Monday, January 31, 2011

So close to being ours!

I haven't posted in about a week and it's because a lot has been happening around here.
As of right now, we are scheduled to close on our house at 11:00 tomorrow morning.  That means tomorrow we're going to become homeowners!!! That just sounds weird--Kyle and I, homeowners?? Even though I am going to have two kids soon, I still don't feel like I'm a big enough "grown up" to own a house.
Anyway, we've been busy figuring last minute things out.   
We found a mattress we want, but just have to work up the courage to call the mattress place and have them charge our card.  Spending that much money on a mattress is scccccary. 
Of course I want every room in my house to be a different color so we've also been trying to make some decisions in that department.  It's probably going to take a few weeks to get everything painted, but we would like to start painting tomorrow and finish the kitchen and living room before we move in this weekend. 
Our list of things we still need seems to be never ending, but I am really going to try to relax and take things slow.  I know it's going to be a few months before the house really starts to come together.  The hard part for me is going to be trying to not freak out that everything isn't set up and in order.   I know I'm going to want eveything perfect right when we move in, but it's just going to take time. 
I've had dreams of moving in the last two or three nights.  We're so excited!!!!! 
I don't really have any new pictures to post because I've taken maybe 20 in the last week and a half. (note to self: start taking more pictures of life) 
So here are a few pictures of the house waaaay back in September the first time we ever looked at it.
Front porch

living room

dining room- the light fixture that you can't see in this picture is going to be one of the first things to go!

kitchen

kitchen

Can't wait to enjoy this backyard

What is going to be Cambria's room

2nd bathroom

our room!

The baby's room
I'm excited to get in there and start making it our own.  We have about 1020849 ideas and projects we want to do already... I keep telling Kyle how grateful and fortunate I feel to be able to buy a house right now.  Really, we are so lucky to be buying such a beautiful home for our family and I never want to take it for granted.  Life is good.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

7 years

This was my tweet today:
Today marks 7 years of dating @
My present? A box of chocolates!
That man is an awesome husband, father, and gift-giver.

And you know what?  Kyle really is an amazingly loving husband, an incredible father, and he has given me some pretty sweet gifts over the years.   

As my husband, Kyle supports me unconditionally.  No matter how rude, mean, or just outright irrational I may be at times, Kyle is always understanding and patient with me. Always.  I think it must be why we work so well together.  He's my best friend and my constant source of strength and support. I looooooove him a lot.

Kyle is such a good dad to Cambria that sometimes I forget not all men are like him.  Kyle gives Cambria a bath every day, he wakes up early with her on weekends and lets me sleep in, he plays with her after he gets home from his long 10-hour work days, he sings to her when she's upset, he changes just as many diapers as I do, and he even tucks her into bed every single night.  

My girl is a lucky one, but then again I think we both are to have him. 

Happy 7 years Kyle.
Here's to many, many more filled with ten times the love and happiness we've experienced so far.
Kyle surprised me with a trip to Asheville, NC for our anniversary in 2009. See!!! An awesome gift-giver.  We returned to Asheville  a year and a half later to be married.  This was taken at the Biltmore House.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Cloth Diapering 101

WARNING: I talk frankly about poop in this post so If you don't like to hear about it, you may want to stop reading :) 

Right now, it has been about 3 weeks since we started using cloth diapers and all I can wonder at this point is why we didn't start sooner.    Seriously, I feel like I want to become an advocate.  Now I know most who are reading this are thinking "yeah, I'm sure you're denying how nasty and difficult cloth diapering really is..." But seriously people--IT'S REALLY VERY SIMPLE.  Like most, I was skeptical, nervous, and just outright terrified of the thought of Cambria pooping in a piece of cloth and me having to deal with it.  Before we made the plunge, I was fearful that we would invest tons of money into something that would eventually become a big fat FAIL.  But I am here to say that we are definitely succeeding and I could not be more excited about it!

