Sunday, June 29, 2008

cloth we do it

Tess' cloth dipes have gotten a lot of comments lately, including some interest in why we use them and especially how we wash them.

First, Maria was a disposable diaper baby. I never really considered using anything else. I had no knowledge of cloth diapers except for my mom's stories about how horrible they were and how much she hated them. I first considered using cloth diapers when I read about the money we could save in the Tightwad Gazette. When I was pregnant with Jack I met some moms who used cloth diapers and started picking their brains. They all used very expensive all in one diapers. These looked really nifty and got rave reviews, but I would've spent hundreds of dollars just to get started. It would have taken me a long time to recoup that money in disposable diaper savings, and I just didn't have it to spend. I started asking around in online communities, making sure people understood that I was looking to save money with this whole venture. I also picked their brains about washing methods and over time developed our own. Altogether, I probably spent a couple hundred dollars on everything we bought to diaper Jack for the first year and a half..that included two different sizes of diapers and the related stuff. I doubt I could buy 6 months worth of disposable diapers for that. And the greatest savings happens now- Tess is using the same diapers..they are still in great shape...essentially for free. Here's everything I bought---some of it necessary and some I could have done without if I needed to---

---two diaper pails. Real pails, not the "diaper genie" kind. I actually started with one, and we are just using one now, but as the diapers get bigger they take up more room and I ended up needing two pretty quickly.

--chinese prefolds. How many you'll need depends on how often you wash the diapers. I bought two dozen and this lasts me a good three days. Some buy more and wash less often, but I honestly find that the pail starts to get a little, ah, ripe after three days. I wouldn't really want to wash less often. Don't buy the tiny ones unless you have itty bitty babies. I bought the standard infant and then when he outgrew those I think I bought the regulars.

--I bought these prowrap covers. I have two newborn ones (don't bother..Tess didn't even wear these once!), 6 smalls, and later 6 mediums. They are *awesome*. I hardly ever have leaks. Disposables leak more often. And they are cheap as far as covers go.

--When Jack outgrew the second set of prowrap covers, I decided to try these dappi covers. They are awesome! Cheap, cheap...they worked just as well as the prowraps, and they were more trim, which was nice when he started learning to walk. I may get some of these soon in a smaller size to try now for Tess. But I suspect they may be harder to get on and off neatly with that super runny newborn poo....

--I bought two dozen flannel doublers on ebay. Doublers are basically an extra piece of material you can put in the prefold to increase absorbency, especially as they get bigger and wet more. They come in different materials...fleece, hemp, etc.

--I bought two dozen flannel wipes as well. Yep, cloth wipes too. They clean *so* much better.

--Also, when he got bigger, I bought two arisocrat wool soakers. He was starting to leak at night. These worked very, very well, nothing gets through them. They are *expensive*,,,but you only need two, one to wash and one to wear, and I got mine on ebay for half as much.

---nice extras,,,these snappis to use instead of pins...these garmet extenders to help onsies fit over bulky aristocrat soakers at night...and a diaper duck to make rinsing out nasty toddler poo and bit easier.

Ok, that's the "what we bought". I'm tired and going to bed. Tomorrow..."how to wash"....

Tess, one month old

The progression of a smile....

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

back Sort of.

Ok, that's it. The house is a wreck, I've got piles of laundry to fold and put away, we are still eating cream of something casseroles, the boys are falling apart from lack of routine...enough is enough. I've tweaked out a new schedule/routine and we are starting it tomorrow. TOMORROW, I say. My house will be clean! Healthy meals will be served! School will happen!

Yeah, We took most of May and June off,,,we are going back to doing at least math, religion, and reading for Kain and Math, religion, and Latin for Maria. We ended the school year unfinished on those anyway, so we will pick up where we left off on those and add our new school year stuff in August.

So where was I? Oh yes! Clean house! Healthy meals! Well-executed home management!

A girl can dream......I'm gonna try, anyway.

