First Haircut!

Boo was born with a significant head of hair. He never lost any of it, so it just grew and grew. Though I tried to trim it a little from time to time…mostly his bangs, and sometimes at the nape of his neck…I kinda liked his hair long, and generally just let it be.

I thought his long hair was cute. A sort of messy surfer look that I loved running my fingers through when we cuddled.

Boo with his long hair

Boo playing with his hair

But ultimately it was constantly in his eyes (I sucked so bad at trimming his bangs that I’d wait far too long between attempts)…and it was starting to look pretty scraggly and dishevelled. So I made the decision to get it cut. Eeep!

On a recent visit to my parents’ my mom and I took Boo to Illusions Hair Design in the Kemptville Mall, where my mom’s hairdresser (Monique) gave Boo his very first cut:

Boo getting his hair brushed

Boo all prepped to get his hair cut

He was an absolute fidget, but a comb and my iPad (with the Peekaboo Sesame Street app) helped to distract him just enough so that he was manageable. His hairdresser only went “Oops” once when he moved abruptly just as the scissors went SNIP!

Boo behaving while having his hair cut

Mama and Boo looking at the hairdresser

The best – and most surprising – part? Apparently at Illusions, a baby’s (or toddler’s) very first haircut is free! When she told me there was no charge I stood there with my mouth hanging open for a few seconds while I processed the information. FREE! Plus, she took a small lock of Boo’s hair and put it in a little pouch for me, along with a cute little poem:

I got my first haircut,
as you can plainly see.
Mom says I look wonderful,
and that she is so proud of me.
I sat so tall and proud,
in that hairdresser’s chair.
And they even gave to Mom,
a small lock of my hair.
She says that she will keep it,
to remind her of this day.
Another milestone I’ve crossed,
in my life along the way.

Back at Nana and Gramps' house with his new haircut

I sure was proud of my little man!

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Finger Painting!

With all this cold weather it’s been tough keeping Boo occupied and entertained all day in the house. When I’m home alone with him I’ll often get him to “help” me with chores in between play breaks…he “helps” me clean closets, the bathroom cupboards, and vacuum (he’s seriously cute as he attempts to manipulate the vacuum cleaner). I try as much as possible to turn it into a game until, of course, he starts throwing things into the toilet.

Sigh.

When I’m working, however, Boo spends his time with the nanny. She is, of course, all about Boo. There are no household chores, or grocery shopping trips to take him on…it’s all Boo all the time. So when they can’t go outside, it can get pretty repetitive pretty fast. I mean, there’s only so many times they can read The Very Hungry Caterpillar or quack like a duck together (though, to hear Boo go on and on quacking, I think he’d be pretty pleased to quack all day long…that, and eat yogurt). So to keep him occupied on these cold cold days, I’ve been busting out the craft supplies for the two of them to enjoy.

Most recently….it’s been finger paints:

Crayola Washable Finger Paints

I’d been debating making edible finger paint, or just buying some….considering my lack of time, and my little guy’s tendency to put nothing in his mouth, I figured we were safe with just buying it…especially when I found this four-pack on sale at Toys R Us for under $3.

Of course he went and wiped his face with the back of his paint-covered hands….I think he looks particularly mischievous here (we’d already wiped the worst of the paint off)!

Boo looking mischievous

Apart from the odd face wipe, and dropping paint-covered items on the floor, Boo took the whole endeavour pretty seriously. He concentrated very hard on manipulating the paint with his fingers, as well as with a number of different brushes and foam brushes.

Boo painting with his fingers

Boo examining a paint brush

Which isn’t to say he didn’t get excited whenever a new blob of paint was put before him…

Boo gets excited about painting

Boo smiling with paint on his face

In the end, we had about five pieces of original Boo art….two of them stood out and have been taped to the cupboard door. I liked how bright this one is, and how you can really see how he manipulated the red paint with his fingers:

Boo's Red Period

And this is my favourite:

Boo's bird in a nest

That night while giving Boo his dinner, I kept looking at it (it was on the kitchen table drying)….and I realized there was a very distinct bird in a nest:

Close-up of Boo's bird in a nest

Sure, it’s kinda like finding shapes in the clouds…but this is one hell of a bird, if I do say so myself!

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Confessions of an inept cloth diaperer

Right off the bat let me be clear about one thing…I’m not very good at diapering. Any diapering. But I’d had it in my head when I was pregnant with Boo that I wanted to give cloth a go. So I bought a bunch of prefolds, a few fitteds, some doublers and some covers. I also bought some disposables. Because.

When Boo was born, he was tiny. So tiny. With stiff legs (I’ve talked about his legs before). And I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how to fold and put on the cloth diapers so that Boo was lying flat….seriously. They were so bulky his middle was the highest point on his body. So I used my disposables and waited a bit for him to grow.

