Thursday, April 29, 2010

Wool Dryer Balls for Sale

1 wool ball - $100
2 wool balls- $250
3 or more wool balls- $4795.50

Ok, just kidding, but, really...

While waiting to use the diapers, I also undertook making my own wool dryer balls...because I'm insane....I mean, I was trying to save some money. I looked them up online and thought I could make them myself for cheaper. Here's directions if you'd like. I was surprised the wool yarn was $8.99 at Joann Fabrics, but I used a 40% off coupon for the first one and a 50% off coupon for the 2nd (another day). I made 6 balls (recommendation is to use at least 3, maximum 6), and I have a little bit of yarn left over.

The first one wasn't so bad. I felt energized. I was like, hmm, maybe I could make some and put them on etsy too (I've seen them there) for a little cheaper. After that first ball, I decided I was nuts to make more, and if I did, I'd sell them for $100 a ball, haha. Stevie wanted to help and was pulling the yarn while I rolled...and sometimes too hard so the ball flew out of my hands and unrolled. He thought it was funny. Anyway, I went a bit crazy, but 6 are done. Well, they are almost done. I admit they are varied in size a bit, but didn't think that matters all that much. They have to be washed a couple of times in the process to felt them. I meant to put them in for their final wash with the diapers, and I forgot. I took a few days rest half way through, and I was less crazy by the end... and a bit quicker. Maybe I will sell them for $50 a peice now. :)

So, hopefully I can put those balls to use soon (once I have some laundry to do). I thought they were going to be sort of light, but they really are kind of hard...I just hope it won't clunk too much in the dryer. We'll see they work! And if you're seriously interested in purchasing some because you don't want to go crazy making them, we might be able to come up with a more reasonable agreement in price.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Dear Stephen

These are my favorite posts to write. I'd like to share with you what I love most about our days together.

*You are a morning boy! You jabber in your crib and call out when you wake up. As soon as I walk into your room in the morning, you're usually waiting, watching for that door to open with a big smile! I love seeing your bright face, ready to start the day every morning. We sing, "Rise and shine and give God the glory, glory" and you don't care how my voice sounds...with the morning crackilies and out of tunedness. You smile and roll around your crib, tossing your burp cloth around, very excited.

*You snuggle during your morning bottle. I keep you in your pjs till after your morning nap so you can stay warm and snuggly. We hop up into Mommy and Daddy's bed, and you sit on my lap to drink your bottle. You gently stroke your own head, or reach up for my cheek or hair. You usually run your hands through a curly strand of mine gently...but sometimes you do give a good yank. Yes, Stevie, it's still attached to my head, or at least it was!

*I like to watch you as you play. Sometimes you laugh at your wondrous abilities and new skills. It's a joy! You still love books, and now you've discovered the lift a flap (or, Uncle Jon calls them rip a flap) pages in your Jesus Walking on the Water book. You think it's the coolest! You'll flip through your books for a long time, and you still love story time. It's such a reward to rock and read to my happy boy. The crying and trying times of the day are wiped away in those rocking and snuggling moments.

*I still think it's funny to watch you lift the toys that are supposed to stay on the well as some of our furniture pieces, so you can figure them out or fix them. We might be moving in a month or so, so rest up those muscles! We could use them!

*When I change your diaper, it seems to be conversation time. You often tell me all about dadadadada. I ask about Mama. And you say, dadada....gagaga. If you wrestle me at changing time, usually all I have to do is start singing. You love music. Many songs are changed just for you. I sing "You are my Sunshine" and often sing "You are my Stephen (or Stevie)." Sometimes you get a singy voice yourself. We also sing "If You're Happy and You Know it" and use actions you can do. When you were younger, you found it funny when I'd sing "Swing low" in a deep voice.

*Sometimes when we're sitting next to each other (often if we're out to eat too), you'll reach over and pull yourself into my arm and nuzzle your head into it. Melt my heart! I love you too, Stephen!

*You're ticklish behind your neck, and the expression you make, tucking your head into your shoulders with your so cute and makes everyone smile. If we're both on the floor, you'll lean into me with your head down, giggling, egging me on to tickle you more. It's hilarious!

*You like to get involved when I fold laundry. You take all the clothes out of the basket and sometimes shake them...maybe it's just to see how many times I will fold them. I need to get quicker at moving the folded laundry out of your reach.

*You absolutely love going outside. When I put my sneakers on, you just know...or you at least hope that I'm going outside and you're coming too. You sit and wait patiently for me to go out and get the stroller and come back for you. We walk up and down the driveway until Daddy gets home from work, and you couldn't be happier.

