Monday, October 27, 2008

officially a wimpy white boy

1. This is a great book dad.
2. Really interesting. Check out that starfish.
3. Hey, why is that lady messing with my back.

60 plus pricks and 3 vials of blood later.....

He is allergic!

Moo is officially allergic to peanuts, which we have suspected since his first birthday. An extra special bonus is finding out that he is also allergic to eggs. And milk. And shellfish. Woohoo! Feeding him is going to be FUN! Actually, we give him milk and dairy every day and eggs several times a week with no adverse reactions so we can continue doing that. Thankfully (or not), his "asthma" seems to be a systemic allergic reaction to peanuts or peanut dust. Unfortunately for him, we live in the middle of a giant peanut filed here in West Texas.

This is just the pricks on his little back, both his arms had them in 3 rows up and down the length of his arms. The ones on his back were all "neagative" and his left arm looked like one giant hive by the time we left since thats where the peanut was. They actually had to give him zyrtec and benadryl before we left because he had broken out in hives from the peanuts.

I guess he will be playing in a plastic bubble with our little nieghbor M and his good friend L and they can have a grand time eating peanut-lactose-shellfish-egg free snacks.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

fingers crossed

fingers crossed for bigger, brighter photos

Thursday, October 16, 2008

cheap thrills

1. Whack-o-lantern:
Inspired by this fun idea from Wondertime, Moo and I went to down whacking golf tees into a pumpkin to make this twist on the typical jack-o-lantern. I would suggest using something with a larger circumference than a golf tee, like a large Phillips screwdriver. The golf tee holes were too small to see any light through even with 3 candles inside. Moo also lost interest after about 3 golf tees, however was really impressed by the pumpkin seeds and the FIRE. Like father, like son.

2. Rub My Tummy?
Moo's new way of complementing my cooking is to say "Rub my tummy." when he approves. This chili must not have been worthy of tummy rubbin' since it got creatively places in a toy car. Thanks. At least it was much easier to clean than Thomas and Friends and their creative conquest through the bagels and cream cheese. And yes, I am a slow learner, and yes... I should watch my kid while he eats.

3. Helping Hands
Occasionally, Moo wants to "help" with the laundry. His help usually consists of jumping through newly folded stacks of clothes while showing me the lone washcloth he has folded. This day I managed to convince him that sitting in the laundry basket would be a great help. Ellie has been sitting in one since she is far from mastering her new sitting up skills.

a woman of the cloth: part one

Cost, to date:
14 bumgenius 3.0 diapers: $114.85
Purex detergent: $5.96 (should last about 6-8 months)

I don't plan on getting any more cloth diapers at this point, 14 is enough to get through 2-3 days since we will still use disposables when we are at church or shoving our kid in a pumpkin. I do want a washable liner bag for the trash can and Ella Bella's diaper bag. Also, a diaper pail or lidded trash can would be great.

Ick factor:
Umm, it's really not bad. No swishing things in the toilet. TMI, but "solids" dump in the toilet and everything else spins out in the wash. It has about the same grossness factor as disposables.

Ease of use:
These are as easy to put on as disposable diapers. No pins. There is a little extra work in washing and folding them, but nothing that takes more than a few minutes every other day. Washing is easy too, once on cold with 1/4 ammount detergent and then once on hot with 1/4 load's worth of detergent. Dry outside or in the dryer. Certainly no more work than taking out the bag of disposable diapers to the trash. These are definately not your mama's cloth diapers.

They work WELL! Ella Bella had been leaking out of all sorts of disposable diapers and these *usually* contain the wet. So far, we have had no "blow-outs". They work well on Moo, too.

Overall, we have been pleasantly surprised with how well the diapers work and how easy they are to use. I would have never thought we would use cloth diapers because I thought it would be so insanely gross. But it's not. And it's easy.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Moo, September 2006

As sure as being born into this family means super awkward, scrawny, acne ridden teen years (sorry kids), it also means being shoved into a pumpkin during your first autumn for your mother's amusement (again, sorry kids).

