Monday, October 4, 2010

Still here :)

Yep, still here. Still pregnant. Nauseous as hell. Busy as hell! LOL!! And trying to find time to sew diapers in between feeling like puking and having diapers to change and butts to wipe ;)

And dh is on vacation (at home!) this week. UGH! It's only Monday and he's already driving me bonkers!!

Oh well. I guess I will survive.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Guess What?

What could make things around here more hectic? More chaotic? More crazy?
And of course make more work and less time for mommy?? ;)
You guessed it, we have another one on the way!! Not exactly planned, but in no way unwanted :)
Besides, what's one more?
Ha! My husband accused me of wanting another so I could cloth diaper for longer. He may just be on to something there ;)
Well, this means I totally have to step up the potty training bit with Baby Sister. So, plan on getting busy making cloth training pants this week!

Friday, August 13, 2010

On Vacation Auto Reply

;) I'm on vacation! A real vacation guys! ;) In Colorado for the first time ever. And it's beautiful here! And guess what? All my crazy kids are doing great!!! That's the most unbelievable part!

I am out visiting my brother and sister-in-law, who I haven't seen in about 3 years!! They have a girl who was born 2mos after my first, Little Man. And they have a little boy who was born 2 weeks after my Lazy Baby :) The older 2 haven't been together since they were just over a year.

My sister also has one that is about the same age as little man and my niece. They have visited with my brother a few times since they moved. They usually have an awful time with the kids not getting along. So I was really wary of how Little Man and my niece would get along. And I figured that my kids would totally overwhelm my brother and sil... but guess what?? The kids are getting along GREAT!!! AND: my kids have not been out of control crazy! My biggest pest (Little Man) has been so occupied and entertained by playing with my niece that he has been behaving great!! :)

The only issue with this trip is my husband ;) he's been a royal PITA!! LOL!! But that's typical. He hates traveling, he hates visiting with people, hates being social... etc... But we are really only here because he has to be here - won't go into details about that - but... so he's been gone during the day. So I'm not letting his attitude ruin anything ;)

I'm just so pleased that we're having such a good time! :)

I will be back to complaining in t-3 days ;)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Still Around :)

Yep, still here :) Just been wicked busy for the past few weeks!! So many things have been going on, I'm anxious to catch a breath here sometime soon! Of course we have one more big thing going on in August, so unfortunately it's going to be a couple of weeks yet before I can really get back on board with this blog!! ;)

Everyone is doing well - it's amazing how fast these little ones grow!! Lazy Baby almost isn't even a baby anymore!! ;) He's soooo anxious to do everything the bigger ones are doing.

And we discovered that little miss baby sister is quite the runner :) So before our upcoming travels I am totally investing in one of those kid leash things!!

Sadly, I've been too busy to do much sewing :( so my "new" etsy store hasn't been doing so well. I plan to hit it a little harder after our vacation.

Anyway, that's a little bit of a lame update ;)

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Things That Fly

#1: Time.
Time just flies by. Especially when you're busy ;) Last week I said to my husband, "I can't believe tomorrow is going to be Thursday already!" He replied "Uh, tomorrow is Friday." Crazy!

Lazy Baby turned 1 yesterday!! It's hard to believe it's been a year already! Funny how you are with your 3rd baby vs your first and even second... My first two didn't eat cake until their first birthdays. Lazy Baby has been eating cake about since he started solids. He just could not wait for that cake!! Grabbed the whole piece and shoved it right in his mouth! :)

It seems like just yesterday I was bringing him home from the hospital. Now he's running around with the other two and constantly trying to do everything they do. He pushes his big boy stuff all over :) He does not want to be babied anymore :( He wants a cup like the other two, wants regular milk and juice, wants to eat what everyone else is eating! And he's been that way for months now. So bittersweet.

#2 Little Man. Little Man has a thing with flying. It's killing me. ;) Yesterday at the Dr's office, while I was at the counter trying to fill out a form - yep, he was flying the whole time. His way of flying is jumping up and down and flapping his hands. When Lazy Baby cries, Little Man flies. When anyone else is getting attention - Little Man is flying around the room.

Super sidetrack: have you seen the website Hilarious!!!! Go look at some of the pics. I was wading my way through pics of things kids had destroyed when I came upon a pic of a mom with a black eye. I thought, Oh No got punched! Nope - the text explained that her kid jumped up while she was getting him dressed. When I read that I had a major sympathy laugh going on. I know just what that one is like. Of course I've not had my eye blackened, but I can't tell you how many times I've been helping Little Man get dressed and he starts his flying bit and catches me in the chin. So many times. I keep thinking he's over it...then bam! I'm hit again! It's crazy. I don't know where he comes up with this stuff. I just hope he forgets about flying really soon! ;) Until then, I guess I better just make him put his own pants on!

Friday, June 25, 2010

When Lightning Strikes Twice

Then maybe you will learn a lesson or two?

A couple of weeks ago, during a lightning storm, our desktop popped and blue light shot out of it... I guess we weren't sure that it was lightning... but odds are it probably was. That was a bummer! We're still hoping to recover the hard drive! 'Cause tons of pics that were never backed up...

So I think something also happened to our wireless router during that storm, it got slow as heck after that... but I think we never quite equated it to the storm... So last Saturday we went and got a new wireless router...

Two days later? Big lightning storm. Huge hit somewhere very close to the house. Woke us all up at 3am, power outage and everything.

In the morning, I couldn't get online. So I started troubleshooting the dsl/wireless router stuff. The wireless router was off, so I hit the power button and had to keep turning it on like 5 or more times before it came on and stayed on! Should have figured something was up at that point. But I continued all the troubleshooting stuff... to no avail...

Then around 10am realized that the cordless phones weren't working... didn't try the land line. If I would have I would have found it working... Anyway, since I wasn't smart enough to check the land line, I had to drive about 20miles to get a cell signal to call the phone company. Of course they said that everything was good on their end and they would send someone out.

Long story short, yes a lightning strike zapped our cordless phones, dsl modem, and our brand new wireless router!!!

When the phone guy went to check the cordless phone base, he touched the line and it fell apart!! There was a huge scorch mark on the phone book the base was sitting on!! And all the internet filter things that hook up to the phone line were fried. We are sooo lucky we only lost our electronic stuff. While expensive, it's all replaceable.

