And How

Friday, February 18, 2011

It started with an alarm at 6 am...

Actually, it started with a shower before bed.  There was no way I was going to get myself up at 6am for nothing in particular a day at home with the kids if I had to take a lukewarm shower first thing in the morning, then blowdry hair, then straighten...ugh....

Anyway, so I did that last night and set my alarm for probably the first time in months

Would it matter?  Would I keep hitting the snooze until the kids woke up?  Why was I doing this again?

I've had a revelation (yes, another one) as of late.  I don't work outside the home anymore and I've found that I've been totally a bit lazy.  I think I just finally realized that even though I might not leave my house, I still had a job to do (a much more important one).  I couldn't shake the thought of how I wasn't giving this "job" the same amount of preparation that I gave myself when I worked outside my home.  I would never have started my day in a robe, without a shower, that late in the day (and I use the word "late" very's a relative term when you have young kids).

So I made a decision:  I would start getting up at 6 am, BEFORE the kids woke up, so I would have some time to "group" before they began their job of  un-doing the entire house  acting like children, learning, and growing.

And after debating it for about two months....I DID IT!!!!!!!

You know what?  It made my day start out so much easier than rolling out of bed onto the feet of a demanding toddler and preschooler.  These are just a few of the things I did while the boys were still sleeping:

  • I took my time getting dressed (a pure luxury).
  • I put on make up and straightened my hair (without having to chase down and wrestle cosmetics and hair tools from the boys).
  • I made up the bed before I left the room.
  • I made a pot of coffee (that I started last night so all I had to to was mash the "on" button).
  • I took out the trash...including ALL the bathrooms.
  • I listened to "The Counter-Cultural Woman" in peace and quiet.
  • I made a breakfast that I've been wanting to try, but haven't because it takes 40 minutes.
  • I ironed Pack's work clothes.
  • I did the dishes (that I should have done last night.......).
And then my time was up.  7:30.  My kids are like clockwork.  And they almost passed out when they saw I was already dressed ;)

Being this productive so early in the day, left me some time to actually SIT with Penn and Jude for breakfast AND lunch, sweep and mop downstairs (I fun, right?), take the boys to the library,  and read a book outside while the boys played in the "bounce house."  Simple things, but nonetheless, things I never get to do without "multitasking" (aka, "something I'm not very good at").  And I might even get a chance to have some "couch time" with my MAIN MAN later without a pile of laundry that needs to be folded between us!  (That sounds like a date night, don't you think?  Why, yes...I think it does *wink, wink*)

I am so grateful for this day of productivity and I think it has helped me be more patient with the source of my work.  My job is not to keep the house's to raise up the two little boys that I've been entrusted with.  And by giving myself that extra little bit of time to "breathe," I've actually had the heart to work harder and better than I've been able to in a long time.

Now the question remains...can I do it again tomorrow???

Monday, February 14, 2011

My Favorite Valentine Memory...

Pack and I got engaged in August of 2004, so February of 2005 was our last Valentine's Day as a dating couple.  We already had decided where we were going to live, come April, and Pack was getting ready to move in for a couple of months alone before the wedding.

To celebrate Valentine's Day, we had a picnic in our unfurnished (unheated) formal living room.  We sat on the blanket that Pack bought me for our engagement picnic and drank from the mugs he bought as well.  Luminaries lit the room (even though it was in the middle of the day) and we ate a an eclectic mix of food from our two favorite places (chicken from Chick-fil-a and a dessert from Applebees...what simple tastes we had then, lol).  We ate and lay on the blanket, not really believing that after almost five years of dating, we would be married in just a couple of months.  This Valentine's Day was a real celebration!

We, of course didn't take any pictures, but that is still a vivid memory, six years later (which doesn't seem like so long until I think of the two children, numerous jobs, and several houses we've had since then).  This was my favorite Valentine memory, but the love I have for my Valentine is so much deeper than I ever though was possible back then (you know, when I thought he was perfect).  I'm so thankful for my partner, my best friend, and for the way he loves me.

