Thursday, December 30, 2010

Dressing baby for winter cold

Like most things involving parenting, I was at a loss as to what to do with a baby once the cold winds of winter struck SLC.  Could he go outside when it's snowing?  What do you do with really cold cars and carseats when you have to drive someplace?  Do babies need scarves and mittens and caps like some grownups do?  I knew that itty bitty newborns have trouble regulating their body temperature, but I didn't know whether or not a 3-4 month old would have the same issues.

I kept reading about how in the past, mothers would overdress their babies during the winter and they would overheat.  So, the general advice would be to dress them up in one more layer than you would wear.  So, for our first outing out in the cold, I dressed him in the following: a onesie, some cotton pants, socks, a zip-up hoodie, some mittens, and a cotton hat.  It was about 45 degrees out.  I took him outside, put him in his car seat, buckled him in, and we went on our way.  When we got home from running our errands, I took him out of his car seat and noticed that his lips looked kind of blue.  I just about fainted.  I automatically thought that he wasn't getting enough oxygen.

I checked his shirt to make sure it wasn't wrapped too tightly around his neck.  While doing so, I felt his little nose and it was frigid!  I stepped back in horror.  Oh My God.  Was my baby freezing?  As if I were in a suspenseful movie, I ripped my jacket off, swiftly took of my shirt, stripped Desmond down to his onesie, and held him close to me so that my warmth could emanate onto him.  

I sat and held him and talked to him as he warmed up.  He wasn't in any discomfort and he was babbling as if nothing was wrong, but in my head, I had just exposed my baby to bitter, below-freezing temperatures and just barely brought him back from near death.  I realized that I had underdressed him based on what I was wearing (a long-sleeve shirt, a scarf, and some jeans).  I'm usually warmer than most people I know (although not so much anymore...I've asked Santa to bring me back my metabolism.  I seem to have lost it along with the perkiness of several other body parts), so one more layer just meant wearing a cardigan or a hoodie.  Poor Desmond.  He could've used a coat on top of everything else he was wearing.

Also, I left him strapped in the car seat in really cold weather.  To remedy that, I thought about turning the car on a few minutes before I actually strapped him in so it could be a little bit warmer in the car.  However, letting a car "warm up" is not necessary and bad for the environment, so I decided to put one of those car seat blanket-coccoon fuzzy things so that I could cover Desmond's little body as soon as I put him in the cold car.

I have been a lot better at making sure that Desmond is adequately warm in the cold temperatures (like today, where the high is 21 degrees Fahrenheit!)  I always make sure he's got his "undershirt" onesie on.  On top of that will be a long-sleeve jumper or shirt and some pants.  Underneath the pants part, I usually make him wear legwarmers.  Yes, legwarmers.  And no, they're not just for girls.  The legwarmers have several functions: they prevent the cold air from going up the pant legs of your baby when he's out and about, you could change a diaper without having his bare legs exposed, and, for those babies who are starting to crawl, you could put them in a onesie and some legwarmers and it would help to protect their chubby knees.

Des in a long-sleeve onesie and his legwarmers.  See how easy it would be to change him without his legs getting cold?

Desmond getting ready for an outing: legwarmers, socks, pants, double onesies, and a sweater.

Babies lose a lot of heat through their heads, so a hat is really important.  

Finally, since Desmond loves putting his hands in his mouth, they get really, really cold, even when we're not outside.  So, I make sure to put on him his mittens so that they could keep his hands warm and they prevent him from sucking on them.  

I also keep a (really cute...not that that's important at all...but it does match our new wagon EXACTLY) blanket JUST IN CASE he starts getting too cold.  Wearing your baby also keeps him warmer, so remember to take the jacket off (if you feel it's OK to do so) before you put your baby into a sling or carrier or he'll start to roast!

Routine, routine, routine

That's the mantra for mother's everywhere.  Get your baby on a schedule; a routine is soooo important; your baby needs order! 

I finally understand what all the fuss was about.  Itty bitty newborn babies have their own weird time clocks where day and night meld into one and they sleep and eat whenever their little bodies tell them to.  What that means is that a newborn baby (I'm only speaking from my experience as a very inexperienced mother to an exclusively breastfed baby) will spend most of your waking hours sleeping, waking up only to eat or if it's physically uncomfortable in some way.  They have no circadian rhythm yet, so they may think that night is day and vice versa.  Their sleep patterns are different than ours and their stomachs are capable of holding only a few ounces of fluid at a time, which is digested very quickly (less quickly if the fluid is formula).  In essence, they have NO ROUTINE.