When we got home with our new cordless phones, first thing I did? Remove all the paper before placing the base on the table...

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Some More Busy-ness

:) I've been busy doing something I've wanted to do for a long time now! List items for purchase in my Etsy store!! I only created the store 3 years ago! Always with the intention of making things to sell! But I finally listed some things!! You can see the link to my Etsy store on my sidebar! I'm so excited!! Of course I only have a few little things listed, but I'm working on some awesomely cute fleece soakers that will be added there within the next few days!! Those are what I am realllllly excited about!! My husband helped me with the design ;) He's so smart and talented :)
So go visit my store and tell me what you think. And then keep looking for my awesome fleece soakers ;)
Tell all your friends too! ;)
I also set up a facebook fan page here and a blog here (have yet to compose a post) ;)
But please, do not mention this blog on either of those sites!!!! Remember this blog is my little secret!! If it gets mentioned somewhere I will have to delete this blog.

I'm also thinking about setting up a shop on Hyena Cart. Have you ever heard of it? If so, have you made purchases from either Etsy or Hyena Cart? Do you prefer one over the other?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Boy Who Cried "Potty!"

One of the things I worried about while potty training Little Man was our frequent small road trips to the store and such. Around here everything is at least 30 miles away, with almost nothing in between home and where you are going. Both routes we take to the town we frequent have 1 gas station along the way. One route it's near the middle of our trip, the other it's toward the end. It really worried me - largely because there really aren't even any good spots to pull off on the side of the road. They are all state or county highways with absolutely no shoulder and some with big drop offs...

The amazing thing is that it's never really been the problem I thought it would be. Little Man has been full potty trained for about 7-9mos now. He hasn't even had an accident at night in the past few months (I almost hate writing that because it will surely conjure one up) ;)

At first he was very hesitant to go to the bathroom in public. We bought one of those potty seats for traveling, which made all the difference. Totally worth it. After he got used to the idea of using that, he was fine.

So once he got to be a pro about going in public, it became a novelty. We almost can't drive by the gas station without him saying he has to "go potty at the gas station!!" Seriously, one day he fell asleep on the way home and missed the gas station and was so upset when we got home because he wanted to go potty at the gas station.

Because it's such a novelty for him to go in public places it's impossible to tell when he really has to go! If we're in a hurry to get where we're going on home I tend to ignore him. And he's never had an accident in the car. Until last night.

By the time we realized that he *really* had to go potty this time we had already passed the one gas station. I remembered one area that had a little turn out, but by the time we got there he had just gone. I felt bad, but... what was I to do? Maybe it will teach him a lesson about crying "Potty." But probably not. It will probably just make me stop every single time he says he has to go. Boy does he have me trained well ;)

Friday, June 4, 2010

Once More With Time!

Ugh. Time. Most days it seems to be my worst enemy. I don't think it's ever come anywhere near to being even an old acquaintance. Time and money seem to be the two things I always wish I had more of ;) But of course, money is another topic altogether...

One day I posted as my status update that I would love to have an extra hour or two added to each day. One of my wise friends pointed out that then there would just be an extra hour or two of work added to each day. So true.

Every day I feel so completely stretched. Every day I plan on doing ten million things. And I always seem to come up shy of accomplishing one.

I have absolutely no time for myself. But yet I spend countless hours a day "wasting" my time away on the computer. At the moment it's researching every aspect of cloth diapering and making training pants.

Spending time on the computer is easy. And I can get up and down and go here and there and do it all sporadically while feeding kids and wrangling toddlers and answering a gazillion questions from an almost 5 year old.

It's almost impossible to find the time to actually sew any of the diapers/covers/trainers I'm researching and purchasing online to make. So many days I've gotten something cut out and sit down to sew and then it becomes crazy time and as soon as I have things calmed down it's time to start dinner. And with my husband the way he is - I can't do a thing in the evenings. It sucks. It's one of his few flaws - everyone has them. I'll take his flaws most days above other husbandly flaws I've come up against. But I hate it nonetheless.

We had a huge fight about it over the weekend. Because I'm in total burnout mode. I'm desperate for some time to get anything accomplished. Some husbands actually come home from work and play with or spend a little time with their kids. Some husbands let their wives get some kind of relief. Some kind of rest from having to do it all. I swear I feel like a single parent most of the time.

It might help you to know that we live in a remote area. I have no friends or neighbors or family near. He has family around here, but they are older and don't have kids and we don't really socialize with them much. Not like I would have expected when we moved up here. (On a big distracted side note, I am soooo desperate to take a road trip to visit my family - I haven't been able to go back for a visit in a year. But we can't afford it and I'm seriously bummed!). So we have no one to babysit or anything like that...

So - long story shortened because my kids are getting crazy (how I wish I actually had time to write more often!)....

The argument helped a little bit. The other night after all the kids were successfully asleep and in bed at a decent hour, I drug out the sewing table and machine and started in on a diaper I had cut out weeks ago. I expected my husband to get mad. But he actually pitched in and helped. He's the sewer in the family ;) It was a nice surprise. So I'm glad we had the big blow out.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Diapers and Covers!

Just thought I would post some pics of the diapers and covers I've made... Diaper sewing is so completely addictive!! I just wish I had more time! I've made maybe 5 or 6 that I haven't posted pics of, but this is pretty much all I've had time to make in the past 3 mos!!

A Rita's Rump Pocket diaper for Lazy Baby :) Love the doggies! Have one more cut out waiting to be sewn! I made one with clouds for Baby Sister.

This is the first wool shorties that I knit! I love the colors! But they are a little small and a little on the thin side - great for daytime, but will be knitting a bigger pair!

This is another Rita's Rump pocket diaper, but it's fleece inside and out, so it doesn't need a cover. Except the fancy printed fleece is much thinner than the plain pink fleece on the inside, so I have to use it inside out :(

Same deal with this one I made for Lazy Baby - thinner printed fleece on the outside. He's not as heavy a wetter as Baby Sister, so this one works OK without flipping it inside out... just have to make sure to change him after one wetting.

This was my first pair of recycled sweater longies! I love the colors! Of course I made the mistake of going for my fanciest sweater first... I call them "frankenpants." They are made out of wool sweater sleeves. While reading the pattern it said to measure the inseam and make a knick then split the seam of the arms up... well, I'm such a moron! Instead of making the knick up the seam I did it across!! So then I had to mend up the places where I knicked :( I was so disappointed! ;) And then I ended up having to add more to the waist twice! Really botched these. But she still wears them around the house all the time!

