Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Thursday, July 22, 2010


I'm terrified that my babies are going to end up with severe allergies like their mama. Or, worse allergies than the ones I have currently. Yesterday my sweet Rose's back was all broken out in bumps- not exactly hives, but an allergic reaction for sure. We gave her benedryl and Dave's friend who is a medic came over to check her out. We washed her off to make sure it wasn't something she was wearing/laying in (she was in the grass earlier that evening). It could have been the new sunscreen we got, or maybe all the mosquito bites Rose got while camping. She still looks like she got punched in the eye because she has a swollen bite right below her eye.

For now I'll make sure I have Benedryl on hand and I'm going to include Rose in our daily spoonful of local honey ritual to hopefully lessen the effects of the allergies, but I'm not sure what else I can do. I'm trying to take the more natural route. I'm going to talk to the doctor about allergy testing because she's had three allergic reactions in her lifetime now and I'm starting to get concerned about them.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


On Monday, we decided to head up to Olympic National Park and stay a couple of nights in the Staircase area. It is so beautiful!

This is where we stayed:

With a river running behind us, with the constant white noise soothing us to sleep each night. It was also great fun for the kids to play at! Next year, when Riah's mobile, we'll have to stay away from the river so I'm not constantly worrying about him escaping and getting down to the river without me!

There are lots of things to do in the Staircase area. One of the first things we did was take a hike. There is a beautiful hike where you can walk a loop and cross a bridge, but unfortunately the bridge washed out a few years ago and now you can't do that anymore. But hopefully soon they will rebuild the bridge and we can walk it again! But there is a huge fallen red cedar tree that you can look at, climb, and look at in awe of it's giant stature. I would have liked to see it while still standing, but it probably fell before I was even born.

Besides hiking, you can take a short drive to Lake Cushman to play at the beach or go boating and fishing. Unfortunately, the beach is quite rocky, and I dropped my camera. The screen is now broken, but I can still take pictures with my camera. C'est la vie!

We had a great time on our trip and can't wait to visit again soon! We bought the year membership to Olympic National Park (it was only $15 more than the week pass) and we're planning on getting our money's worth out of that card!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Packing up

We're planning a camping trip, and the girls decided to pack themselves. Here's what an almost-6 year old finds essential for a camping trip:

two skirts
two t-shirts
one flashlight

And a four year old:

three t-shirts
four long sleeved shirts
one pair of stretch pants
one swim suit
one swim suit cover-up
one uber-froofy skirt

Monday, July 12, 2010

My baby is growing up!

Lacy turns 6 in 11 days and now has her first loose tooth! It's officially wiggling, and I don't know who's more excited- Lacy, or me! She was giddy with excitement. It would be really cool if she loses it on her birthday (but honestly, I have no idea how long these things take to fall out!). She's already got some permanent molars, and the dentist said it's less common (but still normal) for children to get their 6 year molars before they lose a tooth. He mentioned that her new teeth would be coming in shortly after that, and sure enough, they are!

Which reminds me. For a long time, Lacy would show everybody her 6 year molars. Not just friends and family. Everybody at the grocery store, random people she met while we were out and about, pretty much anyone who would give her the time of day. She would say, "I have a six year molar and I'm only five and a half!"

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Poop on Cloth

I was just reading an article about cloth diapering that appeared in someone's local newspaper. Her grandmother actually clipped it and sent it to her in a very passive aggressive manner. The article in question actually suggests that cloth diapering is a confusing and complicated process, not to mention expensive! Well, it can be confusing. There are a lot of different diapers out on the internets. But there are also lots of resources out there to help you figure out what you should get. In that article, it states that a newborn diaper stash can cost you up to $700. Well, that's a lot of money. But cloth diapering certainly doesn't have to cost you a lot of money to get some really nice diapers.

