Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Like a typical younger sibling, Sawyer has wanted to join in from the time he could first focus on Ian and watch him run around the room. Up until now, he's just been reading with us, playing with the toys, and coloring occasionally. Then yesterday, while Ian was molding some play dough, Sawyer climbed up and pointed to the containers, looking at me imploringly. I obliged and was thrilled to see him mashing and molding right away. He played long after Ian had left the table and I was happy to sit along side him making snakes and stars and animals.

I realized this is the beginning of the end. The 'baby' is nearly behind us now. He's becoming less and less satisfied with sitting with me or being carried around, he wants to jump in and refuses to be left out of anything. Since he began walking, the world has opened up and his eyes are noticing things for the first time...his little brain working overtime, turning thoughts inside and out. What a wonder life must be for him...

And as if to punctuate his toddlerhood....his first haircut by our favorite guy, Justin. Despite Sawyer's look of uncertainty, he did great.

Goodbye baby... hello little boy.

Monday, July 28, 2008


It takes weekends like this to really, really appreciate the days we are healthy. As in almost perfect response to my post a week and half ago about how healthy they are, Ian went straight from having that eye infection into throwing up last Wednesday. Then I woke up sick the next morning... on our anniversary of all days. By Friday though, Ian and I were on our way to being completely well and so we decided to continue with our anniversary plans which included dinner, but not the kids. This was going to be our 2nd time without either boys since Sawyer was born... and we were looking forward to it. But on our way to my sister's house to drop the boys off, Sawyer got sick in the car. We decided to go ahead and let Ian stay because he was excited to play with the cousins, and then we went home.

While I gave Sawyer a bath and tucked him into bed, Jeremy got us a pizza and some Henry Weinhards root beer and we snuggled on the couch watching a movie. Not what we had planned, but lovely all the same.

Jeremy was the last to get sick and he held off until this morning. He's been sleeping all day and if he follows the rest of us, he should be better tomorrow. And that my friends, I pray is the last of that for awhile!

We were able to sneak in some fun in between different ones falling ill. Jeremy and Ian got some drawing time in. Something Jeremy loves to do...

and Ian loves to watch.

We spent a little bit of time outdoors. Ian enjoyed his new favorite activity..peddling! Last year he struggled with getting his feet to push and turn the peddles in rhythm. This year, he jumped right on like he'd been doing it all summer.

And Sawyer practiced walking in sandles while showing off his cute belly button.

We're going to be busy this week getting ready for our vacation that starts on Saturday. We'll be gone for 5 days, getting back just in time for my brother's wedding. There's so much to do!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

And one more year makes 9...

It's hard to believe it's been a full year since I posted this. It just keeps getting better and better... I love you Jeremy.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Pirate adventure

One of my goals this summer for the boys and I is to get out and visit more parks and nature trails around our area. So earlier this week when I asked the boys if they wanted to go on little hike, Ian jumped and up down, nodding yes. Then he suddenly stopped and looked at me with this quizzical look and asked, "a pirate hike?". I quickly jumped on board and exclaimed, "of course, yes, a pirate hike!". (Whoo-hoo creative thinking!)

We went searching the house for pirate attire and something to put a hidden treasure in. And then we were off.

Sawyer trying desperately to keep up with Ian. He did a pretty good job too.

Found a hill he needed to conquer. Sawyer tried as well but only managed a belly slide about halfway up.

Even little pirates need a quick lunch break.

Taking his newly found walking stick home. His treasure from our hike.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Weekend at home

We decided to stay home this weekend and relax. It felt so good to drink coffee and read the paper without a plan or agenda for the day. Jeremy played his guitars and did a few house projects while I sewed. I made a couple more pairs of long shorts for the boys. This red pair for Ian is made from another of Jeremy's old shirts. I used the side seam of the shirt to make the side seam of the shorts and you can see the little split detail on the bottom that was originally on the bottom of each shirt side. The repurposing idea came from The Creative Family. I'm working on another sewing project right now that I hope to finish this week.

Here's the two of them this morning with their new shorts on.

We also watched a new DVD I had recently read about. It's a documentary-style video called The Little Travelers. We watched the Japan DVD and it's so sweet. It's filmed from the two little girls' perspectives and it's all about their adventures in traveling. I love finding something for the boys' to watch that teaches them about other cultures and that is not a cartoon. We're excited to get the other DVD's now!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Fun with sewing

So I had a little time this afternoon and decided I would break out the sewing machine. I have several projects lined up and figured I just needed to start them to get in the groove. I decided to make some board shorts for Ian out of one of Jeremy's old shirts. They ended up too small for Ian but fit Sawyer pretty well. Now that I've done it once... I can work out the kinks and it should be quicker next time.

