26 December 2008
21 December 2008
16 December 2008
13 December 2008
That's right - I'm totally that girl in the Lexus commercial! My wonderful husband and I decided it was time to get a new vehicle, between the ABS light that was always on and the fact the front seat was useless with Ruby's car seat in the back, it was more than time. What is even better? We're not paying much more a month than we were before, meanwhile I'm driving a much safer BRAND NEW vehicle. We started by looking at the ES350 because I've always felt SUV's are just too big for me, but after seeing that the ES350 is actually a little bit longer and wider, and getting a MUCH better deal on the RX, we went for the RX - and we figured it is a lot more practical considering we have an infant and all her stuff (i.e. stroller) to lug around.
So, like the commercial, it definitely is a December to Remember!
PS - what makes this even better? We now get FREE valet parking at the Rangers games - woohoo!!!
08 December 2008
First thing first - Types of cloth diapers
Flats / prefolds: These are what most people think of when they hear Cloth Diapers. They are the flat piece of material that needs to be folded and some how hooked onto the baby along with a waterproof cover. This tends to be the most economical method to use cloth diapers, but it also seems to be the most involved. There are also a variety of types and it seems that Green Mountain diapers tend to be the most popular choice among the people I know that use these. I don't have any experience with these though.
Contours: These are similar to flats / prefolds, but they are contoured to fit into the covers better. Again, I don't know much about these since we don't use them.
Fitteds: These fit like disposables and are usually sized (S, M, L, etc) to change with your growing baby. These will still need a waterproof cover however. I know a lot of people who rave about the Kissaluv fitted size 0 for newborns with thirsties covers (I'll talk about this in a moment) - we bought some and tried, but I failed at these. They kept Ruby's messes in without a problem, but I ran into wicking issues and fit issues and other problems, so I abandoned them. Again, some people really love this method - me, not so much.
Covers: These are what are used with the above types of diapers. It is what keeps clothing and such from getting wet. There is also a variety of these, from a type of cover that fits over in the same way a disposable fits (with velcro type closures or snaps) to wool and fleece soakers which basically just pull on.
Pocket diapers: These are what we use (and LOVE). It is basically a waterproof cover attached to a fleece type material with a pocket where you stuff the material that is used to hold to moisture. What is nice about the one's we use (BumGenuis 3.0 One Size) are that they will grow with Ruby so we should never need to replace them due to size - and she should wear them until she potty trains. The one size aspect is some snaps on the front that adjust the rise to fit her - and let me tell you, these things fit great around her legs (as long as you get it tight enough, since my dear husband had an explosion from one he did not get tight enough today!).
All in ones / all in twos: These are the closest to a disposable, since its all one piece, but made of cloth. I think the difference is the all in ones have the absorbency sewn in so it looks like a disposable and the all in twos have it attached on top, sort of like an extra flap which allows it to dry faster.
Now, onto what I've found is needed:
Diapers, obviously. How many you need is up to you as far as how often you'll do laundry. Newborns seem to need 12-18 day. I've seen typical recommendations suggesting about 24-36 diapers and plan to wash about every other day (you don't want them to sit too long).
Diaper pail - I have yet to talk to someone who uses cloth diapers with your typical diaper pail, there always seem to be issues. Most people recommend a plastic trash can with a flip-top lid, they say the air flow actually helps keep them from stinking as much.
Diaper pail liner - some people use a pillow case, we however have waterproof liners. Actually 2 since a) I wash it every time I wash the diapers and b) we'll need it if our daycare agrees to use them. I've seen some people like 3-4 due to daycare and such, so far though for us, 2 seems like it will work. I'll let you know if that changes once I go back to work.
Wetbags - these are smaller waterproof bags to keep in your diaper bag. The size and number you'll want depends on you and your family. We currently have two - 1 small that holds a single diaper and 1 larger one that will hold 4-5 diapers. Some of these even have a tab that you can put a drop of essential oil on to help with any smells.
