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Chasing Babies... Growing in Grace: October 2009

Thursday, October 29, 2009

WOW Toys... a self offered review!

Have I mentioned this car??? No? I can't believe that. I'm sure I took this faceless picture just for you.

I wanted to take moment to share it with you now with Christmas coming and all. Isn't it cute? I think so. The little person/girl/driver doesn't usually drive laying down, but apparently this was a rough day. She has a little doggie that sits in a dog bed in the back too.

I introduced myself to this company during my search for toys that did not contain toxic chemicals. I don't know about you, but omitting toxic chemicals in the toys meant for babies who will put them in their mouths just isn't enough for me. Sure, they take BPA out of baby bottles and pacifiers, and they omit phthaltates in toys for babies, but did your toddler (and pre-schooler) automatically stop putting things in their mouths when they outgrew the "safe" toys? I know mine didn't. Not to mention the fact that just because one of my children is almost three doesn't mean that my baby isn't going to crawl (or run now... she's so big) over and stick that thing right into her mouth.

WOW toys have been touted by other conciencous consumers as a great healthy substitute for Fischer-Price Little People. I don't know if you've every tried to find out what Fischer-Price puts into their toys, but when I tried I was refused numerous times. Most other companies were more than happy to help me keep my children safe, all Fischer-Price would say is that they meet government standards (that didn't impress me much!)

ZRecommends has given a great review of this particular line of toys, which I've found to be accurate and lots of fun! My littles love this car (our first) and person that comes with it. No batteries and no toxins! What more could a mom of littles want. Oh, and when you expand into others in the line you will find that there is quite a contrast in the types of activities the WOW toy characters are into (more outdoor things) than the Little People.

Take a look at the WOW Toys website. And enjoy... as much as we have!

Oh, and welcome to all of you visiting from Keeper of the Home's new forum!! I hope you'll enjoy your time here. For those of you who have no idea what I am talking about, head over here to check out a new forum on natural living, child raising and more!

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Busy Busy

Not an original title, I know... in fact, I'm sure I've used it before. It's true though. We've stayed busy in business these past couple months and I'm now trying to wrap up as much as possible before we shoot a wedding in Virginia in just over 2 weeks! I like to dedicate every moment possible to processing a wedding after we get home, so that means I need to finish up all other clients I can before we leave.

That's not the only thing keeping me/us busy though. We've been processing apples like crazy too. A week or so ago we processed 2 bushels into 22 quarts and 5 or 6 pints of applesauce. This past Sunday we picked out 2 more bushels of seconds from a nearby orchard. Unfortunately they aren't organic (organic apple orchards are slim picking to none around here), but then neither are the jars of applesauce we buy from the store... at least these are processed here at home. :)

All this, plus the norms of being mommy and wife, and we're staying pretty busy. Even if we had the time for new fun things to blog about, it leaves little time to actually blog them. :) Someday I will be sharing about how Tornado helped to make applesauce last week, but that's not for today! :)

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Sunday, October 18, 2009

New Shoes

My Beloved and I haven't needed to do much purchasing of clothes for our littles. Between hand me downs and gifts, we've managed to purchase very few items for them. Tornado's orange jacket (presently part of my header) that we purchased last fall was one of my favorites. We found it (Old Navy by the way) at Salvation Army for like $4. My favorite part is that it's a 4T... we put it on him last year and rolled up the sleeves a bit, this year it works great and yet is still a little on the bigger side so that it might actually work next year too!

Back on topic. Shoes have been hit and miss. Tornado's first real shoes were purchased one Christmas by my mom. We needed them... she wanted to buy them... she was in town... we went shopping. End of story. Then there are the "church" shoes that came with the Christmas outfit. For Sweet Pea, there have been a pair or two purchased as gifts, but (blessing beyond blessing) friends of ours have a little girl born around when Tornado was, so every time Sweet Pea comes into a new size, they bring over trash bags full of hand me downs for us to go through, wear and then return to them. There are always tons of shoes in there... more than we ever need, I guarantee!

When the warmth of late spring/early summer began we did have to purchase each kid a pair of sandals, but they are very multi-purpose. One pair of sandals are all they really need. They wear them to church and the store, to the play ground, in the garden and in the creek. One pair of shoes does a full summer.

