Friday, September 30, 2011

The week in pictures

But Mommy, I don't care if you are cooking, I want to be held!

Pizza... yum....

Even with melted tines, the spaghetti scoop is still usable.

Citrus vinegar, should be nice to clean with.

This is what happens when I don't do dishes during the day. Luckily, Hubby is willing to help.

Daddy, Daddy! Look at me! I fill the bouncy. If you aren't careful, I'm gonna wiggle out of it!

Hmmm... I think I'm happy on Mommy's back. At least I get to look in the mirror.

Yes, I can be happy on Mommy's back.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

How long can you hold your breath?

I can hold mine for a minute before gasping for air. Peanut seems to be able to hold his for about 5 second. Sound strange that I know this?

Yep -- this is his new game that he plays with himself... holding his breath!

This game seems to have replaced the rolling over game, as he hasn't done that in a while. He is also starting to demand to sit up at times,which is funny, as currently, I can balance him for about 2 seconds before he topples over. So, I found a short term remedy -- 

Looks like I got him mid-blink! Ah, well, he's still so very, very cute.

Utterly amazing....

I'll put text first, so that if you are bothered by the fact that the picture is of a baby's hand, reaching from his mother's uterus during surgery, you can read, and skip the picture. But I think the picture is worth a great deal.

I know many will dispute this idea: even an embryo, before it is a fetus, is a person. The words embryo, fetus are like the words infant, child, teenager... it denotes a stage of life. But neither label denies the fact that at each stage, this little being is a person. We might doubt this, some do. But consider, it just might be a person -- do you want to make the assumption that it isn't and turn out to be wrong?

Here's the story behind the picture --

A picture began circulating in November. It should be "The Picture of the Year," or perhaps, "Picture of the Decade." It won't be. In fact, unless you obtained a copy of the U.S. paper which published it, you probably would never have seen it.

The picture is that of a 21-week-old unborn baby named Samuel Alexander Armas, who is being operated on by surgeon named Joseph Bruner. The baby was diagnosed with spina bifida and would not survive if removed from his mother's womb. Little Samuel's mother, Julie Armas, is an obstetrics nurse in Atlanta. She knew of Dr. Bruner's remarkable surgical procedure. Practicing at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, he performs these special operations while the baby is still in the womb.

During the procedure, the doctor removes the uterus via C-section and makes a small incision to operate on the baby. As Dr. Bruner completed the surgery on Samuel, the little guy reached his tiny, but fully developed hand through the incision and firmly grasped the surgeon's finger. Dr. Bruner was reported as saying that when his finger was grasped, it was the most emotional moment of his life, and that for an instant during the procedure he was just frozen, totally immobile.

The photograph captures this amazing event with perfect clarity. The editors titled the picture, "Hand of Hope." The text explaining the picture begins, "The tiny hand of 21-week-old fetus Samuel Alexander Armas emerges from the mother's uterus to grasp the finger of Dr. Joseph Bruner as if thanking the doctor for the gift of life."

Little Samuel's mother said they "wept for days" when they saw the picture. She said, "The photo reminds us pregnancy isn't about disability or an illness, it's about a little person" Samuel was born in perfect health, the operation 100 percent successful. Now see the actual picture, and it is awesome...incredible....and hey, pass it on! The world needs to see this one!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Well, for messing with the blog style, I really don't like it now. Its just... too much. But its late, and I musts go to bed. I'll figure it out tomorrow, and hope that I don't lose a reader for such abhorrent blog style.

With hopes that a picture will appease any offence:

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Food Budgets -- going cheap

There were some good questions from my last food budget post, where I said I was aiming for $200/month for our food budget.  First, that does not include paper or personal products. Only food. I am also aiming to reduce our spending on those other things as well, but that's for another post. This is all about food.

How do I do it? How did I only spend $214 in Sept to feed the two who eat solids? There are a couple of things that I believe play into this. (Turns out there are 7 things, which are more than a 'couple'.)

1. We don't eat out much. We give ourselves permission to eat out twice in a month, and that comes out of "entertainment", not "food".

2. I know what is a good price for various foods and won't pay more than that. For example, I don't by meat if its more than $3/lb. I only buy whole chickens if they are $0.88/lb or less. I only buy boneless, skinless chicken breasts if they are $1.97/lb or less.

