Owen: Month Nine

Jan 20, 2017

This month was filled with baths in the sink, your first (and second) incident report at daycare, playing peek-a-boo, seeing Wild Zoo Lights with friends and quality time with grandma while mama and papa celebrated their anniversary.

Biggest Milestone: clicking your tongue

Hardest Challenge: teething. Diarrhea, fever, oh-my...

Most Memorable Moment: hearing you say "mama" and "dada"

Food: Mr. Independent loves to feed himself and grows very upset should you try to assist

 sleep training lasted all of two days before mama and papa missed the co-sleeping snuggles too much. The first day was rough (see baby monitor photo below), but we now know it can be done successfully when we are all ready.

Favorite Photo: 

looking back: {month} one/two/three/four/five/six/seven/eight

In Consideration of: Cloth Diapering

Jan 18, 2017

"He was sold on cost savings, she was sold on pattern options."

 A shoppers soliloquy. 

Cloth diapering appeared daunting upon first glance, but in practice operates quite efficiently for us to date (nine months, for those counting). We took a class {here} to get ideas on what brands, types, etc may work best for our family (you get the $10 back in store credit). We attended with our pals in gestation (Hi Christine and Anthony!) made a day date out of it with lunch beforehand and ended up with a gal from prenatal yoga as well. Small world.

As fate would have it, we purchased two-thirds of our diapers from a friend's sister at a fraction of the cost to start cloth diapering, and(!) she stripped/prepped them for us. The remainder were purchased from Cotton Babies, Target, and Amazon (all on sale).  We currently have around 25-30.  

Total cost for diapers, washable inserts, cloth wipes = $450-500


Bumgenius all-in-one: closest to a disposable (i.e. one piece). We have 15-18.

Bumgenius flip (washable insert/disposable insert): versatile, in that you can use each cover up to three times (or poopy diaper, whichever comes first) before washing. We have 4-6.

Bumgenius elemental: also similar to a disposable, but take (a bit) longer to dry and are more prone to leaks. For this reason, we have not purchased any additional (we have  6-8), and mostly use these at home.

Bumgenius newborn: newborn version of the all-in-one (so cute! so tiny!). We have two, but should have opted for more of the (one size) all-in-one because he grew out of these lightning fast (fits 6lbs-12lbs). 

All diapers listed above (with the exception of the newborn) fit from 8lbs - 35lbs.

For school/outings, we use this wet bag for diapers/dirty clothes

At home we use cloth wipes (like our mamas!) with H2O + wipe solution in a warmer, and opt for disposable {travel bag} for poopy diapers and while out and about. 

Once Owen began solids we started using disposable liners and diaper sprayer. All diapers prior to solid foods are safe to go straight into the washer without rinsing {washing instructions}. I use this laundry detergent for everything, and our washing instructions (see below photo) are hung in our laundry room for quick reference. 

Prepping = washing them a 5-8 times to remove any oils so that they are ready to use.

We wash diapers every other day, but can go 3-4 days without too much fuss.  The washing process takes about 10-15 minutes longer than a normal load of laundry because of the pre-wash and extra rinse. With regards to water usage, we haven't seen a spike in our bill, I purchase detergent every two months or so (I buy the largest one Sam's carries) like normal, and our washer and dryer haven't had any issues (we have an older old top load washer) with regards to uneven washing, residue and the like.  Once the diapers are clean we hang dry {garment rack}. The flips dry the quickest (few hours) with the rest needing about a day (8-10 hours on average). Some are completely grossed out about this process (and have lots of questions), but as a parent poop eventually ends up on you anyway, so it doesn't faze us at this point. 

Blow Outs: I don't think anyone is safe from these sadly.

 Diaper Rash: I've read they are less common with cloth? When you use diaper cream with cloth diapers you are suppose to have a barrier otherwise the cream lessens the diapers absorbency. We don't use cream, and use a diaper liner and or t-shirt scraps {from this DIY} in those rare instances we do. Favorite creams: Mother Love and Aquaphor (we also use a bit on his nose/mouth for teething drool/dryness). 

Diapering Overnight: We used cloth until he slept thru the night and woke up soaked a few times. Since then we use disposable for overnight diapers. We were gifted with a serious haul of disposables in varying sizes, otherwise we'd just line his diaper with an extra insert {more info here}.

Travel: disposable, using the (seemingly) endless gift stash though I recently bought our first case (Sam's forever) because we are spoiled with the ease for travel (and overnights), though we could easily take the Flips + disposable inserts along if we really wanted to.

Overall, we are both really pleased with how well cloth diapering has gone for us, and totally recommend it. 

I think that covers it, but if you have any questions or tips I'm happy help!

Looking Back: Two Thousand Sixteen

Jan 11, 2017

My sole focus of 2016 was family. Enjoying them, honoring them, being still in the small moments, capturing even the most mundane of memories and spending copious amounts of quality time with them. I can unequivocally say -- we did just that.

The first few months were spent glucose testing (and retesting), in bradley method classes, taking infant CPR, faithfully attending prenatal yoga and ob visits, getting last minute brazilians, mani-pedis, indulging in leisurely lunches/dinners with friends and as a couple, growing more and more excited to meet our gender surprise. Once Owen was born {birth story} we tedious (and exhausting) navigation of our new roles as parents and partners, rallying together for a scary ER visit because of some gnarly postpartum swelling, the journey of breastfeeding (I cherish those moments so, so much), successfully attending one of my closest friends wedding two weeks postpartum with Owen in tow.  Enjoying those mama dates/texts/emails with my fellow new mama friends whom I cannot thank enough for just "getting it" and to my mom, who relocated my hair appointments to my house which saves so much time and so much effort -- she is THE best. Weathered the gut wrenching loss of Mark's mother Debbie a month after Owen was born. Returning to work after a well savored maternity leave, having a true treat of my youngest sister Jaleesa nanny  for us over summer at our house, thoroughly spoiling us. We hosted 4th of July, took Owen to a handful of baseball games (that he slept through), moved Jaleesa to college then returned again for family weekend, attended music class as a family -- created a sweet Saturday ritual of class followed by lunch that I eagerly look forward to again next session. We visited my middle sister Jennifer in Michigan and ran my first 5k postpartum, celebrated our two year wedding anniversary and, thoroughly savored each small moment in between.  

2016, you had some tremendous highs and sobering lows.

For 2017, my  goals {thus far} are: to finally perfect my belgian waffle, establish fitness consistency, make a concerted effort for date nights in after Owen is asleep and continuing to get out, just us, at least once a month. Taking care of my cuticles! Getting more comfortable with my gopro.
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