This was my first "bum sweater"!! I LOVE this pattern, super easy! They don't look like much without a baby butt in them ;) they are soooo much cuter in action! These are my absolute favorite!!

This is the first fitted pocket diaper I made with velcro closures.

Another Rita's Rump AI2 pocket using ultra cuddle fleece!! The ultra cuddle fleece is awesome!! So soft and cuddly! And its a nice thick fleece, so is pretty water resistant!

This one is my second favorite (second to the gray bum sweater above!) It's a skirtie soaker I made for Baby Sister with Ultra Cuddle Fleece!! She LOVES it! :)

So that's what I've been up to lately - obsessively trying to find the time to sew between all the diaper changes!!!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Lessons Learned: Cloth Diapering Tips

OK, so I've been doing cloth diapering for almost 3 mos now!! I wasn't really sure that I would make it that long. Being so lazy and all ;) It's really not that bad.

I started out with a bunch of prefolds that I had been given during various pregnancies for use as burp cloths. I had to purchase 2 packs of rubber pants (one for each little one). At that point in the game I didn't know anything about PUL or wool or fleece covers. I was in a big hurry to just jump in there and go for it - see how it went before I got all addicted to diaper sewing ;)

Tip #1: you have to wash and dry the prefolds about 5 times before they really become as absorbent as they need to be.

Tip #2: Don't bother with those really thin prefolds. Unless you want to use them as doublers. They are useless on their own, even at maximum absorbency.

Tip #3: Rubber pants suck. I bought a size up for each child, and still they were too tight in the legs and cut in :( And they also tend to make it all hot in there - not breathable at all. Not good. And they make a horrible swishy noise ;)

Tip #3: If you plan on making your own diapers, do as much research as possible BEFORE you go out and start purchasing materials.

Tip #4: If you are thinking about cloth diapering because of budgeting, check out this website here which tells you how to do it with stuff you have at home or for $30 or less! Wish I would have happened upon this site before I went and bought a bunch of stuff!

Tip #5: Wool soakers (covers) kick ass. And fleece comes in a close second.

Tip #6: If you are only going to be purchasing diapers (not sewing your own) buy from work at home moms on Etsy. They are probably just as good as the name brand ones that you can buy for twice the price. I couldn't believe how much the name brand diapers cost!!!

Tip #7: Even if you have done little (to no) sewing in the past, sewing diapers and such is relatively easy! I knew very little about sewing before I made the plunge.

Tips for those who are thinking about making your own:

Tip #8: Recycled wool sweaters!!! You can find tons of patterns online for using recycled sweaters for "longies," regular soakers, bum sweaters, and wraps! (And if you knit or crochet there are tons of great free patterns out there).

Tip #9: You must use 100% polyester thread.

Tip #10: If you want to go the PUL route - either buy prints (even more expensive than plain) or buy polyester printed fabric to use outside the PUL. Don't go buying a bunch of cute cotton flannel with the intention of using that outside the PUL ;) You'll end up with leaky diapers. Though I've seen some say that they worked fine for them, I'm just not willing to risk wasting the money I spent on PUL. I made one with cotton flannel on the outside and it did wick out the legs. But of course I used it on my heavy wetter...

Tip #11: Fleece pocket diapers are awesome. The fleece on the inside keeps baby's butt dry!! It's almost weird. The mistakes I made with my fleece pocket diapers: chose the thinner fancier printed fleece for the outer layer - which was not as water resistant as the plain thicker inner layer... so have to use them either as covers or inside out... The other thing is that you should use velcro or snaps for closures, as it's very frustrating to get diaper pins through 4 or more layers of fleece (the snappis work on some, but not all)!!

Tip #12: All pocket diapers are pretty awesome. And if you're looking to save money, make these awesome one size Rita's Rump pocket diapers!! The best things about the pocket diapers is the stuff-ability for overnights and the drying time (seriously, an all in one [aio] or fitted diaper with the soaker all sewn into the diaper takes FOREVER to dry!!).

Tip #13: there are tons of patterns out there - some for free and some that you have to pay for. This lady here has posted a tutorial on how to make your own fitted diaper pattern! I have 2 suggestions: 1 - though she likes to have her crotch area 5", it's a little too thin - especially if you're making a pocket diaper and will be stuffing it. 6" is about standard and seems to work the best for me and mine. 2 - if you are going to be using the diaper for overnight and stuffing the heck out of it add an inch to the waist. I made it with my daughter's exact waist measurement, and when I stuff the heck out of it for night time use it's at the boundaries of not being able to velcro it closed ;)

Tip #14: There are tons of diaper sewing tutorials online! So once you find or design your pattern go browse through some tutorials!

Additional info on using fleece:
Fleece comes in all different weights and types...some more water resistant than others. The cheap Wal-Mart fleece works great. The "anti-pill" fleece from Jo-Anne's is too thin, so you will need to double it (maybe just in the "wet zone"). The "ultra cuddle" fleece from Jo-Anne's works great. The most water-resistant fleece is Malden Mills, but it's kind of pricey - so I am sticking with the cheap Wal-Mart fleece ;) If you're not sure it's probably best to just double it in the wet zone ;)
The other thing to keep in mind with fleece is that it will wick into cotton. Especially if the clothes are too tight. So if you are going too long before changes or baby's britches are tight, may not be the best choice. But I'm pretty hooked on the fleece :) (funny story: last night when I was changing Baby Sister, she had a fleece pocket diaper on - she had soaked through to her cotton pants - but the fleece on the outside and inside both felt dry - but the inner soaker was totally soaked!)

