Wednesday, November 26, 2008


I should be packing for our trip, but I am holding sleeping Evelyn, so I will do Madeline's meme instead! Tag - anyone who reads is welcome to do this too - you're it! Let me know if join in!

1. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? My mom liked some movie called Forever Amber. Still have yet to see it! Her middle name is Elizabeth, so is mine and Evelyn's!
2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED? Hmmm..I am surprised to say that I can't remember. Oh, now I do. Sunday at church listening to a man with Parkinson's talk about how much he loves the Lord and he cried and then I did.
3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? Not really. I wish mine was like my sister Brittany's instead.
7. DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT? Less than I used to. Evelyn doesn't get sarcasm yet!
8. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS? Nope. Out in 5th grade after lots of Strep and Mono too. Not fun!
10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? Quaker Toasted Oat Squares
12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? After pushing out a backwards baby with no drugs, yes. :-) I guess I'd like to think so.
13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM? Dairy Queen softserve.
14. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE? If they are friendly or not.
15. RED OR PINK? Both - my fav colors.
16. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? My insecurities. (copied Madeline's answer!)
17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? My Grandma Jan
18. DO YOU WANT EVERYONE TO SEND THIS BACK TO YOU? It would be fun, so sure!
19. WHAT COLOR SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? None. No shoes allowed in the house.
20. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE? Yogurt and banana bread. My typical morning breakfast.
21. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? Evelyn breathing and keys typing.
23. FAVORITE SMELLS? Pumpkin spice, baby's heads, Jason's cologne, chocolate, and the list goes on.
24. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE? A lady at the ospital denying me to promote Punkerdoops at the maternity classes.
25. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? Yes - a new bloggy friend!
27. HAIR COLOR? Brown highlighted with blonde (way overdue for a highlight job might I add).
28. EYE COLOR? Brown.
30. FAVORITE FOOD? Chocolate.
31. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS? Happy Endings for sure.
32. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? Kit Kittredge, An American Girl.
34. SUMMER OR WINTER? Neither - spring and fall.
36. FAVORITE DESSERT? Anything with chocolate or ice cream or bars or brownies or soft cookies...
37. MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND? Probably no one! I rarely do these things myself!
39. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW? Sunrise I think - Karen Kingsbury's first book in the most recent series. It takes me forever to read books these days.
40. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? The word "Dell."
42. FAVORITE SOUND. Anything that comes out of Evelyn's mouth!
45. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT? Depends who you ask! Evelyn thinks I am a good milk maker!
46. WHERE WERE YOU BORN? Minnesota

Have a Happy Thanksgiving, y'all!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Alphabet Soup

I have a fondness for language - especially things like onomatopoeia, homonyms, and the like.

Evelyn has the Leap Frog Fridge Phonics Magnets and she loves them! One day, we tried to make the longest word that we could without repeating a letter. I came up with "flamingos." Not bad, but of course I had to look up the real longest letter with no repetition. This is what I found on a language web community forums:

"I found 38,000+ words with no letter repetition; the longest were.. dermatoglyphics (15), uncopyrightable (15) This was from an indexed dictionary of 'normal / regular' words.

Here's the top lot! 15,"dermatoglyphics" 15,"uncopyrightable" 14,"troublemakings" 14,"dermatoglyphic" 14,"ambidextrously" 13,"documentarily" 13,"consumptively" 13,"copyrightable" 13,"endolymphatic" 13,"flowchartings" 13,"hydromagnetic" 13,"lycanthropies" 13,"troublemaking" 13,"unpredictably" 13,"unproblematic" 13,"subordinately" 13,"metalworkings" 13,"multibranched"

Pretty fun, huh?!?

Friday, November 21, 2008

This and That

It's cold and it's beginning to look and feel like Christmas! Christmas always has been my favorite time of year! I look forward to putting the tree up next weekend. I know it will be one more thing to keep Evelyn testing us, but I just love sitting in the glow of Christmas tree lights.

I did some Christmas shopping on Wednesday - Macy's had a great sale. We have a lot of people in our family to buy for - we have 21 IMMEDIATE family members - that is just parents, siblings, and the 4 nieces/nephews (no grandparents included - there are 11 grandparents.) Personally, I would rather skip presents and do just birthday presents throughout the year. Less pressure. Hard to focus on the meaning of Christmas when you're trying to buy gifts on a budget that aren't junk for people who complain they have too much stuff. Don't get me wrong, I love to give and totally understand the joy of giving. But, we all promise to scale back every Christmas and I feel like we do, but then everyone else doesn't, and then I just feel guilty when I realize people spent WAY more than we did. Hope I am not offending too many people with that paragraph... And, who do you buy for? Where do you draw the line? Do you reciprocate with a gift for everyone who gets you something? I have generous aunts and uncles that give to me - do I need to give back?
Punkerdoops Diapers is going well thanks to supportive family and friends. I have yet to drum up any business outside of family and friends, but hopeful that day will be sooner than later. I went to a business networking breakfast yesterday. I know that I need to have word-of-mouth advertising, but the dues are more than I can afford right now. I will have to stick to my current marketing plan which includes distributing fliers at local natural businesses and clinics, and handing out cards to pregnant women and people with babies. Evelyn is a cute little buffer and I think she helps from too many strangers being freaked out when I approach them in stores or at the library to hand them a card.

