Friday, April 30, 2010

KFC Double Down: Outrageous?

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that the much talked about Double Down is not outrageous. At least not relatively speaking. Consisting of bacon and cheese slapped between two deep fried chicken fillets this is clearly not a healthy food option. But what I find MUCH more outrageous is what is worse for you than this deep fried, cheese, and bacon laden delight.

The Double Down weighs in as follows:

540 Calories
32g Fat

The following are worse food choices:

Quiznos Roasted Chicken Flatbread Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing

111o Calories
74g Fat

Wendy's Southwest Taco Salad

640 Calories
36g Fat

Starbuck's Venti White Chocolate Mocha

630 Calories
29g Fat

Costco Blueberry Muffin

610 Calories
32g Fat

(Here's the one that hurts for me!)

Chipotle Chicken Burrito

970 Calories
38g Fat

Subway's Footlong Meatball Marinara

1,160 Calories
46g Fat

Bagel with Liberal Cream Cheese

700 Calories
40g Fat

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that any of these choices are good for you because they aren't. What I am trying to point out is no one is outraged by a chicken topped salad or a bagel, yet one bunless chicken sandwich is being touted as death on a plate.

So, while the Double Down takes double the flak, I find hidden calories to be scarier. If I choose to eat a Double Down I'll know it's unhealthy. I know that I'm consuming hundreds of empty calories and grease, but a salad? A muffin? I expect those to be a bit better for me. Sneaky food.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Guess Who's 2 Months Old!

This guy!

And then Jack decided that the photo shoot was over. No more pictures, he says!

Jack is really growing up! You can tell that he has put on some weight from his one month pictures. We visit the ped for his 2-month appointment next week. I'm anxious to see how much he has grown.
He is still a smiley, happy baby and loves when you talk or sing to him. He loves to coo back and is still working on finding his voice - he always looks like he really wants to say something! - and he seems like he's getting really close to laughing.
He's becoming more independent and I'm working on trying to back off and let him have some time by himself. He will sit for periods of time in his bouncy seat entranced by the animals that hang from a bar in front of him, or just watching his feet kick and kick. He also seems to like laying on his play mat and staring up at all the toys hanging above him and kicking his feet. I can't wait til he figures out how to grab them!
I can't believe how much he has changed from the newborn I first met just 2 months ago!
He's pretty regularly taking 5 oz at a feeding every 2.5 to 3 hours during the day, but he still doesn't like to have to stop to burp.
Still not sleeping in his crib and still not a big napper during the day, but he's still doing well overnight, which I think is the most important part!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Cloth Diapers = Success!

We've been using the cloth diapers and surprisingly enough both Mark and I are enjoying it! We have not had any problems with leaks or blowouts and we've had both wet and dirty diapers at this point.

They are not nearly as messy as I was expecting. The diapers are so absorbent that everything is nicely contained. And washing them is really a breeze! We don't have a diaper pail yet so I've just been putting the used diapers in a plastic grocery bag. I've found that this is no different than when we have to use a grocery bag to hold used disposables when we run out of those stupid Diaper Genie liners. Don't even get me started on what a waste of money those things are!

After discussing the process with my friends who are in the know I found that this is the best way for us to wash the diapers:

First, I take the bag of diapers and dump the diapers into the washing machine so I don't even have to touch them!

Then, I send them through a cold rinse without any detergent. This helps to remove any particles and yuckys from the diapers.

After that, I send them through a hot wash with a cold rinse with 1/2 the manufacturers recommended amount of detergent. We are using Purex Free & Clear at the recommendation of my friend.

Then, I dry them on a medium heat.

And that's it! They're ready to re-use!

Here is a great source for which detergents are cloth diaper friendly. It's very important to use the correct kind of detergent as certain ingredients commonly found in some laundry detergents can ruin the cloth diaper by reducing absorbency.

Speaking of diaper laundering, I was discussing cloth diapering with my mother-in-law and she was telling me that back when she had her first child she used flats and a few prefolds and covers because that is what was available. To wash them she used a hand-me-down wringer washer and had to hang everything to dry! I can't believe we complain about laundry nowadays! If she got through her first baby doing all that then certainly I can throw in a load of cloth diapers a few times a week and let the washer and dryer do all the work! It's amazing how far things have come!

