31 January 2012

Major upgrade! Watts!

Tonight we upgraded from a 13w bulb which was hidden behind a TX-sun-faded, oversized light cover to a brinks motion detector with two 100w bulbs! For those of you that new the math done, that's another 187 watts of light. Needless to say, if you come NEAR our driveway you're lit up like a Christmas tree. Wonder what that'll cost addtl per month? Hmmmmmm.....

Mmmmmm warm nights new hammock

Thank you grandma Cooke (and maybe Santa too) for this beautiful huge hammock. It was such a thoughtful Christmas present. Its on the back deck now and the girls are already loving it, asking if they can "pwetty pwease sweep outside tonight". Lucy also invited the song, "chicka chicka boom boom, wiiiill there be enough room" as Molly climbs in and around the hammock.

Its probably found a home now on the deck but I can't wait to get this hammock and these cuties out in that hot summer sun!

29 January 2012

Dog gone (it). Sigh.

We went for a walk tonight and the owner drove up and was very excited to have found his dog "Dougie".
So, um, we learned somethings:
1. When we get a dog, it'll likely be a chocolate lab. Which is good b/c for years we have discussed breeds and couldn't narrow down the list!
2. We do not have to pay vet or kennel bills in the next couple weeks.
3. The girls are more loving and gracious to strangers than Laura and I who almost ripped this guys head off (verbally) for being dumb enough not to take care of his awesome dog. Yes, the thought of smacking his stoopid backwards hat off his head, pulling down his baggy jeans and knocking him to the ground... did cross the mind. Lucy, smiled and said "Yay, his owner found him. We had so much fun babysitting him! Now, lets go get those Slurpees!"
4. Laura is more confident in her abilities to get thru the airport in a couple weeks now that she's walked a puppy AND had 3 kids with her. Airport w/o a puppy should now be a piece of cake.
5. I found a cool shortcut to the lake on our morning walk (Claire, Dog & I).
6. Dougie is a dumb name.
7. 20 lbs of dog food costs $14 (including taxes).
8. Vets don't charge you anything to scan a stray dog; good to know.

"Too Heavy. Dis is dangerwus!"

Molly Poppers discovers that carrying the backpack full of stuff is no joke!

Claire, Furniture Cruising and the soul of William Wallace

I was going to blog our newest furniture cruiser as just the quick webcam-snapped picture below. 

But when I saw that face captured and recalled the associated laughing/screaming/babbling that accompanied it in my head, I was taken back to 1995. Yes. You guessed it. 

And, I'm glad she's got that type of fight in her. With Molly as her older sister and with the addition of Roger (for now), she's going to need every little bit of William Wallace ferociousness!

ack, stumbled into dog ownership maybe

On Fri 27 Jan 2012, a lady from our property owners blog posted that there was a young chocolate lab that had been found on the busiest street in our neighborhood. She posted a picture and I, from work, emailed her right away without much more information than that and said, "If the owners do not show up, here is my contact information. I live in the neighborhood and would consider adopting the puppy." She responded within minutes with a "Can you take him now?" She continued in email to say that she already has a lot of dogs including a female puppy that she did not want this choc lab to um... play with. I called her back and told her that I'd be home by 5:30. By 5:45, the new puppy was dropped off with nothing more than a temporary rope leash. No chip, no collar, no food, nada. The post below discusses names for the dog but here are some additional things we've found out... Age: 8-9 months House broken: Yes Well trained: Yes (sit, stay, lay down, fetch+return) Well behaved: So far! Has not snapped at the kids, does not each off Claire's tray but stares INTENTLY on it :-) Take commands from the older two girls. Comes when you snap (even quietly) your fingers. Breed: chocolate lab (maybe pure bred? Very SOLID labrador) Likes water: Yes Who randomly stumbles upon a dog this good???? So, keep your fingers crossed. Didn't think we were in the market (this wknd lol) to start dog ownership but God works in mysterious canine ways sometimes ;-) This week we should really know whether or not we're at-risk for a previous owner locating him. After that? We'll probably proceed with all shots and um, other procedures, still required.

28 January 2012

so here's a canine update...

Lucy & I took new puppy to the vet today to see if he had a chip. He doesn't! (yay!) So, we're kind of at the mercy of the internet to see if anyone claims him. Laura is researching now how much trouble we could actually be in if we do not abide by all state/local/federal regulations with regards to finding a dog and simply adopting it!

