Understanding Laura

I am a crunchy oddball with too many ideas and too little time. Do you get me now?

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Pictures, As Promised

Below - Kellie's bag and the light saber Brian made for her.

You know when you get an idea for a craft stuck in your head and you just cannot rest until you complete it?

A few days ago, I made a similar-to-Kellie's trick or treat bag for Nora (Who is four months old). Nora was fussy, Kellie was irritable, Brian wanted to be relieved of Daddy duty, and Terra had to get home to make dinner. So I was mega-rushed and it turned out bad. Not bad like - Laura, get over it. Bad like - Poor kid...

So I've been feeling terrible. Because I knew Kellie's would turn out cuter because I'd be able to spend more time on it. They're going trick or treating together, and I didn't want it to look like a blindfolded maniac made Nora's bag. While Kellie's was all nice and shiny.

I had this orange fabric and some bits of fleece from my remnant rummaging. This is what I came up with to replace the horrendous black bag. My favorite part is the patch on the bottom. Fun, huh?

Monday, October 29, 2007

For My Newest Cloth Diapering Friend

I love this link for new-to-cloth-diapering tips and answers to frequently asked questions.

My wash routine:

If diaper is wet, toss in dry pail or wet bag. If diaper is poopy, plop the poop in the potty and get off as much as you can using toilet paper or a sprayer.

Once you have a full load, complete the following steps.

Cold pre-rinse with 1/2 cup baking soda to keep the stinkies at bay.
Hot wash with 1/4 - 1/2 the recommended detergent amount.
*Some babies get by just fine with the detergent you use on your clothes.
*If not, click here for acceptable detergents and their pros and cons.
Second hot wash.
*I do two hot washes because Kellie has such sensitive skin. This was the solution to red-bum for us. Not all cloth diapering familes need two hot washes. Feel free to tweak my routine to your lifestyle and system set-up.
Extra rinse.
Dry on low heat or line-dry.
*If line-drying causes your diapers to feel a little stiff, toss them in the dryer for a fluff cycle.
*I highly recommend dryer balls. They cut down on drying time and you can use it in place of dryer sheets for your regular laundry.

If rashes are an issue, consider stripping your diapers of any detergent buildup.

To strip, complete the following steps:
Run a hot wash with no detergent.
Check for soap bubbles in the agitation cycle.
If there are bubbles, continue to run hot washes until the water is clear of bubbles.
*Buildup is the biggest culprit of rashes and leaks.

A Little Preview

Of Kellie's Halloween costume. She's going to be a jedi, like her Dad. Of course Zoe will be Princess Leia. And I'll be my fallback costume - a deviled egg. Unless one of my more creative readers has a better suggestion? Wink wink, nudge nudge.

It's so much cuter on Kellie than it is on the table. I was pleasantly surprised. I'll post pictures of her in it just as soon as we go Trick or Treating. I'll also post pictures of her bag and light saber when I've finished them.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

I'd Like To Buy a Vowel

Kellie's talking up a storm. No surprise there, my little chatterbox. These are words she's said this week. They might be repeats... But if they are, she hasn't said them in a while, so they still feel new to me.

- comes out "nanna"
Water - comes out "watta"
Thank you - comes out "dainchoo"
Bye Bye - comes out "bye bye"
Night Night - comes out "nigh nigh!!"

And Big Girls Don't Cry

The crying and wailing and kicking and screaming and biting and sighing... Well, they've all come to a screeching halt. Out of desperation, I set up an air mattress in Kellie's room. Brian couldn't sleep while Kellie was kicking his back. I couldn't sleep while she was biting my boob. We left the room since Brian has work. And I was too tired to stand and rock Kellie for hours. Air mattress it is. It was the best night's sleep we'd had since Brian came back from his TDY.

So, the very next day, we bought a real big-girl mattress to set up in Kellie's room as her permanent bed.

Can we affford it? No.

Can we afford not to have it? No.

Has it made a world of difference? Yes!

This is a photo of the beginning of her very first ever 2.5 hour nap! I can't believe she 1)went to sleep without crying and 2)has a full-size bed!

