Thursday, May 31, 2012

Cloth Diapers: Not So Dirty Thirty

30 weeks strong and still lovin' our fluff. We've made a few adjustments in our routine these past months:

Firstly, we don't use liquid detergent anymore - we now use Tide concentrated powder for our HE washer. The first time I used the Tide powder, I immediately noticed the colors were brighter, the lining was softer, and no need for baking soda on every wash. There are also a ton of coupons online and in the papers for it. When I combine them with in-store sales, I'm spending about 20% less on Tide than I was on Method.

Secondly, we don't hang the covers up to dry anymore - we throw the covers into the dryer with the liners and wet/dry bag and run them on low (or no) heat. I used to air dry them every time until someone asked me why, and I said "I don't know. I thought I had to." She then told me that I didn't have to. So I don't!  I also use fragrance-free dryer sheets. Some CD mamas don't use dryer sheets, but I think they're important if you have animal dander around the house.

She swam in her riches like Scrooge McDuck
Thirdly, we've gotten into the habit of using disposables when we travel. Shocking, I know. We love using Kroger brand diapers and they are about 25% less than the brand names. Kroger is also great about giving coupons so they often end up being about 50% less. We also switched her formula and baby wipes to the Kroger brand, too - that switch saves us another $12 a week.

And now a bragging moment about a recent haul from Kroger. Using store and manufacturer coupons, I paid $4.36 for 2 boxes of 96ct diapers, 2 72ct wipes, 2 puff snacks, 2 bottle brushes, 2 trainer sippy cups, 3 20oz coke zero's, and a box of Cheerios. #winning

In other cloth diaper and saving money news, Jonathan, Joanna and I went yard sailing and scored a sweet deal on more diapers: for $25, we got a bumGenius OS (one size) pocket, a bumGenius AIO (All-In-One), 2 Fuzzibunz medium covers, 6 bamboo inserts, 4 microfiber inserts, and 3 Planetwise wet/dry bags.

We also bought a new custom diaper from Smush Tush just in time for Father's Day! It's (na na na na na na na na) BATMAN!

Even though I'm adding $45 to our total investment, we're still getting $55 in savings this month.

Total Personal Investment: $263
Savings To Date: $554 
Return On Investment: + $291

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Ear Pit

When Joanna was born, we noticed a little freckle-like indent near her ear. It looks almost like a large pore. The doctors weren't worried so neither were we.

Fast forward to her 5 month birthday and my friend that is an Audiologist asked if we had it checked out.

"The nurses said not to worry about it."
"Well you need to fire those nurses."

Apparently an ear pit can be a sign of a deeper issue with hearing and perhaps the kidneys - who knew? At her 6 month appointment, the doctor referred us to an audiologist in the area and we went to see them to hear if we should be worried. Today was said appointment with the very nice audiologist.

First Test
After checking in, we went into a quiet room with a comfortable leather recliner next to a lot of machines. The first thing we did was attach some wires to Joanna to measure electrodes. After they were attached, I had to get her to sleep. (I am SO thankful for my Boba!) Normally this would be a piece of cake but sleep's mortal enemy showed up - hiccups. After 15 minutes of Joanna getting frustrated that she couldn't sleep because of hiccups, I turned the lights back on and she was startled - goodbye hiccups! Within a minute she was out.

Second Test
Doc came back and hooked up the wires to a contraption that looked like Zach Morris' cell phone. After what seemed like 10 minutes of testing on one ear, she moved to the other ear. After this test, she used a DVD remote-esque contraption hooked to an earplug and put it inside of one ear, then she put a different plug into the other ear. After that test, she had a much shorter test that seemed like she was taking her temperature in her ear. It lasted a few moments.

As soon as the tests were done, Joanna woke up from her nap and the doc went over the results with me. Everything was in the normal range! One ear is slightly better than the other but she said this could be due to many things, from fluid to excess pressure. She wasn't concerned so I'm not concerned. She scheduled an appointment for a year from now to follow up.

My Boba carrier really came in handy today!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

7 months

7 months of faces
7 months of giggles
7 months of diapers
7 months of wiggles

7 months of big blue eyes, silly tongues, and stinky surprise (after surprise after surprise..)

Joanna is so close to crawling it's scary - very scary. Her boyfriend Weston is already crawling and he's one week older than her. I warned him not to teach Joanna any new tricks. (He's the one that showed her how to roll.)

Her rolling has gotten her into enough trouble. She loves making blanket burritos (grabbing an end of the blanket then rolling herself into it). Most recently, she rolled herself up, grabbed a bottle of lotion that was on the floor near the couch, then started nomming on the pump. I guess baby proofing needs to happen sooner than we thought!

