Saturday, December 29, 2007

The Toilet

Is it just because I EC? Or does every kid find the toilet fascinating. You throw something in there, flush it, and it goes away! Well, Ben certainly finds the toilet fascinating. I have had to fish out and sterilize numerous toys. I have had to have the plumber come previously to unclog our toilet. $80 later, the plumber told me that it was just a toy that had been flushed down the toilet, and we couldn't get it out without the right tools.

Well, today, Ben threw in my electronic metronome. The kids have thrown in so many toys that it didn't even phase me. I just calmly used the toilet brush and fished it out. Are you wondering if it still works? The answer is no, so it's now in the bathroom garbage. Well, since I teach music, and I'm about to get three new students in the new year, I need a metronome. I may just have to break down and buy an old fashioned one where you set the weight, and it ticks back and forth. It's too heavy for my kids to throw into the toilet.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

A Very Merry Christmas!

I hope each of you had a very Merry Christmas. We did at our house. The new toys are a big hit at our house, but the Fondue pot, Deep fat fryer, silicone cupcake liners, kitchen mandolin, and cooling racks are even bigger hits. All of those were scattered between us, but I am so blessed. I have a great family, and I also have a husband who really wants me to grow and become a better person. People who know me know that I am not a real cook. I can follow a recipe as long as it only requires exact measurements, but once it says something like "season to taste" or the like, I'm in big trouble. All of the above items came with step-by-step instructions for how to use them, so with the mandolin and deep fat fryer, my husband and I will now be able to create the southern delicacy of sweet potato fries. (Don't knock them until you've tried them. I'm not a sweet potato or yam fan, but these fries really are great!) We have already tried out the fondue pot. It worked really well, and we had a great dinner tonight. We have also had a glorious time just having our family around ourselves. It's our first year where we've had Christmas in our own home. It was lovely. Smile big all, Merry Christmas, and be safe with New Year celebrations!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Eve

It's the night before Christmas, and I am sitting here by Jackie trying to help her go to sleep, so Santa can come. I realize that he isn't real, and Christmas is about Jesus, but we went to the Christmas Eve service at Mom and Dad Robinson's church, and we came home and watched Mr. Kreuger's Christmas. We also told Jackie the Christmas story in our own words. Last night, we went caroling, and Jackie LOVED it. We took candy to a couple of our neighbors and sang some Christmas carols that Jackie knows. We had fun. Tonight, we will put together some things from Santa, and Jackie can wake up in the morning to the wonder of Christmas as a child. I'm so excited!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Holiday Traveling

Christmas should be all about family. It's even better when traveling and family go together. This weekend, we got to go to Greensboro, GA to visit Rob's grandmother. It's wonderful to celebrate Christmas with family members. Discussions with Rob's cousins are so interesting, and I laugh so hard. I love Christmastime!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


*Feels music* Sleep! Glorious sleep! I'm eager to try some.

If anyone has seen the movie Oliver, the song is my own version of the Food! song. The song is straight from my heart right now, at 3:38 AM. Ben has been sick all weekend and would only sleep if I was holding him. Sleeping sitting up in a chair is not restful to me. I have taken a couple naps in the past few days, but I would really like to get more than one hour of sleep at a time. I don't remember the last time I had 8 hours of sleep in a row. At this point, I don't remember the last time I had a good 4 hours of sleep in a row. Tonight, Ben has not gone to bed yet. Maybe it has to do with the shot of antibiotic he took today and the other one he had yesterday. But honestly, with the thrush and then this, I'm really starting to get tired. For those people in internet land who didn't know me my senior year of high school and for much of college, I didn't sleep a whole lot then, but compared to now, it seems like the lap of luxiry. I really need my kids to start sleeping though. I'm getting truly tired. I think that if I don't get sleep by tomorrow night that my body will force me to sleep by getting so sick I won't be able to stand up straight. Ben still is not showing any signs of wanting sleep.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Jay Gordon

I love my pediatrician. I know he cares about my kids and I know he really works hard to keep up with modern medicine. However, I just don't think he understands attachment parenting. He doesn't really seem to care whether or not I breastfeed my child. To him, formula is just as good. I guess he makes money if my child gets more ear infections. I know he doesn't want my kids to get sick, but he just doesn't care. He is a crib sleeping proponent. I can see why a Dr. would follow the CDC. All in all, he knows what he's talking about, and he does not berate me for my attachment parenting ideas. In the end though, if I want an answer that supports attachment parenting, I need to go somewhere else. One resource that I have found is He's a licenced pediatrician who supports co-sleeping and breastfeeding. He also has a GREAT article on treating thrush. Happy surfing.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Get Out of My Bedroom: An attachment parenting article review

Co-sleeping is an integral part of attachment parenting. It is common knowledge that breastfeeding is the best food for an infant. However, breastfeeding is a lot harder when the mom and baby do not co-sleep. Peggy O'Mara, the editor of Mothering Magazine, writes a wonderful article in response to the idea that it is automatically unsafe to put the baby in the bed with the mother. In her article, Get out of My Bedroom!Ms. O'Mara makes a profound argument for co-sleeping using studies of entire societies that co-sleep and mother's intuition for hard evidence. Some people would say that a mother's intuition is false. However, I don't think that you can convince any woman who's been a mother for more than 4 days that it doesn't exist. Also, the article mentions that safety in co-sleeping is important. Just as people publish safety instructions for babies sleeping in a crib, people should publish safe co-sleeping practices.

