Saturday, June 30, 2007

At the breakfast table:

Jonathan: words words words words and more words!
Gabe: Wow, I feel like we're just getting stream of consciousness from him.
Em: You should be here during the week. He does this all the time - he never stops talking!
Gabe: Yeah, I think he gets that from you.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

I KNEW he was a good husband...

Your husband is most like Mr. Knightley of Emma! He probably gives you kind lectures to help you in certain matters, though he does these out of true devotion and in your best interests. Others look to him for his wisdom and good sense. He is generous and steadfast, though not afraid to politely argue with you. The two of you enjoy a challenging, sweet partnership and are most likely very active in your community.

Who is Your Jane Austen Husband?
created with

Hat tip to Dy at Classic Adventures for this one. Thanks, Dy!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Learning to walk

Two and a half years ago, during Lent, I took on attending one mid-week mass (as well as the Sunday mass) as part of my discipline. I was very pregnant at the time – in fact, my priest used to joke about how cool it would be if I went into labor in church. And I have to admit that I felt like I was always in church and it could certainly happen that way! Of course, it didn’t. I wasn’t really always in church, although at the time it did feel that way. The decision to go was a discipline taken on because I truly, honestly, did not want to go. It was a large chunk of my morning that I was giving up, and I wasn’t feeling well, and those unforgiving wooden pews were hard on my very pregnant body. After Lent was over (and my baby was finally born) I stopped going.

The next year I considered it, and I think I actually went a few times, but I didn’t make it part of a Lenten discipline. Jonathan was about 10 months old and I struggled to keep him quiet even in the regular Sunday service with Gabe’s help. Wednesday mass was populated by about six regular attenders, most of them elderly, and it was a silent service (compared to Sunday, when there were always lots of children making some level of noise!) and I honestly wasn’t sure how welcome a fussy baby would be.

This past year I also considered including mid-week mass as part of a Lenten discipline. And again, I chose not to. But I have been attending anyway. Somewhere along the way this past year, I started to want to go. The change from discipline to desire had happened without my noticing.

This was, to put it mildly, a surprise.

I’ve been a Christian all my remember-able life. My parents made sure that I always knew that Jesus loved me, and I can’t recall a time when I didn’t believe that. I am deeply thankful for the security and grounding in faith that they provided. However, my experience with Christianity, per se, was not always so positive. As a child I went to church with my family, went to Sunday school and refused to pray out loud. My strongest memory of elementary age Sunday school, actually, is the teacher who forced me to do it anyway. In sixth grade I had a wonderful teacher who taught us to read scripture and then think about it. We had amazing discussions (in sixth grade! Truly!) and I think I learned more about the faith there than anywhere else until college.

In Junior high we changed churches. I was a homeschooled kid who couldn’t fit into a youth group where main topics of teaching and conversation were sex and drugs. I spent my time in the nursery, being the best assistant anyone had ever had. I am so grateful to the leaders who recognized my need for an alternate place to fit, and gave it to me. Sometimes when church isn’t where you want to be, good people can find a way for you to fit there anyway.

High school came along and I went to church because I was expected to, and hey, I had some friends there. I knew that God was real and I certainly believed in him…but he seemed very far away from “real life” as I experienced it. I spent a lot of hours begging God to notice me and fix me and sometimes to let me die so I could go to heaven, because I didn’t think I could make it if he made me stay on earth. He didn’t.

By the time I got to college, I knew all the right answers. How could you not, being raised in solidly Protestant Evangelical churches for your whole life? I was a pretty educated Christian in my head, but my heart was dry and lonely.

Enter the Torrey Honors Institute. Torrey took my world apart. All my carefully “right” answers weren’t so right anymore. The tutors wouldn’t let us get away with “Sunday school answers”, and that was all I knew. I remember weeping for days when I realized that I couldn’t defend the idea that God was good.

Around the same time I started attending Blessed Sacrament Church. Thanks be to God, who gives us the good gifts that we need. At Blessed Sacrament, I found structure in liturgy that allowed me to feel God, experience God, know God in a way that I simply hadn’t before. As Torrey (rightly) took apart my bad reasons and false understandings, Blessed Sacrament gave me a safe place to become re-grounded in the faith. Faith that had been the same for generation upon generation upon generation. Liturgy carried me to the cross when I wasn’t sure I could walk. And there, even when I couldn’t pray, I was fed and loved and cared for.