In parallel, we're trying out new names for the dog to see what sticks. First name was Bear. That lasted 2 minutes until the lady told me he jumped in her pool. So, he needed a more aquatic name. Then it was Brook. Then Brooks with an "S" because, well, one brook wasn't enough and Brooks sounds quite noble! Then Laura didn't like Brooks soooo....... We thought about the only dog in our life to-date, Cooper (who you may recall from Christmas pictures). Then we thought about one of our favorite shows, Mad Men. The name of the firm is Cooper Sterling Drake. So, we thought Sterling would be good as a partner to Cooper but it's too long and eh.  So, in the show, Sterling's first name is Roger. So, we're on the name Roger for the dog now. It's cute. Kind of fits his personality so far but it's also a little too... um, human? Ugh. Wish us luck!

27 January 2012

Hanging out with Brooks

Just a quick pick of the boys. Hanging out in the living room. Amazed Laura is letting him walk on this carpet. She barely lets ME walk on this carpet!

Brooks' first night at our house. Here's praying for lots more! COME ON ST FRANCIS OF ASSISSI!

23 January 2012

Sola Journal. Half the story.

Many ask why the Catholic faith is not based on sola scriptura - that is, the Bible alone. For Catholics, there is more to it than that. When we consider the Bible alone, it's a wonderful place to start...Here's a great source to understand a little more. 

My Great-Grandma Maggie kept journals during her married life. They're a wonderful look into the history of our family. They were a struggling family living in the hills of Southern California, where my Grandpa Weaver was a parole officer and my Grandma Maggie was a homemaker. They had four kids and a house. The journals document much of their daily life, and a little bit of the tragedy and joy they experienced as a family. But as informative as those journals may be, they don't give us much of a glimpse at the author at all.

Grandma Maggie was this loud, boisterous, silly, fun, kind, opinionated, loving, cuddly, apron-wearing, smart-as-a-whip, witty gal who lived a big life. She was uncontainable. Grandpa Weaver spent most of his life watching her live. He thought she was the most enchanting and amusing person in the world, and she probably was.

But you'd never know it from the journals. The journals tell a story of a family who worked their hands to the bone, who tried to make ends meet, who sacrificed for each other, who prayed to make it through the tough times. Depressing, right? The journals speak of small birthdays, small rooms, broken appliances and deaths and illnesses of friends and family. They help us to place the times and events of the things that made us who we are.

And yet, our family doesn't remember much of that. We have MORE than the journals. We have boxes of letters, pictures, menus, itineraries, receipts, Christmas cards and heirlooms. We've added to our rich history as we've gone along, and are the better for it. We have the things Grandma Maggie touched and wore (relics, anyone?), the things she used in her own home, the traditions that glued her own family together as they grew. We remember the noise and laughter of family reunions, the stories passed down from past generations, the love of a family at Christmas, the richness of the success Grandma and Grandpa shared at the end of their lives, the legacy their children and grandchildren live today.

There is so much more to the story than what's written, and there is so much more to the code of living than just working hard and making it through. Without the tradition of our own family, we'd have so much less with which to tell our story.

The Bible is the place we start and SHOULD be the standard we hold ourselves to. But as the family of the Body of Christ, we rely on so much more to add to the richness of our faith. The examples of the men and women who've gone before us, the writings of Popes, saints and holy people, the relics of the people we believe to be with the Lord now, these are the things that make us richer and wiser.

22 January 2012

The Very Paltry Pantry.

So here's something incredibly personal that I'd like to share with you. While I was Molly-proofing (kind of like baby chimp-proofing) a few weeks ago, I took a picture of our "new" pantry. The old one (see below) was nothing to write home about, as it is incredibly deep and just plain stupid. It's also Molly-height, while means she shops there regularly. And if there are snacks, Molly will bust through any door, lock or other various barrier to get what she's looking for. 

