Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter!

I hope you had a wonderful day filled with love, hope, and joy!

Looks like we're sailing into April - 39 w 3 d.

Friday, March 29, 2013

39 weeks 1 day

Things are going well. Still pregnant. Measuring 40 cm again this week with a head down baby. Baby Boy's heart rate was in the 130s again and my blood pressure was great.

I have gained about 42 pounds this pregnancy.

We've passed the full moon. Moo was 4 days after and Roo was 6. Perhaps my prediction of a March baby was off and Baby Boy is planning on an April arrival.

Either way, I'm ready to meet him and patiently trying to stay busy.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Still Pregnant.. 39 weeks today. I see my midwives tomorrow and will give you a report/update and share some Maternity pictures!

Oh, and NanaPop are here, just in case ;)

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Playing Games- A Learning Process

The first few times Miss Moo and I tried to play a game together, it wasn't so successful. She was more interested in reaching the final goal - whatever that was - and I was more interested in being sure she followed the directions properly.

In a lot of cases, we would both end up frustrated. She didn't understand why she couldn't just walk her person around the board or build her city. I wasn't sure why she couldn't just follow the directions.

So, I took a step back- from the games we had, from the places we played, and from the rules.

A New Start

Yesterday, we went to look for a new game to play while we wait for Baby Boy to arrive and in the days following when I won't be able to go up and down the stairs all the time. Even though I tried to steer her away, she kept gravitating toward Cootie. When I conceded- she HUGGED the box.

After nap time yesterday, we opened Cootie in our bedroom floor. Miss Roo sat in my lap. Moo asked me what the paper said to do and we began to play according to the rules. Soon, I could see that Moo was frustrated and Roo had lost interest. I didn't want this game to end up like the others so I put the paper and the die away.  I let them finish their bugs and we cleaned up to head downstairs for dinner.

Tonight after dinner, Moo suggested that we play "sumping" together before books and sleepy nap time. I suggested that we play Cootie. She seemed hesitant at first; once we were washed, brushed, and jammied she was ready to go.

Rather that start the game, I simply got all the pieces out and placed them on our bed- not on the floor. Moo looked at me and asked to build her bug. I told her to go ahead and I reached for a head and body without rolling the die. She seemed a little confused at first but then reached for the pink bug. The three of us started adding pieces and taking them apart. We counted legs, we laughed at silly head, lip, and eye combinations, and we giggled as heads fell off.
Moo building her Cootie.
Soon I noticed something - we were each taking turns with the die and then taking a piece to add to our bug after counting the number on the die.
Roo rolling the die.

Mama Learning

It's in moments like these that I realize that I am just as much a participant in the education of my children as I am a leader. I don't always have the answers or do the right thing. But, I do look to my children for clues into how they best learn and how the enjoy their playtime and "school time". I don't want our homeschooling journey to become more about "doing school at home" than it is about educating them in the best way possible for each of them. 

I never liked Cootie growing up, but after tonight, it's becoming a new favorite for me.

Motherhood is an Education

Tonight was a good start for each of us. Moo and I have been giving each other a lot of "Start Overs" lately- when we leave a store where were had a disagreement and we load into the van, when we reunite after a grumpy nap time sendoff, after a time out or a raised voice. We give cuddles, share a smile, and agree to start over again. She has taught me that we need "Start Overs" in our homeschooling lesson just as much as our routines, disciple, and general life.

My children are teaching me so much more than I could ever possibly teach them.  That is the biggest blessing of Motherhood.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Photos on the Wall

We have lived in this house for almost 3 years, and it's been our house, but it hasn't ever really felt like home. In all honesty, it's always been a WRECK. I could keep maybe one room together at a time, but not a whole house. Ever.

This pregnancy I decided we were going to GET this house together. And finally, it is! Andrew's office, the guest room, and the sun room are still a bit cluttered from baby prep and overall household overhaul.  But, the house as a whole is together and can be picked up in 20-30 minutes at any given time. Pictures are on the walls; rooms are decorated and arranged. I feel like this house will become a home when my son is born.

Today's projects were picture related.  I worked when I could around nap and games of Cootie, and this was the result.

The Family Room now has a wall of photos of our girls as it's centerpiece.

