Saturday, May 31, 2008

Disposable diapers are HOT! Cool off your baby with cloth!

Summer is almost here, and with it comes higher temperatures.

Disposable diapers, like anything lined with non-breathable plastics, are HOT! In fact, according to the Archives of Disease in Childhood, disposable diapers can lead to a total breakdown of normal cooling mechanisms; something which has been linked to the rising infertility rates in males.

The summer heat can also contribute to diaper rashes. According to the Journal of Pediatrics, 54% of one-month old babies using disposable diapers had rashes, with 16% being severe rashes.

Diaper rashes are caused by a number of elements, but a hot, dirty diaper is one of the most common causes.

Cloth diapers are much cooler than disposable diapers, and necessitate more frequent changes; keeping your baby cool and dry for these hot summer months.

My suggestions for keeping baby cool and dry this summer?
  • Look for a fitted diaper - they don't require diaper pins or a Snappi, and are ideal for families with active summer schedules. They are made with organic cotton, soft and stretchy fleece and knits and 100% custom milled cotton.
  • If you aren't afraid to learn a few cloth diaper folds, you can hardly get cooler or more economical than prefold diapers (PF's). Comfortably soft and absorbent, Green Mountain Diaper PF's are the perfect trim, stand alone cloth diaper as summer heats up!
  • Don't forget the diaper covers! The trimmest, coolest diaper cover is the simple, yet efficient, Bummis Super Whisper Wrap. Made from a very lightweight, breathable, waterproof nylon, this diaper cover is BREATHABLE. Waterproof, yet breathable - THAT is simply smart.

With all the cloth diaper choices for keeping baby's most sensitive areas cool and rash free this summer, there is no need to turn to the paper pulp and plastic disposable diapers. Today's cloth diapers are soft, plush, and absorbent without chemicals, but best of all, they will keep baby's skin healthy as the heat rages on.

For more info on this subject, see my cloth diapering page on my home site.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

I'm a new Aunt!

I am very happy to announce the birth of my nephew, Grady James, born to BIL Jamie and his beautiful wife, Sarah, in MD.

The perfect baby boy was born 27 hours after Sarah first began feeling contractions early in the morning.

He weighed 6.12 pounds and is 19 and 3/4 inches long. I'm told he's a super nurser and a screamer!

Welcome to the world, Grady! I can't wait to meet you!

I made something for Grady, something which I would have liked to have sent to Jamie and Sarah weeks ago but time is in short supply around here. I'll share it with all of you after the package sent Priority Mail yesterday is in their hopefully eager hands!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Pity Party at my place.

Hunter is 10 and is doing very well considering the beginning of our journey. He's a year behind in school but if he understands that it doesn't seem to bother him. Academically he's doing great!
He's never gotten a test score lower than 80% and he's always gotten high marks and Satisfactories on his report card. This past term his printing has finally been good enough to get an Honor Roll award he's been deserving since he began grade school. Here he is with it:

Anyway - I'm close to reaching my breaking point with the things that I just can't seem to "fix", for lack of a better word, in him. One is, he is still on a schedule to remember to go poo. If he's not asked/reminded, he'll make a mess in his underwear. I've gone to the school two times to pick him up and one time Hunter "adamantly denied" writes the teacher in the notebook, that he had an accident, but apparently it could be smelled. I toss the towel he uses after his shower into the washing machine because it almost always has poop on it. Part of his routine is using the toilet before getting in the shower every night and I don't know if he forgets to wipe, thinks getting in the shower will take care of it...but obviously he's not cleaning himself well in the shower and getting the towel all icky afterward. He gets mad and frustrated if I ask him if he needs help. I offer in ways saying things like it's hard to reach your back to scrub, or difficult to balance on one foot, so let me help, but no. He gets upset and I have to leave. At least now his showers aren't 30 minutes long, sometimes at the end of which his hair isn't even wet!

He says things that just don't make any sense and come out of his mouth at inappropriate times. He says Prove it all the darn time. He asks me my likes or opinions, then he says, 'Prove it, he does something wrong, 'Prove it, he does something RIGHT, he says, 'Prove it!'. He probably got it from some cartoon show. He thinks we want to hear all about his favorite shows and I listen and show interest but I also want to hear about school and what does he think about this or about that, but he clams up. If it's not something he starts he doesn't participate unless we demand it. And his speech...he doesn't stutter but he chops his words off and pauses so much you think he's done, but he has a hard time putting words into sentences and saying what he wants to say. Except of course when he's repeating something he's read/heard. We were going over his Social Studies book for a test and if he's interested, he remembers no problem and his speech is just about perfect, but trying to talk to him, even about his cartoons, it's difficult for me to listen to him struggle to put sentences together.

