Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Diaper House: Cloth Diapering Reevaluation

Don't panic, we are still cloth diapering!  Just a little differently than before.  My house has been diaper central lately.  Between selling my old stash and my new one arriving, I feel like I eat, sleep and breathe fluff!  There are diapers in my kitchen, in my bedroom, in the garage, and even in my car.  It's a little crazy.

When I was pregnant with Lu, I decided to keep things simple and bought all one kind of diaper - the easiest kind of diaper to use - the BumGenius 3.0 All-in-One.  For those not familiar, there are five different types of cloth diapers:  prefolds, fitteds, pockets, all-in-ones, and hybrids.  And there are about a million brands for each type.  I, like many, found (still find) this to be overwhelming.  Most people say buy different styles and brands, figure out what you like and then build a stash...my OCD self didn't like that idea.

Fortunately, we lucked out (since we had already committed to the BumGenius brand), and we were very happy with those diapers.  They literally went on just like a disposable!  I added to our stash as Lu got older and outgrew the small, and eventually medium dipes.  We were set.  I hadn't bought, or thought about buying, diapers in months.  Then I recently went to Zoolikins with a friend who's expecting.  I listened to the same old spiel about the various styles and brands, the pros and cons of each, and decided I was no longer content with our diapering situation.  The AIO diapers may be extremely easy to use, but because the liner is sewn in, the diaper doesn't get the same thorough cleaning as other diapers.  Obviously, they still come clean; they don't smell or look dirty.  But, I think these diapers tend to be more prone to build up as baby gets bigger and output increases.  Which means more diaper rash and more stripping.  My OCD, germophobe, (sometimes) lazy self doesn't like that either.

I decided it was time for a change.  I bought fifteen BumGenius One-Size Pocket Diapers (I'm big on brand loyalty, yo), one dozen infant size prefolds, three Flip Inserts - which I need to buy more of, and three Thirsties Duo Wrap Covers.   All snap closures and all gender neutral colors.  So here's the game plan:  pockets are for daycare and bedtime, and we'll tri-fold the rest of the time.  I have another three dozen prefolds in storage, so all I need to do is buy a few more Thirsties covers before Babe arrives.  He'll be in prefolds exclusively for the first month or two; once he's big enough, he and Lu can share the pockets.  I likey.

I likey for a few reasons. 
1)  It's cheaper. 
2)  It's cleaner. 
3)  It's a space saver.

Lu likey too.

What kind of cloth diapers does your family use?  Did you find that certain styles worked better or worse for your kiddo?

Sunday, February 26, 2012

14 Weeks - Second Trimester

How far along?  14w1d

How big is baby?  Lemon!  I love lemons!!!  He is 3.4 inches long and weighs 1.5 ounces; kidneys, liver, and spleen are functioning properly, and he is growing lanugo hair all over his tiny body to keep warm. 

Physical differences from last week?  Weighed 112.6 pounds this morning; which is a TWO pound gain from last week, and an overall gain of 3 pounds....  Eff you, Skittles!  Officially in the (noticeably) awkward chubby stage.  I had to unbutton my pants for the first time on Wednesday night, and I've been wearing the belly band ever since.  No new stretch marks, but my old ones are becoming more noticeable.  Belly button is still in, but very shallow.  Maybe I'll have an outie this time! 

How I'm feeling?  Lots of round ligament pain, lower back pain and energy.  Nesting has officially kicked in, and by that I mean I stayed up until 11pm one night ironing and hemming curtains.  My appetite is suddenly out of control.  I'm now eating TWO snacks between breakfast and lunch - trying to keep it healthy.  Starting to get pretty uncomfortable after sitting for long periods of time, usually when I'm at work, so I'm trying to do a few stretches throughout the day.  Thank you prenatal yoga!

What's been on my mind?  Nursery decor.  I see a massive project every time I walk in there...painting, decorating, shopping, etc.  Pinterest is my best friend, for serious.  I've decided that I want to buy a matching crib, and convert Lucy's into a toddler bed.  Also came to the sad realization that I may have to get rid of my beloved changing table to make room for a dresser.

What I'm looking forward to?  9 days until the anatomy scan!!!  Dying to know if Babe is still a boy!   

