Saturday, August 30, 2014


A portrait of my children
Once a week every week in 2014.
As always joining in with Jodi over at

These late summer days are spent in noise, sometimes joyous, sometimes not, but every once in awhile these two quiet down and stop and retreat inside (Siena more often than Reed), and I often wonder what sorts of things go through their little and yet vast minds. 

This last image I just couldn't resist- Reed is just the most loving, kissy, cuddly little monkey I know. Just what this newly weaned mommy needs.

Friday, August 22, 2014

34/52- Besties

Siena started school this week- well sort of- she is dual enrolled in our local public school and she goes for 2h in the morning, but she is primarily homeschooled. Nonetheless we have already noticed Reed misses her - given they are both still at home they spend so much time together and their relationship is something amazing to behold. They have so much fun together- they have so much love for each other and so much patience (especially Siena) that I am surprised each day by it. By the way- the last few images are them being pirates- there is an ARGH behind those faces at each turn:)

Sunday, August 17, 2014

How to Make a Riff on a Hobbit Hole

Somewhere half way through the summer I got it in my head that it would be lovely to have a little hobbit hole in our yard- but when I looked up hobbit holes they were (and rightly so if you ask me since they are gorgeous) thousands of dollars. So instead we made a hobbit hole of our own that we hope will overgrow with the ivy we planted. The little house has evolved quite a bit since we made it a month ago- but basically its 5 pallets- which they'll just give away in many stores (just go to a grocery store rather than a hardware store since you don't want a pallet that was transporting pesticides or some such thing). We got rubber paver stones (they were under 10 dollars) for the "floor." They are great since they immediately dry off and keep the wood on the floor from getting too wet and also they have natural notches in them so they can be broken of in 1/3 making them a perfect tight fit for an average width pallet. We got some outdoors pillows- which have since gotten wet dozens of times and are in a great shape, we planted ivy on one side and tried re-planting a cucumber on the other (that didn't work- we have to plant another ivy on the other side). We made a lip all around the top/roof pallet with some leftover wood, filled it up with soil and placed some sod on top (3 bucks for the sod). The kids have since decided that this should be a shop, so we busted several slats on the back pallet and made a little counter so they can sell us stuff and we can pay in acorns. We even cut up some thiner branches that have fallen during the violent storms of this summer to make little "coins." Last time Siena had a playdate here, the girls kept me busy with drilling and sanding, since they made some swinging signs for the front and they "painted" the interior with chalk (awesome repeatable project). The hole is right next to our garden so the kids can go get a few cherry tomatoes or green beans or strawberries for a snack:) Anyway, it maybe took 4h to make and 2h to collect everything we needed over several days- and it was time and money well spent. Kids love it - nestled behind some tall cedars, they can hide and pretend all day long in their hobbit hole/ice cream shop.

Saturday, August 16, 2014


A portrait of my children, once a week, every week in 2013.
As always joining in with Jodi over at
Reed- playing in the hobbit house we built this summer- we have planted ivy on the sides and put sod on the roof so one day it will hopefully actually look like a hobbit house (more pictures of the hobbit house in my next post- it was all of like 10 dollars and 4h work!- totally worth it!)
Siena-playing in the backyard on Reed's well-loved tractor- we are not big fans of plastic toys and even less big fans of plastic toys in the backyards but this tractor is a well loved and used toy and so it has grown on us as well

I am not sure when exactly it happened, but talk of fall is in the air. I think one day someone mentioned something about a crisp autumn wind and next thing you know the thought of fall is on everyone's mind. I dread the cold months and not being able to go on our nature walks, or play in our backyard- there are months and month when I forget how the backyard even looks like.

School starts for the little ones in our town next week and since Siena is doing some dual enrollment at a local school (she takes a few classes there with other kids but is otherwise homeschooled), there has also been lots of pre-school supply shopping, ice cream socials, great excitement about getting the same teacher and all that. I feel like we won the lottery with this set up…Siena and we gets all the excitement and fun of going to school without at the same time having to do the 7h days. On the homeschooling front we decided to buy a curriculum (Oak Meadow) this year instead of trying to wing it and make our own and we are both feeling much more confident about this academic year with the curriculum in hand. But more on that in a week or so- it was really a hard process deciding on a curriculum.

Saturday, August 9, 2014


A portrait of my children, once a week, every week in 2014.
As Always jointing in with Jodi over at
Even though we are several weeks away from work starting up again, it feels like it is already here. This week one of us went to work almost every day, and Siena was at taproot camp, which she absolutely loved. That wasn't really a surprise given that she does it every Friday during the school year and it is probably her favorite activity (tied with ballet:) All so suddenly gone are the days of daily hikes and nature walks and instead it is already school-year-like-hectic…and I am so not ready for it. I shouldn't complain after 3 months off, but the summer always goes by way too fast.

I took the 'portrait' part of this 'portrait project' quite seriously this time:)

*Reed has his classic I-am-planning-something-mischievous-but-I'll-get-away-with-it-because-mom-and-dad-and-sis-are-smitten look (which is pretty much his only look)

*Siena has her I-am-a-big-girl smile- with both the top teeth gone

And I couldn't resist adding the bottom picture- daddy is Reed's favorite form of transport.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Missing our special times- Breastfeeding week 2014

I started writing this post over in May or early June, but never finished- mostly since I felt there was so much more to capture and so much more to be said lest I forget. But time quickly passed and just as I feared I already started forgetting what it is like to breastfeed. But this is breastfeeding week Aug 1-7, so it seemed like a good time to share:

"Reed had stopped breastfeeding several weeks ago- it was so organic and so slow that I can't really put my finger on the last day he fed, but now it seems truly and completely over and it feels all so sad. While the same thing happened when Siena weaned, then at least I had the knowledge or the hope I would have that connection with another child. Now this might very well have been the very last time I cradled a baby and breastfed and that is both liberating and incredibly sad. It seems so odd that such an important part of my life might just be over. Of course both of us have been trying to steal moments together to make up for missing those special parts of the day. My little tiny baby is a 30 lbs toddler, almost a boy. It always seems like I am trying to catch up with the changes my kids are going through. By the time I get used to having a crawler, they are walking. By the time I get used to the talking, they are talking back. And I guess by the time I learn how to deal with that they'll be out the door. It is all too damn fast!"

Saturday, August 2, 2014


a portrait of my children once a week, every week in 2014.
as always joining in with Jodi over at
Cooling off in our Harvest Preserve. Uncle visited and lots of fun was had!