Here is the "new" pantry. It's up high, and really doesn't hold a whole lot. Somehow it feels like a lot of food, so I guess that's a good thing. See that box of Hamburger Helper in the bottom right? It moved with us from Maryland. No joke. And still it waits, probably expired, definitely ignored and unwanted. If anyone would like a box of lasagna Hamburger Helper, do let me know. See up there in the top right? 1000 Popsicle sticks. Very important to keep anything that numbers 50 or greater up high where Molly can't reach them. If you know Molly, that would be a no-brainer. We also keep the writing implements up high, but they're in a cabinet that doesn't have counters under it. 

You'll also notice that we have a lot of elbow macaroni. I hate pasta. I buy it with the best intentions and then it sits in my pantry. I love lasagna, but I'm pretty sure that the copious amounts of cheese and sauce negate the pasta content. 

We also have a lot of soup. Andrew is one of those guys who will scrape off everyone's plates after dinner and put it in a container and take it for lunch the next day. He's incredibly not-very-concerned with what he eats. If there are no plates to scrape or leftovers to take, he just grabs a can of soup. I really feel that if I were the one out there earning the cash, I'd be like, "Hey you! Fix me a decent lunch!" but he'd never say such a thing when we're really almost not keeping our heads above water with the chaos. I used to pack the most beautiful lunches in brown paper sacks with a love note and chips and a cookie. Now he gets Campbell's Chunky. (To my credit, I saw Tomato with Pasta today and thought, "Ooh, Andrew will love that." Thoughtful, eh??) I think that maybe admitting my craptastic lunch-fixing to the entire world might have inspired me to make him a lovely lunch on Friday. ( "Friday?!" Sheesh, people! The shopping's done for the week and the soup's in the cupboard!) 

And here you can see what's been done with the "old" pantry. There are still Goldfish in there, because that carton is enormous, and a huge bag of sugar. I'm sure that's the best place for a huge bag of sugar with Molly running wild in the house. There are also two packages of "who nu" cookies in there. The girls are totally fooled. I give them these perfectly nutritious and less than delicious cookies and they have no idea that the good stuff is hidden wayyyyy in the back of the "why on earth do they make cabinets this deep?" cabinet.

 I also have a giant gallon of white vinegar. I can't figure out why my garbage disposal backs up into my dishwasher. I did a test and it does, officially. I don't use my dishwasher, so I left it completely clean and empty for a week, and when I opened it, there was water in the bottom. So I put vinegar in it and ran it and the water was gone and the washer smelled fine. I don't have any idea what's up with THAT, but I'm just running it with vinegar every couple days until I feel motivated to call somebody. I should do that, right? 

And that is my pantry. Tomorrow I'm going to do a "day in the life of a chick with three daughters who hides the good cookies from her kids" post. I don't think I've done a day in the life post since I was a mother of two children, so this should be fun. Guess I'd better grab the camera so I can be ready first thing! 

20 January 2012

This is not a tutorial.

That will come later. But first, let me tell you a couple of things I've learned about Roman Shades. Just a few "dos and don'ts" with some sage wisdom peppered in.

  • DO plan on several days of tears. 
  • DO attempt this yourself. It's not as bad as it looks.  
  • DO NOT plan on making your living and dining room your first attempt at Roman shades. I suggest the laundry room, garage or attic. Definitely not across from the toilet, the couch, or your usual chair at the dining room table. 
  • DO plan on saving approximately 90% of your window treatment dollars by doing it yourself. (I estimate we're saving about $1100. Booyah.)
  • DO buy several bottles of your favorite libation and a package of Double Stuf Oreos. You're gonna need them. 
  • DO NOT yell at your machine. Whisper sweet words. Sweet words.
  • DO realize that it takes two people to hang these suckers. You might try the libation/Oreo/sweet words trick on your husband for the weeks preceding "The Big Hang." 
  • DO NOT despair. Someone, somewhere has uglier Roman shades than you. Right???
  • DO think often about the energy costs you'll be saving once you get these puppies hung. 
  • DO save the Hobby Lobby coupon in your phone for your multiple trips to buy everything you forget. Or throw away in your Oreo haze. 
  • DO NOT expect to get the shades sewn or hung with children in the house. 
  • DO lock them all on the back deck and scatter some Goldfish about for the baby. 
  • DO NOT listen to the haters. They're everywhere. 

An ill-planned assault.

