Stripping Cloth Diapers

This weekend, I had my first experience stripping our cloth diapers. We’ve been using cloth for about four months now, but for the past week or so, I’ve noticed that even the clean diapers have a bit of stink to them! Nasty!

So I looked up how to strip them. I’d heard of doing this, but it’s something I managed to avoid for four months. It just seemed way too complicated! But this website walked me right through it.

There are many options for stripping your cloth diapers, but I went with the blue Dawn method (because I already had some blue Dawn at the house). And it worked! The diapers are smelling fresh again, and it only took a few hours out of my weekend to achieve!

First, I washed the diapers, so we could start with clean cloth. Then, I added one little drop of blue Dawn dish soap, and began a rinse/spin (I have a top loader, by the way). I then kept doing rinse/spins until there were no more suds! Easy peasy!

HOWEVER, I think I’m going to purchase some Oxiclean or BacOut and add a scoop to my normal wash routine. I’m hoping that will help keep the bacteria dead and dead, which will keep the stink away. This way, I can continue to avoid stripping my diapers.

If you use cloth diapers, have you ever had to strip them? Which method do you prefer?

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Garage Sale Weekend

Well, we had a garage sale this weekend! The hubbs and I spent hours going through all of our junk in the house, and I brought it all to my mom’s house over two weeks. I then got to her house on Thursday afternoon, for a Saturday sale.

Owen and I slept in with my mom on Thursday. On Friday, we got up early, got our coffee, and started pricing!

I can’t even tell you how much junk we had. The garage was full! My sister, mom, brother and I all contributed. And my contributions were accumulated over 4+ years!

All in all, it was pretty successful! We priced things to sell (cheap!!), so we made a grand total of about $300! Not bad, if I do say so myself. What didn’t sell was promptly donated to Goodwill.

It was a long and tiring weekend, but so worth it! Though, I really hope we don’t have to have another sale for a very long time.

Who’s Body is This? Learning to Love My Post-partum Body

While pregnant, I was under no illusion that my body would remain unchanged after the birth of my son.

I knew that my boobs would look different. I knew that even after giving birth, I’d still look 5 months along. I knew that I should give myself at least 9 months to take the weight off, because, after all, it took 9 months to put it on!

But now that I’m actually living in this body, I realize how unprepared I was.

I was not prepared for these feelings of self-consciousness. I didn’t realize that I would miss my old body so much. I didn’t know that this new body would cause such strain in my marriage.

My son will be five months old this week, and I am just now starting to get on good terms with this new body. At first, I hated myself. I hated my scar. I hated my stretch marks. I hated that my belly and belly button looked nothing of their old selves.

I thought I was ugly. I couldn’t wear any of my old clothes. I didn’t want my husband to touch my new, flabby body. I cried a lot.

It’s only been very recently that I’ve stopped being so hard on myself. I’m beginning to accept my scar. My rolls are starting to lessen, and the weight is slowly starting to drop. I’m not exactly crazy about these stretch marks, but to be honest, I will always have my insecurities. I will, most likely, always be self-critical. It’s my burden of womanhood.

My love life is back on track, after nearly five months. It took me all this time to be comfortable with Marshall again. I wasn’t sure that he would still find me beautiful or desirable.

But he does, and I hope that one day I can also see myself as beautiful and desirable. Stretch marks and all.

Daddy Stayed Home Today!

Today Marshall woke up with some terrible tummy troubles. So he called his boss and stayed home with us!

This is a busy time of year for Marshall, and he’s usually gone for about twelve hours a day. That’s a long time to have no help with the baby! And this past week has been especially rough, with a ton of extra spit-up and fussiness. So when Marshall said he was staying home, I said a silent ‘thank you!’

I don’t like that his tummy hurt…but I also don’t like getting all of the spit-up.

I can’t even believe how much I was able to get done! I got the diapers washed and folded, then did an additional five loads of laundry (!!!), got the dishes done, cleaned out the hall closet, cooked dinner, and even got some stuff together for our upcoming garage sale!

All because the hubby was there to hold the fussy little puke-machine! (Whom I love dearly)

I got a lot done, which is awesome. But I’m mostly thankful that my hubby was able to get a taste for what it’s like to be home with Owen all day. He works so hard, but it’s a very different kind of work than what I do. And, though he loves that I’m home with Owen, I also feel that he really doesn’t understand what it is that I do all day.

Being unable to do anything because your crying baby needs you isn’t that fun. I do love being home with Owen, but it seriously agitates the ol’ OCD to watch helplessly as the laundry and dishes pile up around me.

The other day, I turned on the box fan and an enormous dust-bunny flew out from under the couch. As I rocked Owen to sleep, I pretended I didn’t see it. Who has time for dust-bunnies when baby needs mommy?

So, to have the hubbs here with me all day, witnessing the chaos, was pretty nice. He even made a few comments about how much I seemed to be able to get done when there was someone around to help me.

I realize that he has to work, and therefore has to be gone during the week. But it’s nice to know that he’s realizing how hard I have to work, too.

And how many outfits I go though in a day…

Needless to say, he got a big ‘thank you’ from me for all of his hard work today. 😉

Month Four = A Month of Discovery!

