Sunday, July 31

So You're Seven & a Half

Dear Turkey,


So you're seven and a half today, wow time flies.  Today we celebrated with Chinese (you're pick) for dinner with Ney-Ney and a new Lego set (Star Wars).  And I am sorry to say, that despite your requests, we will not be celebrating your three-quarter birthday; and I still do not think seven and three-quarters is a good age for you to get a BB gun.  


You are 52.5-inches tall and around 80 pounds.  This height allows you to go on the "adult" rides at fairs and carnivals, without an adult.  Sigh, you are getting so big.  


Your favorite thing to play with is Legos, Legos, and more Legos.  Video games come in second.  Followed by your Scooby Doo Mystery Mansion Game and air-hockey.  Sometimes you like to dress up in goofy costumes and pretend you're a ninja.  It cracks me up when you do this.


Diary of a Wimpy Kid are your favorite books to read.  You LOVE to swim and we would go to the town beach every day if it was up to you.  


You still love to watch Scooby Doo (new and old) and you like "Adventure-Time" and "The Adventures of Gumball" (both of which I find funny as well).  


In September you will start second grade.  You are a Wolf Scout and really enjoy cub scouts.  You keep telling me you "want to go all the way and become an Eagle Scout".  That's a good goal my son, I wish you the best on it.


You have two best-friends.  S who lives down the street and is in the grade ahead of you and E who lives too far away but you have known for seven years.


You have been though a lot in the first seven and a half years, and I truly hope the next seven and a have (goodness that will make you 15); will be easier and happier.  That being said you are a very happy kid; and people love having you around.  It is often said you have "an old son".  


This picture of you from just the other day, you were some sort of ninja.  I plan on keeping this as black-mail for when you are a teenager (sorry, but it needs to be done). 




OK, maybe you weren't a ninja in this picture, I think you are holding a "laser" gun you made out of Legos. Either way, it's a funny picture.

I love you very much and can and can't wait for you to turn eight.

Love,

Your Mom (or Mom-a-lees as you like to call me)

Friday, July 29

Goodnight Puppy

Our dog, Dakota, sleeps in the basement.  He's a Husky and really digs the cave like affect he has going on down there.  He has his own room, with a giant dog crate in it.  Each night he "goes to bed" around 8pm and gets a biscuit.  He can sense when bedtime is, and will often look to have someone take him down there.

Last night, he headed down the basement on his own.  Husband and I both saw him.  We talked about it.

I thought Husband went down and locked his crate.

Husband thought I went down and locked the crate.

Not sure why I thought that since Husband has a sprained ankle and can't really get to the basement.

Anyhow, imagine our surprise when Dakota comes walking into the living room at 9:45pm.  I look at Husband and he looks at me... and at the same time "I thought you put him to bed.".  Good thing we caught it, I can only imagine the mess he would have made if we had gone to bed and he was loose in the house.  Ack!!!!

Thursday, July 28

3 Blessings

Today I am thankful and blessed for:

1) Being able to stay caught up and current at work... breathing easy in the office this week.

2) A nice chat on the phone with a friend during lunch today

3) A nice chat on the phone with my Mom this evening

Things I've Been Meaning to Do July Update

First things first... going forward this is going to be abbreviated as TIBMTD.  OK, say that 5 times fast.

In case you missed it here is my list from earlier this month:  LOOK HERE.


  • Bring in the case of water from outside.  Done and all the water has been drunk

  • Mail out Monkey's Birth announcements (he's only going to be 5 months old next week) This is half done... half of them have been mailed.
  • Send out thank you cards from Monkey's baptism and our anniversary  Not done, but I know my family and friends will understand with all that happened this month.
  • Order a wetbag Not done
  • Move the boxes of blinds.  Done

  • Find this particular picture frame so I can hang up Monkey's baptism picture. Not done, last night I decided I needed to just buy new frames.
  • Sew the patches on Turkey's Cub Scout shirt.  This was on last month's list.  I really need to get to this, so it's back on the list.  Still not done and I still haven't even bought thread and needles.
  • Bring in Turkey's car seat parts and store in basement.   Half done.  The car seat parts are on the side porch.

All in all not too bad.  It's been a long difficult month, so anything that I have gotten done is a bonus.

