Thursday, July 30, 2009

How to Sew a Cloth Diaper


I think I may be able to do this. I don't know how to sew, and never used a sewing machine in my life,but I can learn. I'd like to have at least 36 cloth diapers prepared before she arrives. I can turn this into a daily task.

Lets see if I can stick to this!

(In the video she made 30 diapers for a total of $54.90)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Stroller Bike Combo

I'm more active now and I'm thinking about getting a stroller bike combo.

taga

Taga 2 in 1 Stroller and Bike - Red
LOL I'll ride around on this thing for like a week and hide it in a closet with shame.

Ummm..Can we say Glam-O-rus ?

Wow!! This is just amazing! I love lilac....pink is so..umm...girly..LOL!
I've never seen such an glamourous nursery..ever! Welcome home baby!
I'm assuming its s girl?!?

The wonderful work of Little Crown Interiors




The difference a week makes!


Wow....in one week, i think i finally popped. I guess some will say I popped long ago, but now I REALLY see it. It's real, there's a baby in there!!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

29 weeks!


How far along?: 29 weeks

Total weight gain: 8lbs – 10lbs

How big is baby?: about 2.5 lbs and 15” long (says babycenter.com)

Maternity clothes?: Yes, had to get the pants very early on.

Stretch marks?: Yes, 2 on the right side.

Sleep?: Pretty decent, some nights worse than others.

Best moment this week?: Getting in my kitchen and doing a really good scrub down.

Movement?: Always moves after a meal. Yesterday, I believe I felt her round head right under my left rib. What a beautiful thing.

Food cravings?: Not really. I just like to try new things, like a cream cheese bagel with crispy bacon

Labor signs?: No, none at all.

Belly button in or out?: Half out, half in, I know the entire thin will be out shortly.

What I miss: My energy, sleep is my best friend. I can be so drained at times.

What I'm looking forward to: New paint on the walls, and new furniture.

Weekly Wisdom: God blesses us all, in due time.

Monday, July 27, 2009

The BabyCenter 7: Top baby costs, and how to save

Found this article on babycenter.com, one of the best baby/parenting sites out there.Anything that will help me save money on our bebe will be considered as long as its safe and practical.

1. FormulaCost: $105 per month"I would have tried harder to breastfeed if I had known just how expensive formula was going to be," says one mom. Another, whose son required a pricier brand because of a milk protein allergy, says, "We spent about $500 a month on formula alone!"
Ways to save: Breastfeed for as long as you can. If you're not breastfeeding, stick with powdered formula, which costs less than ready-to-use or liquid concentrate. Buy in bulk at wholesale clubs like Costco, BJ's Wholesale Club, or Sam's Club. Sign up to receive coupons on formula manufacturers' websites to use and trade with friends.
My thoughts: If I can avoid baby formula, I will. I do understand that there are circumstances where breast milk will be hard to come by; like when i return to work, and I cant exactly pump at my desk or go home to feed. But we'll work out a solution in time. I'd like to breastfeed as long as I possibly can, but I am so afraid of the sensation...suck it up Dana, you can do it!

2. DiapersCost: $72 per month"I was surprised by the range in price for diapers depending on where you purchase them — at a supermarket, pharmacy, or superstore like Target," says one mom.
Ways to save: Aside from using cloth diapers and washing them yourself, the best way to save on diapers is to buy in bulk at Costco, BJ's Wholesale Club, Sam's Club — or online from Diapers.com or Amazon. Sign up at diaper manufacturers' websites to get coupons, and stock up when diapers are on sale.
My Thoughts: Okay so cloth diapers are common in my family. Mom raised all of us on cloth diapers and we all turned out fine. In fact, we didn't call them cloth diapers, they were called "Nappies", a super soft rectangular cloth with a thick padding down the center. Mom knew how to fold them just right, I was 10 at the time, so I have no clue how she did it. No worries, thank goodness for technological advancements OR business minded smart mommies, we now have cloth diapers with closures designed just like disposable diapers. You can save TONS of money with cloth diapers, even with the cost of laundering, it still works out the cheapest, and I'm all for that. But I don't look forward to doing laundry every 3 or 4 days.

3. ChildcareCost: Varies"Babysitting is $10 per hour where we live, and daycare averages $1,000 a month," says one mom. "We constantly feel in a bind financially."
Ways to save: For full-time care, consider asking a relative or friend. Family daycare centers and nanny sharing can also save cash. For occasional babysitting, trade time with a trusted neighbor or friends or hire a responsible student. If possible, try to stagger work schedules with your partner so you can each cover some of your child's care. Finally, consider enrolling in a flexible spending account for childcare expenses if your employer offers one.
My Thoughts: The thought of childcare scares me terribly. I dread the day I part for my baby as she is left with some stranger for 8 or more hours. We haven't worked this one out yet, but I'll keep you posted.

