Friday, January 24, 2014

Being Intentional: January

For the first month of being intentional with my time (more about that goal here) I get off easy on the planning side! January is a busy, busy month for us! It's actually a goal of Johns and mine to not have children in January because there's just so much going on already (fingers crossed God agrees with that plan!)! We have New Years (duh!), my Birthday, John's Birthday and our Anniversary. Poor John really gets the short end of the stick on his birthday since it's only 3 days before our Anniversary, the two just get combined most of the time.

This weekend John and I are getting away overnight to celebrate both our Anniversary and his Birthday. We're not doing anything big and crazy; A. We're broke! (but I love my time with my daughter way more than having money!) and B. I'm not ready to spend much time away from Coralie yet. 

Tonight we'll be at home, I'm planning to try out Stuffed Pepper Soup that Christa raves about! Then I have the fun and joyous tasks of meal planning for February (we're doing a no eating out challenge!) and budgeting for February. Joy, Joy!

Tomorrow is when the fun begins:
We've booked a hotel in Irving? (John is taking care of planning this shindig)
He's letting me go to IKEA!! For no fun - adult reasons... we need stuff, like trash cans and other small stuff that's just fun to get at Ikea!

We're going to dinner at Maggianos! John hasn't ever been, I haven't been since my bachelorette party so we thought that would be a fun, yet on the simpler (aka affordable) side. 

I *think* we may also be squeezing in a movie in a real movie theater! We haven't been to the movies in a theater in a long time! (I'm not counting seeing Frozen with the cousins, chaperoning never counts and John opted to watch football rather than go!)

This weekend will also be my first night away from Cora since she was born (other than the nights she was in NICU and not right beside my bed). I'm excited, intellectually I understand that John and I need this time together but geeze this is hard! Little Miss Cora will be in good hands with my Dad, so no worries on that front. As much as I will miss her, there's no denying that I'm really looking forward to a full, uninterrupted 8 hours of sleep!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Coralie 3 Months Old!

Cora turns 3 months old today! Goodbye 4th Trimester & Infancy; we have a baby now! 

Napping with Mommy & Mr. Foot
The third month of life came with a TON of development! I can really tell that she is leaving the wake, eat, sleep age and transitioning into a more playful baby girl. She's almost completly moved away from her two hour schedule that she's maintained since birth and we're on a pretty consistent three hour schedule between feedings. She's also taking closer to 4 ounces of breast milk at each feeding verses last months 3 or sometimes 3 and a half.

Cora can now sit up with complete neck control (assisted of course) so now we are making great use of her Bumpo seat! She still loves to grasp things and will sometimes reach out for objects but I'm looking for that particular skill to develop more this month. If I had to guess she is a bit spoiled that we anticipate what she wants and hand it to her rather than making her reach for it (then I freak out that she isn't reaching "enough" - like they're measuring this?!? Oh Mom guilt!)

At Pediatrician for 2 mo shots
She's really discovered her mouth! She sucks her thumb, or her fist. Whichever she can get in her mouth the quickest. I may regret this later but right now I'm happy that she has found a way to soothe herself if I can't get a passifier to her right away. She loves blowing spit bubbles with all the drool she is producing (which is tons and tons!)! She is very close to discovering her feet! She gets really interested in someone touching them (though she's not particularly ticklish, there or anywhere) and she'll pull them up and stare at them but we haven't seen her grabbing them yet.

UNT v. Southern Miss Basketball game
She has a favorite toy! Mr. Foot - her Sock Monkey from her Great Grandparents! She also likes her Lion, Stewart, or "Stew", from Auntie Tiffany (my good friend)! She seems to really like that the arms & legs are small enough for her to grip. It's so adorable to watch her hold them as she sleeps! Mom has already left Mr. Foot at a Chili's and had to go back for him!

