4.26.2013

28 Weeks

My oh my, where are the weeks going?! They're going by so fast that I'm slacking on our weekly updates, which is much harder getting done than I imagined! But it'll be so worth it once we hit that one year mark and can look back at each week.

We're still recovering from our trip to Colorado. Ok, maybe I'm the only one recovering still because its been one hectic week! With multiple deadlines at work and a new babysitting routine, it's been a bit of a long short week!

Ernest's Aunt Lucy was watching Autumn for us 2 days a week but a few weeks ago, we found out she has kidney cancer. Immediately she was no longer able to watch the babe. It makes us so sad for many reasons, but we're optimistic the doctors can treat her cancer so she makes a full recovery! In the meantime, we have been playing musical chairs babysitters between my family and mostly Ernest's. His Mom has been our savior!! She meets Ernest's halfway in the morning to get Autumn and I meet her after work. While the driving back and forth isn't ideal, it beats the alternate...daycare! While this shuffling isn't a permanent solution, it's the best we have come up with right now. We're exploring me possibly going part-time but the timing isn't great at work. We are super swamped and basically I haven't mustered up the courage to ask my boss. Needless to say, we've I've been a little stressed.
all business in the mornings
What makes my stress go away??? This face!!! She makes me so incredibly happy! One look at her and I just melt and everything else just melts away!

Autumn lately...she is trying out every new sound she can think of, yells as the top of her lungs, blows raspberries that leaves everything in a 5 foot radius soaked, and is rolling around/attempting to crawl. Ok, maybe not crawl but she gets on her arms and scoots herself backwards. She's quite talented! I put down my crazy 'she can't get messy' flag and let her feed herself some tiny bits of avocado. Mostly she just smeared it all over her highchair tray and got zero pieces in her mouth. It was entertaining watching her tho and she loved getting messy!
Avocado eating babe
Yesterday she helped Grandma Kathleen celebrate her birthday. We got her a collage picture frame filled with all Autumn pics (obviously) and I made the best caramel popcorn in the world. We also have another special gift for bday dinner this weekend. Grandma K and Autumn have so much fun together! Yesterday she got a new hairdo...pigtails!!!! I nearly keeled over and died of cuteness overload when I saw her! I think she looks like Boo from Monsters Inc. (but cuter!).
She has the silliest expressions

I die. SO cute!
As the days go by Autumn gets bigger, more silly, happier, cuter, funnier, and more and more loved! I keep telling myself 'this is the best age' and right now, this has been the best age! I love you to the moon...muah!!!


Right after this pic she toppled and hit her head on the chalkboard :( #worstmomaward #shewasfine

4.23.2013

A Trip to Colorado

We survived! Ok, we more than survived, we had an awesome time in Colorado!

Autumn did great on the car ride going to CO (this was not the case on the way home!)!! She slept, ate, played and stared at Ernest's friend for about 6 hours. She'd grunt everytime he wasn't looking just so he'd talk to her. Saturday we settled in then went for a drive to the mountains where my Uncle would be running the next day. He wanted to check the trail for snow because there were some serious snow clouds looming around all day. It was a beautiful drive, all of which Autumn missed because she was sleeping. We went out to eat dinner at Cheddar's (this place is amazing! The honey-butter croissants are like heaven in your mouth!) and Autumn did great. Until I realized what time it was and that we hadn't even received our food and it was past her bedtime! Major 'oops'! She did great but then was about to have a meltdown of the century so I took two bites of my meal and shoved an entire croissant in my mouth before I had to take her out.
Slept most of the way to CO
Oh just some deer crossing the road
I packed like a madwoman in order to make our stay as 'homelike' as possible. I'm talking sound machine, lavender, swaddle, etc. etc. etc. I even oriented her pack-n-play in the same direction as her crib, crazy I know. Well...none of it helped! Poor babe was up every hour or so. I was trying so hard to keep her from waking everyone up, especially my Uncle since he had a half-marathon to run. So about 2am I put her in bed with me, we cuddled, she had a bottle and thank the stars she finally fell asleep until 7! I totally went against my diet and had several cups of coffee with lots of yummy creamer in the morning. It was a coffee emergency!
I LOVED waking up next to her!
The actual race was awesome! It was up in the mountains and was the perfect day! A little chilly but overall sunny. We watched my uncle take off then took a little hike. Autumn had so much fun looking around. She's such a sponge just taking everything in!

We crashed their 22nd Anniversary!
 


he killed it! Go Uncle Ty!

That's Autumn napping under all that blanket. It was cold! 
Becoming one with nature. Did I mention we had a lot of waiting time?!
 We also had an impromptu photoshoot. Racquel brought her awesome camera and talent, we laid out a blanket and sat Autumn down. This girl is such a ham and was just flirting with that camera! Although, she has this new thing of biting her bottom lip so we couldn't get any pictures where she didn't have lip in mouth. Oh well because these pics came out so cute!!! She took the longest nap ever while we were there. Must have been all the trees and stream! My Uncle did great in his race! Seriously he's a champ because the course was gangsta! I am contemplating doing a 5k there next year, we shall see...
 



