Thursday, May 17, 2012

Thoughts on Thursday

Sofia and I are recovering from the plague.  Technically, it's a teething cold but it hit me hard this time.  I felt like I'd been run over by a truck for the past couple of days.  Interestingly, it didn't slow Sofia down in the slightest.  Her little nose was running, she was coughing, but she was steady making messes.  It was totally my fault - she's learned how to give kisses and I can't get enough.  But one too many had me feeling like I was dying.  Sleep deprivation and summer colds don't mix, but can you blame me?

Nevertheless, it's Thursday and I have thoughts!
We have booked our summer vacation and we leave in three short weeks for the beach!  I am thrilled to go on vacation but I'm dreading the flight with the baby.  Gone are the days when she would sleep peacefully in her carseat.  Now, this little person needs to get into Ev.REE.Thing every minute of every day so needless to say I've been scouring Pinterest for stuff to do with toddlers on planes.
I don't know if this will work but I'm willing to try anything.
from here
Since we're going to the beach, I need a new swimsuit.  This is a huge problem.  Since our last vacation to Rio, I have lost more weight and it's not cute.  I have no ass, my stomach looks funny and the only thing that saves me from looking like a boy are my boobs.  Normally, I can hide all these things with clothes.  I can buy jeans that have back pockets that gives the illusion of an ass and I rarely wear midriff tops so my funny-looking stomach stays under wraps.  I can't wear any of my old swimsuits because the tops are too small (thanks nursing boobs) and the bottoms are too big (thanks nursing weight that I lost entirely in my ass.)  Plus, I'm 36 years old - I need to wear an age-appropriate suit that will flatter my non-figure and not be too matronly, except I haven't the first clue where to find such a suit.  I hate swimsuit shopping.
We have had over 50 showings on our house and there have been no promising leads.  This house-selling garbage is for the birds.  If I only had to deal with Drew's travel OR selling the house, I might be able to handle it.  But the two together are getting to be too much.  That's why our vacation can't come soon enough.  We'll have two weeks of not having to worry about keeping the house spotless, because with a baby and a dog, that garbage is also for the birds!
I cannot wait for the season finale of Grey's!  I'm so hooked on that show and I hate that I have to wait until Friday to watch it!  I'm totally going to have to sit on my hands to keep from checking all the gossip sites!

That's all I got!  What's new in your world?


Thursday, May 10, 2012

The year in cloth

Thank you so much for your advice and encouragement on the last post.  I got some baby Advil for Sofia, and we had better nights Monday and Tuesday.  But last night, I made the mistake of taking the dog for a walk after dinner, when I usually give her a bath after dinner and then put her in bed.  It was such a pretty night and I hadn't walked the dog yet, so I put her in her pjs and put her in the Ergo, thinking she'd fall asleep.  Ha.  Once again, she went down fairly easily but it took two hours to get her back to sleep the second time.

When will I learn not to mess with The Schedule?  Routine rules all, you guys.

At any rate, we're doing better and I thought I'd do a follow-up post to my original one on cloth diapers.  Sofia will be 13 months tomorrow (*sniffsniff sigh*) and we've been using cloth diapers since she was about three months old.  We'd been gifted about three months worth of newborn diapers and it took me that long to work up the nerve to make the switch.  Then, I used disposables at night for about four months because it took me that long to work up the nerve to use cloth at night.  I had nightmares of changing a soaking baby in the middle of the night and never getting her back to sleep.

But now that I've gotten over my fears and I'm using cloth pretty much exclusively, I thought I'd come back and give an update.
Plus, it gives me an excuse to show you my cute hippie baby.

I bought my diapers brand new from Cotton Babies.  Obviously, it's 'greener' to buy them used and that way no additional resources are being used to produce them, or make them yourself which would be cheaper than buying new.  However, I suck at sewing and I couldn't get past the idea of buying used 'underwear.'  I tried, I really did.

