Saturday, May 31, 2008

Note To Self...

Painting the bathroom is a good thing.

Yellow is a wonderful color. Yellow is happy. Yellow makes a room brighter. Yellow is great to have in a house when you live in one, if not THE grayest, city in the US.

A small half bathroom painted a bright color yellow.........

Eye piercing.

(Another) $35 bucks for a new can of paint and another afternoon spent fixing a painting disaster.


Glad it's over.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Naming the Body Survey

An interesting conversation came up between Jon and I the other day about the names we use for body parts with our children. Jon feels like we are not consistent in our philosophy on body part naming and thought it should be examined a little more closely. We have made a conscientious effort to call the penis by its anatomically correct name. But, Jon pointed out, we refer to other body parts (i.e. breasts) as something else--"nursies". Jon pointed out that maybe it was kind of weird to not have a cute name for the penis since we use a cute name for breasts. The "V" word has never come up because there are too few of them around to be noticed.

The boys are at an age where things like "You just hit me in the penis!" (like when kids are horsing around) are likely to get blurted out. In public. Jon thought it might be weird for Ewan to be at school and to blurt that out--should it happen to him. So the question becomes what is more appropriate to blurt out in public? "You hit me in the pee-pee!" or "You hit me in the penis!" Jon thinks that even if we're ok with the scientific name that it might make others feel uncomfortable. But I don't think the scientific names should be uncomfortable, so I like to push it a little.

In the beginning of anatomical body part naming I thought it would be more appropriate to call body parts by the correct names so as not to promote discomfort at saying what they really are. I think it is weird that we as a culture are so uncomfortable saying the words "penis" and "vagina"--although I think the nicknames for them are funny (Hoo-ha and VaJayJay, for example). But then I started referring to my breasts as "nursies" because well, that is what the boys see me doing with them and it just kind of came out.

So, I'm curious, what do you think? What do you do/will you do in your homes? Do you/will you call the special parts by their real names or do you use nicknames for them? Why or why not?

p.s. I noticed that I did actually call them "private parts" when I taught the boys about telling us if someone tries to touch them inappropriately. So, I'm still working this out...

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Fun With The Camera

Every once in a while I give in and let the boys practice taking pictures with our camera. They have their own camera but mommy and daddy's camera just seems better. We had some fun with the camera and Ewan and Isaac took all these pictures. I thought it captured a spontaneous family life moment and thought I'd share it with you all.

I have to admit that while Isaac or Ewan (can't remember who) was taking this picture of me I was trying to avoid any double chin making its way into the photo! HA! Come on, you know you do it too!

I love how this one looks like a tree is growing out of my head! That is a perfect happy look on Isaac's face.

Kissable Goodness!

Here is Graham in all his kissable goodness!

Daddy and Graham mowing the lawn together.

Concentrating hard on playing with his ball. Do you notice his heart shaped tongue? He has been sticking his tongue out a lot this week. I think it is because his two top teeth are about to bust through his gums. The heart shaped tongue must be a genetic thing because Isaac has the same shape to his tongue. Both, well all 3 boys, had a tongue tie. I wonder if it is coincidence?

Look at those squishy legs!!!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Natural Childbirth of Twins and Triplets!

I thought this was cool and thought I'd post it for fun. It is a picture slideshow--no graphic photos. Totally inspiring though!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Need Some Music Help

Okay everyone, we are on a music mission. We are going to be making a few long car trips this summer and we want to introduce Isaac (our music lover and biggest music critic) to some new music this summer. We want to make a tradition about having something fun and new to listen to on car trips. Isaac loves Johnny Cash, Elvis, and anything Veggie Tales. He also likes Songs I Heard by Harry Connick, Jr. too. He has learned to appreciate U2--one of our top favorites--but he usually doesn't ask to listen to it.

Jon and I were brainstorming on something perhaps old to introduce on our car trip. Isaac seems to like "old" music-rock n' roll that is. I suggested the Beach Boys because it is fun, happy, and we will be making a beach trip later this summer. Jon didn't think he could handle hours on end of the Beach Boys though. We brainstormed Elvis Costello and a few others I can't remember---in other words nothing too inspiring.

It can't be country music but all other genres, including soundtracks, are an option.

What ideas do you have?

Monday, May 12, 2008

My First Homebirth

I have experienced my first homebirth! Not with my own child, but I was able to assist a midwife friend at a birth last night. I had mentioned to her back in the fall that I was interested in learning to be a birth assistant and if she needed one and/or wanted to train me then I was game. A little over a month ago she told me that she had a client due in mid-May and wanted to know if I would be ready to start assisting births. I gave her an emphatic "YES"!

We met soon after so she could show me all of her equipment, how to set up a birth, and run through my role during the birth. I also went with her to a prenatal appointment with her client so the client could meet me. Jon said I came back from both meetings glowing.

