Thursday, August 30, 2012

In Pictures....

our  3rd Anniversary.












The husband took the day off work to celebrate with A and me. We headed back to my hometown, and even stopped at our wedding venue for an impromptu backseat nursing session for Littles.   We grabbed lunch at one of my favorite spots, a local's favorite.   I had dreamed of dipping A's toes in the ocean for the first time and naturally getting an amazing photo op.  Instead, she fell back asleep and I didn't want to wake her, or have her new baby skin in the sun for too long.  We walked the boards and then headed back as it was still a work night for the Husband and we wanted to get home before rush hour set in.

Girlfriend had some more playtime and we had Happy Hour.  Our 3rd bottle of Anniversary Wine, better known as our wedding guest book.  (Year 1, Year 2).


Another one down!  





Thank you for all the sweet comments and emails on yesterday's post.  I never imagined how many people it would touch.  Dreams do come true.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

[Wednesday's Weekly Check-In] Week 19



Weight:
Assuming in the same range as last week.  I know breastfed babies start to plateau and her weight gain will slow down.  She was pretty active this week so I wouldn't doubt she burned more calories than usual.  Assuming 14.5 pounds.


Health:  
We can't possibly be teething,  can we?  I found my old baby book and it turns out I did get my first tooth at 5.5 months.  After going through last week's weekly photo, almost every one A was tugging on her ear.  She never had a fever and didn't have a cold or runny nose, so I ruled out an ear infection (she also had just seen the doctor a few days before).  She's been drooling like crazy, which I just attribute to her age and the fact she's more upright now.  Hands in mouth and sucking on fingers are also totally normal, but well just have to wait and see.  

Lastly, another sometime teething sign is diaper rash.  And holy hell did we catch a case like never before.  The persistent rash she always has is pretty mild and will come and go day to day.  Last Thursday is started getting worse and by Friday she was dry, bumpy, and red all over.  I actually went out and bought some disposables (I had drafted my cloth diaper post the night before for Monday- go figure!).  I started using more serious diaper creams and didn't feel like being extra careful to not get it on the cloth.  So slathering I've been and lots of quick changes and time spent naked.  Finally by Monday it was looking better and Tuesday almost back to normal.  I think I'll go two more days making sure she's baby soft before going back to cloth on the reg.




Sleep:
I finished reading the first of two books I ordered, Nighttime Parenting by William Sears. Yes, that Dr. Sears, the "Attachment Parenting" guru.  If it isn't obvious, I'm not 100% AP, but a pretty mainstreamed version of it.  I breastfeed on demand from the source, I wear my baby from time to time in the Moby wrap, I look to her for cues for when she's ready for naps, meals, and play, and I occasionally snuggle in the morning or take naps together in bed.  I don't plan on making any TIME Magazine covers, but I what I'm doing just feels the most natural and while I'm not following any specific book's suggestions, it's just what feels right for me.  

We don't bed share full time because 1. the Husband sleeps like a rock.  A screaming baby 2 feet away does not wake him.  2. We have a queen size bed so there isn't much extra room for safety.  3.  The dogs.  We bed share with them instead.    So while I definitely wouldn't bash or eye roll at anyone who does bed share, it's just not for us.  I finally have A fully transitioned to the crib for the entire night.   The book is strongly directed to bed sharing and giving into baby's cues and demands.  In a way, I felt like it was praising me for nursing her to sleep and allowing her to fall deeper past that first REM cycle before moving her from my arms in the rocker to the crib.  It didn't offer any advice on naps or how to get her to learn to sleep on her own.  If anything, just reinforced why I don't like when she cries and that I "shouldn't" allow her to cry it out.  In the end, wasn't the advice I needed because I don't really want to continue with what I'm already doing.  I want  her to learn to fall asleep on her own. 

I'm starting my next one now, The Sleep Lady's Good Night, Sleep Tight.




Clothes:  3-6




Diet:
Momma's Milk.  




Baby Gear:
Well, saving our rears this week - quite literally...   

Earth's Best Diapers, Earth's Best Diaper Cream, a sample of ButtPaste, and doctor recommended A+D.




Crying: 
We had a few bipolar days, specifically Thursday.  One minute happiest baby on the block, the next inconsolable melt down for no reason.  Again, another hint towards teething?? Just being a baby? I'm not sure.    


We also had some really easy nights for bed, and then others that took two hours of putting down, waking up, crying, picking up, rinse, repeat.


Postpartum:
I shipped off about half our freezer's worth of breastmilk.  

I also had my first Bad Mommy Moment last night.  While clipping A's nails I knicked her finger.  I think I was more upset than she was, but it broke my heart.  I'm so sorry girlfriend!