God waits for his children. I can’t even comprehend how patient he has been with me, as I have taken tiny, stuttering steps toward him over the years. All the years when I usually didn’t want to go to church; the years when I often went because I didn’t want to have to explain to other Biola students why I hadn’t been there, or because Gabe simply assumed that we would go. More recently the years when I went because I knew that I should, and I knew that I’d be glad that I did when I got there.

And now finding that, more often than not, I want to go. Want to enough to give a second morning back to the God who gave me seven of them. Want to enough to take two children to a silent mid-week service and teach them to be quiet and participate as much as they can.

It isn’t easy. There are still mornings (more often than I’d like to admit to) when I really don’t want to go. When staying home sounds so much easier. When Satan whispers in my ear that it isn’t necessary, and it isn’t important, and wouldn’t it be nicer to stay home and nurse my cup of coffee instead? It isn’t easy once I’m there to keep two children quiet and one of them reasonably attentive. Teaching a toddler how to genuflect and make the sign of the cross and be still often doesn’t leave much room for silence and reflection in my own heart.

But it doesn’t matter. Liturgy still carries me to the cross, even when I’m carrying children with me. And at the cross I find that I can pray, and when I can’t I am still fed. Christ gives me the grace and the sustenance to keep trying, to spend one more day attempting holiness. My friend Jessica likes to say that she is God’s toddler. I like the metaphor. And I think that maybe I’m finally learning how to walk.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Spring Reading Thing wrap-up

Summer is here, and with it the end of the Spring Reading Thing. Many, many thanks to Katrina for hosting it. This is definitely one of my favorite bloggy events of the year, and I'm looking forward to her next challenge in the fall.

My original goal was to read nine books this spring, along with more planned reading to Jonathan (we've started going to the library every week!) My books included three parenting books (one of them a re-read), three new-to-me fiction, two classic fiction, and one non-fiction. Since I was being purposefully thoughtful about my choices, I figured I'd try to span a more broad range of choices than I typically do.

I actually did fairly well with the challenge. And in the process, learned a few things about myself and my reading habits! I finished six of the nine books. Two of the parenting books, all three fiction, and one classic. I almost finished the third parenting book, but just couldn't make myself muscle through it. I started the non-fiction but didn't come close to finishing, and I chose not to even start Demons, my second classic novel.

Ok, I'll break that down a bit.

Parenting in the Pew by Robbie Castleman
I didn't like it very much. You can read my review in the last half of the post here.

Bringing up Boys by James Dobson
Just couldn't make myself finish it, although I came close. I felt like those parts which were good were also somewhat obvious. Perhaps that is because my parents did a good job raising my brothers. Perhaps it is because I've already done a lot of thinking about raising boys, since I now have two of them. Perhaps I just didn't like his writing style (it did feel rather directed at a low-level reader). I also thought that he was woefully wrong in some areas. That has always been my reaction to Dobson - sometimes he's right, but sometimes he's wrong, and when he's wrong I think he's REALLY wrong and his opinions can be harmful to children.

A Mother's Rule of Life by Holly Pierlot (re-read)
Every time I read this book I find more gems to help me in my vocation. I plan to continue reading it every year or so, to refresh and refocus myself in my goals for motherhood.

Straight Up by Lisa Samson
Loved it! I generally steer clear of “Christian fiction” because, frankly, so much of it is bad writing. Lisa Samson breaks that mold in a well-constructed story about two deeply flawed women who encounter God in two completely different ways. I can’t tell you too much more about that without giving a lot away, but I can tell you that the characters make you care about what happens to them. And the book includes the best conversion I have ever read. It makes you want to stand up and cheer. (If you thought you recognized that last bit, it is because you've read it before in my multi-review post here. I'll do the same thing for the next two books.)

Girl in Hyacinth Blue by Susan Vreeland
Decent. I didn’t particularly like or dislike it. And I can’t think of much interesting to say about it…so no real review on that one. Sorry! :)

The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
A lot of fun. Suspend your disbelief and embark on a ride through time, space, reality and fiction. Jasper Fforde has lots of fun with idiosyncrasies of the English language, and I laughed out loud quite often. Sarah, you should read it – you will love the bookworms (yes, worms) who read/eat Mansfield Park and poop apostrophes. :)

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
I rather wish that I hadn't tried so hard to finish this one. It was hard to do, and unpleasant, and I was a grumpy person most of the time I was reading it. Gabe kept telling me that I didn't have to read it, but I thought that I needed to because, you know, it was part of my challenge! And what kind of person would I be if I didn't succeed at my challenge? Ok, so it was very silly to think that. And I learned my lesson. Read about it at the beginning of this post.

