Monthly Archives: July 2010

He’s very hungry

Yesterday while I was in my garden trying to get my pea plants to wrap around the trelis, a caterpillar fell off the plant and onto the ground. I picked it up and showed Bean. She loved it. Last caterpillar we found she wanted nothing to do with. My intentions were to smush it because there was evidence of quite a bit of damage throughout my garden from his eating habits.

He looked so much like the caterpillar in Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar that I decided not to. As a kid I always seemed to have a makeshiftĀ terrarium with some kind of bug in it that I had found while playing out side. This fact scares my husband and he’s always saying, “You aren’t going to turn her into a budding entemologist like you were as a kid are you? Because that means she’ll always be bringing bugs inside the house and I’m going to have to be the one to deal with them, you know.”

Last summer when I watched my nieces for a week while their parents were in Norway I had the pleasure of participating in their caterpillar turned butterfly homeschool study. I got to help the girls let the butterflies go. It was quite fun. We also went to a live butterfly exhibit at the Santa Barbara Natural History museum that summer. I could pay for a little caterpillar/butterfly kit, but why when I have all I need right in my kitchen and little garden?

So I grabbed a mason jar from our pantry, filled it with a little soil, stuck in some leaves from some of our produce in the fridge and introduced the caterpillar to his new home.

Bean is completely facinated and would sit on my lap watching it all day if I let her. We’ve also read the afforementioned book about 500 times since then.

So then last night I dreamed that the caterpillars were taking over. That we had a whole bunch of jars of them because we kept finding them in the garden and I couldn’t bring myself to kill them and disappoint Bean. Stephen was pissed at me because of all the caterpillars in jars. They got out and we kept finding them crawling on everything. This morning I almost threw the whole thing out. Instead, I just gave it some new leaves to eat.

I’ll keep you all updated on the metamorphasis, caterpillar dreams, and Stephen’s level of tolerance. šŸ™‚


Filed under Family, Natural Living

My milk is fattier than a cow’s

Bean at 5 months

Sprout at 5 months

People comment and ask about the rolls and cheeks on these two all the time. Want to know where they come from? Check it:

On the left we have the raw, unhomogenized milk that comes from grass fed cows and on the right we have my milk. The cream lines are denoted with permanent marker lines on the bottles for extra clarity since the contrast in the photos isn’t super evident. I suppose for more scientific accuracy I should have put some of the cow milk in aĀ MadelaĀ bottle.

Most pumped breastmilk I have seen from other moms (which I haven’t seen a huge amount) has a cream line much thinner than what you see in the above picture, we’re talking maybe half a centimeter at the most, usually much less than that.

So there you have it. That is why my kids have so many rolls, pudge and those puffy, soft, munchable cheeks.


Filed under Family, Natural Living, Parenting, Ramblings

First box of crayons and coloring book

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Filed under Family, Parenting

Sprout at six months!

Dear Sprout,

What a month! Half of the first year is over and I just can’t believe it went by so fast. In many ways I am thankful for this since it was something I was pretty terrified of while pregnant. So here we are at six months.

We spent Father’s Day in Bakersfield with both of your grandpas:

There was a lot of teething, which, for the most part, you did not handle as joyfully as you did in the past months:

The teething has produced six teeth:

We hung out with cousin Avory quite a bit:

(Avory is teething too, so us mamas had our hands full while your Papa was away on a camping trip)

A few weeks ago I decided to ignore my intuition and go with the crowd. Everyone I knew that had a baby about the same time as you were born had been trying food. I knew you were not ready, but ignored my own advice given just a few weeks prior to my sister and decided that you “needed” to be starting to try food. Over a two day period I forced you to try oatmeal that your sister was having, rice we were having with dinner one night and avocado. You hated it. Gagged on it. Your tongue thrust reflex was still clearly in place. You weren’t even sitting up yet. I knew you weren’t ready and yet I did not listen to what I knew and went with what everyone else was doing. I felt so dumb afterwards.

I talked to our pediatrician about it at your appointment this week. She said food wasn’t a big deal and that clearly you are thriving on just my milk alone. (Have I mentioned how much I love your pediatrician?)

I’ve also been doing some reading on the subject. It seems grains aren’t that great a first food in some circles. A friend (one of the ones already feeding solids) mentioned this to me a few weeks ago and I was honestly shocked that she gave egg yolks as a first food to her baby.

Then I read Real Food for Mother and Baby by Nina Planck (I read her first book a few months ago) and it all made sense. Since their true first food is milk, baby’s digestive systems are designed to mostly break down protein and fat. So meat, eggs, and yogurt are better first foods according to this theory. I think I am understandably still very wary of the eggs and cow milk products though.

Planck also advocates a baby lead transition to eating solid foods where you basically put the food in front of them and let them feed themselves. No mashing. No spoon feeding. I have to say I pretty much was already on board with this idea. After all the eating troubles I’ve had with your sister, I am just so far beyond trying to shove mashed up food into your mouth with one of those teeny baby spoons. Your pediatrician likes this idea too.

Whatever we’re having, you have a little. If you put it in your mouth, no big deal. If you don’t put it in your mouth, no big deal. When you are ready, you will be ready.