Milestones:
She did it!  She rolled over all by herself from her back to belly on Saturday!  I'm so happy the Husband was home and able to see her do it, too.  Of course now she likes to try to practice in her sleep, so after our middle of the nursing sessions, I get to go back to bed watching the monitor making sure she doesn't land on her face.   Time to work on going belly to back.


Routine





The last hours of the night.  We start a bath and get bubbled up.  I sing a song about washing the belly, legs, and toes, and make sure I scrub under the chin and behind the ears.  I pretend to be Billy Madison and fight over shampoo better, no conditioner better! as we wash your baby fine hair.

Afterwards we give daddy a kiss and head upstairs to brush your hair and dry off.  I lotion your body as you kick up a storm and wiggle all around.  Then it's time for jammies.  As soon as pull them over your head you are ready for milk, but not yet, got to find fingers and thumb and get them through the sleeves.  We close the curtains and turn on the Sleep Sheep - always the ocean, my favorite (and I hope I'm brainwashing a bit for it to be yours too!).  I settle into the chair you begin your final meal.

You'll look at me with tired eyes, before succumbing to the night and getting a little more in your belly before you doze off to dream land.  I sing You Are My Sunshine, three times, and you completely settle in.  At this point, I'm entertaining myself in the dark on my iPhone (thank you Steve Jobs!).  Emails, blogs, facebook, instagram, maybe a game of sudoku... it was always my favorite at bedtime when you were in my belly and not yet in my arms.  It was always the time you would kick and we would share our special bond of it being just us two, just like now.

After you've pulled away, and started dreaming with your little sleep smiles and twitchy expressions, I put you up on my shoulder to see if you have any burps to let out.  Because I've learned that when I don't, I'm back up upstairs soothing an unhappy honey within 20 minutes.  We rock in the dark while you snuggle into my neck and I place my cheek on your head.  I go from patting your back into a full out hug.  I give you an extra squeeze for how much I love you and how thankful I am that you are finally here in my arms, where I always dreamed.

I think of all we've gone through for you to get here - the tests, the pills, the procedures, the many ultrasounds, the nights I came home from work and ran upstairs to use my at-home doppler to check-in on your heartbeat, the first flutters in my tummy, the first stomach thumping kicks, your butt permanently lodged under my right side rib cage, my water breaking five weeks early, laboring all night, and still being surprised when you decided to come not even 3 hours after being told I was still at 1 cm, and then the smile you gave me when you were placed on my chest.  But as all these memories flood my mind, I also remember what we lost.   I can only imagine the two angels that sent you here.  They knew you were exactly what I needed and that you'd give more to me, than I could ever give to you.  They watch over you, and watch over us.


And with this last hug of the day, I don't take minute for granted.  Being your mommy is my greatest blessing.  My third angel, the one without wings.




On this special day, we now celebrate you too.

1-0-9-7


1,097 days of marriage, or better known as three years....

Happy Anniversary Husband!

This has truly been the most amazing year to date. 



Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Donated!





Over 45 bags of breast milk donated to the National Milk Bank.  After becoming a qualified donor, they sent me a cooler when I was ready to get some freezer space back (understatement).  I'm still waiting for my final ounce report, but I believe I donated somewhere in the ballpark of 240oz of breastmilk.  The liquid gold will be given to Prolacta Bioscience to aid in the creation of nutritional products for NICU infants.


I still have about half of my stash on hand (yes, that photo above is the after!) and I plan to start adding back with some "non tainted" milk (dairy and soy free).  I'm waiting to learn more at our GI specialist appointment later this week to see what it really is we need to eliminate, if anything.


That's my karma for the month!  Have you done anything recently worth some warm fuzzies??







::click:: for more information on donating 

Monday, August 27, 2012

[diapees + wipees] Cloth Diapers, 2 Months In


I'm now more than two months into cloth diapering so I thought I'd post another follow up since we are in a nice groove.

Feel free to get caught up with our original diapering method and my experience using cloth diapers after the first two weeks.


I'll start with updating my notes from my last post...

- We've had no leaks.  We've had leaks.
- We've had no blowouts.
- We've had no issues with stink or build up.
- We have had rash problems.  
- We have had stains after washing.  


While we haven't had many leaks, we have had a few.  Usually it happens with diapers that have exposed fleece on the leg opening (Happy Heinys) and it usually only happens in the morning when she is a heavier wetter.  It doesn't happen every time, only if I don't make the diaper tight enough or check to make sure the absorbent fleece isn't exposed.  It's also mainly happened when bringing her into bed with me after a morning nursing session to snooze and snuggle.  If I turn her on her side it's almost a given the sheets will end up with a wet spot from the transfer from the fleece to the sheets.  I've learned to throw a burp cloth (aka, a prefold diaper) under her now.

We've had some close calls that should have been blowouts, and probably would have been in a disposable, but the snug fit of the cloth has kept everything in where it belongs.