3. I'm not the best menu maker. I tend to decide what's for dinner that morning, or if I'm really ahead on the game, the night before. I know what's in the freezer, fridge and pantry and go from there.  Yes, we tend to have spaghetti about once a week, and stir fry once a week (both quick and easy for me, and cheap). If I get to the store and something is a great price, I might get it and do something with it that night (for example, when corn was selling for $0.15/lb, we'd have corn the cob and something). If I want something particular, then I plan for it, but I don't do this much. I know what we like to eat and its all fairly simple stuff.

4. I have, both written down and in my head, a list of what should be in my pantry. This means I can stockpile when something is on cheap. I don't do this as much as I'd like, though, and think this is where I can reduce my food budget the most over the winter.

5. I buy almost no pre-packaged prepared foods. Well, I do by some, but I can list them for you... mac-n-cheese, cans of soup, cans of tuna. And I'm not sure the soup and tuna count. As for junk food style things, I buy tortilla chips, graham crackers, ritz crackers, chocolate chips, occasionally ice cream, and, when I'm back on dairy for sure, Nilla Wafers. For all these but the chips, I do buy the name brand, because I can tell the difference and I like the name brand the best. I bake choco chip cookies and will make brownies occasionally. But, as Hubby says, if its around, we will eat it, and that's not necessarily good.

6. I have a specific list of what I get at Sam's. I go about once a month to Sam's and get only those things. For example, I can get cheese cheaper at Sam's. And peperoni for pizza. And flour, sugar, and other baking goods. And rice -- we eat lots of rice.

7. I cook from "scratch" most nights. Of course, that depends on our definition of "scratch". No, I don't go out and kill the chicken for that nights dinner. But I do pull out the chicken from the freezer, and go from there. However, when I bake a cake, I do more than add water to a box of powder. For many things, I've done it both ways, and have found that it takes about the same amount of time either way (working from something convenience vs. from 'scratch'). And it drastically cheaper working from 'scratch'.

Things I plan to do:
1. Figure out, for some things, which is cheaper. Spaghetti sauce (from a can, which is about $1 or from canned whole tomatoes); Bread (buying a loaf of wheat for about $2.00 or baking loaves myself). I plan to take into account the cost of electricity as well. I hope to provide a step by step tutorial on this, so you can figure out your own stuff with your own prices and such.

2. Get better about stockpiling at rock bottom prices. This means watching sale ads, and stopping at more than one store a week. And it means feeling a tad embarrassed at the check out when I'm buying 40 cans of tuna at some amazing price.

Here are the two most handsome men (boys) that I cook for. Only one currently eats what I cook, though.
Funny story -- Back in Los Angeles, occasionally at Food-4-less, Kraft Mac N Cheese would go on sale for $0.50/box. When this happened, I would head in and buy 40 some odd boxes. One time, the lady behind me in line asked if I had a lot of kids. No, I said, this is just a great price and this stuff doesn't spoil that fast. She just looked at me funny.

If you happen to live in the LA area, its worth the drive to the Food-4-Less and worth the feeling-like-a-minority (if you happen to be very white and blond as I am) to get the good food prices.

Monday, September 26, 2011

How low can you go?

I decided last week that I was going to aim to keep our grocery budget at $200 a month or less. I pulled out all my recipes from September, and added them up. Before the grocery store run today, I had spent $160 or so. After the grocery store run -- $214. I figure this isn't too bad, and I purchased two 12-packs of my new favorite soda (its my special thing since I can't have my chocolate).

I had one Sam's run this month, and it was a small purchase. So, we will see how that pans out over the next few months. I hope to get into the garden this week to get "salad" planted -- lettuce, spinach and such. That will save a bundle.

And I've been inspired by Little Home in the Country to grow enough in the veggie garden to feed the family. I'm not going to go for no grocery store purchases at all -- that's too much for my first try. And I'd need, likely, 20 some odd tomato plants to make enough sauce, salsa and such to last us all year. And we are only 3 (and only 2 of us are eating solids). Perhaps next summer I can get our grocery output to $100 or less, at least over the summer. That would be cool.

