So, I need to write a quick post about Nicki’s Diapers because they’re having a free giveaway :). We ordered our other diapers from Greenmountaindiapers.com, but are going to order most things in the future from Nicki’s diapers. The prices are the same, but Nicki’s has free shipping on diaper covers (which we need more of anyhow) and other items, plus free shipping on orders over $75. (And I have to mention that we have a registry on there, you know, just in case… it’s really kind of just a wishlist for us to keep track of what we need/want when we get the money, but still…) 🙂 Anyhow, they carry diapers and carriers and lots of other products, so check it out :). Have a good night!
An incredible gift… September 24, 2009
I went back and forth about whether to share this or not. I guess since I don’t know who is doing this for me. I’m afraid to share it and not fully express the absolute gratefulness that I feel- how do you do something like this justice with words? Anyhow, I finally decided I had to share because, as I’ve said before, this blog is for me: it’s really my only record of our life right now, especially since I’m not great at getting out the camera and taking pictures and creating scrapbooks. So, here goes…
Sunday night we went to the hospital to check on Matthew. I had been having pain under my right ribs (in the liver area) and he had not been moving all day. Of course, my bp was up, but nothing’s new with that. My doctor (my favorite one, Dr. Ellis) thought that I should get Matthew checked out just to make sure. He was, of course, fine. I think I’m worse than a new mom because I know what can happen and it’s hard not to be fearful of that happening again. Everyone says to trust the Lord, but I guess I trust more that He will be with us whatever happens, not that He will prevent bad things from happening. I know I still need to find peace in Him and not worry, but that’s a little tougher to actually do! 🙂 I know, you’re thinking, so get on with the story…
So, when we got home around 9pm or so, there was a bucket sitting on our back stairs. It was filled with cleaning supplies. (My first “Kate” thought-because I’m a funny person, was “Oh, someone’s trying to tell me that I need to clean more often!) However, there was also a note, and I’m going to type it out so that if I lose the hard copy, I’ll always have the words on here:
Dear McKinney Family,
You are a special family and God has laid on our hearts to do something special for you. There is a lady named Jean. She cleans houses for a living. She will be coming to your house on this Thursday, September 24th, at 9:00 and will clean for 4 hours. She will continue to come to your house one time a week for at least the next 6 weeks. If she tells us that she thinks she is making a difference for you, then she will come for 6 more weeks. We have asked her not to give you our names, so please do not ask her. She will bring cleaning supplies with her and they will be safe for your young children. We hope you enjoy this gift of love. Thank you for blessing the lives of these children and for allowing us to bless you in return.
Friends in Christ
Yes, I cried. Then I read the note to James. Then I cried some more. People who know me well know that I love a clean environment, but don’t particularly like to clean, though I’m getting a little better at being joyful because I know that God wants me to care for my family and home with joy. Still, though, when I do try to clean, it’s almost impossible. If I clean 1 room, the children wreck 2 more. I wash 2 dishes, then have to stop to change a diaper, referee an argument, or fix a cup. I’m not complaining, just explaining :). I love my “lots of kids,” but it does truly multiply the work, especially while they’re little and can’t help much. This was such an incredible blessing- especially with my concern that we’ll call my parents in the middle of the night to come over if I’m in labor, and I would be embarassed for them to walk into a messy home. (Do you think Matthew would cooperate and come on a Thursday afternoon or evening? :)) I don’t know who did this for us. I of course, have gone through the possibilities in my mind, but I’m not certain and I’m okay with that. If I knew, I would want to repay them in some way, and I know I never could. Jean came this morning and my home smells delightful! My toilet is cleaner than it’s been since we moved here, and I can’t wait to take a bubble bath in that sparkling bathtub tonight! (Yes, I’m going to be selfish and take one before the kids do!) She didn’t get every room because this is such a large home, but she did way more than I expected or could have asked for. My wood floors are dust-free and shiny and my kitchen sink glows. Well, there you have it. That’s the “gift” I’ve been kind of vague about. Now you see why I had to sit down and write it all out- how it’s not something you can write one sentence about and be done. James and I earnestly pray that one day God will give us the provision to be able to turn around and bless others in the way that He has used others to bless us in these tough years. Thank you, Father, for laying this on Your people’s hearts. I am so humbled that You love me so much, especially after I’ve fussed at James or complained because my own mess stresses me out! (Oh, and readers, I don’t have time to spell-check today… sorry!)