I also want to try to get the chance to talk at the hospital's Lamaze/birthing classes and fliers at a local birthing center. I also hope to contact the local paper and check out advertising in some local publications. I contacted the local farmer's market about having a booth, but have not heard back yet. The marketing budget is low. And when I say low, I mean really low! I want to drum up business, but I also need to buy stock so people have choices. Advertise to attract customers with my resources, or buy stock to give customers more choices? Decisions, decisions... Did I mention lately that I take forever to make decisions?

I am thankful for the business I have received and for how supportive Jason has been. He sat and cut and adhered tiny stickers with the web address onto 100 business cards in prep for the networking breakfast. What a guy! And, he built me a beautiful shelf and table with storage to display items in my "shop" room. I just sewed up the curtains that hide the storage area - I'll have to post a pic - it turned nicely. I am also proud of how much I have accomplished since starting the business in less than two months. God is great and He has blessed me abundantly. I keep going to Him for wisdom regarding all of the decisions and He is faithful to answer. The Word says He freely gives the gift of wisdom to those who ask! Thank goodness, because I sure ask for wisdom a lot!
Speaking of the Word. I have never loved a Bible study as much as I love Beth Moore's study on Daniel that I am doing! I am sad to only have one week left. The study is on Friday mornings and is full of many neat women - two my age, the rest older mentoring age. Here comes another decision - should I stay in this study group? I love the women, but have issues with the childcare. Evelyn has never liked the nursery much, but has become so frightened of it that she screams and clings for dear life at me setting foot in the door, let alone setting her down. The ladies love her, but I know she is distracting to the other ladies when she fusses. She likes to run around the room - basically run out of the room, which I don't let her, and then the crying begins. I like to think that the ladies are just glad that I am there and that my desire to learn the Word outweighs Evelyn as a distraction. This is how they make me feel. But, I still worry that they are all secretly annoyed! The same issue is affecting our couple's study that we are in on Sunday nights. We want to be in Bible studies, but we also don't want Evelyn to scream for an hour - I can hear the screaming and I can't concentrate on anything else.

I know some of you think I need to just let her get used to it and deal with that she'll be fine. I just can't do it. She doesn't cry on and off or just whimper. She screams bloody murder. Non-stop. Barely breathes. Face turns purple. All-out rage, horror, and terror in her face. I have gone 15 minutes. That is my limit. It is just not worth it. Anyhow, I am thinking about doing a night study, but that cuts into family time. Also considering a study at my house, but I do like the women I am getting to know and will miss dialogues with them. We'll see...maybe Evelyn will have grown out of her separation anxiety issues by January when it starts again?... Lately, Daddy can't even keep her happy for long. Not even long enough for me to run and get the take-out pizza on a Friday night long. She wanders around the house from room to room looking for me saying "Mama! Mama?" Breaks my heart just thinking about it. Her little bottom-lip-pout melts me.

All of this paired with the whole phenomena of "how many things/studies/choirs/committees can I join before I no longer am helpful in any of the roles because I am spread too thin" has me at a point of making lots of decisions.
In attempts to stop the rambling, I leave with two of my favorite Mommy tips. I have been meaning to do them as "Works For Me Wednesday," but who knows when I will do it. But, the tips are worthy - here I go!

1) Baby hair washing. My friend Tessa showed me how she dumped a bucket of water over her daughter's head to rinse her hair in the tub. She told me to brace myself before she did it as some people think it is cruel. I kind of thought it was until I really thought about it and saw her do it. Her daughter totally didn't care and Tessa explained how nice it was that there were no tears at bath time due to getting water in her daughter's eyes. As soon as Evelyn could sit up, dumping water over her head with a cup to rinse tear-free shampoo was implemented. She does great with it! She sometimes gets a little in her mouth and it takes her breath away, but she kind of likes it I think! She has never cried at hair washing time. I was inspired to share this after another bloggy mom showed an adorable pic of her son cuddling after getting his hair washed. He did not like it!

