December 31, 2009

Goodbye and Hello

So long December, welcome January and the new year. 2009 has been quite a year for our family. Ups and downs, as all our lives do. Many joys, adventures, challenges, and even a success here and there...

Thank you dearly for following us though 2009 in this space. We wish you all wellness and happiness for 2010.

December 22, 2009

Due Date

Our little guy who is just two days shy of eleven weeks was 'due' today. How things would have been different had he come around now. I'm a firm believer that babies come when they are ready (or need to be ready, as the case may be) regardless of our own readiness. And in our case we were wholly unprepared for what challenges came with both our babies, despite the vast difference in their arrival time. Even eleven weeks later, I still have days where I feel completely unprepared for what the day brings. Save those days we're settling in nicely to our little family of four. What a lucky guy to have so many who love him dearly.

Now if I were the type to labor for five days instead of five hours, the project Piper and I - Papa and Piper - the whole family worked on over many days would have made the perfect labor project. Someone should have told me sugar cookies take so long when I told Piper we could do it when she found the cookie cutters in the grocery store. Between the scratchy voiced requests for 'more tea Mama' and 'I want to pee-pee' from our potty learner with a cold, and a LOT of time spent nursing it really did take us five days to complete. I now know why I was banned from baking duties when I was growing up.

We're now up to our ears in cookies. One batch makes too many for our family. This is only half. Next time we'll make half and hope for a two day time line.

December 21, 2009

Winter Solstice

We bundled up and went to the annual solstice bonfire put on by Friends of Starkweather Creek last night. I put Calder in the mei tei and wore my maternity jacket over the top of us. Who knew that would come in handy this winter weeks after having Calder. The fire was warm, there were songs to be sung, drums to be played and good folks a plenty. It was quite cleansing and hopeful. We were given a slip of paper to write our three wishes on. First is something you wish to be free of, second something you wish to come to be, and third is anything - something completely shallow if you like. I wrote out wishes for our little family and tossed them into the fire. Hoping all your wishes this holiday season come to fruition.

Happy Solstice to all!

December 10, 2009


I find them like this often throughout our days. On this occasion Piper was singing 'b-i-n-g-o' and chanting 'Winda' (Linda, our favorite nurse from the NICU) to him. I guess she likes him, and he has no choice but to like her.

I hope all you locals survived the blizzard yesterday. We made do with some time in the snow, some naps and a visit with the neighbors.

December 03, 2009

Snow Flakes

It snowed! First time this season. The first time Piper can remember. We watched from the window, she in awe telling us everything it was on top of. Then we bundled up and out we went. She enjoyed it. Enjoyed it being thrown at her, around her, at others and laying in it.

Then like a book in our current rotation, she made a snow angel.

Papa and Calder watched us from the window and joined us for hot chocolate later.

November 30, 2009

Our Life With Two

A few quiet moments amongst the mess from our day.

November 25, 2009


On these days dedicated to giving thanks, we have much to be thankful for. We brought our sweet little man home today. We're joyful to finally be home together at last. We now face new challenges and time management. Time now for shutting ourselves in and enjoying our baby moon.
Calder Carlson Hess
born to home
November 25th 2009, 2:20ish
5 lbs 14.1 oz and 17 3/4 inches

November 22, 2009

Around Here

Things have been moving a bit slower around these parts in the past few weeks. Aside from those moments we spend with the smallest member of our family. Some how those move faster. When Calder was still Two we were making changes in our little home to better fit our needs and our growing family. It started with our ambitious goal of finishing our house to-do list and morphed into additional adjustments. Some small, some larger to make the most of our small home and make the space we do have work best for us and our evolving family. After Calder's arrival things were put on hold and then eventually resumed but at a much slower pace. At last things seem to be coming together and this is what we have been working on while waiting for us all to be together:
: : I know many are eagerly awaiting an update on Calder. He's doing well, up to 5# 13oz. We hope to know more tomorrow about his homecoming.

November 12, 2009

Doing What She Likes Best

: : This one is by Grandpapa from Piper's first ever stay away - to the farm. : :

November 08, 2009

One Month

Calder is one month old today. He's smiley (other than for this picture - can't a guy just sleep with Papa undisturbed?), mellow and full of little boy charm. Oh, and nearly 5 pounds - 4# 15.7oz.

