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October 9, 2010 / Kate

A year ago today, I had been in labor for approximately 49302 hours. Frustrated, exhausted, and terrified, I gave up on the home birth of my dreams, and headed to the hospital with an entourage of unwavering support.

A year ago tomorrow, Keith and I met Linnea. She changed the course of our journey forever. We still cannot believe how lucky we are. Happy birthday Little Muffin.

August 14, 2010 / Kate

All Things Potty

Back when I was pregnant, I posted about my diaper wipes project. I sewed some diaper wipes out of flannel so that they fit in a diaper wipes warmer.  I thought I would give a little update.

The wipes have worked out beautifully. They are one of the easiest steps to take in making the baby diapering process more eco-friendly. I ended up ditching the fancy wipes solution after a while, and just squirt some Dr. Bronner’s soap in a jar of hot water, pouring it over the wipes in the container. I toss the used wipes in the washer with my used diapers, and I don’t dry them (what’s the point if I’m just going to get them wet again?)

The flannel has held up beautifully, and it is thick enough that I only have to use one.

Speaking of diapering, I would like to throw in my two cents about cloth diaper styles. When I was pregnant, pocket diapers seemed to be the easiest way to go. So I ordered a few brands including Bum Genius (with velcro) and Bum Joy (with snaps). Pocket diapers were attractive, and I liked the idea of stuffing them all in advance and then grabbing them for diaper changes all ready to go. I would not buy pocket diapers again. The Bum Genius velcro didn’t hold up well at all. The snaps on the Bum Joy diapers work fine, but I find the microfiber inserts in both to be a an unpleasant texture. You can buy other types of inserts for these diapers, and I didn’t go that far. I still use the diapers, but I would not recommend them.

I also use regular old fashioned cloth diapers with separate plastic covers. These work fine, but they are bulky and didn’t fit Linnea well until she was about 3 months old. Baby clothes these days are designed for disposable diapers, so a lot of pants don’t fit her when she has a bulky cloth diaper on.

My friend gave me an all in one diaper to try, and I love the convenience of it. It is a bit wasteful to wash the cover every time the diaper is soiled (you must do this with pocket diapers too), but when you practice Elimination Communication, you don’t have too many soiled diapers anyway.

Elimination Communication

We started EC when Linnea was 3 months old. I read The Diaper Free Baby and got inspired to try it with Linnea. I spent 2 full days with her out of a diaper, and watched her behavior before and during elimination. When she eliminated, I made a “pshh” sound. She immediately began associating that sound with elimination. By the end of Day Two, I could hold her over the bathroom sink, make the noise, and she would pee. When she was able to sit up I bought the Baby Bjorn Little Potty and later a toilet reducer to get her used to going on the toilet. I began to notice patterns in the timing of her elimination (after waking and about 45 minutes after nursing), and I could offer her the potty when I thought she would need to go. It seemed to make her happy, and it certainly made me happy to reduce my diaper wash loads. I rarely wash poopy diapers (maybe a couple times per month), she poops usually once per day or once every other day and she usually does that in the potty. S he spends most of the day in the same dry diaper. Of course, she wets diapers more often when we are traveling in the car, or if someone else is caring for her (although my mother in law and Keith both have luck with helping Linnea pee in the potty).

The book is called Diaper Free Baby, and some people choose to go completely diaper free, but I decided not to ditch the diapers. I would rather clean a wet diaper than mop up pee from the floor.

I have to say that every baby has different signals for letting us know when they need to eliminate. Linnea’s signals are so subtle, I couldn’t tell you what they are. I just get a feeling that she needs to go, and I put her on the potty. I spend so much time with her throughout the day that my body unconsciously picks up on her signals, I guess.

Now that Linnea is mobile, you would think that she would wet diapers more often because she is not as close to me anymore. Her bladder is larger, however, and she doesn’t go as frequently as she used to.

Have any of you tried EC? Will you try it when you have babies? Tell me your story.

August 13, 2010 / Kate

Magnets!

I’ve been going a little overboard with magnets lately. Everything seems better with a magnet on it. Take our coffee grinder and coffee scoop. We kept losing the scoop, so I stuck a magnet on that sucker and now it has a home!

August 12, 2010 / Kate

David Lebovitz knows his cookies

When I first saw the promo for David L’s new book, I knew I had to have it. The chocolate chip cookies sold me immediately. I would like to congratulate whoever put that video together. I began to have dreams about these chocolate chip cookies. I searched the internet for blogs that might have gotten permission to post the recipe. Keith bought me the book for Mother’s Day, and I made them right away. I ate one warm out of the oven paired with fresh milk from my goats. They tasted like the ones in my dreams. I make way too many of them now.

The tricks are chopped chocolate, toasted pecans, and rolling the dough into logs to refrigerate for 24 hours. I keep a couple in my freezer for cookie emergencies.

Do yourself a favor and buy this book. You will cry so happy when you do.

August 12, 2010 / Kate

Here we go again

This blog has been chugging along at various speeds for about 7 years now. It went defunct after my daughter was born. Now I’m back to share my crafty projects with the world!

Let’s see…where did we leave off? Linnea was 3 months old and I wrote her a letter. That was pretty sweet. Now she is 10 months old and getting into all kinds of mischief.

We are moving into a new house on our property and renting out the old one. This has prompted a serious DIY frenzy. Just this morning I googled “DIY mailbox” and then realized I could just buy a damn mailbox at Home Depot for $15. I don’t have to make everything. Geez.

I hope you enjoy the newly refreshed Red Couch Fever!

August 12, 2010 / Kate

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January 8, 2010 / Kate

a love letter to my daughter

Dear Linnea,

Today, you discovered your left hand. It was balled up in a tight little fist, waving in the air, and you narrowed your eyes and zeroed in on it. Wait until you discover that you have two of them!

Suddenly you are three months old, and I haven’t written a word about your unfolding life.

Since the moment you were born, you have been an alert, focused, easy going girl. Everyone remarks, “She’s such a good baby!” and I want to reply, “Is there any other kind of baby?” but I know what they mean. You are pleasant and content most of the time. Whenever you look at someone, you seem to drink them in: whether they are at the grocery store, or in your family. I was the first person you ever looked at, and you looked at me that way. I have never been the same since. You contemplate and consider everything and everyone you encounter.

We just got back from your first visit to Portland, where you have many, many people who love you. You did not like the car seat (who can blame you?), but you loved spending time with family once we arrived in Portland. You were baptized there in a beautiful ceremony. It was wonderful to see you honored and loved by the people who watched me grow up.

At three months, you enjoy taking baths, lying on your lambskin and kicking up a storm, and talking, talking, talking. You tell us all about it, and we listen with rapt attention. You love it when we sing to you, and sometimes you seem to sing along.

Before I became a mother, I didn’t think much about the breastfeeding relationship.  Now that I have the privilege of nursing you every day and every night, I am so happy to be able to share those moments with you. It is the most cozy and wonderful thing I have ever done, and when you look up at me with your round blue eyes and give me a sly half smile, I fall deeper and deeper in love. I love being able to nourish you and make you happy.

I quit my “day job” recently, and I am so lucky to be able to work from home and be near you. When you are away from me for even a little while, I miss you terribly. I can’t imagine having to leave you for a full day every day. As I look back on the last year, I realize are so many things to be grateful for.

Thank you for teaching me to love in a whole new way. Thank you for showing me what is important in life. Thank you for being my baby.

Love,

Mama

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