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.