Thursday, December 18, 2008

Finding Time to Blog

Given that I still haven't started christmas shopping or ordered christmas cards I don't feel too guilty that I haven't posted anything new in nine days. I think that's the longest I've gone.

The Minion has stopped sleeping through the night so I'm tired and cranky, plus I've been fighting a cold since before thanksgiving. Fun times in our house, really.

I have two things to brag about today - pants and milk donations.

First the pants - I still had one pair of old jeans that I hadn't fit into since I found out I was pregnant. They didn't have as much "give" as my other pairs, so they were folded up and shoved in the closet as soon as the bloat set in, which was right around week 5. We FINALLY got a new dresser delivered on Saturday (I've only been waiting 3 years to have a dresser) so I did some cleaning out of the closet and decided to try them on again. They fit! I'm now officially back to where I was before. (size-wise. mentally, I don't think there is any going back!)

Of course, I was so excited that my pants fit that I stopped all organization of the closet. 5 days later and the clothes I dragged out are still all over our room, waiting to be filed into their drawers. Maybe I'll get to it this weekend.

Second, the milk donation. What do you do when you have a freezer full of milk at your house, a freezer full of milk at your mom's house, and some borrowed space in a deep freeze at a family friend's house because you have too much milk? You donate it, in my case to the Mother's Milk Bank of Ohio, which is a member of the Human Milk Banking Association of North America. I went through the screening process, did the blood tests, and dropped off a little over 300oz last Tuesday. I'm so excited to be involved with this project - I haven't given blood since I got pregnant, so I'm happy to be doing something that helps someone else. If you're a lactating mother with a freezer full of milk or you know someone who is, you should consider becoming a milk donor.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Vintage Jene

I found this when we were unpacking the ornaments. It's from 1988 - I was in 2nd grade, 7 years old, and that was my catholic school year, hence the plaid :)

We got Nintendo that year and I had chickenpox for christmas.

Friday, December 5, 2008

As if the grays weren't enough

I've begun the postpartum molting phase. I never got the thick, luxurious hair that everyone swore I would while I was pregnant, and now the thin and lifeless stings that I'm lucky enough to have are swirling down the drain at an alarming rate.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

One Year Ago Today

We saw those two pink lines. C didn't believe them, so we had to get digital proof. I remember buying the tests at lunch, then having to sit through an afternoon at work and presentation night for the class I was teaching. It was the longest evening ever. I found it very difficult to care about the research reports my students had so carefully prepared. It's amazing how the time went by so slow and so fast at the same time, and we could go from here

to here

in only a year.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Office Bathroom Mirror is NOT My Friend

I hate the flourescent lighting in my otherwise comfortable office building. It's the absolute worst in the bathroom, where the lighting perfectly highlights the growing number of grey hairs sprouting out of my head. I pulled out a bunch last night but I guess I missed most of them, because there they were, glistening in the soft, yellow, artificial light.

Maybe it's time to do something different. Start dying my hair maybe? Any suggestions? I know absolutely nothing about fashion or beauty, so I need someone to school me on the subject of hair color.
I hesitated to write this post because I know someone will throw it back at me and say "See? THIS is why women should stay at home. You can't do both things at once. I was right all along."

I'm less than a month in as a working mom and I've already had two absolutely horrible mornings. Two weeks ago I managed to forget my pump parts and didn't discover the problem until I was about to head to the library for a pumping session. That left me with boobs on the verge of explosion, having to borrow my co-workers SUV to drive to the lactation center at the hospital and invest in a THIRD SET of pump parts, one of which now permanently resides in my office.

Then there was today. It started out ok, prodding a sniffly C along so that we could get ourselves together, get the baby ready, and get out of the house on time. I got out of the shower and found that my hair dryer was fried. Luckily, my crappy hair is just long enough for some pigtails. Unfortunately, with my hair pulled back I look like walking death without makeup, so I had to put some on.

Poor Baby C has a cold, so I had to suck his snot, give him his eye drops, change him, feed him, and get him dressed while C was slower than freaking molasses getting out the door. We were already off to a late start, then we got stuck in a traffic jam because Cincinnati peeps can't drive when it's raining. We get to daycare and I find that he didn't grab the diaper bag like I asked him to on the way out the door, while I'm juggling my stuff for work, pump bag, and baby in his carrier. Too much stuff needs to get out of the house with me every morning.

We need to go home to get the bag with the bottles, but C needs to go to work first, so we drive all the way to the factory. I finally get on the highway to go home and there's a huge pile-up. I make it home, run in to get the diaper bag, and head back to daycare, crossing my fingers that Baby C doesn't wake up, because I know he's hungry by this point. I have bad luck, so he wakes up SCREAMING. By this time I'm on the highway and can't do anything about it.

We finally get to daycare and I stay to feed him, so he doesn't think I'm evil mom. I roll into work at 9:30, two whole hours late. Thankfully, the pres decided to take the week off. Whew!

Because of perfect timing, Baby C is experiencing a growth spurt and hasn't slept through the night in about a week. He was up TWICE last night. What's up with that?

