Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Painting Hearts

To embrace a little valentine love around here we made some homemade play-dough and Ian painted the hearts and snowflakes.

Some of the cousins were over at the time and our nephew Nick had his camera with him. He took up photography awhile ago and it's turned into something really really great. The pictures below are all from him. I think he's found his niche.

Sunday, January 27, 2008


We've been playing around with a new header and making a few little changes here and there. I'm so thankful for a graphic designer in the house even if he does say I'm his worst client. Something about being picky..never satisfied....but we finally agreed on the look of it and I'm happy that the picture of my new (to me) little bowl from the thrift store made it in the final cut.

More posts to come...

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

A full January

We had a wonderful weekend with my brother Tim. He lives in an adult special-needs home so it was really nice to spend some quality time with him for a couple of days. He doesn't converse very well but for the most part understands what is being said. He's really funny, especially when there is country music being played and at one point I walked into the living room to find him reading to Ian. And I'm so happy that I caught it on video!

Here's a couple pics of Uncle Tim and the boys:


Sawyer has been a slow solid food eater. Sometimes he wants to eat and sometimes not. What I've noticed with him, almost from a newborn on, is that he is happiest when he's independent. So I gave him part of a banana to play with and he ended up feeding himself and eating the whole thing...and he never stopped smiling. He's just so adorable that I couldn't choose just one picture to post....


The boys and I went to GoodWill yesterday and bought a bunch of play clothes for Ian. The hats are a hit. He wears them throughout the day pretending to be a cowboy. And yes his newspaper reading is for real...or rather...his newspaper picture reading is for real. He's picked up my habit of reading the paper while we eat breakfast or lunch and so now he climbs up in his chair and goes through it to find all the interesting pictures and reads with me while we eat. It's so fascinating to see this little boy emerge out of babyhood.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Plastic World

Sometime in the last 3 years, in between changing diapers and learning about herbal remedies, I started learning about the toxins that are in our environment and in nearly everything we purchase. The first site that piqued my interest is called Skin Deep by the Environmental Working Group.

This is a site where you can search skin and hair products by name or company to see how the ingredients rate. The first thing I realized was a well known baby lotion I was using was one of the worst offenders. Here is a list of the ingredients and how it scores according to their scale.

That afternoon, I got out all of my skin care and hair care products to see how bad they were. I ended up getting rid of most of them. I searched until I found products I felt were safe for babies and for us and we still use them today, 2-1/2 years later. The skin is our body's biggest organ and though it does a phenomenal job of being waterproof, it soaks in everything that is put on it. It makes me think twice about all those skin care products that say "do not ingest" when it all seeps into our bodies anyway.

For me, becoming a mom made it hard not to see the world differently. Things bothered me where I was never bothered before. I worried way more...about danger and about the kind of world the kids would be raised in. The first things we changed were personal: what we eat (organic 'real' foods) and how we take care of ourselves when we are sick (herbs). Then we started looking more at our environment and the impact we have on it. We made little changes like using reusable bags and stainless steel water bottles and that in turn has led to the way we think as consumers.

Nearly every 'thing' we buy comes in packaging which has to be discarded somewhere. We think that by recycling we are doing the earth a favor but it's not that simple. Only 3% to 5% of the plastic we recycle is actually recycled. The rest is dumped in landfills or wherever there seems to be a spot that no one is looking.

I stumbled on two things recently. Both are equally fascinating and horrifying at at the same time. This first one is the Story of Stuff. A 20 minute video well worth the time spent to watch it. Ian watched the whole thing with me so it moves pretty fast.

The second is an article I found this morning. It's called Plastic Ocean by Best Life Magazine. There is a spot off the Pacific Coast twice the size of Texas that is a stew of plastic and other trash byproducts. The pictures of the animals throughout the article are heartbreaking. They are the ones most obviously affected by our waste. But we are affected too. Slowly studies are coming out about how harmful plastic is to our own bodies and the environment. The article above does a great job of explaining how and why.

"Except for the small amount that's been incinerated-and it's a very small amount-every bit of plastic ever made still exists."*

Even small changes add up. I'm amazed that by taking the time to buy something healthier, for us or the environment, I appreciate it more. Our hope is to teach the boys to live simple and healthy and to be mindful of the things around them. We really do live in a beautiful world and I hate the thought of plastics destroying it one bag or bottle at a time.

*Plastic Ocean by Susan Casey and Best Life Magazine

Friday, January 18, 2008


Spending time in the kitchen today. Chicken salad sandwiches for lunch and a a few batches of baby food for Sawyer...spinach and peaches. Tonight for dinner we are having potato soup and sweet squash corn muffins. Yum.

My brother Tim will be staying with us this weekend. At 28 he's still a kid himself so I know Ian will have fun playing with him.

Sawyer is all adventure and no caution these days. We had forgotten to close the gate on the stairs and this is where we found him. Reminds me of someone else two years ago. Of course that kid took his skills to the dance floor thanks to Jeremy.

Pretty pleased with himself I think.

And doesn't seem too happy about sharing his new space.

