Sunday, November 22, 2009

Hand-me-downs, Greta, and Elijah

I love hand-me-downs. I am no snob. I think they are wonderful. My kids wear them with pride and and are just as excited with a trash bag full of clothes as a bag from the local kids' store. Usually more so, as they can try them on while watching a movie in our living room.

I am a huge fan of "deals". I love "steals". This has been installed in me since childhood. My dad would stop the car to "rescue" something from the side of the road, his favorite bike was from a dumpster, and we would roam thrift stores and proudly display our finds (and tell what we paid if complimented)!

When I had Gabriel we were still in undergrad college. He grew so fast it was ridiculous! He was a hefty 20 lbs at 4 months. An insane 35 lbs at 1 year. (Amelia is only just 34 lbs now.) I couldn't get into my pre-pregnancy clothes, not because I didn't lose my tummy weight, but because I bulked up in my arms, chest and upper back in muscle from lugging him around. Needless to say, he raced through baby clothes sizes. He didn't have time to wear anything out until he was 5. (People would ask if he was starting kindergarten while sitting in his stroller at the mall. He was 3.) We could barely keep him in clothes. (Now mind you, both sets of grandparents bought for him, and would have, if we asked, but we tried not to.) I often would raid the 25 cent bin at Goodwill.

I was going to a Bible study for mothers when he was about 1 and 2 months. A lady named Greta asked me one night if I wanted her son's clothes, she had a few things that she didn't need anymore. A swing and 3 boxes of boy clothes. The swing was an answer to prayer. Gabriel LOVED it. The clothes boxes, however, contained a miracle.

Do you remember the story of Elijah and the widow? Elijah asked a widow for some bread and she said she didn't have enough food for herself and her son, there was a famine going on. He said if she would bring him a small loaf first, she would have enough for herself and her son until the famine ended. And it was so. God provided. Daily.

The "Greta Box" was the same way. I cannot tell you how many things came up that I NEEDED for Gabriel. If I needed something, I would check the box. It would be there. For 2 years. From shoes, to Halloween costumes. Now, if that is not a Elijah thing, I would like to know what is. God used the Greta Box to create miracles just for us, over and over.

As a matter of fact, hand-me-downs are such a presence in our lives that it prompted a funny story.

I loved the series "Life Goes On". I watched it and loved it through college on re-runs. Little did I know that it would touch my life so compellingly. I bought Season 1 from McKay's a while back to enjoy. I revved it up one day and Gabriel, (happy to watch ANYTHING on TV) joined me. It took about 15 minutes, and he turned to me and said "You know, that guy looks a lot like Elise. Does he have Hand-me-Downs, too?" True story!!!

Saturday, November 14, 2009


Okay, so I am up. It is 10 til midnight. I want to be asleep. I want to be in bed. I want to trust that Charlotte will stay asleep. She has not been so much...she tends to believe that she needs to nurse ALL. NIGHT. LONG.

I am not one to randomly medicate my kids. I did tonight. I gave her some ibuprophen. (Motrin, to those who did not grow up in a medical professional family). Why? I don't know. She's crying. She's not sleeping. Something's wrong. Does something hurt? Head? Teeth? I don't feel so hot. I don't know if I am sick or tired. But as I have said for years, I am sick and tired of being sick and tired. So, I am hoping that the ibuprophen fixes something. I am hoping that if it does, that I can figure out what it fixed. Hmm.

I love to nurse my babies. Here are 10 of at least 20 reasons why I like to:

1. It's clean.

2. It's free.

3. It does NOT involve me getting up to make a bottle in the middle of the night.

4. It allows me to cuddle my baby while NOT cleaning my house (although, I can vaccume while nursing...really!)

5. I get to know personality...whether they are social, lazy, business, pleasure, personal schedulers, or "Oh, I forgot, I'm starving!!!!!"

6. I get to sniff baby hair.

7. I don't have to remember to pack a bottle, it doesn't spill in my bag, and I don't find bottles with funk growing in them.

