Saturday, October 29, 2011

Cloth Diaper Obsession

What started as using prefolds and covers turned into finding the cutest pocket diapers possible.  In fact, I sold off most of my prefolds beyond the size Aidan is in now in order to fund buying cute One Size pocket diapers.

My Original Loot (And there is more, but this I scored an awesome deal on from Craigslist)

I blame my mom for introducing me to FuzziBunz One Size because my collection consisted of a variety of prefolds (where I did develop favorite brands) and covers (Thirsties and Bummis).  I loved used them and was enjoying CDing, but when I received these cute and easy to clean/dry/stuff cloth diapers, I was instantly hooked.

So this is how I start my day...I lay out 12 - 16 cloth diapers.  Right now, that includes at least 3 prefolds and covers and the rest are One Size Diapers.

I have a variety of Velcro and snap closures, and I love diaper pics because of the adorable model *ahem, Aidan* and the cuteness of the diaper.  See evidence below:

Does this diaper make my butt look big? No, it makes your butt cute.

So I had FuzziBunz One Size, and then I ventured over to Happy Heinys to try out a Velcro closure for pocket diapers.  I found some cool patterns (owls, puppy dogs, and skull & cross bones).  But then I sold more prefolds, so I had to buy more One Size pocket diapers...More HH, this time an orange swirl and silly monkeys.  Then, I went over to to find some robot, safari, and Ooga one size cloth pocket diapers.  So I am waiting on these 5 diapers to arrive, but I AM EXCITED.  I love picking out which CD Aidan is going to wear...I even have favorites.

Now to find more stuff to sell so I can buy more cute cloth diapers.

Cowboy Cookie

So again, using a pinterest recipe, I tried a one pan skillet cookie with the original recipe coming from here.

Here's the original recipe

1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 egg
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup chocolate chunks


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter in an 8 inch cast iron skillet set over medium-low heat. Stir in sugars and vanilla and remove from heat. Let rest until pan is warm, but no longer very hot, about 5 minutes.

2. Crack an egg onto the butter and sugar mixture, and use a fork to whisk it well into the mixture. Place flour, baking soda, and salt on top, and very carefully stir into the mixture until smooth and well-mixed. Stir in chocolate chunks. Place in the oven for 15 minutes, or until starting to turn golden on the top and around the edges, but soft in the center. Serve with vanilla ice cream.

So the only substitution I made was dark brown sugar for light brown sugar.  I love dark brown sugar in my chocolate chip cookies, and I always have it in my spice cabinet. Oh, I also eliminated salt; I hate salt in my cookies, and I usually halve it in most recipes.

Prior to adding the chocolate chunks

After making this cookie, I let it cool, and then I dove in expecting sheer cookie delight. However, I was disappointed.  The cookie tasted like FLOUR, thus, I added vanilla frosting to cover up or minimize the flour taste.  At first, I thought it was edible, but in the end, I had to throw it away.  But not to be defeated, I knew I could have the perfect cookie cake in a cast iron pan if I made a few modifications.

1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 egg
1 cups + 1 Tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup chocolate chunks (semi sweet)

I, of course, tasted the dough before adding the chocolate (because who doesn't do that...admit it!), and it tasted like success.  So I added the chocolate, threw it in the oven and waited.

I hardly let the cookie cool (the roof of my mouth would be evidence, but sorry, no picture...) before tasting it.  Aw, yes, this is what I wanted.  Good cookie.  Soft, round, and would make the perfect cookie cake.  Just add your favorite icing and decorate!

And since I made some modifications and felt this cookie could be made on the range...or while camping, but using a dutch oven, I gave it the very original <insert sarcasm> name so that it was different that the one pan skillet chocolate chip cookie...

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Buffalo Chicken Bites

By the title of this post, it IS safe to assume this post is not about Aidan. :)  I have joined pinterest and found a lot of recipes (and tagged a lot of Cloth Diapers...).  So I am starting to experiment with new recipes .

The original recipe is here:

I tried two variations.  One with bread crumbs and one with cornflakes.  I definitely liked the corn flakes better because it was crunchy.  I also added more of some's what I did:

3 cups shredded cooked chicken (I boiled chicken breasts in water, no seasoning though I might try adding some cayenne to give the bites more kick)
1/2 cup hot sauce
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 cups sharp fine shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
4 eggs, lightly beaten
6 - 8 cups Corn Flakes cereal, crushed

Then follow the original recipe's directions...

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, mix the chicken, cream cheese and hot sauce until combined. Stir in the cheddar cheese and green onions.

Using a small cookie or ice cream scoop, spoon out the chicken mixture and roll into about 1 1/2 inch balls. Place on a plate or separate baking sheet (not lined) until ready to dip.