He's 10 years's embarassing to admit this, but I'm tying his shoes for him. Up until about six weeks ago, he was wearing shoes that velcroed. But shoe's his size aren't made that way and I joked he won't be seeing Velcro on his shoes for many, many years...but he didn't catch my meaning. He gets so frustrated when I try to show him how, saying only that he's not good at tying, that he can only untie. I tell him he has to practice, that he wasn't a pro at, fill in the blank here, in the beginning, that it took practice for him to be good at it. He sees me coming with his shoe and his shoulders drop and he goes into like a robot mode. My hubby suggested that I make it a part of his homework every night and that I only do one part of the process each night and he practices that part until he's got it down before introducing the next part. It's so wonderful to have a partner in this and I appreciate my husband so much.

Oh those darn small toys he has to carry around! It's not even toys, many times it's coins, paper clips and most recently I've been finding the tops of pencils (the erasers AND the silver part that holds the erasers) off the pencils and on the floor where Bryce has found them. Many times both my hubby and I have had to tell Hunter to put the toy in his pocket to help carry something or do something that involves both hands. He's stolen earrings and rings from me, some might never be found again, because they are small and he likes them. He knows stealing from other people and stores is wrong, but why does he think it's OK to take from me, even after I've caught him before and talked to him about it??

He's been trying to catch me naked either in the bathroom or my bedroom. When I ask him if he needs something or that I need some privacy, he does his fake laugh and walks away. We've had this discussion many times about private parts and nobody seeing them but parents and doctors, but he sighs at me and says he knows, he knows. How can I satisfy his curiosity without standing naked in front of him?? Is there a book I can give him that won't reveal too much? This concerns me for many reasons.

He thinks he's going to get in trouble, so he sneaks food and drink! I have found wrappers, empty cans, juice boxes, plastic bottles under his bed, in his desk drawer, behind toys in other rooms, inside closets. I rarely say no to him and I've told him as long as he's not eating after he brushes his teeth at night and that's it's not his dad's last pop, he can have whatever he likes, but I can still hear the pantry being open so slowly so it won't squeak and I know he's in the drawer getting a utensil out because I hear the slow, cold ring of metal being taken slowly from it's place. Sometimes at dinner if he doesn't like something I can see him looking up at me and back to his food, like he's hoping I'll notice him looking at me and that I'll tell him he doesn't have to eat it. We've learned the hard way what happens if he eats something that clashes with his tongue....

I can't get him to eat anything but what he's been eating for many years now and now he's overweight. He walks on the treadmill no problem (he gets to watch cartoons while doing it) but it's pointless if all I can get him to eat is fish sticks, chicken nuggets and grilled cheese. He does eat lettuce and carrots, but only with Ranch dressing.

Anyone have any comments or advice? With an almost three year old, a one year old, my lack of sleep with household and business obligations to fullfill, my patience has unfortunately been stretched thin and I've started to snap at Hunter when he does the same things I've talked to him about over and over again.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Great news for Hunter! Dev's imagination is blooming! No more crawling for B!

Hello everyone!

The temperature is still cool around here, but the holiday weekend looks to be warmer and sunny! Since we fenced in part of our back yard I’ve moved my computer desk to the side of my sun room so I can see out the windows. Devin is inside at the moment, but the evidence of his fun yesterday is still in the tree! Tim and I attended a dinner that marked the beginning of week long meetings and more meetings for Tim. The past two years he’s just packed an overnight bag and stayed in a hotel close to the location instead of driving the hour there and back again. We had our sitter come over yesterday and he had all three boys at once! They went outside at one point and now the big blue and white ball is being held tight in the tree, so hard to get that the bat Caleb used to knock it out is now also caught up in the branches!

