Thursday, December 31, 2009

What will go in the bag?

I found this on a blog that I paruse from time to time ( ... thanks!)... it got me to thinkin' ... now that I have made my decision about what specific bag would work best for me ... well, as far as I can tell ... what actually goes IN a diaper bag ... here's what this momma had to say:
  • One to two cloth diapers
  • Peri bottle of cloth wipe solution
  • Nursing cover
  • Sweater, BabyLegs and socks
  • Extra onesie or a sleeper in case of the random leak
  • Sunhat and sunscreen (brown babies need sun protection too)
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Sanitizing wipes (good to have to wipe down public bathroom changing tables, etc.)
  • 6 - 10 cloth wipes
  • Wet bag
  • Tide-to-Go pen
  • Regular pen and note pad
  • A toy or two
  • Changing pad
  • Receiving blanket
  • Thermometer

A Decade in Review ... WooHoo!

2000: Began my second semester as a doctoral student at Michigan State University while my now hubby was a student at the University of Michigan ... we traveled back and forth between East Lansing an Ann Arbor.

2001: Not much going on ... other than being a doctoral student but I will say that my now hubby was accepted to the doctoral program in epidemiology at Columbia University in NYC. Helped him move to NYC and I spent the rest of 2001 traveling back and forth between there and East Lansing. Unfortunately, the first few weeks that he was in NYC, his car was stolen ... along with my laptop which was in the trunk :( Oh the trauma!

2002: Finished up with my last year of coursework at Michigan State University and moved to NYC to be with my now hubby. Worked as a research assistant (part-time) at Columbia and continued to work on my dissertation proposal. Also applied to several internship sites, began interviewing, and was matched!

2003: Moved from NYC back to Washington DC to finish up with my year long clinical internship. Discovered my interest in forensic psychology. Continued to work on my dissertation.

2004: Finished and defended my dissertation! Graduated w/my doctorate from Michigan State University! WooHoo! Also accepted to the Law and Psychiatry Program in Forensic Psychology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School as a Postdoctoral Fellow!

2005: Finished up my Postdoctoral Fellowship, broke up with my now husband :( and moved to Chicago, IL to accept my first job as a forensic clinician

2006: While a forensic clinician, accepted my first adjunct faculty position and loved revisiting academia ... ultimately made the decision that teaching, research, and practice was the best combo for me ... accepted an administrative position with a local university to help develop an online MA program while continuing to teach adjunct in other departments ... loved it!

2007: Accepted my first tenure track faculty position!

2008: My hubby graduated w/his Ph.D. in Epidemiology from Columbia University and we pretty much spent the year planning our dream wedding!

2009: January 20, 2009 ... DEFINITELY ONE OF THE MOST AMAZING DAYS IN AMERICAN HISTORY ... THE 44TH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA WAS SWRON IN ... PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THE FIRST AFRICAN AMERICAN PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA! THE WORLD REJOICED! Got married May 23, 2009 ... COULDN'T HELP BUT INVITE THE PRESIDENT AND Mrs. Obama! No ... they didn't show but we did recieve a really cool card w/the presidential seal! AND we got pregnant with our first baby! It's a GIRL!

Can't wait to see what 2010 will bring ... other than our little girl! Happy New Year everyone!!!!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Guilty feelings and boxing ...

Seriously, I LOVE TO FEEL the little one in my belly but honestly, at times, it's ... well ... let's just say that it's a little hard on me at times. Her movements are becoming dangerously close to my ribs, which I've heard its pretty painful when they begin to kick you in the ribs ... but its not only that ... this little girl definitely is on a schedule ... around 7 pm ... she gets to movin' ... around 11:30 pm ... well ... she gets to movin' ... around 4 am ... she gets to movin' ... around 7 am ... she's on the move again ... perhaps ... "boxin'" is the right word ...

Now, I understand that she ... like everyone else, needs her sleep and like everyone else, she's up at other times ... but goodness ... SO DO I! I want to sleep! I'm exhausted!

Unfortunately, I'm up for days and days and then I finally crash ... I'm able to sleep for a few nights through all of the boxin' in my belly ...
Dear baby ... please let mommy get some sleep ... please!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Oh my ... now these are cute!

In my efforts to locate a little dashiki of some sort for my little one ... I came across these little girl summer dresses from the LilCrumsnatchers Shop on etsy (!!!!!!!!!!! Ahhhhh ... adorable!
I can't wait to shop for her when she's a lil older but honestly ... I think by that time, I'll be able to make these myself :D Seems like a simple pattern ... if you know what you're doing!

I take it back ...

So, remember when I pre-ordered the 2010 edition of the UppaBaby Vista stroller for my little lady back in October? Well, at that time, I was told that the stroller would be shipped mid to late January. I decided to call today to check the status ... during my conversation with customer service, I was told that they had recently struck a deal with the UppaBAby company in which case they were able to order 50 black and several other color 2009 UppaBaby vistas at a discounted price ... the rep indicated that my pre-ordered 2010 edition of the stroller would ship between January 7th and the 15th but if I was interested in taking advantage of the discounted price of the 2009 edition, now is the time to let them know.

After lots of "humming and hawing," I decided to save myself $200! I went back and did the research on the "significant changes" that were to be made to the 2010 edition of the stroller and honestly, I don't think that the changes are worth $200. I called them back to let them know to change my order and that I'd like to go ahead and order the 2009 edition! Score ... AND it shipped today!

Here are the "biggest changes:"
  1. Added 0-position seat angle adjustment –allowing for upright seat position (biggest complain was that baby had to always be reclining a little unless she or he pulled themselves forward on the bar ... which I actually see babies do all the time).
  2. Extended seat height to accommodate taller children (1.5 inches taller)
  3. a little more padding in the seat ...
  4. break system is a little easier to work

I think she'll live :D

Monday, December 28, 2009

What's in a bag?

