Monday, December 28, 2009

Handmade Christmas

Another Christmas is over and our tree came down yesterday. But there's evidence of it everywhere still... wrapping paper found crumbled up on the floor and new toys still being discovered and played with. I have a feeling this will last a good while.

This year we decided it would be fun, and a bit challenging, to make each other a Christmas present. We made it as simple as we wanted and it was really fun trying to imagine what the other person was going to come up with. What I didn't expect was how much we all enjoyed the process. I worried that it might make the Christmas season more hectic since it took more time to hand-make something than it does the buy a gift. But it didn't, the whole month actually felt more peaceful and less rushed. A tradition has definitely been born. Here's a glimpse of our handmade Christmas...

Jeremy took the hand drawings he did with the boys (blogged about here) and had them printed on t-shirts. They instantly recognized them and love them so much I think we may continue this idea through out the year with their drawings.

I made big floor pillows for each of the boys (another pic here)... something they could easily grab to read a book on or to watch a movie. I found the perfect fabric thanks to Randi at I have to say. I used the 5 different fabrics for the top piece and then cut up two terry-cloth towels for the bottom. I wanted a sturdy fabric that could get dirty from being on the floor but one that was also soft and easy to wash. The towel fabric overlaps in the back so it can easily be removed for washing.

The boys got in on it too. Ian made Jeremy a plane with wheels that can stand and Sawyer fashioned a trumpet out of paper and a paper towel roll.

Jeremy made me a "mama" collage. His favorite pictures of me pregnant, nursing, and holding our babies. I cried... it's incredibly humbling and moving to see myself from his perspective.

I knitted him a scarf (a bit cliche but he really needed one!)... knit in a seed stitch pattern in charcoal grey. I think it looks like metal and he wears it very, very well.

Lastly... Jeremy's mom did it again. Her raw talent amazes me and she has given us a gift we will treasure for life. Sawyer at 2 years old, drawn from this picture. Thank you so much Grandma!

And a few pictures from our Christmas morning...

Hope your Christmas was just as amazing. On to New Years!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas morning

Advent... the last candle is lit...
and the last ornament, a star, was placed on our Jesse Tree.

Merry Christmas... from our house to yours.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Eve of Christmas Eve...

If only we had a little bit of the East Coast's snow right now. We're dreaming of last year when it snowed for days and gave us a beautiful white Christmas. I keep hoping we'll be surprised and wake up to a little dusting here and there but I don't think it will happen. We are enjoying every bit of December though with plenty of things going on.

We had cousins over to decorate (gluten-free, dairy-free!) cookies. The table was covered in frosting and little shiny bits of topping in every color. We had dinner and cider and lots of Christmas music. It makes me so thankful for family...

Sawyer insisted on red and doing it all himself.

I think he enjoyed it, even if he had to choke his way through the sprinkles.


The presents are ready and nearly all wrapped. We tried to keep it simple this year as far as our gift giving. New books are ALWAYS on the list.

And a few handmade things that I'm so happy about it (more on them after the big day!).

And little gifts sent across the country to family far away.


The boys are counting down the days... Ian especially. Most of our mornings are spent bundled up with a blanket (around the heating vent) by the tree and reading or drawing or pretending to hang Luke up by his legs in the wampa cave. Eloise takes swipes at our legs or toes, whichever is closest. I love these days.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Lots of gold tucked into corners. A new Christmas village on our mantle. It's little and glittery and I made it myself. I loved this idea for the "snow" and found a perfect tablecloth for the job.

Our Christmas tree star found at an antique shop is rusted in places and very, very much loved.

This year we've decided to make gifts for each other. Nothing too difficult, something within our creative range, and it can be as simple as it needs to be. I'm almost done with the my gift for the boys, Jeremy's working on his, and the boys came up with some great ideas to make for Dad. We've also been working on some smaller gifts for family. It requires lots of soapy water and felt roving.

It's messy, I won't lie. But the boys love it and I don't mind mopping up the floor afterward.

Christmas is happening everywhere we look. Only 10 days left!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thanksgiving time

The days after Thanksgiving mean eating pumpkin pie by candlelight at 11 am... just because.

...insisting on playing outside in just a diaper because clothing is so overrated, even in 55 degree weather.

And drawing time with Dad. Whole scenarios can be played out on paper...

While Dad's drawing of a Clone Trooper, R2D2, and a Boba Fett head get new bodies from Ian.

We had a full week off with Jeremy, a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner with family, and lots and lots of time together. So much fun and many memories of our last Thanksgiving as a family of 4! We are soaking it in, knowing next year a new little personality will be here to join in the fun. Hope your Thanksgiving was just as peaceful.


Advent begins today! Candles are up and ready for the first lighting tonight. So excited for this month and all it will bring.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


I couldn't resist. The thought was too strong for my hormone-laden mind to ignore. We all missed him so much that another cat seemed like the right thing to do. And this time, a kitten!

