Monday, March 29, 2010

The Biggest Surprise

I would have to say our little Lilah is probably our biggest surprise so far! And by surprise, I don't mean pregnancy surprise!

While I had a fairly normal pregnancy with Mairead (pre-term labor, low fluid, delivery at 37 weeks), my pregnancy with Lilah was nowhere close to being normal. Everything was textbook perfect until 19 weeks when I had my level II ultrasound. Our little girl was perfect, but my cervix was not. We left the ultrasound very scared not knowing what was going to happen. I never thought I'd hear the words "emergent cerclage" spoken to me. From that point on, I worried....and worried......and worried some more. Would our little girl be born healthy? Full-term? Pre-term? What would happen?

Thankfully, she was born at 36w5d and healthy! She was the baby everyone dreamed of. She was so content, sweet, quiet and loved sleep. I often wondered if our little Lilah was okay. She was just so different than her big sister. Kevin and I used to wonder if she would be our smart, quiet one....dare I say it...the boring one. As an infant, she was just so complacent. Was just happy being with you. It took a lot for her to laugh. She was happy. She was easy. She was also very sensitive, too. If you sneezed too loud, she would cry! happened. She started taking steps at 9 months old. She went from doing nothing to walking in a matter of two months. Crazy. Not only did she walk early, her personality started to take off like a rocket ship into space. We used to look at her in amazement. Who is this child? Where did this personality come from? By the time she was 16 months, she was climbing everywhere and everything. She never walked. Just ran. Everywhere. She had one speed. Fast.

Once Lilah's personality took off, it never stopped. She would do things that would make us laugh, and if we didn't laugh, she'd laugh at herself. While she couldn't communicate very well, she sure knew how to cause sparks, light up a room and make you smile. We'd shake our heads...We never imagined our quiet, little Lilah would be so....funny! animated! personable! and still so sensitive!

Lilah is our spirited child. She runs around in leotards, ballet slippers, beach cover-ups all day. Wears them to bed. She loves to dress up and walk around in heels. She has had a pink necklace on for almost two weeks now.

One thing that has not changed is her love for sleep. Lilah is the one child we can count on for solid sleep. I probably can count on one hand the amount of times she's been a problem in the middle of the night. This kid can sleep! Lilah is also still so sweet. She loves to snuggle, give hugs and kisses. She is never stingy! I love it!

I can't think of a day where Lilah doesn't make us laugh. Each day, it is always something new with her. Her personality never ceases to amaze us. We turn around and just shake our heads. The photos below were taken yesterday. We were upstairs getting dressed. I turned around, and literally laughed so hard, I cried! Lilah strikes again! Her personality is so contagious! She definitely lights up our world with laughter and joy!

I should have known by the trouble she caused during my pregnancy that she would be the spirited one!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Is it worth the fight?

The long and short of it is......we're still fighting with Clara's sleep.

Before we left Florida, Clara's sleep started to go downhill. Unfortunately, since we were going to Florida, we couldn't do anything about it until we got back from our trip. So, we dealt with it. While we were in Florida......which reminds me, I still have to blog about our trip. I'm in the midst of editing and going through photos. Lots of them. Ok....back to what I was saying...while we were in Florida, Clara absolutely refused to sleep in the pack in play at night. It surely wasn't worth the fight, so into our bed she came. Every night Clara slept with us from start to finish. She was snuggled all cozy coze in my boobies, and she was happy as a pig in.......

Of course, when we get back from Florida, Clara's sleep habits were way worse than they were before we left. Let me tell you...we surely have paid for it. The first few nights back home, she was up every hour. Would you believe me if I told you she slept better as a newborn than she did as a 6 month old infant? Well, she has.

Anyways, sleep is one of those issues where everyone has their opinion about how sleep should be managed with infants. If I feel inclined, I may ask friends what they did, but I usually keep my thoughts to myself. Why? Well, I choose not to let our children "cry it out". I don't do ferber. I believe in teaching my children to sleep over time. I am not looking for an overnight solution, and while that may mean weeks or months of interrupted sleep, or even more, I am okay with that....on most days. I will be honest with you though. Me not believing in letting my children crying it out does not mean my children do not cry in their crib. I will let them fuss for a few minutes, but once they get going, I will go to them. I may let them cry in their crib while I pat their back, but I just can't leave them to cry on their own for more than a few minutes. Having a video monitor helps me tell if  I need to go to them, or not. It was worth every penny to have that thing!

