Categories
op ed

It Certainly Doesn’t Smell Like Roses

I’ve been cloth diapering for a few weeks now and we’ve officially made the decision to continue with it. This means a trip to the store soon to pick up some more pre-folds because I’d really rather not be doing laundry every day for the next three years. Dan is pretty stoked with the whole situation and I’m surprised and pleased to see he likes it a lot more than he thought he would. Then there’s me. I don’t love it. I don’t think I even like it. I have little fantasies about going back to disposables on like a daily basis, but then I think of the money saved and the potential environmental savings and I just… can’t.

And the thing is – I’m a little bit PO’ed about the whole thing. I like a lot of green things – I prefer using cloth grocery bags over paper or plastic any day. I love nursing and would never really want to go back to the bottle – I’m thrilled it’s working so well this time around. We use reusable water bottles and I can’t even imagine using a new plastic bottle for EVERY bottle of water I drink – because I drink a LOT of water. And there are other things, too, that my sleep deprived brain can’t think of – but the point is – I was pretty sure I’d love cloth diapering, too, in a sort of “so it should follow that…” mentality.

I’ve read blog posts of CD users who absolutely rave about cloth diapering. Who say they can’t even imagine letting a “yucky disposable diaper” touch their darling’s delicate skin now. People seriously seem to love the heck out of cloth diapering and I know people can go a bit over board and exaggerate, but seriously? I thought I’d at least like it. I know that with all things, we have our extremists – the people who love or hate something so much it makes you green in the gills just listening to them talk about it. But even with that grain of salt taken… I clearly expected too much.

Because now that I think about – seriously – we’re talking about diapers here. About poop and urine. Does anybody really like changing diapers, like in a, “Gee golly I can’t wait for another diaper change!” kind of way? Does anybody love the rustic smell of throwing out a bag of dirty diapers or washing reusable ones? Really? They are diapers – they stink by nature. Are all these enthusiasts full of *it, or am I reading into their raving the wrong way?

Basically, I think I set myself up for failure by somehow imagining this level of CD enjoyment that just doesn’t exist. Because seriously, picture when disposable diapers first came out – do we think that housewives everywhere said, “Yuck – no thanks!” Or that those same housewives, before the invention of disposable diapers, were like singing songs merrily about how much they loved changing diapers and washing them? It’s not exactly a party game people.

Don’t get me wrong – there is something to be said for not having to run to the store in the middle of the night because we somehow used the last diaper and need to buy more – never mind the cost savings of not having to buy diapers every week or month or whatever until BB is potty trained. That’s kind of sweet. And those little water proof covers can be cute even though they are also gigantic and practically double my daughter’s clothing size – and she’s a peanut, for the record. And I mean, the size of the diapers isn’t exactly the hugest of inconveniences, I can deal. And I know that poop stinks, period – so even though I personally think it smells WAY worse on cloth diapers, whatever, it’s not like it smelled awesome in a Huggies. All I’m really saying – is that I’m disappointed in myself for expecting some weird level of happiness that diaper changing is never going to deliver – and mildly miffed with the world wide web for encouraging that level of excitement, even though it isn’t really their fault.

If I’d gone into this whole thing only wanting to save money and feel like I’d done my part environmentally… I don’t think I’d be so disappointed. If I’d somehow remembered that at the end of the day we were still talking about poop, I wouldn’t have had such unrealistic expectations. But it really has me wondering, am I the only one? How many parents out there cloth diaper, not because they freaking love it to pieces, but because of the cost savings, etc.? Has anyone else soldiered on with CDing despite not loving it in the least? Show of hands?

Categories
op ed

Taking the GOOD with the BAD

It’s been an interesting day – filled with good moments and bad, to the point where I’m not sure how to classify the day as a whole. I figured I’d write it all out and see which column (good or bad) has more in it?

Good: I got a copy of Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris in the mail today for review – if you’ve been following along, you may know that I rather obsessively have been wanting to read this. I’ll be finishing The Funny Thing Is… tonight (I hope) and then moving on to some new vampy goodness!

Bad: Seemingly seconds after getting my new book out of the package it arrived in, I got a call from Dan. His car broke down – something about a hole in the fluid thing. It won’t start. I had to pick him up at a gas station so he could continue on his way back to the office for the rest of the day.

