Monday, June 30, 2008

Children's Book Idea

This post is for a friend of mine. A friend of her aunt's who is actively involved in the toddler group of her local Le Leche League was trying to find children's books positively portraying breastfeeding mamas and came up short. She contacted the user's group for some children's books illustrators and was told that the major publishers won't allow it and that they only want pictures showing babies being given bottles. She and her friends at her LLL group have started a petition at to get a grant to make such a book. If you like this idea then go to the webiste, register and vote - but do it today because voting ends at midnight! Thanks!

Saturday, June 28, 2008


Even Maisy seemed to appreciate the fact that we'd gotten a pool. See those big feet of hers? Count the toes. Six on each paw. That's why they're so big. I love them. She hates to have them messed with though which makes nail trimming time very interesting. Stinker.
Towzer found an old tennis ball somewhere in the yard and proceeded to try to strip it of it's fuzzy covering. He's really good at that. Then he pops the rubber inner part and chews it to pieces leaving them for someone to find. He takes his time doing it though. Poor little tortured tennis ball. As if Towzer wasn't a goober enough when he gets something like this he really turns into a puppy.

Gotta love him.

Welcome To Our Pool

We picked up a pool today while at the toy store. Great, now all the neighbors and our friends are going to want to come over just so they can use the pool. OK, maybe not since it's barely ankle deep but the kids will enjoy it, especially if the heat that we experienced today continues. We put water in while the kids napped and it didn't get anywhere near what I thought would be warm enough for them later but apparently they didn't care. Gabe was up first and said he only wanted to put his feet in then promptly fell in. Funnily his first words were a request for new clothes. Funny, but not unusual for him really. Then Zion woke and wanted to join in the fun. We took her leggings off and just let her splash around in her dress and, in true Zion style, she couldn't get enough and didn't want to get out. I even dipped Gideon's feet in but if the pouty face he put on right away was any indication he did not appreciate it at all. I'm sure he'll enjoy it next year. These are my favorite pictures from today.
Oops, fell in!
Zion says "yeah!!!"
and also "weeeee!"

Splash, splash, splash!

My cactus' bloom first thing in the morning with the light coming through the window. Pretty.

Here's the Calendula that I was given by the MOPS table leader leader (no, that's not a typo, she leads the table leaders) at the last MOPS meeting.

Two-Months Old!

Our beautiful little boy turned two months old today. There's not much that you can say about babies at this age. He's cute, he smiles a lot, he sleeps pretty well, he's learning how to chew on his own fist, he loves to try to copy you when you talk to him. He's starting to get more hair finally and has the softest peach fuzz that appears that it will be brown but it's still a little on the light side so it's hard to tell. His two-month check up is on Monday. I'll give a weight update then.

Fun and Pancakes

Friday I got brave and decided to see if I could cut Gabe's hair while Gideon was being happy on his play mat. Despite Gabe's insistence that you can't cut hair outside I made him sit on one of the kitchen stools on our patio and started in on his overgrown mop. Of course, Gideon didn't stay happy and started to cry before I finished even when I moved him to the swing outside. Then Zion started flipping out over bugs outside and then fell on the patio (didn't even get a scratch) so whilst I am snipping away as fast as I can two of my three kiddos are screaming for me. I'm a bit surprised the neighbors didn't call the police for all the noise. Well, I must cut well under pressure because his hair turned out fairly well. I told him that since he sat so well he could pick what we had for lunch fully expecting him to choose peanut butter and jelly sandwiches like he always does. This day he surprised me and picked chocolate chip pancakes. Well you should never say they can pick if you're not prepared to follow through so I made chocolate chips pancakes for lunch. I can't say that I didn't enjoy them myself.

Today we surprised Gabe with a trip to Toys 'R Us for a special Thomas the Tank Engine event that they had today. He got to color and play with trains (yeah, like he doesn't get to do that otherwise) and picked up some new tracks for his GeoTrax set - elevated ones! He wore his new Thomas shirt that Jamie brought on Wednesday that has a button you push sewn inside that makes train noises.

Fashion Diva

My sister and I got to hang out a little last week. She came over Wednesday and showed up with a bag of clothes for the kids and then Thursday us girls, including Zion, and Gideon got to go shopping. It is amazing to see how much Zion loves clothes and shoes. She's not even two yet!

When we shopped on Thursday I could hardly keep her in the stroller and when let out she went crazy looking at all the clothes and picking some off the shelves and trying others on - all things that were my size. That was nothing, however, compared to her excitement when we got to the next store and she saw the shoe section. My goodness, we almost didn't get her out of there. As it was she was really quite unhappy with me that I made her leave.

