raising a mommy

raising a mommy

Thursday, July 25, 2013

fmf: broken

Here are the rules:
1. Write for five minutes flat for pure unedited love of the written word.
2. Link back to Lisa Jo Baker's blog with the rest of the Five Minute Friday-ers.
2. Comment on the person who linked up before you.

Please join us!

Today's prompt: Broken

GO

We're moving. A month from right now I will probably be sleeping on an air mattress, if not the floor, because it will be our last night in our apartment. Sad? Yes. Exciting? Very!

Our little apartment, which was formerly taken over by baby toys and books, is...well...still taken over by baby toys and books. But now we've added boxes and bubble wrap and rolls of packing tape and packing paper and God knows what else to the mix. It's a disaster zone, to be quite honest with you.

The other night, Paige was marching around the apartment beating on a little drum that I brought back from my last trip to Tanzania three years ago. (Three years? That makes me so sad! I'm having withdrawls!) Husband looked at her and said, "How are we going to pack that?" I shrugged. I probably said something like: "We can wrap it up and make sure it gets in a tote instead of a box." Then we both realized that we really weren't all that concerned if it got broken. First reason: it's just a little toy. It probably cost us $2, if even that, when we were over there. Paige has probably over a hundred other toys, and would never notice if this one disappeared.

Second reason: it's replaceable. It really is. I know we will go back to Tanzania someday. It's more than a mission trip for us. It's a calling. It's an addiction. It's going to our other home halfway around the world to see our friends again.

Maybe Paige will even be able to pick out her own drum on our next trip.

STOP

Sunday, July 21, 2013

challenges of one bedroom and other random sunday morning thoughts

Today's blessing:
Relaxing mornings

As a future pastor's wife, I realize that the number of relaxed Sunday mornings in my future is dwindling very quickly. This is why I've decided to enjoy them as much as possible while I still can. Normally, I would enjoy a relaxing morning by sleeping in. However, my body has conspired against me and decided that, even though I don't need to be awake at 6:15 on a Sunday morning, that's what it is used to. Curse that whole "creature of habit" thing. I tried to fight it for a good 45 minutes, but I lost. So I figured I might as well get up and make some coffee.

Now, here's the real issue when it comes to being up early. Most people would think "That's great! You can be so productive without a small child hanging on your legs and constantly requesting marshmallows or crackers or holding out her little hand to you and saying 'walk?' (Because how can you say no to that?) You can put away last night's dishes, or make a gourmet breakfast, or just sit and read the newspaper or catch up on e-mails and twitter (follow me @littlered1618 - shameless plug!) while peacefully sipping your coffee."

Not so much. Our current apartment is basically a bedroom, a bathroom, and one giant room containing kitchen, dining room, and living room. I love it - it's wonderful to be able to be working in the kitchen and still have a straight view to the living room and a child. However, since the one bedroom is monopolized by husband and I, that leaves limited options when it comes to baby. So we blocked off a corner of the living room, set up a  pretty purple curtain, and created an impromptu bedroom. It really is a fantastic use of a small space, and it's worked out remarkably well. Except when she sleeps.

I can do quiet things like sweep and straighten, but vacuuming, dishes, cooking or baking, and most other household chores are off limits. Usually I go sit in the bedroom and fold laundry, crochet, or waste time on the computer, which is obviously what I'm doing now. And you know what? I feel quite relaxed and ready to face the day. Yesterday at this time I was about 11 miles into my 13 mile run, so I think that was enough early morning productivity for one weekend!

The little one is starting to stir, and I still have half a cup of coffee to finish off, so I guess that means I'm done writing for now. What are you doing with your Sunday?

Friday, July 19, 2013

fmf: belong

Here are the rules:
1. Write for five minutes flat for pure unedited love of the written word.
2. Link back to Lisa Jo Baker's blog with the rest of the Five Minute Friday-ers.
2. Comment on the person who linked up before you.

Please join us!

Today's prompt: Belong

GO

So I work in a drop off child care center. One of our go-to toys when we have a kid come in who is upset is one of those pop up farm things. You know, you push the button or twist the knob and an animal pops up. It's great, because it makes noise, the animals are cute, and you can distract the children by making dorky animal noises with it.

We have two of these toys. One is a farm theme with a cow, chicken, horse, and sheep. Great. The other has a lion, a giraffe, and monkey, and elephant, and a panda. Yes, I did say panda. I've been working here for almost a year and a half, and I still can't figure out what the panda is doing there. It really doesn't belong. And pandas don't really make any noise, so it doesn't help me out in that respect either!

