A new regime

It has been a pretty major week around the Smith household.  In most important news the “China Flower” bloomed.  We have no idea what type of flower it is, but Wen knows.  He may or may not have smuggled some seeds into the country without knowing it (or the rules).  That’s why it’s in a pot and not the flower garden!  Anyone know what this is???  He said there is also a white flower and the red ones are used to make nail polish apparently!
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Also, we are all trying to get into a routine for work and preschool and homeschool and baby sleeping schedule! Phew!  Although it’s been tough to make some changes, the kids really have thrived within the boundaries of a set routine.

For the past week, the boys have gotten up (or stayed in bed, in Rand’s case) at 7am, made their beds, gotten dressed, put their pajamas away, opened the drapes/turned off sound machine etc., and then they report to the kitchen to help set the table for breakfast.  At 7:30 we have breakfast all together and do our family time.

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This week at family time, we’ve started learning The Lord’s Prayer all together and also we do a new question each morning from the Catechism.  This is the little book another mom suggested to me last year and we really like it for kids.  You can get it here or here.  Don’t pay more than $2 though! It’s a tiny little book and amazon has it mispriced.
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At 8:00 the boys go brush teeth, gather their things for school and then we’re ready to go by 8:15 for either taking Philip to preschool, heading to our homeschool room (the den!) or  whatever we have for that particular day.

Since Wen uses a watch to keep up with his bathroom schedules, the other two boys have been wanting watches too… last week Rand bought one with his savings and Philip asked me if he could borrow mine, although I think he’s planning to keep it!

We don’t plan to do this routine for Saturdays or Sundays to make them special, but for the weekdays it has worked great so far!  And it has made me have to be READY myself…

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Sweet days and sweet potatoes

Guess who likes sweet potatoes? We mashed up a microwaved sweet potato for Bo and he didn’t love it. So I roasted some in the oven and Wen helped me scoop and blend them up with a little water and we decided it tasted so much better we tried again and sure enough, Bo loved it (and the other 3 loved tasting it!)


Next up…avocado maybe?
 
 Today the boys spent most of the day in the pool. Bo and I took a dip with them too but mostly kept an eye on them from under the fan on the porch.
 
 They have come up with so many little games and role plays. It’s fun to listen. And our neighbors have probably had it…these boys are so loud!


They all had another swim lesson today too – they have really done well learning strokes and now some dives and jumps.
 
 We also watched our birds and hummingbirds. Rand spotted this tiny goldfinch at the feeder. Can you see it?


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Summer days

We are easing into homeschool over here with some fun activities. We just finished up a unit study on seashells.  My mom has always loved shells/shelling and is somewhat of an expert so it was nice to do this project with her over the summer.

To complement it, we learned about the “sh” sound and identified words.  We also did some math and counted out 5 rows of 5 shells each and lined them up heaviest to lightest and tied them on strings of driftwood and made a mobile for Bo’s room!

Rand had fun with the jingle “toenail” shells.
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Don’t worry, we decided not to hang the mobile directly over Bo’s bed, just in case!!!!

We also worked on setting up our school room.  Here’s part of it, I’ll post some more photos later.

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Every day, the kids have fun fixing the calendar and recently, thanks to Grandmommy’s idea, we did a project and learned about where Brazil was and what the Olympics are.  Wen and Rand also have been practicing some sight words.  Don’t worry, I know “I got a dollar” is not a proper sentence, but Wen begged me to have that be his use of the word “a” in a sentence after our recent obsession with the Little Rascals.

We’ve also been out and about some.  We went and visited our Great Uncle (the kids Great, Great Uncle) again.  The kids were begging to go as they think the retirement center is pretty fun because everyone is really happy to see them and they also race up and down the halls.  As I’ve said before, I think it works out well to take young children to nursing homes.  It brings the residents great joy and, when the kids do things (like race down the halls), not everyone can hear them!  This time, the boys made some chocolate chip cookies and some hand-made cards to go with them for some of the people we’ve met.

