Thursday, November 27, 2014

NaBloPoMo Day 27

This is my "I caught the oven on fire" face. 


This is my "Thankfully the turkey wasn't in it yet" face. 


Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

NaBloPoMo Day 25

Any situation in which a change of race, gender, religion, or sexual identity to either party involved would cause more or less public outcry is wrong. Period. Stop human on human violence.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

NaBloPoMo Day 23

What I found while cleaning out the cupboards today. I'm not sure whether to keep them, throw them away, or find a momma to donate the supplies to. When do you know you're done?


Saturday, November 22, 2014

NaBloPoMo Day 22

I had big plans for today: clean the house, wash the diapers, shower, finish the Thanksgiving shopping, rehearsal at 3:00 for the 4:30/6:00 worship services, dinner, baby bath, and back to bed.

And then I woke up with vertigo.

So, instead, I will lay in bed and try not to move my head so I don't get all dizzy again. Praying I feel better tomorrow.

Friday, November 21, 2014

NaBloPoMo Day 21

I've worked late every day this week but I have finally wrapped up the bulk of the work for the conference my work is launching the Monday after Thanksgiving. Woo! Now to finish up a report due on Wednesday. Eek!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

NaBloPoMo Day 20

Almost forgot to post today! We are 11 nights in to sleep training and I think we've turned the corner. He is happy to be placed in the pack n play in the evenings! He will lie down, sit up and play, lean against the sides and chill... It's great! He still fussed when it's time to sleep but rarely is it for more than 5 minutes. Praise God! It is such a relief to spend a few hours in the evening without a baby all up on me. Praying that this continues!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

NaBloPoMo Day 19

A quick update on our recruit:

RJR developed pneumonia in October and was moved to the medical platoon for his recovery. The prayer was that he would heal quickly and be able to resume training in time to graduate later in December or early January. It's been three weeks now and he is still having trouble breathing. At this point, December is definitely out of the question and January is close to being taken off the table.

We are working on very limited information, receiving updates by mail to his mom and then provided to us by her via public posts on Face.Book. It's so frustrating! Between his illness, the uncertainty of a graduation date, lack of communication from RJR to us directly, and the total breakdown of communication by his mom, I don't know what to do to support him. We are still sending him letters twice per week and praying for him daily. His letter to his mom requested more letters because he is bored in recovery but he hasn't been writing us or acknowledged that he has received our letters. Working on not being resentful or miffed about this and reminding myself that this situation perfectly represents the continued communication problems with that family. I do wish he would write us, though.

We found out that R's father will most likely be attending graduation. Ugh. R has a very strained relationship with his father and I'm not a big fan of him, either, ever since his only response to our pregnancy announcement was to say to R, "Aren't you too old to be a father again?" (Along with no response to the text R sent when we found out it was a boy, no response to a baby shower invite, no card when Little Buddy was born, and only a brief text of "Thanks for the pic" when we sent him a print from the newborn photo shoot. Thanks for making us feel good, man./sarcasm.) With the knowledge that we will be seeing him at graduation, R's and my enthusiasm about the event has really dropped. It now feels like an obligation to endure rather than an accomplishment to be celebrated.

And I found out that R's ex-wife still calls his father Dad. Umm, they were married for four years and have been divorced for more than ten. That's weird, right? I mean, I have a fine relationship with my ex-MIL but I call her by her first name out of respect of her relationship with her actual children and their spouses.

I just... yeah. The whole USMC situation is at a back burner simmer right now - causing stress but not at the forefront of our minds since there's no set graduation date. Praying for RJR's healing and taking some deep breaths for ourselves.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

NaBloPoMo Day 18

I'm worn out today. Physically and even a bit emotionally. Blech. Theoretically I get to take a one hour mom break at 7:00 PM tonight. I can't wait to stretch out in a bath and unplug for a bit. Motherhood is wonderfully rewarding and terribly exhausting.

