Saturday, December 29, 2007

Photography by Drew

Our wonderful friends Drew and Sarah babysat recently, and Drew discovered that our boys love the camera. He is an amazing photographer, so, without his permission, I have decided I am sharing some of the photos. They are just too beautiful not to post! So here are the boys at about 3 1/2 months old. Can you correctly identify each baby in each photo? (I am really struggling to figure out #4!)

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The White Family Christmas


What a year 2007 has been for our family! This year has brought such excitement and joy that our hearts are overwhelmed this holiday season.

The biggest news, of course, would have to be the birth of our gorgeous twins, Joel and Evan. Sarah found out she was pregnant in January, so the year has truly revolved around their arrival. After a long and difficult pregnancy, the boys were born September 6th, prematurely but in great health, and we've been on the parenting rollercoaster ever since. The boys are constantly thrilling us with their precious smiles and adorable coos; each day brings great anticipation as we wonder, "What will they do next?" The most recent excitement took place as Joel and Evan acknowledged each other for the first time! The moment was extra special because both Mommy and Daddy were there to witness it. It was truly a moment we will always treasure.

Besides the babies' birth, we've had other big family changes as well. Todd decided to leave teaching and join the administration field. He is now an assistant principal at Westfield Community School, a K-8 school in the same district. The move was necessary with the growth in our family, and while he was sad to leave a position he had held for seven years, he felt ready to take on a new career challenge. It turned out to be a great move for him. While Todd misses being in the classroom, he finds each day's challenges to be rewarding, and he couldn't have asked for a better staff to work with. Though the job is hard, he comes home happy each evening, and looks forward to going to work each day. The only downside is that he misses spending time with his babies!

Thanks to Todd's career change, Sarah has been blessed to be a stay-at-home mom. Her new motto is, "I work, I just don't get a paycheck!" Boy, does she work! Each day flies by, and it is easy to feel like nothing has been accomplished. But the boys are healthy, happy, and growing beautifully, so put in the right perspective, she's accomplishing plenty. (Unfortunately, that's not getting the dishes done any faster, but a few dirty dishes never really hurt anyone!) Sarah is putting her old Sunday School nursery skills to good use. She sings songs, tells stories, and performs dances for the boys every day. We can definitely see that they love a good song and dance!

The final, and most difficult change in our family has been having to say goodbye to our three dogs. We tried hard to make it work, but Reuben and Remmie just never were able to adjust to having Joel and Evan around. As they were our original "babies", we tried for many weeks to tough things out, hoping they would adjust. Sadly, they only seemed to become more stressed as time went on, so we knew we had to let them go. Jack never minded the babies, but his rambunctious nature made us decide that he'd be better in a different home as well. (This was actually something we'd been contemplating for a long time; he really needed a much larger yard than we have.) Needless to say, it was the hardest decision we'd ever had to make, but we knew (and know) in our hearts that it was something we had to do. We take solace in the fact that the boys are at the best shelter around, and we've stayed in touch with the management so we know they are doing well. Hopefully they will find new families soon, as they are absolutely wonderful dogs that deserve forever homes.

With all the big changes, sometimes it's hard to stay in touch with everyone we care about. We'd love to hear about how you are doing, so please drop us a note sometime! You can email us at

Best wishes to you and your family this holiday season and in 2008!
All our love,
The White Family
Todd, Sarah, Joel and Evan

Monday, December 3, 2007

The Diaper Blog (My Homage to Cloth)

Since people questioned my sanity so much regarding cloth diapering, and since it is midnight and I am still WIDE awake, waiting patiently for the boys to wake up for their midnight snack (which was due an hour ago; watch, tonight will be the night that they sleep through, and I'll have stayed up for nothing, and yes I realize I'm digressing mid-sentence and dragging this one out), I thought I might write a little message about the joys of cloth versus disposables. Now, keep in mind that we have been primarily using disposables, simply because they were donated to us in great quantity (thanks, Mamaw) and we had no idea how easy or difficult cloth dipes might be.

