Monday, May 30, 2011

Cloth Diapers Update

I said I would update on how things were going and I'm happy to report that I am a fan of cloth diapers.  I have even gotten my mom to feel somewhat comfortable with them, too.  We have tried a number of different brands in a couple of different types.  Of what I have gotten, I'm pretty happy with all of them, but in general anything with a double gusset is best for us.

I was weary to try cloth at night because I thought that disposables would have the best absorbency but as Colin continued to leak through everything I could throw at him, including a disposable with a cloth liner included, I took the leap and put him in a Rumparooz over night recently (upon the suggestion of a friend who said she has had great luck with them at night).  When I left for work the next morning around 6:30 he still had not leaked and when I checked in with my mom, he had officially made it overnight without a leak!  And seriously - isn't this the cutest thing you've seen lately?  (I'll get a picture of the fire truck one, too; that one takes the cake in cuteness.)  You almost don't need pants when they are in a diaper and it's warm outside.  Actually, I think the only time Colin put on pants this day was to go to dinner because it was getting cooler.

When it comes to prefolds, I'm liking them, too.  Originally, I wasn't all that excited about them because unlike the pocket diapers, he sat in wetness because there was no fleece lining.  I went to my favorite nursing store, Sweet Beginnings, where they happen to sell cloth diapers, too, and she pointed out fleece liners that go between the prefolds and the baby's bottom.  While it doesn't take away all the wetness using the fold I use, it makes a huge difference.  That said, Colin seems indifferent to being wet or dry so I don't know if it makes him feel better but it definitely makes me feel better.  I haven't bought more of the actual prefolds because we have some in storage that I'll have Mike get to me but I did get another Sweet Pea cover because they are my favorite.  As an aside, I have one of their pocket diapers, too, but am not the hugest fan of them because there are no inner gussets.  We put him in one overnight last night and he made it through the night until 6 AM with just a small leak but I definitely had to change him then; he wouldn't have made it until he was up for the day at 8:30 or so.

The laundry isn't too bad now.  I have been warned though that as soon as he starts eating solids, I may change my opinion.  I do diaper laundry every other day or so and as long as it's sunny, I can dry them outside.  The worst part is the smell of the actual bag that we hold the diapers in until it's time to do laundry.  When you open it up to add a diaper, you definitely get a good whiff of ammonia.  I guess it could be something we just get used to, we'll see.

Overall, I really do like using the cloth diapers.  One downside is that you need bigger sized clothes for a cloth diaper butt (see above...) but for me that's actually a plus.  Colin hasn't been able to fit in to any of this 3-6 month clothes that I got him for summer so now I have a way to get him in to his clothes!  I know that it's not something we'll always use 100% of the time, but getting over the hurdle of changing from disposable to cloth has gone well as far as I'm concerned.  I also know it will get more complex as he starts eating solids but for now, I'm just going to get used to the general idea of cloth and go from there.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Three Months Old

Hmm... so maybe we have already hit the three and a half month mark, and maybe I don't have any pictures to share, but something amazing has happened - my baby has turned in to an infant.  I know it was happening little by little, but one day I woke up and Colin wasn't such a little baby anymore.  My mom and my mother in law both say that he still cries like a newborn, which I have to agree with, but everything else about him seems more and more grown up.  For lack of a better way to share how much he's grown, I'll just make a list...

  • Instead of sleeping off and on all day he has started to take on a bit of a schedule - he'll take a long nap mid-morning then another short nap in the afternoon and a short nap in the evening.  That's not to say that he does that every day without fail, but it's pretty close
  • Sleeping at night is still a work in progress - anywhere from waking up a couple to three times a night to eat.  We normally get one good stretch but after that all bets are off.  It doesn't bother me that much though because usually I am out of bed, have fed him, cuddled him, and back in bed in about 10-15 minutes.  I know I'm very lucky and can't really complain because he's such a quick eater.
  • He loves to stand up unless he is very tired (then his legs are like wet noodles).  He'd LOVES his ExerSaucer and all the sounds that come with it.  It was by far one of the best gifts we were given for the shower.
  • He enjoys being outside.  When he was cranky and nothing else worked, my in laws found that taking him around the yard was enough to get him entertained - usually...
  • He does not enjoy being in his car seat.  My nephew started bucking out of his car seat when he was much older than my three month old little man.  He especially hates it when he is already cranky and he has strong legs that make it very difficult to get him buckled in (see above - he loves to stand...)
  • He likes to flirt with lights on the ceiling.  It doesn't matter if the light is on or off, he will look at it and give a sly grin.
  • He looks you very seriously in the face then breaks out in to a huge grin - gets me every time!
  • Once he is finally able to sit upright on his own, he'll be a new guy; he tries all the time, even when he is in the car seat or bouncy seat.
  • He hasn't figured out turning from back to tummy yet but still enjoys to practice rolling from tummy to back.
  • Sucking his thumb is great as long as he isn't in bed; once he is in the bed, he has to have either nothing at all or a pacifier.  I can't convince him that his thumb will always be there (but looking back on my thumb sucking habit, maybe that's not such a bad thing)
I promise I'll get a picture of Colin and Pooh Bear for his 4 month birthday, but seeing as we are already just 12 days from 4 months, I'll just share some cute ExerSaucer pictures that mom caught yesterday.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Cloth Diapers - Day 1

