Friday, October 29, 2010

Farm Fresh Friday: Cloth Wipes

About three and a half months ago we decided to use cloth diapers in an effort to live a little greener, cut down on the cost of diapers and reduce our little man's exposure to chemicals. While searching for diapers, I discovered the use of cloth wipes by many cloth diapering mamas and decided to purchase a stash of these too! Yesterday I finally ran out of my large hoard of disposable wipes and so today is my first official day trying out my cloth wipes.

I purchased the Prince Lionheart Warmies cloth wipes, made of  100% rayon derived from bamboo. I am very  impressed with these wipes! They are very absorbent, very soft and do an excellent job cleaning up even the messiest diaper. The fact that they are bamboo makes them antibacterial, strong, light and as previously stated, very absorbent.

I washed them when I brought them home on delicate (Dreft only, no softener) and then again today after two dirty diapers and I had enough for a load. They have held up well in the washer without any fraying so far and I simply fold them, then place them back in the warmer. I have yet to try any of the solution recipes that came with Warmies but look forward to doing so in the near future!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Happy Anniversary to My Husband!

Two years ago today I married my husband, my best friend at St. Patrick's Church in Bayard. I met Ryan at a mutual friend's party at Iowa State (he volunteered to be my beer pong partner in a tournament our friends were organizing.) Our first date took place on a snowy January night; dinner and a movie. He proposed to me on my birthday in 2007 and we had a long engagement of about 19 months as we both finished school and began remodeling our house. The weather was absolutely perfect on this day two years ago and we had a fabulous time with family and friends! Today we have much to be thankful for: a great marriage, family close by and a beautiful baby boy!


Friday, October 22, 2010

Baby's First Week of Development

Baby's first week of development is a whirlwind, especially if you are a new parents like myself. I found that there were things I read about in books and online in terms of baby's development but never really gave much thought to them until Trayton was born. I could then see first hand all these little details of development that we for adults take for granted every day. It is truly amazing!

Some things you may observe for baby during the first week include:
Physical Developments
Baby responding to sudden environmental changes with their whole body
Flailing when startled
Lifting and rotating head in brief intervals (beginning to develop strong neck muscles)
Reflexive limb movements (thrusting and retracting limbs)
Opening of the mouth and lifting head when palms are pressed (reflex for feeding)
Partaking in a sleep/wake continuum (at this stage babies sleep on average 17-20 hours a day)
Babies can control their swallowing and rooting reflex (and eat on average 7-8 or more meals a day)

Psychological Development
Baby may quiet when picked up or when firm steady pressure is sensed on the body
Baby may stop sucking to look at something (their sight at this stage ranges from 8-12 inches away and they prefer human faces)
They are able to shut out stimuli and cope with over stimulation by sleeping
Baby learns to expect food at certain times

Sensory Developments
Babies are able to react to bright light, much like they did in the womb
They can sense the direction of a sound, and distinguish between volumes and pitches (they prefer the higher toned voices like that of females)
Their hands remain balled into fists during this stage
They may attempt to grasp or grip something if their hand hits and object
They are able to distinguish tastes and prefer those that are sweet like milk

Social Developments
They are alerted to and try to focus on human faces and voices
They may respond positively to soft human voices
Babies at this stage are capable of expressing excitement and distress

Most milestones are an approximation of when babies will reach certain developments because they are all individuals. Research has found that developments can vary over 6-10 weeks on either side of a given "milestone" thus babies reach milestones in all sorts of different orders. I remember Trayton eating ALL the time and rooting around for milk like a crazy man; he got so excited to eat!  He was also able to hold his head up for fairly decent amounts of time his first week. Our newborn photographer was startled when he held his head up long enough to get a few shots!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Thursday Tidbits: Psych Facts

Babies lose half of their neurons before they are born due to pruning (the elimination of neurons which do not receive sufficient input from other neurons.)

When mothers frequently speak to their babies, their children learned about 300 more words by age two than do children whose mothers rarely speak to them.

During the second half of a child's first year (6-12 months) the prefrontal cortex (forethought and logic) forms synapses at such a rate that it consumes twice as much energy as an adult brain; this pace continues for the child's first decade of life.

During the first month of life, the number of synapses increases from 50 trillion to 1 quadrillion.

Newborns can distinguish vowel sounds of their native language from those of a foreign language.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Farm Fresh Friday: Fresh Eggs

When it comes to breakfast or baking, nothing beats eggs fresh from the coop! Ryan and I have had our girls for nearly two years and they are still laying as strong as they day they started. We bought them to save money on buying eggs and they too have made a shift toward producing greener eggs!

My dad built this chicken coop for us as a fun project, using recycled lumber, steel and leftover shingles from around the farm. I'd say they have a nicer home than most outside dogs, and we are in the process of painting it to match the new siding on our house.

Their diet isn't completely organic and therefore the eggs are also not organic but I am trying to remedy this situation. They eat their fill of tomatoes and greens from the garden, which is all organic, but their corn is the one ingredient that is the problem. We lost the corn that was planted this year when one of the nasty storms came through and the horses got out. I currently get their formula from the local farm store and they seem happy enough. I can't complain at this point because their shell quality is great and by eyeing them in the cold pan, I'm happy with the height of the albumin. Just one small project I am still working on to help our family eat healthier!