So, whenever Desmond wanted to sleep, I let him sleep.  Whenever he wanted to eat, I let him eat.  And I rearranged my life to fit his schedule.  This was hard.  Very hard. I was used to doing my own thing at my own time since I was 18.  Having a baby usurp my sleep, eating, and every other physical and mental needs was difficult for me.  One of the best pieces of advice (advice that I follow to this day) is to sleep when your baby sleeps.  When Desmond was just a few days old, I was adamant that this little person was not going to upend my entire life.  As soon as he was asleep, I set about to return emails, do work, make some phone calls, etc.  I would even take him out grocery shopping or sightseeing (my mother was still in town).  She would reprimand me and tell me that in her day, women stayed at home for 40 days after the birth (equivalent to the 6 weeks postpartum when you have your first postpartum checkup...the time needed to heal, physically and psychologically, from childbirth).  But I couldn't (or wouldn't) let Desmond dictate my days for me.  Looking back after 5 months of crappy sleep, I wish I would've taken that advice and slept as much as I could with Desmond. 

I started taking naps with him when he was about 2.5-3 months old.  Night feedings were approximately 2-2.5 hours apart (which meant that I only slept for 1.75-2 hours at a time) and carrying him around and interacting with him during the day meant that by nightfall, I was worn out.  So, I started napping with him to catch up on my sleep.  And as I did so, I realized that there was somewhat of a routine emerging.  Desmond would wake up at around 8am (I believe he would sleep a little bit longer if we had those awesome hotel drapes.  You know the ones...the total light blockers.  I told Billy we should get some for our room, but I think he doesn't believe my theory) and hang out for a few hours until 10 or so when he would take a 1-1.5 hour nap.  He would then be up for a few more hours and have a big nap at around 2 or 3 and a final (smaller) nap at around 6 or 7.  He would finally go to sleep at around 10 or 11 (sleep means that he would sleep and then wake up to eat but go right back to sleep.)  The first time we put him down for sleep, he would usually go 3 hours, which allows me to have enough milk to pump, but after that, it's up every 2 hours. 

I liken Desmond's routine issues with the issues people have on long vacations.  For example, let's say you book a trip to South America (Colombia, to be exact) for 4 weeks next spring.  You're super excited to go because of the food and the sights and the people and the music (and I can go on and on).  You get there and the first week, week and a half are jam packed with sightseeing and eating all sorts of new food (sancocho, bandeja paisa, ajiaco, etc).  You go to bed every night exhausted and excited for what's to come the next day.  As soon as you enter week 2, you start realizing that you miss putting your clothes in your drawers or hanging them in a closet.  You miss your regular Aveda shampoo and your regular toothbrush (to save space, you're using the 3oz pantene pro-v shampoo and the travel toothbrush with the see-through plastic handle and the hard bristles that make your gums bleed).  You miss being able to get up, grab a drink out of your fridge, and plop down on your couch and watch whatever YOU want to watch in English.  You wake up each morning with a sore back and hips because the beds and pillows in Colombia are as hard as boards (it's good for your back, they say).  At the end of the 4th week, you crave the routine you had in your own house and can't wait to go home, go to bed, wake up (even if it is to go to work), and do things the way you're used to doing them.  I think this is how babies get, except that 4 weeks is usually just a few days with infants.

Holidays are notoriously hard on infants: extra music, lights, hands, faces, and arms and strange beds, cribs, dogs, and smells all make a baby a little bit more stressed than usual.  Desmond likes his napping and eating to be on a schedule.  Anything else is up for grabs.  He doesn't like being at home all day.  I'm convinced he gets cabin fever.  He loves seeing new things: it doesn't even have to be baby-friendly things.  I'm sure he could watch a car pull out of a driveway and be just as fascinated as if he were watching a cartoon. 

 Napping during a reading of David Sedaris' works at KUER's 50th Anniversary party.  Billy's parents are in the back.

 Des enjoyed watching and listening to Los Lobos.

