Sunday, December 28, 2008

CVS trip 12/28

When I first looked at today's ad, I wasn't sure if it was worth going to CVS this week at all. I'm glad I looked again, because it ended up being a very good trip. I'm getting better at this!

All that for $2.34 oop. If you take ecbs "oop" into account, then the total cost was $9.33 - a very good deal for all this! Here's what I did:

Transaction #1
2 Pantene $7.00
- $3/2 pantene coupon
-$4.00 ecb
Total oop: $0.23 tax (I figured out why I'm paying a few cents even if it looks like it should be free - you still have to pay tax on the amount of the manufacturer's coupons. The ecbs "eat" tax, but MQs don't.)
Received $2 ecbs

Transaction #2
2 Pantene $7.00
1 Tide $5.88
1 Colgate $2.99
1 CVS toddler wipes $1.49
-$3/$15 CVS coupon
-$3/2 pantene coupon
-$1/1 tide coupon
-$1.50/1 colgate coupon
-$5.99 ecb
-$2.87 ecb (this was originally a $2.99 ecb, but it got adjusted down because there wasn't $2.99 left to take off.)
Total oop: $0.43 tax
Received $4 ecbs

Transaction #3
1 Colgate $2.99
2 Kleenex (BOGO) $2.19
2 Johnsons first aid kits $1.98
-$1.50/1 colgate coupon
-$0.40/1 kleenex coupon
-$1.98/2 johnson's coupon (originally $3 off, but adjusted down to the actual purchase price.)
-$2.00 ecb (I meant to use a $2.99 ecb, but accidently handed the clerk the wrong one. Oh well.)
Total oop: $1.68
Received $2 ecbs

So my total oop was $2.34, and I have $6 ecbs that don't expire until the end of January.

Oh, and aren't those Johnson first aid kits cool? They have a nice strong plastic box with a good clasp, and I think they'll last a long time even carried around in my diaper bag.

I'm participating in the CVS $5 Challenge at Keeping the Kingdom First. Hop on over for more scenarios - it is a great place to learn if you're just starting out!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

I don't believe it.

I just put Josiah down, in his crib, awake, and walked away.

He's asleep. No crying, no fussing.

He's asleep.

This is the first time this has ever happened to me.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Help me rescue my budget?

I'm on the lookout for ideas to help cut our grocery budget. Currently we're averaging $90 a week on groceries. This includes things like toilet paper, but not diapers. About $11 of that is spent on milk - we go through close to four gallons each week.

I buy only produce that is on sale and try to pair coupons with sales for other items (The Grocery Game helps me with this.) I buy meat when it is on a REALLY good sale or else I just don't buy it. We eat a lot of non-meat and low-meat meals.

Maybe I'm being unrealistic and it really just costs this much to feed our family, but it seems like an awful lot of money to spend each week! So I'm looking for comments - ideas for ways to feed my family healthy meals (not just boxed mac and cheese!) without breaking the bank quite so badly.

Ready, think, type! :)

Julie Andrews - age 12

I grew up listening to Julie Andrews' renditions of Christmas carols, as my mother did before me. On New Year's Eve we always watched Julie in The Sound of Music. She was definitely an important part of my musical tradition, and I spent a lot of hours wishing I could sing like she could!

Today I ran across this recording: Julie at age 12. I had no idea she was such a child prodigy!

Mom, I hope you enjoy this!

Hat tip to StandFirm.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Slashed prices

I keep hearing about how people aren't shopping this holiday season, and about how panicked retailers are slashing prices to try to lure people into their stores.

I don't know about the "people not shopping" part. Today when I went to Kohls to get some needed clothing for the boys, I stood in a line that reached almost to the back of the store. And that was the short one. Silly me for actually believing that "people aren't shopping" and I could get what I needed quickly!

However, the "panicked retailers" part must be true, because I have NEVER paid so little for clothing before - not even at Walmart. Kohls had nearly everything in the store marked down, generally around 40-60%. They had also sent me a 30% off coupon in the mail (expiring tomorrow - hence the trip today!) and emailed me a $5 off coupon which could be combined with other discounts. Then when I (finally!) got through the line and paid, they gave me an additional 15% off just for using my Kohl's card.

