hump day nuggets: home bound

hump day nuggets: little bits of the season in photos and words about the last week

There’s a funk passing through our home. And, as per usual, I am not sick and probably won’t be. The hard thing when both of my children are ill? Besides the regular ol’ difficulty in accomplishing simple tasks (read: braless mama not-gracefully tiptoeing through the new snow in slippers to collect eggs). The hard thing for me is letting go of agenda. Because if I cling to a wee thing like writing a little something or sewing that new purse with that vintage avocado fabric I scored or the trite-as-trite-can-be-but-still-my-reality laundry tackle? I am frustrated and so are my kids.


There are still moments of blech when I tensely wish I could have four inches of space. And yet I hold Ruby all day, hug, make tea, build towers, rub backs, read books, wipe noses, sweep hair from eyes, take deep breaths and say you bet when Margot wants to change her clothes for the seventeenth time.


It’s life, after all. And, the funk is just as important as the bling. Yes? Yes.


:: Our hens died last summer and I have held some guilt and sadness. We got new chicks and, recently, I realized I’m intentionally not so attached. I realized it because, suddenly, I am attached. It’s winter and they are cuddley and funny just like the rest of us creatures waiting for spring.


The girls are like a pack of teenagers chirping in the lunch room about how Mike Wineberger might be cute but is a total jerk who never repaid that two dollars. (true story. Mike? You a reader? I am waiting.)


:: We made pumpkin muffins.


They were good. So good that this mama managed to only snag one! The injustice!


:: My birthday is approaching and I chatted with Margot about it a few nights ago. I said it was just around the corner. And, Margot replied, wide-eyed and pointing, “Right there? Just down the block from our house?! We should go get it!”


Walks always do us some good. Even if only one snotty block.


:: On the most mucusy day we cracked open our new-to-us book and made some salt dough.


Once I was kneading and exercising my biceps (for ten minutes!) I felt the girth of that ball could spell M-A-R-G-O-T. So we did.


And the whole who-knows-what-this-will-be project took off. We gathered whatever we could get our hands on for marking the clay. We shoved beads into the pudgey letters and stabbed, poked, marked, pressed, printed and schmushed with all manner of kitchen utensils.


And then painted.

Margot asked, “Ruby do you want to paint the ‘R’ since R is for Ruby?” 
And, after the paint dried, I coated the letters with Mod Podge and Margot applied a Mod Podge-glitter dressing.


Finally, we baked and hung over her bed. She thinks the letters are so cool and stares at it in disbelief. Her name right there, every letter, with glitter.

I stabbed holes into the doughy letters (to allow for nails) with a chop stick.

:: I love witnessing my kids love on our animals.


:: Margot and Ruby were in their room and Margot was laughing and screeching, “Maaaaamaaaaaaaa! Come and see!” My camera was near so I grabbed it and was glad I did because I rounded the corner to this:


Margot had lifted Ruby onto her bed, tucked her under covers, given her a pacifier and was reading her a book about babies. Even as I type that I am smiling. Yep, it was cool.

:: Pizza is a weekly (more? probs) occurrence in our home and being that Andy can toss a mean crust, Margot loves to mimic her papa.


:: Rubes is sleeping much, much better thanks to Sleep Lady Kim West (and thanks to a reader who passed our sleeplessness along!). Kim and I talked over the phone and her kind, gentle, individualized approach was incredibly helpful.

Ruby’s favorite blanket made with love by Kelle.

And that concludes our week in western Montana.


happy hump day out there


38 Responses to hump day nuggets: home bound

  1. Letting go of the agenda: HARD, but inevitably brings freedom and happiness : ) I’m learning too.

    Re: squirrel shooter. Are the police seriously not doing anything about him shooting within city limits? Too bad Montana doesn’t require a hunting license for squirrels–then Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks could at least nail him for wanton waste.

    Also, I received my giveaway from Hip Mountain Mama and, YEAH! Thank you again. We got block crayons and crayon rocks. So besides some handprints on a painting, Juniper had her first official mark-making session the other day and LOVED it (also loved the taste of those, thankfully beeswax, crayons).

  2. Melina says:

    Yep. Makes me want to take pictures of what I refer to as ‘real-life-this-will-not-make-my-blog-life’…the funk, the not so perfect, maybe not as photogenic but still part of it all bits of life. Maybe I’ll have that post up soon. I smile thinking of it….as a 25 year old, single, someday mother, someday settled seattle girl, my moments will surely look different than yours but the trace elements will be similar, I’m shore of that!

    And yes, even a 1 block walk does help everything.

    Your photos are AWESOME and I love how the white blends in with the blog background. Cool.

    Thanks for the few-hours-early nuggets!!

  3. KWQR says:

    Up way too late (or is it way too early?!?) and was so happy to discover nuggets hot off the press. Love your cracked sidewalks…my hood doesn’t even have sidewalks… one of the downsides of non-traditional living! Hope the funk passes quickly. My youngest is turning 3 on Sunday & tonight I asked him what kind of cake he wants. After much thought he said he wants “a rainbow cake with pink frosting & sparkles”. Will have to re-read Margot’s b-day post for guidance! Love the salt dough project…your spontaneous creativity is an inspiration to do more free-form fun with my little guys.
    Must try to find sleep… happy Wednesday!

