High of 99

That was the temperature in San Jose today at 3:05pm. Ew. After almost 3 years of living in the Bay Area I’ve gotten pretty spoiled with mild, ideal weather most of the year. So 2 heat waves in the same month is just unacceptable. I’d say it reminds me of Philly, but there’s no humidity so it’s not quite the same, heh. Sorry PA friends.

In other news, I’ve been spending my time getting all my ducks in a row before little Ivor comes. Made some more purchases, did some more laundry. Got his pack-n-play/bassinet set up in our bedroom. Packed the hospital bag. Typed up Gwen’s “typical day” schedule with instructions for my MIL while we’re in the hospital, and for my husband too since he’ll likely be on Gwen duty for awhile, while I’m attached to the little nursing monster 🙂 Overall, feeling pretty prepared at this point. I mentioned it in my last post, but at my doctor’s appt. last week I was already 2 cms dilated. And I’ve been feeling rather sore lately. So I think he may be coming earlier than expected. I’ll be 37 weeks this Friday, “full term”. So being prepared NOW is necessary.

In the meantime, I’m also soaking in my 1-on-1 time with Gwen. Her days of being an only child are numbered! While I have every intention of making time to spend alone with each of my kids throughout their childhood, I know it’s going to be hard to do for awhile in the beginning. It’ll be an adjustment for both of us for sure. Even just thinking about spending the night away from her for the first time while I’m in the hospital makes me sad 🙁 I pray for her little heart as she adjusts to seeing mama with another baby and that she’ll grow to love her baby brother and quickly become his best friend.

Here’s a brief clip of a typical morning with Gwen. She asks me to read a book then asks to be picked up (she likes to sit on your lap as you read to her).

 

 

Snapshots of Recent Days

Just a few photos on my phone that I like. Thought I’d share. Cause my family is cute.

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And in case you’re wondering how I spend my evenings:

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Every day I tell myself I’ll be productive after Gwen goes to bed. Get stuff done that I wasn’t able to get done throughout the day. But then, this happens instead. I have zero energy. My whole body hurts. I’m sleepy. So to the recliner I go. This is definitely the home stretch of pregnancy. Only 1 month left until my due date! Woooo! We just had a doctor’s appt. today and I’m already 2cms dilated, 50% effaced. Which is totally normal for 2nd pregnancies. It doesn’t mean I’m about to go into labor any day, but once I do start labor, things should move along fairly quickly. For me it also means that progress has been made- only 8 cms to go. And that knowledge helps me psychologically 🙂 2 cms down without laboring….I like that. Must keep up my walking routine (er, waddling rather). The doctor is predicting that he’ll be about 6-6.5 lbs based on her measurements today..which is kinda surprising. That’s smaller than Gwen was…and I predicted he’d be bigger. But who knows…it all depends on how long he decides to stay inside. We’ll find out soon enough!

 

Things to Remember

I just wanted to jot down a few things Gwen is doing that I find cute/amusing/etc. I’m not doing the monthly updates with her anymore, but that doesn’t mean I won’t occasionally mention the crazy things she does. Because I want to remember stuff. I have a feeling once her brother shows up, another fast-forward button is going to be pressed, time will fly and I won’t stop to appreciate the little things she does or I’ll just plain forget them (or when they happened). I already can’t remember when exactly she started crawling, for example. But I’m fairly certain I mentioned it in a post somewhere…so I can always look it up 🙂

Moving on!

*Walking- pretty big milestone, sure. But along with that came something pretty darn adorable. Ivor started it with her one night- asking her to hold his hand and walk down the hall with him, over to the stairs, to go up to bed. Now whenever it’s bedtime (or even nap time), I’ll ask her “are you ready to go upstairs for nap/bedtime?”….then she’ll grab my hand and start leading me down the hallway. Even CUTER though is when Ivor and I are both home, she’ll grab BOTH of our hands and want to walk with both of us. I can’t even stand how adorable that is.

*I taught her “cheers” recently (when you clink your drinking glass together with someone), and now she wants to do it all the time. Several times in a row (once is not enough for her, she thinks it’s hilarious). She, with her sippy cup of milk, and me with my mug of coffee. It’s a special thing we do in the morning.

