photo by Surely Sweet Photography

Changing Diapers: the Hip Mom's Guide to Modern Cloth Diapering

Sunday, June 6, 2010

What Do You Do With the Poop?

That is the most common question I get asked when people hear that I use cloth diapers for Elijah (and sometimes Riley).  I'll admit, I used to wonder the same thing.  I was adament that I would never cloth diaper my kids.  I thought it was gross, and didn't see the point when we have these wonderful things called disposables.

But last January, when Elijah was 2 months old, a friend (who has a baby 2 weeks younger than E) asked me if I had considered cloth diapers (CD).  I said no, but maybe I would look into it.  I got curious, and was immediately hooked!  I looked up different styles, and realized that CD's were nothing like what I imagined!  I thought they were still the Gerber prefolds and plastic pants like my mom used on me.  I was wrong!  There were pockets, AIO (all in ones), AI2's (all in 2's), fitteds, prefolds with cute covers, wool and fleece covers, hybrids, cute prints, softs fabrics.  A huge selection for whatever fits my baby and my lifestyle!

So I ordered 3 different styles, just to try.  I didn't want to buy too many just in case it wasn't for me.  I first ordered a BumGenius 3.0 One Size (OS) pocket diapers, 2 Flip hybrid diapers, and a gDiaper hybrid.  I liked the first two, but not the gDiaper.  I eventually sold that one.  I realized after the first day in cloth that I would love it!  So I ordered more Flips, and some Smartipants, which is now what E wears the most.  I have since bought other styles, and several WAHM (work at home mom) made diapers.  I will go into more details about each diaper in a future blog.

For now, I will explain WHY I cloth diaper! 

1.  I started out because in my research I found that it is the most economical choice (ie, it's cheap!).  Since becoming a SAHM, I try to find ways to cut costs.  The average cost of disposable diapers from birth to potty training is anywhere from $2,000-$3,000, depending on the brand of diaper and how old your child is fully potty trained.  Cloth diapers do have a larger upfront cost, but once you buy the diapers, that's it!  No more!  There are so many options of CD's that you can spend anywhere from $100-$1,000 from birth to potty training, depending on which diaper system you choose (and how addicted you become!).  I would say the average is about $400-500.  You can also use the same CD's for multiple kids!  So when we have another baby, I don't have to buy more diapers (although I'm sure I will buy some newborn diapers since we didn't start until E was 2 months old).  And get this:  you can sell your CD's when you're done with them!  Or if you just don't like a certain diaper, then you can sell it to a mama who does!  So you get a return on your investment! 

2.  They're cute!!  I know it may not be the best reason to CD, but it's true!  There are so many cute prints to choose from.  And, in my opinion, the plainest cloth diaper is 100% cuter than disposables!  Can you honestly tell me that a disposable is cuter than this?

Top: Elijah and Riley wearing Doodle Dypes
Below:  wearing matching Smartipants
So those are the reasons I started CDing.  Here are the reasons I continue to love it:

3.  No more poop blowouts!!!!!!!  Seriously.  Not one since we started cloth!  Elijah used to have an explosive diaper every single time he pooped in a disposable.  It got everywhere.  It was nasty.  I hated it.  But with cloth diapers, they actually contain the poo!  Elijah is still exclusively breastfed at almost 7 months (he just doesn't like solids).  So for those of you who know that BF poo is runnier than babies on formula or solids, know just how messy it can be!  I'm not saying I like to change poopy diapers now, but at least the poo doesn't get everywhere and all over his clothes, his bedding, his carseat, the carpet...  It's completely contained inside his diaper.

4.  It's very eco-friendly!  People are becoming more aware everyday of how what we do in our daily lives really does have an impact on our planet and our health.  I will admit, this was not my top reason to use CD's.  It's just a huge bonus for me.  But I learned about how 1 disposable diaper will sit in a landfill for 500 years.  So for one child birth through age 3, that's approximately 6,408,000 years worth of disposable diapers in a landfill (12 diapers a day for 3 years x 500 years).  That's just for ONE kid!!  Wow.  I hadn't even added that up until just now.  It makes me feel even worse for still using sposies with Riley part time (time to get him potty trained or just switch him over to CD's full time!).  I'm not even going into all the chemicals that are in sposies...

