Category Archives: parenting

Happy 2 month birthday Everly!

Our darling Everly was born 8 weeks ago and is now a two month old. Can you believe it? I know I sure can’t!

She came in to the world totally new to everything and has come so far in these past 8 weeks. When she was born all she was doing was sleeping and looking around.

At 2 weeks old she had her first bath when her umbilical stump fell off. She’s been to the State Fair and even back to her birth place for a followup appointment with the midwife who delivered her.

She’s learned our scents and has really bonded with us and adjusted to our home (pets and all). She learned breastfeeding and has grown so darn much.

She now smiles and imitates some of the faces we make a her. She is experimenting with different vocalizations and is making many more sounds. She’s even rolling over, holding her head up and trying out standing these days.

She’s getting the hang of playing and really enjoys anything musical. She loves when we sing or play music and she is great when the marching band plays music at my colorguard rehearsals.

It’s been a whirlwind 8 weeks for all of us but now it seems like she’s always been with us and we are comfortably in a groove. It’s like we’ve always been parents.

Happy 2 month birthday sweet Everly!

Googlechondriac: The first step is admitting there is a problem right?

You know those people who Google symptoms and are always obsessing and thinking they have some gawd awful sickness? You know hypochondriacs…

Well I have that problem but only I am not obsessing about my own possible illnesses I am obsessing about Everly…

What? Her poop is yellowish green instead of just mustardy yellow? Google that and… Oh no it’s a hindmilk/ foremilk imbalance.

She’s pulling her legs up and fussing? She’s got gas or a dairy allergy!

Her eye is goopy and pussy sometimes, is it pink eye? Squirt some breastmilk in it!

She sprayed milk out her nose once while fast asleep? Could it be sleep apnea or SIDS?

Parents worry, I know that but do they worry as much as I do and obsessivly search the internet for clues and cures? I am beginning to think this “Doctor Google” thing is getting outta hand.

Franky the “cures” and anxiety from thinking something is always wrong with her is the only real thing causing us problems here. She’s not colicky, doesn’t have sleep apnea, pink eye, a dairy allergy or a brestmilk imbalance. She’s just got a paranoid, freaking-out-over-every-little-thing-mom.

I can’t help it though, I am freaked something is going to end up being wrong with her and I will miss it. Don’t even get me started on the Swine Flu either!

Googleing symptoms obsessively is a sickness in it’s self. Hasn’t anyone coined a name for this obsession yet? Better go Google it!

Crap! There is such a thing as Dr. Google! Good thing it is something entirely different than what I am talking about. I’d be really screwed then…

Anyway, I’ve decided I need to be called a Googlechondriac! You know a hypochondriac but an obsessive internet symptom searching, self diagnosing one. Do they make a prescription drug for that?

So, are you guilty of being a Googlechondriac or am I alone here?

Wordless Wednesday: E's 6 week checkup with our midwife

Over the weekend we made the 4 hour drive down to Summertown, Tennessee for our 6 week checkup at The Farm. We got to stay in our midwife’s cabin again, the same one Everly was born in. I had her right there on the floor where the rocking chair is in this photo. Ah, the memories.

We had some playtime upon arriving at the cabin. We figured letting Everly stretch out on the bed would be a nice change from being cramped in the carseat all day. E had fun playing as you can see in the above photos.

We learned that an increase in humidity impacts a baby’s bottom. Poor Everly got kind of rashy while we were in Tennessee so we put a potty pad (left over from the birth kit) under her and let her go naked for a bit. She liked being free but was also startling much more without clothes on. The fresh air and sunlight did help with the rash though.

The checkup went well and Pamela was very excited to spend time with Everly as you can see. You can read more about how the checkup went in this post.

We had a great time on our trip, it was a time for us to reflect on Everly’s birth and we also made some good memories while we were there.

Been new parents for 7 weeks now…

… and nobody ever told us that we would be doing chores during nap time, as N pointed out this morning. We did dishes, fed and watered the animals, hung the laundry to dry, stuffed cloth diapers and ironed a few of N’s dress shirts while Everly slept for an hour.

Nobody can ever really make you understand just how much your life changes once you have a baby! I am not gonna lie, we are so looking forward to when our free time increases a bit once she’s older. Right now the constant need to be held is rough on us.

Finding the time to feed and care for ourselves is verging on impossible with little 7 week old Everly. That comes with the territory though, that’s what we’ve been told at least…

We had a good 6 week checkup with our midwife at The Farm this past weekend. We stayed in the cabin that Everly was born in, it was so cozy and quiet. We relaxed a bit but things weren’t quite as leisurely as we had expected.

Turns out little E doesn’t like being away from home right now. She was extremely overstimulated and had a pretty hard time going down for naps and sleeping at night. We even brought her beloved swing that she falls asleep in at night but the different surroundings left her acting uneasy and unable to relax, even in the swing.