Imagine that you are a woman who had an abortion ten years ago. You've suffered the consequences of your actions, you've grieved the life of the child you can't touch and you bear the scars of that abortion in a multitude of ways. Heck, you're even a pro-life advocate, and this year you'll be at the March for Life in Washington D.C. Good work, mama! The pro-life community is behind you, and we love you so much!

You're marching, you're surrounded by the love of people fighting to end a holocaust, you're prayerful and so full of the Holy Spirit. And then someone taps you on the shoulder and says, "Hey there! Remember that baby you aborted in '02? The one you love and pray for? It's your lucky day! We've got pictures of the your baby, right as the abortion was happening! And even better, it's on the Jumbotron behind you!"

Can you even imagine the agony? Thousands of women, marching for the children they've lost, many intentional, many unintentional. Thousands of men, marching for the children they've lost, marching for the choices they convinced someone to make, the actions they forced someone to take, the lives they were helpless to save. Thousands of children and teens, marching to fight for their peers, siblings, parents and future. Thousands of people full of love, confronted with images of the deaths of the lives they're trying to save.

That is exactly what the March for Life will be enduring this year, at the hands of a "well-meaning" pro-lifer. 

Women know. Women know just about everything on the subject of life. We're hard-wired to know. There is a reason that there are resources for post-abortion healing. There is a reason that women suffer PTSD even after the earliest abortion is performed. There is a reason that I lie awake at night thinking of the tiny baby we never met, lost to miscarriage. There is a reason that months after Claire was born, I still feel tiny kicks and wonder if my mind is playing tricks on me. There is a reason I jump awake in the middle of the night, knowing that a baby is about to cry. There is a reason that young women who've never been pregnant feel an actual, physical ache at the sight of a pregnant belly. We know. The intuition a woman has for the life she carries is phenomenal and other-worldly. The scientific advances that have been made in the field of maternal-fetal studies will blow your mind. We don't need to see the pictures. We know.

Some would say, "Well, people need to see this. They need to know what's happening."

Do they really? Do you really think they don't know? They know. The facts are irrefutable. Hitler knew. The Rwandans knew. The Bosnians knew. When genocide is happening, people know. They know how gruesome and painful it is.

When you assault the eyes, they close reflexively. If you want to open eyes, you need to aim for the heart. To change hearts, pray.

The babies on that Jumbotron died without dignity. After their deaths, we honor their short lives the best way we know how; by making sure it doesn't happen to someone else. Those innocent children have been restored in Heaven, and as pro-lifers we MUST protect their dignity by keeping these pictures from harming others. This isn't the pro-life movement I'm proud of. This is harmful and undignified. The Pro-Life Movement stands for the dignity of human life from conception to natural death, and the babies, women and men we're trying to heal and protect don't deserve this.

12 January 2012

Sad Dad, Perfect Mom, Happy Girls

As it was with Lucy, then Molly... it is really really really hard to leave the house in the morning when as I'm sipping my coffee in the kitchen, I look down and see this! Sigh. Girls, I only leave the house M-F so that we can have food and shelter. I promise. My heart is @ home!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This crawling-cutie coupled with Mo's sleep mumbling "You go to work?" sad inquiry (while unbuttoning my work shirt) as I read the morning news... ugh. You terribly miserable rotten lovely girls. Almost worth calling in **cough cough** 'sick' today!
A very sad, lonely Dad in a boring, dull, government-gray office

11 January 2012

Lucy sings the "Bear Na Sesames" (Jungle Book)

I'm not sure if we ever linked this GREAT audio of Lucy from Oct 2011 singing the Jungle Book song the "Bear Necessities of Life". In Oct Lucy and Molly saw Jungle Book (the old cartoon one that we grew up on from the 80's 90's) and I think rented the soundtrack too from the library the same week.

Needless to say there was a LOT of Moogly, Blue, Sher Khan? and other characters running around the house. This video is of Lucy singing and is so stinking cute. I just stumbled upon it again on YouTube and had to re-post (if it was ever posted back in Oct). So, um, just listen to it again. It's a good one :-)

10 January 2012

Lucy has been working SO hard on her school work! 

She's working on her second book of Explode the Code primers and doing great! Lucy concentrates very hard when she works and loves the quiet time that she has with me while we work through her books. 

We're also reading The Boxcar Children, which Lucy is LOVING. She's so cute. 

