Tuesday, October 2, 2012

42 weeks in, 42 weeks out!

Well, it's been exactly 42 weeks since I gave birth to my beautiful girl. That means she has been outside as long as she was inside! I wish I had a better picture of my last day pregnant with her. My friend made me take this belly pic to send her, otherwise I'd have none at all. I guess at 42 weeks pregnant, I wasn't feeling terribly motivated to photograph myself.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


I am an avid babywearer.  Without question, my favorite carrier is the Ergo Performance.  I've tried out a bunch of different carriers, though, and thought that I would review them here.

Ergo Performance:

I've already stated that this is my favorite.  I love that you can wear on the front or back easily.  Phil loves it too.  It has a great pocket to store my phone and keys when I am just taking the dog for a quick walk.  It is SO comfortable!  It's easy to use, can adjust so anyone can wear it.  I can't go shopping without the Ergo.  Noelle does not do very well in the carts in the store and I far prefer to wear her on my back instead.  Perhaps one downside to back wearing: you can tell in the second picture that Noelle is considering pulling on some hair.....

Moby Wrap:

This was my favorite carrier in the newborn days.  I haven't used it in quite some time though.  However, it was absolutely worth the money.  I loved it in the newborn days because it was so snuggly!  She also loved it.  It's awesome for a winter baby.  Before I left the house, I would wrap it around me, then put my coat on.  Since it was already wrapped, all I had to do was take her out of the carseat, pop her in and wrap my coat around her without having to take my coat off at all.  Very handy.  I also managed to successfully nurse in this carrier a time or two, thanks to the help of various YouTube videos which demonstrated that task.

Maya Wrap (Ring Sling):

In my research of babywearing, I discovered that a lot of people really love ring slings.  The idea seemed attractive.  It was reported that they were easy to use, easy to nurse in, and fit compactly in the diaper bag.  Only the last of those was true for me.  I had a terrible time getting a good fit.  Surprisingly, I found the Moby much, much easier and quicker to put on because of all the fumbling I had to do with the ring sling to get a good fit.  It also was not as comfortable since there is only support on one shoulder.  This was not the carrier for us.

Infantino EcoSash Mei Tei:

This style of carrier is a blend between a wrap and a soft structured carrier (like the Ergo).  There is one piece of rectangular fabric, with waist and shoulder straps that you tie in order to secure the child in the carrier. You can see a picture of this carrier here:;&gs_nf=1&tok=uncuH9XUtgcyKWHxwxabGg&cp=12&gs_id=1nj&xhr=t&q=infantino+ecosash&pf=p&biw=1920&bih=883&sclient=psy-ab&oq=infantino+ec&gs_l=&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.&fp=d4867127953e69ad&tch=1&ech=12&psi=OsBhUIe9BMjj0QHSiYCICA.1348583482385.1&cid=17218644164282900714&sa=X&ei=UMBhUJ29AenH0AGIyoEg&sqi=2&ved=0CB4QrQQ

As a carrier, I like this okay.  I got it on super sale off the zulily site.  I like keeping it inside in case the ergo is in the car and Noelle is very fussy and needs to be held.  Thankfully, that does not happen too often.  The straps are too cumbersome to use on the go since they will fall to the floor when tying it.  It is not the most customizable style of mei tei out there.  It's also does not come from the most reputable brand as far as babywearing goes.  I think I would probably like the BabyHawk Mei Tei better, but chose this one due to the significant cost savings.  This was a good choice for us, since the Ergo really is our go-to carrier.  It did come in handy when Noelle was much smaller to do a high back carry (before she could go on the back in the Ergo).  If you are wondering how on earth you strap a child to your back in the first place, you can see BOTH Phil and I accomplish this (EASY) task in my vlog post:

I hope this post was helpful if you are looking to wear your baby!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Recommitting to Blogging. Happy 9 months Noelle!

I've decided I really need to make blogging more of a priority and decided what better day than today, Noelle's 9 month birthday!

So, what is Noelle up to these days?  Well, she is a whirlwind.  She crawls.  A lot.  Just shy of 6 months, she was up on all fours rocking.  She practiced that for a good month, and then just before she turned 7 months she started full on crawling.  She had kind of a funny scoot before that.  Not exactly army crawling, more like doing the worm.  She would get in all fours, then go on her belly, and repeat.  That was how she propelled herself forward.  We are also in a Movers and Shakers class at the Cincinnati Family Enrichment Center.  Each class starts out with a circle of parents and babies, singing songs and bouncing, then it's off to explore "stations."  Noelle loves the center and I feel so blessed to have this resource in Cincinnati.  It's truly an empowering place for parents, with a vibe that screams attachment parenting.  Suits us very well.

We are in our second session of signing class at the enrichment center as well.  At signing class there's lots of reading stories and singing songs that incorporate signs.  Each class has a different theme.  Last Saturday, we learned the signs for different foods.  Noelle seems to recognize a lot of signs, but has not started signing back yet.  Sometimes, it looks like she is signing "all done", but other times, I think she might just be playing with her hands and waving.  Speaking of waving, she does do that, and it's the cutest thing ever.

We had a couple really exciting one time outbursts of words also.  One day, Phil was playing with Noelle, lifting her up in the air and she said Daddy plain as day.  I really think it was the real deal.  She hasn't done it that clear since, but she does sometimes say "dada."  The other exciting word was her saying "doggy" perfectly clear, while petting the dog.  Again, we've only heard it once that clearly, but she says "doe, doe" a lot when the dog is around.  It's so fun to witness her learning and growing each and every day.

