Monday, April 30, 2012

In Walmart By Myself

Yesterday after church I got to go to Walmart by myself.  Ava and Owen are up at my parents, and Chris and all of the babies decided to stay home and take a nap.  While a nap sounded really good, getting shopping done without any kids with sounded even better.  Pathetic?  Yes.  Did I want a nap?  Oh yeah.  But I want to get in and out of a shopping store without kids screaming and taking much longer than necessary more than a nap.  I am so sad.

People probably would have thought that I had never been in a superstore before.  I took a long time in each aisle I needed to go just because I could.  I swear to you, I spent 15 minutes in the band-aid aisle alone looking at all the different options.  Usually I just grab the cheap band aids with pretty pictures on them and call it done.  But this time I looked at things like butterfly band aids, and liquid skin, and the ginormous bottles of iodine which I had never noticed before, all of the above which would probably be good to have in our family.

I leisurely walked through the shampoo aisles and moved casually through the store.  Earlier this year I decided I wanted to try canning.  We make a ton of freezer jam every year, so I figure I should move into canning territory even though it kind of intimidates me.  Our Walmart has a canning section, so I looked at all of that glass stuff and didn't have to worry my kids' grubby hands would pull something off the shelf and create a mini emergency.  Plus, whoever designs Walmart must kind of be a moron, because I looked and looked for a pressure cooker which is needed to can meat and certain things.  I went up and down the canning aisle and the next aisles adjacent on either side and found nothing.  Eventually I found them over by the pots and pans.  What a dumb place to put them, put them with the rest of the canning items!  I never would have spent the time looking for it with all the kids.  I can just hear Owen asking if we're done yet.

When I realized that I had forgotten to get something on my list on the other side of the store, I just went back for it.  That is something I almost never do with the kids in tow unless it is vital for our survival.  Usually, I let it go until next time because it's just not worth it!

When I finally got home about 2 hours later, everyone was still napping so I had a few spare minutes to just chill.  Awesome.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Cloth Diapering

Aren't they all pretty lined up in a row?  Even though I shot in the shade and the flash apparently didn't go off?

We have great friends and family and they have so blessed us.  Last fall, they threw us a big diaper baby shower.  I just now ran out of diapers for Kembia and Truitt, I still have several boxes of size 5 for Moyz.  We were also gifted 18 cloth diapers, a combo of fuzzibunz and bumgenius. I told myself that when I ran out for Truitt and kembia I would switch Truitt to cloth.  And yesterday was that day.

Of course, I didn't realize that we were also out of wipes.  Oops.

Can I just say that the first moment I snapped one of those babies on Truitt I felt just better about diapering him?  He has such sensitive skin and somehow by basically just putting cloth on him it made me feel like a better mom!  On line it says that for one baby you need around 18 diapers, but I am already trying to figure out if I have enough to do Kembia too.  She doesn't go through a lot of diapers and I am hoping I can stretch between the two of them.  Truitt goes through quite a lot and I would love to not have to do a load of diapers every day, so we'll see if I can make this happen.

We definitely don't want to buy more because those puppies are like $20 a piece, and Kembia will be 2 this summer and sort of seems like she may be able to be potty trained sooner rather than later.  It's totally out of the question to diaper Moyz as well.  That kid, I swear he poops 4 times a day.  That is one thing that I don't really like about cloth, but am sure I will get used to- scraping the poop out of the diaper and into the toilet.  Oh well, just like wiping their butts, you get used to it!

Now I just have to wait for my wet bag from Amazon to come in the mail before I venture out of the house.  I don't really want to have to haul a dirty cloth diaper with me through a store leaving a lovely scent behind me for people to follow.  I'm already that loud family that people probably run when they see us coming, I don't need to be the stinky family too!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Greatest Invention I Never Knew About

I was tempted to call it the greatest invention ever, but I think things like Cadbury Eggs and Nestle Quik in milk might be ahead of it.  

Here it is:

A shower curtain with mesh bags.  Stunning, isn't it?  And where have you been all my life?  I didn't know these babies existed until my little trip to Montana.  Where I immediately fell in love with it and today rushed out to find one.  (Walmart $14.96)

This is a life saver.  Along with the bottles you see hanging, there are several more around this thing that hangs from the shower head.  We have more bottles of miscellaneous shower crap than I know what to do with.  The babies have their own stuff, Ava has hers, the VO5 above to keep her from using my more expensive stuff (Herbal Essences, which isn't all that expensive but becomes that way when your daughter gobs it on!), Owen has special stuff he got for a present, and Chris has his own.  