 At the time, Cotton Babies was running a buy 5, get one 1 free deal and I bought three sets.  Those 18 diapers have served me well and they have remained like new - I'm oddly proud of my diapers.  Some of the inserts have light stains on them, but I couldn't get them to show up on camera, so I gave up.  

But here's why I love Cotton Babies:  One of my diapers had one defective snap.  I thought I could live with it, but every time I pulled that diaper out and every time the snap wouldn't hold, it annoyed me.  Finally, I called Cotton Babies and asked them what I could do.  I spoke to a live person, she showed me what to do on the website, and I sent them my diaper.  A few days later, I got an email that said 'We received your return.'  A few days after that, I got another email that said 'We are processing your request.'  A few more days and 'Your order is on its way, here's your tracking number.'

I was so impressed!  I hate being that guy that has to call and be like 'did you get my request?  Are you processing it?  When can I expect my exchange?'  And I hate not talking to a live person.  That alone was worth the expense of buying new and what's more, a couple months after that, I sent in another diaper that had pilled up more than I liked and they replaced it, no problem!  The way to my heart is good customer service, y'all!

Of the five moms in my playgroup, three of us use cloth and when one of them offered me some free BumGenius diapers, I accepted.  They were from a friend of hers, she didn't use them and I was trying to get over my whole 'used underwear' thing.  That's when I found out I was a diaper snob.
Guess which one is my diaper.
This was taken with my phone and no flash.
My diapers really are that white and
the donor diapers really are that gray.
What in the world have these poor diapers been through?

I only took pictures because I was shocked that diapers could look like this.  Now, I am no washing genius.  I use Rock in Green soap and Borax in the soap part of the washer and a little bit of white vinegar in the fabric softener part every now and then for stinks.  That's it!  What's more, I made it even easier on myself!  Remember my ultra fancy washing system?
I used to soak my diapers overnight in a little Borax water and wash them the next day.

I don't even do that anymore!  Now, I put them in the washer straight from the bag and put it on a hot cycle with no detergent and no spin.  That gets them good and soaked.  Then I wash them on sanitary and now, everything goes in the dryer.
No more extra step!

For a minute, I was getting leaks out tha ass.  See what I did there?  I'm so punny.  I was just about done with cloth diapers because it was violating my rule:  It must be easy.  Changing her clothes three times a day because of diaper leaks was NOT easy and it was getting on my nerves.  One day, I had done the wash but couldn't line dry them because we had a showing so I threw everything in the dryer.  That round, I had no leaks and her inserts would be sopping wet so I knew she was peeing.  I dried everything a couple more times and I stopped getting leaks!  I've done nothing else differently so it had to be that.  And really, who cares what it was because my diapers don't leak anymore!  Not even at night!  I was a skeptic but hemp inserts are the bomb - buy some now.  Even if you don't have kids in diapers.  They're that good.
I love how they used fake flowers to make them look purty.

I naively thought that all diapers looked like mine.  So when I opened the bag of free diapers I was in shock and immediately went for my camera.  I was in awe - the elastic was shot, the velcro barely hanging on, the inserts were yellowish-gray and flat and sad.  How many kids got diapered in these things?

And PS, if you buy cloth diapers DO NOT ever in your life get velcro.  I know they made them with velcro to more closely mimic disposables and while the idea is good, in practice it's silly.  Velcro is not compatible with multiple use and once you can't get your diaper to stay on, you're done with that diaper.

I accepted the free diapers with the hope that I could get over my used underwear hangup but sadly, I'm a diaper snob.  So now I have five BumGenius velcro diapers that I have no idea what do with.  Can they be salvaged for parts?  Do I put them on DiaperSwappers and see if someone without my dumb hangup will take them?

