Monthly Archives: August 2011

Another Condo Life Challenge

One of the greatest challenges facing us this year is adding a fourth child without adding any additional housing or storage space.  They should really make reality shows about this kind of stuff.  Actually, they probably do and I’m just blissfully unaware of it. 

By the way, in case you hadn’t guessed it yet, this is another post on our condo life.  Remember the “1100 square feet and counting…” thing?   

After wracking my brains for how to increase storage space without decreasing square footage … with a plan that did not use any of the following: 1) dynamite, 2) excavation, or 3) possibly more dynamite … I came up with something that I pitched to the “Head of the House” (he’s the head, I’m the neck … or at the moment, the double chin) as a viable solution.  In other, related news … thank God for IKEA. 

Step One (no, this is not a song by The Fray): we did a complete and  introspective soul-search (“Are we really ever going to read that book to the kids again?  Do they ever play with that toy?”) and with the heightened sense of self-awareness did a thorough clean-out for our donation center of choice.  I, for one, feel much better about myself now. 

This picture (taken during the clean out phase) shows the damaged toy/book shelf and the super-damaged college dorm-style blocks I’d been using for Chase’s clothes.  Parenting note: never use dorm-style blocks.  Your kids will try and pull them apart despite the severe warnings to the contrary that you repeatedly give, and then, if the blocks restack and stand at all, it will be at an annoyingly drunken angle due to bent plastic pieces.  Hypothetically speaking, that is.

Step Two:  Next we picked the storage unit.  (again, see: Thank God for IKEA)  While the bedrooms here are larger than many, we absolutely can’t fit four (or even three!) dressers in them.  And, even if we could fit that number of dressers, we currently use the bedroom as book and toy storage space, so we would lose that entirely.  Enter the awesome shelving unit …

 [Seen here still in the boxes.  Please feel free to note all the lovely piles on the top bunk and well, pretty much everywhere else in the picture. ]  The two units will take the place of the damaged book/toy shelf, the disorderly (and leaning) dorm blocks, and a gorgeous vintage roll-top dresser that I am loathe to part with.  Luckily, it isn’t going very far … just across town to my parents house.  And luckily, due to a slight project error (It takes how long to do how much?) and my husband’s work schedule, I haven’t had to part with it at all yet as it’s still in my living room.

Classy, huh?  There’s a small part of me that feels like there should be a red-neck “dresser in the living room” joke somewhere.  Don’t know why, but I do feel that there should.

Step Three: We repaired the damaged shelf from the bedroom and put it in place of this lovely pairing in the living room.  Finally!  A place to put paperwork, school books, and craft supplies … other than the dining room table.  Again, hypothetically speaking, of course … my dining room table is always … eh, forget it … I can’t even type the sentence with a straight face. 

Before:  The Louis chair grouping. .. This is my husband’s throne chair.  True story.  Sorry about the dark and blurry quality.  I do that on purpose so you can’t see how dusty my house is.  If it weren’t blurry, you’d see a cardboard box under the chair that (up until this project) housed all the craft supplies.  Yes, we’re so childproof and no, I did not spend half of any at home day trying to keep Chase out of the finger paint.  Not.  (is it too soon to bring “not” back?)

After Ah, blissful organization!  As my father would always say: “A place for everything, and everything in it’s place”. 

Step Four:  The assembly of bedroom storage units.  (see also: My Husband is Awesome)  The goal is clothes on the top and toys/books on the bottom.  We’re still breaking in the sliding boxes in only a few places …not sure if we like them completely, but you still get the idea …

If you’re visualizing the “before”, this is the exact wall featured in the shelving disaster with piles and dorm blocks picture I posted higher up.  (and by the way, all those green fabric boxes on top of the shelf are where I keep all my cloth diapering items)

And this, is where my beautiful dresser (which, just as a reminder, is still in my living room) used to be. 

Epilogue: We increased actual space in the living room with the installation of the previously damaged/now repaired shelf and we close to doubled the space in the bedroom for clothes, toys and books.   Oh, and for the curious/non-Ewoldt house-visiting among you, the sleeping situation will read one bunk bed, one standard size crib, and one super tricked-out pac ‘n’ play (tricked-out = it has a mattress and is set up like a mini crib).