I need a system. Mornings are crazy, our house is a disaster area, and laundry has been folded but not put away since my last weekend of maternity leave. It gets better, right? Thank god it's a 2 day week.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Keeping the Holiday Weight Off (worthless advice)

Every year I read the same articles that tell you how to avoid gaining weight during this festive season. Every year I read the same couple of tips that just stare out at me as being completely unrealistic. I'm going to share my favorites with you. You're so lucky! These were spotlighted on

1. Avoid Temptation

Avoid constantly putting yourself in situations that tempt you. For example, don’t walk through the break room at work 10 times a day when you know it's filled with holiday treats and candies. Spend a few minutes in the morning packing a healthy snack (like almonds, a piece of fruit or a yogurt) so you'll have a healthy weight-loss alternative.

And don't place treats on your kitchen counter to stare you in the face or take four desserts off the buffet vowing to take only one bite of each. Remember, EAT before you meet. Have this small meal before you go to any parties: a hardboiled egg, apple, and a thirst quencher (water, seltzer, diet soda, tea).

This is a great idea in theory, but who the hell can actually do this in practice? In reality you know that the almonds, fruit, and yogurt are going to be left to languish in the back of the workroom refrigerator in favor of cookies and other such niceties. As for the second tip, if you eat that small meal before the party you're inevitably going to end up eating the equivalent of two meals by the time all is said and done. So what if you had a hardboiled egg? Are you still going to be passing up chocolate? May as well skip the calories in the egg and apple altogether and just have chocolate for dinner instead.

2. Liquid calories count

Holidays are notorious for tempting us with drinks we wouldn't normally consume. Alcohol offers no nutrients — just empty calories, and we often forget to count them. Eggnog coffee drinks with whipped cream, hot toddies, spiced rum, these drinks can have as many calories as a personal pan pizza! Limit your consumption and order sparkling water with a splash of cranberry juice instead. It'll look festive and save calories. If you want to go for the alcohol, alternate alcoholic drinks with diet-friendly, calorie-free sparkling water.

This is all true, but what they're forgetting here is that "sparkling water with a splash of cranberry juice" isn't going to help us deal with those difficult people in our lives that come out of the woodwork around the holiday season. It also won't help you handle hosting a holiday with grace, or ensure that you're relaxed enough to keep you from grinding your teeth down to nothing while you clench your jaw to avoid saying something in the heat of a discussion that you might regret later (please see previous post entitled "If you can't say anything nice..."). Please understand that I'm not in any way shape or form saying that alcohol is necessary to make it through the holiday season, just that it can go a long way in maintaining quality family relations.

3. Save it for something special

Indulge only in new, interesting foods; have one taste of each. Avoid feeling deprived and distracted by food all evening long — allow yourself one dessert or holiday truffle per event. When you’re done, destroy the plate. If you've had enough to eat but others are still picking, dump salt over any food you have left.

Sure, I'll just have one bite of chocolate. Like I said above, I would just make that the whole meal. That's my personal issue though, instead of giving up on the dessert part I just won't eat any "real food" to make up for it. I do that during work potluck lunches pretty regularly. Who needs chili, soup, or appetizers? Pass the dessert, please.

I do like the salt idea, but I suffer from "leftovers guilt" and can't bear to throw away food. This is why at any given time you will find a random collection of neatly packed tupperware containers stacked in our fridge. What's in there right now? Leftover calzone filling? Check. Leftover corn tortilla strips? Check. A tea bag that I can reuse because the flavor is so strong? Check. Half of a green pepper that I know I have little intention of actually finishing? Check.

** edit -- I was just informed by a co-worker that there are oatmeal raisin cookies available at her desk. You bet your ass that a cookie will be taking the place of my apple as my afternoon snack. **

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


really really sucks. I had to waste a personal day yesterday because by the time I got to work I thought I was going to die. My OB couldn't see me until 11, so I locked myself in the library at work and slept. I have horse-pill antibiotics that make me feel like I'm going to puke, which probably doesn't really matter because I can't eat anything anyway. My right boob and arm hurt like hell and I can't even pick up Baby Charlie :(

Luckily my fever is gone today so I came to work. I'm trying to force down a bowl of cheerios and strawberries, but it's slow going and now they're a little soggy.

Monday, November 10, 2008

If you don't have anything nice to say....

Then please just STFU. I don't understand why people have to be so judgemental and can't stop pick, pick, picking at the same tired old issue. Yes, Baby Charlie goes to daycare. Yes, he seems to like it there. He smiles and plays and is always in a good mood. No, they don't just stick him in his crib and leave him there all day, and no, I don't feel like I'm "letting someone else raise my child."

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

We Did It!!

I feel somewhat better about being stuck in Ohio now that it's a blue state.

What an exciting moment in history! I'm so glad I was able to be a part of it. I was so anxious all day yesterday, then tortured myself by watching the coverage all evening long. It was pins and needles all the way! I was so overcome with emotion when they declared Obama the winner, more so than I thought I would be. McCain gave a fantastic concession speech - it definitely restored some of the respect that I had lost for him since 2000, when I actually liked him. Obama's speech was truly inspiring and brought me to tears. It's amazing to see how far our society has come in such a short period of time. I'm beyond excited for what this development means for our country.

