Sunday, December 23, 2012

Dear Santa

I've been such a good girl this year.  I know it's been a tight year but it would be lovely if you could place the following items under my tree.
-a Keurig coffee machine so I can break my Starbucks habit
-a Starbucks card...who am I kidding. I'll still go by when I'm out
-an Otterbox for my SIII. 
-a new SIII since I cracked my screen and scratched the back of mine.
-or an iPhone 4s or 5 AND a LifeProof
-LOTS of diaper money.  Lots.
-more books, e or print. Specifically, the new Philippa Gregory, some more Octavia Bulter, or some Pearl S. Buck.
-world peace, says my altruistic side



Friday, December 21, 2012

My little artist

Today was the second day of Christmas break. The natives have been restless as daddy had the car today. There has been a lotnof napping on my part due in part to my on again, off again headache. I've been productive, though. I planned Christmas dinner and wrote the grocery list.

The high point for sure was Side Salad's wonderful rendition of me.  His medium was marker on notebook paper.  I think it'slovely and I am currently using it as my Facebook profile pic.

I especially love the teeth and beauty mark. And rain. And grass.  And my kid.  He's great.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Turning 31

Today is my birthday. I am 31.  I have to say, 31 is far younger than it seemed when I was 21. I don't really feel older; I feel a little more awesome, to tell you the truth.But this birthday has been bittersweet. For one, the tragic school shooting in Connecticut is so gut wrenchingly horrendous it'smaking it hard for me to smile. Then a police chase ended tragically here, with far too many lives lost. I was in the ER when the familes arrived. The families' pain was palpable. So much unnecessary loss today.  It really puts life in perspective.

Why was I in the ER, you ask.  Well, in my old age I've managed to become clumsy. I fell and sprained both knees. Both.  I faceplanted on concrete in a parking lot.Technically, though, I didn't faceplant because my boobs prevented my face from hitting the ground. Yay for breastfeeding. But boo for ouchie knees and a hurty finger. To make matters worse, I got to the ER about 11:45 last night. I left at 10:56 this morning.

So with all this negative stuff you'd think my birthday was a bust. Nope. It's great!  I got a $50 Starbucks gift card (An early gift that I've managed to nearly deplete in a week.  I no longer sleep), oodles of hugs and kisses and cuddles from my hubby and babies, dozens of facebook messages and texts, a bottle of Moscato from my roadie Shelby , AND I won the Earth's Best giveaway at Mama on a Green Mission blog (I can't hyperlink on my phone so; So yay for birthdays.&nbsp; </p>
<p dir=ltr>Now I shall eat cake. <br>

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

8 months later

Popcorn is the most doing stuff-est baby ever. She crawls, rolls, coos,  kisses, blows raspberries, does algebra, cruises, eats mangoes,  stands, loves grits, claps, says mama, and charms everyone.

Well, maybe not the algebra but everything else is true.

She's still getting the good stuff but she eats a little, too. She could sleep all night if she wanted to, but why would she do that when she could play?

Oh,  and she has two teeth (one on the top and one on the bottom) giving her her a decidedly pumpkin-y smile.

Enjoy the pics! 

Rebuilding my stash

<p dir=ltr>First,&nbsp; my dryer belt popped.&nbsp; Then, we got it fixed. Then, the washer started to go.&nbsp; Then,&nbsp; the dryer belt popped again.</p>
<p dir=ltr>This is disastrous to a cloth diapering family.&nbsp;&nbsp; We washed when we could, but I didn't have a huge stash to begin with.&nbsp; We finally got a new washer and then, yesterday, we got the dryer fixed!

However, some of my dipes are destroyed beyond repair. Not all of them but a few of my faves are gone. I can't even bear to type their names. I'm heartbroken. And now,I need new dipes.   I mean Popcorn needs new dipes.  I've been eying some but due to some paycheck funny business, courtesy of my job, my bank account status has put the kibosh on my purchasing.

Soon, though...Fresh Oranges...bumGenius...

Any suggestions for my restashing effort?

