Baby Gear – Nice, Unnecessary, and Avoided

Baby Gear – Introduction
Baby Gear – Common big purchases
Baby Gear – Clothes
Baby Gear – Cloth Diapers
Baby Gear- Carriers
Baby Gear – Nice, Unneccesary, and Avoided

I am FINALLY finishing this series. About time…

To read about many of the big purchases (bed, playpen, stroller, ect.) see Baby Gear – Common Big Purchases. This post is about some of the plethora of smaller, or less common, purchases.
NICE

Highchair (I forgot to include this in the big purchases)- I love the one I have! It is a gorgeous wood one that is very simplistic in design. I do not know if I would have bought it (it was a gift), but I do love it.  I advise simplistic and small, a chair converter, one that clips to the table, or a tall chair with a fabric tie. No need for a huge highchair.
Rocking Chair – No, this is not a small purchase, but I wanted to include it here because it is more for the parents then the baby. I love our rocking chair, but hardly use it for rocking Natalia. It was a gift, which is nice because I would not have bought one unless I found it for very cheap. Mark uses it a lot when Natalia needs some rocking and mommy needs a break. Make sure it is wide enough to comfortably nurse in, though. Ours is not, which is why I use it more for Christopher then rocking Natalia.

Boppy (Bouncy) Seat- This is the one “seat” (at least designed to be a seat) we use for Natalia. We were given it. It is BIG AND PINK. I didn’t think I’d like it but since she does, I do. She likes it a lot; I like it a lot. Amazing how that works. I would try and find a replacement if it broke, but would never pay full price for one! I found the music box and vibrator unneccessary and ended up taking it off.

Baby Mirror in the car- we like ours, but it’s pretty unimportant at first. It is great for an older kid who is doing extended rear facing, though. With Natalia I can look back and see if she is happy, nice but unneccessary. With Christopher, we are able to talk to him, see him, and he entertains himself with his silly faces. We installed it when Christopher was a little over one and still rear facing. It was beyond incredible. Car stress flew out the window.

Baby Monitor- we bought one for cheap and liked it for our old house because of the lay out. It is unnecessy in our current house though and will be heading to DAV. Even when I’m out back, the windows are such that I can hear the baby. This is something that really depends on your house.
Naked Blanket- It is hardly necessary, but I like having a fleece (though wool is better since it is antibacterial and does not have to be washed between each use) blanket that I can put Natalia on naked to wiggle around and air out her bum.



Baby Christopher in his basket.



UNNECESSARY

Boppy Pillow- This is nice the first few weeks but I never really used it, as intended, after that.  I do like to put Natalia in it, but ultimately I’d consider it an unneccesity. I used it far more as a place to lay baby then anything else.

Bumbo- it’d be nice, but we use a small round laundry basket with a blanket in it to do about the same thing. I would pick one up at a yardsale if I found one cheap enough, so that I could at least try it out.

Swaddlers- I even saw a swaddler at a yardsale, for free, and did not get it. I like using a swaddling blanket. Simple, and you don’t need another thing.
Baby bath or bath seat- We just bath babies in the sink and get rid of yet another thing. Or, I just sponge bathe on a towel if I do not need to wash the baby’s hair.

INTENTIONALLY AVOIDED

Jonny Jump-Up/Exersaucers/Walkers- we chose against these because I can not imagine they are good for a quickly developing childs. I have heard research (but can not remember where) about it leading to the greater possibility of skipping crawling, and also that it supports them in such a way that the kid does not learn to support themselves well. I have also read on various sites about them being bad for the back. Either way, I can not imagine that it is GOOD for a kids development, unless used in extreme moderation, and they are big enough that I would rather not have something so big (expensive and ugly…) that could rarely be used.

Pacifier- We used one for Christopher, but not for Natalia. We prefer not to use one, and even with Christopher weaned him of it at 6 months. I do not think it is a huge deal though and would chose a pacifier over thumb, lip, or tongue sucking.