And for a picture -- compare these...
Daddy - Peanut Hands -- May 18, 2011

Daddy - Peanut Hands June 2011
Daddy - Peanut Hands Sept 2011

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Ideas for doilies

When the in-laws visited, they brought doilies that Hubby's grandmother had used.  They are some good looking pieces and I'm thinking hard about how to use them. I don't imagine myself using them as they traditionally would be used, but I would love to use them some how.  Here's some pictures:

Any ideas?

Friday, September 23, 2011

Pizza... yum....

The pizza party at Shory's has been extended to include lunch!

Come and party with us, to celebrate Leah Grace's new heart....

Here's the invite:


Celebration at Shorty's Pizza Shack! Come and join us as we celebrate Leah Grace Parker's new heart!  We will have  free Shorty's pizza, a sparkling kid-friendly toast, and a night of games and fun.  You may also purchase from Shorty's full menu and enjoy the regular Monday night specials until closing time!  SHORTY HAS JUST EXPANDED the offer to include lunch!  If anyone cannot come at dinner, feel free to come, donate, and eat pizza during lunch!

Now that Leah Grace has her new heart, she also has new expenses. Please come prepared to give!  We are suggesting a minimum donation of $20 per person to help us reach our goal for Leah Grace.  A generous donor has covered the cost of the party, so 100% of the money you donate will go to COTA to help Leah Grace cover transplant-related expenses.  We will accept cash and checks the night of the party, and will have a laptop there to facilitate secure, online donations.

Parking is limited at Shorty's, so please walk, park on the street, or park a half block down 12th at HEB, if you can.  Also, please vote on the poll below for a time slot to let us know when you think you will be there, so we can have some pizza ready!  Thank you!

See you on the 26th!

If you can't come, please still give!  Your secure, tax-deductible, online donations are greatly appreciated:

How to do "science" with children

(this is a rather long post, be warned!)

I am a teacher, both by training and by nature, and I'm always on the look out for good teaching materials and methods.  The past two years, I was a science teacher at a small private school; it was classical with Charlotte Mason influences. Mason was an educator in the early 1900s who offered some counter-cultural ideas about how to educate children. I don't agree with all that she advocated, but a great deal of it is very good.  I was prompted to write a post after reading Auntie Leila's post about teaching science at Like Mother, Like Daughter.  I'm not disagreeing, but adding to.

Science is about observation. That's where science begins, as Auntie Leila stated. The ancients began by noticing what was around them: this shiny yellow stuff is soft, but beautiful and shiny and doesn't rust like this other stuff here, lets call it gold. We can call the stuff that rusts iron.  But then, they are much alike in their feel and quite different from the cloth I wear.

Science begins with noticing what is the same and what is different, and continues with classifying the things you see. The ancients classified different things by what they were made of... earth, fire, water or air. Aristotle refined these ideas with simple bodies and the elements and created  a system of how they interacted. Other ancient philosophers had some different ideas. As time progressed and future scientists built from the bits that older scientists figured out, science progressed. Mistakes were made, wrong ideas decided on and then challenged and truth sought out (notice that this truth has a lower case "t").

The vast majority of science is about classification and identification, whether physics** (what is this that causes everything to fall to the ground) or chemistry (what is this that makes the vinegar bubble) or biology (what animal is this). After classification and identification comes questions of "why" and "how". These are questions you and a child can answer together. As you look at things, come up with a list of questions you can ask.

For example, you (generic you) know that everyone puts up Purple Martin houses in early spring and take them down in late fall. Why not leave them up all year? Why do they need a "house" and not just a single nesting box? What do Purple Martins eat? How big are their babies when they are born?

These questions will hopefully lead you in your quest to discover about Purple Martins, perhaps taking you to some place that raises birds, or cares for birds before releasing or some such.  But, by learning to create these questions, you have become a scientist. Answering the questions makes you a bona fide scientist.

You can embellish on this process as much or as little as you like. You can write a paragraph, draw a picture, create a bulletin board, build a paper mache bird, build a Martin house, build a website dedicated to Purple Martin information or any number of projects that reflect what you've learned (kids seem to love showing off what they know anyways).

This is only the beginning, but this beginning will take you, easily, through 6th grade science. The embellishment gets more complicated and involved as the child gets older, but its still the same basic thing.