Breastfeeding continues to go well.  She nurses like a champ.  My pump output is not great, but I usually am able to pump just enough to meet her needs.  Except for those random times when I don't, which result in a comical display of me driving all over the city to drop off more pumped milk for her.  Luckily that's only happened twice.

At 9 months, Noelle is 18 pounds, 7 ounces and 26 inches long.  She is in the 43rd percentile for weight, and only the 7th percentile for height!  She dropped off her height curve a little bit, but the doctor thinks that was due to the subjectivity of how they measure.  She is usually in the 25th percentile for height.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Birth Story

Well, it has been over 6 months now.  I'm obviously horrible at keeping this blog updated.  Recently, my online mommy group uploaded a document with links to their birth stories.  I realized that I needed to get this thing written.

I'll start by saying that I was tracking ovulation.  Based on my ovulation date my EDD was December 2nd.  Because of when my LMP was, my doctor's marked my EDD as 11/29.  Certainly not very far off.  I knew from the beginning that Noelle would hold out until December.

I went to my 40 week appointment and my BP was pretty high.  The actual number escapes me. I was beyond devastated.  It had been so good up until this point.  I cried hysterically during the poor doctor!  He told me we would do some blood work, schedule an ultrasound for next week, and that I should not be pregnant much longer.  The blood work was normal, and though my BP was higher than desired, there was still no reason to induce.  I was not dilated or effaced at all.

At exactly 41 weeks, I went back to the doctor and had an ultrasound/biophysical profile.  Baby checked out great.  It was clear that my placenta was still functioning beautifully.  I did however, still have a high blood pressure.  My doctor stripped my membranes (without telling me.....yikes!) and sent me to labor and delivery to be monitored.  During the course of monitoring, my BP started to come down to a healthy level.  The doctor at the hospital left the decision up to me....I could be induced or go home on bed rest.  I had happened to bring the hospital bag with me, my favorite doctor was working the next day (when I would likely deliver if induced), and they had managed to get an IV in me which is no small feat.  The IV issue alone made me decide to just go for the induction.  They did a round of cervadil over night.  I got no sleep, but did have a bit of contracting.  Much to my dismay, I had still not progressed.  I think I was about 30% effaced and at 2cm.  Then I had a round of pitocin.  I had some very mild contractions, but nothing too big.  By the end of the day, I decided to go off pitocin for a bit....get a shower and real food, and then try cervadil again.  The cervadil was placed for the second night stay.  This time I did not contract at all and zero changes in the morning.  It was devastating.  It was also clear that my body was not ready.  Thankfully, we talked with my doctor, asked to go home....and we were discharged.  I am so relieved that I had a doctor that was open to that.  It's not that csections are horrible, terrible things.  They have saved many lives.  But if I was going to have a csection, I wanted it to truly be necessary.  My BP was still a little high, but nothing dangerous.

A few days later, they wanted to see me back at the office for another ultrasound.  My BP was great, and baby continued to look AWESOME on the ultrasound.  She was just happy as a clam in there.  (We didn't know it was a she at that time!) They scheduled another induction to occur on December 12th (Our 2 year anniversary!) at 9pm.  This was the 42 week mark and the latest that they would want me to continue this pregnancy.  I would go in and have another round of cervadil.  All three rounds of cervadil were simply terrible.  That was BY FAR the worst part of being induced.  So painful having it placed.  So, so painful.  The third round of cervadil didn't do a ton, but seemed to help a little.  I was about 2.5 cm by this point, and 80% effaced.  We started the pitocin the morning of December 13th.  I think it was around 8 or 9 am.  The first few hours of pitocin were doing nothing.  Not a single thing.  After about 4 hours though, I was sitting on the birthing ball (okay, okay, it's really just an excercise ball!) reading my book and started having some stronger contractions.  They were fairly strong, but I thought after all of this, I was probably just being a baby so I held off on being checked for some time.  The nurse kept telling me the doctor was on his way and they would look at seeing where I was and breaking my water.  It was an eternity before he got there.  Once he checked me, we were at 6cm!!!!!!  That was such an amazing moment.  The pitocin was FINALLY working.  I had a chance at having a vaginal delivery!  I had really talked myself into thinking I was going to need a csection.  At that point, I continued to labor a while longer before getting an epidural. I progressed pretty quickly.  I had always planned on getting an epidural, and was proud of myself when I had made it to about 7 or 8 cm before getting it.  To be honest, the pain was still managable but I was just so relieved that it was working I decided to go ahead and get the epidural.  At about 8pm, I was a full 10 and ready to do some practice pushing.  In some ways I regret my epidural, and in many ways I am glad I had it.  I could not feel the contractions which made pushing hard.  I also was more limited in my movement.  Also, while on the epidural I was very, very shaky at first.  I didn't like it at all, and preferred the pain of the contractions to this feeling.  Eventually though, the shakiness did wear off and I was relieved to not be feeling any pain.  I continued to push for 2 hours.  Noelle had changed position on us, and was sunny side up.  I was pushing for a long time on my side to change her postion, but to no avail.  At this point, the nurse started preparing me for the possibility of a csection.  I was devastated.  I was pretty certain that I had enough feeling in my legs to try to push on my knees to give Noelle another shot at moving position.  Luckily, the doctor came in, took one look and said this could easily be a vaginal delivery with the assistance of forceps.  I was absolutely okay with this.  The medical team prepared everything, and about a half hour later, at 10:50 pm on 12/13/11 Noelle Christine was born!  6 lbs, 13 oz, 19 inches long!