So, a poster on a board that I frequent (smile) asked about hospital bags tonight ... got me to thinking ... what goes in a hospital bag ... what will I absolutely need ... this is what I'm considering:

1. My breast pump
2. 3 pair of non-slip socks (good for pacing the hospital halls)
3. 2 nursing bras
4. Boppy
5. camera
6. camcorder w/extra battery
7. book (horror preferably ... not that I'll actually be focused enough at any point during my stay to read ... but just in case)
8. change of clothes to wear home and shoes
9. rolling pin and/or tennis balls (great pain relief during labor ... or so I've heard)
10. breast pads
11. a few snacks - will probably be hungry after labor and the caf could be closed
12. toiletries (toothbrush, hand cream, toothpaste, aquaphor, body wash, dental floss, facial soap and moisturizer, deodorant, ponytail holders, makeup including lip moisturizer)
13. heavy flow sanitary napkins
14. nipple cream
15. my pillow
16. towels (beach ... assuming that will be the only kind of towel that will go around me at that point, washcloth)
17. 3 sets of PJs
18. cellphone and charger
19. ipod
20. robe
21. 3 pair of underwear
22. hard candy for dry mouth ...
23. insurance card (though I'm preregistered)/change/cash/credit card/ID
24. contact list
25. prenatal vitamins

I'm not sure what I'm missing but this seems like a lot ... huhm ...

Well now that brings me to baby ... what do I need for HER bag?

1. bringing home outfit
2. socks
3. winter hat (it will be FREEZIN' in Chicago)
4. snowsuit (again ... cold)
5. car seat
6. scratch mittens (don't want her to scratch that pretty face of hers with her tiny nails)
7. 2 receiving blankets
8. 24 cloth diapers (kissaluvs, size 0) and 6 covers? Might be overkill ...
9. "just hear" outfit/birthday shirt for baby to wear when she gets here
10. undershirt

Huhm ... I'll keep thinking on this one ...

I'm 30 Baby!

How far along?: That's 30 weeks along! WooHoo! Times-a-flyin'!
Total weight gain: 20 pounds ... well, the last time I checked ...
Maternity clothes?: Ha! Mom bought a few shirts for me during a recent "Christmas present" return trip to the mall! WooHoo!
How big is baby?: Glad you asked! 15.7 inches long now, and she weighs almost 3 pounds
Stretch marks?: still nothing ... keep your fingers crossed ...
Sleep?: No ... on and off throughout the night ... it sucks!
Best moment this week?: Seeing my husband for Christmas!
Movement?: Watching my little baby during "play time" ... my shirts bouncing up and down ... its adorable
Food cravings?: Just food in general ... LOL
Labor signs?: Nope ... that wouldn't be good
Belly button in or out?: still in ... again, lets keep our fingers crossed ...
What I miss: feeling like it's okay to "diet" a little when I'm feeling like I'm "gaining too much weight"
What I'm looking forward to: The arrival of our little lady & of course, maternity leave of course!
Milestone: During my research ... I came up with the following:

How your baby's growing:
Your baby's about 15.7 inches long now, and she weighs almost 3 pounds (like a head of cabbage). A pint and a half of amniotic fluid surrounds her, but that volume will decrease as she gets bigger and takes up more room in your uterus. Her eyesight continues to develop, though it's not very keen; even after she's born, she'll keep her eyes closed for a good part of the day. When she does open them, she'll respond to changes in light but will have 20/400 vision — which means she can only make out objects a few inches from her face. (Normal adult vision is 20/20.)

How your life's changing:
You may be feeling a little tired these days, especially if you're having trouble sleeping. You might also feel clumsier than normal, which is perfectly understandable. Not only are you heavier, but the concentration of weight in your pregnant belly causes a shift in your center of gravity. Plus, thanks to hormonal changes, your ligaments are more lax, so your joints are looser, which may also contribute to your balance being a bit off. Also, this relaxation of your ligaments can actually cause your feet to spread permanently, so you may have to invest in some new shoes in a bigger size.

Remember those mood swings you had earlier in pregnancy? The combination of uncomfortable symptoms and hormonal changes can result in a return of those emotional ups and downs. It's normal to worry about what your labor will be like or whether you'll be a good parent. But if you can't shake the blues or feel increasingly irritable or agitated, talk to your doctor or midwife. You may be among the 1 in 10 expectant women who battle depression during pregnancy. Also let your caregiver know if you're frequently nervous or anxious.

Friday, December 25, 2009


With Milkies Milk Saver you're supposedly able to nurse anywhere without worrying about leaks or uncomfortable nursing pads. Even better, its supposed to allow you to collect your leaking breast milk while you're nursing on the other side.

The Milk Saver slips into your bra cup on the non-nursing side or the side that you're pumping, and position the center hole over your nipple. Any milk that leaks will collect in the bottom of the cup. When you're done, you just have to pour the milk into whatever container you want to store it in. They say that you can also attach a breastmilk storage bag to the inside plastic piece with a rubber band, and allow your breastmilk to collect directly into the bag. BUT ... I've also heard that if the rubber band slips off, which could happen if the bag got very heavy, you'd have a big mess, plus a lot of wasted milk.

Milkies Milk-Saver is a flexible container made to fit inside a bra or tank top to collect breastmilk that leaks from the side not being nursed or pumped. Some women do leak a lot of breastmilk that is otherwise wasted, so for some, this could be a useful product. It does work well, though for public use it's a bit bulky and would probably be a hassle to get into place without attracting attention. Most breastfeeding moms probably could skip the Milk-Saver, but for moms who have a low breastmilk supply, every drop counts, so the Milk-Saver could be extremely useful there. If you struggle with supply or you're concerned with not having a big enough freezer stash, Milkies Milk-Saver could be a helpful product for you. If you have plenty of milk or don't leak much from the non-nursing side or you don't save breastmilk at all, you probably don't need a Milk-Saver.

