Tuesday, December 18, 2012


I have not been able to stop thinking about the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary since I first heard about it on Friday.

I wanted to write a post that day. But I knew it would be a jumbled mess of emotion and rage and terror. I told Austin what happened and he turned on the news to a scene of chaos and confusion. We watched for a few minutes, and just as I was reaching my breaking point the new caster announced "All of the 20 children killed were between 5 to 10 years old" and I lost all grip on emotion. I jumped up just as Austin was asking "How..." and choked through tears that I couldn't sit there and watch it any more. He hugged me while I cried and I fell apart.

Of course, I'm thinking about my own children and how I would cope if something like this ever happened to one of them (I wouldn't, by the way). But I'm also thinking of those children and the absolute horror they must have felt. Knowing now that they were all 6-7 year old first graders, the same age as my precious nephew, makes it all more real. My heart breaks for them, and it breaks for their parents. It breaks for the survivors and the emotional scars they'll likely carry for the rest of their lives. It breaks for that small community who now are struggling to put the pieces together and figure out how to move forward.

It breaks for the entire country. Because I think we all felt it. I think we all held our breath for just a second as our brains tried to process the hows and whys.

Now government leaders and know-it-alls on Facebook continue to discuss gun control and how this happened because God wasn't in that school (please). How only prayer will make these things stop and we need MORE guns and those kindergarten teachers should have been packing heat. But if we look beyond all of that and take a harsh realistic stance, nothing will make these things stop. They'll  continue to happen. It will continue to be tragic. And every time we'll talk about gun control and God and monsters, and we'll be at the mercy of mental illness.

No matter what gun policy is put in to place, I can't help but feel like we need to start at the roots of growth. We need better funding for early intervention programs. We need more schools with behavior specialists and more resources for behavioral therapy. Parents need help, and the fact of the matter is they don't always have the funds or the resources or the time to recognize that fact.

Don't get me wrong, I'm sure no one could have predicted a tragedy on this scale. The fact that some news outlets are discussing Autism as a reason is infuriating and shows at best, a basic misunderstanding between ASD and a severe mental illness.  I just wish it was possible for teachers to be trained to recognize early signs of illness and act swiftly to get the parents informed and get them help. Maybe it wouldn't help at all. But maybe it would make one less child feel different and alone to know that other kids go through it too.

Nothing can fully explain this. No one answer will ever give the parents peace. I just hope time can ease the ache in their hearts.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Growing Up

Today was Punkin's first day of preschool.

We took him to meet his teacher and classmates last week. He walked into the classroom and shyly looked around at all the other children running around. They were just doing circle time and were starting to read a book and when Punkin saw that it was One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish he was very excited. It's one of his favorites to read with Austin.

We snuck in to the hallway with the teacher and peeked through the window to see him playing with trucks. We talked to the teacher about her curriculum and how we should handle potty training at school and when he usually naps. We peeked through the window a minute later to see him standing in the back of all the kids red faced and screaming with crocodile tears streaming down his face. He had realized we were gone and he was panicking.

Austin went and got him and carried him outside to where we were, and Punkin tugged on his hand saying "Come on, Daddy" as if to relay that he needed to get out of that place ASAP.

We've been trying to get him pumped for school ever since, telling him he would get to go play with friends and see Miss Sara (his teacher) and play on the playground. He wasn't enthused. Last time I asked "Hey, do you want to go see Miss Sara soon?!" he responded "Ummmmm....nooooooo".

So today was the day. We woke up late and scrambled to rush out the door. On the way there I talked to him about going to school, and he was fine until we got in to the classroom. He cried before we even left. I think all of the kids running around like crazy and being loud just overwhelmed him. We tried to get him to sit down and eat but he wasn't having it. We went ahead and left so it wouldn't be worse, and I fought back tears when I heard him wailing all the way down the hall.

On the way out we stopped in the parents room and had them turn the big TV to the channel that was his class so we could spy on him from a distance. Even with no sound you could see how upset he was. His teacher was holding him the entire time, trying to talk to him and make him feel better. We watched as a little girl walked up to him and offered him a toy and he refused it, pointing to the door we had just walked out of.

My Momma heart just broke. I felt like I was traumatizing him, like I was abandoning him. What if he thinks I'm never coming back? What if he thinks he's doomed to live there with a bunch of crazy kids forever? I know that's probably not true, but at that moment I felt like a horrible parent. I know he'd have so much fun with other kids and playing on the playground, he just has to be a little independent.

Sigh. I do not look forward to the day I have to do this all over again with Skeeter.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


It's been a while since I've been here!

Thanks to all my Momma friends who commented on my last post (either here or on Facebook) and gave me advice. It seems like Punkin has calmed down a bit, but he still has his moments of toddler insanity. Just today he thought it'd be a really neat idea to throw a basketball at Austin's face while Austin was eating a bowl of cereal. Needless to say, that didn't go well for him. He is now very familiar with the time out chair and can put himself there when I give him the stink eye and tell him "time out!". So, there's that!

Mostly though, he's pretty awesome. He's talking SO MUCH now. I can't get over some of the things that come out of his mouth. I love this stage. It's amazing and frustrating and hilarious and cringe inducing. I can't believe he's going to be 3 in just a few months.

He should be starting preschool two days a week in just a few weeks and while I'm so excited for him to be able to socialize with other kids, I'm also scared to death of those first few weeks when I just know dropping him off is going to be miserable. He's always been with us or a family member so I think he'll be a little put off at first. In then end, I think he'll love it.

Oh my, Skeeter is getting so big. She's been acting like she wants to crawl for ages and she's finally started scooting herself around pretty effectively. Not traditional crawling, she's kind of launching herself forward with her feet and army crawling. Either way, she can get where she needs to go.

I'm so excited to start her on solids in a few weeks. She'll be 6 months on the 19th and I'll probably give her a little mushed banana like I did for Punkin. She seems so interested in food whenever we're eating so it'll be fun to let her try.

Classes are going well for me and being part time is pretty much awesome. I'll have to go back full time during tax season unfortunately, but at least we'll be making more money and we'll be able to save a little more.

Things are as calm as can be expected at the moment. Hopefully it stays this way!

Two love bugs just hanging out.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Calling all Moms!

I'm hoping my other Momma friends read this and comment, because I'm getting a little concerned.

I've noticed in the past month or so a definite change in Punkin's personality. Where he used to be fun and (mostly) compliant and all around a happy kid, he's suddenly become overly whiny and clingy and defiant. I'm hoping this is just normal toddler behavior and maybe he's just learned he can assert his independence more now that he has a better grasp on language, but I'm worried something else may be going on.

In the past week or so, bedtime has been a major issue. He's always been a great sleeper, but suddenly he won't stay in the bed and we either have to lay with him until he's asleep or put him in the big bed until he's asleep and then move him. I want to make him feel secure and let him know we're here if he needs us, but I also don't want to get him in the habit of sleeping in our bed for fear it'll take forever to break.

I can't help but wonder if part of it is his diet. He's so incredibly picky and really eats the same 4 or 5 meals over and over again. And even when we give him those 4 or 5 meals, most of the time he hardly eats anything. Could he be low in some nutrient we're not aware of? Could he have some sort of food intolerance that's making him cranky?

