Mar 24, 2012

Friday in pictures.

Playing with bathtub toys while mama gets ready.

Laundry: still a favorite (lost the pants)

Headed to the farm to see some animals!

It's an emu!

An inch worm found its way inside the car... Chandler was holding it so we could put him on some grass.

Hanging out with Sesame Street & Cheerios while mama cooks dinner.

Happy Weekend!

Mar 23, 2012

13 Months!

Oliver is 13 months and 13 days old!!!
I actually uploaded pictures the day before he was 13 months and well, life happened, so13 days later I'm just now filling in the gaps. :)  
He is BUSY!  
Height: no idea, probably a little taller than last month so maybe 29" 
Weight: 20lbs at least (I haven't weighed him actually so this is a guess.)
Teeth: 8  (molars are coming though, you can see them beneath his gums)
Says: Mama, Dada, NayNay for Nola, Bye Bye, Hi
Shakes his head side to side, but this doesn't necessarily mean 'no.'
(We try not to use the word 'no' so he doesn't get stuck on saying it to everything...)

I have WAY more pictures on my phone than I took on my camera.  I need to upload phone pics soon!  The overall theme for 13 months is BUSY!  He is into just about everything and is fast.

He was sick, sick, sick for an entire week with a fever of 102.  Tylenol would bring it down, but it would spike back up after a few hours.  Most of these days, it was a struggle getting much of anything done when he was awake, including getting his diaper changed!  These pictures equally make me laugh and make me sad.  He was so pitiful.  He nursed when he was awake and would sleep about seven hours during the day.  He was a sick, sick boy!  Chandler took these pictures because we couldn't stop laughing at how latched he was this day.  He would seriously not unlatch to get his diaper changed so this is how it was done.  Haha!

(sick baby in these two pictures)

Molars coming in...
Food: breakfast is normally yogurt and cherrios (sometimes fruit, nutrigrain bars, pancakes), lunch is still not consistent.  If he gets lunch, it is small and he doesn't eat a lot.  Dinner is whatever we are having.  So far the only food he's not wild about is broccoli and I think it's the way it feels in his hand because he'll eat it if I feed it to him.  

Nursing: he nurses five or more times/day and is quite the little acrobat.  Still hasn't bitten me but will test how much pressure he can use at times.  Some of my most favorite moments with him are when he's nursing and he stops to just look up and say 'mama' in his sweet little voice.  Melt. My. Heart.

Clothes: He's finally in his age size for clothing.  He has a few 6-12 month sizes an a couple 9 month sizes, but for the most part he's in 12 month or 12-18 month sizes.  His 3.5 size shoes still fit as do his 6-12m soft shoes that he primarily wears.  

Cat chasing.  A new hobby.
Where's Waldo -----> Where's Oliver.

I have so many things I need to blog so I can come back and read through them later... things like, 
....he used to pat with his whole hand, now he rests his hand in one place and pats with his fingers.  (It's the sweetest.)  ...he kisses with a big, wide open mouth.  ...he is super giggly in the morning.  ...he says 'Hi' really southern!  ...slightly velco'ed to his mama (love).  ...gets excited when Daddy comes home from work.  ...loves pulling cat tails.  ...Nola makes him laugh like no one can.

Mar 10, 2012

Diaper Details: a very long post

I've posted details about cloth diapers before, but I've been thinking that I need to break it down a little more.  One, because I think it could be helpful and two, because I want to be sure I remember which diapers I like for what stages.  

(bumGenius Elemental (AIO/OS), Clementine)

Back Row Stacks Left to Right: FuzziBunz Pocket OS, FuzziBunz Pocket OS, Rump*a*Rooz Pocket OS, bumGenius Pocket OS (there's actually one bG Freetime mixed in that stack), bumGenius Elemtental OS.  Front Row Stacks Left to Right: GroVia (AIO & AI2), Thirsties Duo Pocket Size 1, Thirsties Duo Pocket Size 1, Thirsties AIO/OS.

