I took a poll.

One out of one babies said hanging out with Mom, Grandma and Great Granny was better than rainbows.

And so in honor of that we are eschewing rainbows for the day in favor of baby smiles.

Happy Easter!

(Yes, that is my newest nephew and yes he is the cutest.)


Baby Jonas

  Jonas Richard Eloranta

Born at 2pm on 8-14-2013

21 inches

8 pounds 2 ounces


Sarah, Jonas (and Tyler too) were all doing so well after Jonas was born that they went out shopping.

And bought a house.

Which is great because Tyler is getting a new job.

So, new baby, new house, new job and look, two out of the three of them are still smiling!The new family

Congratulations guys!

Sadly, I’ve yet to get to meet my new nephew. Thank goodness for digital cameras and e-mail!

Lullaby Litmus

When I was very young my Grandpa sang “Go Tell Aunt Rhode” to me at bed time.

I can’t say for sure that this hampered my singing ability in the opposite way that one says playing classical music to infants will enhance theirs. All I can tell you is that not even my Granny’s lullabies could outweigh the effects of the rest of the family’s singing and my innate lack of musical ability.

Well meaning people try to convince me that I exaggerate and that I must be a fine singer.

They are wrong.

All that being said, I also have children.

Which means that, they have been, or are, babies. Babies require lullabies, which means that I, their mother, need to sing.

So I sing.

The songs I choose to sing to my kids have one criteria – they must fall into my lowish, five note range. A range, that I have discovered, could be named the “drunken, dying range.”

I sing songs about, dying of sickness, and drunkenness, horses falling through the ice, dying at war, drinking whiskey, drowning, and people who have gout. Not your average nursery themes.

Unorthodox as the songs may be my singing, like my Grandpa’s, puts the kids to sleep. Whether it’s the soothing sounds of our voices or self defense is still a subject up for debate.

Written in response to Prompts for the Promptless – Episode 8 The Litmus hosted by Rarasaur and accidentally published before final editing due to a slip of the thumb -sorry!

Some Unsolicited Advice

My brother and his girlfriend are having a baby boy this summer. Tonight as I look at my house full of three girls I am excited at the prospect of having a nephew to spoil and bursting with unsolicited advice.

As an expecting mother, all three times, the thing I hated most was the random, unsolicited, advice foisted on me by friends, relatives and complete strangers. So, as an aunt to be, I am keeping those thoughts firmly behind my teeth. I will not initiate conversations involving my favorite diapers and blankets. I will wait to be asked before I share my thoughts on co-sleeping, breastfeeding and strollers. I will not warn anyone away from scoffing at crusted food on high chairs, misbehaving children, and odd bedtime routines for fear those words will come back to haunt them. I will not spew phrases like “Life will never be the same.” and “Treasure every minute.” Actually, I don’t have to fight to keep those in. I would never say that. I hate it when people tell me that. Some minutes are meant to be lived and promptly forgotten. In fact I had more than my share of those minutes today which brings me to my unsolicited advice that, despite all that I have said, I am now about to foist on you.

Don’t ridicule the amount of baby blankets you will collect. The fuzzy, the small, the large, the quilted, the knitted, the ugly, and the cute – you want them all.

I suspect every parent to be looks at the mound of baby blankets they receive and wonders why on earth something so small needs so many. But, they will. Your job as expecting parents is to welcome those blankets with open arms, because, eventually, you will find yourself in a situation where you are ever so grateful that you have acquired 5,789 baby blankets.

Just as a not so random example I can tell you that one small 15 month old can puke on nine blankets in one short afternoon.  But if you have another 5,781 blankets left the only laundry you have to worry about doing is your own four shirts, two rugs, the three towels while still having plenty of spare blankets available to make it through the night.

Also, when looking at that mountain of fluff you will receive it is important to keep in mind that not all baby blankets will stay baby blankets. Some will graduate out of baby hood with their owners and still grace their beds. Dolls, puppies and various other toys and animals need many small blankets and they are indispensable when it comes to tea parties and picnics. Once that happens you’ll be glad there are still 1,890 blankets not currently in circulation if a younger sibling should happen to join the party.

So, what I’m saying is that when baby blanket number 2,456 comes your way, don’t do like the rest of us poor misguided souls did and roll your eyes. Be nice, say thank you, and add it to your stash with a smile.

