Friday, May 25, 2012

Pool Time!

Today was one of those days where I felt highly ambitious .. and accomplished a lot .. only to look at the clock and realize that it was only 2:30 and the baby had only taken an hour nap all day long ..

Given the heat today, it only made sense to whip out our little Crab pool and test out one of the swim diapers I made last month!  (Here is my blog post about the diaper - 2nd time around, I was able to focus more on the stretch in the legs, back and front, making the diaper appear considerably smaller and more Thomas' size ... Score!)

Here are some photos from our afternoon "poolside" -

Cool Sprinkler!

Testing the Water

O.k. Not so bad, eh?
I added a few mixing bowls worth of warm water to the pool so it was pretty comfortable.  It's just the right size for our back yard, and T can crawl in and out of it pretty smoothly ... He had a great time splashing and playing with the spray-attachment-thing for the hose ... of all things ... The swim diaper worked out very well, and fit him pretty well, too!  I am pleased with how it came out.  Once I get my hands on some more FOE I will have to make another, perhaps a pull on/off since my machine resists going through the chunk of fabric that develops with the fold-over process of creating the snap-on section.  I dread the idea of hand sewing those sections, so they are raw at the moment .. but the snaps do a fine job of holding things together for the time being.

Tomorrow our "big" pool opens up at the apartment office.  They have a "Kiddie Pool" that is a mere 10-12" deep .. just our size!  We plan on being there around 10 a.m. to test the waters!

"O.k. I'm all done!"
Bear crawling saves the knees from the concrete ...

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Splish Splash

We've had such gorgeous weather here in Indiana these last few weeks.  We've really been spoiled, being able to leave the windows open day and night, enjoying the sunshine (or shade) and play outside in the afternoons, go for walks, you name it ... This morning, Ryan even took little T for a walk around the neighborhood while I had a fabulous visit with a Mary Kay consultant, Tricia (... tell her I sent ya and I think I get a bonus - also, NO S&H! Cool!)!

I was so glad to be able to meet with Tricia after I met her at the Women's Expo last err .. March?! I felt miserable cancelling on her TWICE because of Thomas' bad bout with ear infections .. and then a THIRD time because my "friends" with the Mom's group cancelled on me .. but to my relief, she came to my home for a 1 on 1 appointment.  I was in such need of a make up refresher, after using the same eye shadow colors since HIGH SCHOOL ... way back when Heather Nelson (no, not related..) recommended a brand and color of eye shadow that I enjoyed! Hahah

Needless to say, I was in love with the make up products Tricia recommended for me, and I walked away with more products than I initially thought I would.  I am now the proud owner of new eye shadow colors (I wonder if Heather Nelson knows about this product ...), a lip gloss that makes me look as mature as my professional and always gorgeous big sister Gisela, and a foundation that meets my specifications ... Cool!  I'm excited to have an excuse to slap it all on my face this weekend for a family wedding we are attending ..!  I was in such a mom rut ... yoga pants + nursing tanks, anyone? ;-)


This afternoon was pretty relaxed, as well. Thomas took a nap or two, went shopping with me, and played in the back yard.  I just had to share some photos!  Given the heat, I was pretty bummed that I didn't put out our crabby kiddy pool (once I get it out I promise I'll take pictures and share .. you'll understand .. hahah).  So instead I brought out 2 of my nesting mixing bowls that we received as a gift from Gisela when we first moved into our apartment 5 years ago!  Thomas is such a water baby, he looooved splashing, dropping rocks into the bowls, fishing them out, putting them in his mouth .. oh wait .. Mom didn't love that part .. hahah

It's pretty cute, because these days he is all about sharing - he will pass you something he is snacking on, or just hold it out for you to "taste" before pulling away and zipping it back into his own mouth.

Dad even came outside to read on his new birthday present - an Asus tablet!  It's pretty cool for him to be able to read his research articles electronically .. not to mention all of the trees he'll be saving, not having to print off all those research articles.  Speaking of saving trees, he has an interview next week!  At Cal-Berkely!  Keep your fingers crossed!  If we were to move out that far, I promise, I won't chain myself to any trees ... ;-)

Saturday, May 12, 2012

"Baby Friendly" Hospitals

I've been thinking a lot about the initiative to push "baby friendly" onto hospitals .. what does the term mean for women who are already decided that nursing isn't for them ..? For example, the mom who has birthed her 4th child and hasn't nursed, nor wants to nurse, any of her children?

Then this article came out from the NY Times -

Maternity Ward Swag -

I feel like it sucks that hospitals these days have to rely on mega corporations such as Enfamil, Similac and Gerber for money, supplies, etc... for their maternity wards, I also have to be a little bit thankful for what the hospital had on hand and recommended for me when Thomas was a newborn.

He was born at a massive 9lbs 15oz after 30+ hours of labour ... via c-section ... after 5+ bags of fluids were pumped into my (swollen-for-weeks) little self ... In his first days outside of the womb, he dropped down to 9lbs.  He was a fussy little one, and late late late one night he wouldn't nurse, he wouldn't latch, I was desperate, but determined to keep on nursing (mostly because my fabulous husband wanted me to "give it a try" even though I was clueless and not to keen, but rather indecisive on the issue .. and 24-48 hours didn't seem like enough of a "try" ..).  The night nurse was a huge help to me that night .. as Thomas wouldn't stop crying, wouldn't stop fussing .. wouldn't nurse .. She helped me understand that it was O.k. to use a nipple shield .. and it was o.k. to supplement 10mL of formula at the start of a feed to help he latch and realize that the nip (and nipple shield) was an o.k. thing to hang out with for awhile!

