Monday, November 30, 2009

Homesick, Sorta.

Brendan and I went to Milwaukee for Thanksgiving.  It was a great trip, so much better than the last time we were there.  In August we stayed near Milwaukee at the family cottage and only made it to the city for a day.  We couldn't wait to get the hell out of there!!  Something about the noise and the heat and all the people, we wanted to get back to our quiet little apartment.  This time, though, it was really fun and made me kind of homesick.

We made it to Brendan's parent's house in the afternoon, Ingrid did really well in the car and even slept some of the way.  Ingrid was in love with her gramma and grampa right away, giving hugs and kisses and following them around.  We put our pjs on really early, like by 5pm!  And Ingrid dragged her blankie around the house and explored.  We had a futon mattress on the floor by our bed for Ingrid, and we put her blankets on it and told her to lay down, and she did.  I went through the whole entire family saying "night night" to them all, and by the time I was done with that, her eyes were heavy and she fell asleep soon after.  And slept the whole night through, except for a little stirring, when I just layed by her and she fell asleep again.  Huh.  You just never know with her!

Friday we visited friends at the coffee shop I used to work at.  One is preggo and looking cute and we talked about cloth diapers and baby things.  I want to be there for her!  And the other friend we saw I miss so much it's crazy!  We used to get coffee every single Monday or Tuesday, and I miss that so much.  Then we went to Madison to see friends and meet their daughter who is Ingrid's age.  We hadn't seen them in SO LONG!  It was so fun to get together and have our girls play together.  We daydreamed about moving there and living close by and what it would be like.  Nice, that's what it would be.  Nice to know someone, nice to have someone to hang out with, nice to be close to family...

Saturday was more visiting--week old babies, and 8 month old babies.  Brendan got to go out with friends and I got to take a three hour nap.  We had Christmas with the parents on Sunday morning before we left, then we had to make the 6 hour drive again...

And here I sit in Michigan again.  I'm homesick for Milwaukee.  I miss going to Fuel and seeing friends, I'm sad about missing out on friends having babies and the babies growing up without me even meeting them.  I'm wishing we could move in February instead of June or July.  I'm hoping Brendan gets the ball rolling and starts to look for jobs.  I can't decide if I care if we are in Madison or Milwaukee (they are an hour apart and both have pros and cons...) 

And yet...

I got a note from my friend in Colorado and I think it would be awfully nice to try that out, too.  We would have so much fun living in the mountains.  We know some people there.  No family, but my friend that lives there is practically a sister.  So, what will it be???  Colorado or Wisconsin?  Certainly not Michigan, which makes me ready to leave.  I'm sick of being in limbo, I'd like to be done moving now, please. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Oh, for the love of god...

I am officially starting this morning over.  Ingrid was up until 10pm last night, crying on and off.  I was trying to be calm about it, and mostly succeeded.  But at 10 when I was just about to doze off in bed, she started crying and I lost it.  EVERY SINGLE NIGHT??  Jeez...

So, after no sleep again, I was awoken to a whiny girl trying to open my door.  When she came in, she smelled suspiciously like poo, which Daddy mentioned but never changed...When I needed to go to the bathroom she whined.  When I needed to get my coffee she whined.  Oh, for the love of god, child, leave me alone for two seconds!  Let me wake up!! 

I got my coffee and then Brendan started rushing around the house looking for something he couldn't find.  I swear to god, every single morning he looks for something he needs and makes a mess searching for it.  I get up to help him and find it about two seconds later.  Why can't he ever find stuff???  And while I was helping find his phone, Ingrid decided to be curious about my cup of coffee that was on the table.  I came into the living room to see her looking all concerned and hearing a drip drip drip.  She had a diaper on, though, so she wasn't peeing.  What WAS that?

MY COFFEE!!  Spilling all over the table, the chair, the carpet.  Not a big deal usually, but WE ARE OUT OF COFFEE, there is no making more this morning until we get to the store!!  No sleep and no coffee?  You've got to be kidding me.  I lost it a little and yelled and Ingrid cried and then I felt bad.  She's curious, what is this magical elixir called coffee that mama and daddy are so fond of?  Can't blame her, she's a kid. 

