Thursday, February 25, 2010

Three Things

Three wonderful things happened today.

#1~ Grocery shopping took 30 seconds. I opened my door, picked up my box, and brought it inside. Such a beautiful thing. I just started weekly fresh organic produce delivery and I am loving it! The menu changes every week, the produce is exceptional (often the organic offerings at the market are not great), it's mostly ripe already, and I am sort of forced to buy produce that is in season- a trick I have not yet mastered, but saves a bundle! My hope is that this will enable me to reduce my main shopping trip to once every two weeks.
I don't know what I love more- that cheesy smile, or that beautiful produce! Look at the size of that lettuce!

#2~ As I started washing the cauliflower to make cauliflower soup, Daddy Man called to tell me to stop making dinner- he was going to do it tonight! I had just finished dragging myself off the couch to make it, and wasn't feeling that great, so I was soooo relieved! He just decided to do something nice for me. How cute is that?!

He even held Mr. Baby and entertained Muffin while making it! He's amazing!

#3~ After Muffin and I went in to get Mr. Baby up from his nap, I knelt down so Muffin could say good morning. She crawled into my lap and snuggled in close. Both kids started laughing and I couldn't help but kiss Muffin's cheek, then Mr. Baby's, over and over. It was such a sweet moment and let's face it, could anyone resist these kissable squishy cheeks?

Oddly enough these are the first pictures I have of Mr. Baby eating. I think this blog is forcing me into taking pictures of my lovies- something that I have always struggled to remember to do.

He gets so excited when I pull the camera out. I am enjoying him so much- such a sweet baby.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Empty Tubs

If my needs were visible, they would be contained in tubs (phylate and BPA free tubs, of course). When the tub is full, the need is completely met. A couple of my tubs seem to have holes in them, because it seems I can't get enough! My tub that needs people and social interaction must have a big hole, because I start to go crazy after little more than a day by myself (with my kids, of course). This is one of the things that makes it possible for our family to live with three other guys- I just love having people come and go, and having somebody to talk to in the middle of the day. This week I planned several play dates and get-togethers that fell through, so to offset the empty tub I compensated with sewing. My sewing machine is always ready for a date. ;) Today I finished up cousin Noak's birthday present.

A crayon wallet with co-ordinating snack bags

PLEASE don't look too close at my sewing...I am far from perfection.

I just love these vintage print fabrics.

While I was at it I decided I wanted a crayon wallet too! Here's my grown-up version. I'll probably use it for a shopping list or to do list.

Matching snack bags too. How could I resist?

Daddy Man noticed that my *gifts tub was a bit low too, so he bought me an early birthday present- a new tool box for my sewing gear. I moved my beloved notions out of the plastic bin they were floating around in and into this gloriously organized tool box! (This was a fun project in it's own right!) The best part? When the lid is closed, the drawers won't open, so no little hands de-organizing or finding "toys for the baby" among the pins and buttons. I'm so impressed with the tool box makers...why can't sewing box makers get with it? I have seriously scoured all of Redding for a decent sewing box to no avail. Until now!
That furry thing on the top portion is a mohair bear I started YEARS ago. All I have to do to finish is stuff it and sew up the small openings, and sew on the ears. I really should do that soon. Actually, there's two bears there!

I love seeing my rainbow of choices

My two favorite items in this box: a vintage needle-holder card and vintage belt buckles, both from Grandma Cannon's stash.

*I strongly recommend the book "The Five Love Languages." It helps you determine how you and your loved ones give and receive love. The five 'languages" of love are acts of service, quality time, words of affirmation, gifts, and touch. We typically give love the way we like to receive it, so if you find yourself constantly doing nice things for people, like helping them move, making them dinner, washing their car, etc, then your love language is probably acts of service. The trick is to find out your loved ones' languages, and love them the way they receive love, not how you receive it. This is crucial in a marriage! I could give Daddy Man gifts every day and he would appreciate it, but he really feels loved when I make dinner or clean the house (acts of service). Ok, I'm starting to ramble here...just read the book. ;)

All that said, if anyone would like to hang out this week, call me!!! ;)

Thursday, February 18, 2010


I feel most alive when I am doing something creative: sewing, scrapbooking, decorating, singing, crafting, painting, playing music, (and recently) making bread- I love it all! I was recently inspired by Jodi's blog to 'treasure hunt' at thrift stores for items to be remade. It is a perfect outlet for my need for creativity and my need for shopping, which doesn't go away even when I am super busy.

I found this owl for $2. It was an oak color. Hope it looks cute in Madelynn's bedroom!

Also inspired by Jodi (thanks for all the great ideas Jodi~ I love reading your blog~!), snack bags. One for Daddy Man, Muffin, and Cousin Noak.

And from Muffin's "acativity" time we have a pom-pom giraffe, bear, bunny and my sorry attempt at a monkey. I think I have just as much fun as Muffin during "acativity" time.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Bread and Butter

I have always found olden days prairie living intriguing. How did those women do it? They made all their own food and clothing, had no running water or electricity, schooled their children, and tended the home. In my quest for a healthier, thriftier, greener home and lifestyle, I have discovered this type of simple living is more attainable than I originally thought.

