Cloth v Disposable

Little Bear has been in cloth diapers since he was old enough to fit into them; at about two weeks old. Before he was born I was a bit nervous about using only cloth, but determined nonetheless. I knew, if for savings reasons alone, it would be worth it to have him wear fluff. Still, it was intimidating. There is an OVERabundance of information out there, so much so that I caused myself to have a mini panic attack over what I was going to put on my baby’s butt! (Diving Into Fluff) Thankfully after all the research I did…who knew one person could become so obsessed with something that catches poop…I was completely prepared and the system we chose was the perfect one for us.

As it turns out my stressing and panic attacks were for naught. Cloth Diapering is in fact incredibly easy. The most important thing is to find a system and brand that works for you and your little one. Because I’m a SAHM I don’t need to use a diaper service. I just throw everything, wet bag and all, into the washer, set it to sanitize and three hours (!) later they’re ready for the dryer. I have to admit if we didn’t have this amazing washer and dryer with their sanitize/antibacterial settings I may have used a service; but we do, so…

We do use disposables at night. Little Bear outgrew his newborn size All In One’s before we even had a chance to put them on him, and fitting a prefold into a cover in the dark at 3am is just a little too much to ask of me when I’ve got one foot in dreamland!

Recently, though, we’ve been having to use ‘sposies a lot more than usual. Little Bear has had two ear infections in a row. Anyone who has experience with babies, ear infections, and antibiotics knows that they will go #2 anywhere from 5 to 6 times a day, if not more. Frankly, that is just too much laundry for me to do. Call me lazy if you want but that’s how I feel about it!

Here’s the thing…when we were talking about using cloth the one thing all the skeptics said to me was, “Aren’t you worried about how much they leak?”. Turns out the disposables leak more than the cloth do! Just this morning Little Bear woke himself up because he had leaked out of his ‘sposie and it was ALL OVER EVERYWHERE. That wouldn’t have happened if he’d been wearing cloth. I can’t tell you how many pairs of pyjamas I’ve had to bleach because of disposables. There is no way that we could do disposable full time. Even Hubby, who swears he can’t fit the cloth onto Little Bear as easily as I can (which is just nonsense), prefers to use them over the disposables.

Little Bear is growing at such a break neck speed that he’s about to outgrow the newborn size and move up to the One Size diapers. These will last us until he makes the big boy step of potty training in a couple of years. Another thing that cloth has over disposables is that they’re so darn cute! Have you seen the patterns on them? I mean, whoever decided diapers could make a fashion statement…genius! I can’t wait to go shopping for new covers! As if I needed another excuse to go shopping for Little Bear…. 

Diving Into Fluff

When I first found out that I was pregnant I immediately started trying to find ways to save money…these little buggers are expensive!!  What I found, and was shocked by, was just how costly disposable diapers are.  And then I discovered cloth diapers and all the benefits that come with them. Not only will we end up saving at least $1000 over the course of Little Man being in nappies, but the health and environmental benefits alone are worth at least taking a look into for any new parent.

And these aren’t your Grandmomma’s (or Mother’s) cloth diapers either.  No sir.  CDs (that’s Cloth Diapers not Compact Discs) have come a long way baby! But I have to admit that since they’ve come such a long way there’s a lot of information out there, and a lot of options too. Anyone who has ever cloth diapered in this modern age knows that all that information can be insanely overwhelming and totally confusing. There are countless systems: All in Ones, Prefolds, All in Twos, Pocket Diapers, the list goes on and on, and there are abbreviations for everything! Abbreviations that CD vets bandy about with wild abandon as we newbies stare at our computer screens with eyes that are glazed over and slowly going crossed. I once spent SIX HOURS doing cloth research. And once you’ve finally decided on a system (we’re going to be using prefolds with several all in ones for when we’re traveling, going to the dr.’s, need to be able to change in a flash) there are about a million different brands to figure out which ones are best.

So with all this information and the preconceptions of the cloth diapering days of old it’s no wonder that almost everyone I’ve told looks at me like I’m a crazy person. Bless my hubby, he just lets me do what I want and goes along with it. Friends and family have not been so encouraging…my mother makes snide comments on an almost weekly basis about how she’s sure I’m going to get  frustrated after week in and give up. At this point, regardless of how frustrating I may find it, I’ve put so much effort in already that there’s no way I’m going to give up!

