Saturday, December 12, 2009

Cloth Diapering

I've been talking to my husband about using cloth diapers on Aurora almost since before she was born. My "baby steps" into the world of cloth diapering was using gDiapers, a hybrid system of cloth and disposables. The inserts were flushable, and you washed the outside liner and pants to use again. I loved the re-usability of the little g pants, but didn't much care for having to buy the inserts every week or two. My husband didn't much care for having to travel to Whole Foods or Babies R Us to buy the inserts, and we ended up going to normal disposables. We've used three brands:
  • Pampers while we were in the hospital. They worked, but not my favorite - we were still having meconium at the time so I have no idea how they'd hold up to breastfed poopies.
  • Target Up & Up brand. Easily my favorites out of the three, very little rash and until today (I'll elaborate further) contained the breastfed poop exceptionally well.
  • Huggies. These gave Aurora the worst diaper rash I have ever seen, to the point where the doctor was even surprised at what she saw. We also had several blowouts out the leg holes, out the front, out the back... everywhere.
I think Aurora's outgrowing the size 1 of the Up & Up diapers (upper limit is 10 lbs, I think that's about where she is) but the size 2 starts at 13 pounds. Um... what about that little three pound discrepancy there? That's about two months of growth at the rate Aurora's going! The reason I think she's outgrowing them is because today I had to put on three (yes, THREE) outfits on her. At the cloth diapering class she had a blowout on a super-adorable outfit. This may be because my husband is still getting the hang of diapers... but then she even had blowouts later on with diapers I'd put on her, and I'd like to think diapering is old hat by now, with having helped with my two youngest siblings and now having a daughter of my own.

After much discussion Mike said we could do cloth diapers but only through a diaper service. I Googled for local services and found the price to be MORE than we were paying for disposables! I was saddened by this - I don't want to keep using disposables with how expensive they are! (not to mention the cost of wipes, the chemicals, and the environmental impact!) I did further Googling and discovered a local shop called No Pins Required, which offered free cloth diapering classes in addition to the diapers they sold. I immediately sent Emily, the owner, an email asking about the class. We went to it today, along with my mother-in-law, and I am so glad we did. We learned more about cloth diapering, and Mike is very much on board with the idea now.

The current plan is prefolds for me to use (so mostly those), about five fitteds for Mike to use when he changes her, and a few bumGenius! diapers for overnights. Mike seemed very enamored with the bumGenius!, but at $18 a pop, those are a "few-at-a-time" purchase. It's looking like we'll use the arrangement I detailed, with purchasing a few different diapers every so often to try them out and build a nice stash. I can't wait!

Friday, December 11, 2009

La Leche League

Like a lot of breastfeeding moms, I attend La Leche League meetings. The first meeting I attended was right after Aurora turned one month old, and I haven't missed one since. I should have started going when I was pregnant - it may have saved me the stress I faced when I had issues nursing in the hospital. I digress.

I used to attend the Ferndale/Oak Park meeting, as it was the closest one to where I lived. Of course, I went and moved about 30 minutes north, so that was obviously out of the question. I looked on the La Leche League International website and to my joy, discovered a very active Lake Orion group, close enough that I could walk there! I only attended evening meetings with the Ferndale/Oak Park group, but I can go to both here in Lake Orion. That's twice as many opportunities to see and meet other moms, and that's two times a month I get out of this house longer than to go grocery shopping.

This Lake Orion group also does fundraisers, one of which is gift wrapping at the mall. I brought it up with my husband and it looks like he's willing to hang out at the mall with Aurora for four hours (this is where the carrier we have and the sling, if we get it in time, will come in handy!). I'll do the gift wrapping, he'll bring her to me a couple times for nursing, everyone's happy. This is another chance to get involved and meet people. I like this idea. :)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Sleep, and Snow

I require sleep. I'll be honest. I am a better mother with a full night's sleep, I am a better wife with a full night's sleep. I am infinitely more patient, both with Aurora and with Mike, and everybody in general is happier when I get sleep.

That said, Aurora wouldn't go to sleep until nearly 1 AM, then she was up at 2 hungry again. She took nearly an hour to get back down that time, then was up again at 7.