I believe that if one takes precautions, co-sleeping can be even more safe than crib sleeping. When the baby is in bed with the mother, the mother can hear the baby's cues. If the baby does stop breathing or get stuck, the mother is right there. If the baby is in the crib in the other room, the mother is less likely to notice.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Growth Mindset

My sister-in-law, Jill (her link is to the right) is a teacher, and she emailed the link to this article: The Secret to Raising Smart Kids. The article talks about how children view intelligence. Some children view intelligence as stationary. You get what you get, and that's it. If you're dumb, you're dumb. Other children view intelligence in relation to how hard you work. If you don't know something, then you can make an effort and learn it. This article talked about changing the way we praise our children to help them learn that they CAN learn! I loved this article, and I really recommend reading it. I've always heard Success is a journey, not a destination. I believe it. I believe that we can do anything if we work hard enough at it. However, I also believe in ingrained intelligence. Different people are good at different things. Different types of personalities like different things, and people have their own talents. For instance, I am creative, and I love music. I attribute my musical abilities to both my innate sense of rhythm and the time and effort I've spent practicing. I know people who have practiced and practiced but figuring out the rhythm just doesn't make sense to them. Are these the people who just aren't talented, or do they feel like they can't learn? It's an interesting idea. I will however try to teach my child that efforts are worth something. You don't have to do something perfect to have done it well, and through doing things we get better at what we have done.

Monday, December 10, 2007

I love my FLYlady timer!

I just sent in this testimonial to If you haven't checked out her website, now would be a great time. She's phenominal.

Anyway, this is why I love the timer.

I've been fluttering for about five months now, but I got the timer about a month or so ago. That has truly changed my life! However, my favorite thing about the timer is that it doesn't just help me do my chores, it makes them even more fun too. It reminds me of the fun I used to have while I was growing up.

When I was younger, I would ask my mom if I could go play with a friend. When I got a positive answer, I would run to the phone, dial the number of my best friend, and ask if she could play. There were times when she would answer that she couldn't because she had chores. I would say, "That's OK." Promptly put down the phone, run across the street to her house, and help her with her chores. The favors were reciprocated. Chores are always more fun to me if I have someone to talk to while I'm doing them. Therefore, the FLYlady timer has helped me immensely. Now, my best friend lives across the country from me, but she's a FLYlady fan, too. (She's the one who talked me into my LOVELY timer). We don't get to see each other often, so when we get a chance to talk or chat, we could spend all day. (We are SHE's). We chat online with each other. Now, we use our timers. We do our chores together too. We each sit down to chat, and then one or the other of us will comment on how our houses are coming along. One of us will say, "I need to do. . and name a chore" and the other will say. Start the timer for 5, 10, or 15 minutes. Then, we'll both go start our timers and go to work. It's just like doing chores together all over again. At the end of the 5 minutes, we chat for 5, then work for 5 over and over.

Every time after we finish a session, we get to tell each other what we've accomplished and what we have to do. We have our own little cheering section.

Thank you FLYlady for helping us to strengthen our friendship and for creating such a wonderful tool to help us. I always tell people to smile big. Well, I'm smiling big too.

Flying in South GA

P. S. The FLYlady timer is truly superior to the microwave, egg timer, or oven timer. The best part is that it beeps for a long time, so you want to either stop work and stop it or get up from whatever you're doing to stop it. It gets you working and then stopped again on time. :) YAY.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Cloth Diapering

One thing that often goes along with ECing and is one of the staples of attachment parenting is cloth diapering. I am a part time cloth diaper user. This comes partly because I truly believe in the idea that kids are more likely to potty train more easily if they can feel the sensation of being wet in their diaper and associate that with the feeling of letting go of the sphinxter muscle. Also, attachment parenting is all about reading the child and truly meeting their needs. Elimination and the need to keep the elimination away from one's self are basic human needs. Therefore, I also believe in trying to change my kids as soon as they are wet. I'm not perfect at this, and I do use some disposable diapers. Ben is allergic to the common brands of disposable diapers, so for awhile, I used Tushies brand diapers They are filled with cloth and chlorine free, so they're better for the environment. I'm not really much of a tree hugger, but I do think that those are good diapers if you want to go with something you can still throw away but the baby can still feel the wet. Ben is doing great at pooping on the potty, and he pees on it when I set him up there, but he's not interested in having to pee on there every time yet. That's alright with me, I'm all for what's the most comfortable for me and my kid. In the end, I think that there is a place in the world for some good, cloth diapers. However, I think that parents can still be attached to their children without them.