--Another thing to keep in mind is that cloth diapers tend to be bulkier than disposables... so keep that in mind while clothes shopping... I realized that one pretty quick ;) all my boy's pants were a little too small in the booty area ;)

And a word about the laundering... Grrrr. And Ugh!! ;) Not for the nastiness factor - I have that one pretty much under control. I had a rash issue. So I immediately jumped to the conclusion that it had to do with my laundering. I did all kinds of crazy laundry crap - switched detergents a couple of times (btw: do NOT use free & clear detergents - they can cause horrible burn rashes on babies with sensitive skin) did things unimaginable (by that I mean, yes I actually boiled my prefolds in a stew pot on the stove to make sure I had everything out of them!). It turned out to be a food issue!! My daughter hadn't eaten anything new - she'd had strawberries in moderation plenty - but had recently started pigging out on strawberries, which caused a re-occurring awful rash (as can tomatoes)... so before you go switching up your laundry routine, think about food issues and teething issues first... and start out with the simplest laundry routine and make adjustments as necessary. There are TONS of sites out there with TONS of info on cloth diaper washing!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Trading Off the Greens

OK, so I've gone a little green with the cloth diapering... and it's going fairly well. I've had to use disposables on Baby Sister quite a few times because she keeps getting a rash... After doing all sorts of insane things with laundering - of which I will spare you the gory details - we finally figured out it was a reaction to strawberries! She's not allergic, but she just can't have too many otherwise she'll get a horrendous diaper rash... crazy. But glad to have figured it out.
But now... Lazy Baby is all out refusing to nurse except for in the middle of the night. It's been a constant battle to get him to nurse. He's distracted by everything and just doesn't want to sit still. So, what I'm saving in disposable diapers I am now spending on formula :( Wondering how close to 1yr they have to be before starting regular milk... I know Doctors will say not before the day they turn one year... but ugghhhh! It's so typical of my life ;) saving in one area only to be spending more in another...

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Tweenie is now a Teenie!!!

I have a teenager in the house folks. 13 was a much anticipated happy, happy milestone for tweenie! Who now I must refer to as Teenie. Or maybe something more clever and telling? Maybe tween-dult. She thinks she is an adult around here. Which is what leads to most of our issues. She tries to take charge of everything around here like she's the parent. And it is driving me completely bonkers!!!

I suppose I have let the situation go on for too long. I'm not that take charge kind of person, so a lot of times I just sit back and let her go and only say something when she goes too far. But it's irritating. And frustrating.

She's been really awful at the dinner table. Constantly nagging Little Man to eat. His dinner eating antics are almost out of control. And the big thing is that she insists on doing the whole nagging thing while the husband and I are sitting right there. The thing is - one day last week she had some event which kept her from eating dinner with the family. Little Man ate like an angel.

Since then, the husband and I have told her that WE are the parents and that it is our job to reprimand him if necessary. And that she's to mind her own business and tend to her own eating at the table.

We've had to remind her every single night. And she has complete attitude about it! But seriously, it's not her business. She's one of the kids!! She needs to understand her place and understand that her authority has limits and boundaries. And that she has NO authority when dad and I are in the room. She usually "watches" the little ones while I make dinner, but even then she takes what little authority she has to the extreme. And I constantly have to watch her watching them! It's insane. I keep talking to her about it, but it seems to do no good.

The really messed up thing was that after we have been working on Teenie for the past week or so on this issue - last night at the dinner table I was busy with Lazy Baby and Baby Sister was smearing her peach juice all over herself and the table - to which my husband looked to Teenie and said something to the effect that she should have been all on top of that!! Which totally goes against everything we've done and told her for the past week! UGH!!

Any suggestions?? Of course I will be saying something to the hus about this...

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Crazy Crazy Crazy

Yep. I'm completely off my rocker.

I always take on too much.

I'm teaching a workshop starting this Friday. Do I really have time to prepare myself for it? Kind of. Especially if I give up on the sewing, knitting, crocheting, and hunting stuff down bit for the next couple of days. But I'm all obsessive. Seriously. Once I get something that I want to do in my head it's impossible for me to do anything else.

I've been so completely obsessive about everything related to cloth diapering for the past month. I have diapers on the brain. The washing, the sewing, the notions, the pins, the detergent.... etc... It's bonkers folks.

And wool soakers are the bomb. Seriously. I spent a week obsessively collecting wool sweaters from every thrift store in the area. I put them in bags in the spare room until I actually have time to do something with them. Then the other night, went out at 10pm to shake them out in the yard because I read somewhere that you should do that to shake off any moth larva. Seriously. Obsessed. But couldn't stand the thought of ruining the great finds I made before I can make them into soakers... shorties and longies and skirties and wraps and just plain soakers...

I spent a week going from store to store hunting down Kool-Aid packets to dye yarn. I'm crocheting and knitting soakers from virgin uncolored wool... and I can't just leave them white. There is only one store in the area that sells blue kool-aid packets.

There is only one small store in the area that sells diaper pins.

There is no store anywhere around here that sells diaper pail deodorizer disks. Or wool wash in any form other that Woolite - which you can't use to wash your wool soakers.

I have continually searched for a good laundry detergent... none of the stores in the area carry anything...And I just can't but it online... the shipping costs about as much as the detergent. Apparently you can use any detergent - just a much smaller amount. But of course Baby sister has developed a monstrous rash. Which her "mild" diaper rash from disposables was part of the reason I went for cloth...there is so much conflicting info online! It's crazy.

Obsessive I tell ya. But I suppose there are worse things to be obsessed about.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Busy as a Bee ;)

Just popping in to say I haven't gone anywhere... I'm still around, just busy as heck!

Busy with my new obsession of sewing diapers and such...

Busy with household crap... grrr ;)

Busy with remodeling stuff -- yanking up old carpeting (to reveal beautiful wooden floors!!), having a little roofing done...

It's all chaotic around here!!

And Lazy Baby is doing some more teething... Baby Sister is up to much shenanigans... and unbelievably Little Man has become more needy and demanding. But that's what happens when attention is diverted elsewhere...

And they are all taking turns being the one not going to sleep at night! Grrr ;)

Anyway... and have you noticed - what the heck is up with all the spam comments - especially on older posts?? How annoying!!! Time consuming to go delete them... What's the solution?? Putting the catchpa back on? I hate having to do that. Double Grrr.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Get it Together People!

So I read today that the government is going to issue a warning against baby slings (read the article here). Babies have suffocated in them. Most instructions I've seen have shown the proper way to position baby to avoid that, and have also warned against it. If they don't they should. But also, a parent should know better. I hate all these things that warn against dangers that should be common sense kinds of things!

