Monday, June 30, 2008

The verdict on the diapers

We now have enough cloth diapers for 24-36 hours, depending on how much she wets. At the end of the cycle I have to do laundry and use disposables. Since the diapers are a bit of an investment we have to wait until we have enough money to buy more. Once I have enough for 48 hours of diapering we should rarely be using disposables.

Best thing I did with cloth diapering: bought a variety to find out what I would like so I can get more of what I want.

Here's what I have to say about what we have, listed in order from what I like least to best:

Mommy's Touch. (one size fits all pocket diaper)
Pros: launder super easily, inserts allow extra absorbency when needed, no leaking, no need for a diaper cover, will grow with her
Cons: too many snaps, awkward waist, frumpy fit, I just don't really like this one too much

Prefolds with Bummis Whisper Wraps. (old school diaper with diaper cover)
Pros: super easy to launder, inexpensive, Whisper Wraps work great (don't leak and on need for diaper pins), super easy to use
Cons: wetness stays on her skin so she gets cranky fast, really bulky

Kissaluvs with Whisper Wraps. (fitted cloth diaper with cover)
Pros: easy to launder, no leaking from diaper itself, Whisper Wrap works great, more trim fit than prefolds, soft
Cons: snaps aren't as easy as velcro (duh), wetness stays close to her skin

Haute Pocket. (one size fits all pocket diaper)
Pros: launder super easily, inserts allow extra absorbency when needed, no leaking, no need for a diaper cover, will grow with her, more trim fit so she doesn't look as pear shaped
Cons: none

Happy Heiny (one size fits all pocket diaper)
Pros: launder super easily, inserts allow extra absorbency when needed, no leaking, no need for a diaper cover, will grow with her, even more trim fit so she doesn't look as pear shaped, cute cow hide pattern
Cons: none

bumGenius (one size fits all pocket diaper)
Pros: launder super easily, inserts allow extra absorbency when needed, no leaking, no need for a diaper cover, will grow with her, even more trim fit so she doesn't look as pear shaped, this is tied as my favorite

Cons: none

bumGenius (all in one, size small)
Pros: fits her perfectly! - trimmest fit so she doesn't look pear shaped at all!, launder super easily, no leaking, no need for a diaper cover, most like a disposable, this is tied as my favorite
Cons: thick diaper for mondo absorbency means two good turns in dryer

The inserts, all in one and prefolds all need 1.5 - 2 times in the dryer. However, if I dry them once I can also take them out and finish drying them in the sun to speed up the process a bit while still saving some energy.

We dry pail - dirty diapers go into a plastic waste bin with a flip top, though I keep the top open to allow air to get in. Since she's 100% breastfed the diapers don't really stink. Honestly, there's something almost sweet about the poop scent.
Poopy diapers soak in the wash with baking soda and then all diapers are washed in hot water.

All in all, I would say that while I probably wouldn't be doing this if I were a working mother, this cloth diaper thing is pretty easy and has already helped us save money at the grocery store.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

For those in the Peoria area

Theology on Tap is a discussion series for Catholic young adults and their friends, married and single in their 20’s and 30’s.
The 2008 series will be held:
Tuesday’s at 6:30 pm, Kelleher’s Irish Pub 619 SW Water Street, Peoria

July 22nd Fr. Nathan Cromly: “Sacramental Worldview”
The Catholic life is a Sacramental life. While this relates to the way the Church worships, it also points to the exciting and beautiful way a person understands their relationship to God and to His Creation in all areas of life. Fr. Nathan is a brother of the Community of St. John and teacher of philosophy in Princeville, IL.

July 29th Fr. Douglas and Lynn Grandon: “The Adventure Continues”
Come and hear the spiritual journey and story of faith of the former Episcopal – now Catholic – priest, Fr. Douglas Grandon and his wife Lynn. Fr. Grandon is the first priest in the Peoria Diocese ordained according to the Pastoral Provision of the Catholic Church for former Anglican clergy. Lynn is the Director of the Diocesan Respect Life office.