Good: MM has been pretty well behaved today all things considered. His playroom is actually still clean for the most part – I’m thinking my toy purge was a very, very good thing.

Bad: Because of Dan’s car troubles, timing, etc. MM hasn’t napped. So far this hasn’t been troublesome but I’m wary of how he’ll fare tonight – that’s when the fallout from a lack of nap normally happens.

Good: Fresh raspberries have continued to make today’s meals better. They topped my oatmeal this morning and a few minutes ago I squished a couple into some peanut butter slathered graham crackers. The other day I made MM a peanut butter and raspberry sandwich (like instead of jelly) and he loved it. Yesterday I topped my french toast with them instead of putting on syrup – I think they were better than syrup! I’m convinced right now that raspberries make everything taste better and I have yet to be proved wrong. I’d love to make these raspberry cobblers soon, but I’m not sure the motivation will come.

Bad: Have I mentioned that Firefox for some reason decided it hated me and deleted all of my bookmarks, cookies, passwords and settings. Like they are all gone. Dan tried to console me by saying, “Hey this would be a great time to try Google Chrome!” except Google Chrome isn’t actually available for the Mac yet. I played with Opera for a bit but found it way too buggy in Google Reader to bother with. I’ve been trying out Camino for the last few hours and it’s… okay. It’s ugly to be honest and if it weren’t for today’s occurrences, I’d gladly go back to Firefox. Right now I’m just biding my time until Google makes a version of Chrome for the Mac or Dan digs up another browser for me to try…

Good: I got all the cloth diapers for Baby Blueberry washed, dried and “put away” – we are almost ready for newborn bums at chez momma!

Bad: The tote thingy I’m storing the diapers in really isn’t big enough – like they “fit” after a lot of coaxing but it’s not going to work very well long term – which will be a problem at some point since, if we like cloth diapering, we’ll want more diapers. This just means I’ll need to buy something – in addition to a trash bin to put the diaper pail liner in and a spray bottle to put some homemade diaper wipe solution in.

I think that about covers it. I could complain about my back some more and all the aches and pains of being 39 weeks pregnant. But, then again, I could also say how GREAT it is that this pregnancy is almost over, my grandmother is coming tomorrow (with a bit of work I should be able to get the car in time to drive to the airport to pick her up, hopefully without going completely crazy. A bicycle may be involved on Dan’s end) and a fun weekend in store, not counting the hopefully getting Dan’s car fixed. I really hope he can get it fixed (inexpensively) because I’d way rather save for a house than buy some cheap car (we totally can’t afford a non-cheap car) because his is declared dead. I vote for it not being dead and everything being fine, okay?

Categories
family fun

The LAST Bump Report: 39 Weeks

Holy cupcake indeed, Batman. This is our last Bump Report folks – the last time I’ll have some reclusive vegetable to compare to my baby and the last week I’ll be carrying said baby in my stomach (that sounds like cause for celebration to me). Seriously I’m all nervous and impatient at the same time right now. This past week has been a bit brutal – like tired all the time, my body hurts EVERYWHERE and suddenly for the first time in my pregnancy I’m getting swollen hands and feet. I mentioned this phenomenon to the doctor, just to be sure it didn’t mean there was a major problem, and of course it’s not – she recommended putting my feet up, drinking more and watching my sodium intake. I took that to mean, “Stop working so hard, enjoy a glass of lemonade and opt for a sweet dessert over a salty one.” Doctors orders, right? And our lemonade (looooooove Simply Lemonade btw) is very low in sodium. All joking aside, I know I haven’t been drinking as much water as usual – it’s hard to want to guzzle down all those glasses when each one sends me to the bathroom two or three times. My bad. In the meantime, none of my shoes fit and my stomach is starting to feel like a dam that may burst at any minute (which is a funny comparison when you consider the whole “water breaking” thing – I’m hoping I can avoid that happening what with the whole planned cesarean).

