Friday, April 30, 2010

Time flies











Yesterday Rora hit another milestone. 4 months old. It seems crazy to me that she is already 1/3 of the way through her first year of life. Where did the time go? It seems like just yesterday I was crying over the negative pregnancy test and praying for another baby. Yet here she is, 4 months old.
She is such an amazing human. In 4 months she has gone from a newborn who was learning how to nurse, to an amazing baby who can smile, laugh, roll-over(both ways), communicate - whether they be sounds of contentment, joy, frustration, fear, anger, etc. She is making them and its amazing to witness. Her newest way to make my heart melt is to reach for me. She hasn't reached for anyone else yet and I love that its special between us.
She loves to snuggle down and 'burrow' while she sleeps. Its so sweet to feel her face press as close to me as she can possibly get and then see her try to snuggle just a little closer. She enjoys it so much that we can't nurse using a nursing pillow because she will try to burrow into the pillow and my stomach while nursing...OUCH!!!
She loves music. Whether its me singing to her, singing and dancing with Kira, or just listening to the radio, she loves it. Her favorite song is wadda-lee-atcha(sp?). She tries to move her hands along with me and loves the movements. She also loves 'Hail to the Princess Aurora,' which Kira sings all the time. She laughs at me when I sing 'The Creation of Man' from the Scarlet Pimpernel. She loves the expressions I make while singing it.
She loves Akira. Things that Kira does to her that would drive me nuts, make her smile. It doesn't bother her that Kira's hair is in her face, or she is practically laying on her. She just loves that Kira will play with her. She feels her love. She is such a great big sister. She hasn't been jealous, or needed extra attention, in fact she has gone the other way and is even more helpful. When Rora has a wet diaper, Kira races to put it in the pail. She loves to pick out Rora's clothes and has even made me paint her nails!
4 months have gone by in a flash. Yet in that flash of time there are so many precious memories that I will cherish for the next 40+ years. Being a mom holds the greatest joys in the universe. Its hard to describe the joy you get from the first smile, the first laugh, the first time they roll over, the first time they reach for you, etc. The laughter you get when they pee on Daddy, or have their first diaper blowout, or when she has a clean diaper and Kira plays with her legs singing, "no more poopsies on your bum!" I am sad that these 4 months have flown by, yet I can't wait to see what she will do next!

video

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Journals

I try to start off every Sunday by writing a paragraph or two to each of my children telling them about their week. Placing my hopes and dreams for them in text. It has become one of my most cherished times of the week.
I started writing on Mothers Day last year, just after I found out that I was pregnant with Aurora. It was going to be just the one note, yet as the week progressed there were so many more things that I wanted to tell her that come the next Sunday, I sat down to write again. It's been almost a year and I have 13 pages of love for Aurora. Forever immortalized are the things I craved, the days when I was scared because I couldn't keep 300 calories down, the first time I felt her move inside me and every other significant or insignificant milestone. As Kira gets older and has started to 'play wedding' and to 'date' I have been able to write down my dreams for her to not go down the path I went down, but to find her prince charming and to get married in the temple. My hope is as she grows she will feel my love eminating through the words I write and understand the reasons that she should live the way we are raising her.
Along with my writings there are two little paragraphs from their Daddy to each girl. I love my Dad, yet he wouldn't have done that. It makes my heart melt to see Josh pouring out his love for his children. I love that Kira has come to expect her Daddy to notice when she gets her hair done in the morning, or gets dressed and to tell her how beautiful she is. Part of me is a little sad that I didn't have that as a child, yet the larger part of me is so greatful that my girls are going to grow up secure in the knowledge that their Daddy loves them more than life itself.
This is my version of a diary. It is more of a greatful diary than my previous diaries, which seem to end up more lists of what has transpired than anything else. It takes only a few minutes and hopefully one day my pregnant daughter can read exactly what her mom went through during that week of her pregnancy and relate to it. This is the way to keep those memories alive in a few minutes once a week and I love it!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Random thoughts on health...

Lately i've been enjoying a new show on tv. Its 'Jamie Olivers Food Revolution.' I like the way that he is trying to change America. Not by enforcing regulations on our salt, or telling us whether or not we can consume trans fats, but by education at a personal level.

The FDA has now decided that we(Americans) are not smart enough to control our diet. Whats next? Telling me that my bread cannot be made with olive oil because the benefits are destroyed during the baking process? Guess what? I like to use olive oil. I love the flavor it brings and I believe that cooking with it is better than butter. I also like salt and if I choose to buy a product that has massive amounts of salt in it, then thats my prerogative.

