Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Too Much Time On Their Hands

We've been using a pretty relaxed schedule with school lately. We're still getting plenty accomplished academically, but we're mostly just focusing on writing and math right now as I re-adjust to life on Ezra's schedule. This means the kids get done with their schoolwork pretty early in the day and need something to do to fill the time.

They've come up with some things that make me think they need a LOT more schoolwork.

Below are a couple of pictures of Grace trying to fly Faith like a kite. Later they traded. Thankfully they never tried to do this with any of the younger kids as it was very windy. I'll have to be more careful about letting them hold the baby!




Then later Clark wanted to show me his new invention. Grossness warning here. I can't shake this from my own mind so you might want to just skip on down.

Clark's new invention is called the Booger Eater 2000. This doesn't need any more explanation. Ick!



And just now Joy and Sam have discovered what many children, certainly all of mine, seem to think is just the funniest thing to do: underwear on their heads. The humor of this, along with the bunny ears they like to do to each other, remains a mystery to me. But I love to hear the giggles from the kids when they do it!



Update: As soon as I finished posting this, I heard Gloria crying. I turned to see her wearing a diaper and crying in frustration because she couldn't get her training pants on her head. I actually helped her. Don't ask me why. So here she is:



Melissa

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Nursery

After three months and three weeks in the house I finally got to do some work on the house this weekend. Since fencing, buying a tractor, watching kids because we just had a baby, meeting my mother, working for a city to get my retirement and all manner of other little things have been eating up my time the house has just sat.

I cleared almost all of my tools and building materials out of the nursery/office and set up the crib and dresser/changing table. I forgot to take ‘before’ pictures, but it was straight out of an HGTV show between then and now.
In the picture you see the crib, with Ezra in it, and a window sill full of tools. There are also a bunch of razor blades sitting on the shelf. The room has a baby, but it is not baby proof, yet.

All the junk in the room is now in the trash or the ‘near barn’, which is the barn nearest the old house. The far barn is still farther away, but the near barn is hardly near anymore. Anyway, the tractor and all of my tools are stored away in the near barn and this is the next project as I need the woodshop set up to build the cabinets and bookshelves we need to finish off the house.

I already got the first part of the shop project completed by moving the freezer. As Mitchell and I were moving it I saw the biggest black widow spider I have ever seen. I decided to take a picture of it before I killed it, so I got my phone out, turned on the camera and aimed for the spider, but it was gone. In that little amount of time it had moved across about two feet of floor, up the leg of my pants and my torso on to my neck. Oh, wait, that’s the nightmare I am going to have tonight. The spider really just crawled back into its hiding spot in the box it was in. Later it peeked out at me and then went back in the box. I dumped the box over a bit but never did find the thing. I will be wearing gloves when I clean out the near barn and I will have a couple of guards next time I have to lie on my back to change oil out there.

Roger (Miss Muffitt)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Using Cloth Diapers Again

A few weeks ago we were running out of diapers and I wasn't sure I was going to make it to the store. We had a package of diapers but I was afraid to use them because that particular brand has been a problem with a couple of our children in the past--especially the boys. It seems that the diapers leak for us. The baby's clothes and mine and everything around us will get wet, but the diaper will still be dry. Weird. Then there's another brand that causes rashes in most of my children and another that seems to leak every time there's a dirty diaper. So I wasn't sure I could get to the store, and if I did I didn't know what brand to get anymore.

Roger mentioned cloth and I said I hated that idea because with 2 in diapers and no one else in the family willing to change cloth diapers it would be a terrible inconvenience for me. Not to mention I would then have extra laundry. I'd heard about a cloth diaper that went on as easy as a disposable, but they are really expensive. So Roger did the math and figured out that if we bought the really expensive diapers that I thought I could live with, we would save money after the first year.

Of all the chores in the house, laundry is my favorite. It's the one time of day that I get quiet time. No one really wants to go in the laundry room while I'm in there or they get stuck helping me fold. So an extra load every two days doesn't scare me.

So I did a lot of research and read everything I could find. I finally decided I wanted to get these diapers. I put them in my shopping cart (online) and started to check out. But I just couldn't do it. I decided to sleep on it one more night. Before I went to bed I prayed that I would make the right decision. Once during the night I had to change Ezra and throw a towel over the wet spot on the sheets. Then I woke up in the morning to another leaky diaper and this time I was wet, too. That was the worst we'd had and I figured that was it. I called the 800 number to order the diapers. We had them by the next day. We had a small learning curve as we got used to them, but now I love them. These are the best diapers ever!

There have been several occasions now where I was sure the disposable diapers would have been a huge leaky mess, but the cloth diaper contained everything. I think we've only had one problem with leaking and that was more overflow than leaking because I didn't change the poor kids soon enough. The first time I didn't change Ezra before we went to the park and then stayed at the park too long I guess. The other time I thought someone else had changed Gloria after her nap but no one had. Around dinner time I noticed her pants were wet. So it had just been on her for far too long. That's it. And that was just wet leaks. No blowouts since we switched to cloth!

The diapers are called BumGenius 3.0. No, I'm not getting paid to write about them. I just think they are great and wanted to share. It seems that the designer has thought of everything. They go on as easy as disposables. They are soft and comfortable (Gloria chooses them every time--unless she wants Butt Paste and then she wants a disposable because I won't put that in the cloth. It's supposed to be bad for the diaper (unless you use a liner) and Gloria has no rashes anyway. I don't know why she wants it on.) They use microfiber terrycloth so they absorb a lot without all the bulk of a typical cloth diaper. And I was able to buy one size that should work until potty training. You just snap them to the size you want. I have to stuff the fillers back into the diapers after washing them, but the kids do that while I read the Bible to them in the morning.