Today I made my first loaves of bread- whole wheat sourdough, from Bobbi's recipe.I loved the whole process: making a starter, seeing it bubble, mixing the dough, kneading it (10 minutes of wonderfully physical stress relief), forming the loaves, and especially smelling it when I came home this evening. There's just something special about making something from scratch and putting so much love into it that gives me a sense of fulfillment- kind of like having kids! And it's probably a good thing I found something like this to do because we are done making babies (once this one comes out, of course)! ;) Yes, I have become a bread-making lover. And of course, the Man loved it too!
Notes to self for next time: put bread someplace warmer to rise. Once I put the bowl of dough on the preheating stove, it rose so much faster. For a less sour-doughy flavor, make starter and bread the same day. I personally love this flavor, but I'm sure I will love it once it tastes more like sourdough too. Make this in the morning so the rising/baking process doesn't cut into dinner time.

This week I also made organic, raw, cultured butter. This too is pretty easy to do and yields such glorious results! It looks and smells like butter (unlike the yellow cultured mayonaise I made a few days ago, which took me a few days to work up the nerve to taste it and was actually pretty good), and it tastes so much better than store bought butter. I used cultured buttermilk to culture my cream because I couldn't find creme frache. The recipe is on Cindy's blog.

My cream after I cultured and refrigerated it

Looks like whipped cream

Starts to separate into buttermilk and butter chunks

Look at all that buttermilk!

Notes to self for next time: Save the buttermilk when you're done! Use it to make pancakes or bread. Save some of the cultured cream to culture the next batch's cream. Make a bigger batch! The health food store only had one pint of cream, so it only made about a cube or two of butter. Make the bread first! This butter is so yummy, it would've been nice to have fresh baked bread to go with it right away.

So as I have partially fulfilled my dreams of olden days "prairie living," I leave you with this encouragement: Make some bread this week. It is wonderfully fulfilling, and even gives you a good arm workout. ;)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

A Beautiful Day

We had a lovely, fun day today! After the week I had last week (lets just not go there) I was due for a day of smooth sailing. Muffin and I had so much fun making an owl for Maddie-LuLu (picture to come), squirting play-dough through the toy animals, and making Jodi's amazing sprouted meatloaf. I confess that it was sproutless, as I forgot to soak yesterday, but it was still amazing! Not only that, but Muffin was virtually melt-down free until 6:00. Pretty wonderful.

Mr. Baby pulled himself up to standing for the first time today. This is an old picture, but I am currently charging my camera battery and thus have no new pictures to share. :(

Tomorrow Daddy Man and I leave for Ashland for our 5 year anniversary getaway! I have so badly needed a vacation- having Mr. Baby, moving, Daddy Man going to school, living with three guys (which by-the-way has been pretty fun), toddlerhood- well, if you add it all up you get one very tired Mommy and Daddy Man. And yes, I have yet to turn 25 and I am celebrating my 5 year wedding anniversary, with soon to be three kids! This is always how I wanted my life to be, but it is still crazy to think about. I think it's been at least a year since I was away from Muffin, and this will be my first time away from Mr. Baby. Some mothers would be sad and find it hard to leave. Yeah, I'm soooo ready! Thanks to Sarah I can leave both kids behind with no worries, and galavant about Ashland with my Love. So here's to happy days, and Husband time!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Blog 1

Writing this first post on my new blog I feel like Tom Hanks in "You've Got Mail," writing the email to Meg Ryan to explain why he stood her up (cringe). As I've finally found an opening sentence I'm happy with, let's move on.

This afternoon is nothing out of the ordinary- I sit here tickling Mr. Baby as Muffin sleeps in the next room. A sleep, I might add, came only after an hour of "MOMMY MOMMY!" "I need (fill in the blank)!" Thank God for the new gate across her door. Now I can get something done while she takes her own (albeit long) journey to sleepy time. She even makes it back to her bed now. It didn't used to be like this. I sleep trained her at the ripe age of 2 months to fall asleep when I lay her down awake. She took naps like a champ until recently, when she decided that she wanted to drop her nap at 2 1/2. She's not quite ready for this, as we experience around 4:00 on a no-nap day. Daddy Man always knows when he comes home to a napless daughter- all he has to do is look at me. Anyhow, we are learning a new system.

I'm always looking for ways my family can be more healthy- physically, mentally, spiritually- and have enjoyed following Cindy's blog. She has inspired me to try new things like making my own cultured mayonaise, ginger ail, and butter. Currently my cream is culturing on the counter, waiting for my first attempt at homemade cultured butter. Future projects on my list are making my own yogurt and bread. How do I have the time with a 2 1/2 year old, 8 month old, and a bun in the oven (due in July)? I have know idea. But when you stop doing things out of a performance mentality (goal: to be a good wife, mother, friend, sister, daughter), and start doing things out of love (goal: to love your husband, kids, friends, family) it makes things a whole lot more enjoyable. This recent revelation has improved my life, and my attitude!

As both Muffin and Mr. Baby are crying, I have to cut this short, but I look forward to sharing my journey with you!!