From time to time I’d give his cloth diapers another try until Eureka! they finally fit! I should note, by this time I’d given up on everything but the newspaper fold, placed directly into the cover. No pins, no snappis…just the bare minimum. It got the job done, and I was happy. I was cloth diapering!

Boo Boo in Applecheeks

But I never got too fanatic about it. Sure, I was pleased to be saving money, and especially to keep our garbage to a minimum. But I still use disposables. At night, for instance…Boo proved too heavy a wetter, and I couldn’t match the absorbency and dryness of a disposable. And when we go visiting. As much as I love not creating waste at home, I also love not creating unnecessary laundry when I’m not at home.

And even though I’m not exactly committed to exclusive cloth diapering, I am over one year into it, and I think I’ve learned a few things along the way. So without further ado…

10 THINGS I’VE LEARNED ABOUT CLOTH DIAPERING (SO FAR):

  1. A squirming baby is difficult to diaper no matter what your diaper of choice.
  2. Coloured and patterned diaper covers are so cute. Like, incredibly cute. I don’t care how disposables try to emulate this cuteness factor (hello Honest Company!), they just can’t match the vibrancy or colour saturation of a diaper cover.
  3. A trim cloth diaper is like winning the lottery. A not-so-trim diaper means having to size up when putting my little man into pants (for real…depending on his diaper my Boo Boo fits into 6-12 month pants all the way up to 2T). Oh, and the word “trim” suddenly becomes a regular part of your vocabulary.
  4. The xylophone and Boo

  5. Velcro closures are wonderful. At first. When you have absolutely no idea what you’re doing, velcro is so much easier and faster to fasten. Later, though, you discover the ugly side of velcro. It snags everything in the laundry, and once your little one gets mobile, it can scratch their belly. Snaps are definitely the way to go once you’ve got your feet wet. You’ll also discover that aplix is the same thing as velcro.
  6. Snappis are the devil. Though they sound like a huge advancement over safety pins….actually getting them to hook, stay in place, and hold a prefold diaper on your little one? Never worked for me (of course, I’m an inept diaperer, so they probably work for other people).
  7. Sure, a fitted cloth diaper sounds easier. But unless you’re going for AIOs (all-in-ones), it means you’ve got TWO things to fasten – the diaper and the cover. Which turns out to be double the trouble (for me).
  8. Boo playing in his diaper

  9. Washing cloth diapers isn’t all that bad. Drying them, however, is the biggest ever pain in the ass. I mean, they’re made to be absorbent, right? So they retain a lot of water. So much that I have to run them through the dryer twice if I’m unable to hang them out to dry (which, let’s face it, only happens during the summer).
  10. You will, without a doubt, find yourself sniffing those “pee pee only” diaper covers a little too closely, as you attempt to determine if you can use it one more time before laundering.
  11. Don’t worry about the poo, it’s totally manageable. This is especially true once solids are started and you use a diaper liner. The foul stench of day-old urine, however…is like an assault on your nasal passage every time you open your wet bag. It is not for the faint of heart.
  12. It’s a miracle how blowouts can be completely avoided with a good cloth diaper cover…I think while Boo was exclusively breastfed, he had maybe one blowout while wearing cloth. Maybe. I can’t count how many he had while wearing disposables. Too many (I’ve blocked it out). This alone is reason enough to use cloth.

So there you have it. I’m pretty sure these 10 things are not the only things I’ve learned (surely?), but they’re what I’m sharing with you today. Got any more hard learned lessons on cloth diapering? Please share them in the comments!

Boo Boo in his wagon

In a future post, I’ll share my thoughts and review some of the actual products I’ve used.

In case you’re curious, the diaper covers pictured in the above photos are (in descending order): Applecheeks’ Lake Echo, Bummis’ Simply Lite Elephant Tales, Blueberry Coverall’s Monsters, and Applecheeks’ Steel Me (they’re barely visible in the above picture, but I just thought it was cute!)

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What we’re reading in February

I’ve been trying to make a point of reading more, because it feels like this is a part of my life that is seriously lacking at the moment. I miss reading. Like, actually sitting down and reading a whole book. Let me clarify – of reading a whole book meant for adults, as opposed to one geared towards those just as likely to chew on, as read, it. And let me clarify once more – I’m referring to books whose subject matter is something other than how to rear/feed/train/etc. that child who may, or may not, chew on books.

Which isn’t to say that I’m actually getting a lot read these days…but I am putting aside a little time before bed a few nights a week to read anywhere from a few pages to a few chapters. And it feels good. Real good.