Monday, November 17, 2014

NaBloPoMo Day 17

Trying out a new look for my parents' anniversary dinner next month. 😊




Sunday, November 16, 2014

NaBloPoMo Day 16

Alright, over half way through! We've had a big weekend: Little Buddy cut one of his top teeth and has started crawling all over the downstairs. Definitely time to baby proof! #1: outlet covers like whoa.

We've also completed six nights of sleep training. It's getting better although by no means perfect. Night 1: 1 hour of crying. Night 2: 45 minutes of crying. Night 3: 5 minutes of crying. Night 4: 30 minutes of crying. Night 5: 45 minutes of crying. Night 6: 30 minutes of whining, 15 minutes of crying. BLAH. All of that crying for a max of 2 hours of sleep before getting back in our bed. Not awesome.

We're gonna stick with it, though, and learning more every night. For now, we've learned that Little Buddy prefers to sleep on his belly when in the pack n' play. Huh. I'm trying to get him attached to a lovey by holding it by his hands/face every time we nurse with the hope that the familiar smell/texture will help him feel more comfortable in the pack n play. So there's that.

I think you can tell by the rambling nature of this post that we're a bit sleep deprived. But eventually, everything will be fine and we will be getting awesome sleep. One day...

Saturday, November 15, 2014

NaBloPoMo, Day 15

When you write a post that you're super excited about and get no comments. #sad

Oh well, so it goes! At least I have a totally awesome Harry Potter diaper cover coming. Hope everyone has an awesome weekend!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

NaBloPoMo, Day 13: Cloth Diapering: The First Four Months

I’ve already written this post in great detail six months ago, only to have it eaten by the interwebs. My apologies if this isn’t as full of fluff and fun stories as the original!

When Little Buddy was born, I didn’t intend to cloth diaper. Sure I had thought about it. In fact, cloth diapering was on my regrets list from Little K and I really did want to give it a try. I researched, poked around on Amazon, and quickly became overwhelmed. I eventually decided not to stress about it and just go the disposables route again.

That lasted less than two weeks.

By the time Little Buddy and I were driving to the Birth Center for our 10 day check up, we had already blown through our entire stash of disposable diapers. R and I were done watching our money get covered in poop and thrown in the trash. When I brought up cloth diapering again, R took a leap of faith and agreed to try cloth.

For all my years of wanting to do cloth diapers and looking at the cute prints online, I had never even held one or knew where to start. Luckily, the Birth Center has a boutique with an entire room dedicated to cloth diapering. But I still needed someone with 1.) the real world experience and 2.) who didn’t want to sell me something.

Enter Brooke of Unconditional Support. She is a doula and cloth diapering mom in Austin, TX and happens to be good friends with my sister who pointed me in Brooke’s direction.

After a great conversation with Brooke on my way to the appointment/Boutique, we agreed on trying the cheapest CD’ing solution out there: prefolds with covers. The initial cost was low ($60 for 24 prefolds, $12 for 24 wipes, $85 for 7 covers, $5 for 2 snappis) and the wash routine was super easy.

Diapers!



For those first four months, here’s how we rolled:

1. Thirsties Duo Wraps, Size 1 (6-18 pounds): These diaper covers are awesome! Double gussets to hold in liquidy newborn poop. Three rise settings to grow with your baby. Available in Velcro/aplix or snaps, depending on your preference (we liked Velcro/aplix to start with and switched to snaps when we sized up). The best part about using covers is that they can be used more than once; as long as the diaper is urine-only, you can wipe it out and set aside to dry without having to do a full wash. I would use 3 covers per day, putting them in the wet bag either at the end of the day or when they got pooped in, whichever came first.

2. OSO Cozy Unbleached Cotton Prefolds, Size 1: These prefolds fit similarly to the covers, 7-15 pounds with a Snappi. We used a simple angel wing fold and a Snappi as shown in this picture tutorial. I sold these and bought a bigger size when we could no longer get them around Little Buddy’s waist. If I knew then what I know now, I would have kept these prefolds and switched to a pad fold/trifold laid in the cover.

