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Chasing Babies... Growing in Grace: April 2008

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

When your toddlers nose is running...

This actually works for other ages too, though once your little ones hit pre-school age, they may not be interested any more. When our babies and toddlers have runny noses it is a constant flow of yuck that just spills all over everywhere (as in today in our home). Until we can teach them to blow their noses effectively, that flow will continue, and it's almost a full time job to follow after them wiping it clean. Then the tears come. They don't want us wiping their nose again... it hurts, it's red, and therefore it's just plain difficult!

Even those Puffs Plus just can't be sensitive enough for those little noses sometimes. And a handkerchief??? There is no way one of those can keep up. What I've found to be a great tool is a re-purposed receiving blanket!

That's right! Those soft flannel receiving blankets that really only swaddle our little ones for those first few months of life are perfect when re-purposed for a number of things. Many people use them for cleaning... I haven't gotten that far yet. First, I used them as burp cloths when DS's spit up got so out of control that normal burp clothes weren't keeping up. Now, I use them as over sized Kleenex! They are perfect because they are soft, flexible and big. I keep them folded in quarters... then when one part gets especially yucky, I just refold it so that clean parts are outside. When a blanket gets just to disgusting, I toss it in the washer (or sometimes hang it out to dry, depending on the consistency of the yuckiness) and get another one... there are plenty in this household. One note: make sure you keep them separate from any other receiving blankets being used for an actual infant! :)

This is something that works for us! For more Works For Me Wednesday posts, check here!

Also... for all you parents of little ones, check back tomorrow (unless our colds around here get worse, then it will be another day or two) for "Learning for Little Ones"! There are plenty of resources and ideas floating around the web for homeschooling, but ideas for our babies and toddlers are harder to find. I'll have a Mr. Linky ready, so stop by and share what you are doing with your little ones. No toddlers??? Share what you did when they were young! :)

See you soon!

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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Nap time anyone???


Generally I aim to keep baby blankets in my son's crib. There is enough mess around this house without blankets being dragged or strewn about. And he LOVES his blankets too. If I let him, ALL his blankets would be everywhere, all the time! Occasionally when we are playing/working in his room, he will grab a blanket corner from between the slats of the crib and pull it out. Most of those times he has trouble getting it all the way out. He pulls with all his might on two separate corners... one through one slat and the other through another slat. We who have more experience in life than he know that he won't get far that way. I love to watch though, waiting to see if he will figure it out. More often than not, however, he resorts to his proven approach of getting me to pull it out for him. In my opinion it took the same sort of problem solving to know that Mommy would know how to do it, so after he's given it a fair try, I either show him how or simply do it for him.


One of my favorite memories of this happens to be a day he didn't ask for my help. He was working very hard at getting his blanket out. I watched for a while, but then turned to finish putting clothes away in his dresser. Things quited down after a minute and I turned to see what he was doing. When I turned around, the sight before me was just adorable... and the first time I'd seen him do anything like it. He had pulled his blanket out just as far as he could... and it was just far enough that a corner of it lay on the floor. And on that little corner of blanket that reached the floor lay my DS's head, fingers in his mouth, just laying there. It was one of the cutest things he's done. :)


And on this particular day... the one that matches the photo at the top, he found his silky folded in a stack of clean laundry on the couch. Before I knew it he had grabbed it off the pile and was dragging it all around the house. Before I knew it he was all the way at the end of the hall, laying on the silky up against the door to his bedroom. Nap time anyone???

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Cloth Diaper Clearance


Another diaper clearance at Soft Cloth Bunz! I just got this email... hope you can benefit from it!



We have a few items that we want to clear out!

Our manufacturer made a mistake in the production of our Infant Regular Prefold Diapers. These 4 X 6 X 4 ply diapers are normally stitched in bright green thread in order to distinguish the size from the 4 X 8 X 4 Infant Premium Diapers. Our diapers were mistakenly stitched in dark green. The fabric, size, and quality of the diaper is first rate, they are stitched in the wrong color. Because of this error, we are considering them second quality and are selling them at a reduced price. We have approximately 1200 natural/unbleached diapers and we want to move them quickly. They are nicely priced at $1.25 each.

Check our Sales & Specials Page for other clearance items including select Bumkins All In One Diapers, Bumkins Diaper Covers, and Imse Vimse Swim Diapers.

Thank you!
~Bryana
http://www.softclothbunz.com/
http://www.clothdiaperblog.com/


We started out using cloth with my son, but have since changed. I still prefer cloth over disposable for many reasons, but time and energy being what they are, My Beloved suggested switching. Maybe some day down the road... in the mean time, what do you use???

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Monday, April 28, 2008

Toddler Menu and an answer... finally!

I got the following comment several weeks ago:

GinaVA3 said...
Great giveaway!

And a question--what's the "LO" in front of some of your dinners?

That's a great question GinaVA3! Sorry I'm lame and haven't answered yet! "LO" is my short hand for left overs! In those little boxes I only have so much space, so if we are enjoying a meal for the second time in a week, I will label them LO... i.e. this weeks "LO Tammy's Lazy Lasagna". :) Thanks for asking!

And here's this weeks menu. This week My Beloved will be here most of the weekend, but is leaving Sunday afternoon and will be gone 1/2 of next week. :( It's sad, but I much prefer this to having him gone over the weekend! WooHoo!

I was perusing some of my previous menus for inspiration and discovered that I've been in quite the rut. I only needed to look at 2 or 3 menus to see all the ideas I would come across. Perhaps this is because of the new baby (yes, let's pretend that's the reason), but I'm tired of the rut just the same. I tried to put a couple new things on this week... but since I still have things in my freezer, I'm resorting to old things as well. :) That Tammy's Easy Lasagna is from my freezer! :) The pizza is a new spin (for us) on a regular meal. The hamburgers are exciting... a seasonal thing I guess... but since the season is here, it will probably be on the menu more often! :) My most exciting part of this weeks menu is the "Zesty Chicken Quasadillas"! I'll let you know how they go, but I'm going to make them up as I go along. I'm thinking it will involve cooking the cubed chicken in salsa on the stove top, then cuting the chicken even smaller. Serve with salsa and sour cream! :) Try it and let me know what you think! :)

For more inspiration, visit MPM!

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Sunday, April 27, 2008

Weekend 3, the whole thing

Well, almost the whole thing. It's still possible that some news worthy travesty could happen this afternoon after DS wakes up from his nap and before My Beloved walks through the door to rejoin our family after his weekend away. Assuming that won't happen, all I can say is this has been a great weekend!!! Everything has been smooth and I've stayed calm. No one is sick and no one has been especially awful to be around (myself included I think.)

It all started Friday. Before we even did breakfast, we loaded up the kids in the car and took My Beloved to get the rental car. From there we came home to eat and he went into the office for a few hours. After breakfast it was my job to get My Beloved packed for the weekend. Once that was taken care of I dove into the 7... yes 7 loads of laundry adorning my super comfy couch! I got several loads done while DS played and a couple more later on. The sheets needed to be done, as well as the quilt and blanket on our bed since DD pee'd straight through all the layers of our bed that morning in the wee (pardon the pun) hours of morning during an otherwise routine diaper change. Seriously... what's a couple more loads of laundry when every article of clothes in the house is already piled in a tall mountain in your living room!

My Beloved arrived home around 12:30, put DS down for his nap, loaded the car, and then blessed me with his sweet company while we enjoyed lunch together. Before 1 he was off for the weekend and I was again on my own. During nap time I tackled the ironing. A good 1/4 or 1/5 of the laundry pile I folded that morning found it's way into the ironing pile, so I put in a movie (Facing the Giants ~ a great movie) and got a little more than half of the ironing done before DS woke up from his nap. In the evening we got to go for a nice walk, play, and eat together. Once he was down again in the evening I started up the end of the afternoon's second movie, Yours, Mine and Ours, and finished that ironing! WooHoo!

