My family

My family
My Family

Monday, May 30, 2011

Cloth Wipes

I finally did it.  I have been wanting to try out cloth wipes for months now and I finally took the plunge.  And...I LOVE them!

The last couple weeks, Austin has been battling "unexplained toddler tummy issues".  These issues left my poor toddler's bum a tearful mess.  Diaper changes became a dreaded event - for momma and Austin.  So I loaded him up and off we went to purchase cloth wipes.

I am happy to report that cloth wipes are incredibly soft on Austin's delicate skin.  His diaper rash cleared remarkably fast once we stopped the use of commercial wipes.  We still have not remedied the "unexplained toddler tummy problems" - but we are working on that issue.

Since I ran out in desperation, I did not purchase all the necessary supplies to adequately use cloth wipes.  I simply bought 2 packages of cloth wipes.  For now I am mixing a solution of water with a few drops of baby wash.  I submerged the wipe in the solution, squeeze the majority of the water out of the wipe, fold, and place in an old wipe container.  Ideally, I will have a wipe warmer to store the prepared wipes in until ready for use.  I only prepare enough wipes for one day, so I do not have to worry about any mildew or mold development.  Once I have used a wipe, I just toss it in the laundry bag along with the cloth diaper for washing.  Everything gets washed all together - easy.

I am estimating that by switching to cloth wipes, we will save approximately $5-10 per week.  Yes, we would go through almost an entire 216 count refill pack weekly.  We are also doing our part to help the environment by keeping (our 200+ weekly) wipes out of the landfill.  I am not increasing our laundry water/detergent usage since the wipes get washed in the same load as the cloth diapers.  Most importantly diaper changes are no longer a screaming, tear-filled event at our house.

Thursday, May 26, 2011


When I was pregnant with Austin, I received many unwelcome comments regarding my size.  As if I was not aware that I was HUGE.  Yes, I admit I gained 48lbs during my 40 week journey of gestating my baby boy.  This is far more than the recommended...average 25-30lbs that I had read in pregnancy books.  But, as long as the baby and I were healthy, nothing else mattered.

This pregnancy I am again receiving comments about my belly.  However, this time they are kinder words..."Wow, you are so small for being due in July".  I appreciate the compliments, I really do.  But when they are immediately followed with..."You were soooo much bigger with Austin".  Gee thanks.

I was curious how I was comparing so I uploaded photos and explored picnik - I have only experimented a couple of times there.  Here are the results.

What do you think?
My opinion is yes, clearly I was larger with Austin than I am now.  But, I do believe I am actually carrying higher??  Or lower??  I have never been able to tell the difference with that one.

At one of my showers with Austin, the dreaded "guess how big momma is" game was played.  My Granny perfectly snipped her piece of yarn to my exact dimensions.  I was then 34 weeks along.  In 3 more weeks, I will pull that piece of yarn out and see where I am sizing up.  

Fun and interesting to see how differently my body is changing to care for this baby versus Austin.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Hard days

Some days my job of being a mother is just HARD.  Today is one of these days.

We start our day with errands to run - Austin was a good boy during these errands, so I was a happy Momma.  Unfortunately, we didn't arrive home fast enough and Austin fell asleep in the car.  I attempted to carry him while in dreamland from the car to his bed - FAIL.  He woke just as I was creeping out of his bedroom.  So, we rock...and rock...He is AWAKE!

Okay, fine lets have lunch.  But first I must retrieve the groceries from the car before our milk gets warm.  Fast forward 30 minutes, lunch was yummy and Austin has sleepy eyes.  Off we go to begin our nap time routine...FAIL AGAIN

Okay, Austin will just play for another hour or so and then we will have a late afternoon nap.  (I say we because at this point, I am feeling that I might also need a nap). 

It has only been 2 hours since the entire nap time ordeal began and I have resorted to trapping Austin in his pack-n-play to force a nap upon him.  As I type, I hear that he is obviously not sleeping but nonetheless resting quietly in his room.  I am exhausted - naps really should not be this difficult.  I really should rest, according to the news, it might be a long night of storms. 

I will remember Austin's fight to nap when he is a teenager and only wants to sleep.  I know this stage is temporary...

Thursday, May 19, 2011

30 Weeks

I am now 30 weeks pregnant with our little girl.  I am amazed at how quickly this pregnancy has progressed.  By this point with Austin, the nursery was completely set up and I was just waiting patiently for our baby's arrival.  This time around is totally different.  I am starting to get things together for our new addition.

