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Saturday, April 19, 2014

THE LIST - What to put on a registry


(Hello one week old Wesley, how tiny you are. All you wanted was milk, dry clothes and snuggles)

I remember being so overwhelmed when making up my registry list for my baby shower. Why were there cloth bibs and plastic ones? What was the difference between a jogging stroller and a regular one? Dear me, what crib mattress should I get? What about the CHEMICALS (its all about the chemicals?!). So I thought I would make a list of what we ended up using those first 6 months or so. I have a couple girlfriends going through this right now and wanted to share what we did. There wont be links to everything so if you have any questions about what we use specifically, let me know!

I am the type of gal that once I make a decision I tend to just stick with that and not waver on what I 'should' have chosen. So this means I haven't tried every stroller, or every brand of pacifier or bottle. If it works then good, moving on. Plus who has the money for that type of indecision?! There are lots of choices and there are lots of options that will work well for you.

Here we go!

How we registered: We used MyRegistry.com and then could ask for things from different places. People seemed to like that and it worked well. I also made a Pinterest board when I was just scoping out ideas.

Sleeping:
Even folks who plan on co-sleeping usually have a crib or something other than their bed the baby may sleep in. You never know what will work for you until the baby arrives. We were open to co-sleeping but then I found that it doesn't work for me. I need my own space to sleep deep enough and Wes was a grunty sleeper so it was better if he wasn't too close.

Crib - We got ours from Walmart here. Though I don't usually shop at Walmart they had a good selection of all wood cribs at an affordable price, I love the BabyMod line. For this little girl we are just going to get an inexpensive Ikea crib.

Crib Mattress - This took so long to decide for some reason, too many options. We got a regular spring coil one for $80 bucks or so. One side is baby and one side is toddler. Works great, no complaints.

2-3 Crib Sheets

1-2 Waterproof crib pads

2-3 baby blankets - You will get these if you have a shower, guaranteed. We have probably 10, none purchased ourselves. Aden and Anais make great ones people love.

Optional things we liked:

Bassinet/co-sleeper/ portable sleeper - The first time we didn't have one. This time we have a rock-n-play. If I was to get something from the beginning I would get this: Rock-N-Play Bassinet. Its lightweight, portable, great by the bed and easy to tote around and travel with.

2-3 Swaddles, sleep sacks: We liked the Summer Infant stage two SaddleMe and also just basic sleep sacks for when he was older like this, Halo Sleep Sack. I found sleep sacks used for a great deal.

White Noise Machine: Worked great from the beginning. Now we use it to drown out our noise at night. This way Wes can't hear the TV or if we have friends over. We have the Dohm Dual Speed.

Baby Monitor: We have a simple audio one like this. I have wanted a video one from time to time, just so I didn't need to go into his room to see what he was doing if he was fussing or just because its fun to spy on your kid. But we have a small house and I can usually hear him from any room so we only use ours when we have friends over or its noisy and I need to amplify his sounds or if we are outside around the house working and want to hear him.

Pacifiers : We have and use them. Its up to you if you are going to. It might be good to have some on hand. Keep in mind they come in sizes so get some newborn/0-6 month ones. We used the all rubber ones for like a week and now mainly use the Advent brand because they aren't as ugly as some.

Eating: 
If breastfeeding goes well and you are doing that for 100% of nutrition you really don't need much for the first few months. I highly reccomend taking a breastfeeding class, taking notes and have a lactation consultant number on hand. We got our service with our health insurance and it was INVALUABLE information/help.

Breastfeeding basics:

Burp Cloths: We liked using prefold diapers for this, very absorbent.

Lanolin Cream - Free from the hospital and that was enough to last, we still have some kicking around.

Breastfeeding Pillow: I LOVED My Breast Friend pillow. Way better than a boppy. I highly recommend one.

Good Nursing Bra or two/three- I love the Bravado brand. They stretch great so you don't need to get a much bigger size for when you are engorged.

Nursing pads - Reusable wool/cotton ones or disposable. Have these ready right away, you don't want to go to the store. You will need them.

Lightweight tank tops for night - Stretchy ones with shelf bras work well. You sweat out a lot of fluids so plan on changing during the night. The shelf bra is nice because then you can stuff a hand towel down there to absorb the leaking/sweat. Ha! I know... it doesn't last forever, I promise.

Button up shirts in a larger size than your pre pregnancy clothes, cross over tops, zipper hoodies, nursing tanks. Make it easy on yourself have a few of these things around before you give birth.

Pump: We didn't use our pump until a month in and we got it with our health insurance plan. We have this one: Medela Pump N Style  It comes with basic bottles and we just bought one more set of storage/freeze bottles. It worked well for us as part time pumpers.

