A Resonable Request

Dear Dave (you don't mind if I call you that do you?  I mean we've gotten so close and all over the last few days),

How are things?  How's the weather there?  Written any new songs lately?

Well anywhoosy, I know you are busy so I'll just get right to it.  I was wondering if you would be a pal and stop by for a few days (a month at the most). See we just had a baby a few months ago and, well, she really loves you.  It's all my fault really. I introduced her to you recently and now you are the only thing she wants to listen to when we rock her to sleep (or walk her to sleep would be more accurate).  In particular, she really likes this version of this song.  Actually if I'm being honest she only likes this song.  So what I was wondering is if you might drop in with your band and just play that song for us (though you might want to scale down just a bit as our house is pretty small.  Maybe do a few test runs and see who you can leave out without changing the sound too much.  Perhaps a violinist or two.  Be careful though, she will notice if it's different.).  So, yes, just that song.  Over and over.  Well there would breaks here and there I'm sure.  Once she does fall asleep then you could stop and rest.  Though that doesn't always last too long so you'll want to prep everyone to be on call most of the time.  Also there's not really anywhere for you guys to sleep, but you won't be doing a lot of that anyway (that makes things easier though doesn't it, no need to pack pajamas).  Though I did notice at the end of the video clip you are drinking some special water, so you'll want to make sure and bring plenty of that as I'm sure it's much fancier then our well water.  Other then that you shouldn't need to bring much else.  As far as payment I was thinking maybe a carton of farm fresh eggs for each of you.  They are really good, I'm sure you'll find this a fair trade once you taste them.

Well I guess that about wraps it up.  Nora will be so happy!  She really is a doll (though presumably you won't really meet her as she'll always be asleep when you're here so you'll just have to take my word for it).  Thanks so much! ~Amy



Gnome/Fairy Houses


We finally figured out something to do with all those beautiful paintings of theirs!



Got a lot of this in this weekend.


Three Minus Two...


equals one. 
Down to just one baby this weekend as Grace and Jackson went to my parent's for a few days.  I've already given Nora a bath and cleaned out two closets...




Slowly but surely we are finding a new rhythm to our days.  One thing I am definitely appreciating this go around is the space between Jackson and Nora.  Not to mention the space between Nora and Grace.  Aside from the fact that Grace and Jackson can be so helpful at this age, they are also very content to play on their own.  The warmer winter this year has been so great because it makes going outside all the more enticing.  Usually twice a day they head out to climb trees, play mud kitchen, or play with the chickens (and possibly bringing them into the milk house and then accidentally forgetting to take them out leading us to believe we lost two of them... for two days. ahem).  At least once a day this week I have found myself sitting with a little time alone (though usually with a sleeping Nora in my arms, but how could I complain about that).  Quite honestly I didn't think it was possible to have time to myself during the day with three kids, especially when one is just a baby.  But magically there is.  And I have been fully appreciating these little pockets of time, to knit, or write, or just sit by the fire. 

Crossing my fingers it continues.

(I'm giving myself some more time to just allow our new rhythm to develop naturally and then I'm going to begin to add to it.  I want to create a new meal plan as well as a general guide for our days and our week.  I need to bring back our painting day (that disappeared somewhere in my third trimester of pregnancy) and of course our baking day.  I think this time I will put the new plan here so I have it for future reference.)


Tapping Time







Nora Knitting




Recycled Vest





I did some experimenting the other day with an old favorite wool sweater of mine (that I accidentally shrunk).  I wanted to try making a vest for Nora.  I cut out two pieces of sweater the size and shape I thought would work, hemmed the edges, and sewed the two sides together.  I wasn't sure how easy it would be sew a knitted sweater but it actually worked pretty well.  I then added a little button to girly it up a bit.  I think I might need to make some more of these.  It was so easy and it's perfect for over her clothes this time of year.


My Day


My day today started around 3:00am when I awoke to an unhappy (but unhungry) little Nora.  I proceeded to spend the next hour rocking and singing her (well me and Mason Jennings that is) back to sleep.  I awoke again a few hours later to hear little feet running around in the hall outside my room.  Knowing Ryan had already left for work, I weighed my options. I could either get up... or sneak a little more sleep and clean up whatever mess would surely await me.  I chose the later.  Surprisingly when I did wake up there really wasn't any mess, just two kids "making themselves" breakfast.  One on the counter buttering herself some bread, or more accurately, eating butter (yep, just butter), and the other just finishing up pouring himself a bowl of granola for fifty. 

And so the day had officially begun. 

About 10 minutes later Grace was telling me she hated me (and doing this new growling thing she picked up from a friend at school).  I was insisting she needed to add some peanut butter to her bread.  When Grace was just a toddler we learned that protein is essential for her in the morning.  Without it she honestly can turn into someone else.  Every so often we forget this about her and are reminded (by a morning such as this one) just exactly how important this is.  Reluctantly she ate the peanut butter.

Nora had her own idea of what she needed this morning.  She was not having the sling.  And she was too uncomfortable to go back to sleep.  I spent the rest of the morning nursing her and switching her from the three positions I hold her in to keep her semi-happy.  Finally around 11 it seemed as though she was going to go back to sleep.  Grace had apologized for the bad start to her morning and had thanked me for making her eat the peanut butter.  The day seemed to be turning around.