So this, my friends, is how we plan to put four children in one room and survive.  You know … until the housing market gets more encouraging or Chase goes to college … whichever comes first.  Haha …

Any tips, tricks or suggestions?  Please feel free to pass them along!  I’m always in search of how to do this condo life even better and more efficiently.

Weekend in The ‘Wauk

My wonderful husband and I celebrate our anniversary in the Fall and due to school starting and babies, and school starting and babies (it feels like a lot more than it actually is; trust me), we took a weekend away a little earlier this year. 

Why do we take time away even in this crazy season of life?  Because a couple we greatly love and respect told us to.  When we were first married, they counseled us to make a habit of and fight for going away regularly to be just the two of us … and to start early lest we turn around having passed 10 years with nothing more than a “Hey, we should really get away some time.”  We never go anywhere exotic or super exciting, but it’s us … and it’s rest … and it’s no kids. 

Speaking of kids; my parents (despite what I may otherwise intimate at times) are heros!  Heroes … and the keepers of our sanity.  …wow, never thought I’d say that about the ‘rents.   My 15 year old self would be greatly surprised.

Anyway, this time we escaped to …[drum roll please] … Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Will somebody please explain to me why I feel the need to apologize for Milwaukee?  Somehow it’s synonomous with something uncool in my head … which is not at all the real-life case.  Maybe it’s the name?  Or the association with cheese and brats?  At any rate, The ‘Wauk (as I prefer to call it at this moment) is the town that surprises you, and they have a great Third Ward (see Chicago’s North Side for reference) even if you do want to choke on all the Packers’ references and collectibles that are EVERYWHERESidenote:  I think every other street is named “Green Bay Something or Other” or named for an NFL player or coach.  We were also subjected to a documentary on the making of the cheesehead hat (and how there is apparently one in the Smithsonian now).  It’s everywhere, it’s crazy … I don’t get it.  But then again, the last time my NFL team of choice won the Super Bowl was 1985.  Ahem, moving on …

Some random things about our time away:

  • Small irony of our hotel … last year, there was a conference / job fair for the rehabilitation of convicts.  This year, there were dual conferences for women in law enforcement and an academy of forensics.  Ah, irony.  It’s the little things that tickle my fancy.
  • Also, go here:

Here = Alterra on the Lake.  A beautifully refurbished old building right off the Lake that sells a Starbuck’s-kicking coffee.   This was also right across the street from the central stage beach for the city’s annual Air and Water show on Saturday.  Nothing like a relaxing latte over the scream and afterburn of an F-16 fighter jet right out your window.  …really opens the mind to reflection and meditation, I’m sure.  

 

 

 

  • Also, here:

Here = a place called Amy’s Gourmet Chocolates in Cedarburg (just north of Milwaukee … a please that will make you think the 1950s still exist somewhere).  Their apples will make you call your Mama.  I actually have no idea what that should even mean, but they’re good.  So good that Bob and I don’t share. 

  • The East Side of The ‘Wauk is as close to the West Coast as I’ll be this summer.  There was an open air market outside a great organic restaurant where you could buy soaps, hand-made jewelry, books and vintage fabrics while a guy with a guitar sang about how you can’t get from Milwaukee to Madison by train (a political protest song regarding the Republican governor’s recent decision to table a city-to-city rail plan).  And every once in a while, vendors and patrons alike would look up at the sound of the planes from the air show on the beach and cringe at the thought of war machines.  
  • In addition to all the relaxing we did, we both had a chance to work on some blog ideas.  True story:

This is how we roll.  Classy, huh?  Bob was perfectly comfortable with his technocological self.  His wife (no names mentioned to protect the paranoid) spent much of our tech time worrying that the other patrons of the coffee house would think we were taking over the world with all the computers lying around.  Apparently I think we look more like super spies than super nerds.

All the shanigans aside, being just the two of us for the weekend was wonderful.  So, whether it’s establishing a regular date night, or an annual getaway, I cannot encourage you enough to try this out.

Have a cool marriage renewing vacation tradition?  Please share!

The July That Wasn’t

July 2011 was going to be about recovering and preparing for the Fall.  We had a wonderful time with family and summer activities throughout June and July was to be the recuperation month.  But it didn’t happen… which is completely fine because we ended up having much more fun the way it went down.

