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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Cloth Diapering: A Fabulous New WAH Mama I Found

The other day I was complaining about the cost of cloth diaper wraps. I have a good stash of small diaper wraps that were given to us 8 years ago when my first son was born. I did buy a few as well, that I no longer have and remember only paying a few dollars for the covers, less than $5 each. OK, this was only 7-8 years ago, but since then the cost of diaper covers has more than doubled! I haven't used cloth diapers on a regular basis in, well, about 7 years, and even then it wasn't full time. I have jumped head on into cloth diapering my baby girl and she is so much happier because of it. And already we have saved a good chunk of money.

So a few weeks ago I started tracking down diaper wraps, browsing different sites and checking things out. I found some really nice All In One diapers, Pocket Diapers, Diaper Wraps and all sorts of different accessories. Like I said before, I did most of my cloth diapering 7-8 years ago, but there was not nearly so much to choose from and I never before saw a diaper that was $25 or more! Granted these are nice AIO diapers and would be perfect if I was just starting my family and knew that I would be using them for years and years to come. Even the diaper covers and the pocket diapers are between $12-$20 each. But where I am at now, this is my last baby and I just can't see investing hundreds of dollars into these amazingly expensive diapers and diaper covers. I crunched all sorts of numbers and did not see how spending all that money could save me money. I have to be able to spend less on cloth diapers than I would spend on cases of diapers. By the time I was done crunching numbers, I was able to buy a few of the cheapest covers and pretty much break even. I am doing this for my little girl first, and to save money second.

We have been getting by with the diaper covers we have now, but she is starting to out grow a few of them and we only have a week or so before they don't fit her anymore. I found this great forum called Diaper Swappers and started checking that site out. They have different sections for diapers like diaper trades, in search of, and a place to sell used diapers. There are some really great deals there, but they go quick. I spent days on that site looking for girlie diaper covers, in her size at my price. The deals were there, but I was never able to get to them before they sold.

Then it jumped out at me...a section titled WAHM Wares! I don't know how I missed it for all those days, but I did, even though it was right there at the very top of the list for FSOT (which I believe is For Sale Or Trade). So I started looking and found this fablous WAH Mama who started out making diapers when she found out she was pregnant with her second, and has so much extra fabric that she started selling diapers. She had enough requests coming in from friends and family that she decided to start her own business. She is Ivy and her website is Fluffy Bums & Happy Mums. She went through the same things that I did, making the decision to cloth diaper, searching and not finding any good deals. So she made her own. Her website is fairly new, I think she went live with the website just over 2 weeks ago.

Her diaper covers start out at $5.00 each for the smallest size and go up in price according to extras added. That is brilliant! She calls it Design a Diaper Cover, you pick the size, if you want Touch Tape (which I found out after chatting with her is like velcro, but better) or Snaps. You also get to choose from a huge selection of patterns. One of my favorite features of her website is this neat online chat box. She is almost always online and is ready to answer questions. I had a few questions, What does the inside look like, What do the Hip Snaps look like...She had a link to a picture for me within seconds! Wow, awesome customer service...and I am guessing with a smile as well. Ivy was such a pleasure to work with. I was originally planning on getting only 2 covers, but after only chatting with her for a few minutes I was ready to buy 4. A bit out of my budget, but I couldn't help myself, she was just so sweet! She is a mom, so she might have to run off for a few minutes to do what mothers do, but if her chat box says she is online, she will be back shortly.

If you are interested in All In Ones, Pockets, Fitteds, All In Twos or other diapers or accessories, she has that too! And I didn't see anything on her website for over $17.00. Really. She has a line of Team Wear as well. She has a few college teams listed (um, football I think? sorry, lol) and a huge list of NFL Team fabric. Myself, I would like to see some Baseball teams listed, preferably some cute pink New York Yankee fabric for my little girl...I am pretty sure that when I am ready to order this, that she will be able to come up with the fabric for me, as her website states "if you don't see your team just let me know and I can get it for you." I am hoping that they make cute pink NY Yankee fabric so I can dress my little She Nut's bottom in proper NY fashion. Anyways, back to what she does have, such as washable cloth wipes that she makes in two different sizes and a few other accessories that she doesn't make...but are just as fun.

Like I said, I was going to order 2 cloth diaper covers, but after looking around and chatting with her for a few minutes, I ended up ordering 4 of them. I am so excited to get these. Not only are they are great deal, but she is a hard working Mama passing on the savings to other hard working Mamas. I got a message from her this morning that she is working on them today. When I get them I will let you all know what I think, I don't think I am going to be disappointed though.

So are you Cloth Diapering? Do you have any tips or little tricks you use? I have a discussion going on in my community and I would love to hear your cloth diapering stories. What is your favorite thing about it? Your least favorite? Come on over and share your experience with Cloth Diapering on my community discussion here.

Tuneful Tuesday

Warning, this post contains Country music ;)

I got the Rodney Atkins album, If You're Going Through Hell, for my birthday last month. Yeah, I know its hard to believe it, but it is true. I have the Country music station on almost all day long. In fact, it is on right now lol. Anyways, we always called the song Watching You, The Superman Song, because it mentions Superman in it. My kids always love this song because it is about a boy and his Dad, it is a very sweet song. I just heard it this morning I thought I would share one of our family favorites. It always makes me smile.

Monday, September 28, 2009

E Nut is 6 today :)

Happy Birthday!

This little boy has been smiling since he got his Cub Scout uniform for his birthday...we gave it to him last night.


We had a small cake yesterday at the park with some friends from our Mended Little Hearts groups, but we have not had a birthday party for him yet. He was given the choice to have a party with friends, or go to Amazement Square next weekend with Grammy & Grandpa and have a family party there. He opted for the family party at Amazement Square. We went there a few years ago around Christmas and the kids had a blast!

