Friday, January 31, 2014

Tricks of the Trade FAIL: Welcome note

So...I thought I'd try to set the tone a bit better for when the girls come home from school. After all, from 4-5 p.m. is still the witching hour in our house, no matter what I try.

So...I wrote a little note on our door with window markers, so the girls know the priorities before they get in the door. It reads:

Welcome Home
1. Hugs!
2. Hungry?
3. Homework
4. cHores
...then playtime

Any guesses on how Lainie and Maggie read that #4?

Good to know whores come after homework, I guess.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014


Congratulations, John, on earning the distinction of "Slick Kid Who Went the Longest Without an Ear Infection"! That's right, folks. A full 10 months 25 days until his first ear infection. By this age, two of his siblings already had tubes! We so proud!

To celebrate his accomplishment, he did a little crawling, a little dusting, and a little laundry. Oh, and snotting and fevering but nothing too bad.

Of course, the ear schtuff might be slightly related to these little beauties:

I've got FOUR teeth now

Tuesday, January 28, 2014


Natalie is determined to be done with naps. She's at the awkward stage where, if she takes a nap, we can't get her to go to sleep at night. And if she doesn't take a nap, she's either a witchy woman or, well, this happens:

Yes, that's a Natalie under that towel, and yes, she's asleep. I let her get herself out of the bathtub with the instructions to get dressed and come down stairs. When she didn't come down, I went up to check on her and found her snoring. On the floor. Under the towel.

When I woke her, she even had a heater vent cover imprint on her face.

Poor babe.

Tricks of the Trade: Carseat Cover

Waaaaaaay back in 2001, we wanted a way to keep baby Katie protected from the cold. I splurged on a carseat cover. (If I was really dedicated, I'd go through the thousands of photos on dozens of CDs and find the photos of each of the girls in their car seats with this exact cover. I'm not that dedicated.)

And 13 years later, it's still going strong:
If this company goes out of business, it'll be because it's product lasts so long, people don't buy more.

I love it in this horrid Kansas wind. I love how easy the elastic stretches over the carrier. I love the little flap I can close over his face in the trip from the door to the car. I love that it's reversible, so when I get sick of the blue (if ever) I have another option. I love that, through all these years of use and washing, it still looks brand new and feels as soft as the first day we used it.

I considered buying one of the newer styles of car seat covers and recently asked a mom what she thought of hers. She said it blows in the wind, doesn't really cover the baby at all on windy days. She said, and I quote, "I wish I would have bought one like you have."

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Better days

There's a new-ish song out called "Helluva Life" that says, "Bad times make the good times better." So true.

I am enjoying any day that we can stay home, hang out, relax, chill, not worry, play.

Days when I can say, "sure" to the request to nap in a play tent. Still can't believe she actually fell asleep.

Days when the spark is back in Natalie's eyes.

Day's when John can stand at the kitchen window and we don't have to rush off anywhere.

And days when he can practice his walking with the doll stroller.

Nearly every time I'm out somewhere with all the kiddos, some nice old(er) lady will come up and volunteer, "Enjoy these days. They go so fast."

I know. Trust me, I know. And I am.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Tricks of the Trade: Beardo

Last Halloween, I decided I wanted John to be dressed up as Si Robertson. It looked like a pretty simple and versatile costume, if I could find the right beard.

Thank you, Etsy and Momma B!

I was hoping he would at least wear this for Halloween. It was so comfortable for him, he wears it still, months later. It protects his sensitive little cheeks from the cold wind. As an added bonus, it helps hold that binkie in place.

I might just have to order him one for next winter, too.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Tricks of the Trade: Binkie Blankie

There are some perks to being the fifth baby in the house. You know the story: the first baby is the trial and error, the second one we have a plan but are still learning. By the time we got to John, we felt like we knew what we were doing. Or, at least we knew what didn’t work. He’s still shown us all sorts of new tricks, especially by being a c-section, colicky boy.

But we do have some tricks up our sleeves…on the days we get enough rest to remember them. In hopes of remembering them, I’m going to try to post some of my favorite “hey-that-worked” tricks and my “epic-failures”. Very few of these are original ideas; most have been acquired from other experienced moms, either face-to-face interaction or through blog posts or facebook stories. That said, I know what worked in our house doesn’t work for everyone. Maybe some of these will work for you, and maybe they’ll just save you the time on the big epic fails.

(Non-moms or non-aunts might find these all boring and tedious and a waste of time. Sorry!)

This first one is an easy one.

I have a love/hate relationship with pacifier clips.

When they are brand new, I love them. How, the joy of knowing where the dastardly pacifier is. Baby starts crying? Just look around their belly button region and plug it in.

But, the first time baby urps up on it or it drops in the dirt at a pig show or other nasty germs hit it, then what? I’ve tried wiping them down with antibacterial wipes, but not good enough. I’ve tried running them through the washer and the dishwasher, but both ways it shrinks the plastic on the loop or kills the Velcro to hold the paci. It’s one little tool we haven’t been able to use more than a few weeks…which seems like a waste.

And on number five, I discovered the magic of a blanket. I feel pretty dumb for taking so long to realize I could just do this:

We just pull his soft flannel blankie through the pacifier ring. The pacifier is in a known location. Baby can even suck on the paci and snuggle with the blanket at the same time. There isn’t any cord to worry about. And washing is as easy as a load of laundry.

I wouldn't want to try this with a heavier blanket, for fear of a suffocation risk. And we don't do this at night in the crib, for the same reason. But it's great for the car seat, church, etc.  

Think how much I could have saved on those dang pacifier holders. (Except on Lainie…she was a thumb sucker. But that's another story.)