Thursday, April 25, 2013

11 months old!

Happy 11 months!  That sweet toothy grin of yours melts my heart! :)
 
Some things we want to remember from your 10th month of life...
 
 
You have become a food-eating machine.  I can't keep enough eggs, avocados, bananas & happypuffs in the house!  Those are some of your favorites :)
 
You have a total of 8 teeth now, four on top & four on the bottom; although I suspect from all the drool that there are more on the way.
 
You started to point & clap this past month & it's so fun to enjoy these new forms of communication with you.  You mimic clapping & also do it when excited.  You point at things you want or things you want mom to describe to you. 
 
Pictures of animals, balls & stuffed animals have become some of your new favorites this month.
 
You took your second swim class & "swam" under water for the first time this month!
 
You started to give "kisses" this month, & by kisses I mean licks!   When I ask you to give me a kiss you give me a nice big lick--hilarious & super slobbery, but I love it...perhaps, Bob taught you how to give kisses ;)
 
And something we definitely don't want to forget, you took your first STEPS at 10 months!  Just 3 days shy of your 11 month birthday.  You are gaining ground & taking more & more steps each day.  You will be full out walking before we know it!
 
Ephram & "Sled", your husky pup
 
 
 
Here are a couple of videos, one of you "giving kisses" & the other of you taking steps!
 
 
video
 
 
 
video

Friday, April 19, 2013

Cloth Diapering [what's working for us]

 
 
Before Ephram was born, I shared our plan for cloth diapering & some of the ways we were prepping for it. 


Two months into it, I shared our routine & go-to products in a two part series, found here: Part 1 & Part 2
 
Ephram is almost one year old now {how can it be!} and we are still loving our decision to cloth diaper.  I have realized over the past year how many cloth diapering options are out there & have changed up some of my recommendations & routine since last posting so I figured it was time for an update!
 
 
First things first [Our Stash]:
 
 
 
I started out with 21 diapers, the 18 BG Pockets, 2 BG Elementals & 1 FuzziBunz Pocket.  This was really perfectly suitable for us during the first 6-7 months of diapering.  I was doing laundry about every 2-2 1/2 days and Ephram wasn't soaking through the diapers too quickly.
 
Around 7 months, E began soaking his diapers more heavily through the night & it was necessary to stuff the diapers at nighttime with more than just the microfiber insert.  We were given some hemp inserts to try & combined with the microfiber BG insert, they helped keep him dry through the night. The one drawback of this was that stuffing the diaper with two hemp doublers & a microfiber insert made for one HUGE diaper.  These were also 100% hemp inserts which become kind of "crispy" over time, so although they retain A LOT of liquid, they did not seem to be the most comfortable for a nighttime solution.
 
Enter Itty Bitty Boo.  After researching nighttime solutions I decided to invest in 3 Itty Bitty Boo Fitted Diapers.  Ephram was in between a medium & large at the time, so I went with the large and have been very pleased!  These diapers are made of organic cotton & bamboo, are super soft, absorbant and have detachable snap inserts so you can customize the diaper for your baby's needs.  Itty Bitty Boo was one of the more affordable nighttime solutions...many are made of wool & hemp & can be quite pricey per diaper.  These were a fairly reasonable $19 and being organic was a plus too!  You do need a cover for fitted diapers because the diaper is designed to be completely soakable.  The waterproof cover keeps the wetness from the diaper from soaking your baby too!  These diapers wick away from the skin very well--the whole diaper will be soaked by morning, and yet baby boy's bum is completely dry!  Love it:)  We consider these a must-have in our stash, but did not need them until Ephram was about 6-7 months old, so it is a purchase you can hold out on.  I also purchased mine from Kelly's Closet when they were having one of their many sales & got a free BG Freetime AIO diaper!  Love free things!
 
 
I do have to say that the BumGenius Free Time AIO is a GREATLY improved AIO!  It is designed to decrease line drying time, which was one of the main reasons I decided not to go with AIOs & basically dries as quickly as my pockets now.  The inserts, which are sewn into the cover, also have a little pocket attached where you could stuff additional inserts if you have a heavy wetter!  It is a bit more pricey than the pockets, but if you like the convenience of AIOs it may be worth it.
 
Personally, I still LOVE my pockets. They are very customizable...I can put all sorts of inserts in them, double or even triple up on them & they dry very quickly.  The price tag on these was right for us & I don't mind stuffing diapers every few days so it works well for us!
 
 
Right after Ephram was born, Cotton Babies (the makers of BumGenius) came out with a new hybrid diaper system called Flip.   I had some credit to Kelly's Closet {another reason I love buying from them! You earn credit for every dollar spent with them!} and so decided to give them a try.  Basically for $50-$60 you can either get 2 covers with 6 microfiber inserts or 2 covers with 8 organic cotton inserts. Disposable inserts are also an option, but I haven't really found a need for those. I forked over the extra $10 and went with the organic cotton inserts. I have found the Flip Diaper System to be a great system for two main reasons:

Day trip outings
Budget Friendly Cloth Diapering

For $120 you could get 4 covers & 16 organic inserts & have a starter stash which is a GREAT deal!
My starter stash of 18 diapers was $250. If you are wanting to cloth diaper but don't feel you can afford it, this may be a game changer :)

For our family, these diapers have been an awesome option for outings!  In the past, when we would go out for the day (or any span of time where I would need more than 2 diapers), I would either have to pack a separate bag of cloth diapers because I couldn't fit them all into my diaper bag, or use disposable. 
I would much prefer to use my diapers over disposable, after all, that's what we were trying to avoid, right?  But carrying around a separate bag full of diapers can be cumbersome!

