29 June 2009


Last year we picked strawberries, blueberries and blackberries and I was determined this year to find a farm that had raspberries.

Mission accomplished.

26 June 2009

Spreading the g love

Baby Henry and his green gbum
photo courtesy of Lis

We discovered gdiapers when Owen was about 3 months old. It was in December of 2005 and they were brand new on the market. I had a real dilemma throwing away bags of dirty disposable diapers with James, but at that point, didn't want to switch to cloth diapering. That was the only other option available until gdiapers came around. Turns out cloth diapering wasn't as daunting as I originally thought, but I just needed the flushable inserts to serve as a transition.

So I started with only flushable inserts in the gpants. They had a bit of a learning curve, as we had to figure out how to fit them onto Owen's little body to avoid leaks, but one of the fabulous things about the early years of the gdiaper company which remains today is their customer service. They have a diaper hotline you can call and someone will give you a personal tutoring session in all things gdiapering, no matter how many times a day you call.

Eventually I got brave and made the switch to cloth inserts in the gpants, a decision made mostly for economical reasons, that obviously has great environmental benefits as well. These are the ones I use and love, and the brand new gcloth inserts that just came out seem very similar, and are a great deal.

If you have ever considered switching to gdiapers, this is the time to do it, as they have a fabulous offer going right now. They just introduced the everyday g's 6-pack which contains three each of the vanilla and orange gpants. The regular price is $70, but using this coupon code listed below the price will be reduced to $40.


To use the coupon code, add one or more everyday g's six-pack(s) to your gDiapers.com cart, enter your code and click the "redeem" button. The price will automatically drop from $70 (regular price) to $40.

24 June 2009

New projects and such

Sometimes I start surfing around the internet and get to looking at people's various sewing projects and then I want to make new things. I've never been great at making clothes, but ever since I traded all my maternity tops for all the others that have been in a bin for months, I made a sad realization. They are the same, tragic, plain, frumpy mostly v-neck shirts I put away those many months ago. I guess I was kind of hoping they would morph into some stylish, new awesomeness out in the shed in that rubbermaid bin.

So now I'm thinking I want to try my hand at making a couple of tops. Maybe some peasant-y style kind with some cute print fabric. How hard can it be? (for twenty bucks, name the Food Network star who owns that quote).

Here's where I answer my own question: I'm sure it's much harder than it seems. This is one particular blog post that has given me the motivation to maybe try it. The tricky thing seems to be making it actually fit and flatter your body. I'll keep you posted if I really decide to attempt it.

On another sewing note, I did find this tutorial and made one of these as a Father's Day gift for Jeff. I think the fusible fleece gives it just the right amount of padding without being bulky and also I love the soft flannel lining. I want to make one for my laptop now too.

It's definitely an easy, 1-2 hour project if your laptop needs some protecting.

22 June 2009

Four weeks

Henry, 4 weeks old
Go Ducks

As expected, now that baby is living among us, time is flying by. We're still trying to remember how to interpret newborn cries and attempting to remain calm when chaos erupts. But it sure is fun.

20 June 2009

Garden 2009: part 2

Here is what it looks like one month after planting. The plants seem to be thriving, now we just need some bees to pollinate and aid in producing the actual veggies.

Garden 2009: part 1

We didn't tend to our garden area over the winter like we did last year (pulling out the old plants and mulching with leaves), so it was overgrown with weeds like you wouldn't believe. Being huge with child didn't help in my motivation to get the weeds out and the garden planted, but four days before Henry was born the sun came out and I really got the fire to plant. So on Jeff's first day of paternity leave, since we didn't have a baby, we rented a rototiller.

I didn't get a great shot of the whole garden before the rototilling, but this is the side where we throw all the weeds once they're picked to keep them out of the compost pile. Just imagine the whole thing with overgrown weeds like this. It was crazy. Weeds definitely love the rainy Oregon winter.
We only rented the machine for two hours, so Jeffrey had to be quick about it. Rototilling is a lot of work.

Once the soil was ready we headed over to our favorite garden center to pick up some seeds and plant starts. We also bought some wood to make a raised bed to try our hand at square foot gardening. After several friends recommended this method, and one even loaned me her book, we decided to give it a try.

