Friday, April 30, 2010

Cloth Diapers

If you had told me 10 years ago that I'd EVER decide to use cloth diapers, I would have laughed in your face. I probably would have written that off as one of the grossest things I could imagine. However, much has changed! When we started talking about having a baby, I really thought this might be a good idea for us - mainly due to the financial benefit. I've seen a few friends use them with lots of luck...and of course my 2 new blog friends decided to use them too, so it's been fun to chat with them about the exciting world of fluffy bums!
Ok, so I mentioned the financial benefit. I read up on this a lot - and it looks like it costs about $1200 to diaper one baby for one year. Ouch! So, it would be close to $2500 to diaper Brenna for 2 years. And that was before I knew how much of a champion, um, diaper-user she would be. If you multiply that by the 4 kids we wanted, it could be 10 grand to diaper them all! If you multiply it by the 2 we will probably have because of my total weakness, it's still almost $5,000. And that doesn't include wipes. Anyhow, I've fallen in love with some super cute diaper brands, and they aren't always the cheapest - but they aren't the most expensive, either! Even when the average cost is about $15 for each - that's still only $300 for 20 diapers - and I pretty much only order them if they are on a killer sale. The greatest thing - I can reuse them! Which, quite honestly, makes me a little sad that I won't get this buying thrill with the next kid since I'll have to reuse the ones I have. I figure by then I'll have a toddler to be keeping up with, so diapers won't really be a priority, right? Oh, and there is another benefit - if we have another baby while Brenna is still in diapers, they could hypothetically use the same diapers in the one-size variety!
Yeah, turns out there are lots of options. Sized or one-sized. All-in-ones or pockets. Snaps or velcro. We have some of it all. Right now Brenna is using mainly sized diapers since she is so small. She's wearing extra-small and small BumGenius all-in-ones (AIO), small Fuzzibunz pockets, small Blueberry pockets, newborn size Lil' Joeys, and one-sized Rumparooz. The all-in-ones are definitely easier, as you don't have to stuff the pockets with a soaker. However, they take FOREVER to dry - I usually give in and just use the dryer. The pockets dry much faster because I can take out the soakers and dry them separately. She was also wearing some Thirsties, but they leaked and I hated them, so we sold them.
Sold them? Yep! Turns out their is a huge cloth-diaper utopia called where people stalk diapers that other babies have worn. Oh yeah, it's weird. However, I'm a huge fan. I've bought lots of diapers off of there. Usually I buy ones that are brand new that people just decided they didn't want and are selling cheaper than retail price. Yeah, score! Just last week I sold my first diapers - 6 thirsties and 1 goodmama and made a hefty $80 before shipping costs. Yay!
Ok, so what's a goodmama? It's the cult classic of all diapers. People are crazy over these things. I can't really afford them unless I find a great deal. We have one - and it's super adorable. It's a brown and white cow print. It doesn't fit yet - but when it does - you'll for sure get pictures on here! They are all snaps though, which Jonathan doesn't quite love, so we'll stick to the velcro so that Daddy will keep being supportive of my little-bit-earth-but-not-really hobby! Yep, after seeing how many diapers we went through in a day when we were using disposables during her itty-bitty stage, I decided that even though saving the planet wasn't my motivation, it was a pretty awesome advantage. Saving the world, one cute butt at a time!
And, as if you didn't think I was weird already, I guess I should tell you we are using cloth wipes at home, too. For these reasons - they are easy and good for her bum, we are already doing laundry of the, um, poopy variety, so why not?, and throwing away wipes that aren't contained in a diaper is pretty gross. We're still using regular wipes when we're out and about, though, don't worry. I'm not crazy enough to carry around a spray bottle in the diaper bag. And just in case you're interested, I just use a mixture of water, a little baby lotion, a little baby oil, and a little baby wash to spray on the wipes (which are actually just receiving blankets cut up.....until I order some real ones because I'm tired of the ones we have fraying like crazy!). Ok, that's all on this topic for now. Go ahead and mock me, I can take it!
Ouw sweet little BumGenius!

I love my Fuzzibunz!

Smilin' in my minky Blueberry!
Polka dotted Rumparooz
Cutest diaper ever - Lil' Joey!!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

My Favorite Things

Yesterday was a day filled with my favorite things - Jonathan and Brenna, the Basham family, my students, and baseball! My kiddos participated in a reading program for the Salem Red Sox, and yesterday their reward was to go see a game! Jonathan, Brenna, and I met them there, along with April, Jeremy, and London. The kids looked so cute!