It was important that I finish all the laundry, and get the house a little straightened because My Beloved talked me into getting some help with the house this weekend. Since my week was soooo crazy, as mentioned here and here, and I was a tad overwhelmed with life, we hired a couple teenagers to come clean the house Saturday morning! Nothing like someone else cleaning your house to motivate you to get things put away.

Didn't work though... the house was still pretty cluttered when they got here Saturday morning. Dishes weren't done, table wasn't cleared, toys weren't put away... and seriously I felt like I'd been working on things every moment possible for days! It didn't faze them a bit though... they just straightened while they went. By request, we cleared out of there so they could work unhindered. Their wonderful mother (a friend of ours) volunteered to take DS to her house to play so I could do whatever with only one baby. It was great... someone else was entertaining my 1 year old and the baby and I got some time to shop and browse the library. :) Granted we were browsing the board book section... but still, I wouldn't have been browsing any area if DS had been along. :)

It was so nice to return home, errands completed, to a clean house! And it was time to put DS down for his nap. By the time he woke up from his nap we had friends on their way over to visit/play. This cute 4 year old loves to play with my 16 month old. They run around the house and have a blast! What fun to have the fellowship, and the yummy pizza! That was a whole day of other people helping to entertain my little boy! What a blessing!

So that leaves us with today... a great morning at church!... and a great afternoon so far!

I do hope your weekend is going smoothly as well! Blessings!

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Saturday, April 26, 2008

Getting ready for baby... What I did to make it easier!

I received the following email from reader Mary:

I found your page. I was trying to figure out how to organize my first
baby's arrival. She is due June 28th and I am trying to get everything done. I
love the way you kept up with everything. Can I please get the pdf for that
page. The one with the feeding and dirty diaper things. I hope to hear from you
soon. Thanks. Mary


First of all, I must address the "kept up with everything" part of this email. Things were a lot smoother than they would have been if I weren't prepared at all, but I spent $60 today to have someone else come in and clean my house. My little one is 7 weeks old and things had finally gotten out of hand enough that we decided it was worth it.

I want to point out to you that every family situation is different. I was blessed to have my husband stay home from work the first week we were home from the hospital. He was able to take care of most things around here. Families from our church brought meals, which helped a lot! Then, my mom came the 3rd week to help take care of things. You may or may not have as much help as I did in the early days.

Now that my newborn is a bit older, my husband is gone most weekends and I'm on my own. In addition, we are gearing up for our busy business season. I think it's fair to say that things have gotten WAY behind. We new something had to be done when DS started wandering around barefoot (because it's so nice and warm) and the bottom of his feet are filthy! Someone needed to mop!

My point is, "kept up with everything" is relative. And when you're talking about what you read on a blog, you never know. Most of the time we bloggers are posting about what works for us... rarely do we post what is definitely not working for us... even though that may happen more often! My recommendation to you is not to compare yourself to anyone else. Do what you can and do your best for the glory of God! He will help you.

That said, there are a number of things we can do to prepare for the coming of a baby. I was very thankful for all that did get done. Truth of the matter is that I got most of my ideas from other bloggers. So instead of making a fresh list here, I thought I'd share the list I got from others:


I still have 3-4 meals in my freezer. I've been spreading them out in my normal meal planning so that I don't have to cook every night. It's helped tremendously... even 7 weeks later.

In addition to kitchen things, I also try to have all the baby clothes washed and put away, ready to wear! With all the laundry you'll be doing when baby arrives, it's nice to have a jump on this.

I tried to get the house all cleaned up too. Though I didn't get everything done as I would have wanted, I knew that it would be a while before I felt up to doing any heavy cleaning! If you feel up to it, scrub your kitchen floor, do a deep clean on the bathroom and hunt down those cobwebs! You'll be glad you did later. Just be careful what cleaners you use while you are pregnant or around children. :)

Other things can include spending time with your husband, making sure to pack your bags, getting that crib/bassinet put together, and a slew of others.

There are tons of other things I could say I'm sure. I know you all have even more ideas. If you have suggestions for Mary, and others with the same questions, leave me a comment!

And keep us posted Mary! Congratulations on your coming baby!

Oh... and if you're interested in the feeding record Mary was talking about, check it out here and send me an email. I can get you a pdf copy of them for weeks 1-10!

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Thursday, April 24, 2008

He is Sufficient!

Still not a lot of time today, but I did just finish a huge thing from my business list, so I'm rewarding myself with a couple minutes of "me" time. And how am I spending that "me" time??? With all of you it seems! :)

Thanks for your thoughts and prayers yesterday! As if it could have gotten worse, turns out I had an appointment with clients at 1 that I completely blocked out! Thankfully they were an hour late so when they arrived I was working on things at the computer and not nursing (like I was at 1). The house was still a disaster and I was not the presentable self I like to put forward for clients. I did a quick scurry and apologized profusely for the state of things, then we got down to business. About 20 minutes in DS woke up and was absolutely screaming from his room. I just couldn't let it go on, so I brought him out with us. Thankfully they brought a 5 1/2 month old with them and are very baby friendly. On of them held my little girl, the other held their little boy and I had DS. We were quite the sight no doubt all "cuddled" around my computer monitor looking through portraits!

The unfortunate part of the whole thing is that DS was awake very early from his nap, so when they left a half hour later, he was still up... and nothing else really got done.

Today has been much better. There is more to do, and more of a rush on everything, but my state of mind is much better off! I did have time to spend with the Lord this morning before everyone was up. I asked Him simply to maximize my time and energy today! It seems he has. I'm still tired, and still not getting anywhere near everything done, but I am still plugging away at it. The good news??? Anything I don't get done today will still be waiting for me tomorrow (wait... now that I've said it I'm not sure it's good news after all!) :) Oh well... I simply need to work down the priority list. Now that business stuff is done, I'll work on getting DH ready for tomorrows departure! The 3+ loads of laundry on the couch (soon to be added to with the loads in the washer and dryer) and the mess on the kitchen table can wait!

My sweet husband made a comment to me a few days ago. He pointed out that many of my posts have been on the negative side lately and encouraged me to share with you something that has been encouraging me of late... God's sufficiency!

That's right! God is sufficient! He is all we need. In the midst of all the craziness going on around here, all the clutter, all the missed sleep, etc... God is sufficient! And praise Him for that!

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Just stopping by

I'm not staying long this afternoon. My normal computer time as per my schedule is being adjusted some. Saturday's definition of destroyed has been expanded to the state of things today. I didn't even stop to take a picture for you, but between the messiness of the house, my general tiredness and lack of energy, and the baby's almost constant screaming I'm at the end of myself today! I slept in, which was great, but it also means that I haven't been able to be in the Word yet today, so I am feeling very thin... like "butter scrapped over too much bread" (hee hee). All things combined and I want to cry, collapse onto my bed and just cry... but there's no energy for that. Oh... and I really want chocolate... or some of the cookies in the cupboard, but we're thinking the chocolate is making DD gassy and contributing to the crying, so if I want to remain sane (too late), no chocolate for me! :(

First things first, now that DS is in bed for his nap, I'm going to sit down with my Bible and a glass of water while I nurse! Once I've done that I have some business work I absolutely need to do today (deadlines have arrived). After that, we'll see. If I have the energy I'll walk away from the computer and get something straightened... just enough to feel better about the state of the house. Has anyone else noticed how a messy house can affect your spirit? A nap sounds good too... but I'm not counting on it today.

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Monday, April 21, 2008

Toddler Menu for this week... Sorry the picture's not uploading

I'm glad you all liked my new buttons!!! Looks like Christy even figured out the code for putting it on her blog. Thanks Christy! By the way... she has the lo down on all sorts of contests and giveaways! Stop by and check her out! :) If you too want buttons on your site but are having trouble... let me know! :)

I'm having trouble uploading my menu as a picture this week for some reason. (Anyone else struggling with this blogger feature today?)