Molly and Claire spend most of their time tormenting one another. Molly dresses Claire up, Claire finds her and pulls her hair out. 

 So in the past five days, Claire has learned to crawl, climb a step and pull up. She's pretty darn jazzed! From here on out I know she'll be unstoppable. It's always a little bittersweet when they take off, because they really and truly just don't look back, and suddenly they're trick or treating and writing "jrkelsjsdbddrtirt," which means "I love you" or "boys don't know things." (That's what it meant this week.)

"Dudes! Check me out! My knees are fat and my thighs are jigglin', but I sooooo got this!"

That's right. One hand. Sister is a daredevil. 

Mmm-hmm. Balance. Mad skillz. 

Sister got to sit up the lunch table with the big girls today. You'd think I told her she was born at Disney World and destined to live in Candyland. THRILL. 

09 January 2012

All bark no bite

I'm also going to go ahead and download a fantastic version of reveille to rouse you from sleep every morning at 0600.


Mrs. Cooke knows better! She's all bark and no bite and I'll tell you what, its a good thing she didn't. We had some thunderstorms and woke up to 2 additional little girls in our bed! I'm a sucker and they were 'scared' and they looked so "OMG" cute in a dazed pajama'd waddle down the hall. And, Lucy helped Molly into our bed with like a double hand lift. You know, like interlocked her fingers from both hands together and catapulted Molly right up. It was quite acrobatic and impressive given she was officially technically asleep :-)

08 January 2012

Yay God!

Well, we've learned our lesson yet again. By choosing convenience over reverence,  the Family C has once again bumbled Sunday Mass.

Let me back up. We moved over the summer and while we stay connected to our parish through Mass and our lay ministries,  we wanted somewhere a little closer for the usual Sunday mass. Easy Peasy!  They're all the same, right? Isn't that what Catholics say? "I love my faith because in the Mass, I greet the same Lord in the same manner over and over again.

Well I am here to tell you that in Fort Worth, there is a parish where the Lord greets you in an entirely different manner. Pre-Mass hilarity, a boisterous band, jokes and laughter, the birthday song at the end of each Mass, visitors stand and introduce themselves and enjoy a brief chat with Fr. X (names have been changed to protect the blogger) before the final blessing, drums, Eucharistic ministers giving blessings...it's just a gas from start to finish. On the occasions we attend Mass at this parish, we spend more time giving one another alarmed looks than we do praying.

So today we thought we'd try a different-but-still-not-as-far-as-St. X  parish. We ended up being about five minutes late, but crammed into a pew as a baptism was getting underway. This was sort of a small church, and it actually didn't resemble a church at all. That should have been our first clue, but it was actually our second. The first clue was that we were attending Mass at St. Sunday Party's sister parish. (Like you've never heard of St. Sunday Party)

So we're off and running at 8:40am. Claire proceeds to spit up all over me. Andrew comes in after parking the car, sans diaper bag. So it's going to be one of those Masses, is it!? I take Claire out into the vestibule where a very nice woman introduces herself and follows up with, "Yeah, we've gone to Saint X a few times, but it was just so serious there!"

Shock. Panic. We've traded Saint Sunday Party for Holy Mayhem. And Andrew is nowhere to be found as I try to contain what's got to be the funniest look I've ever worn across my terribly expressive face.

Happy Birthday? Check.  Except they've traded it for some crazy "God bless your years" song. Visitor welcome? Oh yes. Except that this time, Fr X is so insistent that there are newcomers that he badgers the crowd until someone gives in. Chatty ushers? "Ya gotta go for donuts after Mass! That's the only reason people come to church!" Horror.

My God, my God...why have you allowed the creation of donuts? I'm pretty sure that donuts are the bane of Catholic life. Of course, the pews would be pretty cold without the promise of donuts after Mass...

Saint Sunday Party, pray for us!

07 January 2012

It was for cinnamon rolls. It rose. Booyah.

And by the way, dear husband, on behalf of every civilian (read: EVERYONE who reads this blog) P&B reader and myself, thanks so much for using military time on the blog. As if my inane rants aren't enough for everyone to figure out, you go ahead and use the 24-hour clock to add to the chaos. Thanks. Can I call you Captain from now on? In fact, maybe I'll start saying things like, "roger that" and "ETA" and "TBD" and "latrine" and "KP" to make it feel a little more real around here. As a matter of fact, I'm also going to go ahead and download a fantastic version of reveille to rouse you from sleep every morning at 0600.