However, we have to make sure that we could feed him every 2-3 hours and we have to make sure that wherever we are or wherever we go, we have access to a flat surface (he used to do so well in the sling and the bjorn.  He would fall asleep almost immediately.  Most of the time now, he fusses until he's put in a horizontal position).  We've found that keeping him to a napping routine means he sleeps better at night and is less fussy throughout the day.  We never force a nap or force him to sleep after crying it out.  If he's not sleepy, then the nap just gets pushed further.  During the holidays, since so many people wanted to see him and hold him, he would miss his naps and get really irritable.  On one day, he was so overstimulated (it can happen...think about how your eyes feel after hours spent on the computer), that he took like 4 or 5 naps!  That night, he woke up every hour, meaning I slept for 45-minute-long stretches. 

We've had to learn how to really read his tired cues.  Although I'll never understand why they can't just lie down and close their eyes, babies, when they're overly tired, have a hard time falling asleep.  They will fuss and fuss until you do something (shushing, bouncing, walking around with them) to help them fall asleep.  We like to avoid that as much as possible.  So, if Des exhibits the sleepy cues (rubbing eyes, etc) we put him down to sleep.  We give him a couple of pats on the butt, turn on the noise machine (if we have access to it) and try to let him fall asleep on his own. 

Naptime makes my little man happy.  A good napping routine means a better sleeping experience at night.  Plus, napping helps mom become a more productive member of society.  It's true!  Siestas increase brain productivity.  So, raise your eyemasks to the routine of napping everyday.  It's a stress relief for young and old alike.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The sights at the Main Library in Salt Lake City

Right after we got our picture taken at the Craft Sabbath fair in the Main Library, we walk out to glorious sunshine and wonderful (for winter) weather and see this.

That's me and my brother Sergio's mom.  We're cracking up. Can you see why?  No?  Well, look below.

BAM!  AND his shirt says Dad 1.

Santa babies

City Weekly had a  Santa booth at the Craft Sabbath fair at the Library last weekend.  I went with my SIL Melanie, my brother Sergio, and his mother Consuelo.  And my adorable little nephew, Nico.  We had a nice time.  We loved that the background (you could see it in Nico's picture, not so much with Desmond's) was sort of kitschy Christmas and not the "professional" cheesy backgrounds of lots of Christmas Santa booths.

Nico with Santa

Desmond with Santa.  Notice how Desmond HAD to put his hands in his mouth.  He looks high-strung compared to Nico.  I need to submit this to some photo blog, like awkward santa photos.  I'm not sure if it's the lighting or the work the photographer did on the picture itself, but it almost looks like Desmond was photoshopped in.  

Underweight - not cool in babies

Have you ever heard of couples moving in together and then going through this progression: buying a plant, buying several plants, buying a puppy, and then finally having a baby?  You start off with owning a plant to see how well you'd do as a caregiver.  If you're able to keep the plants alive, you're ready to own a pet.  If you're able to fulfill the emotional and physical needs of the pet, then maybe you might be ready for a baby.  I went through the same process.  I started off with plants.  Lots of them.  Whenever I over- or under-watered any of them and they would die, my heart would break for the poor plants and I would beat myself up over my inability to nurture.   Good thing this hasn't happened with my doggies.

Now, for the first time, I feel the same inability as a mother.  About a week and a half ago, at Desmond's 4 month checkup, we were told by our pediatrician that although he was meeting all the developmental milestones AHEAD of time and even though he was "brilliant" (his words, not ours...honest), he was underweight.  When he pulled out the weight projection chart, it showed Desmond to be in the 1 percentile of weight, 35 percentile of height.  My heart sank to my stomach.  I felt horrible.  It was difficult to keep the tears in and once we got to the car, the enormity of the situation settled in.  My child has been hungry the past 2 months.  I felt horrible and felt inadequate as a mother.  I desperately wished that I was struggling with my issues of oversupply as I had been a few months ago and not with issues of undersupply.

The root of the problem is that Desmond is a smart little guy.  As soon as other people started feeding him from the bottle (the flow from the bottle is a lot faster than from a real nipple), he started latching onto my breast, drinking whatever milk was hanging out down closest to my nipple and then he would latch off as soon as the milk flow lessened or stopped.  He wouldn't keep sucking in order to allow for another letdown.  This is the important part: the second, third, so on let downs contain the higher fat content milk, the hindmilk, that keeps babies satiated and gives them all those fat rolls.  Desmond was getting none of that.  As soon as he would latch off, I'd give him my other breast and we'd go through the entire process again with the end result of him crying his eyes out and me too stressed out to achieve another letdown.