I am exhausted. I am clinging to my mug of coffee for dear life and anticipate perhaps making a second pot of coffee. I'm going to need it just to make it until Aurora goes to bed tonight.

In other news, it snowed last night. There is SNOW everywhere. UGH. As I previously mentioned on here, I hate snow. Hate it. I hate weather in general. I loved living in Phoenix, with well over 300 days of sunshine a year. Sure, it was hot, but you always knew someone who had a pool or someone willing to go to the waterpark or public pool with you. At the very least, you knew someone who had grass and a sprinkler. The winters were mild (although I thought they were cold at the time) and overall, the weather there worked well for me.

Here, I get to freeze my buns off half the year. I'm trying to convince Mike that we should move to Phoenix at some point, but I know now is not the time. The cool thing about living here with the snow and stuff is that I get to see Aurora's face the first time she sees snow. I didn't see snow until I was 5 years old. If I get brave enough to take her out today, she'll see it for the first time, at three months old. It's very cool.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Deleting Emails could Make You Happier?

I was linked to this BoingBoing article by a friend, and I was interested by what it suggested.

... [Rob Beschizza] immediately deletes every message that comes into his Inbox. Either that, or he replies to it and then deletes it. Nothing stays longer than a day or two. Sounds like something easier said than done, right?
I was intrigued at this thought. Not keeping any emails? Deleting them immediately?

I'm sort of a pack rat when it comes to my email. I try not to save physical items (clutter bothers me) but emails, I'll save for years. I read that and immediately thought of the folder I have in a seldom-used Hotmail email address containing every email my high school boyfriend ever sent me.

Yes, that's right, I've been married nearly a year, haven't dated that man since 2006, but I still had every email he sent me between 2003 and 2005.

I loaded that email account. I selected everything in that folder. I clicked Delete.

It felt good.

I moved to the email folder containing comment notifications from my (now mostly-ignored) LiveJournal. I selected all 11 pages. I clicked Delete.

That felt even better!

I went through the Inbox, deleted everything there. I deleted three other folders. All in all, from that one email account, I deleted (brace yourself!) 2,140 emails. Two thousand, one hundred forty! I was shocked! How did I accumulate so many?!

I used to clear my LiveJournal folder about once a week. I got lazy, though. I had comments from last year in there. I had over 1,000 emails in that folder alone. Appalling.

I went through my other Hotmail account and deleted about another thousand messages there, then went to my Gmail account. I had saved every single email I ever received there because I had space! Why NOT keep everything?

I deleted another 4,000 messages from there.

All in all, I deleted nearly 10,000 email messages today. I feel wonderful. Fantastic. Like a weight I wasn't even sure was there was just hanging on my shoulders.

The only emails I didn't touch were from Mike. I'm not quite willing to get rid of those, so many confessions of love, so many well-wishes from work when he and I email each other while he's there. That's something I'm going to have to work on, but I'm not sure I want to.

Monday, December 7, 2009

"Sleep Training"

For the longest time (and by that I mean "practically since she was born save a few flukes") Aurora has gone to bed after midnight. Mike and I endured many nights of her screaming until 2 or 3 AM. She was probably overtired. I know we were. I just didn't know how to get her to bed any earlier than that, and neither did he. I'm firmly against young babies crying it out, and even though we co-slept for a few months, she would scream if we tried to lay down with her before she was "ready." We just put up with it.

Lately I was proud of getting her to bed at around midnight, but I decided it actually kind of sucked to have her sleeping until noon. My final straw was three nights ago, I was up with her until nearly 1 AM again after she'd been going to bed very reliably around midnight. After being a sobbing puddle on the floor of her bedroom as she screamed, I decided I would do "
sleep training."*

* not actually sleep training, by the socially accepted definition of such (cry it out).

It starts at about 9:30. I have Mike turn down the TV (he's usually playing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 around this time) and I sit down to nurse her. After 30 minutes of nursing, we go into her nursery. I turn on her mobile and hum along with the music, usually for the entire 10 minutes the mobile is on. I gently lay her down once she's fast asleep and sneak out. If she wakes up, I come back in and repeat - rock her to sleep, lay her down once she's asleep. I repeat this process until it's been 30 minutes without a peep, then I go to bed myself.

