Sunday, March 27, 2011

Saturday, March 26, 2011

ELEVEN months of Avery!

Life with Avery just keeps getting better and better. Every month she is more fun and delightful than the last. I am enjoying watching her grow so much! She has so much personality - more every day it seems.  Only one more month till the Little Elf is one year old!  Stop stop STOP!  You can't grow up any more, baby.  You have to stay my sweet little doodlebug!
This month the biggest new development has been communication. Avery is figuring out the beginnings of how to tell us what she thinks and wants. She started pointing and now she knows that she can point at something she wants and we'll get it for her. She can point at something and we'll tell her what it is. She even points just to show us stuff and if you're not paying attention she will grab your face and turn it towards her! She points all day long. She especially loves when we go for our walk, and she can point out all the birds and dogs. She is learning some words too - not talking, but she definitely understands a handful of words (probably more than we realize). She will point to my nose or mouth, to her toys, to her sippy cup, and she can find the tiger on her activity cube. She knows that bye-bye means someone is leaving and how to wave hi and bye. She says "hi" all the time! It doesn't always sound exactly like hi but that's definitely what she is trying to say. She knows that I'm "Mom-mom" and Adam is "Da-da" and my mom is "Yaya".
She is proving that she truly is my daughter through her growing love of books.  Before she didn't seem interested in books other than to teeth on, but suddenly the light bulb went off and she realized they were full of pictures and adventure and colors!  Now she goes straight over to her toys and starts pulling the books off the shelf and turning the pages.  Her favorite book is a Little Golden Book called Baby Animals that has pictures of different baby animals on each page.  She loves to make a growling noise when she sees the baby lion, and to give kisses to the baby monkey and the baby giraffe.  She gets really excited about this book!
Avery has become a more adventurous eater in the last month too.  She rejected pretty much every puree I served her, both home made and store bought.  But she likes to eat off my plate and will try nearly anything I'm eating.  She even surprised me by liking chili and curry!  She really likes eggs.  You're not supposed to feed babies egg whites before one year since they can be a potential allergen, but a couple weeks ago she threw a fit at breakfast when I wouldn't give her any off my plate.  She was pointing at my plate and fussing until I gave her a bite and then she ate a whole bunch!  I fix her an egg every morning now and she'll eat about half of it, plus a couple bites of avocado and banana.  For lunch and dinner she eats whatever I'm eating - usually some chicken, fish or beef, avocado, sweet potato, or soup.  It's still kind of hit or miss whether she will be in the mood for food, but it's vastly improved from a month ago!
She gets more mobile all the time and she is into EVERYTHING!  Here she is peeking into the trash can.  If I open the refrigerator or the pantry she is right there, opening the drawers, trying to pull Dada's beer off the shelf and checking everything out.  She practices walking by cruising around on all the furniture and using the chairs and stools as walkers by pushing them around.  By the end of the day all our furniture is rearranged and there are toys exploding everywhere!
Her napping is still pretty irregular but it's better now than a month ago.  She will occasionally - like once or twice a week - go for an hour or more!  That's amazing for my 30 minute catnapper.  It's still a challenge to get her down for her nap.  She only falls asleep nursing about half the time now and if I want her to nap I have to walk around with her and hum and bounce her until she's fast asleep.  I have heard of babies who you can just put them in their cribs and they lay down and take a nap... and I ask, HOW?  Avery has never once just ... fallen asleep.  You know you see pictures of babies asleep in their high chairs or in their exersaucers?  Not Avery.  Not once.  I was so glad when she went from 4 naps down to three, and was glad again when she recently dropped down to just two.  Now I only have to get her to sleep twice a day!
Night time sleep is about the same.  It often takes me close to an hour to get her down and she almost never falls asleep nursing anymore (much to my chagrin, it's so much easier), I have to walk her around and hum and bounce while she "sings" to herself.  If I put her in her crib before she's totally asleep she immediately starts crying like she's heartbroken.  Once I finally get her in her crib I have about an hour before she wakes up and needs to be resettled again.  Every so often lately she has gone for several hours in her crib either before waking or after I resettle her, but that is definitely the exception and not the rule!  If I send Adam up to get her, she will cry "Mammmmaaa, maaaamaaa, maaaaahm" until I come up and then she'll put her little arms around my neck like she thought I was gone forever.  Depending on my patience level, I will either go up and walk her down again or sometimes just get in bed with her at her first wake up and she stays with me the rest of the night.  I'm still nursing frequently enough at night that it's just easier to have her right next to me.  Most nights I am feeling pretty rested doing this, and even enjoying snuggling with her.  We do have occasional rough nights (like last night - she woke me every hour and then was awake from 3-5 am).  I will be glad when she can put herself to sleep... or go off to college and I don't have to worry about it anymore, whichever comes first!
There are so many things I want to remember.  I know I will wish I had written more when I look back at this time.  I am already forgetting details about her early infancy that, at the time, seemed like they would be seared in my brain forever.  Mainly I want to remember the sensation of her.  I want to bottle up her babyness and keep it - how she smells, how she feels, her soft skin, her delicate hands, the way her lips make an upside down heart shape when she falls asleep, the sound of her laughter and her adorable babbling, what it feels like to hold her and have her curled up next to me sleeping, how she gives kisses and wraps her little arms around my neck, the way I feel like my heart is exploding when she looks up at me while she's nursing or pops off to grin and say, "a-da!" which of course I think is the most brilliant and original proclamation ever.
I love the look on her face in this picture.  Priceless!  I love this little girl so much!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Cloth Diapering (Again) - Fuzzi Bunz vs. Bum Genius Edition

