Megan Ryan’s Voice - You turned one year old today, our beautiful daughter. It happened while I wasn’t looking. You’re still a tiny baby in my eyes even though you are walking and talking already. Every day I look at you and vow all over again not to make the same mistakes my parents did, even though I find myself making those mistakes…every day. You are smart. You are kind. You are important. You are you. You are not the sum of my own achievements – you are a unique child of the almighty God. Given to me by Him on loan. The job He has given me is to avoid screwing you up, and to teach you about Him. He will do all the rest, if I don’t get in His way. I love you, precious girl. May God bless you all the days of your life.
Liam Marcus’ Voice – Yes, she is beautiful. A gift, and yes, time doesn’t wait for anyone.
She will continue to grow and soon one day become a wonderful grown woman, hopefully in love with Christ. I pray she’ll be prepared to avoid what you mother didn’t help you avoid. It will surely be a blessing for her for I know you love her, and you will be nothing like what your mother was with you.
Marcus’ & Megan’s Voices – We recently found a cool website called IFTTT.com. This cool site notifies you when new stuff has been posted on websites like Craigslist, Facebook, YouTube and more. For us it means we can stop perusing page after page on Craigslist day after day. For example, we are looking for another baby gate now that Infant 0.10 has graduated to Toddler 0.10, so I checked Craigslist once. Then I set IFTTT.com to notify me when any new listings for baby gates come up. Kewl huh?!
No, we’re not affiliated with IFTTT or getting paid for this post, etc. We’re just sharing another little way to make life easier. Enjoy!
Megan Ryan’s Voice – We finally emerge victorious from a prolonged battle with Infant 0.9′s wicked diaper rash! We have cloth diapered her since the beginning and use an organic disposable at night. We did the same for Preschooler 4.9 although his disposables weren’t organic. In fact we use his same old cloths on her, because that’s the beauty (and $ saving) of cloth diapers. To make a long story short, she developed a large, painful looking, burn-like rash a while ago. Nothing we did made it go away. Out of desperation we switched her solely to organic disposables (ouch – SO expensive!) and the rash faded after a while. Switched her back to cloth and !BAM! rash city. Hit the reset button. Back where we started. So we sent an email shout out to our Catholic homeschooling group for help. Why not just go to the pediatrician? Because when it comes to curing things naturally and without prescriptions, we don’t have much faith at all in modern medicine. Once you read below, you’ll have a better understanding why. NO WAY would a pediatrician in our town have figured out the problem. They would have simply treated symptoms over a series of wasted office visits. Sad but true. We got tons of great advice from our friends, and now we’ll share with all of you the advice that won the day.
I washed all of her diapers several times in hot water alone, then once with a long soak with washing soda, followed by a few more rinse cycles in hot water. The washing soda balanced out the pH of the diapers as there must have been some buildup. The several hot rinse cycles removed any oily residue from the store-bought organic detergent (with fabric softener) I was using. An oily residue also would have trapped ammonia and contributed to the pH buildup. Click Here for the website that taught us about pH.
Then I made some homemade, organic laundry detergent using Dr. Bronner’s organic castile soap, washing soda, borax and water. It wasn’t much effort at all and yielded four gallons of detergent – yay! I made a liquid version of my friend’s recipe, but you can Click Here for a similar version.
In the meantime I used organic disposable diapers and liberally applied a homemade balm of organic coconut oil and tea tree oil with every changing – just in case it was a yeast/bacterial thing. The recipe is 10 parts coconut oil to one part tea tree oil. I used tea tree oil because it is anti-fungal, but diluted it with coconut oil because the tea tree can be quite strong. I chose coconut oil because it is anti-fungal AND antibacterial while remaining very mild.
Finally, I switched from using a wet diaper pail system (a plastic kitchen garbage can filled with water and detergent) to a dry diaper pail (no water/detergent). This also helps keep the pH neutral.
All in all, she has extremely sensitive skin. The same system that gave her a horrible rash was the same one (the diapers too) I used with our previous baby with no problems whatever. I guess it proves (once again) what one of my wise momma friends told me: Just when you think you have the parenting thing down, you get a new baby with a whole new set of obstacles to overcome
Liam Marcus’ Voice – Thanks be to God. We spent a few months battling the little one’s issue with her rash. Megan had to stop eating certain foods for fear that the foods may have been the culprits. Little did we know. Megan, don’t forget about all those baths in the natural goat’s milk soap we got from the local lady at the farmer’s market. It appears that the way to cleanliness isn’t always what doctors and commercial product companies have in mind for us. What I mean is that chemical soaps apparently aren’t reliable enough to keep us clean from everything. I personally wouldn’t mind doing it the way it is healthy and literally clean.
