Saturday, March 28, 2009

It's my I ran a 5K!

Clemson University Run to the Rock- is there a better way to start off your birthday and celebrate 25 years of being alive than by running a 5K on the campus of your Alma Mater? Dixie, my father in law, and I headed out early this morning for campus for the run. Although it was only misting then, by the time the race had started (actually about 1 mile in), it was really coming down.

It was the BEST run I've had recently- maybe one of the most "comfortable" ever. Although I was soaking wet, I was warm enough, and the entire time I ran through campus I thought about all the times I've spent in each place. Example: running by Bowman reminded me of "Bowman beach," taking Savannah there when she was a puppy, marching many a Thursday afternoon for ROTC, etc. I felt so overwhelmingly grateful for everything I've been blessed with, both before Clemson and since- family, friends, my husband, our baby on the way....Not to get too sappy, but it was definitely a very emotional run. I felt invigorated and alive, yet relaxed in a way I haven't felt in quite a while.

I ended up finishing in 31 minutes- almost dead-on for the 10-minute miles I was shooting for. Although it is a little frustrating to know that I am almost 7 minutes slower than my best time, I am so grateful that I have been able to keep running so far. At this point, it's not about speed or pushing myself for new times- it's about enjoying the exercise, working my body but not too hard, and wondering at the amazing way we (as women) are put together. I can't wait to tell my child someday how many miles we logged "together!" 

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Homemade Cloth Wipe How-To

In an earlier blog, I talked about our plan to use cloth diapers and wipes with our little one. Over the weekend I started sewing our wipes, and I thought I'd provide a little how-to of my process, in case anyone else was interested in trying it.

1. Choose what kind of wipe you want to make. Do you want one-layer wipes, or two? Two-layer wipes are obviously a little more work to make, but that's what I chose. 

2. Choose what size wipe you want. This is really up to you- the suggestions I read varied from 8"x8", 7"x7", 8"x4", and everything in between. I ended up going with 8"x5". Keep in mind that if you chose a two-layer wipe, you will lose some size in the sewing process. Also, you can try to choose the size of the wipe to maximize the amount of fabric you buy.

3. Choose your fabric. Because I chose two-layer wipes, I ended up deciding to use flannel for one side and terry cloth for the other. You could also use organic cotton, hemp, etc. The sky's the limit! You could also do a double layer of one fabric. The flannel I chose was striped blue, white, pink, and tan. The terry cloth I picked out was in coordinating solid blue. Perfectly gender-neutral! Of course, if you know what you're having, there are plenty of adorable options out there. I bought two yards of each. With a coupon, I ended up paying $15 total. You could definitely search for sale fabrics and make them for a lot cheaper, though. Not sure exactly how many wipes I'll end up with - I'll try to remember to update when I'm finished. 

4. Measure and cut. I measured out 8"x5" rectangles on the flannel, then cut them out. That's the most painful part, I promise! Next, pin the fabric outside-side-down on the second fabric (in my case, the terry cloth). Now, instead of having to measure again, you can just cut around the flannel. You don't have to be perfect- remember that this will be the inside of the wipe. 

5. Sew along the sides, leaving a small space around the edges. On the four side, remember to leave a few inches un-sewn. You'll need to be able to turn out the wipe.

6. Pull the wipe through the space you left in the hem. Now use some kind of tool to ensure all the corners are pushed out (I used a knitting needle-perfect!) 

7. Using a double-threaded needle (for a stronger stitch), whip around the open end. You're done!

8. Is this not the cutest thing you'll ever wipe your baby's butt with? 

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Spring gardening update....

There are only a few weeks left until I can move all my baby plants outside and plant my remaining seeds! I'm planning on putting them out the second week of April, so here's hoping that the frost forecast is accurate. Worst case scenario will involve me running outside will bedsheets, frantically covering all my little plants. 

The pic below is of my tomato operation. It looks sketchy, I know. Most of them are doing okay- a few look leggy. The great thing about tomatoes is that you want to plant them deep anyway, which means that it shouldn't hurt them too much. 

Assuming the weather this weekend is as beautiful as the weatherman claims it's gonna be, I'm going to be doing a TON of yardwork this weekend. Brett's trip was postponed for two weeks, so he is actually here instead of in the swamps of Florida. That means I can get him to mow the lawn, spray weeds, and haul mulch for me to spread! Also need to weed my flower garden......

BTW- I have been feeling so much better lately! Yesterday I went a whole day without Zofran- first time in weeks! I even managed to have a pretty good 3-miler after work. I have been trying to wean myself off it little by little, and again today, so far, so good. Of course, without drugs, I obviously have to be a lot more conscientious about keeping my tummy full. Luckily I've found that I can handle go-gurt and string cheese. Not the same as my organic, sugar-free, yummy Greek yogurt, but we're making progress.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Starting my cloth diaper stash....

Brett is going to be out of town this weekend, so I figured that I would try to plan on doing something productive to keep myself busy. Specifically, I've decided to start working on my cloth diaper stash.

