Monday, January 31, 2011

Ode to Brandt

Covered in a teething biscuit,
scratches and some snot.
Oh my goodness gracious,
how I love my boy a lot!

- Me

Friday, January 28, 2011

"Don't Catch Me!"

Playing outside, she will yell, "don't catch me" and the race is on! 

I huff and I puff, she's "so fast!"

 Finally, in screams of joy, she is caught and tickled 
then released to do it all over again.

 And as I begin pumping my arms for another round, 
I think how much I wish I could catch her.  
All of her.  And bottle it up forever.

 The transient nature of childhood is what makes it so beautiful.  
I know I don't want her to stay like this forever.

 But someday, I'd pull that bottle down from a shelf and pour out just a little bit.
And love every minute of it again.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


Due to circumstances beyond my control, Brandt continues to grow.  He is now over 20 lbs and is threatening to learn how to walk.  I've decided I need to start taking pictures of every second before he runs off and joins the Army.  So when he woke from his morning nap, I took him outside and plopped him out in the sunshine.  It took him a little while to get his sleepy eyes open but he gradually warmed up.  Excuse his rosy, little cheeks.  This winter has them in an almost-perpetually chapped state.  The best thing I've found to clear it up is daily use of this goat milk lotion from my friend, Wanda.  But I forgot to put some on him this morning, so he is a tad rosy.

 Well hi there, big boy!

 My babies have beautiful eyelashes...

 And chubby, ubber-kissable cheeks!

"Hi, big sis!  Mind if I come play?"

 "I seem to be covered in organic matter.  Hold on."

 "This is getting difficult..."

(Note: cloth diaper bum - cue *awwww*)

"I think my only option is to eat myself out of here!"

"Hold on!  I'll be right there!"

I think I might have mentioned it before, but it certainly bears mentioning again...


Everything.  He is not picky.  Mud, crumbs of food under the table, clothes, dust balls, books, leaves, paper...

Paper is his absolute favorite.  He ate Daddy's map of Montana last night.  

But this past Monday, after a particularly awful night, I was fishing a crayon out of his mouth and my finger hit something sharp.  

Could it be?

And indeed it is!  In the front lower right, to be exact. 
Perhaps all this chewing has helped massage that little chomper out into the open.  

I don't know if anything will be left to chew for the rest of 'em,
but I'm sure he'll find something.

Oh, it bears mentioning, Wanda with Lazy i Farms didn't pay me or anything, I just love her and her products!  Here's the Lazy i Farm Site with lotions, soaps, lip balm & laundry soap all made by her :-)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Charissa loves reading just as much as her mommy and daddy.  But even the most exciting reading material failed to keep this sleepy girl from falling off to dreamland...

My sweet princess :-)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Nana Ritual

Our little family was in Colorado for a couple days visiting both sides of the family.  Both sets of parents are only an hour apart so Charissa and Brandt received tons of grandparent and aunt/uncle loving. 

When visiting my family, Charissa loves helping Nana with barn chores.  My parents supply all of their own milk & eggs along with a good deal of meat from their own critters and a lot of tender loving care.  Some of the critters might also-maybe-perhaps be half-spoiled pets, too. 

Charissa will ask, "can I have some cocoa, Nana?"  And making cocoa, of course, begins in the barn!  So she dons a barn coat and heads down the hill with Nana and my sister, Laurel - she's 7 months Charissa's senior. 

Come with us!

The grain for those in the "billy pen".  They need grain and hay.

The males are kept separate from the females so there is no hanky-panky and also to keep the milk tasting sweet.  If you've ever smelled a billy goat, you know you don't want to drink...that smell.

 Charissa has no fear of these marauding grain munchers.

"Hi, goatie!"

Aunt Laurel loves the goats.  

Don't you love the sweet hat my sister Katherine crocheted for her?

During our visit Charissa would come to me occasionally and say, "Dats War-oh (Laurel).  She's my aunt."  Then she'd go about whatever she was doing.  I think she just wanted to solidify it in her mind.  

And remind me how bizarre my life is.  
Not many people go through pregnancy simultaneously with their mother.

I love having a bizarre life.

Charissa milks the goat!  She has to earn her keep somehow.

 This is Tilly-blue.  Isn't she pretty?

 This is Oliver, our geriatric "barn cat" who eats a whole lot more food than mice.  
He's sweet and one of the first kittens born on our wee farm.

 The barn crew all finished with chores!

Time to head back to the house.

 Nana pours the milk through a strainer to catch all the bits of hay and such that land in the milk.

 Charissa is a rapt audience.

"Where did all the milk go?"

 Now begins the Nana ritual...

 Pouring the nice, warm milk into a sippy cup...

 Adding "Bunny Sugar"...

 Mixing it up...

 And drinking it!

