Monday, June 25, 2012

New things

Dear Elliot,
First of all, I need to thank you big-time for being such an awesome little sleeper lately. You've been going down between 8:30 and 9:00 and sleeping until 4 or 5, nursing for 15 minutes, and going right back to sleep until around 7 (sometimes later). I'm not even sure what to do with all this me-time I have in the evenings--use it to catch up on blogging I guess! :)

You are turning into such a little boy. You were sitting up and playing on my tummy this morning and I had to ask you, "did you grow in your sleep last night?!" I swear you wake up every morning bigger and stronger and more and more adorable.

You're doing so many new things lately. It's so amazing to watch you figure out the world and how you fit into it. I've seen you go from this tiny little being who basically eats, sleeps, and poops, to this vibrant little person with likes and dislikes, needs of his own, who is learning how to communicate with the people around him. I love it so much.

Here are a few of the new things you are doing as a three month old:

Expressing yourself. Back in your days as a newborn, you basically had five facial expressions: sleepy, hungry, angry, content, and 'I'm pooping right now.' Now, you are becoming so much more expressive. New faces come out every day as you mimic the looks the people around you make. You even have a variety of smiles these days. Flirty, shy, proud, absolutely delighted, silly, and the list goes on. You have a confused look, a bored look, a frustrated look, a 'I think you are really weird and silly' look. So many distinct expressions for such a young little human!

Our matching 'enough pictures!' faces :)

Lifting your head up/getting stronger. I can't believe how well you can hold yourself (and your big old head) up! Must be all that yoga ;). You also love to stand. There are many times you get super fussy and all that's wrong is that you want to get up and stand. I can now set you down in your Bumbo chair and you can sit upright with your head up for such a long time. You still don't really enjoy tummy time, but when you are forced into it, you try so hard to push yourself around. Still no interest in rolling over, but you just want to be able to crawl so badly!

Playing with toys. You were completely uninterested in your toys until about a week ago. Now you love to put them in your mouth and grab at them. It's super cute because you are still pretty uncoordinated and have to try so hard to get your hands to do what you want them to. So oftentimes this results in you bopping yourself in the face. 

Teething. Not gonna lie, this new thing of yours really sucks! You are drooling all over the place and have to have something in your mouth at all times (your fists, my fingers, your toys, your blankets, etc). I didn't even know a three-month could be teething already, but apparently it can take months for an actual tooth to pop through. My poor sweet boy.

Talking. Okay, you're not so advanced that you're actually saying words yet, but you are definitely trying to! There are times you look like you are seriously trying so hard to tell me something. I need to get a video of it. You do a lot of 'whhoooo!' (think an owl sound), 'mahh' (think 'ba' like a sheep but with an 'm'), and 'gah.' I love our little conversations (but sometimes I wish I knew what we were talking about!)

You are such a great baby, Elliot. I just love watching you grow.

All my love,


Dear Readers,
Ok so I take a lot of pictures. I mean a lot of pictures. Between my iPhone and my regular camera, I probably take somewhere between 25-50 pictures every single day. Sometimes even more. Kind of obsessive, I know, but what can I say? I love love love photos. And I love love love my little guy; I just can't help myself!

Anyway, I'm great at taking pictures, but not so great at doing stuff with them. So I've been trying to come up with ways to organize and use all the pictures I've been taking lately. I still don't have a plan for all my nice 'real camera' photos, but I am pretty excited about what I've come up with for all my daily iPhone/Instagram pics. I've been making weekly collages, using (really easy to use and free!). Next March, I'm going to turn them into a photo book to document El's first year--a collage for each page. I figure they will make great grandparent gifts too (act surprised in about 9 months you guys!)

I am already amazed at the changes from week 7 (when I started Instagramming) to week 13. Crazy to think what he'll look like and what new things he'll be doing in the weeks and months to come!

Just thought I'd share my idea for organizing pictures, and I'd really love to here what other mamas out there do with theirs, so please share in the comments!

Happy Monday!


Saturday, June 23, 2012

3 months

Dear Elliot,
I can't believe I now have a 3-month old! You are growing and changing so fast--from a tiny, floppy newborn to this big, strong little boy. Every single morning I lift you out of your bed and think to myself, "he can't possibly get any cuter." But somehow, you do! You continue to amaze me more and more every day.