Bottle Brush/ Drying rack

Hands free pumping bra: SAVES THE DAY, seriously if you are going to pump, get one.

Nursing Cover: I really like these lightweight ones and will make one for this time around. I also would take one of those gauze blankets and just tie the corners together like a bandana and throw that over me. Worked well and I always had one on hand anyways.

Its up to you if you want to put the following feeding solids/puree supplies on your registry. They don't eat solids until about 6 months in so its not something you need right away.

High Chair - If you are short on space look for one that attaches to a table or a chair/portable one. We have the OXO full size one and love it, but it was a gift so we would have gotten a cheaper alternative if we had to buy it ourselves. This one is pretty neat!

2-3 Good washable/wipeable bibs - Plastic or rubber ones, the ones with a bottom pocket are good.
Stick blender or blender if you don't already have one
Ice cube trays
Baby spoons
Baby cups/sippy cups
Divider tray/plates/bowl

Diapers/ Changing:

Check out my past posts on cloth diapers:  here and here

Either way if you go cloth or disposable have some newborn, size 1 disposables and wipes on hand. You never know what life will throw at you those first two weeks so its good to have them. We liked Pampers swaddlers and Seventh Generation. I heard the target brand and costco brand are also good for bulk buying. The baby will need to be changed 10 times a day in the beginning, no joke. So plan accordingly for the first few weeks. You cant have too many.

A good way to stock up is to grab a pack every time you go to the grocery store in the last part of your pregnancy. That way you pay over time. I have also heard great things about Amazon Prime accounts and buying diapers that way.

Diaper cream: If you are using disposables you can use anything the store sells. If you are using cloth, coconut oil is a safe bet. Its good to have on hand anyways for dry skin and the like.

Changing Pad and 2-3 covers: For the first month or so we didn't even have the cover on because it got soiled so often it was just easier to wipe down the plastic pad itself.

Changing table: We used a dresser top and now its just on a futon.

Clothing:

We liked Carters brand, Circo, H&M baby, American Apparel and Zutano the best. Tea Collection makes adorable clothes that are a bit pricier.

8-10 Onesies in a mix of newborn, 0-3, and 3-6 size: We were shocked at how small a 7lb baby is. Wes was very much in newborn clothes for a few weeks if not a month. Have some on hand, they grow fast but they also need clothes when they are tiny.

Some cross body long sleeves or Kimono style shirts: We loved having a few of these

Sleepers- 4-6:  Zipper is quicker than snaps but people like both. I liked having ones with feet as well as having ones that are open. Again get a few tiny ones (newborn and 0-3m size) unless you seriously expect a huge baby. The fold over cuffs are handy for those sharp little nails.

Tiny baby pants/leggings: We liked ones with cuffs as they are warmer, like these.

Try to find newborn socks that are tall and tube sock like. They stay on better, the short ones just fall off. I just got these for baby #2.

Booties that stay on: We adore the Zutano Baby Booties

Shoes: Babies don't wear shoes except for looks, good booties are key for colder weather but until your kid is walking/crawling they don't need shoes. I did like having some leather crib shoes like the Robeez brand and we really like Stride Rite now for shoes. I would say ask for size 4/5 and up if you ask for real shoes.

Hats : We got one at the hospital and people love making/giving these so you will probably get plenty

Scratch mittens: SO HANDY! Get some.

6 or so small cloth bibs - For spit up/drool cover, great so you don't always have to change the whole baby.

Fleece Bunting for cold weather. I loved the Zutano ones.

Travel:

Diaper Bag: I made mine and now we just use a simple cotton tote because we don't need much. I did learn that you do need a decent sized bag, I thought I could get away with a small purse but this time around I am going to make a bigger one.

Infant Car seat or Convertible car seat that goes down to infant: We have both. If you live in an area where you drive a lot an infant seat is nice. We had the Chicco Key Fit 30 and loved it, we will use it again for baby #2. Wes was able to stay in it until he was about 10 months old. We used just one base, if your car is from 2006 or later they just clip right in easy.

Snap and go stroller - My mom got one of these used. They are great for the beginning. If you go shopping and the store does not have carts big enough for your car seat, strolls around the block and such. My only complaint is that it has those 4 little crappy grocery cart wheels. Not so good for winter ravaged Vermont roads and sidewalks. But for smooth surfaces they are great to have.

Pack n Play - I have a love hate relationship with this thing. It does not fit through most doorways, so don't expect it to be something you can move around your house with ease. However it is great for trips to the grandparents. I also brought it outside last year when Wes was younger and let him play in it.