I love books, and so have some to suggest to help you on this endeavor:

Noeo Science Curriculum -- If you are feeling lost and want something concrete that tells you what to do, this site does it. I like the curriculum and made use of it teaching 4th grade (Physics II), 5th grade (Chemistry II) and 6th grade (Biology II) at the school I taught at the past two years. They have it nicely laid out, with curriculum guides, science kits and the books. You can get everything individually, too, which is nice.  The following books are all from this set of curriculum, and these are the books I'm familiar with and taught with.

Usborne Science Encyclopedia -- I LOVE this book. Its full of colorful pictures and tons of information. Its overwhelming, so I hear, if you don't 'speak science', but I believe that can be overcome by patiently reading each page with a tiny bit of interest.  Feeling lost? Learn along side your kids, and if you don't know an answer, say so, and look it up together. This book has sections for biology, chemistry, and physics.

Usborne Mysteries and Marvels of Science -- This book is focused on the details and side quests of chemistry and physics. Again, colorful pictures (I love books with pictures) and tons of information. My 5th graders learning about quarks and gluons from this book (the bits inside the bits that make up an atom).

Adventures with Atoms and Molecules -- A practical chemistry book this is. Its basic experiments and demonstrations to show chemical reactions and physical properties of the basic bits of chemistry, such as air, water, gases, liquids and solids.

Fizz, Bubble, Flash -- The most cool book you could want, all about the periodic table. This book walks you through the periodic table, and presents tons of information (I love it when a book has solid info), and fun experiments that any kid in any house could do.

The Mystery of the Periodic Table -- This books walks you through the history of chemistry (and science in general, to some extend). It presents the stories of key men (yes, only men) who had an impact in the progression of the discovery of how the periodic table is organized. Its accessible to even a casual reader, but presents questions and experiments that could be replicated (especially the early discoveries). As the book talks about water, you could do experiments with water (see the Adventures book above). When the book is talking about acids and bases, you can do acid and base experiments.

Geology Rocks -- All chemicals are from some combination of elements, which all originate in nature some where. By and large, that some where is in the rocks and soil around us. Thus, we turn to geology. This book has very fun experiments (yes, the key to a good science book) and good info (the key to a good book).

Gizmos and Gadgets -- Physics is phun! So many a physicists would say. I, on the other hand, never understood physics till I was teaching it to 4th graders. Between the Science Encyclopedia (see above), the Mysteries and Marvels book (see above) and this book, I actually understand the concepts of force, work, energy, friction, inertia and a slew of other basic physics ideas. If you give your child the chance to learn these ideas (with out any math, please!), you have given them a HUGE step into the physics of high school and beyond. Just learn the ideas, do the experiments in this book, and have fun. You might end up with a budding physicist!

I hope this helps some one figure out what to do for science, because science is the most awesome of possible subjects.

**A famous physicist (whose name I don't know) said "There's physics. All the rest is stamp collecting." He points quite directly the overwhelming aspect of identification and classification in much of "science".

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real -- Sept 22

Its been weeks since I've participated in a {PHFR}. Nonetheless, here I am, ready to try again!


The other night, it rained. And then it rained again the next night. That second night, we got nearly 3" of rain! And we have a chance of rain (or did last time I was listening to the radio) today, and the clouds suggest we might get a few sprinkles. We are a long ways from "breaking the drought", but this is a start.


And of course, as I'm getting better about hanging the clothes out to dry, the sky looks like rain.  I'm gonna see how much I can reduce our expenditures by, as I'd rather spend money on books and sorts than on electricity. Avoiding the dryer is one small step towards that goal.


Peanut has decided that his toes are excellent chewing and sucking objects. He is most prone towards this when he is getting a diaper changed (and I'm holding his legs up to clean the bum), or diaper-less (to let his bum air dry). His dexterity is such that he can grab a foot and bring it to his mouth now.


I tend to imagine the {Real} picture as something hard or difficult, or not totally happy.  But... its 1:30 pm, and its not quite 80' out. That is amazing. This a certified cold-front! (Yes, we celebrate the "cold" fronts, even though "cold" means it drops below 90').

See more {Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real} here
round button chicken

P.S. And one of these days, I'll have it together enough to put up a {PHFR} before the afternoon on a Thursday.

P.S.S.  Happy 4 years anniversary to Dad and Lorelei!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Timing is everything

After re-examining the history of Peanut's diagnosis of food-induced proctocolitis with the pediatrician, we decided to go for a milk challenge. This means I eat/ingest something dairy, and we see what happens. So, Monday night I had a quesedilla (I cannot, for the life of me, figure out how to spell this, and all the checker's can't figure out what I'm trying to write).

