Sunday, January 26, 2014

Keeping it real

My poor neighbors have to look at my diapers drying in the front yard.. Our back yard is too shady this time of year... And doing our part to conserve water= ugly lawn! 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Cloth Diapering as a newbie.. Even though I'm a 5th time mama

Why did I decide to cloth diaper now with my last child...child number 5 ask?

Well ... Rewind 17 years to pregnancy number mom tells me: you should use cloth it's so much better for the baby...   My immediate reaction was ...ewww no way!  The mere thought of having to be that involved with poop was not appealing... Not to mention there were not all the great new products we have now to make it so much easier.... Pretty sure it was the same tri fold cotton diaper and plastic pants they had back when I was a baby.!!
Fast forward to baby number two three years later. ... Still the same thought process... Fast forward 7years to baby number three... The thought didn't even cross my mind and not one person even mentioned the idea to me...then 5 years ago when I was pregnant with baby number 4. I see all these adorable cloth diaper booties and all the darling diaper covers and that caught my attention ... If it's cute I'm interested... So, I did the research and thought about it and talked to Chad about it and last minute I chickened out... Once again dealing with the poop so intimately freaked me out... Then last year ....surprise....I'm pregnant with number 5, and over the course of my pregnancy I talked to a few different friends who actually use cloth diapers and they made it seem doable.  So hours and hours of research later... I decide ok I am going to do it this time!  

I got a bunch of disposable newborn diapers and some size ones at my baby shower and I knew I didn't want to start cloth immediately because I didn't want to have to buy newborn and then bigger cd's-(will refer to cloth diapers as cd from now on) and from what I read it's easier when they are a bit older anyway.  

When he was 6 weeks old I purchased my diapers, diaper pail liner, wet bag for my diaper bag, special laundry soap, tea tree essential oil, special cd safe rash cream and cut out my reusable wipes.... More on those later!

My hubby was not super excited about using cloth before we started, but said we could give it a try.. and now he will tell you he likes it so much better.. we had to use disposable on our recent trip to Puerto Rico and we both hated it.. blow outs right up his back a few times- which never happens with cloth.

There are soooo many brands of cloth diapers out there it is overwhelming, I chose Grovia because they came highly recommended from a few friends and they seemed like a good fit for us.

I purchased brand new grovia brand shells and diapers from a local cloth diaper company Bum Rite diapers, but I also purchased some shells and inserts used from our local cloth diaper exchange.  I really like this brand, the system is easy.. they are Hybrids and can be used a few different ways. The first way is with a snap in insert that snaps into the shell.. I prefer the Organic cotton ones to the fleece... the fleece isn't as absorbent and gets stinkier... I have both types. The second way is by just laying a tri fold- organic cotton again... that I purchased from green mountain diapers into the shell, I love these... nice and absorbent. Third option is to use a special disposable insert made by grovia.. I have some of these also and keep them for emergencies.  The best part is you can reuse the shells a few times through out the day if there is no over flow onto the shell. I also love that the shells are adjustable so as your baby grows you change the rise snaps and either the velcro or snaps at the waist. I have both but prefer the snaps,

I purchased one pail liner Kissaluvs Antibacterial Pail liner to start and it was a huge pain to wait for it to dry so I bought a second one to use while the first one is washing and drying ...  buy two to start! I use them in my ubbi pail.

I bought a darling wet bag for my diaper bag and it has worked perfect so far! Its made by Logan and Lenora.

The grovia diaper inserts are not absorbent enough for my heavy wetter all night, so I purchased some used good mama fitted diapers and some covers... I also use the grovia shells as a cover. I happen to love these also!

There is a learning curve for washing, you have to prep new diapers for absorbency by washing them about 8 times before use.  I also washed my used ones in hot water a couple times before use. I started by using Planet Laundry Soap and then Country Save.. With my water and washing machine the planet is the one I have stuck with... The country Save doesn't seem to clean the diapers as well with our water and leaves a residue that causes some red skin on baby's bottom.

