Saturday, December 31, 2011


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2011 was a big year for our family.

I lost all my baby weight and ran my first 5k race.  I found out I was pregnant with my third child, and subsequently gained back most of my baby weight.

Nathanael was very sick at the beginning of the year, and we determined that dairy was a contributing factor.  Only now, almost a year after the initial illness, is he back on regular dairy products, and that on a limited basis.

My children gained two new cousins in just one months time, one of who spent a while in the NICU with some superintensive life-saving interventions.  The Lord has blessed him (and us) greatly, and his is a healthy, thriving boy.  My aunt, who works with his hospital and the NICU tells me babies with his complications don't normally do as well as he has. A miracle baby, indeed!

My neighbor, Dennis, started off the year well, and passed away in August.  It has been a big change for us, and E and N both still speak of him, and want to see him.  It's still hard to explain it.  We went on a big family vacation to Arizona, probably the last one in a while. It was a great trip, but hard to enjoy when a loved one has passed away.
We birthed our third child at home, and around that same time, we decided it was time to move from rural Missouri to Chicagoland.  We've had a lot to think about and talk about in just a few short months.

I've been preparing for 2012:

I bought new running shoes  - Asics GT - 2170.  I hope they prove to be great shoes - I'm going to run them into the ground!  I really wanted to break out in a run today on my treadmill, but considering that I haven't even walked for more than 10 minutes straight in more than 3 months, I thought it wiser to just keep it slow for now.  Running will come soon enough!
ASICS® 'GT 2170' Running Shoe (Women) 

I bought the Motivated Moms planner so I can tackle my house, keep it clean regularly, and maybe keep it that way. It is printed and ready to go.  Perhaps I lucked out that the first day of 2012 is a slow day, chore wise.

I'm sorting things for the big move. Keep, Recycle, Rehome, Trash. We've lived here for 9 years (with a brief stint living in another house.) So many things I have, that I don't use! I'm looking for houses, and we're plotting our course for the next few months.

Bring it on, 2012. I'm going to eat you alive!

Friday, December 30, 2011

a month in cloth diapers: newborn madness!

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Currently, A is wearing the red diaper in the photo.
Adelle has been in cloth diapers from day one. Well, a disclaimer: I have to say that we have used disposable diapers, too, because we have them.  But, for most nights and days, the girl is in cloth.

It's been working pretty well.  We are lucky (I guess?)  that Adelle apparently doesn't care if her diaper is wet or poopy. Really,  Doesn't faze her.  And since she sleeps for long stretches at night and/or we both barely wake up to get her fed, there aren't a lot of diaper changes at night.  I know.  I'm a lazy mama.

For the first 3 weeks, Adelle had been in Kissaluvs Size 0 fitted diapers and infant sized prefolds.  I love the fitted diapers especially for new babies.  They're pretty easy to put on, and they keep the stuff in the diaper.  We've also been using infant sized prefolds with snappis, which are also great and easy to use.  For covers, I've had 4 different styles in our rotation: Thirsties (absolute favorite for fit), proraps, and bummis.  

Here's what I like and don't like about the covers I've used:

Thirsties covers - love the fit.  Fits nicely around both the fitted and prefold, without leaving absorbent material exposed. Has an umbilical stump cut out, which makes them great for that first week or two. These are very easy to rinse out or wipe out between uses, which means needing fewer covers.

Proraps - Inexpensive, has an umbilical cutout that is very nice for new babes.  The was okay at first, but as Adelle has gained weight, we had to go up a size from the newborn cover (6-10 pounds) to the meduim cover(10-15) because even at 9 pounds, the cover was leaving gaps at the thigh that exposed absorbent material to contact with clothing.  The next size up cover wis a little too big/long in the rise, so I still have some problems with gaps. These are also easy to clean between uses.

Bummis super whisper wrap, Newborn and small - I have just one of these, and the fit is very nice, but we're at the very limit of the newborn.  The small is a little big for the girl, but it doesn't leave gaps.  Just extra material that bunches up (room to grow!)  I have some with snaps, but I prefer the velcro, as I can get a better fit.  A is between snap sizes right now.  These don't wipe out well between uses, since the inner side of the cover has a fabric material.

Dappis - I have them, because they came free with the infant prefolds, but I really don't like the covers.  I will use them in a pinch when I have nothing else.  They pull on, which means a fight with newborn feet, and they just don't fit well.  Again, though, better than nothing.  

