Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Hemp Oh Yes!

 Happy Heiny's hemp one-size makes me want to dance. Little Man is now sleeping through night (except for a couple dream-feeds) and since he's outgrown TWENTY of his diapers as well, it was a good excuse to try out new diapers. After hearing that Stephanie, the owner of the local cloth diaper and baby/toddler store- Angel Britches, loves her Happy Heiny's I decided they'd be my first try. And I'd recently discovered that two of Little Man's size small diapers where actually hemp (that's a whole other post on my cluelessness). So a Happy Heiny's hemp, with the hemp stuffins (their unique insert system which I like) and a (Happy Heiny's) So Simple cover where what I excitedly brought home this weekend. They and a few other items (changing mat, wet bag, wipes) are actually early Christmas presents from my mom (yes, I love cloth so much I ask for it as presents!). I'd originally wanted Thirsties covers but Stephanie doesn't stock them yet and I'd rather give business to her than order stuff online. Plus buying them from her also gives me an excuse to hang out in her store and even have some actual in person conversations. There are days I'm tempted to just go hang out there even when I don't have any money to spend. LOL.

Seriously, I was so impatient to try them I put them on Little Man as soon as we got home just to check out the fit. The diaper itself is so soft, with four rise settings and none of the buttons inside to leave marks on my chubby guy like the Fuzzibunz one-size I have do. So then I washed them. And washed them. And washed them. And then waited for them to finally dry. Hemp does take a while, so I won't be putting off washing it till the last minute. They dried in time for me to put Little Man in them late the next night, perfect timing for his long sleep stretch. He actually fooled me a little bit and stayed awake two hours after I thought he would but I kept him in the HH's to see how they held up. He slept for a glorious eight hours, only waking enough to latch back on a couple times I don't really remember. So in all he wore it for a solid ten hours. We woke up dry, no leaks soaking my shirt or his outfit. In fact, even the fleece of the leg and waist bands on the So Simple cover was completely dry. When I took off the diaper itself, it was SOAKED. I swear it weighed five pounds. But Little Man's skin felt dry and clean.

I wanted to dance around the room but Little Man has learned to roll over and I'm paranoid about even stepping slightly away even when he's wearing the "seatbelt" strap. I have found our night-time diaper system!!!!! I can't wait to get a few more of these so he can be wearing them every night.

EDIT: Forgot to mention that the So Simple covers are sized. The small ends and the medium begins at 15lbs. I'm not sure what Little Man weighs right now, but it's around 15lbs. So I got a medium. As roomy as the medium is on him, I'm sure the small would have still fit too. Even being roomy, it's sleek and fits under his clothes smoothly.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Christmas Musings


    Thanksgiving is still a week away but Christmas season is quickly coming. I'm planning cards, photo shoots and contemplating Little Man's 1st Christmas and Ember's 2nd. And that has me musing on the darker side of the joyful season- waste, greed and losing sight of what truly matters. Considering this, I asked myself- What Do I Want Christmas To Be For Little Man? The answer that immediately came to me is FUN. I want it to be a fun holiday. Not just the two days of it but a whole month of fun. Baking cookies, walking around to look at lights, doing crafts.... Obviously Little Man won't be doing too much celebrating this year at not quite four months old when it rolls around, but we want to start our own family traditions off well.

Obviously, you can't just avoid the Santa myth/lie in America. So really it comes to deciding how to present it. The legend of Santa is fine to me. It's a fun story. But we won't be presenting it to Little Man as anything but a fun story. We don't want to lie to him after all, so why would we lie to him repeatedly for years? So we'll do the traditional annual Santa picture... with him being told it's just dress-up to be fun. Maybe we'll bring him to two different malls the same day to help him understand it's just men dressing up. And we'll read him stories about Christmas, in the same way we'll read plenty of children's fiction to him. We'll tell him the legend of St. Nicholas. We'll tell him how people can "play the Santa game" when giving presents. And we will encourage him to be empathic and not crush other kid's belief. But we won't lie to him about it, ever.

