Monday, June 30, 2008

A New Project

A few months ago I thought it would be "fun" to try my hand at tie-dye. Hmmm.... I ordered some Dharma dyes through a coop. Then I let them sit for a long time before finally convincing Mitch to help me.

Well, I learned a lot yesterday. First of all, our finished projects had a LOT more white on them than I expected. The dyes don't really bleed through, rather they stay where you put them. So I may go back and do more dying to fill in the white spaces. If not, it doesn't matter too much anyway. We used old t-shirts (some very old), and I used some fabric scraps to see how different fabrics responded. I did use one "good" piece of bamboo velour and some spare diaper cuts I have lying around. I'm not thrilled with the pink/purple one, so I'll most likely try to fix it. Also, now that we got the hard part of "getting our feet wet" out of the way, there are some other cool techniques that I want to try. So, it's not stunning, but it was great to try! We all have to start somewhere, right?? :)





Oh, one other thing I learned AFTER I disposed of the leftover dyes: Leftover dyes can be stored in the refrigerator for a couple weeks. Bummer, that would have made re-dying a lot easier!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Update on Micah

He came home about 1 am...3 hours after going in. He has an ear infection. The rapid strep test came back negative, but they are sending it off for 2 day (none of my kids have EVER had strep, nor have I, even after definite exposure, so we'll see). He's feeling better. Mitch said those homeopathic ear drops kicked in after a little bit and Micah was much better. (Thanks to my mom-Janet-for sending me those!! Grin.)

I'm off to fill the prescription for an antibiotic. He also gave a tylenol codeine script, but I'm pretty sure Micah won't need it...he hasn't had any ear pain this morning, and he hasn't had any meds yet.

Back from Camp! and other random mumblings...


Caleb had a terrific time at camp. He seemed pretty concerned if we missed him or not (we technically only didn't get to see him ONE day), but didn't seem to have missed us much. In fact, after returning home he lamented that he missed being at camp (oh boy...something else to dream about for the next 12 months).


Here's a pic of Micah and Eden on their way to camp, too, for good measure.


Micah has some kind of unexplained earache. Yesterday he had a sore throat, but no other symptoms, so I held him off. Today he went to his Papa's house to spend the night. A little after 9, Paul called to say Micah had an earache and was crying. He ended up bringing him home. I guess if it's bad enough to leave Papa's house, then he's probably not bluffing. :( I gave him some tylenol and put some homeopathic ear drops in his ears. He hasn't had a runny nose nor a fever. He also hasn't had a bath nor been swimming (yeah...on the bath...I know...). After about 10 more min of crying...sobbing...Mitch relented and took him to the E.R. He called after being there for almost 2 hours and still hadn't seen the doctor yet. Ugh. I guess Micah wasn't crying loud enough in the ER. =P

I'll keep you posted!

OH--*if* you are curious and want to see what all the hyena cart stuff is about, I stocked my store again and it will go "live" on Monday. Go over there and watch what happens about 12:00 EST. :)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

May Customs

I just couldn't resist posting these. I had to monkey around to get them uploaded easily, but here they finally are! Sigh...many favorite diapers here!


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Not Gone...

No news is good news, right? Or should I say "there's been nothing to write home about"? It's been pretty much business-as-usual here. We are enjoying the summer. It has finally warmed up (no more snow, yay!) to a level that is quite acceptable to me. I hover precariously, however, between comfortable in shorts and ready to put on a sweater. It's a tough balance! We have had our air conditioner on, and I swear it's all I can do to keep myself from tinkering with the thermostat constantly. I'm hot one minute and freezing the next. Now here's a turn--at night I am hot all the time (other than the initial climbing into the cold bed) and kick the covers off. Poor Mitch (who is notorious for wearing shorts when it is freezing--literally--out) was cold all night. Sigh. I guess it's the best we'll get this side of heaven!

The kids have been working hard on a new chore system. Mitch & I compiled a list of chores that need to be done daily, and a list for Saturday that includes weekly chores. I mainly compiled the list, Mitch was more in charge of motivating the kids. He did a great job. They plow through that list and our house is thanking us. It's coming along slowly but surely.

