Saturday, September 29, 2012

Baby Suckers

I'm pretty sure I'm the only mom EVER to have a toddler start using a pacifier at age 2.5! Julia's been pointing out "baby suckers" as she calls them wherever we go, whenever we see a baby, and then asks "Julia ha one?" So one day when we were shopping, I said "sure, you can have a baby sucker." and low, right next to the baby suckers for 97 cents were baby bottles or "baby moup" for "baby milk" as she calls them, also for 97 cents and feeling generous I said "sure". Now I imagined that the baby suckers and baby moup would be administered to Julia's many baby dolls and animals. No way, Julia has been carrying them around ever since, making fake crying noises and then comforting herself with one or the other. I only put water in the bottle, so I let her take it to bed. I'm pretty curious to see if she looses interest soon or if this obsession will stick around for a couple years. We're cutting back on nursing quite a bit, and now are down to a 1st thing in the morning, a before nap and a before bed short session. I make sure not to let her fall asleep nursing anymore, and she is a pro at falling asleep on her own now. I've started EMT classes, so twice a week she's got to go to bed without me there, and so far she's been fine with Daddy putting her to bed. I explain before I go that there's going to be no "night nunny"tonight and she seems ok with that. She still wakes up at all hours and comes asking for it, but since I've been consistently saying no, she puts herself back to sleep (in my bed) with a minimum of fuss. Now I'm considering how best to get her to stay put in her bed. One factor was that she was waking up constantly with wet diapers, and I'd change her and put her back to bed. I bought a package of disposables, thinking that maybe if she didn't feel wet, she'd start staying asleep. So far, not working. While I want her to sleep all night, I also want her to stay dry at night and I can't quite decide what I should be working on first. She doesn't wake up until after she's already wet, so hmmm.... She's also had a crazy persistent rash that I'm hoping will heal better in disposables, since cloth doesn't seem to be helping at all. So far, also not working. Sigh.

Daddy volunteered and Julia and I walked/ran a 5k fundraiser run for Mosier School. It was the first race I've done since college, and I had a great time! I got second in my age group (possibly because there were only two) so I got a ribbon and I won a pie! 
Julia ran the kid 1k and got a ribbon! She was very proud despite not knowing what was happening. 
For my birthday, I got a bike trailer and bike! Julia likes riding in it, but I have to walk up anything more than the slightest incline. Very humbling!                                      
I stained the porch! a beastly job that I'm very glad is done. It looks great but the fumes were pretty awful for a bit. It really sucked up a ton of stain, so probably was a really good idea to do it now. 
moss and lichen everywhere that had to be scrubbed by hand!
We attended a college reunion for Dave at Pacific University.  Dave had a great time re-living memories and Julia had a wild time shaking pom poms with another little girl. My college 10 year is only 4 years away....
Any advice on night potty training and or getting her to stay in bed?                                              

Friday, September 21, 2012

house update for September

I've been busy with house stuff. the pile of branches in the yard is gone, and I'm expanding the garden bed in front of the shed. It gets good south sun and will be prime veggie territory next year.  I'm thinking asparagus in the middle, some climbing peas and cukes up a trellis in the back and still undecided about what gets to go in front. 
We bought and assembled a ikea bed frame. I'm glad to have the mattress off the floor!  The headboard was actually chipped, and I called ikea and they sent me a new one that arrived two days later! Ikea is amazing. I've turned the chipped headboard into a desk, so yay bonus!! 

We've been enjoying the last of the summer warmth, hanging out by the water. Nights are colder and days are getting a chill too.  
Julia enjoyed coloring on the ikea boxes. 
we discovered a new playground in Hood River! Huge!!
We've been exploring some new corners of Mosier too. 
the old highway 

"The Ruins," a concrete walled in open space featuring a pizza oven, live music, beer and childcare every tuesday in the summer. Love!

I've started taking a 4 mile walk up the twin tunnel trail pretty much daily. I bring books and apples and crackers for Julia and she generally complies with the idea though she gets antsy with the stroller after awhile.  I don't get tired of the view. I live here!

our daily "eggie" discovery. scroll quickly for a stop-action experience
a neighbor gave me a bunch of green tomatoes, and I'm going to store them somewhere and let them ripen!
I've been scrubbing the moss and dirt off the deck, getting ready to stain it with a waterproofing deck stain. Totally new homecare territory for me, but it's way easier than learning how to build a new deck. 
Julia is a huge fan of her baby stroller and we often take one or more babies and animals to the post office and back. It is 4 blocks away and it takes forever. 
I got a new textbook! Why? I'm going to become an EMT! The volunteer fire dept here in Mosier asked me if I'd be  interested in taking the class, and all tangents have worked out. It's in the evenings, two days a week and some Saturdays, so childcare is covered!  Once I'm done with the class in March, I am part of a group of about 10 responders for the community. Anyone who is available responds to calls, which average about one a week and tend toward the less dramatic. This schedule works very well for my family obligations, and so far has worked very well for the community. I'm glad for the opportunity to gain some pretty awesome skills, to feel widely useful while maintaining my primary career as a mom, and I feel that this will be a great way for me to truly test my mettle under pressure and if I don't care for being an EMT, then perhaps midwifery won't be my cup of tea either. Classes start on Monday, and I'm excited! 
Can you find the man in the tree? Our property shares a tree with the neighbors, and the trunk is splitting in half right down the property line. they were more concerned than we were since it overhangs their house much more than ours, so they offered to pay to have it trimmed. 
can you see him now?
Julia was fascinated by the process (so was I) and thought they were firefighters ("firefirefiter") since they had helmets on. 
The enormous pile of trimmed branches ended up as this neat little pile of wood chips. Amazing! 
The light inside looks all different now with less branches. Hopefully now that the load is lighter and the wind can pass through more easily, the tree will stay strong for many years. As much as I don't want to be crushed by a tree, I do hope we still get good shade next summer! 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Every time I clean the house now I feel compelled to take pictures to document it.

