Monday, April 29, 2013

7 months old

It was a busy week for our growing boy!

He cut 2 teeth and said his first word. "Da-Da"

A normal conversation with him goes like this:
  Me: "Calvin, say Mama. "Ma-ma-ma"

Calvin: "Da-da... da-da-da-da"

Me: "Say Ma-ma"

Calvin: "Da-da.... da"
  *Husband laughing in the other room*

I also had to pack up the majority of his 3-6 month clothes. It's always kind of bitter-sweet when he moves up a size.

We ALSO had to order his next carseat(s) because he's just about too long for his infant seat. Holy-expensive! Thank goodness for our tax return. I will show you which seat we decided to get and why soon.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Make your own wipes

Don't waste money on manufactured wipes with who-knows what kind of chemicals in them. 
Make your own!

Here's what you need:

  •  1 roll Bounty Select-A-Size paper towels. Yes this kind specifically, you will be sorry if you cheap out on this item. Get a Costco pack and you're good for almost a year!
  •  3 Tbls. Coconut Oil, melted
  •  3 C warm water
  •  1 tsp. Baby wash. I use California Baby Shampoo & Body Wash because it's all natural.
  •  2 containers to put them in.

I only use coconut oil because it's not only moisturizing for kiddo's skin but it's also antibacterial, antimicrobial and anti fungal. And when you're cleaning up poo those are good qualities to have.

Step 1:
    Cut the paper towel roll in half. I do not recommend using a serrated knife unless you want tiny paper bits flying all over your kitchen and all over your kid's behind.

Step 2:
     Combine water, melted Coconut Oil and baby wash and give it a little stir.

Nuke the Coconut Oil for about 20 seconds to get it nice and melty.

Step 3.
      Place paper towel rolls in your container cut-side-down. I like these containers because you can open them with one hand, VERY important when changing a baby.
They don't look like they'll fit but they will.

Step 4:
      Pour half the liquid over each roll and smush them down so the lids will fit on. Pop the tops on and let sit for 5-10 min. Or, do like me and completely forget about them so they end up sitting for 2-3 hours... no biggie.

See. I told you they'd fit.
Step 5.
      Get rid of that cardboard tube and pull out the center of the roll.

Your center-pull containers of wipes! 206 wipes for less than a penny each. That's a fraction of the cost of store-bought! These two rolls last us about a month and between these and the cloth diapers Calvin has never had diaper rash. So they make for happy tushies.


Sunday, April 21, 2013

Teething... Gross.

A few nights ago my son, who has slept through the night since he was 12 weeks old, woke up 6 times screaming his head off... *sigh*

Little man is teething.

I know, I know, it's an exciting milestone! Blah, blah, blah.

So. Much. Drool....
Teething sucks. Your baby is a super fussy, drool covered, cranky pants. And who can blame them? You'd be cranky too if bones were shoving their way through your soft tissue.

Baby Tylenol is awesome for when he's obviously in a lot of pain. But you can't just pour that stuff down their throats all day, liver damage and such. So we just discovered Hyland's Teething Tablets . They are homeopathic, tiny, white,magic, dots of goodness. He also LOVES these Vulli Vanilla Scented Ring Teethers . From the same folks that brought you "Sophie" at a third the cost, they actually smell really good and they're super easy for him to hold onto.

We're also trying Baltic amber (well, i am. my husband thinks its dumb). I personally wasn't comfortable with putting a necklace on him so we went with an anklet. I just tuck it in his sock and off we go. Honestly, I have no idea if it's doing anything but I figure its worth a go. Why not?
Find a similar one here .

This is also the week that Calvin learned to purse his lips, stick his tongue out and force air out of his mouth simultaneously. Combine that new found skill with the excessive amount of drool he's currently generating and you know what you get? Yep, your very own baby-sprinkler! Extra bibs required.

How are/did you handle teething? Frozen fruit? Frozen bagels? Cold wash cloths? Let me know, I'm always looking for new ideas.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Postpartum Shed and the Dreaded Hair-Horns

Everyone warned me that my hair would fall out after the baby was born. I felt prepared for the shedding. But after 2 1/2 months I hadn't really noticed any extra hair in my brush and was lulled into a false sense of security, I thought I was in the clear... Nope!
3 months after giving birth my hair started falling out by the fist-full. It was EVERYWHERE. No amount of cleaning could keep up with it. We were constantly picking it out of Calvin's fingers and off our clothes. I had to unclog the shower drain several times and my husband thought it had broken the vacuum. I decided out of sheer kindness to spare you the visual of the birds nest sized clump I collect every shower. You're welcome.

