Friday, November 30, 2012

Merry Fluffy Christmas!

Welcome to the Merry Fluffy Christmas Giveaway! There are more than 60 bloggers participating. Enter here and then follow the links to find more giveaways! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Bummis Beautiful Basic Cloth Diaper Kit Review

The Bummis Beautiful Basic Cloth Diaper Kit comes with 3 Organic Cotton Prefold inserts and 1 Bummis Super Whisper Wrap.

When I first got the Bummis prefolds, the first thing I noticed was how big and thick they are compared with a Gerber prefold (which I use for spit up rags). 

This isn't the clearest picture, but the Bummis (below) is MUCH thicker than the Gerber prefold. I'd have to use two Gerber prefolds to get the absorbency of one Bummi prefold. 

 Here is the inside of the Super Whisper Wrap. It's pretty basic, which I like. Velcro (on this model), flap to keep leaks in, good thick waterproof fabric and gussets that are neither too tight nor too loose.   

Here's a picture of it closed. Isn't this print pretty? 

This is a picture of my daughter modeling another Bummis wrap (these two covers fit the same). I need to work on my prefold skills though. The fitteds I use don't poke out as much. 

And... a view from the side. These covers hold everything in well. I like that they allow for extra "padding" in the back. 

So far, these are my favorite covers, velcro and all! (I'm a snap girl at heart, so it's got to be good velcro for me to like it!)

You can get this kit HERE for $20.95!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

My Pebble Babies

I know I'm a bit late on this post... But I've been distracted. Morning sickness and moving do that to a person. 

I want to talk about my miscarriages, the first one in particular. My husband and I married on May 24, 2008. We spent a week on our honeymoon in Arkansas, then spent some time with his parents in Mississippi, and then some time with my parents in Mexico, and then some time with my grandparents in Louisiana. And then we moved into a hotel room, which was the temporary housing for the seminary in New Orleans since Katrina had destroyed much of their housing. We had jobs lined up, but they fell through we spent a busy summer looking for permanent work and working at a summer camp for kids. I just went through my journal from that time, and I never even mentioned the miscarriage. I just couldn't deal with the emotions then. I was too busy, trying to be happy in my new marriage and new experiences. 

Miscarriage #1:

Therefore, I don't even remember exactly when the miscarriage took place. It was sometime in July or August. We had been married for two or three months, and we were preventing a pregnancy. My periods were always irregular, so when I skipped a period, I barely noticed. I surely never thought about the possibility of a pregnancy, since that had never been an option before (I was a virgin on my wedding day... my husband too, for the record). 

I wasn't feeling very well one week, but I attributed it to the busyness and the fact that I was about to start my period, since it had been several weeks since my last one. Then one evening I started cramping. These weren't like my normal cramps. They were much stronger, and they came in intervals. Pain, rest. Pain, rest. And then I bled all at once in the toilet. As if I had pushed something out. I felt so sick... and I kept thinking, "That was so strange... I've never had a period like this before." 

My emotions were in a quandary, and I didn't understand why. 

The next morning, it hit me. There was a baby. That's why it was so strange. That's why it hurt so much. That's why I was feeling like I was grieving, but didn't understand why. 

I wept. Was it a boy or a girl? Would the baby had lived if I had known about her? Could I have done anything differently to save his life? Was it my fault? Would I ever be able to have a baby? 

For the first time, Mommy love was awakened inside of me. I loved my baby, missed my baby, and I knew I wanted to have more children. 

We went to the doctor, who confirmed that it was a miscarriage. We estimated that I had been between 6 and 8 weeks pregnant. 

It has taken a long time to fully deal with that miscarriage. I was fearful during my next pregnancy, afraid to be attached to my son because what if he died too? I didn't really fall in love with my son until he was about 6 weeks old. Before that he felt like a stranger's baby. (Don't worry, we're very attached now!)

Miscarriage #2:

The story of my second miscarriage isn't as big of a deal to me. I had fully dealt with the first miscarriage and come to accept that my baby's eyes first opened to see Jesus. I will see him or her some day. 