*You're crawling now and becoming much more bold! I have to keep the computer cords out of the way, along with my purse, the phone, my shoes (still a favorite)...pretty much everything that is not your toy. It takes you moments for the Stephen tornado to whip through a room and cause a big mess. Sometimes I feel like I'm doing the same things over and over all day...not accomplishing much, but you're worth it!

*You are a sight in the bathtub with your curly, wet head as you splash and try to figure out the water. I put bubbles in for the first time a week or so ago, and you tried to find your hands under them. What a treat to watch!

*After you finish your bedtime bottle, I pray softly in your ear, with your head and sleepy self draped over my shoulder. I try to etch those times into my memory and heart because I will not be able to rock you forever. If I take a little longer than usual, you notice, and your little head pops up. I understand that's the signal you're ready to get in your own bed now...enough of this mushy stuff.

*By the time morning comes or your nap is over (even if it's been short), I so look forward to seeing you and getting you up. Sometimes, I'll ask Daddy if he'll get you up, and I end up coming upstairs too. I just don't want to miss a moment of this!

I love you so much, Stephen! I'm so thankful for the days we've had and the normal or adventurous days we have to come!

Love always and with a kiss,

Friday, April 23, 2010

Day 1 of Cloth Diapering down

Just in case people are wondering how the diapering is going...or not going. So far, I'm pleased. Yesterday was our first day of using them, and they're in the wash right now this morning.

First of all, my order came in just after a few days (and I did not pay anything extra for faster shipping, just the regular method). The prewashes were a bit painful. I opened the packages and was so ready to put them on our little boy, but I needed to do 3-5 prewashes. I admit it, I only did 3. The covers are so cute! Being inexperienced, I thought the snaps were going to be like the metal snaps (sort of onesie like), but they are plastic. I hope they last well. They seemed to take forever prewashing, just because I was excited. The prefolds got nice and soft and "bumpy" or wavy. The inserts fluffed up. Besides having to wait till the prewashes were completed, we needed to wait because our little boy was still dealing with that terrible rash. I ended up taking him to the Dr last week to get a prescription cream. All seemed to be well a few days ago.

When I got Stevie up in the morning yesterday, I put him in a Flip cover with a disposable insert a bit after 8am . (Side note: the night before we put him in a cover with a disposie insert...2 different times. No leaks, but those disposable inserts smell really bad after peed on and don't hold too much.) I wanted to change him again before we left for a garage sale at 9:40ish, so I chose a disposable. The snaps were easier than I expected. In fact, I didn't even think about it till later, wow, not bad at all! There were no leaks, no problems. I wiped down his cover and put a stay dry insert in (though the cover was still a little damp inside) before we went out. It went great...true test, going out and about. We went to a garage sale, came home, he went down for a nap (still no change), and around noon, I changed him. No leaks. Just fine. This time when I changed him, after I wiped out the cover, I put it aside to air dry a bit...the pee does get on the inside of the cover and it takes a bit to dry. So, I rotated 2 covers through the day, but reused them. I tried the Econobum cover with a flip insert this time. It worked ok, but the Econobum seems a bit smaller, and I think would work better for smaller babies. My boy is not small. (He wore a 24 month shirt yesterday and is outgrowing the 24 month Gerber onesies.) Anyway, the Econobum is a bit different in that it doesn't have little flaps in the front and back as the Flip does. He did leak a bit up the front. It could have been a newbie error in putting it on or maybe he's just too big for it...or maybe he should've been changed sooner. It had been about 3 hours. That was the only leak for the day (the Flips did fine). We put him in a disposable overnight diaper for the night. Oh, and he didn't poop till night time, so we'll see how that goes with these diapers. I've been using the reusable fleece liners in the keep the inserts whiter and to shake it off into the toilet.

Stevie had a little bit of rash on his leg again this I went back to disposable for now. I just want to make sure it's not left over fungal before I continue using his cloth diapers. (Yes, I'm cringing that I used some already if this really isn't gone.) I do wonder if it's food related at this point. When we do use them again, I will be trying the prefolds under the covers too. The prefold from the Econobum diaper is smaller. The prefolds I ordered separately are really big (as I was warned). I thought I needed big for my big boy. I hope they will still fit fine inside the covers.

