I know I said I wouldn’t blog…

I said on facebook that our computer is broken so I couldn’t blog for awhile. The borrowed laptop is still at our house, though, and I have stuff to blog about. I’m just full of surprises.

Besides our computer being sick with a virus, that it should recover from next Tuesday, we still plan on getting a new one, since our old one is almost 8 years old now, and in computer years, that’s ancient. We’ll just do a bit more research, and hopefully get updated soon.

Unfortunately, the computer isn’t the only thing that got sick in our house. Elias has had a light cough for a few days that has turned into a heavy cough yesterday, that turned into a wheeze this morning. We don’t like wheezing, so I brought him into the weekend clinic this morning.

After being checked out, the doctor thinks it’s RSV again, or croup. He doesn’t know for sure which one. However, since he has a history of RSV, and if you get it once, it’s likely you’ll get it again, he’s leaning towards that. Fortunately, it’s not at the hospitalization level like it was last year…at least yet. He’s older and stronger this year.

Still, we picked up a prescription for some steroids. He said if it’s asthma (which he doesn’t think it is because the wheezing would be lower in the lungs for asthma, though in a small child, he said, it’s difficult to tell) the steroids would help a lot. If it’s RSV, it would help some, and may keep him out of the hospital. If it’s croup, the steroids won’t help, but won’t hurt. So he’s on the ‘roids for now.

The other thing that makes the doctor think he doesn’t need to be in the hospital now is he still wants to play, and he’s still drinking (although he hasn’t eaten anything all day.) If he stops drinking, or stops playing, we need to bring him in to the hospital. The wheeze is on the exhale right now, and if that changes where he’s struggling to get air in, that will be a problem.

I feel like I’m just blogging about sickness lately, and I don’t mean to be so dramatic! Overall, we’re a very healthy family. We don’t have any major health problems, and for that we are so thankful!

Other than that, life has about returned to normal after our eventful Christmas. Knut is skiing more and more in preparation for his race coming up at the end of February. He’s hoping to get at least 3 hours in this afternoon.

I’ve been sewing and knitting during naptimes and other sleeping kid time. I’m working more now on that then I plan to once the online store is open. I just want to have a stock built up so I have something to start with. I think the start up time is more than the maintanence time will be. It’s a good time, though. Knut is in his “off” season on the farm, and is home so much more now to help out and pick up the slack so I can do this. He has been so supportive. I’ll admit, it’s been so fun. The planning and sewing and knitting and crafting in general.

He is still working, though. He goes to meetings and seminars. However, he’s home in the evenings, and on the weekends, and some random days during the week. Sometimes he’s done with work at noon. So it’s been very nice to have him around.

I’ve gotten my license approved and ready to sew and sell “La Di Da” diapers, which is a relief that is done. Not only will that be good publicity to be listed on her site as one of her approved seamstresses, it will be sort of a quality seal on my diapers. I need to get one more license done, and that’s for the wool covers I’m making. I’m hoping to get a license through “Little Turtle Knits” diapering items, since I’m not a pattern designer, and her covers are in my opinion, the best. That process is a bit more involved, though, so I don’t think I’ll be able to have the wool covers in the store in time for the grand opening. I am working on having everything ready, though, so that when the approval comes through, I’ll be able to list them right away.

So Elias and I might be laying low until Elias recovers. Hopefully his wheezing doesn’t get worse. These things always happen on the weekend, don’t they? When the clinic is closed and you have to go to the emergency room. I’m hoping, though, that since he is a year older than when RSV hit him last, and he is 26ish lbs now, and he is still active, that this will pass quickly. Last year when Elias had RSV, the other kids had colds, which our doctor told us is just RSV manifesting itself in older children. So far, no one else in the house is sick, and I’ll do my best to keep it that way.

Where Have I Been?

Well, I’ve been busy. Busy doing what? Besides catching up on housework that laid dormant for the last month, and besides getting Silje back in school, and the boys back on schedule. Besides sleeping in on Silje’s first ever snow day…

I’ve been busy.