Unfortunately, we didn't take into account that Peanut received 4 immunizations Monday as well, which make him cranky, and after a busy weekend with grandparents, a baby dedication, and the Aunt, Uncle and Cousin in town for lunch on Sunday, he's one tuckered out little boy.  All of this has conspired to create several fussy days and we aren't sure the exact cause of said fussiness.  Even now, Peanut is in his crib, crying, after nursing for an hour, and refusing to go to sleep. It makes me think of way-back-when we were calling it colic. Is it the cheese from Monday  night? Is it the immunizations? Is it just being overly tired from the busy weekend?

Ah, well, this too will pass. The effects of the immunizations will wear off, the dairy will pass out of my system and he will get rested up from the busy few days. I just hope, beyond hope, that its not the cheese's fault.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Today is VERY important

Ye be knowing what day it is?

You be needing to learn to talk like a pirate today!

Some helpful videos:
For instruction in talking like a pirate:
For thinking about your inner pirate:
So ye can declare in song your pirate-ness:

May ye language be full of pirate phrases today!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Planning the week

Its been weeks since I've taken time to plan out the week on Sunday. I find my week goes better when I take the time to plan out when I'll grocery shop and I can see all the activities of the week. I have a nifty template I use to help me plan my week.

Its a basic document (on the computer) that has 5 columns: Day/Date, Events, Menu, To Dos/Need, and To Dos for Next Day. The rows are for each day of that week; I run the week Sunday to Sunday, with an overlapping Sunday week to week generally. Some weeks, I might run the document Friday to next Sunday (a week and a half) if I've got time to sit down and plan on Thursday or Friday.  Here is a google doc to see how I format the document.

I added the events column as I would plan meals forgetting about something I was doing that day that would effect the meal in question. I added the to dos/need column as I would forget to add some particular ingredient or somesuch to the grocery list if I had to look over a recipe (yes, its a bit redundant, but it works well for me). This column also lets me put down things that have a specific day it needs to be done on.  I added the next day column as at times I needed the reminder to pull the chicken out of the freezer two days before I was to cook the chicken (or some such).

I still have a calendar that hands on the wall for general planning and knowing what's going on. I pull the calendar down to work from as I'm planning the week.

I'm one that needs everything written out at some point, otherwise I forget.

How do you plan out your week? Do you plan it out?

Saturday, September 17, 2011

It's raining, its pouring...

the _____ man is snoring!

Who is this man? Is he yellow, as I remember learning, or is he old, as Hubby remembers learning? Is my version racist, as Hubby says? Gosh, I'd feel pretty bad is I learned something racist that I never realized. It has happened before.

Anyhoo, it is raining here, and has been for a bit. YEA!!!!!! Hopefully, it will continue for a while longer at this soft, gentle rate.

Thank you, Lord!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Do you love pizza?

Do you live in central Texas? Then join us to celebrate Leah Grace's new heart on Monday, Sept 26.

Champagne and Shorty's! Come and join us as we celebrate Leah Grace Parker's new heart!  We will have a champagne (and sparkling cider) toast, free Shorty's pizza, and a night of games and fun.  You may also purchase from Shorty's full menu and enjoy the regular Monday night drink specials until closing time!

Now that Leah Grace has her new heart, she also has new expenses. Please come prepared to give!  We are suggesting a minimum donation of $20 per person to help us reach our goal for Leah Grace.  A generous donor has covered the cost of the party, so 100% of the money you donate will go to COTA to help Leah Grace cover transplant-related expenses.  We will accept cash and checks the night of the party, and will have a laptop there to facilitate secure, online donations.

Even if you can't come, you can still help... Your secure, tax-deductible, online donations are greatly appreciated:

For Leah updates go here.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

All on his own

He did it! And I got a video of it!

Look at this!

Ummm, yeah, you might say, so what? Its Peanut in his crib. Cute kid, for sure. But what's the big deal.

The big deal is this.... When I nursed him at 200 am this morning, I put him down like this...
No, I didn't take this picture at 2 am, but several days before to show that he's now too long for the extra long sleepers I made.

And when I came in at 630 am this morning, he was like this...

My baby ROLLED OVER!!!!!! And I missed seeing him do it.

