Thursday, July 25, 2013

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


I had an experience tonight that will forever go into the Top 5 of my Most Embarrassing Moments list.

Our darling, happy, chatty baby boy is 3 months old.  

Three of our girls are taking swimming lessons.  There are two pools: a "fun" pool, with slides, splashy things, and a lazy river, among other things, and a competition pool with diving boards and lap lanes.

Half of the "Fun" Pool
One of my daughters was in the competition pool, so, mid-lesson, it was time for me to switch observation stations.  Leaving the diaper bag, towels and flip-flops in place, Baby and I picked up and began our journey.  We walked all of the way around the pool, through the locker room and into the room housing the other pool.  It was swim lesson time, so there are a lot of parents, grandparents, and siblings lining the walls.
They are all a little bored and are actively people watching. 
When I reached the other pool room, I looked down.

Now, at this point, you should know that my baby is exclusively breast-fed.

That is important to understand because when I looked down, I saw that my baby had evidently missed his diaper entirely and had relieved himself through his thigh.  This must have been the case, since there is no other plausible explanation as to how I got excrement all over me.  And I didn't have a little yellow blotch on my shirt or my leg.  Oh, no.  That sort of thing happens.  No, this yellow blotch was large and positioned in a rather unfortunate place.  
It looked like I had soiled myself.

Having had as many children as I have had, I am prepared for just about anything.  But this?  No, not this.  How was I supposed to get myself back around the large pool, through the locker rooms and back around the fun pool where everyone is sitting with their eyes waist high?  I had nothing to hide behind and certainly no change of clothes for me in the usually handy diaper bag. 

There was nothing for it.  
I had to grit my teeth and walk by all of those eyes . . . all of those staring, wondering eyes.

As bad as this looks, the picture really doesn't do justice to the size of the spill.
I wanted to make an announcement, wanted to explain, to plead for pity!
No!  It wasn't me!  This isn't mine.  I promise, I am toilet trained!
But there was no chance for that.  I just had to walk along, suffering.

What can you do?
Even after doing this for 14 years, I am still taken by surprise.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Backpacks and Shelf-Stable Milk

I am in the process of putting together our family's 72 Hour Emergency Kits.  We live in a very peaceful area, but we are surrounded by forest, have severe winters, and cross VERY busy railroad tracks every day.  We've watched the news and seen people evacuated with a five minute warning.  The recent railroad accident in Quebec that forced the evacuation of an entire town got me thinking about our proximity to car after car of dangerous chemicals.  We could easily be stranded in our house with no heat or electricity for several days at a time.  After years of wanting to, we are finally getting ourselves prepared for such an event.

(I need to qualify this statement:  We have been prepared on one level or another, but our 72 Hour Kits were not going to keep all of us happily fed and watered for three days.  This is primarily what I'm planning to change.)

Because we need to put together eight of these emergency kits, I can't go out and purchase every needed thing in one gigantic shopping trip.  I've made the goal to buy one of the nine required meals during my regular grocery shopping.  I'll acquire other items (flashlights, first aid supplies, etc.) when I see a bang-up, can't pass deal--and after all of the food is bought and stored.

My first major purchase was backpacks.  I started here so I'd have a place to put all of our supplies.  I also started here because it is back to school time.  I knew that in past years, Walgreen's is the best place to get cheap backpacks.  I started watching the ads and, sure enough, the buy one, get one free deal was offered last week.  The packs were only $11, so I ended up paying $5.50 for each backpack after the sale.  These are not North Face backpacks.  They wouldn't last the school year in the possession of an active 3rd grader, but for grabbing quickly and sitting in a school gym for three days?  Perfect.  For pulling out and using in our own dark and cold living room?  Just right.

After switching the items I already had in our insufficient bags to our shiny new backpacks, I was on to food. One thing I've learned from the amazing people on the internet is to not rely solely on dry foods that will need to be re-hydrated.  Obtaining water will be a problem unto itself.  I'm also attempting to gather foods that won't need to be cooked.  (Parenthetically, I do store alternative cooking methods for longer-term storage, but not for the quick-response emergency.)

With that in mind and because of my many little ones, my first goal was to look into shelf-stable milk.  There are a few.  The best bang for my buck (11 oz verses the 8 oz of all the other milk varieties), however, is more than milk.  Look what has a one year expiration date:

Carnation Instant Breakfast has added vitamins and stuff so it can almost be breakfast unto itself.  And it tastes good!  Packs and milk for one meal, done.  It is a good start!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


Front Elevation
We have interviewed two contractors and have appointments with one other.  The plans are done.  The tree is removed.  The loan is approved.  Everything that was in the way of the driveway has been removed.

This is all in the nick of time.

Last night I had a dream.  I was walking through a house, trying to find a place to be alone.  Every room I tried to enter was occupied with people from my present life or people from high school (dreams are weird). All of them were getting ready to change their clothes, take a shower or use the bathroom.  After I'd checked several rooms, I grabbed my hair in my fists and cried, "I just need one room!  I need one small place to get away!"

When I woke up and rehearsed the dream to my husband, he declared, "We need to get you into a house."

Yes.  Yes, we do.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

A Moment in My Day

 My nine year old snapped this picture and I discovered it when I downloaded the pictures onto the computer.  
I hope that someday my children will see this random moment in my days of mothering and know that most of the time, there is that contented little smile on my face.  

Motherhood is not a hobby, it is a calling. 
You do not collect children because you find them cuter than stamps. 
It is not something to do if you can squeeze the time in. 
It is what God gave you time for.
--Neil L. Anderson

Monday, July 8, 2013

Sunday, July 7, 2013


A woman at church said today, 
"My testimony of Jesus Christ is my most prized possession."

My eyes stung with tears and my breath caught in my throat as I nodded in agreement; 
my testimony is my most prized possession, too.

My heart's desire is to make sure that my children inherit, of my possessions, 
this one above all.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Our Precious Babe

Today's post is all about this adorable baby.

He will be three months old in just a few days and to say he has us all enamored is to understate it.
We, all of us, can't get enough of him.

He sleeps through the night, smiles easily, makes conversation, patiently puts up with even the smallest of his sisters and has nursed me back into my jeans (not pretty in my jeans, but in them).

I was watching a show tonight in which the woman's mother had died while giving birth to her.
Her father told her,
"Your birth made your life precious."  
I understand that entirely.  

I am a blessed woman!  My heart swells in love and joy several times each day as I tend to my little flock.
There is nothing, nothing, I could do that would be as rewarding as being a mother--even with its difficulties.

And this tiny child has made my capacity to love stretch once again.
Well, he has done that for all of us, hasn't he.