Category: baby

Pregnancy 2.0 Update – Months 1 and 2

I’m almost to the end of my first trimester!  I can’t believe it has flown by so fast.  I’m so ready for the energy and lack of nausea that comes with the second trimester.  It was so fun to announce the pregnancy and start to pray and plan for Mini Bear.    
After The Bear’s birth, it took me almost a year to lose the 42 pounds I gained during his pregnancy.  It was HARD work losing that baby weight.  I was back a few pounds below my prebaby weight, but still hadn’t rid myself of the dreaded c-section tummy.  The second I found out I was pregnant again, my uterus said, “Oh yeah, I got this. ” and proceeded to pop back out.  I made a promise to myself that I would not eat everything in sight this time and gain weight at a healthy pace.  So far I’ve kept that promise.     
 Month One
I felt great and was super excited to be pregnant again.  No big cravings took hold, and I was just a bit touchy because of the hormones.  
Month Two
All hell broke loose.  I was nauseous all day every day, and dizzy as well.  I couldn’t even get it together enough to dry my hair for this picture, which is a snapshot into the crazy.  I was so hormonal and snippy, I probably need to apologize to Jed and Fisher daily for years to come.  Still no cravings to report.  I had my first OB appointment and had a sonogram, which showed a little bleeding near where the placenta was forming.  This freaked me out and she ordered me to have no strenuous activity for 2 weeks.  She also told me about the wonder treatment for pregnancy nausea, Sea Bands.  Things got a little more manageable after that.  
I’ve created a little poll in the top right corner for you to vote for Mini Bear’s gender.  What do you think Mini Bear will be?  Vote in the poll and you have a 50% chance of being right.  

Our Easy Cloth Diaper Laundry Routine

One of the most intimidating things about cloth diapering a child is the actual washing of the diapers.  There’s a different routine for every cloth diapering family, but I’ll share the super easy routine that works for us.  We tried and tested 11 different types of cloth diapers and you can read about that by clicking the link.
Here we go.  We need a few items for our routine, besides the obligatory washing machine.  We use a plastic bucket from Ikea with a lid, bumGenius Diaper Sprayer, and Country Save detergent.
Step One: After The Bear soils a diaper, we spray it off in the toilet with the diaper sprayer.  We spray both poop and pee diapers, to help get the ammonia stink out of the cloth.  The diaper then goes into the bucket, and the lid stays on til we are ready to wash.
Step Two: We wash our cloth diapers every other day.  I turn on the washer on the heavy duty cycle with cold water, and let the water begin to fill.  I add 1/4-1/3 the amount of Country Save detergent I would use for a normal load.  I toss the diapers in, making sure the velcro tabs are closed so they don’t get crazy in the wash.  Close the lid and run that sucker.
Step Three: After the cold wash finishes, I turn the dial back to heavy duty wash, but this time in hot water, with no detergent.  Run it.
Step Four:  We pull out the diapers and hang them on the clothesline if it is nice out or from the shower curtain if it is rainy.
And we’re done.  We’ve learned a few things over this year+ of cloth diapering.  Never soak your diapers because it damages the waterproof liner.  Always double check your velcro/hook and loop.  Don’t be afraid to start using cloth diapers.  You CAN do it.
Do you use cloth diapers?  What is your cloth diaper laundry routine?


A Big Brother T-Shirt to Announce Our Pregnancy

When we found out we were expecting our 2nd wee one, I tried to come up with a sweet way of announcing the pregnancy to our friends here in Dallas, our family far away, and my bloggy folks.  I decided to hand embroider the announcement on to a t-shirt for The Bear to wear.  My hand embroidery skills are… not strong.  But hey, what’s life without a little imperfection?  

 I shot a few pics of The Bear in his t-shirt after I finished it, and sent them out to friends and family that live far away, with the caption, “The Bear has an announcement.”

 It took some of our friends and family a bit to figure out they had to read the shirt to get the announcement.

 Later we put the shirt back on The Bear to go see some of our friends at our regular Taco Thursday dinner. Such great reactions.

