Monday, November 26, 2012


*whew* What a fabulous week we have had. Lots of family, coffee, food, coffee, doing seemingly endless miles of french braids on my nieces' gorgeous hair (while my brother played with my boys),  and lots more coffee. Nomi just didn't want to sleep, and wouldn't be put down *at.all*...He weighs just under 30 pounds so that adds up to a lot of sore arms and a tired back! We enjoyed our drive down to Georgia and are now comfortably settled in with my sister and her hubby. I am enjoying peppermint mochas (Nomi still isn't sleeping as much as he might be at night!), long girly talks and helping my Eliza settle into their adorable new house. I'm going to be trying to get back into the swing of posting more regularly this week. December is a busy month for us and I have lots to share! 

xoxo ~Mackenzie

Sunday, November 18, 2012


{washing little boy wool}

This week is very busy...we've been in a flurry of cleaning and packing; trying to prepare for a (nearly) two week trip! I have been knitting like a mad woman every spare second I can squeeze in. My sister came over for a much needed extra pair of hands, and it was only a matter of time before I sat her down and made her knit offered her some knitting since she hadn't brought any. She was kind enough to knit the second sleeve of Bobby's sweater for me! I hate knitting sleeves. I think next time I will try knitting them separately  since the problem lies in the whole heavy sweater making everything cumbersome. I love top down sweaters, but I think that in the interest of finishing them quickly I need to explore other options. I am going to attempt to keep up the posting while I'm on my trip, lots of knitting updates and short posts I'm sure, but that is the goal. I thought I would try to do a color of the day, just so that I could focus on something...we shall see if anything comes of that! I'm off to snuggle babies into their beds so that I can finish up a bit of cleaning and then curl up with Numb3rs (on netflix) and....what else? My knitting! I have three projects actively moving right now, {side note: they are very different projects, on sizes 7, 10.5 and *19* needles!!} and several more waiting in the year I vow to divide my Christmas list between knitting, sewing, and something simple like baking!!

Monday, November 12, 2012

{Christmas Knitting ~ for the boys}

 {let me apologize in advance for the phone pictures, I can't make a big deal about photographing these!}

I've been so busy the past week moving our house around to prepare for the use of our base board heaters, and painting, and trying to get the windshield replaced so our car can pass inspection (ugh, hello tomorrow's job) and on and on and on. In the midst of those must-do things I've found a bit of time to work on this delightful little project for the boys' Christmas gift. I'm knitting them a farm mat you see...the green up there will be embellished with some grey "boulders", the brown is the "freshly plowed field", that fabulously loopy business is the wheat field, and of course, what would a farm be without a pond? Oh my goodness this thing is cute! In theory there are to be twelve blocks, but I'm determined to just work from my stash for this project, so we will see what I can manage. I'm hoping for at least nine squares. Once they are all finished, they will be knit together with dirt roads paths and gravel roads and streams. The textures are dreamy...some people have felted theirs slightly, which was my original plan...but I'm afraid I will loose too much of the texture if I do that will likely be a very last minute decision. I'm also determined to not worry about where I will block it when it's finished...this tiny house does not have much space for surprises! Okay, everyone is asleep now, I must go knit another block! 

Friday, November 9, 2012

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. For more moments head on over to Soulemama.

P.S.} Please stop by Wednesday's "Cold Season" post to share any ideas you might have! There are already some great comments, please keep them coming!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

{turtle friend}

{turtle pictures by Jenny}

On a recent visit, my younger brother snagged a box turtle out of the middle of the road (something everyone in my family does) and brought it up for my kids to see. They have {possible} never been more excited about anything! I wasn't really interested in a long term pet, but told them they could have the afternoon to watch him and play with him and see what they could learn. They carefully set him down in a much deliberated over spot of grass (with just enough leaves and not too much shade *wink*) and they pulled their chairs up and sat to watch him come out. And sat, and sat and sat. They took turns coming inside for potty breaks, and snacks, and art supplies, and insisted on keeping my phone for pictures. There are even (several) videos that are hilarious and nauseating to watch. All in all they spent at least an hour with their "turtle friend"! (And yes, my children name every wild thing that they like "species-friend", birdie friend, turtle friend, froggy friend etc.)

It was so encouraging to see them show such interest in something, and to see that (when inspired enough on their own!) they can really focus on something and exist in a peaceful state. It makes days like today seem less eternal... it is most certainly one of the worst days we have had in a long time. My sister is coming over tonight though, and although she is coming to help me paint, I'm hoping it proves to be the change in situation that we all need to get out of this terrible-horrible-no good-very bad-day! There never seems to be any rhyme or reason for these days...but my goodness they certainly can derail all previous plans, can't they? 

Wishing you peace and harmony (or at least a good cup of tea)! 