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Wen and I went out one afternoon and visited a new jerky store in town called Sage Harvest.  A percentage of the profits are donated to orphan care (mostly China!) and so we wanted to go see what it was all about.  We know one of the families who helped to open the store as they have adopted kiddos from China and were a help to us before our most recent trip.

Wen and I both liked the teriyaki jerky best!

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Rand and Wen are going to start going to a bible study with me (the kids go their own study as well) and they were really excited about it and, even though it doesn’t start until September, they wanted to go see where it was today.  So, while Philip had some daddy time, we did a trial run to see how long it would take us to get there – it is out in the country!  We found it and, to the boys delight, there was an ice cream/coffee shop on the route that we stopped to check out.

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Bo has been doing all sorts of new things and has been up a little more in the night than usual (hey, would you want to sleep if you just learned how to do a bunch of cool new tricks?  No!  You’d want to stay up and practice them too, right?)

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We took him over to our mom’s the other night to get some work done and he wanted to join in.  Check out that smirk.

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After being up feeding Bo in the night, this happens sometimes in the afternoons.  Where are the other kids?  Philip is also snoozing and Rand and Wen are on the other side of the sofa in their lego haven.  I will have to post a photo of that soon.

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The other night Bo took his first dip in the pool and really enjoyed it.  The other 3 boys thought it was the most awesome night because it was bed time (almost) and Wes thew the older 3 in by surprise with their clothes on for a night swim.  They said it was “the most fun day” as they were falling into bed that night.

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Tomorrow we’ll begin our new regime of trying to be more on a schedule for Bo and for the boys.  We haven’t gone on our family vacation yet (October!) and so it doesn’t feel like summer is almost over.  I’m glad we’ll be delaying it for as long as possible!

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They never cease to surprise me

Last week, the laundry aligned and Bo, Rand and Philip all ended up in the same pajamas on the same night.  Wen was devastated because his were in the wash pile and so he’s been asking every night since when they could all wear the same pajamas.  It’s partly funny/partly sweet/partly sad because I guess this is something that is new to him and REALLY fun – even though I would have thought a 12 year old would be too cool to dress like his little brothers (he mostly wears athletic shorts and a tshirt to sleep).

But, last night, ALL 4 boys had baths and all the pajamas in the house were clean (miracle!) and so I told Wen that they could all match…and then of course we had to take a photo.

Here’s the sweet smile – and they are all looking!  I’m going to have to get a print made of it.

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Next was the silly face – even Bo participated…

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Then the “tough guy” faces.  Rand threw up some gang signs and even Bo looks pretty tough.

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And then Wes started making everyone laugh.

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And laugh some more!

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But this is my favorite!

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And there you have it – the story of the matching pajamas, thanks to Wen.  And Hanna Andersson.  (Although I got mine when they went on sale on Zulily for half the price;)  They are organic and well-made and I’m hoping they will last being 4x hand-me-downs!

Another funny story from the Smith house:  I was headed to a doctor appointment and the kids all said to Wes, “Where’s mommy going?”  When Wes told them I had a doctor’s appointment, Wen said “YEAH!” and gave a fist pump because they all thought that me going to the doctor = having another baby! HA! I told them I was not having another baby and asked why they wanted another baby already and they ALL started yelling: “We want another baby” and “We love babies” – it was pretty funny.

These 4 boys never cease to surprise me.  This time it was wanting to wear matching pajamas (at 12) and loving babies so much (even when the baby of the house takes me away from being with them some when they need me).  I was especially thankful for these 2 particular surprises and am looking forward to the next one to get me again.

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Ladybugs

We have had a spider mite infestation in our vegetable garden.  I don’t like to spray to keep our gardening as organic as possible, so we looked up what eats spider mites and turns out one of their main predators is the … ladybug!  I went on Amazon.com and ordered 1500 ladybugs for $11 (including shipping!) and they arrived yesterday and so we released them.  It was fun.  We may even do it again. A lot of them have stayed around but I think if I had misted the garden more frequently, we could have had even more stay – there sure are plenty of spider mites to go around!!!

