Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I Feel Crazy so I Jump in the Soup!

If you can name the artist of that song, then you are a mother.  (Or, possibly a father.  We don't discriminate here.)

*I am eating a giant salad.  It is sooooo good.  I often wonder why more people don't eat salad.  It's the 100% customizable food.  I eat one nearly every day and am never bored - because there are so many ways to mix it up!  EAT A SALAD AMERICA!

*Whoa, salad tirade much?  I really love salads. 

*I vamped up the blog a little bit, in case you couldn't tell.  I added pages, which - I think, makes me official.
Officially insane?  
Thanks for sticking with the 6 different templates that made an appearance during the choosing process.  If you saw more than two of them, you may be a stalker... 

*This morning I accomplished most of my entire week's to-do list in just two hours.
VBS application in?  Check
Joanns for elastic to fix the boys' capes?  Check
Post office to mail out letter and return a package?  Check
Laundry washed, folded and waiting to be put away? Check

Now, if only every day of summer could be that productive!

*I took a really long break in the middle of this post to actually fix the boys capes.  So add another check on my to-do list!

*Summer is officially here.  Which means swim suit season.  I'm not exactly stoked.  At least about myself in one.
The boys in one - is awesome.  I found them long-sleeved rash guards on sale for $5.50! Normally $20!!!
Now, I just need to find a killer deal on a one piece, long-sleeved, long-panted swim suit for Holdeezy.

*I've been working on a list of fun stuff to do with my boys this summer, to keep us all entertained and sane.  Also, to possibly learn stuff.
Here's what I have so far:
~Tie-dye shirts.
~Make Artwork to go in the frames I intend to put in the kitchen
~Make a volcano
~Hubband came up with a crazy/fun/cool family picture Idea - I'm hoping to pull that off.
~Some of the experiments from this book.
~Convince hubband that we also need this book.
~Survive the heat.

Anybody have any other suggestions for activities for us to do?  I'm open to all suggestions!
Except get a dog.  Which has been suggested.  And denied.  

We'll also be building more epic race tracks.

*Date night is Friday night.  Like, little black dress, wearing heels, have a babysitter (thanks MIL and FIL!!!) going to mingle with ONLY ADULTS kind of date night.  SOOOO excited I just can't hide it!
I'm about to lose control and I think I like it.  

Anyway.  Happy Monday.  That's not really a Monday.  It's a Tuesday.  But we didn't work yesterday, so it's a faux Monday.  Have a good one, regardless! 

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Sneaky Little Finger.

Reading about Monster Trucks.
This picture makes you say "awwww" doesn't it?
All sweet, and pull at your ovaries cute? 

What about this one?
Do you love that my youngest is already a pro at flipping me the bird?
Yeah me too.
At least I know he's ready for the world... 

Friday, May 27, 2011

Mil-Spouse Friday Fill In.

I haven't done one of these in a while. [Insert whining about not having enough time, being tired, lack of inspiration.]

Thank you Wife of a Sailor for hosting even when people like me go in and out more than my kids do from the back deck during the summer.

This morning, I have a sleeping baby.  B-rox is back at school and Kenny is pretending to be Captain America.  Saving the world, one snack at a time.

1. Do you think civilians, in general, understand the meaning of Memorial Day?

Uhm, honestly - I don't generally understand the meaning all that well.  To me - it's the weekend that the pool opens.  

Before you get your 'roos in a wad - hear me out.  I'm all sorts of patriotic.  I love the 4th of July to the point where my kids get new outfits for the occasion.  It's a big deal, celebrating the "birth" of our country. 
I also love me some Veteran's day.  Not just because it's a day that Hubband isn't required to go to work, either.  I consider anybody serving or that has served, a veteran.  So - I'm honoring all those military folk on that day.  

I'm willing to learn, however.  If you want to teach me a little more about it {I honestly don't know.  We visited some family members graves a time or two - but other than that - I really am clueless as to what the weekend is about.}

2. What are your plans for the Memorial Day Weekend?

Well, tomorrow the pool opens.  Yay!  I also have book club and a Dream dinners appointment. 

Also, my Aunt Ann, Uncle Mike, Cousin Susan and her hubband and chitlen's are coming to town on Sunday.  

Monday... I have a long run planned.  10 mile bike ride then 4 mile run.  
(Triathlon countdown: T-minus 44 days!) 

3What skill/talent do you wish you had?

I don't know if it's a skill or a talent - but I wish sometimes I had more patience.  In traffic, with my kids, with stupid people, with my husband, with electronics, with stupid people... you get the picture.  

4. Which came first: the chicken or the egg?

Seriously?  I don't want to tax my brain this early.  

