Sunday, September 25, 2011

Friday, September 23, 2011

Does it really save you money?

 The cloth diaper debate!

I was at a playgroup the other day when I slipped out to change Lovebugs diaper. Upon returning to the room, bright orange wet bag in hand and Lovebug modeling a fresh cute pink diaper, I noticed a new mom eying me, curiosty beaming from her eyes. As I walked past she she excitedly asked "So you cloth diaper?! How do you like it?" After explaining to her that I love it and us chatting back and forth about it for a second she asked "after doing it for a while, do you really think it saves you money with all the washes and all?" Of course I said yes and a fellow fluffy enthusiast backed me up with some numbers that she'd researched. But, it piqued my curiosty... how much am I saving with these fluffy beauties? So I sat down and did the math:

To find the average cost of sposies (disposable diapers) I used Huggies as the porduct, size 3 diapers and a child using 6 a day.

  • Jumbo pack of size 3 Huggies(36 diapers): $10.99
  • If the child is changed 6 times per day you would have to buy diapers every 6 days. In a month with 30 days thats you'd buy diapers 5 times.
  • $10.99 x 5= $54.95 per month
  • $54.95 x 12= $659.40 per year
  • The average child is in diapers for 3 years
  • 3 x $659.40= $1978.20
So to diaper a child for 3 years using sposies (without counting wipes) you'll spend around $2000

Then I went on to cloth!

Our diaper of choice is Fuzz.iBunz (med. cost@ $19.95 per diaper). To any new cloth diaperer I would suggest getting 18-24 diapers. That lets you do laundry every other day and have diapers to use on laundry day.

So your start up costs are these:

  • 18-24 diapers @ $19.95= $359.10-$478.80
  • Wet bag @ $15 and diaper sprayer @ $20
Then the next two are cost per year that I multiplied by 3 (the Fuzz.ibunz are a one size diaper that adjust to fit from birth to potty training)
  • $24 per year in detergent (we use Eco's free and clear. It's $12 per 100 loads. But, it lasts waaaay longer because you don't use a full amount!)
So on the high side:

$478.80 + $15 + $20 + $72 + $255= $840.80!

So whats the cost difference in using cloth vs sposies?

Almost $1160!! For 1 child!

Plus there are things that are priceless... have you ever seen a cuter butt than that wrapped in pink fluff?! How about purple fluff or blue? I know I haven't!

And then there are the health and environmental pluses.
  • Did you know it takes diapers 200-500 years to decompose in a landfill?!
One statistic I found said there were 4 millions babies born in 2010. If those babies all used the statistics I gave for sposies than by now there would be at least at least  8,640,000,000 new diapers that will be sitting in landfills of the next 500 years! Yuck! Luckily at least some of those little booties were covered in fluff and not plastic. Lowering that number some.

There's also the heath debate. Some research suggest that sposies present health risks, especially to baby boys, because of the fact that sposies reportedly raise the temperature in the diaper leading to the concern of male related infertility. With infertility on the rise and male infertility on the rise, this wouldn't surprise me. Disposable diapers are full of chemicals that sit on your babies most delicate parts... why do yo think they keep baby so dry? This was one of our main concerns (aside from savings) and really pushed us to cloth

So, a quick overview of positives to cloth diapering:

  • Less landfill waste over the next 500 years!
  • No harsh, nasty chemicals sitting on babys skin to could potentially lead to infertility among other health concerns!
  • Cute fluffy pink, blue, purple, yellow, green butt!
  • No diaper rash! Seriously. Lovebug has never had diaper rash!
  • Human waste being disposed of into sewage and not in a landfill!
And last, but definitely not least:
  •   A savings of  $1160 for your first child and if you use the same diapers on your second child you start to double your money!!

So the answer the question is YES! It definitely saves money among some other great advantages!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Click here to see this weeks Wordless Wednesday! 

(For privacy reasons we've made a picture blog! If your a current follower or a new follower, please send me your email address and I'll gladly add you to the blog!)

It's (gonna be) a secret!

Ever feel like your very private family building experience is so public? I know I do. Everyone knows your adopting, your waiting, your matched. You deal with agencies and social workers who discuss the ins and out's of personal details and plans. It seems theres little left to savor as a family unit.

Part of it is a good thing. I think bringing a face to adoption and showing the world how awesome it is, is a great thing. Everyone has those "you know I heard so & so adopted and..." horror stories, but do they really know "so & so" or has that just become the Big Foot story of adoption? So when it comes to this aspect, I'm glad to share our positive experience with adoption and open adoption.