This is my sister Abby and her husband Trevor. 

They live in Maine.  Someday, I will write about her unusual wedding -which may or may not have been in a remote location in North Carolina and may or may not have involved me holding a shot gun in a bridesmaid’s dress, or not jumping up and down like a complete dork- but for today, I will tell you that they live in Maine and they are preparing to go to Kenya as missionaries, which is where Trevor grew up.  Trevor is my African brother-in-law … of this, I am quite proud. 

I’m also very proud of Abby who is carrying her first child: due about 6 weeks after my 4th.  I’m a little less proud of how totally un-pregnant she looked in July.  This is most likely due to her sick enjoyment of working out and running marathons.  (I sometimes ponder how genetically connected we truly are)

Along with her delusions of fitness and health, she is clearly struggling with hormones during pregnancy because she likes the name “Elvis” for her unborn son.  I prefer to call my in-utero nephew “Thing 1”.  Po-tay-to; po-tah-to … you know?

During the two and a half weeks they were here, Trevor built bookcases for my parents’ living room.  This was a source of CONSTANT joy to my boys as there was a steady stream of tool-usage all over the house.  (They remain both petrified and enthralled by the screech of a circular saw)  Not that they needed any further reason to be in love with their Uncle Trevor … Uncle T is their motivational force on almost everything.  Standing over six feet tall, he is a monument of … well, incredible tallness to both my little midgets.  A standard conversation in our house goes like this:

“Bud, you have to eat your beans.”

“I don’t want to!”

“But they’re healthy and they’ll make you grow big and strong!”

“Big and strong like Uncle Trevor?”

As a parent, it is very hard not to use this weakness in them (Aidan especially) as an excuse to get them to do, well, anything“But, I’m sure Uncle Trevor would eat this”, or “Uncle Trevor would wear shorts like that”, or “Uncle Trevor would never talk to his Mommy that way”.  Don’t worry, I said it was hard; but impossible.  To date, I have never used this paragon of brother-in-law-hood to talk my kids into doing anything other than eating their vegetables … and getting their hair cut … and maybe once I got Aid to wear his camo pants because it was the only pair I had for him at the moment.  But that’s it, I promise!

Sidenote:  Aidan also asks me if he’ll someday be as big and strong as his Aunt Meg (my diminutive, loud-mouthed, 5 foot tall sister) … not sure at ALL where that one comes from.  And Meg, if you’re reading this, I apologize for slightly mis-representing you … I know you’re really a little over 5 feet tall.  (insert snide older sibling laugh here)

Here are a few pictures …

My sister is a great photographer.  The kids especially love that she lets them take pictures with her camera.  …something their own kill-joy of a mother rarely lets them do.

We spent a lot of time outside, both running through the sprinkler and swimming.  While searching through the garage for appropriate outdoor toys, Aidan found this car brush … which -not knowing what a car brush is- he referred to as his “toothbrush”.  …wow, so close … and yet so far.

How many small children can YOU fit in one paddle pool?  In other news: Darcy is the best and most patient older sister ever.

This was captured just seconds before Aidan put the bucket over his head, tripped over the side of the pool, and unceremoniously fell in.  If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a hundred time, but in light of this photo, I think it bears repeating … he might not be college scholarship material.  I’m just sayin’…

Here is Uncle T working on the bookshelves in the driveway.  Sidenote: like many craftsmen (is it part of their union contract?), he listened to the radio for background noise much of the time, and I can honestly say I’ve never heard anyone who could cover so many Bon Jovi songs … in a falsetto voice.  Hey, T, if that whole wood-working thing doesn’t work out, you might have a back-up plan…

And finally, here is my father … pretending to work on the bookshelves with Trevor.  If you don’t automatically get Village People’s “Macho Man” in your head when you view this; you should.

Just a few brief glimpses into our fun July.  At some point, I will print a retraction and/or full apology for the last image shared. 

Family is the best. 

Wow, and I still have the chorus to “Macho Man” in my head … wonder how long that’s gonna last …

State of the Cloth (the flagrant epilogue)

If you missed my cloth diaper “State of the Union” last week, you can read it here.

