Thursday, August 27, 2009

I've decided to test the water...

For several days I've been feverishly researching, and learning
a new language.

My scribbles contain the following below:

flannel vs. wool vs. hemp
AIO, AI2, fitted, flat, prefolded, pockets
super trim
aplix vs. snap
zorb liners
NO to microfiber and microsuede
longies, shorties,
baby legs
PUL covers
pins & snappis

Oh, and YES, Bamboo too...

What's all that you ask?

It is the language spoken by the underground sub-culture
known as the cloth diapering movement.

Everyone has their reasons for investigating
the alternative to the disposable a.k.a. sposie
diaper. Mine are probably not as vogue as
you might think. I'm not interested for its greener
properties (some say that argument is debatable
anyway when you factor all the extra water
being used to clean cloth diapers), nor am I
economically motivated, per se, though that does
appear to be a possible silver lining.

I've been taking stock of my family's emergency
preparedness and find myself wanting in so many
areas that it is daunting just selecting where to begin.

Having had Max recently has put a new spin in the way
I see my preparedness, and I've been pondering how
caring for my children would be different in a world
without a Target just up the street. Whether or not
that day ever actually comes doesn't really matter to me.
I have been called to prepare.
So, in that vein, I've been researching recipes for babyfood
and methods of safely preparing and storing babyfood...and
that's how I got to this diaper thing. I thought, "What would
I do if I couldn't just go purchase a box of diapers for Max?"
I DO have some prefolds artfully disguised as burpies, but
I wouldn't be prepared to use them in a pinch as a diaper.
I got to thinking about it ( and yes it did conjure up some pretty
icky and stinky images), and I decided I would dip my toes
in the water and test it out.

I'm not making a commitment. I haven't suddenly become
the green queen, nor am I loudly advocating this alterna method
and preaching damnation to the naysayers. I'm just giving it a try.
I've come up with a small list of beginner supplies and am armed
with what I hope is good information on cleaning, drying, and
maintaining a cloth diapering home.

I have already experienced the worst of it as far as blowouts and
nighttime leaks are concerned with the disposables I'm currently
using. I really don't see much difference b/w regularly laundering
poopie prefolds or pooped clothes and soaked sheets. Laundry is
already, sadly, a regular part of my daily existence...and it's here to

The two things I am most unsure about so far are:
1). What does tent camping look like with a cd baby,
and 2). What does vacationing of any kind look like
with a cd diaper.

I feel like I could probably establish a home routine
that worked for me, but I fear the away from home for long periods
aspect of it.

It could derail the entire experiment. For now, I'm going to make
a small investment and plant the seed.

This will be a well-documented journey...

If you or someone you know has anything informative
to share on the subject I'd love to hear!

Magic Kingdom Take 2

Thanks to my SIL Brandi, we had the 411 that staying
onsite was worth the cost, especially with little ones in tow.
I can't say enough how much more relaxed that made the trip
for us. It was so nice at the end of a LONG day to just
stroll back to the hotel, take the elevator up, and deposit
our sleepy babies into their beds. We bought 3 day park
hoppers (thank you Brian's mom for using your Cali discount
for us!!!) and checked into our hotel Wed. afternoon. We had
originally planned to have Wed. be the first day of the hopper,
but we got a later start than expected, so we opted to stay out
of the park until Thurs. It worked out just fine because Jonathan
took the girls to the Neverland pool, while Max napped and I
planned the next days schedule. Again, Brandi's wealth of
information about all things Disney was so helpful in plotting out
each day's events/attractions. Max and I joined the rest of the
family at the pool after his nap, and later that evening we took
Brandi's advice and strolled downtown Disney to search for the
girls' souvenirs. Kennedy was quick to identify the Belle doll as
her souvenir and the two of them were inseparable for the
duration of our trip. Macy wanted so badly to find a "Silvermist"
doll from the TinkerBell movie. Sadly, there were none to be
found. Later the next day she fell in love with the Buzz Light year
with retractable wings, and he became her constant companion.