I previously wrote about what I did to increase my milk supply (hospital-grade pump, fenugreek, mother's milk tea, etc).  For a week or so, I stayed at home and canceled all of my meetings at school.  I hung out with Desmond and fed him whenever he wanted and pumped after that.  Feed and pump, feed and pump.  I was an emotional wreck: my nipples were sore from all the feedings and pumpings; whenever I did pump, I was only able to pump 1-2 oz TOTAL (this is after about 15 minutes pumping); and I felt that Desmond was still hungry.  I would feed him and then give him a bottle with 2-3 precious ounces of my pumped milk afterwards.  Sometimes he would be satisfied with that; other times, he would finish the bottle and want more.  I didn't know what else to do.

So, I reached out to my wonderful SIL, Melanie.  Melanie's son, Nico, my nephew, was born 2.5 weeks after Desmond, so they are around the same developmental stage.  Nico definitely gets enough to eat from Melanie...she's got a freezer filled with milk that she's pumped.  I told her about my situation and she offered to give me a few bags of her milk.  I went home with 8 bags!!!  I was ecstatic!  I could use these to supplement Desmond's feedings. 

I would start off with one bag whenever I felt Desmond needed more and supplement him throughout the day.  Desmond KNEW that this was not his mother's milk.  As soon as he tasted Melanie's milk, he would make a "what the..." face, suck tentatively, and then rip into the bottle.  He had some weird, watery poops for a while after we introduced her milk, but now they're back to normal.  Fascinating how a baby's body just knows stuff and can adapt.

I know that many people reading this would balk at the idea of giving another person's milk to your baby.  I'll admit that 2 years ago, I would've been making the same face you are now.  But, the more I educated myself about breastfeeding, the more I realized that it is one of the best things that I could do for Desmond.  The WHO recommends that all babies be exclusively breastfed for at least 6 months and that mother's milk from the breast is the best, followed by mother's own expressed milk, other human milk, and finally formula.  Many may worry about the passage of diseases (like HIV/AIDS) through breastmilk, and although it is a valid worry, I know and trust my SIL.  Milk banks take each donation of milk and heat it enough to make sure that any pathogens are killed off.  (On a side note: global health professionals even recommend that HIV-positive women in developing countries breastfeed their children instead of giving them supplementary food (formula, local food) because 1) risk of transmission per month of breastfeeding is low (~1%) and 2) introducing things other than breastmilk before 6 months can damage the gastric and intestinal wall, making passage of HIV easier if breastfeeding and if not breastfeeding, can increase the risk of diarrhea and other illnesses that carry higher risk of mortality than the risk of acquiring HIV.  Source.)

Yesterday, we visited the pediatrician so that he could weigh Desmond and look him over. We took off all of his clothes except his diaper and walked him over to the scale.  I gingerly placed him on it, my heart thumping in my chest.  I wanted to close my eyes and look away from the readout, but I couldn't.  It beeped and my heart stopped.  11lb 7oz.  I quickly did the math in my head (but not quickly enough...Billy blurted out, "9 oz!")  I let out the biggest whoop and jumped around the nursing station at the pediatrician's office in joy.  He grew!  My hard work paid off!   And I couldn't have done it without the help from Melanie.  Thanks so much, Melanie!  You are a lifesaver!  Literally.

I just ordered a supplemental nursing system (SNS) to wear when I'm feeding Desmond.  Basically, it's a little pouch with a tube attached to it that you place right next to your nipple.  When the baby starts feeding, he'll be feeding from you but getting extra milk from the pouch.  Genius.  I'll let you all know how it goes.  My goal is to keep his weight increase at 9 oz per week (we'll go each week into the pediatrician's office to weigh him.  It's free.) until he gets to a target weight of about 14.8 lbs.

See?  He's growing a double chin!  By he, I mean Desmond.  Pirate has like 8 chins.

Just for shits and giggles, here's a video of Desmond when he weighed 9oz less than now (you can tell his face is a lot thinner) and after he had his first meal of his auntie Melanie's milk.  

