Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Charlie Banana XS Review

One of the newer kids on the cloth diapering block is Charlie Banana!  This brand has become a favorite for many mamas and I myself own a few of these!  Of course, when building my newborn stash, I had to grab some of these to try out on my itty bitty!  The Charlie Banana line is very similar to the Fuzzibunz line, so I will compare a lot of the features to the Fuzzibunz.  If you would like to read more about my initial findings with cloth diapering a skinny baby and our rocky start to cloth diapering Baby J, please see the Intro post here.

Fits:  5-10 pounds

Price Per Diaper:  (3/5 Stars)  This diaper retails for $16.88 for solid colors and $17.25 for prints.  This is an average price for most newborn pocket diapers and AIO diapers so it all depends on what features you want.  I do feel that Charlie Banana diapers are a great quality diaper so you are definitely getting a good diaper for that price!

Leaks:  (3/5 Stars)  It is hard to rate this diaper for leaks.  Had this diaper fit my son well, it probably would have been leak free!  But alas, but skinny boy caused trouble in this diaper too!  This diaper is a pocket diaper with a front pocket opening and a MF insert.  I did feel that the absorbency of this diaper was more than adequate for a newborn and would have held well had this diaper fit!

Fit:  (2/5 Stars)  :(  Man, I wish I had chunky babies...another one bites the dust!  Cloth diapering a skinny baby is HARD.  If you have skinny babies or anticipate a skinny baby, I would recommend steering clear of this diaper!  Of all the newborn diapers we tried, this one had BY FAR the largest gaps around the legs.  I could have fit two of Baby J's legs in one opening!  I put this diaper on him when he was a week old, took a pic, and had to take it right back off!  There is no way that it would have contained even one drop of poop!  I tried this diaper on him again as we got to 8-8 1/2 pounds and most of his CDs started to fit....NOPE!  This one was still HUGE around the legs, so it came right back off again!  This diaper is only supposed to fit 5-10 pounds...Baby J was over 10 (almost 11) pounds before the leg openings fit his legs better...and they still were not tight enough to contain EBF poop. :(  So this diaper was just a complete flop for us!  This diaper does feature a cross over snap option around the waist which is perfect for skinny waisted babies!!  This is something I wish the Fuzzibunz had!  But if your baby has skinny legs, the waist will not matter!  This diaper does have a nice lower rise, so this diaper would fit well under the cord stump before it falls off!

Ease of Use:  (4/5 Stars)  This is a very simple to use diaper!  It is a pocket, so you simply stuff the insert in and unstuff to wash!  Very easy!  Putting on baby with the snaps is very easy as well!  This diaper also offers a front stuff pocket which is nice for many reasons.  One, this keeps inserts and linings from accidentally sticking out the back and causing leaks.  Two, this diaper is designed as a "hybrid" diaper meaning you can lay the insert in the front tab and use this diaper as a cover instead of a pocket (never put MF next to skin!). This diaper does offer ease of use and a ton of options for use!

Washing:  (4/5 Stars)  This diaper washes very well!  Just like the Fuzzibunz, the soft fleece inner releases stains and poop easily and washes perfectly!  Washing is easy!  Just a quick unstuff, toss in washer, toss in dryer, stuff, and back on baby!  My only complaint is the front stuff diaper.  Many times this part of the diaper is the dirtiest, so if you are not one for touching poop, this may not be the diaper for you!  Personally, this didn't bother me, but I do find stuffing front stuff diapers to be awkward...just something to get used to!

Overall Performance:  (3/5 Stars)  I hoped this would be a success for us!  The crossover waist tabs and snaps was something that I was very excited about.  Since Miss A was quite skinny, I knew to expect Baby J to be skinny!  But those leg gaps just SHOCKED me!  They were just SO huge and made this diaper next to impossible for us to use! :(  If you have chunky babies, this would be a great dipe!  But if you made skinny babies or this is your first, I would maybe wait to buy if you want to use Charlie Bananas.  Or buy the smalls since they start at 7 pounds and fit to 18 pounds...this would fit longer.  You run the risk that they may not fit at birth, but you would at least get your money out of them! ;)

Total Stars:  19/30

Thursday, October 25, 2012

It's going to be a long one

drinking from a fire hydrant........ that has been our life the past couple days.

