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.)