stat counter

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Bye bye "night-night"

A couple weeks ago, Molli woke up uncharacteristically early and I wasn’t digging it.  So I got her out of her crib, used the dark grey skies to my advantage and told her it’s kind of still night time and brought her to bed with me.  I knew she wouldn’t sleep in there, but I figured if I could exist horizontally for 30 more minutes, I might be a better person.  She brought her favorite snuggly toy giraffe and her beloved pacifier, which she has a serious addiction to. (I realize it should have been a thing of the past long ago, don’t judge). It’s an unusual thing for her “night -night” to be out of the crib as, as her nick-name for it indicates, it’s only for bed times.

She’s been working on her two year molars for many months now and she still tends to gnaw on things way in the back of her mouth.  Well, her poor pacifier fell victim to this gnawing one too many times and she chewed a hole right through it.  I thought this might be my perfect opportunity to trash the thing and let her be in charge of it.  I talked up the hole and how it’s almost garbage.  Since that morning, every few days I’ve been chopping away at the hole, making it bigger and decreasing the ability to suck on it.  I don’t know why, but she still loves it. It’s actually quite hysterical the way it looks now, it’s a wreck. 

I’ve pointed out the hole since it started and always remind her that SHE chewed it so it’s not me ruining it (as far as she knows).  We talk about how it’s “almost garbage” and she will verbally acknowledge this on a regular basis, although it makes her angry if she’s told that it’s garbage now. Sometime recently she decided that it is me ruining it and she’s pretty quick to say that I’ve been cutting it.  I don’t have any idea how she knows this because I’m very sneaky, but I guess I better get used to being the bad guy… I am MOM, after all. 

She spent the night with Grammy and Papa on Friday night and of course, I packed her “night night” in her little purple back pack, but the back pack accidentally was left in Grammy and Papa’s garage.  Uh-oh.  We had to do nap time with no pacifier.  There were tears, there was a bit of a fight, but ultimately, she understood that it’s not here and she had to go without it.  Eventually I gave her Gavin’s cow stuffed animal and told her that Gavin heard that she was so sad and he wanted her to snuggle with his cow and be happy for her nap.  She accepted the cow, brought him under her blanket and tucked back into bed with tear filled eyes.  I turned on some Jack Johnson very quietly and left the room.  She slept.  I’m not going to lie, I’m a little surprised she napped at all, much less, well! 

So tonight we put her to bed and reminded her that her pacifier is in her back pack at Grammy and Papa’s house and she’s going to have to sleep without it.  I expected more tears and a fight, but she went to bed amazingly and we haven’t heard a peep out of her since then.  I’m thrilled! This might be just what we needed to break her addiction.

The girl doesn’t forget a thing (seriously, it’s amazing) so we need to be pretty consistent with what happens next.  She knows where it is but I’m thinking that if we make it something for Grammy’s house only and make more drastic chops at the hole, it will be garbage soon.  

Kids should come with some sort of book outlining perfect solutions to all of these random parenting things.  And not just general solutions but ones that work for my baby specifically.  With Molli, we seem to have been outside of the "norm" in many areas. I've had to wonder if the people who wrote the books were given some special species of children, or what.

Anyway, I guess the moral of the story is: I should be grateful that Gavin refuses the pacifier so we wont have to deal with this down the road.  

Thursday, September 27, 2012

2 years and 2.5 months

I have thoroughly enjoyed each stage of infancy through toddlerhood that we’ve experienced so far.  Sure the sleeplessness, temper tantrums and increased levels of overall messiness are not always fun, but the immense love I have for my children covers the sour parts with ease.  I am so grateful to have these two in my life.

Molli, you’re working on potty training which has been pretty exciting!  We are not throwing ourselves into it and expecting success after a weekend, or anything like that.  We’re just taking it one day at a time and eating a lot of M&Ms. You are doing great with it!  Earlier today I was thinking about the sweetness of your excitement over something so little.  You love to use the potty and fully expect a celebration each and every time you go.  I love how you throw yourself completely into whatever you are doing.  You are definitely an all or nothing kid, and it’s been very sweet to see you take ownership of something and be proud of yourself. 

You turned two last week and had an Elmo birthday party.  I never thought I’d do a character party, but you really love him.  You never even watched TV (except for Planet Earth, which your dad and I deemed acceptable viewing material) until you were a whole year old.  When we were packing to move to Alaska I, admittedly, turned on Elmo’s World and let you be distracted by that while I packed and cleaned.  You were hooked from then on!  You called him “IE” for the longest time, which was so random but funny. 

Anyway, I can’t believe you’re already two years old.  You’re my little master-mind, problem solving, copy cat.  You never forget anything. You’re talking in full sentences and have a vocabulary that amazes me daily.  A couple weeks ago you watched your dad eat a pepper and asked him if he liked spicy foods then informed him that you don’t.  How does an almost two year old even know about spicy foods?  You seem to understand the concept of two without having even been taught- you’ll acknowledge when there are two of something and point it out regularly.  You’re my special girl and an amazing big sister!