Unfortunately, it was evident in other places that we still have a long way to go, as a few states passed amendments that ban gay marriage and one even passed a law that bans gay couples from adopting. Because that's all we need, fewer opportunities for children with no place to go.

Hopefully the closed-mindedness that we're still seeing will continue to disappear in the coming years. Yay for everyone who supported Obama, and yay for everyone who didn't. I'm sure you'll see great, positive changes during the next four years. I just hope everyone who supported the "other side" can remove the blinders and give the new administration a fair chance.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day

Baby Charlie says get out and vote!

Unless you're voting for McCain, in which case you can just stay home :)

Just kidding!

(kind of)

Friday, October 31, 2008

Learning my Limitations

This week I had three things I wanted to do before Halloween. I wanted to make iced sugar cookies using the ghost cookie cutter I got on clearance last year, carve a pumpkin for Baby Charlie, and make brownies for our office potluck lunch. Today is Halloween, and I have a tub full of un-iced cookies that don't really look like ghosts, an untouched pumpkin on the front step, and brownies that I cut into at 5:00 this morning. Oh well, at least they taste good.

What I found most amazing about this morning is that even though I was up an hour earlier than usual (Charlie had to get to work by 5 today) I was still rushing to get out the door when 6:45 rolled around. I guess if I didn't have the brownies to cut I might have had extra time.

It's only been 2 full days of being back at work but I can already tell that the organization and cleanliness of our house is going to suffer more than it already has. I'm also cursing whoever came up with the million pieces that go with the Dr. Brown's bottles.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Here I Am

At work. Daycare has called twice to give me updates on Baby Charlie - so far he's eaten twice and taken a small nap. They said he's been very smiley and interested in checking out the other babies. He's doing a lot of watching so far today. I have the webcam to check on him from work, but I'm embarrassed to admit that I'm not 100% sure the baby I'm looking at is actually Charlie. The screen is pretty small and since they keep the lights low in the young infant room it's kind of hard to see. Maybe tomorrow I'll dress him in something that will really stand out. So far I've done a lot of nothing at work - I have a project on my calendar but there won't be data to look at until Monday.

My co-workers have been great - I came in to "welcome back" signs with pictures of turtles, candy, a pumpkin, and a wire photo hanger for my collection of Charlie pictures. As a bonus, yesterday's donut bringer was out with a sick child so he brought the donuts in today! As a double bonus, my buddy Lynn brought me a NKOTB magazine to read while I pump.

I've survived my first pumping session in the office library. It was a little weird, but manageable. Something's up with my supply though, I didn't get as much as I usually do from my early morning session. I'm hoping it's just stress related and will correct itself tomorrow. Baby Charlie had the second half of his 2-month shots yesterday and didn't do so well with them, so he was up a few times during the night. I really hope I don't have to add another pumping session back in.

I missed my morning nap with Baby Charlie and I miss having MSNBC on in the background. It is nice to be enjoying ESPN radio again, but it's cold outside and I'd rather be at home playing. I'm glad I came back on a Wednesday - a short week is a good way to ease back into things. Even better that it's halloween week! We have a party and a short day on Friday. Whee!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Do you miss me?

Don't worry, I go back to work next Wednesday. I'm not really looking forward to it, but one of the positives is that I'll have lots more time to screw around on the interwebs so you'll be getting more than a weekly blog update from me :)

I have a whole list of things I've been wanting to talk about but haven't had the time to say, so you'll have plenty of my babbling to read.

One quick note that you'll probably find amusing - I got my course evaluations from the last class I taught in the spring. Everything was as I had hoped, all good reviews and positive things to say, except for one comment - "Shouldn't curse so much." Damn, I thought I had cut back! Guess I should make more of a concerted effort to watch the language - you know it's bad when your baby starts reacting positively to the F-Word. As soon as the election is over I promise I'll try to do better.

Friday, October 17, 2008

51 Weeks and Pumpkin Cheesecake

Kidding about the 51 weeks, but not about Pumpkin Cheesecake! I love pumpkin in all things - pumkin spice lattes, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin cookies, and now pumpkin ice cream. Ben & Jerry lured me back over to the dark side with this special batch.

Fall is right around the corner. Doesn't it make you start craving foods like apple cider, butternut squash, and Pumpkin Cheesecake!? That's right!

Pumpkin Cheesecake ice cream with a Graham Cracker Swirl.

This flavor quickly made my top 5 list. There's a lot more graham cracker than in other flavors, which is something I've complained about in the past (like Peach Cobbler). The pumpkin flavor is sweet but not overwhelming and lends itself well to the creaminess of an ice cream application. It feels a little weird to be eating fall flavored ice cream while the temperature is dropping - usually pumpkin shows up in toastier applications - but I can manage :)

If you like pumpkin then you should try this one. If you don't like pumpkin try it anyway, because the flavor isn't that strong. C won't even look at it, let alone taste it.