As summer ended (a bit earlier than we expected), I added socks to their sandaled feet and made a mental note that we needed to pull out the next size of shoes for the kids. As I did that though, I discovered that, though we have a half dozen or more pairs of shoes for Sweet Pea in size 6, we had nothing in her size 5 feet. Same went for Tornado. We have a great pair of multi-purpose boots for him, but they are size 8, and Tornado's not quite there yet (hopefully winter).

So this past week we ventured to payless for shoes. I have a gift card from my birthday, but couldn't find anything that worked for me, so we headed for the kids shoes.

Tornado was thrilled with his camo shoes! He is always talking about them and asking specifically, "Can I wear my camo shoes?" I know I'm going to wish I'd chose something more bland when I want to put him in his navy pants... or just about anything that might not look great with camo, but I've decided I don't care. He really likes these shoes.

Sweet Pea loves shoes and loved being at a shoe store. We picked some size 5s out for her too. Though there was nothing I really loved, they would work until the "promised" bag of size 5 shoes would come from a sweet church lady. They seemed to fit alright, but the next morning while the kids were were wearing their shoes around the house (they wanted to wear their new shoes) she was seemingly suffering from pain. The mail lady was coming (a big event for every morning!) and on her way to the front door to meet us, she stopped sharply and cried until I would come. She didn't want to take any more steps.

Back to the shoe store we went. And guess what???

They had the cute ones I liked in 5 1/2! I was (and am) very excited about that!! I almost bought the dark brown ones we tried on first. My eye liked them better from the start, but after deciding on them, I saw that these lighter ones were the same design. I'm glad I opted for these because the dark brown ones wouln't have looked so cute with this little outfit!!

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Friday, October 16, 2009

Watch out, the tempature is rising!

That's right. It's 37 degrees right now (that's not Celsius people!) and it's expected to be 38 by 11 and peaking out at 39 by this afternoon! I'm not sure I can handle it. (Has anyone else noticed that it's the middle of October? Not November or December?!?) In fact, I know I can't handle it.

As soon as the bread machine is done (on dough setting) I can turn on the oven and start warming up this house of ours. I'm really trying not to need the heater as long as possible, but with this weather, I may not make it even as late as I did last fall.

Oh, and I failed to mention the rain and the fact that it will be feeling like 34 this afternoon... and have I mentioned that we are taking engagement portraits tomorrow afternoon/evening (tomorrow's supposed to be similar) in the rain. I'm planning to be very very cold!


Thursday, October 8, 2009

Blessed be the name of the Lord!

This last week has been a roller coaster of emotions. Praise to the Giver of those emotions! We’ve been up and we’ve been down… and I’ve even spent some time drifting in the middle. We’ve spent time surprised and excited, but we’ve also had our share of fear, sadness and loss.

A week ago we learned that (surprise to us) we were expecting a new baby. Over the next 12 hours I traveled the quick road from stunned to thrilled. I began calculating dates and visualizing life with three. I did some extra cooking to stock my freezer for when the inevitable morning sickness would come. While doing dishes Friday I sang to my new baby for the first time the “I love you” song I sing to my little ones at bedtime.

Saturday afternoon brought bleeding, and with it, fear. As the next few days came and passed, that fear began to subside into sadness and loss… only to loop over and over again.

This afternoon a doctor confirmed that loss. The Lord gives. Thank you Jesus! The Lord takes away. Blessed be the Name of the Lord! (Job 1:21)

We don’t have to understand the ways of the Lord (Romans 11:34). We don’t have to understand why he would give and take away so quickly. The truth is that He is God… and He is good. All the time. All. The. Time.

Blessed be the name of the Lord!


Sunday, October 4, 2009

Our Boy is Day Time Potty Trained!

Yep, I think I can say this now... Tornado is "officially" daytime potty trained. (He is 33 months old.) He had to stay dry all day with no accidents (and hardly any reminders) for 3 days in order to earn his new Thomas and Cars underwear. It took a week and a half or so to get those three days in a row, but he did it, and Saturday morning we brought them out and he got to pick his favorite to wear (no more boring whites... unless I don't get laundry done).

