Monday, May 2, 2011

Monday Madness

After a tiring weekend, I rested & now feel refreshed.  So glad I did NOTHING on Sunday.  That's what happens when you mow all morning without sunscreen...I had to sleep off the sunburn--which is something I'm not used to dealing with because I normally don't burn.  Ugh!  Thank God my hubby got the kitchen in order so I don't feel so overwhelmed, which I have lately.

I feel much better today.  Partly because I am getting more things done due to not feeling overwhelmed anymore & partly I think because I started taking Evening Primrose Oil again...I take 2-3 a day & it seems to be helping me with all the hormones.  The good thing is that this does not effect baby like antidepressant have been found to, so bonus!  I am taking a couple other herbal helpers (but not St. John's Wort, that's the only one you can't take while breastfeeding).  So, I think its helping me some too.  I don't feel like my emotions are getting the better of me, nor do  I feel easily irritated. 

Its madness without some way to calm yourself.  I found out lack of family support (meaning they are near by to help) and being at home with a fussy baby all contribute to mood issues that can lead to postpartum depression.  Booo,....I'm going to combat it BEFORE its full blown depression.  I am going to continue to remind myself that I can do this & to take the supplements.  Plus, eating well helps.  Thank God baby is starting to be more settled, though we still have "trouble" days (like today & yesterday).  We get through them & move on.

Its not easy reworking your schedule around a new little one, but I'm finding that slinging him some of the day is helping & then also giving him some "baby alone" time helps him too.  Who knew!  I'm finding that being overly worried something is going to happen to him & being like a hawk always hovering isn't healthy for me or baby....First, I don't get done what I need & I don't take care of myself.  Second, my baby can move his head out of the way & he is strong...  Third, baby will cry out or just plain cry if he needs something & there is nothing wrong with letting him express a need with noise, so long as I don't ignore it too long & I answer with what he needs.  Sometimes that is just me being there for a bit.  :)

Its like this intricate dance you know nothing about that you have to figure out the steps to as it morphs & changes during the song.  Sometimes you get it & it all works out nice & sometimes you are tripping over your feet trying to figure out what to do.  In the end, you have a joyous & fun time figuring out the whole mess of the dance and its OK because no one expects you to completely figure out something like that right off the bat....You do find patterns & some consistency once you have heard the song enough that you can recognize when the next steps are going to change, sometimes you even know way ahead & are prepared, but other times the change is so quick you can't keep up even after you feel you know what's going on.  And that's just how it is with a baby. 

Speaking of that, my dear son is now awake & crying out for me...time to go "dance!"

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Tipful Thursdays

Hello ladies...It sure takes a while to get things in order after having a baby!  Its been two months since my DS's (Dear Son) birth & I'm finally getting the time to blog today.

How exciting its been (and tiring) learning all about how to care for this new life as a mommy.  My little man is finally sleeping at 5-6 hour stretches at night, so I am getting to sleep actually rather than just nap, which has helped me with being able to actually function a bit more normally the past few days.  I'm hoping this keeps up.

One thing that has gone down the drain is the house.  Not quite the domestic diva I would like to be, but I am sure that will come back with time.  Just got to get my stamina back as I am able to sleep better & get us on a schedule. 

Its amazing how one moment you are free and the next you have to run off to "save the day" for your little baby.  It can make doing anything take 2-3X as long to complete.  Its shocking to realize just how big a change that a baby brings to a marriage & family.

I can't wait to really get all this down so I feel more normal again.  I know its possible to get all this done, its getting the strength back & mental with-to-it-ness to be able to focus on something other than baby & then yourself all day.

So here's to readjusting so I can be a domestic diva again!  However long it takes, I'm ready to get this going again!  :)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Monday Monday

The past couple weeks have been a game of "is the baby coming or not right now"  combined now with the worst constipation & gas I've ever experienced!  Sorry for the TMI, but I'm sure I'm not the only 39/40 week pregnant lady who has had to deal with this!

I hope you all are doing well & enjoying this Valentine's Day!  My hubby already has been such a stalwart for me this weekend, anything he does today will be icing on the cake...I bet he wishes he knew that now.  Maybe I will tell him when he comes home tonight from work & running errands to get me what I need to stay "regular."  What a patient, caring, tender & loving man I am married to; he isn't perfect, but he's shown me that when I really need him, he's going to do all he can.  He even did some gross things that I expected him to want me to do. 