Maybe he's bored being home all day. He's starting preschool 2 days a week soon, and I'm excited because I think it'll be good for him to be in a social environment with kids his own age, but now I'm worried the whole process will be made more difficult since he's become more clingy in the past few weeks.

He's been pretty good with Skeeter this whole time, maybe it's catching up to him now. The only time he seems a little jealous is when I'm feeding her and he wants to sit with me or lay on the pillow I'm using.

Sigh. Hopefully it's just normal toddler development, but I hope it passes soon. Any words of wisdom or advice?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

That Thing I'm Not Supposed to Mention...

I'm going to mention it.

My parents have been going through a divorce for the past 100 years. Okay, not really. But it really seemed that way at times. Things have been very pulled and tugged, back and forth, over and over. Through it all, there were very few times I really let myself feel anything about it. I kept it pushed down and locked up because a) I have my own kids and husband to worry about and b) I didn't want to make the whole ordeal any harder on them than it needed to be.

The thing is, now that it's done and final and we're starting to adjust to our new normal, there's a weird emptiness about the whole situation. I was there when it was finalized and as it was happening I had a moment of panic. I'm not sure where that emotion came from, but it rose up in me like a hungry basilisk and threatened to burst out in the form of angry tears. I held it in. I choked it back. And 5 minutes later when it was done and my mom was ready to leave the court room in a hurry, I followed and made jokes and hugged my mom. And that was it.

That was it. Since then I don't really know how to feel. I want them to both be happy. I want them to both move on. I want to be able to navigate things like holidays and birthdays without hurt feelings and drama. But I also have to do the inevitable thing we as humans always do when something like this happens. We compare.

A very close friend went through a divorce years ago, and it was so hard on me and for the life of me I couldn't figure out why. I mean, it wasn't my relationship. I was sad for her, sure. But why was I suddenly bawling while I'm trying to do my make up? Truth is, I was worried. Could it happen to Austin and I? What went wrong there and could it potentially go wrong here?

Sure, it could happen to us. I'm very much a realist, and most of my friends could probably tell you that. I don't pretend to live in a world filled with puppies and rainbows where relationships are perfect and people are perfect. Relationships are hard. Really hard. And people are essentially selfish beings. The thing I've learned from seeing these relationships end around me is that you really have to want it to make it work. You have to be willing to fight for it. You have to be willing to apologize and admit you were wrong and you have to be willing to make yourself vulnerable to another person. That for me is the hardest part.

So now that the dust is starting to settle and things are moving forward and I've done all the self analyzing I think I care to do, I have to take this lesson and learn from it. Speak up if you're unhappy. Get help if you can't help yourselves. Therapy does not equal weakness. Austin and I have always said we'll do anything humanly possible to prevent a divorce if things start going south, and I just hope we both stick to that.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Back to School

For me!

That's right. It's been 5 years since I earned my AA and I'm going back to school for Early Childhood Education. For those of you who are totally surprised, me too. It was a super last minute decision. I mean, it's something I've been thinking about for a long time. I've always been interested in child development and how children learn and experience life. So, I bit the bullet and just decided to go for it this semester. I'm taking two online classes and so far so good.

I have a feeling it will be harder than I anticipated. Austin is out of town this weekend at a comedy show in Jacksonville so it's just me and the kiddos, and I've managed to get some school work done, but it's not easy to read about children's literature with a two year old running around and constantly asking for snack/drink/choo choo. Hopefully I can manage it!

Skeeter is rolling over and over and over. I can't put her on her play mat anymore because she just rolls on to the hard wood floor. Luckily my Grandma sent me an awesome quilt that she made so I've been putting that on the floor and just letting her roll to her heart's content. The problem is when she's all out in the open like that, Punkin likes to run in a circle around her pretending he's a choo choo train. It's terrifying, really.

We've all been victims of a horrible flu this week. We're just recovered although Punkin is still complaining that his belly hurts. I can't decide if it really hurts or if he's garnering some extra sympathy. Either way I'm so glad he's finally verbal enough to tell me what hurts. "Belly hurts" or "mouth hurts" or "finger hurts" is so much help. It's horrible trying to guess what's wrong and getting it wrong over and over. It's amazing how much he learns every day. He's his own little person now. I don't know whether to be happy or sad about it.

Both the babies are growing at a ridiculous rate. Does it ever slow down?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Too Much

That's how I feel about life right now. There's just too much to do.

We went to the beach for my Daddy's 50th birthday this weekend, and it was amazing. The weather called for storms all weekend, and it stayed beautiful until we left Sunday morning (then it started to pour and Austin was caught in it while riding a moped he rented. Rain apparently HURTS!). Punkin had a wonderful time splashing in the water with his cousins and he's become quite the little daredevil. He would have gladly dived head first into the ocean if we had let him. I'm glad he's not scared, but I wish he was a little more cautious!

Skeeter was a dream the whole time we were there. My Dad says she was the best behaved out of everyone! She played quietly on her mat. She slept surprisingly well considering we were all in one room (her in the pack n play, Punkin in the bed with us). She loves to play with her Paw Paw so I think she was happy to be with him all weekend.

She's rolling from her belly to her back all the time (I turn my head for a second and she's on her back!) and she's grabbing at things she's interested in. She's super close to rolling from her back to her belly, but her arm always gets in the way. When we put her on her play mat, she likes to grab on to her toy butterfly that dangles above her and shake it so it makes noise. It's something so simple, yet so adorable. It's funny what makes us feel all fuzzy inside as parents.

Punkin is going pee in the potty like a champ...as long as he's naked. We pretty much just let him run around the house all day bare bottomed. Whenever we try to put pants or underwear on him, he just pees in it like he's wearing a diaper. Sometimes he'll pee just a little and then let us know he needs to go pee in the potty. I guess it's a work in progress at the moment. He did poop in the potty once and we lost our minds celebrating (I'm pretty sure I gave him the equivalent of a full bag of M&M's) but it's only happened the one time. It'll probably take a full year to get him all the way trained.

He's at an age now where he's learning so much, it's hard for me to keep up! He surprises me every day with something new that he's learned. Yesterday, while watching an outer space episode of Yo Gabba, Gabba he pointed to the opening screen full of stars and said "Look, Momma! Space!". I guess I shouldn't be totally surprised seeing as how Austin is a total space nerd, but it still made me proud. He's got his ABC's down like a champ and is a pro at counting to 10. He's got most of his colors down at this point and loves to point them out everywhere.

So now I'm playing catch up with everything since being gone this weekend. We had some very dear and generous friends keep an eye on our Luna puppy and when we got home, Bestie had done my dishes and Bestie's boy had put some groceries in our fridge. Talk about good friends! I'm so grateful for that, because I've done absolutely nothing since we've been back and I can't imagine the state my kitchen would be in if I those dishes were still in the sink (which they totally would be BTW). It's so hard for me to find the motivation to wake up and go to work every morning and then come home after a long (probably drama filled) day and do anything except play with my babies and go to bed. This weekend will be full of dishes and laundry, I'm sure.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Sick Day

Punkin and Momma are both sick today, so we're spending the day in our jammies in front of Netflix. I'm waiting for medicine to kick in and get rid of the raging headache I have.