They placed her on my stomach immediately and she looked at me with her beautiful eyes.  She didn't start crying right away, so they did need to take her right over to the bassinet (in the same room) to make sure she was okay.  She was.  It took about 30 minutes for everything to get cleaned up and for the doctor to stitch up my 2nd degree tear.  The tearing and the forceps assisted delivery is the reason why, in the end, I am glad I had an epidural.  I was not doing so well during some of this time.  I was terribly nauseous, and Phil describes me as having all of the symptoms of shock.  I was actually relieved that I was not doing skin to skin just yet.  It was actually even better to just watch Phil with her.  I never thought I would feel like that, as doing skin to skin the whole first hour had been really important to me.  I did still get to do skin to skin and nurse her just a half hour after her birth, though.

Around 1am, they moved me to the post partum room.  Finally, I was able to have some gingerale and crackers.  That was such a relief.  My first trip to the bathroom was awful.  I thought I would be able to walk there with the assistance of a nurse.  It was a scary, scary walk those few feet.  I was so lightheaded and Phil was completely knocked out.  It had been a long day for him too.  The nurse walked me to the toilet and I literally passed out while sitting there.  I woke up to 3 nurses looking at me with the smelly salt things (man, those sure do work!). They wheeled me back to my bed.  That night, was the scariest feeling.  Noelle was crying, I was weak, Phil was sleeping, and I just didn't know what to do.  Luckily, Noelle fell asleep and I got 2 hours of rest.  The next day, in the hospital was good and bad.  Noelle was doing great with nursing.  There were just so many people in and out, all day though.  It really affected the time I spent breastfeeding.  By the second night in the hospital, when Noelle was just past 24 hours old things really fell apart.  I nursed and nursed, and nursed for hours and she just screamed.  It was awful to watch her.  Nothing was helping.  Finally in the depths of the night, I decided to sign the "supplement waiver" they have and give Noelle just 5 ml ( 1/6 of an ounce) of formula.  This was enough to give her just a little rest.  She clearly was truly hungry.  I so did not want to supplement, but in my heart of hearts as a mom, I felt like I was letting my newborn cry it out for food.  I know newborns don't need a lot of food, but she clearly did need some.  She was showing all the signs of hunger.  I'm so glad I went with my mom instincts on this.  We both got a little bit of much needed rest.  The next day was still hard, because my milk was not in and she was still very fussy.  I powered through, however, without supplementing anymore.  We went home around 3pm on December 15th and it has been really smooth sailing ever since.  She broke her birth weight and was up to 7 lbs, 1 oz by just 8 days old.  It was such a proud mom moment knowing that breastfeeding was working!  Noelle is a beautful, wonderful, and frankly...pretty easy baby.  She is the light of our lives.

Next time around, I am considering going natural.  The only part that really terrifies me is feeling the tearing, so I am not sure what to do about that.  I absolutely loved my doctors at the practice.  The hospital was filled with some really wonderful people and is an absolutely gorgeous facility.  I do wish that the nurse who helped deliver and was with me through most of labor had been more proactive in getting me in different positions and encouraging me to move a little more before I got the epi.  Also, just a little bit after birth they had to get my blood because it was possible I would need more rhogam and that would help them know the right dosage.  Thats what they told me anyway.  It took 3 or 4 attempts and they barely got any blood.  The tech was rude.  It was a terrible thing to go through just after the birth of my daughter.  I really wish I had advocated more.  As it turns out, Noelle is the same blood type (AB-......hello rarest blood type) so it wasn't needed anyway.  There was absolutely no reason why that could not have waited until the morning.  Despite that one unfortunate event, I am really happy with the hospital and my doctors.  I can't wait to give birth with them again!

Friday, April 13, 2012

4 Months!

Noelle is 4 months old today!  I can't believe it.  Here's the stats:

Weight: 14 lbs, 12 oz....76th%
Length: 24 in.  41st%
Head circumference: 15 3/4 in. 23%

The doctor was a little confused by the lower head circ. measurement, but said she looks perfectly proportional to the eye so she is not concerned.  She did great with her shots.  She cried for about a second. 

I was hoping to snap her 4 month pictures today, but she was too sleepy.  Hopefully tomorrow I can get some good shots.

First Vacation!

Last spring, Phil had wanted to take a weekend trip to his alma mater-Indiana University.  The only weekend we were available to go, a friend of mine was having a baby shower which I didn't want to miss.  A few weeks ago I suggested that we should go this year instead! I also thought "why not lump a trip to Chicago with a 3 month old in there too!"

Overall, it went very, very well.  We headed out mid morning on Monday, and drove the 3 hours to IU.  Once we were on the campus Phil was instantly nostalgic and we walked and walked and walked around the campus.  We had lunch at Mama Bear's pizza-a fave of his.  We had Noelle in the Ergo and backpack filled to the brim as a diaper bag.  Phil and I traded off carrying the baby vs. backpack.  The backpack was a monster to carry.  Luckily, the next day we wised up a bit and used our city mini also.  We stayed in the Student Union which is the hotel that the university owns and runs.  It was quite a nice hotel, and a far cry above the Super 8 which was where we stayed on our last road trip.