As a side note, we are accepting cloth for Christmas, if yiu

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Thoughts about birthing babies

<p dir=ltr>&lt;p dir=ltr&gt;I am blogging from outside of my husband's job.&amp;nbsp; They have come up with this wacky new policy that, since the new manager is a woman, someone must stay until she lives to escort her to her vehicle.&amp;nbsp; This does not please me, especially since they aren't keeping him on the clock.&nbsp; </p>
<p dir=ltr>That's another story.</p>
<p dir=ltr>Anywho, two of my internet friends gave birth on the first. I just realized that they both had their third babies.  One had her first girl after 2 boys and one had her first boy after 2 girls. Crazy, huh?
Anywho, I was thinking about how powerful labor is, how it imprints itself on your life, your psyche.

It's crazy to say but I kinda love labor. I love how raw and human and real it is. I love the dichotomy of weakness and power. I love the anticipationans excitement, the warping of time. I love to hear the stories of other women and to tell my own. 

And I especially love Popcorn's labor. I love how supported I was. There were no time limits, no interruptions. It was me, my body, and my midwives. I wish all my labors could have been so real. 

I hate that cultural made labor something to fear and to dread instead of something to respect and embrace. There's a chaotic beauty to it that so many women miss.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday because it's about family.  The Man keeps trying to move Christmas shopping season up but I refuse to take away from Thanksgiving.

I've been cooking Thanksgiving since 1999, when my Nana became too sick to do it. She had dementia. We had a small dinner that year. In 2000, I had a newborn stronaut in the Snugli when I cooked. In 2001, Thanksgiving came early like it did this year. It was Astronaut's first real one and my Nana's last; she died three days later.

Enough about the Thanksgivings of yore. Let's talk about this year. It was much smaller than usual because my mom went to California to spend it with my baby brother. He's in the USAF and couldn't come home. My other two little brothers came over. My oldest brother came alone. My niece and nephews each went with a member of his wife's family and she stayed home. No non family came.

It was great! We ate and watched a movie and sang songs and watched the Cowboys get embarrassed.  Still watching this travesty. (I love my team, but really? )

The menu was standard: turkey, giblet gravy, dressing,  rice, collard greens, black eyed peas, macaroni and cheese, and rolls.  And red velvet cake, dairy/egg free chocolate cake, coconut pie, and apple crabberry cobbler.

Yes,  that is small by our standards.

Before we ate, we held hands and Astronaut said the grace. Then, starting with Side Salad, we each shared something we are thankful for this year.  When it got to Popcorn, everyone said "Milk! "

Anywho, Happy Thanksgiving!

Does your family have any Thanksgiving traditions?  What was on your plate?

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Somewhere in the blur of work, grocery shopping, and weekly doctor appointments for Squirrel, a holiday snuck in.


I have a tumultuous relationship with All Hallow's Eve. Some years I go all out with homemade, entire family themed costumes. Other years I sequester myself in with my porch light off and eat the candy my kids got from school. Unfortunately for the kids, this year leaned towards the latter.  I blame it on a midweek holiday and a stressful health situation. Poor Princess was so psyched.

At the very last minute though, I decided to take the kids out. Last minute costumes were the order du jour.

Popcorn was a panda, of course. I say of course bc it's the official baby costume. And of course the head disappeared. What else would it do? I put a black hat on her and kept it moving.
Side Salad was Lettuce. He *thinks* he wad a cowboy. I implore you to look at the pic and decide for yourself. He was supposed to be Venom but refused to wear his costume. I gave him a 'stache with eyeliner
Squirrel was a vampire. This is very good because she initially didn't want to be anything. She waz all eyeliner and fangs.
Princess was a "Hollywood Starlet," complete with fancy make up, a fur boa, and my club wig. Don't judge me.
Astronaut was a homicidal maniac. They look just like everyone else.

Okay, it is picture time for you and bed time for me.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Busy Bees

It's been a while since my last post through many faults of my own. First, my sweet squirrel got sick. She had MRSA, which isn't as bad as it seems. Then, my little side salad got sick. Then, I began subbing. Then, my kiddos went back to school. Then, I started a girl scout troop. Seriously. Then, my mom and the princess were in a car accident. So a lot has been going on. However, I got a bew phone yesterday-Galaxy S III, thank you very much!-which I am writing this post from. So BOOM no excuses. Except I have to go run some errands.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Getting her groove on! [and other news]

So Popcorn will be 5 month old this week. Where did the time go?  A few months ago, she was a non-mobile newborn baby lump. Now she's a drooly, wiggly infant.  She has been diligently working on the physics of motion and is now able to get herself where she wants to be.  She has several manuevers, each of which works to a varying degree.