We are not doing school through the summer, but so far we have practiced handwriting. I had hoped to be doing quite a bit more, but the dust hasn't settled yet. We're just movin' and shakin' it seems like all the time, and if we're not, then I'm tied up sewing. We are trying to stay at home most of the time. Keeping that truck parked helps us save a lot on gas money. I strive every week to see how little we can keep it...do you think I can go from Sunday to Sunday without going out with everyone in tow? I sometimes can, with a little coordination.

This week I won't be able to...Caleb is off to camp. He goes up on Wednesday and comes back on Friday. Mitch works both days, so I'll be hauling him. Caleb is SO excited. This will be his first trip to camp. I think he's a little nervous, too, but he's acting all tough about it. I know he's going to have a blast and forget all about us. :)

Well, I need to go for now...I'm working late tonight! I hear a little boy who may need some help finding his way to the potty...

Monday, June 16, 2008

Happy Father's Day!

I know I am a day behind...I wanted to do this all day yesterday, but was gone to my father-in-law's house all day. It was a very nice day out--I wish it had been 3 degrees warmer, but hey, what else is new?!

I want to say "Happy Father's Day" to my dad. 1) I know he reads my blog (that right there wins him an award) and 2) I didn't send him a card in the mail.

I got all my brains from my dad (no sarcastic comments now, I'm serious!). He's intelligent, talented, interested in a wide variety of things, and he loves God. He also happens to be the source of our adorable blonde curls.



I know my dad has made many sacrifices in his life for my happiness. So I want to say "I love you, Dad." And moreover, I respect you! You give us lots to look up to. I'm very proud you are my father. :)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Severe Weather and Kids at Camp

First off, we here in St. Cloud are quite safe. We've had minor thunderstorms all day and lots of rain, but nothing too severe.

Just looking at the news though, and seeing all the reports of storms across the state, my worry over my dear children off at camp deepened slightly. I can't wait for them to get home. I hope they have had a GREAT time in spite of the crummy weather. :)

But as far as I know, we are all quite safe. And no flooding here either. So don't let the storms worry ya.

Update: I just checked the camp blog and SAW A PICTURE OF MICAH!!! On Wednesday, in the last row of frames, he's in the 3rd frame. He's wearing a navy blue t-shirt and bright orange swim trunks (why is he wearing his swim trunks???) doing some kind of tug-of-war it looks like. Try this link to see the strip by itself.

Sigh. My momma heart will sleep better tonight!

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Boy Sense

Oh, one more crazy thing. Using sitemeter, I can also see (sometimes) how people come to my blog. Especially if they use a search engine to get here. Besides searching directly for steph's sound off or pampered cheeks, can you guess what the number one way people find their way to my blog is? By searching for "boy sense". Don't believe me? Go to google, type in boy sense, and see what is #1 at the top of the list!

What do you think those people are trying to find???

Well, seeing as we have a lot of boys around here, I could try to expound on the topic of boy sense. Boys seem to have a varying amount of sense. Sometimes they have a lot of sense. Sometimes they make no sense at all. They think so differently than girls (!!!).

But my original post was on having "good country boy sense". And in that case, what I really meant was, "common sense", which country boys tend to have a lot of. After all, out on the farm, you need just as much (or more) common sense to manage as you do formal education. And I think I would have a little authority to speak on that topic too. Even though I'm not a boy, I was raised on the farm. ;) [It ends up that I have a lot more formal education than I have common sense, therefore I now live in a small city and can't even manage a potted plant, much less a garden!]

For a while there I thought I was missing some new book or idea or psychology thing on the topic of boy sense. But it makes no sense that when I google the topic I fare no better than the people who end up here. So, feel free to enlighten me!

Hyenas

I didn't mean to leave you hanging for so long. I meant to come back and tell the rest of Monday's story. Most of this post is going to be directed towards my family and friends "back home" and other readers who aren't really a part of the whole cloth diapering scene or craze or whatever you want to call it.