He's been working on this for a few weeks now, and I have this sneaky suspicion that he won't do it again for a while. Ah, well, I can handle it.

Monday, September 12, 2011

I think its an opossum or a rat...

This morning when I went out to get food for Hank, the cat, I noticed the bag was such that something had been in the bag the night before.

This evening, I'm sitting at the dining room table, and I hear the cat food bag crinkle, like something is getting in it. So I call to Hubby that something is in the cat food bag. We get a flashlight (the bag is in the garage), and take a peak.

We opened the door just a bit, since we'd been informed of skunks roaming the area. The thought of being sprayed by a skunk was not appealing. We've seen that Myth Buster's episode.  We could see that the bag was bent over, like a small critter had gotten into it, but we couldn't see the critter. "Must of scared it off" one of us said. But then I crouched down, and I saw it... a tail. Not a cat tail, and too big to be a mouse tail. I said, "look there, a tail. I think its an opossum, or maybe a rat".

Now, I took a mammology (study of mammals) class back in college where we went out spotlighting each night (and the prof shot the animal in the spotlight), trapped small mammals, and skinned and stuffed them. That was the summer of '98... 13 years ago. But I knew this tail, even if I've never seen a live opossum before.

Hubby rattled the bag, but the critter didn't move. Finally, we grabbed the yard stick, and from behind the kitchen-garage door, we stuck the yard stick into the side of the bag. The bag moved. And we both jumped back and slammed the door closed.

We did not want that critter in the house.

We calmed ourselves (this was exciting stuff!) and peaked out from around the door, and saw that the bag was empty of the critter (there was still cat food, luckily). I got down on my knees to look under the car... and there he was (maybe it was a she?) in his drastically long and hairless tailed glory. An opossum. And he just sat there and looked at me. That is one brave, or stupid, animal.

I hear Hubby moving behind me and I said, "the camera's on the table" and he says "I'm not going for the camera". He'd pulled out the bb gun. He pinged a few shots at it, and scared it enough to set it running out of the garage. So, no picture. Blame the Hubby. (I love you, Hubby of mine!)

He was at least as big as the cat. And that tail was longer than his body.  Its one thing to see pictures and read about the animals. Its another see one.

And at least it wasn't a skunk. Right?

Sunday, September 11, 2011

where I was 10 years ago today

Ten years ago today, I was in a completely different time zone, so my story starts at night. It was late, I was sick with a fever, cough and was miserable. I'd gone to bed early. Around 10 or 11 pm that night, another American couple in town called to say that something terrible was happening in the US, that they were being attacked. I thought, "whatever", and went back to bed. I just didn't believe them.

A bit later, I thought, well, lets check online. I found I couldn't get any US newspapers or US based sites, or any outside of China websites. Drat, I thought, maybe so-and-so was right? I finally got the South China Post, which had an article saying that one of the towers had been hit, but that was it. I couldn't get anything else, so I went back to bed.

The next morning, I still couldn't get websites up. But off to work I went. Several people told me how sorry they were for my country and all that was happening. "What happened?" I asked.  And they told me. I didn't want to believe it. We finally were able to get some news on the TV, and the internet started responding, and we got the whole story. We stayed in doors for the next week and didn't go out much. But those that we knew were sympathetic and helpful. Its always the mob that you should fear, not individuals so much.

I really began to experience the changes when I went home for Christmas in '01. My tickets had been purchased with cash out of Thailand... bad deal! I was stopped at every plane change and frisked. My bags were searched every 10 minutes. I saw the guards with rifles at LAX. And I was searched again, and again. It was scary. And I was "randomly selected" to be searched at every flight thereafter, until Hubby started buying my tickets on his credit card.

I was single and living overseas then. Now, I've been to grad school, got married, had a baby, bought a house, bought a car. 10 years ago, I'd never imagined I'd be here now.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

More on diapers

I realized the other night, while opining to Hubby, that I like the sized and fitted diapers best. We have 6 kissuluv size 0 diapers in use, and expect Peanut to out grow them in the next month or so. I've used them with wool soakers, fleece soakers and, now, a snapped cover. There are bits and pieces for each cover that I like and dislike, but overall, unless I'm thinking about it, I tend to want to go for the kissuluvs.