4. GearCost: Varies"Everything costs about $100," says one mom. "After a while, that seriously adds up!"
Ways to save: Start with the basics — a good car seat, stroller, and bouncy seat, for example — and wait to buy other things. You may be able to try out a friend's activity center or swing to see if your baby likes it before buying. While it's a good idea to buy your car seat new, ask for other items as hand-me-downs and shop garage sales, community sites like Craigslist, eBay, and secondhand stores for other items. "I wish I'd bought more used gear," says one mom. "It wasn't until my baby was a few months old that I figured out how many moms would love to sell their barely used baby equipment."
My Thoughts: Send them to me!! I will take them all..well except for car seats (for safety reasons), but everything else..just send it I will take all of gently used baby gear off your hands!!

5. ClothesCost: $59 per month"There were times I went out to expensive stores and spent $40 on just one outfit," says one mom. "A couple of weeks later, it wouldn't fit anymore."
Way to save: Ask for hand-me-downs from friends and relatives. Get gently used items from consignment stores, thrift shops, Craigslist, and garage sales. Buy on eBay and look for store sales. Finally, treat your child's soiled clothes with stain remover or a laundry booster so they can be worn again!
My Thoughts: : I agree. As long as it's clean, gently used and unsoiled, I would take it. I know mom's who still have several tagged items that their baby will never use.

6. FoodCost: $57 per month"At one point, my daughter was eating seven jars of organic baby food a day at nearly $1 per jar," says one mom. "Baby food is ridiculously expensive," says another.
Ways to save: If possible, make your own baby food. "A good quality hand blender will pay for itself in about a month," says one mom. You may find that your child likes homemade food even better than jarred — and you can often make baby food out of what your family's already eating for dinner. If this doesn't work, clip coupons. "I know I should make my own, but with three kids, the convenience of buying jars tempts me," says one mom. "Portability and speed are worth something!"
My Thoughts: If I don't make homemade baby food, then what will i do will all of those jars sitting up in my cabinets? Plus where's the fun in popping off a cap and feeding your baby? I'd rather take more pride and pleasure (and more money in my pockets) in feeding her food that I made with love. Don't get it twisted, if I have to buy a couple of jars of Gerber, I will, but with coupons!

7. Toys, books, and DVDs Cost: $35 per month"Some toys are priceless, but you can't know which ones your baby will love," says one mom. "I found that my baby really only loves three toys out of the 20-something I bought," says another.
Ways to save: Let your child play with safe household items. "The whisk is a big hit with my little one," says one mom. Buy secondhand, borrow books from the library, ask friends for hand-me-downs, and consider setting up a toy exchange with friends or neighbors who have babies around the same age. Finally, keep in mind that less is more — though it's easy to get excited about the latest developmental toy, many older babies prefer to play with plastic food containers, plastic water bottles, TV remotes, and other "grown-up" stuff.
My Thoughts: I have no thoughts, I just learned something. Water bottles and tv remotes ? Well then I've got tons of toys for her to play with, we're set.


Homemade Babyfood

150 glass jars and nothing to do with them. This was a thought I had about a year ago, months after our wedding. Rakiem and I had several projects lined up for our wedding, and although many of them made it to completion, a few of left me with tons of boxes tucked in every little storage closet we have. After many months of debating on what to give our guest as favors, we had came up with the idea of creating a homemade jerk sauce, bottled in little 4oz jars, customs labels, and a signature pink ribbon around the neck.

The end result ? Three nights before the wedding day, we had about 17 bottles completed, spent over $200 on ingredients, ran out of whole spice & brown sugar and decided to call it quits and work on plan B.

So now what do I do with cabinets full of 150 little 4oz jars? Oooh, I know...we make BABY FOOD!!! Although we are no where near ready for this stage of our child's life, I've been having some fun just anticipating this proposition.

Anyone who knows me well, knows that I LOVE food, I LOVE to cook, and I LOVE to eat! So this is right up my alley. Furthermore, if you know how to make boiled eggs, or a banana smoothie, then you already know how to make baby food.

Most baby foods consist of boiled, baked or steamed fruits or veggies. After they're cooked, they're blended, and thinned out with breast milk, water, or broth. You can freeze the remainder of the food in ice cube trays & freezer bags.Voila, as easy as that! I'll revisit this topic when i begin to experiment in my kitchen. Hmmm..I can think of all recipes I'll come up with:
curry chicken, potatoes and white rice
grilled chicken breast with sweet potatoes
mashed potatoes & gravy

Mmmm...I'm getting hungry.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

What should we name our baby girl?

I had baby names picked out for years! Since I was about 14 in highschool, I think I had all the names lined up for all 5 of my children. Now that I'm actually having a baby, you'd think I'd
have the name planned by now, but I don't.

