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.


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