My thoughts on what we have...
-Duo Size 1: these were awesome when O was tiny.  I've mentioned before, and everyone will tell you, a 'one size' diaper is not really going to fit a newborn.  It's just not practical.  We have about a dozen Thirsties in Size 1 and I loved them for newborn stages.  It was still a couple of months before he fit well in them, but they were great because the fleece is soft and the gussets were really great for containing breastmilk poop.  They fit him until around five months.  I ordered a set of Size 2s, but they were huge.  At 18lbs, even the small setting was big.  I sent them back.  They are no longer a favorite for his current stage.

-I have one fitted and one cover.  I LOVE the fitted for when we need to air out - ha funny story... we went on a walk last summer and Oliver was wearing the fitted (sans cover) and a tshirt.  I forgot to grab the cover since I'm used to pocket or AIO and as we were almost home I was suddenly wet all over before realizing why... oops.  This combo is a little bulkier, but overall I like it.  I am not a fitteds type mom, but I can see why people like them.

-Thirsties All in Ones are new.  I ordered four to try them out... don't like.  They are super bulky and the snaps cause them to sit low on Oliver.  I primarily use them at night.  They take a lot longer to dry but I've found that flipping them inside out makes it speedy and they're dry about the same time as inserts.  There is a tunnel under the absorbent middle and you could stuff that with another insert for extra absorbency.  I did this the first couple of nights to be sure we didn't have any leaks, but found that it was completely unnecessary as they're super absorbent.   

-FuzziBunz were my favorite after Thirsties.  I used them both for a while but FB were my absolute favorite until we started solid food.  For some reason, the fleece is thicker and the poop stuck to it like glue.  It made for some nasty spraying.  They are decently trim and have a great fit.  I pulled them out recently and thought I needed to loosen the elastic, had some leaking when I did that and ended up going back to the original setting I'd had it on.  I rarely use FB anymore.  They're packed up in the closet with our Thirsties.  We have 17 of these.

-I'm fairly new to these.  A friend ordered a dozen and really liked them so I bought a couple to try out.  Initially, I loved them.  They are super, super soft inside and have an inner gusset that's fleece and not PUL like the Thirsties.  (PUL is the waterproof lining inside the covers.)  I loved that and I think that for a second baby I will look into buying a few in the Lil' Joey newborn sizes.  These diapers are bulky in the front.  I have the insert set on medium and it's really annoying how fluffy the front of O's pants are in this diaper.  I have been using it at night or in the mornings before he's changed out of pajamas.  We have 8 of these.

-We have one GroVia All in Two (AI2) and one All in One (AIO).  The AI2 was part of the Jillian's Drawers trial we did and I kept it when I sent some back... I LOVE the cover.  This diaper is super trim, the velcro (most companies call velcro 'hook and loop' since Velcro is a name brand, I'll refer to hook and loop as velcro because it's what I'm used to - sorry Velcro company) - so the velcro is AMAZING.  It's got teeny tiny loops and it sticks like magic.  Love.  I don't know why I don't have more of these... There's an insert that snaps inside instead of one that is stuffed.  The idea is that you snap new liners in and reuse the cover through a few changes so that you'd only need three-ish covers each day.  I think it's great for multiple children, but with one child you wouldn't have enough diaper laundry for a load every other day.  I do need to get a few more inserts and covers though.  Maybe one more cover and a pack of inserts?  Hm.  This diaper is NOT good for newborns as it doesn't contain breastmilk poop at all.

-The AIO is just okay.  It's trim but not as trim as the AI2.  I hate the snaps.  It doesn't come in a velcro style so snaps are the only option.  It has a flap for quicker dry time, which is really nice.  It's also cotton, as are the inserts for the AI2.  This is also not a good breastfed baby diaper.  Great for a solids eater though.

