✍ All sorts of new and exciting things coming up for the cast of L to the Third so stay tuned!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Photography fun


Two weekends ago I attended Camp Mamarazzi, a photography workshop geared towards moms who want to learn how to capture great pictures of their children. I purchased my first DSLR camera a couple of months ago for this express purpose but I hadn't really gotten very far in learning how to use the camera on any other setting than automatic. Thanks to Andrea's tips and instructions, I've been able to shoot on manual and I'm really liking the results. She even showed me how to use the awesome speed light that Captain Husband got me for my birthday, which produces a really nice, natural looking light in low-light situations. Here's one of my first attempts with the speed light:


It's a good thing Sammy's still mostly immobile at this point--I'm not quite ready to take photos of objects in motion just yet, but I'm working on it. Fortunately for me Sammy's a willing model.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

By George!

I kinda have a thing for George Washington--I jokingly refer to him as my eighteenth-century boyfriend. I've been able to keep my love of all things George relatively under control, but I'm having a hard time resisting the allure of this vintage miniature diorama that depicts George and two of his fellow soldiers at Valley Forge. It's a good thing Captain Husband isn't the jealous sort.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Shutter Love: Blue

The Trendy Treehouse is having a photo contest with the theme of blue so I entered this photo that I took of Sammy when he was only a day old. Wow, does time fly.


You can check out the other entries by clicking below:

ShutterLoveTuesdays

Northern Neck adventures

My friends, Phil and Elizabeth, invited me down to the Chesapeake Bay Wine & Harvest Festival at Stratford Hall this past Saturday, so I loaded up the Man Truck and headed down to the Northern Neck with Sammy. Phil & Elizabeth kindly offered us the use of the spare room at their place so I didn't have to worry about making the long drive there and back in one day.

It was blazing hot and the sun was out in full force, but fortunately the humidity wasn't too bad. Elizabeth had a tent set up where she was selling some of her art so we hung out with her in the shade and caught up for a bit. My friend Gretchen and her mom stopped by for a little later in the afternoon; Gretchen had been working at the festival earlier in the day and had been unable to partake in any of the tastings, so she and I headed off to try some wine while Sammy stayed in the shade in the capable hands of her mom and Elizabeth.

After sampling some of the offerings, I purchased a few bottles of wine from the Oak Crest Vineyard & Winery and Vault Field Vineyards; they'll come in handy when the in-laws visit later this week.

Monday, September 27, 2010

The much anticipated cloth diaper post

Once people learn that I use cloth diapers on Sammy, they almost always ask, "So, how are those working out for you?" And the answer is a resounding very, very well. I honestly couldn't be happier with them and barring a few minor user errors, they've been virtually problem free.

Sammy wears Fuzzi Bunz one size pocket diapers, which means that (hopefully) these will be the only diapers that he will need through potty training...unless of course he turns out to be some sort of baby giant, but so far so good. Plus I should be able to use them on any additional kids that come our way in the future. How did I pick these diapers from all of the others currently on the market? To be perfectly honest, the name is what initially attracted me to this particular brand. Once I started researching the diaper's features, such as the adjustable leg and waist bands and snap-front closures (velcro + poop = ew), I was convinced that these were the right ones for me.

The up-front cost of cloth diapers are a bit on the pricey side (especially if you purchase the recommended eighteen or so to start), but when you weigh their one-time cost against the repeated expense of disposable diapers, it starts to make a lot of financial sense (not to mention the ecological benefits). And if you are certain that cloth diapering is the way you want to go, you can always do what I did, which was to register for them and inform all of my friends and family that diapers were what we really wanted/needed for the baby.

As far as their absorbency, I don't really have much to compare them to as Sammy's been in cloth from the day he arrived home from the hospital. As far as I'm concerned they do a fine job of containing everything--I've only had one incident in which a diaper explosion was not 100% contained, which I think is pretty good all things considered. Sammy's an especially heavy wetter at night, so I've been double-stuffing his diaper and that seems to take care of things well enough that Sammy doesn't wake up in the middle of the night crying because he's wet.

Storing the dirty diapers and cleaning them are pretty much a breeze, too. I bought a step can like this (a lidded trash can is imperative if you're trying to keep odor under control) and use waterproof bin liners; when it's time to wash the diapers, all you have to do is remove the bin liner and turn it inside out as you dump the diapers into the washer--you never have to touch a dirty diaper! I have two liners on hand so that I can rotate them while one is in the bin and the other is drying. Another must-have if you're going the cloth diaper route is a couple of waterproof wet bags for the diaper bag; these zipper shut, which keeps all of the nasty stuff (and smells) from escaping while you're out and about.