I don't know much about what it means for a hospital to be "baby friendly" ... but I wonder if I would've been made to feel like it was o.k. to supplement those first few days with Thomas ... and if I would've been sent home w/a small stash of formula.  If it weren't for the small collection of Similac pre-made we came home with, Ryan would've had to run to the store to buy an over-priced can of formula - oh wait, we had already received 3-4 small cans in the mail that were awaiting either OUR use, or shipment to my sister, who was expecting ... so we were grateful to have the premade for our small use, and the convenience of using it at home in those tiny suringes .. squirting it into a nipple shield .. while also balancing a baby on my lap ..

Oh man, those were the days ... I was pretty determined!

To be honest, the "swag" from the maternity ward sucked for us ... and I donated it to the Good Will months later.  Someone else will find use for the tiny cooler and under-sized bottles, I'm sure.

Nursing doesn't work out for everyone ... and I think there is a lot more that goes into a woman's decision to breastfeed/nurse her baby than whether or not she gets a free enfamil/similac/gerber diaper bag ... but one thing hospitals should realize is ... women are bombarded with formula information long before the birth of their baby ... and a supportive staff is the best medicine, particularly when she needs help keeping her breastfeeding motor going ... ;-)  I think that is at the root of a Baby Friendly hospital, anyway ... not a "Formula is bad, mmkay?" kind of attitude ...

That being said - I would not be where I am today if it weren't for the twice-a-month Breast Feeding Support Group meetings we attended religiously from the time Thomas was 4-6 weeks old until he was well past 7 months ... at the St Joseph Regional Medical Center!  Not only did we receive the affirmations, support, and kindness we needed to continue on our journey - even when times were rough and he was rejecting the nipple shield and I thought for sure my nipples were going to fall right off - but we made a fabulous group of Mom Friends along the way =)

More Info on Baby Friendly -
Baby-Friendly USA
UNICEF - Baby Friendly Initiative
WHO - Baby Friendly Initiative

Regardless of your feeding choice, I think the Baby Friendly initiative has a great place in hospitals - including mandatory time with baby before he or she is removed from Mom after birth (Thomas disappeared for over 4 hours after his nearly midnight birth and 1-1 1/2 hours with us immediately after), skin-to-skin contact, lactation consultants, and a staff on hand that is supportive of breastfeeding choices in education and practice.  As my cousin said, if the hospital were to be giving away cloth diaper "swag" .. would I still be comfortable walking away empty handed? No way! hahah  ... but in my opinion, it comes more hand-in-hand with a desire to have something for free after leaving the hospital than "Ohh, hey, Similac gave me a sweet bag, maybe I should buy their formula ..."

I'd love to know your thoughts -

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Farmer Boy

Thomas was too cute not to take pictures of this afternoon ... I couldn't resist plunking him nearby the garden and watching him revel in it's beauty, glory, and sensory-rich textures, smells and sounds.  
Truly enjoying my nature-baby!

Barefoot ... just like his mama <3

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

9 Days ...

... in nothing but cloth!!!

So far, so good!  It's been fabulous to be disposable free - in wipe and diaper categories, that is.  We've even been entertaining the idea of going paper towel free ... I am entertaining the idea of using Mom's serger when I'm home in June to create a bunch of "Jesus Cloths," as my sister calls them - undershirts, t-shirts, recycled, reusable clothes - to keep on hand for cleaning house, wiping up spills, sanitizing counters after cooking, etc ... I think the challenge comes with keeping them easily accessible ... which is what I have discovered with cloth wipes and dipes ...

After 9 days in cloth dipes at night, I've fallen in love with our ONE Bum Genius pocket diaper .. mostly because he slept thru the night in that diaper .. and it seemed to protect him from the wetness best .. The thing with the GroVia diapers is that Thomas seems to "sit" in the wetness.

That being said .. we are currently slathering on coconut oil like wild people .. onto his little diaper-area-privates .. referring to it as his, "coconut oil massage" .. because of the terrible irritation he has in his diaper-area .. I don't know if it's risidual from the antibiotics and diarrhea he's been combating for an entire month .. or a result of the extra wetness at night ..

So here I sit .. and a crossroads .. should I trade out our 3-4 GroVia all-in-one diapers (bought just for night time ... which I don't love because of the poo factor ...) in favor of Bum Genius pockets for nighttime ... or should I take a week break from our 21-day challenge ... to treat his rash with barrier creams, Lotrimin (could it be yeast?? but it's not spreading??), and a bit of extra dryness?  I'm already changing him every 2 hours and 1-2 times at night (depending on when he wakes) ...

You could say I am at a cloth loss ... Thoughts?? I am really in need of ideas here ...

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

... just ... listen ...

Springtime has sprung here .. not when the tulips pop out of the earth, because that is pretty early here in Northern Indiana .. but when the frogs and peepers amp up their song.  It truly is amazing.  Check it out -