I'm slowly getting better at feeding her solids twice a day. My baby food making productivity has decreased. Since I'm not making peas, beans, or peaches, it's become way more convenient to just peel back aluminum foil and feed her from a plastic container. It's a huge relief that she eats (nearly) anything we give her. I think she has her daddy's palette - yay!

Joanna can sit up for about 30 seconds before leaning over too far and toppling. If we're around her, she can sit up (assisted) for an hour before she hates us. 

Not too long before Joanna's 7 month milestone - Daphne joined the world! Daphne is the daughter of two amazing parents - my brother Rich and his wife Lisa. I cannot even describe the joy I feel for them. They worked, waited, and now are enjoying their sweet princess. She was born at 34 weeks but already weighed 6 lbs 9 oz!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Monday, May 21, 2012

180 Image Check

Somebody was praying for me because my attitude did a full 180. Thanks, prayer buddy!

I got the bright idea to try on my non-maternity size 16 jeans that I bought when I was 2 months post pardom. I haven't had the nerve to try them on since I bought them because I thought I'd be depressed. Turns out they fit really well now! I think the weight I lost in the waist is making the sag look the same size even though I'm shrinking overall. Even though my chest isn't deflating, my rib fat is going away so I'm able to squeeze into tops that aren't built like a circus tent!

Here is a spanx-free-and-holding-my-breath photo of my non-maternity outfit:

 Can you tell I'm excited? I can finally wear vintage-y clothes again!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Tummy Troubles

I love/hate my stomach.

I love my stomach for protecting my baby while she grew and formed eyes, legs, kidneys, a brain, and other important things. I love my stomach for keeping me warm in the Winter. I love my stomach for being a shelf when I slouch on the couch.

I hate my stomach for staying around after baby left 6 months ago. My arms, waist, and legs are all in better shape than ever before - but the sag is still there. I changed my diet, I started exercising, yet it protrudes the same now as it did 5 months ago. When I lie down, it's gone. When I stand up, it taunts me. I feel like a kangaroo with an empty sack because my Joey is too big for her mama's pouch.

Thank you for your hard work, stomach. I really do appreciate what you did for me and my family. But it's time for you to go away for a little while. I need a break before we see each other again.

Feel free to take some of my chest with you.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Diaper Bag [of Doom]

As my Über Kinder grows, so does my diaper bag [of doom]. I never realized how heavy it was because Joanna has grown (and gained) at the same rate as my upper body strength. I'm used to carrying her in one arm and my bag in the other, almost like a counterweight.

When I visited my grandmother, she offered to carry my bag for me. She let out a "woomph" as she picked it up by the straps. It wasn't until that moment that I realized that it may have some things that aren't exactly necessary?

My Diaper Bag [of Doom]

The Contents of the Diaper Bag [of Doom]

For Joanna: 
  1. pre-measured formula in a bottle and 3 easy pour pre-measured formula packets
  2. wipes
  3. changing pad
  4. cloth diaper
  5. wet/dry bag
  6. 3 disposable diapers
  7. 2 pairs of Baby legs (one for her arms and one for her legs)
  8. extra socks
  9. extra pants
  10. extra onesie
  11. 4 hair bows and a pair of bow sandals
  12. sun hat
  13. lotion
  14. sun screen
  15. antibacterial stuff
  16. baking soda wipes (great for binkies dropped in parking lots. Otherwise I just stick it in my mouth then give it back to her)
  17. Big Sophie (giraffe)
  18. Little Sophie (giraffe)
  19. bunny
  20. 2 sets of teething keys
  21. 2 chew books (the lady bug and the book underneath)
For myself:
  1. Wallet
  2. Coupons
  3. Phone
  4. Fiber Bar

I can honestly say that I use every one of these items at least once a week, many of them are used everyday. Such is the life! :)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Happy Birthday Daddy

[This was meant to go up on May 15th. Ooops]

My darling baby daddy,

I love you.
He's so hot, he's on fire.

You are my favorite person.

I couldn't think of anyone better to have children with. You make me laugh everyday. You make me feel beautiful no matter what I eat. You make me feel wanted. You make me feel like a natural woman. Well, not too natural. I love processed foods and air conditioning, but you do make me feel like a good mom.

I fell in love with you so quickly that it scared me a bit. We knew within months that we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together but we were too young to get married right away - so we waited 3 years. It was a very long 3 years. During that time, you showed me that you love God, your family, and you love people.

The way you treated me confirmed what I already felt: you would be an amazing husband. Seeing the way you interacted with the boys confirmed what I already knew: you would be an amazing dad.

While we tried to get pregnant, you remained calm and always told me I was beautiful. You kept me rooted and that was the best thing you could have done.