The cloth diapering preparation seems to be going well. I still want to pick up a cheap trash can to store our diaper pail liner in but we stopped by this cute local store, Happy Bambino, and picked up an extra dozen prefolds and two more waterproof covers. So now we’ll have two brands of prefolds to try (and more importantly I won’t have to wash the diapers MORE than once a day hopefully) and we’ve got the waterproof covers so we can start as soon as we are ready now. The pail liner and cloth wipes came in the mail yesterday along with the Gerber prefolds so the only things we’re lacking are the Snappis which are on their way and the cuuuuuuute waterproof covers which are not on their way anytime soon according to Amazon (hence the trip to Happy Bambino). Speaking of happiness and bambinos, I wanted to mention officially here for anyone who cares that that store is now my favorite place in the universe. They have everything a quasi eco-friendly wanna be granola mom could wish for – anything you could think of for your nursing, baby wearing, cloth diapering needs – they’ve got you covered. Along with cute nursing clothes, baby clothes and eco-friendly adorable toys – AND classes on things like nursing, yoga, infant massage, estate planning and oh my god more. I want to move in. Even my husband was wowed by this place – and the reason this is marginally relevant to YOU is because…

  1. They have an online store – so you can buy their stuff from the comforts of your own home.
  2. If you wanted to send me gift cards for fun baby stuff, these would be very much welcomed. Also – FOOD – apparently we need it to survive?

Anyway, we’ve got pretty much everything we need for that, I think, although we still want to pick up some disposables for the first couple weeks and we’ve got all that setting up to do, which is really just cleaning up so that Dan can very quickly set up the furniture before baby and I come home, without having to move plastic totes and boxes of stuff first. We’re planning to work on that tonight – last night we got sidetracked by… well, I’ll tell you more about that later. Basically it involves our other child and all the toys he has and takes crappy care of.

Before I go off on that tangent though, let’s get on to our vegetable comparisons and statistics courtesy of babycenter.com:

[BB is] waiting to greet the world! [She] continues to build a layer of fat to help control [her] body temperature after birth, but it’s likely [she] already measures about 20 inches and weighs a bit over 7 pounds, a mini watermelon. The outer layers of [her] skin are sloughing off as new skin forms underneath. (How’s that for a mental image?)

Surprising Facts: How your body changes after giving birth

• You’ll start losing weight right away. While you probably won’t return to your pre-pregnancy weight for some time, most women are about 12 pounds lighter after delivering one 7- to 9-pound baby and losing another pound or two of placenta and another two pounds or so of blood and amniotic fluid. Although it will take a while for your body to regain its pre-pregnancy shape — that pregnant belly may stick around for longer than you’d like — by the end of the first week, you’ll probably have lost about 4 pounds of water weight.

• You’ll have lochia discharge. After your baby is born, the cells that form the lining of your uterus will begin to slough off. This results in a discharge called lochia that lasts for weeks. At first, this discharge is mixed with blood, so it appears bright red and menstrual-like, then it gradually gets lighter in color, finally fading to white or yellow before it stops.

• Your emotions will be in flux. Within the first week or two of giving birth, many new moms experience the “baby blues.” You may find yourself moody and weepy, exhausted, unable to sleep, or feeling trapped or anxious. Your appetite can change, too — you might want to eat more or less. The good news is this emotional upheaval will generally pass within two to three weeks.

…and parents.com:

She’s reached her birth weight (typically between 6 and 9 pounds) and length (18 to 22 inches), and all systems are go! Since only about 5 percent of women give birth on their due date, baby could be making her appearance at any moment. Labor may begin in several ways: mild cramps (the most common scenario), a painless trickle of straw-colored fluid caused by the rupture of the amniotic sac, or a scheduled induction or cesarean section.

…If your delivery is scheduled, you’ll check into the hospital and either be prepped for a c-section or given prostaglandin gel (to soften the cervix) followed by oxytocin through an intravenous drip…

…You’ve been envisioning this moment for so long! But chances are it won’t be anything like you imagined. Maybe your water will break without any contractions, and you’ll need to be induced. Or you’ll dilate so quickly that there’s no time for an epidural, even though you were counting on one. On the other hand, maybe you’ll labor for hours without dilating at all, and end up with an emergency c-section. There’s simply no way to know.

