Friday, July 30, 2010

Confession 2

Due to [insert whatever justification makes sense at the time; tiredness, laziness, I-don't-care-ed-ness . . .], I sometimes throw away a perfectly recyclable container because it still has food residue in it.

Monday, July 26, 2010

It All Ended In Screaming and Crying

I know the pictures I'm about to show you will in no way depict that title. You'll just have to trust me. A mile walk to the ice cream shop apparently is not overcome by a scoop (or, in Ben's case, two scoops) of ice cream. There was much rending of clothing and gnashing of teeth. BUT. Before that, we had this:

Oh Fish! I will never get past that smile!!

This is the first time I have ever seen Treefrog eat an ice cream cone (he usually wants one, but then uses a spoon to finish the ice cream and throws away the cone).

I know you all are jealous. She is not for sale.

And neither is he.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Confession 1

After submerging myself in the blueberry bushes to get all the berries the birds so kindly leave us in the most unreachable places, I roll around on the floor like a dog to make sure I don't have any bugs on me.

Unless Ben is home.

Then he gives me a rub down. And not that kind of rub down. Geez.

This is something I'm toying with - maybe a confession per week? Who knows. Sometimes I start things and don't follow through. Hmmm, maybe that is confession 2 ;)

Weekend Sewing

This past weekend, I found myself with a bit of time on my hands AND a sewing project started (and by "started" I mean I had the main four pieces cut). When the stars align, one simply cannot push them aside, so I started sewing.

I started a bit before this with the cutting of the fabric. Other than that, it was just following the directions (fold this seam, sew, pin these together, sew, etc) and viola! Here's the final product (a dress for Pillbug):

I'm not kidding about how easy this project was. I am an amatuer sewer at best and I had absolutely no problem with this pattern. It came from a great book I splurged on one weekend called Making Children's Clothes by Emma Hardy. I fell in love with this book the instant I picked it up. It has great ideas and requires very little previous knowledge in sewing. I hope I can make more projects from this book soon, if only those darn stars align again!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Blueberry Sal

That's a fun book, by the way, that we enjoyed when Treefrog and Fish we smaller. I should put that on my library queue while I'm thinking of it since it is blueberry season and all.

Anywho, we have been picking blueberries from our three bushes for about three weeks now. They started slowly and are peaking right about now. We have eaten A LOT of the berries so far and only put one gallon-sized baggie by for winter use. I'm not sure we are going to have many more to put by since our demand has increased as the boys have gotten older.

He just consumes what he picks . . . and whatever ones he actually puts into the bucket, Fish claims as his. Fish isn't a berry-picker (he's just a berry-eater).

What fun it is growing one's own food! We didn't even plant these bushes (I think renters previous to us may have put them in), but we sure do love taking care of them and harvesting the berries! I hope we are fortunate enough to be able to plant even more berry bushes and food when it is time for us to buy a house. That is definitely one of the qualifications - space to plant!

Afternoon Rut

Round about 1:00, I tucker out. I want to drink my coffee and read. I don't want to answer questions or play games or argue any more. I'm all done.

Unfortunately, that feeling can last even after our family's rest time is over. Yesterday was one of those days. I had been hosting Ben's mom and sister and was finished with people. But, people were still here. I was poking around on the Intra-Web and found a recipe for homemade paint. Hmmmmm. Paint is messy. But, it is warm outside. . . . What if I made the paint and then threw the kids outside while I started dinner?! Genius!!!

Never you mind those Oregon Brewfest cups *wink*

That's what we did. Treefrog merrily followed me out and proceeded to paint picture after picture. Fish (who had fallen asleep during rest) grumpily joined Treefrog, stole his pictures and threw them into the pool. Good times. It did, however, afford me the chance to start dinner.

Today, everyone is gone (except Pillbug. She is still attached to Mama.). The boys are with Ben's parents and Ben is at work. I'm relishing in my time to myself while Pillbug sleeps, listening to the sweet music the coffee pot makes just before it is finished brewing and loving the fact that I swept the floor and it is still clean. Sigh.

Friday, July 9, 2010

He Knows How to Get What He Wants

A scene from my day:

Treefrog (crying, mouth open, blood dripping down): What happened to me?

Me: Well, you busted your lip when Fish jumped on you. (checking teeth to make sure nothing else is wrong) Why don't I get you an ice cube to suck on? That will make your mouth feel better (inwardly sighing of relief that nothing else is wrong besides the busted lip).

Treefrog: I want ice cream.

Me: . . .

Yes, he got ice cream. So did Fish. The rewards/punishments for injuring here are, I think, pretty darn good.

Thursday, July 8, 2010


Ben and Treefrog had quite the adventure during their time away. About a mile and a quarter on to the trail they were originally following, a ranger met them. He was patrolling the trail to let folks know that sporadic wildfires had been spotted. The ranger said they had the option of staying, but Ben felt that wasn't the safest option with a first-time, five year old backpacker. So, they came home that night, tired and disappointed. After G-Man went to bed, Ben made some phone calls and found another spot - secluded, along a river, not too far in; perfect for our first time backpacker. The morning dawned and Ben let Treefrog know that all hope was not lost, but they would go to a different spot for a night. I had a quick errand to run (more about that later) and then they would leave again (no packing necessary since they were still packed from the previous attempt!!).