On Friday when I got Zion up I showed her one of the new dresses from my sister and asked if she wanted to wear and she shouted joyfully "'weet!" which means sweet! Then today she got to wear the other new one with white tights today. That outift seemed to have been made to go with the new ballet flats that I bought her the other day. Perfect!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Flashback Friday

I thought it would be fun to take a step into the past. This is Gabe when he was a little over 3 months old, so about May of 2004. Rob and I joke that this is how we knew that he was ready to try solid foods. He was a great little eater back then and stayed that way until he was about 1 1/2. Then he went from one extreme to the other and to this day practically subsists on what he can glean from the air. His hair was so short at this age and always stuck up. I thought he looked like a startled bird most of the time. A very cute startled bird of course.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

It's Real Life

OK, I'm addicted. It only took once and now I can't stop. Here's my "It's Real Life" for this Thursday. First, if you click on the It's Real Life badge it will take you to the originator's blog so that you can participate if you want.

Here's what you do: To participate you simply to take pictures at any given time of some things around your house. The catch is you can't primp, preen or otherwise prepare the area to make it seem better than it is.

Curb Appeal - I tried to get creative and take a picture of the house in the reflection of the car window but that works best when the car is clean so I threw in a "regular" picture too.
Junk Drawer - This is the closest thing that I have to a junk drawer and it mostly just has pens. I have a junk "box" in the laundry room that holds our batteries, miscellaneous tools, masking tape etc etc etc.From whence I blog - My Precious. My Woobie. My laptop. Seriously if my Woobie ever dies you can find me curled up in the fetal position sucking my thumb probably under the kitchen table. It's on the end table next to "my spot" on the loveseat so I can access my e-mail while nursing. You can also see the ginormous water bottle that I got in the hospital when I delivered Gideon. I still use it. I drink a lot and hate having to get up to refill a regular glass. If you look real hard you can see the little green squirt bottle that I use to spritz the cats when they are naughty. Yep. That's the kind of girl I am.Favorite Jewelry - Of course it's probably my wedding ring but my lazy side (and busy side) won out. The wedding ring is upstairs in my bathroom but my other favorite piece of jewelry is around my neck. So here is my "push present". The gift that Rob got me when Zion was born. It's her birthstone, an opal. My best feature - Well, based on how often I'm whippin' one out lately to nurse Gideon you'd think it was my boobs and they may be depending on who you ask but I'll keep it clean and say my hair. It's really hard to take a picture of your own hair when you don't want to use a mirror.

Bad Day

Yesterday I struggled. I did not sleep well the night before. Gideon suddenly turned into the kind of baby that won't let you put them down and won't sleep unless being held. Anytime I tried he would scream like someone was jabbing him with pins. Zion did this for about the first six months of life so Gideon doing this filled me with a sense of dread. Zion thought it would be a good day to practice Extreme Tantrum: Home Version. She had massive fits about everything! She also much enjoyed torturing Gabe regarding his trains so he was driven to tears and fits as well. By the time it was time to make lunch I couldn't hold back the floodgates anymore. I sat on the couch and bawled. I fixed lunch and bawled. I patted the baby and bawled. I told Zion to go play and - you guessed it, bawled. For the first time since we received the call that Rob was being mobilized I felt like I would not be able to handle his being gone. I felt like not having him come home at the end of the day was the end of the World. Even now thinking about it and I can feel tears coming to my eyes. I ended up putting Zion down before she even finished her lunch. Obviously she needed the sleep (wish I could take a nap). Gideon rested even if it had to be in my arms, at least he wasn't screaming. And after my tears had mostly dried I saw Gabe slip out the back door. I thought to myself that it was odd because he always asks to go outside and play. A minute or two later he appeared with a fistful of my mini-roses and told me he had picked them to make me feel better. Little does he know that when you pick a mommy a flower, she'll ask you for a Kleenex because it is most assuredly going to make her cry. Somehow I managed to hug him and thank him without losing it because I knew that he would think that I was sad again and not happy. Today I received a reminder via another mom's blog to go to The Word. Yesterday I prayed through tears but I didn't pick up my Bible even though it was only about two feet away. Big mistake. I should know better. Today, if it happens again I'll do better. Nothing like The Psalms to remind you that you're not alone and that God does not get deployed. He can't physically help bathe the kids when I'm exhausted yet He does not leave me to fend for myself.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