I have learned something very important & life changing for this Domestic Diva about how to stay motivated.  You see, before I would get all hyped & psyched   up on adrenalin & caffeine in order to get a bunch done.  This led to a couple of days of tons of work & catch up, but exhaustion always ensues with a lack of motivation along with it.  Last week, I did something new....its something I HAD to do to have things go well with the upcoming birth:  RELAX...

I'm not talking like sleeping & just not doing anything.  I"m talking taking time to put some stress relief music on, sit down & do relaxing breathing exercises & focus on the Bible, God & me.  I sat there for two hours until I finally learned what it felt like to be calm.  It was an amazingly energizing task.  I would've thought I wanted to nap after doing that, but no! I got up, left the music on & with much calmness & methodical movement, got my work done.  I didn't feel rushed/frazzled or panicky like I normally do.  It felt so much better to be calm doing chores & handling situations.  I found myself not panicking when I was clumsy (I found I was also less clumsy).  I didn't run around trying to rush to get things done, I took my time & they still got done fast!  I also found myself feeling tons better when I was done & needed to rest.  I could just go rest & not have to wind down from "pumping myself up."  I had the most fabulous nap afterward with the music still on. When some not so great things happened, I was able to handle it & calm down from the frustration & anger very quickly.  Usually I have already "worked" myself up into a frenzy as a motivator & so I get upset easily & don't handle conflict or frustrating situations in that state. 

What a difference finding God's peace deep within made for me!  I don't think I EVER want to try the other way again!  That habit was caught by my mother from example & it is horrible for you!  Even with all that happened this weekend, I feel soooo much better being calm through it than I did the first weekend of February & its frustrations of false labor.  So, I rest my case...I'm done with the old way of trying to handle life & how I'm motivated.  This Domestic Diva is got a new plan....CALMNESS & focusing on God's peace.  Its good for me, its great for baby (now & once he's here soon) and its makes my hubby's life easier & more pleasant.  Why did I wait so long to try this?  It took me HAVING to do it for me to realize this....its sad it took this long, but I'm so glad I have a new way of going about my day & even my life.

So, I hope this helps some ladies out need to find a way to relax, not fake relaxing from distracting yourself with entertainment or hobbies--real relaxing.  The kind where you are calm & at peace with God & who you are.  That you feel your best & that life will not end if everything isn't perfect.  All that matters is you do your best & you can't do your best all panicky & hyper.  Take time to reflect on yourself, saying positive things about you & your situations--give yourself the right to have a tiny moment for just you.  It may seem counterproductive, but it really isn't.  A calm person creates a calm home & things get done....people want to help & it brings a spirit of peace for the whole household.  I can even tell a difference in my cats since I've been calm.  Please take time to try this out....take as long as you need the first few times.  If you are used to being uptight, it can take a looong time to really relax, but it seems to get easier on a very quick curve after the first few times.  In fact, you can calm yourself without having to do the whole ordeal if you get frustrated about something--you just are able to stop yourself better when it starts as a new habit...So, don't hesitate to do this, it may be the one thing you've been desperately needing (like me)!!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Its Hump Day...Let's talk about Food!

So, as I'm sitting here after a nice shower...I thought I should talk about one other choice I have made that will be continual:  Eating healthy. I'm not talking about not making those chocolate chip cookies once in a while or cutting out all carbs.  I'm talking about balancing your diet.  I've been doing this since I got pregnant & have seen amazing results.  Its not that I ate horrible before, but if I didn't get my daily veggies, I didn't sweat it.  Now, I am finding the more you eat all that you should in one day, the better you feel equipped to handle all that comes your way (even pregnancy!)...

My goal with balanced eating is to get away from processed foods as much as possible.  Again, there is a time & a place, but if you are eating every other meal that is processed, you are going to feel it.  I love to cook & enjoy throwing meals together, so I starting thinking about how to incorporate all the food groups into one meal or at least as many as possible.  I thought it might be the winter it can be, but every other season, its a cinch! 