Family Room

Our bedroom wall is halfway done. Right now it houses 3 frames: a photo of a family of 3, a photo of a family of 4, and a frame for a photo of a family of 5.  It will soon have a wedding photo, a honeymoon photo, and photos of each of our 3 children.

Over our bed.

In the 3rd frame is a note to our little boy:

Note for Baby Boy.

Miss Roo was born at this point in my pregnancy with her - 38w 4d. He could come any time. I think we're finally ready to see that sweet face- and add it to our wall.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Sweet Sundays

None of us like the Sunday mornings after Drew has to work the night before. It means a tired Mama, two rambunctious girls, and a Daddy that really needs to sleep.  Add over 38 weeks of pregnancy to that and its a LONG day. Especially when I can't stop nesting instead of resting.

It also means that we didn't have our big family breakfast this morning.

But it DOES mean that for dinner we had Daddy's pancakes, bacon, eggs, and fruit - and I got to sit and play puzzles in the floor with my girls while he cooked.

So Sunday was sweet after all.

Hope you had a great day! Happy Sunday!

Friday, March 22, 2013

REPORT - 38 weeks!!

Yesterday I hit the 38 week mark and Baby Boy is doing GREAT!

We went for our weekly check today. Here's where we are:
  • He's still head down- looks like we're safe there.
  •  He still lives on my right side and loves to kick my bladder.
  •  His heart rate was in the steady 130s- the lowest it has been.
  •  I'm measuring 40 cm this week (and for the first time ever!) instead of the 38 cm I measured the last two weeks.
  •  Contractions and Braxton Hicks come and go, but nothing steady yet.

We'll see how the weekend goes as we creep towards the full moon on the 27th.

Like Father, Like Daughter....

If there is ANY question who Miss Moo favors, look NO further.

Daddy sent this to her:

And she sent this back:

Is there any wonder why I love them so? Happy Friday! Wer're off to the Midwives this afternoon- will there be a baby this weekend? Updates tonight :)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Miss Roo's Birth Story

I featured Miss Moo's birth story as we neared her third birthday. As I constantly have birth on the brain these days, I thought perhaps I should take a few moments about a month from Miss Roo turning TWO to recollect her birth.

Roo was born here as opposed to NoVA like her sister. We had a different midwife, a hospital that called it's Maternity floor a "birth center", and a successful birth under our belts. Although we may have been told, earlier in the pregnancy that neither of us can recall,  we "relearned" at about 32 weeks that my midwife was going OUT OF THE COUNTRY for two weeks - starting 38 w 5 days and ending 40 w 5 days. She was the only midwife in the practice I was using and all the doctors scheduled to be on call during her trip I had never met before. She assured me that "I would be fine" with any of the on-calls because she would send out an email asking them to honor my birth plan.

We also decided we'd try to get Miss Roo out before she left. I now realize that this decision wasn't in my best interest, but I can't change it now. We started checking my cervix at 37 weeks. We stripped my membranes twice- nothing. I was dilating - a tight 2 at 38 weeks  - and effacing but just the occasional back contraction. Nothing promising. When I hit week 38 we started walking, having sex, eating pineapple, eggplant Parmesan, and anything spicy I could get my hands on at every meal. Nothing.

On the Saturday before Easter, I had a few regularly spaced contractions.  I was 38 w 4 days- 1 day to spare. While Miss Moo napped, I went to Target and walked the store for two hours. Contractions were coming ever 20 minutes or so and lasting 40 seconds.

I returned home for dinner, though I can't remember what we ate, and labor cake that Drew and I made.  We had bath and bedtime with Moo. I still had distantly but regularly spaced contractions. By 10:30 pm  they were at 10 minutes apart so I called my midwife to let her know it *might* be happening. She told me to rest and call her if they got closer together. I tried to lay down and rest but I was too restless. I got up and started walking the loop in our downstairs. The contractions kept coming.

We called Drew's parents, who are an hour away, to come stay in the house because we saw a hospital trip in our future. We called my parents to tell them to head out first thing in the morning. And I kept walking. And walking. None of the contractions made me stop but they slowed me down considerably.

