Once again, better late than never

More pics from Erin’s birthday. 

I recently uploaded several photos from Erin’s birthday off of my sister’s camera.  So, I’m posting them.  :)


Our dinner – minus the salad Hannah made and the green bean casserole Mom made.  I guess they were still in the kitchen.IMG_1687

A closer shot of Erin’s cake. 


Not sure what we were all laughing about here, but we were definitely having a grand time.


A pic of everyone minus Mom – the photographer here.  :)  “Uncle” Thomas and “Aunty” Hannah were present for the celebration, too.  (For those of you who aren’t aware, Thomas was a groomsman in our wedding and Hannah is my midwife.)


Another group shot.


Erin “opening” her gifts.


“Ooh, what’s that?!”

I mentioned in my previous birthday photo post that Erin made a glorious mess with her cake.  Here is the photo sequence to prove it.  ;)






The Simple Things

Ask anyone who has ever lived with me and they’ll readily tell you – I’m not much of a morning person. I’d rather stay up till 2:00 and sleep till 10:00 than go to bed at 10:00 (or earlier!) and sleep till 6:00. My body clock just isn’t wired that way. My mind comes alive at nights, which makes shutting down for the evening a bit of a challenge. :-p

This late sleeping schedule worked pretty well for me until I graduated from college and began working. I would just barely roll out of bed in time to get ready for work. Somehow, I usually made it to work on time.

Then, of course, I got married. We started our family early and as anyone who has ever had kids probably knows, most kids are early risers – especially if they have the “standard” 8:00pm bedtime.

I’ve done everything I know how to get him to sleep later, but it seems that Patrick wakes up between 6:00 and 7:00 am. Sometimes, he wakes up as early as 5:00. Just last weekend, we put a thick blanket up behind the curtains on each of the two windows in the kids’ bedroom in effort to keep out some of the morning sun. (Why I picked white paper shades for a bedroom that gets a lot of sun is beyond me…)

The decreased light has helped some in keeping the kids asleep for longer in the morning, though it has worked far better for Erin than Patrick. She is easily sleeping until 7:00 or a little after before she wakes up for her morning diaper change and bottle. We always put the kids back in their cribs after their morning diaper change for about an hour of quiet play time – though sometimes “quiet” is a relative term – before we get them up for the day. This allows me time to drink a jumbo cup of coffee (Thank you, God, for 18oz coffee mugs!) and to attempt to be in somewhat of a coherent state before the kids get up.

This all having been said, why in the world am I posting at 7:30 am? Two words… Patrick and coffee. Patrick woke up shortly after 6:15 this morning. As he always does, Daniel changed Patrick’s diaper. I got the kids respective beverages ready and fumbled about to make coffee while Daniel tended to Patrick. I’ve been sipping on the same large "Starbucks” mug of coffee ever since.

Once my coffee was ready, I went back to bed and drank that lovely black beverage in peace and quiet in the dark. Ahh… Truth be told, that really is a great way to begin my morning. After about 40 minutes, I heard Patrick babbling, mostly incoherently, in the other room. I love hearing his little voice through the wall in the mornings – especially when he’s “reading” to himself. I’m not sure which book he was looking at, but after a while, I heard him say, “Dog!… *pause* Cat! Meooowwwwww…” I couldn’t help but smile to myself – while I think kids are cute nearly all the time, there is something about the mornings that makes them even more adorable. Their little minds are refreshed after a good night’s sleep and they are generally happy and ready to see what adventures await them for the day. :)


Check this out



Earthquake in Virginia!

4:08 this morning, it sounded like a tree fell on our house.  The noise only lasted a few seconds (maybe less?) and the shaking was minor (it only registered 2.6), but for our area, this is no small thing. 

It is amazing how time seems to stand still in a moment of uncertainty.

Daniel woke up and said, “What was THAT?!” and was out of bed before his sentence was finished.  Daniel sleeps like the dead, but the noise woke him up. 

We had just been up to change Patrick’s diaper and to get him something to drink, but I hadn’t fallen back to sleep.  I think I was in that 1/2 asleep mode, though.  The whole thing was totally surreal.  I remember the *bang* (for lack of a better word), thinking “What just happened to my house?!  Is someone breaking in?”, Daniel jumping out of bed and the sound of the photos on the wall above us rattling. 

The rattling of the photos was the thing that cued me in to the probability of it being an earthquake.  We’re in Virginia – these things *don’t* happen here, so it isn’t the first thing you think of when your house suddenly shakes.