So... most of the day time meals are the same as other weeks (for the most part), but this weeks dinners are:
  • Tuesday ~ Salmon Stew, garlic bread
  • Wednesday ~ Grilled Pork Loin, Mashed Potatoes, Asparagus
  • Thursday ~ PW Chicken, Corn on the Cob, Mashed Potatoes
  • Friday ~ (MB's out of town) Mac n Cheese with ham, broccoli
  • Saturday ~ (MB's still out of town) Chicken Quesadilla, peas
  • Sunday ~ Pizza with veggies and meat
  • Monday ~ Spaghetti and Meatballs, Garlic Bread

Sorry things aren't fancy... but if you want a printable copy of my menu the way it usually looks, send me an email at babychaser[at]gmail[dot]com.

For more meal ideas visit MPM!

Have a great week!

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And the winner is...

Mandy from Creative Cents! Stop by and congratulate her if you have a chance. She has a post up highlighting an adorable scrap booking page for her 6 month old! :) So cute!

Mandy, send me an email with your address and I'll get that book out to you (hopefully) this week.

Oh, and Marva... sorry, but the whole mastitis thing made me miss the post office on Friday. I'll get you your book though... I promise!

Congrats ladies!

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Saturday, April 19, 2008

Weekend 2, Day 2

Does anyone else seem to remember me saying something like "there is no way I could make it this weekend if I got a full fledged infection!" If this isn't a full fledged infection, then I was right on with that statement!!!
As I was saying good night to my sweet husband last night, he urged me to take something for my fever. Trying to be the ever submissive wife, I did... and I'm so glad!! The first half of my sleep (and I use the term "half" *very* loosely!) was great! I slept from 10:30 straight through to, oh golly... 1:40! This was not the long stretch I was hoping for... nor anything like the long stretch I'd had the night before. Instead of winning yet another mother of the year award by listening to my ravishing infant scream until morning, I opted to do my duty and feed her. (Don't worry... I've never tried to win that particular award.)

She was all settled back in by 2:30 and I cozzied myself back into my lonely bed. Trouble was, I was freezing! I'd been so hot right before going to bed that I'd taken off my socks and sweatshirt. Now I was freezing underneath my sheet, blanket, and 2 quilts! You'd think I'd get up and do something about it, but I was just too tired. When DD awoke again just after 6, I felt like I'd barely slept at all. I fed her and quickly returned to the covers, in the mean time noting the temperature... it had dropped to -- are you ready for this? -- 70 degrees by 6:30 that morning! Hmmm... Tylenol anyone?? But did I think of that? No, I didn't even think to get a pair of socks for hour, at which time I also added my soft fleece robe! By 8:30, when I began hearing DS, it had dropped even lower to 68 and I was just starting to feel warmed up. Who was I kidding though... may as well start the day.

Well, I didn't go out today... didn't do much of anything actually, for which I am thankful to all of you for giving me permission! Even my sweet husband said something to me today on the phone about how I wasn't SUPPOSED to be cleaning (I love when he tells me NOT to clean). Breakfast was slated as eggs, you may notice (by the way, I'm extending the contest due to sickness, so if you haven't entered... get in there tomorrow... I'll announce sometime Monday if I'm better), but forget that. We went for the easiest thing I could think of... Eggos and applesauce! :) He was thrilled! Between breakfast and lunch there was playing, resting, nursing, and as little as possible other than that. I straightened the kitchen (doing no more than the basics) and cleared the table a little during breakfast and lunch.

During DS's nap this afternoon I got in two nursing sessions and a nap in between! I'm so glad I did that! Off and on all day I was either hot or cold. Tylenol is my friend... it helps keep me in a middle place.

DS got a bath after he woke up. I did this not because I'm super mom, but because it's easier than chasing him around the house. He was delighted to play in the bath for a while and I just sat near by watching. Dinner was easy old left overs and then I just watched him play. Not the most exciting day for him I'm sure, but it worked. He was down by 7, but not before we cleaned up all his toys together (we're just starting to work on cleaning up our own toys.) I sat by the toy basket and said, "ok... bring me that book... now put it in the basket... ok, bring me that block, now put it in the..." You get my point. Then I was free to just sit.

Now it's time to nurse again and go to sleep! :) I'm still trying to decide whether or not to take Tylenol just in case... I'd really like to sleep tonight!

Here are a few updated pictures. I wouldn't call them "after" pictures since the house isn't done... but here's what the house looks like this evening! :)
DS helped with the toys... now that I look at the picture, I see where a couple of the missing pieces are. :) Ah, the loveliness of strewn about baby laundry! And I'm pretty sure there are no diapers in this picture!


There used to be a diaper in this picture, but instead it is just more baby laundry... looks like I saved the leaky diaper blanket... hmmm... maybe I'll just move that on my way to bed.
Kitchen table almost looks like I could be done. :) I say push all that stuff over and 3 people could eat there! Unfortunately, that's the way it works a lot.


Pretty kitchen! I didn't do a single dish today... so those are all in the sink, other than that there's just 3 random towels on the counter... too lazy to hang them over the cupboard doors I guess.

And my desk... yes, it's a bowl... but it's a new bowl I promise!!! Huh... and my new header... what do you think of my new header?

Sleep tight!

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What exactly does "Destroyed" look like?

I mentioned that my house was destroyed last night, so before I lay down to take my nap (DD is still settling in for hers), I thought I'd just show you what I woke up to this morning. :) We'll see how I feel, but I'll try to post update pictures tonight on any areas that look better. :) It won't be all of them! :) Here they are... have a great Saturday!

The living room often looks like this before we clean up after DS, but the shredded tissue paper on the couch is a special touch don't you think??? (Is that a baby diaper on the couch?)

See? Makes it look like we have a dog, doesn't it? And a bad dog at that! :) Nope... DS got a present and I let him shred the paper while I was nursing. This weekend it's all about whatever works! (Yes, it is a baby diaper... over there on the right. Classy huh?)

This is one of the places we thought the cell charger may have been...

This is another place... but I really didn't think so. (Is that a bowl???)


I was certain the charger was here! Yes, that is our kitchen table. It's amazing how little time it takes to look like that! I didn't take a picture of the high chair... scary!

And here's my kitchen! I'm thankful to be able to say that more than half of that is clean! When I washed them yesterday I put the clean ones on the right side of the sink to dry. That helps speed along clean up!

There you have it... now I'm off to nap!

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Friday, April 18, 2008

Weekend 2, Day 1

Yep, My Beloved is gone again. He left later this week, but the morning was still crazy. I had my 6 week post partum appointment today (yes, my sweet little girl is 6 weeks old today!). It was this morning at 9:30 and it also marked my first outing with both children... alone! My Beloved had to be at the car rental place to get the car at 9, so we all scurried to get ready together and I dropped him off on our way to the doctors. We were late... but who's surprised??? Even I was a few minutes late to my appointment. DS rode in the stroller and I carried DD in the car seat carrier (they are different brands, so this is the only way it worked).

The appointment went well... nothing special to note (oh... except that I've lost 2 pounds in the last 5 1/2 weeks! It could have been more except that I haven't really been watching what I've been eating).

After my appointment there were tons of little things to do to finish getting MB ready to leave town (he gets the rental, then goes into the office for a few hours). In addition to that, DD needed to nurse and DS needed a lunch of his own. I was really dragging too... no energy! I thought I got more sleep than that, but I pushed through. Finally DS was down and DD was fed and happy. I tried to scurry about gathering and packing and cooking etc. I got everything done, but it wasn't at a scurry!