At the time, I thought it would be a great idea to capture a picture of the boys in their cloth diapers now to put alongside their original “cloth babies” photo – which headed last week’s post.  But I ran into a slight hiccup.  (please interpret “slight” however you’d like)

The boys don’t sit still.  Done.  Period.  End of sentence. 

I know they will one day, but they do not now. 

Don’t believe me?  Here are my best attempts (best = no other adults present and no candy bribes) to put them back on the love seat for an updated picture … please, have a little laugh at my expense.  I did.

One “normal”; one blur…

The most “normal” of any picture taken that day.  Oh, and please note the almost total obstruction of the subject (read: the child OR the cloth diaper) by his security blanket. (which -if I have not previously mentioned it- goes by the manly name of “LaLa” … yes, you heard me.)

I’m thinking of titling this composition “Blurs on a Couch“.  It’s either that, or “Flagrant Disobedience to the ‘Don’t Climb on the Back of the Couch’ Rule” … I can’t decide.  Maybe I’ll just go with “The Disobedient Blur” … although, I do so like the use of the word “flagrant” … it suits the boys so well. 

And there you have it … Ewoldt family living at some of it’s most “interesting”. 

Maybe I should have tried a candy bribe … or, super glue and I get to eat the candy.

On the bright side, you know I’m not kidding when I say our cloth diapers hold up.  As you can see, they are “tested” in a “variety” of “scenarios” … no, make that “flagrant scenarios”. 

Now I’m officially done with this topic for a while (diapers, not flagrancy). 

The End.

A Wednesday in December

Wednesday: the first week in December, 2006

I walked out the door to the babysitters with a heavy heart.  I could still hear Darcy screaming inside, but there was nothing else I could do.  Not quite 8:00 AM; it had been an insane morning already!  My mom had been suffering shortness of breath for a several weeks and was in the hospital for heart tests that day — a thought that I was trying desperately hard not to consider the ramifications of as she was Darcy’s primary care giver when I worked — so I had to get Darcy to somebody else’s house, and get her settled and still get to work on time. 

There seems to be an unwritten law of human nature that it’s the morning you most need things to go smoothly that they absolutely do not.  Late alarm, crabby child, one too many stop lights, the necessity of a different babysitter, an early meeting at work, and the far too common freight train blocking the only road I could get to work by.  On top of the full and difficult morning, it was also the week of the Christmas concert, so I had two rehearsals before Sunday.  By the time I finally sat down at my desk to work that Wednesday, I could feel the tension in my temples.  Great, just great.

I was in the process of scrolling through all the morning’s emails when I saw something from Bob.  Smiling at what was sure to be an interesting and encouraging diversion, I opened it.  The email covered a variety of topics … his years spent in Africa, his parents continued ministry there, and a few other topics random topics.  However, the last paragraph was anything but ordinary.  I stopped, read, and re-read… He asked if his friendly email banter was bothering me, and then …”I want to ask you out on a date…”

He went on to outline how he didn’t know where I was at or if I was potentially already in a relationship with somebody else, but he had put his intentions very clearly.  He wanted to go on a date.  As I write this now, it seems ridiculous that I could have been so unaware of his intentions at the time, but I was …and so I was shocked, and not at all sure how to respond.  My eyes focused on the last line “…so feel free to slap me down” …

I couldn’t handle this today.

But how could I not handle it?  I was going to see Bob at the concert rehearsal that night!  There was no escaping this.

A little annoyed at his insensitivity (How could he not know what a crazy day I’m having?”), I shelved the email, determining to come back to it later that day. 

Later on, I called my mom to see how the tests had gone.  She explained to me through a fog of drugs that the tests went well and that the results were encouraging.  I’d never heard my mom so … high.  However, she wasn’t so drugged that she didn’t question the strain she heard in my voice.  Moms are special that way.  Responding to her query, I mentioned the email I’d received. 

Should I?

Why not?  He’s a nice guy.  Just don’t keep him waiting.

Don’t keep him waiting.  Thanks, Mom. 