6.  Fewer diaper rashes.  Or none at all!  Since making the change to cloth, Elijah has had only occasional minor redness, which quickly goes away with some coconut oil.  A few days ago he did have his first diaper rash in cloth, but that was due to icky diapers from the antibiotics shot he got last week for an ear infection.  I used California Baby Diaper Rash Cream and it cleared right up.  I will go into more details in a future blog, but I want to warn you to NEVER use regular diaper rash creams (such as Desitin, A&D, Boudreaux's Butt Paste, etc) with cloth diapers.  There are special creams that are safe, or I typically use coconut oil (which can be found at health food stores).

6.  It's fun and easy!  Yes, I said that cloth diapers are fun and easy!  It's fun to look at all the new styles and prints that are available.  Some people even buy and sell as a hobby, and to have new diapers all the time.  My problem is I love (most) of the diapers I have, so I have a hard time deciding what to sell!  My husband thinks I'm a little crazy for liking CD's so much, but I don't care!  It's fun and something I enjoy.  Funny how I can stay on top of the diaper laundry and fall behind on our clothes...

Stay tuned for my next blog, where I will explain the different styles of CD's and my favorite places to buy!  In other upcoming blogs, I will dicuss exactly what I do with the poop (how to wash cloth diapers), and more general tips and tricks.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

San Diego and Disneyland!!

We had such a wonderful trip to visit my brother and sister-in-law! I'm still worn out. I never really pictured myself living on the west coast (I am a Texas girl through and through), but I think I could settle for San Diego! It is absolutely beautiful, and I loved the weather (much nicer than this humidity)! The plane rides were much better than I had hoped, with minimal crying and even some napping during part of the flights.

The first beach we visited was dog beach (not sure if that's really the name, but it's what we call it). Riley was super excited, and he couldn't wait to get there! We had to take a short walk from our rental van down the Pacific Coast Highway to get there, and he wanted to run the whole way! As soon as we hit the beach, he took off running towards the water! Even though the water was very cold, he didn't want to stay away. Elijah enjoyed playing in the sand and watching all of the dogs running around. We took my brother's two dogs, Mandi and Wesley, with us, too. Dogs, sand, waves, sunshine, my kids loved it (and so did I)! Riley cried when it was time to leave, and even said he didn't want to go to Disneyland the next day, that he just wanted to stay at the beach! Of course, he changed his mind.

Riley running out to the water and Elijah playing in the sand.
The next day was our big trip to Disneyland!  Riley could barely contain his excitement as we pulled up!  He still wasn't sure exactly what Disneyland was at that point, but he knew it was exciting since that's where Mickey Mouse lives!
My handsome boys wearing their first trip to Disneyland buttons!
My favorite thing was seeing Riley's face and hearing him whisper "Oh Wow!" as he took everything in!  I also love how Elijah was able to go on nearly every kid's ride we went on!  There weren't many times where we had to take turns watching the kids (that was really only for the big rides).  We met Aladdin, Jasmine, Mary Poppins and Bert, Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Donald Duck, Chip and Dale, Goofy, Pluto, Pocahontas, and of course the big mouse, Mickey Mouse! 
This was the first time we met Mickey!  We also got to visit him in his house the next day!
Riley was completely exhausted by the end of the first day!  Ryan had to carry him up to our hotel room, and he was pretty much dead weight!  At about 4:00am, he fell off the bed he was sharing with Ryan (I was in the other bed with Elijah).  It woke both of us up, and I rushed over to him to see if he was okay.  He just stood there, still half asleep, and said "yeah".  He went right back to sleep like nothing happened.  It's very funny looking back on it!

Day 2 at Disneyland was just as much fun-filled as the first!  Riley did get scared during the Bug's Life in 4D show, and I had to take him out.  He thought is was hilarious, until the bug "shot" him with a laser (it was really just a little water, but he didn't know that).  He clung to both me and my sister-in-law, Katie, and cried.  Other than that, he loved everything!  Especially his very first roller coaster ride!