 The Bear also wore his shirt to my Young Life “retirement” party to share the good news with all our YL friends.

 Finally, I used the the pics to announce the pregnancy here on the blog.

 To make the shirt, I used a plain navy blue shirt that was already a part of The Bear’s wardrobe.  I have a collection of vintage felt and embroidery floss from and estate sale purchase years ago.  I used orange felt and navy blue floss and an embroidery needle that was waaaaay too big to stitch the design.  I fastened the felt into an embroidery hoop and stitched away after drawing the words with an disappearing ink pen.  I used the hoop as a guide to cut out the circle, and then stitched the circle onto the shirt.  Done.

How did you announce your pregnancy? 

I’m sharing this design over at Prudent Baby’s Embroidery Contest and at some other fun craft parties.

A Morning Sickness Cure – Seriously.

Y’all.  I have been down for the count for the last 2 weeks with morning (all day) sickness from the sweet baby growing inside me.  During my last pregnancy I was really sick from week 5-14.  My former OB prescribed Zofran, and it worked to an extent, but I was still pretty miserable.  This time the nausea, dizziness, and all around awful kicked in between 7-8 weeks.  I went to my new OB, whom I already love, last week and she recommended I try Sea Bands.  She also called in a prescription for me because I seemed so doubtful of the bands.  Friday night I was really sick and I sent Jed to CVS to get said prescription.  It wasn’t there.  Out of desperation I had him pick up the Sea Bands.  I did not think they would work.  At all.  But, it was worth a try.  The minute I put the 2nd band on, it was miraculous.  I immediately felt better.  I’m so not kidding.  I’ve been wearing them every waking moment since then.
The question I keep asking is, “Why didn’t anyone tell me this last time?”  Seriously people, WHY???  So, I’m telling you now.  If you are suffering, go NOW and get a pair.  We paid $11, but as you can see in the Amazon link below, you can get them for $5-7 online.
This is not a stigmata.  Don’t canonize me.
The one negative I’ve found for the Sea Bands is that because the beads are constantly putting pressure on your pressure points they leave a mark on your wrists and can be uncomfortable at first.  Trust me when I say I’ve tried every other “morning sickness cure” out there, and this is the only thing that works for me.  I’m ok with a little discomfort.  Other than that there are no side effects, which cannot be said for any nausea medication.  I’m now on day 4 and I hardly notice my Wonder Woman Bracelets of Power any more. Find Sea Bands on Amazon here.

You can buy them off Amazon for $6-7, or at your local CVS for $11.

What morning sickness cures have you tried?  What worked for you?  What didn’t work?

The Bear has BIG News…

He’s going to be a …
We are so excited.  Baby #2, who we are calling Mini Bear, is due at the end of April.  I’m about 9 weeks pregnant with tons of morning sickness to show for it.  I’ll post lots more fun details and the sonogram picture later, so stay tuned.  

Family Travel: Hiking with a Toddler

Hiking is one of my favorite activities in the world.  Jed and I have loved hiking together since we first started dating.  Many of our first dates included exploring the mountains of western North Carolina together.  We were excited to take The Bear hiking for the first time during our trip out west.  He LOVES being outside, so we thought he would really enjoy it.  We were so right.  We took many hikes with him this summer and while we did some things right, we made a lot of mistakes and learned a lot about hiking with toddlers.

Our Top 5 Hiking with Toddlers Tips
1. Bring a comfortable carrier – comfy for you AND your wee one.    
2. Be prepared to go slow and stop a lot to play.  
3. Bring snacks and drinks – for all of you.
4. Layer clothes and sun protection.
5. Know exactly where you are going.

