Thursday, May 30, 2013

Busy Day and Skagit Bridge

 Today was spent catching up from being gone all day yesterday and getting ready for upcoming events. Tomorrow my Dad goes in for his 3rd surgery of the year. Hopefully this one will actually fix the problem! Saturday, I need to finish shearing Chico our angora goat. He has been incredibly (well, maybe not for a goat) uncooperative this season and won't stand nicely for me to finish. Then Sunday, is my sister-in law's bridal shower, which necessitated taking 5 children to the store today to shop for a gift. On Monday we travel back to Seattle for Owen's appointment with the ketogenic diet team. Then, I think we just have "normal" stuff for a week or so.

 Yesterday, was our first trip south since the bridge collapse. The detour added about 40 minutes (a little less coming home at 8:30) to our  usual 2 1/2 hour trip. The current plan is to have a temporary bridge up in a few weeks. I sure hope so, because we personally saw 2 accidents yesterday alone on the detour. The side roads in the area just aren't built to handle the amount of traffic that usually travels I-5. We have to go back this direction on the 3rd, 13th, 21st, and whenever they schedule Owen for his inpatient stay to actually start the diet.
Here's a really bad picture of just a little bit of the traffic back up.
I'm just so thankful that no one was killed in the collapse. An hour earlier that bridge would have been bumper to bumper traffic.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Ride the Ducks- Starlight Children's Foundation

Today we got to Ride the Ducks with Starlight Children's Foundation. Starlight has been such a huge blessing to our family! Having a child with serious medical issues is extremely stressful on everyone in the family. Starlight's great escapes program offers fun activities several times a year. Riding the Ducks is something our family has always wanted to do and getting to go with starlight made it even better.
Our friends over at the Baker's Dozen went too, although they rode a different duck.

I wish I could have gotten a picture of Owen's face when the truck hit the water! Unfortunately, I'm not quite that fast.

Have you ever been in a truck, in the middle of a lake, on an international airstrip? We have. (we've also been a mile above sea level underground, but that was a different trip)
I think you have to be at least the seventh child to sleep through all that music and quacking. Brenna can sleep through anything.
If you are ever in the Seattle area with a few hours to spare, I highly suggest you Ride the Ducks.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Check Ups

Connor, Cameron, and Brenna have all had check ups in the last few weeks. Brenna officially ranks as my smallest 1 year old. She weighed in at 18 lbs 9.5 oz, two ounces lighter than Connor at a year. She was 29.5 inches tall, the same as Morgan my previous shortest. She's always seemed so little, but following Owen, who was my biggest, it's been hard to tell exactly how small she was.
 She eats constantly and has always been happy and healthy, so there's nothing to worry about. She's just petite.

Connor is now half an inch taller than I am at 5ft. 4.5in. He finally broke the 100 pound mark, weighing in at 102lbs.
Cameron, who like Brenna also eats constantly, was 5ft. 3.75in. and a whopping 85lbs.

 Yes, I really do feed my children! Anyone who doesn't believe me is welcome to pay our grocery bill for a month.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Brenna's Bloomers - Knit One, Sew Two

I finally finished Brenna's pink bloomers! The pattern was easy, I just haven't had much knitting time lately.
Getting  pictures of this busy little monkey was almost impossible today. She wouldn't stay still for anything.
I also made two pairs of big bubble pants following Alicia's instructions here. I made mine a little wider in the legs and a little longer so they would peek out from under dresses more. Brenna wasn't sure she wanted to take off the knit bloomers to wear the sewn ones though.
For some reason this picture won't stay turned.
I didn't even try to get a modeled picture of the pink sewn ones.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Which Item?

Can you guess which item Brenna landed on when she fell yesterday?
Here's a hint.
And another.
Yes, it was the red stacking ring. These were my toys when I was little. I loved them so much I saved them for my kids.

No, I wasn't letting Brenna play with them. This one got missed when the older kids picked up.

Flats Challenge- What Did I learn?

I'm participating in the flats and hand washing challenge hosted by Dirty Diaper Laundry.

   The purpose of this challenge was to see if using flat diapers and hand washing them would be a viable alternative for families struggling to pay for diapers. There are many families struggling to provide the basic necessities for their children. Disposable diapers can be a huge added expense. I haven't ever used disposables exclusively. We used them part time at night and away from home with Devon and only on vacations of more than 2 -3 days with the other kids, so I'm not really sure how much they would cost full time. I've seen estimates of  $50 -70 per child per month. I have always felt that using cloth diapers was a great alternative and finances have always been a huge factor our using cloth. Flats are the cheapest type of cloth diaper to obtain. After doing this challenge, I can say that I would have absolutely no qualms about giving a new parent 2 dozen flat diapers and 5 or so covers and teaching them how to use them.
 On Tuesday, I was already ready to give up on the hand washing part of the challenge. I stopped and re thought out my routine, made a few changes and continued. Thursday, I discovered that I didn't really hate hand washing any more than I hate several other chores I do on a daily basis. Cleaning is really not my forte, I am much better at the creative aspects of homemaking. Cooking, sewing, knitting, are fun to me. Organizing, re-arranging, homeschooling are just fine. Dishwashing, sweeping, dusting, and hand washing diapers are much further down the list. That said, I do however think it would be very doable if necessary. I could definitely see someone supplementing disposables with handwashing flats. I could also see handwashing on a temporary basis.
 Line drying also was no problem for me. I live in the Pacific NW and it has been pretty rainy this week. I could never get by with only 10-12 diapers and line dry, but at $ .25- 1.00 per diaper having 2-3 dozen and line drying would work fine. Rod and I have lived in a very small house and several apartments during our year of marriage and I think I could have found a place to dry diapers anywhere.
 To sum up my thoughts, I'd say that flat diapers are a very workable solution. Line drying is also quite doable. Hand washing I would not really expect someone to do full time on a permanent basis, but would be useful to supplement disposables or communal washing. Now, that is also for me washing diapers for a special needs pre-schooler (almost 4) and a toddler. It might be more workable if I was only diapering Brenna.
 On a personal level I learned that fancier isn't always better. I used flats and prefolds with velcro ( and eventually snap) covers with my first 3 kids. By the time I was pregnant with Duncan pocket diapers and all in ones had become big business. Diapers were all of a sudden a fashion statement. All the ads brought up how much easier the "new" diapers were compared to the archaic flats and even prefolds. We started slowly switching over (mainly by my making diapers). Then we started having problems with smells staying in the polyester fibers. I found that the elastic wore out faster than in my old covers. Owen started breaking out from the microfleece and suedecloth lining. We have been switching back to all natural fabrics and mostly using homemade fitteds and wool covers or PUL covers with prefolds. After using flats for the last week I think I'll be working them into my regular rotation instead of just using them in emergencies. It seems a little weird to go back to what I was using 15 years ago, but they really work better and for less cost. I will, however be using my washing machine Monday (tomorrow I'll still handwash today's diapers). Brenna likes washing her diapers much more than I do!