{And I do want to say, that despite the total lack of consistent timing on my end, I'm really enjoying NaBloPoMo!}

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

{Cold Season}

I've been working over the past few weeks to collect everything we will need for the upcoming cold/flu/random yuck season, I think I have nearly everything! I know it's always helpful to see what other mamas have found to work, so I thought I would share some of our (thoroughly tested) ways of staying out of the doctor's office. Bobby has been diagnosed with asthma, so we take colds very seriously here, because they quickly settle into his lungs...we are fortunate enough to have a nebulizer and the medicine for it for emergencies, but of course that is a last resort! If you have any other good suggestions please share in the comments! Remember though, this is just what works for our family, so please use common sense when dealing with sickness and seek professional help if you need too!

Staying healthy in the first place!
Of course this isn't always possible, but we do everything we can to not get sick in the first place! Here are somethings we have found helpful...

  • Reducing exposure to germs. In the fall and winter I try to work out child care (usually with my mama or a helpful sister!) for grocery shopping days. There are three little sets of hands touching germ covered surfaces, and despite my best efforts those hands always wind up in eyes, ears, noses, and mouths. So it's a simple one really to just reduce what they are exposed to! If I hear something nasty is going around I'm especially careful.
  • Wash, wash, wash! I keep germ-x or baby wipes in the car and as soon as we are all buckled into our seats we scrub our hands. This helps keep the germs out of our house and makes a difference I swear by...if we don't do this, we *always* get sick. Mamas- keep an eye on your purse too! We often set it on the floor of our cars and in shopping carts and on counters in public places and then come home only to set it on the table/sofa/kitchen counter/bed. (I swear I'm not a germaphobe, I just really dislike having a house of sick people!!)
  • Healthy food. I try to make sure that we are eating a really nourishing diet during these cold months. We do a lot of hearty soups and stews with homemade broth, lots of garlic and onions in everything, and as many veggies as I can convince my picky eaters to consume. At the same time we cut way back on sugar (which squashes your immune system) and dairy (which I find makes us "junkier"). It's also a lovely thing that oranges are in season and packed with vitamin C, my kids will literally eat as many as I will buy, so I make sure we always have a good supply for snacks.
  • Stay warm! Socks are not optional from October-April. We layer, wear wool, sleep with hot rice bags, consume warm foods and did I mention wear wool? 
We do what we can but inevitably, we all get sick. Whether it's a junky cold or a sinus infection (I'm particularly prone to these) or the dreaded flu, I go at it with guns blazing, doing whatever we can to cut them short and make them less dreadful. 

Colds, flus and sinus infections

This is where those pictures above really apply! I am a HUGE believer in teas to treat sickness and ailments. I stock up and we plow through it...the health food shop people look at me like I'm crazy, but I don't mind since I know it's this or weeks of sickness! I'm also a firm believer in honey, since reading an interesting study comparing common cough medicines with buckwheat (a very dark) honey. I can't find the specific study right now, but it is mentioned on This site, and here is the general conclusion: (my notes are not italicized)

"The results of this study demonstrate that in the overall comparison of the 3 (one dose of buckwheat honey before bed, one dose of DM/dextromethorphan before bed, or no treatment) treatment groups, honey was the most effective treatment for all of the outcomes related to cough, child sleep, and parent sleep. Furthermore, honey not DM, was superior to no treatment for nocturnal symptoms associated with childhood URI (Upper Respiratory Inffections)."

