Friday, April 4, 2014

Five on Friday: Five Reasons

We close on the sell of our house in Kansas City next week, and I'm in the middle of writing an extremely long (possibly too long) post on our move back to sweet home Alabama.  But, let's keep it light on this wonderful Friday!  Here are 5 of the millions of reasons that we cannot wait to be back home:

Grandparents.  I can't stress enough how important it is to us that sweet A have a relationship with our parents.  We both grew up very close to our grandparents and we want the same for him.  Also-they double as babysitters!  ;)

Friends.  We have made wonderful friends during our time in Kansas City, but if I have to miss one more girlfriend's wedding at home I just might lose it.

Football.  Yep, we're those people.  We've been away from our Crimson Tide for far too long!  I even told Jared a few days ago that I was looking forward to catching heat from Auburn fans because that would really make me feel like things were back to normal!

Baseball.  We may not live in Georgia, but the Atlanta Braves are OUR team (just ask pretty much anyone from Alabama.)  Plans are already in the works for Anderson's first visit to Turner Field to watch our boys play this summer!

The food.  Again, yep - we're those people.  Ever heard of a meat&three restaurant??  If not, seek one out, and do my favorite thing - skip the meat and go for all the "veggies!"

Thanks for taking part in the randomness that is currently my brain today!  

Happy Friday and love to all of ya!

Linking up with Darci, Christina, Natasha and April!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

We made the switch!

If you know me, you know that I am not a tree-hugging, grass-eating hippy.  If you are, that is wonderful and I tip my hat to you.  I am, however, somewhat cheap and if you give me an option to save a little money on something I will take it.  If that also ends up being better for the environment - double whammy awesome!

That being said, we have made the switch to cloth diapers in our house!  Here are my top 5 reasons:

1.  We are saving lots and lots of money
2.  We don't have to use diaper rash cream on A's sweet skin (also more money saved)
3.  Less trash for us
4.  Less waste for the environment
5.  They look adorable when he is wearing them

To be honest, when Anderson first arrived, the idea of using cloth diapers sounded bananas to me!  He was pooping 10 times a day and we were in a never ending cycle of feeding and changing.  I felt bad for people who had to wash cloth diapers all the livelong day, and I was so thankful that we could just throw our nasty ones in the trash and forget about them.  However - and I know I'm not reinventing the wheel here - diapers are expensive!  Why wouldn't they be?  Diaper companies know you need them, so they can pretty much charge whatever they want.

A few weeks ago, I was talking to a pregnant friend who told me she was going to cloth diaper once her baby was around 3 months old, which is when their poop quota goes WAY down.  Before talking to her, I had never thought about switching.  I guess I just thought that once you started doing it one way you would stick to it.  I decided to do a little research and buy just one cloth diaper and see how it held up to an Anderson diaper blowout.
(Y'all, he had one make it up his back and into his hair last week!)
After a lot of reading, video-watching and talking to friends, I decided to purchase a Bumgenius 4.0 pocket-style diaper.  I chose that brand and style because they were affordable and I didn't find any bad reviews about them.  Of course people had a few things they might change, but all-in-all everything was very positive.

I brought it home, washed it up following all of the instructions and put it on the babe.  I mean, cuteness factor alone was enough to make me want to switch.  When we're home, I love having a naked baby, and seeing him chillin' out in a cloth diaper is adorable!

I was very pleasantly surprised to find that it held up to a massive poo - that was enough for me!  I went back to Buy Buy Baby and purchased 17 more diapers.  They suggest having 24 on hand, but now that he doesn't go that often I figured that 18 would be plenty enough for us and that it should equal having to wash them every-other day.  

We are on day 5, and I have absolutely no complaints with these diapers.  Yes, it is a bit of an investment up front, but once you make it you are finished buying diapers!  The great thing about the Bumgenius 4.0 is that the diaper grows with the baby and they offer velcro and button options.  They also have very inexpensive repair kits for worn out elastic.  I am most excited about the fact that these should fit A man until he is potty trained and we can use them for his siblings as well.  In addition to the diapers, we also purchased a new diaper pail, a PUL liner and a smaller wet bag for storage.  Once we move and get settled, we will probably purchase a sprayer to attach to the toilet, but for now I am using the sprayer from the shower and it works just fine.  He will take a bottle of formula if we are out and about, so most of his poos are breastmilk-only poos, which are water soluble and don't have to be rinsed at all before washing!  We have to change him every 3-4 hours so that gives us about 6-7 diapers each day and at this point, I am just washing them at night after I put him down to bed.  Cloth diapering is not anywhere as difficult as I expected, and we are already loving the savings! 