First off--I've pretty much moved all my files over to Mitch's computer, and it is NOT easy to upload pics to picasa from his computer for some weird reason, so for now I don't have a slideshow of May's custom diapers. There aren't pictures of them all, but there were over 120 diapers and covers for May. Whoo Hoo!

When I first started making diapers, I sold mainly on ebay. After tracking my fees for a couple months, I knew I was sunk. Ebay and paypal just ate me alive. I wanted my own website, but worried about how I would make it without the traffic that ebay brings. After exploring my options, I decided on Hyena Cart. I wanted both a website, and a hyena cart (hosting for my store, basically). Hyena cart got it's name lovingly as a description of the people who shop there. What has happened is you get a popular cloth diaper, then everyone wants it--thus the demand exceeds the supply. When a mama is ready to "stock" her diapers in her store, the customers are there waiting, like a pack of hyenas, to immediately buy her out. Hyena cart has some cool features that allow the hyenas to continue to feed.

Monday was one of my first real "hyena" days after being on Hyena Cart for almost 2 years. Now, I'm not trying to say in any way that I'm big and popular like some other awesome diaper makers, but I sure did get a few minutes of fame. I mean, for about 20 minutes my store was listed at the top of the "Where are the hyenas?" list!! (top 10 list of which stores have the most customers). Here's how it went down:

At 10:30 am, Kristin and I and about 20-some other people were in my store...waiting. While my items were available to preview, they could not be bought until 11:00 am cst. I momentarily contemplated being funny and changing the start time to make them active already. Then I figured that wouldn't really be very funny after all.

At 11:00:14 am I hit refresh. Kristin managed to hit refresh at 12 seconds past the hour. Two diapers were already sold, and bidding had begun on the 4 auctions. Those two diapers had sold out in only THREE SECONDS. The auctions lasted all week (probably a little too long--24 or 48 hours would have been more appropriate--live and learn). I hoped I would get $20/each for those diapers. All of them sold for over $30! At one point in the first hour, there were 39 people in the store. Using my sitemeter I could see where in the world their isp's were. They were signed in from literally all over the U.S.--coast to coast--Canada, UK, and Germany. It was SO COOL!!!

Well, I need to go for now. Mitch and I set 228 snaps this evening and my fingers are a little numb/sore! It's going to be another very busy week. On top of it, Micah and Eden are going to Camp Lebanon tomorrow (Sunday)--yay for them! I'm so excited that they get to go again. They didn't go last year, and they really missed it. They will be gone for 5 days. Caleb gets to go too, later in June, for 3 days. :)

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Happy Birthday Malachi!

Yesterday was Malachi's 1st birthday! I thought long and hard about many things I wanted to say when I blogged about the event. I considered posting a video montage of pictures from birth to 12 months. I considered uploading a video of him while we sang Happy Birthday. I considered telling you about my relief that he is finally a year old (and describing in detail just how hard the first year was). I also considered bragging about what a smart little boy he is and all the cool milestones he's reaching, and how adorable those little whips of curls on his head are. I think for now (at least) I will settle for describing how he received the news that he is now a toddler.

Well, it was fun at first. He was all smiles during the singing of Happy Birthday. (You can click on the pictures to see the full-sized version.)

The candle mesmerized him. He reached out and touched the cake and got frosting on his fingers.

He did not react like a "normal" child by putting this to his mouth.

No, he looked at it in disgust and tried to get it off (Micah helped).

We handed him a piece on a plate, and he was appalled.

He eventually successfully dumped the piece off the plate and threw the plate back at us (attitude!).

He proceeded to get messier and increase his distress.

I particularly like the piece of cake suspended in mid air.

We finally relieved him and cleaned him up and got him down. He wouldn't eat any of it! He was more stubborn than Micah was on his first birthday. :) Although, Micah was being a little stubborn tonight too. Must be a genetic thing.

Oh, and here's a pic of me and Mitch that we always try to take with the kids on their birthday. I got a new haircut, but it's really nappy and unwashed here. I was going to blog about the wonderful experience I had (it had been almost a year since I'd cut it), but another time...

I also need to blog about a special store stocking I did at Pampered Cheeks yesterday and how incredibly fun it was, but I'll come back and do that another time too. I'm just so short on time!