Sunday, September 6, 2015


george in his first overalls, with daddy 
Wow, I've been absent far too long! I wonder if anyone reads my blog anymore.

Life with a baby, just ... man you squeeze stuff in when you can (usually during naps). Since I've been working at my new job for four weeks now, that mainly involves feedings, naps, dinner and lunch prep, housework, pumping for the next day's bottles (grandma watches G. during the day), and sometimes knitting and watching either knitting podcasts or Friday Night Lights on Netflix.

sleigh bells of excellent quality from West Music

As we move into September ... my favorite month ....

the crockpot is becoming our best friend again. there is a lasagna sauce simmering in there now.

George turns 6 months old in 10 days! I can't believe it. He is now starting to reach for things, and
"swim" crawling (moving in place like a swimmer). He laughs a lot. He rolls over. I think he's teething sometimes but nothing's poking up yet. He sleeps like a champ, usually waking only once per night, and he takes very long naps. He has used the baby swing on the playground in our development and gone "swimming" with mama in the wading pool. He has begun eating "tastes" of pastured egg yolk and organic apple and organic white grape juice on a salt spoon. Yesterday I bought him a Baby Bjorn toilet (I refuse to use the p___y word, blech) that we will soon start just sitting his naked bottom on every day to get him in the habit. And we are just about ready to break him into both his weaning table (organic rice cereal is ready to go!) and his Tripp Trapp chair (a chair that allows more independent mobility than a traditional high chair). He likes to sometimes "help" with the spoon going in his mouth. It's all happening so fast!

I am working on a shawl and a very overdue baby sweater here and there as time allows. I think in lieu of Christmas gifts that are knitted (save for a couple hats and some dishcloths), I am going to knit FOUR additional baby items for other on-the-way babies in my world. Another year of the baby!! In a couple weeks I will visit the Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival I liked so much last year. I can't wait.

I am on book 6 of the Anne of Green Gables series. Loving it so much. Three more "Anne" books to go! All done while nursing.

We are planning on going to pick a pumpkin with George but that might not be till next month.

That's about all I just wanted to check in. I've missed things here so much!!

enjoy the cooler weather as it comes in!

love and light,

k. xx

Monday, July 13, 2015

mid-summer day'sblog

Is it really midsummer already?!

Is my son really FOUR months old?? Seriously .... where does time go? :-)

I am actually typing this at my upstairs desk, the one I haven't used in months b/c this has been a combo adult/baby bedroom. Not so anymore! G. is outgrowing the bassinet so today for the first time I placed him on his "big boy bed" (floor mattress, toddler size) in the nursery. Swaddled and snoozing away. That boy ... so adaptable. And soon, I will have my room back! I will be sad to see the bassinet days go however. Now I have to worry about him rolling off the bed, though it is very safe (we have a Montessori-style nursery, no crib) and we can always roll towels up under the mattress later. Just another transition. Our family seems to "love" transition times ... big eye roll!

Tomorrow I will find out whether I have a new job. I am very excited but it is a new role other than "teacher" so I'm excited, but cautiously so. Still working at a Montessori school, of course. I would start full-time at the end of August, and just work a few days prior to that. I have so many emotions about leaving G. home with Grandma after flying solo with him for five months (It will pretty much be six months by the time I'm back full-time; and I do realize how lucky I am compared to most working women). I know he will do fine. And, of course, the plan is to have him coming to work with me every day in the fall of 2016 as he would be in the toddler program! Next best thing to homeschooling :-)

I have finally picked up the knitting needles again, stolen moments during naps and after G. goes to sleep. I am currently working on a hat, a baby sweater, a burp cloth (for that Etsy shop I was going to have sooo much time to knit for, ha!), a baby blanket. When these projects are wrapping up I'm going to start work on a shawl, possibly to enter in a fall fair back in New England just for fun. I would also love to make another Milo for George for the winter. I really loved his first Milo, which does still fit as he's a slow grower.

 I'm also trying to swim twice a week after G. is in bed. It winds up being a very late swim, 9-9:30 pm, but that's the time we have to work with right now (and the time there aren't swim teams using the facility) so it's better than nothing.

