Thursday, September 30, 2010

Registry

Despite having most everything we need for a new baby, Josh and I decided to create a short registry anyway.  We would like a couple things doubled up on and then there are some smaller things we didn't get for Audrey and would like for this baby.


So ... we did make a registry at Babies R Us
You can search for us, also.
Or just use the registry number: 45673080


Because we are using cloth diapers and I feel like our stash isn't quite big enough for diapering 2 babies full time, I created a registry with an online CD store.  You can purchase the individual items or just a gift certificate, if you are a little nervous about cloth diapers or just unsure what to get.  Due to the nature of her store, the registry is a little misleading in that the photos don't necessarily match the description.  And I could only register for what was currently in stock.  If a color that I chose is out of stock, feel free to substitute with a color or pattern that you think I'd like.


The stores is Sweet Bottoms Baby Boutique and our registry is here.


If I were to be so bold as to make a request, honestly, the things I feel like we need the most are cloth diapers and cloth diaper supplies.


And, please, do NOT feel obligated to buy us anything.  We really do have everything we need; these are truly just wish list items if you are feeling generous.

Thankful Thursday - 9/30

Today I am VERY thankful for cooler weather, especially at night.


I can handle the heat.  I enjoy the heat.  But I just can't sleep at night when it's 90* in the bedroom.  And with the fans on high, my ears hurt with the noise.  So I've been sleeping with earplugs to drown out the white noise that drowns out the outside noise.  (Truth be told ... I hate having a fan on in the bedroom anyway, but have learned to adjust.)


At any rate, last night was significantly cooler than the previous few nights.  Consequently we all slept better.  Audrey slept in her crib all night (I think a number of factors helped her sleep better), and therefore Josh and I were able to sleep better without little legs kicking us and little hands grabbing at faces.


Now if this dumb rash would just go away I'll be one VERY happy camper.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Hebrews 3:13

I read the following passage yesterday morning in my quiet time and was struck by it.  I've read it before, even memorized it in college.  But yesterday it made me stop in my tracks.


13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness.

How am I currently encouraging those around me?  Specifically, how am I encouraging my husband?  And how can I encourage him more/better?  


It's not uncommon to get irritated, annoyed, etc at a spouse's little quirks.  To be frustrated at the same ol' flaw.  To say, "How can you still do this even though you know it annoys me so much?"  But why not turn that irritation into encouragement.  Encouragement is so much more productive than irritation and nagging.


So I ask you ... are you encouraging those around you?  If not, why not?  If you are, can you encourage more?  Can you replace the nagging with encouragement?  Can you eliminate the frustration and substitute with prayer?


Just a quick thought for today.............

Expecting a newborn...

I suppose it's no secret that I'm expecting a baby.  In case you hadn't heard ... I'm expecting a baby.  Baby girl is due in December and will be delivered by a scheduled c-section (unless of course the hospital comes to their senses and let me try for a natural birth).


It's also not a secret that we use cloth diapers.  I've become a HUGE proponent of cloth diapers.  I refuse to buy disposables.  I will take any obstacle with the cloth and figure out how to overcome it.  That's how important it is to me to use the cloth.  (BTW --- we've been using cloth diapers exclusively since end of May.)


Trying to decide the most economical and feasible way to use cloth diapers on our new baby, I found someone willing to let me borrow her XS diapers.  I was ecstatic!!!  To add to the stash, because I know that I'll be a little busy and will want as big of a stash as possible, I've also started making my own diapers.


I was very excited to read the following blog post on using cloth diapers on a newborn.


Things I have learned about cloth diapering a newborn. When my son, HB, was five months old, I had to put away all his newborn diapers. As I did this, I kept thinking about all the trials and errors that I’ve had with cloth diapering. Here are some of the things that I’ve learned:

  1. Gussets are awesome! Because breastfed stool is so runny, it can easily squish out of a diaper.
  2. Your Birdseye prefolds aren’t really prepped until there’s very little lint in your dryer.
  3. You don’t have to fold diapers but you might want to so that you can put them on the baby correctly in the middle of a long sleepless night. You avoid lots of accidents and get more sleep that way.
  4. Prefolds must be all inside the diaper. Any part of it sticking out leads to leakage. And make sure that all-in-ones or pockets haven’t folded over in the back. This can also cause leaks.
  5. Get a supply of inserts or doublers, which are really the same thing. I had heard you needed them at night for older babies, but never realized that because newborn stool is so watery it can seep through the prefold into the cover.
 Please read the whole blog post over at The Cloth Diaper Whisperer.  Great tips, even for non-newborns!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Thankful Thursday - 9/23/10

And now it's time for Thankful Thursday.