In the mean time, we're watching Yo Gabba Gabba and diligently going pee in the potty. Yep. After all my worry if he was ready and all my google research on potty training tips, he suddenly decided he was ready to pee in the potty on Friday. We generally let him go naked a lot of the time, partly to help in potty training and partly to let his little bum air out between diaper changes. He was sitting on the couch and said "Pee pee couch?". I told him to go pee pee in the potty and he climbed off of the couch and stood over his little froggy potty and just started peeing. It was amazing. Ever since then he's been going pee pee in the potty like he was doing it this whole time. He has yet to poop in the potty and we're letting him run around naked as he doesn't really get the whole pulling down underwear thing, so I'm watching closely to make sure he's not squatting in a corner somewhere. One step at a time!

He's learning so much right now. He knows his letters and his numbers and is really speaking a lot clearer. He's at the point to where I can tell him what something is once and he'll actually remember. We're hoping to get him in a preschool soon so that he can socialize with some other kids and hopefully learn even more in a classroom setting. It would only be part time, but I'm excited about it.

Meanwhile, Skeeter has been sleeping like it's her job. It's been so much easier to put her down at night and when she does go down she's sleeping through the night. She's gotten to where she goes down around 8:30 and she sleeps until 6:30-7:30 in the morning. It's amazing. She had been going down around 10 but we somehow got her and Punkin on the same schedule so that they go to bed around the same time. I don't know how we did it, but hey. I'll take it.

She's really becoming such a sweet, laid back baby. She'll sit in her bouncy seat and just coo at the animals and watch us doing whatever we're doing. She thinks her big brother is hilarious already and loves when he's jumping around. She smiles so big whenever I talk to her, like she's just so happy to see me. It feels so good to be enjoying my baby.

I'm off to take a hot shower and hopefully wash this yucky sickness away.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


As a mother, this is something that's very difficult for me to admit.

I had a really hard time bonding with Skeeter in the beginning.

She's only two months old, so I know we're kind of still in the beginning. But in the beginning of the beginning, things were rough.

With Punkin, I was so securely bonded with him before he was even born that it didn't cross my mind for a minute that it might be a struggle. And it wasn't. My bond with him was immediate and it was the strongest sense of love I had ever felt.

From the moment I found out I was pregnant with Skeeter, I worried. I was unsure. I was scared. I really think this had an impact on how I felt when she was born. Of course I immediately loved her. She's still my baby and I would lay down my life for her in an instant. But there was just something missing there that I didn't lack with Punkin.

She's a fussy baby. She fights sleep with everything her little body has, and I'm so ashamed of how frustrated I would get with her for the first month of her life. It seemed like nothing I did helped. I couldn't calm her at all and I would just hold her and watch her cry and just beg her to stop. There were a few times I just had to put her in the swing and walk away for my sanity. I felt like the most horrible, worthless mother in the world. I was certain I had post partum depression and seriously considered seeking help.

I remember when I was pregnant with Punkin, Bestie told me if I didn't immediately bond with him, that was okay. That it happens sometimes and that things would get better. I blew that comment off. I was already so in tune to him that I knew I wouldn't have any issues. But now I'm remembering her words and thinking of how right she was. And I wonder how many other women go through this and come out okay.

As Mothers, I feel like we're expected to naturally be good at taking care of babies. To naturally have that maternal instinct that tells us what's wrong with a crying baby and how to soothe them to tranquility. Talk about pressure.

There are still hard moments. I texted a friend in a fit of self loathing about how there's nothing I can do for her just last week.

Deep breaths.

I am happy to report that things are much better. I look at her sometimes and get that overwhelming feeling of love where I want to squeeze her and kiss her and tell her how much I love her...so I do. I sing to her and wonder if she'll still want me to when she's Punkin's age and too squirmy to sit still for a song. I play with her and delight in her smiles and coos and try to keep it going as long as I can.

I keep telling myself it's just her temperament, and all babies are different. She's just as frustrated as I am when she's crying because she's so sleepy. And sometimes she just needs to cry, and that's okay. If I've tried everything in my power to calm her, then it's okay to just hold her and let her cry.

We're learning together.

Monday, July 16, 2012

"Extreme" Parenting

I came across an article today about a show that TLC is running called "Extreme Parenting". I was disheartened to read the "extreme" part means extended breastfeeding, co-sleeping and elimination communication practicing parents. Extreme? Really?

The really disturbing thing about this article was the reader comments at the bottom. People comparing breastfeeding to molestation and demanding these children be taken away from their parents. I can't even comprehend why another parenting style would cause so much outrage (excluding the obvious abuse or neglect).

I'm having flashbacks of that horrible Time magazine cover with the Mom nursing her 3 year old as he stands on a chair. No, it wasn't horrible because the child was 3. It was horrible because it sensationalized and sexualized extended breastfeeding. There was nothing loving or nurturing about that picture. There were plenty of wonderful pictures of mothers and children on the inside, but Time chose the most obnoxious one they could find.

TLC has decided to cash in on the debate that's been sparked, and I'm irritated to say the least.

Here's the thing: why do we care so much? I mean really? As mother, heck as parents, we have a tough gig. There's a lot of work to be done with little to no recognition or appreciation. But we don't care, because the mere fact that our kids wake up every morning gives us satisfaction. So why should another person care if how long I breastfeed or if I let my baby sleep in the bed?

I guess what I'm trying to say is that as parents, we all have things that we struggle with as far as child rearing goes. I don't think that these labels (i.e. attachment parenting, authoritarian, etc) provide a positive outlook. We should really be supporting each other through parenthood, not ripping each other for things like formula vs. breastfeeding. As long as our kids are fed and healthy and happy, why all the negativity?

I hate that the media is fueling this debate. I hope we can all come to recognize that parents need to do what they feel is right for their families, not for everyone else.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


Skeeter is definitely starting to show her little personality. She loves when we play with her and when I sing to her, but only if she can see my face while I'm singing. She loves when her Daddy tells her how pretty she is. She gives him a big smile every time. She still wants to be held just so, and she'll let you know if she's not in the position she thinks she should be in.

I feel like bed time is getting a little easier. I'm not sure if it's Austin and I learning what to do to get her to sleep, or if she's just learning that she's tired so she should probably just go to sleep. It still takes some time for us to get her down, but I feel like it's less time and when we put her down, she actually stays down. Punkin's bedtime has pretty much settled on 8:00. He goes to sleep pretty quickly when we put him to bed and it's early enough that we still have a little bit of time before we go to bed.

She sleeps pretty well at night. I'm luckier than most, I think. She goes down between 9 and 10 and she usually sleeps until 3:30 or so to nurse and goes right back to sleep until about 6:30ish. Then she nurses again and a lot of times will go back to sleep until 9 or so.

Twice she's slept straight through until 6:30 (knock on wood). I almost couldn't go back to sleep when I put her back down after nursing her the first time she did this. My body wasn't used to having that much sleep at one time!