Blurry baby pic but he doesn't stop moving.

Whee! That was fun... I told Jeremy I'd be raiding his closet this weekend to make more shorts!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Honey and allergies

I am always interested in reading about natural remedies for our health. I have steered away from conventional medicine and drugs since Ian was a baby and so far I see the benefits. The boys are rarely sick and when they are it's usually very mild, and over quickly. One of the biggest things I've tried to do is boost there immune systems by a natural exposure to germs. We don't buy Purell or any type of antibacterial soaps, ever. They kill the good germs as well as the bad and leave you more exposed in the end. Not to mention the problem with the antibiotic resistance that's occurring from overuse. Also, the boys are naturally exposed to the world when we go to the store or have a playdate with other kids, but aren't overly exposed to germs since they don't go to a daycare or preschool.

They also eat really healthy and rarely have sugar. They both prefer water over any other beverage in a cup so juice and milk are never an issue.

Of course this doesn't mean they are super immune as Ian picked up some type of bacterial bug on his hands this week and apparently touched his eyes. I took him to his naturopathic doctor after seeing the bloodshot eyes and the swelling and for the first time in his life, he's on antibiotics. Only topically since they are eye drops, but antibiotics nonetheless. To counteract the negative effects they have on his digestion, I'm giving him lots of probiotics and I'll probably continue for several weeks just to boost the good bacteria in his gut.

The only drug they've ever been given is Tylenol and that has only been the few times they've had a high fever. Otherwise, I use herbs, food, and homeopathic remedies. I've been meaning to put together a natural first aid kit to share on here but haven't gotten to it yet. It's on my list of things to do...

One thing I was interested in learning about was seasonal allergies. Even though Jeremy and I don't suffer from allergies, I wanted to figure out how to boost up the boys' immunity to it since it's becoming more and more common for kids to suffer from them. One of the things I've done since both boys were little babies is give them probiotics. Our pediatrician told me that babies, age newborn on up, on a regular dose of probiotics rarely, if ever get seasonal allergies.

The other thing is eating truly raw, LOCAL, honey. I know people who take local bee pollen and have had great success with reducing their allergy symptoms. But I've read that eating local honey, which contains pollen from the flowers in your own region, can actually help your body build up an immunity to it before the allergy sets in. I personally prefer raw because it also contains the enzymes your body needs to digest it. You have to be pretty specific when you are asking for it though. Most people think all honey is raw if nothing has been added or taken out. But heating the honey is what destroys all the enzymes so you want to make sure to ask whether it's been heated at all. You want honey straight from the comb.

Just this last spring, when we were in Seattle, I found some truly raw, straight from the comb, honey. I bought a 4lb container and we ate every drop. I just ordered more from Snoqualmie Valley Honey farm because Seattle's wild blackberry pollen is similar to here in Portland. Yum.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Sunday at the farm

Thank you for all your advice and sympathy on the night wakings. I'm feeling much better, especially after a weekend when Jeremy is home from work and I can sleep in. Sawyer will sleep through the night someday, I know he will. We don't feel a need to train or teach him other than to comfort him and let him fall back to sleep how he wants to. Ian slept (12 hours) through the night starting at 13 months so I know Sawyer will get there too.

I know throughout parenting, we are always denying our wants, in some way, in order to provide (food, shelter, comfort, trust etc...) for our children. And some times it just takes reminding ourselves of that when particular days are really hard. I think my blog post was that. I have been wanting to do so many things like writing more here, sewing, etc... but Sawyer reminds me that it's just not time, that he still needs me more often than other kids his age might. It felt good to let all that go when I sat down to write.... that it's okay to let the laundry sit, to not update a blog as often as I'd like, and to just enjoy the days as they come. But thank you, thank you... I know you've all been there before and that in itself helps.

On Sunday we took a friend's idea (thanks Karli!) and when to Hood River to visit a couple farms. We went to a lavender farm and a cherry farm. Our car smelled incredible on the way home!

There were thousands of bees pollinating the lavender and the boys couldn't take their eyes off of them. There was this low humming sound everywhere.

Sawyer is walking everywhere now!

And I love his little squats when he's taking a rest.

Mt. Hood

We discovered a big wooden swing at the cherry farm we went to next.

The boyz.