5.  What is the best thing about your post (base)?

The best:  It's where hubband makes the bacon.  It has a place for him to work out and on the weekends when we want to catch a Nat's game we can park on base and walk to the stadium.  Forfeiting most of the crowd issue.  
The worst: uhm... it's in a crappy part of the district (people get stabbed.  No joke.), there isn't exactly a "wives group" so you're kind of left... floundering to find your S/O place in the world.  

And, to end the post.  Here's your daily dose of awesome:
When brothers dress brothers. 

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Pardon My Dust.

This is temporary.

I promise.  But some updates need to happen.  So, until then - this'll work.  I think.  I can't edit this template as much as I'd like.  Whatever happened to awesome free stuff?  Seriously.  

I can't do much else until my "new storage purchased" is activated.
And I find time.

Until then... Enjoy.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Throwin' it out there!

I don't even know...

VERY full lap - for three days straight. 

Recovery.  Hard stuff, man.

I know he's my mini - me, but here he looks so much like Hubband! 

Probably time for new jammies...

Just random scenes from the lives of us.  
Scary stuff, right? 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Twenty-eight 3,4,and 5 Year olds. And their moms.

*Mother's Day with B-rox.  At his school.  Chaos ensued.  Not really.  But kind of. 
Dot-to-dot.  Practice counting to 100.  

Sight word bingo.  With Friend.  Who, is adorable and super smart - and lurves B-rox.
So she hung with us for the day.
Her mom was with her big sister in another class most of the time. 

Writing word lists.  
The one thing Braxton is constantly marked down for?
Unfortunately, I think it's genetic.
His dad and I both have pretty crap-tastic handwriting.
Thank goodness for computers. 

In line after recess.
Braxton = one of the oldest.
Braxton = one of the smallest.
He is, however, taller than some of the 3 year olds now.

"Happy Super Mother's day"

"Here's a beautiful Flower".  
 I really enjoy the privilege it is to be granted a day a year to spend with him at school.  It's kind of like "take your kid to work day" - but in reverse.
Thanks for a great day, kiddo.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Sh*tfest 2011

Or, otherwise known as: Braxton's adenotonsillectomy.

We have yet to see him smile like this. 


Nurse:  I just payed $200 for hair just like yours.
B-rox: Oh.  That's a lot of money.  Your hair doesn't look like mine.
Nurse: I know, it's a shame.
B-rox: I have awesome hair. 

Hospital fashionisto.
Don Juan in a hair net.

Shortly after the morphine was given, to bring his heart rate
back into the "not exploding" range.
Crazy swollen face and neck.
I should seriously be given a medal for not crying at all during this whole thing. 
Enjoying the narcotics high.
Morphine, after a nap, is apparently awesome.
Also, swollen tongue.
And, the state of my lap since walking in the door.  
The surgery went pretty well.  We had some RAD issues and they had to pause the surgery to get him breathing correctly again.  However, once he was given morphine in recovery, he's done pretty well.
He's starting to get bored, but really doesn't have the energy to do anything but sit on the couch.  We've already burned through all my "couch activities"...  It's going to be a long rest of the recovery.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

No Words.


So, here's a video.  Of complete randomness.

Also, cuteness.

Crossing my fingers that this week I post about:
1. Soccer.
2. Mother's day at B's school
3. B-rox meets the knife
4. Other randomness?  I don't even know at this point....

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Just Dropping By...

To keep the blog alive.

These past two weeks have been... insane.  In the membrane.  I put almost a million miles on my car in 2.5 days.
I'll have a lot of time at home in the coming week and hopefully I can spend some of it on the computer.
Filling you in on the insanity.

B-rox is headed in for surgery on Tuesday.  Prayers, fingers crossed, nekkid dances around a candle - whatever floats your boat... we'd just appreciate a little of it dedicated to the kiddo.


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Hats ON To You!

Because, the hats are ON their heads.  Not off, sillies.

Phineas and Ferb pj's
Rock on, dude, rock on. 

I don't even have words...

Yoga, on a chair.
Recognize the hat, Aunt Bop?

Sunday, May 8, 2011

"Samples Brunch".

Happy Mothers day.
To my mom for whom I owe my life.  My MIL - for without her, I wouldn't have my husband.  My red-gramma, gramma Jane, and Gramma Dean and all the other mothers on my list.  I wouldn't be the mom I am today, without you.

This is the perfect picture.
It just is. 
Today I was allowed to sleep in.
I was presented with cards.  With which I was given this explanation:
B: Mom, I made you this card.  I drew a picture of you in a pretty dress.  But I don't know why - you don't even have a work to hang it up at!
Someday he'll understand he is work - right?

Then I was taken to Brunch.  At Costco.  A "samples brunch".

And to finish off the day - I am not cooking dinner.

Happy Mother's Day!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Preachin' It.

You asked, I'm answerin'.
Hold on while I put on my habit.  Sister Sarah of the Church of Cloth Diapers - at your service.  

