Saturday, April 30, 2011

Sleep training and other recent events

When Liam turned 6 months old, I finally consented to beginning sleep training. Dan had been wanting to give it a try for a while now. The first nap sucked. I laid him down in the guest bed next to me and rubbed his back until he cried himself to sleep. It took about an hour. I was so upset about letting him cry that I wasn't able to get a nap while he slept.

That night, Dan put Liam to bed. Dan had an even harder time than I did and wasn't very consistent. Liam fell asleep after about 45 minutes, but continued to sniffle for over an hour after he had fallen asleep. That really broke my heart.

I did a little bit more research the next morning and came across the Ferber method. Routine is very important to establishing good sleep habits. I turn on the music on his sound machine, put Liam down in his crib, give him a burp cloth to cuddle with and rub his belly for a few seconds. If he cries, I return after 5 minutes to rub his belly or back and say "shhhhh." I leave the room within a minute. If he continues to cry, I come back after 10 minutes and repeat the process until he falls asleep.

I cannot believe how quickly Liam learned the process. I can put him down for a nap and he only fusses for a couple minutes. No more tears. He is also sleeping for longer at night. I've heard him stir, but he goes back to sleep without needing me. I still nurse him to sleep if nap time coincides with hunger. During the night, I feed him when he wakes up and he usually falls asleep in my arms. I change his diaper before putting him down, but he usually sleeps through it. If he does wake up, he goes right back to sleep when I put him down.

About 12 weeks old, sleeping on my lap. 
 In other news, Liam's diapers have been more prone to leaking lately and I realized that some of them were starting to repel. Part of routine cloth diaper care is "stripping" the diapers. After a rinse cycle to remove the waste, I added a squirt of original Dawn dish washing detergent to a hot wash cycle with no detergent. I did an extra wash cycle without detergent to make sure that all of the soap rinsed out. I haven't really had any problems since.

I also decided that I don't like the Imse Vimse flushable liners. They are really rough. After feeding Liam solid foods, his poo didn't change much. The diapers are still coming clean in the washing machine, so I'm going to stick with the old routine for now.

Photography Saturday: Easter Formals & 6 month photos

I'm late on this again. My apologies. To make it up to you, I'll keep the text short and give you a double dose of photos.

Liam looked so handsome in his Easter outfit for church on Sunday. Unfortunately, I tucked part of his shirt into his diaper and it wicked pee onto him right after the service, so he was in a comfy romper for dinner. I took the photos a few days before Easter. I didn't realize that they are a little over exposed until I processed them today.

Can you believe my baby is already 6 months old? He was quite the ham when I took his monthly photo. He gets so much attention whenever I take him out. Strangers constantly tell me how cute he is. It doesn't hurt that he smiles back to anyone. At Outback last night, he was laughing and squealing with his cousins. I was afraid that he was too loud, but anyone who peaked over at him just said he was adorable (especially in his pageboy hat!)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Great Cloth Diaper Change

To celebrate Earth Day and raise cloth diaper awareness, parents around the world changed diapers simultaneously (and may have set a Guinness World Record.) Liam and I went to a local park and participated with about 30 other families. Here's the newspaper photo of some of the group. (Me and Liam are on the left.)

Liam before the change:
And after:

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Liam's First Solid Food

On Monday, I fed Liam his first solid food. He had some baby oatmeal cereal. He seemed to like it. Here is the video: 

And a photo of that dirty face:

Friday, April 22, 2011

Photography Friday: Easter Photos

My parents' neighbor has the sweetest daughters. After she praised some of the photos I took of Liam, I offered to take a few Easter photos of her girls. She took me up on the offer for her youngest. 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Liam's First Trip to the Pool

It finally got warm enough to take Liam to the pool for a bit. He seemed to like it.

Uncle Logan pushed Liam in the big boy stroller down to the pool.

Liam is such a stud in his rash guard and baggy board shorts.

Here is the video that Logan took of Liam getting introduced to the pool for the first time.

Once he got use to being in the water, Liam would splash the water and act surprised when it got on his face. It was really cute.

Yummy chlorine hands!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Fluffy Mail

I'm a little late posting this one. The flushable liners that I bought were back ordered and didn't arrive until recently. I've had the diapers for about 10 days though.

Bum Genius 4.0 pocket diapers clockwise from top left: Free Spirit, Concrete Jungle, Jet Setter, Moonbeam, Retail Therapy, Eiffel Tower
Baby Legs in Bum Genius Ribbit
After selling the GroVia AIO diapers, I wanted to beef Liam's diaper stash back up. I spent a little bit more for 5 cute "artist series" prints. Since I spent over $100 total, I got a free pair of baby legs. Liam looks really cute in them!

