Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Photo Dump: Papo's Here!

*The beginning of the photo dump posts, as I am learning the downside to wanting to process and edit photos means a lag time to get things posted. And the loss of our networked file sharing (different OSs, hopefully we'll fix that soon) means even longer transferring photos computer to computer. This is especially sad as Simon is changing and growing so rapidly right now. But in the interest of documentation I am starting with now - and going forward and backward at the same time.

So last weekend Dad, AKA, Papo (Pah-poe, rhymes with Rob-o, like what our friends sometimes called my dad) which is what we are calling him until Simon agrees or chooses something else, and Marilyn (moniker TBD) came to visit.

Simon had just started crawling long distances (meaning across a room without stopping). And this week he's pulling to stand.  They change fast.

I wanted to get some nice pictures, and wanted to use the camera remote that was a Christmas gift.

The remote has a learning curve. I finally figured out how to use the 2 second delay option.

We got a couple of good ones.

And a lot of out takes.


Saturday, February 25, 2012

Babies are kind of like pets.

The characters: Baby (Simon), Rabbit (Theo), Dog 1 - my mom's (Tellie)

The evidence:
- The obvious, like babies are needy and you can't just leave them.  Like pets.
- You can play "fetch" as entertainment. Or in the case of Zane the parrot and Simon dropping things, they play "fetch" with you. Either way.
- They ARE the entertainment when you laugh at the silly things they do.

- Simon likes to chew on shoes, so does Tellie.
- Simon likes to chew on shoelaces, so does Theo.
- Simon likes to crawl into the crevice that you would think he'd never fit into or the dark space like - under the couch or ottoman, so does Theo.
- Simon doesn't do so well on the wood floor, neither does Theo - it's too slippery.
- Somehow they all know how to find and chew on everything they shouldn't have.
- Simon likes to practice his jump kicks (in the bouncer or being held) just like Theo.

- And the grossest of all...You know how dogs will lick up their own thow-up? Yeah, Simon does that too.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


Outtakes: It's so much harder to take pictures of a moving baby.
 Who is all "OMG, let me have the camera and eat it or I will die.
 He is interested in props.
 If he can throw them. He's getting very good at throwing these days.
 But he's sweet.
 And trying.
 And then he's off. See the mischief in his eyes.
 Even checking to see what Dad is going to do.
 So sweet.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Seven Months

you can tell he's been sick by the circles under the eyes

Holy Cow! I almost missed it. Yesterday someone asked me how old my baby was and I started to say "seven months next week" but it's next week already! This month has been crazy with explosive development.

but just look at those beautiful blue eyes

- TWO teeth (the bottom two): I feel lucky that the biting has thus far been limited to my hand or fingers.

- Crawling: First dragging by the arms, the army crawling, and just last night a few feet of a strange combo of hands and knees and an elephant/bear walk.

- Eating: Still not every day or every meal, but everything we offer he will eat. This month also brings about the first time we can go to a restaurant and Simon can SIT in a highchair and be entertained by eating his own food (crusts of bread) or dropping things on the floor.  Nursing is his primary nutrition and will be for awhile. He's getting better with bottles.

- Playing: Simon is getting to the age where he sees something he wants and goes after it. It is often the recycling basket or any cords we leave out. He also loves ripping and chewing on paper. Really, not all that different than the rabbit...  I pulled out the stacking rings last week and he doesn't know how to use them, but he is trying. He can get the rings off the tower and then  uses them like a hammer to get them back on.  It doesn't work.

- Daycare: It's awesome. Simon is taking a 2-3 hour nap most afternoons now. He's eating 8 oz a day on average by bottle, which is great. Ideally I'd like to get up to 10-12, but we'll see.

- Language: Simon is babbling lots now. He says mamama and bababa.  But he's started to mimic some where he will emphasize MAma MAma, it doesn't mean anything yet but I like it.

I am loving loving loving this stage. This has easily been my favorite month. I miss Simon when I'm gone and and so happy I have four days a week with him.

a little behind the scenes

kmbbmmb         n jkbhjhjikl (a message from Simon)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Nursing Necklace

Last spring Rob and I went to a Craft Fair in Brooklyn - don't remember which one at the moment. We went to visit and support my friends at Goose Grease. I bought this bead kit, and finally took a picture of the finished project.

There are all kinds of nursing necklaces for sale. I like these because once I'm done with them, they can go in the toy box. I'm surprised at the number of compliments I get on this though when I wear them out. They are perfect for Simon to tug and chew on when I'm wearing or feeding him. Otherwise he likes to claw at my face and pull hair. I can wear my hair down!

I have a couple of other necklaces with big beads that I know Simon can't break, but I kind of love these.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


So I heart daycare. I really do. My days are so much more productive when I know Simon is being cared for and I don't have to worry about rushing home to relieve Rob. It helps that his napping (at daycare) is kind of awesome at 2 - 3 hours. At home it's much better.  And he is taking a bottle. Or at least he's drinking enough that I don't worry and it hasn't been brought up as an issue.
But with daycare comes being around other kids. A lot. For the first time. And while this is good for him it also means germs. Lots and lots of GERMS. I know kids in daycare get sick when they start, and it's good for him to be sick and exposed to build his immune system. It's like how first year teachers spend a year getting every illness under the sun and then never get sick again.

Kids are dirty and germy and I now have a little snot face to join the ranks. I just didn't expect it to happen so soon.  Simon started on January 3. On January 5 he threw up twice in the morning. I had a meeting so I sent him anyway (this was the first time I had mom guilt - but there was no fever). He threw up once at school and once when we got home. Two of these were in our bed. Gross. Friday he seemed better, a little clingy and cuddly, but ok. Then I got sick. It's been years since I've been this sick. It was way worse than labor. I had to call Rob to come home from work early. Then Rob got it. A weekend of family sick. Gross. I really want to never do that again.