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christmas lights with friends

Last weekend, we met up with some of our good friends and their adorable little boys: Rachele and Jordan and their 1.5-year-old son, Beckham, and Heather and her almost 2-year-old son, Taven.  I really wanted to be able to go out on the town and enjoy some of the (free) events Salt Lake has to offer. 

We first went to Broadway Avenue (300 South) for Gallery Stroll.  Gallery Stroll happens on the first Friday of every month and is an event where art galleries and locally-owned shops stay open later and allow you to browse their galleries and collections for free.  They usually have some appetizers and drinks out (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic).  My two favorite stores on Broadway are The Green Ant and Frosty Darling.  The Green Ant specializes in modern furniture (think set design of Mad Men) and Frosty Darling specializes in unique rockabilly type of gifts. 

We really enjoyed doing an adult-ish activity that seemed to capture Des's attention.  Pretty soon, we're going to have to start doing all sorts of kiddie stuff and will hardly have any time for grownup stuff.  I am, however, kind of excited to start going to fun kid stuff with Desmond.  2 years ago, the idea of going to Disney with kids (any kids: my own, my nieces/nephews, strangers' kids) made me want to barf.  Now, I'm actually getting excited to do things like that with Des.  Part of it is seeing the excitement and wonder and smile that some things bring to Desmond's face.  I can't even explain how awesome it is.  It's like being in the very beginning of a relationship and starting to like someone and then you do something for them and it's the best thing in the world for them and your heart just melts when their face lights up and it makes you feel so good and important and ... Holy crap.  There I go.  I sound like such a sap.

OK, back to the story.  We then went to my favorite Thai Restaurant, Ekamai, and met up with everyone.  If you guys ever go, get the Mussaman curry and Yellow curry with the brown rice.  And the Thai iced tea along with the Sweet Sticky Rice with Mango (no effing wonder I don't lose any weight). 

Inside Ekamai: Taven, Heather, Billy, Desmond, me, Rachele, Jordan, and Beckham

After our delicious dinner, we took Trax over to Temple Square, where the LDS temple is, to check out the lights.  For those of you not in the know, Utah is home to the world's largest population of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons).  Salt Lake City was founded by Brigham Young and a retinue of Mormon pioneers that made the journey from Illinois in the mid-1800s.  The Salt Lake City Temple itself is off-limits to all non-Mormons and those Mormons without a Temple Recommend (something that is given to them by the bishops in their own churches).  However, everyone is allowed on the grounds surrounding the Temple, as long as they dress and behave appropriately, which means no kissing, groping, etc by ANYONE!

It was, astonishingly, my very first time to Temple Square, although I've driven past it time and time again.  It was quite beautiful.  It kind of reminded me of the winter parades in Disney World.  There were so many lights, wrapped on each branch of all the trees, and the pool with lights in it...really quite nice.


I'm glad that I finally went and that Desmond got to see a major part of Salt Lake (although he won't remember it) before we leave. 

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Hiring a nanny

Yes.  We're hiring a nanny.  We've thought long and hard about letting a stranger come into our child's life, but we ultimately decided that it's necessary for us and our lifestyle to hire a nanny.

This semester, I was only at the school 3 times a week for a total of 5 hours away from home per week.  Most of the time, I'd take Desmond with me, since he's really good at being in the sling and usually falls asleep.  On the days that I had important meetings where taking Desmond wouldn't be acceptable, Billy would take off work and stay at home with me for those hours.  Billy's parents would watch Des for an hour and a half on Wednesday nights so that I could attend an Ashtanga Yoga class.  Next semester, I'll be taking a class on Tuesday evening and Wednesday and Friday mornings.  I will have a meeting every Monday afternoon.  For Billy to take that much time off of work every week is not feasible.  Because I have planned to finish up all of my required and elective credits before we move next year, I can't take anything below 9 credit hours in the spring.  Therefore, needing someone to watch him during the day became a necessity.