Then we headed to a suburb of Chicago to visit Phil's grandpa and step-grandmother.  We headed in to the city one day.  It was a blast!  We took the Metra train in, then the L, and then a city bus!  Noelle did great all day.  We had our handy dandy Ergo with us, and the City Mini.  I'm always amazed at how easy mass transit is in Chicago.  Totally love it! We wanted to go to the aquarium, but it was a 2 hour wait.  Then we tried to go to the art museum, but it was free admission, spring break, and another very long line.  We decided strolling through Millenium Park would be a better use of time.  Noelle loved her stroller ride over the bumpy bridge in the park and loved looking at her reflection in "the cloud gate" The next day we had lunch with a friend and former coworker at Lou Malnatti's....delish!!!  After lunch, we headed to a local park to visit some elk.  Yep.  Elk.  No, they are not indigenous to Illinois.  Two words.  Roadside America.  Then Phil's aunt, uncle, and a whole bunch of cousins came to his grandparents for dinner.  We had such a nice time and it was great to catch up.  On Friday, the day we left, we swung by Phil's long time BFF from elementary school.  He and is wife had a one week old baby!

The drive home was absolutely miserable.  It took us 9 hours as opposed to 6.  Noelle was super fussy and inconsolable.  We just had to keep stopping to calm her down.  It was quite the ordeal.  Needless to say, we were relieved when we got home.  The trip was so worth it though!  It was a great time! I feel very accomplished by being able to pull this off.  We were even able to cloth diaper for the whole trip! Here's a bit of a photo dump from the vacay.

Monday, March 26, 2012

One year ago....

One year ago, I found out I was pregnant!  It was such a glorious, crazy, shocking, strange day.  We were blessed enough to get pregnant the first month we tried.  I was charting and temping.  Since it was my first cycle, I thought for sure it would never happen the first round.  I remember wanting to wait until the weekend to test because on the off chance it was positive, I would not be able to go in to work right after!  My plan was to test on Sunday the 27th.  On Saturday the 26th however, I woke up...took my temp and just could not go back to sleep.  I was 15 days past ovulation.  I decided, what the heck....I am just going to go and test, find out it's negative....then I can go back to sleep and sleep in on this Saturday morning!

Well, clearly.....I could not go back to sleep.  I came back from the bathroom, woke Phil up and said "honey, I just took a test." Phil started to reach over to rub my back and comfort me because he also thought it would be negative.  Then I said..."and it was positive."  We said a prayer together. I had him recheck the test for me.  Instead of going back to sleep, we headed off to a very early breakfast at our favorite breakfast place.  It's usually packed on Saturday morning, but we were able to beat the crowd.

These weren't actually the first tests that I took, I'm not sure I even have a picture of the very first one.  I know it was an EPT with the plus sign.  In the coming weeks after that first test, I took 11 tests.  Yes, you read right....11.  It wasn't that I didn't believe the tests, I just loved seeing it every.single.time.  

The day we found out, we went over to Phil's parents house for the quarterly birthday celebration of all the family members.  Phil's grandparents were also in town.  We ended up telling everyone there, because all of those people are people we would likely tell if something had happened.  We also called my mom and told her. Luckily, we never had to break any sad news.  The pregnancy was a dream, and now there is a stunningly beautiful, smiley 3 month old who is sleeping away.....for now.  What a tremendously happy year we have had.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Goodness, it's been a while! Cloth diaper accessory review

Well, my last post I talked about wanting to do a review of all the accessories that go along with cloth diapering.  So, here's the low down:

Wet bags/pail liners:
You need a place to store all those dirty diapers before laundry day.  Most people tend to use either a trash can with a water proof pail liner, or a hanging wet bag....which takes away the necessity of using the can.  I use both, but I prefer the hanging wet bag.  I use the pail liner in the nursery in a step can, and the hanging wet bag I use downstairs and I hook it on to the pack and play. The hanging wet bag also has a separate "dry" side to it so I can also stick Noelle's clothes in there if I change her outfit on the main floor of the house instead of in the nursery. Most of her diapers are changed downstairs on the pack and play.  It's also great for weekend travel.  I took it to Cleveland once leaving on Friday and coming back on Sunday, and it fit all the dirty diapers perfectly.  I have the planet wise brand.....highly recommend.  These both work pretty well.  The reason I prefer the hanging bag method is because the
pail liner does not stay around the edge of the step can very well because of the hinge.  If I used a can that had no hinge, I think it would work great.  Also, in the nursery the step can kind of gets in the way.  If I used the hanging wet bag in there, I could just hang it on the knob.  I may be putting 1 or 2 of those on my wish list when people ask me for ideas, then I would discontinue use of the pail liner for the most part.  I have 2 of the pail liners though, so there is always one clean.
I also have a kangacare wet bag.  My daycare provider recommended this one as her top preference.  It's plenty big, but small enough to transport easily.  It is smaller than the planetwise hanging wet bag, but it does the same basic thing.  I just got it very recently, and it is nice to have while the other one is in the wash.  It's also small enough that it can go in the diaper bag...though I prefer even smaller ones for that.  The nice thing about this is that it does have a nice 3D design so it's easy to get into and dump into the washer.  I think it will also be nice to store in the bathroom once the poop is more solid and needs to be sprayed.  Here's a picture.
In addition to these, I have 2 smaller wet bags that go easily into the diaper bag.  One is another planet wise brand and the other is a momma kitty brand.

CJ's products:
CJ's is all the rage amongst CD'ers as a CD safe way to treat diaper rash.  You have to be careful about what products you choose to treat rash because the wrong thing can cause your diapers to repel.  Desitin and A&D are the biggest no-no's.  There's several safe options though, one of which is easy to find:  California Baby.  I've also used Aveeno though, and just used a flushable liner and it's been totally fine.  But, I digress.

