Sunday, January 30, 2011

1-22-11 Photos

One of my best friends, Lucia, took photos of us near the Old Well last weekend. Lucia, thank you for the time and effort you put into creating these memories for us. You're so talented. I know we'll treasure them forever. Looking at these pictures makes me think of how much time has passed from when we first met living next door to each other the start of our sophomore year in Alderman dorm. I feel lucky to be able to call you one of my dear friends.

As a fun fact: Calvin and I actually met at UNC the start of my junior year. He had just graduated from Southern California and moved across the country to work in Carolina's Campus Rec department. Lucia was the one who talked me into dating him. I still vividly remember that conversation in the office/guest bedroom of her apartment at Stratford Hills. Thanks for the advice!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Birds & Flowers

I made Kathleen's mobile tonight to hang above her crib! It looks great. I do not think these pictures really do it justice. The biggest compliment truly was Calvin's reaction with the final project hanging in the room. It's nice to know he likes it as much as I do. 
Thanks to Etsy vendors for making the birds and flowers for me! 

From Kathleen's Point of View

Sunday, January 23, 2011

My Mommy Car

This weekend Calvin and I upgraded my car from the 2003 Toyota Corolla with 190,000 miles (and lots of dog hair) to a 2007 Kia Rondo with 51,500 miles. I’m very excited to now have a vehicle that is perfect for a car seat plus the dog can still ride in the back.

Believe it or not, I found the exact car I wanted for the right price in Lancaster, South Carolina. It was well worth the 3 hour drive to get it from the small used car dealership that apparently had this particular car in their inventory since November. I am so thankful the dealership waited until a couple weeks ago to list it online. For me, that was a sign that this car was waiting just for us!

In an effort of being honest, while I would like to paint a pretty picture of how easy it was for Calvin and I to decide on what car to buy, find it, and agree with each other all along the way; communication is not always perfect even in good marriages. Looking back with a clear mind, I was a pill to deal with once I got my mind set on what I wanted and how quickly I wanted to have it. But it all worked out very well and ultimately the outcome was exactly what we both hoped for. I am thankful for a wonderful and forgiving husband, for our ability to talk things through even after all is said and done, for the practicality of writing a check to buy a nice car without car payments, and for the abundance that we continue to live in. The Lord has truly provided for us as Calvin goes through the journey of seminary at Duke.

I had actually never heard of the Kia Rondo before a couple weekends ago. Calvin was the one who pointed it out to me. Originally I was set on a small SUV, in particular the Saturn Vue. After a quick test drive I fell in love with the roomy interior, huge windows, cargo storage in the back, huge back doors and easy access to the LATCH car seat hooks. It’s everything I wanted in an SUV without being quite so big. With my online research all the reviews praised its features and practicality, but seemed to get stuck on the overall look or category of the car. I have to admit, wrapping my head around the Rondo was a little hard at first. Consistently dealers as well as consumers could not seem to easily describe what class the Rondo falls into. It’s considered a mini mini-van, some also call it an SUV, others a wagon, and the only blanket category that seems to leave the door open to interpretation is a crossover vehicle. Whatever description you choose, I love vehicle for the specific features that are unique to it.

Below are pictures of the new ride! It’s a 2007 Kia Rondo with 51,500 miles on it. Black with chrome accents, a tan interior, V6 , 17” wheels, sunroof, upgraded audio system, and cargo storage room under the floor in the back. Very practical for a new mommy!


Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Decision to try Cloth Diapers

For Calvin and I, the decision to try cloth diapers was as easy as us looking at, the cost of disposables, and the new advances in how cloth diapering works to say, “Let’s do it.” We were both I would say about 70% on board for this idea before we really knew anything about it. It really only took about one full weekend of internet research for us to feel like this was going to be the best way for us to diaper our child. Given that this is our first child – the good news is we don’t know any better! So we’re hoping it will be easier for us to work out the kinks with patience. 

Here are some of the pros that we expect cloth diapering to offer:
1.  No stereotypical sending the hubby running out last min to grab diapers at Target. 
2.  Did you know that newborns can go through 8-10 diapers a day? That’s a ton of disposables to go through.  Let’s see - that’s about 300 diapers in the first month alone. With cloth diapers we should be able to use one cloth diaper system from birth to potty. Isn't that awesome!
3. And because they now make them to fit your child from birth to potty, it should be only $200-$250 to get all we need to diaper our child for 2 full years. (not including $20/month for the disposables we'll need for daycare) This is compared to the estimated $3,000 for disposable diapers over 2 years. Plus, I've read that we should be able to use these same diapers on our next child as well! 
4. The cloth diaper system that we've picked out does have disposable inserts for weekend trips or daycare use. I’m not sure if that will completely work out for daycare. We’ll have to see what the rules are. But since Kathleen will only be in daycare 3 days a week starting in September, that leaves 4 other days for us to use the cloth diapers.
5.  And finally, with cloth diapers we've read that you can usually potty train your child a little quicker. In theory, you have the ability to change the diaper inserts to one that no longer keeps all the moisture away from the child’s skin. This allows them to feel the wet. But we’ll have to see if that really holds true for us when the time comes.

Here's a couple links to view the cloth diapers we plan to use. Cotton Babies is a brand that offers both Flip and Bum Genius diaper covers which are one size covers with interchangeable inserts. They offer both velcro and snaps to close the diaper plus a variety of colors to keep your baby's bum looking cute. Also if you haven't heard of a Snappi yet, these things are so simple yet so awesome. Someone basically took and ace bandage closure system and made it work for the cloth prefold diapers. It's way better than those dreaded diaper safety pins!

So wish us luck on the cloth diapering adventure! I hope it proves as easy as we expect it to be. This is one time where I am thankful that Calvin does a large majority of the laundry in our household. We’re expecting a medium sized load of diapers every other day. At least they’ll be easy to fold! 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Kathleen's room is done.

Things continue to go well for us. The spring semester at Duke officially starts back tomorrow. As we set for our goal over winter break, we have Kathleen's room completely set up with all of her furniture including the crib. (Thanks Mom and Dad for yet another wonderful and generous gift!) The closet, bookshelf, and drawers are empty waiting for her new baby items. We also emptied drawers built into the master bedroom vanity that will serve as her changing table with a convenient sink built in. In a very successful trip to Ikea we scored new floor and dresser lamps, wall hooks, a blanket rack for the wall, a mirror, fabric to make window valances with, and sparkling juice for me! I've also ordered very cute paper birds and flowers from Etsy to make a mobile to hang over Kathleen's crib. So now with all of this prep work done and 2 fun crafts to work on (the window valances and the mobile), we can go on about the spring semester classes and work to be done without a worry. My favorite way to spend time now is sitting in the room to read or talk on the phone in a quiet place. Here are pictures so you can see what's been done!

View from the door.

The mirror and lamp were both from Ikea.
The floor lamp is an exact larger version of this dresser lamp.


The crib that will also turn into a twin bed when we need it.

This was my baby blanket quilted by Polly who just turned 93!
This is the fabric to use for the window valances.
The vanity in the master bedroom is also connected to our bathroom.