Saturday, May 31, 2014

Cloth Diapering So Far...

So, somewhere along the way of pregnancy, I may have transitioned from a regular parent into a "crunchy" one. I blame my Berkeley/San Francisco roots :). In any event, one baby decision I made (and Ed supported without any real concern) was to cloth diaper. My sister had done a kind of cloth diaper hybrid (reusable cover with disposable insert), which introduced me to the idea. Cloth diapers are obviously attractive from a financial standpoint (which was a big motivator, with me taking the year off of work), but it also made sense to reduce waste and limit chemicals on our little one's skin, especially since I have very sensitive skin that he might have inherited.

With that in mind, we bought a supply of one sized diapers that should fit Evan from about 2 months until he's potty trained. As we neared our due date, I also decided on going cloth for the newborn phase and purchased prefolds and covers.

And, six weeks in? We are incredibly happy with our choice. Suprisingly, we've both been very happy with the prefolds and covers, even buying some larger prefolds when Evan outgrew his newborn sizes. Not only are the covers incredibly cute, but we have never *knock on wood* had any kind of diaper blowout, and no leaks at all in the prefolds. I thought the extra step of folding and fastening the prefold, and then having to put on a cover, would be too much of a hassle, but I think since that was all we knew from the beginning, it just seemed normal.

Evan has since started fitting into his Bumgenius OS (one size) diapers, which are working great, though can leak if they aren't fastened around the legs tight enough (or when we were still using a newborn insert - we've since switched to the big boy absorbency). While I really like these pocket diapers, they do require a bit more maintenance when doing laundry, since you have to stuff the diapers before you use them.

I see what they say now about having to be careful about getting swept up with buying new diapers. We're planning to get some more prefolds for our summer traveling adventures, which means we'll probably need some more covers, since he's growing out of the current size.

Laundry has really been easy so far, too. We need to do a wash every 2-3 days, mostly because of the number of wipes, more than the number of diapers. We do a rinse and spin, then a full wash with an extra rinse and soak. Thankfully, breastfed baby poop is water soluble, so we don't have to do anything special to the diapers before the go into the machine. It does require some more water use, obviously, but since a lot of water is required to manufacture regular diapers, it still feels more eco-friendly to be doing cloth. Then, we machine dry the prefolds and the pocket inserts (from what I hear, air drying the prefolds can produce some rough diapers that can cause chaffing, so we're sticking with the dryer). We air dry the covers, the pail liner, and the pocket shells, which all dry pretty darn fast in our 105 degree days. Then, prefolds go in a stack, and pockets get stuffed to be ready to use! Once he starts solid food, things will get a bit more complicated, but for now, things are great.

We're loving him with his little fluffy bum.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Visit With Aunt Ashley

Memorial Weekend brought us wonderful visitors: my sisters! 

We planned it perfectly so that their visits overlapped by a day, but each got some good quality nephew time with Evan. Here are some pictures from Ashley's stay :). 

Evan is finally starting to enjoy bathtime, which is pretty exciting (and incredibly cute).

We love our little Lyon in his little lion towel.

Evan loves to eat his hand. All. The. Time. It's especially cute/frustrating when he is starving and then starts sucking on his hand instead of eating.

He's really starting to be able to look around, which makes his play mat a lot more fun.

Such a great visit with Aunt Ashley!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

One Month Old!

Where did the time go? It feels like yesterday that we brought Evan home from the hospital and now it's already been a month. Just like with pregnancy, I want to do regular updates, though I'm thinking monthly makes more sense. It'll be nice to have a kind of online "baby book" to keep track of everything that went on in his little life.