CJ's BUTTer is an all natural cream that can be used to treat diaper rash.  From what I can gather, it is a compilation of different oils.  Coconut oil, sesame oil, and castor oil perhaps?  I have the vegan formula which does not include coconut oil.  It comes in a round tub.  It's pretty darn neat.  BUTTer is a very appropriate name for it.  At first, I assumed it was called that because of the goes on the butt.  However, once you put it on the skin, it literally  It's crazy!  This is also a new addition to my CDing, but so far, so good.  I haven't had much in the way of rash...just a little pinkness/redness sometimes and this seems to do the trick.  I've been putting it on every night as a precaution to keep that nasty rash away!  I also have a spray version of the BUTTer which I stick in the diaper bag and send to day care.  That one is not the vegan formula and is also lavender scented.  I wasn't sure about using a scented product for that purpose, but CD'ers speak so highly of the CJ's brand that I took the chance because that was all the store had in stock.

Now...for my favorite CJ's product.  CJ's Carcass Cleaner!  This stuff is incredible as a cloth wipes solution!!!  3 squirts in 2 cups warm water (and I add a drop or two of tea tree oil, but I don't know how necessary that is) and've got a nice solution to wet your wipes with and really get a clean bottom.  I was using just plain water, and that was okay.  But since discovering this, I probably won't go back.  The reason I tried a solution is because my daycare provider really prefers a solution over just plain water.  She is a passionate CD'er herself so I decided to give her suggestion a try.  I was going to make my own solution from a variety of recipes available, but was pleasantly surprised to see CJ's products at Cincinnati's green store, Park and chose to keep it simple instead.  I am so glad that I did!

Rockin Green:  This is a popular CD detergent that I have used two bags of so far.  It seems to work okay.  At the beginning, I felt like I had some stink issues and had to use a lot more than the recommended amount.  I think it may have been because of the crazy frequent poop that newborns have.  Once the poop decreased, I started using less with not much of an issue.  My diapers seem plenty clean.  I did have 2 random cases of 2 diapers not coming clean though....which was strange, but may have had more to do with the cycle being set too slow.  The one thing that really bothered me though, was the amount of suds left over in the utility tub after each wash...regardless of how much/little soap I was using.  Because of this, I decided to try Charlie's Soap.  To be fair to Rockin Green, I think I figured out where the suds were coming from.  We have this detergent dispenser in our washer and I discovered that I was getting a ton of suds if I just poured water down the dispenser and ran a totally empty load.  So all the extra suds are coming from years of detergent build up in the dispenser I think.  This is a picture of what one cycle looked like when I poured vinegar in the dispenser to get rid of some of the residue (this is an empty load.)  Yikes!

Charlies Soap:  I've only used it once so far....but I really really like it.  There's no scents but the diapers just come out smelling soooo clean and fresh.  It also does not leave residue and has lower suds.  I think this might be a better fit for us than the Rockin Green.  I will caution however, that there is some scary stuff on the internet about Charlie's soap causing these horrible burns....which is why I avoided it for a while.  If you have hard water, it might not be the best choice...or you should use Calgon with it.  From my research, it sounds like the reactions some children have are due to reacting to bacteria left on the diaper.  No detergent disinfects, however, some detergents leave a film that apparently keeps the bacteria away from the skin but doesn't rid the diaper completely of the bacteria.  The downside is that this residue can eventually cause your diapers to repel.  Charlie's does not have this residue, therefore, the bacteria can cause a reaction.  It is recommended to use either vinegar or bleach once a month or so on your diapers to make sure they are getting disinfected.  Of course, I started reading all this 2 days ago when my diapers were in the wash with Charlie's for the first time and got immediately paranoid, so I ran another wash with vinegar to be safe.   So far, no outrageous burns on Noelle's hopefully all the stuff on the internet is just sensationalized and we won't have any issues!

Wool dryer balls:
Wool dryer balls are great!  I am not sure what brand we use, but I am not sure there would be a big difference from brand to brand.  Wool dryer balls replace dryer sheets.  They reduce drying time and help to soften clothes.  They are usually sold in packs of 3, but you need 6 to have them be effective.  Phil is pretty funny about them...he loves them!  He has always had this weird infatuation with things like bounce sheets, and the bounce bars you can put in the dryer.  He is very attracted to these types of products for some reason.  I was nervous to tell him that we couldn't use the bounce bar anymore when we started CDing, but he ended up doing all the research for the dryer balls and gets oddly excited about them (though won't admit it.)  lol.

If you are going to be washing CD's it makes the most sense to go ahead and use cloth wipes.  You are doing the laundry anyway, and then you don't have to throw the wipe away just toss it in with the diapers.  I have some home made ones, made from recieving blankets.  I'd like to make some more of those, but my sewing machine keeps jamming and it's not easy to do that with a 3 month old who demands so much of my attention.  I also have bumgenious brand wipes, baby kicks brand, and cheap baby wash cloths.  I don't have any strong preferences on these.  They all work pretty well.  The homemade ones are the cutest which is why I would like to make more.  The cheap wash clothes work well because they are textured on one side but smooth on the other so you can get the bum really clean.  I prefer to prewet my wipes with the solution so they are ready to go.  Some people worry about mildew with this method, but I don't wet many at a time and have not had an issue.  I also keep some squirt bottles around to squirt a dry wipe if I have not been organized enough to wet more (and this happens frequently.)  Both methods work great, especially if you are using a solution.  The solution just seems to help the wipe glide so much better than plain water.