Ok, so now that I've started talking about cloth diapering I'll probably NEVER STOP! No, just kidding, I will. I can totally quit any time. Hahahaaaa.

Oh, by the way, Megan you read my mind (get out of my head!)... I was actually planning on writing the "breastfeeding 101" post next! But I'm stuck in a cloth diapering do-loop for the moment so you'll have to bear with me cause I want to tell you guys a few more things.

So as I'm sure you've noticed, there are a dizzying array of types of cloth diapers out there. There are flats and prefolds and fitteds and all-in-ones and pockets and covers and wool and hemp and fasteners and oh my god make it stop make it stop. I'm not going to waste time going into a description of each because you can find that somewhere else, like here or here or here and seriously the entire internet has already written about it already, and to be honest I don't even know what all of it is and frankly I don't care.

See, I knew if cloth diapering was too involved or complicated I would give up. I needed something simple and straightforward. Raising a baby is complicated enough. I don't need my diaper system to be fraught with stress and worry. That's just me though. Maybe you can make better sense of it or you're just more interested in it than I am and you'll go get yourself some flats and snappis and shorties and wool covers and when you figure out what those are and how to wash them let me know, kay?

PLUS! And this was a big one... I knew I needed something simple for the Other Diaperers who would be diapering Avery (mainly Adam and my mother). Everyone who heard I was planning to use cloth diapers kind of chuckled and patted me on the head like ok dear we'll see! Adam was on board with the idea in theory because he liked saving thousands of dollars. But I knew if it was too complicated no one else would want to learn how to use them or wash them.

Anyway, so after reading a couple summaries of the different types of diapers I knew I wanted to use a pocket diaper because they seemed the easiest and most straightforward to me. I thought about an all-in-one (AIO), but since they take a long time to dry I figured that was not such a great idea living in a humid place. It didn't take me long to decide, really. Here's what happened: the first articles I read about cloth diapering talked about FB's and BG's and when I started to research diaper systems I got totally overwhelmed and decided I would just do what the blogger I liked did cause if she liked them then I probably would.

If you find it harder to make a commitment than me, you can always get one of a few different kinds and try them out. Cotton Babies offers a sample pack for $100 and free shipping! Then you can decide which ones you like best a buy more of them.

So let's assume you're like me and you want to go with one of the two most popular brands, Fuzzi Bunz and Bum Genius. Which one should you buy? The difference between the two is minimal and people seem to like them equally well. Some people like one or the other better, but it seems it's split pretty evenly. Like I said the Bum Genius 4.0's with the snaps are my favorites. Don't waste your time with the velcro, it doesn't hold up very well and it's not like it's so hard to do the snaps. My BG's with snaps look like new still and the one I have with velcro looks worn already.

I like the FB's too. I even liked them slightly better in the beginning! But as time has gone on the BG's are the front runner. I'll show you why as I walk you through these pictures.