The first night I had to go in and repeat the rocking three times. I was okay with this. She stopped crying as soon as I picked her up, so I didn't have the frustration of listening to her scream. This is, of course, what left me a sobbing puddle on the floor of her bedroom the night before. She was successfully asleep around 11 PM. She woke up at 8 AM (her "usual" time) but refused to go back to sleep even though she needed it. She ended up taking a very long nap around 4 PM- nearly two hours long, even though her usual is 30 minutes.

Last night I only had to go in once. I know this may not be how it is tonight, I may have to go in three or four or ten times. I am determined to make this work, though, for both of our sakes. She needs plenty of sleep, and I need to not be a sobbing wreck as I try to get her to bed.

Saturday, December 5, 2009


My husband and I, like many (most?) Americans, have weight problems. He doesn't mountain bike as much as he used to and I, quite frankly, am lazy. I also hate the outdoors, and most specifically that Michigan has weather. Ew, seasons. I think I'm itching at the thought.

To that end, my husband's favorite form of exercise is biking distances in the double-digits. He once got first place in a 24-hour mountain bike race. The thought of this makes me want to curl up under thick blankets and take a really long nap.

My favorite form of exercise is window shopping walking the mall. It's air-conditioned in the summer, heated in the winter. It does not snow in the mall. It does not rain in the mall. I do not get eaten alive by mosquitoes in the mall. It is the perfect form of exercise for me. I love it. My husband does not enjoy this as much.

He was planning on mountain biking today, but the weather is getting to him and he's feeling a bit ill. He still wanted exercise, as did I, so we all loaded up in the car, brought my front carrier for Aurora, and we walked around Great Lakes Crossing. It's about 8/10 of a mile all the way around, which is how far we walked. Not bad for a sick person and a lazy person, I say. Not bad at all.


Friday, December 4, 2009


Thanksgiving was wonderful. Having my mom and step-dad here was so great. We spent a lot of time together, and they were so glad to meet Aurora. We had a great time - we went to Canterbury Village in Lake Orion, Michigan and spent the morning there. See, my mother collects moose stuff. My step-dad is a Jr, and his nickname is Moose. My mom has an intimidating collection of stuffed "meese" (as I call them) and loves little moose ornaments. We went absolutely nuts in there, looking for as many moose things as we can find.

We found the best ornament ever:

The Moose is on the Loose

We found others for her, but we didn't get pictures of all of them.

There's a Santa Claus you can get pictures with, so we're going to have to come back to get the required "kid crying on Santa's lap" picture. After we went to Canterbury Village, we (my mother, my mother-in-law, myself, Aurora) went to Great Lakes Crossing, a huge mall in Auburn Hills, Michigan. It's full of outlet stores (just like Arizona Mills Mall, or any other "Mills" mall if you have one near you), so of course us women went crazy. We visited four different stores looking for a Christmas dress for my daughter, and we found the perfect one at Gymboree. I'd been eyeing dresses at The Children's Place, but we never even got that far around - we found the perfect one! It's a red plaid, and we found a cream shirt to go under it, and little socks with trim that matches the shirt. At Osh Kosh, we found a little sweater - red with a cream faux fur trim. All I have to do now is get cream tights (which I can get anywhere) and maaaaybe a little bow for her hair, and she'll be perfect for pictures. Don't tease me, this is my first baby, and she's my little girl, and I want everything to be perfect for her first Christmas.

I feel good, I walked up to the grocery store and bought bananas and coffee (because I needed coffee. Needed.) and... cookies. I have a confession: I am addicted to all things pumpkin. Pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pumpkin squares, toasted pumpkin seeds, pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin EVERYTHING. And Kroger had a little box of pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. On Sale. I couldn't help myself. I came home and admitted to my husband that I'd made a splurge purchase. He asked what it was, I pulled out the cookies, and he laughed and said it was all right. He likes pumpkin too, just not nearly as much as I do.