About A Boy

Sometimes I feel like Gabe gets the short end of the stick sometimes when it comes to mention on the blog. I know this isn't true since if look at the labels list his number is pretty big, but it can feel that way. Especially when I intend to include a picture and blurb about him in a post and forget. So this post is all about Gabe.
Gabe and I took a moment yesterday to play Curious George Uno while Zion napped. It is difficult to play any game with her awake because she's a little thief and steals the pieces. Today though we played Chutes and Ladders on the swing outside and though she stole one of the markers for her own she pretty much let us play two games without completely upsetting the game board.
Continuing on the game theme, her he is with bedhead playing Super Mario Brothers on the Nintendo DS. He's gotten quite good at playing and is allowed twenty minute increments to play. (Except I often forget to check the clock and he gets more - what else is summer for?)
Tonight was GeoTrax time while my sister visited (his favorite person). I was sitting at the opposite end of the train table, viewing him through "Grand Central Station". GeoTrax are cool because you can play using the remote or push them manually. The new trains have reverse as well and they offer some less expensive ones that don't have a remote at all.
Old Rust is in the station!
This isn't a new picture but it's one of my favorites of Gabe and his trains. With him, it's all about the trains.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

More Fun Times

The other day I discovered that one of my cactus plants had bloomed. Don't be impressed. I'm entirely convinced now that the key to getting blooms is sheer neglect including but not limited to completely forgetting to provide water for weeks at a time. I used to be able to grow anything - seriously anything and got considerable enjoyment from eking life out of the tiniest cutting or seed. Now I tend my babies and have no regrets there but lately I have been missing having the fresh herbs for my kitchen among other things. I did try to grow parsley and chives on my window sill but the chive seeds never sprouted and the parsley died for lack of watering. You're seeing a theme here? Me, too. Yesterday I started over and hope that I'll remember to water this time. Someday I would like to have a raised bed in the yard and grow more herbs, garlic, tomatoes and pumpkins and things. First I need to figure out how to finance my little dream and second I need to figure out how to keep the animals out of it. Who knows when either of those things will happen.

However, a few weeks ago another mom in my MOPS group passed out some pepper starters. I got a Hungarian Hot Wax. The name makes me think that it belongs in a Harry Potter book. I can even here Professor Dumbledore announcing (think Tri-Wizard Cup here) "... and Harry will be going against the Hungarian Hot Wax." Anyway, it's been weeks now and not only is my little start still alive but it's thriving and getting tall! So Friday I transplanted it to a large pot for my patio and Sunday Gabe and I planted carrot seeds around it. Not just any carrots though but multi-colored carrots! Red, yellow, white and purple in addition to orange. I am so excited to watch them grow. That is if I can keep Zion from digging them back up. I had to hide her play shovels after she saw me planting in the pots. She really likes to dig, give her gravel, sand, anything and a shovel and away she goes. Someday I will be able to take advantage of that I'm sure -especially if I do somehow get my little garden going.


We were so blessed to receive one of my very good friend's Erika and her mom, Jo for dinner on Sunday. They brought the food and cooked for us here, a belated congrats-for-the-new-baby meal. They tried to do this once before but we had to turn them away because of Zion getting the puking flu. I have known Erika since elementary school and call Jo my "Other-Mother". They are both very dear to me. It was lovely to catch up and also give them time to get to know the kids a bit since we live far enough apart that we don't get to see them regularly. Zion was quite taken with Jo, they had some very fun moments and I was quite pleased to catch one of these moments on "film".


Saturday we had the opportunity to visit with a friend of mine from way back. She and her husband had the chance to live in Afghanistan for 4 years before recently returning to the states so we picked her brain for a while. So we learned that Shalom alekem (I have no idea if that is spelled correctly) is the traditional greeting, that Rob should never touch a woman or take their picture and that he should never call someone a dog (which they consider the lowest of low) unless he no longer values his life. My friend helped Rob get an idea of some cultural ideals and behaviors that he can expect and also let him know that the first few times he eats at a local market that he can expect to get an upset stomach. She also showed us some fantastic pictures of people and places and a map of where they were and where we think Rob will be. And, drum roll please - we think right now that he will be located in Asadabad.

While we chatted the kids played. My friend's daughter was much infatuated with Gideon. She just turned two so is a little older than Zion and they both seem to share the same motherly affection for babies. Gabe had a good time playing with the little girl's Mega Blocks and then retired to an armchair to play his Leapster.

It was really nice to talk to someone who has been there to learn about the country and people and receive the added bonus of reassurance that my friends felt a lot safer there than the news portrays.