I’ll explain a little more about each tip.  Some might seem like common sense, but believe me when I tell you we had to learn some things the hard way.  
1. Bring a comfortable carrier – comfy for you AND your wee one. We love our Ergobaby carrier.  I won it off a blog giveaway and it is by far the most comfortable one we’ve tried for big babies.  With a toddler, a carrier with a back carry option is going to be your best bet.  Front carry will kill your back after a few hours.  We were able to hike comfortably with the Bear (27 lbs) for 3-4 hours wearing the Ergo.  We loved the Moby Wrap when the Bear was teeny, but he weighs a lot more now and we need more structure.  We also used our Bob stroller (handed down from Sam and Michelle) for flatter trails.  It was awesome.  To push a hiking/jogging stroller up or down any kind of incline you need serious strength, so be prepared for that.  Always use the safety strap.     
2. Be prepared to go slow and stop a lot to play.  If you are used to hiking pre-baby, the pace is going to be completely different.  The Bear can go for 3-4 hours happily if he gets to get out and play every 30 minutes or so.  We hold his hands and let him walk for a bit, throw rocks in creeks, throw sticks, explore, etc.  This makes a HUGE difference in his attitude.  
3. Bring snacks and drinks – for all of you.  On one hike we packed plenty of snacks for the Bear, but not enough for us.  We were starving and cranky by the time it was over.  Not fun.  Bear loved hiking with his snack trap full of cheerios, and a few chipmunks may have been fed during the process.  Water is so important for the whole family, especially at high altitude.  Bring more than you think you need.  
4. Layer clothes and sun protection.  When you change elevation, the temperature can change quickly and drastically.  We knew this but sort of forgot during one hike, and the poor Bear got so cold.  I felt like such a rookie.  The sun is also more powerful at higher elevations.  We used sunscreen and hats for ourselves and the Bear.  We love Babylegs legwarmers for layering.  We use a pair that is breathable and SPF 50, as well as the regular cotton pairs.  They also have ones with bug protection now, but we don’t have those yet.  They are great because they make on the trail diaper changes super easy, and are easily removed and stored if the temp rises.  

5. Know exactly where you are going.  Ah yes, our biggest mistake.  We got lost.  For a long time.  With a one year old.  Not good.  We had a map but forgot it, and decided to keep on going.  This was not a wise decision.  Thankfully we finally ran into a family on four wheelers that pointed us back to civilization, but it could have gotten ugly.  From here on out we will always have a map or a well marked trail to follow.  Even if you are an experienced hiker, don’t take it for granted that you won’t get lost.  It happens all the time.  We’ve been hiking for years and it happened to us and was pretty scary.

Have you ventured onto a trail with your kids?
What hiking tips do you have to share? 

The Great Kiddie Pool Disaster

So innocent looking, right? 
How could a tiny wading pool cause trauma, 
screaming, weeping, and gnashing of teeth?
When a rookie mom fills said kiddie pool with ice cold water straight out of the hose, all hell breaks loose. Big time rookie mistake, people. There was screaming, there was hysterical crying, there was lots of clinging to Mama long after the 5 second pool dip was over.  I had visions of a happy baby splashing and laughing and thinking, “My Mama is the best mama in the whole world because she bought be this awesome $5 kiddie pool.”  Let’s just say that little dream was crushed.   
The Bear finally calmed down after we moved over to a blanket in the shade.  I tried showing him how fun it was by sticking my feet in it.  It felt amazing.  He wanted no part of that action.  Oh well.  We will try again another day, but this time I’ll let the water warm up in the sun first.  
What was your latest rookie mistake?

Stand by Me

Our big boy is standing up completely on his own now.  It seems like about 5 minutes ago when we thought kicking his legs was an awesome trick.  I know it is is only a matter of days before he takes those first steps and starts walking.  I’m a little sad about this milestone, because it means my baby is officially a toddler.  I’m sure I will love this next stage just as much as all the others, but I think I will miss my snuggly little baby.  This is just one of many, many big transitions the Bear will make, and I’ll have to come to terms with every one.  I’m so thankful to have a strong, healthy son, and hopefully he will still want mama snuggles once he is running at full speed.  
What stage transitions have been the hardest for you?

Hey Girl. (On the Swings)

Hey Girl.  Looks like your having a good time over there.  
  I’m a little nervous about this whole thing if I’m being 
totally honest with you.
But you sure do look good with the wind in your hair.