Just so I don't feel like a traitor, here's my favorite fall combination:

Gingerbread lattes and muffins are right around the corner!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Obama Rally

I brought the Minion to the Obama rally in Cincinnati yesterday. It was amazing! If you ever have the opportunity to hear him speak in person you'd be crazy not to go. We weren't as close as I would have liked - it ended up being really sunny and warm so I wanted to keep the baby in the shade. He slept through most of it, but at least he can say that he was there :)

I'm very hopeful that he will be the next president. What a great start for my son's generation!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Tearing Down the House That Ruth Built

Some of you have mentioned to me that one of my favorite subjects in Real Life has been absent from my Blog as of late. Baseball hasn't taken a backseat because baby stuff has invaded my mind, but because it's just too painful to contemplate an October without Yankee baseball. I've come to terms with the fact that my beloved men in pinstripes won't be gracing our television in glorious HD this fall.

I was so excited when I calculated that my maternity leave would coincide nicely with the postseason. The downside of October baseball has always been the late start times of the AL playoff games (the NL always got the shaft with day games) and this season I wouldn't have to sacrifice sleep for the love of the game. Sadly, I don't have a reason to watch any of the games this year, unless one of two scenarios plays out. The only way that this postseason could come to an end that I would be comfortable with involves the ring going to anyone but the red sux. I would love to see Tampa Bay win the series. It would be a great story - the young rookie team who came back from years of living in the AL East basement to conquer the giants. That would be fun. I would also be happy to see Joe Torre's Dodgers win the series. Everyone knows that the Steinbrenners made a huge mistake when they let him leave after last season, and it would be awesome to rub it in their arrogant faces. The best case scenario that I've put together in my head involves a sweep of the red sux in the series by the Dodgers, including a walk-off home run by Manny in the bottom of the ninth, preferably off of puckerface papelbon. Have you noticed that when he makes his lame attempt at looking intimidating his mouth looks suspiciously like a certain part of the human anatomy?

(excuse Pyle on the left, can you believe this is the only papelbon scowl picture I could find?)

Anyway, enough talk about October baseball. Let's move on to an even sadder topic - the final game at Yankee Stadium. The Minion stayed up with me to witness the pre-game festivities and the first inning, but he didn't make it much longer past that so I watched the last hurrah all alone, which was just as well because no one was there to see the tears rolling down my cheeks. Yes, I'm that big of a loser. I don't even have the pregnancy excuse anymore. It was beautiful. Most of the Yankee greats were represented on field before the game and Yogi spent a few innings in the broadcast box regaling the audience with stories of Yankee legends. The greats from the championship surplus in the late 90s were in attendance - Paul O'Neill, Tino Martinez, Joe Girardi, and, most importantly, Bernie Williams, who earned a long and well-deserved standing ovation from the crowd. Andy Pettite started the game for the home team and Captain Jeter gave an emotional post-game speech after Mariano Rivera induced a ground ball for the final out, giving the Yankees a 7-3 win over Baltimore.

I'm still sad that the Minion will never set foot in the old Yankee Stadium, but at least he was able to attend a game in utero :)

I can't wait to take him to a game at the new stadium with Aunt Katie and Great Auntie Ann!

Monday, September 29, 2008

random shit

The title of this post is in honor of my sister. When she moved back to Jersey she labeled a bunch of boxes "random shit" and then had a hell of a time trying to unpack. I wish I was packing up to move back to New Jersey. My feelings haven't changed since I made this post, if anything actually having the Minion here has made me want to leave this uber-conservative area even more. When we do finally move I'll make sure to label the boxes somewhat more constructively, like "kitchen shit" and "bathroom shit."

I haven't been very good at updating the blogs - I'm trying to squeeze in as much playtime with Baby Charlie as possible before I go back to work in 4 weeks so the interwebs don't hold much appeal during the day. So this is what's going on right now.

I heard a rumor that there's a Ben & Jerry's special edition Pumpkin Cheesecake out this month. I think I'm going to have to break the post-pregnancy diet and buy a pint. I'll let you know how it is.

Baby Charlie got some professional pictures done last week by the super fabulous Steph Carson. I posted a few on his blog. They're super cute! I've taken what seems like a million pictures of him but I definitely lack photographic talent, so it was good to have someone who knows what they're doing behind the lens :)

I'm down to two pairs of pre-pregnancy pants that don't fit. I'm not sure if they'll ever fit again, but the other ones do and I'm ok with that.

I started the mini pill this week and got a lovely piece of advice from the pharmacy tech, who felt the need to tell me that she got pregnant while she was on the very same pill. Kind of makes me want to consider another method....

I've started dropping pumping sessions to prepare for going back to work. I went to 6 sessions last week and this week I'm dropping another one to 5. I'm worried that my supply will start to drop, but I can always add sessions back in if I need to. It's definitely nice to have 5-6 hour stretches of not pumping - I don't feel as tied to my pump as I did before. I don't know what we're going to do about the freezer space issue. It's filling up fast, which makes me very happy.

It's going to be 80 degrees today and then the temperatures are supposed to take a dive. I'm so glad to finally have some fall weather! Dunkin's pumpkin muffins and pumpkin spiced lattes came back last week, but it's too warm for hot coffee so I haven't indulged yet. I can't wait to have one of those and a caramel apple cider. I also want to go apple picking and make pie. I love apple pie!