At 1, MB got home to gather his things and pick up his nice warm grilled cheese sandwich for the road. He asked if I packed his phone charger, but I hadn't seen it all week. I didn't know where it was and hadn't thought about it. We looked everywhere twice (all the while making him late to pick up his partner across town). I was so frustrated with myself! I kept beating myself up, knowing that if only the house weren't *destroyed*... yes, really... the charger would be easier to find. I love how My Beloved doesn't blame me for anything... and I mean anything! Now late, MB left to pick up a spare charger at the office on his way out. As he was leaving I broke down! I tried so hard to hold it together, but when he said he loved me from the driver seat I couldn't say it back. I wanted to, but I knew he would hear the tears. Then I knew that I couldn't not say it, so I mustered up every ounce of not crying I could, but it didn't work. Nothing makes him sadder than making me sad... which of course made me cry more. Poor guy... having to drive away while I cry!

(Side note: when he got to his office, the case with the computers and cameras he needed this weekend were sitting by his desk! If he hadn't had to go back, they could have been forgotten, loosing money for the weekend and requiring a special (3 hour round trip) trip back for the equipment! I love God's sovereignty!!! I made some sort of remark to MB about how it was a good thing the house was so messy... God can use a messy house ladies! Of course, I think he prefers to use a clean one!)

I've been having some soreness due to engorgement the last day or so, so I decided to pump. I wanted to make sure I was getting all the milk... I wouldn't want to get mastitis! I had it when I was still nursing DS and it's not fun! I had boiled all the equipment the hour before since this was the first pumping session for this child, so now that MB was gone, I could sit and do it. Meanwhile I was still feeling really tired!

A couple hours later, after pumping (almost 5 ounces of liquid gold by the way!!! How nice it feels to have that in the freezer for an emergency or babysitter or whatever!), and feeding DD, and whatever else, I was still just dead on my feet. I was starting to feel a little weird too so I dug out our rarely working thermometer. I was able to get it to work long enough to find that I did indeed have a low grade temp! (I haven't been able to get it working since... I believe this is one of those miracles God still does!) That was enough to tell me to pick up the phone. It was 3 on a Friday! I was sore, had a fever and was looking at being solo with 2 little ones all weekend! I called the doctor. A couple hours later I had a prescription for mastitis! I was so thankful not to have to drag everyone back over there! :) (Could it be that this is why I was crying???)

Now, I don't like meds in general... and if we can avoid them we do, but mastitis is nothing to mess with!!! I'm doing all the home remedy things too, but there is no way I could make it this weekend if I got a full fledged infection! No indeed!

I did have to drag the children out to CVS to get the prescription filled. I had a bit of time to put together a few deals while I was there, but it turns out they were out of the Contour thing and I ended up putting everything else back. Not worth it this week without those 15 ECBs! :) If I feel up to it we may try another store tomorrow.

This evening I'm just dead tired. I was going to go to bed right after my shower (at 8:30), but DD hasn't fallen into a deap sleep yet and I just don't want to have to get up again. I figure I'll feed her now (a little early, but that's ok) and then go to bed for the long haul! :) Oh how nice that will feel!!!

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Love that never blames!

I don't unabashedly (is that a word???) praise my husband on this blog anywhere near enough! I'm sure some of you have wonderful husbands, but there is not another man on this earth that I would want in place of mine!

I'll tell you straight out... if love is in the actions, he loves me way more than I love him! I hate that it's like that, but it's true. He never complains about the house, I complain for him. He never gives me a hard time (not a real one anyway) when dinner is unorganized or I've made some mess out of something, I do it for him. I'm constantly putting words into his mouth that he hasn't even formed thoughts for yet! And he wasn't going to!

We were searching the house today for a missing cell phone charger My Beloved needed for his trip (that he was supposed to leave for 5 minutes previously). We looked everywhere... twice. I found myself wading through the mess of junk on the book shelves, then the mess of junk on the kitchen table! The worst part is that I know he likes these surfaces cleaned off, but they have really gotten out of control... again! As I was moving everything, one thing at a time, to another "clear" space on the table in search, I was fighting tears knowing that this was all my fault and sure that I'd let MB down again... I was a terrible wife... everything bad happens because I can't keep our house... etc, etc! Ridiculous I know... but this is the path I took.

In the middle of my little woe is me and my homemaking abilities... I'm the bottom of the pit... etc, etc; My Beloved yells out from the bedroom how sorry he is for loosing the charger and not putting it in a better place! Now, if he had told me that he wasn't blaming me at that moment, I probably would have given a silent "yeah sure", but he was apologizing to me! I was overwhelmed by his love... a love that is blind to my shortcomings time and time again! When will I get that? When will I love him enough to only ever assume the best of him???

I'll tell you ladies... it's something to be loved like that!

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Thursday, April 17, 2008

My "Chores" list

Last week I shared my new daily schedule, and while not everything has gotten done every day, it has helped some... especially on the days I think to look at it! :) Yesterday, I even managed to get dinner prep stuff done right! That means I actually took meat out of the freezer in time for it to thaw and I started the bread in the bread machine in enough time for it to be ready to wrap the dough around the meatloaf I had planned! These are pretty exciting accomplishments for me these days and I'm just thrilled. :)

Well, I told you last week that I'd try to break some things down for you, so this week I wanted to share what my "chore" time looks like. When I put that into my schedule, I knew it would involve cleaning, but I really hadn't decided how I was going to implement that wildly neglected part of my daily to-dos. Because I really am so inspired by all of you, I decided to float around to see what some of you do in your (way more) organized homes. :) I was tickled to find Prairie Prologue's Tricks of the Trade Series through Biblical Womanhood. I quickly devoured everything she had to say on the subject and then, using her list of "Weekly Essentials" as a guide, I made my own! Some of them I copied straight down and others I tweaked to match our home and life style. Here they are...

General Home Stuff:

  • Monday ~ Linens (while I will do laundry throughout the week [at least one load a day these days], I will specifically take care of bed linens and towels on Monday! Won't My Beloved be so blessed and tickled to have a freshly made bed more often than... well... you know!)
  • Tuesday ~ Trash (My Beloved usually takes care of the kitchen trash and the diaper pail [I know... I'm spoiled] as they need to be emptied throughout the week, but the trash in the bathroom, our bedroom, and the laundry area are often overlooked until it's just ridiculous, and since Wednesday they come to collect our trash... Tuesday it is!)
  • Wednesday ~ Windows/Walls (spot cleaning... now that DS is fixated on looking out the window for birds, there are regular fingerprints and mouth marks on my windows!)
  • Thursday ~ Dusting (hopefully my feather duster will be here by next Thursday!)
  • Friday ~ Floors (vacuuming and sweeping happen throughout the week as needed when I can't handle the look or feel of them anymore, but the mopping/scrubbing will happen here.

In addition to the general cleaning stuff, Prairie Chick recommends having set chores for the kitchen and bathroom each day... here are mine:

Kitchen:

  • Monday ~ Fridge/Freezer (Monday night is our shopping night, so it just makes sense to do this while it is "empty". It's the perfect time to toss all old questionable foodstuffs too!)
  • Tuesday ~ Tweak a cupboard (following her example, I can organize a cupboard that has gotten out of hand.)
  • Wednesday ~ Wipe cupboard doors and counters (this involves a little cleaner, as apposed to the normal daily wiping of crumbs or spills)
  • Thursday ~ Stove Top and Oven (this should be a deep clean of one part each week... then over time it will stay pretty!)
  • Friday ~ Appliance (keeping the microwave, toaster oven, etc. looking nice.)

Bathroom:

  • Monday ~ Mirror (and sink... I'm simply supposed to wipe down the sink with the rag I used on the mirror)
  • Tuesday ~ Toilet
  • Wednesday ~ Shower Walls (This is easy to do real quick while I'm in the shower.)
  • Thursday ~ Bathtub (I really need to be keeping this clean... my precious little guy loves his baths!)
  • Friday ~ Floor (easy to just finish the kitchen and move in here!)

