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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Cloth Diapering Confessions: A Slightly Sarcastic Rant on the Perils

I need a moment to emote. Would you mind lending an ear?

Confession: Cloth diapers have been driving me absolutely bonkers for the last few weeks. The weekend I first started cloth diapers, Caroline ceremoniously had two massive poops in the first two cloth diapers I ever put on her bottom. It was good because starting out cloth diapering on the poopy side made the next couple months of my cloth diapering experience seem easy, almost carefree. When friends, a little skeptical of my ardor for cloth diapering, would ask how it was going I would tell them how easy I thought it was and how much I loved it. Yes, I loved cloth diapering. 

But then something happened. My infatuation turned into real life. It all started with the diaper rash that wouldn't go away, which ended up being a yeast problem with my cloth diapers. I spent hours scouring the internet for answers and measuring concoctions of natural cleaners. Literally the morning that problem was fixed I noticed mildew on my diapers. And with each wash and mildew destroying remedy it just spread. Thank goodness a friend who cloth diapers her son sent me instructions on how to strip BumGenius cloth diapers. It worked. Finally! 

It seemed my cloth diapering woes were solved. Until the pee pee incidents began to come. And I mean come. This little girl was leaking out of her cloth diapers just about every time I put a new one on. And with every leak (which invariably always occur when I'm holding her while sitting in a chair) I must then change my clothes, change her clothes, clean the chair, and...oh no... I just realized the chair I'm sitting in now was the one where the last peepee incident occurred and I forgot to clean it. I'm so serious, I couldn't make this stuff up. I'll be right back...

Nothing a little vinegar and water solution in a spray bottle can't fix. Back to my rant...

And then I unintentionally made my cloth diapering problems worse. I decided to try a different brand of cloth diapers to see if I could get a better fit. Upon tearing open the package in the mail and racing upstairs to see if they fit my baby I was bummed, they seemed to be an even worse fit. Then genius me decides to post the ill fit on Facebook (because it's always smart to post your problems on Facebook before you've had a chance to think it through) and I had a dozen or so moms nicely and some not so nicely tell me I obviously didn't know how to use them to make them fit. Silly me, I thought my infant would need the diapers to be set on the "infant snaps" setting. Apparently she fits the newborn size snap sets instead. Why did I not think of this? Especially when she's still in 3 month clothes at almost 6 months?

In honesty, I'm not sure I'm glad I figured out how to get them to fit because it means I can use them now, or disappointed because my no-cloth-diapers-fit-my-very-tiny-baby-excuse doesn't really work anymore. 

But I'm not giving up on cloth diapers. yet.

Though I prefer the convenience of disposables I'm crunchy at heart and living granola often means doing things that are not convenient (like toting reusable bags around the mall and garnering strange looks from the department store ladies upon purchasing your items and shoveling them into a hemp woven carry-all). 

Here's my reasoning behind sticking it out a little longer:

1) It saves money. I don't remember the exact statistic but estimates say cloth diapering can save up to $2,000 per child. That might not seem like a lot to some people. But I'm not working outside the home to contribute money so any way I can save I take it. For me disposable diapers seem like more of a luxury. I think of each time I pop a cloth diaper on as a time I saved a quarter. It might not seem huge, but little steps add up to big changes. 

2) The environment. Now before you roll your eyes at me thinking I'm going to go all hippie on you let me explain. Every time I fasten on a Winnie-the-Pooh adorned disposable diaper on my babe I can see the expression my Textiles teacher gave in college when she began telling us about the chemicals that went into disposable diapers and how land fill workers have to wear hazmat suits because of the fumes given off by the chemicals in disposables that are breaking down. Y'all it gives me shutters every time. Being a Home Ec major and taking Textiles has ruined me for a good many man made luxuries including disposable diapers, carpeting, and hand soap. But I suppose the latter two are stories for a different day...