Stroller - If you have a snap-n-go or you prefer to baby wear you may not need a stroller right away and can take some time after the baby is here to decide what you want. Many strollers don't work well for infants unless the seat reclines all the way or you can get an attachment that holds the car seat. To be in a upright stroller your baby needs to pretty much be able to sit upright (around 4-6 months).

Because of our long winters, crappy sidewalks, lots of trails and other outdoor bumps in the road I highly recommend a "big wheeled" stroller. We have the BOB Revolution SE and ADORE it, but I also run with it. Anything with 4 tiny "shopping cart wheels" don't work so well in Vermont. If its a 3 wheel one look for a front wheel that can lock or be swivel, again key for our roads, sidewalks and trails. If I don't find a used BOB double stroller I may get this brand for a double as its cheaper but still has the basics that I want.

I also recommend a small umbrella stroller that folds up. Its great to just keep in the back of the car if you need it. Not something you have to get right off.

Baby wearing/ Carriers: We have an Ergo. I do like it a lot. However if you live in a warmer climate it can be very warm. I would look into a Beco or something similar, I hear people love them. (I just checked out the Ergo website and saw they have a cooler Performance carrier and a 4 position carrier, so cool!) I never got into the Moby wrap and this time for when the baby is tiny I will probably mostly use a Ring Sling I am making. I have the infant insert for the Ergo and used that with Wes but since its going to be August this time I am looking for something more lightweight.

Playtime and Other Supplies/ Things we liked:

Rocker/Glider: We have a wooden rocker that was my moms. We lived without a glider/rocker but I will say whenever I sit in someone else's I kind of love it. We may grab a used one this time for our room. Its nice to have someplace comfortable to sit late in the night while you are feeding. There are some gorgeous high end ones that are major $$ and most of the affordable ones all look the same. They aren't pretty but they are pretty comfy.

First aid kit: Has a brush, nail clippers, nose sucker bulb and thermometer in it as well as other handy items, so its all in one.

Swing/Bouncer combo: We got this one and used quite a bit. Wes took some early naps in the swing and the bouncer was great when we wanted to eat dinner and bounce him with our foot.

Tummy Time/ Floor play mat: Free play and movement time is very important. Its best not to have your baby in a 'baby holder' for as much as possible to provide good muscle growth and body development. So we didn't have a walker, a bumbo and only rarely used a used exersaucer.

Teething items: We liked these Chewy Q's made in Maine. We made it through without a Sophie Giraffe.

Mobile: Wesley was never one to just stare at a mobile but they are cute and you can even DIY one. So many good ideas on Etsy or Pinterest. They are good over a changing table as well as crib.

Toys: For those first few months their hands, the lights, the ceiling fan, the wall, their feet and your face are all the toys they really want/need. The next 6 months Wesley's favorite toy was a used Ricotta container with fabric scraps he could pull out. Blocks, balls, music toys, containers, books, scooters/push carts those are good ideas and are even better for one year olds. So no rush on the toys.

Bathing Items: These are all kind of optional, you most likely have a sink and towels/washcloths already so buying things just for the baby are more for fun. You will probably get some at the shower, people like buying this stuff.

Small baby tub - We had a few and didn't really love them. The sink worked and once Wes was sitting we used a Tupperware tub we had.  It worked great, we could do a bath anywhere and didn't even need a proper tub. If you want one the kind with the removable infant sling are the best, like this one. 

Pack of small washcloths - great for the changing table as well as bath. If you have a little boy, just throw one over his penis so you don't get soaked!

Baby hooded towels

Baby bath wash/shampoo - If you put one of those sets of wash/lotion on your registry that should last you a while. We liked Earth Mama Angel Baby a lot! The foaming bath wash smells so good, is super easy to use and lasts a while. They have good little sets of things for breastfeeding or just postpartum mommas too, throw one of those on there.

Momma Recovery Items not listed above: 
Have these on hand before you come home from the hospital/ give birth.

Witch hazel or Tucks pads
Large absorbant sanitary pads

Take a pad, squirt witch hazel/water mix on it, put it in the freezer and your vagina will thank you when you put that sucker on. AMAZING.

You may want a Sitz bath, I didn't end up using one.

Comfortable cotton undies

Herbal recovery and breastfeeding teas. We have a great local tea/herb shop that has these awesome blends. But you can find tea packs for this even in your grocery store.

THE END of LIST - tada!

I have had good luck with buying used items either locally at Once Upon A Child or other baby consignment stores or on Ebay/Craigslist. If you are open to it and want to save some serious cash there is a huge market out there for used baby items.

If you sew check out this post on how to make some handy items that are on this list.

