Saturday, June 18, 2011

Daddy's Day

Happy 1st Father's Day to the Daddy who...

...Works so, so hard so that I can be a stay-at-home-mama to our little girl

...Was testing out strollers and baby gear before we even conceived!

...Gets excited about the girly things now - like sparkly pink shoes!

...Changes cloth diapers like a pro and knows alllll about them

...Is a master babywearer and isn't embarrassed one bit by the Moby

...Read her Bible stories in the womb before our bedtime

...Almost cried at her birth :)

...Plays peek-a-boo with her via Skype

...Is the only person in this world with full permission to call her Addie (:-)

...Is watching his daughter grow up from across the world.

Mark, you're the best daddy (da da!) to our little Addie Paddy. I knew you would always be a wonderful father, but you are just incredible. The first 8 weeks as a family are somewhat of a blur now, but I remember you being the biggest help in the world and taking care of everything.

Washing diapers.
Getting her to nap.
Showering with her.

And so much more. It has been an extremely hard adjustment to be without you for 6 (long, long) months. I miss everything about you - the way you make her smile, the way you give her baths, the way you make her calm. I miss seeing you hold our little girl. We're all missing it.

But now we have memories of you "babysitting" Adalyn on Skype while I pick up toys. Or you making her giggle by making noises. And soon, we'll make new memories together as a family. I am thankful a million times over to have you be the father of my baby. We are both so blessed to have you. You are always there for us and give us your absolute best. I am so proud of who you are as a man and a father.

You will always have my heart. And I can tell from Skype.. Adalyn thinks you're the greatest on earth. Kisses!

Shannie & Ad

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, June 16, 2011

random updates!

Plans are now in full swing for our big move back to Virginia. Reservations are being made, emails sent, and details decided. And by all of this planning, I clearly mean: almost everything is still in the air. We have absolutely zero idea when my husband will come home from deployment. Zero! But we're taking it one day at a time and hoping that it all works out.

I'm not sure what I share on my blog VS what I share on Facebook. But we're moving back into base housing! They offered us a home that we couldn't turn down, and we are extremely excited about it. Of course, we've been dreaming about decorating and what we'll do with all our extra space. I'm mostly excited to decorate Adalyn's room and our new bathrooms. More on that later when I actually see the inside of our new home.

My daughter is now a pro at separation anxiety. The second I leave the room, she cries. No exaggeration. As a result, I tote her everywhere. Including sitting her on the bathroom rug while I pee. But she's so darn cute, and I know this is just a phase!

Adalyn can now say "baby," though she has no idea what the word actually means. She is always talking - her favorite word is "dada." She thinks self-feeding is the best thing on earth and now kind of hates when I try to feed her with a spoon. She now takes big girl baths and laughs and is growing up extremely too fast. She turns 8 months old in 4 days. I'm already planning her first birthday. Even down to the nitty gritty details, including food and decorations!

That also means that we're about 4 months away from our big family cruise. I am beyond excited. I often forget that we're even going on a vacation. I guess that's what happens when you book a cruise 10 months in advance!

I have nothing to blog about these days, and it makes me sad. Sure, I have my baby, and there are loads of things I could blog about regarding parenting. But I just can't. I don't know why, but I don't even think of blogging these days. Sad.

Oh, but I did come across these photos and now realize that Adalyn looks a lot like me. I'm, obviously, the baby in the photo! We have the same hair! And same skinny arms and legs!

and just two photos of Ad for good measure:

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Clother Diaper Q&A

As you know, I cloth diaper my baby. It saves us money, it's better on her tush, and it's insanely cute and fun. And many (many!) of my friends have decided that they, too, want to make the switch! I get at least one question in my inbox a week about CDing, so I've decided to try and explain everything in one simple blog post.

Bear with me. I'm trying.

I guess I'll attack this as a Q&A-type post. Hopefully that will be easiest to follow (?) so here we go!