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One of the things I love most about staying home with my son is being able to watch him watch the world. Everything he’s seeing is brand new and exciting!! Things that, to me, are just boring, everyday things, are things he’s never experienced! They’re anything but boring to him.

The fourth month has been so exciting for both of us! It’s truly been a month of discovery! He’s become an expert roller. He learned how to blow bubbles. He’s realized that daddy’s beard is really funny! And he’s discovered the cat and dog.

His face just lights up when he sees something new!

This week, while practicing sitting up, the cat came over to sit by us. And immediately, Owen lunged for him! I braced myself, thinking I’d be consoling a crying baby and cleaning up an owie, but to everyone’s delight, the cat sat still! He just watched as Owen dug his chunky little fingers into his fur and pulled!

And then there’s daddy’s beard. I’m sure Owen has noticed it before, but now he’s begun to pet it! He likes to grab Marshall’s face on either side, and kiss him! I think he likes the texture of fur/hair. Every time he pets daddy, the cat, or the dog, he busts out the giggles!!

It brings me such joy to experience these things with him. I can’t remember the last time that I truly noticed something for the first time. From my perspective, a dog is just a dog. A beard is just a beard. But to Owen, this whole big world is brand new! His childish perspective is just beautiful.

I can’t wait to see what the coming months bring for us!

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Throwback: Grandpa and Some Sweet Shades

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This week’s throwback goes out to my amazing grandpa. The world lost this awesome man back in March of 2004. He was one of my favorite people in the whole world. The thought of my son never knowing him brings tears to my eyes. I miss him so much.

But when I see pictures like this one, I can’t help but laugh. I’m reminded of how funny and sweet and just plain silly he was! He used to do Goofy’s and Donald’s voices to make us laugh. He loved playing Super Mario. And he loved his girls more than life itself.

What To Pack in Your Hospital Bag

When you’re getting ready to welcome your precious little bundle into the world, getting your bags packed can be an exciting move.

I was asked recently if I had any advice on what is actually necessary to pack in your hospital bag. I’m a notorious over-packer, so I packed way too much in my bags. But, now that I’ve experienced giving birth outside of my home, I have a much better idea of what I’ll need the next time around.

So here’s what you really need to pack in your hospital bag:

1. Your normal, get-ready stuff. This includes a hairbrush, hair-ties, a toothbrush, makeup, and whatever else you need to feel human again.

2. An oversized tee or nightgown. While I was recovering from my c-section, the last thing I wanted was to wear the yoga pants and t-shirt that I packed, or the gross hospital gown given me.

So my mom headed to Walmart and bought me a couple nightgowns. They weren’t the most flattering things in the world, but they were more comfy than pants, less revealing than the hospital gowns, and really easy to slip over my shoulders. Because I was learning how to nurse my son during my hospital stay, something that was easy to slip off was a necessity.

3. A phone charger. Seriously, even if you’re not updating your Facebook constantly, you will be taking hundreds of photos of your newest addition. You’ll need your charger. Better get an extra long one, too, so it’ll reach your bed.

4. Just ONE onesie, ONE hat, and ONE receiving blanket. The hospital has receiving blankets to use during your stay, so you just need one to bring baby home in. And, unless you really feel the need to dress your baby each day of your stay, you just need one cute outfit and hat to bring baby home in.

The hospital will also provide diapers, wipes, a nose bulb, and a pacifier. You can even bring the nose bulb and pacifier home with you! So don’t worry about bringing these things.

5. Padsicles! These handy little things will provide so much relief after a vaginal delivery. Just buy some long pads, cover them in aloe and witch hazel (get the kind with NO alcohol), and freeze them. You’ll need enough to last a few weeks, but only bring a couple to the hospital with you.

The witch hazel will help to heal a tear or episiotomy. The cold aloe will just feel really good!

6. Cheap, large undies and overnight pads. You’ll want regular pads, in addition to your padsicles. And you’ll need large underwear to fit easily over the pads. I would suggest a cheap 6-pack of granny-panties, because they’ll probably be ruined rather quickly.

7. Slippers/socks. Your feet and legs may be swollen after delivery, but you’ll need to use the restroom and walk the halls. With your swollen limbs, something that you can easily slip on and off will be essential.

8. Lanolin cream. Nursing doesn’t come easy to many moms and babies, and, often times, you’ll end up feeling chapped. Trust me, you want the lanolin cream!

9. Your favorite pillow and blanket. This one’s not a necessity. I didn’t have my pillow or blanket and I got along just fine. But, looking back, I do think I would have been more comfortable with these things.

10. Don’t forget about daddy. Remember, you’re not the only one who won’t be sleeping/showering, so pack him a few changes of clothes, pajamas, and his get-ready stuff. Maybe even his favorite pillow, since he won’t get his own bed, like you.

My hubby had to sleep on the sofa in the hospital room, and I didn’t think to bring him his own pillow, so he was incredibly uncomfortable. I think I’ll even spoil him next time and snag his fave blanket.

And keep in mind, once you give birth your family will get you anything you need! You don’t need to stress out about what’s in your hospital bag. If you forget something important, your family will go to your house or to the store for you.

What do you think? Did I leave anything off the list?