Monday, January 31, 2011

A Few More Pictures of Jack

Of course I can't help but post a few more pictures of our little bundle of joy. He has learned how to put his toes in his mouth (so flexible). And he is grabbing things and holding them in his hands all the time now. Don't you just love how he has decided to rip my face off? Or don't you like seeing him watch tv with dad, eating pretzels? Okay, Jack was not eating he was just holding the pretzel, but it looks so darn cute. I even think he looks cute in his track suit (very Sue Sylvester, don't you think?). I was about to work out and I thought he would look good posed for his own workout! And of course we just love to hear him laughing. It lights up our days.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Jack at 4 Months Old

This last month seemed to fly by, I'm sure with a few trips home to see the grandparents plus one made to North Carolina, we were kept pretty busy. Jack is really starting to show his personality. I love when he makes different noises and I especially love that he is starting to giggle. He has laughed for a while, but now there are times when he will have laughing fits. Usually it happens because we do something that he finds funny. So of course we do it again and again and again. Right now he loves when his dad takes him on a "race car ride." He laughs for me when I sing or tickle his sides. Of course, it makes us proud parents!

Nicknames: Peanut, Penuckle, Little Man

Tempermanent: He continues to express his moods through the whining that he makes. The louder the whine, the more annoyed that he is, which means mom is not moving fast enough for his liking. Actually he is very easy to understand. He whines and rubs his eyes when he is tired. He whines into a cry if he is hungry and I have not gotten the bottle ready fast enough, and he grunts when he is going to the bathroom. He had one of his worst crying sessions back in December when we were visiting family. I don't know if it was because his schedule was off or if he is not fond of older people, but he was crying so hard the first night I didn't know if I could make him stop. I felt very helpless as a mother and at that moment could understand the difficulty of having a colicky baby. He started crying like that again today when I went to the neighbor's house (we live next to an 80 year old woman). He continues to do well with a schedule and I relish the evenings sBoldpent alone with Joe.

Items/Toys We Love The Most: Jack loves to play with a stuffed animal that we have named, Mike the Moose. He actually has two of them so one stays upstairs and one downstairs. It is easy for him to grab the legs, which he brings to him mouth. He also loves his plastic keys which shakes around his head like crazy. I keep thinking he is going to knock himself in the head, but it hasn't happened yet. He received a lot of blankets, so I have been using those on the floors since he likes the wiggle room.

First Experiences: Developmentally he is learning to hold things in his hands and bring them to his mouth. He is also starting to rock onto his sides, so I'm sure he will be rolling within the next month (but then again, I never know). Jack had his baby blessing in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He wore his uncle (my brother's) baptism outfit with a sweater that was made by a great aunt. A baby blessing is a very special prayer given to a child asking for the Lord's blessing for their future. It was a wonderful experience and I was happy to have some many family members with us for the experience.

He will have his 4 month doctor's visit next week. I am looking forward to finding out how much weight and length he has gained. He also seems to be watching Joe and I eat, which makes me think that we will be starting food with him very soon. I wanted to wait six months, but we might start trying around five months. That should be a fun experience. Mostly I keep thinking how blessed I am to be able to stay home with him. I love being the one who gets to see him grow everyday. It would be hard to have to work and not see him. So everyday I am thankful that my husband supports our lifestyle and allows us to have this experience.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Cloth Diapering

I read a couple different blogs of friends and a few are blogs that I have come across while searching DIY projects. Well, it seems like there are quite a few of the DIY groupies that are also cloth diapering parents. They have all posted about cloth diapering so I figured I might as well do the same! In fact, before I was even pregnant I wanted to cloth diaper. Today there are several makers of cloth diapers and it is very easy and convenient to use. When I told people that I planned to cloth diaper, those that had never tried it all said, "Wow, you are brave!" or "Good luck trying that," or even, "Won't that be gross to wash them in your washing machine?" First off, I'm not that brave, because I chose the easiest cloth diapers to deal with. I am using mostly BumGenius diapers in the one-size-fits-all. Basically it is built with a waterproof shell and cloth inserts. There are snaps that allow for a snug fit and get adjusted as your baby grows. The pictures included though are of a Fuzzi Bunz brand, which would be my second favorite cloth diapers. Secondly, I did a lot of research ahead of time to be sure this was what I wanted to do so I did not have to rely on luck. I didn't want to invest a couple hundred dollars if I was just going to quit, so I took a lot of time to be sure this was the right decision for me. Lastly, the washing machine does a fine job. I would like to think that if I had diarrhea or vomited all of myself that it could clean up those messes, so why not some baby messes?

