Archive for July, 2010

On My Cloth Diaper Decision

July 30, 2010

No teeth...weird...I’ve had several people ask me recently about my experience with cloth diapers, and now that I have seven eight months (yeah I’m behind) of cloth diapering under my belt, I thought it was time to share my experience for anyone that may be considering it.  I think the hardest part about deciding to use cloth is figuring out what you need to get started and which diapers will work best for your situation, and it doesn’t help that research on the topic can get very overwhelming.  So I thought I’d just tell you what I’ve done and why in hopes of helping someone take the leap.  Just so you know,  I got a lot of my initial information from here which may also be a great resource for you.

Which diapers do you use?  Do you like them?

They don’t sell the package of diapers that I originally started out with anymore, but it contained mostly bumGenius Organic All-In-Ones(AIOs).  I absolutely LOVE these diapers.  They are one-size meaning they will fit Aiden until he is out of diapers and they are AIOs meaning that the diaper is all one piece and goes on just like a disposable.  Pricewise, these are on the higher end for cloth diapering considering that to cloth diaper full time, you would probably need 18-24 of these bad boys depending on how old your child is and how often you plan to wash.  We wanted to be successful though (and not have our daycare  hate us) so the convenience  was worth the extra expense for us.  There are lots of cheaper options, however, and a good overview of them can be found here.

The rest of my stash is made up of GroBaby diapers.  I have 8 of these.  They are my great in theory, alright in practice diaper.  I wanted to try these because the absorbent pad is removable with the idea that you can just change the pad and reuse the cover a couple of times.  I liked this for travel purposes and for expense because theoretically I’d only need a handful of covers.  The only problem is that the pad soaks through and you feel gross reusing the cover so we’ve ended up changing the cover every time anyways.  They are also supposed to be one size, but they run small (great for teeny tiny babies) and will likely not get Aiden to potty training.  Also, these are Velcro instead of snaps which was originally an attraction to me, but it’s really annoying that the Velcro comes unstuck in the wash causing all the diaper covers get stuck together. Pulling them apart adds time to my wash routine. 

The good news is that this company rebranded to GroVia recently and seem to have made three major improvements which were meant to address these very problems.  I can’t speak to the improvements, but they have really cute colors and patterns and work well as a diaper so I’d be willing to give them a try.

Initially we tried out the bumGenius pocket diapers for night since you can beef up the absorbency for all night protection, but with all the extra padding they were giant on Aiden in a way that I thought would make sleep uncomfortable.  Plus we had leak issues even with the doubled absorbency. At the time he was still eating through the night though so they might work better now.  We’ve just gotten pretty used to just using a disposable at night.  This is ironic because leaky nighttime disposables was what originally started me looking for other diapering options but I’ve since found that once a night time leak occurs, it’s just time to go up a size.  I also wasn’t a fan of stuffing the pocket diapers constantly and we only had 3 of them.  I can’t imagine if my whole diaper stash was pockets.  But these are significantly cheaper per diaper so I think these are a great option for a lot of people.

Our experience with the pocket diapers was a good another great advantage to cloth diapering though because I was able to sell them for a minor loss (no more than the cost of 1 weeks worth of diapers) when I was finished with them.

What else did you have to buy to get started?

Aside from the diapers, the only other things we needed to get started cloth diapering was a trash can with a lid to act as a diaper pail, 2 large wet bags that alternately line the trash can, a small wet bag for daycare and outings, diaper friendly detergent to prevent rashes, and flushable liners to catch the poop.  Here’s what and where I got it, and I’ve been happy with it all.

Trash can w/ lid:  Target 

Large wet bags:  1 Wahmies and 1 Planet Wise

1 medium wet bag:  I did a lot of research on these and the wet bags from Leslie’s Boutique had the best reviews.  Mine has definitely  stood up to the reviews as I’ve never had an issue with leaking even with daily daycare duty and frequent washing.  Plus cute fabric selections never hurt anyone.  I’m looking to get another one of these soon because it’d be nice to alternate like I do with the large ones while one is in the wash.

The liners are a must if you don’t like touching or rinsing poop.  They are flushable so you just plop the goods in the toilet and flush away.  They work better than I could have imagined.  We may have to rinse a diaper once every couple of weeks due to a complete or partial miss, and given the consistency and sheer volume of poop that comes out of Aiden, I’d say that’s not too shabby.  We’ve used the following brands: Bummies Bio-Soft, GroVia, and Diaperaps.   I like the GroVia and Diaperaps because they are machine washable and reusable if you only have a pee diaper. 

How often do you wash?

