Monday, December 31, 2007

January's menu

Here's what the Heisses are having for the month of January


Cook pizza for the Heisses


Spanish Rice


Dinner at Heisses




Scalloped potatoes


Breakfast for dinner






Sweet & sour


Pasta with pesto




Pineapple Chili


Egg salad sandwiches


Taco salad




Western Family box of rice


Pasta salad




Sub sandwiches














Hot dogs


Meatloaf, potatoes








Pasta of sorts

*Costomatos are what Andrew's family calls "quesadillas." It's a word that Sarah always mis-said as a child and it kinda stuck.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

No child is alike! Aren't we lucky as parents to experience that????
I must say Nanny, Deklan slept well at night but rarely during the day. From the time we brought him home, he was a bus, busy boy. I remember not being able to get dishes done or vacuuming, or anything done because every ten or fifteen minutes, I'd have to move Deklan. I actually don't even remember putting him down for naps. Partly, because I was a neurotic 1st time mother, but also, he wouldn't sleep even if I tried so I never did! So as far as the most mundane easy task you can think of time quadrupled to get it done after I had Deklan. Luckily for me, (I say this with a broad smile on my face) ten months later Piper arrived! Piper slept all day, slept all night... the only time she didn't sleep was between 4 and 7 in the evening wherein she would scream her little lungs off for the full three hours, gripe water, swaddling, and the washing machine aside, she screamed. After that she slept. In fact I recall a distinct incident of me leaving her in the very bouncy chair Rachel hung out in whilst you were playing the wii.... (only I buckled Piper in) I ran to the washroom and quickly out again to witness Deklan rolling her across the living room floor. I chastised him and scooped her up and she never had even made a sound. After that, she spent her time in the bouncy chair on cupboards while I cleaned, or played with Deklan.
Malachi, a whole other story in itself! He as you recall, was born with a brain hemorrhage and skull fracture. Thusly, he never slept because if you laid him down the blood would rush to his head and he would scream because of the pressure it caused. If laid down, he'd also vomit all he had eaten so then he would be hungry again. Also, he was prone to choking on his own mucous as you would also probably remember. So the odd time he would cat nap, he'd end up gaggin on his mucous. Nonetheless, I suppose it's easy to assume that he was held almost the entire first year of his life. I don't think that kid ever napped either. He would sleep at least six hours at a time after he turned one but nope, never napped. Once in a while, now he will but it's few and far between, plus, he's almost five so the napping thing is almost over for me.
Bottom line
Do all children nap?
Do all children sleep through the night?
You might think that Josie never slept but part of that was she slept with mom and dad for ages, and then with you after that never wanting to sleep alone... I think that contributes to her inability to sleep
Also, I was a huge believer in babies sleeping with parents, Billy not. Deklan lasted a month sleeping beside our bed, on a pillow. Piper two weeks and I put her in the crib. I now, looking back, thank Billy for not letting my kids sleep in our bed because I believe that it forced them to know it's okay to sleep on their own.
Everyone has a different way of parenting, just like every child is different... but really the best thing is to sometimes let the cry
As Dr. Spackman told me,
If they're not hurt, if they're fed, then they're fine... and it's good for lung development!
So let her cry (only at bedtime) and see what happens... it's hard the first time I did it with Deklan it seemed like he cried forever. But it does get easier!
I love you guys :)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


So, how do you get a baby to sleep, anyway?

It's not that we don't have a routine. We do. It's just that recently Rachel has ignored our routine.

I've been reading up on sleep patterns for babies and apparently Rachel should be getting 5 hours worth of naps everyday. That's not a problem with me except that she doesn't nap.

She power-naps. Half an hour and she's done. And she'll only do that once or twice a day.

So, if I "force" her to sleep longer at nap time, will she sleep better at night? That's what all the articles I read said.

I'm not sure I believe them. She's related to my little sister who stayed up for a full 24+ hours after she was born...and who, thirteen years later, still runs on very little sleep.

Little bundles of energy, they are. Rachel seems to push bedtime back for each nap she takes, minute by minute, if she naps more than an hour a day. I don't know though. Is she just overtired?

I do sometimes force her not to have naps (like the 9 o'clock "nap"--that one just has to go. Napping at 9 PM should just be illegal. That's a good bedtime, Rachel. We don't nap at 9 o'clock).

