27 January 2014

Random Assortment of Kid-Thoughts

Just a quick opening note: Sheep & Co's giant end-of-season sale is going on through Friday. Handmade kids hats for $6 and most adult hats around $8.

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I'm still working on my memoirs. After doing extensive work myself, then having Matt review it, I sent it off to a handful of friends/colleagues to do some peer-like reviewing. I've got people with a bit of editing experience, I've got people who fit my "target reader" description, I've got people with academic experience, I've got people with law school wife experience, I've got moms and people without children, I've got religious and non-religious types. I've even got two nurses and one male reader. I asked everyone to get their thoughts to me by mid-February so I have time to edit before Baby #2 makes an appearance. In the meantime, I've got some research to do about what the publication process takes.

-Make Matt read through it all and discuss changes.
-Find a few friends to read through it and share their perspectives.
-More editing
-Research how publishing works
-Either find an agent, start submitting, or both

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It has been cold here. How cold? The other day the sun was shining down beautifully and I thought, Maybe Abigail and I can just take one quick walk around the complex - we're going crazy with cabin fever over here - so I hopped online during the hottest part of the day to check the temps: -5 with windchill. It's so cold I don't even take the trash out - I wait until Matt gets home then either he or I take it out so Abigail doesn't have to face the cold. Our heating bill has been pretty high lately, so I keep the thermostat pretty low. Our super old, junky apartment-issue thermostat is unable to give me an accurate temperature, so I usually just turn it as low as we can stand. We all layer up and bury ourselves under blankets (my absolute favorite thing to crochet). It is so cold around here that I walked in my room the other day to discover this:

You know hell has frozen over when the cats cuddle together. Because we never stay anywhere for long, I try very hard not to think, "I can't wait till this is over!" So I'm trying really hard not to wish it was spring. These are my last few months with Abigail as my only child; this is my last month in the "blissful" second trimester; this could be my last winter without Abigail away at school during the day. And I'm sure there will come a day when I miss being kicked in the colon by one-inch long feet. (Seriously, the colon. Everyday.) I'm trying to enjoy the "right now" even if it's difficult through the cabin fever and the terrible twos. 

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Abigail has suddenly made this impressive advancement in development that I can't really put into words. I'm not exactly sure what it is, but she moves easily into a pretty little sidesit by herself now, she tall kneels to play, she walks over blanket piles on the floor, she calls, "Mamamamama" to get my attention, she'll come find me and sign "help" if she thinks the kitties need something, and she thinks about crying when she gets hurt now (she use to never care if she smoked herself against the coffee table, fell and scraped her hands, or the cat scratched her). She will also bring me her mangadoodle and sign "fish," "mouse" or say "butterfly" for me to draw without prompting. It's really exciting to see her sudden spurt of advancements as I was starting to feel really depressed about her seriously abbreviated therapy schedule in Michigan. She gets 50% of the services we got in Chicago and the very day she turns three, all at-home services stop. They honestly want to transition her to public schools for the three weeks between her 3rd birthday and school letting out for the summer. Then she won't receive any services until school starts back up in the fall. Transitioning her to school in May is not an option for us, primarily because my due date is two days after her birthday. The therapists are basically running with the theory that she's so advanced for a kid with Ds that not working over the summer won't set her back. I'm basically running with the theory that I'm not going to stop caring about my kid because she's "good enough." 

Time to add "look into private therapy for the summer" to my to-do list before this baby is born. When we picked out our insurance plan when Matt started his new job, we were sure to get one with generous therapy coverage.

A tall kneel playing session.

Abigail's new random developments are accompanied by a total terrible twos explosion. Everything is a power struggle. How on earth does, "I'm going to stick my fingers in my poopy diaper" or "I'm going to rip your glasses off your face and chuck them across the room" become a power struggle? Telling this kid "no" is like giving a motivational speech to a losing team at halftime. Smacking her hand or spanking her is worthless because she doesn't seem to feel pain. So I'm left with distraction. Hands in the poopy diaper? Tell her "no," then as fast as humanly possible, break into a hearty rendition of "The Wheels on the Bus" or something with hand motions to keep her busy while I finish the diaper change. And for when I'm not in a position to distract her, I keep a stash of "special toys" on the top shelf to give her when I need to take a shower or make dinner to keep her from wandering into trouble. They're exhausting, these here toddlers.