8. I am necessary.

9. It's a miracle.

10. The busy-to-grow-up baby, has to snuggle and stay put for 10 minutes...

There are more, but I am having a hard time putting my words together to make sense. And she has just started whining again. *sigh* I need to go feed her and put her BACK in bed...I may end up giving up and keeping her with me, if she would just snuggle and not insist on eating all night, I really wouldn't care.

Saturday, November 7, 2009


My kids like Santa. Well, more the idea of him. Gabriel happily went to Santa. We have cute pictures of him smiling on his lap. He would make lists and give them to Santa and send them in the mail. We had them sent to Grandparents and the saved them for me. I still have them, of course.

Elise wasn't sure that he was safe...and it got progressively worse. And Amelia is bald-faced terrified. I am curious to see how Charlotte will view him.

I found a lovely montage on You Tube. Enjoy. I will follow up with my beliefs on Santa later this season.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

I'm Telling

Real quick one:

Gabriel used to go "tell" on me. When he was tiny, around 18 months until he was about 4ish. (It left around the time Elise came...) If I did something he didn't like, if he got in trouble, disciplined, or forced to do something he didn't want to do, he'd run off to the bathroom and rant with "the Baby in the Mirror". He'd go into the bathroom and chat with his reflection in the mirror on the shower door. He'd share babbling brook stories, where he would go on and on and on. Or he'd run in there and tell That Baby what all terrible things his parents were was a hoot to stand out in the hall and listen to what he'd say...I wish I'd had the presence of mind to video record him doing it. I tend to forget to get out the camcorder because I am so caught up in enjoying my to start remembering!!! Old Me is going to be mad at Young Me...

So the moral of the story is, if you need to vent, there is always the rear-view mirror "friend" waiting to hear what you have to say...go ahead, get it off your chest! And you'll never have a more sypathetic listener!!

The Psychology of Dolls and Rocks

I took Psych 101 like everybody else in college...and then continued through Abnormal Psych, where I was terrified to see that perhaps I wasn't "normal"...and then through all sorts of education classes where they throw popular studies at your head, assuming to change your ideas and beliefs...they failed miserably...

However, I LOVE it when psychologists do studies where they conclude, with shock and fanfare, the same thing that generations have know for thousands of years!! My favorite example of this is that (can I get a trumpet fanfare?) boys and girls are different! *gasp* I know that knocked you right off your chair, right?

At this time in my life, I am wading through girl toys...Charlotte is loving baby dolls...Elise and Amelia liked them, and really enjoy playing with them now, but they didn't start out massive fans like Charlotte. I am afraid this may bode that she will be even girly-er? Ack! But I like to think that it just means that she is very mothering and nurturing...I guess we'll have to watch this one over then next couple of years...

Gabriel is my boy! He played with rocks and worms and sticks and dirt. And was tremendously happy! I loved watching him! I had forgotten boy butt, you know what I'm talking about, all squatted down with his pants falling down, just a bit, and digging in rocks, until friend's boy is about 6 months older than Charlotte, and he is all boy. He spent about 20 minutes moving rocks around in their drive-way this afternoon. It made me feel all warm and fuzzy!

I am reminded of a classic Gabriel story: He spent an ENTIRE morning digging and collecting worms, he would put them in his yellow plastic bucket...every once an a while he'd get them out and show them a good time in his matchbox cars. After SEVERAL hours of good fun, he got tired of them, put them all in his bucket, held them up to the sky and yelled, "Birdies, DINNER!!! Come and GET it!!!" And here I thought we'd have to house them all for weeks. Huh, didn't see that one coming!

I love my kids and enjoy the differences between them. They have different personalities, but they have a lot of basic time some one tries to tell you that boys and girls aren't different, invite them down to a real play-ground to watch the girls go through soap-operas and the boys break stuff...who needs studies when you have kids playing? For that matter, feel free to eavesdrop on any kids' conversation if you are in need of either a good laugh or insight for life. Free therapy either way...