Fuzzi Bunz one size dipe on the left in sage green.  Bum Genius 4.0 one size dipe in cotton candy on the right.  As you can see the look really similar.  And they are.  They are made of different materials, but the look and feel is nearly identical.
First the FB's.  These adjust in two ways - adjustable elastic changes the fit on the legs and snaps change the fit on the waist.  Obviously Avery is over 20 lbs now so this is on a larger setting.
Here's the inside, it's made of fleece like the inside of a sweatshirt.  It's really soft!  You will love putting your baby in this fabric.  I was worried it might be too hot in Hawaii, but it's been totally fine.  And you can see there's no staining yet either.  You can also see the back on the left is just an open pocket where you stuff the insert. 
Here's a closer up of the fabric and the elastic.  I want to show you this because it's the main reason I don't like these as much as the BG's.
 The elastics have holes along them to button on each end front and back.  They come with an extra set of elastics so when they wear out you'll have a replacement (and you can buy more for cheap).  [Maybe I will prefer this in the long run because the elastics in the BG's are sewn in and while they can be replaced, you would have to sew in a new one with a couple stitches.  I don't know, I have been using mine almost a year and they don't show any signs of wearing out yet so for now they're still my fave's.]  Is it really so much of a pain to change the elastics on the FB's?  No.  You do it once and don't have to worry about it again for a few months.  But you still have to do it.  On all your diapers.  Four buttons on each dipe. 
 AND?  The ends of the elastics always come out of their little holes in the wash and you have to put them back in.  See?  Is it a huge deal?  No.  But it's the reason the BG's are slightly better for me.
You could just leave them out I guess, but I like them tucked in so there ya go.
Moving on!  Here's the outside of the dipe.  You can see the back is elasticized - the reason why you'll never have poop blowouts with these diapers.  Anyone who uses 'sposies can tell you the poop goes right up the back (and out the legs).  And you can see there are three buttons on each tab - two for the waist and one lower down that gives the leg a tighter fit.  If you end up with a skinny legged babe, you might prefer this.
Here's the pocket where you stuff the insert.  The FB's are slightly narrower and therefore a bit tougher to stuff.  That's the other reason I like the BG's slightly better.  Again, it's not a huge deal, but your hand kind of gets stuck both in the narrow part and on the material because it's more plastic-y and sticky on the inside, if that makes sense.
Here's the insert.  It comes with a doubler too, but I've mostly just used one insert.
Now for the BG's.  The outer material is a bit softer on these than the FB's and it's not as sticky on the inside so your hand slides in easier during stuffing.  Like I said the elastics are sewn in to these so they adjust with a series of buttons to make them smaller (the six lower snaps) and have only two snaps at the waist.  Avery is already wearing them on the biggest setting (all unsnapped), but she still has plenty of room to grow in them.
See, you just snap these together to make them wee.  There are only three snap settings - wee, medium, and bigger (unsnapped).  I hope I'm making sense, it's really not that complicated.
The inside is made of micro-suede.  It's really similar to the FB's fleece, but feels more like a lightweight felt almost.  It's soft too.  You can also see that the back has a flap over the pocket.  That helps keep the poopsplosions in better.  I've never had a blowout with the FB's either though, even without the flap.
Looking inside the pocket.
Here's the insert.  It's bigger and wider than the FB's.  The FB's fit a bit better when she was littler but now I get a better fit with the BG's.
As you can see the inserts on the BG's adjust too with snaps.  They also come with a newborn sized insert that I never tried because I didn't buy these until she was three months or so.  You can also use the newborn insert as a doubler (i.e., put it in with the regular insert too) if you need more absorbancy.  I think as they get older they pee in greater quantity so these might come in use later but I just use one insert now and it's fine.  We sometimes have some pee leaking (on both BG's and FB's) if I wait too long between changes, but it's minimal and rarely even requires a wardrobe change.

So that's the run-down, y'all. 

P.S. I forgot to mention on the last post, you should never use diaper rash creams with your cloth dipes!  The oils will get in the fabric and ruin your dipes. 