I want to post about baby tears and mom/baby exercise, so I'm leaving this note to myself so I don't forget. I've been very forgetful and clumsy lately. I dropped the butter dish four times yesterday.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


More boob details, so avert your eyes if you don't want to hear about them.

For any BFing/EPing moms or moms-to-be, I just discovered LilyPadz.

I've been using them since last Thursday and I wish that I had bought them sooner! (my disdain for intentional misspellings notwithstanding) My boobs have never felt better. They had been getting pretty irritated with all the pumping but after a few days with the LilyPadz they healed right up. They're much more comfortable than the cloth bra pads and you can wear them under anything since they're seamless. Hell, you could even go braless if you were so inclined (shudders at the thought).

Of course, C the engineer is convinced that he can make them himself, thus eliminating the need to buy a new pair a few months down the road. I don't know how I feel about having a silicone mold of my boob that will haunt me for all eternity.

Boob Woes

If you don't want to hear details about my boobs then read no further.

I went to get measured for a bra the other week, having gone from a pre-pregnancy B to a pregnant DD and with my DD bras starting to feel a little snug. The lady pulled out the measuring tape, did some calculations, and announced that I was a 32G. AYFKM?!?! That's the equivalent of a 32DDDD. Yes, that's 4 Ds. WTF? They only had one bra in stock that was the right size, so I bought it. You could fit a bowling ball in the damn cup! I've been assured that they will shrink some after I'm done breastfeeding. Until then, so much for fitting back into my pre-pregnancy shirts. Guess I have to go shopping, after all.

At least they provide some entertainment. I turned around the other night and caught my super-mature husband impersonating The Fly.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Cloth Diaper Review

Baby C advertising his greenness.

The awesome Toledo Nesties ordered me the Changing Diapers, Changing Minds trial package from Jillian's Drawers. Link to site for complete details, but the general idea is that they send you a variety of cloth diapers (unused) to try out for 30 days. You try them all out, decide which ones you like best, and then send the rest of them back to the store in exchange for credit towards a full order of diapers. (there's actually a huge market for used cloth diapers, as odd as it sounds, so they turn around and resell them) If you're considering cloth diapering I highly recommend the program. It's a great and cost-efficient way to test drive a variety of diapers. The packages vary by the size of the baby, so I received the newborn selection.

Please note that these are only my opinions and I personally know other moms who disagree completely with my assessments. From talking to other moms I've discovered that diaper performance is heavily dependent on the baby in question - differences in overall size, butt size, and leg chubbiness all need to be accounted for. Charlie Beta is long and skinny, especially his legs. What works for him won't necessarily work for your baby, and what works for your baby might not work for him.

The Lineup

Kissaluvs Size 0

Thirsties Fab Fitted

Thirsties All In One Diapers

BumGenius Organic One-Size All-In-One

BumGenius 3.0 (one-size pocket)

Organic Imse Vimse Cover

Bleached Chinese Prefolds


** I bought these on my own **

Unbleached Chinese Prefolds

Thirsties Cover

WonderWrap One-Size Cover

The Results


BumGenius 3.0 (one-size pocket) - Everything I had hoped they would be. No leak issues, fit Baby C perfectly on the smallest setting, liner keeps his skin dry, great for overnight and being out and about. These come with 2 inserts, a newborn insert and a larger one for later on. You can continue to use the NB inserts for doublers down the road. I stuff the larger insert in there for overnights since he's such a good sleeper. He's gone 7 hours through the night with no leaks.

Bleached/Unbleached Chinese Prefolds/Snappi - The most economical option, can be found for $1-$2 each and you can get by with 2 covers if you need to. I like the Snappi, it's pretty idiot proof and I imagine it's much easier than using pins. I was intimidated by this option at the beginning, but I researched the folding options and practiced on a stuffed bear and was very surprised to discover how quick and easy they are. These will remain a staple in our house. The downside to these diapers is that when they're wet they're WET and need to be changed NOW. He lets me know the moment that he pees. I don't use these for going out or overnight.

Organic Imse Vimse Cover - This was a great cover, didn't leak through at all. It's much trimmer and softer than the other covers I tried out. I actually liked this one best but decided not to go with these as a permanent option because I discovered the WonderWrap One-Size. I'd prefer to buy a few one-size covers that will last throughout the diapering stage than have to rebuy covers in different sizes after each growth spurt.


Thirsties Cover - This is the main cover that I use with the prefolds. It's trimmer than the WonderWrap but not as trim as the Imse Vimse. I prefer this one over the WonderWrap right now because it fits Baby C better, but it's sized so I'll have to buy more as he grows.

WonderWrap One-Size Cover - I use this one when the Thirsties cover is dirty. Right now it's pretty bulky for him and I don't think he looks very comfortable in it. When he gets a little bigger he'll probably fit into it much better. I like it because it's one-size so I can use it until he's potty-trained.

