Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - Outside and Things with Daddy

Raking with Daddy at my inlaws. Luke insists on the big rake.

Daddy showing him how to water the plants.

This could almost be a wet ending of a picture for me,
luckily he doesn't know how to spray the hose yet.

Outside in front of our house.

On a walk.

Mommy and Daddy on the walk.

This doesn't go with the theme but I couldn't resist putting it in.
Luke spilled lettuce all over the floor last night.

Thanks Hobo Mama for hosting Wordless Wednesday.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Through the Keyhole #6 Front Door

Here's our front door. I don't even know what to say about it. I'm not unhappy with our door, nor am I super excited either. I don't really have any stories about it. I'm so unobservant and really see things as more of a function rather than the look. I see my door, and I like my door because it does what it's supposed to.. be a door. I do see from the picture that our address letters are crooked. I think if I would have noticed in real life, I might have had to fix it... oh well :)
My husband just put weather stripping down underneath during the winter because there was a small gap in the door. Which was nice so Pickle wouldn't try and stare out the gap all the time. But our door made a loud noise when you opened it... like a seal breaking, so you always knew when someone was coming in, which is a good thing.
Now that Luke is walking and clearly knows about 'outside', he comes to the door from the inside and points and knocks on it to get out. Most of the time I just let the door open for him to go outside. However, sometimes he wants to go outside first thing after he gets up and I have to say 'why don't both of us put clothes on first' or 'lets have coffee first' lol.
Luke trying to open the door with my car keys.

Maybe the most exciting thing about the first picture is that I took the picture with my new iPhone. I think it looks pretty good.

if you want to see more awesome front doors check out Holistic Mama.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Carnival of Catholic Parenting: Running the Race

Welcome to the "Carnival of Catholic Parenting" hosted by Maman A Droit! This month's submissions are inspired by Hebrews 12:1-2:
Therefore since we are surrounded with such a great cloud of witnesses, let us rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us and persevere in running the race that lies before us.
After you read this great post, you're encouraged to check out some of the other contributions to this month's carnival through the links at the bottom of this post. Enjoy!

Parenting to me is a lot like how I am religious. There are different types of religions and parenting styles that people think there is one way and they cling to them.
For me, I am Catholic and I love the faith and I will always be Catholic. I love Jesus. I believe the Eucharist is the source and summit of my faith and that it is the body and blood of Christ. I love the Church and her teachings. I love the Blessed Virgin Mary. I use NFP and don't believe in birth control.
I also consider myself a natural/attachment/continuum parent. These are the reasons why. I believe my baby should be breastfed, I would never leave my baby to cry it out, I respected the 'in-arms' phase and wore and carried my baby before he started crawling and now walking, and I wouldn't ever consider circumcision.
Many of these topics cause so much controversy with others who aren't completely on board with what I think is right. I sometimes find myself wound up in the middle of it all. Like hanging out with parents who don't think there is anything wrong with letting babies cry. Or hanging out with people who don't believe in God. Sometimes I find myself getting caught up in labeling people... they aren't really 'attachment parents' or 'they're Catholic but they use birth control'. But what does that make me? It makes me pretty judgmental. I get so caught up in small details that I forget that I'm not here to dwell on the nitty-gritty of every little choice someone else makes. I'm here to 'run the race' of glorifying God and to live out my vocation as a Mom. If I could just rid myself of thinking about what others do, I could live in the light more. I feel like this is a burden that clings to me.
Sometimes I hang out with mom's who let their babies cry it out. I will go home and analyse every move they make with my husband. I will obsess over exactly every word and action. How they always talk about what time their baby goes to bed and exactly how long he cried for and exactly how long he napped that day. Or just seeing other parents force their kids in a stroller while they are obviously trying to get out. I dwell on it. Sometimes so much that it takes joy from me that I could be using toward my husband or son.I get caught up in the parenting style and saying to myself 'I wouldn't do that' that I forget that they are a person. They are a person very much loved by God and loved just as much as me. By judging and criticising other parents I am teaching my son, Luke, to judge. I am not showing him how to love. Isn't that what we are all here for? Love? Love is the answer. Love is the only way I can rid myself of every burden and sin that clings to me and persevere in running the race that lies before me.
Dear Lord, please rid me of this burden and let me love more.

