Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Cradle what?

Sometimes a person needs to be realistic about themselves - so this is my self reflection for the day.  Ok, so my family calls that dry scaly skin babies often times get "cradle crap."  I just recently (as in about 3 months ago) learned that it is in fact called "cradle cap." Whatever it is called, my kid has developed it.  In the grand scheme of things, probably the thing you would want your kid to have because IT DOESN'T AFFECT THEM!  But it drives me BATTY.  I don't know why, but it annoys me that my perfect little baby looks like she has reptile skin.  It is about a quarter-sized spot, and from how much it annoys me you would think it covered her entire body. 

So last night at work I was complaining pretty hard core about this condition (and from the way I was carrying on about it I am sure the mom I was talking to thought I was bananas)  So after listening to me go on about it, and searching Google or ways to get rid of it, she looked over at me and said, "You know what?  You just need to have another kid because if you had another one to take care of you wouldn't even notice a little patch of dry skin."  Hmmmfph!  Message received.  I have a very happy and healthy baby, I should thank God for it and be grateful for this blessing.  Many other parents have FAR worse things wrong with their children and they handle it with loads more grace.  I need to learn from them.  But in the mean time, while I am learning, any suggestions about how to get rid of my kid's cradle crap will be appreciated.  Hey, I never claimed to be perfect - only human!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Grandma needs a spanking

So I recently (as in yesterday) saw a onesie that says, "I am spoiled because no one is willing to spank grandma."  I ALMOST BOUGHT IT!  I think if it came in the size my daughter is wearing currently I would have.

Why do I say this you might wonder?  WELL.... to celebrate my mom's birthday we went up to visit her (and fix her computer).  I leave my child in the culpable hands of my mother while I go to the bathroom.  Babies need cuddle time with grandma right?  While I am in the bathroom I hear my mom laugh - ok, not something horrible right?  Nothing bad could happen when laughter is involved, right?  WRONG!

My mom had given my (up to this point) exclusively breast milk fed baby a spoonful of ICE CREAM!!!!  And she LOVED IT!!!!  She was smacking her little lips.  She was smiling and giggling.  AAAAAAAAHHHHHH!

So my mom, grandma, and grandfather think this is funny.  My grandfather (who we call Papa) even offered to feed her more ice cream.  I am not a happy camper about this.  Why you might ask....well a 4 month old doesn't need to be eating ice cream for one.  Two - she REFUSED to drink milk for the next 5 hours.  When she finally broke down and took milk she was staring at me like I was the meanest person in the entire world.  Why wouldn't I let her have the yummy food that grandma was willing to give her?  It took me about a day to get her back on track eating/drinking "baby food" (breast milk)!

I told my mom that if she did it again, she would be limited to SUPERVISED VISITATION!  I love you mom, but that was mean!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

You do WHAT?!?!

I cloth diaper!  Yep, I do!  I even make homemade wipes.  Don't fall off your chair.  Part of the reason is money saving.  Part of it (at least in my husband's thinking), is that it is more eco-friendly.  When we used disposables, he would occasionally make comments about how we were filling up the landfills.  I am NOT the most eco-friendly person.  I don't have a grudge against the environment.  It just isn't something I think about often.

When my husband suggested cloth diapers when I was pregnant my response was, "are you going to do the laundry?"  It was said in such a way that he pretty much knew my answer was NO!  I was envisioning these weird squares, safety pins, possibly poking my child, and rubber pants.  Oh, those rubber pants!  For some reason, the rubber pants equal huge down the leg and up the back messes in my eyes.

Well, lets just say it took about 3 months of going through 16+ disposable diapers a day (and one day it was almost 30 because almost every diaper change was a 2-3 diaper change because our kid likes to go to the bathroom the second she feels air circulate around her bottom) for me to start looking into the cloth version.  To humor him - I started doing research.  Let me tell you, times have changed.  There are sooooo many options for moms in the cloth diaper world.  Yes, you can still get the squares and pins with the rubber pants.  They even sell these at Target!  Yeah, I still am not sold on that kind.  But they do make cloth diapers that LOOK like disposables.  You can even treat them like disposables in the sense that look and go on a lot like disposables.  They even come with cutesy names (not a necessity, but the names make me chuckle).  I even have a couple friends who use cloth diapers.  Click on their names and you can see their take on the matter.