I went to an essential oils class and loved it.
We took our oldest daughter for a neuro-development appointment.
I reviewed a book and hosted a give-away.

Why you ask are we overwhelmed....

We want to completely switch our medications, household cleaning, OTC products to essential oils.

We will begin some intensive exercises to help our daughter get to the level she needs to be for her age.  This appointment revealed some amazing things and we are forever grateful for being shown this option.

I loved this book - 21 Days to a More Disciplined Life by Crystal Paine. As someone who is a professional at wasting time and putting things off this book was a HUGE wake-up call to me.  It was so simple and direct yet filled with amazing advice that is practical and easy to implement.  I am excited to start this journey and will be hopefully documenting it on my other blog. :)  This book is on sale for .99cents right now and will rise to $4.99 tomorrow.  So get it now!  It's only 60 pages long and a very easy read.

*yes these are my affiliate links above - I will receive a small portion of the sales and it will help me to save for my daughter's next appointment. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

BumGenius XS Newborn Review

As many of you know, I <3 BumGenius!!!  The 4.0 pocket is by far my favorite OS diaper!  So when I started building my stash of newborn diapers for Baby J, the bG XS were a MUST and I bought a bunch!!  I was ridiculously excited to see bG's on my tiny little boy's bum!  If you would like to read more about my initial findings with cloth diapering a skinny baby and our rocky start to cloth diapering Baby J, please see the Intro post here.

This diaper used to be called the BumGenius XS diaper because bG used to make sized AIO diapers.  BumGenius stopped making the sized diapers, but kept the XS as the Newborn diaper.  Hope this clarifies this!  The XS and the Newborn bG AIO are the same diaper! :)

Fits:  6-12 pounds

Price Per Diaper:  (4/5 Stars)  This diaper retails for $12.95.  This price is quite a bit lower than many other newborn diapers (pocket, AIO, etc) on the market!  Plus you get the bumGenius name brand and quality.  The bG diapers are fabulous because they are made WELL.

Leaks:  (4/5 Stars)  This diaper, along with most of our newborn stash, did not fit my skinny little guy at first. Since his legs were just SUPER thin, these diapers just did not get small enough around his tiny legs and would leak.  But once he hit 8-8 1/2 pounds, these were perfect!  They are super absorbent and once his little legs filled the leg openings these diapers were leak proof and one of our go-to diapers!  This is an All-in-One diaper meaning there are no removable parts.  It is a super easy to use one piece diaper!  Since Baby J was so skinny (and we loved these so much), he was able to wear these diapers past the manufacturer recommended weight limit.  As he approached 13-13 1/2 pounds, the diapers were getting too small and Baby J was leaking through them because he was peeing a ton more, but I cannot fault the diaper for that since we were using it past the recommended weight limit!  We were able to use a doubler for a short while to gain some absorbency, but even a very thin doubler added too much bulk for the diaper to continue to fit well.

Fit:  (4/5 Stars)  This diaper is incredibly simple as an AIO diaper with an Aplix closure!  There is no guess work in fitting the diaper to baby and this is AS CLOSE as you can get to ease and convenience of a disposable diaper!  For the first few weeks, Baby J was just too thin to get a good fit around the leg openings, so we were unable to use these.  Since there is just a simple aplix closure around the waist, there is  no way to adjust the leg openings, but once he got up to 8-8 1/2 pounds, these fit like a dream!  bG products always seem to fit my kids really well!  Once the leg opening problem was solved (with weight gain) these were one of our #1 go to diapers!  This diaper does not feature a snap down for the cord stump. Due to Baby J not fitting into these right away, this was not a problem for us.  I did try this diaper on him as one of the first diapers (see picture above) and it hit right at his cord stump.  He is a very long skinny boy, so I probably could have gotten away with it but if your baby is shorter, this diaper might be out until the stump falls off.

