Saturday, April 30, 2011

Lil laughed!

Lilleigh laughed! And the best part is that it was at Sammy! So cute! I put her in front of her mobile and ran to get my iPhone, to get this moment on video, and then tried to get her to laugh again. Of course, this isn't the same at all. But it's sort-of a laugh!

video

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Baby Weight


I have to confess. I have totally been down on myself about all this baby weight. It's been almost 3 months since I gave birth, and aside from the initial amount I lost with having Lil, I've lost nothing. Yep, zip. I've never had a weight issue. Ever. I used to not be able to gain weight for the life of me. Now I need to lose it.

The funny thing is that I look at myself in the mirror and think I look great for just having a baby - in a non-prideful way, of course. I just think I look normal. I'm happy with my actually appearance. Sure I'd love for a little chub to go away, but it doesn't get to me. But I'll tell you what does get to me. Trying to wear my old clothes.

Every so often I try on my old jeans, only to find that I can't get them up past my thighs. I bought a pair of "in-between" jeans. They're TWO waist sizes bigger than my old ones! Ouch.

When I was pregnant, moms constantly told me, "Oh you'll lose all that breastfeeding!" Yeah, well I'm here to tell you that that is not always true. After sharing my frustration with other moms recently, I've started hearing, "I didn't lose any of my baby weight until after I was done nursing." Great. Thanks. After I'm done nursing, it'll be time for baby #2.

Believe it or not, I didn't write this post just to complain. I wrote it for two reasons:
  1. For you pregnant moms out there, don't believe it. You might lose that baby weight really fast, and if so, that's awesome! Don't tell me about it. But more than likely, you won't. It might even take a full year or however long you nurse for you to really start losing weight. And that's okay. Buy some "in-between" clothes to make yourself feel better in the meantime. 
  2. It's my goal to lose my extra weight (17 lbs, that is) BEFORE I turn 27 in November. I've found that working out at a club isn't exactly doable for me, so that means lots of walks, home work outs, and healthy eating! 
Like I said before, I've never had to lose weight, so trying to lose it is a foreign concept. I'm going to have to learn how. Any tips?

Monday, April 25, 2011

ABC Family has sucked me in.

When Lilleigh was born, we started subscribing to Netflix. We figure I'm at home nursing her so much, that it's nice to have something on TV or DVD that I can watch. Remember, we don't have cable. So TV options during the day are limited. Haha!

Anyway, I have found a few great shows on Netflix instant queue. They've sucked me in.



1. The Secret Life of the American Teenager
I know. I'm embarrassed to admit that I am now completely caught up on this show and have to watch current episodes on Hulu. I watched it once after Lil was born. It was okay. Then after two more episodes, I was completely sucked in.
Yes, it's about teen pregnancy and teen sex. Ridiculous. I sure hope high school is not like this! It wasn't when I was there, or maybe I was just oblivious. Either way, for the content, this show is pretty clean. It's no Grey's. Thank goodness. It's ABC Family... they keep it clean!



2. Greek
OMG. I love this show! I am currently watching it. And it's so good. The best part is that one of my best friends was given this show on DVD randomly for Christmas, and she is completely sucked in too! It is basically my SMU experience put on TV. I love it. Love it. Love it.
Clearly the writers of this show were in sororities and fraternities because this is so incredibly accurate, it's amazing. House meetings. Meals. Snaps. Visits from nationals. Panhellenic meetings. Rush. Study rooms. Couldn't get closer.

So this has been life the past few months. Sad I know. I am totally one of those TV gurus now. But when you're immobile for a couple hours daily, nursing your babe, that's what happens!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Happy Easter!

How is it already Easter? Where have I been?

Here are some pictures from our Easter photo shoot earlier this evening!






Our little girl was spoiled by her grandparents! Look at all those Easter gifts! This is a glimpse into our future. Life with 5 sets of grandparents... not counting greats!

