Our Days

Our days seem to go by so fast. We’ve been taking Lily Bean out a lot more than we used to, since she’s so good when we go out. We took a walk along Crescent Beach last weekend with her, and enjoyed what appeared to be the last sunny weekend of the year. We’ve taken her to her doctor’s appointments and out to lunch with Gran and to the grocery store and other shops. She’s a hit everywhere she goes. Everyone wants to look at her and marvel over how cute she is. We’re pretty proud parents.

I am amused that whenever a stranger realizes I’m the mother, they have this look of utter surprise and underlying, not-so-subtle disapproval. I really think they think I’m 15 years old or something. And then they get all confused when they see our wedding rings on both of our fingers. They just don’t understand the whole thing, haha. I don’t really care. I don’t offer any extra information (like how old I really am, or that we’re married, or that this was a planned pregnancy, etc.) unless they ask questions. Yet they never do. It’s easier, I guess, for strangers to give out their thoughts on their faces than to actually verbalize these thoughts.

Lily is learning that she can easily grab at her toy rings whenever she wants. She’s also learning that her arms can stretch out to reach things, versus always having them close to her body like they were before. It’s cute, because it looks like she wants to give me a high-5 whenever she stretches out that arm of hers. Her days are filled with lots of playing and lots of smiles and funny expressions. We’ve got a good overall schedule for her, almost by accident. As we both learn more about her, it’s easier to get a schedule going. Dave and I have split shifts, and it has worked very well for the both of us, even giving each of us alonetime by ourselves to play on the computer for several hours while the other two are sleeping.

Lily’s Schedule:

She wakes up at around 6a or 7a, after 7-8 hours of straight sleep.
She goes back to sleep after a quick feeding and a diaper change.
She wakes up again around 9a and proceeds to wake and nap every couple of hours until about 7 or 8p.
From 9p to around 12a, she is her MOST fussiest, and she feeds QUITE a lot during these hours. Anytime between these hours, she goes down for her nightly 7-8 hour sleep.

Lather, rinse, and repeat for the next day. Dave does the sleep shift, which is the hardest since she’s so darn fussy and tired and screaming for no good reason. She’s very cranky when she’s tired. Yeesh. However, the upside to that is that it doesn’t last very long. Only a couple of hours, and then he gets reprieve from it and has his computer alonetime until whenever he gets tired (which can be anywhere between midnight and 4a). I’ve already had gone to sleep at around 9:30p or 10p, so that I can wake up fresh and happy and have had my 8 hours of sleep by the time Lily gets up in the morning. I get her to myself from 6 or 7a until whenever Dave wakes up. And then we both enjoy her for the rest of the day. Usually, Lily is asleep from 7a to about 10a, so I have that time as my alonetime to spend on the computer, do chores, clean up after her, clean her room, do her laundry, vacuum, clean the kitchen, wash the toilets, make breakfast for myself, etc. During this time is when I’m also on the computer the most, checking email, writing email, blogging, printing out photos, framing photos, etc. It’s nice.

It’s been a good schedule. During her waking times during the day, she is SO happy. She’s always smiling and cooing and near-giggling. She’s on the verge of just letting a giant giggle or laugh rip out. She has these cute little happy squeals for us all the time. She loves company, but is learning that she can also have fun with the toy rings or on her tummy by herself. Sometimes I’d take her in my sling and she hangs out with me while I’m going around the house doing odds and ends, and sometimes Dave puts her in his carrier and they dance and sing together. I give her a bath usually before noon. And the rest of the day is just spent playing and enjoying time with her.

My Baby and Me

Sometimes, words aren’t enough to describe it.

First Roll Over

Just a quick note: Lily is officially two months old, or 9 weeks old. She ROLLED OVER for the first time on her own on the flat ground early early this morning at 1:30am!!! :D :D She was as surprised as we were! I was asleep, though, and Dave saw it. Grrr.  He woke me up all excited and I ran out right away, but she was too tired to do it again. Heh.

Hopefully I’ll be able to see more today and get a video or two!

G-Diapers and Such

As you may or may not recall from a previous post, we’ve decided to use g-diapers instead of disposables or cloth diapers. These days, while there is no perfect diapering option that is all convenient, simple, and efficient, there are at least many choices to choose from. Dave and I were seriously considering using cloth diapers so that we don’t contribute to filling up the landfills with thousands of diapers that don’t decompose for at least several hundred years. We both feel it is necessary to do what we can with our offspring(s) because it is our responsibility to do the best. I won’t direct others to not use disposable diapers such as Huggies or Pampers because it isn’t my place to tell others what to do, and demanding anything from anyone usually results in them doing exactly the opposite.

