all the fuss.

due to my strong reaction, i now seem to have created an unsettling curiosity around the all too often nappy changes. how soon can i start potty training? i have a feeling that every little boys favorite book will also be a hit in our household.

Friday, March 27, 2009

two peas in a pod

* eleven mile state park. lake george, colorado

i know i've mentioned before that ryan and teddy are very close, but i thought i would share a little photo proof! :)

* daddy helping our big boy to hike for himself

* ryan was supposed to be cleaning his truck...clearly he's a little distracted watching teddy play! :)

* ryan thought teddy needed something to play with while we hiked so he stuck the tree branch on his shoulder.

* of course, teddy was fascinated!

"it's not flesh and blood, but heart which makes us father and son." - friedrich von schiller

Monday, March 23, 2009

for the love of ireland

* photo taken on inishmore (aran islands) during my last trip to ireland

last tuesday was one of my most favorite days of the year...st. patrick's day! I am irish and although i married into an english family, thankfully my husband loves and appreciates the green isle as much as me :)

despite an abunance of irish pride here in the united states, i've found most things thought to be irish a little on the tacky side. in the spirit of the holiday, i went in search of some authentic... or at least really cute irish products. when you want something creative and original where better to head than etsy! just as i suspected the wonderland of handmade goods did not disappoint. here are some of my favorites.

1. this beutiful connemara marble necklace by mythiclassie is one of a kind! made of a marble found only in ireland, i was drawn to it because connemara was a favorite region for ryan and i during our last trip. its peaceful solitude seemed to exemplify the nature of western ireland.

2. these irish pirate elf boots by superfay are way too fun to pass up! they happen to combine two of my favorites, pirates and the irish! they remind me of something my funky, sister-in-law diane would love :) arrr!

3. the my goodness, my guiness mitten wristwarmers by lovelambie are gorgeous! i love the story behind their creation and will insist on visiting the designer's studio on a future trip to ireland!

4. when i saw these adorable leggings by animblethimble, i immediately thought of my teddy bear! with all the crawling he does these days, i am constantly looking for better ways to protect his delicate little knees.

5. last, a very favorite of mine, nine birds by kschulz. my irish friend, kelly painted these lovely birds. although chickadees are not native to ireland, the gorgeous green background and tree branch just gives me a lucky kind of feel. i'm positive the leprechauns would approve.

our family too, made its own irish creation in celebration of the season. i had been on the hunt for new ways to cook using cabbage and this recipe turned out to be delicious! special thanks to aimee for sending it my way!

Country Potato and Cabbage Soup

* photo taken once soup was complete!


3 tablespoon(s) extra-virgin olive oil
4 ounce(s) thick-cut bacon, diced
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 leek, white and tender green parts thinly sliced
1/2 cup(s) dry white wine
6 parsley sprigs
6 thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
1 pound(s) small red potatoes, thinly sliced
6 cup(s) chicken stock
1 pound(s) (4 cups) green cabbage, finely shredded
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoon(s) chives, snipped
3 slice(s) (1/2-inch-thick) country bread, cut into cubes
2 clove(s) garlic, lightly smashed
2 tablespoon(s) minced parsley


1. In a soup pot, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the bacon and cook over moderately high heat until crisp, 5 minutes. Add the onion and leek and cook over low heat until softened, 10 minutes. Add the wine and simmer until nearly evaporated, 5 minutes.
2. Tie the parsley sprigs, thyme sprigs and bay leaf with string; add to the pot along with the potatoes and stock. Bring to a boil, then simmer until the potatoes are tender, 10 minutes. Add the cabbage, season with salt and pepper and simmer until the cabbage is tender, 10 to 15 minutes longer. Discard the herb bundle. Stir in the chives.
3. Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the bread and garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the croutons are golden brown, 6 minutes; discard the garlic. Season with salt and sprinkle with the parsley.
4. Ladle the soup into deep bowls. Sprinkle with the croutons and serve.

"it's easy to halve the potato where there's love. "
irish proverb

Friday, March 20, 2009

funny baby boy

there is no need to leave the house these days for entertainment, teddy has us bent over in fits of laughter all the time lately! here is a peek at daily life with a curious, adventurous, happy nine-month old!

playing in he yard, snorting like a piglet....a new favorite noise :)

he can't walk yet, but he can certainly scale the fridge!

poor omar tries to hide from teddy behind the curtains, but teddy crawls like a cat back there after him...