Don't forget to check out these other great Carnival of Catholic Parenting posts:
  • Julie @ Journey to the Simple Life talks about her struggles to be a positive witness through her speech in her post, Finding a New Way

  • Kate @ Momopoly discusses the importance of timing in Maternal Pacing

  • Heidi @ Extraordinary Moms Network reflects on why she turns to the cloud of witnesses in Sweet Mysteries of Life & Faith

  • Cassie @ There's A Pickle in My Life talks about the temptation to let others' choices distract us from our own families in her post, Running the Race

  • Maman A Droit compares the people who help her be a better parent to the people who helped her be a better cross-country runner years ago, in her post, Run Faster!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Newberg or BUST!

Today was awesome. I went to visit Ben at work for lunch. I've never been on a car trip with Luke that long before. I mean, just me and him. I wasn't sure what to expect. Before, when he was younger (and backward facing), I would stress out a lot about driving somewhere. Always wondering if he'd make it or not. Wondering what'd I'd do if he started crying. Freaking out about not being able to pull over to attend to his needs. It was almost the same to me as driving through snow on the way home in Klamath Falls during the winter... gripping the stearing wheel, tense shoulders, very anxious.
Well, I'm proud to say that it's so different now. I wasn't even worried about driving to Newberg. I wasn't even considering that it might be a bad trip. In fact, I was assuming that we wouldn't even need to stop. And... we didn't! The entire trip was perfectly fine. Luke was happy the entire 45 minute drive. He didn't even fuss at all, not once.
What's so different now? Well, the front facing car seat is SO much better. He likes watching where we are going. That was one of the greatest moments for me as a Mom, is turning that car seat around on his birthday.
Second, I picked up a kids songs CD from the library. He loves it. He loves it so much that when we get home and I turn the car off, he signs 'more' to me and gets a little upset that the music stopped. We listened to it on the way down to Ben's work, and we just sang along. He even does some hand motions to 'the wheels on the bus', and he claps along to BINGO and another song. It's really cute and really fun.
Third, I think I time trips better. I know when he has to pee.. so we usually pee before and then he's fine for the trip. I also have been trying to stick to my schedule so I know when he's usually tired, when he usually wants to nurse and when he's willing to sit in a car. I think that might be the most beneficial. We went after breakfast today. That is by far the best time of the day for Luke and was just great on the trip.
I'm just so proud. I'm so happy that I can go (almost) where ever I want now. It's so liberating and just feels like another phase has passed. People always say when you're a new mom 'this will pass', and they are right, it does pass. And when it passes you feel so good and so happy that you made it. Well, we've made it through the 'i don't want to be in this car ever' phase. It feels good, really good.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

An attempt at a schedule

I was talking with Lisa_C, my real life neighbor, the other day. I was mentioning that Luke is getting a little bit over-dramatic about things. Sometimes he throws things, sometimes he grabs on to me or my clothes tightly, sometimes he acts like the world is going to end when he can't have something. This has mostly been going on this last week because we've been inside all week while he was sick. I noticed that it really stresses him out to have nothing to do. Lisa suggested one of the things we can do to help toddlers is to have a routine. I say that word very loosely, because I don't know how much of a routine person I am. But I've tried the last two days to just kind of work around his natural sleep times and here's what I've come up with.

