Friday, December 28, 2012

Hij blijft trouw aan alle generaties

My grandma says she started playing organ in church around age 14. She is certainly talented and I sneaked a little video of her playing the piano a few days ago on her 82nd birthday that I will post later.

My dad took this "Koraal" (Chorale) of Psalm 100 from Grandma's falling-apart psalm book and framed it with music notes made from piano hammers. It will have a special place in my music room.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

What Child is This?

The reading: many possibilities where those genes came from. But the a mystery.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Pretzel Rods

There is nothing new under the sun, or on Pinterest: others have already done a good job of listing and photographing all the picturesque and tasty things one can do with pretzel rods. My 3 tips to emphasize are:
  1. Make sure you don't have too much chocolate on the pretzel or the toppings will drip off.
  2. It helps to work as a team: one person rotates the pretzel over a dish while the other sprinkles.
  3. For the white drizzled over chocolate (or vice versa) it was easiest to spoon up some melted chocolate, and pour it out in the thin stream from the spoon while passing the pretzel underneath. Move the pretzel, not the spoon.
We used toffee bits, crushed peppermints, various sprinkles, coconut flakes, and the ones with a lumpy "spiral" around them have a stretched-out caramel (think play-dough snake) wrapped around them before dipping. The styrofoam tray was our cooling rack. We barely snooped at all, so I'm going to have to make a few for myself at home with the leftover ingredients.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Happy Birthday, Little Turkey!

Happy Birthday to our upwardly mobile (that means "climbs on the table"), goofy, curly-haired determined little helper. We are all thankful to God for Malachi's first year!
  • Plays the kazoo happily, or unhappily: it's kind of funny to hear him cry into a kazoo. Sometimes accompanies himself with a rattle.
  • Loves guacamole, pickles, peas, squash, popcorn. Whatever everyone else is eating. 
  • Says Ma (mom) Da (Dad),  dih (this, or what's this), dat (that, or what's that) and num-num-num.
  • Enjoys animals, both real and in books.
  • 7 teeth in front and 1 molar trying to come through, ouch!
  • In his spare time he cooks imaginary soups, plays the foot pedals on the organ (or the keyboards if he gets a chance), and researches topics such as "Sheep in a Jeep" in his personal library.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Sprout Snap Diaper Cover Tutorial

Although there are plenty of diapers around our house now to last from one wash until the next, I've been sewing a few new covers and donating or selling the old ones that didn't fit as well or were becoming a bit worn. It's kind of satisfying to accomplish something concrete, and besides the snap pliers is a lot of fun! Tobias picked out the monster fabric for this particular one.

I like diaper covers with flaps on the top and bottom to hold the absorbent insert in place. Helps a little when trying to dress a wiggler.

I found this tutorial that is very similar to what I did, but my snap placement and leg binding was different, so I thought I would post a mini-tutorial explaining how I sewed them.

  • I printed the Sprout Snap pattern and marked where I wanted the inner flaps to come down to (see the little notches outside the thick black line?).
  • I cut out the pattern from the monster PUL fabric, and the inner flaps from plain white PUL (it's cheaper). In between the marked notches, I added about 1/3 inch beyond the seam allowance; the extra fabric is to fold over and create the casing for the leg elastic.
  • Right sides together, I sewed the white flaps to the top and bottom of the main monster piece.
  • Put in back elastic and casing.
  • Applied snaps to wings and front (there is a reinforcing layer of scrap PUL so that each snap is placed through 2 layers of fabric).
  • Tacked in leg elastic, then folded over the "extra" allowance and sewed it into a casing. The elastic must be stretched quite tightly or the legs will gap open.
  • Finished off by topstitching around the front and back. 

Monday, November 05, 2012

Sneaky Swap

Heather's One Month of Less posts motivated me to take on a few projects to simplify and organize our sometimes-cluttered house.

One idea that was successful was a puzzle trade. I chose 2 less-favorite puzzles, posted them on a local baby buy/sell/swap board (like Craigslist) with the message that I wanted to trade them for puzzles of similar quality and age level. Someone took me up on it, we sent pictures of the puzzles to each other, then met in the Winco parking lot to exchange, and I hid the "new" puzzles away for birthday or Christmas. Something new, without making our pile of puzzles too big for its' home on top of the organ.

