Today is the five month birthday of our sweet little man. I cannot believe we've had him for almost 3 months! I also cannot believe how much things have changed in the last 10 years.
I have babies I've had three babies. I even used diapers with all 3 of my children. However, I ventured recently back into the cloth diaper world. These things are fancy! When my son was little, 16 years ago, we simply had tri fold cloth diapers. You fold the diaper, pin it (and try not to poke yourself or the baby) and cover the cloth with a thin, un-decorative vinyl cover. This could get messy, smelly, was usually bulky, but it was definitely less expensive than the standard disposable diaper.
Things have not changed that much today. However now these diapers are all in one. And I don't have to worry about diaper pins! I love that! I don't personally care about what is covering my sons rear end, however, I do enjoy the cammo dinosaurs over the plain white plastic. It is much cuter. However I do have to look at the cost. Reusable cloth, even at today's fancy price, is still cheaper than the traditional disposable. It is still significantly higher than it was 16 years ago. I know the cost of living has gone up - along with everything else, but when I used to pay about $10 for a pack of 6 and now I am happy paying $10 for A hand-me-down cloth diaper. That is a significant change.
Then there's baby food. With all 3 of my bio-kids I made their baby food. I did this partially because I was broke and could not afford to buy store bought baby food. I also knew that homemade baby food was significantly healthier. While I'm not a total health nut, (just don't ask my children), I want to make sure I start my children out on the right foot. That means lean meat and lots of green vegetables. I think that we are programmed to enjoy sweet things, so fruit is easy, butternut squash, not so much.
You can still buy the standard Gerber 2 ounce jars of baby food at any grocery store. But now there are so many options for making homemade baby food! When my big kids were little you simply made it in a blender and you were done. Now there are multiple options to make this a much easier task for working parents, "lazy cooks," like me, or even newbies freshly venturing into this wonderful world. Personally, I will be sticking to the basics. I have my ninja and kitchen aid (I LOVE the juicer/sauce maker!) and figure that will do the trick for as long as I will need it to.
Another thing I have noticed that has changed a lot is the toys.
Have you noticed that nearly every children's toy these day take batteries? There are so many electronics! I realize that the toys makers are trying to make 'educational toys,' but they no longer require an imagination, just batteries. These are a royal pain to clean during flu season! I don't mind the noise. I do mind the noise of a sick kid, though. I prefer the toys that I can throw in the dishwasher, or washer machine, quickly sanitize, and hand back with for them to play. I don't like spraying Lysol on something that my baby is going to put in his mouth.
My sons favorite toys when he was two was a pan, and wooden spoons from the dollar store. He has his own cabinet in the kitchen. Not only would he open the cabinet and pull out his "toys," he would get inside the cabinet and drum on his toy! I can recall a time about 13 years ago when we bought a new refrigerator. That new refrigerator came with a really big, brand new playhouse. Also known as a refrigerator box. My oldest daughter and my son played in the box for over a month. I finally took that box and put it outside. They played in it for another 2 weeks. I thought we were done with that box. It sat out in the rain and dew for weeks. That box would not die! Finally it magically disappeared one day when the trash man came :(
Just recently we had to buy a new washer and dryer. We also got the pedestals. Of course they came in a beautiful, brown, cardboard box. Both of my girls, 10 and 12 at the time, still thoroughly enjoyed playing in the boxes. I noticed that their friends did as well... I had to throw them away after they would not stand up on their own. These are classic toys! Any child would love these. Not everything has to be electronic, light up, or take batteries.
Where do you find the simple classic toys? Without paying a fortune (or buying new appliances). I love my leapfrog magnets on the fridge. However, they are quite pricey. This is part of the reason my fridge is a giant chalk board. It's great if a child can recognize the letters, but they really need to also learn to write the letters as well. Penmanship is not taught in school - we have to teach it at home.
