464 miles
Sunday, January 30, 2011

That's how many miles is between me and this sweet little bundle:

Meet my new nephew Alex.  
I'll give you one guess who bought him that shirt.  Yes, I'm shameless.

464 miles.  Sigh.  That means I'm at least 8 hours away from laying kisses on those sweet little cheeks!

Congrats to my brother-in-law Michael and his wife Stephanie!  And thanks in advance for keeping the pictures coming!

Ode to Coffee
Wednesday, January 26, 2011

originally posted on Prize31

GIVEAWAY - Baby Codes: 101 Winning Combinations to Help Your Baby Sleep
Monday, January 24, 2011

Lubbock author Kevin Mills has a new book sure to be appreciated by tired parents everywhere:

Kevin gave me the opportunity to preview Baby Codes and write a blurb of my thoughts.  He included my review in the book:

I realized I could have just typed out my review....but it looks so much cooler
to see my name and website in a published book, am I right?  Thanks Kevin! 

Kevin offered to giveaway a copy of Baby Codes to a Lost in Laundry reader, so leave a comment on this post to be entered to win!  (Comments will close Wednesday January 26th at 9:00pm central time.)

You can visit the Baby Codes website and purchase the book by clicking here.  The book is a great mix of humor and proven tips to help your baby sleep.  The tips are short, quick, and easy to read and remember. (Like during a middle of the night feeding perhaps.)  

You can read all about Kevin and his commitment to give away 70% of the proceeds from his book (AWESOME.  I love that.) by clicking here.  Knowing that not everyone will be able to purchase the book, Kevin has also made the top 10 tips available in a free e-Book you can download here.

Go ahead and enter to win this giveaway!  Leave a comment with your best tip for getting babies to sleep, or simply comment "I'd like to win the book!"  Whether you're a new parent who could benefit from the book, or would like to have the book on hand to throw in with your next baby shower gift - leave a comment and enter!

Congrats to commenter number 6, Terisa, the randomly chosen winner!   Thanks everyone for your comments!  If you weren't the lucky winner you can purchase the book here.  

If life is a classroom I've repeated a few grades.
Friday, January 21, 2011

My pastor had a great post on his blog this week about letting go.  As he discussed how we should deal with our past, one particular line grabbed my attention:

"Learn the lesson from the past, or you'll have to take the class again."

Hmm...if life is a classroom, then I've flunked out of some subjects a few times.  So with that thought in mind, here are a few of the lessons I've been given plenty of chances to learn, re-learn, and learn again:

- It's always better to just go ahead and do the laundry.  One load quickly grows into ten.

- Forgive right away.  You'll eventually come around to forgiveness, so do it quickly instead of nursing a grude.

- Kids don't care if you tell them that they MUST - for the love - PLEASE HURRY UP.  It will still take them 24 minutes to locate and put on their shoes.

- Give yourself 24 more minutes than you think it will take you to arrive somewhere on time.

- Choose kindness.  Always choose kindness.

- Sometimes the joke is really, really funny; but if someone has to be the butt of that joke it's just not worth it.

- Little boys toenails grow at an impossibly fast rate and they are always disgusting. Just go ahead and cut them when you think about it or they will turn into dragon claws overnight.

- Neglecting to read the Bible soon leads to a lack of prayer, and loss of other spiritual disciplines.  Read it.

- Put the camera down and just enjoy the moment.

- Children only have one childhood.  Go ahead and play Uno with them or they'll quit asking you.  (Which is infinitely worse than being asked 4 times a day.)

- The kids have a spelling test Every. Single. Friday. You know it's coming, so it's a good idea to help them study for that test prior to breakfast on Friday morning.

- If you think about writing someone a thank you note, do it right away.  There's a limited time frame for those things.

- I should memorize more scripture.  I can cling to it and find comfort in it if I know it by heart.

So what about you?  Any lessons you're working on learning?

21st Century Hover-Mother
Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Me and the kids made a quick trip to Oklahoma last weekend, and one of the highlights was a HUGE bonfire out at my mom's place.  The burn pile was the size of a house, and it was pretty impressive for anyone, but especially to my kids.  (My little concrete-dwellers.)

If I said it once that night I said it a million times:  "Be careful!" or some variation thereof.  "Don't get so close to the fire.  Watch out for those hot ashes.  Please don't catch the end of that stick on fire then run around with it, it's dangerous.  Don't run right up to the fire like that, I'm afraid you'll trip." 

My cousin Jessy was there with her daughter, and there were several other youngsters running around as well. At one point Jessy commented, "It doesn't seem like that long ago that we were the little kids running around the fire!"

I replied, "Yeah, except our parents were in the warm house, leaving us out here to our own devices!"  

Then we laughed that our brothers would be having contests: who could jump over the fire...who could pick up the biggest burning log...who could get closest before the heat forced them back (and who wouldn't back down and would end up with singed eyebrows)...who could make the sparks fly highest by throwing big rocks in the fire.  And inevitably, who could find some kind of can or bottle to throw in the fire that would eventually explode.....You get the point.  All the fun stuff that I would never let my kids do.

Poor kids.  This  "hover mothering" that the 21st century requires of me is stealing all their fun.

"Okay kids!  That's close enough!"

All the wee ones, helping my Uncle Craig make a smaller fire for our wienie roast.

