31 July 2009

Evening alone

Last week Jeff was out of town for a couple of days, so I had my first taste of parenting three little boys all alone. It was a mildly crazy, chaotic day, but I survived. When at last I had two boys asleep for the night and one settled and asleep for his standard 2 hours or so, I found myself in a quiet house surrounded by the messes of the day. Instead of taking the time to straighten up or fold laundry, I made myself a big bowl of ice cream--and by bowl I mean the carton (um, yeah, losing that baby weight is going to start tomorrow), and sat down to sew.

With Joshua Radin playing on the ipod (thx Lis!), and the cool Oregon breeze coming through the window, I was in a little bit of heaven. But I think that's what should happen at the end of a day like that. Kids are where they should be--resting up to start all over tomorrow, and mamas are where they should be--doing something that makes them happy.

Here is what was started in that session (and finished in the days to follow):

  • Hats for my friend Amy who is going through chemotherapy right now. (thanks for asking me to make them, Amy!)
  • A new laptop cover for me like the one I made for Jeff
  • Striped sling made of a lighter, more breathable fabric than my other one for the hot days when all Henry and I do is sweat all over each other

28 July 2009

reminder on the g's

hey--just in case you have been considering a gdiaper everyday pack purchase, the deal ends in 4 days. no pressure here, just a friendly reminder for those who wanted to get in on the screamin' deal.

details here. July 31st is the final day of the special.

**if you buy it in the next couple of days, use this coupon code: g533Starkey.

23 July 2009

Little Old Man

Q: What's cuter than a 2-month-old baby head with his balding, old man hair?

A: His 6-year-old brother hugging and kissing that baby head until he just can't take it anymore.

21 July 2009

Drying Cherries

The time I have spent recently searching Craigslist and garage sales for a food dehydrator has paid off. I am officially the owner of this beauty. I found her at a yard sale near my house; someone's grandma had purchased the thing on QVC and never even used it.

Tara and I went cherry picking here a couple of weeks ago and ended up with 6 lbs. of lamberts (dark red) and queen annes (yellow and pinkish). I did a little research on how to dry the cherries and found some great information on this website.

After getting such a great deal on the dehydrator and the cherries I almost broke down and bought one of these, but in the end, decided to be responsible and use a more budget friendly method--a straw--to get the pits out. (More info on how to do that here)

After our cheap straws bent under the pressure, Jeff and I were trying to think what fast-food restaurant or mini-mart had the sturdiest straws until Tara called with the brilliant idea to use one from a sippy cup.

Using the recommendation from the aforementioned website, pitted cherries were frozen, then defrosted and put into the dehydrator.

The 6 lbs. of cherries took up all 7 trays in the dehydrator and ended up taking around 26 hours to dry completely.
I learned that when drying fruit, the dehydrator can be opened at any time to check for doneness. This was helpful information, as some of the cherries dried quicker than others, so I could remove those and leave the others to continue drying. When the cherries look and feel like a raisin, they are done.

And the final product--definitely worth all the prep work, even though the piddly amount you end up with doesn't seem like it.

18 July 2009

On writing well

Blogging is an interesting phenomenon. I daresay it is making ordinary people into writers. In school these ordinary people wrote in order to complete assignments or to get a good grade, but perhaps didn't terribly enjoy it. I believe I was one of these. And it's too bad really, but for these ordinary folks, with graduation comes the replacing of this formal, essay-type writing with the informal, sometimes choppy, silly writing of emails, status updates, or an occasional memo for a job or the like.

But writing on a blog can bring one back into the spectrum of formal writing. To voluntarily put thoughts into words and publish them for the public to read is brave, but can also be therapeutic and good for the mind, like completing the daily crossword puzzle is good for the mind.

When considering why I decided to join this blogging world, I look back on my very first post on the 16th of January 2008. It's a silly post really, but defines what I was thinking at the time. I was still new to selling on Etsy, and thought a blog might be good for business.

In the 128 posts that have followed that first one, I have changed my tune a bit, and figured out that for me, writing has become less about being good for business and more about being good for the mind. In fact, when I read good writing on others' blogs, (like this, for example) I am only inspired more to make my own writing better.

It is a lofty goal, maybe even a lifetime goal, but wouldn't Mr. Jeffery Williams (my best high school english teacher) be proud? Reading other peoples' thoughts as recorded on their blogs allows a glimpse into their lives and minds that can't be replicated even if you see them a lot or are their best friend or sibling. I love it.

09 July 2009

The battle of the bulge

Here I find myself, seven weeks postpartum and generally feeling pretty great. Henry and I have figured out a nursing routine that seems to work, and we've reached that awesome milestone where we can get through a night with no diaper changes.

So now I turn my attention to my flabby gut. I spend a lot of time with my shirt up these days, hence, there is too much time spent wishing that simply staring at the flab would make it magically go away.I've come to the place where all the weight that one can lose simply by giving birth and then subsequently breastfeeding for seven weeks is off and the rest of it is now up to me. Ugh.

With my other two boys I reached this point and just sort of stayed there for months and years. I wouldn't say it was a terrible weight to be, but it definitely didn't allow me to fit into many of the pants I've kept in the size I keep thinking I really am.

This time around I want it to be different. I want to actually get rid of that extra 15 lbs. and keep it off. I'm setting my goal there because it is big enough to keep me focused but not so big that I feel totally overwhelmed. Sure, I would probably be even happier getting rid of 20, 25 even 30 pounds, but I just like food too much to commit myself to that.

I asked Jeff at dinner last night, "how does a person even lose weight, anyway?"

His answer: "exercise and eat less."

Easier said than done.

I'll admit that I'm actually kind of excited about the exercise part because apart from a couple months in the middle of the pregnancy, I really never felt much like exercising, so for nine months I just didn't. So I'm getting back into running again, and it really does feel great.

But eating less is very difficult for me. Especially considering I'm still in my post-pregnancy feeding frenzy and also have an unquenchable nursing appetite.

Perhaps just making this public confession will make it easier this time around. We'll see. I'm going to do my best. But don't worry, I'm not going to involve you, my readers, in every pound I've lost. This is probably all you'll hear about it just in case I fail miserably.

05 July 2009

Three lovely days at the Oregon coast

  • estuary: an arm of a river that meets the sea. in this case, an excellent place for many little boys to play in the mud and throw rocks while the adults sit and admire the ocean
  • a pleasant day hike to a giant spruce
  • climbing 93 feet up to the top of the tallest lighthouse in Oregon
  • a morning game of catch
  • the last handful of sand before heading home