Wednesday, October 20, 2010


They say the first step to recovery is admitting that you have a problem. Well I have a-- wait! No I don't. These are essentials... right? Right??? Cloth diapers, baby carriers, pringles.. once you have one, you ave to have more. Now this may or may not be an issue with your pocket book. I can try to justify my habit by convincing myself that the Frog needs diapers. Though DBF will just come right back and say that our prefolds and covers are working just fine and pockets or other "fancy" diapers aren't really a necessity. Well poo on him. I try to ignore him sometimes because his answers just aren't fun. He is right... to an extent. Our prefolds do do just fine for us. However I am preferring to put the Frog in a pocket overnight because he's sleeping longer periods and he feels much dryer in a pocket diaper than prefolds. On this measure, I am very excited to be picking up two Kawaiis from a friend and eagerly awaiting my first ever fluffy mail which is three Happy Heinys from Cloth Diaper Outlet's 5th anniversary giveaway!

While you can go back and forth on the necessity of diapers, I think it's a lot harder to justify new carriers to a spouse who doesn't quite understand how wonderful baby wearing truly is. Plus we are on a tight budget. This carrier additction started with my Sleepy Wrap. I hated it for about the first 20 minutes. And then I fell in love. And loved it even more every single time I wore it. And then the idea of a ring sling seeded itself in my head. They were so pretty and the mamas who had them seemed to love them. I wanted to be one of those RS loving mamas too! And then I managed to get a great deal on one on Craigslist. And almost as soon as I had my paws on the RS to start trying, I found myself wanting a mei tai when I had never really considered one before. But this idea grew like a weed into an obsession. Fortunately I was allotted a small amount of money to spend on the Frog which I intended to use at our local consignment sale. I did happen to get the play gym I set out to find... but what else did I find?! Actually, the very first thing I found was a mei tai! $10 and it was ours! And quite honestly, I love this thing. But what am I facing now? The grueling decision to be made between acquiring a Boba 2G or a Beco Butterfly II! Ok, ok... I think I do have a problem.

I look back at where this whole addiction started and I totally blame cute pictures. I saw pictures of adorable smiling babies in gorgeous fluff and it seemed like the "cool" thing to do and hey! I wanted to be cool too! And a lot of these fluff-obsessed mamas seemed to wear their babies too! Well I would have to do that too then! I obsessed over these ideas for my whole pregnancy. And then the Frog arrived and I was so far gone... What started out as a silly notion to copy "the cool kids" grew into hours of research and self-educating and I was hooked. I absolutely love cloth diapering. Even the laundry part. And my favourite thing in the world right now is going out and enjoying the beginnings of a Florida autumn with my sweet little Frog snuggled into one of our carriers. I never thought I would cloth diaper a child. I thought that was what Nana did for her kids but nowadays kids wore Huggies. Psh. DBF doesn't know it yet, but the stash of sposies that seems to keep replenishing itself ((stop buying sposies MIL! I don't want them!)) is about to be HIDDEN. Not joking. I hate the smell and the chemicals and... ugh. I am childishly refusing to remove the pile of used, rolled up sposies from the room because I didn't want them on the child in the first place and he can let it stink up the room til he cant stand it anymore. I wash my diapers and the fluff don't stank! But I'm so tired of coming home from work and finding the Frog in horrid smelling sposies that I'm about to get every last disposable and hide them in my van. And every time more show up, I will hide them too. I am more than happy to provide pre-stuffed pockets while I'm away and DBF is more than capable of using a prefold and snappi with a cover. Let them laugh at me trooping around with my child snuggled close in a carrier. At least we're a couple of happy campers!

So who is with me in the throes of addiction? Who can't stop collecting pretty fluff or is obsessed with the idea of trying one of practically every carrier out there? I know I'm not alone!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Separation Anxiety

Honestly, the first thing that comes to mind when I hear those words are a dog frantically pacing and gazing out the window waiting for "mommy" to come home. Those sorts of dogs annoy me. I never put up with that and our dogs always waited patiently, or quietly at least, until the absent person returned. What really annoys me is me driving away from the house and my mind is picturing me as that frantic dog. Now why would I think of myself as a frantic upset dog? Because I'm missing my baby.