 "Thanks, Nana!"  Yummy, naturally warmed cocoa :-)

So much fun!!!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Translation, Please?

Hi, I'm back :-)  We've been on vacation for the past two weeks and due to slow connection speed or just real interesting folks to be around, I took a break from blogging.  Let me tell you something, I missed blogging a lot-lot-lot.  So until I can find my vacation pictures in the heaps of stuff we have lying around in our post-vacation-aftermath of a house here's something that's been preying on my mind...


Sometimes, things happen around here.  Strange things.  Things that, were it to happen in any other house, the perpetrator would probably be sent to the loony bin or at least seek some good medication.

Today, I attempted to open my pot cabinet and realized the handles were laced together with a length of dental floss.  As I painstakingly unwound it, I pondered that had I not known who did this, I'd be seriously freaked out.  But in this house, we have a Very Busy Two Year Old.  And I know it was she that did it.

The real question is why does she do it?? 

Is there something deep within that seeks to be heard?  Some message she is trying to convey?  I am her mother, after all.  It is my job to be tuned in to her deepest needs and desires.  I seek peace and joy for her soul.  I want to be there for her.  I want her to share her feelings with me.  But in her two year old mind, perhaps this is the only outlet she has found.  And I need to know what is going on!!!

Take fer instance: 

What led her to cut the water bill into uniformly square pieces and lay them in a line across the living room carpet?

What caused her to saturate her beautiful curls with hand lotion and brush it straight back with my (now saturated with hand lotion) boar's hair brush? 

What influenced her to remove every article of clothing from her dresser drawers and then to pile them in the middle of her bedroom floor over, get this, her unclothed baby doll lying on top of a paisley handkerchief? 

Am I missing something?  Is there some kind of pattern here?

She reminds me of the pack rats in my Dad's shop.  Besides being adorable with big brown eyes, they were always doing something.   Like moving my Dad's enormous logging chain from one end of the shop to the other.  That thing had to weigh one hundred times their body weight but little by little they moved it and then stuffed each chain link full of pine needles.  Why?  Why?  Why?  Because they could, I guess.

And I think that's what the Very Busy Two Year Old is up to.  She does it because she can.  It's an accomplishment, to her mind.  It keeps her Very Busy Fingers occupied.  And even if the results could be over-analyzed and create fodder for "A Beautiful Toddler Mind" I guess it hasn't hurt anyone yet.  Except my boar's head brush.  And that baby doll looked a tad weighed down.  

Also, that Very Busy Two Year Old will soon be three.  So in the meantime, I think I'll it??

Perhaps I don't need the loony bin or medication...but a maid might be nice.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Some Wonderful Visitors

Through a lovely series of events my siblings, Elias and Betsy, are visiting in all their 8/9 year old glory!  Just today, we have had a dead turtle, a live turtle, a frog, a dead fish & about 100 snail shells respectively smelled, poked, inspected, dissected & gathered.  I am also washing 4 pairs of jeans and two pairs of shoes.  It's wonderfully refreshing to see their passion and interest in life.  Nothing like seeing the world through the eyes of a kid!  

Charissa is absolutely loving this.  You should have seen them playing a board game.  She sat playing with the pieces and Elias would "trade" a card ("I'll give you a sheep for a sheep!") and let her roll.  Betsy helped Charissa collect shells, encouraging and exclaiming all the way.  They are great kids!

Here are some pics from our day:

   Elias with the father of all turtles.  That thing was massive!


Mr. Turtle held a captive audience on our front porch.

Them: "Hello, Mr. Turtle!"  Mr. Turtle: "Hissssss!"

Me: "Elias, please watch your finger..."

"Elias...oh never mind."

"Is it a boy or girl? We should take him home!"  

 Mr. Turtle was placed in a cardboard box with a bunch of wilted cilantro.  
He munched for a while then decided this was not the life he was meant to live.

"Get me OUT!"

 He was released to make his merry way back to the pond from which he had been so rudely extracted.

 Elias' shoe pulled from "the sucking mud".  
I found my pair of rubber boots for him to wear.  
Why hadn't I thought of that before?!?

We took a small break while I scrubbed the shoes.

Brandt and Charissa can't get enough of their cool aunt and uncle!

After naps, we returned to the mud pit pond to continue our adventures.  
Charissa was loving the mud!

I didn't get to close since I had tennis shoes, 
but the stick Betsy is wielding is retrieving a dead fish.  

 Charissa impressed Uncle Elias with her fishing skills 
(although nothing was caught).

 Playing with the bamboo growing by the pond. 


It's loooooong!

Betsy shows off her collection of shells.  
Charissa found a ton more.  
They are now cooking on the stove in her outside kitchen for "dinnah". 

So much fun!  
I am blessed to call these neat people my brother and sister!