Thursday, January 31, 2008

Short Feedback sent to Wal-Mart

I want to tell you that I really appreciate when a cashier is pleasant and educated about reusable bags. I had a recent experience at your store in Princeton Illinois when I was using reusable bags. The cashier was a younger girl and when she thought I wasn't looking, she was giving me dirty looks and rolling her eyes. I ended up holding the bags open for her as she filled them.

Then a week later I went to the same store and associate Pat Larson was the cashier. She was incredibly pleasant, and commented that I was doing a good thing by using reusable bags. She never once acted as though she was inconvenienced. I believe that your cashiers need to be EDUCATED on how to handle and use reusable bags for customers. I have read online several instances of your cashiers trying to place items in Wal-Mart bags and then put them INSIDE of canvas bags. They really need education on how to handle these bags, especially now that you are selling reusable bags in your stores. Thank you for your time.

Meagan Johnson
Contact retailers online:

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Last night was kinda blah. I really didn't care much about anything. The haircut went well. But the bathroom sink still doesn't work, the bathroom tub was still clogged, the telephones still are losing connection and not working correctly, and despite all my best efforts, I still have laundry to do, dishes to wash, picking up to do.... all which cuts into my time with the baby, when the only time I spend with her is a couple of hours a day. Frustrating. If I didn't take her to daycare, and then traipse off to work each day, that would give me 9.5 extra hours a day to spend with her and accomplish things at home.... and about 72 less bottle and pump pieces to wash each night. Ugh.

Okay... that problem won't be resolving itself for a while, so let's complain about something else. Specifically, businesses that don't keep their websites current. As a web designer, I find this incredibly frustrating. For Example, if I go visit your website looking at program dates and it is almost February 2008 and all I can see is your Summer 2007 schedule, I get rather frustrated. Actually, I get really frustrated. It's a huge pet peeve of mine.

I have been investigating Infant Swimming Classes/Playtimes to take Ardyn to. Everyone in bigger cities has so many things available to them. I thought I would check our local rec center, the Bureau County Metro Center, and search out their infant swimming options. I couldn't find any listed on their website. So I went to the local-ish YMCA's website, and they have very specific dates and times of upcoming Aqua Tots sessions. So after posting here, I have had two moms tell me that the Metro Center has infant lessons. But they aren't listed on the website. That frustrates me. Incredibly. So I called and left a message for the Aquatics Coordinator, to get more information as to when the next session of infant swim activities starts. Her swim diaper is here, but the next session doesn't start (they believe) until March... which is when she will be 6 months old.... which appears to be the golden age for them to allow swimming. SO It meshes well.

I was also trying to determine if I would do some exercising at the Metro Center on a few weeknights. All my friends seem to be going there, but I am really thinking about the daily $4.50 admission and how it will add up, and all the other things I would rather spend that money on. I won't go often enough to warrant a membership. Especially doesn't seem prudent when I have a treadmill at home, and also have free use of the gym here at work. And now that their website made me angry, I am liking the idea of going there even less. I think my exercise will be a mixture of home and work for me.

Last night I cut all the tags off the microfiber towels and picked lint off them from the dryer (they attracted all the little threads from the flannel's fraying edges) and got them all folded pretty. Not sure why I really bothered to fold them because I am just going to sew them, but I like things neat and pretty, and stacked and folded makes me happy, so there you have it. Ardyn is such a big laundry helper! She sits on the dryer and knocks over towers that I create with empty Oxy Clean Containers. She thinks it is the coolest entertainment around! Since my love of stacking things is really manifested in cloth diapers... I also stacked freshly washed and dried inserts last night and was pleased to see them all clean and fresh.

Lets see, what else. My husband royally pissed me off this morning. Enough to make me not speak to him. Enough to make me do everything by myself and not ask for help. Enough to make me vow not to speak to him until he apologizes. And Enough to make me refuse his offer to swap vehicles so that I would be taking a 4WD out in today's "blizzard" instead of my car. I can be stubborn like that. But since talking to him about it won't get through his thick head, the silent treatment might. Or at least it will make me feel more heard than even talking will.

And the "blizzard" has been downgraded from last night's 5 inch potential to a 3 inch potential. Who would have thought that we would ever hear weather in Illinois where 3 inches was considered a "Blizzard?" It's that damn global warning I tell ya. It's messed with our heads and our weather so that we have more of the blowing and icing and such instead of just big pretty flakes drifting down peacefully.





Ugh. Cold. 56 degrees for a high this morning and 2 degrees for a low tonight. That's a huge temp change.

My 5 gallon bucket of Charlie's Soap is on it's way via FedEx and the Oxyboost is also on it's way. Along with a pair of black Rocketdogs to wear for work. I got ticked off today because when I went online to check for the delivery status, I saw that the shoes were $39 and now they are $29 on sale and haven't even gotten to my door yet! Argh! This happened with my Company Kids order, before the bookshelf even arrived it was on sale for $10 cheaper. I have bad luck with things going on sale like RIGHT after I buy them. So I called finish line and they are giving me a $10 gift card to make up the difference.

I have directions to make my own baby legwarmers... And now I need to pick up some cool adult/kids knee high socks to make a few pair myself. Ardyn has like 5 pair, and I love them. They make diaper changes a breeze and are so great to wear around home and on the weekends with onesies.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Ardyn's 5 Month Pics ~Taken by Mom!~

Monday. It's back. Today we got up LOTS early. So since we had to go elsewhere to take showers last night because our bathtub is clogged (and the bathroom sink is turned off because of the leak) I was already clean this morning and my straggly kinky bedhead went right back in a twist. I was ready to leave the house TWO HOURS before I have to be at work. I clipped Ardyn's nails, changed her onesie and socks and diaper again, did a load of laundry, picked up for the cleaning people, and decided to do a blog posting.

Last night Ardyn and I ran to Wal-Mart to buy some flannel and some microfiber towels (from the automotive section) so that I can sew some diaper inserts. I was pleased to again use my reusable bags at Wal-Mart.... and this time since I knew the cashier and have for years, she was praising me for using them, instead of the last cashier who was about 20 and wanted to kill me with the daggers being shot out by her eyeballs when she thought I wasn't looking. She doesn't know, however, that since I am now a mom, I have that "eyes in the back of my head thing" that I inherited from my mom. I washed everything (fabric and towels) last night, and hopefully tonight I can throw out my first prototype. Got some cool colors, greens, yellows, turquoises, and pinks.... and some baby blue and white also. Cool patterned flannels.... but I will show you with pics when I am done. Today the Loopy Do Inserts for the Knickernappies Disposanots arrived, and also the iPlay swim diaper that I bought from the mamma on Diaperswappers. Also got the shopping cart seat/cover.

Over the weekend we battled with teething again a bit, she was in good spirits on Saturday but was feverish that night and all day Sunday. She took two 3-hour naps on Saturday and then several short 45 minute naps on Sunday. Sunday she pretty much woke up fussy, drooled and chewed on everything, and was cranky. She had that low grade fever for the past 3-4 days, but Sunday it was a bit higher and it was affecting her more, so she did get a dose of Tylenol which finally brought it down and allowed her to feel better and sleep better. Even though her Tylenol had long since worn off by bedtime, she slept through the night. Poor Beeb.