I just picked him up from school and we are getting ready to make cake and ice cream (he like vanilla with Heath bar chunks, sounds good to me!) and have a small little party. Around here birthdays last all week!

Here is a picture of him on his third birthday with Grammy and Grandpa & Wing Nut.
(try not to look too long at the wall that is still not done)

He just loves his birthdays! What a happy little guy he is. His smile lights up my day.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Cloth Diapers: The Latest Addition to My Must Have List

Two weeks ago (Friday) I was getting She Nut ready for bed when I realized that I forgot to buy diapers for her. OK, no problem, I have a whole stash of cloth diapers & diaper wraps and I can use them for bit until I can get to the store. We made it through the night, and the next day, and the day after that.

Two weeks later and I am still using cloth diapers. I have already saved over $30! Really! That totally rocks my world.

When my oldest was born 8 years ago I was given some used diaper wraps and I bought a few and those are the ones that I am still using. I used cloth diapers for him quite a bit for the first 8 months, but I always had disposables too. We didn't have a washer and dryer, and washing diapers in the tub and letting them dry out was not something I cared to do more than a few days a week. By the time we had our second babe, I had a washer & dryer, but used the cloth diapers about 1/2 as much as I did with my first. And when we had our third, I used it about 1/2 as much as with my second and saved them for emergencies. With Owee we had so much going on that I didn't even bother except for when I realized that we were out.

I guess along the way I gave some of the wraps away, but I still have quite a few. I am washing a small load in the morning and then another in the evening. She Nut had a wicked rash for weeks that I could just not get rid of. It was terrible! She cried every time I changed her diaper. I was just wiping her with a wet paper towel and washing her in the sink during every diaper change. We tried all sorts of things and nothing worked. They all seemed to help at first and then it would just flair up again. The night we ran out of diapers, I remembered how the same thing would happen to both Wing Nut and E Nut and that both of them had relief from the cloth diapers. Within one day her rash improved so much that she didn't even cry. Within a few days the rash was completely gone. By that time I was counting up my savings and really considering going strictly cloth.

I had a few appointments and figured that if I could make it out of the house with all or most of the little Nuts while She Nut was in a cloth diaper and make it through the day that I could handle it and I would buy some more wraps. I was shocked, SHOCKED at how much cloth diaper wraps are! I understand the investment, but when one diaper costs more than a case of diapers, I found it very hard to commit to cloth diapering any more than the handful that I had, sized small and medium. She is already starting to outgrow some of them and when she is down to only 3 that fit her, there is no way I can wash them every time she wears them.

So I started looking for used, clearanced or on sale diapers or wraps. All of the sales, I mean the really good deals that I find affordable, seem to be out of stock. I have checked dozens of websites and it is amazing how quickly the sales go. I spent a week on eBay and Etsy looking for used or affordable mom made diaper wraps, and still didn't find anything in my price range. Last night I came across a site that had some great diapers clearanced down to $8.50! I was so excited. They were the One Size kind that She Nut could use from now until she is done potty training. I almost bought them last night, but I couldn't decide how many to buy, so I put it off until today. I figured for that price I could only afford to get 2 of them and that would have to be it. I was so bummed to go back to that site today to find that they were gone!

So here I am once again searching for affordable cloth diaper wraps. I wish I was getting paid by the hour to look for these things, I would be able to afford them!

This time around, cloth diapering is so much easier. Now that we have the washer and dryer I have no trouble keeping them from getting stained. She seems so much more comfortable than when she was wearing disposables. I still have a few more weeks before she outgrows a couple of these, so hopefully I will be able to find some before then. My newest search has lead me to start looking into used diaper wraps, and even those are expensive. I have now made a commitment to use these, I love using them. I love the fact that I don't have to run out at the last minute when I realize we are out of diapers. I love that her rash is gone. I love that we have the potential to save tons of money. I must have these!

I am getting ready to start the big change of seasons clothing swap, so hopefully I will find a few more wraps stored in a box somewhere. I used to have so many more, I can't believe I gave them away! What was I thinking...I guess I didn't know what a gold mine I had.

One Sentence Saturday

This one is from my Little Nut Nut.

"I want to be Zero again so I can be a baby like She Nut."

Friday, September 25, 2009

Fun Friday Photos

Apparently, it is the pillowcase that can make or break the costume.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

As I Was...

On recent occasions As I Was out in public:

I got home to find Cheerios dried, crusty and stuck the back of my shoulder. Bummer.

Walked out of my Little Nut Nut's preschool classroom to realize that my white nursing pad was falling out of my black bra and my black tank top. Fabulous.

I came home from Wal-Mart to the realization that I forgot the nursing pads, hence the wet boobs. Cute.

I was walking through Target, again after dropping a few of the kids off at school, I noticed that I had dried spit-up on the back of my tank top and down the back of my pants. Ooohhh so sexy.

After having a wicked allergy attack, itchy watery eyes, runny nose, and just about sneezing my brain out, while waiting in line to pick my child up at school, and after I pick up said child, I drive away and glance at myself in the mirror to find a booger. Nice.

And just today, I got home from dropping off 2 of my kids at 2 different schools to realize that my tank top was on inside out. Brilliant.

As my friend Lisa likes to say "Poke me with a fork, I'm done"

Thankful Thursdays

It has been a quiet week at the Nut House. Very little sleep and lots of chaos, but overall it has been a good week.

I am Thankful that my Wing Nut gained 1 whole pound and has pulled out of the 0 percentile and is now at 2% for his weight! This is the biggest weight gain we have seen in him in years. That means that for now we are holding off on doing more testing for Celiac. I am so very Thankful for that!