I use the Vera Bradley medium sized cosmetic case as a wipes container in the diaper bag.  It's not water proof, if I am going to carry premoistened wipes, I stick them in a ziplock bag which I then put in the cosmetic case.  I also carry the CJ's BUTTer spray that I mentioned, and a very tiny spritz bottle of the CJ's solution in the case.  The squirt bottle is very handy for me to use to "wash" my hands when we are out to eat and my hands get all greasy.  Also, if I don't have wet wipes with me I use this to spray the bum directly then wipe.  I prefer the spritz bottle to the bigger squirt bottle if I am going to be spraying the skin directly because I imagine that is much more comfortable for Noelle.

Diaper Sprayer:
I have the Bum Genious diaper sprayer.  It works really well!  We haven't had any leaks at all with it. Phil installed it when I was still pregnant, and it sounds like it installed pretty easily.  I used it a time or two post partum as well....but man that was some cold water!   I think I will be very happy to have a sprayer once we start solids.

Well, it's quite late, and I am afraid I have ceased to be making any sense at all at this point.  So I am going to say goodbye to the blogging world for now.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Cloth Diapers Review

I am a total cloth diaper snob.  I love it to no end.  Noelle was in disposables for a bit on Friday and Saturday, and I cannot stand the chemical smell! I thought I would review the brands I have tried so far.

Green Mountain Diapers: yellow edge.  These are great.  They are wide so they still fit around Noelle nicely with a snappi.  I have found that the "jelly roll" fold works best.  She is starting to outgrow them.  I think I will order some of the next size up-red edge.  I didn't think I would need prefolds once she was fitting in her one size diapers, but I find that I really like them for short term.  I use them a lot when I am doing the laundry and want all of my pockets clean at one time to send with Phil's mom when I am at work.  I also use them if, say, I am leaving to go out for a while in about an hour....and don't want to "waste" a clean pocket.  Orange edge is the newborn size.  I only have 6 of them which worked nicely, all though I was not able to snappi them as effectively.  I think that was just because prefolds did have a higher learning curve than I thought they would at the very beginning.  By the time I became a pro snappi-er, she had grown into the yellow edge.  I have 12 yellow edge.

Bummis:  These also worked well when I was using them.   I liked them at the very beginning, again, before I was a good snappi-er.  They are more of a rectangle, than a square however.  This just means that they are not wide enough to snappi around Noelle's waste.  I use them as burp cloths now.  When I first started using them, I actually liked them more than the yellow edge because they were not as wide.  I folded them horizontally instead of vertically, which then made them shorter so that the fit in the x-small covers perfectly.  This was when I was just trifolding them.  I have 12 of these.

Kissaluv Size 0 (KL0):  These are good diapers.  They fit right away and are a great night time option.  Newborn poop will not escape these things.....that's the best thing about them.  With prefolds there is a very good chance poop will get on the inside of the cover so you need quite a few covers in the early days to exclusively CD.  If no poop escapes, though, you can reuse the cover before washing.  It would not be cost effective to use only these for the newborn stage, however.  I think they run about $12 a diaper and you would need 30-36 of them so it would be a pretty penny for diapers you only use a short time.  I think Noelle fit in these for 4-6 weeks or so.  I have 6 KL0's.

Tinkle Traps:  These are made by a local work at home mom.  They come in super cute prints.  They have a nice snap in insert for added absorbency.  They are about 10-12 a diaper.  They worked equally as well as the KLO's, but much cuter.  Also, they don't feel quite as super, super soaked as the KL0's or prefolds when you change it.  I have 2 of these.


Thirsties:  These are wonderful covers.  I have 3 X-Small...all velcro (aka hook and loop or aplix), a few Small (someone gave those to me), and 2 "Duo's", which means they snap down and are two sizes in one diaper.  The double gussets in the legs contain the poop wonderfully!  I cannot see how poop would escape this cover as long as the diaper underneath is tucked in.  The xsmall were my favorite in the newborn days.  It was trimmer than the duos or the small.  The small worked well also.  Now that Noelle is bigger...the duo is my favorite.  It fits her perfectly when the rise is totally unsnapped.  Of course the owl and tree prints could also have something to do with why I love them so much. 

One size diapers (pocket):

BumGenius 4:  These are a very popular diaper.  It has a microfiber insert with microsuede that goes against baby's skin.  The outside of the diaper is made with waterproof PUL.  I have 5 velcro and 5 snap.  I like the velcro for overnights, because of how easy it is to change.  These are the only diapers I put on Noelle for overnight.  She can sleep 8 hours straight in one without a leak.  The microsuede does an AMAZING job of wicking moisture away from the skin.  Phil has on occasion gone to change one of these and thought it was totally dry and then felt in the pocket to find a completely saturated insert.  I have a total of 10.  They run $18 a piece and are worth every penny. 

Rumparoo:  I have 2 of these in velcro.  The prints are uber cute.  They have leaked on me maybe once or twice.  They have a very short rise, many people say these only fit until their babies are 6 or 7 we will see.  They are a bit bulky.  They have inner gussets which make it so poop is very unlikely to seep out the legs.  I hang dry all my pocket shells, and these take the longest to dry.  I'm not sure what material goes against the skin, but it is SUPER soft and feels very nice.  I got these on ecobaby buys, 2 for 27 dollars.  They run about $23 dollars for one.  I am glad I got these at this price, but I would not pay full price for them. 