I bought:
2 long sleeve onesies for Josiah (originally $17)
2 play/sleepers for Josiah (originally $16 each)
1 shirt for Jonathan (originally $14)

I paid $16.09.

The poor retailers. Maybe they'd make more money if they didn't give us so many discounts.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Do you know what CAUSES that?

"Yes, and we like it."

Hat tip to Jennifer at Conversion Diary!

CVS again

Don't ask me why my photo won't stand up straight. I've tried four different things and apparently it just doesn't want to.

This morning we went out to JoAnn Fabric (business purchases - yay for FOUR orders in a month!) and because CVS was right next to it (and I am just slightly addicted) we went back. Ok, the real reason was that I had a few more things that I wanted to get AND yesterday I got a $5/$15 coupon. And I am just slightly addicted. :)

Listerine $2.99
2 Stayfree $7.98
Sally Hansen nail polish (Sarah, I checked but it wasn't BOGO 50% off at my store) $5.99
CVS "tylenol" $4.39
-$5/$15 crt
- $2/2 stayfree MQ
-$2.50 pain medication crt
-$8.98 ecbs

Total spent: $3.27 oop and $8.98 ecbs, but now I have $12.98 in ecbs that won't expire until January 21st! Not to mention free products that we would have bought anyway! :)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

CVS trip

Today was a fun CVS day for me. I had only $4 in ecbs to begin with, so I had worked out a four transaction scenario very carefully ahead of time. But then they were out of one of the items, so I got to see what I could come up with on the fly. I didn't have long to think about it, either, because the whole trip had to take about 30 minutes (between church and vestry)! So it ended up being a little different than I'd planned, and I made one mistake and paid $2.59 more than I thought I would have to, but I'm still quite pleased with the results.

Transaction #1
2 Halls Naturals $5.18
- $1/2 coupon
-$4 ecb
$0.27 oop ($2.59 ecbs earned - this was my mistake; I thought I'd get ecbs back for both items but the limit was 1)

Transaction #2
Listerine $2.99
Excedrin $3.99
- $2/1 coupon
-$2.59 ecb
$2.73 oop ($6.98 ecbs earned)

Transaction #3
Complete contact solution $8.99
- $2/1 coupon
-$6.98 ecb
$0.17 oop ($8.99 ecbs earned)

Transaction #4
Listerine $2.99
Sally Hansen nail polish $5.99
-$8.99 ecb
$0.00 oop ($8.98 ecbs earned)

Final result: I spent $4.00 in ecbs and $3.17 oop. But I ended up with $8.98 in ecbs, so the trip ended up being a $1.81 moneymaker. And I got things we need and things we'll donate. *happy dance* :)

I love this new hobby of mine. For one thing, it is just fun to walk out of the store with a bag of stuff for which you paid practically nothing. But more than that is the fun of using the numbers/logic part of my brain, which has been very dormant for the past four years. I've missed using it, and this is a really enjoyable way to wake it up.

Now, for anyone reading who is better at this than I am, I have a question. On transaction #3 my subtotal (after coupons and ecbs) was one penny. But I got charged 16 cents of tax, for a total oop of $0.17. Why the tax on two dollars? Not that I mind paying 17 cents, but I would like to understand the way it all works!

Things we've been doing

A few days ago my vacuum cleaner made a horrible, awful, very bad not at all good noise when I turned it on. I really can't describe it - just imagine the worst screeching clacking sound EVER and multiply it by a large factor. Apparently my children had stuffed a pile of magnetic letters inside it, and while some of them shook out, some of them were all the way inside, lodged in the motor itself. Nice.

Visions of very expensive vacuum cleaners were dancing in my head, BUT my amazing husband managed to take the whole thing apart:

And even better, put it back together again. And it works. :)

Today while I was at the Vestry meeting (my last one - hurray!) the boys found our Christmas tree. Didn't they pick a nice one?

After setting up the tree, I made a lovely dinner, which I am quite proud of because I had no idea what I was going to make, and yet ended up with this on the table:

It is a kind of southwestern style fajita/burrito cross. Chipotle/lime chicken, onions, corn, lettuce, and sour cream, mmm, mmm!

And after dinner we walked around an incredible Christmas lights display in a neighborhood in Brea. We bundled the kids up in lots of jackets and blankets, and Josiah wore this adorable hat that Jessica made for him.