I was on my way to bed last night and my friend called to say that her client was in labor and that she would call me back when it was time to head over to the mamma's house. I tried to sleep--and did, a little--all the while dreaming that I missed her phone call. She called back at 3:30am and came to pick me up. I had already gathered my stuff together so I just had to finish getting clothes on and waited for her to pick me up.

We got to the house, set up and waited for the mom to birth her baby. Due to client privacy I can't share any details about the mom but her baby was born shortly after 6am and it was beautiful! Before going to the house I was a bundle of adrenaline and nervousness because I wanted to please my midwife friend and do a good job at assisting her throughout labor and birth. I helped keep track of times that the baby was crowning, the head came out, the body was out, the placenta was out, first nursing etc. I held up a light for the midwife when she needed extra light and handed her any supplies she needed for the birth. I even took pictures for the family. Basically I was the go-to girl.

It was one of the most rewarding and adrenalizing experiences I have ever had. It felt very surreal and after I got home I kept wondering if it had really happened. Of course my heavy eyelids were a constant reminder that yes, I was up almost all night.

As a woman who has given birth I knew what to expect but it was enlightening to see it from an outsider's perspective. For example, I was always paranoid about pooping while I was pushing out my babies and knew that the birth attendants would say it was no big deal. But as a mom it still feels a little embarrassing and you don't want to do it. Now that I was a helper during a birth I realize that it really is no big deal. You just clean it away. I teach in my birth classes about all the different stages of labor and it was such a privilege to see someone else go through their own journey of labor and birth. I was also a supporter and advocate for homebirth but had never had one of my own, nor been to one. There is something so natural and pure about having your baby at home. The mom birthed her baby and then eventually moved from the living room to the bedroom to rest with her baby. No poking or prodding by strangers. Just time to enjoy the baby in a familiar environment. Wonderful!

It was amazing to watch her hit transition and to see her handle her contractions as they increased in intensity and her body prepared for her baby to come out. I was a birth junkie before I attended a birth but now I am hooked for life! There is something very worshipful about being an observer of God's creation. I feel very blessed to have been part of such a beautiful event.

I was able to get in 2 short snoozes today but every time I closed my eyes the events of the night kept crowding out my desperate need for sleep. I wondered how midwives do it. I love to sleep and I think that it would be hard to be up all night and then have to be up all day dealing with your own family responsibilities on a consistent basis. I know from reading what other midwives have written that midwifery can take a toll on the family and it isn't an easy calling (for many reasons) but that it is truly rewarding. If it is your calling then I know that God somehow gives you the grace to deal.

Jon asked me if being at the birth inspired me to become a midwife. I don't feel compelled at this point in time to become a midwife but I do take great joy in being an assistant. I am looking forward to doing it again-- and now that I have experienced a birth I have a MUCH better idea about how to do it better next time.

I should have gone to bed an hour ago but I wanted to process my day and share about something that touched my heart. I am truly thankful. God is good.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Laughing Baby

Isaac was making Graham laugh by making a funny noise--"foota, foota, foota". Don't ask me why it was so funny but it really tickled Graham! Hope you enjoy it as much as we have. It is his biggest laughing ever!

Dun. Dun. Dun. Another Diaper Hits The Dust!

And another one fell, and another one fell, and another one fell. Another diaper hit the dust.

I have one child OFFICIALLY OUT of diapers!

Two nights ago on a whim Ewan decided that he didn't want a diaper for bedtime (the only time he wore a diaper) and that he wanted to try staying dry all night. We have been talking to him about it for a while but were waiting for him to take the initiative. Jon was pretty skeptical--mainly because Jon thought that Ewan was feeling a little lazy about putting the diaper on and that he didn't really want to stay dry at nighttime-- but I thought that if Ewan had an accident then we would just wait a while and try again. I thought he could do it if he wanted to. I have had a theory that he probably was staying dry at night and then peeing in his diaper in the morning because he knew he had it on.

So, we tried it and Ewan stayed dry all night for the past two nights. I know there will probably be an accident here and there but I am so thrilled for him! It makes me even prouder that he decided to do it himself and was successful! It feels like an extra special Mother's Day present.

And Happy Mother's Day to all of you out there!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

The Sheep Farm

We went as a family on a field trip with Ewan's class to the Dundee Sheep Farm. Who knew a sheep farm could be so interesting?!

Here are some of the highlights:

These two pictures of Ewan capture his intense LOVE for all things satin. We were sitting at the story time part of the field trip and Ewan finds the satin edge of the blanket they are sitting on. He can't resist rubbing the soft fabric on his nose and sneaking in a little thumb sucking. The only time Ewan sucks his thumb is when he can also hold some satin.

Terry, the shepherdess, was demonstrating how the sheep know her voice as she led the sheep out to the pasture. She let out all the mammas and babies who were in the nursery. It was really interesting to watch the lambs call out for their mammas when they got separated from them. Each sheep has a unique voice and I could hear the difference when they "baaaaahd". As soon as the lamb heard its mamma it would run right to her and then try to nurse. So cute.