We had a very lazy Sunday while trying to recover from two days at Disneyland!  We went to La Jolla Beach, and watched the surfers and grilled hamburgers and turkey dogs.  It was overcast and much cooler, but it was still beautiful!  Elijah loved playing in the sand, and Riley made a sand castle with his daddy (which he soon destroyed!)  He thought it was neat that they found more water under the sand!  I love the goofy look on Elijah's face in the picture below!  Riley loved drawing in the sand!  I have to share two of my favorite pictures.  My favorite of Elijah is to the right, he was just so happy to be at the beach!  The other is of Riley (below right) just sitting and watching the ocean.  He wasn't still very often during the trip (or ever), and I love that I was able to capture this moment of him being still watching the waves!
Monday we shopped at Seaside Village, a quaint outdoor shopping area across from Coronado.  We could see Navy ships across the harbor, and even one heading out to sea!  Riley loved seeing the "big boats"!  Lunch was at In-N-Out Burger, a must on our to-do list since we aren't fortunate enough to have them here in Texas.  Dinner was at a great local Mexican food restaurant.  Now, for those who know me know that is a bold statement!  I do not like Mexican food, which is odd since I come from a family who loves it!  I will eat chicken enchiladas or fajitas, but that's it.  But this restaurant we went to in San Diego was more of a Carribean style Mexican food, rather than the TexMex we have here in Texas.  It was all outdoors, a patio setting surrounded by beautiful flowers.  I had salmon with chipotle mashed potatoes and asparagus.  Yum!!  I ate every bite!

Tuesday was our last full day in San Diego.  We went to Coronado island, and had lunch at a diner with the best ice cream sundaes!  The hard part was choosing which sundae to get, because they all looked so good!  We also visitied Imperial Beach and walked to the end of the long pier.  Fisherman lined the pier while surfers waited for the best waves.  Off in the distance we saw a Navy ship, and some islands.  I had to use my mom's camera to take pictures since I forgot mine at my brother's condo, so I don't have any pictures to share at this time.

We decided to take Riley and Elijah to the beach one more time before we had to leave.  So we went back to get our swimsuits and towels and went to "baby beach".  Obviously, that's not the name of it.  Riley called it "baby beach" when driving by it a couple days before and it just stuck.  This beach had more rocks and shells, and we enjoyed looking for interesting momentos to bring home.  Elijah enjoyed eating the rocks!

To the left is a picture of Ryan, Riley, and my dad wading in the waves. 
Here is Elijah examining one of the many rocks he tried to eat!
This is Riley and me at "baby beach".  I loved watching the pure joy on his face as we experienced new things!  I hope he remembers at least the highlights of this trip!  I know Elijah is too young to remember anything, but we have a ton of pictures to look back on (I have 350+, and that doesn't include any that my parents took)!  Even though we enjoyed our trip to Disneyland and the beaches, the best part was spending time with my brother and sister-in-law, Robbie and Katie!  We don't get to see them often (only 1-2 times a year), so it's always good to be with them! 

Monday, May 10, 2010

California, here we come!

In 2 days we are flying out to sunny California to visit my brother and sister-in-law!  My parents are also making the trip with us!  We'll be spending most of our time in San Diego, where they live, but we will be spending 2 fun filled, exhausting days at Disneyland!  Riley loves Mickey Mouse, but I don't think he quite understands that he is actually going to see where Mickey lives.  He's also excited to go to the beach! 

Yesterday was Mother's Day.  I should have taken full advantage and slept in (which I sort of did), let my husband cook me breakfast, and done absolutely nothing productive all day.  That would have been wonderful.  But instead I had an english muffin for breakfast, then spent hours washing, drying, and folding 7 loads of laundry, vaccuuming, and preparing to leave for a week.  I didn't even get to the packing. At least we celebrated Mother's Day Friday night (a delicious dinner at Red Lobster), and on Saturday with my husband's family (including a relaxing pedicure with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law, who is expecting her first baby in December!).  We also had homemade ice cream while visiting Ryan's grandmother!