The rash problems I've gone over almost every week in my weekly updates.  They aren't diaper related,  but moreso diet.  The few times I've noticed a different rash, a more typical 'diaper rash' of dry chaffed skin, it's been quickly healed with some naked time and moisture of Angel Baby Bottom Balm or coconut oil.

I haven't experienced any staining like I did in the beginning.  I'm wondering if maybe I just hadn't fully prepped the diapers before that first use.  The BumGenius 4.0s especially come out clean everytime, which were the ones I had some issues it.  The bamboo lining of Blueberries and organic cotton of the BumGenius Elements (AIOs) come out with some discoloration, but they are easily bleached out with some sun time.




Thoughts on Brands

Not going to go brand by brand like last time, just my quick general notes.

BumGenius 4.0s OS Pocket Diapers are by far my favorite.  The only time I experienced a leak was because I didn't snap the waist tight enough.  She's a bit in between snaps for sizes at this point, so I just have to make sure I have the legs pulled up tight if I'm going looser at the waist.  User error leak, not product.

I love the colors.  I love the snaps, only 2 instead of 3 like some brands. They always wash back to white.  I actually added 6 new ones from Kelly's Closet Buy 5 get 1 Free promotion.



I did try out two FuzziBunz Elite OS diapers and wanted to love them.  I loved how narrow they were between the legs.  Loved the soft minky inserts.  And LOVED the soft fleece lining, but I just couldn't get a good fit on A.  The inner elastic was great in theory for me, but I just couldn't get it to work no matter what combination I tried.  After a week's use, I realized I was avoiding using them so I resold them for nearly their full value (excellent barely used condition, no staining, fully prepped, all accessories included) and took the money to add two more BG 4.0s to the stash.



I still favor the Rumparooz at bedtime.  The inner gussets and inserts seem more absorbent than using a BG 4.0 over night and I don't mind that they are tad bulkier at that time.  The Blueberry's come in at the same ranking, no issues outside a bit of discoloration after wash.  BumGenius Elementals, the all in ones, fall behind those.  I just prefer the pockets, even with the annoyance of having to stuff them. The Elementals take forever to dry, are usually a bit discolored - not stained, after wash.  The Happy Heinys and Bum Cheeks are my least favorite.  I'm actually considering selling them as well.  I use the Kawaii freebie I received at night with no issues, it's just too bulky to use during the day at her current size.  And the EconoBum 2IOs I never touch.




Extras

I have been using Rockin Green detergent exclusively.  It's a bit expensive at $14.95 a bag, but I've washed diapers every other day for the last 2 months and am just now running out.   I use about 2 heaping tablespoons for each load, so I'm sure I could use less (like it recommends) and extend it even further.  Either way, $7.50 a month for diaper wash doesn't seem too bad to me.  And I could always switch to Tide Original Powder, which I have a box waiting for when I do run out.

Also, when I picked up the 2 FuzziBunz, I grabbed some biodegradable flushable liners, a hemp doubler, and some Bummis Fleece Liners.

The biodegradable flushable liners have been great when I need to use a heavier duty non-cloth diaper friendly rash cream.  It keeps the cloth diaper from absorbing the cream and therefore making it liquid repellent (the opposite of what they need to be!).  I originally was using some cut up pieces of a cotton receiving blanket, but since you should wash them separate from the diapers, to avoid residue build up, it was bit annoying to put a wet or dirty piece of cotton in a separate wet bag.  The disposable liner goes in the toilet and is gone forever.  I don't use these frequently, but I'm sure I will once we switch to solids.

The hemp insert is ridiculous.  I definitely plan on ordering more when she gets bigger and becomes a heavier wetter.  They are so thin, yet hold so much!  So much nicer to double with instead two regular microfiber inserts.

Bummis fleece liners are great for wicking away moisture. I haven't used them all that much, but try to remember to when she is show signs of rash.  Anything to keep her bum dry and less irritated, even though the rash seems to be caused by internal sources, not external.



That's pretty much where we stand today.  I have used one disposable diaper since starting this process and that was only because I forgot to pack a cloth diaper when we headed to a doctor appt one day.  It took a bit longer than expected and I knew she needed a change.  Basically I'm sold hard to the cloth, and am silently laughing to all the nay sayers of "yeah, see how long that lasts!"



Anything I missed?  Feel free to ask Q's in the comments and I'll try to put together a Q&A!

Friday, August 24, 2012

[Babycakes] Jump-Jump-Jumperoo











...that is all.





oh, wait.

shortie pie

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

[Wednesday's Weekly Check-In] Week 18

... how have 18 weeks gone by?  Seriously, summer is almost over and my baby is 4 months old.  I can't handle it.

Hold me.



Weight:
We had the big weigh-in on Monday.  Turns out we got a bit overzealous and I was closer with my guess from when we had a doctor visit a week before (when we never saw the scale).  Girlfriend weighed in at 14 lbs 6oz and pushed the tape to 23" and 15.75" for her dome.

