Friday, November 23, 2007

Baby Projects

I've been washing the newborn-sized diapers so that they'll be ready for use and we also got the beds (both the baby bed and our bed) ready.

Here are pictures.

You saw the nursery already, but here is where 'baby boy brother' will actually be sleeping. This is also where Claire slept for her first year.

Steven just set it up today and I got it all made up and ready for baby.
It is an Arm's Reach Co-Sleeper and we loved how it worked for Claire. It is secured to the bed for safety and is perfect for keeping the baby very close and also kept either of us from having to get in and out of bed every 2 hours for night feedings during that first year.

Friday, November 2, 2007

The Business of Being Born

Well we saw the movie.

I loved it! It was amazing and eye-opening and touching and... just wow. I wish that every person I know could see it. Seriously- if you get the chance- SEE IT! As soon as possible. This means women and men regardless of whether or not you have children. People need to see this movie. Period.

There were 250 people there last night- at least. I was so excited to see a good crowd there! The room was full of couples, expectant women, doulas, midwives, doctors, and even mothers/grandmothers who were there seeing it with their expectant daughters. Everyone seemed to really enjoy the movie!

After it was over there was a discussion time and we heard from doctors, midwives, doulas, and all sorts of moms spoke of their birth experiences. It was amazing to hear the wide variety of perspectives and experiences of everyone there.

The movie was a documentary about the birth culture in our country. It covered birth statistics, extensive birth history, and a wide variety of birth practices. They interviewed all sorts of birth professionals including OB/GYN, nurses, hospital administrators, CNMs, and CPMs. They also documented several births including home, birth center, and hospital.

It was really good to hear a lot of the things that I have studied and researched over the last three years confirmed by both midwives, doctors, and other mothers!

I highly highly recommend the film- to everyone. I would be thrilled if I could convince every single one of you to watch it. If for nothing else, do it for me? Pleeeeease! It would mean so much to me if you all would see it!

There is information here on being able to watch it via Netflix in early 2008.

Here is where the upcoming private screenings are available. (We went to a "private screening" but anyone can go! It's just not quite like going to a movie in a theater or anything.)

It will also open in select cities on the big screen sometime next year but I do not know all the details about that and it may be limited as it is a documentary film.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Business of Being Born

I am so excited for this movie, I can barely stand it! And the timing- coming out just before our first homebirth? Priceless! I only wish I could see it in a theater but I doubt I'll be able to swing that since the release is so limited. I have a couple friends who have been able to see it already though and they said it was fantastic! Eeeee! I can't wait to somehow get my hands on it!

The trailer is amazing. Definitely watch it.

A short article about the film.

And while looking up info about this film I stumbled upon this short video clip which brought tears to my eyes.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

A Review of my new Moby Wrap from Fox Den Lane Baby Carriers!

Recently I was fortunate enough to acquire a Moss Moby Wrap from Fox Den Lane Baby Carriers! I have had a lot of fun playing around with it and learning to use it but never really got a good chance to fully try it out until yesterday.

Yesterday we went to the new GA Aquarium in Atlanta and I wore Claire in the Moby Wrap nearly the entire time.

It's a very nice wrap and I like it a lot! I think that I will like it even more for a younger baby and for our newborn, but it definitely did the job I needed it to yesterday.

Claire is about 18 months now and is less inclined to like being in the sling OR in a wrap of any kind at this age as she is getting to where she just wants to run around and explore with her big sister. There was no way, however, that we were going to let her wander freely yesterday in that very crowded and huge aquarium so the Moby was very handy and needed to keep her close and safe.

It didn't take me long at all when I first started experimenting with the Moby to memorize the steps to putting it on. It is slightly more complicated than my simple ring slings, but also felt a bit more secure and cozy to me. It also is definitely more comfortable for long-term wear as opposed to my slings.

I think that the coolest thing about the Moby Wraps is their versatility! Here is just a sampling of the versatility of the Moby:This is the Basic Hug Hold. This is how I wore Claire for most of the day yesterday.

This is the Joey front hold. After I got a bit tired at the aquarium, this is how Steven carried Claire for the rest of our time there. She liked it better than how I carried her because she could see more and didn't feel like we were trying to get her to sleep!

You can also back-carry with the Moby. Isn't that amazing!? I cannot wait to try this hold.

This is the Hip Hold. I have used it on Claire a few times and it is perfect for her size. If she would let me wear her more often, I would be using this carrying position a lot!

You can even wear twins with the Moby Wrap!

This is the Cradle Hold. I like it because you can nurse in this position. I am excited to try this out when our new baby comes. I like the idea of hands-free and discreet nursing for when needed/necessary.