 Later that day, and several cups of coffee later, my cousin Racquel and I went to IKEA! I resisted my strong urge to just take a nap and we headed to Denver instead...well worth it!
Meca
Ikea is super dangerous for me (ok, what store isn't?!) so I had my list ready to go so I wouldn't just throw everything I saw into my cart. I half succeeded. I only threw half of what I saw into my cart. Win! I got this amazing rug!
I cannot wait to put it in our living room tonight. I also got some storage containers for Autumn's drawers, which I'm so sad to say they are too long, noooo! So sad! I'll figure some use for them though. I also got some random kitchen stuff, a book for Autumn and a new bath for her too. It was a good thing I was limited by the car size otherwise I would have bought a ton more!

 The trip home...it was a little rough. Poor babe was so over being in her car seat that she was just fussy to begin with. We had to stop SIX times to change her and every time we'd put her back in her seat she'd get fussy again. All in all though, she did awesome! Really, who likes to spend 6 hours in a car? Nobody!
The before and after picture. Going to CO. Coming Home. LOL
We had such a great time in Colorado visiting the fam, soaking up nature and taking Autumn on new adventures! I see many more trips in our future! Daddy was extra excited to see her since this was his first time apart from her since she was born! We were pretty excited to see him too!
This is my favorite picture of her. She is SOOOO silly!!!
XOXO,

Gossip Girl Jessica





































4.17.2013

Road Trippin'

We're taking our first road trip with Autumn in just a few days! I am SUPER excited! Especially because we have not left the state in over a year!!! That is just absurd! Maybe not absurd to most, but to us it is because we were taking a trip every month or two either to Denver, Phoenix or Vegas pre-baby. Ahhhh, life with a baby :)

We're heading to Colorado where Ernest will drop off Autumn and I (it's not as bad as it sounds) to Colorado Springs and he'll head up with a co-worker to Denver for a work conference. We'll be staying with my Aunt Joyce, Uncle Ty and Racquel, oh and my fluffy cousin Sasha. We are crashing their wedding anniversary (sorry!) on Saturday but it'll be nice to visit with them since they have only been able to meet Autumn twice! Sunday we're heading up to the mountains for my Uncle's Big Mountain Adventure Race. He is seriously probably the most in shape person I know! This race is no joke! We will be cheering him on from the sidelines- Go Ty! And I'm hoping to squeeze a trip in to IKEA! I haven't been to the new one yet and I am dying to get a new rug, some storage containers and probably a million other things I 'need'.

I love this rug! Even though it matches nothing in our living room. Time to re-decorate!?


Autumn's sock drawer is in need of organization. I need a million and a half of these.
I started creating a list of 'Things we need to take so we don't all have a meltdown' and my list is long. Once you start listing out everything you need in a day for one tiny little baby, it's a lot! Good thing we're taking the truck because girlfriend has a lot of stuff! She takes after Mama's packing, uh-oh. I'm the girl that had to shove stuff into Ernest's bag last year going to Hawaii, because mine was too heavy :/

Needless to say, I'm a bit nervous about traveling away from home for a few days. We are quite content in our little bubble where everything we need is a room away. It's a little nerve-racking to think if we forgot something, how she'll do on a 6 hour drive (with other people besides her parents in the vehicle) and if she'll sleep in a new place. The worries are endless!

I'm just trying to turn off my crazy and remember it'll be fun to get out of town, see family and take Autumn on a new adventure! Picture from our weekend to come!

In other news, Autumn is officially 27 weeks! It seems like she is changing more than ever right now! She is rolling over around the entire house like a boss, sitting up, and 'talking to everyone'. She's also started this new thing where if she gets super excited when she sees Jack, or me *blush*, she YELLS! It is the funniest thing. She flaps her arms around and will just keep yelling again and again. I must record it asap! She has been spending lots of time with Grandma Kathleen and they've been busy shopping, going to lunch and for walks. Autumn absolutely loves being out and about so Colorado will be right up her alley!

Here's how the rest of our (last) week went...
Got to visit with Aunt Renea



Testing out the new jogging stroller. She likes it, aka it puts her to sleep

Visited Aunt Lucy to try making her feel better
It's always tiara day
Some early birthday celebrations with Juliana
Feeding herself...
Flower shopping with Grandma K
The happiest little girl after her nap!

4.15.2013

These Aren't Your Mama's Cloth Diapers

I know what you're thinking, cloth diapering...ewwwww! But these ain't your mama's cloth diapers! I always get asked if I use clothing pins and if I have to fold the diapers...huh?!?! Definitely not! Cloth diapers have come a looooong way from pieces of cloth and clothes pins. 2013 Cloth diapers are cost effective, help the environment, safer for the babe AND they're cute!
Then...

Now!
If you can't tell already, I love cloth diapering! Note, I did say 'I'. Ernest on the other hand, not a big fan. I really can't quite figure out why but I think it has something to do with this little blue line Pampers Swaddler diapers have that tell you if the babe is wet. Which, to be honest, is pretty damn convenient!