Evan's mom and aunt visited on Saturday, and that afternoon Evan and I took some new pictures of Ardyn. Consider these her "5 month" pictures. I will add a few here- the rest are on Flickr. They turned out great, and it saved us about $140 at Sears. The hat was a gift from Evan's cousin Aaron and his wife Brenda for Christmas, she picked it up at a baby boutique and I loved it instantly. The teacup was a giant planter that I bought at Wal-Mart a while back (read:years) and the black fabric backdrop is just some fabric that Evan bought at Wal-Mart for me when I was on pregnant, on bed rest, and frantic that I hadn't bought any yet. We used the crib bars (side) as the backdrop and put the fabric over it and one the floor.

Today at noon I am getting my hair cut. Off. I told myself I wasn't going to do the "mom cut" thing but I am so tired of how long it takes to dry my long thick hair, and I usually just end up pulling it back, and I need a change. I don't keep my hair one way for long, and It has been long since before I got pregnant, I pretty much am ready for a change. I have my style all picked out and I am happy to be getting it done today so I can stop hemming and hawing over the decision and just have it be made. My hair grows so fast that it would be this long again in a year or so, If I wanted to grow it out again. I miss having big hair. I love to tease and spray and long straight hair just bores me after a while. So, chop chop!

Over the weekend I ordered my snap press, and the #20 Die, and some industrial Polyacetal snaps. I will add these to my mamma pads and eventually to my own cloth diapers. I also bought the poo pockets diaper patterns (The original, the side snapping, and the tiny poo pocket patterns), and hope to sew all my own diapers in the next size she wears. I also need to get my butt in gear and start making tiny poo pockets for the next baby we have. The good news is that I had an advertising agency from Chicago approach me, wanting to purchase the rights to use a photo that I took, for a large ad campaign for a Chicago bank. The picture goes to the bank this week, and they will choose which ad they want, and if they choose my picture, let's just say that I am using the money to buy a Serger for myself so that I can crank things out quickly and not do all this stitching, turning, and trimming with the Singer machine.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Ten Teenie Things to Make the World Greener

1. Turn off the Water when brushing your teeth (Barney has a song that {Unfortunately} I sing to Ardyn each morning while brushing my teeth... "I never let the water run.")

2. Unplug your cell phone charger when not in use. (ohhh I think there are THREE Cell phone chargers plugged in at our house right now. Bad bad.)

3. Use a revolving Door. (Well, not many of those in these parts.)

4. Shut down your computer down at night (Hmmm..... We have four running at our house, but they automatically go into standby mode- and the laptops then turn "off.")

5. Wear Fleece. (?)

6. Enjoy a meatless meal once a week. (Okay, is this green, or just vegetarian? Angela help?)

7. Use a manual Can Opener (We have both. Sometimes I use manual. i.e. when someone unplugs mine and it is not charged.)

8. Adjust thermostat one degree up in the summer and one degree down in the winter. (Well, the best I can do on this is to reprogram my thermostat which needs to be done anyway.)

9. Drive one mile per hour slower.

10. Replace one closet lightbulb with an energy saving fluorescent bulb. (Evan and I have been discussing this. I guess the closet is a good place to start. I hate fluorescent lighting and generally use the reveal bulbs at home, but who cares in a closet, right?)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

What's New...

Well, first I have to say that I was pretty upset when I learned that Heath Ledger died. He was one of my favorite actors, and I had collected some good pictures of him on Flickr, which promptly started receiving comments and favorites like "the second" his death hit the news. This is the first time that a celebrity has died and I felt like he was someone I knew. I know that sounds bizarre and stalker-ish, which I really am not, but I got the same sad and sinking feeling that you get when you hear that someone you actually know has died. You know the feeling, right? I guess I felt connected to it because he has a daughter and I just kept thinking of his daughter and it made me feel terrible. I thought instantly of how varied his roles were, from way back in "Ten Things I Hate About You" to "A Knight's Tale", "Brother's Grim", "Candy", and my personal Favorite, "Cassanova." The second my sister found out she text messaged me, which led me to call my husband, who had also "just heard." That night we talked about how we had been planning to see him badly as the Joker in the upcoming Batman. It really is unbelievable. I hope he is in a better place.

Recently there have been a rash of purchases made on my end, including a brand new looking toddler seat from a co-worker for $25, which I think will go to my mom or be kept with me as a spare seat. For Christmas, Mom and Dad bought Ardyn her "big girl" carseat that will go in my vehicle, and I would like to purchase one more seat that is identical to put in Evan's car. I like the way the seat that we bought has cupholders and also has so much padding and a really nice 5-point harness that releases and tightens with one hand. I would like to have the same seat in Evan's vehicle, but it will be nice to own a spare seat in case she has to ride with a family member, or if perhaps I have to cart around someone else's toddler. It is a nice nice seat, usually runs about $70 but I got it from a really nice lady for $25. She had bought it for her grandkids and used it when they were with her, so it was really well taken care of and barely used.

I also just bought Ardyn a Bummi's Swim Diaper (yellow print at left- unisex so good for future babies) in the Pizzazz print, and also an iPlay Swim Diaper and Hat Set (the yellow and pink one- iPlay is deemed the best on the market) from a mom on diaperswappers. I was debating on a baby wetsuit, but decided to stick with diapers for now and see how she does in the pool. She already has swim gear (suit and coverup and two swim hats) for this coming summer, but We want to start taking her to the pool and perhaps to an Aquatotz class at the YMCA, but she doesn't have any swim gear that fits her now. Plus she needed a swim dipe. Excited about those arriving and taking her to the pool this winter/spring. She LOVES the water, loves the bathtub, and Evan and I agree that we want her to have an early start. If they had baby swimming lessons in this podunk area, I would take her to those too!

We just did a HUGE Stock up on laundry detergent and oxiboost. I bought a 5 gallon bucket of Charlie's Detergent, which should last into the next millenium. LOL. It's a tablespoon a load, so that's 1280 loads of laundry from the 5 gallon bucket. I am also pretty meticulous about her clothes, so I am constantly going through Oxyclean baby. I should buy stock in that stuff! But since they only sell it at Target in our area, each time we make the 35-40 minute drive to Target I buy like FOUR Containers. So from the same vendor that I bought our soap, I bought a 12 pound Tub of Oxyboost that can be used on her clothes and the diapers. Can't wait for that to get here. Also got a wetbag pail liner for the nursery diaper pail, I figure I might as well just get one since I will be using cloth for future babes as well. Using disposable diaper pail bags becomes a real pain when you replace it each night, and on top of that it isn't very "green" and it really is stinkier than a wet bag (which has the ability to add Tea Tree Oil to assist with odor control."

Since she just moved into 3-6 months size, I got 5 pair of baby gap yoga pants on eBay for cheap, and bought 8 long sleeved onesies by Gerber since she is out of white onesies that fit her, and only has 5 onesies that fit her at all. Which, when you wear two a day, and potentially more if you leak through a diaper or get something on you at daycare, that is NOT enough.

We also recently bought some super cute baby legwarmers (5 pair) from a mom on diaperswappers, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE them. They make diaper changes so easy. Just put on a onesie and legwarmers and socks and she is cozy, comfy for playing or sleeping, and diaper changes are a total breeze. She has worn the Black and red Argyle, Pink Striped, and White with Flowers already. I just love them. We always knew legwarmers would be back....