I silently wished that I had more time.  Maybe I could stall just a little bit.  Not to a mean or cruel level, just to an “I need to catch my breath” level…

I emailed him back later in the day with a polite acknowledgement of his question and the response that “maybe we can grab coffee sometime”.  Not quite a slap down, but at least a slight stall that could save rampant awkwardness at the rehearsal.

I should have known better … characteristic of a trait I now greatly respect in Bob, he demanded the same upfront behavior of me that he did (and does) expect of himself… 

The reply to my email was almost immediate:

“So … was that a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’?”

So much for my stalling technique …

A Crafty Moment

I’m not a crafty or artistic person, but there are certain times that an idea comes into my head that I cannot banish until I’ve completely worked it out.

Such was the case this week …

Aidan has a little throw pillow he sleeps with, but it presents a constant problem for me.

1. It’s ugly (originally an old decorative pillow from my bed that ended up being neither decorative nor functional, it adorned the top of the wardrobe ’til Aidan found use for it)

2. It doesn’t have an easily removeable / child-proof slip cover for cleaning.

Up until now, I’ve always covered it with the smallest sham cover I had (which was still 6-8 inches too big all around … and made it even MORE ugly) just so that I had something to cover it, remove, and wash.  This week however, I had a the proverbial “light bulb”!

On my sewing desk, I have a couple badly ripped shirts of Bob’s just waiting to be repurposed.  They’re ripped in the arms (my husband; the Incredible Hulk) so the torso/body of the shirt is completely intact.  Not wanting to send my husband out to work like this … (not that Larry the Cable Guy doesn’t have his own unique style … I just don’t know if it would A) work on Bob, or B) work on Bob’s place of employment) …

…I decided that the shirt would make a great pillow cover.

 

 

I should warn you … I had no pattern, I measured no seams, and I don’t even think I cut in a straight line, so don’t look TOO closely. (actually, you can’t even if you wanted to because of the fuzzy/dark picture … oops … sorry)

*BEFORE*

Technical note: You may need to adjust the circumference of the torso, depending on the width of shirt and the size of your pillow.

*AFTER*

2nd Technical note: I made an executive decision (my favorite part about creating projects) to use the buttons to seal the cover and to leave the shirt in a very “shirt-like” (read: “authentic”) way even as a pillow case so that you can see part of a seam and a pocket:

Result? Aidan loves his old new “Daddy Pillow” and I finally have a good, removable, and washable cover! Added bonus: Aid always has something of his Dad’s very close to him.  Repurposing? Check.  Sentimental Value? Double Check.

The finished product: shown here with Charlie and “Didi” [pronounced “dih-dih”] … the other two items that never leave Aid’s side.

Final notes on the project: After over 24 hours of use, it has become apparent that having a pillow that buttons is also a really great way to teach your 2 year old how to button and un-button things (if they didn’t know already).  Apparently, it’s also an excellent place to store trains.  [True story: I found 3 small wooden trains and 4 pieces of track stuffed into it before his bedtime last night … now that would have made for a comfy sleep.]

Are you a repurposer of fabric?  I have a whole stack of items I’m just itching to find a use for — let me know some of your best / most fun projects!

Do You Know What Part You Sing?

“Do you know what part you sing?”

The conductor’s baton was leveled at me with a smug superiority; the voice was full of condescension as it assumed ignorance.

Nothing had been resolved with the question of the music intern and now, as I attended my first Christmas concert rehearsal in over a year, I was feeling rather self-conscious.  And I was not-a-little annoyed as he proceeded to single me out. What I wanted to do was stand up and say, “Listen here, Choir Boy, I’ve been in multiple choirs and have over a decade of music training to my name, but yes, I clearly need you to tell me where ‘middle C’ is!” But I swallowed what I wanted to say and just nodded.  His behavior only confirmed my perception of professional artists: condescending, snide, aloof.*

My sole (and disastrous) relationship had been with a concert pianist, and I was done (DONE!) with musicians.  As far as I was concerned, they were all terribly high-maintenance and not worth the trouble.

