Subscribe to our blog!

Get e-mail when we post new stuff
RSS feeds:

Darragh’s first Christmas!

Christmas is almost here! We’re decorating…

Singing Christmas(*) carols…

And of course getting settled in with our new larger family!

As you can tell from these pictures, Darragh is much more awake and happy now that we’re approaching his second month. He is a sweetheart and a joy.

In other news, we had the first (perhaps only) snow of the season in Seattle. It was a little skimpy, but we made the most of it.

Hope the season is treating you well!

  • (*) Note: “Jingle Bells” is by no means limited to Christmastime in our house…the boys love to sing and dance to it year-round. Their preferred rendition is the Barenaked Ladies’ because, as Rafferty says, “It’s gonna trick you!”

Darragh Flanagan McLain was born at 1:41 am on October 30th, 2013. He weighed a healthy 10 lbs., 15.2 oz. … okay, let’s just say 11 lbs.

There's a new oak in Maple Leaf!

There’s a new oak in Maple Leaf!

Darragh (pronounced DAR-uh) is derived from the Irish word “doire” meaning “oak”.

Depending on who you ask, it may also be related to the Irish name “Dáire” meaning “fruitful” or “fertile”.

Darragh, County Kerry, Ireland

Darragh is also the name of several places in Ireland, including a parish in Co. Limerick and other areas in Cos. Clare and Kerry.

He carries the middle name Flanagan after my mom’s family.

So what do we know about baby Darragh? Well, so far he seems sensitive but very quiet. He has been pretty sleepy, though, so we may be in for a surprise once he really wakes up. His hair is a mystery. It’s darker than Colm’s, which was almost invisible at birth, and lighter than Rafferty’s, which was jet black. It’s kind of a light brown… could it be a little bit red? Will it be curly like Colm’s or straight like Rafferty’s? We’ll just have to wait until there’s more there to find out.


Welcome to the world, little Darragh!


Colm with strawberries

We have a crawlerty! It’s time to get serious about childproofing…

Rafferty tried really hard to figure out how to crawl while his cousins and aunt and uncle were visiting last week, but he didn’t quite put it all together until a few days ago.

As you can see from this video, he’s already getting around pretty well, and even climbing over things if sufficiently motivated (like by a shiny camera to grab).

(see it on YouTube)

Well, our plan for Father’s Day was to get outside and have some family pictures taken by a Real Photographer™. Sadly it was too gray for great photography, but that didn’t stop us from going to the park, squashing around in the rain, and taking some amateur shots.

Colm has learned to ride a bike! We got him a balance bike that let him practice balancing without having to worry about pedaling. After a few weeks of that he was ready to move up, so we put on the pedals. Now he is riding circles around us and loving it.

Here’s how he looked on May 9th:

And by May 31st:

We rode our bikes together to Colm’s preschool. Okay, we didn’t ride all the way (there was a bus ride in the middle) but it was still an exciting adventure.

Rafferty can’t wait to get in on the action too.

When Rafferty was first born, we thought he looked a lot like Colm, but you can see now they both have their own distinct styles.

Colm loves to clown around with Rafferty and make him laugh. It’s pretty clear they are going to be good buddies.

That’s all for now. Happy Father’s Day!

Rafferty Curtis McLain came into the world on Friday, January 8th at 3:40 pm PST. His weight was 9 pounds, 2.6 ounces, and his long toes reached 22 and a half inches from his head.

So far he seems to be a pretty mellow guy, as long as you don’t get between him and his food.

We are enjoying getting to know our littlest one.

In addition to Grandma’s help…

…we also have been glad to have the assistance of our excellent doula, Mali.

Colm is super-excited to be a big brother and is being very helpful and mature. And of course asking lots of questions.

“What is little brother doing?”


Night-night everyone!

P.S. Facebook friends, go to our blog to see the pictures!

…or, maybe not.

A few days ago, I boldly predicted that we would have a new baby by New Year’s.

Evan and Jami on New Year's Day 2010

…or, maybe not.

In the meantime, here are a few Christmas pictures.

A few weeks ago Jami and I got to go to the Christmas concert from the Seattle Medieval Women’s Choir. Here we are dressed up for the occasion.