I made my usual packing list, and it keeps growing and growing and growing...  How do 2 little kids require so much stuff?!  The list for me and Ryan is very short.  Basically clothes, toothbrushes, and pj's.  But Riley and Elijah need toys to be entertained, favorite blankets to be comforted, special baby shampoo's and soaps, burp rags for Elijah's near constant spitting up and drooling, and of course, diapers.  Riley will just be in disposables full time while we're there (he usually does cloth part time at home), which we will have to make a special trip to Target to get once we arrive in San Diego so I don't have to take up precious space in their suitcase (keeping in mind that 50 lb weight limit on $25 checked bags).

But for Elijah, I plan on using cloth full time still, even at Disneyland. My husband suggested just using sposies while we're there so I don't have to "deal with the diaper laundry" (which I don't mind at all!). My answer to that was, "You can deal with all the poop blowouts, then." He had no response. That's just another reason I LOVE cloth more poop blowouts!!!

I almost think I'm a little nuts, though. I don't want to pack any of the cloth diapers in our checked luggage. I don't want to take the chance of losing them if something happens to our luggage. I could deal with replacing clothes, toothbrushes, shoes, etc. But I don't want to part with my cloth diapers! Yes, I said my cloth diapers, even though I'm not the one who wears them! Not to mention the cost of replacing them. So they will go in a carryon bag, where I can keep them close.

Getting ready for this trip just reminds me of Riley's first plane ride.  He was about 10 months old, and we flew out to Phoenix to visit my brother.  He slept the entire flight.  I don't think we'll be so lucky this time.  He's much too busy now!  Here's a couple of pictures from that plane ride.  The first is Ryan, Riley, and me waiting to board the plane.  The second is my little bald baby completely passed out!

So, the next couple of days are going to be C-R-A-Z-Y.  I have to pack for the four of us, and I'm sure I will forget something, as I always do.  As much as I'm looking forward to being in San Diego to visit my brother and sister-in-law, I'm not looking forward to traveling with 2 young kids.  I wish we could teleport!  That would be so much easier!  I'm ready to be there, not get there.  I'm not even allowing myself to think about the trip home, yet.

But I'm sure the stress of traveling will all melt away when I see Riley's face light up at Disneyland!  Or as we're building a sand castle at the beach.  Or going to a baseball game.  Or just spending time together as a family.  We will be making memories that will never be forgotten, that we can look back on and smile.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Reflux sucks!

Since Elijah was born, he spit up.  A lot.  He was also a very fussy baby, and hated to lay flat (on his back or belly).  He frequently spit up in his sleep, which scared the hell out of me!  He arched his back while nursing, and even in between feedings.  He only wanted to be held upright.  He was constantly rubbing his face and eyes (which I later learned is also a symptom of AR).  He ate small amounts every two hours.  He also frequently had choking episodes, where he would gag/choke on his own spit up, and cry out in pain.  I started wondering if there was something wrong, and after doing some research and talking to other mama's, I came to the conclusion that he has Acid Reflux.

So at his 2 month well check I asked his pediatrician about it.  I said that he spits up a lot, then I was cut off and told this: "Babies spit up."  She also told me that since he's gaining weight just fine (he is a chunker!) that there was nothing to worry about.  Then I was given a piece of paper with (very little) information about AR.  I didn't even get to explain all of his other symptoms before the dr rushed out of the room to see her next patient. 

I was beyond frustrated, since I had already been doing what this sheet of paper recommended.  He already slept on an incline.  I started that when he started spitting up in his sleep.  I already held him upright for 30 minutes after nursing him.  It was then that I decided to find a new doctor for my boys.

I waited until his 4 month well check, though I wish I had taken him in sooner.  His new doctor actually listened to my concerns, and he was officially diagnosed with AR.  She prescribed Zantac, twice a day.  I didn't know much about the reflux medications, so I said okay.  When I got home I started doing some research.  On I found a group for parents of children with AR (The Reflux Rebels: dealing with the other colic-Reflux, MSPI, and other GI issues).  There I found a wonderful support system of moms who have been there/done that.  I learned so much about AR, and just how serious it is.  I found that Elijah has it easy compared to some of these babies.  I even learned the story about a young baby, not even three months old, who became a little angel this past December.  He had severe reflux, delayed gastric emptying, and hypotonia, which caused him to choke from his reflux.  His name was Casey.  His story has touched many hearts, including mine. 