Much to our amazement, there was not a single dead one in the bag!  Even after sitting in our mailbox for several hours.

We cut open the bag with some scissors and they immediately started streaming out.  So we placed it around the garden so they could get on all the plants having bug issues.  Here they are arriving on the eggplant to find plentiful food and water!

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The boys also enjoyed letting them crawl on their hands and arms.

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After a couple hundred took up residence on the eggplant, we moved the bag over to the tomatoes

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I checked on them tonight and there were still quite a few who have decided to make our garden their home for a while and help us not lose our crop of tomato, eggplant, bell pepper, watermelon and herbs that are still going strong!

Also, I mentioned one of our seashell projects – we grew crystals on them with Borax.  It was really easy and the result is pretty amazing.  You can do it with pipe cleaners too with some amazing results (google it!).  Here’s the recipe.  I would even experiment next time with using a little more Borax than the recipe calls for.

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4 months

Today I (almost) finished up our homeschool space and then took Bo to his 4 month apt at the pediatrician. I’m a little behind since he’s closer to 5 months old now. What!?
 
 We talked about starting solid food soon and he had to get a lot of shots:( he did great though and only cried a little! Rand and Wen said a little prayer for him before we left and Rand cried then thinking about Bo getting shots! (And don’t let this fool you – he’s a compassionate kiddo but he also was the only one not obeying during the bedtime routine this eve).
 
 Bo and I made up a game with his burp cloth while waiting for shots…

 Also the boys and I did a science experiment today with some of the shells. Tell you more about it tomorrow as it is still ongoing…
 

 Tonight we swam and had some friends over for pizza and the boys loved it. Tonight I’m turning in early because who knows what will happen in the night with Bo and all those shots.

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Things I like

I’ve already missed a few posts out of my 100.  Since it was national breastfeeding week, of course, I got a plugged duct/mastitis from feeding Bo and it took me out for a good day and a half.  I had a fever, pain and felt like I had the flu.  Brilliant timing.  So, to kick off the week’s “Things I like” post, I’ll start with…

1.  This website: Kellymom.com If you’re a breastfeeding mom, it’s super helpful and I attribute it to helping me know what to do without having to spend time waiting in the docs office (to be told to go home and rest and drink fluids and some other things you can read about if you reeallly want to, but you probably don’t) and to know that an antibiotic wasn’t necessary unless the infection got worse!

2.  The Little Rascals (1994).  We had a movie night with the boys and they loved it!  All three boys laughed so hard and Wes and I enjoyed seeing it again too – it had been a while!  Thanks to Uncle Sam for singing “I got a dollar…I got a dollar” and giving us the idea!

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3.  Annabelle Hydrangeas and summertime in our yard.  I know I’ve mentioned the fun we are having with our vegetable garden, but I have also been loving our yard and everything that is growing in so well with all the summer rain and sunshine.  We’ve been constantly picking things to bring in or make arrangements with and it is so much fun.  It’s all exactly how I want it!  I’ve been in hydrangea heaven.

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4.  The Weekly Meal Deal from the Fresh Market.  It is only $20 and it easily feeds everyone.  Bonus that it’s one less meal to plan out for the week.

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(Last week was Tacos, this week was Kebabs – both were great!  Unfortunately next week is sausages…not sure how that will go over so we may have to take a week off…)

5.  The boys skin has been so dry from all of our swimming and we’ve been loving the the Baby Oil from Beautycounter.  Bo was the one that got us all started on it! It’s less expensive than their other body oil we’d been using and the kids like the baby one better because they are weird about scents and this doesn’t have a smell.   And I love not having to worry about it having anything unsafe in it.

