Thursday, February 25, 2010

Luvin' the Luvs

Let's discuss diapers.

We aren't brand loyal on much of anything at our house, and that includes diapers.  

However, we have used enough of a variety of diapers these last 6 years to have some pretty strong preferences.

The diapers we buy most often are the walmart brand "Parent's Choice".  They're cheap (relatively) and they don't leak or give our babies diaper rash.  Week in, week out, these are the diapers we buy until our kiddos are potty trained.

We'll also buy dollar store brands, if we can't get to a walmart, but our non-walmart favorite is Luvs.  Just today I disassembled the diaper cake centerpiece from Tyler's baby shower.  It was made from size 1 and 2 Luvs.  Tyler has really almost outgrown size 1's already, but I decided to go ahead and use them anyway.  And - wonderfully - they don't leak!  At all!

Huggies, on the other hand, tend to leak for us.  No fun.  Not impressed.  Not a fan.

And finally, in this Riveting Diaper Review, are Pampers.  Pampers are the brand our Children's hospital uses, so Alan wore a lot of Pampers.  I like them.  They seem softer than some of the others.  And no leaking.  Some of them are designed with pictures on both sides though.  This leads to diapers being put on backwards.  As anyone who ever put a diaper on Alan in the hospital will tell you.  ;)

So there you have it.  My totally random, rambling review of diapers.  What's your favorite?  Do you even have a favorite?  

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Brother Love

As loud, boisterous, and (dare I say it?) obnoxious as he can sometimes be...

this boy is crazy about his baby brother.
He is tender and sweet, and has an uncanny knack for knowing what he needs and being able to comfort him.
And I love him all the more because of it.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Concert

Dale was very generously offered a ticket recently to attend a concert with his Dad.  

This meant not only the concert, but also spending an entire afternoon and evening "just the two of them" (if you don't count the 30-something other kids and parents) and getting to ride a school bus - with Daddy driving!

They set off after church, still in their Sunday best.  I had packed the 'cleanest' lunch I could think of and hoped for the best.

Oh my.  

Dale's pants may never be the same.  That khaki was a wide open canvas for everything and anything within a 10-foot radius.

First there were the stray ink marks from church.  

Amazingly enough, I think my lunch plan was successful and stayed off the pants.  Or at least invisible.  Choosing apple jelly instead of grape was strategic, you know, and had nothing to do with taste preferences.

And then there was the bus.  Apparently there was some large 'hump' thing near the driver's seat, so while watching and helping Daddy get ready to go there was much climbing and sitting (and probably sliding).  So we add to the innocuous ink marks a lot of blackish gray smudges.  Dirt.  And probably grease.

So that's how my boy arrived.  

Which brings us to intermission.  During which Dale ate Doritos.  And used his thighs as napkins.
Are you picturing this in your head?  The pants are getting colorful, are they not?

By the time my guys headed home a long time had passed since lunch and some fast food was in order.  I send my gratitude across the miles to the Sonic employee that neglected to include any ketchup with those fries.  The grape slush, however, was a whole other matter.

If you need me, I'll be in the laundry room.  My son went to a concert.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

A Buffalo Birthday Party

How to give Daddy a birthday party:

1. Make a colorful paper chain "as tall as our house!"  Hang it over the table.  Forget to take pictures of the finished project.

2. Paint pictures for Daddy.  Ignore all those bright colors; the more black and brown the better.  Paint pictures to give to a few other people as well, while you're at it.

3. Clean the frosting spoons and spatulas.  Bonus points for mustaches.

4. Help Daddy open his presents.  Even if you did wrap them yourself.

5. Sing really loud and help Daddy blow out his candles.  If you are under 12 months, be sure and cry through the whole thing!

Happy Birthday, Daddy Buffalo!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Tuesday To-Dos

It snowed.  We played.

It was Sunday.  We went to church.

It was Monday.  We cleaned house.

Okay, so my wonderful husband did most of the cleaning.  He had the day off for President's Day.  