The Tao of Martha

This past month I’ve been reading The Tao of Martha – the latest book in what’s become a pretty sizeable series of memoirs by Jen Lancaster (I believe there’s actually another one coming out in May). Effectively, the books follow her day-to-day life beginning when she lost her job in the dot-com bust, and eventually focusing in on “projects” – like getting fit, growing up, or – in this particular book – attempting to live a year inspired by Martha Stewart. Nothing particularly cataclysmic or amazing happens in any of them…but she’s funny. Sometimes laugh out loud funny. And that’s often just what I need.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

What I am guaranteed to read at least once every day (and usually far more often) is Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar. I know the story by heart now, and can “read” it to Boo wherever he happens to be in his room flipping through the pages. Depending on his speed I’ll sometimes make an adjustment or two to the story, so that I can keep up…usually it’s an abridged version, but there has been the odd time when I’ve elaborated on a page or two. We have the large format version of the board book, so it’s quite amusing to watch as Boo tries to manipulate it…and how he always always always points at all the junk food the caterpillar ate on Saturday!

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Sleep Training (Part 2)

So previously I’d blogged about getting Boo to nap better. I’m happy to report that it worked! I am now able to leave the room once my little man is asleep…..it’s liberating and amazing and incredibly convenient.

How did we do it?

Exactly as planned: Once my little man was asleep I put him in his crib, but I stayed in the room and sat next to the crib for a few weeks where I could hush and soothe him as needed. Next, I moved across the room. I did that for another few weeks and I did my very best to only verbally (and very minimally) soothe him if required. Note that in both of these scenarios, I didn’t just sit there staring adoringly at my sleeping child. No no…I took advantage of not having him in my arms and fiddled on my iPad or worked on my laptop.

Finally, I left the room altogether where I could do….whatever I wanted! (Provided whatever I wanted to do was in the house.)

Unfortunately, none of this helped his suck-to-sleep association. Though he was napping off of me, he was still totally hooked on my nipple to fall asleep. For naps. At bedtime. When he’d wake up in the middle of the night. It’s all he wanted. In fact he seemed to need it. Desperately.

So we’ve begun to tackle his bedtime/nighttime nipple obsession.

Boo's new lovey

One of my attempts to break (or at least lessen) Boo’s suck-to-sleep association, was the introduction of snuggly blanket, or a lovey…I slept with it for a few days to make it smell more familiar, then began nursing him with it. He couldn’t care less about it for a good long while. Only now – maybe 2 or so months after its introduction – is he starting to take notice of it.

The plan: Create a very predictable bedtime routine that moves nursing to its beginning. Following nursing, change diaper and put on pyjamas. Next up comes all of the hygiene-related activities like brushing teeth, washing face and hands, and anything else that may pop up (e.g. put on moisturizer, drops in ears, whatever). Go say goodnight to Daddy. Return to bedroom and read a story or two. Then once story time is over, sing a bedtime song as I put Boo into his sleepsack, turn on his sound machine and turn out the light. Finish song (I usually sing it twice), kiss Boo goodnight and then rock him to sleep. Put him in crib.

Graco sound machine

Boo’s new Graco Sound Machine runs continuously through the night – not sure if it helps him get to sleep, but it does seem to help keep him asleep by muting other noises in the house or on the street (Montreal middle-of-the-night street cleaning anyone? Ugh).

So far, the plan is working quite well (dare I say very well?). Though the little man stages many escapes through the beginning of the routine (mostly after PJs and before story time), we’ve been sticking to it religiously. Once I start putting on his sleepsack there’s generally a fair amount of complaining, and much more protest after I put out the lights…but I’ve been sticking to my guns and only rocking and shushing him to sleep. No boob.

If he wakes up in the middle of the night, it’s the same story. No boob.

And you know what? It must be working. Even though he still clearly doesn’t like bedtime, he barely wakes up in the middle of the night anymore. Which means my little man who previously woke up an average of 2-3 times per night is now SLEEPING THROUGH THE NIGHT most nights! Or, he’s waking up and soothing himself back to sleep, aware that there’ll be no boob offered if he calls to me.

Which totally rocks.

Moo, Baa, La la la

I’ve been trying to read at least two different books at bedtime. One longer, and one MUCH shorter one. Sandra Boynton’s Moo, Baa, La La La!
fits the bill perfectly – Boo loves making animal sounds, and I can get through it in about 1 minute…so even if he wants me to read it again….it’s ok!

The next step in our plan is to gradually move up when I put him into his crib….it’s going to be tough, as Boo does not appear to have a dozing-off stage. He goes from eyes wide open…..to suddenly eyes closed and then asleep within moments. I’m going to spend the next little while looking for any additional clues for when he’s getting sleepy (which will be tough…because I’ll be honest, I don’t sit there staring at him…I tend to close my own eyes and relax).

In the meantime, I’ll start devising a plan for getting him off my nipple at naptime….stay tuned.

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