Saturday, December 31, 2011

Merry Christmas 2011

Christmas morning started with Desmond SLEEPING IN - of all days!  He’s usually a seven-on-the-dot riser, but it didn’t take long to get him downstairs when Davin told him it was Christmas.  Each year gets more fun with him, and his excitement is contagious.  We read the Christmas story, opened gifts, and had a yummy breakfast. 

Later that morning we went to church for a special Christmas service and I sang a solo called “Winter Snow.”  Some of my family joined us for the service which was really nice.  Then everyone came over to our house for a scrumptious clam chowder lunch made from scratch by chef Davin. 

It’s hard to believe this year is coming to a close and a new one is right around the corner.  I enjoyed spending time with both our little family and extended family.  Life is rich because of the people in it.  Merry Christmas!


Cloth Diapers are Easy and Inexpensive... Really!

I am new to cloth diapering and must say, I love it! For any of you considering going this route, I think it's totally worth it. It's easy once you're set up to go and learn the new routine, and it saves so much money. Even getting started with baby number two, we're still going to save a ton of money. And believe me, I've done my research!

Earlier this week I went to Cotton Babies, the best place to buy cloth diapers (and also where you can find the best price on pumps if you need one of those). I love shopping there! The staff are very friendly, knowledgeable and helpful. They walked me through all the cloth diaper basics and showed me samples since I went in knowing nothing. There are so many more options out there than when my parents were diapering me. You can definitely find something that works for you practically and for your budget. They also don't try to sell you something you don't need. They really are out to help you save money.

Now about the cost: I walked out of Cotton Babies with a full set of diaper covers, inserts, some prefolds and wet bags to last me until Kaylynn is potty trained for a whopping $177 plus tax. I meticulously track all my spending so I know that since Desmond was born three years ago we have spent $1830 on diapers, wipes, and diaper genie refills for both kids. That's with shopping sales, using coupons, and trying all the discount brands. And all these items have gone straight into the garbage. Ouch! I've noticed a drastic increase in cost with having two kids in diapers this year. Since we live on one income I'm constantly analyzing where we can save, and this is one change that can make a huge difference. Also I can sell the cloth diapers once I'm done with them for even more savings! Now if only we had used cloth when my son was born the savings would pay for a family vacation.

This chart shows how much I have spent on Desmond's diapers (hover over graph to view specific amounts) and how much I will spend on Kaylynn's cloth diapers assuming she's in diapers as long as Desmond has been although I anticipate her potty training earlier as most cloth diapered babies do.  Buying the flushable liners for three years is more expensive than the cloth diapers so if you're okay with rinsing the poop off, you can save quite a bit more.  Also you could spend more on diapers if you want a bigger stash so you can go longer in between washings.

When I first mentioned my thoughts about switching to cloth, Davin was less than thrilled. "I'll have to think about it," was all he said. He likes to save money too, but not at the loss of everything convenient and easy with disposables. Truth be told, no, it won't be as simple as folding up the mess and tossing it out, but using cloth doesn't mean you have to live with stinky diaper pails and your hands in the toilet dunking off poop.

I'm impressed with how far cloth diapers have come to make the process really quite easy. I chose to go with the Flip hybrid diaper system (now doesn't that sound fancy?) because it was the perfect balance for me in terms of cost and efficiency. The Flips use an insert that comes in either stay-dry microfiber, organic, or disposable material. I like how the stay-dry inserts keep much of the moisture away from the skin and are less bulky than a traditional prefold. If you have prefolds you can also use them in these covers so they're very versatile. These diapers grow with your baby so you never have to buy a new size. You simply adjust the snaps and you're good to go.  I like how these fit, too.  Disposables tend to gap in the back but these hug nicely.  They are obviously a bit thicker than disposables, but Kaylynn gets around just fine.

I purchased a pretty wet bag that hangs on Kaylynn's bedroom doorknob, and it's been great for holding all the used, ready-to-be-washed diapers. I can even throw the bag in the wash when it's time to do a load. I haven't noticed any smell either, but my husband has a more sensitive sniffer, so I'll have to double check with him on what he thinks. The lady at the store said the key is to have good air circulation and not seal off your soiled diapers.

One thing that makes these cloth diapers a breeze is the biodegradable liners. This is what made Davin give me the green light. I have found I can get away with using half of a liner so that makes them only $0.03 each. Totally worth it to be able to pick it up and flush the poop. No mess, no rinsing, perfect! I've also made my own wipes with baby wash cloths soaked in a bit of water and baby soap. I keep them in a small tub so they're ready to go, and now after I use a wipe I can toss it in the wet bag with the diaper for washing later.

The biggest step for me will be keeping up with laundry to make sure I don't run out of diapers. Since I can reuse the Flip covers multiple times, there's not a lot of bulk to wash so I'll only need to do a small load every two or three days. Maybe this will encourage me to keep up with the rest of the laundry as well. You do need to use soap with no additives or softeners so you don't damage the absorbancy of the diapers, but this is all well worth it.

