Wednesday, March 23, 2011

How to Get CHEEEAP Diapers!

Thanks to my friend Sarah, I now get diapers for about 12 cents apiece. That's right. Cheaper than Parent's Choice. (I'm not sure about Costco or Sam's Club...we don't have memberships...)

The best part? They're delivered to my door with FREE TWO-DAY shipping! And it's never cost me a dime! How awesome! :o)

Before you waste your time reading further, this only works if you have a ".edu" email address...at least it's only free if you have a university/school email address. You don't currently need to be a student, it works with any .edu address.

1) Go to www.amazon.com
2) Join Amazon Prime. This gives you free 2-day shipping on tons of items. I only do diapers right now, but they have tons of household things. In a small town with only one tiny Wal-Mart to shop from, this is greatly appreciated!

Amazon Prime is $75/year. It's also free for students. When you search "Amazon Prime" on the homepage and click on the "Amazon Prime" ad, you should see a link on the right offering a one-month free trial. There's also a smaller link that says "Amazon Student." Then you click on "Join Amazon Student." You enter your school, major, and email address. They send you a link and you respond to it to show that the email address is real/functional.

3) Join Amazon Moms. You can do this from the same page where you joined Amazon Student, right under the student link. (It says "Amazon Moms"...duh...)

4) Add whatever diapers you want to your cart. It'll say that you can save even more by adding Subscribe and Save. It signs you up to automatically receive that same product every month. However, you can cancel it or modify what product you want anytime. And, if you run out before one month, give them two days and they'll show up on your doorstep! Also, it doesn't bill your credit card until it ships them to you. Little ones don't stay in the same size month after month, obviously, so the choice to change products is awesome! No penalties and no minimum for free two-day shipping!

You can also change the address you want them shipped to...like, we'll be in Wyoming in April, and if we need diapers, we can change the shipping address for just that order to have them sent to where we'll be staying.

I just got 100 size 2 Huggies diapers for $12.00...that's 12 cents apiece!

Oh, ALSO, if you have a manufacturer's coupon it even has a spot to put it in. We get $2.50 off Huggies coupons a lot which we love to use! (Yay, elastic in the waistband of our beloved Huggies! WAY less blowouts!)

It takes a couple minutes of maintenance whenever you need more diapers (aka, the same amount of time we spend reading diaper packages/figuring price-per-diaper in the baby aisle at the store!) I love that it saves me a trip to Wal-Mart, especially when we realize we're out of diapers late at night. I just order them in big, bulk boxes.

I haven't bought diapers in a store in probably two months! Thanks, Sarah! :o)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Bittersweet Freedom

I am enjoying my last month of bittersweet freedom, as of today.

I go back to school full-time April 19th, one month from today.

I couldn't mix my emotions more about this if I tried!

I keep having dreams where Mitch texts me when I'm in class saying, "Nathan just crawled!"

Or during Fall Semester (Nathan=10 months old), "Nathan just walked!"

I know it was part of a plan much bigger than us that Nathan came to our family when he did.
In a perfect world, I would've been graduated. But, being a mom is a more perfect job than anything I could go to school for, so I'm thrilled this is what I'm doing.

However, I also want to graduate. Like, really bad.

I've done 7 semesters of finals, papers, lectures, "online group discussions" (yuck). I can't imagine doing all of that for nothing. So much time, money, patience, frustration, and computer keyboard beatings have gone towards school so far.

Did I mention that going to school has never been fun? Or did you get that from the image of me beating my keyboard?

Anyway, I'm going to finish. Mitch has longer than me left so I want to get done as soon as I can so we have to balance and juggle our class schedules as short a time as possible.

Because i'm "off-track" I can only go at night or online. So, I have 3 night classes and 2 online classes. Heaven help me.
Because Mitch is "on-track" he'll go during the day and be home before my 5:15 class starts.

I'm gonna miss seeing this little face...
I know I won't be gone all the time. I'll still be able to breastfeed, which is a lot more than some people can do while going to school. I just love being home with him all day, helping him get used to life as something other than a newborn.

Because i'm going on my off semester, i'm still committed to my 2 on-track semesters. So, i'll be in school from April-July, September-December, and January-April. Phew! Yay for year-round school. Hopefully by then i'll be almost done.

I just hate putting my wants (of a degree) before his needs (of having mom home). It feels very unnatural and I feel very guilty. I'm trying to get over this, and i'm not trying to sound all "woe is me", but it just comes out sometimes!

