Monday, December 31, 2012

New Years Resolutions

Every year I make them. Usually, I forget what they were shortly after I made them. Hopefully, that won't be the case this coming year.

1. Eat Paleo all year. I most definitely am allergic to grains and I need to stay away from them.
2. Monitor my blood glucose levels and keep them in a healthy range. My husband bought me a glucometer for Christmas and I'll be doing an n=1 experiment on myself. I suspect that I'm insulin resistant.
3. Finish 1 book every month
4. Visit my parents once a week. I already do this but I think it's important to schedule it.
5. Finish 1 project each month (sewing, knitting, crochet, etc)
6. Keep a food log

I very much hope that I can keep and maintain each of these. Time will tell.

Friday, December 21, 2012

A Birthday Party

Tonight was rather wonderful. My Nana turned 91 and my parents threw her a party. I think she had quite a bit of fun. My boys had a blast playing with their cousins. The most fun came right at the end when they were given their Christmas gifts from their Uncle and Aunt. Our oldest got a tub full of Civil War army men with canons and horses. He was in love. Our baby got a drum. He spent quite a while practicing hitting it.

Happy Birthday Nana!









Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Speed Reading

I've been listening and watching a seminar called Super Hero You. It was very good. Jim Kwik hosted the event and made several mentions that he teaches speed reading but then never covered it. Finally, two weeks after the seminar is over he released his talk on speed reading.

This is so cool. I tested at 204 words a minute in the beginning. Then, halfway through his talk he tested us again having us use two of the techniques he described. Whoa. I came in at 348 words per minute.

I didn't change much at all. First, I used my finger to track the words on the page so I wouldn't reread stuff. And second I held the book upright where I could see it better. All this while juggling a nursing baby in my lap. Had I not had the distraction of the child I don't know where I would be in terms of speed.

I haven't tested with the third piece of advice which is to use the right side of your brain by tracking with your left hand. With practice I'll get better and better. :)

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Advent

We had wild weather last night and this morning. Gale force winds and 4.7 inches of rain! As long as I've a cozy place to be I love this sort of weather. It really shows God's awesome power.

Today is also the first Sunday of Advent. Here is a favorite rhyme I learned from the film Courage Mountain:

Advent, Advent the little light burns
First one
Then two
Then three
Then four
Then the Christ child knocking at the door





Friday, November 23, 2012

Gluten Free

Since Halloween I've dabbled in consuming sweets that have had wheat in them. The results were never fun and a consistent pattern was that not only would I snore at night but I would get a migraine about 5-10 minutes after eating it. (Joke: migraine:my grain)

For Thanksgiving my lovely cousin brought "gluten-free" crackers. I've been trying to avoid the "gluten-free" money train because of the processed-ness of the food item and the sugar spike from the ingredients.

I have to say they were quite delicious and I ate far more than was polite. The cheese ball with bacon all over it was my undoing. Boy was it yummy.

So, tentatively I'll give gluten-free processed foods a try provided I don't start gobbling up hordes of food because I can't stop myself.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Wanting to Live a Sustainable Life

I've been trying to learn all about living a more sustainable life (homesteading, farming, cloth diapers, canning, line drying, gardening, etc.). It's all very fascinating but my husband is not so interested. He finds all this old fashioned stuff to be a bit of a nuisance and always wants to know why I want to do... I'm sure he considers it unnecessary for the world we live in.

As I talked with my potential sister-in-law at lunch today I realized that she too is very interested in this lifestyle. It got me thinking about why I'm interested in all of this.

For me, I want to learn these skills now, not later. I don't want the world to go crazy and suddenly find myself trying to live with less and less help from the government and big box stores we are so dependent on. Shows like Revolution really hit me in that I feel like I need to learn these survival skills now.

I also feel like the path our nation is on is so far removed from reality that it's time to get back in touch with what our ancestors knew on a daily basis. Knowing how to can and preserve food for winter is very useful. Growing food is a way to save money on our food bill. Using cloth diapers gives me a skill to care for my children without needing to resort to the paper diapers in the stores. Knowing that my meat that I eat comes from an animal. Knowing that I can survive on my abilities is very satisfying.

