Monday, August 31, 2009

Ella's First Day of Preschool

Ella's had a big day today! It's her 3rd Birthday and she started preschool. I think she was excited this morning - she came into my room at 6:15 ready to get on with the day. We had her favorite, french toast sticks, for breakfast and got everything ready for school, including the powdered mini-donuts for her birthday treat to share. She looked so sweet with her tinkerbell backpack that's half her size and her hair combed with the little pink barrett. I experienced that odd intermingling of emotions you often get as a mom - pride, a little bit of fear, excitement, joy, and sadness.

She seemed a little anxious as we headed to her class, but then found her friend Ce Ce and I'm not certain she even noticed when Ezra and I left...just as I'd hoped. Ezra wasn't sure what to do with all of the one on one attention, but we had a good morning. He sure was happy to see his big sis after school, though!

The funniest moment came when I went to pick Ella up from school. She looked a bit unhappy and I wondered what was up. Turned out that she really wanted to get on the school bus with her friend Truman (our neighbor friend). Silly mom. So, I signed her up to ride the bus home and we'll drive to school together. She had a great time, but is tired, and is excited to go back to school tomorrow. I love my girl!

I know Grandma and Daddy wanted to see pics, so I wanted to get this blog post up this afternoon while Ella is relaxing!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Frankenstein Cake

My mom gave me a cake decorating book and I made my first child's birthday cake last year - a puppy dog and little paw print cupcakes. I enjoyed the experience and thought I'd try making Ella's cake again this year. We've actually been looking through the pictures here and there for about a month now. Since her tastes are ever-changing, I decided to wait to let her choose a design right before her birthday. Then, one day I decided to ask her if she wanted an ice-cream cake. The girl loves all things ice cream. She got excited, so I started making plans.

I researched all kinds of recipes on the internet, asked Tim what he preferred, and then did a facebook flavor survey. Once I decided to go vanilla ice cream with crushed oreos, fudge, and caramel, I only needed to select the size cake. I'm not sure why, but I can never just do the simple thing in these circumstances. When I counted the number of potential guests, a regular cake just didn't seem enough. So, I pulled out 3 round cake pans, each smaller than the next and decided to make a three-tiered ice-cream cake.

The ingredients are not tricky, but the process is time-consuming and you've got to work quickly. Patience and a deep freezer are also helpful. Everything actually went fairly well, except I overdid things a bit with the fudge and caramel. The problems came at frosting time because I had to frost and freeze, frost and freeze. My sister, Merilee, gave me a delicious, light frosting recipes that combines cool whip and pudding mix. So yummy! I frosted my layers, but they were uneven and unimpressive.
I should have left well-enough alone, froze this, then added m&ms as planned around the layers with "Happy Birthday!" on top.

I decided to solve this by adding canned whip cream around the layers for a "decorative effect." By this time, I had some melting issues as well. After a bit more freezing, I decided to remove the whip cream decoration. To fix this fiasco, I had to add more frosting. Consequently, I ended up with more of an ice cream cake mountain, than the 3 tiered cake I envisioned.

This doesn't look as bad as I remembered, but oddly, I think the picture is being a bit kind.

I added m&m rings to try to define the layers, then placed the cake back in the freezer, my heart sinking. I peeked at the cake throughout the day until - suddenly - it hit me! My mountain could be transformed into a princess cake with a doll on top! The end result is definitely not the refined cake I imagined, but Ella was pleased and there was no freezer-burn in sight! I think it actually tasted a bit like Red Robin's Mile High Mudd Pie in the end.

Princess cake turned out cool, although the dripping filling and sliding m&ms leave alot to be desired!
Ella liked it, but she didn't get to see the "princess" for long because we didn't want the cake to melt. Oh, well. She was happy and I had a fun experience making this!

An inside view after it melted a bit, but you get the idea.

Next time, however, a little more technique and a little less experimentation are in order.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Scoop on Poop and Washing

As Tim cleaned the poop out Ella's underwear the other night, I said, "Maybe we're just trying cloth diapers out at the right time in our lives." We were dismayed when we saw the diapers piling up after Ezra's birth and found ourselves purchasing extra diaper pails to contain them. Our mission: get Ella potty trained. While having a potty trained toddler is ultimately rewarding, you deal with a lot of pee and poo, clean out lots of underwear, and scrub quite a few carpets before you achieve success. And, even when they're officially potty trained, accidents happen. All accidents are frustrating and dealing with the mess is a hassle, but the gross-out factor has seriously diminished at our house. So, when people get to the "big" cloth diaper question question: "What about the poop?", I think "It's not that big of a deal."