Pamela examined us and said we were both very healthy and doing great. E got weighed and she was too big for the baby scale (almost 11lbs). She’s also gained 2 inches in length since birth so her growth is great which means breastfeeding is going great too.

My 4th degree tear repair was done very well according to Pamela. She was very impressed with how nicely the stitches healed up and she says my pelvic floor is very firm and all back together. By 3 weeks postpartum my bleeding had stopped and the tenderness of the stitches was gone, that is apparently remarkable healing for such a bad tear.

All in all things are on track following labor and delivery, we are glad to hear this. I still can’t believe we are parents though. Staying in the cabin and looking at the spot there on the floor where I delivered E is surreal.

Our midwife was telling me that she’s been sharing my birth experience with all her students too. She thinks it was pretty great how I was “in a trance” and so relaxed during labor and transition. She tells everyone how calm Everly’s birth was and keeps complementing me on it.

I still can’t grasp it all, I know I had a baby but it still hasn’t sunk in how truly huge and amazing that fact is.

Anyway, now we are home and getting back in to the swing of things. E seems much more relaxed and comfortable now that we are back too. She slept great last night and we had band rehearsal today which went well. Tomorrow E and I will have a day off to relax and get caught up on some stuff before another busy day on Thursday. Fun, fun!

Random tidbits and musings: "Why not…"

First off, can someone tell me why nobody has invented mascara that can withstand humidity? When I curl my lashes and apply the stuff I want it to keep my lashes curled, even when I go out in 90% humidity! I don’t want them to straighten as soon as I step out the door. Is that too much to ask?

—- abrupt change of subject —-

So while I was driving back home from teaching today I passed this boat on wheels, kind of strange so I snapped a cellphone photo. Yeah I linked to the photo so go ahead and click over to view it, I’ll wait…

As you can see it was way oversized and was taking up more than one lane at times, it also had all these people riding in the top/ boat part that I thought were going to fall out and in to my lane. This was my WTF moment of the drive home.

And why does everyone in Evansville feel the need to drive like lunatics? I’ve got my 6 week old in the car, I don’t need you cutting me off, slamming your breaks on in front of me or veering into my lane without looking to see if the lane is clear.

Sure I might be a tad over cautious these days and driving slow but my hot-pink-beater-5 speed doesn’t go all that fast to begin with and it doesn’t have airbags so I am perfectly content taking my-sweet-ass time. Go around me and don’t drive like a psycho! Thanks buddy.

—-That was probably incorrect use of the hyphen huh? Oh well, I am in a rush. No time to check the grammar. Sorry dudes. —-

Everly was looking super cute for band rehearsal today. I put her in the cute onesie and skirt her Great McGramps and McGram had made for her (it has her name embroidered on it) and I topped it off with an adorable hat because it was super hot and sunny today and I didn’t want her to burn.

Well she wanted nothing to do with the hat once I got her out of the car and she woke up… She just cried until I took it off her. Once it was off she would settle right down. I also tried keeping her in the shady stroller but she wouldn’t have any of that. She needed me to be holding her or shaking the stroller while she was in it.

That brings me to my next “why not”… Why hasn’t anyone invented a vibrating stroller? The bouncy seats, swings and even the bassinets have vibrators but not the strollers or carseats?

Someone needs to get on that ASAP! My right thigh muscle is all cramped and hurty now that I used that leg to keep the stroller moving and a shaking while she sat in there during parts of rehearsal. Oy!

Missing the signs of my overtired baby…

We read that tired babies are fussy and can often seem gassy or colicky when all they actually need is to sleep more. We’ve learned this the hard way.

We bought Gripe Water, Mylicon gas drops, we made catnip & lemon balm tea for her, gave her digestive enzymes and basically tried everything to cure what seemed like tummy pain that caused her to fuss and cry inconsolably.

Turns out she was awake way more than she probably should be and she was getting so overstimulated and overtired that getting her to relax for sleep was practically impossible by the end of the night.

When we headed home with her everyone was all “babies will tell you what they need when they need it”. I nursed on demand, let her sleep when she wanted to, changed her when she screamed. All that resulted in was a fussy, rashy, unhappy baby that would sleep right through the night and fuss all day.

Once we figured out that babies typically shouldn’t be awake for more than about 2 hours at a time it was easy to see what the problem was…

She was getting overly tired and overtired babies only have more issues going to sleep which is probably why E would only doze off in my arms but would not fully sleep or let us lay her down for a nap. The whole time we were thinking she was fussing and crying in pain, it was just exhaustion though.

We committed a baby signals interpretation fail! Poor E.

Now we have made a few changes to help Everly with falling asleep and staying asleep per our reading.

Things like keeping our bedroom dark, changing her and feeding her in the dark when sleep should follow and building a bed time routine have helped. Also, we are having to swaddle her and also place her in the swing to get her to initially fall asleep at night.