Anyway...we've tried pretty much everything. Baths, singing, reading, rocking, eating...we had a routine that was butchered this week, but has been pretty consistent in the past...


(She's asleep I'm going to bed. We let her cry herself out in her only took 28 minutes, but that was after our bedtime routine so in total it took about an hour or so to get her to sleep. That's not terrible considering last night we spent, oh, let me pull out my calculator...SEVEN!)

Sunday, December 16, 2007


Tonight Matt told me that he would rather I dance with Amy (one of us always dances to lullabies with Amy as part of her bedtime routine) because he still had some things to do and he wanted to get to bed. Our DVD player that we listen to the lullabies in started acting wierd so he brought the laptop in to play the CD. And next thing I know he is lying on the bed looking at the computer. And what do you suppose is on the screen? The Mother's Lounge. He sarcastically told me that he doesn't know why I get carried away reading blogs; it's not like it's fun or anything. Which is his way of saying that if he let himself, he could get very carried away reading blogs. I just thought you would all like to know that there is a man who reads the Mother's Lounge. And he generally thinks it is enjoyable. Then again, I think it is silly for men who have children to be all wierd about the things women talk (dinner ideas, kids, diapers, silly stories, etc.).

Friday, December 14, 2007

"But I don't love bugs."

So I once prided, perhaps even goaded Nancy on the fact that my kids are such good eaters. They eat onions - raw, sauteed, fried, green onion, yellow onion, or red onion, - mushrooms, broccoli, cauliflower, eggs, sushi, shrimp, crab, oatmeal, cornmeal, grits, dragonfruit, starfruit, kiwi, pomellos, yogurt, milk, whole wheat bread with the crusts (they prefer the multigrain or twelve grain bread), apples with the peel - pretty much everything.
I accomplished this task by setting food down in front of them. And like all kids, they occasionally would come up with the: "Ohhhh, I don't like that."
I simply tell them: "What? You've had that before and you loved it!"
That being said, they'd smile as recognition (sometimes a confused recognition, as they don't remember if they had actually had it before) lit their faces and they'd dig right in. Followed by enthused agreements of how they do like the food.

Well, that has worked for the past eight years. I have few objections to food from my kids, Deklan doesn't really like lettuce - but at 8 years old he will eat it if placed in front of him without complaint.
Piper who is 7, doesn't really like kidney beans, refried beans, or pork and beans - but I remind her that while we don't have it often, when we do, she eats them and while she doesn't love them per se, she does eat them. With a few glasses of water she tends to agree, they're not so bad.
Malachi is my picky eater. He's four and half and he doesn't like food mixed (If we have tacos, he used to eat everything separate - lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, onions, taco shell, meat, or beans, all in their own separate pile on his plate. However, the last time we had tacos, he ate it all on his taco shell!

I have to admit, I thought I had the situation handled. After all, I am the pickiest eater you'll probably ever meet. I knew what I had to do to make sure my kids didn't turn out like me!

Well, Kai (malachi) has bamboozled me!

We went to Boston Pizza today and while we were waiting he asked if they had Kraft Dinner. (His favorite.) I said "No, they don't have Kraft Dinner. They have 'Bugs n' Cheese'" He looked up at me with his big brown eyes and patted me on the cheek while he said. "But I don't love bugs mom."
Well. How do you argue with that?
I don't like bugs either.
I tried to explain as did Piper that it was Bug shaped Pasta. To no avail, he ordered a grilled cheese sandwich and fries.
Piper and I ordered Nachos. We offered some to Kai.
"But I don't love those black things on there." He said pointing at an olive.
I offered him a tortilla chip minus the olive.
"Why is it green?" He asked me.
"To make it fun to eat." I told him.
"I don't love green chips. It looks like a leaf." He told me.
Right. Once again. How can you argue with that? At four years old, my fully launched explanation of how lettuce also are leaves goes right over his head.
Great, now he probably won't eat lettuce either.
Plus, lettuce has bugs sometimes... and we've established how he feels about those.

Now I am sitting here wondering how to phrase my response the next time I set food in front of him. He's already beaten me to the punch line!

Mystery Diaper

Rachel and Uncle Jacob
So I changed Rachel's diaper this afternoon (we missed the potty) and she had big red things in it. I was really worried about because I typically don't feed Rachel anything red--in fact, I don't think she'll be eating anything red for quite sometime. As icky as it was I investigated further.

