Thursday, September 30, 2010


I've never linked up to this blog before, but I found the weekly activity through A Little Lilac. I am participating in Pixel Perfect Before/After because, well, my pixels are far from perfect. My subject matter though...pretty close :o)
Above is my SOOC (straight out of camera) shot. Below is my after.
I used a camera my husband got to bring home from his Evidence Tech. school. I messed around with it in Photoshop Elements (like the first version ever created). I am pretty much brand new to photo editing, but it is fun!. I sharpened the image, adjusted the saturation, and used the clone tool to take out the grass in the upper right hand corner. Not happy with how that turned out, but hey...I'm just learning!
Pictures of our trip to the zoo last weekend coming up ASAP...hopefully before we start a new weekend :o)

Monday, September 20, 2010


#1 is in an EV school to learn to be a better Evidence Technician for his department. He was enrolled in the school and attended one day back in the spring...but it was the day before Rosebud was born. He was really disappointed because he'd waited a long time to get into this particular school. They let him reschedule, and the past couple of weeks he has been attending. Along with attending, he gets to use some of their equipment...which includes a Nikon SLR digital camera...that is awesome.

So, while I have access...I am taking FULL advantage! Along with a fantastic camera, I also unearthed my laptop that does Photoshop Elements. That is about all that is loaded on that computer, and it is O L D...but wow has it been fun to play with!
I didn't use Photoshop with this picture...I might later. I love her eyes in it.
We went to an apple orchard today. My goal was to have the kids (and the Draycare kids) pick apples with which to make applesauce and take some pictures.

I found what appeared to be a great orchard online...only about 30 minutes from us and they advertised "pick your own".

Well, 30 minutes turned into closer to an hour with all of the construction traffic.

When we got there, they are no longer doing "pick your own". This past weekend was the last time for it...and apparently they only do it on the weekends...which they failed to put online.

We were not allowed to "see" any trees, but they did allow me to take as many photographs as I wanted right by the small store.

The kids were pretty disappointed, so we got back in the van and headed to a localish State park.

We had a picnic with us and I took some more photos of the kids individually as the rest of the kids enjoyed the playground.
I had purchased a bag of apples back at the orchard and each of the kids enjoyed one while I finished up with Rosebud's pictures.
All in all, not a bad day!

Saturday, September 18, 2010






What are YOU having for dinner? If you need some ideas, The Mommy Diaries has a "Menu Plan Menu" every Monday where you can get some ideas!

When we first discovered Little Monkey Man could have no wheat/gluten in his diet, it seemed like a life sentence. It isn't! Here he is having french toast for dinner. We use Red's Mill or Pamela's gluten-free baking mixes and he eats bread, muffins, cake, cookies, and pancakes.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Five Months Old

Hard to believe that Rosebud is 5 months old already! She was scheduled for a well-check, but I ended up calling and telling the office that both she and Little Monkey Man would be going in instead for a sick call. They both have bronchitis. Poor babies!

Rosebud the day she was born!
At her visit, she weighed in on their scale at 14.6 lbs. As I've said before, they weigh her fully clothed, but at home on the scale we've used since birth, she is 13.12-naked as a jaybird. Her length is 25 inches, same as what I had. She is still in the 50th % for both her length and head size, but has dropped in the weight percentile...50th to 35th.
One Month
A couple of weeks ago I noticed that my milk supply was low. She is perfectly happy to go several hours between feedings-something I should have been more aware of. I was busy busy and not paying great attention to how many times a day she was nursing. She was developing fine, and always a smiley happy girl, but I wasn't happy with her weight gain. Not that she was wasting away mind you. She just wasn't growing as quickly as before, and for a few weeks this summer she was in that pattern.
Two Months
I started encouraging her to nurse more frequently and started pumping after each feeding. I did that for a week. I noticed my supply go way up and she also has gained more weight in the past two weeks than she had in the entire month prior.

Three Months
Note that I am neither a medical professional or a lactation consultant...but I am not a big fan of scheduling (nursing) babies with regimented feeding/sleeping/play schedules. I think that they are growing and changing so fast any sort of "by the book" regimen doesn't do them a great service. Sure, they may sleep through the night faster...but the longer they sleep at night, the lower your milk supply. Feeding at night helps keep your supply up because the more you use, the more you make.

With my boys, I am all about schedules-they function better on them. Technically Rosebud is on a schedule, because our family gets up, eats, plays, and goes to bed at the same times pretty much everyday. She is part of our family, so that naturally falls into her routine too. However, if she isn't ready for bed when the boys are, that is fine. And if she wants to nurse every hour in the morning, that is fine too (albeit a little frustrating-doesn't happen very often).

Four Months

Now that she is gaining better again, I am back to letting her signal when she is hungry...but part of that is keeping her close so I can notice her cues. She can be very subtle and usually isn't too demanding. When she is demanding, it is usually because I have waited too long or ignored her cues. I don't feed "on demand"...I feed before demand.

Today...Five Months Old!
Next week when she goes back in for her vaccine (we only do one at a time and they are W A Y spaced out) she will be weighed and charted. As long as she keeps on her same curve, I could care less what the average baby is doing. The fact that she dropped off her curve some isn't great, but I knew that was going to happen.

We'll see what matter what she is a sweetheart, developing well, and such a joy to have.