Demons by Fyodor Dostoevsky
Lesson learned - didn't even open this one. Someday when I don't have small children underfoot I do intend to read it.

A Meaningful World: How the Arts and Sciences Reveal the Genius of Nature by Benjamin Wiker and Jonathan Witt
As much as I intended to get through this one, it just didn't happen. I enjoyed the first part, and I have no doubt that I will enjoy the rest of it someday. It is just that it takes concentration to read and understand it, and thus did not lend itself to being picked up and put down multiple times a day. Since that is generally how I read books now, I found it a very frustrating endeavor. Extra frustration does not lend itself to good mothering, so I gave up.

I think that I made good decisions about the books to finish (or not finish, as the case may be). While I find myself somewhat regretting A Meaningful World and Demons, I'm pretty certain that I just need to try them at another time of my life. And I will! (Remind me!) :)

One of the neat things about this kind of reading challenge is finding other good books through other bloggers' lists and reviews. I read quite a few new books (not originally on my list) because of this, and really enjoyed most of them. You bloggy people are a treasure trove of good book ideas! I didn't keep track of all of them, and I didn't review most of them, but a couple can be found here and here. I apologize for the fact that both reviews are of books that I didn't like...I find that often it is easier for me to get "fired up" enough to write reviews about books I didn't like than about books that I did.

I will definitely be participating in more of Katrina's challenges, most likely for as long as she keeps hosting them!

If you want to check out everyone's wrap-up posts, head over here and read away!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

What we've been up to

Or "that to which we have been up"? Or something, because I think the second attempt was wrong, too. Sometimes I wonder if my kids will be able to speak with proper grammar after listening to me. I'm college educated, but I catch myself making grammatical mistakes all the time. And it wouldn't be so bad, except that sometimes I don't know how to fix them. Like this time.

In any case! I'm sure you're much more interested in the pictures. So here you go:

I made this airplane at Jonathan's request, and then he added all kinds of embellishments to it.

Isn't my sleeping son the sweetest? He was SO tired that afternoon, and it was so hot, I think he simply passed out. :) Sorry the angle isn't better - I didn't want to get too close for fear the flash would awaken him.

And finally, this evening Jonathan said "Look Daddy, I made a little tiny house!"

And so he had. He's our little builder. Notice the dump truck in the background?

I have a couple of long, involved, interesting posts brewing in the back of my head. Maybe one of these days I'll have the time and energy simultaneously to write them. For now I'm keeping my head above water. The boys are fed, bathed (occasionally), read to, and played with.* The house is reasonably clean and meals are healthy if not famously interesting. I'm working out three times a week (bless my husband for taking the boys so I can do that!) and chipping away at my to-do list. Life is pretty nice. It just doesn't have much extra time in it for thought-intensive blogging. Oh well. Eventually I'll either get it written or forget what I wanted to write about. Isn't that always how it goes. :)

*See, I really can't write grammatically! I haven't a clue how to fix that sentence! Heaven help my soon-to-be homeschooled children!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Your tax dollars at work, evidently.

Why is it that when you become the mother of a toddler boy, work machines (front loaders, rollers, backhoes and the like) suddenly multiply like rabbits? Seriously, where did they all come from?

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

All the time in the world

A friend of mine, Erica, recently finished working as a full-time high school teacher. She'll be staying at home with her 11 month old daughter, being "just" a stay-at-home mom. The first week after she finished work, I saw her at the park. "It is so nice not working" she said. "When K took a nap I didn't have to try to get everything done before she woke up. I just did some housework and didn't have to do all the grading or plan lessons..."

And that, right there, is perspective. Who am I to complain about my tough life and lack of time and long to-do list? I don't have a full time job. I don't need to have a full time job, because God has given me a husband who has a job that allows me to stay home. I get to stay home with my children and focus solely on keeping a home and raising them. What a gift!

I know that I will still have days when I feel overwhelmed and under-appreciated. I'm human, and I'm tired, and sometimes the children are cranky. But I'm going to do my best to remember Erica's lesson: "It is so nice not working."