 The Roll is her signature move.   She rocks back and forth a few times, then uses the momentum to turn herself over. This is very effective, except when she gets her arm stuck under her.

She is working on the Booty Scooty, wherein she raises her butt-parts up and uses her feet to scoot forward.  The downside is the dragging of her face across the blanket.

Her latest move is the Flipper. It's more of a method of turning that utilizes a much smaller turning base.
In other news, Astronaut is enjoying 6th grade and the iPad that comes with it. He had is first school dance this past Friday and missed it. He was trying so hard to be nonchalant that he got the time mixed up. Poor kid.  I worry about him having friends.  He's kind of introverted and it could be perceived as unfriendliness.

Princess is doing fantabulous, being in 4th grade and the oldest of the crew in elementary school. She has been selected to function as a :"tour guide" for community members who visit the school.  Awesome sauce.

Squirrel got her assistant from last year as her teacher from this year. That rocks!  Her eczema is still widely flaring. We finally were able to get a referral to a new allergist and, as I suspected, she developed new allergies.  Her list is now
Severe: Peanuts and tree nuts
Mild: dairy, eggs-new, dust, dogs, mold-new, cockroaches-new
Fun. And by fun, I mean absolutely no fun at all.  The good news is I am seeing improvement since we cut the eggs. She still looks like she's wearing an eczema suit, though.

Side Salad goes to schools starting this Friday. I cannot wait!  He is super excited Okay, TTFN. I need to catch some ZZZZs, but before I go:
I knew you'd like it.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

My Squirrel is going NUTS , and it's not funny

My sweet girl
So my sweet six year old Squirrel's eczema is currently flaring with a rampage, the likes of which we haven't seen since she was a little baby and had to be wrapped in gauze like an infant mummy.  We've been to the doctors multiple times this summer.  She's also had cellulitis and a fungal infection as a result of it.  We've been to the pediatrician, the ER, and the dermatologist, and have another dermatologist and allergist visit coming up.  At the beginning of summer she was on two antibiotics (Keflex and Bactrim, I think), Cutivate, Atarax (to control the itching), desonide, and DermaSoothe. The antibiotics were just for 10 days.  The derm took her off everything and prescribe griseofluvin, fluocinolone acetonide, and prednisone.

My baby is going bonkers.

She is literally out of her mind right now and I am at my wit's end. Prednisone has some funky side effects on your head-mood swings, irritability, depression, difficulty sleeping, chills-and she's feeling all of them.  The stuff in her head is the worst.  You can't say boo to the poor baby with out her bursting into tears.  Case in point, This is a conversation that took place yesterday.

Me: Those socks don't match. Take them off and I'll find you some matching ones. (SN: one sock was yellow with "Monday" in magenta and the other was white with an aqua toe and heel and lime green polka dots.  And they belonged to Princess)Squirrel:  >bursts into tears<
Me: Why are you crying?
Squirrel: Because you told me to take of the sooooooooccccckkkkkksssssss

I'm not exaggerating. That's verbatim. Here's another example from today.

Me:  Come on, sweetie. Let met me do your hair. You can bring your [philly] ice with you. (SN: normally, I do not allow them to eat outside the kitchen. I was letting her eat in my room)
Squirrel: >bursts into tears<
Me: Why are you crying?
Squirrel: I don't knnnnnoooooowwwwww
Me: Okay, well, I'm not mad at you. Try to calm down.  Here, give me a hug.
Squirrel: >still crying< I don't want to hug yoooooooouuuuuuuuu
Me: Uh, that's okay. You don't have to hug me.  It's okay.
Squirrel: >sniff, sniff< Okay >bursts into fresh tears<
Me: Wait,why are you crying again?
Squirrel: Because I coughed on you earlieeeeerrrrrrrrrr!
Me, in my Pooh voice: Oh, bother.