So, after yelling and thankfully finding there was one more cup of coffee in the pot, I decided to start the morning over.  No more yelling, no more crabiness.  I'm going to drink this coffee and be nice mommy while we clean and pack for our trip to Grandma and Grandpa's house in Milwaukee.  Nice mommy, nice  mommy, nice mommy.  Deep breaths. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thankful For Lots of Things :)

Thanksgiving time always has people saying what they're thankful for.  I like to be thankful all year long, but I will play along at this time of year as well.  Here's what I'm thankful for right now:

1. Being able to stay home with Ingrid.  I love being a mom, I love going on walks, coloring with her, hearing her say new words, watching her pretend things and marveling over all the things she knows how to do.

2. My husband for working and making money and never once saying I should get a job.  He has always been supportive of me staying home, and now he's supportive of me doing my etsy shop, too, even though it means I buy lots of fabric and a new sewing machine and there's always scraps of everything laying around the house.

3. My etsy shop!  It has given me a reason to sew, which I LOVE to do.  And it makes me feel like I have a talent and I've never had that before.  It gives me a creative outlet I have needed for a long time.  I never realized how badly I needed it, but now that I have it, I see I was missing something before.

4. My mom.  She is the only person I feel comfortable leaving Ingrid with, and therefore the only babysitter she's ever really had.  Thus, my mom is the reason we get date nights.  And when she's here it just makes my day because she plays with Ingrid and bakes and cleans up and gives me a much needed break :)

5. My friends.  I have made some great friends here in Michigan that are always willing to have a playdate.  I can't even imagine if I were here with no friends and it was just Ingrid and I at home all day long...I love being home most of the time, but I need that socialization big time!!  And my friends in Milwaukee that have kept in touch with me after I moved--I miss them so much!  I am thankful that our friendship is important enough for them to still love me even though I'm six hours away. 

My family is healthy, we are no longer as poor as we were last year living off a grad student stipend :) and we are loved by friends and family.  I will play along at this time of year, but I think it's important for people to remember why they are lucky all year long.  I am thankful for all these things every single day! 

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sleeping A Little at a Time...

If it's not working, do something else.  Whatever we were doing with Ingrid was not working, so we tried something else.  Friday night we went to dinner and my mom watched her.  She was fine while we were gone, but then up three times between 9 and 10:30pm.  So, I took her mattress out of the crib, plopped it on the floor, grabbed my comforter and pillow, and we camped out.  Ingrid thought this was very interesting.  She laid on her mattress for awhile, with her hand touching my arm.  Then she crawled over to me and snuggled for a bit.  Then back to the mattress.  Then she stood up and ran to the mattress, jumping on it and screeching "Wheee!"  Hmm, not really the sleep I was hoping for, but not crying either.

After an hour and a half of me dozing next to Ingrid, who was crawling back and forth between me and her mattress, she finally started whining a little.  I asked her if she wanted to go back to her bed, and she said yes.  I put the mattress in the crib, stuck her in, and she slept for 7 1/2 hours.  Last night she was up a couple times but not nearly as bad as it had been.  Just getting that one night of 7 hours of sleep, and naps while my mom and Brendan watched her, I feel so refreshed!  How ridiculous. 

Friday, November 20, 2009


I need a pick me up today.  Ingrid hasn't been sleeping well for weeks now and it's starting to wear on my nerves.  Last night she was up every hour or so from 7pm until 630am.  She did not sleep more than 2 hours at any one time during the whole entire effing night!!  I am exhausted this morning.  And so is she, but she won't just go back to bed like I could...she wants to play but she's so tired she doesn't know what she wants to do.  She just cried for a half hour for no reason--I tried to get her interested in books, a blanket, her kitchen, a snack.  Ugh.