3. Snappi: These are for use instead of diaper pins. Super simple to use, hard to hurt yourself or baby. Wipe clean, replace if the plastic ever snaps. Two-three is plenty.

4. CJ’s BUTTer: Cloth diaper safe diaper cream. I purchased the 8oz container for less than $10 at the boutique. We use this as a barrier and soothing cream for Little Buddy any time his tush starts to look red. I have also used this as a barrier cream for baby acne or as a moisturizing balm when he has dry/flaky skin. I prefer the unscented with aloe for sensitive skin. I found out later that you could also use plain organic coconut oil. However, Little Buddy is eight months now and this container is still half full. This stuff lasts forever!

5. MothersEase Bamboo Fitteds: I bought these originally to be overnight diapers. They are soft, thick, and easy to fit. In the end I found an overnight solution I liked better and sold these. Some people love fitteds and some don’t. I am of the latter group. So it goes. Luckily, there are tons of cloth diaper buy-sell-trade groups on FaceBook where you can offload your extra diapers at only a few dollars loss. 

6. Grovia Terrycloth Wipes: The first wipes I bought were single ply flannel. After washing those a few times, I felt they got too rough for soft baby skin so I bought these, regulating the original flannel ones to the diaper bag. These were soft and plush for the first four months but have gotten rougher with long term use and the stitching around the edges is coming off. However, at $.50 each, I feel like they were a good purchase; I couldn’t reconcile $1.50+ each for the super soft wipes. I will be keeping an eye out for baby washcloths on clearance at Target to replace these, though.

7. Homemade Wipes Solution: Homemade wipes solution runs the gamut of complexity from plain water to coconut oil/soap/essential oils/aloe concoctions. Our started simple:
  • 4 C distilled water (distilled water keeps you from developing musty smells), ½ C witch hazel, 10 drops each lavender oil and tea tree oil. 
I started with this recipe because I already had all of the ingredients from making postpartum supplies for myself. However, I later learned that tea tree oil can cause hormonal disturbances and chose to remove tea tree oil from our wipes solution. I also noticed that Little Buddy’s anus was starting to look red after I wiped him. After a little trial and error, we developed this solution:
  • 4 C distilled water, ¼ C organic coconut oil (melted), 7-10 drops lavender oil. 
Since starting this wipes solution, Little Buddy is no longer red after wiping. I heat up the solution for 60-90 seconds in order to re-melt the coconut oil before pouring over the wipes in our wipes container. I store any excess solution in the fridge. 

8. OXO Wipes Container: Wipes can be stored wet or dry. I store our wipes dry with a spray bottle of wipes solution for the diaper bag but store them wet at home. I looked into heated wipes containers but read several reports of people experiencing mold growth on their wipes from the wet, warm environment. This container is sturdy and has an airlock seal so our wipes won’t dry out.

Wet Bags!



I have an almost-complete set of Planet Wise wet/dry bags in Toadstool. Here’s how it goes:

  1. Small Wet Bag: This wet bag worked great in our diaper bag for the first 4 months! It can easily hold 3 dirty prefolds and 2 covers when we are out and about. Now that we are using bigger diapers, this bag has been regulated to holding dirty outfits for Little Buddy or a spit-upon shirt for me. I still keep it in our diaper bag and it is really handy. 
  2. Travel Wet/Dry Bag: I bought this wet/dry bag to hold wipes in the diaper bag. I keep the wipes and the spray bottle of solution in the wet section and a spare Snappi in the dry section. Works great! I’m considering switching over to cloth pads for myself and will most likely use this bag for that purpose, needing to get the Planet Wise Wipes Pouch for wipes (which is fine since we don’t use Snappis anymore). 
  3. Medium Wet/Dry Bag: This is the first wet/dry bag I purchased at the boutique. The sales woman recommended it for use in our diaper bag but I found it to be WAY too large at the time and used it as backup at home when our large bag was in the wash. However, now that Little Buddy is in bigger diapers (and I’ve purchased a larger diaper bag), this is my main diaper bag solution. It can hold 5+ dirty diapers if I really stuff them in there! I can fit 2-3 dry diapers in the dry section along with the wipes bag, making it simple to drop off in the nursery at church. Definitely couldn’t survive without this one! 
  4. Large Wet/Dry Bag: This was my main wet/dry bag at home for the first four months. It could hold two days of dirty diapers before being full and only needed washed once per week. It rocks! Now that we are using larger diapers it can only hold one day of diapers. I ended up sewing a pail liner for a large trash can out of PUL and elastic for our main use and use this bag to hold just our overnight wet diapers which always smell when wet due to the sheer volume of urine overnight. You can purchase pail liners online if you don’t sew.