Names are very important, and I love a name with a solid meaning behind it. People have thrown many names my way,
but one night I laid in bed and her name just came to me. I pulled my phone off the charger and went to babynames.com and searched that particular name and it had the perfect meaning behind it. So there, I am pretty much content with the name, and Rakiem likes it too, but he's still undecided on the name. He has a list of about 8 names total.......and.........I like my name the best.

So.......what to do....what to do ?
We came up with the poll to the left, please help us decide.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

What else does she need ?

Dear Baby,
What else do you need ? I just find this to be harder than I thought. We know that you need love, and your Mommy & Daddy has go that down pack. But at 3 am when your up screaming, what will you really need ? I'm guessing a bottle warmer, some warm wipes, a fresh diaper, and your Daddy's arms, but I know that I am missing a few things along the way and now is the time to remember. You know, at least before you get here.
Ugh, I thought I knew it all, but I only know that half, so please help me out, send me a message and let it come to me in a dream like you usually do, I'll get the message. Trust me , I will.
Love,
Your Mommy

Monday, July 20, 2009

28 Weeks!

So here I am at 28 weeks today. Took a clothed shot instead of bare belly just to give you an idea of how deceiving the tummy looks in clothes. It's crazy because still, I get people asking "are you pregnant?" but they are so hesitant about asking, I guess just trying not to insult me. For the most part, I get people saying that I am carrying very well, and I am thankful for that!

My last visit with the Midwife was just his past Friday, and now I am considering a new midwife, I'll talk about that later. My weight is good, gained 7lbs, my measurements were good, baby is correct size, heart rate was strong and and rapid, and my blood pressure was 120/60. My next visit is in 3 weeks for glucose screening, I'll keep you posted.

How have I been feeling? I feel great, some nights are with
out sleep, but for the most part everything is going well. I am definitely feeling the punches, kicks, and other movements more now. Rakiem and I often times lay down and watch the belly movements..it's so funny. Sometimes i really wish that I can take a peek inside, just to say hi !

Pregnancy Tea


Now here's a tea I've never heard of before meeting my midwife. In fact, when she introduced it to me, I thought she was joking. I made my way over to WholeFoods to check it out myself.
"Organic Pregnancy® Tea supports a healthy pregnancy* by combining herbs used for thousands of years by women in Europe and North America to tone uterine muscles, provide nourishment and prepare the womb for childbirth.* Modern pharmacological studies on raspberry leaf, a primary ingredient in Organic Pregnancy® Tea, substantiate its traditional uses in preparation for childbirth. Organic Pregnancy® Tea is a pleasant blend of herbal tastes – astringent, slightly bitter and spicy, with aromatic spearmint."
The tea is very "herbally" in taste, if you know what I mean. It has a touch of mint, along with other subtle flavors. I enjoy the taste, it's similar to peppermint to with a twist, but I think I enjoy the future benefits even more.
I should be drinking 3 cups a day, which is recommended, but I just cant get used to drinking tea so many times in a day. I guess I should set up some sort of reminder on my phone, yeah like I've been meaning to do to remind me to take my prenatal vitamins..ugh.

Why we are using cloth diapers

Many people shy away from cloth diapers because they think they are difficult to use. However, with the advances made in the way cloth diapers are manufactured and the fabrics used, you will see that most cloth diapering options are as easy, if not easier to use than the disposable diaper counterpart.


1. Cloth diapers are better for your baby.

Cloth diapers do not have many of the harsh chemicals used in disposable diapers. A newborn baby’s outer skin layer is not yet strong enough to block absorption of some of the chemicals used in disposable diapers.

2. Cloth diapers are better for the environment.

The environmental impact of cloth diapers is far less than that of disposable diapers. When using cloth diapers, you are still impacting the environment through the energy consumed in the care of your diapers. However, this cost and consumption is easy to control and is becoming greener everyday with advances in washer and dryer technology. This is still a much better choice than using a disposable diaper which is single use, and may take up to 500 years to decompose in a landfill.

3. Cloth diapers can save you money.

The average American family spends approximately $2,500 per child on disposable diapers from the time a baby is born until they are potty trained. This figure is multiplied further with each child a family has. Cloth diapers, on the other hand can cost anywhere between $400-$1,200 for the entire set-up. And when properly cared for, it can be re-used with future children.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Cloth Diaper Guide

How many diapers do I need?
We recommend having about 3 dozen diapers for a newborn and 2 dozen diapers for an older baby or toddler. This will allow most parents to wash every 2-3 days.

How do I wash the diapers?
Wash routines can vary based on the type of washing machine and the type of water that you have. However, most people find success with doing a pre-rinse or soak and then a hot wash. Some prefer to do an additional wash but that is personal preference. We recommend experimenting until you find the wash routine that works best for you.

