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For this child, I have prayed. (Samuel 1:27)

Archive for the month “September, 2010”

Kushies vs. G: Cloth diaper review

Lately I have been using cloth diapers for Nathan and I LOVE them.  Well, one of the brands anyhow. I have mentioned on a previous blog some reasons why it is so much better for baby (and wallet) to go green and use Cloth Diapers for baby.

I have been using two major brands of cloth diapers, Kushies and G.  Here is my review of them:

G hybrid/cloth diaper:

Liner not inserted (Left); Liner inserted (right)

Pros and Cons:

Basically, I consider G diapers to be very expensive cloth diaper covers for those who use the cloth inserts only. The hybrid feature is basically a thin pad-like liner that you fold and insert into the liner holder of the g-diaper, which to me defeats the purpose of a true cloth diaper.  I find this to be cumbersome.  It is hard to hold a baby down with one hand and try to wrestle with inserting the flimsy liner into its holder.  So the only solution is to take time to pre-load the liners. It is messy to remove the dirty poopy liners.  For us, our toilet over-floods easily and so flushing does not work.  The only option is to take it out by hand, skip the diaper genie, and toss it into it’s own bag before disposing. The gdiaper can be used for more than one diaper change.  However, this eliminates the popular practice of setting down baby’s poopy bottom onto the clean outside of his used diaper while changing baby.  So the only option is to set the dirty diaper aside, clean baby’s bottom completely while holding his bottom up, then place the pre-loaded diaper under him.  It’s a lot of work and something I’m not up for.

In addition, the liner holder is tethered down by plastic suds which blister and rub baby’s hips raw where it makes contact.  The velcro, if not fastened precisely correct (or comes undone) also rubs baby’s skin raw:

The pros are that it is the better fit for very skinny or babies with very short torsos.  It is very thin and not bulky at all.  The leak control is about the same as Kushies, which is about the same as disposable diapers.  The hybrid feature is great for traveling and the liner can be used for more than one diaper change.

Cost: $70 for a 6 pack. Liners are required and are an additional cost.  Cloth inserts are about $30.  Biodegradable inserts are about $52 for 4, 32 packs.

Overall, I would just save your money and buy ordinary plastic liners and just use cloth inserts for those. I don’t mind getting my hands messy and taking time to pre-load diapers. The real issue with me is that it has studs and other parts that will rub baby raw and cause blisters.  I consider this to be a real design flaw.

KUSHIES all-in-one cloth diaper:

Design:

Outside is a waterproof shell with an absorbent liner.  An extra, built in liner is included and is attached at the back end of the diaper.  No extra liners needed, although they make a thin biodegradable liner to catch the solids for easy disposal.

Cost: $55 for a 5-pack.  Extra liners are not required.

Pros and cons:

The overall diaper is a a little bulky, so it’s not great for traveling. The fastening velcro strips do not allow for much custumizing for the best fit for your baby. It has wider leg openings which may not be good for babies with thin legs.  Although my son’s legs are a little on the skinny side, I haven’t experienced leaks yet. The waist is easy to adjust to fit properly for skinny and chubby babies, though because it sits high on the waist, it may not fit babies with very short torsos as well as it does those with average torso lengths or tall babies.

The built in liner is a very nice feature.  I would, however, recommend extra cloth liners for times where it will be a long time before a diaper change such as overnight.  I like that the liner can be folded to concentrate absorbent for girls and boys.   With or without the biodegradable liner for stools, it is easy to shake off the stool into the toilet with this liner.  There are no rough places to blister or rub baby’s skin raw.  That in itself is enough for me to stick with Kushies. Kushies are also very much so less expensive.  It does not have a hybrid feature.  You will need more of them because they are good for one diaper change. You change them as often as you do with disposable.  They are easy to just toss in the washing machine to wash and no pre-loading is required. They couldn’t be any easier to use.

TIPS:

For kushies and cloth liners, wash with about half of the usual amount of detergent (NEVER bleach) and oxy-clean.

Use a gentle detergent such as Dreft or something similar.

NEVER use fabric softener or bleach!!!  (This includes dryer sheets!)

I hang them up to dry either outside, in the bathroom, or in the laundry room.

I place soiled diapers in a cloth-lined basket.  I wash the basket liner with each wash.

Instead of expensive cloth liners, just use plain old boring gerbers cloth liners and fold them. You can get 12 of them for about $1 each and they work just as well, if not better.  You can use these with Gbaby as well.