The good news is she is actually napping during the day these days which in turn makes her easier to get back to sleep thought the day and night. A well rested baby fights sleep much less and isn’t as fussy. It is amazing and kind of “duh” all at the same time. This revelation is all thanks to reading, Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child

Some parenting books have been very helpful reading material, I’ll admit there is quite a bit of conflicting info out there though. We were lucky enough to find some helpful stuff this time. If you’ve got a parenting book you love please let us know @laurensnellings from twitter recommended the above mentioned book to me and boy are we glad she did.

Officially, sort of back to work? Perhaps.

I am not dead, just blog slacking. Big surprise huh?

Yesterday was the start of my back to work adventure: teaching colorguard with a local marching band. It’s my super part time work that I am way passionate about.

I’ve always been able to handle the rehearsal schedules and the long hours outdoors but combining that with being a mom is way different!

Yesterday Everly and I went for a 6-9pm outdoor rehearsal. I had the stroller, baby seat and ring sling. She wouldn’t tolerate being in any of those for very long. I held her against on my left shoulder for almost the whole 3 hour rehearsal.

Things went well, she napped for a few min here and there on my shoulder but was awake for most of the time. She fussed and really only had a meltdown once right at the end of rehearsal while closing comments were being made by the staff.

Today we are back at it again! Dropped N off for work, came home to eat and try to get her to nap. This evening we head back out to rehearsal and then to bring N home from work.

It’s no doubt nice to get out of the house and do something other than care for Everly. It is exhausting as well. It also leaves like no time for blogging, paying the bills, laundry and all that other stuff that I’ve been slacking on.

I am still trying to figure out exactly how I’ll make it all work, this is obviously the hardest part with E being so young. I am thinking it will get better as she gets older, only time will tell.

Oh, E is 6 weeks old today! We are going to see Pamela for her 6 week checkup this weekend too, we are excited and so is Pamela. Well that is all to report for now, just wanted to let you know I wasn’t dead in a ditch somewhere. Wednesday we don’t have rehearsal so I’ll have time to update, if I can find the motivation.

Bring on the noise my baby loves it!

I just got a letter from the Tennessee Department of Health asking for proof of Everly’s newborn hearing screening. Since she was born there and the screening is required by law I’ve got to have the testing done and send them the proof. I am pretty sure her hearing is fine though.

I know this because she loves actually I should say she’s fine with loud noises. Once N wore her and ran around the house vacuuming, she slept well while all this was going on. I tweeted about this and even captured a photo of it.

Then I experimented with running the vacuum while E was having one of her crying, fussy fits and she quieted right down. Later that night N and I enjoyed eating dinner together while we ran the vacuum to calm her again.

This last weekend I was itching to get out of the darn house and do something so we gathered E and her things up and ventured out to the fair. We had no intention of riding rides, we just wanted to go for the food, booths and for some possible entertainment.

We found ourselves enjoying the antiques and animals that were there just fine. I couldn’t resist the huge cow. I love me anything that is cow!

I ended up getting a delicious caramel apple and some iced tea. N got a corn dog, a funnel cake and some iced tea. While he was ordering his food and the whole time he was eating it poured rain and everyone took cover where they could.

Eventually once the rain was dumping less we wandered towards the demolition derby madness and E was quite content with the noise.

Yesterday while we were laying down for an afternoon nap this intense clap of thunder sounded and I woke from my nap nearly jumping out of my skin. She didn’t budge a single inch.

Some babies freak out at the slightest sounds, mine doesn’t mind. I actually think she kind of likes the sounds as opposed to the quite. It’s perfectly fitting for us and our lifestyle.

Less-words Wednesday: Baby Everly is 5 weeks old

I’ve been a slacker on the Wednesday photo posts! The last time I posted one was back when I was knocked up. It was the Less-words Wednesday: Pregnancy Home Stretch Edition.

Now that I am taking over 100 photos of E a week Ive got lots of material to share. Here we go!

She slept in her crib for the first time ever over the weekend. It was just a tiny nap in the crib on her tummy while N and I worked on stuff in the office but it was a milestone since she isn’t to crazy about independent sleep.

It turns out we picked the perfect bedding set because she is crazy about animal print for some reason. There is zebra print on her playmat that she loves to look at. On our couch I have a tiger striped throw that she stares at and now she’s got the bedding set that is full of animal print!

She’s been much more alert and is getting so strong now. She’s just over 5 weeks as of yesterday and we are constantly amazed at how much she is growing. You can see in her eyes how she is starting to understand and analyze the world around her.

She is still so adorable and is sporting the red hair still. I can’t believe she is ours and the we have actually become parents. We love her so much.

She is almost always in cloth diapers but she isn’t too good at signaling me when she needs a change. They say babies will let you know when they need to be changed or fed right? Well, I am not so convinced of this with her.

When she is on her side she’ll have a “blowout” if she naps for many hours straight. At night when we are expecting her to sleep for several hours straight I double up the diaper inserts to prevent diaper leakage and it works well.

