Sunday, December 9, 2012

Stuff I've Made

You already know I'm a dork.  Because I'm a dork, I sometimes do silly take pictures of the things I make that turned out really nice so I can show them off to other people or maybe even give them an idea that they can make themselves.

Wait.  What?  People do that all the time anyway?  A lot of people?


Well, then I guess I'm cool.  So here's a bit of my coolness to show off because I haven't shown any of it to anyone.  You're welcome.

Thanksgiving Veggie Tray.  Note the jicama, radish roses and all sorts of other fanciness.
'Cause Healthy is Cool, right?

Cora & I went on a leaf walk for preschool (PS--I'm doing preschool for her.) and I pressed the leaves.

When the leaves were dry, they needed someplace to go.

So with a little whimsy and a lot of blue tape, they found a home.

I seriously loved it so much that I was sad to take down my fall decor.
(Hey, look!  My living room's clean!)

Abby's girls' group leader had a baby, so she & a friend picked out some fabric, we did the cutting, I sewed & all the girls tied a sweet, fluffy baby quilt for her.

Isn't it nice when your food is friendly?
Especially when it screams as it goes into your mouth,
"AAAAAAHHHHHH!  Don't eat my NOOOSE!!!"
It doesn't always end up as people, though.
Such a sweet girl!
She ate every last bit of it, too!
(Don't tell her that it's healthy.)

Last NYE day night we played Pick with Riah's Mom, stepdad (until they went to bed), brother & sil.
(Pick is a contagious game that got popular enough that somebody copied it and called it Bananagrams.)
This little  number grew & earned me a flabbergasting number of points.
It was so high & only 3-letter words were used that I just had to record it.

 And because it's getting to be Christmas Craft Time (what?  That began in October? Oh.), I wanted to showcase a few things I did a couple of years ago...

These little guys are name elves.
My grandma made them for us so long ago that we had to make another one for my youngest brother.
That was a long time ago.

So I decided to share that tradition with Riah's family, as well as all of my siblings/etc.

And I do mean ALL of them.
(And right about now I'm sort of grateful that that flaky dumkopf in Ireland with 8 kids DIDN'T marry my sister.)

I sort of make peppermint bark to include on goodie plates to give to a few friends.
Fudge, snickerdoodles, chewy gingersnaps...the basics.

But that year I was apparently busy, so didn't include the handmade coconut macaroon bon-bons.
Hey--a girl's gotta' know her limits.
I'd completely forgotten about these.  They turned out nice, but MAN they were a pain in the neck!

What???  How did that get in here?  I had NOTHING to do with the Peep-wound wreath or the Peep garland that showed up on Lara's front door!
Carin did that garland all by herself!
 Random?  Maybe.  Quirky?  You betcha. But if you were at all inspired--or at least amused--then my mission has been accomplished.  Now GO MAKE SOMETHIN'!

Saturday, December 8, 2012


Today was an exciting day.  Not because I finally started getting the outside Christmas lights up; not because we slept in, watched a movie THEN ate breakfast; but because today was the last day of Riah's 3rd quarter.  Which means he's HALF WAY THROUGH HIS NURSING PROGRAM!!!!!!!


I think I might be a little bit excited about this. A little.


Because for the almost-13 years we've been married, life has sort of revolved around the construction industry.  Well, not revolved, per se, but more like........underpinnings.  The whole dang industry was tightly knit into the underpinnings of our lives.  It's not as dramatic as it sounds, but let me tell you, it was certainly influential.

Of course there was the income part: when, how much, where's it coming from, which bills get paid now, which get paid later...blah blah blah, boring boring boring.  But it was more than that.  It was him leaving before any of the rest of us woke up, then coming home after dinner.  It was having to work the morning of the 4th of July, making it impossible for us to stay for the extended weekend with family in town.  It was trying to run a framing business when neither of us had any semblance of a business clue.  It was sometimes working out of town for a week or two at a time.  Or more.

So I'm excited.

