Life is good, but full. I can barely find time to read blogs right now, let alone post on one. So the easiest way for me to do this is just to share a collection of random things we're doing, enjoying, etc.!
- I just switched up our laundry/mud room. We rarely use our front door, so our laundry room is our main entrance, and this is where we keep our coats and shoes. Our shoe storage system (a box!) was outgrown long ago, and updating that has been on my to-do list for months. We spotted this cool wire cubby shelf while we were out Christmas shopping the other day, and it seemed perfect so we brought it home and put it to work. We have yet to go anywhere and really try it out, but I have high hopes!
- I finally have a solution to Simon's diaper rash issues! He gets diaper rash so badly that I attempted potty training a couple of months ago in an effort to help with that. He didn't seem to be catching on, so I gave up for now (we'll try again in a few months). I recently purchased a couple of pocket diapers for him for nighttime, hoping I could stop using disposables at night. They were working pretty well; they kept him dry enough that he didn't wake up, and his rash didn't get worse. However, they didn't fit great and they frequently leaked. Then a friend passed on a stash of Bum Genius pocket diapers that she was no longer using, enough for me to use them full-time with Simon. They have been fantastic! They fit him well and keep his skin dry, so his diaper rash is gone. They do occasionally leak, but not often enough that it's a problem. I still overall prefer my prefolds, especially for Linus, but these have really been a great solution for Simon!
- Linus started getting eczema a couple of months ago, so I'm now trying to figure what is causing it. Poor Ezra had it really badly as a baby and he was miserable, but I didn't know what to do, and his doctor was not helpful. I'm being a lot more proactive this time around and am doing my best to eliminate milk and eggs from diet to see if one of those things are bothering him. Thankfully there are lots of substitutes around these days, so it's not too difficult. I just stumbled upon a simple substitute for eggs in baked goods: the "juice" from a can of garbanzo beans! It has a fancy name that I can't remember, but we tried it this morning in coffee cake and it worked great! I'd like to try it in cookies next! I'm also loving Trader Joe's chocolate peppermint almond milk. I make almond milk hot cocoa for Ezra all the time, but I don't like it, so I don't know what is different, but this stuff is delicious!
- Drawing is really big around our house right now, especially with Joanna and Ezra. They have been going through paper and tape and markers like they're going out of style! I only bought one package of markers back in August because I thought we already had plenty, but now I wish I had gotten more! Ezra's fine motor and writing skills have really improved through all that drawing, which is awesome!
- Benjamin just turned 8 last month, which, of course, is unbelievable! 8 just sounds so old! He is really into dinosaurs right now, so we did a dinosaur party for him (relatives only; we haven't started doing friend parties yet, though I have a feeling that might happen next year!). He is really into independence right now - he keeps wanting to go places and do things on his own.
- Christmas time is in full swing around here; we've got our tree and lights up, we're doing daily advent/Jesse Tree readings, and today we celebrated St. Nicholas Day, which is a favorite around here! My Christmas shopping is going well, too, which makes things much more relaxing!