We found out we were expecting again, and we went in for an ultrasound. There were two sacs, but one was empty. We found out that we had been expecting twins, but one miscarried early on and probably just dissolved, since my body had to stay closed to protect the other baby. 

Therefore, there were no physical symptoms of miscarriage for me to deal with. And, to be honest, I didn't really feel sad either. I felt guilty that I wasn't sad... but I wasn't sad. I knew the baby was in heaven. I knew we had another healthy baby inside me. 

Nowadays I just feel like something's missing. My husband came in the other night with the kids, and once they had all come in I kept looking at the door, as if I expected someone else to come in. Sometimes I'll look around and think, "there's J, there's H, now where is...??" It feels like someone's missing. Maybe I'll always feel this way. 

One last thought: Why do people sometimes act like miscarriage is no big deal, as if we mamas should get over it more quickly since we were "barely" pregnant? Losing a child is losing a child, whether that baby has been in your womb for 6 weeks or in your house for 6 years. Yes, I didn't get the chance to meet my children and fall in love with them the way I love my other children, but I still love them and wonder what they would have been  like. I don't even have a picture to hold on to. 

How about you? Have you experienced a loss of a child? How have you dealt with it? 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Sunbaby Review

 I've heard a lot about Sunbaby diapers, and so I was thrilled to be able to try one! Ms. Sun Pei sent me a Melody diaper, size 2. You can see the difference between size 1 and 2 HERE.

At $5 per diaper, these are a steal, but I was worried about the quality. So far, after almost a month, I've been happy with these diapers!

As you can see below, there is a waterproof lining to prevent leakage in the front, and a flap to prevent blowouts in the back. The fleece is nice and soft.

The elastic has been working well, not causing a lot of marks on baby. There are two rows of snaps and hip snaps for smaller babies. The rise can be adjusted to three different levels: smallest, medium, and unsnapped. 

Here's my pretty love bug modeling the diaper. She's turned into Ms. Wiggle-worm, and I wasn't able to get very good pictures of her in the diaper. But let's suffice to say it fits well and doesn't put marks on her. 

See the mark from the OTHER diaper she had on?? (Can't remember which one that was...)

Yeah she's a ham. But you're probably tired of looking at pictures of my baby. How about a Giveaway?? Stay tuned!!

I will also be comparing this diaper with another one soon. 

Monday, August 27, 2012

bumGenius: Freetime, 4.0, or Elemental?

I've decided to compare different bumGenius diapers after receiving so many questions about the difference between them. The three main types of bumGenius diaper out there are the Freetime AIO, the 4.0 One Size Pocket, and the Elemental. First I'll review the 4.0. This is a pocket diaper. If you look closely, you can see that the insert can snap smaller. There is elastic in the back and a waterproof panel in the front.

The Freetime has two flaps that fold out for quick and easy drying.

They fold in for quick and easy "stuffing."

The Elemental has two strips of fabric that are sewn in on both ends.

Here are the three: Elemental, 4.0, and Freetime snapped to the smallest settings. It's hard to say which of the three is the smallest. The Elemental has the smallest leg holes and lowest rise while the 4.0 has the smallest waist.

Here are the three snapped to the largest settings. The 4.0 has the highest rise.

Overall, my favorite is the Freetime. It dries the fastest and has the best overall fit for my daughter. The Elemental takes too long to dry and is too "crunchy," and the 4.0 has to be stuffed (gag) and is more bulky. The 4.0 insert also takes longer to dry than the Freetime.

Freetime AIO 4.0 One size Pocket Elemental
Price at Sweetbottoms: $19.95 $17.95 $24.95
Leg Holes (smallest setting): Smallest Leg Holes Medium Leg Holes Largest Leg Holes
Waist Size (smallest setting): Medium Waist Smallest Waist Largest Waist
Crotch Size: Widest Crotch Narrowest Crotch Medium Crotch
Rise (largest setting): Medium Rise Highest Rise Shortest Rise
Bulk: Medium Bulk Bulkiest Least Bulky
Dry Time: Fastest Dry Time Medium Dry Time Longest Dry Time
Other Notes: My overall favorite! Have to stuff-don’t like. Softest. “Crunchiest” fabric, not very soft

Second week of Preschool 2012

We've been having fun with Little Hands to Heaven preschool! This past week we learned about the letter "B." We made a masking tape "B" on the floor and covered it with "b-b-blocks." 

