Monday, May 28, 2012


It isn't free. Thank you to the men, women, and their families who make the sacrifice every day for our freedom.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Elsa Louise at 47 weeks

I think of at least ten things a day I want to remember about Elsa in a given week but then when it comes time to sit down to write an update my mind goes blank. I have my notes, but I know there are things I forget to write down. Like the fact that she likes to grab her feet and lift them in the air when she's sitting up (and when she's on her back too apparently). Or how she lunges for her siblings to bite and claw at them (out of love of course). I've been meaning to mention for weeks that she's eating finger food really well. Prefers to feed herself to being spoon fed. We don't do a ton of baby food - compared to Sam and Julia at least. She loved bananas when I fed her at Julia's t-ball practice on the 22nd. Notable this week was Elsa's first successful bath in the big tub. It helped to have her big sister with her to help her stay calm.

I wish Julia could have been there when it was time to take Elsa's basket pictures today. Elsa was not a happy camper when I put her down in the basket. Since it only takes about 30 seconds to get a good shot usually I don't usually have to work very hard for her cooperation. Not the case today. So I snapped a quick dozen photos then had her sit up for the 'hat' version. Now she's a happy camper...and a patriotic one at that.

The visor has been around for a while. Four years to be exact. I posted photos of Julia when she wore it in 2008 at the parade.

Cloth diaper details: Econobum cover over a hemp prefold. Cheap yet very effective way to cloth diaper! I fold my prefolds in thirds since I use the newborn size and just lay them in the diaper cover. There isn't a flap on the Econobum since it's a scaled down version of the Flip but the prefold still stays in place well enough. I really like the flexibility of using prefolds in this way. Every single cover I have will work with my prefolds. This is important when I get to the bottom of my stash and might not have a specific cover left.

Elsa Louise at 46 weeks

My dear sweet baby girl you are getting more and more fun every week! Just when I think my heart is as full as it can be, you do something that makes it swell even more. My absolute favorite part of my day is watching you and your big brother and sister squeal and bounce to whatever music is on. You crawled for the first time on the 12th at Brianna and Caden's house. Daddy had the privilege of seeing that. Later in the week I was able to see you venture a few paces. It has been fun to watch your hair grown in so much more over the past few weeks. Those little tiny curls at the nape of your neck give me hope that you will have curls too. 

This was my first Mother's Day with you in my arms and boy did it feel great. You napped in lap during church and I soaked up every.single.second. Even though you can crawl you don't venture far from Mama. No rush on that sweetie, OK?  Your guardian angel was watching out for you on Sunday when one side of your baby swing fell from the tree. My heart sank when I walked out of the office and saw the swing all cock-eyed.  We are so grateful that you weren't hurt in the least since only one side came undone. We said goodbye to our puppy this week. You loved Conor and he was so patient to let you pull his hair. It was your way of showing affection I guess. :) Speaking of affection...this is what you do when you crawl over to Mama. Tug Tug Tug on my heart baby girl. It's what you do best!  Tooth number five popped through on the 16th. It's one of your top ones.

You are still getting up in the middle of night to nurse but I really don't mind as long as you go back to sleep right away. You prefer to lay your head on my shoulder versus laying in my arms. It's the only 'big girl' thing you do. Never forget I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always, as long as I'm living my baby you'll be.


Cloth Diaper Details: The pink Flip cover strikes again. I've been really happy with the combo of a BabyKicks hemp prefold wrapped around a microfiber insert. Trim and SUPER absorbent!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

fly babies fly

"There are two lasting bequests we can give our children. One of these is roots, the other wings."

- H. Carter

Monday, May 21, 2012

If I had a single flower...

...for every time I think about you, I could walk forever in my garden. 
- Claudia Crandi 

Julia's garden themed preschool graduation party went off without a hitch thanks to some gorgeous weather that allowed us to set up tables outdoors. I stumbled upon the perfect alcove for setting up the kids' table and can't wait to share some photos of how it all came together.  Most importantly, this little girl is not so little any more.  She's off to kindergarten in the fall. I don't know who is going to miss her more - Me or Elsa. We have all summer to look forward to and we have plans to make the most of it! 