Love the baby blankets.

Embrace the baby blankets.

And if by some twist of fate you only end up with 3,098 just let me know I think I may have an extra one I can spare.

Dear Jane

Dear Jane,

You just turned seven months old and have discovered that the world is a big place, full of things that need to be explored and tasted. You haven’t yet mastered crawling exactly where you want but you can roll, and wiggle your way backwards and around in all sorts of circles. Despite everyone telling me that I’ll regret it I keep encouraging you to crawl. You are so interested in everything, too busy to even eat when we visit new places or when things are going on around you and you are so close to crawling!  You get up on those knees and rock back and forth – soon, very soon you’ll get to where you want to go.  I’m sure the dogs water bowl is top on your list after discovering how fun it was the other day and I’m prepared to clean up the water spill at least a half a dozen times before it starts to drive me nuts, but here is the thing. Right now you are teething and still getting over the end of a nasty virus. So, when you are almost asleep you don’t need to reach out and touch the wall/chair/book/bed/door you can just relax, they will all be there when you wake up.   And when your little body hits the bed it’s not necessary to roll onto your belly and pop up on your knees like a funny little jack-in-the-box. You are so very cute smiling away, showing me once again how close you are to figuring it all out but right now you need your sleep and there will be more time when the sun comes up to try again. I promise.


Your Mom

A Word From Jane

Jane’s a bit grumpy.

It has come to her attention that she is in fact the third child and her mother never takes pictures of her.

I tried to tell her that it’s because I’m always holding her or she’s sleeping,  making pictures either difficult or boring but she was having none of it. She told me she does plenty of interesting things and if I don’t start taking more photos and sharing them she’s never going to sleep through the night.

So without further ado, Jane at (almost) three months!

She laughs… …and say’s “oooo”… … has funny hair…… and enjoys a good arm chew with her sister. Now Jane, about that sleep?

A Miracle of Motherhood

It’s said that motherhood is full of life changing miracles.

And it is, I know because as a kid I often woke up on the floor.

I fell out of bed in my sleep.

I also woke up upside down, sideways, tangled in blankets, without blankets, or huddling under a pillow because the blankets had disappeared from the bed or not followed me onto the floor. On camping trips my family would put me on the end of the tent next to my Dad to me to keep me in my corner.

I still woke up along everyone’s feet.

In fact it wasn’t until I got married that I finally ended up facing the right way every morning. Of course John and I plus a cat, and often a dog leaves very little room to wiggle much less thrash. (Did I mention we have a full sized bed, that Piper used to share with us? I was stuck!) While I have not woken up on the floor for many years neither have I manged to outgrow my tendency to thrash and move around all night stealing blankets in the process.

Enter motherhood.

Now I can lay down in bed next to an infant, do a lot of rustling to arrange us both just right, fall asleep and wake up hours (sometimes even four!) later in exactly the same position.

Exactly the same position.

I don’t even steal her blanket.

It’s a miracle of motherhood if I’ve ever heard one.

How to Become a Millionaire

All you have to do is invent The Baby Timer.

A little device that sits next to the baby to let you know how long you have until it wakes up again.

I picture a gauge with a needle that can go from green to yellow to red.

Green -Baby will continue to sleep for some time. Take a nap, make dinner, take up knitting – you’ve got time.

Yellow – Baby is past half way point of nap.  Finish getting that dinner on the table, don’t bother taking a nap anymore and don’t forget to use the bathroom!

Red – Baby will wake at any moment!!! PANIC -Did you feed the other kids? Did you pee? Did you eat?

It would be brilliant, mothers everywhere would buy one.

If I had one of those I would know what to do now.

Usually Jane wakes up at this time of night.

Except for the night that she slept seven hours in a row.

Will she do it again? Will it be tonight?

Or if I go to sleep will she wake me up 15 minutes later?

I hate that.

I’m banking that her imaginary timer is yellow so I’ll stay up a bit longer and if I’m wrong and it’s actually green then I’m just depriving myself of good sleep.

It’s a conundrum.

I’m telling you, invent the baby timer and you’ll be a millionaire.

(And how come if an adult sees a baby yawn it makes them yawn but that same adult can yawn at the baby until their eyes water and it has no effect on the baby?)