We had borrowed my father-in-law's truck for me to drive while the boys were out with our van. I just jumped in the truck for my errand and was gone about a half hour. When I got back, I noticed that our van's front tire was flat. Not quite un-driveable flat, but undeniably flat nonetheless. One more errand was added to the morning's happenings, and about an hour later, the boys were off again.

They went on a trail up on Mt. Hood (but not any of the trails on Mt. Hood - the ones where people almost die, just one that follows the Salmon River). A day spent walking along the river, splashing and playing, and setting up camp made for two exhausted boys. Ben said he and Treefrog were both asleep by 10pm. Ben was up and enjoying the sounds of the wilderness at 5:30. Treefrog joined him around 6:30 and promptly asked if it was time to go home yet (my little guy still likes a warm wake-up which is not necessarily afforded in the wilderness of Oregon). They made breakfast, packed and headed home.

Our dinner conversation centered around their trip and I think it was quite a success for Treefrog and Ben. Treefrog is all smiles when he talks about playing in the river and hiking. He tells of finding an injured bat and packing out an M & M that they found along the trail (because part of Leave No Trace's philosophy is to, well, leave no trace. Even if the trace was left by someone else, you have a duty to take care of it).

I am so glad that Ben got to do this with Treefrog. I can't wait (and neither can Fish!) for when he repeats this with Fish. We are undecided if Ben will take Pillbug or if she and I will get to go out together. Either way, I love the outdoors and the opportunity to instill that love in our kids.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Kindof a Big Deal

I spent the last few days prepping for Treefrog's first backpacking trip with his dad. I couldn't resist snapping a couple of pictures before they pulled out early this morning.

Treefrog, do this *pointing off to the distance*
Why, Dad?
Just do it for the picture. It's funny.

I'm hoping for lots of good stories from both parties upon their return.

Camping - Part 2, Dos and Don'ts

Do . . . begin packing before the day you leave (go us for being on top of things!)

Don't . . . allow Ben to pack the girl's clothes (No, one long sleeved shirt will not be enough for the week, honey.)

Do . . . allow Ben to pack the boys' clothes and then double check to make sure he remembered the essentials (but don't tell Ben you are double-checking *wink, wink*)

Don't . . . forget to pack your underwear.

Do . . . make a list for the meals you need.

Don't . . . forget said list when going to the grocery.

Do . . . pack the cooler well. Mama don't like spoiled half and half, yo.

Don't . . . realize upon arrival at the campsite that someone forgot to pack the pots and pans . . .
AND the camp chairs
AND the toiletry bag (which included needed medicines for both Fish and Pillbug)

Do . . . decide to make it work and send Ben home to get forgotten items after partaking of s'mores.

Don't . . . leave s'mores supplies out assuming that Ben will put them back in the car upon his return.

Do . . . shine your flashlight at the bobcat (yes, a bobcat) and yell for Ben to GET OUT OF THE TENT RIGHT NOW AND DEAL WITH THE ANIMAL EATING OUR S'MORES SUPPLIES!!!!!

Don't . . . leave the cooler out the second night and have the exact. same. thing. happen. Only Ben is sleeping so deeply he won't wake up. Good times that night!

Do . . . take the kids to see awesome waterfalls and let them splash in the water.

Don't . . . expect Fish to walk. Apparently he is not capable of this feat once he is no longer at a playground.

Do . . . take the kids for a hike while Ben packs everything up on the last day.

Don't . . . expect Fish to walk. Apparently I'm not a quick learner.

Do . . . spend the next three dinners asking and answering the question (posed by Treefrog each time), "So. What was your favorite part of camping?"

Do . . . take lots of pictures since the ones in your head will not last forever, despite what you tell yourself.

Do . . . laugh a lot. Especially when things are forgotten and wild animals steal your cheese.

Do . . . plan to do it again. And again.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Camping - Part 1

Goodness! Recovering from our camping trip while starting to get Treefrog and Ben ready for their backpacking excursion this coming week has taken quite the toll! Upon unpacking from our family's venture into the woods (sorta), I began cooking and dehydrating food for Ben and Treefrog (thanks for the use of your dehydrator A!!). Now that my part is finished in their trip, I get to sit back and relax. Oh, wait. I have two others that I'll be in charge of while Ben and Treefrog are gone. Sigh.

So, in order to give you a glimpse of our awesome trip, I'll just throw out some pictures for you to peruse. My hope is to have another post later in which I share the do's and don'ts of car camping. Let's just say that after 8+ years of camping together, one would think that Ben and I would have learned some lessons. Not so.

My three guys enjoying a bench seat behind a waterfall.

The boys being boys and throwing rocks into the water. Ben is attempting to keep Fish from jumping in (we were only semi-successful with that one!).

Treefrog on one of the many trails near our campsite.

Another trail by the site. We learned here that Fish isn't a big fan of using his own legs.

Pillbug spent the majority of her time attached to me (because it was butt-cold), but every once in a while she got a posh seat by the fire.