So where does that leave me on my cloth diapering journey?
I'm taking a break. 
But wait, what? What about saving the polar bears and hazmat suits?
I know, I know, I can sometimes be as crunchy as they come (for example I didn't shampoo my hair for a month when I joined the "no 'poo" movement, again another story for another day) but I realize that if I go insane from using cloth diapers (or suffer severe humiliation in front of cloth diapering pros as they inform me that my "cloth diapering safe detergent" actually has plant oils that may alter absorption) I will not be in the right mind to do more important things with my baby and raise her to know the perils of conventionally grown corn products. So I'm giving myself a couple of weeks and then I'll pull out those BumGenius and GroVia, wielding my diaper sprayer and show those poopy diapers whose boss.

Here's to realizing and understanding our limits as moms and knowing it's okay to take a break when we need it.

Oh and here's to saving the environment, that too. 

Any other moms out there have similar mommyhood experiences? 

Friday, April 26, 2013

Like Mother, Like Daughter, the Girl Loves Chocolate

It's no well kept secret in our house that I have a weakness for Ghirardelli's 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Chips. I have them every day. Multiple times a day. And often with breakfast.

While my girl may not be old enough to enjoy a bite of my favorite dark chocolate indulgence, she at least found great fun in playing with the bag...

It's like they always say, the child has more fun with the box the present came in than the present itself. Anyone else have a similar experience?

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Caroline at 5 Months

Caroline, you are 5 months old! It amazes me how much you have grown and changed in these last 5 months. And each new stage is more exciting than the previous one!

You love looking at yourself in the mirror, it's a favorite form of entertainment these days. 

And you're starting to sleep through the night which is amazing! I felt like this day would never come, so I am incredibly thankful for sleep! I remember those first months thinking I was lucky if I got 4 hours added up throughout the whole night- I didn't get more than an hour of sleep at a time. 

You are incredibly interested in our food. You've been grabbing for it and opening your mouth for it a lot these last couple weeks. And the other night we let you have your first unofficial solid food when you reached for a banana Daddy was about to eat. You absolutely loved gumming it and now recognize bananas when you see them on the counter. 

We think we'll start you on solids soon. I've already organized the items and ingredients I'll need to start making and freezing baby food for you. First on the menu will be a banana prune combination. 

With your Uncle Seth when he came to visit. He hadn't seen you since last Christmas when Mommy was in the hospital and he (along with your Grandma and Gramps) took care of you.

Oh, and Daddy and I will do just about anything to try to get you to laugh. Last week it was peekaboo and this week it's the chicken dance. We'd make complete fools of ourselves to get a giggle from you. 

We love you, Caroline. We often say you are a gift from heaven, so sweet and so funny and God has taught us so much about what really matters through you! 

5 Month Stats
Clothing: 3M size
Diapers: You wear BumGenius cloth diapers during the day, but at night you sleep in a disposable and wear a size 1. 
Eating: You drink about 30 ounces of Earth's Best Infant Formula per day.
Sleep: Just started sleeping through the night! Which means till about 5 AM, but I'll take it! 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Pinky Promise Photography

Early in March we had our first family photos taken by Pinky Promise Photography. I found Caroline a precious white smocked dress at my favorite children's consignment store. I picked out a new outfit for myself at Old Navy, debated with Mike on whether or not we should go color-coordinated (I voted "yes", he voted "no"...but since family photos was a birthday present I asked for right after Caroline was born my request was granted). I put on  make-up (a rarity in my new busy mom life) and...

...Caroline had a complete meltdown about three minutes into our photo session. Why had the thought never occurred to me that this might happen. Welcome to motherhood, Bethany Schneider. Murphey's Law, right? If you forget the extra set of clothes a blow out happens. If you plan a date night at home the baby wakes up four time before 10PM. If  you plan the perfect matching family photo session your baby freaks out. This is real life, folks, not one of those my-life-is-so-fabulous-all-the-time-blogs, ha! 