I weighed in at Weight Watchers today. Guess who's back to pre-pregnancy weight? That's right! Me! After three whole weeks of maintaining (no loss, no gain) I lost five pounds! Which pushed my total weight loss up to 14.8 pounds! Let's all do a little dance for Laura and her vanishing tushie.

I have a terrible migraine today. I think I may be coming down with something. All I want to eat is saltines and 7up.

My mom is such a tolerant Mommy. I texted her at 1am (her time) when Kellie wouldn't stop screaming. The night I set up the air mattress... And she was so sweet and gave helpful suggestions. And even called my cell for a middle-of-the-night girl talk. I miss her. I told her she was lucky I didn't live down the street. Or she'd have a grumpy daughter and a crying granddaughter at her door every night.

My article on lanolizing wool? It got published on Diaperpin.com. I'll have a link up soon. Some of you may be able to say you know someone famous. Me. I'm the famous one. That's right. Who wants an autograph?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Fifteen Minutes of Fun

I was remembering my days in the daycare center and how much fun the toddlers had playing in the water table. I convince myself, Kellie wants to do that!

I was going to buy a water table. (Ha ha ha!) But then Terra suggested this. It worked so well! It held Kellie's attention for fifteen minutes. Which, if you saw the scattered piles of abandoned toys about the living room, you'd know that fifteen minutes is a long time for her.

We practiced words and learned new ones. Kellie is so smart. It amazes me. Every time she listens to something I say and follows instructions, I wonder if I have a genius child. I realize that every baby has their strengths. Maybe she's such a good listener because I'm such a long-winded talker?

Mom: Kellie, where's the duck?
Kellie: Picks up the duck, brings it to her mouth and kisses it. Says, Kiss.

Mom: Wet. Warm.
Kellie: Nods head. Wet.

Mom: Duck says "quack quack."
Kellie: Quack quack QUACK!

"That was fun mom!"
Okay, she didn't say this last part. But look at her face! Isn't it obvious she had fun?

Midnight Hair Cut

When I can't sleep, I do extraordinary things. Things my mind would not normally conceive. Things that make me seem like a looney-bin escapee. Tonight, I cut my own hair.

Pardon the look. I'm exhausted and freshly showered. Though, this is what I look like most days...

This might be routine for some of you. But I assure you, this is not routine for me. It was very much a moment of restlessness. I just get all this energy pent up and I need to do something with it. Paint and redecorate a bathroom, make a diaper (or three), organize my basement storage, cut my hair.

It's all cut evenly. I check every time I walk past a mirror. I'm so particular about my hair, I've been nervous to go to a stylist in Alaska. The requirements for a beautician's license are so relaxed, I am technically more qualified to cut my own hair than Sally Sue down at Great Clips. Thank you 500 hours of beauty school.

Brian's home! A crazy mishap at the airport, a lunch with Terra while I killed time, and two poop-out-the-diaper changes later - he's home! It's good to have him back. But I think it's thrown off Kellie's sleep schedule. She keeps trying to play with him instead of closing her eyes. He's not playing back because - he's sleeping! Wish me luck on getting my fussy kidlet down and finally sleeping tonight.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Duh, Laura

Of course Kellie slept for 10 hours without waking. She's sick!

Kellie has the flu. But she's being such a good sport about it. Even after she pukes! She's so cuddly and sweet through feeling like crud.

I just wanted to link this for those who might be considering cloth diapering, but the upfront cost is freaking you out. It's a non-profit organization that relies on donations of used/new cloth diapers to give to families in need. Check it out. Even if you're not on the receiving end, it's a worthy cause.


Kellie went to sleep at 11:30 pm. She is still sleeping. It's nearly 8:30 am.

Do the math.

9 hours!!!

I just had the best night's sleep I've had since November of last year!

Man, my boobs hurt!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Kit Kat

Kellie saw the picture of Kacen on Heather's blog and squealed with delight.
So I said, "Do you see Kacen?"
Another squeal.
"Can you say Kacen?"
"Close, so close! That's your cousin - Kacen."
"Kit kat."

She seemed content to leave it at that.