First let me explain why we decided to switch.  As most would assume, money was a factor in our decision.  Since Cambria was born, I would say we've spent anywhere from $60-$80 a month on disposable diapering supplies.  So as a rough estimate, we've spent $1,190 dollars on diapers since her birth.  So far, we've made three purchases for cloth diapering supplies- $97.92  $161.58 and $75.77.  That's $335.27 total.   That money has given us all the necessary supplies to diaper Cambria for the remainder of time before she is potty trained.  But don't forget that all of her diapers will be used on baby #2 and any other children that may come along especially since almost all of them are one size diapers.  Check this out for a better breakdown.  Kyle and I try to make responsible, "green" choices whenever possible and the argument for cloth diapers is pretty obvious.  Use the same diaper hundreds of times over or use a new diaper after each change?  I think the former makes the most sense especially because we use a high efficiency washer and dryer.  Lastly, cloth diapers are more natural for a little baby bum than the materials used to make disposables.  Plus their tooshies look so darn cute in them!! 

If you ever decide to cloth diaper your child you will quickly discover there's TONS of information out there and TONS of different types of diapers.  Like an overwhelming amount that made me freak out at first.  Cloth diapering has really come a long way since we were babies and the technology is kinda ridiculous.   Kyle and I read through several sites and watched some videos that were very helpful and made everything seem a lot less daunting.  After a lot of thinking and researching we decided the best thing to do was to buy several different types of diapers in order to figure out what we liked best.  Turns out we like all the different types for different reasons.  Let me give you a brief breakdown.  

Fitted diapers with a cover. 
Fitted diapers or diapers called prefolds are your most basic type of cloth diaper.  Prefolds are folded and then fastened with pins or these things called snappis. We actually didn't try using prefolds with Cambria, but I'm thinking this is what we are going to use for the new baby for the first few weeks until he or she can comfortably fit into Cambria's one size diapers.  We did get several fitted diapers and two very cute covers for them.  Fitted diapers just have more of a shape to them than prefolds and seem to prevent leaks better too.  You have to have a cover when using the fitted diapers or prefolds because there is no waterproof layer on the outside. 

These are the fitted diapers.  They come in cute colors and are fastened with snaps.  Very simple.  These are the most bulky so Cam looks like she has a ton of junk in the trunk when she wears them.



These are the covers we use.  One is fastened with velcro and the other with snaps.  I can't say which I prefer because they are both simple and easy.   I really like the fitted diapers because they are durable and I know they are going to last forever.  Cambria can only wear them for maybe 2 hours tops before they become pretty wet and have to be changed, so she can't wear these to bed.  The covers can be used several times before washing unless there is any leakage or if they become stinky...The fitted diapers are not one size but we ordered two different sizes and they both fit Cambria just fine. 


Pocket One Size Diapers. 
Pocket diapers consist of one outer shell that has a slot for an absorbent insert.  Technically the outer shell can be used more than once by replacing the wet insert with a fresh one if it isn't pooped on.  I think they smell bad after one or maybe two uses so we don't get much more use out of them than that.  Plus, my daughter is not one of those 1 time a day poopers....try 3, 4, 5, 6 times!  (I think it's because of her vegetarian diet and her yogurt and fruit consumption)  All of her pocket diapers are one size meaning they will fit a baby from about 8-40 pounds! I know that seems crazy but it really is true!!


We have several pocket diapers that come in many different colors.  The extra buttons on the front are what allow you to adjust the size so that they fit any size baby.  Again, I can't say if I like the snaps or the velcro better.  When Cambria wears these to bed we stuff two inserts in the pocket instead of just one to soak up the extra wetness.  I really like these diapers for when we are out and about because she can wear them longer before needing a change.

We have three different brands of the pocket diapers. 


All-In-One One Size Diapers. 
These diapers are the most similar to disposables.  They have everything you need--all in one! So whether Cambria just wets it or poops it can only be worn once before needing to be washed.  The AIO diapers are most convenient because there is no prep work involved.

                                                 This diaper has the layers sewn right in.

This one has an insert sewn into a pocket which allows us to stuff an extra insert in if she wears it to bed.  Both of these ones have snaps instead of velcro and they are both one size.  

All in all, I cannot say which diaper system I prefer.  They all work better for different times of the days and they all seem very durable.  Maybe after more experience with them I will be able to pick a favorite.  