I love getting to know you and am feel so incredibly lucky that I get to be your mama.

Look how much you've changed from month to month!

Happy 3 month birthday, baby boy!

All my love,

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Adventures in cloth diapering: part II

Dear Readers,
It's been a long time since I've done two posts in one day, but the stars aligned today and gave me both a long nap and an early bed time, so I'm taking advantage of this extra free time!

So we've been exclusively cloth diapering for about seven weeks now. I have to say I am really, really loving it. Okay fine--more like weirdly obsessed with it. I know it's not for everyone and honestly, it's not like I think I'm saving Mother Earth or improving society or whatever by doing it; I just find it much more enjoyable than using disposables. I change a lot of diapers everyday, so if I can find something that makes it, dare I say, fun to do, of course I'm going to be all over it.

Anyway, I just thought I'd do a little update on how things are going and what I've learned about cloth diapering, now that I've been doing it for a little while. If cloth diapers aren't you're thing, I apologize in advance because this will probably be the most boring post you'll ever read, ha.

I already wrote about how much I love the Flip system here. They are still working out great for us. I really like that you only have to change out the inserts, and not the whole diaper for most changes. The cover is straight-up PUL (waterproof material), so unless poop gets on it, you don't have to change it. Just pop in a new insert (the white part, below), and you're good to go. The Flips are great for on-the-go because you only have to bring a couple clean inserts and maybe one extra cover when you're out and about, and that really doesn't take up much room in a diaper bag.

The only issue we've had with these is that they don't hold enough to last more than a few hours. Now that Elliot is sleeping 10-12 hours at night, with just one 15-minute nursing break in there, we need something that lasts all night long. I've found that if I change his diaper after his middle of the night/early morning feeding, he wakes up and it takes forever to get him back to sleep. So obviously we want to avoid having to do that. Using two Flip inserts was making his diaper so bulky, so I ended up buying these 'hemp doublers' from someone in the MN cloth diapering group I'm in on facebook:

They are really absorbant but very thin. We have been using two of these, plus a Flip insert in a Flip cover for night time, and so far its been working really well. The brand of these hemp doublers is Runpkinz, but I think any brand would work just fine.

In addition to our Flips, I've tried out a couple other types of diapers recently. I got some Alva pocket diapers through a co-op group on facebook. I ended up only paying about $2.50/diaper and $1.50/insert (super cheap!!). The pocket diapers have--you guessed it--a pocket that the insert goes into:

The nice thing about this type of diaper is that the insert can't slide and move around like with the Flips. The downside is that you have to change the cover and the insert pretty much every time you do a diaper change, since the inside of the cover, the part that goes against baby's skin, is a soft fabric and not the exposed waterproof PUL like the Flip covers. 

I actually really like these diapers, especially for at home. They are really nice and trim-fitting, and absorb surprisingly well. The liquid (pee) gets sucked down into the insert, and the fabric touching baby's skin somehow stays really nice and dry. Pretty cool. They are also pretty adorable and super fun for no-pants days around the house :)

El rocking his cow print Alva. We also got denim (hilariously adorable), giraffe, and bumblebee prints

If anyone out there is interesting in ordering some of these on the cheap, let me know and I can add you to the co-op group I am in :)

Along with the pocket Alvas, I also got three 'all-in'twos' (AI2s) from Cow Patties Cloth Diapers. I first heard about Cow Patties back when I first started Faces of Loss, and the wonderful woman who owns the shop contacted me because she wanted to do a charity auction to benefit Faces for Oct. 15th Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day--super awesome :). She does custom diapers (meaning you choose the style and fabric you want) for really reasonable prices, and her stuff is incredibly cute and well-made. The AI2s have soft inner and outer (the waterproof PUL material is hidden between layers), and the insert snaps in and out:

These are really fluffy and comfy, but obviously less trim and take up a lot more room in a diaper bag. That said, I love love love them for around the house. I put Elliot in a t-shirt and one of these diapers all the time and its like he's wearing the most cozy and comfy pair of little shorts ever:

Dolla bills

Star Wars

Trees and rainbows in one diaper?? Of course I had to get this one :)

And finally, I've tried using 'fitteds' which are basically a fabric diaper that needs a cover over it because there is no waterproof PUL material around it:

I know some people really love fitteds, but I kind of don't get them. It takes forever to snap up the fabric diaper, then snap on the cover on top of it (I just use our Flip covers), and they always leak all over the place for me. Elliot soaks the whole thing super quickly and then he has this wet fabric diaper pressed against his body. Maybe I'm doing something totally wrong, but I just don't like them.

