Friday, June 29, 2012

Project 52 | Week 26 | Travel


Is difficult with a toddler.
But totally worth it.
Even if you are "those people" with "that kid" on the plane.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Cost Savings: An Estimate

I've been curious about how many diapers we really do change around here at Crocker Industries.  We changed so many those first few months that I can't even tell you how many a day. But I know our 22 diapers were washed every 36 hours or so.  So a lot.  Then suddenly around 6-7 months he really slowed down and we developed an ammonia problem because I was letting them sit too long since we were going through less each day. So now we use a smaller wet-bag and wash every second day, so we go through about 6-10 diapers a day. On average, mostly now it depends on how many times he poops rather than pees since cloth is wicked absorbent.

But then I got thinking, I know we have a pretty good estimate of how many diapers we have changed since using disposable liners rather than buying a diaper sprayer.  Coach wasn't too keen on the idea of having to spray poop off a diaper, so I succumbed to pressure since he's been pretty awesome with me being all hippy-like about the diapers and cloth wipes.  We stopped using the liners at night since he doesn't poop while asleep, but during the day the liners make it so easy. We've tried a few liner brands after settling on the Bumkins for good, but here's how I figured out how many we've used and how much they've cost us:
Total Cost: $32.92

So in 6 months we have almost racked up the cost of a diaper sprayer, yes.  But happy husband = happy mommy.  They estimate that disposables cost (an average) of 0.28 cents each.  But Lloyd had major issues with rash (and leaks, and blowouts, and just plain smell) in the just 2 weeks we used the disposables from the hospital, so I'm sure we would have ended up using either the Earths Best Diapers or the 7th Generation Diapers, which usually run you a bit more (of course) and don't run as many coupons.  Plus on those 2 occasions (the first 2 weeks and our California vacation when Lloyd was 2 months old) we had to use disposables, we used almost twice as many 'sposies as we ever did cloth during the day.  Our BumGenius are just so much more absorbent (my Fuzzibunz microfiber inserts aren't as absorbent for some reason, but are somewhere between the two, even if they fit better).

So total, we have changed roughly 1400 diapers since Lloyd started solids.  1300 daytime + roughly 100 night time (without liners) = 1400!! I feel like it should be more, that I'm missing a purchase of some kind of liner, but I couldn't find any record of it.  We cut the first roll we had in half, the second roll cut into thirds, and the bumpkins cut into quarters!  So yeah.... And if you use the average disposable price:

.28 cents a diaper x 1400 diapers = $392 - $33 in liners =  $359 in savings

In just six months.  That is crazy.  And we've slowed down dramatically on how many diapers we change, so that's probably only 2/3 of what we've saved from the previous 6 months.  Considering we spent less than $200 on the cost of the diapers themselves (between getting a few from my shower, and using almost all the cash or available returns to buy additional before we even dipped into our own money), that's amazing.  We probably changed almost double that amount in those early months, so yeah... add that up! Plus we don't have the cost of diaper ointments, we haven't ruined any outfits, and he has only ever worn one outfit a day.  No blow outs win again!

Admittedly, we did invest another $134 in wool and fitteds to solve the whole "we have a toddler who has intense wetting at night and will leak through everything", but even then we still saved over $200. That's $200 we are able to take on our Washington vacation. Or to buy food with.  Or to save for his college.  Whatever, it's "free" savings.  It's nice to see what our financial repercussions are, even if it's only a general estimate.  It just reaffirms our choices to take on cloth diapering.

It's easy once you get into all of it to see how they estimate the cost savings of cloth diapers at $2,000 - $2,500.  Incredible.  Yay fluffy booties! If you are interested in FuzziBunz diapers, their website has great resources.  If you are interested in becoming a FuzziBunz Affiliate because you already love their products, you get some great benefits!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Project 52 | Week 25 | Preparation

We are in the count down for our trip to see my sister and the suitcases are out and halfway packed.  The advantage being that Washington state is a whopping 30 degrees colder than Texas and requires a whole different wardrobe.  So the pants that we have as hand-me-downs but were never going to be worn because it's summer when they'll fit, will actually get some decent action for at least the time we are on vacation.  Sweet.  

Luckily we are able to also take our cloth diapers and wash them at her house, although that means almost a whole bag is dedicated to them.  Plus we've got our car seat to haul around the airport.  Should be fun.  With a toddler.  We're packing lots of snacks and a few toys he's never seen before. But we are totally going to be those people.  With the screaming kid.  4 hours of flying time will be worth it. I'm so excited to see her and visit the pacific northwest.  Cannot. Wait.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Lloyds Birthday

Before I post photos and a short (and crazy) recap, I just had to express major thanks.  It was such a crazy week and the day was the same, but having all our friends and family to celebrate our sons first birthday is truly awesome to us. We are so fortunate to have all these wonderful people in our lives.  
Brightly Thankful Thank You Card
Thank you and personalized Valentine's Day cards by Shutterfly.
View the entire collection of cards.