After work tonight Ardyn and I went out for supper to 6&34 with my mom and sister Liz. We had a great time and were having a celebration that Liz kicked her boyfriend out again. Hopefully this time it's for good! Ardyn had a great time bouncing on Liz's lap and Pulling on her hair. I had chicken tacos that were delicious.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


Well, a recent visitor asked that I talk a little bit about infertility. I really never posted about this that I can recall, mostly because at the time it was a sensitive issue. People who have never dealt with fertility issues have no idea what it's like to be trying to get pregnant, afraid you will never be pregnant. They have no idea how it is to be asked every 10 minutes by every person you see "When are you two having kids" or "What are you waiting for?" Yeah. That is annoying. It's about all you can do not to strangle or maim someone. I know that most of them have the best intentions, but the other half are just plain nosy. Ever since that experience, I have never ever ever asked anyone again when they are having kids, or even if they are having more kids, unless I personally am very close with them and feel that they know my situation and have an idea as to what is going on... I have learned after the fact that there are many people around me who struggle with getting pregnant, and that they, just like me, don't really feel like talking about it to everyone who asks them questions. It is a very personal thing. One of my biggest issues was discussing it with family. I had heard some of my family members talk very openly about another family member's fertility issues. Maybe those details were shared openly, but I didn't want details of my personal life spread all over the world without a single care for my feelings.

So, that said, I have never had an official "medical diagnosis" for infertility. I have what is more known as secondary infertility. I was able to get pregnant with Ardyn "Naturally" and without any fertility treatments. I did see a fertility specialist, to help determine what my issues were. Specifically, I saw a man who is probably the areas most leading Fertility Specialist, and he practices in two different states. He is the most wonderful, knowledgeable, and patient man. After about 6 months of not being able to get pregnant, I went to see my midwife. I wanted to have just a basic appointment to cover everything. She discussed with me the possibility that I may have PCOS, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. Having PCOS is actually a very common thing. It's one of the leading causes of infertility. It is also often undiagnosed. I also have Insulin Resistance, in which the body does not properly handle insulin, and it is very often in conjunction with PCOS. Insulin resistance also happens in males. It does a number on your body, specifically hormonally in women, and adds to the issues of PCOS. Because there is a very high instance of diabetes in my immediate family and my family history, the insulin resistance is no surprise. I take Metformin (A diabetes medication) on a daily basis, to help combat the insulin resistance, and straighten out my hormones, which in turn can prevent the effects on my ovaries, and allow me to ovulate regularly, as if I didn't have PCOS. Another thing that I have, which is in conjunction with the PCOS and Insulin Resistance, is Metabolic Syndrome X. This is a situation in which the IR and the PCOS also combine with potential life threatening situations like Obesity and Heart Problems (High Cholesterol, etc.) This is why it is imperative that I start and maintain a healthy diet (South Beach or another low carb diet) and regular exercise. Otherwise it is highly likely that I could die an untimely death due to a heart problem.

Okay, so back to Pregnancy.

When I went off Birth Control around the time we got married in 2005, I stopped having periods. Entirely. I had to be given a supplement in order to start a period. This was cause for concern, because buildup of the endometrial lining also causes Endometriosis and Cancer. So after 6 months of irregular or non-existent periods, my midwife suggested PCOS as an option. She wanted me to work on losing weight via South Beach Diet. She told me that if I lost 25 pounds and still couldn't get pregnant, she would send me to a fertility specialist, in my case, a Reproductive Endocrinologist (RE.)

Well, I put my nose seriously to the grindstone and strictly followed the South Beach Diet. You may or may not recall, that I start on my mom's Birthday, February 23rd, 2006. By June 1st (just barely over 3 months) I had lost 25 pounds. No exercise. Just South Beach Diet. When I got to phase 3 I was scared to death to eat bread or fruit, lest I gain it all back. Even though I was allowed whole wheat pasta and whole grain bread, I would restrict myself to once a week. I was incredibly serious. And I still didn't get pregnant. So In July we went to see the RE. At this point in time, no one in our family, and the majority of our friends, did not know that we were trying to get pregnant at all, nor that there might be a problem. It was incredibly stressful, but I really was adamant that this be a private thing, because people do NOT understand. Later in the infertility journey, my husband told a family member what was going on. She sent me a copy of an article about how families who couldn't have children can embrace adopted children as family, and while I think it was meant to be supportive and assure us that no matter what we were supported, it sent me into a huge depression that I might never have my own children and that they were suggesting adoption. I was so upset about that I cried. And cried. Every time I thought about it. All over someone else's opinion. It's frustrating. That's why for me, it was best left as a private matter.

The RE immediately did a full blood workup, checking all my hormones and my thyroid and everything. He also did the first of MANY Pelvic ultrasounds, in which he was able to see classic polycystic ovaries. Basically, in normal situations, your ovaries produce eggs, and then one of the eggs becomes mature and grows to it's full potential, and then it is released. When you have polycystic ovaries, ALL of your eggs try to mature, instead of just one. But there isn't the right balance of hormones, etc to make that one egg grow to it's fullest potential, because it's being used up by all the other eggs. So basically all of the eggs that are trying to grow, die off and become cysts in your ovaries. On the pelvic US, I could see the "dead eggs" in my ovaries. Little circles that never reached their potential, never released. So basically if you don't ovulate, you won't have a period. And you won't ever get pregnant.

The bloodwork that came back confirmed the PCOS and IR. The RE wanted to immediately start me on Metformin and also on Clomid to force ovulation. He also showed Evan and I demonstrations and gave us explanations of things that might be in our future, such as self-administered and VERY Expensive daily FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormones) injections... and IVF (In Vitro Fertilization.) Of course, we had immediately discovered that Infertility is not (was not) covered on my insurance. But because I wasn't having periods, the diagnosis was a medical one. PCOS Is a medical problem, which can cause secondary infertility. The second that the RE Prescribed Clomid, was the very second that my diagnosis would switch to infertility and my insurance would cease all coverage. Just the office visit to see the RE was around $1600. Every pelvic ultrasound was between $300-400.

As part of the routine workup, they also wanted a semen analysis done for Evan and an HSG (Hysterosalpingogram) done for me. An HSG is a catheter, vaginally, into your cevix. They then use a balloon to inject a radioactive dye into your uterus. It is then sucked up by your fallopian tubes, and they can tell if you have a tubal blockage. Problem is, this is more of an infertility treatment, and if there is a blockage, usually the Dr. performing the procedure can try to clear the blockage out with the dye, or they can perform a laporoscopic surgery to clear the blockage. Besides the fact that insurance didn't cover it, I was afraid of the procedure (which is said to be excruciating for some women) and I was confident that we should first try the Metformin. I didn't want to try Clomid right off the bat, because I was afraid of multiples... and I knew that would mean the insurance wouldn't cover anything from that point forward. It was then that I learned that the State of Illinois forces employers who have a certain number of employees to provide infertility coverage. That is also when I discovered that there is a loophole in that law, if the employer is self insured (which mine is, even though they have over 400 employees) they are immune to this law. This itself brought me to tears.