The point of this post was to say that cloth diapers really is not that big a deal.  Sometimes I go to the Arboretum with my mom friends for picnics and one of the moms gets an absolute kick out the fact that I use cloth.  Like, she watches me change Sofia's diaper and  slaps her knee and is all, "Well how 'bout that!"  Every time.  It cracks me up because I'm the one who does a double take at disposables.  I still use them at night every now and then if my hemps are still damp.  They are so crazy absorbent that I line dry them after I've taken them out of the dryer and when I pull out a disposable, the thin paper-y-ness throws me.  And it's funny to see her tiny butt in them because I'm used to her bubble.
She was five months here and hadn't really grown into them.
She has yet to grow into Daddy's hat.

Anyway, cloth diapering is really so easy there's no reason you shouldn't do it.  You save money, you save the Earth, and you can match them to your baby's outfit.  And let's be honest, that's all that really matters.

If you have questions, fire away.  I actually really like talking about cloth diapers.  Who knew?

Monday, May 7, 2012

Desperate times

There is nothing that will make you feel like more of a failure as a parent than being unable to put your child to sleep.  I'm going on a solid hour of trying to get Sofia back to sleep and I've finally given up and better to release my frustrations on the keyboard than anything else.

I've nursed until my nerps feel like they're going to fall off.  I've rocked her, I've not rocked her, I've rubbed her back, I turn on the fan for white noise, I turn off the fan so the noise won't keep her awake, I've sung the lullabies, I've shhh'd her until my lips are numb and nothing works.  She'll nurse until she falls asleep and the second I put her in the crib, it's as though a signal is sent to her body that as soon as she's horizontal, it's time to cry.

I don't know if she's teething, she's hungry, she's going through separation anxiety, or if it's something else.  I don't believe in crying it out, but I've had to leave her room while she's crying because I'm at my wit's end and I just have to get some distance so I can gather myself and keep my patience.

It's terrible and I don't have the slightest clue what to do.  I know her cries and they're not cries of sadness and desperation.  They're cries of 'I'm tired and I don't know how to go back to sleep.'  Which of course makes me feel even worse because I don't know how to 'teach' her to go back to sleep on her own.

She's on a great schedule - she took two great naps today, ate plenty of food and she has an earlier bedtime.  I was putting her to bed at 8 but that was NOT working so we started our bedtime routine at 7 which was like magic.  I can get her to bed in less than twenty minutes.

The first time.

It's the second time that kills me.  She wakes up around two and half hours after she goes down and that's it.  As I write this, it took a solid hour to get her to calm down and go back to sleep.  Sixty minutes of rocking, singing, nursing and crying.  Her, not me.  Almost me.

I'm frickin lost.

I have to write so I don't scream.  What am I doing wrong?


Friday, May 4, 2012

Don't drink the water

So, everybody and they mama seems to be pregnant these days and it got me thinking about the state of my uterus.  Namely, how it is blissfully unoccupied and how I rather like it that way.
I sure am glad you're on the outside, little girl.

When I was pregnant, at least once a day I got asked The General Question:  How are you feeling?  It's what people ask to be polite but they don't really want to/care to get in your business.  When the baby was born, it was "How is she sleeping/Is she sleeping through the night yet?"

Now that we've passed the one year mark, I'm starting to get the third General Question, or variation thereof:  "When do you think you'll have another one?  Are you thinking about another one?  Have you guys thought about adding to your family?  When is Sofia getting a little brother or sister?"

I don't get offended because I know it's just what people ask.  Sometimes I give the head-tile half-smile and say "We'll see," in that non-committal way.  But if it's coming from someone who's anything more than a casual acquaintance, I'm much more expressive.

Oh HAY-ull NO!

When Sofia was about three months old, I wrapped her up in the Moby and Drew and I went to the farmer's market.  We were eating lunch and somehow the topic of getting pregnant again came up.  I looked him dead in his eye and very slowly and clearly said, "Do you understand, I would cry if I got pregnant again right now.  Do you hear me?  CRY."