I know that was a little wordy, I tend to be that way. I hope it helps some expecting parents out. All you experienced parents did I forget things? Anything I didn't have that you loved? Anything that you never used?





Saturday, April 12, 2014

ITS A....

(Sorry little lady, I promise this will be the only butt picture of yours on the Internet, well it better be.)

As the great Harvey Krumpet says "Some people had less bits, Some had more bits ". We were shocked and thrilled to see our little bean had 'less bits' than Wes. We have ourselves a little girl!

On Torrey's dads side there are many, many boys. We all expect boys. My family is more even and so is Torrey's moms side. I had a feeling it may be a girl because I was just so sick that first trimester. I don't know if those old wives tales are true but for me a different pregnancy did equal a different sex.

It was the first thing our OB saw, that above view. I remember thinking... "there are lumps (a vagina isn't flat people!) but there is NO PENIS". She was quiet for a minute, zooming around in there and then said. "Well... you have yourselves a girl! I am 150% sure". We both got so emotional, out of nowhere, I didn't expect that. So happy and an overwhelming flood of feelings. I don't think it was all about the finding out it was a girl but partially just finding out in general. Last time we had to look away and wrote it down to reveal later. It was so nice to just know this time, right off. Then we got to call her 'she' the rest of the ultrasound. That 'she looked good' and 'she was moving around like crazy!'. That was great too, since I was so sick I had this nagging teeny tiny worry about her health, how could a baby grow with those crappy nutrients? I know, I have read the facts, that they do grow but I still felt  that way. To see her healthy and right on track with everything growing the way it should was so lovely.

Its such a strange thing to try to explain, how something as simple as finding out the sex of your child feels, either now or at birth. I would have loved a boy to pieces too, two brothers would have been great, a little crazy and great. I have a few friends having their second boy and cant help but think of the great relationship my husband has with his brother. I am truly honest when I say I wasn't 'hoping' for either. Its not something I can control and any child is such an amazing thing and we take them all with open hearts. I know a child will take their own gender on their own journey, how strongly they fit into a stereotype is based on their personality, how they are made and their choosing.

But now I get to gush, now I get to make something from all that more feminine fabric I have been hording, now I get to see Torrey as a father to a daughter,  now I have a Girl. I feel so different this time around in this aspect. So attached to this baby. With Wes the whole baby thing was this big mystery, I didn't really know what it would be like. But now I see Wesley every day and see what this jumpy tummy turns into. I see the love and joy it becomes. I still cant believe I am saying 'she'. I cant wait for Wesley to be a big brother to this little sister. I love how close they will be in age. Here we go! Now I'm just wishing for a safe and successful birth into this world in about...19 weeks!

I couldn't help myself and made this little outfit this morning. Its probably one of the 'girliest' things I will make. It was so much fun. I just added the ric-rack to one of Wes's old onesies and made the pants with fabric I had grabbed in San Fran, super lightweight summer poppy print.




Friday, April 11, 2014

21 Weeks Pregnant and Ultrasound








STATS:

How far along: 21 Weeks

How big is baby: About 14 oz and 10 or so inches long and right on track as of our ultrasound yesterday.

Weight/ Weight gain: Up to 148. 7lbs gained and 5-6 lbs in the last month alone.

Maternity clothes: One okay fitting pair of maternity pants, once I gain a few more lbs. I should have more to pick from. I have a HUGE stash of handmedowns and ones from last time that are still just a tiny bit too big so I REFUSE to buy any. And I am still wearing one pair of lowrise very stretchy regular jeans.

Starting to get into tighter shirts now that the belly is here, hello belly! I love how its bigger and rounder earlier this time, less of the awkward stage.

Sleep: Good. No naps, energy back. 8-9 hrs a night. Wes has been spoiling us with 7:30 wake ups (except for this morning, 6:15!, blurgh)

Food cravings: EVERYTHING. Franks Hot Sauce, spicy food, smoothies and milkshakes, cold chocolate, veggies, salads (thank god something good for me), sweet potatoes, red meat (steak, not burgers), dairy, chicken. SO HUNGRY ALL THE TIME.

Food aversions: Bananas, Cold hard boiled eggs (love warm ones, crazy I know), cottage cheese.

Symptoms: Now that I'm feeling good this pregnancy feels much like the last. I have different cravings but other than that I feel pretty much myself. I am breaking out a bit more on my chin, annoying, I also feel like I look so tired all the time. Maybe that is just from the winter kicking my butt, or getting old, ha!