November 04, 2009

These Days

In the last few days Piper and I worked on an art project. Something we've not done in a few weeks and missed dearly. She did the fun part. I did the cutting part. She got to get all messy with the finger paints and had herself quite a time. (Anyone else notice that wearing art smocks, unless they cover the full body, doesn't necessarily mean there will be no paint on the clothing underneath? And they most certainly do not protect the artist's face!)

When all was said and done I was inspired to wash the floor (no better reason to do that other than post art project clean up) and we had a kitchen sized piece of paper that needed to dry for a day - really it did!

We, O.K. I, then turned said sheet of paper into to these...leaves. Piper's new found obsession. Oodles come in from outside with nearly every trip in the door. Part of them ended up taped to our living room windows, they are quite cute when the sun shines through them, and a few were taken to decorate Calder's room.

After all the sweet babe is in an open air crib now, he must have some new decorations to look at. Even better that they are big sister made.

October 20, 2009

Day Thirteen

Calder is right on track. Doing exactly what they expect him to do as a 'former 29 and 2'. He's up to 3lbs 6.7oz today. Doesn't seem like much, but to us that's great progress. And progress is all we're after.

Piper is back home with us. I *think* she may have missed us a bit towards the end. Has fallen quite gracefully into our routine. Such a trooper to spend all the time she does at the hospital.

Here's a little sweetness to add to your day. (Sorry for the slightly blurry picture, it's hard to get a crisp one without a flash.)

Shortly after we had Calder I came across this quote:

Take your needle, my child,
and work at your pattern —
it will come out a rose by and by.
Life is like that . . . one stitch
at a time, taken patiently.
-- Oliver Wendell Homes--

That's what I've been doing off and on throughout the days. Working on my stack of knitting. Zac joked that I should bring my sewing machine to the hospital, that would be a soothing, familiar sound to Calder. That's not quite feasible... I'll continue knitting.

He got a hat and two pairs of booties (first pair was too short for his long-ish skinny feet) before I was even discharged.

I've been working away on a kicking bag since mid last week. Stitch by tiny stitch, patiently.

October 10, 2009

He's here.

Quite a bit earlier than we had expected, but we're thrilled he's here and doing as well as is he is.

Calder Carlson Hess

October 8, 2009 4:34 am

3 lbs 2 oz and 15 1/5" long

October 06, 2009


We took a much needed getaway to a B&B in Sparta. Our lovely two days started with blueberry pancakes prepared by Zac. Then a little jaunt over to the apple orchard. Piper liked riding in the wagon, didn't even want to get out to help pick apples. Rather just wanted them piled on top of her. We left 35 pounds of apples richer. Lots of apple sauce, apple pie and apple butter in our future. Yum.
Our B&B was a homey little cabin with a fireplace and a whirlpool tub. Both a treat for us. Piper had two nice 'swims' in the bubble bath.
Followed by a lot of running around sans clothing and a rock by the fire. It was a wonderful treat to spend some extended time together as a family.

Even got a little fireside knitting time.

October 01, 2009

Hello October!

The last two mornings we've had muffins for breakfast. The best, and our favorite, muffins. We even had them a time or two with breakfast last week. I thought I'd share the recipe since they are so good, everyone I know to have had them loves them, and the fresh ingredients are in season right now. Most likely readily available at your local farmers market. They freeze wonderfully, by the way. This is a recipe from Food to Live By: The Earthbound Farm Organic Cookbook, slightly altered by a master chef, my mama. As she says, they are a well-rounded breakfast great with butter or cream cheese.

Morning Glory Muffins

2 1/4 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/4 c. sugar
1 T. ground cinnamon
2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 can (8 oz) crushed pineapple, drained
2 c. finely grated carrots (from about 6 carrots)
1 large apple, such as Fugi, Gala, grated
3/4 c. raisins
1/2 c. shredded sweetened coconut
1/2 c. coarsely chopped pecans/walnuts
3 large eggs
3/4 c. canola oil
1 t. pure vanilla extract

1.) Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350F.
2.) Place the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda and salt in a large bowl and whisk well to combine. Add the pineapple, carrots, apple, raisin, coconut and nuts and stir to combine.
3.) Place the eggs, oil and vanilla in a small bowl and whisk to combine well. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Spoon the batter into prepared muffin cups filing them almost to the brim.
4.) Bake them till they are done (inserted toothpick comes out clean) - 30-40 mins.
5.) Cool on wire rack.

Can be stored in an airtight container up to three days, frozen up to two months.

September 30, 2009

An Autumn Project

Since it feels like autumn today (and for the last few days) and we're starting to see our sidewalk fill with fallen leaves, we did a seasonal art project.

