Thursday, February 25, 2010

Kiwi & French Onion Soup

A few months back my MIL gave me a magazine called, Kiwi. Their tag line is "Growing Families the Organic & Natural Way" hey sign me up! So I did just that and received my 1st issue in the mail today. I have curbed my magazine subscriptions on and off throughout the years- switching up Body & Soul for Natural Health etc. I do currently subscribe to Parenting and Parents, however fun to read they don't exactly prescribe to the same way of thinking as I do. Kiwi is refreshing and offers great natural & green products along with helpful, interesting articles- I'm so happy it was passed on to me. Check them out!

Their website is equally cool- boasting an Eco-Crafts section hosted by Vicki Howell! along with book reviews and recipes!

If you are in the Northwest- I hope you are enjoying the snow, we are! I shoveled once already- but mostly we are taking it slow. There is some French onion soup on the stove and possibly a big pot of homemade play dough up next.
stay cozy!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

the importance of missing out

To get through a hard day, sometimes I need to teach myself a mantra that might not be completely accurate. What I mean is, a hard day here is when my colitis is acting up and I just can't get the day started (which seems to be how almost every day has been for the last 2 years) I usually can not leave the house before noon. So any play dates we are invited to or get togethers with friends or story times are not usually an option if they are happening before noon. In mamaland, it seems the time slot between 930-1130 is key- which has never worked for us. Either my stomach or Hazel's nap schedule always seems to fall during that time and we can never quite make it. When that happens I like to tell myself that there is an importance to missing out. Perhaps it builds character? I'd like to think so.

Even when I feel deep down like a terrible mama- because I just can't figure out this gut thing in order to make it to a Sing Along- I am trying to think being here for Hazel-- reading,playing,singing is enough. Who needs other kids? She does- we do. It isn't easy to have an illness that you feel out of control of. I never know when it will erupt and I feel like the last 3 years have made me a shut-in. Forgive me, I don't mean to sound like a complainer- I'm really not complaining and I know how many more terrible- life threatening diseases there are.

When Hazel has gone down for her 9:30 or 10:30 nap (she gets up around 6am) there is quiet (hopefully) and I can sit and think about her life and what we've created for her so far. I am grateful for my brother's children who are always interested in Hazel and an impromptu play date after school. I am so grateful for the friends who invite and try and try- because I do want to go- go -go, I just can't. I haven't a handle on my gut issues and I fear I'll grow to be the woman who missed so much because I didn't feel well. I don't want that for Hazel- I don't want to be the ball & chain slowing her down or missing amazing times of her life while being pent up in the bathroom.

I've always been some what of a shy and anti social person. So in high school when I wasn't invited to things, I mostly stayed at home sewing, creating, dreaming and going with my mom on adventures around the neighboring states searching for thrift store treasures and fine eateries.

But I want to be more social- even though I do think spending time with my mother instead of going to a party gave me more character. I want what is best for Hazel and I am hoping that her missing some things and being an afternooner kid isn't something that will have irreparable damage later on in life.

We have so many dreams as parents. I watch her little body clothed in such tiny things do so much and be so fearless. Pushing a baby doll around, lifting a basket, petting the cat g e n t l y just as we taught her and I am amazed. I'm grateful for the days when I feel OK or even good- because then I can really focus on her. I love her enthusiasm for food and any vegetable I put down in front of her she devours. These little people live a life parallel in a way yet so entwined with us.

Monday, February 22, 2010

onward & upward

So perhaps I spoke to soon. Perhaps I shouldn't of shared that we found "the house". Because in fact we haven't, not yet anyhow. Saturday I brought the Lawrence brood to the potential home and at first it was mostly cosmetic. Things that of course add up to being costly, but when attempted one project at a time it doesn't seem so bad... Till we got to the upstairs portion of the house. The little room to the left (which would have become Hazel's playroom) as you climb a ladder and come through a hatch door, needed work- for sure. Peeling wallpaper,some covered up (badly) water damage. But it wasn't until you walked through the doorway and got to the larger room that my brother saw the problem. The floor was bowed. He jumped up and down to show all of us including the realtor- just how terrible it was. The entire floor was shaking, windows, the door to get to the outside from upstairs... basically it was a death trap of sorts. Our hearts were broken (not to mention on another go around we realized the downstairs bedrooms were so small- we'd hardly fit our bed and dressers) but there was obvious no way that we could live here. It seems somewhere between 1920, when the house was built and Saturday, there was a large weight-bearing wall that must have been moved- which is why the upstairs was sloping. If we had truly been in love with that house- for real, I think we could have fixed it, but after all the other semi-minor repairs added up and then the not-so-thrilling details ( I won't bore you with) we decided Saturday night to call it quits. We canceled the real inspection and retracted our offer. Besides the seller was not at a point where she would take any less for it, so we felt it wasn't fair for us to have to take a 203K mortgage out in order to fix a place- that the bedrooms would still be just as small when we were finished! UGh!