I don't know how much more of this I can take. She is literally crying for everything, and I mean everything.  Eating, drinking, sitting, standing, laying down, getting dressed, taking baths, putting on jammies, putting on socks, taking off socks, getting in the car, being hugged, not being hugged, because it's hot, because it's cold, because there are gnats/flies, etc.  She is so....hypersensitive and it's making me edgy.  I can barely sleep.  On top of that, school starts soon and I barely have any milk pumped. I only pump 4-6 oz at a time and I can't see to get on a pump schedule.  The only thing that relaxes me is nursing Popcorn.

I'm getting off topic a bit.  The point is, prednisone is not going well for us and we still have 3 another day of it. Her skin still looks bad.  Plus, it suppress your immune system and I think she has cellulitis again.

I'll update you on her later. Oh, and Side Salad needed a breathing treatment last week. He may have allergic asthma, probably to ragweed. Last year, he ended up in the hospital for about 3 days. This time, I recognized the symptoms (wheezing, retraction, breathing around his words) and took him for treatment immediately. We were home in less than 2 hours. Bully for us.

In happy news, Popcorn is 4 months old and rolling like a wheel. She's getting efficient at it, understanding the need to build up momentum by rocking back and forth first.  She's also sitting some.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Back from Hiatus

It's been over a month and a half since I last posted and I do apologize. It's summer, and my house is so very  kid-ful.  I barely have time to comb my hair and brush my teeth some days. The big four go back to school soon.

Ready for s'mores

Astronaut is getting ready to begin middle school. I can't believe he's so grown up now!  He'll outgrow me this year. We pick up his schedule in a few weeks, which is very exciting.
She likes the AGs

Princess will, for the first time, be the oldest of the crew at a school.  She's going to fourth grade.  Madness. This child literally read over 20 books this summer and helped her school librarian. She is such a little go getter.
Unfortunately, there's no tooth fairy

Squirrel has had a busy summer. Her eczema flared horrendously and was accompanied by a fungal infection on her scalp and a bacterial infection on her skin. We finally found her another derm and an allergist. She's been to the doc 5 this summer and has two more appointments coming up. She also lost a tooth!
He likes worms

Side Salad starts 4K this year **tear** He is my baby boy and I think he's far too young. He assures me that he will be fine and that Popcorn will keep me company.

The happiest baby on the block!

Popcorn will be 4 months old next week. I plan on starting her on a cup then, too. She rolls around a lot and growls like a little tiger!
My crew and I before a farmer's market visit

Thursday, June 7, 2012

I'm having a FLUFFY week!

I shan't be long today. This week, Popcorn got two fluffy mails. For those of you not in the know, fluff is slang for cloth diapers. I am so giddy from all the cuteness.

Monday, I got a tester AIO from Five Doves, a WAHM I met on Facebook. Faith is such a sweetie and even sent me a little something extra-matching leggings!  P is still an itty bitty so she'll have to grow into them some but they are so cute. Pic below...

 A diaper worthy of a diva

The inner, a moisture wicking mesh

Baby leggings!  The pattern matches up perfectly LOL

Close up of the dipe. Notice my animal print slippers; like mother, like daughter

Double row of snaps

So professional! This mama knows her stuff!

Such a diva!
Today, my long anticipated Orange Diaper Company fitteds arrived! They are customs and I love them. These aren't my first dipes from this mama. I blogged about some dipes I got from her about 3 1/2, 4 years ago here. They are pricey but they are worth it.  Pic time!
Bundle of diapers

City Kitty on left and Tree's Company on right

The inners

Fresh Oranges

She says it's purrrrrr-fect!

The long coveted owl dipe

My happy girl!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Commando Parenting or Fix-a-Flat

This post is for cloth diapering and disposable diapering parents because folding a flat diaper is a useful skill. This morning, Popcorn woke up super wet and poopy. I'd left my diapers in the living room and I didn't feel like getting up.Plus I sleep naked and my mama and brother were in the living room. Lettuce was asleep, Astronaut and Princess were at school. Squirrel and Side Salad were still asleep. Oh, no! I looked to the left and considered pushing my husband off the bed, onto the floor to wake him up. Just as I was preparing to shove him, something caught my eye.