So we're saving money and using the earth's resources wisely. Plus they just look so cute and feel softer and cushier when you hold the baby than the crinkly disposables.

Melissa

Monday, April 14, 2008

Miscellaneous Stuff about the kids



As of last week Ezra was up to 11 pounds and 22 inches. I'm sure that has changed in the last 4-5 days because the boy never stops eating. Well, he does sleep for a good stretch at night--about 4 hours, but then he's back to nursing anywhere from every hour to every two hours. I don't mind the two hour stretches, but the every hour stuff is getting old real fast.

In the above picture, Gloria was just being really sweet and gently touching his face. She was not slapping him as Roger thought, or pushing him as Faith thought.

Sam fell asleep last night before dinner. He'd missed his nap and just couldn't keep his eyes open anymore. (I am trying desperately to get us back on a schedule of some sort, but I'm failing miserably.) So he woke up this morning starving. He heard it was Faith's day to make breakfast so he went to wake her up. She said she still wanted to sleep. Sam said, "Oh, O.K." and stuck his thumb in her mouth. That might have worked for him to sleep, but it got Faith up in a hurry!

After meeting his new grandparents, Clark was asking me if maybe I was adopted. He was disappointed to hear that I was not and that he would not be getting any MORE new grandparents. He was thrilled to find someone to sit and play games with him. He even won at chess!

Joy has been a joy the last couple weeks. She's thriving getting all this extra attention from Dad while Mom takes care of the baby. And she absolutely LOVES going to get eggs every day with him. She wishes we had a lot more chickens so they would have to do that more often.

Claire hangs out at the pond every chance she gets. She'll take someone with her because I make her, but she's usually out there if she is allowed to be. They've been catching crawdads for the fun of it. (I don't want to cook them.) One day they built a fort using extra cinder blocks from our house and whatever other scraps they could get a hold of. They even made a broom out of a stick and broom weed. Now why they want their fort's floor to be clean, then drag dirt into the real house, I don't know. I guess because they are children.



Mitchell, Faith and Grace are part of a band now. I am trying to get them to record some of the songs they've written. If they do, I'll find some way to share. I'm impressed with their talent. They have totally taught themselves about music because I couldn't. It makes me want to lean more toward unschooling, but I'm too controlling to just let go and hope they learn basic things like reading, writing, and math. So I'll keep making them learn those things, but let them teach themselves the creative stuff. They're doing a beautiful job.

Stephen is currently training with his unit (or battalion or whatever) to go to Iraq. The goal is to be in Iraq by August 1st. Yes, that makes us nervous, but we are very proud of him and we are leaving him in God's hands. We'd appreciate any prayers for him. I believe that his time in the Army is God's will for his life. That doesn't mean nothing bad will happen to him, but I'd rather he be in God's will in a dangerous situation than out of God's will and "safe" at home.

Anyway, we're supposedly back in school now. If there are any homeschoolers reading this blog who have suggestions on how to get school done with a new baby, an almost 2 year old and a 3 1/2 yr old in the house, please leave your suggestions in the comments section. I could use some help! The older kids are talking about helping with the younger kids, but we'll see how that goes. In the past it never really happened. But I'm more desperate now so maybe I'll work harder at making that happen. It's starting to feel like I have a lot of kids.

Melissa

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Hi, Mom!

I met my mother this week. Not sure what to say about it. Not sure what I want to share. She is short and we share a family resemblance. She had to put up with a bunch of crap to give birth to me and then she had to deal with more crap after I was born because she had me. I believe that the Christian community does itself a horrible disservice by the way it so often threats women in the situation my mother was in back in 1963. “Religion people” scream that abortions should be illegal (I agree with this) and then treat women that choose to bring a baby to term like they are horrible people (I disagree with this). I am not sure how easy or hard it would have been to get an abortion in 1963, but I have thanked my mother that she did not get one.

I am her only child. Circumstances kept a woman that seems to be a very good “mother” type of person from gaining her heart’s desire until almost 45 years after her son was born and whisked away. She never saw me. She was just coherent enough to catch that the birth certificate said “baby boy” as she signed it.

So there she was this past Wednesday at my house with her grandchildren and son and daughter-in-law. She brought us all toothbrushes. Not just any toothbrushes, but electric rotating and vibrating toothbrushes. Even Melissa and I got a toothbrush.

There weren’t any Oprah moments with the two of us running to each other with tears pouring down our faces. She drove up with her husband in their truck and got out and we hugged and she went in and we just kind of looked at each other while the other wasn’t looking trying to see what we could of ourselves in the other. I have her eyes and nose and mouth. It turns out we both like licorice and she gave me some to go with my toothbrush. I had bought some for her when I went to Dallas week to get a tractor, but being the selfish, uncaring child that I am I ate almost all of it on the way home.

I also met my step-father. So far he hasn’t been mean to me or treated me any different that his own children like we see most step-parents do on television shows and in the movies.

My mother and I drove around for a couple of hours talking on Thursday. I learned a lot about her during the drive. She learned some about me. None of any of this is going to be in the blog.

This coming week I am going to get to know my Grandmother.

Roger