There are lots of different types of diapers available. The most basic type of diaper is a flat. You know, those squares of fabric that are only one layer that you have to fold to get to a diaper shape. Well, flats are still available and many parents still use them on their babies. I briefly considered using flats when I was pregnant with Lacy, but I opted for a different diapering system as to not overwhelm and confuse myself and my husband with folding techniques. There are tons of websites with folding instructions, and even you tube videos! Flats are the most economical of all cloth diapers, costing around $1 per diaper, or a little more if you get larger flats. Plus, with flats, you don't have detergent buildup issues that you can get with other diapers, and if you line dry your diapers, they will be dry lickety split!

It seems that more commonly used are prefold diapers. They look like squares and have layers sewn in them, but you still have to fold them. Here's my baby boy in a prefold with pins when he was new still:

Isn't that cute? Please excuse the sideways view- I swear I changed that in my pictures, but it's not showing up here. Ri was about 6 weeks when I took this picture.

Prefolds are actually very easy to use, and quite economical. They run about $1.50-3/dozen for your run-of-the-mill prefold cloth diapers. The price gets higher for larger sizes of diapers and for organic cotton.

Contours and fitteds are other diapering choices that are available- they are shaped more like a baby already and may or may not have elastic in the legs and back (fitteds have the elastic) and you may or may not need to use pins or snappis to fasten them. Many come with velcro or snaps already applied. When I was pregnant with Lacy, I bought a bunch of flannel and sewed my own diapers using the Very Baby All In One pattern. These diapers are now getting quite thin and have a new life as doll diapers, but they served me well with my babies!

My diapers have snaps on them, which I prefer to velcro for many reasons. The snaps had not been applied yet in this picture- my friend had a snap press and put them on for me, and later I bought my own snap press. Normally, contours and fitteds cost quite a bit more than other types of diapers. Some of the more popular brands made from specialty fabrics such as bamboo can cost more than many all-in-one diapers!

With any of the flats, prefolds, contours or fitteds, you will need a cover, and possibly something to close them with. Covers usually are more form fittting than they were in the days of plastic pants. They usually fit on like a disposable diaper and have either velcro or snaps to close them with. For closure options, there are either pins or snappis, which are, in my experience, much easier to use than pins. But some people prefer the pins to the snappis. I personally like snappis because they are much faster than pins, making potty breaks for elimination communication much easier.

Then there are the easiest diapers of all to use- the all-in-ones and the pockets. The difference between the AIO's and pockets is that the all-in-ones are all ready to go, and the pockets have a little place in back where you stuff soakers to make them absorbent. They have a waterproof layer on the outside (usually polyurithane laminate, or PUL) and close with either snaps or velcro. The benefits of AIOs are they are very easy to use and are all one piece, but they do take a long time to dry. The benefits of pocket diapers are that they are much faster to dry and they always have a moisture-wicking layer next to the baby's skin, so the diaper feels less wet.

Here are several of my diapers. I've gotten a few more since this photo was taken.

Most of the diapers in this picture are one-size diapers, meaning they can fit on a baby anywhere from about 10 to 35 pounds. The Fuzzi Bunz one size (I have five of them in this picture- they have the white snaps) are set on the newborn setting and can fit smaller babies more easily. The Bum Genius organic All-in-ones (the top row light green and orange and the middle row blue) fit my baby very nicely now, but they didn't fit him until he was about 2 months old. And he's a chunk! Many cloth diapering experts recommend using prefold diapers for the first month or two before starting with a one-size system, because they don't fit newborns as nicely.

Cloth doesn't have to be expensive, nor does it have to be difficult! I much prefer using cloth diapers over disposable diapers for many reasons. They are cuter, are easier on my babies' bottoms, less expensive and much easier on the environment.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Summer School

I'm trying my hardest to work with my children this summer on school work. Especially Lacy. She needs to review several reading units from kindergarten so she can be prepared for first grade. She's struggling a little with it. She has some attention problems and she gets burnt out really fast. As much as I would love to homeschool her (and as much as she would benefit from it), it is really challenging for me to be consistent with her schooling every day and to be patient with her. We really can only do 15 minutes at a time, tops. I think I need to learn some unschooling methods so I can figure out a method that works better for her.