Once Drew's parents arrive, the two of us got in the van after calling my midwife and headed to the hospital.  I had chosen the hospital furthest from us in order to HAVE a midwife and now that seemed like a bad idea. Especially because my contractions stopped. When I arrived and told my midwife, she said it was perfectly normal and we'd see where I was since my last check 4 days ago. I was dilated to 4 cm and 90 % effaced. Not bad. She suggested that we rupture my membranes so we'd have a baby in a few hours. I agreed and it was done.

Then I started walking. My contractions started picking up and after about 30 minutes I felt her drop into my pelvis and hit my cervix like a rock. As I passed the nurse's station my nurse told me it was time to get in the bed for a check. 

Wait, what?!? Get IN the bed? But I'm walking! Things are happening! Nope, hospital policy and nothing that my midwife could prevent. So, in the bed I went. Everyone was monitored for 15 minutes. I had ONE contraction. They let me up and after 50 minutes I was having contractions every 3-4 minutes  and they lasted 60-70 seconds. Then I had to get BACK in the bed to be monitored for 15 minutes again.

By this time it was 4 am and I thought we'd have already met our daughter by that point. My midwife told me to keep walking and she'd check on me in two hours. I told Drew to rest because this was taking a lot longer than expected. I was also concerned that he might have to go home to help with Moo as soon as Roo was born. He laid down on the window couch and I kept walking. For 2.5 hours. ALONE.

If you know anything about birth and labor statistics, you know that women who have a doula have quicker labors with less interventions. You also know that a woman left to labor alone usually has a high percentage of stalling out. That's exactly what happened. I got to 7 cm and stalled. Walking didn't help, the tub didn't help, massage didn't help. At 7:30 am I was 7 cm dilated and not contracting.

I couldn't go home because we had ruptured my membranes. I had been up 24 hours at this point. My midwife said the word I never wanted to hear  - pitocin. After talking with Drew and being told I'd only have a tiny amount, I consented, and wept. I felt as if I had failed everyone, especially my baby.  At 8:30 am, I was strapped to an IV, allowed to sit on a birthing ball, and watched as clear drugs dripped into the tubes going to my arm.

For the first 3 hours, the pitocin did practically nothing. I DID have contractions - but nothing worse than I was having before it was administered. At 10:45 the drip was upped to 5 units. Within a matter of 15 minutes, I was having one contraction on top of another. I'd contract for 2 minutes, come down for 30 seconds, contract for 1.5 minutes,  and rest for a minutes. Then it would start all over again. It was like transition with Moo X 3000. There wasn't time to prepare mentally for the next contraction before it was slamming into me.

I laid on my left side in the bed trying to cope as best I could- I only remember telling Drew over and over again that "This really hurts. It REALLY hurts." Suddenly I looked at my midwife and said, "She's right there, my cervix is just in the way!!" She checked me and I was 9.5 cm and her head was trying to come through. I pushed and she pushed back the lip of my cervix. 11:29 am.

That first push took me to a full 10 AND pushed her head half way out. I took a breath to deal with the burn and remember Drew telling me she had my hair. I pushed again. And that was it. Miss Roo was born at 11:31 am - two pushes and two minutes after I hit a full 10. That was the BEST part of my labor.

The next bit is a blur because I was so physically and emotionally exhausted from the pitocin and change in plans for my birth. I remember her as a lot fussier than Moo and I remember the trip from L&D to Postpartum. Drew went home to take my placenta for encapsulation and to see Moo. I may have eaten but I don't really recall. I remember nurses and Roo.

My postpartum was FAR better with Roo than Moo. Nurses checked on me every hour or so. The lactation consultants came in daily to check on us and offer support and a chat. Relatives came to meet Roo, starting with her big sister.

And I was able to room in with her and keep her by my side. She was healthy and happy and we were blessed.

But the experience was still bittersweet - mostly due to the attempted manipulation to get Roo out before she was ready.  Our experience with her birth was the beginning of the journey for this pregnancy and has ultimately led us to the decision for a gentle, non-invasive home birth with this baby.

 I never want Roo to think that her labor was bad or wasn't worth it- I would do it all over again to get her here to us. I just want us all to learn from it and grow - just as we did from Moo's birth.

 We always have choices when we choose where we birth. We just need to be sure that our choices expand beyond the threshold of the door of our choosing.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

I Had a Post Planned....