So we took the Metformin and I started to take the highest dosage right away. It played hell with my body as I got used to it, causing everything from stomach upset to explosive diarrhea, and also at one point making me lethargic and feeling like I was having a heart attack, as my insulin levels regulated themselves. This was July, and in August, before even having a period on my own, I ovulated and got pregnant. And promptly miscarried. I was barely pregnant, but I just knew that I was. Can't explain it. Had all the symptoms. And when you spend 15 months charting your periods and your fertility signs, believe me, you know what is going on with your body all the time. I could tell ovulation without a shadow of a doubt. I also was using the Clear Blue Easy Fertility Monitor, which is an excellent investment (especially if you buy a used one off eBay like I did) and even though it costs about $40 a month in Sticks to pee on, it is cheaper and much much more efficient than OPK's (Ovulation predictor kits) like you buy at drugstores. You can buy the sticks cheaper at - I discovered that I ovulate on the 20th day of my cycle, unlike most "myths" that everyone ovulates on the 14th day. That's a bunch of crap, and if you want to learn the most you have ever learned about your body and fertility and reproduction, you need need need to purchase "Taking Charge Of your Fertility" by Toni Weschler. It is a must have book. I don't know why they don't teach girls this in health education. It is ridiculous that women know so little about their own bodies! EVERY WOMAN should own and read this book. It is the infertility bible. it is the charting bible. It is the thing you need.

The miscarriage was horrible, as much physically as emotionally. I was up all night cramping and shaking and just felt for sure I was going to die, and towards the end I kept thinking that it felt like I had to push something out... which was when I was sure what was going on. I started clotting at about 6am and by 8am had called my midwife and told her what was going on. She told me to take a hot bath, and also was shocked that I hadn't come into the ER because I should have had something for the pain. Evan had mentioned it, but I just felt like I would be more comfortable at home, and I knew there was nothing they could do to reverse what was happening. The midwife told me that the pain meds would have relaxed me and made everything happen more quickly. Looking back, I probably should have gone in. Problem was my beta numbers were never "high enough" to be considered an actual pregnancy, but when I started cramping, I knew better. Later that morning, I went in and had Beta tests done that showed my levels dropping, which proved the miscarriage was over, and that it wasn't something ectopic. While being sad, I was also excited that I could get pregnant, and that I was ovulating. Of course this same weekend as I was miscarrying, the Dr told me to take it easy and stay close to home so that if something else went wrong I could get in to see them. Evan's family had a gathering that was over an hour away, and we weren't able to attend, but we also didn't really want to discuss what was going on, so it was like we couldn't win.... we were getting some flack for not attending and I know that Evan felt badly. But I was lucky that he didn't leave me alone.

Looking back, I can't believe that I got pregnant on the very first try after the Metformin, and on what was quite likely my first time ovulating in 11 years. The RE told me that getting pregnant by Metformin alone RARELY happens to his patients, and that I should consider myself very lucky. Really, the egg quality at the time of the Miscarriage probably wasn't 100% and I can totally see how a miscarriage could happen. But at the time it set forth a whole new range of fears, thinking that I may have problems keeping a pregnancy.

We tried for 3 more months and nothing. I was about on the verge of going crazy. I was reading all kinds of books about infertility, and was heavily charting, using the Clearblue Easy Ovulation Methods, Charting Cervical Fluid, and also taking my temperature each morning. It was really taking it's toll on me. And then, FINALLY, on December 22nd, at 10 days past Ovulation... I had a feeling. I took a home test and got a VERY faint line. So faint that Evan claimed he couldn't even see it.

I called the midwife and had a blood test done before lunch and the results early that afternoon. I was pregnant! Would it stick? The beta numbers weren't as high as they could be, but it was still really early, and so they also did progesterone tests that showed I had a low level of progesterone. My RE prescribed progesterone supplements. I had to insert tiny progesterone pills, like round candies with a coating like skittles, vaginally (yep, you heard that right) twice a day. At first I couldn't see how I could walk around without "dropping my skittles" and thought I would have to be in a "perma-kegel" state. I was having blood tests done every 48 hours to make sure the Beta was doubling. It was stressful, but at the time it was the BEST CHRISTMAS that I had ever had. I was finally pregnant- but I couldn't quite tell anyone, just in case.

But it all worked out, and 10 days and 40 skittles later, I was still pregnant and went in for my first pelvic ultrasound. The baby looked healthy and we could see the fetal pole and sack. It was so exciting but it was like waiting on pins and needles. I decided that I could either be terribly afraid to be excited, or just let myself BE Excited, and that either way I would be just as devastated if it didn't work out.... so I just let myself be happy. I think Evan was more wary than I was. For a while he kinda refused to believe I was pregnant, because he said we couldn't tell if it would last. In January we saw the heartbeat and the RE assured me that the chances of a miscarriage at this point were extremely slim and that it would be safe to tell our families, if we wanted. I was something like 9 weeks pregnant, and already bloated enough to be a little "showing" and not be able to button my pants.... So we told our families that same night.

So, basically, I feel extremely fortunate to have my daughter, and really really really can't wait to have more kids. But PCOS and IR are incurable, and they are something that I will deal with for the rest of my life. And this means I will deal with secondary infertility for the rest of my life. It's also important to not that they come with a huge range of side effects, which are worse when the diseases are not managed... including excessive testosterone levels, excessive hair growth (sounds manly, eh?) and my favorite (not) horrible acne. As a kid who never really had acne, and always had very fair skin, this is the one that throws me for a big loop. Nothing on the market can contain acne caused by PCOS. Not proactiv, not prescriptions, not washing your face with every single different face line there is. it's hormonal, and it's a problem that can't be corrected. My face is at it's best when I am on Birth Control Pills or when I am pregnant, because my hormones are at their most normal. It's hard for people to understand that I feel better pregnant than not pregnant, but it's the honest to god truth. That's how messed up my hormones are on a normal basis. PCOS can also cause issues with pregnancy- specifically stillbirth and miscarriages.... and later issues with breastfeeding, and the hormones can mess with your milk supply.

I just recently discovered that I had elevated cholesterol, but right after that, discovered that breastfeeding and postpartum are not recommended times for testing lipids, because your body is making extra cholesterol as a result of your pregnancy or milk manufacturing. Of course, even my own doctors denied that was even possible, until I found research from the internet, and printed out the articles along with the references that wrote them. But I have been warned that I have Metabolic Syndrome X (most likely) and that I will still have to be especially careful of my cholesterol and blood pressure in the future. Managing my Insulin Resistance with drugs like Metformin and a low carb diet with exercise should prevent many Metabolic issues. Hopefully. And all of this is hereditary. Yee!

So if you are dealing with infertility, my first advice is to get the book mentioned above. Read it. Get serious about charting and if you are overweight, get serious about making a lifestyle change. If you still don't get where you want to be, see a specialist and don't take no for an answer if you need a referral from your OB or family Doctor. They are almost NEVER equipped to handle an infertility situation, and time is of the essence, so it's best to take a proactive approach. A good Dr. will recognize your need to see someone more experienced in the field. I was lucky to have a midwife who was supportive and knowledgeable, but also smart enough to know when I was pushing the boundaries of what she could help me with. I also recommend stress relieving methods like massage and pedicures, yoga and meditation. I have heard that women have great results with acupuncture but it was something that I couldn't afford, and I hate needles, so It wasn't in my book of tricks to try. And mostly, best of luck to you. May you keep a positive attitude, keep your cool with the insensitive people that surround you, and most of all try to remain close to your spouse or partner because infertility is a trying time and can easily tear apart a marriage. Both times that I was able to successfully get pregnant, I was getting regular massages. I continued this into my pregnancy, until I became a little too uncomfortable to sit in one spot that long, and it was my saving grace. Massage is a beneficial preventative, and I have been already told by my Dr. that I need to continue massage to help manage the Metabolic and PCOS. But I haven't had one since being pregnant. I need to start back!

