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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

What Makes a Great Dad

Let me tell you, that I am highly qualified to write about what makes a great Dad.  The reason? Because I grew up with a fantastic Daddy, or Dadoose as I more fondly call him. And that is how I know that my husband is going to fill those same shoes with our daughter.  So what are some things that make a great Dad?

To be a great parent, you must be involved with your child's life.  It is impossible to see into the future, but I can go off of what Jacob has exhibited in the past.  I couldn't have hand-picked a more involved husband.  If I am doing something, he always wants to be there to support and help me. Spelling bee?  He's there cheering me on in the crowd.  School Title I nights?  He's there calling out BINGO numbers or passing out prizes with me.  Sewing nursery bedding (or any other craft project)? He is sitting with me and helping in any way he can from being there to talk to, helping stain wood, to ruffling fabric. I absolutely love having my husband as my best friend.  It really does make life so much more fun!  And because Jacob loves being involved in my life, I know that the same will be true for our daughter.  We are two blessed and lucky girls.

It's hard to even know where to start with this.  As DC Talk said, "Love is a verb."  Jacob shows me his tenderness and love for me on a daily basis.  The depth of his love for me is almost overwhelming to think about and he exhibits it in so many different ways.  It's one of the things that I have struggled with the most when thinking about having a baby...having to share his love.  And after {almost} six years of marriage, I finally understand how people say that your love only gets sweeter as time passes. Jacob truly is the love of my life.

Jacob exhibits dedication in so many different ways.  First, he is very dedicated to me (which goes hand in hand with involvement).  He is also very dedicated to his job.  Jacob goes out of his way to help others.  And lastly, even when it isn't all that fun or when things aren't looking as good as they could, Jacob is dedicated to farming.  His ultimate goal of full-time farming is never overshadowed by temporary circumstances.  He takes care of the pigs at least 2 times a day (morning and evening) and does whatever it takes to make sure that they are well cared for.  To the point that he has birthed pigs during an ice storm, brought sick pigs home to try nursing them back to health in our bathtub, dug holes and said his eulogy for each animal that has died (the standard ashes to ashes!), took extra time to rub and talk to the pigs, and the list goes on. Starting a business is hard work, but he never loses sight of his goals and is completely dedicated to making them a reality.

Those are just a tiny snippet of the character traits that make a good Dad.  Those are some of the ones that my Dad was great at; and, I am 100% confident that Jacob will also be great at.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Baby Bump: Week 30

How far along? 30 weeks

What's baby up to? Baby Morgan is the size of  a head of cabbage. She is about 17 inches long and weighs just over 3 pounds.  Her brain is busy developing this week.

Total weight gain: 12 pounds according to my scale

Maternity clothes? Pants, yes.  Shirts, not necessarily depending on the style.

Symptoms: Some back pain, sharp pain underneath my ribs....I called the doctor (per Jacob's orders) and they said that my uterus is growing up and out and that is to be expected at this gestation, haha!  Stuffy nose- I have had a cold so I'm not sure if this is still cold related or back to my normal pregnancy congestion with nose bleeds.

Sleep: Pretty good as long as I've got my husband, cat, and body pillow!  Our queen size bed seems to have gotten smaller...

Food cravings: None, although I would be completely fine with some Chinese food tonight.

Food aversions: Nope :-)

Movement?  Every day

Miss anything? Being able to move without grunting, groaning, and other funny noises.  Sitting down without my boobs resting on my belly, and my belly resting on my legs.  

Best moment of the week: Working on the crib bedding!  So far I've got 2 bumper pads completely finished.....only 4 more to go!  

Worst moment of the week: Not to be a negative Nancy, but I added this in for this week!  On 2/17 we had a minor ice storm which left about 1/4" of ice on everything....including power lines and tree branches.  I am finally coming to terms, after 29 years of living in the South, that very rarely do we get snow.  Instead, we always get ice.  Anyways, that 1/4" froze on trees, which in turn fell on power lines.  Multiple power lines, which resulted in a 24+ hour power outage for us in the FREEZING cold.  And then on top of that, Jacob got sick with some kind of stomach related yuckiness.  Fortunately we went to my in-laws and spent the night which meant a DELICIOUS steak dinner, hot showers, heat, and family.  

Looking forward to: Getting our furniture in (we're bringing it home in two weeks!) so we can start putting the nursery together. My baby showers that are coming up in March!!!!  

Not looking forward to: Maternity leave sub plans :-(

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Baby Bump: Week 28

How far along? 28 weeks {{Hello Third Trimester!}}

What's baby up to? Baby Morgan is the size of  an eggplant.  She weighs about EXACTLY (well, according to her measurements) 2 pounds and 13 ounces and is about 14 1/2 inches long.  Baby's eyesight is getting increasingly more developed.  She is focused on developing neurons in her brain and adding on body fat.