I put her down for a nap a few days ago, and heard her crying a few minutes later. I went to check on her and she had rolled over! I'm pretty sure she managed to push against the side of the pack and play and gain just the right leverage to push herself over, but I was still impressed. She was not amused. I'm pretty sure she scared herself to hysterics.

Since I've gone back to work, I think Punkin is feeling a little stressed. He's been demanding more of my attention, especially when I'm holding the baby, which he wasn't doing before. We still give him lots of one on one attention, but he admittedly gets it more from Daddy than from me. I'm usually busy nursing or changing diapers or just holding a fussy baby. He's acting out a bit more where he had previously calmed down. I guess to him negative attention is still attention. I'm hoping to try and carve out some more time with him so he feels more secure, it's just a matter of finding that time.

Austin has been booked at Bonkerz comedy clubs throughout Florida, and is currently trying to set up a tour with a few friends around some college campuses. I'm so excited for him since he's finally doing what he wants to do in life (and getting paid for it). But I'm also nervous to have whole weekends where it's just me and two kids. Hopefully the older Skeeter gets, the easier it'll be.

He still loves her, even if she does steal our attention.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Back to the Grind

Yep. Back at work.

Yesterday was my first day back at work. After the initial teary good-byes and whines of "But I don't WANNA go back to work!", I made it through in one piece. Luckily it's slow as molases here right now and everyone is out on vacation so there's not a lot to do.

Back to pumping. It's not as horrible as I remember, but I think it's because I remember the end where I was barely pumping enough to keep up with Punkin's intake and it was super stressful. But we managed to make it through the first year, so I'm hoping I have no problems this time. Nursing has gotten so much better with Skeeter (formally known as baby girl) and I can't tell you what a relief that is. If I can make it to a year with her and not have to buy formula, I'll be so happy. She makes this awful smacking sound when she first latches on, but I'm pain free and she seems to be getting what she needs so I'm letting it slide.

She has also hit her 6 week growth spurt. She's a little grumpier and WAY hungrier than normal. I'm hoping it passes fairly quickly. Austin fed her a 3 ounce bottle this morning and she was still hungry. Punkin took 3 ounces a bottle almost until the end of him getting a bottle. Then again he was just so laid back it was crazy.

I'm starting to get a little stressed about how I'm going to manage work and home. I don't get home until 5:30 and then it's handling kids pretty much until they're in bed, which for Skeeter can be anywhere from 8:00-10:00. We've started putting Punkin to bed later because his former 7:00 bedtime just isn't cutting it. He's not tired at all when we put him down so he ends up just jumping around and yelling in his crib until he falls asleep. We've been putting him down around 8:30-9 which is a big change for me (he doesn't seem to notice the difference. He's still up at 7am). I'm used to having those hours before I go to sleep to clean/eat/watch tv with the hubs. Now by the time he's down and Skeeter is down, I want to go down. Last night I seriously considered skipping dinner and going straight to bed. I ate a bowl of cereal and by the time I was done, Skeeter was up crying again. Sigh. Here's hoping a real routine starts up before we're all buried under a pile of dishes and cloth diapers.

Snuggle Bugs

Monday, June 25, 2012


I am happy to report I'm feeling much more sane and much less stabby. We're beginning to fall in to a routine. Baby girl still has her moments, but she is sleeping MUCH better at night. Most nights she only wakes up twice to eat and has gone as long as 6 hours at a time. I'm still up and down with her so I'm still tired, but it's much better than being up every hour and a half and spending 4 hours with a screaming baby trying to get her to sleep.

Of course as soon as we start getting a routine down, I'm due to go back to work next week. So that's sure to mess it all up. Luckily I'm going back part time so hopefully it's not quite as stressful as it was when I had to go back with Punkin. Not to mention I had to go back in the middle of tax season with him so I was thrown to the wolves immediately.

Baby girl will be 6 weeks on Friday and she's getting so big. She's smiling at us, which makes all of the sleepless nights worth it. The first time I went to nurse her and she looked up at me with her big, gummy grin I almost died from cute.

Cloth diapering a new born is both easier and more frustrating and I imagined. I was really kind of scared of the prefolds, but they're super easy and we've never had a leak using a prefold and a cover. However, she's already outgrowing them so it's getting harder and harder to fold them just right so that they fit snugly around her legs so we don't have poop leaking out. I'm dying to get her in the one size diapers, but she's still too small and I only have a handful that fit her right now. I like to use those when we're out since they have a moisture wicking layer that keeps her skin dry in case she has to be in the diaper longer.

One thing that has really been a life saver around here is the swing. Punkin never really took to the swing and he only ever fell asleep in it a hand full of times. Baby girl has gotten to where that's where she takes her morning naps. Last night I was having trouble getting her back to sleep after she woke up to nurse, so after holding her and holding her and lots of butt patting and back rubbing I finally gave up and put her in the swing. Twenty minutes later she was out and I was able to move her back in to the bedroom where she slept for another three hours. I should send fisher price a muffin basket or something for saving my sanity.

Punkin is typically trying to get our attention by acting out some. He loves his baby sister and he always wants to hold her and giver her kisses, but he does not love all the attention she gets. He's been a bit more whiny than usual and he likes to test boundaries. He's usually in time out once or twice a day for something or other. When I can tell he's getting a bit restless I'll ask if he wants to go play in his room for a while, and he's gotten to where he loves this suggestion. Probably because he can be as destructive as he wants, and I honestly don't mind. I figure it's his room and his toys and we're constantly on him about messing the rest of the house so I'm okay with him having his own space to do what he wants.

So for now things are going well. I'm preparing myself for the dreaded 6 week growth spurt, which may or may not call for a very fussy baby. Hopefully we make it through in one piece!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Adjustment Period

I said I'd update when I was feeling human again. Honestly, I'm not quite there yet. But I thought I'd take a stab at all this anyway.

Baby girl has made her grand entrance into our lives. Punkin is taking well to being a big brother, and loves to hold his baby sister whenever he can. She was 7lbs 9 oz and though this is not tiny, she seemed that way to us. She's put on some weight since then so she doesn't seem so itty bitty, but she's still very petite. Punkin was a tank from the moment he was born, so it's fun to see her little girl features.

I really wish I could write a post raving about how amazing it is to have a new baby and how we're all puppies and rainbows over here, but I can't. It's been hard. There have been tears shed by all parties involved in up-all-nighters (by all parties, I mean me and baby girl). Nursing was not easy to begin with, and although it's gotten much easier, her latch is still wrong and I don't know how to fix it. I suspect she has reflux. She gags and coughs randomly and has been spitting up/projectile vomiting with increased frequency. Sometimes after feedings (not all of them mind you, just some) she'll cry and cry no matter what you do or how you hold her. She doesn't cry during feedings, only after. This is when I want to pull my hair out. It'll take me hours sometimes to get her to calm down and go to sleep. It's only made worse by the fact that she's tired. So she gets over tired and then just plain won't sleep. Sigh. It's a vicious cycle.

I guess I was just really spoiled by Punkin. He was such an easy baby. As long as he was swaddled up tight and had a full belly he was good to go. He would wake up every three hours at night to nurse and then he'd go right back to sleep without a problem. I didn't think this baby would be the same. In fact I joked that I didn't want to have another one because Punkin was SO good, there was no way I'd get another one like that.

