11 Month Letter (plus mash up video)

I’m back! Well, for now… you know how life is! I seem to not have as much in front of the computer time as I used to, but I have kept my promise to write Margo a letter every month on her birthday (or very close to it…) I did a 10 month letter, but didn’t get around to publishing it. Then I figured, who even reads my blog when I publish like once a month? Sorry. Things are happening, I should post more though!

You Tube Video of Margo’s skills

Dear Margo,

Holy 11 months – almost a year! Spending time with you is getting more fun by the day.

You are walking all around these days, which is just too cute. Tonight you made it the whole way from the laundry room to our bedroom to the sliding door. I’m loving your little zombie walk, and sometimes you put your hands close to your body on your chest and that’s also ridiculous. You’re getting stronger and stronger and more brave with your walking, and your Dad and I are still not used to seeing you just get up and walk across the playroom. Often I’ll be putting laundry from the washer to the dryer and leave you to play in the playroom. You almost always would crawl over and make your presence known (with a “uuuh! uhh!” announcement). Yesterday, for the first time, I looked up and you had walked to the doorway. Could this be your preferred means of transportation? I’m thinking you might have decided it is, just over the course of the past two days.

This month you also learned some signs! We’ve been doing a few signs with you and you now sign Eat, Daddy, More (sometimes…), Milk, and what looks like the beginnings of Bath. (So, you can say Mama, and sign Daddy. Now everyone’s happy 🙂 )Again, we’re blown away. Maybe we were just unprepared for how quickly babies learn stuff, but I never in my wildest dreams would have guessed my 11 month old would tell me when she was hungry by signing! It’s awesome! You’re still a chatty little child too, and getting quite good at entertaining yourself. Sometimes you’ll just sit with a bunch of books and turn the pages and babble. I love that you’ve started to mock the inflections that we do for you. Along those lines, when asked “What does Santa say?”, you say “uhh, uh, huuuh” with the same intonation as we do.

Speaking of Santa… yeah, that didn’t go well. Sorry for the emotional trauma, you’ll love him when you see what he brings you in a few days!
Didn't even get to tell him what she wanted for Christmas.
Your favorite book is now “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus,” and you read it no less than 10  times today. And as of today, you’re also pretty into Eric Carle’s “Does a Kagaroo have a Mother, Too?” It’s kind of fun that it’s not involving photographs (like that annoying dog book with the moving parts that show a dog peeing! Seriously…) or Elmo. I love that you let us read to you now and really seem to delight in it. We had a little dry spell there, in between when I could read you our entire Dr. Seuss collection in one sitting at 2 months and then nothing for most of the summer.

It’s already been a cold winter, way too cold to do stuff outside. We’ve been stuck inside a lot, no more running in the stroller for the time being. We go to Gymboree several times a week, which you truly seem to love, even more so now that you are all sturdy with your walking. You’re still a remarkably happy child (meaning, several other mothers have remarked about your good nature to me over the past few months), and I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love that about you. We know if you’re complaining, something’s wrong. And if you’re just bored or unhappy, you just deal with it and make the best of it. A truly awesome personality trait, my love!

We’re so excited to share your first Christmas with you this month, and I’m still coming to terms with my next monthly letter being to a 1-year-old. Too fast! You’re growing too fast!! But we’re so proud and in love with you.

Love, Momma


We did it!

We finished half marathon training! This is what I said to Margo as I parked the BOB in the garage this morning after our 2 mile run, the last and gloriously quick training run in my 3-month program.


Seems like a good time to reflect on the last three months, especially since the past 4 days I’ve been on the taper part of the program, which is pretty sweet.  I’d say 85% of the time, training has been challenging and rewarding. There’s been a few days fitting a 5 mile run in was way hard, but I did all the runs (except for one 3 miler last week when we had some Daddy->daughter->Mommy germs & sicknesses being passed around that took me off schedule a little.)  It feels great to be on the other side of all that training and “only” have 13.1 miles left to run.


Running with Margo is, on the whole, not nearly as hard as I was afraid it’d be. She has never once fussed or cried, even on the 5 mile runs which put her in the stroller for over an hour, including the warm up and warm down walking time. The hardest part of running with her is I had to be a lot more picky about weather than I’d otherwise be. If there’s a threat of rain or a strong wind, I can’t just chance it like I could if I were alone. It’s harder, but I do think it’s helped me get into even better shape. I never, ever thought I’d be one of those people who run with one of these, but now I so want one. Oh, another thing that was hard was scheduling runs around naps and meals… that’s another reason there was no sadness in my heart when I finished the 5 mile runs.