Fits variety of breast sizes & shapes well.
Saves breastmilk that would otherwise be wasted.
Comes with a travel case.
Non-leaching materials are 3rd-party tested for safety.
Recyclable when you're done using the product.
Costs about $25

Not dishwasher safe.
Not terribly discreet. Hard to use in public.
Probably not necessary for most breastfeeding moms with a good supply.

Huhm ... I'll keep it in mind ...

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Eden's Baby ...

I was searching the internet for Northern Essence Natural Diaper Rash Salve for sensitive skin ... obviously I don't yet have a baby out in the world who would be experiencing diaper rash and knock on wood ... hope she never gets it but in the event that she does, I want to be prepared ... and prepared with something that's natural, won't irritate her skin, and won't stain her cloth diapers :D

Anyway, during my search, I found this website ( the cutest silver fingerprint charm ...
It's a free-form fingerprint pendant charm made from actual fingerprints! They send you this special clay that during the firing process, the water and binder burn away allowing metal particles to fuse together. The end result produces a solid .999 silver.

Once you send in your fingerprinted clay, a silver pendant comes back to you made from the actual fingerprint that you imprinted into the clay!

The process looks like this:

You remove the sealed silver package from the small kraft envelope and it tear open carefully. You then unfold and invert the plastic to remove the clay. Working quickly, you gently knead the clay to soften it and re-shape it into a ball.

Then you place the reshaped ball of clay between the layers of mylar square.

Using something hard, flat and smooth, you then press down on the top of the clear flap until the clay is approximately the size of a dime or penny. This helps to remove any unwanted lines.

Lift the clear mylar flap slowly, and using firm pressure, press downward with the finger into the flattened clay. Press hard enough to see the clay squish out from the finger without pressing the clay too thin. Do not roll the finger. Babies and small children have very fine ridges and may require extra firm pressure. The ridges may also be difficult to see.

Lift the finger slowly and gently to see the print. You should only go through the process once for the best results. It is not recommended to re-do the print. Expect some irregularities.

Then you remove the clear flap and leave the imprinted clay on the silver mylar to dry undisturbed overnight. The print will slide off when completely dry. Place dried fingerprint in the provided jewelry box and return along with the form that is included in the package. And that's it!

Your print will be fired, finished with a silver jump ring, hand-stamped with the initials you specify, polished and mailed back to you at the address you provided within four to six weeks.

I think I have to have one and I'm definitely getting one for the grandmothers!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

What'd I do today?

Well, I have to admit that initially, I wasn't AT ALL into the 4D ultrasound thing ... honestly, most of the pics that I've seen of babies in 4D aren't that attractive ... my 16 week elective 2D ultrasound (gender determination ... couldn't wait until my 20 week "Big Ultrasound" to find out the sex) w/a 10 minute 4D "peek" didn't help matters ... I guess that's why they tell you to wait until you're about28 weeks along before you take a look at your baby in 4D ... bless my little girl's heart ... at 16 weeks, she definitely had wasn't that well developed ... or at least there wasn't much fat to speak of which didn't make for the cute and cuddly image that one might expect ...

Since, I'm in Houston for the holidays, I thought it might be kinda fun for my mom and I to take a look at my baby and her grand baby in 4D ... I decided to give it another try ... couldn't be more excited! Here are a few images from today's 4D ultrasound!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Ha! I'm 29 Weeks Along!

So, yep ... 29 weeks ... feeling EXTREMELY large ... more so than every before ... could be that my mom is consistently making jokes about how large my belly is ... tonight she told me that I should probably try on what I'm intending on wearing for Christmas since I've gotten so large. I told her in response, "It will fit fine." Her response, "Have you been eating a lot more since you've been here?" I got here on the 10th folks ... yes I know that pregnant bellies have a tendency to GROW and GROW and GROW but my goodness ... I don't think I look that bad ... maybe I have been indulging a little more than usual ... oh well ...

How far along?: 29 weeks!!!
Total weight gain: 20 pounds. Yuck ... and that was at my 27 week checkup ... I've probably gained even more that this point ... depressed.
Maternity clothes?: I don't really have any other choices
How big is baby?: about 15 inches in length! What a big girl!
Stretch marks?: still nothing ... keep your fingers crossed ...
Sleep?: alright I guess ... not consistently though ... I sleep in 3 - 4 hour intervals ...
Best moment this week?: That would have to be her "big girl movements" that are definitely getting stronger and stronger by the minute
Movement?: lots ... in general ... I will say that on occasion, she seems to be much quieter than others ... sometimes I get a little worried but I try to think "well, she had a busy day yesterday."
Food cravings?: Just food in general ... LOL
Labor signs?: Nope ... that wouldn't be good
Belly button in or out?: still in ... again, lets keep our fingers crossed ...
What I miss: Not feeling "large and in charge" and DEFINITELY MY INSANE ACNE!!!!!!
What I'm looking forward to: The arrival of our little lady & of course, maternity leave!
Milestone: During my research ... I came up with the following:

How your baby's growing:
Your baby now weighs about 2 1/2 pounds (like a butternut squash) and is a tad over 15 inches long from head to heel. His muscles and lungs are continuing to mature, and his head is growing bigger to make room for his developing brain. To meet his increasing nutritional demands, you'll need plenty of protein, vitamins C, folic acid, and iron. And because his bones are soaking up lots of calcium, be sure to drink your milk (or find another good source of calcium, such as cheese, yogurt, or enriched orange juice). This trimester, about 250 milligrams of calcium are deposited in your baby's hardening skeleton each day.See what your baby looks like this week.Note: Every baby develops a little differently — even in the womb. Our information is designed to give you a general idea of your baby's development.