Flip has totally changed outings for us!  I can carry all 8 inserts with me & one cover & it takes up about as much space in my diaper bag as two of my pocket diapers!  YAY!  I can also see how these would make traveling with cloth diapers more feasible--again, you wouldn't have to have a whole separate suitcase for diapers!  My Flip inserts are less absorbent than my pockets, but for outings this hasn't bothered me, as the extra inserts still take up less room in my bag than my pocket diapers would.

That's our stash for you---I don't much care for my FuzziBunz (at least in comparison to my other diapers) but they are nice to have on laundry day when I am running low on dipes.  Everyone's stash looks a little different, but this is what seems to work for us!

 
 
 
 
As far as accessories go, I still use Ruby Moon and love it!  I think I am only in my 2nd bag & Ephram is 10 months old!! We have an HE machine so we don't have to use as much per load but wow, this stuff has been great!  Oh & just a word to the wise: less is more when it comes to using detergent on your dipes.  Too much detergent will soak into your diapers & make them less absorbent & also smelly!  I know, sounds like it should do the opposite, but no.
 
My wash routine is as follows:
1 Quick Cycle on Cold
Add in 2 TBSP detergent
1 Heavy Duty Cycle (Hot) + Extra Rinse  
 
The extra rinse has proved to be key for me. My diapers were often stinky when coming out of the wash (detergent still on them), but rather than having to strip them with bleach & dawn once a month, I just do an extra rinse every cycle & I haven't had smelly, unabsorbing diapers since.  A cloth diapering miracle! *note* microfiber tends to be more smelly so this can be one con of having microfiber inserts.  I have managed mine by adding the extra rinse.
 
 
Diaper Sprayer.  We have one & honestly have only used it a handful of times.  With newborn poo, we didn't need it-just toss those suckers into the wash! I actually felt they stained worse when we would use the diaper sprayer on them, go figure! With more solid poo, it just rolls right off & into the toilet.  There have only been a handful of times when we've been glad we've had it.  Useful, but not necessary (in my opinion).
 
 
Cloth Wipes. Why the heck not?  They go right in the load with your diapers so it really isn't much extra work at all!  I put water & a few drops of lavender EO (antimicrobial) into a spray bottle & spritz a wipe before using.  Easy peasy.  We have the Bum Genius Organic Cotton Wipes & like them very well.  In my opinion, you just need something soft & that will cover a good amount of area;)
 
Diaper Cream.  I try not to use it, because many types (even those that claim to be safe for cloth diapering) will void the warranty.   When I find it necessary, I use California Baby- We love their products!
 
Drying rack.  We have this one because it was affordable & can be folded up & stored easily when not in use.  It works great- definitely not sturdy enough to hold up against blustery winds, but on a nice day, it gets the job done!  I ALWAYS line dry my covers (not my inserts) as it increases their longevity & on a sunny day, it naturally bleaches out any stains.  I want to get as much use out of these dipes as I can!
 
That's pretty much it for us!  Other than my wetbags, which I store my diapers in until laundry day, this is what we use! 
 
 
What does your stash look like?
 
 
 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Weekends are the best

 
 
I'm mourning the loss of a beautiful weekend today.  Well, really just thinking how wonderful it was.  Ben took Monday off which made it an extra long weekend and that is always something to get excited about.  Beyond that, it was just a very family centered, slow paced, fun weekend, and those are always good for the soul.
 
Ben & I have both realized how E's joy is magnified when we are all together.  He is for the most part a very happy & joyful baby anyway, but there is something about all of us being together (including Bob) that makes him over the top happy.  It's like he knows & feels that we are complete & whole as a family when we are all together and it just makes him giddy.   His excitement is contageous, so naturally that just makes us one big, happy, giddy family :)
 
We worked some in the yard this weekend & these pictures are of E watching his daddy work outside.  He loves to point now, so he pointed and squealed as he watched his daddy working.
 





With dad home yesterday to help with the little one, I also had time to get some sewing done!  Here's one of the finished products from a productive day of sewing; a nursing cover which shipped off yesterday to a customer.
 


Monday, April 1, 2013

Easter Photo Shoot at 10 months

Yesterday was one of the first beautiful, spring days we've had this year & after a wonderful morning together at church, celebrating our Savior, we couldn't resist a little impromptu photo shoot of our growing guy!
 
We grabbed a suitcase, bunting, a cute little mister, a camera & set up the shoot in our backyard. It took a combination of mom, dad, seed packets & an apple core to keep this guy cooperative, but we managed to get a few good shots. Here are some of our favorites. 
 
 








 
 This was post apple core. So traumatic. I love these pictures, though...poor, sweet little guy. 
 



Hope you & yours had a very Happy Easter.  He is Risen!