It was paper! She had been attacking the program you see in the above picture and I guess she bit some chunks off and processed it. I hope paper isn't bad for babies...

Thursday, December 13, 2007

A No Yell Zone...

So I used to think I would be one of those people who would never yell at their kids. Even after I had Ezra it seemed like it wouldn't be that hard to keep my cool. It is amazing how quickly things can change. Ezra became a toddler and was far more independent. Grace was born and my sleep and energy levels went way down. Then Ezra learned to argue. It isn't even like he wasn't doing things because he didn't understand, but he now had the ability to willfully rebel and choose to at will. Anyway somewhere along the line I found myself being a yelling mom. I tried to justify myself saying that kids need some discipline and that was all I was doing. I told myself that safety was important and Ezra needed to learn. I didn't feel good about it but I'd come to an uneasy balance with myself. Then last week I noticed Ezra yelling at Grace. She was doing something "naughty" like moving his toys and he would run over to her and yell, "No baby Grace, that is very naughty. You are being a bad, bad girl. Go to time out right now." It made me feel horrible. So I decided it was time to make a change. I have now forbidden myself from yelling at the kids and I'm happy to say the last three days have been completely yell free. Does that mean I will never punish the kids and live in delusion? Heck no. Ezra has already tested the boundaries on several occasions and when he has I sat down and talked with him about it and gave him the choice. He could behave or he could take a time out. I was completely calm and detached about the whole thing though and every time he choose to behave instead of the time out. For three days there have been no fights, no yelling, and not once has Ezra needed to be put in time out. I feel GREAT. Ezra has behaved so well and Grace isn't getting "yelled" at. I told Ezra that if mom was going to be calm and not yell, he couldn't yell at Grace anymore. He was a little sad about it but I think he is adjusting :) Do I think I'll never yell again. No, I'm sure someday I'll probably slip, but the point is I've forbidden it so hopefully I will quickly rectify the situation and apologize to my kids. I wanted my kids to be well behaved but for that to happen I need to be as well and I realize that I was probably a huge instigator into my own child's misbehavior. How sad is that.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Rudy's here!

For those in the ward with Nancy, Jason Drummond just called me to say that they had their baby. Rudy was born at 12:07 (right after we all left playgroup). 19 in. 7 lbs. Pretty soon we'll be able to recruit Maria to playgroup - well, once she is comfortable bringing him out. Just thought I'd let you all know.

screamin' deals

I visit this webpage a lot: and read the info there. It's quite a good webpage, and I've learned a lot there. being a first time mom to be, I like finding information on pregnancy and birth and babies and all that stuff. One of the things I like about this page is the boards. They have boards for everything. I tend to visit the LDS board, and the Feb babies board. There's other pages there as well that I like to visit, but not as much. There's a bargin board, and a money saver's board and things like that (I'm always trying to find a way to cut back somewhere so we can pay for school)
I found this deal on there today, on the LDS board and I wanted to share it with everyone:

I just bought a stroller there for $99, that retails for $239. This stroller actually:
well, one of those strollers (the solo deluxe, and not in pink, it more of a dusty red/orange--they called it terra cotta). they were all on sale for $99!!! I love finding deals like that!! one down side--there is no return policy, although everything is new, but if it's damaged they'll help you get a replacement. So if it doesn't work out for us (like if I kick the wheels when I walk) I can resell it on ebay or kid to kid and still make my money back. That's pretty dang good I think!

I'm putting their webpage in my quick links bar. I like a good deal. I'll let you know how the stroller turns out. hope this can help someone else as well!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

My favorite highchairs

I am always on the lookout for baby/kid products that get rave reviews from mothers who I know...or who know people I know...or who belong to the same blog that I do :). So I'm going to tell you here about my two favorite highchairs, in case anyone is ever looking for a recommendation.

Highchair #1: The Chicco Travel Seat. The one we had was actually the lower model than the one pictured, but the concept is the same.

What I loved about it: Well, first you have to understand that both Jeremy and I are very against stand-alone highchairs. They have a large footprint, take up a lot of room, and don't store very efficiently. Also, we needed a high chair that we could take overseas if needed (and believe me, it was needed). My favorite things about this chair are that it is absolutely portable, it has a clean, smooth design, it looks nice at the table, and the entire seat comes off and can be washed in the washing machine (!!!).