Today and tomorrow I will paint the bedroom.  Austin and his sister will be sharing a room.  This may be a great thing or it may be a horrible mess.  Time will only tell.  The baby will sleep in our bedroom for a while, breastfeeding will be convenient with her there.  And, we won't bother Austin during night time feeds.  I hope they enjoy sharing a room.  I have read that having the new baby share a room with your toddler can actually help your toddler sleep better - could I only be so lucky.  The theory is that the toddler "likes" having a buddy in their room and therefore can sleep more soundly.  Regardless, I desire for my children to be close and pray that them sharing a room will foster the sibling love I have envisioned.

I have been getting questioned lately on my belly stats, so for the inquiring minds...
Total weight gain as of today - 15lbs
Swelling is non-existent!  (I blew up like a balloon when I was pregnant with Austin, so this will most likely change as the heat of summer approaches)
Amniotic fluid level is normal!  (Hopefully this stays normal, since Austin had no fluid by birth, this is a concern)
C-section is scheduled for 7:30 am on Wednesday, July 20.

I am going to try to remember to take a picture of myself this week to compare with a picture of Austin at 30 weeks.  I have pictures of my belly almost weekly with Austin's pregnancy, this time I haven't been as dedicated.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Last time...

Earlier today I changed Austin's sheet on his crib mattress for his toddler bed for the LAST time.  I am normally not the type of person to savor last moments.  I didn't cry during our last nursing session.  I am positive I will not shed a tear when I change his diaper for the last time.  But it did occur to me as I was wrestling the tight sheet to the mattress, that next time I put a sheet on this mattress it will be a PINK sheet.  As I type I can see Austin's new big boy bed across the room - still in the plastic. 

These changes in our house only mean one thing...nine more weeks until we are a family of four.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


There are days when I feel fairly confident in my mothering abilities.  Likewise there are many more days when I feel completely clueless on how to raise my son.  Austin is one day shy of 17 months old.  He is learning how to display his independence by following simple directions and completely ignoring others.  He has learned to shake his head "NO" and grunt in such a way to "say" - no.  After all my years of working with children through the dance studio and school system, I have formed the opinion that a child telling their parent NO is one of the most disrespectful actions the child can do.

So in the last few days I have found myself to be this parent that is being told NO by their own toddler.  But how do I fix this.  How do I discipline Austin in a way he will understand to stop this behavior.  Currently I am attempting the route of when he tells me NO I simple tell him again what we are going to do and then forcefully make him obey.  For example, I say, Austin let's go change your diaper.  Response, shaking head "no" and grunts.  I tell him, "Yes, mommy said we need to change your diaper" and pick him up (kicking and screaming) and go change his diaper.

Seconds after the incident has passed Austin seems to have forgotten the entire ordeal.  I however am left pondering this "no" problem and how to correct it.  Since I am completely lost in the area of how to discipline my child, I have looked for recommendations from fellow parents on this journey of raising children.  I have received several book recommendations, which will take me some time to get through, but I will post my findings here for others information.  This morning I stumbled upon this article on parenting from a friend on Facebook - Parenting 001.  I found the article very encouraging and enjoyed the comparison of parenting today versus 20 years ago.

If any readers have advice on how to teach my son to respect me by not telling me "no", I am all ears.

Monday, May 9, 2011

What I have learned last week

I am constantly learning new things that I can do.  As I grow as a Mother I am also learning new things about myself.

Last Thursday, Austin and I met my sister and niece and took a day trip to the zoo.  I learned that pushing a stroller with a 25lb toddler while 7 months pregnant is hard on my body - but I did it.

Friday evening, I hosted a spa party for some of the dance studio girls and their friends.  As the party progressed, I found myself painting fingernails.  I learned that while I can easily paint my own nails - doing so for a little girl is quite difficult.  I now fear the day our little girl wants me to paint her nails.

Saturday Austin spent the day at home with his dad while I was busy at the dance studio.  Austin took a 2.5 hour nap - wow.  (My son just doesn't nap well - he never has, it used to bother me, but I have accepted his anti-nap schedule)  Last Wednesday, Austin napped for 2.5 hours for his babysitter.  Adam informed me that because I do things while Austin naps, the extra noise keeps him from taking a super long nap.  So, today I will give this a try.  While Austin naps today, I will sit and read a book or maybe I will take a little nap too.  My theory is that I am just so much fun, Austin doesn't want to miss out on our playtime.

Sunday I learned that simply playing in a sandbox can provide hours of entertainment for a 1 year old.  I believe that Austin learned that sand does not taste very good. 

Monday, May 2, 2011

Cloth Diapering...My System

When using cloth, everyone has their own method which they prefer.  There is a wide array of different cloth diaper systems to choose from.  What works well for one baby just doesn't for others.  We do not exclusively cloth diaper Austin, just about 75% of the time he is in cloth.  Here is our system for cloth diaper use. 