Sadly, most doctors, even GI's, aren't acknowledging that GERD (Gastroeshophageal Reflux Disease) is a real issue.  A lot of babies are diagnosed with "colic".  Or the parents are told that the infant will grow out of it, and there's not much that we can do, excpet deal with it.  I was told that by Elijah's former pedi.  I didn't listen, though, because I knew he was in pain, and that wasn't normal.  If he was in pain, there was a reason, and we needed to do something about it.  GERD can have serious, long term side effects if left untreated.  I wasn't about to let that happen.

In my research, and advice from other mama's on the RR board, I learned that most babies build up an intolerance to Zantac within 7-10 days.  The mama's also told me that the dr would most likely prescribe a low dose of Prevacid compound or Prevacid Solutabs.  They also mentioned that this may not work, either.  Well, at first I thought, whatever, I'll listen to their advice, but go with my doctor for now.  Maybe Elijah will react differently.  I was open to their advice, but also a little guarded since I didn't actually know these people on the internet.

Well, sure enough, around day 8, the Zantac quit working.  It did control the amount of spit up, but not the pain.  So back to the doctor we went.  And guess what?  He was prescribed Prevacid Solutabs, at about 1/2 the dose he should be on for his weight (though the dr did say we could up the dose if needed).  Because the Zantac did control the spit up, in 2 weeks he actually gained over a pound, as well as grew about 1/2"!  I thought, how big would he be if he hadn't been spitting up so much to this point?!  I did some research on this med, and learned that it can take up to 2 weeks to really start working.  I also read that some babies develop insomnia, and that it can suppress their appetitie.  The first week was pure hell!  His reflux came back full force.  I thought, did I do the right thing?  At least he was a little better on the Zantac.  But I stuck with the Solutabs.  The second week was better than the first, but he started waking up in the middle of the night screaming, which is very unusual for him.  Usually he'll nurse, then go right back to sleep.  Also, he started nursing even less. 

Last Friday was the worst day.  He screamed for about 4.5 hours straight.  There was no consoling him.  I had already called his doctor to make an appointment to discuss the dose of his medication, but the appointment wasn't until Monday.  I was sleep deprived, since he hadn't been sleeping well all week.  Of course, Riley decided not to take a nap that day, either.  I called the doctor back to see if they could work him in somehow, but I forgot they close early on Friday, so I was out of luck.  I made it to CVS to try to find Mylanta Cherry Supreme, but I couldn't give it to him within 4 hours of his regular meds.  I think that is a miracle drug!  I gave him some about 1:00, after which he cried himself to sleep on the living room floor.  He didn't even want to be held.  When he woke up about 40 minutes later, he was a whole new baby!  He smiled for the first time that day.  I knew his reflux was still flaring up, but not as bad as earlier that day.

We made it through the weekend, and to our appt on Monday.  He actually lost a couple ounces, and grew about 1/2" in the last 3 weeks.  Turns out Elijah has an ear infection, which was caused either by the mild congestion he developed or the reflux, or a combination.  Since congestion is also a symptom of reflux, I'm guessing it all comes back to AR.  He got a shot of antibiotics for the ear infection.

We discussed changing his meds vs upping his dose of Solutabs.  The dr really wanted to max out his dose before trying a new medicine, so she doubled his it.  So far, it's only been a few days, but I'm not sure it's helping.  He's still having reflux flares.  It sucks not being able to do much when he's in pain.  I would love to switch his medicine, but since we're going on vacation in a couple weeks, I don't want to do anything that might make him worse.  So for now, we will tolerate this medicine.  Solutabs is no longer a preferred script with our insurance, which makes it more expensive than it already was.  They also won't cover the prescribed dose.  The doctor said to give him what she prescribed for now, and we'll re-evaluate in a couple weeks, and deal with the insurance if needed.