Colm was very excited about Christmas coming this year. He really enjoyed decorating the tree and reading e-cards from his Grandma.

After seeing him work the computer, Grandma thinks he will be making his first Amazon order soon. I’m sure he’ll be breaking into the Pentagon shortly thereafter.

Of course he had a great time with his Granddad and Grandma here.
Giggling with Granddad

He especially liked having a special Christmas train.

Jami made the special Christmas pancake that has been a tradition of my family for many years, and it turned out superbly.
Cheri and Jerry enjoying the Christmas pancake

Colm also enjoyed modeling his Christmas fashions…

…even the ones that were intended for his little brother.

Hope everyone is having a happy new year! We’ll keep you posted!

Our first Christmas tree… and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, except for a mouse (and a keyboard).

It’s almost midnight and it’s very peaceful right now.

This is a special Christmas Eve. This will be our first year ever celebrating Christmas in our own house, and it seems appropriate that tonight we await the birth of a child.

Jami’s parents are here with us, and they are taking good care of us while we all prepare for the arrival of the newest member of the family. He’s not officially due until January 13th, but the smart money says he’ll be with us before New Year’s. In fact, we went to the hospital this morning at 3 am, and they charted Jami’s contractions for a while and had us walk around the hospital for an hour before sending us home. I have a feeling we’ll be back soon.

I feel good that we are so much better-prepared for this birth, and that Jami has made it to 37 weeks. Jami’s fast and early labor with Colm was quite a shock to both of us. This time, she was determined to get things ready ahead of time and make sure we have more support before, during, and after the labor. There are certainly many things we didn’t get done, which is probably mostly my fault, but I think the essentials are in place. The car is packed, lists of helpers compiled, furniture and child care arranged, and now we wait. There has already been a lot of waiting. Jami had to spend nearly a month on partial bed rest, and we are very grateful Cheri was able to come out and help us for the past several weeks as well as planning to stay after the birth.

This year we have the skinniest Christmas tree in the world. It has to be to survive the rowdy almost-3-year-old who careens past it every few minutes. I am very proud of how Colm is growing up. He is sensitive and talkative and curious and mischievous and beautiful. I feel blessed to have him as a son and I think he’ll be a good big brother.

Right now I am savoring the quiet time with nothing needing to be done. Somehow I think that will change soon… so I should probably get some sleep.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Applying for Irish Citizenship

I’ve recently done some investigation of applying for Irish citizenship. I’m excited about the idea of having stronger ties back to where most of my family comes from, getting to know the branch of my family that lives there, and possibly getting to live there for a while.

Anyone whose grandparent was born in Ireland is eligible for citizenship. The Irish Citizens Information Board has a page with an explanation of the rules. The U.S. allows dual citizenship, or as the U.S. State department calls it, dual nationality.

To apply, you have to get official, certified copies of documents such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, etc. for a parent and grandparent. The Irish Department of Foreign Affairs has an overview of the application process on their site.

You need to apply through the consulate for your area. For me on the West Coast, it is the Consulate of Ireland – San Francisco. Their site has another good overview document (“Guide to Applying for Citizenship Through Descent”).

To get birth, marriage, or death certificates from Ireland, you can contact the General Register Office and fill out the appropriate application forms.

I also had to contact New York City because my grandparents lived there after moving to the United States. The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene handles applications for birth certificates and death certificates, while the City Clerk handles marriage certificates.

By the way, the marriage certificate page states that “for the certificate to be valid outside the United States” you must take the certificate to the City Clerk and the state government for an additional certification called an Apostille. I’ve checked with the consulate, and this is not necessary for an application for Irish citizenship.

Multimedia Extravaganza

If you want more than pictures, here is some audio and video of our favorite baby.

Warning: Some of these files are quite big.

(3.8 MB) Colm saying “doggie” – 23 May 08

(78 MB) Where’s Colm? There he is! – 4 Feb 08
(67 MB) Colm helps sweep the floor – 16 Feb 08
(69 MB) Chef Colm demonstrates salad spinning – 4 Mar 08
(65 MB) Dancing and bouncing – 23 Mar 08
(152 MB) Colm spoons up some oatmeal – 27 Apr 08
(115 MB) Round and round and round he goes… – 25 May 08

Older Posts »