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  • Archive for November, 2015


    Back in October I began flirting around with the idea of starting a podcast. The problem was that I had no idea how to even go about it! A little bit of reading online and an audio program download later, I was on my way to starting a podcast.

    I knew I wanted to start a gardening podcast because it seems like all of the ones I used to listen to have fallen by the wayside. I may not be an expert in gardening but most gardeners are not experts, just life long learners.

    So here I am, debuting this little podcast of mine. My goal with it is to share stories and lessons from my garden but as well as from others. You can visit the podcast page here. You can subscribe via a feed reader or via email or if you listen to podcasts in a podcatcher like Stitcher or iTunes, you can subscribe there as well. I’m still waiting for my iTunes approval to be in their searches and listing but you can subscribe manually there for now.

    I already have a second episode set to release next Monday and hope to offer two episodes a month at the moment. Any more than that and it is probably too much for me.


    +In My Head
    I need to get back on the workout wagon this coming month. November ended up being a wash since I spent so much of it with vertigo. I still have the vertigo but it seems to be mostly when I’m laying down or when I’m dealing with a lot of action in front of me that has me needing to try to absorb and focus on a lot of things. We went to Moody Gardens aquarium in Galveston over the weekend and some of their tanks had me reeling.

    Christmas is around the corner and I am still in awe that we’ve come a full year from last Christmas. I’m looking forward to getting our tree and spending every evening upstairs enjoying the lights and ambience. Last Christmas I had a little kiddo who would sleep on the Boppy while I was up there. This Christmas he should be in his crib for most of it, but I think we’ll play upstairs a lot so he can enjoy it, too. The big fun will be keeping him off the ornaments!

    Big Bang Theory and Homeland! A lot of people didn’t like last season’s Homeland because there was no Brody but I did enjoy that season. This season is even more different but I am completely shocked (as are others) at just how similar the season is panning out to current events, particuarly everything to do with Syria and the refugee crisis. From what I understand the show runners are being very adamant to state that this is a fictional show and it has nothing to do with current events, but damn, the writers did their research and must have used a fortune teller! It’s a very good season!

    +Outside My Window
    Typical winter in Texas: wet and cold. It looks pretty, though! I think we got peak leaf color a bit later than normal this year.

    +In The Art Studio
    I hung Christmas lights in the studio a few weeks ago and it has really changed the dynamics in there! I’ve been doing some scrapbooking but not as much this month. I’d like to get back over there a few nights every week in December.

    +In The Garden
    The vegetable garden is flourishing and I need to get back on top of the weeds. They aren’t too bad, yet, but the cool season weeds like chickweed and Carolina geranium are making their appe

    Not much! Trying to play catch up on a stack of magazines and get back into a few books.

    I just finished a blend from the Sprouts grocery store that was flavored and am now going through the Starbucks Thanksgiving blend.

    I’m kind of flummoxed at the moment because there’s not a lot on my list! November was a bit of a bummer, like I said. It went quickly, I had vertigo, went to the dentist for the first time in *cough cough* six years. There’s really no excuse for the last four years. I had insurance the entire time. I just got lazy. So, the dentist turned into a lovely affair of cavity city. Now I’m going through the multiple sessions of deep cleanings and fillings. It’s so ironic because I’m the best teeth brusher in the house *and* I drink a ton of water. I also went my first 29 years without a single cavity. And here I am at 35 with a bazillion of them. Damn that aging thing.

    Well, that was a downer of a first paragraph of a ‘loving’ post, right? SO…what do I love right now???

    A walking toddler!!! He’s so awesome and it is fun to watch him figure it all out!
    Christmas music!!
    Leftovers from Thanksgiving! mmmmm!
    A big project I’m working on that I’ll be debuting tomorrow! 🙂
    My studio! I cleaned it up a bit and put Christmas lights up and now it is my little happy place!

    Alright, what’s up with you lately?

    Typically Chris and I like to do something ‘different’ for Thanksgiving each year. It was something we started when we lived in Florida and had to decide about going home during the holidays. After the first year or two we didn’t really go back to Texas all that often, mostly because it wasn’t in our budget to do so. Because four days off at one time is a precious commodity, we usually took advantage of the days to go camping somewhere. I wrote up our Ghosts of Thanksgivings Past back in 2010 when we were stuck in deep East Texas doing field work for Thanksgiving. We worked that day and then headed into Nacogdoches to eat at the now defunct Fredonia Hotel. Maybe we saw Harry Potter??? My memory is fuzzy.

    (For a minor update to that list: 2011: Guadalupe Peak, 2012: Um, can’t find anything in my blog about it, 2013: We failed to finish the NETT and came home for a quiet Thanksgiving after, 2014: hiking at Hamilton Pool.)

    This Thanksgiving we were planning to camp over at Inks Lake State Park and had made reservations in advance back in September. Early reservations are essential for state parks in Texas because slots fill up quickly. As the weather forecast came into play last weekend we kept a close eye on what might be happening around Thanksgiving weekend. It was looking iffy 7-10 days out but that started becoming more cemented into being the closer we edged to the day itself. Rain and cold might be tolerable to two adults who backpacked 3,000+ miles over the course of a year, but throw a 15 month old into the mix and it sounds like a bad, bad plan.

    So, we cancelled. Instead we opted to stay home and then come up with something else to do for the weekend. For Thanksgiving we cooked the turkey Chris had bought that we had been planning to take with us on the camping trip and threw a last minute meal plan together. Chris managed to get one of the last frozen pumpkin pies at Krogers but we could have made do with the ice cream in the freezer.

    To go with the turkey Chris made his speciality mashed potatoes (really, the secret is the garlic and sour cream!) and I made this sausage and cornbread dressing that I had made at least twice when we lived in Florida. I did not stuff it into the turkey. We forgot to make the yeast rolls but that didn’t matter. We’d filled up on Rotel and chipsm and sloshed back with hard apple cider while we cooked.

