Tuesday, December 23, 2008
This is the most snow Portland's had in my lifetime for sure. On the news they were saying that the last time they had this much snow was '68. Wow! I would say that here in Columbia City there is about 14 or 15 inches. And they are predicting more snow over the next few days. Now I know that for many people that's not much snow. But Portland just isn't prepared to deal with these kind of condtions... in fact they ran out of the ice melt stuff (don't worry -they were able to get more). They don't have many snow plows etc. So it takes awhile to get the roads cleared off. And at the airport the runways were cleared, but that's about it. All of the taxiing was done through the snow.
Anyway, we're here safe and sound and in time for a White Christmas! Thank you God!
Saturday, December 20, 2008
So we were supposed to be leaving tonight. But our flight got cancelled! Lame, huh? There's too much bad weather in Portland, I guess. But they rescheduled it for tomorrow night. Hopefully that one won't get cancelled.
Anyway, in the meantime, to hold Wanda over until we get there, here's a video of Elisa from last night. It's not a great video. But what impresses me about it is that Elisa actually squats down and then stands up again without holding onto anything.
Like Greg mentioned in his blog, Elisa is now officially walking. She took her first step at the end of October. She then progressed to taking up to 4 steps at a time if coaxed. But then she stopped taking steps altogether. Then we found out that she had ear infections, and after being on her antibiotics for a few days she started walking on her own. She didn't even need to be coaxed. She just started walking. In the few days since then she has really progressed! She even walked from our living room all the way to kitchen one night. I think those ear infections may have been holding her back. Now she's making up for lost time.
Monday, December 15, 2008
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Tonight after all the festivities were over and Elisa was in bed, Greg and I watched a bunch of old videos of Elisa. Wow, it's amazing how much she's changed and grown. I had already forgotten what she was like as a little baby. mmm. (happy sigh)
Here's a little trip down memory lane...
Wasn't she so little and roly poly?
Now she is such a big girl. For videos from the party of Leesi eating her cake visit Greg's blog: http://gregbrock.blogspot.com/
Friday, December 12, 2008
I put some of our favorite pictures from Elisa's first year up on the fridge. But now I just stand and look at them instead of doing my work (dishes, cooking etc.) I need to take them down as soon as the party's over so I can get some work done.
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Thursday, November 27, 2008
We had Patrick (RD for North Hall), Comfort (RD for Mayfield), and Comfort's parents and sister over. We all had a good time together and lots of good food.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
This is actually the 5th purse/bag I've made. It's kind of addictive. First I made one for myself... then another for myself... then one for a friend... then a friend of that friend wanted me to make them one... then this one.
She's gained 1 1/2 lbs since last month! That is such good news to Momma. I can't tell you how happy I was to hear how much she'd gained.
The other good news is that she has been eating rice for the last few days and she hasn't had any kind of bad reaction to it. (She had terrible reactions to both rice and oatmeal cereal when she first started on solids and so we've stayed away from grains - maybe I'll post more about this some day.)
So right now I'm feeling very encouraged about Elisa's weight and eating!
Friday, November 14, 2008
She has taken a couple of steps on her own - but never more than one at a time. She loves walking around the house with someone holding onto her hands. She can climb stairs (we don't have any stairs in our house, but the other day I put her down in front of some stairs and she climbed up no problem as if she'd been doing it for months). We haven't worked on climbing down stairs yet. She can stand without holding onto anything for limited amounts of time. She just started waving bye bye sometimes (finally!) She signs "more" while eating. She can feed herself with her fingers and sometimes insists on feeding herself with the spoon. She is actually pretty good at getting the spoon to her mouth, but not very good at getting food onto the spoon unless I help. We are convinced that she says Daddy and Momma and sometimes we think she says duck. But it really is so hard to know. She has just discovered the joy of dropping things. Before her bath we line her bath toys up along the edge of the bathtub and she loves dropping them in one at a time and then peering over the edge at them.
Side story: This morning I had her in the bathroom with me while I was taking a shower and she kept on dropping Itty Bit (her favorite stuffed bunny) into the tub. He was soaking wet by the end... which was okay since he really needed a wash. I threw him in the wash... but he didn't fare too well... a little hole opened up at his neck/shoulder. I sewed him up ... hopefully good as new. But he definitely wasn't made to be washed.
Anyway... Elisa is also starting to get into everything and leave huge messes in her wake. She opens all the cabinets and drawers and pulls everything out of them. She takes a book off the shelf and then looks at it contemplatively before pulling the next one off. She likes reading books now... mostly she wants to try to turn the pages. When she isn't able to turn them sometimes she gets so frustrated that she starts crying. She loves eating toilet paper and if the toilet seat is up she'll splash in the water. Needless to say, we try to keep the bathroom doors closed. She loves music - she dances whenever we sing or turn on a song she likes. And this is BIG NEWS!!! She finally got her first tooth! At 10 1/2 months it finally came through. She is now working on a second. Most of all she is just a joy to us. At the end of the day Greg and I tell each other all our Leesi stories, and then laugh and go into her room and watch her sleep. I still don't understand it - but there is just such a joy that comes from parenting.
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Friday, October 31, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
The first couple of days were hard. Elisa had diarrhea, there was a lot of poop that leaked onto the diaper covers, it took a long time to get the diapers on, the diapers were super bulky, most of her pants didn't seem to fit over the top of the diapers.... and everything just seemed a lot harder. Also, I had no cloth diaper bin, so I was just sticking the diapers into the washing machine... which meant that if I wanted to do other laundry I had to take them out... ick!
On the instructions that came with the diapers it said that it was hard to transition from disposable to cloth... and not to give up right away. So, we didn't. We bought a trash can for the dirty diapers and just kept on trying.