I’m going into Sunday’s race optimistic about my time. My previous personal record is 2:05, and I’d love to get a new PR. It’s hard to compare my shape now to my shape then, but I feel pretty darn good. Maybe it’s because I started off basically from scratch. Over the 3 and a half months I’ve been training (I started 2 weeks early to be a little in shape for the official 3 month plan), I’ve knocked 2 minutes off my mile pace. That alone makes me so proud. Over that 3.5 months I’ve run 206 miles, and 92 of them with the stroller. (That surprised me, but I guess all of the long weekend runs were sans bebe and in the beginning when it was light out till 9ish, I used to go after she went to bed.) Looking back on how much I’ve done and how far I’ve come, it actually feels like a little tiny thing I have to do on Sunday! I’m so excited to cross the finish line and hug my baby & husband!

I’ve also given some thought to what’s next. I love being in shape and I love that Margo is so nonplussed with my running. I want to keep it up, but I’m quite looking forward to not having it be such a hard and fast obligation hanging over my head. I feel if I can run 3x a week in the 2-4 mile distance I’d be in good shape and happy. And I might even be able to get back into doing some P90X videos during naptime and work on my muscles.

9 Month Letter (a day early!)

Dear Margo,
9 months! You’ve officially been out in the world longer than you were inside of me! (Well… in 8 days or so we’ll hit that landmark. Cause, you know, you were late. I’m not mad, just want to be honest in our calculations.) While both 9 month periods seemed to fly by, the past 9 months WITH you were way more enjoyable for me.

It feels like so much has happened this month. You’re CRAWLING! Last week you just said, you know what, this rolling business, it’s not working out for me anymore. We were so sure you were the kid who would skip crawling altogether so we were extra surprised. You’re also cruising now. The fun trick associated with this is cruising down the length of our bathtub to turn on the water. It makes you laugh, and I’d be fine with it if you’d turn on the cold water once in a while. The hot water is expensive, and you always seem to go there first. You started cruising around the Leap Frog table and quickly expanded to the couches and anything Margo-height.  I suppose the next logical progression is climbing, and you’ve mastered (and become fixated on) the 2 steps between the living room and kitchen. It’s adorable and a little scary to watch, since you sometimes sit back on the first stair and just seem to think it’s normal and you can lean back. We call this the Margo Trust Fall.

You took a few steps with your walking toy too, which impressed us since before you’d always kind of face planted or pulled it back on top of you. Your balance is, evidently, improving! A few nights ago you stood, on your own with out leaning or holding my hands, for 13 seconds (I counted at a normal clip, not super fast. Promise) I felt so proud, I’m just so excited to see you walk. I know my heart will explode with pride. And I imagine that feeling will continue until you’re elected President of the United States, since you can do anything!!

In the food-world, you’re now self feeding! It was such an amazing development to watch. The first day I gave you a bunch of puffs you went nuts probably thinking these were some new toys, maybe accidentally got one in your mouth and the majority on the floor or in the high chair. And with every day, your aim has improved and the floor clean up has gotten less and less. You look like a big kid when you pick up your own food, it’s so fun to watch.

And, how dare I forget to mention… you’re getting a TOOTH! (Finally) It’s been a difficult thing as a parent, never knowing when the first little guy is going to poke through and therefore attributing random cries to “maybe she’s teething.” Well, we feel it now and I’m just waiting for it to come out & play. We had a few nights where you just weren’t yourself (meaning you woke up several times & were inconsolable), which worried us. THEN we felt the tooth and it all made sense. The fears that our perfect sleeper had decided to change her nightly routine passed & we all celebrated with a good night’s sleep.

It feels like everything gets more joyful and exciting by the day lately with you! Filling up your bathtub, helping us turn the pages in your baby’s first word book, staring out the window in your carseat… all of these things induce delighted shrieks and make me smile too. All I know is I can say this month what I feel like I say every month. It was the best yet! I can’t wait to see what you’ll surprise and amaze us with next month!

The Truth about Cloth Diapering

Oh, hi!

So, I know a lot of people’s first reaction to cloth diapering is – EWWW! And maybe after they’ve calmed down they picture rubber pants and diaper pins and the old cloth diapers. I think they also picture turds in the washing machine. These are misconceptions, and I truly feel that if people had more accurate information about what modern cloth diapering is and isn’t, the initial EEWWWW reaction might be a little different. I love it, as you can tell, and I think simply talking about it & lifting the veil of questions with others is a good way to get the word out that modern cloth diapering isn’t that bad (in fact, it’s quite good). It’s a great way to save money & the environment and make your child’s tushie cuter 🙂

I’m hoping to do a few posts on cloth diapering to share with the world what we do, and perhaps help anyone who’s curious about starting CDing. I hope it’s not preachy or judgy… I know moms as a group are prone to this but I truly don’t care if you use disposables on your child. I know this regimen isn’t for everyone, but I’m of the mind that it’s probably for more people than know it. Here is a post I did back in the early Kissaluv Size 0 days about why we decided to CD and why we love it.

