Why the Tree of Life?



Making the cake and celebrating turning 3!

Plumbing Repair

It started out simple enough, as these things always do. Unfortunately, Evan uttered the words 'not' and 'long' in the same sentence while referring to how long the repair would take. See... we had a leaky faucet. We usually have a leaky faucet somewhere (if we don't, it's just a matter of time), and Evan replaces the seats, no problem. But he has always been careful about what he says in the process. This time, things got a little more complicated, and ended up involving removing our closet desk, cutting into the wall and using torches. Evan and the boys had fun, though, as they always do, getting to use tools and buying new tools that we now desperately need and can't live without.

I took the opportunity the thin the bathtub toy herd, which had gotten unruly.


TX Tech Graduation

Congratulations, Hillary!!

Handmade Bubble

In the Sandbox


Happy Birthday, Dunagan!!

Dunagan turns 3 years old today! He chose to go to Dan's for breakfast this morning, and then he opened presents when we got back home. Kirven gave him a toy egg beater that makes bubbles in the bathtub, and Ayla gave him 'Sticks' from Music Together. Mommy and Daddy are giving him a reading lamp for his bed ('just like Kirven's), and Dad and the boys have headed up to Fry's for him to pick out the color he wants. Not sure what else he is going to want to do today. I'm sure there's going to be a bath at some point in order to play with the new toy. Kirven has been pushing for bathtime since 9:30am. Too bad Kirven's gift doesn't wash hair. Dinner will be Dunagan's choice, too, so we may be having Chick Fil-A.


Time is really flying. How did he get to be three already? And how do we have three children? When did that happen?

Before Ayla was born, a good friend threw a baby shower for me. It was more of a 'blessingway' than a baby shower, and she had a blank book for the guests to write their wisdom and positive thoughts for me. Everyone also brought a special bead and made a necklace for me to wear during labor. When I got home from the shower, I wrote down all the beads and who gave them to me and what they meant, and then after Ayla was born, I wrote down her birth story and wrote a letter to Ayla. I'm planning on writing her a new letter in the notebook on each of her birthdays.

I realized that this is something I want to do for the boys as well, so I bought a notebook for Dunagan this morning. I wish I had thought of this from day one. How interesting that would be!


P.S. the boys just walked in the door from Fry's. Dunagan chose blue, just like Kirven's.


Crystal Garden

Last week, the boys made crystal gardens. We got the recipe from Home Education Magazine. It took a little hunting to find Mrs. Stewart's Liquid Blueing, but find it we did. Evan also bought us janitor-strength ammonia. I didn't know there was a difference between janitor-strength and home-use strength and nearly killed us all. (Note to self: do this project again outside, not in the kitchen.) The gardens' started life out as plain sponges, and this is what they looked like the next day. Dunagan's is on the top, Kirven's is on the bottom. Geena knocked Kirven's over right after we made them, but the jostling seemed to speed the growth of his (plus we had little mini crystal gardens where ever the solution landed on the porch and on the bristles of the broom from sweeping it up). But Dunagan's caught up and passed Kirven's the next day. Since I nearly killed us with the ammonia, the boys didn't get to do as much mixing of the solution themselves as I had planned, but they did have fun putting on the different shades of food coloring. All in all, a fun, quick and easy project.



I just found this quote that I really like from a 20th century Friend, Rufus Jones:

“Something of God comes into our world with every child that is born. There is here with the newborn child a divine spark, a light within.”

What is Ayla looking and smiling and laughing at over my shoulder or across the room? I can't help but feel that her soul is hovering between our world and somewhere else entirely.


Unforeseen Drawback

Two post in two days? How is that possible? Ah, yes, that would be because Evan and the boys are in Lubbock for my sister's graduation from Tech. (Yay, Hillary!) And what am I doing with all my free time? Squandering it on the computer. But, honestly, I can't believe how easy newborns are at this stage in my life. I can get *so* much done, it's incredible. It's like when you go to college and realize, if I had studied this hard in high school, I would have been valedictorian! If I had managed my time pre-kids as well as I do now, I could have written the great American novel, at the very least. It's almost like I'm here by myself, I'm so used to rolling with the punches. I remember when I was pregnant with Dunagan the same time a friend was pregnant with her second, and she was questioning her mother how she was going to handle another newborn. Her mother answered, "Dear, it's not the newborn who is going to be the hard one." How right she was!

