Blue or Pink?

This Friday, at 2:30pm, we find out Baby SnowCone’s gender.

And, yes, I’m pretty dang excited. I do not handle surprises (or waiting for them) well. For the past few weeks, it’s been killing me, knowing that this baby’s “parts” are all there and I don’t know what they are…everyone pretend I said that less creepy.

Because of the way things worked out with the insurance, I will be 21 weeks and a day at the ultrasound– a little later than they recommend for gender determination (they like it to be between 18-20 weeks), but such is life when things are free.

The NICE part about waiting is that Jesse has a half day and will be there. We might even have both sets of grandparents there as well, along with Janelle and Gregory, of course 🙂

I hesitate to say this…because I know it will sound silly (when has that ever stopped me)…but last week, as I was driving home from the store, I got a sudden feeling/premonition. All of a sudden, I had a very strong feeling that this is another boy. Weird (I didn’t have any “intuition” about Gregory’s gender, whatsoever). Not only that, but a name also came to me out of nowhere– Anthony. Was this name ever discussed between Jesse and I? Nope, not even with G. But it felt right, for some reason. Even though I don’t know anyone by this name, nor have I ever liked it’s nickname (“Tony”).

I texted it to Jesse right away. I’m not sure he’s 100% on board with it, but he didn’t run for the hills screaming. And it passes the “3rd grader test”, as my brother would say. Sadly, so many names fail this test. Think about it. We liked Caedmon, but everyone I ran it by said, “What? Caveman?”. Also, I like “Amos”. But it sounds like “Anus”. What about Benedict? Just make a nickname out of the last syllable. You get the idea.

Anyways, sounds good, right? Anthony Cone?

Just 48 hours until we know whether my “momma’s intuition” really is gender-blind.

 

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Warm Hellos

One of my favorite things about this stage of Gregory’s is how enthusiastic he gets when someone comes home. Today, after walking in from my two hours teaching (felt like I was away forever!), I found him in the living room, playing with Grandma Cone. He immediately dropped his toys, stood up, and walked over to me with a huge grin on his face, practically shouting, “Hi! Hi! Hi! Hi!” all whilst waving so hard he could barely walk. It was hysterical and utter cuteness, all at the same time.

With Jesse, he gets even more enthusiastic. He runs towards the door whenever he hears the garage door. He waits, waits, waits, and then when Jesse comes in, he shouts, “Hi Daddy! Hi Daddy!” (he recently switched from “Dadda” to “Dadd-eeeeeeeee!”). And then, it’s all about the hugs and kisses.

I seriously doubt if there’s ever a happier thing to come home to 🙂

Wonderful Weekend

To make a long story short, Jesse and I decided that since the Folsoms were in the bay area, we would stop at nothing to see them (even if only for a short time!). It was decided that once Jesse was done with his basketball practice on Saturday morning, we would travel up.

It was already a long drive (5.5 hours), but we also hit traffic due to a bad accident on the 5. NOT COOL, but it happens to everyone, especially on Thanksgiving weekend. In the end, we got to spend at least 4-5 hours with the Folsoms, eating dinner and chatting. Unfortunately for them, they had a verrry early morning flight, so I’m afraid that we made things a little hard on them!

Jason saying goodnight to G

Oh, and by the way everyone, in case Jason’s never mentioned it…I mean, he never did in all 7 years that we’ve known him…his parents own quite a gorgeous house. I mean, wasn’t there a minute, in all 7 years, when he could’ve briefly mentioned, “Yeah, my parents live in this 4 million dollar mansion, right outside of Lake Tahoe, overlooking a lake, on a private reserve. Oh yeah, we have horses too.” ??? Nope. Must’ve slipped his mind.

After sleeping in (we were supposed to make it to an OCA church in Sacramento, but SnowCone and I had other plans), Jesse and I made our way down to San Jose for some Christmas shopping. It’s hard to buy unique presents here on the Central Coast (everyone shops at Kohls, Target or Ross!). Also, I’ve been on the hunt for a maternity coat that doesn’t look like an upside down umbrella. I’ve tried on several…Jesse’s reaction has always been, “you know how you don’t like looking like a tent? Yeah…you won’t like that jacket….” Brutal Honesty, at its finest.

But we found a real winner at the Old Navy Maternity in San Jose. Last week, this wool peacoat was $89. Yesterday? On clearance for $31! And all they had left was my size. Epic.

After spending a few hours at a few different malls, my dad, brother, sister and aunt showed up in San Jose, on their way to take Joe back to the airport. We met up at Bucca de Beppo where we ate a TON. Then, we drove the 3 hours back home.