P.P.S. I use cloth when we're out too.  They take up more room in the diaper bag.  You need to remember to bring a bag with you to put the dirty diaper in!  I forget sometimes and it's not a big deal, but you don't want to keep smelling a diaper.  You can get a wet/dry bag or something similar for dirty dipes when you are out.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Cloth Diapering 101

Night before last I started feeling queasy after dinner and ended up spending the night with my head in the toilet. I was pretty queasy all day yesterday, plus tired and achey from dehydration and mineral loss, and wasn't able to eat anything, but thankfully kept water down. Today I'm feeling better and I've eaten two meals with just a bit of a lingering unsettled feeling. This is the second time this has happened in the last six months! I don't know if it's a virus or food poisoning or what. No one else got sick and I didn't eat anything no one else ate. Ugh.

But that's not what I really want to talk about today. I want to talk about cloth diapering! Yay! Wait, don't go! I'm here to tell you cloth diapering is fun and easy. And believe me, I am not an committed environmentalist or even a fanatical cloth diaperer. I'm pretty lazy, all things considered. But I read a few articles about it when I was pregnant and the more I read the more the idea appealed to me and seemed like something I could maybe get on board with.

So I registered for some Fuzzi Bunz one size diapers as baby shower gifts and some of Adam's family were generous enough to give us a 12 pack. And a few other people bought us one or two, so that before Avery was born I had 16 - fifteen FB's and 1 Bum Genius 3.0 with the velcro because I wanted to try it even though I had read that some people don't really like the velcro.

I wasn't sure I was going to like cloth diapering, but I wanted to give it a try. The biggest two reasons were:

1. The cost saving. I figured our cloth diaper investment would pay for itself within seven months, even including the additional CD paraphernalia I bought. So in diapering Avery for an estimated two years, plus any hypothetical future children, we could potentially be saving thousands of dollars.

2. The benefits to baby. I love the idea of putting soft cloth next to baby's delicate skin. After I gave birth and had to (TMI warning!) wear a pad for 6+ weeks, I was even more sure I preferred putting my baby in fluff instead of a scratchy paper and plastic diaper. It was so uncomfortable! No wonder diaper rash is so common.

The fact that it's also better for the environment was a side benefit, but truthfully not my main concern. I also planned with a healthy dose of realism, knowing that I might be completely overwhelmed by motherhood and would lose interest in cloth diapering once I saw how much work baby care really was. I figured I would try it out and if I didn't like it, I would quit and wouldn't feel bad about it. FB's and BG's have really good resale value on websites like, so the risk seemed minimal.

So then Avery was born and she was in preemie diapers to begin with. So tiny! The couple newborn sized outfits I had were absolutely swimming on her. So there was no chance of putting her in the FB's despite their claim they fit from 7-35 lbs. They don't. If you're planning to cloth diaper, you need a backup plan for the newborn stage, unless you give birth to a 10 lb'er or something. And I was right - I did have enough to deal with in the early days that I wasn't interested in cloth diapering right off the bat. We used Huggies natural brand for the first 8-10 weeks before I started gradually putting her in cloth. Newborns poop a LOT in the beginning - or at least mine did - on the order of 8 or 10 times a day! It was just easier for me to use disposables. If I have another baby I will consider doing some flats and covers (like old school CD's) in the beginning, but all things considered would be fine doing the same thing again and using disposables for the first couple months.

Getting her in cloth full time was a gradual process. I started out thinking I would just do one or two diapers a day, but honestly once you have diaper laundry you might as well have a full load. So I would go through all the diapers I had (16 - about a day and a half worth) and then do laundry and put her back in 'sposies until everything was dry and ready to go again. I decided I liked it well enough and the extra laundry wasn't a big deal and didn't make me feel overwhelmed so I ordered some more diapers. I wanted to try BG 4.0's with the snaps so I got a six pack. They turned out to be my favorite diapers. I like the FB's fine, but the BG's are better - they are easier to stuff and you don't have to mess with the elastics (FB's have adjustable elastics).

I have 21 diapers and they're enough to get me through a couple of days. I do diaper laundry every other day or sometimes every third day depending on how many changes we have. I could have more diapers, but it wouldn't make anything much easier since you still have to wash them every couple days to avoid your pail stinking to high heaven. Unless you put your pail somewhere you don't have to smell it, but I like mine right next to the changing table cause I don't want to carry a diaper somewhere after changing.