How your life's changing:
Your baby's very active now. Your practitioner may ask you to spend some time each day counting kicks and will give you specific instructions on how to do this. Let her know if you ever notice a decrease in activity. You may need a nonstress test or biophysical profile to check on your baby's condition.

Some old friends — heartburn and constipation — may take center stage now. The pregnancy hormone progesterone relaxes smooth muscle tissue throughout your body, including your gastrointestinal tract. This relaxation, coupled with the crowding in your abdomen, slows digestion, which in turn can cause gas and heartburn — especially after a big meal — and contribute to constipation as well.

Your growing uterus may also be contributing to hemorrhoids. These swollen blood vessels in your rectal area are common during pregnancy and usually clear up in the weeks after giving birth. If they're itchy or painful, try soaking in a sitz bath or applying cold compresses medicated with witch hazel to the affected area. Also avoid sitting or standing for long stretches. Talk with your practitioner before using any over-the counter remedies during pregnancy, and let her know if you have any rectal bleeding. To prevent constipation, eat a high-fiber diet, drink plenty of water, and get some regular exercise.

Some women get something called "supine hypotensive syndrome" during pregnancy, where laying flat on your back causes a change in heart rate and blood pressure that makes you feel dizzy until you change position. You might note that you feel lightheaded if you stand up too quickly, too. To avoid "the spins" lie on your side rather than your back, and move slowly as you go from lying down to sitting and then standing.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Stripping and Prepping!

So, the other day, I spent what seemed to be my entire day stripping and prepping diapers ... I mean seriously ... it took the entire day. I think the constant "reading of instructions" slowed me down a bit but I wanted to make sure I got it right ... or as close to "my right" as possible ... particularly the 24 used diapers that I scored for just under $5 a piece on CraigsList. I had a hard time finding any of the diapers (used) that I was looking for on my local CraigsList and so I branched out and found a great deal in another state and city. The seller sent tons of pics and included shipping in the cost. I digress ... back to stripping and prepping ... the whole process was a lot of work but oddly enough ... I definitely felt a sense of accomplishment by the time I was finished ... correction, by the time the grandmother to be (my mom) and I were finished ...
NOTE: I learned a lot as a result of going through this process ... mainly what I WILL and WILL NOT DO the next time ... I realize that I made a lot of extra work for myself ... for instance, surely during the stripping process, I could have just added a few squirts of Dawn to the washing machine, filled with a pot of boiling water, and left them to soak there ... then ran a washes, etc. But I chose a little different process ... anyway, on to stripping ...

Stripping (also known as "deep cleaning") ... Kinda felt my way around but they turned out great
What I found in my research (much like everything else related to cloth diapering) is that depending upon who you ask, you'll get a different answer in response to most of your questions. Case in point, the steps to include in the preparation of used diapers. When I received my used cloth diapers, I have to say that they looked and smelled great. However, you never know what's "deep down inside." I was "smart enough" to inquire about yeast but honestly, I just wanted to make sure. So, I wanted to know what most people do to prepare used diapers. Here are some of the responses that I got ...

1. "Just washed them on hot and dry them on high."
2. "strip em' ... "
3. "Wash them all first like ya would any dirty diapers, then soak them overnight in hot water with about 3 or 4 scoops of oxyclean. Then finish the cycle and run the diapers through the machine two more times with just water. I just do a couple of cold rinses."

Anyway, like I said, the responses varied ... because of my fear of my baby catching the "heeby jeebies," I decided to strip them ... now the method ... again, varied with each person I asked so I kinda improvised and used a combination of a few steps that I had heard about ... my process looked something like this:

1. Here, you'll see what I started with ... 24 used kissaluvs (size 0) in "natural" and various colors.

2. I boiled a huge pot of water, which was meant for my "Original Dawn liquid dish detergent" soak and hand wash (sort of hand wash ... really just agitation every so often ... I mean I didn't scrub them or anything like that).

3. So, in my mom's kitchen sink (yes her kitchen sink; not her first choice), I added half a 1/3 Cup of Dawn to each sink, placed 12 kissaluvs in each one, and poured the boiling water over them. I soaked the diapers for about 3 hours, frequently adding more boiling water and made sure to agitate them on occasion.
NOTE: Surely, I could have just thrown the diapers in the washer w/a few skirts of Dawn ... but I decided to do it by hand ... no reason really ...

4. After about 3 hours of soaking, adding more boiling water, and agitating, I drained the soapy water and refilled the sinks with clean cool rinse water. We allowed them to soak in the rinse water, making sure to frequently change the water to ensure that we were getting as much of the Dawn out of the diapers as possible. NOTE: 1/3 cup of Dawn proved to be WAY too much (added a few washes and rinses to my process). My mom also made sure to agitate and squeeze the diapers in the rinse water as much as possible as she continued to change out the water.

NOTE: We probably didn't have to go through all of that rinsing but this was my first "stripping" exercise and I just wanted to be sure ... the washing machine could have taken care of the majority of the rinsing

5. By the end of the "Dawn process" ... the diapers looked something like this and were then ready to go into the washing machine.

6. ... and this and this ... now honestly, don't they look like all of the Dawn is out of them ...

NOTE: while engaged in this process, I made sure to turn up the water heater ... wanted to make sure that the water was at its hottest when the diapers got to the washing machine ... of course I could have just dumped some boiling water into the washing machine (which of course is an option) but I didn't want to lug large pots of boiling water into the garage ...

7. So, once we "thought" we'd gotten most of the Dawn out of the diapers, my mom carried them all to the washer for a few regular washes -Cool Rinse-Hot Wash-Cool Rinse without detergent during hot wash - remember, I was trying to ensure that there was no more Dawn left in the diapers - don't want to irritate my baby's skin.