A few thoughts:
1. The diaper stash will need to grow. But diapers will only be used at a specific point in the child's growth, so overall, the diaper, I think, will get used less. Might mean they will last longer.

2. Fitted diapers can't be any harder to make than pockets. Plus, I can use more scrap stuff, mainly in the absorbent lining.

3. They will be easier to fold after washing. :::chuckle::: well, no folding, or stuffing.

4. I will need more covers to bridge the current size gap. I've got covers for 20+ lbs, but none for this 15-20lb stage. Luckily, the covers don't need to be washed as often, which, hopefully, means the cover will last longer than the PUL on a pocket.

5. the current snapped cover is great, but the fold-over elastic along the legs wicks wetness out. Not good. Might try folding the PUL fabric over along the legs and putting in plastic. Perhaps this will wick less?

6. I like snaps. I don't dislike the hook and loop stuff (i.e. velcro), but I like the snaps *way* better. Gonna have to get snaps. Luckily, I have some 50% off coupons for Joann's. :D

7. So far, it seems Peanut has no opinion on what kind of diaper he is wearing. Little Bobble seems to like the cloth ones, but I can't tell if she likes them better or worse than the disposables. Her mom is thankful for the diaper savings.

8. I gotta figure out how to find more time to sew. I've got a pair of pants cut out (for Peanut) and ideas for a skirt for myself, and diapers a plenty cut out, and struggling to find time to sew. Gotta think this out. Maybe a dedicated sewing table will help. Plus, I could use with one less hot spot.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Ants and Fruit flies

As I was killing a few ants the other night, I was reminded of a book I loved when I was little. You can tell I loved the book by the pen marks found on some pages... I had a tendency to write in the books I loved. :P Well, still do!

Henry's Awful Mistake is a book about a duck who sees an ant in his kitchen. He happens to be making dinner for a friend (a girl duck) and doesn't want her to think his house is dirty. So, he goes about dealing with the ant. And ends up losing the house, but not the ant.

So, I decided I'd keep killing those ants I found, but I'm not going to stress over the ants. That's gonna take work, though.

We've also been dealing with fruit flies. As I'm doing the sans-dairy thing, I've been eating lots of fruits... see post on sorbet and fruit smoothies. I've been putting stuff in the fridge or those fancy green keep-it-fresh bags, but the little dudes persist. Finally, I figured out it was the worm farm (duh, Wifey). After working hard to add fresh shredded paper over a few days to no avail, I moved the farm to the garage. Its a tad hot for them, but the nights are cooling off nicely, so they should be fine. And I'll keep them fed and watered. I only moved the farm this morning, and already the flies are less. Yea!

I've also realized that though I'm quite comfortable in my house, I don't have much "pretty" to offer in pictures (thinking of Pretty, Happy, Funny and Real on Thursdays). I'm gonna have to think on that, and be intentional. It helps that the weather is cooling off a touch, so I just might be able to do something outside. Can a freshly tilled and planted garden be "pretty"?

Leah's new heart

Leah's Mommy and Daddy were able to see her in ICU, early-early this morning. And they got up a few new pictures as of about 10 minutes ago.  (Can you believe I'm up at this time... first to nurse Peanut and now to welcome Little Bobble -- her mom works at a breakfast serving place, so she goes in early sometimes).

Its amazing that such goodness can come out of such tragedy. One family has lost their child, and another family gains a longer life for their child. And not just one child... not only does a heart mean life, but kidneys, a liver. Perhaps someone has sight (or better sight) from donated retinas, and a burn victim now has new skin to cover the ruined patches. I am truly amazed that life and improved life comes from death.

On my soap box now: Are you a registered organ donor? If so, yea! If not, why not? Let's be brutally honest here, after your death, will you need those organs? (someone else will)

Anyhoo, I'm so excited for Leah and yet my heart fills with sadness for those who lost their child. And I'm heading back to sleep soon, just as soon as Little Bobble is settled in her bed.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

A new heart

Our friend's little girl, Leah Grace, is getting a new heart tonight. She's been on the transplant list for over a year, and its so hard to know how to pray for that. Do you pray that she will get a new heart quickly? That means someone else will lose their little child. That thought breaks my heart, yet, Leah needs this heart. And so we have prayed for the Lord to heal her heart miraculously, and we have prayed that if that isn't His will, that she will get a new heart soon. And we include a prayer for the donor family -- for comfort for their loss.

