Monday, February 22, 2010

Monday Evening 20in20 Tracking

Starting date: December 1, 2009
Ending date: April 20, 2010
Starting weight: 222 lbs
Goal weight: 202 lbs
Current weight: 215.6 lbs
Weight loss this week: 1.4 lbs
Total weight loss: 6.4 lbs
Pounds left until goal: 13.6 lbs
Weeks left in challenge: 8

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

My Clutch Carrier

There were, and let's face it, still ARE, many mysteries about being a mother that I just couldn't comprehend prior to having Little G. One of those, was how to know what to pack in a diaper bag. I will admit that in those first few weeks, I had no clue what I was doing and usually ended up needing something that I hadn't packed. But we got into a groove and I finally figured out what worked for us.

One thing I HIGHLY recommend is to hold of on purchasing a diaper bag until AFTER you have gone out somewhere with your child. I would even venture to say, wait until you have gone out on multiple trips to multiple events so that you don't end up purchasing a bag prior to having a baby that ends up not serving it's main function which is to make your life easier. No matter how cute the bag is, no matter how trendy, no matter how on-sale it is right. now. Don't get a bag until you have your kid.

That is the bag that I currently have and LOVE.

It is the Skip*Hop City Chic bag in black. Honestly, I don't love the pattern. I would prefer it be just plain black. No pattern. But what it lacks in my personal style, it makes up for in function.

Namely, there is a small clutch that attaches to the *outside* of the bag. This was key for me because I needed a way to have my wallet, keys, cellphone, chap-stick and business cards all in once place so that if I wanted to go out of the house without the diaper bag, I could quickly grab those things without having to fish them out. Prior to finding this bag, I figured I would just toss those things into a small pouch and store them IN the diaper bag. But that took up valuable space. So when I found this bag that had a clutch that attached TO the bag, I knew it was the one for me.

The inside has lots of spacious pockets and the outside has a sleeve for a changing mat and wipes as well as two deep pockets for bottles that I actually use for easy access to my sunglasses and cell phone.

So what do I put in this thing (which isn't as hulking of a bag as it looks...I must be at least twice the size of the model).

Here's a list of what I carry with me in the bag on most days:
  • Bottle with water
  • Container with formula and a snack for mommy (more on this awesome product later)
  • Burp cloth and an extra bib
  • gDiaper outer and three liners
  • Snack ball for Little G
  • Sophie the Giraffe
  • Extra outfit and socks
  • Diaper pouch to put soiled diapers or clothes in
  • Gas drops
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Pacifier wipes (which are great for wiping off everything that has any possibility of ending up in Little G's mouth)
  • His booklet from the Dr with all of his inoculation information
  • Changing pad, wipes, diaper cream and face cream
  • Outer clutch with wallet, chap-stick, business cards, cuticle cream, etc.

Sometimes I add a blanket in depending on where we are headed and maybe another bottle and some solid food if we are headed out for longer than one feeding. But for the most part, that's the diaper bag inventory.

So there you recommendation for 1) waiting to purchase your bag until after you know more about how you will need to use it and 2) a great bag with an awesome solution to the my-purse-takes-up-all-the-space-in-my-diaper-bag problem.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Monday Morning 20in20 Tracking

Starting date: December 1, 2009
Ending date: April 20, 2010
Starting weight: 222 lbs
Goal weight: 202 lbs
Current weight: 217 lbs
Weight loss this week: .2 lbs (weight loss in the past 2 weeks: 1.2lbs)
Total weight loss: 5 lbs
Pounds left until goal: 15 lbs
Weeks left in challenge: 9

So...uh...I sort-of skipped last's weeks weigh-in because it wasn't pretty. But, I'm back on track and am challenging myself to accept the past two weeks for what they were instead of berating myself for getting off track. But with only 9 weeks to go and 15 lbs to lose and a trip to Vegas in the middle of that, I am a little bit worried about not reaching my personal goal and having to lose my iPhone until I do!

Time to really focus!!

How are you doing with your goals?