Here is how it all works for us. I keep the diapers ready to go next to his changing table. I bought about 30 diapers, which allows for a few days of wear before doing a load of wash. About every third day I empty my covered plastic trashcan (next to the changing table) which is filled with diapers. I have a waterproof and washable liner which acts as the carry all bag. I basically turn that inside out into the washing machine and run a sanitary cycle with an extra rinse at the end. Sometimes I will also do a pre-rinse. Then the inserts are put into the dryer and I air dry the waterproof shells. I use Green Shield Organic Detergent (since it is free of dyes, enzymes, etc). Super easy and I can even add his cloths into the cycle so I'm not really doing that many more loads that normal. I love it and Jack's bum looks so cute in the cloth diapers.

It took a bit of talking to convince Joe that this would work, but the funny thing is now he absolutely loves the cloth diapers. On a recent trip for the weekend Jack had a terrible blowout diaper which I think was only bad because it was a disposable diaper. Joe just kept mentioning that this would not have happened in cloth diapers and I think he is right. (On trips we always use disposable for convenience and ease. It might be difficult to lug around dirty diapers and ask family or friends if we can wash them.) And Jack never gets diaper rash unless he is wearing disposable diapers, which makes for another reason that we love to cloth diaper.

It is a simple process and I'm so glad that I was determined to try cloth diapers. When I first told my mom, she thought I would give it up, but we are still going strong and loving it more everyday. I love that I have only bought one package of diapers for traveling. It saves us a lot of money and that was really my big reason for trying this out. I read that the average family spends about $3000 dollars on diapers per child. I spent less than three hundred (some diapers were gifted to us) and plan to use these for our second child as well. And even though I was a bit nervous about how it would rinse in the washing machine, it works just fine. In fact, right now since he has not had solids yet the poopy diapers are very runny and easily rinse out. It is no worse that cleaning up baby clothes that got poop or pee on them. When he starts eating solids we will install a diaper sprayer to our toilet to remove the nastiness. And it doesn't really stain, but if there are some stains then I put the shells out in the sun and everything is bleached out. So easy!

I don't know if this will help anyone thinking about cloth diapering or maybe it will convince other that they should try it, but I highly recommend that they do. I mean, who really reads my blog anyways? It was much cooler when I was traveling, but cloth diapers is a close second, right?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

My Grandpa Has Skills

Last year about a month before Christmas I was wishing that I could have a better trash can than an ugly plastic one. Years ago my parents needed a trash can that would fit the largest trash bags so my grandpa made one for them with a carving on top. So I got the idea for him to make one for me, but I did not need it for a big trashbag (that would suck to carry outside). I gave him a trash bag for measurements and asked for a tree with an owl sitting in the branches. So for Christmas that is exactly what he gave us and it is darling. Now, little did he know I was hoping for a carved tree with a carved owl, instead he painted ours. I think he did not have the time to do a carving. However, it has become a trend in my family since my brother and sister both have a space for their trashcans. He made one for my sister, and since she loves turtles that is exactly what she got. Isn't it cute? I think it looks like art, yet it is a place to put her trash. Then this year for Christmas my grandfather made one for my brother with an outdoor scene. He figured he might like a picture with a deer since he has been hunting before. I just think it looks amazing and I wanted to show them off. Grandpa has some serious skills. We are lucky to have him around!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Jack's First Christmas

It took me a while to get these pictures posted, because we had some computer problems. Actually the one computer that we were using broke so it was a few weeks before I could have my laptop looked at. I had not used my laptop since June and it was freezing up on me. After a trip to geek squad I found out that I just needed to do a system recovery. So simple. So now we have a working computer to use, which is super nice. Plus I can upload some pictures and videos, especially since my brother bought us a video camera (super exciting).

Jack was spoiled by his grandparents and aunts and uncles this year. There were clothes and lots of toys for him. In fact, he is now stocked up with plenty of clothing for next year and some toys for a good while. Plus, his aunties even bought hats and mittens that will fit him next year. I knew this would be the case and since money is tight for us, I decided that I did not need to get him anything. I probably won't get much next year either, because he will still be so little. Here are some pictures from our Christmas trip to Northern Virginia.

(We were supposed to make a trip to New York after Christmas, but over 20 inches of snow fell the day after. We were not going to risk the road trip, so we came home a little earlier.)

As you saw in the previous post, we decorated gingerbread houses. I think I did a pretty good job on the gingerbread layouts. It was a fun activity for Christmas Eve.

My dad is feeding Jack, but he couldn't neglect is baby so of course he let Roxey jump onto his chair. It was a crowded mess!

Kevin and Jack were getting into the Christmas spirit with their holiday clothing.

Update in February

One might think that having several snow days would give me the time to write in my blog, but I have been spending a lot of time working on ...