Firstly, the world of cloth diapering is scary when you first look into it.
Though, it's no longer the days of safety pins and plastic covers.

Though, they still exist.
This is a pre-fold and safety pins. 
Since having B-rox, the cloth diaper scene has gained some serious momentum.
We didn't use a single cloth on Braxton.  However, the kid had serious butt-rash his entire diaper life, and we payed out the nose for those little bits of land-fill fodder.
We came to cloth late in Kieran's diaper life, but he spent the last six months of it without a single bit of butt -rash and potty-trained six months earlier than his big brother did.  (It's been documented that CD kids potty train at an earlier average age.)

 The math on how much we saved: 
124 size 3 Huggies diapers cost 36.99 at Target. That's $0.29/diaper. 
The average number of diaper changes per day is 10. 
10 diaper changes a day - for six months in disposables is: 0.29x10 = $2.90.  2.90x180 = $522.00

(figure at least two years of diapers - ten changes a day for 730 days.  $0.29x7300 = $2,117)

We bought a package similar to this (Thanks Peggy!) which cost around $130.00.
(We started with a combo of reusable cloth inserts and bio-degradeable disposables.  Eventually we stopped with the disposable inserts and went full on cloth.)
A difference of $392.00.  
That savings helped us buy the diaper packages we would need for Holdeezy...

Diapers purchased for Holden:
g-diaper bundle in small (used from birth to 3.5 months) We spent $135.00.  
Fuzzibunz Perfect sized 12 pack in medium  (will be used from 3.5 months to potty training)  We spent $183.00
Fuzzibunz Perfect sized 6 pack in small (used from birth until... ?) We spent $56.00.  
Charlie Banana One sized print diapers (Used from 4months to potty training) We spent $22.00

A total of $396.00  Four dollars over what was saved from cloth diapering Kieran.  

[I got some pretty killer deals, through Zulilly.com, and new customer deals through nurturedfamily.com.  Plus, fuzzibunz was having a promotion for a new diaper pail with the purchase of a dozen diapers.  (Worth $21.00!)] 

 Estimated savings: $2,117.00 - $396.00 = $1721.00 !!!!!!!!!

Imagine the savings we would have had, had we cloth diapered from the very first diaper change of our parenting life... Oh the shoes... 

There are four major types of cloth diapers; Prefolds, Hybrids, AIO (all in ones), and Pockets.

I only plan on talking about what I've used.  Because, it's what I know.  (Plus, this post will be long and information laden enough.)

*First up, Hybrids.
The two systems we used:
g-Diapers and Charlie Banana.

G-diapers were a great way for us to test the water, with cloth diapering.  They're one of the cheaper ways to go cloth and they allowed us to switch to a bio-degradeable disposable insert when we wanted/needed.
Here's a quick and dirty run-down on how this system works:
There is the g-pant.
Into it you snap on a liner.
Into that - you lay your insert down.  Either the reusable or the biodegradable disposable.
So, 3 pieces to work with here. (I gave my stash to my lil' sister for her kids - so I don't have any pictures to work with.)
My thoughts: Great way to break into it for us - but I ultimately got frustrated swapping all the pieces out.  Great for a limited budget, or if you absolutely insist on having a disposable option.  After the first three months with Holden, we decided we preferred full time-cloth.  It was easier.  Crazy, I know.  
Charlie banana:
Cover and reusable insert.
Pretend it's a disposable for the next picture.  

This is how you load the disposable insert.  Just tuck the end under the flap in the front.
When soiled, just pull it out - and put in a new one.
We don't use CharBan for a hybrid system, but it is nice to have available.  Especially since they managed to be a hybrid system without a million, billion pieces.

*Pocket Diapers.
We use Fuzzibunz and Charlie Banana.
Cover and Insert.

Slide insert into the "pocket" between the fleece and  leak-proof outer. 

Once the insert is in.  Looks eerily similar to a disposable, eh? 

Once "stuffed" your diaper is ready to put on.  Just pull tabs around and snap at the needed size.
[Note: We use the perfect sized diapers in Fuzzibunz and the one-sized diaper from Charlie Banana]
{Charlie banana works the same way as FB, instead of tucking under the flap like in the pictures above, you stuff down into a pocket.}

Dealing with the soiled diapers is crazy easy.  Take the diaper off.  Shake out insert into pail (Fuzzibunz is great - you don't have to touch the nasty diaper at all!)  Drop cover into pail.  Close lid to pail.
I have a stash of 20 diapers, and do a load  every other day.  When I get to 3 left in the drawer, I know it's time for a load.
I use ECOS free and clear laundry detergent.  (Safe for the environment, HE washers - and cloth diapers.) You don't EVER want to use fabric softeners, or detergents with colors, oils, etc.  It will build up on the diaper and cause leaking.  (Ecos is cheaper than Tide, and has caused less irritation to the boys' skin.)
For exclusively breastfed babies you don't have to rinse - or shake out the diaper before putting it in the pail.  It's water soluble!  (Notice how white that diaper in the picture still is?)
When they start eating solids, get a diaper sprayer. Rinse solids into toilet - drop diaper into pail. Also, you can "line" it with one of these to make it even more simple.
I wash on a hot/cold cycle, with an extra rinse.  I also add a little distilled white vinegar in the wash with it.  It kills any odors or chemicals that may build up.