Cloth diaper safe detergent - Since you want these to absorb the moisture and not repel it, you need to be careful with how you wash them. We used Planet at first and then I've found someone that sells wonderfully scented diaper safe detergent (Crunchy Clean). Oh, and never, never, never use fabric softener - it builds up on the fabric and can cause repelling. I also put a few drops of tea tree oil in which helps prevent stink issues (and also helps get rid of the mildew smell I sometimes noticed in our front loader!).
Wipes - we are in the midst of switching to cloth for a couple reasons. One being its obviously better for the environment and the second being that we're washing diapers anyhow so its just easier than having to have a trashcan AND the diaper pail. Plus, what I've learned is the wipes seem much better at cleaning her bottom off and keeping poo of me! I took an old wipes container, used a few drops of tea tree oil (retards bacteria growth), a squirt of baby oil, a squirt of baby bath, a squirt of baby lotion, and water, and then soaked baby wash clothes in it. When I take the wipe out, I squeeze all the excess moisture out and at that point, they feel the same temperature as your disposable wipes which was my main concern. As for what will be in the diaper bag, I'll have to see how well these work in the wipes cases coming with my new diaper bags. Hopefully, I can be done with all things disposable though. I think we have about 20 clothes right now so we'll see if I need to get more.
This is all we are using as of now, but Ruby is still exclusively breastfed. Once she starts having more solids, then we may investigate a diaper spray or disposable liners. A diaper sprayer is basically a kitchen sprayer hooked up to the toilet and is used to spray off the solids into the toilet. The liners are just that, liners placed inside the diaper and if I remember, all the ones I've seen can be flushed, so it just keeps it from sticking to the diaper. I have no experience with these, but wanted to put the information out there.
07 December 2008
After 2 months I've learned that as cute as the Jeep bags are, I get highly annoyed with them since they do NOT have a good shoulder strap. Also, I try to carry my purse with them as well since I want something small I can fit my keys, wallet, cell phone, and chapstick - and I want it to be SEPARATE from the bag, so additional pockets do NOTHING for this. After a little exploration and some chatting on a message board, I was pointed towards the "seconds" at www.fleurville.com. Everyone raved about the Mothership bag, so of course I had to pick up one of those, but since the site offers free shipping on orders over $99 and the one bag and shipping would have been half of that, I figured why not just get enough to qualify for free shipping? (Yes, I spent money to save money, I am woman, deal with it!) So now I wait. Wait for this most recent purchase to arrive and hopefully I am as happy with them as everyone else. And I even bought the green one so my husband has something NOT pink to use.
For anyone in the market for a diaper bag, I highly suggest thinking about what features you want - and then make sure you get one that has a good shoulder strap as too!
06 December 2008
UPDATE: Happiest Baby on the Block and the Miracle Blanket are my new best friends. Used the techniues when Ruby was crying bloody murder, and not only did it shut her up and put her to sleep, but she's been sleeping since about 7pm and its now 9:45pm. It may screw up her sleep tonight some, but at least I'll have a little bit of down time before then. Anyone who is skeptical of spending the money on those two items, just do it - you will NOT regret it!
03 December 2008
Family photo in front of the Alamo, aren't we cute!?!?
Mom and Ruby - the Moby Wrap is the ONLY way to manage the Riverwalk with an infant
This is what we call her "Elvis lip" - she used to do this every time she dirtied her diaper, and now she just does it randomly at times, it is quite comical. Watch for a picture of her "Thriller hands" in the future!
01 December 2008
I think the biggest thing in this last month is learning Ruby has a milk protein allergy, it has been a HUGE step for us in dealing with her fussiness and learning what I can and cannot eat. We are close to a month clean now and she seems so much better, although she still has her moments (like all of yesterday) and I have to admit, its not as bad for me as I thought. It has us eating at home more often and I have a feeling it will help me lose weight a little faster since I have to cut almost all of the higher fat foods I was eating out, not just the cheeses, but most of the bakery items too unless I make them myself. Regardless, it is all worth it to ensure Ruby is doing better and is able to continue to be exclusively on breast milk.