Happy Easter, everyone! Love, Lilleigh

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Cloth Diapering

Many of you have asked about cloth diapering, which is so encouraging to me! So far I'm loving them! I've been using them for about a month now, but I have a system in place. It's really not more work, in my opinion, than disposable diapers.

Our Cloth Diapers

In our collection, we have 3 Happy Heinys, 14 Bum Genius 4.0s (a combo of both velcro and snaps), and 7 small & medium gdiapers.


These diapers are one size fits all. The rows of snaps you see are  used to fold the diaper down, snapping it together, to make it smaller or larger. The great thing about one size fits all is that the diaper works from the time your baby is a newborn (or really about 8 lbs) to potty training.

I like how the velcro tabs on Happy Heinys are thicker than the Bum Genius. And the pink on the left can velcro onto the white on the right, making for a tighter fit. On that note, it also seems slimmer than the Bum Genius, in my opinion. I like that about it. However, this diaper does seem to wear more. In a stash of used diapers I bought, Happy Heinys showed much more wear than the Bum Geniuses. I think that may have to do with the type of fabric lining.



I include these two together because the only difference is whether you choose velcro ("hook and loop") or snaps. Like the Happy Heiny's, this diaper is one size fits all, a major plus financially.

For both the HH's and BG's the cloth insert slides into the diaper's pocket. This is how it absorbs. They come with newborn and standard size inserts.

I love the snaps option because velcro diapers can create what the cloth diapering world refers to as "diaper trains" in the wash... the velcro adheres to other diapers and snags the fabric, making them more worn.

I've had great look with the Bum Geniuses, and would recommend them! They're great quality.


The gDiaper has a different configuration than the diapers mentioned above. Instead on sliding the cloth insert into a pocket, the cloth insert fits into a liner which snaps into the gpant, shown above.

gDiapers, unlike the two mentioned above, are not one size fits all. The upside to this is that they are as slim as disposables. The downside is the need to buy multiple sizes and spend more money. Still, an entire stash of g's could end up costing the same as a stash of BG's or HH's. At BabiesRUs (BRU), a two-pack of g's sells for $26. A package of ten cloth inserts is $26 as well. And to buy extra liners, a ten pack is $20 on Amazon. (Mediums and large pants share the same size inserts and liners though, which helps.)

The unique thing about gDiapers is that it can also be a hybrid diaper. So someone who doesn't want t use cloth but still wants to be green would like this option because it still uses the washable pants and liners, only the insert is disposable and biodegradable. Someone gave us a package of the disposables to try, and I'll just say that I don't get it. You have to take the insert to the toilet and rip it down the sides for the filling to fall out. Then drop the outside in as well and swoosh it with the wand the give you before flushing. So basically you get messy! Ew. Not for me.

I have enjoyed how slim these are, due to their individual sizes, but I do prefer the configuration of the HH's and BG's, where the cloth insert slips into the diaper, rather than snapping in. We have had some leaks in these, but when I double the cloth inserts up, they work really well. Still, the only reason I decided to add some of these to our stash is because BabiesRUs carries them, which meant I could register for them and use gift cards to purchase more, so it cost me nothing out of pocket.


Using Coth

I have a drawer solely dedicated to cloth diapers. And I have a separate diaper bin to throw soiled cloth diapers in. When I change Lil's diaper, I go ahead and velcro the laundry tabs in. This prevents those velcro diaper trains I was talking about.

I line it with Kissa's Antibacterial Pail Liner, which is essentially a wet bag. I have two of these liners, so when the pail is full, I toss the entire bag into the wash and put a new liner into the pail.

Washing

I throw the whole bag into the wash! So I do NOT have to pull out each diaper and touch them in order to do laundry, I use a drop (literally - very small amount) of an approved cloth diapering detergent. (Another one is Dapple, which isn't on this list, but it says on the bottle it's safe for cloth diapers. I found it at BabiesRUs for $4.99.)