They’re coming! September 22, 2009
I just got an email from UPS saying that our order from Green Mountain Diapers is on it’s way and should be here Friday! James and I got online last night and ordered enough for us to cloth diaper full time (we hope.) It’s definitely not so much that we may never run out if someone is pooping a lot or has several “accidents” that sneak out of the diaper, but it’s enough that I can do laundry every other day instead of every day. (Though I like doing it enough that I don’t mind doing it every day; it just isn’t practical on some days.) Here’s what we ordered:
-One Thirsties Duowrap size 2 for the “big boys” (we already have 3 mediums that fit them well in the original Thirsties, so this will give us 2 each. The wonderful thing about Thirsties is the the waterproof liner, or PUL, is on the inside as well as the outside, so you can wipe them or rinse them clean in between washes, which is better for their wear anyhow.) We got a storm cloud as we already have 2 whites and an ocean blue. I like white as far as how they look and show less under clothes, but they seem to look more dingy the closer they get to needing to be washed. Some people can go a week before they wash their covers, but we can probably only go 2 or maybe 4 days because of the amount of children we have using the covers!
-Two Thirsties Duowrap size 1 for baby Matthew. (One is ocean blue and one is storm cloud- I also really like the meadow, and wish that they had the Duowrap in “butter” but they only have it in their original for now… maybe later?)
-A dozen indian prefolds in the x-large size. (We have 2 dozen already in the large that fit the boys okay, but Evan really could use the x-large, and I think they would be better for Naaman at night.)
-2 dozen indian prefolds in small. (We didn’t get newborn since they outgrow them so fast; we’re just going to make these work.)
-1 dozen preemie indian prefolds to use as “doublers” at night or if they need to be able to go a little longer. This is what the lady on craigslist used and they’ve worked fine for us. I’d be interested in trying an actual “soaker” later, but for now we’re going for what works as well as what is best financially. We already have a dozen of these.
-2 more snappies (These are so great! You use them instead of diaper pins and they’re so much faster and easier. I feel better, too, that if the kids got a hold of one they wouldn’t get hurt like they could with a pin.)
-A Mommy’s Touch diaper pail liner in butter (you just put it in the wash with your diapers when you wash them… we’ve bought a trash can to use it on that has a foot pedal for hands-free/germs-free, but we’ll have to make sure it fits.)
I know that if you’ve looked at the website, you’re thinking, wow, that’s a lot of money! And it is… but we spend a minimum of $70 a month on disposable diapers (not counting Matthew!) so we will pay ourselves back in no time and really start racking up the savings!
Well, for those of you who think cloth is crazy, this was probably a very boring post! But for those of you who use them or who have ever thought of using them, I’m sure you understand my excitement! I can’t wait to open that box and start washing them (you need to wash them several times before you use them to make them absorbent) and try them on my babies. And won’t Matthew just look so cute with a bit bubble tushie? 🙂
Last, then I really have to go: I went to the doctor today and Matthew looked great. He “waved” at me during the ultrasound and is growing so fast. My bp is getting high, so they said I’ll probably have to increase my medicine in the next few weeks, but not yet. I’m not looking forward to that b/c it already makes me kind of sleepy/groggy, but I don’t really have a choice. I can’t believe that in less than 8 weeks we’ll have our new baby here! And my sister told me she’ll be 17 weeks tomorrow- I didn’t realize she was that far along! It’s just going to fast for both of us this time! Oh, one more thing- my friend Rebecca told me about a website named Above Rubies (.org) that is basically encouragement for Christian women and mothers. I was able to look at it a little last night and it looks wonderful. I can’t vouch for all of it yet, but I would encourage you to take a look, too. I think it’s just what I’ve been looking for in terms of some time for me and the Lord, without doing an overwhelming Bible study. Anyhow, hope you all have a wonderful day!