  4. Kelle says:

    Coffee and Nuggs, my favorite breakfast. Love the picture of Margot eating her muffin. And the moment she and Ruby shared. Recovering from cracky sidewalk week now…pouring new cement. xoxo

  5. Melissa says:

    oh that poor squirrel :( so sad. I totally hear you about letting go of the agenda – SO hard sometimes. Great nuggets.

  6. Tara says:

    I’ve had a hard time bonding with our new chickens for similar reasons. When I open up that door in the morning and say good morning to the girls, I scan making sure that they all survived the night. Those raccoons are smart creatures! Hoping the sickness leaves your house quickly!

  7. Ah so I took down the dead squirrel photo…just was such a bummer in the middle of the nugs! And, clove, the police have talked to him. We’ll call again.

  8. Tina says:

    Not only did you take the dead squirrel down (so morbid! lol) but I noticed you also changed the title!

    We’re also battling snot & coughs & general crankiness over here… myself included. Looking forward to us all getting better, hopefully sooner than later.

    Love the creativity that was brought out from the salt dough. How lovely! The picture of the girls reading together in Margot’s bed is just too sweet. You can totally see the love that radiates between them and that’s just awesome.

    Last point here… totally jealous of Ruby’s blanket. It’s so bright and colourful and snuggly looking, I want one for myself… and just maybe I’d share it with my girls. ;)

  9. sarah says:

    i was going to say, i didn’t see any dead squirrel (happily!). omg i laughed o.l. about mike weinberger and the two dollars. i need to take more winter walks. it’s so cold here though!

  10. Mihaela says:

    I love this post. I hope your girls get better soon. I want to share something we give our kids (and ourselves too) at first signes of cold – Propolis. It’s a natural bee product and is working wonders in our house. We buy an organic brand from the local health store that is dissolved in honey. It might not be the most delicious taste on Earth, but it’s working. So we aquired the taste and now love it.

  11. Kate says:

    Your Margot is an absolute hoot! I am glad to hear Ruby is attached to your hip…my partner and I were just talking last night about how our one year old is on me constantly, and are we doing something wrong, is she insecure, is she too indulged, is it developmental, and on and on. So glad to see your little on you too – makes me think we’ve not ruined her for life, but maybe it’s normal (first baby).

    I pop in here every day in hopes you had the time and inclination to throw an extra post into the mix -they’re just so good!

  12. Kate says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  13. Kristine says:

    Love when I come here to find sweet inspiration!! Just found a recipe for the salt dough and cannot WAIT to do this with my son :)
    Your daughters relationship it so sweet, it melts my heart.
    I love your cracked sidewalks….such character!
    Hope the girls feel better soon!

  14. Tonya says:

    I can really relate to this post. The same damn cold keeps recycling itself around my house. Everyone has had it at least twice, the littlest ones are on their third round. As I type, I have two of them hanging on me, coughing and whining. Gotta love it! LOL

    Hope your little ones are better soon!

  15. It’s true – the funk is just as important as the bling. I’m there this week just being sick and trying to deal with a girl who is giving up naps and resisting bedtime. By the time she’s down and I realize that my ailments are stronger than the I get frustrated. The cut pieces for a new skirt gather dust for another day, working on the photo album gets pushed to another day, and everything creative comes to a halt. Just as important? Yes. Am I itching to get back? Hell yes.

    I love Margot’s comments about your birthday being right around the corner. And it must be all the more funny when you hear her witty comments come across in her little girl voice. One day I’m seriously going to miss the little voices.

    Thanks for early nuggets. Got my snowy day off to a good start.

    -Jennifer from Annapolis

  16. Abilew-who says:

    I write this comment through red, dry eyes – I think one of them is officially closed. And I guess you know what I’m talkin’ about! My sweet 7 month old Eleanor decided she didn’t want to waste any time sleeping. I understand. I’m a super fun lady! Last night? I was not fun. I actually, against my better judgement, finally let her cry. And I am MORTIFIED with myself right now. I just want to rewind. So I promptly clicked on that book in nuggets, added it to my cart, and will breathlessly await its arrival in my mailbox. Thanks for the well-timed reminder of why I believe in sweet, restful, gentle sleep. Here’s to hoping Eleanor never remembers that one time I forgot… Thanks.

  17. Annie says:

    The salt letters look neat.
    LOVE when siblings do such cool things, like read to each other (my favorite right now for my kids) and so sweet to have Ruby paint the R :)

  18. Tatiana says:

    I was totally trying to figure out what kind of bread “salt dough” made until you started adding pebbles and glitter lol. Super cute idea =0)

  19. …the funk is just as important as the bling…perfect…

  20. James says:

    I can totally relate to the agenda part. Definitely hard to balance your own need for some sort of daily progress (no matter how minor i.e. taking down the Xmas lights) with your kiddo’s need to just experiment and explore (no matter how utterly and painfully slow that is sometimes ;)
    Thanks as always for sharing Nici

  21. Terri says:

    You have your agenda right on….it just can change in the blink of a lamb’s eye, when wee ones need you.