My good friend Sara from school, who has an 8-month-old daughter, hired a nanny when her daughter was around 3 or 4 months old.  She inspired me to look into the option of hiring a nanny for Desmond.  By the time we need a nanny, Desmond will be 5 months old.  This is about the time that babies start being really clingy and get stranger anxiety, so I needed to find someone with whom Desmond felt very comfortable.  We briefly discussed taking Desmond to a daycare, but hesitated because of all the stories we have heard of overcrowded and unhygienic conditions.  I was also terrified of Desmond getting sick with earaches and respiratory infections (interestingly enough, a new study came out that showed that among those children that were in daycare before the age of 2.5, even though they suffered more illnesses than kids not in daycare, had less illnesses when they got to elementary school than those that weren't exposed to daycares before 2.5 years of age.  Read more HERE.)  I'm definitely not saying that ALL daycares are like this - there are some really great daycares with amazing people working in them - but I feel more comfortable taking Des to a daycare when he's a little bit older and can do things for himself instead of having to be completely reliant on someone else. 

I started looking around online to see what kinds of resources there were for hiring nannies.  I was a little bit apprehensive about the cost, but decided that I had to make some financial concessions if I wanted to be on the way to completing my education.  I found a website,, that provided a resource for people looking for babysitters, live-in nannies, part-time nannies, adult daycare providers, and dog sitters.  It cost $30 to post a job and maintain an account for a month, but it's worth it.  You post a job, people answer your ad, you look at their profiles and qualifications, and you can order a background check.  I had about 25 women answer my ad.  I specified a part-time nanny who could speak primarily Spanish, who had infant and child first aid and CPR training, and who could work during the hours that I was at school. 

Last Saturday, we met two women whom we had picked based on their profiles.  One was a young(er) girl of 20, who seemed to have a lot of experience with children of all ages.  The other was an older woman from Cuba who spoke no English and worked as a full-time nanny.  She seemed really receptive about the way we parent and had mentioned that this is what she was used to in Cuba.  Plus, she can cook delicious Cuban food and having lived in Miami for 9 years, I miss me some good ol' black beans and rice and platano maduro. 

Ultimately, we felt more comfortable with the second nanny-candidate because she was a bit older, had her own children, and had worked as a nanny before (plus, the whole cuban food thing).  We just need to call her references before we offer her the job.

We plan to offer to pay her $11/hour for ~15 hours a week.   I only have to be up at the school for 11.5 hours, but it'd be nice to have her come a bit early so that I could leave Desmond with her and get ready without having to take care of his needs.  I'm really nervous about leaving him with a stranger, partly because she's a stranger and partly because there's a little part of me that worries what she'll think if Desmond screams his head off the entire time I'm gone (I know, I know.  Stupid to think that way, but it's true.)  We're going to ask her to come by the first week in January and sort of "shadow" me around our house so that she could see how I do things and I could see how she interacts with Desmond.  Most importantly, I want Desmond to feel comfortable with her, so I'm going to be around at first for him to see that everything will be ok and then slowly slip away. 

I hope everything works out with this nanny.  If not, then it's actual class time that I'm going to have to miss and not just a yoga class or something.  Up next on my LONG to-do list: make the house baby-proof.  Considering the fact that this is a 120-year-old house, it's not going to be easy.  Wish me luck!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Lessons Learned: Never change a poopy diaper on the floor

So, I was walking around the house, trying to clean up here and there (which, by the way, is so much harder when you have an infant.  If it's not his inability to be able to physically sit and entertain himself, it's your inability to reach for and do certain things while wearing him.  Hardly anything gets done.  That is precisely why Billy and I agreed to hire one of our friends to help us clean our house twice a month.) when all of a sudden, I smell the buttery, yeasty scent of a poopy diaper.  The last few "poopy" diapers Desmond's had have all been pretty weak, so I thought all I would find was a skidmark or two.  I knew that maybe it was something more when he started getting fussy as I was wearing him.

So, I took my time getting him a new diaper, setting out the changing pad, and grabbing the wipes.  We'd been out in the morning, but now that we were back at home, I took his pants off and left him in his onesie.  I put him in a sleep sack:

and we went about our day.  When i unzipped his sleep sack, I saw the golden yellow stains on the inside.  "Great.  I'm in for a big one."  

My heart sank.  There was an overwhelming amount of poop on and around Desmond.  I tentatively got out the first wipie.  I started wiping Desmond's butt and just proceeded to smear baby crap all over his butt cheeks and inner thighs.  My heart started racing and it took all I had not to call out for my mother for help.  I picked him up, holding him at arms length away from me.  I ran to the kitchen to the closest source of water: the kitchen sink.  I realized that I couldn't put Desmond down anywhere since there was gooey poop smeared all over his bum.  You have no idea the type of profanities I was whispering out loud.  I said, "eff it," and pulled him in so that I could hold him against me with one arm.  I ran to the bathroom, got his foaming body wash and a washcloth (to put over the drain in the faucet) and ran back to the kitchen.