So this is the kind we use: Rumparooz with snaps
My friend Theresa  and her husband uses:  Blueberry by Swaddlebees
My co-worker Nick and his wife as well as my friend Sarah and her husband use: Bumgenius

Some things I discovered after I bought these diapers and started using them:

1.  I bought WAY too many!  I think part of the reason we were going through SOOO many disposables is because the second my daughter got even the slightest bit wet she would demand to be changed.  She can unload in a cloth diaper twice before making it known to us that she needs to be changed.  I have to remind myself to change her.  So my dear husband made a good point when I was saddened by the fact that I bought too many - we can use them on 2 kids at once if God decides to bless us with another kid before this one is completely potty trained.

2.  (This is a quote from Sarah said during our daughters' play date) - "No matter how glamorous the people try to make it sound, your kid is still pooping and peeing in them.  There is no gold associated with them."  This is so true.  It is a diaper, not a toy, not a computer.  IT IS SOMETHING MY KID USES AS A TOILET!  How is that for realism?

3.  While doing the research, I wanted a diaper that could be used from birth if we are blessed with another child.  So that is why I picked the ones I did - they can be adjusted down to about 6 lbs.  My daughter was 6 lbs, 11.6 oz at birth and left the hospital at 6 lbs even.  (So much for the 8-9 lbs kid I was told I would be having)  I didn't think I would care about colors or patterns.  While I do find the patterns a little stupid (my opinion - they just pick designs that I find dumb), I have found myself deciding which color diaper to put on my daughter depending on what she will be wearing.  I am not trying to match her toilet to her outfit like it is an accessory, but I think it is a little silly to have a white outfit on and being able to see a bright red diaper below the clothes.

4.  Yes, they are a little bit more bulky than disposables.  We like to think of it as fluffy butt.  After talking to a few friends who have had kids in these kinds of diapers we have learned it did not affect their kid's ability to learn to walk.  Contrary to what some family members keep telling me, my research has found that kids can walk and be in a cloth diaper.  But to humor them, I will ask her (hypochondriac of a) pediatrician if he thinks I am harming my child by using them.

5.  While they do allow for flexibility in the absorbency department, my kid usually requires the max.  Even if I changed her 2 hours prior, there are times when she has nearly flooded her diaper.  We tried for about 1/2 a day to use just 1 of the absorbency pads (called soakers), but when she flooded out of her diaper 2x that day, I decided I didn't care how much smaller her butt looked with 1 instead of both soakers, she needs both.

6.  The laundry isn't so bad.  I put them in the pail.  When it is full I grab the liner and throw the diapers, and the liner in the wash.  I don't have to touch the dirty diapers.  We have a couple wet bags that we use when we are out and about.  They are completely washable too.  They dry pretty quickly.  While some websites say you can put them in the dryer, others say you shouldn't because they break down quicker.  I decided to err on the side of caution and air dry them.

Ok, and for my final thought.  We found out the hard way that our daughter CANNOT handle the Huggies wipes.   Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer had a less red nose than my kid's butt.  She was so chapped and nearly climbed the curtains for about 2 days with every diaper change after we stopped using them. (We only used them with 2 diaper changes before giving the jumbo pack to the in-laws to use on their kid - who tolerates them just fine).  She was so miserable.  The Sam's brand made her a little red.  Pampers sensitive worked well, but they were not very wet and took lots of them to clean her up.  My aunt suggested making our own.  She gave me the recipe of the ones she used in her day care.  They work amazing.  No more red butt!  And they are about 1/10 the cost.  So here it is:

1 roll of high quality paper towels (we use Viva select-a-size) - cut it in half so they are about the width of a normal wipe
3 cups water (warm)
3 tablespoons baby wash
3 tablespoons baby oil
2 large tupperware containers

First thing I do is take the time to separate the paper towels.  I also accordion fold them (like you find in the wipes you would buy.  This way they are ready to go for the diaper change.  Next, mix the liquids together.  Put the dry paper towels in the Tupperware containers.  (Each container gets all the paper towels from 1/2 the roll)  Pour 1/2 the mix over the paper towels in each container.  Put the lid on.  Let sit for about 10 minutes.  Flip over and let sit for 10 more minutes.  After that, put next to the changing table.