Kellie stood for a few seconds without assistance. Once she realized what she was doing, she stuck her tush out and caught herself on the coffee table. She was celebrating her triumphant retrieval of the remote control. She let go of the couch to hold the remote up in the air and tell me about it. That's right. No hands on couch, two hands on remote. Then buns hit coffee table and it's back to assisted standing... err... squatting, I guess.

Kellie is growing up so fast. Gone are the days she would leisurely nurse for hours while I admired her near-bald little head. Here are the days of sweet sticky hands and blowing kisses.

Cherish the moment. It soon becomes a blur.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Worth It

Black wire wall deco - $.25
Three tin pails - $3.00
Spool of ribbon - $1.50
Bag of rice - $1.50
Bathroom floor so slippery, I nearly fell and cracked my skull - FREE

Note to self, do not carry a squirmy baby, home decor, a hammer, a ruler, a pencil, a screwdriver set, a level, a measuring tape, and a half full bag of rice. Do you think this was a sign that my bathroom floor needs sweeping?

In the end, I think it was worth the havoc. Now I have somewhere to fashionably store my makeup applicators...that I don't use... Hmmm... Maybe I should have thought this one through?

Kellie has enough hair for a barrette!

Monday, October 15, 2007


When I'm scolding Zoe, my voice changes tone. Kellie has noticed this and heartily joins in.

Me: "Zoe! Go outside and hurry up!"
Kellie: "GapGapGapGapGapGAP!"
While pointing her indignant little finger in the air.

What am I teaching my little girl??

On a more fun and educational note, we now have a Textures Toy Box. I'm sure this idea has come to a MaMa way before my time. But it only occurred to me today, while I was browsing the clearance fabric section at JoAnn's.

I made 12x12 squares of several different textures. Kellie squeals with delight when exploring different textures. She LOVES it! She likes to pull all my laundry out of the basket and play in the piles of clothing waiting to be folded. Of course, this covers them in dog hair and lint. So, now she has her own "laundry" to roll in.

And a travel size texture bag. We'll call it Traveling Textures. It's the most compact diaper bag toy she owns. Now I'm looking forward to the next waiting room adventure.

Zoe loves her new toy so much, she falls asleep playing with it. I made this out of some fabric a sweet PinMaMa sent me.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

She Is A Dancing Queen

Thank you Auntie Heather! This Elmo shirt is a gift from Auntie Heather and her babies. Thank you!!

Kellie claps.

Kellie mastered walking with her walker today!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

What's Mine Is Yours

Kellie has learned to share with Zoe.

Zoe is okay with this.

Kellie fell asleep while eating lunch.

Kellie is on a sleeping strike. All she wants to do is play.

I'll take whatever sleep I can get.

This concludes our for-Daddy post.

Love, your girls

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Ladies and Gents - We Have Teeth

Two! At once! They came in this morning. They've definitely broken through. Now they just need to stand their little selves up and I'll take a picture. Not much to see now, except two white lines in swollen pink gums. And Kellie isn't a big fan of me poking around in her mouth right now. Though she didn't mind Terra doing it... Hmmm....

She's also crawling from object to object. Here's a play by play (because I assume you're all as fascinated by Kellie as I am):

Kellie is standing in front of couch. What's that? A TV remote? I'm gonna get it!

Kellie walks along couch and retrieves the remote. But wait! Is that a pair of scissors?

Kellie sits down and crawls over to the scissors.

Mom swoops in and distracts Kellie with a book. Mom hides scissors.

Kellie gets bored of flapping the book around.

Kellie looks around the room for something fun.

Kellie locates the vacuum and crawls over to it.

Kellie pulls herself up on the vacuum...and starts crying when it falls over on her.

Mom swoops in with kisses. Kellie squirms out of Mom's grasp and begs to be put down.

Mom puts Kellie down after one final kiss.

Kellie brushes Mom off for the pile of baby leg warmers.

A loud noise on the TV and Kellie drops the leg warmers and crawls over to the TV. Kellie pulls herself up on the stand and proceeds to press buttons. The TV gets quiet. Could it be I've turned it off?

Kellie waits a moment more before giving up on the TV offering any kind of entertainment.

Kellie sits down and crawls over to Mom. Kellie pulls herself up on Mom's leg. I'm done exploring. Hold me!

She's a busy little baby, isn't she?

