red nail polish – a success story

In an effort to start blogging with some degree of regularity, I am using the events of yesterday as a springboard into getting myself writing again.  Because yesterday was a bit of a story.  🙂
After supper last night, Lyd left to go to the bathroom.  About ten minutes later, as I was putting supper dishes away, she came into the kitchen with tears streaming down her face.  She immediately put her arms around me and said, “I’m so sorry, Mom!”  I asked her what had happened, and she managed to choke out to me that she had taken out my red nail polish and somehow it had spilled all over the floor.  She showed me her hands, and they were covered in red nail polish as well.  (It initially looked like blood to me, and for a split second, I was wracking my brain, wondering how her hands could have gotten so bloody.  When she said it was nail polish, I was secretly, momentarily relieved.  Had it been blood, we would have been in Big Trouble.)
What she did was problematic on many levels.  First of all, she didn’t ask permission to use my nail polish.  Secondly, at our house, we make every effort to apply nail polish outside.  Thirdly, she now had red nail polish spilled onto my bathroom rug (an old vintage rug I had from my Grandma), it had soaked through the rug onto the natural stone tile on the bathroom floor, and there was red nail polish on the white bathroom sink.  Ack!  What a mess!
First things first: I tried to clean up the mess.  Lately, I’ve been a bit obsessed with using natural cleaning products, namely baking soda and vinegar.  I had both of those products easily available in my bathroom, so after grabbing a roll of paper towels, I poured some vinegar on the stain.  (JJ had already taken the polish-soaked rug outside.)  The vinegar didn’t do very much, sadly.  I knew that baking soda is mildly abrasive, so I shook some of that onto the stain and scrubbed.  Lo and behold, the stain started to come off!  I was shocked.  I put on some more baking soda and vinegar, let it foam for ten seconds or so, and then scrubbed some more.  Unbelievably, with a bit of elbow grease (but not that much!), ALL OF THE POLISH CAME OFF THE FLOOR.  Wow!  I tried the same baking soda/vinegar combo on the sink, and happily, with a little scrubbing the sink became perfectly clean, too.  I was amazed and very, very relieved!
If we hadn’t been able to get that red nail polish off the floor, JJ and I would have been seriously unhappy.  While we have no immediate plans to sell our house, we do talk about it as a “someday” event.  And having a bathroom floor with a giant bloodstain-looking stain on the floor would not have been helpful for resale value.
Of course, the other problem was that Lyd was ignoring what she had been told.  We’ve had a lot of that from both girls lately.  They hear what we say, but don’t pay attention to it, or else they know what they’re supposed to do, and they choose not to do it anyway.  This has become quite a problem.  So, Lyd’s consequence is no nail polish for a month.  Unfortunately for her, later that evening she was told to help pick up the toys, she ignored the instruction (again!), and she thereby lost another month of nail polish privileges, so now she will be nail polish-free for two months.  I don’t know if that’s a strong enough consequence, but we’ll see.

Unfortunately, the rug is a lost cause.  We tried to scrub it with baking soda and vinegar today, but it did absolutely no good.  I’m not sure what will happen with that.  We’ll probably keep using it anyway, even with the stain on it, because our bathroom is not the company bathroom, and we do need a rug on our floor.  The floor space needing to be covered is a long rectangle, and this oddly shaped rug is just the right size for the space.  But, when the day comes that we move, we’ll probably throw out the rug, because I highly doubt we would get another house that would need a rug of that particular space.

Maybe we’ll just save the rug for Lyd to take to college with her.  Ha ha.  🙂


a man on the move

I have no idea where the time has gone since I last posted.  It’s a testament to my busy life that I don’t blog nearly as much as I used to.  It’s also a testament to how Facebook has changed the way I spend time on the internet!  Anyway…

The Little Man is perilously close to eight months old, and since today happened to be a day with two big milestones in it for him, I thought I had better document this day for posterity.

First of all, the Little Man climbed up the one and only step in our house today!  He still only army-crawls around the house.  Somehow, he got both hands up on the step and, little by little, heaved himself up so that he got himself fully up the step.  Once up there, he is on hard ground, and for an army crawler, that allows him to scooch himself along the floor much faster than he can on carpeting.  (Poor LM has perpetual rugburn on his abdomen from army-crawling on the carpeting of the family room!)  Unfortunately, he doesn’t know how to climb DOWN the step, and during one of his trips up the step, he would have rolled right back down the step if we hadn’t caught him.  I’m sure the day will come when he does roll down, but at least it’s only one step and it’s onto carpeting.  But this new ability means we need to babyproof the house – now.  Oye vey!

