Monday, December 31, 2012

Don't worry, it was only the biggest year of our lives

I'm almost at a loss for words as 2012 comes to a close.  (Don't worry, I said almost.)

Last year, I predicted that it would be one of our biggest years yet.  Boy, oh boy, was I ever right. 

December 2011: Found out we were pregnant
Feb 2012: Announced pregnancy
March: Leah turned 2
March: Found out we were expecting a BOY!
May: Put the house on the market
May (3 days later): House SOLD!
June: Moved out of our home and into my mom's
August: Welcomed our beautiful Logan Joshua
August (2 days later): closed on our new house
September: moved into new house, after extensive midnight rennovation care of my poor, overworked husband
October, November, December: change, change, change and adjusting
December 2012: Great big sigh of gratitude and relief
The only thing that didn't come to pass was me quitting my job.  Now, to be fair, I did only work 6 of 12 months this year...
Although that was in the plan as well, Casey and I carefully weighed the options and decided that it's really smart for me to finish out the school year.  It's not my first choice, but it is extremely wise given our circumstance with the house and the fact that we have so much to do to get it into shape.  I'll work about five and a half months of Logan's first year, and shortly after Leah's third birthday, I'll get to be done for good. 
The magnitude of this year has hit me in many ways, from exhaustion to elation and everything in between.  As I look back, though, I can't help but feel incredibly grateful for the amazing ways in which God moved this year, and the many, many blessings we've recieved. 
And although I am beyond grateful for this exceptional year, I do have to hope that next year is a bit more mello, and filled with lots of settling (in, that is) and getting to enjoy all that 2012 brought us. 
Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

What I know about cloth diapers (4 month edition)

Although I was a bit fearful of using cloth diapers when I first considered it, I'm so glad we pushed through.  I've learned a few things along the way, besides the fact that they're super cute and provide a never-ending diaper supply.  As a certified expert (of four months), I'll now share. 
My model has some wicked awesome leg chub.

They're totally not disgusting.  Really - and I would tell you 'cause I would think so.  Since Leah has been on and off the potty training boat, I've dealt with poop in all kinds of forms, locations and consistencies.  Clearly Logan isn't pooping the solids poops yet, meaning we haven't had to deal with cleaning them out before tossing diapers in the wash.  Although the Class 5 Hazardous Substance (aka breastmilk-poop) stains don't come out completely, the diapers stay soft and smelling good simply by washing them according to the manufacturer's directions.   I should add that most people recommend sunning the stains out, and I'll cop to the fact that I'm too lazy and Logan is still eating too frequently for me to do this effectively.

Storage.  This is one of those things I worried a lot about, needlessly.  What would I do without my precious diaper genie?!  I bought a simple flip top garbage can from Target and lined it with a Planet Wise pail liner, which come in tons of delicious colors.  Leah liked the avocado and the orange, so we click-click-clicked them into our basket.  They get washed along with the diapers and it works as well as the diaper genie without having to haul long tubes of poop to the trash three times a week.  For clean diapers, I just pop them ready-to-use in the same wicker basket I used for Leah's disposables. 

Wipes.  It dawned on me after I bought the diapers that if I used the same disposable wipes I used with Leah, I'd have to throw them away separately, and since I had no diaper genie it would be in an open-top trash can when they had poop and pee on them.  Not my favorite idea.  So, after a bit of research, I found these awesome wipes from Charlie Banana.  They are awesomely soft and have cleaned up many a newborn soupy mess.  A squirt of Diaper Area Wash (available at Target) helps the process, and we're good to go.

On-the-go.  We have two wet bags purchased from Etsy that we rotate and store in the diaper bag for when we're out and about.  A wet bag is that special place a wet/dirty diaper goes so it can make it home.  While Leah was potty training (an effort we've given up for a while), it was also effective storage for wet panties, jeans, socks, and anything else that wound up in the line of fire.  If we'd had one the first time around, we would also have stored dirty bibs, forks, bowls, etc. in there.  Like a chump, I used disposable ziplock bags.  Truthfully, I can't say enough good things about them... every mom ought to have one in her artilery.  Plus, they're UBER cute and come in all kinds of shapes, patterns and sizes and they're machine washable (bonus!).  See exhibits A and BOoooh, and C.  Seriously, I could do this all day.  They're addicting.  Amazon is a good resource, too. 