In a little over four months I spend as much on disposables as I have on my cloth system. I'm looking forward to enjoying pure diaper savings. Hurray for cloth diapers and starting a new year saving money!

Leave me a comment if you are considering cloth and I could help you start your cloth stash.  

I haven’t received any form of compensation for the content of this post, but I am entering this post in a contest. If I win I can choose a person who commented on this post to receive a gift of 12 bumGenius One-Size Cloth Diapers!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Cloth Diapers: Day 1

Yesterday I went to Cotton Babies with Kaylynn’s Christmas money from her grandparents to buy a full set of cloth diapers.  I went with the Flip “hybrid” diaper system.  It’s a microfiber and suede insert inside an adjustable diaper cover that grows with DSC_0851your baby.  I even found some used Flip covers in excellent condition that saved me even more money.  (Every Tuesday Cotton Babies sells the gently used stuff they’ve bought back from people, so if you need an even better deal, check that out.)  I picked up some $0.75 prefolds (the kind of cloth diapers my mom used to put on me) that can be used in the Flip diaper covers as well.  I added two wet bags to my stash, one for the diaper bag and one for home. 

The flushable diaper liners sold Davin on the whole cloth diaper DSC_0895idea.  They’re $0.06 each and I think I might be able to get away with using half of one in each diaper so that would make them $0.03 each!  I even got to test it already since Kaylynn pooped in her first diaper.  It was super easy to pick up the liner and flush it.  No mess, no washing off the diaper!  So far so good.  The first diaper didn’t leak at all, and I’m so excited to save money. 

It’s hard spending all the money up front, but I picked up 7 covers, 13 stay-dry inserts, 9 prefolds, a snappi, flushable liners, and a large and small wet bag all for $177.03.  This includes a free diaper cover and insert because I spent over $150, and they had a special going.  Hurray!  This supply should last me until she is potty trained.  I spend this much money on disposable diapers for one kid in about four months.

We’re planning to potty train Desmond over the three-day new year’s weekend, so hopefully he’ll be down to just diapers at night soon.  It’s time.  Wish us luck on that one.  Here’s to saving money!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Oh, Jingle Bells

I was folding laundry yesterday while Kaylynn played on the floor in front of me.  I looked up and had to do a double take to figure out what was in her mouth.  It was a huge jingle bell that I had no idea would fit in there.  It fit so snug I couldn’t even get my finger in there to pull it out, and she had to get it out by pushing with her tongue.  Silly girl!  She looked so ridiculous though I just had to laugh.


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Kid Browser

Desmond always amazes me as to how much he can grasp. Kids are such sponges and they can do way more that we think they can do. For example we let him go to a few websites that we have deemed safe for him to look at. I am amazed that he picks up how the games work without Melissa or I telling him how to do them. He has gotten really good at using the mouse.

Anyway, occasionally we would let him look at these sites and then later we would find that he minimized the browser and Quicken or something else that we didn't want him messing with was up on the computer. So, I decided to make a web browser specifically tailored to his age so that he can only go to the sites that we say are ok and he cannot click out of them into anything else. Also, I didn't want him to easily be able to minimize the browser or close it. Thus, KidBrowser was born.

I don't claim that it is any great work of programming, and it could probably be more visually appealing, but I am no graphic designer. Anyway, if you have kids and you want to use it yourself feel free to grab a copy and set it up on your machine. I don't claim that it will work perfectly on your machine. I have only tested it on my box, which is a Windows 7 machine. However, if you have issues let me know and I will try and fix it.

I have created a bitbucket project for this browser, so feel free to download the source and make fun of my coding abilities if you want to.  Links and screenshots are below.

Bitbucket Project

Latest Compiled Version

This is what the browser looks like. The left navigation is the web pages that we have deemed are ok for him to look at. You can add as many as you like.  If you add more than will appear in the column you will see scroll arrows appear so that you can scroll the nav.

This is the config module.  You can use this to add sites to the navigation menu. Currently, I suggest using the Gecko browser option as IE seems to have an issue with at least one site I that I know of, Disney Junior.  The configuration module isn't pretty and I will probably work on it a bit more, but I wanted to get something made so that the browser could be easily configured. I think most everything is pretty self explanatory. There are a couple things that I will explain below.

Resolves To:
This is mainly used in conjunction with the "Allow Sub-links" checkbox. Sometimes if you put in a web address it will redirect you to another page. For instance if you put in it might redirect you to If you have allow Sub-links checked and your "Site URL" is set to then you would be able to visit any links that start with, unless specifically blocked in the block section.  However, if the site automatically redirects the home page to something else such as then in order to get all of the pages under and the home page you would need two different entries. That is why implemented the "Resolves To" so that the browser will consider the redirected first page to be apart of the rest of the site.