I wash them the first time with a drop of detergent on cold and then again a second time with a drop of detergent on warm. Then I hang them up on the clothes racks to dry, though the dryer works too.

 I do this about every 2-3 days.

Diaper Rash

Normal diaper rash cram cannot be used with cloth diapers because it affects the absorbency. Therefore, I use liners, which are strips of flannel or fleece I cut up and lay in the diaper, creating a barrier between the ointment and the diaper. There are approved diaper rash creams though that are cloth diaper safe. You can find a list here. I sometimes use California Baby as well.

Cloth Wipes

I set out to just use cloth diapers, not cloth wipes. But once I was using cloth diapers, I realized it just didn't make sense not to use cloth wipes. You see, when you change a disposable diaper, you grab a wipe to wipe the baby's bottom. Then you put the wipe inside the diaper and wrap the diaper around it before throwing it away. You can basically do the same thing when you use a cloth diaper and cloth wipe, only instead of the trash diaper pail, you toss them in the cloth diaper pail. Using a cloth diaper and disposable wipe, you now have trash in one hand and laundry in the other... more gunk to touch... you see why it's just easier to use for cloth for both.

I bought these GroVia Cotton Cloth Wipes, and I also made some cloth wipes as well by cutting up flannel into squares, double layering them, and sewing an edge. Nothing fancy, but they do the job.

So far I have just been using water with the wipes. I'm sure a master cloth diapering mommy would tell me to slap my hand for that one. But it works. I would like to try this wipe solution recipe that a friend gave me though. Here it is: 4 cups water + 1/4 cup olive oil + 1/8 cup baby wash. She puts the solution into a disposable wipes container and fills it with her cloth wipes. You could also just put some of this solution into a spray bottle to spray onto your wipes. Whatever works for you!

Q&A

Now for questions from you... 
Q: Have you found that it saves money? 
A: Let's look at the cost of disposables real quick. And I am doing this from a money-saving perspective, assuming I were buying these, with my money savvy sense, NOT paying full price. Amazon has the best prices from what I've seen.  Pampers Swaddlers Dry Max Diapers, Size 1, 216 Count run for about 19 cents per diaper. 13 cents with the Amazon Mom subscribe and save.

I'm just going to say Lilleigh uses 10 diapers per day. Truthfully, it depends on how often she wakes up during the night, etc. But let's say 10. That's $1.30 per day, $39/month. Plus wipes. Referring to Pampers Soft Care Scented Wipes, 720 Count... I'm going to guess I use 3 on average per change, depending on the diaper... you get what I'm saying. Three wipes at 2 cents each (with Amazon Mom discount) times 10 diapers per day times 30 days per month... 900 wipes or $18. So at best, I would be spending $57 per month on diapers and wipes.

I spent $25 for a mixed lot of 7 Happy Heinys and Bum Genius from Craigslist. I then bought 7 refresher kits to do my own repairs (replacing elastic and laundry tabs) for $1 each, so $7 total. I have bought 6 BG 4.0 snaps from Cotton Babies during a sale for $91, plus an addition 4 more BG 4.0 snaps and velcro during the Seconds Sale for $48. The gdiapers are tricky because as I said earlier, we received some as gifts from our registry and some we bought with BRU gift cards. Out of pocket we have spent $20 on gdiapers to get extra snap-in liners and $52 in gift cards to get extra cloth inserts. While we are set for medium gpants, we still need large gpants. To get 4, it will cost about $52 in gift cards. So altogether, we will have spent about $285 on cloth diapers. (The wipes I got for free using a $10 Amazon coupon found in a baby magazine.)

So basically once we hit 5 months of using cloth diapers, we will begin saving! You can see how even if I buy a few more to increase our stash, it won't make a huge difference. We will still be saving a lot!

Q: Do you use the sprayer, and is it awkward/gross? 
A: The sprayer being referred to is this: bumGenius Diaper Sprayer. I do own one. It hooks right up to the toilet and works like the sprayer on your kitchen sink does, only you use it to spray the poop off of the cloth diaper and into the toilet.

