Tuesday, February 22, 2011

60

I have sixty blog posts now. That's not a huge number, but I felt I had to lead into this post somehow.

I don't think I'm a very cohesive blogger. I don't have a well thought out, single topic to write about for each post, just my random collections of thoughts about what's been going on in my life lately.

Like laundry. Does it never end? I mean, I know it doesn't, but after spending pretty much an entire day yesterday doing laundry I just wanted a little break from it today. But I was running low on diapers. And in a few more days it will all begin again. Having a husband whose job is "lab technician" would make you think he wouldn't get very dirty at work. I don't know about you, but when I picture a lab technician I picture someone in a white lab coat with an eyedropper and a microscope. However, my husband is a lab tech at a concrete factory. He shovels concrete into wheelbarrows, makes cylinder samples, uses big tools and cleans his work area with a pickax and a huge hose. And gets thoroughly coated in concrete in the process. Then he comes home and I have to do the laundry. Let me tell you, dried on concrete does not come off of pants. I don't care what kind of heavy duty detergent you use, the dried on stuff ain't gonna budge. But I've learned to embrace it. Gives the pants character. While I'm on the laundry topic I thought I would share my new favourite thing - Soap Nuts. Saw these on Dragon's Den, and while I don't think they got a deal (I don't remember...), they had an excellent pitch because I immediately looked them up and ordered some. First time I've ever done that watching TV! I like them because there are no chemicals! In my quest to eliminate chemicals from our house this is a big step. Think about it, whatever you wash your clothes in remains in the fabric, which is then held against your skin all day every day. Hmmm. Even though I was using a scent and dye free detergent, I like this better. I haven't found that my clothes are amazingly softer or miraculously more clean or anything, I just find that it works just as well as my old detergent, which is plenty good enough for me. At $35.00 for a bag it seemed pricey to me at first, but considering you get between 300-400 loads of laundry per bag, that's about 10 cents a load, significantly cheaper than store bought detergent. Works for me. I've been washing my diapers with them too, and that's the real test. If they can get my diapers clean then I'm sold. I HATED using detergent on diapers, I always found it would build up and make them stink so I've been washing with baking soda and vinegar for a while now but was finding that they were starting to smell really vinegary. Problem solved.

My other "green living" endeavor, the no shampoo thing, continues to improve. I definitely think I'm going to stick with it. My hair feels healthier, my eczema has improved, though not gone away completely (ultimately I don't think shampoo was the culprit, just irritated it), and I don't look like a grease head anymore. I'm satisfied with this experiment and am now converted.

One more thing: this. And that's all I'm going to say. I'm sure you all already think I'm weird enough without me adding details.

Now that the laundry is done the kitchen is beckoning me to come scrub some pots and get supper on the go (pork chops, crash hot potatoes and a salad!), and I think Eli and I are going to share some organic apple slices for our snack. Until post #61...

Thursday, February 17, 2011

V-day and B-day

I would feel out of place if I didn't blog about Valentines Day this year, but there's really not a lot to talk about. I was wiped out with a vicious cold over the weekend, even had to miss church on Sunday (and I have to be pretty sick to miss church!), so I really wasn't feeling super romantic. Cory has been struggling with illness for several weeks now, but still made an effort. He told me that he wanted to take me out for supper that night, and I kind of sighed and thought about Valentines Day crowds and having to take Eli to his mom's for her to watch and how expensive it is to eat out... and I asked him if we could just stay home instead. He was fine with that. Since he'd already given me my Kindle, and the gift I'd ordered him on Amazon didn't come in until today (of COURSE), we didn't have gifts to exchange either. It was still a nice night though, he picked up takeout from Swiss Chalet on his way home so I wouldn't have to cook dinner, we put Eli to bed and watched a movie on Netflix and it was altogether a nice, relaxing evening just the two of us. I'm really not a big holiday kind of girl anyway. If you anticipate too much you just end up feeling disappointed. That's why I really don't expect much on birthdays, Christmas, Valentines Day... then when Cory does do something romantic it's a huge surprise to me and it's even better.
We just signed up for a free month of Netflix, and I'm loving that thing so far. I think we might keep it, at $7.99 a month we're saving money even if we only rented two movies a month, and now we can watch as many as we want, plus it's got a lot of Veggie Tales movies and Barney and stuff like that that Eli likes, and TV shows! We watched Bewitched, the newer movie with Will Ferrell. Cute, funny, and we enjoyed it much more than if we'd just picked something out of the small selection downstairs. By "downstairs" I mean the gas station. We live above a gas station, just in case anyone didn't know, and I always refer to it as "downstairs." Even when I'm not at home and I'm somewhere else I'll say dumb things like "Oh they sell that downstairs you can just get some there." And then everyone looks at me funny. Not that they should talk, everyone else in Browns Flat just calls it "The Store," which makes about as much sense to a non-Browns Flatter as "downstairs" does. I love our small country community!
Sorry, sidetracked. Anyway, that was our Valentines. It was sweet, cozy, and simple. Just the way I like it :)
Cory's birthday is on Saturday (he'll be 25!) so we might end up going for dinner then. Probably Pizza Delight, very fancy and elegant, since it's eat-free-on-your-birthday. Two of my sisters are going to be visiting too. Should be a nice weekend.
And now, housework calls. And I really should wake up the little boy before he sleeps the entire morning away and refuses to let me get anything done this afternoon. Until next time...

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Beginning...

I was laughing as I e-mailed a friend the other day to ask her some toilet training advice. We had known each other as teenagers, and I don't think we ever thought then how soon it would be that we would be sending each other nursing covers as gifts, or having facebook conversations about the bodily functions of our children. How quickly things change!