She is a year and a half and this has been an ongoing battle.  I don't know what to do anymore.  I have tried giving her what she needs, even if that's a cuddle for a minute, then back to bed.  But she gets up so much, I don't get any sleep.  I've tried letting her settle herself back down, which happens sometimes, but usually she'd cry nonstop if I let her.  I have let her before, too.  I went in every few minutes to try to calm her down but not take her out of the crib and she cried for two hours until finally I took her out and she calmed down for a little bit.  I try to take her in bed with us but she never sleeps, she just starts playing on us.  Ugh.

Isn't it supposed to get better the older they get??  She slept better as a baby.  She'd sleep 8 hrs straight, have a bottle, and sleep for 3 hours more.  That I could handle.  This I cannot.  Ugh.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Week 3: My cloth budget

When I started researching cloth diapering I didn't know what kind of budget I would have.  I didn't have a lot of money to spend, so I knew I would buy used.  I checked out craigslist and saw a couple people selling some diapers for around $100.  Compared to the $700 we would be spending on a year's worth of Seventh Generation diapers, that seemed like a bargain to me! 

We were lucky because we found a huge stash of fitteds for $50, and then I got six covers from sellers on etsy for about $45.  We used those for awhile, then I won a couple Fuzzibunz, then I bought 10 more at $10 a piece, for another $100.  When I wanted to get more pocket diapers, I traded out some of the fitteds, seeing as they were sitting in a box in the closet!  I ended up trading for another four or five pockets without spending any more money than the original $200.  I think that's pretty amazing, if I do say so myself!!

I am such a bargain hunter and I buy most things used, so to me, buying used diapers just made sense.  We have a one year old who I don't really want to be in diapers for too much longer, so I didn't want to go nuts on all the fancy cute diapers out there.  If money weren't an issue and we were going to be cloth diapering for longer, or for more kids, I would definitely get some of the cute ones, though!  So many prints and colors and different types, it makes my head spin! 

You can spend as much or as little as you want, it's really all up to you.  Prefolds and covers are super cheap, buying used is cheap, or you could go full on and buy all brand new expensive kinds.  Either way, I swear you'd spend less than the disposables, which is awesome!!  And you can sell them when you're done, or use them on another kid.  Can't do that with sposies, can you?!

MckLinky Blog Hop

Monday, November 16, 2009

Deep Breaths...

Ingrid is very independent. This is a trait I usually love in her.  I love that she can sit and read books by herself.  I love that she can play with her stuffed animals by herself.  I love that I can usually take a shower and she'll keep herself entertained.

However, lately she has taken that independence and decided she doesn't have to listen to me.  So...running away from me when I have a bag of garbage in one hand and the dog's leash in the other, or running away when it's time to get shoes on, or running away when it's time to take a bath.  Or, touching things after I say please don't.  Getting into the garbage and eating coffee grounds (you'd think that would be a one time deal, but alas, it happens every day.)  Coloring on the walls or tables or chairs or books after I tell her please use the paper. 

I know kids this age are testing their boundaries, and I never had a problem with this when I was a nanny.  I knew these were the boundaries and the kids would not stray outside the lines.  But with Ingrid I'm finding that the lines are blurry.  Some days I just don't feel like fighting with her, so I chase her to put her in the tub or I chase her to get her shoes on or I tell her twice not to color on the walls instead of just once.  Or I actually let her color on the walls because it washes off and I just don't feel like chasing her.  That kid is fast!

Today we were going to take the dog for a walk and I had the garbage, so she needed to walk alongside me until we got to the dumpster.  Usually she's pretty good at this but today she just was pushing all my buttons.  She ran the opposite direction as soon as I told her we needed to go this way, when I chased after her and grabbed her and told her to go this way, she stopped altogether and wouldn't walk at all.  It's like we just both have these personalities where we are going to get our own way.  We are just fighting each other to see who will win.  Battle of the wills and we both have VERY strong wills.

I don't mind letting her do what she will most of the time.  But how do I get her to understand that sometimes she HAS to listen to mama??  Sometimes I need her cooperation, I need her to listen to me.  But how do you make a 1 1/2 year old understand that??  So, deep breaths.  Deep breaths.  I love her independent spirit, I love her independent spirit.  If we don't have to have a battle of the wills, don't.  