I am having a hard time finding buckwheat honey locally this year, but I might have found a source...I'm waiting to hear back now. Our must have cold/flu season teas are.... (Assume we drink them all with lots of honey! Remember it is generally suggested to avoid giving honey to children under two.)
  • Twinings Lemon & Ginger -there are several lemon and ginger teas available, and while they are all good and helpful, this one is certainly the best! It's delicious on it's own, but we drink it with lots of honey. 
  • Yogi Echinacea Immune Support
  • Yogi Breathe Easy
  • Traditional Medicinals Breathe Easy
  • Traditional Medicinals Cold Care P.M.
  • Traditional Medicinals "Just for kids" line  
  • Organic Peppermint -good for sick tummies of course, but I find it really helps my kids first thin in the morning when they are dealing with the side effects of post nasal yuck...Jenny is especially prone to loosing the queasiness battle and starting every day with vomit is not my first choice!
  • Organic Chamomile with lavender -also good for tummies and for when we need to just rest and sleep off the cold. I make it and dilute it half tea half water for Nomi. As a side note, we also use this tea to help with gassy tummies and constipation, it turns shrieking, screaming babies into much, much happier people almost instantly! 
Other things we find helpful...
  • Homemade eucalyptus rub -we use the recipe found in Rhythm of Family by Amanda Soule you might notice it missing in the pictures, but that's because I'm waiting for our fresh batch to set up! I'll share pictures later. :) I apply it liberally to the upper chest area and place a flannel scrap over it to keep it from feeling sticky, and I think the extra step holds some of those magical healing properties that mamas can bring to the a pillow case full of kisses and special bedtime braids...not very scientific but very important... you know the things I mean. 
  • Pineapple juice -I'm normally not a juice fan, but when I have a sinus infection I drink a lot of pineapple juice! The enzymes help reduce swelling and that helps remove a great deal of the pressure. Just make sure your juice doesn't have anything added to it!
  • Cold-eeze Lozenges -we like the honey & lemon flavor! Start taking at the first sign of a cold, or I'll start as soon as my kids start showing signs. It generally shortens colds by several days! They are packed full of zinc and most importantly, they work!
  • Ricola cough drops -again we like the Honey Lemon flavor. I have tried a few different recipes for homemade lozenges, but something goes terribly wrong and I wind up with very exciting kinds of mold that I'm sure do nothing to help coughing. ;)
  • Emergen-C drink packs. They have 1,000mg of vitamin C, and come in so many flavors that everyone can find one they like. If a child is especially sick and needs to be coerced into taking anything, these are a great option because the fizziness makes them seem like more of a treat than medicine.
  • Vick's vaporizer and Vapo Steam -We just have the basic one we can find at WalMart or Target, and the vapo steam really helps. Easy to set up and use and they make a huge difference in whether or not we need to give Bobby a breathing treatment.
Obviously there are other ailments we deal with regularly (fevers, earaches, stomach bugs etc.) but I'll save those for another post (soon!). I hope this is of some help to you this fall and winter! Please leave anything you find to be helpful in the comments section. :)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

{bird friend}

This lovely little bird was hanging out just outside our living room window the other day. A cloud was blowing through as I took these, and I just loved the color shift...I'm thinking it's a goldfinch? I know they get pretty mild looking in the winter, but from what I can tell maybe it's a Ms...? Any thoughts? My kids are major bird lovers here, they love to sit by a window, little notebooks and crayons in hand. Bobby does his best to identify the "bird friends", or at least describe them, and Jenny scribbles away in her book. Keeping the bird feeders filled is a very seriously attended chore around here, they are constantly on the lookout for another likely spot for yet another feeder... preferably where birds have been spotted and always in view of a window. 

Little chairs and stools are being pushed up against the first floor windows around here so that they can share these outdoor delights with Nomi. I wonder if you readers might have any suggestions for good soft soled outdoor shoes for little ones? Nomi loves to be outside and wants to run with the bigger kids, but his little boots (the only shoes I've found that fit his cube-esque feet!) are hard for him to get around in and he spends more time on his belly then running. I don't want him to get frustrated by this! Ideally I would like to find something warm, and durable  and perhaps even more water proof than not? I'd really appreciate any thoughts you mamas have!

I'm off to cozy up with some woodchuck cider and knitting and watch my current netflix obsession (Psych), and check this handy little chart every so often...


Monday, November 5, 2012

Saturday, November 3, 2012

{six weeks}

Not that I'm counting down or anything, but we are just about to the six week point. That is, six weeks until my hubby comes home for four wonderful weeks. We passed the one year point last week, and it's been six months since his last leave time. That's really. freaking. long. Today, through our aggravatingly garbled skype chat, he said that the paperwork is official and he will be home over Christmas...!! For FOUR weeks. That is very very good news people. 

Friday, November 2, 2012

Waiting on Sandy...

{Warning, there are 35 pictures in this post...I edited it down from 80!}

We ran outside Sunday evening for a bit of leaf play before Sandy hit. We had finally finished our emergency-prep shopping and Nana's house visiting, (equally essential) and were already under high a wind warning, a flash flood warning, and a blizzard warning. We couldn't risk all of our leaves blowing away without one more stomp through them, so bundled up we braved the cold and delayed our super a few extra minutes. This is our first fall in this house, and it has been a glorious one. I missed getting pictures of the height of our colors, but they were truly breathtaking. Sandy has moved on now and we made it through without any major (really even without any minor) incidents. We only lost power for a few moments thankfully! 

This week has marked the official shift into cold(er) temps with our highs in the low 50's and lows nearing freezing. I had to give in an turn on our heating registers...even with our hats and rice bags at night! Since we moved in during June (without air conditioning) heating was the last thing on my this has lead to a whole lot of rearranging of furniture. In this tiny house that rather resembles a Rubik's cube inspire dance...but it is certainly much cozier now and I can feel my nose, so it's all good. Has winter reached you yet?

P.S. Knits in those post are found here, here, here, here, and here! The last link takes you to the pattern page, as my sister knit it but doesn't have it up on Ravelry yet. :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...