Well... that's my plan! I'll touch on a few more things down the road. Keep posted for our "school" time! :) Now... I must go make a batch of cookies so I can send My Beloved out of town tomorrow with an edible bit of love! :)

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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Weight Check... no, not me!


Have I mentioned our baby weight woes? I know I mentioned we were struggling a little in the beginning, but things have really gotten crazy! Since that last post, the spit up has increased and the weight was still lower than I imagined it should be. This forced me to good ole trusty Google in search of a cause and potential other problems. Google led me to KellyMom, a site in support of attachment parenting (which I am not), but which also has tons to say about breastfeeding! (Did anyone else just sense the sky opening up and hear the angels sing???) So for this week's Works for me Wednesday tip, I'm sharing what I found!

There is a lot of helpful info on that site, but the one that hit me best was the one that taught me about Oversupply and Forceful Letdown. I couldn't be sure that was our problem, but it sure sounded like us! The recommendation that stood out most to me was to work on decreasing my milk supply!

WHAT???

I know, I know... that's the opposite of what we are supposed to do. I was terrified! It would be so much easier for me if some "qualified" person were telling me to do this. Then it wouldn't be my fault if things went badly. I decided to take the plunge and try it, reducing feedings to only one side per feeding. Gasp... I was very scared! Turns out that over the next few days spitting up had decreased by quite a bit (not that she's stopped, mind you, but it's better). In addition to that, because I'm feeding on one side only each feeding, I am more sure she is getting the hind milk that is higher in calories!

I'm excited to say that she is up at 7 pounds, 14 ounces... that's 6 more ounces since Friday and 12 total ounces since the Monday before that!Praise the Lord...I think we're on our way!

It works for me!

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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

In the mean time...

I have a heavy post, rather series of posts, on the horizon, but as I was preparing to select all, copy and paste the first one from Microsoft Word to this here blog post, I just wasn't ready. Too many things are just too heavy on my heart today. Too many things go unanswered. Don't you worry, I will get there. The day will come, perhaps this week, perhaps next, perhaps even further down the road, that I will actually get that post copied over and published to share with you all, but in the mean time there is plenty a lighter topic that can be covered here today!

Ok... lighter? Unfortunately I really don't have any new poop stories for you today... unless you want to count yesterday's blow out! Oh yes... lets! (Have I apologized recently for dragging you through all this muck... really, this is lighter!) A blow out is a blow out, but yesterday there was literally pooling yellow goop in the outfit, not the diaper, but in the outfit that I carefully removed from DD. It lay carefully next to where we worked to clean up said child without getting it everywhere. Meanwhile I said "don't touch" about a million times to my 16 month old who was watching nearby. I don't know what caused me to turn my back for a moment, but before I knew what was happening, it was on his hand, on his shirt, and gracious sakes I haven't even found the rest of the places yet. Ugh! Little boys... if he isn't allowed to play in his own poop, he goes after his sisters!

Yes... that was lighter! I'm almost smiling now. A great feat for today!

I do have one more item of business to cover today (aside from sharing my troubling daily events with you all!) I'm sick of DH, DS, and DD! No, no, not the people they represent, the initials themselves! I've been giving thought the last week or so to assigning names to my precious family in order to continue giving you glimpses into our private life in an anonymous way. Since this has been dubbed Improve your Blog Month, although I'm not participating in the official "follow all the rules" way, I've decided to make some changes to make my blog a little more me... or at least a little more fun by my standards of attractiveness. I figure that even if it doesn't delight any of you, I would like it to delight me! So on we go. :)

One of the things I want to "improve" is the names I give my family! DH, DS, and DD were fine in the beginning when I was just blogging to blog and didn't have any idea I would actually have "readers". Now that I've buckled down and made this a regular part of my life (who knew!), my family need names! Those of you reading this by way of the archives a year or two down the road have no idea what I'm talking about because I will be... dare I say it... going back through and changing the names of my family to make everything match (matching is important... kind of like symmetry). It will take a while, but I will plug away at it. I am sorry if it does crazy things to your readers... I don't have one so I really don't know how they work... if you can even add me? I don't know.

Where were we? Ah yes...

I originally thought my husband would be the hardest! What ever would I call him? I want the names I select to be meaningful (if only to me) and match each person "perfectly"... at least to a point! Turns out though, that my sweet husband isn't going to be hard to rename after all! I stumbled on One Thing today by way of Rocks in my Dryer. Jenni, the author of One Thing is a mother of 12! and very funny if you ask me. I'm pretty much going to add her toward the top of my favorites list and read her for a while! Maybe forever. I'm considering going back and reading everything she's written if it is all as great as the handful of posts I've read already! The funniest of all is that she live-blogged her labor over the weekend! That's right! Number 12 is here and she shared much of it (till the painful part) with the world!

Anyway, I digress... as I was reading the first post of her labor experience (you have to scroll down a bit to find it, she was referring to her husband as "My Beloved" and I realized that there is no other name in this world more perfect than that for my Love! Truly, in real life I never use his given name anyway... whenever I do it just feels weird! 99% of the time I call him "Love", the other 1% is broken up into "Darling", "Sweetheart", and... well, I just don't know what else. Regardless, he is my beloved and I am his! It's been that way from the beginning and there just isn't a better way for me to refer to him when discussing him with all of you!

Ah... one down! Now I need your help. I have a couple ideas for my little ones, but I want to hear your ideas first! I imagine you are each individually more creative than I could ever hope to be in these sorts of things. Sure, I can come up with footprints on paper or hand prints on paper or, um... I guess that's all, but when it comes to something really important like what to call your children on the Internet, I'm just not creative at all! So what do you think??? Leave me a comment and help a girl out! I'll make some sort of decision in the next few days! If you inspire me in such a way that I say "why yes... that's PERFECT! I can't believe I didn't think of that before (except I can because I'm not creative like this)", then I may just have to throw another Pampered Chef cookbook at you this week. Yes... that's 2 giveaways in one week! If however you simply come up with the ones I'm already leaning toward, then I'll just have to give this book away next week by random drawing! :)

Ok... I'm sure there is something around this house I could be doing to make my husband... My Beloved, smile a little brighter when he gets home! :) I'm off!

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Monday, April 14, 2008

Toddler Menu, New Buttons, and a GIVEAWAY!

(Ok... so I'm having code trouble below. Info is going in twice. Anyone know how to fix it??)

I played around on the computer a bit more this weekend than I normally would if my husband were home and had some fun designing new buttons. I know a few of you have Toddler Menu buttons on your blogs and I do appreciate that. If you feel the same way about that button as my sweet husband (who thinks it is pretty ugly), then I think I have something nice for you. Even my husband approves. :) And better yet, I have a selection. :)

Here they are with the code you need to get them on your side bar if you wish to:


























Make sure you click in the text box and hit control a to select all. :) Let me know if there is any problems with the code! :)


Also... in conjunction with the new buttons (and of course this week's menu that is just below), I have this week's giveaway to share! :) This week I will be giving away Pampered Chef's Stoneware Inspirations Cookbook! There is even a chapter in there with recipes to use when cooking for 2! :) So for those of you with a young family or children grown and gone, this may be just what you need! :)

To enter, all you need to do is leave a comment below! :) Tell me which of the buttons is your favorite and which meal from this week has given you the most inspiration. :)

Want a second chance to win??? Put one of my new buttons on your blog and I'll enter you a second time for the cookbook. :) If you already have the old ugly button on your site, I'll enter you as well, just remind me that it's there. Oh, and if you wouldn't mind changing it... I'd appreciate it, but I'll understand (Nikki especially) if you don't have time right away! :)
Ok then... here is this week's menu! Remember that my husband is out of town weekends these days, so we do more left overs (by the way... that is what LO means... thanks to GinaVA3 for asking!) than normal. I'll be making mac n cheese again to last all week (it went great last time!) and everything else is pretty simple! We are super blessed that a friend from church called Friday and asked if she could bring us a meal tonight! :) Seems that she had been wanting to since DD was born, but they had all been sick. What a special treat! I told her it was more appreciated now because as things get back to normal it is more unexpected! :) So, anyway, that is the lasagna we are having as left overs this week. I'm actually cooking the meatloaf as I ease my way back into making dinners. :) There are still a few things in the freezer, but I'm trying to cook at least once a week to break myself back into to it slowly! :)

Hope this inspires! For more yummy ideas, visit Meal Plan Monday!

