Wednesday, May 20, 2015

It's Getting All California Up In Here

I've been finding some products and solutions that I like and making changes around the house.

Change #1:

I've always used cloth diapers (except at church) but I never could find an acceptable cloth wipe situation. The problem with cloth wipes is that a dry piece of cloth does very little, so they need to be moist. But it's really not plausible to go and wet some rags under the tap before you change because it's tough to determine how many wipes you will need.

Another option is to keep a jar full of water and dip your wipes. This one is okay. I just didn't like it. I guess I never had the right size jar. It was just messy when I tried to squeeze excess moisture off of my rag.

So I gave up, but then I ran across an INCREDIBLE tip just hidden among the usual not-so-helpful suspects (like using a spritz bottle to spray your child's poopy bottom and then, once it is leaking everywhere, wipe it with a dry cloth). This person posted that she uses a coffee thermos to hold her water and then wets her cloth wipe slightly. She cleans the baby's bum as usual and then puts everything in her wetbag.

Friends - I about fell out my seat. That was a really great idea.

Therefore, I immediately implemented it.

I didn't have a coffee thermos, but I did have a nice water thermos-esque thing.

It works like a dream, people.

I cut up several receiving blankets (I love those for diaper changing pads on-the-go but I had SO many) and an old flannel queen sheet that was headed for the dump. I cut 10x10 inch squares, approximately.

I mixed 5 quarts of water with 1/3 cup white vinegar and put it in my thermos-thing.

The vinegar should make sure no strains of bacteria from our well-water are able to grow, plus provide anti-fungal protection for Vivi's bum.

Change #2:

I found some XL Thirsties covers and prefolds while decluttering my diapers and am now using them as cloth pull-ups for Rhett during naps and bedtime.

Do you realize how expensive pull-ups are?!? Almost $40 a month...

Also - Viv was peeing through her cloth diapers. I'd been using Pampers at night so she wouldn't wake up lying in a wet puddle. I remembered finding cloth diapers to be more absorbent with Rhett so I wondered why I was having the opposite experience with Vivian.

I got online and, after fielding 500 articles about stripping my diapers (already did it), I found my answer: hard water. Apparently well water is often filled with minerals and these form deposits on your diapers causing them to no longer absorb well. The solution is water softener and bleaching or OXYClean.

I bleached some of my diapers as a test and was super happy to find that they were EXTREMELY absorbent. So I de-mineralized the rest of my dipey stash. Bottom line? She is staying dry in cloth through the night.

Change #3:

I was using Palmolive Baby dish soap for Vivi's bottles.

That seemed like a good choice since it was clear, marketed for babies, and the back of the bottle advertised NO UNNECESSARY INGREDIENTS.

Apparently, by NO UNNECESSARY INGREDIENTS, it means that it doesn't contain tomato sauce because it sure doesn't mean that it has cut out any harsh chemicals. I mean, really.

Most soaps now contain sodium LauRYL Sulfate... at least ones marketed for kids. Sodium Laureth Sulfate has been linked with cancer and you won't find it in many hand soaps or body washes anymore (unless it's extremely low-priced).

Most dish soaps have it but I feel like it shouldn't be in a dish soap marketed for an infant.

I mean essentially, they didn't change their formula at all except to add different dyes and alcohol to make it look clear and low on chemicals, slapped the word BABY on the front, and tripled the price.

Badly done, Palmolive. Badly done.

Unlike George Knightley and Emma, I will not reunite with Palmolive.

So now we buy Seventh Generation - primarily because it was available. I think I'm going to purchase Honest Company if I can Amazon it. It's the same price as other dish soaps so not crazy, just way better for myself, my husband, my son, and my bottle-fed child.

Change #4:

On a similar note, I finally found a baby soap that is only water, coconut oil, nut oil,essential oils, crushed flowers, and spices. Don't get me wrong:

   A. I haven't been looking that hard or anything.
   B. I don't think regular baby soap is going to make Vivi sick.

It's just that, even though Johnson&Johnson doesn't put sodium lauryl or laureth sulfate in their washes, they still have many petroleum based chemicals that permeate the skin and that kinda makes me sick.