Ease of Use:  (5/5 Stars)  Can I give more than 5 stars?  If you are considering cloth diapering but thing disposables are so much easier...this is the diaper for you!  No fuss, no stuffing, no confusing diaper parts or lingo!  This is an All-in-One diaper with no extra parts or inserts that need to be moved this way or that.  This is a one piece diaper that has a simple velcro (Aplix) closure!  This is as close to a disposable diaper as you can get!  And with as many changes as a newborn needs...ease of use is a HUGE plus!  These are also one of the easiest diapers to wash since they are an AIO!

Washing:  (5/5 Stars)  Easy!  That is the one word to describe these diapers and washing them!  The only thing you have to remember it to secure the aplix to the laundry tabs before washing...otherwise there is nothing to do!  Toss in the wash, Toss in the dryer, and put back on baby!  Simple!  I also find that bG diapers release stains and poop marks extremely well!  So these wash up clean and easy!  Perfect for a beginner or a busy mom!  (what mom isn't busy?)

Overall Performance:  (4/5 Stars)  Nothing but mad love for my BumGenius XS Newborn diapers!!!  These are a FABULOUS newborn diaper and work wonderfully!  My only complaint was the not fitting my little guy until 8-8 1/2 pounds.  I wish these had fit sooner!  But my skinny boy had troubles in so many diapers that this is more a fault of ours and not the diaper!  Highly recommend these diapers!!!

Total Stars:  26/30

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A Giveaway!

I was so excited to receive this book to preview and I've also been given 5 copies to give away!!!

I'll be reviewing this book on Thursday but will choose the winners on Wednesday afternoon.

To enter leave a comment below and I'll randomly select somehow :)

Friday, October 19, 2012


The family and I are taking our last camping trip of the season.  We have a tow behind trailer camper, and absolutely LOVE to use it.  We try to go as much as possible through out the spring, summer and fall.  This is our last trip of the "camping season" because the weather here is getting too cold.  We'll put the camper away and winterize it so the pipes don't freeze.  So this is our last trip as a family of 4.  Hard to believe that this coming spring when we pull the camper back out, we'll have one more joining us! 

One of the fun things I like to do in the fall is take pumpkins along.  We love carving pumpkins, but never get to really enjoy them when we are at home.  When camping you are outside almost constantly, so what better time to do jack o'lanterns and enjoy them! 

As we've been camping since C was a baby, I've learned some tips and tricks along the way.  Some I just came to on my own and others I've seen from other campers in the campground.  Here are some of the ones that made life easier for me.

Take a tote, basket or bucket to store shoes in.  We always have an array of shoes, rain boots, sandals, water shoes, etc.  This has made it so much nicer to wrangle them all and have a nice organized camper.  Plus the shoes must come off before entering camper, so my floors stay clean longer!  Not so much tracking leaves and dirt everywhere.

A collapsible hamper.  While camping there is ton of dirty clothes, towels, etc that accumulate.  Having a hamper just makes life a ton easier!  Something so simple, yet we just started using one this season!

Rainy days are sure to come.  There is no guarantee with weather and even if it rains, we still find fun while camping.  It's hard because the kids are stuck inside, but if you go prepared life is a ton easier.  We like to keep a few toys that the kids just keep in the one camper cabinet.  Baby doll, bottle, monster truck, etc.  Simple little things.  Coloring books, crayons, some misc. craft supplies, play dough, stickers, board games, card games, etc.

Dollar Tree glow sticks!  You can't go camping without them! :) We usually grab some bracelets and split the pack between kids.  They love the treat and they are SO cheap!

