The last two weeks have had their ups and downs, but fortunately, there have been more ups than downs.
Levi is starting to feel more at home, both with us and with the actual house. This was evidenced by how he kept pushing boundaries as much as possible beginning two weeks ago. While this is completely normal for a child that has just learned to walk--since the horizon is suddenly three feet higher--there is even more of this here, since he hadn't had any previous boundaries established at crawling height to start from. Not only that, he is still early in the process of attaching to us as parents, so he is also pushing against our boundaries.
The worst casualties of this experimentation are our school bulletin boards in the hallway, since there was really no place to relocate those things that they would still be useful to us. Several centuries of history have been obliterated from the timelines, and key figures from the early stages of humanity have been demolished. Has anyone you know winked out of existence, lately? If so, my sincerest apologies. ;-)
This week, despite several interrupted nights that have made for long, tiring days for all members of our family (the paper-thin walls, hollow doors, and ankle-high gaps under them in our trailer don't do much to slow down the transference of sound between parts of our house), Levi seems to be fitting in more and more as a family member instead of a guest. Last weekend, Jason and I were discussing how we still felt like the babysitters... this week, I started to feel more like his mom. He would do cute things to get our attention, he would play and wrestle with the boys more, and he would be more easily comforted by Jason and I. He has become less clingy (a sign of a more secure attachment).
We have also seen Levi's natural happy-go-lucky, laid-back personality start to re-emerge, which has made him much more pleasant to be around. The sudden changes in caregivers, diet, and environment combined with teething meant that the first few weeks were mostly spent carrying around a fussy, insecure baby. The shift has been encouraging.
We have also managed to get his diet figured out a little better. We are back in the groove of creating baby food, keeping regular feeding schedules, and have started to work out just how much lactose this baby boy can handle. (Not much. Too much lactose=unpleasant diaper changing experiences.)
Speaking of diapers, I began my adventures in cloth diapering this week. So far, I haven't made Jason deal with any of the cloth ones (oops, except a wet one he took off as he was prepping Levi for bed one night), as there was about a two-month supply of disposables that came along with him we need to use up (so they stop "using up" space in our house!), so he's been in disposables at night. However, cloth diapering is way easier than I thought it would be, and I still haven't even gotten any of those flush-able paper liners for them--although I am looking forward to having them!
I got started fairly cheaply, buying most of what I needed from a friend who is past the baby stage. She had sewn the diapers herself from a kit she bought on Etsy, but had several purchased covers and other accessories that came with the package--all in all, it would have cost well over $350 to buy all that new, and she gave me a super deal at only $50. The diapers are similar to these. So, I only had to buy a few things like new fasteners (bye-bye, diaper pins! Check out the coolness of modern diaper fasteners!) and some boy-themed and slightly larger diaper covers, as the smaller pink hearts she had for her little girl aren't so stylin' on our little man. :-) I was glad to find a SAHM in Grande Prairie with a "local" online business that I could support to fill in the gaps. (www.ClothDiaperKids.com)
Cloth diapering, even only during the day for the last three days, has already had the desired effect--less garbage going out. We went from throwing away a half-to-one 22-L bag of garbage a week B.L ("Before Levi"), to a full (stinky!) one every 2-3 days after we got him, especially when we were working through the teething and lactose issues, to now going back to pretty much what we were at before. We don't have a dumpster or a burn barrel, so disposing of garbage for us is kind of an inconvenience--we have to take it to the local dump for our area, but there are only two time blocks a week that it is open, and it is about 20 minutes away in a direction we rarely travel. We prefer to save it in a couple of garbage bins until they are full, and make the trip every few months. Thank goodness, we won't be filling those up once every two weeks anymore!
Thankfully, we didn't have to sink any money into buying any disposable diapers before I got going on this. A quick trip down the baby aisle at the grocery store reminded me how outrageously priced they are, all to wrap your baby in chemical-laden plastic and paper that is inconvenient to dispose of and harmful for both the baby and the environment! I wish I would have taken the time and energy to figure out cloth with my older three boys. Oh, well... never too late to start, I guess. :-)
Enough about diapers...
In the last two weeks, Levi's preferred form of transportation has gradually morphed from crawling with a few occasional steps to walking full-time. He's getting faster and more stable, but still trips and goes "kerplunk" on his butt fairly frequently. Good thing those cloth diapers offer extra padding! (Okay, last time with the diapers. I promise.)
While most of the excitement in our home has centred on our most recent addition lately, Jude did get to go to his buddy Ethan's birthday party last Saturday. The activity for the party was that Ethan's dad (an accomplished career carpenter) helped the boys create medieval weapons from plywood.
Jude designed a rather menacing-looking sword. And posed with it.
The more things change, the more they stay the same, right?