So I'm not judging how other people wash their kids or something - I don't think anyone is being permanently harmed by baby shampoo.

I just found something that I know won't hurt Rhett and Vivi so I'm so in love with it and using it!

Plus, it smells possibly like heaven because one of the crushed flowers is honeysuckle.

Change #5:

Letting the kids play outside more? 

Haha! What I'm trying to say is that we got a new swing-set!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Infantino Roam Carrier!

My new carrier is here!

My view:

Hey Vivi, how do you feel about all other carriers?

We love our FauxErgo!

Sunday, May 17, 2015


   Isn't this weather absolutely gorgeous?! 

At least in between freak rainstorms...

Don't ya just hate it when you've been going all day and stop for one measly second then BOOM! you're asleep.

   DG and I bought this for my brother for his 19th birthday! I wanted to pre-read it but I kept it all crisp and nice and new for him.

  I recently bought a new carrier. It is the ROAM, Infantino's version of the ErgoBaby Carrier. It is releasing today (May 17, 2015) and will be on my doorstep by Tuesday 8PM! It was a little pricey for me at $50 but MUCH less expensive than the actual Ergo.

   The ROAM:

    The Actual ErgoBaby:

    I almost bought Infantino's version of the TULA/Boba Carrier but it didn't look as comfy, plus my sister-in-law has a TULA and my MIL thinks it is uncomfortable.Of course, she was front-carrying an almost-two-year old.

    The TULA:

    The Boba:

    Infantino's version:

That baby is staring daggers at his mother. 

    While in my search for carriers, I noticed that this guy apparently does some modeling for different baby carrier companies. 

   I glanced at several company's web pages looking for him but didn't see any others... (it's just so weird - he seems like an unlikely choice) and how am I really going to look it up. I can't exactly google Bearded Tat-Guy Who Wears Babies. Well... I guess I could.

   Here are my results.. I'm a little concerned about that last one:


   My sister and mom came down. I was so glad to see them!

    My mom gave Viv a Crinkly-Squeaker Book. She is so obsessed!

    HAHA! Here was my "crazy" hip hairstyle for church this morning!


    See? I told you. That hair is gross.

   Rhett's toe is healing and tetanus-free!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

It's A Growth Spurt!


The kids must be growing! Rhett has been eating so well lately! And Vivian is upping her food game as well, which it saying something because Vivian is already a voracious eater.

This morning, Rhett popped out of bed and dramatically asked me if it was breakfast time yet. Meanwhile, Vivian went from fussing to hollering. I poured him so Fruit Loops and he started eating while I made her a bottle. Then he started yelling for some juice. As I delivered the juice, he asked for more cereal. He had already wolfed down the first bowl! So I poured him some more while Vivi screamed for her food.

She absolutely guzzled the bottle as I gave it to her, then practically inhaled a jar of peaches while Rhett played hotwheels. By the time she finished, Rhett was asking for a snack! So I put her down to play cars while he ate two fruit packs. Then she started screaming for another bottle!  


 After I finished feeding her, both Rhett and she lazed around. He played Pretend I'm Sleeping In My Pink Cover and lazed around on the sofa while she napped for almost four hours! I really think they are growing.

Rhett has eaten a hot dog, a bowl of soup crackers, and a bowl of cheese-its since then.

And it's only 1:10.

I'm telling you: it's crazy.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Mother's Day 2015: A Boring Title

   I had an amazing relaxing day yesterday! After service, Lisa, Jimmy, Rhett, Vivi, and I ate at Lisa's. Afterwards, everyone napped except for Vivster and I. We entertained ourselves at the train table.

    I hate indirect bragging. You know, someone posts a picture of their six-month-old doing a headstand and captions it, "Look at those beautiful baby blue eyes!" It gets to me everytime.

   However, I was completely guilty of it yesterday. Vivian was standing (STANDING!!!) at the train table, holding her balance without wobbling or my touching her for 1/2 hour while playing with the toys on the table. I snapped several videos and pictures and posted them online under such innocuous titles like FIRST TIME AT THE TRAIN TABLE! and SHE LOVES PLAYING WITH HER BROTHER'S TOYS! but what I was really saying was, IS SHE SERIOUS? AM THE ONLY ONE SEEING THIS?! SHE. IS. SO .AWESOME.