Happy Graduation Day Julia!


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Elsa Louise at 45 weeks

This week was a breeze in the sleeping department - naps were as easy as putting her in her bed and she'd put herself to sleep. Then she'd wake up and be as happy as these photos.  On the night of the 7th she slept from 9:30 until 6:30am! But then I lowered the crib bumpers because I was worried about her launching herself over the edge and things went downhill after that.  Learning new things always makes a mess of sleeping. *sigh* Now she fights naps and I have to strain to reach her at the bottom of the crib so I can pat her back and sing. Speaking of singing...I will never take for granted the ability to sing to my kids again!  I lost my voice this week and couldn't even hum. Three full days of barely being able to whisper was rough! Elsa ended up with a runny nose on Friday but it cleared up by Saturday. I am amazed at how healthy we've all been this past year!

Cloth Diaper Details: Tots Bot Bamboo Fitted. Softest diaper I own and also the most expensive if I had paid full price. They are super absorbent and worth every penny!

Elsa Louise at 44 Weeks

 Miss Elsa likes to do the scrunch face like her brother did when he was a baby. She's such a goofball with her expressions and squeals and flailing when she gets excited. Don't get me wrong, I love it all. What's not to love about a happy baby? She goes with the flow. She doesn't complain when I have to wake her one to two times a day to pick up siblings. She's a joy and despite having to hold 25 pounds on my hip, I love every ounce of her!

She can get to her belly from laying down now so we are moving closer to crawling. She's SO flexible and determined.... it won't be long now!

Food wise I offered grated raw zucchini on the 28th of April and pear chunks the next day. She gobbled them right up. You'd never know she didn't start finger foods or any solids for that matter until 9 months.

Cloth Diaper Details: The familiar Flip cover...What can I say, I love them!

The colors of the rainbow so pretty in the sky

are also on the dresses of sisters sitting by... 

Elsa Louise at 43 weeks

Thanks to some garage sale finds I have a new stash of hats for Elsa. I'm still glad to have the photos without the hats though because her hair is changing every week. On April 24th she woke up with bedhead for the first time. It's really coming in now on the top and the longest stuff on the sides behind her ears has started to curl up. 
In other news...I still have to go into her room to move her head because she puts her nose straight down into the mattress. She helped us celebrate her Great Grandma's 92 birthday on April 22. She tried peas for the first time as finger food but wasn't impressed. On April 27th she spent the morning and early afternoon with Grandma so Mommy could garage sale. She did really well!

Time is slipping through my fingers faster than I can keep up! Her little personality is really starting to blossom and she's reaching up when I go to pick her up. She loves snuggling into Daddy's chest when he gets home from work. And scoots and pivots her legs/butt to get wherever her toys are in the living room.

Can you see the band aid on her toe? It's blue and it comes with a pretty cool story....
I set Elsa down at Julia's school while I helped her get her things ready for the day and when I picked Elsa up to leave I noticed blood on her shirt. She wasn't crying but I immediately started to panic and search her for the source. Turns out she put her big toe in the heat register under the hook for Julia's backpack. Blood starting pouring out so I rushed to the bathroom to put pressure on it with paper towel. Mrs. W got us a bandaid and I tried to figure out what I was going to do to make sure Elsa didn't pull it off while she was in the car seat.  That's when Mrs. W said she thought she could find a  a pair of baby socks that Elsa could wear so she didn't mess with her feet.

That's when I remembered that two years ago I had donated all of Sam's old socks to the preschool so they could use them for a laundry/counting activity. So yes, Mrs. W did have baby socks... She pulled a little pair out of storage and we went on our way...amazed at how God provided through a simple little donation of baby socks, years before.

Cool huh?

Cloth diaper details: Same old, same old....another Flip by Bum Genius.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

saying goodbye

We said goodbye to Conor tonight in the last light of the day. On the soft, green grass in our front yard we whispered our final words to our pup of 14 years. We stroked his velvety soft ears. We watched for his chest to rise and fall for the final time. My dear friend, Courtney, administered the drug that would relax him and then the drug that would put him to sleep. We cried. We hugged. It was so hard. He has been a part of our family since before we were a family.