How cute is he? :)

And now we are off to bed!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Body betrayal

Bearing three children has had a significant effect on my physique. I’m not one of those women who loses all their “baby weight” just by nursing, and is back into their size six pre-pregnancy jeans eight weeks after giving birth. Every pound I lose is a fight, and it is a war that I have to wage for a long time before winning. Sometimes I just don’t win.

I’m 35 lbs heavier than I was at my most fit (just before getting pregnant for the first time). 30 lbs heavier than a more typical “normal” at that time. 20 lbs heavier than the weight I’ve resigned myself to as the “new normal” after three pregnancies.

Two weeks ago I decided to get serious about losing those twenty. I broke out the triple stroller and set up a schedule for walks and jogs. For a week it felt great. And then everything started to hurt. First it was my ankle – the one that I’ve sprained a few too many times and always gets sore during pregnancy. Then it was my knee – not the one with the osteochondroma in it (I know how to deal with that problem) – but the other one, the one that doesn’t have a reason to hurt. Then my shoulder started acting up, aching, a remnant of over-use in karate. Now it is my wrists, one of which is well on its way to carpal tunnel again.

Some of this is just part of having an infant (for me, at least) – I had some similar aches and pains when Thomas was small – but I’m pretty certain that they all flared at the same time because of trying to push that monster stroller on long walks. And so I’m left with the futile frustration of a body that is breaking down and thwarting my efforts.

Six years ago, in the throes of anorexia, size sixteen jeans would have seemed cause for suicide. Now, thanks be to God, they’re mostly an annoyance (I’ve only got one pair!) and an occasional cause for tears on bad days – most of the time I can look at my body and see the glorious functionality of a body that has born and nursed three children. Still, I’d like to lose those twenty pounds. And I wish that the functionality of a body that can and has nourished children also extended to one that could push a triple stroller with all those children inside.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

St. Nicholas day

St. Nicholas Eve:

For some inexplicable reason, Thomas did NOT want to leave a carrot in his shoe. And Jonathan was adamant that he only set out one shoe. Ok then.

And there was much excitement in the morning! Chocolate coins! Before breakfast!!

CVS and Walmart

Ok, I'm hooked. This cost a grand total of $2.04 oop (out of pocket).

From CVS:
12 (4 count) packages of AA batteries
1 bottle of contact care solution
1 package Always pads

I did the CVS part in two transactions, used $11 ECB* and ended up with $14 ECB. I also used a $2/1 coupon for the contact solution and six $5/2 coupons for the batteries (yay for an AWESOME manager who gave me as many as I wanted when I asked if she had any!) Total oop for CVS was $1.22. It should have been a dollar less, I think, but for some reason the computer would only let me apply $5 of a $6 ECB, even though the total was $5.99. I don't know why, neither did the cashier, and neither does my sister, the reigning coupon queen in my family. Oh well.

Oh, and Sarah, I think ECBs must just work differently here in regards to tax, because I had to pay at least some tax on both transactions.

From Walmart:
8 Johnson's Buddies soaps
1 BeechNut baby food jar

The soaps were $0.97 each and I had coupons that amounted to $1 off each of them. Since that would have given me a negative total, I threw in the baby food jar ($0.50). My total ended up being $0.82 because apparently they charge tax on everything before coupons - next time I won't add the extra item in and see what happens. I wonder if the coupon overage would count towards the tax? It will be an experiment. :)

I was surprised to find that there is a decided "high" that comes from figuring out how to work the system this way. Prior to trying it I had thought couponers were a little nuts. Now I still think that a lot of them are nuts, but I kind of get it. It is just complicated enough to make it fun! As I try out this new coupon project I'm going to be weighing carefully the time I spend on it, and considering the true value. I don't want to become one of those crazy people who seem to live for saving as much money as possible - my goal is to do my part of "providing" for my family by using our money as wisely as possible. But I also need to use my time as wisely as possible, and I have a suspicion that this will be a fine line to try to walk.

*ECB = Extra Care Bucks (CVS's rewards program)

Saturday, December 06, 2008


So my sister has convinced me to try CVSing. I'm not doing as well as she is right now, but I'm beginning, and today I was extremely pleased with a deal that I found at I Heart CVS. (Did you know that some people host blogs entirely devoted to couponing? Wow.)