So onward & upward. Today we have plans to look at some other properties. Hazel came down with yet another cold and now I have it too. Feeling totally run down and I think our spirits were a little shot this weekend.

Hazel is saying so many amazing things these days- I try to remember everything like polaroids in my brain. I love this kid, even though I have been a miserable mama for the last few days with this cold. She's even reaching the 3rd shelf of many of her books. Getting so big. xo

Friday, February 19, 2010

3 for the road

Here we are this morning- donning my mama-bed hair. Hazel and her baby in the sling. She thinks this is hysterical that there is room for both of them in here. Not that I can really get much done like this- a little hug for a few minutes is a enough. All but one or two stitches had dissolved, so yesterday at the plastic surgeon- he took the remaining out. It is never fun to have to hold your baby down while they cry and a doctor examines them. She fell asleep pretty much immediately after in the car seat. After a 20 minute nap- all I could think was thank heaven for small miracles. Speaking of small miracles....

My owners made a bid on a house and it was accepted!!! Yes folks, tomorrow we go up to sign our offer and to have my family inspect before the actual inspection on Monday. Fingers crossed that there is nothing too terrible lurking. The house was built in 1920 and has a few renovation projects needed. More to come!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Visiting Beacon

Visiting Beacon, originally uploaded by hobocampcrafts.

A few weeks ago we ventured to Beacon,NY. No word yet on if we'll be making this town our home. Fingers crossed- trying to have a mature & calm approach.. while feeling giddy,frustrated and nervous at the same time!
Oh the lives we lead!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

the days of firsts

Friday, Hazel while playing with her small kid's chair from Ikea, toppled over and banged her lip on my very heavy desk leg. I had just gotten out of the shower and was still in my towel. My mother was keeping an eye on her till I got out of the shower- once I was out she fell right in front of me. I was talking her through a daily" sit on your bottom" rather than stand in the chair. There was a good amount of blood involved a ride in the ambulance and 7-8 stitches. The police officer who first responded said that my mother and I were defenitely in worse shape than Hazel. We were both sobbing and rightful messes. Hazel had quieted down was on my mother's lap while I gathered some essentials for the hospital. She has healed so quickly and it restores my amazement in the human body. Although the plastic surgeon said she shouldn't have a scar, I will never forget that day and what happened and how I saw her life flash before me.

Another first was seeing the house we've been thinking about buying. That was Saturday. We placed our bid on Sunday. We are currently still in compromise mode and will report back as soon as something more final occurs. This business is scary. We of course need to get a top-to-bottom inspection. The place has 2 rooms above the house that would be a perfect studio/spare bedroom/playroom. But it must be totally gutted. It also has a mudroom, which too must be gutted. Sometimes this scares me- but I am lucky to have a very generous & talented brother to help us through these steps. An architect for a sister-in-law and a brother-in-law who runs his own roofing/siding business. I keep good company!

As finding a home becomes a step closer (and possibly 2 steps back) I am reminded about what really matters. Family. Being close to those you love and calling whatever space you are in at that moment home. I am grateful for everyone around me. xo

Hazel's first time drawing and using crayons.

A knitting project I am making up as I go along.

A girl and her cat.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Vday 2010

Happy Vday 2010, originally uploaded by hobocampcrafts.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Happy Anniversary to Us!

I can't believe that 6 years ago on the 12th, Zach and I had our first date after chatting through Friendster- does anyone even remember that site? So we chatted- exchanged a few emails and had our first date on Feb 12th... a mere 3 days before V-Day. Luckily we didn't really acknowledge that day, which made for smooth sailing and no awkwardness- there was plenty of awkwardness brought on by us both- we didn't need any help!

Our first date was at the Thai House, a great little place that use to be an old diner- but is now an authentic Thai place. I was nervous and late. He seemed very cool and didn't laugh at any of my jokes. He also came up with a plan to go for coffee after the movie we were going to see and instead of coffee he dropped me off at my car and promptly drove off. I guess he kinda forgot. It was something that I never held against him and even till this day- we get a laugh out of it.

Zach thank you. My best friend. My partner. A papa. You make it all worth it. I am so appreciative of you and how you care for your family. Through sickness and in health- here is to 60 years!

