Saturday, October 24, 2009

Fall Projects and Fun!

The weather this week took an unexpected turn for the better (60's most of the week!) so we definitely took advantage and got some Vitamin D. Monday we went to the "big" park in town and played for several hours. I've posted pictures of it before, its the one with all the bridges, slides and climbing stuff. I definitely notice a difference in Annabel's attitude and energy level when we get outside to play for a couple hours. The rest of the week we have taken looong walks around the neighborhood, gone to our little park down the street, and played out back with Bailey. I even got about 9-10 more bulbs planted, which was a relief. I think I still have about 10 to go, and I really don't want them to go to waste, but ah, well. 

Derek's work schedule has been busier than usual this week, with him working 6 days this week, and 4 of those days not getting home until after Annabel's in bed. This makes it harder on both of us... we get a little tired of looking at each other all day! This next week should be better, and the week after he is taking the whole week off! Woohoo! Time to get in some of that vacation time before the end of the year! On his day off this week, he was able to put in a couple hours in his garage and work on Annabel's play kitchen. 

Derek's still working on the oven while Annabel plays at the nearly-completed sink.

One evening, as Annabel and I pulled into our driveway, I noticed that a tree behind our neighbor's house was amazing in the light from the setting sun. It reminded me of the burning bush! I just had to snap a picture.

Then Annabel and I proceeded to take a little walk down the sidewalk:)

The fall colors have really been amazing this year. Listen to me- I sound like my parents! haha

Annabel has discovered a new interest in TV and movies. Normally we are not TV people- I don't even like it on as "background noise." However, this could not have come at a better time, as there are many days these days when I have a hard time getting off the couch!

I am a shameful parent. I try to make it up to her on the days I feel well- lots of crafts, books and outside time:)

One of our recent craft projects! We just ordered a butt-load of craft kits from Oriental Trading Post, and this was one of the better ones:) Some of them are pretty cheesy! (I guess that's what you get for $0.37!) My beautiful Indian princess. 

One of the other things I made this week was cloth napkins for our table. I get so sick of buying things like napkins, so this is my solution:) I spent $10 on 2 yards of flannel and a basket, and they should last us forever!

The four separate prints I used. I cut them with my pinking shears, but I'm pretty sure I'm going to have to go back over them with the serger. Booooo. 

What have you been up to this week?!

Thursday, October 22, 2009


I'm sure most people know this by now, but I'm finally ready to take the plunge and announce it to the world, that yes, I AM PREGNANT!!! And no, I'm not excited or anything. Ha!

Actually, yes, I am super excited about a new little baby joining our family. When I was pregnant the first time, I was very apprehensive. Would I still want to graduate? Would we be able to go out and have fun? Would I even like being a mom? Would my body be shot forever? Would our lives be over forever?! Well, I am glad to say that all my fears were laid to rest when Annabel came and I realized how much I truly love being a mother. And I can still be my own person at the same time, which I think is always important. 

Obviously, I think two will be a little more difficult than one... that's simple addition for 'ya... but I think I'm up for the challenge. :) Going out and having "fun" has taken on a new meaning since becoming a mother, and I find that I'm totally okay with that. I have never missed the party scene, realizing instead how empty and hollow all that is. I've made better friends since becoming a mother, with people who have similar ideals and values as our family, which is also important. 

So all this is to say that I'm not apprehensive about this new child and I can throw all my energy (what little energy I have these days!) into being excited and planning for a new life. Much in the same way that I strongly believe in gentle parenting (ask me if you're curious! I LOVE to talk parenting!) I am believing more and more in gentle birth experiences. This means more or less that I am planning a less traditional-hospital-intervention-filled birth and a more hippie-inspired-home-birth-esque birth complete with a midwife, scented candles and a hot tub. All at the convenience of a hospital:) Because lets face it, postpartum nurse care and Vicodin are hard to beat! 

Many people will probably question my decision, or think I'm a bit on the nutty side. That's okay. After two years of cloth-diapering, breastfeeding, co-sleeping and using only non-punitive discipline techniques, I'm pretty much used to it. I make decisions (along with Derek, of course!) that I feel are best for our family and the attachment bonds that we are constantly forming. Holly, you said it well in your latest blog that they are only this age for such a short while, and the window of opportunity to solidify this bond is so small. 

I don't want anyone to think that I'm saying if you don't or haven't practiced similar techniques that your bond is any less with your children. But I guess I do have some pretty strong opinions on attachment theory and how our early relationships shape who we are as adults. (If anyone's interested, an excellent book is Robert Karen's Becoming Attached.) And maybe, maybe not, birth experience plays into this! :) I like to think so. Plus, I have a feeling that in the next 20 years or so, there's going to be some medical findings that show Pitocin and epidurals are not quite the miracle drugs that we think of today. 

And that's just my two cents for the day. Call me a hippie if you want:) I'm proud to be a 21st century, well-educated, somewhat successful hippie. And this little one is due sometime early-mid June, in case you're wanting to buy us some new cloth diapers!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Picture Update

Just as I promised, here are some pictures of Annabel's Halloween costume this year... she's Sunshine Bear! My grandma made this costume for me when I was this age! I think all my cousins have worn it :) She looks like a giant teddy bear... so cute! She couldn't stop looking at herself in the mirror. 

One of our favorite things to do now that its cooler out is to have hot chocolate in the afternoons. Well, I have tea, but Annabel LOVES her hot chocolate!

"Look, ma, no hands!"