Total weight gain: Exactly 10 pounds at my last appointment.  An even bigger reason to celebrate-- my last appointment was first thing in the morning (and I've been weighing myself at home as soon as I get out of bed) and this appointment was late afternoon (around 4:30). 

Maternity clothes? Pants, yes.  Shirts, not necessarily depending on the style.

Symptoms: Some back pain

Sleep: Pretty good as long as I've got my husband, cat, and body pillow!  Our queen size bed seems to have gotten smaller...

Food cravings: Not really!

Food aversions: Nope :-)

Movement?  For sure.  It's a feeling that has definitely grown on me because I didn't like the way it felt at first.  I can definitely feel her kicking and jabbing, but one of my favorite feelings is when she shifts positions.

Miss anything? My morning coffee with yummy creamers. And no, decaf is not the same.

Best moment of the week: My doctor appointment yesterday.  It went great!  Baby girl was slightly uncooperative (but that's okay) for our ultrasound, but we definitely got to see her.  Everything still looked good so we're praying for continued good news. She is measuring at the 57th percentile for weight, at 2 pounds, 13 ounces. Her heartbeat was 155 bpm. Have I said before that we LOVE our ultrasound technician?  Currie is amazing!  We hadn't seen her since our appointment in Greenville so she was asking us about that (even though she had already seen my chart).  We told Currie about how we had bragged on her and how the head honcho ultrasound lady (who did my ultrasound) had told us all kinds of great things about her. At the end of the ultrasound, Currie got out the 3D probe and flipped over so we could get a little sneak peak.  Of course, the little one didn't want to be seen so we didn't get very clear pictures.  She was too busy attempting to hide her face be it with her feet, hands, or umbilical cord. Right now she is positioned underneath my left ribs with her hands, head, and feet all in the same general location.  She is looking towards my left side.  At this point she is breach, but Mandy was not at all concerned about that seeing as we have 12 (wait, what??  t.w.e.l.v.e.) weeks  left. 

Looking forward to: Selling our spare bedroom suit on Sunday.  We found a buyer and she seems extremely excited.  Bless her heart- she told me that she loves us via email- haha!  Buy Buy Baby called today and all of our nursery furniture is in, so we can get it any time now. Oh yeah,  between my mom and I, we are making all of the nursery bedding!  Mom has already made a crib sheet and she is going to do a matching changing pad cover as well.  I have delved into the crib bumper and hope to have it finished by the weekend!  

Not looking forward to: Maternity leave sub plans :-(

Her nose looks a little wonky because Currie had to crop out the umbilical cord
which was laying across the bridge of her nose.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Cloth Diapering: Why in the World....

...would we choose to cloth diaper?  Well, there are a few very high and mighty answers...but in all honesty it comes down to one thing.
Cloth diapering is significantly cheaper.  Especially if you shop with coupons!  Don't get me wrong...there are other really great reasons too.  But, for now we'll just stick with money.  

Seeing as we have pigs and both Jacob and I deal in a fair amount of poop every day, cloth diapering did not scare us in the least.  Does it make for more laundry?  Yes. 1 load a day (probably more like every other day) that takes maybe 1 minute to throw in the washer, and maybe 3 minutes to hang on a drying rack after they are done washing.  

Anyways, on to the cost savings. We have decided to fully stock with the same cloth diaper just in case our little lady goes to daycare and we can find someone who will accommodate us. That way it is easier on them. We decided to go with the Bumgenius (BG) Freetime All-in-Ones (AIO).  Side note: the world of cloth diapering has MORE acronyms than education.  It's ridiculous!  These diapers are one size (OS) so we will be able to use them from 12 pounds (though the packaging says 8) up to 35 pounds. Many, many people have advised us to get newborn diapers because they fit better, less leaks, and less bulk.

Up to this point, I have bought 6 Freetime cloth diapers and spent $102. I estimate the total cost of the remaining diapers to be $270. We will use those once she gets to be around 12 pounds.  Until then, we will use the newborn BG AIOs.  They are absolutely precious.  I placed my order today and am SO excited to get them in the mail.  We bought 24 newborn diapers for $290 which is quite the steal ($12.08 each).  Typically these little babies go for $14.95 each. We had originally planned on doing a newborn diaper rental, but when we started cost comparing, decided that we would actually come out cheaper to purchase the diapers new.  Why?  Because we are planning on reselling them.  Even if we can only get $5/diaper (which is SUPER cheap....they are going for around $10/diaper in Excellent Used Condition--EUC) we will come out even with the diaper rental program and disposable diapering.  Anyways, this is what I am waiting on to come in the mail: 