Once inside the park, we didn't stop for many photo-ops,
but we couldn't pass up a picture in front of Sleeping
Beauty's castle. Unfortunately when we were there
there weren't any English or Portuguese speakers around,
so we couldn't ask someone to take the pic with all of us
in it. Darn...we'll get that next time. And there WILL be a
NEXT time! We spent all of day one at Disneyland.
Unfortunately we made the unsavory mistake of having one
of Macy's first rides be Space Mountain. I didn't even
remember what that ride was all about. That set the
tone for the remainder of our trip. From that point on
Macy frantically asked at each stop if the ride was a) dark,
b) fast, and c) scary. I did my best to investigate the answers
to these questions for each ride (it has been almost 20 years
since I last visited the MK) but sometimes I was misinformed.
For example, even the Peter Pan ride is DARK and the lovely
stars in the night sky DO resemble the little lights on Space Mtn.,
especially if you are a traumatized 3 1/2 year old. In fact,
almost every ride that involved being indoors was dark, except
for It's a Small World. Needless to say, poor Macy didn't enjoy
the trip as she could have had we not made that fatal mistake.
Thankfully I don't think she'll be warped for life. She IS
still excited to return and assures us she'll be ready to try
some of the bigger, FASTER rides next time. Thanks to Fast Pass
and Rider Exchange, we were able to enjoy all of Tomorrowland,
New Orleans Square, and most of Frontierland during Day 1.

On Day 2, we enjoyed breafast with Ariel and all of her
princess friends at California Adventure. We enjoyed
sleeping in a bit, and the laidback atmosphere and smaller
crowds were a nice break from the nonstop excitement
of Disneyland. I got a lot smarter on Day 2, and made
better use of the fast pass system by only using two tickets
at each kiosk (we had four in total). This way I could walk
from one ride to the other and immediately fast pass again
using the two not used previously. If you know how the system
works, you have to wait a period of time between each fast pass
you get. By interspersing the two sets of tickets, I got fast passes
at Soarin', Grizzly Rapids, and Screamin' in a period of a little over
an hour. I LOVED the screamin' coaster and since we had two
fast passes for it and a Rider Exchange, I got to ride it twice
without the fuss of long lines! Soarin' was also REALLY COOL,
and one of the all time favorites since it also made Macy's
SHORT fun list (: I should mention here that Max and I
got the fast passes while Jonathan and the girls waited in line
at the Toy Story ride, which doesn't have the fast pass feature.
They had barely finished getting off their ride by the time
I had been to three attractions for fast passes. And just as
I strolled up, I got to skip the line and ride the Toy Story ride
with K since Jonathan got a Rider Exchange ticket for me.
I must sing the praises of these two programs. They are so
family friendly. Had it not been for FP and Rider Exchange,
we wouldn't have enjoyed the Disney experience nearly as
much, since one of us had to sit out each ride to be with Max.

On the last day, we availed ourselves of the Magic
Morning early entry, and went straight to Fantasyland
(which we had intentionally saved for last). We rode
pretty much all the minor attractions there in the space of
about 45 min. It was so great to hop on ride after ride
with no lines!! Gotta love Magic Morning, another
CONVINCING reason to justify the $$$ spent to stay
at the Disneyland hotel. After riding the rides of Fantasyland,
we went to the Bibbidy Bobbidy Boutique so each girl
could pick out a princess outfit. I should say here that
we prepped the girls before the trip that they would each
get ONE souvenir item of their choosing, and ONE dress up.
Since I have never purchased ANY dress ups prior to this (we do
have an assortment of halloween costumes and castoffs from
friends that we dress up in), I felt it OKAY to spend the money
for a TRULY magical final day at Disney. Kennedy chose
Jasmine and Macy chose the generic princess bride dress, which
we dubbed the "Gisele" dress because it looked like princess
Gisele from Enchanted. This was definitely a highlight of the
trip and an appropriate crescendo to our magical family vacation.
The girls were even stopped by a group of Japanese tourists for a
snapshot (: It was really rather funny, since the same thing
happened in Hawaii with Kennedy when she was 8 months old.
I guess there's just something novel about my darling girls that
tourists find irresistible??!