I have been talking about using cloth diapers since before I was even pregnant.  Every time I took the diaper trash out for the past 3 months I have been thinking about the fact that those diapers sit in a landfill for ages - and if I could make a small difference by using cloth in our family, at least it would be a small step in the right direction.  I knew that I wasn't going to be up for it immediately after Colin was born so put it off until just after his 3 month birthday (another post on that later).  Luckily, there is a store in town, The Giggling Green Bean, that has a "trial pack" of sorts.  You put a deposit of $50 down for approximately $100 worth of diapers and then after two weeks of using them, you take back the ones that didn't work for you and keep what did, pick out some more, and pay the difference.

We opted for two different kinds of pocket diapers and prefolds with covers.  We didn't use any sized diapers because one size seems to make the most economic sense.  The store also offers a very good cloth diaper class but I failed to go while I was on maternity leave and since it's only offered on the weekends and I work the weekends, I won't be able to go for a while.  So I went in with just the knowledge from research I had done on my own and from talking to friends who had been CDing (yes, it has its own acronym).

Colin had a dirty diaper right before his morning nap so I decided now was as good a time as any to jump in with both feet.  I didn't want to my mother in law to have to do it while I was at work this weekend and really I wanted to be there to see how they worked.  Then yesterday I was at a meeting half the day so I put it off again...  but today was the day.

We started with a Rumparooz One Size Pocket diaper.  Because I know my little man is quite the pee-er, I opted for two liners from the start.  I put the diaper on him sometime around 10:30 and changed it just after 3:00 with no leaks whatsoever.  As I learned from my friend Amy, the gussets on the leg of the Rumparooz make all the difference.

Next I went to the Sweet Pea One Size Pocket diaper.  I don't know if I didn't have the size chosen correctly or if the liners got messed up, but he had peed through the Sweet Pea pocket in just over 2 hours, I think.  So based on the fact that I got so long out of the Rumparooz, I definitely need to figure out if there is something I did wrong with this one or what.

Finally today we used the Sweet Pea prefold.  Of all the diapers I brought home with me last week, I was most apprehensive about this one.  I wondered how a piece of cloth wrapped around a baby could work that well to keep them dry.  I looked at the different folds available from the literature I brought home with me last week and chose to use the angel fold.  I then used a Sweet Pea One Size diaper cover since the prefold itself is not waterproof.  I really liked this one as well and was able to keep it on him from when he leaked through the other one around 6:00 until he changed in to his pajamas at 9:45 or so (waaaay past his bedtime in case you're wondering).  I do wonder, however, how it feels for him since it's cotton and just holding the moisture against his skin.  He didn't seem to mind, but the pocket diapers have a fleece layer right next to his skin that wicks the moisture away.

No matter what we ultimately choose to go with, I'm excited to be trying out many different kinds and seeing what works for us.  He is in a disposable right now since I'm not quite ready to venture in to cloth for overnight (he is very well known - from his first week here - to leak at night).  And I think tomorrow evening will be our first attempt at washing dirty diapers... so I'll keep you updated!  And of course I'll have a cute cloth diaper picture to share but he wasn't up for being photographed too much today.  I do think my mother in law got a picture of the cute Rumparooz pattern he had on, though, so I will try to get that uploaded soon.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Join Team Macy

I have seen so much in the past three and a half years as a pediatric intensive care nurse.  Sometimes patients and their families come in to our lives that we can't help but connect with, become friends with, and love.  Macy and her family most certainly fall in to this category.

Everyone on the unit has fallen in love with this amazing girl and her family.  Her mom, Kelly, was even the first person to share pictures on Facebook of Colin since we had managed to get to the hospital without a camera.  Macy has a disease called Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis (FSGS).  She has spent so much time in the hospital since she was diagnosed almost 2 years ago and her body is trying so hard to fight the disease.  Despite all the different medical therapies that have been tried, she is going to go for a kidney transplant this summer.  There is currently no cure for FSGS but NephCure is doing all they can to fund research and find a cure for the disease.