2) What to do with baby while you do your make-up? Put her in the bathroom sink! I set Evelyn on a towel in the sink while I do my make-up. She likes looking in the mirror and playing with the make-up - great practice taking on and off little caps and the like. And, I can totally watch her while I am getting ready.
Have a phenomenal weekend everybody and stay warm! Do lots of cuddling with your favorite people! Mine are playing in the other room!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Wonderful World of the redbox

Tonight we rented our first movie from redbox located at our local grocery store. It was nice to get eggs and lettuce and the movie at the same time. And, a new release for only $1 - unheard of!

I had seen redbox kiosks in bigger cities before and then saw one when we moved here. Sarah is also a huge redbox lover and says she gets emails for free movies on weekdays a lot too! Nice bonus!

I also followed a link on their site before I went that gave me a code for a free rental (of course I forgot to enter the code, but oh well! :-) You can reserve movies online to make sure you get what you want and movies aren't due back until the next day by 9 p.m. We can totally swing that.

So, we enjoyed Ben Stein's "Expelled" documentary tonight courtesy of redbox. Good movie. I am personally a huge Ben Stein fan and have been since high school when I used to stay up way too late to watch "Win Ben Stein's Money." I miss that show. If Ben Stein ran for president, he'd sure get my vote! He is just a really rational, uber-intelligent, and thoughtful man.

Check out "Expelled" and check out redbox! And, of course, have a super-de-duper weekend!!!! (Yep, super-de-duper, a Barney-exclusive word, is in my vocab now. Evelyn has been wanting to watch Barney at least once a day for the last 10 days ever since we watched him on a long car trip midweek last week. She even threw a Barney DVD case into the shower when after showing the case to me and pointing and saying "ah, ah" I didn't immediately jump out of the shower to put it on for her. And I always said my kids would never watch Barney....)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Shoe Fetish

She's the only one allowed to wear shoes in the house! :-)

Monday, November 10, 2008

International Babywearing Week!

Stephanie at Adventures in Babywearing is having a special blogging week to celebrate babywearing. In celebration with International Babywearing week she has teamed up with Nonny & Boo for a contest to win a free sling!

Steph wants us to share a babywearing picture and our favorite things about babywearing.

So, here I go!

Evelyn was a baby who never wanted to be put down (well, I never really wanted to put her down either!) So, I had to come up with a way to still get things done (like eat and do laundry). So, I started babywearing! I started by using a sling from Target. Not so good... I moved onto the Baby Bjorn which was truly a lifesaver. I wore that thing at least once a day for months and would not go anywhere without it. I loved how close I could hold Evelyn but still get things done. I loved how she would fall asleep every time I would blowdry my hair while she was in there.

The problem came when she got a little older and heavier. The Baby Bjorn was really hard on my back and shoulders. I bought a Peanut Shell sling off of eBay but never really got the hang of it. I hope I can use it more when we have another baby - it is super cute! :-) This was actually about the time when I started reading Steph's blog - when I officially declared I was a Babywearer too!

The best thing that ever happened to me in terms of my babywearing was being introduced to the ERGObaby Carrier! I could not have survived life without mine! It is an investment (a $105 one to be exact), but I am still using it almost every day! I can wear the carrier as a front carrier, back carrier, or a side "hip" carrier. I always keep mine on the hip carry setting as I find it is the best for keeping her able to see what is going on and participate in life with me. I admit, now that she is walking she doesn't like to be in it as much, but she still likes it a lot!

I love babywearing and really advocate it now! I found a ring-sling by Nojo (horribly ugly, but oh well) at a garage sale this summer. Brand new and only $2 - what a steal! I know I will get tons of use out of it when we have another baby.

But, I would recommend an ERGObaby Carrier to any and every parent! It distributes the weight of the child on your hips through the waist belt and so it is not hard at all on your back or shoulders. Shameless promotion...I also sell them on my website, Punkerdoops Diapers!

When I decided to sell cloth diapers, I knew I also HAD to carry the ERGObaby carrier because it is probably the first thing I would blurt out if someone asked me what every mom needs.

I realized I do not have many photos of me wearing Evelyn because I am mostly wearing her doing things that aren't frequently photographed (grocery shopping, cleaning, cooking, laundry). But, I did dig out a few pics from the archives!...

Don't mind how dreadful I look...this was the morning after we moved into our house. It was an across the entire state move that had lots of drama at the closing and this mama was T-I-R-E-D. So was Evelyn, as you can see! I wore her on my back during the moving in/UHaul unloading, and wore her on my hip for the box unpacking.

My friend Tia and me at a country music festival this summer. She had to have a carrier just like mine after seeing me use mine every time we got together! We both loved wearing our babies and they loved enjoying the concert right next to us. (Yes, Evelyn is not in my carrier! She was playing with Daddy at the time!)

Happy babywearing everyone!!! Who cares what kind of carrier pr sling you have - use what you've got and just wear that baby!!!

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Check out my new business!!!!

I have officially "launched" the Punkerdoops Diapers website!!!