Originally I washed every two days but now I do every three.  I think that was just because Aiden got older and didn’t go through as many diapers in a day because we’ve never had more than 18 diapers at a time.  I’ve used Crunchy Clean and Charlie’s Soap on my diapers and haven’t had a problem with either one (but Crunchy Clean smells better).  Like the liners, this is another reoccurring cost, but I can get about 160 loads out of a regular bag of Crunchy Clean in my HE washer.  You don’t use as much soap as you think you would on such a smelly mess.  But it’s very important that the diapers rinse clean and don’t build up residue because then you will really have a stinky situation (think pee-soaked moldy towels).

How much did it cost?

Diapers (18 x $25) = $450    (this is actually probably more like $400 because you get discounts for buying in bulk and I’ve caught some good sales)

Trash Can = $15

Large Liners (2 x $17) = $34

Medium Wet Bag = $17

Total spent on current set up: $516

Recurring costs: ~$7/month for liners and detergent.  I’ve used 4 packages of liners in 8 months and at about $7/package this is about $3.50/month.  We’ve spent $25-30 on diaper detergent in 8 months, so I figure about $3.50/month here as well.

Why did you go cloth?

Pretty much everything from my original post still stands.

But basically because of the waste.  The waste of money on something that would just produce a shit load of waste (pun intended).  It’s also nice to know that when we have a second baby we will be able to reuse everything we’ve purchased for him or her.  And when we’re done (if my kids haven’t blown a hole through the back), we’ll be able to resell what we can.  That’s reduce, reuse, recycle as its very finest people.

Oh and they really are so much cuter poking out of the back of Aiden’s britches than a disposable.  Even if he does have to rock a rather fluffy behind. 

I can see you underpants!

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The 4th

July 27, 2010

One thing that I didn’t take a moment to appreciate last year on July 4th (probably because all of my free time was spent  crying in those early postpartum days) was exactly how close Aiden’s birthday is to a holiday.  I do vaguely remember watching the fireworks from the back doors of our house last year (the first night he was home from the hospital) but I doubt it even occurred to me that we were celebrating anything other than Aiden’s arrival.

I was a little more lucid this year and after all the birthday festivities were behind us, we managed to have a nice little 4th.  It all started with a trip to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens…

Stroller Brigade    Cute boys

…where Aiden liked to pick look at the flowers…

He may or may not have rolled away with that flower...

…and the birds (we need to get this kid to a zoo).

The birds looked dead when we rolled up, but they gave us a show.

But he *really* liked the mist-ers…

In fairness, it was hot.

“Again,  again!”

Loved it

…and playing with mom and dad in the kids area.

In the bug tunnel...at least I think it was a bug.

Dylann liked the fountain so much that there may have been some trickery involved in getting her out of there.

The reason people get season passes to Atlanta Botanical Gardens

Then after a last minute change of plans, we decided on Cuban for dinner  at one of our favorite restaurants (because nothing says Happy Birthday America like Cuban food).  But they were closed for the holiday so we went over to Taco Mac which I suppose felt more appropriate  anyway.  Then we stepped outside and enjoyed the Mall of GA fireworks. 

Waiting on the show to start...

...still waiting... 

The fireworks didn’ t start until close to 9:30…

Daddy and Aiden watching the works.   Aiden watching the works.  Daddy watching Aiden.

"What the hell?"

…and about half way through someone got very sleepy and opted for a more comfortable view.

Heart. Melting.

He was a trooper though and waited until we got to the car to totally pass out.

So That’s Where We’re Going

July 21, 2010

2010-07-19 07.16.01Trying to catch up on blogging, but had to take a brief moment to document the first time that Aiden got to see where he was going in the car, instead of where he’d been.  I think he was more than a little confused. Now before anyone goes all crazy on me about the safety implications of turning him around so soon, I’d just like to point out that we’ve been dealing with what we can only figure to be severe bouts of car sickness since I got my new car (yes, he saves it only for my car).  It’s like exorcist-style projectile vomiting and results in stripping the car seat cover to be washed.  EVERY.SINGLE.TIME.  And let’s not even talk about the smell.  For any of you parents out there that have had take the cover off your car seat for washing, you know it isn’t fun.  And well neither is feeling like you’re going to hurl every time you get in the car either.  I’m just saying…

Birthday Party – Family Edition

July 13, 2010

The Saturday after Aiden’s birthday we had a little family BBQ at our house.  It was the regular Guthrie crowd along with our friend Paula and her daughter Dylann who were visiting from DC.  Even Aiden’s Great Aunt Nancy showed up to celebrate with us.