I cut down on portions to the actual suggested portion.  So, those super huge chicken breasts?  One will do for hubby & I if I add a couple veggies or a salad with some whole grain rice/couscous/polenta (aka grits to anyone from the south-minus all the super fattening things) or maybe some homemade whole grain bread from the bread machine!  Another easy thing to do is crock pot stew or soup with any & all veggies you can find to put in there.  Get yourself some multi-gran saltines (yes!  They started making them & they have made my day) or other multi-grain cracker...make sure you read & see that whole grains are one of the top three ingredients!  I've found some tortilla companies that say whole grain or multi-grain, but the main flour is still bleached, enriched white flour!  GASP!  Another thing I do is make my own pancakes from scratch & muffins but I substitute one of the "cups" of flour for whole wheat or rye flour with my unbleached regular flour & also I put unsweetened applesauce (just maybe 1/4 of a cup).  It makes them super fluffy & adds a touch of sweetness. 

On that note, I don't make my own applesauce or crackers or even noodles.  NOPE...that's going to be too much work.  Remember, you want to eat healthy but you also have to balance yourself.  If you are making everything from scratch & then have no time to yourself at the end of the day, WHAT"S THE POINT?!  You will burn yourself out & get don't need that & any wise Domestic Diva knows its smart to also be frugal about making things.  Some things are just too expensive to make at home.  Honestly, you can read labels & that takes less time than making your own pasta, almond milk, spices, crackers, bread, etc.  Choose a reasonable amount of things you can make yourself & just find great products instead.  Like, if you are making your own baby food from veggies & such.  Not really a lot of work, but if you make EVERYTHING for your baby from scratch, it could get tiring.  A handful of regular or multi-grain cheerios never hurt anyone & are a great choice over other sugary snacks.  I found Nature's Own makes wonderful bread that is made from whole grain flour & either honey or sugar...(yup, all other brands used high fructose corn kidding! Even Sara Lee!!)  I buy all natural applesauce with no sugar added & even canned fruit that has been canned in its own juices & no added sugar.  You see, its not horrible to do that when you are on a budget & can't grow or keep all this fruit around without it spoiling.  Yes, buy some fresh fruit & make baby food out of it & freeze it, but you need some fruit too & will get sick of eating all that mush!  READ LABELS at the grocery store, even the store brands may surprise may find you can find a great alternative.

I will be making my own baby food for most fruits & veggies...but I'm not opposed to finding a good whole grain baby cereal to supplement & other snacks made with whole grains.  I will also buy plain yogurt to mix in my baby's food.  We will probably start baby on almond milk but I'm not making it myself...that sounds like too much work for me if I want some time to myself! 

I did switch myself to almond milk earlier in the pregnancy because I found out I am actually allergic to some of the proteins in cow's milk & it was causing bad sinus inflammation all this time!  Amazing how better I feel now that I don't drink it.  I do still eat cheese & yogurt....It seems only the milk was causing the trouble.  So, just a little side note for that one.

One other thing I found helpful was actually drinking the amount of water I was supposed to on top of all the other things I drink. What a change!  I have energy & my skin doesn't break out as much...who would've guessed that would make such a difference!  Try it out if you feel may do the trick!

Again, I'm not blogging to tell you all what I think you should be doing, but I thought I would share these insights with you to see if maybe you need to rethink some things.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Is it REALLY Tuesday?! More on My Choices...

Well, looks like Monday flew seems like that today but it dragged on Monday.  I'm getting less & less long night sleeping now, so I sleep when I can.  I think Saturday I finally conked out at 3:30 am...I was so restless & baby was Mr. Ninja/hiccup central.  Who knew how much that would interrupt sleep.

Anyhow, on to another choice I have made as I move into mommy hood:  wearing my baby. I don't mean wearing his spit up or last night's rejected peas.  I'm talking about slinging my people in many other countries do the first few months of life.  OK, some of you may say "Now, you are REALLY going to spoil your baby!"  But am I really?  I have been looking into this for months to look at the pros & cons.  Quite frankly, I see more benefits that show I won't spoil my baby, rather I will build trust with him that will last his life.  I want my son to know deep inside that he can always come to me & rely on me to meet his needs to the best of my ability.  Letting a kid "scream it out" so early in life seems to build distrust & a feeling of needs not being fulfilled. 

