Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Loquacious Leland

So if anyone knows Leland they know that he is anything but loquacious, especially in social settings, but at home he does spit out quite a few gems. So I've decided to copy Camp Patton and do a series about the funny things he says. Or maybe they are only funny to me. I guess we'll see.

Leland sporting the awesome haircut I gave him. (Not. there is a reason it's cropped out of the picture.)
When I told him I was thinking of making black bean brownies
Leland: Does that actually sound good to you?

When Esther got out of her swaddle for the third time in a row:
Leland: She's just a regular Houdini.

Courtney: (walks into the living room one morning)
Leland: Nice sweats
Courtney: What is that supposed to mean?
Leland: I just really like those sweats 

When we were laying in bed talking one night:
Courtney: Do you think maybe Esther has a tongue-tie?
Leland: What? Parseltongue? 

When Esther was losing it during tummy time:
Leland: Okay, okay, you don't need to start foaming at the mouth. 

After Leland came home to see I had bought approximately 10 pounds of clearance easter candy:
Leland: We're going to eat this really slowly, ok?

Ha, right... 

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Pictures of Little Esther

Here are some pictures of Esther from the past few weeks. The videos may or may not work.

Little Leland


Friday, April 25, 2014

The Frugal Guide to Babygear

I know everyone and their mom has thrown down a post like this, but what I hate about most of those are the prices. Them: "You will just love this 500 dollar stroller." Me: That's more than I paid for my car. (Not really, but close enough).  

Anyways,  I've only been a mom 7ish weeks, so clearly I'm not a true expert on baby things, but I was a nanny for a couple years before that, so I guess I have a bit of experience with baby gear. Since we are a young and frugal (aka poor) family, I thought I'd share my tips on how to avoid paying ridiculous amounts for things that you will probably only use for a few months. 

Basically what we have here is a cheapskate version of the aden + anais swaddle blankets that we've all heard all about. I have nothing against the aden + anais blankets. I used them everyday to swaddle 13 months old twins (per their mother's request). And if any blanket could contain squirmy walking (walking!) 1 year olds, those could. My gripe with those is the price. I ain't about to spend $32 dollars for 2 paper thin blankets. The Summer swaddle blankets are the exact (really I can tell no difference) same thing. And it only costs $12 dollars for two paper thin blankets. We have been swaddling Esther in these since she was a week old and they work great. 

When I was looking for a carrier, I really wanted one that would be "ergonomically correct" for our little papoose. However, all the popular carriers like the Moby ($50) and Ergo ($120) were way more than I wanted to spend. Although I would like to get an Ergo someday (I tested it with the twins again-it is quality), throwing down a hundred bucks on a carrier just isn't in the cards for us right now. So after much research I went with this infantino carrier. I liked the fact that it could carry babies right from birth without any special inserts, and that it was good for baby's hips. Esther loves being in it and falls asleep instantly, it doesn't hurt my back at all, it is relatively easy to get on , and who doesn't love that stylish pattern? 

3.  A Portable Swing

 They actually don't sell this swing anymore, we got ours at Kid to Kid for a mere $15. I knew that babies loved swings, so I really wanted one. We didn't have the space for a big one though. Not to mentions those things can get pricey. And guess what? the cheap ones do the same things as the expensive ones, they swing. Granted they might not have all the bells and whistles, but trust me, your babe won't care. Also they won't take up 75% of your living room. Esther loves this swing and is currently sleeping in it as I type. (We may have been gifted a baby that loves just about everything, but that's irrelevant.)

4. Skip the Crib
I know you've heard this before, and you really want to get your precious baby an adorable crib complete with bumpers from pottery barn, but don't do it. (Especially the bumpers, those things are lethal, ((for reals though))). Newborn's hate cribs. Little E sleeps in this bad boy right next to us every night. 

We do plan on getting a crib eventually, but for the newborn stage, I find it unnecessary, and a waste of space. I also would have considered putting her straight into a portable crib, but we couldn't fit one in our tiniest bedroom on the planet (that's a post for another day). 

5. Cloth diaper

Really, it will save you thousands. Read all about it here

That is all my wisdom I have to offer now, perhaps I will add more to this list as the wee one grows, but just know that you don't have to spend a fortune on baby gear. Your baby won't care, and your wallet (and husband) will thank you. 

**Disclaimer: I was paid for none of this, not even the links. Maybe if I was I could afford some fancy swaddle blankets.**

Thursday, April 24, 2014

How We Cloth Diaper

We have been cloth diapering Esther since she was about 3 weeks old. It is going great, and is way easier than I thought it would be. Before Esther was born I knew I wanted to cloth diaper because of how much money it saves. Here is a breakdown of how much money you can save, though I think these estimates are on the high I side. I would guess we will spend $200-$300 dollars to cloth diaper Esther until she is potty trained. So that is more than 1,000 dollars that we will save with her, and $1200 or more that we will save with each baby that we have after her. 

We use prefold cloth diapers with covers. There are so many different types out there, but we (I) chose to go with these  for the following reasons:

  • They are one of the cheapest options.
  • You can diaper two babies at once using the same "stash".
  • They last longer.
They are slightly more complex than other options, but it's really not hard at all. Even Leland can do it!
Here is a step by step guide to what we do. 

First we lay out the pre-fold like so (and we use our bassinet to change diapers...cheapskates...)