After Fantasyland, our "princesses" accompanied us back to
California Adventure to visit Bug Land, the only part of the park
we didn't see during Day 2. We enjoyed a leisurely afternoon
there, and spent a lot of time in the water features during the
hottest part of the day. Once again, we were glad to be on site,
since I didn't realize they had water features and hadn't packed
for them. Jonathan did a mad dash to the parking lot, and
retrieved (with some coaching from me) the swimsuits, towels,
and sandals, so the girls could get wet without ruining there
brand new princess duds. When we'd had enough of BugLand,
we strolled back over to Disney to Frontierland for the evening.
We enjoyed the Mark Twain riverboat, and a few rides we hadn't
had time for on Day 1. I must insert here that you MUST stop for
a Dole Whip in Frontierland and here's a very helpful pointer:
the line at the Dole Whip stand is almost as bad as the line for
Splash Mtn, UNLESS you agree to spend 20 min. in an air
conditioned tiki room for a cute little ditty by some friendly
parrots... in that case, you can enter the reserved waiting area
for Tiki Room guests ONLY and cut right to the front of line for a
Whip on th other side of the stand. I highly recommend coming
here during the hottest part of the day. Not only will you get a
taste of Hawaiian heaven, but you can enjoy the cooler that is
the Tiki oasis in the hotter than hot SoCal sun.

Trust me.

You. will. thank. me.

I have had a Dole Whip before at the Dole plantation on Oahu.
To my knowledge, this is the only place you can get them in the
lower 48.
So go.
After our whip, I lined up 1 1/2 hrs. BEFORE showtime for
the Fantasmic show over Tom Sawyer's Island. It is WORTH
IT. We saw the show the 1st night, but decided to come back for
better viewing. I LOVED this show...and I LOVE DISNEY. After
Fantasmic, we headed towards Main Street, with a clever little
detour near Aurora's castle for our 3rd viewing of "Magical" the
daily fireworks show. It was the perfect way to finish a lovely
Disney stay. We had checked out of our hotel earlier in the day,
so we packed the kids in the car and drove 2 hours,


to San Diego.

Stay tuned...

I was a little leary about taking Max on a nonstop
thriller vacation like this, but really I had no choice.
He did EXCEPTIONALLY well, taking good naps
in the stroller and the bjorn. Oh, and I nursed him
on the go: standing in line at Nemo's adventure,
eating lunch, outside the bathrooms, etc. How
did I accomplish this discreetly you ask? Because
my fantastic MIL bought me one of these.

Max really was a dream, and I'd say that this
first REAL family vacation with an infant so
exceeded my expectations that I'd do it again
in a heartbeat. The top ten things that made it

1) uppababy stroller (to be highlighted in later post)
2) rumbleseat for said uppababy
3) hooter hider (did I mention it doubles as a sun
shield while baby is in bjorn?!)
4) pacifier
5)pacifier clippy
6)bjorn or other carrier
7)breastfeeding (no bottles, formula, prepping,
planning, etc.)
8)rider exchange (THANK YOU DISNEY!)
9)Fast Pass
10) huge diaper bag to accomodate all the necessities!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Origins of name...

One of my favorite questions to ask new moms is "Where did you get the name?" I am really quite horrible at remembering names (I often need to be reminded on several occasions before it sticks) but sometimes knowing how they got it in the first place galvanizes it in my memory; it's also usually interesting to find out about the deceased relative, favorite character from a book (Barry Manilow song in my case), etc. People have such varied and interesting reasons for selecting the names they do. So I thought I'd explain the names in our family, particularly since we have made Max so confusing to so many (my pediatrician still calls him Joshua everytime I go in).

Kennedy Reese: Jonathan and I were at Costco in Provo (dating, not even engaged), when a darling little girl, long blonde curls, probably age four, went dashing down the aisle as her mother hollered after her "Kennedy!!!" It was love at first hearing. I knew right then and there that my first daughters name would be Kennedy. Roughly around this same time the movie Sweet Home Alabama was out (on the big screen or DVD I can't recall) featuring Reese Witherspoon. Having just returned from serving my mission in Alabama, I rather enjoyed the movie and was reminded how much I enjoy Reese as an actress....hence the moniker of my first child was born.