Oh, and I still use a disposable overnight. Somewhere around three months I decided I was not going to change pee diapers at night, and Avery was going most nights without pooping. Something about their sleep regulates around that time and sleep hormones keep their bowels from moving during the night. So I slather a load of Boudreaux's All Natural Butt Paste on her and peace out till morning. We haven't had any diaper rashes doing this. I did try her in one of my dipes with two inserts overnight and she got a bit rashy after a couple days of that, though no leaking. There are super-absorbent inserts and protective liners you can get (like hemp and silk and I don't know what else) but I am lazy and this is working for us so I haven't changed it yet.

So how do you wash the suckers and what else do you need for smooth sailing? I'll talk about extra CD'ing paraphernalia first.

1. Diaper pail. I have a Diaper Genie for my disposable diapers, and for my CD's I have a regular old Rubbermaid kitchen trash can with a step-open mechanism lid like this one. I tried a couple of fancier pails but this one fit the bill best. It does start to stink after a couple days, but it's time to do laundry when I smell it. The rest of the time I only smell it when I open the lid to put the diaper in.

2. Diaper pail liners. I have two of these Planet Wise diaper pail liners. There is no point not using a reusable pail liner if you are CD'ing because you are doing laundry anyway so you can just put the pail liner in the wash with the diapers. One is not enough cause you need a liner for when the other one is in the wash.

3. Cloth wipes. Similar to the pail liner, it just makes sense to use cloth wipes with your cloth dipes. Then you can just toss them in the pail with the diapers and wash it all together. You don't have to worry about what to do with the paper wipes after they are dirty - another can? - it's actually LESS headache to use the cloth. Not to mention, I'll be honest I was not thrilled about the idea of wiping Avery's bum with chemical-laden regular wipes. I try not to put all that stuff on my own skin so why would I want it on my newborn baby's? I actually used cloth wipes from the start even when I was using disposable diapers. I put a little plastic bowl on the changing table and piled the dirty ones in there (before I started my CD pail) and just washed them with her clothes (which were usually covered in poop and/or pee anyway because disposable diapers do NOT hold in newborn breastmilk poo very well, fyi). [I do use regular wipes occasionally like when we are out and I buy the Whole Foods 365 brand. I tried a couple different kinds of "natural" wipes and those are the best in my opinion.] I wasn't sure what kind of wipes I would like so I bought a bunch and I'll tell you my favorites are these Baby Kicks. I also like these OsoCozy ones. The other ones I have are either too small or don't wash well. I have about two dozen and a bunch more stashed away for later that I haven't needed to break into yet.

4. Wipes warmer. I personally think this is a necessity if you're using cloth wipes, though some may disagree with me. The reason is not to keep them warm, though that is nice for the baby and makes those middle of the night changes less jarring. It's to keep them MOIST. In the very beginning I didn't have one of these and I was constantly running to the bathroom to wet a wipe before changing, and forgetting and having to yell for someone to wet one for me - annoying. I got one of these and I love it. (Make sure you get the one for cloth wipes! They make one for regular too.) You buy these anti-microbial pads for the bottom to keep germies at bay. I use just plain water, wetting the wipes and keeping about a quarter inch of liquid in the bottom.

5. Diaper sprayer. For the spraying of the poop into the toilet. Now, if you're planning to breastfeed, you won't need one of these for the first six months. Breastmilk poo is quite innocuous and you can just throw it in the washing machine without rinsing or anything. Really. But once you start solids, you will definitely want a sprayer to wash solid poo's into the toilet. To be honest, this was the most daunting part of CD'ing for me. I just had a mental block about how it would all work out and just how do you DO it? Then I heard about the Potty Pail - it's worth the money. The pail sits on top of the toilet, and has hooks to hang the diaper on. I just carry the poopy diaper to the toilet, hang it on the hooks and spray. Poo goes out the hole in the bottom into the toilet and the pail contains the spray. I never have to touch poo! I just leave the diaper drip-drying for a while and then put it in the pail - often on the way to the laundry I will pick up the diaper hanging in the pail. Because Avery only poops once a day or even every couple days now!