When I am not expecting a long nap, like in this photo, and she sleeps for a long time she’s bound to leak. Can you see the pee ring on the sheets around her bum? Those sheets were just changed too, LOL.

Last night she was all diapered, fed and ready for sleep but she wasn’t feeling secure or independent so daddy comforted her all night. She likes to sit and watch him while he is talking to her, it gives me a nice break from her and it gives them good bonding time.

She’s also surprisingly good at holding her head up. When we are burping her or when she is sitting looking at us she insists on lifting her head or she’ll lean back away from our support. She likes to be in control of her own head it seems and she is very strong and good at it. Like I said we love her, she is amazing!

People just don't get it sometimes…

Today I saw a news report about a woman who was homebirthing here in Indiana whose baby didn’t make it. The story portrayed all homebirths as unsafe and crazy. It even incorrectly referred to the birth as unassisted (midwives were present) and did nothing but scare people. While the story did have a tragic outcome it’s not a accurate representative of most homebirths and that is why they story upsets me.

Homebirth is not for every woman and every pregnancy which is why there needs to be adequate laws and regulations in place to protect women and midwives (like there are in Tennessee). Homebirth should be an acceptable and viable option for most but thanks to one sided stories, scare tactics and profit driven laws it is not. This is sad and maddening to me.

Israeli Mothers Attend Breast Feeding Classes After Powdered Milk ScareAnother thing that is wearing on my nerves is breastfeeding ignorance. Everly is just over a month old and we are exclusively breastfeeding. We haven’t introduced the bottle or a pacifier because we don’t want to cause “nipple confusion” and disrupt the working breastfeeding relationship (you are supposed to wait until 6-8 weeks). For some reason people who hardly know me can’t wrap their minds around this and it is annoying me. (If you are reading this, it’s not about you I promise!)

Sure bottles and pacifiers would be more convenient but they aren’t best for E at this time (in my mind) and I’ve chosen to commit to breastfeeding, why can’t people understand and respect this? Plus she wont have anything to do with them anyway.

Speaking of respect, my ex-doctors office (remember the bad OBGYN?) sold my info to formula companies without my consent. I’ve been receiving formula vouchers like crazy and I’ve got free formula coming out my ears now!

Sure, free stuff is nice but not when you wont use it and the only reason they are giving it is to get you to mess up with breastfeeding and to get you hooked on their products. It is like they are tempting you to give up on breastfeeding. And don’t even get me started on how little support exists for breastfeeding moms…

Can you tell I am running on major lack of sleep? I am all irritable and full of complaints today.

Headaches, electrolytes and fussy babes.

Everly is screaming and has been doing so, consistently, since yesterday. I am just sitting down to try writing a blog post and I can’t for the life of me remember what it was I was going to write about now, figures!

E shot more poop around this morning while I was changing her. Every time she does it I just can’t help but laugh. Now I am washing a blanket from the bed and scrubbing some orange poo spots on the carpet when I get a few free moments.

*drinks some cold grape powerade*

Ah, yes! The powerade. So I lived in hot, miserable, Phoenix, AZ for 22 years of my life. 100+ degree temperatures were the norm and I wasn’t the best at staying hydrated. I was like a camel, didn’t have to drink much water, didn’t sweat too much and could just keep going and going in those hot temps.

Now that we’ve moved to a more humid area my body isn’t so resilient! Actually back in Flagstaff I would get some dehydration headaches every now and then thanks to the altitude and the wind (drys you out quicker).

Anyway, while I was in Tennessee waiting for labor to start I began to get pretty dehydrated and swelly. My midwife informed me that the humidity takes more out of you than just water (which I’ve never experienced before). She urged me to get some electrolyte drinks and I argued that I drink more than enough water now and I shouldn’t be dehydrated.

Well the drinks totally did the trick for my swelling and got me all geared up for labor! I guess humidity can really suck the electrolytes out of you as opposed to the dry Arizona heat I am used to, go figure.

Now that I’ve been home for a month with my babe my appetite is going back to normal. I am eating and drinking most anything I want now that I’m not limited by the pregnancy. I am sure I am not drinking enough water now but recently despite my increase in water intake I’ve been plagued with killer headaches that last several days.

N had an amazing idea, we should drink some powerade to see if the headaches go away… So we stocked up and they are working on the head pain, it is crazy what a difference the humidity makes…

Of course there is the other ear piercing, head pain causing fun -> poor crying E.

She’s having another fussy spurt. It began yesterday evening, it was nice for N to get to experience it since they only seem to happen when E and I are home alone and he only sees her “angel” side. LOL.

She’s just not sleeping very deeply, she’ll fuss and scream off and on. About every 10-15 min or so. They aren’t the “I need something, the world is ending” crys. They are more whiney like “I am uncomfortable and so tired but can’t sleep”.

Doesn’t matter what we do she still dozes off for like 10-15 min then wakes up shrieking and will doze right back off again. It’s hard to endure because we want to comfort her but nothing works. She can get quite worked up too which just causes her more discomfort.