Chillin' at the game!

Baseball face!
I got brave and let all my kiddos hold Brenna. They adore her!! She was very patient with them and hardly fussed at all. I miss them so much, but dread leaving Brenna on Monday morning to head back to work. Here's the pictures...I know that's what you came to see!

Mugsy holding Brenna and Daddy making sure he didn't steal or drop her!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Photo Shoot

When Brenna was 12 days old, we took her for a photo shoot with our friend Jeff, who is one of the most awesome photographers I've ever seen! Brenna pretty much fussed the entire time, but he snuck in a couple great pictures! Here you go - enjoy! :)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Go Hokies!

We have a future Hokie on our hands!

hanging out on Mom's lap during the Spring Game

Daddy's turn!

Chillin' with mom in the parking lot - check out my bow!

Go Hokies!

And another, non-Hokie picture, just for the grandmas who love to see sweet Brenna smile!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Brenna's First Roadtrip

This past weekend we discovered that Brenna is a great traveler! We are sooo thankful for this, since we love to travel so much. Here's a rundown of our trip - complete with pictures for most of the journey!

We left Saturday morning about 10:30. We stopped in Concord to see my Aunt Pat, Uncle Glenn, and Cousin Sissy. Pat is the one who made all of Brenna's crib bedding and nursery decorations, so we were so excited for Brenna to meet her. She loved meeting new family members! Unfortunately Pat was at work, so we didn't get to take any pictures - maybe next time!

Then we headed on down the road to Greenville, where we were going to stay. We checked into our hotel and hung out for a little while, and then headed over to Kelley's parents' house, where she was staying with the kiddos since Jonathan was out of town. We spent the evening hanging out, catching up with Kelley, Kiran, and Sienna, meeting Rhys and Owen, and trying to help her out during the chaos that is bedtime with 4 kids!

Me holding Owen and Rhys - and Brenna's isn't digging their crying!

Kelley with Owen and Rhys and me with Brenna - hard to believe 5 years ago we were living in the middle of nowhere with no kiddos and enjoying carefree nights of CFA and the occasional DDR!
On Sunday morning we headed to Atlanta to catch an afternoon Braves game. Brenna was decked out in her too-big Braves onesie and her brand new sun hat! She slept for about the first 5 innings, then ate, then just enjoyed the rest of the game on Daddy's lap. Oh, and the Braves won - by a base hit in the bottom of the 9th with 2 outs! Is Heyward the lucky charm for Atlanta....or is Brenna?

Daddy loves carrying me!

She wasn't too impressed by all the excitement! She even slept through her first Tamahawk Chop!

Family Photo!

Heyward after his game-winning hit!
After the game we headed back to Greenville to stay one more night. We were able to spend a little more time with Kelley on Monday before we left - and our visit even overlapped with my new bloggity friend Erin and her family's trip to Greenville as well!

The girls with our babies - Erin and Anneliese, Kelley and Rhys, and me and Brenna

We headed home around lunchtime and took I-26, which was new to us, to Bristol to pick up Maggie from my mom before heading back to Christiansburg. We had great fun, and Jonathan was such a trooper since a lot of the time he only had the company of women and babies! I guess getting to see the Braves, eat at Sonny's Barbeque, and go to Guitar Center made it worth it! :) I already can't wait for our next road trip!!


There is just something about this smile that melts my heart! It's a very common thing these days, and I just can't get enough! I bet you can't either! :)

The first "kinda" smile I caught on camera!

:) Such a happy girl! :)

Daddy gave me a photo shoot after my bath!

Hanging out with Mommy - I'm in such a good mood!!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

All Doctored Out

Brenna and I are all doctored out! We both had checkups today, and both went well. The doctor said I was doing great and I have the go-ahead to start working out again (which I kind of already have, but just a teeny bit!). I also got released to go back to work - but I'm not going back until May 3rd anyway, so that wasn't too depressing. Brenna had another weight check. I haven't really updated much about that, but it got kind of touchy there for awhile and we had to really start keeping a closer eye on her weight. The good news is that on April 2 she finally got back to her birth weight at 8 pounds, 3 ounces. On April 5 she was 8 pounds, 10 ounces. Yep, 7 ounces in 3 days! Today, April 14, she was 9 pounds, 4 ounces. Another 10 ounces in 9 days. Such a relief!!

