Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Thanks, Sarah, for the t-shirts!

This morning

This morning I got up after a very late and restless night with Thomas, exhausted.

This morning my right arm, where I got a tetanus booster last week, hurt so much that I called the doctor to make sure it was normal.

This morning I discovered that I had left the outdoor hose running (but the nozzle closed). The hose ruptured. Water water everywhere, and a ruined hose.

This morning I also discovered that we have a leak under the kitchen sink. Not the old leak that we knew about (the bucket to catch that one is dry) but a new one that has soaked the entire cabinet. The particleboard is sopping and swollen, and there is mold everywhere. I'm doubtful that the cabinet can be saved, and if it can't, what then?

This morning I sat down on the floor and put my head in my hands, asking God to give me grace to keep going through a difficult day.

This morning Jonathan looked at me carefully and asked with great compassion, "Mommy, do you need a hug?" And then wrapped his arms around me.

This morning may not be so bad, after all.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Well THAT is different!

Thomas has shown himself quite ready to make the switch from milk to solid food. I think he'd prefer to just eat instead of nurse (except at night, that is - he's decided that night time is a great time to make use of the snack bar!) One result of this new development is that he has started refusing to nurse to sleep for naps.

Now, when Jonathan starting refusing nursing, it was a nightmare. Suddenly my never fail go-to-sleep trick no longer worked. And so he cried, and I rocked him and sang and eventually laid him in his crib out of desperation, where he continued to cry. So I greeted Thomas' nursing refusal with my own tears. And I tried rocking him, and singing to him, and bouncing him, and it all just seemed to make him mad. So I re-wrapped him in his swaddle and laid him in his bed and walked away, expecting to listen to him cry himself out.


Five minutes later I went to check on him. He's sound asleep.

My children's differences never cease to amaze me.

Friday, July 27, 2007

And the winner is...


I'll be sending the book soon (as soon as it gets to me, actually!) and I hope that it helps you as much as it has helped me. Best wishes!

And for all of you who didn't win and still want the book, it is only about $10, and could probably be considered a very worthwhile investment in your family and your sanity. :) You can find a link to it on my sidebar.

(Disclaimer: if you purchase it after clicking through my link, amazon will give me oh, about a nickel. In case you care.) :)

Hallelujah, Jesus

Remember that free cd (from Monk & Neagle) that I got a few days ago? Well, it has become a favorite. Why, you ask? Because any music that can have my toddler singing along to "Hallelujah Jesus" is a winner in my book! There is nothing quite like hearing your little boy singing along: "ha-we-wu-a de-dus" and then excitedly saying "Mommy, is this a ha-we-wu-a to De-dus?"

You can pre-order a copy of their new cd here, if you're interested.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Pesto - yummy!

My brother-in-law gave me a set of four Chia herbs for my birthday a few months ago. Sadly, three of them died a slow and moldy death. Before the fourth could collapse in agony as well, I made a last ditch effort to save it and re-planted it in a pot of dirt outside.

Who knew. Plants like dirt. I'm hazarding a guess that they don't like chia "sponges" so much.

In any case, my basil plant has thrived. I should have taken a picture of it before I cut it back - it was huge!

So tonight's dinner was based on the fact that I had over 3 cups of basil leaves begging to be cooked. As usual, Allrecipes came to the rescue with this delightful recipe. So easy - just throw everything in a food processor and blend until smooth! Not expensive - homegrown basil, and walnuts instead of uber-pricey pine nuts! And it tastes just right.

Also featured in the above photo: amazing salad with homegrown tomatoes!

Monday, July 23, 2007

And what is Thomas doing, you ask?

I'm so glad you did! Thomas has discovered the joys of Peek-a-boo. And oh, it is fun. :) He also loves to be held upside down - he grins and giggles and thoroughly enjoys himself.

He does NOT like tummy time. When he was younger he didn't seem to mind it, but now that he can sit up and play with toys, he's pretty mad when I put him on his stomach. Mom, I can't sit up this way! Mom, I can't reach my toys!! Well, son, learn to crawl and then you can! ;)

Things Jonathan can do (and is doing – over and over and over again!)

Sing “Little Bunny Foo Foo” and “Stand Up Stand Up for Jesus” (yes, the entire first verse!) Granted that his singing doesn't actually have notes to it yet...but it does have the beginnings of inflection. His latest, actually, is singing "Happy Birthday TO you, happy birthday TO you, happy birthday TO you..." oh, and now that I think about it, he also sings "Thomas Thomas bo-bamas banana-fama-fo-famas me-my-mo-mamas...Thomas!" with higher inflection at the end, as well. So I think he's starting to get the idea, at least!