Take care and any questions, please let me know. And remember, just because someone isn't pregnant, doesn't mean they don't want to be. Respecting their privacy is the best thing you can do for them, and the most supportive.

Monday, January 21, 2008

I love being boring.

We had the most relaxing weekend. Basically, I never left the house. I pretty much cuddled and nursed the baby, played with her, washed laundry and diapers, hand washed some dishes, made food, and read "Salem Falls" By Jodi Picoult. I also watched "Britney Spears Fall From Grace" During one of Ardyn's naps, wrote out all the bills, gave her a bath, took my own bath, and wore pajamas all weekend. It was good. It was very good. I also organized a binder to keep her daycare papers and our daycare receipts in. i was going to do a little sewing, but I really wanted to finish the book before I have to go back to the library on Wednesday. I have three of the four I checked out finished, one more Jodi Picoult book to start and finish before then. I don't think I can accomplish that (I could without a baby, no problem) but at least I only have one book to renew instead of two. Or Three. Or Four.

We are still waiting for Ardyn to poop. I know that sounds bizarre to a non-parent, but that's what your brain does. And tomorrow will be seven days without a poop. Most moms who feed formula are probably having a heart attack and worrying seriously that I am insane for not taking her right to the doctor, but at around 3-4 months of age, most breastfed babies make a switch from pooping once or twice a day, to pooping once a week or so. It's mostly due to the fact that breastmilk is constantly changing, and it is easily digested (more so than formula) so they are able to really use and digest everything in the breastmilk and have less waste. So for right now, I am not really worried about it, but I am watching for something "explosive" that is bound to happen sooner or later. Hopefully sooner. And hopefully at daycare. Ha. We did a special infant massage session last night where I did more stomach and leg massage and have been encouraging "bicycle" leg movements twice a day to help get things moving, but I don't think there is a problem as she hasn't been unusually fussy or anything.

Cloth Diapering. Is. A breeze. I can't believe how easy it is and why more people don't do it. I am loving the hemparoos inserts the best. Hemp holds MUCH more liquid than cotton or microfiber. It has a slower absorbency, but the beeb is more of a trickle pee-er.... so that isn't a big deal and hasn't affected us at all. We now have quite the Cloth Stash built up, including a tiny tush one size, 2 Bum Genius 3.0 One Sizes, 6 Snapeez Mediums, 3 Ewe Need It Mediums, 6 Medium Knickernappies Disposanots, 3 Small Happy Heineys, 1 Small Embroidered Green Acre Designs, 2 small Fuzzi Bunz, 6 Medium Fuzzi Bunz, and 4 Small Drybees. So about 34 diapers, and various inserts. The BG 3.0 inserts and doublers are very nice, she won't leak through them at night, but they are bulky. We tend to only use the BG overnight, and perhaps when we are home on the weekends. They are too bulky under her clothes. That might change once we can unsnap the onesizes from their smallest size, which tends to add bulk. The Tiny Tush seems to run a bit smaller than the BG 3.0, but we also use it mostly for overnight. Problem is the insert isn't nearly as nice so I have to double up, making it as bulky or even more than the BG 3.0 is. The Ewe Need It's are nice, but not my favorite. I think that I would be the most happy with FB's, KND's, and GAD's. I like the Snapeez a ton also. Actually she tends to wear these as much as the Fuzzi Bunz. But I try to put hemp inserts in everything, whether it be KND Hemp or Hemparoo Smalls. Washing is a breeze. Loving loving loving it.

Thanks to all the wallflowers who popped in to comment. It was so nice to have people visit! I need to write back, but haven't yet, and I wanted to get this post up as it has been a while (again) since I have posted. Oh the woes of being back to work and feeling like I have too much to do when I finally AM at home. Sometimes I just want to do nothing!

Mom and I didn't end up going to Neal's to look at Sergers this past weekend. She has a cold, and it was in the single digits and very windy.... maybe another time. Most of my communication with the outside world has been existing with a group of moms online, who all had their babies in September of 2007. We are really pretty close knit, on a first name basis and know each other's baby's by sight. I started an online photo sharing group for us, and we have to two message boards, and they are really a great group of moms. If I ever have a question, they are the first place I go. I trust their advice and experience immensely. It's really nice to have them. There are also breastfeeding and cloth diapering forums that I belong to, and then there is Diaperswappers, where addicts like me go to learn and swap/buy/sell Diapers and related items. I realized today that I haven't paid full retail price for a single diaper yet. Ahhh.... wheeling and dealing. So we are technically Recycling and Cloth Diapering all in one! YAY!

Oh, and how Could I forget to mention that on Friday night, CB and I went to LH's house and had a mini-scrapbooking night where she demo'd some Tim Holtz Techniques for us and we made collages between microscope slides. I need to upload the pictures of my finished piece. Good fun. I loved it. The coolest was that when we got there (It was freezing cold, seriously) LH opened the big doors to her shed, and we drove right inside and unloaded our supplies and stuff. Totally awesome. She also made Chili and Texas Sheetcake, and bought Tornado Sandwiches from Spaghetti Express. I learned a lot, and LH let me borrow her two Tim Holtz DVD's. I am almost through the first DVD, and I have gotten so many ideas it's insane. I am feeling like I need to own adirondack inks, alcohol inks, and a few other things.... like a good background collage stamp. And can I just say that he does a fabulous batik silk scarf dying session, that gave me goosebumps? Whew!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Welcome Anonymous Visitors.

Do you know that 49 people came to this blog yesterday? And not one of them commented? Oh what a lonely world. LOL. Of course this usually brings out the "anonymous" commenter. The one who says "YOU SUCK" and "I will never come back here" and then.... low and behold, they are back again! It amazes me, on a daily basis, how little the average person knows about the way the internet works. How little they know about how I can track your IP Address, your city and state, how long you were here, what you searched to get here, where you went when you left here, and what search engine you used to find me. As a web designer, the general population sometimes astounds me with the things they don't realize about the internet. This isn't meant to sound degrading. But it reminds me that just when I think that I am just your average run of the mill mom.... I do know SOMETHING that not everyone knows. Ah the power.

So today was the first day of cloth diapers at daycare. It is SO exciting! They are going wonderfully at home and I am LOVING THEM! My husband has suggested that I get myself a snap press and a serger, so that I can start making dipes myself, and perhaps then when she gets to the next size up, instead of buying I can just make them all. I am just super excited about that.... and if I play my cards right I can also start making tiny ones for the next little baby that we have (not yet people but soon!) I recently acquired 5 pair of babylegs. Can't wait to try those out.

So yesterday, Evan called me at work, and asked me if I had worked hard enough to earn my $40 for the week yet. LOL. He cracks me up. This morning when we loaded everything up to head off for the day, I promised him I would have a good day and work hard for my money. My $40 that is. Although it's depressing, we seem to be having a good laugh of it, which makes it easier to deal with.