To Infinity. . .

If you've seen Toy Story or Toy Story 2, you'll understand the reference of "To inifinity. . . and beyond!" Well, Here is Jackie's take on that.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

More on the toddler bed cap

In response to requests, I am posting some close-ups of the embroidery on Jackie's bed. I'm also posting a picture of Ben on the bed, too. He loves it as much as she does!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Orson Scott Card and Theology

I almost never post two posts in the same day, but here is number two. This one's important!

I love Orson Scott Card. In fact, his book Ender's Game was one of the things that brought my husband and I together. I think he's a great author. He also happens to share my religion, which my husband didn't know when he started reading Card's books. Well, here is a link to a MUST READ essay printed in the Deseret News. Whether you are a member of my church, or you aren't one, this talk addresses some issues that are going on with Mitt Romney in his campaign for President, but more importantly, it addresses issues that come up against me at least weekly as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Here's the link:,5143,695233910,00.html

This essay came as a response to a speech given by Mitt Romney about his faith. The video is in two segments. The first segment is found here.

The second segment should automatically come up after a short commercial.

Some readers may be wondering why I'm talking about politics on an attachment parenting/elimination communication blog. That's because I truly believe that politics and parenting are interrelated. I cannot parent my way unless it is legal to do so, and I will support candidates who support my moral values, so I can still be free to teach those to my children.

A Great Big Thank You!

A HUGE thank you to all who responded in one way or another to my post on Thrush. I now have a few more options to try. Currently, I'm on another round of Fluconazole (generic for Diflucan) for seven days. I'm looking forward to that. Also, the best suggestion someone gave me that I hadn't tried or heard of was chamomile tea. You seep three chamomile tea bags in one cup of water for 20 minutes and then put that on your nipples. It does seem to help them feel better and heal. If Ben ever gets it back and gets another rash, I'm putting it on his bum, too. Another good thing I learned was to go to for any breastfeeding questions. There is a hotline in Greenville, SC for the lactation consultants there, but I'm not sure they want their number posted on the internet. If you need that info, feel free to contact me for it. Again, THANK YOU TO ALL!!!! YIPPEE!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007


Does anyone know how to get rid of thrush??? Ben and I have been passing it back and forth for more than a month now. I cannot get rid of it! We've tried Gentian violet, Nystatin, Terconazole, (I'm allergic to Monostat), and yogurt. We've had yeast infections over and over, and now, I'm peeling, cracked, and bleeding, so Ben has had to wean some. I have just nursed him until I couldn't take it, but I'm to the point where even thinking about nursing makes me want to cry. I have seriously broken down twice now just thinking about nursing him. So there I am, holding my son and we're both bawling. He's mad because I won't nurse him, and I'm heartbroken because I can't! Please, anyone out there in internet land, HELP!!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

In the Mountains

It seems that we've been traveling a whole bunch lately. Great! It's just the way I like it. I love adventure and seeing new things. I also love seeing the beauty that God has created in the world. The mountains at Thanksgiving time are lovely pictures of God's creativity. Mountains in the south and the west are different but both are beautiful. The leaves change colors and the scenery morphs into a world of color. Here are some examples of the beauty of the north Georgia mountains.
Jackie with Santa in Helen Georgia. Our family at the Brasstown Valley Resort the day after Thanksgiving.

Unicoi State Park
The view from the cabin where we stayed.

Monday, November 26, 2007

The Incredible Toddler Bed Cap!!!

Some of my more avid readers have heard about this and asked me to make sure I posted pictures once it is complete. I have now finished (drum roll please) Jackie's bunk bed cap! I love it. I think that it's my favorite quilt I've ever made. I was going to post instructions with pictures of how to make it, but I decided just to sew it, so I could get it completed before I left for Thanksgiving. It is now complete, and the pictures are at the bottom. The big pillow on Jackie's bed is Jackie's early Christmas present from her Aunt Anne, Uncle Jim, cousin Alissa, and cousin Robin. Thanks to Aunt Anne's family for the cute pillow that matches Jackie's new bed. Next on the agenda is to paint Jackie's wall, so her whole room is finished. We hope to complete Jackie's room before Christmas.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Thanksgivi. . . On to Christmas

I love Christmas. I love everything about Christmas, but honestly, people. Thanksgiving is a holiday, too. I love Thanksgiving. I love the family time, the vacation time, and I REALLY love the food. When did the general American public start skipping Thanksgiving?