But when we get home from our vacation, I plan on ordering Buffer Babies (  BB is a way to make OTC Prevacid or Prilosec into a form for infants.  It does not need a prescription, and also is an affordable option.  I will discuss it with my doctor, of course, and let her do her own research on it.  I've heard so many wonderful stories of BB helping reflux babies when nothing else would.  I was at first very leery about it, but I've done my research.  I believe this may possibly be the answer to helping Elijah feel like a happy baby.  That's all I want!  I've spent too many times crying with him when he screamed in pain.

Basically, it all boils down to this:  Reflux sucks.  I hope that one day very soon the medical community will understand that it is something very serious, and there's no reason for babies to have to deal with the pain.  There's no reason for babies to die because of it.  There's no reason for parents to be stressed out because their child's doctor won't listen to them, or help them. 

If you suspect your child may possibly have reflux, or any milk protein intolerances, please do your research and trust your gut!  You are your child's best advocate!  I am thankful that I have a doctor that is willing to listen and try to help my little one.  I think it's important to balance your intuition as a parent, your trusted doctor's expertise, your research, and also advice from other parents who have been through a similar situation.

If you want more info on relfux, please go to the following websites.  They helped me out tremondously to understand everything reflux related, including the different medications for it.  I'm sure there is a lot of info out there, but these are what have helped me the most. (Midwest Acid Reflux Children's Institute) (Reflux Rebels) (a brand new site with more information about Baby Buffers)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Brotherly Love

When Riley was 16 months old, Ryan and I decided that he needed a little brother or sister to play with.  So I started on a roller coaster of emotions as we began trying to conceive.  Each month I took at least a couple pregnancy tests hoping that I would be pregnant.  But each month I was disappointed.  Mid-February, we decided to wait for a few more months since we knew Ryan was most likely about to start a new job, which offered great benefits.  I was a little sad that it would be a while longer before holding a new baby in my arms, but knew it was for the best. 

One day in mid-March while sitting in Braum's, enjoying a brownie hot fudge sundae with Riley, I felt an odd sensation.  I just knew I was pregnant.  I can't exactly explain exactly how I knew, but I did.  So I stopped at Walmart and picked up yet another pregnancy test.  It was positive!  As soon as we decided to wait is when I got pregnant!  When I was pregnant with Riley, I couldn't wait to see Ryan's face the first time he held his baby boy.  But this time, I couldn't wait to see Riley with his new baby brother or sister! 

We explained to Riley that there was a baby in my tummy, but I don't think he quite understood what that meant.  He knew my belly got big (he told me so!), and he liked hearing the heartbeat at the doctor, but I don't know how much he really understood.  He hugged and kissed my belly, and told the baby "night night".  I knew before Elijah was born that Riley would be a great big brother!!

I had more morning sickness this time, so much that I took vitamin B to help calm my stomach.  I also had severe hip pains off/on throughout the pregnancy.  Even though I gained 10 lbs less than I did with my first pregnancy, my belly was definitely bigger!  After disussing the options with my doctor, I decided to have a repeat c-section.  So late in the pregnancy we scheduled Elijah's birth date!  November 11, 2009 (11/11, which is Veteran's Day!). 

It was a very calm, relaxing experience (at least compared to my first c/s).  I wasn't very nervous about the surgery, but I was very anxious to meet our new little boy!  At 7:46 am, Elijah William Barnhart was born!  He weighed in at 8 lb 10.5 oz, and was 20 3/4" long!  I didn't see him at first (since there was a curtain in the way), but the doctor and nurses commented on how big he was!  Ryan went and took pictures, but it was still a few minutes before I could see him up close.  He was beautiful!  His face was all squishy and just so cute!

When Riley first saw Elijah, he didn't seem to sure what to think.  He loved on him and hugged him!  He gave him lots of kisses! 

Riley is still the best big brother!  Elijah loves to watch his big brother go crazy!  He has a special laugh reserved just for Riley.  I love watching them grow up together!  Riley sings to Elijah when he cries.  He brings him toys to play with and they laugh together.  Riley even entertains Elijah in the car! 