Since we became pregnant last October, Dave and I have been scheming and plotting about how to raise our little Beaner. Since she was literally the size of a bean, I was researching products and diapers and bottles that were both safe to use as well as ecologically friendly. We both swore that we would limit the usage of plastic as much as possible, and completely use glass bottles. While we again couldn’t demand that those who got us gifts only give us organic, ecologically sound gifts such as clothes and non-plastic toys and such, I began to shop on my own during the pregnancy for such things. I found numerous wooden toys that are saved for when Beaner can play with them. Most of the clothes I’ve gotten for her have been organic or used (in order to save on money since she would outgrow many of them in just weeks anyway). I researched on glass bottles to see which were the best and which had the highest recommendations and reviews.

I have to admit, though, that using all these organic, safe products for Lily is a little hard on our purse strings, especially since neither Dave and I are working right now. And they’re generally more hard to find because they don’t get sold readily at our convenient superstores, or they’re harder to use because you have to learn a different method altogether from what’s already known. However, there are a few things that make me feel better.

First, it is Dave’s saying: “We should do things not because they are easy but because they are the right things to do.” If we leave it to convenience, we would never leave the house and we would fill our bodies and our homes with numerous toxins. We made the switch to vegetarianism (I’m back to being a vegetarian now) not because it was simple (we both loved meat) but because it was right for us. It was harder finding local foods that are organic and safe, but we’re eating healthier. I cut back the unnecessary outings for lunch in order to buy more organic, sweatshop-free clothes. It’s harder on us to change our regular lifestyles in order to be a little more aware, but it is worth it because it is the right thing to do.

Second, I remember that “Jon & Kate Plus Eight” do it every. single. day. Those guys have 8 friggin’ kids (two sets of multiples) and Kate somehow manages to give them organic meals all the time. If they can do it with eight kids, we can definitely do it with just one.

Third, it is a thrill when I find something that is more “safe” to use or eat. When we find locally run farmer’s markets or stores or shops that are “green,” we get so excited. It’s almost orgasmic.

Fourth, I realize that the best way to preach is by leading with example. Gone are the days when my blogs are filled with lectures of peace and changes, demanding people to do what I think is best for the planet. Here now are the days that I am only showing people what I’m doing myself and that is the best I can do. We’re not perfect — some toys are still plastic and some of her furniture are plastic as well — but we certainly try our best. Everything that goes on our bodies and on Lily’s body is organic. Every cleaning detergent we use, every shampoo and conditioner and body soap, every dish washing liquid — they’re all organically made and they were all a little more expensive. But it’s worth it when I know we’re not filling our homes with toxins and things that harm our bodies and our environment.

One of the things we didn’t look forward to is learning how to use cloth diapers. While we know there are a lot of options involved and many have used them in the past and been successful, Dave wasn’t sure if it was the right thing for us. He asked me to look up flushable, biodegradable diapers instead. So I did and came upon G-Diapers. So far, it is the ONLY source of diapers that are biodegradable and flushable. I can’t believe that at this time and age, we as a society haven’t yet figured out how to make more flushable brands of diapers that don’t harm the environment.

When Lily Bean was about 6 weeks old, she weighed a little over 8 pounds, which was the weight that G-Diapers could start to be used. I tried it for about a week, and she leaked out of most of them. After watching numerous “How To” videos and even talking to a customer service lady on the phone, I realized that she may still be too small to fit into them, since she’s long and lean in her weight, instead of plump and wide. So I decided to try it again after she’s gained some weight.

Since last Friday, she weighed 9 lbs 10 oz, so this week I decided to give gdiapers another go. I was determined to do away with Huggies and Pampers entirely, if we could help it. They were so hard on her bum, and she often got bum rashes no matter how much organic baby powder and cream I used on her.

So far, it’s touch and go. Most of the time she doesn’t leak, but when she does, she leaks towards the sides and up her back. It must be that either I’m putting it on wrong, or she may still be too small for the diaper. So I went on You Tube and found this video on a mother’s demonstration on how she puts a gdiaper on her baby. I tried it all day yesterday, and it seemed to have worked! No leakage since I used her tips.