I suppose what really frustrates me about this whole thing is that I just bought a bunch of fabric and bought extra to make some baby slings to sell. There goes that idea. Everyone will be scared of them now. Bummer. It sucks that a small percentage of the population has to ruin things for others because of their stupidity. I guess I get to keep my fancy fabric ;)

Seriously, have you felt the ultra cuddle fleece??? OMG, I'm in love! I can't quit touching it! I should have bought tons while it was on sale! I got a bunch of fabric 1/2 off and had a coupon code for free shipping! Sadly I concentrated mostly on flannel - for sewing diapers. But after doing more (constant!) research discovered that fleece is great for diapers. And can you imagine that cuddle fleece close to your skin ;)

Anyway, my big point: stupid people suck. Seriously, read the comments on the article - one person slammed baby wraps (which are completely different from slings and offer no suffocation hazard!) because they looked uncomfortable for the baby. I'm sure if that person had a baby that required constant holding, they'd be first in line for a baby sling or wrap.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Why I May Be Seeing a Little Green!

And I'm not talking about "green with envy." And I'm not talking about the special power attributed to green M&Ms. Yes, I'm talking about the "earth friendly" type of green here.

Long story, but I know you will all bear with me. In the end, it is me preparing to sew cloth diapers, training pants and overnighters... I've got some pretty good reasons.

Several weeks ago, a pull up got stuffed in with the dirty clothes. Do you have any idea how absorbent these things are?? It threw my washer out of balance in a serious way. I ran to check the washer and at first there was this unrecognizable huge white thing that looked like a pillow. I didn't remember putting a pillow in the wash... Seriously the thing was the size of a pillow!!! As soon as I touched it, it exploded a bunch of gel beads all over my clothes in the wash. Eewwww. I had to re-wash the clothes a couple of times. I was totally grossed out. They may be that absorbent, but we all know that 2 big boy pees will more likely than not soak through clothes and furniture.

After that happened I started seriously thinking about what the hell is next to my babies' skin. I mean it can't be good. So I started looking up cloth diapering info and patterns and such. Then I mentioned to my husband my plans to sew up some cloth diapers. He asked whether we could afford the disposables. Thinking that we were in some kind of financial trouble. And to be truthful, we both know how lazy I am... so the time investment required for the clean up of cloth diapers is a little beyond what I am usually willing to put in. So he said that as long as we can afford it we should use the disposables. And at first I agreed after looking up some of the washing instructions...because it does seem like quite a bit of work...

So I started really looking for a reason to justify sewing diapers. Mostly because they look like some fun sewing ;) but, also the pull up incident has been in the back of my mind... and the fact that Baby Sister has had a very mild continuous diaper rash for about the past 6 mos. It's not bad at all, just a few dots in her diaper area.

Little Man has been completely potty trained for a quite a few months now, but I still put a pull up on him at night, just in case. And that is a serious waste. Out of 10 days he might wet overnight once or twice. So 80-90% of his pull ups go unused. Sometimes I save them and put them on him a second night, but not usually, it just doesn't seem quite clean...

So, in lieu of all out sewing diapers, I thought I would sew up some overnight pull up types for little man. Then I thought, why stop there? Why not do up some potty training pants for Baby Sister while I'm at it?? And some extra absorbent ones for her overnight.

Then the big chain store that I buy my generic diapers from did something awful. They changed their diapers!! Not only did they make them hoards thinner (like paper!), but they made them smaller. And it took that change for me to realize that a while back they cut the number of diapers in a box by 10!!! I used to get 80 size 5s for 13.97 - then it was 70 for 14.97. At the moment I pay about $100 a month for diapers and pull ups for 3 kids. That's really not bad all told. But if I have to switch to name brand diapers... that's going to impact our budget. I'm guessing that the changes in the diapers will affect our budget too - as I will be going through twice as many diapers...and have to move up a size for both the little ones who are still in diapers, which means less diapers in a box... Grrrr.

So the deal with the diapers pretty much cemented my plans on going cloth.

But seriously...I still have to wonder about the health of disposable diapers. Of course that has weighed into my decision. I spent yesterday thinking about all the possible/prolonged health issues, not only with diapers, but with the combination of products that we are using with our babies... about 4 years ago there was some study that claimed some formulas could impact fertility...the BPA (which can affect fertility) in plastics (bottles, feeding dishes, sippy cups). And god knows what is really in the disposable diapers. I read somewhere an implication about fertility issues with whatever is in the disposables (but don't know how reliable the source was). I totally want grandkids.

Yes, I obsess much. And I'm probably just being completely paranoid and overly dramatic.

Now I just have to convince my husband and myself that I can deal with the mess of cloth diapers :)

And of course I have to get off my lazy ass and sew some! ;)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Since I'm on a Roll ;)

with the complaining about talking and the complaining about everything else ;)

My biggest pet peeve ever. My husband. His calling me constantly from work. It's not so bad that he calls me all the time (OK, yes it is soooo annoying!!!) but it's that he actually expects me to give him my undivided attention.

What about taking care of three children ages 4 and under leads him to believe I can give anyone my undivided attention??

When I talk to my mom on the phone it goes like this
Ok, so I'm making...GET DOWN FROM THERE!...cheesy potatoes again and...I SAID GET DOWN NOW!! NO YOU CAN'T HAVE OREOS RIGHT NOW...I know I call every time, I can't ever remember how much...LEAVE YOUR SISTER ALONE!!...sour cream to put in...
And it seems that I'm always holding the baby and have Little Man on the potty needing a wipe, as the dogs are barking madly at a big truck that just went by...

Whenever anything else is going on when I'm on the phone with the huz, it ticks him off. And I just don't understand how he can't understand that I have to take care of what's going on when it's going on!!

The stupid thing is that he calls all the time and wants to talk for a half an hour and has got nothing to say. It's so aggravating! I wish he had a job that occupied all his time.

The other day, he was filling me in on all the drama that's been going on at work, so I had to listen and respond attentively... so I leave the kids in the living room (the 2 and 4 year old pushing each other off a stool and the baby having a screaming fit in the playpen)...2 minutes later Baby Sister fell onto the stool nose first. Of course I had to let him go, and he was pissed. WTF?? If I didn't go take care of her what would he have said? What does he expect?

Sometimes I wonder if men have any brains at all ;)

Monday, February 22, 2010

Since I'm on a complaining streak...

Sass mouth strikes again.

OK, so not so much striking again as has gotten progressively worse.

Tweenie (who will be teenie in less than 2 months!) has even started sassing Dad!