Gavin, my baby boy.  You are two and a half months old and the sweetest little guy.  I spend a lot of time with you on my lap, facing me and we just smile at each other.  I say hi to you and you give me a big open mouthed, gummy grin.  I love it!  You’re a little bit serious sometimes, but with me you’re pretty cheeky.  When I stare at you, I find myself watching your mouth most of the time, waiting for the first subtle hints of an upcoming smile, then relishing the sweetness that comes with your smiley love.  When I take my eyes off your poochy little lips, I look at your bright eyes, chunky cheeks and double chin.  They are all good.  I’m sorry for the cellulite that covers your legs and butt cheeks, but I love it too.  We call you chunker and you’ve definitely earned your nickname!  You are a momma’s boy and I really can’t complain.  I adore cuddling with you really can’t get enough of it.

Surely my kids are not perfect, but they are perfect for me.  I’m sure glad to have them.  I hope I never forget or take for granted these special days.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

gdiapers have won my diapering heart.

If you ask me what one of the biggest differences between Molli as a baby and Gavin has been, I would say, diapering.  Not because of the obvious anatomical differences (although that too) but I used regular old fill up the earth with poop disposable diapers with Molli, but I’m cloth diapering Gavin.  This might gross you out because cloth diapers seem to produce visuals of manhandling poop, but it’s really not like that.  Let me brag for a minute on the diapers we use.

We have been using gdiapers since Gavin was just under two weeks old.  They are a cute, fairly trim version of cloth diaper that can also be used with a flushable insert instead of a cloth insert.  I’ll walk you through how it goes for us. 

First, the pieces:  
Little gpants are the cute colored part of the diaper that doesn’t get icky, if all goes as intended.

Snap in pouch.  This very important part holds the insert. The elastic on the edges forms a seal keeping any ickyness contained.

Cloth insert: Pretty much what you expect.  It’s the part that absorbs the potty.  The microfleece layer on top keeps moisture from sitting against the baby’s skin. This part can be replaced with a grefill- a flushable insert.  (Although I’m cheap and don’t use those). 

* not pictured * flushable liner.  This part comes into play when the poop gets more intense and isn’t water-soluble (the joy of breastmilk poop!).  Place the liner over the insert and dispose of in the toilet.  Its job is to catch the poo and make cleaning a bit easier. 

Now put it all together.  Snap in the pouch... 

 ...and stuff with a liner.

One unique aspect of gdiapers is that they close in back, unlike most (any?) other brands.  This is especially handy when kids get a little bigger and can undiaper themselves.  Puts the temptation out of sight!

Here is my "gstation"

My method is pretty simple.

I have two diapers going at a time on any given day.  One on the baby, one ready to go. Since the snap in pouches are a breathable material, they get a little damp so I rotate between two diapers, allowing time for one to air out while the other is in use. 

I have a cube filled with all our stuff- little gpants, stuffed pouches and a stack of inserts.  It’s all pretty self-explanatory.  I snap in a pre-stuffed pouch and put on a diaper. 

 I toss the dirty insert into the wet bag/trash can.  Sometimes the pouch gets poop on it, in which case I change that out too. 


(zippered wet bag option)

(trash can with wet bag option...I prefer this because I can just open the trash can with my foot instead of dealing with a zipper)

Washing is easy.  I typically wash the gpant (with Velcro tabs closed) and snap in pouches with regular laundry and the inserts get washed with the wetbag.  I turn the wetbag inside out and throw it all in together, adding a prewash and rinse  to the cycle.  I hang dry the wetbag and pouches but put the inserts in the dryer.  The gpants technically can be dried but they will keep their color and last longer if air-dried. 

 Would you believe that Gavin is 2.5 months old and we haven't had a single blowout!  I can't even tell you how many times we had to change Molli's clothes as a little baby due to explosive poops (talk about gross!).  No blowouts + earth friendly + pocket friendly = YES PLEASE!

(I will say though, that there is no such thing as a perfect diaper in which no leaks will ever occur.  We are currently between sizes and do get some leackage from time to time.  Just #1 though, not #2.)

Monday, September 10, 2012

Big Dirt

My love for Alaska is in full swing after soaking up a hefty dose of genuine Alaskan beauty for several hours today.  The kids and I met up with a wonderful group of ladies (gmums- a group of cloth diapering mommies who use gdiapers) in Seward.  It took about 2 and a half hours to get to Seward and the entire time, there and back, I had to continually reminding myself to stay focused on driving rather than looking at all the gorgeous nature surrounding me.  The trees were vibrant with fall colors and the fireweed bragged it’s name. There was just enough wind to set some of the leaves free and plenty of sun to sparkle off the water. 

Molli and Gavin slept (and snored) for part of the drive and out of nowhere, Molli piped up and observed, “Big dirt!”  It took me a second to figure out what she was talking about, but I realized that she was thrilled to see all the mountains surrounding us. She repeated several times that she sees water and tall mountains, concluding that she “likes them.”