Flashy/Distracting/Battery Operated/Light Up/Musical Toys- Basically anything with a batteries we avoid (for babies and toddlers). I figure my kids will have a hard enough time learning to focus on “slow things” such as a book, a walk, and an in-person conversation, growing up in our culture without starting them out on fast moving, light up, memsmorizing distraction while young. I really want kids who are able to think outside of the box, focus, and not need to be distracted continually to avoid boredom.

As for musical toys, I’d rather them learn what good music sounds like and appreciate it as an art, not something that happens constantly but rarely sounds good. I much prefer to sing to them. I am not saying I have the world’s best voice, but I think mommy’s and daddy’s singing voice, no matter how it sounds, is better then a few notes of canned clasical music. Have you listened to the music on toys lately? It really does sound horrid.

 A Ton of Gadgets and Gizmos- I find a plethora of stuff to be more inconvenient than the convenience most of them are supposed to bring. As such, I intentionally avoided getting a lot of little gadgets and gizmos. Babies really do not take that much stuff!
OOPS

Blankets- Somehow I missed a place to put blankets in this series. I like big blankets. About 40 – 45″. Recieving blankets do not really do much good. Big fluffy blankets, or quilts, are great for play and tummy time.

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Baby Gear- Baby Carriers

Without having a double stroller or bucket seat, we made having a carrier pretty much a must. When Natalia was first born I used my carriers all the time, especially my wrap. I do not use them as much now since she likes to wiggle and since I rarely take her shopping anymore. But, they are still wonderful. I strongly suggest a baby carrier. You are able to keep a baby safe and secure, close to your heart. You can carry in a house, running from a mouse, watching a fox in the zoo, or even in a box. They are really a great resource!  Check out the plethora of benefits here.
A good carrier has helped me not need:
  • baby swing
  • bucket seat
  • double stroller
  • most baby holders and entertainers (musical toys, mobiles, rocking seats ect.)
I also struggled less with post partum blues with keeping Natalia close to me via baby wearing. I rarely wore Christopher. I do not know how related they were, but I think it was related. 
I have a pretty decent stash of carriers, so here is my personal experience with them.
WHAT I LIKE TO SEE IN A CARRIER-
  • One that keeps the baby high and secure. This is the only safe way to use baby carriers. Baby wearing got knocked a couple years ago when the bag style carriers were shown to be unsafe. Baby bags broke all the safe babywearing rules.
  • Simplicity in design. Simplicty in design means fewer fail points (buckles, seams, ect), extending the life of the carrier, and more versitility. I have heard great things about the Ergo, but I prefer to not see buckles and adjustable straps and will probably never use one. The more simplistic the design, the more versitle the carrier, and from personal experience, the more comfortable. Granted the buckles and straps carrier I had was particulary bad. Mark prefers buckles and straps and feels “trapped” in the wraps I like the best.
  • Quality in make for babies’ safety, comfort, and longevity of my carriers’ life.
  • Quality in material. I like sturdy material with a tiny bit of give for wraps that spread over the shoulder and a very sturdy thick material for ones with straps (ex. mei tia)
  • No padding. Padding is actually very uncomfortable and it is hard to get the baby close.
PERSONAL FAVORITES
Woven Wrap- My incredibly versitile, incredibly, comfy, incredibly simplistic (in design) woven wrap. You can buy these, or you can just go to the craft store and get 6 yards of woven wrap. You can cut it in half, but if it is only 45 inches you might want to keep it closer to 27-30″. That width is better for back carrying.
For comfort, I suggest a weave that gives a wee bit. Grab the material with both hands a few inches away from each other. Move your hands back and forth in opposite directions, you should be able to do this a tiny bit without bending the fabric. This will help it form to you and baby for a very comfortable and secure hold.
If I were just keeping one wrap for personal use, this would be it.
Mei Tia – This is also a very comfortable wrap and is a bit quicker to get on and off then the wrap. I like it for errand running, unless I am going to be in one place for quite a while, then I prefer the wrap.
This is totally a posed photo. I was being a goof.
 Ryley (my newpohew) is on my back in a wrap and
Christopher is on my front in the mei tia.
If I were to give ONE carrier to a mom or dad, new to and a bit intimidated by wearing, this would be it. It is ALMOST as comfortable as the wrap with still being pretty versitile and is a little less intimidating. If our family could only have one carrier, I would chose this one, because Mark will use it more readily then any other fabric carrier. Mark prefers the backpack style of this one because he has very strong shoulder muscles (thank you boy scouts) so does not mind that the weight is more on the shoulders then distrubuted down the back as it would e with a well wrapped wrap.
My friend, Erin, who lives in Austin TX says he likes her Mei Tia because it is a lot cooler then her wrap.
The carrier you are given/find for cheap/can make easily-
Let’s be honest here. Any good fabric carrier is nice, get what you can.
HONORABLE MENTIONS
Moby Wrap (or other high quality stretchy wrap) – This was a great transitional carrier for me. It was the first wrap I had that was any good. I had a wrap, but it was not made with the best material so was uncomfortable. I learned how to wrap and how comfortable wraps were with the ease of the Moby’s stretchy material. Now that I have a quality woven wrap and know a bit more about wearing I rarely use it, and will probably pass then on to another new mom. Not that I do not like it, I just don’t find it necessary now and prefer to not have two things that do the same thing. It is a good wrap, it really is, but after a bit an older baby begins to sag, it can not be used to back carry, it is hotter then my woven wrap, and it is not as versitle (because of the stretch).
I wish I had had this wrap when Christopher was first born! This is a great wrap for a new mom who is pretty warmed up to the idea of baby wearing. 
Ring Sling– I know a LOT of people who love their ring slings. I have never been that into them, but I will say they are nice for around the house when a something happens like a kid starts crying while you are making dinner or things like that. I usually just tie my wrap as a sling when I want to hip carry.
Pouch Slings– I have very little experience with these, but hear they are nice. The couple times I put them on I thought they were pretty sweet. I think they would be good around the house when you want to get stuff done, but your baby or toddler just wants to snuggle.  Maybe I should just make one, they are supposed to be pretty simple.
Ergo- I don’t really think I would like the Ergo because I prefer simplicity in design, but I think Mark would more readily baby wear with one of these, and I have heard good things about them. Any thoughts ladies?
Want to learn more? Check out this lovely blog all about baby wearing Baby Wearing It Up.
Now it’s your turn. What is your favorite carrier? Did you baby wear? Please chime in and share your experience, and feel free to link back to any posts you think are applicable. One of the things I love about blogs is seeing the vast amount of knowledge in the comments. 

