I’m not sure if that’s a scream or a sigh.

I got invited on a spur of the moment road trip by my bestie to visit my bestie in Louisville, Kentucky. With her two boys (8 & 7) and my five year old, we set out on Friday morning.

It. took. for. ever. to cross Illinois. It. took. even. longer to cross Indiana. But finally we made it!

We had lots of time for girl talk.

We went to the zoo.

We went out to eat.

We went shopping in a hoity-toity part of town. ( I didn’t buy anything, but it was fun to look!)

We went to a great service at church.

We watched movies.

We hung out.

We had a fabulous time!

The drive home was much better–I don’t know what the difference was, but it seemed to be a lot shorter than the 8 hours it took. I got an amazingly lot of knitting done. It was so good to see my littles again.

Of course, that was before the 45 minute tantrum by the boy and the whinging and sneaking frosting and pillow losing by the girl and the noticing the sheer dirtiness of the floors and the make-me-puke toilet.

Kevin had to work almost all weekend so the kids were farmed out to my mom, his mom, his sister, my sister, and our neighbor.

I’m pretty sure they would have gotten away with anything short of starting a fire in each other’s hair.

But I’m so grateful for the time away, I don’t even care. I love knowing we have people in our lives we can depend on.

And, they got to do this:
Hang out with their Tia and cousins

Watching a sheep be sheared

Holding a MASSIVE Great Pyrenees puppy

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Pregnancy Brain

ie “It’s not my fault”

Husband: Ruth called, but I told her you would call her back on the way to the chiro.
Me, thinking:I didn’t hear the phone, did she call on the house phone or my cell phone?
Me, out loud: On my phone?
Husband (without missing a beat): That usually works best, or else you’d have to yell really loudly!

I was reading the activity list of the mom in my scheduling book. She includes absolutely everything: the daily chores she does, her ‘free time choices, and the activities she does with each member of her family by name. Her husband’s name is Steve.

Me to Husband: Oooh, I bet you’d like this: if I put ‘Steve’s backrub, talking and prayer’ in my daily schedule.
Husband (without missing a beat): Well, ideally, it would say ‘Kevin’s back rub.’

Kevin was ‘watching’ a video game on eBay. I bid on it for him and called him to tell him he won it.

Much later, as I was about to drift off to sleep, he asked me, apropos of nothing, “Did you pay for the Big Buck game?

Me: WHAT?! WHAT did you say?
Him (a bit taken aback by my vehemence): Did you pay for the Big Buck game?
Me: (Much relieved) Ohhhh. I thought you said, “Did you pay for the Big Butt Cake?”

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Featuring Chicks

Don’t even get me started about the number of stitches I had to take out to make these dresses. Or the mistakes I couldn’t fix which I won’t point out to you. But I really LOVED the challenge and am really starting to enjoy sewing (now that I have several attempts projects under my belt). Let me just say however, sewing is NOT cheaper than buying.

I was looking at Gymboree’s spring lines to get ideas for Easter, and asked Kevin, “Is $35 too much to pay for a special Easter dress?” He thought it was, so I volunteered,” Maybe I could make them.” Even though I made a special trip to JoAnn’s when their material was 50% off and I had great coupon, I still spent nearly the equivalent of buying them there!

Not to mention my time is worth at least $25/hour. Right? Of course right.

New batch of baby chicks in our basement now. You probably don’t want to know…we’re planning on eating them in the fall…That’s life on the farm, folks!

Someone said I should frame this one, which I wouldn’t have thought of because I’m such a “smile and pose” kind of a girl…maybe I need to break out of my mold a bit…
He can sign chicken now, and did not stop signing it all day!

And this is to highlight that stinker face toddler I adore!

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Diaper Debate

The internal debate I have with myself continues.

I’m fairly lazy by nature. We have cloth diapers, but I have found I don’t like to cloth when I’m out and about because I have to change so much more frequently, and be so much more attentive to when baby’s wet.

And of course there’s the extra laundry.

And the general gross factor of having to rinse a pooey diaper–(I swish it briefly in the toilet to get the majority off without ever touching anything icky)–and put in our diaper bin–(a step lid trash can with a recycled grocery bag liner).

But cloth-ing is way better for the environment of course.

And it’s cheaper.

And (my personal opinion) cloth babies potty train sooner.

And there aren’t any chemicals next to baby’s special parts.

And you never have to make an emergency trip to the store.

I decided to run the numbers to see if I was *really* saving all that much.

Ahem. I was astounded.

I bought the convenience pack of one size diapers from Motherease. This allows me to not have to wash diapers every day when I’m full time cloth-ing (although I generally do anyway) and be able to line dry them. I bought them almost 6 years ago when I was pregnant with Aviana.

Aviana (3 mo) in her Motherease One Size Diaper and Breathable Cover
(not your mama’s rubber pants)

I almost full time cloth-d her, mostly did with Brielle and very part-time (only when we’re home) with Cadrian. I don’t remember how much they were then, but at today’s prices that would cost you $500.