But, when I think about our 2nd child I find myself wanting to keep some things just between us... you know like a couple who just found out they're pregnant does. Sneaking smiles at each other around family, knowing they have a little secret that nobody else knows.

I also always dreamed about waiting to find out the gender of our child. My parents did that and growing up my dad would always tell my about when I was born  and they brought me to him, they said "Congratulations, you have a daughter!" and his world flipped upside down (in a good way)! My mom would have loved to tell this story, but this was in the age of general anesthesia she was out of it for a while :) Anyhow, hearing that story always made me want that surprise. The joy of someone in the delivery room screaming "It's a....".

I can't foresee that happening with an adoption, so Hubby and I have derived another plan: when we are matched next, we'll tell family about the match, but when it comes to the gender and names, well that's gonna be our little secret!

As the months get closer to when we'll start again, we're getting more and more excited! I can't wait to see Lovebug as a big sister! I can't wait to cradle a precious squishy baby again. Memorizing a new little face, hands and feet. I can't wait to see Hubby with both of his kids cuddling in his lap! And now I can't wait to see our family's surprise when our new addition comes home and we're able to scream "It's a....." just like I always dreamed of!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Picture blog!

Ok call me paranoid, but I prefer protective Momma... ;)

At any rate, I've never really liked sharing Lovebugs precious face with any and all internet goers who happen upon my blog and recently I've noticed some weird traffic coming from pretty random sites. So what I'm working on is a separate picture blog, that will be by invite only, that I will share pictures and videos on. Then on Wordless Wednesdays or Fridays or anyother time I want to post a pic, I'll make a post on this blog linking it to the picture blog and those with access can view them!

So, for all of my faithful followers...yes, all 13 of you (wink, wink), I'm extending you the first invites! If you would like to be able to view future pictures from the EWOH blog please message me your email address so I can add you to the picture blog! Once your added you'll be able to view the picture blog freely, just as you view this one.

Phew. Aren't you glad we got that straightened out?! I know I am.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

OA Roundtable # 29

Come check out the newest Open Adoption Roundtable!! This time it's a bit of an open mic night. Everyone is sharing the post they feel they want people to remember about them. I shared my lastest post Let's get "real"!


Lets get "real"!

What is it about open adoption that makes people squirm? I was at story time with Lovebug today when another mom and I started talking. We did the normal mom routine: How old is he?  Is she sleeping for you? Oh, I see you use cloth diapers too... here lets trade tips! We started building a small rapport and after a while I started to let my guard down. After a little more chatting I mentioned that we'd actually adopted and then it began...

I don't hide Lovebugs adoption, but I've learned over time to be selective of when we talk about it. In the beginning I talked about it all the time. I was so excited about being her mom and how we'd got to that point. I wanted to scream it from the roof tops... although I did manage to refrain from doing so. But, as time went on we decided not everyone has good intentions with their questions, some people are just being nosy and although we're proud of how Lovebug became our daughter we don't want it to define our family. So, I became pickier with my adoption talk.

So, back to the story... We're talking and I mention adoption. After a few positive exchanges regarding the topic I mentioned our open adoption with Lovebugs birthmom and family and how wonderful it's been. She responded with a "you know I know someone else who's said the same thing, but......" and then with a grimace on her face, as if she was about it inform me of the mistake I somehow over looked in my decision to communicate with the "other side", she said "but, what are you going to do when she knows who her "real" mom is?"

I should have said "you know I've never thought of myself as imaginary until now... thanks for the insight!", but that wouldn't have got me very far. So I smiled and said "I am her real mom, but we're not concerned with her knowing her birthmom (othermom, firstmom) and that side of her family, too. We feel it's healthy. After all they are her family(and ours) and make her who she is." She went on to say some other, unfortunately ignorant comments about adoption and eventually I just ended the conversation. But, it got me thinking: What is it with open adoption that makes those not involved in it so threatening? After pondering it for a little bit it hit me...

I think open adoption hits at people at the core, arousing their own insecurities. If we're openly accepting Lovebug having 2 moms, well what does that say about their status as a mom? Could she be so easily replaced as well? Could her child love another mom if we expect our child to do so? Surely, a child has only enough room in their life for one mom and that's her..right?

But, what about moms who are adding to their brood. Fears arise, concerns will I ever love another child as much as I do my first? As soon as a mom voices this fear, veteran mom's jump at the chance to reassure her that a mother love doesn't divide with her children, but her heart and love grows to accommodate them.  So why wouldn't the same apply to the child? Is a child's heart incapable of loving more the 1 or 2 people? I don't think so.

