Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Audrey - 9 months


You are now Mommy's sweet little 9 month old. You are less a baby every day, and more and more an active little girl. You are cruising around on all fours, pulling yourself up on anything you can find. You shift from the couch to the coffee table to the chair, making your way around the living room. You let go for a few brave seconds, but always fall to your bum as soon as you realize what you're doing. You can now pull open the stove and will open all the cabinets in the kitchen. You particularly like the baking cabinet and always grab and shake the bottle of sprinkles!

You are also experimenting with "crawling" with just your hands and feet on the ground. When you get tired of doing this, it results in what looks like you doing the cutest downward dog yoga pose I've ever laid eyes on! You love to dance now too, and when you hear music of any kind, you shake your little bum and bounce up and down. You have no fear, and would dive bomb head first from any height if we let you.

Your hand-eye coordination is growing leaps and bounds. You've been picking up your little puffs (and anything you might find on the floor in your travels) for awhile now, but wouldn't put them in your mouth. Now, you try to put them in 2 or 3 at a time (or eat leaves and dust bunnies) and I have to keep a close eye on you!

You love books (just like your Momma) and don't seem to mind whether they're being read to you or if you're just flipping through them on your own. You also love to imitate people, whether they are tapping their hand on the table or clearing their throat. A game of peek-a-boo induces fits of giggles that would make anyone smile and shoulder rides are the best thing since sliced bread! You are fascinated by animals and show no fear at all around them. It makes Momma think that you might grow up to be a vet.

Teething continues to be the only thing that makes you grouchy. You now have 6 teeth that have broken through the skin (3 on the top and 3 on the bottom) and 1 on the top that I expect to pop through any day now. We tried some homeopathic teething tablets for a couple days that produced 2 of the worst nights you've ever had, so Mommy decided those were a bad idea. Then we bought you a Baltic amber necklace. I didn't really notice it making a difference until I forgot to put it on you one day. That day produced more drooling, crying, and hand gnawing than we had seen since we bought the necklace, so you now wear it every day.

Besides "Mama" and "Dada," you now also say "hiiiiy." We have a mirror attached to the seat in front of you in the car, and you look in the mirror and say hi and wave at yourself every time we put you in the car seat.

You are in 12 month clothes for the most part, but for no other reason than the 9 month stuff is just too short! Your 9 month well baby visit isn't until the 7th, so I will update this post with those stats then. You are now 21 pounds and 29 inches long!

You are the light of my life baby girl. Your sweet smile, sparkling blue eyes and adorable little laugh fill my heart with so much joy.

I love you to the moon and back!
Love always,

Sunday, September 25, 2011

cloth diapers

I can't believe that Audrey is almost 9 months old and I still haven't done a cloth diaper post! When she was born, we used disposables for the first two weeks because she was so little. For the next two weeks, we transitioned using cloth during the day and disposables at night. We were so tired that first month that even something as simple as putting a liner into a cover seemed impossible at 2am! But when she was around four weeks, we went to cloth exclusively and that's what we've been doing ever since. So here's a basic rundown on what we use, how we do it, and what works for us:
  • We use Flip diapers and love them! LOVE them! They are one size, adjustable covers and contain messes very well. When we started using them Audrey was around 8 pounds and she is now around 20 pounds. We have simply adjusted along the way and have had no problems with them fitting her. We have had a few leaks here and there, but honestly, they're leaks that probably would have happened no matter what kind of diaper she was wearing!

  • We have 7 covers and 24 inserts, which works out to be just the right amount for us.
  • I wash diapers every other day. I could certainly buy more inserts and wash less often, but the idea of dirty diapers sitting there for more than 2 days grosses me out!
  • We use the Blueberry brand cloth diaper laundry bag. I haven't had any problems with it and the waterproof lining is still in great condition after 9 months. This is probably in part due to the fact that:
  • I do not wash the laundry bag every time I wash diapers. I have never had a problem with Audrey's room smelling either. Obviously, if you put your nose right up to the bag it smells, but other than that the odors seem to stay inside. I feel that not washing the bag every time helps keep the lining from breaking down too quickly.
  • I've tested several methods for actually washing the diapers. What seems to work best for me and what I'm currently doing is:
    1. Rinse cycle only with cold water.
    2. Wash full cycle in hot water with Dreft laundry soap (and sometimes a little OxiClean if the poopy diapers were particularly gross).
    3. Rinse cycle only with cold water.
    4. Put them in the sun to dry if it's a nice day. Most often they just go in the dryer though.
  • Now that Audrey is eating solid foods, her poop is obviously more solid too. At the advice of one of our cloth diapering friends, we use a simple kitchen spatula (that stays in the bathroom so there's no confusion) to scrape the poop off into the toilet. Then the dirty diaper goes right into the laundry bag. I don't rinse. I wash often enough that I haven't had a problem with staining.
  • When we're out and about, we have a medium sized Bummis Fabulous Wet Bag for wet and dirty diapers. I've never had it leak and it fits nicely in my diaper bag.
  • As for cost, all of my covers and liners were a gift for my baby shower, so I didn't pay for them myself. However, knowing the cost of them, the one time purchase of our supply is MUCH less than we would have spent in disposables over the last 9 months. Obviously, we have the added cost of water, laundry detergent and electricity to wash them, but the increased cost in those things has been minimal. 
  • We decided to use cloth simply for Audrey's benefit. There are so many chemicals on disposables that we just didn't want her exposed to. Some people use them for environmental reasons. While I'm happy we aren't filling the landfill with diapers that take forever to break down, we are using more water, so to me there's good and bad environmentally.
  • They really are just as easy as disposables and take no more time when changing Audrey. The only added effort is the laundry and I feel like I'm doing laundry every day anyway so it really doesn't make a difference to me!
  • After 9 months, my supply is still in excellent condition! I don't see any evidence that they won't last us until Audrey is out of diapers completely!
  • Then there's the cute factor, of course! A cloth diapered bum is just so much cuter! I love her fluffy little bum! And no cartoon characters in sight!
 I mean, come on! How cute is that bum?!