I started running the faucet and let Desmond stand in the sink (as I pulled him away from me, I noticed that my shirt was still sticking to him.  Gross.)  I quickly, with one hand, managed to rip away the plastic covering of the body wash (with my teeth!) and squirt it onto the washcloth.  I wiped his little bum as quickly as I could and then he sat down.  I breathed a sigh of relief.  He was finally clean.  Sort of.  

I splashed him a bit and washed his upper body.  I stood him up and noticed some boogery-looking things on his bum.  My heart started palpitating faster and faster...Did this come out of my son?  Upon closer inspection, I realized that it was ONIONS that were stuck in the drain from dinner two nights ago.  GROSS!  I peeled them off Desmond, gave him a quick once over and turned off the water.  

And guess what?  I forgot the freaking towel.  so, I lifted my shirt up and over my head so Des wouldn't get anymore poop on him and wrapped him up in a kitchen towel.  I ran to the changing table and breathed a sigh of relief.  We did it!  I changed him, put on a cute little outfit (we're going out tonight to see the lights and Christmas-y stuff), and walked into the living room.  And then I almost lost it.
I see Pirate, my one-eyed pug, licking his chops sitting right next to the changing mat with the poopy diaper on the floor.  I looked over at the poopy diaper and saw that a lot of the poop had been licked off.  I about vomited and shooed Pirate over to the water bowl so he could (in my mind) wash out his mouth.  I couldn't handle the poopiness anymore, so I picked up the whole changing mat, poopy diaper and all, and placed it on our bed where Pirate wouldn't get it.  And I just left it there.  I can't even force myself to wash it off.  

He knows he did something wrong.

So, moral of this long painful story, if you have pets, don't change your child's poopy diapers on the floor.  Because you might forget the diaper there and dogs are incredibly attracted to infant crap, it's like licking the butter off of the popcorn bucket. 

Bathtime products we love

Des LOVES his bathtime.  Too bad we only bathe him twice a week; if it were up to him, he'd take a bath twice a day.  Instead of using our little bath hammock that we've used, I started getting in the bath with him.  Even though I was terrified about bathing him (I previously talked about that one HOUSE episode where the woman was bathing with her baby and had a seizure and the baby drowned), I made sure to only bathe with him when Billy was in the bathroom with me. 

To wash him, we use Johnson & Johnson Natural Head-to-Toe Foaming Body Wash.  We love it because the smell isn't overly baby-ish and it foams, so you can just use your hand to wash your little baby's bum.  We used to use those little baby washcloths, but it was tough to get enough of the baby wash for a good lather without Desmond wailing because he was getting too cold. 

The other product we've been using is a bubble foaming bath packet.  It contains no synthetic colors, fragrances, or preservatives.  It's made by a company called Aura Cacia, a company that sells all pure and natural aromatherapy products.  Des's godmother, Jen, sent him the following three packets: Clearing Foam Bath (has eucalyptus and citrus essential oils) for days when Des may not be feeling his best, Calming Foam Bath (has lavender and citrus essential oils) for his nighttime baths, and Cheering Foam Bath (has tangerine and sweet orange essential oils) for his daytime baths. 

Buy this packet HERE.

Finally, we use the quintessential rubber ducky in the bath so that Desmond could work on his grasping skills and so that he's occupied with something fun in the bath.  

Chuck the duck.

The hardest part about bathtime is taking him out of the tub.  I usually lift him out of the water a few times and act as if I'm going to hand him off to his dad.  That way, he gets the idea that bathtime is almost done and he's going to be handed off soon.  Since our house is really old and drafty, we bring in the space heater into the bathroom and close the doors so Desmond isn't bombarded with cold air on his wet skin.  When the hand off finally occurs, Billy quickly wraps him up in a hooded baby towel and snuggles him to keep him warm and to dry him off.  We hang out for a little in the warm bathroom and when Desmond is more or less dry, we take him to the changing table and get him ready for the day/night.