Needless to say, the diapers have finally run out (well, technically, Joel outgrew the donated packages), so we are now primarily using cloth. As much this statement can apply to an item created to contain poop, I can honestly say, I LOVE THEM. Cloth are SO much better than 'sposies (as people on the diapering message boards-- yes, they do exist, with some devout users I might add--refer to them.) Here is what I love:

1. They are cute. They come in pretty colors, cute prints, varying textures, and are just plain exciting to receive in the mail. In fact, users of the aforementioned message boards lovingly refer to new packages as "fluffy mail." That's right-- people (including me) actually get EXCITED about DIAPERS.

2. They don't stink. Okay, I'm not saying that they will never stink, and I'm not saying that I'd go sticking my nose in the diaper bag. But I can honestly say that a semi-open bag of dirty cloth diapers has "a slight odor", whereas a one day supply of dirty disposables can knock a person over.

3. They are so easy to use! I do not own any pins. I don't know how to do any fancy folds. When I have to diaper a baby, this is what I do:
1. Choose which diaper I would like to use, and remove from basket.
2. Put baby on changing table.
3. Take off dirty diaper and throw in dirty diaper bag. (Remove insert if I used a pocket diaper.)
4. Put clean diaper on baby. If diaper has snaps, snap closed. If diaper has Aplix (think Velcro), close. Add cover if needed (again, snap or velcro.)
5. Eventually bring bag of dirty diapers to washer. Dump in and wash. Dry when washed. Return to basket upon cleaning.

4. Environmentally friendly-- when I use 'sposies, I must throw out a 13-gallon filled bag of diapers every day. When using cloth, I do a load of wash once every 3 days (every other if my supply feels low.) The water consumed amounts to far less waste than the bags of poop I could be adding to the planet.

5. Did I mention how cute they are? No really, reason #5 if THEY CONTAIN THE POOP, THANK HEAVENS! Any blowout we've had has been with the icky disposables. Yesterday Joel had a MASTERPIECE in his diaper. Luckily I had him in cloth. It went everywhere you could possibly imagine, but not a drop escaped the diaper.

6. Supposedly these things are saving me money. Honestly, I was given around 900 disposable diapers. Cost: $0 I've spent a couple hundred on cloth, and will probably spend another couple hundred, since I'm still kind of learning what I need and the most price-effective way to do things. However, we have had to buy a total of 3 packages of disposables so far (thanks to poor planning on my part when we've been out), and those have cost us around $50 total and gotten us through maybe two weeks. So, I'm thinking my final cost of cloth will run around $600 or less for two babies, birth through potty-training. Whereas the disposables should run at least $1200/year, probably realistically quite a bit more. Wipes add another $200/year. Since I'm using cloth diapers, it makes sense to use disposable wipes. I bought mine, custom-made, for $.75 per wipe. I bought 30; they work, but I plan to get more, just so I never have to worry about running low.

Now, the real question. How does Todd feel about my cloth madness? Well, I've asked, and he says he doesn't care-- changing diapers lacks excitement regardless of what type of diaper he uses. I do notice that he always reaches for the disposables over cloth, but I really think it's just out of habit. That and he doesn't really understand my basket system (of course, he's never taken the time to ask or look, or he'd realize it works like this: SMALL, MEDIUM. Well, there's a little more to it, but trust me, there is no rocket science involved.)

So, all in all, I'm finding I'm a cloth-diapering geek. I notice the babies seem to like the cloth better (who wouldn't want a soft fleece bottom?) and all in all, I'm happy with my choice. Oh, and so far, the only diaper rash we've ever experienced was when using the disposables, although in all honesty, I believe it was the generic wipes that actually gave the rash. For those of you actually still reading...
Are you nuts? You're reading a post about poop containment. Go find a good book. If you need recommendations, ask.

(An hour of posting, and still not a peep... maybe I should just give up and go to bed.)

Friday, November 30, 2007

My Ears Are Ringing

Mmm, the little darlings are not being so darling at the moment. Evan is currently screaming his head off, refusing to go to sleep for the night. The boys play this little game-- one goes to sleep while the other screams for twenty minutes, then that one falls asleep and the other awakes to do the same. Normally they eventually settle down, but tonight Evan is apparently going for the gold.