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Weekend 1, Day 3... OH POOP!

I'm sure you are sensing a theme around here these days (with this and this just behind us), but what can you expect? I have a newborn and at 16 month old boy!

Yesterday went pretty well. I did have to deal with the normal disobedience and fussiness that comes with not giving him the attention I should have. I woke up unrested and just didn't have the energy I usually do (and that isn't much). I was excited for nap time to arrive! I was even more excited when I got him up from his nap and his (fully loaded) diaper was still on... even his pants were still on (that was a bonus).

As we sat together in the living room (I was finishing up a couple things on the computer), I just couldn't figure out what "that" smell was. It wasn't good... but the diaper was clean, so we moved on. A little while later I noticed something on DS's nose! It was brown. Hmmm... I had noticed when changing the earlier diaper that something wasn't quite normal, but I had dismissed it and we moved on. Now, it was all coming together.

I don't know if I've mentioned it before, but we are working with DS in teaching him NOT to put his hands down his pants or in his diaper. It seems to me now that it is a good thing to teach! The only thing I can figure is that he did have his hands in that diaper and that he had poop on himself (we know about his nose for sure). That would be why the smell lingered so.

We changed his shirt and washed his face and hands. That is, frankly, all there was time for since Daddy was due home within the hour, dinner needed fixing and DD needed to nurse in the next few minutes! As good as the day had gone to that point, everything started melting down. By the time my sweet husband arrived home, chaos had enveloped the home. Both children were crying the house was a wreck (and it was so beautiful on Saturday), dinner was barely started, and I was exhausted! The evening continued this way off and on until both children were finally asleep.

I do so hope next weekend he can return home to a peaceful house and wife! :) The "good" news is that I still have 7 more weekends to work toward getting it right!

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Sunday, April 13, 2008

Weekend 1, Day 2 or... the return of the 90s!

Some would say the 90s were a very formative decade in my life. I was in Jr. High, High School, and college during the 1990s! It's a little crazy to think about. While much of the 90s were at least some what normal (who am I to say, I was in a very conservative college for the last half of it... clueless to trends and fads to be sure!), the first few years were still a little bizarre by today's standards. And who can blame them, they were coming straight off the 80s! And while I admit to wearing leg warmers and listening to Madonna and New Kids on the Block (I did, I'm sorry, but I did), it was sort of a bizarre decade to look back on ~ one my husband says never should have happened... but that was the 80s, we're talking about the early 90s here.

Where were we? Oh yes... I'm not sure when florescent entered the picture, or when it ended, but I was certainly on that train while it was here! One particular outfit (which I loved... and I'm sorry, never should have happened) I wore as often as it was clean consisted of 2 florescent colors. It was also the era of the layered t-shirts (not the same as today when we layer a tank under a v-neck or some similar thing... just 2 t-shirts, known only because of the cuffing at the end of the short sleeve), and, gracious sakes, the layered scrunch socks! I wish I had a picture to share with you, but I'm thankful that I don't at the same time. My florescent selection of choice was pink and yellow. I don't remember which one I wore on the outside, but whichever one was underneath poked out in the cuffing and through the white plastic "jewel" infested shirt tie thing that was supposed to be more stylish than tying a knot in your shirt and in whichever sock was on top. Some days I wore my socks in a different order on each foot. Yes... I was *that* cool!

Why am I reliving (and forcing you to relive with me) the early 1990s and the clothing choices we will forever laugh at? Well, because I thought those days were gone! I thought florescent was out! So why is it that baby poop needs to be florescent? Florescent orange, green and yellow are regulars in this house hold (not in the same diaper thankfully!) Yesterdays florescent color of choice, to adorn me, my sheets and the baby I might add, was yellow! Oh yes, let me share...

It's the first feeding of the day. Still husband-less for the weekend, I sat up in bed alone yesterday morning when DD decided it was time to eat again around 7 am. I propped myself on pillows and I brought her into bed with me to nurse. Grabbing my Bible (if I don't get it read while nursing, the day will take off without me) I settled in to read and nurse from the warmth and comfort of my bed. About half way through, I noticed wetness as my arm brushed by my side. I was leaking! That's odd... I was sure I'd taken steps to avoid that. Oh well... I wiped my hand across my side to dry everything off, but when I pulled my hand back front, it wasn't milk!

OOOhhhh... yuck! And let me tell you people... it was florescent and it was everywhere. Me, the sheets, the blanket, the boppy (those things are great!)... everything! How do you even begin cleaning something like that? I had a flash of the other great poop incident and slowly began.

That was the start of day 2. I am so glad to tell you that the rest of the day went pretty seamless! :) The weather was beautiful! We got to go on a walk in the morning and another in the evening. DS ate lunch and dinner without any problem. He EVEN took a 4ish hour nap in the middle! And in the evening, after he was in bed, I was able to start some organization projects at the computer (involving budget and groceries... I'll be sharing when I'm done). Over all... a great day! :) Now if only my husband were here! :)

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Saturday, April 12, 2008

Announcing the WINNER!

Ok everyone... I have a winner to the Pampered Chef Giveaway!

Congratulations to:
Marva at Blessed Frugalness Times Two with Twins!
Send me an email Marva with your address and I'll get your cookbook out to you sometimes this week!
Marva is a regular here at Stay at Home Mommy and I always look forward to her comments! I'm so excited to see her win this cookbook as she's had a bit of a time these last months! Visit her blog to read all about her adventures with her little ones! :)
Oh, and check back here this next week to learn about our next giveaway... I still have a stack of Pampered Chef cookbooks to go! :) Don't miss it! :)

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WORMS!

They are everywhere! DS and I just got in from a morning walk and there are worms all over the road. Fat ones, skinny ones, short ones, long ones... and yes, even bloated ones (I don't think those ones made it.) It's disgusting! A product of last nights thunderstorm and (evidently) buckets of rain. The road is drying up, the breeze is cool and the air is warm (65 degrees already)... oh, and the worms are everywhere (have I mentioned that???) I had to swerve all over the place just to avoid rolling over or stepping on them. I'm sure, to the natural observer, I looked like a drunk pusher (you know... of the stroller... instead of driver... oh never mind).

Worse than the dead bloated or flattened worms though, were the ones that were still alive, wriggling their way back to the side where they could disappear into the dirt. I find the wriggling most desturbing! I can't stand to watch... eeewww! It's no wonder that those really slimmy guys get labled "worms"... they are the most troubling ones to encounter. Oh how I do love spring... now if only I could find somewhere where spring isn't filled with worms and bugs and spiders. :)

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Friday, April 11, 2008

Weekend 1, Day 1

Whew! What a whirlwind of a day. I don't think I've yet mentioned, but 7 of the next 10 weekends (starting with this one), my husband will be out of town. Oh, and he will be out of town Sunday-Wednesday of one of the other weeks too. So that is practically 8 of the next 10 weeks! This leaves me solo with both children 24/7! I know many of you deal with this regularly, but I thought my life during this time with a newborn and a 16 month old may prove entertaining. Perhaps I'm wrong (in which case I will stop sharing the play by plays with you), but otherwise, I thought I would share the chaos that was my first day!

