Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Cloth Diapering at 14 months...Sayonara Diaper Pins!

I recently read a very interesting article about cloth diapering in an old issue of Mothering magazine.  This fact shocked me: it takes SEVEN BILLION GALLONS OF OIL every year to make disposable diapers!

Well, we are still cloth diapering, and I'm still very satisfied with cloth. However, diapering a newborn and diapering newtoddler have been very different experiences.

In my previous post about cloth, I was using pins, pre-folds, and different sizes water proof covers.  If you are wanting to do cloth and have a small budget, this is by far the cheapest option that I've found.  It was a great system that lasted until Ada was about 10 or 11 months, in which diaper changes turned into a battle.  For the last 3-4 months, Ada has been very resistant during diaper changes.  To overcome this, I use a combination of discipline to make her be still while I change her, and have invested in some different diaper covers to make diaper changing faster and easier.

So, I've done away with pins (impossible to pin a squirming, kicking toddler), and invested in some one-size diaper covers (you can adjust the size to your growing baby), in which I am able to place the pre-folds into and snap onto Ada.  The brands I have are Sweet Pea and Flip.  I wish I had known about these and bought these at the beginning of diapering.  Oh well!  The future kiddos will use them!  I prefer the Flip slightly more because it's less bulky and fits Ada better.

Here's what they look like:

Flip diaper cover (left) and SweetPea Diaper cover (right)

Though I paid more than I wanted to (about $10 each), I'm really satisfied with them and they've made cloth diapering easier on us.  I fold the prefold diaper into thirds, lay it in the cover (Flip has flaps you can tuck it into), and snap it on Ada.  EASY!
SweetPea cover has gussets to contain blowouts

diaper in the Flip diaper cover

And the dirty diaper?  I remove soiled prefold diaper and throw it in the diaper bucket (unless poop needs to be sprayed off first).  I use a diaper wipe to wipe out the inside of the cover, and then use it at the next changing.  At the end of the night, I soak all the covers we used during the day in the sink with some hot water and about a teaspoon of detergent for about an hour, then hang them up to dry overnight.

And, though I was using cloth wipes from when Ada was about 6 months to 12 months, I've gone back to using disposable diaper wipes again, until I find something that's as convenient and reusable. They were much easier to use when Ada wasn't so squirmy and mobile.  I don't like forking the money out for them, but I dislike diaper changes (about 4-5 times per day) turning into battle zones more. Now, I can even change Ada's diaper while she's standing up!

Ada is almost walking!  SOOO close!  She makes me laugh so much! :)  Also, she does the sign language for "milk" and calls her Bunny "Bubba."  She has also started praying with us (by holding our hands) at dinner time.  We are SO proud of her!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

First Spanking

The very first time Ada climbed the dishwasher, around 9 months old.  This was back when she had just started learning how to climb on things, and it was really cute and surprising to see here there.

The last few months Ada has started demonstrating her own will.  I'm so glad that she's confident to try new things, take risks, and explore on her own.  With this new found will, she is also discovering her limits, boundaries, and rules of the house.

Yesterday was her first spanking.  It was hard on me. SO hard!   Here's how it went down:

I was unloading the dishwasher and she climbed up onto the door of the dishwasher.  (I let her do this when she first started climbing and weighed much less).
I told her "No climbing on the dishwasher" and put her on the floor.
Then she made another attempt to climb up and I said "No, no Ada. No climbing the dishwasher" and I put her feet on the ground.
She started to climb again, so I took her away from the dishwasher, and spanked her big chubby thigh.
She wailed and bawled, and buried her face on the linoleum floor. And I felt like doing the same thing! It's still very hard for me to hear her cry.
After she got past the long wails and was more in the sniffling stage, I comforted her and said "No climbing the dishwasher"
But she attempted to climb on the dishwasher for the third time!
So, one more firm smack to the thigh. I really didn't want to go through with it again, but knew it was necessary.
Tears, sniffles, and then hugs.
And this time, she obeyed me! She continued to "help" me by rolling the racks in and out, and opening and closing the detergent door.  But she never climbed the dishwasher door again.

Today, I was unloading the dishwasher, and I was thinking to myself "Wow, why does this feel so easy right now?" And then I looked down and realized, that Ada had LEARNED to not climb the dishwasher!  She was definitely still "helping" me, but the disciplining the day before had worked!

I wish I was more prepared for this stage of discipline.  I wish I had started reading books about parenting 3 months ago, rather than just starting to now.  Right now Chris and I are only guided by what our friends are doing and our instincts, and we may be doing things completely wrong! But the spank worked for this one thing this one time.  And it was hard on both me and Ada, but we're over it (were over it really quickly actually), and unloading the dishwasher is much smoother now.

Two books fellow moms have recommended to me are "Shepherding a Child's Heart" by Tedd Tripp and "Loving Our Kids on Purpose" by Danny Silk.  I just got "Shepherding a Child's Heart" from the library today and am excited to start reading it.

On an unrelated note, our long time friend and brother Ben Yu came all the way from Lanzhou, China to visit us!  It was Ada's first time to meet him!  It was so unbelievable seeing him again that it felt like we had dreamed it.  Thanks for coming Ben!

Friday, February 3, 2012

I love both my jobs!

This picture was taken when Ada was about 4 months old or so.  Here I am breastfeeding, but you probably couldn't tell.  Do you spot Ada?? Her foot is sticking out in the bottom right corner!

About 3 months ago I began a part-time (6 hours or less per week), at-home job as a breastfeeding peer counselor for the WIC program.  With this job, I basically build relationships with women in the community and help them get a good start in breastfeeding.  Many days when Chris comes home from work I say, "I just love BOTH my jobs!"

Here are my favorite things about my job:

1. As I continue to learn about pregnancy and breastfeeding, I am constantly amazed at how truly incredible a woman's body is.  Women, have you ever stopped to think about this??  I can't believe all of the changes my body has undergone within the last 2 years! I have a much deeper appreciation for how God created my body, that I want to honor and take care of it more.  I love that a woman's body is beautiful, life-giving, and accommodating to the many changes it goes through..  I am so glad I'm a woman!

2. I love connecting with other moms, especially since it's harder to socialize with other adults after having kids. When you become a mom, you instantly are able to connect with any other mom, regardless of class, race, language, religion, etc.

3. I love holistically helping women and children and making a difference in their lives.

The hardest thing about my job:

The actions of many hospitals (not all) and OBs can make it very difficult for women to breastfeed.   It makes me feel sad because breastfeeding is probably one of the healthiest things for a woman and baby to do, yet  I've discovered that many medical professionals don't make it a priority to be educated about breastfeeding or committed to helping women get started.  Almost weekly, I hear from my clients of truly wrong advice or actions given/done by medical professionals which has prevented women from breastfeeding at all, or made it extremely difficult to get a good start. To be a well-informed patient is to be in charge of you and your children's health.

I hope to include more posts about breastfeeding in the future to help you (men and women) to be more informed and excited about breastfeeding!