Don't get me wrong. Me not believing in ferber does not mean that it doesn't work, or it shouldn't be done, it just means it's not for me. I just can't do it. I hate to cry for longer periods of time. I feel like crap. I get a headache, my eyes are puffy, my nose is stuffed up, and I just feel yucky. I just don't want my children to feel like that.

With Clara, she is different. Tonight, I came up with the nickname of 'Clingy Clara' - she's not a clingy baby, but she is definitely attached. She loves to be with you. Near you. Touching you. All snuggled up. I think that's her problem - if you want to call it a problem. She is going through some sort of separation issues at night, and I have come to think she may not be ready to be on her own yet. She was born 4 weeks early, and I am thinking she may be a bit immature. She is back to sleeping in our room again. Her crying and frequent waking at night was tough on everyone. Me & Kevin having to get up out of bed every hour. Having to watch Mairead stir, toss & turn while Clara cries. It's not fair for Mairead to be interrupted every night, all night. So, back to our room she goes. All I ask is that she does the first part of the night in her own space, just like she has done since she was a little, little. Co-sleeping is not the most comfortable thing. I am in the same position for hours, and it hurts in the morning. So, coming in after 2am, is ideal...then I still have some time to myself.

I have hope for Clara. Both Mairead & Lilah had difficulty sleeping from 4-6 months, and they are both good/great sleepers now. They sleep in their own bed. In their own room. No tears. We're all happy. We just had to find what worked for each girl.

I am willing to give Clara time, and help her learn to sleep, even if it means more mommy time. They are only this little for such a short period of time. I need to learn to enjoy the time she wants to be close with me. So, I guess the answer to my question is....No. It isn't worth the fight. Why would I want to pick a fight with a 6 month old. I don't believe she is old enough to manipulate me. She is little, and still dependent on me and her daddy. And that is okay. We will worry about the so-called bad habits later when she is bigger and able to understand a bit more.

Monday, March 22, 2010

You don't need milk!

I had always been a believer in breastfeeding. I always knew from a young age I would breastfeed my children. When I used to work as a maternal-child health nurse (labor/delivery, post-partum, nursery, pediatrics), I had lots of hands on experience with new nursing moms. I learned tons from my fellow lactation consultants on our floor.

I will be honest though. I hadn't always been a believer in extended nursing. I guess it was because I didn't know much about it. I didn't know what it was like to have my own nursing infant. I had this idea that when infants turn 12 months, they automatically change and appear older, and not babies. I remember saying "I don't think I could nurse that long"....Boy! Was I wrong...

After my major struggles with nursing Mairead in the beginning, I never thought in a million years we would have nursed for close to 2.5 years together. I would never have believed it if you had told me I would be nursing my 2+ year old! It was a great experience, that I looked forward to doing again.

You may now be doing the calculations....wait, she nursed for 2.5 years, and her girls are 19 months apart. Yes, you are right. I nursed them together. Tandem nursed. Something else I never thought I would ever consider doing. It was actually a really great experience, so good, that I am currently nursing Lilah and Clara together. I never actually had the heart to force wean Mairead while I was pregnant with Lilah. She just was not ready, and my heart told me to listen to my baby. And I did.

Lilah is now 27 months and nurses about 1-2 times a day. She doesn't nurse for long, and honestly, I think it is more of a habit or a reconnection than anything else. In the morning, she runs into my bedroom yelling "NOOOOK, Mamma!!! NOOOOOOK, Deeeees (please)!" It's so cute. How can you say no to her? It's so innocent and sweet. She could nurse for a minute, and then I say "Okay, enough" and she's good with it. It's cute. She doesn't nurse every morning, only when she gets into my bed before I get out!

She hasn't asked to nurse before nap in a while, but on occasion she does. She does however never fail to ask before bed time. I will go in, and she will crawl on my lap.

"Noook, dees?" she asks.

I'll say "You don't need milk!" knowing very well she wouldn't have it any other way.

Her response, "I doooo! I do, Mamma!" 