I'm thankful for my time with God this morning.  I'm thankful that, at least for the time being, I'm at peace with our situation.  No, I don't like it, but God never said we had to like it.  I am at peace.  And I'm striving toward contentment.  


As Paul says in Phil 4
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.
This is my aim ... contentment.

Enlisting the Power of Prayer

I'm going to enlist the power of a praying blog world.


We've been pretty quiet about it, but now that it's real and set in motion, I feel like I can let it out there.  I was afraid before that I would jinx any possibility of a different outcome by mentioning it, but I think that's not going to be the case.


A few weeks ago, Josh was informed that he will be transitioned from an hourly employee to a salaried one.  While this has it's benefits, Josh was able to work a significant amount of overtime as an hourly employee.  Being salaried, we will no longer be able to get that extra income.  As you can imagine, the last few weeks have been scary in our house.  And tense.  And things being said that weren't meant, or perceived in ways not intended.


Yesterday was a particularly bad day.  I said some things that made Josh feel, well, small.  It was not my intention at all to do that.  I would never purposely condescend my husband.  But I did.  And I couldn't figure out why I kept saying things that made him hurt so much.  


I talked with my mom some last night and went to bed in a prayerful state.  Grateful for my mom's ears and knowing that she, too, would be praying for us.  This morning she asked how I was doing.  This was my response.
______________________________________


I dunno.
We’re both scared.  Trying to prepare without controlling the situation.  It’s hard.

We talked a bit this morning and acknowledged that our tension is a result of being scared and unsure of what is going to happen.  Acknowledged that we aren’t trying to fight with each other, but we are both processing this differently and those ways are conflicting with each other.  I admitted that while this was HIS paycheck and HIS job and HIS situation, it’s both of our battle, but I’m not handling it well.  I am having a hard time sitting back and watch it happen and not be able to do anything about it.  Even if he could negotiate or get this policy overturned or whatever, it has to be HIM that does it, not me.  And that’s why I think we are struggling.  I want to do something, but can’t.  So I’m talking as if I’m giving marching orders to him and yet he feels stuck and can’t do anything about it.  I need to back off.

I read Titus 2 last night.  I don’t think it really was saying what I learned from it, or what God was showing me. 

Urge bondslaves to be subject to their own masters in everything, to be well-pleasing, not argumentative,
10  not pilfering, but showing all good faith so that they will adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in every respect.

The piece about being subject to masters.  This applies to work … being subject to what the boss or whomever says.  I may not agree with the non-existent policy that HR is trying to enforce, but she’s getting away with enforcing it and I think to respect Josh’s boss and HR, we need to just suck it up and deal with it.

Then chapter 3 goes on to say:

1 Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good,
2 to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men. 

Kind of drives the point home.

As much as I don’t like the situation we are in, ultimately we are in this situation because we allowed ourselves to get comfortable with his overtime pay.  And while he wasn’t cheating the system like HR is (in not so many words) accusing him of doing, we did get too used to having the overtime and now need to learn to live without it.  We need to really truly trust God for our finances.  Not sure what that looks like yet.  But it’s scary.  Just by the numbers, we don’t have enough to pay all of our bills.  And there isn’t a whole lot of room to trim back.  So it’ll be interesting to see how God works, if we can truly trust him and not control the situation.

Now this doesn’t mean we continue the way we’ve been living and wait for the magic check to appear in the mailbox every month.  We still need to do our part … trim the groceries, watch our utility usage, etc.  But we can’t sit and try to manipulate the numbers every month and decide to not pay bills or LOOK for magic checks.