I bought three packages of diapers and one package of wipes (items that I, obviously, would be buying anyway - we do use cloth diapers for Josiah but keep disposables around for when we're not at home or when I'm behind in the laundry!) Original total with taxes: $58.03

However, by using this promotion - free shipping and $10 off a $50 order
the coupon code "MASTERCARD" (all caps) - $10 off a $50 order
and the coupon code "MEDICARE" (all caps) - $5 off

my actual cost was only $33.03

You do have to use a Mastercard to pay for your order in order for the "mastercard" code to apply.

This was a better deal than buying the same items at Sam's Club, which is saying something!

Thursday, December 04, 2008


This afternoon I had five children at my house, and they all napped at the same time.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008


Our Advent season started off with Jonathan as an angel in his chapel class' part of the Advent pageant. The picture isn't great because of the very low light, but if you look carefully you can see him. It was adorable, even though only one of the little girls actually sang the song, and I'm not sure any of them gave the correct responses to the questions . Most of the children made faces, picked their noses, or sucked on their hands. They're three! :)

In the evening we set up our Advent wreath. Thomas tried to eat the candles:

but we rescued them and Jonathan helped set them up in the wreath.

Thomas looked on to make sure we did it right.

Then yesterday we made a paper chain to count down the days until Christmas.

It doesn't have any red loops because we were out of red construction paper. :)

Stay tuned for more advent activity pictures. Probably not every day (I'll be doing REALLY well to have activities, much less post about them!) but I do hope to get pictures of our best ones.

What are you doing for Advent?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Generation gap

When I am out doing errands, with a a baby in the sling and two children either in a stroller or attached to both my hands, a large percentage of the people I pass choose to comment on our "large" family. Most of the comments are meant to be neutral, I suspect, but end up sounding rather negative. It is the tone, I think.

The interesting thing is that these neutral/negative comments come, without fail, from adults between the ages of 20 and 50. These are the career women, the parents of one, the bachelors.

Most of the time I hear "Wow, you have your hands full." My stock response to that is "yes, in the very best way!" Once I was shocked into silence, however, when "you have your hands full" was followed up by "I'm so sorry." Yes, that unfortunate woman was sorry that I have been blessed with beautiful children. I am sorry for her.

I respond with a smile because I want these people to know that I rejoice in my children, even on the hard days. I want them to know that my hands are full by choice and that I would not have it otherwise. But it is not their comment that makes me smile, and after the sixth one in an afternoon sometimes I want to grit my teeth and ask "did you think that comment was original?"

(Of course, I won't. But oh how I want to!) :)

Not everyone thinks that I have my "hands full" however. There are the teenagers, who usually don't notice anything around them, but if they do notice us, they think that my family is "awwww, just sweet!!!" (with all three exclamation points). And there are the elderly, who light up my day with their genuine smiles. From them I hear "Children are such a blessing, aren't they?" and "You have three boys? - what fun!" and "What a beautiful family you have." Many of them want to stop and chat; smiling at each child individually, telling Jonathan that he must be a so proud to be a big brother, asking Thomas how old he is; enjoying their chance encounter with these, the very newest generation.

What has changed? The elderly know the joy and the value and the very full hearts that come along with the full hands. The generations that followed them seem to have missed that truth, and I wonder why.

Rainstorms and other happy occurences

Some of my happiest memories from childhood are of rainy days spent splashing and sailing boats in very large puddles. When we were completely wet and freezing cold, we'd head inside to warm up and sing for our "grog" - broth with noodles.

Last night it rained, and when I woke at 3am I had the awful thought: I only have ONE pair of boots for the boys! So first thing after breakfast we headed to Walmart to get a new pair of boots for Thomas.

They had a great time. Actually, they had two great times - they came in to warm up, changed clothes, and then headed back out again, this time in sandals because their boots were sopping wet. I almost told them "no", because I am a silly grown-up and nearly forgot how important it is to get wet feet.

It is very important.

When they came in for the second time they disrobed, changed into pajamas, and had hot "grog" before nap time. And I sang "Oh me father was the keeper of the Edystone Light" for them while they ate. Remember that one, siblings?

Rainstorms always make for a good day. Even if they do multiply the laundry and get mud all over the floor. :)

In other news, Josiah is laughing!