Ella Bella, October 2008

Whatever sister gets to do, I am doing too! "I too big!"

Hubs was not amused by this little photo escapade. I thought my joke about our frugal organic baby carrier was a riot. He is soooooooo humor impaired sometimes...

Sunday, October 12, 2008


October 13, 2004

It was a cold, cloudy, and windy day and I had been at work watching some sweet kids from church and was on my way home. It was late afternoon and I was ready to head home and kick back. I was thinking about nothing in particular waiting for the green arrow to turn left.

The words came across my heart as clearly as anyone has ever spoken to me.

"Do not go in your house. Do not go inside."

I drove the last 1/4 mile to my house with fear rolling my mind. I immediately noticed our bedroom light was on through a broken window blind. It was off when I left. I creeped around the side of my house and saw our back window was busted in. NO NO NO. Not again. We had been robbed. Again. For the second time in 3 months, with our car being broken in, and a car window shot out between the two.

I ran to my neighbors to use their phone to call hubs and the cops. The neighbors offered to go in the house with me while we waited for the cops. My home, was trashed. The first time we had gotten robbed, it was very subtle. A few things were moved and the back door was kicked in but otherwise it was still my home. Not this time. Every drawer had been ransacked. Every room thoroughly tossed. All the gas stove burners were on as high as they could go. As if it was enough to violate our space they wanted to burn it down as well.

They didn't take much. My digital camera. My husband's wedding ring (he never, ever wore it), his school backpack, $40 in small change, and my husband's mountain bike. Amazingly, the one drawer they had not riffled through contained my brand new laptop under a pile of sheets.

My sense of security was shattered. I refused to be at home by myself for awhile. I rang the doorbell repeatedly before I would go into the house when I was by myself. We boxed up anything remaining of any value and stored in a friend's garage. We got a giant doberman a couple days after being robbed so I would be less fearful. We took the advice of the cops and let our lawn get messier and threw some kids toys around the yard. We removed all insignia of our college off our cars and pad locked all the gates in and out of our yard. We put our house on the market and ultimately decided to not sell.

Slowly the fear as gone away. It still comes with the darkness of night sometimes or a loud crash in the alley. I would never imagined we would be living in the same home 4 years later. By the grace of God, we have had no more break ins and have been blessed with some wonderful neighbors who keep a watchful eye on our home when we are here and when we are away.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Rice Cereal

Ella Bella turned 5 (!!!) months yesterday. We celebrated by introducing her to food glorious food. Well, rice cereal. I had the video camera and the still shot camera ready to capture her reaction. Umm, there wasn't one. She ate it like she has had cereal every day of her life. It was very anticlimactic. After 3 or 4 bites, she stuck her thumb in her mouth and politely refused any more.

Of course, Moo thought he was missing out on something really delicious and requested some cereal as well. Since I had the video camera out, I recorded his reaction as well. His reaction is quite typical Moo man..... The funny thing is he hated rice cereal as a baby.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

down under

My in-laws have been down under enjoying the majesty of Australia and New Zealand the past couple weeks. They have sent along lots of snapshots of beautiful mountains and beaches and stories of adventure.


We have been having some adventures while they were away too.

1. I cleaned my room! This is no small feat, I am not an orderly person (my mom is on the floor laughing about now) but I actually cleaned my entire room (well, not the closets). Moo helped by laying under my bed and playing with "the lil'le bear in da house."

2. We left town! Ok, we just barely left town and went about 15 miles from our house to a nearby town to support our friends having a car show. We got a little lost and stumbled upon a FREE garage sale and a fantastic local parade. Moo (err, me and hubs) scored big on the candy, better than Halloween! I scored lots of vintage sewing notions, sweaters for felting and a Bumbo play tray at the FREE garage sale. It was unexpected fun! We actually got to see the parade twice as luck would have it, and Moo watched from the roof of our car for round 2!

3. We gave lots of clothes and toys AWAY! We also rediscovered some old toys while we cleaned the garage and Moo had some fun jumping away on old couch cushions. Childhood can be so fun.

