Wednesday, January 24, 2007

WFMW: Changing Station

When my oldest three children were babies, the house where we lived had a bathroom with a long counter next to the sink. I enjoyed having a diaper changing station on the counter by a water source, making clean-up a snap.

Seven years later finds us in a new house with a new baby, but no bathroom with a counter long enough for a changing station. After a week with my newborn, I came up with a new plan. Our new changing station is in our powder room/laundry room. The changing pad sits on top of our front-loader washing machine with room behind it for a basket containing cloth diapers and a small diaper pail. The sink is within arm's reach and the cloth wipes are located in a small basket on top of the toilet. We have a colorful mobile hanging by fishing line from a clothes pole above the washing machine to provide entertainment for baby during the changes.
The benefits to having the changing station in the laundry room?
  • Access to a water source

  • Hard surfaces for easy clean-up when baby behaves like a human fountain (saves the carpet in the "nursery")

  • Mom can multi-task. While baby is still happy on the changing pad, a load of laundry can be thrown in the washer right below, or switched to the dryer. (If I had a top-loader, the changing pad would be on the dryer.)
Works for me! To see other Works for Me Wednesday ideas visit Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Who's the Dummy?

Saturday evening, we attended a dinner held in honor of our pastor, Bob, and his wife who are leaving our congregation to start a work in Laramie, Wyoming.   On a few different occasions in the past, Bob has entertained the congregation with ventriloquism acts that he performs with a dummy.

Saturday afternoon, our family put together a skit spoofing Pastor Bob's ventriloquism act which James and the kids "performed" at the dinner.  While neither the staging or the taping are well done, some may enjoy seeing the video:

Thursday, January 18, 2007

What's Up?


This is the snowiest winter that I've ever experienced. Normally in Denver, if we get socked with a blizzard, the sun and warmth return quickly, melting the snow in short order. Of course, the biggest storms in the thirteen years that I've lived here, usually occur in the spring.

I love the beauty of the snow and am glad for the fun the kids have playing in it, but I do not like driving in it one bit! Maybe I'd like it if I had a Jeep, but the mini-van isn't built for the snowy terrain. There have been several times recently that I've held my breath at intersections, wondering if the van will actually come to a stop. Most of the side streets have turned into one-lane rugged roads hemmed in by plow-created drifts. I am impressed, however, with the job our city has done in clearing even side streets. One morning, at 4 am, Logan and I enjoyed watching out a window as a large front-loader struggled to plow a path in our cul-de-sac.

The Jeep pictured above is not on our street, but has been a humorous landmark that we've driven past several times.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

My Baby is Six Months


Logan sits perched on the rocking chair that was his Great Grandmother's as a child. James and I get a kick out of the way he spreads his fingers apart. Is he saying "Live Long and Prosper" or "nanoo-nanoo"?

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Playing Scramble

Maybe we are an oddity as a homeschooling family in that we did not own a Scrabble game until last week. The kids and I bought the game for James for his birthday. Evan came up with the idea, remembering that his dad had mentioned quite awhile ago that we should get that game sometime.

We enjoyed playing the game tonight. Sophie was initially going to be on the "girls' team" with me, but then decided to keep score. She did a great job of adding up everyone's points as we played. Logan, getting to be quite the big boy, sat with us. He gets steadier with sitting up every day. Matthew had a hand ready behind him, though, because Logan leaned back when smiling at me for this picture:

Click on the picture for a closer view.

He didn't fall over!

Evan was quite happy that he could use a Latin "derivative" in the course of the game:


As we neared the end of the game, a player accidently bumped the board while playing with Logan, knocking all the words askew. It was a good point at which to stop for bedtime.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Works for Me Wednesday: Healthy Recipes

(To my dad: Sorry, this is a recipe post. Come back later. )

This is my first post participating in the WFMW carnival hosted by Rocks in My Dryer. The theme for this WFMW is "healthy recipes", and while I personally think that diets and too many low-fat recipes usually lead to weight gain, I am into "healthy."