She has some really good days where she’s happy and not screaming or fussing, then she has those other really bad days. Today is another bad one, unfortunately.

So I am drinking my powerade and taking some tylenol while I try to calm and comfort her as much as possible, poor thing.

We did have some fun with E over the weekend too, I’ll share more about that in my upcoming Less-words Wednesday post though. Stay tuned.

Like shooting a nail gun at your head.

Gosh, I don’t know what the damn problem is. It could be the lack of sleep catching up with me or it could be the crappy sleeping positions when I am able to rest. They’ve strained my neck I think.

Oh, I guess the ear piercing shrieks that E lets out every 30-45 minutes for no apparent reasion could also be to blame. Whatever the cause, the fact is I’ve got a killer headache that’s been around for several days now and it’s pretty annoying.

It’s like someone shot a nail gun through the top, back of my head or something and it’s making me a crappy mom right now. Her crying is sending me through the roof and she’s doing it lots today.

Wednesday she was having a good day, the last few days she’s been clingy and can’t stand not being in your arms and the center of attention. Is it the weekend yet? I am so ready for some extra hands and help with her!

Plus N wants to try going to the fair this weekend to ride the marry-go-round and buy some yummy fair food. It will be nice to get out, if E is having a good day then.

Baby E, Band Camp and Cloth Diapering…

Now that I am a mom I am thinking blog posts will get shorter and probably less thorough here (with more spelling and grammar errors I am sure) , I mean I am struggling to get posts written now that I can’t sit down for an hour straight to write. Brain power is lacking as is uninterrupted blog writing time. You knew that already though huh?

Anyway, on to the updates. After busting out 4 loads of laundry and loading the dishwasher I’ve got a few minutes to spare, baby E is the angel baby today. She was a screaming banshee yesterday, lol.

She woke to feed about every hour and a half, would doze off while feeding then scream bloody murder when you tried to put her down and let her sleep. We tried changing, playing, swinging, burping, tummy time, side time, back time, swaddling, rocking, hanging out in the backpack/ carrier and nothing made her happy.

After about 12:30am she was swaddled and swinging when she zonked out. She slept right through till we woke her at 7am this morning for our field trip fun.

Today I went and met the high school band kids I’ll be working with this fall. They were having their band camp this week (and last week).

I am still not 100% back in the game with teaching since E is exclusively breastfeeding and I can’t feed her in front of a bunch of high school kids. I don’t think the school administration would approve of that huh? I would so do it (discreetly of course) if they (the admin & parents) didn’t mind, I am betting they would though.

Anyway, until E can have breast milk in a bottle (and possibly a paci) at 6-8 weeks (to avoid nipple confusion according to lactation consultants) I am limited as to what I can and can’t do. I am her milk machine and am on call 24/7, lol.

So, back to the point… N and E and I all took a field trip across the river and hung out for the morning portion of band camp. I met the other instructor, the kids and had some fun doing dance stuff with them.

N and E hung out, he watched over her while I did my thing but I was there just in case she went crazy and needed to be fed. We weren’t too sure how she would handle the 3 hours out. Would she sleep or be awake? Would she fuss and need boob the whole time or would she be calm?

Well… I didn’t have to feed her until the end of the 3 hour chunk (once all the students were gone to lunch). N changed her once and she was surprisingly very calm and quiet for 3 hours. She did get fussy once but he let her suck his finger and she relaxed and slept a bit. For the most part she was awake and he just read his magazines and pushed her around in the stroller.

It was nice to get out and to sort of get back to teaching for a few hours and it is a good sign that she acted so good while we were out today. It means going back to teaching is possible, soon.

Getting out gave me a nice, much needed break and when we all got home I was refreshed and more enthusiastic about my duties here at home.

I laundered the 5 BumGenius diapers E went through yesterday and am happy that they washed out clean with the exception of a few light stains that I’ll sun out in a few days once the rain passes.

I am using my GroBaby shell and the organic cotton prefolds (that Maiden53 sent us) to diaper E today while the BumGenius diapers and inserts are hanging to dry around my bedroom. The GroBaby shell fits E amazingly (even better than the BumGenius diapers) and I can just keep changing out the prefolds inside the shell as she soils them, love it!

N is bringing Arby’s home for dinner which makes me happy. We’ve not been grocery shopping (no time) and the meat/ meal options are looking slim here. Plus, I am getting burned out with cooking and I don’t want a repeat of almost burning E’s foot while cooking and holding her. That was scary!

Oh and why is it that E likes to sleep in the most contorted positions? Here I am blogging right now. See her head there on my tummy?

I was holding her on my shoulder and burping her when she passed out, as usual. I kept holding her since she wakes and cries if you try to move her. I was blogging one handed and my arm got more and more fatigued, she kept squirming all around too. This meant she kept sliding lower and lower down my chest. Then eventually she was resting her head on my stomach with her legs to the side of me like this:

If you ask me it doesn’t seem like the most comfortable position to be in but she seems to like it just fine. I think the sounds of my tummy and organs must be soothing to her still. She’s been like the for some time now. Odd huh? Now I am going to try repositioning her, cross your fingers for me! Hopefully she doesn’t wake and cry about it.

