After four kids, ten moves and nearly two decades, we are still blissfully in love (most of the time) and I found myself back in the state I was born and raised in. It has definitely been a journey. In fact, on our 18th anniversary we pulled the last of our stuff up over the pass and into Montana, leaving our surprise love, Idaho, behind. But Montana is a great place. The last best place according to some. And we fully intend to explore as much of it as we can! Join us on our continued adventure through life, love and other stuff that comes with it.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Idaho spuds

Living next to a potato field means fresh potatoes.

Yes, we have permission to dig some.

The girls thought it was great fun.

And all three of them got in on the washing action.

Really, Violet just wanted to play in the water.

The bounty.

The dish.

The verdict.

Yes, she's licking her plate.

I think she likes Idaho, too.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Yes, Grace. We do live in the country, but . . .

My little earth-conscious child. I love her. And for some reason she has it in her head that since we live in the country, we have the option of not using electricity, because apparently using electricity is bad now.

This weekend she asked, "Mom, when are we going to start using just candles for light, build a fire, and wash our clothes in a bucket and dry them on a clothes line?"

My dear, sweet Grace. I know you have the best intentions, but going off the grid might just make my head explode.

And that would be messy.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

I felt like a terrible mom

I kept wondering why I was not crying sending my kid to Kindergarten.

Am I a cold mother who gladly sends her sweet, innocent child off to the hands of strangers for hours at a time?

Admittedly, I'm not a cryer.

But today, the third day of Kindergarten this is the scene that got me all choked up:

Stupid school bus.

And a foo-foo dog that needs a haircut.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

In the last two and a half weeks

It's been nuts around here. Really.

We have:

*Spent the night in the hospital with a baby who had a fever that reached 104 and a white blood cell count of 30,000. Turns out it was only a nasty virus, but babywearing in hospital with a sick baby is the only way to do it. And the 3-year-old got it, too. But she didn't end up in the hospital. And she only threw up once at the hospital. And then she ate pizza and drank some Sprite. Believe it or not, she didn't throw up again.

*We have moved every one of our belongings and even some junk from point C to point D (because we've already moved them from A to B, and from B to C) and it actually went rather smoothly.

*Watched sadly as our oldest said good bye to the sweet neighbor girl who became her friend.

*Seen our oldest off to Kindergarten. So far, so good.

*Watched the baby make the transition from a crawler to a walker. And watched the baby toddle around the house so proud of herself and her new upright position in life.

*Listened to the middle child ask at least once a day when we were going to get a new house. And smiling and telling her hopefully not for a REALLY long time.

*Scoured two bathrooms from top (literally the ceiling) to bottom. I even ripped carpet out of one of them. And found pink tile. And under the carpet in the rest of the house?? Hard wood floor. We might have to come up with some plans for that.

*Organized a new kitchen, living room, bedroom, girls' room, laundry area, two bathrooms and a heap of toys. Still have a few more rooms to go through, but the pile of still-packed boxes is getting smaller.

*Discovered that old houses sometimes have lots of flies and earwigs. But I'm okay with that.

*Found a raspberry patch and rhubarb plants that with a little transplanting and some TLC promise to be a great part of summer for many years to come.

*Decided that when the time is right, the overgrown bushes and other plants around the house will have to go and be replaced with new plants and bushes. May take a few years to make that happen, but then I can get it done how I want it to get done.

*Realized that everyone in this tiny community know we're here and are talking about the new family that lives in "Ila's house."

*Been told that since we live here, I can join the local woman's club. But I will need to know how to play Pinochle. I might just do that.

*Vacuumed so much dust and dirt out of this old house that I am beginning to wonder if the people who lived here before believed in vacuuming. But the carpet is not grossing me out. It doesn't stink and it doesn't feel gross. It's just old. So for now, it stays. Until we come up with a new plan.

*Realized with glee that we live next to a potato field in Idaho.

*Fallen head over heels in love with a house that feels like every grandma's house I've been in. Plaster walls. Shag carpet. Knotty pine. Built in dressers and closets all over. Original fixtures. Modern appliances. Salmon counter tops in the kitchen. Mirror wall that is too cool to get rid of. A solid structure that could use some cosmetic work, but that stays cool in the heat and holds the heat when it's cold outside. They just don't make them like this any more.

I feel like I'm living in a dream. I've realized that since I was old enough to understand houses, I've wanted to live in an old farm house. And here I am. And it's mine. I feel so blessed to be here with my husband and my girls.

Life is just good sometimes. Really good.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I am having blogging withdrawls!