Proverbs 30:18-19
There are three things that amaze me—
no, four things that I don’t understand:
how an eagle glides through the sky,
how a snake slithers on a rock,
how a ship navigates the ocean,
how a man loves a woman.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Christian Jargon

"Faith like a mustard seed."

What the heck does that even mean?!  When I think of mustard seeds, I think of that spice on my spice rack that has been begging to be used for years and never has.  So they make mustard from that or something?  I dunno.

What I do know is that that jar of mustard seeds, doesn't do me a lot of good when I'm trying to figure out this whole faith thing.  It's easy to throw out that phrase and expect that people "get it."  "Oh, mustard seeds are small, yellow, and round, so that explains it!"  Yeah right...

I've always felt that my faith was child-like and simple.  Thankfully, it never really took a lot of convincing for me to believe in God and Jesus.  I never needed a lot of proof.  As a matter of fact, the older I've gotten, the more obvious the reality of God is to me.  I don't feel that I need to take a step of faith to realize that He exists.  Once I had the experience of going from a "regular person" to a person growing and pushing into the world another living, breathing, thinking, loving person...He was confirmed in my life.

Faith, I'm learning, comes back to one question for me:  "Do you trust ME to take care of ALL of your needs.?"

The ABC's of Financial Freedom is a very misleading series.  I thought it was going to teach me all about how to manage my (our) money so we could get out of debt.  It's not.  Financial freedom, just like any other type of freedom comes from being able to let go of our control because God has promised us that "for those who love God, all things work together for good." (Romans8:28)

All things?  ALL things?  That means everything, right? 

He way is right AND best.  I don't know jack.  Guess who I'm putting my money on...LITERALLY?

Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Dirty-Dirty On GDiapers

Note:  This is a long (I'm serious...I can't help it.  It's just how I am.) story to go along with a basic review of Gdiapers.  If you don't want all the "backstory," skip to the "REVIEW" at the bottom...which is also very long:)

I'm the type of person who, when I spend money on something, will use/wear/eat it no matter if I LOVE it or not.  I'm pretty easy to please that way (you're welcome, Pack).  So I had been making do with the diaper choice that I made back when Penn was a baby (disposables, mostly the cheapest I could get that did the job).  I researched cloth diapers a little bit when I was pregnant with Penn, but honestly didn't even consider it fairly.  After all, I knew NO ONE that cloth diapered and that's a pretty big jump to make without having some support or advice.

When I was pregnant with Jude, I had several friends who began cloth diapering and I was seriously considering doing it with him. I found out about Gdiapers, which are basically a hybrid form of cloth diaper with a thin cloth cover, a nylon snap-in liner (which is waterproof...that's important), an an insert (a flushable, biodegradable,disposable insert or a hemp/fleece liner--which I didn't know about then).  I basically concluded that using Gdiapers was going to be a pretty steep investment since the flushable liners generally cost 14-15 dollars for a 30 we wouldn't be saving any money by using them.  Not only that, but my dear husband was NOT. ON. BOARD.  He basically said that as an active diaper changer, he felt he could throw in a veto card.  I conceded without too much of a fight.

Months went by (a year and nine months to be exact) and I began thinking of ways that our family could make less waste as part of my New Year's Resolution.  I also had a friend that started cloth diapering her toddler at about the same time.  I asked her a lot of questions and then found out that she was going to a cloth diaper buy/sell/swap at a local cloth diaper store in Carytown, so I asked her if I could join her.  A lady there sold me two Gdiapers for 10 bucks!  That may seem like a lot for two diapers, but I figured that I would use them and get my money's worth out of them no matter what (see paragraph 1).  I felt a little silly being a new cloth diaperer (possible made-up word alert) and buying them for my 20 month-old, but I figured this wasn't that much of a risk and (hopefully) no one judged me.

That night, I went to the store and bought the flushable liners.  I wasn't totally impressed with the disposibles and chalked it up to "I'm glad I didn't get these brand new...lesson learned."  But then I did some research and found out about the cloth inserts.  Since I had an Amazon gift card, I ordered a pack to try.