...and sometimes when we aren't laughing at him, he's laughing at us ; )

Thursday, March 19, 2009

all my memories gathered round her

much of my time so far in colorado has felt like a deja vu dream. you know when you feel like you've been somewhere before, but you really haven't. except i have been here before, it was just a long time ago. my family came once for a summer vacation. we spent a lot of time in this area so everywhere ryan and i go feels vaguely familiar.

because the last time i was here was with my mom, i feel her presence so very near. my mom loved colorado. she came with friends throughout her twenties and was so excited to bring johnny and i back. it was actually the first plane ticket she booked for all of us, minneapolis non-stop to denver. i understand why she loved it, she always was an earthy-kind of girl. she appreciated anything deemed "country" and this place is certainly that...

today as i was preparing theodore's oatmeal breakfast i kept thinking about her love for nature and a few funny little memories popped into mind....

* if the weather allowed, she always dried her hair outside. she loved the feeling of the wind and sun slowly soaking up the moisture. i can honestly say i don't remember ever seeing her use a hair dryer. if she did in the winter, i have no memory of it.

* she frequently sent us outside to "go find pretty leaves." sometimes to be pressed and dried in an old encyclopedia, other times to be left for few days on the counter and later swept up, shriveled off the floor.

* all bedtime stories (we habitually asked for oral rather than written) were set on some outdoor adventure with her brothers and sisters. more than the stories themselves, what i remember is the way she described colors, temperatures, and textures...specific, beautiful, little details.

* she often brought us back to her "secret"/favorite spots on the creek where she grew up. the bridge on walter's land being the most secret of the secret.

my mom at the creek

some people say that it's likely for husband and wife to in some way or another model their parents ... i've always thought ryan, most reminds me of my mom, and i my dad. their pure hearts, the way they relate to people, the way they communicate, are all things that are very similar between the two of them. now though more than ever, colorado has reminded me that their appreciation and deep love for god's country is yet another similarity.

Monday, March 16, 2009

rocky mountain high in colorado

the traveling alcott family has arrived in colorado springs! ryan drove his truck out on friday and on saturday morning teddy and i flew out. we are not sure how long we will be here, but it sounds like anywhere from 1 -2 months. basically we will be on this project until the albany project is ready for ryan. we found an awesome furnished condo, so there was no need to drag down all of our things, always a plus. the best part is the beautiful views off our back deck and the incredibly warm weather!

yesterday, we spent the entire day outside. teddy even had the rare treat of taking one of his naps in the backpack! we explored "the garden of the gods" and "red rock canyon," two incredible hiking areas both within 10 minutes from our condo. we brought along a picnic lunch and teddy enjoyed helping to prepare and then eat his blueberries, bananas and puffed cereal on the mountainside.

today he woke up and immediately wanted to be back out. we took our breakfast out to the deck and when i tried to bring him in afterwards he was devastated. while i hurried to get dressed for the day, he just stood at the glass sliding door and peered out longingly! it is amazing how clear some of his loves are already :) thankfully, we are within walking distance to an adorable downtown area so we spent the afternoon walking and exploring. he loved it...cooing at every dog and baby that passed!

well i feel like i already have a million little stories to share, but we just arrived so i better save some for later! hope you are all having a lovely monday.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

headed to the rockies

quick little update:

ryan, teddy, and i are leaving for colorado springs this weekend. ryan is working at a power plant in pueblo so we will be going with for the next month or two. although we thought his time there was complete, the project manager on-site called azco (ry's company) and requested they send him back out. this actually worked out really well for us because the project in new york continues to be pushed back...we are now looking at heading to albany sometime late april/early may.

in the meantime, i am excited to be heading somewhere warmer! it has been so darn cold here! i can't wait to get teddy in the stroller again and hopefully behind the bike too! we are happy to wave minnesota goodbye for now :)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


i love my thesaurus. i remember being in grade school when i first discovered its splendors and i was in awe. the idea that i could take simple words and easily exchange them for something greater and grander was so appealing. despite no longer having essays to write or papers to grade, i still find myself flipping through the thesaurus often.

