Friday, May 30, 2008

When it rains, it pours

  • Kitchen torn up (5 days, going on 6)
  • Kitchen and bathroom inaccessible for the weekend
  • This includes locking up the cats while the floor dries
  • and probably pooping in buckets
  • Our car just got out of the shop yesterday
  • Ignition switch replacement - gone since last Thursday
  • Lawn mower petered out last week [but after some tinkering, our neighbor's help, and an oil change - we're back!]
  • Feeding/watering neighboring sheep herd next week
  • Finish garden planting
  • Thirty baby chicks arrived safe and well this morning, peeping their little lungs out
  • They're all hunkered down under heat lamps, making contented musical peeping noises and napping like the sweet little babies they are

Like my paternal grandparents said when we hatched this hair brained idea to prep and sell our house, move to the country, and have a baby all in the same year: "Good thing you're young!"

Yes, indeed.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Kitchen Remodel - Phase II

My BIL, ripping up the floor - goodbye and good riddance, you nasty thing. The countertops are drying; they look like a dark yellow but eventually after sanding, they will be a polished sand color - it should be very pretty.

We are going for the gold and pulling down the wallpaper while we're at it. I'm borrowing a neighbor's steamer - it is going very well. It is nice not to have to deal with any nasty chemicals. My nieces helped yesterday, and I woke up early this morning and pretty much finished the job. You may already sense this, but I won't miss the atrocious wallpaper either!

My sweet dumpling, Starbeans - he has been having a lot of fun with his cousins. We've discovered that he is quit bossy and demanding with other kids. "Let's PLAY!" he says, as he tugs on their arms.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

So beautiful it hurts

My niece gathered wood violets outside yesterday; we made a little bouquet as the centerpiece for our outdoor noon meal. Just looking at this picture warms the cockles of my heart, which is good, because it is a chill 42 degrees outside today. Dah!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Growing pains, in more ways than one

Pumpkin has been particularly fussy and needy this past week, causing me to feel very sorry for myself, wondering why he is making my life so miserable. Excellent mothering skills, don't you think? My baby has been clingy and irritable and instead of feeling sorry for him, I'm coddling myself?! Pathetic.

I finally figured things out yesterday and it made me cry. He's getting his first tooth: the lower left. Hidden within those tears was the guilt of pitying myself instead of my poor sweet babe, whose precious little mouth had been hurting him. While I wasn't expecting it because Starbeans' didn't get his first tooth until he was 9 months old, I had just checked last week - and found nothing, not even a bump. This week, a wee tooth is poking its head through. Pumpkin is 7 months old (or thereabouts).

But first and foremost, it made me cry because I'm going to miss that toothless little grin. My sweet baby is growing and changing and soon he'll be my little toddler instead of my little infant. That is hard for a mama to take. I get teary just thinking about it. I can remember snuggling with Diego [Starbeans] at two months and weeping sad sad tears, imagining him in the future - no longer my precious two month old. Now I can hardly remember him at that age without looking at pictures; I feel the exact same way about him at almost 3, with all his big words and kindled imagination.

The growing pains of mothering!! It gives me a much better idea of how my own mother felt, and feels. I love you, Mom! A lot.

Soothing his wee gums

Back to Pumpkin's tooth, I immediately located the little teething-thingamabob and put an ice cube in it (a gift from EVE, formerly known as EW5). He loves it. With Diego, we tied an ice cube in a baby washcloth and let him chomp - that worked really well too.

I would also like to note that our kitchen remodel will finally be finished next week: my BIL is coming out to do the countertops, backsplash, and floor. He specializes in decorative concrete, so the finished product will be akin to polished stone. I am so pleased to finally get rid of this N-A-S-T-Y kitchen floor. See the carpet?? Gak!! What were they thinking?

Friday, May 23, 2008

Recommended Reading

The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan has been out since 2006, so perhaps many of you have read it. If you haven't, however, I highly recommend it. If this doesn't shake you to your laurels and change your understanding of our country's food processing techniques, I don't know what will.