Since we haven't started solids yet, I am not using the sprayer - yet. I wil. But breastfed babies' poop is liquidy... not solid enough to use this. 

I will definitely have a new learning curve to figure out when we start solids, but it seems doable. Our changing table is right next to the bathroom, and the pail is actually in the bathroom, making this step easy. If we could, I'd actually have our changing area IN the bathroom.

Q: What do you do when you're out and about? Or if someone else is watching her?
A: I always said I'd use disposables when we're out and about, traveling, or when someone else is watching her. I still do some, but truthfully, cloth is just SO much easier than I expected, that it seems silly to me to use disposables. I'm not really saving any time or energy by doing it. So when out and about, I have been using cloth and just putting dirty diapers in a wet bag. Then, like the pail's bag, it all goes straight in the wash. Really, you can put a disposable wipe in too. It's not the end of the world. You just get it out when the wash is done. Or bring a cloth wipe with you if you're changing the baby near a sink.

As for travel - when we visited family in Houston a few weeks ago, we used disposable. It just seemed too much to carry a big wet bag to Houston to keep used diapers in and then to wash and dry them there. Disposables are just easier for travel, in my opinion. But cloth are definitely doable.

As for babysitters, we haven't had one yet... but I'd probably use disposables just to be nice, unless the person was familiar with cloth. It's a lot to explain - and to convince the person how much of a big deal they aren't! Plus it's only a few hours, so that's 1 or 2 diapers. No big deal.

Resources

Here are some of the best resources I have found in using cloth diapers:
Any more questions? I'm glad to answer the best I can!


2 Months!

Today Lilleigh is two months old!





This month Lil has...
  • Gained better control of her neck. She lifts her head side to side when put on her tummy.
  • Mastered breastfeeding. I can now sit her on my lap, as if she's sitting up, to feed. No more Boppy or My Brest Friend. Her latch has also greatly improved. Now nursing truly is painless.
  • Started sleeping through the night! 7-9 hours is a good night. Sometimes she's still only sleeps 5, but that's better than 3, which is what a lot of babies her age do.
  • Decided not to take a bottle. Grr. She was taking a bottle - until she figured out the difference between the breast and the bottle. Mom's goal for month 3 is to reverse this decision.
  • Begun responding! She smiles and coos. LOVE it!
  • Lost a lot but not all of her hair. It's growing back, but bows are life savers!
  • Grown a ton! She now weighs 11 lbs, 6 oz.
  • Started drooling. Two months is early for that I guess, which the pediatrician says means she'll probably teethe early - possibly around 4 months.
  • Grown fond of cloth diapers! (Blog post to come.)
  • Received LOTS of kisses from Sammy!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The New Mobile

Lil is in LOVE with this new mobile I got her today. After taking note of how much she loves her swing mobile, I headed to BuyBuy Baby with gift cards in hand, and bought this new Tiny Love Nature's Serenade Mobile* for the babe. She LOVES it! And Mom and Dad love it too. Not only does it play music for 20 minutes (a long time for a mobile!), but it also has a remote! Woohoo! I can turn it on without going in her room - a big plus.

So after setting up the mobile, I set Lil in her crib. I started hearing a lot of commotion, so I thought she might be getting fussy. But noooope. This is what I found. (And there was a lot more babbling pre-video.)

video

*I really wanted a mobile that was a little more clean looking... this one is sorta an eye-sore, along with all of the other Tiny Love mobiles. But this was got the most recommendations from friends and had the best reviews on Amazon. Plus the 20-minute music playing and remote are major pluses in my book!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Cloth Diaper Q&A Coming Soon


Several of you have contacted me asking how cloth diapering is going. I am working on a post for you! I'd love to know any specific questions you have! Otherwise I'll give you my thoughts and experience with them thus far. But just thought I'd open it up to you!

What would you like to know? Ask away!