Wednesday, September 25, 2013

A Birthday Girl

There is so much to say as the tiny love of my life is turning one and I will get to that too, but today was for celebrating with things we knew would delight her, taking plenty of photos of her sweet self and soaking up our time as a family. By making a simple plan, but also just letting go and letting the day happen as it would, it turned out just as perfect as I could have imagined and better than I could have ever fully planned. I used to tear up at the thought of her turning one, but I truly believe this year will be even better than the last. Definitely couldn't love my sweet Iz more, she made me the mother I always wanted to be and the one I never knew I would be as well. She is amazing.


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Sweaters For Our Sweetest

I finally finished two little sweaters for my sweetest cat loving daughter, one brown and one green. I don't know what the yarns are as I was working from my stash to keep costs to a minimum, but I do know the green one is some kind of bamboo blend and I do know that it is my favorite. The pattern is In Threes and the cat buttons are from Anny May on Etsy.  This pattern is fairly simple and straightforward and the sweaters came together easily after a few initial hiccups on my part. Now I have plans to cast on for a few others to gift to all of the other little ladies I love for Christmas. I better get to knitting!


Monday, September 23, 2013

Simple Sunday

Sunday we were in desperate need of groceries so we headed that way, but in order to make our trip a little more worthwhile we stopped by Turtle Park for a bit of swinging (always), picnicking and playing and it was a really good call. The weather was beautiful, the swings were swinging and my husband, my baby, and myself were all smiling. These simple kinds of days are my favorite. A festival or attraction can be fun, but those kinds of things often leave me feeling a bit flustered due to the enormous crowds and a bit exhausted from keeping track of everyone and everything amongst the chaos. Worth it for the really good ones, but on an ordinary weekend the kind of sunday we had at the park is just our speed. And then today I finagled E into helping me with a small project for the backyard. We have hit a little obstacle with some cutting, but might be able to get started again as soon as tomorrow. More on that later...


Thursday, September 19, 2013

September 19, 2013

Those tomato plants just keep giving and giving and so I eat a lot of tomato sandwiches and when we make the fajitas we have on the menu for tomorrow we will be making another big batch of salsa to go with them. Today has been rough as we are all stuffy-nosed and sore-throated again so our girl was having a rough day and so was I, but Leroy came home from surgery with the cutest little tractor covered cast. He has a long road to recovery ahead and we have a ways to go to cover his costs, but with each dollar we are getting closer and with each day he will be one day closer to being back to wrestling with Roxy. Six weeks of bed rest are on the horizon for little dude which will be an adjustment for all of us, but we have his x-pen set up between the living room and playroom so he can still be in on the action while resting his ankle. 

Does that give us away as crazy animal folks? That we just happen to have an x-pen laying around? Lilly spent time in it as a pup when she would eat floors and walls, Jasper spent his first weeks in it while we nursed him through his fight with parvo, a pair of stray beagles had their turn with it until we found their home and now Leroy will have the longest stay yet. Luckily E was already set to be using his vacation days next week so we can get through that first week and a half together, although E may go in a few hours here and there (for pay) to help cover some of the vet costs. Not ideal, but we do what we have to do, right? Iz's birthday is situated right in the middle of the week though and E has made it clear that he won't be coming in or checking his e-mail at that time. We will be busy bringing I to the butterfly house, taking her on her first carousel ride and having a picnic at the park if the weather is on our side. We will have a small party with family and our closest friends on the following Saturday which will be fun but maybe a bit overwhelming for our girl, so Wednesday will be something that is slow and easy and that will no doubt make her smile...can't wait to see how she reacts to those butterflies surrounding her. 


Wednesday, September 18, 2013


This week I am grateful for...

...a crawling baby girl and getting to watch her explore the world a bit more each day.

...our home. past and the strength it has given me.

...three visits with my sister and nieces in the past four days.

...good books that inspire.

...a husband who gives himself so freely when helping my family.

...meeting Carly and Emma, my dear friends sweet twin baby girls and getting to pick out two little outfits to gift to them.

...progress on our fundraising goals for Leroy's ankle surgery and knowing he is going to be okay.

...kind pick-me-ups in the mail that bring a huge smile to my face and peace to my heart.

...lemon balm tea. and hope and everything in-between. 