And so I’ve compiled my newborn stash of fluff. Four AIOs, seven covers, 30 prefolds, a roll of disposable liners, old receiving blankets cut and sewn into wipes, a spray bottle of home made wipe spray, and several Snappis. I’m also lucky enough to live in a city where we’re getting our own store completely dedicated to Cloth.  Modern Cloth will be opening a store in May!  When it came time to order my fluff stash and I found their fantastic website I could have done cartwheels to find they were based in Charleston.  If you aren’t lucky enough to live in this fantastic city don’t despair…they ship anywhere in the US, so go check them out if you’re even thinking about starting to use Cloth.

There’s exactly one week till my due date (!!!) and once Little Man makes his debut I’ll be sure to continue updating on my adventure into Cloth Diapering.

Has anyone else used CD on their kids? Were you successful or did you give up? Any tips you can give me?

Shower Time!

My (and Little Man’s) baby shower was on Saturday. It was hosted by my amazing best friend, Sarah, and had a (loose) English Tea theme. I say loose because there ended up being no hot tea served. Instead, everyone but me got a bit saucy on white wine! But there were lots of scones, cucumber sandwiches, and other staples all needed for proper high tea. And, really, what more can one ask for at nine months pregnant than lots of snacks?!

When Jesse and I got married we had to plan everything in such a short amount of time…I was determined to fit into the wedding dress I had bought in August when I was a size 2…that we didn’t have time to have a wedding shower. Ironically, the baby shower was held the day before our original wedding date!  Sometimes no matter what your plans are, regardless of how specific and well organized they are, if The Man Upstairs has a different idea for your life’s path you better just hold on for the ride. If you had told me nine moths ago that instead of getting married on March 10th I would be having a baby shower I probably would have laughed at you. Now, I wouldn’t change a single thing; happily married for (almost) three months and three weeks away from being a mommy. The proof is in the pudding…He always knows what’s best for you and the turns your life will take.

Before the shower I was concerned that I was going to have to go on a major shopping spree in order for Little Man to have a suitable wardrobe. The ladies in my life know me well. He is going to be one of the most stylish infants out there (watch out Mason Disick), he even has a blanket and hat to match almost every outfit he’s got. Not saying I don’t think he needs more clothes, I mean, this is ME we’re talking about. There’s always a need for more clothes. But I’m trying to be practical and I realize that if I buy him many more he’ll probably never be able to wear them as he will have grown out of them before I have time to put them on him. 

It was such a great day spent with some amazing ladies. We all had so much fun oohing and ahhing over the many adorable baby gifts and laughing about all the embarrassing moments that pregnancy and beyond forces you to deal with. It was such a blast listening to the stories of labor, and I no longer feel alone in the “My insides have become a punching bag” department. The gifts were all wonderful and, of course, adorable (and useful!) but the best part of the day was spending time with all the ladies in my life who are there for love and support.

Leave it to Southern women to throw parties…they always do it right. Heck, Momma and her best friend are already planning the christening luncheon….

Getting Rooney Ready

With only a month left until Little Man makes his big debut our house has been a baby centric hub of chaos.  With all this going on it’s sometimes easy to forget that we do, in fact, already have one child.  Sure he’s a little hairier than the rest of the family, walks on all fours, and isn’t particularly eloquent but he is without a doubt our first child.

And, without him having any say at all, his life (not just ours) is about to go through a major change.

Rooney loves children and babies of all sizes.  He’s such a loving and friendly dog and he easily adapts to almost any situation you throw at him (though he could use some lessons on calming down around new people, but we’re working on that!).  Because of this laissez faire attitude we’ve been a little lax about getting him prepared for the arrival of his little brother.  Though to his credit, he’s aced everything we have done with him.

We took a “Getting Your Dog Ready for Baby” class.  And I’ve worked with dogs for long enough to know what needs to be done…but with everything else going on it’s been a challenge to get around to it.