Shhhh...don't tell Malachi, he will probably be opening these for a gift in the next few months!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Parkity Park

The cast has been off for over a month now, Toby is walking (even running and sometimes climbing), and the weather is still park-able. Indoors, we're enjoying the usual: Duplos, music, books, and snacks.

John 15:5
I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Animal Crackers

Today we had a friend here for the first "Letter of the Week" day.
We chose a theme of animals and animal crackers. I rolled out the dough ahead of time and the boys liked cutting out the animals.
Animal crackers and cocoa to drink,
That is the finest of suppers I think;
When I'm grown up and can have what I please
I think I shall always insist upon these.
What do you choose when you're offered a treat?
When Mother says, "What would you like best to eat?"
Is it waffles and syrup, or cinnamon toast?
It's cocoa and animals that I love most! 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

M: 10.75 months

He's not quite 11 months yet; 11 months sounds so old. I'm going to post while he's still 10 months old...I'm trying to enjoy what little baby-ness is left in him.
  • 7 teeth, loves popcorn and peas
  • Doesn't use his arms to balance anymore when walking around. Rarely crawls.
  • Climbed up a chair and onto the kitchen table for the first time this morning
  • Picks up on a lot: Last night he was in the ring sling and watching me form bread into rolls. Right before I started to slap the first one into shape he excitedly started slapping my arm. First I thought he was imitating me, until I realized I hadn't started slapping yet.
  • Missed Dad while he was in Portland on a trip: was excited to see him on video chat but then progressively got more upset that he wasn't "real".
  • Occasionally signs more, food, water, please. Gets his messages across pretty well.
  • Sad to leave mom during ECHO or lessons at home

Monday, October 15, 2012


If you search Pinterest for "pretzel butterfly", you'll find lots of cute colorful ways to make winged creatures out of crispy twisties. Ours turned out looking a lot more like moths: brown and fat. Oh well, they'll for sure all be gone before they turn fuzzy!

Monday, October 01, 2012

Easy Peasy Frozen Yogurt

But no peas involved. Unless you want them!
  • 1 quart (4 cups) yogurt. We used peach!
  • 1 3/4 cups milk. We used vanilla coconut milk, which already has a little sweetness and flavor. Whole milk was recommended by the original recipe I based this on.
  • Optional mix-ins. We added frozen apricot chunks. You could add vanilla if your milk isn't already flavored
Mix first two ingredients and process with a 2 quart ice cream maker for 25 minutes or what the ice cream machine recommends. Throw in the fruit at the end. I think this recipe would be really good with blueberries and blueberry yogurt!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Brothers at Play. Or work.

For the 8 weeks of cast, Toby and Malachi's play together was limited to "wrestling" on the floor.
Here is some video from today and yesterday...4 to 5 days after getting the cast off. After walking to the mailbox they didn't want to come inside because they were having too much fun pushing each other around on the tractor. Now that's what I've been waiting to see!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Blast Off, Cast Off

The countdown chain was at zero, today was the day!

We got to the doctor's office and had a little panic as Tobias was not on their schedule. They promised to fit us in but said it might be a little wait. We were blessed that the 11:40 appointment (the time we were supposed to be) was a no-show so we got in without having to wait.

Toby was upset as they cut it off: "It's time to go home, I'm not healed, I need another cast, I don't want to take it off!" Change is scary. But he was actually happy to begin wiggling his legs around. Seeing the big blue cast legs poking upwards out of the trash can was a little shocking for me even though I knew that Tobias wasn't in it.

Afterwards we went for a picnic to Howard Amon park and took some pictures on the swing where he broke it, and Finnegan Frost for frozen yogurt.

At home, Toby enjoyed one of the best baths of his life (even without playing outside, he got pretty dirty in 8 weeks without a bath) and rolling and crawling around on the floor. It's nice to have a squeaky clean boy!