He stood like this for several minutes, taking it all in. Then, he was off, chasing the little girls who were doing gymnastics 🙂

Splashing water in the fountain. At one point, G attempted to jump in.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE how fearless he is with dogs! He knew exactly how to pet the fur without pulling (although I was nervous, saying, "GENTLE! GENTLE!" the whole time)

All in all, I have to say– G is such a good little traveler! Slept almost the whole time, both there and back. When he wasn’t sleeping, he was easily entertained. Since he’s drinking whole milk now, it was easy to stop at convenience stores and buy a small pint here and there. He did great with two late bedtimes and sleeping in places he wasn’t used to. How did Jesse and I luck out with such an easy kid?

Also, those few hours with the Folsoms were totally worth sitting in traffic for 🙂

Big Time Rush

Some of you might have seen this at the beginning of the Dallas/Miami football game on Thanksgiving. In case you didn’t, here is Big Time Rush, the “band” that came to NCCS last week, singing the National Anthem. I thought that the last minute was actually pretty good for a pop/boy band!

Friday Thanks

Our first thanksgiving home in 4 years! To recap: our first Thanksgiving in Texas was with the Voss family in Houston, our second was with my family who drove out to Dallas, our third was with my Uncle/Fr. Peter and Aunt Collette in San Antonio, and our fourth was with Jenny and Jason’s parents and family in Rockwall. All four were wonderful, but there’s something about being home, truly. My mom makes the BEST dressing ever, and every year the fact that someone else made it different (good, but different) was a reminder that I was not near my family.

Everyone contributed, so there was a LOT of food. I made 3 sweet potato casseroles. My apple butter was also featured– it was really really good! I am quite proud of myself!

G partaking early

With Aunt Janelle and lil' doggers

Lots of place settings....our family, the Honeycutt cousins, 2 aunts and an uncle from my Dad's side, and the Cones!

G locking himself in the family room...sad days 🙂

Thursday Thanks

I am thankful to already be halfway done with this pregnancy! 20 weeks down, 20 weeks to go…

Sometimes I actually get someone to take the picture, as opposed to using the bathroom mirror

Wednesday Thanks

Today, I am thankful for my lil’ man and the close relationships he gets to have with his grandparents on a daily basis. During lunch in downtown SLO with my brother (home from college!), Jesse and G, my dad taught G a new trick.

Tuesday Thankful

Today, I am thankful for the wonderful smell of crockpot apple butter! Mmmm! I also made G a huge pot of apple sauce that should last 2 weeks. And the apples aren’t even halfway gone! Yay for home-made apple pies and apple/feta cheese salads (had one last night! delish!).

Also, I am thankful that the house didn’t burn down when I had a pot of apples broiling and I fell asleep on the couch…hopefully the apple butter smell can combat the smoky after-burn 🙂

Battle of the Cloth

Warning: I have a lot of time on my hands, so I might get detailed. Gregory is thoroughly engrossed watching my aunt who is outside raking leaves, so I don’t even have to worry about him splashing in a second toilet.

I recently had quite the epic battle with my bummis prefolds. About a month or two before we moved to CA, I switched to using Charlie’s Soap. BAD IDEA, especially since we had such hard water in TX. In just 2 months time, the diapers built up the worst ammonia stench EVER. It smelled like a million cats had peed, all at once. In another 2 weeks (around the time we got to CA), they started giving G awful diaper rash, the ammonia build-up was so thick.

Being in the throes of the first trimester, I put off using cloth for about a month, switching back to it every few weeks when I felt up to it. Instead, we used disposables. Since I didn’t change a single diaper for a month, it wasn’t very fair to ask others to use/wash cloth.

I know some people say that disposables work, but for us, especially at night, they just DO NOT. Maybe it’s the fact that’s G’s body needs a smaller size, but his bladder needs a bigger one (size-wise, he’s around 18 lbs. Size 3 says 16-28 lbs., Size 4 says they don’t start until 22 lbs.). Leaks were happening every other day during the am, and every night, without fail. Some of his night-time blowouts were devastatingly disgusting. Just yesterday, the diaper disintegrated so much that he woke up with those little soggy chemical beads all over his body, filling up the legs of his sleeper, even covering his crib (we had to vacuum them out). I tried two kinds of heavy duty over-night disposables, along with Huggies and Pampers. I’ve tried adding hemp and cotton liners on the inside of the diaper to give them extra absorbency. I’ve even tried putting an extra wool soaker on OVER the disposable. Nothing has worked– every morning, we have to change his sheets, clothes and blankets (even his stuffed doggie smells like pee!). Sometimes, he’s so wet and icky, we have to immediately bathe him.