Allow Sub-links:
This will allow any pages that start with the "Site URL" to be viewed.  Thus is the "Site URL" is, then would be available as well.

Blocked Sites:
Blocked sites take precedent over the Allowed Sites.  By default everything is blocked except what is specifically allowed.  However, if you allow sub links for a certain site there may still be a couple undesirable pages. You can block these pages specifically. Additionally you can block sub pages or any pages that start with a certain URL. Thus, if was allowed with sub-links, you could block the Winnie the Pooh video page by putting in for a blocked url. If you clicked "Block Sub-links" then anything under would also be blocked ... such as

Monday, December 19, 2011

Baby Girl’s First Christmas–Then and Now


Here is a picture of my first Christmas, December 1980. Mom kept this little dress so I sewed new elastic in the sleeves and put it on Kaylynn to recreate my Christmas photo from 31 years ago. 

Kaylynn does not like sitting on this little chair!  Of course, the crying came after falling off face first so I can’t blame her for not having anything to do with it after that.  She is two months younger than I was at my first Christmas, so her sitting skills aren’t developed enough for stable chair sitting and she know it. 

I see so many of Davin’s features in the kids especially the mouth and chin, but it’s fun to compare with my photo and see that my features are in there too.  She’s definitely a blend of us both.  Merry Christmas, darling!  You are the best gift from this year.





Friday, December 09, 2011

It’s Beginning to Look a lot like Christmas!

We went to Thornton’s Treeland again this year and found a beautiful Nobel to bring home.  Desmond ran up to the first scrawny little tree he saw and said, “Here’s one!”  We convinced him to keep looking for a tree that could hold more than three ornaments.  He played with a stick and Kaylynn slept while we found our tree.  We then enjoyed the farm including the live animals, a hay ride, hot chocolate, and apple fries.  A fun family day!


The week has been filled with Christmas preparations.  I enjoy telling Desmond about the birth of Jesus and why we have Christmas in the first place.  We’re also counting down the days with the bear advent calendar I made in high school. 

We got our tree up, and of course none of our light strings worked from last year.  We finally decorated the tree after our third trip to the store for lights.  We discovered neither LED or energy saving incandescent lights would do.  They aren’t strong enough to power our talking shuttle crafts or astronaut.  It isn’t right if the tree doesn’t talk when we plug it in, so we had to buy the good ol’ energy sucking cheap lights.  (Not that they use that much electricity.)  I also made a door wreath from the extra tree branches, and Davin indulged me in stringing lights on the rooftop.  Now we’re festive along with many of our neighbors.  It really is quite cheery driving into our cul-de-sac at night. 

A new holiday tradition is Hot Buttered Babies, a winter special drink we discovered at Gustav’s.  Neither Davin nor I are one’s for alcohol, but this… oh, this is pure deliciousness.  We bought our own ingredients to make them at home.  Mmmm, mmmm!  It’s an after-the-kids-are-in-bed treat.

May your Christmas season be merry and bright!


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Changing Every Day


Kaylynn is changing a little every day.  While in Albany for Thanksgiving she started scooting forward and I don’t think crawling is far off.  She can also stand if she’s holding on to something.

I love this little determined girl!  I just spent the last two hours trying to get her down for a nap.  She keeps turning all around in her bed, playing, and getting her binky stuck on her thumb which really bothers her.  We were out all morning so I knew she was sleepy.  Finally she’s asleep, but now Desmond is up.  Well, some days just don’t come with a break.

DSC_0142She is cutting her third tooth right now.  The bottom ones are in and the top ones are coming.  It’s fun hearing her crunch on her baby crackers.  Just don’t put your finger in her mouth.  It hurts! 

Cotton Babies was one of my stops this morning.  I love that store!  (It’s the cheapest place to buy a pump.)  I’m seriously thinking about switching to cloth diapers after spending $100 in November for disposable diapers for two kids, wipes, and diaper pail inserts.  The lady was really helpful explaining all the zillion types of cloth diapers out there.  I like the new Flip diapers.  I might even get the training ones for Desmond.  That kid has got to get potty trained!  Davin might actually go for cloth if we get the little flushable liners that make cleaning up poop a lot easier.  Anyway, I think I know what’s on Kaylynn’s Christmas list! 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Parenting Solo

Davin took a trip to Spokane to visit his parents this weekend so I’m on my own with the kids.  It’s been somewhat exhausting and I don’t know how single parents do it!  I just feel like I’m battling so much of the day: Kaylynn fighting me on eating or sleeping, and Desmond is just in an inquisitive stage.  Everything is “Why?” and “What does that mean?” and I love feeding his curious mind about stuff, but sometimes I just don’t want to explain every detail.  We’re also working on him not challenging my authority and arguing.  Oh, I look forward to the day when no one cries.  I think we’re many years out from that.

