He Has the Eagle Eggs

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Graham has been watching us cook eggs in the morning for breakfast.  This morning after George left for work, Graham got his favorite mixing bowl and was pretending to crack open eggs on it.  I asked him if he was cooking and he said, “Cook!”  He also said “Love you” today for the first time.  Melts my heart.  

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Cloth Diapers

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I wanted to use cloth diapers with Reese, but could not convince George it was a good idea.  I figured we’d use disposables again with Graham, until I was on bed rest and read this post about cloth diapering.  Once I discovered there’s a diaper sprayer that attaches to your toilet and sprays clean water on the dirty diapers, I was sold.  And believe it or not, George was too!

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We purchased bumGenius 4.0 diapers for Graham and I’ve been even more pleased with them than I could’ve imagined.  They have snaps that allow them to adjust to fit 7 pounds to 35+ pounds.  The outer part is the waterproof covering and they have an absorbent insert that goes inside the pocket of the diaper.  They come with a newborn insert and a regular insert.  We use the regular during the day, and a regular paired with an infant insert at night.

We used disposable diapers we received as gifts for the first 3 months or so, and then started using the bumGenius diapers.  Graham has never had diaper rash and it’s nice to know he’s not sitting in chemicals 24/7.  They’ve already paid for themselves, which is the main reason we wanted to give them a try.  Here’s the breakdown of the cost to diaper Graham:

16 bumGenius 4.0 diapers from Cotton Babies – $290

bumGenius diaper sprayer – $45

Large PlanetWise wet bag (totally waterproof and smell proof for dirty diapers) – $21.25

Kisslauvs organic wipes – $15

Total: $371.25 

That’s it!  $371.25 to diaper Graham until he’s potty trained.  The cost to wash and dry the diapers is pretty negligible, and we use Charlie’s Soap to wash them, which is very cost effective (14 cents a load) and it’s what we use on the rest of our laundry anyway.

With Reese we used Member’s Mark diapers from Sam’s Club and Pampers diapers for overnight.  If Reese used 6 disposable diapers a day, it cost us about $1.15 a day to diaper him, or about $420 for only 1 year!  Some days I’m sure we used WAY more than 6 diapers, so we probably spent much more than that.  He was in diapers for over 3 years.  What a waste of money!

What are the drawbacks of cloth diapering?  You have to stay on top of the laundry.  I wash diapers every other day.  If I don’t wash, we’ve got a problem.  We don’t buy backup diapers, so I have to make sure I get them washed and allow time for the covers to air dry.  We have an occasional leak overnight.  We had occasional leaks overnight with disposables too, so this one is not a big deal.

I’m so pleased with our bumGenius cloth diapers.  If you’re thinking about giving cloth diapering a shot, go for it!  They’re so cute too.  : )

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Midsummer Check-in

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Here’s an update on the things we’ve done this summer from our bucket list.  We’ve had to slow down a bit due to Reese’s therapy and my dad’s physical therapy, but we’ve done quite a bit.  Summer is over halfway over!

  • make cupcakes
  • eat watermelon
  • play in sprinklers
  • make popsicles
  • make shaved ice
  • go to spray park
  • complete reading program at library (Almost done!)
  • go to library story time
  • visit NorthPark
  • go see camel (there’s one that lives right outside of Wylie)
  • go to a garage sale
  • take a walk
  • visit from Aunt Sara
  • make crafts
  • go to Arboretum again
  • trip to Petsmart
  • eat at Denton Square Donuts (Yum!  Can’t wait to go back.)
  • decorate spaceship (his cardboard box)
  • go to the beach (in Fairview)
  • visit Daddy at Surf and Swim (Went once and going again!)
  • invite cousin Riley over to play
  • feed the ducks
  • go to IKEA
  • play with Ella (friend from church)
  • visit 3 new parks (already went to one)
  • rent a Redbox movie (we rented Puss in Boots to celebrate last day of school)
  • go to Aunt Stacy’s house

 

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Graham: 11 Months

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Graham is 11 months old today!  I simply cannot believe how fast time is flying.  10 months was a GREAT age (my favorite so far), and Graham has learned a lot of new “tricks.”