I know, it's part of being an almost teenager. But man it's frustrating and irritating! Every single thing I say to her warrants back-talk. And again, another issue I just don't know what to do about. Seriously, I feel like such an idiot. I had all the answers before I became a parent.

I've been searching online and haven't found anything worthwhile... nothing that I think will be effective.

I've tried sending her to her room. I've tried taking away privileges. I've tried ignoring it. I've threatened "Look, if you want to go do ___ next weekend, you better stop with the backtalk." I've also talked to her about it repeatedly. I ask her if she talks to her teachers that way - of course she doesn't. I've explained to her that the more she backtalks the angrier she makes me and the less likely she is to get what she wants.

I have absolutely felt like slapping her across the face. My mom, as well as my husband's mom would have done such at the first instance. But I've never laid a hand on her in that way, and I just won't. And I hate to admit it, but part of the reason is because she is adopted.

Regardless, I need some effective ways to deal with sass and backtalk before it gets out of control. And before it spreads to the 4 and under crowd...

I'm tempted to just start sending her to her room at each and every instance. But that seems a little too much...

Any ideas?

Friday, February 19, 2010

Once More, With Talking!

Little Man is about literally talking me to death. He is a nonstop talker!! His mouth is moving before his feet hit the floor in the morning, talks himself to sleep at night AND talks IN his sleep...

It's just amazing how exhausting the talking is. Most days I feel harassed to death by 8am. He is so nonstop that I'm unable to even think. I totally get the "can't even hear myself think" bit now.

I do have patience for about the first hour of his nonstop talking... but then I lose my patience. And then I go beyond losing my patience and have to just walk away and try as hard as I can to ignore it. I've tried just about everything. I go along with him for a while, I ignore him for a while, I threaten him for a while.... I give time outs, I ask him nicely to be quiet for a while "But I am being quiet mom. I'm not talking anymore. See I'm being quiet." I demand that he be quiet for a while... by 4pm I'm yelling. And around that time is when my husband and tweenie get home. By then I've lost all patience and just want some silence.

I have tried giving him things to do to occupy his time. Coloring books, construction paper, reading books, leapfrog tag books, pre-k worksheets, puzzles, games... his favorite DVDs...all to no avail. He remains a constant running status updater. If he was on facebook you'd start hiding his updates after about 30mins ;)

Of course not all of it is non-productive. He's at the point now where he's wanting to know how to spell everything, and we have nice discussions about topics such as opposites and whatnot... so I absolutely cherish those conversations. But the rest of it? I feel so badgered. And I just have no idea how to handle it.

My kids are totally cabin fever crazy right now. They are bored to death and ready to go running. Fortunately we got a decent used minivan with our tax refund, so now I have a little freedom and we aren't stuck at home! I took the kids to a playgroup yesterday and they had a blast. But sadly, Little Man was still coming over to me about every minute to let me know exactly what he was doing. "I'm throwing the ball now, I'm running with the ball now." etc.

Any suggestions for relief?? Do you have a nonstop talker? How do you handle it? Please tell me they outgrew it! ;)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Clown Car

When you have a bunch of kids, sometimes you are reminded of the clown car. Although, most likely you remind other people of the clown car... especially when loading all your kids into/onto a grocery cart in the parking lot... or packing all your kids and groceries into the car like a can of sardines ;)

The other morning I was reminded of a clown car when everyone climbed into our bed.

We co-slept with Little Man and Baby Sister until last summer. Little Man was almost 4 and Baby sister was almost 2. There was just no way we would all fit with an additional baby. It was a tight squeeze with a king size bed and two toddlers! Someone was always kicking someone or hogging the blankets... So at the beginning of the summer we drug out the toddler beds and put them in the "2nd living room" right off of our bedroom. (Sadly we have to keep the 2 back bedrooms closed off in the winter until we get new windows and floors and get the rooms better insulated - we just can't afford to heat them. I'm determined to do something about that this summer!).

Baby Sister took to the new sleeping arrangement like an old pro. She slept in her new bed all night. And will only come into our bed if she's sick.

Little Man, on the other hand, took at least 2 weeks to quit coming into our bed in the middle of the night. Each night he lasted a little longer, until he wasn't coming in until 6-6:30am. And he's still kind of at that point.

It's not too bad most of the time. Usually he just slips into bed and cuddles up and goes back to sleep until it's time to get up. But there are days where he climbs into bed and starts talking...and talking...and talking...

And then there are days when he wakes Baby Sister up on the way to our bed. He climbs in on the side with me and Lazy Baby, and then Baby Sister comes in towing at least one, if not 2 or 3 of her baby dolls and climbs up into the middle... The other morning, our bed contained: Mom, Dad, Little Man, Lazy Baby, Baby Sister and 3 nappy head Dora dolls. Two of which are clickity-clackity mermaids and one is a noisy eye-fluttery sleepytime Dora.

By the time her Dori are situated, there's no room for any movement without injury. And that's Lazy Baby's cue for immediate nursing required. I have to carefully maneuver slightly this way and that until we have the right position...which causes everyone else to have to shift... ;) That's when you just have to call it quits and get up! :) Yes, even if it is a weekend.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Oh Yes, I'm Gonna Go There!

Boogers. Yep, a post all about those sticky little ickys.

Hate 'em.

For the past 2 nights, Lazy Baby will be fairly booger free all day. As soon as we lay down at night and go for that final nursing session, he's all full of boogs and can't breathe! And just the thought of getting all uncovered and uncomfortable and running to the bathroom for a nose-sucking session... ugh! I just reach over to the shelf next to the bed and got the baby vicks. Not quite the best remedy, but will do when desperately not wanting to get out of bed.

I despise the nose sucker. So does Lazy Baby. I totally suck at using it! Pun totally intended. It takes me at least 20 sucks to get one stinking little booger out. Seriously. Does anyone have the secret? This is my 3rd child and I still have no luck with the thing. And Lazy Baby loses his cool after about 5 tries. Then it's like some crazy game of trying to get it anywhere near his nose... A wrestling match where the 6 month old wins every time. And he screams bloody murder the whole time. So this is the real reason why I don't get out of bed to do it at night. (OK, I lie, once I'm in bed and all comfy, nothing short of a 4 year old emergency pee in the middle of the night is getting me out).