My nursing book is currently The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman. Wonderful story! Next up I plan on reading the entire Anne of Green Gables series for the first time. I've only ever read the first book.

It's been a really rainy summer here. I've actually enjoyed being able to take G. on 20-30 minute stroller walks outside under an overcast sky and we can both breathe easy.

Lately, I've been feeling a bit restless. I sort of wish it was a "normal" summer of picnics, traveling, etc. but it's not life with a baby under one year, esp. one with a medical condition we are still learning to manage effectively with medication. Basically he needs very regular sleep. So my days feel chopped into chunks at home between naps and nursing. The nursing has tapered to every three (sometimes four) hours though so that's been a bit of a break. We do go on short adventures with daddy on weekends, out to breakfast or Target or the farmer's market. I keep telling myself soon enough he'll be doing regular stuff with us! We can't wait to take him to the art museum in DC when he's a bit older.

Because I've missed yoga in my life the last few years, I've been looking for ways to start up my practice again given that time is more precious. I can't remember where this first cropped up, but I'm currently "taking" a two-week free mindfulness yoga class online through Hunter Yoga. I'm hoping also to try out a new studio on a weekend sometime s win the neighborhood my new school would be a in, a neighborhood we'd really like to move to at some point as it's walkable and seems so friendly and UN-suburban. People are too isolate from the neighbors where we are now. Though to that end I did at least join a parents Facebook group for our townhouse development, as well as a "Creative chicks with Babes" Meetup. Baby steps ... literally!

I am back to menu planning and meals are very easy to put together as it's summer. Soon George will be eating a few fruits and veggies, too. We set up his Montessori weaning table and chair and I will need to go shop for glass bowls, tiny silver spoons, placemats, some artwork, a small plant, a protective floor mat. He can't sit up on his own yet so I suspect it will be closer to six months that we start on solids.

Gains he has made include rolling onto his belly to indicate he's done with naps, reaching for and grasping his wood ring and his bell on the play gym, crazy loud squealing for several-minute stretches. He's the best, that boy.

I will post pics as I am able.

Love and light,


Monday, June 22, 2015

early summer update

wow, another long time since i last blogged. sorry to be so slow about things. but i do have a 3 and a 1/2 month old (!!!) at home taking up most of my time and attention (rightfully so!!) ....

things are going well as we are already 1/3 of the way into summer .... how did THAT happen btw? seems last time i blinked it was may. we actually had a recent medical scare with George. He is going to be fine but we lost ourselves for a while in the hospital, and tunnel-visioned into fear to the exclusion of all else, including many days of not sleeping. I won't tell you how scary that feels! But seriously. His condition is manageable and, while scary, nothing that will do permanent damage. There is a high likelihood too, that he will outgrow it. So we have him on medicine and are doing frequent doctor follow-ups and hoping for the best outcome possible.

The situation was good in that it helped me to refocus on the truly important, and to learn how to celebrate when 1 or 2 items get crossed off on one day. It's literally all you can do with an infant (not a newborn, an infant!! wow!!) and that's OKAY. I am so looking forward to seeing the world for many more years to come through a child's eyes and at a child's pace. Becoming a parent is life-altering in a way you couldn't even imagine before. Those of you who are parents have felt this chasm opening between your now and the past. It's amazing and truly life-altering.

Becoming a parent is a lot of learning how to LET GO. Life just isn't the same, I think I spent the first 3 months trying to live an altered version of my old life. Um, no. No more old life. And slowly we figure out how to fit ourselves in. An hour at the pool. A 2-hour date while G. stays with Grandma. Knitting three rows while G. naps. Reading like crazy while nursing. A solo walk after G. goes to bed and daddy stays in. Easy to put together at 8 pm meals.

I am still job hunting. There is an incredible prospect coming up this week. Fingers crossed. It would be a school for G. and me!! AMI. I am not going back to the hunt until this meeting is over with. I think this is the ONE.

Gardening ... not happening again this summer. Maybe next. Will be more fun with a toddler anyway, right? Many reasons for this, again having. a. baby. being number one.

Hope your summer is going so well. I feel like I'm going to blink and it will be September, which actually I'm really looking forward to because our landlord just installed new windows through our whole townhouse. Boy do I love fresh air.