The Pickiest Kid, Ever

Foods Jack will actually eat (i.e., foods that he lives off of every day because he won't eat anything else)---

- peanut butter sandwiches
- string cheese
- milk
- grapes
- bananas
- apples
- raw carrots
- goldfish crackers
- macaroni and cheese
- pizza crusts, only
- Welch's fruit snacks, which I started giving him only because they have
Vitamin C in them, which he wasn't getting anywhere else in his diet.
- certain junky foods when he can get them, like tortilla chips,
brownies, cookies, etc.

Things Jack won't ever, ever touch---

- any vegetables besides the carrots. Ever. Never ever.
- any meat, though he has had a chicken nugget like three times.
- juice
- any other pasta besides the macaroni and cheese
- multivitamins, ensure, carnation instant breakfast, or any other
quickly sniffed out attempt of mine to get any other nutrition in him.
- any medication, no matter how much the doctor insists it's necessary.
Even if I manage to get it down, he immediately vomits it. The doctor
acts like I should be able to do something about this. How do you stop
someone from VOMITING??

He seems to have some kind of weird issues. Anytime he does try something else, even on accident, like the time my mom accidently gave him chunky peanut butter, he gagged. I've considered talking to the doctor about this, but I don't think they'll do anything. He's not underweight, he's healthy, and what can they do, really? Maria, btw, is an awesome eater, always has been, so it's not like I just develop these children who will not eat!

If he would at least take a multivitamin....we've tried several different kinds, but he doesn't even like hard candies or anything, so it's hard to get him to even try them.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

This week....

Lots of big happenings...

John took the boys to the open house of the new fire station that opened up down the street. Jack, you'll notice is kind of red faced...he was still crying about having to leave when they got home. Speaking of weird's so hard to get a good picture of Kain. He always points his chin up high in the air and makes this stiff, weird grin...ah well.

Jack and Tess in her crib-turned-cosleeper.

No, they don't actually sleep together in there. :) But my family bought Tess this really cool mobile, and Jack thinks it's his. He's obsessed with it, and I'm always finding him lying underneath it listening to the music. Ah well,,,Tess doesn't know any different.

A cute Daddy and Tess picture.

Jack last night...he passed out cold on my lap while I was reading Charlotte's Web to Kain.

Here's my first baby, going away for a whole week to Colorado. Alone. I mean, not alone, there's like other kids and chaperones and all, but alone as in WITHOUT ME, without anyone else in the family, with people that I have only known for a couple of years and for whom I have no polygraph testing, cheek swabs, or criminal background check. She is going on a mission trip with 6 other kids from our church. She was so excited about going, but it's so odd to have her gone to a place I've never been having a whole week's worth of experiences that I have no part in whatsoever. This is right after having her gone for several days visiting my parents. I miss her! And I wish someone would take one of these boys for a week. I mean, Maria's my helper...if someone took these boys, I might actually get something done around here! :)

Maria will hate this picture, btw...John was teasing her, so she's got this weird expression on her face. I'm so impressed, as always, with Maria's outgoing personality. This kid is fearless. None of her established friends from church were going on this trip. I would have been terrified to go on a trip to someplace I'd never been with a bunch of people I barely knew at her age, but this whole thing was her idea and she hasn't so much as batted an eye about the whole thing. I'm so proud of her...but I miss her!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Ta-da! The Birth of Teresa Grace

**First, a disclaimer...I used to work maternity, so I freely pratter on about mucus plugs, pooping, placentas and the like. As I live in a family of nurses, such talk is dinner table fodder around here. If such talk bothers you, you may want to skip this one. I haven't even started writing it yet....I just know myself. :)

Also, before you are impressed with my super memory powers, you should know that I was actually keeping a journal during most of my labor....otherwise I would have forgotten most of it I'm sure. Because of all the detail, I'm sure this will be pretty long...but hey, it was three days, after all.

May 26, 9:30pm- I'm reading Prince Caspian to Maria when strong contractions start. I've been having Braxton-Hicks contractions every night for weeks but are were different. They're so strong I was having trouble reading through them. I say nothing to Maria because I don't want her to get all wound up and not sleep.

10:20pm- Maria's in bed and so John and I start timing contractions. They're 6-8 minutes apart and still stronger than any BH contractions I've had.