Overall, it was an easy day. Matt even changed his diaper once, and he didn't have any complaints. They're in the washer...and due to their recommendations of the 2 washes and extra rinse, it does take longer, but it's not any more "work" for me. Oh, and we don't have a pail yet. We are using a mesh laundry bag (we already had) hanging on Stevie's door. We just tossed the inserts in during changes. To make sure there isn't any "drippage" (which...the inserts are pretty hefty, so I don't think it would happen...but anyway) through the mesh, I placed a target plastic bag on the floor to protect the floor. It doesn't look cute, but it's what we have, haha. And in case you're wondering, because I wondered, there was no smell!! I thought surely the hallway would reek of urine. It did not. I only left them in there for the day yesterday and all night and washed this morning, but there was no smell in the hall or room. I even asked Matt if it smelled. Nope.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

On the move!

There has been a lot of moving going around for our family lately. We've been trying to run in some evenings after Stevie's nap. He loves riding in the jogging stroller, but unfortunately, we aren't super regular yet. I've been toying with the idea of getting motivated for a that I'm motivated to run more often, but I'm not sure that will happen. We'll see.

In weird news, there is this spider that has taken up residence in my car. I do not like spiders! I'm fine with them outdoors, but don't move into my space! This is one of those little black and gray fuzzy ones...nasty ones...but a little bit bigger than the teeny ones we had last year in our home that would jump and disappear when you tried to whack them. So, like any good mom trying to keep her child spider free, I tried to whack that sucker on my dashboard. He was in the crook, all I had was a sneaker, and well, he zoomed into the vents. Grr. That means, all I think about when in the car is that spider. We made it to our destination...oh, a garage sale for an umbrella stroller that was already sold. It poured. I had to get Stevie in and out of the car (which was ultimately for no reason) through the rain. We came home, and then later, we went out for something else. There it sat, staring at me, riding shot gun in the passenger seat. Oh no you don't! I had the little man in my arms. I quickly got him in his seat and grabbed that old running shoe from the back. Whack! Whack! The thing bounced off the seat to the floor in a ball...and then scurried away under the seat. How is it that all small insects have the built in armor we could only dream of? I mean, really! It's like in the movies. If I were beaten up over and over in real life, there's no way, I'd be able to get up without a scratch. Not fair!! So, every time I get in the car, I'm paranoid about this ugly dude. I think I saw him once more...can't remember. But yes, he's still kickin around my car. I can't stand it and that old sneaker is losing his job!

You know what else I can't stand? Well...this... I like to take Stevie out in the stroller right before Matt gets home from work. He loves being outside, and because we live on a busy road, I just take him up and down our long drive way until Matt pulls in. Stevie loves it, and we're there to greet Daddy when he comes home. Yesterday, we made it down the driveway a few times until IT happened. We were half way down the driveway when I heard the neighbors across the street laughing and partying? I don't know. Anyway, they were behind trees, couldn't see them...didn't care to see them. I wasn't interested in their business. Then I hear ladies' screams of laughter and out jumps this man. Scarred for life, I this man totally unclothed jumps out to the street, RIGHT in front of our driveway. He's jumping and running around in the middle of our busy street. I won't go into more details about that, but I was disgusted. Cars are swerving and honking, and I'm trying to get away too. For real, I was so bothered. We swung right around and chugged it back to the house out of "view" while the honking and shrieks continued. Does this bother you as much as it bothers me? I'm thinking the guy was dared or something, but really...I felt violated, just trying to take my son on a little walk. Thankfully, this is the first time (and hopefully LAST) that this has happened. Our apartment has been wonderful, but I am looking forward to moving to our house on the private street (where people had better be clothed)!

On a wonderfully, positive "moving" note... Nope, not about the house... Stevie took his first real crawling steps yesterday! He has crawled several times since. It was very exciting. I clapped and cheered...while he stared with little grins. He's on the move!! He still likes to army crawl after several steps, but it's official now!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

He loves his ball

A break from the longer posts. Maybe you've been waiting to see more of him? Well, here he is with his favorite "real" toy (you know, a toy that is actually supposed to be a toy). With the camera out, however, he's easily distracted.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Ok, They're Ordered!

Thank you for the super replies, Andrea, Nicole, and Quirky Momma. I really appreciated the time you spent and the explanations given!

Here's where I'm starting if anyone is interested. I purchased a smorgasbord of items. One thing I'm happy to know is that if this doesn't work out for us, cloth diaper items seem to have pretty decent resale value. So, I created my own "starter pack."

I placed an order for the following items:

*6 Premium Indian prefolds (I liked that I heard they're softer and only require half as many pre-washes. Only 6 to start small and see how they go. They can always be burp cloths because that's what we use our cheapy Gerber ones for. And yes, Stevie still spits up sometimes.)