Truth be told, I don't have time to blog this week. But darn I miss it!

Tonite I'm caving and taking a hit. And I'm going to subject you to pictures of my children.

Like a normal mother, I think my children are beautiful.

And on most days I wonder what on earth I did to deserve children as beautiful as these three are.

And on most days I take more pictures of them than I can possibly ever get developed.

Kids are fun.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

I must be in denial or something

Last week when my friend was here I asked her to write a short bio for me to put up on the International Babywearing Conference website. She's known me for almost 5 years and writing is her trade. After asking me a few questions, she banged out a cute little thing.

It's funny to see myself in print. It's funny to try to capture a person in nine short paragraphs. I read it and thought to myself, "Wow. I'm that crunchy?"

I do love the picture that accompanies the bio.

Below is the actual bio and my comments. It cracks me up, really.

Though she might not see it, Heidi Donnelly is a hard-core babywearin' mama with a penchant for creating.

Hard-core? That's pretty, well, hard core. What makes one hard-core anyway? The fact that I think EVERYONE should wear their baby? Well, maybe I am then.

And what's a penchant? And why am I creating one?

The mom of three is the third generation born in St. Ignatius, Montana. Raised on a dairy farm, Heidi to this day will make her own butter if she's out. That butter usually gets slathered on a warm slice of homemade sourdough bread, baked with her own homemade starter.

I know how to make butter. Yes. And if I don't have any, yes, I'll make it. Because butter is very important. The sourdough thing I think I did mostly because I found it fascinating and wanted to see if I was up to the challenge. I have a loaf raising right now, actually. It's yummy. I make my own yogurt, too. In my crock pot. Usually I find the time somewhere between washing diapers and getting everyone I meet hooked on tie-dying.

Heidi doesn't watch TV or listen to the radio. "I live on an island," she said. Heidi's not anti-media, she just hasn't gotten around to getting cable or a newspaper subscription. But she stays so busy, it's hard to blame her.

Television makes me crazy with its shallowness and garbage. I don't have a good radio to listen to. If I did have a good radio to listen to, my kids would take it over and demand they listen to their stuff. When we move again, I would like the newspaper to come to my island. Hopefully I'll find time to read it and know what in the world is crashing down around me. But we'll see if I get past the front page. Maybe I'll just end up staying on my island. It is a rather happy place.

Her love of babywearing hatched into a homegrown business, Silly Goose Baby, LLC. She sells her adjustable-bottom mei-tai style carriers on the company's web site, and dispenses her uniquely Heidi opinions on her blog.

Hatched. That's clever. Opinions? I have opinions?? Who said I have opinions? I do think my adjustable-bottom mei tai design is the bomb (and I'm feeling rather brilliant regarding the pockets coming out this fall). In fact, I have a baby in one right now. And she's asleep. And I'm sitting here comfortably banging out this post before I go check my bread and then get to sweing. Does that make it fact?

Since discovering babywearing at a Le Leche League meeting five-ish years ago, she's been attached.

Attached. That's clever, too. Attachment parenting by accident. That's what I should call it. Attachment parenting that happens when you are not looking and soon realizing that it's easy and feels right and makes life easier and babies happier. And 3-year-olds happier. And even 5-year-olds happier. And a babywearing daddy's happier because mom and the kids are happy because of babywearing and because he can make his kids happy by babywearing and his wife thinks babywearing makes him even more handsome (to which he would say, "That's possible?").

Do you see why I think everyone should wear their kids?

"I saw a Maya Wrap ring sling and I was fascinated," she said. "But I'm nearly a complete ring-sling failure."

It wasn't the Maya Wrap that caused the problem. They make fabulous ring slings. It was the person trying to run the thing. (That would be me, if you were wondering.)

Then Heidi discovered the mei-tai style wrap, "and I didn't look back. I don't even own a stroller!"

Is it dumb that I haven't even used a stroller in over three years? Three kids and no stroller. I must be crazy. I sold them at a yard sale and used the money to buy a baby carrier. I really did.

Maybe my kids are scarred from all that walking. But heck, the older two walked before they were 10 months old so I figured they LIKE walking.

She babywears with wraps, mei-tais, a Scootababy and ring slings. Some women have closets full of shoes. Leave it to Heidi to have a closet full of luxurious wraps and carriers.

The Scootababy I decided is my ring sling. Easy and fast hip carry that I can get right every time. I feel a little embarassed that I can use wraps quite confidently, but I can't figure out how to use a ring sling consistently.