Macy Cleo: This name came about in kind of reverse order. Jonathan declared after Kennedy was born, that our next daughter (should there be a next) would have Cleo in her name. Why?? Because "Grandma Cleo is an upright Christian woman possessing all the noble traits we could ever wish for in a daughter" (or something like that). Well I couldn't argue with him, Grandma Cleo is an angel even if she's declared on a hundred or more occasions that she's methodist born and bred and will most definitely finish out her life as a methodist dead. At the time, our neighbor down the street had a sweet little pup named Cleo too, and I just couldn't bring myself to give my baby the name as her first. Having decided Cleo would be in the middle, I needed a name retro enough that it would seem to fit well with it. We moved to Texas from Louisiana mid-pregnancy (I had only six weeks left) and I discovered Macy was an anchorwoman for a local broadcast of the nightly news. Seemed like a good fit, and I was running out of time to decide. So Macy Cleo came to be.

Joshua Max: You know him as "Max" and that's exactly how we intended it. Odd I know (my elementary school teachin' mother-in-law said I shouldn't have done it that way), but it turns out it's a family tradition. My paternal grandmother's name is Mary Diane, but she's known to all as Diane. She calls both her sons by their middle name, and I decided to continue the legacy. Cruel, maybe. I hope not though. As for the names themselves: My first mission president's name was Perry Max. I almost would have just named him that exactly, except he had a son by the same name whom I dated and am NOT married to. Might have been bothersome to my husband...but I still liked the name... Well it turns out Jonathan's maternal great grandfather's name was Max too. We really stewed and stewed over what to call this little boy, and it came right down to the wire before we decided. I must have suggested hundreds of possibilities. Apparently Jonathan just knows too many people though, because he had known a guy who did a dumb thing by the same name of every other one I suggested. We were getting nowhere. Luckily we still had Max, a name we were both happy with that had the added bonus of pleasing the extended family. My mother suggested, rather forcefully, that we follow her tradition of tacking on a name that was biblical in nature since that was the tradition she'd started with her boys. We agreed Joshua went well with Max, but for some reason Max Joshua just didn't sound as good to us.

If you have a hankering, I'd love to hear how the creative process of babynaming takes shape in your family!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Sir Max-a-lot

Just kidding...

we haven't called him that. yet.

But he has been called by the following:
Macsimiliano (or something like that)
Max Master or Master Max
Last week we went to his well baby appt. that should have occurred at 4mo.,
but we were out of town.
Here's his stats
18 lbs. 1 oz.
26 in. long
I feel like he's rather large for his age, but I'm relieved to have discovered he's proportioned well. 75th percentile on both height and weight. He's a lover, not a hater. Jonathan took the above pic with his new Blackberry Tour. Not bad for a cell phone picture, eh?
From the looks of it, he enjoyed the gourmet pink lemonade cupcake from delish!
I'm not sure if I'm grateful or resentful that Jonathan introduced me; it was wickedly fabulous. I'm having a hard time saving the one I bought for "later". Wish me luck...

You know you're a mormon if...

I have lots of friends in the blogging world, and most of them are LDS. I know which of my friends blog with REGULARITY, and which ones, like me, don't. I never think much of it when the irregulars haven't posted in awhile. They probably are either neck deep in dirty laundry, have a sick (or multiple, as the case may be) baby, or are sick themselves. Or maybe their excavating the playroom yet again...the list of possibilities is so numerous I rarely spend much time thinking about it or trying to figure it out.

BUT, the ones who are the regulars somehow manage to move mountains and keep up on their blog at the same time. I aspire to be them...but I'm not. So, when they mysteriously drop of the scene for weeks or even months, the thought almost always crosses my mind, "I wonder if so-and-so is pregnant....again."

And my hunch is usually right.

Monday, August 10, 2009

The long awaited, but never duplicated...

Disneyland...of course!

The Magic Kingdom somehow hasn't lost any
of its magic in the intervening 18 or so years
since I last visited. Truly, I marvel at the imagination
of Walt Disney. We received a special invitation
to dine with Mrs. Ariel herself during our stay, and we
couldn't pass up the opportunity!