Changing.  This has been our biggest hang up, since Logan takes his dooty duty very seriously.  He has to be changed every 2 hours, and is sometimes wet after as little as an hour.  It is routine for me to change his outfit 2 or 3 times a day.  I've also begun using disposables at night, simply because he was always waking up wet and I'm not the kind of mom who wants to change him once or twice every night until he's potty trained.  Rumparooz gives you the option of adding a second insert, which helps, but it makes the already-large cloth diaper almost unmanageable for a tiny baby (or even my not-so-tiny one), and he and everything around him were still wet by morning.  Before switching to a disposable at night, I was doing laundry every 36 hours.  Now I can go about three days, which is a HUGE difference and worth the price of admission in my book.  I also put him in disposables if we're going to be out in the cold for any extended period of time, just because I don't like the idea of his littly tushy being wet when it's freezing out.

Washing.  Cloth diapers need a cold cycle rinse, followed by a hot cycle and an extra rinse.  Again, it's recommended that the covers are line-dried to help remove the stains, which I skip.  They can be machine dried on delicate.  I'll let you know if that impacts the longevity of the diaper, but so far, mine are fluffy, soft and very, very lightly stained.  To keep them nice and fluffy, I use these dryer balls which seems to really help the entire drying process.

The best part?  The best part is that I'm not on the endless hamster wheel that is buying diapers.  We've spent a grand total - including all the stuff I just mentioned - of $567.29.  Yes, that includes two packs of disposables for night-time.  If I had to guess, I'd imagine we've spent at least tripple - maybe even quadruple (gulp) - that on the big girl's diaper habbit so far, and Logan's bill isn't going up any time soon.  The other best part is that the cloth diapers hold in newbie-poop so much better than disposables.  We have never yet had a "#3," which is the term we came up with for when the diaper isn't enough.  Yes, I have more laundry to do, but I have a lot less spot-treatment due to a leaky Huggies. 

So that's that so far.  The poop on cloth diapering.  Questions? Comments?  Concerns? 

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Daddy snowman has a smile down there

On Christmas eve, Leah and I made these snowmen to use as place cards:

I absolutely loved how they turned out; it was a fun project for her to do, and it was cute as can be on our family's Christmas table. 

The thing about my daughter is that she is incredibly literal. The snowmen got either coat buttons (the ones with three dots) or belly buttons (the ones with one dot or triangles). She explained how what were supposed to be arms according to the package were actually "chicken legs," and she proceeded to put them in the "right" spot. 

All that being said, if you look closely, you can see that Daddy's snowman has an extra little smile. 

(I didn't know it when she was making these, but it actually started out in a different location - a wee bit further south - and serves a rather important purpose.) 

An - ahem - anatomical "smile" if you catch my meaning.

We've been pretty consciensious about where and when Daddy, er, hangs out.  Not to say that we're cautious of it, because it's perfectly natural.  But we don't take family showers, nor does Casey walk around nekkid in front of Leah if he can help it.  (Sidenote: It's hard to help it when your two year old pops in every time you're trying to go to the bathroom, but that's another story.)  We do have a glass shower, and now that she has a brother who we didn't think twice about letting her bathe with, she is certainly aware that there is a difference between her bottom and his, but it's not something she seems worried about at all.  Neither are we.  Nor should we be. 

I always thought I would be one of those people to teach my children the correct anatomical names for things.  When it came down to it, though, Casey and I both seperately decided that our one year old didn't need to know that she has a vagina any more than she needed to know that she has an anus.  We unanimously called it her bottom, and all this time we've differentiated between the "front" and "back" of her bottom. 

We've done the same with her daddy, and now with Logan.  It's not that we won't teach her the proper names for things or that somehow by not naming them we think they're "bad;" it has just seemed like one of those things she doesn't really need to know until she needs to know it.   

So it was very interesting to see just how much she's aware of the fact that boys' bottoms look different than girls', and to see that played out - so-oo accurately, I might add - in her snowman. 

Although we didn't say anything at the time, we did move it before setting it out on the Christmas table.  And - behind her back, so she wouldn't think we were laughing at her creation - we had a good laugh, because really... she gave the daddy snowman a twig and berries!

She is learning oh so many new things as a big sister.  And Casey and I are getting a chance to think about how we'll handle certain conversations that may arise in the future...

Friday, December 28, 2012


Our sweet little Logan is four months old, and quite amazing in his mommy's humble opinion. 

There are a variety of things that he has done a bit ahead of sister, which is kind of amazing, because Leah did a lot in her early months.

The biggest thing I want to remember is what a little laugher he is!  Leah laughed for the first time just shy of four months.  Even then it was just a dainty, half-hearted little chuckle.  Logan, on the other hand, has giggled heartily since two months, and sometimes will sit and laugh for seemingly no reason at all.  He is also the most ticklish baby I've ever encountered.  I adore it. 

