amelia: seven months old.

oh look. a blog post. about my daughter. who ironically is the reason that i don’t blog anymore. (i mean the whole day job thing has a lot to do with it too…) she’s too cute to get annoyed at though. 

amelia 7 months

i’ve got a daughter who is dangerously close to being mobile. and when i say mobile, i don’t mean rolling or crawling. she rolls around now (finally!) and i’m guessing she is never going to crawl, or if she does it’ll be for a hot minute before she starts walking. because girlfriend wants to WALK. her days consist mostly of wanting to stand up on things, and then stand up on you, and then stand up on other things. frankly, it’s exhausting. and according to my mom, i walked at 10 months, and my brother walked at eight months. she has been taking after her uncle in both activity and temperament, so i’m starting to panic a little bit….

amelia 7 months

as mentioned above, amelia decided that it was finally time to start rolling. she still kind of hates being on her stomach, so she does this roll over/pivot/roll back movement in order to get places. it’s actually pretty great to watch.

amelia 7 months

seven months has also brought shaking things. girl has some rhythm. she would shake her rattles all day if we let her. as soon as she can walk, i’m pretty sure it’ll be like having one of those traveling mariachi bands from a mexican restaurant in the house. we’re excited!

amelia 7 months

teething has returned to our house like the terrible houseguest that won’t leave. we had some serious interrupted sleep the past couple of weeks, up every 3 hours and there are a couple days at work that i don’t really remember but apparently i’ve been getting everything done? this morning i spotted the sharp ends of the two top teeth, which means the end of this round is in sight. i think that i’ll be writing a post on how to survive the teething monster, because we’ve tried literally every remedy (minus the amber necklace) and even if it hasn’t worked for us, some might work for your baby!

amelia 7 months

miss amelia joyce, seven months is a fun one. i have a sneaking suspicion that these next five months are going to go a lot faster than the last seven…you are so much fun to be around these days! you know how to play games with us, and you think we’re funny (you and i both know that i’m the funniest but your dad is the true love of your life), and we think that this is just the greatest thing that could ever happen. you are the best part of every day, even when we’ve been up for 20 hours of it because of you.

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amelia: six months old.

this one’s late because six months means playtime all the time. and there ain’t no saying no to miss amelia when she wants to play with you. so blogging takes a backseat for all the best reasons. someday i’ll have a monthly milestone near when the milestone actually takes place. 

SONY DSCwe’re halfway through. halfway through what?

halfway through the first year? halfway through breastfeeding? halfway through the craziness?

what makes six months so special?

amelia 6 months

for me, at least right now in this moment, it means we’ve made it to the other side of the unknown. my daughter is no longer a terrifying mystery to me. i know her. i know what she needs, when she’s going to need it, and how to get it for her. i know when she’s tired before she knows she’s tired, and i know how to walk the tightrope between not really hungry and ravenously hungry. crying no longer fazes me, and i’m not calling my mom for advice every other day. i am more confident than ever in my motherhood and am so proud that we are here, right here, in this moment.

amelia 6 months

if you asked me last week i might have said that six months meant that we were at a point where we were getting our freedom back. who knows what i’ll say next week. i just know that i like where we’re going.

amelia 6 months amelia 6 months

my darling amelia. thank you for always laughing at my funny faces, even when you’re tired. thank you for always eating well when daddy feeds you, it makes him so happy! we love you and think that you’re already the coolest person ever at six months, so we can’t wait to see how much fun you’ll be as you get older and can do things like talk to us with real words. love you tons and tons and tons.

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baby stuff: cloth diapering (part two).

as promised, part two of the cloth diaper post is here! cue the confetti! i mean not really, it’s a post about diapers, so, you know, but maybe some of you are excited? question mark?

in part one of my cloth diapering post, i talked about the reasons we decided to cloth diaper, and why it was an important decision for us. in part two, i’m going to share what diapering “system” we use and how to wash cloth diapers (at least how we do it). i hope it’s helpful for anyone who finds it!