Happy First Birthday Lil' Bear

June 15, 2012

Dear Lloyd-

It is your first birthday! A year ago today you entered our lives and forever changed our entire world.  Those first few weeks were so stressful and new. We could not imagine a time when you would not be a helpless, crying baby who never slept.  But here we are, 365 days later, and you are such a curious little boy.
Gone forever is the little baby who would only burp for Daddy or poop on him every time he wore a blue shirt, the little man who could not make up his mind whether to eat or sleep. You and I not only survived the first weeks of breastfeeding, cluster-feeding, and your milk protein intolerance--but you turned into an amazing little nurser.  So amazing, you are almost refusing to wean and I dread the day you no longer want "our" milk.
You walk, you chat all day, you are so curious, you point to things only you can see. You absolutely love taking your tools and "fixing " things.  You are a boy who loves his Papa only marginally less than you love your Daddy.  I am somewhere above bananas but beneath watermelon an cantaloupe.  Until you are tired and hungry; then I'm number one on your list.
I probably will never be able to express my awe at your life and presence.  You'll have your own child one day and then, then you might grasp how much we love you.  And how much we love you even more every day.  This crazy, all-encompassing, life changing love.  You are ours and we will always be yours.
I hope we don't screw you up too much. YOuare pretty darn awesome so far. Big boy.  Happy Birthday.

Always yours,

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Friday, June 15, 2012

Project 52 | Week 24 | Broken Down Momma

who was hysterically crying for 2 hours today?

on her baby's birthday?

because she just wants these people out of her home and to stop fucking everything up, making a mess, taking shortcuts, not following through, and ruining her whole life at the moment?

couldn't me be. 

But I can confirm I haven't peed in 16 hours because we don't have a working toilet.  So I'm dehydrated, doing the pee pee dance, and  pissed off still about this tile installation.  So much so that the tile company has been out twice today to "make sure everything is happening" because of the late night bitchfest they received on their voicemail after they left and left us without a working bathroom, sink, tub, shower, or anything resembling an appropriate way to pee (or shower). And I've already made them rip out 2 sections of tile because it looks like someone on crack did it. I'm sure they love the crazy white lady.

but you know, I only have 40 people coming over to my house tomorrow.  no biggie.


I'm never doing major construction again.  We won't even have our bathroom done until next week.  but at least they'll be gone today and we'll have a bathroom.  with a toilet. and a shower.  to bathe my baby.  who turned 1 today.  and shave my 4 days of leg hair.  and wash the mascara that somehow ran off my eyes and is now, mysteriously, on my cheeks.  but you know, no biggie.  

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Mommy Diary: Week 52

Developments This Week:
  • Molar is still coming in but I think it broke through, it's hard to get a finger back there to check. 
  • Dropping his 2nd feeding of the day, down to 3 feedings a day.  He's doing really well asking for his milk (we decided go with Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk) or his smoothies.  
  • Growth spurt.  Bye bye size 4 shoes, like overnight.
All of a sudden his chunk got a little less chunky.  That and his 18 months pants are now the appropriate length.  His 12 month pants are too tight and too short so he hasn't been wearing them for a while, but the 18 month pants are definitely right on now.  He's just so long and lean.  And since he's started flying around the house on those feet lately, he's really seeming leaner.  He's still got a belly though, don't worry.  We are trying to get him to eat more snacks, constantly offer him smoothie, and make sure he's getting as many calories as possible.  His favorite foods are still cucumbers though, which have no calories.  Buh.  Healthy kid.  

I cannot believe this is our last weekly photo.  It was a devil to get, we finally gave up on getting a lying down one.  Plus with the construction in the house it's hot so he was just walking around redneck style for the better of the day and loved it. He likes to pat his belly. :) He'll be one Friday.  1 year old.  He's so big and so fun and his personality is wonderful.  We are so lucky to be his parents.
this was after we gave up on lying down.  
He kept "readjusting" his quilt.  It was hilarious.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Project 52 | Week 23 | Sweetness

I love this baby boy so much.  I cannot believe a week from today he'll be 1 year old.  I want to just capture every moment of these remaining "baby" days he's got left.  I feel like every time I nurse him it could be the last time, every time he wobbles he learns not to fall.  

A year ago I blew past my due date.  I thought I'd never want to do it again. But this little boy has made everything in my life worth it, everything more beautiful and more sweet.  

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Mommy Diary: Week 51

A day late, hard keeping track with Coach home from school! We took the photo yesterday but got busy and forgot to post last night. woopsies!
Not really into the picture this week. Poor tooth. :(
Developments This Week:

  • Getting our first, first molar.  Woo-hooo. :(
Lloyd is really bookin' it around the house now, even with shoes on.  He kinda walks as if John Wayne 's brain was put in Frankenstein's body and then given a quart of whiskey, but it's still absolutely incredible to watch him walk around every day.  We still haven't gotten use to it. It makes him look like an even bigger kid.  And he wants to walk everywhere we go: grocery store, shopping, you name it.  Not a fan of being carried or in the shopping cart.  Which is a pain but at least Coach is home for the summer so no big deal (although I really want one of these now).  Our baby is walking.  