Best moment this week?  Felt Babe kick on Friday night!  I'm fairly certain I've felt movement on two other occasions, but I'm absolutely positive about this last time.  Can't wait for those little kicks to get stronger!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Mental notes from my evening

Sprayed my feet with the diaper sprayer.  MY FEET.
Pre-made baby food is a godsend.
Found whole peas in my kid's diaper.
Make sure blankie is in her crib before putting her down, or she will have a melt down. 
Life is exponentially better with the top button of my pants undone. 
That episode of Glee, really?
I need to go to bed earlier.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

11 Months

(Horribly, horribly belated!  Sorry, Lu!)

This is the last month that I can really call you my baby, Lulu.  Next month you'll be my toddler, and that hasn't quite sunk in for me yet.  A whole year cannot have passed already!  I cherish each and every minute I have with you.  My favorite part of the day is at bedtime, when I rock you before laying you in the crib.  You squeeze my arms lightly and lay your head on my shoulder.  That little hug melts my heart into a puddle of goop.

Today's picture was hard to take, you kept running away!

At 11 Months:

You've said your first real words!  We were leaving Grammy and Grampy's last night, and like always we stood in the doorway waving and saying bye-bye.  You always wave back, but this time you waved AND said Bye-Bye excitedly!  I almost fainted. 

You're babbling has increased tenfold.  Dada is still your favorite word, but you've added Mama to your repitoire (whether you're actually differentiating the two is still a mystery).    

You are proving to have Momma's temperment.  Eep.

You literally took your first crawling "steps" on Saturday.  I left a banana on the play mat and you crawled over to it and started eating!  You have a very interesting, three-legged crawl...


You cruise along everything: furniture, walls, people, younameit!  You are not happy unless you are moving.  (Hence, the occasional upright diaper change...)  And you absolutely love when I hold your hands and walk with you all over the place.

You've started pushing your walker around the living room. 

You stand unassisted in 30 second intervals, but you haven't taken any unassisted steps. 

You pull up on everything.  And then you very carefully lower your bum back to the floor.

You can now go from laying down to sitting up.  Each morning I'm greeted by my little beauty, who's sitting up in her crib!

You roll over at the speed of light.  You've been rolling for months, but now you're a quick little thing. 

You are doing wonderfully at daycare.  We've had some difficulty with lunchtime and your afternoon nap, but you adore your teachers and new friends.  You go three days a week; Mommy is home with you on Mondays, and Grammy/Grampy/Uncle Cole/Auntie Fallon juggle Fridays.

You've spent the last month - that's right, over 4 weeks! - battling some kind of illness.  There was the lung infection, then the stomach bug, an ear infection, and intermittent congestion the rest of the time.  I wish I could take all the germs from you, I hate seeing you sick. 

You seem to have regressed with solids.  I think it's a combination of not feeling well and the different textures.  So it's back to purees for the time being!  Also, worth noting, you despise meat.

You have SIX teeth.  Hey now!

You are sleeping through the night (other than last week); but we're in the process of moving your bedtime back.  Hoping to get you to 6:30/7:00-6:00. 

You are a (recent) tummy sleeper! 

You weigh 23 pounds. 

You are ... inches long.  (Will update later!)

You are wearing large diapers and mostly 12 month clothing, but I'm starting to add some 18 month pieces into the rotation.

You are now 100 percent formula fed.  It has been five days since you last nursed - I would say you are weaned, my sweet girl!  This was entirely your choice, and I'd be lying if I said I didn't miss the bedtime nursing session. 

You celebrated your first Valentines Day.


I love you, I love you, I love you.  One thousand times I LOVE YOU.  You embody happiness.  You are the single most beautiful and sweet girl in the world.  You have taught me so much in the past 11 months, and I cannot wait to see what this next month has in store for us.  Bring on the first steps, the first birthday party and the first bite of cake!


Monday, February 20, 2012

13 Weeks

How far along?  13w2d

How big is baby?  Peach!  2.9 inches long and .81 ounces, he's becoming slightly more proportionate - his head is one-third the size of his body.  Baby boy is forming vocal cords and teeth, and intestines are moving from the umbilical cord to his belly. 

