Monday, December 31, 2007

mama-baby wishlist

mama's eyeball hurt from surfing the web for baby products. yeah, on the third baby, at first i was like, cha! we don't need my boobs and i will just use some hand me down cloths for wiping up i saved some stuff from the girls. but you know i am product hound by nature, and i love looking at the different products and making comparison, honing it down to just the right piece.

but i also don't like to have a little or this and a little of that...i like to find one item that is simple and perfect, then buy 10. makes life easier when you are digging around the laundry and baskets. also i am completely dedicated to wholesome products--i have carefully chosen things that are either organic (but not fancy) for close to babies skin, natural fibers, and made in the US or by reputable companies. i plan on keeping the new baby wrapped in simple goodness as long as i can--at least the first few weeks and months. since i don't know what we are having, i am sticking to unbleached natural white. nothing shows off a baby's purest beauty than clothes and diapers that don't stand out. downright edible.

i am taking care of the basics right now, things i need a lot of and am very picky about--tops and diapers, and wool covers. i am planning on doing cloth diapers but also part-time ECing (elimination communication), to cut down on diaper use, so i don't need many covers (i want to know as soon as baby is wet, not hide it) and would prefer wool pants when necessary. also i will have plenty of prefolds around. i don't know why i never discovered the beauty of these before--just caught up in the excitement of fancy cloth in my first time around, i suppose--but they are great for diapering, burping, spit-up, changing dipes on, and any type of mess. they make great cleaning rags when they are retired from bottoms, too. these items are the most important.

then there are other things, i hope to get to...or just get. think of it as a bloggy baby registry. here's is mine and the baby's wishlist:

#1) wool puddle pads. not picky about these, they are just super handy to have around. this is the one we have now (isadore's is slipped under her sheet to protect her mattress from accidents.) i saw really beautiful green one at the local Zoom Baby Gear....

#2) a baby hawk. believe it or not, babywearing mamas, i have never had a mei tai. we have an ergo backpack (which has been waaaaaay used) but the mei tai seems so much more adjustable and snuggly for a newborn. plus look how COOL they are now. it's almost too hard to choose one, but i would probably end up wearing it pattern-side in, anyway (so as not to clash with my outfits--lol!). i like the charcoal trim best. here are some of my fave prints:


#3) organic nursing pillow with removable cover. i used this a ton with the girls, then sold it on ebay when i *thought* we were done. but mine was a boppy and it always kind of bugged me that it was made from all polyester. of course they have a natural version.

#4) nursing tanks. pretty handy-dandy for nursing in public (or NIP for all you who don't know) my friend danielle just told me she can get these half-off! all. over. it.

#5) snugglewool blanket. because it has a fabric backing instead of leather, it can be easily washed. we would use this all. the. time.

#6) video baby monitor. i am not one for thinking technology is essential to raise a baby but, ya know what, we have a really big house! we had the just-sound one for the girls which was fine but i did get nervous when i didn't hear a peep for a long amount of time.

#7) wet bag. for putting dirty dipes in on the go. sounds boring but it's necessary. just need a small one. the two i like are not pictured--melon and pink dots.

#8) newborn padraig slippers. we have these in every size from toddler to kid. but the newborn ones didn't come out until after Isadore was too big for them. they are the BEST! the insides are soft sheepskin, and they are washable, too. and what about a pair of slip-ons (medium/grey) for mama...? :-)

#9) the best baby socks ever. maggie's organic. they don't fall off like other baby socks. and they save adorable baby toes from being eaten 'cause baby toes are so. darn. edible!

#10) a handknit blanket from a skillful mama:) kind of like this or something like it, only in charcoal grey, with a cream, yellow, or purple trim, or something equally unisex and cool.


all this "preparing for the baby" and shopping had brought things to a whole new level of reality for me. i have plenty of time to go but i am well over half-way and it may sound silly but it is starting to sink in. no more sleeping 10 hours straight with no interruptions. no more milk-less boobies. no more family of four.....we'll be a family of FIVE! more than anything though, it's the reality that we are going to meet a new person, OUR new person. once we see that face, we'll say of course that is what our baby looks like! and once we find the perfect name we'll think, how could it be anything else? once we fall madly in love, we will wonder how our lives ever were without this new being....just like it was falling in love with each other, and with Mayan, and then Isadore. *sigh* it's all very exciting....

