Monday, July 26, 2010

Lost while Looking Stuff Up...addiction?

"You don't know what that is?/How to spell that?/Who that is? Then you ought to go look it up..." Typically not a bad idea...but for me it is...go ahead, make me, and kiss me goodbye for the next few hours. It is, seriously, like turning a junkie loose in their addiction.

I have learned TONS of fun stuff because I went to look something up and read half the "R" encyclopedia...Or "T" or "M" Or "C-Ch"... :) Oooh, and then you occasionally have to cross-reference, and read more...and the next thing you know, you have 6 encyclopedias out and don't know where the day went...

I have discovered CRAZY cool words because of similar situations involving the Dictionary.

I admit, I have picked up a dictionary or encyclopedia for fun. On purpose, to look up nothing in particular.

Oh, and the internet? I hit all the hyperlinks. That lead to another, and another, and another.

The funny thing is, I do the same thing in church. I have learned to cut myself off [occasionally]and NOT FOLLOW ALONG in my Bible. Because I don't follow along. For one I read too fast, and then I want to know what happened before, and then after, then one thing leads to another and while I started off in Matthew, I wind up in Leviticus. It never fails. I do love it. But I am really torn. Does the "fun reading" in the Bible give a good example? Or listening? OR is both listening...and it's just God talking? But what OUGHT I be doing? I genuinely would like my kids to do both, so I don't know what I should do...I'm still trying figure that one out!

Next thing I'll know, I will read that it is a sickness on one of my chomosomes. And who knows what other diseases I will discover through those hyperlinks??? :)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Please pray with me!

I was catching up on the blogs I follow and I found this. I beg you to pray with me for this family! And I encourage you to be watchful and prayerful for your own children. It does happen.

All Doll(ed) Up: Breaking the Silence

Purple Giggles

This is NOT the deep blog update from my lovely now-four-year-old's birthday...these are the giggles and things I learned this weekend.)

1) Some people just don't like purple food. They just don't.

2) Toddlers love purple food.

3) Slip-n-Slides are MUCH cheaper than I anticipated! ($5!)

4) I should have bought a Slip-n-Slide at the beginning of the summer (See #3)

5) Apparently Ice Cream Salt is integral to the making of ice cream

6) Table Salt CANNOT be substituted for Ice Cream Salt (see #5)

7) If you don't have #5, and try #6, the best you can hope for is very cold ice cream milk.

8) If you got an energy saver refrigerator, and your ice maker is not making enough ice...the trouble shooter list in your manual on it responds "Ask not your ice maker to make more ice...ask yourself if you should really be using that much ice!" (Well, I took a little liberty, but the sentiment is the same!)

9) We are the rednecks our neighbors feared...exemplified by the plastic pool, blow up pool, Slip-n-Slides and 20 half-naked kids racing around...

10) It is the simple things that are the best fun! This was a Great Party! :)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The "crunchy" vocabulary...

Those who try to live more "green" or more naturally have been called many things..."granolas" or "crunchy"or crazy and weird...I find myself more on the fringes of this group than I ever thought I'd be.

For a long time I thought that things that were engineered were usually better, because the "kinks had been worked out" of their naturally occurring brothers. You know, like roses with no thorns, or corn that withstood their natural predators like bugs.

I find myself swinging further to the other direction the older I get. The corn that gets sold by the dude who grows it out in his backyard tastes SO much better than the corn that you can purchase at the local Walmart, that has been tweaked to last forever and withstand plagues...probably 'cause it tastes bad and the bugs don't even want it...the granola you make in your kitchen with real-live oats is scrumptious compared to the odd puffed-rice?-granola made by cereal companies....and don't even get me stuck on my homemade bread rant!

When I had kids, I found a bunch of stuff that was so cool and practical that nobody that I hung with had ever heard of...but I just thought it made my life easier...Gabriel liked to nurse in the night, so I just brought him into the bed with us and let him snack to his heart's content. Nursing him was cheaper and ready-to-go, far easier than formula and free to boot. He would get angry when he was hungry, so I let him eat when he wanted. He drug his feet potty training, so I'd try, and if he wasn't ready, I'd give him another little bit and try again later. I did the same thing with food. He loved to be carried, so when he got monstrously big, I carried him around in random carriers. Strollers tend to be made for the average height woman, which at 5'8", I am not, so they weren't comfortable for me. I'd end up hunkered over like the hunchback of Notre Dame. I hunted the holy grail stroller for years, 4 kids and almost 12 years later, I have finally found one, but still find myself carrying my kids in carriers, because they like it, and they are only little for so long...