Whether you use a diaper service or not, it's pretty likely that you'll need to shake some poo off cloth diapers before putting them in a bin or the wash. (Side note: According to the Real Diaper Association, disposable diaper packages actually instruct us to do the same.) I did discover the other day, though, that the stool of breast-fed babies (before any solids are introduced) is water-soluble, so serious pre-wash is not necessary. My experience with an older baby is that changing any kind of poopy diaper is gross. In a disposable, it all tends to stick and squish to baby and diaper. It also tends to creep up and out. With a cloth diaper, it doesn't stick in the diaper and I've yet to have it leave the diaper. You can put the diaper over the toilet and it'll easily come off and 'tada!' you're done.

For my trial, I've used a Funnibunz In-and-Out bag especially made for soiled diapers with a zipper at the bottom. I put all soiled diapers inside, making sure to prepare any velcro for the wash. When washing day comes, I hold the bag over the washing machine, unzip it, and the diapers go in. I wash diapers and the bag together.

For washing, I've seen a few suggestions. Basically, most people recommend a cold rinse, hot/cold wash with detergent, then a second cold rinse. It's simple and takes very little time. I've dried everything in the dryer, except covers that dry rather quickly. I would like to try the sun, but haven't been that ambitious yet. Some AIOs and the Bumgenius take a bit longer to dry.
Interested in more detailed info on washing? Here's a link:

Questions about water usage? Here's a link and some facts: and a quote:

"Some people would question whether cloth diapers are better for the environment because of the water required to wash them. However, washing cloth diapers at home uses about the same amount of water in one week as a toilet being flushed 5-6 times a day. A diaper service washing their diapers in bulk will use even less water."

Lastly, what does my husband think of all this? Realistically, he doesn't change nearly as many diapers as I do, simply because he works outside of the home. He does do his share, however, and I've had him try changing the cloth diapers. For Tim, it's been no big deal and he's willing to make the transition. I'm pretty sure at this point he's ready to quit talking about it and just get on with it! ;0) (But there's so much fascinating information out there!)

So, now I've come to the end of my Diaper Daisy cloth diaper trial and I've decided to move to full-time cloth diapering. We will, of course, keep disposables on hand for babysitters and long trips. I'm getting the trial together to send back and sad to actually be back in disposables and dealing with the trash. This being said, I am not trying to convert anyone to cloth diapering here or convince people that this is "the way" to go. I've loved blogging about my experience and sharing all of discoveries, though.

Coming Up Next: The trial is over. What diapers did I ultimately choose?

My Link for the Day:

Monday, August 24, 2009

Standing Tall

Ezra loves trying out his legs recently. He's started doing that sit and turn thing babies do. Plus, he wants to stand as often as he can. I pulled out the play table for him recently and he adores standing and playing. Ezra's pretty bold, too. He'll take one hand off pretty often and try to stand holding only one mom hand as well. Like all mom's say, I can't believe how quickly he's growing up!

Look at those strong legs!
Love the concentration!
I could do this all day!
One hand off.
What does this do?
Happy baby. A smiling picture without drool, for once.
Love this lip biting he does.
I only need one hand for this, mom.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Navigating the New World of Cloth Diapers

I experienced changing my first cloth diaper change at 12. The parents of this darling little boy were stereotypical birkenstock-wearing, organic food-eating, avid recycling Seattlelites. Perhaps the image many people have when they think of cloth diapering "types." They'd adopted their little guy in their 40s and spared little expense. I remembered being a bit impressed by these new-fangled diapers - an insert in a cover with velcro enclosures. The instructions seemed simple enough: place the insert into the diaper cover and placed soiled diapers in the bin for the service to clean. I dutifully did as instructed. No problem, except for the afternoon I showed up to babysit and the exasperated mother said, "You put the *#@^ in the toilet before you put it in the pail!" I recall thinking, "You didn't tell me that."

This was the early '90s with no diaper pins or plastic pants in site, but this is the image that pops into many heads when you say "cloth diapers." This is still an option, but not one I'm considering. There are a variety of choices that should meet most family needs these days. You can go strictly with one system or mix and match. Thank goodness for the Diaper Daisy trial because I'm still researching ease of use, cost, and durability. I've read more and solicited Tim's opinion since just a few days ago and I am perhaps changing my mind about the best option for our family.

