Thursday, June 30, 2011

Cloth Diapering

Alex and I made the commitment a while ago to cloth diaper our baby. It's kind of a big investment up front but in the long run we'll end up saving a lot of money. Cloth diapering really isn't as bad as people think it is. Cloth diapers have come a long way since your grandma's day. They're so cute and easy to use. So far we've purchased some BumGenius 4.0's, FuzziBunz, and a few Bummis fitted diapers with Rumparooz covers for when he's teeny tiny. If you're not familiar with cloth diapers that probably sounds like a bunch of gibberish but I think it's a pretty good stash. I've done a LOT of research and I've asked friends who cloth diaper their kids and these seem to be the favorites.

The basic main reasons we want to cloth diaper are because:

  • We will end up saving a lot of money on diapers over the years...considering these diapers last from birth until potty-trained and you can use them on multiple kids.
  • Diaper rashes seem to be a lot less common with cloth vs. disposable.
  • Potty training seems to be easier with cloth vs. disposable because cloth doesn't wick away moisture in the same way and kids learn to associate the feeling of wetness as uncomfortable and will want to use the toilet.
  • They are seriously adorable with all the fun colors and patterns! :-)

Last Sunday Alex and I went to a local baby shop and took a free class on cloth diapering. I'm so glad we went because all the online research in the world doesn't compare to talking with someone face to face about this stuff. There are so many options out there, it can get confusing. Taking this class really cleared up a lot of the confusion for me and I feel really ready now to cloth diaper.

Although we have a good variety of cloth diapers we still need to buy more because we only have a few of each. I hear you need a decent sized stash, at least 30-35 diapers, to not have to be doing round-the-clock washing. We also still need to purchase some wetbags, detergent, and cloth wipes to really be ready. I imagine we'll use disposables sometimes. I'm thinking maybe for the first couple weeks of Liam's life and every once in a while if it's convenient, but I'm determined to cloth diaper practically full-time. And thankfully so is Alex. He's very supportive and I think just as excited as I am about this.

Here are a few online resources I have found very helpful in my research on cloth diapers. Let me know if you have any questions. Granted I haven't started yet, seeing as Liam is still in the womb. I'm sure I'll learn a lot more once he's actually here and we establish a routine and system that works best for us.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Happy 26th, Alex!

Today is my husband's 26th birthday!
All I can say is, I am blessed to even know this man...but the fact that I'm married to him and he's the father of our baby...well, I am uber-blessed.

I love you, handsome. Have a wonderful day. 

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Week 33

It's been a fun week of purchasing baby items (yay gift cards!), taking inventory of what we have and what we need, and learning all about cloth diapering. I'm in full on nesting mode and I can't wait until the nursery is all set up. This is the fun part of pregnancy that makes all the aches and pains worth it. We also finished up our birthing class this week. It was a really great and informative class. I think Alex will be a great coach and hopefully labor and delivery will be a good experience. Now we just have to practice what we learned, all the breathing techniques and different laboring positions.

For this week's photo we headed to our friend's house. Shannon lives on 33rd avenue just a block down from our house. Jaxon and I sometimes walk over there to hang out. Shannon is a great friend to us and I'm so glad that she's our neighbor. She's sweet and kind and I love having her as a friend. She's also a talented photographer, specializing in children and family photography. Check her out.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Papa-to-Be Day

Just like Alex celebrated me on Mother's Day this year, I wanted to honor him on Father's Day. Alex is already an excellent father. He has lots of hopes and dreams for Liam. He talks to him through my belly and he really loves his son already. He's also an excellent doggie dad to Jaxon. He walks him early every morning, brushes his beard out, plays with him. I think Jaxon prefers Alex over me, you should see how excited he gets when Alex comes home from work. ;-)

Alex has been wanting a grill I gathered up my pennies, checked out the sale at Target, and got him a nice little Weber grill. We'll be trying it out this weekend for the first time. Can't wait!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Garden of the Gods

The scenery in Colorado is beautiful, no doubt about it.

