Copyright © June Cleaver in yoga pants
Design by Dzignine
Friday, September 30, 2011

where i am at...feeling blessed

...a heavy song I know but the chorus keeps running through my head this week and, oh my goodness isn't this a beautiful version?

and these guys are why........
Tuesday, September 27, 2011

party of five

Our first few days...

gentle, gentle, GENTLE!!!


why hello there world.

you know i was dying to try this on her...

pretty baby

dance party

mama watched and enjoyed her first beer. yum.

little man, the first morning after she was born said "where is dada?"
"upstairs, with ayla." "oh! where is evergreen! i forgot we had her" and
then came running up to her, stroked her head and said "lookin' good,
evergreen, lookin' good." HA HA HA

where i plan on being for the next week or so.
in the mama chair with
our baby love.

cuddled on the couch - photo by little man.
Monday, September 26, 2011

blackberry poetry - release

written 9/22

Release all
To the sky
To the wind
To the grey
The brown, yellow leaves
Swirling in the wind
Mother Nature loosening her grip
Relinquishing her creations
Acorns hit the ground
Flowers bowing their heads
Green things crumbling into brown
Birds and beetles alike scattering to the cold
Release all
To the uncertain
To the unknown
To the all knowing
Release it all.
Sunday, September 25, 2011


Our baby love is here. She is a she. Our Baby Evergreen. I will tell her story eventually here, just not yet, it was hard and scary and we are still processing it all. I need to cry about it before I can write about it I guess.

But she is here. In my arms instead of my belly. All 9lbs 14 oz of deliciousness. Born yesterday, at 10:46am in our home.

And to so many I am grateful:

*my dad, who came Friday to hang out and rescue me from myself (and my crazy kids)
*my sister and brother in law, who despite the ick-factor hung out with my kids while I screamed out a baby in our basement
*my big sister and her husband, who dropped their kids off at grandma's farm to come and roast us a chicken for dinner that night
*my midwives, who with wisdom and strength knew just what to do to unstuck my very stuck baby and then who breathed life back into her while she lay limp and blue on my chest
*and for dada, who gave me this girl, my family, who is my heart, and who chases kids at birthday parties so I can have an hour of quiet with my new girl.

I love you all. Especially today, you, dear Evergreen. Welcome.
Friday, September 23, 2011

anti-recipe #39 meat pies AKA cornish pasties

Yes, still pregnant. Yes, still impatient and crabby. Particularly with the lovely 10-15 minute apart contractions I have been dealing with for TWO DAYS.


Okay, now that the obligatory whining is over. Its really not THAT bad. I mean, not at 10am when the kids are watching Sesame Street. Which is why I am writing now and not at 3 or 4pm. That is when I get all mean and grumpy.

I seem to have waves of being able to take it, every other day. One day energy day, the next day sitting and playing Sudoku on my Blackberry. Today is a Sudoku day. Yesterday was an energy day. What did I accomplish? Glad you asked.

My big effort of the day was making meat pies. When I was a teenager I used to love making elaborate meals for my (large) family. (Which is why I burnt out on cooking by the time I was married. HA) I can remember defrosting a giant steak (without asking) and creating these tasty little meat pies along with a strawberry pudding for dessert. Hmmmmm...

Then I rediscovered them during my year studying in the UK. The town of Oxford has an AMAZING covered year round farmers market, with stalls of vendors selling these tasty little pies in a huge assortment of flavors (curry! chicken and mushroom! hmmmmm) Man, I need to go back there.

In any case.

For some reason this sounded really good to me the other day so we bought the steak and finally, yesterday, I mustered up the courage (in the middle of 10 minute apart contractions!) to attack the dish.
my one crappy picture before I wolfed down not two but
THREE of these babies before throwing in the
towel and collapsing into bed for the night...

First, crust. I wasnt totally happy with how the crust turned out, a little too dry, but here is how I did it.

1 cup white flour
1 cup wheat flour
1tsp baking powder
1/2tsp salt
1 egg yolk
1/2cup butter (one stick)
1/2cup water

Doing this again I would add more butter and a little more water. So mix dry ingredients, cut in butter, add yolk and water, yada yada yada, you all know how to make a pie crust, right?