God gives us hearts big enough to love everyone. In a traditional family, a child has many people to love: mom, dad, brothers, sisters,grandma, grandpa, nana, papa, aunts, uncles, cousins and the list goes on. Loving one doesn't take away from loving another. Each family member has a special place in that childs life and the child loves them accordingly, allowing their heart to grow with love as they build each unique relationship. The same goes for open adoption. Lovebug loving me as her mom takes nothing away from her loving her birthmom and vice versa. We both have a unique place in her life and could never replace each other. She wouldn't be who she is and who she's going to be without the influence of both of us. And is it possible to have too many grandparents or aunts and uncles? I think not.

So why would I be concerned? If anything, it fills me with pride to think of my daughter being confident enough to know she can love her whole family, wholeheartedly, without fear. I want her to grow up being proud of who she is and knowing we're proud of who she is and who she is didn't start when she was 48 hours old. Who she is also is not an adopted person. She's a person who happened to be adopted. She has a large family full of people who love her and would do anything for her. IMO, that in and if itself is something to be proud of.

We all have enough room in our hearts to love others...we just have to get past our insecurities and start putting others first. Hubby and I love our newly extended family and look forward to extending it further.Our family may not be traditional and fit into the box that some like to try and shove us into, but we like it this way. For "real"!

iPad2 Giveaway!!

Tammy over at With Faith Alone...Our Journey to Uganda is having an iPad2 Giveaway to help raise funds to bring her 2 little ones home from Uganda! They've recently received their referral for 2 children, one with special needs, that needs them to come soon! Head over and check it out and be a part of bringing these precious babies home!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Lovebug turns 1!

For most first time moms, a first birthday is a huge event! Your baby, who just few short months ago was squishy helpless being, is now one and entering into a whole new world: Toddlerhood! It’s a huge change that’s both exciting and terrifying. You mourn the loss of the infant stage and rejoice in the things to come!

I felt all of this in the days leading up to Lovebugs birthday. I’d find myself staring at her remembering the first time I held her. How small she felt in my arms. I tried to remember what those first days home felt like, so new and exciting, but honestly at this point it all seems slightly foggy.  In the days leading up to her birthday, I must have reviewed her first year of life in me head a hundred times as well as the struggles it took to get us here.  All normal Mommy feelings realizing your baby‘s growing up.

The day before her party I was getting things prepared. Cutting fruit for the fruit salad, making pasta for the pasta salad, sorting the napkins out so the over priced 1st birthday napkins were intermixed with the much more reasonably priced solid pink napkins. I was going through it like clockwork until I got to one stage and it stopped me dead in my tracks: The cupcakes. My daughters 1st birthday cupcakes! It hit me like a ton of bricks! I’d baked countless cupcakes in the past, but a last, after years of dreaming about being a Mommy and wondering if it would ever happen, I was making my daughter’s 1st birthday cupcakes! Immediately my eyes filled with years as I glanced over at Lovebug who was happily playing in her exersaucer with a little pink balloon tied to it. She looked up at me and smiled and I can’t tell you how overjoyed I felt in that moment just to be her mom and to be making her cupcakes. How did I ever get so lucky?

How did we all get so lucky? That’s just the general feel of our entire family. There was a time where our infertility cast a huge cloud of sadness on the entire family. They mourned with us as we went year to year struggling to build our family and theirs. And now, here we were.  I’m not sure there’s ever been a baby that’s more loved by her entire family, parent’s, grand parents, aunts, uncles, unofficial aunts & uncles and here we were at embarking on a huge celebration of her little life.

The party itself was awesome! There were about 35 guests and lots of summery foods. We swam. We ate. We celebrated. I think Lovebug was covered with kisses by the end of the day. Leading up to the party I wondered how she’d like everyone singing “Happy Birthday” to her. Turns our she LOVED it! She giggle, clapped and waved her way through and when it ended she signed  “more” like “Come people…one more time!” I think she could feel all the love everyone was exuding toward her that day (and everyday). When it came time for the cupcake, my little foodie took charge! She grabbed it with both hands and shoved it in her mouth! After about 30 seconds sugar shock kicked in and she shuttered as the sweetness hit her, making for some really cute pictures! After about 3 hours of partying Lovebug was wiped and went down for her nap. A few guest lingered and clean up began.