I'm excited because the next quarter doesn't start until January 7th.  He has a Whole. Stinking. Month. Off.  I am giggling in front of the computer right now.

I'm excited because even when he has classes or clinicals or a study group, he's still here.  He can pick up milk on the way home.  He can come to a soccer game.  He can be here for the mundane things in life.  You know, the precious ones that you cherish forever, like slobbery chubby fingers and batty eyelashes and mispronounced words?  Those.  He can take a moment in the middle of what he's doing and say, "Gimme that chubby boy!"  Which he does.

I'm excited because when he's done he can be in demand, instead of having to compete for the opportunity to be able to utilize his skills.

I'm excited because at the end of it all, we will enter a different universe.  A universe that contains such crazy concepts as Predictable Income.  A Schedule.  Time Off.  Better yet, Paid Time Off.  Sick Leave.  Insurance.  We've had little glimpses of it here & there, but this will be a full-on immersion into this universe!    (Oh, and nothing called Walking On Top Of Framed Walls When It's Icy.  Or Almost Falling Off Rooftops.  I'm glad to have left those behind.)

I'm excited and proud because he's learning so much.  He's doing well, like I knew he would.  Not as well as he'd hope, but well.  He's respected, liked, trusted...all that good stuff.  He's succeeding.

And I'm excited.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

A billion photos because I feel like it...

Or..."Our Summer: the Photographic Cliffnotes In Reverse Order"

Abby's such a good big sister.  She held Weston while he fussed...until he zonked out!

1st day of school, 1st 4th & 6th grades.

The whole brood on a hike with friends.
Abby 11, Alex 9, Lee 6, Cora 3 1/2, Weston 8mos

On the way back, we stopped by White Pass & there was snow!  Cora  showed her intelligence by wearing shoes.

"Folding laundry."  They called themselves Unnawarriors.

Kiddos participated in a kids-only track event, including a relay.

Redneck baby bed.

4th of July at my favorite resort:  my sister's house!

And a very very happy 4th of July to you, too!

Hiked with the older kiddos & my sister's family.
Why yes, I am posing that way to cover my love handles.  Why do you ask?

Wes has a really strong suck and gives lots of kisses.  And it would seem that my beautiful niece gets hickeys easily.

 This is what happens when you put a mortar in a watermelon.  :-)
Hey, guess what?  That stuff's spicy.

The only baby I know who often spits up out his nose.

1st big-boy bath.  Lovin' life!

He sleeps for one Grandma...

...and showers another Grandma with his, um, love.  Sorry, Mom.

For Alex's 9th birthday, we ran a 5k.  16yo niece got 1st place overall for the women, and Alex toasted his Mom & Dad by 10 minutes!!!  He got 2nd for his age group & we couldn't have been prouder.

The weather was uncooperative, so we picnicked in the living room.

Can you guess where we went after lunch?

This is what happens when a newly tie-dyed shirt isn't rinsed out, then a graduating kindergartener gets in a water fight .

For Father's Day, we went for a drive after church.  RIGHT after church.

We found a local hike to take.  It's a good place to get lost.
Not that we'd know from experience.

A sideless bridge over running water?  Yikes!

I super love my Ellaroo wrap.

I love how everyone's looking away except Weston.

At the end of the hike, Lee and Cora were the best of buddies.
I love this photo, except for the Awkward Family Photo moment.

He even stopped to tie her shoe for her.  What a good big brother.

One of Wes's newly-found favorite things.

For Abby's birthday, we went to the skating rink.  It was super fun, and I learned that my camera doesn't take clear action shots, no matter the setting.  Boo.

Yes, I do teach my children to sniff cedar.  Don't you?

Because sometimes a chopstick drum on your head concert is what's on the agenda!

Chewy Granola

Hello, Blogland, it is I--Dyann--and I am actually here to actually do something with my blog.  Actually!  (If any of you have heart attacks at this announcement, never fear--Hubby has jumped headlong into the cardiac unit at nursing school.  He'll know what to do!)