*She likes to pick up trash/crumbs off the floor and hand it to me. I suppose I should be thankful she’s not eating it. But it makes me feel like I never vacuum. I swear I do! lol….but ya know….she makes messes faster than I can clean them up.

*Dancing- happening more frequently these days. The girl loves a good beat. She’ll stop whatever she’s doing when she hears music to get her groove on. Be it the “Go Go Go Go, on an adventure” song from The Cat and The Hat show on PBS Kids, the current pop hit on the radio, or any of Daddy’s songs…she loves it all!

And we just love the little person she is becoming…

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Pregnancy Update- 34 Weeks!

How far along? 34 weeks
Total weight gain/loss: almost 30 lbs
Maternity Clothes? of course
Stretch marks? Nope
Sleep: constantly interrupted by the need to pee
Best moment this week:  I ate entire pint of ice cream in one sitting, cookies-n-cream, but it was organic so that makes it okay, right?
Miss Anything? being comfortable
Movement? oh yes, he is quite the active little bugger like his sister was….he’s also positioned with his feet ready to kick me in the ribs whenever he feels like it (which is often)…and like his sister, it’s always on the right side…
Food Cravings? ALL THE SWEET THINGS. (nothing changed here)
Anything making you queasy or sick? meh, not really anymore
Have you started to show? Only getting bigger at this point
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Labor Signs? Braxton hicks  (practice contractions)…especially on days when I’m really active and not drinking enough water
Belly button in or out? Oh it’s out there now
Wedding rings off or on?  Still on!
Happy or Moody most of the time? I think I’m happy most of the time lately, but it wouldn’t take much to set me off
Wisdom: Seeing your husband as a daddy is extremely attractive. I learned this when Gwen was first born but it only gets better, the other night he tucked in a stuffed bunny and I tell you that man has never been more sexy (maybe those are the pregnancy hormones talking….moving on!)
Looking forward to:  Having the little man on the outside of my body. Pregnancy is beautiful and amazing, but there comes a point when you’re just ready to have your normal body back and be holding him in your arms instead…and I’m pretty close to that point.

 

12-Month Update! (revised)

We made it to 1 year! Woohoo! I can’t believe how fast it went by. While it didn’t seem like it at the time, looking back on it now it seems like just a blur. A blur filled with lots of vivid memories though 🙂

Speaking of blurs…I feel the same way about her party yesterday. We survived our first kid’s birthday party (being the hosts, that is). It was very small but I thought it was perfect and I’m not sure I could’ve handled a much bigger party lol. Not at my house at least. We did learn a few lessons for future parties that I’d like to share (for anyone getting ready to throw their own party soon):

1. It’s kind of hard to set up and decorate the day of while chasing a 1-year old around. Do more stuff the night before after the little one is in bed.

2. Likewise, if you’re preparing all the food, prep as much as possible the night before. No matter how small the party is.  No matter how quickly you THINK you’ll get everything done. Those morning prep hours FLY by and before you know it, the doorbell is ringing. We had lots of fresh fruit that just never got prepped or put out. Not sure anyone cared or noticed, but now we have a fridge full of fruit. Whatever will we do with it all?? 🙂

3. Put someone else in charge of taking pictures. While I did get some, it wasn’t as much as I would’ve liked (I took zero pictures of any of the guests..and that was supposed to be my party favor, oops! Don’t worry party guests, I have a plan B !). I was just so busy trying to talk to everyone and keep Gwen out of trouble, that I didn’t have time to play event photographer too.

I’m sure others have a few pro-tips they could share for throwing kids birthday parties too 🙂

Anyway, it went by quickly but it was a lot of fun. We are so thankful for technology and the ability to have some of our east coast family live streaming at the party. They even got to sing happy birthday to her with us in real time, which was really special. Gwen is loved from coast to coast!

Okay, on to the last of the monthly updates 🙁

Her little personality is really blooming lately. And she is quite the social butterfly (when she wants to be). We did a lot of errand running this week in preparation for her party, and she would smile and wave and babble at everyone we walked by in the store lol. We were at the grocery store one day and I was so miserable because EVERYBODY was shopping at the time……on a Thursday afternoon (why??). Anyway, Gwen just loved seeing all the people and it was hard to stay miserable while she was putting a smile on everyone else’s face.

