Thursday, March 31, 2011

Mommy Essentials: Part 3


Before I was a mom, I never knew how happy I'd be to see poo. I think Tare and I seriously cheered when tokki had his first poo! Little newborns pee and poo a lot, so the question is: would I rather use a disposable diaper and have lots of trash (+lots of $$$) or use cloth diapers and do a little more laundry? Cloth please!

Now, we did have to use some disposables in the beginning because I hadn't bought newborn size cloth diapers (hearing that he would outgrow them so fast it's not worth it) and he was smaller than I expected so he didn't fit! We used Seventh Generation chlorine-free diapers for the first couple of weeks but we have fully moved onto cloth diapers and elimination communication (EC). EC is basically a parent responding to a baby's signals that he or she needs to pee or poo. And yes, newborns can communicate those needs! (If you'd like to know more about it, I'd recommend Diaper Free: The Gentle Wisdom of Natural Infant Hygiene by Ingrid Bauer or go to

I was skeptical whether I'd be able to read my son's signs to go potty but he really does communicate them to me and I'm successful most of the time at getting him to the potty in time. I love getting to know my baby in yet another way and being able to communicate with him and respond to his needs right away. I also love that Daddy is doing such a great job with this too! ;)

Since starting almost full-time EC two weeks ago, our cloth diaper usage has decreased significantly during the day (usually only one or two diapers soiled until night time) and we do pretty well during the night too. The Baby Bjorn Smart Potty is great to use for EC and we also use our sink since he's still little.

My cloth diaper stash includes:
-3 Thirsties Duo Diapers
-2 prefolds & 1 Kissaluvs fitted with 1 Bummis Super Whisper Wrap
-1 BumGenius Deluxe AIO
-4 SoftBums Echo diapers with 12 super pods & 3 mini pods

It's not a big stash at all and I was planning on purchasing more later, but now I think all we need are some more prefolds and we're good!

If you have a baby, what diaper system are you using? Would you try EC?
If not, I'm sorry for all the baby related posts! I don't think it'll let up anytime soon but I hope it's an interesting glimpse into my world and what I'm thinking about/doing these days with a little one.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Mommy Essentials: Part 2

I shared some essentials in a previous post and I'm back with more, specifically for breastfeeding!

Breastfeeding my baby has been an up-and-down experience, especially in the first few weeks. I had read a lot about it (I would recommend La Leche League's The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding) and felt prepared but it really is a learning experience for mom even when it's natural for baby. Some days he would latch beautifully and some days we were both in tears. I'm nursing on demand which means around the clock sessions but we've found a nice groove and I'm excited about deepening this bond between us through breastfeeding until tokki decides he's done (hopefully at least a year or longer)!

01. Wish Garden Happy Ducts (mastitis remedy): This tincture helped me a lot when I had mastitis! Definitely part of the reason it didn't get any worse and it works amazingly on clogged ducts.
02. Lansinoh Disposable Nursing Pads: A necessity for going out because you never know when a let down will occur! Very thin and comfortable to wear and it does its job well.
03. Camelbak water bottle: I love this water bottle and I have two on each side of my pillow for nursing at night. It doesn't leak, BPA-free and it works like a straw so I can easily hydrate myself which is really important for breastfeeding! 
04. Milkies Milk-Saver: I absolutely LOVE this product! I have a really good milk supply (i.e. lots of leaking) and before I got this I was soaking towels and shirts like crazy. With this on the other boob I collect up to 2 oz. a feeding without doing a thing during nursing! This product would be really useful for those who don't want to pump but want to build up some milk supply in the freezer. The only bad thing about it is if you forget about having it in and lean over and spill all over the place, but other than that you just pour out, rinse, and reuse!

