Friday, December 30, 2011

About Diapers


"Dude.  We... match."



"Mom.  Seriously."



Yeah, so... diapers.

Them diapers, they's buryin' me.


But that's partly by choice, because, yes, we use cloth.  And I have to say, I am very, very thankful for a big stash of cloth diapers and covers because I can't imagine how much money we would spend on the purchasing and disposing of disposable "paper" diapers.  

I mean, talk about painful.  That kind of a money hemorage would hurt.

But I change diapers and change diapers and wash diapers and wash diapers.

It's a lotta diapers!

It's nothing new.  Lots of Moms sing the same song.

(I should also note that I have a husband who is glad for the economy of cloth and doesn't quibble about changing them when he needs to.  That helps!  He is very sweet.) 

It's almost enough to drive me back to infant potty-training (also fashionably, but somewhat obnoxiously, termed "elimination communication" these days), which I actually did part-time with Jonah.  It seems weird to us Americans, but it's quite common throughout the world and history and to me, it just makes a lot of sense.  It was actually really easy with a bit of focus, but now I just can't seem to wrap my head around it.  I have no focus at all these days.  So, diapers it is.

My laundry room is Diaper Central.  I have a bin of Andrew-sized diapers and a bin of Evan-sized diapers.  I have clothes-pins on the wall for hanging clean covers to air-dry and be readily available.  I have lots of cloth wipes and the laundry sink is right there for warm water.  Our "changing table" is a folded towel on top of the washing machine.

I'm also very glad that cloth diapers have come a loooong way in the past few years and have improved considerably over the cloth diapers of... forever before.  I don't even use very fancy ones (too expensive!).  I go with basic prefolds and wrap-style covers because they're simple, versatile, and relatively cheap.  And none of those pins and horrid plastic pants.  They're really almost as easy as paper diapers, just that I have to keep them rinsed and washed.  And there are two kids-worth of them.  Which is saying something.  So I'm sayin' it.  Right now.

Lotsa diapers.  That's what I'm sayin'.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

For Our Christmas...

...there was bread! 

Lots of bread!  I baked every day for, well, days and days and days.  Mostly gifts for friends and neighbors, including this Christmas wreath bread that I tried for the first time and was very pleased with.







...there were cute kids all spiffed up with spit-shined shoes.




Did I mention they were cute?


And funny?




And cute?


(I know his lips look blue and cold... it was the flourescent lights, I promise!  He was toasty warm.  I had a camera oops and couldn't quite get it corrected later.  Phoo.)




...there was lots of singing! 

Jonah memorized four stanzas of a hymn, This Night a Wondrous Revelation, to sing with the other kids during the Christmas Eve program.  We sang it over and over and over in the days before Christmas. (Guess what?  I memorized it, too!)  He also learned and recited Isaiah 7:14, "The Lord Himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a Son and shall call his name Immanuel."






...and of course, there were presents (and chaos!).




All the motion blur?  Yeah, that's how it really was!  My camera tells only truth.



"Hey, I wanna turn!"




"Dude!  Don't touch my stuff!"





...there was a baby that got buried and nearly lost in wrapping paper.





...there were many blessings.  More than I can even number, the greatest being a good reminder of our deep need for salvation, and the salvation that came to us at the birth of our Redeemer.

I hope you all have had a blessed Christmas as well!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Bric-a-brac

We finally got our Christmas tree put up, only a couple days after the project was cut short (hahaha!  I'm so punny!) when I tried to add some of myself to the artichoke dip.



Jonah was very excited to show Andrew his new ball ornament from Bronner's (traditional baby gift from my parents) with his name on it.  I reflected that last Christmas I reveled in adding Evan's ball to our tree, but never would have thought that we'd be adding another one this year!

By the way, do you know the secret to keeping a toddler from pulling down a Christmas tree?



Blue Spruce!!!  Yes, indeed.  Messing with this tree hurts.  Jonah wore gloves to decorate it.





Okay, so typing without my left middle finger is a bit frustrating, so I think I'll just do more pictures than words for now, mmkay?



My little Rooroo is not looking much like a newborn anymore.  At 8 weeks old today, he's chunking up, smiling lots, and starting to outgrow his 0-3 month clothes. 

See how much his brothers love him?


One steals his binky, the other nibbles his hand, and NO ONE seems to care how he feels about it all.

Evan and Andrew are having some pretty good talks these days...

Plotting future escapades, no doubt.


"Just wait 'till I figure out how to use my arms and legs..."



"What are we gonna do then?"




"TRY TO TAKE OVER THE WORLD! HAHAHAAAA!"



On a barely-related note, I just read this fantastic blog post entitled "Postpartum" with my jaw sagging down.  I could have written every word.  Every.  Word.  Even the parts about railings and knives and contact lens stress and trying to shove my baby up my nose.  Astonishing.  Note to self:  Have Nathan read this, so that while he may not understand, at least he'll know.


And, um, I guess that's all I have to say about that.  Off to feed my people.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Frankenfinger







So I'm beginning with the above photo of my eldest son looking all noble in his warrior atire.  This photo is to ensure that nothing disturbing shows up in your Google Reader just in case you are not even remotely interested in what I'm about to show.

That being my chunked up finger.  It ain't perty. 

So, here:


*WARNING* do not scroll down if you are squeamish or prone to fainting at the sight of gross bodily ailments or don't really want to see the results of my dang-blasted, over-confident, and obviously less-than-adequate knife skills.



Really.


Scroll at your own risk.


No, really, it's not really that bad.  "It's but a flesh wound!" ("What are ya gonna do??  BLEED on me?")  Heh.