I wash my diapers every 2 days. I do a pre rinse then wash on warm with an extra rinse at the end. I hang all shells and covers and pail liner to dry.. I dry all inserts, cloth wipes and tri folds in the dryer on medium heat.  If there is staining from poo, I hang the inserts and trifolds out in the sun for an hour or two and BAM just like magic they go back to being fluffy and white! Even on over cast days this works, so amazing!

I made my cloth wipes out of receiving blankets (about 80-100) and it takes me about 10-15 minutes once a week to pre moisten my wipes for use. I use 2 cups boiled water, 1/3 cup melted coconut oil, 1/4c California baby soap and 6 drops tea tree oil.. then I moisten wipes and squeeze most of water out and fold my wipes so they come out of the containers like regular wipes. They smell amazing and work awesome.

The initial expense for full time cd stash is 200-300$ or more if you go crazy, but the savings is huge and its so nice to not have to run to the store to buy diapers.. we never run out. We love that we aren't putting chemicals on his bum and not adding to the land fill.  One thing we didn't prepare for is needing bigger pants to go over the poofy diaper booty.. not a big deal but good to know.  You cant tell when the diapers are full like disposables until its too late, so we change him every 2-3hours during the day. We haven't had to deal with real poop yet so I will do another post in a few months when we get to that stage.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

My Thoughts on Our Baby Gear

A few posts ago I shared some of the baby and maternity items that I had purchased and I have since used them all .. And am sharing my thoughts on those items and maybe a couple others as well.

I bought this Baby Be Mine gown for the hospital and it was so worth it to feel pretty and have a fresh clean new gown of my own... The shoulders unsnap for breast feeding just like a regular hospital gown and it was nice for photos. I sold it to a friend who is due soon for half the price I paid .. If I was a first time parent I would have kept it for the next time... But we are done!

The Milkies Milk Saver is one of my favorite purchases and I really recommend it.. It works amazingly. It goes on the breast you are not nursing on... And when your milk lets down it goes into the milk saver....It is a tad big and bulky....which makes it  not very convenient when you have company or are in public... But in private you can use it once or twice a day and stock up milk.  I can usually get 3-4oz if I use it twice a day...having it handy to where you feed baby is key. 

The jury is still out on this one. Shrinkx hip shrinker....  I find it hard to sit down while wearing it so i don't wear it often enough.  

In theory this Puj Tub would be a great product reality it didn't work any of the sinks in my vintage house which caused it to come apart.... not safe or comfortable for baby at that point.    I ended up returning this because it wasn't working for me, the only good things about it are it was easy to store and I like the color.   I replaced it with this tub.....

The Fisher Price Little Lamb Vibrating tub.. It is great!  I can hang it up on the shower curtain rod to dry, the hammock part is super comfy.. Chad was saying they should make those for adult bath tubs! I have not used the vibrating part.. just have not felt like messing with batteries.  This tub has plenty of room and I will be able to use it for quite awhile and it was less money than the PUJ.

I really like the Cool Wazoo... I really have only used it one of the many ways it can be used... as a changing pad and laying it on the ground for Parker to hang out on.  My only complaint is it is a bit big and bulky when folded in my diaper bag.  It washes well and is a great size for changing baby on.

This is the Ubbi Diaper Pail ... I love it! It was pricey but so far it has been great. You can use any trash bag in it for disposables or a pail liner for cloth diapers.  We used disposables for the first 2 months and just started with cloth... more on that in another post... and with both types of diapers there is absolutely no smell... unless you leave the little door on top open. The pail is super cute.. comes in many colors and is made of stainless steel... the only thing you have to be careful of is not to overfill it or it makes it hard to get the bag out.

I am still looking for a baby monitor.. there are a ton of choices ... I know I want one with good range a big viewing screen and the ability to talk to the kids from the parents unit.. in case the bigger two are bugging the baby! Still doing my research.

