Friday, November 30, 2007

Nature Walk

With the local homeschooling group, we headed out to Boyce Thompson Arboretum for a tree tour. Some of the information was a bit past Eamon and Aine, but they enjoyed learning some new things, hiking the trails and playing with friends. They again learned about roots, leaves and stems. They saw how a tree is measured and were able to classify some leaves before making rubbings. Eamon figured out the scar on a tree cutting was due to fire, while Aine collected small seeds from beneath a large tree. Each was able to bring a small tree "cookie" home to continue to study.

Thursday, November 22, 2007


Happy Thanksgiving to all our friends & family.

Monday, November 19, 2007


The light is a bit better - not much. Here are some photos.

Pattern: Clapotis from

Yarn: Lorna's Laces Lion & Lamb in Watercolor

Needles: Size 8

I followed the pattern as written. I knit a bit too tightly, because I was worried about running out of yarn.



(pictures tomorrow when there is better light)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Happy Birds

We spent so time with friends making bird feeders. Eamon and Aine spread penut butter on pine cones, rolled them in bird seed and hung them in our yard. They also ate a bit of the peanut butter in the process. Aine chose to hang hers on the fence, while Eamon and I hung ours in the Palo Verde tree. Hope the bids find them and enjoy!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Now that's Productivity

DH took the kiddos to a Veteran's Day Parade today. I elected to stay home to clean and craft. I spent three hours cleaning - mopping floors, cleaning bathrooms, changing beds, washing clothes, wiping down walls, etc. The remaining time was spent sewing.

I finished 6 pairs of pajama pants. A finally got her Halloween pants, which have been waiting since last year. E got some Thomas pants from a thrifted Thomas curtain. Two of my nieces will receive their Halloween pants from last year as well as a warm pair of flannel ones for their new home.Now on to a few quilts, a skirt for A and two sweatshirts for the kids. In the meantime I need to finish the clapotis.

Sunday, November 11, 2007


I love our dog. She is a good dog-gentle with the kids, relatively obedient and relaxed. She loves to be with her family. Ava is her name, and she is a St Bernard. We adopted her 6 months before E was born from a rescue group. Ava is a huge loveable dog even though she no longer gets the attention she loves with the addition of two children. She loves to be included on any family activity and yearns for daily walks.

Ava does have few drawbacks. She is a slobber queen. My walls are covered with Ava drool. She is a hair machine - shedding despite repeated brushing. She is the main reason that my floor moves with dust bunnies and my walls are darker the last few feet by the floor.

Great Movie

I was able to attend a screening of the film The Business of Being Born tonight. It was previewed by the Arizona Birth Network as a fundraiser for their organization. I went with some friends and ended up being on the discussion panel at the end. It was a tremendous movie depicting the scary state of birth in the United States. It is likened to Al Gore's Inconvenient Truth.

The movie raises some startling issues. Although we are a large developed nation, we rank high in infant and maternal mortality. The maternal death rate has actually risen. It is theorized that this is due in a large part to the many interventions common in most births as well as the startling cesarean rate. Cesarean are becoming elective with the Unite States having a rate above 30% (the World Health Organization suggests a rate of no more than 10-15%). Some states and cities have rates around 45-50%. This is amazing to me. Cesareans are a major abdominal surgery. It is not something to be taken lightly. The movie discussed the issue of bonding with an intervention laden birth. It is harder for the natural "love cocktail" to be released with the normal birth process is disrupted. With the absence of these hormones, breastfeeding can be harder as well as basic maternal/baby bonding.

I really recommend additional reading for anyone pregnant or planning to have children. Some good websites are,, an article on avoiding c-sections, and loads others I can provide if you are interested.

The movie will be released in the beginning of 2008. It will also be available on Netflix. I really urge everyone to see this film. Regardless of where you choose to birth your baby, be informed of your choices and their implications.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Oily Fun

We took a trip to the Queen Creek Olive Mill for a tour today. The kids were able to hear a bit about the process as well as see the pressing process. Eamon & Aine were impressed with the huge bin of olives. They weren't too impressed with the olive seeds and meat after the oil has been pressed from it.

After the tour we spent the afternoon in a picnic area playing with friends. Eamon & Aine played with sticks, ran around the field, pounded bark and dug in the dirt. It was a marvelous 6 hours.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Little Monkeys

This is what I found in the kids' room after cleaning the bathroom.

Roots, Stems & Leaves

The Desert Botanical Garden has a homeschooling day once a month. They have different tours for the kids based on age. We were able to participate in the Magic of the Desert Plants tour. One the tour were walked through the gardens, talked about roots, stems & leaves and learned some great facts about our desert plants. Eamon & Aine made paint brushes out of agave leaves, drank water with a straw simulating plant roots, and soaked a sponge to model cactus stems. After the tour we were able to check out the butterflies before the exhibit ends this weekend. It was a beautiful day.