Okay.


Here ya go.








This was when we changed the bandage today.  I'm thinking it looks awfully white and maybe not like it's doing what it was supposed to do.  The doc scraped the inside of the finger pad out to make a flap of skin to sew on in hopes it would aid healing, but I'm not so sure now.  Wishing I had just asked him to cut the chunk off all the way.  And yes, he stitched through my nail.  Those ones hurt...




Anyway, we'll see what he says on monday.  I'm off to go kick myself some more.

Friday, December 16, 2011

I might never make artichoke dip ever again...

In the week-and-a-half before Christmas, my mommy-mush-brain gave to meeeeee:

12 little stitchs
11 ibuprophen
10 days of antibiotics
9 shots of lidocain
8 layers of gauze
7 syringes of saline
6 pieces of paperwork
5 (or more) hours of paaaaaaain
4 good left fingers
3 bloody towels
2 big needles
and a severed fi-ing-gerrrrtiiiiiiiiip!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Photo Bits

I posted this picture of Andrew on Facebook yesterday. 



I just thought he looks so adorable with those big, giant eyes and the way he's biting his lip in a funny little way.

Then I looked back at the picture later and realized that his lip just looks sort of deformed and someone who didn't know better might think he has some weird birth defect.



I really liked this shot, but was very disappointed that it has quite a bit of motion blur because his little head was bobbling around as I was taking pictures of him.

But it's a cute shot anyway.


Then there's this guy.



This little guy who is nearly impossible to photograph because he is in a constant state of motion blur.

This little guy who just destroys the house over and over all day.

I had my back to him for a few minutes today and turned around to find him covered in flour and spots of green food coloring.  The bottle of blue food coloring is completely missing, most likely buried in the flour bucket.

Later I left the kitchen for two minutes and came back to find him cramming cookies in his mouth.  Granted, the cookies were near the edge of the counter, but I didn't know he could reach that high!

Twenty-foot arms, my Dad would say.





I attempted a photo session with all three boys the other day.




Nathan worked doggedly and tirelessly as baby wrangler.



We played, coerced, begged,  bribed with treats.



I probably took fifty shots and not one of them is even remotely usable.

So much for that.

Someday... someday I'll get a nice photo of them all together.  But it might be another twenty years.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Buh-bye, Blackbird

I know I should be posting cute pictures, or telling you all about our trip to Minnesota (it was great!  That is, if you don't count the disgusting and horrible eye infection I came down with as we pulled out of the driveway at 4:27 in the morning which plagued me the entire time we were gone.) but I can't seem to summon up the energy right now.  However, I have a lot of things in my head, so I'm thinking I'll just put it out here.  I realize that this sort of post is something of an insult to blogging which should be some kind of writing exercise in which I put down something clever or funny or thoughtful or meaningful.  But right now all I seem to have are random thoughts and agitation.

I think what I'm missing most right now is my creativity.  I have a need, a real, physical, emotional, psychological need for creativity.  I feel the urge, I know what I want to be creative with, and yet, it's not there.  And I miss it.  Here it is, Advent, and I have many vague and unformed ideas for crafts and homemade gifts and a Christmas card and fun things to do with my children, and yet I... can't.

It's not just that I can't get much accomplished with a baby constantly attached to my, well, you know, though that certainly has some bearing on the situation.  Perhaps it's the soul-crushing fatigue and sleep deprivation or the hormones addling my grew matter.  Whatever it is, my focus and creativity have left the building.

Also, my hair is driving me crazy, I can't do a thing with it, so I think I'm gonna shave my head.

Oh, wait, hormones talking again.  But it's all gonna fall out anyway, so I need to chop it, at least.

Focus?  Me?  What?

Anyway.

It's not just those creative pursuits that I'm lacking in, but also the creativity that daily household management entails.  I cannot fulfill a need without neglecting another.  I frustrate my poor husband with all the things I don't get to, my oldest child is resistant to everything that isn't his way (and I suspect this often has to do with getting my attention), and my toddler just cries when mommy pays attention to the baby instead of him and my baby cries when he isn't touching mommy.

While a newborn's needs are intense, they are fairly simple.  Jonah, however, is showing me that as they get older, the needs get more complicated.  And he's only 6.  ("Just wait ten years." my parents say.)  He and I clash so much these days.  And then I just get so angry which I know is not fair to him.  I should be thinking through these problems and coming up with solutions, but my powers of thought seem so feeble.  I actually threatened him with school --the big, yellow bus kind-- today.  Wow, that was classy.

So.  Advent crafts?  Ha.  Christmas presents?  Groan.  A clever handmade Christmas greeting card with a cute new family photo tucked inside?  Don't hold your breath.  I can't even get thank-you notes written for the baby gifts and meals we've received from generous friends.  Happy, well-adjusted children?  Right now, even that seems pretty sketchy.

I know it's just baby-mush-brain.  I know it will pass.  I know I'll hit my stride again, someday. But then this image enters my head of myself as the Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe, She Had so Many Children, She Didn't Know What to Do and I run screaming for the hills because I'm sure I'm just going to have babies forever and never be able to do anything ever again.

Oops, hormones talking again.

MaryP wrote a great post on perspective, About Balance, and I know she is right on.  I keep reminding myself that this is just a season, and I think I'm doing a much better job of realizing that than I have in the past.  When Jonah was a newborn, there were times when I would wonder what I had done to ruin my life this way.  And then I would see the bright spots again, and then it got better, and better and better.

So I know someday it'll get better and my brain will come back I'll be able to make beautiful things and tasty things and think clearly and enjoy learning and inspire my children to learn.

It's only a season.