We tried to make his last day as good as we could. The kids made a cross. We wrapped his collar around it. The kids wrote "We love you Conor" on it with black Sharpie.

They fed him two bags of treats.
We fed him chicken from the dinner table.
We let him eat the last of the ice cream out of our bowls.
I let him walk the trails in the park off his leash.

It doesn't even come close to what he deserved.

He was a faithful friend to me in college, when I moved to Minnesota, & when we got married, & was good with our kids. He loved to go camping - to curl up on my sleeping bag before I went to bed and get it all warm (and hairy) for me.

He was our puppy-wupster. Our Con-man. Our dog.

Goodbye Conor. You're a good puppy. We love you very much.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Mommy & Me Tea

 I loved spending last Tuesday with Julia at my fourth Mommy & Me Tea Party in a row. It will be a few years before Elsa is old enough to attend so I really enjoyed this last one with Julia. She was so sweet to offer to pour me tea. She didn't spill a drop!

  This may be Julia's last preschool tea party but we have many many tea parties to be had this coming summer.  I can't wait!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Elsa Louise at 42 weeks

Elsa had an 'off' week this week. She was awake a lot at night for long stretches & didn't want to nurse. I took her into the clinic to rule out an ear infection because I couldn't think of anything else that would cause such a sudden change. She did bite me for the first time the day before the sudden change, but all I did was gasp and scowl at her. Her ears were fine and she went back to her normal routine that night. Of course.

New this week:
4/15: Egg yoke. She ate it OK as part of her porridge but didn't want to pick it up and eat it by itself
4/20: grated raw apple. This was her first taste of fruit. She loved it.

Now that she's eating solids we've had more opportunity to practice sign language with her. She hasn't repeated any of the ones we're working on (more, nurse, eat, drink, bird, cat, all done, bath) but it's pretty obvious that she knows what I am saying some of the time - especially when I say and sign, "nurse".

She's still not crawling but she's able to support herself on her arms really well because of all the reaching and bending she does on a daily basis. She can get herself pretty much anywhere she wants.

Cloth Diaper Details: Thirsties Duo Cover size 2. My go-to overnight diaper.

what being a kid is all about

Elsa Louise at 41 weeks

I can always tell when another kid walks into the room that Elsa is in because of the squeals that start immediately - especially if that kid is her big brother Sam. She's not nearly as concerned about me leaving the room anymore which is nice. Instead of being concerned about other people she seeks out their attention now. She still prefers to be held by someone she knows well but she adores interacting with other children.

This is the beginning of her squeal. Her lips start to turn upwards, she's about to start flapping her arms and legs, and then she'll break into a full grin like the second photo. 
The best part about these big grins is that her teeth are starting to show when she smiles. (Still only four teeth)
New this week:
4/8: tried purred carrots. Not a fan.
4/8: tried puffed brown rice cereal. Loved it.
4/8: drank from a Doidy cup. Did really well considering she's only nine months old.We put about a tablespoon of water in at a time and she is able to drink it herself. Why use a Doidy cup instead of a sippy cup? First let me say that I used sippy cups with Sam and Julia.  I want her to take a drink because she's thirsty, not because she wants to suck on something.

4/11: tried Millet Super Porridge and sweet potato puree and loved it.
4/12: liked millet super porridge (added black beans this time) with carrots but not as much as the sweet potato
4/12: small pieces of broccoli. Not a fan.

Cloth Diaper Details:  Elsa is wearing a Flip Cover by Cotton Babies. I've been using Baby Kicks newborn hemp/cotton prefold wrapped around a microfiber insert for great absorbancy without a whole lot of added bulk. The Flip cover has flaps in the front and back to hold the insert in place. Now that we are feeding Elsa solids I have started using 1/2 sheet of disposable liner for easier clean up.

Beginner Knit Hat Pattern

I've been asked so many times if there is a pattern for the hats I make,  but I was too busy filling Christmas orders...