Sunday, September 30, 2012

My Phone Makes Me Swear

Have you ever seen that segment on The Ellen DeGeneres Show called "Clumsy Thumbsy"? She shows text messages where autocorrect got the best of the message.  My favorite is a dad sending a message text to his child that he and his mother were getting divorced.  The child is upset and the dad responds "DISNEY!  We're going to Disney!  Stupid autocorrect!"

Well, I had my own version of clumsy thumbsy this week.  I was trying to text Shawn to tell him that I saw a bucking horse in a pasture.  My husband loves horses and I knew he'd be excited about that. I was using the text to speech function on my phone, which is usually great.  This is the result.

Attempt #1: I saw a bucking horse in a Pastor today. . .

grrr, pasture, not PASTOR! OK, we'll try field instead.

Attempt #2: I saw a King horse in field today. . .

Well, that doesn't make any sense at all!

Attempt #3: I saw a F***ing horse in a field today. . .


Attempt #4: F***ing, f***ing, f***ing!

(Yep, that's me trying to say bucking, bucking, bucking!)

I give up!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

What's Wrong With This Picture?

This is how I found Eliza when I went to get her out of her crib the other morning. Can you tell what's wrong? I don't usually put my baby to sleep naked! She had wiggled her way out of her nightgown until it was down around her thighs! (That's the nightgown, the blue thing that looks like it's around her waist, it's actually down around her thighs.) What a clever little girl! It's definitely time to modify her sleep arrangement. I'm thinking a zippered sleep sack rather than the traditional blanket swaddle. (And can you see that we're still using a hospital blanket to swaddle her?)

Thursday, September 27, 2012

2 Months

Dear Eliza,

You are now two months old! You love to smile and will smile at anyone who smiles at you.  I love it when I come in to pick you up in the mornings and you give me that big smile that says, "Hey, I know you!" You always smile at your Daddy when he comes home from work.  You are a great sleeper and will usually sleep 6-7 hours at night, and even slept 9 hours Saturday night!  I was a bit freaked out when I realized it was 7:45am and you had just barely started to make noises.  But you don't like naps and do your best not to sleep during the day.  You still love baths and being naked in general.  You are starting to pay more attention to noises like Scooter's barking or music.  You don't particularly like the car but will fall asleep if we turn the radio on.  You will coo and giggle at your Daddy and I.  You weigh 9lbs 13 oz and are 22 inches long.  You have chubby little thighs that I love to kiss and cheeks I could gobble up.  You love to grab my fingers when I'm feeding you, and you are still a good nurser, but have started to be more interested in what's going on around you during the daytime feedings.  You love to be held on your belly, and you still suck on your fist like it's a piece of candy.

This was a big month for you.  You spent your first night at the cabin and took your first trip to visit your Grandma and Grandpa Walker in Wyoming.  We went to the Doctor and you got your first set of shots which may have been harder on your Momma than on you.  You looked shocked and then cried, but fell asleep as soon as you were in your carseat and slept for several hours.  You took it all in stride and just got a little fussy, but still were all smiles when Daddy came home.

You also had your first bottle, and your first trip to the babysitter, who was your Aunt Stacey.  You also are sleeping all night in your own room now.  I think those firsts were bigger for me than you!  I am still tempted every night to sleep on the floor next to your crib, but I think we all sleep better now.

You have stolen my heart and keep it tight in your little fist. I learn from you every day and am thankful every day that you have come into our lives.  I love you more than I ever thought possible.



Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Difference

There are a lot of things that are different about having a baby about the house, and here are some of them:

Things we now have in every room in the house: baby blankets, baby socks (they just fall off!), burp rags (multiples in every room, they're everywhere!), pacifiers (and she doesn't even like them!)

I do WAY more laundry than ever before, at least a load a day, and that's BEFORE cloth diapers! Wow, does this girl produce a ton of laundry!

Showers are optional, or at least it feels that way.  It takes some serious juggling or scheduling to shower.  At least I've figured out that Baby Girl will fall asleep in her swing when I shower, so now showering and nap time are combined.

I schedule everything in two hour increments, because that's how often she will need to either nap or eat.  I ask myself: Can I get that done in two hours?  Is it far enough away she'll fall asleep in the car so it can count as a nap? Is there a place where I can feed her?

We have a lot more quiet time around the house.  Both when she is sleeping, and when she is awake we love to just sit and absorb the world.

My clothing choices revolve around easy access to be able to feed a baby.  I don't miss work, but I do miss dressing up.

I feel a mighty sense of accomplishment every time I get her to nap for more than 20 minutes at a time.

My heart melts when she smiles at me first thing in the morning.

I do and say sill things just to get her to giggle.