    The day was rather lazy with lots of playing and cartoon watching. Forest has begun to master walking, finally, this week and cannot get enough of it! It is now a new phase around these parts!

    The best part of the day was I managed to get two naps out of Forest! That has been rare on weekends with him lately. It was nice to take cuddly naps with the little guy on a cozy, lazy day.

    I took some photos and of course did not remember to get any of myself. I really need to start doing some timer set self portraits.











    A few weekends ago we got outside to take some family photos for our upcoming Christmas card. Here’s a few of my favorites from that day. Sometime I would like to hire someone because I’m just not going to be able to take some of the shots with the three of us that I want with a camera on a tripod.










    I started this in early November in hopes of chronicling this weaning journey. Here’s the progress so far.

    Now that I’m 14 months into this breastfeeding journey with Forest I knew that at some point in time there would be a slow process of weaning. When he turned a year old I opted to drop from pumping four times a day to three. Now I am down to twice a day. This has taken a natural progression over the last two months in an uptake in Forest’s eating of solid food as well as stretching out his nursing sessions with me due to his increased activity around the house—‘No time for nursing Mom, got things to play with!’—and for the simple fact he doesn’t drink but maybe 8 ounces the entire time he’s at daycare. As I cannot donate my milk to a milk bank that has been pumped after Forest turned 13 months, there’s little use for me to continue having a huge stash of milk. I still have frozen milk from June and July and will likely need to donate more milk soon, especially since I’m really now just pumping enough milk for him to have at daycare versus pumping gobs of extra for a milk stash.

    Pumping less has been just one part of the weaning process, the other part has included working on not nursing to sleep at the beginning of the night and during naps. That has only been able to happen in the last month, where we nurse for awhile and then I hand off a pacifier for him to use as he works to put himself to sleep.

    I had hoped that this would be a magic trick, what would get my kid to sleep through the night. It’s what all the books/people/blogs say…or allude to. If your baby can go to sleep on his own they can learn to put themselves back to sleep through the night. They all make it sound like some kind of instantaneous wonder. And it’s patently not true. Maybe some some babies, but certainly not all. Charlatans, the lot! Hah! I did get a good week of semi-decent stretches of sleep from him but then he went back to his same old routine of waking up and wanting to nurse every two hours. Sometimes I can count on it like clock work…and frankly, I think my body even knows because I will wake up and then try to go back to sleep and *bam* Forest is awake.

    I will definitely miss the nursing sessions, the cuddles, pulling him into bed in the middle of the night because I don’t feel like dealing with waiting for him to settle back in. Getting him cuddled up next to me to sleep for the rest of the night is sweet and cozy and I will most definitely miss waking up to that sweet face next to me in the morning.

    But, I’m ready. I need my sleep back, my space back, my body back…at least for a good stretch at night.

    So, I’ve found a gentle weaning ‘schedule’ to try. I’ve decided to try to chronicle the days as we go through them. I’m not looking forward to tired nights!

    Nights 1-3:
    The process for these nights was to nurse as usual if he woke before 11 but after 11 to nurse only for a few minutes and then put back down awake, patting his back or any other soothing techniques to get back to sleep. In general this worked pretty good as all three nights, though he woke 2-3 times after 11, he stayed in his bed until 4:30-5:15 all of those nights. There were one or two nights of the late night/early morning wakeups that it was difficult to get him back to sleep after, sometimes taking 30 minutes of going in and out of the room and patting his back to settle him.

    I’d say the first three nights were successful.

    Nights 4-6: These nights involved the same situation as above for pre-11 pm wakeups but after 11pm I was supposed to pick up and comfort for a minute and then lay him back into the crib for him to settle down. I have given him his pacifier all nights after 11pm and the closer to midnight he awakes the easier it is for him to go back to sleep. The later night/earlier morning wakeups are much harder for him to resettle. I caved at night 5 and brought him to bed at 2:30 as I was pretty exhausted and not interested in dealing with it that nightth so he came to bed earlier than he has the last several nights. Two steps forward, one step back. That’s how it goes, I guess.

    Nights 7-9: Oh boy, Momma fell off the wagon. This s*&$ is hard. About two days before I started this night weaning idea I started coming down with a case of vertigo. It persisted, and still continues to persist as I write this, so I opted to go to urgent care on day/night 3. When I went my blood pressure was extremely high, especially for me as I typically have a lower end of the spectrum reading. They sent me to the ER where I had a CT scan and blood work but was sent home with a “No idea what’s going on, but might be an upper respiratory infection presenting as vertigo and well, it’ll just wear off eventually.” So, the daytime part of the vertigo is mostly better unless I do something drastic in movement like bending down or looking up oddly, but nighttime is a different story. This has definitely played into my measley efforts the last several nights because I have zero interest in leaning over a crib to pat Forest back to sleep or to do any nighttime battles.

    This is hard.

    Nights…um, yeah. So, this effort has been thwarted by many things, including the vertigo, visitors, Forest not feeling well, cold weather.

    Standby for Part II, hopefully next month!

    I’ve been thinking about writing this post for awhile and opted for doing a video instead. It’s long, like always!

































































    On the Sunday of our camping trip several weekends ago we went over to the Walnut Ridge unit of the park to hike for the morning. We merged these two trails together to create a longer loop. There was no one on the Wildlife Trail while we were on it but a few people were starting to explore the Island Trail just as we were leaving. It was definitely a quiet loop to do. The one annoying thing about the trails in this park is that they include the mileage along the roads to get back to the trailhead of origin for their loops, which we thought was weird.

    There’s not a whole lot to say about the trails but they were beautiful as you can see!

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