Monday, 30 July 2012

So much to do, so little time

I get overwhelmed easy. It's just my nature. I tend to make things a much bigger deal then they are which turns me into a giant stress ball. Right now I've got two things on my brain; getting ready to go camping and getting ready for Noah's 1st birthday. Of course I just happened to plan those two events within a week of eachother. Nice work genius.

I have been camping for many many years, but this is the first time I will be taking a young child. Not only that, but it's my husband and I's first camping trip together (in a tent.) For the last 15 years or so my family camped in the family trailer which makes packing and meal times a real cinch. This time we need to pack everything! I just know I am going to forget some extremely important item, like a lighter or something. But as I keep being reminded... were going to Cultis, not the middle of nowhere. We can easily drive to a store if need be. It'll be fine. I really love camping and I am looking forward to it. I guess it's just the anxiety of the unknown.

The other stresser, Noahs birthday party. I think in this case I am just making it a much bigger deal then it is. Too much pinterest perhaps? We are doing a Mickey Mouse themed party at my parents house. I spent hours hand making mickey shaped invites, planned out colours right down to the cupcake wrappings and have visualised the set up. I still want to make a flag that says 'Happy Birthday Noah' but I may need to just let that go. I need to follow my own blog advice and stop trying to be such a perfect mommy. He certainly isn't going to remember how it all looks and it's not worth the stress that I am causing myself.

I just like things to be well organised and go according to plan. I'm not so great at the 'fly by the seat of my pants' attitude. Yes, I like to be in control. Because I know that If I am in control then things will get done. Nothing frustrates me more then a bunch of people wanting to get something done but sitting around and not doing anything about it.

Time to wrap it up...I'm starting to rant. This is what happens when I get stressed. Sorry I have nothing of great importance to share with you today. You are simply on the receiving end of Carolyn venting.
Thanks for listening :)

PS - our little goober has gotten super good at standing on his own. What a big boy!

Thursday, 26 July 2012

cloth diapers - day 2

7:30am - I gotta say, waking up and seeing that Noah had made it all night without a leak in his cloth diaper gave me a little thrill. I figured there was absolutely no way the diaper would hold up, but was pleasantly surprised. It makes me happy because it means one less time we will have to use disposables. Now it's looking like disposables would only be used on vacation or when I am out of the house alot in a day (and that's not because I am worried about leaks - it's because I don't want to carry around the soiled diaper in my bag.)
As for the rash he had last night, it appears to pretty much be gone. I noticed this morning while playing with Noah on the floor that he is popping his 7th tooth. Explains the recent cranky mood, messy poops and potentially the rash!

Oh, another note. Because I only have about 12 diapers for this trial I had to wash the ones I used last night. Wanted to share that there were zero stains on the diapers, and I took an extra good look at the ones that had gotten really messy! I use Norwex laundry soap.

8:00am - Poopy diaper, not a big deal. Just dumped the contents in the toilet and through the diaper into the wash.

1:00pm - Noah is up from his nap in a double stuffed diaper - no leaks. So far he has gone through about 3 cloth diapers today. I put him in a disposable because I was going out for the rest of the afternoon. Want to hear something ironic? Noah pooped in his disposable diaper and it leaked... on my shirt. Lovely. I just thought it was hilarious that Noah never leaks in a disposable and he just happens to do it during my cloth trail.

8:00pm - Noah just went to sleep (late for him - but we went for a nice long walk) and I put him in a double stuffed over night diaper. It is so hot in our place that he is going to sleep in just that and a tshirt. Couldn't do that with a velcro diaper (disposable or cloth) because Noah knows how to take them off.

I realise I didn't do nearly as much journaling today as I did yesterday. Honestly, cloth diapering has already become second nature to me and I really didn't think about it that much. When Matt and I were putting Noah to bed we had a discussion about how the last two days went. You must remember that we were both very sceptical about the idea of cloth diapering and immediately shot down the idea when it was suggested to us. So, after this test run, would it be yay or nay to cloth diapering?
Was changing his diaper more complicated? Not really no. We just grab a cloth instead of a disposable and it takes the same amount of time to put on.
Did we have to touch poop all the time? No. When he did poop, which is usually two or three times a day, it usually just fell right into the toilet. Sometimes I had to do a rinse but it never took more then a minute to do.
Did the diapers leak? Not once in the two days we used them. However, I think if we used a diaper that didn't have hip snaps this would have been more likely. Well done Tender Tushies!
Would it save us money? Absolutely. We hope to have several more children and spending $100 a month on disposable diapers and genie refills adds up to alot of money over time. We have been using tender tushies diaper and they run between $9-12 a diaper. So for $250 we could have about 24 diapers that will last us several years. Definite savings - especially if the diapers last more then one child!