I'm stuck. I realize this is an unconventional direction to head with this word, but it was honestly the first thing that came to mind. It has bothered me for the 16 months that I have worked there. After my sad post last night, I guess a little bit of humor and random thought is just fine! (Update: Paige practically leapt out of my arms this morning at day care. She does have some great friends there, and the puppy on Steve's shirt probably didn't hurt matters. Then she blew me a kiss from the window and I melted.)

This also hasn't taken quite five minutes, but I'm not going to be a perfectionist, so that's that!


Five Minute Friday

Thursday, July 18, 2013

she cried

Today's blessing:
Picking up a baby from day care

When your baby is the arms of another person and she starts crying...reaching for you...saying "Mama, mama!"

What do you do?

How do you walk away from that without a broken heart?

How do you not let that, at 7:15 in the morning, ruin your whole work day?

Don't get me wrong; I love my job. I'm proud of the work I do, I like my coworkers, and my supervisor is great. And how awesome is it that Paige will grow up knowing that, for the first year and a half of her life, Mommy supported the family financially? Talk about empowering.

But none of that seems to matter when you see the tear-stained face, the sad eyes, and the little hands stretched out to you.

So I'm asking, honestly, Mommies and Daddies, how do you make it through those days?


Thursday, July 11, 2013

our little girl: 17 months

I'm not quite sure where the last 17 months have gone, but here is another update for you!
Mastered Skills (most kids can do)
Uses a handful of words regularly: Yes, big handfuls. Several of them.
Enjoys pretend games: I'm not exactly sure what this means...she enjoys games. And giggling. I don't know that she does much pretending...
Likes riding toys: Very much. We worked on pedaling her trike this weekend. Her legs aren't quite long enough, but she's getting so close!

Emerging Skills (half of children can do)
Responds to directions: Hmm...she understands the directions, but she doesn't always do them. She did take a bit of a tumble off of a dining room chair last night after not listening when daddy told her to sit down, so that might scare her into listening for awhile...
Feeds doll: Not that I've noticed. I think she's offered her sippy cup to her dolls, but nothing beyond that.
Talks more clearly: She's got the talking thing down like a little pro.

Advanced Skills (a few children can do)
Dances to music: And boy is it cute! She kind of bounces up and down. We first saw this when we were watching the Tony awards awhile ago.
Sorts toys by color, shape, or size: Not yet. I think she's too impatient for this one still!
Kicks ball forward: She sure tries! She often misses or partially misses and ends up falling on her butt. I think it's cute. She does not.

Other things you might want to know:
-She is sleeping through the night fairly regularly. I would way more often than not. Mommy loves this. So does daddy.
-She's made up a new game. Daddy or I will hold her, then she'll look at the other parent, hold out her arms, and say "hug!" over and over until the other parent comes and sandwiches her in a hug. She repeats this seven or eight times, giggling all the while. It's a wonderful game!
-I mistakenly wrote in her 16 month update that she had eight teeth. That was not true; she had six. Now she has eight, though!

New words she's saying:
There are too many to count, but some of my favorites are "coffee," "diaper," and "purse."
Not only does she help mommy put away clean dishes, but she helps set the table!

She toddles around the living room chanting "night night, baby" and smothering her doll with Elmo pajamas. Darling.

Isn't that hair too much? I can hardly stand it!

The awesome stroller that Auntie got at a garage sale and painted for her. Yes, she could very well be a future Auggie.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

cloth diaper review...updated

Today's blessing:
Not having to worry about running out of diapers.

When I first started this blog, I wrote a cloth diaper review. I've had several people asking me about my experiences with cloth diapers, so I thought, now that we've been doing the cloth thing for nearly 17 months, it might be time to update!

I still love using cloth. I really do. They are easy, environmentally friendly, and, in the long run, much cheaper than disposables.

Here are a few things to keep in mind before you read this post:

  1. We do not use a diaper service. We do all of our own diaper laundry. I can give you more specifics about this if you'd like, but for the sake of not turning this into a three page post, I'll not get into it now. I will, however, tell you that, yes, we did purchase special laundry soap. It was $17 for a small tub, and we still have around a quarter of the tub (maybe a little less) nearly a year and a half later. So the expensive special soap is not an excuse to not use cloth. Actually, per load, it's cheaper to use the Charlie's Soap than Tide or another name brand laundry detergent. And it's way better for you clothes, skin, and the environment. But, again, that's another post in itself.
  2. Everything I have written in this post in my opinion and nothing else. Nobody has paid me or given me any sort of compensation to write any of this. If you would like to pay me or give me a free sample to review your cloth diapers, then please contact me - I'd love to help you out!
  3. While I have tried a number of different kinds of cloth diapers, I have not tried them all. If you have opinions on the diapers I reviewed or other diapers, please add them in the comments!