Make pretend food out of everything – sticks, leaves, rocks, toys, you name it! It is then served to us with much excitement and we are required to taste whatever he has created. A few days ago I was served “chocolate”: a mixture of leaves and dirt in a tupperware bowl. Well, it was brown!

Clean up after himself. We’ve been working on this one with specific toys such as playdough, and he’s getting very good at it. A few days ago he cleaned up his own playdough and put it away without being asked when he was finished. Hurrah!

Play with words. Yesterday Gabe said something about being a grown-up. Jonathan responded “You’re not a grown up, you’re just throwing up!” and then giggled himself silly.

And last but not least: he thinks that the proper answer to any question that begins with “Jonathan, why did you do X?” should be answered with “because I love you!”

Dog Days of Summer giveaway

Shannon at Rocks In My Dryer has the coolest carnival going on right now - the

DOG DAYS OF SUMMER Bloggy Giveaway

The idea is for everyone to do their own little giveaway and link back to her site so that there is a sort of "master list" all in one place. Last I checked there were about 250 giveaways, and that was this morning! I wasn't planning to participate. BUT. Today as I was browsing through some of the sites, I thought of a really good thing to giveaway. And I think that maybe it was just a tad of God-prompting to not be chintzy. :) So here goes: my giveaway!

A Mother's Rule of Life by Holly Pierlot

If you've been reading here long, you'll know that this book has radically changed the way that I look at my life. If you're new to my site, you can read a little bit about that here.

In fact, I'm now part of the planning group that is starting a MROL women's group at my church. It is going to be awesome - I'm so excited to get to (finally!) have a real women's group through church, and especially to be able to share with more women the book that has helped me so much.

And I think it will be pretty neat to share it with another blogger, who will (hopefully!) go on to share it with someone else!

All you have to do is leave a comment on this post between now and Friday. On Friday evening I'll hold a random drawing (yes, out of a hat, no fancy-shmancy number generators for me!) and one commenter will become a happy winner. :) You don't have to have a blog to win, but if you don't have a blog you need to include a way for me to get in touch with you in your comment.

Happy commenting! Good luck!

For TONS more (and I do mean TONS!) awesome giveaways, go visit Shannon's post!!

Friday, July 20, 2007

That's incredible!

Some times I wonder what I could possibly have been thinking to give up my fancy-free childless lifestyle. But other times, well, I can't imagine not having my sweet little ones. This afternoon reminded me of that fact:

Jonathan: "Mommy, may I have some cheese? I ask instead of fussing!"

Me: "Jonathan, you did! Good job! Yes, you may have some cheese."

Jonathan: "Mommy, mommy! That’s incredible!" *big smile*

(The background is that we've been working hard on asking nicely the first time instead of fussing first and asking nicely after we've reminded him. Evidently Gabe's discussions with him about this are paying off!)

101 Quick Summer Meals

Doesn't that sound nice? I often have a hard time cooking in the summer because it heats up the kitchen so much. Heat sort of takes away all my creative cooking desire. But there are a lot of ideas on this list that sound easy and yummy and very "do-able". Check it out here.

Thanks to Jen for the link!

Good reading

Dy, over at Classic Adventures, has a lovely reflection written about her birthday grocery shopping trip. Here is a little tidbit - then go read the whole thing. Dy's thoughts are always worth reading.

Food, along with all the thousand other connotations and cultural messages it carries, sings a song in my head that says, "You are loved, you're taken care of, you're taking good care of those you love. It's the circle of love, and of life, and of...ohhhhhh, turkey sounds good."

Monk & Neagle

I discovered a new Christian music group yesterday through BooMama. Those of you who know me probably know that I tend to dislike run-of-the-mill Christian music. And I still do. But something about this grabbed me. It is a little bit typical Christian rock, a little bit praise band, a little bit beach music, and a few really good lyrics. I don't like all the songs, but some are very good. My favorite that I've heard so far is "The Twenty-First Time". You can check them out here (at a blogger sneak preview site!) and listen to five songs on their new cd. And while they've already given away 100 cds (one is coming to me, yay!) they are looking into another giveaway and you can sign up to be on the list if it happens.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Vacation days