Of these covers, if I had to pick one, it would be the Thirsties.  

During week 4, I started trying out the BumGenius one-size diapers (all 2+ years old, but still decent condition). Adelle is right at 10 pounds, so she should be within the range of fit for the various one-size diapers I have. I tried stuffing them with the regular microfiber insert and a hemp babies little weeds doubler, hoping to get through most of the night without a diaper change.  This caused some serious gaping at the legs, leading to an unfortunate diaper leak on our bed. A few nights later, I got out the newborn insert that came with the diaper. Honestly, I was never quite sure what to do with the newborn insert, but I figured I'd try it in the diaper all by itself, with a plan to check and change frequently.  Another leaky night, but I think this time it was caused by ill-fitting diaper and a bit of repelling, since the insert was barely damp.  Boo for that.  Finally a different approach: Regular insert, and playing with the fit. I made sure the diaper rested pretty low on the thighs - more like boy cut briefs than like high-cut panties. They were snug around the thigh, and stayed that way.  The diaper kept everything in, but I did need to change her diaper every couple of hours.  Unfortunately, the old inserts still have a funky smell about them (not as bad as toddler pee, and no ammonia smell or burn, but still, not good.  I'll try some bleach on the microfiber, but I might just call it done after 2 years, and buy replacement inserts.  We'll see.

I've been using some of the BumGenius one-size diapers as covers over a fitted, which works well.  It also solves my problem of not having quite enough covers in size small.

Overall, it's been working well.  No funky rashes, diapers smell clean, with the exception of the oldest microfiber inserts.  They have yellow poop stains, but that's life with a breastfed baby.  The stains fade over time, and again, the smell clean, so I'm not concerned about lingering poo on the diaper.

I've been satisfied with my experience this time with newborn diapering.  So far, I've gotten three kids into the same set of diapers (again disclaimer: I have added to the stash since I first bought them with E - adding covers and a few more of the fitted diapers.)

I look forward to trying out some new diapers and products over the next few months.  I have some new diapers that that I haven't prepped yet, and I'm curious to see how I like them!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

bring it on: fitness after pregnancy

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For the third time in my life, I'm going to attempt to loose weight after being pregnant.  I actually did succeed the last two times, but it took me almost a year and a half to get to my pre-pregnancy starting weight.  Maybe I can make a better go of it this time.

I thought I was starting off on the right foot in the two weeks after birth.  I'd lost 17 pounds of my pregnancy weight. I was only about 10 pounds from my starting weight.  And then I got hungry.  Ravenously hungry.  All day.  Even when I woke up at night, I was hungry. So I ate.  I ate a fair amount of junk food (chips, pizza, easy to prepare packaged foods). And over the past 3 weeks, I've seen my weight creep back up.  Sigh.  An additional 6 pounds. I won't beat myself up too much, though.  It's important, especially in the first weeks to not limit myself (as in dieting or restricting calories) to ensure that I have enough energy for healing and for breastfeeding. However, I think the error was in the type of foods.

Clearly, breastfeeding makes me hungry like none other.  I didn't even feel this hungry when I was pregnant.  But, the excessive eating has to stop.  I watched a bit of a talk show yesterday, and I was reminded that being sleep deprived contributes to weight gain, because we crave fats and carbs.  Guess what?  I'm sleep deprived, and that's totally what I've been craving! 

So, steps in getting back into good shape:
  1. get more sleep (ha! right!)
  2. keep the junk out of the house
  3. squeeze in a few minutes a day on the treadmill - really, even just a few minutes at a time add up!
Those are my baby steps. So what if I added more weight after I had a baby.  I'll be working on changing things.  It may take me a bit longer to get there, but I'll still get there.

I'm looking forward to getting back into running.  I forgot something in my car the other day, so I ran the 40 feet or so to the car.  It felt nice.  I want to go get myself my new shoes.

I also did some minor calculating about breast milk, and I figure that just by making milk, I could get ahead in calorie burn.  I figure if I pump some breastmilk each day, then I could possibly increase the amount of calories my body uses, in addition to what's used to feed Adelle.  There are about 20 calories in each ounce of breastmilk. 3 ounces a day (thus far, that's been easy to get) 5 days a week would be an extra 300 calorie output.

Now, the challenge is that I'm hungry, and I'll likely be hungry even more if I'm putting out more calories.  So, to find balance between my hunger and my actual needs is my goal.