11:30pm- We decide to lay down and try to sleep. We're both tired and if this is it than we need some rest. With the BH contractions laying down always made them stop, but this time they keep going strong.

May 27, 12:15am- I can't sleep a bit...too wound up now. We decide to get ready to go. John loads the car with our considerable baggage...we have to pack for the kids to stay at my parents for several days, as well as all of our own gear. I clean the kitchen, bag up the trash for the curb, call the midwife and my mom, and make hotel reservations. We know my labors are very long, but we want to be close to the birthing center just in case and it is 2 hours mom's house is very tiny, especially when my three kids are in it...hence the reason for the hotel reservations. It's a place to spend early labor.

1:30am- We load up the kids, trying to keep things sedate and quiet so that they will sleep on the way up. Haha! As if! They're excited and all wound up. My contractions have faded away, but once I am situated in the car they start up again. They are strong enough to make the car ride uncomfortable, and I'm glad we didn't wait.

3:00am- We arrive at my mom's with three wound up, wide awake kids. My Jackie sits on her couch looking very bewildered. I've never left him for anything close to this long before. He handles it ok, but I cry after leaving him, my big 3yo baby.

4:00am- We check into the hotel after some issues...the person at the desk has no record of our call for a reservation. The only room they have available is a smoking room. It stinks. And my cell phone won't work here. And I can't get the room phone to work either. So I'm irritated. We try to sleep.

7:00am- Contractions wake me up and I'm really disoriented and groggy. They must have puttered out some for me to be able to sleep this long. Still can't use the phone. I time some contractions. They are still 7-8 minutes apart. I pass some mucus plug though, and that is motivating. John is still asleep, but I'm awake and wired, and vaguely nauseous from the cig smell.

12:00pm- I managed to sleep some more after all, and the contractions have puttered out...supreme irritation. We have to make a decision about whether to check out from the hotel and stay another night. We decide to leave. We can always come back, hopefully to a nonsmoking room. We go to my mom's to hang out with the gang.

5pm- Contractions JUST NOW coming back. ARGGGHHH! While at my mom's I managed a very brief nap. The kids and John all had a good nap. Now we are rechecking into the hotel. It's obvious we have a long way to go still.

8pm- We had dinner in the hotel room, guacamole burgers from Sparky's, don't tell my raw foods vegan midwife, she'll probably fire me. We talk to John's parents by phone, and they want to know if we are considering a c/section. Sheesh! Why on earth would we do that? I mean, I know the waiting and all is irritating, but hardly reason for major surgery! I am having very strong contractions, strong enough to breath through, strong enough to make John rub my lower back, and I passed some more mucus plug. Progress!! Come on baby!!

May 28th 5am- Had contractions off and on all night, but not too strong. Now they are picking up again and I can't sleep anymore. I take a shower and send John out for some breakfast and coffee. I pass a TON of mucus plug while he's gone. Seriously, holy cow. I've never passed one before, you see...with Maria and Jack, my water broke very early, and I guess the mucus plug came out with that. So, it was kind of surprising, and impressive, I thought. I save it to show John when he gets back. I figured he'd be interested, you know, professionally...he's not. In fact, he's kind of grossed out. Whatever. Some people just can't appreciate the miracle of birth. While I'm sharing personal information, you should know that I am exceedingly constipated...have been during this whole time. I feel like the baby must have dropped down and be, like, blocking progress or something, you know?

7am- Contractions are 4-5 minutes apart, praise God, and stronger. I feel like TODAY'S THE DAY!

9am- We went to the birthing center to get checked by Becky, my midwife. She says I am a couple of centimeters dilated, very thin and soft cervix, but we still have a lot of work to do. She tells us to go walk, stay on my feet. I'm disappointed there wasn't more progress, but that's ok. I feel pretty good.