And my sweet, sweet middle child, who is so very dear, wants to be just like Daddy.

Wish lists

Jonathan (pointing to a magazine): "I'm going to get this, and this, and this for Christmas!"

Gabe: "Well, not necessarily."

Jonathan (slightly confused): "No, but I'm ASKING for them!!"

Gabe: "But you don't always get everything you ask for. People have to buy presents for you."

Jonathan: "Well...WE could buy them!!!"

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Friday, November 21, 2008

Shameless plug for Lullaby Slings

If any of you, dear readers, are planning on buying Christmas gifts for a mother or small child, would you consider shopping at Lullaby Slings? (See, I told you. Completely shameless.)

I have some really pretty and useful items for sale right now:

Ring slings ($40-50)

a mei tai ($75-85)

burp cloths ($16)

and really sweet snuggle blankets in all kinds of adorable prints ($8)

(Click on the pictures to go to the item in my etsy shop.)

I am trying to earn enough money to buy a new sewing machine - needed for lullaby slings business, and also for the joy of sewing on a good machine instead of an entry level one! Isn't it pretty?

For friends and family and readers of this blog, I am offering a 10% discount on orders placed before December 15th. (Did that get your attention?) :) If you do place an order, just write a note in the comment box letting me know that you read about it here and want your discount. Depending on how you choose to pay, I'll either send you a modified invoice or give you a refund via paypal.

Go shopping!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Advent readings

I want to read some Advent stories to the boys this year. I'd like a few good renditions of the Christmas story, of course, and also I'd love to find a good preschool or kindergarten level story of the real Saint Nicholas. If there are other saints with special days during Advent, their stories would be great, too. Oh, and a story of the three kings (to read before Epiphany). Do any of you have any favorites?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


There is an evil, ugly, insidious lie that I am very prone to believing. It sends me spinning around the house from one thing to another, flitting from room to room, never completing one thing before rushing on to the next.

The laundry needs to be done, but in the doing I notice that the beds must be made, and while making one the children need me to play with them, and while playing I realize how I haven't read to them in far too long, and while reading I remember the laundry and the dishes, and while washing dishes oh dear, we haven't done art projects this week, and while getting out art supplies I remember the beds, still unmade, and the laundry, still un-hung.

The lie is "never enough". It says that I should do everything. It says that I should do everything well. And it says that I should do everything well without ever getting upset or angry or tired.

It is easy to think that it is true guilt, that I really should do everything, and well, and that if I don't it is because I am failing my family, failing God.

I think the Father of Lies would like me to feel guilty. He would like me to let that guilt keep me spinning in circles and then collapsing, crushed, on the couch in despair.

But he lies. God's call for my life right now is very full, but it is not He who says that my efforts are "never enough". Rather, He says "my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."

It is enough.

Thank you notes

When I was small, my mom would always help me write thank you notes for every gift I received. As I got older, I learned to do it myself, and I also came to appreciate the importance of writing them.

Now as an adult I make it a point to always send a note in response to a gift. I keep a list of gifts received and cross off each individual as I write and send their card. This system usually works really well.

Usually. Apparently not when I am post-partum and overwhelmed with the demands of three small children.

You see, I made my list. But I think that I may have forgotten to cross off some of the people for whom I've already written cards. Now as I begin writing a note I am plagued by the thought: "didn't I already write this one? I think I've written this exact same phrase! Or maybe I only thought about writing it, but didn't actually get it on paper? No, I'm sure I sent that one because I emailed to ask her for her address. But maybe I did that and then didn't actually write the note?"

As you can see, mama-brain has arrived and appears to be staying.

So, friends and family, if you gave us a gift in the past 8 weeks, and haven't received a thank you note, please accept my humblest apologies. And if you have received two cards referring to the same gift, go ahead and laugh. :)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Homeschooling the teacher

It's a good thing we went to the library today. We found an amazing book about bees (thank you, National Geographic!) and learned that bees do NOT make honey from pollen. They make honey from nectar, which they sip with their tongues. I'm not sure why they pick up pollen with their feet, but my guess is that it is simply for pollinating the flowers.

Obviously I'd better start studying.