Cons, if any: Miriam "grew out" of it at about 15 months. The weight limit is plenty high, but Miriam eventually did not like being trapped in a perch at the end of the table. She wanted to be in a chair like us. Which led to the purchase of...

Highchair #2: The First Years On-The-Go Booster Seat.

What I loved about it: Again, portability. This one compresses into a tight package with a handle, and we took it overseas without a problem. It functions as a nice booster seat, but with discreet straps for when the occupant gets wiggly.

Cons, if any: Well, I missed being able to throw the highchair into the washing machine. This one does clean nicely, it just takes a little more effort.

I am so glad we did not spend the money and waste the limited space in our home with a stand-alone highchair. I have not regretted either of these purchases for a moment and I would recommend them to anyone!

Too Many Crying Kids

This is something I could only share on this blog. This weekend I was with my family. I have 2 sisters and they each have kids. Hollie has a 5 year old boy who is autistic, a 3 year old girl who is a brat (she will agree with me) and a 5 month old baby girl. My other sister Cate has a 2 year old boy who is autistic and an 8 month old little girl. I have Ian who is 2 1/2 and Maggie who is 4 months old. Needless to say between the 7 kids there was A LOT of crying going on. I have heard people talking about how they experience "Let Down" when they hear another baby cry. I have never experienced this until this weekend. I was so full from the moment we got to my parents house to the moment we left. I had to be very careful going out in public because twice I was just sitting on the couch and a child would start to cry and I would look down and be completely saturated with milk. This was very weird knowing that a baby besides my own could trigger my milk. Has this happened to anyone else?

How to save your flat batter

If you're like me, then more often than not you will just get the batter made for some delicious dessert: cake, muffins, etc. and then will have to leave it sitting in order to run off and do something else. Maybe the dryer just quit or the baby started screaming or, like what happened on Sunday, you looked at the clock and realized that you didn't have time to bake it right away because you had to be to the choirside in 5 minutes!

So, on Sunday Andrew made the batter for the poppyseed bread (that I still have to deliver) and then we had to run out the door.

When we got home we realized that there was no way the batter would rise in the oven since it had been sitting in the fridge for a few hours.

Batter rises because of the chemical reaction between the baking soda and whatever acid-like substance is found in the batter. You have to cook it immediately, though, otherwise the reaction finishes and your batter becomes somewhat "flat."

Andrew suggested that we put more baking soda in the batter. He said he thought he remembered trying that on the mission once or twice and it seemed to work.

After researching for a bit and finding nothing, I started to think back on the days when I was really into experimenting with vinegar and baking soda. I recalled noticing that if you put more vinegar into the volcano after it had already "erupted," nothing happened. However, if you added more baking soda after the initial eruption, the chemical reaction would take place again and the volcano would erupt once more.

So we added another teaspoon of baking soda to the batter and, wouldn't you know it, little gas bubbles started rising to the surface of the bowl. We baked the bread and it rose wonderfully. Of course, it then fell in the middle but bread normally does that when I bake it.

A happy ending to a nearly disastrous cooking experience.

Baby Sign Language

Marseille Stephenson had a great idea--I think I'm going to give it a shot. It will probably help out as Rachel gets older and attempts to tell me things. So far, Born 2 Sign is the best site I've found. It's an online signing dictionary of simple words to teach your children. You don't have to be an expert to do it. We're just going to start with a few words--potty being one of them.

I've known of a few people who've done this and I've seen their little babies sign back to them, so I know it's possible. Apparently it helps the children have less outbursts because instead of simply screaming and having you guess at what they want, they can give you clues like whether they want "more," if they need a "change," or if they just need a "hug."

Monday, December 10, 2007

Babysitting Exchange

I've had this idea mulling around for quite awhile now, and I thought this would be a perfect place to discuss it. There have been more than a few times when Taber and I haven't gone out because 1) no one in his family was available to babysit; 2) we didn't know of any responsible teenage girls in the area we could trust, let alone with twins; 3) we weren't too excited to shell out the dough to hire a babysitter; 4) we feel guilty having people watch our kids and not paying them; 5) you can't necessarily be spontaneous when a babysitter is involved. I read in a parenting magazine a few months ago about babysitting exchanges and it seemed like a near perfect solution. This particular group of mothers had organized their exchange as follows:
1. You get a group of people you trust together (i.e. mothers in the ward or close friends) that would benefit from the exchange.
2. You all receive equal amounts of "currency" at the beginning of the exchange.
3. When you watch someone's kids, you receive a set amount of currency. When you have someone else watch your kids, you pay a set amount of currency. That way, if you babysit for someone else, you're stocking up babysitting minutes for you.