Ryan was a little worried about the size of the huge burn pile,
so I told him not to worry because Uncle Craig was a fire expert.
Of course Ryan immediately asked him "Are you a fire expert?"  Craig replies, "Nope. Not me."
You should have seen the look Ryan shot me. Oops.

Hot dogs done right, followed by s'mores.  Mmmm, mmmm.

My mom and I.
Sorry for the low quality, but I had to post a picture of myself rockin' my grandmother's coat and hat.

I'm happy to report that no one got injured/burned/impaled with a stick in the course of the evening....but the very next day Dylan broke out in some funky rash which the doctor said is possibly related to smoke from the fire.  The lesson is that no amount of hover-mothering can inoculate your kids from all harm.....but that doesn't mean we'll stop hovering.  The parenting books/blogs/seminars that we all inhale like oxygen have trained us too well for that.  [smiles]

The Restaurateur
Tuesday, January 11, 2011


What follows is a snippet of a conversation I had this morning with Lauryn, after I so casually asked "Whatcha thinkin' about?" (I use the term "conversation" very loosely, in that she was doing 99.9% of the talking):

"Well.  I've decided I'm not going to be a cheerleader when I grow up.  I can't do the splits.  I've tried but it's too hard and it hurts.  So, I am going to own a candy store.  Not just a store that sells candy though.  Like, it will have tables and chairs and a waitress and be a real restaurant.  It will have a menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but on the menu will be candy, candy, CANDY! Candy for every meal. [pause]  And I guess it can have spaghetti, too."

She elaborates a bit more with talk about chocolate bars and fruit-flavored candy canes, and I finally say, "Neat. So you want to be the owner of a candy restaurant!"

She sighs and says, "'Owner'?  Were you even listening?  I didn't say anything about a dog....why did you say 'owner'?  

Vocabulary lessons spring up in the most unusual ways.  Today's lesson:  "owner" is not always tied to "dog" as in "dog owner".  She was astounded at this information.

I can't be trusted with small kitchen appliances.
Friday, January 7, 2011

My plan was just to stick the handle of the wooden spoon in the blender, to poke the blueberry smoothie ingredients around a bit.  The ingredients, they were not blending well you see, and I was just going to give them a little momentum.  I mean, what's that little hole in the blender lid for, if not a stir stick, right?

But I somehow dropped the spoon.  While the blender was on.

That spoon shot straight up in the air and almost touched my 10 foot ceiling.  It was kind of amazing.

In case you're curious, when a wooden spoon covered in blueberry (BLUEBERRY!!!) smoothie shoots into the air 10 feet, spinning wildly, it sprays smoothie in a 6 foot radius.  Did I mention I have white kitchen cabinets? 

Also, you might find it hilarious when your 8 year old's hair is covered in purple smoothie at your hand, but he won't like it if you laugh at him. 

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Bickering in Front of the Kids
Thursday, January 6, 2011

I'm talking about bickering and forgiveness today over at Prize31.com.  Check it out!

"...I’ve accepted that my children are going to see my husband and I get angry and disagree (I don’t always have the self-control to assure otherwise)..." [click here to continue reading]


That would be one intense Children's Ministry meeting.
Monday, January 3, 2011

image source

Today while getting slushies at Sonic's Happy Hour, Ryan asks,

"Can we get a drink for Daddy and take it to his office?"

"No, we can't because he's in a meeting for another hour or so."

"Oh.  [long thoughtful pause]  Where does Daddy meet with people when he has meetings?"

"It just depends..sometimes in his office, sometimes in other people's offices."

[disappointed sigh]

"Why do you ask Ryan?"

"It's just that when you say he's in a meeting, I've always imagined he was in a small dark room, with nothing but a table that fills the whole room, and a single lightbulb barely lighting up the faces of everyone in the meeting."

It's these conversations that make me wonder what else is happening in that imaginative 8 year old brain of his.

I'm really without a title for this one.
Saturday, January 1, 2011

With her allowance, Lauryn bought a baby doll that pees and poops. Oh yes.  Pees.... and poops.

I sewed cloth diapers for it because I refuse to pay $5 for a package of 6 baby-doll diapers.

You'd think there would be a catchy title for a post about that series of events....but I'm really without words.

Lauryn paid $24 dollars for the privilege of changing fake poopy diapers.  
And I spent an afternoon sewing cloth diapers for a baby doll.
What is there really to say? A strange reality I'm living in...

I don't know the first thing about cloth diapers for a real infant.....

.....but I now consider myself quite the expert on diapers for baby dolls. 
Don't be jealous of my many Oh-So-Useful skills.

I used this pattern, but found I needed to add about half an inch to the top and bottom of the pattern for the Baby Alive doll.  Following the original pattern left her butt crack exposed.  Which would just be wrong.  I also followed the suggestion on this post and added a strip of terry cloth down the middle of the diapers for absorbency.

Here's "Zoey" modeling her new diaper.  I think she's a little creepy looking, but don't tell Lauryn.

Lauryn wasn't thrilled at first about the cloth diapers, because they aren't "real".  It took some convincing to persuade her that some babies really, truly wear cloth diapers.

And above you see the basic ingredients for making your own Baby Alive food.  

Lauryn thinks it was money well spent. The feeding. The peeing.  The pooping. It was all she'd hoped it would be.  


Cliff Familyt

I'm Starr Cliff. A domestically-challenged mom, climbing over mountains of laundry to bring you my stray observations and amusing stories about my kids. (more)



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