Liam Marcus’ Voice – Mark my word, an aneurysm may become her. She went out in the middle of the evening yesterday to no other place than a GMO lathered, chemically created doughnut shop. Yeeawk! The thought of it makes me want to…. Okay, enough with the guilt trip. How do you feel this morning, honey? Like a two-ton steak? That’s how I would feel. Hey, that’s all right. She has the right, right? We need to find a way to make and bake some wholesome homemade doughnuts. That’s all. PLEASE, anyone out there who may know how to do this… HELP! Yes, I know how to search the internet for something useful. However, I trust our friends and readers to provide us with something honestly, brutally, direct and wholesome. Okay, leave us your comments! God bless!
Okay, honey, what do you have to say for yourself? – Megan Ryan’s ‘confession’ - Okay, so I ate a donut. What’s the big deal? Okay it was three donuts…all in one sitting…and two more today. I only have a modicum of guilt because we eat so healthy the other 364 days of the year so I’m okay with a crazy splurge like this one. Surprisingly, I feel just fine. Actually, I feel GREAT! Not because of the donuts, but because I got a good night’s sleep for a change. Infant 0.8 only woke up twice and slept like a rock in between. <sigh> Thank you, Jesus. I was super cranky that (infamous donut) day because Infant and I got the worst night’s sleep ever the night before. She is cutting her top teeth so, woe is us. That’s why the emergency run to the donut shop after Preschooler was in bed, a little treat at the end of a looooong and cranky day. Hmmm, maybe all the donut junk I ingested got into my breastmilk and made her crash…
Infant 0.8 has been busy lately! She took her first few unassisted steps about two weeks ago, and now she will toddle a good eight feet or so all by herself and unprompted. She is almost two months ‘behind’ Preschooler when he started to walk, but she is much more sure-footed than he was. He was walking and falling/crashing all over the house, but she rarely falls. Instead she just plops down onto her bum, or catches herself with her hands. Bravo muñeca! You already know she says bye-bye, but now she is saying “Gah!” every time she sees one of our cats (cat = gata in spanish). Plus I just retired her infant car seat today and moved her into Preschooler’s old toddler car seat. I could let her sit forward-facing too, but I honestly think she would miss watching Preschooler 4.9 since he sits right next to her in our tiny backseat. He is a huge help when she gets cranky back there, plus he always tells me when she drops a toy, etc. Cute!
So waddya think? Is Megan going to keel over dead tomorrow from her splurge? How about a wholesome treat recipe of yours so she won’t have to go nuts next time?
Megan Ryan’s Voice – We had a milestone moment this week when Infant 0.8 said her first word. She was petting one of our cats, and when the cat walked away she waved her hand and said, “Bye. Bye-bye.” It took me by surprise and I had to laugh at the cuteness of it all. She’s been saying ‘ma-ma’ for a while now, but not with any real purpose, just babbling baby talk so we didn’t really count that as her first word. Now we’re just wondering when she’ll start walking unassisted. She is walking very well while holding onto something/somebody and in her walker, but we can see she needs to feel a bit for confident before going solo. Preschooler 4.8 was walking completely unassisted when he was still six months old, but for the life of me I can’t remember when he said his first purposeful word…darn it. Well, maybe blogging about things now will be my form of a parenting diary
Liam Marcus’ Voice – It was precious! I think he said his first few words before he could walk, you just don’t remember. It was “goo goo gaga”.
Megan Ryan’s Voice – Infant 0.7 just cut her two bottom teeth – simultaneously …ouch! It couldn’t have been comfortable for her because she made it clear she was suffering. Therefore it was hard on us too. Especially at night. Ugh! For the last four nights she’s been awake and crying every half an hour to an hour. Marcus and I have been walking around like sleep deprived zombies and guzzling coconut oil (great for energy) like some people swill caffeine laden energy drinks. We add it to our decaf coffee, or hot chocolate, and I will just dump some on top of whatever I’m eating. We use organic, cold pressed oil so it is virtually tasteless and you can mix it in anything. Plus lots of sucking on ice and teething toys for her during the day and some homeopathic teething remedy at night when she gets really bad. I think God chose for babies to have bottom teeth come out first just to spare nursing mommies like me the pain of getting bitten for just a little while longer. Thank you, Jesus!
Liam Marcus’ Voice – What do you mean by sparing you the pain? I thought it was still painful no matter where the teeth came from, top, bottom. Although, I must admit, I’ve never seen a baby bring on those Bugs Bunny rabbit teeth first. I think keeping the baby as cute as possible, for as long as possible counts for something. God bless!