DSC_0051On the positive side I have two adorable children!  Kaylynn is six months old now.  She’s starting to sit better and can even stand up by herself for awhile if she’s holding on to something.  She has two bottom teeth now and she usually eats at the table with us for all three meals.

Desmond loves to build and spends quite a bit of time playing Legos these days.  He impressed me by constructing his own Lincoln Log building for his cars. 

DSC_0090My favorite part of the today was when Desmond made Kaylynn laugh by twirling around with his blanket.  At first I thought he accidentally whipped it across her face, but she cracked up because she loved the breeze.  He also made her laugh when he did the noise sounds in our bedtime story Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You? Kaylynn definitely adores her brother.

Davin should be home within the hour.  Thankfully the kids are already asleep.  I look forward to next weekend when Davin and I can get away for an overnight at Family Life’s Weekend to Remember.  Hopefully it’s a good worthwhile conference.  We’ll see!  If nothing else I’ll enjoy being kid free for a day and a half.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Oh My, He’s So Cute!

Davin1985Davin’s going to love it when he finds out I posted this, but I just had to share this super cute picture from when he played baseball as a kid.  He’s eight years old here and so adorable!

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Neewollah 2011

We joined the festivities at Real Life church again this year.  I had my doubts we’d make it there fussy, teething baby and all, but we had a lot of fun and stayed until closing.  Desmond’s favorite activity was the barrel train.  I was imagining Kaylynn riding with him next year. That will be fun! Desmond also liked trading in his tickets for prizes, jumping in the bounce houses, and we all got to go home with a bag of candy.   We crashed when we got home and the kids seem a little extra sleepy today and are both down for a nap.  Yay!


Handy Manny and Bee.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Desmond was Here

Sometimes I listen to the lie that my only usefulness is to clean up messes.  Then I feel defeated when I look at all that I haven’t gotten around to yet or guilty when I sit down to relax when the kids are asleep.  I have to accept that messes are a way of life with young children and the cleaning will never be done.  But sometimes the clutter makes me smile especially when it so clearly says, “Desmond was here!”  He was entertaining Kaylynn with all five of his beloved snugglies.


Sweet, Stubborn Girl

I’m running into Kaylynn’s determined spirit a lot lately.  I love her so much, but this girl and I are going to have a standoff on more than one issue.  She’s strongly opinionated on how and where she does things and it makes a mommy’s day challenging.  She’s only five and a half months old!  What will this determined spirit look like in three or ten years?  We need to set up early who’s in charge here.

Sleep: She nearly refuses to fall asleep DSC_0116unless she’s home and then only if she’s in her crib swaddled and sucking on her binky.  The problem is she’s also getting good at wiggling out of the swaddle, flipping herself over, pulling out the binky and therefore crying because things are not right many times during the night.  I think I’m going to wean her off both the swaddle and the binky so she can learn to get herself to sleep wiggles and all.  The next week or so could be really rough.  We’ll see how long I last.  Davin doesn’t want to attempt this at night, just during the day.  Today she took a grand total of three twenty-minute naps.  One of them she fell asleep on her own and it was such an exhilarating feeling.  If she’s tired enough she will sleep!

Eating: Kaylynn is so strange about where she eats.  Today we were out at a doctor’s appointment, the grocery store, and then lunch with Davin.  Kaylynn wouldn’t eat the whole time we were out and she was getting cranky.  Watching a baby at the next lunch table drinking her bottle didn’t influence Kaylynn either.  When we got home she guzzled down six ounces.  I knew she was hungry!  Silly girl.


Monday, October 17, 2011

Every Girl Deserves a Pretty Dress


I have recently developed a friendship with a local mom through MOMS group.  She has a cute nine month old son and was due in January with her daughter.  On Friday I could not get my friend out of my mind and I prayed for her often.  Ultrasounds showed that the baby would have little chance of survival, and on Friday she was born at almost 27 weeks.  After one breath she left this world to meet her heavenly Father.  Now I know why my friend was heavy on my heart that day.

This has hit me really hard especially since I know the pain of losing a child.  At eight weeks I never got to hold mine or kiss his face, but I can still relate to a mother’s grief.  I have cried a lot the past few days.

I had a thought to make a dress for the baby, and my friend said it was okay.  Newborn clothes are too big so I made a doll dress out of some beautiful soft fabric I bought in Salzburg shortly after getting engaged.  I used some of it for my wedding.  I think it is perfect.  Every girl deserves a pretty dress even if it’s the first and last one she’ll ever wear.  I just pray that it fits alright.

In a way this has been healing for me.  I couldn’t give anything to my baby, but it has felt good to carefully craft something for another.  We were never meant to burry our children, but still  God is gracious.  I thank God for the two perfect, healthy children I have, and I ‘m glad my friend has her son to love on and help her heart heal. 