I figured that if it was an earthquake or some other natural event, my parents who live a mile away would have felt or heard it, too.  So, I called them to see “if they felt/heard that".  My dad said they had heard it and weren’t sure what it was.  We all pretty quickly determined that it must have been an earthquake.

Natural “disasters” can be unsettling and they are a concrete reminder that this world is not our home, it is our temporary dwelling place.  As I started drifting back to sleep, I remember thinking that the 2nd coming of Jesus to bring His children home is yet another moment closer. 

We grow closer to His coming with each second and should be in constant awareness of this, knowing that our sole purpose here on earth is to bring glory to Him.


Happy Scrabble Night

Friday nights have gotten a little crazy for us recently with a visit from extended family and a wedding in the works. But, now that those things are behind us, Scrabble night is about to make a come back!

Tonight, we’re taking the kids to a BBQ/concert. Once we’re back home and the kids are in bed (they didn’t really nap today, so hopefully they’ll fall asleep quickly!), we’ll pull out the Scrabble board and probably make some popcorn. :)

I love at home date nights!


Better Late than Never - Erin's Birthday

Erin with Gramma

Erin being tickled by the green tissue paper...

Erin with a card and gift

Erin with her flower cake (whole wheat carrot, of course).

The edibility of the cake is doubtful...

Though I don't have any pictures of it, she finally gave in, sampled the cake, and made a glorious mess in the process. :)


Happy Birthday, Precious Girl!

Happy Birthday Erin Mairead!

born at home 5.4.8
4:38 am
8lbs, 5oz
21 inches long

Mommy and Erin - about 12 hours after birth.

Less than 24 hours.


How Cute is This?! (Cloth Diapering Post)

Since the weather got warmer, we’ve noticed an immediate need for more cloth diapers – largely thanks to Patrick who has a big thirst and an equal output.

A friend – thanks Cristen! – loaned me a few Chinese prefold diapers and some bummis whisper wrap diaper covers to try out before I ordered any more for my own collection. Interestingly, Erin and Patrick can wear the same diaper size – Patrick weighs in at about 28lbs and Erin is close behind at around 23lbs – so I’ve been able to use the medium diaper cover on both kiddos… while I haven’t gotten any pics of Patrick wearing this diaper cover, I intend to because it’s so stinkin’ cute! Here are a few shots of Erin sporting the “froggy pond” bummis diaper cover.

While I tried prefolds before when Brooke loaned me several different kinds of cloth diapers, I couldn’t remember which cover she loaned me. So thanks to the ability to try out the bummis covers, I opted to order 12 unbleached Indian prefolds, 2 bummis covers, 2 thirsties covers, 14 hemp doublers (which will hopefully eliminate the need to change Patrick’s diaper ever 2 hours during awake time) and 2 snappis.

In regard to cloth diapering, prefolds are the “old fashioned” or “traditional” way to use cloth on your baby. The prefolds themselves are definitely a little more difficult to put on since they require diaper pins or a snappi, but they do the job just as well as a pocket or all-in-one diaper does. The thirsties or bummis covers mentioned above are necessary to keep the wetness contained.

The perk to using prefolds with covers is that, unless there is a leak, the covers can be used for more than one diaper change without the need to wash. In this instance, replace the prefold and put the same cover back on. My very limited experience has shown that the same cover can be used 3-4 times without the need to wash as long as there have been no leaks.

How does this work? PUL. (a.k.a. Polyurethane Laminate) In the instance of a diaper cover, PUL is inserted between two layers of polyester to create that amazing waterproof barrier. PUL is what makes the outer fabric waterproof. As such, PUL treated fabric is the main outer layer of pretty much any pocket or AIO diaper.

Back to the perk of prefolds - You could (in theory) have 12 prefolds and only need 4 covers – this was the grounding factor in my decision to order 12 prefolds with 4 covers. This is a VERY cost-efficient choice in regard to using cloth diapers. While pocket diapers – like Bum Genius or Fuzzi Bunz – are very easy to use, they are somewhat expensive, running about $18/diaper. The average cost of a prefold is $3.oo or under. Covers run about $13.00 or less.

If you have a heavy wetter, natural fibers are (supposedly) the way to go. I have not yet tried this out, but will once my order arrives. Bamboo or hemp fibers are said to be great for “super soakers” and doublers of these materials can be used in either pocket diapers or as an addition to prefolds. Bamboo fabrics are said to be softer while hemp is said to hold more. The downside to natural fibers is that they can get pricey very quickly. Because of this, I only ordered 14 hemp doublers. The total cost for these was around $50. If these don’t work for Patrick, there is always diaperswappers.com.