There was a clean receiving blanket on my bed.  A stroke of genius hit me:

Receiving blankets are just flat diapers.  

{I guess after cloth diapers went out of style these companies decided to keep selling them under a different title.  What the heck is a "receiving" blanket anyways?}

I already had a snappi so I folded the receiving blanket into a diaper and presto, diaper change-o!

I wanted to share this with you because a) all parents have a pile of receiving blankets and b) everybody runs out of diapers once in a while. Maybe all your cloth is in the pail/in the wash/in the dryer/on the line. Maybe you're out of Huggies and not in the mood for a midnight Walmart run.  Truth is, it happens to us all and here's a simple solution to tide you over. I even videoed it. I know, fancy me.

I enlisted Jasmine the Bunny again to help me demonstrate and Princess worked the camera.
First, the video. I'm a bit stuffy so excuse my voice.

Now the step by step pictures:
Regular old receiving blanket

Hot dog fold-ask your kid

Hamburger fold-again, ask your kids

Lift a corner and move it to the left

Trapezoid: a quadrilateral with one pair of parallel sides

Flip the whole thing over

Still a trapezoid

Fold over from the square end....

....all the way to the middle...


Friday, June 1, 2012

On My Soap Box About....arguments against breastfeeding.


So you may or may not know that I'm pretty active on the Facebook. I spend a lot of time there. I try to stay away from all FB drama but the recent "outcry" about the guardswomen breastfeeding really stuck in my craw.

Yes, I just said that. I told you I'm a southern girl.

Anyways, here's one the pictures.

I thought it was  very sweet. Two mommies giving both our country and their babies the very best they have to offer. It's a powerful image that says so much about the strength of a woman.

But many people seem to think it is offensive as well as being disrespectful to the uniform.  The Guard issued a statement saying that using the uniform to further an agenda while in uniform is against their regulations.  Agenda?  Hmmmm.....

But moving right along, I commented on how I felt on a friend's page and someone else commented and we kinda went back and forth a bit.  It seemed this FB friend has more of an issue with breastfeeding in general as opposed to this picture.  He actually pulled out the Breastfeeding Asinine Argument Trifecta.  He compared breastfeeding to pooping, peeing, and sex.

Really? People are still using those arguments?  Sigh.  Let me dispel them, as many before me have.

Ridiculousness #1:  "I know breastfeeding is natural.  Pooping/peeing are natural, too, but I don't do that in the middle of a restaurant."

Breastfeeding is eating.  Let me repeat that: breastfeeding is eating.  I'll say it louder: BREASTFEEDING IS EATING. Nourishment is being taken into the bdoy.  Capiche?

Defecation and urination are excretory functions.  Waste is going out of the body. Again, capiche?

So you can't compare breastfeeding to pooping or peeing. They are opposites and have nothing in common, other than being bodily functions.  That's the epitome of apples to oranges.  You can compare public diaper changes to pooping/peeing-that's apples to apples. Can we put this particular justification to rest?

Ridiculousness #2: "Sex is natural, too, but you don't do it in front of everyone."

Okay, this one really bothers me. I think it is terrifying, as a parent. How is breastfeeding anything like sex?  The kind of person with this line of thinking is not the person I want flipping through my albums. Most of my pics are of my children.

My current status is:
If you truly feel like breastfeeding has some sort of sexual connotation, please take the following actions: 
1. Delete me as a friend.                                                                                                                
2. Stay away from ALL children.                                                                                                      
3. Seek professional mental health services.                                                                                      
 I mean seriously, how do you feel when you see a child eat a banana? There really is something wrong     with you, and I mean that in the most honest way possible.                                                                

I'm done. **steps off soapbox**

BTW, I breastfed in a government office, at my kids' school, and at a restaurant today.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

How to Fold a Prefold or Flat Diaper

I use a wide range of diapers, but when I am home prefer to use prefolds or flats for several rooms.