Dance with your Father, Eden Grace, and say hello to Emery for me.  Your moms await the day when we can know you and hold you again. 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

My Little Goober


Desmond is turning into more of a big boy every day.  When I get out the camera now he loves to make silly faces, and then we laugh as we look back through them.  I love his silliness and indulge in taking silly pictures because that’s just him.

Sometimes he wants Kaylynn to play in his room with him and then he asks me to leave.  I don’t quite know what to do with myself when I’m not asked to join in the playing, but it makes me smile to see him be a good big brother.

We’re dealing with a fussy stage right now.  He likes to be in charge and have things go his way – don’t we all?  So while he’s still a sweet boy it’s a constant challenge to continue shaping him into a respectful and obedient child.

And potty training?  Yeah, I don’t know.  I haven’t hit it hard again though I’m trying to encourage him in little ways.  I don’t want to deal with the resistance and accidents right now.  I think I ‘d like to send him off to potty training boot camp for a day or two and have someone else do it! 

I’m enjoying teaching Desmond by responding to his naturally inquisitive mind.  I feel like pretty much everyone sends their three year old to preschool, but we can’t afford that and I really think I want to take on his education in the beginning.  This week he’s been interested in Saturn after watching a Disney’s Little Einsteins episode.  So we made Saturn out of a bouncy ball and a glow stick bracelet.  Today we went to the downtown Vancouver library (awesome kid section by the way) and checked out some books about our solar system.  It’s fun looking through the books and answering his questions.  He’s drinking it all in and knows half the planets just after today.  I explained orbits to him by us taking turns being the sun and the earth.  I let him play with Google Earth on my iPod. He knows now that we live on Earth but he suggested that the neighbors live on Jupiter.  Well, at least he’s being exposed to the information.

Five Months Old


Kaylynn is five months old!  She is starting to scoot herself across the floor just a little, and she is being introduced to the world of solid foods.

She shows a strong preference for drinking her bottle in her room so I have started making her eat downstairs during the day.  When we’re away from home she will hardly eat anything at all.  She’s doing great with solid foods and has had rice cereal, mum mums, green beans, carrots, squash, sweet potatoes, and bananas so far.  It’s fun having her at the dinner table with us.


As far as sleep goes, Kaylynn has her own preferences on that as well.  If we’re away from home she usually won’t sleep more than a few minutes and only in the Ergo. Her naps vary from 30 minutes to two hours, but one hour is usually the norm.  She’s very attached to her binky and often fusses at night to have it put back in her mouth when she can’t reach it.  I’m thinking about weaning her off it.  Desmond slept through the night around 6-8 weeks so this not sleeping well for five months thing is new to me.  She still likes to eat once or twice during the night, but I’m trying to make some slight adjustments to her bedtime routine to help signal her to sleep longer.  She slept through last night (until 5 am) so maybe soon…

Kaylynn is jabbering more and more.  I’m hearing more consonants the past week or so.  I often ask Desmond what he thinks she’s saying or say she’s telling him secrets.  When he wants her to talk he says, “Can she make more languages?”  Cute.

Not long ago I couldn’t imagine having another baby.  Now Kaylynn feels so much a part of our life, it’s like she’s always been here.  I love my little sweet pea!

Saturday, October 08, 2011

The Pumpkin Patch


We had a beautiful day at the pumpkin patch!  We decided to skip the 45 minute drive to the popular Sauvie Island spot and checked out nearby Bi-Zi Farms instead.

The weather was perfect and I was pleasantly surprised at how good this local farm was.  Apparently everyone else in Vancouver knew how great it was because the farm was busy.  They were organized and had lots of fun activities included in the admission price making it a perfect family outing.  We enjoyed pumpkin launching, a hay pyramid, the long corn maze, a rubber duck race, and Desmond’s favorite – a hay ride to the field to find our pumpkins.  Maybe next year we’ll also have time for the hay maze, corn shucking, petting zoo, and pony ride.


My favorite highlight was when Desmond found a frog. He squatted down to study something in the grass, and when I asked him what he was looking at he said, “There’s a hopping thing.” I came over expecting to see a grasshopper, but it was a cute little frog! I don’t think Desmond has seen a real one before. He wouldn’t touch it, but Kaylynn didn’t have a choice when I put it on her head.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Finding the Character Set For a SQL Field

The other day I was working on a project and I needed to know all of the different types of characters contained in a SQL field so that I could make a regular expression pattern that would not fail. Thus, I decided to write a stored procedure that would loop through a range of characters and test if that character is contained in a specified field in any records. From there I can get a list of all of the used characters and then more intelligently write my regular expression pattern.

This could also be handy if you are trying to cast a field and you keep getting errors because of a character that won't cast correctly. An example would be trying to cast a varchar or char field into an int and for some reason or another one of the records has a letter in the field. Your cast will fail and it can be tricky to track down where the issue is. With this stored procedure you can quickly see what the offending character is and then query up all the records containing that character.