Movement: Lots! Yippee! Its the real stuff now, kicks and rolls and pushing. According to the ultrasound this baby is lying transverse (no big deal, just means across my belly) and is totally out of my pelvis now. So that's why my belly just popped out this week. Bitty bean mostly moves in the evening or after I eat something.

Gender: Sorry for the delay, we know and some friends and family know but we aren't sharing online until tomorrow. We are going to see Torreys grandparents tomorrow and want to tell them in person so this means we are keeping it hush hush so no one spills the beans.

It was SO FUN knowing the whole ultrasound. I will chat about it more tomorrow but we found out right away and then kept saying (he/she) the whole time and it really personified this little bean. I am such a 'knower' not 'waiter'. With the first they whole baby thing was a mystery but I really like knowing this time around. It makes it so much easier to wrap my head around.

And everyone is already asking if we have names. I think...well...we don't. We have a few we like but none set in stone. So HUSH IT. Plus we may keep that a secret until the birth anyways, we need some surprises!

Ups: Feeling good, sleeping good, eating normal, and OMG this weather is AMAZING! Thank you Vermont for bringing the sun and warm. Ive been running a bit more too 3-4 days a week, 3-4 miles each time. I am slow and it takes 2 miles to warm up but I'm so glad I can still get out there. I am also really glad I haven't gotten any rib pain with this baby like I did with Wes from week 15-30, that was no fun.

The ultrasound was such a great time. We have the best OB's/midwives. It was one of my favorite doctors at the practice and she walked us through everything. It is really good to know that everything is right on track and looking good. The baby was MOVING LIKE CRAZY. Just like Wes did for his ultrasounds, so pictures were hard to get. But if thats the worst of my problems, I'll take it. They are related for sure!

Downs: None related to this pregnancy.

Next Appointment: In about a month. Glucose test time!

Bitty Bean Baby Foot!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The truth of it


Doesnt this look great? So peacefull, stimulating and engaging? I am the prefect mom, the perfect parent....

After this... after about 10 min and he threw everything (or tried to) he could into the water, he was done with it and came pulling on my leg. Then we watched two episodes of Curious George. Because the other option was to suit him up and go outside and I was tired (I have to remind myself "I'm not lazy, I'm pregnant"). Thats the truth. I don't follow the rules. I feel guilty, but I KNOW others don't either. I know that those Instagram photos and blog posts only show a tiny bit of reality. When I took and posted this photo that was reality, it was great and I love the table and know we will get a lot of use out of it. But its not magical. Life is life.

I really liked this blog post today by a local mom. I know her from some baby classes we attended together and I really like her honest, humorous writing.

The transition from work mom to stay at home mom.

Here are my thoughts on my transition that I shared:


LOVE this post! Every point was SPOT ON. Even a few months into Wes’s outside the womb life I was still in major denial that I was a SAHM. Since I was working for myself before couldn’t I just continue that? NOT. I mean to most of my friends without kids I still am a working mom. I run my little businesses, a little bit and they are impressed. But those so needed mom friends, and my husband, they know the truth. That I actually dont ‘work’ that much. Part of me actually finds it painful to go into my sewing room or into New Duds workshop. I feel like I avoid it sometimes because I love it so much. Because I want to do so much, to have those days before when I would work with my husband all day and get so much done. Because there is so much I have had to let go, be more hands off with or give to someone else. So much that I know I could do better. But its just not my time now. It has been such a mental struggle because I don’t really know what my role is. Ive come to the conclusion now with #2 on the way that I am a stay at home mom who works when she can. But the MOM is first. But I also, some days, feel like I am not cut out for that either. Filling the days drives me crazy sometimes. I am so fortunate to have a grandma that takes Wes twice a week and like you said some awesome mom friends I can meet with. I had no idea how hard it would be to stay connected with my non parent friends, how hard it would be to keep working, but I also am FLOORED by how awesome it is that I can do this. That we are making it work and that I get to see Wes every day. Thanks for this post. We did watch two+ episodes of Curious George this morning… yep that happened. The best thing that works for me is to try to plan my days, I am finding. Nothing set in stone, but If I can have a idea of what we are going to do rather than leave it all up in the air I feel way less overwhelmed. My lists often include, ‘eat’ and ‘shower’ but it works. Great post!! 


I could go on forever but I only get 1-2 hour nap time and I am trying so much to get off the computer and get some real stuff done because it makes me feel better about myself and my daily productivity. I really got thrown for a loop this winter with the first trimester sickness and bitter weather and I know ive said this before. It really knocked me back and down a few notches. I was KILLING it at christmas time with business/mom juggling. I am trying to get back to that a bit now that I am feeling better.