What type of detergent should I use?
This is also a personal preference. We recommend against using baby detergent because it has fabric softener in it that might coat the diaper and make it less absorbent. We also don't recommend using any fabric softener on the diapers for the same reason and don't recommend bleach as it can break down the diapers prematurely.

How much detergent should I use?
We recommend using enough detergent to get the diapers clean but less than what you would use on your clothing. Too much detergent could leave buildup. Usually a 1/2 cup in a full washload works well for most people. Make sure you are using enough or the diapers won't get clean!

Do I have to wash covers separately?
PUL covers can be washed and dried with your diapers. Line drying will extend the life of the cover longer but occasional dryer use is fine too. Wool covers need to be washed separately. We recommend handwashing with a wool wash product and line drying.

Do I have to "dunk"?
No, you do not need to dunk your diaper in the toilet before washing. If your baby is exclusively breastfed you don't need to rinse the diaper at all. The poop will wash right out. If your older baby is eating solid foods, then you will need to dump most of the solid waste into the toilet before washing. Some parents keep a scraper under the bathroom sink and scrape the solid waste into the toilet, others find success with buying a diaper sprayer that attaches to the toilet. After the bulk of the waste is off the diaper, follow the same wash routine.

Should I use a wet or dry diaper pail?
We recommend a dry pail because a wet pail can breed bacteria as well as cause a hazard in the home. A regular kitchen-style garbage can with a closing lid works best for cloth diapers. We sell reusable diaper pail liners which keep the pail clean.

What do I do when I am away from home?
We recommend purchasing some wet bags that are reusable, waterproof bags to store soiled diapers in. Upon return home, just throw the dirty diapers into your home diaper pail.

Friday, July 17, 2009

The Moby Wrap


I've been searching really really hard for a great baby holder wrapper thingy and today, I came across the Moby Wrap. I am adding this to my wish list right this moment.

Since the beginning of my pregnancy, I've been observing everyday moms in motion with their newborns. Rakiem and I went out for lunch one day, and we saw 2 mom's meet up for lunch. One mom arrived first with a big ol' bulk stroller with several attachments and compartments. She spent minutes trying to break down the stroller and then got frustrated and left it and took her baby out and placed him in the burping position. The next mom came along, swiftly, arms swinging, a bit more "pep in her step" and a funky little diaper bag (?) on her shoulder. She then undid some sort of wrap contraption and released her baby from resting on her torso, and took a seat.

"Sold" I thought! I want one of those. I have no clue what kinda wrap she had but today as I was reading through mothering.com, I saw what looked like the most complicated wrap ever, but when I read one of the many directions for wrapping your baby, it was so simple and looks very secure for baby.

This definetly goes on my MUST HAVE & WISH list, and once baby is here, I'll let you know if this is a keeper!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Taking Care of my big BABY!!

Look at my poor baby. Well, he's doing much better today. Yesterday Rakiem had surgery, it was a very minor surgery but he's in a bit of pain right now.

<-----He's actually smiling right
here.

Rakiem had a septoplasty and adenoid removal at the Clifton Surgical Center in NJ. He goes back on Tuesday to follow up and in the mean time, I've gotta maintain his comfort and happiness as much as I can. This includes him placing his hand on my belly to feel our baby kick, or cuddling with Bella in bed, Bella is so dedicated.

He's a bit sleepy in the video, but i promise you that he is doing way better than he
looks.

26 weeks

So at 26 weeks, this is what I look like. So far I've gained 7lbs. Baby is growing well, and kicking strong. Just about a week ago, I was able to watch the commotion take place. It looked like there was a jumping bean in my belly. No complaints, I love the feeling, although sometimes i get startled.

This coming week, I will be going for my glucose exam to see if gestational diabetes has reared its ugly head in my pregnancy. I've been eating pretty well, but I occasionally treat myself to fast foods at least once a week...sorry.


Friday, July 10, 2009

Cinnamon Raisin Bagel, Cream Cheese, & Bacon!

Sorry, didn't take a pic. I was way to hungry to even see what my food looked like. But this afternoon, after a long wait for Rakiem to come out of surgery, I was starving!! 

We went over to Hot Bagels on Gramatan Avenue and i ordered a cinnamon raisin bagel with cream cheese and whispered "and bacon too".  

Yup, thats right, and it was delicious, but I must say, I don't wanna try it ever again. It's weird because it was so good, but now that i think about it, thats just nasty !!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Singas Pizza


So I come to realize that I don't have any weird cravings just yet, but I  have my all time favorites foods that I can eat 50 times a week and never get tired of it.

There's a restaurant that I discovered over 3 years ago in Yonkers, NY there's a small pizza shop that makes personal pizzas baked fresh to order with numerous delicious toppings.

My all time favorite is a personal pan with sausage & mushrooms along with an ice cold cran-grape juice...mmmmmm!
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