We also scored big time at a friend's garage sale last weekend and got him a whole rubbermaid full of clothes in 2T and 3T.  In hindsight I should have gotten even a few of her bigger sizes but these should last us a good long time, we're pretty stocked on clothes again except for PJs.  Which is good because he was outgrowing so many of his clothes and we had no more hand-me-downs left to dig from after the current batch he's now wearing.  Can't believe my baby is in 18month/2T tops and 18 month bottoms.  Just crazy.  So tall! bah!

I've been slowly trying to get things for his birthday party ready.  The house is such a MESS from all the demo on the bathroom and our stuff from the closets being spread around the house.  I do not know why it would take them even 5 days to do our bathroom since it's going to be ready to lay tile the second they get in since we did all the demo and prep ourselves, but if they do I'm going to be a wreck trying to get this place ready for company next saturday for the party.  Always cutting it close! ugh, why!

P.S. have you seen this? Omg how cool, cement glowstones!  If we ever pour more concrete for a patio we are doing this (and adding these glowstones). I mean, bada$$ness!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Weaning: Facing the Fear (or not)

right after our first feed. So long ago!
With Lloyd turning a year old next week everyone seems to be asking about weaning.  Most cannot believe he's a year old who has never had formula and has probably only had bottled breast milk a dozen times.  He hated the bottle.  He drinks "smoothies" (plain organic whole milk yogurt, peanut butter, a whole banana, frozen fresh fruit, and a handful of fresh spinach) during the day for snack or breakfast, he will drink water out of his sippy cup too.  But he loves breastfeeding.

And I love it too. I never thought when we started on our journey to breastfeed before Lloyd was even born that I would love it this much.  Because I do--love it.  I cannot even really put a finger on what it is I love so much about it--the closeness, the connection, the nutritional and emotional value it provides him, the antibody resistance, all of it.  I am really really going to miss it.  I'm afraid to wean.  

Baby-led weaning advocates letting them choose and I want that option.  Desperately.  I believe in that mentality.  Lloyd is even currently living up to it--he's only eating when he wakes up, his 2 naps, and before bed.  He rarely asks for it outside of those 4 times and when he does we can easily distract him with smoothie, water, or fresh fruit or vegetables.  He's even starting to drop his evening feed and eat less at his naps, all on his own--gradually.  He's a happy guy.  But those 4 times a day he wants the breast. He takes a full feeding for the most part.  I'm anxious to refuse him.  

This article is really great and talks about how important for both of us to do it gradually--sudden weaning can lead to depression in mothers (not to mention screaming in the baby).  Lloyd has one nap that we will soon try to coax him out of needing the breast to fall asleep, but the morning will be difficult. He wakes up so hungry and I wake up so full--it's going to be physically and emotionally difficult for both of us.  

The more complex situation is my OB told me yesterday that she recommends I wean before pregnancy since you release that awesome hormone during nursing that helps your uterus shrink postpartum and makes it contract and could potentially cause miscarriage since I'm already prone.  But there doesn't seem to be any medical proof of the link between one and the other.  However, gosh--pregnancy, morning sickness, and nursing all at once?  Do not want that.  And pregnancy will decrease your milk--and remember those awesomely sore breasts? Yuck! So since we've decided to stop trying not to get pregnant, we do have that to consider.

I'm so torn.  I'm obviously ready to consider another baby, but Lloyd is still so small and fragile to me that I cannot imagine taking this time away from us.  I love it.  I love watching him be soothed, finding comfort.  I love how his body curls around mine even when he de-latches because he's so comfortable there.  It is where I've always quieted his fears, his scary times, his boo-boo's.  I'm in tears writing about it.  

Who would have thought? Especially after this and those first 2 weeks of clusterfeeds. :) I still haven't decided what to do about whole milk vs soy milk vs almond milk issue, but man this weaning thing has me all upset.  On my list of pediatrician questions on the 22nd.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Project 52 | Week 22 | Patriotism

Because we have no fear.  Thanks to those who are brave.

Come home soon to one Uncle, and the other is home before he goes back to the Marines for more training.  Lots of military in my family but it's new for Coach's.  I'd be one proud momma if Lloyd decided to follow in his Grandpa Lloyd (and Uncle Jon, Uncle B, Great-Grandpa, and all his Great-Grandfather's now that I'm thinking about it) footsteps.  It's a proud profession.  It's difficult to watch them go but it's such a sacrifice for them you cannot deny them such opportunity.  

Lots of prayers for lots of people.