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6.  The moms from “Wild and Free” – a group of homeschool mothers – I mostly follow them on instagram or their individual blogs but many of them have helped me to be more inspired about what’s next for us, especially as it feels like we heading down such a different path and everyone (including Rand) is talking about starting kindergarten, etc.

7.  These tasty drinks:  The fresh squeezed OJ at our massive Harris Teeter Juice Bar, Southern Pines Brewing Co. “Malty by Nature,” Cactus Creek “Butter Pecan” coffee (you can taste it at the Roast Office), and my old standby which I have yet to tire of… Peach Pear LaCroix with a splash of Organic Cranberry Juice Cocktail.

Cheers to Monday and a fresh new week!

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Seashells

Today Ema came over again and went through our seashells and sorted them and showed the boys how to clean them and identify them.

For as long as I can remember my mom has loved seashells. Walking the beach with us as children every summer we’d find them and then she’d teach us about each one. It was fun to see her teach the boys today. Sailors ears, brown cockles, slipper shells, jingle “toenail” shells, olives, moon shells, turbans, etc. I hope they will love finding seashells next time we visit the beach too!

 Bo hung right there with us too…
Bo gets a lot of attention from his brothers. Sometimes a little too much. And sometimes it’s hard to feed or change him because he’s trying to catch up with and watch what is going on. And there is always something going on!

 Today the boys took turns having Popsicles and some porch time while the other had a swim lesson! Can’t wait to show their progress they all have the confidence now to dive down for rings and can do some basic swim strokes. In just 6 lessons it is amazing how they have become such good swimmers!

After swimming Wen and Rand made beds in the living room and watched a show (we love peppa pig! A great vocabulary builder for English learners!) while I rocked Bo and Philip napped.

 I love my boys.

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Wednesday

Today was Wednesday. The wonderful thing about Wednesday is that my mom comes over and spends some of the day with me. Today Wes started singing “she’s working 9 to 5…” To her because she was really here from 9-5!
 
 Bo was really fussy today – normally he can stop crying or fussing just by being picked up or talked to or fed and today he just seemed to be fussy. Prob a combo of a few things so we tried giving him a bath which worked for a little while.
 
 Wen got a few smiles talking to him before ema and I went to town trying to get rid of his cradle cap.


After his bath mom and I loaded everyone up and took them to go have a takeout lunch with our great uncle (kids great great uncle) at his retirement home nearby.
 
 He had a great time seeing the kids and, as always it was an easy place to take them to visit. If you have really young kids, consider visiting a retirement home with them – it brings so much joy to the residents, the employees are great with kids usually and it’s really safe!
 


Again, Bo was not his usual happy self but did ok, except for the photo.


There are several miracles in just this one photo. Bo, our great uncle and our reconciliation to him, our boys Wen and Philip and the fact that ALL of our family has welcomed them with open arms and without question. We are grateful to God every day but today I was especially thankful for the blessing of family.
 
 
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Around

A few things going on around here…
 Wes and I walked into the hall to see this sight. Rand (not sure where his clothes are) helping Philip (aka superman) squeeze into a tiger costume with a ninja sword. Ha!

 Our afternoons we try and sit on the porch. The boys have been coloring those mindful/stress release, intricate coloring book pages/doodles while I read to them a few chapters. Bo and Nina hang out too. We are currently reading “Sign of the Beaver”

 Wen and Rand have been faithfully watering the garden every morning and patiently waiting on the watermelons to get big enough to pick.


We’ve been having fun with our unruly summer garden.

 We’ve also had fun watching butterflies and hummingbirds and picking flowers from our butterfly garden.

 We have so much basil. Thankfully it makes a pretty arrangement!


That’s all for today…
 
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Sunday Matinee

Today, after church and lunch, Wen, Rand and I went to a matinee documentary.