** Note:  diaper warmers (or putting them on the floor board of the car with the heater on) can lead to mold growing on the wipes.  Do not make up too many containers at once.  They are only "good" for about a month.

So here is the cost break down:
6.99 - 6 pack of Viva Select a Size paper towels (which cut in 1/2 make 12 containers)
0.20 - baby wash (This is about how much it cost to use the small amount out of her shampoo - which I got for free at my baby shower anyway)
0.20 - baby oil (again, 1 container that cost 1.50 that can be used for about 8-12 months worth of wipes)
1.50 - Kroger version of plastic container 3 pack - and completely reusable!

So for under $9 I made 2 months worth of baby wipes.  (Not sure how many because I have never counted how many are on a roll and the package doesn't say.)  The 80 pack of Pampers Sensitive wipes was about $2.50 and lasted about a week.

Play date! And a true gift of friendship from God!

Ok, so I have to start this by saying that I am super excited about the opportunity to have play dates for my daughter with my friend Sarah and her 2 adorable boys and 1 very angelic little girl.

Sarah and I became friends because I am a persistent stalker!  This might sound a bit severe, but hey, sometimes the truth hurts.  We were both transfers to a nearby Catholic college (about an hour from both of our parent's homes - her to the NE and me to the SW)  She transferred from a different Catholic college to be closer to her family.  I transferred in to be at a Catholic college instead of the public university I was at.  I transferred in at the beginning of Fall semester while she came in the Spring.  This being said, since I was commuting to and from campus, I really didn't know anyone and when we both showed up to class freakishly early we got to talking.  She was shy and polite.  Like always, I WOULDN'T SHUT UP!  I am fairly confident she was thinking, "what kind of freak show is this girl?" (Not to mention I was on crutches for some moronic injury which only added to my spastic level!)  I don't know what it was (so I blame/give credit to God for my persistence in the matter), but something (or someone) told me that I had to befriend her.  I needed her in my life.  Well over the course of the semester we would always show up to class early and talk - sometimes about schoolwork, but usually about life in general.  The next semester we had a couple classes together, and the following, and so on.  Since we were in the same major, it made sense that we would be seeing each other often.

Fast forward three years to graduation day.  By now we were good friends - and have a couple "classic" (read:  neither can manage to keep eyes open and look "normal" when a camera is involved) pictures to celebrate the big event of moving on to the next step in our lives.  We were both engaged.  I had asked her to be a bride's maid in my wedding that would take place the following May.  She would get married before me in January.  Such a BEAUTIFUL bride she made and the service was amazing.  Well when it came to my wedding she was pregnant!  EEKK!!  Happy bride and even happier momma-to-be!  Although looking at her and at the pictures you would have never been able to tell she was about 3 1/2 months along.  (Although she maintains she had a little bump, I never saw it!)  So her little prince was born in late October 2006.  She would have another prince in November 2008.

When 2010 rolled around we were excited to discover that we were pregnant at the same time.  Our due dates were 1 week apart!  She was one of 6 other friends that was due within 2 months of my due date.  My child would have lots of play buddies.  Well, all that excitement came crashing to a halt when my son was still born in early December 2010.  Sarah was available with a very nice phone call, a very supportive email, and knowing her - prayers.  Loads of prayers.  Did I mention she is one of the most faith filled people!  Well when her daughter was born (a little fashionably late, but the day after my son was due), I was super excited because at least one of us would have a baby to hold/take care of.  By this point I knew I was pregnant again, but not telling anyone.  I knew I shouldn't spill the beans to her before the grandparents, but it nearly happened when I learned about her daughter's birth.  Sarah was one of the first people to comment about my pregnancy announcement and much to her joy and surprise my little angel arrived the day after her oldest son's birthday.  (The one that was in my wedding in his mama's belly).  :)  They are birthday buddies.