It's 10 p.m. time to check on my sleeping sack of love.

Be well.

Love and light,


Tuesday, May 5, 2015

It's May!

Hello, there!
We have been enjoying a glorious spring, in addition (as you can see) to some much-needed spring cleaning/decluttering. I needed to "open up" my small townhouse spaces and I am now happy with the result. Bloom where you are planted and all (it's no secret I'm not a huge fan of the suburbs where we currently live...and especially not that carpet). I would LOVE to be growing stuff on our back patio this year but too many life changes ... again. Sigh. Some day ....
But I've been giving myself up to the things I CAN do that matter. George, who is seven weeks and sleeping like a champ through the night :-) :-) :-) ... knitting as I'm able ... cooking (enjoying Heather's online whole foods kitchen workshop currently) ... reading books while I'm nursing. I have been going on job interviews at various Montessori schools in the area and I'm hoping to be able to make a decision this month. I'm trying to get some summer babysitting, knit for my eventual Etsy shop, and I'm exploring becoming a wellness advocate for doTerra essential oils for some side cash. Researching yarn dyeing and making beeswax candles are future projects right now. Newborns are quite labor intensive! ;-)
Also in the pictures above, you see we found a pretty new park to walk in. I'm trying to walk nearly every day, luckily even when I just stick to my immediate neighborhood there are some good hilly spots and flights of stairs to really get my heart rate up. I've also switched over to "clean" eating. basically this looks like non-gluten grains (aside from multigrain sourdough), pastured/grassfed meat and eggs, organic plain yogurt, fruits/veggies/nuts/seeds and a tiny bit of soy (mainly tofu). NO refined sugar (I'm allowing maple syrup and honey as needed, in minute amounts). It feels GOOD. Also to drink at least 64oz. of filtered water every day.
John is enjoying his new job at the Smithsonian and we are going to visit daddy for lunch one day soon.
The Maryland Sheep and Wool festival last weekend was fun; I took George. I bought 4 skeins of gorgeous yarn and ate lamb kabobs and popcorn as they are paleo-ish friendly.
Hope this finds you well.

Monday, April 13, 2015

all photo credit goes to the lovely talented Anna of Anna Carson Dewitt photography. Patronize her! Her work is lovely.
we are still getting adjusted to life with baby. it's very different, and very challenging, but also very wonderful. mama is learning how to slow down, and how to be patient with the fact that one "little" outing can take ALL. DAY. ;-) we each try to take about an hour of "me" time per day. I either run out to target or trader joe's, Starbucks or Dunkin' for a small pleasure, or I watch part of an episode of Call the Midwife, or get some thank you cards written. I also have baked some yummy brownies (I think from the Cake and Cookie website?) and Molly Wizenberg's adapted raspberry-ricotta cake as beginning May 1 I'm going to try and eat "clean" again for a while (think Whole 30 but not so restrictive b/c I'm nursing). But yeah, no dairy/refined sugar/processed carbohydrate. Loads of "good" meat/fruit/veg/nuts/seeds. Probably some organic yogurt too, and pastured eggs. No caffeine but I've been off that for ages anyway. Thank goodness for the decaf Americano from Starbucks. I love it!
I have also given babywearing a try, and George seems to be much less fussy. I'm using the Boba wrap, and love it though perfect positioning can be challenging. We've made it through his first growth spurt. Today, he is one month old! We are so proud of our sweet one. He gives us so much joy.

Other things ...

OMG ... LAUNDRY. laundry, laundry, laundry. We have just started using our cloth diapers though and love them. Two words. Dreft. Oxyclean. Magic. Don't want to think about the water bill though!

I am in the process of interviewing for a new school position in the fall. I'm hoping to find a really, really good one this time ....

John seems to be first in line for an early childhood position at the Smithsonian!

I am looking forward very much to the first week of May. I'm taking George on his first (one hour) road trip to the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival Saturday, then our local farmer's market starts up on Sunday!

If only there was more time for knitting .... I still have his baby blanket half finished. Welcome to motherhood, right? I must say I'm quickly mastering the art of using one hand for everything.