You weirdo.

Rising muffin bread and insanity

Laura. SO dedicated to baking that when an attempt at half-sizing some sunday-morning-muffins wasn't rising at room temp, she decided to steamy bath may do the trick! Here's hoping because we're thinking we're going to try a 0700 mass tomorrow and Daddy's gonna need some sweet baked goods to get us through THAT possibility! :-)

06 January 2012

Summer Play Pen

Sent from my Samsung smartphone on AT&T

Are you kidding me right now?

Blogger has redesigned it's entire user interface. (Like I've ever had a reason to type "use interface." I'm not even sure that what I'm referring to as an "interface" is actually an interface. Let's continue, shall we?) So, yeah. Now I can't blog in IE because the formatting is such that I can't see the doggone blogger buttons. So I had to download Google Chrome. Well played, Google, well played...so now I have to blog from Chrome and surf the interwebz from IE, because you know I'm so not about moving all of my favorites and trying to figure out Chrome when I just FINALLY figured out how to use IE. What a crock.

The weekend is upon us, freaks! We have no plans at all, at this point, but I do hope to get a couple of hours to get out and see a movie by myself. I want to see War Horse, and Andrew refuses to see some dumb horse movie, so I'll be solo. And then he'll come up with some movie I refuse to see with him. It's like a date, only better because no one complains about wasted movie admission prices afterward!

We have a few little house things to finish up this weekend. I will list them.

  • Take down the Christmas lights I couldn't reach. Andrew has a thing about me climbing up ladders when I'm home alone with the children. (you think that's bad? He also doesn't like me climbing them when I'm pregnant. sheesh) So I took down all the lights I could reach with the three-step, and he'll do the rest this weekend. 
  • Hang our National Park postcard prints. They look pretty BA. I can't spell it out because I'm a mother. A Catholic mother who doesn't use bad language. And children read my blog. (I know. "huh?!" fun for all ages!) 
  • Finish and hang my shadow boxes. I still have some work to do on them. They're just not "right" yet. 
  • Decide if my mirror is "hangable." See, we had this dresser sitting empty in the the girls' room, so we moved it out and did a "ta daaa!!" and now it's a buffet. The only issue is that now we have the mirror that was on it, and we can't decide if it's hangable. So we're going to text a picture to 30 of our closest friends and take a vote. Then we'll hang it or...stick it under the bed. I think I have a fantastic wall for it, should it be deemed hangable. Spell check says "hangable" isn't a word. 
  • Finish the last door for the china cabinet. Cause right now we have three up and one down and it's looking a little wonky. 
  • Put the Christmas tree away. Easier said than done. 
  • Stand in the master bathroom and quibble over renovations. And I do mean quibble. 
Baby's crying. Now I don't have time to italicize. Shoot. 

05 January 2012

6 months of Cloth Diapers. A review.