A friend suggested we see The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble.  It’s a documentary about people from (some war-torn or communist…Iran, Syria, China) different backgrounds and cultures coming together to speak the language of music.  I enjoyed it.  Especially the music, although I do wish it went more into depth about how they wrote the music, etc.  Also, I wouldn’t recommend it for a 5 year old (Rand begged to go along and won out) or someone who can’t read since a lot of the movie is sub-titled.  However, both boys enjoyed the overall experience and made comments after about how fun and special it was.

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Boomerang

Have you tried the Boomerang app? It’s really fun!
 
 Today the boys got really into being superheroes after Wes showed them the old school Batman show.
 

 Dressing up and making “Bat-erangs” as rand calls them (bat shaped boomerang) ensued.
 
 I think superman may be doing “the Carlton” here…

 More swimming.

 Boomerang is so funny! I can’t stop playing with it…
 
 
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Things I like

Lately we are liking…

1.  Swimming a lot.

2. Using our garden veggies to make things like salsa.  And my uncle just sent me a baba ganoush recipe to make with our eggplant surplus.

3. Flash tats – so much more fashionable for the kids to have a sparkly boho fake tatoo than a superhero or cartoon animal.  We all have them on our arms (and Rand has an arrow on his leg!)

4.  Trips to the library to get more books to read…usually followed by a trip to the Roast Office to get a coffee and chocolate milk…and sometimes a cookie:)

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5. Friendship bracelets.  These have been fun to teach the kids how to make on hot or rainy afternoons while the youngest two are napping.  There are so many different styles from a simple braid to a wrap to the one I linked.  We use a safety pin or some tape and either pin it or tape it to something that doesn’t move.  We are also liking these Pura Vida already made ones by Costa Rican artisans.

6. Finding caterpillars and bugs in the yard or watching the hummingbirds at the feeder and then learning about them and drawing what we learned.

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7.  Watching this little guy grow. He’s changed so much. Yesterday I overheard Rand say he couldn’t stop kissing Bo because he loved him so much. It’s so much fun to hear each of the boys talk to Bo when they think I’m not listening.

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Grandmother’s butterflies

Today would have been my maternal grandmother’s “Geah’s” 91st birthday.  We spent the day at the lake with my mom’s siblings and my cousins and their children (I only took mental pictures…oops) and on the way home Wes found a caterpillar in the car.  We brought it home and it is just like the ones we would catch with Geah and watch turn into Anise and Black Swallowtails.  In fact, these are photos I took from a book she had.

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I think of my grandparents whenever I see butterflies and when I’m on the lake since I have so many childhood from their home on the lake.  It was perfect today to be around both!

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100 days

My sister-in-law, Kristen, is doing this cool project where she does a painting every single day for 100 days.  I think maybe I should try to do the same with my blog to help me get better about writing and posting… a post every day for 100 days… which would be from today until November 4th… I wonder if I could do it?  I’m not as disciplined, but I guess that’s the point.  Some days, I forget to even answer my text messages (I answer them in my head, but then it never quite gets alllll the way back to the person…)!

Today was “Ema” day (my mom came over) and A LOT got done! Not in order:

2 loads of laundry (1 of which is folded but maybe not yet put away), 1 kid to eye doc, pilates class, 3 blackberry cobblers made (one for us and 2 to take to a family gathering), library books read, garden picking (eggplant, tomatoes, cucumbers, okra and cherry tomatoes), all kids toenails and fingernails clipped, I showered!, kids bathed and fed dinner, cleaned out fridge, set up hummingbird feeder, learned how hummingbirds build a nest, and drew and colored pictures of hummingbirds, picked up some things we needed from the store…

Phew!

I also was able to get a little work done for Beautycounter and for Jessie Mackay, a local artist and friend who I help with marketing and sales.  We decided to try something fun and are setting up a daily auction instagram account!  You can follow it here.  Each day, we’ll post a new painting for sale and first person to reply in the comments with their email address we’ll send the invoice to.  Most all of the paintings will be under $200 and are unframed oil on board paintings.  A few that are odd sized will come custom framed.   The first one will post on Friday, July 29th – so go follow @jessiemackayart now!