I'm grateful to have maternity leave, but to be honest I'm feeling a little lost. It's a lot, I guess. Being a wife and mom of 2 now and still working from home. Having both kids home right now is like a prison. I have an extra appendage in a baby who never wants to be put down and constant headaches from trying my hardest not to lose it with my toddler who is doing what he's always done, but now I suddenly can't deal.

I'm well aware that this post makes me look like a horrible mom, but it is what it is I guess. I love both my babies and would gladly lay down my life for them, but right now we're all in an adjustment period and all I can do is hope it goes by quickly.

Despite all the stress, they still make my Momma heart warm.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Baby Eve

Tonight is the night before our baby girl is born. This time tomorrow I'll be in a morphine drip induced haze stuck in a hospital bed, and I'll also be a Momma for a second time.

I have so many mixed emotions right now. I'm not even that scared about the surgery. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure as soon as I get there tomorrow I'll suddenly remember I'm about to get sliced open. But for now, I have so many other things on my mind.

Punkin is slumbering at his Nonnie and Paw Paw's house. No idea what's about to happen tomorrow. No idea that his world is about to be absolutely turned upside down. Momma and Daddy will suddenly be Momma and Daddy to this little squalling red thing, and we won't have the time to give him the attention he's used to getting. I'm a little sad he's not here tonight. He'd be sleeping. But he'd be sleeping in the next room. Right next to us.

I guess I'm just a little sad that he won't be our only baby any more. I'm worried about how he'll adjust. I'm worried about this weekend and how everything will work out with him back and forth from the hospital to home.

I guess all this is preventing me from worrying too much about our sweet girl's arrival. With all that said, I'm incredibly excited to finally meet our baby and see what she looks like. I'm excited to hold her and to re-learn nursing together. I'm excited to get her home and get in to a routine. The surgery part just hasn't hit me yet.

So here I sit, guzzling grape soda and munching maple nut goodies. Watching TV as loud as I want and doing laundry because no, I haven't even started to pack a bag yet. Tomorrow our world will change, and we will welcome a new little soul into our hearts and home.

More on that next week when I'm human again.

Thursday, May 3, 2012


Today marks 4 years that my husband and I have been married.

Austin and I are high school sweethearts. I know, right? But it's true. We've been together 9 years, although that 9 years has been off an on and filled with the perils and turmoil of teenage heartache.

Here's the thing, when you're with someone since you're both 16 years old, things get a little hairy. Imagine yourself at 16. Okay, now imagine yourself today. See? So many changes happen between 16 and 25 to an individual, it's really hard to grow together.

So, we started dating at 16. We were young and in "love" and full of drama. It was magical and intense and surely the greatest thing ever. We went through a couple of "I'm done with this!" moments that never lasted more than a few weeks before we couldn't resist the pull. We moved in together pretty quickly after I graduated, and it was fabulously grown up of us (sarcasm). Eventually, Austin moved to Buffalo, NY for a period of time. Some of that we were together for, and the end of it we were not.

I really think that time was a big turning point in our relationship. It allowed us to have time apart where we couldn't get sucked back in to the turmoil of it all because he was several states away. He was able to hang out with friends and do what he wanted (I probably don't want to know what half of it was), and I was able to do the same. For me that meant watching Lost on Wednesday nights with friends and Dallas reruns with my dad, but hey. That's my idea of a good time.

When he returned from Buffalo, we pretty much picked up where we left off, only it was different. We both had a fresh perspective and a much more adult view of the relationship. This is where I learned to pick my battles. To respect that sometimes, he just needs to hang out with the guys. And also I learned to accept that Austin is a dreamer. His feet may be planted on the ground for my sake, but his head is in the clouds. I had to decide that I was okay with that, and he had to realize he needed to keep those feet planted and embrace being an adult.

We were married at 21 in a wonderful ceremony led by my bestie in my parents back yard. There were a grand total of 17 people in attendance, and if I had to have a wedding (which I didn't want to. I was all about eloping in the middle of the night and not telling anyone), that's the one I wanted. It was small and it was intimate and it was low stress. We were surrounded by people we both knew by name and face without struggling to remember, and people who've known us and our relationship since the beginning.

At 23 I got pregnant with our little Punkin and now at 25 we're baking a little girl, to be done in about two weeks.

At 4 years of marriage and 9 years together, we're still learning lessons. We still have to be careful to grow together, and not apart. It's so easy to go in separate directions when you've been together for so long and you've heard all the stories and done so many things and fought over the same issues over and over. It's hard to stop. It's hard to take a step back and say "Okay. Maybe I'm not always right and maybe there's a valid argument on the other side.". I'm not going to lie and say my marriage is perfect and that we have a neat little system where everything works. We don't. We struggle with money and we struggle with our separate responsibilities. But we try together and we work together and we cry together and we are together.

At the end of the day, we love each other very deeply. We respect each other and all we can do is keep working on it and keep on loving each other.

Here's to the last 4 years and hopefully to many, many more.

First kiss as a married couple!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Cloth Diapering - So Far

So we have been cloth diapering Punkin for a couple of months now, and here's what I've learned so far:

  • My child is the most well hydrated child that ever lived, evidenced by the massive amount of pee he has stored in his toddler bladder (we've been letting him run around naked to air out his bottom and hopefully to aide in potty training. It has not).
  • Diaper Sprayer - totally overrated. Maybe it's me? Maybe toddler poops are different? But to me it was kind of a pain to try and spray all the stuck on poo off in the toilet without getting that nasty back spray. It felt like every time I sprayed a diaper, I needed to disinfect the bathroom after. Also, it didn't fit quit right on our toilet, so we were having leaks everywhere. This may be gross, but the jet setting on my water hose outside works way better.
  • Laundry is tricky business. Pre rinse on warm or cold? Wash with what kind of detergent? HOW THE HECK DO I GET THE POO SMELL OUT OF THESE DIAPERS?!
  • The sun is a magical force created to get the poo smell out of these diapers. Seriously. I had always heard it was great for the stains, which I find are much worse on the diapers with natural fibers, but I love it more for helping my dipes and inserts smell fresh again.
  • There's a difference between "soap bubbles" and "agitation bubbles". Learn the difference before you do 6 rinses trying to get the bubbles to go away (blush).
  • Spraying poo and touching pee soaked fabric is so much better than spending $15 a week (at least) on disposables. Seriously. It's already so worth it to not get down to that last diaper and think: shit. I have no gas in the car, no diapers for my kid, and no money in the bank.

Thanks to my lovely friend  Haley, I had a smashing cloth diaper shower (which I swear I'm getting thank you notes out for soon. No seriously.) and was able to get a lovely stash of diapers for Punkin to use until he's potty trained, and for baby girl to use once he's done with them. The difference in these and the ones he had been using are amazing.

Grovia® AIO Cloud
GroVia - Seriously wonderful AIO diapers. The material is divine, they look cool and they're made from natural fibers. They're super absorbent and come with an extra insert, which is great for my super soaker.