As far as Rose goes, she's just turned 4 and can't sing the alphabet song yet. She's a little slower with learning to speak than Lacy, but she's been evaluated and is within a normal range for her age, but they actually are concerned about her fine motor skills. She just started drawing recognizable people within the last couple of months. Maybe it's because she's small and still speaks babyish, but I haven't really worried about what she knows yet. But it dawned on me- she's supposed to start kindergarten in a year! I don't know if she'll be even close to ready for kindergarten. If I don't work with her, she for sure won't be ready. So we have these alphabet strips that Lacy made in kindergarten, and we get them out and point at all the letters and sing the alphabet song each day. My friend Emily also got her a beginning tracing book, which is really cute. She likes to draw in that every day. Hopefully that helps her fine motor development.

We're also busily reading every day. Lacy and I just finished On The Banks of Plumb Creek, from the Little House series, and we have just started Twig. which we're enjoying so far. We attend story time each week (it only runs in July in the summer) and pick out a selection of books each week to read with Rose. She has several favorites, including Blueberries for Sal (which we own, thanks to my sister Leslie), Belinda Begins Ballet, and Claire and the Unicorn.

Hopefully my allergies will finally go away in a few days so I can really get down to business- I feel like they've been weighing me down all last month and into this month, and I haven't been a very good mom. But with our new air conditioner, perhaps I'll be able to do better!

Monday, July 05, 2010

Really- he's only 5 months!

I've heard boys are bigger than girls. But really, Uriah was only 2 ounces heavier than Rose at birth, so I didn't really think he was that much bigger. But everywhere I go, I get comments, "He's only how old?!?"

Yes, my Moose-boy weighs the same as my Lacy did at 12 months, and he's just barely 5 months old!

So let's review:

Birth: 9 lb 8 oz 22 inches

2 months: 13 lb 13 oz 24.5 inches

4 months: 17 lb 5 oz, 26 3/4"

Currently (5 months): 19 lbs and 28 inches

And actually I weighed him today and it looked like it was closer to 20 or 21 pounds! Chubbawubba! So he's at the 96th percentile for length, and for height, it may be the 86th percentile if he's around 19 pounds, or 93rd for 20, 97th if he weighs 21 pounds.

Seriously. Moose.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Awkward Babywearing comments

I have a pretty awesome woven wrap. See it? I made it myself. (Oh, the door isn't dirty- it's painted courtesy of Rose. We still need to fix it). I took five yards of 100% linen from JoAnn's fabric (where I conveniently had a 40% off coupon and a $50 gift card- linen ain't cheap, you know), washed it, cut it in half lengthwise, hemmed it, and voila- a woven wrap. I love it and wear Ri in it all the time. In fact, my new Costco membership card has both me and my baby in the picture because he's in the wrap almost excursively when we're out and about. Which sometimes leads to interesting comments.

One day I took the kiddos to the library (a frequent occurrence in my house- we LOVE the library!). While checking out, a woman said to me, "Wow! That's really cool! Where'd you get that carrier?" I replied by saying, "Actually I made it myself out of linen. And I just wrap my baby up on me and he's so comfy." She responded with, "I've been looking all over for one of those so I can put my dog it it!" Seriously, what do you say to that? I know people love carrying their little dogs all over the place in doggy carriers, but... I don't know. I was just speechless.

So, I take all three kiddos out to the van and we start getting in. The car next to my van has the driver sitting inside. He rolls down his window. "Hey, that's a pretty neat carrier! Where'd you get that?" I respond with my usual, "Oh, I made it myself out of linen. Just took 5 yards and cut it down the middle lengthwise..." And then, creep mode set in with his response- "Oh, I'd like to be carried around in one of those" I think I smiled and nodded and turned to the kids and said,"Get your seatbelts ready! Hurry up! We need to get home!" That guy seriously creeped me out. I understand that babywearing is unusual (well, not too unusual in the town in which I live- I see people in Ergos every single day, and I'll often see wraps or other less commonly used carriers) but my goodness! Keep the weird comments to yourself and google it yourself when you get home (or even right then in the library! You've got a card to use the internet there, you know.).