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My little cutie at the eye doc.

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One of the blackberry cobblers. Recipe is here but it doesn’t need as much sugar as it calls for. You can do less than a cup and also we just sprinkled a teaspoon or two on top instead of 1/4 cup!

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1/100 done!  99 more posts to go…

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Summer Reading

Summer reading for the kids, that is – because children’s books are pretty much all I can handle right now!

One of my favorite things we’ve been doing this summer is checking out books from the library!  We’ve also found a few at a local book thrift store which has been fun too and the boys got some new ones for their birthdays we’ve been enjoying.

A few of our favorites so far have been…

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These first three got a lot of laughs – all 3 boys like silly books.  And Little Babaji will make you want to eat some pancakes.

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The BFG we are working on, I read a chapter or two at a time.  Before starting the BFG, we read the first book in the series of the Boxcar Children and the older two boys really got into it.

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The Raft has been my favorite one so far!  The day we read it we also had a baby deer show up at the door, but you’ll have to read the book to find out why that was so cool!

Our favorite place to read is on the porch.  Especially during a summer storm, it’s my favorite place to sit in the whole house!

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Bo also likes to hang out on the porch while we read.

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What are you reading these days?

 

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Bo Knows…Diapers

This is a really random post but I wanted to share in case you either have kids or grandkids in diapers OR you are getting someone a baby gift – diapers are always helpful, right?!

<<On a side note, I feel a little bit guilty that I have a drawer full of wonderful FuzziBunz cloth diapers that I used on Rand during his first year of life, but I can’t even keep up with our regular laundry these days so I am not going to even attempt cloth diapering again until I am a little more on top of things at the house.>>

Back to what I wanted to share…

For the first time in a while, I had a really bad headache.  The migraine type that start behind your eye and then hurts so bad it makes your tummy hurt!  I’ve discovered that scents (like most candles!) are huge triggers for me.  We were low on diapers and at HT they didn’t have the ones I needed in Bo’s size so I bought a pack of Pampers and cannot believe how strong the scent is on them!  Bo still smells like them after a diaper and outfit change!  I had to toss them into the garage and will deal with them later.  You would think it was only USED diapers that would smell so strongly! Ha!  Anyhow, I am 100% certain they are the culprit of the migraine and will just have to shop online to find what I need.  I really don’t like buying bulky things online because of all the packaging but when I can’t find them locally…

Also, the company I work for, Beautycounter, posted a helpful blog post on non-toxic diapers a while back.  You can read it here.

Here are the diapers we prefer, in order:
1.  Bambo Nature – so soft!

2. Whole Foods 365 Brand

3.  Earth’s Best

4. Seventh Generation

5.  Honest Brand

6. Huggies Little snugglers (what I buy when I can’t find the above, they are WAY less scented than Pampers)

Please note, I did not price check the links, so shop around.  Also, here’s my personal Paper Road link – enter PAPERRD20 at checkout to get 15% off your order at Diapers.com – I use this site frequently for diaper orders especially when I have a coupon code!  Happy diapering:)

use code: PAPERRD20
Buy Baby Items at Diapers.com

New customers to Diapers.com, Casa.com or other Quidsi sites only. $20 maximum discount. Subject to change or cancellation.

 

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Bo spam

I just can’t help myself…

And all three older boys have a hard time keeping their little hands off Bo too – he’s so lovable.   Wen is always saying…”mom, look at baby Bo, he’s so cute!”


This one looks like he’s had enough of my phone in his face. And I’ve only documented a “few” but there must be a couple hundred thousand kisses and cuddles and smiles I’ve committed to memory and enjoyed the moment instead of jumping up to find my camera/phone. As my dad used to remind me (when I would go slightly crazy trying to document moments or places), “Anna, some moments are better to just remember.”