I also have some of the hybrid's, which I was so sure was going to be my favorite diapers. Now I'm not so sure. They are basically a shell with a snap in insert. You can switch inserts in the shell, essentially creating the need for less actual diapers. My problem is I'm not sure the insert is enough absorbency for my toddler. Plus, the diaper shell would get wet with pee, which automatically made me think it's done for. But now I'm reading just to let the shell air out and use another shell and switch between them. But...won't they smell like pee? Maybe I'm over thinking this!

Thirsties Duo Diaper - Love these! They have a microfiber insert that snaps together with a hemp/cotton insert which is awesome. Super absorbent. They also have those fancy leg gussets you can see in the picture, which is great for catching those poo-splosions (I'm hoping especially for that newborn poo!). I love the velcro for a squirmy toddler, but they also have snaps which is better for us because our kid loves to be naked. And pee everywhere.

BumGenius One Size - I really like these because they just seem really durable. The material is great and it fits super trim, which I love. Don't get me wrong, a fluffy butt is cute, but it's nice when Punkin can fit into his jeans without looking like he has some serious junk in the trunk. I've been using these for night time with both inserts and a prefold for extra measure, and was ecstatic about not having leaks. Unfortunately, he soaked through one just the other night. I'm thinking we need to try and limit fluid intake before bed. I swear he pees a gallon in his sleep.

So! We have a good stash (although I have to keep myself browsing for more. I mean, you can't have too many, right?!) and I'm now able to do laundry every other day, which is fabulous. Doing it every night was so daunting and I couldn't help wondering if the cost of not using disposables was being replaced in our utility bill (it wasn't).

I'm sure once baby girl gets here (16 DAYS!) I'll have more to say on cloth diapering a new born. Until then, does anyone have suggestions on slowly introducing potty training to a 2 year old? He's definitely interested and he knows you're supposed to go pee pee and poopee on the potty, but I'm not sure if I should push it any further or let him figure it out. Suggestions?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Almost Time

3 weeks. I have 3 weeks until our baby girl graces us with her presence and our lives go into adjustment mode. I'm SO ready.

Tax season is officially over (thank goodness!) so I feel like myself again. I haven't had to bring my computer home to do work in a week and it feels AWESOME. I'm still super tired from being 8+ months pregnant, but at least I'm not tired and angry at the world for having to work so darn much.

A very sweet friend threw a cloth diaper shower for me, and it was a great success! It was awesome getting to see friends and family and just chatting with everyone, and we scored some great loot! I think we're all set for our cloth diaper adventure.

We've actually had Punkin in cloth for a couple of months now, and it's been amazing to not have to panic when I'm down to one diaper and have no money. That's happened more times than I can count! The cloth I had him in before was a cheap brand that I bought on eBay. I didn't want to spend too much when I'm hoping to start really potty training soon. It's been going really well so far, and we were gifted some diapers that work for Punkin as well as baby girl down the line so I'm able to use those now too. I love them! The difference in quality is amazing. We also got a diaper sprayer, which I can tell you is a lifesaver when it comes to cloth diapering!

Diapering a newborn I'm sure will be a little different, but now that I've gotten a taste of it I'm pretty confident. Plus, not having to buy diapers for two different kids is already SO worth it!

Austin has been moving forward steadily with his comedy. He did a show in Orlando last weekend when he was in town for his aunts wedding, and they're going to give him some (paid!) feature spots hopefully in the near future. Him getting paid to do comedy would be amazing for both of us, so hopefully things keep moving in the right direction.

I've been slowly starting to panic over the little things we still need for baby girl. I haven't gotten her room finished and I'm starting to realize I have very little newborn and 0-3 month clothing for her. I'm hoping to get a few more hand-me-downs and I have another shower that my awesome sister is throwing me, so hopefully after that we'll be set! At least she'll have cute diapers to cover her tush. :)

Hopefully my next post will be before baby girl and will not be so very boring. But boring is good right now! The less chaos, the better!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Still Alive!

With tax season in full swing and a very active toddler running around, I haven't had much time to even think about posting!

I don't know if two is some magical number, but it seems like since he turned two Punkin has all of a sudden decided to grow up and learn new things every day. He's diligently working on his letters and numbers, and he's also studying the fine works of "colors". The way he says purple slays me every time.

He's got a full vocabulary now and even though I can't understand him sometimes, he still looks me right in the eye and repeats himself while I say "uh-huh" and nod my head in approval at something I'm really not sure of. He repeats EVERYTHING so we've had to be really careful about our language...we've had a couple of slips and while hilarious, I do not want my child to start cursing on the regular.

We've been busy this past week getting things ready for baby girl's arrival. On Saturday we set up her room which included moving the changing table from Punkin's room to her room. I think he's starting to stress about the change a little. He was definitely confused on Saturday as to why there is another crib set up that he can't get in and jump on. He didn't like that we moved some of his stuffed animals that he doesn't play with in to her room, so I had to rescue a giraffe from the baby's crib for him to hold and snuggle and then promptly throw down. He just seems to want more attention and snuggles lately, and I'm pretty okay with that.

Sometimes when Austin and I are playing with him, or when we're cuddling on the couch watching "fishy" (that's Finding Nemo for those uneducated in toddler speak) I get a little sad that he's not going to be my only baby any more. I worry about giving him enough attention with having a newborn to nurse and change all day long. I know once she gets here I'll be able to figure out a balance, but for now I'm just trying to soak up as much one on one time with Punkin as possible.

I had a doctor appointment today and baby girl is already weighing in at over 4lbs. Punkin was 8.3 when he was born so I wasn't expecting a small baby or any thing. They said she'll probably be around the 8lb mark but I'll also be having her a week early due to a repeat c-section and girls tend to weigh less so we shall see. I've started getting her clothes together and I've got her bedding in the crib already (I couldn't wait!) so we're patiently waiting.

I only have 7 more weeks to go! Gulp!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Letter On Your Birthday

Dear Punkin,

Today, you are two.

It seems impossible that a whole two years ago, I was in the hospital with you. A whole two years ago, I choked up over the doctor telling me you had red hair when he pulled you out. A whole two years ago I heard your first cry, the first sound you ever made coming in to this confusing world, out of Momma’s safe womb. I looked at your Daddy then, wide-eyed in disbelief. Did we seriously just have a baby?

We did. From the moment I saw you, hair red and curly, I loved you. Really, from the moment I found out I was pregnant with you, I loved you. I was amazed from the beginning just how different this love was from any other kind I had experienced. Love of my family, my friends, my husband. Nothing was quite like the love I had for you before I even held you.

I love you with my whole heart. I love you unconditionally. I even love you (heck I even still like you!) when it’s 6:00 and I’m trying to make dinner and you’re tugging at my pants leg and whining about num num. When you pitch fits and throw things and pull my hair. I love you then, too.

I see your mind grow every day, and I love seeing you learn new things. Even something as simple as what an elephant says makes my heart expand with pride. When you learned how to jump with both feet off of the ground, I was certain you were the cleverest boy in the world. I watch you dance and I listen to you sing. I watch you roll around on the floor with Daddy and try desperately hard to make puppy understand that you just want to play, despite chasing her with the broom. And I know one day these things will be silly. I know one day you won’t want to dance and sing with Momma, or roll around on the floor with Daddy. So I hold on to these moments as much as I can. I hug you and kiss you even when you protest just because I know one day it won’t be fun to give Momma kisses. So I’m storing them for the day I get an eye-roll when I ask for a hug or kiss.