I know there are a lot of you out there with young babies and it's hard to feel comfortable getting away from all the responsibilities that only you can perform (i.e. breastfeeding, etc.), but I think this would be great even if you just needed a nap, cause I know we could all probably use an uninterrupted nap. Or a trip alone to the grocery store. Or any number of things...Maybe you would be more willing to have someone watch your kids if you didn't feel like every minute you were away from them was costing you.

I found a website that would facilitate an exchange for free. Check it out.

I also found a fairly thorough explanation of how to set up an exchange.

Think about it and then tell me your thoughts. Would you be interested in getting something like this started in our neighborhood/ward?

And sorry that this post excludes some of the Mother's Lounge members because of locality.

Copied from Heissatopia

The First Presidency Message this month was about children. I really liked the article--it had me hooked in the very first paragraph. President Hinckley says:

Once when our grandchildren were small, my wife and I took some of them to the circus. I recall that I was more interested in watching them and many others of their kind than in watching the man on the flying trapeze. I looked at them in wonder as they alternately laughed and stared wide-eyed at the exciting things before them. And I thought of the miracle of children who become the world's constant renewal of life and purpose.

I think I know exactly how he feels. This Christmas has been so exciting for me already because my focus has entirely changed.

The last few Christmases seemed to have been less magical than in the past. I was a selfish, cynical teenager. I had stopped believing in Santa and there were few presents that could thrill me. It's not that I didn't enjoy Christmas. I still enjoyed Christmas carols, and focusing on the Savior, but Christmas had really lost some of its magic for me. It was probably being selfish that caused that.

Our first two Christmases together as a couple were fun. We made up little stockings for each other and bought each other gifts, but still there was something missing.

Now that we have Rachel, I feel that "renewal of life and purpose." All of a sudden everything is new again as I watch her take things in for the first time. I love how her eyes get transfixed on the Christmas lights. I love how she wants to get under the Christmas tree so badly. I love thinking about how baby Jesus was a baby just like my own baby. I love everything about Christmas this year! Even the snow is fun...Rachel laughs whenever we take her outside and she feels the cold air.

I want to do cute crafts again, I want to find the perfect gifts for her, I want to have fun as a family...and she's not even going to remember any of this! But at least we'll develop some cool family traditions. I hear it just gets more exciting every year once children start to figure out who Santa is and why we put the big tree up in the living room.

Watching children get excited about things is so rewarding. I'm so excited to raise Rachel now!

We've been so nervous, as a couple, about raising her. We pray everyday that we can know how to do that the best way. This article was a fantastic answer to prayer! It was basically a whole bunch of parenting tips from President Hinckley and definitely something I needed to read. By no means do I think it answers all of our parenting questions, but it certainly has helped answer a lot of them!

I love that we have Rachel in our home. She brings such a spirit of love and joy into our lives. Not only do we love her with all our heart and soul, our love for each other has increased as well. Families are so important. Sometimes I wonder what Heavenly Father could possibly be thinking, sending an innocent child to be raised by people as imperfect and inexperienced as we are...but I know it's part of his plan for us. We've grown in so many ways since she's joined our family--and I think I have a deeper understanding of His love for all of His children, including myself.

Christmas is definitely more magical, more thrilling, more spiritual, more deeply moving for me this year than it ever has been in the past. I'm looking forward to each and every day between now and Christmas.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Easy Dough Recipe

Here is the dough recipe I put under Bonnie's post. I figured I'd put it up here so other people could see it as well. I love it because it is just so easy!

In a bowl you mix 1 tablespoon yeast and 2 tablespoons sugar with 1 1/2 cups warm water. Then you mix in 3 cups (more or less) of flour until you have a nice dough. You knead it for 3 minutes and then let it sit for ten. I use that ten to get all my pizza ingredients out. Then you can role out pizza dough or make bread sticks. For pizza I like to put a little Pam on the pan and a bit of corn meal to make it easier to roll. If you are making a pizza you throw the sauce and other goodies on and put it in the oven for 20 minutes on 350. Same temp and time for bread sticks, just roll out on the counter, cut into strips, put them on buttered pan, brush butter on them and sprinkle them with garlic salt, oregano or dill, and Parmesan cheese. So in about 33 minutes you have a homemade pizza or yummy bread sticks to go with spaghetti. That is almost as fast as Papa Johns :)

Friday, December 7, 2007

Potty Training Motivation

Joy commented on one of my posts saying this:

Another good question is how do you keep her excited about going potty? Karen was all into it about a week and a half ago, and now I can put her up there all I want and she won't do anything! And that's sad because for a few days she did really good too!