In three separate bowls, set out the flour, eggs and Corn Flakes. Dip each chicken ball first into the flour, then the egg and ending with the Corn Flakes. Place on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Serve warm with ranch or blue cheese dressing.

**If freezing for later, place the dipped and uncooked chicken balls onto the parchment lined baking sheet and flash freeze for 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a freezer bag and store in the freezer until ready. To bake, place the frozen chicken balls back on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 350˚F for 25 to 30 minutes, until crispy and golden brown.

The Seventh Week

Oh the Places We Shall Go

Aidan and I are definitely leaving the house almost every day, and it makes the day go by quickly.

Sunday - Okay, so maybe not on Sunday.  Aidan's grandparents visited him and brought him a cute little Clemson windbreaker outfit that he wore later in the week when the weather turned cold. 

Monday - Mom and I took Aidan to the Greeneway in North Augusta to take photos in similar locations as the maternity photos.  While Aidan slept a lot and was generally not fussy, he was not as cooperative as we had hoped, so the photo shoot ended earlier than expected.  However, we did have some great shots, and I love his boo boo face.

Tuesday - Mom and I went downtown Aiken for lunch and to look around at the shops.  We bought some awesome olive oil and balsamic vinegar from a specialty shop.  We looked for Lincoln Logs at the antique store because dad wanted to buy Aidan some real Lincoln Logs, not plastic.

Wednesday - Aidan joined me at a baby shower for one of my coworkers, where he looked so adorable in his Clemson outfit.  He did very well until the end where I thought he might be hungry, but really, he wanted a nap.

Thursday - We ate at a nice restaurant in downtown Aiken with a neighbor.  Aidan fussed on the way to the restaurant, but was quiet the whole time we ate.

Friday - Aidan stayed in, while I went out shopping.  I have to admit that I bought too many bags of candy corn pumpkins and probably have just half of them left...

Saturday - Aidan and traveled the farthest distance alone to a wedding in Neeses, SC at the Buck Ridge Plantation.  I wore him in my K'tan sling, and we kept each other warm since it was an outside wedding and when the sun went down, it was cold!  He was alert some of the time but mostly slept, hardly any crying.  He didn't wake when a cannon went off after the wedding ceremony...sleepy boy.

The Sixth week growth spurt came and went.  We were working on spacing the feedings out to 3 to 3.5 hours, but during the spurt it decreased to 1.5 to 2 hours during the evenings, but no change over night.  Aidan is consistently taking 6 hours between feedings at night which is typically 11 pm to 5 am.

Aidan is also smiling a lot more...more than smiles in the morning.  He is more alert during the day, which means less napping, but that's okay.  I love playing with him and walking him around the house or yard so he can look at everything.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Sixth Week

Six weeks...halfway through maternity leave.  Time flies, yet when I look back, I realize how much Aidan has grown and changed since Day 1.  My little guy is growing up so fast.

This week, I noticed Aidan smiling a lot more.  Small smiles and big gummy grins.  He is awake more, and we can play with him more.  I love watching his personality develop.

So here's the many faces of Aidan.

Two nights this week, Aidan went 8 hours in between feedings...unfortunately, I didn't sleep 8 hours straight.  After feeding, it took some time to get Aidan to sleep.  I also woke up in the middle of the night and had to pump because I was ENGORGED.  But, I definitely felt more refreshed than the other nights.  I hoped the 8 hour stretch was becoming the norm, but then Aidan reverted back to feedings every 3 hours at night.  Oh well, I'll take the 8 hour stretch anytime I can.

Aidan continues to have visitors...his great grandparents on my side visited him.  He met my dad's mother for the first time on Sunday and then my mom's parents drove up on Tuesday.  My memaw was very excited about the cloth diapers and the whole routine.  She was amazed how far CD's have come since we were babies.  Memaw also watched Aidan while Pepaw and I went out for fried chicken.

It appears the evening fussy period has disappeared, though Aidan now fights sleep which makes him cranky when he's super tired.  We'll get through this phase, too!

All About Mom

What a great week!  Working out has really helped my energy level.  I only sleep at night (no naps), and it's typically less than 8 hours, which is fairly normal (pre pregnancy).  I worked my arms, abs and legs twice this week, walked 4 miles, and used the elliptical for 45 minutes...I hadn't used the elliptical since January.

Aidan and I continue to get out of the house most days.  We even visited AJ while he was working at a local community event - Hook and Cook Fishing Tournament.  My sole reason for going was to eat a funnel cake, and it was slightly disappointing. 

My linea nigra is definitely lighter, but still present.  I also thought the dark belly button was due to linea nigra since it became darker as my pregnancy went on.  Well, for almost five weeks, I apparently carried around some nasty dark residue that I scrubbed out.  I only thought about scrubbing it when I felt my belly button one day, and it felt like sandpaper.  That didn't seem I finally remembered, probably 4 days later, that I needed to try cleaning it.  Disgusting, I know, but I really thought it was a dark color due to linea nigra.

