Monday, February 27, 2012


I feel so guilty for the pain I'm about to put my sweet little Miles through. I've done it to Sterling, and about 50% of the US population does it to their sons. I'm talking about circumcision. Who ever came up with this crazy idea anyways?

This is why they should perform this surgery before you come home from the hospital. At that time the baby has just been through a tough birth, and mom is still hopped on drugs to think too much about the implications. The choice is still mine, and I still choose to go through with it for several reasons. I can see medical benefits as well as social benefits. But that doesn't mean my heart doesn't ache for him.

That brings me to pain management. The use of local anesthetic is common practice, but what about the days after that wears off? If I were to undergo a similar surgery, I'd want to be on opiates for at least a week. Miles has been a perfect little baby. He rarely cries, and if he does, I can easily figure out what's wrong with him and soothe him. But what will he feel like this afternoon, or tomorrow? The best I can do, is to love and cuddle him as much as possible, and hopefully he'll know his mom still loves him despite this upcoming event.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Cloth diapers so far

I love waking up to this every morning
After the first few days of using my new homemade cloth diapers, i want to do a quick review.

At the hospital I received a package of newborn sized Huggies diapers. I decided to wait using cloth until we got home for convenience. Plus, who wants to wash meconium diapers??

Miles is such a chunky baby, that even the smallest messy diaper gave him a blowout. Plus instead of saturating the diaper when peeing, it shot right out the top and soaked his clothes. While I wanted to use up the Huggies after i got home, it only took half of the first night to condemn them and start using the soft cloth diapers.

My first impression was luxury. The materials I used are infinitely softer than disposables. The diapers are fairly large on Miles' relatively small bottom, but the onesies kind of pull it all together and keep the diaper from sagging.

When it comes to cleaning, it really is fairly easy and painless. Instead of throwing the diaper in the trash, it goes straight in the diaper pail when wet, and gets a quick hose-down when poopy. Sterling and Joe installed a homemade diaper sprayer last week for one of Sterling's cubscout requirements.

Pic of sprayer

The pails don't get stinky, because i wash the diapers every day. I currently have 21 diapers which isn't quite enough to last me 2 days, so i wash one morning, the next afternoon, and then get a day off from washing. Once Miles is a little older and we have settled into a routine I'd like to sew a few more so I can wash only every other day. You really don't want to wait any longer than that, or you will start to have stink issues.

Now to the drawbacks. My diaper design has a ton of snaps. They are not that complicated, but there is a little bit of a learning curve for putting them on. This is only an issue for when new people change any diapers, which obviously doesn't happen a lot anyways. I am also having an issue with some of my snaps not snapping well. This is an installation issue, and can be solved by using the snap pliers to tighten the snaps. It's just a matter of sitting down for a few hours and doing it, but who has time for that with a brand new baby?

The biggest problem so far happened last night. I can't remember whether I changed his diaper each feeding, but this morning his onesie was wet. I have to figure out if it's a problem with the fit of the diaper, the amount of inserts, or another cause. Whatever the cause, it needs to be eliminated quick. I will first try to insert 2 soakers at night and make sure the diaper is on tight enough.

The benefits outweigh the negatives by far. We'll get the kinks worked out of the system, and keep enjoying Miles in super cute diapers.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Mini Reunion

After one night in the hospital, I was ready to go home and sleep in my own comfortable bed. Nurses are great and all, but I prefer to be comfortable at home and make the sleeping hours as comfortable as possible. That hospital bed is not made to lounge in!
Joe and I got home to a quiet empty home. Mark and Kelly who had been staying with us since Wednesday, had taken the kids down to Angela's house to give us some peace, which was exactly what the doctor ordered. We had a quiet afternoon and turned into bed early. But we all (mothers at least) know that this is just where it all begins. Miles had been so used to being held, that when he was just sleeping in the bed on his own, he kept waking up every hour or so. Feeling like there was no way he could actually be hungry every hour, I sterilized some binkies and started plugging. Still, it was a rough night with little sleep.
Sunday turned into somewhat of a mini reunion. Mark and Kelly came back up from Angela's house, and by this time Earl had picked Liz up from the airport and brought the kids home. We all just visited, napped, and had a great Sunday dinner together.
The kids all really love holding Miles, but with so much sickness going around, we had to set some ground rules. Winter was excited to write them down in a list.
After a busy (with a lot of people around) day yesterday, I am excited about a super quiet day. It's president's day, so Joe and the kids all have a free day. All the family is going to a skating place and eating pizza at Angela's house, and I get to stay home all alone. It feels wonderful not to worry about covering up for nursing, and just doing whatever. (don't get me wrong, it's wonderful too, to have people to keep me company and help out, but downtime is also precious)
Speaking of downtime, I'm gonna join Miles and take a nap!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Labor and delivery

7.40 am: arrive at the hospital, feeling like we are checking into a hotel. I have been watching a bunch of youtube videos on what to bring in you hospital bag, and now it seems like we are moving in to stay. The hospital in Park City is by far the nicest I have ever been to, and seems like a 5 star resort compared to the hospital in Holland.