Food that is low prep work.  I feel like it's my break, so the less I have to cook and prepare the better.  I try to do a lot of things at home so I am free to relax on our trip.  I like cutting up veggies and making up a veggie tray with dip.  Fruit salad is also a hit! Pasta salad, taco salad and such are great lunches.  My husband does most of the cooking while camping, so we usually do a lot of foil packets for veggies.

Less is more when camping though.  We have the rainy day stuff, but never get it out unless it's really bad out.  I want my kids to play in the dirt and rocks.  Find a stick and use their imaginations.  We do bring their bikes and helmets.  And when we are going somewhere in the summer with a beach, don't forget the sand toys!  Oh and scavenger hunts are tons of fun as well!  Take the time to unplug and reconnect as a family.  I know we cherish these camping trips more than anything.

I'm sure I've got more to share, but time is ticking away and I need to get packing!!!! 


Thursday, October 18, 2012

A Happy Birthday!

This is post dedicated to my sweet oldest daughter who turns 5 today.... where does time go???

Happy Birthday Miss L!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Applecheeks Size One Review

I had never tried Applecheeks, but when a great sale came around I decided to snag two of these to try on Baby J.  The envelope cover was intriguing to me as well as the sizing.  If you would like to read more about my initial findings with cloth diapering a skinny baby and our rocky start to cloth diapering Baby J, please see the Intro post here.

Size 1 Fits:  7-20 pounds
Size 2 Fits:  20-40 pounds (have not used)

Price Per Diaper:  (2/5 Stars)  This diaper comes in pieces.  Just the envelope cover retails for $19 and then you have the choice of adding a Microfiber insert for $4 or a bamboo insert for $8.  This means that a complete diaper retails for approximately $23-$27.  This sounds quite expensive, but when you factor in the length for which this diaper will fit and be used as well as some of its features, it may be worth the extra bucks!

Leaks:  (4/5 Stars)  Once this diaper fit well (see below) this was a great diaper.  Very absorbent for pee, but we did have the occasional EBF blow out.  This diaper features a removable insert, much like a pocket diaper, only the pocket is in the middle of the diaper instead of the front or back.  You can add additional inserts for more absorbency for naps/nights/heavy wetters.  I did not find that we needed any additional inserts as the Applecheeks microfiber insert was very absorbent!

Fit:  (3/5 Stars)  Ah, the dreaded fit.  My skinny boy was just problematic in all diapers!  But this on especially.  In all honesty, this diaper did not fit well until about 12 pounds!!  This diaper is just HUGE compared to other newborn diapers (see picture below of GroVia NB, Fuzzibunz XS, and Applecheeks size 1).  I honestly cannot picture this diaper fitting a 7 pound newborn without the diaper being up to his/her armpits!  I definitely would not try this diaper until his/her cord stump fell off.  I tried this on my little guy early, saw how huge it was and how there were fairly large leg gaps, and I took it right back off.  I tried many times over the weeks/months and it wasn't until 12 pounds that it began to fit well but we did still have a small gap around the legs that would occasionally let some poop out.  Even now at 15+ pounds there is a small gap.  It doesn't leak near as often, but it still isn't a great fit around the legs.  I do however, LOVE the snaps on this diaper.  They are slanted just like the AMP diapers and Blueberry/Swaddlebees.  I feel that this design fits quite well.  However, this diaper does need an overlap snap (which it does not have) to fit those 7 pound baby's waists that it says it can fit.  This diaper does also have the gathered elastic at the front and back which makes a nice fit every time...once your child fits the diaper that is! ;)

Ease of Use:  (3/5 Stars)  This diaper is designed with the envelope pocket in the middle of the diaper.  It is an envelope because the flaps overlap so that you can use this diaper as a cover and lay your insert on top of the fleece or you can tuck an insert into the pocket and have it entirely covered by the fleece lining to protect baby's bum.  Also, due to the placement of the envelope opening, it is much wider and allows easier access for stuffing for those with larger hands that have trouble stuffing pockets.  This is a nice feature for all of the things that I just said.  BUT, where does the poop hit the diaper?  Right where the envelope opening is.  This means to unstuff your pocket for the wash, you have to get through the poop to do so.  Not the worst thing, we have soap and water...but also not the nicest!  I also found that the insert was just a little too big for the diaper making it a little bit of a pain to stuff.  