Roll out your dough and cut into six circles, about 5-6 inches across. Dont roll your dough too thin.

Now in each circle add in a handful of cubed beef/steak, a handful of chopped (fairly small pieces) potatoes and a sprinkle of onions. (I chopped up one steak and four potatoes - far too many, maybe do two - and a quarter of an onion.) Place a pat of butter on top of the mixture and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.

Now to close up your pasty (which is what they are called here in the Midwest) wet the edges and press together, folding one edge over the other. You can crimp the edges to be pretty or press with a fork. I didnt do any of this, nor did I remember to moisten the edges because at this point the contractions were quite painful, the kids were going bonkers and I was losing it. Make sure you put a few slits in each pie to let steam out. I did remember that part. Oh, and you can paint the crust with milk or egg yolk or butter to get a crispier finish. I of course didn't do this, in the state I was in, but dada did when he came home as they were finishing up baking.

Bake your pies for 10 minutes at 450 then reduce to 350 and cook for 30-35 minutes. or until the potatoes are soft inside.

Let them cool a bit.

Now eat. With a nice glass of red wine (which I DID have a spot of last night)

Lord have mercy I hope this is my last non-introducing-baby post. GOD HELP US ALL IF I DONT HAVE THIS BABY THIS WEEKEND.
Thursday, September 22, 2011

pictures of september

September has been an interesting month for us. Considering I was thinking little man would share his birthday week with baby (Aug 28) and it looks like I will be sharing MY birthday week with baby (OCTOBER 1!) well, you can see why its been an interesting month.

But, I have tried, to be a good fun mommy. And aside from the occasional afternoon where all I can manage is putting the hooligans in front of PBS kids and playing Solitaire on the hasn't been that bad.

Anyway. So here are some photos.

Will post more later...either when baby arrives or after I make some fab meat pies I have been craving...hmmmm....

watching the leaves turn

enjoying lots of windy afternoons in the yard

saying goodbye to flowers and green things...

and bellies...(someday it will be gone, right??)


family trips to the park

LOTS of lego assembly

chasing balls on the kickball fields by our house

loving my little man...

and my beautiful girl....
Monday, September 19, 2011

STILL waiting

Waiting for a baby to be born is a funny thing. The best analogy I can come up with is this - its like training for a marathon for months, only to have the start time and the course length a surprise. You may be in your pajamas, getting ready for bed, or at the grocery store or on your way to church or settling an arguement amongst the kiddies when BOOM the gun sounds and regardless of how much sleep you have had, how tired you are, when you last ate, you are OFF. TIME TO RACE.

Imagine a race like that!

Ridiculous, right?

Oh, and then there is the course itself. No training for that monster hill on mile 18. No looking up weather beforehand. Nope. Who knows what the course will look like. It may be cross country, in the cold wet weather. It might be blazing hot, uphill the entire way.

And THEN there is the length of the race. Yep, that is a surprise too. You might be sprinting, for just a few hours. You might be jogging for 27 hours. NO ONE KNOWS. And, I don't know much about racing but there is certainly different ways to train for these kinds of physical activities, right? The latter you work on endurance, pacing yourself, the former on all out energy bursts. Nope. None of that. You need to be ready for it all.

Pretty sucky huh?

And, makes you kind of in awe of childbirth, right? Especially childbirth that honors this surprise element. No scheduled c-section to fit baby's arrival into your (or doctors!) schedule. No pitocin to get it going on a convenient timetable, or when you can't take the waiting anymore. No epidural to carry you to the finish line. Not even a little "swiping of mebranes" to kickstart the race. Nope. Just waiting. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting.

I am a terribly impatient person. Both children came 8 days before their due date. It is now 2 days until this little one is SUPPOSED to appear. If I had a traditional OB and didnt know more about childbirth and the importance of those last few weeks I would be on my knees BEGGING my doctor to at least give me a little swipe. But alas, I can't "unknow" what I know. (Read Henci Goer's "The thinking woman's guide to a better birth" if you too want to know some of this.)