Yay!  I'm so ready to get back to fitness!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Adelle: 1 month

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We've made it to the one month mark. I think we're doing pretty well!

Adelle is a sweet child.  She still doesn't cry much. She's like her mama, and wants to eat first thing whenever she wakes up. Convenient that the meal is usually warmed up and right next to her.

Here are some one month stats:
  • 10 pounds even.  That's up 1 lb 12 oz since birth, an average of 7 ounces (almost half a pound) a week. 
  • 21.5 inches, which is really about the same length. Probably.  Hard to tell with newborns.  They're so springy!
  • Not too many nicknames out there for Adelle. E gets mad now if I call her Cakes. "That's not her name!" she says. 
  • She likes looking at us now, and she enjoys gazing at her siblings.  As long as they aren't trying to crawl all over her, that is.
  • She doesn't seem to be much of a comfort nurser.  Apparently she does not like being drowned in milk. Coughing, choking, and gasping for breath could certainly dissuade anyone from spending too much time nursing.
  • She smiled an awake smile at about 3 weeks old. They are fleeting, and haven't yet been directed at anyone.
  • Her skin is super soft, and she's got cute chubby thighs. She's so cuddly!
  • Sister's got an outie.  Seriously.
Talk about dry, flaky skin. poor kid.
All that hair!
Elizabeth's favorite thing about Adelle: "Kissing her, holding her, and holding her hand."

Elizabeth has proven to be an asset in the car.  E will hold Adelle's hand and talk to her, and when all else fails, give her a pacifier.  I wised up this time and got a pacifier for A for the car trips to and from town (a 20 minute drive).

My attempt at some of the newborn portrait cuteness.
Nathanael's favorite thing about Adelle: "Blue!"  I don't know what he means by that.

Watch out.  She's gonna take you down!
Adelle's only a month old.  Seriously, there's not much to report or photograph. She eats, she sleeps, we change diapers and clothes several times a day. (Watch out, she spits!) We watch a lot of TV.

Maybe after her nap, that is.
The photos are from the past month that never quite made it to the blog. Many of these are two weeks old.  Yeah. I'm that behind.   Poor kid is suffering 3rd child syndrome: even fewer pictures than child 2!  I think it's kind of silly that my photographer-husband doesn't take candid shots of his family.  Good thing I have several cameras and a couple of willing young children to play photographer.

 And an arm. That helps with the self portraits.

Mama and her girl!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

9 years of (mostly) wonderful

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9 years ago, I married a wonderful man! It has been a (mostly) wonderful 9 years. Although, I can't really point out any particular event or timeframe when it was not as fun.  It's been good.  It's been great!  I love Jude, AND I still like Jude as a person!  We still joke around about random things, argue about trivial things, dream big and small together.  We stay up late into the night talking, when we both know we should have gone to bed hours ago.

We've learned to improve our communication skills over the years. We've learned to be more understanding, and take time to pause when we're ready to lash out in anger.

We've certainly changed in 9 years.  Our interests are different than they were. Each of us has changed physically. (Hello baby belly, Goodbye hair!)

I'm happy to be married to Jude, and I wouldn't trade him for anyone.

I love you, Jude!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

potty trained!

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Done with these!
Somehow, in the midst of being pregnant, having a baby, and caring for a newborn, we have managed to get our son potty trained.  Both poop and pee (with the exception of night-time).  And he can use a big potty.  We don't even have a potty seat. He's 2.75 years old (as compared to the 3.25 that E was when she potty learned).

I'm a little befuddled as to how this happened.  I'd been inconsistent for weeks, months.  Jude gets home for Baby Watch 2011, and decides to work with N for a day or two. Since Jude was working with him, It helped me be a little more consistent, too.  And it just... happened.  He was in underpants all day, and he would let us know if he needed to use the potty.  The first week or so, there were occasional accidents. Still are, but usual it involves having trouble getting his pants off fast enough.  We have been using skittles as a bribery tool, but if he doesn't mention it, I don't give it.  Distract him enough, and the skittle is forgotten.  Soon, the container of skittles will run out, and we'll be pretty much done with the "training" part, and working on the maintenance part!