LOVED THEM!  It was way easier than I thought it would be!  Jude loves them, he looks adorable in them, and I've collected a total of 23 diapers (size small--for the future--to large).  I also bought another pack of cloth liners because what child only goes through six diapers a day???  Here's the review so you can see why I love them so much and why I regret not doing this two babies ago!

  • The Gpants (cover).  Really.  There is something just adorable about their simplicity.  I love the bold simple colors, and I've been known to try to match the diaper to Jude's PJ's at night.  They actually come in several patterns (even ruffles for a girl!!!), but the solids are still my favorite look.  They are also very thin and not cumbersome at all.  You can barely tell he's even wearing a diaper most of the time, so his 2T clothes fit him a little better.  Also, unlike most diapers, these velcro around the back and decrease (although theY do not eliminate) the incidence of baby pulling on diaper tabs to remove it (UGGGGGHHHH!).  They are also simple to clean.  You can toss them in your regular laundry because they don't (shouldn't) come in contact with poo!
  • The Nylon Liner.  This is where the magic happens.  This thin little layer that snaps into the cover forms a seal that protects the cover from getting wet/poopy, although you must first learn "the tuck."  If (when) the liner gets dirty, just snap it out, snap a new one in, and you're able to reuse your cover.  If the diaper was just wet, no problem, wipe it out (if you want...I usually don't), put in a new insert, and you're ready to roll.  All cloth diapers should be this easy. (Note, as if I know anything...gdiapers are the ONLY cloth diapers we've used and we're happy with them...I've found that people are VERY passionate about THEIR favorite brand of cloth diapers.)
  • The Inserts.  Like I said earlier, I was a little disappointed  with the flushable insert.  It was very absorbent, which is the most important feature, I guess, but the disposal was the disappointing part.  It was a little messy because in order to flush it, you have to rip it apart, swish it around, and (in my case) let it sit in the toilet for 15 minutes before flushing so it won't clog the toilet.  Not only that, but these babies are expensive and that still bothered me a lot.  The cloth inserts, on the other hand are the exact opposite.  They fit so nicely in the liner and are a cinch to clean.  I "dump" in the toilet and whatever doesn't come off, goes in a hot wash (prewash, hot wash, followed by extra rinse, to be exact), and come out looking BRAND NEW!  And (in case you're wondering), I have had to deal with every...ummm....consistency of poop that my sweet Jude makes, and they passed the test:).  Not to mention, right before I started using them, Jude (unusually) came down with a diaper rash, and once I started using the cloth inserts, it got better IN THE SAME DAY.  I was sold.  Oh yeah...and these babies will pay for themselves QUICKLY!
  • The Verdict.  Gdiapers with cloth 4eva!!!!!  Well, except at night when we use the disposable liners (because they really are absorbent!), and disposables when we are at church.  It's what's working for us and even my "conscientious objector" is into them now!  Who would have thought...
The bottom line is to "never say never."  I am trying a lot of new things that I never thought I would be into before (including cloth baby wipes!), and I've found that convenience isn't everything.  There's something rewarding about living a more self-sustainable lifestyle where I don't need to rush out and buy things new that I could be making/reusing myself.  Not only that, but I honestly don't spend THAT much more time dealing with diapers now than before.  Thank goodness I was offered a deal too good to refuse.  I only wish I had done it earlier...

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Rough night

It sucks when your feverish three-year-old wakes up several times because he doesn't feel well.

It sucks when that same child wakes up at 2 a. m. screaming bloody murder and hitting you because he thinks you're a monster.

And you can't sleeep well because there is a child laying on each arm, cutting off the circulation, and begging you to "do my back" all the while you are freezing and can't get up to turn off the fan without disturbing them

And then when your one-year-old decides he wants to get up before 6 am.

And also when they are both so sleep deprived, they fight through breakfast and the only respite you can get is to plop them in front of the T.V. for 30 minutes (at least).

When will my husband be home???