The biggest problem that I see with the worldly market skipping Thanksgiving is that it changes the entire emphasis of Christmas, too. Thanksgiving is about giving Thanks to God for the things we have. Yes, it does have to do with the pilgrims and the Native Americans. They were thankful that Squanto helped them survive their first year in this new land, but their thanks was sent up in prayer.

Christmas is not celebrated really on Jesus's birthday, but it is the time of the year when we choose to celebrate his birthday. Christmas seems to get more and more commercialized every year and less and less centered around Christ. Therefore, even as the stores commercialize Chrstimas, please remember that we aren't celebrating X-mas, and we DO have a Thanksgiving time. Let's celebrate this season with good will toward men, a whole bunch of charity, and gratitude to our Heavenly Father who has blessed us so much.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

10 Tips for flying with small children

Since my parents live on the other side of the country, and I really enjoy seeing my family, I have traveled with small children many many times. Traveling with an infant is different than traveling with a 3 year old. I am learning to revisit my ideas of traveling. However, here are some tips that I have learned the hard way.

1) If you have a baby, have something for them to suck on when the plane is taking off and landing. For me, it's just easiest to start nursing as soon as the plane starts taxiing. Then, it's common for my baby to fall asleep 15 minutes or so into the flight. Also, it helps the baby's ears to equalize, so they don't hurt.

2) Take a foldable stroller. You can check a stroller or carseat or a travel system (where the carseat clips onto the stroller) plane side. When going through security, the stroller gives you a place to put the child while you load everything else onto the conveyor belt. Then, take the child out and put the stroller/carseat on last. Pick it up as soon as it goes through, put it back together and strap the child in again while you put your laptop back in its bag etc.

3) Check the airport for suggestions on how early to arrive. With children, plan on 15 more minutes. It takes me 15 more minutes to get through security with children than when I'm by myself. If you have more time waiting for your flight, you can wander around the airport and get some wiggles out before the plane takes off.

4) If your baby is bigger than his age, take a copy of his/her birth certificate with you. This is not always required, but if your baby is 18 months old and looks like he's 2 1/2, you'll be sure not to run into any trouble.

5) Limit the carry-ons. With small children, you have your hands full enough. I like to combine my carry-on bag with the diaper bag. Also, I let Jackie carry her own small backpack with her toys and books in it.

6) If you have a full carseat and not just an infant carrier, check it as luggage. If they lose it, the airline must lend you another one. Also, take it from my experiences, carrying a carseat through the airport is unwieldly, heavy, and just plain miserable.

7) Take empty sippy cups and bottles. Fill them up in the airport. Also, most flights have a beverage service. You can get water or juice and fill up the sippy cups with that. It gets hairy trying to take sippy cups, liquid formula or that type of stuff on the planes now.

8) Take advantage of curbside check in. For $2-3 dollars per suitcase (depending on airport or airline), the sky cap will check your suitcases for you from the curb, and you don't have to haul all of your suitcases into the airport. Renting a luggage cart can cost $3.50 anyway, and you often still have to take your stuff over to the x-ray machine even after you're checked in inside. Dropping off all luggage at the curb gives you more chance to help your children inside and help them enjoy the airport instead of giving all your attention to a suitcase.

9) If you're parking your own car at the airport, look around for places you can park just off from the airport and then take the shuttle. It's usually much cheaper. For example, airport parking in Atlanta can cost $15 dollars a day for long term parking depending on which parking lot you choose. Whereas, there are places that have a shuttle service from an off airport lot where you can park for $10 a day and ride the shuttle. Then, the driver drops you right off at the curb. With the curbside shuttle service and the sky cap, you can minimalize your luggage handling.

10) Take early morning or late night flights. Sleeping children are easier than busy children. When we flew home from Utah, we purposely got an afternoon flight thinking that it would be easier to fly at that time when it was more convenient to get to the airport and our kids would be happy. All other flights I've taken with my kids have been late night flights and early morning flights. They're much easier because the kids are tired and the airplane ride helps them hold still. Then, they sleep.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

My trip to Utah

I really loved my trip to Utah. We spent time in both Mesa Verde and Arches National Parks, and Jackie got to go trick-or-treating from Grandma's house. Then, we went to my friend's wedding in Manti, UT. I love that temple! We also got to spend time at Temple Square, Welfare Square, and the Humanitarian Center in Salt Lake City. Here are some pictures highlights from various parts of the journey. Enjoy!

Jackie was a kitten, and Ben was a duck for Halloween.

Thanks to my friend Wanda for taking this picture! Rob and I standing on the side of the mesa at Mesa Verde National Park, CO.

The first picture is the Cliff Palace at Mesa Verde National Park. The second picture is the Sky in southeastern Utah between the Colorado border and Monticello.

At Sand Dune Arch in Arches National Park Broken Arch at Arches National Park. The arch looks broken because of a crack in the top.
The landscape from the other side of Broken Arch

The Manti Temple where my friend got married. It's my favorite temple.