Wednesday, July 27

Serves Me Right

Earlier in the week (Sunday and Monday), I was bragging on Facebook about having both of the boys in bed and asleep prior to 8pm.

I swear I jinxed myself.

Last night (Tuesday), we had storms rip through the area.  They caused me to leave work an hour late, and then they turned my one hour commute into a two hour commute.  Normally I am home by 5:30pm, I didn't walk in that night until sometime around 7:30.  By the time I was done feeding Monkey, and we figured out dinner and ate it was 9pm.  I crawled to bed as soon as I could, even skipping TV and computer down-time.

Tonight was only slightly better. I made it home from work on time, but then after I fed Monkey I headed out with my neighbor (and Monkey) to get a tire for her truck, and to pick up my grandma's car to borrow (while mine gets new wheel bearings tomorrow, lucky me).  By the time dinner was done (which was great mind you and full of laughs), and the boys were in bed, and the bottles were washed; it was late.

Sigh... maybe next time I will keep my mouth closed.

Tuesday, July 26

The Best Of (Part 1 of 10)

Over the years I have seen many many lists for "the best of baby" stuff; usually they come in the form of a Top 10. And more times than not, I read the list and scratch my head and think "really, who needs that?".  I swear none of those lists are complete without mentioning The Boppy.  Personally I just don't get it?  Really who needs a pillow shaped like a C for their baby?  Yet, I have many friends, nursing or not, that swear by it.  After two kids and 7+ years of parenting I still don't get the love affair many have with The Boppy.

Anyhow, I digress, after talking with my cousin this weekend I decided to come up with my own Top 10 Best Of Baby Items.  (That's a mouthful isn't it?)  As of right now I only have two items on my top ten list, so this may take a while to complete, stay tuned.

Now without further hesitation....drum roll please.....

In my opinion the #1 Baby Item is:




The Arms-Reach Mini Co-Sleeper.

I've mentioned this item before, calling it "amazing"; and it truly is.  My friend M, who lent me all of her cloth diapers, also lent this item to us.

I will admit when she first showed it to me, I was a little skeptical, after all I didn't need something as fancy as this when I had Turkey and we nursed at night just fine (granted he started and stayed sleeping through the night around 6 weeks of age).

When Husband came home and saw what M brought over he was nearly giddy with excitement and insisted on setting it up and checking it out right away.  I will admit M and Husband were onto something; this thing has proven to be a sleep saver.

It's a great alternative to those who don't want to bed-share, yet want to be able to reach baby in an instant.  I love being able to roll over and pick up Turkey, or place his pacifier in his mouth.  It makes the transition from nursing in my bed to putting him back to sleep that much easier.  I can nurse him as much as him and I want in a night, and never once have to get out of bed.

Granted my forearm has, what seems to be, a permanent bruise from putting Turkey in the co-sleeper, but that's my own doing; and frankly the bruising is worth the extra minutes of sleep I get from using this item.  Not to mention the peace of mind that comes from having Turkey so close and so safe.

If you are going to have baby sleeping in the same room as you, for any period of time; I would highly recommend the Arms Reach Co-Sleeper (mini or full size if you prefer).

Rave, rave, rave... I can't say enough good things about the co-sleeper.  Many many thanks to M for turning me on to it.



Do you have an "I can't live without" baby item?  I'd love to hear your thoughts below in the comment section.  

Monday, July 25

3 Belssings

Early in my blogging days I had started working on The 3 Blessings Exercise.  

I fell out of practice, despite the fact that it seemed to be helping.  With all that has gone on recently, I figured it was time to get back into the practice.

So tonight, marks Chapter 2 in 3 Blessings:

I am thankful and feel blessed for:

1) the wonderful evening I had with my family

2) taking Turkey to work with me today, it was great to have the time "alone" with him despite him playing video games under my desk for 5 hours

3) the long hot shower I took with Husband this evening.

That Was Nice

Over the weekend we had that unholy hot humid weather that most of the country was subjected to (104F on Friday at my office); so today when the temps broke and it was a high around 75 it felt like heaven... even with all the rain.