Monday, June 23, 2008


Oh my goodness, what do I write? It's been only a few days and yet I feel so far behind. At the same time I don't know where to start or what to write. It's a good thing I have pictures to remind me what I've been doing for the last few days. Oh yes, that's right. Friday after Rob got home from work we (he mostly) put together the swing we got for our patio!!! I can't tell you how excited I am about this. I have wanted a patio/garden swing since before I had a patio or a garden and prior to purchasing it, we didn't actually have anywhere to sit outside except on the steps to the backdoor - too hard. To me such a thing has seemed such a luxery but now I have my very own outdoor swing - and it seats three! Which means that even when Rob and I are sitting on it the kids still fit (for now). I'm hoping that it will turn out to be a nice place for me to hang out with Gideon while Gabe and Zion play outside this summer. If summer ever, ever comes to Washington this year. Today my swing turned three days old and it's already been rained on. :(
Friday morning Zion found a headband that came with one of her outfits. It was a little loose for her head so she wore it as a scarf instead. It was so cute to see her do this and she ended up wearing it for about half the day. It's a good thing that she has her own sense of style and fashion because I have very little.

I also put a little "side pony" in her hair. It didn't quite look how I'd intended or have seen on other little girls but I'm new at the whole doing-her-hair thing. I'll get better, I promise. It only lasted until naptime anyway. I put her down with it and Rob got her up and it was gone. Hmm?

Gideon is a very smiley little guy. His favorite times are when we just sit and smile and talk to him and he smiles and "talks" back. It does not take much to get him to grin and he honestly does try to laugh. Not much sound comes out but still, he's laughing. I can tell.

Finally, we are outside (I meant to get pics of Rob building the swing but ended up dropping my camera in order to pick up Gideon a lot earlier than I'd hoped). This is my mini-rose. It's quite pretty. When you ignore the black spot, aphids, and other buds that have rotted on the stem because of our horrible weather. Absolutely lovely.
Gideon had to wear one of Gabe's hats. We had him in the shade but it was still a bit bright for his new baby eyes. I think he really liked it. Or maybe he just doesn't have the motor control to knock it off yet. Either way, he was cute.Zion had her own hat to wear. She loves hats. And shoes and coats and socks and clothing in general.Maisy, AKA FatCat, up on the fence. I think she has lost weight since our summer-in-name-only has come. The weather is at least nice enough for the cats to get out and play. I don't know where she ends up either but we can't keep a collar on her. So if you find an empty cat collar with a tag that says "Maisy" on it please call so I can pick it up, it's getting really expensive to replace her collar and tag every time she loses them. *sigh* This is our polydactyl cat, by the way. That means she has extra toes. One of these days I'll post a picture of her feet. They're huge! She has six toes on each foot that is six more toes total than a "normal" cat has. We joke that she makes up for Ben's lost toes since he is missing a leg. Together they even out.And last but not least the photo to represent Friday is of Towzer. He's gotten a little portly since Gabe was assigned the chore of feeding the dog. We have a measuring cup that Gabe is supposed to measure up to two cups twice daily for him but Gabe gets a little lax in the measuring and fills it over the top which is more like 2 1/2 cups twice a day. It's starting to show. I guess I'm not the only one in the house anymore who could benefit from a treadmill.

Alright, ladies and gents, it's getting late so I'll have to blog about the rest of our weekend later. Ta ta for now!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

It's Real Life

Found this tonight. It's late. I'm exhausted. And I'm going to do it anyway. I'm to take pictures of the following things without altering their state or the photo taken. Here goes.

My Fridge - Typical mess on the outside but actually mostly tidy on the inside. Big ol' pan of enchiladas that a friend surprised us with the other day thawing on the middle shelf.

My sink - fairly good really. A few dishes used late tonight and a milk jug needing to be rinsed and put in the recycle. All things for the morning, otherwise, clean. Wow!

My laundry - Actually it's still Rob's laundry until he gets deployed. Here's the pile waiting to be folded tonight. I meant to go back and shoot a pick of the actual laundry room but forgot until I was already downloading my pics.

A closet - This is our hall closet. Lots of winter coats that are getting far too much use this summer - Arg! It's also where Gabe can go to raid the games and puzzles when he wants to play.

My toilet - the downstairs 1/2 bath toilet.

What my kids are doing now - sleeping. All three of them. At least until we try to go to bed and then Gideon will wake to nurse. At least he's quick about it. :) I can't believe that I was brave enough to open Zion's door for her pic. She is such a light sleeper you don't dare do that usually but I cracked the door and got it with my zoom.




Self portrait - Ugh! I can't believe I'm posting this. It's awful.

My favorite shoes - hard to do right now since I'm in one of those I-hate-everything-I-own moods but I wear these the most - until the weather warms up at least.

My favorite room - this one was tough. This isn't the room that I spend the most time in but it was intended to be a nice sitting room for when we have visitors or to have some quiet time. As you can see, despite what I'd intended, it's where the kids play and Gabe has even built a "tent" in the corner. And we were out late tonight so they didn't pick up their toys before bed.

Cool, now you've seen me in "real life".