The Salt Lake Temple at dusk. This is a picture of our whole traveling party taken from the top of the Church office building by an Australian guy who we met up there. He made us all laugh.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Toddler bed sheets number 2

Here are the instructions for how to sew a top sheet for a toddler bed.

First, cut a square of fabric 45 inches by 60 inches.

Then, cut out a six inch square from each of the bottom corners.

Then, take the edges of one of the bottom squares, and sew them together, right sides together. Repeat with the other one.

Make a casing around the two long sides and the bottom edge of the fabric. To make a casing: Turn under (wrong sides together) 1/4 inch all the way around and sew around it. Then, turn under again 1/2 to 3/4 inches around. Sew again as close to the previous stitching as possible. Leave a hole about half way down on each of the long sides.

Then, put about 85 inches of elastic through the bottom half of the sheet using the holes you left in the casing. Start by using a medium to large safety pin and pinning one end of elastic to the sheet right next to the first hole in the casing. I use another pin to pin through the other end of the elastic to make it easier to pull the elastic through the casing. Then, I gather the casing over the safety pin and pull the elastic all the way through the casing until I get to the hole on the other side of the sheet.

Then, I keep pulling it and moving the gathers of the casings along the elastic until the bottom looks about as gathered as the bottom of a fitted sheet.

Then, I sew a straight line across the casing right before the hole I left to sew the elastic in place. I do that on both ends of the elastic.

Then, I sew the holes closed.

The final step is to hem the top. You can either do just a turn twice and hem or do a wide hem like you would for a normal sheet. To do a wide hem, turn under the first time 1/4 inch and sew and then turn under again about 2 1/2 inches and sew as close to the first stitching as possible.

If you choose to make these sheets and have any questions, feel free to email me.

Saturday, November 3, 2007


Can I just say again, I love Utah! My friend Tracy got married last night, Nov. 2. Since she was going to get married, Rob and I decided to make a family vacation out of coming to Utah, and my friend Wanda came with us along with her daughter Corley. It has really been a BLAST so far. So many new things. I have taken tons of pictures, and I will post some of them after I can figure out which ones I should post. I'm going to try to post an entire slide show that is saved somewhere else, but it should go over well.

Right now, we are at The Cliff Lodge at Snowbird in Utah. It is absolutely gorgeous. There is snow up here, and there hasn't been anywhere else we've been. My Georgia friends are way excited to see some snow. Smile big. I'm off to play some more. YAY!

Friday, October 26, 2007

On to Utah! YIPPEE

Well, I was going to post my second toddler bed sheets post, but I didn't take enough pictures to describe it while I was making my first top sheet, and I'm getting ready to leave for Utah, so I won't get the second one completed until I get back. After I come home and unpack, (Yes, for once the unpacking WILL come first, thanks to FLYlady) I will finish the top sheet and the quilt for Jackie's bed. Then, I will add the instructions.

I just have to say that I am SO excited to be going out to Utah. I LOVE the west. I love how dry the air is. I love the snow. (I'm praying that it will snow while we're out there.) Most of all, I love my parents, and they live out there. We'll get to go trick-or-treating in my home town! YIPPEE! So, I'm off to Utah, and I hope to take a lot of pictures to post on my blog when I get back. YAY!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Money Money Money

Money is a necessity in this world. When we need anything, it costs money. In fact, almost everything costs money. Strangely enough, even learning how to fix money problems can cost money. When people are scraping pennies to feed their families and pay rent plus minimum payments on their debts, they can sometimes cringe when it comes to paying even more money to try to get out of debt. If you're not absolutely certain that the program will work, why would they pay their precious money to get out of debt.

When we're in debt and stressed about money, we become more attached to our needs and less attached to our kids. As an attachment parent, I don't want my money problems getting in the way of my attachment to my kids. We can become a slave to debt. Instead, (no matter how much or little money we make) we can live within a budget, get out of debt, and start paying more attention to our kids than our money again.

Here is a treasure chest full of good money saving tips and finance helps on a free blog posted by a fellow attachment parent.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Toddler Bed Sheets

I love to sew. I love it! I love it! I love it! Since I'm going with the Winnie the Pooh theme with the room, I found a cute bedding set for Ben's crib, but I didn't find a cute toddler bedding set. Therefore, I found some cute fabric at Walmart that I made sheets out of for Jackie. I got the idea from my friend Crissy who directed me toward In the crafts section, there is a link to toddler bed sheets. I saw what she did and then worked off her idea for the bottom sheet. I didn't have 3 1/2 yards of the top fabric (there were only 2 1/2 on the bolt) so I imrovised the top sheet with an idea tha my friend and I came up with for a bunk bed cap. Here are the instructions with pictures for anyone who is interested. The sheets are very easy, even if you don't sew much.

First, I got 3.5 yards of fabric for my bottom sheet. I washed it and put it through the dryer. (For anyone who doesn't sew much, this is a very important step. You don't want your sheets to shrink after they're sewn).

