Monday, October 31, 2011

Recent Events

First, SchmoopyBoy's first attempt at independent spelling. This spells "mommy":


Also, a few pictures of our 3rd annual visit to the fall festival at the local farm house. We had to wait in a ridiculously long line for the horse ride. Thankfully there was no wait for the hayride, which I think he actually enjoyed more.



Sadly, SchmoopyBoy got sick (again!) and even sadder, this time Lil' Schmoo was not so lucky to avoid catching it. This afternoon we're going to the doctor to make sure it's nothing serious. I really hope everyone is better by the weekend. My sister is coming out to meet her newest nephew and play with her oldest nephew. Hopefully sickness won't prevent anyone from having a nice visit.

Hope everyone has a fun and safe Halloween! Hopefully I'll get pictures of the kiddos in their costumes posted before Thanksgiving. ;)

Monday, October 24, 2011

One year later

It is nearing the end of October, which is, in case anyone has forgotten, Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. I haven't written about it yet (although considering I've been up to my eyeballs living in newborn-sleep-deprivation-land, it's a minor achievement to post anything at all). That doesn't mean I haven't been thinking about it, and how my life has changed over the past year.

Last year at this time I was grieving pretty hard. Two losses in a year is certainly enough to put anyone off kilter. It was all I thought about, all I wrote about. And here I am, a year later, typing one-handed as I cradle my 5 week old nursling in my other arm.

Am I a better parent now because I have experienced loss? I sincerely doubt that. Am I a more appreciative parent? That is a possibility. I think back to what I took for granted with SchmoopyBoy, all the gratitude I did not indulge in. Granted, in the throws of my postpartum depression, I was more or less incapable of gratitude, but that feels like such a waste now. I look down at this dear, perfect child and the tenderness I feel for him is matched only by the gratitude I have for him. For Him - the child that lived, the child that I thought might never be.

He is worth the wait. But there is still some... regret? sadness? bitterness? that such a wait was imposed. Was he not yet ready to be born? Was I not yet ready to receive him? I may never understand the whys, and I may always wonder who might be here in his stead, had one of those other babies lived.

Does that make me a worse parent now because I have experienced loss? I doubt that. Am I a slightly more wistful parent? That is a possibility.

Such are the laws of physics and family building - for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. There is appreciation, but also wistfulness. There is joy, but also sadness. There is looking forward to the future, but also remembering and honoring the past. There is marveling at what I have, but also wondering about what I don't have.

Most of the time I am absolutely more connected with the positives - appreciation for what I have and looking forward to the future with my family. To be honest, I am rarely connected with the opposites. It's pretty tough to focus on negatives when you have such a soft-haired, cuddly pile of baby to gush over. Nonetheless, I can't help but grow thoughtful about these things when I look back to where I was at this time just one short year ago.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Fun Facts

Five facts about Lil' Schmoo - age 1 month:

1. Hates being swaddled, must have his legs free to stretch out and hands by his head.

2. Having hands by his head means he sometimes wakes himself up when inadvertently sticking a finger in his mouth.

3. Refuses to stay asleep for more than 10 minutes when put down on a flat surface.

4. Still hates being vertical and loves being cradled, so still living in the ring sling.

5. Highly unimpressed with Gripe Water.


Five facts about SchmoopyBpy - age 3 years, 5 months:

1. Thomas the Train is the Greatest.Thing.Ever. Cannot get enough Thomas.

2. Toby the Tram is his favorite character.

3. Prefers soccer to t-ball.

4. Wants his baby brother's attention so badly, and gets upset that babies can't give attention yet.

5. Wants mommy-SchmoopyBoy-only time so badly, and gets upset that the baby is almost always attached to my body.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Cloth Diapering My Newborn

When SchmoopyBoy was born, we had every intention of cloth diapering from the beginning. We bought a stash of one-size pocket diapers thinking the smallest setting would certainly be sufficient for our newborn, who would certainly be a least 8 pounds. Surprise! Out came our little 6 pound stringbean. The diapers we had were enormous for him. So we turned to disposables until he grew big enough for our stash.

This time, I bought a small stash of newborn sized cloth diapers of various types, and so far its going very well. I wanted to share some of my opinions on the various types we have, in case it may be useful for someone considering cloth diapers for their newborn. I purchased everything new, although I found most on some sort of sale or discount. All opinions are my own, and no one has offered any sort of compensation for my writing about them.

My favorite is probably the Rumparooz Lil' Joeys. I only bought one 2-pack because they are a little more pricey. These are an all-in-one diaper, so they are easy-peasy. Super cute. They come in lots of colors and they have a snap that allows you to use them before the cord stump falls off baby. I'm so sad my Lil' Schmoo will grow out of these soon.