I've been converting the pantry into a mini sewing studio. Besides a tad bit of mending, I've been too busy with canning to sit down and sew anything, but I'll get there. Winter is coming!
I've been hanging a lot of boards with hooks to hold my often-used kitchen items.  I love having an exact place for important little items. 
I had to hang a shelf for more spice jar storage too! The jars are an odd assortment, but I make the labels on a typewriter in lowercase font so there's some consistency in the aesthetic.  
Dave and I are foraging into the land of fermented pickles! Dave whipped up this batch of hot dills, with garlic, jalapeno and habarnaro peppers. We let it sit for about two weeks, skimming off the top daily and low and behold, they worked! They taste amazing!!! Not too hot, but with a nice little punch to them. (that's a jar of beans weighing down the wooden plate that keeps the pickles submerged in the brine)
I canned them up, and we'd love to make more, but I think we're too far past cuke season to find another 20 lbs or so.  Next year we'll plant our own cucumbers!
I've also canned plum sauce, apple sauce, pear sauce and cinnamon spiced apple-pear sauce. 
not to mention plums and more pear sauce. A neighbor a few doors away appears to have packed up and left for the winter leaving trees just dripping with plums and pears, beautiful rosebushes and grapevines full of lovely grapes. I've been somewhat nervously helping myself to the spoils, but every time I go over there, I search for any sign that anyone's been back.  I'd just hate to take something that was still wanted!
From my Granny Helen's garden came bags and bags of green beans that we canned into dilly bean pickles. In two weeks we'll be able to see if that was successful or not.  
My family came for about a week just before school started. My brother Joe was here for just a day before my Dad drove him to Chelan to catch the boat to Holden where he'll be a boarding student for his senior year. Olaf and Grace and Loki the dog stayed with us, then Dad came back, then Mom came back from a Minnesota trip, and Caroline and her boyfriend Matt came down as well. So we had a lovely few days with a packed house!
Julia adores the school and longs to play for hours in each classroom. 
Block towers in the sun with Olaf. 
Olaf let Julia brush his hair but it didn't slow down his plane-building intensity.  Dave's legos were a big hit. Julia adored having Olaf and Gracie around those few days. After they left, we had to have several conversations about where they went and when they will come back. Julia is very rational about saying goodbyes, but I try to be perfectly clear with her about who is coming and when they are leaving to make it less stressful on her, especially since she gets worried that we will leave too. 
We swam every day, in the river and in the little spring fed swimming hole. 
It was absolutely freezing!

we farmer's marketed. 
we christened the new Grill and Dave cooked the first of many feasts. 
We planted a bit of kale and chard, and got a few row covers to begin our  dabbles in late season gardening. 

Caroline dyed Grace's hair,  from purple to brown, so she'd look all respectable when she went to Spain to nanny. Now she's there, and she's blogging here if you want to read about it.
I nearly cut off my thumb. well, just the tip, but  wow was I lucky that it wasn't lower, or I may have hit bone. I went quite a ways into the nail bed with a razor sharp knife but thankfully pressure stopped the bleeding fast and I got away without stitches. It was actually a rather nice accident, since it forced me to sit down and let everyone else do everything. I got to relax a lot more than I tend to do when entertaining hords of folks. 
Nothing like Momma Dawn cooking!
more swimming!
more gardening. 
We said goodbye to my family, and school started. Dave's first week went very smoothly, and so is the second. My friends Erin and Mat came down for a little visit and it was great to hang out with them. Erin brought me a bunch of produce from her CSA and I cooked much of it up into a big pasta and salad dinner. lovely!!!  
After they left, we've just spent days getting caught up on chores, getting back into a routine of activities, facing the fact that my birthday has arrived yet again, and I am now to be 29. We went to church, at a neat little combined lutheran/methodist congregation. Julia went to the nursery by herself, for the first time and had a blast. the next day she and I went to Ikea to buy a bed frame and she went to smaland, the kid play center by herself for an hour. She was so disappointed to see me come to pick her up! She wanted to play more!  Julia and I read "Bernstein Bears and the Sitter" and after, she told me she wanted a sitter.  Well, what Julia wants, Julia gets. On Friday, Dave and I will go out to dinner to celebrate my birthday and she will have a babysitter! 
apples from a neighbor 
grapes from the (maybe) forbidden garden!
roses too!
pears, 1/16th of the bounty!
and Daddy and Julia, eating ice cream together at bedtime.
There's a nip to the air now. and this morning, I turned the heat on for a  bit.
Fall is my favorite season.