Menu Plan ... Tuesday?

Ok, so I'm a day late. But I thought about it! And I have a menu plan!

Monday: Pasta with chicken and broccoli (part of it was out of a box, but I added so much fresh stuff you'd hardly know it) :)

Tuesday: Brisket in the crock pot with potatoes (if they're still good) and baby carrots

Wednesday: Spaghetti with mushrooms and parsley in garlic butter sauce

Thursday: Beans in the crock pot with homemade bread and sliced tomatoes

Friday: Chicken nuggets with salad and fruit

For more menus, check out Laura's site:

Diaper bags

Kelly, a mom of two-almost-three kids, blogged about this diaper bag some time ago. She said it was amazing. She said everything fit in it. She said it was comfortable. She said it was worth every penny ($59???) and she said we should all go buy one. I thought it sounded too good to be true, but I was so frustrated with mine that I talked myself into hoping and bought it.

Folks, it IS true. I can fit everything I want to into this bag. And it isn't monstrous to carry. And it doesn't feel crammed to the limits. Everything has a place and everything is easily accessible. If I could have designed a bag to my very own picky specifications, it would have turned out just like this bag.

The fact that I am so ecstatic about this really says a lot about my phase of life, doesn't it? :)

(Disclaimer: while I wish that Pottery Barn would pay me for this glowing endorsement, I am sad to say that they are not.)

Friday, June 15, 2007


Thomas had his first taste of big people food last night. As you can see, he was initially quite suspicious.

And then a little worried.

But after a few attempts, he decided he liked it a lot!

Welcome to the world of solid food, little one. And try not to grow up so fast, will you?


Isn't it interesting that the same plant can produce flowers with both four and five petals?

Thursday, June 14, 2007

It's a start!

As I mentioned a few days ago, there was a letter from Whittier Presbyterian Hospital waiting for me at the post office. I picked it up today, and I'm actually rather pleased with it. I didn't get exactly what I was hoping for, but it is definitely a start. I'm very pleased that they took me seriously enough to actually respond, and not only respond, but respond quickly and by certified mail! I'm pleased that it was a reasonably genuine apology - at least as genuine as you'll ever get from a hospital administrator whose job it is to be careful with her words. I'm pleased that a review by the Ethics Committee will take place, and that my letter was forwarded to the Head of Obstetrics (yes, the one who didn't help in the first place, that one.) Maybe a second look will make him/her think again.

I'm not pleased that my request for a reprimand to Dr. Purdom was met with the suggestion that I communicate with him directly. Um, that really isn't going to help, since he has no reason whatsoever to listen to me. I'm not even his long-term patient. He has already lost my business. Why should he listen? Jessica, being a nice person, says that I should give him the benefit of the doubt. And while I suppose she might be right, honestly I'm still too mad at him to be very charitable. I'll give that he's just misguided and honestly thought he was right. (See, that is charitable, right?) But I'm highly doubtful that he's going to change his mind, no matter how many letters I send him. Besides, what I want is something in his file so that other moms have the chance to know what he did, if they choose to investigate.

In any case, I'm going to call the hospital administrator tomorrow and ask a few questions, namely: 1) when the hospital ethics committee will meet and when I can know the results of their review, 2) if I can know the results of the H of Ob.'s review, and 3) whether the hospital is refusing to reprimand Dr. Purdom, or just waiting on the results of a review before doing so.

We'll see what happens! :)


After lots of sunshine, a long soak in OxiClean, and another soak in Rit Color Remover, my diapers are no longer brown.

They're pink.

Maybe our next baby will be a girl?

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


Amber tipped me off to this article. It is very funny and definitely worth the read. My favorite quotation:

We can only dream that someday, when our condition is more widely understood, when perhaps an Introverts' Rights movement has blossomed and borne fruit, it will not be impolite to say "I'm an introvert. You are a wonderful person and I like you. But now please shush."

WFMW - factual mortage information

Searchlight Crusade is one of the most helpful sites that I've ever stumbled across. Dan Melson is a mortgage broker and realtor, and the point of his site is to expose all the not-quite-fraudulent and definitely-not-ethical things that go on in the mortgage business. He would like you to be educated, and if you read his site for awhile, oh my word you WILL be educated.

Everything you ever wanted to know about mortgages is there. As is everything you never dreamed of but also need to know.

AND he takes questions.