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Baby Gear – Cloth Diapers

Baby Gear – Introduction
Baby Gear – Simplicity and Quality
Baby Gear – Baby Clothes

As of next month I will have been cloth diapering for two years, and between Natalia and Christopher have experienced doing it from itty bitty baby to toddler and have used, at least minimally, pretty much every diapering system. Yet, I have hardly talked about them here! Well, today I fix that. Ready to get into the nitty gritty of diapers? … ok, that was not the best word picture…

We wanted to cloth diaper Christopher from the beginning, but we were living in an apartment and using coin laundry. I was not about to drag cloth diapers to the laundry area and use any of the cloth diapering savings to wash and dry them. Nope. We moved, purchased a washer machine, and I was READY to start. I’m not about to say neither of my kids have warn dispobles since then, far from it, but I think cloth diapering is WELL worth it.

Why?

Cost- By switching to cloth diapers I am able to get rid of a running cost. There is some upfront cost, less if you purchase your diapers wisely (which I did not, but more on that later), but a one time cost is almost always worth getting rid of a running cost. Disposable diapers cost an estimate of $1500 – $2000 per child.

Waste- Disposable things are inherently wasteful and should be the exception, not the rule.

A child goes through an average of 7,349 diapers before potty training and each of those diapers take an estimated 550 years to decompose. Let’s do a little math…

There are 4 million babies born in the US each year. Those babies each use 7,349 diapers over the course of a couple years.