Overall, we (and her doctors) couldn't be more pleased with her progress...  She's on the short side for her real age (4 Months) but she's continuing along the curve great and her weight is in 53%! Shortie likes to eat!


Health:  
Everything looked good at the check up, aside from her digestive issues.  We scheduled an appointment with a GI specialist for the end of next week.  I really hope we can get to the bottom of this, as I'm starting to think maybe it isn't the dairy or soy after all.



She also got another round of shots.  I held her hands and was making raspberries with her when they did the first and she didn't even notice!  She actually smiled at me and my silliness when it was done - whew!  Then the big one went in and the nurse warned me this one would sting, and boy it must of - A forgot to breathe!  Poor baby, her face turned purple.  I just wanted to scoop her up as fast as possible, but the nurse was still pulling the needle out and getting a band aid on.  I did get her to calm down fairly quick, but man, these things never get easier.


Sleep:  It's time.

The books are ordered.  And sleep training will begin soon enough.  While we have a great routine of her falling asleep nursing and then being rocked for a few in case she needs to be burped.  Putting her in the crib while asleep is great, but it's not teaching her to soothe herself or how to fall asleep on her own.  This is definitely why we have nap time issues.



I can't bring myself to "Ferberize" outright, so I ordered a few other books with some alternative methods.  I'm hoping I can find some sort of balanced sleep training technique with a side of 'cry it out', as opposed to just shutting the door and letting her cry.  I know it works and many moms have done it, I'm just weak and going in for 5 minute checks to say "Good night, I love you!" and not touching her doesn't work for me, or her, right now.  She doesn't settle down, she just cries harder.  For right now, since she's still recovering from her shots, I'm just sticking with out usual deal since she's now been staying asleep until 3am and then going back out until 6:30-7am.  It's actually not too bad aside from the fact she can't fall asleep on her own.


Clothes:  3-6



Social:
My mind is going blank.  Aside from the doctors and general outings to run errands we didn't have too much going on this week.  Just lots of play at home.




Diet:
Momma's Milk.  Still dairy and soy free, wondering if I should be eliminating something else.




Baby Gear:



Fisher Price Rainforest Jumperoo - Yay! It came.  My in-laws have an exercauser, but we keep forgetting to get it when we see them.  I decided it couldn't hurt having both, one on each floor, so I ordered the Rainforest Jumperoo. Even though this model is being discontinued, it has the best reviews of all the current models (Animal Krackers, Precious Planet, etc).  So I went for it.

Although my vertically challenged off spring is a bit too short for it, it's nothing a pillow or some books won't solve.  She LOVES it.  And I can already tell, I'm finally going to be able to make myself other than cereal or one handed meals.

Bibs - Drool city.  Bibs are now a requirement to her daily apparel.  Unless I want to be changing her soaked through onesies every few hours, which I don't.  I do enough laundry with the diapers and the Husband's sweaty gym clothes.


Crying:
Happy Baby.  Only incident really involved the shots and the night she had trouble getting to sleep.  I think it's time to retire this section.




Postpartum:
For the love of God, the hair!

Ok seriously, something else note worthy.  I don't sleep more than 2 hours at time.  Even if Ashlynn is sleeping soundly, I still find myself waking up and peeping at the monitor.  Maybe when she sleeps through the night, so will I?


Milestones:



So freaking close to rolling.  She's actually really close when having some naked time, so I wonder if her fluffy diaper butt is holding her back.  She's also closer going to back to belly than belly to back.

We also had our first 911 call.  On Sunday morning we (A and I) were laying in bed and the Husband was downstairs.  I had just got up to take a sip of the coffee he had brought me when the smoke alarm went off.  I jumped out of bed with A and ran downstairs to see if something was burning.  We didn't see or smell smoke, nothing was cooking, and we definitely didn't see any flames.  The Husband went upstairs to turn the detector off, and when he did that, the rest started alarming.  At this point, I said let's get out of the house and make the call.  We live in townhomes and I was afraid maybe something was burning in the attic, the walls, or next door.  I'd rather be safe than sorry with a new precious baby in the house.

I made the call and they said they'd send a first responder, great.  The guy came took a look said he thought out detectors were just malfunctioning because of their age, most likely the originals to our 12 year old house.  He was going to have a truck come so the guys could come in with heat detectors and see if everything was okay in the walls and rule out an electrical fire.  At this point, our neighbors started coming out.  Then another truck came, and another.  Three trucks on our tiny cul-de-sac.  All while I'm still in my own jammies.... tiny VS Pink cut off shorts and a bra top tank, awesome.  Looks like we gave the neighbors two shows... the fire engines and my ass.   Thankfully everything was fine, just need to replace the detectors in the home.