Let's be clear here...I'm not saying that when my baby is a year old that I am going to not have limits for him.  By that time he is mentally maturing & from watching my friends kids closely--you can tell when that happens, whether it happens at 6 months or later.  I am also not saying that I'm NEVER going to put my baby down for a nap or give him time to himself.  At night he is not going to be in a sling sleeping with me.  First, that's dangerous & second, I need some time to recuperate from the day.  If I am going to rest & nap, baby gets a nap in his bed too.  I am wanting to "wear" my baby as I begin to run the house again, doing chores & the like.  I want to wear him at the store so I don't have a bulky plastic carrier to lug around with the groceries.  When on errands or even around the house, I can easily stop & feed him at the right intervals without exposing myself to the world or having to mess around with a nursing cover--what a bonus!

Plus, the slings I bought all have been certified as safe & never have been recalled in the umpteen years they have been sold.  I chose New Native Carriers.  They make slings in all colors & help you with the sizing if you need it.  They have a return policy that is fabulous.  If you find your sling doesn't fit you anymore or you got the wrong size, you can simply make sure it is clean & stain free, call them, then send it back & have them help you find a new size that will work better!  I haven't found many sling companies willing to do that...what a guarantee!  (Now, you have to have bought it new from them or from an approved retailer & have the receipt too, but still...that's more than most companies).  I have another sling I love from SevenSlings that I got, but it only had a 14 day no questions asked return policy that someone had to pay extra for!  Luckily they picked the right size...well, the right size when I don't have a huge belly anymore!

The book I reviewed yesterday, "The Happiest Baby on the Block" suggests slinging your baby, as does Dr. Williams Sears & quite a few other doctors recommend this for fussy babies especially.  I plan on not letting my baby become "fussy" if I can.  So, I figure it can't hurt to wear him from the start.  Even Daddy has a sling his size.  He's actually psyched about it because it means his hands will be free when its his turn.  Also, who wouldn't want to reduce baby crying to a minimum?  I know it wrenches your heart to hear an upset baby cry out.  I want my little guy to feel secure with me, then I can hear his other noises signaling he needs something before he gets really upset & I have to calm him down before I can do anything about it.

This also doesn't mean I won't play with my baby and start him off sitting up during the first year.  I'm mostly going to sling a bunch the first 3-4 months & taper it off as he get's older.  Then, I will use a front carrier after 1 year old & only use the sling in the toddler style in a pinch (or if we are traveling to save on space) if need be.  I want some baby time to play with him too, not just spend my whole day doing chores and other things!

One thing I've been learning from all the books I've been reading is that only YOU & YOUR HUBBY should have the final say on what you do with your little one.  Its your decision as the parent, you need to do what you feel in your heart is best.  Read, research & find out the most you can about all this, but ultimately you should never let someone tell you "This is the only & best way to handle your baby/kid/teen."  Take advice with a grain of salt, consider it & decide if its something you want to incorporate or not.  If someone ever pressures you (or a book, website, doctor, minister/pastor, friend, daycare etc.) that what they are saying is the "only" way & you shouldn't modify it or you are a bad parent, you need to disregard that person's opinion.  Take what you can from the info, but I would caution using it without thinking or looking at other advice.  I will discuss this later in detail, but  I thought I would get this out. 

Also, if you are a friend, sister, or close to any lady who is a mom or pregnant, please resist to make comments such as "You aren't going to do _______." or "I hope you decide to do ______; its best for your baby."  or even nag them about doing something you found useful--once is enough.  If we don't use your advice or resources, don't take it personally, but  I would suggest making your advice easier to accept.  If you have research, ask if I would like it if I don't ask first.  If I have a question, feel free to give me places to go to get answers, but never shoot down another mom's decision.  She may have taken a lot of time & thought to her decision & honestly, its her choice whether you like it or not.  I say this because I see alot of women who feel they need to "show" you how to be a good mom.  While we new mommies do need some help...I know I've been reading & researching like crazy--I feel like I'm back in college with a final exam coming up that I DO NOT want to fail!  The only difference with being a new mommy is I'm finding there are very few things that are absolute don'ts (i.e. shaking your baby, abusing emotionally & physically, ignoring depression, and forgetting to take care of yourself) but it seems most is all what you feel is best.  Help us out but don't be pushy.  Take time to see where we are coming from.  That's why I'm blogging these "decisions" because I want moms to feel free to read these at their leisure, take what they want & make their own decisions.

We should all give ourselves & other moms that freedom with their choices. 

Friday, January 21, 2011

Fabulous Fridays: The Choices I've Made Part 2

So, this week I've been writing about some choices I've made with my son up & coming soon.  And boy, I think its going to be soon ladies! 

