"I should really write this down."

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

A Conversation In Cloth (Diapers)

I'm no expert, but I will share what I have learned about the world of cloth diapering, including my personal preferences, for anyone who might be interested...

People are using cloth diapers after they invented disposables? Gross!
Actually what I think is gross is paying lots of money to put plastic with scary chemicals against your baby's sensitive skin, letting them pee and poop in it, rolling it up and throwing it in a landfill to preserve it and take up space for the rest of time. That is my nutshell version. If you want a more thorough explanation, this article is where it's at: Why Disposable Diapers Are Dirty And Dangerous

On the positive side, using cloth diapers will:
  • Save money, especially if you use them for more than one kid. You can also buy them used and/or resell them when you're done if they are still in decent shape.
  • Be better for your baby's skin without the preservatives and absorbent chemicals in disposables. You can even go all the way and use cloth diapers with natural fibers like bamboo and cotton instead of microfiber.
  • Help preserve the environment by reducing the amount of resources used to produce disposable diapers and the amount of waste added to landfills.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Dinners for Daddy

I used to sit down every 2 weeks or so and find 4 or 5 new recipes to try out. Then I would make a grocery list and go buy the stuff to make those meals. Garret and I cooked together nearly every other night, alternating with leftovers from the night before. From when I started that system, we didn't even start repeating recipes, aside from a few of our very faves, for about 4 years! Then I realized, hey, if we really like something, I should hang onto it and make it again. Duh. So I made a Google site called Keepers to organize recipes that got 2 thumbs up from me and Garret.

Then a tiny baby came and took over our lives. She doesn't like us to cook together because that doesn't leave anyone free to bounce her and tell her how adorable and special she is. She also doesn't like me to cook before Daddy gets home, and she has to go to bed early to get her cutie rest so there isn't time after he gets home either. So I needed a new plan. Somehow I thought that might happen.

Freezer meals have saved us from a diet of fast food and spaghetti. I had to venture into the panic-inducing realm of Pinterest to get started, but once I found a couple blogs with recipes for meals that freeze well, we were off and running. Most of the ones I have tried come from The Virtuous Wife and Six Sisters' Stuff. I have integrated them into my site, but in an attempt to pass along the favor, I'm highlighting some of the recipes that have come in handy for feeding the grown-ups around here since the lifestyle-revolutionizing arrival of Miss Marin.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Ankyloglossia: It's not a dinosaur.

The lactation consultant and the pediatrician both said the same thing, that Marin had a bit of a tight lingual frenulum. They said it can cause some problems nursing, and bad ones can cause speech problems later, but it didn't seem too bad so we should probably just wait and see before we considered whether to do anything about it.

Here's our research in a nutshell: The lingual frenulum is the thin strip of tissue that holds the middle section of your tongue to the bottom of your mouth. Sometimes it is too thick, too "short" (tight to the bottom of the mouth), and/or extends too far toward the tip of the tongue. This is called ankyloglossia, or "tongue tie". Then it kind of overdoes its job, preventing the tip of the tongue from raising up enough to do the stuff it's supposed to do, like grabbing hold of a nipple, making certain consonant sounds like "l" and "d", and reaching out past the lips to lick an ice cream cone, for example. Really bad cases can cause teeth to grow in crooked and make dental hygiene more difficult to maintain.

This isn't Marin, but her tongue looked a lot like this baby's.

Marin was able to nurse reasonably well at the hospital. She was no prodigy, but I understood that it would be painful at first until she learned to latch properly, so we just went with the flow. We went home when she was 2 days old, and she did great that first night, still taking into consideration that I thought nursing was usually "pretty painful" at first. The lactation consultant kept referring to it as "toe-curling" so I figured excruciating was par for the course. Then my milk came in. I am... ahem... well-endowed, so the difference between colostrum and milk didn't seem all that noticeable to me, but apparently it was the threshold for how well Marin's tongue could allow her to latch on. Her attempts were even more painful than before, which I didn't think was possible. She stopped nursing and started screaming. And kept screaming. All night. It was torturous to try to guess what might be wrong and feel so helpless! Finally we decided to try using the pump we rented from the hospital and giving her a bottle of breastmilk. Let me tell you how golden that slurpy relative silence felt at 4:00 AM! In the morning, we called the lactation department at the hospital and made an emergency appointment.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Marin's Birth Story

Everyone kept telling me not to get my hopes up, that first babies are almost always late. Not that I was miserable or anything. At 39 weeks, my only complaints were terrible trouble sleeping, swollen everything, and growing impatience to meet my little baby, but I was pretty mobile and not too uncomfortable. (Look for a future post about my pregnancy experiences.) I was due January 16. I bought groceries to make several freezer meals that week, and on Saturday, January 12, I made lasagna, chicken and rice bake, white chicken chili, queso fundido, and pineapple pepper chicken to freeze for after the baby arrived. (Look for a future post about the freezer meals we have made.) I was still planning to make beef stew and chicken enchiladas that week. I just thought I had more time!

Saturday night, I was having some cramps that weren't too painful or regular, just kind of vague and uncomfortable. I was having trouble sleeping in general by then, if not because of crazy pregnancy thoughts running circles in my head, then because of my restless legs or the baby's jazzercise routine or tossing and turning to get comfy. So I was awake at 5:15 AM when my water broke, and I jumped up and made it to the potty so quickly that I didn't lose a drop. That woke Garret up, and he was startled and asked what happened. I said, "I think my water just broke." As usual, he just had to check, "Are you serious?"

Sunday, March 24, 2013


So I guess I'm going to blog... Despite several blogs I have encountered that have been really helpful on their respective topics*, and the fact that I enjoy reading the blogs of some of my friends even if just to see what they are up to every now and then, I still have my doubts that many people (besides my own mother) will really care to read my ramblings. I don't have any special expertise or intended audience or aspirations to become a viral web sensation. But I have a beautiful baby daughter, and I want her to know what I am like now when she is half-grown and can't imagine that her mother is an actual person with like, real feelings and valid thoughts and stuff. I was inspired by an old friend and fellow new mom who pointed out (in her blog) that we won't actually remember all the details of funny/important/everyday stuff like we think we will, and now that we have babies, we should try to preserve the memories for posterity. So here's a little preview of some of stuff I plan to commit to blogdom in the near future:
  • Marin's birth story (Here it is!)
  • the story about when we found out we were pregnant
  • the story of Marin's tied tongue (Done!)
  • the story of my cat-bite while pregnant
  • a running list of the baby stuff we have found to be most awesome
  • some freezer meal recipes that I recommend and links to the *blogs from whence they came
Well, hopefully you're tantalized. We'll see if I can deliver.