As a testament to how amazing Miss Macy is, when she was in the hospital one time, she received a handmade pillowcase from a family friend.  She decided that every kid who was in the hospital should have a special pillow case and so Cases for Kids was created by her mom and dad.  I have had the opportunity to make some of these pillow cases to donate and been able to see the pillow cases make our patients very happy.  It's amazing how something so small can make such a big difference - and how a little girl who knows what it's like to be in the hospital started something so big to help other kids who had to be in the hospital.

Here is a video that was created about Macy and her fight with FSGS.  I'll warn you, it may make you tear up (I all-out cried), but I ask that you watch it and if you have the opportunity, please donate to Team Macy in the NephCure Walk help find a cure for this disease.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


As I may or may not have alluded to previously, we have recently found out some exciting news for our family - Mike has a new job!  He has accepted a position in the management training program with CSX and will be starting his training in a few short weeks!  With this new position comes a move for us from Denver, a city that we love, where we met, fell in love, got married, started our life together, and had Baby C (and yes, he is still called that in this house).  We have been so blessed with our friends in Denver (not our only friends, I promise, just those who have blogs) who have truly become our family and it will be very difficult to leave them, but we know it's for the best and we are so excited to start a new chapter of our lives and to be moving closer to family, too.

Along with this move and Mike's training starting so quickly, it puts us in a strange situation.  I am sticking around here for a while (still figuring out exactly how long "a while" really is) and Mike will be in training mainly in the Atlanta area.  We have to get the house ready to put on the market, figure out when will be the best time for me to join him in the Atlanta area (and hopefully get a travel nursing position), where we'll end up living after his training (OK, that is for CSX to decide but it's still the biggest piece of the puzzle), and get ourselves across the country.

Luckily we have some great family who have graciously given up weeks of their lives to come to Denver to stay with me.  Along the way the house is getting put together, I'm weeding out all the extra "stuff" we have accumulated in the 3 short years we have lived in this house, and starting to get ready to say goodbye.  I just keep reminding myself that almost 8 years ago, I packed up everything I had in Atlanta to move to a city where I knew no one, accepting my job before I had even come to visit Denver, and look where it got me.  So now I'm going to pack up my life with my husband and son and start anew again, just different this time.

And as for where we could be going, Mike is going to be a roadmaster so he will have a section of track that is his responsibility.  That said, it could really be anywhere.  It sounds like we will be able to give preferences of geographical area we'd like to be in but obviously the final decision comes down to where the company needs him.  I'm a planner and not knowing where we are ultimately heading is really driving me crazy, but I guess there's not much you can do!

Back to Work

Colin is already 13 weeks old so that means that my maternity leave officially ended a week ago.  Because of my current schedule, that meant that I really got 12 and a half weeks off since I work only weekends (and he was born on a Monday).  Unfortunately, though, I had to go back to work...

Mike's parents had already planned on coming in to town to help with babysitting the first weekend I returned to work, but because of some exciting changes on the horizon, Sally will stay with me an extra couple weekends followed by my mom coming out until mid-June.  This way, I don't have to have a babysitter until at least mid-June, and we're really still figuring that out.

I was all set to go back to work on Friday of last week, but because we didn't have enough patients (and too many nurses scheduled), I was put on call.  It was nice to have an extra day with my little man but then I had to mentally prepare myself all over again that night.  Saturday morning came around and, despite telling myself I wasn't going to cry, I did get a little teary as I was telling Mike the last time Colin ate and how much milk we had in the fridge versus the refrigerator...  It wasn't the easiest thing just walking out the door.  As long as I was busy at work (and I kept myself busy more or less), I was good on not thinking about missing him.  There was one time I called home, though, to ask how things were going and Mike proceeded to fill me in on how the sod was going...  until I pointed him the correct direction - how Colin was doing.  From all reports, Colin did great on Saturday.  When I met up with them after work and picked him up and hugged him, I really think he couldn't have cared less I was gone all day.

We stayed out late on Saturday night for Mike's going away get together and I think it did Colin in.  From the reports I got about Sunday, he was one unhappy, cranking, mommy-missing man.  I guess that does make me feel a little better - he does know when I'm not around - but then again I hate that he was so unhappy and my in-laws had to figure out how to deal with it.  Apparently Colin was fussy and crying a lot (and he is normally not a fussy one at all), was eating every hour and a half to two hours, would only sleep when being held, and overall just a cranky pants.  So it may have been because it was two days in a row without me, he was tired from being so over-stimulated the night before, he's hitting a growth spurt... any number of things, but the day was long.  My husband, however, was nice and didn't tell me that at all while I was at work.  In fact, I think he probably walked away specifically so I couldn't hear him fussing.

It was a difficult weekend for all of us, I think.  I hope that he figures out the best way to keep us all from going insane for the next weekend, though!  I'm not sure quite what I would do is I came home and found out he was cranky all day again!