Truthfully, I have no idea! Hopefully we'll never come to that. I don't really have to motivate Rachel to want the potty--I just kinda stick her on it and she goes. That's the beauty of elimination communication: if you start early enough the child just thinks it's normal. You don't have to bribe them.

Otherwise, I think almost every child gets bribed.


I don't know. I don't remember being potty trained, precisely. I know Heather has a system worked out where x-amount of times in the potty and Ian can choose a car. And Abra gives Kai a prize if he poops in the toilet.

Perhaps they'll elaborate on their methods... Any other ideas?

I made pizza dough!

A little while back my sister-in-law was at my house and saw the food processor that my mother-in-law gave me. She told me they were great for making pizza dough. I said tat would be cool, but I thought I would never be able to make pizza dough. It just sounds hard. But I decided to put it on my month menu. Having the month menu makes me more brave because I can plan a little more complicated dinners for days that aren't coming yet without knowing yet what my plans are for that day thereby taking away the excuse that I'll be too busy. So I tried the pizza dough yesterday, and it worked! I tasted great! And it was easy! I am so happy about it. Also it reminded me that when we try small things to better ourselves, the Lord blesses us greatly. There are some homemaking skills that I don't feel very confident in, cooking being one of the biggest ones. But as I try to improve myself in these areas, the Lord blesses me greatly because homemaking is a very important part of my life. He wants me to succeed at it because when I am making my home a better place, I am fulfilling a big part of the work He has for me in this stage of my life. How exciting!

Nancy's getting baptized!

So last night I had a dream that I was haning out with my extended family. Nancy was there too. At one point in the dream I was suddenly a missionary. And Nancy was not a member of the church. But I knew that she and Andrew had been going to church together for a long time. We started talking about the gospel, and Nancy said that she believed everything she learned. So we commited her to baptism. We came into the room where everyone else was and told them. Everyone was so surprised that the baptism was so soon (I was trained on the mission to encourage people to be baptuzed as soon as possible) and excited for Nancy. We decided that she should be baptized in Mesa which was really convenient because I have two friends who are marrying each other down there next month. So I thought I could go to the baptism and the wedding reception in the same trip. Funny dream.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Mini Foods

Being the mother of a three year old who apparently gets most of caloric needs from the sun I find dinner time is often a battle of wills. While I want my son to eat the delicious and nutritious meal I prepared he is more interested in trying to get down and playing with his napkin. One thing I've found that helps is mini foods. First off I try to only give him small servings of what we are eating but if it can be a mini he is even more interested. Take for instance mini hamburgers. I make little guys that fit nicely on rolls (they are about a third to a fourth of the size of a normal hamburger). They are still delicious and he is much more likely to finish one. They also cook much faster. He also is a fan of mini pancakes and mini pizzas. Also you can make little mini individual meatloaf in cupcake holders. If you have any other fun minis let me know.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Tooth doctor?

Now that my girls' pearly whites are finally making their appearance, I think it's time that I take them to see the tooth doctor. Soooo, I am looking for any recommendations for pediatric dentists in the Orem/Provo area. Thanks!

Wassail Recipe

Hey, here is my mom's (and grandma and great-grandma, etc.) recipe for wassail.

1 Gal apple cider/juice
1 pt. orange juice
1 c. lemon juice
4 c. water
2 c. sugar

in 'spice bag': (or any semi-porous cloth wrapping; I've even used an old t-shirt)
24 whole cloves
12 allspice berries
6 sticks cinnamon
2 small-ish pieces whole ginger

Mix all the juice stuff together, drop in spice bag, simmer at least 1 hour. (I usually let it simmer for more like 4-6 hours, but sometimes this leads to a very strong concentration. If this happens to you, just add a little water).