After dinner tonight I headed out to our front porch with Monkey.  We sat and watched the cars drive by and listened to the rain and the birds.  Then Husband came out and joined us, and as soon as his cartoon (Adventure Time; which if you haven't seen it is addicting and stupid at the same time) was over Turkey joined us as well.

And since we were all out on the porch, Husband figured the dog should join us as well.  (Have I introduced you to the big clod-hopper yet??  His name is Dakota and he's a 2 year old Siberian Husky.)

So there we all sat, after dinner, reading on the front porch in the rain.  Turkey brought out a book and I read to everyone.  So relaxing, nice and peaceful.  Just what we needed.

Oh and a big thank you to the rain; it kept the bugs away.

Sunday, July 24

Cleaning

I need to clean.

I want to clean.  Yes, I woke up this morning and felt the want to clean.

But I can't seem to find the focus to do it.

I've had a great cup of coffee and a nice breakfast (2 eggs over easy of course; and a side of toast).

Walked around the house and picked up a few things.

I've nursed the baby a few times, and have started a few loads of laundry.

Then I picked up a few more random things.

I talked on the phone with my aunt.  Then I talked on the phone with my cousin (who is having her first baby in December, so exciting).

Then I nursed some more.

I took Turkey to the grocery store, and ate way too much for lunch.

Oh and somewhere this morning I published a blog post, and now I am writing another.

I need to clean.

I want to clean.

I cannot seem to find the focus to do said cleaning.  Maybe after another cup of coffee (decaf, of course)....

Tomatoes

The first year we lived here we didn't have a garden, we moved in in July so their simply wasn't time.

Our second summer I planted a garden in an area that originally had this huge tree stump my step-dad had ground up.  The soil was full of tree bits; which admittedly was not the best choice for a garden.  But I planted anyhow.  We had onion, peas, cucumbers, summer squash, beans and tomatoes.  
The garden last summer.
Nothing made it, except the tomatoes.  Apparently the woodland creatures felt all of the other plants and their flowers were delicious and they ate them right up.  With no real competition in the garden the tomatoes (cherry ones, bush style) took over.  It was like the attack of the killer tomato plant.  In the end we couldn't eat them all and tons of them rotted on the vines.

This summer I had big plans for the garden and Husband was going to install a fence for me around it.  I was determined to make something other than tomatoes grow.

But then life got in the way.  Between the baby and going back to work I never got around to planting the garden.  I was upset, but it happens; there was always next year.  Until one day I looked good and hard at the garden and sure enough I had tomatoes growing.  The seeds from the ones we never picked last year took root and sprouted.  There must have been a dozen or so tomato plants growing.  I picked the healthiest ones and set them up with tomato cages; and took out the rest.  Ha ha!!!  A garden without even trying, and it was the first time I ever grew something from seeds.

Why, yes.  I do need to weed again.

Saturday, July 23

Silent Saturday

I see you.

Taken by Turkey of Monkey, July 2011

Friday, July 22

Children, Happiness & Family Found

I have always found comfort and strength in my children during hard times.  That is not to say I lean on them for  moral support, but rather just their being, their smiles; have a way of lifting my spirits.  Apparently this is not just true for me... I think in general children have the ability to make people happier.  Nana, in her 90+ years of wisdom; has always told me Turkey was her vitamin; he is was keeps her going.

Last Saturday when we said our final farewells to my step-father, R, I witnessed the miracle of happiness children can bring.

I hadn't seen or spoken to R's family, in particular his mom and step-dad since R and my mom got married.  They simply don't live around here and their wedding was the first time we met.  Well when we walked into the funeral home with Monkey and Turkey they wanted to know about the boys.  Then R's mom took Monkey into her arms and proclaimed "my newest grandson" and her husband pointed out that he was her "newest great-grandson"; and with that Monkey took his place on their laps for a large part of the calling hours.  They introduced him to family and friends that came to pay their respects; and they were constantly asking about and checking on Turkey.  It was certainly a very dark and hard day, but to see the smiles that Monkey brought to them, and to watch them and my mom hold his little hands; I was in awe of the happiness he brought to others.  Like I tell him when he wakes up from his naps he "was all smiles and sunshine".

At the end of the day we promised to send pictures of the boys and keep them up to date with how they are doing; and as I put the finishing touches on a package to send to them I have a feeling of family found.  While I can never bring my step-father back I am happy and thankful to have his family in my life.