Last weekend we drove up to Carson City, Nevada, for my brother's wedding. He married a truly lovely girl (lovely inside and out) and I'm so glad that we got to be there for the happy day. Welcome to the family, Jenn! They asked Jonathan to be the ring bearer, and this time he actually made it up the aisle all by himself. Granted, it was at a run with a look of mild terror on his face, but still. :)

The drive north went remarkably well. I'd been talking to Jonathan about our really exciting trip! for weeks. He had helped me order his own special travel tray (thank you SO much to Shannon for the review of this product!) and we had planned what kinds of toys he'd like to bring in the car. We had also practiced his ring-bearing skills, and he was very excited about going to the wedding. Then the day before we left I went to Walmart and picked up a little package of tiny Tonka trucks. He saw them for the first time at 5am as we started driving, and they were a HIT. He probably played with those things for 80% of the time we were driving, and I don't think I'm exaggerating.

Thomas had a few new toys for the trip, too. He wasn't as thrilled with his - but he was completely thrilled with the new-found joys of a pacifier. And when I say "new-found" I mean that he discovered that he liked it about a day before we left. I am so grateful.

We heard the dreaded words five hours and five minutes into the trip: "Dad, are we at the wedding?" We weren't. But he took it with good grace. :) Honestly, we have the best set of travelers ever!

All went beautifully until we got to a stretch of very winding road, about an hour out of Carson. At least, we expected to be an hour. It actually took us more like three, because we found out the hard way that Jonathan gets carsick. Very, very, very carsick. We didn't realize until it was too late that the sudden absence of chatter from the backseat meant "sick" not "sleepy". The result necessitated a 45 minute stop to clean up (as best we could). I was thankful that we had lots of wipes in the car, as well as a change of clothing and some extra plastic bags. I was also thankful that we pulled over right in front of a construction site. So Jonathan got to recover while watching his very favorite machines at work, and we got to clean up the car without trying to entertain him at the same time. If he had to throw up, it just couldn't have been at a more perfect place. God is good to us!

Anyway, the rest of the trip took a long time since we had to keep stopping every time Jonathan's eyes got glassy and he stopped swallowing his saliva (which was about every fifteen minutes - poor kid!) The second time we stopped we bought him some sprite, which seemed to help settle his stomach. And so we made it to Carson, with about half an hour to spare before the wedding rehearsal. Don't we time things beautifully?

(One funny result of the car sickness: now when Jonathan wants soda, he tells me that he's "gonna frow up" and he "needs spite to make my tummy feel better". Clever, child, very clever.)

Pictures from the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner:

Mom and Dad with Thomas

Sarah and FavoriteBoy (her husband is nameless in bloggyland) feeding Thomas his dinner.

The wedding was lovely, and even the wind (which was a bit hard on the sound system!) added beauty - you should have seen all the girls with the wind blowing their dresses and Jenn's veil. I'm sure the pictures will be fantastic. It was weird to watch the groom standing at the front, waiting for his bride to walk down the aisle - I always do that because it is hard to see the bride anyway and it is fun to watch the groom's face - because he's my brother! But nice to watch him and realize that he was so certain, and so in love with the beautiful girl coming toward him on her father's arm. I'm glad that both my married siblings have chosen such great spouses. It is nice to be able to be wholeheartedly happy for them, without reservation.

Another wonderful thing about the wedding was that Mom was able to walk down the aisle, even though it was uneven grass with gusty wind as well! Walking for Jonathan's wedding has been her goal for some months, and it was so incredible to see her achieve that. I'm proud of how hard she's worked to get to this point. Take that, all you doctors who said she'd probably never walk again! :)

We stayed in Carson on Friday night after the wedding, and then met Steve (Gabe's roommate in college) on Saturday morning. He drove out from Elko to spend the day with us. It was such a good, vacationy day! We started at the Nevada State Train Museum, because it was right down the street from our hotel, and we thought it would be neat for Jonathan. I'm glad we went - we got to ride on a real train (built in 1881, one of only two of its kind still running!) and look at all kinds of neat models and real trains in the museum as well. Jonathan was impressed and I think we all had a good time.

Then we drove toward Tahoe and stopped at Spooner Lake on the way.

We had a picnic lunch and then Jonathan, Steve, and Gabe went and played in the lake (until they found a leech, that is!) and Thomas and I took a nap and read in the shade, respectively.

You would not believe how dirty Jonathan got. So I will show you a picture, and then you'll have to. :)

Jonathan was so tired after all this that he fell asleep on the walk back to the car. Isn't he precious?