A few days after my 26th birthday, you found out I was pregnant before I did! I was too scared to look at the pee stick. When I asked you, "Is it not pregnant?" You paused and said ".. No.." and I yelled "AM I PREGNANT??" And you said nothing. Instead, you gave me a look of excitement and sheer fear (aka shfear).  You did a somersault and started jumping!

Our little family is so much fun. I know Joanna loves you so much. She feels safe with you. She feels adventurous with you. She is fearless when she sits on your lap. She is your little girl.

I love you darling. Joanna loves you. Happy birthday.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mamamamama's Day

Joanna said her first word:

"Mam mam mam mam maaaaaa"

I'm interpreting it as her saying "Dearest mother, I love you. Happy Mother's Day."

Why thank you, Joanna!

And then she showed her newest moves:

Today was also the first time she went to our Church Nursery instead of staying in the main sanctuary with us. One word: liberating.

While worshipping and hearing our Pastor, God reminded me of how He guides and provides. 

Two years ago I cried out, angry and confused at God for not allowing me to become a mother.
You are peace, You are peace when my fear is crippling.
You are truth, You are truth even in my wandering.

One year ago I cried out, thankful and overwhelmed that I would meet my precious daughter in a few short months.
You are joy, You are joy. You're the reason that I sing.
You are life, You are life. In You death has lost its sting. 

Today I cried out, humbled and overjoyed that I was chosen to love and care for someone so precious.
You are more, you are more than my words could ever say.
You are Lord! You are Lord! All creation will proclaim.
You are here. You are here. In your presence I'm made whole.
You are God. You are God. Of all else I'm letting go!

God is so good. So good.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Dear Six Month Old Joanna

 Dear Joanna,

I love you.

I've spent half a year getting to know you and all of your ridiculous faces. From day one, you've had the most beautiful eyes I've ever seen. It seems that God grabbed the best of everything in our families and merged them to make your gorgeous face. (Because of this, you're not allowed to date until you're 30. We can talk about taking off some years for good behavior.)

In your first month, you scared mommy by losing some of your fluff. Even though I wasn't able to physically provide enough nutrients for you, you still looked to me as a provider of love, comfort, and snuggles. When I felt like I was too sad or too tired to hold you, all you had to do was look at me with your enormous eyes and I was yours. You make me a better mom because of who you are.

In your second month, you started smiling every day. Those big apple cheeks would emerge and your eyes would light up the room! At three months, we were able to tickle you and hear your infectious belly laugh. Four months came and we introduced you to your new best friend: bananas. You've since gained other friends like sweet potatoes, carrots, peaches, apples, beans, and oatmeal, but your closest comrade will always be your big yellow friend. At five months old, you were joined by two bottom teeth. You also learned a new trick: sucking on your lips. So stinkin' cute.

And now you are 6 months old. So much has changed in our lives and we are the better for it. God answered our prayers and we have you, baby girl. We love you. Thank you for making us laugh every day.

Mein Über Kinder is now 20 pounds 8 ounces - of course my German baby would be precise and double her birth weight.  Her length is 27 3/4 inches and her giant brain is resting inside of her giant 17.5 inch head. She's a big ball of 98th percentile goodness!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Horrible Mother

I'm a horrible mother.

Let me 'splain: I'm a pale, pale woman with many a freckle upon my cheek and shoulders. My offspring is pale from a lack of sun exposure. Until today.

I was so excited about an outdoor play date and mini photo session. I spent the morning planning Joanna's outfit and preparing for the day's adventure. I even put in contacts and wore foundation - it was going to be a big day.

I walked out of the door lugging my love and was pleasantly surprised that I didn't need my sunglasses - hooray! We arrived and immediately joined Joanna's cousin Micah and gabbed about teeth, diapers, vaccines, and MENSA. I noticed that Joanna was squinting her eyes when I would lay her flat on her back but then would become distracted by something/anything and roll on her merry way. We took photos, she ate, I changed her, we took a cloth diaper bum photo, and we went back home.

6 hours later, after we put Joanna to bed, I notice that I'm a shade of mauve. "Crap." I say to myself. (I actually said a more colorful word, similar to my current complexion). I immediately lathered aloe lotion all over the top half of my body in hopes that I would moisturize my mistake away. Stupid sun. The one day I don't wear my usual 70 spf is the day you "mark your territory" on my shoulders.

I tried to check Joanna's cheeks and head but the lighting in her room is awful. So here I type, feeling like a horrible mother with sore shoulders and itchy arms, not knowing if my negligence will have a painful impact on my little one. Hopefully she'll be more like her dad and tan like a Californian.

- - - - - - - - - - - -

Morning Update: Joanna is a bit more beige but isn't burned. Phew! California pigmentation ftw!