It’s been awhile… September 19, 2009
It’s been quite awhile since my last post… I have no excuse, only that I haven’t felt like writing as much as reading other people’s posts! A lot has gone on; here are some of the highlights:
-Remember how we adopted Georgie the kitten a few months ago when she was thrown out of a truck in front of us on the highway? Well, she’s doing great. Very sweet and loving and a joy to the kids and James and I. However, I guess we’re still foster parents at heart. Earlier this week the kids and I were playing outside and who should happen to appear but a cute little grey striped kitten. He was so skinny, but so loving. He hopped right into Gabi’s arms, which thrilled her to no end. (I think now he might be wishing he had hopped into somebody else’s arms!) I of course had her put him down in case he had fleas or anything. We left him outside until Daddy got home (though I did put out food and water for him- he was so skinny!). And Daddy, who loves us so much, said he could be ours. Well, let me tell you: Georgie did not appreciate the brother! She hissed at him and hid from him and one of them poopied on the floor several times in rebellion (I think Georgie…). We went back and forth thinking, is this fair to Georgie? We decided to give it a week or two and see if things would work out. (Oh, I forgot to tell you- we named him Junior.) Well you’ll never believe what I saw last night! Georgie and Junior were both asleep in our red chair! Almost the entire night! The weren’t touching but they were literally inches apart… progress, I tell you! There’s less hissing and more “dealing” with the change. I’m hopeful that Georgie might actually come to, dare I say it, love Junior.
-This past Thursday was the day, week-wise, that I gave birth to Evie. I cannot tell you what a blessing it is that Matthew is still inside of me- growing big and strong. All day long I felt like celebrating, then crying, then celebrating, then crying (you get the picture.) Now we’re counting the days as they pass. My sweet sister (Hi Whitney!) sent me an email yesterday saying, “Happy Ev plus 1 day!” It was precious. So, in honor of Whitney, today is Ev plus 2 day! I have to say that I didn’t get nearly this big with Evan and I’m getting very tired. It’s especially tough to get in and our of our Astro- by the time I get in to buckle the kids, then get in the driver’s side, I’m ready for a nap- especially if I’ve had several stops. I haven’t had a good night’s sleep in I don’t know how long. Either my legs hurt, my hips hurt, or- the worst- I itch all over (especially my legs.) It’s so annoying! The bad thing is that even if I don’t get a nap during the day, I still can’t sleep. So I try to get a good nap, but Gabi hasn’t been particularly helpful this week. I’m not complaining- I’m glad our baby boy is staying in there. I’m just saying that it’s definitely harder than I thought.
-Ooh, this is what I’ve been really looking forward to telling you- James and I have made the decision to cloth diaper! We’re going to use the same kind that my friend Rebecca (Hi Rebecca!) uses- Thirsties covers with prefolds. We bought some brand-new ones off of craigslist for a great deal. We’ve been using cloth since Thursday night (except last night b/c I had to wash them- we still have a lot more to get) and it’s really great. I’ve changed several poopies and haven’t had any leaks. (Though Naaman leaked out of his disposable last night, so he probably would have leaked out of cloth, too, but maybe not.) I loved doing my first cloth diaper laundry last night- it really is the easiest laundry to do! The covers we got on craigslist (we got 3 mediums) are just like Rebecca’s. However, Thirsties has a new diaper (the Duo) that is 2-sizes- one for 0-9 months and one from 9 months to potty training. We’re planning on ordering those for the rest (unless we find a good deal on barely-used originals) because they only cost a dollar more and the reviews are great so far. We’ll end up saving a lot of money in the end, we think. I still have so many questions, though, so Rebecca and I are going to try to talk this weekend so I can pick her brain :). I’m excited about hearing her voice since we’ve never met in person… maybe one day. Oh, and today Daddy will get to try out cloth for the first time- I don’t know if he’s exactly “excited” but I know that he’s definitly positive about the whole idea. 3 or 4 months of the cost of cheap disposables will pay for most of what we need for all 3 of our boys- then we’ll get to use them for future babies! And…. James just came to tell me that Gabi bit Junior’s ears, so I think I’d better get in there…. oh the stories I wish I had time to tell you of things she’s done this week…. 3 is definitely harder than 2… hope you all have a great week!
