Monday, October 15, 2012

Baby Post- Week 27

Well, Jude, you are the size of a rutabaga.  According the, that is.  These fruit and veggie comparisons seem pretty arbitrary to me...last week you were the size of a head of iceberg lettuce!  Oh well.  I think what they're trying to say is that you should be between 1.5 and 2.5 pounds right now :}

I can pretty much guarantee that you'll be much cuter than a rutabaga.
So, we're getting down to the last few days before we make the big move.  We're nowhere near ready, but we've made some headway on getting our stuff packed and things ready to go.  Last week we had a yard sale and did pretty well.  We still had a ton left over that I think we'll just donate to the thrift shop.  One thing about moving a lot is that it cuts down on the amount of stuff that accumulates...although we still have plenty! 
It will be a little sad to leave this house.  Not only is it a really nice house, it's the place that your dad and I have lived in the longest!  We've been here almost 17 months.  We were at our townhouse at Ft. Benning for 6 months, then in our apartment in El Paso for 6 months, so we feel like we've been at this house forever!  I think we're ready to move on though, and start our next phase of Army life: deployment.  It had to come sooner or later :{  We've been really lucky so far, I guess.  Since we've been married, Dad has been home for every major event and holiday, which is very unusual, but it has been nice.  I won't list everything he'll miss after he leaves, but it's a good bit.  And, of course, the thing I'm most upset about him missing is your birth.  He won't get to meet you until you're around nine months old, and Cameron will be almost two years old when he gets back.  I try not to think about it too much because it makes me both sad and angry, but we knew this was going to happen and were willing to accept it.  The deployment is temporary, but our family is forever...I'm already looking forward to our reunion next year.  But I'm trying to focus on all the fun we will have at grandma and grandaddy's house.  I've already started planning things for you, me, and Cam to do together, like go to the library once a week, go walk around the park and play on the playground, maybe visit Starbucks a time or two (that's more for Mommy ;} )...we will get through this and be stronger when it's over.
Whew...I hadn't planned on this post getting so heavy :/   I meant to give a quick update about you, mention the progress we're making on packing, say that I'm getting my glucose test tomorrow (hopefully I won't have gestational diabetes), and talk about a visit from my friend Marie and her family!  One of my best friends came to visit us this past weekend!  I haven't seen her since she was in our wedding, two and a half years ago!  We met almost nine years ago at Young Harris College when we got assigned as roommates and have been friends ever since.  This was our dorm:
Oh man...good times and bad.  But mostly good :}  It was a little surreal watching our kids play together this weekend.  Who would have thought on our trip to Walmart our first night together in 2004 when we picked out those god-awful room decorations, that in 2012 we would be sitting half way across the country, both expecting our second child, talking about being moms and Army wives!?  Crazy.  I'm so glad she and her family got to visit us before we left.  And I hope it's not two and a half more years before I see her again!
Anyway, that's all for now I guess...happy 27 weeks!

Monday, October 8, 2012

The Cloth Diaper Chronicles: The Journey Begins

Well, we're entering day 5 of our cloth diaper adventure.  We're not "full time" yet, but the plan is to get there eventually.  I wanted to start recording my experiences and opinions of the different cloth diaper brands and styles mostly for myself to keep track of the ones I like and don't like, and also as a reference for some of my friends who are also considering using cloth.  So here is my experience so far :}

I'm not sure what got me interested in cloth diapers...I thought about it several months ago when Cam was still pretty small, but I watched some videos while I was researching (I pretty much can't do anything without thoroughly doing my "homework," as my dad says :} ), and, eww.  No thanks.  However, recently, more and more of my friends have started cloth diapering, and they love it!  I've never heard of anyone who has regretted using cloth diapers.  And, since my stomach is somewhat stronger now, I decided to look into it again.  The general consensus is that cloth diapers are a cheaper and more eco-friendly way to diaper your kids.  I read that families save about $1,000 on diapers if they use cloth for one child, and even more if they continue using the same diapers for subsequent children.  Nice.  I also read that a family goes through an average of 60 diapers a week per child until they are potty trained.  Now, I'm not great at math as we all know...but I think that means you would use 6,240 diapers, assuming your child is potty trained by age 2 (most take longer!).  That's a lot of garbage!  Literally!  And apparently it takes between 100-500 years for non-biodegradable diapers to decompose.  I watched Captain Planet.  I know that's not good for the environment.  We gotta bring pollution down to zero, people!  Ok, that's a little dramatic...but, all that info got me to at least consider giving cloth a chance.  And so it began.