NOTE: didn't have a "hot rinse" option on my mom's washing machine

8. My mom and I ended up washing the diapers 4 x at the highest water level ... every time the diapers looked great (no suds) while in the washer, as soon as the agitation began ... more suds ... grrrrrrrrrr ... I added tea tree oil (natural antiseptic - I think that most people use grapefruit extract which I believe is a bit stronger but I initially chose to use the tea tree oil ... honestly, its what we had on hand) to the final rinse. Then, I kinda got a little paranoid and decided to make a quick run for some grapefruit extract ... a little panicky ... so I ran ONE MORE WASH w/about 35 - 40 drops of grapefruit extract ... crazy I know ... THEN, the diapers were ready to go ... I chose to put them in the dryer on the highest temp ... of course, I could have just hung them in my mom's back yard in the sun to dry but I liked the idea of the added heat ...

NOTE: I've also heard that running another rinse cycle (particularly if you still smell Dawn on the diapers) with 1/2 cup of vinegar will help to get all of the Dawn out.

Well ... this is what I ended up with ... pleased with my 24 squeaky clean used kissaluvs

While all of this was going on, I was also prepping new diapers, inserts, and covers ... well a few new covers that hadn't yet been prepped ... this was my process ... thanks so much to Amanda from the eco-friendly family blog (!)

1. I first wanted to make sure that I prepped natural fibers with natural fibers and synthetic fibers with synthetics.

2. In instances of synthetic fiber inserts, covers, etc., I simply ran a normal wash at the highest water level with 1/2 the recommended amount of Allen's Natural Laundry Detergent ( ) In my case, a normal wash was a cold rinse-hot wash-followed by a cold rinse. Done! The diapers were good to go ... I just hung everything to dry.

NOTE: I plan on using Amanda's "special brew" ... her homemade recipe for cloth diaper safe laundry detergent in the future to wash my diapers. I was home in Houston visiting family and decided to do a little laundry ... I didn't bring my 5 gallon bucket of "Amanda's brew" that I made just before my trip to Houston with me ... so I improvised w/Allen's Natural Laundry Detergent, which I must say is great! Loving the Allen's Natural Laundry Detergent ... but I will say that Amanda's recipe gave me A LOT more detergent for my buck!

3. In the instances of natural fiber inserts, diapers, etc., I ran a total of 5 "normal wash/Dry" cycles ... yes, that's a full wash cycle followed by a spin in the dryer at the highest temp ... that's 5 dry cycles ... yes ... it was an all day job.

This is what I ended up with:

Now that was a hard days work ...

Here's my stash and accessories ... obviously a few missing from the pics ... they're at home in Chicago, all snugly, prepped and put away ...

6 thirsties duo wraps - size 1
12 flats
12 prefolds
2 thirsties pocket AOIs (all in ones) - size small
2 one size blueberry deluxe snap diapers
2 fuzzi bunz one size diapers
24 fitted Kissaluvs (used might I add) - size 0 (great for healing cord)
3 econobum one size diaper covers and 12 one size econobum prefolds (one size - grows w/baby)
3 fleece covers (for nighttime) (2xs, 1 sm)
3 Olive Jane's diaper covers (etsy seller) (1xs, 2 sm)
3 Flip one size diaper covers and 10 Flip stay dry diaper inserts (one size - grows w/baby)
3 snappi fasteners
2 Planet Wise Diaper Pail Liners
2 medium Planet Wise wetbags
1 small Planet Wise webag
5 Kissaluvs Super Soaker Diaper Doublers
35 cloth baby wipes
Bummis Biosoft Liners
Bummis Fleece Liners
Sitting here watching my baby move around in my belly ... as always, I could watch her for hours ... if she'd let me ... totally in love ... I would never choose to go back to life before her ... couldn't help but think of this song by Lenny Kravitz ... Gotta love Lenny Kravitz ...

Thursday, December 17, 2009

My Experience w/Preparing for Cloth Diapering

Soooo ... I've decided to cloth diaper and honestly, I can't wait to get started. The process of becoming acclimated to the world of CDs ... with all of its innovation ... well ... lets just say that cloth diapering a baby today is nothing like the experience of moms from yesteryear. At this point, I'm totally obsessed with everything and anything cloth diaper ... I can't believe how many hours of research have gone into this process ... hours that I've spent on a daily basis searching the internet, asking questions on various sites, visiting local Chicago and Houston cloth diapering stores, searching for the "just right" ingredients for homemade detergent, etc. ... its been completely and totally overwhelming with sprinkles of complete glee and satisfaction ... I'm proud of what I've accomplished ...

While I'm FINALLY at peace with my decisions (after all, there are so many options to choose from), I have to admit that there have been a few threats to that sense of peace that I've worked so hard to attain and maintain. From time to time when I see that some other cloth diaper has been recommended (other than a choice that I've made) or some experienced cloth diapering mom has had less success with a particular diaper that I've chosen ... a tiny bit of panic sets in ... but what's a new momma to do but wait and see ... that's just what I plan on doing ... waiting and seeing ... after all, I've learned throughout this process that what works for some doesn't necessarily work for all. There's also the negative comments (e.g., "Uh ... do you have any idea of how much work that's gonna be ... you're brave ... I definitely wouldn't do it") and looks of complete and utter confusion to contend with that I receive from time to time from people who are solely familiar with the historical challenges of cloth diapering ... the horror stories that they have heard from their moms or grandmothers.