I'm learning how to do a lot of stuff one handed.

I never knew how much joy I would find in having a baby!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

More Cloth Diapers

I promise this will not turn into a blog where all I write about is cloth diapers, but it's currently on my mind, and what good is a blog if not to help you figure out what is currently on your mind.

So, cloth diapering is going really well.  We don't use them every day because we only have six currently, so it's usually a day or two between times we use them.  But I did decide that my favorite are the Bum Genius Freetime diapers, so I made a bulk order for 14 more which will give me 20 total diapers, enough to last 2 days, so I can wash them every other day.  I've been told 20 is a good place to start with cloth diapers, so we'll see how it works out.  But we did run into a snag that we didn't anticipate with cloth diapers, what to do with the wipes.  We've been using disposable wipes, and of course with disposable diapers you just put the wipe in the diaper when you fold it up and toss it, but with cloth diapers you don't do that.  So, we tried just putting them in the garbage can.  And we do have a garbage can with a lid, but after a few days the smell from the wipes can get pretty powerful.  So, we made the decision to go ahead and try cloth wipes too.  We'll always have some disposable diapers and wipes on hand, but I'm feeling very green with my cloth wipes and diapers.  I've ordered the Cotton Babies cloth wipes as well as another brand, and a wipe warmer which apparently is important if you use cloth wipes.  The wipe warmer comes with cloth wipes as well, so I'll get to figure out which cloth wipes I like if we ever need to order more.

The next snag we've run into is our diaper pail.  We got a great diaper pail that my sister recommended.  It really cuts the smell, but you don't have to use a specific brand of refills, just a regular trash bag will do.  And with disposable diapers it fits about 30 diapers, so we only have to empty it twice a week.  But with the cloth diapers it only fits 6 diapers!  That's fine since that's how many we have right now, but once we go full time with the cloth, we're going to need a new solution.  Fast!  I'm dubious wether a regular garbage can will keep the diaper smell inside.  I've read about wetbags that are made of fabric that you just toss in the wash with your cloth diapers, but I wonder how well they work at containing the smell too.  Does anyone else have experience with cloth diapers, and if so what did you use that worked?  My priorities are a container that will hold up to 20 cloth diapers AND will keep the smell contained.  And if it was also cheap that would be nice too.

Final question, I want a nice wetbag that I can keep in the diaper bag for on the go diaper changes, but Shawn thinks just taking ziploc baggies will be just as effective and cheaper.  Any thoughts?

This is Real Life

I had a really good life as a single girl.  I had a good job, bought my dream car, got to travel, had amazing roommates, life was good.  But even though life was good I always had this feeling, when does REAL life begin?  I'd tell myself, this is it, this IS REAL LIFE!  But I always felt like something was missing.  I kept searching, and kept trying to improve myself.  I took ballet lessons, ski lessons, I learned how to rock climb and fence, but something always felt like it was missing.  Marrying Shawn helped, that giant portion of what had been missing was filled in by marrying Shawn.  But even after we were married I felt like something was missing.  I was still waiting for real life to begin.  Shawn and I have so much fun together.  We both love to travel and explore, wether it's our own neighborhood or traveling abroad.  He makes me laugh and can change my mood in an instant. I love him more than I ever though possible, but day in and day out I was waiting for real life, where was it?

Last week I was loading some laundry into the dryer and I had that old familiar nagging, something was missing, where was real life?  And I thought as I usually do, this IS real life.  And for the first time, I did feel it, this IS real life. I am satisfied and fulfilled in a way I never have been before.  I love being a mother, and this is the best job I have ever had.  This is real life!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

September 11

Every generation has it's "where were you when. . ." events.  For my parents it was probably when JFK was shot, for my grandparents it was D Day.  I remember being about 12 and the Berlin Wall falling, and my mother said "you will always remember this day, you will tell you children about this day."  And that's all I remember about that day.  I don't think I'll be telling my children about the Berlin Wall falling.  I think my generation's "where were you moment" was September 11, 2001.  I can see myself sitting down with Eliza one day and explaining what happened that day and what that means for all of us, how the world changed.  It's the day in my life that defines other days because normal changed that day.