About 1 pm today, they get a page... there is a heart for Leah. Leah's daddy rushes from class (he's one of Hubby's classmates) and I'm sure Leah's mommy was dashing to load up Leah and Little Brother into the car to head north for the hospital.

Just now, they posted that the surgery should begin about 730 or 800 (central time). I'm guessing this is going to take ALL NIGHT, which means a sleepless night for Mommy and Daddy.  Please pray for them, that they will be comforted as they wait, that the doctors would have steady hands, that Leah's body would accept this new heart, and for comfort and peace for the donor family.

I'll be sure post and update when I get one.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Is it really that cold?

For the first time in his life, Peanut is wearing pants (otherwise known as trousers in British), because its that cold here (well, only like 75 inside, but still).

We've had a cold front move in, so this week high's are in the mere mid-90s! And lows at night in the low-70s/upper 60s. This morning, outside was 68-70', so we opened windows to cool the house. Outside the a/c at the hospital, Peanut has never experienced such cold before. I might even put socks on him when I put him down tonight. :P

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Pregnancy Tips

No, no, I'm not pregnant again... promise.  But a good friend is!  Congrats sweet Sarah!

I'm remember waiting, waiting, waiting, till finally one weekend, I was crazy tired. But we were traveling, so maybe that was it. But I was suppose to 'start' that weekend, and I didn't. Hmmm.... could it be? But this has happened before, and the pregnancy test was negative then, so this could be the same. But it kept on, me being tired, plus, we'd tried one round of a fertility med, so who's to say it didn't work?

Labor Day 2010, we trekked to Wal-greens and purchased a pregnancy test. And then the car wouldn't start. And I didn't have my keys (Hubby's key was a copy, and it just didn't work). So we called a friend to pick us up, take us home, grab my keys and take one of us back to get the car. While he was coming to get us, the car finally started.

Tuesday morning I did the test. And waited.... and wondered... would this be it? YES! I called to Hubby, "come look! It's positive!". Oh, the joy! So it was a crazy day of keeping a secret we didn't want to keep, but knew we needed to tell family first. And so started a week of trying to discrete, after all, what if I miscarried?  And so started the nine months, or 40 weeks, of waiting and learning and preparing.

Tips for the newly pregnant:
1. Sleep as often as you can. Choice between reading that crazy interesting novel and sleeping? Sleep. Choice between TV and sleep? Sleep. Your body is working hard, building a new little human from scratch, and that's hard work.

2. Check out for growth facts. Yes, yes, what to expect is fun, but this site gives you the good stuff. Note that, at first, it count's from conception, not the normal counting from start of last period.

3. Eat what sounds good. Even if its weird.  Just make sure you are eating.

4. Drink water. Yes, you are already peeing like there is not tomorrow, but the water will do your body good.

5. A cup of coffee a day is not as bad as it sounds. Two cups a day is as bad as it sounds. or so I've read. I, on the other hand, went cold turkey on the coffee.

6. Get a pregnancy pillow. I got one when I was about 5 month's pregnant and it really helped me sleep. By the last month, I NEEDED it to be comfortable. It helped me get comfortable after having a c-section. At about 4 weeks postpartum, I put it away because it wasn't helping any more. Originally, I had a body pillow and added pillows along my back till I comfortable. Thus I knew I needed something with pillow along my front and along my back. King size beds are nice for this, but we both still fit in the queen size bed, even with my air-craft carrier of a pillow.

7. If you want to make stuff for the baby, start soon-ish. When you read 12 weeks is soon enough, but don't put it off thinking "I've got months!" Those months slide by so quickly. And though you will have some down time when baby is born, you don't have that much. Plus, its hard to get much done when you are sleep deprived.

8. The adjustment period for breastfeeding is so worth it. It took me a good 5 or 6 weeks to really get comfortable, but, dude, it is so easy now! No bottles to sterilize, no nipples to wash, nothing to mix up, nothing to warm up. Its all just ready to go.  Its worth getting a book on breastfeeding to get a good bit of head knowledge going, and ask for the lactation consultant to come help you while you are in the hospital.  I got Breastfeeding Made Simple; I loved reading it, and I still consult it occasionally. I've heard that The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding is also quite good.

I promise more thoughts on baby gear!