It is located at Please check it out!

As most of you know, I use cloth diapers on Evelyn and have really fallen in love with cloth diapering! There are so many great products that make modern cloth diapering easy and convenient. The cloth diapers of today are not what they used to be! Cloth Diapers now fasten with durable snaps or velcro and some versions are all-in-one - modeled exactly like a disposable diaper - just velcro on and go! Modern cloth diapers are washed in your own home washing machine every other day - no need for pails filled with water or a diaper service for laundering.

We have noticed such a benefit to our family from using cloth diapers! Evelyn no longer deals with diaper rashes, we save a TON of money, she looks so cute with a cloth booty :-), and of course the HUGE environmental benefit - we are contributing to saving the earth by keeping more diapers out of landfills and eliminating the use of natural resources used to make disposables. I am putting a few statistics from the Real Diaper Association at the bottom of this post for your review. You can also find more info on the economic, environmental, and benefits to baby of cloth diapers here.

Punkerdoops Diapers is both a small "shop" in our home as well as a full e-commerce website ( where customers can purchase and have items shipped to them. We are carrying products for all aspects of cloth diapering - prefolds and covers, pocket diapers, all-in-ones, wet bags, pail liners, Snappis, wipes, wipe sprays, flushable liners, diaper sprayers, and more! We also are carrying ERGObaby carriers and organic teething oil. I am hoping to carry more brands of slings and baby carriers as well as more brands of diapering supplies as the business grows. Please let me know if you have any product suggestions!

I know many of you do not have anyone in diapers right now, but please consider taking a look at the site and letting friends and family know about cloth diapering and Punkerdoops Diapers. We all know that it takes word of mouth for a business to grow! Those of you with babies, I encourage you to take a look at the website "Why Choose Cloth Diapers?" and "Cloth Diapering 101/Basic Info" sections of the website to learn how truly easy and convenient it is to switch to cloth. I will be adding more information to the website weekly as I find the time to do so!

Thank you in advance for your support and for passing the word on about cloth diapering and Punkerdoops Diapers!!!

A Few Cloth Diaper Facts from the Real Diaper Association:

National Costs:

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were about 19 million children under four in 2000. We could probably assume that there are about 9.5 million children under two and therefore in diapers at any one time. Based on previous studies, we estimate that 5-10% of babies wear cloth diapers at least part time. We will average these figures to 7.5% of babies in cloth diapers and 92.5% in disposables. This means that about 8.8 million babies in the U.S. are using 27.4 billion disposable diapers every year.

Based on these calculations, if we multiply the 8.8 million babies in disposable diapers by an average cost of $800 a year, we find that Americans spend about 7 billion dollars on disposable diapers every year. If every one of those families switched to home-laundered cloth prefold diapers, they would save more than $6 billion14, enough to feed about 2.5 million American children for an entire year15. Coincidentally, the 2002 U.S. Census reveals that 2.3 million children under 6 live in poverty.

Environmental Costs:

Disposable diapers are the third largest single consumer item in landfills, and represent about 4% of solid waste. In a house with a child in diapers, disposables make up 50% of household waste.

The manufacture and use of disposable diapers amounts to 2.3 times more water wasted than cloth.

Over 300 pounds of wood, 50 pounds of petroleum feedstocks and 20 pounds of chlorine are used to produce disposable diapers for one baby EACH YEAR.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Mommy Lessons Learned

I learn lessons in mommy-hood every day.

The three mommy lessons that I can remember learning yesterday:

1) When you get the new idea to put your toddler in the playpen to keep her from getting into trouble while you clean, don't think you are so clever. As soon as she realizes you are not going to get into the playpen with her, she will be mad at you, very very mad. The time spent to haul out the thing and assemble far outlasts the time she will spend in it. Don't bother with this "great idea" again!

2) Vacuuming the stairs with a toddler on your back is probably a huge safety "no-no." The toddler swinging her legs back and forth really throws off the balance. I credit the many years of ballet for my ability to keep balance and not fall off of the stairs. Next time I vacuum the stairs I think I will do it when Jason is home to watch her.

3) If you don't get totally upset when the toddler knocks a huge glass of water off of the counter, she won't get upset either. She will just help you clean it up with you. You both might get wet socks though. I am really proud of this one - been known to overreact a little in times like these. See, I really am learning!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Our lil' Punkin' went trick-or-treating!

Our little Evelyn isn't so little anymore! =( She was a big girl all dressed up in her poodle costume. We went downtown to do some business trick or treating and then came back to the neighborhood for some more. It was a beautiful fall day and perfect weather for being outside. We had some of our friends over with their cute daughter and Amber made Chili for all of us. Great chili love! I think Evelyn loved her first Trick or treating mommy and daddy get to eat it!