She was so EXCITED when we arrived and saw
to our every need,

She enquired diligently about our stay at the
castle, the acceptability of the accomodations,
and so forth. She got to know us personally as her
special guests and made us feel welcome at our coronation
as the newest princesses to the castle.


she introduced us to her famous friends!

First there was Snow White who showed us
proper posture and poise,

Then Belle whose gown and coordinating gloves
were to die for,

Shortly thereafter the lovely Cinderella who
immediately put us at ease with her
gentle and endearing manner,

And last, but never least, the missus whose
personal estate is the crown jewel of Disneyland...

The Unforgettable Aurora!

It was truly sublime-- a moment never to be
forgotten in our young and furtive minds!

After our introduction to the princesses,
we were indulged with fare fit for King
Triton himself! (Well that one might have
been a bit of an exaggeration, but it
was a hot breakfast at least, and fueled us
for the many more adventures yet to come).

We thoroughly enjoyed our visit under the sea
and promised Ariel we'd come again!

West Seattle with "Bepelle"

My best friend from high school married a high
school friend of ours and they still reside in the harbor.
It's always fun to catch up when we're in town and
see how each other's children have grown! Her husband
has recently started a new career in Seattle, which makes
for a VERY long commute from the Gig Harbor area. So
naturally, they are looking to relocate. She found her utopia
in West Seattle; so she decided to take me there and sell
me on the place!

Grandma graciously agreed to chaperone
the outing; without her, it would've been
all work and no a BIG thanks to Grandma
for being super fun and playing with us on
MANY occasions during our month-long
stay in the harbor! ( I should mention here
that she also brought me back to good health
from a near-death episode of mastitis...that's only
maybe a tiny bit dramatic. Seriously
thankful I wasn't in CT alone!)

I'm envious of my carefree 5 year
old for a lot of reasons I won't mention
here. One of them I will mention is
the ease with which friendships are
forged and renewed after a long

The old school park in WS had this fabulous
zipline swing! Out of control; most modern
parks today would ban such an amusement
for the liabilities sake...

Check out the sweet air Grandma and Macy

After a HOT (seems to me the temp. was in the 90's) morning
playing at the park, we spent a lazy afternoon cooling our
jets in the wade pool. Finished off a near perfect day
with a gorgeous return trip on the ferry!

And here are the stars of the day!
Bepelle is how her baby brother Rigby
pronounces Bethelle, her real name (:

Saturday, August 8, 2009

More from the zoo

This year I've really come to a greater
appreciation for all the grandmas in my life and
the lives of my children. We are all better people
because we love and are loved by them. So thank you
to each of you for the unique ways you have blessed
our lives this year and always. We love you Grandma
Cleo, Mama Toby, Nana Cope, Grandma Johns,
Great-Grandma Johns, Great-Grandma White (
and the grandpas too, naturally!)

One of the new species we discovered this year...
real reindeer! There fuzzy antlers and size
are really something to see! And I thought they
were make believe!

Pt. Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

Grandma Johns took us one lazy afternoon to the local
zoo and aquarium. It was very nice. There isn't so much to see
that you feel it's a chore, but there also isn't too little. It's a great
combination of land & sea life. Of course, who could pass up the
opportunity to have a ride on the camels? The girls thought they
were with Prince Ali and his menagerie....wink

And they were so excited to identify the reef dwellers
to Grandma; she was a gracious and thoughtful student,
of course!

We snapped this cameo of Max in the parking lot
when it was time to go...angel baby of mine

He has been the poster child of what good looks
like for roadtripping/coast-to-coast flying/ all day
strolling infants. Love him all the more for his flexibility
with the nap schedule so we could have a memory-filled
vacation as a family!

Independence Day

I feel a tremendous sense of relief to be over my post layout mishaps...moving on now...Grandpa Johns holding the first male grandbaby. Guess that's one good thing about being the oldest on my side, I've had a lot of the firsts for the family!