Now for the actual cleaning of the diapers; this is where things can get a little tricky because certain detergents can actually cause the diapers to repel moisture, which you don't want happening. I use Charlie's Soap Powder, which was actually one of the detergents recommended by the diaper manufacturer--I figured better safe than sorry. This is where my minor user error came into play; at first, I used one tablespoon of the powder when I really should have been using half of that. The extra soap in the diapers wound up irritating Sammy's sensitive skin, giving him a nasty diaper rash. Fortunately it cleared up rather quickly once I remedied the soap situation and he hasn't had a single rash since. In addition to the Charlie's Soap I also add a scoop or two of OxiClean Baby, which helps with those stubborn stains that would normally fade on their own after a day drying in the sun. I then hang the diapers up to dry overnight so I have a supply of clean diapers ready to go the next day.

So there you have it; I'm quite pleased with how cloth diapering has gone so far and I'm more than happy to answer any questions if you'd like to learn more!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Invasion of the body snatchers

On the days that I actually manage to shower, I often find myself looking down at my body and wonder, just who's body is this anyway? My stomach, lower back and thighs are now criss-crossed by a network of angry red stretchmarks. My once adorable Edward Gorey tattoo on my hip now looks like a surrealist's dream. Consider the evidence; here is my tattoo shortly after it was completed back in 2003:



And here it is today:

Sigh.

I'm sure as time goes by I'll be more comfortable with all of the changes that have taken place with my body (don't even get me started on my boobs), but I still feel like I'm looking in a fun house mirror at someone else. Then I have to remind myself, oh yeah, you just had a baby. Duh.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Three-month update

Ok, so I'm a little bit behind schedule since Sammy technically turned three months old last Wednesday, but better late than never, right? Sammy has been sleeping through the night now for over a month; he goes to bed around 8 pm or so and wakes up between 6 and 7 am. This means I am now averaging about 8 hours of sleep every night. I am insanely lucky to have a baby that enjoys sleeping as much as I do. Even nicer is the fact that Sammy appears to be a morning person--every morning he greets me with a gummy grin and a bunch of gurgles and coos.

Sammy continues to grow like a weed and is currently wearing 6-9 month clothing. Crazy. I have no idea what he weighs, but I'd wager he's between 15 and 16 pounds. Now that he's a bit taller, he's been able to use the walker that my mom bought for him; he loves standing and being able to look around from a vertical perspective. He can push himself backwards but hasn't quite figured out moving forwards just yet.

I am continually amazed at his neck strength; in the past month I've been able to transition him to forward facing in the Bjorn and to sitting upright in the stroller and he loves being able to see what's going on around him. Sammy's hand-eye coordination has also improved by leaps and bounds. He can now pick up a toy and bring it to his mouth...basically anything he can grab goes into his mouth.

It's amazing to look back on the past month and see all of the changes that have occurred in such a short period of time. Before I know it, I'll have a teenager on my hands.

A new look

I got bored last night and decided to change some things up on my blog to freshen it up a bit. I hope you like the new changes!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The newest addition to the family

Introducing Abigail Kathleen Lynch, the daughter of my cousin AJ and his wife, Amy. Abby was born at 7:55 pm on September 11 and was 7 pounds, 8 ounces and 19 1/2 inches in length. Congratulations on your beautiful little girl--I can't wait to meet her!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Kickin' it old school

I really like old stuff. And now that I have a kid, I have the perfect excuse to indulge in my love of vintage toys. Growing up, I especially loved Little People toys, so you can imagine my joy when I came across a vintage Little People school bus at my local thrift shop this week for $2. Hopefully when Sammy is a little older he'll have as much fun playing with this one as I did when I was a little girl.


Here's another blast from the past that I discovered while visiting my family in Western Pennsylvania over Labor Day Weekend: the Fisher-Price Roly Poly Chime Ball. Made in 1966, this toy has quickly become one of Sammy's favorites. All it takes is a push from him, and the chimes start ringing and the little characters inside the ball rock back and forth. Battery-free fun!

And last but not least is the Bouncy Bee pull-toy, which is a 2005 re-release of the Fisher Price classic; I scored this toy at the Classy Kids Consignment sale for a song. The wings spin and make a whirring noise when it's pulled along. This toy is really good for getting Sammy's attention during tummy time, as the sounds and bright colors are hard for him to resist.

I'm not the only one with a love for the Fisher Price classics; the toy company, Basic Fun, is now producing many of the most timeless and popular toys, which you can now purchase at such places like Target. I discovered this a few weeks ago when I was browsing the toy section there and came across the Milk Wagon and Record Player in the clearance section. I gasped and then squealed with glee as I snatched them up; I may have even done a little dance of joy. Since that happy day, I've bought the Change-a-Tune Piano as well as the Two Tune TV (also on clearance, squee!). I won't need to buy Sammy any birthday or Christmas presents until he's five.

And just for fun, here's Sammy playing with the Roly Poly Chime Ball:

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

So exciting!

My post on the difficulties I encountered while attempting to breastfeed Sammy was featured the other day on the super awesome website, Offbeat Mama. Woot!
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