Wednesday, July 20

Butt Fluff Review: handsewnbyme

This is a review of the second cloth diaper (but first received) that I bought of etsy.com.

This diaper was bought from handsewnbyme.  I saw this diaper and just knew Monkey needed it.


The outer layer is 100% cotton flannel and the inner layer is made out of 3 layers of Zorb.


Pros:
  • Super cute
  • Very well made
  • Trim fit
  • Good elastic around the legs  - read: no leaking here
  • Protective tabs to keep the Velcro closure clean in the wash
  • A great price: $9 (plus $3 for shipping)
  • The Zorb core really holds a lot of moisture
  • Awesome customer service by the seller - very prompt, very polite 
  • Velcro closure is super easy to use
Cons:
  • It's not an AIO (all in one), and a cover is recomended; which is a shame since it's so cute.  I used it with and without a cover, and noticed only a slight difference as the Zorb holds a lot.
  • It needed to be washed prior to use, which is true for all cloth diapers; but it had to be washed 10 to 12 times to allow the Zorb to get to maximum absorbency.
  • With all of the washing pre-wearing it by the time Monkey wore it, it didn't look new anymore
  • The outside cover had some pilling after all the washing (maybe it's how I washed it).
  • The rise (17" on the size medium I bought) was a little short for Monkey's long torso.
  • I can see Monkey being able to undo the Velcro closure in the future, it could stand to be a little wider.


Conclusion: I would totally buy cloth diapers from this seller again.  I would however probably by a larger size, to accommodate for Monkey's long torso.



Full Disclosure: I purchased the item reviewed myself and I have not been asked to or compensated for reviewing this product.

Monday, July 18

Box, Fan, But Not a Boxfan

Turkey has these giant boxes he likes to build forts with.  These things are HUGE, easily taller than him and typically live in our attic.

Today we were home for a bit in the afternoon and out came the boxes... since it was the 3Hs today (hazy, hot and humid) and we only have AC units in the bedroom, I had fans in the living room where he was building.  At dinner time I asked him to pick up the boxes as we were going to eat in there (it was cooler than the kitchen).  Upon assessing his cleaning I noted he had one box left out.  This is the actual, OK to the best of my recollection, conversation that followed:

Me: I see you forgot a box.  Do you need help with it?
Turkey: No.
Me: OK, please pick it up then.
Turkey: I can't.
Me: Do you need help with the box?
Turkey: No.
Me: Why don't you pick it up then?
Turkey: Because you have a fan on top of it.
Me: So you do need help with the box.
Turkey: No, I need help with the fan.

In case you are wondering, I moved the fan and he moved the box.

Sunday, July 17

Picking Up the Pieces

On Monday, July 11th, we suddenly lost a great man, my step-father.  It was the kind of quick and sudden passing that not only left you with heart-ache and tears, but also with shock and disbelief.  All at once the world slowed down and sped up at the same time; and everyday life was put on-hold.  

I haven't been to work in a week; instead I have been with my family.  Driving out to see my mom as much as possible (it's a 45 minute drive) and at the same time trying to give Turkey space to grieve while trying to keep home life as normal as possible for him (as it was he had Cub Scout Day Camp during all this).

Yesterday, Saturday, we said our final good-byes (more to come on that over time) and today we slept in late and started waking up from our daze.  Husband and I looked around the house, and despite cleaning mid-week during everything, we were met with a total mess.  I had cob-webs on my washer and dryer, and piles of dirty clothes higher than the door.  For a mid-morning snack Turkey made himself a potato chip and mustard sandwich on the last two pieces of bread and I realized I really needed to get to the grocery store.  It was time start picking up the pieces of life.

Step-dad isn't (wasn't I should say) the kind of guy who would like you mopping doing nothing, and with that in mind I started moving again; all be it slowly.

I chipped away at the dirty clothes (6 loads done, none folded), went back to using cloth diapers (who can use cloth during a time like last week?), went to the grocery store with the family in-tow (including Husband who sprained his ankle this morning), and started cleaning little by little.  It's a work in progress, and like healing from a tragedy like this, it will take some time and never really be done.