And I will be honest that we have an awesome afternoon of exploring outside planned so that Curious George watching didn't sting as much this morning. And its the only time Wes will sit still and hold my hand, so worth it.

I think before I had kids I saw this as complaining about them. When someone shared that it was hard, or a challenge or a struggle I heard it as bitching. Its not. Its just in this highly edited world we live in it makes it seem like things are easy with rainbows and butterflies. The hard gets cut out. Everything worth doing and everything that is rewarding in life is hard work, that's just the truth of it.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Cloth Diaper Update - 18 months in



Cloth Diaper Post #1 - I did include lots of links in this post and more "how to" so check it out if you are new to cloth!

Its been almost a year since I talked about how we Cloth Diaper. Since then some lovely ladies I know have gotten pregnant, Congrats! The first time around I didn't know many people with kids/babies but this time I have a much bigger community of moms, or soon to be moms. Its so nice!  So here is an update for anyone interested.

I will say again its not hard, but we do not do daycare so that may be a factor when deciding. It saves us money for sure and it is one of those things (like the rest of pregnancy and child rearing) that seems totally overwhelming at first but once you get some hands on experience you are like...oh, I got this (mostly).

I will say if you use disposables, as most people do, that is totally fine too! I am not trying to force cloth on anyone or say this way is better. Its just good to know what other people are doing when making a decision. Just wanted to share.

What we use now with a 17 month old:

14 Bum Genius Pocket Diapers 4.0

- I got some at the baby shower, I also got some when Bum Genius had a buy 5 get one free sale. Keep an eye out for that.

- About half have snaps and half have Velcro. I like the snaps better, Velcro is slightly easier/quicker but Wes can also undo it himself and that makes changing time more of a crazy show.

- The only other cloth diapers I have are prefolds and covers I used when he was a newborn. I don't think Bum Genius fit 8lbs babies well. Some may disagree but for me it was just too much bulk for my little bean.  I used prefolds and covers plus we had a diaper service for the first 6 months. You have other options too, you can ask for size newborn and 1 disposables and use them for the first month or so until your baby is big enough or do prefolds (check out my first post for more info on those) or get newborn size cloth. However you go through cloth faster at this stage because they poop more and messier so you would have to get quite a few.  I don't have experience with knock off brands, or other brands/styles. These work and we like em! Once I make a decision I tend to stick to it, why make it harder than it needs to be?

Two Wet Bags
- One to go one with a zipper for overnights at grandmas or when we are out and about
- One large one for our diaper pail at home



Diaper pail
-Its a flip lid trash can, easy.


Cloth diaper pail on the right on the floor and a disposable/wipes garbage pail up top. And a super cute kiddo in the front.



This is the changing futon! When we moved into this house I took the dresser back for our room the changing pad was on, this was supposed to be a temporary substitute, a year later and we are still rocking it. The orange dresser on the left holds his diapers.

Soap
Charlies Laundry Soap Powder

How we 'cheat':

We aren't STRICTLY CLOTH and that is okay! A mix is great too, no one from the cloth diaper police will come and slap you on the hand. Do whatever works best for you.

I use disposable at night. Seventh Generation size 4 diapers, one a day means very few overall. We have done cloth at night and its just annoying when he wakes up at 4am soaked. Here is the deal with cloth they do not hold as much pee as disposable. Its just the honest truth. And you know what, that's why I like them. Disposable are craaaaaazy! They have to put a lot of mysterious stuff in there to hold that much pee. Seriously. So you probably have to change cloth a bit more. But since I only use disposable at night I don't know any different. Cloth did hold back newborn baby explosion poos MUCH better than disposable. We only had one 'up the back' incident, success!

We use disposable wipes - Again Seventh Generation. No real reason other than we never got into using cloth wipes and it stuck.

Sometimes for trips we use disposable, if its a long trip or flight its less to carry around with us. Both of our moms are good at using the cloth and will wash them if they are taking Wes for any period of time.



Other Info:

Total Cost: I have probably spent about $400 on cloth diapers and supplies. The average price for 2 years of disposables is about $1600 (source). Yes, we do more laundry but its not that much more. Plus I should only have to buy a few more diapers to get through this next year. So that is TWO kids for maybe $500 bucks?? Pretty worth it.

Oh and since I do use some disposable products I probably spend $10-20 a month average between wipes/ disposable diapers. So if we really wanted to save we could cut those out too.

Rash?: Wesley hasn't had a diaper rash since we stopped with the diaper service. Something about their soap would sometimes give him a bit of one. So honestly its great! I know lots of babies in disposables who get rashes often. If he is a little dry I will put some coconut oil or this lotion on him. His skin under the diaper is just as lovely as his skin everywhere else.





