Thursday, June 4, 2015

Project 2 :: Yard Harvesting :: Lemon Balm

I love using plants from our yard. We have this fantastic yard, with so many useful and edible plants growing in it. In fact I probably know about 20% of what is actually growing in our yard. It really is amazing. Last year I canned and made a few things from the yard (some of which will probably pop up here as projects again this year), but project 2 was new. Lemon balm looks like mint and grows rapid like mint, but as the name might suggest it smells lemony. It is a very fragrant plant, it keeps mosquitos away (if we had any around here!) and is really easy to maintain (as in you do nothing to it at all and it looks great). I have been picking the leaves and steeping them in hot water for a nice tea in the evening. I decided to dry a few batches to use all year long for tea or in other herbal remedies yet to be determined.
It was really simple, the most time consuming part really is just laying all the leaves out. I put the oven on the "warm" setting and once it is preheated let it set on warm for 20 mins. Then turned the oven off and placed the baking sheet with the lemon balm in it and closed it until morning.

The next day the lemon balm was perfectly dried and ready to be stored.

I have left some in the whole leaf form in a ziplock container for now and some batches I have "mulched" up and put in lovely repurposed containers to distribute to friends. The dried leaves can be used like tea, as a spice in cooking or used in balms.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Project 1 :: Fabric Alphabet

Last week I finished my first project, a fabric alphabet. This project isn't quite as simple as it looks, curvy letters are hard! :) I already had all of the components on hand, using felt, fabric scraps and batting I already had. 

Here is a close up of one of the letters. They are all backed in a grey felt and there is some quilting batting in the middle to give them a little poof.

I have started on a second project already. It is another sewing project. I have been at a little of a standstill though as my sewing machine has been giving me some troubles. It has given me a chance to troubleshoot some sewing issues and take apart my machine and put it back together a few times. I had a breakthrough tonight though after one more and hopefully last removal of all the parts and cleaning and got to get started on project 2 again. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

2015 Creativity Kick Off

A good friend of mine has another good friend, who from what I hear is awesome. This awesome friend of a friend completed 52 projects in 2014. 52 projects! And they weren't small tasks, she knitted cowls & sweaters, built shelves, did some amazing things. I should mention she also has a toddler and spent part of 2014 prego! I was in awe when I happened upon her blog. This blog, this amazing woman and her talent keeps popping into my head. It's been at least a month since I learned of this and I haven't been able to shake it. I have been feeling less than creative lately and also wanting a project. I can't commit myself to 52 projects, it just sounds crazy right now. Summer is getting closer and I have countless camping adventures, various weekend trips and one half marathon in the months ahead. I want to do something though. I am thinking 12 projects, one each month. I don't know if I want to end in December and catch up on January and February or go until February 2016. I think I will let how the projects I choose go and see if I catch up. I selected my first project tonight. It actually is one I have done before, but I really enjoyed it. Its a fabric alphabet. I made Harper a set months ago and she loves them. It is such a joy to see her playing with something I made especially for her. It feels right that my first project would be something I would love to make Louis, since one of his BFFs mom inspired my creativity kickoff. I got the good old sewing machine out tonight and ready to go and got one letter done. 25 more to go!

Month 2

Month 2 has just flow by and my how you have grown! You have mastered some new skills...spit bubbles, hitting your toys, tracking your dad, your brothers and I as we move across rooms, turning to noises, to name a few. You still love snuggling. You sleep through the night, both newborn sleep through the night (which is 5 hours, but you often do 6 or 7) and adult sleep through the night. Twice now your dad and I have been up before you when you slept for 10 hours! You amaze us every day.

During your second month of life.....

Your Aunt Kim and Aunt Jessica came to visit and meet you!

While they were here we took you to the beach for the first time. Like most things we did, you slept right through our trip to Golden Gardens. :)

You took a walk around Ballard and mom wore you in the Ergo for the first time.

You really liked your play mat some more.
You and your dad hang out on it while mom makes dinner some nights.
You lay on it while you facetime with Grandma James and Papa.
You started to hit your elephant "purposely". You love the noise it makes and you swing your arms over and over until you get it to make the sound. 
 You also like to grab the giraffe. And you talk and talk to both animals when you lay next to them.

You and I walked to the Phinney Farmer's market, where we met dad after work. Like the beach, you slept right through your first farmer's market trip.