Thirsties All In One Diapers - These worked out much better for us than the BumGenius AIOs. They fit him very well, weren't too bulky, and didn't leak at all. I would have loved to go with these as a permanent option but because I'd have to keep buying new sets in bigger sizes I decided not to go with them since the BumGenius 3.0s worked just as well. If you don't mind buying sets in multiple sizes then this diaper is wonderful.

Kissaluvs Size 0 - Out of all the options this one fit him best, which makes sense since it's specifically designed for teeny tiny newborns. It was super soft and if they made undies for "big people" out of the same fabric I'd totally buy myself some. They were plenty absorbent and wicked the moisture away from his skin. I ranked these under the Thirsties AIO because they need a cover - the simplicity of the AIOs really appeals to me.

Wish I Hadn't Bothered

BumGenius Organic One-Size All-In-One - Tried this one three times and it definitely didn't work for us. I didn't like the design or the fit on Baby C. It was much bulkier than the BG 3.0 and leaked from both sides every time we put it on him.

Thirsties Fab Fitted - We only used this twice and it was a disaster both times. Diaper on, poop everywhere!

Miscellaneous Note

I use Charlie's Soap to wash my diapers. I also use it for Baby C's clothes, so it's not a unitasker. It has no scent and is completely natural.

If you want more information about cloth diapers check out It's full of useful information on why to use cloth diapers, how they work, how to wash them, reviews of every diaper imaginable, and reviews of online cloth diaper retailers. Very helpful. I'm so glad we decided to go with cloth diapers. It's definitely saving money in the long run, it's so much better for Baby Charlie, it's better for the environment, and they're so darn cute :)

Update to include a review of Haute Pockets

A few months ago I ordered a few Haute Pockets from Nikki's Cloth Diaper Clearance. I had been wanting to try them for a while. They come in cute colors, have a version that snaps instead of velcros, and are very soft inside and out. Needless to say, I really, really wanted to like these diapers. Unfortunately they didn't quite live up to my expectations. I think these diapers suffer from the same problem that the BG2.0s suffered from. There's no barrier at the top of the diaper to prevent the moisture from wicking onto the clothes. The BG3.0s have that tab around the top edge of the diaper. The Haute Pockets do not.

The soft inner lining goes right up to the top edge. For us, this has meant that any piece of clothing touching the top of the liner is likely to end up wet. This is an even bigger problem at night since his pajama shirts are a little tighter and really hug around the diaper area. We've never had a successful dry night in these. During the day it's a little bit better because he's changed frequently, but I don't trust them enough for trips away from the house.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Hooray for the Interwebs!

We finally got a new cord for the laptop. Since the Olympics and the conventions are over my TV options for my overnight pump have been extremely limited - now I can surf the interwebs and make blog updates! Whee!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

944 Unread Emails

I have 2 "junk" accounts and one of them has 944 unread messages. My good god. I thought that was pretty bad, until I looked at the second one, which has 2650. Hope there's nothing important in there.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Ike in Cincinnati

The leftovers of Hurricane Ike hit Cincinnati on Sunday afternoon. I'm a compulsive weather checker, and they had predicted heavy rains for the afternoon and evening. It only sprinkled a bit, but we ended up with 80MPH winds that threw the whole area into a state of emergency. Pretty much every school in the area was closed Monday, lots of them yesterday, and some today. There are trees down all over, fires, looters, damaged homes, and over a million houses were without power at the height of the blackout.

We were incredibly lucky that our house didn't sustain any damage - both of our next-door neighbors lost pieces of their roofs, sections of siding, and gutters. C had put together a chicken roulade that he was really excited about. When the power went out he was pretty irritated (yet another reason the electric stove sucks), so he decided to dig out his camping stove and cook us dinner on the front step.

I freaked out about my couple hundred ounces of frozen breastmilk - on the verge of tears thinking about all of my hard work thawing out and then having to be poured down the drain. Luckily my friend Lynn was in the one neighborhood that was spared, so she let me keep it in her freezer. Good thing my pump has battery backup!

I've decided that my pump needs a name. I enjoy applying personal traits to inanimate objects. (My KitchenAid is named Mixie - note the Sublime reference, there's a whole song that goes along with it). Any suggestions? Here's a picture of it.

My bottles aren't as stylish, though.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Sleep When The Baby Sleeps

I've discovered that I'm really not good at this. I know I should be napping during the day, but when Baby C is sleeping I always find more interesting things to do with my time (or not so interesting, as I've been doing some cleaning). I check in with the ladies on the Nest, peruse the EP board I've found, or talk to people on the phone. I should be sleeping right now, but here I am. I'm going to pry myself away from the interwebs.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Power of Six Hours

Charlie Beta's pediatrician suggested that we "power feed" before bedtime so that he would sleep longer than three hours. We tried it out Monday night and last night - fed him 2oz and 8PM and 2oz at 9PM instead of his bedtime 3oz bottle. It worked like a charm. He slept 6 hours both nights. I still had to get up to milk myself, but a four to five hour stretch of sleep is definitely a good thing. I think he might have slept more than 6 hours if I didn't have to get up anyway - I have a feeling that I woke him up, even though I was trying my hardest to be as quiet as possible. I now know exactly which step to skip over to avoid loud creaky sounds and what volume the TV can be at before you can hear it upstairs. Now if only he'd sleep later than 6:30.... His daytime naps have become few and far between, unless we're out and about, when he sleeps. I might start getting up at 5 instead of 6 so I can have an hour to myself.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Charlie Beta's One Month Stats

Charlie V2.0 had his one month checkup today. The pediatrician said he's a very healthy baby. He weighed in at 8 lbs 15 oz (25th percentile), measured 21 1/4 inches (50th percentile), and his head was 15 inches around (50th percentile). He's a very average baby.