The kiddo is now almost 7 months old and I'm still losing hair like mad, but the kicker is that I'm also growing new hair back. How do I know? The inch long "hair horns" that now stick out from my hairline and are apparently immune to hairspray.

The "Hair Horn"
As a hairstylist I know this is normal, as a woman I am was freaking out. I thought for sure I would have bald patches in a matter of days. I have taken to steps to prevent as much hair loss as possible but with hormones at play there's really only so much a person can do. 

Here are my weapons of choice:
I realize Postpartum is spelled wrong. My bad.

DS Labs Revita Shampoo & Conditioner  From their website: "The most effective shampoo to preserve hair and avoid shedding, Revita® results from cutting-edge research at DS Laboratories." It ain't cheap but it's good stuff.

It's A 10 Miracle Leave In Product  If you have never tried this before DO IT. I use this leave in conditioner on myself and 90% of my clients. It. Is. The. Shit. 

Wide Tooth Comb (similar here ) Everyone should have a wide tooth comb and it's the only thing you should use to detangle wet hair. Seriously, stop ripping through your damp tresses with a brush.

 1 inch Curling Iron . My hair is so thin now that wearing it down and straight is not an option. Messy curls are the perfect camouflage to make it look thicker and mask the new growth.

Wella Thermal Image Spray . If your going to use heat, you're going to use something to protect your hair. Period.

 (note: I provided links to amazon so you can check out the products, however, I highly recommend supporting small business and purchasing your hair products and tools from a local, licensed hairstylist)

Thursday, April 11, 2013

De-Stank Your Dipes

Understandably, after a few months of collecting poo your diapers may start to smell. It's a easy fix.

Step 1: Wash your diapers as normal on the cold setting.

Step 2: Wash again on Hot (as usual) adding 1/4C bleach to your normal detergent.

Step 3: Rinse again and dry as usual.

Boom. Done.

The nice folks at bumGenius say you can do this once a month, but I don't really think that's necessary and I worry that excessive exposure to bleach would be bad for the diapers and kiddo's skin.

Got some stains?
Dry'em in the sun and I've been told you'll come back to beautiful stain-free dipes.
  *We started cloth diapers on Calvin in November and we live in the North West and don't have a sunny window. Needless to say we haven't tried this yet because I'd come back to dipe-sicles, but as soon as I try it I will let you know.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Rain? In Seattle? In April? What!?

We headed west this weekend because Tristan's cousin was gettin' hitched. It was a Saturday morning ceremony with lots of family that we don't get to see very often. I missed almost the entire ceremony because this little guy decided to get talkative during the opening prayer so we stepped out so as not to be anymore disruptive, but I heard it was lovely.

Dressed like an 80 year old golfer
All 3 of us were sporting cardigans (ya know, like classy people) and I had hoped to get a picture but it didn't happen. Sue me.
If that's not a happy groom I don't know what is.

After the wedding we hit up the Chihuly Garden and Glass Exhibit to get a little art and culture in our lives. 

What? There's millions of dollars of glass suspended above my head? But my hands are so much more interesting...

When we decided we'd had enough culture (read: it started raining) we popped back to our hotel to feed the kiddo and have a rest then headed to McCormick's and Shmick's for a fancy-pants dinner. 

Why yes, I am one of those people that takes pictures of their food. Again, Sue me.

We totally took a risk bringing a 6 month old there but he was AMAZING! He sat like this in his car seat staring out the window at the boats and sea planes for an hour and a half

As we were leaving the host told us "you can bring your baby here anytime!"  
Don't think for a second he's like this all the time. We set ourselves up for the best possible outcome, he had been freshly fed, napped and changed so we greatly decreased the possibility for fussiness. We also went fairly early, around 6:00 so there weren't a ton of people there yet.

There's something about Seattle that makes you feel like you NEED a coffee in your hand at all times.
We decided hit Top Pot Doughnuts on the way out of town. An emerald city institution, it felt very Seattle-y on a rainy Sunday morning.