Tonight will be night number four that I have to leave the house and my baby because I'm returning back to work. I want to work.... actually I want that paycheck but unfortunately they don't just hand those out, so I've got to leave for hours and do my time and then I get the paycheck. Returning to work is much easier said than done. Part of me thought at first I'd be missing being able to stay home all day and just care for myself and the Frog, but as I drive away I actually find myself starting to freak out a bit. I didn't realize how often I glance over my shoulder to the carseat to see the top of his head and that mop of fine fluffy hair. The first time I glanced and didn't see it, my stomach lurched and my eyes got huge until a second later and I realized he was safe at home with DBF. I've got it easier than some moms too. I work part time nights and weekends. I work when DBF isn't and can take care of the Frog while I'm gone. But all I can think about is getting home to my boy. I found myself quite frustrated on Sunday when someone brought their two month old girl in to have her ears pierced and after all was said and done, I looked at her contentedly sucking on her bottle and ended up in tears because I missed the Frog that much all of a sudden. Hormones got the best of me and my sympathetic manager was shoving chocolates at me ((which, by the way, the Whitman's Double Chocolate Mousse individually packaged chocolates with the Weight Watchers logo are amazing... do yourself a favor and go buy some now!)). I was annoyed that I did not voluntarily start tearing up and it wasn't stopping either! Surely it gets easier from here!

The Frog apparently doesn't mind the absence of boob too much. Either way I give him ample opprtunity to nurse right before I leave and as soon as I get home. DBF is patient and answers my many repetitive texts. "How's the Frog?" "What's he doing now?" "Is he being good or is he fussy?" I suppose I'll have to cut those annoying dogs some slack because right n ow I'm not much better!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Ragababe Giveaway!

Go check out this giveaway that I'm totally hyped about! Life Plus Baby has reviewed the Ragababe Easy AIO and now she's giving one away! After reading her review I'm even more excited to try one out on the Frog. Head on over to her blog, enter for yourself and tell her Kris Word sent you!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Finding sanity... and hanging on to it too.

Life as a new mom can be described as many things: hectic, overwhelming, busy, fun, challenging, chaotic... and the list goes on. So how is a mom supposed to keep her cool amidst this whirlwind of dirty diapers, spit-up, tears, milestones and feedings? Because things like dishes and laundry don't learn to wash themselves. Rover hasn't grown opposable thumbs and cannot feed himself nor let himself out for his daily tour of the neighborhood. Groceries still need to be bought and meals cooked. Many people will say "Well that's where dad comes in". But not everyone has the luxury of having hubby on hand to pick up all the slack while you focus on the new little one. My guy works from an unholy hour of the morning to late in the afternoon or evening which leaves me home with baby. His job is physically demanding so I'm also the one who is up with baby all night during weekdays. It gets pretty hard to keep all of the chores up and on top of little one, let alone have time for yourself!

Once upon a time, a shower was like a God-given right that I took for granted. It was rare that I took a shower to just relax; it was all about function for me. That was back in the pre-baby days. Nowadays it's a source of excitement. It took six weeks before I was able to manage to shower without DBF home. Before that I was penciling it in during his downtime when he came home from work.

DBF doesn't understand how easily time slips by without seeming to get anything major accomplished. I'm sure all the mommies know what I'm talking about though. Lately the Frog has been in one of those stages where he wants to be held 24/7 or nurse or both. God forbid that I actually set him down long enough to dash to the toilet or microwave the first edible thing my hand touched in the kitchen. After so long, it becomes enough to make your head spin. But I found my sanity! It came in the form of the longest piece of stretchy green material I'd ever held. Let me just say that I LOVE my Sleepy Wrap.

Learning to wrap was a pain in the butt, I won't lie. I almost gave it up after a few goes but forced myself to keep trying and I'm SO glad I did. The Frog loves being in his wrap and it has pretty much been the cure-all for crying. If he's fussy then I pop him in the wrap. When I'm on the go I pop him in the wrap. When I NEED to get the laundry done I pop him in the wrap. Sometimes the Frog goes right to sleep, othertimes he stays awake and just hangs out. Regardless, I actually have a little bit of my own life back! And recently I actually got the hang of nursing him in the wrap and have actually trooped through Walmart with both hands free, a happily nursing baby and no one even suspected.

