Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Another Ryker-ism

Ryker came down with a bit of a sore throat and a cough yesterday and he said, "I feel like I have a disease." Does he even know what a disease is?

This morning it has changed: "I feel like I have a tummy ache flu."

Don't worry; he's really not that sick (yet) he's smiling and laughing at Alaina's new clapping talent as I'm writing this.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

I love this boy!

Oh Ryker, you are such a joy! The other day Tia (AKA my sister Gina) was over and asked Ryker what kind of a baby he thought she was going to have. His response: "A POODLE!!!"

Then, after her ultrasound to find out that she was having a BOY and not a POODLE, she said to him, "See Ryker I'm having a baby boy!" And he said, "A boy POODLE!!"

Friday, October 23, 2009

Fall is here (yay for pretty trees, boo for cold)

Okay, okay. I'll conform. Clearly Blogger wants me to put the label or caption for pictures before the actual picture and I always put it below. But the way they have it spaced is starting to get to me, so I'll just do it their way. Are you happy!?

Moving on...

Despite the cooler weather, we still love going up the canyon. I especially like to go up and make dinner over the fire. Brice doesn't like the prep, but after he eats whatever yummy dutch oven concoction we came up with, I think he realizes that it is so worth it!
Raelin likes to go up the canyon so she can climb trees. Sometimes she thinks she's stuck, but she's getting good at figuring out how to get unstuck on her own.
The kids love the park at Jolley's Ranch and I can't think of a prettier backdrop!

Ryker wanted to plant potatoes this year and even though I was out of space in the garden, I just couldn't say no and squelch his excitement. So we harvested them last week and they were so yummy! Ryker did a great job of watering them and mulching them and I loved his enthusiasm all season long about his potatoes. He never tired of telling everyone about the potatoes he was growing in his garden in true Ryker fashion--completely animated. My favorite comment from Ryker as we were digging up potatoes: "I'M SO PROUD OF THEM!!!!"
Brice is adding dog houses as a facet to his shed business. Here's his first one:
And this is my most favorite Alaina face. She makes this face and blows in and out her nose. She started doing it to express discontentment but she got such a great reaction from me and the kids that she does it just about any time we ask her to. SO FUNNY!

And here's her fishy/kissy face.

And, guess who's going to be a new momma!!!!!
Yup! Gina and Toby are expecting a baby boy on April first--which is also our dad's birthday!
Alaina loves bananas and I can just give her the whole thing and she just chows! And makes a giant mess.
So cute!

Alaina loves to swing!

See, now you know why I take pictures of her all day! I could just eat her UP!

Cute cousins

The end

Addendum to Summer Posts

I found another file of pictures on my computer from this summer that ought to be on the blog, so here they are!Brice riding horses at my parents house.

I love taking pictures of Alaina. As I was going through this file, Ryker was watching and labeling all the pictures as I clicked through them. It went something like this: "House, Ryker, Alaina, Alaina, Alaina, Alaina, Ryker, Zuma, Alaina, Alaina, Raelin, Raelin, Alaina, Alaina, us eating corn, Alaina eating corn, Alaina eating corn again..." You get the idea.

Ryker loves his sister! He's such a good big brother--always willing to help with anything Alaina needs.
Me and Ryker being silly.

Ryker posing as a cool dude.

This is how Daddy gets Alaina dressed.

Daddy helping Alaina be a cool dudette.

Alaina loves baths!

Zuma and Alaina are so funny together. They're constantly snatching things from each other. Zuma's faster but Alaina is more determined. Alaina will find a toy (usually paper or a crayon or something) and Zuma will come up and grab it out of her hands. Alaina doesn't get upset; she just reaches over and takes it back. Then Zuma takes it and runs across the room with it and Alaina crawls over to wrestle it away from her. I love that Alaina isn't afraid of the animals (she squeals and laughs whenever they are around) and I love that Zuma has a soft enough mouth that I don't worry about her biting the baby.
Goofy face, but she's STANDING! (And falling in this picture) She's up to about 30 seconds now and she usually does it when she's not thinking about it. Once she realizes she standing on her own, she slowly sits down. Yesterday she was outside on the grass with a rock in her hand (why do we buy kids toys?). She doesn't like the feeling of the grass on her legs so she was crawling on her hands and her feet. Then she wanted to look at the rock and play with it with two hands. So instead of sitting down, she just stood up! She stood up playing with it for a few seconds and then sat back down. I was amazed! She's SO strong! Especially for being so little. At her Dr. appointment yesterday, she'd fallen off the growth chart completely and is in the negative 3rd percentile or something. But since she can do things like stand alone and go from crawling to standing, I doubt there's anything wrong with her.