Seriously, so sweet! I have learned that when babies turn 12 months they don't change. They still look and act like babies. If they need their mamma for something so innocent and sweet, they can have me. It's such a small part of their lives they are nursing, but yet, so important in all sorts of ways. Mairead still remembers nursing, and it is really awesome for her to have such great memories of that special time with me. She is so amazingly understanding of my nursing relationship with her sisters.

It is the one thing I can for my girls that no one else can do. It is between me and my sweet girls...

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Happy 6 months, Clara!

Happy 6 months to my sweet, beautiful Clara... 

Just about six months to the minute, I gave birth to my sweet, beautiful Clara. Clara's birth was probably one of the most amazing experiences I had ever had in my life. I will admit, the births of Mairead and Lilah were pretty amazing, too. Mairead's was amazing because it was my first, and it was just an invigorating experience. I was on cloud 9. With Lilah, it was surreal. I had such a complicated pregnancy with her, that to have her in my arms, was just amazing. I was so relieved to have her with me safe and sound.

As with the others, I had a completely drug free labor with Clara. Once things got started, she came in one hour. Like her sisters, she was in a rush to get out and see the world! Clara was our first child born in a different hospital. I delivered Clara at Mercy here in Portland, where you have to be at least 36 weeks. I was 36 weeks and 2 days. I walked in to their unit at 6cm dilated just two days after the removal of my cervical cerclage.

Her birth was everything I had wanted in a delivery. No interventions. The nurses were amazing. My OB was amazing. My husband was amazing. I could do whatever I wanted, and it felt great to be in control. We listened to Ray Lamontagne during labor, and it was just amazing all around. So peaceful. When Clara was born, she was on my chest for at least two hours. No one tried to take her away. Not even to weigh her. She was all mine. Chest to chest. She nursed immediately. Talk about heaven. It was as close to being in birthing center without having to forego the emergency capabilities of a hospital.

The memories of her birth are still so fresh to me. So fresh it makes it hard to believe it has been six months...a half of a year. Time goes by so fast. People tell you that it does, but until you live it, you don't believe it.

Little Clara is growing up before our eyes. She changes everyday. She is rolling both ways when it is convenient for her (haha), she can sit unsupported for a short amount of time, and puts anything and everything into her mouth. She looks at you and squeals. She laughs all the time, especially at her sisters. Her eyes can light up any room. She is full of energy, just like her big sisters. She loves to nurse - about 8-10 times per day. She would nurse all night if I let her. Her sleep is.....well.....not good. I'm not worried though. Her sisters went through similar issues around the same age. This too shall pass. I just have to keep telling myself that to keep me sane. We will start some solid foods in the next month or so. I think she will love it.

The next six months are going to go even faster. She will be full of bigger changes! Sitting up. Crawling. Pulling up. Walking. Talking. Eating. Laughing. Playing.

I can't wait for all of it. Love you little Clara Belle...

Friday, March 19, 2010

First Day of School

Well, the time has come...Mairead officially started school today. She was so excited after our visit to preschool that she was really wanting to go. The head teacher at the school said it would be okay for her to start just once a week until the end of school. Kevin and I went back and forth about this, and ultimately, we thought this was the best choice. Mairead would have the opportunity to meet other little girls. While we have great friends here in Maine, a lot of them have boys the same age as Mairead. Mairead is as girly girl as they get, and she really loves to play with girls. This was also a great opportunity for her to get to know the children she will be with next fall three days per week.

We picked out her clothes last night, she was so excited. When she woke up, she asked when she would be going. It was hard to get her motivated to move quick! Since we got up at 8am, and had to be out of the door by 855 (we live .5 miles from school), it would be a busy morning. Our awesome neighbor was nice enough to watch Lilah & Clara for me so I didn't have to get them dressed, too. I also wanted to be able to focus on Mairead, and not chasing Lilah. When I dropped her off, she said hello to her teachers, and sat right down with some girls playing on the floor. I said my good-byes and left. She said "bye"

I came home to Lilah & Clara. It seemed weird with only two girls. It was quiet. I put Clara to sleep in anticipation of having some one-on-one time with Lilah. We went outside together and played. Just me and her. We had fun playing on the swings together. I put her in the baby swing, pushed her really fast, and then I'd jump on the swing and swing beside her. She thought that was the funniest thing. It was so cute laughing with her!