Oh! And a couple people asked for more details on the cloth wipes. I use cheap baby wash cloths from Babies R Us, roll them up, and put them in my wipes warmer. Then I mix about a teaspoon of cloth wipes solution with 16-20 oz of water and pour it over the rolled up wipes. I can usually get 2-3 days worth of wipes each time I refill the warmer. The wipes come out nice and moist and they seriously work so well. 

For the solution, I started out using Magic Bum solution (sooo nice!), but you can make a similar one of your own with coconut oil, teat rea oil, olive oil, and a little bit of baby soap. I have also heard that Dr. Bronners castile soap diluted with water works great as well--that's next on my list to try!

Well there you have it. Hopefully this was helpful to at least one person out there! Let me know if you have any questions and I will try to answer them in a future post. As always, tips and recommendations are always welcome too! :)

Have a good Friday!


Lazy days of summer

Dear Elliot,
Summer is officially here and we've been having so much fun together. I am absolutely loving having all this time to just hang out and get to know you. Time is going so, so fast and I feel super behind on documenting everything. I never want to forget a single moment of these long and lazy summer days.

I've been trying to take you out on some sort of adventure everyday so you (and probably more importantly at this point, I) don't feel trapped in the house. Thankfully you are a really relaxed, 'go with the flow' kind of baby who really enjoys car rides, to its been really easy to spend a lot of time out and about.

My new favorite thing to do with you is BYOB (bring your own baby) yoga at Blooma. We've been going almost every day for the last week or so and it is such a blast! You love it, and its a nice little workout for me too (doing squats while lifting a 16-pound baby up and down is no easy task!)

Exhausted after a good workout

Me and my goofy boy ready for our yoga date :)

Fellow baby yogis-cousin Maddie and friend June

Catching a ride in bridge pose :)

We also went swimming for the first time the other night and you loved it. You are a big fan of baths, but I wasn't sure how you were going to react to the colder water. Well it didn't bother you at all. You had such a great time kicking and splashing around in the pool and were all smiles when Dad was lifting you in and out of the water. I am excited to see what you think about the beach next!

Already picking up cute chicks at the pool, thatta boy! ;)

We've had a couple ridiculously humid days where its just too gross to be outside, so we've gone and walked around the Mall of America. You really enjoy sitting face-out in your carrier and just looking at all the new colors, lights, and people. You are such an inquisitive little boy, always very focused and alert, soaking up the world around you. Earlier this week we met up with Auntie Jersa for yogurt and shopping and you seemed to have a great time. You are really the most content when you have lots of unfamiliar things to look at and study and I love that about you.

Snoozing in your carrier after an afternoon of window shopping :)

You also really love laying outside. Especially in the evenings when it gets a little cooler. The breeze on your face seems to really delight you because you are extra smiley and happy whenever you're out getting fresh air.

And of course there have been lots and lots of naps this summer. Glorious, long, cuddle-filled naps. 

These are the days, they really are. 

I love you so much, baby boy. But do your mom a favor and stop growing up so fast! :)


PS. I feel like I need to apologize for my last post (which I removed yesterday morning). The story that I was asking for prayers for turned out to be an elaborate hoax. None of it was true; just a very sick cry for attention I guess. I became suspicious of the whole thing shortly after posting about it, but didn't want to call anyone out in case I was wrong. I feel like an idiot for being duped, but you know what, in the end all that person got out of me was some undue sympathy, and my son got lots of extra kisses and lovin', didn't turn out all bad I guess. I'm sorry for getting people upset over nothing. This is exactly why I'm usually more careful about sharing stories like that; this one just pulled at my heart strings because of how similar it was to my own. Anyway, I apologize and hope you all aren't too mad at me. XO

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