August 5th Joseph Piccione: “Living Strong”
“Living Strong" in the Catholic tradition is identified with the life of faith, hope and love. These "theological virtues" are the themes of the encyclical letters of Pope Benedict XVI. Along with considering these virtues in the Church’s life, we will also take a peek at the seven capital vices - the risks of the human condition. Joseph Piccione is a Catholic moral theologian and Senior Vice President for Ethics and Mission, OSF Healthcare System, Peoria

August 12th Tim Roder: “The State of Our Unions”
Why is it so important that our society gets marriage right? We will take a critical look at the state of present day marriage and relationships, what the future holds and what the U.S. Bishops are doing with their six year focus on Marriage. Tim is the Director of the Office of Family Life in the Catholic Diocese of Peoria.

No charge to attend – Food and drink available for purchase – Talks begin @ 7:00 pm.

Business of Being Born

Here's the trailer for the BoBB, the documentary I talk about in the following post.

Controversy over Home Birth

Some of you may find this interesting since I just did this:

The American Medical Association's American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists have released a statement saying they will be developing legislation to essentially outlaw home birth.

What's funny, is that while the ACOG does not like home births one bit and considers them quite dangerous and selfish on the mother's part, across the pond, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (British version of ACOG) believes home births are great:

"The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) and the Royal College of Obstetricians and
Gynaecologists (RCOG) support home birth for women with uncomplicated pregnancies. There is no reason why home birth should not be offered to women at low risk of complications and it may confer considerable benefits for them and their families. There is ample evidence showing that labouring at home increases a woman’s likelihood of a birth that is both satisfying and safe, with implications for her health and that of her baby."
(emphasis mine)

You can read the rest of the statement here.

What's also interesting about all this is that the AMA mentions Ricki Lake, who made famous her home birth with her documentary The Business of Being Born. I saw the BoBB. It was actually at that showing that I got Bernice's name and number. I became convinced that I wanted to home birth after watching that movie.

And what's also interesting is that when I just re watched its trailer I realized that many of the emotions and thoughts I expected to have after birthing came from that movie and the things women said in it. Truly, I am at a point where I feel the same as those mothers in the BoBB, but it took me a good six weeks for all of them to come to fruition. So, while I'm sure Ricki would feel horrible if she knew, I think that the BoBB and the expectations that it gave me made my postpartum even worse. I'm not blaming the documentary, though. I'm sure the hormones and screaming baby played MUCH bigger roles. ;) And, what's more, I still encourage women and men, especially those who are expecting or will be soon to watch this movie.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Since my menu works so well for me, I thought I'd also do a schedule for cleaning. Mondays I dust, Tuesdays I do the floors, etc. I knew that I had heard of someone doing this before and it seemed to work really well for them.

Who was it?

Seriously, who was it?

Oh yeah, it was Danny Tanner on Full House. The anal, obsessive Danny Tanner. Geesh, what does that say about me?

Monday, June 23, 2008

Dinner is served

I heard of a woman once who was tired of asking her husband what he wanted for dinner and getting the response, "Whatever." "I don't know." "You choose." "Something." So she started making dinners ahead and freezing them labeled "I don't know" et cetera. Then, depending on how he answered, she'd go to the freezer and pull out what he asked for.

I can totally relate to this woman. I'm tired of deciding what to make for dinner or at least coming up with options based off what we have because it looked good while I was at the store.

So what I do now is use a 3 week schedule.

Week 1
Monday: spaghetti with meat sauce
Tuesday: meatloaf and potato
Wednesday: tacos
Thursday: homemade pizza
Friday: soup and sandwich

Week 2
Monday: pork with fresh veg
Tuesday: chicken breast with squash or sweet potato
Wednesday: hamburgers
Thursday: lasagna
Friday: pasta with chicken

Week 3
Monday: enchiladas
Tuesday: sloppy joes
Wednesday: breakfast (choose from: pancakes, waffles, sausage, bacon, eggs, biscuits & gravy)
Thursday: baked ziti
Friday: fish fillets with fresh veg

Sides can vary from salad or canned vegetables, couscous, rice, etc.
Lunches, Saturdays and Sunday dinners are leftovers, sandwiches or frozen pizzas. Sundays always have a brunch.