I don't know what sparked this kind of altruism - his chosen field is scandalously known for being full of very bad people out to make a buck - but I for one am really grateful for his expertise!

If you're ever in need of mortgage information, check it out. Excellent education in a difficult field surely works for me!

Do visit Shannon for more excellent tips!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Math and music really do mix

Nerdy guys making math jokes. A cappella. It just doesn't get much better than this! :) Thanks to Veronica at Toddled Dredge (a new-to-me blog that I am LOVING) for the link.

Finite Simple Group (of Order Two)
The Klein Four Group

The path of love is never smooth
But mine's continuous for you
You're the upper bound in the chains of my heart
You're my Axiom of Choice, you know it's true

But lately our relation's not so well-defined
And I just can't function without you
I'll prove my proposition and I'm sure you'll find
We're a finite simple group of order two

I'm losing my identity
I'm getting tensor every day
And without loss of generality
I will assume that you feel the same way

Since every time I see you, you just quotient out
The faithful image that I map into
But when we're one-to-one you'll see what I'm about
'Cause we're a finite simple group of order two

Our equivalence was stable,
A principal love bundle sitting deep inside
But then you drove a wedge between our two-forms
Now everything is so complexified

When we first met, we simply connected
My heart was open but too dense
Our system was already directed
To have a finite limit, in some sense

I'm living in the kernel of a rank-one map
From my domain, its image looks so blue,
'Cause all I see are zeroes, it's a cruel trap
But we're a finite simple group of order two

I'm not the smoothest operator in my class,
But we're a mirror pair, me and you,
So let's apply forgetful functors to the past
And be a finite simple group, a finite simple group,
Let's be a finite simple group of order two
(Oughter: "Why not three?")

I've proved my proposition now, as you can see,
So let's both be associative and free
And by corollary, this shows you and I to be
Purely inseparable. Q. E. D

Laundry mathematics



and results in a rather unhappy mommy. It wouldn't be so bad except for the fact that that particular diaper load also had my favorite blue onesie in it, and the nice blue changing pad cover, as well as Gabe's white dress shirt.

Please don't ask how the brown rug got into the all-white-hot-wash load.

Because while I'd like to be able to explain that Jonathan dragged the stool over to the washer, grabbed the rug, climbed up, and dumped it in all by himself ... so of course I couldn't be expected to know about it, now could I?... it just might not be true.

In fact, while I'm pretty sure that I'm the guilty party, I have absolutely no idea how I did it.

Maybe he'll be an engineer?

On Sunday morning Jonathan noticed that there were screws in the back of one of his toys, and requested a screwdriver because his fingers "don't fit!" Gabe told him that after we got back to church they would take it apart together. And they did. Doesn't that look like a fun daddy/son project?


Jonathan: *fuss, fuss, fuss*
Emily: "Jonathan, why are you fussing?"
Jonathan: *pause* "Because I love you!"


Yesterday while I was out running errands, the mailman tried to deliver something certified (i.e. needs a signature). Since I wasn't here, he left a note saying it would be held at the post office. Also on the little note: the sender is Whittier Presbyterian Hospital.

If it is what I hope it is, they did a good job in their response time. (In the letter I sent them I said that I expected a response within two weeks, and they're four days early!)

I'm hoping, hoping, hoping that it is a nice, sincere, no strings attached apology.


Maybe I shouldn't hold my breath.

I can pick it up tomorrow and find out!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Recipe winners

We've had two pretty amazing meals in the last week, and I want to share the recipes. The first is from a cookbook called "Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook".

Basic Savory Beans

1 lb. dried beans (I used pinto beans)
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped or left whole (I chopped it)
1/2 bay leaf
1 t. dried oregano, marjoram, or savory (I used oregano)
pinch of cumin
pinch of coriander (I left this out because I didn't have any)
3-4 cups water, as needed
3-4 cups chicken broth, as needed
salt and pepper to taste

Put the beans in a colander and rinse under cold running water; pick over for damaged beans or small stones. Transfer to the slow cooker and cover by 3 inches with coldwater. Soak for 6 to 12 hours and drain.

Add the onion, garlic, herbs, and spices to the beans in the cooker and enough of the water and broth to cover them by 3 inches. Cover and cook on HIGH (the pintos took about 4 or 5 hours). The beans need to be covered with liquid at all times to cook properly. They will transform the water and broth into a liquid, called bean, liquor, similar in color to whatever bean you are cooking. When done, they will be tender and hold their shape, rather than fall apart. Season with salt and pepper. Leave whole or gently mash a portion of the beans in the pot. Serve immediately.