Tummy time isn't Cora's favorite but just this past weekend she rolled over from her front to her back! She's been so close for so long! She was just a few weeks old doing tummy time and if she could have just coordinated everything she could have rolled. There have been a couple of 'assisted' rolls where she's slightly propped on something and can roll off of it, but this is the first roll from a completely flat surface!
Today I have it on my Mom list to research ways to encourage her to roll from her back to her front. Suggestions Moms?? Once she gets from her tummy to her back she is more than content to lay there looking at her floor mat toys dangle over her.

Her first play date with E while we did our Cara Box exchange!
Coralie is still a very happy girl with a great bubbly demeanor through most of the day! She still has a 'witching hour' that starts about 6 in the evening and lasts until bed (that has been going on for a couple of months now), she'll fuss and fuss then bust out into all out wails if we don't hold her constantly...but it seems to be getting better the last week or so! Speaking of crying - she now has big tears to go with those cries! Her eyes get red and puffy and all adorable if it weren't for the fact that
she's usually crying for no particular reason.

Stew the Lion!
This past week we've started stage one of our Sleep Training plan (consistent sleeping in her bassinet, rather than in bed with Mom). I never want to move her out of our room but those are my emotions talking. My brain (and John) know that it's time to make the transition to her room. We've started a bedtime routine of: last diaper change of the day, pajamas, then lavender lotion, a bedtime story book with Daddy and nursing with Momma until drowsy then into her Bassinet she goes. Her glowing seahorse toy has really come in handy for this!
Next week we plan to move the bassinet into her bedroom and do a few nights with her in there in the bed she is accustomed to. If that is successful we'll then make the transition to her crib!

Mommy & Postpartum:  This upcoming weekend will be my first overnight time away from her. We're going to sneak off to a hotel and just spend some intentional time together for John's birthday & our 3rd anniversary (much like we did last year). I'm excited and nervous at the same time. She'll be with my Dad and since he keeps her when I work I know he'll be fine and she'll be fine - I'm just anxious about it all. 

First playdate with Juliet
In regards to Postpartum, I feel great! I've dropped another pants size since she was born, so that's great and all but it's really time to start working out. Not sure when Moms find time for that?!? I know I've got a few things out of place and need to go back and see a Chiropractor again (ahem, pelvic bone). What isn't great... hair loss, like A LOT of hair loss! I don't even know how to describe how much hair I'm loosing! I fill my hairbrush each morning, we had to snake our bathtub drain to clean out my hair. I swept the bathroom at work and was disgusted at how much of my hair I'm apparently leaving everywhere! Do moms have any suggestions on how to reduce this? I'm doubting that there's anything to be done but I'm desperate!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Cloth Diapering, done cheap!

We decided to try cloth diapers when we realized that at the rate we were going through Disposables, we would spend about $50 a month on diapers (on the low end). I also found that a particularly economical brand of Sposies (disposables) that actually fit our daughter well put off this odd chemical odor when she wet the diaper. It was faint, but there, not very comforting. Buying cloth diapers on a budget was a big issue, we already had enough disposables from showers to get us through for a little while so we decided to buy cloth diapers one or two at a time, starting with the cheapest, quality ones I could find.

We picked Pocket Diapers because it seemed easiest! Easy is key in our house! I also knew that if it wasn't easy-peasy John wouldn't really be interested in it. All in Ones would honestly be easier, but line drying diapers helps them last longer and I read over and over again that it took a long time to get All in Ones to dry. As we expand our collection I plan to add a few AIOs here and there, but for now I'm really happy with the pockets. After you wash & dry them, stuff the insert in the little pouch (I do this while I watch TV or while Cora plays in her jumparoo) and they're ready to go! When it's time to change I just put the whole diaper in the wet bag. On washing day I just pull the inserts out of the diaper as I toss it in the washer.