Hope spring has sprung where you are. Weather has been beautiful here and we've been getting out for lots of walks. We also walked around D.C. yesterday and took some pictures amongst all the cherry trees. Hope to post those soon.

love and light,

Karen xo

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Boy is Born

He's here! Healthy Baby George Andrew Fuller.

12 days early. ... born on March 16. Luck of the Irish!

6lbs, 11 oz. 19 inches

14 hours of labor (no epidural, go me!!), 5 hours of pushing.

Gorgeous tiny ball of love.

We are honeymooning at home getting to know him better.

Mama is having lots of fun reading novels and knitting, too ;-) More to come as time and energy allow.


Karen xx

Georgie and Daddy (my dad made that quilted throw)

George's first few minutes of life.
Hanging with Grandpa on his topponcino

Sunday, March 1, 2015

as we near the end

part of baby's Montessori-style nursery

Lately, there's been so much going on behind the scenes of this oft-neglected blog. Must be the season, a lot of bloggers are hibernating lately. I totally understand. Winter's been rough this year -- where we are, skimpy on the snow, high on the bitter cold end of the spectrum. Kicked off March with an ice storm today. Ugh.

In the last weeks, there has been lots of ....

snuggling in bed doing nothing (mix of winter blahs/third trimester tiredness which ebbs and flows)

drinking hot tea -- mostly peppermint and ginger, but lately cinnamon/vanilla (supposed to be good for healthy skin, see below)

battling two relatively short-lived but nasty colds thanks to my suppressed immune system and job with preschoolers, mainly with honey, lemon, elderberry, a cheap humidifier, and saline nose drops.

dealing with terrible dry skin rash (I blame pregnancy). pure shea butter/flaxseed oil supplements/vitamin e oil/coconut oil/creamy hemp and neem body wash have all helped, but the rash is still there and not in pretty places :-(

getting project after project after project started and finished. FINALLY the list appears to be waning...

preparing for five months of bliss with my little one at home :-) :-) :-) (I know it won't all be bliss..!! but really, what a blessing to have this time)

eagerly casting on too much knitting, and then neglecting all of it far too much

worrying worrying worrying .. .but figuring it all out somehow.

getting out of a very stressful situation and looking forward to a happier future ... more on this to come

reading books about parenting, breastfeeding, etc.

enjoying turning the pages of all three of my home calendars to new pages -- one from phoebe wall, one from the national gallery of degas paintings, one from a local garden center. I get so much pleasure in turning the pages over to a new month

baking, mainly endless loaves of either banana or zucchini bread with various add-ins

eating tons and tons of fresh fruit (hormones??) I can't get enough fruit

trying to swim at least twice a week

getting layers cut into my shorter hair at the hairdressing school ($13!!), and keeping the gray out

looking forward to eating a paleo-ish diet come spring and summer with the rebirth of farmer's markets in this area, and losing the 35 lbs. I gained from baby

slowing down, making time very recently for nightly relaxation time, either by just going to sleep, listening to "yoga" music, or working my way through the same novel I've been reading for a year

feeling uninspired by making new things in the kitchen and falling back on wholesome, hearty old favorites like vegetable-stuffed potatoes, veggie stirfrys with rice, homemade pizza, cobb salads.

preparing some freezer meals for the first couple weeks after baby is born, but trying not to go too overboard

just a couple more weeks to go, we can do this. hello, spring!! you are just around the corner. xo

Friday, January 2, 2015

On impending Mamahood

i have been LOVING the maple nut butter granola from Feeding the Whole Family by Cynthia Lair, which I finally got for Christmas so I wouldn't have to keep hoarding the library copy.
we had a lot of children at our doorstep on Halloween!
our fur baby, cuddly as ever.
part of a shawl I knit my grandma for Christmas. If you are a knitter it's called Scalloped Shawl by Breeann Miller and can be found on Ravelry.
homemade cinnamon buns ... heavenly heavenly!

My oh my --

I never intended to go so many months without blogging! Life just has been completely full -- with work stuff, pregnancy stuff, etc. And here I am ... right on the first day of my third trimester. Just around 12 more weeks to go until we meet our son! He has been wriggling around in there for three weeks already (that I can feel).