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Ahem. Sorry about my lack of blogging.

Well. I've been a little busy with three kiddos. So with no further ado, I'll jump back in! No pictures- for some reason I'm having trouble uploading everything right now. Still working on that. So we'll get into today's feature...

Why parents love to embarrass their teenagers

Otherwise known as "Payback."

Oh yes, my kids can embarrass me. Big time. Rose is part monkey, and she will climb all over everything. And Lacy has no concept of personal space and thinks everyone is her BFF.

So why would today, my major errand running day, be any different?

Oh, we have the usual run off and have lengthy conversations with adults. Which other people (I think) find charming. Me? Well, it was charming the first 500 times it happened.

But perhaps today's embarrassment wasn't so much my children's fault, but rather a byproduct of having children with me. I totally brought it upon myself. But it was Their Fault.

Today was a busy day. Starting off early with a 7:30 wake-up time (why do they never wake up that early during the school year?) and immediately starting to fight. I serve breakfast and work on some morning chores, wash a load of diapers, get the baby down for a nap (I have to say, he is the least embarrassing of my children, despite the fact that he frequently burps and farts loudly in public)... you know, the usual mom stuff. The kids get to watch a television show while I fold socks. At 10 am, we load up in the car and go off to story time at the library. Thank heaven for story time on a beautifully rainy July morning! After story time was over, the real errands began. Bank, and stop by two establishments to give them all of the money I just deposited. Finally, a bite to eat and grocery shopping.

At the grocery store, Rose always insists upon riding in the car shopping cart. You know- the kind that look like this:

Oh yes. Great fun. Unfortunately, Rose is at the age where she no longer wishes to be restrained, and it's difficult for me to keep her restrained even if I wanted to (which is hard because I keep little Ri on my front in a woven wrap, making it difficult to bend and reach in to buckle her in in the first place). So she climbs on it the whole time we're shopping. Eventually she and Lacy start sitting on the edge of the seat with their bottoms in the car and their legs and bodies outside of it. It's already awkwardly shaped and gigantous. Now it's even wider.

Halfway through our shopping trip Rose announces, "I have to go potty!" Well, I kinda had to go too, so it must be time for a bathroom break. I hate hate hate taking bathroom breaks in the middle of a shopping trip. But even more so I hate having accidents in the middle of a shopping trip! So, I park the cart near the bathrooms and we go. After Lacy wastes a bunch of paper in the automatic paper towel dispensers, we finally get back into the cart.

Look back up at the picture of the cart. You'll notice the very front of the cart jets out several inches. And that's your cart's blind spot. I always think I have more clearance than I actually do because the cart is so long. Of course today I happen to park the cart right next to a sunscreen display. Which was soon displayed all over the floor of the store. Right as a bunch of people happened to walk by. I apologized profusely and walked away as quickly as I could, a little pink in the cheeks. We hurry and get the rest of our items and go to check out.

Lacy absolutely loves workers at our local grocery store. She in particular talks to a lady named Crystal and a lady named Rose who works in produce. Today she say Crystal and had to say hello. I told the cashier, laughing, "Yes, that's my girl- wants to work at Top Foods when she's bigger. My girl reaches for the stars, she does." Um, I was talking to an older lady who probably had been working at a grocery store for most of her adult career. Cheeks are slightly pink once again. I try to pry the foot from my mouth and backpedal a little because I'm afraid I was insulting, and quickly we rush out of there (after we look to see if Rose the produce lady is working yet).

And that's when it hit me. While the embarrassment was because of my own doing, it was all because I have children in the first place that I became embarrassed. IT'S ALL THEIR FAULT! And now I understand. I hereby vow to be as embarrassing to my children as humanly possible as soon as they become humiliated by their parents. It's only fair.