Each birth is as unique as the baby it produces. But the mishaps that seem like disasters now–your husband stuck in traffic on the way from the office, the overnight bag left on the front steps in the rain, your 20 hours (or 20 minutes) of labor–will all become cherished parts of your baby’s birth story. So take a deep breath, go with the flow, and enjoy one of the greatest experiences life has to offer.

Sources:American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists,www.medem.com, Johnson, Robert V., MD, Ed., Mayo Clinic Complete Book of Pregnancy and Baby’s First Year (William Morrow & Co, 1994)

I can’t wait to share Baby Blueberry’s birth story with all of you – and I can hardly believe how soon it is happening – we pick my grandma up from the airport tomorrow! After a quick weekend with a company picnic and likely a bit more baby planning and hopefully some chances to show grandma around town… after all that, Tuesday is coming, ready or not, and so is this baby. Monday morning will mark the beginning of Baby Blueberry Birth Week with lots of fun guest posts and hopefully a special appearance from Dan, who at the very least, I may ask to post some pictures and a quick update if I can’t get online myself next week. I think I’m coming home Friday but you know, with these things, you never know…

That’s all folks! As far as Bump Reports are concerned, “The End…” As far as LIFE is concerned, “To be continued…”

Categories
motherhood

Cloth Diapering: The Journey Begins…

Good news: I finally got my husband on board to try cloth diapering! It wasn’t easy ladies, this man had his reservations and then some! But somehow, for some reason, he came around – the weird thing is I’m not sure it was because of anything I said or did. Anyway, I showed him the four major options and surprisingly we both ended up at the same place – we are planning to try basic prefolds with waterproof covers – our thinking is that it’s the least expensive and if this doesn’t go over well, we know we’ll use those prefolds elsewhere.

Here’s what we’ve ordered so far:

  • Gerber Diaper Service Quality Prefolds – I went back and forth and hummed and hawed, but these got decent reviews and the price was, well, okay. I ordered two packs so we should have enough to get through one day – initially we’ll just fall back on disposables if we need more, but at some point if we like this, we’ll be buying more, not necessarily the same brand – I suppose that depends on their absorbency, etc.
  • Thirsties Diaper Wraps in Mango and Rose – I know these covers have no reviews but Thirsties in general had wonderful reviews and I liked the look, price and idea of these.
  • Mommy’s Touch Diaper Pail Liner – There are so many different options for wet bags but the reviews on this one seemed good, the price seemed fair and at some point you just have to make a decision. We almost waited on this until I pointed out to the reluctant dh, “Where do you propose we put the dirty diapers before washing them?” I want to pick up a trash can or bin to put the liner in as I’d hate to learn the hard way just how waterproof the bag is.
  • Snappis – these seem to be a cloth diapering standard – I ordered two as I really can’t imagine needing more than two – one might have been sufficient, but what if it breaks?
  • Flannel Baby Wipes – this was actually Dan’s suggestion as he pointed out that it would be easier to dispose of than a a nasty poop covered disposable with no diaper to hide in, cheaper in the long run and eco-friendly since we’re going that route. I’m planning to pick up a spray bottle and try the recipe for Homemade Diaper Wipe Solution that Simple Mom mentions at the bottom of this post.

If we like this, I will want to pick up more prefolds so I don’t have to do laundry every day and probably some extra diaper covers, etc. I’d also love to try these diaper liners but I agreed to wait on them for now. Any cloth diapering tips or suggestions for things to pick up or methods to try?

Categories
family fun

Bump Report: 38 Weeks

In less than two weeks we are going to be a family of four – THAT is just surreal to me right now. Per usual I am this quaint little mixture of impatient and scared shitless. On the one hand, wouldn’t it be wonderful to not be pregnant anymore and get a cute cuddly newborn? On the other hand, won’t it be awful to have basically no sleep for the next four months and god help me if this child doesn’t nurse well. Remembering all the little difficulties with MM and trying to remind myself that I got through it, but also remembering that we had a LOT of help. Thank god my grandmother is coming up for two weeks.