So a few people have asked me to blog about how I feel about cloth diapers, now that we've been at it since July or so. (August? I can't really remember the exact date.) We did the math and it would appear that we broke even and the diapers began paying for themselves about 2 months in. Our initial investment of $200 has really served us well, and for someone on a budget, saving up to invest in a cloth diapering system seems to be a great idea.
Now for the rest of the poop.
I love that we never run out of diapers, and I'm impressed with how tough the diapers are. We're using FuzziBunz, and they're pretty simple and straightforward. I also have two BumGenius diapers and I will say that while FuzziBunz were recommended to me, I wish I'd done even more research and asked moms who had multiple kids, because I feel like BumGenius are the superior diaper at this point. The FB's are really taking the wear and tear great, but the BG are definitely easier to stuff and allow a lot more movement for the kiddies. They're both bulky, so no real comparison there. The BGs have great buttons, and I've had a few issues with the FB buttons where it looked like they were actually going to come off the diaper. They never have, but they feel less than secure every so often.
We didn't have a dryer for the first month and a half of cloth diapering, and that was a big pain, but I actually think it worked better, as the sun bleached out the smells a little better. Living in Texas, we hung everything out all summer long and the clothes actually dried faster in the sun than they did in the dryer, it being 112 degrees for most of the season.
Once we got our dryer, several people I ran across gave me a great piece of advice and said, "Just wash them with your regular clothes. You won't have any smells, you won't have to wait to wash them and you'll keep up with your laundry."
All true. I've also found that even poopy diapers (once the majority of the poop is flushed) can be thrown right in without issue. I WILL say that using a rag with Old English and then throwing that in the wash with your cloth diapers will cause some problems. Ugh.
Here are the pros and cons: (These are stricly from a user's perspective. I have no real care for whether or not it's "green," as both methods have their own merits in that department.)
They pay for themselves within a couple of months.
Fewer diaper rashes
You never run out (so long as you DO the laundry and keep track of your numbers)
Cute colors
Fits kids from birth to 3
Unisex, if you so choose
Last for years
No issues with staining at all. (Well, if you don't count the Old English diaper) Every diaper insert and liner we have is bright and white, and smells don't stick aound once they've been washed.)
Bulky. Very, very bulky. If they're NOT bulky, you can soak through them pretty quick. The bulk is due to the fact that you need to use two liners at a time to keep from having to change the child every hour. I've found that they're so bulky that I have to go up in clothing size to make sure that Claire's pants and onesies fit.
You really can't slack off on laundry
Smells. You can do a diaper pail situation, but I haven't really found anything other than super-prompt washing that helps. This may be because I have two in diapers right now and have more diapers sitting? I'm not sure. Andrew and I keep the dirty diapers in the laundry room (HUGE open room, not a small space) and we just aren't happy with the smell issue. I'm going to try a more dedicated bag for just the diapers, but at this point I'm just not thrilled with the situation.
Ease of movement is a little lessened. Because of the bulkiness, it seems like Claire is staying immobile longer.
Gotta carry them home. Yes, there are wet bags and ways to carry them, but you still need to carry your poopy diapers home.
Because of the bulk, they take up a TON of space in the diaper bag. With two kids, one of whom is potty-training, I end up taking four diapers for an outing, and need a second bag to carry the diapers. Just plain annoying. Who wants to carry a giant diaper bag? I truly can't imagine being a working mom and having to schlep all these diapers around!
It's just not as convenient as disposables. True, it's less expensive in the long run, but with the number of kids around here, trying to keep up with the cloth diapers is just a lot of work! If I had one or two it might even be easier, but I've found that having a third kid was a game-changer on just about everything we do, and it seems to ring true with diapering as well. The laundry is already overwhelming, and addding diapers to the load doesn't make it any better.
SO...I don't know. At this point, there are merits to both side. I'm pretty much split down the middle as far as whether cloth diapering is for us or not. As we have several kids and plan on having several more, it was something I felt I needed to try, at the very least. Will it stick? I'm not sure. Disposables are definitely my preferred diaper, but admitting it makes me feel like I'm unwilling to go the extra mile to do what's becoming a popular choice now. I think that the bottom line is this. Kids are a ton of work. Cloth diapers are more work. Anything I can do to streamline my work and cut down on steps is the way I lean. Cloth diapers add more steps to my already-crammed day, so you tell me. What's a girl to do?  

02 January 2012

I don't live in Iowa; Vote for Claire Faustina Cooke!

And it's a good thing. This nation only cares about the state of "Iowa" once every four-to-eight years and for the duration of about two (2) months. LOL. Who the heck lives in IOWA anyways!? Iowinians?! Exactly, right??? Get outta there people.

If I DID live in Iowa? I'd vote for someone who:

1. Reduces (my) taxes;
2. Flip flops less than Romney (rolling and scootching 24/7 is okay and encouraged in politics lol)
3. Crawls steady to the top of the polls vs. the Perry, Cain & Gingrich FLIGHT to the top (which were each so obviously created by the media for dramatic effect/flair, ugh)... slow & steady wins the race;
4. Is baptized in the Catholic [or at least a Christian] Church (this should've been #1 but I wasn't thinking LOL, just play along, punch line is coming...)
5. Is more conservative and pro-family and pro-life than Pawlenty, er, I mean that other guy that looks just like Pawlenty who is still in this race but no one can remember him b/c there are too many people in the debates to each talk...um, Santorum?
6. Who smokes less pot than Ron Paul, um, a lot less;
7. Can maintain a mean, debate-ready, firm, no-punches-pulled face even with food hanging off her lips, and
8. Has beautifully HUGE cheeks;

More cute than a pig with lipstick, my perfect candidate for 2012... Claire Faustina Cooke.