  22. FinnyKnits says:

    Go get your birthday because it’s right around the corner???

    I LOVE IT.

    I also love your salt dough letters. That’s a fun project and came out so cute.

    Happy Weds.

  23. Sweet pictures….oh I love the MARGOT dough decor!

    Had the ickies in our house all week too. Now the hubby. Grace and I (the girls) are fighting like hell to stay healthy.

    I know what you mean about the schedule…ugh!
    But looks like you are doing all the right things!!

  24. Anonymous says:

    MIke Weinberger punched me in the face with a lunch bag that had a metal apple juice can in it in seventh grade. Looking back, I think he looks really mobster — he had dark circles under his eyes even in seventh grade – and not all that cute at all. Just sayin’.

  25. Julia says:


    You seem to patient and loving with those girls…Really like the picture of Margot reading to little Ruby, that is just absolutely precious, and sweet that she knew her momma would want to be a part of it.

    Thanks so much for sharing…glad I didn’t see the dear dead squirrel.

  26. RMAinMD says:

    ,,,the “nugs” are pairing well with my red wine as i gaze out the window at the new fallen snow,,,

    ,,,thank you for always delivering even when “funk” arrives at your doorstep,,,

    ,,,Margot asked, “Ruby do you want to paint the ‘R’ since R is for Ruby?”,,,”brilliant” she is!,,,

    ,,,love, love, love ruby’s facial expression as her big sister reads “hello, new baby!”,,,margot is the BOMB!

  27. Hillary says:

    i love your little nuggets! its like coming home to a warm fire and cup of tea. i love the little moment your wee little people had together. the moment of sisters. the moment of love shared together. thank you. i so wish i could travel to montana and walk those cracked sidewalks with you and your girls. i want to gather around your kitchen table and create masterpieces. i dig you. thank you for sharing.

  28. kirsten says:

    hee hee. mike weinberger.

  29. Minnesotagal says:

    Love, LOVE, Kim West! She’s how I got our son to nap and sleep through the night without any cry-it-out which I abhor and cannot, will not, do. Actually the very best advice she gave was to put him down sooner – be vigilant for sleep cues – and voila! We had to do very little of the sleep lady shuffle once we figured out when he was tired Maybe little Rubes will let you get some more sleep soon!
    Is Ruby actually coloring/painting? I’ve tried with my son who’s about 3 weeks younger than she is and he just doesn’t get it at all! We’ve had several multicolored poops from all the crayon bits he eats – thankfully they’re beeswax/plant dye crayons! Any tips? I know he’s a boy and will need to run and do and build and knock down but I really want to foster his read and color and enjoy some quiet calm side too.

    PS – love the sunflower face! Just what the end of January, heading into a cold and icy February calls for. That ought to buy few more months of warm smiles to make it through until spring.

  30. Holly Taylor says:

    Oh I love catching those simple loving sisterly moments. There has been several times I have started crying just hearing my girls being kind and compassionate with each other. The best gift as a mother is seeing love between siblings.

    Love the Margot letters, great idea!

    And I also love baking with pumpkin!

  31. Daniele says:

    your cat is so beautiful! I think it’s the first time I’ve seen it

  32. Whitney says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  33. Whitney says:

    Okay, you can NOT post about Ruby sleeping better without telling us HOW you did it! All of your sleep deprived mama-readers are waiting with bated breath

  34. Amie says:

    Your posts always make me want to move to Montana. So simple and sweet and quirky and adventurous. Thank you!

  35. OK, going to add the salt dough recipe into the post now. And, Whitney, you are so right! I’ll write about it soon!

    Minnesota Gal, Ruby does draw or paint every day and has for several months. I think it is because of Margot! Our art supplies are always accessible to the girls and they skip over to the table and draw all the time, led by Margot. Ruby imitates her movement and medium. If Margot uses a marker, that’s what Ruby’s wants. I think it is so cool that you are encouraging your son to draw! He’ll take off with it one day. I wrote a post a while back about making art with kids. If you are interested:

  36. Abilew-who: One night Ruby woke and I was so tired I didn’t feel like my legs could swing out of my bed. I listened to her cry for a minute hoping she’d soothe but it didn’t happen. The next thing I knew I woke with a start. It was quiet and over an hour had passed. I managed to fall asleep with her crying. I felt terrible. I have no idea how long she fussed. My husband didn’t wake either. It makes me think she fell asleep quickly but I am not sure. Oh what us exhausted mamas will do. I am telling you this because, I am pretty sure we’ve all been in that spot you were in a few nights ago. And, we are all just learning as we go, making choices that work best for our families…and whether the choice ends us being the right one or not, it informs the next step. I think you will really enjoy that book!

  37. Linda says:

    Wonderful post as usual! And the Mike Weinberger part made me smile as well, I don’t remember him being a very nice guy, but I guess what middle school boys are? The pumpkin muffins sound delish!

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