I wanted to drink a beer this week.  I finally felt comfortable to have a drink since I had been successful at having Aidan feed every 2.5 to 3.5 hours instead of 1.5 to 2.5.  By the time he would feed again, the alcohol would have been metabolized out of my system.  But, I couldn't get past future guilt.  I have a wonderful bottle of wine waiting for me to drink, but if I can't even sip a beer, there's no way I'm opening the bottle. 

This coming week, I am supposed to start working part time from home...we'll see how it goes.  I do feel the need to have some brain stimulation, and it seems every book I read is a baby book or a book about babies.  Though I do have a James Patterson book in waiting...still not enough. 

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Fifth Week

Routine. Routine. Routine.
So Aidan doesn't have a strict routine, but I definitely have found a pattern in his behavior. Somewhere around midnight, Aidan will fall asleep for the night. He will sleep 3-5 hours, wake up to eat, then sleep another 3-4 hours. Then, he'll wake himself up by passing lots of gas followed by filling up his diaper. After a quick, but messy diaper change, he feeds again then typically sleeps for another 2.5-3 hours. After sleeping, he feeds then fusses, unless I wear him, then he promptly falls alseep. Every 2 hours, he will wake, eat, have a little activity, then sleep until 7pm. Around 7PM, he goes into complete meltdown, fussy mode until bed time. HOWEVER, I recently discovered that wearing him (swaddling), walking (swaying), give him his pacifier (sucking) and shushing him put him to sleep within 15  minutes, and it instantly calms him down.  So I wear him in the K'tan wrap until he wakes to eat.  So that's 4 of the 5 S's recommended by the Happiest Baby on the Block.

I guess Aidan wasn't a good luck charm for the Yankees as they fell in game five of the ALDS play offs to the Tigers.  Guess his charm only works for Tigers, specifically Clemson.  He still looks good in his Yankees onesie.  Aidan had another busy week.  We made it a goal to get out of the house every day, even if it meant just going uptown to buy candy (I'm addicted to Brach's Indian Corn).  In addition to family, he also hung out with my friend Diana and met my friend Kirsten.  He also made the trip to Charleston to visit with his Aunt and Uncle.  We brought enough cloth diapers to make it through the entire day!  I was very anxious about the trip and using cloth, but it went over very well. 

All About Mom

Have I mentioned the hot flashes and night sweats?  Between the leaky boobs and the night sweats, my bed sheets have to be washed every other day!  It's crazy how quickly I get really hot, then start sweating, then am back to normal.

Anyway, this week I was given the clearance by the OB to begin working out - just take it slowly.  So I walked 10 miles and worked out my arms twice, abs twice, and legs once.  I did many arm exercises that I avoided while pregnant; I had an hour and a half arm work out!  Working out felt great!  I can tell a difference in my abs since I resumed exercises, not so jelly like.

The OB stated that I had healed very well, and thankfully, the lochia has slowed down tremendously.  My hemoglobin levels were great, so I only have to take 1 dose of iron per day.

I also realized that the blood in my eye disappeared some time last week.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A Month Old!

Aidan is one month old today, and he celebrated by filling his day with lots of activity.  He started his day by having his granny babysit him while I went to my 4 week post partum doctor's visit. 

After the doctor's visit, mom and I packed up Aidan and drove to Babies R Us since I had some gift cards to use (by the way, BuyBuyBaby is much better than Babies R Us).  I bought Aidan several toys that are suppose to help develop his senses, such as hearing and sight.

Of course, Aidan wasn't hungry while we were at Babies R Us where the store has a "mother's room."  No, he waited until we were at Chick Fla La, and mom was ordering our food to be hungry!  So I fed him in the truck while I ate my lunch.  Then we headed over to the mall, where I looked at sweaters at Banana Republic.  About an hour after the first feeding, Aidan was hungry again, and this time, he fed while I was in the changing room.  Good location!

Mom and I then went to Gymboree to look at baby outfits, and boy, did we find plenty!  The selection was too cute to avoid buying at least one outfit each.  I bought Aidan a football outfit and a Halloween onesie.  They had a cute hat that looked like a leather replica football helmet, but they were all too big. :(  The overalls will look great with a Clemson onesie, too!  Look for a picture soon from a football Saturday.

Granny (my mom) bought Aidan two Thanksgiving outfits since he has at least two places to go for Thanksgiving.  She also bought him a moose outfit for Christmas, complete with a moose antler hat and moose booties.  We joked that one day, Aidan will be embarrassed by the pictures (there will be pictures of him) of him in these outfits...oh well, have to take advantage of the situation while I can!
After our shopping was complete, we walked 4 miles at a local park.  The trail passes right by the Savannah River, and with the fall weather, it was a perfect ending to the day!  Aidan slept the entire time while we walked and even the whole way home.  He went three hours without eating or fussing, but as soon as we arrived home, it was feeding time.