I am Thankful that Wee Nut's O2 sats are holding strong at around 82-84.

I am Thankful for everyone who has voted for the Nut House at The Divine Caroline for the Love! This Site award.

I am Thankful that my friend Krysti talked us into going out to dinner to hear the band Scruffy Murphy who played at our wedding. Just 4 adults and no kids. It has been YEARS since we did that...YEARS.

I am Thankful that Will's brother came out last weekend and helped us out with the drywall for the addition. It is almost completely hung.

I am so very, very Thankful that William has the knowledge and the talent to build our addition.

I am Thankful that I got my computer running well again and have not had a single program crash on me all week long. Yippie! And I am so Thankful that I wrote down all most of my passwords.

I am Thankful for coffee, chocolate, and crisp fall apples :)

As always, I am Thankful for my happy, healthy, wild little beasties that run around my house all day long driving me crazy, I am Thankful that my husband has a job, we have a roof over our heads and for our wonderfully supportive group of friends and family and all the ways they help us.

So what are you Thankful for today? It is so easy to join in and tell everyone.

Here is how Thankful Thursdays works:

1. Post your Thankful Thoughts on your blog. Somewhere in your post please mention Welcome to the Nut House and so that your friends, family and visitors know where to find other Thankful Thoughts. You can also grab my Thankful Thursdays banner at the top of this post and link to that. Once you have done that you can come back here and add your post to MckLinky.

Not every one has a blog, so:

2. If you don't have a blog, you can leave a Thankful Thoughts comment in the comment section.

3. You can show your Thankful Thoughts any way you like, as a list, as a story, as one word, one sentence or just a picture.

Have fun!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Artisan Made Jewelry: My First Giveaway

Before our little Wee Nut was born with a Heart Defect, and before the economic Recession, I was a full time jeweler. Like every day to keep my sanity, obsessed, driven to create, gotta touch my beads and make something new, kind of full time jeweler. I did a few shows after Owee was born, and even won Second Place for Best in Show at our local Apple Days show that kicks off our Fall Foliage festival. By the time the Holiday shows rolled around the economy crashed so hard my head hurt from worry. The first big crash was right before Owee's 2nd surgery and I remember sitting in the PICU after his surgery and looking up at the news and thinking holy crap, did they just say the market fell 700 points(or what ever huge crazy number it was) And then I remember thinking this was gonna be a bad season for selling jewelry. And it was. Bummer.

I decided to take some time off from selling jewelry at markets and shows and focus on my freelance writing. William also needed me to be home with the kids on the weekends so that he could work on the addition. He always cherishes his alone time with the kids on Saturday mornings when I would go and do a local Farmers/Artisans market. I thought that by this summer I would be back into selling, because well, the addition would most likely be done by then and all of our appointments with Peds Cardiology would have slowed down by then. Except that summer is over, and the addition is not done, and oh yeah, we had another baby. So really I don't know when I am going to get back into vending my jewelry at shows again.

I have been trying to decide what kind of Giveaways to have, and I think a piece of my own jewelry is the perfect idea. I love making jewelry, really it is my passion, it is something that keeps me sane. It is something that I have not done on a regular basis since Wee Nut was born almost 17 months ago. So if I can't set up my table and sell my jewelry I might as well give it away, someone deserves to have it. My plan for now is to have one giveaway a month. I guess I will do this first one and see how it goes. I might stick with jewelry,or I might give away something else that I have to offer.

So here is my first give away. Since September is almost over, I will go into October a bit and say that it will run until October 10, 2009.

In honor of Autumn, I have chosen some great fall colors with Chinese Carnelian. This is not the actual necklace, this is a picture from my website of a necklace that I made years ago, but I still use the same sterling silver bali beads for this design. This necklace is 17.5 inches long and had a basic 8mm spring ring clasp. This is a piece that I made last year for the Holiday shows and it did not sell...because well, not much of anything was selling last year. It has been stored in my studio for almost a year, but it has been kept safe.

Here is what you have to do to enter, pick any or all of these ways to enter. After each entry leave a comment with your email address so that I can reach you if you win. Enter your email with this format thiscontestrocks[at]yahoo[dot]com so that it is not picked up by spammy robots. I moderate all comments to keep spammers away and so that I can keep track of who is visiting my site...and so I can visit you as well :)

1. Visit my jewelry website and tell me one other piece of jewelry that you would love to own. That will be worth 1 entry.

2. Vote for me at The Divine Caroline, this is worth 3 entries. Enter 3 different comments.

3. Follow me on this blog, that is worth 1 entry.

4. Follow me on Twitter, that is worth 1 entry.

5. Tweet about this contest and what the prize is with a link back to this post. You have to tweet, I want to win this Handcrafted Necklace by @LisaCurcio and that is worth 1 entry. You can tweet as often as every 4 hours and you have to come back here and post a comment as soon as you tweet.

6. Do a write up on your blog about this contest and why you want to win it with a link to The Nut House. Leave a comment that says you blogged about it, and that is worth 3 entries. Enter 3 different comments.

This contest will close at Midnight on October 10, 2009 and the winner will be chosen by and announced on here on October 11th. The winner will have 48 hours to get their mailing address to me so that I can ship it out. If I don't hear from the first winner within that time, I will choose another winner.

Good luck!

{mostly} Wordless Wednesday: E Nut Fast Asleep

A few photos I thought I lost long ago and found when I actually organized my back-up hard drive a few weeks ago. E Nut has never been one to agree to take a nap. Now at almost 6 years old, he still only naps when he can not fight it any longer. These are both a few years old.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Vaccines, O2 Sats and Cranky Kids

Owain had his O2 check today, he is holding strong at 84, and has been there for the past 2 months. Way to go Owee!

