Giving Up Cloth … At Least For Now.

I really hate posting this. I feel like I’m admitting defeat or giving in… but the truth is that, as with all things, I need to do what’s best right now for me and my family.

Cloth diapers have been a grand adventure! I have a good supply and washing routine, and I really do like using cloth diapers for a variety of reasons:

  • Much easier on baby’s skin. J always suffered from an allergic reaction when we used any Pampers diaper (Swaddlers, Sensitive, Baby Dry), but it immediately cleared up when we switched to cloth. It’s understandable; soft cloth > plastic when it comes to comfort. There’s a reason we adults don’t wear plastic underwear. (Or at least most of us don’t.)
  • Cute! But even with all of our adorable diaper covers, I more often than not covered them up with clothes.
  • Probably cheaper in the long run. They’re a big up-front investment, but the cost of those big boxes of disposables adds up, too.
  • Possibly better for the environment. There are plenty of debates on this topic online… I guess what it really comes down to is whether you’d rather use a lot more water or throw pounds upon pounds of plastic into a landfill. For the past several months, I chose the former, but I’m not sure which (if either) is worse.

And that brings me to the main reason I’m giving them up. Now that J’s poops are more solid and stinky, the smell is getting out of control. I keep all his wet and dirty diapers in a trash can with a lid, and the smell stays contained (for the most part), until laundry day arrives… Then I stand next to the washer, holding my breath while I take each diaper apart and plunk it in. It smells… well, like a bucket of pee and poop that has been allowed to fester for a couple of days. It’s really toxic. (Probably literally… doesn’t pee contain ammonia?) I use vinegar along with the detergent, so they always end up very clean and odorless after the laundry is done, but dealing with that stench (even if it’s just for a couple of minutes) every two or three days is pretty miserable (and unhealthy) for all of us.

On top of those concerns, it’s also just one more thing on my plate. I’ve been feeling a little more stressed than usual lately because of issues at work… and juggling a career and feeding the baby and naptime and spending time with my husband and cleaning and cooking and doing laundry and cleaning diapers… it’s just all a bit much, and I’d like to cut some stressors out wherever I can.

At least we finally discovered that Target brand diapers don’t cause J to have a rash. And they’re cheap! Major plus. J seems to be fine with them!

J in Target brand disposable diapers
J at 8 months in Target brand disposable diapers

If I were a stay-at-home mom and if I had a better storage solution, I would definitely continue cloth diapering. There are a lot of pluses. But I think that returning to disposables is what’s best for me, J, and D at the moment. And I still think having some cloth diapers on hand as back-ups is great advice! At least I know I won’t need to make any midnight runs to the store.

Birthday Celebrations… Like the Old Days

Yesterday was my husband’s 28th birthday, and his first as a father. And what a wonderful father he is.

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We celebrated with his family last weekend, so we had done the whole cake/candles thing (and there was no way I could top his cousin’s delicious cakes), so this weekend we just aimed to relax and have fun.

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But rather than have a date night alone, we went out with a few friends while a sitter took care of the baby at home. We had put him to bed already (which really frees us up for the evening), so we were able to relax and enjoy ourselves.

We’ve gone out alone a few times, but it was refreshing to go out sans baby with our childless friends. The conversation steered clear of the kid, and I, for one, felt almost back to my pre-pregnancy self that night.

I say it all the time — I love being a parent! But it’s always nice to get away for just a couple of hours. Having a baby is really all-consuming, in both good ways and … inconvenient and stressful ways.

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Anyway, happy belated birthday to my husband. I love you more every day.

The Olympics as a Parent

As I expected, I haven’t been watching the Olympics in London consistently, despite the fact that I was so fired up after the opening ceremonies. but I have been catching bits and pieces of the delayed broadcast on NBC, and I’ve enjoyed watching these incredible athletes in action. Gabby Douglas’s gold medal last night was particularly inspiring. And the many world records I’ve seen swimmers beat are always exciting. Then there are the heartbreaking defeats and mistakes that remind us that these are, after all, people — often very young ones who are still children in many ways.