The highlights of the party were the cozy coupe which Aunt Becky brought and Uncle Chris and Tyler took the time to put together…

Aiden's Ride Dylann's Ride

…and the cake smash.  I’m still not exactly sure what came over me, but I randomly decided that I could be a cake decorator and made Aiden’s smash cake myself.  Something about your baby’s first birthday that turns a girl into little Ms. DIY.  I even made the cupcake stand and the banner that may have become a permanent decoration in our keeping room.  I just wanted it to be special, and I think it turned out pretty nice (imperfect cake and all).  But man I’m glad it’s over.

Decor From the top

Precariously perched

I wish we’d gotten some video so you could hear the excitement and see Dan scraping the gobs of icing (did I mention that icing a cake is hard) off about half way through, but the bazillion pictures will have to do.  Without further ado.

Hey is this for me?
“Hey is this for me?”

Happy birthday to you!
Singing

That's how old I am.
“That’s how old I am.”

Pefect pincher
Perfect pincher grasp…even especially with icing.

Mmmm
Mmmm

And then the sharing began…
Here Paw Paw
He shared with Paw Paw.

He starts offering us his food when he gets full
Mommy.

That's the only way we know he's done
Daddy.

Everyone was laughing and carrying on...it was awesome.
And Nama.  Pretty much everyone got a taste.  And somehow he got a little blue icing on his nose.

Hehe

ahaha
Which was funny.

HAHAHA

AHAHA
Really funny.

Still laughing...the sugar must have been taking hold
Look at that massacred cake.  That’s my boy!

Perfect finish
“Yeah, I smashed it.  Jealous?”

12-Month “Well” Visit

July 9, 2010

I took Aiden to the doctor today for his 12-month “well” visit.  I put well in quotes because I’ve come to learn that Aiden will undoubtedly be sick for all of his well visits.  Fortunately this time it still wasn’t his ears, but he’s got a cough and congestion that seems to be causing some wheezing.  He’s going on an inhaler for the first time until the wheezing clears up, but at least there was no need for antibiotics (or one of those breathing machines).

Otherwise the doctor’s visit went as good as can be expected.  He’s definitely learned that no good can come from laying down on the doctor’s table so he got extra whiny and clingy the three times they laid him back even though only one of them resulted in shots.  When I grabbed his hands on that particular time, the crying commenced Pre-shotsbefore the needle even touched his leg.  Aside from that he was a perfectly happy baby.  Here he was moments before the hysteria playing ball with mommy…just laughing up a storm.

Developmentally he’s right on target for his age (even though he refuses to wave bye-bye or point).  She was impressed that he would shake his head no which of course had me beaming.  He’s so heavy to carry around, but he’s not breaking any records and looks to be rather proportional which is always good: weight – 23 lbs (50-75%), height – 30.5 in (75%), and head circumference – 47.5 cm (75%).

Birthday Party – Friends Edition

July 8, 2010

In the three months that I stayed home with Aiden after he was born, I was lucky enough to meet some fantastic ladies with babies around the same age.  I didn’t know any new mothers (or many mothers in general) and the isolation during those early months was palpable.  So  we got out, worked out, and made a few friends in the process.  These women and their children have made the last year much more interesting and enjoyable for both Aiden and I.  Here’s a picture of us from last December after our mommy/baby workout class.

20091218-IMG_1678
Cara & Drew, Julie & Reese, Alexis & Maya, Me & Aiden, Sally & Sunny

Cara and Kerstin’s (missing from the picture above, but originally seen here with Superman) sons each have a birthday that falls really close to Aiden’s so we decided to have a little birthday party for the boys to celebrate their turning one.  A good time was had by all.

Crafty decorations = a lot of work
Banner by Beth 

Cupcakes! 

I’m 1!
Leom 

These two are bad news!
Up to no good

Drew took his cupcake smashing seriously and stripped down.
Serious smashing

The birthday boys…straight out of a horror film…
Birthday boys

We may have waited too long to take group pictures because that was the best I got of all three of them.

The group

Point and case: we may have all been smiling here, but we were all holding on by a very thin thread.  Lesson learned for next time: pictures first, toys and cake later.  Next time I think we’ll invite the daddies too.  (Also, scroll back up and see how much these babies grew in 6 months!)

1st Birthday

July 6, 2010

My special little man turned the big ONE last week, and I am left dumbfounded that I already have a one year old.  Last week was celebration week and this week is catch up on blogging about it week, so stay tuned to find out how I managed to get three days out of his birthday outfit.  In the meantime, here’s Aiden at ONE…

Laughing at the dog     Eating his bath toy...downstairs... 

I struggle putting all that he is at one year old into words because there is just honestly no way of doing it justice.  You just have to know him.  And while I am not even close to the only person responsible for getting him to this point, I am so extremely proud of him.