So I think that's it! Do you use cloth? What's your routine like? Feel free to ask any questions if I left anything out!

Everyone has different opinions, preferences, and techniques that work for them. This is simply what works for us! We love cloth, but have nothing against anyone who uses disposables. In addition, I was not compensated in any way by any of the companies mentioned in this post. These are my opinions only and the links are for your convenience.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


When I'm not chasing around after my sweet little stair and coffee table climbing cutie, my photography takes up most of my time. I'm not a professional and I don't plan to be, but I'm constantly trying to learn and improve my techniques. I've had a lot of people tell me recently that I should start a business, but I don't think they understand the amount of work being a professional photographer entails. I think I'm pretty good at it and it's fun! Not to mention the awesome images I get of my friends and family! But right now, being a mommy is my full time job.

Anyway, I've had a photography blog for awhile now, but much like this blog, I wasn't very good at keeping it updated. I just recently redesigned the whole blog and I am in love with how it looks! I am trying to post (or schedule posts) just about every day. The "Photos" link on this blog will take you there, or you can just go there directly, but please take a look around and follow it if you want. Some time in the near future, I may actually add some items to my etsy shop and put a link to it up on the photography blog as well. I even have some giveaways I'm working on!

I can't believe I just wrote an entire post that (almost) didn't mention Audrey! Can't let that happen, can we?! How about a photo? :)
Audrey giving Daddy kisses!
There! That's more like it! :)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

you are beautiful

Today on facebook, a friend of mine posted the following:
Last night my eight-year-old (my strong, healthy, NORMAL eight-year-old) came home and told us she was done eating "Bad food" because she's on a diet. In related news, I'd really like to jump on her classmate's mom's back like a screeching howler monkey for teaching HER kid to teach MY kid that this bull**** is ok.
Then another friend of mine commented:
My strong, healthy, NORMAL 9yr old wore shorts over her bathing suit all summer because she thinks her behind is too big.
Reading it make me physically feel sick. No eight year old should be on a diet. No nine year old should feel this way about their body. And I just can't get it out of my head. I do not want my sweet little girl to ever think she needs to go on a diet! Our attitudes about nutrition, exercise, and the way women should look in this country sicken me.

Dear Audrey (or anyone else that needs to read this),

Growing up, Mommy was "fat." I was never teased or bullied, but I knew I was bigger than everyone else. I put myself on crazy, stupid diets. I drank supplement diet drinks instead of eating meals. And surprise, surprise - it didn't work!

First of all, you are beautiful just the way God made you. I whisper this in your ear every night before I put you down in your crib. I hope that when you're old enough, it sticks with you and you believe it.

Now a little about nutrition. I have done a lot of research on the subject in my life. We eat to nourish our bodies. Whole, natural, unprocessed foods - fruits, vegetables, whole grains, proteins, and even fats - are important to incorporate in our diet in order to fuel our bodies. In addition to nourishing our bodies, some foods also taste really good. Everything in moderation my sweet girl. Do not deprive yourself of something delicious, but do not over-indulge. Food is not only nutrition, but also joy. Some of my favorite family memories revolve around food or the dinner table. Enjoy, live, celebrate, re-fuel, but don't over-indulge.

My thoughts on exercise are probably different than most people's also. Exercise does not have to be going to a gym and running on a treadmill. Find something you love and do that. Exercise becomes a chore when it is boring. Dance around your room. Take the stairs. Go for a walk. Ride a bike. Hoola-hoop or jump rope. Chase after your 8 month old crawling machine of a daughter. ;) Play frisbee with a friend. Weed the garden. Go swimming or play in the snow. Laugh! Get outside, get some fresh air, and just do something - anything!

In most cases, this is all you need to do, my sweet girl. You do not have to be rail-thin to be beautiful. Beauty on the outside emanates from what you feel about yourself on the inside. Be healthy, be active, and embrace your "thunder thighs" (I'm sorry sweetheart, but I'm pretty sure they're genetic!)

Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. Beauty is not starving yourself, diets, over-exercising or plastic surgery. Healthy is beautiful. Confidence is beautiful. You are beautiful, inside and out!

Love always,