I hope I do a good job as your Momma. I hope I nurture your learning and help you to grow into a good man. I hope seeing what a good Daddy your Daddy is will help you be a good one in turn. I know you are going to be such a good big brother. You already give baby girl kisses on Momma’s belly, and when you say hi to everyone around you, you even say hi to your sister.

I hope this next year is filled with as much wonderment and learning and growing as this past year was. I’m very much looking forward to learning with you.



The loves of my life, on a fun filled birthday celebration at the zoo.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Hey, Life? Here's the thing...

...you're kind of in my way.

Things have been so busy lately. With tax season in full swing here and having to work Saturdays I feel like I have no time or energy for much of anything. Also, we finally got our refund money which meant taking care of a lot of things that needed to be taken care of.

Namely, we got a van! Hooray! I was kind of stuck in a "great, mom-mobile" kind of mood about it at first, but I totally love it. It's a 2007 Honda Odyssey and it's amazing. It's big and fancy and the color is called "Nimbus". Yes, I know it's not just a broom, but even still I love the Harry Potter reference.

The sacrifice for this was trading in both our cars and driving around my sisters' old Chevy Cavalier. It's pretty much a hunk of junk, but it's payment free and the insurance is cheap so I try to keep that in mind when I'm sitting in the parking lot wiggling the wheel and turning the key over and over trying to get it to start.

So, it's saving us a couple of hundred dollars a month, plus we can fit two kids in it (our Civics barely fit Punkin's car seat, I can't imagine stuffing two kids in there!) and a dog if need be, so the trade off is worth it.

I'm not for sure leaving work after baby girl gets here, but I am for sure going part time at least. That means I'll still be pumping at work which is a bummer, but at least I'll be home more. I'm hoping that at some point Austin can go full time keeping my brother for my parents, and then we'll be making enough to where I can stay at home full time. But for now, I'm satisfied with at least working less.

We've purchased the bedding, the crib and I've set up my cloth diaper registry as well. I've debated for months over whether I should move Punkin into a big boy toddler bed or if we should just get another crib. We decided just to get another crib. Punkin's crib is a 4-in-1 so it converts to a toddler bed and a full size bed, so I figured it made sense financially just to get another 4-in-1 and not have to buy a toddler bed that he'll eventually grow out of and then another bed. Plus, I really don't think he's ready for a big boy bed just yet. I don't want to introduce that change to him when so much is going to change already with a little sister.

Also, Punkin is going to be 2. TWO. Next weekend. Um, say what? Where the heck did the time go? He's suddenly reminding ME that he has to brush his teeth before bed. He's putting away his blocks without me having to even ask. He's singing songs that make no sense but they sound so sweet anyway. Sigh. I really miss when he was a little baby. But I guess I'm having another one so I can soak up these sweet toddler years while they last.

Ruling the roost while Daddy is at work.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A Very Special Birthday Girl

Some of you may remember me writing about a dear friend who was lost here. He passed a year ago, and on Saturday my family gathered with his family to celebrate the one year birthday of his beautiful baby girl.

She has been in the care of Dear Friend's parents since she left the hospital, and they have done an amazing job raising her to be a healthy, happy and spoiled (as she should be!) little girl. She's incredibly sweet and has the faintest touch of ginger to her hair that I hope she keeps! It was so comforting to be in the presence of so many people that were there for baby girl, but also for Dear Friend. I think everyone wants to be with her, not only because she's irresistible to any normal human, but because she's a link to her Daddy that some of us find ourselves craving.

It was a big party, and Punkin had so much fun digging in the sand with his cousins and the other kids. He was covered head to toe by the end of the party, and made me think we should get a sand box. But then I looked at him covered head to toe, and I thought maybe not.

I hate that something so wonderful as the day a beautiful baby was brought into the world coincides with the day Dear Friend left the world. I know it has to be hard for his family to handle so many emotions at once. I hope one day it can be looked at as something else. Maybe another year that a family has survived a tragedy, another year that they have lived for that little girl and raised her to remember her Daddy and how excited he was to be her Daddy. I hope they can wake up in another year and remember the 25 years they had with Dear Friend and what an amazing and wonderful thing that is. But I know for now the pain and hurt are still there. It's still there with all of us on some level. But I still will the day to come when everyone can move to celebrating his life, instead of mourning his death.

I started thinking about how his little girl and my Punkin are the exact same age apart that he and I were. It's us, the next generation. There's something comforting in that, knowing that a part of both of us will live on. And I hope they're friends. I hope they grow up together and love each other the way Dear Friend and I loved each other.

Time will tell, and time is certainly not something to be taken for granted.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

This Happened.

See that tiny pale face boy with the red hair out in the distance? This is exactly how far away from me Punkin was when this conversation took place:

Punkin: MAMA!
Me: What?!
Me: omg.

Now, he's been saying "poo poo butt" for a while because this is what we call him at certain moments that I'm sure you can guess. But this was the first time he straight up was like "Hey, wipe my butt". Okay, I know it wasn't like that, but that's what it felt like.

I feel like if he can tell me he just pooped, he should be pretty darn close to telling me before, right? RIGHT?! Please tell me that's right because I would love him to be potty trained in the next year or so. I'm not pushing it and I'm not rushing because I don't want to totally turn him off to the whole idea. We bought him an Elmo potty DVD and a Sesame Street potty seat that goes on the toilet and he's mildly interested. Every once in a while he'll want to sit on the potty so I let him. It only lasts about 30 seconds and then he wants to get off and flush, and he's never actually gone in the potty, but I figure just sitting on it is a good start.

I've thought about getting him some cloth diaper trainers. They're supposed to be great because they don't soak up the moisture where they can't feel it like regular diapers, but they also don't leak every where like big boy undies would. So many changes are coming up for him!

Speaking of changes, baby girl is getting bigger and practicing her karate every day in my belly. I feel her so much lower than I ever felt Punkin. Part of the reason I had to get a c-section with him was because he hadn't dropped at all at a week past my due date and I wasn't a candidate for induction. I haven't made up my mind on if I want a VBAC or not, so maybe she'll decide for me and I'll actually go into labor this time? Who knows. All I know is, we should probably start cleaning out that spare bedroom of all of our junk before she gets here, otherwise she'll be sleeping with us and living out of boxes forever!

Punkin seems like he's changing every day as well. I swear every time I look at him he's grown some or learned a new word or is putting something hazardous in his mouth. He's starting to recognize letters, but not really. He knows each letter is called something, but he doesn't know what yet, so he pretty much calls them all A. We'll tell him what they are and he'll repeat it, so I think this is a great start toward him learning his letters. He already kind of counts to three, but only when he wants Daddy to throw him around on the couch or bed. I've been thinking maybe he would like flash cards to look through, and then I think of the mess flash cards would make and how they would all be ruined around my house anyway, so I downloaded an app instead. Ah, technology. :)

Hopefully next time I write, we'll have made progress in the baby's room!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

In Defense of Cloth Diapers

Why, yes. I am serious about cloth diapering. How kind of you to ask with that look of mingled disgust and surprise!