I'm hoping to a do a Cloth Diapering: 101 type post soon to tell you a little more about our experience!  There might even be a video - look out! :)

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

One week of oil pulling

Well guys, I have kind of held off on writing this post and I've somewhat thought about scratching it all together because my experience was a little anti-climatic.  After reading dozens of blog posts and articles about oil pulling I was SO excited to give it a shot.  There were promises and testimonies of whiter teeth, healthier skin and allergies being cured.  Of course I was a little skeptical, but hey, what could it hurt...sign me up!

I know everyone is different, and maybe all of those people really did see all of those results.  Maybe they're exaggerating a tad bit.  Maybe I'm impatient and didn't give it enough time.

Either way - here is my personal, very boring, experience with oil pulling.

First of all, if you're going to try this make sure you are using an unrefined oil.  I chose coconut oil because I knew it wouldn't taste terrible, but I have read that sesame oil and olive oil work well too.

Secondly, make sure you do it first thing in the morning before brushing your teeth, or at least 4 hours after you've eaten.  Apparently oil pulling on an empty stomach is the way it's supposed to happen.

Once you have those two things down, here is how it goes:
  1. Put the oil in your mouth - you want to end up using 1 tablespoon, but you can start with 1 teaspoon and work your way up.
  2. Start swishing like you're using mouthwash, pulling the oil through your teeth and all around the inside of your mouth - DO NOT SWALLOW
  3. Set a timer for 20 minutes - you can start with less and work your way up as you go - and find something to occupy your mind.  I chose to get on Pinterest or do dishes, both of those things make time fly by to me.
  4. When your time is up, spit the oil into a trash can or a baggie to throw it away.  Don't spit it down the sink or you will clog up your drain.
  5. Rinse your mouth out well with lukewarm water
  6. Drink 1-2 glasses of water
That's it, you're all done!
This is how it went for me each day:
 Day 1: (1 teaspoon)
One word - weird!  Let me tell you the most difficult part, putting a spoonful of raw coconut oil into my mouth.  This is just not something I'm used to eating, ya know??  It was a mental block for sure, I stood in our kitchen gagging for about 5 minutes before I could actually do it.  Once I finally got it off the spoon, I had to almost chew it to make it melt.  This didn't take long (maybe 10 seconds) but it was so strange.  The texture just felt wrong and all I wanted to do was spit it out, but I'm no quitter! :)  Once the oil was all melted, I set a 20-minute timer on my phone and started to swish.  Baby A was napping, so I went in his room and played on Pinterest the whole time.  It ended up being super relaxing, just like everything I had read said it would be!  Maybe it was just because I was sitting down completely silent for 20 minutes, who knows.  When my timer went off, I spit the oil into the trashcan, drank my water and went straight to the bathroom to check out my chompers.  I really do think I could see a slight improvement.  My teeth looked shiny and cleaner, but then again I had just smeared them with oil for 20 minutes.  Of course they would be shiny!

Day 2: (2 teaspoons)
Getting started was still strange, but without the gagging this time.  I did the exact same thing as the first day, set my timer and sat down to binge on Pinterest for a little while.  I spit out the oil after 20 minutes, drank my water and checked my teeth.  Same result, shiny shiny shiny!

Days 3-7: (2 teaspoons)
Each day was pretty much the same.  I will say it was very very very relaxing to start my day off with 20 minutes of silence, but I can do that without oil pulling if I get up early enough and make the effort. 

All in all, my personal experience was very... "meh" and I haven't done it again since the first week.  I've been told (by my husband) that it takes 21 days of completing a task to make it a habit.  Well...whoops, it doesn't look like this will become a habit for me.  I'm not trying to be a Debbie Downer here, just keeping it real wicha! :)

Have you tried oil pulling?  What was your experience?  Should I give it another shot?

Monday, March 24, 2014

Can we slow down a little?

As I sit here and watch my baby boy sleep, all I can think about is how I don't want the moment to end.  I want him to stay little for a just a bit longer.  Why does he have to grow up?  Can't he be my sweet, small best friend for forever? 

Don't worry, I'm not crazy.  I know time moves us along and life goes on and grows.  I know that if he stayed like this forever I would be caught in the constant vicious cycle of dirty diapers for the rest of my life, and trust me. . . I don't want that.  I know that he would never get to experience all that this amazing, albeit a little scary, world that we live in has to offer.  I do want him to grow and be a functioning member of society and contribute so much good to the people around him.  I want so many things for him...

