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  • Archive for April, 2015

    Instead of doing a long write-up I shot a video instead of how I make my lactation oatmeal as well as a review about some nursing tops I bought from Latched Mama a few weeks ago. The nursing sports bras I mention were these from Target but they aren’t showing up on Target’s site any longer. You may be able to find them in the stores still.

    There’s a cute baby apperance about halfway through. 🙂

    I’ve written about podcasts I listen to a few times before but I figured it was time for another list.


    +One Bad Mother
    +The Longest Shortest Time

    Fitness/Healthy Living

    +Rich Roll Podcast By far my favorite fitness podcast. I’ll even forgive him for having the Food Babe on a month or so ago.
    +Lift Like A Girl Podcast
    +Real Food & Beyond
    +Strong Woman Radio
    +Rise & Resist
    +No Meat Athlete

    +The Scot & Sassenach An Outlander tv show podcast
    +Picture Shows & Petticoats My cousin Elizabeth’s podcast for period piece tv shows. Usually they cover Downton Abbey but she’s also covering Outlander. I’ve been a guest a few times during the first half of season 1 back in August and recently joined for the first episode this half of season 1 and will be reappearing again soon!
    +I also listen to a variety of shows from AfterBuzz TV for Scandal, Mad Men, Better Call Saul, Homeland, Downton Abbey, to name a few.

    +Ferm Up A Fermentation podcast
    +Fermentation Podcast Another fermentation podcast

    +The Girl Next Door
    +Elise Gets Crafty
    +Pickled Okra My cousin Elizabeth’s podcast with her friend Jolene.
    +Radio Free Burrito from Wil Wheaton. Just discovered this one.

    +Pox & Puss Podcast AT related for the most part and generally hilarious!
    +Trailside Radio A PCT thru-hiker is doing this one as he hikes the trail this year. I really loved the second episode where he interviewed two female hikers who often hike solo.
    +The Trail Show I was interviewed by them about the Florida Trail last year! I like to listen in big globs, waiting a few months and then listening to a couple of shows at once.

    I also will randomly listen to episodes of Invisibilia, Freakanomics, This American Life, RadioLab, and a host of other NPR/public radio type shows. There are also other podcasts I listen to but not on a regular basis and usually just to check to see if there’s a topic I think I’ll enjoy that they are covering.

    Got any recommendations?


    I’m in one of those spells where I need to be quiet despite the fact that there is all sorts of stuff rattling around in my head that needs to be written here. Needs. It doesn’t necessarily need to be written, but I want to write. I like going back through my archives on occasion and seeing what I’ve done in some particular period of time. It gives me a reminder that when I feel like life is just hectic or complicated and hairy, that I was enjoying something at any given time—even if it was just that a plant was blooming in the garden.

    Last week I spent a lot of time trying to work on another flower bed, weeding it and getting mulch laid down. On the weekend I would get spurts here and there, an spare 30 minutes or an hour where Forest would oblige me by chilling out in his walker on the porch or reclining back with his pacifier in the stroller. If it wasn’t the weekend I’d spend an hour—if I could—after Forest went to bed before the sun set, getting more work done. Weeds and overzealous plants that needed thinning were pulled, thrown into the grass nearby or into one of the bazillion 5-gallon buckets we have, to later be added into the compost pile.

    I miss the days where I would come home from work and hurriedly eat dinner and then spend 2-3 hours in the yard every evening if I wanted. I’d be on top of the weeding, mow the yard, weed-eat the edges where the mower wouldn’t get, pull the grass out from around the trees, weed and take care of the vegetable garden. I can’t do that anymore. My focus is tending to one thing at a time, which is to get the flower beds into a manageable condition before the heat of the summer takes over. Chris does a lot of what I don’t get to but even he isn’t keeping up to the pace he used to.