*Other notes:
1. If you want to try out cloth diapering - but are not sure you'll be sold on it - check out Jillians Drawers.
They have a diaper trial program, where you pay $165.00 for a variety of diapers to "test drive".  If you like it - you keep the diapers and they refund you $10.  If you don't like it - return the diapers for a refund of $155.
I have heard STUPENDOUS things about every single one of those diapers in the trial.  I have at least one friend that uses each of those diapers.  You find what fits you - return the rest!

2. Many people don't exclusively cloth diaper.  For some people their daycare won't deal with cloth, others travel and decide disposables are easier on the road.
Even a half and half mix keeps hundreds of diapers out of landfills!

3.  I'm serious about the butt rash thing.  Braxton and Kieran both suffered from bleeding blisters, their butt rashes would get so bad and out of control.  I believe they both went to the doctor for it a few times and we spent a couple hundred dollars on creams. Starting from infancy.
Holden, just "suffered" his first diaper rash.  Which, you could barely tell was there.  It was a faint pink on the bottom of his cheeks.  We giggle, laugh and talk through diaper changes, instead of struggle and cry.

4. Hubband was a huge skeptic.  Worried about how much work, how gross, and the logistics of cloth diapering.  He's a total fan, advocate, and also kicks himself for not exploring cloth diapering with the other two kids.

5. Lindsay specific questions:
1. The outer of the diapers that I use is waterproof.  The absorber goes in between the soft fleece (that wicks moisture away from the booty) and the waterproof outer.
2. They don't leak because of  the waterproof outer and the elastic at the top and legs.  They will, just like disposables, leak if you let them go for too long without a change.
3. I haven't had a blowout yet, I don't expect to.  They're a pretty awesome containing system - and unlike disposables - they have elastic at the top so you don't get the "up the back" crap [pun intended] that you do with disposables.
4.  For us, there aren't really any disadvantages.  When we travel, we will probably use disposable.  Because I don't want to worry about leaving diapers behind, a place to launder, etc.  Which is a disadvantage - but 3 or 4 vacations a year isn't enough for me to consider it a real disadvantage.
The advantages are already covered - but I'll list again:
~No butt rash.  It's seriously the biggest motivating factor to switch to cloth.
~The money savings.  It's huge.  HUGE!
~No more frantic trips to the store when you realize you've run out of diapers.  (Maybe just frantic loads of laundry - but you can stay in your pj's for that.)
~Better for the earth.  Which is important to us.
~Cloth diapers are so damn adorable!

Phew.  That was a lot of info.  Hopefully not too much and not too little.  Hopefully, it helps.  Also, leave a comment for any questions you might still have.  I'll answer the best that I can.  

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Call me Ma, and then we'll ford the river.

In, the ever escalating nonsense that is my children's un-wellness,  B-rox spent the day in the hospital.

For Scarlet Fever.

Because, he apparently owns a time-machine, and went back to the Oregon Trail days.

Seriously.  Scarlet Fever.  Time to ford, float or ferry the river.
I always chose to ford it. Duh.  I'm an Oregonian... 

I didn't even know it existed anymore!

I have since learned, that as long as the Strep bacteria exists - so will scarlet fever.
Essentially, scarlet fever is an "allergic reaction" some people have to the toxin that the strep bacteria poops out.   

His face, back, chest and upper arms are covered in millions of teeny-weeny little pin-prick type dots.  It's hot. 

You can kind of see his "scarlet" face. 

"Making a brave face" after the IV.
During the iv placement this could be heard:
"Please don't do this to me, I just want to go home, please don't do this!!!"
Yes, at the top of his lungs.
Yes, I'm glad I was sitting behind him - because I definitely dropped a few tears. 

The "O" of go HOOOOOOME! 
Exact words:
"Mom, this thing is really lame.  I don't even understand why they think it's ok to do this."

I'm seriously considering moving to Montana, and building my own fortress.  Where we don't have to come in contact with any germs.  Because I'm tired, and emotionally at the end of my rope.  It is hard to see my babies sick. all. the. time.  
I want to punch this winter in the face.  

Stay tuned for the next episode of "What 1800's illness can we catch next?".