4. We are giving cloth diapering a whirl, just on Ella Bella though. I ran across a bunch of Bumgenius 3.o's on clearance at Target and decided to give it a try. I'll let you know how it turns out.... Any advice is GREATLY appreciated. All I know so far is, baby definately has "back" and yes, that diaper does make your butt look big.

5. My lil baby girl is rocking some new tricks. Including, sitting up! And teeth! And getting up before the sun! And rapping..... And taking a BOTTLE! Some freedom for me!

The sitting up blows my mind, 4.5 months! Crazy little nut. She just cut the very top of her first tooth this afternoon!

And falling over, she is really good at falling over.

6. We settled a debate. Her eyes are blue, Papa. Definitely blue.

7. This is definitely my favorite of our recent adventures. My kids have started enjoying each other. Moo loves hugging her and she giggles every time he does. He shares (mostly) toys with her and she adoringly watches his every move. When I can't get her to calm down, his presence can. I am going to enjoy this fleeting stage before the fighting and biting begins.

I bet Australia and New Zealand were amazing! We are so glad you went and so glad you enjoyed yourself. I thought a huge photo update might be a fitting homecoming and belated birthday gift! Happy Birthday Grandma!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

car seat safety: a pictorial guide

* I get questions about car seat recommendations and use quite often, so I am going to make a few blog entries about correct car seat use. I strongly encourage any of you that have little kids to take the time and read this! Please! This a work in progress, I'll be editing it.

If you have spent much time around me at all, you know I love me some car seats. And I get really excited when I see them used correctly, it absolutely makes my day. Unfortunately, it's as rare as a blue moon to see kids restrained correctly. Using your car seat per the manufacturers directions is imperative for it to protect your kiddo during an accident. Your child may never need the protection his car seat offers, but if he ever does need it, he needs it to work 100%. You don't get to choose when or if you have an accident, so you need to use it correctly EVERY time. I am a visual learner, so I thought I would give blog land a visual guide of car seat basics. My friend M over at The Everyday is kind enough to help me out as she is just as big a car seat nut.

The basics for all car seats:

For the itty bitty baby: The Bucket Seat.
J correctly strapped into his seat. Such a sweet little booger.

A lot of mistakes occur here. Key points: harness clip even with the armpits. Straps snug. There should be no place on the harness where you can pinch the strap together or fit more than one finger under the harness. It has to be tight, in an accident adults seat belts tighten, children's harnesses do not. The handle should be all the way down behind the seat when the car is in motion. It's a pain, I know. Just do it. Also, don't add anything to your car seat that didn't come with it. No mirrors, no toys, no extra cushions, no belt tighteners. Nothing.

Oh yeah, infants seats must be rear facing. Must.

For the not so itty bitty baby and toddler : The Convertible Seat.

* the American association of pediatrics now recommends children stay rear facing to the extents of their car seat. For most seats this is somewhere between 30 and 35lbs and the seat is outgrown by height when there is less than an inch of hard shell above the top of the childs head.
*harness needs to be below the shoulders for rear facing, above the shoulders for forward facing.
*tight harness, no slack
*chest clip even with armpits.
*seat securely installed in car per the car and seat manufacturers directions.

harness too lose, infant forward facing, straps too high.

No jackets in car seats or any other bulky clothing, it keeps the harness from being tight enough to restrain the child in the seat in an accident. Use a blanket after the child is buckled in correctly on top of the harness.

For big toddlers and up: The Combination Seat.

Modeling is my little pal L. She really loves her seat and was quite upset that 1, her mom made her abandon tv watching to take this photo and 2, that her mother put her in the seat wrong for the NO photo. She is in a Britax Regent, which is a 5 point harness up to 80lbs and 53 inches.
*harness is snug, you can't pinch any slack.
*chest clip is even with armpits.
*no added toys or cushions.
*seat is installed securely and tightly in the car.

For big kids: The Booster Seat.
I don't have any photos of kids in boosters, but.... I recommend putting off using one as long as possible. Each step up in car seats (example, from rear facing to forward facing) is a step down in safety. So, use a 5 point as long as possible.

For Pets