Tuesday, July 12

In Memorian

In honor of my step-father... the man that walked me down the isle.
November 10, 1956 to July 11, 2011



























Monday, July 11

Farmer Not

Dear Monkey,

5am is not what I consider a good wake up time.  Well, perhaps if you were a farmer it would be OK, even a good thing I suppose.  But you are NOT a farmer.  Please adjust your schedule accordingly.

Love,
Your Mother
(who is also NOT a farmer)

Sunday, July 10

Teach a Boy to Fish

Turkey has been fishing for years, at least 4 of this 7.  He even has the Cub Scout Fishing Belt Loop.  He's been fishing with me, with Husband, with various uncles including Uncle P who is obsessed with fishing.  And yet, he never caught a fish.... until today.


We spent the afternoon with my Aunt and Uncle, at my uncle's mother's house.  The deck off the back of the garage is right on the river... Ok, the river is 20-ft below, but still it's right there.

Turkey's early casts resulted in catching rocks and trees; and he easily gave up.  After a break; in which he ate a raw red hotdog (because it's tradition), then a cooked regular hot dog and lots of chips and brownies; followed by watching the Red Sox a little and covering his Uncle in Silly String, Turkey was ready to get at it again.

His first round two cast resulted in breaking his line; so he took over Husband's pole.  Finally the speed boats in the river quieted and Turkey got a nice far cast... and magic!!!  He got a bite and with the help of Uncle reeled it in.  Success - a small perch!!!

Saturday, July 9

Just Like Christmas?

Ordering things on-line and then getting the pretty little package in the mail is just like Christmas.

Earlier this week I got a package that contained my second butt fluff purchase. (Still waiting on the first purchase.)  Then on Thursday I got the package I had been most waiting for... The Woombie.  We are hoping the Woomibe is our answer to our swaddling problems.  Monkey is too long for his medium size swaddler blanket, and too skinny for his large size swaddler blanket.  Therefore he gets out of both, and wakes himself in the process.  Once he managed to get one of them wrapped around his neck; yeah that was scary.

So after waiting the longest week ever, the Woombie comes in.  I race in the house and open it, expecting big baby size (14 to 19 lbs) in pineapple color.   What we got was pineapple color, but they sent newborn size (up to 13 lbs).  I was crushed, I hated waited all week for this.  It was like that Christmas my parents got me the lemon yellow jeans with a flower belt buckle.  That kind of sucking, total disappointment.

Friday morning Husband called the good people at Woombie and they agreed to ship out the correct one overnight (express US mail).

Today we get home, and I rush to the mailbox, expecting to pull out my Woombie.  Instead the post office decided it was too big for our mailbox ad are now requiring us to retrieve it at the post office on Monday.  I am so mad!!!  Every year our postal carrier has us fill out a slip stating what to do with our packages, since we are on a rural route.  And every year I fill it out to have all packages left on the side porch.  I don't need to sign for it... nothing like that... they simply didn't leave it because it was too big.

Now I have to wait until Monday... debatable if I will make it till then.  It's like waking up and thinking it's Christmas and finding out it's Thanksgiving.  Damn you US Postal Service.... I just want my Woombie!!!!!

And yes, I know it's suppose to be a silent Saturday... but I had to get this posted before I clocked someone.

Silent Saturday

Our 1st trip to the town beach this summer (and Monkey's first beach trip ever).









Friday, July 8

Cookies!!!

Turkey's new hobby is baking.  I think I started myself when I was about his age, maybe a little younger, as I have a vague memory of using 1 cup salt instead of 1 cup of sugar.  But I digress...

Tomorrow is Husband's family re-union and we decided that Turkey should bake cookies for "the sharing table".  He opted to make sugar cookies with frosting and M&Ms (the other kids will thank him).

So he measured, and mixed and kneaded all on his own.  He rolled the dough and cut out the shapes (those um...looking one.... are light-houses).  I put them in the oven (he preheated) and took them out.  Then he frosted and decorated.  



And I've already tried them and they are GOOD!!!!

Thursday, July 7

Postpartum Depression

I think the general rule of thumb, after you've had a baby, that if you think you have PPD; then you most likely do.  I had thought I had escaped it this time around, seeing that Monkey is nearly 5 months old; but I do believe I was wrong.  Time to call the doctor.