Fold with the thickest part in the center. Fold over again in half for girls. For boys, just fold the top 1/3 down to concentrate the absorbance where needed.

Cincinnati Komen for the Cure


Today C, Nathan, and I all went into the city to the Great American Ballpark for the Komen for the Cure/breast cancer event.

Thousands and thousands of survivors and others participated in the races.  They also had teams and each team had their own unique name.  Among my favorites: “The Young and the Breastless” all-men’s team; “Ta-ta Warriors”, “Real Men Wear Pink”.   Racers all wore signs with their numbers and some wore extra signs with who they are fighting for.

They gave out all kinds of treats and had things there for kids.  Some folks dressed up their dogs. This one is my favorite:

At the end, they had a survivors ceremony.  A local gospel quintet sang uplifting songs and they released 20 white peace doves in memory of those who had lost their lives to breast cancer this year.  Each dove represented 2,000 women for a total of 40,000 women this year alone.  The stadium was so quiet as we observed a moment of silence.

The highlight was when they honored the survivors.  The survivors, all wearing pink, filed down the stadium stairs and onto the field.  They stood in formation, creating a giant pink ribbon off all the survivors.

Their husbands, siblings, children, grandchildren, and friends stood and cheered for them.  One man really touched my heart as he wiped his tears and waved the “I love you” sign for his wife on the field. A little girl waved the “I love you sign” to her granny.

One survivor broke loose from the formation and ran around the field cheering and the audience laughed and cheered with her.

It was beautiful and sad and uplifting all at the same time.

At the very end, all of the survivors took off there hats and waved and cheered to celebrate their fights against breast cancer.  Their families all stood up in the stands, raised their hands above their hands, cheered and shouted words of congrats and called their surviving loved ones’ names.

Thousands of people were there, all touched by breast cancer in one way or another.  I was there to stand for my Mom.  Although she’s been gone for 11 months, I wanted to celebrate her memory there.  My mom had been diagnosed with stage 3-4 breast cancer, which has the highest mortality rate.  Stage 4 is considered terminal.  Despite this, she fought like hell and went on to celebrate NINE YEARS as a breast cancer survivor against all odds.  She got through it with faith, hope, and sheer iron will that she would beat terminal cancer.  This is why, even though she is gone, she is an Ultimate Survivor. I am so unbelievably proud of her.  She is my hero.

Miss you, Mom.  I stood proud and tall for you today.

Awesome diapers.com coupons!!!

Diapers.com is an AWESOME online store for us busy moms.

If you spend over $49, 1-2 day shipping is FREE.  If you have coupons, mail them in or enter the code at checkout and it will be applied.  If you find the price cheaper somewhere else, just contact them and they will refund the difference to your account.

They deliver very quickly to your door within a few days and they have everything you could possibly need for baby.  How easy could it get??? No planning store trips around naps, toting a cranky baby or two around, or hauling huge boxes of diapers or food anymore! It is fabulous too if you are traveling, just have them send all you need to your destination and forget about paying extra shipping costs when you fly.

For your FIRST order, enter this code at checkout for 15% off of your entire order and free shipping:

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Finally, for those of you who want to try cloth diapers, gDiapers (fabulous product) is offering $30 off of a 6-pack order of gDiapers if you enter this code and for extra savings

JHEA1218

I am working on getting some more coupon codes together and will post soon.  If you know any codes, feel free to PM me and I’ll share it on the site!




Cloth Diapers

Lately I have been using cloth diapers for Nathan and I LOVE them! My only regret is that I wish I had registered for these before he was born.  If we ever have another child, I am planning on using them from birth on up.

Clothe diapers have come a LONG way.  These new ones are placed on baby the same way as disposables.  They have thick liner inserts that you remove instead of changing the whole diaper itself.  They also have these biodegradable liners for collecting solids.  You simply flush the soiled liner and wash the insert, and repeat.

Bonuses for using cloth diapers:

  • babies who wear cloth diapers tend to potty train earlier
  • better for environment & your wallet
  • Nathan a bad chemical burn once  from the chemicals in disposables:
  • Chemicals in disposables: dioxin (known carcinogen, banned everywhere but US); TBT (known to cause hormonal problems in humans and animals); sodium polyacrylate (known to cause toxic shock syndrome in other hygiene products).
  • can buy cloth diapers using medical savings accounts, resulting in 10-35% tax savings
  • disposables = about $1500 per baby; cloth = about $300 per family (usually lasts two children)

Plus, cloth diapers are SUPER cute! 🙂

Potty Training

This is a rather frank discussion about a totally normal mile-stone of every single human’s development.  I use words like, potty, poopy, and other terms to communicate potty-training related events.  If you have objections to these infant hygiene concepts, please feel free to skip this post.