A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones. -Proverbs 17:22
(a verse that Toby sings often)

Sunday, September 16, 2012

To Portland, to Portland, to Buy a Fat Pig

Actually we were not there to buy a big pig. We did see some hairy pigs with big tusks at the zoo.
We were there to have fun with family, explore Portland, and see Nate's friend Ben. We succeeded at all those goals. We visited the Oregon Zoo and OMSI. Both were definitely fun for all ages; Malachi did seem more interested in the plants (eating them) at the zoo than the animals though.
We went to Ben and Liz's favorite Thai restaurant and it was very good! I had never had Thai food before. One of the waitresses served Malachi his very own plate with brown rice and helped him get started up with a spoon. He happily created a sticky mess about 4 feet in diameter, and I tried not to feel too bad about it because...she started it.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Swing Low, Little Monkeys

Another ~3 weeks left in the cast, and Toby is hanging in there. Some toys have lost his interest, but not the circuits and of course not Duplos. We don't get to the park or other adventures as much as we used to, but we do still need to get out of the house and Finnegan Frost was a fun treat enjoyed by everyone in the family. Remember those days when we didn't have to share food with anybody, Nate?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Humans are Moving Creatures

moving |ˈmo͞oviNG
  • go in a specified direction or manner; change position
  • provoke a strong feeling

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Snap-on Underwear

And now for a topic that has only been addressed once on my blog before, and perhaps will never be mentioned again: underwear.

Tips for caring for a child in a spica cast abound on the internet, thankfully. A lot of those kids are younger and still in diapers, so I didn't see a lot of specific info on how to dress a child who is potty trained. Hopefully this post will help those who need a visual idea before they go cutting up their child's clothes!
I was given a snap pliers for putting snaps on cloth diapers, but it has come in very handy for modifying clothing to fit over the cast.

To make this snap-on underwear I chose a pair about 2 sizes larger than what my son normally wears. I cut it open along the sides, sewed in side panels (the blue sections) from an old T-shirt, and added snaps to each side. I made the blue pieces extra long and trimmed them to size after trying it on him. So far it has worked fine, although one part of the elastic waist is raveling...I should have sewed it down better.

We tuck a small diaper inside the cast, underneath the underwear, because even potty trained 3-year-olds have those "I have to pee I have to pee I have to pee" moments, and right now he can't run to the potty! We really don't want to get the cast wet. The underwear holds that diaper from moving and makes him seem dressed a little more normally (for him) than using pull-ups or diapers over the cast.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Constraints Fuel Creativity

It's been a week since Tobias broke his leg. I got just a little sad looking at the 4th of July videos where he was running around with sparklers. And I got just a little sad when a box of clothes for him arrived and he can't wear any of them right now (I think they're big enough that he can still wear them a little this fall). Silly, I know. Don't worry, no one is spending too much time being sad! Mostly I'm proud of how patient and positive he's been.

I asked Toby how many days he thought it would be until the cast came off. He said 47 (that's the 3 year old version of "not quite infinity"). I counted, and that's Sept 16. We'll see.

He's in very good spirits and slept through the night last night for the first time in the cast. He's getting to try lots of new activities like tummy scooting, spirograph spinning, and accompanying Ben (Nate's friend) with shaky eggs.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Cement Snowsuit

After a tumble off a swing, Toby ended up with a broken femur. He spent two nights in the hospital where he was put under to have a spica cast put on (it goes from his armpits down to his toes on the broken leg, and to his calf on the other leg). It took awhile to get home because we needed to visit with the doctor again, have more x-rays taken, get his cast edges padded and taped up, meet with a carseat technician, etc. Tobias was amazingly patient and brave, although a few times he just "needed to cry about the legs" and asked why his uninjured leg had to be in the cast. That part made me want to cry!
There are a lot of things we are thankful for. Things that "could be worse". We're glad he didn't need surgery to put in pins or plates. We're thankful that at this age he probably won't need any special therapy afterwards to get back to normal. We're glad he's potty trained. We are appreciative of friends and family who are supporting us in prayer and practical help. I'm thankful that I was already on my way home when it happened instead of still in rural Wyoming with no cell reception. He will have full mobility again. We know that whether it's a little hard or a lot hard, God is good. He is providing and will continue to provide!