And just then, at that very moment when I was thinking just that, I heard from the top of the stairs in a frantic voice, "Mommy! Mommy!"  Suddenly I could hear something (water maybe?) spilling.  No wait this wasn't water spilling because now I could see it spraying in the air, coming from upstairs.  "Mommy!"  I heard again.  I ran over to the stairwell to look up to see Jackson, penis in hand, peeing all down the stairs.  "I'm having an accident Mommy" he said clearly trying to stop what was happening.  Pee was going everywhere.  All down the stairs, on the walls, on the pictures hanging on the walls, on himself.  I looked down to see I was standing in a puddle.  "It's okay I said, just stay right there and I'll clean it up."

I proceeded to clean up all the pee and piled the towels and his jammies up to bring down to the wash.  The house now had a lovely nursing home smell to it. 

Just then Nora woke up again. 

I'm not sure the order of things after that.  I know it took hours for Nora to go back to sleep.  Somewhere in there was a chicken emergency (Ryan called to say chickens desparately needed water, I couldn't go out because of Nora and kids couldn't get the coop door open).  Somewhere in there I got a call saying I would be on my own for bedtime.  I know I ate a lot of cookies.

But alas, it wasn't all bad (alas? I don't really use words like that).  Somewhere in there Nora did sleep.  Somewhere in there I got the 6 boxes of clothes in our bedroom put away into our furniture that finally came back yesterday.  Somewhere in there I took a shower.  Somewhere in there I joined Grace, Jackson and all their dolls for a picnic on the living room floor.  Somewhere in there was another yummy dinner that I didn't have to cook and a great newly made up dinner game called "favorites".  Somewhere in there everyone went to bed perfectly.  And I ate a lot of cookies.

And tomorrow I get to do it all again. 
Thankfully I still have more cookies.





Yesterday morning my great aunt Lorry died.  She was 91, almost 92.  I have so many great memories of my inspiring great aunt. 


Lorry was an amazing sewer, avid traveler (taking her last two trips in her 80's one to Italy with my sister, McKenna, my mom and I and one to Ireland with my mom and my sister), fisherwoman, and a huge nature lover.  She also loved to cook, can, and make her own bread.

One of my favorite times of year when I was little was going to visit her in Austin for Thanksgiving.  All of our relatives would be there, most of them in the kitchen scurrying around helping with Thanksgiving dinner.  I remember their three season porch was used as an extra refrigerator and would be filled with pies and other Thanksgiving goodness.

She had given us each a baby (that we named the "Austin Babies" as they didn't come home with us when we left) and had covered cigar boxes in contact paper and filled them with doll clothes she had made for each baby.

My sister and I spent most of our time playing with those babies, or playing "sneaky snake", a game where we would sneak around and "spy" on everyone.  One year we discovered this hole underneath their stairs that made the perfect hideout for sneaky snake.  We kept that hole a secret for a few Thanksgivings I think.  But then one year someone finally caught us peaking out from under there.


Unfortunately, in the last several years of her life Lorry had started to loose her sight, needed a walker to get around, and was suffering from dementia.  While I will miss her so, I also can't help get a little excited for her when I think of her finally being able to see, walk and be free again.  Or maybe even do some fishing.

Thanks for the memories and inspiration Lorry.  I will miss you.



While I was incredibly happy to come home after our two and a half week stay at the hotel, every time we drive by it now, I find myself feeling just a tiny bit nostalgic.  It was kind of a fun way to spend our last days together as a family of four. 

A few things I learned from our stay at room 234...

1.  I had already thought of myself as a minimalist, but after living in such a small space with so few things I realized I still have a long ways to go.  Nonetheless, I am inspired.  Less really is more.

2.  When I was little, all I talked about was growing up and living on a farm.  I think my kids now want to grow up and live in a hotel.

3.  When we first got to the hotel I thought we were going to have to become TV watchers since it didn't seem possible to live in such a little space without some kind of entertainment.  Thankfully I was wrong.  There are a lot of interesting new things to play in a hotel room.

4.  Like "cooking" with water and toilet paper.  I'm kind of embarrassed by how many rolls of toilet paper I allowed them to used playing this game.  But I told myself it's not that different then giving your kids a stack of paper to paint on (I'm not sure this is true but it made me feel better).

5.  Having someone clean your "house" everyday is nice.

6.  Having a bathroom right next to your bed when your 18 months pregnant (and having to use the bathroom every hour) is WAY better then having to go all the way downstairs to use the bathroom (every hour).

7.  If it's New Year's Eve and you find yourself forced to stay in a hotel room with two little kids make sure you have some earplugs.  Everyone else is there by choice. 

8.  Two and a half weeks of swimming almost everyday is enough time to learn how to swim.

9.  Having to eat out all the time is really fun for awhile.  But after too long you start to miss home cooked meals.

10.  It's always good to be home, but coming home after being gone for so long WITH a new baby is doubly sweet. 



An Armful