Cloth poop catcher fun rocks! A cloth diaper post.

Yesterday I got some “fluffy mail” (in the cloth diapering world this mean a diaper related mail delivery). I ordered a few more cloth diapers and some much needed diaper safe laundry detergent so I could begin using my cloth diapers.

We are working on our last pack of gifted disposable diapers and don’t intend to buy more which means the cloth diaper stash needs to be expanded ASAP.

Can I just add that Huggies Pure & Natural diapers suck big time? They really do! Poor E has poop stuck to her butt in these diapers, like the fabric repels the poo or something (and it is breastfeeding poo so it’s not solid, just liquidy). I much prefer Seventh Generation disposable diapers over the Huggies hands down!

Anyway, I bought some Planet laundry detergent and 3 more BumGenius diapers and was stoked when it all arrived! Yesterday I pre washed the diapers via the special instructions, line dried them (since our dryer still needs a power cord) and today we are breaking them in.

Now this isn’t the first time E’s worn cloth diapers. We were gifted a variety of cloth diaper goodness ranging from prefolds to pocket diapers.

I was even given some hand-me-down handmade made diapers that were actually her first cloth diaper experience (see the photo on the left). Some of the diapers I have need plastic covers/ wraps. My pocket diapers don’t need a plastic outer cover or wrap.

We tried out the diapers that needed the wraps and covers first since they didn’t need as much special laundry treatment. The problem with them right now is they are super bulky on E right now. She is heavy but is still little and those bulky diapers kind of dominate her as you saw in the above photo. We’ve resolved to use those once she gets a tad bigger.

In the meantime we are using trimmer cloth diapers. BumGenius 3.0 and GroBaby are the diapers I am currently trying out. They are much less bulky and they have a built in waterproof cover.

I put baby E in one at 2pm and by 5:30pm she was crying so I checked out her diaper. It wasn’t wet looking from the outside and wasn’t leaking so I opened it up to find some poop and lots of pee. It all stayed nicely inside the diaper, woot!

So I changed her from the green diaper to an orange one and am pleased with the BumGenius so far. All the moisture was wicked away from her bottom and absorbed by the nifty newborn insert which means the start of diaper rash that she was getting (thanks to those awful Huggies diapers) should clear up fast.

I’ll admit I was intimidated to actually try out cloth diapers. Once I received a few the washing and care instructions scared the crap out of me. Each fabric type needs special treatment. I was sure I would ruin the diapers or that they wouldn’t work right after I pre washed them. I am happy to say that so far the BumGenius diaper test has gone very well and I am so stoked to be cloth diapering! Gotta get more diapers now, aka poop catchers.

By the way this is NOT a sponsored post, I paid good money for these diapers and some were gifted by readers.

New hair and a clean babe: A Photo Essay

Yesterday I was getting pretty irritated by my huge mop of crazy hair. I mean I don’t have the time to do anything with it these days and it’s not the kind of hair you just comb and it’s ready to go. This means the majority of the time it is piled in a mess on top of my head in a scrunchies. I know scrunchies are from 1980 but they are the only things that are solid enough to hold my mane.

Anyway, once something starts to annoy me it is practically impossible for me to forget about the annoyance and move on. The annoyance eats away at my soul until I do something about it.

So I am breastfeeding baby E in bed with my pillows propping me up against the headboard. Well, with several pillows behind me my hair pile still manages to hit the headboard and is causing me to have to crane my neck downward. Add that to the fact that I had a killer hair headache right under the scrunchie wrapped pile of hair on top of my head.

I was feeling particularly annoyed with my hair and just wanted it gone. I’d been planning to donate it again so I was waiting till the part I planned to cut off was 10 inches or longer… Yesterday I was so eager to hack it all off so once N was able to watch over baby E I went to town.

They tell you to braid it and then cut it. It needs to be in a braid when you donate it… So I divided my hair in half, made two giant pigtail braids and chopped them both off! I just made the 10 inch minimum and my hair is much shorter and manageable now.

Last time I donated my hair I was living in Arizona and the weather was much drier. Having the hair this short here means it’s very full of body and personality. It feels much better pulled up now though!

For those of you who saw my tweets last night and also my photos here is the new hair photo you wanted:

After the hair massacre N bathed E and I was his “assistant” since I bathed her previously and they hadn’t been able to have bath time bonding yet. Once again she loved bath time and wasn’t so upset when we took her out after we took care to keep her towel warm and ready for her exit.

After the bath we took some funny photos of E with my two massive pigtail braids. N thought it would be fun and it turned out kind of cute. She was getting ready to scream bloody murder as I took this that is why she’s making a funny face. LOL!