So now washing. I'll tell you what I do and you can google "washing cloth diapers" and get about a million different methods, but most of them center around three things - cold soak, hot wash, cold rinse. First of all, I pull the diaper insert out before I dump it in the pail. You will want to do this too. When it's time to wash, I empty my pail liner into the washing machine (top loader) and throw the liner in. Then I do a cold wash cycle on regular, no soap. When that's done I do a hot wash with a couple tablespoons of Charlie's Soap and about half a cup of Borax. The Borax acts as a water softener - we have hard water here and if you don't use it your detergent will get used up softening the water and won't clean your diapers as well. When that cycle is done I pull the diaper liner out and hang it up to dry and run the diapers through an extra cold rinse. Sometimes I check while it's rinsing and if there are a lot of suds, I run another rinse or two. If you don't get all the soap out of the diapers you will get build-up which will cause them to repel (not absorb pee) and stink. Don't be afraid, just use a small amount of detergent and check every so often that the rinse cycle is suds-free. If not, rinse, rinse, rinse. To dry I hang the liners on a drying rack and put the inserts and wipes in the dryer. I haven't had any staining on my diapers, even with solids, but if you do you can just hang them to dry in the sun.

There are lots of different detergents you can use, but it HAS to be one that is fragrance and color free. Like I said you don't want stuff like scent hanging around on your diapers. Here's a handy chart rating the best detergents to use. I picked Charlie's Soap because another blogger I follow uses it and likes it. I haven't had any problems with it, it seems to work just fine. For the rest of my laundry I use a "free and clear" detergent like Arm and Hammer (and I wash Avery's clothes in it too, not in Dreft, you don't need a special detergent for baby's clothes).

So that's really all there is to cloth diapering. There are tons of different types of diapers and I did the research, but decided I wanted to go with a popular brand I was pretty sure I would like. You can get used diapers on or look on Ebay if you want to save a buck. I might have tried a couple of the ebay ones if I'd known about them before I bought all my FB's and BG's, but I didn't hear about them till later.

Questions? Comments? I'd love to hear from you!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

So much for THAT trend

Adam and I left Avery with Yaya last night to go to a friend's birthday celebration at a restaurant in Chinatown. It was our first evening away from her and even though we were only gone for a couple of hours, I don't think we'll be doing it again soon. She was fine at home, but when we got back and tried to put her to bed, it just was not happening. I have no idea if it was the fact that we threw off her routine by putting her to bed an hour late, or that we were gone, or a combination or something else entirely. After walking her around for an hour an a half myself, and trying unsuccessfully to lay her down in her crib (she kept falling asleep in my arms but waking up crying every time I would lay her down), I was exhausted. I hadn't eaten dinner yet, and had nothing to drink but a glass of wine in the previous three hours, and my contacts were still in so my eyes were like glue. I brought her downstairs and gave her to my mom to try. She did eventually get her down, several hours after her normal bedtime, but then she woke up an hour later and I just got in bed with her. Oh well. Maybe tonight?

I was surprised that I was the only stay at home mama there last night. I did feel excluded from the conversation a few times since there was quite a bit of "shop talk". And one of the things I like the least is the question, so what do you do? I usually just laugh and say, I keep the baby alive. One girl was asking me what I do with my days. It's really not interesting. I hang out with Avery, she takes naps, sometimes we go for walks. We go shopping. We get groceries. We play. I always feel like I'm put on the spot when I get that question, and kind of embarrassed, which is silly because it's not like I'm sitting around watching tv and eating bon bons all day (how I wish).

The thing is, I do miss work, but I don't wish I was doing it. There is nothing I'd rather be doing than parenting Avery. It was admittedly a rough transition for me at times, but I know I am doing the right thing for me and for her. I would be miserable if I was still working. I told Adam last night that I think that's why God gave us Avery the way she is - not a super laid back baby, but one that needs a little extra. I think if she had been an easy baby - slept and napped well, took a bottle, was content to be out of arms - I might have made a different decision about returning to work. It would have been easier to leave her. God shows us our path, but sometimes it's in unexpected ways.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Sleep, poop, hair, big love, tragedy