You said that we were under attack.  While that may be, it could also be that we’re being taught something.  That we are being stretched and such.  That God is going to grow our character.  God is allowing this to happen, whether it’s an attack of the enemy or self-induced or whatever, God is letting this happen to us and we will come out OK.  We will learn something.  We will grow.  But boy the ride is going to suck.

I guess I should remember the words of James: “Consider it all joy when you encounter trials.”  This is going to be a trial.  This will be the worst financial situation I’ve found myself in.

But when I look at the BIG picture, I realize that this isn’t the worst it could be.  We don’t have a child with brain cancer.  We haven’t lost a loved one.  We both still have jobs.  We are both healthy.  We have a roof over our heads. 

God is bigger than this.
_________________________________________________

So I ask YOU, my blogworld friends, my praying friends, my non-praying friends, pray for us.  Pray that we will see God.  Pray that we will learn from this.  Pray that we will continue to seek God around every turn.  That we will not try to control the situation.


And if you are so inclined, pray for that magic check to appear.  Because that's never out of the realm of God's work.  ;)

Monday, September 20, 2010

My Dearest Daughter

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Dear Audrey,


I'm writing this letter to you today because I need you to know something.


I LOVE you very much.  I love you more than I've ever loved anything in my entire life.  I didn't know it was possible to love anyone or anything as much as I love you.


I love the way you say my name.  I love the way you laugh.  I love the way your hair curls in the back.  I love the hugs that you give.  I love the kisses that you give.  I love your soft voice.  And the way you carry bags around like a purse.  I love your curiosity and always wanting to make things work the same way the big people do.


I am your mom.  God saw fit to give you to me.  I'm so excited for all the things God is going to do in our lives together; the things that you'll teach me, the things that I'll teach you, the things we'll learn together.


I do not have a manual for how to be your mom.  I'm winging it.  Because of that reason, I may screw up.  I may yell at you for something you didn't do.  I may ignore you when you really need to talk to me.  I may give you bad advice.  I may respond poorly to you when I am angry.  I can't watch you every second and you will get boo-boos.  


But please know, that even though I am not perfect, I still love you.  Nothing will change that.  Nothing you can say or do will make me love you any less.  Nothing I will do will be because I don't love you.  I cannot promise that you will never get hurt ... but I promise that I will ALWAYS be here for you.  


I will ALWAYS have a lap for you to sit in and cuddle.  I will ALWAYS have kisses to give you.  And I will ALWAYS pray for you and with you.


Audrey Grace ... you are my beautiful daughter and I thank God that I have you in my life. 

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Facelift

Just spent some time giving my blog a facelift.  What do you think?  I also moved around my gadgets on the right, hoping to make some more visible than others, and making it a little more reader-friendly.

Check out the new gadget on the right ... "like" box to Diaper Parties Bay Area FB page.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Annie


After Ice Skating
Originally uploaded by Christsstar
Annie ......

Annie was my very best friend's little sister. She felt like my little sister at times. She is responsible for my one and only real nickname in life, 'Tine. She couldn't say my full name, so she said Tine. It stuck. The whole family calls me Tine to this day.

She had the biggest heart of anyone I knew. She loved Jesus. She loved everyone she met. She loved football. She loved showing off.

Annie was 3 (I think ... Sarah, can you confirm) when she was first diagnosed with Leukemia. On top of the Leukemia, Annie also had Down's Syndrome. The two conditions kept Annie in the hospital and doctor's offices for much of her life. But that didn't stop Annie from smiling and being her cheerful self.

Annie passed away in October of 2006 to Leukemia. She was 21.

Today would be Annie's 25th birthday.

Happy Birthday Annie. Have a great party with Jesus today.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Cloth Diapers



This is a blog post that's been in the works for quite awhile.  I've been contemplating what I want to say and how I want to say it and it's all swirling around in my head, but has had no direction.  I hope I can get my thoughts together and be coherent enough to make a decent post.

I've mentioned in more than one post that Josh and I have switched to cloth diapers.  It was a decision made mostly for financial reasons.  I'm so glad we made the switch, and for so many more reasons.

I'll first start this by explaining the cost of cloth vs. disposables.