Washing!



All hail Fluff Love & CD Science! Our original wash routine was pretty straightforward. However, I later learned that we were doing things just a little bit wrong. Here is our new and improved wash routine featuring All Free & Clear liquid detergent:

  1. Prewash (or speed/quick wash, depending on your machine) on Cold with ½-1 cap of detergent.
  2. Towels/Sheets wash on Hot with extra rinse and extra spin with 2 caps of detergent. Other settings include Jeans or Heavy, depending on your machine.
  3. Throw into the dryer on Medium and then allow diapers to cool completely before folding. Hot elastic wears out faster, so allowing the covers to cool completely preserves the elastic and extends the life of your diapers.

Done. It’s just that simple! No special detergents or additives. With this routine, we have never experienced stink, ammonia, or rashes.

The best wash routine and troubleshooting information is available at Fluff Love & CD Science.

Please note that Fluff Love & CD Science does not recommend Free and Clear detergents. We choose to use a F&C detergent due to eczema.

***

So, there you go! I hope you found this fun and informational. I'm working on our Five Months and Beyond cloth diapering post and will have it up sometime during NaBloPoMo.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

NaBloPoMo, Day 12: Sleep

I missed yesterday. My bad. Sleep training is proving to be a challenge. R has spent the past two nights sleeping in the guest room until the end of week one.

Night 1 was pretty bad, crying for a long time before falling asleep the first time and then waking up every 10 minutes or so until 1:00 AM, finally coming into bed with us at that time. Last night he went down with about 10 minutes of fuss and then slept pretty well until 11:00 PM. He woke up for a nurse then went back into the pack n play and cried for a solid hour before I gave up and brought him into bed. At least we made it past midnight - 12:09 AM to be exact. (Please note that the hour of crying was with me constantly trying to soothe him but not picking him up to do so.)

It's not all terrible, though. We have found that having the pack n play pulled up next to my side of the bed so Little Buddy can see my face really helps him stay calm. A hand on his chest, rubbing his tummy, and a quiet sing-through of Take My Life and Let It Be calms him down nicely. He gets picked up for a nurse after 10:00 PM and gets picked up any time he sits up to cry (only once last night).

The goal for this week is to get Little Buddy to fall asleep in the pack n play next to our bed from 9pm to after midnight with minimal crying. I'm hoping that, by the end of the week, we are at the point of Little Buddy crying for less than 10 minutes at bedtime, less than 5 minutes between wakings, and staying asleep for at least 1 hour at a time. It's not perfect but hopefully will be the first step in sleeping in his own bed.

What we are doing reminds me of the No Cry Sleep Solution that I tried for one night with Little K. However, having co-slept exclusively for 13 months plus partial co-sleeping to almost 3 years, I'm really not anxious to relive that experience. I swore that I would never do Cry-It-Out but I've gotten to the point that *some* crying is not a deal breaker for me.

Now, all of that being said, this is probably the worst possible time to start sleep training. Little Buddy started crawling, trying to stand, started solids, and is cutting his two top teeth. Lots of challenges and changes that probably leave him needing more down time (read: nursing/suckling time) each night. Unfortunately, our newly active baby has almost crawled off the bed a few times, making co-sleeping a bit of a safety hazard. He also managed to totally break up mommy-daddy time several times the past week, which is just not okay with me right now. Big ole bag of NOPE to that. Plus I've noticed that I'm a little short tempered with Little K which I believe is related to being totally touched-out by Little Buddy.