So, it was Monday.  I.... oh yeah... I fed the baby.  That's pretty much what I do every day!  Yesterday I did get a shopping trip out alone with my mom.  "Shopping" as in we walked through every aisle at the dollar store.  

We live in a small town.  There aren't a lot of options.

I'm okay with that.  It has its advantages!

Today is Tuesday.
I have 

- laundry to put away.
- 'deskwork' to do
- a dr appointment to go to
- Bible chapters to read
- supper to make
- school to do

We'll see how all that goes.  

So far I've fed the baby, made breakfast, cleaned up breakfast, held the baby.

I'll check back in with you guys later.  :)

Obviously my kids haven't seen much Sesame Street.  

Dale and Alan are playing with a talking Sesame Street toy (old baby toy of Alan's they wanted out of Tyler's closet).  

Every time Burt does his funky eheheheheh laugh, they say it's a duck.

Obviously.  Not much Sesame Street.

P.S. VERY slow progress on the to-do list.  Very.
Dr. visit - check!
Deskwork - making progress
Up next: Putting away the clean laundry and getting started on supper (I'm thinking split pea soup tonight... we'll see).

But first.... going to go pick up my crying baby.  You guys should see him in his little Pooh bear outfit... too cute!  Maybe I'll get a pic up later.  :)
Supper was a success.  Pea soup.  Very yummy.  (Even if I DID want to try it w/curry and forgot my curry at the 'other' house.)  And warm fluffy whole wheat biscuits, too!

Over the course of the day I got a few Bible chapters read.  Not nearly as much as I wanted, but some.

School?  Didn't get to any of our Olympic lapbook activities.  Grrr.  Maybe tomorrow!

And, as promised... the Pooh pictures!

With bonus smiles!  Couldn't choose just one, so you get all three.  :)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Saturday Stuff

I'm going to ramble a bit...

We have been in serious need of some groceries at our house recently.  We talked earlier this week about the whole fam going to WalMart.  I started working on a menu and a list a few days ago.

But then I decided it didn't sound like a good idea at all to take Tyler out and drag him around a supercenter for a couple of hours.

And there is no way I could go and shop and get back before he needs to be fed again.  And I'm not ready to introduce a bottle just yet.

So, that left us with the option of Greg being the Grocery Gopher yet again, just like he's been doing for a few months now.  Thankfully, he doesn't mind.  Although I would have liked the time to do some Valentine's shopping.  And Greg's birthday is coming up this week too.  Ah well.  I did briefly wonder if he would take advantage of his trip to do some Valentine's shopping of his own.  But I tried not to think on it.  Just in case he didn't.  
At any rate, he once again headed out to gather up all the stuff we need.

It reminds me of the frontier days when Pa would take the wagon and go to town, leaving Ma and the kids at home.  He'd be gone a day or two and come home with supplies for the months ahead.  That and a piece of penny candy for every kid, right?  Maybe a new pair of shoes he had fitted by tracing their little feet?

Incidentally, we have done the foot tracing thing, too.  Back in the late fall when the flu was rampant and Alan needed new shoes and we weren't taking him in stores at all.

No need to trace feet today, though.  Even though Alan didn't need new shoes, he got to go with Daddy - all by himself!

Dale stayed up laaaaate last night with us watching the Olympic opening ceremonies.  He has done pretty good today for getting so much less sleep than usual, but still.... walmart would have been too much.

Daddy and Alan got home and started unloading all the goods.  I always love grocery day, whether I do the buying or Greg does.  There is something so satisfying about filling the fridge and cabinets.  And then, when Greg goes, there are the little surprises.  Things that weren't exactly what I had in mind, or just seeing him do things his way.  Like the JUMBO size can of fruit cocktail.  Or the very UNripe avacado (note to self: bump that meal down a few days).

And then there are other surprises that were supposed to be... well... surprises.  Alan was so proud of the grocery shopping today.  "We got bananas!"  And a little while later... "Daddy got you some chocolate!"


"Oh he did?" I say, glancing at Greg.  All he had to offer was a wry, and only slightly defeated, "Happy Valentines Day."