At our first play date, her two sons were AMAZING around my daughter.  So attentive and sweet!  I just wanted to pick them up, squeeze them, and clone them to take home because of how awesome they were.  Between those two boys and their daddy, Sarah's daughter's future courtiers have a huge mountain to climb!  Not to mention we hope to continue our play dates over the course of the following years so that our kids can grow up with awesome Catholic friends and her daughter doesn't have to be scarred for life by my daughter when they would meet in college)

So we have a play date with the 4 kids for a few hours.  I was greeted at the door by both of the boys peering out of the door smiling as big as can be.  My daughter got her first present from a boy not related to her (and her own age) - a beautiful drawing of her and a church.  HOW SWEET!!  So I put it in her baby book when we got home.  The adults got to talk (sometimes over my crying/teething baby).  The boys offered to share their toys with my daughter (HOW CUTE!).  There were loads of hugs and kisses.  (Yes, my daughter got her first kiss from a boy - her birthday buddy and his little brother both kissed her on the top of the head when their mom was feeding their little sister, but shhhhh, don't tell her)  I got to hold (for the few minutes she would let me) Sarah's daughter.  While it makes me sad to see how big my son would have been and what he could be accomplishing, the joy that my daughter brings outranks the sadness.  We did not do anything earth shattering.  It really was a go visit a friend and her kids, talk, have some lunch, and basically get out of the house kind of day.  But aren't those the best anyway?

I am soooo excited to see my friend who was sent from heaven again.  Living about 3 hours apart really stinks! 

Would my life have continued had Sarah realized my spastic nature and transferred out of that fateful class into one with "normal" students?  Yes.  Would it have been as colorful?  No.  I thank God for a friend like her who shows me what a good Catholic mom these days looks like.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

A Promise to my Daughter

So I made a promise to my daughter (well and to her older brother too) before she was born that I would never take a video or picture of them that I wouldn't want to see repeated as a teenager.  Basically NO NAKED BABY PICTURES.  You can call me a prude, or whatever else you can come up with, but I have my reasons.

Why would I take a pass on such cute pictures you might ask?  Well I believe in this thing called modesty.  I believe kids are growing up too fast and being exposed to things way too early.  That being said, I do not see the point of pictures of naked (or diaper only) babies.  I have found that fully clothed, my kid is still pretty stinking cute (and warmer). 

I am enjoying dressing my child up in ridiculous outfits and taking her picture.  I figure these photos are a good substitute for the embarrassing naked baby pictures.  I mean, for heaven's sake, I put her in my Christmas stocking, took her picture, then sent it out to all of our families with the  caption "Our little stocking stuffer."  If she isn't completely embarrassed by that when she's 15, I don't know what else I could have done to make it worse.  :D

That being said, when she is 15 or older or younger, and comes to me trying to wear some ridiculous outfit that is not modest or posing stupidly in a picture (we pray neither happens, but just in case), we can pull out the baby photos and say, "Look, we gave you the gift of preserved modesty.  It is your job to take that gift and foster it."  Then I will just let her dad ground her until he feels she has learned her lesson and is willing to dress and act appropriately.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A Child Just Like You....

It seems all my friends are now blogging, so I have decided to join the bandwagon!  Why not?

So you might ask, what is up with the name of your blog?  My mom would always say "I hope you have a child just like you when you are old enough."  It was always said when I was doing something she found obnoxious, so it always seemed like a threat instead of a wish.  But here is what I think:

What kind of a mom did I have?  What would my child be like if I turned out like my mom?  My mom was always willing to do anything, short of illegal activities.  She would sacrifice her comfort for my sister and my comfort.  We always felt loved and safe.  So if my daughter feels safe, loved, and happy, I will feel like I have done a good job.  Now, I will be the last person to say that I was an angel to raise.  I was (and still am) pretty sassy and opinionated - so I am fully expecting that from my little angel.  I got in trouble, and expect that from my daughter.  I got dirty and made messes - yeah, I've met my daughter's dad - I expect to have to take the garden hose to clean up mud pie messes.

So in the end, if my child has a good life where she feels comfortable to express her personality and feels loved and safe, I will feel like I did a good job!