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Banana Cream Pie

20 Dec


Banana Cream Pie turned 2 nine days before our new baby was born.

Her favorite food is “oatmilk,” which is raw oatmeal and milk in a bowl. She wants to eat it for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. She also likes Raman Noodles, chocolate chips, and cheddar whale crackers, which she calls “fishy crackers.” Despite this list of processed food, she is a very good eater and eats things other kids rarely will, like chick peas and green peppers and mushrooms.

She loves to throw things away in the garbage for me.

She likes to watch Dora the Explorer. Her favorite movies are Ponyo and Tarzan.

The most common things she says:

“Hold You” (by which she means pick me up and hold me.)

“I want some more.” (Food)

“Read it me.”

“Sing it me.” (Favorite song: old mcdonald had a farm)

We love you Banana Cream!

If you Make a Mistake, They’ll Catch You

10 Apr

If you make a mistake, they’ll catch you and make you pay. For instance, if you leave out an open jar of honey…




They will also be very angry when you take the honey away.

Baby Talk and Dollies

17 Jan

IMG_5643Baby Dumpling is saying lots of cute things right now.

When she sees someone else eating something she wants, she reaches for it, saying, “num num num num.”

When she’s happy, she toddles all around the house saying, “gabby gabba gabby dagabbada.”

She loves to rock baby dolls.

It is always fun for me to see how each of my children are different and like different things.  That old nature versus nurture debate always interested me.  I definitely think that some things you are born with. Only 2 of my 5 daughters really like playing with baby dolls.  Another prefers puzzles, another is always creating elaborate games and props to go with them, and the other girl is always talking (loudly) about what would you think of this or that?


The dolly that Baby Dumpling is holding is one I made 2 years ago.  We had a big blizzard that trapped us in our house for a week, but we still had electricity.  An unsual occurrence here in southwest Missouri where a big storm is often more ice than snow.

The girlie pies and I made 3 dolls using the Prairie Flowers Doll Pattern & Tutorial from By Hook or by Hand.  It’s a very thorough tutorial with lots of pictures.


We used freezer paper to trace the pattern and ironed it right onto an old sheet to make the doll’s bodies (We were snowed in, I had to use fabric available!)

The sheet turned out to be a mistake in the long run because the fabric has torn across the doll’s arms and legs and at the necks.  What do you all use when you make dolls?  Perhaps the sheet would have been okay had it not already been so old?IMG_5652

I crocheted little caps for the dolls which we tied fringe all the way around to make their hair. I sewed the wigs to the doll’s heads with invisible thread.


Two of the girls chose for me to embroider their doll’s faces and one chose to color the face.   IMG_3356

It was fun to let each girl choose the fabric scraps for her doll’s shoes.  Tamale Pie’s doll is the one with the belly button.  Pumpkin Pie is the one who chose to draw her own face, different from the pattern.  IMG_5686


We used an old American Girl Doll pattern reduced to 70% for the dresses and they look so pretty! (Specifically it is Josephine’s brown dress but with short sleeves.)  They each chose the fabric for their doll’s dress as well, and here is where I had to bite my tongue.  I wanted the switch 2 of the dresses to match the shoes, but the girls didn’t take the shoe color into consideration at all.  I told myself, it’s their doll, let them choose.  But it was hard.IMG_5684

I never mind snow days when we still have electricity to run the internets and the sewing machine!

Baby Dumpling is 1 year old!

1 Jan

December first, we set up the Christmas tree.  We had a lot of fun– so much fun that I forgot to go to a baptism that I had faithfully promised the missionaries I would attend.  It was for two of my primary children.  I still feel pretty bad about forgetting.

Baby Dumpling was so excited  about the tree and the Christmas penguins that she walked across the room for the first time.

That makes her our child who walked the earliest–almost 2 weeks before her first birthday!

Baby Dumpling can say lots of words, which is also unusual for such a little baby.  She says Mama, Dad, pig, dog, kitty, and cracker (but she means any food).

She loves to play peek-a-boo and for me to carry her around all day. 

She likes to play with cell phones and I can hardly use mine because the second I pull it out, she starts screeching for me to give it to her.  I blame Grandma’s Ipad.

She loves to watch the dog and kitty playing outside and she loves to dig the dirt out of my houseplants and eat it. 

Cookie Cutters

16 Apr

Baby Dumpling is four months old. She weighs 13 lbs. 2 oz (35th percentile) and is 26 inches long (98th percentile) Tall and skinny.