While Knut has been busy skiing every chance he can get for hours at a time as a part of his training for the Birkie race coming up at the end of February, I’ve had my own pet project:


That’s right, I’m opening up a shop. An online shop that is. I’ve been resisting it for awhile, but as I was sewing up the dozens of diapers for my sister’s twins, I occurred to me that I was having fun, and I wouldn’t mind making a little money on the side. When coming up with a store name, I was again inspired by my sister. Her nickname for me was “Nerdy Gerdy” growing up, and I thought it made for a funny and memorable name, and so there you go.

When I finally decided to go with it, and was working on a business plan before diving in, I went down to Phoenix, and got a whopping reaction from all the woman at my sister’s shower, who were seeing “modern” cloth diapers for the first time. As I got phone numbers from women pressed into my hands with a “call me when you’re selling these…I love them.” I realized there was no turning back.

So I’ve been busy…

making the most scrumptious wool covers…

figuring out the fancy “welt pocket” opening for the pocket diapers, (The openings are large enough for Knut to even stuff a prefold in, and if you’ve seen his hands, you know that’s saying something.)

and sewing up the cutest little all-in-ones. These newborn sized ones make me squeel every time I walk past them. I can’t help it.

Those aren’t even close to all of what I’ve been working on to stock my store with. In fact, that’s not even 1/4 of what I’ve been working on.

But it’s a hint of things to come.

Grand Opening March 1st.

I’ve been disciplined enough to only sew when the kids are in bed, so the only thing I’ve had to give up so far is t.v. time…and that’s not so bad. There is still a bunch to finish up, though. I’m quite excited.

A Few Pictures

Here’s a few pictures of what we’ve been up to.

These are David’s new “race car pajamas” that I just finished. They were supposed to be done by Christmas, but as Sassy had some trouble before Christmas, some of the presents got delayed. As you can see, he LOVES mama made p.j.s.

Last Saturday, we left Elias with the grandparents, and took Silje and David out skiing. This time, it was David who was having trouble, and Silje who shone. Since David skis almost every morning in our yard, we weren’t sure what his deal was. He normally doesn’t have poles at home, though, so that could be part of it.

Silje took the lead, and loved the trail.

I think there might be skiing in our whole family’s future!

His Dresser Runneth Over

I’m not afraid to admit it: I’m a frugal person. “Frugal” is a much nicer word that “stingy” or “cheap” so I’ll use that. I’ll rarely buy my kids clothes unless it’s on the 75% off rack at Target. Sometimes I’ll splurge and get an item or two off the 50% rack, but that’s only if they really need it right then, or I know it rarely goes on sale, and they will need it and there’s only one left on the rack, etc. I buy my boys 2 pairs of shoes a year: a winter pair and summer sandals. Boots get handed down, and I buy them usually 2 sizes too big so they’ll last a few years. Silje gets 3 pairs of shoes a year, and that’s because I think she should have a pair of dress shoes to wear to church with her dresses in the winter, instead of her tennis shoes. In the summer, she just wears her sandals with her dresses.

However, I’ll admit, and this is in no way trying to toot my horn, I love buying things for other people more than for myself. This is most true when it comes to my sister, Heidi. It goes both ways, because I think she has as much fun spoiling me as I have spoiling her. Both of us are cheap as cheap could be, but we’d eat Raman noodles for a week to afford to get stuff for each other. When I was pregnant with Elias, she sent me a gift in the mail each month of the pregnancy. Sometimes it was just a fun lotion, or purse, or maybe even something for the baby on the way.

So although everyone else seemed surprised when I offered to make Heidi’s diapers, when she found out she was pregnant, I think she and I knew that I really wanted to do it. (There are more to come, you know. I only made the size smalls. We still have mediums and larges to go!) When I said that however, no one know she was having twins yet. When I found out I would be making twice as many diapers as I had promised to, some family members pulled together and helped me out with the cost of materials for the rest, which was so nice. However, knowing Heidi, she was thinking of a way to bless me back, since I was still going to have to do twice the sewing.