Prefolds (& covers) are significantly cheaper! This is probably what you think of when you hear Cloth diapering, the flat piece of fabric you pin to the baby. I actually really considered doing this! Now there are these nifty things called snappis that replace the pins, I was totally sold! Problem was, I knew I would end up being the only one in the house actually putting cloth diapers on the baby if I picked this style. It was only going to end up being practical & economical if I could get my husband and any caretakers (ie my father!) on board!

The three brands we initially purchased were, Alva Baby, Kawaii, and Sun Baby. (I wish I could find a reputable dealer for Happy Flute diapers, if you have suggestions I'd love to hear them!) These brands are the cheapest options I found out there. Eventually we plan to try the more expensive options one at a time. Each of these brands runs roughly $7 a diaper.

If you want to try these diaper brands out one at a time, I found that Amazon was a great resource, except for the Kawaii diapers - just order those from their website (Amazon had them for twice the price!). (Fair warning, shipping these diapers one at a time is pretty pricey as far as shipping is concerned, they're coming from Canada.) This is particularly relevant for trying out Sun Baby diapers. On their website, you have to order them in bundles, which is great if you know it will work for you, not so hot if you just want to check them out.

A note about these sellers - The Kawaii diapers shipped out of Canada and always got to me in a very reasonable time frame (roughly a week from ordering). The Sun Baby diaper I ordered was off Amazon, so I can't speak to the shipping times from the actual company. Alva Baby diapers shipped out of China and their shipping times showed it. They shipped the day after I ordered them, but I got them 3 weeks, 6 days later. Considering I paid like $.06 for shipping - I'll order again, you just shouldn't count on getting them quickly.

We decided we needed roughly 9 diapers to get through a day based on what we went through a day in disposables. Obviously, I'm not a fan of doing laundry every single day, and I've read that hang drying the diapers will make them last longer so ideally we will get our stock up to 18 or more diapers. For now I'm diapering Cora in cloth on the days I'm home with her during the week, so Tuesdays and Thursdays. I wash on Wednesday between so that I'm good for Thursday and again on Friday or Saturday. I try to get at least one weekend day in cloth, this will get easier as we get more diapers.

My wet bag from Sweet Bobbins

The Extras -  Beyond the diapers you will have at least one more need. Wet bags. To get started I purchased a medium sized wet bag that is big enough for my needs. Since then I've added a pail liner for my diaper pail, but that isn't necessary! If you plan on using cloth diapers outside of the house, you'll also need a wet bag that can go in your diaper bag. I recommend this amazing Etsy shop for your wet bag needs!

If you are really interested in saving money I recommend looking into cloth wipes! I looked at buying some but as cute as they are I just couldn't justify spending so much money on wipes, even if they are reusable. I made my own - I'll post about that another day. It was so easy and I have more wipes than I can use in several days and the cost was very reasonable! They don't add any more work to my diapering routine because I just toss them in the wet bag and then the wash with the rest of the diaper laundry!

I'm loving cloth so much! I hardly notice the added "work" of using cloth over disposables and I'm so much happier with putting them on my daughter!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

A Quarter Century

Last week I turned 25 - a whole quarter century! I don't make a big deal about my birthday, I just enjoy spending time with my family. John got me some pretty flowers and dressed Cora up in an adorable onsie that he made for her. After running errands and cleaning house (I'm telling you, we really live it up for my birthday!) we went to dinner with my Dad and youngest brother.

Each year on my birthday I like to set goals for myself and the coming year. Basically like everyone else does at New Years but I don't get around to until four days later... (and I'm finally getting to publish this 11 days after my birthday...)

This year my goal is to intentional. Intentional with my marriage, with my daughter and with my friends.

Friends - When John and I discuss our friends that we don't see often one of us usually remarks that "they're busy" or "not available". In reality, they're just as busy (or less so) than us and they're just as available as us. We're just not intentional and don't have foresight to plan ahead and schedule time to see the friends (and heaven knows we're not spontaneous). My goal is to plan ahead and have "friend time" at least once a month and to make an effort to vary which friends we're seeing.