Disposables were costing us about $10/week to purchase.  Add to that the stress of wondering if we had enough and did we need to buy more and what if I run out mid-week.  Even with coupons, it was at least $6/week, and the weeks we got them that cheap were rare, usually had to buy generic for that.  This cost changes as the baby grows and switches sizes and how often baby poops/pees.  But it's a pretty close average, considering the changes in package sizes and such.  At any rate, just $10/week alone, that's $520/year to use disposable diapers for one baby.  The average toddler is potty-trained around 3-3 1/2; that's nearly $2000 in diapers.  And that's just one baby.  You have a second baby, and the cost doubles.

It cost us about $150 to get started with cloth.  It's a big investment at first, and when we were just getting by every month, it seemed like it was hard to come up with that kind of money.  We started with a pretty cheap system that would conceivably last through potty-training because they are "one-size."  We could have done it cheaper per diaper, but the diaper to do that requires multiple sizes, and that would end up costing us more money in the long run.  

We could have easily spent $500 to get started with diapers, but knew that if we were doing this for financial reasons, we needed to pick the most fiscally responsible option.  We got 24 diapers and 7 covers; I had a couple others from other means, too, so we had a total of 30 diapers and 9 covers.  Perfect number of diapers to get us through about 4 days.  (Conceivably it's enough to last a full week if Audrey has a "normal" pooping week, but that's a lot of diapers to wash at once.)  Calculated at the $10/week cost of disposables, after 15 weeks we'd have used the cloth diapers enough to "break even" with the cost of disposables.

I know someone out there is questioning about the cost of washing/drying the diapers, having to physically wash them, cleaning up poops, detergent, etc.  OK.  I'll address this.  When done properly, I only have 2 extra loads of wash a week.  The cost of water is negligible for 2 loads.   And if you have an HE washer, it's even more negligible.  It probably cost more to shower every day than to run the washing machine for 2 extra cycles a week.  While it doesn't cost much to run the dryer to dry the small load of diapers, I actually take it one step further and dry them out on a clothesline, so the energy there is just what it takes me to take them out.  And I let my daughter play outside while I'm doing this, so she gets her outdoor playtime.  She loves it.

Detergent ... you actually use less detergent for diapers than normal clothes because you want to prevent a detergent build-up on the diapers.  So again, that's a negligible expense.  I bought a small thing of All Free & Clear in April and it lasted me until mid-August.

Taking the time to wash ... I wash my diapers on Mondays and Fridays.  These are the same days I wash my other clothes.  I just add one load to my laundry day duty.  Takes me about 3 extra minutes to take the diapers out to the garage and start the extra load.

Stigma of cloth diapers ... there's a stigma surrounding cloth diapers that they are old fashioned and they leak and such.  Why would you want to use cloth diapers when our technology allows for cool disposable diapers?  I'll start this discussion by saying that cloth diapers have come a LONG way in the last 30 years.  When I was in diapers it was all about pre-fold diapers, pins, and plastic pants.  My mom even has plastic pants that match dresses, but it's the same ol' plastic pants.  While these still exist (and we own some), they don't have to be that way.  Technology not only allows for disposable diapers that absorb urine and hold in poo, but it also allows for really cute cloth diapers that are just as easy to use as disposables.  Did I say cute??  Yes ... I said cute.  Many diapers these days are made of outer waterproof material that with cute prints and colors.  So many moms (and dads) coordinate the outfits with the diapers.  Fun vibrant colors, stripes, polka-dots, flowers, monsters, oogas, characters, animals, etc.  Even diapers without a waterproof outer (and therefore require a cover) have cute prints.

Furthermore, the technology responsible for disposable diapers is a bunch of chemicals that cause the liquid to bead up in little beads that sit up against your baby's bottom.  Some have even been known to cause chemical burns.  Just because the technology is there, doesn’t mean it needs to be used.

I started using cloth diapers for financial reasons; obviously there are other benefits to using cloth diapers.

Already addressed the cuteness factor.  Touched on the safer and better for baby.  Let's go a little bit more into the disposable factor.  Most people are aware of this, but I'm going to mention it anyway.  Disposable diapers are plastic and chemicals and take years, as in hundreds of, to break down.  All this breaking down is with human waste in them.   Yuck.