Friday, February 12, 2010

Plus one

It had been an exhausting few days filled with the kind of joy and tiredness and love and family and laughter and anticipation that is natural after having given birth. We had just arrived home from the hospital to the welcoming arms of our parents and our son was cozily sleeping in his car seat on the living room floor as we all gazed adoringly at him. He had been circumcised earlier in the day and our instructions had been to feed him as much as he would eat directly after the procedure and then let him sleep as long as he would.

So it came to be that after chatting with the grandparents over a late barbecue dinner while our son still napped, we found ourselves going to bed. I climbed into the cool sateen sheets and looked over as I lay my head down on my soft pillow to view my beautiful, sweet baby boy sleeping so incredibly soundly in his car seat on the floor next to my side of the bed. Never before in my life, and I am assuming never again, will I experience the gravity of that moment; knowing that as soon as he woke up and his cries pierced our sleep, our lives in our house would be forever changed.

The depth and clarity of that moment stole the breath from my lungs as I felt a swell of every possible emotion course through my veins.

In those days after bringing our son home, everything was different. Our house, our lives, the whole world and how we viewed it had changed. The hormones that invaded my body enhanced every feeling with garish clarity. It was overwhelming and exciting and frightening. But as the days continued, one after the other, I started to understand and accept our new identities instead of fighting against them or mourning for our old selves. Until recently.

Recently, I have found myself looking at my son and thinking, "when did he get here?" Or I will catch myself in a moment of excitement knowing that we are going to have a boy. Rather than let this frighten me, I have recognised that finally, after seven months, I am starting to feel 'normal'. Back to myself. Clearly we are still changed and our lives are still very different; but instead of accepting that we are different people, I have finally seen that we are the same individuals, the same people, the same couple - plus one.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

7 months

Happy 7 month birthday Little G, albeit a couple of days late.

This month flew by for all of us and you are continually changing every day. The biggest change in our lives is that you have teeth! About half-way through the month, two little teeth popped through your gums without any notice at all! Daddy was sure you had made it through teething without being the slightest bit cranky or affected by it...but he was sorely mistaken. The few days after those pesky teeth sprouted were pretty painful...for all of us. But you managed to get through it and are back to your happy baby self.

You certainly enjoy shoving everything you can into your mouth which is so funny to watch. But you are also doing other fun things like banging two toys together with your hands and repeating consonant sounds like ma-ma-ma-ma-ma and da-da-da-da-da.

You are still eating like a champ and have enjoyed chomping on all sorts of things from pork-chops to chicken wings and even a steak!

Another thing your daddy and I have noticed lately is that instead of just crying because that's all you know to do, you tend to cry to specifically communicate something. It is pretty cool to see...even though we don't like to put you in situations that cause you to cry at us, we find it really amazing that even without words we are communicating with you.
We are so happy to have experienced another wonderful month filled with love and giggles and squeals. Happy birthday, G.
We love you so very, very much.
Mommy and Daddy

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

He picks me up

We went skiing this weekend. My husband's family has a house near Woodstock, NY in the Catskill Mountains near a ski resort. So this past weekend, we headed out there to meet up with his parents, his aunt and uncle and his cousins and their son/nephew. The grandmothers signed up to take care of the kids, Little G included, so we headed out to the slopes early on Saturday morning.

My husband is an expert skier and his family members are also very, very good so they tend to hang around the black diamond areas of the ski resorts. I learned to ski in high school and was a solid blue square skier until I met my husband. He encouraged me to try things that I never thought I could do and soon enough I was joining them on those black diamond runs.

But this trip, I fell. On every black diamond trail we went on. If you have never been skiing before, I can tell you that in my humble opinion, getting up from falling is perhaps the hardest part of skiing. Because skis are designed to be slippery on the snow...go figure. And if you are trying to get up from a seated position while wearing sticks on your feet that are more than half the length of your body, it is not uncommon to find yourself continuing to move down the mountain while still on your ass. Add a black diamond trail into the mix with a crazy vertical drop and getting up is next to impossible.

Every time I fell on the mountain, my husband skied just below me and helped me get up. It was pretty comical, but he is SUCH an expert that it didn't even phase him to have his skis all tangled up with mine at the risk of us both toppling down the hill. Even when I started slipping over his skis and physically PUSHING us down the mountain and I started shouting "SAVE YOURSELF!! SAVE YOURSELF!!" he didn't falter. He laughed. But he didn't falter. And eventually I got up and we continued down the mountain.