The Little Man’s other new trick today was that of standing up in his crib!  JJ put LM in his crib while he prepared a bath for him, and when JJ came back to get the baby, he was STANDING UP IN HIS CRIB.  Holy buckets!  Thank God for sending a guardian angel to keep LM from toppling over the side and landing flat on the floor.  JJ and I made sure to lower LM’s crib, in order to prevent that from happening again.  Since LM is still on the small side, we lowered it only to the middle slot.  This means we’ll have to lower it again to the bottom slot at some point, but for now it keeps us from having to lean quite so far down to pick him up.  Interestingly, we’ve never lowered the crib to the middle spot before; with the girls, the crib was either at the top spot or at the bottom spot.  Boys are definitely different!

And in one more milestone, on top of all that, I had the opportunity to weigh LM today.  With his lightweight clothes on, he weighed exactly 18 pounds.  Woo-hoo!  However, I still have quite a few packages of size 2 diapers left in my garage, diapers that are for babies 12-18 pounds.  Thankfully, he hasn’t outgrown the diapers yet, and they still seem to be holding their own, so to speak.  So, I’ll just continue to use them until they’re gone.  Then, on to size 3 we go!

In milestones of the recent past, one week ago today, the Little Man got his first haircut, courtesy of Me.  I don’t cut hair, and I certainly don’t cut boys’ hair, so this was a big First for me.  JJ helped me by holding LM’s head still, which allowed me to do my poor best to cut and trim.  LM’s bangs were hanging in his eyes, and his hair was quite long at the sides of his head over his ears, so those both got trimmed.  I also trimmed off his “mullet” in the back of his head.  I measured it, and it came to 3 inches long!  Wow!  LM looks SO MUCH more boyish with his haircut!  He looks older, too.  It took me a few days to adjust to his new ‘do, but now at a week later, I’m quite used to it.  He is so stinkin’ cute, I can hardly stand it sometimes.

The Little Man is definitely a stereotypical boy.  He likes to be on the move all the time, he likes to explore new things, and he isn’t content to sit still.  However, he’s also very sweet, and he continues to be the smiliest baby I’ve ever had.  He loves to be where the people are.  Last Wednesday I got the high chair out of the garage, washed it up and put it in the kitchen.  LM thinks that is the best thing ever!  He loves being in there when the family is eating; he has always liked to be where the people are.  Last week, I also got the exersaucer out of the garage, and he immediately loved that gadget, too.  He’s now ready for these bigger-baby toys.

My Little Man is growing so fast!  I wonder what new tricks he’ll learn next week!

the Little Man


My new baby, who shall be known on this blog as “Little Man,” or LM for short, is six months old today.  And it’s time for me to start writing about this marvelous baby – as well as other topics – on my trusty blog.  It’s good to be back!  🙂

The Little Man is, by far, the happiest baby I’ve birthed yet.  He is unbelievably cheerful almost all of the time.  He is very content, curious, and alert.  I can’t tell you how many times since he was a newborn that people at church have commented, “What an alert baby he is!”  He watches whatever is going on around him, looking very serious as he does so.  With so much to see at church, he typically doesn’t smile very much, leading some members to think he is a very serious baby.  But, he’s not really serious.  He’s just serious about his “work,” which right now consists of taking in the world around him.  Once he’s back at home, his smiles and cheerfulness return in full force, and we all adore him.

Little Man is not quite a perfect baby, although he’s pretty close.  His biggest imperfection has to do with his sleeping habits.  He gets enough sleep, but he comes by it a bit unusually.  For the first 3-ish months of life, LM didn’t go to bed at night until at least 11pm, if not midnight or later.  He wasn’t fussy, he wasn’t grumpy, he wasn’t colic-y, and he didn’t act tired.  He was just … Very Awake.  Smiling, happy, cheerful — and awake.  It meant for a lot of late nights for me, but also a lot of movies watched!  Thankfully, we finally seemed to have solved this problem.  I’ve really strived to make his going-to-sleep process the same every time, which means I always nurse him in the same rocking chair.  Also, while he’s usually in the room during our bedtime prayers with Lyd and Jujubee, he’s noticing more that these same prayers happen every night.  I think all of this is helping him to realize that it’s now time to sleep.  The other thing that has helped is that as soon as the girls are off to school every moning, I go in and wake him up.  I think these various routines in our family are helping him to figure out his sleeping a bit more.

Unfortunately, while LM’s naps are very predictable, he reliably naps for 45 minutes only.  Just like Dr. Weissbluth says, LM gets tired after about an hour and a half to two hours of being awake, and we have a routine that puts him to sleep fairly quickly and easily.  But, he sleeps for only 45 minutes.  No matter if he’s nursed before napping or not nursed, whether his room is darkened or not, he naps for 45 minutes at a time.  I seem to remember Lyd being the same way at this age, and thankfully, she did grow out of it, eventually becoming a fantastic napper.  So, I have hope that LM will eventually change his napping habits, too!

