My little princess offers fashion advice

Last night we were getting ready to go to my sister’s house for Tuesday potluck.  This is a weekly family & friends event that rotates between 3 households.

Kaitlyn wanted my opinion on the outfit she was wearing, but 4yo Rachael jumped in first.

“Just wear something really pretty, because boys will be there,” she offered.

We both smirked as we eyed her little pilgrim-style dress, oversized cowgirl boots, and flowery pink headband.

“Oh…is that what you’re doing?”

She smiled primly and looked down to admire herself.

“Yes, see?  I look kinda like a princess.”

Pumpkin rolls

Cream-cheese-filled Pumpkin Rolls are a longstanding tradition in our house.  My mother-in-law has made them for the masses every Thanksgiving and Christmas for time immemorial, raising enough funds for Christmas shopping to make Santa look stingy.  I sold a few myself back when all of the kids were little, working far into the wee hours while the wee people slept.

Now my girls do it.  Last year was their first time, and they raised a respectable amount of money.  This year I was dragging my feet about the whole ordeal but they were undeterred by my whining and our lack of a freestanding freezer.

The noise and mess are terrific, and so is their level of motivation.  It started today: this morning I woke to a sparkling clean house.  The children were knocking on my bedroom door to ask if they might just run the half-mile to my sister’s house and back to borrow some baking soda.  And run they did.  They were there and back, over hill and dale, in a flash.

And then it began in earnest.

They made 12 before they ran out of sugar.  Now I’m waiting for the mess to evaporate.  It might be a long wait.  I might need a snack while I’m waiting…

you know you are loved when….

you open your lunch to find…

a homemade personal size pizza and a the last of someone’s personal stash of skittles.

thanks gals you made me smile today.

Big-mouth puppet

posted by 7 yo Becca.

Yesterday my sister and I found instructions for a big-mouth puppet.
It was  fun and easy.
This video is going to tell you how to make it.
Please leave a comment if your kids try it.

Photo SharingVideo SharingPhoto PrintingPhoto Books

She loves me

Our kids love to go to work with their dad, but I sure miss them – especially the younger ones. It feels unnatural to have them gone for so long.  Apparently they miss me too.

They left extra early several days this week, and since they were leaving before most of us woke up, they took to leaving notes on the whiteboard for the rest of the family.

Most of the notes had to do with chores: “Kaitlyn, please check the rabbits for me,” or “50 cents to whoever puts away the dishes for me today.”

This note just warmed my heart.

Happy birthday, Becca

Becca turned 7 yesterday, but I am a bad mom.  See?  I even start my daughter’s birthday post by talking about myself.

Why am I bad?  Because I didn’t do a birthday post for my daughter on her birthday.  Don’t be fooled by the date on the post; I cheated and backdated it.  See?  Bad mom proof #2: I cheat.

I did have an excuse for not posting yesterday: I couldn’t find a good photo of Becca to include.  She was at work with her dad so I couldn’t take a good picture.  But see?  Worse and worse.  Bad mom proof #3: I’m making excuses for myself.  Isn’t that what every bad mom does?  And honestly: What good mom can’t find at least one good recent photo of her child?

Now witness how Dad is making me look even worse:

He had both the child and the camera on her birthday.

He took her out to lunch on her birthday.

He bought her ice cream on her birthday.

His mom sent her a package that arrived right on her birthday.

And to top it off, he reminded me to do the post for her birthday.

The score


Mom: 0

But I’m trying to make up for it.  Yesterday I helped Natalie make Becca a lovely birthday skirt.  Last night, we set up a treasure hunt for her gifts. And now I’m doing her birthday post.

The new score

Dad: 5

Mom: 3

Today – even though we leave town early tomorrow morning – I will take the  Birthday Girl to both WalMart and lunch.  Maybe even ice cream.  Score 3 more points for mom.

The projected score

Dad: 5

Mom: 6

See, honey?  Mommy loves you best.  Happy Birthday, Becca!

Big girls and little girls

It’s high time I do a post about one of those “old”  kids – the ones we had before little Bethany came along.