OK.  So you aren't a "green" person.  You aren't that aware of your carbon footprint.  But did you know that most states require you to dispose of the waste from the diaper prior to throwing it away?

Which leads me to my next point.

The "icky" factor of using cloth.  Dealing with the mess.  Do I have to wash the poopy diaper in the washing machine?  Won’t that gunk up my machine?  Won’t I have poop all my loads after this?  Funny you should ask this.  No.  you don’t.  When you run your dishwasher, do you have food remaining in it to wash with the next load of dishes?  When you wash a pair of muddy pants from your son playing in the dirt, does the mud stay in the machine to wash with the next load?   No.  It drains with the dirty water.  So does the dirty diaper water.  100% breastfed poop is water soluble and therefore the diapers don’t even need to be rinsed.

Once the baby starts on solids, then you do have one more step before doing laundry.  You must get the majority of the solids off the diaper before washing.   Back in the day of plastic pants and diaper pins, our mothers/grandmothers would give the diaper a swirlie in the toilet to get the poop off of the diaper.  While this method is still very effective and works great, someone out there smarter than me invented a diaper sprayer.  Basically it’s a kitchen sink spray hose attached to the toilet tank intake.  You spray clean water on the diaper and get all the solid waste off.  Again, back in the days of plastic pants and diaper pins, our mothers and grandmothers stored the diapers in a wet pail.  For reasons of pure grossness, someone realized this wasn’t necessary anymore.  You can store your diapers in any sort of pail, open or closed, lined or unlined, and wait until laundry day.  I use a large trashcan with a popup lid and line it with a waterproof reusable bag (that I made from a shower curtain liner).  The ONLY rub is that the diapers shouldn’t sit too long or else the stains will set in the diaper.  But we’re talking about a piece of material used to catch poop ... I think it’s OK if there are a couple stains.  Just as long as the outside is still clean and pretty to coordinate with the outfits.

I think I’ve rambled on long enough about why I chose cloth diapers, and I hope I dispelled some myths that you may have heard and/or believed.  In a future post I will discuss the different types of cloth diapers.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Baby Feet & Baby Steps

My friend Ali, over at Baby Feet & Baby Steps, just posted a blog that melted my heart.  And I could take it and make it my own, substituting girls for boys and dolls for cars.


sigh............


Suddenly it's all clear. As these little 'flash forwards' enter my mind and heart, it hits me. I'm going to be the mama of two little boys. Two little boys who are obsessed with playing with trucks and blocks together. Two little boys to make dirty messes, and blame each other. Two little boys to bathe, jammie, and tuck into bed. Two little boys that will wear matching ties and dress shirts, even matching jammies. Two little boys that God chose me to parent, and love.

King Josiah

In my reading plan with the church, we are currently in 2 Kings.  Right at the end.  Today I read about King Josiah and all he did for Israel.  He was a godly king and honored God.  You can read about him in 2 Kings 22-23.


I read the following verse and I just had to stop and ponder it.



25 Neither before nor after Josiah was there a king like him who turned to the Lord as he did—with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength, in accordance with all the Law of Moses. 

What would this look like in my life?  To align my heart, soul and strength in accordance with God's will/plan?

Monday, September 6, 2010

Mommy and Me Monday - 9/6/10

Mommy and Me Monday at Really, Are You Serious?
Hosted by Krystyn at Really, Are You Serious?


We decided to go to the zoo this weekend to show Audrey the animals. The last time she was at the zoo she was only about 5 months old and not aware enough to enjoy it. This is Josh, Audrey and me in front of the chimpanzees. They were very active, and one is a little on the feisty side and kept charging the glass, which is what she's looking at.  You can see his head behind Josh's arm.


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For more "Mommy and Me" Fun, head on over to Krystyn's blog.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A Lisp.............

Audrey has a little bit of a lisp when she says her "s" sound. Its not too surprising since she is learning to talk. But this creates a slight humorous situation.

Her lisp creates more of an "sh" sound. One of her new favorite words is "sit." You can imagine my surprise and horror and almost irate outburst at the teenagers when she kept saying "sit, sit, sit, sit, sit" while walking around the house. Only to see her sit down on the stair and stop talking. Phew.....no teenagers getting mouths washed out with soap today.
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