This is the Newborn Hug Hold. This is how I plan to wear our newborn a lot soon after he is born! What baby wouldn't love this? It is so similar to how they've been held in the womb for 9 months and I think it'll will make the transition to life outside the womb easier on the little guy.

All in all I think that the Moby will be extremely useful for a newborn because it has been proven to soothe fussy babies. Babies love being held snugly against their mommas and this will allow me to provide that while also being able to get some things done and take care of my two girls!

It can be carried in the diaper bag or stored in the car to be taken anywhere. Or you can just use it around the house when you have a fussy baby and need some peace or a hands-free moment! There are also a variety of ways to use the Moby to carry your baby! I love all the options when it comes to how to wear it.

And without further ado, here are pictures of Claire in the Moss Moby Wrap!
Walking to the GA Aquarium.

I had (extremely false) hopes that Claire would go to sleep because it was smack dab in the middle of her nap time and she was soooo cranky and tired. But there was just too much to see and do for her to allow herself to succumb to sleep. If I had known this from the beginning I would have either put her in the Hip hold, Joey hold, or Back carry. Oh well!

Awwww! My sleepy baby!

I still love my slings for short-term baby wearing because they are easy on and easy off and work well for short little errands. I think the Moby has more benefits, however, for longer outings and is much more comfortable than a sling for wearing a baby for a long time. I never got uncomfortable yesterday, even after hours of wearing Claire in the Moby. I just got tired! (Which I would have anyway after walking around the aquarium for that long- the place is huge!) I was very pleased with how evenly Claire's weight was distributed across my back and shoulders and it stayed extremely comfortable the entire time.

Lastly, I would encourage anyone who is interested in Moby Wraps or other Baby Slings/Carriers to buy them from Fox Den Lane! It is owned and operated by a lovely family who are also fellow believers. They sell these wonderful baby carriers because of how strongly they believe in the benefits of wearing your baby. Please help to support their business if you are interested in baby wearing or any baby carriers!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Cloth Diapering in pictures! Image Intensive!!!

Well we've been cloth diapering for almost a week now! I'm miraculously still not feeling like giving up! I felt like giving up right at first because it was so hard to adjust and quite frustrating for Steven, myself, and Claire! But I'm glad I/we gave it a few more days. Now I feel like we have a good system going and it can only get better from here on out, right? Not to mention that we've gotten a LOT faster at the whole process and Claire doesn't mind it anymore either.

I've done diaper laundry about 4 times now and every time has been very smooth and easy and has resulted in (drum roll please...)-- fresh clean diapers-- every single time! Isn't that amazing!? I think so.

I actually prefer doing diaper laundry (so far) to regular laundry, but diaper laundry has helped with my regular laundry because every time I do diapers I also do a load of regular laundry since I'm already in "laundry mode" and our clothes have ended up being cleaned more often and smaller loads aren't as much of a pain to fold either! Folding diapers is so quick and easy and I really enjoy it.

We ordered a couple of Snappis and Claire-sized Bummis Super Whisper Wraps a few days ago and they are scheduled to arrive TODAY. I am sooooo excited and I can hardly wait to try them out!

In the meantime however, we have still faithfully been using pins and vinyl pants and regular prefolds and it's not hard at all. Here is a pictorial review of our system. :)

Steven surprised me while I was playing a wedding last Saturday by installing this shelf above the changing table. It has been perfect for our diapering system and I don't know what I would have done without it! I don't know how he thought of it, but he's a genius!

My diaper pail. I just bought a cheap large kitchen trash can with a lid. We have two odor disks on the top but I'm not sure those are very effective. The odor isn't bad at all, but those disks seem really wimpy! Baking Soda sprinkled in after each diaper has seemed the best fight against odor so far. While diaper pails are always going to smell, there is definitely less odor this way than our disposable diaper pail. And you can only smell it if you open the lid. Otherwise the can with the lid really contains it all very well!

The pail is currently lined with first of all a large trash bag and then two cloth laundry bags on top of that. This is only until we can get a proper cloth diapering pail liner which is absorbent cloth on the inside and a waterproof outer shell which I will be able to throw into the laundry along with the diapers. Right now I do throw in the laundry bags obviously but I replace the garbage bag each time since it's just there to protect the can from the moisture of the diapers.

Here are the only diapering supplies that I'm keeping in a drawer. On the bottom right are the cheap vinyl pants from Babies'r'us. I've read that they will wear out quickly, but for now they are working great. We've had NO leaks so far! We are planning on slowly replacing those all with the Bummis Super Whisper Wraps which are extremely nice.