7.50 am: I am strapped to belly monitors to monitor the baby's heartbeat. This is kind of silly to me, but I guess I'll obediently follow hospital protocol. His little heartbeat is happily chugging away, but he keeps moving around making it difficult to find it again.

8.40pm: My midwife came in and used the "crochet hook" to break my water. Talk about uncomfortable! With all my other kids my water wasn't broken until well into labor, and breaking it put me into full-fletched hardcore labor. This fact made the "water-breaking" one of the scariest part of the day. (this hook ended up giving Miles 6 little wounds on his forehead)
8.45 pm: My first contraction started. It wasn't a bad one, but my body definitely knows what to do once there's no more soft water balloon to coat the baby.

Despite all good intentions this is where my play-by-play account ends. I did fairly well with contractions until 1pm, at which time my midwife checked me. I wasn't nearly as far progressed as I had expected (only at about 4-5 cm), and got really discouraged. I wanted to give up. Why was I doing this to myself? Lots of women do this without pain at all (epidural), so why would I CHOOSE to torture myself? My midwife's encouraging words are the only thing that got me through the next few hours. She told me: "You can do anything for 60 seconds". So I just kept repeating that to myself. After sitting in the tub for a few hours (3pm), I needed a change of scenery, and wanted to check progress again. Danielle Demeter is very smart, and didn't tell me that I was still only at about 5+cm.

At this point the pain had completely taken over, and I reminded myself of an animal in labor. There's no control, and yet your body knows exactly what to do. The baby was turned posterior, which made it even harder for me to get him out. Finally, after all the pain and work, Miles Henning Ashurst was born at 3.32pm, weighing 9 lbs, and being 22 inches.
He spent the first half hour of his life with me, instead of being whipped away to the baby station.

I guess he came out with the cord around his neck, which really freaked Joe out, whereas it completely escaped my consciousness. The sense of relief that it is over, and the baby is out, is so overwhelmingly great. To think that now I get to enjoy this little tiny little bundle.

The first week might be a little challenging, but then again, I'll have many helping hands.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Can I still do that?

To me a fun thing about being 9 months pregnant is the challenge to see what I can still get away with. I still shovel snow, go shopping for 7 hours straight, and go sledding. I figure, since I'm still feeling pretty good why not? And the exercise has got to be good too.

Midway has a really fun sledding hill. It's sledding for cheaters. With a lift that drags you to the top. The runs are groomed, and nice puffy innertubes carry you down the hill. We went with Joe's sister Angela's family. My first run was a little bit scary. I just sat with my bum in the hole, and wizzed down the mountain. Little did I know, that I picked the fasted lane. And somehow I forgot to follow the instruction to slow down at the bottom, and ended up flying through the little orange fences. I quickly discovered that the most comfortable way down was actually on my belly. My belly fit perfectly inside the tube hole, and it almost felt like I wasn't pregnant at all! I'd do anything to have that feeling of not having a gigantic belly sticking out.

As my due date approaches (Feb 22), I'm getting more and more impatient for this baby to come. I've got plenty of Braxton Hicks contractions, so at least my body is thinking about it. I want to know that he's healthy. I want to (somewhat) have my own body back. My other kids all came between 2-5 days early, which means that if I follow that trend, the baby could be here as soon as Friday! Or maybe I get lucky, and he'll come even earlier. I'm pretty much prepared. The clothes are put away, most of the sewing is done, and tonight I even packed my hospital bag. I ordered a diaper bag online, and can't wait to pack that and be completely ready.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

We go way back

One fun thing about living in Utah, is getting together with long-time friends. Friends we made in Boise, who have since moved to Utah as well. Yesterday the Simmons family spent the day with us in Midway.

I still remember the first time we met Jill and Mike, and their cute little baby girl Lizzy. We were sitting in sunday school class, and they came in and sat on the back row. This was around December 2002. Winter was almost a year old, and we had just bought our first house on Moon Place. You know how sometimes you just look around, and say to yourself: I want to be friends with her? Well, that's exactly what I thought about Jill. The Simmons technically lived on our same street, across from the large feeder road. Soon we were hanging out at each other's houses, attending playgroup, book club, and babysitting coop together. We both had another baby, a boy this time, in the next year.

Eventually we both bought new homes, and moved to different places. We kept in touch, and when they moved to France for a year, this kind of sparked a desire for me to move back to my home country and experience Europe with my husband and kids. By chance we both picked Utah to move to, and now we live less than an hour away. It took the kids a little bit to re-acquaint with each other, but before long all we could hear were giggles and laughs from their playing.