11am- We have been walking the walmart supercenter. This is a very small town, there's not a lot of places to go. So...I literally walked up and down every single aisle of this place. Walking *does* make the contractions stronger, and I have to stop walking with each contraction. Luckily the store isn't crowded. I see these little girly 4th of July baby outfits for $5 and wish I knew what I was having. I do find this book and buy it for the baby. We consider going back to my mom's but decide that might upset Jack. Ironically, my mom had called the birthing center (still no cell phone service) and found out that we had been sent to walk. She knows to head to the supercenter, and she and Maria find us there, which was pretty funny. I also buy some glycerin suppositories. My new theory is that I had it all backwards earlier...the *poo* is blocking the *baby*. (Ok, it sounds stupid now, but at the time it seemed rational.)

12:30pm- We go to lunch at Myrtie Mae's. This time I decide to be good and eat lightly from the salad and soup bar...I hope to be working hard soon. The contractions are so good that I have to time my trips to the bar so that I don't have a contraction on the way because I absolutely cannot walk with them at all. They are 2-3 minutes apart now. And I'm at Myrtie Mae's. Eating Italian Wedding soup. Come on, you gotta love natural childbirth. Tell me this doesn't beat the heck out of lying in bed hooked up to fetal monitors!

2:00pm- We are at the local library. It's very tiny, but in a neat old historical building. I used to live in this town, and once upon a time Maria was a toddler and I used to bring her here. I feel all nostalgic. I gather a handful of back issues of Mothering and sit down in a rocking chair. The contractions are still hard and 2-3 minutes apart, and weird to manage in such tight, quiet quarters. I realize that being in labor in public is kinda like being stoned in public (yeah, yeah...I wasn't always the saintly person you know today, big shocker, right?). You feel all paranoid like "everyone knows"...not that being in labor is a terrible illegal thing, like being high and driving to Whataburger at 2am...but still, most people would be kinda alarmed to find out that you are in *actual labor* right there next to them. I hold the magazine up high and kind of hide my face with it during the contractions. We are now leaving to go back to the birthing center to be checked again. I could stay here longer, it's comfortable and I'm enjoying the magazines, but our parking spot is only good for an hour. And I used the glycerin suppositories...nothing! ARGH!

5:00pm - I'm completely in despair. I was only 3-4 centimeters along and was sent back to the hotel. I cried all the way here. This feels like it is never going to happen. John is doing great at keeping things positive, but I am sinking. Thank God for his attitude, because if his was as lousy as mine we'd be in trouble. He leaves to get dinner. I decide the hell with eating lightly, this baby is obviously NEVER COMING ANYWAY and order a sausage and green pepper sub. Hah! Take that!

8:00pm- The contractions are HARD and fast. John has been sleeping, and I dozed a little, but then I got up and started laboring alone while he slept.... which sounds terrible, but it was good, actually. I mean, I could have woken him up if I wanted to, but it was actually very peaceful, just pacing back and forth in the dark hotel room by the light of the TV, leaning against the wall or the sink for the contractions...I feel very centered and calm now. I decide to call Becky and tell her I think she should check me one more time before we settle in for the night.

**My notes stop here...this is from you'll see, even though things have been so slow getting going, once they start, things happen FAST...***

She checked me around 8:30pm, and I was around 5 cm. dilated. She told us to stay. The reason she held us off so long is that by law she can only keep us under her direct care for so many hours before she has to refer us to the hospital for "failure to progress". So she was holding off as long as possible. I am unprepared for this and decide we need to replace some things that we have used up in the hotel rooms, mostly water and juice bottles. So, we run to walmart (again) for these. While there I decide we need some fruit. And some gum. John gets Almond Joys, and I scold him because Becky will chastise us for the sugar and tell him they are just for him, not for *me*. We also call my mom and tell her we are staying at the center now and hopefully there will be some news in the morning.

When we get back and settle in Becky tells us she's called the other midwife that will assist her and she'll be there in about an hour, and that we should go walk. The birthing center is next door to the hospital, so we cross the street and walk slowly around the outside of it. It's a very sticky, humid night and I am uncomfortable and sweaty, and my back has a low, dull ache all through it, but I know it is being on my feet that has brought my progress this far, so we keep going, stopping for contractions. It takes us a good 45 minutes to walk there, around the hospital, and back. When we get back, I decide I want to take a shower and change clothes. While sitting on the toilet before getting into the shower, I feel a big pop and water broke! I yelled a little with surprise, which brought John to the door, but I assured John I was ok and getting into the shower.

