Monday, June 29, 2009

Ardyn's New Peasant Blouse

Tonight I made this for Ardyn, with a little owl applique.
Peasant Blouse I made for Ardyn tonight

Detail of Owl Applique on Peasant Blouse

It's super cute. I used this tutorial. At first, I wasn't sure I would be able to do it, because I had a really hard time making my own patterns. But once I cut out the two squares of fabric in the size I needed, I was able to use my calculator and some tracing paper to create my own pattern with the correct curves, and it came out perfect on the first try. Whew! If you go to the tutorial, you will find many more, all of which I am hoping to start trying! Enjoy, she will keep you busy!

Here she is modeling it, and then she is being my quality control, checking my seam soundness. LOL.
Ardyn modeling her new Peasant Shirt I made her

Ardyn modeling her new Peasant Shirt I made her

The grossest Post I've ever had to write...

I should be doing SO many other things right now, but this seems like more fun. Or less work. However you see it. We slept in late today, but I was up late last night and so were the kids. Ardyn is playing with her Talking Dora Pool, which has still been a huge hit. She is now saying "En La Piscina" (in the Pool) which is too cute.

Potty Training is going surprisingly well. She has only had two accidents in her training pants in three days, and both of those were yesterday. She wears the training pants from the time she wakes up until the time she gets ready for bed, but we do put on Pull ups when we leave the house, and also at naptime. She wears her regular nighttime diaper to bed still. Yesterday I was really busy in the kitchen (and everywhere really) so we set the timer to remind us that it was time to try to go potty. It got to the point where she would say "I hear the timer, I hear it! I got potty!" and would be running to the bathroom. What I am really noticing is that she is able to hold it, and has better control over her muscles already. As soon as she sits down, she goes. She has also been better today at letting Daddy take her to the potty. She previously would let him take her but would sit and not go, which was an issue.

There has been one downside to potty training, which I really really hesitate to tell you. Really. As in until this exact moment I haven't told ANYONE. Not one single person. Because it's embarassing, although there isn't anything that I really did "wrong" it is something that I never once expected and it NEVER crossed my mind. Prepare. Yourself. Weak stomach and newly nauseaous pregnant persons.... walk away now.

Because Ardyn is not wearing diapers anymore, I don't have to wash cloth diapers as often as I once did. When it was just Ardyn in cloth, I washed every 3-5 days, depending on how busy I was, and how many diapers she went through. Now that I have two in cloth (had?) I was washing every 2-3 days, usually every two. So I was used to having two full diaper pails in about 2 days, and then I would know it was time to wash. Well, there's plenty going on around here. Evan has been gone to work during the day, and to band practice or gigs for 5 of the last 7 nights, so it's been all me and the kids. And we have been shopping once, gotten groceries once, been swimming and gone for 11 hours straight, and all kinds of other things this past week. And the diaper pail wasn't filling up, because suddenly I only had one wearing diapers, except for Ardyn's 1 diaper per night. SO although I had plenty of diapers left and neither pail was full, last night I was like "You know, it's time to wash diapers, I haven't done that in a while...?"

Well. I got the pail downstairs and put on my rubber diaper gloves per usual. I started sorting through the diapers. All of Marek's Diapers can go right in. I just snap out the inserts in the goodmamas and fitteds, and pull the inserts out of the overnight BG's. When I got to the very bottom of the second pail, there were two poopy diapers in there that apparently belonged to Ardyn (I can just tell) and because they were the oldest in the pail, I was like, Oh boy, it's been (quick calculation, remembering the very hot day that I was outside hanging diapers on the line...) four-five days since I washed diapers.... and so this diaper is probably 4-5 days old. It's gonna stain I betcha. So I was all prepared to soak that one on it's own.... and I opened it up to pull out the wipes inside... and.

Oh. My. God. Maggots. The entire inside of the diaper is crawling with the vile squirmy fat things. I almost died. Right there. After composing myself and my gag reflex, I did what any insane person would do and proceeded to rinse, rinse, rinse and soak soak soak. When the diaper was completely free of ANYTHING vile and questionable, I put it in the washing machine. Then a cold prewash. Then TWO extra long hot washes with double rinses. The first with detergent and Oxyboost, the Second with detergent and a SHITLOAD of vinegar. Then finally I was convinced that the diapers were clean. Seriously, this is the most terrible, incredible, upsetting thing that has ever happened to me in almost two years of cloth diapering. Through BOTH kids. The worst. Something I had NEVER even thought of.

At first I was terrified that maybe she had WORMS, but there had been several other diapers since then, and a few pullups, that had no issues. And looking back, I recall that that diaper was changed by Evan, and that the lid to the diaper pail was left open on occasion, and that there was this one lazy giant fly that had gotten in the house and we were swatting at. So I got online and did a google search and wouldn't you know, TONS of people who cloth diaper who have gotten maggots in their diaper pail? And every single one of them as freaked out and shocked as me. Now, I know that I could have thrown the diaper away. But to be honest, I didn't even contemplate that, because I knew that it could be cleaned. And even right now I still can't believe it. Seriously. And I am not even gonig to let this post import to facebook, because I think I can only handle my regular blog friends reading this. I know that everyone else will say "See! This is why you should NOT cloth Diaper." but I happen to know from research that even people who do not cloth diaper (especially people who do not cloth diaper) get maggots in their diaper pail. But those people with disposables never have to unwrap and sift through their pail and risk finding them. Not to mention all the unmentionable creatures crawling through disposables in a garbage dump. Ewwww.

So, there it is, my dirty little secret.

When I think back, I also realize that it has been a heat index of 100+ every day for the past week, with temps between 92 and 94 every day. So 4 day old diapers and 100 degree heat, not a good combo. From this point forward, the diaper pail lid stays closed. I will be the diaper pail lid nazi. I will also continue to wash on a 2-3 day basis, even though I have plenty of diapers and being that anal about washing was never a thing of mine in the past. Although my research tells me that in that high of heat, it takes less than 24 hours for fly eggs to hatch. Ugh.

Is anyone still with me? Holy crap, right? Do you now think that I live in like total filth? That my children should be removed from my home? I shouldn't joke, but that does seriously creep me out. I can't believe I just wrote this. On the internet. Forever. It will be here. Oh well. There are plenty of other posts out there like this one, I googled it so I know!

On to more pleasant things. As I was finishing that terrible saga, Ardyn pooped in the potty! YAY! She was so proud! She got a sticker for our wall chart and two diary free Oatmeal Cookies with milk.

So, before the above horrifical incident, I had a REALLY rough day. We had been at my In-laws the whole day before. I took the kids over to go swimming. It was 107 degrees on the deck. (the thermometer said that) and the pool was 91 degrees. It was a great day for swimming, but unbearably hot outside the water. Of course, you can't take two kids in diapers in the van in their carseats and suits... they have to be in clothes. This is because swim diapers aren't designed to contain pee... just poos. So we had a bag for each kid. Ardyn's rolling backpack had her swimsuit, swim hat, swim diaper, coverup, towel, sunscreen, and a lifetime supply of training pants... her water shoes, a pull up for naptime and the ride home, and also a spare change of clothes and her dog for naptime. Marek's had his swim trunks, swim diaper, swim hat, towel, water shoes, and his cloth diapers, cloth wipes, wetbag, and a spare change of clothes. Add to this my own bag with a change of clothes (I wore my suit with my coverup) and my sunscreen, towel, hairbrush, comb, and camera. Then my purse, and the travel swing, and Marek's activity gym/mat. So when I got to the farm in the 100 degree heat, it took me SEVEN trips to unload the van. Then to get into the house I have to go through THREE DOORS and TWO PORCHES. Then I get the kids inside. I get Ardyn all stripped. We sit on the potty. I coat her wish sunscreen. Swim Diaper. Swim Suit. Water Shoes (deck is hot and could have splinters) and then her hat. At this time (thank GOD) My sister arrives and takes Ardyn off my hands and outside to swim. SO I get Marek out of his carseat. Stripped down. Sunscreen. Swim Diaper. Swim Trunks. Swim Shoes (just cuz they are so cute and tiny.) and then his bucket hat. Then I get myself ready. Then I get all of our towels, the camera, the sunscreen, and head out to the pool (through another door that has TWO doors) and to the deck. Marek and I get in the pool. Then (after all of my unloading and preparing) Evan arrives with two guys from the band and we all swim. Of course 10 minutes after getting in the water, Marek gets hungry, so I get to climb out and feed him on the deck. Then he falls asleep in his swing for the next like 3 hours. We had a great time. But after the swimming, we have to get everyone back in their clothes, get all the wet stuff packed up. Then Ardyn goes down for her nap. Then right as she is waking up and we were thinking we would go home, I realize that SHE needs to eat, and there is a Hell-Bad looking storm rolling in. SO She and Grandma Susan sit down and Susan feeds her supper (Relieving me, I am so happy!) and Marek and I sit out on the porch and watch the clouds roll in. I take a load out to the van so that I have less to take out if It rains all night, and when I am closing the van door, out of the corner of my eye I see the most BEAUTIFUL Deer statue I have ever seen, under the pear trees in front of the van. I can't BELIEVE that I didn't see that when I pulled in. I thought "when did they get a deer statue?" and then sure as shit, it turned it's head and I almost had a heart attack. It scared the bejeezus out of me. Then it ran away. Then the next time I looked outside, it was there again, so I took some pictures.