And I thought to myself: whenever I fall down, my husband picks me up. And then, because I am a sentimentalist, I thought how I don't have to be on a mountain for him to pick me up. When I lost my job just after our wedding, when my father died, when I struggled with breast feeding, when I have been convinced I am the world's worst mother, he has always swept up the pieces of me, and picked me up.

I am so incredibly blessed and honored to be married to such a wonderfully loving man with eternal patience, a joyful sense of humor and the emotional and physical strength to help both of us down the mountain.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Patience IS a virtue!!

My husband is quite possibly the most patient man on the planet. maybe not a patient driver, but he is a patient husband and father. He also is an amazing teacher. Patience and the ability to teach are two qualities that I struggle with in my own life, so I am always so thankful to have married someone who is so good at both in hopes that it will rub off on our children someday.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

So let's talk bums...gBums to be specific

As you know, I have been using gDiapers with Little G since his umbilical cord fell off at about 8 days old. But other than my original post about choosing them and a follow up post on how to make sure everyone in your household knows how to use them so you don't end up with toilet water raining down from your kitchen ceiling, I haven't really said much more about them.

I haven't said much about them...because I find there isn't much to a good way. They have become such a part of our daily lives that they seem inconsequential...which is ridiculous...because our diapering choices make a pretty big impact on the environment as a whole as well as our own micro-environments in our daily lives.

So let me start by saying I absolutely, without question, 100% recommend using gDiapers over disposable AND over cloth diapers.

Our Little G at two months in his gPants

Let me also follow that up by saying that while the above is my recommendation, it is based on my experience, with my background, and my daily living needs and in my corner of the world. So if it doesn't seem like it would work for you, or if other options are more practical in YOUR corner of YOUR world, than by all means go right ahead and do what is best for you.

But, to back up my first statement, I would like to present some information on cloth diapering vs. disposable diapering which after all of the research I did is nicely summed up by this statement from

Cloth vs. Disposable Diapers
By Chris Woolston

Before your baby is born, you should take time to make the great diaper decision: cloth or disposable? Both types have pluses and minuses, and neither option is clearly superior. Most parents today opt for disposable diapers, but some parents continue to swear by old-fashioned cloth. You may even go for a combination: cloth diapers at home and disposable when you go out. If you haven't already made up your mind, here are some factors to consider:

*Cost. Disposable diapers typically cost as little as 20 cents each, and deluxe brands can cost as much as 50 cents or more. The average baby goes through about 7,000 diapers before toilet training, so that adds up to real money. In contrast, it only costs about 3 cents in water, power, and detergent to wash a cloth diaper. (If you use a diaper service, it pretty much eliminates the cost savings, though.) Over the long haul, you can save over $1,200 per child by using cloth diapers.

However, you should also consider what your time is worth. Cloth diapers can mean an extra hour of work every week. If an hour of your time is worth $10, those savings will essentially disappear.

*Convenience. Disposable diapers are the clear winner when it comes to convenience. No pins, no pails, no folding, no washing. Disposable diapers are especially handy if you don't have a washer and dryer or if you're traveling.

*Environmental impact. If you don't like the thought of throwing 7,000 diapers in a landfill, you might want to choose cloth diapers instead. A single cloth diaper can be reused up to 75 times, making it an attractive choice for people who want to cut down on trash. But there's a tradeoff: It takes about 50 gallons of water and a fair amount of energy to wash a load of cloth diapers. The Union of Concerned Scientists, a coalition of scientists and citizens dedicated to protecting the world's environment, says parents shouldn't worry too much about how their choice of diaper affects the environment. Other choices -- such as which car to buy -- are far more important, the group says.

*Comfort. Disposable diapers are generally more absorbent than cloth diapers, so they can keep your baby's skin dry. On the downside, it can be harder to tell when a disposable diaper needs to be changed. Some parents get complacent and go for hours between changes, potentially setting their baby up for a diaper rash.

If you decide to use cloth diapers, choose a kind that has several layers of different types of fabric. These will absorb moisture better than a diaper with just a single layer of fabric. No matter what type of diaper you use, check them often and change them when they're wet or messy.