Also, due dates suck. I wish I didnt even know "the Day" because really it means nothing. I tried to tell people, "I am due in September" but something about our culture, maybe our human nature, doesnt approve of this. We want to KNOW. We dont want to sit and wait. We don't like surprise marathons in the middle of the night.

I don't at all, like surprises like that. Maybe I am not impatient. Maybe its more the surprise element. I am a planner, adventurous, but a planner. I'd be happy to run a middle of the night marathon, IF I KNEW THE DATE. I want to have the house clean, laundry done, kids happy and content. Instead I am a crab. I clean the house every night before bed - spotlessly - lest I go into labor at night. The children languish in front of PBS kids day after day. My energy is waning. My body is aching. Oh, the aches! Unlike my other pregnancies, so uncomfortable, so tiring. And yet, sometime in the near future (one would hope, dear God!) I am going to be expected to endure a marathon of physical activity. I want to curl up in a ball until it happens but, no. We Scandanavians don't do self-pity well, well we do but internally only (HA). No. We make jokes and clean obsessively and bake cookies and well, we keep on keeping on.

And so. Here I go. Monday morning. Anybody want a cookie?
Friday, September 16, 2011

the best thing i ever made...

Well, the best thing out of yarn and knitting needles anyway. Posted mainly for my mother and my sisters (look ma! I finished something!) and partially out of pride, because I actually finished a knitting project, just one, before baby is born. If you are interested here is the link to the free pattern on ravelry!

Okay baby, you have your pretty gown, come OUT NOW!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


I am sitting in my very clean living room, with a children's lullaby on repeat in the background and BOTH children asleep on the couches, covered in piles of blankets. One is feverish, one is recovering from a fever. Both are tearing at my heart right now. Sweet little people. Full of snuggles and silly jokes and uproarious laughter and tender caresses. "Oh my big mama," little miss said to me the other night "you are so beautiful and cute. I wuv you SOOOOO much."

Little miss just woke, sat up and said "Where is my mama?" I waved at her from my chair and she is back asleep. I am a living security blanket. The embodiment of their world, their happiness, for now anyway.

Oh these little people.

What they do to you! How they change you! Your world goes so quickly from you, and your partner, to them. Your daily rhythm, your future dreams and goals. It all changes. And you are better for it.

It is amazing.

And a third little person will soon be added to this overflow of love.

And this is what is so hard for me about the waiting. Who is this person? What will this person add to us and who we are? How will they change me, make me better?

All part of the mystery of motherhood and family. All good things.

And so I will wait. Today, peacefully. Yesterday, not so much. It comes and it goes, in waves. I can do it! NO, NO, I CANT! But of course, I can. In the grand scheme of life these few weeks of thinking baby would be here and waiting for the actual day are nothing. And as my mother keeps saying, in a month you will have a baby. (SURELY! HA HA.)

And my heart is full already, and preparing to overflow with this new little person in our lives.

And it is good. All good.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

anti-recipe#38 refrigerator pickles

So, two weeks ago my sister brought me a giant container of cucumbers. Two weeks later they still sat there, getting limp and yellow-y. I planned to make pickles, got the stuff out one day with a fresh burst of baby-to-be-born-soon energy only to realize I didn't have the canning lids needed. A few days later I sent dada to the store to get some. He couldn't find them. Then a few days later I sent him back, describing in detail where the lids are in the store. He came back with the wrong size. A few days later I, with continued baby-to-be-born-soon energy, braved the grocery store with a belly and two crabby children, planning to pick up the right size lids. I got all the groceries loaded in the car, strapped in the kids, strapped in the ginormous belly so proud that I hadn't lost it in the middle of the store only to realize, yes, I had in fact forgotten to buy the lids. Unwilling to drag crabby children and giant belly back into store I drove home, defeated.

Of course then I called my mom, to whine, and then a flash of inspiration as I was talking to her. Hey, can't you just put them in the refrigerator in a giant jar and some kind of brine? Why, yes, my daughter, you can. Cool. Let's do that.