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

merry ___________.

we had a handmade, thrift shop holiday.

those plastic store-bought crowns are not only cheap and ill-fitting, they are probably toxic (ours was flaking gold paint)--so i decided to design a pattern and make them from gold fabric. next time i might add "jewels"...who knows, but they turned out great!

Breana and i went to Red, White, and Blue in Gladstone last week. i wasn't looking for anything in particular (except books, which they bag up and sell for cheap)...and i scored some great costumes (which all went with the crowns!), and a small red "doll" radio flyer wagon, and two huge stacks of book. also a vintage star trek game for Blake and a sailing book.

The only thing i bought new was a kitty calendar for Isadore--or "titty" as she would say. Lol!

what luck! a cowardly lion most of you know Mayan is a huge Wizard of Oz fan.....

well, portland enjoyed a somewhat "white christmas"--it snowed here for a good hour. of course, as ex-central oregon-ers this was not a huge thrill for us, but i guess the kids and most longtime pdx-ers were pleased!

i made my traditional egg and bacon pie this morning, as well. it's a nigella lawson recipe that i have made every dec 25th for the last five years. it's delish for breakfast or a lazy dinner (she suggests it with cornichons and beer and some television)'s even good cold. give it a try!


1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour (i used 1 cup whole wheat pastry and 2/3 cup white)
1/4 cup shortening
1/4 butter
3-5 Tbs ice water (it took more for my crust)

freeze fats and flour in the freezer for 10 minutes. then put in the food processor and blend into a "flaky rubble." add the ice water, one tablespoon at a time, until ball forms. divide into two discs and wrap each in plastic wrap--refrigerate for 20 minutes.

2 1/2 cups, or 18 oz of pancetta or bacon, cut up or chopped up into small squares
1 cup onion, chopped
2 or 3 large eggs
1 green onion, finely chopped
2 Tbs chopped italian parsley

in a saute pan, cook up the bacon and onion, peppering well. in a small bowl whip up the eggs, green onion, and parsley.

when discs are ready roll them out, and line a pie plate with one. fill up with the bacon mixture, then pour the egg mix over (it will puff up quite a bit.) top with the other rolled out pastry, and cut slits for steam to escape.

put on 300 degree oven for 30 minutes. remove and let cool--it's best just above room temperature.

Monday, December 24, 2007

mice?...or something much cuter?

chocolate is a rare treat for me--it is hard to find it without soy lecithin. so when i do find a safe chocolate, i like to savor it sweet square-by-square at night before bed. i break off each piece carefully and let it melt in my mouth. then restrain myself so i have something left for the next night. imagine my dismay when i discovered this after breakfast this morning:

look at those petite teeth marks...seems to me we might have ourselves a little Isa-mouse.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

our Solstice celebration

After a nice evening with the Hall's, where we threw lavender into an outdoor fire while making wishes, and then ate beef and mushroom soup, chili, cornbread, and salad, our family headed home to have our own special Solstice ritual. I did some research to try and find something that would be meaningful for us, and could become a tradition that the children (and us) could look forward to every year, and bring us a sense of belonging to the holiday hustle that was more in line with our beliefs.

So we started by putting up our "Solstice bush," a locally grown live mini-tree that we could plant later, and wrapping it with lights. Then we laid out the things we had collected that day (mostly from our yard but a few things we had to buy) for our ceremony: rosemary, holly, bay leaves, ivy, apples, walnuts, and evergreen boughs.

We lit the tree, and some candles. Then, with our couch moved out of the way, we sat together in front of this alter on our big circular wool rug. When we looked up, thorugh our glass roof this was the view:
A perfect solstice moon right over our heads! Wow. We are so excited that this can be a magical part of our tradition every year! Now getting the roof replaced seems like it was totally worth it...

So the symbolism of our elements were as such:

*we bound rosemary and bay leaves together, one bundle for each of us. the rosemary is for remembrance so we each took turns sharing our favorite highlights of this year (so many!) then placing the bundle on the alter. the bay serves to cleanse the unsettling events of the year.

*blake and i both had bundles of holly and ivy. holly is masculine (fiery and protective) and ivy is feminine (intuitive and emotional.) this was the most touching part of the ceremony for me since blake and i took a moment to honor each others opposite but complimentary natures--since we spend so much of our time not really understanding our different perspectives (lol!)

*we each placed an apple by our tree, the symbol of love, and either proclaimed out loud or silently our love for one another.

*walnuts were wishes we had for the coming year.