What brand of cloth diaper did you choose? After e.x.t.e.n.s.i.v.e. research, I decided on FuzziBunz. The sole reason is that FuzziBunz have adjustable elastic in 4 spots in each diaper. Two in the front of the legs, two in the back of the legs, and one in the back in the waist area. This is the reason that FB's fit my newborn so well. Adalyn began wearing FB's at 2.5 weeks without a single leak. Since the leg casings are adjustable, they fit her teeny little legs! They fit kids 5-35lbs, so you will only need to buy diapers once!

I got this video off YouTube. It explains the elastic.

What other diapers have you tried? I have five types of diapers: FuzziBunz, bumGenius, gDiapers, Thirsties, and Blueberry. I didn't need these diapers. I just decided to buy them on a whim because of sales.

bumGenius is very similar to FB's except they don't have elastic. Still, I have no complaints and have never had a leak. I would still recommend them!

Thirsties - I have the all-in-one Thirsties, which means there is a built-in insert. I dearly love my Thirsties and have zero complaints. We never, ever have leaks with them!

gDiapers - I hated these from the get-go. I tried the flushable liners on a car trip, and it seemed like the outside would always get wet. Who knows, maybe it was just me? But I didn't like them.

Blueberry - I have the "minky" Blueberry diapers, so they are cute and fuzzy on the outside. We use these only at night. I stuff them to the brim with jumbo inserts, and we don't have leaks. They are very pricey diapers, but I got them half-off on a New Years sale. But they are extremely cute and work fantastic at night!

How many diapers do you own? 16 FuzziBunz, 3 Blueberry, 3 Thirsties, and 1 bumGenius. I think. So.. 23?

How often do you wash them? Every other day.

What type of diaper rash cream have you used? Adalyn doesn't normally get rashes with cloth diapers, because cloth reduces the occurrance of rashes. But a couple times, she has randomly gotten red from who knows what. In those instances, I use flushable liners/rice paper. A lady in base housing gave them to me for free, and they rock! It's basically like a thin dryer sheet. Except it isn't a dryer sheet. I just fold it up, place it in her diaper, and put Aveeno cream on her. This way, the cream doesn't actually touch the diaper - it just touches her. Regular creams will ruin cloth diapers.

Is it gross? It is unbelievably not gross. Besides, once you become a parent, poop becomes second nature.

How do inserts work? FuzziBunz comes with inserts, which are like pads of "cloth" that you stuff into the back pocket of a diaper. They are what actually absorbs the urine. During the day, I just use one insert per diaper. But at night, I double-stuff the diapers with the huge insert and a regular size one. In past months, I used a hemp insert, which I bought from, and they worked great. But they just aren't cutting it anymore. So these days, I send her to bed with a huge insert and a regular one, and we have no leaks.

How to get build-up off the diapers? I'm really not good at this. I've only had this problem once, and I cured it by simply washing them in water 3 times (no detergent). I've heard of other people using baking soda or vinegar or doing a Rockin Green soak, but I've never done any of this. Sorry!!

We got this as a gift - not sure of the brand! Sorry!!

Where do you buy them? I only use -- you get 10% cash back. So if you buy a pack of 15 diapers for $284, you will receive $28.40 to spend on their website. I used this money to buy detergent and hemp inserts! Fun!

Extra Info: You must wash your diapers with special detergent. I've written all about my washing regime HERE. Keep in mind that you can't wash your clothes in regular detergent anymore. We use All Free & Clear to wash our regular clothes. But I think that we will go completely 100% Rockin Green when I move back to Virginia. It's also a bad idea to dry your diapers in a dryer in which you've used a dryer sheet or fabric softener. We never dry out diapers or inserts anymore - we just hang dry.

Okay. I hope I covered all the basics. We obviously love cloth diapering. My husband is so into it that he's told all his friends and never, ever wants to use disposables. We are completely sold on it, mostly because of the money we are saving! If you have any more questions, let me know in comments!!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Her favorites.