So since we are enjoying the cloth diapering I took advantage of Earth Day sales and purchased a few more diapers. We are trying a little bit different style. This time we have opted for the popular one-size bumGenius 3.0s. These are pocket diapers so they go on just like a disposable diaper, but they come apart in to two pieces (the diaper and then an insert that can be pulled out) for ease of washing.

I purchased them for about 33% off the regular price and they should arrive tomorrow. I'm pretty excited!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

In Honor of Earth Day

Let's discuss cloth diapers.

Today's post is brought to you by the Moby. All writing was done with Jack sleeping snuggly on my chest : )

When I was pregnant some girlfriends and I discussed cloth diapering. They were also expecting and had plans to cloth diaper their babies. I however, was a bit hesitant. The idea of cloth diapering intrigued me. I love the benefits - saving money, better for the environment, better for baby - but the whole washing diapers thing? Ick.

With Jack's impending arrival I decided that we would go with disposables because I figured it would be enough on our plate to adjust to a new member of the household and all that entails. I didn't want to throw yet another thing into the mix.

Well, now that Jack is 7 weeks old I feel that we are really starting to get a handle on things and have more of a routine down. I started looking into cloth diapering. After discussing with Mark and really pushing the economical benefits (because hey, he's the Nature Grinch. He's not into saving the Earth) we decided we would lay out a little bit of money to try it out and see how we like it.

It's amazing how far cloth diapering has come. Generations ago people cloth diapered because that's all that was available or because that's all they could afford. Nowadays cloth diapering is coming back into vogue. And let me tell you, it is possible to save money by cloth diapering, but it is also very easy to spend way more diapering your babe with this method. Costs can range from a few dollars if you are using a prefold and cover method to $30+ per diaper if you want higher end organic options!

And there are a TON of options out there.

Of course there are traditional cloth diapers - A flat piece of cloth which must be folded to layer and then wrapped around baby's bottom. A water resistant cover must be used over top to prevent leakage.

Prefolds - Essentially a traditional cloth diaper which is already layered up into a nice square so that it's all ready to be wrapped around your baby's bottom. Also must be worn with a cover.

Fitteds - An absorbent cloth diaper that goes on similar to a disposable, which must also be used with a cover.

Pocket and Sleeve dipes - Similar in style to disposables (some brands utilize snaps, others have velcro tabs for closure) but with a removable absorbant layer that is stuffed in the diaper itself and then removed for ease of washing and drying.

They even have All-in-One diapers - As the name indicates, these are one piece just like a disposable diaper, but can be washed and reused.

There are benefits and drawbacks of each option.

Even more importantly these diapers now come in "one size" meaning that they will grow with your baby via a snap system. In my opinion, the "one size" is the best way to save money because you only need to purchase one set of diapers vs. sized diapers that will only fit your little one for a certain length of time and then must be switched out.

See where the research comes in? There are SO many options out there it's hard to know what you want!

After hours of research we decided that our first foray into cloth diapering would be the Flip system manufactured by Cotton Babies.

This is what they call a hybrid diaper because it's a two part system - liner and cover - that can use reusable cloth liners, or disposable liners which can be utilized while you're on the go. What appealed to me is they are cheaper than some of the other options out there, but are a step up from the simple prefold and cover option (which is most like traditional cloth diapering that we think of from generations past).

And so we have entered into the world of cloth diapering. I must say I'm extremely excited. I can see how people become obsessed. Ever since we decided to try out cloth diapering I've been researching and researching trying to figure out if we will continue with this system or try a different style/brand. I've been reading reviews and comparing prices and really just lusting after all the different options.

The only thing I'm still wary of is the extra laundry. I hope I can keep up with it. Also pee is one thing, but I'm not so sure how I'll feel about scraping newborn poo off of a diaper that I then have to wash. I feel that if we try it and like it then great! If we don't like it then at least we tried and I got it out of my system.