The more I wear the Frog, the more I wonder why more moms don't wear their babies too. Once you catch on, it's so easy and for me at least is very relaxing. It's so nice to have my little one so close and so content. I never knew about babywearing until I saw some cute pictures and said to myself "Hey I want to do that too!" It brings me such warm positive feelings that I wish other moms and moms to be would see those kinds of pictures and want to do it too and discover what a wonderful feeling it is!

Adventures in Babywearing
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Monday, October 4, 2010

Expect the unexpected... an introduction of sorts.

If you had asked me two years ago whether I would have a child before I turned 24, I would have laughed and said no way. At that time I was living an... alternative lifestyle. I wasn't looking for love, especially not a boyfriend. But then I took a job that literally changed my fate. Taking the job at the animal shelter is how I met my boyfriend and come December we will be celebrating our two year anniversary.  Our son is almost eight weeks old now. The pregnancy was far from planned, but was one of those things that life throws at you that I just had to make into lemonade. In fact, I hadn't been feeling well and had an upcoming doctor's appointment and I wanted to be able to walk in and say that I had "this and this and this symptom, and this is what I know it is NOT". Except I never got to that part.

DBF and I were out one night and I asked him to humor me on the way home and just swing by the dollar store. He would, but he was also curious as to why I wanted to go to the dollar store at 8pm on a Saturday night. I told him I wanted to pick up a pregnancy test just so I could rule out the possibility. He knew I was late, but didn't realize I was THAT late. He didn't realize I had spent the past two weeks wondering where my period was, wondering if I ought to test and then deciding not to waste the money because surely Aunt Flo would be here tomorrow. But to reassure him, I quoted the logic that dictates that any POAS addict knows to be true that if you obsess over the possibility of being pregnant and go as far as to pee on a stick, than your period will show up within 24 hours. So by 10pm we are back home with two dollar store cheapies in hand. One was for instant gratification and the other was to take first thing the next morning. I had peed so many times already that night and drank so much water that just in case the first test was negative, I could do it properly the next morning. Determined not to completely obsess, I barricaded myself in the bathroom with my phone to time it and a magazine to shove my nose into so I didn't spend 5 minutes slobbering over a plastic stick. Once the deed was done and with magazine in hand, I set if down on the counter and watched it long enough to make sure the urine passed through the whole test and then was going to shove my nose into my magazine for the alloted timeframe. But I didn't even get to that part. As soon as the test passed the point where two lines would be, I definitely without a doubt had TWO PINK LINES. I didn't even get to open my magazine and it was there. DBF took it all in stride and said everything would be fine while I proceeded to panic and get upset because I was terrified. In the end though, DBF was right and my little breakdown was all for naught.

The pregnancy was a whirlwind. I worked part time and otherwise just took things day by day with the weeks occasionally punctuated by doctor's appointments. DBF attended when he could and we were both excited. We didn't seem to have everything completely together until I was actually home from the hospital, but once again, just as DBF said, everything turned out all right. That's the funny thing about him... he's the perfect balance to me. I am high-strung and too often snarky or get fired up over things where he is laid back and my moods don't phase him in the least. We can't actually fight because of those rare occasions I try to pick an argument, he never fights back which only gets me more worked up so I end up going off to grump by myself and get over it. I am eternally grateful for this man and make sure I tell him often how much I love and appreciate him, even when... no, ESPECIALLY when I'm being snarky.

