Thursday, May 28, 2009

Getting Crafty

Selah is growing so fast! She's nearly two months old already! I like to say she's growing on me, too. I love her just a little more each day and as she gets more and more interactive, that's not hard to do. She is developing quite a personality, definitely knows what she wants and when and is not afraid to express herself. When we hang out with our friends' babies, it becomes clear that she is quite vocal and a little more rambunctious than most.

She is going through a diaper hating phase right now. She will be screaming and seemingly inconsolable, then we take her diaper off and she is instantly cooing and smiling. I have started putting a plastic garbage bag and towel under her so she can hang out diaper-free. If she pees or poops on the towel, it really pisses her off and she lets me know about it.

Since Reese left, I have been in a total sewing mood. I take full advantage of nap time and feel quite productive. Here are my latest projects...

I cut apart an old maternity skirt that was way too big and made a smaller and much cuter skirt out of the fabric.

I had enough fabric left over to make a little dress for Selah. I promise we won't wear them at the same time!!

I made a pattern for really really fast and easy baby pants. They take one fat quarter of fabric (about $2.00 worth) and an hour to make. And super cute to boot! I wanted some light weight pants to protect her from the sun while we are outside all summer.

Here they are in red polka dots.

S playing with her new friend Tacie, Nate and Karyn's 5 month old daughter.

and a sweet video for the grandmas.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Cloth diapers vs disposables

On my last post, I wrote that I was going to make cloth diapers and mentioned that they would be lower impact than disposables. Addie commented, wondering if cloth were really more economical if you take into account all of the energy and water that goes into cleaning them. I must admit, I always assumed cloth diapers were better but I really did not know and had heard Addie's argument against cloth before. I take all of this pretty seriously and want to do what is best. So, I did a little research and found this study (pdf) from the UK's equivalent of the EPA. The pdf is a 37 page document that I sifted through so you won't have to. The research is from 2006 and looks at the carbon footprint of cloth diapers vs disposable diapers. The assumptions in the study were that the average child is diapered for 2 1/2 years and uses an average of just over 4 diapers per day (the actual per day use of a diapered child is just over 6 diapers, but when non-diapered children that are still under 2 1/2 years are factored in, the overall average is 4.16 changes per day).

In the study, both diapering systems were traced all the way back to resource extraction. They took into account the obtaining of resources, manufacturing energy, manufacturing waste, packaging waste and manufacturing, distribution to retailers, energy use from retailer to home, energy use from home to landfill, etc. For cloth diapers, they also included washing water use, washing machine use based on average energy efficiency, and dryer use, also based on average energy efficiency.

What they concluded was this: Choosing cloth diapers can greatly reduce one's carbon footprint, but that energy savings is highly dependent on how the consumer treats the cloth diapers after purchase. Here are the steps necessary to save energy:
  • only run full loads of laundry
  • wash diapers on cold
  • always line dry
  • use diapers on more than one child
If these steps are followed, the average carbon footprint of a cloth diaperer versus a disposable diaperer is a whopping 40% lower, from 550Kg to 330Kg. To put that in perspective, the 220Kg carbon savings is equivalent to driving a car about 650 miles each year for the 2 1/2 years. However, if the diapers are washed on hot and are always tumble dried, the energy use is actually greater than disposables (about 10% greater). The vast majority of energy use came from the dryer.

We are still going to go with cloth and now that I know how much difference the dryer makes, we will definitely line dry. We also are using cloth wipes. I use soft, small baby washcloths. I keep them in a wipe warmer (yes, it is plugged in or they are freezing cold) with water and a little bit of olive oil for her skin. I throw them in with the rest of my laundry every time I do a load.

Thanks for the question, Ad!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

New Dress!

Check out this cute girl in her new dress! Thanks to Reese, I revived my sewing machine after about 4 years in the closet and finished this yesterday. I also cut apart an old skirt of mine that never quite fit and put it back together and now feel like I have a new skirt! I'm now inspired to make Selah's cloth diapers as well. There are tons of patterns online and we have more than enough scrap fabric, plus it's low impact and super cheap.

