Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Sitting Up

Have I mentioned yet that Ruthie is sitting up on her own now? Time is going by so quickly! She starting sitting on her own just around the 7 month mark.

She's very proud of herself, and is now trying to figure out crawling. She can go from a sitting to crawling position just fine (and practices that a lot), but hasn't quite figured out the coordination yet to move forward. But soon, I suspect, I will have a crawler. The baby gates are going up!

Monday, July 26, 2010


A few weeks ago we went camping (we hope to go a few more times before the summer is over, we love it! And by 'we' I mean all but Ruthie, but she is out-voted so too bad).

Eating in the tent the first night due to rain.

Yummy food cooked with fire!

Mmmm, breakfast!

Beach wasn't all that fun in the rain.

We had to keep the princess dry.

We gave up on the outdoors and hung out in the van for a while.

Then went into town and found some treats.

Then played some mini-golf.

Finally the rain stopped so we could make s'mores!

The next day was finally beautiful! So we got up bright and early.

And headed to the beach while Daddy and Ruthie packed up to go home (I hear Ruthie deemed herself foreman, so she just watched and then ordered him around now and then).

Gideon kept making little mounds of dirt, then calling them "Thomas!"

I'm glad that all the kids love road trips and adventures (I'm sure Ruthie will get over sleeping in a tent eventually).

So the moral of the story is: Even though sometimes trying to do stuff with kids, especially with bad weather thrown in, can be a pain in the butt, just have a good attitude and be willing to go with the flow and VOILA! Super fun family times. Honestly I think it's good when things get tough, because it's an opportunity to show our kids how to react properly, and also that in life, things don't always go our way, but we can still make the best of it and we don't have to give up. I want my kids to know that things aren't always easy, and that's ok. I can't see an easy life being a very fulfilling one.

P.S. I almost forgot to post the great video I got of Gideon telling his joke while we were camping!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Home Made Deodorant

On Father's Day, I gave Dave a big hug, and then decided, immediately, that this would be the day I finally made deodorant. I had read a recipe on the Passionate Homemaker, and really wanted to try it. Deodorant isn't that big of a deal for me, I hardly sweat, and only usually smell for the first few months of breastfeeding. Any of the natural (and regular) deodorants I have tried have worked for me, and never caused any problems.

My husband, however, is a different story. Regular deodorants irritated his skin, and none of the natural ones worked. He is a roofer, and a big guy in general, so we were hoping to find something that worked. He would be a great test subject for our home made stuff.

I made the deodorant according to the recipe, and it took no time at all. In a small bowl I just put in 1/4 cup of aluminum-free baking soda (that I got from a local health food store), and 1/4 cup arrowroot powder (also from the health food store, or you could substitute corn starch). Then I added a few tablespoons of extra virgin coconut oil (in solid form), and mixed it up. I kept adding the oil until the mixture resembled a thick cake batter. It was a hot day when I made it, and I would recommend mixing it up in a warm environment for sure. On cooler days it solidifies up nicely. Anyway, the recipe calls for 6-8 tbsp of coconut oil. I also added about 5 drops of tea tree oil. You could add whatever essential oils you like, or skip it completely.

I put the mixture in a small, 1 cup (250 ml) size mason jar. I put it in the fridge at first to firm it up. Now we store it on our bathroom counter, and as long as it isn't terribly hot, it keeps just fine there. We apply it with our fingers, it's nice on the hands too.

Here is the great instructional video:

We are both extremely impressed with how well it works! It is so simple yet effective, even for a roofer in the summer! So now we get the protection we need, without worrying about what chemicals are seeping into our skin. It may not totally prevent us from sweating, but it does prevent the smell, which is the important part.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

An Open Letter to my Husband

Dear David

I just want to write something here to let everyone know how much I love and appreciate you.

When we met, I knew there was something different about you. I've always known that there was something different about me, so I guess we are a good match. I have also always loved a good challenge, and you love to challenge everything. I truly believe that God put us together for a reason. A bigger reason even than the fact that somehow our genes combined make the most incredibly cute kids.

I know that, right now, things are hard, and life isn't as exciting as we'd hoped that it would be. Right now we are living the normal life, struggling at times, and happy at times. But I want you to know that I appreciate how you get up every day and go out in order to provide for us. This stage of life is hard, but I think you are doing a great job. What I appreciate most is how you haven't given up. You are still dreaming and planning, and always learning new things and challenging yourself. You are also not allowing me to settle, and always challenging me as well to be better and keep going. You may not be Mr. Nice Guy, but you do know when to extend grace to me when I truly need it, and when to give me a little push when I need that instead. Even though it sometimes sucks at the time, I appreciate that you keep the big picture in mind, and don't let me fall into complacency. Even before I met you, I knew I never wanted to settle for the status quo, and you have helped me to continue pressing on.

It's mostly because of you that our children were born peacefully and naturally, and are being raised with healthy attachment, gentleness, and freedom. You were there for me through Judith's birth when I didn't think I could go on, and you encouraged me to persevere when we endured so many problems with breastfeeding. You have gathered information about every aspect of parenting and together we have made informed decisions for our children, whether those decisions are popular or not. You have helped me to believe in myself, have confidence, and stand up for myself. And when I haven't had the strength, you have stood up for me. I feel safe knowing that you will protect us, and want the best for us.