The SeaLife Center was really fun.  We got to see lots of different (gross looking) fish and some sea lions.  Molli was really intrigued by the aquariums where she could stand face to face with the bigger fish.  She would lift her hand to the glass and tell me that she wants to touch them.  There is one part of the observatory where you can touch star fish and urchins (or some other icky sea wiggly thingies).  She was standing there, looking into the water and I prompted her to touch them with her finger.  She did and expected to touch a plate of glass.  When her hand went in the cold water instead of flattening on glass as she presumed, she freaked out!  She screamed and yanked her hand back with her fingers stiff and separated.  Her whole body was tense as she stared at her dripping hand.  I about died laughing. 

After the center, we all met up at a very nice park and let the kids burn off some energy.  It was sweet to see the kids playing together uninhibitedly, as kids do, and I was happy to have conversations with some very kind moms. 

I left Seward reassured that I can and will make friends here and fit right in; I just need to make more effort.  Moving back to my hometown has brought comforts and complications.  I love the familiarity of this place and the way it just feels like home.  I can see my family growing together and planting roots.  It’s also complicated because although it feels like home, it has changed.  Well, more precisely, I have changed.  I don’t have the same relationships and connections with those I used to know.  It’s a strange position to be in, having a good amount of acquaintances but few/no real friends. The two people I feel most connected with up here are both moving out of state relatively soon.  I’m so sad, but maybe this is the push I need to step out and meet some people.  I think I used up most of my extravertedness when I was too young to appreciate it.  I could use a little of that now! 

Anyway, I had a really nice day and enjoyed the opportunity to see some beautiful “big dirt.”

Friday, September 7, 2012


Summer has lost its charm but autumn isn’t doing much for me this year.  I have a weird relationship with summer.  Let’s review: My early childhood was spent in Arizona where it is hot and I wasn’t old enough to care.  Summer meant pools and visiting grandparents.  The bulk of those memories involve skinny-dipping, very hot sidewalks, Frosted Flakes (they’re great), tricycles and dirt.  Also the tree in front of my grandparents Phoenix house with a trunk painted white.  Not a lot to go from there. 

Later childhood and adolescence was in Alaska, namely, the best state for summer fun.  Unless, of course, you don’t care for nature or mosquitoes.  I like the first enough to balance out the latter.  Anyway, through this point of my life, summer was the bomb.  Early on it was filled with lots of romping through the woods, collecting lupine and fireweed, trampolines, bike rides, mosquito bites and hair sticky with sap.  Then later summer meant campfires at the beach, driving around with friends, getting into a little trouble (often all of these were associated), sleeping in, sunny walks, hikes, camping, and lots of tourists.  When the weather was nice, my friends and I were out and about, when it was rainy, we frequented each other’s houses and coffee shops.  We usually had family vacation, which was always awesome. (except the motor home trip… that one was awesome later, but not at the time.  It was the kind of vacation where Mom and Dad made us keep a journal.)


Early adulthood found me living in Florida and Illinois.  Are you kidding me?  My body protested as the humidity skyrocketed, sweat dripped down my back and my hair frizzed out.  Bless my hair, it doesn’t do well in such conditions.  I don’t mind heat if I am free to stay inside or out by a pool, but remember, we’re talking early adulthood.  This time of life does not include pools and luxury.  Rather, it involved sucking it up and working, pretending to be a real grown up.  Hot, stagnant air and responsibility replaced the fun summer days of earlier years. 


Illinois taught me of the joy that is autumn.  In Alaska, this season sneaks up right as you get into a good summer groove, lasts about two weeks then the leaves fall off and it snows.  It’s not very exciting.  But the Midwest has a good thing going on.  The leaves change, all colors of the autumn spectrum.  From scarlet to sumbeam, the leaves do magical things.  The crunch, the smell, the pumpkin and apple related festivities… ahh, yes, fall in the Midwest is glorious. 

We moved back up to Alaska late in the winter and got to skip the worst of it.  We got to experience the excitement of the improving weather, witness the leaves pop out of tree branches and the colors burst out from the ground (it makes me think of the movie “The Secret Garden” when everything blooms in fast forward). We spent as much time outdoors this summer, wearing as little clothing as the temperature permitted, slipping into shorts and tank tops several times. On those glorious sunny days we, along with about 85% of the area’s population, went to the park.  We soaked it up!

Just as we got into the groove of the sunny season, mother nature laughed at us and threw a kink into things.  The kink being that it is September and fall has arrived in Alaska.  My enthusiasm for the season is curbed by my aversion to what comes next.  Things are yellowing and summer has come to a close.  Jackets and real shoes are rapidly replacing shorts and tank tops.  Each evening when the sun sets a little bit earlier, I’m reminded to enjoy the day because winter is long, and approaching fast. 


Since moving back to my hometown, I’ve rarely missed places I previously lived.  However, we left some very good friends, both in Florida and Illinois, and miss them very much.   These days of crisp air and changing scenery make me miss Illinois and those we left.  The Midwest was made for fall, so it’s only natural that many of my thoughts are of memories best associated with the season.  Illinois friends, I would love to go on a walk, a bike ride or to the park with you.  We’d have coffee and bake something with together. If you read this, know that I miss you and will likely remember and think fondly of you each time this season rolls around.  This year it feels a little bit lonely.