We order Huggies disposables from Amazon, precisely because I’m lazy by nature and it’s extraordinarily convenient to have the UPS man deliver them to my door. Huggies was the brand that we found to be the least ‘smelly’ for my sensitive nose and best for my babes as far as getting rashes goes. For a case (150 diapers) of Size 4 diapers, it’s $37.38 (no shipping). I just went with that number as a baseline, even though you get more diapers in the smaller sizes, you’re also changing more frequently.

Let’s say, you change baby 10 times in a 24 hour period. That’s 2 cases of diapers a month.
That’s $64.76/ month. Let’s say, baby potty trains at 2 1/2 which seems to be about average, though I know lots of people who waited until closer to 3. That’s 30 months.

That’s $1,942.80 for one baby’s diapers.

Let’s say you have four children, like a Farm Fresh Mama close to you–that’s $7769.20 in diaper outlay!

What was the cost of the cloth again? Oh yeah, $500.

Seems to be a no brainer. I better get off my lazy bum and go change a diaper.

***Another thing you may be interested in that saves money, but is time and brain power intensive is Elimination Communication. I truly believe this works and is a viable option for some families.

I did this quite a bit with Aviana, but not enough that she was a diaper free baby. With Brielle, I was too overwhelmed with postpartum psychosis to even consider it. And with Cadrian, I was too overwhelmed with three small children to give it the time and mental awareness it takes.***

Edited to Add: Wash cost–for me it seems negligible. We have well water, so that doesn’t cost anything. The diapers are always run as a “small load” as well. I dry my clothes on the clothesline for March – October. I use Quixtar (Amway) SA8 laundry detergent which, incidentally is amazing for getting stains out, for sensitive skin and doesn’t harm the environment. It’s concentrated so a 10 lb box for $40 lasts us all year andI do at least one load a day. It equals out to be about 11ยข a load.

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A book I’ve been waiting for at the library finally came in. I’m reading a book on scheduling. As in Scheduling Your Day.

I am somewhat of a free spirit and I don’t like something/someone telling me what to do (even if it’s myself via a schedule) (or a recipe telling me how far apart to place the cookie dough). I’ve always mentally fought the idea of a schedule.

We have a routine to our day. I thought that was good enough.

But when the author of the book said, and many other mamas quoted within said, that scheduling their children’s day led to less bickering, well! I decided to give this a prayerful look.

And I promptly ordered the book.

I haven’t even finished reading my borrowed copy yet, and yet I decided to try a bit o’ scheduling for the Farm Fresh Fam today.

It was superb.

Basically, I just set the timer for 30 minutes and then we moved on to the next activity, whether it was “craft time” (paper dolls), “kitchen helper” (Irish soda bread), “chore helper” (putting away their laundry and picking up their room, to my standards), it was the best day we’d had in a long time. I started with just a few goals in mind–

I wanted to do Bible time with all three at 9. Check.
I wanted to do a craft with the girls when Cadrian was asleep. Check. (I’d been saying we would for several days, as soon as I get the kitchen cleaned up, as soon as…and it never happened)
I wanted to spend some one on one with each child. Check.

And I’m not even implementing the whole program. This is just me thinking about the ideas and values espoused in this book.

I can’t wait until my kit comes with all my fancy colors and charts. I am so excited to make a positive change in my home.

Or at least have another day like this one.

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Baby D update

I’m fifteen weeks pregnant. Our baby’s crown-to-rump length is approximately 4 inches and she now weighs approximately 1.75 ounces. Our baby is close to the size of a softball and you can easily tell that I am pregnant now!

We have our first midwife appointment on Tuesday. I’m so excited to hear the heartbeat, and see my Kathy again!

Our baby is growing at an amazing rate and looking more like a human every day. Because our baby’s skin is so thin, you are able to see blood vessels through the skin. Lanugo hair covers our baby’s body, but it will be gone when our baby is born. The hair on the eyebrows and head continues to grow. Some babies are born with little or no hair and others have a head full of hair! I’m sure ours will have hair to begin with and then be bald by six months like our others.

Thank you, BabyCenter for this wonderful illustration.

If we had an ultrasound at this point, you might be able to see your baby sucking its thumb. Even though the eyes continue to move to the front of the face, they are still widely separated. Our baby’s ears look like normal ears and continue to develop externally. The bones that have already formed continue to get harder and retain calcium. The baby is very mobile and flexible at this point. She can bend her arms at the elbows and wrists and she can also make a fist with her hands.

I know it doesn’t look like it in the photo, but I feel huge and unwieldly. I hit my hips on the gate and chairs and counter all the time. I’m totally clumsy, much more so than usual. I feel like I look ginormous already. I bought a cute blouse for Easter and had to take it back and exchange it for an EXTRA large! In my other pregnancies, I wasn’t wearing extra large until the end of the summer.

I’ve started to feel the baby move when I am still and quiet and paying attention (only when I’m about to fall asleep). Those little flutters are God’s gift to remind me why I’m doing this.

We are having a difficult time coming up with a good “D” name. I don’t really care if it starts with D, but Kevin really liked the idea. Now he thinks we should have the name start with a “Z” to let people know we’re DONE.