Anyway, two weeks from this past Tuesday people – it’s all happening, ready or not. People Magazine’s little pregnancy calendar (which I just stumbled across like yesterday) is officially regarding Baby Blueberry as a baby now and not a fetus – no quaint little statistics about her growth, like I would have seen last week or any week prior. – So far as they are concerned, this kid is ready to go. Instead they quite eagerly want to talk about safety – what baby proofing have I not gotten to yet? For the most part I think our apartment is pretty well locked down as we still have it all kinds of “proofed” where MM is concerned but I know our baby gates will be coming back out soon and a few more cabinets will get locked at some point.

One area of concern for both BB and MM is the bedroom and playroom windows. We keep them open at least a crack to let air in, wider when we want to run the fan. And it doesn’t escape my notice that we live on the third floor. I don’t think MM is tall enough to fall over from the floor, as he can just barely see over it… but he is a monkey and he climbs… And I get nervous. I’ve been looking at this window guard and wondering if I should get one (or two) … or would this or this be sufficient? I can’t help but look at the cost, and then I get that mommy guilt, like “You can’t put a price on your child’s safety” and then I think, “This is why I’m a marketing company’s dream. I’m easily duped…” And then I think, “Or am I?” Any thoughts? At some point I’ll mention this to Dan who I’m pretty sure almost never reads my blog anymore (I must be really boring) but then I feel guilty for saying, “So I was thinking of spending more of your money” since we are also in the talks about maybe cloth diapering (god the up front cost is so expensive and the choices are still kind of overwhelming me) and we’re also looking at these fancy nursing pads that are also kind of expensive but maybe genius? I’m so sick of spending money, I know babies cost money, but at some point I’d like to start saving again and we still haven’t gotten reimbursed for our moving costs which we will then have to hand over to my father who was kind enough to foot the bill temporarily.

Enough about money though, let’s see what babycenter.com has to say about BB – will they also consider this cookie cooked or will we get some statistics? Maybe a fancy fruit or vegetable we’ve never heard of to compare the size to?

Your baby has really plumped up. She weighs about 6.8 pounds and she’s over 19 1/2 inches long (like a leek). She has a firm grasp, which you’ll soon be able to test when you hold her hand for the first time! Her organs have matured and are ready for life outside the womb.

Wondering what color your baby’s eyes will be? You may not be able to tell right away. If she’s born with brown eyes, they’ll likely stay brown. If she’s born with steel gray or dark blue eyes, they may stay gray or blue or turn green, hazel, or brown by the time she’s 9 months old. That’s because a child’s irises (the colored part of the eye) may gain more pigment in the months after she’s born, but they usually won’t get “lighter” or more blue. (Green, hazel, and brown eyes have more pigment than gray or blue eyes.)

Another tidbit from Parents that I figured was worth the copy and paste is in regards to overnight bags:

When the nesting urge hits, it’s a good time to pack your overnight bag for the hospital or birthing center. Avoid the temptation to pack too much, since your partner will probably be hauling it from the labor room to the postdelivery area to your recovery room. Family and friends can bring your nursing bras, favorite bathrobe, baby’s (and your) “going home” outfit, and anything else you may have forgotten. You may even want to pack one bag for labor and a second one with items you won’t need until afterward. (Leave it by the front door so someone can bring it later.) Labor bag essentials include:

  • A copy of your birth plan
  • Insurance cards
  • Heavy socks (feet get cold during labor) and slippers
  • Music, if you plan to have any during the birth–one mom we know labored to the sound of Bob Dylan, while another chose Handel’s Water Music
  • Hair ties or barrettes if your hair tends to fall into your face
  • Books or magazines
  • At least $20 for your partner to use for snacks
  • Phone card/phone list
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, and breath mints–labor gives you dragon breath!
  • A camera or (if you’re really sure you want it) camcorder

I think that’s everything for this week worth mentioning (unless you really want to hear more about the constant back pains and lack of sleep some more… no? Didn’t think so). I’ll check in once more for week 39 and then these little Bump reports will be officially retired as we’ll have a cute cuddly baby to obsess over instead! Have a great day!

Categories
motherhood

It's bumGenius! It's Marvelous!

I think I’ve mentioned that I really want to try cloth diapers for the next baby – and I just read on Qtpies7.com that Baby Cheapskate is giving away 12 bumGenius 3.0 One Size cloth diapers to one lucky reader!!!!

That’s a retail value of $200 people! How could I not enter? And you should, too!