3:30 ~ DD awake to eat. I doze a couple times, elongating the feeding. Around 4:15 she is done (at least I'm deeming her so). She spits up and soaks her jammie! I lay her down to change her diaper and get her in dry jammies. I have no more diapers in the bassinet! This means I have to sneak into DS's room to get a new pack! Uck! I manage to get in and out without completely waking DS. Change the baby, get her in new clothes and lay out the receiving blanket to re-swaddle her before putting her back down. She spits up again, soaking her new jammie just before I could get a bib on her. I change her again, get her swaddled and finally snuggle back up to my sweet and very awake husband... it's around 4:45! We just can't get comfortable!

7:00 am ~ Alarm goes off. DH has to be at the office early before leaving town later this morning. He doesn't get up though... turns out he never really did get back to sleep after the 3:30 feeding, until DD started fussing at 6:45 that is.

7:15 ~ DD can't wait anymore... time to nurse.

7:30 ~ DH finally drags himself out of bed and heads off to get ready (he needs to be at work in 30 minutes.)

7:45 ~ Get DD changed and put back down. Get up and get dressed.

8:00ish ~ DH leaves for work. I scurry around to pack him up for his trip: clothes, camera gear, and food.

8:15 ~ Sit for a moment to check email... none... no one loves me. Continue packing.

9:00 ~ Suitcase ready (clothes, toiletries and Bible securely packed and by the door), time to get DS up. Change his diaper, get him dressed and get breakfast going.

9:25 ~ Oatmeal devoured by both of us (his with Cinnamon and mine with brown sugar and raisins), DD is ready to eat again! I give DS a banana to round out breakfast and distract him while I sit to nurse.

9:30 ~ Phone rings. It's a client. Instead of picking up her portraits at 3, can she come earlier. "Sure," I said, "I'm around all day." I instantly knew I'd said the wrong thing. "Can I come now? It works best for me." Of coarse it does. I told her I had just started nursing and it would be at least a half hour. "No problem," she said, "It will take me at least that long to get there." Great... I also need to finish packaging up her portraits, but I didn't want to tell her that. (Oh, and DH is coming by at 10:30 to get everything and give me a good-bye kiss!)

9:45 ~ DS is WAY done in the high chair and ready to get down. I get him cleaned up and help him out of the high chair (while nursing DD... I've gotten really good at doing those sorts of things one handed while nursing.)

10:00 ~ Gather finishing touches for packaging portraits. Begin burping DD (sometimes this takes a while). Meanwhile DS is all over playing with everything.

10:05 ~ Change DD's diaper and lay her down.

10:10 ~ Tie up portraits in nice box with fancy ribbon (we try to put forth a fancy image in our business!) Smell something terrible! Change DS's diaper quickly (Cell phone rings... it's my mom, we try to talk in the mornings on her way to work [she's out west], but I miss the call because I'm in the back in the middle of the diaper change.) ... let him run back to the living room without his pants on so I can watch for our client. Client is pulling up... grab DS quickly to put pants on.

10:11 ~ Call mom back so she'll know I'll be right there and will call right back.

10:12 ~ Greet client, visit, show her the baby (she asked)

10:15 ~ Client leaves.

10:16 ~ Mail lady arrives, DD is screaming, DS wants to go out for the mail. I grab both children and head outside to meet the mail truck. The mail lady shakes her head and says "I don't know how you do it." Sweet thing to say, but really... isn't it just a matter of balance at that point? :)

10:18 ~ I call mom back quickly (she only works 15 minutes from home... so we never get to talk long.)

10:25 ~ Return baby to bassinet. Put 3 sets of left-overs in Tupperware and into a small ice chest for DH to have over the weekend (hoping to save as much of the $50 food allowance he gets for the weekend by packing food).

10:30 ~ DH calls to ask me to pack one more thing. He won't be leaving for a few more minutes.

10:45 ~ DD is crying again. DH arrives. They load up the car and we get a minute to talk. I put DD down so I could pick DS up (no socks and shoes on... so if he was going to get to go outside, I had to carry him). I got my good-bye kiss and we waved good-bye to Daddy!

11:00 ~ I sat down on the floor to play with my boy!

11:45 ~ Start lunch

12:30 ~ Put down DS for his nap. Nurse DD.

1:00 ~ Change DD, DS is still awake and playing in his crib.

1:30 ~ I sit down to computer time. DS starts fussing in his bed.

1:45 ~ I go in to put DS back down. (He throws everything out of his bed when he is "playing" then won't lay down without his blankets etc.) He *obviously* needs a diaper change. Changed and back in bed, he begins crying again when I leave.

2:30 ~ I go back in to help DS calm down and put him back down. There is nothing in his crib but the shirt on his back! I show him the diaper (that I picked up from the floor) and tell him he is not allowed to take it off. I punctuate this with a spanking (poor kid... now he was really upset). Picking him up I give him some love and ask for a hug. I put a new diaper on him (this one was wet on the outside thank you very much!) Oh good... the bed sheets are wet too. And because of the diaper incident a couple weeks ago we now only have one sheet. I stripped the bed and tucked a large baby blanket in on the mattress and put the rest of his blankets etc back in. He began crying again when I left.

3:00 ~ I go in to check on him again (DD has been crying off and on for a little more than a half hour now by the way!) Everything is out of the crib again and he is trying to lay down quickly on the plastic mattress (no wonder he's crying!) Everything back in... and I'm out again... leaving crying behind me.

3:30 ~ DD is awake to feed. DS is still fussing off and on.

3:45 ~ All is finally quiet down the hall! :)

4:00 ~ DD is done eating... but I'm so engrossed in the love story I'm reading that I keep going! :)

6:30 ~ DS really should get up now if I ever hope to put him down for bed tonight.


I'll spare you the play by play of the rest of the evening. We didn't get to go on our evening walk because it started raining before dinner was done. :) The evening was pretty smooth! Until bed time got closer... then DS started falling apart again.

Anyway... now the rain has turned to a storm (so fun to see the lightning... and I'm gearing up to one more feeding and then off to bed!) Sigh... and starting again tomorrow!

Hope you all have a great night... snuggled up to your sweet husbands... someone should be!

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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Without Noticing!

Well, I don't know how much time I have to post. Both babies are sleeping, but I'm definitely toward the end of DS's nap. I'll admit that I piddled away much of his nap time so far. Forgive me when I say it was reading blogs... it's not that I don't appreciate all your blogs, but in light of what I'm about to post on, perhaps I should have been doing something else. :)

I have been newly inspired (and I don't know that it is from an external source... praise the Lord for the Holy Spirit's workings in our lives!) to be a better keeper of my home! I said it isn't external inspiration, and I specify because there has been much that could inspire me and does on a regular basis. Over the last months, I have been "inspired" time and time again to get things together, but nothing has really stuck. Perhaps it isn't any one thing.

Have you ever noticed that sometimes the biggest changes in your life are not noticeable at all? Instead they are a series of "baby steps" that just sort of "happen". Now I'm not saying it doesn't take hard work to make them happen, but while you are working hard for that first baby step, and then the next, and then the next... somehow, you look back in amazement at where you've been and how far you've come.

I imagine loosing weight to be like this. Say you need to loose a hundred pounds. If you start out looking at that 100 all at once you will be overwhelmed... and probably never really start. It is, after all "hopeless"! If, however, you simply work hard to loose that first pound or 2 this week, then the next and the next, the weight will go over time. In the end, 100 pounds lighter, it's hard to remember where you started... the journey is what got you there, not the original goal.

Maybe I've lost you in this (I'm almost lost myself). What is my point??? I'm sitting here "newly inspired" to be a better homemaker, but in looking back, I've already taken several strides toward this in the past months... without even noticing!

For a couple of YEARS now I've been wishing I were a better keeper of my home. Then I was trying to be a better keeper of my home. But nothing was happening! I would get the house all cleaned up, then it would fall apart again. I would plan my weeks meals, but I wouldn't actually follow the plan. I would set up a budget or a schedule or a whatever, then I would simply feel more and more like a failure when **again** it would fall to the floor (the dirty floor) and shatter! These "failures" only made it more difficult to start again!