How we wash: 

I generally have to wash my 14 diapers 2-3 days or so. Usually at night so they can dry overnight on the rack. I am the laundry queen at this house and its actually a chore I don't mind so for me its no big deal.

Prepare: Poop goes in the toilet right after I take the diaper off, its a fun adventure Wes and I take to the 'yucky' potty. We used a diaper sprayer before he had solids but now the vast majority of the time we don't need it.

Inserts (absorbent lining) comes out and outer shell get Velcro tabs folded in (if they have them) so they don't stick together.

It all goes in the washing machine together.

I throw the wet bags in the wash every other week or so.

Half a scoop of Charlies soap with all the diapers in a cold/cold wash.

Then a full scoop of Charlies and I put the machine on 'dirty cycle' hot/hot with an extra rinse.

If I have time I air dry them all, if not I put the inserts in the dryer and hang the outer shell to dry on a rack. If I am really in a bind I will dry a few of the shells in the dryer with the inserts. So far no damage.

If the stink gets stuck as it will every 4 months or so I take the diapers and drop them off at the local diaper service. One clean with her "wash your stash program" and they are like brand new, I rinse them when I get home because sometimes Wes has a reaction to her soap but its worth it because then I am not playing the "how to get the stink out" game myself. I know its getting bad when I check for poops that aren't there, or they just smell like pee really strong after a little bit of use.

Potty Training Hopes: Who knows if this is true but I am hoping using cloth will help a bit when coming to potty training time. Right now if Wes is wet he can feel it. And we talk about how he feels wet and when we change him he feels dry and clean again. We also take those trips to the toilet together and talk about it. It just opens up the conversation. With disposables its harder to tell if they are wet themselves and everything gets thrown out so they don't really use the toilet much. Who knows if it will help but I like to hope it will. We will see!

Resale: You can resale your cloth diapers after you are done with them! So you save even more money. You can also buy barely used ones for a discount. I think a lot of people buy some thinking they will use them and just don't or do just a bit so there really are some deals out there. I think I may try to resell ours after or more likely just give them away. Or even more likely, after 2 kids, throw them away! ha! But they are holding up REALLY well so far. I am kind of amazed, the shells look almost brand new and the inserts have very little staining that I think a good bleach/sun wash could get out anyways. They are made very well, not your grandma's cloth diapers!

If anyone has any questions feel free to email me at tauwarte@gmail.com. I am no expert but I am very happy with our diapering situation. Its gonna get crazy come fall when we have two in cloth!

Anyone have any good stories or tips with their diapering experiences? Any one use other brands of cloth and love or hate them?

Monday, March 24, 2014

17 years of running and 10 years with this guy...

A quick post... some thoughts...





First of all a Happy 10 year Anniversary (dating) to my husband and me. We have been kicking it since I was a Junior and he was a wee lil' Freshman in college. His roommate and best friend from High School was on the Cross Country team with me and Torrey would always show up at the Cross Country parties. YES, XC does have GROUPIES?! Right? Who would have thought. We talked, we played stupid games, we went on a run together (he totally lied when he said he was a 'runner' and maybe would join the team, he did hurdles in HS, but lets be honest that was just to reel me in) and I was sold.

There are too many stories and memories to share and its been the best adventure these past 10 years and I am so pumped for the next 10. I'm not a sappy person but its just been so nice having this guy by my side, love!

Also I have been thinking about running:



I did this the last time I was pregnant. I got all happy and sad about it. I have been running pretty regularly since I was 13. In NY I was a pretty late start to the team, I had no idea when I joined in 9th grade that it was ranked the #1 team in the country in XC. Like are you kidding me? How did that happen? Running those 4 years put me in a position for the rest of my life. It did more to change my path in this world than anything else. I made amazing friends, came out of my super shy shell a bit and was able to pay for most of my college education. As well as learning how to love a sport that could come with me through life.


These past few years its been tough. Some days something has to go and its running. Other days I kick myself because I spend time on Facebook or doing something equally as mindless instead of getting out there. Other times I just think I am doing too much, the whole "do a bunch of things okay, or do a few things really well" scenario. I need to get better at letting things GO and prioritizing. I know that by far the hardest part is getting my feet out the door. Or even getting my feet down to the basement on the treadmill...that thing is getting dusty.