This has been a productive morning for me. I cleaned up the kitchen a little while my daughter sleeps, and I loaded and ran the dishwasher. All I have to do now is fold the laundry in the dryer and maybe start a load of laundry again and I'll have accomplished just about everything I wanted to this morning. Instead I decided to work on the blog, since I haven't touched it in over a week. Still, this was also on my to-do list, so it wasn't a complete waste.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


I'm thankful for my wonderful family, for my gorgeous daughter and my amazing husband. I'm thankful for my mother and my step-father being able to make it here to spend Thanksgiving with us and meet their gorgeous granddaughter. I'm thankful for the health of my family, and thankful for the fact that my gallbladder pain went away today. I'm thankful for this gorgeous new place we have, and thankful that we have such wonderful friends.

I'm thankful for the food I have to eat, thankful for the cat I have to snuggle my feet, thankful for the fact that I'm an American, thankful for the troops that have fought so hard and given so much to guarantee my freedom.

I'm thankful for the family we have, and that we can all get together tomorrow and eat dinner, that we can enjoy our time together. I'm thankful for my sister in law coming back safe and sound from her time overseas in the Peace Corps, and for her being able to meet her niece and spend Thanksgiving with her family.

I'm thankful.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Me? Cleaning?! YOU DON'T SAY.

I've gotten quite a bit done today! I'm proud of myself. The key to this was PUTTING. THE COMPUTER. AWAY. It sat on our dining room table all day while I got things done. It felt very good. I've only touched it while my daughter has slept! I got the box of clothes in the closet unpacked, and I got three loads of laundry done, with two more to do tomorrow. Still, this is quite the accomplishment, if I do say so myself. :)

My mother is coming TOMORROW. Yay, we're all so excited! That may be most of the reason why I've been doing so much laundry. And also vacuuming, which is really something I should be doing daily but DON'T JUDGE ME. I'm just proud to be keeping clean underwears on our butts and clean socks on our feet. Daily vacuuming can come later. :)

I want to see New Moon, and I want my husband to go with me. Mostly because he wants to see that God-awful-looking movie Old Dogs, which I could really care less to see. My offer is this: I will see Old Dogs if he sees New Moon. This sounds fair to me.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


So last night I learned that when you're sleep-deprived, trying to convince your child to sleep before they're ready to is a very, very bad idea. I had a horrible meltdown last night, I was so exhausted. I asked my husband to go ahead and take Aurora and I went to bed... I actually slept through her crying with him, that's how exhausted I was. After some sleep and letting her sleep with us last night we've had a much better day today for the most part... except...

... I was clipping her fingernails, since they were ridiculously long. I was tolerating her clawing my chest while I nursed her, but I noticed she managed to scratch her face. Time to clip the nails! She doesn't particularly enjoy this most of the time. I imagine I wouldn't like someone holding my fingers to clip the fingernails either. She was thrashing a bit and I ended up nipping her little finger. It bled, a lot, and my poor husband freaked out... I felt so terrible, so guilty.

My mother and step-dad should be leaving tomorrow to come here. I'm so excited! It's about a six-hour drive from central Illinois here to southeast Michigan, and I know they'll keep us updated. I can't wait for them to meet Aurora, and for Mike and I to see them again. You know how you worry about how your mother will like the man you're marrying? I didn't have to worry... my mom and step-dad love Mike! They get along fabulously, and I love that.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Still unpacking...

We've been working very hard on getting the boxes unpacked and this condo set up and ready to go. I've gotten the nursery very close to complete, just really need to put away the clothes she doesn't fit into yet/anymore and hang up her wall decorations. I need to get a quilt hanger for the gorgeous blanket my step-dad's mother cross-stitched with Aurora's full name, and I'd love to get a shelf and wooden letters to spell Aurora to hang over the crib. We've made progress in our bedroom as well, with the bed set up, Mike's desk set up, and most of our clothes hung in our completely massive closet. (I love that closet. Love.)