This was Piper's first, allowed, experience with the glue stick. I cut the tree trunk and leaves. Piper glued like a crazed woman and put on the leaves. She originally only wanted to put leaves on the 'ground,' but ended up putting most of them on, or near, the branches.

We posted it on the fridge. Piper likes to point and say, 'I make it.' Yes, sweet P you made it.

September 27, 2009

Weekend Glimpse

: : Milwaukee Zoo : :

: : I guess they are still down there : :

September 22, 2009

Fall Farming

Piper and I started our week late, we took a long weekend. It's was rainy Tuesday, not that the plants didn't need it, but not much was accomplished. Motivation comes hard on days like those. Yesterday everything was saturated, the air and the ground. Which meant drying the diapers on the line was pointless, but that's fine. We took a leisurely stroll and picked up some treasures along the way, fallen fall colored leaves. The presence of changing leaves must mean fall is here. And the start of our nature table, which I've wanted to do for some time now.

Piper and I took our long weekend at Ninepatch. Where much fun was had. We went to a very hip baby shower for my brother and his wife. It was hosted by his boss, who has an amazing home - to say the least. Quite a feast for the eyes.

Piper got a chance to really 'move cows' with Grandpapa in her barn boots. She was up early in anticipation. I *think* she must of had fun, she wanted her barn boots on first thing this morning and wore them until nap time. Good thing we decided to bring them home with us. We joked that she can be the Ninepatch baby (a la the Gerber baby.) We'd hold a contest out of fairness, but we'd already know the winner.

September 17, 2009

Fears Overcome

I not so recently got my Grandmother's inherited serger from my parents. And as I've said to a few, I'm intimidated by it. For many reasons, first it looks intimidating (look at it), plus it cuts the fabric as you sew, most of all it was my Grandmother's. She was a wonderful sewer and took great care of all her possessions, as we all should. I felt that my using the machine meant many things to live up to. One day recently, Zac had to work late and I could think of nothing else to do. I pulled it out of the storage container, put it on the table, stared at it, inspected it and read the manual cover to cover. Still not one hundred percent sure as to what I was doing, I figured I just needed to try. And I did. A few scraps first, then I sewed some butt cloths and a diaper doubler. Nothing that exciting, but I did it. I tread in uncertain waters. I'm on my way. Still think I may need a sit down with my sewing-guru aunt for more instruction (my mama's good idea.)

As an aside... as I was making bread this morning, which by the way goes twice as fast around here as store bought bread ever did, I thought of something my friend said. At our BBQ she told my mama that I was so 'domesticated' (a compliment -- I hope.) At said BBQ, Zac's mom gave me an apron - vintage I think. As I donned the apron this morning to make our bread, I even felt 'domesticated'. Maybe it's just the thoughts of the 'domestic duties' the other women who've owned this apron have preformed in it. Regardless, it all makes me feel grounded. You'll see, apron or not, I still manage to get flour all over Two.

September 14, 2009

sweet outfit

This morning, after a brief lapse in the running commentary from my love, I found her in the porch dressing up. What a great outfit! Apparently, she needed something to keep her a little warmer today while she 'move cows' in her barn boots. A newborn hat and her mittens did the trick, I guess.

princesses and more

We kept busy this last week with canning peaches, a trip to the zoo and new-to-us playground, a crafternoon with a friend, lots of 'moving of the cows' in our new barn boots, some more sewing, and more playing.

Saturday we attended our niece's, Piper's cousin, princess party. The little ladies were supposed to dress up in princess outfits. Since we don't know what Disney is around here Piper wore a mama-made and mama-interpretation of a princess costume. Piper thought it was fun. Enjoyed the skirt more than the hat, as it was hard to keep on for a long time. We gave the princess of honor one of my jackets.

Then rounded out the weekend with an impromptu visit from Marmar, Grandpapa, three aunties and an uncle.

Hoping your weekend had fairytale quality.

September 04, 2009

Yum. Raspberries

This morning we ventured out to the raspberry patch for some deliciousness. A bit earlier than we went last year, the leaves were changing already on our last trip. We couldn't resist, the nice sunny weather beckoned us out. And out we went. Along with us came Auntie, new to town and not yet working which means some time during the day to spend with us. Picking, we found, is much easier in peak season...making note for next year.

Piper ate her weight in raspberries, or at the very least nearly a pint. Now for some jam and some eating.

We hope you all have a wonderful long weekend. And you find some way to savor these last beautiful days of summer. We're going to try our best to do so.