Still, we all had fun poring over the bounty.  Dale was particularly interested in the 12 pack of Ramen noodles I had requested for quick lunches on those can't-seem-to-get-anything-done days.  When I offered Greg the choice of anything from menu for supper tonight as thanks for his shopping, Dale piped up suggesting the Ramen.

A kitchen FULL of groceries: fresh meat, veggies, cheese, pasta.... and he wants the Ramen.  We loved the irony.

If you are still with me after all that, I applaud you.  It was pointless rambling, and probably bad blogging, but it felt good to sit and spell it all out.  Literally.  :)

Friday, February 12, 2010


Nine inches of it!

It snowed allll day yesterday and part of last night.

For those of you in more northern places that may not be a big deal.  

Around here?  It's a VERY big deal.



Get. out! - That is exactly what we intend to do!  Daddy is off school for the day, and so are we.  We're supposed to reach 40 degrees today, so the biggest buffaloes are on their way out to get started on their snowman.  More pictures to follow later today!
In baby news....

We are still in that newborn phase.  The newest change being that the wee one likes to be held.  A lot.  The days seem to go by very quickly, and there isn't any way everything gets done.

Some days we eat three yummy meals, and the house is a mess.  Other days we survive on cereal and pbjs, and do lots of school.  And still other days we do a little bit of school and a little bit of cooking and get the house back in order.  I'm ok with all this.  But in between life and lots and lots of baby holding (and feeding and changing) the poor ol' blog gets neglected.

As for a sleeping update, the past three nights little man has had a 5 hour stretch each night!  Yay!  And then stayed awake the next two hours (roughly 4-6am).  Not yay.  It's ok.  We'll get there.  
Sunshine and above freezing temps make snow go away very fast.  Even 9 inches of it!
I'm glad we got out early and made the best of it.
All before lunch we...

Stomped around:


Ate snow ice cream:

And made a snow man!

And now, even though there is a lot of grass peeking through, Daddy and his little buffaloes are out having a big ol' snowball fight.  From the sound of things, I think they are having a wonderful time!  :)

Monday, February 8, 2010

Fillin' their little brains...

School has continued on even with the addition of a newborn.  We started back sooner than I thought we would.  Seems like learning is more an ingrained part of our days than I knew.  Here are some of the things we've been doing the past 3 weeks:

Dale has been memorizing the Beatitudes:

Alan did activities with the letter W:

Dale completed a mini-lapbook on Canada, in preparation for the Winter Olympics.

Alan read The Mitten (over and over and over again) and made his own giant mitten and story animals from Jan Brett's site.

Dale did experiments with a mirror.

Alan played his new mitten shape match game from Mimi.

Dale practiced his addition facts both orally and with math games from FunBrain.  Math baseball and Math-car are his favorites.

Alan made a fishbowl counting page to practice counting 1-5.  (I'd link to it, but I don't think I can ever find it again!)  

Dale was introduced to the concept of 'carrying'.  

Alan practiced cutting shapes with scissors.

Dale read more books than I can count.

Alan kept his nose in a book a good bit, too.  But he takes breaks to smile for the camera.  ;)

Dale and I played Scrabble for spelling practice.

Alan put together quite a few jigsaw puzzles.

We are in the middle of reading Beethoven's biography.

And we all spent time together cooking, cleaning, and taking care of Tyler.

Whew!  It's a good thing all this learning is so much fun! ;)

Sunday, February 7, 2010

I need your help!

Dear Bloggy friends,

As I have mentioned before, I love food.  I love eating.

But lately, I have run up on a problem:  I hate food.  I miss good eating.

I don't have a lot of time these days for menu planning, or even extensive cooking, and I am quickly getting burnt out on our usual stand-bys.

You may know the ones: Peanut butter sandwiches.  Pancakes.  Cold cereal.  Bananas and apples.

This is where you come in.  I need new ideas!

What are your (and your family's) favorites?  Your go-to foods for snacks and meals?

Quick breakfasts?  Good lunches?  Fun or yummy snacks?  Fairly quick and easy and yet still taste good suppers?