*2 Snappis for the prefolds. Maybe I'll just end up folding the prefolds though, so who knows? I have the option though.

*1 Econobum cover and prefold pack (Hey, we need a white option, and it's cheap, and will give us another prefold and the cover. :) )

*bumGenius Stay dry liners pack of 6 or whatever (to try out with prefolds to help pull that moisture away)

*Bummis fleece liners pack of 5 or whatever (again to try out and compare 2 kinds...both were fairly reasonable. I decided to start with the "real stuff" rather than making my own...just till I get the hang of all this and really want to put energy in)

*bumGenius diaper detergent. I ended up going with their brand. Matt thought that'd be a good idea in case I want to return...I won't have done anything not recommended by them. Once I'm an expert, umm, yeah, then I can venture out to different kinds. For now, kisses all around...keeping it simple stupid. :) Also, we've been cutting down on the detergent use for our regular hopefully, we won't deal with that build up. I'll forget about fabric softener sheets and look into wool balls. You know, Andrea, I think I've seen them at our Good Will (they sell new things as well as used)!

With all of this, I spent just enough to get a free package of Flip disposable inserts (so we can even throw some away while we're experimenting)! Horray!

Then I went to another site to get my Flips because I had a coupon for $10 off diapers...and then another $15 rebate. Here's how that went. Well, I went to order. They wouldn't take my coupon code. I called. They said, "it only works for diapers, formula, and wipes." "Umm, yeah. I'm ordering diapers." "Let me check on that. Well, it doesn't work for those, just disposable." "Well things need to be changed if that's the case because I'm not very happy right now. The code did not say it worked only for disposable diapers." I sent an email saying I was taking my business elsewhere. They sent me my email back with no reply. Nice. Soo...

I went back to previously ordered from website and placed my order for the Flip day pack, and I was excited! I got to choose what colors I wanted (that's a new feature)! So, I got one in the dark blue (moonbeam) and one in the light blue (twilight...I might have these reversed, I don't know). Branching out, I know (but I figured I'll keep the colors similiar for washing purposes. Do you all wash covers separately if they are totally different colors?). And I got one of those socks just to try out ...thinking of using with the prefolds and inserts to pull that moisture away. Since I got the sock, once again, I got another package of 18 disposie inserts free!! Horray! All shipping was free (because I chose the slow method) and tax was already included.

I spent a little more than I planned to (because of that annoying discount I didn't get, so about $100 if you're wondering, yikes that sounds like a lot), but I should be getting a good amount of things to get me started (3 covers, 7 prefolds, 6 inserts, 11 liners, detergent, 2 snappis, a sock, and 36 disposable inserts that were thrown in for free). We'll see how these do.

I chose the flip because the covers can theoretically be reused through the day (until they get too messy or wet goes to the outside). The insides can just be wiped down and you just throw another insert in! (I believe the same goes for the Econobum. Whereas with pocket diapers, the cover is lined with material...once wet or poopy..needs to be washed with their inserts.) Both covers are one size, so theoretically these should fit my little man till potty training and whenever we have a new little baby in the family. Inserts, prefolds, and separate covers are a whole lot less to wash and dry than All in One diapers. I'll hang dry the covers and inserts and prefolds should not take that long in the dryer. Both covers have snaps, so once again theoretically, they should last longer and Stevie will have a harder time pulling them off. (He's started yanking at his diapers)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Someday, I might get to those Cloth Diapers

I know, I know. I keep saying I want to try cloth diapers. Maybe you're tired of hearing about it. I was all ready to order some when I realized I have even more questions. I am just going to dump them here and hope all you experts can help a girl out! Some of them are probably dumb...but here it goes anyway.

Background: I am planning to buy some Flips and some prefolds (because they're cheaper) and covers. (I also figured I could use some prefolds when in need of "doubling" up.) Stevie apparently has sensitive skin. He has a pretty bad rash right now from trying some disposable diaper booster pads in his overnight diapers. We're still thinking of just using overnight disposable diapers at night and cloth diapers during the day.

1. Is my son going to experience diaper rash with prefolds since they aren't fancy at pulling the moisture away?

2. What is the difference between Chinese and Indian prefolds? What do you prefer? What does premium they hold more? Doesn't any store sell them so I don't have to order online?

3. I am looking at detergents and my head spins. (I'm not up to making my own yet.) I like the sound of Rockin green, but maybe I should go with the actual Bumgenius detergent if I'm getting their brand diapers (keeping warranty in mind)? Every kind I'm reading is showing some sort of problem with some people...either with stink or stains or whatever. With the Flip, I'm planning on the stay dry they're microfiber, which I heard becomes stinky. Do I want to spend lots of money trying out detergents? No.