Wednesday, July 6

A Walk At Night

This story took place almost 2 years ago, Turkey was 5.

It was around 10:30 at night, I had just checked on Turkey (who was sleeping was sleeping in his bed in his room across the hall from our bedroom) and had settled in to watch TV in the bedroom while Husband showered.  

While watching TV I heard a child screaming, and chalked it up to the "neighbor's" kids being out too late.  But then the screaming kept coming, I turned the TV down a few times to listen to it.  Never once thinking it was Turkey as I just checked on him and he was sleeping, in bed.  

Husband comes flying into the bedroom, "Turkey is outside in the car."  (He had looked out the bathroom window which faces the driveway), and we fly downstairs and outside.  Sure enough, there was Turkey, sitting in his carseat in my car; screaming his fool head off.  Apparently he had been sleep walking up woke up in the car.  He was out of sorts, and clearly shaken (for good reason).  

Sleepwalking is scary (for the parent, the child usually sleeps through it), especially scary when your child walks outside, even more scary when you live by a river, and even more scary when you know darn well no one does the posted 20 mph when driving by your house.  

We talked to his pediatrician, we did research, we booby trapped his room, we booby trapped the house.  It wasn't his first sleep walking experience (typically just out of his room and to the living room), and it wasn't his last... but knock on it's been a long time since he's sleepwalked.  

Tuesday, July 5

Blessings

Most nights (when I remember) Turkey says prayers before bed, and at the end he always ask to have people blessed.  Usually he asks to "bless me and mommy", but lately he's been adding in Theodore and Husband. And some nights he takes the easy way out, and asks to bless "everyone in the world, except the bad people".

However, my all time favorite is when he asks "God bless God, Jesus and Mary".  You know, just in case they needed some extra blessing.  ;-)

Monday, July 4

Things I've Been Meaning to Do (July)


Every month over on the I'm a Lazy Mom Blog she does a link up about the things she's been meaning to do.  So here we go (month #2)....
Things I've Been Meaning to Do:

  • Bring in the case of water from outside.  Sure it's great for grabbing a quick bottle on your way out, but it's getting hot out and it's an eye sore. 


  • Mail out Monkey's Birth announcements (he's only going to be 5 months old next week)
  • Send out thank you cards from Monkey's baptism and our anniversary
  • Order a wetbag
  • Move the boxes of blinds.  We've been in this house for 2 years and 2 days and have yet to put up blinds or curtains downstairs.  I think we've decided against the blinds, since we need to custom order 4 of them and that gets pricey.

  • Find this particular picture frame so I can hang up Monkey's baptism picture. It's the matching one to Turkey's shown below.  Once framed, hang it on the wall below Turkey's picture.
  • Sew the patches on Turkey's Cub Scout shirt.  This was on last month's list.  I really need to get to this, so it's back on the list.  
  • Bring in Turkey's car seat parts and store in basement.  


    Wow, I've got quiet the list going on this month.  Maybe husband will feel ambitious and start ticking things off my list for me.  So... does this make me a Lazy Mom or a Slacker Mom?

    Sunday, July 3

    A Good Read

    A good book is one of life's simple pleasures.  A pleasure that I was afraid Turkey had lost.

    Turkey learned to read the summer before kindergarten.  At first he was an avid reader, but as time went on his interest in reading seemed to wane.  Little did I know, he just hadn't found the right book.  

    For his vacation to the beach with his grandma I bought him Diary of a Wimpy Kid.  It was purchased on a Tuesday night and he was leaving on Friday around lunch time.  Wednesday morning he asked if he could start reading it, sure I said; assuming it would be short lived as most of his books had been recently.  

    Boy was I wrong.  He couldn't put it down.  He followed me around the house reading it. 


    He read it to his brother when I asked him to play with him. 



    He wanted to read it when we walked to the post office on my lunch break (I work from home on Monday and Wednesday, but I drew the line at that one.


    He read it cover to cover in about 3 hours.  Then when he was done, he started to re-read it; out loud to me as I was working.  But I guess I wasn't a very good audience so he finished re-reading it to himself.

    That night we went out and got the second DoWK for his trip.

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