Last week we decided to spontaneously take a trip down to Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs when Alex got out of work. It was so much fun and Alex took amazing photos with our 60D. I took a few photos as well with one of our 35mm cameras (Canon AE-1), but the film hasn't been developed yet so I can't share those. Instead I'll share a few of Alex's photos, you can see the rest on his flickr page. Seriously, they're amazing.

Pano view
Check out that gorgeous view. 

What a View
A fellow photog, Cameron, visiting from NC.

Rock + Strobe
In a cave.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Shabby Apple - Winner!

I recently started following a fashion blog called 'Stylish White Female' because Terra, the stylish female behind the blog, is currently pregnant and I wanted to see what creative outfits she came up with during her pregnancy. Inspiration! She hosted a dress give away courtesy of Shabby Apple and I decided to enter. Shabby Apple has some of the cutest dresses I've seen. I'm a sucker for a cute dress and my closet would be filled to the brim with them if I didn't exercise self-control.

Well, I actually won the giveaway! My dress arrived in the mail yesterday and it is gorgeous. I'll have to wait until post-pregnancy to wear it, but that's okay. In the mean time I'll just admire it on the hanger.

Thank you, Terra and Shabby Apple!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Week 32

We're getting closer! This week I felt Liam hiccuping on three separate occasions. It's the cutest thing I've ever felt him do. I could just imagine his tiny little self in my belly hiccuping away. Alex was able to feel it once and he laughed. Little things like this make it all more real in my head...which makes it's just slightly more scary too. I just don't know what "Mama Kristel" is like. I mean, I'm not really worried about it. I know I'll be fine. I know I'll love my child and mother him to the best of my ability. And I know a lot of it will come naturally. But I can't help but feel...old? I'm not sure if that's the exact word I'm looking for. It's just that whenever I imagine a mom, I picture someone much older and wiser than myself. And I still feel young and immature. I don't know. These are just the random thoughts that go through my head. All I can really do is pray for God to prepare me as much as possible...and I'll learn from experience along the way.

This week we headed to Happy Cakes on 32nd ave in the Highlands. First, let me say that I love 32nd ave! This street is lined with the cutest shops and this cute place to eat, or this amazing baby store. It's such a fun place. When we went to go take my picture they had this street fair going on. We didn't even realize it was happening. I'm glad we were able to enjoy it and check out all the vendors. I think it's safe to say that I love the Highlands...I wouldn't mind moving to this Denver neighborhood someday. Back to the favorite destination on 32nd ave is Happy Cakes. I have a sweet tooth and pregnancy has only made it sweeter. I love ice cream, donuts, brownies, and I love cupcakes. (Don't worry, mom, I don't indulge in all these sweets on a regular basis, I stick to fruit most of the time) I think the cupcakes at Happy Cakes are the perfect size with a good amount of icing (I'm a little picky about my cake to icing ratio). And if you're not into cupcakes check out their menu for all their other goodies.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day!

I have been blessed with one amazing dad. He's always been there and I know he always will be. He loves his daughters with a fierce love. He's taught me a lot...and in many ways I am just like him. 

He's a deep thinker...he's the type of man who chooses his words carefully...he loves music and reading and Star Wars. He's a writer. He loves writing, it's his passion. He's on a constant pursuit of knowledge. He never grows tired of being a student. He enjoys cooking and will call up my grandma for cooking advice. He loves his family deeply. He's a loyal son and brother. He plays the guitar and sings. My favorite is when he sings "Woman" by John Lennon or old Nicaraguan songs. I really feel his love for me. It's not just something he says and I acknowledge. I know it's true. I know he loves me and it's a great feeling. 

Thank you, Papi, for everything. Thank you for always being there for me and Alex. Thank you for doing our taxes and answering all my finance questions. Thank you for little packages that you send in the mail. Thank you for writing poetry. Thank you for singing songs. Thank you for making breakfasts. Thank you for loving me and being a great dad. Happy Father's Day! Love you!