4,000,000 * 7,349= 29,396,000,000

Now, let’s just pretend the birthrate stays the same (which it won’t) and disposable diapers are used UNTIL a diaper that was JUST changed has finished decomposing (I am pretending it takes 552 years)… that would be 16,167,800,000,000diapers for just the US.

Now, I sure hope over the next 550 years we get smarter and stop using disposable diapers (or MUCH better the Lord returns) but. it is rather disturbing to think that a diaper will outlast a baby by over 20 generations and that at least 1/6th (this is my own estimation) of those diapers will have been poopy.

Chemicals- There are a plethora of yucky chemicals in disposable diapers. You can read more about them
here.

Earlier Potty Training- So the say… Christopher is still not potty trained at 26 months. He’s well on his way though.
Simplicity- Once you get in the swing of things, for the most part (ex. not while traveling) it is simpler to use cloth diapers and wipes then having to worry about always buying them. At least that has been my experience.

One size for two kids- It is nice to not have to worry about Christopher’s diapers and Natalia’s diapers because I have one-size diapers that fit either of them. In this picture though, the diapers they are wearing are adjusted to the same size.

Less Blow Outs- Nothing keeps in baby poo better then a quality cloth diaper!
Cute- Come on. Admit it. They are stinking adorable! Though, I think VERY few decisions should be made by the cute factor. It’s a perk not really a reason.
Natalia wearing her Best Bottoms cover/all in two diaper.

Funny Story: I was naming the above picture and thought about the reason I took the picture, to show her cute fat rolls, and the fact that she was wearing the adorable cow diaper. I almost called it “fatcow” then thought a bit better about that.
CLOTH DIAPERING SYSTEMS (at least the ones I have had experience with).

This is from my personal experience, a couple people have commented with the diapers they used and their experiences. Thanks ladies.

Please excuse the lack of photos there are not exactly a plethora of cloth diapering photos up for grabs and I do not really have a way to photograph these.
All-In-Ones-
All-In-One diapers are the closest to disposable diapers. You have the absorbant inside and the plastic outside. You put it on the kid, then when you are ready to change it you take it off and stick it in the hamper. Some of them are fitted, but most of them are one size.
This would be my least favorite system. It is supposed to be the easiest, but I find the design complicated and clunky. There is very little versitlity because it is all one piece. They also tend to be very expensive ($20/diaper). I am sure you can get them for less, but usually with diapers you get what you pay for.
There tends to be a lot of elastic, which is the quickest part of the diaper to wear out. Unless, you have diapers with velcro covers which I strongly advise against. When the elastic is shot it is hard to fix the diaper and then the WHOLE thing is gone. With the cover/diaper system and the diaper/insert system when the elastic fails, you have some life remaining in the form of the other parts of the diaper.
They also take a REALLY REALLY long time to dry and are hard to get clean because there are so many layers. This means extra work washing and repeated dryer cycles (unless you hang which is also annoying with these because they are so heavy while wet).
They are bulky on little babies and you have to use extra inserts for older babies, taking away the convenience they are supposed to provide.
  
I did have Little Joey AI1 diapers for Natalia’s first few weeks, and liked those but they were too expensive to buy more then two.
Pockets-
Pocket diapers are similar to all-in-ones in that you have a diaper that looks like a cloth version of a disposable. But, there is just a layer of cloth in the inside, not really absorbant material. Either in the front or back of the diaper there is a whole where you can stuff an absorbant “insert” into the diaper.
When I first started researching cloth diapers I saw NO point in pocket diapers. You have as much laundry as all-in-ones and you have to stuff them. Then I tried a couple. They seemed really nice. So, I did something really really stupid. I got rid of all of my other diapers and only bought a bunch of cheaper pocket diapers, only to decide I did NOT like the diapers I bought and they really did not work (no, it was not that they needed to be strip it was a design flaw, more on that later).
I do like many things about pocket diapers-
  • ease of changing
  • not having to touch a wet diaper like you do when changing diapers using the diaper/cover system
  • quick drying time
  • versitility in how much you stuff them
  • lightweight, so they are not annoying to hang out on the line
  • you can stuff them with a variety of inserts