Happy One Month, Aidan!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Forth Week

We have a belly button!  While AJ was rocking Aidan on his shoulder to get a burp out, the umbilical cord stump fell off!  We didn't examine the belly button until the next morning, but we were excited the stump was gone. 

Since the stump was gone and the belly button area was healed, we were able to give Aidan a real bath.  He seemed to really enjoy the bath, but not the getting out and drying off part.  He was also hungry, so that could also explain why he was crying when I took him out of the water.

After having a bath, I figured it was time that Aidan and I make a trip out to the store.  I was excited and nervous at the same time, but I needed some things from the store, and I don't always feel like going when AJ is home (ya know, EXHAUSTED!).  We went to Target (where the pediatrician told us not to go...), the bank's drive through, and the gas station.  The worry with big stores like Target is people want to touch your baby, and one of those people give your baby something that causes the baby to have a fever = ER trip.  However, I went during the slow part of the day and didn't have anyone attempt to touch Aidan.  I also used my stroller/carseat and carried a hand basket.  It made taking Aidan from the truck to the store easy since I didn't have to carry the carseat with Aidan in it a far distance.

Later on Monday, AJ, Aidan and I went to Babies R Us and bought a pack and play.  Two outings in one day!  No wonder Aidan was up at 3 am wanting to play.  He was also going through a growth spurt or at least I assume so since he ate every hour from 9 AM to 2AM.

I was finally successful wearing Aidan using the K'tan wrap.  No fussing, no squirming, just snuggling and sleeping!

He was using his pacifier and looking around for about 5 minutes before he fell alseep.  Then I was able to feed the dogs, eat breakfast, clean up the kitchen, and finish up some laundry.  Sure, I could have put him in the crib, but he was wide awake and gazing around the crib.  I couldn't leave him in the crib awake, so I thought wearing him would allow him to look around the house...but then he fell alseep.

Granny (my mom) bought Aidan some awesome FuzziBunz One Size Cloth Diapers, which are a great addition to my cloth diaper collection.  These are easier to put on a baby then prefolds and a cover, so hopefully AJ will warm up to the cloth diapers - though his newborn disposable stash has quickly dwindled, though I'm not sure Aidan could fit into them much longer.  On Tuesday, I stepped on the scale with Aidan, then sans Aidan, and the difference was 10.4 lbs. Though I know I can step on the scale, step off, and the scale reads something slightly different, so I think it's safe to say that Aidan is 10 lbs, which would be an average of .5 lb/week.

We also took our first family vacation already!  AJ hadn't been to the beach all year, and I only went once, so we took advantage of an offer for a free beach house on Folley Beach in Charleston, SC.  Aidan stayed at the house and was watched by grandparents; the only thing he did differently was being rocked on the front porch while listening to the ocean.  Aidan also had TWO diaper blow outs while we were riding in the on the way to Folly and one midway home.  The second time, the blow out was so bad, we threw away his onesie.

Aidan also received his gift from the winner of the birth guesses (gender, weight, length, time of day, date).  Aidan's Uncle Mark won the bet, and he stated the gifts would have a dragon or Gamecock theme...since we're Clemson fans, we definitely didn't want Gamecock gear. :)  So Mark looked all over for dragon stuff, the coolest of which was a pacifier attached to a dragon.  Supposedly, the baby would lose it less since he can hold onto the stuffed animal, thus keeping the pacifier in his mouth.

All About Mom

I can't believe it's been 4 weeks since I gave birth, and I am still healing.  I have a doctor's appointment on Monday, and I hope to be cleared for working out.  I also hope that my tears have healed well, although at times, the area is still sore.

I was able to take Aidan for a long walk at the local park, and I was back to 15 minute miles instead of the 18-20 while pregnant.  This week, I managed to walk 6 miles, which is significantly less than where I would like to be, but hopefully I can get Aidan into a routine so we can walk every day.

Here's what I remember from this week to update...
  • Linea nigera line is still present.
  • I have dropped 2 lbs since my weight stabilized after birth, so only 8 more to go to be back to pre pregnancy weight.  This wasn't all this week, but over the past 4, which is on track for what a Breastfeeding mom should lose (if any).
  • Engorgement has subsided, though it's present when Aidan sleeps 4 to 6 hours at night. 
  • My boobs leak when I hear Aidan crying, and it's been at least an hour since I fed him.  It's never a good situation when Aidan needs a diaper change and for some reason I have a boob exposed because as I change him, I leak on him.  Poor kid.
  • Thursday was the first time I wore deodorant or straightened my hair since Aidan was least I showered everyday!