I hope I can learn enough skills that if I'm ever in a disaster that calls upon said skills, I won't drown in helplessness or frustration.

Here is a great video that is food for thought:


Joel Salatin — Folks This Ain't Normal! from Ancestral Health Society on Vimeo.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Apron

I made an apron for myself. I was really tired of ruining my clothes while cleaning and thought an apron was a very sensible approach to this problem.

At Halloween I bought every apron pattern I liked at least a little and contemplated what I thought I would like.

I love the TV show Avonlea and other sorts of Edwardian styled shows. I decided a full apron that went to my ankles and had pockets would be best. I had some material I bought ages ago that I though would be appropriate. I was all set.

I cup out my pieces. I ironed my fabric and set the pattern properly being careful of my grain lines. I pinned, cut, interfaced, ironed, and tailor tacked my pieces. I sewed, notched, clipped, and ironed and ironed again. Every direction was heeded and I even added a bit of rick-rack on the pockets. It was beautiful.

Then came the point where I tried it on. It didn't fit at all. It was a princess seamed garment. I don't know how to correctly modify the bust line of a princess seam garment. I have lot of books on the subject of pattern drafting and modification but until I do it successfully myself, it's not happening.

What exactly is the problem? The apex of the bust on the apron is five (5) inches higher than my bust apex. Suggestions by my mom and friends were to bring the bodice down so it lined up but then I had no protection for my shirt which was the whole point of this project.

So, I did what most crafters do, I'm giving it to a friend that it fits.







Monday, November 19, 2012

My mind is a mess

Why do I keep trying to find myself on Pinterest? I feel like I don't know what to do with myself and I keep hoping I'll come across something that will get me going in one direction or the other. I have a feeling it really has to do with the fact that I am in a new place in my life. I have two babies who are turning into boys before my very eyes. I stay home with them rather than work. I feel lost. I feel like I don't know how to structure my day.

All of my life I've been surrounded by structure. My mom had an orderly house. School told me what to do with my time. Work told me when to be there and when to leave and exactly what was expected of me in the time that I was there.

Now, I'm freer than I want to be. All loosey goosey.  I love going from point A to point Z and hitting every letter in between in order. I'm just that way. I dislike disorder. I dislike not having a place for things. Flying by the seat of my pants does not work for me.

I really feel like I need to tell myself that "on Monday..." and "on Tuesday...". Set aside a specific day to do a specific thing. I know the old saying of Laundry on Monday but I don't know how they did it. I have to do laundry at least every other day to make sure we stay in clean clothing. Maybe they just re-wore clothing until the end of the week.


I wish I didn't feel so addle-pated.

Notes

I've discovered that if I don't schedule my day I don't get anything done.  Not really. Actually, I get some things done but I don't feel like I accomplished anything.

On other notes, my oldest just turned 2 years old! I love it. We had a pleasant birthday party with lots of family.


My big baby is nearly 6 months old. I find the time is just flying and I wish I could better catalog his every movement and skill. He stands all by himself and is absolutely adorable.



I love how well my boys get along. Here is a photo of my oldest sharing his crib and pillow with his baby brother.


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

It's Finally Over

While things did not go as we voted, I'm thankful the elections are over with. There's only so much you can take in political ads before you want to run out and trash every election sign you see. They clutter up the view and are so annoying.

So, four more years of President Obama. Without the concern of needing to be re-elected I wonder what he'll do. Will it be doom and gloom? Will he trash freedom of religion? Will the Federal government take over our lives?

On a different note, my mom posted a photo of me and my cousins on Facebook from when I was about seven or eight years old. Good times. We were so happy as children. I can only hope for the same for our boys.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Ice cream

So I've been contemplating this for a while. I've noticed this new trend of slow churned 1/2 the fat ice cream at the store. I had heard from Sally Fallon of Nourishing Traditions in an interview that the reason whole milk was more expensive than low or non-fat milk was because they could make more money by using the milk fat in ice cream and sell it at a much bigger profit.