But after gymnastics, a trip to the dentist for both girls at the same time, and a run to Wal-Mart (of ALL places), my morning wore me out. I spent the afternoon resting, hanging pictures, doing laundry, and cleaning a tiny bit when I could. We even WENT to dinner because I just couldn't cook.

So, I'm propped up on the bed - working through the back pain and trying to maximize my time tomorrow in a manner that WON'T exhaust me. I've got a chicken to roast defrosted in the fridge and some lamb to make into a dinner so that I can kill two nights at once. I have an appointment at my fantastic Chiropractor at noon.  And, I'm going to bed early.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Mama Splurged!

Self  portrait in the van.

Today, with the help of our fantastic friend Lizbet, the girls and I went to lunch, Colonial Williamsburg, and the Carter's outlet. I was trying to kill many birds with one stone. Starting with Miss Roo.

This year for Roo's birthday we are doing a few small gifts and one large "experience" gift.  Her gifts (big girl panties, cloth pull ups, a baby wearing sling, a Vera duffel that I got on super-ultra sale, and a rainbow wand) are already purchased and together ready to be wrapped. We plan on going to Busch Gardens for the day and taking her to eat lunch with Elmo and play in "Elmo-Land" (as they call) it to celebrate the big 2.

She is much more girlie than Miss Moo was at this age and is constantly trying to take her sister's sterling silver bracelet and any of my Yurman bracelets she can reach. In an effort to keep gifts to a minimum, we asked NanaPop to get her the same bracelet as her sister.  I went to Colonial Williamsburg to grab one while we were already there and to give the girls some time to stretch their legs, see some history, have a small adventure, and look for horses. We didn't see any horses, sadly, but we DID see a very cute and very dirty sheep.

After gathering some spring summer clothes for the girls at Carter's, Lizbet offered to sit in the van while I took 15 minutes ALONE in a store. I chose J. Crew and entered giddily. I spotted a dress that can be worn three ways - long halter, short halter, and as a skirt! It's cotton, stretchy, coral, and perfect for nursing in! Not only was it an outlet price but it was also 40% off the ticket price!!  Finding the dress took less than 5 minutes. Deciding to actually BUY it took well over 10.

But, I splurged and grabbed it for myself.  I will be able to wear "real" clothes and have belly free dates again with my husband very soon. So, it didn't seem too terribly frivolous. At least that's what I'm still telling myself. We then headed home with a van full of giggles from the backseat - for a few minutes.

Thanks to LizBet for snapping this photo for me! :) 

The girls, by the way, had a GREAT time.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!

St. Patrick's Day looks a little bit different than it did when Drew and I first met.

Instead of green beer we had Daddy's PANCAKES!

Instead of going out on the town we all stayed home in our pajamas. ALL day!

The rainbows in our house were created by two little artists.

The shamrocks were made with fingers and Leprechaun sparkles.
The moustaches made me laugh :) 

And the best part of the day was cuddling in bed with all my loves!

I don't consider my life boring or lacking in any way. We may not be party animals, but it's always a party with my family.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Today I Felt Pregnant.....

Really, REALLY pregnant. 

How can I tell?

  • I did errands this morning with the girls at 11 AM- to acquire the rest of their Easter stuff and gather art supplies for the next few weeks to entertain them.
  • I fixed leftovers for lunch.
  • I decided NOT to nap and go to Trader Joe's and Whole Foods ALONE rather than push the girls in a cart.
  • I looked up a new recipe to try for dinner and started bookmarking pages.
  • I let Drew do ALL the dinner prep cutting.
  • I sat down and watched TV with the girls while Drew did said cutting.
  • I double checked Miss Roo's birthday list to be sure it was done. (Her birthday is the END of April.)
  • I DIDN'T make my planned dessert.
  • I DID think "I might be done being pregnant."

So I'm propped up listening to Daddy do bedtime with Lady Loo snuggled by my side. Daddy has to work tonight starting at midnight so I may be solo for a big chunk of tomorrow.

Thank GOD I bought art supplies.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Fun Friday - Vantage Point

Today, the girls and I head for my now weekly check-in with my midwives. Yesterday, I was 37 weeks - full term. Baby Boy is now "officially" fully baked and can come anytime. I've been having contractions on and off for a few weeks. They've been more noticeable in the past 5 days so we're starting to make progress toward birth.