Why is parenting so much harder than nannying???? 

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wanna Win Something?

My first etsy giveaway has started!

Chari over at Take Time to Smell the Rose has a review/giveaway of my etsy shop. Check it out, enter, win something cute!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Week 2: My Ideal Stash

To continue November's theme of how to build a cloth diaper stash over at The Cloth Diaper Report, here's this week's topic: What's your ideal stash?

This all depends on types of diapers and how often you wash. For example, when we use fitteds or prefolds in a cover, I change more often. But using pocket diapers like FuzziBunz or BumGenius, we can go longer between changes. And I usually wash every day, so I don't need a huge stash. But if you don't want to do laundry every day, you'll need more. Personally, it's become such a habit of throwing in the diaper load every afternoon, I don't really think about it.

Our stash right now is 7 FuzziBunz Mediums, 4 BumGenius one size, 2 other pocket diapers, a few fitteds and prefolds, and 4-5 covers. We usually only use the pockets and use the others for backup or at the end of the day when I don't want to "waste" using a pocket. Isn't that stupid? Why does it matter? But in my head, if Ingrid is going to be in her diaper only for an hour before bathtime, I don't want to use a pocket. Things like this will surprise you, so again, be flexible :)

I really like my stash. I have only used them on a toddler though, as we started cloth diapering when Ingrid was a year old. If I were to have a baby in cloth, I know I would need a lot more, as they wet a lot more. And people say different diapers do better for small baby's poo, which I never had to deal with either. But for me, this stash works really well. If I had to change anything, I would probably have more one size diapers, as the Medium FB are getting to fit funny. I should probably go up to the Large but I don't want to spend the money...And they do fit, so I'll just use what I have.

MckLinky Blog Hop

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Kill Your Television?

I am not the hugest fan of TV. I absolutely hate ads, which makes me LOVE the invention of DVRs. I barely ever watch live tv now because I can't fast forward through the commercials. But I'm also not totally against tv. I like a lot of tv shows, I like finding stupid movies to watch on tv, I like completely vegging out not moving a muscle while watching tv. I really never thought too much about it one way or another before having kids, but now it's like this huge thing I see everywhere about kids and tv.

Ingrid watches tv. She's 1 1/2 and likes Yo Gabba Gabba and Charlie and Lola. She is in the room when we watch shows not geared toward kids. She knows how to point the remote at the tv and push the button. Does this make me a bad mom? Is this going to make her obese and stupid?

I have a friend that teaches at a Waldorf school and she doesn't think kids should watch tv at all because they need to use their imaginations and read and play. I agree with that, and a family I used to nanny for limited their sons' tv watching a lot and those boys always were making up games and being really imaginative and loved to read.

But then I used to nanny for another family that had a 12 year old boy that watched tv as much as he wanted, and he also was able to be imaginative and devour books in one sitting. He even wrote a book over the course of a school year. So is tv really that bad?

I guess I see the point that if kids aren't sitting there in front of a tv they will be doing something else. And if tv isn't an option, then books or play will be. But I believe for most things moderation is key. Ingrid watched a lot of tv this past week because she was sick and honestly, it kept her attention away from crying when I stepped out of the room to switch a load of laundry or go to the bathroom. But the tv she watches is always dvds with no commercials or on NickJr where they don't have commercials. I care more about that than anything else.

It was just brought to my attention yesterday how much we worry as parents about everything when a friend said she was a bad mom for letting her kid watch a half hour of tv. And I used to feel that way, too, like oh no, I really shouldn't be letting her do this! But at some point I said screw it, she's a smart kid and she loves books and she talks up a storm--I doubt watching Yo Gabba Gabba is going to ruin all that. And then I thought my husband grew up with the tv on nonstop (his parents still always have the damn thing on!) and he has his phd in chemistry!

I don't know, am I missing something? Am I overlooking something that IS really bad about tv?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

How I Chose my Cloth

I'm participating in a blog hop over at The Cloth Diaper Report about how to build a cloth diaper stash and this week's topic is how did you choose what kinds/brands.