  • bumGenius <br />Newborn Cloth Diaper<BR>White
  • bumGenius <br />Newborn Cloth Diaper<BR>Armadillo
  • bumGenius <br />Newborn Cloth Diaper<BR>Clementine
  • bumGenius <br />Newborn Cloth Diaper<BR>Countess
  • bumGenius <br />Newborn Cloth Diaper<BR>Dazzle
  • bumGenius <br />Newborn Cloth Diaper<BR>Grasshopper
  • bumGenius <br />Newborn Cloth Diaper<BR>Hummingbird
  • bumGenius <br />Newborn Cloth Diaper<BR>Mirror
  • bumGenius <br />Newborn Cloth Diaper<BR>Moonbeam
  • bumGenius <br />Newborn Cloth Diaper<BR>Noodle
  • bumGenius <br />Newborn Cloth Diaper<BR>Sassy
  • bumGenius <br />Newborn Cloth Diaper<BR>Twilight
BumGenius All In One Newborn- Marie
We ordered two of each color except the white and patterned (Marie).  We only got 1 white and 1 Marie.  

After doing some research, this is what we have figured out in regards to cost savings in the first 12 weeks ALONE. Assuming the average newborn goes through 10 diapers a day (obviously some will be more, some less-- but this is what most websites have said).....

Length of Wear- 12 weeks
Days in a Week- 7
Number of Changes/Day- 10
12 weeks x 7 days in a week x 10 changes= 840 diapers in 12 weeks
Cost of newborn cloth diapers- $290
$290/840 diapers= .35 per diaper change

Cost of disposable diapers (on subscription) from Amazon Mom- $43.69 for 216 count
$43.69/216 diapers= .20 per diaper change

Now....add in the cost of reselling the diapers (which we plan to do).
$5/diaper x 24 diapers= $120 back
$290 total spent on cloth dipes - $120 money back= $170 overall cost
$170 overall cost/840 diapers = .20 per diaper change
That's our break even price.

But if we get $10 which is more reasonable for the resell market....
$10 x 24 diapers = $240 back
$290 total spent on cloth dipes -$240 money back= $50 overall cost
$50 overall cost/840 diapers= .06 per diaper change

Total cost of disposables for 12 weeks- $168
Total cost of cloth for 12 weeks- $50.40
Savings- $117.60 (assuming we can resell for $10/diaper)

So we could cloth diaper for 12 weeks for $50 total, making it a grand total of .06 per diaper change. It may not be the biggest savings (though to us $117 is totally worth it), but that's only for 12 weeks. We're excited to see how much we will save over the long haul (2 years)!  

Baby Bump: Week 27

How far along? 27 weeks-- let me just say that I'm not exactly sure where time has gone

What's baby up to? Baby Morgan weighs about 2 pounds and is about 14 1/2 inches long.  She's sleeping and waking at regular intervals, opening and closing her eyes, and maybe even sucking her fingers. With more brain tissue developing, her brain is very active now.

Total weight gain: 10 pounds according to my scale....hoping to hold it at 10 lbs. by my appointment on Monday.

Maternity clothes? Pants, yes.  Shirts, not necessarily. 

Symptoms: Some back pain

Sleep: Not too shabby if I don't drink caffeine! 

Food cravings: Not really!

Food aversions: Spoiled milk??  So it is totally my fault....but I had my very first puking episode while pregnant this week.  I smelled the milk in the fridge and thought, "Hmm.  This could go either way."  So, what did I do?  Tipped it up and taste tested it.  I regularly am not a fan of milk, so why I thought this was a good idea I'll never know.  Next thing you know, I was running to the bathroom (fortunately that isn't too far away in a single wide trailer!).  After throwing up 3 times, I was still a little queasy.  Let me just say again and again how thankful I am that I haven't battled morning sickness (like the actual puking kind) my entire pregnancy.

Movement?  Yes!  She is moving all around, flipping, kicking, or something like that!  It is crazy to feel and even crazier to watch.

Miss anything? Laying on my back

Best moment of the week: Getting our house rearranged.  My parents are coming to help get our storage shed switched over (we have outgrown our current one) this weekend.  We're in the process of trying to sell our spare bedroom furniture because we have no room!!  But it felt really good to start the process this week.

Looking forward to: Our ultrasound on Monday.  This is the first ultrasound that I have actually been excited about (sad to say).  Our first ultrasound (around 8 weeks) was terrifying.  I was scared and in complete denial.  Our second ultrasound (around 16 weeks) was checking to see if there were markers for Down Syndrome.  Again, I was terrified and almost paralyzed with fear.  Our third ultrasound (around 18 weeks) was a Level 2 ultrasound again checking for markers for genetic disorders.  I was not as scared at this one, but I definitely can't say I was excited either.  So I am happy to say that our fourth ultrasound (at 28 weeks) is coming up and I am very excited.  This ultrasound is still to check for progress of genetic markers, but I am feeling very at peace.  We will definitely have at least 1 more ultrasound, possibly 2 according to my midwife.

Not looking forward to: My Rhogam shot on Monday.