Accessories
After one of Cambria's diapers is soiled, we rinse it off with the AMAZING mini-shower we bought on Amazon.  I do not think cloth diapering would be as easy without one of these.  This is the number one accessory I would recommend to anyone considering cloth diapering.  This mini-shower makes it so easy to wash off every last poop particle stuck to the diaper.  Even when Cam's poop goes unnoticed for a while and gets a little....squished...it comes off so easily! It attaches to our water line and clips right onto the toilet.  Suuuuuuper easy.  I've started spraying off Cambria's wet inserts to prevent odor too.  

After it's sprayed with the mini-shower we spray the diaper and insert with this natural cleaner that prevents odor and stains.   I have another crazy fact for you all--since we've started using the cloth we have had NO stains on ANY diapers.  I attribute that fact to this stuff!! I found it on sale at a local natural living store downtown for cheap which made me very happy. 

After being sprayed we put all the diapers into a cute diaper bag.  Once we get into our house and have two kids in cloth diapers we will get an actual pail to put the dipaers in but for now the bag works great.  We even have a small one for on-the-go diaper changes.  We do a load of diapers every day or day and a half.  Doing laundry is never a fun job, but honestly it doesn't take much effort to do one small load of cloth diapers every day.  We use an all natural detergent that was recommended on many sites.  It should last a while before needing replacement.





Our diaper bag is made from such a cute fabric--you would never know it's full of poopy diapers!   It's just thrown right into the wash with the rest of the diapers. 



  
I cannot explain the joy it brings me to have such a nice washer and dryer.  This one is my parents but ours is going to work just the same.  LOVE IT. 

Cambria has shown no discomfort with the cloth diapers and they actually seem to help with the occasional diaper rash she used to get with disposables.  Making this major switch has given me such a sense of satisfaction.  It makes me feel more responsible as a parent and as an environmentally conscious person.  I will admit that it would not be as easy if I did not stay at home with Cam and I DO NOT judge anyone who doesn't care to give it a try.  Like everything else involved in parenting, I think each decision should be made according to what works best for the parents and child, no one else.  

If I left anything out or if there are any more questions please ask me because I would love to answer them! And yes, I chose the color of the font in this post to go along with the theme....if ya know what I mean :D

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Cam with a little drool

Notice anything drooly about this picture? :D

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The most delicious fruit of my life

Do you ever remember something you once ate and in that moment want it more than anything? 
Well this morning I had one of those episodes and then remembered that I actually have a picture of the exact thing I wanted to eat again so very badly. 
While walking through a street market in NYC during our trip last November we found a booth selling fresh fruit and smoothies for suuuuuuuuper cheap.  
$3 for a huge cup of the most delicious non-cheap fruit.  Mangoes, kiwi, watermelon, strawberries--if you're a big fruit eater you know these are the more expensive fruits in the grocery stores.
I was amazed at the price and couldn't resist. 
I want some more right now.


 It was delicious.  
I never did a post about this trip like I had planned but promise to one day. 
It was an awesome trip.  NYC is a place like no other.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Inspiring words from someone unexpected

Today I received an e-mail from a girl I knew in high school who is my younger sister's age. 
In her message, she told me how much she enjoyed reading my blog and how she related it to her own life.  Her mother was a stay at home mom for 20 years.  She explained that she would not be the same person today if her mother hadn't devoted so many years to her and her siblings. 
I was taken back when I read the message for two reasons 1) I haven't talked to her in years and 2) I couldn't believe how kind it was of her to write me such a heartfelt message. 
Right now, being a stay at home mother is my job.  It consumes my life in almost every way and for someone to recognize the importance of my role and to commend me for it felt so wonderful.
She said my blog is encouraging and inspring for her and it's funny because her message had the same affect on me. 
Sometimes when people ask me "and where are you working now?" I almost feel embarrassed when I tell them "oh I'm just staying home with Cambria for the time being."  But when I really think about it, I get mad at myself for feeling ashamed to say that I am currently spending my days raising my child.  My life is so full of joy and however long my days may be sometimes, I am always, always fulfilled at the end of the day.  To me, that's success.  
When someone takes the time to appreciate something you feel so passionately about, something you are devoting almost all of your time to,  it feels wonderful.  
To the sweet girl who wrote the message--Thank you so much for inspiring me! Keep passing joy like that and you will make a big difference in this world.
Taken at Piedmont Park-Spring 2009.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Pregnancy Update