I am so proud of my handiwork!

Selah apparently is very excited to be wearing this dress.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

6 weeks

Mike looking domestic.
He's been much more helpful since the little one came around. I have true respect for single mothers these days. Motherhood is so consuming with a supportive partner, I cannot imagine surviving it alone, at least not without a breakdown here and there. Selah is just finishing up her sixth week, which is supposedly the most difficult time, so hopefully we are over the hump. She has been tough lately, but the joys of raising her far outweigh the hard parts. Breastfeeding is much more of a challenge than I ever imagined. I always thought it would be this beautiful and romantic experience with a content and calm baby. But I think I have a kid that really just does not especially enjoy breastfeeding. She absolutely refused for about three days last week, which was very draining, physically and emotionally. I had to pump and give her bottles and was caught out without milk for her a couple of times. She screamed and refused to eat until we were home and she could have a bottle. Thankfully that stage seems to have passed and she is back on the boob. We learn something new every day. Last week, I learned that I was severely depriving the poor child of sleep. I had no idea that babies were only supposed to be awake for two hours at a time--max. Once I started paying attention, it became clear that Selah was tired within one hour of waking up, which makes for a very short window to get anything done. She has been much happier during her wake time since I have been allowing her to sleep more. She is extremely curious and wants to look around constantly, so really only sleeps well in a quiet dark room. I have decided I have to compromise and get her quiet dark naps sometimes and jogger stroller (half-assed) naps sometimes--I have to stay sane! We have been getting up early and getting out the door in the cool air to run lately. I love running. Period. I am now pretty comfortable doing 8 miles with the stroller--closer and closer to normal!

The girl LOVES this thing. She will lay there all alone just smiling and cooing at it.

I had the distinct pleasure of hosting my almost-cousin and very good friend Reese for the past few days. She had all kinds of helpful words from her experience as a mother and was just a joy to have around. It was really nice to have a friend around all day while Mike was at work to help out. Reese is crafty and had to visit the fabric store while she was here. She inspired me to start sewing again and I am 99% done with my first Selah project (pictures later).

I found this pattern and it is completely adorable. I can't wait to make it!

Fun fabrics.


Mike was asked to speak at Baccalaureate at his high school last night. I was so proud! It is a very rare experience to connect with the career of one's spouse, and last night was a special peek into his world for me. He spoke for 15-20 minutes and encouraged the graduates to challenge themselves, be the light of the world, and wear flip-flops in the shower.

Proud Daddy (in a suit!!) after the speech.



(He actually brought the apron to school for his lesson on the Renaissance today!)

Monday, May 11, 2009

Little Girl

Selah is quickly becoming a little girl instead of just a baby blob. She is starting to react to us and seems to get cuter every day. Here are the latest pics of the little one.

Check out those luscious lips.

My parents came through for a quick visit in between a meeting in Cheyenne and a concert in SLC. They said they wanted to see Mike and me, but we all know the truth! They love that grandbaby.

Selah and I did our first race together this weekend (besides the 3 while I was pregnant)! It was great, the Dandelion Dash 5K. I pushed Selah in the stroller and set my first stroller PR of 27:58. It amazed me how absolutely worked I felt for running so slow! I reached my goal, though, of winning the (unofficial) stroller division.

El and Reed raced, too. It was El's second run post C-Section and she was so happy to be back at it. We are both excitedly formulating our racing plans for the near future.

We all went to Carbondale's Dandelion Days festival after the race for music, art, and mostly just little kids running around everywhere. (Thanks, Dad for the Mother's Day dress!!)