I slept well last night, until about 4:30 this morning when Hadley had to go outside. He was doing the pee dance about 4 feet from my head, nails clicking on the wood floor. He only does that if he has to go... so up I went and let him out. Then I let Boyd out, and by that time my body thought I was up for the day and I started to leak milk. I checked on the beeb, and lay my hand on her chest, but she stayed asleep so I just decided to pump rather than wake her up. Then I couldn't get back to sleep. So I lay awake until about 6:45. FINALLY I fell asleep, and at 7:14 the beebs was wide awake and calling for me. So I went back and changed her, and we rushed back to my bed because it was cold and her little feet and hands were like ice cubes! I stripped off her sleeper and socks and we snuggled skin to skin, and she ate. And ate. And ate. And then we both fell back to sleep next to daddy, all cuddled up. She kept rubbing her little cold feet on my belly and eventually while she nursed I just wrapped my hands around them. We finally drug our asses out of bed at 8:34. Her little body was like a heater after being stripped down and laying next to me for an hour or so. She didn't want to get up so she and Evan lay in bed for another 15 minutes while I did my hair and brushed my teeth.

My mom and I are taking the beeb to the Quad Cities this weekend to go to a big sewing store and see all their Sergers. I have read that Husqvarna has the best reviews on Sergers, and they are a dealer.... so we are going on our merry way. Probably stop at Michaels and the mall while we are there. Should be a good time! We will take the stroller and I will also pack the babyhawk. It will be our first big trip out in cloth dipes. She has been to Wal-Mart and obviously to school.... but this should be great. I can't wait! Have a great night!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Decisions Decisions

Do you know how hard it is to drag your ass out of bed and be motivated when you know you will go to work and bring home the equivalent of $1.25 and hour? And this is in the good Ol USA, not Mexico. No Third World Country. Ugh. Dramatic. I know. But man is it hard to feel motivated to give 100% of yourself when you could be home in your stretchy pants eating cereal and playing with your kid all day.

My mind has been ROLLING with what I will do. ROLLING with ideas. Dollar signs. Business Opportunities. SAHM and WAHM thoughts. It's so hard for me to get to sleep at night. Ever since feeling the pain of a postpartum paycheck, I have gone to bed at 12am or 1am instead of my usual 10 or 10:30. Even when I lay down, my mind swims for another hour at least. Frustrating. My husband just says "Don't worry. Don't stress" and while I appreciate his comforting comments, if it were that easy to turn MY brain off, I would have done it by now. In talking with CB I got to the bottom today, determining that you can't really make the "right" decision in this situation because you can't know the outcome. You just can't know what will happen 20 years from now, and whether or not either decision is the "right" one. So I am going to try to not let this eat me alive for a while. Speaking of eaten alive.... I swear something is biting my back.

I have been investigating Sergers. The Husqvarna has the best reviews, even over most singer models I have read about. Although Brother gets fairly good reviews. I think I need to go to a sewing store and see them demonstrated. But those are few and far between these days. The closest one is like 45 minutes away. Trying to figure out if I should have Evan take me, go by myself, or what.

Ahhh.... Decisions. Life is full of them.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Let the Games Begin!

Well, the soap came today! YAY! 2 three pound bags of Charlie's Natural Soap, which will do a grand total of 160 loads of laundry. That's alot! It only takes 1 tablespoon per load, which is refreshing. So today I have been washing mamma pads, diapers, wipes, and inserts, and this afternoon we will put our first ever cloth diaper on the Beeb! YAY! Pretty darn exciting! Friday night we also got all of Ardyn's new shelves assembled and moved into her room, where I was able to put all her toys on the shelves. Lisa came over for a bit and we crocheted and talked for a few hours, which was great because not only do I NOT have to be productive in housework, but I can also spend time with a friend AND get crochet done. Lisa made Ardyn her favorite blanket (okay MY favorite blanket) and we just love it. We love it so much we won't send it to daycare. We love it so much that we have already planned to make her big girl room in coordinating colors.

Tomorrow we have a reunion for my paternal grandma's family. Looking forward to that, lots of people who I haven't seen in years, some who I haven't seen since I was pregnant, therefore LOTS of people who haven't seen Ardyn yet. Should be fun. My grandparents 60th anniversary is also later this week.

So Friday I got my first ever "full" paycheck at work since being back from Maternity Leave. Once I have taxes and health insurance premiums for both Ardyn and I taken out of my check, and pay for daycare, and a tank of gas each week for my trip to work and back, I bring home exactly $40 a week. Um. Yes. That's the honest to god truth. So although I won't elaborate here and now, in the coming months something will change. Evan and I have been discussing and as sure as my name is Meagan... something will be changing.

I have to admit that I was beyond frustrated. As a person who thoroughly enjoys her job, and likes her employer and co-workers as much as I do, I was so so so excited to be back to work. I knew I would be bringing home less money, but I never imagined. I never ever ever imagined it would be this bad. I almost cried. And I do not cry. Luckily my friend CB came to the rescue and helped me rationalize that the world is not over and I have many many options available to me.

In the meantime, I have two fabulous scrapbooking/creative events that I plan on attending in the next two months. I look forward to them so wholeheartedly. The Beeb has been napping wonderfully today. We recently brought out the excersaucer, and she loves that thing. She isn't "spinning" around in it yet, but she loves being sitting all tall and playing with toys. She watched me do lots of laundry already today.

Thinking we are taking hot wings to the reunion tomorrow. It's gonna be so much easier to just go buy a few bags of wings and toss them into the crock pot. That way I can spend the day concentrating on diapers, laundry, housework, and putting away Christmas Decorations (Which suddenly looks much less important than lots of other things I would rather do today.)

Evan is taking a nap on the couch. I made myself some velveeta cheese and shells with tuna, and told myself that has to be low in cholesterol, right? Hmm. I rounded up hangers, which is one of the jobs that I hate the most in this world, right up there next to cramming clothes into my closet and saying "I NEED To get rid of some clothes!"

I am so caught up on laundry, I was even telling Lisa last night about the red hamper. The red hamper is a laundry sorting bin where I put all the red clothes. I also put all the tie dye t-shirts in there. Since I am such a hippie, we have about 5 or 6 tie dye shirts. Well, that is always the last thing to get washed. Sometimes it never gets washed. Apparently, it hadn't been washed in a LONG while. I knew this, and in the back of my mind kept telling myself how my goal when cleaning and upgrading things in the laundry room, was to get those damn red and tie dye shirts washed. So when I got done with all the sheets/blankets/towels/jeans/FOUR LOADS of darks/TWO loads of whites/Ardyn's clothes/Dog Towels... I pulled out the red hamper. And inside, I found two tie-dyed shirts that we had never worn... because when we got them I tossed them in the red hamper to be washed first. Yeah. Well. I knew the red hamper hadn't been washed since before I started to wear maternity clothes. So I figured maybe almost a year that hamper hadn't been touched. Well. When I got out those two t-shirts that had yet to be washed or worn, they were from the Strut Your Mutt Dog Walk - Circa September 2006. I know this because I distinctly remember that the dog walk happened the same weekend as my miscarraige, and I was convinced that I needed to go to the walk because it would make me feel better. When we got home I think I slept for like 3 hours I was so exhausted and was bleeding pretty heavily. So we never wore or washed those shirts. So some in the red hamper had been there since September 2006 at least. But I do have pictures of me wearing SOME of the clothes in October and November- of 2006. Ugh. So now, the red hamper is clean and I have discovered like this entirely new wardrobe of red and tie-dye.

Okay, enough of revealing deep dark hamper secrets. You get my drift. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Don't Ever Order from the Company Kids Store... and along came a spider....

