Lately (July & August 2012)

We’ve had a busy and fun summer and it’s hard to believe fall is right around the corner. The air is crisp in the morning and evening and I can hear leaves crunch under my shoes while I walk Kellan and the dog. Thankfully we have another beautiful week of 80 degree weather to make us forget and pretend it’s summer a little longer.

So, here are all the fun festivities and activities as of late for K to remember:

  • Trip to Bend – Mama’s first trip alone with Kellan! He did great in the car and we had such a fun time visiting Babcia and Dziadzia and my bro, sis-in-law, and niece.
  • Swimming – Daddy loves to swim with Kellan and we joke that K is the next Michael Phelps. He LOVES the water and doesn’t mind it splashing him in the face or ears. He kicks his little legs and slaps the water and giggles. It’s adorable and we plan on signing up for a baby/parents swim class this fall.
  • Trip to Zoo – one of the Mom’s group Kellan and I hang out with planned a trip to the Zoo. This was his first visit and he seemed to enjoy the animals, though he did nap through a great deal of the exhibits. We hung out on the grass for awhile and ate Elephant Ears and chatted. Love these new Moms and their babes. Always a great time hanging out with them.
  • Visit to the Children’s Museum – I met up with a friend and Mom of a 7 month old one Friday afternoon and we explored the museum. It’s a great place for kids and I will definitely go back once Kellan is a little older. There’s not too much for tiny babies, but once they can walk and explore – watch out! This place will be super fun!
  • Ballet in the park – another fun afternoon with my Mama’s group!
  • Jamison park Fridays with my besties and their babes! This has been one of my favorite activities as I get to see some of my most favorite friends and they little ones. Green grass, blankets, toys, coffee, tons of babies and kids all around. Perfect on sunny summer afternoons.
  • Mommy and Me Tuesdays – we started going to this when Kellan was 6 weeks old or so and try not to miss it. It’s great to see other new Moms, Kellan loves seeing the other babies, and just chatting about issues, milestones, and hanging out.
  • Jogging stroller – when Kellan turned 6 months we took the jogger for a run and he was a great running companion. He just takes in the world – the trees, the greenery, other walkers/joggers. We have been known to spend 2 hours at the park just chilling after our run. Now, we need to start brainstorming what we’re going to do once the rain comes:(
  • First Date Night – about a month ago, we finally went out on our first date without the baby. We opted for the traditional Dinner and Movie. It was a celebration of our 3 year Wedding Anniversary and it was perfect. We went to an Italian restaurant and then to Cinetopia to see Dark Knight. It was nice sharing a bottle of wine and some romantic time (even though we talked about Kellan — ha! and I fell asleep for a bit in the late movie – lol). I love my hubby and it reminded us why it’s important to get out alone sometimes. Big kisses to Grandma K for babysitting.
  • Wine tasting with our great friends and their baby boy (who is 10 days younger then Kellan). What a fabulous day! And he boys did great.
  • Neighborhood party- got to meet all of close neighbors. Now we can wave and chat when we see one another. It was also nice putting Kellan to bed and continuing the fun since the baby monitor worked next door.
  • Visit from Grandma E and Grandpa G – lots of cooking, wine, football games, and fun!
  • Visit from Kellan’s cousin and my sis-in-law – girl time, coffee, exploring Portland, brewery lunches, and cousin bonding. Love these girls with all my heart.
  • Visiting Daddy at work – we try to visit at least once a month so Kellan can see Daddy. I love it, too.
  • Celebrating Daddy’s birthday!

I’m looking forward to the next adventures fall has in store especially Kellan’s first pumpkin and Halloween costume!