Yep, a dozen doughnuts just for Tristan and myself. Don't judge.
On the way home we ran into rain, snow and sunshine all in a matter of 2 hours. Mother Nature was having some major mood-swings and Calvin decided to have some too. Somehow I don't mind his screaming quite as much when I know that no one else can hear him.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Road trip baby

Is there anything more stressful than getting ready for a road trip with an infant? Stroller, Pack-N-Play, Pump, Diapers, Wipes, Clothes if its rainy, Clothes if its sunny, etc, etc, etc. Cripes!
But we're finally on the road. Seattle, HERE WE COME!!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Normal people CAN use Cloth Diapers

We use cloth diapers. Not a diaper service either. We wash them, dry them and fold them ourselves.
It's not a big deal. Even my husband thinks they're easy (really!)

 Here's what we use:
12 bumGenius 4.0 pocket diapers with snaps (our favorite, do yourself a favor and get a bundle)
 2 bumGenius Free time AIO (all in one) diapers (I literally bought these because I liked the pattern)
 2 GroVia Shells with the snap in Pads  (These were given to me by my aunt)
 Biokleen Bac-Out Spray
 Charlie's Soap Laundry Powder
 3 wet bags (2 large, 1 travel for the diaper bag)
 Diaper Sprayer : This is not the exact one we have but it's similar.

 That's it! That's the whole list. It may seem expensive upfront but you will save sooo much money in the long run. And not to get all "Earthy" on you, but it's better for the environment too. AND diaper rash almost never happens with clothies.

Here's the run-down:
 Diaper and the kiddo as usual. 1 diaper = 1 wear.

 Change him.
    If it's just pee put it directly into the wet bag.
    If it's poopy, either:
               1: Spray with Bac-Out and put in wet bag. (for exclusively breastfed poo)
               2: Drop loose turd into the toilet, spray diaper with Bac-Out and put in wet bag.
               3: Spray off poo into toilet with diaper sprayer and put diaper into wet bag.

When the bag gets full, Dump contents into washing machine along with the wet bag (turned inside-out) and wash on cold cycle with 1/2tsp Charlie's soap. This gets the "ick" off without setting in the stains.

Run the washing machine again this time on hot with another 1/2tsp Charlies soap to really get those suckers clean. Add an extra rinse to this cycle.

To dry, throw into your dryer on low (you don't want to melt anything) and tumble with NO fabric softener.
You can also hang them up to dry but let's be honest... who has the time?

TA-DA you're ready for the next round.

Most of the stash. Clean and ready to go.
You can also use Cloth Wipes. You just throw them in the wet bag with the diapers and wash the whole lot together. I, however, choose to make my own disposable wipes. It's really quick, easy and cost effective. I've done a tutorial for you Here.

Do you really save money?
     YES! Even with the cost of washing them a few times a week. We have not noticed a significant increase in our utility bill. We spent about $400 upfront for the diapers and all the accessories but that's it! He will wear them until he's potty trained. And with the average baby going through around $2,000+ in disposables by the time they're potty trained, I'd say it's a significant savings.

Do they leak?
    Honestly? Sometimes. But so do disposables. If they start leaking a lot you can strip them with 1Tbls of Dawn dish soap and they are good as new. I will do a post about that if anyone is interested.

How many do you need?
     We have a total of 16 diapers. We could get by with 12 but the extra 4 are nice to have. I wouldn't have anymore because you really don't want to go more than a couple days without washing them. The ammonia in the soiled diapers can start to break down the elastic if left too long. 

Is it scary?
     It was at first. We started with disposables so transitioning was a bit nerve-wracking. The diapers say they fit from 8-35lbs, but everything I read said you're better off waiting till baby's 10lbs. So after a month of disposables we were scared to switch. But, I'd already bought them and felt obligated so we took the plunge and it really wasn't hard at all.

In the interest of full disclosure, we use Pampers Baby Dry disposables at night. Kiddo sleeps 11-12 hours and without super padding the clothies, they just can't hold what he puts out in that amount of time. We also use disposables when we travel and when Calvin goes to his babysitters house. They are a convenience item after all.

If you're thinking about using cloth and have questions, feel free to contact me. I'd be happy to help in any way I can.