Other than us losing our hearing, things continue to go well. The boys are growing like weeds! Evan enjoys practicing "standing" with Daddy-- he has pretty strong legs! Joel is his sweet precious self, most of the time at least. We've dealt with some sickness over the past few weeks; sniffles went around between all of us, but things seem to be on the up and up now.

I plan to write the official Christmas letter (blog) within the next week, and hope to include lots of beautiful baby photos (Todd and I might actually jump in a few shots. Only if I get a haircut, though.) Until then, feast your eyes on these happy moments, a time which I call "Mommy Decorates the Babies".

Sweet little Evan:

Angelic Joely Bear:

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Christmas Wish List (For those who need it)

Just thought I'd post for those who are asking for ideas...

Gift Certificates:

Dinner by Design
Hardware stores (Lowes, Home Depot, etc.)
Houseware stores
Cleaning Help
(Merry Maids or Molly Maid)
Men's Wearhouse (Todd)

Black dress socks (Todd)
Photo Frames: Dark Brown (any size)or White (large)
Queen sheets (white or neutral colors)

Joel and Evan:
Savings bonds, etc. (or contribution to college savings account)
Clothing: Size 3-6mo. for winter; 6-9 for warmer. Matching outfits. We love zippers and overalls! NOTE: Joel is already wearing 3-6mo clothing, while Evan is still comfortably in 0-3mo. This will hopefully give a clue as to sizing (since it's all a guessing game to me!)
Cloth diapers: BumGenius One Size I know it seems like a strange gift, but trust me, it's a useful one! We also use Fuzzibunz size medium. And inserts, particularly hemp, would be wonderful to receive.
Baby Books (Sandra Boynton books are especially loved!)
CD's: Lullaby; Rainforest; Nursery songs
Finger puppets (I'd like a "family" or animals.)

Toy Ideas:
TinyLove Sea Deluxe Fun Mobile
Play Sounds Mat
Grow With Me Travel Toy
Surprise Inside Elephant
Light Up Musical Mirror

I hope this gives a good set of ideas. I included links to the pictures of what I could, but other stores probably carry the same or similar items.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Two Month Update (Finally)

Round is my favorite shape!
Can you guess which baby this is? (Mommy couldn't.)
It's JoelyBear and his blankie Geoffrey! Too much to drink will knock a guy out!
Evan loves when Mommy sings!

Evan posing nicely (with other Geoffrey in the background.)
Evan is chillin' on Daddy's pillow.
Oh yeah, it's a rough life...
It's been a while since I've written, and so much has happened! In short, Evan now loves to smile (started at 8 weeks); both did great at their 2month checkup; both boys LOVE playtime, spend lots more time awake (contrary to what anyone believes, as they always sleep when we go out); and the sleep routine is finally getting better.
I am now willing to venture out by myself with them. Not to say that it's easy.... I have yet to figure out how to actually shop while I have both boys with me. But they enjoy getting out of the house, and I REALLY enjoy getting out of the house, so we tend to run errands quite a bit. Tomorrow I have my first twin club meeting, and I'm really looking forward to meeting other local moms of multiples.
(Todd's doing well too. I'm just too hungry at the moment to post anymore. He loves his job and he's a great, but very busy, dad.)
Life remains good! Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
P.S. The answer to the "guess who" picture is Joel.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

I have not forgotten!

The boys are two months old... it's time for another update! Unfortunately, I'm sick and feel like crap, so I won't be doing that until I'm better. We actually didn't take any pictures yesterday (sigh...). When I feel better I'll get around to it.

FYI... Evan had his surgery to repair the hernia. It was a success!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Seven Weeks!

Evan is always sleeping when I try to get his picture!
This is what my bed is like each morning...

Seven weeks and two days ago, I was told that I would be giving birth the following day. On the one hand, it feels like a lifetime ago. On the other, I can't believe that so much time has passed. I also can't believe what a terrible memory I have. I've already forgotten how miserable I was during pregnancy. I can barely remember the day we learned we were having twins! (Just kidding, I'll never forget that day.... Todd and I had placed a bet on whether it was twins or not; I won, and he still hasn't paid up.)