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

More on Elimination Communication

It's funny to me how much Rachel understands about going on the potty. She actually looks proud of her self every time she goes--she looks up and grins at me. We've been making a lot of headway communicating with each other. I'm starting to understand Rachel's cues and she's starting to understand mine. She's been staying dry all through the night. I've done a lot of research on the internet today and it seems that most babies don't pee themselves in their sleep--they wake up to do it, then fall back asleep. It's only when they're used to sitting in it all the time that they turn off their "censors" so to speak.

We've only had one accident so far. I was holding her over the bowl and her stream went up instead of down. I didn't think that girls did that. Pee got all over the floor but it wasn't a problem. We just used our handy dandy Clorox wipes.

One of the dilemmas we've faced has been getting her clothes off in time. She makes plenty of grunts and groans before relieving herself, but getting off her pants and a onesie and a diaper can be tricky in that short of a time frame. I now understand why they have t-shirts for infants--they really bothered me before because they just don't stay down, but they're great for using the potty. You just keep your baby in a t-shirt and a diaper.

Skirts work well because then you just have to worry about the onesie and diaper. We don't have many skirts and it's a little too cold to go with bare legs so I looked at getting her some baby leg warmers. They are $12 a pair though!

I decided to make her some instead. At first I tried my knifty knitters, but they were too big. Then I remembered that I know how to crochet--I always forget that. This is the first thing I've attempted to crochet that hasn't been flat and rectangular. Don't knock them.

Here she is, my super star!

Now Rachel stays toasty warm and we don't even have to take them off to go potty. Somehow it throws me back to another decade. Viva scrunch socks! (We're still working on the design).

I haven't been brave enough to attempt going diaper-free yet, but we'll get there. For now I'm just happy that I've only had to change two poopy diapers today. For anyone who knows how often my baby goes, that's a real treat for me!

Does anyone know where to get inexpensive cloth diapers?

Monday, December 3, 2007

How I fold my onesies

Before Rachel was born, I washed a lot of her clothes. Most of her clothes are hand-me-downs from my sister's twins, bestowed upon me in giant garbage bags. They were mixed and mingled with little fistfuls of grass and cookies, courtesy of the twins, I'm sure. They needed to be washed.

So I washed all the itty bitty items, all billion and one socks, every little onesie. When they came out of the dryer, I was in ecstasy folding baby clothes and imagining what our little baby was going to be like.

The million and one socks got stuck inside bigger items I had in the wash and I was picking them out of my t-shirts for weeks. I learned quickly and bought a mesh bag with a zipper. We wash and dry her socks in that now. None get lost in my pant legs anymore.

What I couldn't figure out, for the life of me, was how to fold a onesie. For months I experimented with different techniques, none of which seemed to work. I folded them, I rolled them, but mostly I ended up just shoving them in her drawers. It was rather frustrating for me.

Then Rachel got to a very awkward stage in her growth where she was either too big or too small for all of her clothes. I was forcing her just-born onesies to stretch over her not-so-just-born self in order to keep her from tumbling right out of her clothes. I had 3 0-3 month onesies and it took Rachel about 2 hours to go through that many onesies back in the day.

And so I borrowed some onesies from Kim, which I do need to round up and return. When Kim gave them to me they looked pristine--not a wrinkle in sight! They were folded simply in half at the tummy and stacked on top of each other. I was amazed!

That's what I do now--I fold them in half and stack them in Rachel's dresser. It makes them easy to riffle through, although I'm not sure that they look quite as elegant as Kim's folding job. (I may just have to bust out my iron before returning those onesies, Kim!)

Did anyone else have that same problem, or I am the only onesie-folding challenged among us?

Saturday, December 1, 2007

35,000 lights and 4,500 feet of extension cords

Last night, Taber and I loaded up the girls when we should have been putting them to bed and went to look at Christmas lights. I just wanted to get out and do something fun. These weren't your everyday string-a-light here, string-a-light there Christmas lights - these had become a life's purpose. If you want something to do that will put you in the Christmas spirit at once, you have to go check this house out in Pleasant Grove that has a computerized, veritable light show. They broadcast songs on 99.9 FM and the music and lights are synchronized. You can find more details at this website, like directions and hours. You won't be disappointed! Except if you go when it's raining, like we did. Then only about half the lights work.

There is a similar thing going on in Murray. His display, it appears, is a bit more...extravagant. 100,000 lights, and almost 2 miles of extension cords could do that. The director of the power company stops by every year. They're probably on a first-name basis. I'm excited to go see it soon!