Yesterday Brenna had her first babysitter. Kristen came over to see how things go before she takes over when I go back to work. I got to go to the gym for a quick workout and to the tanning bed, and Brenna slept for Kristen for about 1/2 the time. Kristen is too sweet to say it, but I'm pretty sure she cried after that, because when I got home she was walking around with her. That's usually what you have to do when she cries for no apparent reason. However, Kristen didn't quit on us, so all is well! Once I got home, I fed Brenna and then headed upstairs to work on some VGLA stuff for school that I've REALLY slacked on and must get done. So nice to get some stuff done. It was weird to leave her, but not nearly as hard as I had built it up in my mind. I trust Kristen and I think Brenna is a pretty great baby, so I felt pretty good about it. Now going back to work full-time - that is going to be a different story.

My next post will probably chronicle our roadtrip we're planning this weekend. We're going to Greenville to see Kelley, Kiran, and Sienna and to meet Rhys and Owen. We'll also get to hang out with Erin and Anneliese a little! On Sunday we're going to drive down to Atlanta and take Brenna to her first Braves game. Let's hope that goes as smoothly as possible with a 6 week old! Stay tuned for lots of pictures and stories!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

1 Month Old!

Dear Brenna,

Here I am, writing your one month old post/letter two days late. That seems to pretty much be the story of our lives these days! Always running a little late! ;) That's okay though, we don't want to rush time too much, you're already growing up way too fast!

You turned one month old on Easter Sunday! I think that's so perfect, because this was the first Easter that I really understood what Easter meant. I always thought it was great and amazing and hard to believe, but this time, when I looked at you as the choir was singing about Jesus being ALIVE! I was just amazed that God let his only son die on a cross to save me - and you - from our own sins. Isn't that so cool? I can't wait until you are old enough to understand how lucky you are that God gave his son for you. Amazing! (Oops, I just realized I said "I can't wait"....I always fuss at Daddy for saying that, because I don't want to rush anything with you - you're growing up too fast as it is!)

We've had such a fun month. Daddy got to spend 2 weeks with us before he went back to work. We did some shopping and went on a fun walk during that time. We also took lots of naps with you in our arms. You are our new favorite hobby, little girl. We could just look at you for hours. Since then, it's been just you and me. We mostly have really good days, but there have been a few rough ones. That's par for the course I'm pretty sure. Lately you've been taking better naps, and this had made you much happier during the times in between.

You are finally gaining weight, and this makes Mommy so much calmer. I was trying so hard to make sure you were getting plenty of food, and now I can rest assured that you are, and we can enjoy time together more! You've really learned how to nurse better and I'm so proud of you! When I pump you a bottle, you almost always take right at 3 ounces. That's perfect for your age! You weighed 8 pounds, 10 ounces at the doctor yesterday. Daddy and I tried to measure you last week - and our rough guess is that you are about 22.5 inches long and your head is 14.5 inches around. It looks like you might be tall and slim - nothing like me!

You have become a pretty good night sleeper. We usually nap on the couch until about midnight and you take your last feed then. You usually sleep til 4:00 or 5:00 - and sometimes I even have to wake you up to feed you! You used to be impossible to get back to sleep, but lately you've been doing better! Keep it up. We try to take at least one nap together during the day - and I love to just lay there and stare at you for awhile. I think you might lay there and stare at me, too, because I probably fall asleep before you do. Luckily for me, you usually sleep an extra hour after I wake up, so I get a few things done around the house during that time! Now that you are gaining weight, we'll let you start trying to sleep through the night before too long, and I have high expectations for this! ;)

Just yesterday you've started to smile AT me, instead of just randomly. I'm not sure how much you mean to do it, but it melts my heart every time. You especially seem to like when I kiss your little nose a bunch of times in a row. Get used to it, kiddo, you are going to be kissed a LOT! I also love the little noises you've started making. I think you've figured out that you can "talk" too! You are also tracking things much more and really focusing on what you see. You've also gotten really good at finding your fingers to suck on - it's so cute! I love seeing you be more aware of what's around you, but I already miss that teeny tiny, oblivious to the world, newborn stage. I know it'll always be like this - loving one stage while missing the one before!

Thank you for making me a mommy and daddy a daddy. You have turned our world around, and we wouldn't have it any other way. I love you, my little Sprout!