I still feel that way but for different reasons.  I'm still on my own during the week.  For the most part, Drew leaves on Sunday mornings and comes home Thursday evenings.  He works Friday during the day, does yardwork on Saturdays and we usually have a showing or two so we can't lounge around the house. I do laundry so he can pack Saturday night and he's gone again on Sunday.  Friday nights are the only free nights we have as a family, but we're both usually so exhausted from our lives that it's not quality time.  And it sucks.  I Could. Not. Imagine being pregnant right now.  AND taking care of a toddler whose new favorite game is making messes?  The other day, she dumped out an entire ziploc bag of dried rosemary on the kitchen floor while I was in the bathroom.
She's also intent on learning to use a spoon.
If I try and feed her, she screams in protest and insists on trying to do it herself.
She's not quiiiiite there yet.

If I were pregnant on top of that?  Yeah, I would cry.

Plus, I feel like I'm starting to get a tiny piece of my life back.  I have the energy to put on makeup more often.  I wear jewelry again.  Sofia's starting to become interested in other things besides me and my boobs, so I can put her on the floor in the living room and she'll actually play by herself for a little while.

She's going to start a Mother's Day Out program in June and I'm going to get one day a week all to myself!  I'm terrified to leave her, but it's right around the corner from the house and if she wigs out, I can be there in less than five minutes.  But if she doesn't wig out, I will be gloriously free from 9a-3p every Wednesday!  I am positively giddy at the prospect. I may just lay on the sofa all day.  I can take a shower in the morning again!  And it won't have to be two minutes long with her banging on the shower door, crying!  I can go to the mall and try clothes on!  The possibilities are endless!

I started thinking about all these things when I read about yet another pregnancy announcement, some of them having their second child.  I felt compelled to write when I read about a blogger's very tongue in cheek (I hope) guide to getting your husband to agree to another baby in 30 days or less.

If Drew did that to me, I would be livid.  If I liked the state of my unoccupied uterus, I would expect him to respect that and not badger me to get knocked up again.  If I continually said no and he didn't listen to me, I would quickly start to resent him and wonder if he no longer saw me as a person, or if I was just a carrier of his progeny.  And if I were a guy and my wife ignored what I was saying and was just trying to milk me of my man juice, I'd be straight-up pissed.  

Having babies isn't a game, and women who poke holes in condoms or don't properly take their birth control or worse, lie about their birth control give women a bad name.  Those who would resort to any other kind of underhanded manipulation to get a baby are just as bad.  You're sending a message that your husband's desires aren't as important as your own and we women are quick to get up in arms when the shoe is on the other foot.     
I do NOT get into politics here.
This is just an illustration of how vehement we can get about
our bodies, and rightfully so.
Don't men get to have the same say over theirs?

I don't know if I'll have more kids.  For one thing, I have no clue if I'm even ovulating.  Sofia's still nursing pretty regularly and the thing that happens every 28 days hasn't happened to me yet.  If I say the word, it will surely come and I'm enjoying my low-maintenance vagina, thank you very much.  I know you can ovulate without a cycle, but then you also need man juice for a pregnancy and that's a mite difficult given our present geographical constraints.  

I already told Drew that we will not even think of having the baby discussion until we're in the same city for a good amount of time, like at least six months, maybe longer.  I learned my lesson with the dog.  After incessant badgering, I caved and agreed under duress to get a dog, but only if we had a house.  No lie, Drew bought a house like two months later and we had a dog eight days after we moved in.  And you KNOW how I feel about that dog.  That shit will NOT happen again.  So there will be no baby until *I'm* good and ready, not a second before and he BET NOT try anything funny.

I realize my whole tone may come across bitchy and judgmental.  But there are few things I feel very strongly about and babies are one of them.  NO ONE, man or woman, should be badgered to have kids.  We should all have our wishes respected and if your spouse says no, it's your job to respect that, no matter how much you don't like it.  

I absolutely expect my husband to respect my wishes, so why wouldn't I respect his?

Okay, I'm off my soapbox now and of course, now that I've put my opinion out there, expect my pregnancy announcement to come any day now.



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