Friday, May 30, 2008

Adventures in cloth diapering or how to shut down the swimming pool!

Well, I've had a pretty gross day. Since I'm on my cloth diapering kick I decided to invest the $14.95 on a swim diaper. Have I mentioned that Liam poops like clockwork? Always at 1 pm and 7, that is...until today. We belong to a private swim club with three different pools. I was in the 3 ft pool with him when he got cold. I had him sitting on the side of the pool to warm up from being cold. As he stood up I noticed dripping. At first I thought, no it can't be, but then I saw it...wet, dripping poo. What do I do? If I took him to the stroller he'd drip the entire way. My friend Christine was there and she quickly ran to get a towel. I scooped and ran (well...waddled) into the bathroom with him. I then took him to the showers and washed him up. Christine then ran to get my diaper bag but guess what? No diaper. I remembered there was a disposable on in the basket of my stroller so off she ran to get it.

After we took care of him we told the pool staff about it and they poured bleach all over where we'd been. My kids told me they shut down the pool where we were. How embarrassing! Now I know that nothing probably would have contained that mess but man! What a gross out. I'm so grateful that Christine was there or I'd have never made it!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Adventures in cloth diapering and going green

Taylor announced to me that I should go green a few months ago. Apparently one of her best friends is some peta-loving tree hugger. I normally would roll my eyes but then I thought that perhaps I should try to do better about conserving energy. I'm their role model and our waste makes us distasteful to many countries in the world. Plus our first forced recycling program that was dumped on us helped to push us into greenland. It's voluntary but you pay for it whether you use it or not. It's only increased our bill by $20. So much for voluntary. After I got over my rebellious attitude I decided that yes, it was a good thing.

Now I'm trying to save money and the thought of two in diapers was reminiscent of when Austin and Dylan were young and we were so poor after paying for formula and diapers. SSSSSSSSSOOOOO, I decided to go cloth! It's a big investment at first but the savings will be in the hundreds of dollars. So far it's going well. Liam doesn't seem to notice and they aren't much more work....unless there's poo. Let me tell you, that kid goes 3 times a day with cloth versus 1 time with disposables. Perhaps he's testing my resolve, but I'm a very determined woman. Of course the instructions say to scrape the clumps in the toilet and then you're good to go. That would be nice except that Liam has the gooiest poo ever. There's no scraping! Anyway, I decided that the diaper sprayer/personal bidet system was a must so a friend is selling me one of hers. Bill just laughed and said he couldn't believe I was doing all of this. I just close my eyes and say, "I'm saving money, I'm saving money, I'm helping the environment!" I then researched and found out I could use my seamstress skills to make some of my own. That is actually exciting as I love to sew and learn how to make new things. Taylor marveled at my resolve and said, "Hey Mom, You're going green!" Well okay then.

Now I'm researching buying an outdoor drying rack for my cloth diapers to cut down on my energy costs (not that with the weather here I'll be able to use it much but hey, I'm trying). I also am making cloth napkins out of scrap fabrics (much more convenient now that I have my new dream serger!!!!! Did you know you can make your own menstrual products too? I won't go into details as my dad might read this and reminisce about "Modess...because" ads.

Anyway, my friend Dana said, "Hey, you remind me of those quiverfull people that make their own potholders. They are so wierd, I think you're getting there."

Guess what I did today? I made a potholder! I guess I am truly over the edge. But hey, according to others on the internet....I'm not alone. Come over to the dark side energy consumers!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Prayers for my friend

For those of you who don't know I used to teach english to Afghan women in the city. For many reasons I had to stop but I still visit with some of them from time to time. One of my favorites was M. She was raised in Afghanistan during the TAliban and was engaged to Mr. S at the age of 8. M told me that she thought Mr. S was her uncle (he was 20 when she was 8). His family emigrated to the United States and then had to grow a beard to get back into the country to claim his bride. They were married and moved back to the United States. She knew no english or had any idea of the freedoms we had in this country. Mr. S's family was very strict so she had to wear full head coverings even here in this country. She taught herself english by watching t.v. Unfortunately his family was so oppressive that she tried to commit suicide. Mr. S moved her to Missouri where she thrived. They had a daughter and tried to get by. He was an abusive man though and would beat her many times. I would see the bruises on her and she would just cry to me. One day she told another friend of mine that she prayed to Jesus, and then to Allah but he never stopped hurting her. "Now I don't believe in anything."

THis whole episode broke my heart. I told her that if she ever left him that I would help her and her daughter get to a safe place. Many of us offered to help her. This is such a hard thing though because she would be completely alone and would also bring shame upon her family in Afghanistan (to the point that her sisters may not be able to get married). Finally she had enough and contacted us from an abuse shelter. The police had been involved numerous times. I was so happy that she had moved to a shelter. I thought for sure that she would be safe. She had to appear in court for the charges against him. SHe told a friend of mine that she might go back to him and if she did she wouldn't be able to contact us. We've never heard from her again. I've heard rumors that she's in California again with his family. I don't know if she's alive or dead. If you think of her, please pray for her. She's been through so much already. I want the peace of God for her.


