Happy Birthday Daddy, Love Preston

Last week Jeremy turned the big 3-0. I thought it would be cute to make Daddy's card extra special, by outlining Preston's hand on the inside.

It's not realistic to think a six month old is going to sit still, keep his hand open and flat, and let me move a pen around his chubby fingers.

Preston couldn't have been less thrilled, and his message was quite clear.


Shits and Giggles

What you are about to read is a prime example of how a routine exercise can go bad. It's an example of how quickly a controlled environment can go awry within SECONDS. It's an example of how the smallest error can lead to the biggest mess.

It's 9:30 and time for Preston's morning nap. I smell-check his diaper and determine it's safe to change him on the bed. So I lay him down, make a couple silly sounds to get him to laugh, and open up his diaper.

HOLY SCENT-FREE GERBER BANANA POO! This kid was loaded. It was the consistency of marshmallow fluff and it was everywhere...up his crack, in all his thigh creases and covering his lincoln log. Sick.

I lift him up one-handed by his ankles, and with my free hand reach for a wipe. Preston decides to twist and reach for the wipe, too. He's squirming and I'm telling him 'no' (as if he understands). He just laughs and wiggles and frees his right ankle. His foot lands directly in the poo diaper.

So I drop the wipe and try to pick up his ankle. At which time he reaches for his foot, getting poo on his hand.

Panic sets in. I just know this is going to get worse. I'm worried about poo on the bedspread. But why? Why am I not worried about the poo he is now smearing on his face?

Both ankles are now securely restrained in my one hand. I pull the dirty diaper out from under Preston and put a prefold underneath him in case he gets free and his bottom touches down. I pick the wipe back up and Preston grabs his lincoln log. Nice.

I drop his dirty butt onto the new diaper, and wipe his foot clean so that I could let go of his legs. I then start to clean his hands. At this point he pulls his legs up and both feet are dangling in the thick marshmallow-banana poo. Then Preston starts laughing and kicks me relentlessly. Now I have poo all over my shirt. Sick.

I reach for another wipe. But there aren't any more wipes. At least not in the bedroom. They are in the pantry in the kitchen. Because that is where I keep them. I keep them there because I am a dumbass.

At this point my only feasible option is to put Preston's poo-smothered body in the tub. I take a deep breath and pick him up. Walking into the bathroom the thick poo squishes out from between my forearm and his bottom, and I have to hold back the vomit.

I sit down on the side of the tub and move Preston onto my lap...which just spreads the poo onto my legs. And I don't even care. The poo beat me and I accept it.
I fidget with the tap until the water is warm and fill up his baby tub.

To make matters even worse (for me), Preston is happy in his tub. He's smiling and making sweet baby noises. All while sitting in floating poo flakes and chunks. This is all too third-world for me so his bath was quickly cut short. After all, he wasn't taking a bath for fun.

Ya know nobody ever shares these kind of parenting stories. It's all trips to the zoo, catching butterflies and flying kites. It's sitting on the porch swing at grandmas and eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with the crusts cut off.

But this is the real deal folks. Poo is real. Poo is the behind-the-scenes meat and bones of parenting. Now I know.


Happy Half-Way to Preston's B-Day

Six months have went by and Jeremy and I can hardly believe it! Preston is three times his physical newborn size, and has three times the personality to go along with it! Consequently our hearts have tripled in size, as every day we find more things we love about our little man.

I can hear the 'aaawwwws' now.


Magnificent Mt. Rainier

Yesterday Jeremy, Preston, and I took a two-hour road trip to Mt. Rainier National Park. Usually it's not difficult for me to conjure up clever ways to describe the unique day-to-day mini-events our family experiences, but today I can't seem to find any words that will give justice to the beauty and magnificence of this park. The sight of the mountain, never-ending valley views, and crisp Evergreen-scented air was an experience for senses!

We hiked about 4 miles through sand, rock and snow...and I loved every minute of it. We even bought a yearly pass as we plan to spend a lot of time at the park. It's very large and we haven't explored but a tiny part of it! I think I might become a fan of this hiking gig after all!

Not even a half mile into the hike, Baby Preston was already worn out!

Lunch at 7000ft.

Daddy and Preston in matching bucket hats.


My New Favorite Sound

Technically I don't have an 'old' favorite sound. But if I had, this would definitely override it.


Going Green: Going Cloth

Did you know that disposable diapers make up the third largest source of solid waste in landfills (after newspapers, and food and beverage containers)? And that it takes over 500 years for disposable diapers to decompose in those landfills?

Did you know that one baby, from birth through potty training, uses an average of 8,000 diapers. This is roughly $2,500!