Once our playtime was over, it was time to pick up Mairead. We headed out. The kids were playing outside. Mairead was happily playing on the playground with the other kids. Lilah was psyched. She immediately started playing with the other kids in the sandbox. I spoke with the teachers about Mairead's first day. They were all delighted with Mairead. They said she acted like she had been there since day 1. Very content. Very happy. I couldn't be more proud of my baby girl. I watched the girls play with the other kids, and met some new moms. When it was time to go, Mairead says to me: "Mom! I loooove school!"

I think we made the right decision...

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A perfect spring day...

Today was one of those days you long for in the dead of winter. Warmth & Sunshine. I'm not talking about 40 degree warmth, or even 50 degrees...but a balmy 68 degrees! Talk about an amazing spring day! The weather today was just as good as it was in Florida believe it or not.

The girls were itching to get outside, and so was I! We started the morning off with some backyard playtime. We played on the swings, and the girls ran through our sopping wet yard. Things are certainly saturated around here! We cannot afford to get any more rainfall for a while! The girls didn't care though! Once Clara awoke, we jumped in the car, and headed to a local park. We were the only ones there! The girls played and laughed....played and laughed. It was awesome to just watch them have fun together. We spent about 45 minutes there.

We then headed home, and the girls played in the yard some more. It was so nice out, and Lilah asked if she could eat at their picnic table on the deck. Of course, they could! We all had lunch outside together, and it was fabulous! The seagulls circled our neighborhood. Hearing them definitely hinted at the fun times to come at the beach this year.

After lunch, it was nap time, and we were all ready! I put the girls down, and headed outside. I sat down on the deck and enjoyed the warm sunshine for a little bit. It felt amazing. After nap, we went back outside for a walk with a neighbor. It seemed like everyone was outside enjoying the day. Mairead rode her bike, and Lilah walked the double doll stroller around the block! Clara spent some time in the stroller, but about halfway around, she was ready to go back into my arms.

You forget how awesome it is to have a day outside with the kiddos. Everyone is so much happier. They don't fight over what to watch on TV or what toy the other one had. They are just happy to be outside. Days like today remind me of why I love my life. It was a beautiful day with my three girls!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patricks Day!

Here are the girls in their St. Patricks Day green!

Clara is lucky she is so cute with the way she's been sleeping lately, if she wasn't cute, she'd be in real trouble! :)


A trip the dentist...

Today, Mairead and Lilah had their very first dental appointment. Mairead was so excited to visit the dentist! Lilah didn't quite know what to think. The hygienist was great with the girls, and the girls really clicked with her. We decided to bring the girls to a Pediatric dentist to ensure a positive first experience. Mairead went first, and the hygienist said her teeth were beautiful. They better be! Mairead didn't get her first teeth until she was 13 months old, and got her 2 year old molars at the ripe old age of 3! Lilah went next. She was a tad apprehensive, but overall, she did amazing! She let the hygienist do everything without a hitch! The dentist said their teeth looked perfect!

Our trip to Florida

I've finally gotten all of our Florida photos edited, so now, I can blog about it! Our trip down was great!  The girls did really amazing, even Clara. Mairead is getting so big. She was so awesome. She just played, ate a few snacks, watched some TV (flew on Jet Blue), and enjoyed! Lilah did well, too, especially for being just two. She was a bit antsy at the end, but overall, we can't complain. We've learned not to expect too much from the little ones. Clara was just happy she could be held for the entire trip! She took a nap on my chest, nursed to her hearts desire and we were all happy! The flight itself was a bit rough. The takeoff was so bumpy and topsy-turvy. Our anxiety level was so high. I swear flying can take years off your life! All I can think about is something happening to me, Kevin and our girls. Thankfully, we all arrived safely. When we arrived to Kevin's parents (Merritt Island), the girls were anxious to get in the pool! Of course, it was hard to get them out when it was time for dinner. We even let them swim after dinner, and going to bed was tough! They were so excited.