Then, I folded them in half with the short ends together and the bright side of the fabric facing out.

Then, I cut the sides off to make them 34 inches by 60 inches.

After that, I measured and cut one three inch by three inch square out of each of the corners that would be at the foot of the bed. I did NOT cut them out of the top corners. (That would be both corners on the short side.)

Then, on the big sheets, I pulled the corners together where I cut the squares out. When they're pulled together, they make a triangle. Then, I sewed those corners together.

Then, I matched the seems of the corners I sewed to the ones on the opposite sheet with the right (bright colored) sides together. After that, I sewed around the two long sides and the side with the corners sewn together. After that, then I hemmed around the top edge. To make a hem, I just turned the fabric toward the wrong side of the fabric twice and sewed around it.


So, if anyone was wondering about the end of my remodeling post and what our next remodeling project was, it is Jackie and Ben's room. Jackie decided to pull the border off of her walls. It was the permanent/glued on type of border, not the peel and stick type. So now, there is a big off colored stripe across the wall just above the chair rail where the border was. We cannot leave it like that and have any chance of selling our house at some point. If we're going to have to fix it sooner or later, we may as well fix it now and at least get our own enjoyment out of the redecorating at the same time.

My mom-in-law is good at decorating. I, on-the-other-hand, don't get the color families the same way she does. She and I had a glorious time shopping for a new nursery set. Everywhere we went, I looked around, and I decided that Winnie the Pooh was the easiest way to decorate. There is a really cute bedding set for a crib called "Pooh Hunting for Honey." And since Winnie the Pooh has some green in it, we got to do that. Therefore, I have spent a good deal of this week with my sewing machine.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Jackie and the Phone

Jackie LOVES the phone. Every chance she gets, she talks on the phone. My mom-in-law's old cell phone is one of her all time favorite toys. Here is a picture of her talking on the phone. I text messaged myself the dialogue (to my email), so I wouldn't forget to post that, too.
"Hello, my name is Jackie. I live in Cairo, GA. Where are you from?"
She knows that her grandparents were in "Okahoma" last week, and that her other grandparents live in Utah. She's a very smart girl.

Where's my baby?!?

I can't find my baby! He's gone. Maybe it has something to do with him having his first birthday, but he's gone. I can find a little boy everywhere I look. (Mostly because I have to keep both eyes on him to keep him from falling off the table or jumping off a chair). Although I still nurse my 1-year-old boy, he is no longer a baby. He's growing up on me, and I'm wracking my brain trying to figure out when it happened. I know that the answer is one day at a time, but it honestly feels like he grew up over night. It seems like he looked like a baby on Saturday, with him walking and trying to climb, and then yesterday, I looked at him, and he looked all grown up. He knows how to say more and more words now, and he's a good little boy, but he's not a baby anymore. In some ways, it's a celebration. He can do more for himself, and it's interesting to see the new tricks he's learning every day, but I miss my cuddly little guy.

Sunday, October 7, 2007


Our washer died last Saturday, so we spent the day in Tallahassee looking for a new one. On our way back, we realized that we had the vinyl tile we wanted to lay in the garage. The washer is scheduled to come this coming Tuesday, so we decided that we had to get the floor laid before the washer came. We didn't want to have it hooked up just to have to move it again. Therefore, we had get the floor in before Tuesday. That gave us three nights in a row that were up all night. Tuesday night we were up until 3:30; Wednesday night, we were up until 6:00, and Thursday night, we were up until 5:00. But our floor looks great. Here are pictures of the steps.

The floor started out like this:

Then we swept, mopped, mopped on our hands and knees, and took off the floor molding, so the floor looked like this.

Then we put floor stripper on the floor and scrubbed it in and then we had to mop up the excess

After that, we had to put embossing leveler on the floor to fill in all the texture of the vinyl that was already there.

We just got so tired that Rob just decided that he had to take a nap right there on the floor. That was 4:45 in the morning on Wednesday night/Thursday morning. We still had 150 square feet of embossing leveler to put down before 5:00 pm when our friends Patrick and Danielle would come to help us lay the tile. After staying up all night again Thursday night/Friday morning laying tile so we could use the 100 pound floor roller on it before we had to turn it in on Friday. We put the floor molding back on Saturday, and our house was put back into some semblance of order that night for Sunday. Here is the finished product.

For those of you out there who know Rob and me, you know that we're not the best do-it-yourselfers. However, we are getting much better. Rob just got a Dremel for his birthday (which is today, but he got the Dremel yesterday). That way, we could finish the floor molding around the edges. We are becoming better and better at do-it-yourself projects. Practice does help make things better. "Practice does not make perfect; practice makes permanent." Here is our somewhat permanent floor. . . Maybe we can practice do-it-yourselfing on the kids' bedroom next.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

The magical fruit

Have you ever heard the bean song? Beans, beans, the magical fruit, the more you eat. . . For those of you who have and wish to skip the rest of it, feel free to move to the next paragraph. For those of you who haven't heard it, here are the words. Beans, beans, the magical fruit, the more you eat, the more you toot. The more you toot; the better you feel. You should have beans for every meal!