I served it with homemade bread, homemade "creamed" corn (with milk instead of cream) and watermelon. It was definitely a hit! And it makes a full crock pot of yumminess for about $1.50 or so. We've been eating leftovers for days now and still have quite a bit.

The second recipe is a knock off from Black Angus Restaurant, and oh my goodness, people, it worked. It turned out just exactly like the very expensive appetizer that we had on our anniversary. I am a happy, happy girl. :) Because of the more expensive ingredients (steak, blue cheese) this meal ended up costing about $8. But if you compare that to the $6 appetizer plus tip in a restaurant, I think it works out to being a good deal on occasion.

Cheesy Steak and Onion Flatbread.

4 slices whole wheat pita bread
2 onions, sliced
olive oil
small amount of good steak (I used 0.4 lb of sirloin) cut into bite sized pieces
more olive oil
garlic or garlic powder
blue cheese
shredded cheddar
chopped green onions

Caramelize the onions in olive oil. (Basically, this means to cook them on high for about 10 minutes, stirring constantly, and then cook on low for another 20-30 until they turn a lovely shade of light brown and smell sweet.)

Lay out 4 pitas on cookie sheets and preheat oven to 400 degrees. Get blue cheese, cheddar, and green onions ready.

When onions are done, in another pan, heat more olive oil with garlic, salt, and peppercorns (to taste). Cook steak until just barely done. You do not want to overcook it!

Layer onions, steak, cheeses, and green onions on pita. Heat in oven until cheese is just melted and pita is warm.

I served these with a big green salad. Even though it is an appetizer at Black Angus, it is a very satisfying meal on its own.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Menu Plan Monday

This week is a "pantry/freezer week" at our house. I'm spending $8 at the grocery store tomorrow - solely on sale items that are available for less than $1 and are outright steals. Other than that, I'm making do with what I have. So, here is the plan:

Monday: Spaghetti (noodles from the pantry, sauce from the freezer)
Tuesday: Tacos (taco meat and shredded cheese from the freezer, perishables already in the fridge)
Wednesday: Chicken and Spinach Pasta Bake (I have everything but the mozzarella, and I think I'll just substitute for that ingredient)
Thursday: leftovers!
Friday: Chicken patties (freezer!) and baked apples stuffed with raisins

Wednesday's meal is because it just looks SO GOOD and because I have a lot of spinach in the fridge that ought to be used. Other than is nice to go back to cheap and easy basics every now and then. Besides, I'm using the grocery budget for other things this week. :)

For more interesting menus (since mine, well, isn't) spend some time clicking through the participants at Laura's site.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Breast milk donation opportunity

Elena tipped me off to this opportunity, and she has already written a fantastic post explaining how it all works. Basically, if you're a healthy nursing mom, you have the opportunity to pump extra milk for other babies in need. Some of your milk goes straight to Africa, to feed HIV babies. The rest is used to help NICU babies here in the States.

A few weeks ago a friend of mine was in the hospital for a few days and wasn't able to breastfeed her 10 month old. To help out, I pumped extra milk for her daughter. I was amazed at how easy it was to feed a second child (albeit not entirely!) and how quickly my body responded to the increased demand.

Maybe you don't have much money and can't support aid organizations in the usual manner. This is a way you could give. All it takes is a little extra time - the organization supplies the pump, the shipping supplies, and pays all shipping and processing costs.

There is something beautiful about being able to give, quite literally, of yourself to others. I would encourage any of my readers who are breastfeeding now or in the future to consider giving in this way.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Make believe

Jonathan is really blossoming in his ability to make believe. Today, when I came to get him after his morning quiet time, this is what I found:

He informed me that he was changing the bear's diaper and his clothes. Then once I let him out of his room, he picked up the bear and headed for the swing. This is one well-taken-care-of bear! It makes me happy to see him mimicking how we care for him and for Thomas in his play.

One more picture because it is just too cute. This morning Jonathan requested that Thomas "take a nap with me". Aren't they sweet?


"Shall we have tea this morning?"

"Yes. It will make me feel better."

"Do you not feel good?"

"Um..." (this means "I'm not sure how to answer you.")