How To Fasten A Tinkle Trap Prefitted

So you're about to place an order for Tinkle Traps prefolds-converted-to-fitteds? And you're thinking you might like snaps or Aplix (velcro) closures? Here I'm going to show you why you'll like no-closure Tinkle Traps so much more! If you choose to have the prefold rise trimmed, you'll have a trimmer fit. But if you leave the length of the prefold, you can fold down the excess and they should fit well into Toddlerhood.

Here to demonstrate is our dolly Meaghan. And my assistant Kellie will be pointing out the important parts to remember.

Step 1: Locate a Tinkle Trap and a Snappi
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Step 2: Lay baby in Tinkle Trap
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Step 3: Pull up the front.
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Step 4: Pull one wing snug across baby's belly.
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Step 5: Pull other wing snug across baby's belly. Hold secure with hand.
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Step 6: Locate Snappi. Hook one end of Snappi into Tinkle Trap at baby's hip.
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Step 7: Pull Snappi across Baby's belly and hook on other side.
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Step 8: Pull Snappi down to form a "Y" shape.
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Step 9: Party with the assistant.
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***SAFETY NOTE! Snappis are an amazing invention that make cloth diapering a wiggly baby so much easier for new cloth diapering parents. Please be sure to cover your Snappi'ed diaper with a secure cover. Those little hooks can hurt!***

Mom! Let's put this one on her!
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Oh...you listened? Sorry, I lost interest.
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If you are like me and embrace the hip puddle, you can pin a Tinkle Trap to go coverless around the house. Kellie has volunteered to model her Tinkle Traps.

Trimmed rise, wings inside
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Full rise, wings outside
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Full Rise, wings inside
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Full rise, Snappi'ed, wings inside
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Full rise, Snappi'ed, wings outside
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Trimmed rise, altered Snappi (I cut off the bottom hook), wings outside
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Full rise, wings outside, length folded in
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Who doesn't love a Tinkle Trap??

ETA: This photo from DiaperPin User MaMaMaMaMaMa!

Snappi in the back

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Thursday, October 04, 2007

Color My World

Kellie has learned to splash in the tub. It's great fun! She thinks it particularly funny when water gets on my glasses.

She's also a crawling fanatic. She used to wake up from naps and yell for me until I got to her. When I would come bounding into the room, she'd smile...and continue to lie on her back until I picked her up. Yesterday, she yelled. Then was quiet. I heard her laughing on the monitor. So I took my time in getting to her. And when I got to our room, I saw that she had crawled toward the end of the bed!! She's a pre-toddler.

A few more baby gates are in our future.

I went to JoAnn's with Nikki and got some dye and some fleece. This was too much fun! I'm going back for more!

I also got my new favorite toy. Yay for 40% off coupons! I'm a geek. I know.

It's an art caddy! Pardon the giant mess around it. That's what it's for...to tame the mess.

Well, I completed my first custom-ordered longies. I must say, they turned out nicely. I had fun making them. I don't know how to go about spreading the word that I want to make longies for folks... Emily, maybe you can chime in - you business-woman you.

I got the house a teeny bit cleaner. I still miss Brian like a crazy woman.

Kellie has been in a glorious mood recently. She's very agreeable and playful. She spent a good ten minutes blowing raspberries on my face. And chewing on my chin. I swear, that tooth is going to come through any second.

We went to the farmer's market. I had a carrot that put grocery store carrots to shame. SHAME!

I bought my first bulk formula purchase... $80! For two weeks' worth! Brian said "Your boobs saved us a lot of money!" WIC is the only government program I actually put the effort into receiving. I know we qualify for a lot more, but we're doing okay without other assistance. WIC, though... we need. Even formula-feeding part-time, that's enough to break the bank!

I had a bizarre moment in which I had to talk myself out of cutting my own hair.

I was able to talk myself out of it. But those scissors were looking mighty shiny.

I like that I've been able to help so many wool users in their quest for the lanolin-spot-free lanolizing.

I'm going to be posting pictures of how to pin/Snappi a Tinkle Trap soon.

I have a lot of time on my hands. Don't hold my snap-happy blogging against me.

I'll be back to normal in 3 weeks or so. Picture-less blogging and all.