I prefer to use all in ones.  These diapers are very simple.  You do not need to stuff an insert into the diaper to use.  Although you can add an extra insert for added absorbency.  These seem to fit Austin's skinny legs and waist well.

When Austin was exclusively breastfed, he would wear cloth diapers throughout the day.  It was not necessary to rinse the poop off prior to washing.  Once he began eating regular food and became regular with his bowel movements, I opted to use a disposable diaper to contain poop messes.  Then switching to cloth after his daily BM.  I have always used disposable diapers for Austin at night.  He is a heavy night wetter.  I also did not want him to wake during the night due to "feeling" wet and needing a change.  (He was already waking enough as it was).  I also do not normally go in public for extended periods of time with Austin wearing a cloth.  It is just more convenient for me to use a disposable if I know we will be out long enough for him to need a change.

I only have 12 cloth diapers for his use.  It is recommended to have 24 but I opted to wash more often than what was suggested, so 12 has worked fine.  I wash every other day (sometimes daily).  I have a front loading machine and use Charlie's Soap.  After I change a dirty diaper, I throw it in a laundry bag inside a trash can with a lid.  To wash I shake the diapers out of the laundry bag, throw the laundry bag in the machine as well, and use 1 scoop of detergent.  I wash on "heavy duty" with a pre-wash and 2nd rinse.  When the diapers are washed I turn them inside out to speed drying time and toss them in the dryer for 45 minutes.  I then flip them back right side out and fold them to put away in the drawer to be used again.

Cloth diapering has been easier than I ever expected.  We do have the occasional accidental poop in a cloth, which does require some extra care prior to tossing in the laundry bag.  I like that Austin has a soft cloth diaper on his sensitive bottom.  Disposable always feel so papery and hard to me.  He is now almost 17 months old and has only once had a diaper rash (due to antibiotics).  I feel that we have saved a considerable amount of money using cloth.  We are helping the environment slightly, since we still use disposable we aren't doing the best that we can for the environment but at least we are keeping several hundred diapers out of landfills. And the stink and gross factor aren't near as bad as I originally imagined.

Boys will be boys

When I delivered Austin and Adam announced "IT'S A BOY", I had no idea what I was in for.  I have 3 sisters and relatively no experience with boys except for my dad and husband. 

I am about to pull my hair out dealing with toddler boy exploration.  I realize that it is completely normal for children.  However, I am beginning to wonder/realize that my son might be crossing the line.  This past weekend, we had some friends over.  Austin on more than one occasion was discovered with his hands in his pants.  Also, diaper changes are becoming increasingly more difficult because of his wandering hands - eww.

I have talked to our pediatrician, she assures me this is completely normal and he will "grow" out of this phase.  But I am still disgusted by the behavior and would prefer it not happen.  And I actually do not believe he will "outgrow" this.  Grown men still "adjust" themselves daily.

Only 79 days until I will no longer be the only female in our family!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Cloth Diapering

Approximately two years ago I was a couple months pregnant with Austin.  I was very anxious to prepare my "nest".  I would spend hours researching topics pertaining to mothering, feeding, and diapering.  Prior to pregnancy I assumed my children would use disposable diapers.  However, when I came across information regarding cloth diapers - I was intrigued.  From my research I developed a pro/con list comparing disposable diapers to cloth.

Better for the environment
Gentler on baby's bottom - less likely to develop diaper rash
Possible early potty training
Saves money (long term)
Fashionable (even little boys look cute in their blue fluffy diapers)

Expensive start up costs (at least $10 per diaper) would need at least 12
Added laundry - would need washed every other day (sometimes daily)
Slightly gross and stinky (but this would be the case with disposable diapers too)

After much reading I was convinced that cloth diapering was something I was interested in and wanted to give a try.  Two tasks remained at hand 1)convince Adam we should be a cloth diapering family 2)decide which kind of cloth diaper system we would use

Adam is an engineer so he is very logical in his thinking.  So I knew if I could introduce the topic of cloth diapers to him in a way that seemed more logical than using regular old disposable, he would be on board.  I found a website similar to this one breaking down the cost of using cloth diapers vs disposable.  He also ran some numbers and decided that in his opinion it costs about the same to cloth diaper 1 child vs disposable.  However, once a 2nd child was then using the same cloth diapers, the numbers would greatly change and it is a great savings to use cloth.

When Austin was a couple months old, I decided we were ready to jump into this world of cloth diapering.  I had purchased some gently used Bum Genius All in ones (meaning no stuffing an insert would be required) and a couple Bum Genius pockets (you must stuff an insert into the back pocket to use the diaper).  After just the 1st day using cloth I was thrilled and eager to continue.  I was excited to build a big stash of cloth diapers for Austin to use.