So the bad storm rolls through. it rains. it pours. It's incredibly windy. There is the most lightening (cloud to ground) that I can recall ever seeing in my 30 years. The power flickers. it browns out. My sister calls twice. My mom calls twice. Evan calls once. it's a big storm. Poor Evan is at home trying to get showered to go to his gig. Poor Liz is trying to get showered to go watch the gig. My parents were going to go order their new kitchen countertops and decided the weather was too bad. It was just one of those situations. So we didn't leave there until 8:30. I was so tired. It had been such a long day. In the heat. Dragging around both kids and all our gear. I was so glad to have my sister there, and Evan's parents.... and Lisa stopped by, and Evan and the guys, and Great Grandma Mona and Great Aunt Marlene. Thank god for helpers. I was able to relax in the pool a while. But on the way home I realize that Evan told me we were out of toilet paper. For one guy, not as big of a deal... he'll just do a shake-shake... but with me and a potty training toddler. It's something we need to get. So I decided that we should just head to Wal-Mart right then and there and get it done. the kids were loaded up. I didn't want to go ANYWHERE the next day. SO off to Wal-Mart we went. And got Toilet paper and totes to pack clothes in. (Marek's about to move up a size!) By the time we got home and we all got to sleep, it was midnight. Talk about a long day.

Then yesterday (Sunday) I had to spend the day in the kitchen because I had tons of food prep to do (and I am still not done!) I had 6 pounds of ground beef, a whole chicken, a pack of pork chops, and a pack of chicken breasts that needed attention. I had Broccoli Salad to make. a Dozen Eggs to Hard Boil. Squash and Carrots to wash, peel, chop, steam, puree, and freeze. I also had a head of lettuce to chop for salads. I worked on all that and made Paprika Breaded Pork Chops with Buttered Egg Noodles and salads for lunch. Then I made Meatloaf (with pureed carrots hidden inside) and Sweet Potatoes and Rice for supper. I ran the dishwasher like twice. I had a whole bucket full of compost by the end of the day. Ardyn was potty training. Marek was doing a pretty good job of hanging out. But I was frustrated because Evan was recouperating from the night before, on the couch all day. And then he had to leave to go drop off the trailer of gear. And then when he came back, he opened the door to our room and I was napping with both kids (miracle) and he woke Ardyn and I both up, and that was the end of our nap. And to make it even worse, he woke us up to tell me that he was going to see a MOVIE that night. Argh. I could have screamed. So, long and frustrating day, ended with a surprise in the diaper pail. Hope that never happens again as long as I live.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

You know, i've been thinking... The real problem with bigamists is that they have the whole damn thing backwards. It should be the women that get multiple HUSBANDS. It takes alot to keep one woman happy. And i am not even talking about sex... Yet.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Cheater Cheater

I love to wash my Pampered Chef Stoneware in my dishwasher. I spent Three Years as a consultant, telling customers that you aren't supposed to do it. Then I got pissed off and spent the last 4 years washing all of mine in the dishwasher. And Am totally happy about that. LOL.

Entertainment tonight

Today was a good day. Mostly. I spent the last 30 minutes outside wrangling a new 150 foot garden hose. They look coiled all nicely, and you think it will just be a snap to unravel it and get started, but it's just kink after kink, after kink. My FIL had one at the farm that was brand new and he wasn't using, and he offered it to me, which was AWESOME because the two hoses we have don't reach to the hostas in front of the fence, so I have to unravel the hose all the way and then use the watering can to lug water back and forth the rest of the way. Um. That isn't something I enjoy, especially when the heat index is 100 and I have two screaming kids. So After wrestling it for a while, I finally got it unraveled and hooked up and watered the thirsty hostas. I don't understand how you can have a BRAND NEW hose and a BRAND NEW nozzle (which I found in the garage because I always buy one after the season is over when they go on clearance. It never fails that last year's doesn't last and is crap and then they are full price again.) and STILL have the damn hose leaking? I tried the stupid washer, and that actually made the connection worse. So no matter what, I got the "backspray" so that my legs and feet were soaked before I was done, and then I had fresh grass clippings clinging to me. Then I had all the kinks again when I tried to get the hose back on the reel, but successfully got it all taken care of.

When I got inside I was pleased to find that both kids were still sleeping. When I sat down to type this I looked down and inside my bra, inside my tank top, in the cleavage area, I was like WHOA how did all that DIRT get in there? I mean like chunks of dirt that were all soft and crumbly. Then I was like.... wait a minute.... Is that chocolate cupcake? Dirt? I don't know! I had a chocolate cupcake on my way out to water the hostas, and they are really soft and fall apart as you eat them.... so I figure it's not worth tasting the crumbs to find out.

I feel like I am going backwards with the day, so I will just say one more thing about tonight, and then I will rewind and start at the beginning. Pretend this is an episode of fight club, or that I am Jason Bourne or something. I am sure you will put it all together. I know you're smart folks (why the hell else would you be here?)

When taking a bath tonight, Ardyn stuck her hands into her mouth and said something that sounded Like "I chewing (insert unidentifiable word here.)" and every time I tried to get her to repeat herself, she was talking around her hands. Finally I understood - "I'm chewin GUM!" And I said "where did you hear that?" and she said "Aunt Liz chews gum!" and I said "Does she?" and I remembered that Aunt Liz was here this morning, but Ardyn didn't SEE her, just heard her outside talking to me. That seemed like a strange connection to make. I had a FEELING it came from Daycare today, so I said "Who else chews gum Ardyn?" and she said, very sheepishly, "Ms. Peggy...." Who is her favoritest daycare teacher this year and she cannot function without. I said "Ms Peggy Chews Gum?!" and Ardyn said "Ardyn chew gum too!" and I said "where are you going to get this gum?" and she looked at me, with wide, innocent, very serious eyes, and said "The gum's out there somewhere!" OMG I just died. Maybe it's only funny to me, but it was like a metaphor for everything in her future. It's all out there somewhere. It's just up to her to find it. LOL. Where do they come up with those things!? And today one of Ardyn's old teachers (by old I mean last year in the infant classroom, while I was still working) pulled me aside and said "Would your daughter by any chance know the phrase 'God Damn It'?" Um Yeah. "yes...." said I with sheepish hesitation. And it is my fault. When I was pregnant, it started. Every time I woudl drop something, I would have to bend over to pick it up. Ardyn was like a year and some odd months old, and I would say it, and not even REALIZE that I was saying it, until she started repeating me. And I believe that it is my phrase of choice, when I am angry, frustrated, or even when some road rage sets in. I have heard her say "Damn it" on more than one occasion. I traditionally do not insert "god" in there, but I know that we have plenty of family members that do, and there is a really good chance that I have said that a time or two. So even one time of her hearing it, it would stick with her. The teacher said that Ardyn said (very clearly, she said) "God Damn it" about 10 times today, over and over, all in a row. Oh boy. The teacher said "I just ignored her." and I apologized because all I could think was that MY kid was going to be the one to ruin the minds of all the innocent children around her. Oh boy. What should I do, damn it!?

Okay rewind!