I've completely slacked and haven't even written a 7-month update on our little girl. I'll get to that in a sec. But first, I have compiled a list of her favorite things. Mostly for my memories!

Our spunky little 7.5-month old loves...

-Pinching the backs of my arms. It hurts like beep! and I've gotten multiple bruises. Ow!!

-Pulling Piper's fur. Super hard. You'd think our dog would hate this. But really? Piper LOVES it. She curls up next to Adalyn and waits for Adalyn to pull her skin/fur. It is horrible, and Adalyn sometimes gets chunks of white fur in her hand. Piper just seems to adore her and even licks her feet while Adalyn enjoys her pull-fest...

-Snacking on Gerber crunchies. I'm not big into baby "snacks," but she thinks she's big stuff in her high chair with Crunchies while I eat my dinner.

-Clawing my breasts while I nurse. I have little cuts all over my chest. Suddenly, Adalyn is sounding a little.. violent, isn't she?! Bwhahaha!!

-Reading Won't You Be My Kissaroo every night and acting out the kisses.

-Me kissing her belly or feet. Lots of belly laughs ensue.

-Her ball popper. Once upon a time, she cried when I turned that toy on. Now, she digs it. Thank heavens.

-Eating "real people food." Babyled weaning is fun.

-Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Um yeah, what is it about this show that captivates babies? She watches it for 5 minnutes in the morning while I put on my makeup. Four words: Miska! Mouska! Mickey Mouse!

-Chewing on my iPhone, keys, or chapstick. Basically all things she shouldn't have.

-Swinging at the park. That big grin just can't be wiped off her face.

-Drinking ice water out of her Nuk sippy cup.

-Her cousins Clayton, Hudson, and Graydon.

-Mommy. The girl thinks I ROCK! ... which I do ;)


Adalyn is so spunky and active. The girl will flip out of your arms if you don't have a grip on her. And, as a matter of fact, she did twist out of my sister's grip today! Mark is in for a wild ride, that's for sure! She is 7.5 months old and continues to be the biggest joy of my life. She still takes (and NEEDS) 3 naps a day and is staying up around 3 hours in-between naps. This month, she decided that 6:30 is her new wake-up time and begins the day with subtle "da-da's" that turns into loud singing. Once she turns her head and sees me, she flashes the biggest smile on the planet. It's the greatest thing ever.

Separation anxiety is upon us for sure. She wathces me like a hawk and will even sometimes cry when I leave the room.

She's had lots of "firsts" this summer, including swimming in her cousins' pool. She was a little unsure, but she took it in stride and had fun with mama! She still is anything but laid back, and I've basically come to the conclusion that she has my personality. Poor kid. Her daddy is always as cool as a cucumber, but not me! And not Adalyn :)


We are down to the wire on this deployment. I know a lot of people flip out about OPSEC, but even we don't know when he will come home! And we won't know until the day before, actually! But he will be home soon. And I am anxious, excited, nervous, elated, and every emotion under the moon. The idea of us - a family - together again? Enough to make my heart beat out of my chest. I am holding on for the moment that I see Adalyn in his arms again. What will he think of her so grown up? What will she think of HIM? My mind races a thousand miles an hour when I picture it all. I haven't seen him in so long that truthfully I can't remember what it is like to have him here. I've parented Adalyn alone for 6 months, so what on earth is it like to have her daddy to help!? It will all feel so bizarre, yet perfect and wonderful, to have him home again.

And on that note, Adalyn actually kind of hates strangers. Hate might be a strong word, but she curls up her lips and screams in their face. So "hate" might be an appropriate word. But when she sees her daddy on Skype, her face lights up and she smiles so, so big at him. We're hoping she recognizes him from the computer and takes to him like he never left.

Her coming home outfit has been bought. It fits perfectly. It is too cute for words.

We have a photographer booked to capture our reunion.

We are so, so excited. You have no idea.

So this month of June? This month of raising a 7-month old baby girl? It's been bliss. I love being a mommy.