4. If detergent is so I need to use cloth diaper detergent with all my laundry? Will my regular detergent leave build up in my washer...transferring to my cloth diapers?

5. How many times do I really wash the in rinses and washes? Do I only put detergent in once?

6. Do you use a bag or an open pail for your dirty diapers? Does it need to be special? Do you rinse your diapers right away to get some pee/mess out? I rinsed his clothes by hand right away to get the blowouts out.

7. I've heard of using wipes (washing and drying them as long as they last) for liners until their used with a poopy diaper. Do those need to be washed separately from the diapers to get their "soapy-ness" out? Anyone used like Kushies disposable liners? Did they cause irritation?

8. I also want a liner option for when my little guy gets a use diaper cream. So, what do you do when your little one gets a rash?

9. Stevie's a heavy wetter. Are there really any good doublers that are worth it and cheaper than more inserts...or should I just buy more of the Flip inserts to double up?

10. How do you know how much detergent to use? How does it vary depending on front loader and top loader? Does powder or liquid detergent matter? We are hoping to move in a couple of months...and we're not sure what kind we'll have yet.

Hmm, what this probably boils down to is this: I don't want to buy all these diapers (though I'm going to start small), and mess them up or make this a big waste of time and money. Maybe I'm making a mountain out of a mole, please! :)

Friday, April 9, 2010

Thoughts so far...

on Ginger Plowman's book, "Don't Make Me Count to Three!"

Matt and I started reading the book together last night. We really like going through books together. When we read a book, it results in some really great discussions. I feel like it brings us another partnering way. We're a few chapters in, and I thought I'd share some of the things that stood out to me for my benefit of jotting it down and to give others a glimpse into it to decide whether they might like to read it (or not). We're borrowing it from the library so I can't make notes in the pages, which is a bummer, but if we like it when we're done, we'll get a copy of our own.


When I rock Stevie before nap and bedtime, I am usually consciously hit with the responsibility most...the responsibility of raising a child entrusted in my care from our heavenly Father. Whoa. Ginger Plowman says on page 21, "Being a mom is more than being cook, chauffeur, maid, counselor, doctor, referee, disciplinarian, etc. (just to name a few). It's about molding character, building confidence, nurturing, training, and guiding. There is nothing like the influence a mother has on her child. A mother's influence has enormous potential to shape the person a child becomes, for good or ill."

What I have really liked or appreciated is her perspective: "we are not merely after outward actions, but inward cleansing. We are after the very hearts of our children" (pg. 26). She explains that discipline and instruction of the Lord go hand in hand, as stated in Ephesians (6:4). In my way of thinking, from what I believe and from what I have read so far, it really is about training the child in the ways of the Lord through Biblical instruction and exemplifying our own relationships with each other and our Savior. We're trying to get into the "why" we need to to the right thing...not just to do the right thing because it's right. I want Stevie to see that sharing his toys is right because God's Word says we should love our neighbor and be kind and giving to others....and because he wants to serve God in relationship with Him. God has given us all we have, has given us His very Son. We do what we do in thanks, honor, and praise to Him.

Which leads to another point. Plowman writes: "Sin is not a laughing matter. Let's face it: Sometimes it is hard not to laugh at our children when they are blatantly sinning. However, Christians should not laugh at or make light of the things that God sent His Son to die for" (pg. 30). Ok, so some of these things might seem obvious, but this point really hit home to me, not so much the laughing part, but the gravity of sin. I need this reminder. I've been to church all my life, and unfortunately and painfully honestly so, I don't always think of sin (as in the every day disobediences of children) with such gravity. Awful, I know. What I mean is, do I always think of sins as when our Savior hung on the cross for those very things? Of course I think of sins being bad and wrong and in need of forgiveness for...and when describing to young children at church, I describe sins as things that do not please God. Sin leads to death! Whoa, reality check. Sins are things that do not please God...but things so bad Jesus had to die for, so we could be free and have eternal life with Him. (Oh, grab hold of that little Stephen.) I'm having a hard time trying to put into words how this opens my eyes to disciplining our child/ren.