Reasons I DO NOT like pocket diapers

  • they are expensive
  • they are most often stuffed with microfiber which takes longer to dry then the diaper
  • microfiber is the hardest diapering material to clean
  • They are very picky about how they are washed. Because of the design of pocket diapers the material that the pee goes through to get to the absorbant middle goes right up to the leg holes. If that material gets even a little water resistant ( laundry soaps that have perfumes or dyes, and most diaper rash creams can leave a water resistant residue) the pee goes right out the leg. This is less of a problem with a diaper/cover system because if the diaper has a bit of a water resistant residue on it the first thing the pee hits is the cover, which is more water proof then any residue the diaper would have. I hope that makes cents.
  • Many have a design flaw that makes then inherently easier to leak. There is elastic around the leg that is usually sewn into place with a seam running down the inner part of the leg. That means that pee can touch that absorbant thread and be pulled through to the exterior of the diaper causing leaks.
  • I have have used several brands of pocket diapers, all but one leaked (which is the kind I still have and enjoy).
  • the design of them makes them harder to dunk and flush then a simple prefold would be.

All-In-Two System-

I like this system  and use it partially. It is basically a cover with an insert that snaps into place. Simple right? Almost as simple as the all in one (just snap the insert at the front and back) but without many of the major flaws of the all-in-ones.

The diapers I have that have snap-in inserts can actually be used as covers for prefolds and fitteds as well. I love that! They are the Best Bottom diapers and I really like them.

GroVia is a popular diaper in this system, and from the limited experience I have with them, I think they are pretty sweet. IF all diapering systems cost the same (or a lot closer then the do) and IF I was buying ONE system to use I would probably do GroVia, or Fitteds with Wool.

Diapers and Covers System-

This was the original system I used with Christopher, sold all the diapers, admitted I was wrong (after months of frustrating and more tears then I’d like to admit) and now I am back. Hopefully my stupid mistake will serve to help SOME people an’d save them from buying diapers… three different times. Ugh. I do not like admitting things like that for the world wide web” to see. “Hi my name is Debra and I bought cloth diapers THREE distinct times to cloth diaper two kids in less then three years” But, the point of blogging is to help others, not pretend to be perfect. Right?
Anyway, a vague description of this is – a diaper is put onto the baby, then a cover over top of that.
Why so vague? Because there are a plethora of diapers and covers that follow into this catagory.
Fitteds-
A fitted diaper is the general diaper shape. It has elastic around the thighs and can be closed with a snappi, velcro, or snaps depending on the make. These are better then prefolds at keeping poo off your covers, but are a lot more costly then prefolds and I find them rather clunky to use with PUL covers.
Prefolds-
Prefolds are rectangular diapers with a padded center. Here is a videa on how to put on prefolds with a snappi.  Snappis and prefolds go together like chocolate icecream and Debra.  Honestly though. As much as I love chocolate icecream and snappis I rarely use/eat either of them. I usually just fold the flaps of the prefold in and lay it in the diaper. This only works well with young babies, but Natalia is still young so I prefer it. I will probably have to start using snappis again more often.

Prefolds are the easiest to rinse poo off of because of the simplicity of shape. I like that.

The design is simple, versitle, and without elastic and snaps they last a very long time. Simplicity in design almost always means versitility and long “life”.

Flats-

I have a few of these and love how easily they clean! It is just a large square of cloth you fold, there are many different ways, then put on the baby. I usually just fold it into a long rectangle and lay it in the diaper, like I do with the prefold.

PUL Covers-

PUL stands for polyurethane laminate. It is the plastic-coated knit material most cloth diapers now use. It keeps water in very well, but is also not very breathable (they are more so then disposable though). They come in either sizes (XS, S, M, L ,XL) or are one-size (you use snaps to adjust the waist and rise). They also use either velcro, or snaps. The best IMO is One Size with Snap Closeures.

