My blog is moving! After much deliberation, I’ve decided to host my own blog. It just feels like the right time to start somewhere new. This will be my last post here. The new site can be found at thepaperseed.com. It is far from being finished, but I realized that if I waited until it was “just right” I’d never make the switch. So, expect it to be under construction for a while. Probably forever. 🙂
As I’m sure all my regular readers noticed, my life and my blog posts have taken a decidedly maternal bent. Being a new mother has propelled me into all kinds of baby issues, from diapering to toys to parenting, and I’m coping with the general elation and struggles that come with that territory. Then there is the other me, the graphic designer, crafty gal, gentle soul, who likes to try new recipes, take photos, explore, make things and just be me. Juggling part-time work (even from home) and a baby is no small feat, but I’d like to try and carve out more time for my own personal projects and pursuits. We’ll see how it all pans out. I hope you will join me in finding out.
P.S. To help make the transition, I’ll be having several fun giveaways during the month of March. See you there!
You are 3 months old today. Even though you have only been a part of my life for a short time, you’ve had a remarkable impact upon it. You are my own little miracle, and I am honored to call myself your mother.
In a mere 3 months, you’ve grown from a tiny, vulnerable, 6 pounds 15 ounces to a happy, healthy 11 pounds. Every day something about you awes me, inspires me, humbles me. You’ve passed out of cradle cap, projectile vomiting and you’ve outgrown your newborn clothes. You can go three hours now between nursings (it used to be only two) and you can grasp a toy in your hand if we help place it there. You lift your head, tracks us as we move around, smile charmingly, and can even roll from your tummy to your back. Your eyes are still the gorgeous grey you were born with, though, and I wouldn’t mind at all if they stayed that way. Did I mention your fingernails grow like weeds? They’re like miniature lethal weapons, especially where my cleavage is concerned.
The weather is changing along with your growing self. In Greek, Chloe means “blossoming,” which is quite appropriate as the seasons pass from Autumn (your middle name), through winter, and soon into spring. I see evidence of it all around. I am looking forward to us learning and growing together, and fervently hope that I will be the nurturing guidance you need me to be as you continue to make your own way in this world.
We recently received another huge influx of hand-me-downs for Chloe. Combined with all that we were given previously, we are now close to being set for the entire year.
One would think organizing baby clothes would be an easy task. We picked up several more Ikea bins to help us sort sizes, but it isn’t a perfect system. One shirt might say size 9 months, for example, but actually be more like 6 months. And then there is the shifting of summer clothes into the 6-9 month bin, even if they say 12 months, because what good would tank tops be in winter? Now the nursery is filled with bins, and there is hardly room to stand. That is a whole other challenge.
I was reminded of a few really great pieces during the sorting, like the sweet handmade Bubble Bird dress above, made by Chloe’s Aunt Liza. I’ve thought several times about sewing Chloe some simple summer outfits, but I wasn’t sure where to begin. Then I saw a post about another Etsy shop called Little Fish Big Pond, where you can purchase DIY dress kits. All the materials and instructions are included. I really love that idea. I think I might have to try it. Here are two I’m considering…
This is where David, Chloe and I went on Saturday. It was about halfway between Portland and the coast, high up in the mountains. After turning off the highway, the first dirt road we tried was snow covered, slippery and very steep. It made me nervous, especially with the baby. Finally I asked that we turn around. If something happened, it is possible that no one would know for a long time.
Before the baby, I probably would have viewed it as an exciting adventure. But now, her safety was foremost in my mind. I had visions of us sliding down the snowy mountainside and her helpless and freezing, if we didn’t survive. That was just too much.
So we turned around, and David found another way, an entry closer to the west that started at a lower elevation. Luckily, it was a beautiful drive that followed a river. The final climb was no less steep, but had much less snow until we reached closer to the top. It was breathtaking to see the miles of the tree covered mountain range. David stopped to re-check the map, thinking we should be there, and then looked up to find we were there. Through the trees the lake glistened, patiently waiting.
We thought we’d be completely alone (after all, who would make this kind of trek in the winter?), but it was Saturday and there was one small family already fishing, though they didn’t stay long. And finally we had this incredible place all to ourselves.
The thing I remember most was how quiet it was. At one point all I could hear was my heartbeat and Chloe’s breathing, despite being heavily bundled up against my chest. I sat with my back against a tree near the lake’s edge to nurse her, when other sounds came to my attention – a woodpecker that I spotted nearby, the faintest rustling of leaves, and the soft thudding of Barkley’s paws as he ran between us and where David was fishing father out. It felt magical, and I was again thankful to live in an area where such beauty could be experienced so peacefully.