Wing Nut, Little Nut Nut, and Wee Nut all had the flu shots today, and the two older ones are walking around holding their arms like they just got stabbed with a sword. They are super cranky and have spent most of the afternoon whining, crying and complaining. Joy. Wing Nut also had a weight check and has gained a pound in the past month. So for now we are going to put off endoscopy to test for celiac.

She Nut gained almost a pound too, she has such pudgy little cheeks, but you probably wouldn't know that because I can't seem to get my act together to show new pictures. Totally my fault. She had three shots and one oral vaccine. For years I didn't get my kids vaccinated while I tried to figure out what was best for them and us as a family. After years of research I started vaccinating my kids and they are all caught up. It really is important for kids with heart defects and the rest of the family to be up to date with their shots. She is too young for the flu shot. Poor little girl is way cranky this evening! I feel bad giving her three shots. I used to take my kids in week after week giving them one shot at a time. Sorry little girl, no time for that these days. Good thing for her is that she is done for 2 more months.

Perpetually late

Sometimes I wonder if the receptionist at my kids Dr actually enters out appointments in 15 minutes later than she tells me. She would be smart if she did. It doesn’t matter where we go, or how hard I try I am always late.

There is always something that comes up.

One of the things that always comes up it’s the last minute diaper change, why do I bother getting the babies ready and changed before I head out the door? I know that just because I try to get ready early, change the diapers and get them dressed that does not mean that 30 seconds before I leave the house that my babies will be fresh and clean and ready to go. I should just wait until it is time to walk out the door to get them dressed. I can change and dress one baby, change and dress the other, pack up the van with all the various bags that I need to get through whatever it is I am subjecting myself too and come back to two stinky dirty babies. I should have learned by now, it happens several times a week.

It doesn’t matter how many times I ask my children, put on your shoes, we are leaving soon, the shoes will never be on when it is time to walk out the door.

Yesterday I managed to get everyone ready to head out the door and completely forgot that there was no car seat cover on She Nuts car seat. Well, that one was my fault.

Today we seem to be doing OK. On time. For the moment. Wing Nut is eating. Wee Nut is napping…which actually could be my down fall as he is a monster to get dressed when he is sleeping. She Nut just woke from her nap and after a quick dip in the sink, she should be ready to go. She has her 2 month check up today, so she has to be reasonably clean.

So off I go to try to break this never ending cycle of being perpetually late no matter how hard I try.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Good-bye Student Loan!

I am celebrating today, Yippee! And by celebrating, I mean, I smiled and gave my son a high-5, and now I am walking around feeling good about getting rid of this bill. William's student loan is paid in full! It’s a good feeling to get to the end something like this. One less bill to pay, one less thing to worry about. I am sure the "extra" money we have will be absorbed by other things fairly quickly and we won’t even notice it. I am thinking it will go towards flooring for the kids bedrooms in the addition. Or towards furnishing one of the bathrooms.

There was a time when I dreamed about paying off student loans and then being able to get a newer van, going on vacation, or buying a huge TV but now that our addition is getting close to being done, I dream of moving in to it.

I dream of all of the kids sleeping in their own rooms. Not too long ago, I was laying in bed listening to the two babies "talk" to each other in their sleep. One was making sleepy noises and then the other would make sleepy noises. After a few minutes I realized that with 2 babies and 2 adults in that room, we had more than half of the family in there...and the other three members of the family were crammed into an even smaller room. When we bought our home just over 6 years ago, there was 1 child in the bedroom and I was pregnant with the second, and we had a room for him as well. Then we moved the two kids together and I took the second bedroom as an office/studio space so I could work at home. That worked out well for awhile and then we had 3 kids in 3 years and it has been one big blur from there.

So now I dream of having a space for my kids that they can call their own, where they are alone, with no chance of waking each other up in the middle of the night...or waking each other up at the crack of dawn to sneak around the house and play video games. I dream of being able to send them to their rooms when they are separated because they just can't seem to get along. I dream of having a place to put all of their toys so they are not piled up in the corner of one bedroom. I dream of giving 4 boys their own bathroom to stink up that I hardly ever have to enter. I dream of the homeschool room that will be replacing the current bedroom and having all of the kids at home with me.

We did only build four bedrooms, there were only four children when we designed everything. We were able to rework one room and a hallway, so two of the kids will share a room that is bigger than the one they are in now, and they will still have enough space to call their own.

Good-bye student loan, I am not gonna miss you. My student loan on the other hand is not going anywhere anytime soon.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Nut House has been nominated...

The Nut House has been nominated for Divine Caroline's "Love! This Site" award. Voting goes on until December. So if you think you are Nutty enough to vote for me, click on the link and vote...I dare you.

We interrupt this regularly scheduled life to bring you a technological breakdown


It seems that at least once a year, sometimes more I have to stop my life to reformat my computer. Not something I look forward to. I am pretty good about keeping my computer cleaned up, I scan it with several different programs designed to find spyware, malware, viruses, trojans, bla, bla, yadda, yadda, and all that nonsense. Eventually I realize that my computer is just not working correctly. I spend time trying to figure out why this program keeps crashing, and that program keeps resetting the toolbars, why the other program crashes every time I try to save a project.