Physical differences from last week?  Finally a gain...weighed 110.6 this morning (damn Valentines candy!); which is a 1.6 pound gain from last week, and an overall gain of 1.0 pound.  Still wearing my regular clothes, but I'll probably need the belly band soon.  My belly button is starting to get shallow, but thankfully no new stretchmarks.  Also, my bump is weirdly firm.  Here is my weekly pic:

How I'm feeling?  Seem to have more energy, finally feeling some motivation towards my to-do list.  My Snoogle has made what little sleep I do manage absolutely heavenly.  No notable cravings this week. 

What's been on my mind?  I survived First Trimester relatively unscathed!  Hallelujah!!!  And, I really want/need to start exercising more regularly...the sporadic prenatal yoga isn't cutting it.  If only somebody could crack the whip gently remind me to walk each night...

What I'm looking forward to?  The Anatomy Scan and sequential blood screening, which has been scheduled for March 5.  This scan is usually done between 18-20 weeks, but because of the abnormal NT Scan results there will be two scans to monitor change - one at 15 weeks and another in the month following.

Best moment this week?  Being reminded of how much I, and so many others, love Babe.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Nuchal Translucency Scan Results

This is hard to type without crying.  Today has been kinda rough.  Lucy has been sick all week (actually she's been sick on and off for the last month); and the last two nights she woke at 3:30 and 4:00.  I took her to the doctor today, and it turns out my sweet girl has her very first ear infection.  Then I got a phone call from the ultrasound center that performed my NT Scan... 

I completely forgot they had said to expect a call.  I knew there was a problem as soon as the doctor said, Are you able to talk for a few minutes?  I've gotten dozens of phone calls for blood work results, and they usually last less than 30 seconds.  She went on to tell me that my ultrasound measurements were perfect, but my blood work results were abnormal.  A normal result, for a woman of my age, is a 1 in 800 chance of having a baby with Down Syndrome.  My result was 1 in 110.  The doctor was quick to reassure me that this is still a less than one percent chance.  She said, I have to make 109 more phone calls, and only one out of all you ladies will have a baby with Down Syndrome.

The tears started flowing as soon as I hung up.  I tried to call Casey, but he didn't answer.  And so I turned to my three friends, Jaye, Jenn and Meg, who got me through the next hour.  They made me focus on the positive.  They offered to come to my ultrasounds.  And when Casey called, he reminded me of why we chose not to have this test with Lucy.

There will be two more blood screens and two more ultrasounds, for better indication, once I'm 15 weeks and the month following.  Then I will have the option of Amniocentesis.

I'm overwhelmed with fear.  I feel guilty.  My eyes are swollen and burning from crying so hard.  Jaye recommended that I read the birth story of Kelle Hampton's second daughter, Nella...and it has helped me tremendously.  I could feel every emotion in her story.  It reminded me of  how much I already love my baby boy, and how much more I will love him once he's here.  The outpouring of support has made all the difference.  I can never say how grateful I am for your love and prayers.    

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Level 3 Nipples

I have never claimed to know what I'm doing as a parent, and God knows I never will. 
(And I'm sure there's a whole group of my girlfriends laughing as they read this post.)

Over the weekend Lulu and I got together with a bunch of our momma and baby friends.  We had a great time, just look at this picture:

Waited a little too long to grab the camera! 
In between catching up and stuffing my face with delish appetizers, I decided Lu would probably like a bottle.  Recently the Medela nipples have started collapsing mid-feed.  Which, obviously, I thought was kind of weird, but I just figured my kid was (in Stacy's words) a "super sucker" and that this kind of thing must happen to everyone.  Well the other mommas saw what was happening, and pointed out the existence of higher level nipples...  I just stared at them blankly, and said, Wait, so, that's not supposed to happen???

Here is a helpful article for those who might be in a similar predicament!   

Monday, February 13, 2012

Oh hey, by the way, I'm a single mom...

First, I'd like to thank that oh-so-brave anonymous commenter for calling me out on this very painful, very challenging time in my life.  You suck.  Second, I'd like to say that there will be absolutely no juicy details for the blogosphere.  Sorry to disappoint.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

12 Weeks

How far along?  12w1d

How big is baby?  Plum!  Approximately 2.1 inches long and .49 ounces.  All organ systems and body parts are fully formed, Babe is entering a stage of rapid growth and maturation; reflexes are being developed; he is practicing opening and closing fingers and curling toes; and, that brain is growing by the day!        