...but I want them to slow down and not come so quickly.

I was telling Jared this weekend that my entire life to this point I have always been looking forward to the next big thing.  In high school, I couldn't wait to get to college.  Once I was half-way through college we got engaged, and I couldn't wait to finish so we could get married.  Marriage was (and still is) wonderful, then once we decided to grow our family I couldn't wait for our sweet baby to arrive.

That baby is here, and now I want everything to stop for a bit.  I want to have the time to take in every little second with him.  Every smile and giggle and coo, and even his sweet little cries and tears.  I want more hours in the day to play with him and read to him, is that too much to ask?  If anything, the day goes by much faster now that I have a little living clock reminding me he is hungry every three hours or so.  Everyone told me this would happen.  They said once he was here I would have a constant, living reminder of how quickly a day, a week, a month, a year goes by.  They were right. 

The past nine weeks have been so wonderful, and I know that things are only setting up to get better as we have the privilege to watch our little baby grow up.  But, for now, I'm content with living right here in this moment, and I wouldn't mind it one bit if all the clocks and calendars in the world took a hiatus for a while.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Our Baby Must-Haves

You find out you're pregnant, you get really excited, a few months later you go to register for gifts and necessities, you walk into Target or Buy Buy Baby with your list, you feel instantly overwhelmed!

Has this happened to anyone else??

It happened to us and, judging by things my other pregnant friends have said, this happens to almost everyone.  So, here I am to share my list of "must-haves" in hopes that someone will stumble across it and go into the whole registering process with a little more ammo!

Halo Sleepsack Swaddle
I didn't know about these until our hospital sent us home with one.  Oh my GOSH, I am so glad they did.  I can swaddle little A man pretty well in a blanket, but at some point an arm always comes loose and then he wakes up screaming.  Our third night home, we opened the package from the hospital and gave this a try.  We never went back to blankets, and I sent Jared to the store the next day to buy another one!  It is awesome, he sleeps in it every night and I'm pretty sure he loves it as much as we do!

Diaper Genie and refills
This was kind of a no-brainer when we were registering, but I had no idea just how much we would love it!  There is no stinky diaper smell coming from Anderson's room because of this wonderful little thing.  We keep it right beside his dresser where we change diapers and just toss them right in.  If you are using disposable diapers, this is a must!

NUK Pacifiers
Obviously this item is subjective, you have to use what works best for your baby.  For us, Nuk is where it's at!  He only takes a paci when he's going down for a nap and at bedtime.  He usually spits it out mid-sleep, but these are wonderful!  The hospital sent us home with an Avent Soothie and he never took to it.  We got a free Nuk when we registered at Target and he never had any issues with it at all.  Nuk also makes bottles with the same kind of nipple!  We haven't bought any yet, but we might try them out in the future.

Swaddle Blankets
We have million of blankets that I love, but as soon as Anderson was about two weeks old, they were too small to swaddle him tight enough.  I went searching to see if you could buy the kind of blankets they use at the hospital, because those are huge and soft and awesome!  I found them in packs of three here on Ebay.  They sell large swaddle blankets in stores, but we love these the best.

Boudreaux's Butt Paste
A friend told me to use this with every diaper change, even before any signs of diaper rash showed up.  Thank goodness she did, because so far we haven't had to deal with that!  This stuff is awesome and we lovingly refer to it as "crap spackle" in our house! :) 
Register for lots and lots of it!

I know this probably goes without saying, but you will got through what seems like (and probably is) millions of these.  REGISTER FOR THEM.  It may sound boring, but you will use these more than anything else!  Pampers Swaddlers are the brand we absolutely love.  Again, every baby is different so this was another trial and error experience.

Pre-folded cloth diapers
We use these for burp cloths and they're awesome!  Super absorbent, very inexpensive and they hold up to a lot of washing!  

Lanolin *if you're breastfeeding
I cannot stress this enough.  Don't ask questions - just buy it in bulk and use it like your life depends on it, because for the first month it pretty much does!  Lansinoh is my favorite brand.

Nursing Pads *if you're breastfeeding
I've tried three different brands and believe it or not my favorite are the Walgreens brand called Well Beginnings.

Yes, there are plenty of other things we use, but these have become the things we would have a tough time doing without - our daily go-to's!

What are some things you found you couldn't live without once you brought baby home?  I love to hear how everyone's items are different!