Started out the day nice and ealy (7:30 in Meaganese) and got myself showered and the kids dressed and ready to go. Took Ardyn to school. Drove by Dairy Queen. CLOSED. Too early. Saw Yard Sales. Forced myself to ignore them. Stopped by Evan's Grandma's house and nursed the baby, then changed him, then left her some recent photos. Drove by Dairy Queen. CLOSED damn it stil to early. Then I went to the courthouse and got a copy of Marek's Birth Certificate. Then I went back by dairy queen. CLOSED damn it again! Too EARLY! (this is why I sleep late) Then I saw more yard sales. I ignored them. Then I saw MORE and saw one with lots of kids stuff and I went around the block THREE TIMES trying to talk myself out of it. But seriously, how can I argue with a good deal on clothes that my kids NEED?! (well maybe not right now, but next season anyway.) So I stopped. Guiltily. And I said "I'll just get a couple things." and then the stuff was SOOOOOO good damn it! And the people were Soooooo nice! I got two pair of tennis shoes for Ardyn- 75 cents each. Sketchers and Dora the Explorer. I got a Reversible Chocolate brown and light blue winter Nike coat for $5. Seriously, it can be used for BOTH kids. How cool is that? I got some other pants, shorts, sweatshirts, etc. I got a pack of girls tights (bright colors,stripes, flowers... think Old Navy or Children's Place or Hanna's) 3 pair for $1, and no piling on these babies. Whole ziploc full of girl's white ankle socks with adorable polka dots in every color.... $1. They looked BRAND NEW as in not a dirt mark on them. Amazing. I got a JJ Cole Bundle Me for $2. Beautiful, charcoal grey and white. I got ONE Toy, a plastic taking Dora the Explorer swimming pool with a dora doll. She's in her swimsuit and when she jumps on the diving board, it says phrases in english and spanish... all about swimming in the pool. Ardyn played with it ALLLLL Night. That's already worth the $2 it cost, and the batteries in it worked great. So I spent around $30, and got my garage sale fix. I had a hard time ignoring all the rest of them, but I did well. Proud of myself. I am seriously addicted to good garage sales. But I only really look at stuff for the kids.

Oh and I also got two swimsuits, One for this year, and one for next year, for 50 cents (Tommy Hilfiger) and 25 cents (Old Navy) that were both super cute and will be great as spare suits. She has three this year now. One is new, and is her "good suit" and Evan and I bought it on clearance when she was really small... knowing she would fit it this year. It matched a swimsuit cover-up and swim hat that we had received as baby shower gifts, so we really liked it. Then she was given a hand me down Nemo suit that we use around home, because the screen printing is coming off and there are snags on the butt.... and it's great for her to play in the mud, little pool, and sandbox in, and I don't have to worry about her ruining it right away. Well, today when I dropped her off at daycare, I felt SO bad because all the other kids were outside running in the sprinkler, and I didn't know they DID that, so Ardyn didn't have a suit. They said it was coming out in their newsletter, but if I wanted to leave a suit there for her, she could play too. So when I saw one for 25 cents at the yard sale, I grabbed it up and took it back to the school for her to use that day. Can't beat that. Even if it gets lost or destroyed, it was a quarter.

So after the yard sale, I FINALLY found Dairy Queen open and redeemed my FREE Blizzard from my full punch card. I tried the Strawberry Cheesequake, which I had never had before, but Angela O and Angie R both recommended it. It was yummy, but it was still no oreo.

Marek and I went home and relaxed for a bit. I tried to nurse him and he did his new thing where he eats on one side and then can't take his eyes off the celing fan and starts to giggle and laugh and have a little conversation with it. I changed my facebook status to say "Meagan Jean Johnson finds it hard to believe that any male would find a ceiling fan more entertaining than a boob in his face??" LOL.

Then I started doing laundry, and picking up around home. The Bug guy was coming. Seriously, WHY do we worry about what our house looks like for the bug guy and the appliance repairman? I always think that if the bug guy comes and sees a mess, like piles of laundry or dirty dishes or overflowing kitchen garbages, he will think "Well, geez, no wonder they have bugs!" But seriously, there is no controlling the earwig population in this town when they start to show up. It's HORRID. I even had a facebook discussion about that, and I know that I am not the only one! I hate those bastards! So the bug guy came, and mentioned that he has 5 kids and the youngest is 1.5 and my mind was totally eased. A guy doesn't have 5 kids and not have some clue as to the messes that come with them. I reminded myself of that as he crunched over Dora the Explorer Cereal and a piece of smooshed banana still under the table from Ardyn's breakfast.

Marek did some hefty napping. I had to wake him because I wanted to get going and make some document copies this afternoon, and we had to go pick up Ardyn. I made copies of all the SS Cards and Birth Certificates, as well as receipt copies for all my jewelry. I wanted to make sure I had some in "off-site locations." and wanted to put some in my LifeDoc Binder, but I can't FIND IT! I am a little panicky about that but I know that it's probably somewhere safe, but got re-arranged when we had to get rid of the office to make room for a new baby.

I picked up Ardyn and the poor kid had a bad blister on her foot. She wears crocs every day no problem, but because they were all in the sprinkler today, she had crocs on in the water, and her poor little feet! I felt so bad. She cried and cried about it, and I had to take her shoes off again as soon as we got in the van. She played outside barefoot and we relaxed. It was considerably cooled down this evening. I had a fire in the pit, and the tiki torches were lit. I LOVE those things. I have never been a tiki torch person. To be honest, I feel they are too kitchy and crappy looking, and I feel like I am in an episode of "Scooby Doo on Zombie Island" or something. I feel like a Witch Doctor should come out any second in a loincloth and surrounded by beating drums. But When it came down to thinking they might actually WORK at repelling bugs so that I wouldn't have to douse myself and my kids with chemicals every day and night, I decided to test it out. They have some really cool looking ones out there these days, and some cool tabletop ones. So we have had them for over a month now, and I LOVE them. No bug spray for us! Strategically placed around the yard, they take care of all the bugs for us.

While she played, I read my current book (Jodi Piccoult's Change of Heart) and Marek lay on a blanket on the grass staring up at the sky. Then he was in his travel swing for a while. Then he got cranky, and I said "are we going to have to go inside?" and Ardyn said "YAY!" and so we did. I made her supper and then gave her a bath and then we lay on the couch together and sang songs and made silly faces and she "fed mommy beans" (pretend ones) and then I read her a book, let her pee in the potty once last time, and put her to sleep. Oh and today she called me from school. She pooped in the potty TWICE at school today. I was so proud of her. She has done it twice before, once at home and once at Grandma Deb's. She's getting so big! She likes to look at my underwear to see what kind of "big girl" pattern is on them. Then we talk about the Dora the Explorer Underwear that are waiting in her drawer. When we have an especially trying day with the potty, when she doesn't WANT to sit down, I go get the underwear and show them to her and we talk about big girls. That always gets her back on track. We also have a sticker chart in the bathroom that I made from a giant piece of posterboard. It has once side for pee stickers and one side for poos, and each time she goes, she gets to put a sticker on the right side. Tonight she put two stickers on extra because she pooped twice at school. She was just beaming that I remembered that and made a big deal about it.

She cried hysterically at the beginning of her bath, when the water touched her blister. She cried while I dressed her afterwards. She didn't want to put a bandaid on it, and I was going to be cool with that, except that every time ANYTHING touched her foot, she got hysterical, so finally I put some neosporin and a curious george bandaid on, and covered it with happy Elmo Socks so that she would hopefully leave it alone. And She DID forget about it. A few swims over the weekend and the chlorine will have it all healed up.

I stayed up till 4:30 in the morning two nights in a row, and don't hope to EVER do that again. One night I was planning my pages for my scrapbook day, and went through all the photos that I had printed a while back for Ardyn's first and second month. Then the next night I stayed up scrapbooking at the scrapbook day, and the NEXT night I was up finishing a couple of pages at home and picking papers out so that I could find out what I was missing and match the layouts with cardstock this week while Hobby Lobby had 50% off their paper. I had $13 left to my name, and I magically got all the papers I needed for exactly $13.49 which was pretty cool.

On the way home from school, I drove by more garage sales, and to distract myself Ardyn and I stopped by a parking lot with an area of rocks and picked out some smooth and big ones that we brought home in an empty baby wipes container. I think we will paint some into things like pigs and ladybugs and frogs, and she can cart them around her yard in her basket. She has two reed baskets outside that she drags rocks and pinecones around in. She LOVED the rock hunting!

Well, that's all for tonight. Evan has a band gig this weekend so I won't see him much.... but I have plenty of food prep to do, and a few things to cook and freeze, and we hope to go swimming a few times too. I also need to get a tote because Marek is starting to grow out of some 0-3 month clothes! He has also slept the past two nights unswaddled, and for about 7 hours each night, which is awesome. I was previously unable to get him to sleep for longer than 2 hours if he wasn't swaddled. He's growing up too! Won't be too long and will be transitioning him into his crib! I think I already would be, except that I have to walk through Ardyn's room to get to his, and right now that just isn't going to work out. Soon though!

Everyone have a nice night and a great weekend!