We were very blessed to receive money for baby items at Christmastime. So, I've spent the last two days spending it which is scary but of course what it's for. We have found some incredible used items and hope to find more before our trip to Ikea at month's end for a few "big" items. One of my best friends has also decided to host a baby shower for me so I got to fill up a registry to Target with a lot of nice smaller items. We will soon be "sampling" a variety of cloth diapers I ordered.

I have been thinking nonstop about the kind of mama I want to be. It will not be easy being a working mama (after several months off) and it's not my ideal. But it's a necessity at this point and I'm fine with it, especially because I love the work I do with children. I am feeling this sense of urgency and already just two days into the new year I am getting. it. done. the end. I want to have as much prepped as possible during January and February. There are some house projects (mainly cleaning/organizing/setting up) and some kitchen projects (umm freezer meals) and a financial getting-in-order so we are set for when I'm out of work. Holy um ... wow. But still, somehow ... it all feels doable. I'm just getting so excited to meet this little one inside me who makes my belly hard and itchy and tough to sleep around at night! :-) :-) :-)

I have also been thinking about intentions for this brand new year. I'd like to learn how to knit socks and/or cables. I would also like to get myself into a sewing studio for some lessons on the basics. I am planning to launch a little Etsy shop and so I need to prep some products for that. I am also wanting to reach out to some indie yarn dyers about their process as I'm mulling a side business in that line of work. There is very little literature on the subject at this point. I think I would really enjoy that work and if it ever became more successful ... well, I'm always thinking of ways to work more self-sufficiently and less outside the home.

There has been a lot of stress in our house due to some unexpected work-related crises, since the summer really. With those issues soon coming to a close, however, I am determined to make family the number one focus. Despite all the busy this winter entails, I want to make sure that I build in some true relaxing time into each day. I am taking Heather's Hibernate retreat which begins in 10 days and will take me gently into February. My husband got me a prenatal massage for Christmas. And, of course, I have at least four baby knitting projecs planned, with yarn to prove it :-) I plan on drinking lots of tea and sleeping as much as possible. Being good to myself and "checking out" as much, much, much as I can from "outside" stuff. There are very good things on our family's horizon but we are still exploring at this point so nothing concrete to share. I am looking forward to this mix of busy/relaxed. It's a funny feeling to be both but it's what I must do for the last three months until our son arrives.

I am hoping 2015 brings with it the opportunity to take at least two trips. One to Maine over the summer just to relax and sightsee, the other to Orlando by train to see close friends.

It was wonderful to check in at last. Hopefully I won't be gone so long this time!

Love and light,


Monday, October 13, 2014

it's already october!

my new toys!

ignore ugly blind ... soon to be gorgeous light block wood looking blinds

first skein wound from my winder/swift combo!

i'm so proud!

gift knit 

quite messy craft room corner 

** all pictures above of the fibery goodness in my life lately. Most are from the recent Shenandoah Fiber Festival here in VA. Look at that gorgeous alpaca in the blue bowl! I was so happy to pick that up (the greens and the white) for a baby blanket.

Well, well!

I never intend to go so very long without blogging -- especially as some of my favorite bloggers do so every day! Of course the majority of these are SAHM's. And I work full-time as a Montessori guide. Work's been very busy, between the start of the new school year, getting to know the families (lots and lots of email with a few in-person meetings, and a big presentation for upcoming parent ed night). It will continue to be busy as I work out the details of my maternity leave and train my replacement.

I have been really getting back into knitting lately. I love that about the fall. I'm trying to make more daily space for that, and for reading real books. I love Netflix and Amazon Prime for TV series watching, but I tend to go overboard with the screen. I do sleep much better if I don't have a show on before turning in.

Yesterday was our first wedding anniversary. We took a train ride into DC and attended a symphony performance, followed by Balkan tapas in a funky neighborhood southeast of Capitol Hill. I also bought a small cake from a local-to-us bakery that we love.

I have been flirting lately with learning how to dye yarn. There's a lot of great indie dyers out there. I know you can use your own oven as part of the process. I would love to start a small side business to help pay down debt. But there's a lot of research involved first. We shall see. I'm always open to new ideas. The idea someday is to be debt-free and to work less .. or work the same, but on more creative exploits. I love what I do, but it's very work-intensive. Add a commute to that and it kind of sucks the life out of you sometimes. At least, I have that personality type.