I was in my senior year of college and still living at home in September 2001.  I got up and started to get ready for school, but instead of turning on the radio as was my routine, I listened to a classical music CD.  And then I got in my car and started pulling out of the driveway and the radio personalities were talking about planes and buildings and New York City and I couldn't figure it out.  They were the type of radio show hosts who pull jokes on people so at first I thought it was a joke, but by the time I got to the end of the driveway I realized it was real, something had happened, but I couldn't figure out just what.  My Dad rushed out of the house in his bathrobe telling me to turn on the radio and I could see that the TV was on in the house.  I drove to school and remember just being confused, wondering what was going on.  My first class was a religion class, and my teacher acted as if nothing had happened, which seemed wrong to me.  If any class should discuss the events, should provide some sort of comfort or understanding, it should be a religion class, right?  My friend Trisha and I walked to the Union next.  She didn't have class and my yoga class had been cancelled, and I knew that there were televisions in the Union and we could watch the news.  It seems strange to say now, but for me the moment I realized just how big and scary it was, was when they said on the news that they had closed Walt Disney World for the day.  I had worked for Disney the summer before, so that was relatable for me, that made it huge.

What I'll tell Eliza is that after September 11th nothing seemed normal for months.  Yes, our routines went back to normal, but the fear, the uncertainty lasted for months if not years.  I'll tell her how we used to be able to go to the gate at the airport to wait for people coming home from trips, but how that changed, and how liquids and shoes at airports have changed.  But I'll also tell her that our country came together after September 11th, that we felt unified, if only for a short while.  I'll tell her about the Olympics in Salt Lake in February 2002, because that is all part of September 11th for me.  How we watched the flag from the World Trade Center march into the Olympic stadium and we fell silent in memory not only of those who died but also of our lives before.  I'll tell her how I marched into the stadium representing the USA during a rehearsal for the Opening Ceremonies and how my heart swelled with pride because after such a tragedy we were hosting the world.

But part of my memory of September 11, 2001 happened two days before, on September 9, 2001.  I went to a fireside with President Gordon B. Hinckley where he told us to "embrace more fully the sunlight."  Two days before the events of September 11th he told us that life was going to change, that things would feel dark, but that we needed to step out into the sunlight.  And I remembered that as the world changed.  Yes, things were scary. Yes, our enemies felt closer than ever before, but a Prophet had told me to have faith, that everything would be OK.  And my faith is as much a part of September 11th for me as anything else.  When things seem dark and scary or unbearable, I remember to embrace the sunshine, to look for the good, and to know that things will get better.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Cloth Diapering Day 1

Our Stash! (Sorry for the phone picture)
We got our cloth diapers on Thursday!  I was so excited, it was like Christmas Day opening our box from  In fact, I waited all day for the UPS delivery guy to arrive just waiting for our diapers.  (He naturally arrived just as I had gotten Eliza to fall asleep, so I opened the door when I heard the truck pull up in hopes that I could head him off before he rang the doorbell and prevent Scooter from barking, but naturally Scooter barked anyway, Eliza woke up, and I might have cursed at Scooter, maybe.)  First step in cloth diapering, preparing the diapers.  I had read stories of having to wash diapers on hot FIVE TIMES without detergent to prepare them, but luckily I found this website that explained how to prepare diapers, and also that if I didn't get cotton diapers I would only have to wash them once to get the shipping residue off, just like I do with any of Eliza's clothes.  Shawn was almost as excited as I was.  The diapers got washed and the covers air dried while the inserts went into the dryer, and they all got stuffed and folded Thursday night so I could start cloth diapering Friday morning.

I have to say, cloth diapers are CUTE! They look so cute on a little baby bum, but at the same time, they do look pretty huge on our little tiny baby.  They fit the way they are supposed to, but since I got one-size diapers that fold and snap smaller and will grow with our baby, they look pretty bulky on our baby girl.  Now, why are disposable diapers so ugly looking?  What newborn cares if they have Elmo or Winnie the Pooh on their diaper?  Why not make diapers that appeal to the adults who change them?  There are no characters on our cloth diapers, they're all just solid colors (but I did want to try a different diaper brand simply because they had this cute pattern with flowers, but they were too expensive to really justify it to Shawn).

When the diapers came I was most excited about the Flip diapers. I liked the idea of an outer cover and an insert, and I can pull out the insert and reuse the outer cover. (We got a deal with two outer covers and six inserts.)  So, they were the first diapers I put on Eliza, and they really are easy.  Of course her first diaper was messy, not just wet, and the mess got onto the outer cover, so I tossed the entire thing in the diaper pail.  (Yep, the diaper pail works for cloth diapers too!) Next I tried the Bum Genius Freetime diaper.  These diapers have the inserts semi-attached, so you don't pull them out when you change the diaper, but throw the entire thing in the pail.  I was least excited about trying these diapers out, but after a couple of days, they are definitely the easiest to change, the most like a disposable diaper.  The third type of diaper I tried was the Bum Genius 4.0. This was what I had read the most about, and what really sold me on trying cloth diapers.  Like the Flip diapers they have a separate insert, but unlike the flip they inserts are put into a pocket in the outer cover, so you pull the insert out of the pocket to wash them, and you still have to wash the outer cover every time too.