Fortunately, I always have my mother's voice of reason who has always insisted, "I was pleased when I found out that you were cloth diapering your baby ... you NEVER wore a plastic diaper in your life. I never had a problem with them and I have nothing to compare them to ... I know one thing, you never had a diaper rash ... we didn't have all that you all have now ... like the wet bags ... when we were out, your dad or I would just change you and then I'd put the dirty diapers in a plastic bag and stick it in my diaper bag ... no biggy." Thanks mom :D

Regardless of what challenges come about as a result of my choice to cloth diaper my little girl (an extra load or two of laundry a week), its a decision that I stand by ... after all, there are just too many reasons to stick with it ... (most of the following information came from The New Parent's Guide (

1. I know for a fact that it's better for the environment ... I mean my goodness, for one, they're reusable. From what I've seen, good cotton diapers will hold up for 75 - 100 washings (at minimum), and can be saved for the next child. WooHoo! Free for baby #2! This is also evidenced by the number of cloth diapering moms who actually sell their cloth diapers once they've finished ... again, great for the environment. Even though energy is required for washing the diapers, it's still a fraction of the energy used for disposables. Cloth diapers are also recyclable (great rags in the future).

It's estimated that about 5 million tons of untreated waste and a total of 2 billion tons of urine, feces, plastic and paper are added to landfills annually. It takes around 80,000 pounds of plastic and over 200,000 trees a year to manufacture disposable diapers for American babies alone. Honestly, that's INSANE!!!! Although some disposables are said to be biodegradable; in order for these diapers to decompose, they have to be exposed to air (oxygen) and the sun. These conditions are often unlikely making for the decomposition of disposable diapers to take several hundred years , with some of the plastic material never decomposing.

The untreated waste placed in landfills by dirty disposable diapers is also a possible danger to contaminating ground water. The amount of water used per week to wash cloth diapers at home is about the same from what I've hard to flushing the toilet 5 - 6 times a day. Also, when flushing solids from a cloth diaper down the toilet and washing the diapers in a washing machine, the contaminated, dirty water from both toilet and washing machine go into the sewer systems where they are properly treated at waste water plants. This treated waste water is much more environmentally friendly than dumping untreated disposable diapers into a landfill.

2. I think that there are so many health related benefits to cloth diapering. Some concerns about disposable diapers have been about dyes, sodium polyacrylate (the super absorbent gel), and dioxin, which is a by-product of bleaching paper. Babies have been known to pull disposables apart and put pieces of plastic into their noses and mouth. That can't be a good thing.

One of my main concerns is diaper rash. According to the Journal of Pediatrics, 54 % of one-month old babies using disposable diapers had rashes, 16 % having severe rashes. A study done by a disposable diapers manufacturing company (won’t name the company, but its one of the largest manufacturers) shows that the incidence of diaper rash increased from 7.1% to 61% with the increased use of disposable diapers. Hands down, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (and a little common sense might I add), the best way to prevent diaper rash is to change diapers, cloth or disposable, frequently. While disposable diapers can hold large quantities of urine, this slight wetness is still against your baby’s skin, which can lead to rashes. Cloth diapers are more often changed every time baby wets. From what I've heard, baby immediately lets everyone know that they're wet ... there are no "super gels" to keep them feeling dry and so parents are apt to change more frequently.

3. My research also indicates that the cost of cloth diapers, home laundered, is considerably lower cost than buying disposables ... from birth through potty training. Now I will say that the "start up" costs were "staggering" ... I was however, able to save some money by purchasing some gently used diapers that were in great condition ... I mean excellent condition. I was able to find some great deals via the internet and I couldn't be more pleased ... particularly considering the amount of money that I would have spent on them had I purchased them new.

In the long run, I know that we're saving money. Babies will go through an estimated 6000 diaper changes from birth to potty. Lets check out the actual savings over a 2.5 year period of diapering ... The following information came from the Banana Peels Diapers (

Cost of disposables: $2000

Cost of disposable wipes: $800

Total cost disposables: $2800

Cost of cloth diapers: $840

Cost of cloth wipes (24): $42

Total cost of cloth: $882

Uhh ... hello ... Savings: $2000!

4. Last but not least, they're adorable ... as I stated earlier, I'm completely obsessed with cloth diapers ... they're absolutely adorable! So, for my little lady, they're a bit of a fashion statement :D

Now lets take a look at my stash but a few things before we move on:

  1. no bumgeneious ... for some reason, the not so great reviews of the velcro kinda freaks me out ... I've heard that the manufacturer has no problem with fitting your used cds with new velcro but honestly, who wants to go through the trouble of sending the diapers in to be "fixed." (NOTE: you will find that a few of my dipes have velcro ... they were purchased before my revelation)
  2. I'm loving the one size diapers ... well the idea of them ... after all, they grow with your baby ... I did purchase a couple of all-in-ones (AIOs) just to see what they're like but I've heard that in general, they tend to have more problems with leaking and of course, they can become expensive ... it's not like you're just switching out a soiled prefold w/a fresh one and keeping the cover ... you're getting rid of the entire diaper with each change ... expensive to purchase that many ... I'm not interested
  3. You'll also notice that in general, there tends to be a lot of variability ... I'm new and was interested in trying out a few options ...

This is what my stash and diaper related accessories looks like as of today:

  1. 6 thirsties duo wraps - size 1
  2. 12 flats
  3. 12 prefolds
  4. 2 thirsties pocket AOIs (all in ones) - size small
  5. 2 one size blueberry delux snap diapers
  6. 2 fuzzi bunz one size diapers
  7. 24 fitted Kissaluvs (used might I add) - size 0 (great for healing cord)
  8. 3 econobum one size diaper covers and 12 one size econobum prefolds (one size - grows w/baby)
  9. 3 fleece covers (for nighttime) (2xs, 1 sm)
  10. 3 Olive Jane's diaper covers (etsy seller) (1xs, 2 sm)
  11. 3 Flip one size diaper covers and 10 Flip stay dry diaper inserts (one size - grows w/baby)
  12. 3 snappi fasteners
  13. 2 Planet Wise Diaper Pail Liners
  14. 2 medium Planet Wise wetbags
  15. 1 small Planet Wise webag
  16. 5 Kissaluvs Super Soaker Diaper Doublers
  17. 35 cloth baby wipes
  18. Bummis Biosoft Liners
  19. Bummis Fleece Liners

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I just can't help it ...

cloth diapers are taking over my world ... from blueberry one size pockets, fuzzi buns, kissaluv fitteds, thirstie duo wraps, econobums, flips, bumgenius one size, soakers, cloth wipes, wet bags, homemade detergent, etc. ... I'm completely obsessed! And loving Nicki's diapers!

