Friday, April 26, 2013

"C" is for Construction

This post has been drafted since October 2011.  Yes...2011.  A few months after Tully, who is now 2, was born, I knew that doors on my office were an absolute necessity.  Here is a before shot.

My office was initially a dining room that opened up to the entry way and kitchen.  We have an island and eat-in kitchen area, so we had absolutely no use for an additional formal dining room.  After consulting with our realtor, we decided to wall up the opening to the kitchen and put doors along the entry-way opening.

The same guy who did my closet and laundry room came back for this project.  The first time the custom doors arrived, they were 6' 8".  We ordered 8'.  Back they went.  Second order arrived but had damaged glass.  Returned.  Damaged glass door came back with different glass than the other panels.  The fourth order was finally correct and undamaged, so we hired some painters and completed the project.  Woo hoo!

Here are the progress and final photos.  The project wrapped up in 2012.  Tully was at least 1, and Clare wasn't born yet, so that puts us between April and December...sometime in there.  My mommy brain can't nail down a date more concrete than that.  John brought out his electrical engineering skills and installed the desk lighting for me.  He also rewired the existing kitchen switch to the outer wall and made the original switch my new desk light switch.  Resourceful and practical.  Thanks, babe!

1) wall installed 2) cabinets installed and 3) painted

1) doors installed and 2) painted

Next projects...the chimney is being rebuilt, and then granite is being installed in the kitchen.  All in May.  Nearly full master bathroom remodel also coming in 2013.  Whoever got the brilliant idea to undertake all of these projects with two small children needs their head examined.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

"C" is for Cloth Diapers

I hopped on the cloth diapering bandwagon for several reasons, mostly to save money and decrease waste.  We spent approximately $700 for disposable diapers for Tully in one year.  I stopped tracking diapers after his first year, but I can guess we spent about that much for his second year as well.  He used fewer diapers, but the price per diaper increased with size.  In September, Tulsa changed the trash service, and we seriously selected twice a week trash pickup instead of once a week because of the number of diapers I was expecting between both Tully and Clare.  Now that we're cloth diapering and Tully is potty trained, I'm hoping to reduce our service back to once a week.

I started with four gDiapers I purchased on Craigslist from a new mom who didn't want them after only a few uses.  Four diapers wasn't nearly enough for a newborn, since we were constantly washing the same diapers over and over.  They also weren't absorbent enough.  First attempt = fail.  I did some more online research to decide what type of diaper I wanted to use: All-In-Ones (AIO), All-In-Twos, pockets, or hybrids--just to name a few.  I liked the idea that I could adjust the absorbency in pocket diapers, and they were the closest thing to AIOs, as far as ease of use.  Some of the most popular pocket diapers are fully adjustable one-size diapers that fit almost from birth to potty training.  The one-size pockets fit best starting at about 12 lbs.  Once Clare hit 12 lbs I bought a stash of 10 pocket diapers from my friend, Callie, at Oui Oui Cloth Diapers.  Ten diapers is enough for about one day for us, so it was a decent start.   I bought a few other brands to see what types and styles fit best: BumGenius, Fuzzibunz, Bumkins, and Thirsties Duos.  We experienced some leaks and had some diapers that still smelled even after washing.  First I thought the diapers were repelling, so I tweaked our washing routine.  We now rinse/wash/rinse and use Charlie's Soap or Rockin' Green Hard Rock for the wash.  The rinses are really full wash cycles on warm with no soap.  The actual wash cycle is done on heavy duty with hot water and an extra rinse.  The diapers are definitely clean each time now, and we're actually saving money on laundry soap because Charlie's and Rockin' Green are both cheaper than Tide from Sam's.  Since we can't use laundry softener (causes repelling), I bought some wool dryer balls.  They help with softening, and I noticed everything definitely dries faster.  I'll be happy when we can use our chemical-laden laundry softener again though so our laundry will smell delicious.