I'll keep you updated!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Loving the Moby!

We got a Moby Wrap a few weeks ago and both Jack and I LOVE it!

For those who don't know it's a baby carrier, but it's unique in that it's 100% cotton cloth that you wrap around you and the baby. It can be used for multiple holds and is so verstile. Something that I really love is that I can get Jack nice and tucked in and supported if he wants to sleep while I'm wearing him. This carrier is great for babies from newborns - 35 pounds.

Here we are trying it out for the first time.

This is Jack looking on curiously as I attempt to wrap the fabric around myself properly. Clearly he is saying, "What are we going to do with THAT thing?".

Okay, all wrapped up and settled in. It's really not hard to get on.

And 5-4-3-2-1... sleeping babe! This is usually how putting Jack in the Moby ends up. It's comforting to both of us to have him so close.

I would totally recommend this to any mom. It's comfy, easy to wear, and any mom knows that having the use of both hands at the same time is priceless!

Also, if you are willing to put forth a bit of effort they are easy to DIY. Here is a link to some helpful instructions.

Now, for some developmental updates!

Jack is really beginning to take notice of things hanging over his head like the toys on his bouncy seat, the ceiling fan, the toys on his play gym, and even the monkey that we have hanging over his changing table! He is also starting to completely turn his head to follow you with his eyes if you are moving across the room.

He loves when you talk and sing to him and he's starting to try to talk and coo. I also think he really wants to laugh, but just isn't there yet! He's definitely working on finding his voice and it's the cutest thing. As always, Jack is still a super smiley baby who can't help but light up at a familiar face or voice.

He is really starting to notice his own hands and feet. I love to watch him as he sits in his bouncy seat watching as his legs kick, kick, KICK! This keeps him entertained for a period of time. He's also starting to put his hand in his mouth. The last couple of days I've heard him wake up sucking on his hand. He does this a lot when he's hungry and always has, but he seems to now be actually putting his hand in his mouth vs. it just ending up there as he's moving his head around looking for something to suck on.

Last week I started trying to put him down in his crib for naps. Currently, he's sleeping at night in a swing in our room because that's what has worked well for us since he was about 2 or 3 weeks old. We are planning to co-sleep like this as long as it works for all of us and I really enjoy having him close at night. At the same time, I want to transition him to his crib when the time is right. This is why we have started to feel it out. I have faith that Jack will let us know when the time is right for him to make the move.

Naps in the crib are not working out very well. Jack is a champion sleeper at night, but he doesn't like to nap at all. For this reason, naps in the crib aren't working out because he usually just cat naps during the day anyway. He'll fall asleep on my lap or in his bouncy seat for 15 or 20 minutes a few times during the afternoon. It seems that he won't sleep any longer in his crib, but I hope by putting him there it's at least giving him a chance to get comfortable with his bed. We put a lot of planning and effort into his nursery and I really want him to like it and feel comfortable there!

This weekend on Friday and Saturday nights we attempted putting him to sleep in his crib. He usually finishes up his last bottle somewhere between 9.30 and 10.30pm and then is out until 3 to 4am, wakes up for a bottle and diaper change, and then is back to sleep until anywhere from 7.30-9.30am. Well, he wouldn't sleep for any length of time in his crib. He just woke right back up and needed to be soothed back to sleep so we felt that it wasn't the right time to make the transition.

Jack is back to sleeping in his swing for now, but I plan to keep putting him in the crib during the week for naps to help him get assimilated. We'll probably try to put him in his own bed for the night again this weekend just to see how it goes.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Motherhood is SO much better than pregnancy!

When I was pregnant and would tell people how much I was looking forward to the end of my pregnancy I would get a polite chuckle and then some response about how much easier pregnancy is than motherhood and how I would be looking back fondly on the days when I had an "inside baby".

Pregnancy. Easier? Yes. Do I have fond, sepia colored memories of it now that I have an outside baby? Hell-to-the-naw.

There were definitely some things that were easier. Namely, I only had to take care of myself which was hard enough.