This has made my life sooooo much easier. It also helps to save time and money at the grocery store since I stick to the list, which is no longer ambiguous.

The Diapers are Here

Today we got 4 of the new diapers I ordered. I also spent the whole day using cloth on Lydia. All the new ones are in the wash, along with the ones she dirtied today, which means it will be a night of disposables, but I'm really glad we're getting closer and closer to completing the switch.
I'm sure many of you know what "modern" cloth diapers look like, but since a lot of you don't I thought I'd show off what we have.
The cowhide diaper and the four on top are all diaper that use inserts. The diaper itself is waterproof and has a cloth lining, but the inserts (at the very top) are snapped or stuffed in for more absorbency.
The one on the bottom left is today's version of a rubber pant, a diaper cover. A cloth diaper like the one on the bottom right or an old fashioned prefold (what we wore when we were little and what our mother's now dust with) goes in the cover. What's nice is that the prefold doesn't necessarily need to be pinned, as you can see below. Just fold it and stuff it in the little flap.
This is Lydia modeling one of the All-in-Ones, meaning there's no need for a diaper cover or inserts. The pink diaper with the embroidered butterfly was a gift from a woman at church. Her daughter lives in town and makes the diapers. I LOVE it!

The other diaper covers that I ordered should come in later this week. Once we get those we should be able to cloth diaper throughout the day, although I'll probably have to use disposables at night while I wash everything for the next day. I'm still learning, though, so we'll see!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Cloth Diapers

So... after all the hub bub about doing cloth diapers, we finally have begun to use them.

It's a little disappointing that we're just now doing it and Lydia's almost 7 weeks old. We did receive some diapers - some were hand-me-downs, some were bought new - but only 2 actually fit Lydia at this point in time. We do have a dozen newborn prefolds (what you picture when you think of cloth diapers) and some fitted diapers (they look like a disposable but are cloth and need a cover) but only 1 "rubber pant." We also have one all-in-one diaper (a bumgenius - no diaper cover needed) and we LOVED it when we used it. But still, Lydia pees all the time and we don't have to get through the day.

However, yesterday and today I ordered more diapers and diaper covers so we can get a little more serious about this.

I'll keep you posted on how it goes. Wish me luck!

Will you be our friends?

Tonight we had a couple and their 14 month old baby over for dinner. We know them from the college and the parish; he's an assistant coach at EC and they attend St. Luke's with their 14 month old daughter.

I always loved working with him - he's really funny and super easy to talk to - and every time I chatted with his wife she seemed wonderful.

They liked the enchiladas I made. Their daughter kept giving me the evil eye, though she liked Travis and loved Lydia. They were pretty interested in the home birth. So I hope they liked us and enjoyed their evening here. (oh please, oh please, oh please!) Travis and I really liked them and had a really good time. We're hoping to get together with them again. She's a stay at home mom and it will be great to have more friends in the area.

Suddenly I feel like a little kid again, knocking on the new neighbor's door and asking if their daughter can come out and play. It's a vulnerable place to be.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Too big

Monday I was fit for the bridesmaid dress for my younger brother's wedding. It was depressing.
Bust size = 18
Waist size = 18
Hips size = 16

Now the seamstress assured me that I looked great for having a 6 week old, and that my waist would definately go down in size by the November wedding, and probably my hips as well. And I know that wedding shops are notorious for running small.

BUT STILL! I haven't worn an 18 anything for years. And I liked it that way.

I was a solid 10 when I got pregnant. Now I'm more like a 12/14.
This bums me out - but it is my fault. I may be breastfeeding a lot, but I'm not drinking enough water, using the stroller enough and I'm eating too many sweets (mostly in the form of cookie dough).