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OUR DIAPERS

one of the hardest parts of doing cloth diapers is choosing what type of diaper to use. it feels like there are about a million different diapering systems out there nowadays, and for every one, you will find a million people who swear their way is the best. my thought process went something like this: what’s the cheapest method? what method has the highest chance of working with any shape baby? what method will last through multiple babies?

that’s how we came to our cloth diapering method: cotton prefolds + fasteners + pul diaper covers.

cotton prefolds are those old-fashioned looking cloth diapers that you actually fold and fasten with diaper fasteners. then, because the cotton prefolds are not water resistant, you need a pul diaper cover to go over it to keep the wet from getting all over everything. once you learn how to fold your favorite way, and perfect your fastening, it’s about as fast as a disposable diaper to change.

we have 24 prefolds for each size that we have used and about six diaper covers in each of two sizes. we are currently on size medium prefolds, with size one covers. we’ve found that 24 diapers are enough for us to go two days between washings, and we have a child who cannot abide being wet any longer than she has to, so for most people 18 would probably be enough. Six covers are plenty to last between baby laundry days, even during weeks with lots of blowouts (sidebar: i’ve only had two blowouts in cloth diapers that have left the vicinity of the diaper…another benefit to cloth. we have had many outfit-ruining blowouts when she’s been wearing disposables).

we ordered our diapers and fasteners from green mountain diapers, which is seriously the best site ever for all things cloth diapering. things you never thought you’d need to know, am i right? our covers are thirsties brand which we got on target.com.

amelia cloth diaper

OUR METHOD

can i just say thank the good lord for my mother? without her, i don’t think we would have gone through with this cloth diapering thing once the baby was actually here and the reality of taking care of her set in. the logistics just seemed to be insurmountable. where do we put the diapers when we’re done? where do the wipes go? HOW DO I WASH THEM? the list of panicky questions was long, so she showed us the way. and lo and behold, it wasn’t that scary after all.

1) where do the diapers go? when we change a diaper, the dirty wipes go into a small, lined garbage can we keep next to the changing table. the diapers that are wet only go straight into our diaper pail next to the changing table, no other step necessary. if the diaper is just a little bit dirty, that also goes straight into the diaper pail. if the diaper is very dirty, the extra step of rinsing is not required for a baby who is still exclusively breastfed but is highly recommended if you want to avoid staining. if a baby is on formula or solid foods, rinsing becomes more necessary.

2) rinsing out the diapers. we set the very dirty diapers on top of the diaper pail clean side down so we can grab it and bring it to the bathroom after we are done changing amelia. (if you have a big enough bathroom to have a changing station in there, then good for you, one less step!) we put the dirty diaper in the toilet to soak for a bit, and then when we next have a chance to put down the baby, we go back to rinse it off. we invested in a diaper sprayer, and could not be happier we did. you can survive without it, but you’ll stick your hand in a lot more poop, and really, as parents we touch enough of that, so why make it worse? once the diaper is sprayed/rinsed off, we wring it out and bring it to the diaper pail.

3) washing the diapers. for whatever reason, this was the part that confused me the most, but ended up not being hard at all. you’ll find your rhythm, but a safe bet for when to wash the diapers is when you are down to about 6 clean diapers. we have a cloth diaper pail liner, so we just take the whole bag out of the pail and bring it down to the laundry room. we fill a bucket (we have a 5-gallon bucket that we use just for diaper soaking) with hot water, a tiny bit of dreft detergent and a splash of bleach, then we dump the diapers in the bucket to soak. we normally let them soak anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour. once they’re done, we put on gloves (to protect from the bleach; again, touching diapers is the least of my worries), wring out the diapers and throw them into the washing machine. we wash the diapers with just detergent on a hot cycle with an extra rinse and high spin. the extra rinse makes sure that all the detergent and dirtiness is out of the diapers so they won’t irritate the little one. then we dry the diapers on high heat with some dryer balls instead of dryer sheets (again, don’t want any extra product residue on the diapers). done!

4) storing the diapers. we have a changing table we use in amelia’s room for all our diaper changes at home, because we have a very tiny house and have no need for a changing station anywhere else in the house. we keep diapers in one canvas storage bin under the changing table, and covers in another bin. right now, we have only the medium size diapers that we use as diapers, but we also keep the newborn size diapers in a bin to use as doublers for night time, and as burp rags, dust rags, etc. we keep lotions and wipes on the top of the changing table, where we can easily reach them. the diaper bins and trash can are just to the right of the changing table for easy access as well.

diaper storage

diaper storage

the moral of this (fairly long) story is that if cloth diapers seem right for you, go for it! it’s not as hard as you may think, and you will save some money in the long run that you can put towards more wine for you as a reward for changing all those diapers!

happy diapering mamas and papas!

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