-bG Elementals were the first diapers we bought.  I ordered six from Cotton Babies thinking that we only needed 12 and I'd get six then and six later.  I never bought another six.  I actually hated them until recently. They were HUGE on my guy for months and months.  Now that Oliver is bigger, I LOVE bumGenius and know I know why everyone raves about them being a favorite.  They are my current favorite.  All of them.  If I had to pick one I'd say the pockets, but the Elementals are close behind.  These are by far the trimmest of all our diapers.  They are seriously just the same as a disposable with regard to trimness.  I love that.  Especially now that we're sort of in between clothing sizes.  They required a lot of prep washing, but I really really like them.  They take a while to dry, but just as with the Thirsties, I flip them and they dry faster.  Dry time is really about three times longer even still but that is mainly due to the inside being organic cotton and not polyester fleece like most other diapers.

-bG Pockets are my go-to diaper.  I am always bummed when I've gone through our almost dozen stash of them and realize I have to grab something else.  It doesn't happen often since we're only using about 6-8/day now, but I am loving them and wish we had more.  I keep ordering more.  Every week or so I'll add another to the mix.  I'll probably stop soon though because we really have plenty of diapers.  These are just the best for us right now though.  Seriously, I am LOVING these.  They are trim, the velcro gets super tight and is a great fit, they are absorbent... I actually have the insert on the small setting but the cover on medium because it reduces the bulk in the front of the diaper.  I am giddy even writing about this diaper, no joke.

-Freetime... so this is a new diaper.  It's their new All in One.  We have one.  I originally thought I'd get more, but now I think I'm good with just the one.  That may change, WHO KNOWS?!  It's essentially the same idea as the Elementals, but it's not organic cotton and it's got flaps instead of being sewn together.
Left: bG Elemental AIO OS (Twilight) Right: bG Freetime AIO (Mirror)

I mentioned that GroVia and bG were the super trim diapers - here's a comparison those two.  Under clothing, you wouldn't be able to distinguish which he was wearing, but I thought it would be good to see the width side by side.  Really, the bulk is the insert (on the left below is GroVia AIO/OS and on the right bG Elemental AIO/OS) and because these don't have an insert that automatically makes them a little more trim than other diapers, especially too because they are both cotton and not fleece/microfiber. 

Both Thirsties and Rump*a*Rooz have inner gussets.  Here's a shot at how they compare.  The Thirsties' gusset is made from PUL (the liner of the cover that makes the diaper waterproof) and is part of the cover itself and the Rump*a*Rooz gusset is made of fleece and is sewn more inside the diaper rather than part of the PUL cover. 
Top: Thirsties Duo Size 1 (Honeydew)  Bottom: Rump*a*Rooz Pocket OS (Platinum)

Top: Rump*a*Rooz Pocket OS (Platinum)  Bottom: Thirsties Duo Size 1 (Honeydew)

This next photo shows the differences in the AIO diapers.
Left to Right: GroVIa AIO, Thirsties AIO, bG Elementals AIO, bG Freetime AIO

Finally, here's a comparison of GroVia AIO (left) and GroVia AI2 (right).  You can see on the left how the flap has a snap so you could add extra for more absorbency.  I never use it.  I will say however, if you aren't using that extra snap-in and you miss the first pee and a second pee happens, you will have a leak.  I've only had it happen once because I'm pretty robotic about checking for a wet diaper, but it's not fun when it does happen.  And if I could only find the extra snap-in, I'd just use it so I wouldn't have to worry... :)  I really only use this diaper because of the cute airplane print because the snaps are just awful!  Also below, it appears that the insert on the right is longer than the diaper cover, it's not.  It's just the way it's laying on the table... the cover stretches and fits well over the insert, which snaps in at both the front and back.

I think this just about covers every detail I can think of with regard to diapering.  Whew.  I doubt I'll write another post this in depth about cloth diapers again.  I might modify this post and write a new post that just let's you know I've updated it... but I think I'm done. :)  Before I really knew much about using cloth and the different types, I wish I'd found something that showed pictures like this comparing.  I think it would have helped me a little, so I hope it helps someone else.  I tend to stick to the 'name brands' and haven't ventured out to the smaller, newer companies like Kiwi Pie, Tot Bots, Blueberry, etc... There are also a lot of moms who make their own diapers.  I have a friend who does this and her diapers are so, so cute!