First chop up your cukes (I used appx 8-10 medium sized) into thin slices. We were thinking the thin slicing is needed to brine properly in the fridge? That is what my mom's recipe said anyway.

Then, get this, the recipe in her old school canning book says "Prepare a weak vinegar salt solution." Ummmm. That is it. So very June anti-recipe-ish right?? Love it.

I dumped in maybe 1/4 cup salt into 2 cups hot water, stirred to dissolve, then added a cup or so of vinegar. Seems weak enough, right?

I flavored this with four chopped up garlic cloves and about 2 tsps of dill seed.

Now I dumped the whole solution into my giant glass jar, full of sliced cucumbers. If it doesnt cover your cucumbers add some more water or another splash of vinegar.


Aaaaaaaaaaand we are done! No hot canning lids, no water bath. Just stick in the fridge and eat at your leisure. Perfect right? Really tasty too.

Oh, as a note, I couldn't find the cover for my jar and I realized the cukes were floating to the top so I put half a cup of water in a ziplock bag and lowered it into the jar, creating a seal and weighing the slices down into the brine. Yes brilliant, no I didn't come up with it myself. You can use this technique for curing sauerkraut too or for any pickling/fermenting veggies. It allows air bubbles to release as fermentation happens but keeps bacteria out.

Hmmm. Pickles. Totally going to get some now.
Sunday, September 11, 2011

organizing the crap out of my house

Totally doing the burst of energy thing this past week. Or it could just be the added incentive. Every night as I am getting the kids ready for bed I think, well I could wake up in the middle of the night in labor SO I NEED A CLEAN HOUSE. And I clean. Then the next evening I DO IT AGAIN. And the next night, again. (Yes, I am tired. But my house is REALLY CLEAN.)

Same goes with last minute projects and organzing and things I have been putting off. Sorting out old magazines, cleaning under the couch, hanging up pictures that have been sitting in the bedroom for months, etc.

Then I start thinking about the new year (September is more the beginning of a new year than January, for some reason...too many years in school perhaps) and how little man is insisted on being "home schooled" this year to "learn how to read." Once this baby is born I know the weeks are gonna fly by and suddenly it will be mid-November so yea, lets do those school-ish organizing things I was thinking about now too.

So, here is my week of organizing and getting ready for baby (and my attempt to ignore contractions and the fact that I thought I would have a new baby by now.....)

a few stick on corkboard squares, a cheap day of the week
planner, a magentic calendar from my mom's
homeschooling of little kid days
plus an artwork dsiplay space
= a great little "school" organizing corner

a couple spice racks from ikea = reading corner

cozy corner for the kiddies
moved the old moon and star ikea night lights from the
playroom to the kids bunks, plus a (spice rack) shelf for little
man to put his treasures = cozy bedtime space
maybe she will actually sleep here now????

my solution for baby storage. no room for
another dresser in our shared bedroom so
baskets (all light colored) will have to do.
plus, baby things are so cute! the lower shelves
are diapering supplies, then clothes, then shoes and hats

Love, Mama
Thursday, September 8, 2011

baby pilot cap tutorial

So, no baby yet. Which means more cleaning, organizing, and yes, of course, sewing.

I realized yesterday, creating yet another pair of wooly pants, that I have probably made more than a dozen pairs for this baby. Excessive much?

Oh well. Better than languishing on the couch whining about how I can't take contractions anymore and how I want my body back (hmmm, vodka tonic) and how I NEED TO SLEEP without waking up in pain.

Oh wait. Oops. Sorry about that.

(Can you sense my state of mind this morning? It is CRABBY. Children are at each other's throats. I need to go to the grocery store but am terrified of taking them out in public right now. LORDHAVEMERCYMAKETHISBABYCOMEPLEASE.)

Okay. So. Tutorial. Right.

Yesterday I made another little hat and took pictures. It turned out okay. Then I cut up a rescued cashmere/silk Brooks Brothers turtleneck sweater from my favorite thrift store. I made two pairs of pants, of course, and the most amazing little hat. Just wait.

