Thursday, July 29, 2010

Hello Ana!

Oh wow, where do I start?

Ana is our quiet, slightly shy, gentle giant. Or at least she used to be!
Now she's Katen's worst nightmare. Revenge.

In the past month, Ana has learned to crawl, she's cut her first two teeth, sprouted some very light blonde hair that sticks up all cute when I sunscreen her head, and has become an all around funny kind of girl! She'll crack you up with the silly faces she makes just to get your attention. She especially like to put on a show at supper time. She knows the sign for "more" and "milk" and as you can imagine, uses them often.

This crawling thing really has Katen a little nervous. Katen will be minding her own business playing with something when Ana crawls up behind her and attacks, pulling her hair with two fists and wrestling her down to the ground with her sheer weight. I thought big sister was supposed to be the bully but really Ana can hold her own.

Ana is also eating like a champ. She pretty much will gum down any food that we give her. She devoured her portion of Shepard's pie before Katen did a few nights ago. Not that it helps her to sleep any better. I'm still up every 2-3 hours. I have no idea how I'm going to wean Miss Ana from her night feedings without a lot of crying. (on both of our parts.) She acts like she hasn't eaten in months if I try to withhold food in the middle of the night. Couple that with the fact that she refuses a bottle and you've got a very interesting night owl on your hands.

Katen is such a big girl now. She's lost that baby face and in its place is a pretty big girl with tendrils of curls hanging in her face. I hesitate to cut it, so we just bought some pretty clips yesterday to keep it out of her eyes. Katen has been brushing up on learning a bunch of new songs and really enjoys music in general. In the car and on TV she's all about bopping to the music. I love watching her dance and jump around to the beat. She also enjoys "cooking" for us and dressing up in her princess dresses, although she's not all about princesses like some girls.

Katen has finally proven herself worthy of walking beside the cart at the grocery store as well. Finally she won't knock everything off the shelves and run down the aisles as fast as she can giggling. She's so adult now. (sort of.) The trick, I found, is that when I make my grocery list, I make one for her too. Hers is in pictures and she has to find a match to the pictures. That keeps her fairly busy and on task. Notice I didn't use the word "focused" as she's still a bit of a daydreamer. She gets that honest...

I can't believe how fast both girls are growing. This summer has been so much fun with both of them. Ana is so easy going and Katen thoroughly enjoys so many things in life that it's hard to take a step back and not smile at how lucky we are to have such bright, beautiful daughters.

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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Hello Cloth Diapers

Well... we've made the switch to cloth diapers. Before you start thinking that I've lost my mind, hold on a second and let me explain.

Cloth diapers are not what they used to be. In fact you can get cloth diapers that you simply put on, take off when wet/dirty and and throw them in the wash. They're about $15+ per diaper though so I chose the cheaper route and use prefolds which are basically layers of cotton that you fold into thirds and lay inside a water resistant cover. Saving money was the main motivation for making the switch. We were spending $40 per week on diapers for the girls. ouch.

In the beginning, we were having a tough time with the fit. Ana has very large thighs and well... overall she's just a big baby so the bulk of all of those cotton layers was just too much. I didn't feel like she was comfortable and I didn't like the idea of soa
king wet cloth up against her skin. So I looked online for a better option. Everything was really more than we wanted to spend and I already had bought the prefolds so I kind of wanted to find a way to use them in some form.

After a lot of thinking, this is what I came up with....

Problem 1: the prefolds were too long. I was having to fold over an extra layer and tuck it near her belly
Solution 1: I cut off about 3-4 inches from the top of the prefold.

Problem 2: There was a lot of bulk around Ana's chubby legs.
Solution 2: I measured her thighs and then made cuts in outer two thirds of the prefold to
accommodate that measurement. The middle sections that the cuts create can then be folded into the middle to create additional absorption. This makes the front and the back of the diaper only one layer instead of three.

Problem 3: I didn't like the feeling of wet cotton on her bottom.
Solution 2: I cut a piece of microfleece to fit the middle of the diaper. Fleece wicks the wetness away from the baby and helps her to feel dry I sewed velcro tabs to the bottom of the fleece and the top and bottom of the diaper. This makes the fleece stay in place. I may just sew it into the diaper as I can still unfold the flaps under the middle of the fleece for faster drying time.

Then all I have to do is wrap the flaps around Ana's sides and secure them with a "snappi." Snappis have replaced the dreaded diaper pins. The're kind of like what you'd secure an ace bandage with only a little more blunt. Top that with a cute diaper cover and she's ready to rock her little fluffy butt.

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