So our decision? We plan to cloth diaper while at home. I may eventually end up a hardcore cloth momma who does it all the time. But for now I like the idea of not having to carry around a soiled cloth diaper in the mall or having to do laundry while on vacation. And I do feel really good about throwing a diaper in the laundry instead of in the garbage. That's money I'll never see it again; even if it is only 25 cents a piece.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Cloth diapers - Day 1

I'm going to do these entries in a journal style. It's just easier for me to write as I go otherwise I will totally forget stuff.

10:30pm (night before) - After the required washings I dumped all my diapers and microfiber inserts on my bed and began to stuff. The bamboo inserts still require another wash before using so I won't be using those tomorrow. It really didn't take me long to do and just felt like any other laundry. It helps that the diapers are so cute too. So basically, no big deal. Doing this every few days wouldn't bother me in the slightest.

7:00am - Got Noah up and put him into his first cloth diaper. Didn't take long since it was already stuffed (single). I found myself giving too much thought to what colour diaper I was going to put on him but soon realized that he was going to end up wearing at least half of them today anyways. As cute as they are, most of the time they will be covered up. But since it's hot today I'm going to let him run around in just the diaper and a t-shirt.
I did put a disposable liner on the top of his cloth diaper in case he poops. Found it really annoying to place as it doesn't fasted or attach at all. Kind of doubting how well it will stay in place.

9:00am - Checked Noahs diaper and he pooped. Must note that unlike a disposable I couldn't even smell it! That's a nice bonus, although I need to make sure I check him frequently as I don't want him to end up sitting in it for a long period of time. How do you know when a cloth diaper is wet?
As predicted, the liner wasn't nearly in the same place as it was when I placed it on top of the pocket. Since he peed it had scrunched all up and only half of the poop was sitting on it.
Put a new diaper on Noah (double stuffed for upcoming nap) and took the diaper to the toilet. Turned it inside out and SCORE! Straight into the toilet. Yes, I actually found myself saying 'score' outloud, haha. It was a very easy clean up and there was barely a mark on the diaper. I can see cloth being an easy clean up when your kids are eating solids.

12:00pm - Noahs up from his nap. No leaks! Yay! New diaper on; single stuffed with disposable liner on top. My mom suggested tucking the top of the disposable liner into the back pocket.

12:30pm - Well, I was thankful for that disposable liner. Messy diaper but easy clean up due to that liner (the tucking into back pocket seemed to help too!) Flushed the mess and rinsed the diaper for all of 10 seconds. Little bit of stain on the inside part of diaper. Will see how well those wash out. New diaper on, single stuffed. Going to try the rest of the day without the disposable liners to see how it goes.

4:30pm - Two more diaper changes down, still no leaks or smell. I'm getting better at noticing when he is wet because the butt starts to look a little saggy. I have also noticed that after I pull out the insert it's totally soaked but the diaper itself remains very dry. Nice to know that the wetness is being absorbed into the pocket liner and not sitting against his skin at all. Current thoughts on cloth diapering? This isn't nearly as much work as I thought It'd be.

Noah had some visitors this afternoon :)

7:30pm - Noah is down for the night. He had his third poopy diaper of the day this evening and it was another messy one. I didn't have a liner in and it certainly wasn't going to pop right off into the toilet. Had to do a bit of scrubbing which grossed out my husband. Noticed Noah had a bit of a rash on his bum which could be due to a few things. He could be allergic to the material in the diaper, it could be a reaction to a new food today (nectarines - he had a small rash around his mouth too), or he could have had that messy poop against his skin for longer then I realized. It's hard to say what it was so for now we will carry on and see how it is tomorrow. He went to bed in a double stuffed diaper and I am hoping it will hold everything in for the night!

So, my over all thoughts on the day was that it went pretty well. I didn't find that using cloth diapers added any extra work to my routine. Noah didn't really notice the difference and it felt good to throw a diaper in the wash as opposed to the garbage. I'm really hoping the rash isn't due to the diaper, because I am definitely leaning towards doing cloth diapers while at home!

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

The cloth diaper experimentation

Diapers and inserts!
Starting tomorrow I plan to do a 'trial run' with cloth diapers. I have been absorbing information via the Internet through both articles, message boards and you tube videos and am hoping that if this goes well to switch to using cloth at home. Unless I am blown away by the performance of cloth I will more then likely still use disposable for vacations or when I am out running errands during the day.