When it is this freaking hot, dairy queen should open early!!!!!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

I find it bizarre that at 0430 I am laying in bed, unable to sleep, because I am silently contemplating my next childbirth and baby. Yet I am laying next to a 2 month old and have no intention of more till he's about 3 years. I must be programmed to procreate these adorable little people!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Cut Short

Ardyn started the day with a fever, but with some ibuprofen and TLC, it's finally broken and she is back to her usual self, peeing on mommy's floor (Her words, not mine! LOL.)

We are laying REALLY Low today because it is insanely, dangerously hot outside, like 94 degrees and the heat index is 100 degrees with high humidity. I could feel my skin frying when I just stepped out to hang out a load of diapers on the line.

I can't believe it's already almost 5:30, but since I didn't get to sleep till 4:30am, we lounged in bed, snoozing together in the air conditioning and watching the ceiling fan swirl above, and Marek nursed and snoozed and cooed and nursed and snoozed... I don't think we actually got UP until 1pm.

I have a TON of kitchen stuff to do, but not really interested. maybe later tonight or tomorrow. I really know that if I get started, I will make a mess, and that I am not in the mood to pick up the mess. I am sticking to washing diapers today, and recouperating from my late late night grocery trip last night. I wrote down the EXACT cost of every item I put into my cart and kept a running total. I stayed right on budget. it took forever, but I was able to get everything on my list. This time around I will be making a few new things, like Homemade Chicken Enchiladas, Fajitas, Picadillo with Rice nad black beans, A Lemon Rosemary Roasted Chicken with carrots and potatoes, pork cutlets with egg noodles, spaghetti, meatloaf, and a few other things that I can't think of off the top of my head. I have carrots, sweet potatoes, and two kinds of squah to puree and "hide" in some dishes, sneaky chef style. I have meat that I need to portion, cook, and freeze. So technically I have a ton to do. But I think I will postpone until at least later tonight.

I was recently able to decide on a theme for both kids' birthday parties. Ardyn's 2nd Birthday I believe will be a mermaid theme party (not little mermaid, just regular mermaids) and Marek's 1st Birthday will probably be Scooby Doo. SO my brain has been fast forwarding around cute party ideas, of which I already have a ton.

Oops. gotta go. More another time!

Monday, June 22, 2009

With all this barcode technology, why isn't there a shopping cart that scans each item as you put it in... And gives you a total so you don't overspend if you are on a budget?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

FINALLY Catching up, so this is a REALLY Long Winded One!

Wow! It's been a while! I keep meaning to blog, but as usual there has been a ton going on! Last week was insanely busy. I can't even REMEMBER everything we did. I know that I had an appointment with my midwife (IUD Check) last Wednesday.

Last Friday we took Ardyn to the last Sheffield Homecoming.
Sliding with Daddy
Ardyn and Dad wave at mom from the train
She and Evan each got an armband and she LOVED the rides. We decided not to send her to school that day so that she could go during armband day, and it was worth it.
I was afraid that she would try to stand up during a ride, so we started with the cars, and it went well, we then migrated to the train (with daddy) and the carousel (with daddy) and then grabbed some lunch. After that she wanted to slide, and so Evan took her on the BIG slide. She LOVED that and was already heading back up the stairs before Evan knew what hit him. She also rode the ladybugs, and despite my fear, she rode the airplanes. I was afraid because they went up in the air, that if she DID decide to stand up, she would fall out and break her neck. Evan was telling me that they were only like 4.5 feet in the air, and I understood that, but there were metal stakes and all kinds of things she could fall ONTO and crack her head or something. I was a lot worried. Especially when you see that there were no HARNESSES but just a silly rope that she could bypass (and tried to) in a second. But I told her not to touch the rope in the "that's a life threatening scenario" voice, and she abided. Luckily there were several chunky kids on the ride, and the weight limit was too much for the planes, and they could only spin and would not raise up off the ground. Hallelujah! Someone was looking down on us that day!
Ardyn's Airplane Ride
That night Ardyn and I sat on the porch and she strung fruit loops onto shoelaces, to practice hand-eye coordination. that was fun, because she could barely string one without putting 5 more in her mouth. Hilarious. Lots of Pics of that on Flickr, but I won't post any here because she is just wearing her diaper. While she was stringing, I made some Kick Ass Meatball and Orzo soup, from Rachel Ray's Yum-O Kids Cookbook. Ardyn loves meatballs, and it was the first time I had made them, or this recipe. It was really good.
Meatball and Orzo Soup

On Saturday we had the Baker Family Reunion, and played at the park.
Mom and Ardyn
We got a great family picture taken too.... just under a tree at the end of the day.
Evan and Meagan, Ardyn and Marek
I also took this cute pic of Ardyn IN the tree, because she kept insisting that she wanted to climb it "like a monkey!"
Ardyn wants to be a monkey
Then that night, I got a BABYSITTER! Whoo! Like a real teenager that you pay and everything. Of course Tess is Evan's cousin, but still. It was great for me. I went to see Evan's band play at the Sunset Ridge MX track. It was Beautiful out! My sister Liz met me there and it was really a relaxed evening, sitting in our chairs outside listening to the music. I was especially happy because when they adjusted their mikes to be a little louder and the guitars to be a bit softer, I could actually hear Evan singing. Normally if I couldn't see his mouth, I wouldn't be able to pick him out. But this time I could hear his voice and recognize it and it was really cool.
Driftwood Plays Sunset Ridge MX Racetrack

Both Kids were sleeping peacefully when I got home. Awwww. When Ardyn woke up the next morning she said "I gots Tess and Jeremy! Tess went home!" It was so cute. Tess brought her boyfriend Jeremy with, and he has lots of little sisters, so it was nice to have him helping Tess. Sunday morning I took the kids to breakfast at Grandma Mona's house, for the usual "after the reunion" meal. I thought they were eating at 10:30, but we got there just at 10:30 and everyone was done eating already. But they had enough food leftover for Ardyn and I to eat, and it was nice to see the family again. After visiting for a while, we went to my parents' house and hung out all afternoon, and stayed for supper. The highlight of my night was when Dad needed to go pick up the 4-wheeler in the barnyard, and so he needed someone to shuttle him down in the cow truck. I offered, and discovered that the cow truck is not only old, but is also a stick (which I haven't driven since my FS Truck back in 1997!) and that it is very difficult to get into gear, AND that I was going to get to put it into 4WD in order to cross a very wet ditch. Awesome. I was going to drive the 4-wheeler but Dad made a good point when he said that I was going to get really muddy on the 4-wheeler across the ditch, and although I was game, he said "Drive the truck!" He laughed when I killed it twice, but driving it across the ditch in 4WD was awesome fun. I was so sure I was going to get it stuck and we'd have a bunch of work on our hands... but it went fine. I have gotten a few 4WD trucks stuck in my lifetime. LOL. I wanted to take Ardyn with (we were driving in the pasture at like 5 MPH) but my mom was like "you will NOT be able to hold on to her and it will be a jostling ride!" So we decided to leave both kids with grandma during the adventure. But when she's older, she's totally going to participate in those things!
Ardyn's First Haircut (and mom cuts hers off again!)
Yesterday was a pretty exciting day. My mom came over and went with us to get haircuts, and watch the kids while I got mine cut. I decided at the last minute to cut it all off, and it turned out GREAT! Ardyn got a trim, her first haircut. The plan was to stop all her hair from constantly falling in her eyes, and she got a few bangs cut and then some layers cut into the top of her hair so that if it DOES fall forward, it won't be in her eyes all the time.
Ardyn's First Haircut (and mom cuts hers off again!)
This is a relief to me, because I had to "do" her hair every single day, and it was inevitable that at least once a day I would have to redo it (if it were a ponytail or a clip, only pigtails stood a chance at staying in until bedtime.) This is so nice, since her hair is curly, it's just "spritz, comb, scrunch, and GO!" I love it and we have had lots of good comments, so I think it was the right decision.
Ardyn's First Haircut (and mom cuts hers off again!)
We took a ton of pictures, and when Kelly took the cape off her, Ardyn asked her to put it back on, and then spent the next 15 minutes or so running around the salon like a super-hero.
Ardyn's First Haircut (and mom cuts hers off again!)
It was too cute, because I don't think I ever really made a big deal about WHO was cutting her hair, but we did tell her to "tell Kelly Thank You!" and "Say goodbye to Kelly" and that night when Evan got home he said "Ardyn who cut your hair?" and she thought for a minute and said "Kelly!" Man her memory is astounding! More on that in a minute....
Ardyn's First Haircut (and mom cuts hers off again!)
I did mine for the first time today, and it is SO much quicker to wash and dry, and style, I totally forgot how EASY short hair can be. And right now, Easy does it! It's all about survival of the fittest around here. And I have been loving the fact that I actually have time to put on makeup and moisturizer if I so choose, because I have more time in my routine when I don't have to spend 15 minutes blow drying my hair!
Ardyn's First Haircut (and mom cuts hers off again!)
Ardyn's First Haircut (and mom cuts hers off again!)