This book needs to be telekinetically transported into the brains of every American alive. Please read it.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Updates on the Wee Ones


  • Learned how to roll his tongue
  • Has started saying, "Watch this!" when he is about to do something amazing
  • Shows an interest in dressing himself - he can put his shoes, underwear, and pants on correctly, but has trouble with his shirt
  • Totally and completely potty-trained (and has been for awhile) - no accidents, tells us he has to go every time without fail, looks adorable in his undies
  • Has started taking toys away from Baby Truen [Pumpkin] - after he snatches them, he just tosses them to the side.
  • Very cooperative with Time Outs - he will run to the chair immediately and sit quietly the entire duration. Sometimes he will wail, be very upset by it, and say, "I love you!" while he's sitting there, like he is checking in with me and making sure I feel the same.
  • Loves to help me cook - I let him hold eggs, dump ingredients in, stir, salt and pepper, and stand at the step-stool and move things around in the cast iron skillet while they are frying. He is very good; very careful, and really enjoys it.
  • Loves monsters, robots, "cars and trucks", wrestling, hitting things with sticks, and lining things up.
  • After finding out our neighbors got a puppy, I could tell that he didn't know what that was. I told him, "A puppy is a baby dog" to which he replied, "Ohhhhh....! I want a puppy!"
  • Still napping almost every day
  • Attempting to brush his own teeth
  • Has started saying, "I do it!" and gets mad if I try to help
  • Can count to ten
  • Says his ABCs, only it is more like "A B C D L M N O P!!"
  • Eats beans for a snack - loves apples, pears, and string cheese
  • Has been saying, "Let's eat pancakes and oatmeal!" whenever I ask him what he wants to eat.
  • Often responds with, "Two hours!" when asked questions that he doesn't know how to answer (often "why" questions)
  • Finds comfort in necks: will say, "Mama, I want my paso-pier, snuggle and touch your neck!" when it is time for bed or naps. He has found comfort in the necks of Squeeze, my MIL, Dad, brother, and now...Baby Truen. Yesterday morning he was touching Pumpkin's neck and we laid in bed. I wasn't sure whether he was being agressive (trying to push him away) or not, so I asked him what he was doing: "Touching his neck!" he answered. Adorable.
  • Loves the game, "I mama, you Diego!"
  • Very affectionate and loving


  • A total mama's boy - wants me over anyone else, pretty much all of the time
  • Sticks his tongue out of his mouth and smiles whenever anyone talks to him
  • Starts wiggling and thrashing around when he sees the riding lawn mower - it excites him that much
  • Has learned how to SCREAM LOUDLY when he wants to be picked up ASAP
  • Lightning-fast reaction at grabbing what he wants
  • Loves the sling
  • Sits like a champ
  • Pre-crawling: reaches out and catapults himself forward when he sees something he wants
  • Still growls while nursing himself to sleep; not always, but often (and so strange)
  • Loves Diego [Starbeans] - he will grab after him and suck on his face and scream with joy whenever he can get his little hands on him
  • Napping regularly, but not scheduled - perhaps 2-4 times a day
  • Napping in all different spots: sling, swing, crib, bed
  • L-O-V-E-S the cats - will look around until he spots them if/when we say their names and shrieks wildly when he sees them. He also tries to grab their fur/face/ears/tail if either of them dare to come close enough.
  • Looks in our direction if/when we call his name
  • When seeing people outside our immediate family, he gives them big smiles and them immediately dives into my shoulder and buries his face in my neck.
  • Hates having his diaper changed
  • Loves to be naked
  • Very expressive eyebrows
  • Has said, "da, da" a couple of times, but mostly "gooooooo" and things of the like
  • Likes picking grass while sitting on the lawn
  • More fussy while nursing than Diego - probably because there are much more distractions
  • Splashes in the tub and tries to grab the running water
  • Loves bath time, but H-A-T-E-S getting out of the tub - we have yet to have post-bath time free of frenzied crying, ever. I can't wait! It is horrible, especially because he loves taking a bath so much. I think he gets a tad cold in the tub-to-towel transfer and then can't get out of the jag.
  • Prefers sleeping on his tummy - if he is fussing or irritable in the night, all I have to do is turn him over to his belly and he pretty much goes back to sleep instantly.
  • Loves sleeping with mama (and vice-versa)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


  • Asparagus
  • Rhubarb
  • Nettle

Monday, May 19, 2008

We went a-visitin'

Grandpa, Starbeans, Squeeze
and their 35 year old rhodendendron

Squeeze's maternal grandparents with Pumpkin

Friday, May 16, 2008

Dat naughty fox

Remember the naughty Gingerbread Man, who was able to outrun everyone who wanted to eat him - except for the sly fox? Squeeze's aunt is in the area for a visit and stopped by last night with a vintage copy of The Gingerbread Man for Starbeans. It is the original version, not watered down like The Gingerbread Baby (who gets to live in his gingerbread house when it is all said and done).

We read it this morning and it left Starbeans visibly upset.