My main reason for considering the switch is cost. With my maternity leave being over and me not returning to work, we have definitely noticed the loss of extra income, and baby expenses really add up! Between diapers, diaper genie refills, wipes and formula we are spending at over $200 a month on 'Noah' stuff. Ouch!

As I mentioned in my previous post, my biggest concern with doing cloth is how much extra work it would add to the changing process as well as potential leaks. After talking with several cloth mommas as well as meeting with a cloth 'rep' I have been able to cross one of those issues off my list. I am liking the pocket style diapers as they wont require much extra work during a diaper change. They simply need to be stuffed with a liner after washing and then it's no different then grabbing a disposable from my pile and putting it on. As for leaks - that's what this test run is for.

Noah in a BumGenius diaper
My cousin is planning to go cloth with her next child and has generously lent me her (so far) supply of 12 or so pocket diapers and I have purchased two of my own. The brands I will be using are BumGenius and Tender Tushies. BumGenius is a well known brand, on the more expensive side at $18-25 and is a one size diaper, good for somewhere between 8 and 35 pounds. Tender Tushies are a local to Vancouver company, priced around $9-12, also one size diaper 8-35 pounds. Both are a snaps style, although the Tender Tushies have hip snaps for extra fit which I love.

Noah in a Tender Tushies diaper
I did also try a rumparooz brand on Noah and instantly didn't like it. The fit was too snug for my big baby and it was incredibly bulky. I like the BumGenius and Tender Tushies because of the trim fit. When I tried them on Noah you couldn't even really tell he was wearing cloth once his pants were on.

Today is washing/prep day. They suggest you wash your cloth diapers a few times before using to build up absorbency, especially if you are using a bamboo insert. I hope to post a review at the end of each day to let you know how its going. It'll be a totally honest review, as I have not committed to doing cloth yet. I am only interested in switching if it actually works well for me.

I'll let you know :)

Monday, 23 July 2012

Baby signs

Having worked in special education for several years and since I had taken a course in sign language, I always had it in the back of my brain to teach my children a few signs at a young age to help them communicate. I was a little sceptical as to if my son would actually pick it up, but when he hit the 10 month mark he caught on very quickly!

I have found some signs to be more necessary and useful then others. The first one I ever taught him was all done when he started on pureed foods. Whenever he finished he would sign it, but I am not sure he actually grasps the concept of it as in 'I'm full' vs 'the bowl is empty.' It's more obvious when he is done eating because he will push away his spoon and hold his mouth shut.

He also signs for more when he is eating, and this one has been pretty helpful and has forced him to communicate with us while he is eating. It's pretty funny to watch him when he eats something like ice cream or cake, because he pretty much signs for more as soon as the food his his mouth.

The most helpful sign I have taught him so far is the one for milk. The other day I was in the middle of a store with Noah and he was getting really fussy. I wasn't sure what he wanted so I literally just said, "Noah, what do you want?" and he looked right at me and started signing for it. So I gave him his bottle, he drank it up and was then perfectly happy. So awesome!

The next one I plan to teach him is for change, as in diaper change! We'll see how it goes.
I took a video of Noah signing yesterday and planned to post it with this blog, but then I realised that it's actually on my mothers camera at her house. Will try and post it on facebook at a later time. In the meantime, here is a video of the first day or two of teaching Noah how to sign more. Gives you an idea of how it all works.

I definitely plan to keep this up for my next children, and if you are interested in early communication with your child I'd would totally recommend it :)

Thursday, 19 July 2012

... how does your garden grow?

I have been toying with the idea of growing 'something' on the deck of my townhouse. Not flowers - we just don't get along. I don't have alot of space to work with, but I like the idea of growing and producing something that I can use in my cooking and baking. The question is, what can I grow that takes up minimal space and is relatively easy to maintain?

LOVE this - takes up minimal space!

I wouldn't mind growing a few herbs; such as chives, rosemary, thyme or oregano.
I'd also like to grow a vegetable or two, if possible. I know tomato's are easy, but neither my husband or I like them so that's out. Does anyone have some suggestions as to an easy vegetable to grow in a small space?

Would nice to have two boxes like this for my deck with a veggie each.
Do any of my blog readers grow anything on their decks or porches? I'd be interested in hearing your experience or suggestions. Thanks in advance :)

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

To cloth or not to cloth?

Cloth diapers have been on the brain lately. Mostly because my cousin and I have been chatting about it as she contemplates the idea of going the cloth route with her soon to arrive bundle.