Monday, December 14, 2009


That's right ... I'm 28 weeks and "bloomin" fast ... I've been home for the holidays since last Thursday (December 10th) and my mom said today, "I think you've grown since you've been here." I'm not sure whether to take that as a compliment or not ... anyway. My mom has had the expereince of feeling the baby move around ... a little ... it's almost as if she hides when someone approaches my belly.

What's up this week? Well, my hubby, Kristopher will be coming in from New Orleans to stay the weekend ... bless his heart ... he's been traveling so much ... he has to be exhausted ... but I can't wait to see him tomorrow! WooHoo!

How far along?: I'm 28 weeks!!!

Total weight gain: Not sure ... I'm feeling the usual ... great on some days and more like a globe fish on other days ...

Maternity clothes?: Loving them! I'm hoping that I have enough to last me ... I really, really, really, really hate shopping for maternity clothes ... I just don't want to invest too much money in clothing that I HOPE I won't be wearing for too long
How big is baby?: By this week, she weighs two and a quarter pounds and measures 14.8 inches from the top of her head to her heels. Now that's a lot of woman

Stretch marks?: still nothing ... keep your fingers crossed ...
Sleep?: back to insomnia ... I pretty much sleep in 3 - 4 hour intervals ...
Best moment this week?: The usual ... watching my stomach jump around ...
Movement?: All over the place ... as usual! Particularly when I eat fruit!
Food cravings?: Just food in general ... LOL
Labor signs?: Nope ... that wouldn't be good
Belly button in or out?: still in ... again, lets keep our fingers crossed ...
What I miss: I miss not having these little aches and pains all of time ... its always something ... whether it's pressure on my bladder, my back hurting, round ligament pain, pressure in my lower abdomen, etc.
What I'm looking forward to: The arrival of our little lady & of course, maternity leave!
Milestone: During my research ... I came up with the following:

How your baby's growing:
By this week, your baby weighs two and a quarter pounds (like a Chinese cabbage) and measures 14.8 inches from the top of her head to her heels. She can blink her eyes, which now sport lashes. With her eyesight developing, she may be able to see the light that filters in through your womb. She's also developing billions of neurons in her brain and adding more body fat in preparation for life in the outside world.

You're in the home stretch! The third and final trimester starts this week. If you're like most women, you'll gain about 11 pounds this trimester.At this point, you'll likely visit your doctor or midwife every two weeks. Then, at 36 weeks, you'll switch to weekly visits.

Also, if your glucose screening test result was high and you haven't yet had follow-up testing, you'll soon be given the 3-hour glucose tolerance test. And if the blood work done at your first prenatal visit showed that you're Rh negative, you'll get an injection of Rh immunoglobulin to prevent your body from developing antibodies that could attack your baby's blood. (If your baby is Rh positive, you'll receive another shot of Rh immunoglobulin after you give birth.)

Around this time, some women feel an unpleasant "creepy-crawly" sensation in their lower legs and an irresistible urge to move them while trying to relax or sleep. If this sensation is at least temporarily relieved when you move, you may have what's known as restless legs syndrome (RLS). No one knows for sure what causes RLS, but it's relatively common among expectant mothers. Try stretching or massaging your legs, and cut down on caffeine, which can make the symptoms worse. Ask your caregiver if you should try iron supplements, which can sometimes relieve RLS.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Home ...

So, the semester is officially over and I've traveled to Houston for a little rest and relaxation with friends, family and the husband. Tuesday was my masters students' last final and Thursday I flew out. Fortunately for me and baby, I'm missing a good part of the disgusting Chicago weather that really began the morning I left ... Thursday. I walked outside at 5:30 am to catch a cab to O'Hare for my 8 am flight to Houston and I was shocked to find that tears started pouring down my face ... the mucus (tmi) in my nose started to freeze ... while my coat was keeping me and the baby warm ... my legs were freezing ... it was awful. Dare I mention the wind (negative 20 degrees windchill factor) ... I know I live right off of the lake but geeze ... But, I only had to endure the cold for a little while. Thank goodness I'm dodging that bullet ...

Anyway, Kristopher is still traveling for his job (in Tampa right now) ... can't wait to see him ... I miss him so much I can't stand it ... but I'm excited to be in Houston ... the weather is MUCH "warmer" ... supposed to be in the 50's today ... and not to mention ... my Houston baby shower hosted by my mom and a dear friend is tomorrow! WooHoo! On top of that, one of my best friends in the world dropped in last night to say "hello!" He was shocked to see how the baby and I have "grown." A few smart comments here and there but that's to be expected from this clown (Ulric). In true fashion ... he'll be stopping in to say "hello" to everyone at the baby shower tomorrow! Ahhhh ... so cute ... I almost had to move the world to get him to stop by my bridal shower last March ... he was a big hit with all of the ladies at the shower ... did I mention that he's hilarious ...

Ulric (my man of honor) and I after the rehearsal dinner (May 22, 2009).

Another something or the other to be excited about ... Sade's new CD will be in stores on February 8, 2010 ... WOOHOOOOO!!!!! Loving the first single ...

Monday, December 7, 2009

Ooooh it hurts ...

So, I've been experiencing these shooting pains in my booty (smile) ... it's true ... pain in my butt folks ... pain in my butt ... anyway, its almost as if the bones in my butt are separating ... if I had bones there ... like the muscles are separating ... it's really painful ... and sometimes ... often, the pain is shooting down both cheeks ... painful ... I asked some "further along" expectant mothers and guess what they told me ... "welcome to the wonderful world of sciatic nerve pain." What the heck! Sciatic Nerve Pain! Wow ... really?

