Half Birthday!

Head on over to Mabel Land to see how we celebrated Mabel’s first six months and spent the weekend gazing at the flowers!

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Splitsville!

Don’t worry, folks!  All is okay on the home front.

After a bit of deliberation (and a surprise move on my part) Josh and I decided to split this blog a bit to make it more user friendly.  In fact, we’ve created a second, brand spankin’ new blog called Mabel Land.  That site is going to feature all of our posts about our favorite family member under the age of one, home improvement, DIY projects, etc.  This site might continue to have a bit of that, but is mainly going to be dedicated to Josh’s woodworking, music, zines, fun internet finds.  Both sites will be awesome, so bookmark them, put them on your blog reader, whatever you have to do…but keep coming back.  We love you guys.

We think this is a good move.  We hope you will too.

Happy Trails.


Four Months…Already!

While she’s not quite driving a car yet, Mabel is growing, growing, growing!  We had her four month appointment with the pediatrician yesterday and things are going swimmingly.  She is a whopping 13 lbs 11.5 oz (that’s the 60th percentile, thank you very much) and measuring in just shy of 25 inches.  She also got a “she’s ahead of the game” report from the doc in reference to her head stability.  So, yeah, we have a great kid.

We got the go-ahead to begin introducing solids to her diet over the next two months, but Mabel is barely meeting the minimum requirements, so we might hold off for a bit.  There is no rush (she’ll be eating solid foods for the rest of her life, so why push it?) and some studies show that introducing these foods too early can lead to childhood obesity, diabetes, and other diet related ailments.  Plus, she is growing just fine (great, actually!) on the liquid diet.  We are going to give it another month or so before rechecking the criteria (over 13 lbs, eats 40 oz of milk daily and still ‘acts hungry’, and visually tracks food while you eat) to see if she is ready to take her first tastes.  Even once she starts, she’ll be getting the bulk of her nutrition and calories from milk.  This is really just an opportunity to teach her how to use those chompers (once they start coming in).

And of course, the four month appointment means the dreaded VACCINATIONS.  She didn’t know what hit her…although I hear it just gets worse as they get older and start to realize what is coming.  We weathered a few very upset moments and then she spent the rest of the day sleeping it off.

A bit grumpy today, but nothing major.  I’m sure she’ll be her happy-go-lucky self by the time we pick her up after work!

Josh didn’t work over the weekend, so we had a bit of time to get to some of the projects that have been looming over us (weirdly, there isn’t as much time to do things now that we have a baby).  I am working on a photo gallery set up in the mini hallway between the bedrooms and bathroom.  It involved spray painting, testing arrangements with wrapping paper cut outs, and (of course) hammer and nails.  All of the empty frames are up, but now we have to find photos, artwork, etc to fill them.  I am taking pictures along the way and will post about the process and finished product.  We are excited that  our hallway is taking on a life of its own and isn’t just a place to pass through!

Josh spent time this weekend organizing oodles of photos from his childhood, college years, and band tours into albums.  From what I understand, he is up to 2001.  Whew!

In other news, we ordered the new countertops for our kitchen make-over!! We still need to order the flooring, but the plan is to install everything with the help of Josh’s family during the long President’s Day weekend.  Then we’ll paint (so long, Guacamole…you were a good color for a while) and cover that obnoxious fuse box (with something easily removable in case I run the blow dryer, food processor, and dehumidifier at the same time).  Shiny new(ish) kitchen in our future?  Check.

And to wrap up?  A photo of Mabel getting ready to cruise to Lowe’s this weekend.  She loves DIY home improvement and chewing on Green Bean the Owl!


Not your mama’s cloth diaper.

For those of you who aren’t expectant parents and not constantly scanning the internet for all things baby related, you might be surprised to learn that cloth diapers are making a comeback.  Chock it up to the ‘green’ movement, the economic climate (who wants to spend so much money on something that gets pooped on then thrown out?!), or a love of laundry piles, but Josh and I have decided to take the plunge.  Or not, actually.  These new fangled cloth diapers look and act so much like disposables (sposies, as they are referred to in the green parenting forums) that we aren’t the least bit intimidated.  Long gone are the days of folding, dunking, and pinning…you don’t even need those plastic pants that go on the outside.

After much discussion about our current washer/dryer set up, the initial investment, and whether we could stamp down our impulse to throw something away that has been used as a toilet, we placed our order for six BumGenius Elemental All In One Organic Cotton diapers (whew!  that is a mouthful!) and they arrived today! (Excuse the quality of the photo…Josh has the most excellent new camera…that I have no idea how to use…while I am taking pictures with my iPhone.)

Look at all those nifty colors!!  We went (mostly) neutral in case we have another baby that isn’t a girl later on down the line.  These things should hold up through multiple kids.  We are fully aware that we will need to purchase more…the average baby needs between 12-18 total…but we wanted to check them out in person before placing a full order.  And the best part is that they fit babies anywhere from 8-35 pounds!  What’s that you say, that is an average savings of $2000-3000??  Darn right!  Even with the additional laundry loads, soap, and occasional dryer time (we plan to primarily line dry the diapers, as it prolongs the life AND cuts down on stains…you did know the sun better than OxiClean, didn’t you?), the cost savings is still up in the thousands.  And if that isn’t enough for you, check this out:

  • Disposable diapers are the third most common consumer product in landfills today.
  • A disposable diaper may take up to 500 years to decompose.
  • One baby exclusively in disposable diapers will contribute at LEAST one ton of waste to the local landfill.
More excellent details:  The diapers have this incredible snapping system that allows them to expand in both length and width to fit almost any baby.  (However, we are probably going to use disposables for the first few weeks/month while we work out the whole ‘new parent’ routine thing.)  They have three thick layers of organic cotton to absorb ‘life’s little messes’ and elastic waist and leg bands.  