6 weeks later… “Facebook?  What’s Facebook?” At the sound of my question, my youngest sister Carrie snorted and replied, “What?  It’s, like, this ridiculous MySpace-thing, but it’s supposedly for college kids.  Why?  How did you hear about it?” The emphasis on the word “you” had the intended affect of making me feel every one of my 80 years. (at least, I’m pretty sure that’s how old my baby sister thinks I am) I stared back at the computer screen, again reading the Facebook invitation sent to me by Bob, the music intern.  (because his name was Bob, and I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned that in this story line before)  Initiating contact, even over the Internet, made me slightly nervous.  What was he up to?  But I was also curious.  Had he taken my e-mail off the choir list? Why?

2 weeks after that… having emailed each other several times (and having a newly established Facebook profile), I was coming around to the idea of Bob.  He was nicer than anticipated, and not as high-maintenance as I’d assumed.  We even had a lot in common!  I was happy to have made a new friend.

He was genuinely a nice guy, and he would undoubtedly make some nice girl a good husband at some point…


 

*Bob is always my editor on these life posts, and in reading this one, he would like me to specifically indicate to the reading audience that he feels he was not condescending or aloof in ANY way.

State Of The Cloth Union

Our one year cloth diaper anniversary occured some time in March; which was when I originally determined to write a post about this.  I thought about it all Spring, actually wrote my first draft in June … and now it’s August.  I’d love to say I was editing it especially for my readers, but I’ve already blog-confessed several times about my procrastinating ways, so I doubt anyone would believe me.

Aw, there are the little guys when we first started … I forgot how cute they used to be!  [mother moment]

Moving on … Here are my thoughts on cloth diapering after surviving it a whole year.

I have found cloth diapering to be intense and not unlike many relationships in life; a commitment that needs to weather the good, the bad, and the disgusting.  (that last word is more about the diapers and less about my relationships, FYI)

The Bum Rap: Many households have “stashes” that they add to over time.  Because my primary reason for getting into cloth was financial [3 children 3 and under in diapers; see also: complete insanity], I haven’t added a thing.  Confession: I’m still using the same 30-35 diapers I was when I started.  Bob and I researched the brands we liked, bought one or two of the top three and in settling on the Bum Genius One Size Pocket diapers, purchased the “Trusty Few”.  They’re still workin’ away.  Anyone want to guess how often I do a load of diapers?

The Equality of Detergents: Frankly, there isn’t an equality of detergents.  Repeat: detergents are not created equal.  To phrase it another way, there are certain kinds you SHOULD NOT USE!  (take it from someone who has mistakenly used most of the ones you should NEVER use).  After some pretty stinky trial and error and trying several all-natural (no “ites” or “ates” included) options, my favorite by far; and the most effective is Shaklee detergent and whitening powder.

Gathering of Information: So much of this process is subjective trial and error … your washer, your diaper brand, your kid’s waste, etc, etc.  I can’t and don’t presume to put myself in your shoes (I kinda like my own…) but two sites I’ve found super helpful are:

www.clothdiaperwhisperer.com

www.pinstripesandpolkadots.com (especially the detergent rating page!!)

In addition to these websites, nothing beats hearing real life stories, so, if you have people around you who are seasoned people of the cloth, sit at their feet and beg them for their wisdom.  Or, you know … do something less dramatic and sit down over coffee.  You know … whatever.

What About The … you know?!: The poop?  Yeah, it’s gross.  There’s no way around it.  It just is.  However, there are some ways to make it easier to handle.  For instance, this (a diaper sprayer): is a mad, crazy, awesome life saver.  There are a lot of accessories you can purchase if you decide to cloth diaper but this is something I would consider a necessity.  You’ll find a lot of wonderful tutorials online for its proper and non-spraying-all-over-your-bathroom usage, so I won’t waste your time with that here.  Haha, waste … get it?  Added bonus: it’s a great conversation starter as bemused house guests emerge from a first trip to your bathroom asking “What is that THING?”

What’s That Smell? :  Once of the biggest things I’ve battled is the “diaper smell” on my BGs even when they’re clean.  Playing with my detergent has helped a lot, as has a few extra rinses when I wash them.  Other than that, I’ve found that nothing beats a little fresh air and sunshine, so line dry your diapers as often as you can.

Energy What?: I’m still trying to figure out the “green angle” to this whole experience.  Yes, I am no longer a mass contributor to landfills, but honestly, there are days and seasons when I feel that the amount of extra spraying out, flushing, washing, and rinsing I do somehow rivals the water capacity of Niagra Falls and I’m left wondering how that is remotely good for the environment.  Ah well … if I ever meet Al Gore, I’ll ask him.

