Quick Takes with Dancing Princesses

Weekly round up of what’s going on in the Bettinelli household.

1. Lucia is officially a toddler now

or, as Sophie and Ben like to say, a toggler. Yes, she loves to walk everywhere and it is the cutest thing ever to see her lurching down the hall carrying an empty Lego tub or a dress she’s pulled out of her clothing bin or her beloved dolly. Sometime in the last week she’s just taken off and become fully moblie. Crawling is still an option, of course, it’s just a distant second. She wants to walk.

There was a cute video to go with this take, but I can’t actually get pictures off the camera and on to my computer without Dom’s help and he’s been too busy. I’ll post it as soon as I can.

She’s also climbing. Dom found her standing on one of the dining room chairs. Oy!

And she’s got a pretty amazing vocabulary. This is my attempt to record Lucy’s words (in no particular order): towel, pillow, doll, phone, rice, water, milk, here, there, bob, yes, Dada, Mama, shirt, pants, belly, toes, kick out of you, book, this, hot, hat, Bella, Jesus, Anthony, Ben, where is, there is, thank you. And I’m sure I’ve missed a few because she’s constantly surprising us with these phrases.

2. My sister is visiting

Hooray!

I haven’t got any pictures yet; but I’m so happy to have her here for two weeks. We’re taking advantage of her visit and having Bella’s first communion on February 2.

3. Poetry read alouds

I haven’t taken any pictures of my sister, but she took some great ones of me and the kids. This is me reading from Leave Your Sleep, the poetry anthology compiled by Natalie Merchant and illustrated by Barbara McClintock with accompanying cd of the poems set to music by Merchant. This is the new family favorite and has ushered in a season of poetry for the kids, which is meshing nicely with my own poetry season.

A friend of mine who teaches English lit to middle schoolers was lamenting trying to get his boys interested in poetry. And while I know it’s no foolproof solution, I am hoping that by having poetry as a part of the fabric of our lives from an early age, that Ben and Anthony will enjoy it when they are that age or at the very least maybe not be quite so averse as the average middle school boy seems to be. Is the trick finding the right kind of poem, avoiding too much analysis and instead emphasizing dramatic performance and enjoyment? I’m really hoping to find the magic bullet because I’m not sure I can handle one of my kids rolling their eyes at poetry.

Sometimes when the baby is wanting to grab the page, you have to do baby lifts to keep her from screaming.

4. Dancing princesses

Bella tells me: “This is a princess and a knight and they fell in love and are dancing.” Later I learn they are Princess Mary and Sir John.

I put on my Irish playlist and the girls went to the kitchen (where the speakers are) and began dancing.

This last picture is Bella’s favorite of the series. She says it looks like they are going off to get married.

Lucia had to get in on the action too.

5. Baking Scones


I had some blood oranges and clementines that were not being eaten because they were a bit sour and I hated to throw them out so I went looking for a recipe that would be quick and easy. I threw in some blueberries too that no one wanted to eat. Yum. The nice thing is, the kids don’t really like baked good with blueberries in them. More for me.

6. Making stock

Chicken wing bones, vegetable peels and ends add water and simmer and the result is a magical elixer that bears little resemblance to anything you can buy on the supermarket shelves.

7. Drinking the first Trappist beer brewed in the U.S.

Brewed by the monks of St Joseph’s Abbey in Spencer, Massachusetts, Spencer is the first and only certified Trappist beer made in the United States. Dom was able to track down some bottles at a shop not too far away. The verdict: amazing. I’m not really a beer connoisseur, but this is easily the most aromatic beer I’ve ever tried. Rich flavors of clove and citrus, a nice glass to sip on a winter evening.

The bottle says, “Pair with family and friends.”

The video about a day in the life of a monk at the abbey is really worth watching. Beautiful.

A day in the life of a monk at St. Joseph’s Abbey from Spencer Brewery on Vimeo.

St. Joseph's Abbey is a Trappist monastery in Spencer, MA. St. Joseph's is home to the first American Trappist brewery. To support themselves and offer charitable assistance to others, the monks produce and sell Spencer Trappist Ale.

This is a day in their life.

More Quick Takes at Jen’s

7 Responses to Quick Takes with Dancing Princesses

  1. Maureen January 24, 2014 at 8:21 am #

    So cute!
    My husband has been watching for the Spencer Trappist Ale and we haven’t found it yet. I am pretty sure we are local to you. Where did Dom find it?
    Thanks for the video too. I am looking forward to watching it.

    • Melanie Bettinelli January 24, 2014 at 11:14 am #

      Maureen, he found it at Craft Beer Cellars in Braintree. I don’t know how close that is for you. Your best bet if it’s kinda far is finding a store that specializes in beer. I know people are calling around to see if their local shops have it, which also lets the shops know people are looking.

      • Maureen January 31, 2014 at 2:54 pm #

        Thanks Melanie! I was able to get there today and pick up a four pack for my husband. He’ll be thrilled and it will be a nice little gift.
        Not far from us at all. Only the next town over.

        • Melanie Bettinelli January 31, 2014 at 3:03 pm #

          Wonderful. I hope you and he enjoy. You’re not far from us at all then.

  2. Catherine January 25, 2014 at 12:43 am #

    I really like the photos in this post–especially you reading to your children. I wonder if they ship the beer to other parts of the country?

    • Melanie Bettinelli January 25, 2014 at 8:20 am #

      Catherine,

      Thanks. They just started selling the beer locally with a big splash in local press, most MA stores aren’t even carrying it yet. So far it’s only available in Massachusetts and it doesn’t look like the monks ship beer. Right now they’re only selling the chalices, and even those they aren’t taking any new orders for because they’ve been overwhelmed by demand. Maybe sometime in the future.

  3. Kimberlee January 27, 2014 at 4:36 pm #

    Love these pictures of you reading! That’s really the crux of it all, is it not – mother in chair, pile o’ kids all about, baby in air as needed. So awesome. Still today I’ll hear a (young adult) child of mine clamor ‘read to us!’ or wailing ‘she won’t read to us!’ and I realize it’s really the most essential thing.
    As for boys and poetry, at that middle school age they are usually devouring Tolkien and the poetry is so integral that they can’t help but appreciate poetry in general (in my albeit limited experience, anyways).

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