We’ve made sure he’s familiar with baby scents and sounds; the first time he heard a baby crying his biggest reaction was to look at us quizzically for about ten seconds then go back to sleep.  The same reaction he has when one of our phones ring.  We’re working on making sure he knows that the nursery is a place to be calm and quiet.  A concept he readily grasps…i.e. a new place for him to nap…except when Hubby decides they should have a wrestling match in there and Roo brings out his best Grizzly Bear impression.  And of course we’ve done lots of research on how to properly introduce him to Little Man when we bring him home from the hospital.

Those things are all good and well, and important when it comes to doggie/baby prep; but at 35 weeks pregnant I had been neglecting to train Roo on one of the biggest things about to change for him.  The fact that we will soon be joined on our daily walks by that huge rolling object known as a stroller.  We started off indoors (mostly because I needed to pluck up the courage to walk a dog with an empty stroller) and he was definitely a little wary.  Not that I can blame him.  I’d be confused and freaked out too.  “Why is Mom pushing around this huge thing, does she expect me to walk next to it???”  But then he realized he was getting treats when he was walking next to it, and we were ready to graduate to an actual walk outside.

If I’ve said it once I’ve said it a million times…dog is motivated by food!  Once positive association kicked in and Roo realized that walking next to the stroller equals Mommy doling out yummy treats we were in business!  He really is a lot smarter than we give him credit for.  All in all it took about 15 minutes before he was ready to go on a full walk, and he passed with flying colors!  Of course once we got back and the stroller was stored in it’s designated corner Rooney didn’t want to move away from it in hopes he could get to more treats…

A few more sessions and he’ll be a stroller walking champion!

Is there anything special you did to prepare your dog for a new baby??

Nose, Chin, or Forehead

A childbirth prep class is a pre-requisite for every first time expectant couple.  Usually these classes are taken over a period of several weeks and last about an hour per class.  However, if you’re like me you procrastinate signing up for the class, wait till you’re 32 weeks along, and end up having to cram it all into one six hour long class.  Goodbye, Saturday.

Needless to say, when we woke up yesterday, neither Hubby nor I was particularly excited about the prospect of sitting in a room for six hours learning how to breathe and watching seriously graphic childbirth videos.  So when we got to the hospital we were pleasantly surprised to find that we were not in for half a days worth of Lamaze and that our instructor was, well, pretty hilarious.  You know your favorite Aunt?  The one who tells it like it is while sipping her glass of chardonnay and wearing a crazy hat or patterned pants you’d never have the nerve to wear in public but secretly covet?  That was our instructor.  She’s an OB/ Mother and Baby nurse at St. Francis and I really hope she’s assigned to us when it’s time for Little Man to make his debut.

We did watch a few videos, though thankfully none of them were too graphic, and there were about 20 minutes spent on learning how to breathe through contractions.  We certainly did learn a lot about the stages of labor, what to expect when we get to the hospital, etc…But mostly we spent the day laughing while Miss Lonnie did her best to make sure we all weren’t scared shitless of this impending thing called labor.  Cause let’s face it, if you’ve never done it before it’s pretty much the scariest thing a woman will ever face.

Some highlights of the day:  Teaching our partners how to judge the strength of contractions by comparing the hardness of our tummies to our nose (not so bad), chin (ouch), and forehead (give me drugs NOW!!).  Everyone, men included, standing up and practicing Kegels.  Miss Lonnie letting us know that she had been doing Kegels the whole time she’d been talking to us.  And, during the tour of the Labor and Delivery Unit, telling us about a husband who decided to see if the windows really weren’t see-through and consequently being taken into security while his wife was moments away from giving birth.  Hubby’s favorite part of the day…finding out he could order pizza while I’m in labor and not able to eat a thing.

More than anything I feel so much more comfortable about the inevitability of labor and delivery.  When you’re pregnant, and beforehand, you hear horror stories about 36 hour deliveries or all of the terrible worst case scenarios that can happen.  It’s enough to give any woman a complex!  Why do we try to scare each other like that?  Yesterday gave me the confidence to be able to get through what’s coming in the next five weeks or so, and most of all to be excited about it and not terrified!  Thanks Miss Lonnie!!