This is little Eloise Eva. She is 12 weeks old and a little spitfire. I was unsure at first if I was up for it... or rather her. She talked constantly and wouldn't let us sleep. But then slowly, her little lap naps and soft purring won us over and she's here to stay for good.

We got her for free from a woman that seemed to love her and wanted her to go to a good home. Eloise was one of two left in a litter of six babies. Ian went with me to pick her up and on our way home I realized that she was infested with fleas. The next morning I discovered she had a bad case of worms. She spent the first night in our bathroom which didn't settle well with her... she was scared and lonely. But by the next day, after the flea medicine kicked in and after many many little grooming sessions with me and a comb, she began to feel better. She's completely free of her little problems, both inside and out, and I can tell it's made a big difference. She's also putting on weight. She was only 1-1/2 lbs and very skinny but she's eating enough to make up for what she lost so I have no doubt she'll be plump and happy soon.

She's soaking up the attention now. She jumps into any lap that's available and her constant talking has softened to just the occasionally meow when she's hungry. Ian picked out her middle name Eva. He said she reminded him of the girl robot in Wall-E who was white and black with blue eyes. It suits her just fine.

Welcome home Eloise Eva.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Halloween love and the aftermath

Superman and a Storm Trooper ventured out Saturday night to find some candy. It was so cute to see their faces when we walked up to these houses that we see everyday, knocked on the door, and were given candy. We made it to about 8 houses and then they both declared they were ready to go home. I think they were more excited about digging into their candy stash rather than getting more.

Ian as Luke Skywalker dressed as a Storm Trooper. And he means serious business when this costume is on.

We stopped by Papa's and Grandma's house first and practiced knocking on their door before the real work began. It was a successful Halloween!


And now that we have handfuls of candy lying around.... Did you know that sugar suppresses the immune system? Having the equivalent of one can of soda (8 tbsp of sugar) can depress the immune system by 40% for hours... up to 7 hours in fact. So let's say you have some form of sugar for breakfast, your immune system may only be functioning at 60% for the entire day. That leaves you vulnerable to all sorts of germs and viruses. And that's assuming you only have 8 tbsps of sugar all day. Add more soda, a piece of candy, some coffee cake, a mocha... and suddenly your system is suppressed continually. That makes it really hard for your body to function at it's best during the sick season.

We've been fighting some cough-runny nose-thing this entire last week. We've been keeping it at bay and it's been pretty mild so I debated on whether to let the boys have the candy from Halloween. I was worried that the work the herbs and veggies and vitamin D we've been doing would be undermined by the sugar. But they hardly ever eat traditional candy and they were so excited that we decided to let them have some. And of course, then I had some because I just couldn't resist a little Milky Way bar (or two) that was sitting next to me.

Then last night I realized that this cough and runny nose I had held at bay was hitting me full force. Being pregnant, my immune system is weaker anyway, then add in pure sugar and suddenly there's not much to keep the little germs from invading. My head is full, my nose is running, and I cough constantly. Ian is doing about the same.

So today I brought out the veggies and decided we had to add some nutrients back in. We've spent the past month going between juicing our veggies and fruits and making smoothies with them. This morning I decided to use the juicer and went with apples, lemon, romaine lettuce, fresh ginger, and 2 beets.

The boys love to help with the juicer and I know this gets them excited about drinking their vegetables.

Their favorite part is watching the different colors of juice pouring out in the bowl. "It's GREEN! It's RED!"

Then we immediately drink up, not even bothering to clean first, to maximize all the enzymes and nutrients the juice gives.

Today was red mustaches thanks to the beets!

Ian is a really good eater but Sawyer is not, he's as picky as they come. But somehow, he loves the juice we make with our veggies and fruit. The boys know it's made of vegetables and they know vegetables keep them healthy. It's my goal to keep it fun but real and I don't think you get more real than drinking beet juice.

This juice was good, tart, but good. I love the way it makes me feel and I'm hoping our colds will be gone very soon because of it.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Our days

... are waking up in warm flannel sheets

... in bunk beds in the room that's been shared since August. (Sawyer sleeps on the top, Ian on the bottom- they worked that out themselves)

... reading the Fall and Winter books that have been put away since last March

... playing in the leaves and making Dad rake them over and over again

... enjoying the vibrant red on our Japanese Maple out back

... forgetting about the rain boots out in the rain

...crocheting and knitting every evening

... making pumpkin faces with paper and seeing them glow inside when it's grey outside

... playing "action-figure bowling"

... with rain boots on of course, just in case we get a chance to run outside.


Thank you all for the baby boy congratulations! We can already see him here with us and that makes it hard to wait 5 more months. And it doesn't hurt that I'm feeling MUCH better and the holidays are almost here! Hope you are enjoying the Fall things around you.