As we embark on our new journey as parents,lovers,friends and hopefully homeowners- I wouldn't want anyone else by my side.
my soul mate xo

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Stay in your jammies Sunday

The shop update was rescheduled- due to all of us coming down with whatever virus it is that Hazel had! First me yesterday, then Zach today- we've got a virus hex on our house. Beware! More to come when we finally get dressed and are seeing straight!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Saturday Update

Saturday Update, originally uploaded by hobocampcrafts.

For all things toasty, check out our shop!

Looking Forward to the Weekend..

Since Zach doesn't get home till around 7:11 after he bathes HAzel and they have some papa baby time- we don't get a whole lot of time together. So when the weekend arrives, it is always welcome.. especially if a little snowstorm is also on the horizon. This weekend though, we are looking at a few houses- one of them being built in 1850. I have no idea what a house that is 160 years old needs by way of upkeep, but I have that nosy,generally interested in how-others-live vibe inside- so we have to take a look!

There will be a shop Update this weekend *hopefully* with new coffee cuffs and a Nifty Pixie cap or two. Here are some of the photos of stitched items, new, old and the soup I've been making a lot of these days.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Best Brownies I've Ever Made

peanut butter brownies GF, originally uploaded by hobocampcrafts.

story to follow!

OK, so I must admit these are made from a box err bag mix. I used the Gluten Free Pantry Chocolate Truffle Brownie Mix. It is the first mix I used when I went GF and even though I am no longer completley adhering (it wasn't really helping me) I still go to this mix. It has chips in it already. When I made it I used liquid eggs (which isn't what I normally use) I didn't use any applesauce ( which I usually do instead of oil or egg sometimes, but it gives the baked good a very thick dense consistency) and I added the peanut butter. No real recipe- just the most amazing brownies I've ever made! Baking is always touch & go with me. Even the other day using a recipe I have made a million times for 2 loaves of banana bread- because I added the brown sugar to the wrong boil, I am convinced the bread didn't bake right. I'll still eat every morsel.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


So I had said that you are never fully dressed without a smile. I also said I would start getting fully dressed regardless of how I felt. But today I ate my words. It is now 2:45 pm and I am still in one of my favorite pair of yoga pants along with a vintage t-shirt, but technically I am wearing a smile. Between a sick babe and an always sick mama- the change into something other than my sleepwear didn't happen today!

Our little girl is feeling a bit better today and keeping down her food. She still isn't her usual self, but we're working on it. Lots of homemade soups from mama,cool drinks and cuddles. The camera is missing or I'd show you some of my new coffee cuffs that will be in the shop this week. Feel like I"m starving.. must get something to nibble. My mom is making turkey meatloaf,organic mashed potatoes and cauliflower for us. Her food is always delicious- I'll miss being able to eat it whenever I want once we move. Cherish these times. xo

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

this is your life

Just a quick note- to keep things freshly up-to-date! Hazel has come down with a stomach virus. She started getting sick (the big V) in her crib around 11ish pm. I woke up and saw her standing up in her crib and just called to her, then I knew something was wrong. So we spent the next 10-12 hours cleaning up and then lulling Hazel back to sleep.

Seeing your child in an uncomfortable or painful situation and not being able to do much is difficult and heart-wrenching. This morning I cancelled my dentist appointment and made a DR appt for her. In the morning she seemed renewed- then after a smoothie- we had to toss her duckie book, because he too was enjoying a smoothie. A quick trip to the grocery for organic grape juice & some vitamin water.

She's now napping, while a huge digger truck right behind my parent's house digs up ground in order to lay pipe. Oh have I mentioned our neighborhood will soon be privy to a water treatment plant? Yes, practically right behind my parent's house, there will be a plant that is working on purifying the Hudson River into safe drinking water. So there's that too.

On Sunday we took a trip to Beacon, NY. Where I think we fell in love with this tiny gem of the Hudson Valley. A huge main street is home to a vinyl toy shop, a hot dog place (with veggie dogs), several independent coffee shops,second hand shops, a handmade shop,the library,a dog boutique and a million galleries- the list can go on. So needless to say we want to live here. Now we just need to find a house. We saw a couple we were interested in, but alas we were beat to it. So we've got our eyes peeled and are on the prowl. It is tempting to just rent a house or apartment. This does make sense, but with all the saving we've done- I would be afraid our mojo would somehow get forgotten or lost and the money squandered at Target or a candy shop lol
(I'm joking).

Lastly over the month of January I did cut down my consumption of buying chai as well as using paper cups. It felt good to have my unique cup and know I was doing something good for myself and those around me (even if I do still get looks). I am still going to continue this into February as well as trying to only purchase preloved items. A few other things I am working on, but I think a bowl of Cocoa Pebbles is in order for the kind of week I have been having. ( is it Friday yet?!) xo