Carrot Bran Muffins

Katie and I were talking about healthy recipes today at mom's group, and thus I am inspired to post my latest find. These taste like carrot cake, but they have so much good healthy stuff in them! The recipe posted here is an adaptation of the Basic Bran Muffin in Esther Brody's 500 Best Muffin Recipes.

2 cups whole wheat flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 T. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
3 cups natural bran
1-2 cups raisins
1 cup chopped nuts (optional - I left these out because I didn't have any)
2 cups grated carrots
2 tsp. cinnamon
4 eggs, beaten
2 cups milk
1/2 cup molasses (or use 1/4 cup honey and 1/4 cup molasses - I did this because I ran out of molasses!)
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup applesauce

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda, bran, raisins, nuts, and cinnamon. Stir in grated carrot. In another bowl beat together eggs, milk, molasses, butter, and applesauce. Add to flour mixture; stir just until moistened. Do not overmix - batter will be lumpy. Spoon batter into prepared muffin tins, dividing evenly between 36 muffin cups. Bake for 20 minutes. Best served warm (re-heated is fine, too!)

These muffins turn out VERY moist. When I make them next I think I may cut back some of the milk and probably use less honey/molasses. I'd rather use less sugar, but I'm not sure how to do that without ending up with muffin soup! If anyone knows how, I'd love suggestions.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Accidental homeschooling

Yesterday we went for a walk. While we were out, I noticed a honeybee on a flower, and we stopped to look at it. We talked about how honeybees are different from wasps, and when Jonathan asked what the bee was doing I explained how he was collecting pollen with his feet to make into honey. Jonathan found this fascinating, and for the rest of the walk home we talked about bees making honey - every step from the pollen to the hive to the bee keeper harvesting honey and packaging it up to send to the store. When we got home I put little drops of honey on the boys' fingers and they licked it off. It was such fun to watch their delight! When Gabe got home, Jonathan excitedly told me that Daddy needed honey on his finger, too, and gave a pretty good rundown of what we'd talked about. He was definitely interested!

So today we continued with the subject, this time with an art project:

Construction paper, scissors, glue sticks, crayons, and stickers (I am SO glad that I picked up those insect stickers last weekend!) made for a truly enjoyable 45 minute project. Thomas is old enough to enjoy doing things like this now, too, as long as he has some extra help. So I cut out suns and clouds and grass and beehives, and the boys pasted them onto paper and decorated their creations with stickers.

Do you see how intentional Jonathan was with his honeybees? They're stepping on the flowers to collect the pollen, and one of them has already carried his pollen home!

Tomorrow we're heading to the library, and I'm hoping to find a book about bees to read to the boys. Nothing like capitalizing on an interest!

I told my mom about this, yesterday, and said that it seemed like "accidental homeschooling". She said that most early homeschooling is like that.

I waver back and forth constantly, wondering if homeschooling is something that I can and want to do. Days like these make me think that I do. :)


Josiah is sleeping all day long. And I am quite positive that he is busy growing, because in the space of about three days he has outgrown his 3-6 month clothes. I am not kidding. I switched all his 0-3 month clothes out, and three days later I realized that I'd better go find the next size up. It isn't that he's so very big in pounds, but he is very long and getting longer. He is getting a little bit of chub, too, which is very cute. His cheeks are filling out nicely. :)

He continues to like spending time on his tummy, and is just starting to try to hold his head up. It is pretty jerky and doesn't last long, but he's working on it.

Jonathan and Thomas have definitely adjusted to having Josiah around. Sometimes they'll be very sweet to him (kissing his head, asking to hold him, etc.) but most of the time I live in minor terror for his life. Today Thomas and Jonathan were rough-housing and chasing each other, and Thomas fell over, right on top of Josiah's head. Poor baby.

Lest you think I am a horrible mother, I will say that I do try, very hard, to keep Josiah in safe places. In this particular case he was in my lap. Thomas just managed to fall over on top of both of us.

Did I mention that Josiah has started smiling? It is utterly adorable. I will make extremely silly faces and sounds for a very long time, just for the reward of that smile.

Oh, and he can sit up, sort of, if propped in a corner. And make funny faces.

Yes, that was a lot of pictures. But his grandparents really like me now. :)

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Kiss a wookie, kick a droid...