Here are diapers I have used and reviewed in my last post. If you want to know what I thought of them, you can check it out here.
GroVia All in One (I believe these have been changed since my last review, so don't put too much stock in what I said there!)
Flip All in Two
Bum Genius Pocket Diaper
Kissaluvs
Thirsties

So I'm basically going to give an updated review of the GroVia All in Two and Best Bottoms diapers here. If money were no option, we would have the full set of GroVias. The covers fit well, the inserts are extremely absorbant, and they are so darn cute. That said, they are a bit expensive - $17 for the cover and $18 or $19 for a set of two inserts. They're more if you get the organic cotton, which, in my experience, isn't necessary. I think there are kits available, too, so if you want to go that route and order a bunch at a time you can save yourself some money. Early on, they were a bit bulky - still perfectly fine, but not quite as streamlined as they could have been. As P grew, they fit much better, and by the time she was six or seven months old, they were great. Now that she's nearly 17 months, they are absolutely wonderful. I love them I love them I love them. They do take awhile to dry, though. I do dry them in the dryer now, and it usually takes two cycles. And I still like snap covers over velcro. They're more durable and they don't stick to everything.

Best Bottoms are a wonderful alternative if you want to go the cloth diaper route but don't have the money to spend on GroVias. They are $17 for the cover, but only $4 for the basic inserts. You can pay more for organic cotton, overnight inserts, or doublers. And, of course, there are packages available if you want to buy multiple items at a time and save money. The inserts are thin and dry quickly. One thing to consider: while GroVia inserts are one size, Best Bottoms come in three sizes, so you'll need 2-3 full sets of inserts. We are currently using the medium size inserts with the cover at it's largest size, and it seems to be working fine, so we might be able to get by with just small and medium inserts. Still, it's another thing to consider! The covers don't stretch quite as well as GroVia, so it's not quite as easy to get a perfect fit, but it's definitely still doable!

Here are a few hypothetical situations for the next baby: (Which will not be for at least two more years when Nate is done with school, so don't even bother asking!)

  • If I am able to stay home and money is not an issue
    • I would want a full set of Kissaluvs in the newborn size (fits up to 15 pounds).
    • After that, I would use the Best Bottoms and GroVia diapers that I have.
    • I would also work on increasing my GroVia collection so that, by the time baby is eight or nine months, we could use only those.
  • If I am able to stay home and money is an issue
    • I will probably buy a pack or two of newborn size prefolds (you know...the regular old rectangular pieces of fabric that you pin or Snappi on and cover with plastic pants) and use those until baby outgrows them.
    • Then I would switch over to the GroVia and Best Bottoms diapers I have.
  • If I am not able to stay home, I'll have to feel it out. It would probably be worth it to buy the prefolds, since I would hopefully have at least six weeks with baby before having to go back to work. Most day cares won't do cloth diapers, so I don't know if it would be worth it to invest in the Kissaluvs in this situation!
All of our diapers were ordered online from Nicki's Diapers. They have everything you can imagine needing and do a great job of listing out pros and cons for each diaper type. They even throw in free gifts depending on how much you spend!

I know this is kind of a no brainer, but I have to point it out anyways...you can use the same cloth diapers for more than one kid. It may seem ridiculous to spend $20 or more on a single diaper. However, you can not only get two or more years use out of it for the first child, but they still work after that!

I'd love to hear about your experiences with cloth diapering...please share in the comments!

Friday, July 5, 2013

fmf: beautiful

Here are the rules:
1. Write for five minutes flat for pure unedited love of the written word.
2. Link back to Lisa Jo Baker's blog with the rest of the Five Minute Friday-ers.
2. Comment on the person who linked up before you.

Please join us!

Today's prompt: Beautiful

GO

Life is beautiful. My baby girl is beautiful. I know I'm a little biased, but if she keeps getting beautiful at the rate she is, we could have some trouble on our hands when the boys start coming around. My husband jokes  threatens that he's going to take up archery, so he can answer the door with a quiver full of arrows and a bow when she's a teenager. The bow wielding pastor? Sounds intimidating to me!

Other than the physical beauty with which I am surrounded (and there is a lot of it...people, animals, nature), I am also in awe of the beauty in the rhythm of life. Maybe I'm luckier than most, but things seem to work out. Every time I stress about the budget not matching up or the house being too messy with guests coming in just a few hours, something happens. It all works out. Husband and I made it though the first two years of our marriage with our budget never balancing, yet somehow the money got us through the month. I have learned to appreciate telling people, "Don't mind the mess; we live here."

STOP

Hmm. I was really excited to see the prompt, but I'm not entirely happy with what came out. Perhaps someday I'll play with it a little bit more.

Five Minute Friday