Our Stash

To begin CDing, you need some supplies. This was (and is) the toughest part initially, since you get it in your head that CDing is cheaper than using disposables, but at first, it’s not. However, once you have everything & make the initial investment, you’re golden and THEN there’s very little expense. (Well, except for the fact that CDs are extremely addictive and the CD mother must possess very strong willpower to resist purchasing new and shiny patterns and designs.) There’s also a certain amount of trial and error involved in figuring out what is going to work best for your child and you. If I could offer any advice at all, it’d be the same that was given to me: just wait to buy all the diapers you need until you start using them. It’s hard to say what you’ll love & hate until you’re using them.

We have about 40 diapers right now. Counting is difficult since there’s ALWAYS dirty diapers. That number actually kind of shocks me too, since they’re never all in the same place at the same time I had been estimating lower. This is a really comfortable amount for the time being, as I get to do laundry every 3 days and can line dry them (meaning I can get through 4 full days with this amount). We will have some change when Margo outgrows some of the sized diapers that have upper weight limits that she’s nearing.

6 Kushies – these diapers are great all-in-one (AIO) diapers with velcro closures. I’m not the hugest fan of Velcro, however these are the best Velcro we have. They’re on the cheap side & I actually got these used of craigslist. They’re not the prettiest diapers you can get, but I love them for naps and tighter outfits (since they’re a little trimmer than other brands). They might be my favorite surprise in CDing!

10 Nana’s Bottoms – I also got these used and they’re just great quality AIOs! Using AIOs is a mixed bag – it makes for more laundry (and longer drying time). The alternative, fitted or prefolds, allows you to reuse a cover and makes the laundry a little less. These are also a favorite because they’re pretty trim, since they’re sized. I’ll be sad when she outgrows them! I got a friend to convert a few that I had that were velcro to snaps and have been in love ever since.

13 BumGenius 3.0s– These are widely popular diapers, and I’d give them 4 out of 5 stars. Generally, I like them a lot. The colors are great, and the pocket design & snap-down design (so they fit from newborn to potty training) is excellent. They do tend to leak for us at naptime, since Margo often sleeps on her stomach and they’ve been known to leak through the tabs, so I try to put them on her for normal daytime wear. I am really disappointed with their Velcro, though they have improved it in their BG 4.0s. I am having my friend convert the velcro into snaps, though this is a tedious process. That’s how much the velcro sucks!  If you couldn’t tell, I highly prefer the snaps to velcro in my CD’s… lesson learned.

3 BumGenius AIO Elementals – These are also one-size diapers. Until last week, these were our nighttime diapers and we got frustrated because of a strong ammonia smell and some diaper rash issues (directly related to the ammonia). They’re great as daytime diapers too!

4 Rumparooz – These might just be my favorites. They are pretty (hello Lux!), they have a double gusset on the inside (read: blowout prevention), and they fit really well. You pay for that, of course. They’re not cheap. This is not surprising, since I seem to gravitate toward expensive things. Another post for another day 🙂 Anyway, love these!

1 Fuzzi Bunz one-size – I got a Rumparooz and FB at the same time, thinking I’d test them out to see what I’d buy some more of to fill out the stash. Rumparooz won. Lots of folks love FB’s, for us they’re just okay. It’s not huge stuff, they’re just kind of harder to put on and doesn’t seem to be as good a fit as the other diapers in our stash.

3 Goodmama Bamboo velour fitted diapers – These are our new nighttime diapers and are working really well! I also acquired these used from someone on craigslist and am using them with a Thirsties Duo Wrap cover with (knock on wood) no leaks and no diaper rash.

Like everything, everyone has their own opinion. I just have a blog, so now you know mine 🙂

8 Month Letter

Dear Margo,

If I had to describe the past month of your life in one word it’d be: MOTION. You’re a mobile child now, and our grace period where we could sit you on the floor and expect you to be in the same place a minute later is simply over. You are still flirting with crawling – you get up on all fours and rock, push yourself backward, go into a half downward dog yoga move (which is hilarious), and we’ve seen a few army crawls, but still waiting for you to get the normal crawl down pat. You’re a big roller, and we marvel at it because you see something you want across the room, you pivot so you’re parallel to it and then roll to get it. You can now go from laying to sitting, do guided steps when we hold your hands, and your standing is really sturdy. You just hold on to us for balance instead of leaning on us for support. You’re FAST, I look away and the next second you’ve got your hands under the entertainment center playing with wires or trying to pull drawers open.