1 year old family 

He’s a dancer.  A cuddler.  A lover of black beans.  He shakes his head “no” when being offered a drink instead of smacking it away (even when he wants it).  He still has the best laugh…it will draw us both from rooms away.  He’s a face-diver.  He walks with assistance without bending his knees.  He’s a talker of nonsense and a thrower of EVERYTHING (except food because that would be blasphemous).  A ma-ma-ma-ma-ma’s boy.  A cabinet slammer.  A tornado.  A dinosaur.  A force that has completely changed our lives over the course of the last year. 

Arms up   Birthday bubbles

One Year Ago: A Birth Story

July 1, 2010

It was one year ago that I was sprawled out on our living room couch at 6 AM, awake from a sleepless night, timing my contractions hoping that they would get stronger and closer together.  They were coming every 5 minutes and they hurt, but I could still handle the pain so I was sure it wasn’t time yet.  Around 7 AM, Dan comes out and I tell him that I’m not going to work, and he questions whether or not we should head to the hospital instead.  But I didn’t want to be the girl who cried labor.  The way I had been imagining it,  I would arrive so far along that the baby would just come right out (ala Aunt Becky nearly ten years before) so we could all get on with our lives.  Little did I know that that would NOT be my story.

A couple more painful contractions and I decide that maybe we should just go to the doctor early.  You see I was scheduled for an ultrasound later that day to check and make sure the baby was turned correctly due to a questionable evaluation the week before.  It seemed inconsequential at the time because while I didn’t have grand illusions of labor without medication, I was certain the baby was coming out via birth canal.  I never, and I mean NEVER even considered it would occur any other way.

We arrived at the doctor’s office around 8 AM where a brief inspection revealed that I was 100% effaced and 3 cm dilated.  It appeared to be time and they wanted me to head to the hospital.  Only they still couldn’t be sure that he was turned right because they should have been able to feel his hard head up in there, but all they could feel was mush.  They said it could be his face that they they were feeling, but in hindsight I think they had a pretty good idea at the time that it wasn’t the cheek on his face they were poking.

The first order of business upon arriving in the labor room was to get an ultrasound to see how little man was positioned in there.  They hooked me up to a machine that measured the strength of my contractions, and it was nice to have a visible pain level indicator for Dan and my other visitors.  It was funny having people say “Looks like you’re having  a big one!” while I was actually working through a big one.  The ultrasound tech arrived and did her thing.  It irritates me how these people are instructed not to talk even though you know they have the answers without the doctor’s help.  After a couple of minutes of awkward silence, I was like “Is he breech?”.  She wouldn’t say too much, but she confirmed for me that it looked to be that way.

Damn it.  Now what?  This wasn’t part of my “the baby just fell” out labor story.  The doctor came in and told me what the ultrasound tech had figured out an hour before, that the baby was in fact breech.  She gave me two options.  1) They could try to turn the baby externally or 2) we could go ahead and schedule a c-section. 

C-SECTION?  My first thought was that I was ill-equipped to have a c-section.  I mean I didn’t do any research on the topic because I already knew the one thing that I needed to know – that I wasn’t going to have one.  I mean this pregnancy had been perfect so can we just get on with the quick delivery people?  My second thought was a vain one, but I asked about the scar (I know, I suck).

So I said let’s turn him.  I mean he’s been so cooperative so far, surely he’ll just flip right around.  She warned me that it can be extremely uncomfortable and that the success rate wasn’t great, but since pregnancy hadn’t proven to be about my comfort up to that point and my baby was a super star, I knew it was all going to come out fine.

Well by uncomfortable she meant painful beyond belief.  IT HURT.  I mean I can’t compare it to labor, but it sucked big time.  And the baby didn’t budge.  He just stayed nuzzled right where he was.  So after what felt like an eternity, I finally asked her to stop.  And then I scheduled my c-section.  I think there may have been some tears at the realization that the scenario I had been internalizing for the last several months was not going to be.

We had to wait a long time for them to come and get me for surgery.  I continued to have contractions up until I went to the OR.  Everything from that point forward was kind of a blur.  Once they start it all goes really fast.  I remember it feeling cold in the OR after getting drugged up.  I also remember getting choked up when I heard Aiden’s first cry as they pulled him out of me at 5:03 PM.  It was the most beautiful sound.  Dan had the best seat in the house through it all and since we didn’t know you could bring a camera in the OR, those much too brief first moments with our son will have to stay back in that OR, between us, the doctors and the nurses… 

…so it wasn’t what I imagined it would be and at the time that seemed tragic, but you quickly realize after having the baby that labor is nothing but a distraction from the real journey that you are about to embark on.  And yes I have a scar, but I also have a healthy, kick-ass, 1-year old son.