Yesterday were shots. 4 month shots. Of course she couldn't get an HIB shot because Merck recalled all those shots, and they had to switch to a different brand for the other combination shot, because Merck recalled them all. This combo shot gives a stronger reaction at the injection site, which we noticed first thing this morning. Last time she had shots, she had no redness/swelling/bruising.... This morning she had a hard lump and redness/swelling at one of the injection sites. But the tylenol seems to help and she is overall in good spirits. Last night she was thrilled to breastfeed and be cuddled. She did play in her jumparoo for quite a while when Evan was making supper, so that was good. She slept for two hours after we left the Doctor's office. We switched Dr's to Dr. Taylor, who we love. She is so nice, answers questions, provides information, and is really up on breastfeeding and the AAP reccomdations. She doesn't advocate all the crap that "people have done for 20 years" just because they have done it for 20 years. She is straightforward and takes any worries you may have away. It's really nice and refreshing. Also it's a huge excitement that she actually wants to HOLD the baby. Talk to her, make her smile and laugh.... It was a pleasant experience.

I made an appointment with her for myself, since I had my cholesterol checked (ANGELA! Because of YOU!) and it's HIGH. The LDL's are high. So this morning I ate my oatmeal. And last night when Evan made breakfast for supper he made me Egg Beaters and 15 grain toast with Cholesterol free (not butter) spread and the lowest cholesterol and fat bacon he could find. It's my personal belief that my cholesterol is high as a side effect of breastfeeding. Not because Breastfeeding itself makes your cholesterol high, but because I have to eat TWICE what I am used to eating in order to stop myself from rapidly losing weight and keep producing the milk I need to feed the beeb. Every time I don't eat a ton of food, or if I just have a salad or something, I see a decrease in my milk. I have to keep eating. I am burning calories over here like CRAZY and I need to teach myself better about what has cholesterol, and try to find foods that are high in calories but low in cholesterol. Is that even POSSIBLE? Ugh. So after seeing what my cholesterol was, Evan has agreed that he needs to get his checked too. So today I made an appointment for him at the end of the month.

I ate salad for lunch today, with a grilled chicken breast, and a side of steamed veggies. That can't hurt, right?

Since I always have a project.... I am just dying to get down to the basement and do some sewing. I have fabric and patterns, plus patterns in my head for about 15 different things. I still haven't made the curtains for my sewing room or the table skirt for the sewing room table. Ugh. I wanted to make some puzzle bags with corded drawstrings to keep Beeb's Wooden Melissa and Doug Puzzles in. I have the fabric, and some matching ribbons and rick rack and matching fabric letters so that I can label the bags according to what the puzzles are. I Have considered zippering the bags, and I have the zippers too, but am a little curious as to which method a small child would be able to work first.... a zipper or a drawstring? Time to contact Melissa, my ECE/preschool teacher buddy, and get her thoughts. (done!) I am also starting to drool over a Serger, but without spending some time in the sewing room first, to prove to my husband that it's worth the money (and really to myself also) I can't see myself buying one. But at the same time I am thinking that if I actually start to apply myself, I could be making my own diapers AND my own mamma pads (don't I sound crunchy now?!) and make them out of my own patterns and colors and to my own preferences. I bought an embroidered dipe and I am telling myself how bizarre it is that I love to embroider, and if I was making the dipes myself I could totally embroider them myself too. Whew. If there were only about 14 more hours in the day. And this brings me to thinking about cleaning my sewing room again (haven't done it since before being preggo) and getting myself down there along with an excersaucer to contain and allow the Beeb to hang with me.

The new shelves arrived for her room today, I can't wait to get them assembled and start putting toys on them! I ordered them from Company Kids store and I have to tell you, I will never order from them again. They sent $300 of furniture via the United States Post Office. They didn't give me an option to choose a different shipping method and their shipping page said that furniture and heavyweight items are sent by ground. And they sent these USPS, and since there is no "home delivery" by the USPS where we live, we had to go to the post office with the SUV to load them up and take them home ourselves. It's my opinion that if you are going to charge me $20+ dollars for delivery on furniture, you had damn well better DELIVER the furniture to my house and not make me go to the Post Office to pick it up myself. I called them and asked for a refund on shipping but even after talking to three people They wouldn't do anything to correct the situation, or refund my shipping costs, or even admit they may have done something potentially wrong or unfair. (the first two people insisted that I could change my shipping option with a drop down box on their website, when there wasn't a drop-down box- I even went online and put the same items in my cart while I was on the phone to prove that I don't have an option to change the shipping or choose my own carrier.) So basically I told them that I will never purchase from them again, and that I will tell every single person I know never to purchase from them. And I am a person who sticks to my guns. So I hope the shelves arrive in great shape and all perfect, because I don't want to have to deal with them again because I know that customer service is not a priority for them. If I could do it over I would order from Pottery Barn Kids or Land of Nod, as I have always been more than happy with them and their service in the past.

Sunday I got bit by a brown spider. I was so upset. We were all in the office and I went to get bouncy seat ready so that Evan could sit the Beebs in it, and there was a spider in/on the seat, which got onto my hand and bit the ever loving shit out of me. I felt it stinging and looked down and freaked when I saw a biting spider attached to my thumb. I did the "jump up and down like my hand is on fire whilst shaking my hand like a wild woman" thing, and the spider stayed attached, so I actually had to use my opposite hand to brush him off, and scream "Ahhhhhhhhh!" while my husband (armed with baby) tried to figure out what in the holy hell was going on. I kept saying "It bit me!" and he sat down the Beebs and proceeded to stab the spider into oblivion with the handles of nearby scissors. Then he picked it up with tweezers, put it into a small metal tin, and inspected it under my craft light to determine that it was not a brown widow. All the while I was pacing back and forth, cursing every spider on earth, waiting for the venom to take hold and rot my flesh away. I spoke of death and how Evan could tell the Beeb that I died sacrificing myself to protect her from the poisonous spider in her bouncy seat. Then when we discovered that it was a yellow sack spider, I put Caladryl clear on the bite, which was now red and a bit swollen, and went down to switch the laundry. Then I called my mom in case I died soon. Then Evan read me internet advice on what to watch for with allergic reactions to spiders. That was Sunday.

To be continued.... as I can only seem to half-empty my brain at a time.

Knitting with Balls

Yesterday I had the privilege of sneaking off to the Matson Public Library. It's kinda odd, but you know you are a new mom when you feel guilty and therefore have to sneak off to the library in order to spend 10 minutes (literally, I was on super-speed) to check-out a couple of books. I felt like I was wearing a fedora, dark sunglasses, and a trench coat. I was actually hoping that no one I knew would be there, asking "where's the baby?" or anything like that. I just wanted to check out a couple of books without someone wanting my attention or asking a question. I grabbed two Jodi Piccoult books (in case "we" decide to start a mini-bookclub as "we" have discussed.) and a Cholesterol Free Cookbook (just to see what I am supposed to be eating) as well as a simple crochet book that I am hoping will add to the inspiration that Lisa has been giving me lately. While there, I saw a book titled "Knitting with Balls" - whose covered boasted a fully clothed, neck-to-thigh photo of a really good looking guy, holding knitting needles and two balls of yarn. Ahhh Clever. It had some type of byline like "The masculine guide to knitting" and it just made me say "Wow. Ballsy!"

Monday, January 07, 2008

64 degrees

So it's 64 degrees. And there is a Tornado Watch and a Thunderstorm Warning. On January 7th. In Illinois. Need anymore proof of global warming? LOL.