Example usage:
exec FieldCharacterSet 'dbo', 'mytable, 'myfield', 1, 0, 255

Feel free to use this if you find is useful, and leave a comment letting me know if it worked well for you.

-- =============================================
-- Author:		Davin Studer
-- Create date: 9/26/2010
-- Description:	This stored procedure will let you
-- know all the characters that are contained within
-- a field of a specified table.  This is handy for things
-- such as creating regular expression patterns and figuring
-- out casting issues.
-- =============================================
create procedure [dbo].[FieldCharacterSet]
	@TableSchema nvarchar(255) = '',-- this is the schema for table to look at
	@TableName nvarchar(255) = '',	-- this is the table to look at
	@FieldName nvarchar(255) = '',	-- this is the field that will be scanned
	@RTrim bit = 1,					-- should the field be right trimmed before finding the character set ... mostly for char field types
	@LowCharRange int = 0,			-- character scan start point
	@HighCharRange int = 255		-- character scan end point
	-- SET NOCOUNT ON added to prevent extra result sets from
	-- interfering with SELECT statements.
	set nocount on;

		@count bigint = 0,
		@sql nvarchar(max) = '',
		@selects nvarchar(max) = '',
		@error varchar(200) = '',
		@field nvarchar(264) = '',
		@sqlbuild nvarchar(max) = ''
	declare @chars table(
		[character] nchar(1)
	declare @statements table(
		[sql] varchar(max)

	if @TableName = ''
		set @error = 'You must supply a table name.'
		raiserror (@error, 15, 1)

	if @FieldName = ''
		set @error = 'You must supply a field name.'
		raiserror (@error, 15, 1)
	if @error = ''
		-- Bracket the table name to avoid naming issues
		if left(@TableName, 1) <> '[' and right(@TableName, 1) <> ']'
			set @TableName = '[' + @TableName + ']'
		-- Bracket the field name to avoid naming issues
		if left(@FieldName, 1) <> '[' and right(@FieldName, 1) <> ']'
			set @FieldName = '[' + @FieldName + ']'
		-- Should we rtrim the field to deal with trailing spaces ... mostly for char fields
		if @RTrim = 1
			set @field = 'rtrim(' + @FieldName + ')'
		-- Create a temp table to hold our examples of each character matched
		if object_id('tempdb..##fieldCharacterSetTemp') is not null
			drop table ##fieldCharacterSetTemp
		set @sql = 'select * into ##fieldCharacterSetTemp from (select t1.* from ' + @TableSchema + '.' + @TableName + ' t1 inner join ' + @TableSchema + '.' + @TableName + ' t2 on 1 = 1 where 1 = 0) X'

		--Loop through the ascii characters low to high
		while @LowCharRange <= @HighCharRange
			--Build the from and where clauses
			set @sqlbuild = ''
			set @sqlbuild = @sqlbuild + 'from '
			if @TableSchema <> ''
				set @sqlbuild = @sqlbuild + @TableSchema + '.'
			set @sqlbuild = @sqlbuild + @TableName + nchar(13)
			set @sqlbuild = @sqlbuild + 'where ' + @field
			-- If the character is A-Z or a-z then case sensitive compare
			if (@LowCharRange between 65 and 90) or (@LowCharRange between 97 and 122)
				set @sqlbuild = @sqlbuild + ' COLLATE Latin1_General_CS_AS'
			set @sqlbuild = @sqlbuild + ' like '
			-- Deal with a few special SQL characters
			if @LowCharRange = 37 -- % character
				set @sqlbuild = @sqlbuild + '''%\%%'' escape ''\''' + nchar(13)
			else if @LowCharRange = 39 -- ' character
				set @sqlbuild = @sqlbuild + '''%''''%''' + nchar(13)
			else if @LowCharRange = 95 -- _ character
				set @sqlbuild = @sqlbuild + '''%\_%'' escape ''\''' + nchar(13)
				set @sqlbuild = @sqlbuild + '''%' + nchar(@LowCharRange) + '%''' + nchar(13)

			-- Buld main counting sql
			set @sql = ''
			set @sql = @sql + 'select @countOut = count(*)' + nchar(13)
			set @sql = @sql + @sqlbuild

			--Get count of rows that have the character
			execute sp_executesql @sql,N'@countOut bigint = 0 output',@countOut=@count output

			--If any rows have this character add it to the result set
			if @count > 0
				insert into @chars values (nchar(@LowCharRange))

				-- Build the select sql to look at example lines that have this character
				set @selects = ''
				set @selects = @selects + 'select top 1 *' + nchar(13)
				set @selects = @selects + @sqlbuild
				insert into @statements values (rtrim(replace(@selects, nchar(13), ' ')))

				set @sql = ''
				set @sql = @sql + 'insert into ##fieldCharacterSetTemp' +nchar(13)
				set @sql = @sql + @selects
			-- Next character
			set @LowCharRange = @LowCharRange + 1

		select * from @chars
		select * from @statements
		if object_id('tempdb..##fieldCharacterSetTemp') is not null
			select * from ##fieldCharacterSetTemp
			drop table ##fieldCharacterSetTemp