I'm sure some women have read & wonder why I'm making these kinds of decisions, but I feel that you need to have a game plan before baby comes so everything isn't up in the air once you have a bundle of joy in your arms & you are exhausted.  If you have a game plan, though it may alter or change, will keep you from feeling utterly overwhelmed (at least that is what I am told).  Tonight I am going to discuss a book I've read called "Happiest Baby on the Block" by Harvey Karp, MD.  Now, I decided this book was better than his "toddler" book & I will explain that one later on another blog.

This book was an insight to me because I grew up in a house where you let babies "cry it out" from the start & that colic was simply "tummy troubles."  While colic symptoms can point to stomach issues, its a small part to what the problem is.  From reading this book, I found out that baby's temperament is obvious from birth.  Many babies adjust well from womb to being born into this world.  Those babies sleep well, fuss only if not fed when they are hungry & are basically good babies.  Colicky babies have trouble adjusting to all the changes (and they are huge if you think about it):  They are used to being all bunched up, warm , dark & tight in mommy's noisy uterus; constantly fed & given what he/she needs.  Then they come to this world, which--if you think about it--is silent, cold, bright  & unreliable from the start.  They have to not only adjust to these major changes but also breathe immediately & start eating/digesting food for the first time.  This could be alot for anyone to take in (think "matrix" folks).  Some babies adjust well to huge changes & other babies are seemingly "frustrated" with the transition that must be made. 

This book helps you learn how to help the "colicky" baby calm himself/herself because they haven't learned to do it yet naturally.  All babies should be cuddled & loved but there are five steps you can take to calm any upset baby (colic or not) that do not amount to spoiling.  Even if you do the things in the book, its still a massive reduction to what he/she is used to from the past 9 months.  He calls them the 5 S's:

1) Swaddling:  make it comfy & tight.  Yes, the baby may flail & be upset at this point but  its not because they don't want it...its because they don't know how to calm down & they don't like their arms all over the place (they tend to smack themselves with their poor motor skills).

2) Side/Stomach hold.  Hold your baby on his/her side or stomach in your arms (Don't put them in a bed this way because of SIDS!!)  There are three ways of holding: side cradle (facing out for not breastfeeding), the football hold (again, put baby's face out) & against the leg (arm underneath baby with head on your hand & hand near the knee).

3) "Shhhhh"  We aren't talking a quiet noise here...make some loud SHHHHHHing.  The baby is used to a noise similar to a vacuum cleaner with your heartbeat thrown in.  If you can't make the noise loud enough, have your spouse run the vacuum outside the door or a fan.  This will help baby feel comforted by recognizable sounds

4) Swinging.  This is not a big swinging back & forth but a giggle or bouncing/vibrating feeling the baby was used to from your movements & walking around. Mimick a movement similar to shivering or those people you know who nervously bounce their leg up & down while in a chair.

5) Sucking.  Give the baby something to suck on.  You could feed at this point if its time to do so or use a pacifier or if you are against that your finger.  I am opting for either the "time to feed' or pacifier (a Nuk orthodontic one).  Also, he mentioned you can put baby in a swing or a vibrating infant seat while you do this to continue the fourth step.

The important part of these steps are doing them right.  You do step 1 first by itself because if you forget it & do the others, the baby could smack himself/herself & then you are back to square one.  Steps 2-4 should be done simultaneously & step 5 should only be done after the baby has stopped crying & you have calmed him/her.  The last step is meant to continue the calmness.  If the baby falls asleep there, so be can move him when he/she wakes again. 

This book comes with details about how to effectively manage these steps, more info on the authors take on colic & also warning signs that baby's crying isn't just an upset baby, you need to call the doctor or find out what's really wrong. 

Overall, this book was a lifesaver for me.  I was concerned with my hubby & I both being "colicky" babies that we were going to end up with our son being like this.  Granted, my son hasn't been born yet, but its nice to know that if he get's really fussy, that we have a way to combat it.

I suggest all new mom's & dad's or anyone dealing with a fussy baby read this book & keep it on hand.  I've heard way too many good things about using this book when you are exhausted & need to calm to sleep baby so you can get some rest too!

I will update my reactions to this book after baby is born & I find myself using these steps.  Until then, I hope this is a help to some of my ladies! 