Our sweet boys are developing their own personalities, but there are a lot of similarities between them as well. They "talk" to each other sometimes as they lie in their crib. "Eh, eh, eh," they say back and forth, generally in protest to me lying them down. Neither likes to lie flat at this time. Evan always wants to cuddle, and pouts when he doesn't get his way. (Who knew newborns could throw actual temper tantrums?) Joel is happy to sleep in his boppy pillow, and will actually stay asleep for hours on end once he is in it. I'm so tempted to put it in his crib at night, but refrain because the experts say not to put anything in with them. So, if anyone has any advice on getting babies to sleep for extended periods, please advise!

One new development... each of them have hernias, though in different places. Joel's belly button is so huge it looks like a cork is sticking out! Evan has an Inguinal hernia that appeared a few days ago (look it up if you want, it's too hard to explain). On the 30th we will be bringing them in to the surgeon for a consultation. Guess where... good ol' Lutheran General! At least we don't need directions on how to get there. They've both been checked, and are absolutely fine at this point, but Evan will definitely need surgery, and most likely Joel as well. Both are minor, routine procedures, so we aren't worrying, but I will be glad when it's all done.

Oh, speaking of going to the doctor, both boys were weighed today. At 7 weeks, Joel is 10lb 1oz, and Evan is 8lb 8oz. They are healthy growing boys!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Picture time!

Pictures of the boys taken yesterday (1 month, 4 days).


I know this is a bit blurry, but Joel is smiling! Evan:

Aren't they growing a ton?!?!
Things have been busy around here! Joel and Evan are spending a lot more time awake now, so I have even less time on my hands than I started with. They love to be able to just look around; both stare out the window constantly from my bed. Aunt Jessi came up this weekend and was amazed to see how much they keep their eyes open now. Even though it means even less downtime for me, I absolutely love it. Unfortunately, nothing is getting done around here, but I say it's worth having a messy house to be able to play with the boys each day.

Milestone! Joel has started smiling. Not too consistently yet, but I'm definitely marking his first smile at 6 weeks. Evan toys with smiling, but I still don't know if it is a true smile that I see, so I'm waiting to call it official yet.

The tears are flowing, time to go.

Pics will be added when blogger is working properly!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Our Guy Reuben

On a sad note, I have to say that we are going to have to find Reuben a new home. He has been wonderful with the babies... he kisses them, watches over them constantly... but we are seeing that he is extremely stressed out, to the point that I am very worried about him. He was our first furbaby, so my heart breaks at the idea of sending him away, but this really is not a good situation for him; he has always been "emotional", but I didn't realize how hard it would be on him.

Anyway, if anyone is in search of a little dog that has issues but is very loving, we are looking for a home.

Belated Picture Post

I tried to post these a few days ago, but the internet was not cooperating. Here are some of the latest (one month) photos.

My mom with the babies (when she was here):
Evan is growing his own buddha belly! Can you tell Joel is a fan of food? The White Peapod!

Today, Oct. 10, is the boys' actual due date. (Just a little interesting tidbit... my aunt is also due today-- with her fourth boy! Any news yet, Karla?) I tried weighing Joel this morning. I don't know how accurate our scale is, but if correct, he is around TEN POUNDS! That's probably fairly accurate, because I am already needing to move up to the next size diapers with him. Speaking of which, for those who are wondering, we are using both cloth and disposable at the moment, and so far, the cloth are great. Thank goodness Evan is still a little guy (though growing as well); otherwise I might really have trouble holding the two of them.

One last note... just want to say thank you to everyone who continues to check the blog, ask about the boys, and show us all the support. I read all the comments (although I don't comment back because it wouldn't make much sense I don't think), and I am amazed at all the different people who check in so often. So, for the regulars:

Hi Morgan! Joel and Evan can't wait to see you!
Believers Church- Thanks for the prayers!
DCHS- Hi everyone! Hope all is going well. One of these days I expect to bring the boys in to say hello.
WCS- Can't wait for you to meet the little guys. Thanks for all the gifts and support!