You'd think i'd be excited for this degree, at least more excited than I am. I'm studying Child Development with a minor in Marriage and Family Studies. What could be more relevant?

For now I'm reading ahead as much as I can for my children's lit class (i've only gotten one book in the mail so far) and soaking up every moment with my little one.
(Oh, and taking lots of pictures...but he's an only child, so that should go without saying!)

I can't wait to be done with school! I can't wait to hang that diploma proudly!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Learning to Deal

Nathan has been hard at work learning how to deal with a nighttime routine. Usually, once he gets to sleep he sleeps for anywhere from 5-8 hours...it's just getting him there. He generally falls asleep around 1:oo or 1:30 am. That's WAY too late for my non-teenage body.

We know that consistent routines are key and that infants crave a schedule. Even in the womb, they receive nourishment from mom in consistent, frequent increments of time.
(Man I love my major! All these little facts are so fun!)

We haven't really had a routine until now. It's been more like,
"HONEY! GRIPE WATER! He's gassy again!!"

Now that we're pretty much past the colic stage (fingers crossed), it was time to find a balance between the Ferber method and the family bed/co-sleeping method. I ended up loving a method called Touchpoints by T. Berry Brazelton. He seems to be very down-to-earth and is able to see both sides of the extreme when it comes to all things children, and comes out with a middle ground. I'd encourage you to read it if you haven't!
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_jpyYrlntr74/SHEeX8O90tI/AAAAAAAABKg/EAvi2a8n_yw/s400/touchpoints.jpg

So, here's the routine we've come up with:
1) Get into jammies
One day this will also include brushing his teeth...when he has a few!
2) Family Prayer/Scriptures
This lets us know that it's getting close to our bedtime, too!
3) Read 2 books
Our favorites are "Brown Bear, Brown Bear"--love those colors!--and "Goodnight Moon".
4) Turn on his lullaby cd and nurse--last night feeding
Even if he's not quite hungry, topping him off helps him sleep a lot longer.
5) Lay him down in his crib, give him his binky and his whoozit toy.
We love this toy and so does he. It's a round, plush toy with lots of fun textured shapes attached. It's firm and round enough to not block his breathing, yet heavy enough that he doesn't fling it out of his reach. He particularly likes to rub the yellow star shapes on his face :o)
http://var.putoys.net/whoozit-baby-activity-toy-ages-0-1-ea.jpg
This has probably been one of MY favorite baby toys as well!

We have springs that go on the bottom of the crib that help rock him to sleep if he jolts or moves around. Usually I stand there for a couple minutes and rock his crib, but soon I don't think we'll need it.

Oh, and with the binky thing, the majority of what i've read and heard says it's fine to let him have it, if he can keep it in his mouth. This little man keeps a death grip on his binky. He usually only lets it go in the morning and it's still warm when I pick it up in the morning, from being in his mouth! (Not to mention he has huge binky lines on his face...)

Tonight is night #2. We've already noticed how much easier this is on us, and he seems to do really well with it. We tried to do a simple routine that we can copy anywhere we are. We wanted to include baths, but we realize sometimes we might not have his bath cradle, or have time for a bath.

As far as the time table goes, his schedule now starts at 12:30. We'll do this for a couple nights and move it up to 12:00 for the next couple of nights, and so on/so forth until he sleeps at a decent hour!

Wish us luck! :o)

Friday, March 11, 2011

NO diaper can contain me!!

HELP!

Nathan is going through a naughty phase.

Well, not technically, intentionally naughty, per se, but most of his clothes are stained.

And i've washed and pretreated them all at least 10 times each.

At first I used Resolve, which worked pretty well. We've gone through 2 bottles since Nathan was born. Then I used Shout when we visited my parents and I was impressed with it. We're almost done with that bottle. But lately, it hasn't worked very well.

I don't know if something in my milk is making that awful, runny orange mess harder to clean, but I'm sick of it!

Mitch is cleaning up a blowout as we speak.
We're averaging 2-3 a day.

He has about 15 diapers left in Huggies' "1-2" size. Then we're movin' on up to size 2.

The purpose of this post is that I need HELP! I'm so sick of him ruining clothes and not being able to get it clean! I even threw away a cute onesie today. It was only $3 and I know I can find it right now at Walmart (it was this cute number with little stars):It was, however, one of my favorites and one of the few things I bought new for him. That's what's frustrating. Does he poop all over the not-so-cute-but-acceptable garage sale finds that I got for 25 cents? Nope. Just my favorites.