Have a great night & enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Feeding Baby

Happy Thursday!  I hope this day finds you all warm & safe.  We just had a snow storm blow in, so its all white & wintry outside.  Glad I got all my grocery shopping & errands done this past afternoon! 

I want to get right into my next topic involving the choices I've made with becoming a new mommy.  I have decided to breastfeed until my baby naturally weans, which could be somewhere around 1-2 years of age.  Some of you may think I'm crazy, but...I just looked at all the benefits of doing this until he's ready to be done that will last him his lifetime & the benefits I get from this too.  First, of course, baby get's immunities & vitamins plus its easier to digest (which means I will have to feed him more, but its worth it).  Second, compared to formula, the extra food I will have to eat is waaaay cheaper as a monthly expense.  Third, even with the extra calories, I WILL still lose weight & it helps me recover faster from birthing (more on that tomorrow), it helps regulate my wild hormones that will occur after birth & will release prolactin--a hormone that helps with milk production but also in relaxing you & will help me rest when I need to--oxytocin will make me feel content.  Fourth, it will lessen the need for some immunizations in the first year because I will give him my immunities & then he might only need boosters, if any.  (Will still need some shots, but it lowers it to only 4-5 in the first year). The benefits keep coming & coming. 

Yes, it is work & can be difficult to "teach" baby to latch on properly & to learn when to feed & how.  I'm finding in life that things that are worth doing are hard work if done properly & lead to satisfaction along with a better sense of fulfillment.  Sure, things may not go smoothly with the process, but I have people to help me out & the support of a great hubby.  Something like this I feel is important both for baby (& not to mention our budget)! 

I read alot on this from other mom's blogs, from "The Breastfeeding Book" by Martha & William Sears, and from talking to my midwife & the doula running my birthing classes.  So far, I'm glad to say I'm going to feed not so much on a super tight schedule, but a balance between a schedule & demand feeding.  I am going to feed every 2-3 hours the first month to establish my milk supply (this is important to do if you want to do long term breastfeeding), then mostly be on a 3 hour schedule that only changes when baby obviously seems to need more (they go through growth spurts too) 6 months I will probably feed only once or twice in the night with more feedings during the day & begin to see how much he wants "real food" and when he wants to breastfeed.  Sounds like it might be alot then, but most babies once they start on food will taper off some on their own because it won't be his only food source.  Then I will work with baby to let him wean off when he's ready.  This will assure (most of the time) a gradual wean, unless there are complications & it helps it not be painful for me to transition to no longer making milk.

As you can see, its not this wham, bam simple must be tailored to you baby.  I have no idea how he will nurse & to what extent, so one thing I remind myself is that I have to be flexible.  Its not bad to listen to your babies cues & if I sleep when baby sleeps, it won't overtax me--especially with help from family, friends & hubby in the first month.

I don't know if any of this interests my domestic divas who read this, but  I thought this would be interesting to share, as its nice to know you are not alone in your decisions as a mom (or soon-to-be mom)!

I hope you all have a wonderful night...if you have winter weather: stay safe!  I will write about another topic tomorrow...until then, be the best domestic diva you can be ladies!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Hump Day...

Today is a busy day for this Domestic Diva & soon to be mommy.  First, I am excited this week because I have been feeling our son "drop."  They weren't kidding when they said it would feel like a bowling ball between your hips or legs!  My waddle has gotten more obvious now, BUT I CAN BREATHE!  : )

I told you ladies I would tell you about some of the choices I made over the past few months.  So, today is the day I was able to get to the computer.  (reminder that when you are pregnant & have a day of energy--don't over-nest your house!  You pay for it for days later with exhaustion!)  I will start today with my decision to cloth diaper & my diaper choice.  For reference, I am not one of those "all natural," grow-it-yourself all the time divas.  I like to cook things from scratch but there is a limit:  like I buy the spaghetti noodles but make the sauce from basic ingredients in the store & spices.  So, this choice is coming from someone who likes to have their pizza once in a while (and a stray chocolate glazed doughnut too!) and isn't opposed to making macaroni & cheese with hamburger & broccoli for a dinner in a pinch.  I eat healthy but I don't go overboard.  I also am not "all natural" with my cleaning products or personal care items.  I read labels but I'm not going to spend $45 on something "all natural" when the cheaper stuff is just as good.  Heck, I have Johnson & Johnson's Naturals baby wash (that's what I do!).  So, trust me when I say, that I'm making this decision from an "everyday" Domestic Diva.