It gets better once they are closer to a year and their nostrils are big enough that you can successfully q-tip the boogs out without pushing them back in. For now I'll just have to wait until I can get them out with a small fingernail...

Now that I've booger'd you all out, have a great weekend!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Sports Rant...

We let Tweenie play basketball this year. And now I'm pretty much regretting it. I'm fairly certain she won't be playing next year.

A few years ago we let her play soccer. (We let her do one thing a year, the following year she chose softball - but that was when we had moved away briefly and lived close to her school). The soccer was pretty lame, they had about 3 games. I was a little disappointed. And one of the parents said that all the sports were that way, even the high school. I was disappointed then - but back then I only had one little almost toddler, and the school had an activities bus that dropped her off a couple of blocks from home. They have since lost the funding for the activities bus - it only runs on Mondays and Wednesdays and only has 2 stops, the closest of which is 7 miles away from home.

So I pretty much expected the basketball to be the same way. They had a couple of practices during the week before xmas break. And 3 practices over break. But once they went back after break they started having practices every single day. And they have 1 or 2 games a week from that second week back until the end of Feb!!

She had secured her own ride to begin with - knowing that we usually don't let her do any after school activities because transportation is an issue. But after that first week of practice she lost her ride. Her ride was with a 5th grader and as there were way too many girls on the team they cut the 5th graders.

Her school is 30 mins away. Twice a week we can pick her up 7 miles away, but of course they have ended up having games on those days and we have to go all the way to the school anyway. It's a huge put out to have to go pick her up every night. And it's become quite an expense... We are pretty much low income, and here is the run-down of expenses: $50 for basketball shoes, $35 for the jersey, $15 athletic fee, $5 for meals for every one of her away games (which comes up to be around $50) and then an extra $50 in gas per week!!

It wouldn't be so bad, but she is not appreciative of any of it. She acts as if it's her right to do this. She has no appreciation for the time or money we have put into it. And she absolutely takes advantage.

Her first home game she called at 5:30, said it was halftime and that her game would be over around 6 or 6:15. I told her we would leave right then and be there waiting for her. She knows that when we come it's with a car full of kids and that she's to come out. We got there at 6pm and waited. And waited. And waited. At 6:30 we thought about going in to see what was taking too long, but we didn't see a bunch of people leaving, so assumed that her game was still going. We figured she would come out when it was over. Nope. At 6:45 I went in because little man had to go potty. There was a game going on, but it was the 8th graders, I didn't know they split them up like that, but her game had been over since 6pm. I found her messing around in the hall with her friends. I was so ticked off!! She knew we were waiting outside. She knew she was supposed to come out when her game was over! Then she went to the car while I took little man potty. As I was walking back out she came walking back in saying she had to go to the bathroom. When we asked her why she didn't come out she said that she was watching the 8th graders play. I asked her why she was messing around in the hall and she started to say that she was just going to the bathroom, but then realized what she was saying and said she was just getting a drink.

The real kicker about the situation was that she was mad that we were mad at her! She felt like she had done nothing wrong. She felt like she was justified in her behavior. She didn't feel bad about the situation until I told her she couldn't attend practice the following night. Then it was all tears, but not apologetic, not realizing how much she put us out. It was tears for what she would be missing out on. She called us for a ride at a specified time! Why would she call for a ride and then mess around while she knew we were waiting outside?? We were waiting outside with 3 kids 4 and under for 45 minutes! And she felt like it was her right to do what it was she was doing. Why didn't she say to pick her up later? Anyway, she missed her practice which made her ineligible to play in the next game. And she was all mad about it. I told her that if she pulls a stunt like that again that she will be off the basketball team. I explained to her that we are *letting* her play and that we don't have to. I still don't think she understands that.

Her next away game she was instructed to call when they were *leaving* the McD's. Because I know that it is about as far from the school as our house, so if I left when they were leaving McD's we would get there around the same time. So what does she do? Calls when they *get* to McD's and says they will be there for 30mins and it will take 30mins to get back to the school... I knew what she was doing... surely her friend did the same because her and her friend were the last ones there. I was mad, but I just let that one go. The next day my husband took his time picking her up from practice. But of course she took her time as well and was one of the last ones out. So we pretty much agree that she has no appreciation. And won't be playing again next year.

Every time we let her do something she totally takes advantage. I just don't get it. Both my husband and myself were rarely allowed to do special things at school, and when we were you can be sure that it didn't come with the attitude that it was our right or that it was expected our parents would just let us do it. There was no one to take or pick up my husband from such events. I was lucky enough that I lived one block away from my grade school. But of course in Jr High and High school I had to either hoof it, ride my bike or find my own ride.

I used to feel bad that we didn't let her do more things, but now... I really don't feel bad at all. If she were more appreciative I might go out of my way a little more often to let her do more.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I Love My Kids

Have I said that lately? Probably not. I've been too busy complaining.

Right now Little Man is being so sweet. Baby sister grabbed all the blankets from her bed and is play sleeping in the middle of the living room and Little Man is tucking her in and piling stuffed animals on her. Now that is some sweetness.

Lazy Baby is busy mouthing the fire truck Little Man gave him. I am loving his new found ability to entertain himself for 5 or so minutes at a time. He just loves being in on all the action. His favorite thing is to just sit in the middle of the living room floor and watch everything going on around him. I brought out the playpen, but he doesn't do as well in there. Probably because it feels like a cage. I got him a walker for Christmas (we have no stairs to worry about), but he also feels a little too contained in that. He might get better with the walker once his little short legs can reach the ground ;) He's almost 7 mos, and the walker says age 4mos and up. But I doubt they account for short leg babies ;) Lazy Baby does have some brains though, he figured out fairly quickly that if he leans all the way over to one side he can reach the ground with one tip-toe. But he can only move it backwards a smidgen. Not as fun for him as I hoped it would be. But what is really? ;) How many toys have we bought that we thought would entertain our little ones for hours on end, only to have them tossed aside for a paper towel roll or a romp in the empty toy box? Seriously, I have totes and XXL ziplock bags and boxes full of abandoned toys. I hate to part with them.

Sometimes Little Man will follow me to the kids' bedroom and rummage through the abandoned toy lot and pull something out. And he'll actually play with it for a while. And I get to recycle all the baby toys at least once more here. I need to go dig out some stuff for Lazy Baby, he's really getting into playing with stuff now. After he cycles through all the toys I need to either have a yard sale or start giving them away! I'm such a hoarder though ;)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

What's a mom to do?