With each block my son said "buh buh buh," reinforcing the letter sound. 

We read about Noah's Ark. Here is a page from our Bible story book. I had this book when I was a child, so I was excited to see it again! This is an older version of the book, so if you get the newer one it has more modern pictures. We also have an original rhyme with hand motions that we read each week. Part of the rhyme for this week is, "The rains came down and the boat did float." I keep hearing my son saying "and the boat did float" as he plays with his toys. 

Since we read about Noah's Ark, we made a rainbow. I realized that he still doesn't have the manual dexterity to tear the pieces of paper efficiently. So we got to work on our coordination and finger strength as preparation for writing some day!

I drew each line of glue and he stuck on the paper in the correct color.

All finished! We also did several other fun things this week: A science experiment to see what floats and what doesn't, counting, color recognition, corresponding music, and acting out the stories. 

All in all, a very fun week! I've learned that art is my weakness. I just don't CARE. We've done more coloring and cutting and pasting the past two weeks than we've done in his entire lifetime.

 He loves it.

I just think about the mess and how there's one more piece of paper to stick in a box for all eternity or to clutter up my fridge or to throw away and feel guilty about.

I sing with my kids, I read to them, I play imaginary games, I race and count and point out colors and teach Spanish words and how to do chores... but art? I don't get it.

So please, tell me that our rainbow is fabulous and explain to me how art is essential to my child's development.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Birth Story #2 (Home Birth)

My second pregnancy was more difficult than my first pregnancy. I had many more aches and pains and dealt with  many fears brought on by my first labor and delivery, which you can read HERE.

Here are some excerpts from my prayer journal to give you an idea of what the end of my pregnancy was like (my due date was June 27th, the same due date my first child had and the day he was born).

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Just read through an old journal... I didn't write "I'm tired of pregnancy" until June 8... This time I'm already tired of pregnancy, and two weeks earlier (Perhaps that means she'll be 2 weeks early?)...(she was)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

...Dealing with anxiety on several nights. Fears and concerns about the childbirth... How do I change my emotions? I know I ought not be afraid, and yet I am still fearful...

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Still pregnant... Recognizing I need to learn contentment, patience, and trust. But how? 

(I did a Bible word study and came up with the following answers:)

1. Through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:11-13)
2. Through the LORD who hears me (Psalm 40:1)
3. Through the LORD who guides me (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Monday, June 13, 2011

Well... I haven't been feeling as anxious lately! However, perhaps that's just because I've given up on ever going into real labor!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Still no baby!

The words to this song keep echoing in my mind: I hear the Savior say, "Thy strength indeed is small. Child of weakness, watch and pray, find in Me thine all in all."

... An aching craving, deep within my soul, draws me near to my God...

 Birth Day: June 16, 2011

At 1:30 a.m. I got up to go to the bathroom.  I experienced a contraction that was so strong it nearly knocked me off the toilet. After that FIRST contraction, I KNEW it was time. I had my husband call my friend who would be serving as a doula while I called the midwife and drew a bath for myself. I had just sat in the tub and was experiencing ginormous contractions that barreled over me again and again (like 2 minutes into labor) as I reached my midwife on the phone. She asked, "how far apart are they?" I couldn't answer, since I was in the middle of one again, but I was thinking, "Are you insane? Get over here! Why would I call you if I wasn't in labor!??"

My doula arrived soon and stayed with me while my husband filled up the swimming pool in the living room and sent our son over to the neighbors.

I FINALLY was able to get into the pool and experience the relief of being in the water.

Here is another excerpt from my journal about this stage of the labor:

During the labor, I finally got into a rhythm during contractions. [My husband] stroked my back and counted down from 10 until they were over. I leaned over the side of the pool and rested/relaxed as much as possible. Someone fanned me and gave me water as I asked for it. (I was addicted to drinking from a straw after this birth)

You, my God, helped me through it. I remembered the words of the song: "child of weakness... find in Me thine all in all." Wednesday, I put a background picture on our computer. It is a painting of Jesus holding a girl in His arms. As the pain became overwhelming, I leaned over the edge of the pool and became that girl--the edge was Your shoulder and I felt Your arms--Your presence--surround me. You alone were my strength when I was weak.

