Tuesday, March 27, 2012


Mr. Noah and I are nearing the end of our breastfeeding journey.  We're at the best part of the whole deal...the last few weeks of nursing, which are just for fun.  Noah gets most of his nutrition from finger foods or from his bottles, which are a mixture of formula and frozen breastmilk (and starting this week whole cow's milk!)  And I have put the pump up on a shelf, just for any last minute weaning weirdness...but my mornings and my just-before-bed-times are now officially pump free.  Which means at least an extra hour of sleep or free time a day, if not two.  So my main grudges with nursing are over, and just the best parts are in play.

Every time Miles passed some major milestone, I was able to comfort myself that we were planning on having another baby, so it was okay.  We'd be here again.  And every time Noah passes a milestone, I have to deal with the mini-heartbreaks of knowing this is the last baby.  Most of them are happy/sad occasions.  Because of course, it's cool that Noah is growing into a neat little person.  But also because we get to move something out of our house.  "Aww, last time I'll wash a little bottom in the baby tub!  Sniff.  ANNNNDDDD, WOW! Look how much space we have now that the honkin' baby bath has been moved to the garage!  How easy is it to wash both boys at the same time!!"

The breastfeeding feels like the same situation on steroids--or probably more accurate to call them hormones.  There are so many reasons I'll be glad to be finished.  I'll do a dance of joy when I toss that pump.  I'll have a whole extra shelf in the cupboards once the bottles, milk bags, nipples, and pump supplies are cleared out.  And the things I've been missing!  Caffeine!  Underwire!  Nyquil!  I'll see you soon friends!

Then there's the things I'll miss.  Getting caught up with my Google Reader in the pre-dawn hours.  Knowing Noah's getting all those juicy antibodies from my immune system.  And oh, I'll miss the metabolism boost.  I'm hoping Noah can hold out through the end of Cadbury Mini-Egg season.  But of course, the thing I'll miss the most is that sweet special connection you have with your baby when you're giving them something no one else can give them.  An almost never-fail comfort system.  The quiet moments just after waking up and just before bed.  I've been feeding him since a few minutes after he entered the world.  I have certainly had a rocky relationship with breastfeeding my boys (though Noah and I were much better at it than Miles and I were) but I will definitely miss it.

Sunday, March 4, 2012


There's something I feel I need to own up to here on this blog.  A new habit of mine that I've been reluctant to discuss.  I don't know why, exactly, I feel secretive and vaguely embarrassed to admit to this, but I haven't yet spoken the words aloud to anyone.  But, since I've been thinking a lot about it, and spending a chunk of leisure time engaged in it, I feel I need to come out and tell you about it.

I've taken up......scrapbooking.

There.  I've said it.  (Well, written it, to be more accurate.)

I know, I know.  It's not all that surprising in a way.  Journalling, photos, the cut'n'paste sessions that eventually went digital.  If you squint your eyes and tilt your head, that's ALL scrapbooking.  And yet, I've had a long held, vague scorn for scrapbooking.  Who needs all that stuff mucking up their photos?  Flowers and buttons and pinking shears?  No thank you very much.  My own conversion happened rather slowly, sneakily.

Did it start with the baby books?  Probably that's a good guess.  I wanted to create lovely albums for the boys baby books.  I don't much care for the pre-packaged books you can find in stores.  I thought I'd create individual pages discussing major life events for them in Photoshop and print them using a service like Shutterfly or Mypublisher.  (I know I have links to some glorious examples of these around and about, but I'm not able to find them at the moment. Except this one, which is exceedingly glorious.)  But Nathan chose a baby book for Miles, and I fell in love with this one for Noah, and who's kidding who....baby books tend to coincide with a time in your life that is notoriously difficult for crafting endeavors.   Anyway, it was when I was thinking of baby books that I first discovered the idea of digital scrapbooking.

And then I made our honeymoon photo album, which was a nice mix of photos and text from our blog and my journals.  I scanned copies of brochures and doodads I'd saved from our trip and added those into the album as well...getting a little cut'n'paste action in.

And it was after our Yosemite trip that I started thinking I'd make some fun books for the kids, using our photos, to remind them of our trip.  That's when I really started poking around the "digi" world, discovering the beautiful supplies out there.  It's the paper that really got to me.  Beautiful digital papers.

So, I started small.  I made just a page or two, to add zest to my regular, yearly photo albums that I was already making on Mypublisher.  Nothing fancy.  Just a few words, some cheerful papers, and photos of my little guy (in the world where my photo albums are created, Noah hasn't been born yet.)  

I enjoyed making these Photoshop collages, very reminiscent of what we used to do in the Boulder Creek days, and I told myself it wasn't really scrapbooking....just making photo albums with some pretty papers.  I was still making rectangular pages.  Scrapbookers, even digital scrapbookers, tend to work on square pages.   (Though, probably, even knowing this information was probably some kind of sign that I was way too informed about scrapbooking.)

Then Project Life happened.  

I even have a bit of a love/hate relationship with the name..."Project Life."  I mean, life is life.  It's not really a "project."  And it's kind of pretentious, "Project Life."  But.  The more I read about it (because by now my feed reader had several blogs devoted to scrapbooking) the more I pictured myself happily making Project Life pages.  

What the heck is Project Life, you say?  Oh, it's all the rage.  It's all about scrapbooking "simply."  And "capturing the everyday" and so on.  The slogans are things like "Cultivate a good life and document it."  Basically, it's a collection of supplies that allow you to scrapbook, without having any natural talent for scrapbooking.  Cards for journaling and pages for holding your photos and a whole community of folks to cheer you on.  

So, as the new year rolled in, I got started.  Each week, I take notes about the glorious everyday happenings in our family, I take photos of our most "regular" moments, and I put them all together in an album, along with extraneous "ephemera" that represents our lives.  

I really like it.  

Things have escalated to the point that I have acquired a craft caddy for holding my supplies.

Not only that, but I've photographed my craft caddy, and included it as part of Week 8 in my Project Life album.  Sometimes I don't recognize myself.  But I have to say, every time I see my craft caddy in the hall closet, I smile. 

My PL page from Week 7:


Whew.  I'm glad I'm not hiding this secret any longer.