One of the things that scared us about being new parents was the added expenses that were going to be put on us one the little guy arrives.  You see, we aren't in a horrible position--I can stay home here & not need to work part time or from home--yet, we were starting to see all the monthly expenses being typical "American" new parents could place on us.  There's disposable diapers & wipes plus special shampoo & wash, doctors visits & some expense to feed him.  We were doing all the math for diapers & wipes & found that we could end up spending $150-$200 on just the diapers!  WHEW!  That was something that we knew could hurt our ability to have good finances.  We were thinking there had to be another way that was less expensive.  Plus, I started reading what's in most disposable diapers (chemicals that are on the top most cancerous chemicals list from the EPA-- HELLO!!!  Why would I want only a small flimsy, biodegradable paper cloth between that & my sons parts!)  All the stories of parents concerns  made me wonder--what is the benefit of just disposables.  I know traveling they are easier to use & wipes are especially easier to use in the car (now there are more "natural" wipes available, thank goodness).  But this using disposables at my house when I'm already having to do more laundry with baby coming & knowing that using disposables diapers every day plus all the other expenses added on to us could cause me to have to go back to work!  Not cool...  Besides, with my degree, quick-to-find jobs open to me would barely, if at all, cover child care costs for us.  Not a good choice.  Again, there had to be a better way.

We started hearing about cloth diapers from a friend of mine in Florida & got to see her diapers.  I thought they were cute but I wasn't sure about using them.  Then I hunkered down for some research...Cloth diapers are less of a monthly cost.  You buy all the diapers & inserts you need.  The only expense  is the detergent $15 for a 90 load supply in an HE Front loader washer!  If I do a load every day (which I won't) that's $15 every three months! Let's get down to the nitty gritty though; the upfront cost can seem demanding, but remember you would be spending that in the first 3-6 months of disposable diapering alone!  This is a large "ONE TIME" purchase that can last you through all your kids!

We spent $608 on all the diaper supplies (well, we spend $150 of our own money, the rest was gifted by family: THANK YOU!!).  This included:  24 one size diapers with 48 inserts (plus some I won), 2 PUL lined diaper pail bags, a PUL diaper tote, a bag of detergent, diaper sprayer, 18 cloth wipes, cloth wipes spray, lavender essential oil, special cloth diaper rash cream (just in case--most babies don't get a rash from using cloth diapers), plus 20% cash back!!  Which I have used some of the cask back for:  6 more cloth wipes, 2 PUL & fleece changing pads, 4 pair of nursing pads, an XL PUL diaper bag for day trips, & biodegradable liners!  So, I've gotten a great deal & spent well less than a year's worth of disposables & I have diapers that will be fully adjustable to my son from birth through potty training!  Imagine all the money I am going to save as a mommy! 

I'm not going all crazy though, if we are going on a trip...I will probably decided to use disposables (both diapers & wipes).  Unless my son gets a rash from them, then I will use the cloth diapers instead & deal with it!

My choice for Cloth diapers was FuzziBunz one-size.  They are know as "pocket diapers" meaning you have an insert between the fleece & PUL layer that you remove before washing & add before diapering.  You put them all together after the wash & have them ready to go.  The insert absorbs the "wetness" & wicks it away from your baby.   The nice thing about a pocket diaper, that I've been told, is that you can always add another insert if your baby is a heavy wetter or for overnight sleeping--once your baby is doing that!  I have heard great praise of the diapers I have chosen but I hope to snag a few others to try sometime so I can have an educated, personal opinion of which diaper I like the best.  I went with Fuzzibunz because they are called the "gold standard" of modern cloth diapering & were the first new cloth diaper available.  I decided to go with them due to their reputation among cloth diapering mommies.

Oh!  And who can ignore the fact that I'm not buying something I'm just going to use as trash a couple hours later!  For those of us concerned about how much we do throw away (its really one of the few "environmental" things I AM concerned about), cloth diapering is being a lot more responsible.  Its like a win/win situation.  OK, yes, there is more laundry as a trade off, but using an HE washer & buying enough diapers to last 2 days is a way to lessen using all that water everyday!  And, you are going to be doing more laundry anyways with a new baby...I can deal with a little more work at home so I don't have to find a place to work outside of it & pay for disposable this & that. 

