About Me

Lucky

Whenever we go to the grocery store, our last stop is always the snack aisle for the kids to pick out a little treat, provided that they’ve earned it with good behavior, of course.

Someone else needed to pass by us, so I urged the kids to make room for her to get through. She smiled and said, “You’re so lucky to have a lot of kids.”

Ten years ago when we had our first baby, the general attitude from strangers was the complete opposite — a constant stream of criticism and judgment. Heck, even my health care providers for my prenatal checkups took it upon themselves to lecture me about the virtues of birth control, and treated me as if I had committed some great failure of responsibility. I felt as if everyone in the entire world hated fertility.

All of a sudden this year, I’ve had multiple people say that I’m lucky to have six kids. It’s weird, but refreshing.

I very much feel lucky. It’s been so delightful to watch my babies grow and interact with my smaller babies. I think the best part of life is having people to love.

byautumnrain.com

Observations

My week in haiku

The endless echo
Of lightning tearing the sky
Wondrous thunderstorm

Brilliant yellow
Filling the air around me
A sunset sublime

The prettiest smile
Fills my heart with endless love
On the smallest face

My dearest baby
I love you so very much
Please let me sleep more

Swimming every day
Keeps me so healthy and strong
The water feels great

byautumnrain.com

About Me

How to increase your stats

Last year I did some experimenting to see what would boost my stats with blogging (without going off-site), and the one thing that had the most effect was posting at least once a day.

It didn’t seem to matter if I wrote paragraphs, or simply put up a picture. As long as I kept my streak, I got more and more views.

Then I got pregnant, and couldn’t be bothered, lol.

But hey, let’s see what we can achieve this time around.

About Me

Cloth Diapers

For people who have been following my blog for awhile, it probably won’t surprise you to learn that I use cloth diapers on my babies. I’m definitely more on the “crunchy” side of things, but I haven’t come across that term in ages, so heck if anyone knows what I’m talking about.

Full disclosure: I supplement with disposables. While I exclusively used cloth diapers with my first three babies, I eventually found it prudent to use disposables during the periods when I can’t keep up with the laundry. I’m not superwoman.

My favorite cloth diapering method is the pocket inserts. They’re convenient, and I don’t have to worry about stabbing baby with a diaper pin (which matters when they reach the extra wiggly stage). The covers come with some really awesome patterns, which also means that I’ve been teased about putting my babies in designer diapers. Ha ha.

However, I would advise that you avoid the microfiber inserts. They are horrible. Go for the cotton ones. Avoid letting dirty diapers sit for more than a couple of days, then line dry them in the sun when you can — it helps sterilize them.

Overall, the cost of diapering a child until 3 years old is much cheaper with cloth diapers, even when you factor in the ph neutral laundry detergent and monthly washing machine cleanings, but honestly, that’s not my main motivating factor.

I mostly feel guilty about the waste.

Even in a supplementary role, the disposables add up quickly, and we have to take the garbage out more often during the periods when I use them. The idea of throwing away so many diapers a day, every day, for three years, per child, is a little too much for me to bear. That’s a lot of waste.

In 2020, it became painfully obvious that no one cares about such concepts, so it feels more important now than ever to hold to my values.

Not to mention, we’re saving a lot of money, and we don’t have to worry about diapers the next time there’s a crazy run on the stores.

About Writing

Pagan marriage advice

As a romance author, I keep an eye on the trends for relationship/marriage advice. Most of it comes from Christian sources.

I once listened into a social audio conversation that was ostensibly about secular marriage, but the general consensus of the group was that, if you truly loved someone, you would go away so they could focus on their career. If I had a smarmy salesperson personality, I would have taken the opportunity to pitch my novels to them as romantic escapism, because that is some hardcore dedication to loneliness.

Anyway

I have a unique perspective, because while I grew up Christian, I married as a Pagan.

The overwhelming impression that I get from Christian sources is that the women are too picky when it comes to men. I guess they aren’t getting hitched because no one is good enough.