I have been noticing lately that Nathan could possibly be ready to start potty training.  I read online that there are some signs to look for, such as: having regular bowel movements, being uncomfortable with dirty diapers and wanting to be changed.  I read that most kids are ready to potty train around 18 months to 3 years of age.  However, I remember that I trained at 2 years old in one day and only had one accident after that. While he is only 11 months old and not ready for underwear, I see signs the he may be ready to start practicing. Nathan, when he needs to go poopy, often either crawls up to me or if he is playing he will stop and look straight at me.  Right after he is done making a potty, he will come up to me with a whine while pulling his diaper down to signal for me to take it off.  This tells me that he may be ready to start doing some of his pottying on the “big boy” potty.

I have an award-winning boon potty which is awesome because I can use it to sit on while he bathes and he can use it as a step-stool to brush his teeth or get onto the regular potty later. It has little side storage to store clean diapers, wipes, toilet paper, and even a “book” for him to read while he does business. (Boon baby products as a whole are some of my all-time favorites!)

Yesterday I sat him down at his first cues that he was ready and gave him a toy to play with while sitting there.  He made a potty and I clapped and cheered for him for making his first big boy potty!

If you are currently parenting an infant or soon to be, please read!

http://drbenkim.com/articles-attachment-parenting.html

and this one if you want to read a little more on the topic:

http://www.babyledmummy.com/17-08-2010/the-case-against-crying-it-out

Hot Wheels

Could he be…walking?

I picked up Nathan and flipped him side to side, looking top to bottom for any sign of a big red button with the word, “PAUSE” written on it. My baby boy, 10m3w old, took his first (witnessed) steps today!

He speed-crawled over to a chair and climbed himself up into a standing position. Next, he decided that he wanted to cross a tiny width of space between the chair and a dresser. He started to lower himself to the ground. He stopped, stood back up, and instead took a few shaky steps until his little hands could grasp onto the dresser! I think he may have started walking earlier because he has been cruising along furniture and at the next glance he would be on a different furniture piece and I couldn’t figure out how he got to it so quickly.

So…it looks like C and I are going to enter a whole new phase of child rearing now that he is pretty much bipedal now. I have absolutely no idea what to expect. Is he going to be falling like when he was first learning to sit up? Am I supposed to keep shoes on him or not? How do I baby-proof now? What do I do if he wants to walk while we’re in public and I am pressed for time and can’t let him down at the moment?

Another, more serious concern is if he has a problem called E.V.A. which can lead to deafness if he hits his head in the wrong place. I am planning on setting up an appointment with a pediatric ENT to have a diagnostic fMRI scan done soon. EVA is thought to be genetically inherited via an autosomal recessive trait, though in a few cases it is multi-factorial source or autosomal dominant.   The gene is thought to be gene SLC26A4 or PDS gene for short.  I am not sure yet if there is a blood test for it yet or if it is still diagnosed via fMRI. I am unsure of which of the types of genetic inheritance is involved in Nathan’s family history.

So anyhow, that is an additional issue weighing on my mind because if he does have it, then I need to take measures to protect his head as much as possible  in case he falls.

Martha Stewart, eat your heart out!

For whatever reason, I swear I feel like I am going through some sort of nesting phase for winter preparations. Even Martha Stewart would be proud of everything I am doing.  I know back South we never had to do much winterizing since we could depend on having a few odd-ball warm days in the middle of winter plus total lack of any “real” snow.  Up here, however, things are just different.  Winters are cold with plenty of ice storms and snow and never any warm fluke days to count on in case we forget to get something done outside.

So…since I’ve neglected the yard for this summer, I’ve been working *really* hard to get things back in shape so that things will be ready to go next spring.  For the lawn, I’ve spread fall mixtures of weed/feed/seed mixes and watered liberally each day that we don’t have rain.   I’ve cleared out all but two of my gardens, cutting back dying summer foliage and pulling up things that don’t belong or plants that need to be thinned out/divided.  Next I need to layer thick mulch down around the bases of the plants to make sure that they have extra protection against the cold winter ahead. All that I really have left is to rake up dead leaves that cover the lawn each week until the trees are bare.