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June 7


13 years later…
 
 Yesterday we celebrated our 13th anniversary (a day late) and went out for dinner at one of our favorite restaurants thanks to a generous check from Ema (she also gets us some of our real silver place settings each year and this year we got the soup spoons!). Bo got to come too because, when you are 2 months old, you get to do things like that! He was very well-behaved and we get a big kick out of all the attention he gets and comments from people who think he’s our first. They always are surprised when we tell them there are 3 more at home with the babysitter!
 
 On our actual anniversary we had dinner with the boys followed by some fun time on the porch. We both imagined that maybe we’d have 4 kiddos by 13 years of marriage but never imagined having a 12 year old or adding to our family the way it went down. God is good like that -filled with joy beyond what we can dream up for ourselves.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone. (Time for summer and just as I’ve taken away the kids iPads for the summer I’ve figured out how to blog more easily from my phone… Do as I say not as I do should be my motto to the kids I suppose!)
 

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Easter Baskets

So we went back and forth on the whole Easter Basket thing…and decided to do them after all.  We just don’t want bunnies and eggs and candy to take over this season that is meant to celebrate the fact that JESUS DIED FOR OUR SINS AND ROSE FROM THE DEAD…so we are trying to be careful…especially when deciding what our family traditions will be.

On the nights we do our “family-style” dinners in the dining room we each do an ornament for our lent tree and read the bible story that goes along with it.  The kids are at the ages where they are really getting into it more and even are recognizing the stories from church, reading their kids Bibles and from this cool Bible app they all like.  We also make a big deal about Holy Week, Easter Sunday, and going to church and celebrating that Christ is Risen.

So…with all of that I wasn’t sure if we needed to even do an Easter Basket (hey, can’t we just wake up Easter morning and be excited to celebrate by getting dressed up and having a good meal and going to church to praise God?) but Wes and I talked it over and decided to keep the tradition we both had in our families of having an Easter basket from the Easter Bunny our parents.

Since Bo is due in 3 weeks… I’ve needed to go ahead and do both the Easter baskets (and plan ahead for Rand and Philip’s Birthday’s which could be within a week or two of Bo’s arrival).

Don’t tell the boys, but here’s what their baskets have:

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African Bolga Baskets from artisans in Ghana – I love these baskets and use them in the house to store toys, trips to farmer’s market, etc. so not just for Easter!  I went with the 12″ ones.  I think you could go much smaller if your kiddo is under 5 years old.

New Organic Pajamas – Wen especially needed some, so I got the boys all some coordinating ones (Wen prefers short sleeves, the others like long sleeved ones) but these Hannah Andersson ones are so soft and thick and also are on sale HALF PRICE on Zulily!!!

Tshirts – Wen and Rand both are in need for Spring.  I got them each one locally at Bump and Baby, but you can also get them online here.  I’ve been trying to get better quality, organic (when possible) and thicker materials so that each purchase can potentially make it through 4 hand-me-downs (one of the many perks of having 4 boys).

Personalized Cash boxes – seems random, but now that we have a 12 year old we need to teach the boys the principles of tithing and “Give, Save, Spend” and they each need a place to keep their birthday, Christmas, Chinese New Year and allowance (any suggestions on starting this???) money.

Eggs – I like these Eco Eggs.  They are non-toxic, plant-based and able to be composted vs. the petroleum-based toxic plastic eggs that are made in China that you see everywhere.  I got some last year at Whole Foods but now they are also on Amazon too.  We have been trying to avoid (without going insane) bringing anything plastic into the house – especially plastics made in China which are incredibly toxic and unreliable.

Easter Grass – Tim’s Real Organic Easter Basket Grass.  We found this last year at Whole Foods but have also seen online.  Same as the eggs – instead of the petroleum-based plastic stuff this is REAL grass and 100% chemical free. Read the story about it!  Both the grass and the eggs are Made in the USA.

Egg fillers – We’ll go easy on the candy, but when we do have sweets, we like anything made by YumEarth and Annie’s.  Also, I have been collecting some little stickers and tattoos to put in the eggs as well.

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