Races, running friends, guilt, losing the baby weight, stress relief, me time, feeling strong, these are all my reasons for doing it. I do love it. It is something I know I can do. Something I know very well. I know the ins, and outs. I know how to come back from months off. I know that after the first 2 weeks I will hit a slump but if I just stick it out for that third week or so I will be feeling much better by a month in. I know I can be 'fast'. I know I can go 'long'. I miss running with a constant group the most. And not doing it is mostly my fault. Having weekly runs with people keeps me accountable the rest of the week. So does this blog. Some people seem to just have this inner motivation. Its so strange because its not like I don't enjoy it. I do, so much. But that drive is lacking... its slow. I am motivated by others, by races, by that good pressure to do something with my body.

This isn't really going anywhere its just thoughts...

Here is another one. I don't want to run with a double stroller. I don't even want to purchase a double stroller. I want to run by myself. Yes, I do like running with Wesley. And its not even that much harder or slower to run with the stroller, we have a great bike path (well not in the winter, now its just an ICE path). But I also like running like I used to, with just my body and me.

So I need to have a plan this time. Maybe a race in the works. Maybe just a written down running plan for recovery and getting back into it (obviously with much flexibility). But I need to think about it and plan ahead of time. Sit down with Torrey and talk about the best time to run. I can make up some calenders and actually write down a loose schedule and goals (though probably best to be done while I am recovering, after this baby is here, and I see how the labor and delivery goes).

That is how I will get it done. The first time I thought "it will all work out" and it did, I ran some great half marathons this past summer and felt fit again. But this time I need to be a little more serious. I wont be having any more babies for a long time, if ever, so I will have the chance to really get back into it for a little while. I know I will have two kids, and who they heck knows how that is going to work??! But I can do it.

I think if I am honest with myself. If I GET OFF THE DAMN INTERNET AND PHONE. I will find the time. It is there... waiting for me.


Runners? How do you feel about slumps? Where do you get your motivation? Will you yell at me to RUN after this baby is here. Seriously. Come RUN WITH ME. Lets make a date. 

Friday, March 21, 2014

18 Weeks - Baby #2





(Yoga clothes really show off the bump, its harder to tell in everyday clothes)


So much has improved since my last pregnancy recap at 15 weeks. People keep asking me how I'm feeling and I realize I never did an update. I am feeling so much better, in the glow of the second trimester. I am eating normally and so thankful that that first stage did not last one day longer than it did.


STATS:

How far along: 18 Weeks

How big is baby: 5.5 inches about the size of a sweet potato

Weight/ Weight gain: Finally gained some weight. I am up to 142.5. 1.5lbs up from starting weight and 3.5lbs up from lowest first trimester weight. Id like to gain a little less overall this time (40+ lbs last time) but I didn't have much trouble losing it all after so if I don't, ah well. Definitely not something to worry about. I know my body now and know it will come off thanks to running and breastfeeding.

Maternity clothes: A little bit. Most of my pregnancy pants from last time are still too big, but I'm sure that will change soon. I am on the cusp of wearing tight tops again to show off the bump. Its almost there! I definitely care a whole lot less if I just 'look fat' this time. The belly seems to be bigger and more round/hard sooner. It remembers ;)

Sleep: Good, pretty much normal. One pee break or so a night.

Food cravings: I am eating pretty normally again! I indulged in a few bologna sandwiches (I limit my deli meat but don't cut it out totally, reputable source and only fresh). I have been enjoying salads with chicken, smoothies and milkshakes, baked potatoes, and I am totally craving red mead right now, good thing we are having steak tomorrow!

Food aversions: These aren't as strong for sure, there are things like hard boiled eggs and bananas that I used to eat way more often that I just don't want right now. But nothing is making me gag or be grossed out.

Symptoms: Hummm.... none? A little tired for sure, hits me harder some days than others. A little less get up and go and motivation to do things. That might just be the long winter talking. But its slowly getting warmer, so outside we go!

Movement: YES! I mean, I wasn't worried. But its nice to have it as a reminder that all is well and I am pregnant. I'd say early this week I felt my first, for sure, flutters. Its so light, I remember the strong sensations, rolling and pushing from Wesley I forgot how light and low down the first flutters are. Like little fingertips taping inside. I only really notice it once or twice a day when I try to focus on it.

Gender: Unknown until April 10th. My money is still on a girl, but as I told Torrey this is the only time I can think I am having a girl (if its a boy, they run in the family) so I might as well! Either way we will be thrilled to know and I am so ready to go through bins of newborn baby stuff and organize it all.

Ups: Feeling better, more energy, being productive again, warmer weather, birds chirping, eating real food, being able to focus on projects, drinking water again, getting outside and going places again.

Downs: None related to pregnancy. I feel like I have some making up to do with family and friends as I was a sloth all winter but that will come.

Next Appointment: April 10th for the great ultrasound and gender reveal.


About 17 weeks. ... Photo bomb Wesley, my little sidekick.