He also had to get a shot today. He screamed and cried and turned the brightest shade of red I've ever seen! Poor baby! It really is just as hard on the parental units as it is on them. Totally broke my heart!

We're going to be following a slightly modified vaccine schedule from here on out, spacing them out over longer time periods instead of doing a whole bunch at once. On the one hand I'm glad we're doing it this way, but on the other hand I feel bad that he's going to have to go and get stuck on multiple occasions. Too bad they don't give the parents lollipops.

Friday, September 5, 2008

My Name is Jene, and I'm an EPer

I've decided to embrace the breastpump and accept my status as an "Exclusive Pumper." I still can't get the little bugger back on the boob and I've settled into a pretty good routine with my PISA, so I'm going to go with what's already working for us. It will also probably be easier when I go back to work so we don't have to deal with the nipple confusion issue all over again. I've found some good support websites - a few women on the Nest, an iVillage board dedicated to the subject, and some miscellaneous informational sites. Unfortunately, I've also found lots of sites that lambaste the practice, saying that it's not really breastfeeding and shouldn't be done. Sure, it's not 100% the same, but isn't bottled breastmilk better than no breastmilk at all?

That's the one thing that I've come to discover real quickly - everyone has their own parenting style and is generally convinced that their way is the best (only?) way to do things. Baby C has slept in his crib every night since he came home. Are we bad parents because we don't co-sleep? No, but I've gotten shocked and horrified looks from quite a few people when they hear that. I'm not one to put down co-sleepers - I can see the benefits of it, especially for women who breastfeed, but it's just not something we were interested in.

Parenting matters seem to be as polarizing as politics for some people, whether it's the Ezzo debate (not a fan), the horrors of formula feeding (I prefer to give breastmilk, but not everyone does or is able to), or the cry-it-out controversy (haven't gotten there yet). Add to that the question of whether women should work or stay at home and you have a veritable shit storm brewing (for those of you who don't know, I'm returning to work). At this point it's a storm that I have no interest of chasing, which is why I got so irritated when someone asked if I had a new appreciation for stay at home moms. No, I don't have a new appreciation, I was never unappreciative to begin with. I might not have understood exactly how having a child changes your life, but that doesn't mean that I had no respect for women who choose to stay at home. That's what the feminist movement was all about, after all - having the choice. Why would I look down on someone who didn't make the same choice I did? In certain circumstances I might question their judgement when making that choice, but it's really none of my business and when I walk back into my office after the 12 whole unpaid weeks of FMLA that our government so generously gives (some of) us I won't be feeling superior to anyone and I don't believe I'm shortchanging my child.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me

Happy Birthday to Me!

In honor of my special day-of-turning-27, I did laundry and exercised. Super duper exciting. I wanted to go for a walk this morning but it's freaking hot out and I'm kind of a wimp. I don't think Baby C would have liked it, either! The real celebration will happen when C gets home from work with the piece of cheesecake that I'm eagerly awaiting. Yum!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

New Baby Purchase

We broke down and bought a swing for Baby Charlie this weekend. It's not one of those huge hideous monstrosities, it's small and portable, but I still feel kind of bad when we put him in it to eat dinner without him screaming. I shouldn't feel bad about using it for a few moments of peace and quiet, but ever since I saw them referred to as "Neglect-O-Matics" I can't help but feel a twinge of guilt and bad-mom-ness when we pull it out. I'm sure that will soon pass, as it certainly came in handy at 4:00 this morning when he had his nightly doesn't-want-to-go-back-to-bed-fit and I needed to pump. He didn't even wake up when I carried him up to his crib.

I guess those three times he slept through the night were just teasers. He's been up every three hours to eat pretty much every night. It's manageable, especially since I'd have to hook myself up to the milk machine whether he's up or not. We have Durkheim study group tonight! Last week he got his learn on about Karl Marx, so now we're moving on to the next theorist. He'll probably have his PhD before me, at this rate.

To remind myself for tomorrow, here's a list of things I want to post about:
1. cloth diapers
2. my declining motivation for taking PhD prelims this fall
3. someone's comment about stay-at-home-moms
4. the presidential race
5. date night
6. our anniversary

There are more, but he just woke up.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

A True Character

Everyone has that person (or people!) in their lives who just seems larger than life, a true character, who provides you with stories and tales that just seem too crazy to be true. In my life that role was largely played by my grandfather, Grandpa Tom. He was a very interesting person, very unusual, very over-the-top. Even though he wasn't a big part of my life for the last 10 years or so, the memories I have of him while we were growing up more than make up for his recent absence. We loved hanging out at the club when we were little and playing Space Invaders on the arcade machine in the basement. We used to go swimming at his house all the time in the summer, thinking his pool was really neat because it had a little fountain attached to a hose. He had a jar of M&Ms in the dining room and while regular chocolate covered Entenmann's donuts remind me of my father, the ones with little crumbs on top remind me of him. I also remember how pissed off he got when all three of his grandchildren decided to call him "Tom," rather than "Grandpa Tom."