But why then are they using skim and non-fat milk in these new ice creams? I think it's because of a few reasons:

1. Low-fat ice cream has a halo for being "healthy".
2. It's cheaper to produce because they're using cheaper ingredients.
3. Low-fat is less filling and therefore you will eat more ice cream to get your fill.

The use of soy lecithin rather than eggs as an emulsifier also has the same effect in supposedly being healthier for you, cheaper to make, and less filling.

We're totally being scammed into eating more food and GMO foods at that.

I say that if you want to indulge in some nice treats this holiday season, make them yourself with real ingredients. It will be more satisfying, filling, healthier and you'll likely eat less as you share the fruits of your labor with others.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Imagine Sisters

There's this new site that is designed to encourage vocations in women to the Catholic Church. I've always had this awe about religious and how beautiful they seemed to me. I love how simple their lives are. I love their clothes.

Before I met my husband I thought I might have a vocation to be a nun/sister. It was very hard for me to come to terms with the fact that no it wasn't meant for me. I wanted to belong somewhere. Only a few weeks after they said no I met my husband. I have children and a home and am very happy but I know there are women out there who should be discerning a vocation as a nun. There is freedom and purpose there that they will not find in the secular world.

To all those who might possibly think they are interested check out this site: Imagine Sisters

Simplicity is key

I was given a beautiful china cabinet the other day and ended up giving my other china cabinet to a friend. This new cabinet is smaller and I also wanted to be a little better about what I put in the cabinet and not just cramming everything I had in there.

I picked my favorite items and carefully displayed them. On the left is a pretty teapot, creamer and sugar bowl with four tea cups. In the middle are my figurines. The top shelf are from my childhood with my baby cup. The middle shelf is from my adult life and marriage. The couple to the right are from my wedding cake. And a little swedish wedding cup from a friend is behind. Mary with child and lamb sit on the bottom shelf reminding me of my vocation (my oldest loves this figurine). To the right are my wedding flowers, cup for my youngest and all my flower vases that I use from time to time.

This picture is all the other stuff that was in the old china cabinet that's not going back in the new one. I'm going to pack it up and keep it in storage until it's needed. Add to all this stuff a complete 6 place china set for 12 and you can see how overloaded I was.

Many of us want to have everything on display because it has important to us and we also want to make sure that the people who gave us a gift know how important it is to us. But if our stuff becomes clutter because it is too overwhelming then it is just contributing to a mess and therefore causing stress. My mother always said, "a messy house is a messy mind." and that is so true. I think much better when everything is put away and in it's place. When things are simple and displayed well I enjoy them much more.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Blatherings on Going Against Cultural Norms

Lately, I've been reading a lot of modest blogs, mom blogs, patriarchy type blogs, and anti-feminist blogs. It seems to be very prominent in some Protestant circles with the occasional Catholic one thrown in there for good measure.

I truly enjoy reading the feminine quality of the writing, thoughts, and ideals. It seems as though the more limits we put on our sexual/fallen nature, the more we thrive as children of God. A beauty is released of purity, innocence, and grace. Virtues are able to come out.

I've been lectured at school, by co-workers, and friends about the dangers of Patriarchy and it's suppression of women. I've been lectured on the freedoms women have been given by throwing off the shackles of male domination.

The thing is is that I don't think we're all that better off and in a lot of ways things are worse. I'm sick and tired of feminine qualities being squashed because they're feminine. I'm tired of the endless questions of when will I be going back to work so I can have the chance to get away from my kids. Or the looks of pity for not going higher with my education, as if I lost the respect of my friends and family. It really bothers me that higher education, degrees, and a career is thought of as superior to marriage, children and running a household.

I think we have lost a lot in this modern culture of women working while others watch their children. We've lost skills that our grandmothers knew like proper care of a home, cooking, child rearing, and even entertaining. We seem to lack the understanding of how you make a house turn into a home.