Last weekend, we went to some friends house to hang out. This is the kids watching a movie before bed. Knowing Annabel's daddy, I doubt she'll be in bed with two boys in their underwear much past the age of 2!
Like I mentioned before, we play Play-Dough about a thousand times a day. 

Sometimes daddy plays, too!

Annabel tries to dress herself quite often...

And here's our little monkey, tall enough to get in the drawers, now! Argh!

No Peeking, Ariel!

Ariel, don't look unless you want to spoil the surprise!

Anyway, I've been working on a few things for our little buddy Titus for this 2nd birthday! Apparently the little guy is into robots right now, so I made this stuffed robot out of felt and fleece... Derek said it doesn't look like a robot, but I think it's close enough ;)

I thought it turned out cute :) Annabel's going to be sad when its time to give it away!

Next, I've been working on some felt food for a swap with Ariel. I'm not quite done, but this is what I have so far:

If you can't tell, its supposed to be bread, cheddar cheese, bologna, and swiss cheese. And some eggs (duh). I hope he enjoys!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Winter Blahs, already??

I feel obligated to blog, to appease my loyal followers, but am having a hard time being motivated. I just feel like our lives are so un-exciting right now that anything I write would just bore the pants off anyone! I mean, I could write... "today I stepped outside only to get the mail. Luckily I didn't have to take the extra step in the evening to put my pajamas on, because I never took them off! Annabel and I played play-do today for the five-billionth time. I'm cold and this weather makes me grouchy!" 

Haha. I guess I'll try to do a little better than that. :) I did find my camera since the last time I posted, but it's gone again. I get so frustrated with myself these days... I just seem so disorganized and scattered. Every other day I'm running around looking for my phone, or my watch, or the camera. And with Halloween coming up, I need to find it! Annabel's going to be the yellow Carebear this year... Sunshine Bear. Her costume is so stinkin' adorable! I made her try it on the other day and Derek took some pics on his phone, I'll put them on here soon. 

I went to my first MOPS (mothers of pre-schoolers) meeting on Friday. It was okay. I'll go a few more times before I decide whether to commit or not. We made pies but I went and left mine on the roof of my car when I left (see what I mean!?). Booo. 

Derek entered a chili cook-off today at our church. He didn't win, but there was lots of yummy competition! I have to admit that I voted for four, including his. I love chili, especially this time of year! I love it with cheddar cheese, sour cream and Fritos. You ought to try it this way, because it's delicious! 

Even with the weather being unseasonably cool for this time of year, I still try to get Annabel outside for a little bit most days. We generally walk to the little park down the road from us and play for 20-30 minutes or so. She loves to watch the train that goes by occasionally and always asks to go see the "choo choo track" :) 

Annabel is definitely all girl, but has some funny little-boy-like interests! She loves tractors, trains, buses, and semi-trucks! Her favorite movie is Thomas the tank engine, and her favorite undies are the ones with Thomas on them! (they were a hand-me-down:). She calls them her choo choo panties. Speaking of which, potty training is going pretty well. I always give her a choice in the morning if she wants to put on a diaper or panties. She almost always chooses diaper, but I'll let her put a sticker on her chart if she chooses panties, so she usually goes that way:) The sticker chart is an amazing motivator, surprisingly. And we have very few accidents, which is cool. 

Well, I guess that's all I have to say for now. If you remember, please pray for a friend's son, his name is Caleb and he's 17. He's having major health issues and is in a lot of pain. I'm sure the family would appreciate prayers for quick healing- Thanks!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Oh my, it has been a while since I've posted a new blog. I am so ashamed of myself. In my defense, I'll tell you that I have lost my camera... is anyone surprised?? This happens about every other month, but this time its been missing for over a week so I'm a little more concerned! I did take the following pictures from my phone, but they're not nearly the quality of a "real" camera! 

Both I and Annabel were sick with colds the past week. That of course caused Annabel's asthma to flare up, but luckily its been kept under control with her medication. I was so excited at her 2-year checkup when our doctor gave us TONS of samples of the expensive medication that our insurance doesn't cover! What a great guy. 

Since we've been having a few nice days here and there, I talked Derek into helping me put in a new flower bed in the back yard. So he tilled it up for me and edged it, and I've been dropping plants in all week. I think I got about 19 in! (plus my mums and several bulbs in the front). My back is certainly feeling it today! I'm really hoping they all survive the winter and I have a pretty back yard to enjoy in the spring. Now if I could just figure out how to get Bailey to quit pooping back there... 

I still need to spread mulch but that can wait for now...

I also wanted to show a little bit of the fruits of our gardening labor this fall!

Derek has done most of this, but I did the applesauce and jams. On the top is salsa and banana peppers, on the next shelf green beans and spaghetti/pizza sauce, the 3rd shelf is all spag/pizza sauce, and then the applesauce and blueberry and blackberry jams. We also froze about 8 pints of pesto from our basil. Think we'll be finding a lot of creative uses for spaghetti sauce this winter?!? Oh, and also to the right, hanging up, you'll find chili peppers that are being dried (think the crushed red pepper flakes at Pizza Hut).

I feel bad when its so chilly out and I keep telling Annabel "no" when she wants to go out. But I don't want to go out!! I don't think she minds the cold weather at all. I think she is pretty hot-blooded like her daddy. She doesn't sleep with any blankets (she prefers it this way!) and she never wants to come in even when its freezing out. Oh this child. She is certainly asserting her will these days! Every other sentence is "I get it!" Even if something is already "gotten," she has to undo it so she can "do it."  

Even in the cold, we still manage to make it to the park every once in a while...

Other times she can play out back!

Here's to hoping I find my camera!!