I mean, come on. She'd do better than Obama! With her mama's natural budget balancing talented, we'd probably even balance a budget in DC!

(This post brought to you by Daddy. Mommy's still rooting for Santorum and thinks Newt and Claire are neck and neck in the cheek department.) (Daddy agrees. Newt has some cute cheeks and I'd be willing to overlook all the worked-with-Clinton-reached-across-the-aisle-jibberish he carefully executes on stage but he's just sooooo freakin' arrogant!!!!!!!!!)

New Year's Propositions.

We were driving home from the New Year's party the other night and I was beyond loopy. I was singing Miley Cyrus' Party In The USA, only my version was "Party in the K-I-A." It was out of control. So it wasn't terribly surprising when I said, "So Andrew, do you have any New Year's reso...propsitions?" Andrew kindly replied, "I'm not even going to answer that question, you dork."

And that was how 2012 began.

2011 was fantastic. What didn't happen in 2011?!? We welcomed Claire Faustina, who may in fact be the cutest baby on record, we moved into our wonderful dream house, we took the craziest family vacation ever, made mutiple zoo trips, hosted numerous dinners and parties, lauged until we cried, cried until we laughed and prayed a whole bunch.

Hm. I was going to give you a link of my "2011 Happy New Year" post, but there really isn't one. Because we failed majorly on that one. I'd love to do a retrospective picture post like so many of my blogging peers, but that would require digging out the external drive to get pics from the first half of the year. Yuck. So let's do this. Next year, I'm gonna do that. Meet me back here in 364 days.

So, plans for 2012? Well...nothing, really. We have a trip to Maryland planned, and we're really hopiing to get a few things done on the house. I'm not sure if Andrew and I are agreed on just what we're going to be doing, as we have a huge list of tasks that ranges from super cheap to super pricey, and we have other things that we would like to use our money for right now, as well. I think we'd most like to get the bathroom done and to replace the doors and windows on the south side of the house. If we can do that, we'll be satisfied for this year. We have lots of "not on the list" projects, which have their own little list. THE LIST is for pricey projects. The Un-List is for projects that cost $100 or less and are things we can do without worrying about permits, contractors and big expenses.

Let's see...another thing that I'm working on this year is my stress level. It turns out that my health isn't just tied to my stress level, but it completely hinges on my mental state lately. With my colitis, the degree of severity of my colitis is tired directly to how stressed out I am. I've noticed several times now that my colitis flares the second I take on too much or am in a situation that I'm just not comfortable with. This freaked me out at first, but I found very quickly that just identifying the stressor can really help with the physical symptoms, which is good news for the coming year. So, we're keeping an eye on the colitis and working hard to lay low and avoid taking on too much at once.

The only other thing we really have planned for this year is Lucy's high school graduation! Whee! Okay, no. In all seriousness, we're started kindergarten and we really hope to see her reading by the end of the year. She's a smart cookie, so we're pretty confident. We are just so, so, so excited about this part of our journey. We're starting to gear up around here and get organized. I haven't ordered a curriculum yet, because the end of 2011 just sort of ran away with us. For right now, we're working on her second Explode the Code book and trying to get a little more disciplined!

Okay, I need to get this posted before I hear a kid crying. My minutes are numbered...Happy New Year, y'all! More later!

C u t e.

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01 January 2012

Christmas morning!

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Tee hee.

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Hanging out at Walmart

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Looking at the Nativity

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Sent from my Samsung smartphone on AT&T

Sent from my Samsung smartphone on AT&T

Christmas Morning with Lucy

How cute is she??

New Years Party @ KOC SEAS Keller TX

We had a fun night with some of our closest friends in Texas. The music left something to be desired but didn't stop anyone from cutting a rug! Laura and I won the unofficial youngest-couple-in-attendance award. We all OD'd on eclairs and cream puffs.

Yes, we have a Christmas morning blog post in the works but the computer froze on me and I lost a huge photolog an haven't been able to reenergize myself to redo it. Don't worry, Laura or I will get to if before next Christmas ;-)