The sculpted patio in the back yard developed a layer of green growth wherever we had furniture or other items.  So I moved things around so that I could bleach and scrub the patio clean.  Luckily it came right up and now looks fabulous.  I put the swing underneath the 2nd story porch on the mulched area to protect it from snow.  The weight of snow severely stretches and tears the fabric.  I put C’s gas grill and our fire pit against the house out of the way after cleaning their respective covers.  I moved our dining table and two of the four chairs down onto the patio.  I am making a little sitting area with the remaining two chairs on the 2nd story porch and will eventually convert the porch into a little play area for Nathan for the warmer days.

I also need to construct a little gate for the porch.  I am also going the large playard gate/corral up as an extra safety measure and will possibly put up the coated “chicken” wire around the railing as well.  Never can be safe enough!

Inside, I’m making progress with Nathan’s playroom plans! I’ve got a lot to do: painting, decluttering, clean the carpet, hang pictures, mount new wooden blinds.   I did, however, make great strides with one of my more time-consuming projects.  We kept an old oak living room side table/coffee table set from when we first got married.  They are ugly as sin and have been given plenty of “character” from lack of any sort of drink toasters and also plenty of chewed wood due to unrestrained and bored mutt activity.  Since I have never (ever) even attempted the intimidating task of refinishing furniture, I started out with doing one one of the side tables.

First I hand-sanded all of the glossy paint away, then wiped it down.  Then I applied primer, 2 coats of left-over beige/ivory-ish paint.  I was nervous that the paint would chip off so I also spray-painted several layers of clear Rustoleum laquer top-coat and couldn’t be happier! The top coat made all the difference in the world.  It is definetely protected now from chipping and watermarks, which is perfect for the playroom.

For the coffee table, I am thinking of doing the base and trim the same ivory/beige-ish color and then painting the top of it with chalkboard paint.  I can paint little matching chairs for the table and he will have himself his very own play table!

I like this chair from Ikea because I should be able to just paint right over it and it is inexpensive:

At the base of our stairs I am hoping to make a little photo gallery collage.  Our house has a very open floor plan so we do not have much wall space for pictures.

I will be sure to post before/after pictures later on!

What. A. Day.

Yesterday was quite a day.  It all started off innocently enough with morning church.  We decided to try out a local catholic church.  We have been going to a church that I absolutely love and get a lot out of, but C stresses that a church must have structure for it to be beneficial for a child’s spiritual growth.  So we are going back to a Catholic church and I am hoping (praying and wishing) that it will grow on me and help inspire us to incorporate religion into our home instead of just restricting it to a Sunday visit.  I am optimistic that this will happen in due time and that I just have to be patient. I thought the church was beautiful, however, the church we went to doesn’t have child care.  One of the main things I like about church is that it gives Nathan a rare chance to interact with other babies his age. He is a very social baby and it is important for him to interact with other kids his age.  So…we are on the hunt again for another church that has child care during service.

On a less serious topic, Sunday was quite a day for us three!  Since he had to stay with us during mass, I had the difficult task of keeping a hyper 10-month old quiet and stationary.  We had to sit in the far back in case I needed to make a quick exit with a fussy baby, so we didn’t understand a word of anything that went on.  So we resorted to standing up and sitting down repeatedly along with the rest of the congregation and crossing ourselves whenever they did. Thankfully, we managed to avoid the worst of bad baby behavior such as screaming tantrums.  However, we had several other delightful (ahem) bouts to share with unwilling parishoners.

He gave me a black eye.

Seriously, he did.  While holding him, he suddenly arched his back and flung his hands upwards and one of his fist hit me, hard, directly on my eyeball.  Instantly my eye turned red and started watering up and throbbing like a bad sinus infection.  My mascara makeup started to run down my face and I grabbed a burpy towel to keep it under control.  I think that some of the church goers thought that somehow the service moved me to tears.  I added a few sniffles for good measure just in case. Lol.

Communion.