8-9 wake up
9-10:30 breakfast, dishes, getting dressed and ready
1030ish-1 do something... better if it's outside. Friday we went to the park and store, today was farmers market.
Haven't figured out lunch yet, sometimes before nap, sometimes after.
1 or so until 4ish nap time
afternap-before dinner- play outside, read books, play with toys... etc, house chores
9-10 bed

The after nap-bed still needs a little work but the mornings have been really great so far. The 'schedule' is only one nap, which, the last few days has really worked out for the better. He seems to be wanting only one nap anyway. I had been trying around noon for the last several weeks and he'd fall asleep and then only sleep like 30 minutes and then take a longer one in the evening from 4-6. Those late naps make his bed time waaay later.
I'm not so strict on scheduling but I think this might add some calm in his life right now. They'll be some days where it's just not going to happen. But it's nice to have something to go with. I have hardly noticed any stress from him at all the last two days. I think most of it has to do with getting out of the house, but I have to think a little has to do with the way I try to set the day :)

My Niece's Dance Recital

Just some pictures on this one. Stolen from my sister-in-law's facebook page. We went to my niece Kenzie's dance recital last night. She is so stinkin' cute. When she came out to preform she couldn't stop waving at us. Too cute.

Ben, Kenzie (the dance star), Luke and Me

James, Kenzie, Casey, and
baby Kruz (who's not really a baby any more at 11 months)

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Park

Luke got sick this week. We've been couped up in our house for a day too many. He's almost all the way better so we went to the park this morning.

playing in the wood chips

heading down the path to the wetland

looking at the ducks in the pond

there's a duck and a huge frog

the other side of the park

picking flowers, he's so cute

Monday, June 14, 2010

What to do

Today was just one of those days where I didn't have much planned. I can tell now that Luke gets a little stir crazy. He likes to at least make his way outside for a little bit or drive somewhere, even if it's just a store. It's days like today where I can't think of anything to do. I mean, I want to do something. I even get ready to do something... but I just don't do anything. I guess it's kind of a depressing feeling. Sometimes I feel like the Zoo is too far. Or that we just went to the store the other day. And we've already went for a walk... so what's next? Sometimes I just need to force myself out. Like just get in the car and GO SOMEWHERE. But it's hard. It's hard chasing a walking baby around getting a diaper, clothes and now shoes on. Not to mention the million times we stop in the middle of that to read a book. Then, getting myself ready. Ugg that's probably the hardest. I wear sweats most days. Am I the frumpy mom? Probably. It's just if I get the urge to go, I basically have to just wear what I'm wearing grab everything I can grab, get Luke dressed and go. Too much planning and getting ready makes it almost impossible. After a slightly depressing 'what am I possibly going to do today' morning, I finally got out. We went to the library. We checked out some books for Luke. I also got two kids CDs to listen to while in the car. I've always wanted to try listening to kids songs in the car to see if he liked it and maybe to make the car rides a little better. He LOVED it. We went to the store after the library to pick up a few things. Then this afternoon we went to the park to play with my neighbor friends and their kids. So all and all it wasn't too bad of a day. And finally the sun is out.

Luke and his friend at the park.

What do you do on days where you need to get out but can't seem to get around to doing anything?

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Through the Keyhole #5

Coffee Table!
Ok, anywhere here is a coffee table. The coffee table is usually the place in the room that is high enough that Luke can't reach the cup. The picture below is of the table we used to use as the coffee table before Luke could pull himself up. After he started doing that, we got tired of moving stuff off of it all the time, then decided it was kind of in the way. So now we just have these tables on the end of our couch. They are from ikea and they only cost about 6 dollars.

Enough about the table already. Lets just talk about coffee. I love coffee. I love having a cup in the morning when I wake up (most of the time two) out of my lovely french press. I'm so in love with the way the french press makes coffee that I can hardly stand regular brewed coffee any more. I mean seriously. Even at a coffee house, I have to have an americano either with less water or more coffee. Not that I'm so addicted to coffee I have to have more, it's that I love the strong taste of it. (ok, I'm a little addicted too)
Kinda like the saying, home is where the heart is...The coffee table is where the coffee is.

For more actual coffee tables, visit Holistic Mama. For other posts related to coffee, read here.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Through the Keyhole #4

Through the Keyhole hosted by Holistic Mama
Ok, I'm a little late on this. I had the stomach flu this week and was out for a few days.

