Saturday, March 26, 2011

My first giveaway:
Bamboo wipes.
I love them. And when you really love something, you give it away. Unless it is your kid.

Anyway, let me try to convince you to love bamboo wipes, too.

As I said in my original post, I was wary to try a reusable wipe, but then I felt how plush and soft bamboo velour is and thought, "Surely, I could not deny my baby this." (Although my first two daughters happily endured Huggies wipes.)
However, I still was not convinced I needed to deal with poopy wipes, especially as I use disposable diapers. So I decided to use lush wipes for wet, Huggies for the other. When Rachel was born, she turned out to be a very infrequent "diaper dirtier" (as in every couple weeks!) so everything turned out nicely.

I've been trying to convince my friends to try bamboo wipes, but so far I have zero converts. So, I'll show you how easy it is to incorporate reusable wipes for wet diapers at least, and also give away one set of 10 so you can try them...and once you feel them, I'm telling you, you'll never go back.

Every few days, I restock Rachel's wipes warmer like so.
Microwave 1 1/2 c water for two minutes. Add a 1/2 tsp baby soap and a few drops each of baby oil and tea tree oil. (I keep these mini sized containers in the kitchen cabinet so the operation takes 2.5 minutes.)

I place a cut-to-size wash cloth at the bottom of the warmer to prevent the last wipe from over drying, then a stack of wipes.

Pour the solution over the wipes and up to the nursery you go with a steaming cake of wipes. =)

There are all sorts of stylish wet bags available to for storing used wipes until laundry time, but I simply toss the used ones into an open ziploc. Again, I don't deal with dirty wipes, so I wash these with towels or any other load of hot laundry.
So, it's all very easy peasy.
If you would like to try some bamboo wipes, leave a comment before noon EST, April 2. US addresses only please.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

"Before and after" pics of the guest bedroom/nursery.

Before: The guest bedroom wall:

That'll wake you up. Good morning! He's a-happy to see you!

He was outlined in Sharpie permanent ink...priming and priming some more.

After: Rachel's tame room.

For the first six months we lived in this home, Anna and Sonja referred to it only as "the frog house." I'm sure we'll call it that too, when we eventually move out. You just don't forget a frog like that.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

This happened some six months ago, but I have to share with you this treasure. Last fall, we were treated to a photo session with the talented Emily of Willa J Photography.

We met up near the city docks in Annapolis and had a lovely time walking around the pretty buildings and shops.

Emily stopped and positioned us along the way, or suggested to the girls to play in the leaves, or simply snapped shots of our family being ourselves.

I was particularly impressed by Emily's ability to engage the girls, especially Sonja who was still in her anti-social phase at that time.

In addition to the candid shots, Emily was also able to capture the girls in studio-quality close-ups whenever the opportunity came up (ie. they were ultra happy because a puppy had just walked by.)

Emily articulates perfectly why I am so in love with her work:

"My goal as a photographer is to find the uniqueness of a person, the beauty of a subject, and the essence of a relationship. I aim to capture real people in real places. Gone are the days of stale, stilted, overly-posed studio portraits! I hope that my photographs will not simply adorn your walls or serve as a display on your tables. I hope they will truthfully record a memorable season in your family's history."

I am so thankful for her creativity in recording this season in our life.

Not long after our photo shoot, Willa J relocated to Western Pennsylvania, BUT she is scheduling MD/VA/DC photo shoots for specific times during the year. You can visit her site to learn more.

Also, even if you are not close enough to take advantage of Emily's talent, or if you are a photographer yourself, check out the Willa J blog for inspiration! You can also follow Willa J on facebook, which is how I learned of her fabulous giveaway!
These are a couple of my favorites from her blog:

I just love her creative eye!

(Photos use by permission from Willa J.)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

When Chris and I graduated from college, we moved straight away to Philadelphia where I lived in a school dormitory and Chris set up in what was to become our first apartment. My Terp loving then fiance hung a large Maryland University banner showcasing the Maryland Terrapin in the dining room. I remember a conversation like, "So, once we're married, do you want to hang the banner over the couch or keep it in the dining room?" My response was...basement? And yes, when we wed, the Terrapin took up residence in the basement of that and every other homes. Until...

Last week, I was browsing my Facebook feed and, being a fan of Pottery Barn, came across their March Madness contest in my newsfeed. Pottery Barn was taking photo submissions of "Game Watching Headquarters." I just started laughing. "Chri--is? Where is that Maryland banner?"

I'm just tickled pink about the whole thing!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Time for my quarterly update, I suppose.
I can't believe how quickly time is going by these days. I felt like I updated this blog maybe week before last? Actually, it was January. And before that October.
So, three kids has sent our little world into warp speed. I say goodnight (for the fifth time) to the girls on Sunday night and it seems almost immediately we're waking up to Saturday.
We are not doing too much outside of daily home life and many days are nearly identical. Still, post kid-bedtime, I have about two ounces of creative thought power, enough for two complete sentences or the Times crossword with a cup of tea. And that has been a nice way to wind down, but it means this blog stagnates and come December, I will have no idea what we did all year and you will receive a Christmas letter filled with random trivia I picked up from Will Shortz.
So, moving forward. Here is an update on the bitty baby.
Rachel had her 6mos appointment and is shaping up like her dad. 25% in weight, 75% in height. My little string bean.

She is the easiest thing I do all day. I think that is a built-in on all third child installments? She's starting to sit up on her own but predictably falls over if I dash for the camera.

She rolls about in her crib, but stays put on the floor. Sonja is not allowed on the playmat so I think Rachel views it as a safe zone and wanders not.

She makes us smile, a lot.

I think she is the best baby in the world and I tell her so fifty times a day. =)

Sonja bear. She is the kid in the center attempting to touch the crocodile. Need I say anything more? =)

Sometimes I do not know what to do with this little girl. But most of the time all she really needs is for me to sit down and read "Good Dog, Carl." (Those books make me wonder if Carl really could exist. "Now Carl, I'm going out *by myself*. You take care of these children and sic Social Services should they knock on the door.")
Anyway, Sonja has two loves. Rachel and her pink baby. Her pink baby doll smells like cupcakes and Sonja can no longer fall sleep without her pink baby directly under her nose. Her pink baby also attends all meal times and the child cannot eat if the pink baby is not sitted up and facing her. Her pink baby needs to be sitted up against the wall for all bathroom events. I do not permit Sonja to take her pink baby outside our house, other than in the car, because I don't quite know what would happen if we lost her. It is very sweet how consistently attentive an almost three year old is with her dolly. (Except the time she stuck play-doh in her eyes. A spa treatment?)

Taken at 11PM when our little insomniac called down the stairs, "Come see me!"
The Sonja we know and love...

And now, Anna.

Anna has matured in the past six months, faster than I can stand.

She is eager to learn, everything, and has six hundred questions about jet planes, marshmallows and punctuation. We are honestly planning on giving her an encyclopedia for her birthday, as a gift to ourselves. She spends hours a day reading to herself, and another hour reading "Good Dog, Carl" to her little sister.

She loves the idea of school so we began a penmanship workbook several weeks ago.

I know she would be interested in doing more schoolwork, but she can never go back to these "goof off all day as you like" days so I'm not going to start anything else until fall. Even then, I think we'll just continue penmanship and start a little math workbook. I need to blog about this whole homeschool gig...another time.
For now, I'm just enjoying these three girls, and Sonja's pink baby.