Must lose weight!

Monday, June 16, 2008

It took 6 weeks and watching the movie Juno, but I am now completely, totally, fantasticly in head-over-heels in love with my daughter. I am certain she is the cutest thing ever, with her cooing and smiling, and every little thing. I have been wooed.
Thank God!
PS - You all were right. It did get better.

Yay for Charlie and Jamie's Wedding!

Congratulations to the newlyweds! And thanks for letting us share in the day - it was a blast!

Friday, June 13, 2008

For Lydia

This is one of our favorites to sing and dance to. Seriously, moms, Johnny Cash helped me get my baby out and now helps calm her down.

Long live the baritone and the boom-chica rhythm!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Lydia's Baptism

In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

The Godparents
Gifts from the Grandmas.
The blanket was handmade by the Godmother. The cross came from the Godfather. The two pieces on the right were embroidered by my friend LB, the same who attended the birth.
This scrapbook was made by the Godmother.
She formatted everything - all we have to do is insert pictures.

At the end of the day, everyone was tired.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Will I do another home birth?

A lot of people have asked me if I'll do another home birth after how hard the first one was. (Some people seem to think that the obvious answer is "No" as they seem kinda smug when they ask, as they just knew I'd be begging for an epidural when things got hard.)

But I intend to plan a home birth for my second child just like I did for Lydia.

After 5 weeks of reflection this is what I've come to see:

- I am still glad I never had to transition from home to hospital and back again.
- I would not want to have changed anything that would have changed the role Travis played at the birth.
- From 11am-1pm on Saturday (the day Lydia was born) I was in a lot of pain and I did tell Travis I wanted an epidural, hell - I wanted that baby cut out of me - I didn't care - just end the pain. But that was during the stage of labor called the transition, the hardest part for every woman. It is at that point that many women will cry, say they can't do it, ask for an epidural, and just want it to all be over with. This is not a sign of weakness in me or any other woman - it's just the way it is.
- I went into labor Friday night at 7, yet 12 hours of intense contractions later I had not dilated. Also, any labor over 20 hours is considered a complicated labor (and mine was 21). Travis and I chose a home birth because we didn't want to be in a hospital setting where they might want to intervene with drugs, which always increases your chances of fetal distress and c-sections. Based on what I've read and heard, I believe it's very likely hospital staff would have wanted to give me drugs to speed up my labor. I'm glad I did not have to make decisions or face any kind of pressure.
- The care I have received from the women who attended my home birth has been amazing, and is unlike anything I would have received from an ob/gyn (especially the one I was seeing when I began my pregnancy). I am especially grateful to my caregivers as they were very good about checking in with me and being available throughout the very difficult baby blues.

And most importantly:

- More and more I can appreciate what I did and what that means about who I am and what I'm made of. Going into it, I thought labor and birth would be the most amazing thing I'd ever do. Some people climb mountains, run marathons or go skydiving to challenge themselves and their bodies. But who needs Mt. Everest when I can deliver a child - just as my body was designed to do, and just as God wants me to (meaning my vocation as a mother). That was my opinion while pregnant, but after my hard birth I felt a bit duped. However, the more I've thought and prayed about it, the more I've come back to the original thought. I'm proud of what I did and that the decisions I made were in the best interest of me and my baby. And I've come to see that strength is shown in how well we do in our weakest moments. And I did pretty damn well.

Baby Fat

As other things in life are getting better, one thing that's really bothering me is the baby fat I'm still carrying around with me. I've lost 30lbs since giving birth, but I have another 20 I'd like to lose to get back to where I should be.

I thought I was looking pretty good until I saw pictures from Lydia's Baptism. Ouch.

We have a wedding this weekend. I was hoping to look smashing, instead I'm afraid I'll look a bit chubby.