So recently I've been asking myself, "Why the hell am I using disposable diapers? Especially when I work from home."

So I've been researching cloth diapers and they seem WAY easier than back in the old days. No soaking - just wash every couple days/3x a week. No pins - they have velcro or snap closures. Just wear, wash, repeat. (At least it seems that easy.)

But I ran into a little trouble figuring out what 'type' of disposable diaper is right for me. There are soo many options...fitted diapers, all-in-one diapers, one-size diapers, pocket diapers, hybrids. It started to get complicated.

Luckily there are websites to aid the cloth diaper dummies out there, as myself. I found a great site called DiaperDaisy.com that has a trial package of six types of diapers. Yes, a TRIAL package. I 'borrow' the set for $20.00, and after two weeks I can send them back. All I pay is shipping. I also have the option of keeping what I like and returning what I don't like. How awesome is this!

I also ordered a one-sizer from WildflowerDiapers.com that wasn't in the trial package. They have the 14 day guarantee as well.

I'm super psyched for all my diapers to arrive. I'm expecting a learning curve, but am up for the challenge. After all, if this cloth diaper thing works out we'll be saving a fair amount of money. Depending on whether I go for the fitted (which is sized) or the one-sizers (which grow with your baby), a complete cloth diaper system starting at Preston's age will run us around $450.00. A 'system' includes about 20-25 diapers, washable inserts/pads, and wet bags (which is where you store the dirties).

And from what I've read, the benefits of cloth diapers go beyond helping the environment and saving money. Apparently Preston will also benefit. Since the diapers are made of cloth (or hemp) and have a microfleece or microfiber inner lining, they will naturally pull wetness away from his body. Apparently cloth diapers are the cure for diaper rash! And if they aren't the cure, cloth diapers still seem better than sitting in an unbreathable, chemical-gel filled paper diaper.

Alright. I've convinced myself cloth is the way to go. Have I persuaded you?


I Spy a Pearly White

It's hard to believe, but Baby Preston is sprouting his first tooth!

Call me a bad mother, but I didn't even realize it. This past Wednesday our realtor even asked me if he was teething, and I said, "I don't think so, but I don't know. He always sucks on things and drools." And then that was the end of it. You would have thought that right then and there I would have stuck my finger in his mouth and checked. But, I didn't.

The next day I actually bought Baby Orajel thinking I should be prepared for when Preston actually does start to get teeth. That same afternoon and into the evening Preston just wasn't himself. He was cranky, wouldn't go to sleep, and kept sucking his bottom lip into his mouth, over his gums. (It was kind of funny.)

Jeremy suggested that maybe Preston was cutting teeth. So I pried open Preston's mouth and there it was, a little tooth bud trying to make its way into the outside world! Another great suggestion from Dad was to give Preston a pacifier (of which we have ONE because he's never used them) to see if that would help him get to sleep. And, it did. Go Dad!

I've been excited about his tooth for days now! And I've been trying to get a picture of it. But he's soo squirmy and every time I try to pull his lip down he sticks his tongue out. So all I have to show of his tooth is this slightly-blurred pic of Preston smiling. The camera flash is reflecting off his tooth.

It's funny how I'm proud of Preston...like he got an A on his report card or won first place in a race. I've even teared up about it.

My little man...getting teeth. Why it seems like only yesterday he was crapping in his pants and eating smashed up sweet potatoes. Oh wait, that was yesterday? Never mind.


I Am Milk Toast

You know the old saying, "When in Washington, do as the Washington's do". Well today we did just that. After a quick stop at Target to pick up a backpack and bottled water we headed out to Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park. Located in the "Issaquah Alps," Cougar Mountain Park is famous for having more than 36 miles of hiking trails.

The particular trail we were in search of wasn't 20 minutes from our apartment, and the transition from urban to rural seemed to happen instantaneously. What was once fast food restaurants and four lanes of traffic was now winding roads and steep mountains full of vegetation.

Upon seeing the grandeur of what I feared was the mountain I was about to climb, I became a little nervous. After all, my fat ass is still carrying 20lbs. of baby weight. I haven't exercised since before I became pregnant. And I'm from Columbus people...where we unhealthy fat people stay fat, we don't exercise, and we order pizza and watch our reality tv shows! We are lazy!

So we drive UP (after all, this is a mountain) into the parking lot and find one space left. I figure the trail must not be too grueling considering how popular this place is. I don't suppose families come out here if it's an 'expert' trail, right?

Jeremy puts on the Snugli and we strap Preston in. I'm wearing the backpack. And we're off! As we pass the park signage, I can't help but notice a flyer for RUNNING this trail at 7a.m. Sunday. At that point I was confident this was going to be fun and leisurely and headed onward with a smile.