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I'm giving cloth diapers a test-run. I hit up a Mom 2 Mom sale on Saturday and snagged two different types of cloth diapers for $23. They are both BumGenius brand (she was actually the only seller of used cloth diapers in the building and it was a fairly large sale), and I kept their tags so I could keep track of what I liked and didn't like.

I tested one diaper overnight (just wet) and one diaper during the day during prime #2 time. I didn't want to try cloth when Abigail was born, but I'm really interested in transitioning her and starting this baby with cloth because:
#1. Disposable diapers are expensive (and Abigail isn't even close to being ready for potty training).
#2. Cloth diapers are known to reduce diaper rash and Abigail can go from totally fine to bleeding in 1-2 diapers. Poor kid has uber-sensitive skin. As both Matt and I have sensitive skin, I figure this might become a family-wide problem for us. 
While researching cloth, I discovered that:
#3. Cloth diapers reduce blowouts. Abigail is big into the blowout scene.

My two big concerns about cloth diapers are:
#1. Poop is gross. I feel like I should be over this by now since I'm a mom and all, but I'm not. I'm good with blood and guts, but poop is gross.
#2. Cloth diaper have a large up-front cost and I'm worried that we'll sink a few hundred dollars into a cloth stash and two or three months in, I'll hate it and feel all overwhelmed and want to quit.

I have many, many friends who all do cloth diapering and I've been in close contact with them as I gave BumGenius a test-run. Plus I found this ridiculously helpful blogpost that I've been relying on heavily. The diapers are in the wash now (having been through one rinse cycle) and they look just as clean as when I bought them. Initial impressions:
#1. While everything feels super daunting right now, I can see how this would easily become a routine and the various steps second nature.
#2. It's best to send them through a rinse cycle and a wash cycle, but washers are way faster than driers and water is included in our rent (hehehe). Everyone extolls the power of the sun to bleach stains and my south-facing apartment gets gobs of sun. While there's no place for me to line-dry the diapers, I could definitely send them through a gentle dry cycle and lay them out in front of a window to experience the bleaching benefits, even in an apartment.
#3. Cloth diapers are way cuter than disposable.

Matt said that he'll support me doing whatever I want (although he is a bit concerned about the gross poop thing too), since I'm the one who does most of the diaper changes and all the laundry. I'm going to give these bad boys another week or so to get a good sense of the process. I'll keep you updated.

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Oh, what was that? Where did I get that snazzy changing table, you ask? Well, let me tell you, I got it for free.

My sister-in-law's children are all out of diapers and she had two changing tables she wanted out of her barn. The table came with a changing pad, a few pad covers, and some crib bedding she had lying around.

Our Pack n' Play has a newborn changer attachment that we were planning to use - Abigail didn't outgrow it until my c-section incision healed enough to change her on the floor - but it's getting more difficult as I get bigger now. I was just going to muddle through it, but when she offered me the table, I couldn't say no. I typically try to avoid accumulating furniture as much as possible since we move a lot and have a small apartment, but the benefits of this little number outweighed everything else.

Our once cavernous bathroom is officially maxed out now, but it doesn't feel too crowded when you're standing inside. We will need to get one of those over-the-door towel racks before Baby #2 arrives, but I'm confident that I can squeeze one of those into the budget.

I also may be getting a second crib and mattress for free from a friend-of-a-friend. If we do, I won't have to transition Abigail to a toddler bed just yet. I'm waiting to see what happens before I start the process of getting Abigail's room ready for two girls. I think I may have mentioned this in a previous post, but sometime in these doldrums of late winter, I hope to tackle the (probably) week-long project of rummaging through all the baby stuff stored in my parents' basement, organizing Abigail's closet, and getting things ready for the new baby.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I used cloth with my first born, and it's way less gross poopwise when they're not yet eating solid foods. If you start with a newborn, the diaper load that needs to be washed AND the gross poop factor increase in small increments, so it's not immediately overwhelming.

Since we shared washer and dryer with our first, I also made a commitment, at some point, to do half cloth and half disposable throughout the course of a day, which kept it from becoming overwhelming.

Lastly, I always marvel when people talk about how expensive kids are because honestly, we're given stuff all the time, from toddler beds to toys and clothes. I don't think I've bought any articles of clothing for my three boys in over a year. Obviously, hand me downs play a role here too. But living within a kid-friendly, big family community is definitely a plus for ALL the mamas! TB