Wool Covers-

I love wool covers, but I do not use them as often as I’d like. It is so much easier it seems to just get PUL covers! My friend Rebekah has used wool for two kids and talks about it here. Since my experience with it has been limited, I will just let her speak on it.

 I honestly wish I did it more! As it is though, I try to do it in the summer since it is cooler and do use wool tights and underpants in the winter to as “backup” for the PUL covers I use.

Christopher wearing wool pants from Carver Creations this summer.

What I have:
Best Bottom Covers
Best Bottom Snap-in Inserts
Prefolds
Fitteds
Wool Covers – variety
Pocket Diapers
Snappis
Flats

Starting out, I suggest:
prefolds in appropriate size (at least 12, but 18 is better)
covers (at least 3)
snappies (at least 2)

From there you can get a bit fancier, but that is nice and simple.

For newborns:
I loved little joeys, but they were pretty expensive. Other then those though, I really did not like any of the diapers I used for Natalia’s first few weeks. I DO NOT suggest Rumperooz newborn covers. They have a plastic label sewn on the middle of the back that lets pee through. I got rid of mine.

Next time, Lord willing, I plan on just doing prefolds and covers as soon as baby is finished with miconium.

Do you cloth diaper? If so, what is your favorite diaper and why?

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Amazon Subscribe and Save Food List

Healthy food can cost quite a bit. That is why I seek to find the best deal that I can on the “clean”, whole, organic, and ethical foods I buy.

Amazon Subscribe and Save is a place where I can get the best price on many food items I typically buy. It is a program where you can sign up to have items sent to you ever X months, and they charge you when they send the item. You can cancel whenever you want, so you are not commited to buying 108 oz of coconut oil at a time for the rest of your life. Or, if you just want to order something one time, go for it. Just don’t forget to cancel your subscription. Here is a list of some of the things I like from it. They are the things (which I buy) that I can get cheaper there then from Azure Standard or my local stores.

This goes to the listing of the product make sure you click on the Subscribe and Save option on the right to get the price I list.

Yes, these are my associate links so if you purchase anything from this list I will get a small percentage, thanks. That is not really WHY I’m am giving this list, just a personal perk. Each list is something I personally buy, or would like to.

Ones I have bought and can personally recommend-Organic Cold Pressed Extra Virgin Coconut Oil – 108 oz for $41.50 ($0.38/oz) cheapest coconut oil I have found.

Equal Exchange (fair trade) Cocoa Powder – 24 oz for $18.79 ($0.78/oz). Azure standard has it cheaper from a source that does not use child labor, but is not necessarily fair trade. I prefer this.

Ones I have bought (but have not had a chance to try out)-

Organic Brown Rice Pasta– This is currently out of stock, but it is the one I have subscribed to (hopefully they will get more!) It is just over $3.50/pound (3.64 perhaps?). I can not say exactly, because I do not remember and without being in stock they do not list the price.  Yes, that is a lot, which is why we rarely eat pasta (I hope to make it homemade more in the futre). It is important to me to get Organic Brown Rice Pasta and that is a great price for that.  I have not used this pasta yet, so I can not really review it.

Ones I hope to try at some point-

Organic Brown Rice Pasta (in stock)- This was the next cheapest I found. It is $3.68 per pound.

BPA-free Organic Coconut Milk – 12 cans for 21.16 ($1.76/can). I sometimes make my own, but I like the flavor of canned occasionally.

Organic Unsweetend Shredded Coconut-  $20.15 for 12 8oz packages (3.36/lb). Or, you could get it for 2.28/lb if you felt like orderding a 22 lb bag.

Grade B Organic 100% Pure Maple Syrup- 32 oz for $20 ($0.63/oz)

Aluminum Free Baking Soda – 4 lbs for 7.64 (1.91/lb; 0.12/oz)

Organic Extra Virgian Olive Oil- $51.00 for 16.72 ($0.32/oz). This is a really great price, but it comes in 25.5 oz metal tins, I am a little leery of the quality. I LOVE the taste of Napa Valley Extra Virgian Olive Oil, and tasting it has made me realize I have previously just had rancid olive oil. It is so sweet and mild. LOVE IT! I might have to try this though, the price is fantastic. I guess worse comes to worse, it ends up in homemade soap.