...Fast forward to a quarter mile up this mountain and I'm already complaining. My chest is hurting, my knees are cracking, and I can barely catch my breath. OMG, I'm going to die! But I blaze on and before I know it we hit the .5 mile mark.

We're heading back, right Jeremy?
Wrong, Kate.

My dear husband, who is breathing the same as he would if sitting on the couch, assures me the lookout point (which is our goal) is only another 1.5 miles. So I whine and complain some more, but inside I really do want to make it to the lookout point. I keep telling myself, "This mountain isn't going to beat me. I may be on the verge of hyperventilating, but there is no way I'm going to quit and look like one gigantic vagina in front of my husband."

We continue to slowly (as I stop for a break every 15 yards) move upward. I'm running out of steam. I'm bending over trying to catch my breath. A waterfall of sweat is streaming down my back, between my butt cheeks and onto my legs. My heart is beating out of my chest. I'm in bad shape people. Jeremy isn't even sweating.

About this time we encounter a young couple coming down the trail. So I ask them, "How much longer to the top?" (Jeremy finds this particularly hilarious. As if I could make it to the top. But I didn't mean 'the top' I meant the lookout.) Anyhow, the girl kind of laughs at me and says, "It's brutal. About 4 miles." I could have possibly turned white at that point, but my face was bright red from overheating. She then went on to say that the lookout point was about another quarter mile, and that we could see Mt. Rainier through the trees.

Another quarter mile. I can do this! I've made it this far. I MUST KEEP GOING.

As we continued up the trail my state of exhaustion caused my mind to start playing tricks on me. I started second-guessing the couple we met. Was the lookout point really a quarter mile? What if it was a half mile? How far have we went? What if we pass it? And as all these thoughts were rushing through my brain, I started to get the urge to throw up. So I stopped, once again, and fought back the puke.

At this point Jeremy said we should just turn around and go back. I think he realized I was seriously out of shape, and despite the drama, really wasn't fairing all that well. But I insisted we continue, because for all we knew the lookout point was right over the next bend...and it was!

As Jeremy stood there in awe of Mt. Rainier, I was propped up against two trees trying regain composure. Within a couple minutes I was well enough to take in the view, snap a few pictures, and even partake in a family portrait. This was definitely worth it!

The total hike was 4 miles, with a 1,200ft climb. It took us an hour and fifteen minutes to make it up the trail, and only 45 minutes to climb down (at which point my legs were shaking and wobbly).

Jeremy loved it. I liked it. And Preston seemed indifferent. He didn't make one peep the entire hike. But it must have wore him out, because he was asleep in the car before we got out of the parking lot!

On the way home Jeremy patted me on the back and said, "You did good milk toast. I'm proud of you." Stupidly, I asked what milk toast was. To which he replied, "What happens when you dip toast in milk? It gets soggy. Just like you. Soggy."

Ahhh, marital bliss.

Jeremy and Preston deep in vegetation. (Click on any pic to make larger.)

Pic from lookout point. Jeremy is holding the camera. I'm pushing the button. And Preston is reaching for the lens. (Notice my sweaty pits.)

View of Mt. Rainier from the lookout point.


To Be Blunt...

Sesame Street can really ruin a good song. Preston and I watched this episode this morning. In my mind, Triangle will forever replace Beautiful.

On the flip side, it would be awesome to hear someone at a Karaoke bar twist it up like this!


Slimy, Green, Gerber Goodness

This evening marked an important milestone in baby Preston's life – he dined on Gerber green beans. This is the first food (and I'll use this term loosely) his virgin palette has ever encountered.

At first he seemed to struggle with the transition from rice cereal to beans, temporarily forgetting how to eat off a spoon. He also had difficulty figuring out whether or not the green, runny stuff was tasty or not. And rightly so. I tasted it and am still on the fence.

Being the good little man Preston is, he toughed it out and finished all his green beans...a 'happy plate' as my in-laws would say.

Check out the video.
Bon Appetit!

My Baby Bum

This post is a plea for help. My baby stinks. His pits emit an odor that I've only smelled on bums and an occasional teen going through puberty. I know it's hard to believe a cute little dude like Preston could be stinky, but he is. The odor is so strong, that his funk transfers onto my hands from where I've picked him up.

I've been using cornstarch, which works great at first, but then loses its power. So if anyone has any suggestions on how to turn my baby bum back into the sweet-smelling infant he once was, I'd greatly appreciate it.

(And before anyone implies I don't bathe him, I do. Sometimes daily.)