Happy Anniversary to Us :) September 2, 2009
Today is mine and James’ 3rd anniversary. Three years ago today we were getting ready to be married in Gatlinburg, Tennessee at The Chapel in the Glen. I always wondered who I would marry and what he would be like. To tell you the truth, I had pretty much decided that I may be single for a long time right before we met, and I was okay with it. Just a couple of months before I met my James, I had become a foster mommy. I had a 13-month old, Brady, for 5 days. Then, I got our Vanessa, another 13-month old who I/we would keep for the next 7 months. One weekend that spring, I took Vanessa home (for Easter, I think) to go to church with my parents. After church, we all went out to eat. As we were eating, an acquaintance from high school and her boyfriend came in to eat, too. We started chatting and I joked with Bobby, “So, do you have any friends?” He went on to say that, yes, he did: “James in Grad school.” He asked if I wanted him to give James my phone number. Well up until that point, it had been a joke. But I thought, why not? So he got my number and assured me that James would call me later that day. James ended up calling me that night after he got home from church. We spoke on the phone 2-4 hours each night that week. The next Saturday, I took Vanessa home so my parents could babysit her and James picked me up for a double date with Bobby and Shamona. He had a rose laying on the front seat of the car :). He was very quiet for the 30 minute drive to dinner. (Which doesn’t surprise you if you know him :).) At dinner, I got eggplant parmesean and he got chicken parmesean. I made a joke about how I was upset that I couldn’t smoke in the restaurant, and later found out that he really thought that I smoked and was so grossed out! Ooops… Apparently it also bugged him that I took a bite of his chicken. Anyhow, after dinner we went to see Poseidon (sp?) at the theater. Now it was his turn to ruffle my feathers- he “joked” that my feet stunk. So, I pretended like I was going to get up and leave. Poor thing, he was scared that he had ruined everything. But I stayed and we had a good time. I knew at the end of that date that this was something incredible that was serious. A week later he came to Greenville to take Vanessa and I on a picnic downtown. When he got out of his car, I was nervously pushing Vanessa in her porch swing to keep my shaky hands busy. He had gotten 2 bouquets of tulips, a tiny one for Vanessa and a bigger one for me. I knew right then that he was the one, for sure. We dated for 2 more weeks and he proposed. Yes, I know… so fast. But for us, having been a little older and not having wasted a lot of time dating other people, we knew exactly what we wanted in a mate. We had both been praying before hand for our mates and felt like the Lord had dropped each other into our laps. We were planning on getting married that December (about 6 months later.) However, a couple of weeks later we decided that I should get another foster child because the need was so great. When I got the call, James went with Vanessa and I to the hospital to pick up our little Gabi. He chased Vanessa in the hallways while I filled out paperwork and learned about her medical needs. Since we knew that we were meant to be, and that the chance of adopting Gabi was so great, we decided that we didn’t want to live an hour apart for the next 6 months. How could James be Gabi’s daddy like that? So we moved up our wedding to September 2nd. We have never ever regretted that decision. My James is such an incredibly Godly man. He loves Christ, loves me, loves our children, and loves to serve others. He is always, always quick to forgive and shows me servant-love all the time. When I’m feeling sad or upset, I only need to have him near to feel protected. He is my spiritual leader, my love, and my best friend. I have no “need” for “girls’ nights out” or things like that- they’re nice, and I love my friends, but my precious husband is my favorite person to be with- I never tire of him. I hope, with God’s grace, that I’ll love him a million times more than this in 3 years. I pray that God would continue to mold me into the wife and friend that James needs me to be. I love you so much, my James! Happy Anniversary!!!