And more than ever before, I’ve noticed how involved many of the athletes’ parents are. Maybe it’s like this every Games, or maybe I’m noticing it more because I’m a parent myself now. But I’m loving seeing these incredibly supportive parents cheering on their precious children. Some are coaches themselves, some have allowed their children to leave their homes to pursue better training… But I am sure that all of them have sacrificed something to help their children succeed. And I can only imagine how it must feel to sit on the sidelines as your child achieves a gold medal — overwhelming joy, I’m sure, to see your child’s dreams come true in a moment. And it must be so difficult for those parents who watch as their children fail. Surely their hearts break as they helplessly watch as their children react to a bad routine or poor score, blaming themselves or crying with anger and disappointment.

I have not yet watched J in a play or on a court, but on some level I think I can understand how these parents must feel. Every day, I feel like I love my son more (if that’s even possible). I want nothing more than his health and happiness. I can only imagine how I will feel after so many years have gone by.

Young Me/Old Me

Now that I’ve written my requisite feel-good post about the Olympics, I’m feeling compelled to write something a little more down-to-earth and self-centered.

I went shopping today at a trendy little boutique nearby. I have a 50% off coupon — how could I resist? I was excited to get a couple of shirts or accessories or maybe even a new pair of jeans. But I found myself uncomfortable, so I want to write about my experience to try to figure out why I felt the way I did.

I’m feeling better about my body these days — I’m 6 pounds from my goal weight and 10 pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight (but I was really too skinny). And I’m loving finally having something ‘up top’! I was always flat-chested, but can’t complain about a C cup! For those of you who wonder what my secret to weight loss is, I’m sorry to disappoint, but I’ve been doing nothing but breastfeeding and eating twice as much as I normally would. (I’m very nervous about what will happen when I stop breastfeeding, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it…)

So why do I find shopping for clothes to be so not fun?

Well, for one thing, my body has changed a lot. I may not be very far from my goal weight, but I’ve got plenty of pooch left in my tummy. My hips definitely widened a bit, as well. And the boobs? They change the way everything fits. Sometimes for the better, but not always. I’m finding myself having to buy clothes a size larger than I used to. (Cry me a river, I know.)

When it comes right down to it, it’s just that the things I usually find “cute” are not designed for my post-baby body. Even after 7 months, I’m having to adjust. I usually end up in jeans and t-shirts because at least I can pull that off.

Okay, so I was frustrated by the fact that nothing was fitting the way I expected.

Add to that the fact that there was a young girl in there shopping with her mom for sorority rush dresses.

Normally, I don’t even pay attention to other customers. But for some reason, when I heard her explain to the clerk that she was looking for a dress for pref night, I just felt old.

It’s only been 9 years since I went off to college myself. And just a year or so ago, I was still connected to some of my college friends and even knew some of the students (albeit by association). And really, 9 years is not that long.

But the last 7 months have made college suddenly seem like ages ago. I was in such a different time in my life then — worried about classes and classmates and professors. And beyond that… my life before the baby was born was just so different from what it is now. And it feels like I’m so far removed from that life.

This is not a complaint, though! I would not trade my life now for anything. It sounds cliche, but I mean it.

I felt uncomfortable shopping today because I suddenly felt out of place in the store. Like a 27 year old mom (yeah, see? I’m not that old!) doesn’t belong in a trendy boutique where college girls shop. I know it’s not true, but I still felt suddenly ancient, underdressed, and frumpy… like I didn’t belong.

I don’t know what the purpose of this post is, other than to write all this down. None of these feelings are new, exactly. I’m just still trying to figure out where I fit now that I’m a mom and a woman still in her twenties. I feel both very old and very young at the same time. And sometimes I feel a little lost in the social sphere because of that.

I think (read: know) I need to make some more mommy friends in the area, but it’s just so hard to meet people. (It’s not exactly like I can randomly approach a couple with a baby at a restaurant and ask if they want to hang out. Though I have suggested to D that we do this on multiple occasions.)

Not sure how to end this post, but do any other moms out there feel this way? Or have suggestions on how to meet other moms? Or where to shop? Or how to deal?

They Read My Mind!

After writing the 7 month update last night, I was feeling a little bummed that I didn’t have more to report, and (as I expressed in the post) I’ve been starting to worry about my baby’s (slightly) delayed milestones. But I just opened my email and found my weekly newsletter from Babble, which says…

Does my baby have a developmental delay? Here’s the straight truth: every baby develops at a different pace. Some babies don’t sit until 8 months, don’t walk until 17 months and never say a word until they’re 2 years old. If you’re really worried, talk to your pediatrician about it

Thank you, again, Babble for reading my mind and quelling my fears! (Definitely my favorite mommy blog hub!)