Ginger Essential Oil- 7.95/oz

Frugal Friday @ Life as Mom
Fight Back Friday @ Food Renegade

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November at the Worth Household

What a fantastic and crazy month November has been! It is always my favorite month of the year, because it has my birthday AND thanksgiving AND the beginning of the “Christmas season”. This year was definietely no exception.

So, what has been going on around here in the month of November?

The beginning of the month (and late October), Mark was in CA recieving training for his position as Flight Test Engineer. If you remember correctly I had a few adventures while he was gone. Read about them (and a bit I learned through them), here, here and here.

The week after he got home I developed several recipes and worked on some writing to contribute to a cookbook collaboration with  Modern Alternatice Mama, Stacy Makes Cents, The Humbled Homemaker, Day2day Joys, Creative Christian Mama, and Christian Mommy Blogger. I am SOOOOO excited! I have never contributed to an e-book before and this is such a fantastic collaboration.(More details coming later)

Then, Mark got laid off in mid November. This was a bit of an emotional roller coaster for me, and admittedly still is. I know God has plans for us, I just wish I could know what they were. God’s blessings surrounding this have been phenominal.

  •  It was only 11 days after Mark got laid off that he got some contracting work
  • He got laid off AFTER Hawker paid for an 8,000 training session that really helps his resume ‘
  • He already had flight test gear, making contracting possible
  • We won’t have to pay Hawker back for Mark’s last semester of college
  • If Mark can get enough contracting work, and we keep our expenses low enough, we might have a chunk of change at the end of his severance to pay off a decent chunk of Mark’s college loans.

Then there was thanksgiving week, which was definitely the craziest and funnest part of the month.

Mark’s two cousins, who he went to school with, came here with their familes. We actually all knew each other before getting married, got engaged within 3 months of each other, got married within 5 months of each other, had our first kids within 4 months of each other, and second kids within 6 months or each other! It was so wonderful to really get to hang out and see our kiddos play together.


Tommy and Jennifer pretending they have twins



The week had it’s hiccups though! Tuesday morning Christopher threw up… and that started our own miniture stomach bug epidimic. We decided next time we will quarentine ourselves from everyone two weeks before hanging out. It is hard not to have a sickness going around when you have twelve people, half two and under staying in the same house for a week. Thankfully, we all got to eat Thankgiving dinner together, even if Mark was pretty out of it and I only helped make the gravy because I was sick that day. Friday everyone felt great and we had the issue of trying to decide what we wanted to do with our one free day. We played games, jammed, and did henna.
Jamming



That is a lot of hair for a collective 9 months!
The lovely henna Erin did on my arm.
Robert reading to the boys. They are less then three months apart.
The boys gang up on Jocelyn to try and steal her cheerios.

Let me tell you, it was a great week! I just hope when, Lord willing, we do this again no one gets sick!

Natalia –

My baby girl seems way too big, I can’t believe she is six and a half months. It goes so fast.

She got her first two teeth and started eating solids this month, though she still has very little. I was hoping she would wait longer, but I believe in giving solids when they are ready (more on that later). Thankfully, I know a lot more about feeding babies then I did with Christopher. No baby rice cereal for starters!!!! 

She is really interacting and playing, now. Christopher and she giggle and play together. She will scream and wiggle when she wants you to “get” her. It is so very adorable.

Christopher-

A week with his active cousin really seemed to help Christopher be a little more adventurous. Something we are very excited about. He has been running and climbing a lot more these last few weeks.

He also seems to be putting more of an effort into talking. Now, if only he grew a couple inches. people might think he’s two and a half. But, I’m not too worried about it. I am, however, beginning to wonder if he has some intolerances and/or allergies.

What was your month of November like? What was the best thing that happened?

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