We're already learning a lot and finding creative ways to keep busy and keep comfortable.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

M: 8 months

  • owns cute hats but won't wear them
  • loves sampling yummy fruit
  • loves baths and swimming
  • 3 teeth: one top one just popped through a few days ago
  • has about an inch of hair, but it's so thin and light people still say he's bald
  • uses the potty when he gets up in the morning
  • claps hands and does "give me five"
  • forgives brother over and over again, but also loves to pull his hair and giggle
  • enjoyed first tent camping trip, especially swimming in the lake and eating dirt
  • keeps his mom so busy she's barely written anything down on his baby calendar

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Red, White, and Blueberry

Red cherries, white sugary donuts, and blue berries...maybe going to Bill's Berry Farm for the 4th of July will become a tradition!

Toby discussed literature with a 6 year old girl from Seattle over the row of blueberry bushes. They both own the book "Blueberries for Sal", but our plastic buckets don't say kerplunk, was the part I overheard.

Despite being tied firmly on my back, Malachi "Reach" managed to sample both the fruit and the foliage of the cherries and berries, plus some bark chips from the landscaping for good measure. But the freshly made donuts were all for Toby and me.

Sunday, July 01, 2012

A Few Memories

First food, 6th anniversary, 3rd birthday, first time in the swimming pool, the last mile of an 18-hour-drive road is filled with milestones and accomplishments. Sometimes they fly by at an alarming rate, but they're great opportunities to celebrate and remember. Remember how Tobias didn't want to blow out his 2nd candle last year but this year he knew just what to do? Remember two hundred people singing "praise Him above you heavenly hosts" at our wedding reception? 

I wonder if Tobias will remember our recent trip. Will he remember riding in the "granola" (gondola) and looking at the mountains? Making nutella and marshmallow animals? Throwing rocks in the lake with Uncle Jon? I hope he'll at least have fun looking at the pictures and hearing stories as he gets older! Maybe Malachi won't remember anything specific, but he knows that his Grandpas and Grandmas and Aunts and Uncles love him a lot!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Father's Day

A belated Happy Father's Day to the D-A-D that is just right for our kids.
Love you!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Challenge: Complete

The challenge is complete. The last batch of hand-washed flats are drying on the line.
My conclusions from the week are:
  • It worked. The diapers got clean, and the flats dried very fast in the dry air here (20-30 minutes outdoors).
  • If I was having to hand-wash diapers on a regular basis I would probably try to make it to a laundromat or friend's house once a week for a break.
  • It didn't seem to take a whole lot of extra time on days when I was around the house anyway. Pop into the bathroom and do the next step (wash, squeeze/drain, rinse, etc.).  On days when I had errands to run, it was more of a big chore or project. I missed being able to start my washing machine and head out for groceries and come back to clean diapers.
  • Washing diapers without regular access to a washing machine would be hard, but preferable to me than skimping on groceries, bills or healthcare, leaving a child in a wet diaper for too long, etc. 
  • I'm sure hand washing diapers isn't the solution for every family with kids who has a tight budget but no washer. But it's good to have options!
  • Hand-washing (diapers and/or clothes) might be a good skill to have for camping, power outages, or natural disasters.
Great job to all the other ladies (and dads too, I guess) who completed the challenge. I know several hundred signed up and many were able to complete. There are now hundreds of blog posts full of tips out there from people who took this challenge...roll your covers in a towel to get most of the moisture out if you need them to air-dry quickly (I had enough that I didn't need to do this step, but if you were in a more humid climate or had less covers it could really help), flour-sack towels make great diapers and cost about $1, flats can be stuffed into pocket diapers to make an easy-to-use diaper for daycare that can still be hand washed, and there are lots of different ways to wash without a washer (portable washers, utility sink, homemade camp washers).

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Can I "Kish" Them?

He wanted to help squish the diapers so I generously let him help. So far we have done 2 small loads of diaper laundry with our make-shift setup. It works. Not fun but not disgusting or impossible either.