I'm also loving my FuzziBunz Perfect Size in X-Small. I've got 6 of these in various colors. These are pocket diapers with a snap closure. I've used the one-size FuzziBunz with SchmoopyBoy with great success, so I thought I'd give the newborn size diaper a try. I'm glad I did. These and the Lil' Joeys are the diapers I use when we leave the house.

When SchmoopyBoy was small we tried a set of gDiapers. SchmoopyBoy was so skinny, they never fit particularly well and we had a lot of trouble with leaks. Lil' Schmoo is much more substantial in size, so I thought I'd pull out the old gPants and give them a try. To my delight they are working very well! I haven't used the flushable or cloth inserts that they sell specifically for the gDiaper system yet. I have been taking a bunch of cotton pre-folds that I already had on hand (the kind they sell at major retailers that most people use as burp cloths) and folding them into the right size to use as inserts. This has been working very well. I will say that this method is very bulky. I only use these when I'm at home because I can't really fit clothes over them. For travel I think the flushable inserts might be a good option.

The biggest disappointment is the set of Monkey Doodlez pocket diapers I found for cheap on Green Baby Bargains. The problem is that the inserts are tapered in a triangle shape, so there is almost nothing to catch pee in front. Perhaps these might work better for a girl, where more absorbency is needed in back than in front?

I wish I had pictures of Lil' Schmoo in each diaper to share with you. I tried taking some pictures with my trusty old cell phone camera and the results are really not worth sharing. You can see generic pictures of the diapers on the web sites linked above.

Happy cloth diapering!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Semi-functional

I am thrilled and amazed to report that I am actually semi-functional these days. So different from 3 weeks after SchmoopyBoy was born. Today I had 3 goals - take a nap, put away the 3 loads of clean laundry sitting in my basket, and bathe Lil' Schmoo. It is not yet 2:30pm and I have met all 3 goals! Woo hoo! (What? It's the little things.) Bonus, I'm also getting diaper laundry done, updating the blog, and managing to put sustanence in my body every so often.

I also got out if the house twice this week! I went to a baby wearing group meeting on Wednesday, where I met a couple of really nice ladies who lent me some fabulous carriers that Lil' Schmoo hates. It's the position really. He wants to be in the cradle position pretty much all the time, and the wrap and mei tei I have on loan are based on a vertical position, which is currently totally unacceptable. So, he's been living in the ring sling, which is fine with me for now. I did also get to try a woven wrap at the meeting, which was totally drool-inducing for me. Perhaps when Lil' Schmoo gets older and bigger he might like those carriers better. Then I'll have to spend more money on such beautiful and comfy carriers. Or, I can stick with my Ergo, which really suits me just fine. I don't have an infant insert for it so that will have to wait a while. But then again there's that hating to be in the vertical position anyway thing, so just as well. I could so easily get addicted to baby carriers.

I had a really hard time with SchmoopyBoy in the ring sling when he was a newborn. I didn't really have the confidence to practice and figure out how to make it comfortable for him. I ended up not really using it until he developed head control and was able to use it like a pouch with him looking partially outwards. He never really wanted anything to do with facing my chest unless it was time to eat.

Using the carriers this time around is really an issue of practicality for me. I need to have my hands free to function and take care of of SchmoopyBoy and things around the house. Lil' Schmoo tends to wake of within minutes of my putting him down, so it I want any time to accomplish anything, I need to have him on my body in a safe, hands-free position.

I also went to a breastfeeding group meeting yesterday, which was a little disappointing because the lactation consultant wasn't there. So, I got a little feedback from a couple of mamas, but I'd have preferred a little professional advice. Breastfeeding is going pretty well in general, I just wanted to get a couple of tips because my right side has, once again, taken on the role of The Producer, and sometimes it's too much for my little guy. He sometimes comes off choking and gasping, which then of course triggers screaming, which is thankfully short-lived, but very sad nonetheless. They meet weekly, so I'll try to find out ahead of time if the lactation consultant will be there next week. It will be a good excuse to get out of the house again anyway.

I have to admit I'm still a little intimidated about taking trips to the store (any store) with Lil' Schmoo. And I haven't been anywhere outside of the house with both kids on my own yet. That will come soon though, I'm fairly sure. I'm at home on my own with both kids fairly regularly, as the husband takes class twice a week this semester.Things only got a little out of hand once, and thankfully the husband got home early that night so was able to take the baby while I gave SchmoopyBoy some much needed mommy-only time. I could talk about how SchmoopyBoy is adjusting, but I think that's a whole separate post, so I'll hold back for now. In general he is loving himself some baby, but the lack of mommy-only time is clearly taking a toll on him.

Well, that's the update for now. Have a great weekend everyone!