Huge sidenote but somewhat related: I went to school to be a teacher. I had to read books on classroom management (we were discouraged from using the "d" word...discipline, because "discipline is for dogs"). We were highly encouraged to use positive reinforcement. Don't get me wrong, positive reinforcement has it's value, but we need to be redirected when doing wrong as well. And, I like the ideas of intrinsic motivation vs extrinsic motivation (but goodies are fun sometimes). I think intrinsic motivation leads to one being disciplined (yup I'm using that word)...and where does that intrinsic, self-worth and motivation ultimately lie in my personal experience and opinion: in love, in our Lord and Savior. He has touched my heart in a profound way. Therefore, I live for Him. (I so wanted to write a thesis on this subject, but it's a difficult thing when teaching in public schools.)

It's all about God. It's all about what He's done for us and how we live our life in return. That's what I need to teach my boy. So, Scripture is to be the tool to show how we should act (and learn from others' actions in the Bible) ...direction in right and wrong, but we follow the Scriptures and His commands because we love our God. "We love because He first loved us." (1 John 4:19). I know...this sounds so simple of a concept in some ways, so... duh, almost. But, I love it! There is such purpose in discipline and in life, rather than just doing the right thing because it's right, so I don't get a punishment or so I get a cookie (or whatever...those extrinisic motivators). I do think it's sort of "easier said than done," and I know disciplining our children is going to be a challenge. (Check out Ginger Plowman's story about pride coming before the fall...hysterical! You'll have to read the book for that one!) It's just a wonderful reminder to me because I know there will be times when I'm tired (mm hmm) and I'd rather just say, "Stevie we do not hit our brother/sister," give punishment, and be done. This is going to require patience, prayer, study in the Word, and discipline with intention. I know, another "duh" discipline with intention for a change in the heart, not just the action....for understanding and tender hearts....not for tender bottoms or fear. So maybe this is all...uh huh for you, but sometimes I need a good dose of "duh."

So, as I said, we've just started the book. What we're excited to do for starters, is gather some verses (we already have a few in mind). Those will sort of be our family rules, posted on our walls (yup, like in a classroom, but when we move, I can use paint!) to refer to as we go about our days (as well as having our Bibles). I want my children (as well as us as parents) to have the Word of God in our hearts and on our walls. This is our life-style. We live for Him because He lived and died ...and lives again...for us!

I'll share some more nuggets that stick out to me as we continue reading.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Random thoughts

Another one of the random thoughts posts...because...well, just because.

I hope I'm happy when all this house business is done. I. am. ready. for. it. to. be. done. I'm a leetle bit stressed about it.

Huggies is starting to redeem themselves. After trying 2 different Huggies when Stevie was little (their regular ones and pure and natural), I thought I'd never try them again. They were terrible. I still say it. Stevie leaked out of EVERY one. EVERY one. Pee or poop, it came out. We used Pampers while he was a newborn, and then I found the Target Up and Ups when he was a few months, and we never looked back. The price works for us...and so do the diapers! Stevie was still wearing Pampers overnights through the night though because he's a heavy. wetter. and Up and Ups during the day. Well, he was leaking through the overnights recently. He's already a size 5, and they only go up to size 6. So, we tried those diaper doubler things from Babies R Us. They worked ok, but gave him a horrible rash. They don't pull the moisture away from him...and we've all suffered because of that. I was told that Huggies really are better than Pampers at night. I did not expect them to hold diddly squat, but I tried them anyway. And, diddly they held! This morning was the 4th? morning Stevie has woken up with dry pajamas! Maybe it's just a coincidence, but maybe not...and I'll give a little credit where it's due: Thank you, Huggies.

Yes, I'm using lots of periods and capital letters for emphasis. It is so nice to write however I want.

I'm going to the library today. It's been a. long. while. since I've read a book. Hmm, that might be showing in my writing, huh? I need to get "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" for our Children's Church lesson on Sunday. It's just for the anticipatory set....for manna from case you were wondering about that. I also am excited about a parenting book. It's called, "Don't Make Me Count to 3" by Ginger Plowman. I laugh every time I think of the title. It's about heart-oriented discipline...or so I'm told...I haven't read it yet! I will be sure to share my thoughts. Any other books like that you'd recommend?

Speaking of parenting. My boy yells. He yells from the depths of his belly. Sometimes he pulls his arms down and out with little fists while he does it. I roll with it. I think he just enjoys hearing himself. He also likes how his voice echos in our apartment with the tall ceilings. He might just be preparing to be a passionate preacher one day or loud singer?? He has no idea what "shh" means. I try to keep my voice soft when I talk to him and "encourage" softer voices. It doesn't bother me much at home except when I'm trying to talk with Matt. I'd like him to eventually learn "indoor voices," but he's 10 months. In the grocery store and at church, well, I'd like to keep his joyful noises less distracting (and overwhelming...or...) to others. Yes, other people "shh" him. He doesn't yell all the time or even every grocery trip or anything, but it is somewhat of a favorite activity. Suggestions?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

How did you know?

