Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Baby Boys

Here are our boys - looking so serious!

They usually look like this:

And this:

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

So Much Love!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Our New Little One!

Banyan Isaiah was born on July 13, 2010! He is only a few minutes old in this picture. Stats: 7 pounds, 12 ounces and 19 1/4 inches long.

Freddy was a perfect birth partner, as always. We make a good team! Zara awoke about 1/2 hour before Banyan was born, and so she heard and saw me labor. She rubbed my back and told me "You're doing a great job Mom!" in a soft sweet voice. As soon as Banyan let out his first cry, Ash came wandering in. Zara actually watched me birth Banyan, and when it was time, she cut the cord, with help from Freddy. Both the kids were in awe and just so mellow and sweet.

Thank you everyone for all your support and help and love! A more detailed birth story to follow soon!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

A Belly, Butterflies, Laundry Soap & What Summer Is To Me

What could a belly, butterflies and laundry soap possibly have in common? It's what we've been up to lately! Well, we've done so much more, like major spring cleaning, experimenting with dyeing fabric, sewing....the list goes on and on. Here are some highlights:

We are expecting our baby any day now! I'm due this Sunday, July 11th. My belly is huge (to me!) and the baby is so very wiggly, much more so than I remember Zara and Ash being. We all can't wait to meet our new little one!

My dear friend found the perfect gift for the baby - a changing table! It's the first one I've had, and my back definitely needs it. It's also the perfect staging area for all of our homebirth supplies.

I made luxurious oils, bath salts and teas, with essential oils and organic herbs for labor and postpartum. YUM! I can't wait to use them!

A dye project: I stripped the color from a baby carrier I bought gently used several months ago. The original color you can see on the left. I love purple, but this shade reminds me of a pimp suit from the 1980's! I used a dye remover and the color washed out to a light pumpkin color, while the dark purple serging remained for a very cool effect.

The butterflies are everywhere lately! And now we have some pupating in our house. Grandma surprised the kids with a butterfly growing kit. It's pretty darn cool and the kids were in awe! Soon we'll have Painted Lady butterflies to release into our forest.

This is what summer means to me: dirt-faced happy kids, wild flowers and little pools!

In an effort to make more earth-friendly choices, while reducing the amount of money our family spends on "household toiletries", I made 5 gallons of all-natural laundry soap for less than $5! How did I do it you ask? Read on!


2 bars of real, natural soap (grated if you're feeling full of energy)
1 1/2 cups of borax
1 1/2 cups of washing soda (aka soda ash)
5 gallons of water
5 gallon bucket with lid
large, stainless steel pot
long handled wooden spoon for stirring

Step 1: Put soap and 12 cups or so of water in your large stainless steel pot. Place on stove, and "cook" until all the soap is melted.

Step 2: While the soap is melting, add 1 gallon of very hot water to your bucket, add borax and washing soda and stir until powders are dissolved. Put lid on the bucket when done.

Step 3: When soap is melted, carefully and slowly pour mixture into bucket containing dissolved powders. Stir to make uniform.

Step 4: Add an essential oil (like lavender, grapefruit, or tea tree) if you'd like. About 1/2 ounce should do the trick.

Step 5: Add hot water slowly to bucket until bucket is almost full. Put the lid back on and let your soap "set" overnight.

Step 6: Admire your soap and feel proud of yourself! Then use 1/4 cup of soap for a front-loading washer or 1/2 cup for a top-loading washer.