After I cleaned up I lay down in bed with John. This felt back was aching and I was tired...but the midwife warned me I should get up and walk some more. At this point the other midwife showed up and we introduced ourselves. I got back up and started passing around the center. This place is really just a house. The biggest bedroom is the only birthing room. We walked a loop through the kitchen and living room for, I don't know, maybe 20 minutes or so. My contractions were 2 minutes apart and changed during this time. The midwives heard the change...I started involuntarily grunting and moaning with each one.

I got back in bed and they checked me again...and I was shocked to find out I was 8centimeters! Things happened quickly after that and are kind of a blur for me. I had a some contractions in bed. I remember asking for a bowl as the dry heaves came (nope, I didn't actually throw up any sausage and pepper sub, surprisingly), and I got the shakes so bad my knees knocked together, and I thought, "Ah yes, hello transitional labor, my old friend,". The nurse in me actually announced this, "I'm in transition," and I remember one of the midwives laughing and saying, "OK." She was probably thinking, "Duh!, You think?" I was gone at this point, deep inside my own head and only vaguely aware of what was going on around me. John called my mom and told her it was time to head over with Maria. She was really was around midnight at this point and we had just called her at 8:30 and told her we were going to walmart. The midwives were rushing around to finish setting up, and at one point I vaguely heard the loud, violent hissing noise of the oxygen tank along with alarmed voices as the midwives and John rushed out of the room. Apparently one of the nozzles had broken off the tank or something and the oxygen was leaking out. I just remember being surprised at being alone for a few contractions while they tried to fix the tank, gave up, and brought in a back up tank. Maria and my mom showed up, and I could hear them behind my shoulder. I was told later that Maria was a little white,,,I'm sure it was intimidating to walk into that scene. I was working really hard at that point and very withdrawn. I remember hearing my mom tell Maria that it was ok, she could go give me a hug, and I heard her say she didn't want to, and I could picture perfectly the expression she would have on her face, feeling kind of embarrassed and shy...I wanted to say something reassuring to her, I think I did say something, but I couldn't quite bring myself around to focusing on her. My mom took her into the other room until it was time to push.

Becky checked me again and said I had a just a lip left...that damned cervical lip. I'd had that with Jack. It's like pushing through broken glass. She asked me if I wanted to try pushing with her holding the lip out of the way, and I said absolutely not. I'd tried that with Jack and it was horrible. I just wanted to push past it when the time came. She encouraged me to get up and walk some progress was stalling. I wanted to, because it did feel like it would be better that way, but I couldn't move, I felt inert and indecisive. I finally did sit up and had a couple of contractions on the side of the bed, holding onto John, and that was better. I got up and had a couple holding onto the wall, and that was better still.