For Ben, beans are the magical fruit, not because they make the desired results, but Ben LOVES black beans. He will eat them and eat them and just keep going for as long as I will give them to him. Here is a picture of Ben at Moes eating beans. I wonder if it's because he'd never had beans before he tried them himself. Although I don't eat them, he really does seem to think they're his favorite food. This picture was taken at Moe's Southwest Grill (a personal favorite of ours), and Ben ate half an adult's side order worth of beans.

Jackie is very well behaved at restaurants lately, and we are very grateful. She saw me taking Ben's picture with the cell phone, so she needed a picture, too. Here's hers.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Saturday Mornings

When I was growing up, I loved getting up early on Saturday mornings. If we were really quiet and didn't bug our parents, my mom would let us watch Saturday morning cartoons. Now, Jackie loves to wake me up and say, Mom, will you get me my cartoons? She will sit on the Luv Sac and watch cartoons for another 45 minutes to an hour, so I can get some blissful sleep. These cartoons aren't Bugs Bunny, Road Runner, and Wile E. Coyote, but they're alright. She either watches Mikey Mouse Club House or PBS. We don't watch Calliou though. I know that it's not an attached parent thing to do, but in the end, I need some sleep sometime. Last night I was up from 2:30 to 6:30. I woke up with Ben at 2:30; I was almost asleep. Jackie got up to pee at 3:15, and then I went in to sit with her until she went back to sleep. Then, I just couldn't get back to sleep until 6:30. My extra 45 minutes in the morning can make a real difference.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Beauty of Cell Phones

The beauty of cell phones is that you can take pictures any time and anywhere. They may not be the best quality, but they're great for boredom. Here is a picture of Ben while we're sitting in the waiting room at the doctor's office.

Monday, September 24, 2007

ECing achievement

Before anyone reads this post, let me remind you that this is an ECing blog, and therefore, I communicate openly about elimination. If you don't want to read the ins and outs of my baby's poops and pees, this post is not for you.

Ben has hit an achievement with our ECing. Before, when he'd pee, he'd always want to play in the stream. I guess that's a boy for you; Jackie never seemed to do that. However, today, we were taking our morning trip to the potty, and I'd missed with his pee. I was too slow waking up, and I didn't worry about it because he had a diaper. I was slightly worried because I didn't want either of us to have to go through the poop scraping ritual that happens if I miss and he has to poop in his diaper. So Ben was sitting on the potty insert on the toilet, and he was trying to pee. He pooped and pooped, and he got them all out on the toilet. He was so happy! Then he stopped, and just waved his hand in front over and over again, trying to feel the wet. He knew that he was pushing, so the stuff should come out. The problem is that he's already pushed all the stuff out. But he knew that he was recognizing the feeling of letting go. I was so happy for him. The scientists who claim that babies have no control over those muscles until the age of two-and-a-half have obviously not given ECing their own children the old college try.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Life can be a real blur

Sometimes, I look at my three year old and remember what things were like when she was a newborn and wonder where all the time went. Sometimes, life just seems like a blur. Everything just seems to whiz by. Then there are other times when life really just seems like a blur. It's the same feeling as when I have lost my glasses. Oh wait! Maybe that's because I did lose my glasses earlier this week. And that day, I was so nauseous, dizzy, and sick that I put down my keys and my cell phone and could not remember where they could possibly be. When my vision is blurry, life gets yucky. Even though I've been feeling better a lot of the time, I understand now why the physical therapist says that it will be six to eight weeks before I'm fully recovered. I go back for my check-up to see how I'm doing on Wednesday. We'll see how that goes. I think that I may need to get my vision checked. Maybe that will help. Anyway, with everything that's going on, I hope that I start to remember things better, and I really hope I don't lose my glasses. I like it when my memory is clear.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Wednesday nights

Wednesdays at our house are probably our craziest days, followed closely by Sundays. I know that Sundays are supposed to be restful, but they throw off the kids' schedules, and then things are hard. Wednesdays, however, are crazy and fun. Jackie goes to school Wednesday morning, and then we come home and eat lunch. Luckily, we didn't have to do any errands yesterday, and we got a LONG nap. (That's rather unusual). Then, we ate supper and Rob and I put on Sunday clothes. At 7:00, Rob needs to be at the church for his Branch Presidency meetings, and after Young Women's I teach seminary at the church. Therefore, when Rob gets home from work, we get busy. Wednesday nights are fun though. The Branch President brings his four kids, and the Young Women's President brings her two kids, and Jackie has friends to play with. She loves it! I'm grateful for good friends.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