So, yeah.

All of that wrapped up together means we are sleep training. And it sucks. But it should be better by one week and then we can move forward with stage 2: going back in the pack n play after his 1:00 AM nursing. (That's going to suck, too. Ugh.)

Pray for us. Please. And send coffee.

Monday, November 10, 2014

NaBloPoMo day 10

Day 1 of sleep training. Currently in the running for WWM (world's worst mom) but praying that it transforms into awesome sleep for all by one week. Pray for us :(

Sunday, November 9, 2014

NaBloPoMo, day 9

We have a crawler! Just a few inches but he did it on hands and knees rather that butt-scoots. Big boy!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

NaBloPoMo, Day 5: Eight Months

Little Buddy is eight months old today. How is that even possible?! As always, it feels like he's been with us forever AND that he just got here. The parenting paradox. :-)

Stats: No idea on his weight or length but we moved up to 9 months clothes last month and just started incorporating 12 month clothes because the pants were getting too short. Tall boy!

Sleep: not terrible, lol. We are still co-sleeping. At times I think about transitioning him to a separate sleep surface but, when I try, it always devolves into tears and I'm not willing to do CIO. The good news is that he is sleeping pretty soundly and I am managing to get about an hour each evening of him sleeping in the pack and play. We refuse to stress about it and know that everything changes.

Food: bah. He is most interested in eating solids in the evenings. He really likes hard boiled egg yolks, chicken, steak, green beans, and pot stickers. I'm not consistent in doing solids, though, and need to really work on that. Our evenings are really busy and he's just not interested in breakfast or lunch. Gotta figure this one out.

Movement: he is SOCLOSE to crawling! We keep expecting forward motion everyday but nothing yet. Soon!

Play: Little Buddy's favorite toy is his V-Tech Sit to Stand. A close second is the foam puzzle play mat, which he loves to pull apart and chew on the puzzle pieces. He really likes iPhone's when he manages to get his hands on them, lol. He's interested in pacifiers as chew toys but refuses to suck on them. Oh well!

Everything else: Breastfeeding and cloth diapering are going great! Woo!

Overall, Little Buddy is a really happy baby. He let's you know when he's bored, tired, or hungry but he really does enjoy being able to play independently. He likes being outside with Daddy or playing on his puzzle mat. He hates the church nursery unless one of us is in there with him. He is always happy to be worn in the Ergo or take a bath. And he loves to nurse in the evenings.Life is good!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Monday, November 3, 2014

NaBloPoMo, Day 3: Not quite crawling

I'll admit that I was kind of cheating over the weekend, simply putting up pictures. In my defense, I was posting with my phone, which is challenging under the best of circumstances.

Little Buddy has been on the cusp of crawling for the past ten days. He constantly gets on his hands and knees, rocking back and forth, and reaches for things several feet in front of him. But then he inevitably wipes out and whines until one of us comes over to help him back into a sitting position. R and I struggle daily with excitement to see Little Buddy start and fear that he will be free to roam the house. Terrifying!

We have one gate ready for the base of the stairs but I'm thinking we need at least two more: one for the hallway that holds the bathroom with the litter box and another for the kitchen. I loved the gate I had for Little K; it was relatively inexpensive and easy to use. Seems that it doesn't exist anymore, though, so I'm wading through the sea of baby gates again with no small amount of, 1.) worry over the varying features of each gate and, 2.) weeping over the price. I would say that you can't put a price on your child's safety but $100 on a baby gate?! There's a price, let me tell you.

Also, I need outlet covers. Mmm.

I'll be over here taking a second job in order to baby proof the house. K, bai!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

NaBloPoMo: Day 2

Baby Dedication last Sunday. Just proof that the perfect outfits don't equal awesome pics when you have a squiggly baby!








Saturday, November 1, 2014

NaBloPoMo: day 1

I don't know if I can do it but I've participated in NaBloPoMo for the past two years and would like to keep it going for three. Hope everyone had fun last night!