Mama Kitty United:  I recieved 10 of these from my SIL as a gift, they are what she uses.  They have overlapping snaps which is nice because then you can get a nice snug fit with snaps, which you can usually only do with overlapping velcro.  They have a nice stay-dry feeling.  I have to have these double stuffed to not leak, which makes them bulkier.  I have also had poo escape from the legs.....which does not happen with most cloth diapers.  There is a lot of variance in the snaps.  On some of them....the snaps work fine, on others....I can't get it to snap tightly for the life of me.  They run about $10 per diaper.  That's a great price, but the quality just is not there.  That being said, they seem to be working well for my SIL so I guess it just depends on the baby. 

Bumkins:  I have only used these twice.  The first time some poo escaped the leg, but I think Noelle was still too small to fit in them well.  The second time, it worked well....but I did double stuff it.  The insert seems very small to me.  I have 2 of them that I got from Zulily for $10 each.  The prints are cute, but I don't typically reach for them.

Hybrid Diapers:

Flips:  These are made by the makers of BumGenius.  They are a one size cover with an insert.  The top layer of the insert is flannel which goes against baby's skin, and the underside is microfiber.  The insert folds down to accomodate the size that the cover is set on.  I like these diapers a lot.  The insert wicks wetness away from the skin very nicely.  The tabs that snap are flexible.  It is pretty trim and looks cute.  If the cover remains poopless, you just switch out the insert.  It's basically a more expensive way to do a prefold.   I bought a starter pack with 6 inserts and 2 covers.  Now that Noelle poops less, this works well.  When she was pooping more, however, it kind of negated the whole convenience of just switching out the insert because the cover will almost always get dirty with newborn poop.  It's rare that I actually use all 6 inserts before both covers get dirty.  The plus side is that they fit in the diaper bag really nicely, so I usually save them for when I am going somewhere.  I usually put one on her, bring the other cover and a couple inserts.  Sometimes I throw in an extra pocket diaper too, just incase Noelle decides to poop a million times in two hours.  Hasn't happened yet, but I like to be prepared.

That's all for now!  I'll do another post soon with cloth diapering accessories.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Random updates

Goodness I've been busy.  Between returning to work, going out of town, and taking care of household things I have been a very bad blogger.

Noelle's 2 month check up was on Valentines Day...also her daddy's birthday.  She weighed in at 11lbs, 14.5 oz-76th %, 21 3/4 inches-24%, 15in head circumfrence 31st%.  I'm quite certain both me and Phil would be in the low percentile for our heights and high percentiles for our I guess Noelle is no exception!

She is smiling and cooing up a storm these days.  It is so fun.  There is nothing better than her looking at you with a huge smile and knowing that she can do that because of the love and care she recieves every great.  She doesn't love tummy time, but doesn't hate it either.  We try to one or two good floor tummy time sessions each day, but it doesn't always happen.  What does always happen is lots of tummy to tummy time in baby carriers and chest naps. She is in mostly 0-3 month clothing, but some 3-6 month.  I just went to Carter's today and got a bunch of 6 month onesies and those two packs of ruffle bottom pants.  I've discovered my favorite thing to dress her in is a long sleeved decorative, nice looking onesie (usually colored and/or textured with a small little bow or flower at the top, or with a collar) with a pair of pants.  It looks like an actual outfit, but is still practical and easy...easier than a sleeper actually.  Less snaps. 

Speaking of snaps.....the baby world seems to revolve around them!  I mean, between my cloth diapers, onesies, sleepers, nursing garb, pack and play changing did we ever get by without them?

I am having a horribly difficult time getting Noelle's baptism scheduled.  It's the one thing that I have been most looking forward to since being pregnant it stinks it is taking so long.  It looks like it might happen memorial day weekend, but that seems so far away.  I also wanted to go to Washington DC for a conference that weekend, but I doubt I could really make that work anyway.

In my next few posts, I am hoping to do some reviews of different baby stay tuned if you are interested in hearing about the absurd number of things a very small person seems to require!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Flashback Friday-Big Girl Job

Sorry that I haven't updated since last weeks Flashback Friday.  I promise I will actually start talking about that sweet baby of mine soon!

This weeks flashback is actually like 5 flashbacks all in one!

This is one of my good college friends.  I went to school in New York, and moved to Cincinnati right after I graduated.  I moved to Cinci for my first "big girl" job.  A few months later, my college friend also landed a job at the same place as me!  She still lives here, and has 2 kids of her own now, and is actually who exposed me to cloth diapers.  We haven't gotten together since Noelle arrived, but I just sent her a message on FB to get that going.  Anyway, this is us at a fancy schmancey fundraiser for the job.  I'm about 23 in this pic.  I am embarrased to say that I drank a tad bit too much on this night.  I didn't make a fool out of myself or anything, but I would not drink like that at a work related function today. 

This is also a little bit of a sad picture for me.  Working there was a dream for me, a few months after this picture I was promoted to a different position.  It was my dream job.  9 months after that, I lost the job (nothing to do with my over-intake of alcohol at that fundraiser-I promise.)  I was beyond devastated.  My whole life basically fell apart.  I am still very good friends with a lot of people I met there.  I thought I would need to relocate and start life all over. All that I had worked for was....gone.  It was seriously one of the worst things that ever happened to me.

Two days after my last day there, this guy from church called me.  This guy who I had been driving to church with.  I actually had told him about some of the troubles I was having at the job in the weeks prior to this phone call.  He asked me out to lunch, and I agreed.  I showed up in jeans, a fleece, and my hair raggedly pulled in a pony tail....I was in fairly rough shape and really didn't care.  We went to lunch and chatted....and then I realized that I was actually on a date with this guy.....ooops! I ended up staying in Cincinnati.  About 20 months after this date, I married this truly wonderful man.  I had no idea in those early days that he would be the man of my dreams.  And then, 3 years TO THE DAY of losing that job, the job I thought was everything.....I peed on a stick and learned that I was going to be having a baby.  It's been a pretty remarkable few years.  It sure is amazing how things change!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Flashback Friday-Adolescence

One of the bloggers I follow does a "Flashback Friday" for her blog.  I thought this was a great idea as a way to spark some inspiration for a blog topic.  So this week I'll talk a little about my long time friends, all of whom I met in junior high.