It's been about a month now, and we've been using them about half the time. For awhile I had a goal of using four a day... and that kept me motivated. But now I use them most of the time when I'm home. And it's really not that hard. Greg agrees... he wasn't really into the idea from the beginning. But now he uses them too and it's no big deal. In fact, I think we're going to buy a few more so that we have enough to use them even on "washing days." We both agree that we don't like using them when we're away from home. So I think we'll just stick to using them when we're here.
They are really quite easy to wash. I use diaper liners (which are thin sheets of paper-like stuff that go in between the diaper and the baby's butt), so I can just flush the liner with the poop. I rarely have to dunk the diapers in the toilet, or deal with poop. Then on wash day I just dump them in the washer and run them through once on cold, then once on hot. I wash the liners that were just peed on along with the diapers and reuse them. I don't fold my diapers (folding has long been my least favorite thing about laundry). I just stack them and use them again... so that's easy peasy!
I think that the hardest things for me to get used to are:
1) The added bulk. I have pants that Elisa can wear with cloth diapers and pants that she can wear with disposables. If I switch halfway through the day I have to switch pants too... otherwise the pants will either fall off, or be so tight that Elisa has trouble moving.
2) The added diapering time. Even though I've gotten faster it still takes about three times as long for me to change a cloth diaper. And Elisa is NOT a patient diaper changer. She wants to be moving and crawling and rolling, not laying on her back getting her diaper changed.
But other than that... I guess I like it. It is a little more work. But overall I'm glad that I'm saving money. Though I'm still not so sure that I'm saving the earth.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Here's Elisa and me playing a hide 'n' seek of sorts. The bunny we're playing with is named Itty Bit... and Elisa is super attached to her. She sleeps with Itty and, if we let her, she drags Itty around the house.
Leesi is just so much fun. Today while I was watching her I realized that I'm just a few weeks away from having a toddler. She is starting to seem more and more like a big girl and less and less like a baby. It's amazing that last year at this time I was pregnant with her, she's grown up so quickly!
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
We also went to the best farmer's market (okay, maybe not the best... Pike's Place still has them beat... but it was a fun one) and ate gelato at a little shop next to the market.
We saw this sculpture... and guess what it was, "The Thinker" by Rodin. You can't quite see the whole thing because we had a 5 year old taking our picture... but you get the idea. Of course, the real one is in Paris. But it was cool nonetheless.
Greg even got to experience twins... but only for a minute. All in all a really great weekend. Thanks Adam and Molly!
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Thursday, October 9, 2008
A couple months ago I started thinking about how serious I am about recycling. In the 7 years since Greg and I have been married I have always recycled... even though I've never had curbside recycling. With the exception of when we first moved to Arkansas and were told incorrectly that they didn't recycle anything but paper, I've always saved up all my recyclables and driven them to the nearest recycling center. In other words, I'm willing to go to a lot of trouble to be a little "greener".
So why, I wondered, wasn't I willing to even look into cloth diapering?
I decided to do some research. And what I found was somewhat surprising.
Now I know that diapering can be a sensitive topic... as can almost any parenting topic. It seems as though we all have our strongly held opinions... I'm not really trying to change any minds in writing about this. This is truly just a story of my "journey" into the great diaper debate. (Maybe someday I'll write a screenplay).
I found that it is actually highly debated if it is indeed greener to use cloth diapers. Here's a quote from the ABC News Story:
"A new study released in England by a quasi-government environmental organization may dampen the debate even further. After a three-year, 200,000-pound (about $360,000) study, the London-based Environmental Agency concluded that disposable diapers have the same environmental impact as reusable diapers when the effect of laundering cloth diapers is taken into account."
Now it is important to mention that cloth diapering CAN BE greener... It's all in how you wash. For instance, washing diapers in warm water (instead of hot), using an energy effecient washer, and line drying diapers are just a few of the ways to cut down on energy consumption thereby making this a more environmentally friendly option. Also, another thing to take into consideration is the fact that you can use cloth diapers until they wear out. That is, it is possible to use them with multiple children... and then as dust rags etc.
I have to admit, it is pretty crazy to think that using and washing my own cloth diapers could possibly be as bad as throwing a huge bag of disposable diapers away each week. I just don't know if I believe it. But, hey, I didn't do a three year study.
Also there is the health factor to take into consideration. There was a study done with lab rats etc. etc. etc. Disposable diapers (cloth-diaper-people say) contain harmful chemicals... do you really want those against your baby's bottom?
And then the question of potty training. I think that it is pretty much agreed upon that cloth-diapered kids potty train sooner than disposable-diapered kids. It's because they can feel the wetness against their skin.
Still, these things didn't convince me to do cloth... I mean, it's debated whether or not cloth is greener. It's suggested that disposables may have harmful chemicals (but really, I chew sugarless gum - I'm used to the "may cause cancer in lab rats" line). I liked the fact that Leesi may potty train sooner. But was I really willing to dunk poopy diapers into the toilet for the two years until she's potty trained?
But then I came to the cost consideration. After much research into different cloth diaper options (and believe me, there are a lot of options!), I figured out which diapering supplies I would use and then calculated the cost difference. I figured out that I would save AT LEAST $600 over the next two years if I used cloth diapers most of the time. Now that is a VERY conservative estimate! And of course, with our second kid it would be pure savings. Now that was based on my own personal estimate... But if you're curious about the savings check out this website Why use cloth diapers? She breaks down all the costs including wear and tear to your washer and still comes up with at least a $600 savings.
So, I decided to try it. I bought a small amount of cloth diapering supplies and I've been using them part time over the course of the last week. I'll keep trying it out over the next few weeks and report back what I think.
For now, I welcome your comments. Let me know what's worked for you... or your opinion about diapering in general.