Months 1 & 2

Oh boy.  This is going to be a long one…  I can aspire to writing a post once a week but I can’t promise it’ll happen.  Obviously, since it’s been WEEKS since I’ve been able to post.  This one’s taken me the last four weeks to write.  

MONTH 1

So Month 1 of little miss’s life just FLEW by so quickly I didn’t even get a chance to chronicle it. I don’t even know if I remember it. Just kidding.

I remember some of it.

As you know, little miss arrived on St. Patrick’s Day. The first two weeks of her life were a blur of feeding, sleeping, changing diapers, washing diapers, blankets, spit up (so much spit up), crying (oh the crying!), and my parents (if my mom hadn’t been here, all our animals and US would’ve starved.)

Also during her first two weeks were a doctor’s appointment, a trip to a nearby town, and many many car trips. Little miss HATED the car seat. She’d scream bloody murder until she wore herself out or The Mister hit enough bumps in the road to calm her down. I know many moms will sit in the backseat with their baby but I found out that it really didn’t matter if I sat back there with her or not. My presence was inconsequential to the fact that she was strapped in, couldn’t move freely, and loathed every minute of it.

The last part of little miss’s first month included getting the hang of breast feeding more (on both our parts), another two doctor visits, weight gain, and still more spit up. Momma also managed to go to the grocery store on her own with the babe in the Ergo. That proved to be a bit much for everyone though. Too much too soon.

Though it sounds like we went to the doctor a lot the first month, it’s because we did. It’s a good thing we like her doctor. Little miss has a bit of reflux so we spent a couple weeks trying to sort that out. She has a minty-fresh tasting medicine I give her twice a day in a little plunger to help with the burning the spit up causes her.

Little miss had several visitors the first month of her life. Grandma was here for two and a half weeks and then Grandpa came up from California for a few days. Auntie and Uncle from California were also here and Auntie took some cutie pictures of little miss.

Aw! My little munchkin.

MONTH 2

Sorry for the unedited picture – the edited version has been misplaced.

Auntie B came to visit shortly after hitting the 2 month mark.  Little miss and Momma drove to Seattle to pick Auntie B up from the airport.  There were LOTS of snuggles once we returned home since it was such a long trip for the little miss (almost 7 hours in the car in total.)

Auntie B also took some cutie pictures and helped me take little miss to school to make the first round of visits.  She met my AP kids, several district office folks, The Mister’s coworkers, and school office people too.  It was a very busy day.

During little miss’s second month of life, she’s perfected rolling over (she did it for the first time at three weeks and caught herself off guard.) The pediatrician says she does pushups of a four month old! Very proud momma indeed.

We also have tons of smiles these days! I love the smiles. Love love love them.

We also had some visitors. Grandma came back up with Great Grandma and Great Auntie K.

Little miss knows her people and LOVES them!

Grandpa C has been by the house many times to check on his granddaughter. He brought his friend C over a couple of Saturdays ago to celebrate little miss’s first two months on planet Earth.

Little miss talks so much these days. We have conversations about Mr. Fan (her most favorite friend in the house so far), the laundry, what Momma’s eating, and her hands. She squawks a little louder these days and her cries are changing a bit. We have new cries that I can’t quite decipher yet. And her almost-faint “wah!” kills me. It’s so pathetic sometimes. She uses that one when Momma isn’t moving fast enough to dish up little miss’s meals.

We’re still working on nap time. Little miss sleeps pretty well at night and fights taking a nap longer than 30 minutes. Kill me.

She still loves her bath time though, will mostly tolerate her car seat now (there are a few screams here and there, especially if she’s wet, hungry, or tired), and loves being naked over wearing clothes. Daddy happily complies with the last one since he believes babies should be FREE! Momma says it’s too cold out still for her baby to be free and promptly puts little miss’s pants back on.

But not her hat. Apparently hats are the devil.

3 Things No One Tells Older Moms-To-Be

As an older mom-to-be, I read every book and website I could lay my hands on about being a mom over age 35.  I talked to friends that had babies in their 30s.  I tried to prepare myself as much as possible.  But there were a few things I didn’t prepare for quite enough, if at all.