ECing and the media

There have been some ECing articles in the news this week. I subscribe to because they often have some good ideas on parenting. My inbox came up with "Diaper Free Baby" from ivillage, and I clicked on it. Here is the link: I thought that the description was fair, but the comments about it were harsh. Here is the article that is attched to it from MSNBC. Although I am not a diaper-free mom, I am definately a part-time ECing mom. Ben even pooped and peed in the potty this morning. With Jackie, I caught all but six or seven poops since she was a year old. She would hiss when she needed to go potty. Even at my mom-in-law's house, she started hissing, and fussing, and my mom-in-law kept checking her diaper. She wouldn't poop in her diaper. When I got back from my meeting, Jackie came up to my hissing, so I took her. My mom-in-law was shocked. I bought her a little potty that day, and she used it. Babies cannot be able to "hold it" for a long time because their muscles aren't strong enough, but they are able to know the sensation and purposely cue the parent. That is being potty trained. What is the difference between "SSSSS" and "Mommy I need to potty."? I feel that there is no difference. The child is aware of the sensation and purposely communicate a need.

The difference between Elimination commucation and traditional potty training is the attitude. Im am not potty training my babies. I'm helping them be more aware of their bodies, and I am helping them learn to communicate their needs with me. I love ECing, and I'm glad.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Sick kids then a trip

Teething seems to be the bane of Ben's existence right now. He's the most happy-go-lucky, laid back kid 95 percent of the time. However, teething is not that time. His nose just starts running like it's the third mile of a marathon, and he goes around trying to bite everything. When I say everything, I mean everything--Jackie's head, my arms, the book shelves. . . While this was going on, Jackie started running a low grade fever. She stayed home from school on Friday, and we had an interesting day. It was full of movies, lots of cuddling, and a long naptime. That night, Jackie's fever broke, and Ben started feeling better. Since the kids were well, we went to Atlanta this weekend to the baptism of a child of one of our close friends.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

What's with the Kleenex?

Ben's new favorite thing is to pull Kleenexes out of the box one at a time until they are all scattered all over the floor and the one-at-a-time pulling system is no longer possible when I actually have to use a tissue. Jackie seemed to have an affinity for that type of thing too. I gave up putting wipes in a pull out box because that never worked for more than two days before all the wipes were scattered all over the floor, and they had carpet lint stuck to them. You'd think I'd learn. I thought I had. For a long time the place of honor for the tissue box has been on top of my TV stand where the children cannot climb on top of it even if they try to the best of their abilities. Even I have a hard time reaching the top from a two step ladder. However, I made an error today. Ben and Jackie both have allergies, so I have been wiping noses for two and a half days straight. Therefore, today, I decided to go for convenience with the Kleenex box. Big mistake. I left the room for about 10 seconds, and when I returned there were Kleenexes scattered all over the living room floor. However, I didn't check to see if they'd been mangled or not. I just rapidly scooped them up, stuffed them back in the top hole of the box, and put the whole mess back on top of the TV stand. In the end, Ben had a fun 10 seconds and now, I have a Kleenex box with tissues piled haphazardly all over it and more runny noses. Oh well, maybe I'll learn next time.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Not your common aerobics

I previously commented that I would post about my physical therapy exercises. These are things that seem to be easy, but looks can be deceiving. They are things like focus my eyes on one thing held at arms length and shake my head from side to side as rapidly as I can while still staying in focus. And then shake my head from top to bottom while focusing. Another exercise is for me to stand in the corner on a pillow with my eyes closed for 30 seconds to a minute and try to balance myself. Rob needs to be standing in front of me for that one. He also needs to stand in front of me while I stand in the corner on the floor and put my feet, heel to toe together while I try to stand there with my eyes closed for 30 seconds to a minute. I do it once with my eyes closed and once with my eyes open. One of the hardest exercises for me is to sit on a chair, bend over my knee, focus my sight on my toes, and then quickly sit up and look over the opposite shoulder. This one generally makes me very sick. Although they do not take very much physical strength they are actually quite hard for me. I enjoy doing them, but some of them make me very sick, and I am often nauseous at the end of them.

On the bright side, I really feel better through most of my days when I do them twice a day! Yay!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

My children CAN share!

My marimba is one of my most favorite posessions in all the world. My kids seem to feel that way, too. Ben tries to crawl underneath it, and Jackie begs, "Mama, can I play your marimba?" I was astonished to find out that my children can share very nicely. Here is a video.

First Day of School

Jackie had her first day of school on Wednesday of this week. She has now been to two days of school. The first one was not a fluke. She loved it! She can't wait to go back! Here are a couple pictures of her first day of school.

This one is me holding Jackie right before I took her to the school. Rob took the picture.

This one is of Jackie underneath the welcome sign to the school. She goes
to the First United Methodist Church Preschool.

This picture is of Jackie's very first activity at school.