I started out by researching for days on the internet, which just made me overwhelmed and unsure. First I had to learn all the lingo, like what an AIO was, or a prefold, or what OS meant. After that I had to think of how much money I could spend. I had this idea that I needed to get a whole stash right away and go from disposable to cloth overnight. You can do this, but you certainly don't have to. I'm realizing that now.

Anyway, so I researched and saw how much things cost and got a little worried I wouldn't be able to do it. Then I looked on craigslist and found some people in the Ann Arbor area selling their diapers. I was really into the idea of buying used, especially for just starting out. I had read all about how you just don't know what will work for you, and I didn't want to spend a ton of money on something that may not be our favorite. Plus, my daughter was a year old and she's the only one we're having, so these diapers would be used for a year and then we wouldn't need them anymore. I think that made a difference to me, if we were going to have another baby I would feel better about spending more money since they could be reused.

I had two women I was supposed to meet with about their diapers. One had 10 Bum Genius diapers, which would've been $100. The other lady had a box full of "old style" diapers (she said) for $50. I went to her first. She had the motherload of fitted diapers! They are all one size, some aplix closure, some snaps. All have snap in doublers. And there were close to 50 diapers in the box! Plus she had some prefolds and covers, although they were old Gerber plastic pants and not really what I wanted to use...So, I never did make it to the other lady's house, I just bought the huge stash and went home all excited!

We used those exclusively for about a month, and I never had a problem with them. I really liked the big diaper butt look, and the crisp white cotton just looked so--healthy? So much better than paper disposables! And to me, the fact they didn't have pins just made them SO much better than what I thought cloth would be!!

Then, we won two brand spankin' new Fuzzi Bunz diapers from a blog giveaway, and my life changed. They were so amazing, so absorbent, so cute in green and blue. Suddenly my fitteds looked old and bulky. So, back to craigslist and I found a woman selling her old Medium FuzziBunz diapers. I got ten and we were set. And since then I've swapped some of the fitteds for Bum Genius, DryBees, wahms, other covers, and now we have a really diverse stash. Not at all what I'd planned on, either!

I think that's the important thing to realize--you cannot imagine what you're going to like, what is going to work for you, and how those things are going to change as your child gets older. Be flexible, go with the flow, like most other things with being a parent!

MckLinky Blog Hop

Monday, November 2, 2009

Nurse Amber

The sickness has hit our house big time. Not sure if it's the swine flu or another flu or just a bug, but Brendan and Ingrid have been sick all weekend and I feel like I've been on the verge of being so...Fevers and snot and crying, laying around, cups of tea, and plenty of bad movies. And who gets to take care of everything? Me! Hooray! I've been doing plenty of cleaning up after everyone, wiping everything down, putting away blankets or sweatshirts that get thrown around when the feverish one gets too warm, finding said blankets and sweatshirts when they get the chills. Making soup, pumpkin pie, and pizzas, then having to do tons of dishes. And then feeling stuffy headed and achy myself and wanting to take a nap and not being able to.

I understand it's my job to take care of Ingrid, and when she's sick she absolutely will not let anyone else take care of her. I get that. And I get it makes me a really nice wife if I do things for Brendan like get him a cup of tea or go get cough drops from the store. And if I'm feeling okay, I will do these things without a thought. However, if I am also achy and tired and needing a nap, it starts to wear me down. Yes, I will say it, I get pissed off that I have to do all the taking care of and when it's my turn for care, who will do it??

Brendan took Ingrid for an hour while I went to lay down and she screamed the whole time, and came to the door whining for mama, and rattled the doorknob trying to open the door. And I hear Brendan out on the couch calling feebly "Ingrid? Where are you?" It just makes me mad that I take care of her all day and all night and I need an HOUR of me time to rest up for the next 24 hour shift and he can't get off the couch to watch her?

I love my husband but I am WORN OUT right now! And Ingrid has been up three times in the past two hours. It's going to be a long night...