My Grandpa Tom passed away last Saturday. I'm sorry that he wasn't able to meet his great-grandson before he died, but he did know that he was born and he sent flowers to mark the occasion. Although we've only gotten together a handful of times in recent history, the memories I have of his role in my childhood have always been with me.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Pregnancy and Vanity

As you probably gathered from my last post about my jeans, I'm over the moon excited that I'm fitting back into my old clothes again. I'm also very glad to not have any stretchmarks and to be see happy numbers smiling back at me from the scale. I always knew that I had some body image issues, but I'm surprised (and kind of disgusted) at how happy it makes me that I'm looking more like my old self again. I was so afraid that I would struggle to lose the pregnancy weight that I put on and so afraid that I would never look the same. I feel guilty in some ways for not embracing the idea of wearing my "battle scars" of pregnancy the way that some women are able to. I have never been more excited to get back into exercising and eating better.

I've never been one to fish for compliments and I don't take them very well at all, but I was in a wedding this past weekend and I really really enjoyed it when people told me they couldn't believe I had a 2 week old at home. Does that make me a bad person? I don't think it should, but for some reason I feel badly about it :(

Thursday, August 28, 2008

One Attention Whore Post

I'm back in my pre-pregnancy jeans!

Ch Ch Ch Changes

I can't believe it's been 3 weeks since this tiny creature entered our lives. I feel like I've known him forever. We're settling in ok, he's a relatively good baby. He only cries in the evenings between 6 and 7, right when we're trying to eat dinner. I think he feels left out, so we let him sit in his boppy seat in the kitchen with us.

In all of the emails I got after we sent out the news of Baby Charlie's arrival, one person asked how I was doing. I guess it really is true that once the baby gets here and you're "un-pregnant" the focus really changes :)

That's part of why I've decided to make a separate blog for Baby Charlie - I'm very happy to be "Baby Charlie's Mom," but I'm still an individual aside from that, and I still have things to talk about. The "fun" baby stuff and cute pictures will be on his page, the "mom" and "Jene" stuff will be here.

So how are we doing? I've been home from work for 3 weeks and home without Charlie for the last one. Things are going well, but it's definitely an adjustment. The first 2 weeks were spent getting used to each other as a family and getting into some kind of routine. Of course, once we got home we realized that we had no idea what we were doing and weren't really prepared for the myriad bottle parts and breastpump accessories littering the kitchen counter. Baby Charlie took an early trip to Target to get the things we didn't know we'd need.

Speaking of the breastpump, that's really the biggest challenge we have right now. We started off great with the breastfeeding but had to switch to pumping and feeding bottled breastmilk because we needed to track exactly how much he was eating. Three weeks later I still can't get him back on the boob, so I've become permanently attached to my Medela PISA. I think I'd handle the late night feedings better if I was just feeding the baby rather than feeding the baby, hooking up to the pump, then cleaning the parts and setting them up for the next session, then getting back in bed an hour later. Even though he slept for a 6-hour stretch last night (!) I still had to get up to milk myself in the middle. It wasn't so bad when the Olympics were on but now all I have is the DNC and that's over after tonight. I've been in touch with a La Leche League leader and if he's not back on by next week she's going to come by and help me out. I'm also going to the evening meeting of the group next week. Who would have thought?

Charlie and I celebrated our 3-year anniversary on Tuesday and cloth diapering is going extremely well. I'll tell you all about it next time.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Charlie's Got a Brand New Blog

I've decided to keep this blog about me and continue on talking selfishly about my own feelings and thoughts. I've given Baby Charlie his own blog for pictures and stories.

More to come soon, on both pages! Baby Charlie has awoken!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Wednesday, August 13th

One week old today! It went so fast! I was sick today so Baby Charlie spent the whole day with dad.

Tuesday, August 12th

Baby Charlie got another bath today and didn't like it any more than the last one. He peed in the tub three times! He also got to meet his other grandpa today, who was nice enough to occupy his attention while we ate some dinner.

Monday, August 11th

We had our appointment with the pediatrician today and he said that Baby Charlie looks great! He's back up to birth weight.

We took our first walk around the neighborhood today and he slept the whole time, but I think he likes the sun.

He also tried out some tummy time with dad but he didn't seem to like it all that much.

Sunday, August 10th

Baby Charlie had his first bath today! He definitely didn't enjoy it - he screamed and cried and scared Einstein, who came out of hiding to see what the commotion was about. He was very concerned for the baby.

We also started cloth diapering today. So far so good! Here's Baby Charlie sporting a chinese prefold and Imse Vimse cover.

The other cover is a little big...


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