Friday, October 23, 2009

A new addition

She's finally here! Eleven days ago, to be precise, but the announcement was, as usual, held up by our inability to name the poor child. But with 90 minutes to spare before the state deadline, we settled on Claire Ellen Crockett. Claire because we all liked it (especially Charlotte, who accepted it as second choice once we said we weren't choosing "Billy"), Ellen because it's the middle name of one of my grandmothers, and Crockett because, at this point, it's expected.

She's a different look from any of our other kids, dark hair and a different face than we expected. She sleeps almost around the clock, except for that precious hour of awake time--at 3:00am. But we're working on that. The kids all love her in short spurts. Charlotte loves to hold her, but after about 30 seconds she starts shouting "Take it! Take it!" The hardest part was trying to protect her from the coughing and sneezing since she was born during the week that all of us had nasty colds.

For those interested in stats:

7 pounds, 9 ounces

20 inches long

2.5 hours of labor (60 minutes of which the epidural didn't work)

Born October 12, 2009

1:51 pm

Friday, October 9, 2009


We have made a lot of jam this year. Of all the harvest activities, I enjoy jam-making most. The kids love it, it tastes better than store-bought, and it can be done in 30-45 minutes with minimal cleanup. This year we made about 50 jars, which should carry us through the year: four boxes of apricot, raspberry, blackberry, mixed berry, plum, and plum berry now stacked in the basement.

I was making a batch last week while my nephew Isaiah was visiting. He and Seth brought in a bowl of blackberries they had picked and announced they wanted to make jam. I told them I was out of jars, so we wouldn't be able to do it. They went back outside and returned a few minutes later, not dissuaded.

"We're going to make jam by ourselves. Where's the smasher? (a small wooden tool for smashing the berries)"

I got distracted and didn't supply the requested smasher. They go back outside.

"Where's the sugar, Mom? We need sugar now."

"I thought you needed the smasher."

"No, we just used a rock." They proudly show me a bowl of smashed berries, plus a few extra bits of leaf, grass, twigs, etc.

"Oh. OK, here's the sugar." I dump a big scoop into their pot. They go back outside.

"We need some bread. Our jam is done."

Tastier than mud pies, I guess. Anyone else for jam?