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Power of Prayer

Sometimes I wonder if Brice and I are doing enough to teach and model the gospel in our home. Let's face it; we don't read our scriptures daily and our kids certainly don't see us doing it, we lose our tempers with the kids and I have a hard time saying sorry, and I'm horrible at remembering my personal prayers. We are good about FHE and family prayer and church attendance and other things, but I often wonder how much better we would fare if we were better about some things. Well, my feelings of guilt were diminished somewhat the other day by my sweet little Raelin.

Me: Raelin, I've noticed that you haven't been sucking your thumb as much lately.
Raelin: Yeah.
Me: That's really cool! Did you decide you wanted to stop or is it just happening by itself?
Raelin: Well, I said a prayer a while ago that Heavenly Father would help me stop sucking it and He is helping me.
Me: Aaaawww! Raelin, that's so cool! Don't you love how Heavenly Father answers our prayers?
Ryker: I'm going to say a prayer that Heavenly Father will help me stop sucking my thumb too. Dear Heavenly Father, Please help me to stop sucking my thumb. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen. Now I will stop sucking my thumb too!

Don't you just love the faith of little children!? Such good kids! It makes my heart happy when I hear that they have really internalized some of the gospel precepts. I think that our whole family's testimony of prayer has been strengthened over the years to a large degree because of our animals. Sounds weird, I know, but when we pray about our animals, our prayers are so immediately and tangibly answered. For instance, Raelin's snake is an escape artist (yes, we have a had a snake loose in our house on a number of occasions). Every single time she gets out, we get everyone together and look for her. We look and look and look, but have not once been able to find her until after we have knelt on our knees to ask the Lord for help. And then we find her within literally one minute. With our dogs (ALL of them) they have gotten lost, ran away, escaped, you name it and we are left wondering where to look, what to do, and how in the world to find them. We find ourselves leaning on the Lord to reunite us with our dogs. It's interesting; with Jax we always felt to walk or drive and call for him. With Cooper, we are prompted to just wait for him. But in any case, until we turn it over to the Lord, we have no hope of finding and of our lost animals. But the instant we do turn it over, we find them. It's interesting the amount of love we feel from the Lord when He helps us find our animals. It's kind of a silly thing for us to always be pleading for His help on behalf of animals, but it's like He's telling us, "If I'm willing to help you with this, what more do you think I would be willing to help you with if you will just ask?" I try to remember that as I struggle to raise these precious kids who are more His than mine. I need to learn that, not only am I incapable, but I am also not expected to raise them by my own strength, will, and determination. If He knows us so well and is so willing to help us with something as simple as finding our dogs and snake, He would of course want nothing more than to help us live the gospel so that we can return to live with Him!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Homemade cloth diapers

I copied and pasted this post from my blog about baby pottying with Alaina (AKA natural infant hygiene, elimination communication, etc.). Sorry to those of you that read the potty blog for the duplicate post, but I wanted to put my homemade cloth diapers on my main blog, so here it is! They are so easy to make and SOOO cute!

So, I decided I wanted to switch over to cloth diapers full time (or nearly full time) in order to help Alaina stay in tune with when she goes pee and doesn't loose that sensation of needing to go. I figure that since I'm catching about 95% of poops, it really isn't a big deal to use cloth full time (EC is SO much cleaner! Hence it's other name of Natual Infant Hygiene). I only catch about 5% of her pees at this point (although, the past few days, those percentages have been reversed for some reason). The other benefit of cloth for me is that I am better at monitoring and paying attention when she's in cloth. I check more often and I take her more often. I have some cloth diapers that my sister-in-law let me borrow, but they are big and bulky and don't really fit under Alaina's clothes. They're great for at home though. The other problem with them is that the leg holes are too big for Alaina's skinny little legs, so if I miss a poop it will just leak out the sides. Not my favorite. I guess I could sew some elastic into the legs of them, but I haven't asked my sis-in-law if it's okay with her for me to alter her diapers. So, I decided to try making my own. I also thought that if I made my own, I could make them in a way where I could see when she was wet by making them just the right thickness to hold one pee and making them out of colored cloth that would be darker when wet. It's been working out famously! I've toyed with the pattern until I have something that I really like. I like the fit and best of all I use old t-shirts so they cost virtually nothing to make! Any of you that know me well know how much I love cheap and free! I just buy some elastic and some velcro and I use whatever old shirts I have (there are always plenty of those around out of Brice's work clothes pile). They are so cute! So here's my tutorial:

Here are your basic materials: some velcro, elastic, a template, and an old t-shirt or two (depending on the size).Here's a close up of my template. If you click on it, you'll be able to read the numbers. Alaina is 8 1/2 months old and she weighs about 14 or 15 pounds. Also, my template is lacking a seam allowance (I always forget that part) so I have to make sure to add a bit as I trace it onto the t-shirt. Place the template over the part of the shirt with the logo or picture you want on the bum.
Cut through both layers of t-shirt.
Fold it in half to make sure it's even.

Use the part you've already cut out to trace the shape onto another t-shirt (or another part of the same one if it's big enough) for the inner layers.

Cut that out (through both layers) so you have four diaper-shaped t-shirt cutouts.
Use the scraps to cut out 6-8 rectangles of t-shirt to use for soakers. I made mine about 4 inches by 8 inches.

Split them in half so you sew 3 or 4 to one inner diaper layer and 3 or 4 to the other inner diaper layer (it's much easier on my sewing machine than sewing through all 9 layers!)
I usually just sew around the edge of the soakers, but some of my other diapers have bunched a bit in the laundry so I thought I'd try sewing down the middle and across the width in two spots.

Then sew a fuzzy strip of the velcro to the front of the outermost layer of the diaper (I forgot to do this at the right time when I made this diaper, but it's a lot easier if you do it before this piece is sewn to anything else.). Make sure you leave enough room for your seam allowance (I should have left a little more room on this one).

Then lay your layers with an inner first, then the piece with the side you want to show on the bum facing up, then the piece that will be against the baby's bottom (face-down if there you have a side you want facing out), then the other inner layer in top. It doesn't matter which way the soakers are facing, but I face the bottom one down and the top one up so the soakers will be the innermost layers.
Start at the front flared out edge and sew around the edge of the diaper (flared bottom edge to leg to tab to back to other tab to other leg) to the other flared out edge (leave the bottom length un-sewn so you can turn it right side out), adding in elastic along the legs and back at you go. I think the back elastic piece is optional as you will have the velcro to adjust the size as well. I just sew a little piece of elastic across the back and longer ones for the leg pieces, cutting them off at the right length as I am sewing. I run the elastic from where the tabs end and the bum begins down to about where the soakers end. So I guess I just start and end at the level of the soakers maybe a little beyond in each direction. I've just been sewing right into the elastic as I sew my seam, stretching the elastic to capacity as I go.

Turn it right side out
and top stitch around the whole diaper, tucking the opening along the bottom under and sewing it closed. (Here's where I realized I'd forgotten the velcro on the front. Oops!) Then sew the hook side of the velcro to the tabs with a fuzzy square next to it so you can close the tabs when you wash the diaper (that way it won't catch and snag on everything else in the laundry)

And you're done! Pretty simple and SO CUTE!

Here are some others I've made:

The Peanut one:

And the Volcom one (my favorite):

I love the fit. They're so little and snug! If you're familiar with gDiapers, I wanted a fit like that. I think I got it! I've made a few others as well, but I don't have pictures of them. I didn't like the style or fit quite as much as I do on these ones. Also, the peanut one has exposed velcro tabs and I like them better backed by fabric. The black fabric also isn't quite as good for seeing when she's wet. Oh, the other change I would make is that I would trim down the flares that go at her tummy. There is more than necessary for wrapping around her waist at this point. Especially since the tabs come so far around the front. Well, that's it! If any of you decide to give it a try, I'd love to see pictures and hear about any improvements you come up with. I'm also not the greatest seamstress, so if you know a better way to sew this (particularly the elastic) please let me know!