Weight - 11 lb 11 oz   (+ 2.5 lbs since birth)
Height - 22 in (so, funny story - the hospital put his height at 22.5 in, but our doctor has consistently measured him as less - 20 inches at his first appointment. Glad to almost be back to his birth height :) )
Head circumference - 15.5in (+1 inch since birth)

Sleeping and Eating (what newborn doesn't?). Though, to be clear, when I say sleeping, I mean he falls asleep when he eats. He still isn't sleeping that long - we generally get 1-2 hours of sleep chunks during the day and at night. We're hoping this will get better as he gets older :). But, he does go down fairly easily, which I'm thankful for. He also seems to like our changing pad a lot. He is pretty content to lie there and stare at himself in the mirror, which is very cute. The play mat is another favorite (when he's in a good mood). We have a little bird on it that he almost always tugs on, to make the bell in it ring.

(one of the few happy moments in the bouncer his first week)

Sleeping for long chunks (as mentioned above). He hates being hungry, too. It's so funny how he'll go from totally calm to wails of terror in a split second. He is also not a fan of any device if he's awake. We can put him down in the swing or rock n play if he's asleep, but awake it only lasts a minute or two. His bouncer has gotten no real love at all. He also is not a fan of the car seat, though if I'm sitting in the back with him, he'll often fall asleep. So far I've had one drive where he didn't scream at all, and I'm hoping that its the start of something good :). He also isn't a huge fan of the pack n play. We used it for one night and he did sleep, but it took and extra 30 minutes after each feeding to get him to sleep in it. Considering we don't get much sleep as it is, I've voted that we take a break from it for a few days.

Bath time is also pretty hated, but I think he's starting to come around.

Important Events:
As this was his first month of life, it seems like everything was pretty important. Some big highlights, though, were definitely family visits. My parents came the for his birth and the first week, Sabine (Ed's mom) came when he was two weeks old, and "Uncle" Tom and "Aunt" Irma came while Sabine was here. We also have skyped/facetimed with the rest of our siblings on both sides and with friends, which has been lovely.

Rocking Evan to sleep at one of the many nighttime feedings
Overall, we've been really lucky where this little guy is concerned. I think it's a result of a kind of good karma to make up for the crazy end to the pregnancy :). He did have a tongue tie which had to get snipped during his one week appointment (poor guy). This did mean that his weight gain was slow to start and his latch wasn't the best, and still isn't honestly perfect, but it's getting so much better. I heard that it can take 6 weeks to really get the feeding down and feeling good, so I feel like I'm on track. This past week alone he's made great progress! Feeding in general has been much more all consuming that I ever could have imagined, despite all my reading and knowledge about it. And of course, lack of sleep is crazy hard.

Mommy Successes:
This month has been so much about figuring out exactly what I am supposed to do and not do to make this little guy happy. A month in, I definitely feel more confident (though I've learned that the answer to what will make him happy is almost always food). I've started attending a Breastfeeding support group that meets Fridays and a baby storytime group that meets Wednesdays, with a few friends from the midwife group, which has been really nice. I'm more confident on taking Evan out of the house, though we still haven't tackled any big errands together yet. I'm very thankful for all the frozen meals I prepped (even though, truth be told, I'm not a huge fan of some of them). Though I can't claim any credit for this, I am very relieved to find that despite all the risk factors, my mood has been pretty darn good. I give a lot of credit to having a fantastic husband who is around a lot and the good hormones that I get from breastfeeding :).

Daddy Successes:
Ed has been so amazing as a father, and such a great partner. He has taken on the role of diaper changer at night, and during the day if he isn't working, which has been great bonding time for them and so wonderful for me. Having him up at night, even though it's just for a little, make me feel much less alone. He also claims to not mind it at all since he's able to get back to sleep easily isn't woken by any Evan noises, which is icing on the cake. He also takes Evan for the first shift in the morning so that I can go back to sleep for another hour (if Evan is willing). And, he's taken on a lot of the housework, since more often than not I'm tied to the couch with Evan. Since Evan showed up early, Ed wasn't able to take the time off that he had planned, but is working a lot from home so that he can be around to help. Evan and I are very, very lucky to have Ed in our lives.