I don’t know how you feel about your kids, but mine all seem to look quite a bit alike–they are born and I think, “well, it’s mine alright. Cookie Cutter kids.” But as they grow, they remind me of first one and then another sibling. So I went to the scrapbook and pulled out a 4 month old picture of each of my babies to compare.

First thing I thought was “I don’t remember them looking like that!”
Second, though there are similarities, I can easily tell all six apart. I think a lot of their similarities are in their expressions and the way they move. These are things you can’t see in pictures

Psalms 127:3-5 Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. 4 As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. 5 Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them….

Matthew 18:5 And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.


3 Apr

These cute little crocheted booties were sent to me from Utah. They were among my Grandma’s things and thus were probably made by her. They are darling.

Pumpkin Pie is happy when she gets to take care of baby.

2 Months Old

15 Feb

Baby Dumpling is 2 months old! Now she

Smiles on purpose

Makes cooing noises when happy

Is distracted by dark objects and movement

Sleeps 6 or 7 hours a night (can I just say “WOW!”-none of the other baby pies did that)

Eats hungrily all the time so I get to feed her and read, read, read. I love it!

In the last month I’ve read:

Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy
Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
Austenland by Shannon Hale
The Story of My Life by Hellen Keller (condensed)
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Scarlet Sails by Alexander Green (translated from Russian by Thomas P Whitney)
Heaven is for Real by…Todd Burpo
My Sergei: A Love Story by Ekaterina Gordeeva
and half of The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler

There are perks to being the Stay-Home Mom, and nursing a new baby is one of them.

For those of you who are interested in my opinion of what I read, (because I’m witty and brilliant and you wish you were in my book club)

Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy–This is at least the 2nd time I’ve read it. It is not my favorite by Hardy, but still good. I read it first when I was 13 or 14. I was in love with Diggory Venn and couldn’t believe that Hardy had originally not allowed Thomasin to marry him in the end. However, reading this book profoundly influenced my teenage years.
#1 I learned to braid my hair in 4 strands–Thomasin braids her hair by the calendar. 3 strands for regular days, 4 strands for Sunday, and 7 strands for her wedding day.
#2 I promised myself I would never be so prideful as to refuse to explain my innocence to the man I love–none of this “If you loved me, you would never suspect me; I refuse to answer your accusations” silliness.
#3 I was completely enthralled by the beauty of Eustacia Vye and her power over men. I wanted to be so beautiful that a boy would think holding my hand to be the supreme experience of his life. When I read Return of the Native this time, I remembered my wish and I remembered a time in high school when it was fulfilled–but at the time, I had forgotten my wish and despised the boy as much as Eustacia despised hers–so I got no satisfaction at all from the experience.

Into the Wild
by Jon Krakauer–very interesting, thought provoking, and fun to discuss with the Man of the House. (I never would have read it, if he hadn’t been) Jon Krakauer is arrogant and judgemental and skews his writing so you’ll agree with him, but he is a good writer and a persuasive one. I’ve also read Into Thin Air– his book about the 1996 disaster on Mount Everest. I read 3 books by others who were also there. Krakauer is so smooth and persuasive and so good at quietly turning good people into villains. Lucky for Chris McCandless (the boy whom Into the Wild is about) Krakauer likes him. Greg Morgenstern was not so lucky.

The Story of My Life
by Hellen Keller (reader’s digest condensed)–This is one of those books I’ve always felt that I SHOULD read and just never got around to reading. I felt uplifted and inspired to be better after reading it.

Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo
–a true story about a little boy’s near death experience. Interesting perspective.

by Shannon Hale–I’ve absolutely adored all of Hale’s young adult fiction. This is her first novel for adult women. It was okay. I was in the mood for love and this book satisfied that wish better than some of the others I read in the last 2 weeks. A single 30-something obsessed with Mr Darcy is bequeathed a 3 week vacation to Pembrook Park, a.k.a. Austenland, to dress and live like Jane Austen’s characters. The part I liked least about the book was that the heroine didn’t immerse herself immediately in the experience (as I would have done).

Just like in Eclipse, where Bella totally ruins the scene where Edward proposes to her by being all freaked out and not wanting to get married. How am I supposed to really enjoy that delicious marshmallow fluffy romantic proposal with Bella freaking out and saying no all through it?