I purchased this stroller after tons of research and a recommendation from a friend. Its the city select stroller by baby jogger
It can be configured 14 or 16 different ways.. it comes in tons of colors... this is the color that we got...we have the baby bassinet that goes on it so its like a pram.. which Parker Loves! We can pop our car seat on it and I purchased a second seat so Scarlette can ride when needed.. the seats pop on and off easily, it folds easily, I love all the configuration options, it has a hand break which is awesome, it isn't a jogging stroller... which is fine for us. It is expensive.. but so far it is soo worth it.

I am off to do chores and headed to a clothing swap with my girlfriends.

*all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Parker Grey's Birth

My sweet boy is two months old today...sniff...and I'm just now getting around to writing his birth story. 

His due date was September 20th... But I really wanted to have him the 5th or 6th... Those dates came and went ...even though I begged my Dr., he wouldn't strip my membranes that early.....doing so has always started my labor.

 Finally ....September 10th he did strip my membranes and told me he doubted anything would happen because I was only 2cm and my cervix was still pretty thick.  I went home and was slightly uncomfortable the rest of the day and didn't sleep well that night.

I woke up the morning of September 11th.. Not the day I would choose for my child's birthday... Only because there is so much sadness associated with this date. I was awake at 6am and was having contractions 10 min apart, I timed them for and hour and then called my husband who was 3 hours from home on business. He of course got stuck in bay area traffic coming home ....which made us both nervous because my labors go pretty quick.  I sent my Dr. a text and let him know I was in labor...he called me and said don't wait too long to go to the hospital.   Chad finaly arrived home about 10:30 and he said "you are not in enough pain" meaning: are you sure about this?  

We got to the hospital around 11am and ran into my BFF Tiffanie who had just had Parkers bff  Kohen three days before.   The nurses checked me and I was still only 2cm... They had me walk for an hour to see if I would make any progress... So we got back to the room about 12:15 and had only made a tiny bit of progress so they were going to send us home... But they had to monitor the baby for 30 minutes first to make sure he was ok.  During that time Tiffanie and Kohen were discharged and thought we were going home too... 

I said to the Dr. " these contractions are hurting  and you want me to go home"?Over the course of the 30 minutes of monitoring the Dr. Realized that I was my contractions were getting serious and decided I could stay... 12:45 at that point. 

 It took them 4 tries and almost an hour and finally the Dr. had to start my iv... In between really strong contractions. This was miserable and  I was bruised for over a week in 3 places... Apparently my veins are hard to find.... Which I knew from previous labors but this time was the worst.   

Once that problem, was resolved he broke my water which always turns up the conrtactions and pain for me. Pretty much from then on I felt the need to push but wasnt fully dilated so they kept telling me not to... So I was literally squeezing my knees together trying to hold him in!  

My hubby was so great and was my rock... He really helped me remain calm and breathe through the PAIN! Yes, he has been there 4 other times but this time seemed different to me.  We were both nervous for me and the baby since I am in the lovely advanced maternal age category.😖such a hideous title.

 Finally it was time to push and push i did... He came flying out in one push and according to my mom and Chad the Dr. almost dropped him because he was not expecting him to  fly out in one push.  

Thank goodness I didn't go home because he was born at 3:15pm.

He was my biggest baby at 8 lbs 6 oz 21" long.  Thank goodness he was early or he would have been gigantic!!!! Yikes!!

My claim to fame....... I have had 5 babies with out an epidural!

Me and my precious family minus my Gabby girl... She was there but was grouchy and didnt want to be in the photo.  😞

She made up for it later that evening with this:

I took a snap shot of it so I would have it to look back on.. Because moments like that are rare and special. 

The next day after school .. All of my babies together!  

Kohen and Parker meet for the first time! 
Time to go home!!!! 

Today on his two month birthday at his two month check up... Fat and happy.
This boy is getting huge fast... He weighed in at 13 pounds 6.5oz. And 24.5inches long.  He is now in the 95th% for weight and 90th% for height! Funny thing is he is a pound lighter at this age than Graham was! 