Physical differences from last week?  I weighed 109.0 this morning; which is a 0.8 pound gain from last week, but still a net loss of 0.6 pounds overall.  Still rocking my regular clothes comfortably.  I think the bump started to come in this week, just ever so slightly...here are my weekly pics:

Hello, Uterus!

How I'm feeling?  No nausea this week, thank goodness!  I had three cravings, nothing uncontrollable, but I did give in once...those darn Skittles!  Also craved orange juice and cantaloupe.  Sleep is still hit or miss; I splurged and bought the Snoogle on Friday, so worth.every.penny.  And that's all I have to say about that.

What's been on my mind?  Everything I need to do around the house!  AHHHH

What I'm looking forward to?  Baby kicks, getting my to-do list done, the anatomy scan that hasn't even been scheduled yet.

Best moment this week?  The long awaited NT Scan!!!  I got to see my sweet babe bouncing and kicking, hear that strong, beautiful heartbeat, annnnnnnd I finally, finally, FINALLY got a gender guess.  The ultrasound tech looked from three different angles, and said she was 80 percent sure IT'S A BOY!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Baby's First Stomach Bug

Wow, two major illnesses in two weeks...how did my little girl get so lucky?

Got home from work Friday evening and began Lucy's bedtime routine, like always.  Lucy refused to eat her dinner, which I thought was odd, and then she proceeded to projectile vomit all over me.  Grammy rushed over with towels and a popsicle like it was nbd.  Fast forward 30 minutes and we were heading to bed with a small bottle of Pedialyte.  Lucy guzzled 2 ounces, while I jostled her around, trying to put her pajamas on, and I was actually surprised when she threw up again.  ::shakes head::  After stripping the bed and Lucy, we moved straight to dry nursing and she fell right to sleep.  I thought we were in the clear.

10 minutes later and I was running back upstairs to more puke.  She threw up in her sleep.  The next 2 hours were spent in 15 minute intervals.  The four of us (Lulu, Me, Grammy and Uncle Cole) sat crammed in my bathroom for two of the longest hours of our lives.  I would give her a tablespoon of water, wait 15 minutes, pray she wouldn't throw it up, and repeat.  We were constantly on the verge of going to the hospital, she threw up 8 times.  It was scary AND heartbreaking.  Lulu was not only exhausted and uncomfortable, she was also extremely thirsty!  She would cry after every tablespoon of water was gone.  We finally got her to bed after she was able to keep down enough fluid, and monitored her very closely the rest of the night.

She woke twice, I'm sure from thirst, and we continued with the 15 minute rule; but increased to 1/2 ounce portions, until we reached 4 ounces.  Needless to say, it was a very, verrrrrry long night.  Lulu seemed to be good as new in the morning; the rest of the fam, however, started their 24-hour sentence with the bug.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

11 Weeks

How far along?  11w1d

How big is baby?  Lime!  About 1.6 inches and .25 ounces, with a 1:1 head to body ratio.  Babe has translucent skin; fingers and toes are no longer webbed; tooth buds, nail beds and hair follicles are forming; and he/she is moving all around in my belleh.    

Physical differences from last week?  Weighed in at 108.2 this morning; which is a 0.2 pound loss from last week and 1.4 pound loss total, but I'll attribute that to the stomach flu running rampant through our house this weekend.  My regular clothes still fit, but they're starting to get a little snug in the waist; might have to break out the belly bands soon.  Also, had a few bouts of round ligament pain during the week, not a fan.  Here's my weekly pics:  

How I'm feeling?  Had some wicked nausea yesterday, but, again, all thanks to the stomach flu.  I haven't been sleeping well for weeks (recently developed insomnia), and I'm sure that will only get worse as I get bigger.  My whole body feels tired.  Might have to splurge and buy the Snoogle!  No uncontrollable cravings, really; chocolate sounds NOM, but I refuse to give in to my cravings yet.   

What's been on my mind?  Baby names!!!  I already have two names picked out for either gender.  Nursery inspiration, and other home projects that need to happen before Babe is here.  Oh, and, The Bump recommends I plan a "babymoon" for second trimester (ha).  Who wants to come with?     