Every time I give the babies a bath they think it is the funnest thing to pull all of the bottles down and play with them.  Not anymore.  

These are the things that make me stop and realize that I am getting older- excitement over a shower curtain with mesh bags.  I am the coolest.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

I disappeared into La-La Land

Okay, so much for saying that I was going to blog regularly!  but I have a good excuse.  My cousin had a I baby, and my aunt works for the airlines, so Truitt and I went on a last minute trip to Montana and I just got back last night!

Plus, blogger changed while I was gone and it has taken me forever to figure it out.  Go figure.  I leave for 4 days and everything new happens.

Moyz and Kembia, praise God, haven't freaked out since I have been home!  They both said Mommy!  And then have been completely normal ever since.  One humongous positive note for attachment!  Bring on our 10 day canoe trip this coming summer because my babies are going to be fine!

I have to admit I was very nervous about how Moyz would handle my return.  I was expecting him to be excessively clingy, crying and really emotional, maybe even some of the opposite, ignoring me and being mad.  But he is just his regular old self, running around the house, getting into mischief and coming back for love.  He did learn how to climb onto the back of the couch while I was gone and stand there banging on the window.  And both him and Kembia have learned several new words while I was gone.  Plus my mother in law decided that she would "start potty training them".  Now don't get me wrong.  I am glad that she wanted to help out in this way, but I don't think they are quite ready, and really, at this point in the game it is much easier for me if they are in diapers.  I don't have the time to constantly put them on the toilet if they don't really appear to be ready, so I don't foresee me keeping up with this.  Maybe once they are officially two, which is still the end of summer.  Not that two kids out of diapers wouldn't be great or anything.

Ava had a deer tick on her, so we started yet another round of antibiotics for Lyme disease preventative.  I am really hoping for a vaccine for this so we don't have to continue this trend.  And I am so paranoid about Moyz and Kembia because trying to get through their hair to see if there are any ticks the size of pin heads on them is almost impossible, and how am I suppose to see a red bulls eye rash on their dark skin?

Truitt spins in circles, as opposed to crawling of any type or pulling himself up at all.  But I figure any movement works, he even sort of gets himself to move in a horizontal forward type way, because all of a sudden he won't be where I set him down, but I have yet to see how he inches himself forward.

And here are a couple of pictures from my trip:

This is Truitt and his new baby cousin who is 2 weeks old.  My son looks like he could eat her.

The Montana badlands.  My Grandpa thought that this was excessively dangerous and that the rock we are standing on was probably going to break.

This was just a fun shot to take at a National Park in MT.  Gorgeous place, kind of felt like the Grand Canyon but not as deep.  We made sure that no cars were coming and everyone stood across the road behind me taking the picture just in case a car came through, but none did because it's the wild wilderness!

Okay, now I for real promise to blog regularly!

Monday, April 16, 2012

A letter to my kids on a cold day

Dear Children,

When it is snowing out and I tell you to go downstairs and get dressed because we have errands to do, I mean to get dressed in seasonally appropriate clothing.  You do, after all, know it is snowing because you came into my room to wake me up and tell me so.

And when I mean get dressed in appropriate clothes, I do not mean a short-sleeve shirt with a puffer vest, capris and flip-flops.  Nor do I mean a tank top with surfer shorts and a jacket 4 sizes too big for you that goes down to your knees.  It is winter-like weather.  Hence the need for winter-like clothes.

Don't ask me if you can wear your new, oh so fashionable gladiator sandals that you just bought with your own money from your birthday.  I don't care if they are silver and match your mother's fingernails.  The answer is no.

Also, if you ask me today for the almost the millionth time if you can play with the water guns outside and "promise not to spray each other", I will probably go insane and then we will have some bigger issues to deal with.


Friday, April 13, 2012

A weekend away

Well, kind of a weekend.  More like 36 hours.  But it is without kids and without hubby.  And man, do I need it.

Three girlfriends and I are headed away, away, away.  I think that this is the first time hubby will be home with the kids by himself for longer than a day.  And you know what he said to me?  "It's going to be hard".  This was after he asked if I was taking Truitt with me.  Nope, I am not.  No breastfeeding, no come.