I always knew that someday I would love being a mommy, and that I would love my kids.  Now that I am a mommy, I love them so much more than I could ever have imagined!  They are the best gifts God has ever have given me!  Nothing can describe the joy my children bring me!  Even on my most stressed out day, it melts my heart to hear Riley say "I wuv you, Mommy!" and to see Elijah's precious smile!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

An Amazing Surprise!

October 27, 2006 I felt different.  I can't exactly explain it.  All week I had been extremely tired.  I had been having mood swings for about a week.  I wasn't late, I wasn't nauseous, but I got the thought in my head...What if I'm pregnant?  So on my way home from work I stopped at Walmart and bought a pregnancy test just to prove I wasn't.  I bought the 3 pack just in case I needed more for a later date.  I couldn't get home fast enough.  Ryan was already home, but I didn't know what to say to him, so I just said I needed to go to the bathroom.  I was literally shaking as I watched two pink lines show up almost instantly.  I had to hold onto the counter for support.  I waited the two minutes as instructed, but those two lines were still there.  I was speechless, scared, happy, nervous, but mostly, I was excited!

We had been married less than 2 months when I took that positive pregnancy test.  We had decided to wait until we had been married a year before talking about when to our first baby.  I will never say that Riley was a mistake, or even that he wasn't planned.  He was planned!  God's timing is sometimes different than our timing.  Riley has brought so much joy to my life, and I cannot imagine my life without him!!

The entire pregnancy was pretty good, with only mild morning sickness.  With the exception of being my first pregnancy, it was pretty uneventful as far as pregnancies go, which I think is a good thing!  We were thrilled to find out we were having a boy, though we would have been just as excited if we were having a girl.  We did the 4D sonogram, which I think was an amazing experience. 

I started having terrible back pains in the last few weeks, which I later realized were actually contractions.  On the morning of June 26, 2007, we drove to the hospital for the last time as a family of 2.  I was already dilated to 2.5 cm when they started the pitocin drip and the IV.  The contractions weren't too bad at first, but as they do, gradually increased to the point I wanted the epidural.  Unfortunately, Riley was facing my front (instead of my back) which was causing horrible back labor.  But then, labor stopped progressing completely.  I had only dilated another 1.5-2 cm in a 10 hour period.  The doctor told me at about 5:45pm that Riley's head was getting stuck in my pelvis.  He said if I really wanted, I could try to move around some more to get Riley to move, but that he recommended a c-section.  I was tired, and I was ready to meet my new baby boy!  So I agreed to the c/s.  Then everything happened way too fast!  I got extremely nervous as I was wheeled into the OR.  It wasn't because I was about to have major surgery.  It was because the moment we had been waiting 9 months for was finally here!  I was about to meet my son! 

At 6:15 pm, Robert Riley was born!!  He was 21 1/2" long, and 8 lb 2 oz!  They let me "hold" him for only a moment before taking him back to our room.  They then closed me up, took me back to our room, and I finally got to hold my baby boy!  The entire day was very surreal, especially those first moments holding him!

Now he is almost 3 years old.  Wow!  How did that happen?  I look at him everyday and wonder How did he get so big?  Where's my baby boy?!  There is nothing better than being his mommy!  Well, maybe there is.  I think the only thing better is seeing Riley with his baby brother! 

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Thoughtless Decisions

It's amazing how one simple decision, without even knowing it, can change your life forever.  A decision that you make without much thought of what will happen, because you don't realize the decision will have any major impact on your life.  It may be a decision that you've made a hundred times before, but this one day, it has a different outcome.

I made one of those decisions the night of August 31, 2005.  It was a Wednesday night, like any other.  I was tired after a long day at work, and so was my then-roommate.  We contemplated going to our favorite bar, Cowboy's Red River, but both said we were too tired.  Then about 5 minutes later, we both randomly changed our minds and decided to go for just a little while to unwind and have some fun. 

It was just like any other Wednseday night at Cowboy's, no cover charge and cheap drinks (one of the reasons we loved Wednseday nights!).  We found a table next to the center bar, even though we normally didn't sit there.  There was a group of people laughing and enjoying themselves at the tables next to us, and we joined in the conversation.  I quickly noticed a cute guy with a great smile, so I took the initiative and started a conversation.  His name was Ryan, and he had a great energy about him that I was drawn to.  By the end of the night, we exchanged numbers. 