Petting the goats. It was hot but turned out to be a great visit.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Hazy summer days

I'm finding myself doing the absolute minimum this summer. My desire to blog, cook, clean, or sew has been slowly waning against my wanting to lounge around, read, and go out to dinner. It's so hard to believe it's already July something or other and I still haven't even made homemade popsicles, let alone that purse and apron that have been so patiently waiting for me. Seriously. Where is my head?

I'm not blaming him... but I'm just saying that it could be his fault because he's still getting up 3 to 4 times a night. Still. At this point I would so gladly take 1 or 2 wakings that I want to leap with joy at the thought of so much sleep. But he's only 14 months old you say? I know... he's still so young and I'm definitely of the mind set that it's okay for him to be waking up at night. But what's difficult is that it's me, and only me, that can comfort him at night. He gets so worked up and upset when he realizes Jeremy is the one who picked him up at 2am that he goes into a spasm of maneuvers to attempt to thwart any effort to comfort on Jeremy's part. While I am opposed to having him cry it out alone, I'm not opposed to having him cry with his Dad since he knows someone is there. But really... after 2 hours there's only so much we can all take.

So it's me, all night long. Every 2 to 3 hours I get out of bed, walk to his room, sit in the rocking chair, breastfeed, and rock him back to sleep. I honestly, honestly don't mind doing this. But does it have to be so often? Couldn't it be every 4 hours atleast? (We coslept for quite awhile but he wakes even more when he's in bed with us.)

I'm just saying, that after 14 months of waking so often I'm a little tired. And my brain is a little hazy and it's getting harder to find the energy to do much in this summer heat. So I'm giving myself a little break. Instead we are eating more watermelon, reading more, playing more, and laying around in the afternoons thinking of fun things to do together. I won't feel guilty that we have already eaten out several times this week or that there are clothes that still need to be put away. It's summer, my brain is foggy, and the boys are having fun.

I'm holding out hope that when Fall comes he and I will be sleeping better so I'll hopefully get my head back in gear and all my creative projects that are on hold will get done, I will be more consistent with our eating, and we'll have more structure.

For now, we'll enjoy the watermelon outside while we chase our chickens around the yard and leave the work for another time.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

summer finds

It's supposed to be 90 degrees today... perfect for brewing sun tea out on the deck. We've spent most of this morning outside so we can enjoy the hottest part of the day, this afternoon, inside where it's air conditioned.

Our chickens are even enjoying the shade and they always get plenty of exercise since Ian's favorite thing to do is chase them around the yard. It's hard to believe they were such tiny fluff balls 3 months ago.

We went to Goodwill yesterday and found some great summer finds. This is a strawberry tablecloth, in great condition, perfect for picnics. For $3 I couldn't pass it up!

Remember these? I couldn't pass this up either. I'm already picturing our morning breakfast with orange juice in this new carafe. I have my eye on a lemon version as well...
And lately, I've discovered a little obsession with pyrex. The vintage patterns are so sweet. I found this butterfly gold bowl, with a glass lid, and the two bigger sizes as well. I have a couple patterns in mind, in turquoise, that I'm hoping to find the whole set for. I'm already envisioning a whole new kitchen color scheme....

While I was admiring all my new things, Ian found the bowl of grapes in the fridge and tried to sneak outside with them. But it's hard to tell him no when I'm snapping pictures of the little heist as it happens.

They were so excited to eat outside with such a big bowl of food.

Thursday, July 3, 2008


What a beautiful week it's been! And of course the impromptu sleepover with my niece and nephews only added to the fun. They played with the boys and helped with the chickens and we got up every morning looking forward to having a few extra faces around the kitchen table. They left earlier this evening and we already miss them.

I woke up this morning determined to take advantage of them being here and knew today was the day that we had to get strawberries or I would miss out on them completely. And when I saw the berries, I realized just how close to the end of the season it really is. They are so deliciously ripe and so juicy they literally melt in your mouth. Before I realized it I was paying for 4 full flats!

While Caleb entertained the boys, Meagan and I tied on our aprons and got to work washing the strawberries and cutting the stems off. Two flats in I got out my food processor and ended up pureeing nearly 50 cups for freezer jam. (We ran out of our jam in February this year and I'm determined not to this time.) The last two flats were washed up and we are freezing them whole so I can store them in ziploc bags for smoothies, desserts, or whatever. We crashed afterwards.

The boys spent most of their time at the table and didn't leave until their bellies were full and their shirts appropriately stained.

But really, what kid can resist trying on his cousin's boots no matter how many strawberries are waiting for him?