I've been contemplating sharing some recipes that I came across while browsing the Rachel Ray cooking site recently. I think that Mu Shu Chicken fits the healthy criteria and is even low-fat. I substituted ground turkey for the ground chicken, and my whole family declared the recipe a keeper.

Another Rachel Ray recipe that would fit the healthy bill, though probably not low-fat, is Chicken Tortilla Pie. I've made this twice in the past two weeks, again winning the approval of my family. The recipe calls for ground chicken again, but I just used chicken leftover from a roasted chicken. I also think that ground beef would work. The tang of the tomatillas in the casserole makes it stand out from other Mexican casserole recipes. (We had never had tomatillas before ~ yum!) Don't fall for the "30 Minute Recipe" label, though. I bet that only a chef with assistants could accomplish it in 30 minutes!

When we replaced our dinosaur of a computer with a laptop almost two years ago, I never imagined a computer would come in so handy in the kitchen. I often park it on a kitchen counter to refer to recipes that I've posted on my blog, or in Word files, or that I've found on or other recipe sites. Of course, I have to be careful to keep it clean, but it stays open and propped up better than a cookbook and is easier to read than a recipe card!

Friday, January 05, 2007

Kodak Moment


It is moments like these that make up for the other times. The other times that make Mommy feel like she is losing her mind. The moments where darling baby cannot be content and must fuss during the cello practice or right when the dryer buzzer goes off, the phone rings, and the other children are still quietly waiting to have their questions answered.

Monday, January 01, 2007

A Homeschool Success *Updated*

He learned a new skill this week! Sometimes it seemed like he never would learn. I really had to struggle not to push him and wait until he was developmentally ready. It was quite the temptation not to compare him with the other kids who had already mastered this step and moved on. I had to remind myself that he is an individual with his own timetable for learning and not pressure him to fit into a one-size-fits-all box. Better late is a good philosophy, right?

Well, it was worth the wait...

Logan can finally blow raspberries!

What a delightful way for a baby to entertain himself! I thought I'd post a video of his charming new skill on You Tube, but whenever I whip out the camera, Logan goes all google-eyed and slacked jawed, ceasing all activity to seriously observe the fascinating technology with the flashing light. Ah well.

Now for training in how to be quiet during church...

**Updating in response to my mom's question in the comments: **

Apparently blowing raspberries is a bona fide developmentally important skill for babies. Who knew?

You can read here everything that you really didn't want to know about blowing a raspberry.
(Or you could not read it and stay contentedly naive!)

And by the way, the first paragraph above was tongue-in-cheek, just so you know.

Another Reason to Celebrate


Matthew turned nine years old in the wake of Christmas, spreading the cheer a little further. He requested that we celebrate his birthday by eating out at an Ethiopian restaurant. Three years ago, we ate in an Ethiopian restaurant when visiting San Francisco. Matthew did not say so at the time, but lately when I asked him to name his favorite kind of food, he named Ethiopian. Driving slow and steady, we braved the snowy roads to a hole-in-the-wall establishment yesterday in Denver. We ordered mild for the sake of young palates and enjoyed dipping the tangy enjera (sourdough flatbread) to eat lamb, chicken, potatoes, carrots, cabbage and yellow split peas with our fingers.

I've been wanting to put together a slide show of pictures of Matthew on the occasion of his birthday like I did for Sophie. The process is proving to be more involved, because his pictures have deteriorated over the years. The pictures are in supposedly acid-free albums, but they are looking grainy and dust has left little white specks on the prints. When I look at the pictures in the albums, I don't notice the damage, but scanning magnifies the flaws. I've been using photo software to despeckle the pictures and remove the dust scratches. The process makes me grateful for new digital technology! I now have the slideshow in progress but don't have the time to finish it all at once. Matthew and I have enjoyed looking back through his pictures all the same.

And now I know why I keep calling Logan "Matthew"! Logan bears a striking resemblance to some of Matthew's baby pictures. It is fun to notice how Logan looks like both of the older boys, though I've never thought that Evan and Matthew looked much alike.