21 December 2008

Dear Santa

Dear Santa,

For Christmas I would like to learn how to nap and to stop growing out of my clothes so fast. Oh, I would also like a pony since every little girl needs a pony.

Thank you,

16 December 2008

Living with an infant

This is our house Pre-Ruby:
This is our house now:

All expecting mom's, BEWARE!

And, since I need to post a picture of the little stinker who makes this all possible:

13 December 2008

A December to Remember

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

Cloth diapers 101

It's been a little over 2 months since Ruby was born and I think we are good to go on our cloth diapers now and have even started using cloth wipes soooo, in an attempt to put together as much information for anyone who is interested, I will list it all here.

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

We're working on it

Christmas pictures that is! This was our first attempt and of the picturs I took, this was the only one in focus ... and then she started screaming. Sooooo ... Ruby is in bed and we'll have to try again on another day. Such as life.

Diaper Bags

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

A rough day times 2

Yesterday was one of those days I wanted to curl into a ball and cry. My house was a mess, as it always seems to be lately, the trash was too full to put anything in, laundry was half done, my husband was working, and Ruby was as fussy as fussy can be - she wouldn't let me put her down or she screamed, she didn't want to eat, she didn't want me to sit down, she would only take her paci for a few minutes, I had to change her diaper evey 5 minutes it seemed, and she's decided she likes to shake her head back and forth HARD, so she's knocked me in the face and chin on several occasions. Oh yeah - at 8pm I still had only had breakfast since I couldn't get enough time to make anything to eat. Luckily she still goes down at night and sleeps pretty well and for that I am beyond thankful.

Then comes today. She was GREAT, WONDERFUL, HAPPY, and SMILING ... until my husband had to leave for work. Ever since, minus a few SHORT naps, she has been fussy again - and continues to spit up. I have had to change my bra, wash the couch cushion, change her top TWICE in 20 minutes, gone through countless spit rags, and finally put a bib on her and said screw it, at which point she decided to just scream bloody murder - then I just sat and cried. My pediatrician keeps saying some kids just spit up - but I just can't get on board with THIS MUCH being okay. And while my elimination of dairy has seemed to help some, she sill seems really mucousy which leads me to believe that there is still something else going on, whether it is an allergy to what I'm eating or some other sort of allergy. Add this all up and I am stressed out and emotional. We head back to the doctor next week though so once again, I am going to bring it up. If it turns out this all normal, then maybe I'm the one who needs medication.

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

Traveling with a 2 month old

My husband and I decided to take a quick trip to San Antonio on his weekend while I'm still off work since we normally don't have the same weekends. We also figured this would be a good trial with Ruby to see how she does with traveling. First thing first, we realized quickly we need a bigger car, so it looks like we'll be doing some car shopping soon. Joy. Along those same lines though, with a 2 month old, there is a LOT of crap to take when traveling since we wanted to make sure we had the items that tend to soothe her - which means not only did we need her car seat, stroller, Pack-N-Play to sleep in, but we needed her bouncy chair and her floor mat as well. So, not only was the car filled to the gills, but as you can see our hotel room quickly turned into a nursery as well. (I also told him that when we get a new bed, we are totally getting a king!!!)

Family photo in front of the Alamo, aren't we cute!?!?

While in the Alamo, Mr. Octopus brought out that cute little smile of hers and we FINALLY got a good picture of it! Hooray!

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!

On the way home, we stopped in Gruene (pronounced "Green") Texas and while wandering around the little town, came across this shop, so of course we snapped a picture!
All in all, it was a successful trip, considering we had a 2 month old. She did really well ... until we tried to eat and then (everytime) she got fussy - but she seemed to enjoy the fresh air and was quite alert while we wandered around, plus she slept well at night (and so did I - again I'm all about a King bed now). Who knows the next time we'll be able to travel, but we can apply the lessons we've learned this time and hopefully as she gets older, traveling will get easier (at least in SOME aspects anyhow!

01 December 2008

Month 2

Wow - these past 2 months sure went a lot faster than those last 2 months of pregnancy, and its so completely unfair! I don't even want to think about how fast these next few weeks are going to go, these few short weeks I have left at home with my precious pumpkin, it completely breaks my heart. Until then, we'll enjoy every moment we can, even those where the colic monster is visiting while tears stream down my face - sure it is frustrating, but it is part of motherhood and I'm okay with it. On to the past month!
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!
She is also starting to get decent head and neck control, so much so that we can put her in lumpy (aka her bumbo) for short periods of time. However, it sure can make burping her a little more difficult since she prefers to look around. Luckily, she hasn't done TOO much twisting and turning during feedings yet, I can only imagine how painful that will get!

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!