After haircuts, we came home and decided that we needed to go to Wal-Mart that night. Daddy needed deodorant, and Ardyn needed Rice Milk. Of course, the last two times I had been to the local Wal-Mart, they were out of rice milk. Again. So We tried the store one more time, and at least found (with the help of a grocery employee) the place where it is now (they remodeled the whole store) and discovered that they had a case or two in the back, but it was stacked 6 pallets deep and they couldn't get to it for us. Argh. At least the employee was helpful, although I think it was a little reluctant on his part. So then we had to DRIVE another 25 minutes to the next Wal-Mart to get the milk. I decided to call in advance to make sure they had it in stock. I knew EXACTLY where it was located in that store and they always have it on the shelves, but I didn't want to make a drive with both kids at like 6 pm and find out that it was sold out. When I called, the woman who answered the phone asked what I needed, and I told her I needed to talk with someone in grocery to see if they had a specific item in stock. She was rather rude, and said "What Item?" and I said "Well, it's called 'Rice Dream' and it's a shelf-stable organic milk." and she immediately said "We don't sell anything like that." and I said "Um, yes you do, and I buy it every time I am there, and I can tell you exactly what it costs and where it is located in the store." Silence. "Oh. Okay, hold on." And I proceeded to wait for like 10 minutes on hold and she came back and said "Yes we do carry it." and I said "I know that you CARRY it. I want to know if you have it in STOCK and I need to know if you have a SPECIFIC Size and style in stock." She was all "Well, what is it?" and I said "It's Organic, Enriched, and it absolutely CAN NOT be vanilla or any other flavor. And it is a 64 ounce carton and it's about $3.84" Silence. (not as smart as you thought you were, huh rude lady?)

Ends up that after all that, they had it. So we made the drive. And turns out it was worth it, because I happened across a chair pad for the Rocking Chair that I got for mother's day, and I had yet to find one that would fit the chair, was neat enough for my tastes, and had a hook for hanging and ties to attach to the chair, and ALSO was only $15.

Okay, now back to the memory thing. I have now noticed (abut two weeks ago) that Ardyn can recall colors and other details of things, even if they are not in front of her. In the past, she could tell me what color ANYTHING was, but she had to be able to look at it. Now she can tell me what color things are from memory, and even if she only saw them briefly, and even if it was a few days ago. They don't have to be visible at the time I ask her the color.

We have been talking with her about potty training. I have been sewing the training pants. Problem is, she still seems to have no idea that she's going to go (#1 oe #2) until she has already gone, and even then she rarely tells me. She has NEVER told me she is wet. She only tells me she has pooped if it is burning her (dairy allergy) and she also can't pull her pants DOWN (although she did show us that she can pull training pants UP on her own.) Although I know that she completely "gets" the concept of pottying, knows all the steps, and what to do.... I can't very well potty train her until she can help warn me that she has to go. AND although some people use elimination communication, and do the "sit them on the potty at regular intervals throughout the day" that doesn't really work for us. One, because I don't really feel like doing that because I want HER to be ready, not just ME.... and Two, because I have a baby that is two months old and I can barely remember to change diapers of two kids on schedule, let alone remind my child to sit on the potty all day long, and undress and redress her each time, and hope that the baby doesn't need anything (like a boob) in those time frames. So I have decided that we will talk about potty training, continue to read the books, and sit on the potty when she asks to, and just see what happens and when she is ready.

I have training pants, and side snapping training pants that I have made, AND pull ups that were handed down to me from Ava and Anya, AND several pair of underwear that I got when I had a JCPenney $10 off coupon about 6 months ago. Last night when we were in Wal-Mart, I see the CUTEST Underwear have hit the shelves. SO cute. There are some adorable Sesame Street ones with Elmo and Zoe, and some super cute My Little Pony, and some Dora. But they are like $8-10 a pack, and then I see that there are little THREE PACKS of undies for like $3.94 a pack. And they have DORA! And they have Little Mermaid (She's all about Mermaids right now, and her 2nd Birthday is going to be a mermaid theme.) So I grabbed the Mermaid ones to stash away for a birthday gift, and I grabbed the Dora ones as motivation, and showed them to her. I said "look at these PRETTY Dora Underwear for big girls! Look at the Ruffles and the Sparkles on them! And look! There's BOOTS! Neat!" She looked at them wide-eyed. I said "When you are a big girl, and you poop and pee in the potty, you can wear these pretty big girl underwear with Dora on them! Won't that be Cool?" She was silent, but I could see the wheels turning. I left it at that and we went on our merry way.

This morning in the bathtub, she looked at me and said "Last night I pooped in the potty." with the straightest face you ever did see. And I said "You did? Because I was with you all night and I never saw you poop in the potty...." and she kinda looked like "damn, my mom is on to me." and that was all she said.

Later Today when we were in the van, she was just back there chattering up a storm to herself, paying no attention to me. I heard her say, out of the blue, "I gonna be a Big Girl and poop in the potty and I'm gonna wear Dora Underwears!" I was like Oh. My. God. She totally knows what's up! And I desperately WISHED that she would have the bodily control and the knowledge that she needs to go, so that we could actually WORK on potty training! Oh how I wished! (hold that thought, because as all things in my life are ironic, we will come back to this in a moment!)

So. Today I wanted to get up and get outside ASAP if it wasn't raining, because I knew it was GOING to rain at some point, and I wanted desperately to get some yard work done while Ardyn and Marek were both in good moods and able to self-entertain themselves. So as soon as they got up (9:30ish per usual) we got dressed, ate a quick breakfast, and went right outside. Ardyn played, Marek swung in his swing, and I spent a couple of hours digging sod out. I am clearing out a strip about 2 foot wide between the fence and the sidewalk, across the whole front of the fence. After clearing about 1/3 of the sod out, I put down my landscape plastic, and realized that I needed mulch, AND landscape staples. I talked to Evan and he suggested that when it rained, we would run to Menard's and get the mulch that we needed. So right after that conversation, I started to nurse Marek in the rocking chair under the big maple tree, and Ardyn was playing happily in the sandbox, and it started to rain. I was able to finish nursing on that one side, because the tree is so dense that we couldn't even feel the rain for a while. Then we all came inside and I started the tub, and Ardyn and I took baths and got cleaned up and dressed, and then we all took off to visit Daddy at work, and go on to Menard's for mulch. We got our 6 bags of mulch. I chose Red Cedar to match the brick on the house. I had a hard time because once I got there I started to waver and wonder if I should get Gold, to match the fence instead. I thought I wanted red, but then I wasn't sure. So I texted Evan for an opinion. No answer. So I texted Mom. She said "Brown like Dirt" and I was like NO that is not an OPTION! and so she came back with Red, and that's what I decided on. Decisions Decisions. My luck the red will all be washed out in no time anyway. But mulch was on sale and with 9 bags for like $14, so what. I also got the patio blocks to put under our storage bench, and they were also on sale, for more than $1 a piece cheaper than last week. And then I saw that the recycled rubber tree rings (mulch rings) were on sale for almost half price, so I got two of them as we had talked about last time we were at Menard's. And I got more Tiki Torch Fuel. I like using the citronella to keep the bugs out of the yard, because then I don't have to put bug spray on a 2 month old baby and 21 month old toddler who rubs EVERYTHING in her eyes.

Anyway. Long story short, I was going to go to the breastfeeding meeting tonight with Marek, but once I got home and started unloading everything, and it was SO nice out, and it had dried up outside from the rain... I just knew that I couldn't go to an indoor meeting when I had so much to do outside and new things to work with, and it is likely it will rain at least two more days this week. So I stayed home. And I dug out all the rest of the sod by hand, and laid all the landscape plastic, AND stapled it down, AND marked the locations for all the hostas that I will put there, AND spread all the mulch, AND shoveled up all the piles of dug sod, AND Swept the sidewalks off afterward. And yes I have a blister from digging. And Yes it was totally worth it.