However, at the same time I spent the last 8 weeks of pregnancy in constant pain and discomfort. I had ZERO energy. I couldn't sleep. And a whole other list of maladies.

Now that the baby is here I have my body back to myself and I'm starting to feel like the old me. Towards the end of my pregnancy I was scared that I would always feel like I did. Six weeks post-partum and my body is finally bouncing back! I have energy again! And range of motion! Heck, I can put my own socks and shoes on without any problems!

Aside from all of that I love my new little partner in crime! I love that I feel our bond growing on a daily basis. I'm thankful that I have the opportunity to devote my life to caring for my child. I feel like he's changing every day and I cherish every smile, every time he cries for me to pick him up, and every little kick of his feet. I love that I'm really beginning to understand his cues and that he relies on me for his every need. I still feel like we're getting to know each other and Lord knows he's a lot to keep up with, but it's so gratifying! My life feels so much more complete now.

Motherhood. Easy? Not a chance. Fulfilling? Joyful? Amazing? Totally.

And I wouldn't trade my life for anything. Not even a daily shower, the chance to brush my teeth before 2pm, get dressed in the morning, or eat regular meals : )

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Officially Initiated

To Motherhood of course.

Let me set the scene for you...

Jack and I are sitting on the couch. I'm sitting cross legged, with him on my lap, while I'm browsing the interwebz one handed.

Suddenly, I realize that a dirty diaper is imminent and begin mentally preparing myself for the stinky onslaught coming my way.

And then I felt it. IT. On my leg!

Yeah, apparently the way I was holding him somehow managed to create a gap in the leg of his onesie and diaper so when the explosion happened a good bit of it leaked right out the side! POOP ON MY BARE SKIN! Blech.

Thankfully our housekeeper sucks - we have to fire her for a new one soon : ) - and there were napkins sitting out on our coffee table right next to me. So I was able to clean myself up enough so that I could get up and drop the babe off in his room on the changing table while I wiped myself off with some wipes. They work for the poo on his booty so I figured they were the best thing for my leg as well.

As soon as I finished cleaning myself up and turned my attention to Jack, who actually wasn't as messy, he looked up at me with a huge smile which said, "Momma! I pooped!". Yeah Sweetie, I know. Half of it was on my leg!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

LOVING the warm weather!

I've always been a warm weather person and I'm SO happy now that temps are going up! I'm excited about warm weather for the following reasons:

1. SUN!!!

2. Grilling. Well, I don't do the grilling, that's for the hubs, but I gratefully do the eating!

3. Taking the babe on walks.

4. It's getting green outside again and the icky bare trees are getting leaves!

5. Having the windows open so fresh air gets in the house.

6. Not having to wear a coat and various other cold weather accessories.

7. The smell of fresh cut grass and charcoal.

8. Fresh fruit and veggie season!

9. Onesies. Because how cute are Jack's little bird legs and monkey toes?! I could look at them all day!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

I have a virus

Well, *I* don't have a virus, but my computer does and it's a doozy. Grrr! I'm so angry and frustrated! I don't even know where I got it and it's nasty. It has taken over my computer. This isn't a virus like syphilis where you are ashamed and embarrassed and you go to the clinic for a shot which takes care of the issue this is like the AIDS of computers! It has completely killed my entire system and I don't even know where it came from.

None of my virus scans will catch the problem and all of the manual removal guides I have been able to find aren't taking care of the problem either. I seriously just want to bang my head on my keyboard. I'm SO frustrated! AND what I can't for the life of me understand is WHY the same scans that I'm using that won't catch the virus are apparently working just fine on other people's systems. GAH!

Anyway, let's end on a happy note shall we? Our little Jackers is already a month old! He had to go earlier in the week for his 1 month check up at the peditrician's. He now weighs 8 pounds, 10 ounces - up 8 ounces from his birth weight, and is 21 inches long - an inch longer than birth.

Here are some pics commemorating this event:

And here is Jack meeting his new cousin Lauren for the first time. He is older by a week which is not very apparent : )

Mark says that they have a lot in common like the fact that their lives revolve around eating, sleeping, and pooing.