What are you feeling most grateful for this week?


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Fundraising for Leroy Brown

As much as we hoped and wished and prayed that little dude would not have to have surgery and that they would be able to repair his injury with an adjustment and a splint, that is not the case. We brought him in this morning and the specialist gave us surgery as the only option, so tomorrow he will be going in. We have set up a fundraising page if any generous animal-loving readers happen to stop by. You can go to the page (here: ) for the entire story and details. Even just sharing the link with others you think might be interested in helping would be extremely helpful.

More than anything, please keep little Leroy Brown in your thoughts as he has his surgery tomorrow. He has to stay the night after and that is already bringing tears to my eyes. He is a strong little guy though, so I think he will be just fine.


Monday, September 16, 2013

September 16, 2013

This weekend was for the most part about as full and wonderful as I had hoped for. Saturday allowed me time to visit with my friend and her tiny twin girls as they snuggled to her chest. Having that baby-free time to catch up and talk about our lives was pretty wonderful and something I have missed. I am never in a hurry to be away from my sweet girl, but your mind does work a lot differently when you aren't holding a conversation and tending to a child's needs at the same time and it was nice to enjoy that for an hour. Plus, Iz was busy at work with E, dropping off Goodwill donations and picking up some groceries and lunch for us to enjoy at the park once they picked me up at the hospital, and of course there was some swinging at said park as well.

And Sunday? Well, that was when my sister and crew arrived in St. Louis! We left home early to attempt a car nap and to swing by a local yarn shop so I could get started on some affordable but from the heart Christmas presents. After that it was moving time and I am so glad about that. E contributed his muscles and I contributed my toddler entertaining, so I hope that helped make things a bit easier. Now they are settling in and I'll be interested to see how far they have chipped in to cardboard box mountain the next time I stop by. You always forget how intense moving is until you see it happening once again. 

We headed home later than expected but were lucky that Iz fell asleep on the way. Unfortunately, as I was nursing her back to sleep after the transfer, E let the dogs out to pee and stretch and Leroy (our tiny long-haired chihuahua) hurt his leg in some random fluke accident. I wasn't there to hear it, but E said the noises he was making were pretty terrible and when he went outside the other two dogs were just staring at him and wondering what was going on. He was hopping around (and still is) holding up one of his rear legs as it dangled and flopped around. We thought it might have been a luxating patella which is common with chihuahuas but he seemed to not be in much pain so we decided it was safe to wait to see our own vet in the morning rather than going to the 24 hour emergency clinic. E brought him in first thing and the vet said unfortunately it wasn't a luxating patella (which would be easier to fix/heal) so they took an x-ray and found he has dislocated his ankle. He is now on pain medication and has an appointment at an orthopedic specialist first thing tomorrow morning. The vet couldn't believe he wasn't acting as if he was in pain because with that kind of injury he should be hurting pretty badly. The thing is, Leroy could be being poked with a needle from every direction and he will just cower and take it all without fighting. Just typing it makes me tear up. He has been like this since he came to us and I know it's from his four years of living in a cage and people doing whatever they want to him, so while it makes it easy for vets or us to care for him or provide medical treatment, it's also heartbreaking. While I don't want to see any of our pets in pain, it's hardest when it is him because I feel like he has been through so much already and just wish I could protect him from every feeling any pain or fear ever again. Here's hoping they can help him with an adjustment and a splint tomorrow rather than needing surgery to correct it, both for his sake and ours. I counted up our change stash and that will make a dent in the already large bills, but I'm scared to see what the damage is tomorrow. I might have to start brainstorming fundraising ideas but for now we just have to get him healed. I know it will all work out in the end and we will find our way. 

So, although we had a crazy end to the weekend, it was a good one and will lead to many more exciting times to come now that all of my siblings are back in the area. 

I hope you all had a nice weekend too. Did you do anything special?