This morning I decided to try again. For breakfast I made an open faced egg sandwich and grilled sausages for your papa and I and oatmeal for your sister. I put a spoonful of her oatmeal on your tray and a slice of sausage.

At first you were not too sure about the sausage you managed to stick in your mouth:

But then you warmed up to the idea:

You also threw quite a bit of it on the floor and your sister stole some bites.

So anyway, that about sums this month up. We love you little boy, you are such a joy and make our family so complete. I can’t imagine our lives without you.



Filed under Family, Natural Living, Parenting

This is mean

Sometimes I think my kid looks like George W. Bush. He just gives me these looks and it is like classic political cartoon Bush.

Let me show you what I’m talking about:

And all politics aside, I just think Bush isn’t exactly the top president you want your kid to look like, you know? I think there are much more handome guys in the lineup, is all.



Filed under Family

Panda Bear Nurse

Breastfeeding (and pumping breastmilk) has made quite the impression on Bean, I think.

In her own words:

“Panabear nursing”

“[Bean] punking (pumping)”

“Panabear dink it. Milk. Mmmm yummy!”


Filed under Family

DIY “Look for Less”

If you don’t already read Morgan, you should. She’s sweet, honest, crafty and fashionable. Enough said.

I’ve been paying attention to her tutorials involving fabric flowers, but haven’t done any of them because I really didn’t know what I’d do with flower hair clips or necklaces. I have been paying attention though, so that counts for something, right?

Anyway, with this whole sewing jaunt I’m on I decided to take a looksie over at a few fashionable websites for inspiration into my upcoming projects. That’s when I spotted it. So, Morgan, pardon me while I rip off a few of your blog elements for this post.

The inspiration:

Bud Romance Tank, $64.99 at ModCloth

There is really no need to spend $65 on such a simple piece of clothing, no matter how cute it is. Go on over to Morgan’s page and read all of her tutorials on making fabric flowers, buy a cheap tank top from wherever (I got mine at Whole Foods for $8 during grocery shopping this afternoon), sift through your fabric stash or even your scrap fabric stash, maybe your button stash too and then make this tank yourself. Super easy and cute.


Filed under Craftopia

Sew, sew, sew…

I’ve been sewing it up lately. I am really loving sewing because of the instant gratification factor. I can cut out a pattern and have it pretty much done in 1-2 days, sometimes even 1-2 hours.

So here are all my projects:

This was the first one. I love the maxi dresses that are everywhere right now, but I am super short so they all drag. Come summertime most fabric stores have this fabric that is already gathered with elastic at the top as you see here so you just have to do a single seam, hem and you are pretty much done. I decided to put in a couple darts on the side so the dress would fit me a little better and I didn’t hem it. I figure this was probably meant to come just under the knee on most adults, but it hits right at the ankle for me which is perfect.

That project really got me on a sewing clothes kick.

I had bought a bunch of fat quarters from a local quilt shop with a gift card I got last year for my birthday. I wasn’t quite sure what to do with them, but I loved them all and loved that all the fabrics went so well together. After a bit of pondering and experimenting I decided that I wanted to make a patchwork skirt. I found the book, Free-Style Handmade Bags & Skirts, which has a bunch of basic skirt and bag patterns. After making a panel of patchwork I used the pattern pieces to cut out the skirt shape for the Basic Yoke Skirt. Then I cut a second set out in a solid fabric to line the back of the patchwork top and create a border at the bottom as well as the yoke in the solid color.

Here’s a blurry picture of me with it on:

I was so excited when I finished it that I put it on right away even though it was 11pm and I had no where to go. Also, note the fact that I was wearing a sweater in JULY! It has been so drizzly and cold here lately. I love it though so I am not complaining.

Here is a non-blurry picture of the skirt:

I have been slightly afraid that it borders on being a crazy craft lady project, but I think as long as I stick with good fabrics and don’t go overboard with the patchwork projects I will be okay.

Next up my nieces are having a combined birthday party this weekend and I decided to make them a couple dresses.

My original plan was to make two of these dresses, one for each girl, just because they are so simple, but then I fell in love with some other fabric and found the perfect pattern for it to make my other neice.

This is “Inspired by Project Runway” Simplicity Pattern 3510. I kind of thought the whole Project Runway materials inside the pattern were pretty dumb. They marketed it like, “you get to be the designer just like on the show.” Um, well, the whole point of making your own dress from any pattern or not is that you get to be the designer to a certain extent and make your own little customizations or not. I also felt like the pattern instructions flowed in a very disjointed way. Most patterns also have numbering information that help you figure things out like how much fabric you will need depending on which version you are going to make and this one didn’t. I wound up buying an entire yard of each of the fabrics just because I was having a really hard time figuring out how much fabric I would need. I’ve done patterns before, I learned how to read this information in 4-H. So, in other words, I am not dumb and I am slightly experienced and even I had trouble with this. I can’t imagine being some random person watching the show and deciding to sew for the first time using one of these patterns. I think I would give up pretty quickly.

Alright, enough ranting. Hope you enjoy my projects. I’ve been sketching out about a million new design ideas and can’t wait to try them out! I may never buy clothes again.


Filed under Craftopia