1. Your knees are not what they used to be – my baby needs constant rocking or bouncing. She loves movement and if she loved her car seat more, I’d drive her around in The Mister’s truck more often.  But she doesn’t love her car seat, so I bounce and rock and sway her in my arms daily.  While it’s a great workout (my FitBit counts each bounce as a step), my knees aren’t super happy with me.  They ache.  Since I’m able to take Advil now, I do.  To save my arms and knees for a few minutes every day, the vibrating seat takes her after a good feeding. But 85% of the time, I’m bouncing her. Which means my knees are constantly moving. Add in getting her off and onto her under-the-sea playmat, up and out of the rocker, and into her car seat, my knees bend all day long. And they know it. They crack and whine. They wobble and shake. Oh to have my knees of ten years ago.

2. Sleep is not what it used to be – I keep trying to channel my long gone college self to no avail. Even back then I got more sleep than I do now. I can’t recall a single all-night study session – I loved sleep more than my grades.  Everyone tells new moms to “sleep when the baby sleeps.” Which is all fine and dandy if you’ve managed to pee, eat, and take a shower while your little one was peeing, and eating (and yes, in times of desperation, I have taken little miss into the bathroom with me.) Most of the time, I’m dancing her to sleep while holding it and praying I don’t sneeze. Once baby girl goes down, I feel the freedom of a my arms and run frantically around the house doing as much as possible before she wakes up (which could be 20 minutes or two hours): laundry, dishes, vacuuming, showering (though this one is sure to make her wake up no matter how long she’s been asleep), and I consider knitting. After I do all I think I need to do, I fool myself into thinking I could get in a short nap too. But that’s when she wakes up. Mom’s Murphy’s Law. And the vicious sleep debt cycle continues. The zombie midnight and 3am feedings continue and I pray I don’t fall asleep standing up.

3. Your curves are not what they used to be – 
And not being in your 20s means it doesn’t necessarily bounce back like it used to. The abs you were working on flattening before pregnancy? Gone. The butt that was almost lifted to where you where you wanted? Flattened. The hips that fit into your favorite pair of jeans? Widened. Body parts shift and muscles slacken, no matter how much you work out during pregnancy. There’s a recovery period after pregnancy that seems to push body parts into new regions.  I swear I’ve lost half my butt since giving birth.  Though all the weight I gained since last summer was gone by the time little miss was two weeks old, the weight that remains is suspiciously in different places.  I can fit into pre-pregnancy jeans and zip them but not button that top button.  I swear I’m carrying at least ten pounds inside my nursing bra. From what I hear, nothing will return to its former state.  And the jury’s still out on how I feel about that.

Cloth Diapering as a Rookie

Not only are The Mister and I first-time parents, but we chose to be first time cloth diapering parents as well.

Why cloth diaper? One reason of course is the environmental factor. We don’t have garbage pick up service. It’s insanely expensive in my opinion. So The Mister makes a trash/recycling run every 4-6 weeks depending on how much we have.

Another reason is the convenience. It’s so nice to know that diapers are just in the washer or dryer instead of at the store. No late night diaper runs for us!

Lastly, it’s cheaper. There’s an initial outlay but the cloth we have will last months and there’s a market for gently (and even heavily) used items. So some of our initial investment will come back.

Bonus? Once I have a bit more non-feeding free time, I can knit wool covers for her little cloth bottom!

Our parents cloth diapered. My mom was gifted a year long diapering washing service when I was born. We don’t have that available here. The closest service is 30 minutes away. So when we started looking at cloth diapers, I calculated out everything to last at least a day and a half between washings. With Breastfeed babies the entire diaper, poo and all, can go into the washer. It’s formula and solid food poo that has the knocked off before going into the washer. Since little miss is breast fed, I just put her diapers in our Dekor diaper pail and call it good until wash time.

So when I sat down to figure out how many of what to buy, I went straight to Green Mountain Diapers online. GMD is a gold mine of information for the beginner cloth diapering parent. Anything and everything is written about and there are pictures of cloth diapered butts to boot.

Karen, the owner (who doesn’t know me from Adam), gives a range of recommended quantities of diapering supplies. On a budget? She lists out the bare bones basics. Want to splurge on everything top dollar? She has that supply list down too. I sort of made up my own.

