the beginning of barfy holiday posts

OK, now that we’re about three seconds into the month of October, it’s time to bring out my pathetic way-too-into-Halloween self.

Sophie, Halloween two years ago:

Halloween last year:

Sophie and Ralph’s punkin carvin’ this afternoon:

I was going to post pictures of my husband’s new fall mustache attempt. But it is really so filthy I can’t bring myself to do it.

doing our part for the Dairy Farmers of Washington propaganda

Today as part of the Clallam County Farm Tour (doesn’t that sound exciting!) we headed out to the Brown’s dairy farm – which is on its way to becoming the first certified raw milk creamery in the state. Calves, cowshit, hay rides, and petting zoos – in short, our fat li’l munchkins’ dreams come true.

Kids + yogurt.

Sophie + kitten.

Nels + Mama.

On our way out to Sequim we passed by a molester van (example here, and not to be confused with a serial-killer van) – man, I wish I could have got a picture. I point it out to the rest of our driving party.

Ralph: “Not a molester van. Too many windows.”
Cyn: “But there are curtains!”
Ralph: “Too many windows. Toddlers can pull back curtains.”

PartyTown, population: 4 Hogabooms

Last night 6 o’clock found us unexpectedly at a rather lovely dinner party with our kids in tow. We hadn’t expected to go at all, since two separate childcare options fell through. But the host’s ladyfriend and a small cadre of other partygoers put in a few calls during the day and begged us to come. Who can resist such sweetness? We cleaned up ourselves and our children as best we could and headed out to Cape George.

I do well at parties. I am comfortable talking to anyone. I don’t always introduce myself to everyone, which I really do think I should. And it’s easy to be intimidated by venues such as the one we were at – the house is expansive, spotless, Sunset-magazine material, built over a pond with little waterfalls and a beautiful open deck. Am I the only one who secretly hopes that at midnight the huge, gleaming hot tub will be unveiled and I’ll be able to hop in in my panties, a martini in one hand, while still entertaining the sixty-and-up members of the Board with my witty and urbane conversation? Probably.

Here I was with my choice of wine to drink, a lovely catered meal (delicious, gourmet food that I didn’t have to make) that included a chicken alfredo lasagne and hot banana bread pudding with rich cream and caramel sauce. The funniest part was our kids, who were in parallel experiencing equally Roman-esque entertainment: being cared for in the back guest wing by three teenage girls with giant bowls of chocolates and chips. Every once in a while one of these young girls, rail-thin and all eyeliner and dangling earrings, would come out with a child on a hip to find some milk. My kids attempted no eye contact with me or my husband – they looked like little waifs being taken into the arms and care of a brothel on opening-night celebrations.

At nine o’clock our son is looking red-eyed and dazed – his calling card for getting sleepy. He can’t bear to miss out on what’s happening around him, but his body is shutting down. We pack up the girl (so stoned on teenage girls, Muppets, and chocolate that she is whirring and hovering) – and head home.

A lovely, pampered evening.

facelift for blog, maybe i’ll actually write in it?

OK, it’s been a while. But it’s time to blog.

What’s new? We’re liking the new, happy, spring-ish weather. Gardening and stuff. Sophie is growing her own strawberry plants which she faithfully waters, talks about, and expounds on to any stranger who will (or won’t) listen. Sophie turned three last week (*and* weaned *and* potty-trained). We’re having a little get-together for her at Chetzemoka park.

We also just put out a new Breeder in Feb. We have enough content for a March issue which should follow soon. This latest issue was featured in the latest Vigilance, a local indie rag with a much larger distribution than our pathetic readership (5,000 to our 200). Will fortune and fame find Kelly and Amber in their most worthy enterprise? It remains to be seen, dear reader.

My good friend Jodi should be here within a half hour! I am so excited. She and her 2 year old daughter Cyan are staying for about a week.

happy weaning

Make Way For Duckling

Just like that, you are weaned. Like the three years that prefaced the last morning you nursed, breastfeeding evolved beautifully to meet both our needs. This morning, instead of watching you nurse, I hold you in my arms and you quietly stroke my face. Later that evening at your request we hide ourselves in the bathroom and I paint your nails a bright red in honor of your third birthday. I hold your tiny toes and you look me in the eyes and say, “I love you so much, Mama.”

With pure dumb luck I fell into the category who finds breastfeeding deeply satisfying on physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual levels. So to move away from this relationship feels major; I sometimes feel we’ve known one another forever. And for as long as I’ve known you, nursing has been so instrumental in the way we connect.

Little girl, I am so blessed as your mother. You above all taught me what it means to nurture. We nursed through two pregnancies and one miscarriage. We nursed in the evenings, mornings, at restaurants, in church, and in the bath. You nursed the morning of the arrival of your baby brother and shared the breast willingly with him. We nursed through the scary illness you had at 14 months when you couldn’t even keep water down; nursing saved you from many other would-be illnesses and eased many transitions. Nursing kept me laughing and let me put my feet up more often than I would have without it.

Now at this milestone you emerge confident, and I have the deep satisfaction of knowing I didn’t rush your babyhood for either of us. Yesterday you climbed into bed with me and after a few quiet moments you looked up at me and said, “I used to nurse with you in the morning. Do you remember this?” as if it were ages ago, not a few days. You were obviously so comfortable with this change, while I got one of the first of many moments to come where I act casual and give a quick hug; tears well up and I blink them away. I am so happy to see you confident and growing. But just yesterday you were still my baby at my breast.

Happy weaning, Sophie. My little Beak.

3rd Birthday, Sophie / Phoenix

Fort Warden


Hysterical, 1

Hysterical, 2