Here’s Exhibit A – the 8-month shot outtakes (I used to think the blocks were a great idea, now it’s an enormous pain!!! You’re like “TOYS!”):

This month we’ve been spending a lot of time together, which as made it fly by for me (don’t know about you). I’ve started training for a race in November, so I’ve been taking you out in the jogging stroller often and you seem to love it! It’s so funny, you see someone coming in the distance on the greenway and you start humming and get all excited when we pass them. And if they have a dog, forget it. Even more fun.

You are learning new sounds, which is very funny. You say (often repeatedly) “mmamma”, “ba ba ba ba” now, and sometimes Daddy will try to get you to say “da da”, to which you always respond with a giggle. We interpret it to mean “Pshaw… like THAT’S a word!”

We love to go to the park with you to swing now! The weather is slowly becoming more bearable and you’re a great age for swings. Sometimes you giggle, presumably because I’m close, then far, then close, etc, and sometimes you lounge back and chew on your lips and hold on and kind of look like an old lady.  You also love it when we are parading upstairs to give you a bath and Daddy’s holding you and I’m coming up the stairs behind. I’m not sure why this gets you so worked up, but you kick your feet and giggle and squeal. Then we have to play peekaboo for a little and you’re all riled up.

You’re still eating pretty well, though you’ve all the sudden decide you want to make decisions on your own, which is annoying. You won’t take the bottle anymore, a revelation which is a little scary since I’m leaving town for 3 days next weekend. Not sure what’s fueling this, but we’re hoping a little hunger will give you the motivation to try it again. I’m sure you will be, but please be a good girl for daddy and take the bottle!!!

Every month I think *this* is the best month so far. I hope we’re not upsetting our friends & family because we truly are so happy and smitten with you. You do poop, and cry (sometimes) and do weird, inexplicable things but we are just not really ruffled by that. You’ve given us so much joy and entertainment and warmth, so much more than we could have imagined a year ago when you were just a growing bump. Your personality emerges daily, and I can’t wait to see what you’ll do next. You’re fun, and we have fun with you.

Love you!

Smart Kitty

Okay, I felt a tad silly buying this shirt from Gymboree, even though it was on sale. Still seemed a tad frivolous, but seriously, it’s as if the Gymboree people have a bug in our home! One of our favorite nicknames for Miss Smarty is Smart Kitty! There are a few others she’s earned lately, but they’re all, um, curses.


This pic makes me laugh, a lot. Right now, Margo is way more into Smarty than Smarty is into Margo… this would be the time of a child’s life when a dog would be more in step with their interest. IDK, I’ve never had a dog, but most dogs we see are all about some interest from babies. Smarty is like “Um, no thanks. You’re loud & wave your arms.” Not sure what sort of planets aligned for me to snap this photo!

Operation Hot Mother

Lol, that’s for my Arrested Development fan readers. Everyone else will probably just think I’m weird. (And they wouldn’t be totally wrong.)

So, I mentioned in a previous post I’m doing the Outer Banks Half Marathon this year! I did it two years ago and had a blast, though training wasn’t easy. It’s tough work, but I think it’s so sadistically fun to see your body go farther than you ever thought it could. Before doing it, 13.1 miles seemed like a long distance to drive. It’s still far, and it’s not like training this time around will be any easier, but I know my body can do it.

Fitting in workouts has become a little more complicated since Margo’s come into the picture. I’m currently doing two 3 mile runs and one 2 mile run during the week, and 1 long run on the weekends (right now it’s 4). The distances of all of the aforementioned will increase over the 3 months of training. Right now it’s a little daunting to see a 10 mile run the week before the race, but I’ll get there. I’m also aiming to get two P90X strength workouts in per week. And I just figured out how to make it so I don’t have to listen to Tony the whole time so yay, that just got way less annoying! Today I did arms & shoulders while listening to npr, during Margo’s nap. And I know I’m like the only one who likes the P90X yoga dvd, but I hope to do it every weekend on the non-long run day, or maybe switch it up with another good yoga dvd if anyone has any recs!

So yeah, that’s a pretty exhausting week! Last week, the first official week of training, I was very tired by Friday (the day of rest). I ran with the stroller for two of the three runs during the week. It’s fun to have Margo with me, but so exciting to go for runs without her! I’ve also been trying to stay honest to the tips the nutritionist gave me. I’ve been much more mindful about protein. I got some of the Whey Protein Powder from Whole Foods, and tried it in chocolate milk. Um, bad idea. I will have to try to find other things to put it in… the protein shake feels like a lot of work right now! My new favorite healthy snack is grapes and Babybel cheese! Mmmm!

This post is a little ADD, but oh well 🙂 I’m enjoying my Hot Mother regimen so far, hopefully the energy level stays up!