I might have said something under my breath about the several times I have been alone with the kids for close to a week.  But who's counting?  (3 times for a period of 5 days and longer....)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Trayvon Martin Thoughts

If just uttering his name doesn't send a bunch of thoughts through your mind, I am not sure what will.
I haven't talked about this at all because it has been plenty talked about so far, but I did want to mention a few things.  To be fair, I haven't followed the case exceptionally close because of our not watching any tv but PBS, but that doesn't mean that I haven't heard things or seen stuff when I pull up my home page on the computer.

So, these are my thoughts.

I am happy that Zimmerman is being charged.  Is second degree murder the right charge?  I don't know.  But what I do know in my own opinion is that he lost all rights to use the Florida kill in self defense law when he followed that young man, especially after being told not to.  And I am pro-gun rights, and pro-kill in self defense.  But he overstepped his bounds by chasing down a young man and shooting him on a sidewalk.  To me, it doesn't matter if Trayvon fought back.  What would you do if some stranger was following you with a gun and came upon you?  Chances are I don't think you would stand there like some moron, you would fight for your life.  Self defense my rear-end.  And even if Trayvon did fight back with Zimmerman, and may I say good for him, Zimmerman never should have shot and killed him, he was the instigator.

Do I think that the media has screwed a bunch of stuff up?  Yep, they created all sorts of problems by their coverage and the pictures they chose to use of both men for manipulation purposes.  Media will always sway something to get the biggest bang for their buck.

Do I think race is a factor?  You bet I do.  Given the US's history of racial issues, this was always going to be a factor, and a big one.  People who are trying to say this isn't about race are living in a nice denial bubble.

I hope to God that when my son reaches that age racism will be non-existent.  But I don't think it will be.  I do hope and want to believe that it will be a lot better.  Because here's the deal.  Everyone that I have ever met with Moyz in tow has thought that he is the most adorable child ever.  But some day, he will be a 17 year old black man, and his cuteness factor will long ago ceased to have existed.  I don't want that for my son- for him to be a suspect because he's black and wearing a hoodie, or black and walking through a predominantly white neighborhood, which lets face it, is where he lives right now.  Moyz gets to be raised in a white family and facing less racism and scrutiny while safely here with us.  But some day, he will leave our home to start his own, and he will lose all the privelages that society temporarily gives him by being raised in the white majority.

Ultimately, what the Trayvon Martin case boils down to is holding someone accountable for the terrible thing that has happened.  Take away skin color and all of the issues that everyone is trying to stir up, it is about the life of a young man being taken wrongly away from him by someone else, and Zimmerman should be held accountable.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

cleaning and not being able to tell

Yesterday I spent just about the whole entire day cleaning.  I hate days like that.  To top it off, I cleaned in my bedroom, the junk drawers and the babies' dresser.  So it was the type of cleaning where you can't really tell you cleaned.  If you had walked into my house it would look like a bomb went off.  So when Chris walked in I had to swear up and down that I didn't just sit on my bottom and let the kids run wild.

Our bedroom is the defacto "put all the crap that you don't know what to do with" place.  This is not super conducive to calmness before sleeping.  Add to it that all of our utensils were spread around the room due to changes in the kitchen and mounds and mounds of laundry, it was in dire need of help.  My mother in law was here last week and she would just barge right in to get Truitt out of his crib when he woke up.  Imagine the kind of chaos that you would never want your mother in law to see because you know it would only give her images about how your are not fit to marry her son and raise her grandchildren.  Our room had several pair of underwear (clean) hanging from various places like closet door handles, etc. because they didn't dry out on the line fast enough before it started to rain.  I don't know what she thought when she saw those, but I do know I probably am much better off not knowing.

Anyway, I finally got that room clean.  It literally took me 2/3 of the day.  Now the challenge is to keep it that way.

I also cleaned out the junk/kitchen crap drawer.  This took me the other 1/3 of the day.  There was so much stuff in that drawer it was almost overwhelming to start.  Lots of little things that could be useful/important, but stuff that doesn't really have a good home.  Hence, the junk drawer.  Except I no longer have that option because adding our dishwasher took out the prime drawer and cupboard spot.  A fair trade for a dishwasher, but still a giant pain in the rump when it comes to now finding 8 million things a new home.

I am leaning towards massively going through the house an pitching most of the things that we have.  There is so much we have and never do anything with.  My mom is a hoarder so I try and make sure I don't fall too far in to that category.  she has held on to miles and miles of batting from the craft store because "it's like gold"  In all of my life, I cannot remember her one time using batting for anything.  Chris leans towards the hoarder mentality as well.  When our new over the oven microwave was put up last week he wanted to save the old one for when Ava goes to college.  She's 9.  I am not holding a microwave for the next 9 years for her.