He has outgrown (and then some) his three month clothing.  He is now comfortably in 6 and 6-9 month clothing, and we've even put him in a few 9 month outfits.  They're a little long, but otherwise fit pretty well.

He is massively heavy.  I won't know exactly what he weighs until his check up, but sometimes I forget just how heavy he is and struggle to pick him up.  I'm guessing he's somewhere between 17-20 pounds.  Carrying him in the Moby is a job and a half.  Seriously, it's a little crazy.

He absolutely loves this exersaucer.  LOVE. 

I know he can roll over.  I've seen him do it both from tummy to back and the other way around, but I seem to be the only one who can vouch. 

He does not enjoy tummy time, and will cry or roll back over after just a few minutes.

Has a sincere love of toys, particularly if he can put them in his mouth.  This is another one of those things Leah didn't have much interest in until 6 or 7 months, but Logan loves to both look at and hold onto his toys.

Is extremely easy to startle.  The list of things that makes him jump is long, and he always cries after being startled.  And I'm totally mean, because I think it's kind of hillarious.  Don't tell him...

Sleep.  Oh, sleep.  His sleep sucks, I'm not going to lie.  He wakes from each and every nap after 45 minutes, and although we can get him to go back to sleep, he has not yet been able to put himself back down.  Night time sleep isn't much better, although he does sleep pretty consistently from around 7 to around 11 (most of the time...).  It's a challenge we're hoping to overcome sooner rather than later.

He doesn't do much crying, but he does a lot of fussing.  He likes to tell us just how unhappy he is.  His unhappy noises consist of three levels: fussy, angry-upset, and help! I'm being kidnapped!  The last one is a true scream - not the kind you might expect from a tiny baby, but the kind you would teach a child to use in a legitimate emergency.  Which, by the way, is a ton of fun to wake up to at 3 a.m.   

I can't emphasize enough how very vocal he is.  This kid loves to talk!  He just babbles and babbles, and in such an appropriate way it's almost uncanny.  I know he's not supposed to be able to understand/respond, but I swear he does.  Scout's honor!  I am so curious to see if this transfers as he gets older, and if he'll be as hyper-verbal as his Big Sis. 

Still hates the car.  Often does the I'm being kidnapped! scream while in the car.  I usually cry a little, too, when he goes supersonic. 

Loves and adores his sister.  He just grins when she is around.


Is not quite as content as Big Sis was.  He has both higher highs and lower lows, where I remember Leah just being consistently content.  She didn't laugh a lot, but also didn't cry at all either.  It's so fun to watch him smile and giggle and be hillarious, but the other end is more intense as well. 

I just love this little man to pieces.  It is amazing how God gives us just what we need, just when we need it.  Logan is such a wonderful addition to our family, and I am so blessed to be his mommy.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

The best part of me

To my beautiful baby boy on your first Christmas:

If I had words big enough to encircle the world a few times before flying to a distant star and back, it still wouldn't begin to express how much I love you.  How grateful I am that you're here this Christmas.  How much joy and awe it brings me to be your mum.

The gift you gave me last December was one of the happiest days of my life.  Last Christmas, you were barely a twinkle in my eye.  This Christmas you're here, healthy and happy and wonderful, and by next Christmas I know I'll be watching you toddle and talk and create all sorts of merry mischief. 

Life is beautiful and amazing, my sweet son.  Your very existance is proof of that.

I pray you'll always believe in magic.  That you'll get excited over a cup of hot coccoa.  That you'll laugh till you can't breath.  That you'll sing at the top of your lungs in the car.  That your eyes will light up when you see Christmas lights, that you'll share all your secrets with your sister, that you'll always have someone you can't wait to hug.  That you'll do whatever the boy equivalent of being so overwhelmed with happiness that you can do nothing but cry.

You are my greatest gift, my angel, my joy. 

Thank you for being here to complete this Christmas.

I love you to the moon and back,


Sunday, December 23, 2012

The race to Christmas

We had to cancel last year, which, in hindsight is a bummer, because it would have been the last Christmas party in our house.

But, you know... onward and upward.  This year, we're Christmasing in a house that actually has a dining room.  Any thoughts on how long I've dreamed of having a dining room?

Oh yeah, and check out these cuties:

I'm so blessed to have such wonderful people in my life!

And, oh yeah - also, a dining room.  :)

Saturday, December 22, 2012

I changed my font at