"Dat fox is not good!" he said.

He kept on repeating "Dat fox is not good" over and over when I asked him why, until he finally said, "I gonna kill dat fox. Dat fox is naughty. He ate the strawberry!" The picture we were looking at was the fox licking his lips after eating up the Gingerbread Man. I was confused by the fact that Starbeans thought the fox had eaten a strawberry and slightly distressed that he said he was going to KILL the fox. I mean, I know he doesn't truly understands what it means to He'll be three in July!

He's seen Doctor WHO with his daddy, where monsters and robots get taken out; he's watched Ultraman with his daddy, where monsters regularly get their booties kicked - and we've been talking about how Outside Bay (the cat who claimed us as her own) has been killing birds and eating them. Television? Testosterone?

I'm sure this kill talk is...normal...? Say it's so!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Enough to make you go insane

How is it that a demon-spawn of a toddler can take a nap [starting at 4:30 pm, btw - just after our brains have turned to mush] and wake up a fresh-faced and cooperative cherubic little boy just two hours later? For clarification, this happened yesterday. We all cried, many times.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Herbs are a girl's best friend

Herb garden, planted:
  • Basil
  • Borage
  • Cilantro
  • Bee Balm
  • Lemon Balm
  • Chamomille
  • Oregano
  • Thyme
  • Fennel

Monday, May 12, 2008

Let us observe a moment of silence

Despite the paradox of my current position as homemaker while knowing full-well that I would have scoffed at any aspiration of being a homemaker in my younger years,

[heigh-ho, because I knew so much, you know]

I felt a strange sadness when I drove into our small town today and saw that the sign declaring FUTURE HOMEMAKERS OF AMERICA WELCOMES YOU had been ripped out. It had a lovely wooded lake in the background, probably painted on.

I think I'm really going to miss it.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

A list of symptoms from the last two weeks

  • Fitful sleep
  • Sore throat
  • Swollen glands
  • Sore ears
  • Plugged ears
  • Congestion
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • No sense of smell
  • Little-to-no sense of taste

We are so very, very tired of being sick. After two weeks of dealing with it, slaving after it, and being sick myself, I am fit to be tied.

[We are getting better, though.] I just needed to kvetch.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Checking in

Still sick and caring for sick people.
Squeeze has missed 4 days of work.
I don't have it as bad, thankfully.
The boys are still coughing and congested (but sleeping well).


Monday, May 05, 2008

Farm Fresh News

Our garden is well under way! This weekend, in spite of sickness, we planted:

  • Turnips
  • Peas
  • Kohlrabi
  • Chard
  • Beets
  • Radish
  • Parsley
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Broccoli
  • Lettuce Sampler
  • Carrots


Our chicks will be coming on May 30. We are getting a straight run (unsexed chicks) of 30 total birds. 50-60% will be male. We will butcher all but 2-3 of the roosters (depending) and keep the remaining 12-15 hens for laying. If everything works out, that is. I feel like such a greenhorn! I mean, really. really. green.

  • Black Australorp
  • Buff Orpington
  • Ameuracana
  • Dominique
  • Silver Laced Wyandotte

Black Australorp

Garlic Lemonade

We've been battling colds for the past week - first Starbeans, then Pumpkin, and now Squeeze. I feel a strange-something at the back of my nose this morning, so I've done a salt wash and gargled salt water. I felt a little off last week and thought that I had tangoed with the sickness, but now I'm wondering if I'm just now coming down with it. [I've been having a hard time NOT kissing the baby. Drat!!] It seems to be a cold that hangs on stubbonly, complete with aching teeth and sleeping troubles. What a pain.

I've been administering Garlic Lemonade to everyone but the baby, a drink recommended by my girl, Aviva-Jill Romm, in Naturally Healthy Babies and Children. It is an expectorant, tastes good, soothes a sore throat, leaves you feeling much more cozy than where you started, and packs the antiviral and antibacterial power of garlic.

Garlic Lemonade:
  • 1 quart boiling water
  • 1-4 garlic cloves (I use 3 or 4)
  • lemon juice to taste
  • honey to taste

Let the garlic cloves steep in the boiling water for 30 minutes. Serve warm, adding honey and lemon juice to taste. Store in quart or pint canning jars and heat as needed.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

I seem to have lost a day

Seriously, I thought it was Wednesday for the entire day; only within the last hour did I realize it was Thursday. It is amazing what missing a night of sleep does to one's concept of time passage. I have realized that I count each day by my sleep the night before.