Archive | January 2013

Family

Our entry hall.  That little pink jacket makes my day.

Our entry hall. That little pink jacket (and the girl who wears it) makes my day.

Last night when my husband got home, Miss P and I were upstairs in the guest room.  When our area went through a cold snap recently I moved all of Miss P’s floor toys up to the guest room since the floor is carpeted there and we can keep those rooms warm without having the heat up really high.  Things are warmer here now but I haven’t bothered to move her toys back downstairs.

Miss P was on the floor and I was sitting on the bed on my laptop trying to figure out the name and composer of a song on one of her toys. I recognized the tune but the specifics were driving me crazy.

I put Pandora on the Baby Einstein channel and he picked up the baby and carried her over to the bed.  I skipped past the first song on Pandora (not it) and then skipped the second one, and then the third came on.  I started to skip it but realized it was probably my most favorite song of all time – Somewhere Over the Rainbow – in my most favorite rendition – the one by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole. (Listen to it here.)

I started singing along and my daughter looked at me and began to smile.  And I started to cry.

Somewhere over the rainbow
Blue birds fly
And the dreams that you dreamed of
Dreams really do come true

This precious little girl is such a dream come true.  Once upon a time I gave up on being a mother.  I never believed it would actually happen and yet here she is.  She made us into a family.  I am in awe of this blessing that has been bestowed upon me, this little miracle that has been entrusted to my care.

I’m going to go snuggle my girl now.

It Works!

When I was researching cloth diapers, methods, etc., one thing I kept seeing was that sunlight gets rid of poop stains.  I filed that little tidbit of information away just in case I ever needed it.

So if sunlight bleaches out poop stains, why was I always seeing poop stained diapers being sold by other moms?  The buy/sell/trade boards were always full of diapers that were stained.

Different kinds of inner cloth diapers. Baby d...

Different kinds of inner cloth diapers. Baby diapers. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This made me skeptical of sunlight.  If it works so great and doesn’t cost anything, wouldn’t these people use it?

The other day I decided to put it to the test.  I had gone a couple of days without washing diapers, and I had forgotten that among the bunch was a poopy one.  Everything got washed, and the inserts got dried in the dryer.  The covers get line dried inside the house (and by “line dried” I mean I hang them over the sides of an empty laundry basket on top of the dryer overnight or until I need them again).

I was stuffing diapers and I noticed that one of the covers had some light poop stains on it.  They were yellow, but noticeable.  It was late morning and sunlight was flooding our back deck so I draped the cover over the back of a lawn chair and promptly forgot about it.

Later in the day we returned from a walk around the neighborhood and I noticed that the back yard was decked in shadows.  I went out to get the diaper expecting to have to put it back out again the next day.

It was completely bright white.  The stains were gone.  And on top of that, it smelled like fresh air.

I’m a believer.

Update on Baby Bullet Steamer

In my previous review I told you that my Baby Bullet Steamer had stopped working.  I unplugged it, dried it off, then put it on a microfiber drying mat on the kitchen counter overnight.  The next morning, it still didn’t work.  I decided to leave it for one more day.

The next morning, the steamer functioned as if nothing had ever happened to it.  I sterilized some bottle pieces and steam-boiled some eggs and it worked fine.

My husband pointed out that I use it A LOT and maybe it wasn’t designed for such heavy duty usage.  I suppose he could be right, but I wouldn’t consider using it 3-4 times per day to be heavy usage.

I have since decided to go back to sterilizing bottle pieces the way I was before, by dumping boiling water over them.  The steamer is up in the cabinet waiting for such time as we need it to steam-boil eggs or steam food for the baby.  The metal reservoir for the water cannot be taken out and cleaned, and it’s hard to get clean otherwise.

I still wouldn’t purchase one.  It’s a little bit of a hassle just to boil eggs.

Catnapper

As I write this, I am peering over the top of my laptop at Miss P.  She is in the midst of a nap, one that is about 19 minutes shy of the 2 hour mark.

A TWO HOUR NAP.

Of course, her eyelids are beginning to crack a bit, and she is starting to move around, so this could be the beginning of the end of this nap but again I say – TWO HOURS! Or almost, anyway.  Time will tell.

That may not seem like a big deal to you, but to me, a two hour nap is unheard of.

You see, I have a catnapper.

Since she exited the newborn stage a little while back, Miss P would take these maddeningly short naps during the day.  Occasionally they would only be 10 minutes or so at a time, and they were never predictable.  It wasn’t until a trip to visit family at Thanksgiving that she developed a napping pattern: she needed to go down for a nap every 2 hours and those naps would last approximately 26 to 30 minutes.  No more, no less.

So the good news was, we had a schedule/pattern.  Even better news was I could actually PUT HER DOWN during these naps.  On the couch, on the bed, on the floor, wherever.  I was finally free to do things while she napped.

