Archives for the month of: September, 2012

Diapers, wipes, and pins…how soon the fun begins!  You never realize looking back how easy it was to change your darling baby’s diaper when they were a mere few  weeks, or even a few months old.  Then you are struck with a new reality once you flash forward to the present time, where it is almost impossible to change your now 13-month-old.  On top of that, she now has a terrible recurring diaper rash, due to her teething, on and off, for the past few weeks.  A diaper rash due to ‘teething,’ you might ask?  Yes, due to her four new molars coming in, which is what my doctor declared last week.

Thankfully, in our modern day society, we have dodged one bullet…we no longer have to use cloths and pins for diapers, thanks to our various diaper brands.  In fact, I just asked my Mom just last week, “Did you really have to use cloth diapers for Valerie?” (my oldest sister, born 1978), and she responded, “yes.”   Wow, what a pain in the butt, literally and figuratively.  Now, I know that some mothers still chose to use the ol’ cloth diapers, as it is more economical and much less pricey, but I am not one of those women.  I do, however, applaud any who do that.  I have a hard enough time wiping her poop diapers with wet paper towels or cloths (not wipes, more on that further down this entry)…so I knew if I used cloth diapers I would probably have an even harder time.  I am very glad to be living in a time where I can just run to the store and buy some diapers, even though it WILL cost me!

But let’s back up a bit.  Looking back at my shower, I remember getting some very cute diaper gifts.  Before I became a mother, I used to think, “Giving diapers as a gift?  No thanks, I must buy a cute outfit or a toy or something better,” boy was I wrong…I soon learned that every mom would love to get diaper gifts!  I even remember this awesome Winnie the Pooh theme tiered diaper cake (thank you Aunt Angela), equipped with, of course diapers, and many other cute Pooh baby items (Juliette’s room theme was Pooh and Friends).  These modern day diapers we have come in many any different sizes, brands, and shapes, not to mention all of the creams, wipes, powders, etc. that you will receive as well.  It’s all very exciting it all setting up…from your diaper pail to your diaper stacker, the diaper baskets, the changing table, etc., but soon enough though, your baby is right there and you are now stuck changing many diapers…after diaper, after diaper.  You do get used to it, but it did feel like a bit a chore at first.  The pee-pee diapers are not so bad to clean and are pretty quick to do too, and even the poop diapers aren’t so bad either at first, but as they get older that gets a just a little bit harder.

I was a big baby when I was born, 9 pounds 9 ounces, and my sisters were pretty big too.  My husband was also a big baby, and most of my older sister’s babies were big when they were born.  And since I was carrying Juliette so low when I was pregnant, and had such a big pop-out tummy, not to mention terrible lower back pain, I was convinced I was going to have this huge baby!  But, and I am NOT complaining here, when Juliette came out she was 7 pounds, 9 ounces, which is a small baby in our families…but that was plenty big enough for me, as that is an above average size.  Thus, I did not think we would need many newborn sized diapers, so I didn’t have much at home, I had more size 1’s all ready to go.  Luckily while you are in the hospital, they provide you with diapers, but once you get home, you are on your own.  Although I must admit my husband and I grabbed all the remaining diapers in our hospital room to take back home with us…hey it’s just like when people steal the hotel shampoos, right?

Juliette was in newborn sized diapers for almost two months, so my husband ran out and stocked us up on Newborn sizes after just a few days at home.  No biggie, since we had started with Pampers Swaddlers Sensitive (newborn size) at the hospital, and had one small pack at home too, that’s the brand what we stuck with.  The first few days I didn’t use any powder or creams, as the doctor had advised…but, then on the fourth day, she got very red down there, so I started to used Johnson’s regular baby powder and Desitin (I had about 5 of each of those powders and creams from shower gifts).  I did have a few small free samples of Bordeaux’s Butt Paste too, so I stuck those in my diaper bag for small and easy carrying.  A little while after that, I started to see how the Butt Paste (at least for Juliette) worked much better, so I switched to Johnson’s cornstarch baby powder (which also worked better) and the butt paste for diaper changes.  The powder was on after every diaper change, while the paste was only used a few times a day, just as needed.  This great combination seemed to work for a while on her little tushie.

Then, around the four-month mark, Juliette got a terrible diaper rash, and though it didn’t seem to bother her, it bothered me, A LOT.  As a new mother, as I am sure many new moms can relate, we wonder, “What was I doing wrong?”  The doctors said it could be many things.  I was convinced it was because of the generic form of diapers, (which we had also gotten as a gift), that we started using.  They said it probably wasn’t that, but it could be the baby wipes I used, the fact that she had started teething, etc.  So, they said discontinue use of all wipes, and instead use a soft paper towel with warm water, or a wash cloth with warm water (and a mild soap when needed) to wipe her.  They told me to stop using powders and creams for now, and instead use Vaseline as a barrier on the diaper, then to apply Lotrimin (yeah that funny smelling foot fungus cream) on her rash area.