A closet full? There's a vacuum and coats in the closet, too. And mittens and scarves and gloves in many, many sizes. And a dog leash.

I kind of wish I did have a closet full of shoes. I think my next pair of shoes might be pink Converse All-Stars. I saw a pair the other day and decided those might be fun. And maybe I'll get all the girls a pair, too. Wouldn't that be great?

Heidi and her husband, Brent, were married nearly 13 years ago after meeting at Pacific Lutheran University in Washington state. They and their daughters, ages 6, 3 and 1, recently moved to Idaho from southwest Washington. Both of them find it amusing that they're the parents to three girls, since they each have three brothers and two brothers, respectively.

And we wouldn't have it any other way.


On a side note, I'm gearing up to move and some of my daily "fluff" will have to be put on hold for a bit. Blogging is one of them. So, my blogging will be much less consistant between now and when I'm feeling settled.

Happy Babywearing!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Don't let her fool you

She's cute, yes.

But if you look closley at the picture, you'll notice clues of the real Calla. The rough and tumble Calla. The Calla who does her own hair and does her own thing. The Calla who recently has been campaigning to get a new baby sister because this one is too loud.

I love my little Calla. She's got spunk. And she's cute.

On a side note, this picture was taken by Brittany Blackburn, the main organizer of the conference. She has been taking all the pictures for the International Babywearing Conference next summer. Go check out the conference site. And consider coming. It's going to be a good time!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Hello. My name is Heidi. And I'm addicted to tie-dye.

And, I'm guilty of knowingly getting others hooked on tie-dye. And not just my adult friends, my children and their little friends.

I'm dangerous. Run. Run fast and far.

And don't read the rest of this post.

And don't look at the pictures.

Consider yourself warned.

For the last almost two weeks my friend has been here with her two kids. We had in our house a 5,4,3,almost 2 and a 1-year-old. It was great.

She's one of my friends from Washington. And she is one of my original tie-dye victims.

But I think she still loves me. Why else would she drive 12+ hours across the country in the middle of summer with two youngsters to see me?

Anyway, I can't have a visit from her without tie-dye. It would be like having strawberry shortcake without the strawberries.

Plus Violet had a birthday. And I used Violet's birthday as an excuse to tie-dye. (Bad mom!) I got her three little union suits and was going to make them special. But I hadn't gotten to them yet. I also had something for the older girls.

I was excited. My friend was excited. The little kids were napping and the big kids were playing nicely.

It was looking good.

So, the maddness began. And went on for most of the day.

Frankly, the result is quite possibly the BEST tie-dye I've ever done.


My friend got some super fun stuff--not the least of which was an adult-sized union suit for her husband.

We giggled a lot. He loves it.

Her daughter gets to wear this dress and is very excited about it.

I can see why.

I've recently been on a tie-dyed heart kick.

Violet's little union suits.



I love how the colors turned out on it. And since she took two steps this weekend, there is hope that the little behind with a heart on it will be toodling around the house soon.

And I had this wild idea. What if I made a little heart right there and made it the center of a swirl?

I like it.

And an experiment that actually turned out pretty nice.

Grace and Calla requested hearts.

And they got them.

Calla's. She picked the colors. Can you tell?

It actually looks pretty nice on her.

This I believe is the most gorgeous piece of tie dye I've ever done.

And it's cotton velour.

I hope Grace wears it out.

Recently Calla has been telling nearly everyone she meets who is wearing a white shirt that "You need to tie dye that." Okay, maybe not everyone, but me, her dad, her grandpa and the neighbor girl. Repeatedly.

The girl loves to tie-dye. I think it's genetic. Or maybe she just likes the mess, I don't know. But either way, the kid loves to tie-dye. And she wanted to help. I told her mommy was going to do these, but if she wanted to, she could pick the colors she wanted on hers and she could ask daddy for one of his million and one white t-shirts.

Daddy told her he'd give her one if she promised to make it pretty. The kid has interesting taste in color. Did I mention she picked the colors on her dress? But she promised.

Anyway, we worked out what design she wanted on daddy's shirt and got it all tied up. Then came the choosing of colors. She did well for a bit. But then she realized that she only had a little bit more white space left and there were still ALL THESE COLORS ON THE TABLE!

Needless to say, she used most of them.

The look on daddy's face when she brought it out to him was priceless. Absolutely priceless. And he said something like, "Wow, Calla. That is colorful!"

The man is not above wearing tie-dye. In fact, if you look back over the last month, I think he's wearing tie-dye in every picture he's in.

Calla's taste in color might just be a little wild for him. But she's pretty darn proud of it.