Then we fold it using the angel wing fold (for more folds go here)

Next we add a stay dry liner. I just cut out strips of microfleece to make these liners. The liner is optional but I like to use it because it helps to keep baby's bum dry, and also allows you to use a regular diaper rash cream if you need to. (Otherwise you have to buy a special cloth diaper compatible cream.)

Then we lay her on it, fold it around her, and fasten it using a snappi

Finally we add a cover, and we are finished. 
And for the back view...

Here she is with pants. (Outfit courtesy of Leland)

We place the dirty diapers in this wet bag until wash day (usually every other day). To wash them I do a cold rinse with no detergent, then a hot wash using arm and hammer free, then another cold rinse. I dry the diapers and liners in the dryer on high, and hang dry the covers. It sounds complicated but it is so easy. 

I got my size 1 diapers and thirsties covers from Green Mountain Diapers.

So even though it sounds gross, cloth diapering is super easy! It's not for everyone, but it is so worth it for us, and who can deny it, it's so much cuter. 

Monday, April 21, 2014

A day in the life

*I know this post will probably interest no one, but when I was pregnant and wondering about life with a newborn I found them to be super helpful.
** I did not write down exact times so the times are guesstimates.
***Every day is a little different so I choose saturday because it was a pretty typical day.
****These pictures are not from saturday, but whatever.

12:00am (aka midnight, yeah i'm starting at the very first of the day)-I feed Esther on one side, burp her, change her diaper, and feed her more on the same side (over milk supply is a real thing haha).

12:45am-I swaddle Esther, and lay her to sleep next to me in the bassinet and I go to sleep.

3:30am-I feed her on the other side, burp her, change her diaper (aka poopsplosion) and feed her more on the same side. She falls asleep so I lay her in the bassinet and go use the bathroom (I was really banking on being able to go more than 2 hours without peeing once I was not pregnant anymore., it hasn't happened yet. Also if you are wondering where Leland is during this he is sleeping soundly, don't worry he makes up for it later.)

4:15am- I lay down to go to sleep.

7:00am- Esther wakes up, I feed her, burp her, change her, feed her on the other side, and lo and behold she is not asleep. I swaddle her anyways and lay her on the boppy in our bed with us. (she sleeps way better this way, but I only do it in desperate times.)

8:00 am-I fall asleep.

8:30am-Esther is awake for good, so Leland gets up with her. I stay asleep. (I told you he would make up for it later.

While I sleep Leland gets her dressed, they do tummy time, and then Leland rocks her while he watches Lost.

10:00am-I wake up, usually around this time Esther is either still sleeping, or just waking to be fed.

10:05m-I eat 2 no bake cookies and 32 ounces of water for breakfast (breakfast of champions over here).

10:10am- I feed Esther for about 10 minutes on one side, burp her, and feed her 5 more minutes on the same side.

10:30am-Leland and I watch parenthood while holding/playing with Esther.

11:00am-Esther falls asleep, still watching parenthood.

12:00pm-Leland gets in the shower, Esther woke up so I feed her-you know the drill.

12:30pm-Leland is done showering. We make and eat sandwiches. I finally get dressed for the day.

1:00pm-Leland leaves for work. I load Esther in the stroller and take Esther for a walk to Smiths. They were having some Easter party/free stuff fest. Apparently it ended at 12, so we wander around the store and walk back home.

2:00pm-I feed Esther and she falls asleep. I swaddle her and put her in the bassinet. I put on my white noise app because I really want her to sleep more than 30 minutes.

3:00pm-I do a 30 minute jillian michaels video while Esther sleeps.

3:30pm-I get in the shower while she's still sleeping. I get out and hurry and eat a poptart and a yogurt.

4:00pm-I feed her and change her.
She really loves getting her diaper changed. 

4:45pm-We leave for walmart, she falls asleep in the car.

5:00pm- We have a ball grocery shopping at walmart, she sleeps the whole time.

6:00pm- I get home, carry in 1000 sacks with one item in them each (thanks bagging lady) and put them away.

6:30pm-I feed Esther again and change her into her pajamas.

7:00 pm-She is asleep so I put her in the bassinet. During this down time I read blogs, make and eat black bean soup, wash dishes, text Leland while he is on break, and clean up the apartment.

9:30pm-Esther wakes up so I feed and change her.

10:00pm-I do tummy time with Esther and read her books.

10:20pm-Leland gets home from work, we finish an episode of parenthood that we didin't finish eariler, and Leland rocks Esther to sleep.

11:30pm-I feed Esther again and we go to sleep.

So if anyone is still reading, that is what a typical day with a 6-week old is like for us. Although some of our other excursions include the library, walks walks and more walks, and visiting Leland on his break. Also there was probably a lot I left out, like the 20 snacks I have a day, and all the crying before Esther will fall asleep.

Here is a nice family selfie to reward you for reading such a long post. Esther clearly gets her photogenic genes from her parents. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

One Month

I can't believe our little cutie is a month old already. I attempted to do a photo shoot with her and I can't say it went well. I am a horrible photographer, but good thing she is so cute.

At 1 month she:
-can smile, but we have yet to get it on camera!
-has rolled once from her belly to her back, but since it was only 1 time I think it's a fluke... but still counts
-wears size 1 diapers, we are also using cloth prefold diapers and it is going great
-loves baths
-loves her carseat
-will sleep 4 hours at night
-is a great baby, only fusses when she is hungry
-wears 0-3 or 3 month clothes

Images by Freepik