I admire the positive qualities and attributes of systems like a Patriarchy. Where it is designed to appeal to the man's protective nature and the woman's nurturing one. Where we are taught to love God by example of our living.

I admire the constraint of modesty. Where women wear skirts and cover their hair. It makes my fingers itch to make aprons to cover a pretty frock so it's not stained by sticky fingered children or bleached by properties in some cleaners.

I propose a return to femininity, modesty, and respect of men. I want a clean home with hearty food on the table at every meal. I want pretty feminine touches throughout the house of my making or design. I want love, joy, and laughter to ring out each day where all are loved and respected.

I will try to catalog my efforts here on this blog as often as I can. I have a lot to learn of knowledge that has been lost by our generation. Hopefully, what I learn will help others too.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Homeschooling and the Classical Curriculum

Here is a wonderful story of a Catholic school that was save by implementing a Classical curriculum. http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/classical-education-enlivens-denver-catholic-school/

I'm very interested in homeschooling my boys with a classical curriculum as I think it will give them a boost in their ability to learn.

In questions about why words are spelled a certain way by children learning to read, I've seen several comments in films and vlogs lately that, "English is hard". Here is an excellent answer from classical learning methods that provides much needed logic:

"Latin is important for the grammar stage of the trivium because its nouns decline, or change their ending according to function they are performing in a sentence. This helps students to better understand how languages work, and it is coupled with the memorization of poetry."

Along with this curriculum I hope to use the book, "The Well Trained Mind" by Susan Wise Bauer.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Fabric problems

I have come to the realization that while I love sewing, completing projects and buying patterns, I have a horrible time buying fabric. I have boxes of patterns and scores of books and not a thing to sew. I am completely unable to buy fabric, probably because it is so expensive. My limited cash supply has me quaking at the thought of paying more than $2 per yard, which was what I was paying to make my Renfaire garb when I was an actor doing nobles. Upholstery fabric is easily bought in the clearance section of our local upholstery warehouse for just that amount.

It was commonly taught that to make your own clothes was less expensive than buying it ready made. That can't really be said anymore. If we're comparing high end store prices to what you can make than yes, it is cheaper to make your own clothes. Unfortunately, I shop at Walmart and Target for my clothes. I can buy a shirt for $9 and a pair of pants for $10. I can't even come close to that price in the cost of supplies and time. I shudder to think what the people are paid who make these clothes.

I think my other problem is that I'm nervous about fabric choice in the construction of the garment. I'm used to wearing upholstery fabrics for clothes I've made and the fashion fabrics you're supposed to use in clothing seem so fragile.

I'm scared of messing up and ruining fabric. I hate the price of fabric. I'm clueless when it comes to selecting appropriate fabric. I need a sewing buddy to put me on track and keep me there.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Darn

Yesterday I tried to eat something with wheat in it for the first time in six months. I had a yummy slice of carrot cake I made for my mom's birthday. And for dinner I had chicken fried pork chops with vegetables and mashed potatoes. It was all delicious as my mom's cooking usually is. I enjoyed every bite. Sadly, my allergies kicked in a couple hours later and I had a stuffy, runny nose, sinus headache, and stomach pains.

I found out during Lent that if I don't eat grains, I can sleep without tons of allergy meds and sinus sprays. I tested out my theory a few times and every time my allergies returned with the eating of wheat (sadly, this includes the host at communion), including products that are "gluten free". I seem to be allergic to the plant not just the gluten. Also, it's not so much my digestive system that suffers as it is my sinuses. I sneeze, get congested, can't breathe through my nose, and constantly have to blow my nose. My eyes itch and I get headaches.

So, I swore off eating wheat and all grains, like rice and corn. I've eaten a few things with corn and seem to be fine. I've also eaten a few things with rice and done okay too. But that wheat is my enemy. I feel like I've got a cold but only in my nose, eyes, and sinuses. Stupid wheat. Darn, I had hoped we could be friends again.