"Sometimes we drink tea just because it tastes good."

"Oh. That's amazing!!"

Thomas at (nearly) 4 months

Thomas loves to listen to me sing. It doesn't matter if it is a song or just some made up humming or nonsense words, he'll listen and smile for quite a long time.

He's getting better at holding things. He has a black and white plastic ring that he likes to hold and try to chew, and he's just starting to try to reach for things. But he can't always figure out how to open his hand yet, so mostly he'll just bat at them. His favorite toy is still his own hand - he's very good at getting that into his mouth!

Still no luck with pacifiers. Jonathan never liked them, either, so maybe Gabe or I contributed a "no pacifier" gene. :) I keep trying, because Thomas REALLY likes to suck, and right now he sucks on our fingers. All. the. time.

Thomas is a very quiet child. I remember Jonathan being more "talkative" at this age - more cooing and grunting and definitely more crying. And while Thomas can certainly cry when he wants to, he very rarely coos. I rather wish he'd coo at me more, because it is really sweet when he does. But I think most of the time he just prefers to observe the world rather than talk about it.

He's starting to need more defined naps, but unfortunately never seems to get them. Thomas, dear one, I'm sorry you're not a firstborn. And I'm glad you're such a laid back little man.

His smile - oh my heart.

One more thing: you would not believe how fast his toenails grow.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Thomas rolled over!

Not quite four months old, and he has rolled from his tummy to his back! In a cloth diaper, no less - the bulk can be quite an impediment to rolling!) Yay Thomas!

Return of the diapers

Potty training has been officially discontinued as of today. We stopped making real progress a few weeks ago and Gabe and I have felt like we were sort of just treading water, trying to hold onto the initial progress without slipping backwards...and it wasn't really working. Then the last few days Jonathan has completely rebelled against the idea. Sitting on the potty isn't fun any more (not even with the promise of chocolate chips!) - it is a fight just to get him to try. This morning I did require him to sit down and try, and after a few minutes of him screaming and me mandating that he sit, I gave up and let him go. Less than five minutes later - an accident all over the couch.

So. This isn't a fight I care to have. And it isn't a fight that I can win. Therefore we're going to have a planned retreat and try again in a few months.

He's only two. He's little. He'll get it someday.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Menu Plan Monday

Oh, we are eating WELL this week!

Monday: Cheesy Spinach Bake from Jessica
Tuesday: Baked apples stuffed with sausage (Joy of Cooking pg. 217)
Wednesday: leftovers
Thursday: Baked beans (slow cooker), creamed corn, and salad (Joy of Cooking pg. 255, 271)
Friday: Broccoli stir fry and chicken chow mein (Joy of Cooking pg. 260)

As you can see, I spent some time browsing through my Joy of Cooking cookbook, and I found some really great recipes. I'd been in a bit of a cooking slump for awhile, and this has definitely snapped me out of it. :)

Check out more menu plans at Laura's site.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Set back

We've experience a set back in the potty training saga. You see, my toddler's plumbing stopped working properly on Thursday night. And after multiple trips to the potty to "just try" that ended about five seconds after he sat down, in tears, I wasn't sure what to do. Until he refused to sit on the potty AT ALL and peed all over the floor instead.

We went back to diapers. Just for the morning. I thought.

Unfortunately, getting the plumbing working again was rather a painful experience for the poor child. And after that he outright refused to wear anything but diapers again - for two whole days. He quite articulate about it. "Mommy, I don't want to wear underwear. I don't want to poop or pee in the potty. I'd rather wear a diaper."

Not kidding. That's what he said. And even chocolate chips weren't enough to change his mind. So we backed off. He still hates diaper changes, so each time we'd ask him if he'd rather wear underwear, but when he chose a diaper we simply put a diaper on.

Thankfully, this morning the promise of chocolate chips enticed him into trying again. And so far we've had a bit of success. Gabe took him to church this morning in underwear again. Here's hoping that we get back on track!

Oh, and as an aside: my second son is pretty sick right now (hence my being home instead of at church this morning). He has a runny nose and a fever and last night threw up an entire feeding. He's pretty miserable. Prayers that he'd feel better soon (and that the rest of us won't get it!) would be appreciated.

Oh wow

Everyone who is a mom, or has a mom, or knows of a mom...just has to watch this. :)

Hat tip to Shannon for the great link!