I still think he won't make it to April, but no one knows for sure. I'm ready to meet him but trying to enjoy BEING pregnant while I still am. We tried to get Miss Roo out so that I was able to deliver her while my midwife was in the country and I didn't take time to savor the last few weeks as a duo. I don't want to cheat myself of that this go around.

So right now, I'm trying to keep the house clean and straight, make sure I cook for us as much as I can, and spend time with my two beautiful daughters. Easter goodies are being gathered, just in case. Miss Roo's 2nd birthday is just around the corner in April (how could that be?!?!?) so her gifts are being made/gathered so that we are able to celebrate a full day of her when it arrives.

Drew and I had what may be our last date night tonight. We went for sushi and had just as much fun as we did when we were first dating. I don't know what life would be like if we hadn't gone for sushi the first time, but I'm thankful daily that we did. He is my other half and I wouldn't be the woman I am without him.

So, we're waiting. And spending time together. Our family is about to change, and I can't wait to see what this vantage point will look like once I'm wearing my son on the outside.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Recipe Collection: Real Food Adapted Shrimp Alfredo

NanaPop headed home today at nap time. Two very sad little girls fought their hardest but finally succumbed to sleep. I followed a direct order given by my husband to lay down and try to sleep. (My feet and legs are swelling this pregnancy, something ELSE completely new).  I woke up an hour and a half later and all I could think about was Shrimp Alfredo.

I decided that I MUST have it for dinner. I've never made this dish, so I did a little Googling. There were lots of blogs that told you to use store bought cheese sauce- EEWW! I dug a little deeper and  gained a basic understanding of how to make a sauce come together.  Then, I ran to the store and got cooking.

 Here's what I ended up with and it was TASTY!

Real Food Adapted Shrimp Alfredo

Preparation Time: 
20 mins

Cook Time: 
25 mins

Total Time:
45 mins

Dairy, Shellfish


  • 1 cup organic half and half
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp freshly cut organic Oregano
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 tbsp organic or local butter
  • 1 pound shrimp (local is best for us to guarantee freshness)
  • Real Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper to taste

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Place 1 tbsp butter in a pot or skillet (I used enameled cast iron) on low and let it melt.
  2. Peel and mince 1 garlic clove. Add it to the melted butter and stir.
  3. Peel and mince the remaining 5 cloves of garlic and set aside.
  4. Chop 1 tbsp of oregano and add it to the garlic and butter.
  5. Chop the 2nd tbsp of oregano and set aside.
  6. Add 1 cup of organic half and half to the butter, garlic, and oregano. Slowly whisk. 
  7. Add a generous pinch of salt and pepper to the pot. Continue to whisk.
  8. Begin adding the grated Parmesan to the sauce, 2 tbsp at a time, whisking constantly. The sauce will begin to thicken as you add the cheese.
  9. When your sauce has thickened, cover it and remove it from heat. (This process took me 10 minutes.)
  10. Haul out the dutch oven over med-low heat and begin melting 2 tbsp of butter in it.
  11. Add the 5 cloves of minced garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  12. Add the 2nd tbsp of oregano to the butter and garlic. Stir and let it cook for 2 minutes.
  13. Add the shrimp to the pot along withe the last tbsp of butter. Stir. 
  14. Add a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Stir.
  15. Let the shrimp cook until completely pink- about 7-10 minutes.
  16. Add the thickened sauce to the dutch oven and stir. Let this cook together for a few minutes. Then turn off the heat. 
  17. Add cooked pasta* of your choice to the pot and mix until thoroughly covered. 
  18. Place in serving bowl.
  19. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley.

*I made this with some organic rice flour angel hair pasta because I couldn't find any rice fettuccine at the store. Next time I will be sure to use the fettuccine noodle because I think it will hold the sauce much better.

This dish was a hit- Miss Roo especially loved the shrimp ;) How could they not love a meal made of their favorites things- milk, cheese, and noodles! It was all gone so quickly that it slipped my mind to take a photo of anything. Miss Moo helped Daddy made a salad and we had watermelon for dessert. 

Spring is almost here! I can't wait for more simple, fresh ingredient meals with all the local goodies starting to pop up.