But I loved the middle and the end of Austenland and forgave Jayne for being such a worry wart by the time I’d met those last few boyfriends of hers. I’m pretty sure I would have been incessently insecently worried all the time, too.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins- a page turner for sure, but I was disappointed in the end. I read a great deal of young adult fiction because it isn’t raunchy like much of “adult” fiction. However, I’ve become tired of the love triangle plots that include 2 amazing boys and a girl who can’t figure out which one she loves. If Kat is going to break Peeta’s heart in book 2 or 3, I wish he would have died in the games instead. (I haven’t read them yet.) The plot reminded me a lot of Uglies and Pretties and Specials by Scott Westerfield, so that was disappointing too. I really dislike girl characters who have feelings but never stop to figure out how they feel. All that time Kat spends hunting food and she doesn’t have time to think about how she feels? I don’t buy it. I dislike that I am more interested in finding out who Kat loves than she, herself, seems to be.

This is the way modern young adult novels get rid of feelings–the characters just refuse to think about them. It is only slightly better than adult fiction, where feelings are completely eliminated. **warning, rant ahead.

My biggest pet peeve about “adult” books is that so often the characters don’t seem to care about themselves. They act, they don’t feel. At least they don’t think about how they feel or act in a way that I can understand how they feel, even when the book is written in first person narrative. Examples: The Stranger by Camus, Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by …a writer I don’t Maguire, The Girl with the Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier. hm, funny how those last two are both about painters.

How am I supposed to care about the characters if they don’t care about themselves?
How am I supposed to understand them if they don’t understand themselves?
How can life (or a book) be beautiful if no one in it notices the beauty?

When you take all the feeling out of a story, it seems coarse, raw, and dirty. It’s the modern style, I guess, but I don’t like it.

Scarlet Sails by Alexander Green (translated from Russian by Thomas P Whitney)
Ah, a fairy tale of a novel full of beautiful things and the appreciation of them. The idea that mysterious beauty is attainable and that we can make our own fairy tales come true. I picked this book up in a library book sale years ago and have loved it ever since. And here is the thing. I think Gregory Maguire and Tracy Chevalier would have you believe there is no beauty in the world, only selfishness and lust and regret. Art is the only beauty and real life is a dissappointment. I, on the other hand, along with Alexander Green, believe in beauty seen and unseen.
I’ve wandered through the forest imagining magical things. I’ve walked round a fat cedar tree completely sure that in just a moment I would find the doorway to Narnia. And not finding it didn’t discourage me or diminish my belief at all.

My Sergei: A Love Story by Ekaterina Gordeeva
–Anyone who grew up watching Gordeeva and Grinkov skate will love the story, as I did. One thing I found especially interesting was Ekaterina Gordeeva’s perspective of her life. She says she had an idyllic childhood with no hardship or sadness. Then she describes her father–a dancer with exacting perfectionism, which perfectionism he required of his daughter. She was so afraid of displeasing him and felt that even her Olympic gold was barely satisfying to him–yet she is genuine in saying her childhood was idyllic. You can feel it. Jon Krakauer would have hated this father (in fact he did hate his own father for a long time.) I think most people would have found much to complain about. But Ekaterina knew her father loved her and that was enough. She did not think his requiring her to work hard was abuse, the way many people would. It was interesting to read about the life of someone who grew up behind the Iron Curtain–interesting to read it from someone who was not writing for political reasons. I loved her writing voice. It reminded me of my Grandma Hansen’s personal history–her voice is similar.

The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler: THE MOVIE WAS BETTER

Why my taxes aren’t done yet

3 Feb

Baby Watching

17 Jan

My favorite pastime.

P.S. I procured some Baby Gas Drops and they have really helped. 🙂

Gas? Colic?

7 Jan

Baby Dumpling is 3 1/2 weeks old now. She typically has a fussy time every night. She acts hungry, but cries while she is eating and gets more and more upset.

I feel sure the trouble is a rumbly tummy.

Today she was fussy nearly all day. It got really bad after 8 p.m. At 10, I began to feel unsure about everything.

Finally I gave her a bath. She loves bath time. As soon as I put her in the water, she totally relaxed and just lay there in the water. I could tell she was happy.

Sadly, bath time can’t last forever. She stayed happy for about 10 minutes after her bath. She even attempted to coo.

Then she was back to angry again.

Lucky for us all, she eventually fell asleep.