I finally decided to buy a set of posters I’ve been eyeing for months. If we’d had a boy, I would have totally done his room up using these colors as inspiration. However, they’ll still look great in Chloe’s room.
I first saw one of Sandra Isaksson’s123 posters in an issue of LMNOP (a fun quarterly kids pdf magazine) and was drawn to it instantly. Then I looked up her other work and now she is one of my favorite designers. And check out this sweet “All About Baby” book! Is it silly to have two baby books?
We have been so fortunate when it comes to diapers. Not only did we benefit from a diaper raffle during our baby shower, but also were given a year’s worth of diapers from my mom. On top of that, David’s co-worker gave us bags of unused diapers (her baby was born large) and just last week, a neighbor left a package of diapers on our doorstep. Free diapers are a wonderful thing.
Because of our good luck, we’ve been able to try a lot of different brands and given them a run for their money. I’ve listed below thoughts from our experience, but of course, what works well for one baby might be different for another. Feel free to provide your own reviews and comments below.
(All diapers tested were size 1 except for the swaddlers and seventh generation which were newborn size, and the Huggies which were size 1-2. Prices listed are for size 1 diapers at diapers.com).
Pampers Swaddlers 44ct/$11.99
My friends and I agree that these are pretty much the best. Soft and plush, with an almost cloth-like feel. I don’t think we’ve ever experienced a blow out.The shape is contoured and the fit is superb. This is what they gave out for newborns at our hospital. I could do without the light “baby fresh” scent and the Sesame Street character design, though. Overall: One of my favorite diapers. ♥♥♥♥♥ (5 stars)
♣Nature Babycare Diapers 44ct/$11.99
Currently the greenest diaper available – Environmentally friendly, natural, breathable, 100% chlorine free, latex free and fragrance free. Even the packaging is 100% natural and biodegradable. The fit of these diapers is very good. I particularly like their simple print – matte white (although slightly papery) and dotted with tiny abstract leaves. To roll up a used diaper, you have to attach the two tabs together, otherwise it will not stay closed. Overall: My eco-friendly favorite. ♥♥♥♥ (4.5 stars)
♣gDiapers 2pk starter kit $26.99/40pk refills $14.99
An earth-friendly “hybrid” diaper which consists of a soft, washable cotton outer “pant” in which you place a disposable breathable liner held by a nylon sleeve. The liner can be flushed, composted or simply thrown away. We never actually flushed them because I read tales that made me cautious with our older pipes.
These are the cutest-looking diapers by far, but you’ll need a number of the pants and liners. It’s easiest when you have time to place a bunch of liners in sleeves before hand, instead of one-at-a-time during a diaper change. Then you can just snap them into the pant when you need one. Overall, more time consuming, plus you have to use a trash can liner since you can’t roll up the used liner neatly. The sleeve also tends to stain. We used these during the day, but chose a traditional diaper for nighttime. Note: You must close the velcro tabs before washing or they will catch on and damage other articles that are in the wash with them. We learned this the hard way. Overall: Super-cute alternative to traditional diapers ♥♥♥♥ (4 stars)
♣Seventh Generation 44ct/$12.99
A good, chlorine-free diaper. The fit on these were good, but the size ran a little small. A bit papery. Their plain tan color (from brown pigment) definitely sets them apart from other diapers. Overall: A good, basic, chlorine free option. ♥♥♥ (3 stars)
♣Earth’s Best 42ct/$10.99
Another chlorine free diaper. Bulky and oddly stiff, but can be softened slightly by rolling it it your hands before diapering baby. A good fit. The liner has a waffle texture that bothered me, but baby didn’t seem to mind. I doubt I’ll buy these again, although the company makes other good products. Overall: Stiff, but solid. ♥♥♥ (3 stars)
With an extra stretchy waist and contoured shape, these are a good overall diaper. Occasional leakage. And I don’t really like the Disney characters. Overall: Affordable, but average. ♥♥♥ (3 stars)
A decent fitting, contoured, thin and flexible diaper. There were many things I didn’t like though, the worst being the annoying synthetic diaper smell. These diapers stained quite often, but rarely leaked. I didn’t like the cartoon decoration and blue cross-hatch design, or the use of blue dye on the elastic and liner. They were my least favorite diapers. Overall: Only for tight budgets. ♥♥ (2 stars)