Holding our Babies

I read a wonderful article on touching and holding our babies. http://theotherbabybook.wordpress.com/2012/08/13/a-peek-into-the-past-touching-our-babies/ They went from the historical perspective of when we had our children with us all the time in slings, carriers and cradles. Then the sad talk of not spoiling your child with kisses and rocking. The amount of institutionalized children who died before their first birthday is horrifying. All from a lack of touch resulting in a failure to thrive. I didn't know it happened in the US, I thought it had only happened in Russia.


Fortunately, we have brought back some of the sensibilities of the past and we are now advised by authorities that it is okay to comfort our babies, that we can't spoil a baby under 6 months, and breastfeeding is a perfect food.

A commenter noted that women going off to work and leaving their babies in the care of others is unnatural. When I think about how children thrive off the touch of their mothers, fathers, and family, I see that it does seem very unnatural for a mother to leave her child.

I am very thankful to have the opportunity to stay home but I feel that it is the right of a child to have his mother with him more than it is the right of the mother to stay with her child. My babies need me and I need them.

I wish our society were set up to afford all parents with the ability to have one of them stay home. We might learn a lot from our children and change as a society.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Fall TV Shows

Not having regular TV has been somewhat of a hamper in watching popular shows. I have been able to watch a few stations using apps and watching online. Here is a current list of the shows I'm watching:

1. Revolution - very cool.  I love JJ Abrams work. The whole premise is so believable I have a hard time believing it's not going to happen in the near future. It makes me want to get involved in homesteading. I want to plant my own garden, have a cow, have some chickens, and get my meat from my land that the local butcher prepares for me. Yum.

2. Survivor - I try not to watch this show but I just can't resist. I think I've missed a grand total of 2 seasons. However, I'm really bad about just skipping forward to the challenges and the voting and ignoring all the in fighting and gossip.

3. The Amazing Race - My mom got me into this show. It's nail biting and fun. I'd want to be a participant but I don't think I could handle the stress of not planning everything myself. I'm notoriously bad at deciphering scavenger hunts.

4. Project Runway - I love this show. I've seen every episode of every season. Tim Gun is my favorite and I love how creative everyone has to be. Some of the ideas these people come up with have me itching to sew something. I also love to hear Tim Gun and his big words. He cracks me up.


5. America's Next Top Model - I don't know why I can't stop watching this show. I've seen most of the seasons and I love seeing how beautiful some of these photos turn out. I think this season is by far the most fair in being realistic with using social media. The public opinion matters.

6. Breaking Pointe - This show aired for 6 episodes at the end of May. I completely fell in love with the ballet and how the company was run and everything. They work so hard, I want to see more. Fortunately, the CW has agreed to a second season. Yay!

7. Downton Abbey - Sometimes I wish the UK and the US were on the same schedule. I don't want to wait to watch it in January. I want to watch it now. Beautiful costumes, great acting, I love Maggie Smith.

8. Call the Midwife - A new series on PBS. I'm hoping it is right up my alley.

9. Bunheads - This also aired over the summer and I enjoyed every episode. I'm hoping for a return because I really liked the characters.

10. Misfits - Another UK show that I've watched all the episodes to. I'm hoping they will continue the series and also put them on Hulu like they have been. It's a fun show with the premise of a bunch of hooligans getting super powers while doing community service.

11. 19 Kids and County - I love this show. I don't care that people think this family is sick. I love that they love each other, care for each other, rely and depend on one another, are debt free, are very public about their love of Christ, and that they are willing to give God the control over how big their family is.

12. United Bates of America - I was able to catch 4 of the 6 episodes. The Bates are friends with the Duggars and have just as many kids. I love seeing a functional big family operate. They are so joyful. I love it. I hope there will be more episodes.

13. Cake Boss - it's just so cool seeing someone turn sugar into works of art.

Here are some shows I'm going to check out that start this week:

1. Elementary - modern day take on Sherlock Holmes

2. Arrow - modern day Robin Hood

3. Beauty and the Beast - remake of the 80s TV show that my mom watched every episode to. I can't wait!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Pattern Sale

Today is one of those days that I love being a thrifty mama. This weekend Joann's is having a sale on their Simplicity patterns for 99¢ each all in the name of Columbus Day but I really think it's to sell costume patterns for Halloween.