We had a good week and spent all day Wednesday with some friends. One who currently lives in Corsica, France and who I haven't seen in years. Check out a picture of the kids here. Thanks for opening up your home Karli!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

8 months and a train

Sawyer is 8 months old today. He's around 18lbs 12oz and is as mobile as ever. A couple of weeks ago he started pulling himself up to a stand and now he does it everywhere and on anything that will hold him up. Although he often gets stuck somewhere and cries to have help sitting back down. But that doesn't stop him...he's even crawling up stairs! He seems to have no fear and will try anything. He's a really happy baby and smiles at anyone who talks to him or just happens to be passing by. He gives the best slobbery kisses too.


On Christmas Eve we were up at 11pm putting together the one gift we got for the boys this year. A train set and table. Unfortunately we realized when it was almost finished that it was missing a major piece that would hold it all together. We were so disappointed! Thankfully they had presents from everyone else and didn't really miss any from us. We had to order the piece which we just recently got back. So we brought the whole thing out today and put it together. Ian was thrilled and helped us put the track together. Sawyer will have to wait awhile before he gets to enjoy the train but he's already using the table to help him stand so he's happy.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008


I had been wanting a sewing machine for awhile now and talked about maybe getting one after the new year. Then Jeremy surprised me for Christmas with one. Wheeee! Soon after I sat down and started fiddling around with it and I have to say...I. love. it.

This is a little bird that has been fluttering around some blogs lately. I figured why not jump right in and it seemed to turn out. He's currently nesting on our bookshelf.

And then last week I decided I wanted to make a shoulder bag. It was so fun to make and I love how it turned out!

The inside pocket and fabric (which is a vintage 1930's print)
The button and loop

This was so much fun to make and I have loads of other ideas and can't wait to try them out. Ian's birthday is coming up and I'm going to make his present for him which I'm really really excited about.

Oh and I mentioned here about buying tons of yarn for a new ripple blanket I'm making. It's coming along really well so I'll share that soon too.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Eating and sleeping

It's been a tiring start to the new year but we are making our way through it. I read somewhere that around 7 to 8 months old babies typically have some sleep disruptions because of their new developments, like crawling, pulling themselves up on things etc. And Sawyer is definitely doing all those things and more so it's not a surprise that his sleep has been erratic lately.

A little while ago when I was putting him to bed I was also praying for patience for yet another night of constant waking and maybe for an answer about what he was going through. Right away I felt the Lord remind me of what I already knew but just needed to hear again. Love him through it. And to take the opportunity to pray for him in those quiet still moments that are just between Sawyer and I. He started sleeping better after that and so did I.

About a week ago we decided to put him in his crib for the first time. He seemed to really like it and slept really well. His naps have increased and he's not waking as much at night either. It was a little hard for me to let him go because he's not a wee little baby anymore. But I'm finding I'm enjoying it too because the rocking chair is in his room and I can rock and nurse him to sleep better now.

As hard as it is getting up in the middle of the night to take care of him...I really, really love those moments. He will be sleeping through the night one day and I know I will miss those 2am snuggles.


This is priceless. Ian grabbed Sawyer's giraffe from Christmas and climbed into the chair and announced that the giraffe was drinking! You can even see how he's lifting his shirt up. He was so intent and sat there for a good long time to make sure the giraffe got enough to eat.

I've never used a bottle with either of the boys so it's natural that he would assume this is how all babies are fed. And I have to say that it really makes me proud. I love that they will grow up knowing that breastfeeding is completely healthy and natural.


More posts to come. I've been having a lot of fun with my new sewing machine and I can't wait to share!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008


As a Christmas present to us, Jeremy's mom, Bonnie, sketched this beautiful picture of Ian. When I first opened her gift and saw his little eyes peaking out from behind the cardboard I started crying. Her talent and ability constantly amaze me. She took the picture below of Ian and sketched it by hand in one evening. We are thrilled and blessed to have such a beautiful piece of work and it's something that will be treasured for as long as we live. It captured so much of Ian that I tear up every time I look at it. Thank you Mom!

* edited because we had gotten the 'before' picture wrong!

Christmas Day

Finally (!) I feel up to posting some pictures. With the holiday celebrations and a 7 1/2 month old who refuses to sleep at night we are still tired. Sawyer had several nights where he was up every hour and I spent a few of those early mornings (2am) downstairs reading while he crawled around happy as a clam. And that makes for very, very tired days when there's also a 2-almost-3 year old to take care of as well. But he's back to his usual nighttime routine which is spent in bed with us nursing every couple of hours. It's amazing though how welcome that is after last week! Anyway...here are Christmas pictures for the family back east. They loved everything you got them!

Digging into the stockings

Tired boy (awake at 4 that morning!) unsure of what to do with his stocking.

Football from Uncle Adam and Aunt Shelly!

This was the first year he didn't need any instruction on what to do with an unopened present.

Dinosaur from Grandma and Grandpa. He loves it!

Demonstrating the dinosaur's ability to bite a book.

Sawyer loved the crinkly paper best.

A giraffe taller than him

Jeremy's giddy-face when he realized he had gotten the iPod Touch.

Me reading a letter from Jeremy's mom. And that big gift behind me? A sewing machine from Jeremy!!!!!!!

Sawyer's 'first Christmas' pajamas that Ian got to wear 2 years ago. I was so happy that it fit both boys at the right time.