What I really want to say is that 8yo Natalie is blossoming into a mature and helpful young lady.  I love to see our girls grow into  young women but I’m always a bit surprised when it happens.

Natalie couldn’t wait for the new baby to be born.  In our house, each older child has a younger charge,  and Natalie was next in line.  She spent months volunteering for diaper duty on her brother so that she could be ready when the baby came.

She also grew and matured in other ways in anticipation of joining the ranks of Big Kids.  She has become more conscientious about her chores, and far more willing helping to both me and her sisters.  Although she is still a beginning reader herself and shy about reading in front of older sisters, she constantly offers to read stories to the little ones.   She has grown taller and more ladylike – surely that can’t happen as a result of psychological growth, but the timing was uncanny!

Now that Bethany is 6 weeks old, Natalie is helping more and more with her.  She’s not her sole or primary caregiver, of course, but she is the first back-up.  This is an arrangement – a relationship – that Natalie looked forward to greatly, and she has taken it to heart.  I love to see the bond that is already growing between them.

I’m also amused at the contrast between these two.  One with her new, pale skin and the other so brown that at least one of our friends has nicknamed her “our little Spanish daughter.”

Natalie is such a sweet sister, and I’m thankful to have her influence so heavily upon little Bethany.

Happy Birthday, Rachael!

The cutest little redhead in the world is 4 now.  There’s something special about that age, isn’t there?  All of my children are strongly imprinted in my mind at that age.  It’s like they’ll always be 4 to me.

Four-year-olds are still so small, yet self-aware and precocious.

I love it.

Rachael is 4 now

And I love my sweet little redhead.

Back to the daily grind

For hubby, that is.  After a week of staying home to pamper me (not to be confused with diapering the baby – he didn’t do any of that), today I bade my hunney goodbye as he went back to work.  I always miss him after a weekend at home but it feels downright strange not to have him here after 10 days.

Lest you think poorly of him for not doing diaper duty, let me confess that I have probably changed less than 10 of Bethany’s diapers so far.  There are just so many willing hands that it would be selfish of us to do more.  I can’t share feeding duty (though I gladly would; ouch!) so I’ll share what I can.  😀

While I’m confessing things, I’ll also tell you that like several other of our children, Bethany had a mild case of jaundice.  It’s mostly cleared up now and that’s not the confession part anyway.  The confession part is that I think jaundice is pretty.  It makes the baby’s skin color look so rich and smooth – I was disappointed the first time a midwife told us that it wasn’t our baby’s natural color and I couldn’t attribute it to our American Indian heritage.  Go ahead and laugh at me, or shake your head in horror at my naivete.  I was a new mom once, too.

And while we’re still on true confessions, go ahead and hate me: she has slept 7-8 hours straight through every night for 6 nights in a row.  All of my babies have been good sleepers, but this one takes the cake and I can’t take an iota of credit.  Isn’t that the best sort of blessing?

Baby Bethany status

Don’t hate me.  I can hardly believe it myself, but this little child has slept at least 7 hours straight for each of the last 3 nights.

I don’t expect it to continue, and there is payback every day when she nurses doubletime to make up for missed feedings, but it’s been a true blessing.  I don’t mean just because I can sleep uninterrupted, but because my poor aching appendages are getting a good chunk of time to heal while she sleeps. Her technique has not improved much, but I’m getting tougher and healing up.

One reader suggested that Bethany might be tongue-tied; my midwife checked and said that she’s not, but the tip of her tongue looks like the top of a heart: it has a cute little indentation rather than being rounded.  This doesn’t look unusual at all to me which means several of our babies probably had tongues like this, but my midwife said that it makes her tongue effectively shorter so that she can’t latch on quite as well.


heart shaped tongue

The midwife said that she will outgrow it but this hasn’t been a problem for Bethany anyway.  She still looks like a skinny little monkey, but is gaining weight much more quickly than most of our other babies.

skinny little monkey baby

Here’s another pic of her little heart-shaped tongue just because it’s so cute:

and now…I have writer’s block.  I have been staring at the bottom of this post for half an hour.  How to end it?  Like a phone call?  I’ll talk to you later.  Bye.