Overall, after two days of using cloth (Friday and Sunday, since I have a limited supply I washed them on Saturday and used disposables) I have to say that the Bum Genius Freetime are my favorite.  I like the ease of throwing the whole thing into the diaper pail and laundry.  Pulling a wet insert out of the Flip Diaper or the Bum Geinus 4.0 isn't that bad, but pulling a messy diaper insert out is still a little gross.  And the poop does have a habit of getting around the insert on the Flip Diaper and getting onto the cover, so if it's a poopy diaper I definitely have to change both the cover and the insert.  But if it's just wet, I still like the idea of not having to put the whole diaper in the wash, and just changing the insert. The biggest thing I like better about disposables is the convenient yellow line printed on the diaper that turns blue when it's wet or messy.  With cloth diapers you have to touch them to tell if they're wet.

I'll give them another few days to try out, but if I was ordering my supply tomorrow I'd go with the Freetime diapers.  As it is, I want to try them out longer, see how they do with more messes, if I get blowouts or other diaper problems.

Do any readers have experience with cloth diapers?  Do you have a kind you love?  We're just working on the diapers right now, but I'm starting to research cloth wipes.  And I want a couple of wetbags too (waterproof cloth bags you throw your diapers in but can also throw in the laundry) but Shawn is pretty determined we'll just use plastic bags.  And since we're not doing this to be environmentally friendly, but just economical, it seems the most economical way to go about it.  Advice?

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Blessing Day

Dear Eliza,

Sunday was a very special day.  Sunday was your blessing day. You had so much family come to celebrate you and be a part of the day.  You wore the same dress that your Momma wore when she was blessed, and both of your grandmas were on hand to help you get dressed and ready for the occasion.  Your Daddy blessed you in our ward and then our family came over to our house for lunch and you slept right through it!

You, Daddy, and the men who blessed you

Sweet girl, I have been to so many baby blessings in my life, but none have compared to this special day.  I feel so blessed to have you in my life, to be your Momma.  You have brought an amazing spirit into our house.  When you smile at me I melt.  When I am away from you all I can think about is getting back to you.  I can sit and watch you sleep for hours.

Daddy gave you a sweet blessing, baby girl.  You started to get a little fussy, but Daddy always knows how to make you happy, and you fell asleep and slept the rest of the meeting.  You were so beautiful in your white dress with your big white bow in your hair and white socks on your feet.  You've always been Eliza to me, but part of me felt that it wasn't officially your name until you received your blessing. Now it feels permanent, you feel permanent.  You aren't going anywhere baby girl, we are a family.  I love you more every day.



Our Family

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

I have a confession. . .

I feel like I need to make a confession.  I am going to use cloth diapers.  Why should that be a big deal?  I've told a few people, friends, family, other mothers, and they all look at me as if I'm insane.  Why oh why would someone use cloth when they could use disposable diapers?  Why wash cloth when it is so much easier to throw them away?  I had the same initial reactions my friend, until I started reading more about cloth diapers.  They have come a long way in the 20 years since I last changed a cloth diaper.  There's no more folding and pinning and plastic pants.  Now they have diapers that are basically all-in-one, and they close with velcro or with snaps, easy peasy!  And they're so cute! Just look at that baby! I also learned that babies who wear cloth diapers are less likely to get diaper rash and typically potty train earlier and easier.  But the major factor for Shawn and I in deciding to use cloth diapers is really a financial one.  We were given a TON of diapers before Eliza was born, but even with all those diapers we've easily spent $50 for more disposable diapers.  Cloth diapers is a larger initial investment, we're looking at $250-$300, but once you get your supply, that's it, you are done.  Yes, you have to wash them, but as one mom pointed out, you are already pretty familiar with your baby's poop, and changing a cloth diaper isn't any worse than a disposable diaper.  Just today I've already been peed on and pooped on, how much harder will it be to wash a diaper than my own clothing.  

We've ordered our initial stock of diapers, just two each of three different kinds to figure out what works best for us.  I'll try the cloth diapers for a few days to decide what we like and then we'll do a bigger order so that we end up with 18-20 diapers.  Our diapers will arrive on Thursday, I'll let you know how it goes!

Mommy Lesson #1

Note to self: Taking care of myself makes me a better mommy.  On those days when Eliza is crying and won't sleep and won't eat and I can't seem to make her happy, if I take even just five minutes to myself, even if she is crying, it is so much easier to take care of her.  Often those five minutes are just brushing my teeth, washing my face and changing out of my PJs for the day, but those little things make a big difference and those five minutes make the next few hours better. And when I'm calmer she is calmer as well.  When I feel good, she calms down.