Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Missing Summer

I am missing warmth and flowers and just being outside. So here's to being in the moment:

Sunlight filtering through the blinds and the sweet and salty smell of a sleeping baby's head as we rest together.

My husband hearing my heart and affirming my aspirations and validating my concerns.

Reading aloud inspiring stories from James Herriot's Treasury to eager ears on my lap and next to my side.

Sharing homemade chicken noodle soup with my sister in the middle of the day.
The days of cozy book reading and soup making will give way to hikes and fruit picking soon enough. The days of a sedentary baby will soon give way to crawling and walking. I can be patient!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Thursday, February 18, 2010

A baby dragon birthday story.

I didn't think it would last, but my little man has identified his alter ego as a baby dragon for over a year now! It's an apt description because a baby animal implies snuggly ideas, but a dragon might still blow fire out his nose and mouth. And a baby dragon might feel like snuggling while it appears he's to hot to hold. As a mama dragon, I have acclimated and I can usually bear the heat and nurture my little guy at the same time. Wow, a little boy can really sneak into his mommy's heart. I am so glad God gave him to us!
So how does a baby dragon spend his morning? It starts with bacon and eggs, opening a present, playing with the present for an hour and then soaking in a nice bath with Dragonberry Bubbles of course!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Morning Muffins

0217000915.jpg, originally uploaded by lichen lady.

During our 21 day "eat at home" experiment I did resort twice to boxed muffin mix. I have been rejected, sometimes painfully, when I have made muffins from scratch for the kids. They were always delicious I thought- real buttermilk muffins with this or that added for variety, but they would not eat more than one. If I made them out of a box, they ate them all day long. I purposely didn't read the ingredients because I was sure there was hydrogenated oil of some sort in them and I just wanted them to like my muffins...(pity party here). But I tried again this morning and I finally succeeded in making something they found worthy. Same basic buttermilk recipe, but I added lemon oil and poppyseeds, and viola- they licked the bowl and ate about 3 each already. Finally, just a little vindication. But it's still nagging me that I didn't sneak in some whole wheat pastry flour. I still call it progress, but ,"I will get you, my pretties!"

Saturday, February 13, 2010

It's an old idea

0213001158.jpg, originally uploaded by lichen lady.

And it's a trendy thing to do. Unlike most trends, using cash only and not eating out is actually better for your wallet. Doh! Why this concept seems so great to me only so recently I am embarrassed to say. Life has lessons to teach me!

It all started while I had some alone time driving and had NPR on the radio. I caught the end of an interview with a guest that had written a book- something titled like, "The Power to Prosper." What I heard in a nutshell was this- take a 21 day Financial Fast, pay your obligations but buy nothing other than food and medicine and when you buy it, use only cash. Also, and this is big for us- no eating out! I was curious, could I cook for 21 days in a row?

Right away there was a problem: my birthday was coming up! In fact, it was almost birthday season for our family. Birthdays are big. I love them, I didn't want to feel deprived/depriving on them. It just so happened that there was a 21 day break between my and baby dragon's birthdays. With meal planning as my guide, we've made it to day 17 of 21 and it seems like we will make it all the way. I know there are families who do this naturally, but it's been new to us.

Here are a few of the realizations I have made. I like cooking, but I really don't know what it costs to feed our family. Also, when you don't eat out often, you must go grocery shopping more. I found myself fighting the internal urge to reserve food from the kids because I thought they'd eat it up and then I would have to go shopping again. How ridiculous! That's the whole point. We are eating at home, therefore we will use up the food... But I am also glad to have made a few new recipes that I would not have otherwise tried. Other happy notes include using stuff from the freezer such as the salmon Grant caught in Alaska almost 2 years ago, beef soup bones from the farmers marker, and elderberries I picked in Septemeber.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Argh, we're sick!

That's what I get for mentioning "we haven't been sick yet." Little sleep, crabby bugs and ear aches make for a whittled down existence. I am glad for flannel sheets, lemon echinacea tea, and lavender and tea tree EO's. With a stack of library books to read while nursing Boo, I have been dreaming up our garden and birthday cakes. I like this pace during the day, but I wish I could sleep at night!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Home Already

We've just moved into the house we hope our children grow up in- maybe they'll even get married in the yard. We have so many plans for the house and the slight acre it sits on. But we have already added our own history to it today as we buried our cat beneath the roots of a large ponderose pine.

She was there at the beginning. We had not quite been married a year when we took her in "on a trial basis". As newlyweds my husband didn't quite know how to say no. He told me he was allergic and I still chose the cat. It wasn't so bad, her dander not as irritating as some cats and she was really playful. A year later came the dog. One notch down for the cat. Three years after the dog came our first daughter. Another notch down for the cat. Three years more, our son came. Then three more years and another daughter. Poor cat, now four notches down, and sleeping outside curled up in the kitten dome. I just wish I could have slowed down more to hold her on my shoulder while she purred. For a 7 pound tabby, she had a great purr.

So now I look at the dog and think I should walk him, brush him, play with him, etc. I can't slow down the demands three kids have. I can't tell the mail to wait or the business bills to go away. I can't not cook and grocery shop and ignore the laundry. Honestly, I am already skimping on the showers. Yet if he could appreciate a cup of tea, I would gladly share mine with him. For now, I hope he knows my free arm scratches him under the collar when it can and would do so more if he'd just lean in a little bit while I nurse the baby.

Grendel we miss you already. Beowulf, I hope your life is long and happy.