I started to realize that the disposables were taking their toll on us– reserving 20 minutes cleaning up poo and pee every morning is NOT how I like waking up! I don’t think he had a SINGLE dry morning in over a month. My theory is that since he sleeps 12-15 hours a night, there just isn’t a diaper built to hold that kind of pee. Also, he’s a definite, all the time tummy sleeper, which, for a boy, means that the odds of peeing out the top are great (although the diapers were completely full and saturated to bursting, so I guess peeing out the top wasn’t the real issue).

The task of stripping the ammonia out of the cloth diapers was definitely daunting. Even though I had a couple of dirty ones sitting in a pail, I put it off for a few weeks, trying to gather my courage. I hate spending all day on a project just to fail, and I had this sinking feeling that whatever I tried just wasn’t going to work.

Two Saturdays ago, I dove right in (ew…yes, literally). First, I washed all the diapers that had been sitting in the pail. Enter GIANT DISASTER PROBLEMO. Apparently, all the ammonia build-up + whatever toxic acid G ate that day, combined to create a new alien life-form that eats HOLES all throughout diapers. 3 had completely degraded into shards of….mulch? The onesie someone had accidentally thrown in there literally had HOLES eaten throughout it. Holes.

I saved 3 out of the 6 that were in the pail, but sadly had to throw away my 2 super-soaker hemp diapers.

I boiled all 10 (2 separate batches) for 20 minutes in a stock pot, adding some Borax ($2 for a huge box) to the water. Then, I transferred them all back to the washer, where I rinsed them, over and over and over again for an entire day.

I dried them twice, and voila! Good as new! So far, we haven’t had a single stinky ammonia scent since. NO leaks (during the day…nighttime is another story). I switched back to my trusty “Hard Rock” soap, and don’t think I’ll ever stray again. It’s cheap, I get it through Amazon with free shipping, and it works fantastic.

As far as overnight goes….we are still problem solving this one. I ordered 2 new Tiny Tush super soakers with an extra hemp soaker in the mail recently. They take a bit of prep work to get ready (since they are organic/hemp), so tonight will be our first trial run. If they don’t contain it all (which would mean this kid pees more than an adult, seeing as the diapers are supposed to hold 16 oz.!), I will try adding a wool cover. After that? Well….pray for me, because if this doesn’t work, I might go crazy, knowing I have at least another year of icky poo mornings.

A couple problem solving techniques I learned through this disgusting experience:

* Thirsties and Bummis covers are the best. If leaks are happening, it’s probably because you’re using a second-rate cover. I’ve heard good things about the Flip covers, although I’ve never tried them. Cheaper covers also hold stink between changes– Bummis and Thirsties do not. I like Thirsties because they are 2 sizes fit all and have the double leg gusset.

* If the cover is leaking ALL OVER, and not just on the legs or sides, it’s because there are tiny holes throughout the PUL lining. Throw the cover in the dryer for 15 minutes– the heat re-seals everything, problem solved. Seriously, this worked like magic. I was in the habit of air drying my covers– now, I make sure to have them in the dryer for at least a few minutes.

* Ammonia build-up means you are not using the right soap with the hardness of your water. Charlie’s soap just was too wimpy.

* Bummis prefolds can withstand a LOT of abuse! Worth every penny. I’m going to buy the newborn size this time around for SnowCone. I already bought a brand new Xsmall Thirsties cover on Craigslist for $5.

There it is! My epic disgusting battle of the cloth diapers. As icky as ammonia is, it isn’t half as icky as the disgusting blow-outs we’ve had with the disposables (picture– my mom even had poop ALL OVER HER SHOES, just from carrying G to the changing table!).

Monday Thanks

Today, I am thankful for apples– lots of them!

Over 40 lbs. in yummy crisp apples! This is just what I could get from the bottom branches, without a ladder!

Almost all of this will be made into applesauce for G. Once Jesse gets home and picks the top 1/2 of the tree, I’ll be able to make apple pie for Thanksgiving! I also have 2 or 3 people to give apples to.

I can’t tell you how nice it is to not only make G’s daily applesauce from scratch, but to also know that it’s from homegrown organic apples! Normally, apples are treated more pesticides than almost any fruit (I think only strawberries and peaches/nectarines have more). Organic apples at the store can sometimes be pretty expensive! I will always do it though– I don’t want all of that poison going into my baby.

Also, I have to add that even though G slept until 9am (hallelujah! angels are singing!), he’s been napping for over 3 hours now. It happens so often, that I sometimes take it for granted and forget to give thanks for it.