I am back! Almost back to normal that is…

It’s only taken me 25 days but I believe I am almost back to my normal self again. Dang, those postpartum hormones are killer! Add them to the 4th degree tear and to the normal new parent postpartum stress and healing and you’ve got yourself one bloody, stitched up, stress filled emotional mess of a person.

It was a rough three weeks getting used to our new roles, especially for me and my crazy after birth hormones. I am feeling good now (hormonally speaking), the postpartum bleeding has just about stopped and my stitches (from what I can see) are practically healed up.

As you can see from the photo, I am getting good at holding Everly in one hand while doing the internet thing with the other. I am still struggling with the self care while caring for a newborn thing though…

You see I’ve lost about 40lbs in 25 days which brings me very close to having my pre-pregnancy body back. I am attributing that to genetics and the fact that I am breastfeeding. I wont be comfortable loosing much more weight though.

Also, I am having a very hard time finding time and freeing both my hands so I can prepare food to eat. That probably has something to do with my quick weight loss too. We are working on that, it’s just hard to walk away from Everly while she’s fussing.

Yep, she’s still fussing here and there. She’s a great sleeper and a very good baby when she’s not uncomfortable. The problem is she’s still got an immature digestive system (like all newborns) and she doesn’t like pooping or passing gas for whatever reasion.

She’ll fuss and struggle and wont sleep when her tummy hurts, she startles in apparent pain whenever she starts to doze off. I’ve tried eliminating common allergens from my diet (which leaves me starving), we’ve tried digestive enzymes, gas drops, exercises, tummy time, burping and massage. Nothing helps her poop and pass gas without the fussing and struggling. She’s fussing a ton today actually.

The nighttime nursing and exhaustion aren’t even bothering me all that much, it is the fussing that is the worst. Other than the fussing things are going really well.

She’s smiling more and playing mimicking games with us these days. Her red hair is getting pretty long in some areas and she’s getting so big! Almost 11lbs it seems according to our bathroom scale.

In just a few weeks we’ll be heading back to The Farm for Everly’s 6 week checkup and we’ll have an exact weight for her then. I am pretty excited to go back. Pamela, our midwife, is so calming and supportive so we can’t wait to visit with her. We’ll probably stay there a day or two if N can get the time off work. The quiet time together will be a nice bonus too.

In other news we got Gabby, our newest kitty, fixed today (finally) and am so darn glad! Now Boner just needs to be fixed and we’ll have all the pets spayed or neutered. It’s good too, we don’t need anymore madness going on around here. Everly’s fussing is enough.

Newborn Diapering and Laundry Detergent, my picks

Everly is just over 3 weeks old and we are still burning through the packs of disposable diapers we’ve been given. The idea was that while she was having the meconium poop she would wear disposable since that poop can be hard on the cloth diapers. So we were given several packs of disposables to take with us in our birth kit.

Then we got her home and still had several packs of disposable diapers to use up, plus we didn’t have the time, energy or money to finish growing our cloth diaper stash. Plus, I still had no cloth diaper safe laundry detergent so the diapers I did have couldn’t be pre-washed or used anyway.

Cloth diapers can’t be washed in detergents that contain softeners, dyes, enzymes, brighteners, etc. These additives impact the absorbency of the diapers and will also make them prone to buildup which means they’ll look and smell bad too! Ever noticed how some shirts get underarm buildup and stains from sweat and deodorant? That’s because the detergent you used allowed all that mess to buildup on the fabric.

Anyway, I’ve been stressing out because our we are almost out of disposable diapers and I’ve still made no progress on getting ready for cloth diapering… Luckily, this week I’ve just got around to all the stuff I’ve been putting off like doing the bills, scooping the cat box and finally ordering some more cloth diapers and cloth diaper safe detergent to wash them with.

I stumbled upon Tiny Bubbles detergent from The Natural Baby Company, they are the makers of one of the diapers I already have in my stash, The GroBaby diaper.

I was sad to have discovered this detergent the day after I’d already placed my detergent order for Planet detergent because I would really like to try it out someday. It will probably be the next detergent I buy because it is eco-friendy, animal safe and apparently it is also cloth diaper safe. Very cool (and important) qualities if you ask me!

All this parenting stuff has opened my eyes to so many new things and tons of new information. Does the learning ever stop? Probably not huh?

3 weeks postpartum: Still in a daze trying to grasp it all.

Today Everly is 3 weeks old, we’ve been parents to our beautiful daughter for 21 days. 21 days seems like way more than it currently feels like. Shoot, I am still in a daze and haven’t quite grasped that she came from me and how truly amazing that is.

We’ve started printing out some of the photos from the birth and the first few days of her life. They help to make the birth seem that much more real in my mind but I know I still haven’t totally grasped the entirety of it all. Eventually when I am feeling less depressed and emotional I’ll watch the birth video and take stock.