So after all of that yard work, Ardyn was starting to get cranky and it was getting dark and her bedtime was upon us. She wanted to rock in the rocking chair outside on my lap. I took her in to change her, and discovered that she had pooped (who knows when) and didn't tell me (again.) and again I silently wished that she could just COMMUNICATE with me. I said "Ardyn, you have to tell mommy when you are poopy so I can change you. Then your butt won't get sore!" and she said "Owie! I pooped!" and I said "Tell mommy when you have to poop and we can go in the potty! Or at least tell me that you have a dirty diaper so I can change you!" I was so frustrated and felt so bad for her poor bum! So we went outside and we were rocking, and she asked me to sing to her, so I was singing her a few songs. Now I stop mid verse and have her finish out the verses or insert words on the more complicated songs that she is starting to pick up. She can sing things like "Row Row Row your boat"; "It's raining, it's pouring"; "Itsy Bitsy Spider"; Twinkle Twinkle Little Star"; and "Ring around the Rosies." But longer songs that I learned from my years in girl scouts, she just likes to insert certain words for me. It's too cute. We were rocking and Marek was in his little travel swing at our feet. She said "Mommy, I's really Thirsty! Ardyn wants to drink Mommy's Milk" and she tried to lift up my shirt. MAN is she smart. I said "Who drinks mommy's milk?" And she said "Marek. But Ardyn is REALLY Thirsty!" and I just had to giggle. She kept trying to lift up my tank top. I said "Do you even remember how to drink Mom's milk?" and she said "I's really Thirsty!"

Then just a few seconds later she said "I pooping!" and I said "Are you pooping?!" and she said "I hasta poop in the potty!" and I said "Let's GO!" and we grabbed Marek, in his swing, and struggled up the steps and through the door and I thought there was no way in HELL that if she really did have to go, we could make it there on time. I also thought it was probably just a false alarm since she had JUST Pooped her once a day poo.... and so we ran to the bathroom and I took off her diaper and she sat right down and looked all full of concentration, and she PEED! Instantly! I was so proud I squealed so loud and said "YOU DID IT!!!! YOU PEED IN THE POTTY!!!!" and she was so excited she covered her eyes! LOL. This is the first time that she has peed on the potty because she TOLD me, not because I either knew she had to go, or just had her sitting there for practice!" I was so excited! We did our routine, and then we got right on the phone and called both Daddy and Grandma Deb to share the news. She actually talked to both of them on the phone, another new skill, since she usually will only listen. She said to Grandma "I poop in potty!" She got a star sticker on her pajamas and we read her potty book before bed to drive the point home. AND we talked about the Dora underwear, which I hope to show her again tomorrow as a reminder, in case she needs one. This is the most exciting sign yet that she is almost there!

A cute pic of Marek making his "don't mess with the milk supply" face.... when the camera invades on his territory while he is nursing...

So, That's what's new. There are TONS of pictures on Flickr of the haircuts we both got, and of the family, and of the reunion, and the yard work I accomplished today, AND of the Homecoming and Ardyn riding all the rides. Stop over there and check them out if you are interested! And have a great night!

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Kids Clothes ISO

Things I am in search of. Looking for used items. Clean. yard Sale Prices. or trades (check my Diaperswappers ISO/IHA listing if you are a DS Member)

3T Purple or Lavender Snowpants and coat. I want them to coordinate or match with this set.
Size 5 Snowpants/Gloves/Hat that will match this Green/White/Silver Coat by Rothschild.
Size 4T Winter Coat to match light pink snowpants
Size 4T Brown snowpants, to match light blue and chocolate brown nike coat.
Size 2T Hat/Mittens to match a light pink/Navy/White Coat and Snowpants set.
Size 2T Fall Jacket
Girls Size 6 or 7 Snowboots. Light Pink or Navy.

I am going to try to sticky this and keep it updated.


Well, I love doing organizing things... but when the house is a mess, it looks like you have accomplished nothing, even though you have. That's where I am today. I washed, dried, sorted, folded, and packed away all the yard sale stuff I found yesterday. Here are some pics! I filled two totes for about $40, which I think is pretty damn awesome. Especially considering the quality and name brands that I ran across (Hanna Anderssen, The Children's Place, Columbia, Gap, Old Navy, Cotton Naturals {organic!}, The Kids Store, Puma, Nike, Rothschild, etc.), and the fact that I also got coats and snowpants.
Yard Sale Finds- June 5th 2009

I also have a basket of boy clothes that I have to add to my totes in the attic, and these are clothes that I found at a yard sale Last Friday, and the Friday before that!
Boy Clothes

I think Ardyn is the most thrilled by her yard sale slippers. I call them "25 cents of fluffy sparkly Toddler Happiness."
loving her yard sale slippers

A few nights ago I was working on replicating a pair of nursing pads that I bought. They are nursing pad utopia, and they are soft (Organic Bamboo Velour) leakproof (PUL Backing) Contoured for comfort and tear shape to prevent showing under clothes. BUT the catch is they are $8 a pair. And I can't afford to pay that much for the damn things anyway. So I started by tracing the ones I bought and trying to make the appropriately sized (degree) and placed dart in order to replicate the contour and final shape. I first tried with some remnants of fleece and scraps of flannel, and once I was confident that I was replicating it close enough to start using the Bamboo Velour and the PUL, I cut some. Of course they laid even differently, and I experimented with various thicknesses of fabric. I still couldn't get it perfect, but came to the conclusion that this was because the ones I purchased had a core of microfleece and I was using microfiber. SO. Then I thought maybe the contours would be better shaped after a washing, and I was right! So even though I was being a picky perfectionist that night, after they went through the wash, I was most impressed with them. So now I feel the confidence that they are the best they can be, and worth sewing more of, and so I will probably do that... Except that now I am leaking even less on letdown, and sometimes not at all, so I usually only wear them if I leave the house for the day (so, um never? LOL)

Friday, June 05, 2009

It's all about perspective

You know, tonight, I was feeling in a funk. For some reason, Fridays are great days for me, but Friday night's I get all cranky. Well, I guess I shouldn't say "for some reason" because I am pretty sure I can pinpoint why. Ardyn goes to school, and I am down to one child all day, and I run around and get stuff done, and by the time I pick her up, I realize that I didn't get ENOUGH done, and I am frustrated, and then she is tired because she didn't nap, and usually a little ornery, and STARVING, and I get home and unload the van of all the CRAP and the house is usually leaving something to be desired, and Evan is usually doing something, and I am trying to find someone who wants to hang out with a mom and her two little kids, and never have any luck, and therefore I am home alone with both cranky tired kids to kick off my weekend. And this makes me feel all full of self pity, which is not where I want to be. So.

Tonight I focused on getting the kids fed and ready for bed, so that I could get a bit of time in peace and quiet. What I really wish I had was a little fire pit in the yard and after the kids were in bed I would take the baby monitor outside and sit by the fire enjoying the weather and relaxing in my rocking chair. But I don't have one. And so when I am thinking all "woe is me" and I decide to check my email and upload videos from the camcorder, I find an email from my cousin Jessica, with her biopsy results, letting us all know that she has lung cancer and that she is terrified. And suddenly my life spins back into perspective and I realize that I have no reason to feel cranky, or sorry for myself, and that overall my life is pretty damn great. And I feel scared for her and worried about her and her husband, and I feel terrible for even considering that my life was lacking anything. And I think about how unfair it is that someone (that ANYONE) has to have cancer at all, let alone AGAIN. And I am reminded that getting cancer myself is one of my biggest fears. It's not something that I try to dwell on, but I know all to well that it can happen to anyone, at any moment, and I think about all the plastics, and the chemicals in our food and our diapers and about our contaminated groundwater, and our polluted air, and overexposure to UV rays, and it just overwhelms me. Please send out a little prayer for Jessica, because it sounds like the next step is to have surgery again, to open up her chest wall and remove the lower half of her lung. And I want everyone sending good vibes her way as is physically possible. Because even though no one should have cancer, I especially feel that a 25 year old newlywed shouldn't be going on her second round with it. And I hope that the next news is good news for her.

Deep Breath.... and Onward....

Today WAS a good day. We overslept. My alarm went off for daycare and I snoozed. And I snoozed again, and at 8:30 my Mother-In-Law decided to call my cell phone and it happened at the same time as the alarm was going off, and I got all confused and somehow I must have turned the alarm off instead of snoozing. And so I woke up at about 9:30 and Ardyn was supposed to be at daycare just after 9. So we got a lazy start to the day and that's okay. Ardyn cried all the way to school because she was still tired, and because she kept rubbing her eyes and rubbed her sunscreen into them until it was burning, and then she was mad and was in her carseat smacking herself in her face and saying "Mommy Look at my EYES!" Poor kid. But explaining to her that rubbing her eyes was not only causing her problem, but making it workse, just didnt do anything for her.