Have you ever made an Alfredo sauce? What is your favorite way to eat shrimp?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

A Simple Sanity Saver Before Dinner

In our house, we begin dinner between 6:00 pm and 6:15 pm most nights, unless Drew's work day has been hectic and I've adjusted times accordingly. Generally, this means I start cooking around 5:00 pm and the girls are asked to play in the Play Room while I do so. Although they have matured a little in the last few months, leaving them to their own devices in the playroom for 45 minutes or more results in hurricane like forces turning the room upside down. This has forced me to rethink the way I cook dinner and the resources and activities avaliable to them during "the witching hour."

Sometimes it is play dough, tools, and cookie cutters. They both enjoy the tactile experice of playdough and often are cooking just like I am at the time. Sometimes, we pull out the magnetic paper dolls. Miss Moo can sit and play with those for hours- switching outfits back and forth among the dolls, creating stories around their outfits, and creating dialog among the dolls themselves.  Miss Roo isn't as entertained with these dolls for as long as Moo tends to be, so I usually supplement the magnet dolls for her with a few books to "read", some blocks or legos to build with the dolls, or some small animals from our felt farm.

But my best tool is the art station. We have a little organizer from Ikea that hold all our paper, crayons, stickers, markers, and other various creative goodies. Some nights they get stickers, crayons,  and construction paper. Others, they washable markers and activity placemats. Sometimes they get huge pieces of paper and they make their placemats for dinner.*

Art is a great outlet for most people, but especially for little children. Allowing them to explore without instruction and expectation yield a great learning experience of creation for process sake rather than forced product. Moo has moved from scribbles to creating snowmen, animals, people, and forming letters on her own. Roo now repeats the way to make letters, such as "up down up down" for a M, even if she doesn't make the letter at the time. Her scribbles are starting to be more controlled and she's interested in using more than one color of crayon, marker, etc.

Giving them this freedom, and often sitting to color and create while I can if something is boiling or roasting, has made our dinner transition much easier. The girls look forward to our art nights and I look forward to the gentle time I see them spending together. They are learning to share without an adult sitting right with them. They color and create on one another's papers and occasionally together.

I am learning how to allow them to explore without feeling the need to interrupt in order to teach or direct. I'm also using their creations as a way to foster their love of art by asking questions in a supportive way - "That's beautiful! Would you tell me about your picture?" rather than "What is this a picture of?" 

So give it a try- grab the kids, some big paper, and set them at the table. Ask them to make a placemat for themselves for dinner. Let them create. Ask them about their picture. Start a pre-dinner tradition.

What simple solutions do you use for your "witching hour?" Do you ever participate with your children?

Sunday, March 10, 2013

The Diaper Bag Post Is STILL a DRAFT :(

I spent today outside with my girls and baby prepping the house with NanaPop. Tonight I am taking a bath and willingly going to bed.

It's coming- I promise!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

MAP March 2013 Part Two - 5 In A House Built For 4: Adding In All That Baby Gear

5 In A House Built For 4: Adding In All That Baby Gear

If you’ve already read, 5 in a House Built for 4: Maximizing Your Room’s Space with Baby, you know that my husband and I have decided to share our room with our new baby. Already a co-sleeping family, he would have been sleeping with us anyway. However, with our lack of available bedrooms for a baby room, his furniture will also be sharing a room with us, rather than being in a separate nursery. To see how we prepared our room for all the baby stuff, read 5 in a House Built for 4: Maximizing Your Room’s Space with Baby.

Adding In All That Baby Gear

We brought in all of the stuff that baby boy would need at first- the bassinet with changing table, the glider, and the bin ofdiapers. We assembled the bassinet and placed it on the wall next to my desk. We placed the glider in the corner by the window on other side of the bassinet. We then evaluated space to see what else would fit.

Diaper Bag Review- Moved to Sunday

Today was a cleaning day on top of a home visit with my midwife, help from NanaPop, and two stir crazy little girls.

I don't have the energy to finish my diaper bag review tonight for tomorrow morning.

So, you'll have to wait one more day.

For a preview, however, take a look HERE!

See you on Sunday!

Friday, March 8, 2013

The Diapers are READY!* - Cloth Diapering a Newborn

Cloth diaper storage for Baby B.