For the record, the supplies I'm using this week (I already had all this on hand) are:
  • Covers (the waterproof part): Thirsties, Flip, and homemade
  • Flat diapers (the absorbent part): ~12 Gerber birdseye flats, 4 flannel receiving blankets
  • cloth wipes ($ store washcloths)
  • Target trashcan and waterproof liner bag to store wet diapers, small waterproof bag to keep in the diaper bag
  • bucket and plunger
  • Country Save powdered laundry detergent
  • clothesline, indoor drying rack
I estimate that to purchase all these supplies new would cost around $150. A lot of things people already have, could make or find, or could do without. For example, my nice retractible clothes line was about $17 but isn't strictly necessary.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Flats and Handwashing Challenge: Why?

It's official. I'm crazy! Crazy determined, that is. I considered not blogging about this because it is kind of strange, but if the purpose is to raise awareness then I figured that I should let people know what I'm doing:

I am taking part in the Second Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge hosted by Dirty Diaper Laundry.  For 7 days I will be using only flat cloth diapers (large 1-layer pieces of fabric) and hand-washing them, in an effort to raise awareness that cloth diapering can be affordable and accessible to all.  You can learn more about the rules and why this challenge was started by visiting the announcement post.  According to Huggies, 1 in 3 families with kids in diapers is regularly choosing between disposable diapers and other basic needs like food. Not having access to washer/dryer doesn't necessarily rule out cloth diapers as a solution for families.

The reason I chose to participate is because I met some moms here in the Tri-Cities who could benefit from using cloth diapers and want to use them, but don't have regular access to washers and dryers because they live in apartments. Flat diapers are easiest to get clean without a washing machine because they are only 1 layer thick. I figured I shouldn't really be recommending or troubleshooting something I haven't tried I'm going to try it.
I'm not afraid of flats, I've used them before (for example, on our trip to Italy), and I have a perfectly functional clothesline and indoor drying rack, but I'm guessing I'll miss my washer. I'm planning to wash the diapers in a bucket and agitate with a plunger. It is possible to make a "camp washer" out of a bucket so I'm going to do something similar, but without all the drilling.
Wish me luck!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Dry Erase Activity Book

I made an activity book for our upcoming road trip out of things I had around the house. It is a small photo book that I inserted pieces of paper into. The pages can be written on with dry-erase marker and then re-used. Here I am showing you the nice pages. Towards the end I got lazy...I think one of the pages has a Quizno's sub sandwich coupon with the word YUM written by it.

I also plan to start hoarding, making and gathering other fun things soon like happy meal toys, packaged snacks, velcro sticks, and books. I also looking for a clipboard for coloring pages. The iPod tends to make him carsick so that's not on the list!

What car activities have kept your family sane and civil during long trips?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Forward! Upward!

Tobias loves to make or imagine things that are "blastering off into space".
Malachi is definitely crawling, although it is tiring and frustrating for him! Plus, when he arrives at the toys his brother clears them away and replaces them with a boring baby toy. The end clip with the yellow toy is Tobias at a similar age (not quite 6 months...Christmas 2009) and not quite able to maneuver towards it. But crawling wasn't his thing...running was. Thankful to have two happy, smart kids who undoubtedly will both have their own unique ways of doing things!

Monday, April 30, 2012

M: 5 months

  • army crawls
  • gets up on all 4s and rocks around
  • stands by furniture
  • drools, spits and babbles
  • thinks it's funny when Tobias drools or spits (stop encouraging him, Malachi!)
  • can sit by himself for awhile
  • is very hard to hold onto during church while we sing
  • has a brand new cousin born 5 months and 5 days after he was
  • falls asleep easily in the car but wakes up as soon as we arrive anywhere
  • still has 1 tooth, but that 2nd one seems like it could come through anytime
  • just as sweet as ever

Friday, April 20, 2012

Once a Month Cooking (Month 2)

Last month 4 women and 9 of their sons convened on Rachel's house to cook the February 2012 menu from It was a fun but intense 3+ days of cooking (the first day was a long day and then the other days were partial days of cooking). We learned a lot and got to try lots of new foods (some good and some....interesting?), and decided to give it a second go.