Thankfully, I still have time to select the best styles for my family (and could always purchase a little now and more later). In the meantime, here are my thoughts on the different cloth diaper styles:

Pocket Diapers: These are considered by many to be the "modern cloth diaper." This clever design has the diaper cover with a soft lining sewn to it. Between the cover and the lining is a pocket, where you can slip in one or more insert, depending on the absorbancy you need. When the diaper is soiled, you remove the insert and put the whole diaper in the wash. Pocket diapers are available in sized or one size options.
What I like: These diapers are simple to use and the option to add extra absorbency, especially at night, is helpful. There's no folding and you can easily stuff your prefolds each time you take them out of the dryer, so they're ready to go when you need them. This is a great diaper to use on the go. They also tend to be trimmer fitting than some of the other options, which is a definite plus - especially when your little one is round like mine!
Considerations: I don't love reaching in and pulling out the wet insert, but it's not really a deterrent. Since the lining is sewn to the cover, the entire diaper has to be washed each time you use it. This can mean serious wear and tear on the fabric and fastenings. For this reason, I am considering going with sized pocket diapers, so each diaper won't endure quite so much washing. They are not the cheapest option, so this will add a bit to the cost, but should hopefully even out when used with multiple children. Also, if you want to resell diapers later, sized will probably hold their value better, in my opinion.

All-in-ones (AIOs): It couldn't get simpler than this. Cover, absorbent layer, all sewn together in one neat package. Use and toss in the wash. It's that easy, just like a disposable, with the exception that you might need to clean poo off first.
What I like: Simplicity. Easy to wash, easy to use, no extra steps needed.
Considerations: Since everything will get washed each time, these diapers will definitely wear down faster than, say, a diaper and prefold. But, if you buy them sized rather than one-size, they'll most likely last longer. This means an investment in several sizes, however. I think they will potentially resell better this way in the long run. With the Thirsties AIO I'm using, there's even a pocket for an extra insert. I'm liking these more and more! They definitely look bulkier on baby than pocket diapers, though.

Diaper Covers: These handy covers provide the waterproof protection and can hold a prefold, flat, or fitted diaper. Unless soiled, they simply need to be aired out, so they can be used a few times before washing. You can purchase sized or one-size covers.
What I like: The reusability factor means less washing and wear and tear. It also means you can purchase a few covers and multiple (less expensive) inserts. Thirsties covers are easy to use and have a nice fit on Ezra.
Considerations: Since covers require an insert, they can be a bulkier system than the others. You can pre-stuff your covers if you like with prefolds, which will save time. The easiest system would be to use a fitted diaper with a cover, but you get the most value with a prefold. If cost were not a factor, I would probably skip this system all together.

Prefolds: The rectangles of fabric you think of with cloth diapering. These come in different sizes and qualities. You can fold them different ways and place them inside a diaper cover.
What I like: Economical and fairly easy to use. When they're soiled, there's usually a dry corner to grab, unlike a pocket insert. They are also very absorbent and you can add an insert during sleep time for extra absorbency.
Considerations: Using a prefold does have a bit of a learning curve, but there's lots of tutorials on the internet. You can use a snappi fastener to help hold it in place as well, which I find very helpful. They look bulky to me and can be leaky if you don't get the fold right, but that's probably user-error. You probably wouldn't leave these with a babysitter or reluctant CD user.

Fitted Diapers: Sized diapers that look like a disposable diaper, but made out of cloth, with everything sewn together. These are not waterproof and need to go inside a cover.
What I like: So simple to use and I really like the fit. They've worked well during bedtime for heavy wetting and are very soft.
Considerations: These look a bit bulkier than a pockets or AIOs because you have two layers on baby. Since they're quite a bit pricier than prefolds, I think you'd choose them for fit mostly. Other types of cd seem to have a similar price without requiring two items. These also take a long time to dry.