today, i looked up "passion". although there were many accurate synonyms, i was most drawn to "craving" and "fervor". i love the idea that our passions are literally the things we crave in life, the things we have a burning fervor to become immersed in. i've spent the last few weeks talking with one of my dearest friends about the conscious choice involved in living a passion-filled life. as we weave through the often foggy roads of our mid-20's, there is such clarity to be gained through participating in that which your spirit craves. too often people feel guilty for taking a few moments to just be. let that go, be present, create uniqueness to separate the moments, lift the veil of indifference, and allow fervor to flood in.

our family participates in many things we love, but only a handful are true passions. how do you know which is which? choose the things that cause bold joy to seep in your corners.

Monday, March 2, 2009

why we love him

ryan left last night for pueblo.   it is always so hard to see him go.   i preoccupied myself with learning how to use the iMovie feature on my iMac.   we have captured a lot of special moments on video and now i need to learn how to transfer them from the camcorder to our computer and dvd's.   while uploading an old tape i came across an adorable little video of ryan playing the guitar and singing to theodore at our apartment in minneapolis.   of course, he immediately stopped once he saw me with the video camera, but it is such a beautiful little glimpse at the sweet (and still shy, even with me) man teddy and i are so blessed to have in our lives.  

p.s. i especially love this video because he was singing in his "teddy voice", a special daddy version of baby-talk developed for one particular little boy :)

"oh give thanks to the lord, for he is good, his loving kindness is everlasting."  psalms 107.1 

Sunday, March 1, 2009

mean green

it has been quite the week for the alcott bunch. we arrived home from galena last saturday and by monday morning ryan had left for a new project in pueblo, colorado. while daddy was away teddy cut his first tooth wednesday night, not-so-conveniently following a flu shot he had received earlier in the day. thursday morning teddy woke with a fever and terrible cold. we spent the next few days battling all-night cough sessions, roller coaster fever rides, and a constant current of free-flowing snot. as fate would have it, the little guy finished off yesterday with the diagnosis of an ear infection. ryan flew in friday evening so i'm sure he got here just in time to catch some sort of virus from our healthy home before he leaves again for pueblo tonight.

despite the hustle and bustle involved with nurse duty, ryan and i did find time to cook a wonderful batch of soup/stew last night after teddy went to bed and i'm dying to share the recipe because it was absolutely DELICIOUS! i love making homemade soups. they are usually light, filled with fresh vegetables, and perfect for this time of year. in the past my favorite recipes have either been given to me by family members or more recently from my oh-so-loved barefoot contessa cookbook. this weekend though i tried out two different rachel ray recipes, the "mean green chicken tortilla stoup" being one of them.

so invite some friends over. tune into the dale connelly show. and enjoy this great meal!

Mean Green Chicken Tortilla Stoup

  • 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 12 tomatillos (about 1 lb) - peeled
  • 1 yellow zucchini, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 jalapeno chiles, seeded and finely chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp, ground cumin (half a palmful)
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • one 12-ounce bottle mexican beer
  • 1 quart chicken broth
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 pound chicken cutlets, sliced into 2 inch strips
  • 1 bag of tortilla chips
  • Freshly grated cotija or monterey jack cheese
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  • 4 scallions, finely chopped
  • cilantro, chopped (a generous handful)


our stoup in the preparation stages :)

In a large soup pot, heat the EVOO, 2 turns of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add the tomatillos, zucchini, onion, and garlic, season with cumin and salt and pepper. Cook until the onion is softened and tomatillos become saucelike, 7-8 minutes. Add the beer and cook over high heat until reduced by half, about 5-10 minutes. Add the chicken broth and thyme, cover and bring to a boil. Stir in the chicken and bring to a low boil for about 6 minutes. Discard the thyme stems (the leaves will have fallen into the stoup).

Crush a handful of tortilla chips into 4 bowls and sprinkle with the cheese. Ladle the chicken stoup on top. Squeeze a lime wedge into each bowl and top with scallions and cilantro.

ryan and i agreed that it was most certainly a new family favorite. i think you will all love it too!

...and let us end with another mean, green favorite