With that said, I hope to enjoy tons of knitting these next months as I start Christmas and baby projects!

Things have been warming up in the kitchen, as it's my favorite season for homemade goods. However, I've  been trying to keep meals very simple so they don't take too long to prepare and overwhelm me with what little free time I find myself with in the late afternoons/early evenings. I've been enjoying the granola recipe and the one for chocolate chip/walnut/oatmeal cookies from Food for the Whole Family which I do not want to give back to the library! I am making the year's first batch of homemade pizza dough this afternoon.

Here are a few more pictures for you to enjoy. It's a gorgeous rainy fall day here in Virginia. A great day for snuggly socks and gentle activities at home. Hope you are cozy where you are, too. xo

we started baby's room. this color looks great in every weather and light. 

recent hike, Shenandoah National Park. Look at that color!!

hiking with unborn peanut wasn't too bad, but very challenging on the last (very short) steep uphill portion!

perfect lunch spot!

since getting pregnant I can't get enough of this combo.

treasure sent along by mom-in-law, from her basement! it's an old planter that will likely have a new life holding yarn-y things!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

My favorite month

a household favorite :: vegetable-stuffed potatoes. also makes a great lunch the next day.

new car. 

SURPRISE!! 10 week belly :: just a little more rounded than usual ... 

labor day weekend wedding, delaware :: hubby (far left) and best friends

bride and groom presiding over picnic dinner. i LOVE simple, homey yard weddings!

my gorgeous hubby

photo shoot scenery, post-nuptials

Well, technically it starts tomorrow.

I haven't meant to be away from the blog so much. Time management after some major life upheavals this summer hasn't been an easy one to pin down, especially with the way I've been feeling lately, which, you should know, is because ....

I'm pregnant!!!!

Not quite Facebook-announcement ready yet, it's still first trimester (just over 10 weeks). But we saw a strong heartbeat at 8.5 weeks so we're hoping everything continues just fine :-) I have another appointment in about 2 weeks. I have been incredibly lucky and haven't had morning sickness. But I've been more exhausted than I've ever felt before, and my appetite was REALLY weird for a while (all I've been wanting are frequent tiny meals, and mostly lemonade, bagels with cream cheese, and fruit). The exhaustion means I was too drained to do much other than take long naps after work and sleep nine to ten-hour nights. Lots of TV watching online, but very little exercise, reading, or knitting. Cooking went to "breakfast for dinner" and takeout. I've felt terrible about becoming such a zombie but then again ... it's almost the second tri now and things should start returning to normal(ish!). ... the past couple days I've already been feeling a bit more like my old self.

Anyway, back to the reason for this post. September!!  Cooling weather, return to gradually heavier cooking and baking, indoor swimming, daily walks at dusk. Knitting needles clacking again. Literal and mental clutter cleared (I have a date with my closets, which might actually be in October, more on that in a minute). "Fresh start" time. I am streaming prenatal yoga and very happy with the much-reduced prices versus taking a "real life" class. For $22 I can spend a day swimming at my local rec center and buy TWO yoga classes online (which I can keep and repeat whenever I wish), versus $20 for ONE studio yoga class. Score!

I have been very recently making good use of the local library, checking out books on pregnancy/parenting/frugal living/baking/homemaking. I went hog wild and put my name on a waiting list for a plot in a nearby community garden! I managed to keep a tomato plant (barely) alive, but it didn't exactly prosper. Next year I'll try again but add basil to the pot which I've heard helps the tomatoes.

Plans for this month (and next) include a trip home to New England, several fall fairs/festivals, two fiber festivals, and a fancy dinner and symphony date for our first wedding anniversary. Yes, I also bought a new car ... the old one finally died after 13 years of loving service. I love my 2014 Nissan Sentra :-)


Turn craft room into a dual craft room/guest room.
Clean and organize all closets in house
Paint living room walls.
Paint and prepare the nursery (Montessori crib!)
Keep eyes open for clearance/thrifted treasures to make living room homey

Tomorrow I'm baking some banana bread to welcome September. How I adore you!

For now, I'm off to enjoy a late-summer thunderstorm that's brewing outside and a dusk walk.