One Size Diapers: Instead of purchasing multiple sizes for baby, these clever diapers use snaps, velcro, and elastic to grow with your baby. You can purchase AIOs, pockets, and covers as one size.
What I like: Less diapers to buy. You purchase the one and it should last through toddler years.
Considerations: 7 to 35 lbs is alot to ask of one reusable diaper. Washing is certain to wear the fabric and fasteners over time. If you have future babies in mind to hand these down to or resell value is a consideration, I'm not certain they'll hold up. I'm also not crazy about dealing with the fancy snaps on a squirming baby and I'm having difficulty getting a secure fit with these. They are the most likely to leak at bedtime. I also don't really like how bulky they look with the extra fabric - they would probably require you to up-size your clothes on a little baby. Everyone keeps recommending Bum Genius to me as awesome one size diapers and I like they're simplicity, but they seem very small and Ezra will likely outgrow them before toddler years. Maybe I simply haven't found the right all in one brand. Lastly, it sounds like these aren't terrific for newborns, so you probably will need some sized diapers to get through the first month or two.

Have you actually made it this far? Good for you! Here are my final thoughts on fasteners and styles I haven't tried:

Wool: This pricey(!) option sounds incredible. Requires much less washing, is supposed to be very breathable, and is awesome for night time. I'm planning on getting some wool inserts for bedtime until I can afford a cover.
Snaps: A smart choice to endure washing, but I don't like the fit with snaps quite as much as with velcro.
Velcro: I like the snug fit I can get with velcro, although seems like it would wear out faster with washing than snaps.
g-diapers: The are covers with inserts that you can flush, toss, or compost! Awesome idea! They are pricey, though, so I won't be trying them. I definitely care about the environment, but I am not looking for cloth diapering to cost more than disposables. I have heard that people love to use the covers with other cds, though.

Any moms out there with their own cloth diaper recommendations? I'd love to hear 'em!

My website for the day:

Lastly, for anyone who is thinking, "Enough with the cloth diapers already!", here's some fun photos of the kids!

Can you say, "Nap Time!"
Telling Daddy how it is.
Bubbles in the pool are the best. Ezra actually thought this was funny.
I've got a cat on my back!

Feed Your Stash Friday

Check this out to win your own free stash of cloth diapers!
Feed Your Stash Friday: August 21-28, 2009

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

1 Week in: My Cloth Diapering Discoveries

Anyone who knows me well will tell you I like new things. I'm that person who tries a fresh shampoo and raves about it, reads a book and recommends it, and hears about a new idea and researches it. In fact, if you want more info about something, I like nothing better than to be asked to help you out. Give me 30 minutes and I'll have something for you. ;0) This isn't some grand desire to be a know-it-all; I just love to gather information and discuss new discoveries with people!

Now that my life is more kid and budget-focused, my "new" tends to be more focused on ideas, techniques, and strategies for living, rather than on things. My husband, Tim, finds himself patiently listening to explanations and details about these new interests. This passion for whatever I find currently engaging is one of the things Tim loves about me, but I'm certain it's a bit wearying at times. As I've turned more toward budgeting, meal planning, and parenting ideas, he's been incredibly supportive. I'm sure he listens with only one ear tuned in at times, but he encourages me to pursue these interests with enthusiasm. When I started looking into cloth diapering and went on and on about my discoveries, Tim zeroed in on the cost benefits and said, "Let's look into it."

As I've mentioned previously, cloth diapering choices are overwhelming! I initially looked into it, thought, "Wow. Interesting. I'd like to try it," but didn't know where to start. After a couple of weeks, I decided to look into CD again (and remember Tim saying, "Good for you.") and discovered the Diaper Daisy Trial.
One week into the trial (, here are some of my discoveries:

Every cloth diaper option has it's pros and cons.
This is why no one will definitely tell you what "works best." Truthfully, you have to take into consideration your lifestyle, budget, future children, and personal preferences. This is where the diaper trial is so handy! With several options on hand to try and 2 weeks, you can make an educated decision.

Looks can be deceiving. If you'd asked me what diapers I expected to like a week ago, I would have said, "One-size, All-in-ones (AIO), diapers with snaps, and pocket diapers." These more modern and attractive looking diapers appealed to me. After using the diapers at home and out and about, washing them, reassembling them, and handling them, I'm surprised. For my tall, chubby guy, I prefer sized, AIOs, and prefolds with covers (still cute!). Since I also anticipate future babies, these seem more budget-wise for my family. If you need a tutorial on different type of diapers, visit this link:

Disposable diapers were not hassle-free. People keep referring to the ease of disposables and the yuck-factor involved with cloth. Truthfully, diapering is gross. Keep in mind that I have an 8 month-old, so I can't vouch for newborn cloth diaper changing. I did, however, change disposables on a toddler and baby for quite a few months and felt like I was drowning in diapers! There was never enough room in the diaper pail and it wasn't always convenient to get to. We put the pail in the garage to cut down on smell and flies were attracted to it. The bag needed to be changed frequently - ick! I was constantly buying diapers and estimated we spent about $60 a month to diaper 2 kids using Luvs and generics. Plus (and maybe I shouldn't admit this), there's always that temptation that a disposable "isn't really that wet" because of the cost.