I think I've officially gotten to the "really pregnant" part of this pregnancy.  I had morning (all day) sickness in the beginning and minor back pains which have been managed with the help of a chiropractor, but other than those two issues, I have been able to do most things easily and without any inconvenience.  Nope, not anymore.  I remember reaching this point with Cambria too.  All of a sudden it's like I'm very pregnant, my belly is large, and some things are a little more difficult than they were a few weeks ago...shaving, sleeping, carrying Cam, walking up and down stairs all day, working out, leaning over to put Cam in her car seat or lifting her into her highchair, laundry, etc.... The list could probably go on for a while. 

Now let me say right now that I am in NO WAY complaining about my growing belly!!! I hate when women act like pregnancy is a disability or that it's such a hard, impossible thing to deal with.  I'm simply noticing and adjusting more for my growing belly as I go throughout my day--and now telling all of you about it!

I had an appointment on Monday at the birthing center and everything is going well.  My blood pressure is still at a normal level and I'm reeeealy hoping it doesn't go up at the very end of my pregnancy like it did last time.  At one of my earlier appointments my midwife told me high blood pressure is sometimes just a 1st pregnancy issue--let's hope so!!  Since all my iron pills were ruined in my purse (long story),  I am going to get a replacement for that and am going to begin taking some chewable calcium supplements (could help prevent high blood pressure).  I might also look into getting a belly band just for a little extra support.  I feel like my belly is so heavy at times and think a support band might make me feel better. So far, I've had almost no swelling in my feet. Woooooooooo! Lately my heartburn has been worse.  Just like last time, the heartburn seems to come and go, but it's never unbearable and Tums seem to work well.  My skin is also getting itchy and achy again.  I don't know if achy is the right word to describe it, but it's basically a feeling that my skin is stretching to its max.  One of the worst parts of pregnancy= stretchmarks, enough said.   I've also started to experience more pressure in my pelvic area and have been getting Braxton Hicks, a lot.  I feel like I get them more often and more intense than I did with Cam.  Sometimes I have to actually stop what I'm doing in order to get comfortable or readjust my position.

I'm welcoming all these new sensations and symptoms with open arms because I know they will bring me closer to the day we get to meet this baby.  But just as I said here, I'm not 100% ready for all that labor stuff yet either.  I know that as soon as this baby is here, everything is going to change.  Our life will be hectic for a while, but eventually we will find a new rhythm.  Breastfeeding takes a lot of hard work and dedication and that's another thing I associate with the day I have this baby.  Breastfeeding requires more of me than being pregnant does and I know that as soon as I give birth, it's going to be my entire focus.  I just hope hope hope this baby and I work all the kinks out early and have little or no issues. I can hope right!??! 

We've been talking to Cambria about "the baby" and she kisses and hugs my belly everyday.  She knows what a baby is, but I don't think she makes the connection that I'm going to have one soon.  The other day she came up to me, lifted my shirt, and put her sippy cup up to my belly button.  She was giving the baby a drink!!!!! What a sweet little girl we have.  I think once the baby is here one of my biggest concerns is going to be maintaining her routine and not letting her get lost in all the chaos.  I'm not even trying to plan or think about how it's going to be with 2 because I remember with Cambria that no matter how much you think you know how it's going to be, you really can never prepare for a baby.  Yes, you can have all the "things" ready, but emotionally, physically, mentally, you really can't.  Speaking of all those "things" you need for a newborn, Kyle and I have not made 1 purchase for this child yet! Not 1!! We do have most everything we need already, but I just think it's funny that we haven't bought anything.  That's me though, I have a harder time spending money than saving it.  Also, I'm kinda bad at planning/getting things in order.  This is probably the reason we have no problem waiting until birth day to find out the sex.
The list of items we/I need is very short: 
-2 kid jogging stroller 
-new baby sling, Not a necessity because I already have one, but I just want another that works better for a newborn.
-a newborn elf hat--you'll see why a little lata 
-a new nursing bra
-Some pants, socks, and onsies for the first few days.  

