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personal stories

Milestones and upcoming excitement in 2013

This week has been a milestone week for Everly & Adalyn. They are now playing together, like actually both enjoying the same thing… And they are cooperating. As opposed to parallel play or Adalyn simply undoing everything Everly is trying to do. This is a welcome development. Adalyn has also discovered the joys of trying on her sisters clothes. It was so cute when she came out of their bedroom with an arm load of stuff for me to help her put on.

Everly seems to be really warming to the idea of being a big sister lately. She leads Addie around all day on excursions and she loves to try assisting us in coaxing Addie to do various things (like eat or have a diaper change). We’ve even had a few instances where mom & dad fail to get Adalyn’s cooperation but she’ll do it for Everly. I feel the girls will be conspiring against us sooner rather than later. LOL. One afternoon I even had to intervene as Everly was coaxing Adalyn to wipe her after a poop. It was one for the baby book!

Everly flies solo for Montessori preschool today!

My baby girl went to school on her own for the first time today. *tear*
Addie and Mommy had to drop her off and come back home since Addie has a nasty tummy bug (aka purging from both directions) and a fever. Everly didn’t even seem to care… I am amazed, surprised and very proud of her.

I’ve normally been hanging out there at the home where her Montessori preschool classes take place. Everly was super insecure about starting school this winter and she cried a few times when she couldn’t stay with me as opposed to doing class upstairs with the other kids.The intention has been to gradually ease her in to doing things on her own. Especially in light of the lack of  childless time (aka dates) Nathan and I have had since becoming parents. We’ve left Everly in someone elses care three times total, in almost 4 years.

On sowing seeds, both for the garden and in our lives…

All winter we’ve been helping Everly to sow the seeds to her intellectual future by introducing her to Montessori style learning both at home and once a week for preschool. Adalyn has also been giving some of the activities a try.

I’d always been on the fence about sending my kids off for someone else to educate. I personally wasn’t a fan of the educational system I came up through and expect my girls to be intelligent but perhaps not all that interested in book learning. I suspect, based on how learning has progressed here at home, that a more hands on approach would be needed. The knee jerk response is to just homeschool… however, the Montessori method of learning is both intriguing and it seems to meet our needs.

Throat soothing tea: A natural cold and flu home remedy

We’ve had a case of respiratory sickness, since the week before thanksgiving. It all started when I went to observe a Montessori class in prep for enrolling Everly. The sick kids and germs were running rampant.

First Everly got sick, then Adalyn. Nathan got it next, then they passed it around a bit… I was the last to come down with it, just as everyone was getting better and just as Christmas was coming.

Dear children, Mommy and Daddy just want some sleep for Christmas.

We know it is very exciting to be a newly walking baby and that growing like 4 molars at once is a major bummer but you still must sleep. Especially with us all being sick with the plague!

Sleep is the perfect way to hide from those teeth pains and the unfortunate symptoms of sickness, Everly has it all figured out. She can sleep right through a plane crash I bet cause she certainly sleeps right through your wailing when you wake and your assertive demands to nurse when your dad comes to you in the middle of the night instead of me.

Emergence in the life cycle of our foods, even with small children

We strive to buy grass fed, free range meats, some of you already know this and also strive for the same thing. We’ve been on the bandwaggon for about four years now, we started by committing to a beef, pork and chicken CSA – it was great. All humanely raised, naturally fed and local.

Since our CSA meat provider discontinued service we have been forced to discover the availability of other meat providers. Remarkably they are often quite affordable too! Admittedly, good, humane meat is a bit harder to find than simply visiting your local grocery store but it really isn’t impossible and is certainly worth the effort in our opinion.

Post turkey day reflections & a new holiday tradition: The Advent Basket

Thanksgiving day Adalyn took her first solo steps. Time is just flying by. Everly starts school this last week. Last week we also had our first snow flurries. We found a butterfly living in our office. I am betting it’s the offspring of one of the many bugs Everly has captured and brought inside.

I cut off a bunch of my own hair and im flabbergasted that Christmas is just a few short weeks away.

I’ve been working hard at planning and prepping for our new advent tradition… The advent basket.