So this week we did the March menu. We substituted one recipe and changed a few details (for example, making regular lasagna instead of lasagna rolls to keep things simple). Instead of everyone buying so many different ingredients, we each took a section of the list. For example, I bought all the dairy products to make the meals for 4 families. Some of the things we had access to for free, such as chickpeas and applesauce. The night before, we each had a few tasks to do such as soaking and cooking beans, making dough, etc. That way we saved money by not buying the canned beans and biscuits.

We haven't crunched the numbers yet (I'll update when we do) but we think we spent about $120-130 per family to produce the 15 recipes. Perhaps a little more if you include things like freezer bags and containers. Each recipe was supposed to produce 2 meals worth per family, but some of the recipes seemed to produce a lot more than that. I think I have 4 containers of quesadilla filling, and 3 of the zucchini pesto. Everyone took home 2 big broccoli stromboli rolls and 1 little one. The lasagna recipe and the cinnamon rolls had some rabbit-like qualities to them (in quantity, not flavor)....I think I put together the equivalent of eight 9x13 pans of lasagna (some of the pans were smaller so it was actually more than 8 pans). Jamie spent most of Thursday rolling out cinnamon rolls.

(photos by Sheila)

15 recipes x 2 meals worth of each recipe x 4 families = 120 meals

120 meals x 5 people per family = at least 600 servings of food, more if you count leftovers

Some of the recipes are basically a meal in themselves, and some would need buns or a vegetable or various condiments to go with them. We had some extra bags of some of the veggies though that we split up among us, so some of those are already paid for too. I think this was an economical way to try new recipes!

Next month (or at least sometime) our goal is to plan our own menu. We can make some adjustments to have it run more smoothly with so much quantity and limited freezer space, as well as using some of our personal favorite recipes or hits from this month or last month's menu.

Besides the convenience of having all this healthy food in the freezer, it was a fun time getting to talk with others while we were cooking! The kids played (and built things, and bothered the chickens, etc.) in the fenced backyard and didn't get into too much trouble.

If you're thinking of trying this with friends, look at They now have some 5 and 10 day mini menus, so you could start small and then expand, instead of starting big and then trying to simplify like we did!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Physical Education: Wrestling Class

In a scene reminiscent of the classic "Tobias introduces his brother" (except now Malachi can laugh and even fight back), Tobias scoops Malachi into his lap and chats with him.

In case some of the audio is unclear, here's a partial transcript:

H: Hey, gentle.
T: He is not saying stop, and he has one tooth, and he's a baby!
I'm gonna hold him for awhile
Hey, say hi to him! Hiiii! Hiiii! He likes me!
N: He sure does.
T: Yeah, do you like me?
N: I think he likes to pull your hair too.
T: Do you like that baby Malachi? Do you like that baby Malachi? Do you?
This is my friend baby Malachi!
N: It's your brother, Tobes.
T: Yeah, it is my brother...tickle him!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Theological Education

So much to learn! Tobias is soaking up Catechism questions and asking "what letter does that start with" dozens of times per day. Malachi is scootching, sliding, and drifting away from where I set him on the floor. Nate is business-ing and programming and I'm sure he's learning things that I do not even understand. Hannah is sewing and making patterns (hat tutorial coming soon when I work out the last quirks), planning for mega-freezer-cooking day next week, and scheming ways to keep the quail out of the garden. It might be a stretch to say the chickens are learning anything new, but they are enjoying the moveable coop, they get fresh grass every day or two.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

4 month old letter

To: My 3-month-old friends
From: Malachi

Dear friends,

Soon you will be hitting the milestone of 4 months old. That is 1/3 of a year. "Time flies", my mom and dad say. I'm not sure what that means. Let me pass on a few words of wisdom and advice to you, though, as you approach this important time of your life.

First, please note that once your arms and hands start working properly, it opens up whole new fields of exploration. I particularly recommend putting everything in your mouth. Clothing, plates, noses, whatever you can get those hands on. Bonus points if it's frozen and feels good on your teeth or gums. You will find that some objects are forbidden, such as silverware, glasses and hair. I have yet to figure out what all these forbidden items have in common...they seem to all look like toys to me.