Here are a few pictures of me two nights ago.  Cambria was giving the baby kisses and hugs.
33 weeks 4 days







Hopefully her affection for the baby continues once he or she is here. 







My two babies.  Love them.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Documentation

We haven't been taking as many pictures lately, so I'm trying to remember to document our days. 
The next few weeks I want to take it easy and just focus on Cambria and her needs.  
My goal is for her to learn her colors and a few letters by the time the baby arrives.
She was being especially cute today. 

 
Cinnamon Life cereal for breakfast. The girl ate three bowls of it. 
 She was excited to see Daddy when we met him for lunch today.


 Heading upstairs for a nap and a diaper change.  (cloth is awesome, post about that soon) 


Going to see the horses and bath time. 
That hat is probably going to fit for 3 years. Great investment.

video
 

Friday, January 7, 2011

Exhaustion

I'm exhausted. 
We're in Atlanta, finally, after a 5 1/2 hour trip which should only take 4. 
We're here for my sister's wedding which is Saturday and I think it's just starting to hit me (and her).
She's going to be a beautiful bride and I cannot wait to celebrate her and her new husband with family and friends.
Should be a fun time with some good eats and drinks...if I could drink.
I still have programs to assemble before tomorrow evening. 
I've gotten in a bad habit of staying up later than I should doing things like......this.
I should be sleeping now.  Can you tell?
The baby in my stomach is moving in ways I do not remember last time around. Maybe a feisty personality? That's what I keep thinking. 
I will leave you with this oldie but goodie of Cam Cam and me.   
I kinda feel like that now.
Someone has thinned out, A LOT.  I think it's all that walkin' she does.
One of my favorites.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

2 songs for your listening pleasure

Right now, I'm loving both these songs.
 
This one is so very beautiful and I could listen to it over and over again.  
I wish I was half as talented as the lovely girl who sings it. 



I'm not a huge country fan, but I've loved the lyrics of this song since I first heard it. 
It can mean something different depending on who is listening. 
The girl and two guys are siblings which I also like. 




I hope you enjoy them as much as I do! 
Happy listening!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

We've made the switch.

We've officially made the switch to cloth diapers.  After talking about it for what seems like forever, all the needed supplies are FINALLY in our possession.   Since before Cambria was born I've wanted to try them out and honestly I can't say exactly what has taken us 17 months to fully commit.  Maybe the fear of the unknown, the upfront cost, the unconventional factor, or just laziness?  We only started using them this evening so I don't really have any poopy (hehehe) details to share yet but I'm sure those will come soon!! I think (hope!)  cloth diapering is going to turn out to be an amazingly simple thing that before seemed scary and intimidating.  Kyle and I did a lot of research about everything cloth diapers so I'm feeling confident that we will have success.  Since I do all the laundry most of the "work" required will fall into my hands, but I'm okay with that.  I'll probably write another post in a few days updating on how it's all going.  Look at these cute pictures of pootie in her yellow cloth diaper.

The buttons aren't as scary as they look.


She actually cried when I first put one of them on her today but I think she was just a little weirded out.  One thing I like about the diapers is their cute factor.  There is nothing cute about a disposable diaper...nothing.  But these things come in all sorts of colors and fabrics!  Disposable diapers are easier and more appropriate for some parents, but I feel like right now is the perfect time for us to make the switch.  The next few weeks will give us lots of time to learn the ropes so we'll be all ready for baby #2 to jump right in and start using them.
What an adorable little tooshie!
Today is 1-1-11.  Happy New Year!  I'm thinking this year will be a good one for us and will bring with it many changes and new experiences.  I'm eager to watch Cam grow and change even more and to meet our second child.  Right at this exact moment I think the baby is a boy, but ask me in one minute and I may say something different.  I have no lasting gut feeling anymore.  All I do know is that a girl born today would have a name and a boy wouldn't.  We better get on that....

Her favorite thing to do.
When I have two kids how will I be able to decided which one to write about or which one to post a picture of? One of my many, many curiosities about being a parent of 2.