It's more than just toys and diapers that have changed. Have you looked at baby gear lately? My sweet little man does not like taking a bath. It's too bad. As much as he spits up, we take a daily bath. Sometimes three or four baths a day. He will fight and will not sit still. He is too small to sit in a bath seat of any kind, and his little baby bath is apparently uncomfortable. I decided to look online for alternatives. I was shocked to find a baby bath that acts as a mini Jacuzzi! Not only does it vibrate and help the child to sit up, it cost over $50. Are you kidding me? What child needs a vibrating bath tub? What is the point of this? Why do we, as parents, spend so much on unnecessary items? After already having three children I have learned what is and what is not necessary. When we first got our little man and had to make an emergency trip to the store, I remembered many of these things. I have not gone back to get many. Bottle drying racks what's the point? I have a counter and don't need one more thing to clutter it up. I can see the purpose of it, but do not see the necessity. (I was given one - I use it, but would not buy one.)
Bottles, are necessities when formula feeding. $30 bottles are available, but not a necessity. I honestly do not see how the $30 dollar bottle can reduce colic better than a two dollar bottle. I know that every parent has their own opinions and desires for their child, however. in the end we all have the same goal in mind, only the best for a sweet baby. We always want them to have better than we had, to do better than us, and to experience only the best in life. However at what cost do we stop? Do we give them anything and everything no matter what the cost? Are we willing to file for bankruptcy just to make sure our children have the best? I think that it is wonderful that so many parents are able to provide the best of the best for their children. I don't see the need for $300 baby swing (yeah I found one!). The $10 used one I bought is more than sufficient for what I need. I could not see the difference in the three hundred dollar ones and the $50 one brand new.
Along with all of this I have also remembered God's great sense of humor. I love my son. When I had him I was a new mom and learned a lot with him. When I had my second child, I knew there would be many things that were very different. God made us all special and he loves each one of us. He made us all unique, although in His image. When I had my 3rd I was shocked. There are three sides to the spectrum? I knew there would be opposites somewhere, but I did not know there was a third side to this opposite!
Now that I have a fourth I am remembering Gods great sense of humor also includes many, many sides. This little man is so completely different from any other baby that I've had. Talking about just his medical needs, those are minor. He's a very healthy baby boy. I'm talking about his personality. The things he does, his reactions, giggles, his gassy-ness, all very different from the other three children that I gave birth to. It can't be a cultural thing, he came to us straight out the hospital. He had no time to learn any culture. This is a human thing. This is God showing me that although each and every one of us is so totally and completely different, we are all covered with the fingerprints of God.
I can only imagine how it will be one day when we're in heaven. Here on earth I can see my husband in my son. I can see my mother in my oldest daughter. I can see much of myself and my youngest daughter. I can also see a lot of my father in my son. Even my stepfather has had enough influence on my oldest daughter that I can see some of him in her. There is no blood relations, but she has picked up a lot from him. I have also noticed the big kids pointing out how the baby is like grandma, momma, brother or sister. So how much more are we going to be like our Heavenly Father? He created us. All of us. He created us in His image. That's in Genesis. Knowing that because I came from my mother, I am a lot like her, how much more am I like my Heavenly Father?
The last 3 months have been a wonderful adventure. I am very thankful that I've had this time with my sweet boy. Although we still have not heard about parental rights, anything about court, or gotten much information from CPS or the caseworkers, I stick with the verse that God will never leave me nor forsake me, and also to be content with the things that I have. God reminds me daily that I need to be content that I have him. Be content that I am able to give him a good foundation. Even if he were to leave us tomorrow, heaven forbid! I can have peace knowing that I love him, hopefully made him feel secure, read to him from the Bible, sang him gospel songs, and at least planted a seed of hope in him for when he's older. It's all any of us can do for any of our children.
Although I did not give birth to him, and he can leave at any time., isn't that the truth with all of our children? We don't know what hope what tomorrow holds. I could lose any of my children at any time for any reason. My job while here on earth is simply too teach them what God wants me to teach them, and do the best that I can. With God's help I know that I will, and that I can.