Emotionally, I feel out of control and overly sensitive most days. I have very little tolerance for the usual childish antics I deal with on a normal basis. I’m over the nausea but still feel more tired than usual. Normally, I’m a night owl, but last night for example, I couldn’t even finish the movie I was watching, and I detest quitting a movie in the middle.

I love being pregnant. I love being pregnant. I love being pregnant. I love being pregnant. *wanders off repeating under her breath*

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What a breath of fresh air…

…today was.

For the first time all week, we didn’t have to go anywhere, so it was declared a pajama day.

While the children did a couple of crafty type things nearby, I organized my new cabinets. They made All About Me collages for my Power Binder. Aviana’s mostly featured ice cream, while Brielle’s had lots of fruit. Interestingly enough, they both included a picture of a bed.

I had also boiled eggs for our noon meal, but it turned out I needed to boil another half dozen because we ate several for a snack and then the girls decorated the others so becomingly with markers, they couldn’t bear to part with them for lunch.

A Power Binder was introduced to me by a MOPS speaker for corralling all those papers you need to know where they are.

Mine is basically clear three ring pockets to which I taped (beautifully pink striped) tabs in categories like Aviana, Brielle, Cadrian, Baby D, MOPS, Coupons ect. Essentially any piece of paper I had had in my desk without a specific home.

I also took a tip from that speaker and put all our Compassion children’s letters and info in a binder instead of a basket. And put all our Samaritan Ministries information and news letters in yet another binder.

I also put my underutilized Control Journal in there as well. Now that I’m feeling better, I’m ready to get back into the swing of things. Especially since my Rubba Sweepa, Rubba Swisha and Rubba Scrubba came yesterday.

Kevin came in for lunch and I dashed off to the library for a quick pick up and return and a blessed hour of thoughts to myself.

I read all our wonderful new books to my chickadees (recommend: The Gingerbread Doll, The House that was Tidy and Neat, and this version Old MacDonald, Circle of Seasons and the Parable of the Lily.)

Then we had an hour of quiet time during which I mostly tried to keep the boy from using my belly bump as a step stool while IMing my mom, but there was a little relaxing in there too.

After Aviana’s reading lessons, we watched The Magic Flute, which is part of this superfabulous series the girls just love. I didn’t realize we were about to watch an opera, but they loved it! I enjoyed it too, and I don’t consider myself at all “cultural”.

Then it was time for our Friday night ritual of pizza and snuggles.

Now it’s time to relax and embark on the beginning of watching Centennial. I remember watching it as a kid on TV, so much so that I even read the book, which is not my usual genre choice.

Not much bickering, disobedience, arguing or tantruming or tears today. What a breath of fresh air, to get to the end of the day feeling like I accomplished something and feeling like I am so in love with my family.

Oddly enough it usually is one or the other.

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In the…On a

In the market for some red shoes. Saucy red shoes that I can wear whilst balancing a baby on my hip, and the baby bump in front.

On a rampage to toss and give. Toss and give.

Just because my mother-in-law saved those toys all these years doesn’t mean I have to keep them. Especially when they’re broken.

Just because someone gave me all those clothes doesn’t mean I have to keep them. I can bless other people with them.

Just because it may be needed someday, I haven’t needed it in the past year and I really can get rid of it.

In the mood for some chocolate and peanut butter. Good thing I bought some Nutella.

On a roll with the Easter dresses. Hit a few glitches last night, but I fought my way through it. And the place where Brielle colored all over the brand new uncut material with an ink pen isn’t even going to be needed!

In the act of installing new cabinets in our kitchen, in place of the clutter magnet that was the desk and open shelving area. Hooray!

In the family way and contemplating parenting styles. I just subscribed to Mothering magazine. I am not as ‘crunchy’ as they are, but I do do attachment parenting, but not to that extreme. I also post on Fertility Friends pregnancy boards. I am WAY more conservative and natural and attachment than they are and often feel like I’m a loner there.

Isn’t there anyone in the middle, like me?

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Daybook –8 March

Outside my window….It was foggy and chilly but I did see people in short today! Crazy people.
I am thinking about all I have to do this week!
I am thankful for a supportive family!
From the learning rooms: Frontier Nurses and Trolley Car Family
From the kitchen–Southwest Chicken in the crockpot, early bird specials and that’s as far as I’ve gotten–also in the kitchen we’re getting rid of the useless and inevitably messy desk area and putting in floor to ceiling cabinets.
I am wearing jeans and three shirts.
I am creating Easter dresses for my girls–except I’m stymied because somehow I’ve misplaced a cut of material I need!
I am going to my sister’s, MOPS, the dentist, Chuck E Cheese, the library… but not all on the same day
I am reading back issues of Mothering magazine
I am hoping I get my verve back. And how.
I am hearing ambient house noises
Around the house shoveling against the avalanche and seriously considering whittling down everyone’s clothes to seven outfits a piece and seven toys each…
One of my favorite things parties…planning and being a guest
A few plans for the rest of the week: Besides the above mentioned places I’m going…snuggling, baking, reading…
Here is picture for thought I am sharing

My very silly boy

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