Over the past several weeks I have noticed that way too many things have been going wrong with my computer and tried and failed to get things working properly again so I didn't have to pull out the disks and format my hard drive. I get comfortable with my add-ons, with toolbars, icons and placement of things on my computer. I have a hard time dealing with some types of change. I like need some things to be a certain way. When I sit down, and start working, writing articles, editing photos, looking up homeschool projects, etc, I can mindlessly click here or there and get to where I need to be with hardly a thought. Everything is right where it was yesterday and I can quickly get to work. I can nurse the baby, work on the daily homeschool lesson with my son, write articles, edit photos, (try to) post to my blogs, check my email, research work-at-home jobs, twitter, and laugh at I Can Has Cheez Burger lolcats all at the same time with hardly a glance at the links and icons I am clicking on. My computer is organized and designed for my quick paced, gotta find it, gotta do it, gotta get there now day.

In a way it is kind of a good a force me to scourer my hard drive and completely organize all of the little things, kind of way. A complete back up, kind of way. A wow I have been looking for that picture, kind of way. A huh, I didn't realize I had that file saved in four different place,s kind of way.

So I started two weeks ago and spent a week going through my files on my hard drive and my back-up hard drive completely organizing all the little things. It’s like spring cleaning for my little home computer and my back-up. I back up and save everything, some things that are really important, like photos and taxes get backed up several times and stashed in different places. I organized and cleaned up 4 years worth of files and photos. My back-up hard drive was a mess! There have been times when my computer was spiraling out of control and in a rush to not loose anything, I just grabbed all of my important files and dumped them on the back-up. And I never took the time to look to see what is already on there, so a huge majority of the files on the back up have been saved three or four times. This time, I took the time to look for things that were outdated and that I didn't need any more, folders that were saved several times with the exact same things that haven't changed recently and photos that were saved over and over. I am glad that I took the time to do that, I found photos that I thought I lost! It was like waking up and realizing it is your birthday and your kids are standing there smiling at you with breakfast (even though that hasn't happened in YEARS, it would be cool like that). There were photos that I compactly forgot about and I am so happy to find them again. It was nice to sit with the kids and look at older photos of them that have been hiding on my back-up, stashed for safe keeping.

As frustrated as I was to have to take the time to try to fix my computer, as much as it pained me to fix my computer and not sit down to get caught up on my freelance articles, blogging, making homeschool lessons, lolcats (cuz those cats are just too funny!), photos, CHD and ADHD research, emails, twittering, random WAHJ's and all the other things I NEED my computer for every single day ...I sat down and did it. For a week, I went through my hard drive, my back-up hard drive...back and forth between the two, looking, double checking and making sure I had everything saved and I wouldn't loose anything. This is one of those times where "just a touch of OCD is a good thing, but can easily get out of control. It probably did, get just a little out of control, but I couldn't stop until I new for sure I wouldn't loose anything important.

There are so many other things in my life right now that are teetering on spiraling out of control, it is a good feeling to know that my pictures are safe. My next project is to burn all of those photos to disk and get prints of them, actually get several disks made and given to family members for safe keeping. Honestly, if my house were on fire the only thing I would grab after my kids, would be my computers because of all the photos, along with my box of film photos from back in the day. And that is the thing that drives me crazy the most, about a crashing computer, I worry about my photos. Now with digital photography, all of our memories are stored on a computer and we sit in front of a screen and watch slide shows, but we never print them up. Now there are digital picture frames so we don't have to print them, but that will not preserve them forever. Somehow I just don't see looking at the same digital photos with my kids in 50 years with my kids and my grandkids sitting in front of a computer screen. It's like storing all of your memories on a Beta VHS tape in the 80's or even a VHS from the 90's. I just imagine Beta tapes, 20 something years old, sitting in attics, melting and warping. We took the time, back then, to preserve our present to look at in the future, but technology put the kibosh on that and now they are just lost memories. When I think of preserving family memories, I think of an old photo of my great-grandfather from 1928 hanging at my parent’s house. It is not perfect, it is peeling a bit, definitely warped, but it is over 80 years old and in much better shape that the photo that was printed on my home computer just last year. So until I can get my digital smiles, vacations, birthday parties, the birth of my children, pictures of my first home and Christmas with my family, printed up on quality paper and preserved, I will always get stressed when my computer starts running all squirrelly on me. My life will always come to a grinding halt while I take the time to back everything up and double check to make sure I don't loose anything. I will always have memory sticks, computers and back-up computers packed with photos, backed up several times…just in case.

Last Monday, after spending the morning performing the one last final check to make sure I didn’t forget anything on my computer, scanning through my back-up, I reformatted my hard drive. It always takes awhile, because I do it while doing other things. Inserting one disk, coming back later to switch it out for another. It is 11 disks in all. My computer tells me that I can just press F10 to reformat, but it never works, so I spend time loading all 11 reformatting disks. My computer is 4 year old…not as young as it seems and coming up on being outdated, I’m sure. So all of the programs need all sorts of updating, but before I can do anything, I have to install virus protection, get that up and running. Can you believe that I had to reformat my computer 5 times over two days! Twice was because before I got the virus protection installed and running, my computer got infected with a Trojan, Twice! Unbelievable! Two times were because I started updating my computer and installed that Windows service pack 3 that locked up my computer and I couldn’t even uninstall it. After downloading it twice, I remembered how it wrecked havoc on my computer when they first released it. So by the 5th time, I got the virus protection loaded, Windows 8 downloaded and got everything updated before anything went wrong. Two. Whole. Days. I was still working on it after the kids went to bed Tuesday night. There were still updates for my computer coming in all day Wednesday and when I fell asleep on Wednesday night it was still updating and downloading. I started installing of my must have programs loaded Wednesday as well and now here on Sunday morning I finally feel like I have things working somewhat comfortably again. I still haven’t added all of my favorite add-ons or changed too many things from the reformat yet. I still have this lurking feeling in the back of my mind that I shouldn’t get to comfortable. I didn’t even download FireFox until last night, and the only reason I downloaded that was because I needed some bookmarks and I couldn’t get my FireFox bookmarks to import into IE.