Megan Ryan’s Voice – I dunno about you guys, but our babies never liked the carseat much. When we go anywhere as a family it is always a team effort to keep the baby happy. Whoever is riding shotgun is in charge of the diaper/toy bag, and backseat rider uses said toys to amuse baby. If baby gets bored with the first round of toys and starts to fuss, backseat rider calls for more toys. But sometimes it just isn’t enough. One of those times was a few days ago on our way home from Divine Liturgy which is a forty-five minute drive. Infant 0.7 started to raise the ante so backseat made a frantic request for more ammunition, and shotgun responded in equal measure and started chucking all the toys he had into the back of the car. I had to laugh a little because, A) Those teenagers of ours are so sweet and loving of their younger siblings, and B) It reminded me of the scene in the video above where the bad guy who is facing a kamikaze Spock screams for his gunners to “Fire everything!!”
Liam Marcus’ Voice- I don’t like car seats either. I feel I’m boxed in, you know? Especially the seats in roller coaster rides. Shiekra at Busch Gardens, for instance, gives me the higeebeedeebees. I don’t know why I feel claustrophobic when I never did before. The point is that maybe this is what the children feel when we strap them in their seats, that’s all.
Megan Ryan’s Voice – I found some great stuff at our local thrift store recently. I shop there for clothing because I can’t stand to pay full price, especially for kids clothing. The first time I hit a garage sale and came home with a big box full of designer clothing for five bucks I was hooked for life. Even if we suddenly became millionaires, I would go on one big designer/full price shopping spree just for the fun of it, but then I’d be right back to my usual bargain hunting. Anyway, below are some pictures of my favorite finds. I came home with about 30 items for Baby Girl 0.6 and a new pair of shoes for Preschooler 4.6, all for @$25! The dress above with the yellow flower is so chic, that thing alone would have cost $50! I kid you not. Below are pictures of two of our other favorite finds.
Liam Marcus’ Voice – Oh, shucks! I missed my chance. I needed some spandex for the show last Saturday with 20 Shades. The clothes were wonderfully cute. Wow! You are going to have to take lots of pictures for the looks of it because the little girl isn’t going to stick with her current measurements. I mean, she is growing faster than you can say fast.
Megan Ryan’s Voice – The little ones and I had some fun in the kitchen making apple leather. Moments like these are rare…too rare. I need to make the effort to have more of these kitchen crafts. Most of the time I get stuck in a mindset about how it would be less hassle to do it without the little ones, but I should be reminding myself how fun it is and how we’ll be creating memories for a lifetime. Preschooler 4.5 helped me peel and chop the apples, with one of his wee little toddler knives – cute! After that, we dumped them into the food processor to puree, then spread them onto the dehydrator trays. He had fun trying to spread the mash in an even layer while the perfectionist side of me bit my tongue and let him go for it. I sneaked in later and fixed it while he wasn’t watching All the while Infant 0.5 stood in her exersaucer and sucked on some chunks of organic apple in an infant safety bag thingy like in the picture. I won’t pretend to be an expert and make a tutorial like post about how to make apple leather. First, because this is the first time we ever made it. Second, because there are plenty of other bloggers out there who do that sort of thing WAY better than I could. Click Here to read the recipe we used. As always, we used organic ingredients and raw local honey.
Liam Marcus’ Voice – Well, I wasn’t there but I’m glad you had fun. There are lots of bloggers that do what? Talk about how great they are at doing something or about how great the something they are doing turns out? Hey, you are mentioning the most important thing of the whole experience, the experience and the helpful-hands’ delight in helping you. That is better than any recipe.
Megan Ryan’s Voice – I surprised myself the other day by having fun on the trampoline with Preschooler 4.4 and Infant 0.4 together. When Preschooler asked me, “Can we jump on da twampoline now?” I took a deep breath and agreed. After all, he had been asking all morning and waiting patiently while I washed a sink overflowing with dishes, made enough pancakes to last our family of six all week (with Papi’s help), and put Infant 0.4 down for two naps. How could I say no? It turned out great! Infant sat on my lap while I rolled various balls in Preschooler’s direction so he could hop over them. Then he “protected” us for a while from the rolling balls by batting or kicking them away. After about an hour of all that, Infant got restless so we went back inside, though, healthier and happier from our doses of sunshine vitamin D and exercise. Thank you Jesus!
Liam Marcus’ Voice – How come I don’t feel healthier when I go out to play with the little rascal? Is it because I have an olive complexion? The radiation doesn’t penetrate my skin as well as the rascal’s lighter skin coloration? Whazup?! Oh yes, Infant 0.4 keeps me awake all night