I respect you so much for your desire to know the truth. I love your ability to see through the lies and deceit, and not be caught up in what simply looks or sounds nice. I appreciate your ability to challenge everything, and how you put things out there just to see what response you will get, desperately hoping to engage with someone, even if you are not 100% convinced of your own opinion. I love that you love to learn, and to glean whatever you can from others, no matter who they are. I think it's great that you don't care who people think they are, but you look at everyone on a level playing field. And I love how your opinion of someone doesn't affect how you interact with them, you take everyone's ideas as valid, but also aren't afraid to pick them apart, while also not letting someone's ideas and opinions change how you treat or respect them. Not many people can be friends with others of such differing opinions, and are able to set opposing views aside to have a genuinely good time together.

It's also respectable how you are willing to change your opinion if and when you are presented with something you can't refute. So many people just don't care about important issues, are too proud to change when confronted with the truth, and would rather just never think. It means a lot to me that you are the way you are. I don't think I would be very fulfilled in life if I married someone who was happy to simply stay where he is. I'm glad that you don't really care what other people think of you, you only care about what's real and true. I have learned and grown a lot from simply living with you.

Most of all, I think I love your heart the best. You are passionate about God, and pursuing what He has for you. You have gone through so much healing, and are always striving for wisdom. You don't accept theology simply because it is popular or commonly preached, but you have to always read the Bible and study for yourself. You are constantly listening to vastly different teachers and Bible studies, I like how you don't just pick which stream you want to follow and blindly go, but you try to see all of the different angles, and discern the truth from the fluff in all of them. I am thankful for your spiritual leadership over our family, how you don't lord it over us, but are always encouraging me to discern for myself, and wanting my ideas and opinions on everything. I am a valued, equal partner to you on our journey together.

I love how we are always talking, and never grow tired of each other. I know that we will never run out of things to talk about, and when we are old, we will still be the best of friends. This makes me feel safe and happy, and know that nothing else really matters. I love how you don't mind my awkwardness or quirkiness, and always make me feel beautiful and important. I don't know how I would be able to deal with life without you. You push me to independence, and I would not be nearly as capable and self-sufficient if it weren't for you, but at the same time you are my rock, and I'm not sure if I would be able to be fully myself without you.

Anyway, I'm sure there is a lot more that I could say, but I think I got out what was on my heart. I am writing this to you on your adoption day, July 20. I meant to do it on your birthday, July 12, but never got a chance, so this will have to do. I am so thankful that your birth mother was brave enough to carry you, give birth to you, and then give you up to a great family. I am even more thankful for your wonderful parents who managed to raise you well and have let you be who you are. Most of all I am thankful that God brought us together. I don't know where I would be without you, and I love you so very, very much.

Love, Kelly

P.S. Happy Birthday!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Serious Business

I always thought Gideon was serious about food as a baby, but Ruthie puts him to shame! She got her first tooth at 6 months, the earliest of my kids to get one, and she has put it, now them (she has 2 now, she got her second at 7 months) to work! She has very minimal patience for being spoon-fed, she would much rather feed herself, I suppose that way she can ensure to get the job done "right". She also hasn't had as much patience for nursing lately, which makes me a little sad, although we will not be stopping any time soon, don't worry. Milk is just not as interesting at the moment I guess.

She got the pincer grasp down immediately, and had it perfected at 6 months. With both hands.

She was born with her tongue sticking out like this, and when I first gazed lovingly into her eyes, her expression very clearly and firmly said FEED ME. She latched right away, and never needed help nursing. She has loved food ever since, and when she is hungry she lets me know by sticking her tongue out. Or, if she realizes that someone else is eating something, anything, her tongue comes out and curls up. It's seriously too adorable for words.

She can even handle mushy foods all on her own.

She loves chicken, but is clearly NOT a fan of tuna.

One at a time wasn't fast enough for the strawberries...

Her favourite, by far, are Cheerios. They have taken her love for life to new heights.

She knows the box, haha. I think she was trying to will some on to her tray here.

I have a feeling she may choose to work with food some day, it seems like a life-long passion in the making.

P.S. YES! We do tend to follow baby-led weaning, thanks for asking! I've posted this before, but in case you are new, here are a couple links with some info: http://www.tribalbaby.org/babyLedEating.html and http://www.borstvoeding.com/voedselintroductie/blw/engels.html

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Toothie Ruthie

Ruthie got her first tooth about a week ago!

I know it's kind of hard to see in the photo, so here is a drawing by Judith to give you a better idea of what Ruthie looks like now.

Oh babies and their growing-up-fast-ness. I can't believe she turned 7 months yesterday!

Friday, July 2, 2010

No More Mrs. Soccer Mom

Phew! I survived. Honestly, I didn't know what I was doing the whole time. I still find sports in general kind of intimidating. But I lived! And the kids were so cute. I mostly kept them from running away or killing each other (kid skills I do have!), and the other coach did the actual soccer stuff. Oh, and I also kept track of time and rotating the kids on the field (we just played 3 on 3 plus goalies, so all the kids got to touch the ball more). So hopefully that made me important enough. Judith had a blast, and I guess in the end that's all that matters. She is sad that her soccer season is over, and wants to play next year. Hopefully there are more volunteers next year for coaches, I don't really want to do it again, although I am sometimes a sucker when people ask for volunteers...

Anyway, here are some photos from our season, and year-end wind-up party:

Judith was #3.

She was very excited to get a medal, face paint, tattoos, and a popsicle!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Happy Canada Day!

Sorry, I can't help it.