I am on my way to developing a new mode of transportation in order to obtain things to get into my mouth. I haven't worked out all the details yet but I'll let you in on what I've discovered so far: first, roll onto your tummy and lift your butt into the air. When you get tired of holding it up, the potential energy will propel you either forwards or backwards. This may place you closer to the desired object. If not, repeat until you are successful or someone takes pity on you and gives you the object.

The entertainment around my house is so-so. It's good to smile and be friendly and such, but I like to hold out with the actual laughter for the truly absurd and hilarious. 'Cause then they do it again and again. And get out the video cameras.

I must stress the importance of working out those core abdominal muscles (because we all know that crawling is not our ultimate goal...we are baby bipeds). Crunches, planks, side crunches, and leg lifting are good options. Sure it may disrupt your sleep if you're trying to do these things while swaddled, but that can be dealt with! And if you can find a nice cozy Aunt to nap on during the day, you'll be caught up on sleep in no time anyway. I seem to have misplaced mine though :(

Well, my mom is telling me to quit drooling on the keyboard so I better go now.

Your friend,


Thursday, March 08, 2012

Soundtrack: ABCs + Tron

Tobias serenades the Sunday park-goers with an abbreviated version of the ABCs (he does know them all, not sure why he left some out), and Malachi attempts to roll the other way (maybe if I'm lucky I'll catch that on video when it happens).

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Cute vs. Cute

I recruited Tobias's help to make Malachi smile. Turned into kind of a friendly attack...

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day Peanut Butter Heart Cookies

I saw some cute cookies on Pinterest, but I was either too cheap or didn't plan ahead enough to buy heart-shaped chocolates.

So I used Aunt Janet's peanut butter cookie recipe and added 3 chocolate chips to the top of each. After they baked, I used a toothpick to push the melted chocolate into a heart shape.

Lest you think it was a complete Martha Stewart experience, I did drop some.

I also let Tobias help. He wanted to make owl cookies (2 chocolate chips for eyes) instead of hearts. Then some of the owls ended up with more than 2 eyes, somehow. Then the eyes got poked with a toothpick. I am assuming they will all taste good though.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

A Well-Rounded Education

  • Tobias: Construction skills, shapes, numbers, taking turns, apologizing (Tobias apologizes to "baby Mow-ki" for scaring him with the noisy hammer).
  • Malachi: how to smile without falling over

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Spring Smiles

I employed a film-making technique known as the "flashback" in this movie...the first clip is of Tobias at a little over 2 months old, followed by Malachi at about the same age (now).
Then some toddler vehicle negotiation by Tobias and Jayna.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

M: 2 months

  • Quick to smile (especially in the morning, but I still haven't gotten very many good smile pictures)
  • 12 lbs. 8 oz.
  • Tries to be tough when attacked by Tobias but usually gives a big pout
  • 25 inches long
  • sucks his two middle fingers when he's sleepy
  • growing out of clothes and diapers left and right
  • thankfully doesn't burp and spit quite as much as he used to
  • sits up with help and can hold his head up well
  • longest stretch of sleep: 7 hrs.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Bedtime Routine

Most evenings in our house involve a little dancing before bed. It helps everyone get the wiggles out.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Zip Zip!

Tobias reading a Mercer Mayer book with Holly...
Tobias having fun at a friend's birthday party...
Malachi not giving the camera any smiles (we'll keep trying)...

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Hammer & Thread

I'm guessing most of your Christmas 2011 shopping is done by now. But if you're looking ahead to Christmas 2012, birthdays coming up, or if you got money at Christmas that you "need" to spend on something nice, check out Hammer & Thread, my parents' new store on Etsy.

They have a variety of unique items for sale, including a Dutch shuffleboard set (Sjoelbak). Shuffleboard is a noisy, fun game that is good for all ages!

We were given one of the growth chart rulers for Christmas for our family and we plan on taking a picture of our kids on their birthdays by the ruler. Here is our 3 ft. tall 2 and a half year old!

We also own a Corian cutting board that we've used for years. It is still in great shape and is one of my favorite to use because it is large, nice-looking, and has a groove around the edge to catch juice.

Have fun looking around their shop! If you live in Northwest Iowa and would like to pick up an item instead of paying to have it shipped to you, they are more than happy to arrange that!