We love him to pieces and can't imagine life without him! 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

"What I do all day"

*i started Parker's birth story post and will post that in the next day or so. But this just had to be done. 

My eldest daughter had the nerve to ask me ... In the worlds snottiest voice " what do you even do all day."

I was really offended, upset and hurt.... Basically she thinks I am a lazy slob. So I said." I am going to write down what I do all day, as I do it so you can see . 

So here is what I did all day today...

7am made sure you and Gwen were up.  740 got up helped g get ready for school Went back to bed at 8. Fed baby 830 went back to bed until 10. ( yes I went back to bed ...I'm tired... Baby wakes Up in middle of night and I went to bed at midnight). Let dog out. Fed sgs breakfast and ate now 1030. Check bank balance. Txt a couple people! 1035. Going to poop now!(tmi.. Sorry... Just keeping it real ) Answer txts. 10:41. Deal with txts for Gwen's schedule. Fold and put away some laundry. Try to get Matt to come sign off my tickets. 1052. Called your dad. Gather maternity clothes to give back to Jenny. Change diaper ..Gather other maternity clothes to sell. Feed baby. Txt you while feeding baby. 1132. Answer door, get mail. Open mail. Talk to Owens. Matt came by to fix tickets. (Fixit tickets)Still in my robe:-/12:25 make sgs lunch. Hard boiling eggs for lunches. Making grocery list 1235 go to bathroom. change diaper while bacon for my lunch is probably burning. Cut up strawberries otherwise no one eats and they go bad. 12:54 make myself a sandwich. Remove hard boiled eggs from stove into fridge... Try to eat lunch. Parker hates that plan. Eat lunch ...flip through magazine while bouncing Parker's seat with my foot. Stop to wipe sgs bottom ....finished sandwich while holding baby. 1:11 now feeding baby and talking to auntie. 1:35 tidy up a few things. Clean doll cabinet and put on porch for lady who is buying it. Took baby upstairs with me so I could do laundry and get ready .. He hates the plan of not being held. Trying to get him to sleep. Got him to sleep1:57. Look through cabinets for products for you and Gwen 2:04. Go down stairs to appreciate sgs puzzle she worked so hard on. Back upstairs to start a load of laundry. Not enough darks .. Back down stairs to grab littles darks .. Load started 2:13 try to make my self look human. Talk to you while doing makeup, talk to Tiffanie while trying to finish makeup... Answer txts about ballet clothes for Margaret's daughter. Go potty. 2:41. Finally brush teeth(Gross I know)😝run downstairs to get dance stuff together for Margaret and bag up Jenny's maternity stuff. 2:51. Start bath water... Back to makeup ... Done finally. 2:55. Left to get Gwen 3:01 back at 3:27. Get in bath while eating a fiber bar ... Bath water is now cold ... Not fun 3:32 did get arm pits shaved at least. Help sgs with tooth paste.. Switch laundry. Get dressed. 3:41. Change diaper and load kids in car. 3:48 arrived at studio and visited with my friends while sgs danced.(yes, I spent an hour with my friends instead of doing stuff around the house) Now at gymnastics 5:24. Get home Change super poopy diaper & change baby's clothes. Get kids dinner 6:50. Grab crying baby so I can eat dinner in peace. Finished eating 704. Washed dinner plates picked up crying baby 7:09 hold grumpy baby while trying to drink glass of wine and read magazine. Try to get baby to sleep argue with Gwen 7:35. Put on sweat shirt and hold baby. Sit and hold baby while talking to you. Bathed, & dressed baby 8:27. Tucked your sibs in. Feeding baby. 842. Sold doll canbinet to lady for 20$ ...held baby in kitchen and ate nuts. 9:10Walked with your dad and Parker ...Back from walk at 10:25. Fold baby's laundry .. Make hot chocolate ...drink while folding rest of clothes ..put clothes away... pick up a few things make lunches .. Stuff some more dishes in all ready full dishwasher and run it .. Cut flat of strawberries up because first batch is all ready gone. 11:50. Wash face brush teeth get pj's on. 12:04am. Read this in bed.... Does that answer your question of what I do all day?!?!