A little over a week later, this started to work.  I have to tell you though, it was a pain to use wet cloths or soft paper towels, especially when we were outside the house.  Once the rash was cleared though, anytime I tried to use another brand of diapers (other than Pampers) or any type of sensitive wipes, she got a rash…actually, Huggies agreed with her, but she always leaked through those.  So, since Juliette has been about 4 months old, she wears Pampers Sensitive or Cruisers, and I have used purely a wet washcloth or wet soft paper towels to wipe her (Kleenex Viva paper towels seems to work best, they are very soft and cloth-like, and actually cheaper than buying wipes).  I really did miss the convenience of wipes, but oh well…in the words of my favorite fashion mentor, Tim Gunn, it was time to “make it work.”  Figuring out how to wipe her when we were out (if not sink was around) wasn’t too hard, I just had to keep a water bottle and the trusty Viva paper towels in my diaper bag.  I know sensitive skin runs in my family, and I definitely have it, as does my Dad, and I know Juliette carried on that trait too…so, no more wipes for her.

Now, as for the powders and diaper rash cream choices we made.  It is hard to figure out what works for your baby and it changes as they change, and we tried many different brands of each, like Desitin, A&D, Bordeaux’s Butt Paste, Aveeno, Caldesene, Burt’s Bees, Johnson & Johnson’s, Gold Bond, etc.  Through trying all of these we learned that Juliette’s new magic combination was Gold Bond Medicated Baby Powder (not always easy to find, of course, so I always bought a few bottles whenever I did actually see them at the store) and applied Bordeaux’s Butt Paste too as needed.

Up until a few weeks ago her magic diaper combination always worked, without fail, until that is, I saw the worst diaper rash appear that I had ever seen on her!  In addition to that, she had also become impossible to change.  She neverwants to lie down for me for more than 20 seconds without turning over, moaning, or standing back up.  Even with every distraction possible she still wouldn’t be still, and now it was even worse, because when I would wipe her, the poor thing cried in pain.  I called the doctor and told them how bad this rash was and they advised letting her air out (bare butt) as much as possible, soaking her bottom in warm water with a dash of baking soda a few times a day, and applying an antibiotic cream, like a Neosporin or a bacitracin.  If the rash did not go away, they said she might actually have a yeast infection, and I would have to bring her in, but I was very much hoping it would go away!  I acted fast and did all of the things they told me to do…but it was NOT easy.  Letting her roam free we had quite a few accidents, pee on the floor and in the playpen, and on top of that my dog, Layla, even tried to lick some of that pee up, that was really fun to try to get her away from.  Luckily though, we had no poop accidents…whew!

No yeast infection after all, and after a few days it cleared up.  About a week later, we also had her yearly pediatrician.  I had noticed that she had been a bit more cranky than usual too, even though the rash had cleared up, she was waking up in the middle of the night a few times a week, which really wasn’t like her.  She was biting as much as she could, and drooling even more than usual too, so I knew she was probably getting more teeth, on top of the eight ones she already had.  After speaking with the doctor I found out that four of her molars were starting to come in…heck if I would know how many, as she never lets me put my finger in her mouth or even keeps it open for a few seconds for me to look inside it.  She told me that all of this extra saliva from teething that Juliette could be ingesting can actually give her a bad diaper rash…apparently the secretions from the saliva can throw off their PH balance, well that explains the terrible rash!

Her little bottom was clear for another week or so after the appointment, then the rash came back just at the end of last week, ARGH!!!…here we go again.  So, again we started her roaming diaper free here and there throughout the day, soaking her in warm water and baking soda.  The next problem I faced was that I wasn’t sure what to apply on her this time around, as it was not as serious (or had any peeling skin this time) as the last rash.  Then, God smiled upon me and I discovered something wonderful that all mother MUST now about…Baby Anti MONKEY BUTT diaper rash cream!!!  Pretty funny/cute name, right??  I thought it was, and ironically enough, it wasn’t another mom who told me about it, it was a cashier in the Target checkout line when I was searching for my butt paste coupon.  She said her nephew had this terrible rash and that was the one and only thing that helped, but that they didn’t sell it there.  So, I dropped the butt paste and quickly drove down the street to Babies ‘R’ Us, and luckily  they had ONE LEFT!!  I started using it as soon as we got home, and by that evening the rash actually started to look better already!!  AMAZING!!  I would like to thank the people who made Anti-Monkey Butt Diaper Rash cream, because they have helped my daughter’s poor little bottom SOOOO VERY MUCH!  Apparently, it has some magic stuff in it along with calamine lotion, and well, whatever they put in there, it could be mud for all I care, the truth is that IT WORKS!!!  Her rash is pretty gone now, but you better believe I am still applying this cream to keep it away a few times a day.  In addition to that, I will be putting it in my diaper bag, at her changing stations, in my purse, etc.  I will always keep it handy now!  I have also heard that the same brand’s powder is awesome, so I will definitely be trying that too!!!  If you are a mom, or even a person for that matter, and find something that makes your life even a little bit easier, it makes you so extremely happy…and for my daughter it has made a world of a difference!