What I'm looking forward to?  The NT Scan is just a few days away.  Eep!  Praying for a more cooperative kiddo this time around! 

Best moment this week?  Not having to pump at all! 

Click here to read my 11 week update from my first pregnancy!  (Please note how convinced I was that it was a boy.)

Thursday, February 2, 2012

My Pregnancy Diet

Remember that time  I gained 40-something pounds?  That sucked.  I don't want to do that this time.  Personally, I'd be "happy" with any gain that is below my last; but I would be absolutely thrilled with a gain in the 20-something range or lower.  I am determined to reach this goal, and in order to do so I've been following the Gestational Diabetes diet, and I'm actually exercising!  The diet guidelines were given to me by my darling Jaye Fay.  (You can read more about her experience with GD here.)  Jaye's pregnancy was very inspiring to me.  She ate healthy food and exercised daily, and as a result she got to rock her pre-pregnancy jeans in THIRD TRIMESTER.

The diet isn't complicated or hard to follow.  The concept is actually pretty simple:  low carb and high protein.  I am allowed approximately 160 carbs each day, which sounds like a lot, but the average American eats an average of 250.  I eat at six scheduled times, every meal/snack must include protein, and the carbs I eat have to be good carbs.  Here's what my schedule looks like:

8:00  Breakfast, 30 carbs
9:45  Snack, 15 carbs
11:30 Lunch, 30 carbs
3:00  Snack, 15 carbs
7:00  Dinner, 60 carbs
8:30  Snack, 15 carbs  

Naturally, there are times when I get hungry in between meals and snacks, because, um, hello...this is me we're talking about.  And I eat A LOT.  So when that happens I supplement with freebies.   

I've been scouring the internet (blogs, pinterest, allrecipes), polling friends, and even flipped through my Mom's GD packet back from her second and third pregnancies for recipe ideas.  Here's a list of my favorites...

Bagel Thin with Two Eggs and Cheese
Half cup of Oatmeal, with 1T. Sugar and 1/4 C. Sliced Almonds
Greek Yogurt with Fruit
Scrambled Eggs with Salsa
Breakfast Burrito on Low Carb Tortilla
Egg Muffins

Various sandwich combinations on Sandwich Thins (Turkey, Ham, BLT, California Sandwich)
Tuna Salad Lettuce Wraps with Fruit
Grilled Chicken with Veggies and Fruit
Greek Yogurt with Fruit
Hummus Melt on Low Carb English Muffin or Pita
Cheese Crisp on Low Carb Tortilla

Baked Salmon with Couscous and Salad
Chicken Caesar Salad
Grilled Chicken Wrap on Low Carb Tortilla
Grilled Turkey Burger Wrap on Low Carb Tortilla
Thin Crust Whole Wheat Pizza
Zucchini Lasanga
Cauliflower Mac and Cheese
Ground Turkey Stuffed Peppers
Broccoli, Chicken, Quinoa Casserole
Open-Face Tuna Melt 
Spaghetti Squash Shrimp Scampi

Half Banana with Peanut Butter
Apple Slices with Peanut Butter
Raw Veggies and Ranch
1 ounce Raw Almonds
10 Crackers with Cheese
Buffalo Chicken Dip with Celery Sticks
Strawberry Protein Shake (LOVE)
Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Protein Shake
1 C. of Frozen Yogurt with Sliced Almonds

Dinner is undoubtedly the easiest meal of the day.  I eat a lot of the same meals that were on my original meal plan, but with different serving sizes.  There are occasionally times when I'm lacking carbs, so I'll just eat spoonfuls of peanut butter.  But since I don't actually have GD, I can bend the rules a little; if my carbs are slightly over or under for the day, my blood sugar won't be affected - just my ass!!!  The idea is to keep the metabolism moving, hence the non-stop frequent eating.  I also allow myself one "splurge" every few days, and I'm still using real sugar (not a fan of artificial sweetners!).  For the most part, though, I follow this diet very closely.  I don't feel deprived, just the opposite actually...it feels like I'm constantly eating!  I know that this diet is healthy and safe, not just for me, but for Babe; and I know that it is a huuuge improvement to the eating habits of my first pregnancy.  Will be sure to keep everyone posted with the diet progress.

Also, would love to hear some recipe recommendations, if anyone has any!