Now I shall sleep... 12:36am 

Oh and baby woke to eat at 2:40am .. Changed his diaper and fed him and for some reason is still awake at almost 4am.  (Which is weird because he usually goes back to sleep easily)

And Scarlette has joined the party.,, woke up scared! 
I do not like being awake at 4am!!!!!!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Items for me and Baby

 Three posts in three days... its a record for me this year.. I have missed blogging and hope to be back at it more consistently... life has just been super busy... yes, I know I'm adding a 5th child to the equation... but,  I have been working at the shop and doing child care at home as well as taking care of my kids etc.

 I will still be working at the shop and making things at home for the shop.. but I decided doing child care on top of it all was just too much... So, I am hoping that by eliminating that I will have a bit more time for my home, family, crafts, blogging and me time!

 I thought I would share some of the fun items I purchased for me and the baby.... I unfortunately had given away or sold pretty much every thing after Scarlette was done with it.  With the exception of my vintage high chair, a pack n play and a few clothes from when Graham was a baby.  Friends have given me some nice hand me down items and threw me a shower so I pretty much have everything I need at this point other than a video monitor, which I will not need for a bit.... until he is in his crib in the nursery with Graham and Scarlette. Then it will be an absolute necessity... because I fear Scarlette deciding she needs to sleep with him in his crib... because she has all ready asked if he could sleep in her bed with her! YIKES  If you have and recommendations on a great video monitor with a large screen and the ability to talk to the kids through it I would love to hear about it ... Oh and not SUPER expensive!

This cute hospital gown by Baby be Mine... because this is soo much more fun than the ones the Hospital provides.

Isabelle Gownie

I thought I would try this out as a way to help collect milk for when I have to go work in the shop. It is called Milkies milk saver... you use it on the side you are not nursing on and it is supposed to catch any milk that leaks... We shall see how it actually works! It is a lot bigger than I thought it would be.

I ordered a tummy belt/girdle for after to help shrink my belly back... Last time I used the Brook Burke one and it was pricey so I read amazon reviews and decided to try this much less expensive one based on the fact it received good reviews. It is made by underworks.  Again we shall see how it works and if it works as well as the one I had before.

I also ordered a hip shrinker when it was on sale on Zulilly. It is made by Shrinkx and supposedly works great! I will be lovely and all wrapped up... but we have a trip planned to Puerto Rico in January and I can not look like a big old blob!


For the baby I ordered this fun Tub... Called the Puj Tub.. I love that it is flat when not in use..... so much less bulky  than the regular baby tubs. The Photo below is when it is flat!

I saw this on shark tank way before I was pregnant and thought that is such a great idea!  It's called the Cool Wazoo.  It happened to be on sale on Zulilly so I purchased it. Its a changing pad, high chair cover, cart cover and a park swing insert to keep your baby from getting too hot in the swing. I all ready know this will get a ton of use!

I will try to do a post after I have tried all these items out and let you know what I think of everything. We are still working on the nursery.. It is almost done and I will share photos of that as well!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Maternity Photos

I decided it was a must to do Maternity photos this time ... being that it is #5 (& LAST) and I have never  done professional photos during pregnancy! So here they are.. I am very happy we did them!

This is my FAVE... me and all my babies!

Parker is the name we finally decided on! Not an S or G name but his middle name will be Grey... so he will still have a "G" name in there.

My BFF and I ended up being pregnant together and our babies are due 11 days apart.. and she is having a boy also... so we needed to have a double belly photo.

 My belly looks sooo much bigger but she is due first!  

I'm happy to have these!  
I have gained a TON of weight.... a ton!   more than any other time GULP... Lots of hard work in the near future but I've done it a few times before so I think I will be ok! 

Hopefully it will not be much longer.. I'm ready for this little man.
In the mean time I am enjoying some one on one time with my current baby Scarlette Grace.