  1. They are cheap, meaning I have a lot of them. 
  2. They wash and dry super quick, even on a line.
  3. Young infants need frequent changes so there's no need to bother with snaps and such when you'll be changing dipes frequently.
  4. I like to save my more absorbent dipes for outings.
Let me tell you a little about each dipe.
Unbleached IPF that I've had forever. The more you wash them, the softer and more wrinkly they get. 
Prefolds: These diapers re called prefolds because they have center portion that is thicker for more absorbent. They get more soft and wrinkly with each use.  I prefer unbleached Indian prefolds (IPF), which made of Indian (the one in Asia) cotton, over Chinese prefolds because I think IPFs are way softer. Gerber prefolds are bleached and you can get a dozen for about $15 at Walmart, Target, or other baby retailers. Unbleached IPF aren't as easy to find locally, though. Indian prefolds are less than $2.00 each and available at online retailers such as Carolina Cloth ($24-35/dozen or $2-3 each) and are available bleached or unbleached.  

P in a snappi'd bamboo flat
Flats:  Flats are like prefolds, with out the fold.  They are the original cloth diaper but are hard to find these days.  I use Orange Diaper Company bamboo terry squares ($45.60-79.80/6, or $7.60-13.30 each) on Popcorn. These were more of a splurge since I didn't have to buy her a full stash of dipes.  I bought them mainly because they are tiny enough for a newborn and because bamboo is extremely absorbent, ridiculously soft, and has microbial qualities. Flats also come in hemp/cotton blends ($7.50 each) and cotton ($18/dozen, or $1.50 each) through Carolina Cloth.

Neither flats nor prefolds are water proof so you would need to put a cover on them for that. I use Thirsties, Kushies or Bummis Super Whisper Wraps.
Prefold and Thirsties cover 

How to fold them:
I never bothered to learn how to fold a diaper. I am too busy for all that. Diapering a baby shouldn't be complicated. It's just a diaper!  That being said, I don't have fancy names for my diaper folding. I just do it. I usually use a snappi to fasten them, but you can use pins if you are so inclined.  I'm going to use a bamboo flat to show you. I use prefolds more often because I have more on them (6 BTSs vs about 2 dozen IPFs).      

Since Popcorn is asleep, Jasmine (Princess's bunny) will be assisting me.
"I'm ready for my close up!"
 Jasmine is very fond of dramatic lighting and the schoolgirl look.
#1 The "I've got time to fold it"F old
This is the fanciest fold I do. It looks good and it's very trim.
Fold down a little at the top. This is the waistband. It also gives you more fabric to snappi without worrying about scratching the baby or to pin more securely.

Fold up one side. Doesn't matter which.

Fold up the other. The opposite one.

Put baby on it and pull the middle up first.

Fold sides over and snappi/pin/boingo.

#2 The "Get a diaper on this kid, quick!" Fold
This is the fold I do most commonly.  It's more functional than pretty and I rarely put a cover on when I use this fold. It's good for if your kiddo pees a little heavier.
Fold up one side like so.

Now the other side...

Now fold the middle one more time. This adds extra layers of absorbency.  

Baby in, and fold it up.

Sides over and snappi/pin/boingo.

#3 The "Where's my snappi (pin or boingo)?!" Fold
This is the most simple way to fold a diaper, but it only works with a cover. You fold the diaper into thirds and put it in the cover, and put the cover on the baby.
Fold in about a third on one side.

Fold in about a third on the other.

If your diaper is kinda long, fold it up a bit. This adds more layers, too.

Lay it in a cover.

Cover on, baby diapered!
I do this when I can't find a snappi or pin because I don't like using covers at home except at night.  Or my snappi broke.  Snappis break after some time.

That's it-easy peasy, lemon squeezey! 

Have you tried prefolds or flats? 

Why Carolina Cloth and Orange Diaper Company?
No, I don't get any money or free stuff from them (though I'd welcome it gladly!) but I really love supporting local businesses, small businesses, and WAHMs.  I'd rather pay a couple of dollars extra to them than to give my money to some big box that doesn't care about the people it employs. Carolina Cloth is local and ODC is where I got my custom fitteds and my bamboo squares. They are just my faves so I like to give them credit.

But that's another post for another day.