So cute! Even Josh is excited (about holding Merlin in her new stylish diapers, not about changing them). AND we are adding a small diaper sprayer to the toilet, which eliminates the need for dunking.  (YES!)  Just a quick spray  and your all set!

Other benefits:  Less instances of diaper rash, as that is usually caused by the absorbent chemicals in diapers, AND cloth diapered babies potty train faster.  Rad!  Apparently, new disposable diapers have become so amazing at cutting down on the ‘wet’ feeling, that babies are having a harder time noticing that something is amiss.

Here are a few more photos (I feel like a proud parent already!):
Rereading this post, it seems like I should be in a Bum Genius infomercial.  Not to worry!  I promise not to post on the bodily functions of my child once she is here, but these CLEAN diapers were just too cute to pass up the opportunity.

We still have a few hurdles…will our daycare cloth diaper?  What about traveling?  But we are fully confident in our ability to handle that and any of the other surprises parenting has in store for us.  As Josh recently said, ‘Bring it on, Irene Merlin!’ <– for my overly anticipatory family, that is the name of the impending hurricane, NOT a hint as to the baby’s real name! =)

As a signing off, here is another great photo of ‘Hooty Hoo the Owl’ napping in the pack-n-play.
Happy Trails.

Factoid of the Week

So, at work, I am responsible for presenting the ‘Factoid of the Week’ at the bi-monthly staff meetings.  According to Wikipedia (which in my opinion should never be used as a valid reference), a factoid is an unverified statement presented as fact in the absence of much relevant context.  To be fair, I took some liberties with that definition (it is quite a bit longer on Wikipedia)…but one of the internet’s most endearing qualities is that it allows you to manipulate the facts (factoids?) and not take credit or blame where it is due.  Take the fans of Sarah Palin rewriting the history of Paul Revere so that she didn’t look quite as moronic following a public appearance (possible?).  What we can learn from Ms. Palin (who despite her numerous faults, came much closer to the White House than I ever will) is that information need not be valid, just self serving.

ANYHOW…back to the factoid of the week.  True to form, I have not verified this statement…nor do I intend to.  I am just presenting it to you without any relevant context.  What you do with it from here is out of my hands.

The phrase “the whole 9 yards” derives from World War II combat pilots in the South Pacific. Their planes were armed with machine guns that took .50 caliber ammo belts, which were exactly 27 feet long. Hence, whenever the pilots blasted all of their bullets at a single target, it was said to have caught “the whole 9 yards.’

I like to tell people Franklin D. Roosevelt was the first person to say it publicly.  That just popped into my brain, but it seems likely.   Try it yourself…people might just believe you.

Shout out to my mom!  She always thinks it is Josh writing these posts (and is usually correct), but I am here to prove that I do occasionally log on. =)


Merlin is the size of a lemon.

We had our third appointment with the OB this morning and were able to hear Merlin’s heartbeat on the Doppler!  And you thought those things were just good for predicting weather… =)  Heart is beating strong at 153 bpm, which is in the perfect range for 15 weeks.  Our next appointment is in early May when we will be halfway through!  We will have another ultrasound and check the heart, lungs, kidneys, etc. to make sure everything looks good (which we know it will!).  And, if Merlin is cooperating, they should be able to tell us the gender at that time…and we can get to the business of picking out a REAL name.  Because no one wants a family member named after a wizard.

We also pre-registered at the hospital, so all the paperwork is completed and we can just wheel right past that step when checking in for delivery.  Convenient.  A tour of the hospital maternity ward comes in the next month or so and we are also in the process of researching birthing classes and interviewing doulas.  Did I mention we are going at this all-natural, with no interventions unless medically necessary?  That’s right.  No epidural.  You, along with 95% of everyone else we have encountered, may think we are crazy…but this is our plan, and we’re sticking to it. Epidurals (and other pain relief interventions) have become far too common, in my opinion, with over 75% of women opting for them during labor & delivery.  Childbirth isn’t something to fear…and, despite the pain, I am looking forward to the experience.  Should be a wild ride!

Otherwise, it is business as usual at the Jubinsky household.  As you can see from a previous post, Josh is redoing the floors in our bedroom, which means we are sharing Hannah’s room for the time being.  It is sort of like camping in your own home.  I thought Hannah would be thrilled to sleep with us, but in actuality, I think she liked it better when she had her own room.  My reading lamp keeps her up too late and she huffs and puffs until you turn it off.  Geez.

Hope everyone out there is doing great, and I look forward to bringing you more Merlin updates.

Until then, happy trails!

 


Merlin

Okay, okay.  We are not REALLY naming the baby Merlin.  But, because we are keeping any name possibilities top secret until the birth certificate is signed and dated, Merlin it is…for now.  We had a bit of a scare over the weekend, but we had a check up with the doc this morning and he did an ultrasound.  All is looking great!  Tomorrow is officially 11 weeks, and Merlin is growing right on schedule.  They drew some blood, which means that with my hospital visit on Saturday, I now have bruises on BOTH arms.  The nurse did tell me that if I can’t handle a little needle stick and some bruising, I might have a problem with labor and delivery. Ha.

From here on out, we have appointments every four weeks and a sonogram in eight to determine the baby’s sex.  They’ll even let us bring in a DVD-R to record the session.  Crazy!

Here he/she is!  A little easier to make out than the last scan, but still not super clear.  The head is the part right under ‘Here I Am.’  Did you know, Merlin’s head is 50% of it’s body length right now?  I am glad we grow out of that phase.

More updates as we know!

Happy Trails.