The big reason we're trying to get everything in the condo set up in a week is because my mother is coming to visit on Monday and staying for a week. Finally! She hasn't even met Aurora yet, which makes us all sad. She had some health problems that kept preventing her from coming, but now everything's a-okay, and Aurora will get to meet her Nana and Papa Darrel finally. We're all excited! Now, the main problem is figuring out where they're going to sleep. I'm thinking living room, and we're going to have to find something for them to sleep on. Mom thinks that there's places I can rent a hideaway bed from, which would be awesome and absolutely perfect. I'll have to poke around tomorrow.

I was very sick today. I wasn't a very good mama because of it... I spent a lot of time laying on the floor staring at my daughter flailing her little arms and legs and making adorable faces at me. I slept in the chair while she nursed, which was a welcome nap. I feel much better right now, though, and I'm thinking it's just because I ate way too fast last night and had tummy problems the whole night (which kept me from sleeping well) and most of today as a result. I'm sure I'll be good as new tomorrow, which will be good for both amusing Aurora and getting stuff done around the house, which can actually be done at the same time! I made silly faces at her and played peek-a-boo while I hung her clothes up in her closet, and I'm sure I can do the same in the closet in our bedroom too tomorrow. We'll have to see.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Our kitchen is officially unpacked. The living room and our bedroom are still full of boxes, but hey! The kitchen's unpacked! All three beds (our bed, the crib, and the bedside bassinet) are all set up. It's a shame, we bought that bedside bassinet and our daughter will hardly sleep in it. The night before last, we didn't have the crib set up yet, so I put her in the bassinet. She slept for four hours (which was awesome) then refused to go back in it after I nursed her. The thing about her sleeping in bed with me... I love the snuggles, I love cuddling her all night, but she wakes me up EVERY HOUR to nurse. I don't get much sleep, she doesn't get much sleep, and we're both very crabby the next morning. She figures, hey! The snack bar is RIGHT THERE. Let's have some! She and I haven't mastered the sleep-nursing yet, so I have to wake up and stay awake for every nursing. I can't handle it.

Yesterday was her two-month appointment (at nearly three months old, oh dear.) and she got SHOTS. SHOTS! I had a screaming baby! Her weight dropped from the 50th percentile to the 5th... so that's a touch concerning. Anyway, we'd set up the crib in the nursery and we decided to give it a shot. I've never not slept in the same room as her so just before I went to bed I must've popped in there to check on her eight times. The doctor had told us "most parents say these shots make their baby sleep through the night for the first time."

I woke up, thought "ow. I'm leaking." then looked at the clock. Seven o'clock! She'd slept in that crib for eight hours! My next thought was then OH MY GOD I DIDN'T SET THE ALARM CLOCK. My poor husband was late for work. I fixed his lunch and bustled around until our daughter woke up, then nursed her... and she fell back asleep! She might be a sleepy baby today. Or a crabby baby. Only time will tell.

Monday, November 16, 2009


We just moved into our new condo. See, we'd been living in metropolitan Detroit, close enough to be living in its shadow, but far enough away that I could say "Oh, no, I don't live in Detroit." I've almost always lived in the city, growing up in Phoenix, Arizona, then moving here to be with the man who would be my husband. I love the hustle and bustle, I love the busy, I love how many people there are. I've always called myself a city girl.

We moved to another town. About 20 minutes north. We're out of Detroit's shadow, but we're in a place that's more... rural. This will be great for my husband, wonderful for my daughter - she may only be two and a half months old, but as she grows, she'll learn how to ride a bike with my husband in a safer place than I did. She'll get to see the state park we live very close to. She'll have the experience of a rural area, something I had when I was very young and loved.

Of course, now that I'm 24, the idea scares me. Where's my hustle and bustle? Where's all my people? We're a one-car household, so my husband takes the car. There's a grocery store, a Subway, and a pharmacy I can walk to... that's pretty much it. That really scares me.

My husband, an avid mountain biker, loves it. He has his pick of mountain biking trails near here, and there are many paved bike paths as well that he can take our daughter on soon.

Still, deep inside I'm happy, because it is gorgeous here. I thought Michigan was pretty before I'd moved out into a far more "foresty" area. Right now, the only thing truly stressing me out is ALL THESE BOXES. BOXES EVERYWHERE.