I knew I liked him from that one meeting, but I wasn't looking for anything serious.  I was young and very happy with where I was in my life.  I didn't think I was ready for anything serious.  We talked on the phone a few times that week, and met at Cowboy's the following Wednesday night with friends.  He asked me out on a date for Friday night.  The date was wonderful, nothing special or over the top.  Just dinner and a movie, but the company was what made it great!  As he kissed me goodnight under the porch light, I knew that would be my very last first date.

Exactly one year later, on Septmember 9, 2006, we were married!  He was (and still is) nothing I ever imagined, but everything I dreamed of!

One thoughtless decision on a Wednesday night changed my life.  If I had decided not to go to Cowboy's that night, I'm not sure if my life would be what it is now.  I think God would have brought Ryan into my life some point if we hadn't met that night, but our life probably would be a little different.  We probably would not have gotten married when we did, and we probably wouldn't have our two wonderful sons now.  I still think it's funny that I met my husband in a bar!  He was the last thing I was looking for, but I am so thankful that God led me to him.

Do you have any moments that changed your life forever?  I know there are times when we make a conscience decision about something that we know will have an impact on our life.  But I'm talking about those little decisions that you make without thinking about it.  A moment that you look back on and think about how awesome it was.  And I mean awesome in every sense of the word.  A truly awe-inspiring moment.  Please share!  I would love to hear about it!!

At the age of 17, Ryan was diagnosed with leukemia.  He went through nearly 2 1/2 years of treatment.  His doctors told him not to expect to have kids of his own after so much chemo.  But less than 2 months after our wedding, we found out his doctors were wrong...

Monday, March 22, 2010

Cloth, Reflux, and a Crispy Mama!

My husband just looked at the title of my new blog and said, "Okay...". I had to explain to him the term "crunchy", and how I consider myself as "crispy". To me, a crunchy mama breastfeeds, holds off on starting solids til 6 months or later, delays or skips vaccines, co-sleeps, wears her baby, makes baby food (rather than buying the jarred stuff), cloth diapers using only organic materials, and uses organic products and eats all organic food. She does everything she can do do her part in saving the environment. In other words, she's "gone green".

I'm crispy. I breastfeed, but will start solids before 6 months. My kids are both fully vaccinated, and on time. I will make Elijah's baby food, but a big reason in because it's cheaper, I'm not opposed to jar foods. I do wear Elijah in a sling or baby wrap, but he also loves his stroller! Elijah sometimes sleeps with me, but mostly in his bassinet (which he's outgrowing fast!). I have recently started cloth diapering Elijah (4 months old now), but again, for money saving reasons (and the cuteness factor!). I buy cloth diapers with synthetic material, but do have some organics. I try to use organic or all-natural products and foods, but it's not a must. My almost 3 y/o, Riley, is still in disposable diapers (potty training is up and down for him), but he likes to wear "Eli's diapers". I try not to waste things, if possible. If my efforts make the world a better place, it's just a huge bonus for me!! I think we should all do our part for the environment (I recycle, do you?), but I also understand that there are certain products that are way more convenient, and honestly, cheaper, that are not "green". In other words, I'm crispy.

I have become a cloth diapering addict (more on that later)! I've even used the term "I'm in love with this diaper!" That's a bold statement, but oh-so-true!

Elijah has recently been officially diagnosed with reflux. I've had a hunch since he was born, but his old pediatrician never gave it much thought, or even listened to my concerns (she's no longer our dr). He's now on medication twice a day, and it seems to help some days, but not so much on others. It's a horrible feeling to know that he's in pain and there's only so much I can do to help him.

Riley is, well, he's 2! He acts more like a 3 year old, though, and does everything he can to see how far he can push his boundaries. He definitely keeps me on my toes!! He is the sweestest, most loveable and huggable little boy, and the best big brother! But I wish I had just an ounce of his energy!!

There's so much going on in our life right now. I'm not quite sure where to start, that's why this, my very first blog, is a little all over the place! Life is definitely interesting around here, and it seems we have a new adventure everyday!