I've always been me.  I've got some quirks and I'm a little weird sometimes (Rachel and Aubrey, don't tell how often 'sometimes' is.), but I've always had sort of the same perspectives and opinions about things.  I figure out what works for me and I do it that way.  (That's not rationalizing OCD, is it?)

But over the last year, I've noticed a shift in my paradigm that I wasn't expecting.  It all started with this guy:

Pretty handsome, ain't he?  When we got serious about him resuming his schooling and changing track, we knew that there would be some necessary monetary changes.  So we started figuring out how we could get our overhead as low as possible while still retaining a modicum of responsibility.  For example, paying rent for a modest home instead of picking up some cardboard boxes and calling the park our really, really big backyard.  Responsible.  One of the most far-reaching decisions that I made was to switch to cloth diapers.

Honestly, when my friend told me about 4 years ago that she was cloth diapering (or CDing, as it's abbreviated in the CD universe), my first response was, "Why on earth would you do that?"  I immediately recalled the cloth diapers and plastic saunas pants that my little brother wore.  No thanks.  But after a bit of research and a lot of convincing, I decided that never having to budget for diapers would be a good thing.

So I did it.  And surprisingly, I love it!  Cloth diapers have come a long, long way since our own padded-tushy days; they're easy, simple, varied and super cute!  I mean, people plan outfits around which diaper cover a child is wearing that day.  I don't do the fancy ones, though, as I went with the lowest-overhead option, which is a little more complex.  But I love it because I'm doing it.  At first it was a little tricky because it was all new, but as time went on I got better and better.  I'd get a little giddy when I changed Weston's chubby little bum because I was doing it--I was REALLY doing it!!!  Now I can fold a tea towel into a moderately complex origami fold with one hand while hold the baby with the other AND talk on the phone!  And you've got to admit:  the boy DOES look pretty darn adorable in nothin' but his unders.

But let's face it:  it's poop.  And it's not really blogworthy.

As a result of jumping into the CD world, I've been exposed to a new microcosm of moms who are way, way earthier than I have been.  I mean, I've always been a bit of a recycling nazi, but this is intense.  So between the knowledge gained from the CD group, Dr. Mercola and a touch of facebook thrown in for good measure, I'm doing things (or not doing things, as the case may be) that I never really imagined a year ago that I would be.

--making my own deodorant out of coconut oil, baking soda and cornstarch.  (Antiperspirants have been strongly linked to breast cancer, especially if they contain aluminum.)
--lying out in the sun and eschewing standard sunscreen.  (Vitamin D is essential and I don't get enough; the chemicals in sunscreen are actually known to cause skin cancer ?!?; I use a different, natural sunscreen if I'll be out for a while.)
--curing my infant's plugged tear duct by dropping breast milk in his eye--via my fingers, thank you.  (It's full of antibodies, so it works great!)
--using coconut oil as diaper rash cream, face/body moisturizer and conditioner. (It also smells yummy.)
--delaying or eliminating immunizations for my children.  (This one is a bit tricky, but lots of the immunizations have such horrific side effects that I'd rather skip it or delay it--like the HPV vaccine causing cervical cancer (and the medical community doesn't explain that you are only exposed to the virus by being promiscuous); an oral polio vaccine in India recently caused a huge number of polio-copycat cases; the MMR is linked to autism and brain swelling. !!!  There are people out there who don't vaccinate their kids at all, instead concentrating on building a good immune system.)

So now I'm ready for this to be my family car, right?
Not quite.  Because I still buy inorganic foods (would do organic if it were cheaper), send my kiddos to public school, gave birth at a hospital and plan to wean Wes before he learns to ride a bike.  And I don't grow all my food, weave baskets and make my own feminine products.  So I'm not the super-crunchy granola type.  But neither am I Wonder Bread.  I'm in the middle.

I'm chewy granola.

And you know what?  I sorta' like it.

(PS--I'd be a terrible mom if I didn't post a picture of my sweet baby girl who's 4 now.  It was her birthday when I started this post.)