As in the past, I am still not sure if I will stick with IE or go back to FireFox. After years of using FireFox, I still to this day am not really sure that it is not the root of all of my problems. I still don’t know if it is worth it to use. Honestly, my FireFox has only been on my computer for less than 24 hours, and already it is running slower. I have one WAHJ that requires FireFox, so I have to have it if I want to keep that job. And when I am building my websites and blogs, I like to look at the sites through both browsers to make sure that my sites work in both of them. I am just not sure I can trust FireFox to keep the peace within my computer.

For now though, I am feeling much better that my computer is running smoothly again and that my life can get back to normal. I am getting back to work on editing those pictures of the little She-Nut…I know, I know, I have said that before, but now that my computer is running normally again my photo software wont be crashing every other time I save a photo. I can sit down and know that my computer will be working, that it wont crash in the middle of a blog post, that my articles are safe from crashing programs and I can sit and giggle with my kids as we look at slide shows of old pictures and those darn silly lolcats (have you noticed how much I love those silly cats?) There was a time that I would have been mortified to say that I depend on my computer every single day, but it is good to know that I can once again depend on it, and I can resume my regularly scheduled life.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

One Sentence Saturday

If it sounds like I am talking down to you, it is because I am climbing the freaking walls.

Ahoy me hearties! It's talk like a pirate day.

Shiver me timbers today is the day we get to walk around talking like pirates, officially!

My kids love this day! They have pirate costumes and they dress up and sword fight while watching Pirates of the Caribbean. We are going to have a Pirates of the Caribbean marathon today and watch all the movies, how fun is that?!?

Need a quick lesson to understand the lingo, here are a few fun links to help get you started.

Talk Like A Pirate Day Web Site

Age of Pirates

If you don't yet have a subscription to Pirates Magazine to day is the perfect do to get one Pirates Magazine Every one should have a subscription to Pirates Magazine!

This page is fun for the lads and lassies and is a great site for a fun Homeschool lesson! National Geographic Kids Pirate Page

Need to know more about pirates? Beacause really, you can never know enough about pirates!

This is one of our favorite pages and it has a translator too, lots of fun here! Talk Like a Pirate Day

My only concern now is Why is the Rum Always Gone?

Aye, me hope you enjoy checkin' out those websits and have a fun filled Talk Like a Pirate Day, shiver me timbers!

Fair Winds, Mateys!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Fun Friday Photos

Have you ever had one of those moments where you look at what your kids at doing and think "AAAHhhhhhhh"!? Followed by "AAAAHHHHhhhhhhhhh"!

And then you realize that everything in fact is fine.

Wing Nut created this massive toy sculpture a few years ago, and when I first saw that he was sitting on top of it, I had visions of rushing off to the ER dancing through my head. After checking it out, I realized it was actually put together very well and was in fact, quite sturdy. Wing Nut is my little builder, a Lego fanatic and lover of all sorts of train sets. If he has a minute to build something, anything, he will. It was amazing how well this thing was put together, and actually took some working at to get it apart.

Wing Nut is in deep thought..."What else can I add?"

E Nut waving from atop his throne, with Wing Nut dancing with excitement.

Another angle of the sculpture, see how well this thing is put together?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Thankful Thursdays

Life can be crazy sometimes, so it is nice to take a minute to think about all the wonderful things we have and think about all the things we are Thankful for. You can also read about what prompted me to start Thankful Thursdays. I would love it if you would join me in celebrating all the great, simple, unforgettable, strange, daily, pleasant, sigh of relief, exciting, or underwhelming moments in our lives.

Since Owain has a Heart Defect, when I was pregnant with Ariel, I had several tests done to check for any Heart Defects or any other birth defects. Everything was fine during the fetal echo, ultrasound, amnio, and everything else they did. There are a few Heart Defects that can show up after she was born, like small holes in the heart or ducts that don't close. Ariel had her first and only appointment with Peds Cardiology the other day and her heart is completely normal! Such a sigh of relief. She was at 100% O2 sats, even though her PFO had not completely closed. "A patent foramen ovale (PFO) is a defect in the septum (wall) between the two upper (atrial) chambers of the heart. Specifically, the defect is an incomplete closure of the atrial septum that results in the creation of a flap or a valve-like opening in the atrial septal wall (see illustration). A PFO is present in everyone before birth but seals shut in about 80 percent of people." Basically there is a very small hole in her heart, small enough for the blood cells to have to line up single file to get through. Not something that can be heard with a stethoscope and was not found until they did an echo. Not anything to worry about or think about, it will close up and she doesn't need to be seen. I am so very, very Thankful for Ariel's healthy Heart!

While we were there to check out Ariel's Heart, they gave Owain a quick look over and he is doing much better. He didn't even throw a temper tantrum and try to pull of the O2 monitor lol. His O2 is holding strong at 82%. He is just about completely recovered from his cold and croup and sleeping much better through the night...which means that we are all doing better. I am very Thankful that Owee's oxygen has not dropped any in the past month.

I am Thankful for the wonderful group of Heart families in our Mended Little Hearts organization and the monthly meetings we have!

This week has been a good one for homeshooling and oh boy am I Thankful for that!

And of course I am Thankful for my happy, healthy, wild little beasties that run around my house all day long driving me crazy, I am Thankful that my husband has a job, we have a roof over our heads and for our wonderfully supportive group of friends and family and all the ways they help us.

So what are you Thankful for today? It is so easy to join in and tell everyone.