When I first started researching cloth diapers, many people (my mom included) tried to talk me out of it, telling me that they had tried it, and it "just didn't work well." Let me tell you, friends, those same people were struggling with prefolds and pins and plastic pants. With all of the options available today, there's really no excuse to contribute to the massive waste that disposables produce, or to expose you baby to the chemicals in them.  According to

"Some of the facts: 18 billion disposable diapers are thrown in landfills each year, taking as many as 500 years to decompose. Disposable diapers make up the third largest source of solid waste in landfills, after newspapers and food and beverage containers--a significant fact, considering they are a single product, used by a limited portion of the population.1 It takes upwards of 82,000 tons of plastic and 1.3 million tons of wood pulp, or a quarter-million trees, to manufacture the disposable diapers that cover the bottoms of 90 percent of the babies born in the US.2"

Of more serious concern are the toxic chemicals present in disposable diapers. Dioxin, which in various forms has been shown to cause cancer, birth defects, liver damage, and skin diseases, is a by-product of the paper-bleaching process used in manufacturing disposable diapers, and trace quantities may exist in the diapers themselves.6

And what about the material that makes "superabsorbent" diapers so absorbent? If you've ever used disposable diapers, you've probably noticed beads of clear gel on your baby's genitals after a diaper change. Superabsorbent diapers contain sodium polyacrylate, which absorbs up to 100 times its weight in water. Sodium polyacrylate is the same substance that was removed from tampons in 1985 because of its link to toxic shock syndrome.7 No studies have been done on the long-term effects of this chemical being in contact with a baby's reproductive organs 24 hours a day for upwards of two years."

Anyway, I'm off my soapbox now...

Initially I was planning on investing in BumGenius 3.0, which are amazing, easy-to-use, all-in-one, and *only* $18 a piece! I figured the convenience would make up for the cost. However, once I did a little research into covers, I realized I could combine those with Chinese prefolds for much less money. It's really not a big deal to fold a cloth diaper into thirds, IMHO. If you want to check out the tutorial, go here: diaper folding basics

So the basic outline for my "beginning stash" is listed below. I'm also planning on supplementing with the more expensive wool soakers, as I hear they are amazing and don't retain odor much at all, so require less washing. We'll see what works. Cloth diapering mamas, feel free to chime in/offer advice/comment! I appreciate your insight! 

Not sure of exact numbers yet:
- A few BumGenius to try out
- Chinese prefolds 
- Maybe some Proraps?

I've been planning on making cloth wipes, so I'll head out to Hobby Lobby to shop around for flannel in some cute prints. I've got my 50% coupon in hand, so this should be a very inexpensive endeavor. Think of how many wipes you can get out of one yard of flannel! I'm planning on measuring the flannel, cutting it into squares, and then sewing them together on the machine, so they'll be two layer wipes. 

What will I wet them with? Why, a homemade wipe solution! To make it, combine the ingredients below and fill a spray bottle with it. 
  • 2 TBSP Baby Wash
  • 2 TBSP Olive Oil or 1 TBSP Calendula Oil
  • 2 Drops Tea Tree Oil
  • 2 Cups Water
Thanks to Natural Birth and Baby Care for the recipe! 

Sunday, March 15, 2009

14-week-belly and a little heartbeat!

Brett and I dropped in to see the midwife this week so she could try again to find the heartbeat on the doppler (since she couldn't find it at my 12-week appointment). Have I mentioned before how much I love her? We were so happy when she managed to find it after only a minute or two of looking. What a beautiful sound! It was beating away at 140 bpm, so I spent some time reading up on the various old wives' tales regarding heartbeat and gender. If we're not going to find out the gender, we get to make lots of crazy guesses, right?

And...the bump is expanding. When my mom was here visiting last weekend she noticed right did many other people. How weird is it when everyone wants to touch your belly? Pic is from today (roughly 14 weeks). 

...And I just noticed that I have the same pants on in both pics...I can't help it if they're comfy! 

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Maternity jean dreams....

FYI: This is going to be a rant.

I'm at the 12 week mark, and very few of my pants fit me because of this unfortunate combo:
a) I lost so much weight from morning sickness 
 b) I'm showing early

The only pants that do work are my most low-rise ones, and then they are:
a) Comfortable because they don't constrict my belly
b) Falling off because I don't have a butt anymore

So despite the fact that I already bought two Bella Bands, which are:
a) Not as convenient as I thought 
 b) Not as comfortable as I wish

I set out to buy a pair or two of maternity jeans. Which was drama because:
a) So few stores actually carry them  
 b) If they do carry them they are too short for me; I need a  34" inseam, not the standard 32" 
c) They cost a million dollars

I searched the internet, hoping to score a pair of Sevens or Citizens of Humanity on sale, not realizing that:
a) Even on sale, most run $150+ 
 b) I am not morally opposed to spending $100 on jeans,  but I AM NOT spending $200 

I drove all the way to and around Macon, and could not find anything that either:
a) Fit me in length 
 b) Was reasonably priced

Defeated, I returned home, reevaluated my spending priorities, and hit up Gap and Old Navy Maternity online. Bingo. 
a) 34" inseam available at both 
b) Both are having big sales right now

Are they as cute as the designer ones I crave? No. But they are long, dark, lean, and $25, and that's enough for now. Maybe when I get my tax return......

You may be asking yourself, why not just buy them in the store? Well, that's because none of the Gap(s) and Old Navy(s) I shopped in carried the maternity lines. Ughhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

BTW: If you are willing to shell out the dough, here is an awesome place to shop: Sierra Maternity