Reusing and washing cloth diapers is satisfying in it's own way. Perhaps I feel this way because because I'm enamored by the newness of cloth diapering. But it feels good to change the diaper whenever it seems necessary without worrying about cost and to avoid all the waste that comes from disposables. It's relatively easy to wash cloth diapers and they come out smelling fresh and new. For me, this feels like a natural extension of caring for my baby.

Cloth Diapers are soft and luxurious compared to disposables. These cloth diapers feel so great against the skin and I feel good about wrapping my baby in them. Plus, the covers are adorable!

There are certainly cons to going with cloth diapering.
  • Cloth diapers add bulk, although all-in-ones and some pricier styles are much slimmer.
  • There's a learning curve, especially with prefolds.
  • The up-front cost is higher.
  • Personally, I think pulling the inserts out of pocket diapers is gross.
  • Night/nap time diapering takes some trial and error.
  • Sizing is approximate and babies are all so different.
  • If your partner isn't on board, this isn't the option for you.
My website resource for the day: Practical, detailed answers to just about any cloth diapering question!

2 examples of the "Pocket Diaper" with different sized inserts. You can slip 1 or more inserts into the diaper, depending on needed absorbency. When it's soiled, the whole diaper goes into the laundry.

Next Up: My detailed Cloth Diaper Review. I'll give you the scoop on what I consider to be the pros and cons of each diaper style.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Diaper Daisy Cloth Diaper Trial

A friend of mine piqued my interest in cloth diapers this past year during a play date. While playing outside, I saw a clothing line with baby clothes and cloth diapers blowing in the breeze. I asked about the cloth diaper and she told me how she used them with her first (about 5 months younger than Ella) and was using them with her second (about 2 months younger than Ezra). She didn't push the issue or encourage me, but I like her lifestyle philosophy of "simplicity" and I went home to do more research on the topic.

To my surprise, cloth diapering is a major business. Long gone are prefolds with pins and plastic pants. In fact, the options in diaper styles and brands are completely overwhelming! I decided to first figure out if cloth diapering truly does save money (I believe it does), is good for the environment (yes, despite water use), and realistic for my lifestyle (possibly). I found some terrific resources for anyone interested in this topic: is one of my favorite new resources! They did a whole Cloth Diapering 101 series of articles on cloth diapering from real moms. I found it fascinating and informative! Simple, straightforward info on diaper choices. More detailed info for making your decision. This article encouraged me to try different diapers out and avoid a costly mistake by investing in the wrong thing - which led me to:
The Diaper Daisy Cloth Diaper Trial at

The idea here: Cloth diapering choices can be overwhelming, especially if you haven't been exposed to the newest options or ever tried it. Sara, the owner of Diaper Daisy, offers a trial for $9.95 (shipping to you is free) with a deposit. You use the items for 2 weeks and keep it all (and get a $20 credit), keep some, or return all (and pay the return shipping).

This web site has the best email customer service I have ever received! Sara will patiently answer all of your cloth diapering questions and help set up a custom diaper trail for you. If you visit the site, you'll see "Mindy's Custom Diaper Trial." I wanted to try a bit of every style, so mine is a bit pricier. But, ultimately, I'm only out the rental fee, plus return shipping, if I decide cloth diapering isn't for me.

My 2 week trial arrived last Thursday, but I haven't had spare time to write about it until now.
I've had some interesting responses to my foray into cloth diapers, from "Good for you!" to straight up, "You're crazy!" Many moms who didn't have the option of disposables think it's silly to go backwards. I want to chronicle this experience simply because I know there's other parents out there curious about cloth diapering. I'm not trying to convert anyone here - I'm not even certain I'm totally converted yet (but I'm pretty darn close). But if you've ever wondered about cloth diapering or are just curious about what our family is up to, keep tuned!