We planted the tomatoes, zucchini, peas, lettuce, and yellow squash right in the dirt, and decided to try cucumbers, basil, green beans, carrots, and radishes in the 4'x4' box we built.

(Funny story about this day. I was having some pretty painful contractions during this whole planting session. They didn't actually turn into real labor, but you can see in this picture I must have been in the middle of one)

13 June 2009

Drool if you must

This is a shout-out to my older sister, who has always been an amazing photographer, but since getting herself a new toy, has taken her photography to a whole new level. And I really enjoy seeing what she shoots.

I hope she doesn't mind, but I'm posting two of her pictures here for anyone to drool over.
I just really want one of those onion rings.
Makes you wish we all lived by an In-n-out, right? All of you who are so lucky--go now and order this exact meal for those of us who can't.

Her best pics are actually not of food, but I'm always so hungry lately (thank you nursing) that these are the ones I chose. She has a great collection that can be viewed here.

07 June 2009

Family Draw

Growing up, my little brother was the resident artist in our family. I remember his drawings hanging up all over our house. Whether I and my three sisters ever had an interest in drawing, I don't know because I don't remember a whole lot of time spent engaged in this activity. I imagine as a child I had a coloring book and crayons, but apparently it wasn't something I was terribly interested in pursuing.

This is precisely the point of this article/interview on NPR with Mo Willems, a children's author and cartoonist. (originally posted on Soulemama here) The article starts with, "Somewhere along the way, we all were artists. Everyone picks up crayons or chalk as toddlers, but at some point, we just stop drawing." And Mo thinks it is a pity.

I have watched James's interest in coloring and drawing grow over the past two years. At any given time, there are at least three notebooks around our house open to a page full of his drawings. Lately I have wondered if all children enjoy drawing the way he does. I love to watch him concentrate on a picture, then come and show it to me fully convinced that it is the best armadillo/spaceship/wolverine claw he has ever seen. I really want to find ways to encourage this talent and his desire to create, and this article has a great idea.

Mo, "reminds us that parents are actually cool in kids' eyes — for a while — and kids want to imitate what they do. If your kid comes home from school and you say, 'I'll be right with you; I'm just finishing a doodle,' the kid's going to go, 'Dude, I want to do that, too!' " He also suggests making drawing a family activity, and calls the event a family draw. Love that.

So if I want James to keep drawing, I have to show him that I like to draw. In spending time drawing and coloring with my kids, I have actually found that it is an activity that I really do enjoy. (So I won't be faking it like when I fake that I enjoy playing with Ben 10 figurines and making shooting and blowing up noises.)

The other night we tried the family draw. It turned out to be a lot of fun, and hopefully it is something we can do regularly. So even if I'm not convinced that my ladybug/caterpillar/tree isn't the best I've ever seen, I'm going to keep at it and hopefully my boys will do the same.

05 June 2009


Today Tara asked me if I was having any post-partum depression. I told her no. In fact, I think I'm having whatever the opposite of that happens to be. Post-partum elation, perhaps. I absolutely believe that PPD is a real thing that many women experience. But for me, the pure joy of not being pregnant is what fuels my PPE, if you will.

For the past two weeks, I have thought over and over of how much better I feel after eating certain foods that made me sick for weeks and weeks, how happy I am to be able to take a really deep breath, to roll over comfortably in bed, and not to have to visit the toilet 18 times a day. For some reason my messy house doesn't overwhelm me to tears like it did my entire pregnancy--I can only attribute this to actually being able to bend over comfortably to pick up clutter and put it away.

Even the regular labor and delivery recovery-related pains and discomfort, as well as the early pain of nursing that have been around since Henry arrived AND the exhaustion of waking up every 2-3 hours in the night haven't bothered me like the whole 9 months of pregnancy bothered me. Go figure.

I'm mostly writing this for all my pregnant friends (and there are many!) out there who are in every stage of gestation, feeling all levels of nausea, heartburn, insomnia, backaches, and anxiety. All I can say is hang on, and hopefully PPE is on its way to you very soon.