At 11 months:

  • You love to say “Dada!”  From the moment you get up to the time you go to bed at night, you talk about your wonderful Dada.  You love him to pieces.
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  • We have a naptime ritual for when Reese goes down for his nap.  He wants me to lay you down on his bed next to him, and then you sit up as fast as you can, and steal his cup.  You love to drink from your brother’s cup!
  • You pull up on everything and are cruising now.  You’ve let go a few times to stand by yourself, but haven’t taken any steps by yourself yet.  You walked holding onto a little train the other day, and you were so proud of yourself when you saw the look of surprise on my face.  You smiled so big and giggled.
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  • You’ve started to dance when you hear music.  I love that.
  • Yesterday you clapped for the first time.
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  • You have a great appetite.  You’ve just discovered hummus, and I’m happy to report that you love it.  We eat a lot of hummus in this house.
  • You can sign ‘more’ and ‘all finished.’  The second we take away your food, you always sign for more.
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  • You have double ear infections right now.  : (  We’re on our second round of antibiotics and I don’t think they’re working.  I fear we might be headed for surgery.
  • I’m not sure how much you weigh, but at your doctor appointment 2 weeks ago, you weighed 19 lbs 9 oz.  You are my chunky monkey and Reese is my skinny mini.
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  • You love to go outside and get so excited that you squirm when we start to open the door.
  • You still have a great deal of separation anxiety.  You’ve started staying in worship training at church for longer periods, even falling asleep a few times, but you don’t like being separated from Mommy.  I’m hoping you realize soon that playing with new friends and toys is a good thing.
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I can’t believe next month we’ll be celebrating a YEAR with you, sweet boy!

Good and Fine

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Today has been a challenging day with Reese.  We’ve had many, many challenging days over the course of his 4 years, and now we may know why.  Reese was recently diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder (or Sensory Integration Disorder).  Three weeks ago he started going to therapy for this disorder twice a week and we expect it to continue for about a year.  If you want to learn more about SPD, there’s more info than you could ever want here.

Basically, Reese’s therapy aims to get the two hemispheres of his brain working together, and to improve fine and gross motor skills.  We just got our homework this week and we’ve already been working on it.  Some things we’ve been doing include playing tug of war, playing catch, walking like a crab, jumping on his bed (He LOVES that he’s allowed to do this now.  I think it’s time for a small trampoline.), rolling him up like a burrito in a blanket, etc.

I’m hopeful this therapy will dramatically change Reese’s behavior, but I’m also struggling with knowing that it will take close to a year to see big changes.  It’s not easy getting Reese to and from his therapy sessions (the center is 30 minutes away), all while taking care of a baby and my father, who is dying and needs a great deal of my time.  My dad is battling an awful, awful disease that is stealing his ability to walk and talk.  As if that weren’t enough, George’s dad is battling dementia.  George is smack dab in the middle of his exhausting summer schedule, and we rarely have time to talk, and never have alone time.  Life is a bit overwhelming right now, but we are trusting God will be faithful to us in the future, just as He has been faithful to us in the past.

When people at church ask us how we’re doing, I often reply “good” or “fine” without even thinking.  George is quick to inform them that I’m lying, that we’re not doing so well.  And it’s true.  Life is incredibly complex and painful at the moment.  We ask for your prayers as we deal with the challenges that God has allowed in our lives.  We don’t know why He has given us these specific difficulties, but we also know that God is not withholding good from us.  These words give me hope:

“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”  (2 Corinthians 4:16-18 ESV)

I did not intend to delve into all of this when I sat down to write this post, but this is an honest look at The Deines Family right now.  There are tears, and anger, and stress, and tantrums (not just from the little ones either).  But there is also hope, which makes me think of this:

“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.  (Romans 5:1-5 ESV)

So if you ask us how we’re doing, we’re not good or fine, but we have hope that we will be even better than good or fine – someday.

I’m Not Gonna Listen to You! You’re Crazy!

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I need to start documenting some of the funny things Reese says.  Here are a few of his recent funny comments…

“Grandpa Jack wears earrings so he can hear better.”

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“Cindy’s name is Cindy George Cornett.”  (Cindy is his imaginary friend.)

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Jessi:  “Reese, who’s your best friend?”

Reese: “Ummm… Cindy.”

Jessi:  “Who else is your best friend?”

Reese:  “Grahamy.”

Jessi:  “Who else?”

Reese:  “That’s it.”