It's been a bit crazy around here lately. Hmm, but when is it really not? I just wanted to let you know, Matt, that I love you! Yes, I'm writing this on my blog. Inappropriate place or not, I'm writing that here.

I heard a discussion lately regarding how one knows when a person is "the one." Matt and I had an interesting meeting and relationship. Matt was the only guy I "dated" or "courted"...or was courted by? However that works. Anyway, not that I wanted to have more relationship experiences with other guys, but I wanted the answer to that question, is he really the one? We were definitely talking marriage quite soon into our relationship. I prayed and prayed about it. Before you start thinking I didn't really like the guy, let me clear that up: I really liked him. I really, really liked him. I was attracted to him, and he had the qualities I wanted most in a husband. ( it wasn't as if this was an arranged type deal or anything.) I just wanted to have some sort of "sign" that Matt was the one for me. My mom asked for a sign for my dad...and she got it. So, I left mine sort of open ended. I just asked God to make it known to me in some way that would make me certain, and He did.

I had a dream. It wasn't some crazy dream of me on my wedding day with Matt as the groom. I dreamt Matt had come over one Sunday after church for lunch at my parents as he often did. This time, however, we had some sort of discussion that ended our relationship. I don't know the details, but I know I was upset. Since we were "over," what do you think Matt did? He got on my parents' phone and called up some other chick and asked her father's permission to court her! at. my. parents. house. me. standing. there. ...till I stormed out the door of course! I was livid! I was hurt! How could he do that? How could he call that girl here? How could he do that so quickly? And who is this girl? No way! He is MY man! He is supposed to marry ME! His wife will not be that girl. It will be me! We are meant to be together! Something happened in the dream shortly after I stormed out. I saw Matt talking with my parents in their car. (You know how dreams jump around.) He ended up getting out of the car and talking with me. I don't remember the words said at all. I just know that he came back to me and I came back to him and things were smoothed over. He left, grabbed a little wash tub and soap and was about to wash my feet (in the act of service sense) when I woke up.

Ignoring the oddities in the dream...I came to the conclusion I needed. I woke up certain that I didn't want to be with any other man. I was certain that I didn't want Matt with any other girl. I found my treasure. And that's when I knew.

Recently, I had another dream. We've been married for over 3 years. This one was weird. I dreamt it was my wedding day. My 2nd wedding day?? I don't know. I was confused. I married this short guy with dark hair. I didn't even know him. I didn't want to know him. I didn't like him. Matt was at the wedding. It was like we were best friends and I longed to marry him. Here I was with Mr. Short guy who didn't know anything about me...nor did I know anything about him. I was so upset. I knew I made a huge mistake. How did I marry this guy? Why am I not with Matt? Take it back! Change it! This is not right! I woke up, tear stained, but I rolled over and knew Matt was there. All was right.

Sometimes I talk about my weird dreams on here. Maybe it's annoying. I'm no dream expert. I do think some dreams are just plain crazy but some can also be great reminders. This last one was a "nudging" one for me to remember what a great husband I have. No, he's not just great because he's tall. We are the perfect match, and that won't change. I knew he was the right one back then, and I know now. Even if we have (hmm, how shall I say it) "ill feelings" towards one another at times, that doesn't change the fact that we are meant to be together. We had our choice. I'm thankful for the choice I made! I love you, Matt!!

How did you know? I'm a sucker for love stories!

Monday, April 5, 2010

10 months

Dear Stephen,

You're a whopping 10 months old! Here are some of your favorite things now:

*You love playing with your ball. I bought one for you and one for Noah the week they came to visit. You saw me look over the balls at the store and were so excited about it. I handed you the Diego ball, and you beamed! You carried it in your little hands through the rest of my grocery trip, so proudly. You laughed every time I called it "ball." Nearing the end you started tossing it with joy, and I didn't mind since we were almost done (and thankfully the store wasn't crowded...This is probably one of those things "I never would have allowed" before I had kids). From the first time we played at home, you amazed me at your ability to roll it back to me. You've got a flick motion down with your right hand (always your right hand) to send it to me. You get very excited when it comes rolling back your way.

*You love other kids. You laugh hysterically at whatever they do. You had a great time with Noah a couple weeks ago and love your cousins. Grandma and Grandpa's dog is pretty funny to you too.