Noah has been fully disposable diapered since the day he was born. I never gave two thoughts to the idea of cloth because it just sounded like way too much work and I thought it'd be enough of an adjustment just being a new mommy. With disposables I don't have to even think about it. Diaper gets dirty, diaper gets thrown away, new diaper is put on, done.

As my husband and I begin to talk about the idea of baby number 2 I am considering (and not strongly may I just add) the idea of going the cloth route. I like the concept and the look of cloth, but I'm just not sure I am willing to dive right into it. If it actually does save money that would be great too, although I am not convinced that it does. Just a side note here - yes I realise cloth are better for the environment but that's not a huge selling feature for me (I know, I am horrible... but it's the truth.)

So I am asking for opinions from other mommies. Mommies who have tried cloth but stuck with disposable, mommies who do cloth full time, etc. I want totally honest experiences here. What do/did you like, hate. What kind do you use? I know there are millions of different types out there and I don't even understand how all of them work. My biggest fear is doing the switch and then giving up within a month or two.

Oh, here are my main concerns.

1. I think about the newborn stage where babies are pooping 10+ times a day and the idea of cloth seems overwhelming. I would hate to feel 'annoyed' at my child for dirtying a diaper because it means more laundry for an already tired momma.

2. The idea of having soiled diapers sitting around in some bag in the house until laundry day. Yes, I get you need to wash them every other day or whatever, but still. We have a diaper genie that holds the disposable smell in fantastically, but when we change the bag boy does it reek. I can't image dealing with that smell constantly in his bedroom or our living room.

3. Having to deal with taking a diaper off, putting on another one and then the hassle of having to walk that diaper to the closest washroom to 'expel' what's on it into the toilet. It's just another step on top of a diaper change and doing that several times a day seems like a waste of time to me.

4. Leakage. I have heard some cloth diapers don't work great for big babies who pee lots. Noah can't wear pampers as he leaks with those, but huggies disposables have never failed us.

So please, send your thoughts my way. I really am curious as to your experiences. And please, as you share your thoughts be respectful to both sides. We mommies all just want what's best for our families :)

Monday, 16 July 2012

A great day!

Today was a great day.

This is what Matt thinks of studying...
Matt was off work early today after writing an exam for his engineering work so we ended up over at a friends pool for part of the afternoon. It was the perfect place to be on a hot afternoon and we thoroughly enjoyed it! Noah loves to be in the water and we took the opportunity to try out a floaty we got him for our Hawaii trip in a few months. Worked out pretty well! Here are a few snapshots.

Our little family

Noah just loving his floaty and toys

Drying off in the sunshine

After our fun in the sun, we dropped Noah off at his Nana and Papas and Matt and I met up with (my) brother and sister in law at Olive Garden for a tasty dinner. It was oh so tasty - I am beyond stuffed.

All in all, a pretty great day in my books!

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Life without cable TV

It's been over a month now since we've axed cable TV from our lives. I can't remember if I ever mentioned what we did to replace it so I will fill you in quickly. We bought Apple TV and we took our monthly bill from $80 a month to $8 by just having Netflix.

Here is what I've noticed.

The TV isn't on nearly as much as it use to be. I confess, I was the one most likely to turn on the TV and watch random things. And with our Apple TV I can now easily stream things like Ellen, Dr. Phil or for the most part whatever else is available on cable. But I just haven't bothered. If I do watch something during the day when I am home with Noah, it is usually an episode of Little House on the Prairie - which I am really enjoying!

Also, Matt and I watch more things together. We have a couple of older series on Netflix that we are enjoying and we will pick one each evening to watch together. Previously with cable, he had his shows and I had mine. One of us would end up going somewhere else in the house while the other watched their show. It's nice to be together!

I feel out of the loop! People talk about things they saw on the news, a commercial or a sporting event and I have no idea what they are talking about. The words, "Oh, we don't have cable" feel silly even leaving my mouth. Granted, we do occasionally stream national news with the Apple TV but I find it awfully depressing and don't really like to watch it.

We go to bed earlier. We don't stay up super late to begin with, but after our episode we usually head upstairs and read. Nothing like a good night sleep!

So the big question, do I miss it? Sure, a bit; mainly TLC. But then I think about how stupid half the stuff I was watching was anyhow and how much time I've wasted and I get over it pretty quickly.

Ultimately I think it was a good choice for our family.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Fun & busy weekend

We had a fun and busy weekend full of socializing, sunshine and BBQ food. It's Tuesday and I am still exhausted from it. Seriously... I napped yesterday in the afternoon and was in bed by 9pm.

Saturday we spent time with my parents and brothers. Ever since Matt and I got married we eat at their place at least once on the weekends. Usually it's Sundays after church, but when it's sunny out we end up over their alot more to enjoy the backyard. Noah especially loves all the attention and playtime with his family.