Bottom left are some nice thick little training pants made that I thought would be handy for added absorbency. I'll show you how I use those later.

Top right is just Emily's underwear. :-) Nothing much to do with cloth diapering...

Just another picture of the shelf and our diaper stash up there. :) Those are all of my prefolds.

These are my cloth wipes! (aka- infant wash cloths.) I already had a few and when I bought my prefolds I bought a cheap 8-pack of infant wash cloths so I think I have between 10 and 12 "wipes" total and that has seemed to be enough so far!

When I do diaper laundry I fold them all exactly as they are pictured above.

This is our wipes warmer! If you're gonna use cloth wipes, I highly recommend this wipes warmer. We've had it since before Emily was born and it's still working great! It's funny too, that we already had it, because I've seen it highly recommended on many many cloth diaper sites as THE wipes warmer to have for use with cloth wipes!

It comes with a foam pad in the bottom that is anti-microbial and all you do is re-wet the foam pad every so often. It becomes discolored over time but is easily replaced and we have bought extras. They are fairly cheap and don't have to be replaced often at all! (We maybe replace one every 6 months!)

After I do my diaper laundry and fold all my wipes I bring my wipes warmer and wipes into the bathroom and wet the cloths all like this.

Then I fold them over in half to squeeze out excess water.

Then I simply tuck them into the warmer and have all my nice clean wipes ready for use! This has been the easiest and best part of cloth diapering so far! I love cloth wipes!

Wipes warmer back in place, plugged in, and ready for action!

Everything all clean, in place, and ready to go!

Wipes and diapers.

It was suggested to me to use a little bar of soap to help the diaper pins slide through the thick diapers easier. That was the hardest thing at first- shoving those pins through the diapers without seriously hurting anyone! Very tricky! Soap has helped a lot. I just keep it on the shelf and stick pins in it between uses. It's a handy way to keep them safe and out of reach too!

Oh how convenient! I found this baby wandering around and she was in need of a diaper change! I guess I'll use her for my model/example baby. What luck!

First I get the pins down and ready to go in a safe place away from baby's reach. I learned quickly that trying to pull pins out of soap one-handed while also trying to hold a diaper in place on a squirmy toddler just doesn't work.

Here's my diaper folded properly over Claire. I fold it in the front for added absorbency and leave the back flat for pinning. Slightly tricky to figure out at first but it got easy very quickly. Now it's second nature.

I slide my right index finger under the diaper and make a finger-sized bunch to grab with my left hand (I couldn't leave my right hand there and take the picture at the same time). Here you can see the little bunch I created with my finger all ready for pinning. (This is actually a trick that Steven figured out and showed me! He's good at this diapering stuff.)

It made all the difference in how quickly I was able to get the diaper pinned. Of course, I make sure that this bunch has NO baby skin in it so I can very safely and easily pin the diaper!

And Voila! There is the pin!
I was also told to always make sure the pin is facing away from the baby so that just in case it should (Heaven forbid!) pop open, it would flick baby in the hip instead of the tummy. Awww! Hopefully that will never happen. These safety pins seem pretty sturdy and safe to me!

Getting the second side ready to pin!

All pinned up and snug as a bug!

Trust me, they looked nothing like this at first. I think the first few times we attempted this, you could have picked her up and had the whole thing fall completely off! And it didn't help that it also took Claire some time to get used to added diapering time. She screamed through the entire first few diaper changes which stressed me out even further! It was a vicious cycle because the more up-tight I was the longer I took and the more upset she got! Eeks!
I guess she has gotten more accustomed to it as I've also gotten a bit faster and better at it because now she just lies there, plays, and grins at me and is super sweet about it!

Claire's general response to diapering now! :)

Happy and playing. To me she looks so comfortable and cozy in that cloth diaper! It's so much softer than our disposables.

And here is the training pant! I often add it on top of the diaper just for added absorbency and a snug diaper. It's not necessary and I certainly don't use one every time. I do use it at night and if we're going to be out and about and need her diaper to last longer. It's pretty handy and has worked well, but is a rather- urm- creative? use for a training pant. hehe

Only thing needed now is the outer waterproof vinyl pant! But I was enjoying taking pictures just a bit too much.

And there's the vinyl pant! All diapered and ready to go!
She has gotten so much better since we first started with the cloth diapers. Now she seems to enjoy the diapering process and doesn't cry at all!

What a ham!

I asked her to show off her diaper and she did! She's a natural diaper model- look at that!

I added her diaper cover and she's "All Done!" Yay!

Look, Mom- all done! Can I get down and play now??