    Something I also want to do is spend time in my studio. I realized a few weeks ago that there are many hobbies that I just won’t ever have the time for or be good at, really the desire isn’t there. One of those is sewing. I have a ton of fabric that I had stashed over the years or it was handed down to me from my mom via my grandmother. I don’t need it. I’m not going to sew. I have done blankets in the past and even started one a few months ago for my friend’s baby, but it hasn’t been finished yet. It really just left me incredibly frustrated. So, I want to go through that as well as go through some of the general crap in my studio that I don’t need or want. It’s really all very low priority-wise but in my mind I want to do it.

    The blog here needs a re-design, too. My book needs to be completed on the editing end. Sometimes I get a rush of energy in my mind to complete it but then I just very blah with it because it doesn’t seem very appealing to me to complete.

    In other words, my creative juices are just not flowing. I can’t even finish reading books these days. I had a pile of them checked out at the library and renewed one of them three times before I just returned it because my head wasn’t in the game. Most of the time, at the end of the day, what sounds good is laying on the couch and watching tv or catching up on blogs.

    Hopefully I can get out of this creative funk someday soon.





    What’s up in Forest’s world these days?

    Forest attended his first wedding last weekend when our coworker got married in a tiny town in south-central Texas. Forest was able to let the bride get down the aisle and an opening word said from the priest before he decided he wanted to be more active than I wanted him to be, so we hung out in the foyer at the back of the church for awhile. Later we escaped outside with the rest of the adults who had children under 2 that were more vocal or active than is needed for a wedding.

    On the solid food front our efforts with Baby Led Weaning have stalled. Apparently my kid has a giant gag reflex which has not lent itself to a successful journey on the BLW front. It’s a little disapointing because he does enjoy feeding himself when he is interested and not gagging, and we’ve had some success with mashed avocado and banana, even carrots on occassion, but anything of BLW size and odd textures will instigate that reflex—-heck, even purées will do that, too, especially if he is surprised by a spoon in the mouth. He very much needs to have control in getting the food to his mouth so I often let him assist me in guiding the spoon to his mouth. He was really cute one night when he used his tongue to lick the food off of the spoon! He’s definitely shown a greater interest in savory purées.

    During the weekends I’ve been trying to offer food three times a day. He seems to be interested in 1-2 of those meals and the others he just fusses and wants nothing to do with eating. I had started last week trying to offer a breakfast of oatmeal or banana in the morning but he was definitely not interested in eating that early, which I should know as he typically doesn’t even nurse for an hour or so after we get up. I haven’t even bothered sending any food to daycare yet because he just hasn’t shown a major interest in eating solids yet and I know they’d just be wasting a lot of food.

    Right now my goal is just to at least initiate and offer food every evening and at least a few times a week he might eat a tablespoon or so of a purée or go to town attempting to self feed avocado or banana. Some nights he wants nothing to do with it all and he’s in an out of the highchair in under five minutes. So food is just a slow start at the moment. I’m not worried as I’ve read a lot of babies aren’t interested until 9-10 months, some even until 12 months. Lots of milk for Forest right now!

    His verbal skills are getting better with new sounds coming out of his mouth every few days. I’ve started hearing ‘ma-ma-ma-ma’ on occasion but he still prefers saying ‘da-da-da-da’. In the last week he discovered how to blow raspberries and that’s now his favorite thing to do! It’s pretty funny and I’ll mimic him which elicits a laugh! Other than the two teeth he cut last month, he hasn’t cut any more despite his continuing to push on his gums—this time he’s moved to the top gums. I keep thinking ‘any day now’ but no new teeth have appeared. He’s been sticking his tongue out between his lips, too, which I think might be a soothing technique.

    I’ve noticed he’s dropped down to two naps at daycare lately. I may have mentioned that in the last update but it has continued these last few weeks. He usually gets a morning nap and then an noon-time/1pm-ish nap. Every once in awhile he’ll fall asleep on the way home from daycare or when I nurse him as soon as we get home, but really he’s just awake and interested in being up and about as soon as we get home from daycare. Of course an hour later he’s crashing and ready for bed. I still try to get him to have three naps during the weekend days if I can, though it doesn’t always work out. If at least one of the naps on the weekend is over an hour then it isn’t nearly as bad not to get that third nap in.