What do you guys use to get that awful "digested breastmilk orange" color out of baby clothes? I've bleached so many white onesies so many times I'm expecting them to fall apart. Plus I've gone through an entire container of bleach since he was born. The cost of doing laundry has really changed in the last four months!

In fact, we bought him a new five-pack of onesies in the size he's in now and that week he managed to stain every. single. one! I think a bigger diaper size might help, just because the waistline will be a little higher. And we're loving Huggies (and betraying Luvs) right now for their elastic across the top back.

Is there something about being 4 1/2 months old that changes something about the diaper mess, making it harder to get out of clothes? I would love a chemistry lesson right now. And I may not ever say that again!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

4 months, slow and fast!

Nathan was four months old on March 2nd. . .

. . .are you kidding me!?

I don't know when babies aren't newborns anymore, but I don't think Nathan counts as one.

He just got his four-month shots and is doing really well.

We also got our new sheet of "Nathan statistics"! We love this part of the appointments! They print off all the stats from birth to current, and you get to see how they've grown.

Here's a quick recap:

8 days old:
20th% in weight,
60th% in height,
21st% in head circumference
(can you say beanpole!?)

20 days old:
20th% in weight,
32nd% in height,
15th% in head circumference
(shrunken head syndrome? :o))

2 months:
33rd% in weight,
32nd% in height,
21st% in head circumference

4 months:
46th% in weight,
54th% in height,
47th% in head circumference.

So I guess his head has grown a ton in two months. He's a pretty average-sized baby. He still continues to have a long torso; hopefully he'll be tall. He's taller than half the babies his age, so maybe this is a good sign. Apparently I always struggled to stay above 5-10% as a baby.
He won't be getting tall genes from me!

He currently weighs 14 lb 11 oz, is 25 inches tall (he's two feet tall!), and his head is 16.6 inches. Oh, and he's 19% body fat.

We have loved, loved, LOVED being parents to this little man. We now see why having kids is worth it! (I couldn't say that when I was pregnant!)

He's almost completely over his colic, but still shows signs and likes to prolong his crying AFTER we've taken care of the problem. We'll get there eventually!

He has the funniest facial expressions, and always has.
(I think this picture is a little less-flattering for the poor guy...especially b/c it makes his nose look huge! But it proves the point...)

He's always smiling when he's talking to us, and always wants to be a part of conversations.

He's also becoming quite the little flirt!

And it's a pretty rare thing to catch him without his fist in his mouth. This is his new favorite activity...
...trying to cram ALL...those...fingers...in his mouth!!

He wants to be a thumb-sucker but mean mom won't let him.

Nathan has discovered boredom this month. He now knows what it's like to play with a toy (another new development! Playing with toys!!) until he's bored, then toss it aside and cry for something new to do.

We brought home this fun toy about a week ago. He kind of bounces, which hopefully cures his fear of bouncing, haha, and one day he'll even figure out how to jump. But for now we hook toys to it that he can reach and he loves to spend time in it!
It's like a mix between an exersaucer and a johnny jump-up. We don't have doorjams that will work with a johnny jump-up but we really wanted one. We were so glad to find a friend selling this fun toy! (We got a new mattress with part of our tax refund, and this was Nathan's "present"!) It's so cute to watch his legs dangle! His tiptoes touch the ground, which is how it should be, but usually his legs are bent a bit.

I love spending my days with this little guy. He is always trying to put things in his mouth. He's not to the point where he'll grab for things he sees, but if it's touching his hands or if he touches it while he's flailing around all baby-like, it's his!
I've decided to go back to school full-time in April for the Spring semester instead of waiting for the Fall semester in September. (We're on Winter now...isn't year-round school confusing?) I deferred for Winter semester. You get one general deferment, and I used it. He was so colicky and crying all the time, oh and also NEVER sleeping, so I wasn't getting enough done to keep up with online classes.

Since Spring is my off-semester I'll have access to online and night classes, which shouldn't interfere with Mitch's schedule, so he can watch Nathan. I'll miss being away in the evenings, but I need to graduate and I should only have 3 semesters left. So far I'm a bit behind and I want to get caught up!

That's where we are. We're excited to see our families in April, but not much more is happening before then. Mitch is doing fine in school; not much to report there! We're just waiting for this Idaho winter to end and school to be over (for Mitch, anyway).
("The boy with the invisible hair")