Instead of inacting laws that take away our freedom of choice, why don't we try educating America? I believe that if people know the truth about anything, then they will make the correct decision for themselves. Yes, I know what goes into processed foods. Yes, I still choose to occationally consume them. Why? because they taste good. Anything in moderation is fine. Its when self control is lost that we end up with an America where every season of 'The Biggest Loser' people are fatter. The government has lost its self control. They keep consuming and don't think about the consequences. It's time for them to get on the scale and wake up to the reality that is becoming America. Or maybe they choose to be like the 600+lb woman who is trying to break the record for 'worlds heaviest woman.'

It's time to get back to the America from the 50's. Where mom(or dad) has a healthy homemade dinner on the table and the family talks about their day together. Where little children learn about the goodness of fresh food by watching their mom cooking, then reminding mom not to forget the bell pepper.

Lets scale back our day, restraighten our priorities. To make the welfare of our family first. If we teach our children self control and live the priciples that we teach them, then there is no need for a ban on salt because I know when ive had to much and when to say no. I do, not the gov't. Its MY job to tell Akira that she can't eat that treat, or to finish her vegetables, MINE. It is my responsibility and I take pride in it. I love that Kira knows what is good for her and gets excited about picking strawberries, or eating jambalaya. I love that she knows that smoothies are better when they are green(spinach) and that treats are ok too, after dinner, in moderation. The government didn't teach her that. I did. It's just part of being a parent.

So yes, I believe that Americans need to scale back on our salt, and yes, trans fats are bad for my body. Yet it should still be my choice to choose what goes in my body. I choose to keep it healthy. To eat right, exercise and teach my family those same habits. The government isn't involved and it should stay that way.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Cloth Diapers




When Akira was born, just like the rest of the world, I used disposable diapers. If you had asked me then if I would ever consider using cloth diapers, I would have laughed at you. Yet one year later Kira was switched to cloth diapers and I will never go back.


When I moved to Alabama, I was introduced to quite a few women who used cloth diapers. They educated me on the ways of cloth diapers. The main reason that I decided to make the switch was the money. We want a lot of children so cloth diapers are going to save us money. It costs the same amount to diaper one child with either cloth or disposable(using coupons on name brand diapers.)


Cloth diapering has entered the 21st century. There are disposable inserts that you remove only when the baby poops. You just flush them down the toilet. No mess. My favorite gadget is the diaper sprayer. It attaches to the side of the toilet and sprays a high pressure spray so you don't need to scrub out the yuckiness by hand. Saves time and energy.


Another reason that most people wont consider cloth diapers is the work. It really isn't very much work to use cloth diapers. If the baby poops, then you spend 30 seconds rinsing the diaper off and stick it in the pail. Thats it. Then (for us) its every 4-5 days you need to wash the diapers. Stick them in the washing machine, wait until it has finished and then do 2 more cycles. Just restarting the washer - no extra soap. After that you dry them. How much time does it really take to restart a washing machine? Less than a minute? Completely worth it.


There is also the diaper pin myth. Back when I was in diapers, there were diaper pins and plastic pants. Those are items from the past. There is a great piece of plastic called a snappi. It has replaced the diaper pins. All you do is stick it on the diaper and be done. Zero chance of sticking either myself or the baby. The plastic pants have also changed. Diaper covers are cute. They go on like disposable diapers.
I love that I am saving money and that they are better on my babies bottoms. No harsh chemicals coming in contact with their skin.
The last stereotype that I had to overcome with cloth diapers was the smell. When I used disposable diapers I put them outside as fast as I could so they didn't stink up my house. I was really worried that they would, yet they don't. Flushing away the mess keeps the smell away. There is also a lid on the diaper pail to keep the smell away. The only time there is any smell is during the first rinse while washing. Yet if you shut the door, the smell is gone.
So yes, I cloth diaper and I love it. I will never go back to disposable diapers. As an added bonus it helps my family. We don't buy diapers for Rora and that helps our budget. Maybe I am old school, or considered an environmentalist, yet I feel as if I am neither. I'm just a mom trying to do the best that I can on what we have and cloth diapers help me achieve that.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010




This morning as I was going back inside from hanging the diapers on the line to dry, I felt like I was looking back in time to more of a 'Little House on the Prairie' feel...so I took a picture :D