Aunt Ellen fed you a bottle :)

You went to your first brewery, Ruben's, with Shannon and Lyle. You didn't sleep through the whole trip either!
You took your first bath. You thought it was alright....
Until it was over then you did not like being naked anymore!

You had your first girls day with your Aunt Ellen and I. We went to West Seattle, had breakfast and did some shopping. We also hit up Target and Aunt Ellen wore you in the ergo!

You turned your SwaddleMe into a cape while you were sleeping! You were very happy with yourself when I found you this way in the morning.

You slept through our Labor Day picnic at Carkeek Park

The day after the picnic we took you to the zoo for the first time! You mostly slept through this too.

But I did wake you up to see the baby giraffe!

And dad took you out to check out the gorillas.

My favorite picture of you and your dad so far!

Just snoozing...

You loved your raccoon pjs. This is also your dad and I's favorite picture of you so far. SO CUTE!

You went to dad's work to have lunch with Hannah and Tania.

We went on our first family vacation! Your dad took a whole week off of work to spend more time with you. We drove to the Washington coast and camped in a yurt for one night. 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

One Month

Harper Olivia, I cannot believe that you are already a month old. It has been the fastest and best month of my life. I appreciate all the quality time we have got to have this month as a family. Both your dad and I fall more and more in love with you every day. 

The first week of your life we spent in the hospital while you received some preventative antibiotics. Looking back this was one of the best ways to spend your first week of life. It was the three of us night and day, no distractions from household chores or other things life throws at you. We were also pretty rested for first time parents, since we were at the hospital all day there wasn't much else for us to do when you slept but sleep ourselves. The first days of your life you got to meet some pretty special people as well...your Grandma & Papa James, Old Mama and Aunt Ellen came to visit as much as they could.

Here they all are getting to hold you for the very first time!

After 2 days in the hospital, in different rooms, on different floors we got to move to a new room and all be together as a family! Your dad and I were SO happy to be with you.

Everyone came to visit you and see you in your new room. 

You even took a nap with Papa :)

You also wore your first "real clothes", brought to us by one of our favorite NICU nurses. All off the NICU nurses absolutely loved you. One would even come in and just hold you while we ate, cause she liked you so much. 

Your one week birthday was a very special day, as it was the day we got to bring you home! We were so excited to get you home (and sleep in our own bed!). You also got to meet your brothers. It went so well, they loved you and did so good with you. Yuri followed us where ever we went with you the whole first week and Chewie greats you often with kisses.

Your dad stayed home your second week of life to spend more time with you. Also your Grandma and Grandpa Kozlen came to meet you!

I love all the little noises you make, you grunt in your sleep (or when trying to go to the bathroom), you make sighs at us. When you are awake you are so alert, taking everything in with your large, beautiful blue eyes. So many people that meet you, even strangers on the street, all comment on how alert you are at such a young age. The pediatrician told us you are such a calm & alert baby, in a good way. You now notice and fixate on things - like your brother or when your Aunt Ellen comes over. You sleep 3-4 hour stretches. You already have strong neck muscles and have started to head butt us. Ouch! :)

We have found that you love so many things...

Hanging out in your swing and your bouncy seat are top favorites. This ends up great for your dad and I, as it allows us to have many meals together. 

You love your hands so much. They are always up in your face, snuggled up under your chin, sucking on them. I love when you get startled by something - a bump in the road or sidewalk, your swing going fast - you throw your hands up and shake them. 

You love walks, they always put you to sleep :)

Your first walk around Greenlake!

You love snuggling and we love snuggling you back!

You love laying awkward - I think you get it from your brother Yuri. 

You love when we read you books. We often read to you at bed time and it is also part of you and I's morning routine.

You have had so many firsts this month.....
Your 1st doctor visit, at 1 1/2 weeks old you had already gone over your birth weight 

You and I went on our first grocery trip

You had a growth spurt...we survived, with a few tears from both you and I. 

We tested out the moby wrap around the house. We also wore it out a few times.

We took a walk in the Ergo 

That same night we had our first night out on the town. We walked up and down Greenwood/Phinney Ave at Seattle Summer Streets, had a beer at Prost and dinner at the Yard. You did so well!

You watched your 1st baseball game with dad

you took a bottle! and it only took about 30 seconds of trying from your dad. I was barely out of the room. Since then you have taken a few bottles from your dad. 

Your first month has flown by. We cannot wait to see what next month holds!