The benefits of CD far outweigh the convenience of disposables for several reasons:
How cute is this?!
  • They are better for the babe. I don't want all those harsh chemicals next to my babe's cute little bum!
  • I can attest they are better when it comes to diaper rash. Since everyone isn't 100% on board with CD in our house (or in our babysitting cycle) when Autumn has had on disposables for a day there is a marked difference of redness on her. If I change her to CD's it clears itself up within a few hours. 
  • Cost. There is an initial cost of stocking your CD supply, but with some creative buying, you can buy them so it's less of an expense. I also registered for CD for the baby showers and got a good amount. I found some on Zulily and took advantage of Target's online ordering where you can (while certain promotions are running) get a $25 gift card. We also received some very generous gifts from friends and family to help stock our supply. If you go to buy disposables, you will quickly find they are expensive! Especially when your babe is like ours and a single drop of wetness makes her go crazy until you change her. OR she wets right after you just changed her! oi! Anyways, you can save about $2500 over their diaper wearing days. Buying in bulk will also save you some cash for the Baby Gap fund.
  • They are better for the environment. Seriously. Disposable diapers take 300-500 years to disintegrate! That's crazy! While you are using energy to wash the CD's, it's much less of an impact. We have a high efficiency washer/dryer and are only washing CD's about 2x a week. This is an environmental savings in my book.
    Even though these aren't my fav, they are damn cute
To be fair, there are some cons to CD...
  • Expensive initial cost. Again, some creative buying can help lessen that initial blow. You can also buy one at a time over a period of time to add to your stock.
  • They don't have that oh so convenient 'wet' line like the Pampers Swaddlers.
  • They make the baby bum a full on badunka-dunk! Which, sometimes, makes squeezing the babe into some cute leggings a little more challenging. An opportunity for more shopping?!
  •  They are bulky while traveling. I have the worlds smallest diaper bag so trying to shove CD into there is near impossible. If we are doing a quick outing, we'll take disposable. If we're going to family's house we'll take CD. Honestly, it's a bit of a pain until I get a larger diaper bag because right now I just look like a bag lady with a diaper bag, dry CD bag and a wet bag. Mother's Day is coming up and I've been crushing on some LuluLemon bags that would make a perfect diaper bag!
  • We couldn't use CD's for the first month or two. Autumn was too small and every time I did try them, they would leak because she has little chicken legs like her Daddy. 
    The colors are so fun!
These are how the CD's work, at least the ones we use:

Now to the actual CD's, this is kind of a trial and error based on personal preference. I definitely have my preferences for which diapers I do and do not like. We have a few of each diaper:
  • Charlie Banana's. By far my favorites. They have the cutest colors and patterns. They are All-In-Ones (meaning you use them through the duration of their diapering life and adjust to a bigger button as necessary). The material is really soft, they fit nicely and have never leaked. They also have a re-usable insert. AND these are now sold in our Target store which is super convenient!
  • FuzziBunz: These work well. We haven't had any issues so a win in my book.
  • Jungle Roo: Come in cute colors/patterns. They don't fit as well and are a little bulkier than the rest.
  • gDiapers: By far, my least favorite. The fit is really bad. They leak if they aren't tight enough and if you put them on tighter, they leave red marks on Autumn. They also close to the back which just seems backasswards to me. The colors also bleed in the washer. No bueno. We still have a larger size that we haven't used yet and I'm kind of dreading putting them back in the rotation. They do have a disposable insert which would make traveling with them easier. Also, the colors are nice...when they aren't bleeding on everything else.
I think what makes the difference between a good CD experience and a shitty one (pun intended) is a good arsenal of supplies. Some of my must-have's are...
  • Rockin' Green Laundry Detergent. I love that their products are earth friendly, they have specific products to your region (think hard water vs. soft water) and you can use the same detergent for washing the CD's and the babe's clothes. Extra savings! The scents are amazing! I had to stop myself from eating the 'Smashing Watermelon'! Right now we're on Orchid Lavender...dreamy! This stuff seriously lasts forever too! You only need 2-3TBPS so a little goes a long way. They also have tons of other products like dish detergent and even pet stuff. The 'Funk Rock' is also a must to get rid of that ammonia smell. Trust me on this one. 
  • Cloth Diaper Sprayer. You hook this bad boy up to your toilet and spray all the nasties down the toilet until wash day. A must! 
  • Wet Bag: This is a large wet bag pail. We have this bag and it works great. It zips closed and you just unzip it directly into the washer. Very convenient.
  • Traveling Wet Bag: This is great for traveling with CD's. 
  • Large Diaper Bag: Large Lululemon 'diaper' bag to be exact! Again, Mother's Day is coming up, hint-hint ;) This bag (really, all their bags) have pockets very similar to a diaper bag so it will work great for bottles, CD's and wipes!
    Loving this neon!
I've just hit the tip of the iceberg when it comes to cloth diapers!