*finally we laid out evergreen boughs around all of this--the symbol of resilience and immortality--impervious to cold and darkness. things we hope for our family.

We finished up just in time for the actual peak of Solstice, 10:08 pm, to stand around in a circle and hold hands and Ohm at the moon, respecting its darkness, but inviting the sun to return again. We went to bed feeling warm and connected to each other, the holiday, and the earth.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

nomad pdx progess

the space used to be a quilt shop classroom its the future nomad Pdx!
step one: painting--this is called "celery seed"

gross carpet had to come up and the concrete scraped--ew.

ha! the secret is out--Blake made his pregnant wife climb the ladder and do the painting! (j/k--he did most of the painting, i offered to do some touch-up and it no voc paint)
*note the cool new lighting

more scraping--getting ready for paint

getting the museum pieces hung (the windows will need to be tinted to protect the art from the sun.)

hang in there B, it's almost there! *pic by mayan

Ode to the Prairie Underground Hoodie

i could have and should have done this a long time ago. every time i discover another reason to love the this sweatshirt, i think to myself, gee i should write them a letter...or better yet write a blog!

i first time i saw this garment was on a lady at the farmers market in Summer '06. my fashion-loving friend Jen and i both saw it at the same time and reached for each other. it was definitely love at first site. not just cute but different. but before i could act on it, the hoodie/dress/jacket/sweatshirt had disappeared into the crowd. luckily, i spotted her again later on and asked the owner where oh where she purchased it. Habit on Minnesota St.

i went there and fell deeper. it came in Mauve but soon was coming out in a greyish-green called "Drab." (also there was a shorter sassier version available.) at about $178 a pop (a little less for the short) it was not a decision to be taken lightly. but it was over, man--it was a must have. the immediate reasons were clear, which i will list below, but then over time, i learned more and more about the versatility and sheer awesomeness of it. even after the "look" itself wore off, and it became a popular garment, more new reasons kept it in heavy rotation.

so, Prairie Underground hoodie, let me count the ways....:

1) it's organic. made from thick, quality, and delicious organic cotton--one of the reasons it made the price understandable and forgivable.

2) it's flattering. the zipper front creates a v-neck for showing off my mama cleavage (or smaller chested ladies can zip it all the way) and the little panel in the back with small gathers let you keep your waist and sexy lower back instead of drowning your lady-curves in cotton like normal hoodies do.

3) it's big. in terms of amount of fabric, when all laid out it covers some ground. for this reason it has been used countless times at the park as a picnic blanket.

4) it's warm. and b/c its also big like i mentioned above, i have used it as a blanket on airplanes and car trips. i have also folded it up and used it for a pillow on airplanes and car trips.

5) it's absorbent. i have, on one occasion, used it to mop up a large spill on the kitchen floor.

6) it's easy to wash. sometimes in with the towels, sometimes in with the clothes, it's never gotten a stain that i could not easily remove (which is saying a LOT considering use #3 and #5)

7) it's durable. again see all uses above and still no tears, holes, snags, or anything needing repair.

8) it's versatile. i have worn it to go to yoga classes, and also with jeans and heels at a nice restaurant. there is nowhere this hoodie can't go.

9) it has a giant hood. think Lord of the Rings, very middle earth. somehow doesn't stick out when down and covers an amazing amount of head while up, with room to flare out so i can still hear what is going on around me and it still shows off my cute earrings. not to mention how handy this all is in the rain.

10) babies like to chew on the strings and beads. (although i will admit that i did lose the beads long ago)

11) it's not bulky. one of my fave looks last winter was to layer it under a wool coat and let the hood and hem hang. very cute and very warm.

12) it has a 2-way zipper. so you can control how much under-layers you show both top and bottom.

13) it doubles as a robe. this falls into the versatility category but deserves it's own number. its the perfect thing to put on after a bath or shower. and when everyone started getting them and they were all over the place, this became my #1 use.

14) it was used by a bride. i will never forget the day late summer when a friend was getting married in Sisters. there was a forest fire in the area, and the wind was blowing like mad which no one expected, and the sun was setting. the bride had this very cute custom-made dress with cream and lavender and green panels, but it was too cold for the outdoor ceremony. i offered her my garment which totally complimented her earthy dress and she looked beautiful and stayed warm!

15) it's ingenious. it's a hoodie and a dress and jacket and sweatshirt. all-in-one.

and the latest reason to love my Prairie Underground hoodie....