So here are the steps.

First, you need to create a pattern. The first hat I just winged it. It turned out terribly (wrong fabric that was too stretchy?) Then I tried just cutting the basic shape of a pilot cap from Hanna Andersson hat I had for little miss (turned out amazing) but I figured this time I would sketch out an actual pattern thus avoiding the trial and error phase.

Here is what the general shape looks like. You need to think about your baby or baby-to-be head size. I made these two for the 3-6 month range. The sweater one will go through the whole winter I think because of the stretch. Use an actual baby head to measure or another pilot cap a snug fitting hood would work well too I guess.

 You also need to think about the fit you want as you cut the pattern. The above shape, with the rounded part around the face, leads to a visor-like brim that sticks out a bit above baby's face. I didnt like how it turned out. Next time I will cut the shape to be more straight at the top part of the hat. You cant see it well but the long straight piece needs to have the flat side on a fold.

Again, with the fit, if you want it without the visor part you need to have the top of the long piece more flat than this one. It's hard to explain I guess, you need to mess around with it and trim up as you are sewing to get the right shape. (Just a few snips though, no big deal!)

Also, the long straight piece needs to be as long as the curved back part of the hat, where you will be sewing that piece on. So, better to make sure your pattern piece is the right length now than after you cut.

I decided to do a lined hat, with a lightweight jersey (old T-shirt) on the outside and a waffle weave on the inside (old sleep shirt). Think about how you can use decorative bits from shirts, or perhaps the hems. I cut the lining with the bottom of the hat pieces on the hem of the shirt so I only had to fold in the outer layer to give a nice clean edge.

(Oh my, this is all sounding very unclear and complicated. Apologies. Remember my state of mind today...)

Next step is to sew your pieces together. Just remember right sides together and you can do it. The middle piece is more narrow at the nape of the neck, in case you didnt get that from the picture. Take it slow around the edges and, I have discovered, the key to sewing with jersey is to go slow and not pull at the fabric, otherwise it will stretch and pucker.

Now, once you are done sewing, put the hat together as if it were finished, turning the inside layer inside out and fitting the layers together so that the nice sides are facing out. You know what I mean. This is to make sure your pieces fit with the seams at the same place. I had to rip out the inside layer a bit, just one side, because my middle pieces was wider than the other middle piece. Finishing the hat like this makes it reversible.

All trimmed up. This photographs really poorly but its a nice green gray color. I didnt take pics of the sewing of the hat together but here is how I did it. Turn the hat back the wrong way and sew the brim curving part of the hat for a nice clean finish. Now turn the right way out, fold in the bottom edge of the hat for the bottom seam. (OhmyGod you have no idea what I am talking about, I don't know if I do either...)

Now for the fun part. My sleep shirt had a pretty decorative edge around the neck. I simply cut it off and used it for edging the brim of the hat and then forming the ties along the bottom of the hat. You can also make ties and an edging by folding up pieces of fabric, or using ribbon or maybe some other ribbing. If you do this tuck the ends of the tie into the hem as you are sewing, along the bottom edge, this will just make it all the stronger.

I sewed the ribbon all along the brim and secured a little extra at the neckline. I was thinking about some kind of decorative touch (I usually opt to go without embellishment) but decided I would wait and do that later when we know if this is a brother or sister wiggling in my belly. (Which means it will never happen. HA.)

i just realized why i dont really like this hat. the color and the
trim look like a bra!

See what I mean about the visor brim part? It juts out too much. I don't like it much. But still, cute and warm. And easy!

Now. Here is the cute one. Isn't this orange sweater fabric lovely?

And of course, pants to match. I think these yoga fold over pants (using the turtleneck) are the best I have made so far. And they will fit baby right away! YAY.

And another in a bigger size, out of the sleeves.

So, there you have it. Please let me know if you have questions or if I can clairfy anything!

Now, if you will excuse me, I need to go bang my head against the wall before seperating the hooligans from yet another playroom brawl. Come on baby, don't you WANT to join in on this craziness??
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...