Speaking of firsts, it seems like our little man is thriving and growing like a weed. He’s now:

  • Rolling both ways and actually liking being on his belly. He even sleeps that way some nights.
  • Squealing with delight and making the funniest noises to get our attention.
  • Loving his exersaucer and toys! Everything ends up in his mouth.
  • And we know why – just today I noticed his two bottom teeth poking through!
  • Yesterday, he rode in the grocery cart for the first time. He loved being up high and seeing all of the food and produce up close. Of course he smiled and flirted with all who would look at him.
  • Playing with Basco the dog. Kellan is so enchanted by the dog! He smiles and greets her and she greets him:) She loves licking Kellan so there’s a lot of “no lick Basco” or “go get stuffy” (her toy) to try and prevent sneak attacks of kisses.
  • Solids – finally after 2 weeks of trying Kellan enjoyed eating solids yesterday! We went back to oatmeal cereal and after one frown face he took the rest like a champ. He does try to get the spoon to chew, but has learned to suck the food off the spoon.
  • We are still working on naps, but he manages at least 40 mins to an hour. He is sleeping through the night and has been since 5 months. He goes down at 7p and is up usually between 5-6a and then back down until 7:30a.

He is just the light of our lives and you cannot help but smile and laugh when you’re around him. He’s just the BEST and we love him so much!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Advertisements

Wash Routine for Cloth Diapers

After some trial and error I think I figured out a wash routine for Kellan’s pocket diapers. Yay!

Originally I had been using Biokleen detergent (love the stuff and the clean smell), but it seemed to slightly irritate baby’s bum and I read it could potentially cause repelling issues with pocket dipes, so we switched to Country Save. You can get Country Save on Amazon in bulk, or if you want to try a smaller box first you can get it at any of these listed retailers on their site.

I wash the diapers every other day. If I get a few more diapers I will switch to every 2 days (recommended time), but it hasn’t been to taxing on me and everything gets washed after Kellan goes to bed when we are relaxing with some TV time at night. 

Ok, so here’s the wash routine. Note, I have a top loading HE washer, the Whirlpool Cabrio Platinum, so this routine is geared towards a HE washer. 

Wash routine for Whirlpool Cabrio Platinum HE top loader:
 
1.  Delicate cycle with cold/cold and 1/4 scoop of powder Country Save. Some people place the powder directly on the diapers, but I put it into the dispenser so it mixes with the water.
 
2.  Allergen cycle, soil level high, spin speed high, hot water, with an extra rinse. I place 1/2 a scoop of Country Save into this phase. (This cycle uses a normal level of water and keeps the water level constant which is important in a HE. I read the sheets or towel cycle will also give you a good amount of water.)
 
3. Place the BumGenius and FuzziBunz pockets on the drying rack. Put the other pockets and the inserts in the dryer on low for 40 minutes. Usually I will take the covers out and hang the rest on the rack and keep the inserts in for another 30 minutes. This finishes while I am asleep. 
 
4. In the morning I will them stuff the pockets and place any inserts with stains in the sun to bleach out. 

The sun is a natural bleach and after sunning for a few hours the stains are gone! Any stains I have are minimal as I spray the poopy diapers with a mixture of half Biokleen Bac-Out and half water before I put them in the pail. This product contains natural enzymes that take care of the stain and also disinfect.  Bac-Out can be found online or at many natural stores. I even saw it at my local Safeway last week.

Finally, now that Kellan is going to start solids soon (this weekend!). I’m going to have hubby install a diaper sprayer so I can spray off the poopy diapers before spraying them with Bac-Out. Up to this point Kellan’s been exclusively breastfed and BF poop doesn’t need to be sprayed as it easily rinses away in the wash. BF poop is also not stinky. It smells a little like buttered popcorn to me, but I heard that all changes once real food is added. Can’t wait (sarcasm).
 
That’s it. It is a lot easier then I thought and Kellan’s bum is happy, plus we are saving money and the planet!
 
ImageImageImage
 

Fluff

Finally, we are cloth diapering! It took almost 6 months to ditch the disposables, but at least we’ve made the leap, YAY!  After much online research we decided on going the mostly pocket diaper OS (One Size) route with microfiber inserts. We also got 5-6 diaper covers and a small stash of unbleached indian cotton prefolds, bamboo/microfiber inserts, and a Snappi. In addition, we bought a hanging diaper pail with a zippered bottom to hold the wet/dirty dipes. We also purchased some hemp/cotton inserts and one bamboo insert for use when we need a little more absorbency (like naps or outings). We are still trying to research a night-time routine that will work for our little sleeper. The last item needed is a travel wet bag to put our used diapers in while on the go. I’m using plastic grocery bags right now which is not the best for leaks or for the environment.