I've had several people comment about how hard it must be with three, but honestly, it has been so much easier than the transition to two. It has even been easier than having just one. I'm not having to adjust to taking care of someone else other than myself. I'm used to the sleep deprivation as it never really goes away. I'm used to my back hurting and getting cabin fever; I know both of those will pass in about 18 months. I'm not agonizing over not meeting the needs of both a previously only child and a newborn; the boys have each other as playmates now. I'm not having to adjust to the fact that babies have inborn personalities, and that what worked with number one won't necessarily work with number two. I'm also not having to learn how to nurture. I've got lots of tricks up my sleeves. And when all that fails, I know that sometimes babies just cry, and that she will be ok. The only thing that's new for me is this EC thing.

Which leads me to the unforeseen drawback. Ayla doesn't want to use her diaper. It is very clear to me now that we do 'diaper-train' our babies. And that's not necessarily a bad way to go because diaper-trained babies don't need immediate attention. They can wait a second for you to finish doing what you're doing before you change their diaper. An EC'd baby (and this is something I didn't think about because I didn't think EC would actually work), needs to go to the potty *now*, not in five minutes. And newborns go all the time, especially in the morning. She particularly doesn't want to poop in a diaper and is very vocal about that. I'm catching all of her poops now, and if I miss anything, it's usually because I had to finish what I was doing and not because she wasn't telling me (and loudly!) that she needed to go. But, it's not enough of a drawback to keep me from doing it. All in all, it's been more positive than negative, and I'm finding it all very interesting and bizarrely, fun.

Now, time to go do something more productive with my time while the boys are away...


Winnie the Pooh

Not everyone begins reading Winnie the Pooh with The House at Pooh Corner, Chapter 2, In Which 'Tigger Comes to the Forest and Has Breakfast', but we do. I think I have been trying to introduce the boys to the Hundred Acre Woods for over a year. I've always liked Winnie the Pooh, but the bear was a no go with Kirven for a very long time. Kirven has preferred picture books with minimum peril (actually zero peril or emotion), which is fine, but as a reader, I have been dying to, well, read aloud to them (and read alouds have, ahem, plots). We have had several aborted starts with Winnie the Pooh, to the point that I have ruined it for him, and Kirven always balks at the suggestion of giving it a try again.

But somehow, the boys both have an idea of who Tigger is, and Dunagan was asking me about Tigger, so I suggested that I read a little bit about Tigger to him. Kirven was definitely against the idea; he didn't want to hear about Tigger. So, Dunagan and I said, fine, you can't hear about Tigger, only Dunagan and mommy can hear about Tigger. Kirven's jaw dropped. Really? 'You really won't let me hear about Tigger?' Nope, I said.

Well, there was no way he was going to miss out on something Dunagan was going to hear, even though he knew he didn't want to hear it himself.

And he loved it, of course. He's finally the right age (I'll get a hang of that part one of these days), and he laughed at all the funny parts. Dunagan seemed to really enjoy it as well. We read chapter 2 the next day at naptime as well, and Kirven can't wait for me to read chapter 2 to them again.

Does he want to read any other chapters about Tigger? Oh, no, no, no. Chapter 2 is quite enough, thankyouverymuch.


Big Bubbles

Ayla came bearing gifts. Strategically, one of the gifts was something fun to do outside of the house. I've had my eye on this bubble wand/book from Klutz ever since Kirven was probably six months old. The boys are finally old enough for it! On this day, the humidity was kind of low, so the bubbles weren't very big, but they caught a really humid day after that and the bubbles were as long as our driveway (still need to put those pictures on the computer, so this will have to do for now).