All the snow melted by Saturday morning. It was 64 on Sunday too. I washed my car on Saturday. I also did TONS of other stuff. We have been on the run this weekend... I keep saying I am going to blog... but keep doing things like researching online and laundry instead.

So I don't think I have been here to mention that we are going to start cloth diapering. It's part of our green resolutions... and also part of containing breastfed poo. I have been researching for a couple of weeks now. It's a large investment, and a lot to learn.... but the money is well saved in the long run, Especially if you use the diapers for multiple children. And the environmental impact it has is overwhelming.

Just a few things we have bought in preparation.... 6 Fuzzi Bunz Cloth Pocket Diapers, with 6 microfiber inserts. 6 Hemp Inserts for a Knickernappies Disposanots Diaper- that's a KND in cloth diaper lingo. (I won a new KND in lavender from a website) I also bought 6 pounds of Charlie's Natural Soap. Your soap choice is a HUGE part of cloth diapering. You have to either change your entire laundry soap routine, or run a rinse cycle in your machine before each load of cloth diapers (CD in the lingo.) We will be switching to an all natural detergent without dyes, oils, scents, or emollients. For everything. It only takes 2 tablespoons per load of laundry. I also bought a cute Wet Bag, which is a fabric zippered bag lined with a plastic like interior, where wet and dirty cloth diapers and cloth wipes are stored when you are out and about (or at daycare in our case.) That arrived today.

I bought two Bum Genius 3.0's, which are a One Size pocket diaper with velcro closures... to test out. I also purchased some used misc small fitted diapers... and small pockets.... to play around with. At the end of this week I will be getting a paycheck finally (YAY!) and then I should be able to invest in a full stock of cloth diapers. I am expecting to have to purchase about 26 diapers if I want to CD full time and wash every 2-3 days. New Cloth Diapers range about from $15-22 EACH (yes each diaper) and can be cheaper if you buy them in large lots, as you get a discount. I also have all of my cloth wipes ready to go. I purchased tea tree oil to use as an anti-microbial in our wipes warmer (assuming she doesn't get a rash from it) and also bought a huge bunch of infant washcloths which we will use as washable wipes.

Evan and I are both SO excited! We had our first "date" (just the two of us) since Ardyn was born last September, and we went to Home Depot to buy a utility sink for the laundry room. I am so excited I can barely stand it! We got a double utility sink and a NICE and EXPENSIVE industrial strength stainless steel faucet with a big sprayer built in. I also got two new shelves for the wall of the laundry room, which will allow a place to put my detergents and brushes and things that I keep down there, and get rid of a plastic PVC shelf that I had previously, which will save floor space and give me more room to work. I have to admit that while most people hate laundry, I get a big satisfaction from folding piles of fluffy towels and silky baby blankets. I also love hanging up all Ardyn's little clothes. I live for the day when her hamper is full. I could really care less about our clothes, but I do take a read pride in hers... and love how soft and sweet and small they are.

So after our Friday night Home Depot trip, we went to Target- and we also ate at Steak N Shake. Saturday morning Ardyn and I drove to see our friend Melissa, who I have known since 1998-99. She is a teacher, specifically in preschool and ECE, and also ran a licensed Daycare center from her home. She is a mom to three cloth diapered boys, and has been at this for about 5 years. We got to try on some of her diapers, and see her stash of different brands/types/and sizes, and also ask all kinds of questions about stuffing, washing, preferences, etc. It was great, and nice to visit. Ardyn got to meet her 8 month old son Cameron, who was army crawling as fast as I can walk. On the way home I stopped at a different Wal-Mart and they had completely different children's and infant's items than our local store, so I got some washcloths (wipes) and a few pairs of pants and a neat pack of onesies, using up a gift card that Ardyn got for Christmas. then we went to my mom's house for a visit and to work on her computer and setup her new iPod.

to be continued.....

Tuesday, January 01, 2008


Well, of course, Happy 2008. I wonder how many posts I begin with the word "Well"? Too many. But I already have a resolution, so I guess I can keep up with that behavior all year if I want.

Last night was an okay night. I had chili in the crock pot, and taco dip with rice and hamburger in another crock pot. I also made 4-mini loaves of corn bread from scratch. I got to try out the Organic Corn Meal that I bought at the Amish Country Lane Market outside Tampico. It was DELICIOUS! This is not your jiffy mix cornbread, that's for darn sure! Sweet and crumbly. Yum.

So Evan and I ate and the beebs sat in her high chair at the table with us. We sang silly songs. Then we watched TV. Grandpa and Grandma Rodgers popped in for a visit. Grandpa ate chili and cornbread and used the internet, while Grandma held Ardyn and chatted with her. Then Grandma ate taco dip and cornbread. Eventually it was time for Ardyn's bed, so grandma and grandpa left. By that time Evan was napping in bed. I watched some TV and read the new issue of Mothering magazine. Then Evan woke up, and I pumped milk and went to bed myself. I saw the ball drop at 11pm CST, and poor Old Dick Clark doing his best to keep up with the countdown and trying to speak as clearly as possible. Evan gave me a kiss and said happy new year when I climbed into bed, and then I was out like a light.

Ardyn woke up at 3:30 and wouldn't go back to sleep. I was trying to let her play until she was tired, and Evan said "Do you want me to go get her and bring her to you?" and I said "If you go get her, she's all yours. I am too tired and I am not getting up." He didn't like that plan, so he went back to sleep, and eventually her playing turned to crying and so I gave her a pacifier and she slept till 4:30. Then I went back and got her, and changed her, and fed her, and lay her in bed with me and we slept till about 9:20 this morning. Thank god.

This morning we decided that we were going to trek to grandma's to help her with her computer and her new iPod. Well, it took FOREVER to get going. I was ready by 10am. Then I decided to call Anya. She wasn't home so I waited a while. Then I worked on my computer. Then we took new year's pics of Ardyn. Then I decided we were just going to go. As we were getting ready, Evan went to put gas in the SUV so I could take it, and grandpa Bob showed up with the 4-wheeler to kindly plow our driveway! About this time Ardyn was SO tired and SO fussy she was driving me bonkers. Once the driveway was done, we just decided to take off. Route 6 wasn't bad. When we got to Route 40 I was delighted to see that it was clear! This wasn't going to be so bad! Then about a quarter of a mile later, 40 turned to a nightmare. The usual blowing snow, white-out conditions, and drifts covering the entire southbound lane. Ugh. I got all the way down route 40 to Manlius, and then saw that Manlius township wasn't plowed, and that the white out was twice as bad because it was an east-west road and all open country. It was terrible. I realized that I might make it to mom and dad's, but we would never make it back. We could only stay a couple of hours if that because it would be getting dark before long, and because it appeared that route 40 would be down to one lane or completely closed very soon due to the snow. I called mom. I was sad. But Ardyn and I turned around and drift busted all the way home. Bummer.

So that was our New Year's Day... and now I am cleaning up all the dishes from last night, running the dishwasher, and sterilizing bottles and breast pumps for tomorrow. Ugh. It would have been smarter to stay home, but I had been home all weekend and on New Year's Eve, and it just felt like a day to get out of the house. Well... we did, but not for long.

The house was spotless yesterday when I got home- the cleaning people had been here and I had everything picked up. Now it looks terrible after making all that food and hanging out being lazy. Ardyn is napping and I am beginning to terribly regret that I am not napping with her. Sleepy!
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