Here’s a breakdown of what we purchased with links. I had a lot of friends ask for advice and info and hopefully this will help. Disclaimer: I am by no means an expert and am only going off my online research, cloth diapering community boards, and my budget.

  • Pocket Diapers OS (One Size adjustable) – a shell made by sewing two separate materials together (PUL and microsuede), while leaving a ‘pocket’ to stuff-in an absorbent insert. Total:  16, plus 20 microfiber inserts, 11 bamboo/microfiber inserts to serve as doublers when needed.
  • Thirsties Hemp Inserts – total 2, this might be our overnight solution with a microfiber insert, hemp has great absorbency.
  • Diaper Covers OS – waterproof material (typically PUL) that you place inserts, prefolds, fitted diapers, etc. into. Total: 5. I realized you need to purchase non-sandwiched PUL for it to be wipeable which is the whole point of covers. You can wipe them and reuse once the air dry. I unfortunately bought some of the sandwiched which means if they get wet I need to throw them into the wash. Live and learn.
  • FuzziBunz Hanging Diaper Pail – holds 2-3 days worth of diapers (I do laundry every 2 days, but there’s always room). I love that it can hang on the back of a door or hook and that it has a zippered bottom so you just unzip and dump the contents and the bag into the washer. It seems very well made, holds in any odors, and received great reviews on Amazon.
  • CJ’s Body Butter – you can’t use the conventional diaper rash creams when cloth diapering as they cause leaks and repelling issues. I found the best cream that is safe for cloth diapers, smells divine, comes in a large 8 oz tub and is safe to use on his bum and the rest of his cute self. I’ve used it on his teething rash, and I’ve even used it on my dry elbows.  Can you tell I love it?

Building your initial ‘stash’ of diapers can be expensive, but there are plenty of manufacturers that make good quality diaper covers, pockets, AIO’s (All-In-Ones).

I had 2 BumGenius and 2 FuzziBunz Pockets, but couldn’t afford to buy more of the big brands. After researching on the cloth diapering boards I went with some of the made in China brands. I made sure they were manufactured under fair labor conditions (No Child Labor, etc.)

Assunta Store – what I love about this company is that all sales support China Little Flower, their non-profit organization caring for disabled and dying orphaned children in China. It took about 2 weeks for my package to arrive (due to customs). The diaper covers and bamboo/microfiber inserts are awesome. The minky print diaper covers are PUL (not sandwich PUL) so they are wipeable. Non-minky are not. They also have pocket diapers which I’d like to order. Their OS diapers are a little larger so I think they will last a little past 35 pounds. I love that their covers have double leg gussets to further protect from blowouts. Though come to think of it I haven’t had a single blowout since going cloth in ANY of my diapers – COOL.

SunBaby  – company was started by a young Mom and her husband and are manufactured under fair labor conditions. These are the pockets I purchased and I really like them. They fit Kellan well, the microsuede liner wicks moisture away from his body and soaks into the pocket stuffed with 1-2 inserts (depending on how long we go without changing – we need 1 more usually for nap time). By the way I change Kellan every 2 hours with 1 insert and can go 3 (possibly more, but haven’t tried it) with 2 inserts. I purchased the microfiber inserts here for stuffing the diapers. Note, I had to wait for 3 weeks for these to arrive from China.

Kawaii – 2 covers purchased at Sweetbottoms Baby Boutique just because I heard good things about them and wanted to try them out. Again, the minky are wipeable and the non-minky are not. They have a trim fit and work well with prefolds. Shipping was fast from Sweetbottoms. If you order directly from Kawaii they are about $2 cheaper a diaper cover, but you’ll have to wait 2-3 weeks.