Last night I made up a basic schedule for myself... basically just a daily to-do list ordered according to the different chunks of time in my day. It is flexible and will be a little different each day according to that day's needs, but it is something to keep me on task. Since it's a new schedule, I'm sure it will get some tweaking over the next weeks and days, but here it is:

Wake Up
Nurse DD
Read Bible and Pray
Get dressed
Brush teeth (this needs to be on the list or it doesn't happen)
Check email/Moderate comments (if time)

Morning
Get DS up and dressed
Breakfast
Straighten house/Breakfast dishes
Chores
"School" time for DS (more on this later)
Nurse DD
Lunch
Start dinner

Nap Time
Computer time
Business work
Nurse DD
Make Dinner
Shower (if not done another time)

Afternoon
Get DS up from his nap
Play with DS
Finish Dinner
Straighten house

Evening
Dinner
Walk (as a family)
Family time


Like I said, this will probably be tweaked some in the next week or so, and much of it will change as business picks up in the summer months too, but it's a start for now. I suppose one of the reasons I didn't feel too bad about "piddling" my time reading blogs this afternoon is because I have been on task all day (according to my new schedule) and some of it was done while nursing my little girl. :)

I'll dive a little further into parts of my new schedule next week (as well as update you on how it's going). In the mean time... sound's like DD is just about ready to eat again!

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Wednesday, April 9, 2008

When the UPS man calls you by name

Running a business out of our home, we receive lots (and I do mean lots) of UPS deliveries. In the summer (our busy season), it isn't uncommon to see that poor guy drive up to our home several times a week! Over the three years that we've lived here, I've made it a practice to meet anyone who comes to our home out on our front porch! I feel that it makes a special welcome, and I don't deny our "service" visitors that special "hello". I meet the mail lady each morning (although fewer mornings these days) out at her truck as she drives by, and I greet each delivery with a "hello" and a "thank you!"

I am always glad to see the "regular" delivery guys. They've changed a number of times over the years, but I tend to have several guys that I get used to seeing. If I knew their names (I do wish they wore name tags) I guess you could say we were on a first name basis... but then, I guess we are!

This morning we received the delivery we were expecting. We were wrapping up lunch when the UPS truck pulled up, so I let DS play in his high chair for a minute while I stepped out to greet the driver and retrieve our package (special note: I could still see DS the whole time... the house is small). As he stepped out of his truck with our smallish box in hand (one of my favorite UPS guys by the way... very friendly), he greeted me... and he used my first name! He even pronounced it correctly (now that is a rare find!) We made small talk. He asked how the baby was doing. I mentioned that both babies were great. He looked surprised and said "I only remember one"... you see... we are a regular on his route... he knows us. I told him our little girl was born just a month ago (yeah... apparently I never really did look pregnant, another of my favorite UPS guys delivered something right before she was born and was shocked that I was pregnant at all... let alone about to deliver [and I'd seen him almost weekly for a while]).

Anyway, you get the picture... he knows me, he used my name! What a friendly exchange. I had to smile as I re-entered the house. Then the realization came... I was in jammies! Nothing bad, you understand, just flannel pants and a sweat shirt. I just hadn't taken the time to throw on my jeans yet. Oh, and I answer the door this way other times no problem. The mail lady probably thinks it's all I own (I've even run out to her in my robe). So what's the difference??? He used my name! We had an actual conversation! For some reason that left me embarrassed to go out in jammies! If only we were still on the evening route... then **maybe** I would have been dressed!... though, I'm still not, so who knows. :)

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Training our children to Obey Immediately!

I got the following email from missionary friends of mine who live in South Africa:


Dear Friends and Family,

We would like to thank you all for your faithful prayers on our behalf!
Yesterday the whole family was at the shopping mall getting our mail from the post office (Yes, the post office as well as the grocery store is located at the mall!). While we were approaching the doors to leave the mall some security guards ran up and locked the doors right as I was trying to get out. At the same moment, a man ran up next to us and started pushing on all the doors to try to get out. I realized that this guy was a burglar that the security guards were trying to stop, and I told Jonathan to step back as he was just 4 feet from the burglar! I first thought that we would just walk away, but then I saw the burglar reach down into his bag and pull a gun. I yelled, "Everybody run" and man did we run. Jonathan obeyed right away and took off in a flash. I was holding Stephany in my arms and Jenni and Thomas were in tow too. We ran and then cut into a furniture store to get off the main mall walkway in case the burglar decided to come our way. Well, the burglar got away and thankfully never shot his gun. He basically forced the doors open and fled into the parking lot.

That little event was exciting to say the least. Jenni and I were talking about it afterwards and we both commented how everything seemed to go in slow motion when the events were occurring. I am so proud that both Jonathan and Thomas obeyed right away and did exactly what Daddy said in this emergency situation. We thought we would share this experience with you to illustrate how important your prayers are and how merciful our God is. Thank you so much for everything you all do to make it possible for us to be here and thank you for faithfully praying for us as a family everyday!

In His service,
MB


I can't even imagine what might have happened if this couple hadn't trained their children to obey the first time! It made me think a little as I read it. There are a number of reasons we need to train our children to obey immediately. First and foremost, their disobedience puts them outside the "circle of safety" (if you've never read Shepherding a Child's Heart, you've gotta!) because they are disobeying God. Among others though, is the one displayed in this missionary family's life!

If my little ones haven't been trained to obey immediately in the home, how can I expect them to obey immediately in the world. If my family were in this situation, would my little boy (perhaps when he's a bit older and not stroller bound, but that is beside the point) obey immediately? If your little one is about to chase a ball into the street (in front of an oncoming car) and you yell out for him to stop, is he trained to obey immediately? Not only is it a matter of his spiritual safety (the far greater reason), but on this temporal world, physical safety gives yet another reason! It works for me!

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Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Keeping up with the dishes... by hand!

Oh how I dream of the day I have my very own dishwasher (and no... I'm not talking about the day when I can have my kids do it!) In the mean time, however, I'm relegated to a sink that slowly (and sometimes quickly) fills with dishes all day long. It is, after all, such a big process to wash the dishes. First they need to be organized (if there are that many), then the dish drainer needs to come out from under the sink (where you have to battle child proof locks), then after the water is warmed up and the washcloth has been amply soaped, the washing can begin.

Seems like a lot of work for just a few dishes... so they pile up all day long until there are "enough" to do them. Unfortunately, by the time there are "enough", there are too many! How many times have I looked at the dishes in the sink and said, oh, I'll do them after dinner when there are "enough" to do. After dinner the kitchen is a mess and the job looks overwhelming. It is at this point that I decide I don't have "enough" energy to do the job and it can wait until morning!

I tell you, this is no way to live! First of all, why not enjoy that clean kitchen feeling all day long, not just after a big washing or when you get up in the morning! :)

So what can be done? I'm embarrassed at how easy it is... embarrassed because I never would have thought of it myself. This tip comes directly from watching my mom the last couple times she's come to visit! She too HATES the child proof locks under the sink that trap the dish drainer! As she works little bits at a time to keep the sink empty of dishes (when she is here, in all her preciousness, her main goal is to do as many of my jobs as possible so that I can have a break from them! :) It's no wonder we keep welcoming her back!) , she came up with a simple solution. She gathers all the dishes (be it 3 or 10 or more) into one side of the sink, washes and rinses (without filling the sink with water). The clean dishes are placed in the other side of the sink to wait (and drip dry some). When they are done, she towels them dry and puts them away.

It's as simple as that! :) When I finish washing (with my soapy washcloth), instead of rinsing the washcloth all the way, I just wring out the water and leave the soap in it. That way it is ready for the next few dishes that gather in the sink.

Presto... clean kitchen feeling all day long! Until dinner that is... that is when the drainer comes out! :)

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