My sister-in-law Jenn posted this fantastic video on her blog. Apparently she has insanely talented friends. And yes, I am a musical geek. :)

Thursday, November 06, 2008

What a night

At 11pm we went to sleep.

At 1am Thomas woke up, crying.

At 2am Josiah needed to nurse.

At 3am Thomas woke up, crying.

At 4am Jonathan wet the bed and then refused to go back to bed. Tantrum ensued.

At 5am Josiah needed to nurse.

At 6am Gabe left for work, and since Josiah was awake, I was on the job, too.

What a night.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Afternoon smiles

This afternoon my boys were enthralled by the painter across the way. They sat there, side by side, and watched him for a good 15 minutes. At one point Jonathan turned around and said "Mom, I think we'll wait to play until he's done, ok?"

Thomas is our little camera ham - he has developed a special "camera smile", which I have captured for your amusement:

And this is him being his own sweet self. We make cute children, don't we?

It is a good afternoon.


My oldest son never stops talking. Today I asked him to stop talking to me, to just please, be quiet for a few minutes, and his response?
"Well, is it ok if I talk to myself?"
I love him. So very much. He is funny and creative and sweet and loving. But my ears are tired - tired to the point of my head aching and my soul crying out for silence.

I didn't know how much I needed silence until I couldn't have it.

Lord, help me to survive this time of blessed noise.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Nesting projects

I was going through some old posts and found this one in draft form - I had almost finished it, but didn't quite get it posted before Josiah showed up. :) Rather than just delete it, I thought I'd post it now and we can all giggle together over my crazy pre-birth instincts.


Over the past 2-3 weeks, I've definitely had the nesting bug. Apparently most women nest when they're about to have their baby. I get started a good 4-5 weeks ahead of time (I had the same experience with Jonathan and Thomas, so this does seem to be a predictable pattern!)

Some of these projects I've done myself, some of them I've enlisted (ok, drafted) Gabe's help to accomplish. :)

Building the bunk bed. Didn't Gabe do a wonderful job? This one really was his project entirely, and it took a lot of hours (particularly since he did almost all the work with "help" from the boys!) He's a good Daddy. I'm so pleased with this piece of furniture. It really is exactly what we wanted - real wood, good quality, very safe (it is practically a crib on top!) and with a trundle bed underneath. All three boys will be able to sleep in this bed for a good many years to come, and still have room to play in their bedroom.

Organizing my side of our closet, as well as my hope chest. This was a project that took more than a full day, since I actually opened and went through all the boxes that I'd been moving from place to place for the last ten years. The result was fantastic - we actually have room in our closet again and I know precisely what is there and which box it is in. I wish I had thought to take a "before" shot, because you would all be much more impressed.

Going through two boxes of clothes that we had been given for the boys. Some of it is now packed away in a box (the sizes J will be in next) and the rest was given away.

Getting rid of two LARGE boxes of books that had been sitting around for the past year. They had been listed on BookMooch, (and I still love BookMooch!) but at some point you have to assume that no one wants the ones that haven't been taken for a year. So out they went!

Walking through the house (with Gabe) and getting rid of a variety of books, toys, clothes, picture frames, and other stuff that we just didn't need/love/use.

(Notice a theme here? My particular brand of nesting usually includes throwing or giving a lot of stuff away. All my tendencies toward minimalism and simplicity come out in full force: "Out, out get it OUT OF MY HOUSE!!!" is about how I feel. Poor Gabe lives in fear for his possessions while I'm in this frame of mind.)

Organizing the dresser in the boys' bedroom (which had been holding all the various stages of 0-24 month clothes), then moving Jonathan's clothes into his very own drawer. He's quite capable of choosing his own clothes each day, and likes having that grown up responsibility. Now the shelf on the changing table that used to hold J's clothes is available for baby onesies!

Sewing, sewing, sewing! I have a boutique sale coming up in early November, and one of my goals has been to get nearly (if not completely) ready for it before Josiah showed up. On top of that I got a couple of large and unexpected orders (six slings, my word!) in the last two weeks!

Finishing a collage frame of photos of Thomas' first year. I'd been meaning to do it for about six months, but never got around to it. Apparently guilt over having a third child before paying attention to photos of the second is a powerful motivator. :)

I'm actually having a hard time coming up with anything else that needs to be done before Josiah shows up. Maybe he'll take the hint?