Riding on my Papi's shoulders when I was just a little one. 

My dad with his three daughters and adorable grandson, Aiden. 

Friday, June 17, 2011

Jaxon, one year later

It's been about a year since we welcomed Jaxon into our home. In that one year I have fallen in love with this pooch. He really has become such an important part of our family. I often refer to him as our fur baby and that's exactly what he is. He's so lovable and loyal...and his fur is so soft...and he has a great face with that beard. 

Recently we noticed his right eye looking a little weird. He wasn't acting any differently...he was still his normal happy self...but something was off. We finally took him to the vet this week and she confirmed that he has a cataract in his eye. They did some testing and he doesn't have diabetes (yay!) so it's probably congenital. Poor little guy was basically born with this problem. Turns out it's a common schnauzer issue...who knew? We need to go back to the vet in a couple weeks to figure out our options. I'm really hoping there's something we can do to prevent the problem from getting worse. I would hate for my poor pup to go blind. He's already lost some peripheral vision in his right eye. 

I'm glad that his personality hasn't really been affected though. He's still lovable and happy and I think he has many many years left in him. I'm glad too, because I sure do love him. 

On his favorite spot on the couch

Cuddling with Liam.

Hiking in Colorado Springs.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Denver Art

We had an empty wall in our dining room that I've been wondering what to do with. I'm not a fan of empty walls. I like displaying photos and art all over the house. Alex and I finally decided on a "Denver-themed" wall. It started with one of my friend's pieces for one of her art classes. Steph is so talented. I love all her work. She dabbles in a little bit of everything and recently opened up her own little shop selling headbands. Check it out! Anyway, I know this piece isn't about Denver in particular but the mountains reminded me of the Rockies, so I'm saying that it's Denver art. :-) Then I found a really neat print on Etsy displaying a map of all the neighborhoods in Denver. I love the typography and the different colors the print comes in. It makes me happy.

I love the start of our Denver art wall. We may add to it the future, but I think it looks great for now.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Liam's First Piano

I love music. One of the reasons I fell in love with Alex was because of his musical talents and I want Liam to grow up in a musical household. Maybe he'll be a musician, maybe he won't...but I'd certainly like to encourage him in that direction. ;-)

When I saw that Gilt was having a sale on Schoenhut musical toys I just had to purchase this adorable little piano. I think Liam will have a lot of fun banging on the keys and maybe some day he'll get a real piano and be an accomplished pianist. Hey, you never know.

By the way, I love Gilt! Are you wondering what Gilt is? "Gilt Groupe provides instant insider access to today’s top designer labels, at up to 60% off retail. Become a member and find something new every day for women, men, kids and home as well as exclusive local services and experiences, and one-of-a-kind travel packages. Sign in and see what inspires you today."
They always have a lot of great sales going on...if you want to join click this link.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Week 31

I feel like I'm on an emotional roller coaster lately. Pregnancy hormones are no joke. I'm up and down and I cry at the drop of a hat. It's crazy...and a little embarrassing. But hey, it comes with the territory. I know it's temporary (well, actually I've always been a little moody) and I have a very understanding husband who deals with my insanity quite well. Kudos to you, Mr Acevedo. I'm also tiiired a lot these days. I would be perfectly content to just sit around dozing in and out of consciousness...but there's so much to do so that's not really an option.

Liam is quite the active little guy. Sometimes his jabs are a bit painful. That's when I tap my belly and say, "Calm down in there, be nice to mommy!" But it's also comforting to know that he's good in there. Sometimes Alex and I will watch him move around in my looks like he's rolling from side to side and it's kinda creepy, not gonna lie. We can't get over it. Is it crazy that I still can't believe I'm going to be a mom soon?!

For this week's photo we went down to Curtis Park on 31st St. This is a great little park not far from home. There's a big open field, a playground for the kiddies, and now that summer is here the pool is open. Glory! I need to make quite a few trips down there to enjoy the water. Who's with me??