She’s still signing “please” all the time and just today started signing “food” or “eat” to me right before dinner time (without me asking her first). On several occasions she’s picked up a book and brought it over to me or Ivor and signs “please”, asking us to read to her. It’s kind of adorable.  Highly recommend teaching your baby sign language!

She still only has 2 teeth. Sigh….I feel so limited to what I can give her to eat because of this. But we’ve been working on exaggerated chewing so she’ll do a better job gumming things before swallowing. She still loves cheese and fruit, yogurt, pasta, most veggies…though she’s been getting a little pickier lately, only eating 2 or 3 bites and that’s it. Meh. Time to start hiding veggies in yummy smoothies for a snack 🙂

We’ve started her on whole milk now. Bye bye nasty formula with your foul smell and expensive price tag! Lord willing, I’ll never need to use it again. (Remind me not to get pregnant again before little Ivor is done nursing lol)

Ok, that’s all my brain can handle this weekend. I may post a 12-month update part 2 after her appt. on Tuesday with her weight/height stats.

Happy happy birthday to a very special little girl. We love you!!

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* UPDATE after 12-month well visit (didn’t feel like creating a new post for this):

Weight: 21 lbs 6.3 oz (73rd percentile)
Height: 30 in long (79th percentile)

That makes me one proud mama after the struggles we went through several months ago with her weight dropping. So happy she caught up 🙂 Now let’s hope she continues to be a good eater as we enter toddlerhood lol. 

 

 

Though She Be But Little…

…She is fierce!

This quote by William Shakespeare from “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is the inspiration for the new Blog Title. It sums up my daughter perfectly I think (she’s barely 3 months old, I know). But it’s how I hope she stays…fierce. I know I may regret saying this when she’s a toddler…and then a teenager. But being fiercely passionate (about things that matter) is an admirable trait in my opinion. Merriam-Webster’s dictionary has several definitions for the word, some are not so nice. But what I’m going for here is “unrestrained zeal” or “furiously active or determined”. Not so much the “violently hostile” or “given to fighting or killing” part 🙂 I hope we can teach her to speak up, stand out and fight for what is important to her. Her faith, her family, her passions, etc. I also don’t believe that this is contradictory to having a “gentle and quiet spirit” (1 Peter 3:4). Which is also what I pray for her. I want her to have both! She can be gentle and quiet in spirit, but be fierce about her convictions.  That’s my prayer for her.

I look forward to seeing her little personality develop and finding out what she’s passionate about.  If she’s anything like her daddy, it will be many many things 🙂 Right now, it’s all about milk…..music….and clean diapers.

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Side note: I’m currently trying to find a new “look” for this blog…so you may see something different with each post. Sorry!

Stroller Peekers

One of the things I’ve discovered since becoming a mom, is that you can’t go out in public with your little one without complete strangers striking up a conversation with you, simply because you’re pushing a stroller. I certainly don’t mind it, but I wasn’t expecting it. Especially the “stroller peekers”. The ones who walk right up to you, unannounced and uninvited, peek into your stroller and comment on your child. Don’t get me wrong, it’s always a happy encounter with lots of “awww’s” and “omg’s” and “congrats!” It just takes me by surprise. Such boldness lol. They always ask the same opening questions, “how old?” and “how are you and the little one sleeping?”. My favorite though was outside of an ice cream shop last week- a man, about my Dad’s age, looked over at us and smiled (so I knew it was coming)….”Whatcha got in there??”. Well, sir, that would be my daughter. He then proceeded to tell us that his “baby” is 30 years old and they’re anxiously awaiting grandbabies. I hope he gets one soon 🙂

So because of this new development, I’ve decided to get this onesie for Gwen to wear whenever she goes out with daddy alone:

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Hehe 🙂

Anyway- I’m hoping all these “stroller peeking” encounters remain positive instead of turning into advice-giving encounters. I’m sure some veteran mommys out there have stories they could tell of such encounters lol.