Over 300 lbs of produce, first steps and sleeping at night…

As thanksgiving approaches much reflection and taking stock of things has been happening. The time has flown by with all the gardening, child rearing and the explosion of my client base. There hasn’t been much time for solitary thinking or blogging, until now.

We hauled in over 300lbs of garden fresh produce and about 8 dozen eggs since August for our own enjoyment and sustenance. That doesn’t even count the 3 large boxes and 1 wagon full of green & ripening tomatoes in the garage right now. Prior to August we weren’t keeping record of our harvests but there were pounds and pounds of berries among other things. It’s crazy to see just how much food you can eek out of a garden.

Two sisters are now sharing a room

October 24th 2012, I wrote this: One gloomy fall day, on a mom's whim, two sister were laid down to nap. They giggled and romped instead, didnt even bonk their heads! Sleep they did not but mom got a break even if they were in the other room, still awake. After rejected naptime they did sleep. At bedtime, right away they fell fast asleep! Since then they've been sharing a room. It's good but sad because it means soon, two big girls will be independent and strong, less and less they'll be needing their mom. All week 13 month old Adalyn has been sleeping in the room with 3 yr old Everly. We aren't sleeping through the night yet, Adalyn still wakes about once a night to nurse...

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Celiac disease & gluten detoxing (again)- It’s hell over here!

It's been seven months since I've begun limiting my gluten intake and about nine months since my gut healing efforts through restricted diet have begun. Gluten intake has been on the mind much since it appears Adalyn's severe symptoms (both behaviorally and physically) and my own symptoms improve when gluten intake is limited & reduced as much a possible. I say "as much as possible" because I know the hidden gluten (lurking in cross contamination, packaged foods and such) is still finding a way in every so often. We just got back from a free Celiac blood screening courtesy of The University of Chicago's Celiac Disease Center, I should have my test results back in a few months. I choose to be screened since I've recently discovered some buried family medical history that...

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Keeping chickens & eating them: Thoughts on our first experience processing

It's a cold and gloomy day here, we are in the upper 50's this afternoon and the vibe is very lazy. Everly has been watching childrens movies on the couch today, specifically snow related holiday ones. She knows the seasons are changing and is excitedly dreaming of lots of snow this winter. I've been spending some much needed time on my own blog's todo list between caring for the girls and the home. On days like today an effortless, home-cooked, nourishing meal is best. So, I've got one of our roosters in the soup pot in prep for Everly's favorite dinner, chicken and dumplings. Remember my blog post about Helga Crowing back in September? We always knew we needed to learn the art of chicken processing, for the sake of self sufficiency, homesteading and respect for the life cycle/...

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The half acre homestead may not be enough…

We've talked about trying to move closer to Nathan's place of employment since his major career change about two years ago. Living closer to his work would shave about 2 hours off his work day, plus he'd be able to come home for lunch some days  and we'd save money on gas prices. Plus, It seems we've reached the point where our drive to self sustain and our drive to have our farm has taken charge. Sure, we've been able to crank lots of food production out of this half acre homestead of ours...

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To Adalyn on your first birthday

A year ago today our lives changed, we became a family of four in the wee hours of the morning and many witnessed this live here on the blog. We weren't sure the day would ever come. From perceived improper positioning to going beyond the arbitrarily determined due date, we were all on pins and needles about how and when you'd arrive. Happily all went well with your arrival out at The Farm in Summertown, Tennessee. I'll admit, the fact that your birth was so public really has been my excuse for not writing out a birth story. I mean, it can be seen live so it kind of makes writing the story seem silly, one day I'll do it for you though...

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Firing the machine back up and CHIGGERS. Gah!

We just returned from a much needed family vacation (aka. break from the homestead hooligans & technology). We went to Slade, Kentucky for some outdoorsy, mountain fun. Nathan planned the whole thing complete with a cozy cabin rental, a sky ride and hike to a natural bridge, some swimming and lazy area exploration took place. We stopped many times on the way to and from destinations for preschool potty breaks and baby nursing/ changing needs. We also needed to stretch our legs and run some steam off at times so we would pull over, lay out our picnic blanket in a public area, eat and relax before continuing our road trip. After the first night in the cabin we both awoke to itching and reached for the bite cream. By the second...

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