Thursday, May 15, 2008

Skin color says it all...or does it?

This is a picture of my dad and my brother Brett. It was many, many years ago that this picture was taken. What's funny is that my dad sent this to Austin via email and Austin said, "Nice picture, you guys look like a couple of Mexicans." I thought this was so funny because everyone in our family gets dark but I've never thought to call us Mexicans before. My dad was miffed (only a little) so I thought I'd post a picture of Austin.

As you can see Austin kind of looks like a Mexican in this picture. He gets rather dark. It's especially noticable against little Liam. I'm sure if my dad looks through his photos he can find one of me looking like I stepped off the boat too. All of this is in good fun, we're actually decendants of Germans, Scotts, Italians, and who knows what.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Encounters with neighbors

I have this neighbor, Lady M, who's very nosy. She loves to criticize and get into everyone's business. One thing she believes in strongly is having only 2 kids (she had 3). She also doesn't believe in homeschooling but that public schools are the only way to turn out good kids. She doesn't hesitate to tell me any of this and then to tell me I'm crazy for homeschooling and having more than two kids. When I point out that she had 3 kids she just says she shouldn't have and that she only had two hands. I wonder which one she'd have sent back??

So today I get the "Congratulations, I heard you're having another one." Yes, I am. Then the questions start: Will I finally put the kids in school? Where am I going to fit another one? On and on. I try to smile and answer the questions as politely as I can. I pointed out that for most homeschool families mine is still quite small (many of my friends have 6, 7, or 8 children and one mom I know has 12). She then asked if all of them were certified teachers. I then brought up that studies have shown that a woman with a high school diploma can turn out a student with better academic abilities than some of the public school children, she rolled her eyes. Hey, the single determining factor for success in school is small class size.

"Well, that I agree with," Lady M replied.

"Well, you can't get much smaller than 3 can you?" I asked. She then changed the subject and started questioning the children on what kind of teacher I was and whether I was any good. I don't even take offense at this anymore since there isn't anything I can do to stop this. I'm hoping one day she will see that my children aren't as messed up as she thinks they will be. Until then I pray prayers of patience any time I see her coming and hope I can continue to persevere.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Healing Promises review

I was sent this copy of book two of the Defender of Hope series by Amy Wallace via Multnomah Press called Healing Promises. It's a good book in the sense that you can read it by itself and it makes sense even though it's a part of a series. You will also like it if you are a fan of Karen Kingsbury. It is a christian fiction book about an FBI agent, CLint who is diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and his wife is a leading oncologist. Overall I liked the book. It kept my attention and their problems were real.
What I didn't like about the book is that it was neatly packaged. While the characers do the wrong things it's almost too quickly resolved which I find unrealistic. Plus the characters always have these amazing parents who are there for them as long as they need, pray for them, and never say unkind things to their kids. This is really unrealistic in light of today's fractured famililes. But maybe everyone needs a break from reality and would like a bit of nostalgic Leave it to Beaver type family.
Like I said, I liked it overall. I would like to see the author move towards more character development and less plot based drama, but that's just me.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

I have to post pictures of all the kids on mother's day. I'm so blessed to be a mom to these great kids. If you're a mom I hope you're having a great day. Even if you're not a mom call yours up and tell her you love her. She'll appreciate it.

Dylan's working on a present so I'm banned from the blue room. Bill got me a cream cheese coffee cake and flowers! What a nice treat. We're going to have it after lunch. Austin's mad at me so I probably won't get a tribute from him but that's okay. Part of my job is to be a fun-sucker!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Let them eat cake part two

Liam was so shy about eating cake at his party so I wanted to show everyone what he's really like. He loves cake and digns into it like it will be taken away any second. I guess he was shy doing that in front of others.

Note the bunny ears. Austin feels that no picture should be taken without them. I don'tknow when this started but I'm sure he'll love it when he's older.

I've decided that spray n wash is my new friend since I've had it with Liam. He's such a messy eater but that stuff takes away any stains even on white clothing. It's a mothers best friend. I don't bother with bibs since he yanks on them to get them off. He's such a stinker about any effort at hygiene. Typical boy I guess.

Friday, May 9, 2008

John Piper and the prosperity gospel

Me and my pregnant glow

Okay I just had to post this picture. I love this shirt that I bought a while back but I didn't pay attention to the label. The hanger said large but the shirt is only a medium. I just love it though so it's probably the last time I can wear it since I'm popping out in expontential proportions! I'm officially halfway through the pregnancy and can feel the baby more and more. In case you don't know we're having a boy. Taylor's handling it well, especially since she wants a sister. They all adore her so what's one more boy to her? I told her to hope they marry cool women so that she can have sisters that way if nothing else. The baby looks healthy and the pregnancy is progressing well so I'm happy. I get very tired at night but that's to be expected. God is very good to bless again with another little man. I"ll look forward to meeting him in the fall.