So these are my highlights to date.  There are so many blogs that address much more and in far greater depth, but this is based on what I do and it’s simple.  It needs to be simple for me right now.  I greatly admire those on a grand cloth quest, but I am not one of them.  This is a stage where I need things to be easier, not more involved, and that in and of itself is one great beauty of cloth diapering: it can be as simple or involved as you choose to make it.

Goals: What are my goals for next year?  With the addition of another infant in the Fall, I hope to report that the cloth is still working, that I still have the same diapers, and that I’ve found the perfect overnight insert combo that no longer leaks … EVER.  If I can do that, I just may run for president.

God bless you, and God bless America.

[Sorry, I just couldn’t resist]

Have a cloth diaper question to ask or an experience to share?  Please comment!  I’d love to hear from you.

Lost In Translation

The problem with even the most learned and verbose 2 year old seems to be the epic gap between what you tell them and what they repeat to others.  Clarification: NOT qualifying my son among the most learned … most verbose?  Possibly, but not so much with the smarts at this point.

Example of what I mean: an altercation between my boys this week …

Chase and Aidan had both been standing in the doorway of their room and Chase wanted to leave the room, so he did.  Problem: Chase is unaware of his size or anything he comes into contact with as he moves towards a desired goal.  Therefore, it’s not unusual for him to literally walk into, over, and practically through either of his siblings.  Aidan, perceiving a physical grievance (is accidental body slamming a grievance?) screamed and said “Chasey hit me!”.  Having seen the entire thing, I could vouch for Chase’s having NOT hit him, but rather steam-rolled him.  However, semantics are immaterial in the face of 2 year old indignation.  In other news, “hit” is apparently a term used for all physical contact.  [Must file that one away in the parental memory bank.]

Putting my best parental foot forward, I spoke with Aidan about how his brother hadn’t meant to hurt him…that it had been an accident, but that he could and should go and talk to Chase and tell him that he’d been hurt.  [Pretty sure all he heard was “Aidan, blah, blah, accident, blah, blah”] 

The next thing I heard was Aidan tracking Chase down in the living room for a brotherly confrontation: 

“Chase!”

“Uh!” [this is how Chase responds to Aidan screaming his name across the room – I think it’s a cross between “What do you want?” and “Really? If you wanted to talk to me, you’d come sit on me, so as you’re still across the room, I don’t care yet”]

“Chase, you are an accident!  Did you hear me, Chase?  You are an ACCIDENT!”

“Uh!”

Hmm, I think we missed something …

Family and Fun: The Rest of Our June

Yes, I did say “June”.  Someday, I’ll address my disappeared Summer in another blog, but not today. 

Here are some of the photos from the end of our June and our last couple days with Bob’s parents.  We loved our time at the arboretum!

“There are TADPOLES in here, Mom!”

Aidan and Chase had virtually no idea what tadpoles were before this day, but there was parental approval for getting dirty and wet in the stream, so they pretty much assumed that frogs are synonymous with heaven.

Aidan attempted several times to drink from the fresh water stream.  Darcy thought it was humorous.  Bob and I were just thankful it hadn’t occured to him to try it in the tadpole stream. 

 

“I go swimmin’ now.”  5 seconds before we read the “If your kid wears a diaper, don’t let them sit in the stream” sign.  Oops.

Splashing: Chase’s favorite water activity.  Heck, making that motion with his hands (or feet) is one of his favorite activites.  Period.  It works much better with water than it does with a peanut butter sandwich on a highchair tray.  I’m just sayin’ …

“Grandpa On Duty”

Chase sat down in a giant pile of mulch to eat his pretzel stick snack.  I feel more mentally secure as a parent if I assume in moments like this that YES, my child CAN tell the difference between a wood chip and a pretzel stick.  Though, who am I kidding?  It’s Chase.  He had a pretty high fiber diet that day. 

Last, I leave you with this … evoking all the beauty of Monet.  (the scene; not my amature photography)  Do I sound like an art snob?  On second thought, don’t answer that … just look at the pretty flowers.