I love, love my BumGenius Pockets. They are awesome and if I could afford to have all BG’s in my stash I would!

I’ve been washing the diapers every 2 days in the evening after I put the baby to bed. They dry on low when we’re sleeping. I’ll post my wash routine soon. We have a HE top loader (Whirlpool Cabrio Platinum). My stash of 16 pockets and 5 covers (plus inserts and prefolds) has been more than enough. We tend to have 4 pockets and 2 covers left over.

We spent a total of $160 for all the diapers, inserts, doublers, prefolds, hanging diaper pail, and CJ’s. Totally worth it when we were spending $45 on disposables every 2-3 weeks. It pays for itself in 2 months and we have a lot more diapering to do before K is potty trained. Speaking of potty training, I’ve read the cloth diapered babies tend to potty train sooner since they can feel the wetness. Bonus!

I’m including some links to diaper websites that have a ton of great information on CD’ing.

How To – Cloth Diapering

Prefold Folding Picture Tutorial (great if you go the prefold and cover route) – if you get a diaper service they will deliver prefolds

So, to sum it up cloth diapering has been a LOT easier then I thought. I love all of the adorable prints and Kellan’s bum looks so fluffy and cute, and comfortable in them. More importantly, we aren’t spending an arm and a leg on disposables and it feels great saving our landfill.

Let me know if you have questions! It can be confusing to start, but hopefully this lends some insight.

6 Months Old

Oh Baby, Oh Baby. Happy 1/2 birthday to you my darling boy. There are no words for how much I love you Kellan. You make every day sweeter, brighter, happier. I love seeing you grow, develop, explore, and become even more adorable each day.

6 months ago today your Mama and Papa were in the hospital waiting for you to enter the world. We were going on no sleep for over 42 hours, weary, excited, worried, basically a mix of emotions. BUT nothing mattered once we saw your face, heard your cries, touched this baby boy we’ve wondered about for 40 weeks! We fell in love immediately and intensely and that love has grown even more over the last 6 months. So much so that at times I feel like I could burst.

You are such an amazing little guy. Your personality is so fun, active, inquisitive, stubborn, fierce, and sensitive. Kellan, you are simply super duper!

Tomorrow you go for your 6 month well visit and we’ll have your official stats, but here’s what you’ve accomplished in your first half a year.

  • Smiling and squealing/laughing 90% of the day. Seriously, you are such a happy baby. You love to play on your skip-hop bird mat and grab the toys, roll around, talk to the different hanging animals, screech in delight.
  • Sleeping through the night and have been in your own room and crib for almost a month. Thank you (please keep it up!).
  • Loving car rides and looking out the window at the world moving fast. You love walks in your baby carrier and stroller even more. We’ve discovered you’re a nature lover. Trees and their rustling leaves are your favorite. You also love when we stop to look at flowers or plants of any kind.
  • Discovering the dog! Yes, Miss Basco is your new real life toy! You track her every move, pet her (while she sneaks kisses), and stare at her as if to say, Hi, nice to meet you sis.

We’ve started cloth diapering you, and your fluffy butt is too cute. We’ll have to write about that adventure in a separate post;)

You’ve had many visitors and adventures. Wine tasting with Grandma Elaine and Grandpa Greg. The Coast and hiking with Babcia Marianna and Dziadzia Andrzej. Babysitting (and letting your Mom and Dad go out on their first romantic evening) with Grandma Kathleen. Parties, Children’s Museum, swimming, play dates, birthday parties, dinners out, dinners in…you’ve been our super buddy through it all.

My favorite thing in the world though is hearing you wake up and talk to your hands or the mural on your wall. And seeing your face light up into a huge, goofy smile as soon as you see me or hear my voice. I get teary eyed just writing about it. I don’t think that will ever get old.

My blue eyed beauty, we love you so. Shine bright, grow strong.

Kocham Cie, Love you. Your Mama

This slideshow requires JavaScript.