Both boys slept for a few hours as we drove to Lake Tahoe, and around it to the Northwest side. We ended up at Tahoe House Bakery for iced coffee and pastries - yum! If you are ever in the area, you definitely need to go there. Then Steve headed back home to Elko and we continued on to my parents' house for the night. I'm so glad that we had that day - it was relaxed and fun and I'm glad that Gabe and Steve had lots of hours to catch up and enjoy being friends.

Oh, and when we were getting back in our car, guess what we found on top of it? Anyone know what in the world it is?

Saturday night we spent with my parents and Christopher, and celebrated Christopher's birthday. Then Sunday morning we headed for home. It took us about 12 hours, start to finish. Actual driving was probably more like 8 hours, but I think our boys had had quite enough of driving by this point. Jonathan kept telling us that we had to stop so he could get out and throw up - this on the straight-as-an-arrow I-5! :) So we stopped for a lot of rather lengthy stretching breaks. I guess that's just how you do long drives with babies and toddlers.

So now we're home and I'm working on getting back into normal life. I don't think I'm succeeding very well so far - I haven't done any of my regularly scheduled chores this week. Mostly I've just been taking care of the boys and making sure that laundry is done and food is on the table. Tomorrow maybe I'll get myself back in gear - that's the agenda, anyway - we'll see if it happens. In some ways it is nice to just slow down and ignore dirty floors for awhile. But I don't think I can do it forever - eventually it will start to bug me - and I think I may be about at that point. :)

Well that was certainly a longer post than I intended. Off to bed with me!

The napping house

I'm babysitting for Ashley this afternoon. That means that I have four children under the age of three in my house. Sounds terrifying, doesn't it?

They are all asleep. Every single one of them. Mind you, I don't expect it to last, and I have all kinds of amazingly fun plans for when they wake up. But for now...they are asleep!!!

And what do I do with these precious few moments? Blog, of course. Very quietly. Because I am just responsible like that. :)

Monday, July 16, 2007

Pictures are back up

I have no idea what happened in my previous post. Evidently blogger lost the pictures some time after I published it, because they showed up for a few hours and then disappeared.

In any case, they are back up now and hopefully will stay that way! :)

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

In pictures...

"It's lunch, Mom."

Thomas can sit up reasonably consistently now. He is really enjoying this new ability!

What's this new food, Mom?

More, give me more!!!

Saturday, July 07, 2007

I don't want to jinx it...

but I think we have potty training success.


We just finished day five of dry underwear! Jonathan now tells us "pee is comin' out!" when he needs to go, and he is successful in getting to the potty before it actually does. :)

He's still in diapers for naps and bedtime, and I expect that to be true for quite some time. But oh, I can't tell you how much I'm enjoying not changing toddler diapers all the time!

The whole process has taken about ten weeks, from day one, and including the hiatus back into diapers for about ten days. All in all, I'm pretty impressed with my just-turned-two-year-old.

Yay Jonathan! We're proud of you!

Peter Pan

"Jonathan, what are you going to be when you grow up?"

"I'm not going to grow up."

Thursday, July 05, 2007

5 months (almost!)

Thomas will be five months old in a few more days. Sometimes I look at him and wonder how on earth he got so big so fast! Some of the things he's doing now:

Chewing on everything. If he can get it in his mouth, he will. If it is in his mouth, he chews on it. If he can't get it into his mouth, he's very sad. :) I think his teeth are moving around as well, as he's more fussy than usual now and if I put my finger in his mouth he bites hard!

Having conversations. He's getting very good at "conversational cooing". He'll do this with Gabe and me, or with Jonathan, and the other day he had quite a conversation with an orange stuffed elephant!

Sitting up (with help). I let him sit in the laundry basket - if I put him in there with a pillow and some toys, he'll enjoy himself for quite a long time. The basket sides are just enough to help him recover his balance when he starts to fall over. It is good practice for him! (This isn't the laundry basket, but you get the idea.)

He is starting to find his thumb, and really enjoys it when he does. I remember Jonathan having a thumb-sucking phase as well, but it didn't last long. I wonder if Thomas will make it a habit or not?

Thomas has two lovely smiles. One is with his mouth closed and the smile goes straight across in a line. He looks very pleased with himself. So far I haven't been able to capture that one in a photo, although I keep trying! The other is his wide open grin that he uses when he's laughing or really happy about something. Thomas smiles so frequently, and it is such a joy to see!