There was one point in the labor where I stood up and was ready to walk out the door. For some reason I truly believed that if I left our house the pain would stay there without me. It took a grueling contraction to remind me of the truth and I kneeled back down.

After more than 2 hours of labor, the midwife wanted to check the progress of my dilation. I was at an 8 (what!!! I started at a 7! This is never going to end!!). While still on  my back from being checked, I experienced the worst contraction ever. I thought I was going to die. :) I believe that contraction opened me to a 10, because the next contraction I pushed... and nothing happened. With the next contraction her head came out and with the next the rest of her was born.

I was the first person to hold her. This is the moment we met her:

Of course, I do need to note that I had just freaked out a little bit because she wasn't breathing at first... I held her before she took her first breath and all I knew was that my baby's not breathing, fix her! (she just took her time about her first breath is all).

She was born on June 16, 2011 at 3:58 a.m. after about 2 1/2 hours of labor and only 3 pushes. 7 lbs, 4 oz., 20 inches long.

Our home birth was such a blessing!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Homeschool Preschool: Choices, Choices

I have spent a lot of time the past few months thinking about what we can do for preschool. My son is three years old and loves to do "school." Now, I'm not trying to make him into a genius child. I don't think that preschool is necessary for his development. Here's why I decided to do homeschool preschool:

We're bored. 

That's it! When my son is bored, he gets into things. When he gets into things, I get irritated. When I get irritated, I stop being productive. When I stop being productive, I don't get things done... my house is a mess, my husband's not happy... SO, we do school to keep our sanity.

This past spring I purchased Sonlight's P3/4 program ($269).


I didn't get all the books, just my favorites. We've really enjoyed reading through them, but we had read them all after a few months. We needed something else to do. 

I purchased Sonlight's P4/5 program ($339). 

These books are also awesome, but this program is MUCH more advanced. In fact, it was TOO advanced for my son. So I sold it and kept looking (I also wasn't crazy about the lesson plans... pretty much all you do is read, read, read, without many hands-on activities!).

Since my son already knows his letters and sounds, I was interested in My Father's World Kindergarten Program ($206). 

This looks like so much fun! There's even an ant hill and a butterfly garden and classical music study! However, my son doesn't have the fine motor skills necessary to begin handwriting, so I decided to wait until next year. 

I started to feel like Goldilocks. 
Sonlight P3/4? Too easy. 
Sonlight P4/5? Too hard. 
MFW K? Too hard. 
What to do?

Then I stumbled across Heart of Dakota. We purchased their preschool program: Little Hands to Heaven (LHTH) ($79.99). 

We've only done two days of it, but it's been so much fun! We read Bible stories, do little rhymes, do crafts (that use simple household items), and sing songs! My kids' favorite part so far was our "A." We made a masking tape "A" on the floor and the kids walk their stuffed animals ("A, A Animals") along it to learn how to write an "A" while they say "A, A, A." Even my 14 month old sees it and says "A" now!

The lesson plans are laid out differently than in any other curriculum I've seen. You can see an example HERE

I hope to take some pictures of us enjoying LHTH and share them on here soon!

Another program I recently discovered is Teach my Preschooler. For only about $50 you can teach your child reading, printing, numbers 1-100, addition and subtraction. I'm thinking about getting this. 

Teach My Preschooler

Have you ever done a preschool program with your children? What are your favorites? What didn't work? 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Knickernappies Stackable Pad Review

(Note: Would you be able to take a moment to share with me in the comments section what mama cloth you use, or would like to try? If you don't use mama cloth, do you have any questions about it?)

I've made the switch to mama cloth. Right now, it's only 50% of the time since I haven't built up my stash yet, but I am hooked! When I have to go back to disposables for a day to let my mama cloth dry, I HATE it! I hate that I'm throwing away almost a quarter every time I change a pad, and I can't wait until I can get back into comfort! 