At school she was upset and didn't want me to leave. So when Marek and I got out of there it was like "WHEW!" Then we went and picked up a prescription, and Claritin, and Lunch. Then we went to "Ye Olde Place of Employment" (my old employer) and visited with some of my former coworkers and my boss. That was fun. After that we were going to visit Great Grandma Mona, but no one was around. So we ran our Wal-Mart errand (where they gave me only part of my prepaid photo order and I didn't realize it till 6pm tonight) and then we caught a few yard sales by pure chance, and all THREE of them had girls size 3T and 4T clothing. I spent about $35-40 and got a TON of clothes. 13 Wal-mart sized bags to be precise, including two Care Bears blankets the size of a toddler bed, two pair of pink snowpants, a pink winter vest, a pullover with matching mittens from the Children's Place, a Columbia Jacket, A potty training seat for Grandma Deb's house, a Thermos Funtainer like the two that we adore already, and TWO HUGE Washing machine loads of clothes. I found Hanna Anderssen, The Children's Place, The Kids Store, Old Navy, Ralph Lauren, Gap, and a WHOLE Bunch more. Lots and lots of footie pajamas, sweatshirts, long johns, and even a pair of fuzzy blue slippers for this winter. TONS of pants and long sleeved shirts. Insanely cute sweaters and long sleeved dresses made to wear with tights. It was like it was totally meant to be! The Thermos itself sells for $12 and I got it for 50 cents! I currently have a HUGE load in the dryer, and when I get everything cleaned and sorted by size, I hope to take a picture to show you just how much good stuff I got for such a low price.

In other exciting news, I got a new toothbrush today. It made me feel guilty. Isn't that strange? For the past 3 years (maybe 4) I have used the same toothbrush. and by that I don't mean THE SAME toothbrush, but the same TYPE, STYLE and even COLOR of toothbrush. When I saw this new toothbrush, I was in love. I felt so guilty, I fell for the gimmicky pretty bumps on the handle, and the interesting bristles. It's a Colgate 360 and It is freaking awesome. There are bumps on the BACK of the toothbrush head, and they are designed to use to clean your tongue and the insides of your cheeks, and it was pleasantly surprising to feel the bumps on the insides of your cheeks when you were just doing your regular brushing. I felt all invigorating and my teeth were ACTUALLY Squeaky clean when I was done. As in they really squeaked. Apparently I have been an unhappy brusher and my life (and dental hygeine) have been turned around by this new toothbrush. I bought a two pack (per usual) and I can't wait to see what Evan says when he tries his.

After yard sales today, Marek and I went back to Grandma Mona's and relaxed, changed his diaper, nursed him, and enjoyed conversation and a tall glass of icy lemonade with the family. Then I talked to Lisa, and my husband, and then went to pick up Ardyn. I borrowed a couple of toddler books from the daycare library, one about toddler activities and discipline, another about potty training, and the last all about activities for toddlers. I haven't read them yet, but I did flip through, and just looking at them gave me some ideas, and actually reminded me about an idea that I keep MEANING to do, and that I hope can be my weekend project. I want to make alphabet flashcards from REAL photos. I want Daddy to hold a sign with the letter D and let me take his picture, and also take pictures of other family members and things that she is familiar with (c is for car and use a picture of her cozy coupe, etc) and then laminate them and go through them with her. Right now she knows the letter A and the letter M, and says "A is for Ardyn" and "M is for Marek" and then "M is for Mommy." I now know that she is able to remember her letters, so I would like to do some repetition with familiar things.

I know that Evan really wants me to home school our kids. I have NOTHING against homeschooling, but I really don't know if I am cut out for it. AND I don't know that Evan understands that she will miss out on some of the socialization of school (we live in a really small area) and that I will still need funds to buy workbooks, and curriculum, as well as some learning accessories.... And I think HOW in the WORLD will I have the patience to do that, and do I really WANT to? I am interested in it, but deathly afraid of it at the same time. And I don't want my kids to be ostracised because of it. I am ironically watching an episode of the Duggars right now, that goes a little more in depth about Michele's homeschooling all the kids. It's very interesting that all of the older kids have computers and they have computer curriculum and that one of the older girls has the responsibility of checking the sibling's grades on the computer system. They expect it to cost 1 million dollars if they need to send all the kids to college. I think the best thing is the smile that it brings to my face when I see Michele teaching the kids while breastfeeding the littlest daughter. And pausing to change a dirty diaper. There is nothing more realistic and real life than that! I also love how in many recent episodes they have mentioned that they are late night people, and don't like to get up in the morning. That is TOTALLY up my alley! I am really appreciating the Duggars more nowadays, especially when I see all the drama and sadness on Jon and Kate these days. I am not saying I agree with everything the Duggars believe in, or disagree with Everything on Jon and Kate... not at all.... I found it interesting that the Duggar family, as a rule, does not dance! Wow. But to see the oldest Duggar Daughters stand up and play their violins together, it's just AWESOME. And to see Michele nursing the baby (covered of course) in the middle of the Kindergarten classroom.... wow. I can't think of many places where that would be allowed. And now that Tori and Dean has started a new season, I am having some fun stuff to catch at night on Tivo.

Well, I am getting plenty sleepy. And I can't think straight. So later....

Lots of Smiling, Sewing, and Mamma Cloth...

I can not believe it's already 12:30. I NEED to go to bed! But first, a few things to share.
Today the privacy fence went up! Woo Hoo! It's awesome! Both fences are now done!
Also, today I relocated the vital parts of my sewing from the basement to the porch. I was having a hard time getting sewing done and just could NOT take both kids up and down the steps, especially when you figure there were snack times and meal times and nap times and diaper changes. Ugh. So now I can sew on the porch and not have to worry about that for a while. It was a HUGE undertaking, and took me all day, but it's done! I also organized fabric into drawers.... which I still have to take pics of.

Today Marek found the Buzzer Bee on his bouncy seat. Buzzer Bee used to be Ardyn's favorite, and apparently Marek finds him just as amusing. Not only did he smile and smile, but buzzer got an AUDIBLE laugh out of him, and happened to shoot a picture at just that moment!
Marek Smiles and laughs

The smiles were just SOOOOO cute!
Marek Smiles and laughs

Marek Smiles and laughs

Tonight I took about an hour and started my onesie conversions that I am SO behind on. I have an entire drawer of onesies in the sewing stash, for BOTH kids, that need to be converted to shirts. I already did about 5 for Marek last week, but I have about 30 more to do, and I also have all kinds of totes of them in the attic for bigger sizes! Whoa~
Once we were onesies~
I did a handful of Ardyn's, because I love the rolled hem feature on the new Serger, and wanted to lettuce edge a bunch of them. I wish boys could wear lettuce edges! Ha ha. Happiness is a Lettuce Edge!
Happiness is: A Lettuce Hem

Today I got some new pads in the mail. I got them from Charlene, from Bellies babies and more on Hyenacart. She uses the exact same pattern as I do, but I got a great deal and some different fabrics.... it was cheaper to buy the pads from her than to track down all the fabrics and such. Most of the fabrics have to be ordered online, and you have to order a 1 yard minimum, and pay shipping, and to get the velour toppers, and the PUL, and the prints.... and the colored snaps to match.... it was just easier to order from her and she does WONDERFUL work. So I added these to my collection. Next week is my 4 week checkup since getting my IUD, and I was dying to get these because I NEEDED them, if you know what I mean!
New Pads
There was an EXCELLENT article in the new issue of Kiwi (June 09, which I finally got to read today, since my issue arrived two weeks ago and I only received the front cover and the rest of the magazine was missing... so they had to send me a new one!) It was about reusable mestrual products and the dioxin and other cancer causing chemicals (parabens, etc) that are in disposible tampons and pads. It was an AWESOME thing to see in a magazine, even if it WAS a green living magazine. For what it's worth, I am SO not nuts.

I had planned on washing diapers today, I had both pails full, and things were busy and we were outside or I was moving the sewing room or I was making supper and time got away from me. When we put Ardyn to bed (over an hour late, which is the way it seems to be going since it's summer and she wants to be outside until it gets dark) Evan said something to her about "school tomorrow" and I was like "OH MY GOD! She has school tomorrow!" I was totally unprepared. I hadn't packed her bag. Diapers weren't washed. It was horrifying. So I started the diapers. And packed her bag. And laid out school clothes. And then I put both kids to bed. And now I need to go to bed because I have to get UP early and get them both ready so we can go.... and if I don't sleep soon I will regret it. I am already getting a headache from staying up too late!

Take care, more later! Oh and hopefully tomorrow I can write about what I found in the GARBAGE today! Oh and also hopefully about my enthusiastic attempt at duplicating some recent nursing pads that I purchased and LOVE..... that are contoured with a tear drop shape. It's all about the angle of the contour, and I think I ALMOST have it, or have it down close enough that they are worth making and using.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Food for thought....