This past month Ruby has also begun to smile, and not just in her sleep. Mr. Octopus seems to be the best at getting her to show those gums of hers! Now, if we could only get some better pictures of her when she is smiling - as of now, she seems to know the camera is coming out and then refuses anymore smiles and coos. Stubborn little stinker of mine!
And lately, she has discovered her hand - or fist rather! It is all she can do to try and get the whole thing wedged into her mouth. The hand in mouth used to be a feeding queue and that has since gone the way of those newborn clothes since she will finish a feeding and then begin sucking on her hand, making quite loud and obnoxious slurping noises. At first I was fearful that she wasn't getting enough to eat, but I've since learned that this is common among the online mom's I know. Babies really are such strange creatures!
We head to the pediatrician for her 2 month appointment on December 10th, at which point she needs to get her first round of vaccinations (sniff sniff). What I haven't blogged about is that she will also be heading to an appointment with a hematologist. It seems that her PKU test came back with some form of unidentified hemoglobin, so we're going in for more testing. My husband did a little googling and it seems that most of the time when this happens, it is completely harmless and nothing comes of it - so I've basically done my best to not worry or think about it. Most typically if something is wrong, it is linked to some sort of anemia, and since Ruby is not showing any signs of anemia, I'm just waiting to hear what the doctors say.
This little girl has captured my heart and I look forward to watching her grow and learn about life. I don't think I've ever felt as loved and needed as I do as a mother, knowing this little innocent life is completely dependent on my husband and I for everything - and that makes me feel more important than anything. And while there are times when I miss the ease of not being a parent (such as how I could just grab my purse and head to the store), I can never imagine missing out on all the joy she has brought to my life. So, Ruby Ann, my dearest baby girl, no matter what life throws at you and how old you get, your father and I thank the Lord for you each and every day - you will never live a day without love. Remember that. Happy 2 month birthday sweetheart!
30 November 2008
I don't know how other people do it and I feel a little bit like a failure to think about it, but whatever we are doing right now is not working an I need some cleanliness to keep my sanity! Le sigh...
So, dear husband of mine, you have a choice to make, because if you leave it up to me, we're hiring a housekeeper!
Anyhow, here are the sets I've already received and oh how I love them!
1 can pumpkin (not pie filling)
2/3 C vegetable oil
3 C Flour
Mix pumpkin, oil and eggs. Combine will remaining ingredients and bake for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees. Allow to cool and enjoy!
29 November 2008
This is modeled after Olive Garden's Pasta E Fagioli soup that I've been craving. I actually wrote Olive Garden to see what they had on their menu that didn't have any butter or milk products and the response I got was not to eat there. Joy. Well, if nothing else, this milk free diet will surely help our pocketbook AND my waist line, but thats another post.
I grabbed this recipe off some website and changed a few things to suit my tastes, plus I had a zucchini left over from Thanksgiving to use. I am very happy with the way it turned out and will be making this again. The one thing to note is that I cook the pasta separately and add it to the individual bowls. I'll store it in a separate container too - I haven't figured out how to keep it from getting all gummy, so this method works for me!
1 lb ground beef
1 C diced onion
1 C grated carrot
1 C diced celery
1 small zucchini, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
29 oz crushed tomatoes
1 can red kidney beans
1 can great northern beans
1 can tomato sauce (15 oz)
1 can chicken broth
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 lb ditali pasta
Brown meat in a large stock pot, drain off any fat.
Add onion, carrot, celery, zucchini, and garlic - saute about 10 minutes.
Add remaining ingredients, except pasta, and simmer for about an hour.
Cook pasta per directions to al dente.
Spoon pasta into bowl and top with soup - enjoy!