I was recently able to review Knickernappies stackable pads. These are different than any other pads I have. The black part goes up against your panties and can be reused while you replace the inserts as needed. A pad set comes with two snappable inserts. 

For light flow, you only have to use the shorter insert (although the snaps bother me quite a bit in this position.)

For heavy flow, you snap in the longer insert OVER the shorter one (although the snaps DO still irritate me... mostly b/c they're cold when I first put it on).  

The inserts are made of microfiber on one side and velour on the other, making them soft and terry-clothesque (do you like my new word?).

 The part that goes against your panties is made of soft waterproof fleece that won't slide around. My camera's not the greatest, but if you look closely you can see how the waffle pattern on the fabric can "grip."

Overall, I am pleased with these pads. They're soft, absorbent, and dry quickly because of they layers. I JUST don't care for all the snaps is all! I personally prefer a more "all-in-one" type of pad. 

Check back soon for a comparison review with Pink Daisy pads. 

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Homeschooling, Time management, and Other Things

I've been reconsidering my blog.

I still love cloth. I still go online and enter giveaways and research the latest diapers. I EVEN still match up my daughter's diapers to match her clothing. HOWEVER, there's just so much more going on in my life than cloth diapering! I haven't had TIME to think about all things cloth-diaper related! I want to blog about other things as well... For instance, I've been struggling to become more organized (this is related to the lack of time). This struggle has led me to purchase the following resource, which can be purchased HERE

Now I'm not sure how it's going to work out yet, because it hasn't arrived yet. But I need to get in control of our routine around here, and am impressed by the reviews of this book which was written by a Christian homeschooling mom of 6.   

One of the reasons that I need to be more in control of my time is because school is about to start! 

I'm going to be teaching a Conversational Spanish class in our home soon, using THIS curriculum: 

Easy Spanish curriculum

If I don't get my home and schedule in order soon, I might forget about a class and have a group of students arrive at my house at 9 a.m. to find me in my pajamas eating a bowl of cereal, surrounded by toys and unfolded diapers! (yes, this is my reality!)

I'm also going to begin "school" with my three year old! He LOVES for me to read to him and play games with him, but I haven't been doing it enough! If we official start "school," then I'll HAVE to read with him! This year we're going to play with toys from My Father's World and read books from Sonlight. We're also going to color pictures and play games like Hi Ho Cherry-O and Cootie. and Doesn't this look like fun??

Toddler TotePMSPNumber ExpressShape SorterWee Sing Bible SongsTall Stacker

I like the books Sonlight suggests and absolutely LOVE what I see in My Father's World curriculum! I can't wait to start Kindergarten with my son!  Are any of you homeschoolers?

But this is a cloth diapering blog and I began to talk about why I haven't been blogging about cloth diapering stuff. Here's the crux of the issue: 

Do I start blogging about other things on my "Contemplate Cloth" blog?
Do I rename my blog to include other topics?
Or do I just scrap this blog and start a new one altogether? (don't think I could handle doing two blogs at once)

Any thoughts? 

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Dry Bees vs. OsoCozy

Below is a medium DryBees (left) and a large OsoCozy (right). The DryBees is made of microfiber whereas the OsoCozy is made of cotton. I appreciate the pocket in the DryBees for if additional absorbency is needed. 

The medium DryBees is almost as big as the large OsoCozy. I wish the DryBees had crossover tabs like the OsoCozy. 

The microfiber on the DryBees is softer than the cotton on the OsoCozy.

Both of these diapers are excellent. They are trim and easy to use. I like the price and crossover tabs of the OsoCozy, and the pocket and softness of the DryBees. It's a draw. :)

To learn more about the DryBees, go HERE.
To learn more about the OsoCozy, go HERE.

Below is a comparison chart of the two:

OsoCozy AIO                                                               DryBees AIO

PRICE PER DIAPER                                            $19.95

POCKET FOR INSERT                                                  Y

CROSSOVER TABS                                                     N

          N                                      SOFT FABRIC AGAINST BABY                                          Y

          Y                                       NATURAL FABRIC AGAINST BABY                                 N