It didn’t bother Dev at all that Tim and I were leaving, he likes Caleb that much! Devin was downstairs when Caleb arrived. When he came upstairs he looked around said, ‘Where’d Caleb go?’, then he saw Caleb and said, ‘There he is!’, and then ran and tackled him! This was the first time Caleb had all three. He’s watched Dev and B when Hunter and I went to the movie and saw Iron Man and when we went to Hunter’s Spring Concert and then just Hunter and Dev when B was a bit younger and I left. We only stayed out until 9:00, wanting to make it an early night because Tim knew that tonight would be a late night with him actually staying over at the same hotel as the out of state company employees. However, Bryce had a bad night. He woke often and he’s not quiet when he does! Tim was still half asleep when he headed out this morning.

The wonderful news this week is that Hunter made the honor roll! He has been so close every year, but it’s been his printing that holds him back each time. I’m not happy with his penmanship, but his teacher must have seen something to give him that extra point or so! On this subject I’m wondering if I shouldn’t be looking for a new OT. I like his current one. She’s been working with Hunter for many years now, but Tim was telling me of a woman he knows who’s son’s handwriting was so bad that his mom got him an OT and now his printing is neat and proper. I can’t imagine what the difference could besides Hunter’s lack of interest and sore hand muscles.

Hunter’s new favorite thing to say is, ‘Prove it’, and it’s driving me insane! He’s not even using the term properly. He asked me if I liked a pine tree or some other tree better and I said I liked the pine tree because they don’t lose their needles during the winter and animals can shelter underneath. He got in my face and said, ‘Prove it’. What? You’re asking me what I like, my personal opinion, so you don’t say, ‘Prove it’. Can you guess his response to that? It was another, ‘Prove it’, this time with more enthusiasm.

He’s still struggling with his speech. He’s not exactly stuttering, but he’s tripping over what words to use and pausing in the middle of his sentence, and the entire time he’s swaying back and forth on his tip toes, shaking whatever small toy he’s chosen to carry around. He’s tried my patience many times by leaving his small magnetic balls on the floor and he keeps pulling the tabs off the tops of pop cans and the erasers from pencils, playing with them and then leaving them on the floor. But he is doing excellent in school, he is interacting with kids his age and he is communicating with me, so although it’s hard to see him struggling, stimming and not remembering there’s a baby in the house, I am so thankful for how far he’s come!

Devin loves that he can go outside pretty much anytime he wants to now, but keep your shoes on, kid! He takes his sandals off and runs barefoot or he takes his shoes off and plays just in socks. It doesn’t matter to him! He is full of words and observations and makes sure I see everything he sees, that I listen to hear what he is hearing and if I share a forkful of something with him, he takes the fork and shares a forkful with me!

I can’t believe his imagination! I remember getting Hunter to pretend to feed his stuffed puppy a cheese ball being a huge event (the same day we taught him to sign more). Devin needs no help whatsoever! ‘It’s a cracker, it’s a car’, and, ‘No, it’s a plane!’ Then I have Hunter on the other side saying, ‘It’s NOT a plane, Devin, it’s a LETTER!’ They go back and forth like that with Dev adding some choppy chatter that Hunter might be glad that he can’t understand right now!

Devin is fascinated with trains right now and absolutely loves the Thomas the Train DVD I bought him. I think it’s terribly boring and kind of scary that these trains have mouths, but they don’t actually open and move when the train’s are talking. He’s been going down every night without much problem because he gets to watch his train movie. He walks around saying choo, choo and all aboard, telling me to holler stop and when I do, he makes a sound that is a pretty good imitation of a trains air brakes!

He is such a great helper in giving and doing things for Bryce, but he is two and is therefore very possessive of his trains and toy cars. If he hears Bryce waking up first, he climbs up on the bed with him and tells him that I’m coming. He shares his bath time bubbles with him and I think Devin stopped having a fit when I rinse his hair because Bryce doesn’t do it. Dev started that suddenly before Bryce began taking baths with him, but now that they are together he doesn’t do it anymore.

Bryce is speeding up! He’s not quite as wobbly nor is he as bow legged now that he’s been walking non stop for a couple weeks now. Only if he’s tired or crying does he crawl. He also doesn’t need me to nurse him to sleep for naps. He’s following Devin in that area; he just collapses wherever! He loves burying his head in a pillow, so I keep one on the floor in his room and in the play room and he’ll roll all over that with his bum up in the air.