These girls are my best friends.  I am one of those rare people who had a fabulous adolescence....I'd go back in a heartbeat.  Not that I don't love my life now, I truly do, but I loved it then too.  I'm not exactly sure how old we were when this picture was taken.  I think it's possible that it was summer '02 after we graduated high school.  This brings back happy memories because we used to just drive around and hang out at "castle" playgrounds, swing on swings, and do whatever else we felt like. 

4 of the 5 of us (I'm not in the picture) are married now.  Two are pregnant, before I had Noelle 3 of us were pregnant at the same time! One already has a 1 year old.  I never would have thought back when I was 13 horsing around throwing food at each other at Friendly's after a school dance, that these would be the same girls that I had a few drinks with(not till I was 20, I wasn't a teen drinker), that I'd watch them get married, have babies, lose babies, still talk to on the phone for hours, get a tattoo with, and just experience so, so many significant life events with.  I can't wait to meet the new babies in May and July!

They have helped shape me as a person.  I hope that Noelle has the same experience as me as a teenager.  It's probably a long shot, but that is what I will pray for. 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Back to work

So, yesterday was my first day back to work.  I am really fortunate that I get to work part time.  I just work Wednesdays and Thursdays 8:30-3:30, and Friday's 8:30-12.  It's perfect.  Enough time to interact with others and get out of the house, but not be away from my baby so much that I can't stand it. I work as a Developmental Specialist for Help Me Grow, which is Ohio's Early Intervention program.  This means I do home visits for children birth-3 who have or might be at risk for developmental delays or disabilities.  I offer support and coaching to families to help them help their children to develop within the context of their everyday routines.  Literally, my entire life is BABIES, BABIES, BABIES!  It sure is a good thing I like them so much!

Despite this perfect set up, it was still really hard to go back yesterday.  Grandma came to pick Noelle up around 7:30.  There were some tears right after she went out the door, and a few on the drive to work.  By the time I got to work though, I was okay.  I managed to only call to check in twice, but no one picked up the phone!  As it turned out...Grandma, Grandpa, Noelle, and my 1 yo niece Caroline got to go on an outting to church that day.  I managed the whole day without hearing how she was doing.  The day went by pretty slowly, and I was OUT THAT DOOR at 3:30.  Noelle did pretty well.  She is not a fan of the bottle, but she will take it with just a little fussing (which she does occasionally at the breast as well).  The day at work was pretty low key...mostly just weeding through emails and catching up with all that I had missed. I pumped twice during the day.  My car actually is the easiest place for me to pump right now.  Everywhere else in the office that I could go, I have to figure out when the space is available to make it work.  My car, however, is my own space and I can go in whenever I want!  I have a nursing cover so it's super discreet.  Half of the milk I pumped the first time ended up leaking out of the bottles.  Apparently the "leak proof rings" or "colic rings" or whatever you want to call them (Avent bottles) are essential even if you are not turning the bottle over to feed at the moment.  At first I was very sad to lose that 2.5 ounces of milk, but decided to switch my thinking and say "that's ok, I'll make more, and it doesn't cost any money!"  Not too many things in life that you can say that about.  Neat, huh?

The hardest part was that Phil had an event at his school and had to work late.  So, I came home after working, had to walk the dog, do the diaper laundry, wash the pump parts, repack the diaper bag for today, give Noelle a bath, have some quality time with all the living things in my house (child, husband, dog, cat) and try to fit in a shower for myself.  Yowsers.....welcome to the working mom life!

This is me and Noelle yesterday morning before heading off to work.

Today was another long day of working, but Noelle seems to be sleeping well in her crib for the this momma is off to try to take a bath before catching some Zzzzz's!

Monday, January 30, 2012


Hello!  My name is Tiffany.  I'm 28 years old, and live in Cincinnati, OH.  I have been married to my husband, Phil, for 2 years.  The inspiration for this blog is our daughter, Noelle Christine who was born 12/13/11. 

I thought today would be a good day to start blogging, after Noelle's 1 month check up.  Her check up was a little on the late side (she'll be 7 weeks tomorrow), due to needing to wait a full 4 weeks after her first Hepatitis B vaccine.  I had been anxiously awaiting today's appointment, because it seems like FOREVER since the last time she was weighed.  So here are the infamous stats:  11 lbs even-73 percentile, 21 inches long-17th percentile, and 14 9/8 in head circumfrence-42nd percentile.   She's as healthy as can be, and we are thrilled!

Just a few of the many things I love so far:  Her sweet little smiles, that most often happen as I am changing her diaper.  (I'm convinced she is just as excited as me about her adorable cloth diapers!) The way she looks up at me with those sweet little eyes when I am nursing her.  I feel so blessed that breastfeeding has been going so well, because I know it can be a real struggle for many.  Lastly, I finally can enjoy dressing her more than I did in the first few weeks.  Her cute little outfits are getting easier to put on, and it's fun to pick out pretty clothes for her!  There's lots, lots more....but I'll leave it at that for now.

I'm new to this blogging thing, so bear with me as I figure it all out and thanks for reading!