While I was pregnant a friend gave me a "Fat Card" - the permission to gain weight. And I think that women can still have that Fat Card for the 6 weeks after birth (which I'm still in) but then the weight needs to be gone. And really, I wish it was gone already. No more full face, big thighs, back fat and round, round belly. Give me back the body I used to have!


Here's the update:
Things are a lot better.

Lydia seems to be over her colicky phase (thank God!). I'm not sure if she ever was colick or if we were just clueless, but maybe it was a bit of both. We have begun to feed her right away at the first sign of fussiness and before we do anything else. (ie - bathtime is after a feeding now) When she's full she's a lot happier.

Lydia is also more alert, coos and ahhs, looks deep into your eyes and really smiles. All of this makes her a lot more fun to read to and play with. She likes voices, songs, dancing and bells. She still is pretty demanding when it comes to wanting to be held a lot, but when she's snugly, smiling and sweet it's a lot more enjoyable. :)

Some friends of mine had their baby girl last week. Looking at pictures of their little Bridget makes me realize how much Lydia has already grown and changed. She's so big now.

I also realized that I really did not enjoy when she was that little. I don't know if I have a single positive memory from when she was so tiny and new. Many, many people told me to enjoy her when she was so small, but how was I supposed to do that when I was exhausted, overwhelmed, sad, angry and even resentful at times? I was surviving. There was no time to stop and smell the roses. But looking at newborn Bridget makes me wish I could have enjoyed her more. (But please note I said could, not would.)

With the baby blues behind me now, and Lydia easier to work with, I am now finding my way in this world of being a stay at home mom. Cooking, baking, cleaning, napping, reading, writing long overdue Thank You's - all of this is fitting back into my life, which makes me feel so much more normal. I've also met a mom with a 2 month old and 2 year old. They live down the street from us and also go to St. Luke's. I'm thrilled. My life is becoming more and more what I pictured it would be.


Last night I made up a little meal which was quite good.

Boneless pork chops seasoned with pepper, salt, cumin and ginger, to which I added pineapple chunks and juice, lime juice, cilantro and minced garlic.

Black beans, corn, cilantro and couscous mixed together and seasoned with salt and plenty of black pepper.

So good!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Please Pray!!!

I recently got the following email from my friend, Sarah. It's about her sister-in-law. Please read the following:

"I'm writing to ask for your prayers for my sister-in-law Deidre. She's been battling cancer for a while now, and the cancer has actually gone into recession 2 times. However, it's come back a 3rd time. The doctors tell Dee that she's already had so much chemo that if she has another round it will kill her in a month or two. If she doesn't have the chemo, they say she only has a month or less.
Please pray for her, my brother and their two daughters, as well as the rest of my family. Whatever happens, God is an awesome God, worthy of all praise and glory. Nonetheless this news (which we just found out yesterday) has been hard to hear."

Sarah also said that any words of encouragement or support would be passed on and appreciated. Please feel free to leave a comment saying you're praying for Deidre and her family, wishing them well, offering up sacrifices, etc. I'll be sure Sarah, Deidre and the rest of the family see it. I would love to surround them with love and prayers!

Thank You!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

More things I love

The kitchen floor is finished and we have a table and chairs for the dining room.

When Travis holds Lydia.

Lydia's Baptismal gown and booties. Sr. Marie Noelle croqueted the dress for us and the booties were mine when I was a baby.

The way Lydia holds my breast like it's a bottle. :)

Monday, June 2, 2008

Things I Love Right Now

- That I've lost 30 of the 43 pregnancy pounds!

- Lydia's bath time.

- Fruit!

- Beany Wraps - super easy to make and super duper to eat.

- Vanilla Silk (this is more because I have to - so long dairy-that-I-love)

- The lawn mower Travis was just given.

- The window air conditioner that's keeping us cool.

- The dining room table and chairs we now have. Not that they're fancy, but we have a table!

- Finding out what the other woman is thinking.

- I haven't leaked in days!

- This picture of Sr. MC.