Daughter- This year is a year of firsts! I'm so excited to plan different outtings and events for Cora and our family! I can't wait to be there to experience all her firsts! Part of this of course includes making time to be with her. This past Monday I started a new job! It was a hard decision for us to make for me to leave my last company. Even though it was hard, we both knew it was the right move! I'm working three days a week with some flexibility at my new position. I added a commute, I hate traffic, but I'm about three miles from where John works so we get to commute together and I love spending that time with him in the mornings and afternoons.

Husband - As much as I love time with my daughter, I have to keep making my marriage a priority! I've planned a date or outting for each month of the year. This time is for us to go and spend together making certain that the two of us are still strong in our love for each other and maintaining the foundation of our family.

I couldn't be more excited about everything that is in store for our family in 2014!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Coralie 2 months Old!

I can hardly believe that Cora is 2 months old! In many ways she is much like her 1 month self through most of her second month of life. The last week and a half or so she has changed drastically!

A few days ago I was watching her sleep in her swing before I took her to bed for the night and it just hit me that she is beginning to have the "baby" look rather than the little bitty infant features. I stopped what I was doing (cleaning... my house will never be clean again it seems!) and took her to bed, woke John up and cried to him about it.

She is about the same with ability to hold her head up, though she has gained the ability to track and monitor motion much easier! She will find someone or something look at it and turn her head to follow it! This skill came on so quickly! My brothers and Dad were commenting on it too, that one day she wasn't doing this and wasn't really tracking very much with her eyes and the next she is a pro!

She loves grabbing things, she has found a great love of having a fist full of my hair whenever possible, if it's pulled back into a pony tail she will happily settle for whatever necklace I'm wearing. 

She's officially outgrown Newborn diapers but we're still jamming her in them to finish out the last of the pack we have. Her little legs aren't quite plump enough to fill out the leg holes in her cloth diapers, so we'll have to wear disposable size ones for now. 

She grins and laughs, especially in the mornings! She is still really gassy. I feel awful, I'm just sure it's somehow my fault, something I'm eating, but I can't figure it out. We'll talk to her Pediatrician about it at her 2 month check up next week.

She is still breastfeeding like a champ and I'm really loving it! There are some days that I just wish I could give her formula and move on but those thoughts are fleeting and don't last long. I love the days that I can provide all her feedings and we don't have to give her frozen breast milk. I treasure the time with her and it has really made me slow down and prioritize time with my daughter over all the hustle and bustle of other stuff. I've even gotten to where I'm really pretty comfortable breast feeding in public, though I really aught to invest in a sling soon, she's getting heavy and wiggles a lot!
We've planned to exclusively breastfeed her until she's 6 months old, and I know that at that point she'll really start wanting "real" food. Even though that's four months away, I can already tell you I will miss all the nursing and am confident that I will still nurse her some through her first birthday. 

Sleep... oh sleep how I miss thee! ha. Actually it's not that bad. Yes, I'm tired but in the grand scheme of things it isn't awful. The lack of sleep in pregnancy was worse, at least I sleep well when I get the opportunity! Cora had been sleeping through the night or really close to it, 6 and 7 hour stretches, even a couple of 8 hour spurts after particularly busy days until just after Thanksgiving. 
Then I went back to work... She regressed to waking every two hours like clock work. 11 pm, 1 am, 3 am, 5 am and then again at 7 when we'd get up for the day. Slowly shes stretched the two hour intervals to three and we have almost made it back to a whole night but it's been a long month! Right now she eats at about 11 pm and will sleep until 5 am. I'll take it! :)

In her second month of life...
First Thanksgiving, First "snow" (though it was really a bad ice storm), Her first Santa Pictures, She went to her Uncles' church Christmas Contata, Stayed with her Grandma and Chipaw for a few hours while Mommy & Daddy went to a Christmas party and had her first Pierce family Cousins' Reunion! It was a few days after her 2 month mark but we'll count it anyway, Her first Christmas!