*You used to wave when you were tinier, but I guess you gave it up for grander things. You started waving again at yourself a couple of weeks ago, and you were thrilled. You were in the car, looking in your little mirror, grinning and making happy noises at the little boy waving at you. Those little waves also popped up as Daddy drove by a parked police car on the highway one day. It's a good thing he wasn't speeding!

*You started saying, "Hi" right at 9 months. It's sort of a southern hi. "Ha-ah!" You win a lot of ladies' smiles at the grocery store with your greeting. You also say, "Dada" but "Mama" is no where to be heard yet.

*You're starting to wind down from the 40 oz of formula you were having a day (nope, I'm not kidding or exaggerating. You eat us out of house and home.) We're still somewhere in the upper 30's though. You love your foods, but spaghetti makes you gag. We're working on the bigger noodles that are easier to chew.
*You are a big boy for your age. At 9 months, you were 24 lbs 2 oz and 30 1/2 inches. (90th and 95th percentile.) I am so eager to see how tall you'll be when you're fully grown. Beyond stature, we hope you grow in wisdom and in favor with God!

*I'm pretty sure you're working on more teeth because of the drooling and chewing. You had 8 teeth in 8 months and decided to take a vacation during your 9th month.

*I thought for sure you were going to crawl early (and your interest in the Pampers box baby), but you're taking your time, and that is just fine. You've had your own unique way of moving across the room since before log rolling and later, army crawling. Your preferred movement is the right elbow/shoulder/toe crawl. Once you finally catch on to the real thing, I'm sure you'll wonder what all that work was for!

*You are very much mobile though the official crawling hasn't taken place. You keep me hopping all day (and it's much harder to take a picture of you now because you want the camera)...and still love to move the heavy things (ahem, furniture pieces) across the room!

*You like to smile and talk to your name board outside your door whenever we walk by. There's a nice familiar face to look at and talk to!

*You still love to watch Daddy play basketball every week. We are often still offered the nursery, but I understand where you really want to be.

*You think it's so great when you pull yourself up to a sitting position from on your belly. Big smiles. And...maybe our cheering has something to do with it too.

*Your 2nd haircut (remember, your first haircut was when you were 3 months old?) was the night before Easter. I enjoyed trimming it (the first time for me). It came out ok...much better than the first time I ever cut your dad's hair.

We're so proud of you, Stephen! My days are full with you, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Love always,

Friday, April 2, 2010

Back on the Roller Coaster

Please keep your hands and feet inside at all times and enjoy your ride.

I'm talking about that house hunt again. I know, I said I wasn't going to write about it much here,'s a little more anyway. I guess I try to give you a little bit of the real stuff in my life, and it's my way of getting this off my chest.

Yesterday, I wrote about crying over a swing set. Well, I wasn't meaning that I was hanging over a swing set crying. We found a house, put an offer in, and it was accepted. We both think it's amazing, honestly more than we really even hoped for. After we got the call about our acceptance, I told Matt, "We should've asked for the swing set!" He said, "Oh, I forgot to tell you. They're leaving it." And there it was, I cried. Matt sensitively as one does when their wife is emotional in a happy way. Then I laughed because I cried about having the opportunity to have a swing set. It felt so complete. There was something special about the house/property for each member of our little family, including the swing set for Stevie (and any future children...and nieces and nephews). No, it's not this huge play ground of a swing set, but it's nice and very suitable. I was picturing our little boy swinging and going down the slide, breeze running through his hair, and him beaming with smiles and giggling with delight. It's just one of those mom things. I was day dreaming of my little family settling and growing there.

Anyway, we are in need of Divine intervention. When we put in our offer, it was based on the information we were given by the selling realtor. Now, we are being shown different information, which changes things quite a bit. To be honest, a big part of me is very upset by this. The information needs to be correct when given to serious buyers. (Sorry for the vagueness, but this being public, I am purposely being vague.) So, we're not stuck with the house by any means yet. These things just need to be worked out, whether we continue ahead or withdraw. Ugh. Why did this house just have to be so perfect? (No, it's not the drive and jump pool house earlier mentioned.) You know when things just seem to be "so right?" Matt and I both felt this is "the one" or at least the one to heavily pursue. I mean, I cried over the swing set! :)

So, we were making our way up that big hill when the roller coaster got stuck. Unnerving to me in either situation. I'm trying to keep my head on my shoulders and trust the Lord for His plan. Please pray for us that things will be fixed and continue on or we'll be able to safely get off! And, if this miraculously works out, I have a couple more silly stories to share about the experience.

(Sorry about the ridiculous metaphor.)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

A funny thing....

...happened the other day.

I cried over a swing set.

Maybe I'll be able to share more in the future.