I decided I needed to poo and moved into the bathroom to do so. Sitting on the toilet felt great and I started pushing. Becky expressed concern, but I told her I really just needed to poo. After a couple more pushes, she encouraged me to get back to bed in case this was the baby coming. I insisted I really just needed to poo and told her I had been constipated. I really didn't feel like going into my "poo blocking the baby theory" at that point, but I really believed I just needed to poo! A couple of pushes later, and suddenly I could feel that baby's head moving down. "Ok," I said, "I guess it's not just poo." There was a big commotion to get me off the toilet and back into bed. I wanted no part of this at first, I was quite happy to stay right there, but they convinced me I didn't really want to have my baby in the toilet. With what has been, to this point, the single most physically difficult task I have ever performed, I got on my feet and allowed John to half-drag me back to the bed as I shuffled and groaned with the sheer effort of trying to walk during such a time. I lay back down and immediately wished I was back on my feet. I felt too flat and awkward and couldn't get well-positioned, and it was too late to try to do much, the baby was coming whether I was comfortable or not and I was past articulating what I wanted. Maria and my mom came back into the room as I pushed a several more times. Pushing with this baby was definitely much more difficult than with the others. The pushing stage seemed to take longer and take so much more effort. The baby finally crowned, and the midwife had me gently push the head out, and then it took two more pushes to get the shoulders out. Tess was sluggish and purply at first...I'm sure it was all a lot of exhausting work for her too...and the midwife rubbed her down and suctioned her at my perineum until she started breathing on her own. My mom called out that it was a girl, and Maria was elated. Maria, btw, had done just fine with watching the baby being was just the intensity of that transition stage that shocked her some. Then Becky plopped the baby, all hot and slippery, on my now empty belly. This was the first baby I actually got to hold right away,,,it was wonderful. I was still laying at an awkward angle and couldn't see her very well, but I rubbed her slick head and felt her plump legs as I tried to crane my head around. I was soon able to bring her up to my breast for her to try nursing. The angle was difficult, but she latched on for a bit and I got to stare into her swollen, red, beautiful face. Soon after that it was time to push the placenta out and John got to cut the cord. Becky announced proudly that I didn't even tear. Then she took Tess for a second to dry her off some more, wrap her in dry blankets, and put a hat on her, then she handed her back to me. I got some more pillows propped behind me and nursed a bit more. Then I passed her around to eagerly waiting family while I got up out of bed and cleaned up a bit. The midwives had everyone guess her weight. I guessed 8 1/2 pounds. Wishful thinking, I guess, on my part...that's the weight I was hoping for. Jack was 9'14, and I was hoping for anything smaller than him! She announced her weight,,,,10'15, and I was shocked. She didn't look that big to me. I don't know why, Jack looked huge, I immediately knew he was big, but Tess didn't look that big to me. Becky wanted me to eat and have some juice, so I did that, and then I dressed Tess in a gown and diaper. I marveled again at getting to have my baby with me the whole time and not taken away to a nursery.

Anyway, that's the story. She was born at 1:35am. My mom and Maria left soon after, and John, Tess, and I settled down in the king sized bed to sleep. I didn't sleep much. I was sweating like crazy and it was hard getting used to sleeping with a baby again. At one point I got up and slept in the rocking chair with Tess, with my feet on an ottoman, and that was easier than the bed. Later in the morning my mom came back with my dad and all the kids. We marveled at all her hair, and I decided to wash it and comb the goop out,,,she still hadn't had a bath. We were so surprised to see her hair, once wet, spring into dark curls!

We left the birthing center around 3 that afternoon, and I was very glad to be home in my own bed that night.

Friday, June 20, 2008

2 week old pics

These first pics are from my first outing with all four kids....alone. It was a little intimidating. First, we went to a children's concert for the public library summer reading program. The kids learned about local Ozark folk music and got to play some instruments in the "Ozarkestra".

Kain played this...thing...I can't remember what it's called now and neither can he! Anyone know? It's a curved wooden piece, looks like a bow, as in "bow and arrow", and there's a small can at the top although the can isn't really supposed to be there. You are supposed to use your mouth in place of the can, but the musician there put a can on there instead so it would be more sanitary for sharing with the kids.

Maria played the washboard, and later tried her hand at a fiddle too.

Then we went to the park next door. That was where things got a little hairy. It was very hot, and I had Tess in her sling...

Jack wanted to be pushed on the swings, out in the open sun, forever and ever,

and Tess quickly became overheated. I put her in the carseat in the shade instead,,,

,,,but then I had to lug that around, including when I had to chase Kain down a couple of times for harassing the ducks, something I don't allow. I need the stroller next time. Everyone was very hot and cranky by the end of it all, and I may boycott the park until late September. Seriously.

Last Sunday, Father's Day, Tess was baptised...John's parents came up for the weekend, and of course my parents and grandmother were there, so we had a little "baptism day/Father's Day" lunch at our house afterwards. No, I did not cook a thing. Good sandwich stuff, relish trays, veggie trays, fruit, chips, and dessert from the bakery...all I had to do was throw everything on the counter.

Teresa Grace, all dressed in white...

My grandmother and Tess...

The baptism cake...

And the Father's Day BIG COOKIE...