I figured out some of the leaks were leg leaks from loose elastic, so we fixed that too by replacing those diapers.  The last piece was figuring out the right inserts.  Pocket diapers typically come with microfiber inserts.  These just did not work for us.  They weren't absorbent enough.  They can't be placed directly against baby's skin, if needed, and it was difficult to get them clean in the wash.  Callie brought over some old-school cotton prefold diapers like the ones my mom used on me 30 years ago, and I put those in place of the microfiber inserts.  Boom--no leaks!  There are lots of options for cotton prefolds, so I've ordered several brands to see what will work best for us.  They also make hemp prefolds.  They are more expensive, but reviewers say they are trim and more absorbent.  I can't wait to try them.

So far I've spent about $500 on cloth diapers, wet bags, dryer balls, diaper pail liners, and a sprayer.  The initial investment is nearly what it cost to diaper Tully for a year, but I can use everything until Clare is potty trained.  Also, I've been able to resell the first four gDiapers I purchased and recover my cost for those.   I still use some microfiber and gDiaper inserts to double up with prefolds at night, so I want to keep some on hand, but I don't need over half of what I own.  If the cotton and hemp prefolds work as I expect, I'll unload most of the microfiber inserts and the rest of my gDiaper inserts, and my costs should come down to $400.   Also, when Clare is potty trained, I can resell my entire stash, so hopefully it doesn't cost much of anything in the end to diaper her.

It's been a learning process for sure, but I like the cloth diapers.  Now that we have a wash routine and no leaks, it's easy, and there are tons of prints and colors to choose from.  I think my little bunny likes them too.

Monday, April 1, 2013

"C" is for Clare (2 mo)

Clare really likes blowing bubbles.  She also has pretty good head control now, and she loves to sleep on her tummy just like her brother did.  Back to sleep...blah, blah...I know, I know.  I also know my kids... Anywho, baby girl wakes up once a night around 3 am to nurse and goes right back to sleep.  This is new territory for me, as Tully was a terrible sleeper.  We've also ventured into new territory with cloth diapering.  I'm saving that for a whole new post.  Stay tuned.

Clare is still exclusively breast fed, and we've successfully battled through oversupply and thrush.  Ever seen gentian violet (GV)?  It's an all natural thrush treatment.  This is Clare after nursing.

It stains everything.  Tully found the bottle and opened it.  This was fun to explain to his teachers.

We tried other natural and prescription treatments, but nothing was getting rid of the thrush, so we tried GV.  It made a huge mess, but it provided immediate relief and eventually got rid of the thrush completely.  It will be our go-to remedy, if thrush comes back.
Clare is still tracking great for height and weight.  Here are her stats:

weight 13 lbs 1 oz (68%)
height 23.5 in (67%)
head 40 cm (78%)

Tully brought home a nasty cold/virus from school that he shared with the entire family.  This was the first day he was sick.  The kid doesn't sleep anywhere but in his bed.  He has NEVER fallen asleep on the couch.

Every single one of us, including my mom, got ear infections.  The kids took antibiotics, but since I already had thrush, they were off limits for me.  I ended up with a ruptured ear drum, which wasn't fun since I had partial hearing loss when it happened.  Even with antibiotics, Clare had to go in for a second sick appointment to start nebulizer treatments.  I snapped this pic of John taking care of her.

Once everyone recovered, we got out to enjoy the few inches of snow Tulsa got.  Tully loved his sled from Mamay, and Clare slept the entire time all bundled up under my jacket.  She could breathe.  I promise.

The weather warmed up some in March, so I took Clare out in the stroller on a nice day.  Tully was never a fan of being strapped in, so I wondered what Clare would think.  She enjoyed it!

After she spit up on that outfit, I changed her into a onesie her Aunt Lisa made.  I think Clare makes a pretty cute Raggedy Baby model.

I am definitely Clare's favorite person right now.  I think it has something to do with milk, so she gives me lots of smiles and laughs.  As she gets older and depends on me less, I know she will enjoy spending more time with her daddy.  Until then, I'm going hog all of her kisses and snuggles!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...