Here's the thing: I'm not a tree hugging hippie. Far from it. The closest I come to it is the organic milk I'm thisclose to insane about Punkin having. And maybe breastfeeding. We do recycle, but I've definitely thrown a soda can in the trash can when the recycling is full and I'm too lazy to yell at Austin to take it out. I love this planet because, you know, it sustains us as humans, but I'm not wearing Birkenstocks and holding a picket sign about global warming or something. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Did I mention I'm lazy?

But cloth diapering...it just makes sense. I've lamented in the this blog since I first started it about wanting to stay at home. Staying at home means losing a big chunk of income (like, most of it). So, while I kind of toyed around with the idea of cloth diapering when I was pregnant with Punkin, I'm downright determined this time. Let's break it down, shall we?

For cloth diapers, I can get all the prefolds and covers I would need and then some for less than $400. This includes the extra cost of washing. Even if I went the expensive route and got the really nice cloth diapers, I could get all I need and more for less than $1,300 including the extra cost of washing (keep in mind these prices include different sizes and stages of diapers). Now, while that number doesn't look like a small number, that's the cost. Period. Disposables? Almost $2,600. Continuously. Until the kid is fully potty trained.

Especially if I go the prefold route, which I probably will at least in the newborn stage since they go through so many diapers, I think this is totally worth it.

Gross factor? I will admit I had that fear as well. Here's the thing. With poop, you just dump it in the toilet and flush it. I will definitely be getting a sprayer that attaches to the toilet to aid in this. Here's something a lot of people probably don't know; when you change a poopy diaper in disposables, you're supposed to dump the poo in the toilet and flush it. You're also supposed to separate the plastic outside from the inside before you dispose of it. Surprised? I was too.

So what's with washing poop in the washing machine?! Like I said, dump and spray the poop, and your golden. Everything washes out and it does not contaminate your other clothes. The diapers go into a pail until you're ready to wash, and yeah maybe they get stinky. Have any of you had a diaper pail with disposables? Because I have one right now, and it's gross. Like, I felt like a neglectful mother this week because Punkin's room was stinky from the diaper pail. So I took it outside and there it sits. Diapers are gross no matter what, people. Cloth diapers are no more so than disposables. Actually, they're probably less gross because you don't have a diaper full of poo sitting in a diaper pail.

I said I'm not a hippie, and I'm not, but the environmental impact disposables have are really hard to ignore. It takes an estimated 500 years for disposables to decompose. Also, enough disposables are thrown out every year to reach the moon and back. Imagine that many diapers added EVERY YEAR to landfills and just sitting there. Full of disease causing poo. Because let's face it, no one know you're supposed to dump the poo first.

 Also, there is possibly the most convincing factor to consider. Look how adorable they are!

Here's where I found the cost breakdown

Friday, January 6, 2012


My last post was terribly depressing and whiny. Sigh.

Since I've written that post, I've found the perfect bedding, felt baby girl kick from the outside, researched cloth diapers with a vengeance, and I've given Punkin about a thousand smooches and laughed at him singing the Jumpy Jump song from "Yo Gabba, Gabba!" (or "A Beeba, Beeba!", if you're my toddler). I've had a very encouraging conversation with my husband about money after the baby is born, wherein I could not hear the eye roll in his voice when he talked about me staying home (progress!). I finished Mindy Kaling's super funny book and I've watched more Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and was able to bask in the glory that is Spike, the vampire.

So, things are looking up.

I am getting more excited about this impending little one. I am still a little scared of the unknowns and what what-ifs, but I'm trying really hard to push those aside and just get things figured out and taken care of. Punkin is growing so much every day and doing something new and impossibly funny all the time. I'm going to miss having just him to love on, but I'm going to love loving them both and seeing him with his baby sister.

I keep telling myself the very most important thing is that this baby is healthy and happy. Everything will be taken care of one way or another, but as long as she gets here healthy, that's what matters the most. Everything else is just noise.

Daddy wishes he could grow this luxurious 'stache.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Halfway There

Today, I am 20 weeks pregnant. I'm already halfway there.

I'm starting to mini-panic about this. I feel like there's so much to figure out and I haven't even really started making a plan. The room that is to belong to baby girl is filled with the random bits of our lives that we don't have any other place for. I haven't started thinking about decorating a nursery for a little girl.

I feel slightly guilty about this. I don't know if it's because this is my second or because there's so much more pressure with this one, but I'm just not excited about the little things like I was with Punkin. Little girl clothes are foreign to me and while yes, the selection is infinitely more than it is for boys, it feels weird buying them. Everything is just so...frilly. I'm used to puppies and monkeys and blues and browns. Not bows and ruffles and pink and purple. I did buy her a cute little giraffe outfit yesterday.

My Mom asked me yesterday if I had started looking at bedding. Um, say what? Bedding? Oh yeah. I guess I should get on that, huh? It hadn't even crossed my mind. I guess because when we thought she would be a he, I got really complacent thinking we already have everything we need.

So I guess I should get moving. We were going to wait a while to put Punkin in a toddler bed because I really just don't think he's ready, but I found a spring from his mattress platform the other day that had broken off. From him jumping on the bed so much. Awesome. So now I'm thinking I better get him out of that crib before it's totally unusable for another baby.

Another part of all of this that's stressing me out is figuring out our work situations. Flat out: I don't want to work. After this baby gets here, I don't want to have to leave my child at 5 weeks old and go back to working full time. I just don't. I know people do it every day, but the thought of it just makes me want to hide in a corner and cry. It was hard with Punkin, and I imagine it'll be harder with two. The only problem with this is the fact that we need, you know, like food and stuff. Basic survival needs and all that. I don't know that we can do that. They offered to let me work part time here, and while that's very generous and all, I don't really believe them. I think they may be okay with that after I get back in July, but not once tax season hits and we're slammed and I'm the only one who does certain things here. I don't think they'll be okay with it then, and I'm sorry, but I'm not going to work full time 4 months out of the year and work part time the rest.

My main concerns are nursing and child care. I don't want to pump at work again. Ever. It was awful and it was hard and I'm damn proud of myself for doing it and nursing my baby until he weaned himself at a year. He never had one drop of formula. Ever. Yes, I'm bragging. I set out to accomplish that goal and I'm proud of myself for doing it. But it sucked. Especially at the end when I was struggling to pump enough for him each day. I long for a life when I can just nurse my baby when she's hungry and not worry about pumping unless I want to leave her with someone for an extended period of time. That would be magical.

Also, child care. My mom will no longer be keeping both kids. Austin has started working with my brother a few days a week, which is great because he can make money and have Punkin with him at the same time. But we have no idea at this point if those few days a week will turn into full time and if it does, how will he handle my brother plus a toddler and an infant? Even if I'm working part time, that's a little sticky.

There's just so much to think about, I think it's hindering me from being really pumped about this. Don't get me wrong, I'm so very happy for this baby and I'm beyond grateful that she's healthy so far. It just feels different this time.

Jax and his cousin Ella making good use of Nonnie's canned goods. Also, note the big brother shirt.