He sits on the toilet backwards, and can climb up on the seat himself. (Thanks for the idea, mom-in-law!) Sitting backwards on the seat allows him to be stable when on the potty, and to see what's going on.  This is kind of a pain, in that going potty requires the complete removal of shoes, socks, pants and underpants.  I've been working with him to sit on the potty forwards (with support) for the times when we are out and about and he needs to go.

I'm not awesome enough to have cloth trainers for night time.  We have some disposable diapers that we're using up, and after those run out, I have some pull-up left over from when E was potty learning.  It's entirely possible that those will last until he's consistently dry at night.  It's not that we have so many diapers and pull-ups, but he is dry often enough that we're not going through them very fast.  Not anything for me to be sad about!

At first I thought that having a kid who is potty learning, while dealing with a newborn would be tough, but it's not been too bad.  Compared to having two in diapers, it's just... different.  Neither is better or worse, at this point.  It's definitely been nice to not be washing diapers every single day in order to keep up with them.  I'll be posting later about how cloth diapers have been working this time around with Adelle.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

sweet baby days

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3 weeks! This is just moving too fast.

Adelle is making eye contact with us now, and watching faces and the world around her with much greater interest.  She is stretching out more, and has lost much of that "newborn" look and smell.

She doesn't cry much, but she does fuss about things - grunting and growling, along with flailing arms and legs. She prefers to be upright - she likes to walk around that way, and fall asleep in arms or baby carrier/wrap that way.

Elizabeth and Nathanael have been doing really well with her.  Elizabeth is very careful when she holds Adelle in her lap on the couch, and they'll sit together and watch a movie for long stretches of time.  Nathanael likes to get nose to nose with Adelle, which is fine  for a few seconds, but the Adelle turns her head away, and he persists in getting in her line of sight.  A work in progess. Otherwise, he's very gentle with her - no pinching like E was prone to at a similar age.

The dark circles under my eyes have not diminished, but I feel well. No sign of postpartum mood disorders (a concern since I had anxiety/panic attack issues for months after E was born).  I'm looking forward to getting back to exercising, but I see that it could be a challenge to get that fit in. Adelle really likes to be in arms, and of course, I really like to sit around cuddling with her.  I think first steps will literally be steps - hopping on the treadmill for a few minutes here and there during the day.

Now we're looking out for the next big things - first smiles, awareness of hands and feet... we've seen some expressions that might be precursors to smiles. Just waiting for the show of gummy smiles to start!

Thursday, December 01, 2011

2 weeks

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Two weeks old.

It passes by so quickly!  I need to record some of the things I'm remembering from this time, since I know I'll forget them, otherwise!

I weighed Adelle a few days ago (for the first time) on our kitchen scale. 9 pounds! Assuming there's not a big discrepancy between the scale used at birth and the home scale, The girl gained nearly 12 ounces in 12 days.  An ounce a day!  Clearly, breastfeeding is working out for her, even if we are dealing with some oversupply that leaves her coughing, choking, and popping of the breast when things get flowing too fast for her.

She still fitting into newborn clothes, just barely.  The 0-3 month size are too long in the leg. Newborn won't fit her for much longer, though, especially while wearing cloth diapers!

Thinking of, the cloth diapers are going well, too. We've been using cloth most of the time.  We have some newborn disposable diapers that were given to us, so I use those when I'm too lazy to go grab the cloth diapers from upstairs, or wherever they happen to be stashed. Adelle doesn't seem to be fazed by having a wet or dirty diaper.  She doesn't fuss about it, and there has been a night or two where she went for 6 or more hours in the same diaper because she didn't wake, and I didn't wake to change her.

She is for sure a sleeper.  At first, she would only wake 1-2 times a night to nurse - quite predictably at 1 am and 6 am. It seems like she's nursing more frequently in the last 2-3 days, but since she's in bed with me, and we both wake up just enough to get her latched on, I don't have a real sense of how often she's nursing at night.

She is such a precious, serene baby.  I usually catch her feeding cues (or rather just put her to the breast whenever she wakes up), so she doesn't have much to fuss about.  Adelle hasn't been upset by gas (unlike he older sibs).  We can tell when she has a gas bubble to work out one end or the other.  She starts grunting and wiggling, but as soon as the gas is out, she just relaxes again.  Sometimes, she wakes up with a cry for an unknown reason - it's so sad a cute at the same time.  The bottom lip quivers, the newborn siren is in full force. But as soon as we put a calming hand on her, she settles, and resumes her regularly scheduled peacefulness.

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