Simplicity patterns tend to cost $15 to $17 each if you buy full price. Even at 40% off that's still a chunk of change.

Knowing that Joann's was having a sale I went earlier this week to look at their pattern books and write down all the pattern numbers I wanted. On the day of the sale it's a fight over the books and I just wanted in and out.

I made the circuit three times through the cashier (you can only buy ten patterns at once) and spent a grand total of $34.50 including patterns and notions that were also on sale. If I bought everything at full price it would have cost me $511.14. I saved myself $476.64.

One of the biggest reasons I stock patterns is because they go out of print. I remember looking through my mom's old patterns as a child wondering at the fashions people used to wear. Now I wish I had those old patterns because there were some great ideas there.

Next weekend there is a sale on Butterick, McCall's and Vogue. I'm all ready for that sale too.

Here's a picture of all my loot:

Monday, October 1, 2012

Mondays of Gratitude

It's been an amazing week. Our oldest has three teeth coming in all at once and today he decided to use his potty four times!

Saturday we went to visit our family in Modesto. It was really nice to have our boy playing with his cousins. We realized that all the boys are exactly 6 months apart each. Pretty astounding.

I've been reading The Princess Bride and I love it! They did an excellent job at translating it to film. I think this is one of my new favorite books.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Something I Never Dreamed Would Happen

I woke up around 2am to kicking on the walls and our oldest crying. I went to his room to calm him from what I thought might be a nightmare only to discover that all my efforts were futile because he was actually throwing a temper tantrum. Try as I might I could not calm him. I tried picking him up but he arched back and screamed louder. I tried rocking him but he slithered a bit to the floor. I tried putting his feet on the floor (something I never do at night because I don't want him running around) and he keeled over crying wanting to be in my arms. I asked if he wanted milk, "No." I asked if he wanted Papa, "No." (That's really strange if you know my child). After a few more questions and all negative replies I decided I would have to bring him into out bed, but just before opening our bedroom door I decided to give warm milk a try without asking my child if he wanted it. It was a success and he drank it all. Back to bed we went, him to his crib and me to my bed.

After almost two years of night wakings to care for a child, a temper tantrum is a first to wake up to.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Exercises in Futile Thought, or Why The Heck am I Thinking that Way.

"What if..."

My biggest pet peeve. Sure, it's great to think that way if you're a scientist or a story writer, but for the rest of us if we change an event in our lives we change everything after that. That's free will. God will work with whatever path we put ourselves on. We are not destined to do something or be someone. We can change the direction of our lives with every action we take.

Say I wish we had waited a year to have children. I would never have had my two boys. I may have had other children but not the two I have now. Or what if having my children saved my life in some way. I could have been involved in a traffic accident or encountered some crazy person at work.

Even changing harmless things changes the whole world. I could have taken a right instead of going straight and arrived home sooner than expected.

I could have filled my gas tank up at a different gas station and never seen a man have a heart attack.

I could have not volunteered to help IT at my work and never fallen down the stairs and have my ankle ruined.

Dwelling on "what if" can have some very undesirable outcomes. It's probably best to try and be happy with what you've gone through in life and forge ahead.


"If only they could experience the same thing I went through."

If you really think about this one you can see how pointless it is to reminisce on this topic. Even if the person had the exact same experience their interpretation of that experience would be completely different. So maybe you only want them to empathize with you. Maybe they will or maybe they will look at you with contempt for being so weak, lazy, or stupid. We have to remember that no one is identical to ourselves. They were raised differently, they had other experiences, their temperament is different, they feel more pain, they feel less pain, etc. Many delve down this thought path purely for revenge, but should we not keep in mind God? We all have a path to follow that God has given us. Everyone else is on a different path.

Monday, September 17, 2012

More Wonderful Pictures...