To Come: My experience (so far) and my (surprising) discoveries.
My Review of the Different Cloth Diapering Options
But What about "The Poo" and the smell?!
How do you wash them anyway?
So, what does your husband think about all of this?
How to use a prefold diaper.
To Cloth Diaper or Not to Cloth Diaper: The Decision.

One of my favorite parts of cloth diapering so far: They're just so darn cute!

Cloth diapers come in the most amazing, vibrant assortment of colors!

Some fit more trim than others, but they all add additional bulk to baby.

I think these are so cute on this tall, chubby guy!

I'd love to see them on a newborn too!

They look cute under clothes, too, but it's definitely tempting to put them on with a t-shirt.

I don't have any (yet), but they also make little leggings, so your little one can show off their adorable diaper when the weather gets chilly!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Who Wouldn't Love this Face?

I suspected that Ezra was working on a few new teeth lately, but couldn't quite figure out their location. While playing tonight, he leaned right into my shoulder for a hug and decided to also take a big bite. Two tiny, sharp teeth are now poking on through up top, giving him quite the bite! He slept last night without making a peep - perhaps we'll all get some relief from teething pains now. Truthfully, Ezra is generally so good natured and seems to be more so with each passing day.

Up Next: Adventures in Cloth Diapering. Tomorrow, I'll post some pictures and some thoughts about the beginning of my cloth diaper trial.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Accident-Free for One Whole Week!

Last night, we celebrated one full week of zero accidents! When Grandma Cathy came to visit, she bought Ella the Grace doll and soccer outfit as a reward for potty-training. This was not a big incentive for Ella at first; she was more into candy. Once Ella decided she truly wanted to use the potty, though, she was virtually accident-free. She wants to exclusively use the seat on the big potty and will get out of bed or go indoors to use it! The girl also seems to have a bladder of steel - she can go for a couple of hours after waking up before using the potty and rarely needs to go. Once I learned I could trust her to tell me, I stopped worrying about asking. We just use the occasional, "Are you dry?" reminder. I only force the issue when it's been a long time or we're headed out somewhere. Potty training was painful, but now it's such a dream to only have 1 baby in diapers (more to come on this topic soon!)

Now that Ella is doing so well, I'm phasing out the candy. That's where the doll came in. I started showing it to her every day and her enthusiasm grew. Once I realized she'd reached our goal, we started playing with her other doll and accessories. As you can see, she was thrilled to receive the new doll from Grandma Cathy! She slept with the dolls last night and woke up this morning and told me how she earned them from Grandma. Thanks, Mom, you're the best!

Proud Ella!
Brushing the doll's teeth. I showed her how it could work on hair later. Hey, I love a duel-purpose toy!
Babies playing soccer together.

The excitement! She told me, "Say Cheese!"

I'm a bit embarrassed by the mess in these photos. It's the end of the day, plus the kids played with Scentsy packing paper, then my cookbook project is stacked by the computer. Big mess, but a happy one!
I'm so glad these dolls have hats. Ella loves hats!

Potty training challenged me both mentally and physically and clearly taxed Ella as well. Now that we've made it, though, temper tantrums and Mommy frustration have significantly decreased. Ella is proud of her accomplishment, we celebrate her successes throughout the day, and it feeds her need for independence. Hooray! Preschool, here we come!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Made Me Smile

I recently uploaded a group of candid photos of my kids and I could feel my mood instantly lighten as I looked at them. I recall smiling and thinking, "this is why I have kids." I remember wondering if having children was really for me in my 20s, but I think these shots say more than I ever could about the daily joys of motherhood!

Tim likes to create silly bath hair for Ella.

I love that she's old enough to appreciate how silly and fun this all is!

Ella's toddler, toothy grin with her big eyes always makes me smile!

Fresh out of the bath, sweet-smelling, soft-skinned baby.

There is nothing better than the look of Mommy-adoration!

Ezra got into the laundry basket and started pulling everything out.

He looked so pleased with himself, I couldn't stop him!

So, I pulled out my camera and started laughing with him!

Ezra's normally drooly (and we try to catch it with a bib), but this produced even more drool!

There's nothing better than sibling love and laughter.

Sometimes Ella tells me, "I love him."

Ezra lights up when he sees Ella, too, and loves to play with her (as long as she's not smothering him, and then he still puts up with it).