Singing "Happy Birthday"

Love from Mommy and Daddy

That night before bed, we all 3 laid there and Hubby and I just took it all in. Here we were with our baby, our first baby and she was one. We never could have dreamed of what the first year of our childs life would be like and how much we’d actually love her. It’s something you can’t know until your there. You just can’t imagine loving anything this much.  But, in the days leading up to the party we revisited it all and when her birthday came it was like water reaching a boil. All the joy we’d felt all year long came rolling over us as we celebrated the sweetest girl on earth: Our Lovebug!

Monday, September 12, 2011

My own

If I've heard it once I've heard it a thousand times. It's one of those phrases that, as a mom through adoption, makes me cringe at times and laugh at times. The use of the phrase "my own" or "your own".

"Oh, you couldn't have children of your own?"

"Do you think this time you'll try for your own?"

"I don't know if we'll adopt. I just want children of my own."

What is "My own"? Well according to Webster "own" is defined 2 ways:

1. belonging to oneself or itself —usually used following a possessive case or possessive adjective <cooked my own dinner>
2.—used to express immediate or direct kinship <an own son> <an own sister>

I always try to smile when I hear this phrase and gently reply, "Lovebug couldn't be more my own!" because even by Websters definition she couldn't! "My own" is not measured in DNA or inherited characteristics, but rather being directly connected as mother and child! A connection that is formed through love and a connection that even Webster would have a hard time finding words for.

This past weekend my mother-in-law and I were talking and she mentioned an acquaintance we know who is experiencing IF. She over heard her and another friend talking the other day when our mutual friend mentioned to the acquaintance that my mother-in-law was a grandmother through adoption and that after a few years of IF we'd made the best decision of our lives and decided to adopt. Our friend went on to ooze her own love for Lovebug and what a blessing from above she's been for all of us. The acquaintances response? "Yeah, but we really just want our own baby."

I wish I could shake her and say "do you know what your missing? Can you even fathom this blessing that we've been given? She is our own and we wouldn't trade her for biology ever!"

But, I can't and won't. Everybody deserves their own time to search and decide. I guess theres a part of me that could go back in time and say those things to myself. Maybe I would have avoided 5 years of hurt if I could have only known what I know now.

The best part of the conversation though was hearing how my mother-in-law responded. Entering into adoption you know you and your Hubby will love your baby to the ends of the earth, but how will the rest of your family feel? Well, this just sums up really how our entire family feels about Lovebug: My mother-in-law said when she heard the acquaintance say the "my own" phrase she just laughed (inside) and thought "that baby couldn't be more my own. Nothing would change the way I love her. She's my granddaughter!"

Our family is so blessed by Lovebug. She's most definitely our own.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Birthday post!

I'm working on Lovebugs birthday post (a month late, no big deal.) and it's going to be featured on another blog! Stay tuned for the when and where!!.....

Thursday, September 1, 2011

My not-so-little black shadow

Meet Titan aka my not-so-little black shadow. He's the biggest lover we could ask for. At 140lbs, he doesn't understand he's not a lap dog. He doesn't understand when "his spot" on the couch isn't open or why we never let him sleep in our bed. He's goofy. He loves to toss his stuffed animals in the air and chase them or to wrestle with dad. He has the most inquisitive eyes and a beautiful black coat. His personality is hilarious. One of the best aspects of his personality has emerged since Lovebug has been home. He's so patient with her. So gentle, So respective. Of course, because he's a dog and due to his size, we're always right there with the both of them and never leave the two alone. But, honestly I don't worry about him at all. The other night Hubby was on the floor with them (Titan was laying next to Lovebug as she played) and Hubby said Lovebug stopped, looked at Titan and poked him in the eye 3 times(well, poked his closed eye). Titan just sat there. Just happy to have her playing with him.The love is mutual, too. Lovebug loves hims! When she wakes up, she often looks for him and when she see's him she says "Tata" and giggles, reaching out to get to him. He's submissive to her. If he's laying on his belly and Lovebug comes over to pet him, he'll roll completely onto his side and sometimes onto his back. He could care less if she takes a toy from him and when she gives it back he ever so gently, with his teeny front teeth, will take it back from her and then drop it at her feet again. He's truly so sweet. I've fallen more in love with him since he became a big brother. It's almost like when you see your husband interacting with your child and your love for him grows deeper... I have that with my dog too! lol! When Titann was a puppy, we honestly didn't know if he'd ever become this obedient and calm. He was such a handful as a puppy. But, we're happy to report, like a fine wine, he's only gotten better with age!

Lovebug giving her buddy a hug

Hangin' with mom while I did my quiet time
We love you, Stinky! Thanks for being such a loyal friend and big brother!