The picture of the ram below hadn't been sheared in 2 years because he is apparently a wily kind of a sheep. His hair was super long and he was also the Alpha sheep.

Isaac, Ewan, and his friend, Calahan all walking together.

Story time in the barn. Miss Terry read a book about how the sheep are sheared and then try to get their wool back. The kids enjoyed the story.

A mamma and her baby out in the pasture.

They named one of the lambs Amelia. We couldn't resist.

That isn't Amelia the Lamb but we can pretend it is.

Not sure what is going on here.

Ewan and his buddy Calahan. Calahan was having a hard time when he got to school today and he was riding with us to the farm. Ewan was really sweet and went over and cheered him up before we left. They hung out together the whole time.

Isaac was looking very intently at the sheep coming out to the pasture. If you look closely you can see something crack-a-lackin.

Miss Terry talking to the kids.

Here Miss Terry is showing the kids some cool chickens that they are trying to raise on the farm. They lay pink and green colored eggs--and have a funky hair-do.

Here is "Puppy" the lamb. This lamb came early and they didn't know who the mamma was so they are bottle feeding it. They also gave it to their dogs to take care of. That's right. The dogs took care of it like their own for the first month.

Everyone got to pet "puppy".

This farm was so quaint and lovely. It had a french chateau feel to it and was on some lovely land. I decided that when I get old I want a farm like that and then I can also run a retreat center out of it. Jon is in the final throws of the semester and sacrificed some precious time to come with us. Sometimes making memories together trumps.

As a side note:
**Keep Jon in your prayers since he has 4 papers due in the next week and a half. One is due tomorrow and he still isn't quite finished reading up for it.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Army Crawling

Graham started army crawling last Sunday. He was already pretty mobile since he could roll every which way but his rolling didn't allow him to be very precise in his movements. Now that he is army crawling he is EVERYWHERE and mostly attracted to any electrical cord he can find. Time to baby proof. Blech!

Here are some recent pictures:

Graham takes a bath in the sink (when he gets one). We just have one big tub of a sink which is perfect for his size now and pretty convenient. He is lucky if he gets a bath once a week. I told Jon if we get another baby it will have to be self cleaning because it is hard for me to find the time to bathe the baby. When you have 3+ you'll understand!

Here is Graham the day he started army crawling. He was chasing some little balls so he could slobber them.
And lastly here are some pictures of the boys. Ewan loves to have his picture taken with Graham and I love this one of all my guys even though Isaac is crying. He didn't want his picture taken at the moment. So sad.

Super Date 2008 (It Rhymes, Oh Yeah!)

Jon and I celebrated 8 years of wedded bliss a few weeks ago. To celebrate our anniversary we had a "super date". That means we left the kids with Grandma and spent the night at a hotel for a 24 hour date. Because Graham is still nursing we took him too so it wasn't a totally kid free date. More on that later.....

This is how we started off the super date....Yep. Me paranoid that Jon's game of flag football would result in some form of an "old man injury" requiring us to go to the emergency room and ruining our whole date. Thankfully the only injury that happened was that Jon broke his wedding ring finger and busted an index finger pretty bad. His team won--yay!

That construction vomitous mess behind them in the picture is a company tearing down the high school in our town. They built a new one next door and were demo-ing it on the day of the football game. I am hoping that we don't all end up with some funky diseases from all the junk they were stirring up.

After the game we put all the boys down for a nap and as soon as Graham woke up we took off. We went to a matinee and saw Leatherheads which was entertaining. Then we went to the Olive Garden and ordered food to go--we had a gift card so we didn't have to spend any $$. Always a plus! We got a suite hotel so Graham could sleep in the bedroom while we hung out in the living room. It was wonderful. We watched another movie, chowed our food, and went to bed early. I old fogie! Graham ended up sleeping until 5:30 am which meant I got 7 hours of sleep in a row for the first time in months and then went back to sleep until 8:30 which meant that Jon got to sleep in for the first time in months! He usually gets up with Ewan and Isaac in the morning and they don't EVER sleep until 8:30!

We ate breakfast at the hotel...yummy! Then we hung out in the hotel while Graham napped. Life is sooooooooooooooooooooooooooo easy with one child! Oh my goodness! I had no idea until I was gone from the other 2 for 24 hours. No wonder I feel stressed sometimes! After Graham's nap we stopped by Whole Foods for some sunflower butter and then went to a Thai food restaurant for lunch. After lunch we headed back home and met the boys and Grandma to go see Horton Hears a Who. There is an old movie theater literally around the corner from our house. It is on the main strip in our town and shows movies only on the weekends. Pretty cool. That was actually the first time we have gone there but it was pretty fun.

Super Date 2008--It was great to reconnect and get away from the normalcy of life for a bit. My husband planned it all and I felt greatly loved. Here is to 8 years of marriage! Cheers!