I can't help but share about products/items that I love to use! What is something you love using these days that you want to tell everyone about?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Swimava Baby

Recently we purchased a Swimava Pool Set for tokki. If you've never heard of it before, here's the product description:

The first step to active infant swimming and water safety is learning to tread water safely and securely. Swimava allows natural movement of arms and legs so your baby can develop the 'treading movement' naturally and as early as possible. Swimava also encourages a golden deep memory sleep for your baby. Swimava routine proven to help babies sleep better including regular baby bathing for 15-30 minutes each evening before bed-time. Try our proven bedtime routine and we'll guarantee quality and benefit for your baby. Other baby swimming benefits include the following:
Swimava provides complete mobility and free movement in a way that no other baby swimming aid can. Swimava also provides security and comfort for your baby while actively learning the basics of swimming.

tokki absolutely adores water/bath time! Here he is enjoying himself for the first time in the pool!

Swimava Baby

& a video; watch for the cutest ending ever! (I know he's mine, but he's seriously the cutest little person in the world!)

I love this product and it's so much fun to see baby moving around so freely in the water. The pool is a little big for him right now though (needs way too much water) so we'll probably use the tube and just our bathtub for now until he grows into it.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Pregnancy at a Glance

Pregnancy at a Glance
Months 2 through 9 & one month
An Instax Memoir of Pregnancy*

*again, inspired by someone else, unfortunately I don't remember who or where...

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Saturday Snapshot

I'm linking up to yellow songbird's saturday snapshot!

This photo was taken two weeks ago while my mom was still here. She stayed with us for two weeks and it was so nice to have her take care of us. She passed the baton to my grandparents and dad who arrived a week and a half ago (and left early Wednesday morning). It made me so happy to see the three of them interact with tokki and coo over his every move and sound. I loved having three four generations under one roof! I miss all of my family and can't wait until the next visit (hopefully in May for tokki's 100 days)! 

Today the in-laws are coming for the weekend, the last round of family visits!

Friday, March 18, 2011

tokki watch: four weeks

Four Weeks
wearing my o baby kimono shirt + handmade newborn pants

tokki is growing too fast. I heard this would happen but I didn't really believe it. He's already trying to hold his head up on his own and still nursing like a champ. tokki is such a good baby when we're out and about in our sling! Baby boy gets all the attention. ;)

little luke
inspired by heidi hope photography - really hope it's not stealing because i just loved the idea for a mosaic of lovable baby parts!

three two one

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Luke's Birth Story

I woke up around 2:30am to go to the bathroom as usual. But after I had gone, I felt a leaking sensation. I'm not sure when I realized that my water was leaking-- after googling what that's supposed to feel like or when my midwife confirmed it over the phone. Contractions started ten minutes later. I was too focused on what my body was doing to fall back asleep so I stayed up timing contractions while I let Tare sleep. He woke up for work around 4:45am and went about his business and I lingered in the bathroom until I finally told him I thought I was having contractions. We called the midwife at 5:30am and she told me to call back in two hours to see where my contractions were at. Soon they were still a bit irregular but 5-7 minutes apart and getting stronger. By this time, I accepted I was actually in labor and started preparing what we would need at hand for our home birth.

I'm not sure when exactly it was that I heard about homebirths (a couple years ago), but I know it was from reading several birth stories on blogs. The idea intrigued me (especially water birth) but I just left it at that. At the beginning of my pregnancy, I was planning a hospital birth. I went to an OBGYN for my first prenatal visit and had a terrible experience. I ended up going to the ER for bleeding because of the pap smear from that visit and I hadn't liked the doctor's answers to my questions about her birth philosophy. I also didn't like waiting for 15-20 minutes to be seen for my appointments when the doctor would only see me for 5 minutes.
I knew from the beginning that I wanted a natural, drug-free birth and the more I learned about the OBGYNs and hospitals and the more I researched midwives and homebirthing, it was clear I would be going with the latter. It took some convincing for Tare to be on board, but once he was he supported me 100%. We interviewed a midwife and I just knew she was the right person to be at our birth and provide prenatal care of my baby and me. She came to our home for every visit and stayed at least an hour to talk to us about how to take care of my body during pregnancy, preparing for labor and any questions we had along with checking the baby's heartbeat and other typical prenatal care. Such a different model of care!