We are 95% cloth diapering family. There are times when we have/do use disposables. Every time I do, however, I lament that I have the girls in disposables rather than cloth. We decided to continue cloth diapering with Baby Boy. With Miss Moo, we had a diaper service for the first 7 months.

Cloth Moo.

With Miss Roo, we did more disposable that I care to admit because we didn't have enough diapers at the time to keep two in cloth and I didn't have a diaper sprayer when she was born.

Cloth Roo.

Where to Start

Now that all of those issues have been solved, we are charging full steam ahead into newborn cloth diapering. I was on a bit of a learning curve this time, so I did some research to see what was recommended in terms of  the number of inserts and covers we needed, AIO's vs. prefolds (vs flats vs AI2), brand name inserts vs. "generic", and suggested rotation cycles. 
There is A LOT of information out there about cloth diapering. If you aren't familiar with CDing at all and just decide to do a "simple" Google search, you could lose your mind. I know I was beyond overwhelmed as a first time mom and it doesn't always get easier. I highly recommend finding a friend or online community that supports and uses CD's. 


Here are a few resources you could use:

The Blog at Diaper Junction, a local diaper store I use a great deal.

Changing Diapers: The Hip Mom's Guide To Modern Cloth Diapering on Facebook

Our Plan

At First, At Home
Covers and prefolds in the top drawer.

After all my re-research and experience, we decided to initally use prefolds in Thirsties covers. We had quite a few from Miss Moo and wanted to build upon what we had. I want to be able to wash diapers every 2-3 days, so we have 13 (because I can't count when I order) newborn (x-small) size covers. I used reward points from Diaper Junction to build our stash. 

For inserts, I purchased all 29 newborn size Bumpkins prefolds that our local store, Franklin Goose, had in stock the day I was there. Nana also had 9 leftover Carter's cloth diapers she had purchased as burp cloths when Moo was born. I brought those home to supplement my stash. I also purchased some cloth inserts from Babies R Us - a pack of "girl" and a pack of "boy" diapering totalling 8. These diapers are the colors of the rainbow and I plan to use the color as a warning that I need to wash diapers when I see them pop up in the rotation.

At First, On the GO
Additional prefolds and Newborn AIO's in the 2nd drawer.

Even thought I have been using cloth diapers when out and about for over 3 years, I still look for ways to simplify it. I especially need it simple with both Baby Boy and Miss Roo in diapers and the possibility for accidents from an almost potty trained Moo. I decided that rather than dealing with inserts, covers, and folding when out, I was going to get some newborn AIO's.  We use Bum Genius pocket diapers and GroVia hybrid diapers with Roo (and did with Moo), so I started there. I found that the GroVia newborn AIO's were well reviewed, avaliable locally, and well costructed. Using reward points, I purchased 4 to use when we are out of the house in the first month or two to make his diaper changes quicker and easier.

After the "Newborn" Stage
I have 6 small size Thirsties covers. We can move to those as grows, his nursing habits level out, and we learn his schedule/ routines. I can double up the newborn size inserts to use in them. I also bought 3 GroVia AIO's to use when he outgrows the newborn size until he's big enough for the GroVia Hybrids and the Bum Genius pocket diapers.

And, Just in Case
Roo had TINY hips when she was born. There was no way for us to use any of the cloth diapers that we had on her because her hips were just too small. We had to use Preemie disposable diapers on her for almost a month even though she was gaining weigh because she was just too tiny for anything else. So, with this knowledge, our last drawer holds this:
The bottom drawer.

The next step cloth diapers are stored with some Newborn disposables and some Lansinoh wipes, just in case. Like I said, we're a 95% cloth diapering family and I recognize that we will use a disposable on occasion. And, just like I do every time we use them now with the girls, I will curse them for the leaks, the blow outs, and the mess each time he wears them.

Now, On to the Diaper Bag
Cloth diapering always presents a problem of space when on outings and traveling. So I did some research and ordered a FANTASTIC diaper bag for the cloth diapering Mama. You'll have to wait until tomorrow to read all about it! ;) 

*Okay, they have been for a while. I've just been forgetting to haul the camera upstairs for the last month or so ;) 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

MAH March 2013 - Nettle- A Natural Antihistamine

James Bowe via Compfight cc
Image by James Bowe
It's March already and with the changing calendar comes the changing weather. This year the temperatures have been all over the map in our area. We can go from a 70 degree sunny day to a forecast of 6 inches of snow in less than 4 days. With such fluctuations in temperatures and weather patterns, the plants and animals are clueless as to what is going on. Buds are forming in our yard. And allergies are starting to pop up all around.