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New Things (at 2 months)

Before I forget:

A few new things Gwen has been up to:

*Loves having her hair brushed. Instant smiles 🙂

*Discovering her voice. She’s coo-ing and ahh-ing up a storm lately. One of these days we’ll try to get it on video for proof, but she even “sings” along with daddy at the piano…in the proper key!

*Grabbing things and bringing it to her mouth. Just a few mins ago she grabbed her bib and started eating it. She’s also sucking on her fist a lot more lately, even when she’s not hungry.

*Drooling. Hence the bib.

I just love spending the day with this little girl:

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The Bum Post (Part 2)

I told you there would be more posts coming 🙂 I feel the need to write even more about it because I’m discovering that a lot of people are just uninformed about modern day cloth diapering. Which is why they look at me like I’m crazy for taking on such a “difficult” and “time consuming” task such as this. I understand it though. Before I met a girl at church a few years ago who cloth diapered, I was also uninformed. And looked at her like she was crazy. Then she explained the process, showed me her diapers, and I was no longer uninformed and no longer looked at her like she was crazy. Information is a good thing.

So first of all- modern day cloth diapering does not involve pins (or, it doesn’t have to anyway..I’m sure they still exist somewhere). We’ve come a long way since the first cloth diapers. Cloth diapers now, are pretty much as easy to use as disposables.

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They go on the same way as disposables. But instead of the sticky tabs, you have snaps or velcro. You also don’t get anymore poop on your hands than you would if you were changing a disposable diaper. We all wash our hands after a change anyway, right?

Secondly, the diaper pail is dry. It’s not filled with water. There is no hand washing of the diapers. No soaking necessary. You simply open the can (with your foot if you have that kind of trash can, which I recommend), and drop the diaper in until laundry day. Since we have pocket diapers with inserts, we remove the insert first before dropping them in the pail, but again…we wash our hands anyway so I don’t really mind. I’d rather remove the insert now (with each change), than have to do it one by one before putting them in the washer.

Here is our set up:

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The big can on the left is of course where the dirty diapers go, lined with a wet bag. The mini can was a bonus that came with the big can. It worked perfectly for disposable wipes, but since we’ve switched to cloth wipes, it’s just a regular trash can now. And Gwen’s clothing hamper is on the right.

It doesn’t take any longer to change a cloth diaper than it does a disposable (especially once you get really good at snapping…I’m a pro snapper now). Instead of dropping a disposable diaper in a diaper genie, you drop the cloth diaper in the diaper pail w/wet bag. Instead of emptying the diaper genie and taking it to your trash can, you remove the bag of cloth diapers and dump it in the washing machine. The only extra time it takes is going through the washing/drying/stuffing process- stuffing if you have those kind of diapers. And it’s really not that time consuming. Really, it’s not. The washing takes all of 5 seconds to turn the dial a few times and add detergent. Sure, if you line dry you spend a few mins setting that up, but I find it refreshing to go outside on the balcony, get some sun along with the diapers. The stuffing is probably the longest part of the process. But you can do that sitting down in your living room while watching TV. It’s not all that bad. And maybe it’s just me and my weirdness, but I find it rewarding while I’m stuffing the diapers to admire their cleanliness. I look at them and think “this diaper was once filled with mustardy-yellow poop…and now look at them, all white and fluffy like nothing ever happened !” It’s a good feeling. But I can’t speak for everyone 🙂

That’s all for now…I’m sure there will be more. Eventually. Like when Gwen starts solid foods. There’s an accessory called a diaper sprayer that may become a necessity. In the meantime though, we’re enjoying the spray free days 🙂

 

 

 

The Bum Post

At long last, I shall post about cloth diapers! Specifically, our cloth diapers, why we use them, how we use them, etc. But not why YOU should be doing it. That’s not my style.

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Why we use them: to save money. When you’re on a budget and kids come into the picture, you have to decide where you’re going to cut corners. For us, diapering is one of those areas. We weighed the pros and cons, looked at the numbers, and decided it was worth it to us. Sure, you pay a good chunk of money at the beginning to get your initial stash. But then you never have to buy diapers again. Ever. That appeals to me. A lot. For anyone completely new to the CD idea (from here on out *CD stands for Cloth Diapering, or Cloth Diapers), if you buy “one size” diapers that adjust, they last from the time they’re newborns until they’re potty trained. And then you can reuse them for any future children. We spent just under $400 for our stash. That’s $400 on diapers. For the rest of our child-bearing years. If you can get other people to contribute to your stash (baby shower gifts, gift cards, etc.) or you’re okay with the idea of buying used diapers, you can spend even less money.