Nana, Noah and Grandpa

Noah loves to be chased and to tackle


Me and my man!
Sunday after church and Noahs nap we met up with some friends at our local pool to escape the heat and cool off. It was Noahs first time at a public swimming pool (other then on vacation) and he had a blast splashing around with his friend Lorelai.

Getting ready to head to the pool. Sorry, didnt take my camera IN the pool.

Following our swim we had another BBQ back at our place. Lorelai and Noah were chasing after eachother on the floor and having a blast. Little chaotic, but hey, that's life these days and it's only going to get crazier! Have I mentioned that our group is expecting two more little ones in the not too distant future?

Tamara & Jason are expecting their first child sometime around the end of December.

And little Lorelai is going to be a big sister early next year!

Noah just can't wait to have more buddies to play with!

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Dental sedation success

I wrote in a previous post a few months back about my strong fear and anxiety when it came to going to the dentist. I don't like people poking around in my mouth and it makes me feel very claustrophobic having to get any work done.

I switched dentists after my husband and I got married and really love where we go. They offer alot of more complicated procedures that most dentists don't like whitening, braces, molding, extractions, skin grafts and of course, sedation. They are also literally a 3 minute drive from our house.

In case you don't know what conscience sedation is, it is where they give you a pill about an hour before your procedure (in office) and have you hooked up to a heart rate monitor and a blood pressure cuff. When the drugs start to kick in you get drowsy and relaxed, some people even go to sleep. And the best part is that you barely remember what has happened the next day.

Over the past 2 months I have gone under dental sedation twice to get a whole bunch of work done that has been needed for years but that I have been neglecting. The first time was getting my two wisdom teeth done on the right side, and yesterday I had my other two wisdom teeth removed, plus a crowded tooth and a large filling re-done. The work took about two hours but it felt more like 15 minutes. The only thing I remember from my appointment yesterday was when they pulled one of my wisdom teeth since it didn't come out as easily as the others. No pain, just alot of pressure. I also remember thinking my heart rate monitors constant beeping was really funny.

Someone has to escort you home after these procedures and stay with you all day. Both times I have just slept off the drugs and felt fine by the evening. I have also been lucky that both times have caused no swelling and barely a need for drugs.

Did I mention that it isn't all that expensive either? If I were to have gotten my wisdom teeth removed at the hospital it would have cost me over a grand. For all the work I have done in the last two appointments its been just under $500. Awesome!

I can definitely say that the sedation has helped me with my fear of the dentist! I still don't enjoy going, but yesterday my anxiety levels before the procedure were so much smaller then before. And as far as clinics go, the dentists, hygienists and office staff are really wonderful!

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Big boy eating

Over the last two weeks I have been gradually increasing the amount of finger foods Noah eats. I have to say, I was pretty nervous about it as I have a strong fear of him choking. But all of a sudden it just seemed like he was 'ready' and he hasn't gagged at all. I have noticed since introducing him to finger foods he is more resistant of pureed veggies and dinners; not a bad thing I guess.

His favourite has been cheese. You put some of that down in front of him and it's gone in no time.
Today I introduced him to egg and he loved it even more then cheese. In fact, his cheese sat untouched on his plate until all the egg had been eaten.

We have also recently introduced giving him a sippy cup of diluted juice or water at meal times.Once it comes time to switch him to milk I will be replacing that for the other liquids in the sippy cup. Hopefully it will make saying bye bye to the bottle a little easier.

It's crazy to watch him sitting in his highchair eating regular foods and drinking from a cup. It makes him seem way older then he really is. He's going to be 1 in just over a month now! Can time slow down a bit please!?

Monday, 2 July 2012

Early birthday presents

Today Noah received some early birthday presents in the mail from his Grandmaman who sadly lives far away in Ontario. It was his first ever birthday present and he was very excited to go through everything and get a good look at it.

His favorite part of the gift? His Mickey Mouse birthday card. It took me a good 5 minutes to pry it out of his hands so he could open the actual present.

In case you werent aware of it, my son drools an insane amount. If he doesnt wear some kind of bib to soak it up he gets a wicked rash on his neck that itches and irritates him to no end. We bought several bibs from a local woman in Langley (to check our her business page go HERE ) and loved them. But we can't really afford to buy say 15 of them. I don't sew, but my wonderful mother in law does and she went ahead and made Noah 10 more bibs to use. They turned out beautifully and look adorable!

 "Thank you so much for all the gifts Grandmaman! I love them all!" - Noah