Sunday, April 11, 2010

Environmentalist

This week I have been thinking quite a bit about the environment and being an environmentalist. I have decided that even though I do not believe in following the 'green' movement, I am doing more for the environment than most people do. I do it mostly for the $ and partly for the health of my family.
I use vinegar to clean my floors because you never know when Akira(and soon Rora) might eat something off the floor. I don't use bottled water because it costs too much money. By buying one water bottle and reusing it everytime we go out, thats roughly $10 a month saved.
This week I was able to coerce Josh into hanging two clothes lines for me. Again I do it for the $, yet I also do it because it makes your clothes smell great and is great at avoiding build-up in diapers.
Cloth diapering is one of those things that makes me feel old fashioned. The majority of people that use cloth diapers use them because they don't want to 'fill up the landfills.' I use them because of the $. It costs roughly the same amount to cloth diaper one child versus using disposable diapers on one child(with coupons.) So for each consecutive child we have, we already have the diapers and don't need to worry about buying them. Yes, I need to wash them and they take a bit more planning when we go out, yet overall they are better than disposables. I never have to deal with diaper blow outs, or diaper rash due to the chemicals in disposables.
We have a garden. Fresh food is delicious and costs so much less. Plus I can can the excess and we can enjoy it all year round, once again saving us $. I count breastfeeding as an environmental act because you don't need any 'products.' No bottles, nipples, empty formula cans, etc. I even use washable breast pads; again for the $. We either receive or buy used clothing, again because of the $. We donate all our used clothes since they are still in good quality. We recycle because it just makes sense. We don't litter, it makes no sense.
Since I now count myself as an 'environmentalist.' I am probably doing more 'green' things than the average person. I will never be one of the tree hugging environmentalists, yet I do enjoy all the activities that we do that are good for the environment. I feel great doing my part for my family by saving money and building memories. If I happen to do something that helps lower our energy consumption, or keeps the earth clean, it doesn't matter. All I really care about is saving money and enjoying life.

Sunday, April 4, 2010














Easter this year was great. We lounged around, watched conference, and enjoyed each others company. It reminds me of the quote: We sing of Christ, we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ. That is exactly how I feel this blessed Easter weekend went.
Kira was so excited to listen to President Monson talk. She kept waiting to hear her prophet speak. It was so great to see that light in her eyes. To see so many Christlike qualities shining through her. She makes Rora smile and laugh, yet if Rora is upset, she tries everything and gets frustrated at herself if she can't get her calm.
Rora hit a milestone today. She started playing with toys. It's great to see her personality come out. She loves to give kisses and laughes after every kiss. Its wonderful. To sum my Easter up, today was great. This week has been great. Life is wonderful.
Happy Easter!

Easter Bunny















This year we decided that the 'Easter Bunny' wasn't something we wanted to focus on during the Easter season. It has absolutely no connection to the reason for Easter, its just one more way to keep Christ at the back of our mind.
So instead of the Easter Bunny we decided to have just a springtime party. We talked about how the world comes alive during the spring, we went to the botanical gardens and saw how the flowers just came alive one day. We saw baby ducks and talked about eggs and how babies hatch and above all we talked about how Jesus was reborn just like the world is reborn every spring. The 'Easter Bunny' was never mentioned nor asked for. She received a few books, a stuffed animal and a purse along with eggs filled with candy. We did the egg hunts and she enjoyed finding her eggs. More importantly was how she would put one egg in her basket and then run back to me and put an egg in Rora's basket. That is the true meaning of Easter. It was so nice that she didn't feel deprived without the bunny. Maybe in a few years we will need to sit down and talk about it indepth, yet for now its nice that she understands as much as she does at 3.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Memories
















The older Akira gets, the more we are able to do the things that I did as a child. I love it. We pulled out the barbies today for Conference and Kira was so great playing during all 4 hours. I have such fond memories of getting out the barbies and setting them up all over the livingroom during Conference. Then after conference we made Grandma Madsen's rolls. A Conference tradition from my childhood. Kira enjoyed cutting the rolls and dabbing them with butter.












One memory that I have repeated over and over was getting curlers in my hair on Saturday nights while watching either Lawrence Welk or Shirley Temple. Tonight we repeated that. Kira watched Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm and I put her hair in rags. It was so much fun. When her hair was done she was so excited to go look in the mirror and see her hair. Telling her that I had my hair done that way made it even more exciting for her.




I hope both my girls grow up remembering all little things that we do fondly. My own memories are so rich from the holiday traditions to the day to day things. Baking bread, reading stories, playing with my brothers GI Joes, my childhood was great. I hope my girls end up with half as many wonderful memories as I have.