This is our shower in our bedroom. We hardly ever use the other bathroom. We used to have one of my friends rent a room at our house and our guest bath was hers so we just got in the habit of using the one in our room.
We just have a shower in our bathroom, no tub. I like it that way except for lately I have been craving a nice bath. So maybe I'll have to just go into the other bathroom sometime and enjoy it.
The towel hanging on our door is a towel we got in Hawaii on our honeymoon. Our bathroom is decorated in Hawaiian stuff that we have collected over the years. You can't see it in the picture but there is a clock you can see from inside the shower that says 'Hawaiian Time' on it. So at each hour it says '1ish' '2ish' '3ish'. It's funny. You can also see the other pictures in the reflection of the shower glass.
The blue loofa is my husbands lol. I like wash cloths, he likes that loofa. Right now I'm using this kids shampoo that smells like mango. I like it. Lots of people have been blogging about using more natural stuff and I probably will switch over to Dr Brommers for my hair when I'm done with my fruity kids shampoo, but I have to enjoy it while I can. I'm really not into doing my hair... or really any beauty stuff. I wear my hair in a pony tail most days. I don't wear make up, almost ever. I hardly ever blow dry my hair. But I do like a good shower. I usually shower 4 to 5 times per week. After I work out at night, or before church on Sunday. I love the way hot water feels running down at night when I've had a long day and Luke and Ben are sleeping. It's so relaxing. I really love that shower. When we sell the house, I'll miss it.

Monday, June 7, 2010

I remember when...

I saw my friend's 12 week old baby this weekend. He was so small, making all those little movements and sounds a infant makes. I held him and I remember when (though it's hard) Luke was that small. I remember when he would make rooting movements and being the new parent that I was I didn't know he longed to suckle. I wish I could have pacified all of his needs at the breast. But it hurt too bad. I remember how I thought I was supposed to feed him every couple of hours and he would be full... at least that's what the nurses told me. Now I know better. They need the breast more. And most of all, I know what they need more than anyone else could tell me.
I remember Luke used to squirm for no reason. I know with the next one that squirms and small fusses mean potty. That babies don't like soil themselves. I will know they have control and they want to be free of diapers.
I remember when we used to bath Luke. Then dress him afterwards. He hated everything about it. Next time I'm not bothering with that. Babies don't need baths and they certainly don't need toxic lotions spread on their bodies. Luke smells better than ever and he doesn't bath every day.
I remember when It was so hard to lay Luke down by himself, even in the crib pushed next to our bed. I remember how much more sleep I got when we finally just put him in bed with us. Now I know that babies sleep better next to their parents, my next baby will be snuggled next to me.
All the holding of my friend's new baby brought back so many memories of the early days of being a new parent. I'm not sure if I missed it yet... but I just remember when

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


There's been a lot about no shampoo on blogs like I mentioned earlier. Many are using baking soda instead. Then there's been some posts about Dr Bronner's soap and the many uses. So now I'm thinking about the millions of bottles of chemicals we have in our house (from before we started using baking soda and vinegar) and I want to get rid of everything. It is just a waste of space, the cupboard that holds all the cleaning stuff. I want to use just a few things. Here's what I do so far...

vinegar and water spray bottle- used to clean counters, stains, just kind of an every day cleaner type thing.

vinegar- almost everything, cleaner, laundry, etc etc

baking soda- also used as a cleaner, deodorizer, laundry, and just recently for shampoo

I have some bleach too. We do EC and we've had some poo misses...and I just feel the need to use it sometimes. But I just read lemon can be used for that?

Now I see that I can use Dr Bronners soap for so many different uses. So, now do I really need anything else? Wouldn't it be nice to have just a few things laying around, instead of the whole cupboard full? I know there are many moms out there that have already done this. What are the few things you use?
How do you do things like... clean toilet? clean up something that needs to be sanitized (raw chicken, poop, etc)? windows with out windex?