Last night marked an unprecedented two nights in a row that Avery spent more than an hour in her crib at the start of the night. I hesitate to write anything about it on the internet because that's a great way to ensure she never does it again, but, well, here I am shunning superstition and writing about it. If she does it again tonight it will be a miracle! I am keeping my fingers crossed. I really like her going down in her crib for a long stretch to start the night. I can come downstairs and have a cup of tea, talk to Adam, and I can get in bed and drift off in whatever position I like. However, I also really like sleeping part of the night with Avery. I love cuddling with her in the night. It is so sweet. I don't even mind nursing a few times. As long as she goes right back to sleep (which is what happens more often than not) I just doze while she nurses, curled around her like a big shrimp and a little shrimp, and then fall asleep again once she's done.
A funny thing happened yesterday when I was changing a poopy diaper. I was doing a little song and dance to entertain Avery while I was changing her, "Oh it's just a little poop! It's not a big poop! Just a little one!" [Cue ironic smiting from universe.] All of a sudden she goes "ehhhh!" and poops again right as I am cleaning her up. Ok, everything's still contained in the diaper, no big deal. Surely she is done now. So I fold the diaper over, and all of a sudden she's pooping again! And again! And again! Poop on the outside of the diaper, on a nearby burp cloth I grabbed and stuck underneath, and yes, on the changing pad. I had a flashback to the newborn days when she would poo explosively all over the dresser, the wall and the curtains every time you opened her diaper. Avery does everything with exuberance.
This picture cracks me up. Her hair is a mess. She will no longer let me put a barrette in it to keep it out of her face. If I even touch her hair she immediately puts her hands up there to see what I put in it. If I manage to distract her and get a clip on her head, she inevitably discovers it soon after and pulls it out. She gets this look on her face like, aha, I have found the thing you put in my hair and now I am going to remove it! When I was at La Leche League a few weeks ago someone said she had Justin Beiber hair... hahaha.
Sometimes when I'm holding Avery or nursing her, I get so completely overwhelmed by how heartbreakingly much I love her that it nearly brings me to tears. She seems bigger every day to me - she's all legs and arms now even when she's curled up with me. She's starting to feel like a toddler instead of an infant. I was totally unprepared for the emotional extremes of parenting.

I feel terrible about Japan. Watching video footage of the earthquake and tsunami is horrifying. What a strange world. It sometimes seems like we're all just teetering on the edge, doesn't it?

Friday, March 11, 2011

Rough Night

Well, we lived through our second Hawaii tsunami.  You might recall last year's anticlimactic tsunami caused by an earthquake in Chile.  It was pretty uneventful.  The water levels changed by several feet but not enough to cause any flooding or damage. 

Last night we were sitting in the living room relaxing before bed when Mom announced there was an earthquake in Japan, which she saw on her facebook.  Immediately after that Adam got a call from his chain of command requesting that he activate his emergency call roster to let people know a tsunami was expected to hit Hawaii around three a.m. and anyone in flood zones needed to evacuate.  Of course none of our phones worked because the cell lines were overloaded and we don't have a land line.  Shortly after, we heard the tsunami sirens going off.

I went to bed around ten and had the same dream all night long that we were having to evacuate and take shelter.  Adam's phone kept going off the whole night long with text messages and phone calls.  Poor Avery woke up with the noise and couldn't get back to sleep so (poor) Mama finally got up and walked her around for at least an hour.  Then the tsunami sirens were going off during the night.  And THEN Adam's alarm went off at oh-dark-hundred.  We did not sleep well last night!

I don't think any of Hawaii slept.  Everyone in flood zones had to evacuate to high ground, and the military had to move all the ships out of Pearl Harbor and the planes off the runways.   We learned last year that you can never really predict how big a tsunami will be until it hits because the swells can build so quickly.  Earthquakes thousands of miles away can cause tsunamis here, hence the minor panic after the earthquake in Japan last night.  I feel so bad for everyone there.  Luckily Hawaii got off with just some flooding and no major damage from seven foot waves crashing on the shores.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011


Yesterday was my thirty-first birthday. How did it come to pass that I'm in my fourth decade on earth? Seriously. Another year gone by. I remember when I was younger, thinking people in their thirties were old. Not like ancient old, but just, you know, mature old. All grown up. And now here I am, a grown up? I guess so.

Now that I'm a parent myself, my birthday has taken on a whole new meaning. Yesterday I said to my mom this is as much her day is it is mine. I know every year on Avery's birthday I'm going to be reliving going into labor, going to the hospital, and the moment she was born - the first time I got to see her and look in her eyes. I'm sure my mom does the same every time my birthday comes around.

Mom and Dad both came out to spend the day with me and we went out to lunch at a beach cafe, then had a nice dinner at home complete with yummy chocolate brownies. Dad already had to leave to get back for work, but Mom is staying for a little while longer. Avery is happy to have her Yaya back and so am I of course!