What the heck is sciatic nerve pain anyway?

Sciatica Nerve Pain During Pregnancy
There are many interesting side effects of pregnancy, one of which is sciatica during pregnancy. While not solely a pregnancy related condition, sciatica does affect many women during pregnancy.

What is Sciatica and How Can It Affect Pregnancy?
The sciatic nerve is a long nerve that runs from the lower back to the back of the legs and feet. Typically this nerve allows feeling in the muscles of the legs and feet. There are times however when the sciatic nerve can become inflamed, whether from pressure in the back or injury. When this happens people experience sciatic pain. Sometimes persistent or chronic pressure to the sciatic nerve can result in weakness in the leg or surrounding areas, numbness or even tingling. Some women describe the sensation as similar to the feeling of pins and needles you get when your leg falls asleep.

Many women develop sciatica during pregnancy, though sciatica isn't a result necessarily of being pregnant. Pressure on the sciatic nerve during pregnancy can lead to backache or other discomfort. Some women assume that the baby presses on the sciatic nerve resulting in pain or discomfort. This is not necessarily however the case. Many times sciatic pain during pregnancy results from damage to a disc in the spine. This can cause inflammation in the tissues surrounding the never or result in direct pressure to the nerve (if for example, the disc has slipped out of place and is compressing the nerve). Women who are pregnant are more prone to disc injury, hence the relationship.

Many women will have developed sciatica at some point or another whether pregnant or not. It may be coincidence that they experience pain and discomfort during their pregnancy. Some women will feel pain or tingling in their back and leg while others will only notice discomfort in one or the other area. Some women experience pelvic pain during pregnancy which is sometimes mistaken for sciatic pain.

Typically the symptoms of sciatica in pregnancy include the following:
• Pins and needles in the lower back or leg, possibly the affected foot.
Shooting or burning in the leg, buttock or lower back. And here it is ...
• Pain in the lower back or back of the pelvis that may extend into the foot.
• Numbness in the leg or feet.

Treating Sciatica During Pregnancy
Many times sciatica pain or discomfort disappears on its own. Sometimes this can take as much as six weeks or more however. Routine visits to a physical therapist may help relieve some of your symptoms. Manual therapy can often help relieve pressure and discomfort associated with pregnancy back pain.

Okay so seriously, I'm in my 3rd Trimester?!!!

So, depending upon what source you use ... 3rd trimester begins at week 27 or week 28 ... I'm going with week 27 :D and I can't believe it! How is it possible that I'm this far along ... well, certainly 3rd trimester brings with it greatness ... for one ... my baby showers! WooHoo! Next Saturday (December 12th) to be exact ... in my hometown of Houston, TX.
  • How far along?: Yep ... that's right folks, I'm 27 weeks!!!3rd Tri is HERE!!!!!
  • Total weight gain: Not sure ... although I will say that this past week ... I felt fabulous ... kinda cute ... you know that changes from week to week ...
  • Maternity clothes?: Loving them! And this past Saturday, I had to break down and purchase more underwear ... again ... it seems that every couple of months, I move into new undies ... this week ... they look something like this ...
  • How big is baby?: about 14 1/2 inches in length! What a big girl! She weighs about 2 pounds!
  • Stretch marks?: still nothing ... keep your fingers crossed ...
  • Sleep?: Once I force myself to actually get off of the couch and get in the bed, not too bad
  • Best moment this week?: The usual ... watching my stomach jump around ...
  • Movement?: All over the place ... as usual! Particularly when I eat fruit!
  • Food cravings?: Just food in general ... LOL
  • Labor signs?: Nope ... that wouldn't be good
  • Belly button in or out?: still in ... again, lets keep our fingers crossed ...
  • What I miss: I miss not having these little aches and pains all of time ... its always something ... whether it's pressure on my bladder, my back hurting, round ligament pain, pressure in my lower abdomen, etc.
  • What I'm looking forward to: The arrival of our little lady & of course, maternity leave!
  • Milestone: During my research ... I came up with the following:

How your baby's growing:

This week, your baby weighs almost 2 pounds (like a head of cauliflower) and is about 14 1/2 inches long with her legs extended. She's sleeping and waking at regular intervals, opening and closing her eyes, and perhaps even sucking her fingers. With more brain tissue developing, your baby's brain is very active now. While her lungs are still immature, they would be capable of functioning — with a lot of medical help — if she were to be born now. Chalk up any tiny rhythmic movements you may be feeling to a case of baby hiccups, which may be common from now on. Each episode usually lasts only a few moments, and they don't bother her, so just relax and enjoy the tickle.

How yur life's changing:

The second trimester is drawing to a close, but as your body gears up for the final lap, you may start noticing some new symptoms. Along with an aching back, for example, you may find that your leg muscles cramp up now and then. They're carrying extra weight, after all, and your expanding uterus is putting pressure on the veins that return blood from your legs to your heart as well as on the nerves leading from your trunk to your legs. Unfortunately, the cramps may get worse as your pregnancy progresses. Leg cramps are more common at night but can also happen during the day. When a cramp strikes, stretching the calf muscle should give you some relief. Straighten your leg and then gently flex your toes back toward your shin. Walking for a few minutes or massaging your calf sometimes helps, too.

It may be the furthest thing from your mind right now, but it's not too soon to think about family planning. You'll want to have made some decisions about postpartum birth control before your baby arrives. If you're considering a tubal ligation, be aware that most states require you to sign a consent form at least 30 days beforehand. So if you'd like the option of having the surgery during your postpartum hospital stay, don't wait too much longer to discuss it with your caregiver. (You can still change your mind later.)