So when she called me saying that her son Jack had outgrown some clothes that Elias might fit into that she was going to get rid of, I agreed I’d love them. You see, David is a bit, well, how can I put it…rough and tumble? And his clothes, well…show it. So poor Elias inherited a wardrobe of tattered clothing. It was so bad that I was getting to the point of considering paying full price for a decent pair of pants for him to wear. Yeah…I know! Me considering full price is pretty desperate!

I knew Heidi’s son Jack, had an awesome wardrobe. How, might you ask, did Jack get such an amazing wardrobe with a “frugal” mom? Well, Heidi has a friend who has, well, really rich friends. And these really rich friends asked Heidi’s friend if she knew anyone they could hand clothes down to, and Heidi’s friend said Heidi might like them.

Did you follow that?

So Heidi got a huge amount of clothes from this rich neighborhood of families. All of the clothes were worn by just one child, and there were so many of them, that hardly any of them had a chance to wear out. So my nephew Jack had such a good rotation of clothes that they hardly wore out, and now, this huge stash of clothes is Elias’.

And let me tell you, now his dresser runneth over.

I just finished finally going through them and WOW! Just WOW!

There are 7 swimming shorts. Seven. That may be a fundamental wardrobe difference between Arizona and Minnesota, but still…seven.

In Elias’ dresser, I had short sleeve shirts on one side of a drawer, and long sleeves on another side. As I was cramming in all those Ralph Lauren and Gymboree shirts and they weren’t all fitting in, I had to take out all his remotely warm clothes, and pack them away for summer. So now his summer clothes fill up a huge trash bag in the closet by themselves, when usually that entire size (both summer and winter clothes) fills one bag.

And the shoes! There are at at least 5 pairs of shoes in each size…for his next few sizes: at least one pair of Converse shoes, one pair of dress shoes, one pair of casual sandals, and one pair of leather/dressy sandals, and one pair of house slippers. Again, there’s barely any dirt even on these shoes.

As I have just spent the last 2 hours sorting, folding, and putting away all of these clothes I can’t help but feel blessed.

This is grace. This is God’s blessing…for no reason. Why on earth I get to have the fun of dressing my baby in these fun clothes is beyond me. My sister and I had kind of a saying growing up. Since my parents divorced at an early age, and my Dad lived miles and miles away, and then went through a bought of unemployment due to several factors, we went through some times of need together.

We always remembered, though, that although our earthly father couldn’t always come through for us, our Heavenly Father always did. And when you take God, not just as your Savior, but as your Father, you can ask him of anything you would normally ask your Daddy. For example: when we would normally ask our Dad for money for a dress for a school banquet/dance, and we couldn’t do that, we would ask God. Seriously! We would ask God for it. And then one would at least arrive on our doorstep, being our exact size and look great on us, or we would find it on a clearance rack, costing less than $20.

When each of us were getting married, and much of the burden of paying for the wedding was on us, it got tough. I remember talking on the phone with Heidi during one of those stressful times as I was trying to put myself through college and pay for my wedding at the same time she would say “Gretchen, our Daddy owns a thousand cattlle on a hill. You can ask him for anything. This is HIS DAUGHTER’S wedding. And the Father of the bride pays. It’s tradition.” And you know what, I’m not sure how, but it all worked out. Because that’s God.

I think like any father, God doesn’t want to feel used, or feel like his only relationship with us is simply an exchange of stuff. In fact, I think the blessings God has to offer, go way way way further than stuff.

But God cares about the “stuff” too. I honestly feel like God has fun giving to Heidi and me, just like we have fun giving to each other.

Sometimes, it overwhelms me.

God provided not only our weddings, but amazing husbands for us. Husbands who are hard workers, and amazing fathers. God provided vans when we needed them, and children in both number, timing, and temperment, that most obviously he picked out! God gave us this house, which is the nicest home I have ever had in my whole life. Why would God do that?

And on top of that, God has clothed my children in fine clothes. I am overwhelmed, and most obviously, Elias’ dresser now runneth over.