Monday, May 31

Meeting the Trio.................

Sweet, sweet babies. Almost 8 weeks, now between 6-7 lbs. Such little ones, they were so fun to care for!
It was fun to see their baby dedication!Graham has lots of fun playing with his "big" cousins!Testing out both triple strollers during our walk!
I love Lincoln's look, I don't think he's interested in Andrew's small talk. :)

The babies are all doing great! Lincoln does have a double hernia, and will hopefully have surgery very soon to alleviate his discomfort. But other than that, they are all healthy & growing! Their church has pitched in so much between the meals, the gifts and the volunteer care. What a blessing it is for them to have such resources, because it seriously does take an army! I think I will take my babies one at time, thank you very much........... :)

Wednesday, May 26


The last day that my sister was here, we ended up along the North Shore of Pgh. We had always seen this spot across the river that looked so nice, but we never knew how to get there! Well, we found it. It reminds us of the River Walk in Mpls. as well as Norfolk, so I think we may have found our new favorite spot.
More pics are also on facebook.

miss this girl so much! but thankful for such a fun week!

Monday, May 24

Jaunting thru the Strip............

We love our Strip District which is where we can get [cheap] produce & meats. There are also tons of food being grilled up along the sidewalks, and many fun things to take in! And donuts. can't forget the donuts.
I just LOVE this table & chairs!!
dinosaurs made out of bread, anyone?ewwwww.......
lovin' our time!

Wednesday, May 19

The fun begins...............

We are so excited to have Katie here!

Day 1 @ the park................

Monday, May 17

Summer fun. and more fun.

We are so excited to have a "normal" summer! Last summer, moving from Virginia to Pennsylvania in the middle somehow seemed to absorb our whole summer. Besides having a 5 month old and still learning how babies work. :)
This summer is shaping up to be lots of fun and we are so thankful that God has given Andrew a job where he has wonderful & flexible vacation time.
. tomorrow - my sister arrives for one week!! happy, happy, joy, joy. can't wait!
. heading across the state for Memorial weekend to meet those sweet triplets.
. my mom & grandma are coming to visit!
. celebrating our 5th anniversary!! So while they are here, Andrew & I are escaping for a 3 day get-a-way to Niagara Falls!! Our first trip away since G joined us. And while we will miss him, we.are.ecstatic.
. well, no trips planned, but we are looking forward to G's first fireworks! ba-boom.
. my cousin is getting married, so Graham & I are hopping a plane for a week in MN! can't wait to see friends & family there!
. and last but (certainly) not least - BEACH time! Heading to Mama & Papa Hughes, then to OBX for a few days, capped off by Labor Day weekend in Va Beach to see many good friends there!

We hope our paths cross with many of you this summer!!

Thursday, May 13

Children of the Cloth..................