Friday, September 13, 2013

September 13, 2013

Today was simple but seemed particularly long and full. We started out with a trip to the chiropractor and then found our way to E's office for lunch and Buggy fell asleep on the very short trip from the first stop to the second. Luckily E was on a call and couldn't come to us right away so she had a short cat nap to fuel our lunch and then stayed awake quietly relaxing in her seat all the way home. At home she crawled all around the house, had another short nap, we walked around the yard, watched the dogs, sat on the rug in front of the door together and watched the school buses pass by, that sort of thing. With the wind blowing through the windows we snuggled into the couch to nurse and cuddle for longer than she will usually put up with and then she was off again to crawl over to her stack of books which she continued to flip pages in for quite awhile while I was able to finish a book of my own. Nothing too special happened today but I feel hopeful and at peace about a lot of things I haven't felt that way about in some time. I felt like I could breathe again and felt like I am doing a good job. While each day has its own obstacles and to-do lists, each one also has freshly organized cabinets with my husband, a sweet clean baby snuggled up in footy pajamas, a cooler day that gives a glimpse of fall, a pan of roasted cauliflower, you get the just, plenty of little wonderful things to focus on and enjoy each and every single day. Plus, there is always hope for even more wonderful things to come in the next day. 

We have the weekend ahead of us now and I am going to be mindful of embracing it and not wasting it away. A sweet friend of mine delivered her twin girls a few weeks ago at just 27 weeks and I hope to get a chance to swing by to meet them for the first time and to visit with her as well. Then on Sunday my sister, her family, and a truck full of their belongings will arrive and we will start another adventure of being in the same town again. Hopefully between those things we can also find time to get to a park for our girl to swing for a bit, take some walks, do a bit more cleaning and also lots of hugging. E laughs at me a lot when I say, "let's just sit and hug" but you know...sometimes you just gotta do it.

Here's hoping you all have a wonderful weekend filled with many small pleasures as well. 


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Library Day: Mama & Buggy Picks

For Mama:
Finally got my paws on the newest Anne Lamott and have already dug in. So so good. 

For Buggy:
As you can see she has already dug in as well. Top picks are Pat the Zoo and Llama Llama Hoppity-Hop.

The illustrations in Mommies Say Shhh! are wonderful and clever but Bugs doesn't really care for it. I'm secretly hoping she falls a bit more in like with You Are My Little Pumpkin Pie because I am a huge fan for it's Fall-based illustrations and sweet simple words. I want to read it to her over and over again, she does at least love the ridges from the pie tin on the front. 

What have you or you and your little one been reading lately? Any good ones we should keep our eyes out for? I love that she is already becoming a patron of our wonderful local libraries. Their board book selections are stellar.


Monday, September 9, 2013

Dehydrator "Sun" Dried Tomatoes

So many of these tasty morsels are now packed away in our freezer for brightening up the colder days to come. I had to hurry and squirrel them away before they all flew down my gullet as they were so sweet and tasty and bursting with that wonderful concentrated flavor of tomato that I could not stop popping them in. 

Have you been preserving any garden goodies recently? I'd love to know. And any ideas for keeping young ones busy while you work in the kitchen are much appreciated. Someone isn't so keen on hanging out in the carrier for long stretches these days, but I do have plans for child-safe magnets and an eventual chalkboard painted door for when she is a bit older. Right now there are toys on the floor and cabinets to explore and a mama who works in short speedy bursts.


Saturday, September 7, 2013

September 7, 2013

When cleaning out boxes and bins I found this little jelly jar amongst a round of items from my grandma's house, it was the one treasure amongst all of the broken, damaged, or unnecessary items. While walking around our backyard I picked a bit of lavender from our garden, placing them in this tiny jelly jar brought me a smile amid a long string of challenging days. There has been a bit of trouble with our breastfeeding relationship that we are working hard to solve and it has been causing me a lot of stress which has manifested itself in my body in undesired ways and when paired with a bit of already present anxiety, well, it's been a bit messy in my mind and soul this week. I found myself in tears while at our nursing mom's group on Thursday and have been a bit of a mess, but I know we will push forward and keep working toward a solution. For now I try my best to focus on the little happy moments and things, bits of lavender, tiny jelly jars, a husband and daughter I love, tomatoes from our garden, yarn on the needles...

...and one other thing, that announcement I never made: my sister is moving home next weekend!


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

September 4

These days are challenging but they are also scattered with laughter and kisses and so much love. When the times get tough, the nipples get sore, the tears are on the brink of my eyelids, I remember those sweet moments and reflect with gratitude on how lucky we truly are. Maybe I cry a bit in the bathroom too, but mostly I try to stay focused on the positive.