Do you know how much you can get done in 30 minutes?  Not a whole lot, but with enough prep work it can add up.  Throw in a load of laundry, make a bed, stuff some cloth diapers, go to the bathroom, anything is possible!  I once even took a shower!

2 kittens taking a nap

2 kittens taking a nap (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lately she has been stretching the time between naps from 2 hours to 3 hours, sometimes even 4 hours.  I will try to get her down, but no dice.  I thought stretching time between naps meant the naps would consolidate and get longer, but I was wrong.

She will occasionally nap for an hour (maybe once every 2 weeks), but rarely do her naps exceed 30 minutes.  I was discussing this with my sister in law and she was shocked.  Her son (my nephew) took these wonderful 3 hour naps every few hours.  Lucky her.

So today after waking up too early (6 am, her dad brought her to me while I was still sleeping) and having a nap at 8 (for 30 minutes) I changed her diaper and brought her upstairs to the guest room to nurse (it’s warmer up here).  I brought my half-dead cell phone and my almost-dead Kindle since I didn’t want to leave her up here by herself for the nap.

And she slept, and she slept, and she slept.

I’ve raced downstairs a couple of times, once to turn down the heat and once to get my laptop.  I figured grabbing the laptop (shortly before starting this post) would be the magical thing that would wake her.  Apparently she just really needed the sleep.  I know she did because she was getting purple bags under her eyes.

Nine minutes until the 2 hour mark.  About 2 minutes ago she opened her eyes, let out a little cry and then went back to sleep.  I’d better wrap this up.  Happy Wednesday!

What A Way To Start The New Year

Sickness has been making the rounds at our place.

Miss P woke up New Year‘s morning very cranky and with a fever.  Since we were out of town visiting family I didn’t have anything with me to help her. (Note to self: always always always bring the infant Tylenol.  Always.)  I was at Walgreens as soon as they opened to get some infant Tylenol for her.  It helped her settle, but she still slept off and on all morning and was cranky when she was awake.  We had to make the 2.5 hour drive home with her like that but thankfully she slept most of the way.

A box of Scotties tissues

A box of Scotties tissues (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Wednesday she seemed to be feeling better, but still has a runny nose, an occasional dry cough, and sneezing.  I obsessively check her temperature with a temporal thermometer and she hasn’t spiked a fever in a few days.

My husband went back to work on Wednesday and came home complaining of a headache.  By bedtime he was feeling worse, then woke up Thursday morning so sick that he called in to work, something he almost never does.

At this point I started chugging Emergen-C.  I also kept the baby away from him and let him sleep most of the day.

Friday he went back to work, but by midday I was feeling poorly.  Saturday I felt even worse: stuffy, achy, tired.  I didn’t sleep much Saturday night into Sunday, but felt a bit better on Sunday.  Still had a stuffy nose and aches, but not as bad.  Thank God for the neti pot.

I am so grateful that I was sick over the weekend when he was here to pinch hit for me.  I can’t avoid the baby entirely since she is still nursing and I don’t pump (I suppose I could have, but sometimes the only way to get her to sleep is to nurse her to sleep and the bottle is not as effective at getting her down).

I’m hoping that the sickness isn’t going to continue to be passed around.  We need to all be well again.

Confession of an Addict

Back when I was pregnant I knew I wanted to nurse my daughter.  I imagined it would come easy to us.  It did not.

English: Moche ceramic vessel showing a woman ...

Moche ceramic vessel showing a woman breastfeeding. Larco Museum Collection. Lima-Peru (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Those first couple of weeks were hell.  Then one night it just fell into place.

I know how lucky I am that she and I figured it out so quickly.  My sister in law told me it took her and my nephew almost 8 weeks to get their act together.

We’ve been nursing for almost 5 months now, and I love it.  I love starting my day quietly with her.  I love nursing her to sleep before naps and before she goes to sleep at night.  I love how she looks when she is curved against me, her eyes closed in bliss.  I love when she looks up at me while she feeds, then smiles so hard she has to relatch.

We have reached that place in the process that I always imagined it would be like: warm, cozy, bonding.  She seeks me out when she needs comfort and warmth.  I love that I am the only place she can get that form of affection and attention.

Since I have a horrible relationship with my own mother, this is one of the ways I am attempting to have a better relationship with my daughter.  Perhaps it makes me selfish, but I won’t apologize for it.

I feel incredibly blessed that breastfeeding worked out for us.  Having done it consistently for over four months, I can definitely see why women extend breastfeeding beyond the “recommended” 6 months.

My plan was to breastfeed for a year.  At this point, I don’t know how I would stop next August.  I will miss the closeness, the special time that is just me and her breathing each other in, sharing warmth.

Of course, she doesn’t have any teeth yet, either, so we’ll see.

 Full disclosure: we supplement with formula, but over half of her daily intake is breast milk.

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