Breakfast/working at Liberty Market
Best Moments:
We've really enjoyed spending time as a family of three. We've done a few cafe trips, which have been great and are something that I think we'll continue a lot over the next year. We also love just staring at this little boy and seeing all of his funny expressions. Our favorite is when he rests his head on his hands and the pulls his head up. He raises his eyebrows, scrunches up his forehead, and purses his lips. We will definitely need to find a way to get a picture of that at some point. In general though, just seeing him grow and change and hold his sweet little body - all of it is amazing.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Building Trust

One of the hardest things about being a parent is trust. Namely, trusting that your little baby will continue breathing and living even if your eyes aren't on him every single moment. Our first few days featured Ed and me sleeping in shifts so that someone was always holding and caring for our baby (and making sure he was okay). After a day at home, we graduated into Evan sleeping next to my side of the bed, and while I did sleep, I had to face him and was constantly leaning in to listen to his breathing and sometimes either turning on the light or using the light from my phone to check on him.

Now, almost a month in, I am starting to relax a little. Evan still sleeps right next to me (and I don't see that changing any time soon), and I still listen for Evan breathing at night, but I am okay with not facing him the entire night. I also don't freak out every time his breath sounds funny, because I've learned that this doesn't mean he can't breath, and I can trust that his breath will go back to normal soon.

We're also working on trust in other areas. Ed and I even left him with grandparents on a couple of occasions! We didn't go far, but enjoyed a couple nice dates, including sushi for Mother's Day.

Even though we were literally just down the street (about a 2 minute drive), and were leaving Evan in capable hands, I was a bit nervous. A nice glass of wine helped me relax though :). 

I've also started trusting that Evan can handle actually going places. I've been attending a breastfeeding support group through the hospital once a week, and went to a baby storytime with some friends from the midwife group this week. And, we actually braved going to a cafe with Ed today! Evan did pretty well, and it was really nice to get out, and get to spend some time with Ed while he was working. It was fun to do something that we did some much as a couple, but with our little one in tow. Still haven't run any real errands yet, but someday I'll brave the grocery store :). 

And, it probably the biggest jump of trust, Evan is currently napping out of sight! Granted, he is literally just around the corner of the family room, but he is on his own in the pack in play. Since he's only about 20 feet away, I'm sure experienced parents will laugh at me, but I went ahead and hooked up our video monitor so that I could keep an eye on him.

This thing is fantastic! I can actually seem him breathing on it, and the video lets me know he's okay even when he's making some crazy noises. Thanks to this monitor, a swaddle, and the pack n play, Evan has been napping most of the afternoon (with a couple eating breaks and a bath thrown in). It's been one of the most peaceful, productive, and relaxing ones we've had in a long time. Evan seems very content, and I am very much enjoying letting our little boy sleep. 

It's hard to believe that he'll be one month old on Tuesday! He has already grown up so much and is such a special little boy. 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Visiting Family

We have had a wonderful time this past almost week visiting with Ed's family. Sabine, Ed's mom, arrived last Thursday, to get some quality time with our sweet little boy (and lend a much appreciated helping hand). 

Evan, of course, loves spending time with his Oma.

And Ed had a great time with his mom. Together, they did some gardening (including planting some veggies that will hopefully grow) and just enjoyed spending time together.

We also were lucky enough to have a short but sweet visit from Ed's brother, Tom, and his wife Irma. This was Evan's first time meeting any of his aunts and uncles, and he loved it. 

We had a lovely full weekend of Mother's Day celebration, Saturday with Tom and Irma and delicious scones, eggs, and bacon. 

On Sunday, we got to skype with my family, and facetime with Ed's other brother and family. It felt like such a full weekend of family. 

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's Day!

So thankful to be celebrating with my wonderful family this morning, both in person and though the wonderfulness of Skype and FaceTime. This little boy has made life so very sweet.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Towel Time Fun

We tried to give Evan some time in his birthday suit today to help air out a bit of diaper rash. Surprisingly (or maybe not) he had a pretty good time just hanging out on a towel on the floor and had a great chunk of awake time (which is pretty rare for him in the morning). 

He did some arm wrestling and finger grabbing with daddy,

And stared at the very cute baby in the mirror. 

What a special little boy! Every day with him is such a gift :).