Friday, January 30, 2009

Diapers for One

Well, about a year ago, after Selah was born, with no end in sight to the large range of diapers we were buying on a regular basis, we switched locations of our blog temporarily to Then in March, we posted that Eliana was well on her way to being potty-trained before college and we returned to our current blog location.

In October, a bit before I was ready for it to happen, Mikey decided that it was time for him to enter the big-boy world. At the time, I made the mistake of mentioning that we fully didn't expect to potty-train any more children in the near future and that we should have three in diapers again this Spring.

Well, Danny decided a few weeks ago to take me to task on that assumption. He's been pushing to potty-train for a while, but since, at least compared to my other two when they potty-trained, he's so young, I've been holding off on him... not to mention the fact that I didn't really want to be cleaning up accidents after more than one kid at a time.

So, Danny has been in pull-ups for a few weeks now and this week, after considering the fact that I really don't worry too much anymore about Eliana or Mikey having accidents, I decided to go ahead and put the kid in underwear on a regular basis. And yesterday, he had his SECOND ACCIDENT-FREE DAY! Pretty impressive, that kid is.

Now if I don't do it, David will leave a comment saying something about "Blah, blah... all the kids still wear pull-ups at least at night, blah, blah... so still have four in diapers... blah blah." So there it is. And I do admit that we are still definitely in the stage where potty-training Danny is more work than leaving him in diapers. But nonetheless, in my estimation using the regulations previously determined on this (and our other temporarily used!) blog, Danny is no longer in diapers.

And I'm left trying to figure out how to reorganize a room and drawer that used to be stacked full of four different sizes of diapers and now has an array of diapers, three different sizes of pull-ups, and three different sizes of underwear. Good thing we're expecting a second diaper wearer to appear in a few months... Otherwise, I might find myself getting bored! (Hah!)

*Before you can ask, no, we will not be changing the location of the blog. Because I said so.*

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Irrational Exuberance

I know I'm a few years late to the party on this one, but I finally got around to checking out Irrational Exuberance by Robert Shiller, a book I've been wanting to read for some time. Shiller has earned quite the reputation in recent years by being one of the first economists to point out speculative bubbles in the both the stock market and the real estate market--before they burst. That gives him a lot more credibility in my mind than the average talking head on television.

I'm about 100 pages in, and so far I've found the book to be accessible and packed with helpful and thought-provoking historical data. Here's an interesting excerpt from the book (as republished in this interview):

It is true that, for the United States as a whole, real home prices were 66% higher in 2004 than in 1890, according to the index my research assistants and I have put together. But all of that increase occurred in two brief periods: the time right after World War II and since 1998. Other than those two periods, real home prices overall have been mostly flat or declining. Moreover, the overall increase, including the booms, is not very impressive — 0.4% a year.

Why then do so many people have the impression that home prices have done so well? People remember the prior purchase price of a home from long ago and are surprised at the difference between then and now. In closing out the estate of an elderly person, one may be surprised to see that he purchased a house in 1948 for $16,000 and that the estate sold the house in 2004 for $190,000. The appearance is that the investment in the house did extremely well. But the consumer price index rose eightfold between 1948 and 2004, so the real increase in value was only 48%, or less than 1% a year.

Schiller has been updating some of the data and graphs from his book at It's fascinating to see where stock prices and housing prices are now in relation to where they've been over the past 100 plus years. The image below is his updated graph of real home prices through mid-2008.

Friday, January 23, 2009

A Pregnant Pause?


The recession is leaving some doctor's offices empty. More women are putting motherhood on hold and recent reports show contraceptive sales are through the roof.

The data runs about two years behind, we won't know for sure until 2011, but it appears that with the economic slowdown has come something of a pregnant pause.

[full article]

See also: Live Births and Birthrates, by Year

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Happy Birthday, Selah Joy!

Happy, happy birthday, Selah Girl!
We love you, and we are so thankful for you. You are such a precious, delightful gift from God and we are humbled and overjoyed that He decided to bless our family with you.

We love your sweet, happy disposition, your awesome smile... your laugh, your cuddles and kisses. We love how much you love your siblings and how much you love life in general... (and we must admit that we love how well you sleep, too!) You take such joy in playing games and learning new tricks. It's truly delightful just to watch you grow.
We love you, Selah, and we look forward to many more years with you -- we pray that you will eagerly and joyfully love God with all heart and that your life will be full of His blessings!

Happy Birthday, Selah!

Friday, January 16, 2009


We invite you to read Christina's Twitter updates on the left sidebar of this blog or on Facebook or at Perhaps these updates will give all of us a better sense of what life is like for a mother of five under five.

For those of you who aren't familiar with Twitter, it seems to be a tool designed specifically for those with attention deficit disorder, since it doesn't let one write anything more than 140 characters. (The point seems to be so you can get these updates as text messages on your cell phone.) But in defense of twittering one might argue that if you can't write it in 140 characters, it isn't worth writing. Of course, this only begs the question if anything I just wrote was worth writing...

Saturday, January 10, 2009


Since we have too many books and not enough time to read them, we've invited a few friends to join us in giving away books for free at

If you'd like a chance at winning some free books in the weeks and months ahead, be sure to bookmark the site or add it to your Google Reader account. Also, if you are interested in giving away some of your own books on the site, please let us know. We would welcome a few additional co-bloggers who have good taste in books.

Finally, please help us spread the word by telling others about Bookaway.