So I survived my week of appointments last week. Yippee! And we get about twice as much money from energy assistance this year! Double Yippee!! The lady scared me, just before she told me how much we would receive she said that this year was going to be less than last year because more people had applied and there was less money available... But we have an additional child and I was working part time last year. We're getting the same small amount for electric, but double for LP Gas. Which is the real killer in the winter. I hate dealing with the LP tank. It's expensive! I think more so than gas from a city. This year hasn't been quite as bad as last year. Last year it was about $400 for 200 gallons (which is less than half a tank). The last time I got LP this year it was a little over $300. We keep the thermostat at 60! And close off two of the back bedrooms in the winter. And we still go through too much LP. Last winter we went through a little over a thousand gallons! We really need to get a wood burning stove, but those are pretty pricey. Some year at tax time we will. But this year we need to fix the roof. And hopefully have enough left over for a cheap minivan.

Well, I didn't intend to talk finances...

I wanted to talk destruction.

But I also wanted to story before that ;) 'cause really I'm a storyteller.

It's a long, involved story, with digressions and everything. I can't just tell one simple story.

So, Little Man has been tearing his socks apart. He's down to about one pair of socks. He likes pulling strings. He will pull strings out of his socks until there's nothing left but a ring around his ankle.

They were cheap socks. I wonder if that makes a difference in string accessibility? I struggled last night at Wal-Mart. Do I buy him another bag of cheap socks? Or do I spend an extra dollar for two fewer pair? Not completely convinced that more pricey socks were more durable, I went for the cheaper pack with more socks. But they were a different brand than the last bag I bought him. So we shall see what happens.

I was seriously considering knitting him a nice pair of socks. I went and tracked down some nice blue and tan sock yarn. I bought a book on knitting socks from EBay. I want to try to knit some socks anyway. Since I finally figured out how to use those horrendous double pointed needles. I like a challenge.

I have a new passion for knitting. I've been a crocheter for a few years and love it. But knitting is a little different. I love them both. The sucky thing is that I am pretty limited to getting my supplies at Wal-Mart. Which is pretty limited. I really wanted to try those fancy circular needles for hats. Wal-Mart only had one size in 24" and then a couple sizes in 29". I bought the 24" and attempted a 22" hat. And it worked OK - you aren't supposed to be able to make something smaller than your circular needle size. So making a 22" hat on a 24" needle was a bit of a stretch.

I really wanted to knit some hats for my babies ;) which have 16-18" heads.

So for Christmas I asked my mom for 16" circular needles in a variety of sizes to match which double pointed needle sets I had. ('cause the really sucky thing is that you have to end up using the horrendous double pointed needles anyway - when you have to decrease beyond the 16").

So Christmas came and I was really excited to start making little hats!! But the typical mom thing happened.

When I was like 12 or 13 or so the song "Jesse's Girl" had me head over heels with Rick Springfield. The only thing on my Christmas list that year was the Rick Springfield album (yes, I know I am totally dating myself here)... My mom ended up forgetting her list and buying me a Bruce Springsteen album instead. I was devastated. I've only recently been able to stomach listening to the Boss (and only because that album is one of my husband's all time favorites).

So, I opened up my gift from my mother. Mind you, I was very specific with my list for her. She got half of it right - I got the right needle sizes, but the length? She got all 29" cables! Typical mom fashion. So I won't be able to knit anthing less than probably 27" projects with those. I'll just have to make Baby Sister some dresses, ponchos or something...

I ended up just buying my 16" needles from EBay after Christmas. I got them last week, so I've been busy trying out hats. I'm getting better ;) The first one I did ended up being a little short. The last one I did ended up looking a little funky ;)

I made a cute little purple hat for Baby Sister. I purled some butterflies on it, which turned out really nice! Then I decided to dress it up a little by putting a pom-pon on top! And the stupid pom-pon took almost as long as the hat. I bought a little set of pom-pon makers and it just takes forever - I should have just made it the old fashioned way of wrapping yarn around a piece of cardboard... but the ending part went a lot smoother than it would have on a piece of cardboard...

So I finished the hat and Baby Sister wore it for about 5 minutes.

Then Little Man picked up the abandoned hat and would not take it off for anything! I decided that I should make him one sans butterflies and with a more masculine color... I barely got him to take the hat off for his bath. Then at nap time? As he had his quiet time on the couch, he pulled strings.

He came to the gate between the living room and kitchen and said "sorry mom" and handed me the hat. Which now had a string with a loop sticking out of the top, and one strand of yarn kind of hanging out from the side... he had pulled that pom-pon apart piece by piece until there was nothing left of it. His shirt was covered with itty bitty pieces of purple yarn. There were itty bitty pieces of purple yarn littering the couch and the entire living room.

He is still finding little pieces of yarn today.

I don't think I will be knitting him a hat any time soon.

And I definitely will not be knitting him any socks.

Monday, January 4, 2010

New Year, What's New?

Nothing! :)

Except for starting the New Year with a bunch of appointments!

And of course my idiotic brain set up appointments for energy assistance and 6 mos well child for Lazy Baby within an hour of each other on the same day! Grrr. I set up the energy assistance appointment back at the beginning of Oct. Jan 5th was the earliest appointment they had. I probably set up Lazy Baby's appointment around the same time - after his 4 mos well child in October! Earliest reschedules for both were March. Ended up having to take an appointment with a different Dr for Lazy Baby on the 6th... So 2 days in a row where I have to bundle all 3 little ones up at 7am to take the hubs to work so I can have the car. We are so getting a minivan with our tax refund. year, same old complaints ;)

Trying to finish off all the kids' stocking candy.

Trying to get my house back in order from the holiday chaos. Managed to get all my dishes done on Saturday, but now back to a overflowing counter full of dirty dishes...Almost had all the laundry done, but then added another day of clothes to it...

Had a bunch of phone calls to make, documents to hunt up and all sorts of good stuff planned for today, but everyone seems to want to be crabby and not sleep today... one of those days. Not a damn thing is getting done, so we're back to the same ol same ol around here.

As much as I hate to admit it, things are a little easier when the hubs and tweenie are home. First day of them back to work and school has been a little beyond chaotic.
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