Here is how Thankful Thursdays works:

1. Post your Thankful Thoughts on your blog. Somewhere in your post please mention Welcome to the Nut House and so that your friends, family and visitors know where to find other Thankful Thoughts. You can also grab my Thankful Thursdays banner at the top of this post and link to that. Once you have done that you can come back here and add your post to MckLinky.

Not every one has a blog, so:

2. If you don't have a blog, you can leave a Thankful Thoughts comment in the comment section.

3. You can show your Thankful Thoughts any way you like, as a list, as a story, as one word, one sentence or just a picture.

Have fun!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

As I Was...

As I was enjoying my very well organized morning, I realized that something was terribly wrong. It only took me a fraction of a second to figure out what it was, but in that moment my feelings of accomplishment and pride were shattered and I was suddenly racing around my house with feelings of guilt and mortified embarrassment.

I have decided to homeschool my oldest, who has ADHD. We started a few weeks ago and have had some good days and some bad days...and some agonizing days where I feel like pulling my teeth out with my bare hands would be easier and less painful than the last 4 hours I just spent on one. short. lesson. Today was not one of those days. In fact, we were having a great time and catching up on some lessons that got behind.

The babies were sleeping, I mean fast asleep. I could have danced around the house like one of the Peanuts characters from Charlie Brown Christmas dance and they would have slept right through it. Little Nut Nut was at preschool, so there were no interruptions and the house was quiet and my ADHD child was focused, bright and well on his way to breaking a record for getting all of his lessons done well before lunch.

It was 11:50 and all was well.

Except that Little Nut Nut gets out of preschool at 11:30.


In that fraction of a second that I realized that I forgot to pick up my son from preschool, I was throwing my lesson plan to the floor, pushing my son ahead of me, pulling his lesson out of his hand and throwing that to the floor as well. At this point I am thinking, "Well, maybe I am not that late and no one will really notice" Knowing full well that I was lieing to myself as the guilt of my poor little boy waiting all alone while all the other kids were gone was settling in.

I snatched up She Nut and got her into the car seat and ran to pick up Owee. That 16 month old boy is huge and he was a 22 pound sleepy, floppy, rag doll that I was trying to hold on to as I fumbled with my cell phone to try to find the number to the school to tell them I was on my way. And then I heard the home phone ringing...knowing that it was poor forgotten Little Nut Nut's teacher reminding me that I forgot to pick him up. My home phone doesn't work...people can call into it, and sometimes it will ring through so that they can leave a message, sometimes it rings and then stops, and I am assuming that they have to call back to try to get a hold of me. I am not sure exactly what is going on with it, but I do know that it doesn't work correctly. My answering machine can pick up, but I can not answer it myself about 95% of the time. So of course I am not answering the phone that almost never works, knowing that she will leave a message and hopefully a phone number because I can't seem to get my fingers working well enough to find the phone number on my cell.

She leaves a number. Mortifed, I call her back as I run down to my van telling her I am on my way.

When I get there, my son and his teacher are out front playing and he doesn't even seem to notice that he has been forgotten. As I grovel and beg for forgiveness, his teacher politely says its OK and she understands, but I can read her expression and I can tell that I after only 1 week of school, I have already been branded as "That Mother".


Sunday, September 13, 2009

Vote to See Congenital Heart Defects on The Doctors

I would love to see an episode of The Doctors devoted to Congenital Heart Defects. I have also added a link to my sidebar to vote, but I thought I would add a quick post as well.

Congenital Heart Defects affect about 1 in 100 babies, making it the most common birth defect. This also makes Heart Defects the number one cause of birth defect related deaths in infants and newborns. Yet CHD's are not nearly as known about as other birth defects. Until my Wee Nut was diagnosed with a Heart Defect after birth, I had no idea that the occurrence of CHD's was so high.

Please take a minute to Vote for an episode of The Drs devoted to Congenital Heart Defects!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

A Simple Saturday Snack

Today is a beautiful and lazy day at the Nut House. I can't seem to get too much done around here today, so I decided to make a quick treat for the kids for after lunch. It is my variation of Rice Crispy Treats, made with marshmallow and...well you will have to go check out the recipe over at my recipe blog to find out what fun treat we are having today.

I hope you enjoy it :)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Thankful Thursdays


Have you ever had one of those days where you wake up and fell change coming? I had one of those days yesterday. I am not sure what it is, maybe it is the fact that I have been getting more sleep lately, maybe we hare finally getting into the swing of the new school year. What ever it is, it feels good. Very much unlike the way I was feeling when I started Thankful Thursdays a few months ago.

I am very Thankful for this new boost of energy and excitment I have been feeling for the past few days.

Ariel has been sleeping through the night...and by that I mean 5-6 hours at a time, and that works for me, Thanks goodness for that.

Owain had croup last week & was so sick he was starting to turn blue. When he got upset or too active, his O2 sats dropped to the low 70's. He is doing much better now and I am so very Thankful for that. Ariel has a check up at peds cardiology tomorrow and Owain will get plenty of attention then to double check to see how he is doing.

My parents came for a short visit, a long holiday weekend over the Labor Day holiday. I am extremely Thankful for all the help that they gave us while they were here. My mother was able to hang out with the kids while I took Owee to the Dr on a Saturday morning and my father spend the weekend helping hang drywall on the ceilings in our addition. They got 3 bedrooms and the hallway over the stairs done! And I am very Thankful that my dad was here to help catch William as he fell through the platform they build over the stairs to hang the drywall on the ceiling there...(although I am not sure Will would be so Thankful for mentioning that here).

I am Thankful for coffee and my ice cream maker :)

As always I am Thankful that my family is happy(except when my kids are mad at me), healthy and that we have a wonderfully supportive group of family and friends. I am Thankful that my husband has a job, I am able to work from home, and we have a roof over our heads.