I don't have any pics of the actual ceremony yet. My mom took those, and she's giving me the cd when she's done making copies. It was a lovely ceremony, though, with our pastor, Fr. Mike...with the exception of Maria's baptism (we lived in Texas at the time) and our marriage, he has done all of the kids' sacraments and will be a fixture in their scrapbooks for sure. :)

hi...remember me?

I'm still alive over here. We are kinda sorta settling into some kind of new "normal". I *finally* caught up my inbox, so now I'm ready to work on cleaning up my blog, but my computer time is strictly limited (limits reinforced by a nursing baby), so bear with me. I'm going to work on my birth story post today, which is really a pretty funny story. Then I hope to catch back up with everyone *else's* blog! Right now I will just say that Tess is already three weeks old, (sniff, sniff) and she was baptised on Father's Day....I *love* baptisms, I love to smell the spicy chrism on her head and look into her face and think, This is the closest any of us will ever get to perfect innocence...a freshly baptised soul without sin...the closest we will get to looking into the eyes of Christ himself while we are on this Earth.

She wore the dress that I was baptized in, and then Maria. It's *so* pretty and vintage-y looking. Giving her a bath, dressing her in the poofy layers, then bringing her down for the family to oooh and aaah...the moment all felt a little bridal to me, a foreshadowing of another possible day in her future of poofy white dresses and extended family gathering. Our church does baptisms monthly, so she was baptised along with a tiny pair of twins...they made her look like hulk baby! And her baptism coincided, as they always seem to, with the outbreak of those lovely baby zits. They have since healed, so I'll need to post a more recent picture soon.

Just in the last week she suddenly seems older. She's smiling big, heart-melting gummy smiles at me already, staying awake for longer periods, and trying to hold up her huge head. She's absolutely beautiful and sweet and we spend several periods a day just staring at each other in fascination. Babies will never cease to amaze me. I've always loved babies, and when I first started working in pediatrics and in the newborn nursery at the hospital I couldn't *believe* someone was going to actually pay me to take care of babies all day. And so, having my own around again is just so much fun. I love babies. I love the silky feel of their hair, the way they smell, their teeny tiny feet and toes, the way they stare into your face like you are the most fascinating person in the whole world, the way their constant needs are so easily satisfied with a pair of arms, a pair of breasts, and a dry diaper or two...

...and speaking of which, Good Queen Tess awakens the pics will have to wait a bit...later today, hopefully!

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Happy Anniversary, baby....

I had a nice long post about my dear husband is probably not going to happen. So, I'll take the easy way out....

again, you'll have to click on it to see it very well..can't figure out how to make these thigns bigger!

Our big anniversary plans include *trying* to get the kids to bed early and getting take out from Olive Garden and a movie from Blockbuster. You do what you can do, you know? And for this year, for this season of young children and little nursing babies, it'll be just fine.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

library bargains

John took the kids to register for the library's summer reading program this week. Like most homeschoolers, we spend a good deal of time at the library, and their summer programs are lots of fun. At one point, I had illusions of using the library to save a bunch of money on homeschooling books..., and dvd's, magazines, music, cd-rom's, we use it all...but I'm not sure how much I really save anymore. John told me he paid off the fines on all three library cards...$75!! Ouch! We had already racked up some fines, and before Tess' birth John had taken them to check out some computer games to keep them entertained during that looooong week...we didn't even realize the computer games were only allowed out for a week. They were all overdue to the tune of $1 a day. So were the little music cd's that Maria checked out. It all added up I guess. It's a never ending source of frustration around here. I had to stop them from checking out library movies recently because they would just disappear for weeks at a time and the fines were just insane. I decided it would be cheaper to increase the number of movies we have out from Netflix.

I guess it's still a good deal, it would cost a lot more to purchase all the stuff we check out for sure, but at some point we may be checking out *just books*...they are allowed out for three weeks and only 10 cents a day if they are late. Golly...checking out books from a library...what a crazy concept!

ps- click on the comic to enlarge it... :)

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

I'd better label my pictures well....

Here's Jack as a baby, in the same outfit Tess has on below....

Isn't that wild?