Come to find out, these practical choices have names in the crunchy community! Co-sleeping, breastfeeding, nursing on demand, potty learning, baby-led weaning, baby-wearing, and the list goes on! There are some parents that are verging on militant about these choices, and while I agree, I think that if they just touted the easy factor, many parents would consider them!

My gateway drug to the natural parenting path was baby-carriers. Gabriel was a giant baby. Really. He was 20 lbs at 4 months, something that took all the rest of my girls more than a year to achieve. He was a whopping 33 lbs at a year, Amelia is almost four and only just hit 35 lbs in the last 6 months. People would look at him in the mall and ask why he was not in school, and I would respond, "Tell the nice lady you're THREE!"

I lost much of my baby-weight with Gabriel fairly quickly, but never did get back into many dresses or shirts because in carrying him around, my arms and back got such a work-out that I bulked up and had to wear larger for my new-found muscles!

As he got bigger, but was still such a baby, I searched for ways to carry him, that would relieve my straining arms and back. And I discovered a frame backpack. Like the kind you carry babies in as you hike long distances, up and down mountains! AH! I felt so blessed!!!

Then Elise came along, SO tiny at under 6 lbs! She was a pocket baby. She ADORED to be carried! But I had Gabriel still who needed attention, and I had to get housework done! So I found a cheap baby-sling and a nicer version of the Snugglie carrier that I used with Gabriel. His old one had huge leg-holes that she oozed out of! And I carried her everywhere!

Along comes Amelia, and I have 2 kids that still need attention, and Elise who is practically a baby at 4 years and who needs help at every turn and I got a double stroller. It met the needs fairly well, but there are many places that DO NOT accommodate a side-by-side double stroller...or a stroller at I went hunting AGAIN for a baby-carrier that would alleviate the complications...and I met a girl that sold me a FANTASTIC sling that she made and about a year later, I met her again while Gabriel was swimming on swim team, and she had the most amazing baby-carrier! Which I promptly started researching...and found a whole "underground" community with HUNDREDS of baby-carrier options!!! I found that it was called "baby-wearing". Huh. Funny, I just thought I was carrying my kids around because it made my life easier...and gave them special time with mommy even as I ran through my life at 100 mph!

The girl I met that introduced me to the carrier addiction was named Katie and we had parallel kids and got along like a house afire! She later introduced me to cloth diapers and we are fast friends...kindred spirits. She, too, utilizes many more natural options, but does it because it's easy. My favorite recent discovery, was "un-paper towels". WHAAA? OH, you mean RAGS that you use to clean or dry stuff or whatever you'd use paper towels for that you just wash and reuse???? hahahaha! Like I said, most of this stuff is just practical!!

So, along comes a Spider...I mean Charlotte...(Oh, yeah, Elise fought us for a large chunk of my pregnancy that we were having a spider, not a baby, because we told her the baby's name would be Charlotte, and she was big into Charlotte's web at the time...) And this crazy baby decided to have crazy reflux issues and sensitivity issues and....well, let's just say every time we turn around, she is struggling with something. I wore her for MONTHS around the house, because she needed to sleep upright due to the reflux. She nursed constantly, because it soothed her angry tummy. She has skin sensitivities that would have driven us to cloth diapers whether we had wanted to or not...we are being bullied into more natural detergents because her skin struggles with that, as well. I am beginning to wonder if she has my trouble with preservatives, too. (I break out in hives.) She has had some crazy diaper rashes that we are still trying to sort out...that only respond to allergy, we are trying to figure that one out now...who knows where that will push us...

Ethan tolerates all this, as long as I take care of the hard parts...which is really no big deal. He's not all on board until he sees the easy factor of something...and then he goes along with it, with gusto. When we can go somewhere we couldn't have with a stroller, then he is all about the weird baby-carrier! :)

So, when we put in our garden, it's not because we are making a political statement, it's because home-grown tomatoes are SO yummy!!! You might want to consider some of the natural stuff you roll your eyes at, because, sometimes, it just makes sense!