I've Heard About Nettle

One of the herbs I've heard about in the past regarding allergies is Nettle. I've always been curious but just haven't taken the time to educate myself. With the impending arrival of another person in our home, I've been trying to broaden my knowledge of holistic and natural healing. I knew that there was nettle in my pregnancy tea blend, but I had no idea why.  So, I decided to dig further.

MAP March 2013 - Part One - Maximizing Your Room's Space with Baby

By Malissa, Contributing Writer
Our family is truly blessed. We have two great girls and a little Boy on the way. We have a house that has 4 bedrooms in a good neighborhood in our city. My parents are willing to visit often to help with the girls as I grow larger and slow down. Andrew's job has changed since our move in 2010 and he works from home 100% of the time now. Our children are surrounded daily by the adults that love them.
However, a 4-bedroom house with a Daddy that needs an office and a NanaPop that need a guest room presents a problem for Baby Boy. Where will he go once he arrives? The girls share a room and are waiting on the arrival on a set of bunk beds to replace the twin they share most of the time. The addition of a twin over full bed severely limits our space for furniture in their room. After much discussing, we decided to put Baby Boy the only logical place  - our room.

Recipe Collection: Snow Means SOUP! - Real Food Chicken Noodle Soup

The picture quality on all these is terrible because I was using my 3 year old's adventure camera.

It poured snow - much to our surprise -yesterday. The girls loved watching it and I loved the chance to get my feet up a little more when I wasn't nesting.  But what is a cold, snow day without a little Chicken Noodle Soup? Here's my recipe! (With process photos this time!)

Real Food Chicken Noodle Soup

Allergen Information:
Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Egg Free*

Preparation Time:
20-30 minutes

Cook Time:
2-3 hours to simmer

Total Time:
3.5 hours


  • 1-1.5 pounds of organic (local preferred but I used Trader Joe's this time) boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • One yellow onion - diced
  • One fennel bulb - diced
  • 4-5 stalks of celery (depending on size) - thinly sliced
  • 4-5 carrots  (depending on size) - thinly sliced
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp herbs de Provence type blend
  • 1 tbsp EVOO
  • 2tbsp butter
  • Real Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 1 package organic brown rice Fusilli pasta

Cooking Instructions:

1. In a cast iron pot or dutch oven, add 2 tbsp of oil and 1 tbsp of butter. Set the heat to simmer and let those warm together.
2. Dice your onion. Add it to the pot of warm oil and butter and let them simmer.

3. Dice your fennel bulb and add it to your onions. Give it all a good stir.

4. Slice your carrots and add them to the pot. Stir them well.

5. Thinly slice your celery stalks. Add them to the pot with 2nd tbsp of butter and a little salt and pepper. Stir.

6. Cut your chicken thighs into big chunks and add them to the pot.

7. Add your 1st tbsp of herbs and stir.

8. Add 4 cups of chicken broth, salt, pepper and the 2nd tbsp of herbs.

9. Next, add two more cups of broth. Cover the pot and switch the element to 2.

10. Let the pot sit until the soup begins to simmer. After an hour, add two more cups of chicken broth.

11. Stir the soup every hour or so. After the soup is done, it's time for the noodles.

12. I tried a new technique this time and was much more satisfied with the result. I cooked the Fusilli in a separate pot for 8 minutes so that it was slightly al dente.  I then added 1/2 of the cooked noodles to the pot of soup slowly.

13. I let it sit in the soup for 5 minutes, then turned off the heat.  

14. I let the noodles sit in the pot while I finished up some sides (biscuits and applesauce) and then dished everyone up.

** Egg may appear in your noodles- always check your labels for allergen information.

YUMMY! What a GREAT dinner on a gusty and cold wintry night!

Miss Roo approved....

As did a camera shy Miss Moo...

Are there any favorites that you make in your house on cold, wintry nights?