Last week was a long one. 

My little guy has been having some semi-serious (serious to me, but not that serious considering what it could be) health issues.

He's always been a little guy, but since about 12 months old, his growth has decreased to almost a stand still in terms of weight. He grows taller, but at 19 months he still hadnt hit 20 pounds yet. 

When we switched from a private Dr to Kaiser they immediately flagged his weight. I started going in every other week for a weight check, communicating with a nutritionalist, keeping a food log (and coercing Papa into keeping one as well) and last week we had to take him into have his blood work and urine samples taken. 

As anxious as I was, Cruz couldnt have been a bigger champ. They sat me down in a chair with Cruz on my lap, his legs tucked between mine and my arms bear hugging all of him but the arm from which they would be extracting the blood. Papa was holding his head, a nurse was holding his little extended arm and a second nurse was checking his arms for veins. They checked and rechecked and triple checked his little arms to make sure they got a good vein. And then they proceeded to take 5 vials of his blood. 

The best part...not a peep out of my little guy. Not when 3 people were pinning him to my body or when they were poking and prodding and tourniquet-ing him. Not when they stuck the needle in. Nothing. He just looked on as his little heart palpations sent more and more blood through little tubes. 

What a brave little guy. 

They are not quite sure what's causing the lack in growth, but are covering all their bases. 

We are still waiting on the results. I am sure he is just fine (but a Mama's mind does wander to some scary places at times). 

Hope to be back for regular posts this week. 


Spinning Records

I just love record players. 
Something about them feels very romantic to me.

I can't wait to own one someday. 
Unfortunately they go quickly at the thrifts around here. 
I'll find the perfect one, eventually. I am sure of it. 

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4


Mama Made It: Toddler Toys

As Cruz gets older and enters the ever entertaining world of Toddlerhood, I find stimulating him to be an increasingly tougher task. He has never been much of a toys kind of boy, always preferring to be outside, running, jumping, playing, puddle stomping. But lately I can see him feeling the desire to learn more and more. He tries so hard to say every word I tell him. He is loving to paint and draw and build. I started seeing him needing to be stimulated. If he isn't getting enough of that stimulation he cries for attention, or worse, television.

So, I decided to start looking around for toys and activities that would keep that little mind of his spinning.

I'm not a huge fan of plastic/computerized/battery operated toys so I knew I wanted to keep it simple. Unfortunately, these days, simple comes at a price. All the Waldorf style and Montessori style toys I could find were pretty far out of my single mama budget.

But the more I researched, the more I realized that I could definitely recreate a lot of these things on my own. So recreate, I did.

I found this great website called Woodworks Ltd that sold all the wood pieces I wanted at a wholesale price that was available to the public.

And here is a super simple little tutorial for anyone interested in making their little ones some sweet, simple toys.

I decided to make a color matching game using the little pots and the acorns (they came separate but fit together perfect). I saw this idea on etsy, retailing for close to $30.00

I was using the little pails for a different project. I was going to paint them as well, but decided to go ahead and leave them natural so that Cruz wouldn't be overwhelmed with a ton of color. 

I used watercolors that we had on hand. Paint them any way you like. You get get creative with different kinds of paint or wood stains.

Finishing the set took me about 15 minutes

Here are some colored balls that I made previously that I paired with the plain pails to create an "in and out" game. Cruz loves to take things out and put them away.

I decided to save the color matching game to give to Cruz as a Christmas present. I had quite a few leftovers, so if you know me and we have kids the same age, pretend you didnt see this because its probably what I am making your little one for Christmas!

Hope you enjoyed. 


A (very) Little Garden

I snapped a few photographs of our (very) little garden. 

Its spread strategically around our property to fool the deers. One big garden is deer heaven. Several little gardens and they dont seem to notice.

Some sweet peas creeping up a chicken coop.
Basil, Swiss Chard and Lettuce.

As well as a little Rosemary, thyme, two kinds of mint and some white beans. 
I anxiously await warmer weather so I can add some new and exciting plants as well as lots of flowers for my soon to be(e) colony. 


Football Fan

Its called the Egg Bowl. 
And its a real big deal around these parts.
We used to be the egg capital of the world and we still hold that honor in pretty high esteem.
So highly, that we named our High School football, once a year, big rivalry game after it.
My little brother ( Uncle D as Cruz calls him) is a varsity starter.
And Cruz takes it really serious. 



I mentioned in my last post that we (Cruz and I, he is a super big helper) recently bought some baby chicks. we started off small with just two little ones. They were so very sweet and were slotted to lay blue/green eggs (chickens dont start laying eggs until they are between 4-6 months old). Sadly, they escaped on their first afternoon in the coop, but after many weeks in the brooder and plenty of time for us to get attached. I like to think that they now free range around the thousands of acres surrounding my home. Not likely (impossible) do to the robust amount of wildlife around here (foxes, mountain lions, etc) but its nicer to think of it like that. 

So I bought 4 more. 
4, this time, because the season is ending for local places to be keeping baby chicks for sale and to order from large hatcheries you have to place an order of 25 or more (they will die without each others body heat).  So 4 it was and is. We have two brown egg layers and 2 white egg layers. 

I am lucky enough to have a Dad who is an awesome (amazing, incredible) woodworker and he build me a very charming and rustic coop. Exactly what I wanted. We (he) used old wood from around our property which kept the prices to pretty much nothing (save latches, knobs, nails, etc). 

We are just loving our little ladies. So fun to watch them grow. 


Bee's and Honey and All Things Sweet

Lately I have been in love with the idea of micro eco farming. Actually, I always have been, I just recently discovered that it had a name. And finally acquired some space to make it happen. Some people might now it as "the one acre farm."

If you follow my Instagram you may know that I decided to start keeping chickens (more later) and bought some of the sweetest baby chicks... that got away. So I got some more baby chicks who are merrily cheeping away in their brooder as we speak. This felt like the first step, for me, towards creating my little farm life. With that endeavor well under way, I have moved on to the thoughts that have currently set up lodging in my mind. Beekeeping. With lots of research and some fantastic books, I am getting more and more excited for spring to get here so I can move my little furry, flying ones in. I have the perfect space all picked out for them and now all thats left to do is whittle away the winter and prepare for their homecoming. Spring seems so far off doesn't it? I will just have to lust away over these pictures until I get the chance to make my own.

Source: 1 2 3 



A silly picture I had to make of my boy for my photoshop class. 

Sometimes, on a tough morning, he bores a great resemblance to this. 

Love him!


Mind if I Jump Back in the Saddle?

I have tons of no excuses for being gone so long other then that I have been, once again, adjusting to the changes that life gives us. Some being beautiful changes, others being challenging. But all leading me one step closer to the life I see for my little family. 

And, Oh how I've missed this space. I think about it almost everyday. I write blog posts in my head on a daily basis. I crave the feedback and community that comes from writing about my life here. But, I will be honest in that I plan to take this little blog in a different direction then it has been in the past, if only for the fact that my life is going in a completely different direction then it has been in the past few years. I love sharing and documenting here and I plan (hope) to get to continue doing that as time allows. 

In the name of dipping my toes back in the water, here are some pictures of one of my most favorite activities from one of my most favorite holidays.

Pumpkin patches are some of my most favorite memories with Cruz. 
We have already visited two this week and its only the 9th!