If any of you are soon to be mommies or already are mommies, I hope this is an interesting read for you.  I want you to know you have options if you want to stay at home or simply work from home instead of working outside of the house to pay for all the things that cost so much money.  Before you stress about having to "return" to work, do research & see if there are better options out there!


Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Choices I've Made

Ladies, the next week I will be posting about some of the decisions I have made as a soon to be new mom & why I've made them...from diapering, to feeding to sleeping arrangements, etc.  Including how to get all the cleaning done once things settle.  I hope it will inspire you to make the best decisions for your family or if you have a new addition coming or there already!

Tonight's blog is short, as its been a hectic day & I've got little visitors coming to see me tomorrow.  You should see all I got done! I will tell you all in the coming week.

Until then, have a wonderful night & its almost Friday!  :)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Wonderfull Funny Wednesdays

So, I'm sure you notice my lack of blogging.  I truly apologize!  Getting ready for your first baby can be time consuming--along with getting settled in a new house you haven't even been living in for even a year!  Let's just say I've been doing double "Domestic Diva" duty since May 2010.  Can't wait until the house looks wonderful.  Its almost there & my schedule is getting more regular now!

On the day's note, we need some funny stuff.  Life has been too serious lately trying to get everything together & myself mentally prepared for motherhood...I need some good laughs.  I'm sure you all do too!  So, here is to getting some good chuckling in tonight (or tomorrow, if you read the blob then).

"Duct tape is like the force. It has a light side, a dark side, and it holds the world together." 

Use of the Car

A young boy had just gotten his driving permit. He asked his father, who was a minister, if they could discuss the use of the car. His father took him to his study and said to him , “I’ll make a deal with you. You bring your grades up, study your bible a little and get your hair cut and we’ll talk about it.”
After about a month the boy came back and again asked his father if they could discuss use of the car. They again went to the father’s study where his father said, “Son, I’ve been real proud of you. You have brought your grades up, you’ve studied your bible diligently, but you didn’t get your hair cut!”
The young man waited a moment and replied, “You know Dad, I’ve been thinking about that. You know, Samson had long hair, Moses had long hair, Noah had long hair, and even Jesus had long hair….”
To which his father replied… “Yes, and they WALKED every where they went!”

Top 10 Signs You Had Too Much of the 90s.

  1. Cleaning up the dining area means getting the fast food bags out of the back seat of your car.
  2. Your reason for not staying in touch with family is that they do not have e-mail.
  3. You faxed your Christmas list to your parents.
  4. You refer to your dining room table as the flat filing cabinet.
  5. You find you need PowerPoint to explain what you do for a living
  6. You think “progressing an action plan” and “calendarizing a project” are acceptable English phrases.
  7. You know the people at the airport hotels better than you know your next door neighbors.
  8. You ask your friends to “think out of the box” when making Friday night plans.
  9. You think a “half-day” means leaving at 5 o’clock
  10. You hear more jokes via email than in person.

Church Bulletin Bloopers

Ladies, don’t forget the rummage sale. It is a good chance to get rid of those things not worth keeping around the house. Bring your husbands.

The peacemaking meeting scheduled for today has been canceled due to a conflict.

The sermon this morning: Jesus Walks on the Water. The sermon tonight: Searching for Jesus.

Next Thursday, there will be tryouts for the choir. They need all the help they can get.

The agenda was adopted…the minutes were approved…the financial secretary gave a grief report.

Barbara C. remains in the hospital and needs blood donors for more transfusions. She is also having trouble sleeping and requests tapes of Pastor Jack’s sermons.

The ‘Over 60s Choir’ will be disbanded for the summer with the thanks of the entire church.

Missionary from Africa speaking at Calvary Memorial Church in Racine. Name: Bertha Belch.
Announcement: “Come tonight and hear Bertha Belch all the way from Africa.”

Announcement in a church bulletin for a National Prayer & Fasting Conference: “The cost for attending the Fasting & Prayer Conference includes meals.”

Miss Charlene Mason sang, “I Will Not Pass This Way Again,” giving obvious pleasure to the congregation.

Didn't that feel good ladies?  I know I needed it...hope you all get a good laugh for this "hump day."  Hang in there, Friday is almost here!

I will be talking about some of the choices I've made with the new baby coming the rest of this week & linking information about some good companies & websites I've found both on facebook & online as I've been searching for the absolute best (and most frugal) for my baby on the way!