So what are you Thankful for today? It is so easy to join in and tell everyone.

Here is how Thankful Thursdays works:

1. Post your Thankful Thoughts on your blog. Somewhere in your post please mention Welcome to the Nut House and so that your friends, family and visitors know where to find other Thankful Thoughts. You can also grab my Thankful Thursdays banner at the top of this post and link to that. Once you have done that you can come back here and add your post to MckLinky.

Not every one has a blog, so:

2. If you don't have a blog, you can leave a Thankful Thoughts comment in the comment section.

3. You can show your Thankful Thoughts any way you like, as a list, as a story, as one word, one sentence or just a picture.

Have fun!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Electrical Passed Inspection!

This is the post that I was working on weeks ago when I was in labor. I started it in the morning and then I floated through the rest of the day(early labor had me in a daze). Then when I was trying to keep busy during labor I tried to finish it. I would have had it posted before we had to leave for the hospital, but my camera is overloaded with pictures and takes forever to load. By the time I found the pictures, William was reminding me that we need to get to the hospital...and he was right.

From July 20-21

William gave the inspector a call first thing this morning and they came out right away. Will was still finishing up one final thing when they got here. Everything was spot on & we passed inspection the very first time!

How exciting is that!?!

Everything has been moving along so slowly for months and now that the electrical is finished, we can move on. Will is out installing insulation over the covered patio right now! Above the patio is two bedrooms.

We are going to hang the drywall on the ceiling on the second floor and blow in the insulation in the attic space. After that we get to hang the dry wall on the walls. This is starting to get really exciting! I think we are going to try to finish off at least one of the bathrooms first. Three boys and two adults are using one small bathroom and it will be so nice to be able to have another bathroom...and it will be even better when we have three! Yippie.

So here are the pictures of the addition just after the electrical was inspected...

William started the insulation!
(don't mind the neighbors rotten fence...we try not too)
And you can see the retaining wall that Will build last year and part of my small veggie garden.

There is Will hard at work :)

A view from one bedroom into two other bedrooms.

Looking from one bedroom through the closets into another bedroom.
These are the two bedrooms over the patio.

My husband is made of awesome!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Little Nut Nut's First Day of Preschool

Little Nut Nut started preschool today. He is so very proud of himself. We had a meeting with his teacher in his classroom last week and I had to drag him out of there kicking and screaming...explaining to his teacher that he in fact did not normally act like this, and hoping that she believed me. Somehow I don't think she did. Although since turning 3 he has decided that while he is not actually 2, that he was going to start embracing some of the wonderful characteristics of The Terrible Two's. Joy. Mostly it is the random temper tantrum at things that he would normally roll with. I am holding tightly to my theory that since She Nut was born 4 days before his 3rd birthday and that after very cheerfully accepting Wee Nut's birth last year (along with his hospitalization and surgeries) that he needed to start acting out and start acting like a 3 year old who suddenly wants to be the center of attention and get whatever he wants whenever he wants it...I am also holding tightly to my theory that if we just ride it out he will go back to being his always joyful, forever smiling, simply happy, quickly agreeable, never screaming, never whining, never difficult little boy he has always been. Yep. That is my theory, my plan and I am sticking to it.

He was joyful this morning to wake up and finally get to go to school, get dropped off and do whatever it is that he seems to think his big brothers get to do when they get dropped of at school.

He was excited to go out the door.

He was excited to stand on the stoop for the traditional first day of school picture.

We were running late (No, really?!?) so E Nut got dropped off in a frenzy to beat the tardy bell this morning and missed the back seat picture...Little Nut Nut was too excited to notice E Nut was missing.

He was excited to stand in front of his classroom.

And he was eager to sit down and get to work painting sunflowers.

Little Nut Nut is a very happy, joyful, excited little boy who started school today.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Thankful Thursdays

I can't believe how quick this past week has gone! Getting settled back into the school year and homeschooling is coming along slowly, but hopefully we will get the hang of it soon.

This week has been full of setbacks, forgotten appointments (remembered at the last minute!) and sleepless nights. I am tired, cranky, overworked and underpaid, but I love my family and today is the day to step back from the chaos and look at what we have.

I am so very very Thankful for coffee, and more coffee.

I am Thankful for baby swings, bouncy seats and car seats...without them I would never get any sleep. Cheers to whoever created the nursing pillow, I sure wish I would have gotten one of these things with my other 4 kids...Thank you to the great creator of the nursing pillow, my back and shoulders thank you as well :)

I am Thankful that I just noticed that my First grader left his school picture envelope at home and I have just enough time to get this posted and get to school to drop it off before pictures :) with that unscheduled errand, I am out of here for a bit. As always I am Thankful for my wonderful group of friends and family and all they do for us. I am Thankful that Owain is continuing to do well and seems to be settling in to being more active, he is still dusky and a bit blue on his fingers and toes, but his breathing doesn't seem to be so labored. I am Thankful that my kids are healthy, my husband has a job and that we have a roof over our heads.

So what are you Thankful for today? It is so easy to join in and tell everyone.

Here is how Thankful Thursdays works:

1. Post your Thankful Thoughts on your blog. Somewhere in your post please mention Welcome to the Nuthouse and so that your friends, family and visitors know where to find other Thankful Thoughts. You can also grab my Thankful Thursdays banner at the top of this post and link to that. Once you have done that you can come back here and add your post to MckLinky.

Not every one has a blog, so:

2. If you don't have a blog, you can leave a Thankful Thoughts comment in the comment section.

3. You can show your Thankful Thoughts any way you like, as a list, as a story, as one word, one sentence or just a picture.

Have fun!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Owain in a Box: Wordless Wednesday

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