We like to take visitors up the local canyon and find a spot to sled. This time, we stayed fairly low, and (I think) ended up on a golf course. The sledding was sweet! (My camera took horrible pictures, and I REALLY NEED a new lens!!!!)
I went down just a few times with hope against hope that this baby would decide to come a few weeks early
Winter and Lizzy back in 2007 before we moved to Texas
And all the way back in April 2003

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Sewing for baby

The more I try to get ready for the baby, the more sewing projects get on my list. At first it was just cloth diapers, now my list including nursing pads, nursing covers, burp cloths, bibs, car seat covers, cloth wipes, moby wrap, wet bags, and pail liners. Heber and Midway don't have a fabric store, but Walmart has a little fabric section, so I got a few supplies there. After a full day of sewing, I needed to "go down" (to the big Valley aka Provo or Salt Lake) for my costco run anyways, so I squeezed in some shopping time at Jo-ann. Overwhelmed with the amount of fabric, yet underwhelmed with the amount of actual choices for what I was looking for, I still ended up with enough fabric to work on projects for the next 2 weeks.
Most of my sewing project patterns come from free blogs. The diaper pattern I actually bought, since I wanted to make sure it was a good pattern. So far I've made 18 diapers.
And a bunch of inserts. These inserts are made of 2 layers of microfiber terry (a special super-absorbant material bought from, sandwiched between 2 layers of flannel. The microfiber soaks up a ton of liquid, but doesn't retain the liquid when it gets squished, plus it's kind of hard to sew with, because it stretches. The flannel does a good job of keeping the liquid in, and making it easier to sew. Flannel can be found at practically any fabric store.With my previous babies I always used disposable nursing pads. The downside with disposables is, that being a frugal person, I would often use them for too long. Which resulted in.... well, let's just say it will be nice to change them out as soon as they get wet at all. For the pads I used this free pattern, and plain white flannel. These were so quick, easy, and cheap. Each pair took me maybe 30 minutes to sew, and cost about $0.60.
As I was looking at things babysrus believes are "necessities", and while my sister Wendy was here with her 3 month old baby, bibs came to the top of my needs list. Problem was, when I tried to find bibs online, I just didn't like any of them. I'm not at all a fan of cutsy patterns or animals, and for some reason all these large manufacturers seem to think that just because you have a baby, you now are a child yourself and want to deck your child out in cutsy stuff. Naturally I started searching online for a good pattern, when I kept finding links back to theBapron. What a genius idea! And cute! The baprons I sewed have a cotton or flannel front, with a flannel back. The edges are done with my homemade continuous bias tape. They are totally reversable, but I figure once it's dirty, I wouldn't want to flip it, so most of my backs are plain white flannel.
Not knowing for sure if a bapron will work with a newborn, I've decided to also make somebasic bibs.
Now that I have all the materials, I need to get back behind that sewing machine, and try not to sew my finger this time.
Wow, did that come as a shock. One moment I was happily sewing, the next moment the machine beeped at me to inform me something was wrong. I looked down, and there's my pierced finger, thread and all. What does it say about me, that one of my first thoughts was to get a camera and take a picture??
A stack of fabric is eying me. I'll probably start with a moby wrap, since all it is, is cutting and serging. Then I'll just start working down the list until everything is ready. 3 more weeks to go.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Snack Basket System

Snack time has been a source of contention for a while at my house. Each day after school goes something like this: "Mom, can I have 3 oreos?" Me: "No, you can have 2". And a few minutes later: mom, can I also have this other thing. I feel like the snack police.

My sister-in-law Nancy shared a brilliant Snack Basket System a few days ago. Basically, there's one basket of snacks, and each snack is appointed a certain amount of points. The kids get to pick any snack they want, as long as they don't go over the allotted points or number of snacks. (up to 3 points, or 2 snacks a day) Since my kids are a little older and can read for the most part, I'm printing out a list of snacks with assigned points including some fridge items like cheese sticks and yogurt. With this point system, I can still somewhat control what types of snacks they eat. Generally the healthier snacks will cost 1 point. The carby stuff gets 2 points, and the candy and cookies cost 3 points.
This morning, while making my monthly Costco run, I raided the snack isle. I mean, it's ridiculous how many snacks I got, my whole shopping cart was practically filled with them. It seems like enough to last a whole year. But that's the point. Instead of having 2 or 3 choices, the kids get a bunch of different choices. Once the snack basket runs out of one variety, they'll have to choose from the remaining things. I can add snacks as the box gets empty. Plus, if I find a wrapper laying around, they get one point taken away for the next day. (hopefully that won't cause too much policing)

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