Based on a newborn’s potential to dirty up to 18 diapers a day (cloth doesn’t wick so little butts need to changed a bit more frequently), and the fact I don’t necessarily want to be doing a load every day but every other, I decided 36 was the magic number.

I bought 36 newborn-sized prefold diapers. This was a gamble on my part. I had no idea how big or little our little miss would be. But I was relying on the fact that I could resell my gently used prefolds to another newborn momma.

Turns out little miss fit perfectly in her newborn sized diapers (and newborn sized anything!)

Even though I bought the prefolds new, I bought covers used. With cloth, because of its non-wicking properties, you have to have a waterproof cover of some sort, wool included.

So I scoured diaperswappers.com and bought up a number of covers in colorful solids and patterns. The majority that I bought are made by Thirsties with aplix (Velcro – much easier to deal with in the middle of the night) and will grow with little miss for a number of months. I also snagged a couple of Bummis super whisper wraps and I really like these covers. I bought newborn sized ones and the fit is fantastic. Plus the material is a bit thicker which I also like not that it makes a difference in a cover. Covers are meant to last a couple of days. But sometimes there’s leakage and the cover has to be washed sooner than planned. The cover stash doesn’t need to be as large as the diaper stash. Everything I’ve read says to have 4-6 on hand. I have a couple more to tuck in our diaper too.

We were gifted a number of all in one (AIO) and pocket diapers as well. The AIOs are just how how the sound: cover and prefold all in one diaper. Pockets are a cover with an absorbent fleece material seen in. The absorbent pad is stuffed in between those two layers to make the diaper. These diapers say they’re made to get worn from 8lbs up. But having a baby at almost 9 lbs and at 5 weeks old they’re still a tad big on her except for the BumGenius AIOs. Come August when I have to go back to work, these will be our daycare diapers for the ease and convenience.

 

BumGenius AIO

Because little miss is gaining weight and growing, she’ll be moving out of her newborn prefolds in the next month I think. So I bought the next size up, small, and they’re waiting to be prepped.

To prep a cloth diaper is a four step process that comes with your order if you buy new from GMD. there’s also a prewash process with AIOs and pockets.

We love using cloth diapers with our little miss. In the diaper drawer we have Snappis to close up and hold the folded diaper together under the cover. And we also sometimes just fold the prefold in thirds and lay it inside the cover. Either way works.

One thing that doesn’t work with cloth diapers is diaper cream. It can ruin the absorbency of a cloth diaper and create repelling issues. So coconut oil was recommended instead. However, when I tried it the first time little miss had a rash, I felt like the oil made things worse. So during her rasht times we are using disposables simply to heal up her little cheeks and use a butt cream. We may start using them at night once she starts sleeping in longer stretches but I want to try cloth methods first, like more layers of absorbers.

Overall, I’m happy using cloth. I also see value in using disposables. Our blend works for our family right now and it may change in the future. I like the flexibly that cloth gives us and seeing her cute little fluffy butt all diapered up.

Thirsties Size 1 cover with Aplix

Bummis Newborn cover

Newborn prefold tri-folded inside a Thirsties size 1 cover

Stacks of folded Thirsties covers

Days These Days

Life with a newborn. Not much more to say, is there? Eating, sleeping, diapers. That is our life.

There’s really only one part of our day that’s been relatively consistent. We wake up around 4 or 5 am to eat and fall back asleep around 6ish. Then up again around 8 or 9, depending on how long after 6 we fall asleep.

After that, the day is at Miss M’s beck and call.

Sometimes she takes another nap after eating her mid-morning meal. Sometimes she stays awake until lunch time or later (like yesterday). Sometimes she feeds all day long, every hour. Some days she takes cat naps throughout the day. Some days she takes several big naps all day. It just depends.

Scheduling doctor appointments and visits are a crapshoot. I just make sure she eats before I pack her in the car and hope she snoozes a bit during the drive to wherever we’re going. Besides the doctor, we’ve been to the farm store, out to eat a couple of times, school to say hi, and we’ve walked down the driveway to get the mail. Those are our big outings so far. And everything is scheduled during her nap time, not eating time.

All I know is the swing works for naps. The Ergo works when she’s extra clingy. The pack n play only works for one nighttime sleep. Momma works every time.