Disposable diapers contain traces of Dioxin, an extremely toxic by-product of the paper-bleaching process. It is a carcinogenic chemical, listed by the EPA as the most toxic of all cancer-linked chemicals. It is banned in most countries, but not the U.S..1

Disposable diapers contain Tributyl-tin (TBT) - a toxic pollutant known to cause hormonal problems in humans and animals.2

Disposable diapers contain sodium polyacrylate, a type of super absorbent polymer (SAP), which becomes a gel-like substance when wet. A similar substance had been used in super-absorbancy tampons until the early 1980s when it was revealed that the material increased the risk of toxic shock syndrome.3

In May 2000, the Archives of Disease in Childhood published research showing that scrotal temperature is increased in boys wearing disposable diapers, and that prolonged use of disposable diapers will blunt or completely abolish the physiological testicular cooling mechanism important for normal spermatogenesis.18


.........(a concern is) the use of potentially harmful chemicals to bleach disposable diapers and enhance their superabsorbent capabilities.

Those of us who have recently changed an infant may have noticed a gel-like substance in the diaper that definitely didn’t come from the baby. That gel is a result of the sodium polyacrylate crystals, a superabsorbent polymer (SAP) that is used in disposable diapers for absorbency. Sodium polyacrylate can hold up to 300 times its weight in water. To date, no studies exist as to whether sodium polyacrylate is dangerous to children when absorbed through the skin. However, some experts have pointed to the SAPs in tampons as the possible cause of toxic shock syndrome, so some consumers are wary.

Of greater concern to many is the presence of dioxin, a highly toxic carcinogen and endocrine disruptor, in disposable diapers. Dioxin is a byproduct of the chlorine bleaching process, and the Archives of Disease in Childhood reports that trace amounts of dioxin are present on disposables. Some diaper services use chlorine bleach to whiten their cloth diapers, but conscientious consumers can ask questions to avoid those services.

In addition, two recent studies have pointed to possible links between disposables and asthma, as well as infertility later in life.

A study published in late 1999 by Anderson Laboratories found that lab mice exposed to various brands of disposable diapers experienced asthma-like symptoms, as well as eye, nose, and throat irritation. Cloth diapers did not cause
respiratory symptoms.

Dr. Rosalind Anderson, lead author of the report, says chemicals like xylene and ethylbenzene, suspected endocrine, neuro-, and respiratory toxins; styrene, a suspected carcinogen and respiratory toxin; and ispropylene, a suspected neurotoxin; were among those released from the disposable diapers. Anderson notes that human surveys will be needed to determine how important the link between diapers and asthma is to infants and asthmatic parents, but parents should be cautious.

In addition, a 2001 UK study published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood suggests that infant boys who wear disposable diapers could experience impaired fertility as adults. The researchers found that the temperature of the scrotum was almost 2oF higher in boys who wore disposables diapers rather than cloth. This temperature increase, they say, may negatively impact future fertility. Again, other studies will have to back up these findings before a definitive link is established.

In short, there may be reasons to be concerned about the health effects of disposables, though we’re still years away from hard evidence that can tell us once and for all how serious these concerns are.


Although throwing human waste in the garbage is prohibited by law, most parents don’t shake the contents of their baby’s disposable diapers into the toilet—which can spread viruses and contaminate groundwater.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

We Breastfed Through Shots!!!

We are having lots of fun this week. The whole week had only ONE outing planned, and that was to take Marek for his 2 month appointment and shots. It was an excellent appointment. Grandma Deb went with to help corral Ardyn during the whole visit. That was a nice help!

Marek weighed in at 13lbs 2 ounces! (I accidentally said 4 on facebook, but it was like 3 in the morning, so give me a little break) He was 23.5 inches long and had almost a 16" head. He's my big man! I was able to do something that I had never done before, breastfeed Marek DURING his shots. I had read about it online quite a bit, and some moms said that their kids didn't react AT ALL to shots while breastfeeding. I had never been able to try it with Ardyn because the family practice physicians that we saw when she was small were not at all interested, and I wasn't crunchy enough at the time to tell them that I was paying THEM and it was my child... so I never pressed the issue. I asked our nurse Karen, and she said she was more than supportive and we could try, but that her past experiences were that it didn't really work logistically because mom's weren't able to nurse and angle the baby out far enough to get at both legs. Of course, Me being supermom, waas pretty sure I could do that. She was skeptical, and to be honest I had decided that we would just do the shots and forget about the whole breastfeeding through them thing, but then while waiting for the shots to arrive, he was hungry, so I was sitting there nursing him when the nurse got back into the room. So she suggested we try it, and so we did. I was easily able to angle him (Oh the things a G cup can do for you!) and he gt all three shots while nursing, although after the first one he pretty much stopped sucking and just screamed around the nipple. But he never unlatched completely. Very shortly after the last shot, he calmed a bit and resumed nursing eagerly to relax himself. Overall, I would do it again. Especially because I didn't feel any of that "mommy anguish" that I wasn't doing enough to comfort him while he lay on a piece of tissue paper and screamed till he turned purple. I didn't cry, and in fact, I was laughing at the whole scenario. I knew that by feeding him and holding him to me, I was doing the best thing I could to soothe him, and that soothed me also. My mom took a couple of pictures at my request (although I know she thought I was nuts) and they are on flickr for friends (beware the showing of the white postpartum belly!)

So he got three needle sticks, and they included all the vaccines like DTaP, HepB, IPV (polio), Hib, and PCV. He got spiderman bandaids (photos on Flickr) and was happy as can be once it was all over and he had eaten. He slept all the way home, and then most of the rest of the day as well as all night. Not a fever, not a bit fussy, no swelling or bruising or redness! Nothing like Ardyn. We never even had to give him tylenol! We all took a 3 hour nap that afternoon, it was overcast and cool, and it was SOOOO nice to nap!

This week Ardyn and I cleaned off the TV stand on the porch (which was an old shelf made out of barn boards by my great grandpa that I grabbed off the farm and painted white) and we put a DVD player out there and have been enjoying some evening DVD's while sitting in the cool breeze. We also moved her desk onto the porch so that she can color and such, she loves it!

Last night I did some sewing after the kids were in bed, and made myself a hanging wetbag for the bathroom. This is the first ever wetbag that I have made, and man was the zipper tough. I have no issues with zippers, but putting a zipper into two layers of fabric (or technically BETWEEN two layers I guess) so that no raw edges show, is quite a task. And then the fact that you are sewing on PuL nonetheless. Slippery stuff! I used this tutorial, thank GOD, or I would have been up much later than the 3:30am that I was up till. I had intended on serging the inner hidden seams of the PUL and Cotton layers of the bag, but I tried Serging on the PUL and almost lost my mind. I then switched to the sewing machine and used tracing paper as described in this website, and it worked! I also attached two top handles/straps (also between the layers and inside the zipper) with adjustable snaps, so that I could attach it to my hanging towel bar in the bathroom. It's looking great and is seriously functional, for all the Mamma cloth, and the Facial Rounds, and now, FC! If you don't know what FC is, then I am not telling you.... but maybe you can do some research on your own!
Made my first ever wetbag

I had a rude awakening at about 6am, when I stumbled to the bathroom to pee. I sat on a piece of CHEWED GUM that was on the toilet seat? WTF? Since Evan and I are the ONLY people who can chew gum in this household, I have a pretty good idea of where it came from. Seriously? How many children LIVE in this house?

Today the guys were working on the fence, and got the gates finished, and put up, with the latches and hinges, and then Uncle Kyle neatly sawed all the tops of the fence posts off. Tomorrow they start on the Privacy Fence!!! There are pics of the finished fence on Flickr, for friends to view. We had lots of fun outside today while they finished the fence. We blew bubbles, wrote with sidewalk chalk, swung, slid down the slide, climbed through the tunnel, rode the cozy coupe and the tractor, and Ardyn peeked over the fence "I peeking! I Peeking!" LOL.

Earlier in the week I also made three pair of training Pants for Ardyn, using the Stellar Transitions Pattern from Little Comet Tails. They fit great and because I used a two layer core of microfiber and a PUL Backing, they don't leak at all either, and I used the side snapping option and modified it to include 6 snaps instead of 4, and they are really really nice and easy to take off if you need to!
Stellar Transitions Trainers
Finished First Pair of Side Snapping Training Pants

This morning I cleaned up in the kitchen, unloaded and reloaded the dishwasher, and vacuumed and mopped the floor. I should be doing more laundry but I am not realy feeling it. Sounds like Ardyn is up from her nap, so I had better get going. Have a nice evening!
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