    He’s been moving in his walker a little bit over the last week or two. Just a month ago I was putting a pillow or a folded blanket under his feet so that he wasn’t dangling in the walker but now he can reach on his tip-toes pretty good. This allows him to move a little bit while in the walker and I’m sure next month he’ll be all over the living room and dining room in the walker.

    Another milestone is that he’s very close to sitting up by himself. He will sit for several good seconds before falling over but every week he gets better. I know he will enjoy sitting up and playing when he’s able to handle that.

    Here’s some more photos and a few from the wedding reception.















    Forest had his first experience on a swing at Mimi and PawPaw’s house over Easter. I think overall he was quite happy about the experience and I wish we had a good limb at our house for one. Unfortunately most of our trees are tall without low limbs, though there is the live oak by the street—but it is by the street.




    On Saturday my mom, sister-in-law Stephanie, Forest, and I did a 5K walk fundraiser for my mom and Stephanie’s church. We successfully walked it in under an hour despite the air turning chilly that morning. I did not plan for cool weather so Chris, Forest and I had cool weather clothes—at least Forest had one long sleeve onesie and a hat tucked into his diaper bag, that was it! Forest ended up borrowing some of Grayson’s clothes which fit in the waist but were a bit long still. Forest was also very good during the walk, had his pacifier in his mouth and chilled the entire time. I was really expecting to have to stop and change his diaper or feed him but he let us get our walk in without any problems.













    Then there was egg hunting at the church afterwards. Forest had a little bit of help from his daddy!








    Later that afternoon we popped over to the park around the corner from my parent’s house for some photos. These are a few of my favorites from that shoot. It made me really want to get back into portrait photography sometime in the near future.










    I ended up with a massive headache late Saturday night that lasted until mid-morning Monday, so Sunday’s egg hunting was rough on me. Mom carried Forest around while I grabbed eggs that didn’t require me to bend down too far. Anytime I moved my head my the pressure in my head got incredibly bad and then I got dizzy. I’m not sure what the deal was, but it was pretty awful. The air was also cool once again and with a front that came through bringing rain, we almost didn’t get to hunt eggs outside.

    It was a great weekend and I really can’t wait for Forest to travel just a smidge better so I can start making more trips up there again. I really miss visiting DFW every few months like I had been doing previous to Forest arriving.


    Castilleja purpurea, purple paintbrush




    Wild onion flowers

    New trail



    Where the old trail was…








    On Good Friday we drove up to Ft. Worth for the Easter weekend. We got up early and made good time, stopping just twice to change and feed Forest. Always in a Tex-Mex mood when I hit the DFW area (because, seriously, Houston doesn’t compare to Tex-Mex in DFW) we went to Mexican Inn on East Lancaster in Ft. Worth, my parent’s old stomping grounds growing up. It was only a hop and skip across the road to Tandy Hills and I wanted to scope out the wildflowers. Unfortunately we were a few weeks early for a peak wildflower bloom there, but we did see a few purple paintbrushes and other small wildflowers on the prairie there. Our hike was short lived as Zoe opted for returning to the car not long after we arrived. It was a nice breath of fresh air, though, and a stretch of our legs as we had spent so much time in the car that morning.















    I keep thinking that maybe we’ll actually catch up in the garden, get ahead of the new growth and get the weeds in check, but it is a slow going process. I just don’t have the time to devote to it as I normally do and Chris is busy doing other yard work a lot of the time and isn’t as focused on the flower garden as I am. Still, the garden is growing and blooming away.

    Anomatheca laxa, woodland painted petals

    Moss coming up in a pot on the potting bench.

    The pine tree log ‘pot’ is filling in nicely.

    The leaves on the fig tree are coming out and looking lovely in the evening light.


    Dianthus along the pathway.

    Columbines in bloom.



    Rhododendron canescens, pink azaleas in bloom.


    April 2, 2014

    March 31, 2015

    Biggest differences: more weeds this year, leaves for mulch because we haven’t mulched again—yet, and the pine tree is gone. Last year was much more maintained! The irises near the front door are blooming in both photos, though hard to see.

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