On Wednesday, we took a trip to SeaWorld. It was a beautiful day! We met one of my friends from Mairead's birthday board. We had been in a group since we were pregnant, but had never met personally. We all had a blast together. D's daughter is just one day apart from Mairead, so they really had fun together! The girls had an awesome time on all of the rides. Mairead even went on the kiddie roller coaster 3 times! She loved it! We also saw all of the animals. Pet the sting rays, saw the sharks, name it, we saw it...except, we did not see Tilly, the killer whale. We ate gigantic ice creams before we left, and I had to buy some jumbo bags of cotton candy. Mmmmm!

Thursday and Friday were washouts...literally. It rained...and rained...and rained some more. Thankfully, that didn't stop the girls from wanting to go into the hot tub. They swam almost all day long! Kevin and I would sit underneath a rain umbrella to keep out of the rain while sitting in the hot tub...what a sight that was! The girls could have cared less that it was raining. All they wanted to do was swim...and they did! We took a trip to Ron Jon's surf shop, and let the girls run around. They enjoyed it, but everyone was there because of the weather.

Saturday and Sunday we spent time with Kevin's sisters and their kids. It was a beautiful weekend, but only about 70. We weren't complaining though. There was a monsoon going on back home! Once again, the girls swam...and swam some more. They also enjoyed spending time with their big cousins. Clara absolutely loved the pool, too! If she was fussy, we'd put her in the hot tub, and she'd be happy as a pig in......!

On Monday, it was still a bit chilly, but sunny! We took a family day, and went to a local beach restaurant called Grills. We sat outside, the girls had strawberry diaquiris and mommy & daddy had a few attitude adjustments as I like to call them. It was a lot of fun! When we got back, the girls wanted to swim. Kevin's mom made some yummy grapefruit juice (fresh!) and vodka's - boy! were they yummy. Coupled with the few drinks I had with lunch, I was very relaxed! We ordered Chinese food for dinner, and ate outside. All in all, it was a really great day!

Tuesday was our last day! The girls woke up and spent an hour in the pool before we had to head off to the airport. It was a nice, relaxing trip. We spent lots of time with Kevin's parents, and the girls enjoyed all of the extra attention! Even though the weather wasn't top notch, it was a fun trip for everyone.

I have over 100 photographs from Florida, so obviously, I am not going to post them all! I will post all of them in a slideshow format...

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Traveling is always interesting.....

I've wanted to blog for the last week, but since we weren't home, I just couldn't put forth the effort. Last Tuesday we flew to Orlando to spend a week with Kevin's parents. Ill blog more on our week later...

Today, we flew home. The girls love to fly, and were very excited to fly home. Mairead is at a great age to travel. She's a good listener, she can entertain herself, and she understands what is going on. Lilah is teetering on that fine line of being a good traveler and a bad one. She's two. You can't expect much from her really. Clara, well, she's an infant, and as long as she has the boob, a few hand toys and can be in the arms of her momma or daddy, she's happy.

No doubt, we had a very busy week, and we are all tired. Yesterday we decided to skip Lilah's nap so she could play in the pool longer. She went to bed fairly early (in comparison to past nights there), and slept great all night until 8am. You could tell she was tired this morning. On the 45 minute ride to the airport, she was dozing off, but we tried to keep her awake. We wanted her to nap on the flight. Before the flight, she ran around the terminal like a crazy kid. We thought "this flight could be really quiet or really bad" - Lilah can be tough when she is overtired.

We got on the plane and Lilah was irritable. I had a bad feeling. Thankfully a flight from Orlando has lots of kids on board, and since we were flying Jet Blue, everyone has their headphones on. About an hour into the flight, Lilah loses it. She was screaming at pitches I never imagined possible. You could hear people laughing in the background. She was soooooo tired. I felt so bad for her. She didn't know what she wanted. She wanted to be held, didn't want to be held. Wanted her lovey, didn't want it and so on. It was  tough on all of us...but, I did feel bad for her, because she really didn't understand.

After about 30 minutes of intense crying, she gave up, and fell asleep. The poor kid. We surely learned our lesson. Never keep a child awake!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Spring? Is that you?

I don't dare get too excited about this too-good-to-be-true weather this weekend! Afterall, it is only the beginning of March, and there is most likely more winter yet to come! I just won't think about it right now. This weekend was amazing! The last two days have been beautifully sunny around 50! Absolutely perfect for a late winter day.

