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.