It’s crazy how I was there birthing her totally unmedicated and I still don’t have a complete grasp of how amazing and crazy it all was. Our bodies truly are equipped to get us through intense situations because my hormones and adrenaline sure made it all “tunnel vision” for me if that makes sense.

I’ve chatted with N and my mom about the birth. They each have different moments that stand out in their minds and they have different perspective on it than I do. For N seeing Everly’s head emerge was a wow moment. I am sad that I didn’t get to see her coming out, that is my one regret.

My mom is still in awe of how peaceful and alert Everly was immediately after she came out. I guess my mom expected her to be blue and lethargic. She says Everly’s eyes were just darting all around taking it all in while the umbilical cord was still pulsating.

For me I can’t really pin point one moment since it’s all a blur still. I know that when they placed her on my chest right after she was out I was in awe. Someone captured a great photo of me looking at her for the first time, it really does speak volumes (I just don’t have much memory of it all).

I am pretty much totally healed from the tear now and feel like my body is doing great. I’ve pretty much lost all of the baby weight and you wouldn’t know I was 3 weeks postpartum looking at me today. My appetite is way down which kind of worries me since I’m breastfeeding.

The breastfeeding is still going fine. Everly latches on well and her feedings are beginning to last longer and longer. It appears she now weighs like 9-10lbs based upon my bathroom scale.

Over the weekend I added dairy back in my diet as we shifted to eliminating another possible culprit and Everly went berserk yesterday with major fussiness and apparent tummy pain. I think it is a result of the many glasses of milk I enjoyed over the weekend.

Now I am back to avoiding milk and dairy products. I also gave Everly a tiny bit of the digestive enzyme that the nutritionist/ chiropractor said I should try.

The idea is that her digestive system is not mature enough yet to process the proteins in milk and dairy but digestive enzymes do the digesting when given or taken with meals. Hopefully they’ll help her in the meantime until all the dairy is out of my system.

Yesterday was another rough day. She fussed and cried for about 5 hours straight. Nothing I could do would make it better, I went through the list of possible things I could do to make her happy and more comfortable. Nothing worked. Holding her did allow her to doze off a for a few moments here and there. I only cried twice yesterday during her fussing so that is a small sign that I am beginning to move closer to normalcy.

The digestive enzymes I gave her in some breast milk did help calm her in the evening and she slept pretty well though the night. Today is much of the same, I’ve only cried once so far today.

Even though I know her fussing/ crying is something I can’t always help I still tend to get frantic trying to soothe her and make her happy. Even after I’ve tried every possible thing two and three times with no luck. Not being able to calm her upsets me and I tend to dwell on not being able to fix it all for her.

Reading Twilight (that Krystal gifted me) helps to clear my mind and refresh me though. It forces me to not dwell on feelings of inadequacy in my parenting skills so that is good. Hopefully the tummy upset will improve soon.

Everly enjoyed her first bath over the weekend. The bathtub (that Donna B got Everly) rocks and Everly loved bath time. She only cried when we were taking her out of the water, guess she didn’t want it to end.

Also, she has begun to be more playful and alert in the last few days. She smiles at you and will mimic other facial expressions like if you stick your tongue out at her.

So things are going well. This parenting thing is still hard and we’re adjusting. We hear it’s supposed to get easier so we are hanging in there though. Besides she is to damn cute to give up on!

A mothers dilemma: Keep sleeping or wash off the sour milk?

I know this is just one of the many dilemmas I’ll have to face as a parent. This one is significant because it’s the first one, you know a milestone. So humor me okay?

Babies vomit. Mine in particular loves to be at the breast 24/7 which inevitably leads to overeating, which in turn results in an overly full stomach and projectile vomiting. Awesome!

She’s shot vomit everywhere exactly 3 times. Once from her swing on to the floor. Once while cuddling me in bed, it went right down my shirt, arm and all over my side of the bed. Then this morning we were both back asleep after a long early morning feeding when she began to quietly fuss…

Half asleep I was verbally consoling her but had my back to her. She’ll calm down after hearing “you’re okay” or “shhhh, it’s okay”. So, I am consoling her and an explosion of vomit hits my back, my hair and once again soaks my side of them bed.

I shot up, wiped her face, arm and the bed. Made sure she wasn’t choking on vomit. Then I stood there looking like “someone killed my puppy” as N put it while I pondered my next move.

Did I want to lay some receiving blankets down over the wet vomit spot, wipe myself off and lay back down to sleep for a few more hours or was it shower time?

There was warm sour milk dripping from my mop of crazy hair, down my back and also from my left arm. Keep in mind she did this same thing to me the day before and I’ve becoming increasingly sensitive to the sent of sour milk on myself now.

After several seconds of deliberation I choose to shower off and wash the sour milk from my hair. If it hadn’t soaked my hair I so would have opted for sleeping some more but having baby vomit in my hair was just too much for me to ignore, this time.

So, I headed off to the shower at like 5am and thought to myself… “Pretty soon sour milk in the hair will be something I am used to living with, I am just not there YET!”