Holy AIOs and diaper sprayers, there's a lot of info out there!!  It is incredibly overwhelming to try to figure this stuff out.  I tried to educate myself on every single brand and style and try to determine the best option, which is impossible, and finally decided to take the plunge and just buy some darn diapers.  You gotta start somewhere!  The only brand I could find that is easily accessible to buy at a physical store as opposed to online was gDiapers at Babies R Us.  They look like this:

Pretty cute, right?  They have Velcro closures that fasten in the back so that babies have a harder time figuring out how to unfasten them.  These are considered to be all-in-two diapers or AI2s.  This particular AI2 has a thin cloth outer shell (as pictured), with a plastic liner that snaps in so it's removable.  You can either use cloth inserts or biodegradable disposable inserts with the gDiapers.  When you change the baby, just take out whichever insert you decided to use, and either throw the disposable away (or flush or compost it) or put the cloth in the laundry bag.  If it's a big mess, simply unsnap the plastic liner and replace with a fresh one.  The idea is that the mess is contained in the plastic so the cloth outer shell doesn't get dirty and can be used for several changes in a row.  That's the idea.  Well, it did pretty well at containing the big messes (if you know what I mean), but I found that since there is nothing in the plastic liner to anchor the insert and keep it in place, it just bunches up as the baby moves around and basically doesn't do its job of absorbing messes of the more liquid persuasion :/  We had several big leaks, and I've decided that the gDiapers are not for us.  Now, there are different brands of the AI2s, of course, some of which you can snap the cloth inserts in place so they hopefully wouldn't move around and bunch as I'm not going to give up on the AI2s just yet, we just haven't purchased any more.  One thing I did actually like about these was that they were very trim and didn't add a lot of bulk to Cam's bottom.

My friend let me use some of her FuzziBunz brand diapers so I could see how we liked them.  Here's what they look like:

These are pocket diapers.  That means that you stuff cloth inserts into the outer shell.  (there is no disposable option).  When you change the diaper, you have to put on a whole new one...there is no reusing these multiple times.  You will have more laundry, but these also seem to be more effective and less "fussy," shall we say.  If you have your shell stuffed with inserts and ready to go, it takes exactly the same amount of effort as a disposable diaper.  I like that.  No dealing with a plastic liner, no bunching issues.  The ones I tried had a snap closure (as pictured), which will take some getting used to, but I think this brand also has the Velcro option.  They are bulkier, but I don't really have anything bad to say about this brand.  However, we didn't try them overnight.

Speaking of, last night was the first time we tried to cloth diaper overnight. 

5:30pm- put on a BumWear brand pocket diaper that I just purchased used from a military wife.  It looks like this (same super cute dinosaur pattern any everything!):
A $27 diaper, by the way.  No, I didn't pay that was included in an assortment of brands she was selling.  Anyway, I stuffed it with two gDiaper cloth inserts.  Good to go.  Ha...haha.
1:00am- Cam wakes up.  Nothing unusual about that (unfortunately).  I go to check on him.  Well, shoot.  The two cloth inserts: soaked.  The BumWear diaper shell: soaked.  His pajama pants: soaked.  His sheets: luckily, just damp.  Umm,  I just put a Huggies Overnite diaper on him after that.  We might just be daytime cloth users for this  guy :/ 
So these three brands are the only ones I've tried so far.  I'm looking forward to trying the rest of the brands I got yesterday.  *sigh*  Trial and error...and a lot of patience.  We'll see how it goes!  It'll be worth it, right?

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Try It Tuesday

So, for this Try It Tuesday I decided to try out a Green Chile and Rice Casserole recipe I found on Pinterest for dinner. 

Here are the ingredients:

Long grain and wild rice, chopped green chiles, cheddar cheese, and sour cream (I used reduced fat)
First, you cook the rice according to the package directions.  Super simple.
Then, you mix the chiles with 8oz. sour cream (I used half of this 16oz. container).  Again, super simple :}

Pretty sure even a visual learner like me could figure that out without a picture Ha!
Next, you take half of your cooked rice and put it in a greased baking dish, then layer half your sour cream mixture, then half your cheese.  Repeat.  Note: the recipe calls for 16oz. of cheese, but I used about 8oz. and I think that was plenty!
Bake at 325 for about 20 minutes.
And there you have it!  Cheesy, ricey, green chile goodness!

Now, it tasted really good the way I did it this time; however, there are a couple things I would do differently next time...I would use the whole 16oz. container of sour cream.  The picture on the recipe I used looked really creamy, but this wasn't creamy at all (that might have something to do with the reduced fat version of sour cream, but I still think it just needed more...I might even mix in some softened cream cheese actually).  I would also use a smaller baking dish.  I had to spread everything really thin.  I think adding some chicken to make it more of a meal than a side would be good.  Other than that, I think it was a hit!  Happy Tuesday!
Here is the recipe I used:
1 (6 ounce) package dry instant long grain and wild rice mix
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Lightly grease a medium baking dish.
  2. Prepare the instant long grain and wild rice mix according to package directions.
  3. Spread 1/2 the cooked rice mix over the bottom of the prepared baking dish. In a bowl, mix the sour cream and green chiles. Spread 1/2 the sour cream mixture over rice, and top with 1/2 the cheese. Repeat the layers.
  4. Bake 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until bubbly.

I found it here.