I know someone who is going to live on a sailboat this summer with her 5 kids (all under age 8 by the way!).  I think several things about this.  1.  They are INSANE  2.  How on earth are they possibly going to do this?  3.  Wouldn't it be awesome to be forced to get rid of crap because there just isn't room?

Think about it.  If you are living on a sailboat, there isn't room for the extras that we find ourselves feeling like we can't do without, end up buying, and then it just takes up all this room for the few times we use the darn item.  I have several large totes of stamping/card making stuff.  I can't bring myself to get rid of it because there is literally hundreds of dollars worth of stuff there.  I haven't made a card in probably well over 5 years.  But I still hold on to it.

Please, someone tell me that they have the same issues as me.


Monday, April 9, 2012


Haven't posted in a while because life here at our house has been exceptionally boring.  Mundane, routine, whatever you want to call it.  And the way I figure is that posting things like ate breakfast, lunch and dinner with a few "played outsides" tossed in, doesn't make for good reading.

But I thought I better post to let people know that, yes, I am alive and do indeed plan to keep posting.  Do you ever follow a blogger that posts a lot and then all of a sudden doesn't post for ages?  And you think, holy smokes, did they die?  And then you think that would be sad, because when people die it's sad, but selfishly you are thinking, I really like what they write and now there won't be any more posts?  (FYI, I do get that this isn't the best Christian response to something like that!)

Anyway, aside from every day normal life, the past couple of weeks have been expensive.  $2800 on appliances, $600 on car insurance, $150 on cavities, plus we desperately need another set of bunkbeds for the kids so we can split Ava with Kembia, and Owen with Moyz.  We have discovered that this will be more conducive to our babies actually sleeping.  Otherwise, they keep each other up and annoy me crazily at nap times.

Please, please IRS, let's move out of "processing delays" (which I secretly think means "you've been audited") and get us our money!

*Update: We received our "you've been audited letters" today in the mail from the IRS.  We're not allowed to contact them for 45 days from the receipt date, which they postdated TWO weeks from now.  I don't that should be legal in my own opinion.  So the earliest we can contact them about our refund is June 1st.

I am not happy.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Kitchen Saga Continues

Sooo, this whole new appliances thing has been interesting.  That's probably a good neutral thing to say.  I really want to say a pain in the rump, but that makes me sound ungrateful.

They were delivered last Friday by the nicest guy, he noticed our big family and said they were finding out what their 4th and last was this past Monday.  They have three girls so he was "hoping for the King, but it's all up to God".  Love it.

Anyway, it has all been much more involved than what anyone anticipated.  We got the fridge in, humongous by the way, but it just about doubled in size, the stove, and the dishwasher.  The microwave/range we couldn't install because Chris and his dad made the cabinets too small.  Kind of a sore point because I told them it was better to go too big and fix the soffit that the other way around, they didn't listen, and I was right.  So we had to rip down the cabinets and spend more money and put up a second set.

Plus, as we are leafing through our pamphlet on how to use our stove, we discover that you are not supposed to use cast iron pots and pans on a ceramic/glass flat top.  What?  That is all we use.  We both kind of looked at each other like crap, here we have this gorgeous stove and now we can't use our pans.  We really didn't want to go back to any other type for health reasons, and so we reluctantly made our weekend meals with our one stainless steel back up pan.  After two days of using it and googling about it and finding out that the vast majority of people hate ceramic/glass tops, we called the appliance place yesterday and asked if we could exchange it for a gas stove instead.  They very graciously said yes as long as it still looked good.

So now, for the past two days we haven't had anything to cook with because we got the new stove but have yet to convert our system to gas- we were electric before.  My in-laws are coming again tomorrow for the rest of the week to hook this baby up.  Meanwhile my best friend cooked our chicken in her oven today that we had taken out to thaw and I am hoping I can find something on the internet resembling "Cooking with the Microwave for Idiots" which is how I foresee the rest of the week, that and lots and lots of sandwiches.

We have also had to institute the new rule of no using the icemaker in the refrigerator door before 7 in the morning.  You would would think we keep our kids under a rock they are so enthused about it.  I am just grateful that Moyz and Kembia can't reach it!

P.S.  I absolutely LOVE my dishwasher.  First time I have ever had one in my life!