Here are some wonderful photos I found on my husband's camera: 


A little close to the camera; he looks like a bobble head.


My camera hog


I just love these blue eyes



Does this not make you smile?

Mondays of Gratitude

A nice quiet week where we are getting back into the routine of things. I love vacations but I love the routine of home more.

Last Friday I spent a lovely evening with my friends. We ate pizza and had cookies. I nursed my baby and we watched What to Expect when You're Expecting. It was pretty good for a group film and we laughed a bunch.

I also went and visited my parents while I was quite exhausted. It was so nice to be able to sit back, rest, and watch my toddler play. I also watch United Bates of America that my mom recorded for me. I really enjoyed it and wished we lived with that joy and harmony.

Here's a snapshot of the boys:

Love the tongue


Happy baby


Talk to me!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Now I know.

I just caught my toddler chewing on his big toe. I thought in the past he had ripped toe nails from stubbing his toe. I guess not.

Did I say that?

Did I say my boys are good sleepers? Well, not when they're sick. Our oldest woke up five times last night to the baby's one time. I'm so tired.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Our Family trip to Bodega Bay

Bodega Bay was beautiful.  Here are some pictures from our trip:


We stopped on the trip over for groceries and the boys were sharing.


Our little shade fly at Goat Rock beach. It was closer to the rock but a seagull knocked some hefty rocks and they fell on our shade fly. You can't see it from here but there was a big rip where the two rocks landed.


Chasing birds on the beach.


Digging in the sand.


Hauling beach firewood around.


You can see the hole in the shade fly. The rocks also ripped down the netting. It was a bit scary.


Seaweed and a jelly fish. They looked like crystals out of the water.


Enjoying the sun, wind and sand at Salmon Creek.


Pretty blue eyes of our baby.


Our talker. 

Brotherly Love

Our boys love each other. But then there are times like this:





Our future awaits of more brotherly love.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Two vs One

I have to say that parenting two children is much more challenging than just one. I thought it was so hard and so easy to parent our oldest. I had time on my hands, I could watch TV, I utilized his nap times to be on the internet and to also do domestic chores. I was sleep deprived, exhausted, confused, and frustrated.

While I was pregnant with my second child I briefly wondered what I would do with two. Then our baby was born and I found out first hand.

I feel incredibly lucky to have the children God gave me. I don't handle stress all that well and my boys are very good sleepers. God gave me what I could handle and knowing that makes me feel like I'm getting off lightly compared to other families with colicky babies who are teething at the same time. I don't walk the floor at night trying to get my child to sleep but my cousin does and my mother-in-law did with my husband when he was a baby.

I feel terrible I'm not experiencing the same troubles other families have. However, my days are probably similar to other families. I hear myself saying, "No, don't put your finger in his nose.", or "don't bite your brother", or "that is your food, not the baby's", or "be gentle, he can't hold your car yet". It seems like a never ending stream of talk and actions trying to get my toddler to not accidentally maim or kill his baby brother.

Life is definitely harder with two.

Mondays of Gratitude

Words, words, words! My oldest is finally starting to talk. Each day we get a few new words he's willing to try and I will finally understand what he's talking about. My favorite new word is, "danger". He can't really say the "g" yet but he is very careful in pronouncing the rest. I also love his saying, "Toby". He says it perfect and it's so cute.

We are finally home after a week in Bodega Bay. It was beautiful and exhausting. Many of the days were overcast and foggy but the sunshine came out when my parents arrived on Thursday. We went hiking, strolled on the beach, collected rocks and sea glass, and lazed about. At night we would watch the foxes come onto the deck to get the scraps we left.

Other than words we found that our oldest is tall enough to open all the doors. He immediately employed this talent when we got home. He also figured out how to use his mechanical grabber arm to turn on and off the light switch for which he is too short by half a foot to reach by himself.

Here are a few pictures of out trip:


We love sour cream!


Playing in the sand with Papa at Salmon Creek.


A visitor at dusk. We had three of them come by every night.


My mom and our baby enjoying the sun on Salmon Creek Beach.