Yesterday, we headed down to visit my parents to celebrate my dads birthday. We grilled out, went for a walk outside, and enjoyed some family time. After that, we drove back home and headed out to dinner with some good friends!

Today, the weather was even better! Not a cloud in the sky and in the low 50s. The girls were itching to get outside, and so were we! Kevin got all of the girls outside toys out of the shed, and they went crazy. They were so pumped to be able to play outside! Kevin got our lounge chairs out, and I parked my butt on one and read my Oprah magazine. The sun felt soooo good! I hadn't felt so warm and cozy in months. Once Clara woke from her morning nap, we brought her exersaucer outside and she played..and played. Everyone was so happy.

I hadn't felt so free in such a long time, and I think the kids would agree. We have been itching to be out of the house for more than 20 minutes at a time for months, and we finally got our time! It is amazing how much happier everyone is when we're outside having fun together. It only makes me more excited for the next few months to come. Life is going to be awesome! I love seeing the girls get so excited about playing outside! I have a feeling this weather is nothing but a tease though!

I bet we will get whalloped with snow at least one more time this season. The good news is the snow won't last long...

Here are some photos of the girls enjoying their time outside today! We all had a blast together...come on, spring! 

Friday, March 5, 2010

Do this...Not that...or that!

Lilah has been in big girl underwear full time (except naps/bed) since last August at the ripe old age of 20 months. She was ready, and I figured since it was summer, we'd go ahead. Mairead was exactly two when she was potty trained, so I wasn't sure if it would fly. She did awesome, and would have a few accidents a week. Lately, she has really turned a corner. She definitely listens to her body more, and has been in underwear during naps for almost two weeks, and has done really, really well.

Yesterday, she woke at 0745 yelling "poo poo....BUMMMM", so I ran in, and she had her diaper off. As soon as I opened the door, she bee-lined it for the bathroom. Jumped on, and peed and pooped! I was so proud of her. So, last night as I was putting her diaper on, I told her we don't pee in our diapers, and if she has to go, just tell mommy or daddy. I thought "yeah, right"...

So here we are to this morning. Lilah started crying at her door by 0715, which is pretty early for her. If she wakes early, she generally will play quietly until we come get her. She wasn't saying she had to use the bathroom, so I ignored her. By 0745, she was crying again. Mairead opened her door, she came running into our room telling me "ducky...pee pee" - she runs back into her room, grabs her ducky, and brings it back to me. Sure enough, she peed on it. I went into her room, and she had her diaper on the floor, and had peed in her bed.

Her diaper was dry.

So....Lilah pee on the potty......not in your diaper or your bed.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Cloth Diapers??? Why? Not?

Me: "Kevin, I think I am going to seriously consider cloth diapering the new baby."

Kevin: "What? No. Seriously? Why?"

That was basically the gist of my conversation with Kevin over last summer. I had considered cloth diapering back when I was pregnant with Lilah, but I was intimidated over the increased laundry load, and had decided against it. I guess at the time, I really didn't do enough research about cloth diapering to realize the laundry isn't that big of a deal, especially when you have loads of laundry to do already - what's another load?

So back over the summer, I thoroughly researched cloth diapers to see if it would really be worth trying out. The answer was yes, and if I didn't like it, I could always sell them. I decided to buy a few for Lilah to see if I liked it before the baby was born. I started off with several fuzzi bunz, 1 bum genius pocket and 1 happy heiny pocket. It was surely a learning curve, but the pocket diapers are so close to disposables, it was an easy transition. Lilah was potty training at the moment, so I was only using 2-3 dipes per day, and washing the diapers every other day. I liked it, and it was fun dressing her bum in cute little dipes and washing them wasn't bad at all!

Of course, liking the fact I can put cute dipes on my pretty girls bums wasn't the ONLY reason I have decided to cloth diaper. There were several reasons that were much more important to me. Cloth diapering is not only better for the environment, but it is better for our wallet, too. Cloth dipes may seem like a rather large expense up front (between $15-25 per diaper for the types we use), but when you calculate the overall cost over the time your child is in diapers, you will see the costs are considerably cheaper - hundreds vs. thousands, not to mention diapers can be used on multiple children. Another reason is the chemicals used in disposable diapers. After doing some reading a lot of things started to make sense to me. Disposable diapers are trim and very absorbent because of the chemicals they use to make them this way. These are also the chemicals that make the diapers not break down easily and sit in landfills for years and years and years. Who knows what these chemicals are doing to our babies little bums. After doing TONS, and I mean weeks of research, it was an easy decision for me. I jumped right in and haven't looked back since.