What we use: there are many different brands and types of cloth diapers. I won’t even begin to go through them all. You can look it up if you’re really interested. After researching and talking to other CD moms, we decided to go with the one size, Bumgenius 4.0 diapers. Specifically, the ones with snaps. We decided to go with snaps instead of “hook and loop” (aka velcro), because they’re more durable, and Gwen will have a harder time trying to unsnap her diaper when she goes through the “screw diapers, I want to be naked all the time” phase 🙂 As far as quantity, we have 24 diapers in our stash. That’s just enough to have to launder every other day. For some, that’s too often. So they buy more to last a little longer. For others who might want to save even more money, that’s about double their stash (which would mean laundering every day). I decided I was okay with laundering every other day. And now over 1 month into it, I’m still okay with it.

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So let’s talk accessories and process: There’s a little more to CDing than just the diaper. You  need to have a “system”. Where will the diapers go until laundry day? How will you launder them? This involves a few accessories. So here’s what we have and here’s what we do:

Steps to CDing in the Griffiths home:

1. Change diaper. It’s not that much different than changing a disposable diaper. Unless you’ve never changed a diaper before in your life, there’s nothing you need to learn here. Just make sure it’s fitted properly otherwise you might have some leakage.

1.2. We used disposable wipes at first, but have now switched to cloth. We use these. If you’re using disposable wipes, you’ll need a separate trash can. If you use cloth, it all goes in the diaper pail (more below). There’s no need to create a “wipe solution” if you don’t want to. Regular water works just fine. We use a spray bottle on a dry wipe and so far it’s working well. Also, we only go through about 1 wipe per diaper change….2 wipes for the big poo’s. I tended to go through WAY more disposable wipes per diaper change.

2. Dirty diaper goes into a diaper pail lined with a wet bag. We use this one (and we bought 2 of them so while one is being washed, one is in the pail). The pail itself is just a round, lidded trash can that we already had for a few years (it was used in our kitchen but then we decided the shape didn’t work well in the kitchen and we replaced it). Anyway, it’s now perfect for CDs.

3. When it’s laundry day, we remove the entire wet bag and dump it in the washer along with the diapers/wipes. I don’t even have to touch the diapers. I just use the wet bag to push them all down into the washer. Of course, I still wash my hands anyway. But I feel better about not having poop on them in the first place. We follow the Bumgenius washing instructions: wash cold without detergent, wash hot w/detergent (we use Charlie’s Soap), wash cold once more without detergent. Then line dry the covers and tumble dry the inserts and wet bag. I’ve heard it might be okay to tumble dry everything, but I can’t speak from experience. I personally like line drying because the sun gets out any stains (which you will have, and it’s no big deal…seriously). Once the sun does its job, they look like new again 🙂

4. When everything is dry, we stuff the inserts back into the covers and put them back in the drawer of her changing table/dresser so they’re all ready for the next change.

For CDing on the go, we have a travel wet bag that we keep in our diaper bag, so the dirties have somewhere to go until we get them home.

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So that’s our process. I don’t think it’s gross. And I don’t think it’s all that inconvenient. Yes, it’s a little more work and time. But not as much as you might think. Especially once you have your system down, it gets easier. Knowing that I’ll never have to buy diapers (or wipes) again makes that extra work worth it (to us). Also…they’re so ridiculously soft and cute. If I had to wear diapers, I’d choose cloth 🙂

Back to the “gross” factor. It’s my personal opinion that it’s something you just kind of have to get over. Kids are gross. Let’s be honest. When you become a parent, you have to deal with poop, pee, snot, spit up, blood, etc. on a somewhat daily basis. It just comes with the job. The only gross part of CDing is the 1.5 seconds I have to smell the inside of the diaper pail when I put a dirty diaper in. And the 5-10 seconds I have to smell it while putting it in the washing machine. I can deal. I’ve smelled worse things.

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