Friday, June 10, 2011

Ina May's Guide to Childbirth

I've been slowly making my way through Ina May's Guide to Childbirth and I can't even begin to tell you how much of a blessing it has been to me. I have really felt comforted, empowered, and encouraged reading this book. If you don't know, Ina May Gaskin is an incredible midwife, but she's also so much more. She really advocates for the best maternity care women can receive and doesn't believe in ever making a woman feel "less than." The experience she has gained throughout her years as a midwife is really invaluable. She owns a midwifery center in Tennessee called The Farm and their stats speak for themselves. Before the first C-section was necessary they had 186 births and the second C-section wasn't necessary until the 324th birth. Compare that to the rate of C-sections in US hospitals, which is between 30-40%...ridiculous!

I'm just really thankful for Ina May and her experience with childbirth. The lady really knows what she is talking about. She is so reassuring in her view that women can birth healthy babies without the need of medical interventions. Our bodies are capable.

I hope that this blog post (or any of my other posts on unmedicated childbirth) don't come across as snobby or insulting in any way. Believe me, that is not my intention. I believe that women can make their own choices...and if you really want to have  an epidural or other drugs to help you cope with the pain of childbirth, go right ahead, no judgment here. I just find it annoying that so many women practically laugh in my face when I tell them of my plans to go unmedicated. I'm not dumb or naive. I have done the research and I believe in the body God gave me. I understand the need for medical interventions, but I also am concerned with the rate of women who are consenting to medical interventions unnecessarily because they haven't done the research or because medical professionals are making them feel pressured or inadequate. So this is just my little post to say that I have found great encouragement in this book by Ina May and if you are even the slightest bit curious about unmedicated childbirth you should pick up this book and read it.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Serve Denver 2011

This week our church has been serving Denver. We have been partnering with various organizations to help this amazing city we live in. There are several different service projects going on with schools, churches, and homeless relief efforts. We even had several churches from North Carolina fly out to help with this week of service. It's been nice having all these people in the city with us and helping out in any way they can. Thanks everyone!

I decided the best way I could help was to document it all with my camera (because at 31 weeks pregnant I'm not very useful when it comes to manual labor). Here are just a few photos from this week.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Week 30

Just about ten more weeks (or so) until Liam makes his grand entrance into the world. I can't believe it. Our sweet boy will be here before we know it. I had my 30 week midwife appointment and she said everything with Liam is just perfect. He's in the 58th percentile for growth and his heartbeat is steady. And I'm at 135 pounds now so she said I'm doing great with my weight gain. The only bad thing I discovered this week were....stretch marks. They're small, not very noticeable at the moment, but they're there. *sigh* Oh well, it's a small price to pay for a healthy baby boy. 

For this week's photo we went to the intersection of Larimer and 30th, to the Block Building. This is where our church has been meeting. It's such a great space. It used to be an art gallery and is now an architecture firm with an event space that they rent out on the weekends. It's right in the heart of the RiNo Art District. I love that we get to have our gatherings here every Sunday night. Our church has really been blessed. If you're in Denver you should definitely come check us out. 

Friday, June 03, 2011

birthing class

Yesterday Alex and I attended our first unmedicated childbirth class at our hospital. I have to say that I really enjoyed it. The teacher seems really nice and knowledgeable. She's been doing this since the 70s, so she knows what she's talking about.

For our first class we did a lot of discussion of what our fears and expectations are for labor and delivery. It was really helpful to just get everything out there and have the teacher respond to each of these points. She also talked a lot about what exactly happens to our bodies during pregnancy and childbirth and what the first signs of labor are. I'm excited for the next few weeks when we discuss pain management, etc. I'm really happy Alex and I signed up for this class.

I'll let you know my review of the class once it's over!

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Anniversary Picnic

Alex wrote a post about our wonderful day yesterday celebrating our third anniversary. Check it out and marvel at the beautiful photos he took. The man is talented!

I love living in Denver and I love being married to this amazing man. :-)