   

While every baby is very different, and each has their own set of diaper rash and skin issues, be sure to try ALL that is out there!  Although, I have to write, whenever I mention Anti-Monkey Butt to most moms now, they have nothing but great things to say about it, who knew???  Above all, we want to do the best we can for our child…even if that means we have to let them pee on the floor to air out, and then slapping on a good ol’ heaping amount of Anti-Monkey Butt onto their, impossible to change while staying still, little buttocks.    ~J

          

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when I was only a mere 15 weeks along

Just a few days ago Juliette became 13 months old, and I find myself still in disbelief that my little baby could be actually over 1 year now.  Should we still be counting the months at this point?  It seems like most people do when it comes to pregnancy and babies.  Actually with pregnancy you count weeks, and unless you’ve been pregnant before, when most people ask, “how far along are you?” you tell them by the weeks, not months.  However, I soon found out that you had to convert those weeks into the amount of months for the everyday person.

Looking back on the long road it took to get pregnant, and then how it finally happened, it seemed like such a dream to me.  I was full of a fantastic bliss during those first few weeks that I found out I was pregnant.  I was living on cloud nine for quite some time, just beaming with smiles.  I was teaching at the time, and I found that the pregnancy even gave me a newfound patience with my trying and troublesome homeroom class at the time.  I was about 6 weeks along when I found out, and I only told close friends and family members, before we decided to announce it to the world at that safe 12-week mark.  It was December and all the lovely Christmas songs, décor, and shopping was in the air.  Just in time for the holidays, I did, however, start to get some of those dreaded first trimester symptoms that pregnancy brings on.

First off, I had to switch from my comforting and awakening morning tea in my handy little to-go cup (for my hour long drive to work) to a can of coke…the only thing that seemed to help my unsettled stomach.  Parts of my body, (and ladies you know which parts these are), were already bigger and swollen, which lead to no more button fly pants and more elastic ones until all maternity clothing started.  Then there was the appetite and change in food.  Since I was young I can remember, whether pregnant or not, most people relied on those every handy saltine crackers to be the cure for that nauseas stomach, especially that one you get during your first trimester (and not just in the morning, though that did seem to be the worst time of day for it).  Of course, in my case, (because it never seems  to be that easy for me), saltines were not the cure, they actually made me feel more nauseated.

I tried to eat whatever I could hold down for breakfast, usually some type of dry cereal and then I would head to work not feeling too hot, and still hiding my growing tummy from everyone at work (except my closest teacher friend my principal).  Let me tell you…it was not easy hiding it from my other fellow coworkers or my 140 students or so, who began to ask why I always had coke now in the morning, and why started to chew gum from time to time.  I had heard somewhere that gum could help with that sour stomach and for me, it did.  Cinnamon flavored Trident was now my new best friend.  But, when you teach at a catholic middle school (that doesn’t allow gum for its students) and one of the teachers suddenly starts to chew it, the students will notice, as they usually notice everything!  My explanations?  Well as for the coke, it gave me that extra caffeine I needed to get me through my early mornings.  Explaining the gum was pretty funny, I told the students that it was a special prescription from my doctor for a dental gum condition I had, which also explained my late arrivals and/or early leaving some days for those many OBGYN appointments and blood work you need during that first trimester.  They actually bought this idea, and even asked me how my mouth was and if I was going to need surgery, ha-ha…silly kids.

I was still having lots of trouble subsiding my churning stomach though, as I wasn’t a puker at all, but wished I were for once, just to have some relief…I just always felt like I was going to puke.  Then on an absurd day, right around Christmastime, on one of our last days before our vacation we had our annual Christmas party with our sister elementary school.  On this day, we had snack time with the student visitors.  For this, we always passed out juice and animal crackers, which I hadn’t had much of since I was a kid myself, but now all of the sudden they looked better to me than any other food I could possibly think of!  So, as we began passing out the snack, I grabbed myself a few of these sweet crackers, and even had some apple juice to boot….and wow!!!  Who knew that a second graders snack would be my new cure for my rumbly tummy.  I felt like a new person!  That same weekend, my husband dashed off to BJ’s and bought me any economy-sized tub of animal crackers.  I kept a stash of those crackers on my nightstand, in my purse, in the car, in my desk at work…it got so bad that I began to pop those lovely little crackers as much as my favorite TV doctor, Gregory House, popped his vicodin pills.