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Weary Mommy

Some days I feel I am losing the battle.  The kids are so demanding and there is little gratitude at this stage.  I just got both kids in bed.  I did Desmond’s routine first, but then he literally screamed and wailed for me while I tried getting Kaylynn down.  I find myself squeezing my eyes shut and taking a deep breath so I don’t flip out.  I don’t always succeed.  I got Kaylynn down, found the missing lambie responsible for the incessant screaming, and tried explaining to Desmond why I can’t always drop everything and run to him when he calls me.  I tried reassuring him that I hear him and always want to get him what he needs but sometimes he’ll have to wait a little bit.  (I’m sure he gets it now.)  Then Kaylynn was crying again so I fed her some more and got her down again.  I think her teeth are bothering her.  Anyway, it’s silent now and I think I should probably go to bed.

DSC_0020I’m feeling drained: physically and emotionally.  When I’m not dealing with kids I’m trying to do a load of laundry or dishes.  I feel I’m just here to clean up messes and take care of everyone else.  Many days I don’t even take enough time for myself to get out of my pajamas which sounds nice to stay in your pjs all day, right?  But then I feel so blah and gross.  It doesn’t help. 

I’m also tired of being overweight.  I need to find the time to get myself back in shape!  I think I’ll join a gym down the road and go at 5:30 in the morning before Davin needs to go to work so I can do it ALL BY MYSELF without any distractions from the kids or the endless housework.  The problem is I’ll have to go to bed around 9 so I can wake up at that hour.  (Yeah, right.)  Still I need to change something.  I hate starting every day with a sigh and a groan.  I know exercise will help me have more energy and feel better about myself.  This way I’ll have time to refocus, talk to God in the quiet of the morning, and get the day started off right.  I need to begin my day on a positive note before someone’s crying for me. I’ll have to sacrifice sleep to get “me” time, but when I start falling apart everyone suffers so I’ve got to do it.  God, please give me an extra measure of grace!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

September Birthdays at Oaks Park


Saturday was spent at Oaks Amusement Park with my family celebrating Mom and Nathan’s birthdays.  They wanted to do something different this year so this was it.  We all had fun going on thrill rides and most of my pictures ended up being of the go carts.  Kaylynn slept about half the time, and Desmond went on lots of kiddie rides but some were too scary.  The big slide was too fast, but the Ferris wheel was slow and offered a fun view of the “race cars” down below.  A fun time was had by all, and we ended the very hot day with a delicious ice cream cone.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Growing, Playing, and Shopping

It’s hard to believe Kaylynn is four months old today!  Gotta get a cute picture of her. 

DSC_0004The other day Desmond enjoyed pulling Kaylynn around in his little wagon. It’s fun to see them playing together!  He is very careful with her and likes bringing her toys to play with.  Kaylynn likes to watch him and gives him lots of smiles.  Sometimes Desmond can even get her to laugh when I can’t.

Yesterday I checked Desmond into Playland at Fred Meyer and got so much shopping done while Kaylynn slept in the Ergo. Amazing! Why haven’t I used this free service before? Desmond had a great time playing with toys – which is what he begs me to do whenever we go shopping anyway. I’ll definitely be doing more shopping here. What a great feeling to be able to get everything on my list and not have to chop it down to the bare essentials so we can get out of the store without a meltdown.

I’m gearing up for the JBF kids consignment sale next week.  I’m tagging a few things to sell, and I’ll also be volunteering for one shift.  Hopefully I can make a bit of money to cover some of what I need to buy.  Kaylynn needs a few warm clothes for winter in a couple different sizes and Desmond needs pretty much everything.  I love shopping this sale for good deals; it feels like a treasure hunt.  It’s a bit time consuming though with three different trips for drop off, volunteering, and pick up, not to mention the hours needed to shop!

Friday, September 02, 2011

Things that Make Me Smile


Kaylynn’s square toes!  All her toes are the same length and it’s really obvious when she has socks on.  Little rectangle feet!


Playing trains with Desmond and getting to create a new track just about every day.


The clean baby smell and pure, expressive baby eyes.

Oregon State Fair


Last Saturday we went to the Oregon State Fair.  Davin had the idea to leave Kaylynn with my parents who were thrilled to watch her so it was a win-win.  It was nice to spend some time just with Desmond.  After having two, one feels so simple.

We enjoyed some kiddie rides though many of them were a bit too adventurous for Desmond even if I was with him.  His favorite was the blue dump truck and his least favorite was the little roller coaster.  I wish I had been quicker with the camera because his face was priceless!  His arms thrown wide against the seat and sheer terror on his face for his one time around the track.  “Danger” may be his middle name, but he wants to take things easy for now.