But miracle of miracles, Melissa captured some of the sweetest photos. I honestly don't know how she did it because Caroline was a mess on and off the whole time, but she did! Thank you so much Pinky Promise...we absolutely, positively adore and treasure these photos! 

Melissa's theme for the portraits was "vintage picnic"...totally loved it! 

Aw, this is her crying. I was so stressed about it day of but now I just laugh...and think how cute she looks! 

This is real life, y'all. Contrary to what a lot of mommy blogs would have you believe, babies cry at inopportune times. But you just laugh about it later. It's definitely helped me chill out about worrying if things are perfect or not. I'm just happy if I can make it to Target without any poop/spit-up/pee on me or her. But every smile and giggle makes it more than worth the mess of raising a baby. 

"A person's a person no matter how small" 

With her Great Aunt Maggie's vintage blanket that was Maggie's blanket in the 1940s. 

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Caroline Wants To Eat

Baby Caroline really wants whatever we're eating these days. The other night at dinner she was sitting on Mike's lap and she kept reaching out and pulling his bowl towards her.

I'm beginning to think waiting till 6 months to start solids might not happen.
When did you start your baby on solids?

Oh, and in case you're wondering we're eating southwest sweet potatoes, just so no one gets up in arms she is not licking any high allergen foods.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

25 Children's Books Worth Reading (and some you probably haven't heard about)

Having spent many of my working hours pre-Caroline in a preschool classroom reading book after book I knew that reading would be an important part of my parenting style. Caroline first discovered book at 2 months old when I, in an attempt to entertain her in between naps, pulled out Dr. Seuss' ABCs. She's been completely mesmerized by the book ever since. 

I started working on a list of favorite children's books before Caroline was even born (based off the books I read to my class). Now that list is growing rapidly as I discover more books with Caroline (and yes, many fails that don't make the list). 

Here is my (and baby Caroline's) list of 25 Children's Books Worth Reading... 

(in no particular order)

1) On the Night You Were Born by Nancy Tillman, celebrating the one and only ever you

2) The Day the Babies Crawled Away by Peggy Rathmann, such a fun book about a little boy who saves the day when the babies crawl away from the town fair chasing after butterflies. 

3) The Belly Button Book by Sandra Boynton, Hippos and their appreciation for their belly buttons...or as they say "bee bo"! Lots of silly fun. 

4) It's Time to Sleep My Love by Nancy Tillman, beautiful pictures and a beautiful bedtime lullaby in story form. 

5) The Story of Ferdinand

6) The Kissing Hand, a good story for children nervous about being away from home and mommy

7) Goodnight Ocean

8) Horton Hears a Who

9) Marshmallow by Clare Turlay Newberry, a classic tale of how a bunny and cat become friends despite their instinctual differences

10) The Runaway Bunny, about a mother's love for her little bunny

11) Owl Moon, this story about exploring the snowy woods after dark is great for a snow day

12) Bread and Jam for Frances, a good story for picky eaters

13) Night, Night Little Pookie

14) The Duckling Gets a Cookie?

15) Goodnight Moon

16) Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You? 

17) Wherever You Are My Love Will Find You by Nancy Tillman 

18) Love Song for a Baby by Marion Dane Bauer 

19) Tell Me About the Night I Was Born by Jamie Lee Curtis, a beautiful story about adoption and how it makes a family

20) Tumford the Terrible by Nancy Tillman, a fun book about a mischievous cat learning to say "I'm sorry"

21) Chicka Chicka Boom Boom 

22) I Love You Forever

23) Dr. Seuss' ABCs

24) The Jesus Storybook Bible, our favorite children's Bible...very gospel centered as it carries the theme  of a Savior and our need for him into every story including the Old Testament ones

25) Shelia Rae the Brave

Oh, and in case you're wondering in these pictures Caroline and I are reading On the Night You Were Born by my favorite children's book author Nancy Tillman.

What are some of your favorite children's books to read to your child?