So how did we get there? It wasn't an easy road, but then it wasn't that hard either. In Jan/Feb this year we decided to just start. Tornado was 2 years 2 months old and very capable. We'd already gotten some experience with the toddler potty, so we put underwear on him and I started taking him. And taking him. And taking him.

A good friend gave me some advice... buy 9 pair of trainer underwear (the thicker absorbent ones). Decide on your starting day. Put underwear on the kid. Start taking him every fifteen minutes (use a timer, stretching the time to 30 minutes or more as you're ready over the days). Every time he's wet, change the underwear and move on. Once he's soiled all 9 pair, put the diaper back on and let yourself be done for the day. Start again tomorrow. If after the week it's still not working, put it away and try again later. Most of hers started going by them selves by the end of that week (I think). Mine didn't, but he was starting to stay dry between me taking him... not every time, but lots. We stretched out the time to 30-60 minutes. After a few months he was mostly dry, except when I'd forget to take him.

I've heard it before... I know. I was trained. But that's ok with me. As long as one of us was potty trained, he was in underwear and we were buying significantly less diapers for my 2 little ones. I took Tornado from 4-6 diapers a day to 1-2 diapers a day (sometimes he'd stay dry during nap time).

Well, in the last couple months this was getting old. I was ready for him to be potty trained, not just mommy trained to take him. I knew he could tell when he needed to go potty. For several months already he'd been telling us during church or at the store... just not at home. Then finally he started to go all by himself... not even telling me. I'd see him running down the hall and realize he was going potty. But he was never dry. He'd start pottying, stop himself and run for the bathroom. I started to pull at my hair a little.

Then another friend shared with us what they'd been doing. When their little boy had a accident, he needed a bath to clean off... a cold one. Tornado took to this right away... he hates the cold baths. So when he would go to the potty, I would check to see if there was a little quarter sized wet spot on his underwear. Sure enough, there was... so I explained that he needed to be cleaned in a cold bath (I felt awful!) I filled the tub with about an inch of cold (only) water and set him in it. He screamed (I was decidedly a very mean mother!) as I splashed cold water up and over his "area" and legs and gently "washed" him while speaking lovingly and telling him how sorry I was that he was uncomfortable. (Note: it's very important that you explain what is happening and why... I was careful that this wasn't a punishment, but a consequence of wetting for "anyone".)

I only had to do that a couple times that first day... and then only a few times over the week. Then only once in a while. And now he is in his "fun" underwear... and loving it!

Please remember... this is only what worked for us... this time. I don't expect it to go the same for my girl (who is regularly found standing on the stool in front of the potty trying to go like her brother by the way!)

So... now does anyone have ideas for the night time training? I think we're just about ready to start! At least to try.

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Friday, October 2, 2009

Potty Training, House Guests and the Single Bathroom Home

It was a seemingly harmless question really. "Would now be a good time to take a shower?" The question came from my brother in law, visiting our family for the next week. Yeah, now would be great! Go for it! I thought... and even found myself saying out loud. Just then I paused... then swung into action.

"Tornado? Do you need to go potty?" The answer I heard in return didn't instill confidence in me. I switched that to... "Tornado, I want you to go potty." Moments later, we were done, and Uncle was in.

It wasn't 2 more minutes (or so) when I heard the dreaded words... "Mommy, I have to poop."

He said it so calmly, so matter of fact. I almost just said ok. Then it occurred to me... ugh! I had a contingency for potty... he's my boy. We were just going to head out back. But that was not going to work.

So what did I do? I'm almost too embarrassed to say... I grabbed a bowl. I did... is that terrible? I helped my boy squat over a kitchen bowl right there on my kitchen floor... and boy am I glad I did... that would not have come out of those underwear easily.

And you see... this is a very important day. It is the third day without any accidents. The day that, should he complete it with no accidents, will earn him his new, "fun" underwear. I couldn't risk the accident!

Uncle and Daddy don't know yet... but the bowl is cleaned and just about put away. :) Can we just pretend it didn't happen???

What would you have done???

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