Once in a blue moon however, he will nap longer.  One of the most well-timed instances was on Valentine’s Day, when LM inexplicably napped for 3 hours!  I considered that nap my Valentine’s gift from my baby.  Over the last week or two, these long naps happened a bit more frequently, which makes me think that they’re connected to the few times when I’ve given LM a bit of solid food.  Unfortunately, while his taste buds and tummy like the solid food, the rest of his digestive system does not seem to share the joy.  We have a six-month checkup with the doctor next week, and I’ll ask the Dr what he thinks about LM starting solid food.

But, other than those slight biological issues, I have no complaints about this new little boy.  He loves me, he loves his family, and as long as he is where the people are, he’s almost always happy.  (We often sing the line from the song “Part of Your World” from Disney movie The Little Mermaid — “Wish I could be, part of your world…”)  He even rarely fusses over a messy diaper!  He’s gotten a touch of diaper rash at times because I miss the fact that he’s sitting in a mess.  Silly boy.  🙂

JJ and I have said more than once that if we could be assured that all of our future babies would be this happy, we’d have a dozen more kids.  My Little Man really is such a sweet boy.  We couldn’t have asked for a better baby than him.


arrival :)

My new baby boy arrived early in the morning of August 30, ten days overdue.  But he arrived at just the right time for him.  He is happy and healthy, and he weighed in at 9 pounds, 4 ounces and 22 inches long.  I am doing pretty well, too.  I’m tired, but that’s normal.  I did have another unmedicated childbirth, and I’m pleased with that.  I also had a waterbirth, which was pretty cool.  🙂

I hope to write more later, but unfortunately I can’t now, because for some reason, my carpal tunnel in my hands won’t go away.  All the swelling was gone from my feet and legs in the first 48 hours after the birth, but it didn’t go away from my hands.  They have improved a bit, but they are still quite carpal-tunnel-y and prickly and stiff.  Luckily my pinkies are okay, so I can at least tell how soft my baby’s skin is with those fingers.

If you have any ideas for how to get this extra fluid off of my hands, I would be happy to hear them.  I’m not sure what to do.

At least my baby is happy and healthy.  🙂  He’s adorable, and we all love him to pieces.  🙂

a welcome distraction

In my first trimester of pregnancy, I was happily distracted from my early-pregnancy-sickness (aka. morning sickness, although mine was sort of all-day sickness) by the arrival of the PBS TV series “Downton Abbey” into my life.  It provided me a welcome distraction from my general ickies, and helped me get through a trying time.

Now I’m in the final weeks/days of my pregnancy.  I have been afflicted with pregnancy-induced carpal tunnel, which really limits how much I can/should type on a computer.  So this will be short.

But, I have found another welcome distraction.  I’ve discovered “The Hunger Games” book series.  Friends lent me the books, and I’ve sailed through books one and two, and am now trying to go a little slower through the final book, book three.  It’s happily engrossing, and since I can’t do much with my hands/fingers these days, reading a book is something I can still enjoy.  Of course, I can’t do much of anything with all the weight I’m lugging around these days, so sitting and reading is just about right for me.

My “adopted” sister AM came up for a suprise visit last weekend, and we even had the opportunity to take in the movie of “The Hunger Games” at our local budget cinema across the street from our church.  It was nice to get out.

Here’s hoping my new baby makes his appearance soon!

down to the end

My pregnancy is winding down to its last few weeks, possibly days.  And, I seem to be going out in a blaze of glory, aka. a blaze of heat.  The weather forecast here in Sacramento for today is 104 degrees.  Tomorrow it’s 107, Friday it’s also 107, Saturday it’s 104, and I don’t think it is expected to get down to the 90s until sometime next week.  Oof dah.  It. Is. Hot.  Thank God for air conditioning!

Women who have had multiple pregnancies tend to say that “each pregnancy is different.”  Having now had three full-term pregnancies, I can say that is definitely true.  This last month is going very differerently than my first pregnancy, and it is vastly different than my second pregnancy.  With this point in my pregnancy with Jujubee, I had already had two false starts and was dilated to 4cm.  That is NOT the case this time around.  I’ve had no false starts, and I’m only dilated to about 1cm.  Unsurprisingly, I’ve also not had to deal with almost continuous contractions this time around like I did with Jujubee.  I certainly do get contractions, and physical activity and dehydration definitely make them more pronounced, but they’re not at all like they were the last time around.

My biggest complaint right now (other than being large and hot) is that I have pregnancy-induced carpal tunnel.  I really shouldn’t be typing on a computer at all, but I’m sitting here at day care with only one 5 year old boy to watch, and he’s happily engrossed in playing with trnasformers and dinosaurs and has forgotten that I’m even here, so a gal has to pass the time somehow.  😉  My hands feel tingly much of the time, sort of the feeling you get when your hand wakes up after going to sleep.  Except for me, it’s like my hand never quite wakes up all the way.  Thankfully, this should quickly resolve after the baby is born.