I decided to buy Eli a little potty the other day. However, I can't say the word "potty" without flinching - one of those things - so I call it his toilet. I set it by the real toilet in the bathroom. I had been enjoying the fact that Eli is old enough now that I can go into the bathroom and shut the door for a minute or two of alone time, but I decided to give that up in the name of bathroom education. His has a cover, like ours, so I've been getting him to come in, lift the lid, and sit on the toilet like Mommy and Daddy. Then he can shut it again. He's caught on really quickly and likes it! I can call him and ask if he wants to come use the bathroom and wherever he is in the house he'll come running. He's still fully clothed while he uses it, but it's a start. At least I'm trying to get him interested. I've been thinking lately that if he can go get me a cloth and a diaper and lie down for change time why can't he come use the toilet? Might as well give it a shot.

Interesting fact: in the 1950's, almost 100% of children wore cloth diapers and 95% of these children were trained by the age of 18 months. In the 1980's, about 50% of children wore cloth diapers, while the other 50% wore disposable diapers and only about 50% of children were potty trained by the age of 18 months. Nowadays, 95% of children wear disposables and only 10% are trained by 18 months. People scoff at you if you bring up the idea of training your child before they're 2 or 3, because popular opinion states that you shouldn't hurry your child or pressure them at all. Just wait until they're "ready." To me, this essentially seems like waiting until the child can virtually toilet train themselves. I can't speak from experience here as I've never actually successfully trained a child, but I'm so far just not convinced that it's impossible to do it younger, or that the child will end up traumatized by your efforts. I've read a lot about "elimination communication," and while I decided not to go that route with my child, it seems to me that if these people can successfully have their child toilet trained by around 3 months old, why on earth can't I do it with my 17 month old?

He's been in cloth diapers since he was a month old, so I've got that on my side too. Disposables mean it's a lot harder for a child to feel if they're wet. He'll let me know now if he needs a diaper change by fussing and grabbing his diaper, so he obviously knows when he's wet.

Anyway, I haven't started yet at all, but when I do I'm leaning toward the bare bottom approach that some people advocate. Basically it means letting him run around naked. I don't think pull ups would be very effective, since they're basically the same as a diaper, and even underwear (which they don't make in his size, I've checked!) would feel like a diaper. So for at least three days it's bare bum all the way. Sure there will be accidents, but they learn a lot quicker when they can see what's going on down there.

I'm going to give it another week or so and then suck it up and dive in. If we fail miserably... then we fail miserably and I can always go back to diapers. I'm not going to worry about it too much.

Just some thoughts... again it strikes me funny that toilet training is such a pressing issue on my mind, but I suppose that honest blogging is just talking about what I've been thinking about lately, and that would be toilet training!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Ecstatic

So apparently, Cory bought me a Christmas present. We had decided no presents this year, but I didn't realize that he had already ordered me something. Unfortunately for him, it didn't come in time for Christmas, he didn't get it until a couple weeks ago. Then he was going to wait for Valentines Day but... he couldn't wait. So last night, out of the blue, he pulled it out.

He got me a Kindle.

SO EXCITED.

I've wanted one for months but thought it was somewhat too frivolous to really expect, and I probably should be asking for a new blender or something like that. I've been playing with my new toy all day and I love it. My first book? Black Heels to Tractor Wheels by PW.  Guess what? It's over $8 cheaper to get it on the Kindle than a hard copy. I've found loads of free books... you can buy the complete collected works - 51 in total - of Charles Dickens for THREE DOLLARS. Complete works of Shakespeare? Two dollars.

So in the long run, I think it will save me a lot of money and be totally worth it. Plus it's like the coolest gadget I've ever owned. It will hold up to 3,500 books! I can get newspapers, magazines, you name it. Lots of older books that are out of copyright are available for free download, it's got dictionaries, I can put the Bible on it... I'm beyond excited.

So best Christmas/Valentines Day present ever? Very yes.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Naptime

Naptime is confusing and frustrating me!!

Eli still takes two naps a day... sort of not really. He wants to go down at 10, naps for about an hour then gets up. But I'm having a harder and harder time getting him down for his nap at 2 - I'll put him down and hear him playing happily in his crib, but not sleeping, for about half an hour, when he starts to get bored and wails to get up. I've been leaving him hoping that he will sleep and he'll kind of doze/wail for another half an hour until he gets too frustrated and starts actually yelling and I have to go get him up. Then by bedtime he's exhausted and cranky!

So I want to start trying to just skip the morning nap and put him down around 1. I've done this successfully a few times, but he SHOULD be napping about 2 hours if I do that, and he won't! He still only naps like an hour, and then is SUPER tired by bedtime.

Today I was determined he would skip his morning nap, but at 10 he walked into his room, rattled the bars of his crib and looked at me plaintively. I asked him if he wanted to take a nap, and he responded in the affirmative. I took him back out and changed him to see if he wouldn't perk up a bit, but he rubbed his eyes and immediately toddled back into his room. When I put him in his crib he happily smiled and flopped down. What do you do with that? I feel so sorry for him when he's obviously so tired and wants to sleep and I'm forcing him to stay awake.

Been Googling this problem and a few people suggested trying to push back the time of his morning nap by about 10-15 minutes every day or two and just forgetting about the afternoon nap if he really doesn't want to take it. Maybe I'll try that.

Tomorrow is playgroup (if it isn't canceled because of weather) so we'll be out in the morning and he won't get the morning nap. He does fine if we're out somewhere because it's exciting enough for him.

I'm sure this will work itself all out soon enough, and I probably should be a little more relaxed about the whole thing, it's just hard when you don't know what to do...