Kennedy took an immediate liking to Uncle Sean and acted as if he'd never been gone serving a mission for two years! To my knowledge she's had two crushes in her life: uncle Brandon and uncle Sean. I hope that trend persists at least prior to the tween years. If she maintains this kind of taste in the opposite sex, I have no worries about the dating years.

See what I mean?
Totally enamored!

We all enjoyed ourselves at the 4th of July
pancake breakfast!

And unfortunately (sorry Jonny) this is the only pic
I got that evening before the fireworks show. Guess
you'll just have to believe me that we went to a great
venue with live music, terriyaki and pit bbq, corn on the cob,
kettle corn (yes there does appear to be a food theme here),
port-o-potties, teenage dance-offs, and of course, FIREWORKS!
I LOVE the U.S.A. A heartfelt thanks to my friends and family
who have or are currently serving the armed forces to protect

Visit to Grandma & Grandpa's

Daddy found a jellyfish at Owen beach during our trip to Washington. Good thing it was dead because it appears to be one of the poisonous variety!
Me and my surfer dude at Owen beach...Jonathan will go on record to confirm that one of the names I pitched during the baby name game was Ryder Crush (as in Finding Nemo). Guess I'll always be a beach bum at heart! You can take the girl out of California,
but you can't take the California out of the girl!

Max at four months...pour fella has spent one quarter of his life so far on the road. Vacation was so much fun, but I'm ready to get back into a 'routine' again.

Feeding the duckies at Pt. Defiance. Just look at the cute little family we discovered; in that moment, I felt a kinship with the mama duck!
And gorgeous Mt. Rainier...a constant reminder of the grandeur and glory of God's creations. It's a familiar friend that reminds me where home is!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

More Block Island

Did you notice that my little experimentation with different
blog layout styles has been a complete flop? Well now you did because I pointed it out...oh well, c'est la vie. I had to include this picture because it is SOO Kennedy. Ever the dramatic one ( I wonder where she got that from???) Look how she closes her eyes while she hugs Grandma. I love it; it looks as if she is soaking her in with all the senses. That's how she loves, with every fiber of her being.

I love pictures like this one; they remind me that the girls really DO love each other, a WHOLE lot! What a gift to have a sister to experience life's ups and downs with.
And finally, this masterpiece. Can you see the little person Kennedy created with rocks, seashells, and seaglass?! I'm so grateful to be a mother. Truly grateful. I'm much too pragmatic for my own good. Thankfully my children bring plenty of spontaneity, whimsy, and sheer joy to my life. I'm beginning to see how this adventure called motherhood is permanently altering me for the better. I love you forever and ever Kennedy, Macy, and Max!

Block Island, Rhode Island

My parents came to visit for Memorial weekend. Besides the boatload of honey-do items that got accomplished, thanks in large part to Dad's expertise, we managed to squeeze in a quick weekend trip to Block Island, Rhode Island. We stayed in the Hendrickson House, pictured left. It was a comfortable condo with quick and convenient access to the Island's Old Harbor district.

We enjoyed a host of activities including beach combing, sandcastle building, moped riding, walking the island and exploring the interior, hiking to one of the historic lighthouses, visiting a small collection of farm animals, and tree climbing! That's Kennedy's little head poking out of the foliage to the left.

One peculiarity I noted was the absence of privacy fences to delineate one parcel of land from another. The result was this fabulous spot of rolling green pasture plunked right in the middle of a circle of homesteads. I wish we planned our communities like this today. Wouldn't that be great to send the kids out the back door to play and know they have a huge enclosure of outdoor space to play in, which could be looked upon from the backyard of every Mom in the neighborhood?

The girls didn't require any encouragement to get out and play. There's just something irresistible about wide open spaces; it feels like an open invitation to find an adventure! The girls soon had these geese on the run; poor fellas!

Sunday's weather proved to be nothing but beachy feeling, fortunately it made staying away from the beach and keeping the Sabbath a lot easier. There aren't any LDS congregations on Block Island, so we opted to spend the day exploring some of the lesser seen treasures of the island, including this lighthouse. I really couldn't get a good picture because it was so shrouded with fog, but it was a fun hike. We barely missed being able to see the inside as the keeper of the light had closed shop literally minutes before our arrival.