What’s even stranger, is that throughout my pregnancy I seemed to revert to the many simple foods I loved as a child.  Grilled cheeses, anything with eggs (egg salad, eggs over easy…which I used to call “dippy eggs,”) an English muffin with peanut butter, mac’ and cheese, French fries, white grape juice, Jell-O, and many others…it was quite funny.  I craved many carbs, veggies, and fruit in the beginning too…so dinner was quite challenging as I could not eat any meat or fish throughout my first four months of pregnancy.  I also loved all things bitter…especially those with vinegar.  Bigger meals were very hard, as just a salad of fruit or greens, or some pasta didn’t seem to fill me up very much.  One night I even fell apart crying on the kitchen floor as I was so hungry, and couldn’t figure out what to eat, (besides an animal cracker or bread), that didn’t make me sick.  I think my husband was getting tired of it too, because even though he would try to make his own dinner, but it was so bad that I couldn’t take the smell of any meat either, so I would either brave the cold outside to get away from the smell, but he wouldn’t have that as I was carrying his unborn child, so he stopped cooking the meat as well.  Speaking or smells…oh good God the smells when I pregnant!  I will have to save that for another entry, because it was very, very bad…so bad, I think I am still going through it.

Soon though, that 12-week mark came and I was able to announce it to my students and the whole school at the Monday morning assembly that I was preggers!  It was very cute, they all clapped and cheered for me.  As that week went on, many of 8th graders were like “I knew it,” and some of the girls tried to call me “Mama,” which I politely told them “please do not do that, I am not your Mama,” (seriously? NO!).  A few teachers even said they had a hunch I was ‘with child,” as I came in many mornings looking quite green.

Then soon, after many food mishaps, my nausea eventually started wearing away by the 4th month, and I was able to slowly start eating more food again, like meat, especially hot dogs, I seemed to love hot dogs…so hot dog day every Wednesday at school was something to look forward to!  Throughout my whole pregnancy though, I could not eat any beef or eggplant…and so I began to wonder, would I ever be able to eat those things again?  All things considered though, I didn’t have it too bad with the food part of it, I have heard about woman who had it much worse…and the nausea did subside.  After all, I did only actually vomit once, but always had the feeling like I was going to in that first trimester.

Luckily, after I gave birth I was able to eat beef again, and any and everything I used to eat after a few weeks  I could even drink alcohol again (after all those breastfeeding mishaps and having to give that up, I needed a good stiff drink).  I really thought too, that I would miss alcohol much during my pregnancy.  I remember toward the end, I would occasionally miss a glass of wine, or a nice cold margarita in the summer.  And oh gosh, how I could’ve used a nice strong mixed drink toward the end of the last trimester due to all those horrible aches and pains at the end…but more on that at another time too.

Now, I can proudly say that Juliette is officially over a year, or 13 months to be exact…and we are both very healthy eaters.  She even started to spoon-feed herself yesterday, which is still very much a learning process, and very messy one at that.  Plus, while Juliette has that cute little baby potbelly and oh-so squeezable thighs, while I am still trying getting rid of the last little bits that are left of mine.  She is a very good eater, not at all picky and loves cheese (just like her Mama) and bananas too.  The challenges of eating don’t change though, as once you are post-preggers, you will have to restrict yourself to not overindulge.  You will once again feel bad about those McDonald Frappe runs and Baby Ruth bars that felt like a wonderful sweet indulgence and were “OK” while pregnant, but not so much post pregnancy.  At least now though you can have that nice glass of wine or a margarita again (or whatever drink you so desire).  And trust me, you will need that drink once those minutes of the day have worn you down and your baby is soundly asleep (if, hopefully, they do sleep well)…at that point you can put your feet up and have that nice relaxing drink, if you can still stay up by the end of the day.

In conclusion, whether you count months, years, days, minutes, etc…just know that while its hard to figure out what you can eat while that little one is growing inside you, it all goes back to normal.  Your baby and you will be able to eat as much or as little as you need…even when you are still craving something unusual like a peanut butter cheesecake (thanks Lisa) on your daughter’s  Lucky 13th month birthday.

and so the spoon-feeding begins

Any funny cravings (pregnant or not) or weird pregnancy food choices you had?  What about your baby?  Please share on the comments below if you’d like…

very proud of herself =)
(so is her Mommy)