Halfway There

Today I am 20 weeks pregnant - halfway there theoretically. The baby is doing well - growing with a solid heartbeat. It is so amazing the changes that take place to foster such life. I am wearing more maternity clothes. Truthfully this wardrobe transition began earlier as my roomy uterus stretches early to accomodate #3. I have begun exercising again now that the cold seems to hve disapated. I have been using the ellipticl at home, but hope to make it to the gym soon (just need the kiddos to be healthy). The weather is beautiful, so our walks will return as well.

With a little help from dh or kiddos, I should have a 20week picture posted soon.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Just a little air

I awoke last night with Aine's little hand pinching my nose.

A: Mama, stop.
H: What?
A: Mama, stop.
H: Stop what?
A: Breathing.
H: Aine, I have to breathe to live. Please go back to sleep.
A: Okay (releasing my nose)

Tuesday, November 06, 2007


I have been thinking about our gift giving this holiday season. I am trying to buy local for our family and avoid the big box stores. It is much easier than said! I came across the handmade pledge, and I think I am going to try to do it this holiday.
I Took The Handmade Pledge!

There are so many places to buy handmade as well as crafting my own. If you haven't heard of Etsy, you must check it out. I have been shopping there for a couple years and LOVE it!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Cranberry Relish

I am not sure when it started, but my mom has made cranberry relish for holidays for a long time. I have always disliked it. It was too sour for me. My sister, however, showed me how good it is. The recipe is simple - 1# cranberries, 1 apple and 1 orange. Mix this in the food processor and add sugar to taste (up to 1 cup). I have decided that my mom never used enough sugar. With a few tries, I have settled on 1/2 cup. The stuff is delicious. The kids like it, which is an added bonus. Now that cranberries have hit Costco, we are going to have to stock up.


We *HEART* the zoo

We finally made it back to the zoo after the warm summer. It was such a nice trip. The stingrays were back which delighted the kids. We saw animals indigenous to Arizona on the Arizona Trail and hung out with the orangutuans. Eamon was disappointed that the mountain lion is no longer on exhibit (she died, and they are waiting for a replacement). Aine enjoyed watching the baby orangutuan.

Sunday, November 04, 2007


I am trying desperately to clean up our house a bit. Two little people seem to sense it and are trying to thwart it at every turn. They are currently winning. Today I tried a bit in the den/craft room. I was able to repair a rash guard, stuffed animal and sewn my old Raggedy nn's eyes back on(her legs are still amputated below the knee). Perhaps tonight I will make some progress on the clapotis, so I can start sewing again. I am getting a bit itchy...

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Post-Halloween Party

I am not a fan of Halloween. It is okay, but it isn't my favorite holiday. Truth be told, I prefer a good gift-giving holiday anytime. We were invited to two parties this year. Only the kids dressed for the first one. Here is my costume for the second.

It was my Grandmother's Raggedy Ann costume. Here is a photo of her in it.

Last Soccer Game

Today was the last game of Eamon's soccer season. The team has really improved. Eamon was on fire today. He played goalie. He blocked most of the goals running out and kicking the ball. He was very pleased with his performance.

After the game, we headed to Peter Piper Pizza for a team party (Eamon waxed poetic a bit about going with his cousin Ashlyn). Eamon received a certificate and trophy.

Clapotis Update

with all the sickness and then niece watching, I am WAY behind on my mother's birthday gift. Yes, her birthday is in two days, and she is leaving on a cruise. I HAVE to have it done by tomorrow if I want her to have it by her birthday.

So, what do you think? Not a chance, huh!

Friday, November 02, 2007

Like a Barn

This may explain why my floors closely resemble those of a barn.Eamon opened the back door and rode his "firetruck" into and through the house.

I think I'm in LOVE

Ahhhh...we finally bought an umbrella clothesline. Our HOA is not very supportive of this environmental endeavor. Hopefully a letter is not forthcoming. If so, they may get an earful. How can anyone not use a clothesline?? Now to figure out how to avoid crunchy clothes.

Thursday, November 01, 2007


The other night as Eamon was falling asleep, he told me, "I love you, Mama, even when I am mean to you."

Nothing like the last minute

We celebrated Halloween today with skeleton costumes and a run through the neighborhood. Aine wore a costume handed down by a friend, but we had to improvise a bit for Eamon. He had a skeleton shirt already. We bought black sweatpants and true to form I painted them this afternoon. I also decided at 4pm that Aine needed a new bag for her candy. Eamon has used an embroidered one with Frankenstein's monster on it. So under her careful direction, I sewed a quick bag from felt with a moon and bat. We made it dressed with make-up and out the door for plenty of Halloween fun.

Happy Halloween

Eamon and Aine dressed as skeletons this year for Halloween. We had to paint pants for Eamon to match his skeleton shirt. He voted for painting over other methods. Each had their face painted and were delighted with the prospect of gobs of candy. Aine had a hard time not touching her face, whereas Eamon was upset with the skeleton mouth and absence of teeth.

Aine pranced from house to house giggling about getting more and more candy. Both were quite please with their loot as we headed for home. After picking a few pieces each, we set it out for the Halloween Fairy to take and leave a little money for a treat at the store. Tomorrow we will be shopping at Target.