He’s getting top molars and a fourth front bottom tooth, so that might explain the recent restless nights. One morning he was either making up for the lack of night time sleep or he was going thru a growth spurt, because he took a four and a half hour nap! I kept returning to make sure he was still breathing. He was always in a different position when I checked on him, and he was always still sleeping soundly! When I heard him stir he was all smiles after that little cat nap!

I think I will be getting Bryce a haircut this week. I don’t want to, but he is looking shaggy and I like to keep my guys looking neat and having easy go hair. Maybe.

Hope you all are well. Write me soon!



Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Happy 1st Birthday Bryce Baby!

One year ago today, at 4:50 in the afternoon, Bryce Robert was born. He was 8 lbs. and a single ounce, 20 inches long. We are so thankful to have him in our lives. He makes us smile and laugh and continues to amaze us. The miracle of life is indeed precious.

Reuseable grocery bags. I was doing it part time, but pledge to use them every time.

Can I have your pledge to do the same?

My sister gave me a large red reusable shopping bag for my birthday. I've also picked up four cloth bags from my local Wal-Mart. Sometimes I forget to put them back in my van and end up using the plastic ones at the registers, but now I'm going to make the effort of getting some more and putting the ones I have already back into my van to use each time I shop, wherever I shop.

The reusable shopping bags I've seen in both stores and online are made of strong, durable, lightweight and water resistant polypropylene. They are rated for over 30 pounds and can easily replace three to four of regular plastic grocery bags. I like the heavy duty one Tiffany got me, but they don't have an online store (yet, Tiff?). I believe they were called Earth Bags and come in different sizes and with different handle options.

Why should you use reusable shopping bags? Listen to this:

Experts estimate that 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are consumed and discarded annually worldwide—more than a million per minute.

The facts:

Plastic bags aren’t biodegradable. They actually go through a process called photodegradation—breaking down into smaller and smaller toxic particles that contaminate both soil and water and end up entering the food chain where animals accidentally ingest them.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, more than 380 billion plastic bags are used in the United States every year. Of those, approximately 100 billion are plastic shopping bags, which cost retailers about $4 billion annually.

According to the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), the average American makes 2.3 trips to the grocery store each week, walking away with five to 10 bags each time (not hard to do if you're feeding a family of five like I am!). That's between 600 and 1,200 bags per shopper each year. Or 40 billion grocery bags each year!

The production of plastic bags requires petroleum and often natural gas, both non-renewable resources that increase our dependency on foreign suppliers. Additionally, prospecting and drilling for these resources contributes to the destruction of fragile habitats and ecosystems around the world.

Hundreds of thousands of sea turtles, whales and other marine mammals die every year from eating discarded plastic bags mistaken for food. Turtles think the bags are jellyfish, their primary food source. Once swallowed, plastic bags choke animals or block their intestines. On land, many cows, goats and other animals suffer a similar fate to marine life when they accidentally ingest plastic bags while foraging for food.

Collection, hauling and disposal of plastic bag waste create an additional environmental impact. An estimated 8 billion pounds of plastic bags, wraps and sacks enter the waste stream every year in the US alone, putting an unnecessary burden on our diminishing landfill space and causing air pollution if incinerated.

Are you a visual learner? Then watch this.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Here's one of the Kings of the Mountain!

Yes, it's Devin, my almost three year old! He enjoys co-Kingship of Mt. Laundry with one year old Bryce. This is about four loads of clean clothes on my couch. And yes, he is naked under that sleeper. I'm hoping to potty train him...just not on my clean laundry!

Right at this moment - 9:13 a.m., we're getting new siding!! Here is a before look of our house, taken some time last year:

Check back in a few days to see the new look!

After the first day of work, here is the result:

They say they'll get it done tomorrow!

It was raining yesterday, so I wasn't able to get a picture. The new siding is on! When we get the red shutters and a new door, I'll post a new pic! Please excuse the weeds. Our weed wacker isn't working but I better go pull those out by hand because Bryce's first birthday party is Saturday!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Hunter wants to pick and chose, Devin can go outside anytime, Bryce is walking!

No blog this week. I had typed it all out just to have lose it. I don't have the patience or the time to re-write it. I'm going to go back to writing it in Word first and then pasting it here.

My plan is always to keep my Updates short, but you know I never really do!

Until next week then. Hope you enjoy/ed the pictures!