32 Weeks

Good news and bad news this week.  I feel like I say this constantly but, this third trimester is a real doozy!  I suppose this is what I get for having such an easy first and second trimester but I am at my wits end.  Not only with feeling poorly but also with worry about Little Man.  But to the good news first….the nursery is really starting to come together!  After changing my mind about 15 times I finally decided to go with a “Forest Friends” theme for Little Man’s room.  Before that it was safari, puppies, preppy, Harry Potter, etc., etc.  It was hard to make up my mind, but once we got the bedding everything else started to fall into place.  It’s far from done but it’s coming along really well!  The rocker/recliner is being delivered on Wednesday (Oh My Gosh is this thing comfy!!), and the reading corner needs to be set up, and of course the organization of clothes, accessories, and blankets is an ongoing process.  To me though, it’s looking great!  Sometimes I just like to sit in there.  I know that’s weird, but it makes me happy…

And I could definitely use some happiness today!  Yesterday was my 32 week doctors appointment, and it did not go well.  My iron levels have only come up one point (from a 7 to an 8, normal is above a 10) and I’m measuring small for how far along I am.  Because my hemoglobin levels are so low the doctor is concerned that Little Man may not be getting the amount of oxygen he needs in order to be developing on track.  That may be the worst thing anyone has ever told me.  I didn’t sleep at all last night, and I’ve practically made myself sick worrying.  I have an ultrasound appointment on the 21st (how am I going to make it through the next 10 days???) to find out his size and to check that everything is on track.

I’m doing everything I can to ensure I’m getting all the iron I possibly can; including drinking a giant glass of OJ with my pills.  Oh the heartburn!!!  I literally feel like dog poop for at least an hour after I take the pills, but if it helps I’m willing to do anything.  The Dr. mentioned that if my hemoglobin levels don’t come up significantly by my next appointment we need to talk about the possibility of having to have iron injections and going on bed rest.  I’ll do whatever it take to make sure he’s healthy, and I’m praying harder than I ever have before.  Hubby is doing his best to support me and not show his own worry.  For now, I’ll keep praying and try not to imagine all the things that could go wrong.  

Please keep all three of us in your thoughts!!  If you’ve ever been through anything similar please feel free to share your story!  It would be big help to know we’re not the only ones going through this!!!!

Hello Third Trimester!

I am 30 weeks and 2 days pregnant today!  Gone are the days of bump envy (I didn’t start showing till the middle of my sixth month and it was really making me sad, I’m still “small” but you can definitely tell I’m preggers!)  Back are the days of extreme exhaustion.  Continuing are the days of torturous heartburn (If there’s one thing that’s been a constant in my pregnancy it is serious heartburn!!  If the old wives’ tales are true I’m going to give birth to a seriously furry baby!).

The closer I get to my due date the more I worry; it’s killing me!  Is this what motherhood is like?  You’re just one big ball of nerves all the time?  I’ve been counting my kicks like a good pregnant chickadee, and despite Little Man being extremely active, I swear he’s not as active as he should be.  And I should really not be allowed on pregnancy websites.  My doctor says they are the bane of her existence.  My mantra at this point is “Women have been giving birth for thousands of years”  as long as I remind myself of that, about a hundred times a day, I tend to remain relatively calm.

I had my routine, every-two-weeks, OB appointment yesterday and the Dr let me know that I am severely anemic.  I knew being THIS tired wasn’t normal, and I’m glad to have an answer as to why.  I had a feeling I would become anemic at some point in my pregnancy; I’ve been borderline my whole life so it was bound to happen.  My doctor put me on a supplement and I should be feeling better soon.  And thank goodness, I’m just so tired of being tired!!

On a seriously brighter note….my Mom and I also did some serious baby shopping yesterday!!  We managed to get a crib, stroller, nightstand, pack & play, crib mattress, and lots of other baby and new mommy accessories.  I was exhausted by the time we were done that I fell asleep at around 7 last night!  But not before Jesse and I (mostly Jesse) put together the stroller and pack & play.  We had such a good time putting them together, although I definitely heard the hubby mutter a few choice words and there was one outburst of “Who designs these things?!?!?!”

I’m so excited to be in the home stretch!!  Every day brings more anticipation and I truly cannot wait to meet Mason.  It’s so amazing how much I love him already…and we’ve never even met!