Laughing, Weeping, Living

Life happens. You laugh about it or cry about it, sometimes both.

“No I’m Not Like a Hobbit”

on February 21, 2014
Earlier this week: (L to R) Me, Jeremy, Jeremy's brother David, Stephen.

Earlier this week: (L to R) Me, Jeremy, Jeremy’s brother David, Stephen.

My precious little boy, Stephen, is really bringing it lately in the verbal department. His thoughts are complex. His pronunciation is good. His vocabulary is impressive.

Tonight I made Stephen a grilled cheese sandwich to eat at 5pm because I knew we would order a pizza later and avoiding toddler meltdown is my primary goal in life. So, Stephen ate a sandwich at 5pm. He also ate some pizza at 7pm when the adults sat down for dinner. My mom remarked, “Stephen, this is your second dinner. You’re like a hobbit!” Stephen became visibly upset and choked out in his crying/whining voice, “No, I’m not like a hobbit; I just had a sandwich!” The rest of us did what we could to refrain from very visibly laughing while I reassured Stephen that being like a hobbit was not a bad thing–no. That it was actually kind of a cute thing for grandma to say…

I don’t think he was convinced.

He has demonstrated some other impressive feats. Little dude can count to twenty. “1, 2, 3, …., 10, 11, 12, 13, 16, 11-teen, 19, 20.”

He can compare concepts such as big vs. little. “I’ll give you a little piece of pizza,” I might say (hypothetically). “Stephen can have big piece of pizza,” he may (hypothetically) counter.

He knows all the colors. He doesn’t understand the concept of favorite yet, though.

Stephen can hold a conversation. “Stephen,” I say. “Will you help eat the purple sauerkraut when it is ready?” He replies, “No [wimper]. I’m not eating sauerkraut…[wimper wimper].”

I say, “Stephen, it’s time to come upstairs and take a bath.” He replies (again, this is a hypothetical situation), “No! I’m not going upstairs [sob] I’m going downstairs in family room! [sob].” Or alternatively, on days like today, “Go to bed. I’m not taking a bath. Get animals and go to bed.”

He does use contractions, and for the most part they are correct. His grammar is really very good; he just struggles with some pronunciation. That is mostly just the cutest thing you ever heard. My favorite is “leaves” becomes “weebs.”

So, I’m done bragging about my genius child.

Water kefir. The "grains" are sitting at the bottom of the jar full of sugar water.

Water kefir. The “grains” are sitting at the bottom of the jar full of sugar water.

The other neat things right now are my fermentation projects. My cousin Karin sent me some water kefir starter and I’ve been working with that. These things are weird, let me just say. Apparently the kefir starter is a colony of yeast and bacteria that you can submerse in a jar of sugar water, the kefir grains (called “grains” because that’s what the look like) eat the sugar, leaving you with a fermented beverage. After the grains have done their thing, you strain them out and ferment the water again with a splash of juice or whatever you want. This second ferment can be an opportunity to build up carbonation, making the stuff taste like soda. My first batch was just okay and flat, my second batch failed for whatever reason, and my third batch looks promising. It is in the second fermentation stage right now. I put some fresh ginger in with the stuff so I’m hoping it turns into something like ginger ale flavored water kefir soda.


My virgin batch of sauerkraut. Red cabbage and carrot shreds.

I also started some fresh sauerkraut yesterday. So far it is looking good! All you need to do sauerkraut at home is some cabbage, salt, a large wide-mouth container, and time. You shred the cabbage and salt it, then use your hands or a handy kitchen utensil to bludgeon the cabbage until it releases moisture. You want to get it as wet as possible. Then you tamp it down in your container and weight it down with some rocks on a plate or a jar full of water. The goal is to press out all the brine so it covers the cabbage. I did end up adding about a cup of extra salt water brine just to get all my shreds submerged. My kraut is already burbling and starting to smell. I guess that’s good! Personally, I don’t even currently like sauerkraut but I know the fresh stuff is pretty close to the best food for healthy digestion because of all the probiotic cultures. I want to add that kind of thing to my diet, and I’m hoping the taste of kraut will grow on me! Honestly, it was one of the easiest kitchen projects I’ve ever done. I hope it works out!

That’s what is going on around here. Thanks for popping in!

5 responses to ““No I’m Not Like a Hobbit”

  1. Gede Prama says:

    I am happy to read it. Have a beautiful day šŸ™‚

  2. JeneaSwainston says:

    Sounds like fun! I’ve been trying to do some healthier living things and want to try both of your fermented items!
    Aiden is 4 1/2 and he still has trouble with the “L” sound going “W” on him…
    Love the pic of you all with David! I want to print it and frame it!

  3. Kathy Schwager says:

    Judy, you have such a fun, readable style! I love reading what Stephen is doing. It is also fun to see “my 3 boys” sitting there together with my oh, so wonderful daughter-in-law.

  4. Deb H says:

    I received some H2o kefir from a friend, and I add frozen blue berries & vanilla to 2nd ferment. Also it becomes much more fizzy if you use one of the swing-top rubber gasket bottles, like a bottle of Grolsh beer- I like it better then. So wonderful to hear about the not-so-wee Stephen!

    • judy says:

      my second fermenting is now in a recycled liquor bottle, so the cap fits tight. My first batch was flat and I’m not sure what happened, but I’m trying some different things this time, so we’ll see!

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