*Leaks. Disposable diapers can soak up more urine than cloth diapers, so they are less prone to leak. They're a little bit better at holding in feces, too.

Either way you go, at some point there's probably a disposable diaper in your future. During toilet training some people opt for disposable pull-ups that fit the baby like underwear -- and they're handy for young children who occasionally wet the bed at night as well.

If you still can't decide, don't worry: you'll have 7,000 chances to find a diaper that's right for you and your baby.

-- Chris Woolston, MS, is a health and medical writer with a master's degree in biology. He is a contributing editor at Consumer Health Interactive and was a staff writer at Hippocrates, a magazine for physicians. His reporting for CHI on occupational health earned him an award from the Northern California Society of Professional Journalists

For me, the two most important factors in our decision on diapering were ease of use and environmental impact. But as for the latter, you can see in the above, the argument isn't so cut-and-dry. And he doesn't even mention the negative affects cloth diapering can have on the water system, especially if people use diaper creams with zinc in them, nor does he talk about the huge environmental impact of diapering services and the vast amounts of chemicals they use to get all of those dirty diapers so clean, not to mention the fossil fuels used weekly for their trucks to go around and make all of their pick ups/drop offs.

But I did wonder where this Union of Concerned Scientists was and if they had anything more to say on the matter. Turns out they do...on their website where it states this:

On what basis do you claim that cotton diapers have no clear environmental advantage over disposables?

Several studies have compared cloth and disposable diapers. Disposable diapers produce more solid waste, but laundering cloth diapers requires more water and probably more energy. Exactly how these different impacts balance out isn't clear. Even if disposable diapers turned out to be marginally better than cloth or vice versa, neither is likely to have a dramatic advantage. Therefore, people shouldn't worry too much about which one is environmentally preferable. Other consumer decisions, such as what type of car to buy, are much more important for the environment. those people clearly think it is a wash (pun not intended) so then I started to wonder about an option that was better than both options, aside from elimination communication which seems like the perfect answer but seriously wouldn't work for my lifestyle.

And then I found gDiapers.

The cloth outer and nylon liner have no plastic (aside from four small snaps to attach the liner to the outer) and the biodegradable inserts have three processing options. 1) If they are poopy, they flush down the toilet and go where poop is supposed to go; instead of into our water systems. 2) If they are wet, they are compostable; so not only are you choosing to not throw something out, but you are creating a soil amendment. 3) If all else fails and you do end up throwing one out, you can rest easy knowing that less petroleum went into creating the insert than into a conventional disposable diaper and while nothing truly biodegrades in a landfill, they certainly won't last 500 years like a disposable.

gPants nylon liner is plastic free (except for four mini-snaps)

gInserts slide right into the liner for easy use

There is so much more written over at the gDiaper site about the great debate on the environmental impact of cloth vs. disposables, how the composting of gDiapers works, what they are made of, and their 100% Biodegradable Claim. And yes, I know that it is all marketing copy, but I do encourage you to read it if you are in the process of choosing your diapering system.

As always, there are a million factors that go into everyone's personal decisions about what systems they plan to use for their children; and what works for one person may not work for someone else no matter how much they want it to. For instance, someone in a dry, desert-like climate who wants to use cloth diapers may find that due to their water circumstances, disposables are a better option for them. What matters is that we look into these options and make choices that are responsible and practical within our means.

So to all my pregnant and new mom readers...what diaper system will you be using/do you use and what went into making that decision for your family?

Monday Morning (uh...make that Tuesday Afternoon) 20in20 Tracking

Starting date: December 1, 2009
Ending date: April 20, 2010
Starting weight: 222 lbs
Goal weight: 202 lbs
Current weight: 217.2 lbs
Weight loss this week: +1.2 lbs !!!
Total weight loss: 4.8 lbs
Pounds left until goal: 15.2 lbs
Weeks left in challenge: 11

Whoops...I blame...uh...full fat Fage yogurt, our annual after-the-holidays meet-the-neighbors party and my newfound muscle mass from all my working out at the gym?

Oh dear...guess I don't have any true excuse...but I'm not about to let this get to me. We can't be perfect all the time, right?