So I feel guilt, but not that much guilt.

It's like this: I really never mind people bragging on their kids because I cannot help but brag on mine! I really appreciate it when they are straight about it though. Why should it bother me? It's such an irrational pet peeve.

The brags in question:

After naps, we headed to DG's grandparents' house for KFC and good conversation. 

Rhett had so much fun playing with Nanny's new garden dumping wagon. 

He cut his toe up on some metal roofing material that Papa had stuck under a gate to keep his Labrador from digging under the fence. It sliced his largest toenail in half and deeply diced into his toe twice on top and (weirdly) once below. I was beginning to 5% worry about stitches because we couldn't seem to stop the bleeding. However, DG was finally able to wash it in the tub and bind it. I'm waiting on a callback from his pediatrician today to see if he needs to come in for a tetanus booster. He is up to date on his tetanus shots so I'm not sure if he will need one. He doesn't seem to be in a hurry to contact me so I'm sure Rhett is fine.

I fell asleep around 10 last night which was amazing. Vivi woke up at midnight, (first time since she was six weeks old) and cried. She had rolled onto her belly. She fell right back asleep although I woke her up and fed her a bottle for good measure.

That was my Mother's Day!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Oral Hygiene Is Easily Forgotten

   Well it's 9:30PM and the kids are both asleep in bed! I know I should be using this time to crash and fall asleep myself, but I've been dying to blog.

    I just realized that I forgot to brush Rhett's teeth.

   Oh well, too late now.

   I'm all caffeinated from my watered-down coffee that I had earlier today. By earlier today, I mean 8AM. By watered-down I mean 1/4 coffee and 3/4 water. Seriously, my kidneys... not exemplary at their job. On the other hand, if I had consumed more than a max of 16 oz of liquid for the rest of the day, maybe the coffee wouldn't still be in my system. Oh wait! The sweet tea was caffeinated! That explains alot.

    Let's see here...
       News Updates:

   Jimmy bought a new rent house and DG and I will get part of the rent since he will maintain it if we choose to buy in. 

What a crazy blessing! We got to tour it the other day.

She toured in style. 

   I visited my friend Lauren and had alot of fun hanging out with her seven-month-old- son, Liam. He and Vivi are dating. I left Rhett at home with his Daddy. I will never do that again! We missed each other too much. He had some serious separation anxiety for a few days. It breaks my heart.

  Ky watches the happy couple. 

   Vivi is moving up a diaper size. The Size Two diapers are a little tight but we are mainly moving up because she is having some serious leaks. She pees once and the diaper is puffed out and dripping.

    Lauren had this happen with Liam and had to move up to Size Three. It also seems to be the consensus online that leakage = moving up a size. She is in cloth most of the time but when she isn't, it's a mess. Don't even talk to me about naps or overnight either!

   After a week and a half of various experiments in brand and size resulting in her waking up soaked to her hairline in pee, I was ready to throw in the towel.. literally... into the washing machine 'cuz I was running out of towels.She even peed through a double-stuffed KawaiiBaby diaper. That means nothing to most people, I know. But still. It's crazy.

   Result? Nothing but Size Three Pampers Swaddlers holds her. 

   I took her four-month pictures!

   I love this silly shot of them:

   Today she stood on the couch without leaning her back on anything! Four months! That's messed up!

Am I the only one freaking out?!?

   Viv is 16 lb and 25 inches! Her four-month check-up went great. She didn't mind the shots at all but she HATED the rotavirus oral vaccine.

Trust me: this is a pre-oral-vaccine face. She was not bubbly after fighting the nurse and letting the vaccine sit in her mouth for a few minutes then finally giving in. She was so ANGRY after she finally swallowed. It was pretty comical to me.

   Rhett's growing like a weed!

   Oh yeah! He's definitely potty-trained.

Rhett on his Grumpy's four-wheeler, wearing a toolbelt and a TMNT shirt. As he told me that afternoon, he is "big man, a really big man who's gotta work hard."

   We find out June 3rd if we are moving forward in our interview process for moving overseas!