If you're new to cloth, thinking about trying it, or just want to try some new types, I cannot say enough good or encourage you enough to sign up for the trial at Jillian's Drawers.  You basically pay about $150 up front, get a package of about a dozen NEW diapers of different brands and styles and try them for two weeks.  You can either send them all back and get a refund of all but $10 OR you can keep what you want and send the rest back.  I ended up keeping several of mine.  

I primarily order my diapers from Diaper Junction because they have a points program and I've been able to earn enough points for several free diapers.  Also, they're local for me and I love being able to support that... and because they are awesome girls who love cloth diapering and know tons and tons of information!  It also helps that I get my orders overnight since they're just a few (or 40) minutes away.

One last thing... Rump*a*Rooz recommends a different wash routine than ALL of the other diapers.  It's because they use TPU instead of PUL.  The difference is a little more eco-friendly because it's thermal instead of chemical bonding.  Gotta love that... because of that, they recommend Tide over other non-additive, enzyme free detergents.  I was bothered by the disturbance of my routine and had several long conversations with a few companies.  What I found was that it ultimately does not matter what kind of detergent you use (the exception is anything free & clear, still stay away from those) as long as you RINSE, RINSE, RINSE.  So... with that, we switched to Tide and added an extra rinse.


Now, my wash routine (with an HE front loader) is as follows:
-Rinse & Spin (cold/cold) with water booster (diapers only)
-Normal Hot/Cold cycle - I use about a teaspoon of Country Save in the pre-wash and then Tide in the regular detergent spot... the amount varies on the diaper load I have, but it's usually about half the amount suggested by the manufacturer for a regular load.   Both the amount of Country Save and Tide changes each wash cycle more or less depending on how dirty my diapers are, how long it's been since I last washed, and how many diapers are in the load.  If you want details, email me.  I add an extra rinse and push the button for water booster during this cycle.  I add my wet bags to this cycle.  Usually, I fill a wet bag with some water to trick the washer into thinking there is a big load so I get more water.  LOTS of water is the key to cleaner diapers.
-Rinse & Spin (hot/cold) with water booster.  I sometimes add an extra rinse to this rinse.

Sometimes I hang dry my covers, but most of the time I toss everything in the dryer on low heat for 40 minutes.  If any inserts are still damp where they're folder and snapped, I take the covers out and dry the inserts for 20 minutes on medium or high heat.  When I used FuzziBunz, I had enough that I could hang dry my covers and it wasn't a big deal... now I usually want whatever diapers I just washed which is why I usually just toss them in the dryer.

Mar 7, 2012

To-Do List

There are so many things I've been wanting to post lately.  And by 'lately' I mean for several months now.  There just never seems to be enough time.  That, or I waste that time I *do* get hanging out on Facebook and Pinterest instead of doing things I'd really rather do... I'm slowly learning.  Actually, I've found that I'm much happier and productive when I'm off the computer.  Peeling myself away is a completely different story however.  It's hard to do.

I'm thinking that if I post the things I want to eventually publish here, then I'll actually get them done.

-One year post birth reflection.  I've been thinking about these things pretty much since eight or ten months ago.  Where I am today, things I'd do differently, thinking about another one, etc...
-Cloth diapers, broken down into brand and personal thoughts with pros/cons, etc...
-Baby gear in general, things that worked for us - things I wouldn't have wanted to live without - things that were a complete waste, etc...
-Being a mom/parenting/making-decisions-for-another-human-being/etc...
-Oliver & Nola.  :)

I think that covers it.  These are the ones that keep swirling around.  Now I have a sudden energy to write - right now.  But alas, time to close my screen and get some real work done around here.  Much to do!

"Sometimes I'd like to ask God why He allows poverty, famine, and injustice in the world when He could do something about it, but I'm afraid God would ask me the same question."
You don't change the world by trying to change the world; you change the world by changing yourself.
-Gerry Straub