I’m hoping that all day today will be just as successful, and then I can move on to trying it for an overnight. If that is successful, I can finally teach Dave how to use it (no sense both of us trying to figure out different ways to do it the first time) and we can finally make the official switch over to flushable gdiapers. I gotta tell ya — this whole experiment makes me both excited and anxious at the same time. Every time I have a gdiaper on her, I end up groping her poor bum over and over again to see if she’s leaked. And I don’t look forward to having to wash the g-pants and do more laundry every time she does leak.

Flushing the inside padding of every diaper is like a science. Two nights ago, I ended up clogging our toilet because apparently I didn’t completely flush the last padding before I flushed a recent one. It clogged the poor thing and it took till morning before Dave can unclog our toilet. Everything had broken down in the water but it was still pretty gross.

Learning how to put a gdiaper on is pretty interesting work. It is also like a science. I feel like her poor bum is a science project right now — I poke and prod her every which way to ensure that I’ve put on the gdiaper the right away. Most of the time I get it, sometimes I don’t. If the leaks become infrequent and far in between, it wouldn’t be so bad. It is when they are regular that it gets frustrating. Right now, we’re using regular diapers for an overnight and first-diaper-in-the-morning. So only two regular Huggies everyday. The rest of the time I’m experimenting with gdiapers. So far so good. I hope to eliminate the morning disposable tomorrow morning, and then try an overnight the following day. Wish us luck!

If you actually got through this entire post, you deserve a reward: another picture of lovely Lily!

Feeding Update

I haven’t updated regarding how breast feeding has been going in a long time. After the first month was over, things got a LOT easier. Dave and I went out to buy the Medela hand pump, but it didn’t work very well. Having to hand pump for one drop at a time on each boob was a real big waste of time. So I begged and begged the husband to go back to the store to get the electric Medela Swing pump. He did. I got my money’s worth. Now I’m pumping milk 3 to 4 times a day, and making enough milk for twins. I’m storing whatever Lily doesn’t drink everyday in the freezer, and now our freezer is overfilled with stored bags of breast milk. It’s weird, I know. This is for when I go back to work and can’t feed her on my own.

In the beginning, Lily got used to the bottle right away because my milk wasn’t coming in. She at first preferred the bottle over the boob because it was quicker and easier. Immediate gratification and all. I was having a really hard time due to my emotional chemical imbalance after giving birth. I felt all sorts of guilt and shame. I’m glad that didn’t last very long. After about a week, Lily proved to be as smart as we thought she was, and took to both the bottle and the boob consistently and regularly. Now, I’m learning to recognize when she prefers one over the other, and we’re both learning from each other. I’m not feeling as guilty, and am just glad she is eating as much as she is, and gaining weight adequately. She’s gained half of her birth weight by the end of 2 months, so I’m happy.

There is no guilt associated with how much she recognizes me and loves me. Every time she sees me after a nap, her face lights up and she smiles and smiles. And then she’d babble and talk to me like she hasn’t seen me in years. I just love it. It makes my heart warm up and I feel like it’s going to burst with joy and pride and love.

Now, the patterns of feeding are as follows:

- She likes to take the boob in the middle of the night when she wakes up for a feeding. It’s faster, and easier. She also feeds QUITE quickly, very rarely exceeding 10 minutes at a time. This worried me at first, as I thought that she wasn’t getting enough when she fed off me. However, when I realized that I can get a full 6 oz at a time when I’m pumping, in about 10 minutes, I realized that Lily’s getting more than her fair share even after just 8 minutes of latching on.

- Right before bedtime (around 8:30p to midnight, depending on when she wants to fall asleep), Lily enjoys the bottle much more. This is when she is her fussiest, yelling out that she’s tired but can’t seem to fall asleep. She’s just absolutely exhausted, and when I try to latch her, she screams bloody murder. She won’t take my boob no matter how hard I try. When we try the bottle with her, it’s instant and she falls asleep right away.

- During the day, it can come and go as she pleases. Sometimes she prefers the boob, sometimes she prefers the bottle. She is definitely getting both regularly everyday. When Dave feeds her, she of course gets the bottle, and she enjoys that just as much as she does when she’s latching on to me.

Nipple confusion lasted about a week, at most. After that, I think it was just that I had to accept that she wants the bottle during some feedings and the boob during others. We have a very versatile, adaptable little girl in our hands, folks! I think it helped that the first two days after birth, she took to the boob right away, and then introducing the bottle on the third day. She was able to get used to both at a very early age.