Mike gave me my first day off of parenting for Mother's Day. He and a couple of friends took Selah to the crag, of course, and made a little tent out of her play thing. He brought the stove to warm up her milk, down jackets to snuggle her, and the Chariot just in case she needed to go for a walk. This crag is not right next to the road, either. He hiked all of that stuff in (as well as the drill, bolts, climbing gear, etc) a couple of miles to the cliff. I'm not sure how I felt about being away from the girl all day. Honestly, I missed her more than I needed a break. But, I did get some good time in with my friends. I was able to watch Sari speak on a women's panel at the 5 point Film Festival with the likes of Lynn Hill and Irene Beardsley (yes, the Irene of Irene's Arete and more). Afterwards, Sari, El and I went for a nice trail run on Red Hill.

Watch Selah find her voice and lose her feet in her PJ's.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

OK, last post for the day

My mom sent me a few of my baby pics the other day. It is quite amazing how much Selah and I look alike. Mike is still trying to figure out what parts of her to claim :)

This one's for you, Reese and Hannah. I look exactly like Selah, Reese (left) looks huge because she is 8 months older than us, and Hannah (right), well, now we know where Noah gets his pudge :) (Hannah is a month younger than me).

Best Bread Maker Recipe

My mom recently gave me her bread maker and I have been tinkering with recipes. This one is PERFECT. It is light, moist, and delicious, so I had to share. If you use a bread maker, try it! I never buy bread anymore but I definitely eat a lot more bread than I used to.

Honey wheat flax bread

1 1/3 c. warm water
1/4 c. olive oil
1/4 c. honey
1 t. salt
1 1/2 c. bread flour
1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1/3 c. flax meal (or add 1/3 c. ww flour if you don't have flax meal)
2 t. yeast

Put the ingredients in the maker in that order and use the light crust setting.

One month and Pictures

Selah turned one month old on Sunday! She had her check up this morning. The girl looks fantastic and all of her parts appear to be in working order. Here are the latest stats:

Length: 21.5 inches (75th percentile)
Weight: 9 lb 6 oz (75th percentile)
Head: 15.5 inches (95th percentile)

She gained 2 pounds in 3 weeks, so she is apparently very well fed! I can say goodbye to my worries that she is not eating enough.

Here she was at 1 week old.

And this is at one month. Notice the nice little chubs in her belly and cheeks!

Getting loved by Grandma Margie.

Pouty face.

We took Marge, Dan, and Steve hiking up Grizzly Creek.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Cover Girl!

Check out Petzl's new website. I am a cover girl!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Out of the Funk

I think I had some baby blues and I also think I am climbing out of them. It is truly amazing how hormones affect the female body and I truly felt the hormone fog lift over the past three days. I am feeling genuinely happy. Selah has been eating better and I have been responding to her fusses better--essentially, with patience instead of resentment. My sweet 72-year-old neighbor Michelle loves Selah to pieces and occasionally lets me cry on her couch. She asserts that my anxiety passes directly to Selah through my milk and that I just need to relax. Mike thinks the same. I think my milk just became creamier and more copious and she had not figured out how to deal with it, hence the angry screaming. But slowly, over 10 days, either she has figured out how to swallow faster or my milk has started to suit her needs better. Whatever the case, feeding has been more and more pleasant. Michelle also likes to tell me that just as in meeting any other person, Selah and I are developing a relationship, and good relationships take time and energy. I did not automatically respond to her needs appropriately the instant she popped out. This is a learning process and we are both getting to know each other and adjusting to the other's way of self-expression. Thankfully, Mike has remained calm and infinitely patient through this process. He loves his girls.


Just a thought...

Does a 2 hour run still count if it is followed by a bacon cheeseburger and fries from Charcoalburger Drive In? :)

OK, definitely no obsession to lose baby weight here. I think I have a very low stress, healthy outlook on the whole thing--always exercise (SO important and SO good for me!), never count calories, eat healthy most of the time, indulge in a tiny bit of Ben and Jerry's pretty much every night. None of that light B&J's, either--full value or forget it. I just use itty bitty ice cream bowls to limit my portion size and who needs a lot of ice cream when it is so rich?


Sad news...

Our camera broke! We'll try to replace it soon. We don't want any of you going through Selah picture withdrawal!


Happy news...

Mike's parents are in town for a few days to love on Selah, love on us, and just hang. We love having them visit!