With the arrival of our little "Frog" came many changes. Sometimes I feel like I drew the short straw because with the way life happened, DBF has helped raise three other children and this is my first. He has pretty much raised his two second cousins so has got this parenting thing down already and he also helped care for his nephew. Heck, my pregnancy was pregnancy number two for him. DBF was the one following his nephew's mother every step of the way through her pregnancy from each doctor's appointment to the impromptu McDonald's run for spicy chicken sammiches. Though for the delivery he apparently had to stand in the closet. I promised him that when our time came, I wouldn't make him stand in the closet and proclaimed my undying love every time he came home with a Coke Icee for me. Now I realize I used to take something as simple as going to get an Icee for granted. It used to be make sure I was wearing a shirt, pants, and shoes and hop in the van and run up to the gas station. Now the simple act of going for an Icee means getting the baby and myself ready, buckling him in, going to the gas station, getting him out and dragging him inside to get my Icee, getting him back in the car, going home, getting him out of the car and then settling him down once we got back to our room. What used to be a 15 minute affair from start to finish can now take closer to 40 minutes. But of course, with all the hassle of getting the two of us ready to go out, we might as well just find something to do for the day and enjoy being out since it took all that work to get out of the house in the first place. So packing the diaper bag with some extra fluff and making sure we had extra formula on hand is added to the routine and we spend a good chunk of the day out in town.

Honestly, I've surprised myself with the decisions I've made as to how I'm raising my child and the way I'm doing things. Growing up, I had heard of cloth diapers, but always associated them with "the olden days". I never actually considered using them. I figured you picked between Pampers or Huggies and that's what your baby got. And then there's babywearing. It never even occured to me until I was pregnant that women actually WORE their babies. But these two things, cloth diapering and babywearing, rooted themselves during my pregnancy. The seed was sowed when I came across some cute pictures of each that piqued my interest. Further internet research saw that this interest blossomed into a slobbering obsession. I was determined to cloth diaper my child and, even more fun, I would be one of these babywearing mamas too. DBF just took it all in stride and let me do what I was going to do. He won't wear our son, but thinks it's cute to see the Frog all cozy and content in our sleepy wrap. He is pro-breastfeeding and has been with me step by step as I have struggled to try and EBF our son. I have shed many tears over my inability to keep up with the Frog's demands. I've tried blessed thistle and fenugreek. I pump and pump but rarely get more than half an ounce. I hate having to supplement with formula, but even after nursing for 45 minutes he will screech and cry until we finish filling his baby with artificial nutrition. Recently though, I started taking domperidone and it's helping me to slowly gain an edge and I think I might just with this battle with the can of powder after all! It's been almost two months since I gave birth and I stubbornly refuse to give up!

I do have one small brag that will make many of you ladies jealous. I have one of those amazing cloth diapering daddies and I LOVE it! He will change diapers without the heavy sighs or dragging of feet. He knows all about the wetbag. 99% of my stash is prefolds and covers and he knows how to properly fold a prefold and use a snappi! He doesn't see the joy that I do in changing covers to different colours or our beloved frog-print, but at least he can put them on! He even thinks our lone Rump-a-Roo is a neat diaper and knows that our two pocket diapers are our night time diapers. I can even trust the man with diaper laundry. He now understands why we use the amount of detergent we do and knows to punch that extra rinse. He doesn't have to ask to know I prefer to dry the wetbag, covers and pocket diapers out in the sun. He's truly a gem!

So hear I sit, now nearly 8 weeks postpartum and I reflect on life as a whole. I used to be selfish and did what I wanted on the spur of the moment, but now I have the little one in my life. I still do things that I want to do, but it is almost always around the Frog's schedule. I love our days our going shopping and just meandering around town. Trips to Walmart and places like that always end up being great PR for cloth diapering and babywearing because I always have people stop me and ask about our sleepy wrap. Sometime's it's annoying to stop every few minutes in Walmart to answer questions when I really just want to get in and out, but my smile never falters. If I can help share the joy of babywearing to another mama or mama-to-be, then it's worth the time.

I really don't know anything about being a mom. In fact, I've been totally winging it from day one. No one every old me how to actually change a diaper and I had never done it until I was in the hospital with my newborn son. Babies used to terrify me. They were so small and breakable and I would surely drop it if I held one. It's funny how that changes so quickly. Now I can diaper a baby without batting an eye and handling one is second nature. My secret? I don't actually tell anyone that I have no idea what the hell I'm doing... I just do it. It's been working for me and few people believe this is my first child. I even fooled the lactation consultants in the hospital! Now I just have to see how long I can keep winging it before people catch on!