Then came the cough and congestion. And the diaper rash. Oh the never ending baby poos. These brought us to the doctor who said, put some cream on it, air him out, and keep him inclined to sleep. And it passed. And week four of daycare was good.  Then came the weekend.  And another cough. And this last weekend we had our first fever.

99.9 under the arm. I KNOW this is nothing to really worry about.  But it was day two of him not feeling well, and I'd given him Tylenol on Friday night. And now on Saturday I know that's what I should do again - but I just needed confirmation.  I really don't want to be the crazy call the doc all the time parent. But I also don't want to NOT call if I should. So I put a call in to the after hours number and got a "call back the doc is busy message." So I called Sara - who is a doctor, and she gave me mom advice and I felt better.  Then the doctor called me back! And said not to worry, but that they do have Sunday hours if I felt like bringing him in to call in the morning.  Tylenol and lots of cuddles and we were ok. Sunday was a sleepy day. And Monday another fever. Nothing serious.

This morning I packed him up. Dosed him with Tylenol (just in case) dropped him off and went to school. I did say he hadn't been feeling well, and I've gotten no calls.
So we survived another week of the Daycare Plague and I am bracing myself for a winter of coughs and colds that coincide so well with teething. And I will pray that it's nothing serious. And next year, he'll have so much immunity it will be awesome.

Friday, February 3, 2012

I'm gonna go there...and talk about poo.

When I got pregnant, I noticed a trend. Lots of moms were using cloth diapers. We've been on this slow path of living more frugally and greener, and cloth diapering intrigued me. But I didn't think we'd really do it.  But one day I asked Rob, fully thinking he would shut me down immediately and I could stop thinking about it, and he said "Sure." Really, ok, wow. And the research began for real.  Because we do not have a washer or dryer.  What we do have is a laundry room in the building with coin operated machines.  We also have 3 laundromats within a block of our building.

Wearing a pre-fold with a Bummies Whipser Wrap in front of the fire at my cousins house.
I didn't know what kind of diapers would work for us, but I wanted to give it a real go with pre-folds and covers, with some pocket diapers on hand for baby sitters.  And Flip diapers got great reviews as an easy system.  Through a great online moms forum in my neighborhood I got a full set of size small g-diapers with a couple of packs of disposable inserts.  I bought 6 BumGenius 4.0 diapers.  We got a set of Flip diapers (6 inserts, 2 covers). And I finished off with 18 Chinese pre-folds, 18 Indian pre-folds, 2 Econobum covers, 2 Bummies whisper wraps, and a Thirsties Duo cover. (All this around $250)

We started cloth diapering at 2 weeks old when we ran out of disposables from the hospital.  And now 6 months later I really can't imagine using anything else. I wash every 5 - 6 days.  The diapers we use have changed a bit, but our washing routine has stayed pretty much the same.

When I was researching I was getting really stressed out about washing, because all the sites are like oh, two washes and triple rinse.  Who has the money for that!?!  So I did a little more digging and what I found was generally this.  Cold wash, no detergent.  Hot wash with detergent.  Ok, I can pay for a double wash once a week.  Then I talked to a mom in my neighborhood and she said just do a Hot wash with detergent and be done with it.  Ok, even better.

Detergent, I got a few to try.  Charlie's Soap - this one seems to be hit or miss.  Some rave about it, others hate it. I don't love it, the diapers have to get really dry in the dryer or else they smell. I do use it on our clothes and have no problems. Rockin' Green is great, and it smells nice. And Trader Joe's brand. This one has optical brighteners, which is a no no for cloth diapers, but it works and I like it.  We've had no leaking or repelling issues.

And the poos.  Breastmilk or formula poo is completely water soluble, so I could just drop those in the wet bag and dump in the washer.  Now that we've started solids, but the poos are still not totally solid, they don't shake into the toilet yet, so we use the diaper sprayer.  Rinse off in the toilet and then wring and drop in the wet bag.

Our washing routine - one HOT wash with Trader Joe's powder every 5 days or so.  Dry inserts and pre-folds, Line dry covers and pocket shells.  Every 3-4 washes I use Rockin' Green.  If I'm doing a billion loads I'll use Charlie's so as to carry fewer things to the basement.  Every month or so, or if it's a particularly stinky load I will do the COLD wash, HOT wash routine.  Honestly, I don't notice that much of a difference. So I may stop double washing soon.

It's totally doable.  The one downside I've noticed is staining.  The diapers are clean and really I don't care all that much what they look like, but there is staining on most of our diapers.  If I cared (and it was warmer out) line drying on the balcony would let them bleach out in the sun.

So six months in I really can't imagine not using cloth.  It just seems natural now.  And about that poo.  There was one day a few days into solids, where I started to question if I could do this.  About that time, Rob had plugged the kitchen sink to let some dishes soak. Stick with me this is connected.  Rob is the primary dish washer, but I was going to wash and I saw the dirty dish water.  And I asked Rob to please come empty the sink.  He was all like "What?"  And my response. "Seriously, I would rather deal with all the poo than put my hand in that dirty dishwater."  And I figure if I'd take the poo over the dishes that surely I can stick it out until we get through this phase to true solid poo that shakes off.  So we are.  And a month later, the diaper sprayer and I get along fabulously.

Stay tuned and I'll share what works best for us how we use cloth at daycare.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012