16) it works as maternity! thanks to it's zipper front and shapely back, it has hugged my growing belly perfectly with plenty of room to spare.

people frequently comment on it and i always say it's the most functional piece of clothing i have ever owned. i am confident that i will soon find another reason to add to this list.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Our humble 8th day dinner

well we couldn't find the mennorah. and i decided to just make some steamed cabage instead of stuffed cabbage. but it was a sweet feast nonetheless--and everyone pitched in!

Israeli Orange Chicken (thank you, Nicole!)
Yield: 8 servings
  • 5 lb Chicken, roasting

  • 2 Oranges, whole

  • 1 lg Onion, cut in large slices

  • 1/2 c Orange juice, fresh

  • 2 tb Ginger, freshly grated

  • 2 tb Honey

  • 1/2 c Wine

Rinse and dry chicken. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Insert one whole orange in the chicken. Place in roasting pan, breast side down. Surround with onion slices.

Mix juice with the ginger, and pour over the chicken. Roast uncovered at 350 degrees F for 1/2 hour.

Remove chicken from the oven, turn over, and smear with honey. Surround the chicken with the second orange, sliced, and return to the oven. After five minutes, baste with wine and pan juices. If browning too quickly, cover with foil. Baste again, after 1/2 hour. continue cooking until drumsticks are removed easily, about 1 more hour.

Remove the orange from the chicken, and slice it. Garnish with herbs, as per taste.

the latkes-to-be

lots of great family repices here in Payson's book! and look, Mayan gave me a card while I was cooking dinner and she had taped a dollar to it--that girl definitely has some Jew in her! Hahahahaa....

Blake took this picture then told me it looked like I shaved my eyebrows. i had to see and we had nice long laugh--i still laugh when i see this. what is up with my eyebrows?

nuthin' like Jewish-style home cookin!

we found 8 normal candles, and then streamed some really bad Hanukkah music on the laptop while we ate (oh yeah, don't forget the homemade applesauce and sour cream!)

uh oh, Flopsy be hittin' the wine...

now THAT is a pregnant belly full of latkes!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

coming soon....

the Hanukkah feast blog...but blake took the camera to work. He needs his own damn camera!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

poor abandoned blog dropped like a hot potato after NaBloPoMo. anything going on around here is either waaay to boring or too stressful to even go public. but we're fine, fine.....

just getting my recipes ready to make a last-day-of-Hanukkah feast on Tuesday. this year we are not *celebrating* Hanukkah--since Mayan was born, we've always gone through the motions so to speak as it's a very enchanting 8 day ritual (the gifts, the menorrah, the hebrew prayers) but we are not Jewish in a religious sense--so we are cutting it down to one day (so we can enjoy the food and while cutting the consumerism and religious content).

really it was just a good way for us to take something from our past (in this case Blake's) and blend it with other old and new traditions to create our own family's personal "holiday celebration." a little of this, a little of that. we have phased out Santa and really paired down the presents to things that are very high-quality or homemade (this year i am making the girls dress-up crowns out of gold fabric.)--we were going to open them on Solstice which is a day we connect much more to, but i think Blake might be working since its a Saturday...we shall see. we still get a tree which we feel really honors Solstice and the connection to the earth by bringing in one of our favorite things and turning it into an alter of sorts with lights and special ornaments. but we always get a live tree so we can later plant it--i dunno, for us cutting down a tree to honor the earth seems a little weird but i know they have xmas tree farms and all--and traditionally cultures have "sacrificed" something of value to them to appease the Gods. as athiests, we'll pay the extra money for the live tree.

the new Nomad is getting painted and this week gets re-floored. things are coming along nicely although Blake has about 1000 things on his plate in terms of getting it open. it's inspiring to watch really, and awesome that every time he's opened a Nomad its been a one-man show--no employees or delagating tasks. i don't know how he does it. it's a sight to behold!

oh yes back to the Hanukkah feast...i'll be making two kinds of latkes: traditional for me and B, and sweet potato for the girls. also stuffed cabbage (i've only made this once but it is an old family recipe from Blake's side that his mom has passed down--and is published in the book that Blake's uncle wrote called the Mushuggenary.) finally since i am going to need me some meat to go with those potatoes and cabbage, i think a recipe from our friend Nicole for Israeli chicken will go nicely--its a chicken roasted with orange and honey. and to get that Jewish ambiance we will light all 8 candles on the mennorah. mmmmm....i can't wait!