Once upon a time, during my early days of marriage, someone pulled out his Bible and read a lot of verses about the sort of wife I was supposed to be. Heck if I can remember much about it, but by the time he started reading about how I was supposed to earn extra money to help with the household finances, I knew beyond a doubt that I would have to develop a serious cocaine habit in order to have that much energy. I have never come close to being a perfect biblical wife.

Thank god I don’t believe in the Bible. (har har)

But lets go back even farther, to when I was a Christian teenager. This was when I really began to shine as a misfit, because when my church leaders advised me to date around a lot and aim to marry as close to perfect as I could, but I was more like, “Husbands are human beings, and marriage isn’t like buying a car.”

Yeah, I was bullied rather badly in church. Can’t imagine why /sarcasm.

But apparently, plenty of other women took that sort of advice to heart, and now the Christians are moaning that they aren’t getting married at all.

I think my husband is pretty great. I won’t go into slathering specifics, but he’s wickedly smart, he helps take care of me, and he plays with the kids — I can’t imagine wanting to be married to anyone else. He also doesn’t fit any of those bullet point lists that I was given in church during my teen years.

He cusses, he loves a good whisky, and he doesn’t believe in God.

Oh no!

But I fall short, too.

I go to bed with dirty dishes still in the sink. 😀

So we’re a couple of heathens who take our children to the park on Sunday instead of church. We’re happy.

Marriage isn’t shopping for a car, and you shouldn’t go out with a list of requirements, make comparisons, then pick the one with the most cup holders. Marriage is building a deep bond with another human being. A connection between souls.

And stop blaming women for being what you raised them to be.

About Me

Posture

I’ve dun gone and murdered my foot through slovenly treadling at my spinning wheel.

Okay, so it’s mostly fine, but every now and then I get a stabbing pain if I step wrong. That would be the tendons screaming at me.

As a Millennial, no one ever impressed the importance of posture on me during my childhood. Quite the opposite, actually, since I was told that I held myself unnaturally straight, and was therefore uncomfortable to be around. In an effort to “fit in,” I taught myself to slouch.

Now that I’ve realized the reasons why people historically cared about posture, I regret doing that. Unfortunately, childhood habits like that tend to creep in the moment I stop watching. I wish that just one person has said, “Good on you,” back when sitting straight was easy, so I wouldn’t have felt like a freak for it. Could’ve saved myself from a lot of pain.

Anyway, I wasn’t paying attention to my foot on the treadle of my spinning wheel, and now after a mere year and a half of using it, the bad practice has caught up to me. I need to correct my errant ways.

Though in my defense, my learning materials never mentioned anything about peddling with your entire foot.

About Writing

Currently

I had intended to post 1000-word installments of The Scions every other week, which seemed like an easy goal.

As it turns out, my life is currently a little too hectic to pull that off.

I’m not even averaging a 100 words a day.

More like, “I wrote a sentence and fixed up some word choices today.”

But that’s how it currently is. I don’t mind — it always feels like one of the largest miscommunications that I’m always struggling with is that other people don’t understand how much I love the journey. Life is too interesting for me to complain about how I don’t have the time or energy to write much these days. Besides, this is basically the reason why I don’t do deadlines.

The story is still very much on my mind, and I have no intention of abandoning it (not than anyone wants to read it anyway), it’s just coming more at a drip than a steady flow.

About Me

Dear Diary

Heaven help me, the toddler has learned how to use doorknobs. Today she put on her shoes and tried to head out the front door to play, all on her own. Need to keep a close eye on that one.

The baby is two months old already. Time is flying by, yet I barely remember living without him. I love his smile.

Summer is in full swing. The freezer is stocked with popsicles and ice cream to help beat the heat, and the splash pad has been dug out from the garage. The children are running rampant. Surprisingly, the first sunburn of the season wasn’t mine (for once).

But I did get sunscreen in my eyes, ha ha.

Yeah, I’m kind of a dork.

There’s no such thing as too much potato salad.