It is hard to believe I have been cloth diapering now for over a year! I have learned a lot in that year! I get a lot of questions about it, so here is my general synopsis of what has worked for us.
Andrew first asked me to consider CD's right after Graham was born. At the time, I think my reaction was something like, "are we going to stop using electricity too?"!! I had no idea that this was a huge movement and that there are tons of amazing, easy options available and that lots of moms are going this route! Of course, with a newborn, I didn't have too much spare time to research, so I basically went with the simplest, cheapest method I could find. I started out with 24 prefolds & 3 Thirsties covers. For inserts, I used strips of cloth (from old t-shirts and such).
(Bummis cover)
Thirsties covers are great. They have a great fit around the legs that really keep leaks from happening. One thing I don't love about them is that the front tab is not very high, so when they're not wearing a onesie, they tend to leak out the top. About 5 months in, my Thirsties covers started soaking right through the cover. I thought I was going to have to buy all new covers, but at the time, I instead purchased 3 all-in-ones of Bumgenius 3.0. [cue*choir singing!!!!!!!!!! ] If I would have known these existed..............! These are a diaper/cover/insert all in one piece (though you do pull out the insert to wash). So, LOVE these and they have worked perfectly for night time! I usually do add an extra insert, but he does not wake up with that sopping, dripping mess of an overnight pre-fold! So, after I started using these at night, the Thirsties covers stopped leaking! Apparently they were just getting too much use! Somewhere along the way, I also added this cute polka-dot Bummis cover. I love the material, it's a lot more water-resistant than the Thirsties. However, the leg openings do not close as well as the Thirsties. I also picked up 2 of these Bummis covers. They are certainly nothing fancy, but at only $5 each, they are a steal and I like to use them for naptimes!
Since discovering all-in-one diapers, I have been keeping my eyes peeled for steals & deals!! I recently was able to score 3 all-in-ones for FREE!! However, because they were a freebie, I am on a waiting list to get them. I can't wait to use them!! One of them is this adorable Happy Heiny's All-in-One in Mocha.
But my new love is most certainly the Gro-Baby line! Of course, even as I tell you this, they recently changed to Gro-Via. But I THINK they are still somewhat the same. I already have one of these, and hopefully will get 2 more (from my freebies). These are awesome and only include a cover & snap-in insert. The top of the cover comes up higher, so no leaks out the top either! You just pull out the insert to change. They also sell a disposable insert for when you are the go. Of course, my thinking is, if I have to use a disposable insert, I might as well use a disposable diaper that I can find for $3-4 a pack. But anyways, I am looking for ways to add to my stash of these for sure!  
When I first started, basically I would throw G in a disposable for something as simple as running to the Post Office. :) Now, I even sometimes change him away from home and have even used them on vacation! I will say, it just gets much easier as you go. For when you are the GO, you carry soiled ones in a special Bag. Probably sounds gross, but it's not that bad.
The most negative view most people have of them is the LAUNDRY. For me, it's one load every 3 days. Has not been a big deal at all! The worst part is dealing with the grossness. Yes, there is some grossness involved. :) I have way more familiarity with my son's you-know-what than I would prefer. I am really thankful I have a basement for sure! I keep all the soiled dipes down there until ready to wash. For those without basements, I am wondering, how do you best contain everything?? (above they air out between uses).
Oh, another great thing about the all-in-ones? They are one size from birth to potty training, so I don't have to buy more as he grows! (Hence, the rows of snaps on some of them).
So, bottom line, I am really glad I made the switch. I have spent less than $175, which is about 4 months of disposables! If you are thinking about making the switch, definitely consider it! I am sure you will do your research better than me and find out it might not be as bad as you think. :) 
Some great sites to check are Diaper Junction & The Natural Baby Co. & Kelly's Closet & Franklin Goose (they gave me the freebies, so definitely have to pitch them!).
These 2 blogs (CD blog & Diaper Whisperer) host diaper giveaways every week!! I have yet to win, but can always hope. :)
So, those of you who have gone this route, what have you learned that has been most helpful in making it as convenient as possible and what diapers do you love the most??
Probably the most time-consuming thing in the laundry for me is folding the inserts. So have you found great inserts that work well? I have tried using a pre-fold diaper and they just aren't very absorbant it seems.
Less diapers in our landfills.
More money in our pockets.
What's not to love?!

Monday, May 10

Together at last........

We are so thankful to report that over the last few days, all 3 triplets have come home! (Their first picture together since being in the womb!) What a crazy little ride they have had in their first 5+ weeks of life! Their heart rates & breathing will continue to be monitored for the next month or so, but it will be a huge blessing for Joel & Laura not to have to drive somewhere to see their children. (Not that they aren't going to miss the hospital staff!) :) Keep them in your prayers as I am sure most of felt like one baby was plenty of work in the beginning! They have all made it to 5 lbs!

From 4 to 7 in the blink of an eye................

Can't wait to hold you sweet babies in 3 weeks!

Sunday, May 9

mom's day #2

Awaiting me this of my favorite flowers!
Would you believe me if I told you that Andrew got them for $2????????
Would you believe me even more if I said that (REALLY!!) made my frugal little heart beat that much faster and that I love them that much more?!!
That is why we love our Strip District!
Oh, and it was time for me to get my picnik on....too much fun it is!! So all these photos have been chopped, edited, and colorized to death. :)
My activity choice of the day....
Our local park's carousel was giving free rides for the day.
One thing I love about Pittsburgh is that if you wait for it, almost everything here offers a free day sometime!
 Somebody thought it was a weird choice for mom's day, but I guess, whatever makes my baby happy, makes me happy. :)
that's your happy face, right?
So, he may not have been in love with the spinning part. But he DID love all the different animals.
(as did his daddy.)

capped off by dinner @ The Walnut Grille.
Treasuring these moments. Knowing they are fleeting. Thankful for God's grace in the sweet little boy who calls me mama. (even though it sometimes sounds like akjhdiekjnhdk.)