It took some time for the midwife to arrive because she lives an hour away and I had to lie on my side to slow down the process. (If I hadn't, I think I might have had the baby even sooner!) Once she arrived, she prepared the birth tub with Tare and soon after I moved into the tub. (Originally, we were supposed to get a birthing tub but the ones she had were given to her other clients whose due dates were ahead of mine so we made do with ours.) I had prepared for labor by reading the Bradley Method & Hypnobirthing books and I breathed & prayed through my contractions reminding myself to relax and visualize myself opening up to let baby through. Once I got into the tub the contractions were so strong I could no longer get through them quietly. Soon the overwhelming urge to push came over me and I was vocalizing through each one as they came. They were so powerful and it had been long since I had surrendered control over my body. Active labor started around 9am and I pushed for about an hour and a half. I felt burning as the baby's head was crowning (I later found out he came out with his hand by his face!) and with just two more pushes he was out!

Baby tokki was born at 11:17am very peacefully in water. It was surreal to hold the little person I had grown for nine months in my arms and to finally see what he looked like! He did not cry when he was born but just coughed to clear his airways and was so calm in my arms. We left the umbilical cord until it was done pulsing, cut it, then moved into bed to have our first nursing experience.

I feel so blessed to have had the birth experience I wanted and prepared for. It was painful and hard but it was the most beautiful and powerful experience of my life. I wish I was better with words to capture more of that in writing. Pregnancy and labor and all of its aches, pains, and limitations were worth it to have our baby with us...

And already it's been one month.

Friday, March 11, 2011

tokki watch: three weeks

Three Weeks

Baby boy is growing so quickly! He is already 8 lbs 2 oz and growing longer and bigger by the day. I'm thinking he might outgrow this bear rug faster than I expected... ;)

While tokki is doing well, I am not feeling so hot. I have had a bout of mastitis since yesterday which feels like the flu with fever, chills, dizziness + a clogged milk duct; luckily my fever and chills disappeared yesterday and I'm just feeling very tired again today. Hopefully it clears up completely this weekend!

Prayers for Japan and everywhere else affected by the earthquake and tsunamis... somehow this hits closer to home as I have family in Japan & Hawaii (they don't seem to be affected, thank God!) and our neighbor's husband is working in Japan right now (he is safe too).  I count my blessings every day but even more so today...

Friday, March 4, 2011

tokki watch: two weeks

Two Weeks

This week started out with Tare's 24th birthday! It was a cozy birthday at home with yummy pizza & wings and the cutest cake ever. Happy birthday new daddy, we love you very much! ♥
Happy Birthday Daddy!

Also, tokki & I had our first outing this week to a local La Leche League meeting (breastfeeding support group). He is still so small it makes me nervous to leave him in the car seat, but he did great! I think our travel companion Sleep Sheep helped out a bit. ;)

First Car Ride

I'm so amazed by how in tune I am with my baby. My body knows before I do when he needs to eat, I wake up just as he is stirring from sleep for another nursing session, his crying breaks my heart, his smiles make my day. I have my exhausted & frustrated moments but I can't complain. :)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Mommy Essentials

01. iPod Touch + Baby Connect App: Couldn't live without it! Perfect size to hold in hand during nursing & the app keeps track of diaper+nursing times (and so much more) which is wonderful when I'm in a daze in the middle of the night.
02. My Brest Friend
03. Target Gilligan & O'Malley Nursing Tank
04. Babyette Superwide Ring Sling
05. Cantaloop Nursing Bra
06. Snuggy Baby Wrap
07. Earth Mama Angel Baby Postpartum Recovery Bath Herbs: This stuff helps heal those sensitive parts after childbirth and I brought tokki into the bath with me to help his umbilical cord fall off (took six days) & heal his belly button. He absolutely loves the water!
08. Grandma: The most important of this list! My mom has been here since the 19th and it's been wonderful to have her here to take care of me so I can take care of my baby. I've been eating delicious meals three times a day with lots of healthy snacks in between all prepared by my mom and she's the reason I can take naps and shower. ;) Thank you Umma!