Would you leave a comment with some of your favorites and 'old faithfuls'?  Or if you have lots of ideas and recipes, maybe even a link to a post on your blog?  

I'd be ever so thankful, friends. 

My tummy and I already thank you.  :)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Midnight meditations?

While I am certain it is normally a good thing to have scripture stuck in your head...

entering the second long hour with your restless newborn in the wee hours of the night is not the time to be meditating on Psalm 4:8 - 

"I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep..."

That's just torture, right there.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Baby days

Do you know how hard it is to compose a blog post while listening to a crying baby?!

I had some sort of clever thoughts to put here, but they are long gone.

Instead I'll say:
He's a good baby.

We had a good day.

He had a bath!

He is starting to smile!

He fusses a couple of hours every evening!

Including right now!

Enjoy the pictures!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Groundhog Day Stuff

Look what we're making today!  Details and more pics and projects later.  Meanwhile, you can go here to see where I got the idea.  


There really is more to come on our fun & learning today, but I had to interrupt those thoughts to let y'all get on board my "Fortunately / Unfortunately" rollercoaster.  Did you ever play that game?  

Here is today's version:

Fortunately, we were able to use the same wonderful baby mobile for Dale and Alan.  They both loved it, and with both of them, I loved it too.

Unfortunately, when we packed it away after Alan outgrew it, there was a piece broken.

Fortunately, there are several handy people in my family, AND I am an eternal optimist, so I felt confident we could fix it.

Unfortunately, when assembling the mobile for Tyler today, #1 - I discovered it no longer turns, and #2, another piece broke.  A piece that seems less fixable.  Apparently mobiles do not last longer than 6 years or 3 children.  

But I don't want another mobile!  I want THIS mobile!

Fortunately, when I googled a picture of our mobile just for the purpose of telling you this sad little tale, one of them came up at!  We were given a walmart gift card for Tyler for when he was born!  And haven't spent it!  Yay!

Unfortunately, upon further reading, I saw this item is "Not Available at this time".  :(

Fortunately, as previously mentioned, I can be optimistic to a fault... even if it means denial!  So I have hope that our mobile can be replaced.  It's just going to be finding a bargain that proves challenging.  

Fortunately, I'm up for it. :)


Finally, I am sitting down to recap our G-hog day stuff.  The race is on to see if I can finish this post before Tyler wakes up to be fed.

Ready.... set.. GO!

The marshmallow snowmen weren't really groundhog day related, but they have been on our fun-stuff-to-do list for a couple of weeks.  The boys saw the marshmallows come in from the store yesterday and insisted we use them!

So we did.

Powdered sugar icing for glue.

Pretzels for arms and nose.

Chocolate chips for eyes.

Black gel icing for a smile.

Or uhhh... something like that. 

These happy looking fellows don't know they are moments from being eaten.

The snowmen, that is, not the boys.  ;)

And in more appropriately theme-related activity...
Groundhog puppets!

For playing, and for using with this song from

Then a printout about groundhogs for Dale's science notebook.

A couple of groundhog coloring sheets, and we felt we had fully celebrated February 2nd!

P.S. I typed one line after "ready, set, go" and Dale began demonstrating for Daddy what he learned on the piano today.  Something Tyler usually sleeps through, but this time did not.  

But given the right comfy chair, Tyler and I can multi-task juuuust fine.  :)

Burping, however, requires two hands.  

Happy Groundhog Day, friends!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Back-burner blogging

Tyler has decided it's ok for babies to cry some.  And demand to be held.  And eat every 1.75 hours during the day.  

Which is ok.

Until I decide I have other things I'd like to do too.  

Like eat.

Or clean out my refrigerator.

Or blog.

Or do a craft project with the big boys.

Or any number of other things from my ever-growing list.

Ah well... he's only 4 weeks old.  I originally imagined giving us at least 6 weeks before I tried to start jumping back into things too much.  If I look at in that light then we are doing great.  Even ahead of the 'schedule' I had pictured in my head.

I admit, I often feel torn.  There are lots of things I'd like to be doing....

but who can complain when you get to spend so much time holding something as precious as this?