My father is Catholic and I was baptized Catholic as an infant, but I have never had my first communion.  So, instead of accepting the “body and bread” of Christ, I have to instead cross my arms over my chest and receive instead a quick blessing or prayer.  Since I held Nathan in my arms, I could only cross one hand.  So when I finally got up to the parishion leader who gives out the communion, she didn’t see the gesture and started to give me the bread instead. I shook my head and she looked confused.  Anyhow, it caused an embarrassing pause and rift in the well-oiled communion process.  To make matters worse, Nathan lunged for the plate of little wine thimbles and thankfully I pulled him back in time to prevent spilling the entire contents onto the church’s newly carpeted floors.

Not so holy Sounds

Nathan was quite musical during service.  Somehow, he managed to save his, um, musical making to the quietest moments during mass.  If I had paid closer attention, I would have the subtle reddening of his face and slightly quiet concentration, but I missed it. So the Priest sings last note, silence insures. Nathan’s straining grunt, followed by a little toot and another.  I feel the vibration from his diaper and found myself thinking, “Please oh PLEASE do not let this be a BM right here in church!”

It turns out that it was just a little gas episode and that we were safe…for the moment. In the meantime, my keeping-baby-quiet tactics were causing a little stir on its own.

Tactic #1: A baby can’t talk with a mouthfull of food.

I had a little dispenser filled with cheerios and readily popped on into his mouth the instant I thought he was about to be loud. A secondary, unexpected side-affect presented itself whenever Nathan decided to entertain himself with a cheerio spitting contest.  Nuff’ said.

Tactic #2: A baby with a toy and pacifier is too busy to be loud.

Nathan extended his spitting contest to using his pacifier instead of cheerios.  His target? The innocent guy sitting in front of him.  I think he was hit twice with a pacifier before I finally put the flying silicon and plastic missle away for good. Toys: I had some little flashcards with pictures for him to look at instead of books.  I was afraid that he would throw the books or hit himself and thought that he couldn’t possibly disturb anyone with a card.

Nathan tossed the card at the lady behind us and again at the poor man in front of us before I, too, put the cards up.

Holy Tooting;


Later during Mass, while saying the Lord’s prayer, Nathan’s holy tooting resumed yet again and I found myself saying a Mother’s version of the prayer instead.

Mom’s version of the Lord’s Prayer:

Heavenly Father, hallowed be thy name, thy will be (baby toots) done, on Earth as it is in Heaven,

(baby toots again *lord please do not let this child have a bm right now!*)

Give us this day,

(noxious smell waifs up from diaper, baby strains and grunts through another toot. *this is NOT happening, I will finish this prayer and his diaper will be baby fresh and this will all be a false alarm and)

our daily bread, forgive us our trespasses,

(an unmistakeable odor fills our little pew area and the gas cloud makes its way to the pews in front of us and behind us, a lady sniffs and looks at me with a knowing smile…)

Anyhow…we mother’s have our own versions of just about anything, church prayers included.

After putting up the toys, food, and pacifier, the only tactic I had left was to give him a bottle.  I let him have all of the fluids he could hold and it was enough to get us though the rest of Mass.  In the end, we left church leaving a lovely scent trail behind us and me with black eye and mascara running down my face.

C was in a great mood and wanted to go out to eat.  While waiting for our table, Nathan’s diaper somehow shifted and soaked through and onto my dress.  Covered in urine, I took him to be changed and found that only part of his undershirt was wet and that the diaper shifted and let the leak out.  I took care of him, gave up on myself, and headed out to our table.  Nathan screamed and pealed and grabbed at every. single. item on the table and almost pulled our glassed out all over the table.  He was hungry and so while C ate I spooned some of my food to him until he was full.  Just when I finally got to eat, Nathan had a BM and filled our area with an unappetizing odor.  I sighed, put down my fork, and took him to be changed.

On the changing table, I had set his dirty diaper aside and had just finished wiping him clean.  The door started to open and I spotted a cute little old lady trying to get through with her walker.  With one hand on him, I straddled the space between the changer and door and held the door open for her.  As she slowly made her way through, Nathan’s naked self started peeing!  The little yellow arch reached the wall and then bounced off to land perfectly on my hand.  I couldn’t let go of the door and let it shut on the poor old lady, so I could do nothing at all about being peed on.  When she finally made it through, she took a moment to remark about how sweet and cute my baby is.  Nathan then used the moment of my distraction to reach down and grab his poo-c0vered diaper and pulled it up so suddenly that it got stuck onto my forearm, sunny side up! Sooooo gross!

The little old lady finally went pass us.  I cleaned myself up and headed back out to my largely untouched dinner.  C was polishing off his dessert and I asked for a to-go box.  What. A. day.

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