With the baby’s impending arrival becoming ever more … impending, it’s making more of an impression on JJ and me how much our lives are going to change when our little boy arrives.  Since we’ve been down this road before, we know what to expect.  But, having NOT been down that road for almost five years, it’s going to be a bit of a shock to our lifestyles to have a newborn around again.  We’re not worried or anything; it’s just going to be a big change.

But we’re all excited to meet the new baby, especially Lyd and Jujubee.  Those girls are SO excited for their new brother to be born!  Jujubee has despairingly said more than once in the past few days, “WHEN will the baby come out?”  Sometimes I feel the same way, although despite my size and uncomfortableness, I’m kind of hoping the Arrival Date holds off until my morning day care job expires, which happens when the new school year starts; I’d like to milk this day care job for all it’s worth (no pun intended ;)).  But, the baby will come when he’s ready.  JJ is just hoping that the trend continues of our children having birth dates that are also football scores.  LOL.  🙂

We have been unbelievably blessed with people from church handing down bags of boy clothes to us.  I literally have a pile of about ten garbage bags full of clothes in the nursery, ranging in size from newborn to about 3T.  That’s my project for today and tomorrow: separate out these clothes by size, and decide what clothes I’m going to keep.  I began going through one bag that was labeled 0-3 month clothes, and if I kept all of those clothes, I’d literally have enough clothes for triplets.  And that was just one bag!  So, I’m going to “shop” amongst the hand-me-down bags, keep what I like, and pass on the rest of the clothes to people who can use them.

I’m trying to keep busy getting things ready, although, as I mentioned, I can’t do too much because I get pretty tired pretty quickly.  And it’s hot.  And I have a bit of carpal tunnel.  And I have to drink a lot of fluids.  And eat frequently.  And I now get heartburn if I go too long without eating.  Sigh.  But, if I just focus on one thing at a time and work steadily (albeit slowly), I can get a few things done.  All the bills for August are paid.  I’m keeping up with our family’s laundry, even getting it folded and put away.  We have diapers and wipes for the baby.  Food is getting made (most of the time), although last night we decided we should go out for supper.  We tried a new Mexican restaurant for which we had a coupon, and it was FANTASTIC!  It was much better than the major chain Mexican restaurants (which there are plenty of around here).  It was a local non-chain place, and we’ll be going there again.  Anyway, the dishes get done most nights.  The girls’ school supplies are purchased.  I need to get them a few new uniform pieces for school, but most of those clothes they already have.  Some of their last year’s uniforms will still work for a while, as they haven’t quite grown out of them yet.

Best of all, everyone is staying healthy and sleeping well at night.  I even slept well last night, thanks to my chiropractic adjustment yesterday.  For the past few weeks, I’ve been seeing a chiro weekly who specializes in pregnant women.  It’s really helping my sore hips.  I sleep so much better – and my hips hardly hurt at all! – after a chiropractic adjustment!  I’ll keep on going every week until the baby’s born, and will probably continue for a few weeks afterwards to put my body back into shape after the birth.

So, we’re doing pretty well.  There’s a few things yet to finish up, but we’re mostly ready.  Now it’s just a waiting game…

a born comedienne

My 4 3/4 year old daughter Jujubee is SO funny.  🙂

JJ and I have seen her born-comedienne-ness for a while, but there are plenty of times when we are re-reminded of just how funny she is – and how strong her innate drive to BE funny runs.

She is so good at funny faces, funny rhyming words, funny gestures, and funny expressions that she often keeps the three of us – me, JJ, and Lyd – helplessly laughing during mealtimes.  She also knows when she’s got a good joke going, and she keeps a straight face while she attempts to build on the joke.  Sometimes her attempts are not particularly successful, but she is so committed to her joke that it still keeps us laughing anyway.

It’s been at least a year since we first realized that Jujubee had this inherent desire to be funny.  At first we thought she just had a good sense of humor, but as time went on, we realized it was more than that.  We realized that, to some degree, this has to be genetic, that it was nature, not nurture.  It didn’t take us too long to realize that it probably came from JJ’s mother, who was a big practical jokster in her younger days.  His mom was known for making silly rhymes, jokes, and for just being an all-around Very Funny Lady.  JJ and I decided that Jujubee must have inherited her desire to be funny from her grandmother.

It truly is innate.  Jujubee’s desire to keep a joke going, to build on a joke, and the fact that she gets so much personal delight out of making the rest of us laugh is something that we never taught her.  That desire is pure Jujubee.

So, it was no surprise that yesterday at lunch, as I stopped laughing long enough to say, “That’s enough Jujubee.  Time to eat your lunch,” that she responded, “But I want to make people laugh!”

Yes, she sure does.