When Clara was born, Kevin's mom and my mom were generous enough to buy everything I needed to cloth diaper Clara until she was about 3-4 months old. We had 5 fitteds (kissaluvs & thirsties), 4 thirsties duo covers, 2 fleece bummis covers and 2 dozen unbleached prefolds. Once she got big enough, she started wearing the pocket diapers, too. So now, we rotate through my favorite Blueberry pockets (cotton & minky), Bum Genius Organic AIO (all-in-one) and a few Fuzzi Bunz pockets. Since they are one size, Clara will be wearing these until she is POTTY TRAINED! We do use disposables on an occasional basis, but that's it. Lilah is strictly in cloth diapers for naps and night,  or the occasional very long car ride.

It's fun putting the fun prints on Clara! The diapers are definitely more bulky than disposables, but she's still little, and has lots of time to grow into them. They aren't quite so bulky on Lilah. I still do one load of cloth diapers every other day, and since it's winter, I dry them in front of our pellet stove - which saves money on drying them in the dryer. In the summer, they go outside and dry in the sun. It definitely isn't as intimidating as it sounds, and cloth diapers have come a long, long way - just ask my mom or Kevin's mom. They were shocked to see the new age cloth diapers were easy and comfy looking in comparison to what they used when we were little rug rats.

I say if you're on the fence - try it out! It's quite easy...just a slight learning curve.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Out of the mouths of babes...

I was making the girls a peanut butter & fluff sandwich this afternoon and Mairead comes over to watch. She looks at the jar of PB and says:

"Mom, what are those?" as she points to the peanuts on the jar.

"Peanuts" I said.

"You mean, Penis, mom?"

I almost choked on my own spit....

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

January - February 2010

Here are the photos I just posted on my shutterfly site! Enjoy :)

I want to dance, too...

Having girls so close in age definitely has it's positives and negatives. Lilah is at a tough age. She sees her sister, Mairead, and wants to do everything she does. Most of the time, Lilah does just as well as her sister, after all, Lilah started taking steps at the ripe old age of 9 months, and walking full time at 10 months. Unfortunately, Lilah is too young to participate in the same activities, and since her language is lagging a bit, it makes it even more difficult. We look at Lilah and think she will be our athletic one - she is amazingly agile. The girl can run.

The girls do swim lessons, and Mairead is in the 4-5 year old class while Lilah is still in the parent/baby class. Over the last several months, Lilah has improved leaps and bounds over any kid in her class. She swims alone with a bubble, sinks to the bottom of the pool and swims back up, etc. She is actually transitioning to Mairead's class. Lilah thinks she is so big being able to be with the big kids. The kid can barely speak a sentence, yet, she is able to swim almost as well as Mairead does and keep up with the other 4-5 year old kids. It's amazing.

Unfortunately, Lilah was too young to partake in dance class with Mairead this fall. It was sad because Lilah would watch her sister through the viewing window, but I don't think she really cared to dance. Over the last month or two, Lilah has become increasingly interested in dance class. Lilah insists on wearing Mairead's leotard, and more lately wearing her ballet slippers. She prances around the house in a leotard and ballet slippers while trying to mimic what her sister does in dance class - she even knows what releve is! Now, when we enter the dance school, Lilah prances around Mairead's teacher, trying to impress her. It really is the cutest thing. She is so ready and willing to participate in class. Last spring, Mairead & Lilah took a mommy/child gymnastics class locally, and they both loved it. Even at less than 18 months, Lilah had no problem climbing and participating in gymnastics class! Thankfully, Mairead's class starts at 2.5, so next fall, she will be able to participate in a real dance class!

Here is a photo of Lilah wearing Mairead's slippers today. She calls them "My Sippers" and wears them all day! I can't wait for the day when Lilah can have her time in dance class!