It was a perfect day except for the 90 degree heat.  We went to the indoor displays to cool down and enjoyed some ice cream in the shade.  A fun day for sure!

All to the Glory of God

The days can feel like such a rat race sometimes.  Every day starts by waking up to a kid crying or calling for me.  I’m usually very groggy and tired because I’ve been awake two or three times during my short night. 

We’re trying to help Kaylynn go back to sleep in the middle of the night without feeding her since we know she’s capable of sleeping through.  Last night we succeeded in postponing her 1am feeding until 3:30.  During the day I’m trying to help her sleep more consecutive hours, too.  She’ll usually only nap 45 minutes to an hour at a time.

DSC_0193I realized yesterday that an average day holds only two waking non-kid hours.  One is during naptime IF I can get them both down at the same time.  Desmond boycotts naps some days, but at least he’ll usually stay quietly on his bed for an hour.  The other hour is after we get Kaylynn to sleep around 9pm.  These times are also the only uninterrupted time I have to do dishes, fold laundry, or simply talk to Davin.  As a result I’m often up too late to get an extra half hour to relax, but then I start the next day in a deficit and the cycle continues.

Exercise has fallen by the wayside for now.  I just can’t pull myself out of bed any earlier and at the end of a long day I don’t feel like spending my final hour sweating.  Yesterday’s exercise was playing “Larryboy spaceship” with Desmond and doing crunches with Kaylynn on my tummy.  Oh well.  The scale is still moving in the right direction it’s just moving slowly.


All that said, I’ve had a few refocus moments lately when I’ve heard of other families’ tragedies.  Yes, this is a physically hard phase with precious little time to recover for a new day, but it is a gift.  Some mothers would do anything to be able to hold their baby again – sleepless nights and all.  And I am shaping these lives for eternity.  Even the mundane tasks can be done to the glory of God.  Yes, even cleaning poop off the floor… again.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Rolling Over

Kaylynn is changing right before my eyes.  Sometimes when I get her up in the morning I think she grew overnight.  She just rolled over for the first time on Sunday.  First she went from her tummy to her back and then later in the day she flipped from her back to her tummy.  And I missed it both times!  At least Davin got to see the first one.

Today when she was fussing in her crib I heard Desmond go in (I was listening on the monitor) and he said in a sweet voice, “It’s okay, Kaylynn.  Don’t cry.  I’m here.”  And she did stop crying -for a moment anyway.  Melts my heart!  I love watching him love her.


Friday, August 19, 2011

Davin’s Birthday

We had my family over on Sunday to celebrate Davin turning 34.  Several of us pitched in and upgraded Davin’s dinosaur of a monitor to something a little newer… as in seventeen years newer!  He kept hoping the old monitor would break so we would have to buy another one, but I think it’s going to last forever.  Davin’s also thought about slipping someone $10 to drop it during one of our moves.  No such luck.  Anyway, I thought it was time to retire the embarrassing beast and get the web developer a decent monitor.  Now Davin is enjoying some new games on his 23” flat screen when he gets a free minute or two.  So long CRT! 

Kaylynn wore her first tutu to the party.  I love dressing her in all her cute new clothes!  She’s starting to wear some of her six month stuff already.  At her check up on Friday she measured in the 95th percentile for height and about 75th for weight.  She’s 13 pounds 10 ounces.  We’re loving her smiles and millions of facial expressions.  She’s working on using her hands better and getting closer to sitting up and rolling over though she hasn’t done those yet.  We’ve started swaddling her again and she’s slept through the night the past two nights.  Hurray!  On Davin’s birthday she slept her first nine hour stretch, and Davin appreciated that present a lot.

Starred Photos

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Summer Days

Time has slipped away and I find a whole month has gone by with no blogging.  Most days I just try to keep up with the necessities and everything else just falls away.  I’m still having difficulty giving up the unnecessary things: a clean house, time to work on a personal project, browsing a store.  My days are filled with feeding, napping, and changing diapers for the kids.  I’m challenged to remember that these early years will fly by like the wind, and one day I’ll look back on them and wish they could return even with all the sleep deprived nights.

Some highlights from the last month include celebrating our seven year anniversary at the Portland City Grill, Desmond’s third birthday, a visit with Grandma Bettie, and Kaylynn reaching the three month mark.


I find it easier to stay home when I can.  There’s always someone who needs to eat or sleep - often it’s me!  We’ve also been enjoying some of the warm weather lately.  The kiddie pool never warmed up enough for Kaylynn but she looks cute in her swimsuit anyway.collage1

Twins: Just Three Years Apart

When I look at Kaylynn I see so much of Desmond in her. Other people even notice that she looks a lot like him. They each have their own variations, but they are so similar at this age. I just had to go back and find some pictures of Kaylynn that match up with pictures of Desmond three years ago. Enjoy!