What about presents? Kids need toys and stuff and since they need age-appropriate toys at that, Christmas and their birthday makes convenient times to "upgrade" as they grow. But we don't want the focus of Christmas (or birthdays) to be on presents. Like I said before, we want it to be on fun and family. I would rather us upgrade gradually over the year, giving surprises "for no reason" every now and then. Young kids are often over-whelmed by a ton of new toys at one time anyway. It's not that we don't want to give him any presents at Christmas, just not an overload of them. So we'll still give him just as much, but spread out. I don't think that detracts from the fun of Christmas, rather it just ensures nice surprises often throughout the year.
Having too many decorations that are only used for a month out of the year seems wasteful. And space-consuming. And quick possibly, toxic. So we'll have meaningful decorations that aren't toxin-soaked and try to keep from going over the top with the sheer amount. Less can be more when more thought goes into it. And wrapping paper? Loads of paper used for a few days and then tossed. Ugh, that's some consumption there. I think the traditional stocking, and the Aussie tradition of Santa sacks is a better option.

Family is one of the aspects of the Christmas season we want to focus on. And not just our nuclear family but our large extended family. We are closely surrounded by a nice chunk of my family, though DH's is out of state. Now none of my family is crunchy or green. My mom and grandmother humor me decently so far, though they do not buy in at all. I can only hope reaching understanding when it comes to our idea of Christmas for Little Man goes as smoothly as possible. Because obviously they'll be a big part of the season for him and us and we want it that way. As long as it doesn't seem to interfere with the spirit of focusing on fun and family and they take in consideration our decision to limit toxins and electronic toys, we don't want to limit what others give him out of love. Maybe we can have particular sacks for presents from each of his main relatives like Nana and Nonnie to include them in this eco-friendly option.

Simplicity and moderation are our choice for the Christmas season. I can't wait to finally celebrate with a baby of ours here. We'll include Ember in the holidays as well as everyday always, but Little Man puts the joy back in.

Now, what about those Christmas trees? Is having a real Christmas tree a support of local farmers? Or a waste of a tree? And what are the fake trees made of anyway? How many toxins would be brought into your home by one of those?

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Just Another Rambling Mommy

Just Another Rambling Mama here.

I highly suspect only my really nice friends will read this, at first and then it will just be me. Talking to myself. Online. In my own little internet corner. Yup. But... I kinda like talking to myself in corners I guess. Posting to my other blog has sometimes been my last-ditch attempt at sanity.  That blog is Ember's Ashes, and is just for my daughter. There, I ramble on about my membership in an unwanted yet loving club- the Baby Loss Mamas.

I am a Baby Loss Mama. My only daughter died during labor at 37 weeks due to a missed membrane infection and cord compression. Que the winces. But I'm not just a BLM. Just like my daughter isn't just a Lost Baby, she's my princess. Always. I'm also a wife, sister, daughter, stepmom and person. I'm not the same person I was before Ember died, or from before Em lived. But I am still a person. We're not contagious. Living a nightmare doesn't mean we'll make your life one.

And now I'm also a Rainbow Mama. Rainbow Babies are the children born after the death of their sibling. They're the beautiful light after a terrible storm. They don't make the devastation of the storm go away. They don't fix things. But they are beautiful in their own right, and they are hope. My Rainbow is ten weeks old now. A beautiful splash of joy in our world. We call him Little Man. When Little Man sleeps, he looks so much like Ember it stops my breath. She was tiny though. At ten weeks old,  he is almost three times as heavy as her and three inches longer. For a few moments when he sleeps, I get a glimpse of what she would have looked like as she grew. It's a blessing. A teary blessing.

And I'm also a breastfeeding, co-sleeping, part-time shampoo-free, cloth diapering, delayed vax', attachment parenting, wanna-be babywearing (sigh) crunchy mama. Lightly toasted, a very pale shade of green but with emerald aspirations. I'm dreaming of a home without tons of toxins and  disposables. <3 And I'm trying to not screw up with Little Man. Easier said than done I'm afraid. Right now it's pretty easy- I give Little Man whatever he wants, as soon I know see he wants it. He doesn't cry often, usually only when we go somewhere or with gas and reflux. He's a happy, sweet chubby Little Man who's frequent smiling and laughing keeps me from totally obsessing about "am I doing it right?". But like I said.... I think this is the easy stage ;) If he could stay this tiny for a couple years, I'd love it.

So here I am, another rambling mommy talking about her attempts at a greener, healthier life and family. Hopefully I'll have something interesting to say ;)

                 Me with Little Man, his 1st trip to the zoo and another attempt at the Moby