I also bought Imse Vimse flushable liners for when we start giving Liam solid foods in a few days. I'll let you know how that goes. I have heard horror stories. I would gladly trade cloth diapering for better sleep at this point though, as much as I love his cloth diapers.

A few weeks ago, I bought some more Rockin Green laundry detergent for cloth diapers. I got the "Smashing Watermelons" and "Lavender Mint Revival" scents.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Photography Friday: Splashing in the Ducky Tub

Monday was nice and warm, so I took Liam's ducky tub outside in the shade and let him splash around.

We discovered that Liam suffers from "ogre face," just like his dad. 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Easter Photos

I'll take some more photos of Liam in his Easter outfit later, but here are his first set.

The flash didn't fire on this one, but I managed to fix it up though it's not great. I just love the expression. 
Then Liam got tired of sitting up and no longer tolerated the ears. 

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Photography Sunday: Sitting

Yep, photography Sunday again. I actually took the photos on Friday morning, but Dan commandeered my computer on Friday night and I didn't get a chance to edit and post them. I was too busy on Saturday as well.

Liam started sitting up this week. He can sit unassisted for a minute or two, but only if he has some sort of motivation. He has a couple toys that encourage sitting. For the most part, though, he would rather be on the floor rolling around. He's gotten quite mobile. But enough about typing, you're really only here for the photos.

Sitting only lasted long enough for one photo. The pattern on my quilt was much more interesting. 

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Landscaping: Done!

An unusually cold winter and having renters in our house resulted in a disaster in our flowerbeds. It was a long, hard, dirty project, but it looks great. Unfortunately, Dan hurt his back the first day we started the landscaping and I had to do more of the work than I bargained for.

About 75% of our plants died and the beds were full of weeds. I pulled out one weed that was about 3 feet tall and about as big around as a nickel. I forgot to take a "before" picture, but here is the "afters."

After removing all of the dead plants and pulling up the weeds, we planted a Queen Palm, a Eugenia, a Tangerine tree, hibiscus bushes and Canna Lilies. We also pulled up our 2 largest Birds of Paradise, divided them and planted them separately. I'm not sure all of them are going to live, though. We also put down a black mesh fabric to keep the weeds out. I topped it all off with 115 bags of lava rocks.

Liam was a good sport. He sat in the shade in his Bumbo chair or in the stroller and watched. He is good in the car and doesn't mind me lugging him around Lowes and the garden store.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Cloth Diapers: Resale Value

After my most recent purchase of Bum Genius 4.0 pocket diapers, I have all but stopped using the GroVia All-in-Ones. On a whim, I posted an ad on craigslist last night around 10pm. By 5pm today, I had the cash in my hands. I was very surprised at how quickly I was able to sell them locally since the area I live in isn't exactly crunchy granola.

Being environmentally conscious is not all about buying new hybrid cars or solar panels. Buying used and selling unwanted items are great ways to minimize your carbon footprint and add a little green to your wallet in the process. Cloth diapers have a surprisingly high resale value. Cotton Babies (one of my favorite on-line cloth retailers) has a buy back program. I could have sold the GroVia All-in-Ones there for $7.50 each. That price was a little low though, considering that they run $21.95 new. I thought that I could get a bit more by selling them locally (and avoid shipping in the process.)

Let's do the math:
I bought the 7 GroVia All-in-Ones on sale for $115.22 total in November 2010
I sold them for $80 total in April 2011
I washed them approximately every other day, so let's say 60 uses each
Let's call water/electricity/detergent $0.40 per load and the GroVia All-in-Ones accounting for 30% of each load of laundry

Net Diaper Cost= $35.22
Total Laundry Cost= $7.20
Total Cost= $42.42

$42.42/(7 diapers*60 uses)= $0.10 per use

This is also a good time to compare cloth diapers to disposables. While Liam was healing from his circumcision, Target's Up & Up brand of diapers fit him the best. If I bought them in jumbo packs, here are the costs for each size that Liam might have worn over the last few months:
newborn = $0.17 each
Size 1 = $0.13 each
Size 2 = $0.15 each
Size 3 = $0.17 each

Not too shabby when you consider that All-in-Ones are one of the more expensive cloth diapering systems and I only got a few months use out of them. Now I've got the funds to buy some more Bum Genius 4.0 pocket diapers. They are on sale again, buy 5 get 1 free. I may even splurge on some prints.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Photography Sunday: Blocks

Yeah, I'm a slacker. I took Liam's 5 month photo on Monday but Friday got away from me.

I first tried sitting him up, but he wanted to grab the blocks more than he wanted to sit up. After he toppled a few times, I gave up and let him lay down.

Mmmmm, yummy blocks! I, unfortunately only got 7 photos before Liam spit up on the backdrop and blocks. I have been thinking about buying some paper backgrounds, but Liam's spit up reminded me that washing the fabric is a lot easier, even if I have to edit out some of the wrinkles.