Monday, September 13, 2010


I'm not a photographer. Amateur would not even begin to describe what I do. But when the kids were finger painting today I wanted to share the colorful results. I love love love color.
They love love love to get globs of finger paint (this is Crayola washable, and it is super washable, otherwise they'd have on smocks) and go to it. No lines, no rules...just paint and hands and paper.

Finger painting is this sensory boys' dream. He loves the squish and the stickiness. (His SPD* is sensory seeking, not sensory averting)

Smish-Smash-Slap, the colors all start to blend and flow.
I love how their hands become a tye-dye masterpiece, much like their papers.

And not to be left out, this girl just wears her painting for her (yet).

*Sensory Processing Disorder

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Where were you?

I was at home in Michigan. My college was starting in a couple of days, and I was enjoying a last day to sleep in. I got a call from my cousin Becky asking kinda panicky where my dad was.

My dad traveled quite a bit for his job, and although he was traveling, my fuzzy brain couldn't remember if he was driving or flying for that trip. And I couldn't figure out why she needed to know. He traveled all the time and I never got a phone call about it.

She told me to turn on the TV because one of the twin towers had been hit by an airplane. Ok, maybe I was dumb, but I had no idea what a twin tower even was. So I turned on the this point I can't remember if I actually SAW the second plan hit the second tower, or if it had just happened and they were re-playing it. It all happened so fast. I know I was watching when the news broke that the Pentagon had been hit.

I just kinda sat on the couch wrapped in a blanket...really confused...and really scared. I was so relieved when my dad called later that day to say that he was alright...but he had been about 30 minutes from the field where the plane crashed in Pennsylvania. He had driven that day.

Where were you on September 11?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A Little Sacrilegious...But...

My husband. My husband deals with many children on a daily basis. Not just ours, but others as well. And while we both love children (hence the three we currently have)...young children are challenging.

So the other day we are sitting out on the deck sharing a quiet moment together watching several small children run around the backyard with bats and hockey sticks and he turns to me. With a completely straight face he said to me "You know. If God really wanted Pharaoh to let the Israelites go the first time...he would have sent a swarm of pre-schoolers".

I about died. So I've been collecting some pictures to back up his not-so-Biblical-yet-kinda funny statement.
Things like Snug using this cone as a bull horn. Like he needs to be any louder.
Or this Draycare child trying to get this hockey stick stuck in our basketball hoopby throwing it in the air...when unsuccessful he decided to beat it against the pole. (Yes, yes, I stepped in...just had to get the picture.)

There's always driveway hockey...with a basketball.

Or the constant constant constant in and out of the house. For a drink. To go potty. To get their dirty little sandbox feet on the couch.
See the glass? Our broken microwave plate. Yeah, that can send a mom over the edge.

And the tears. Oh the tears.

Tears and time-0uts.

And this cookie tin which had eight sandwich creams...which someone (who will remain anonymous but cannot tolerate even a smidge of gluten) ate and then had diarrhea and all the fun that comes with it for a few days. The cookie tin had been on the back of the stove. Not sure how I didn't lose it-both upon discovery of him eating them in his bed (along with having a pair of scissors stashed in his mattress!) but with the diapers that followed.

There's regression into trying to be the baby...and getting all of the baby things dirty/lost/broken.

And there's jumping off a porch 100 times and hitting 2/3 of the parade goers as they walk by. Cause everyone loves a nearly 40 lbs kid hitting them without notice.
I am not even ready to blog about the BM and urine on my new IKEA rug.
Yep. A swarm of preschoolers really might have gotten Pharaoh to let them go early.
What has your preschooler done lately?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

21 Weeks Old

Today Rosebud is 21 weeks old. She weighs 13 lbs, 7 oz and is about 25 inches long. She can roll over both ways, but usually just from back to tummy. She can scoot and "swim" her way to most anything she really wants.
She is beginning to blow raspberries and babbles all the time.
She loves her toys and grabs for them and puts them right into her tiny toothed mouth.

She's not into stuffed toys quite yet, but loves blankets and her RENS from IKEA. It, like her wool diaper cover, are great because they are naturally anti-fungal and very soft to the touch.
So happy 21 week birthday baby. I love you so much.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

First Day of School Take 2

Last week I posted Little Monkey Man's first day of pre-school. Today I am (sniff sniff) posting Snug's first day of pre-kindergarten.
After a big day yesterday including a parade and picnic at a friend's house, the kids were out late watching fireworks. Snug was too excited about school to be tired, but I'm sure he'll crash when he gets home. Monkey is still going strong, and after this minor meltdown, Rosebud has adjusted too. Big naps for everyone? I hope so!
So he's off to pre-kindergarten.

He has three kids from church and one of my Draycare kids in his class. Across the hall are two more kids from our church, and yet another boy in the room next door. Here he is with one of his best buds...she is not quite as excited as he to be making this big leap.

Tired of pictures, he just wanted to get in there and get started! When I parked the van (after going the WRONG WAY to his school because I wasn't paying very good attention because I was trying not to cry!) Snug got a little worried. He immediately asked me "Are you going in with me????". Silly mommy was thinking "oh, he's going to miss me!". I told him we'd walk him in and then leave. He then clarified that I was not going to stay. After I assured him that we would all be leaving him there, he cheered right up. He even said "good!".

Ok, so everyone tried to get in the picture at this point; siblings, Draycare children. So that was the end of the pictures. I'm sure he'll have a great day. I'm not sure I can say the same for myself.