Washing:  (5/5 stars)  This diaper washed very well!  All EBF poop marks came out with just normal washing, no stains remain and the fleece has stayed SUPER soft!!  It is a cinch to wash and these diaper still look brand new after washing and wearing!  My only complaint is having to get my hands poopy when pulling the insert out. :(  But again, we have soap and water for that!  But for you squimish ones...this might not be the diaper for you!

Overall Peformance:  (4/5 stars)  My only complaints with this diaper are that it didn't fit as early as I had hoped (or the label said) and the problems I had with the envelope opening.  But overall this is a nice diaper, great quality, very absorbent, and had a nice waist fit.  But I do not feel that it would fit a newborn well and definitely not a skinny one!

Total Stars:  21/30

Friday, October 12, 2012

Newborn Stash

As my due date seems to be quickly approaching, I find myself pulling open my cloth diaper drawer.  I started using cloth diapers with my son when he was about 9 months old.  We started out using prefolds and covers, then soon bought some bGs.  I fell in love with cloth and started using cloth on A as soon as her cord stump fell off.  I think she was around 2 weeks and we started cloth diapering full time.  This time I made sure to stock up on cloth that had cut outs/snap downs for the stump.  This way I can start cloth diapering immediately!  I love prefolds and covers because they are so affordable and really work so well at keeping in the BF poo!  I also wanted to have some easier cloth for Daddy and Grandma (though she knows how to use pf..she cloth diapered me) if they don't feel like messing around with the prefolds.  I bought some AIOs and also some fitted and contours to make using the covers easy for them as well.  I just can't wait to get a sweet little bum into all this cute fluff I've been collecting!

 Drawer full of fluff!
 Swaddlebees, WAHM, Grovia, Smartbottoms AIOs
Tons of covers...Mama made, Swaddlebees, Thirsties, Amp, Kissaluvs
  2 doz Green Mt Diaper Orange Edge Prefolds (my absolute favorite PFs)
Thirsties Fitteds, Kissaluvs Contours, Swaddlebee Flats
 Snappis, Cloth Wipes, Baby Bum Drops (for wipe solution), 3 fleece Scantinator NB covers

 Just this week I received a fun piece of mail.  Lovely Pocket Diapers was nice enough to send me one of their Newborn stuffable AIO to review.  I am dying for Dec to roll around so I can test it out on my sweet baby!  I received the red with yellow snaps, so cute!  From an experienced cloth diapering mama, I found some features that I absolutely love with this diaper.  It has 3 rise snaps so it can fit from 5-15 lbs, and at 11 dollars, that's a great value!  It is an AIO, which means it has an absorbent microfiber insert already attached, yet this also has a pocket that you can add more inserts into.  Making it very easy to use and very versatile!  This newborn also has the snap down for the umbilical cord.  Which like I said before is so wonderful because you can use this diaper from day one, no issues with the cord.  We all know how that BF poo can be and with the double leg gussets, I know that this diaper is going to be great at catching it and keep it in the diaper where it belongs!  As I said I haven't tried this out on a baby yet, but from what I see it's a wonderful value and great quality diaper. It really is impressive!  Stay tuned in Dec for a full review of the Lovely Pocket Diaper Newborn stuffable AIO! 

You can also check out Lovely Pocket Diapers on FB!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Already a Change

So last time I wrote I spoke briefly on my daughter and some of her issues.

I've also spoke on our homeschooling journey that we've started.

And now that journey has changed already.  I started out with the A Beka Curriculum. I loved the all in one - give me daily lesson plans, etc.  And while I love the Numbers curriculum and the success we are having with it - we've already ditched the Phonics and Writing (CURSIVE! for a 5 yr old!!!).

The phonics just was not working for her - we were on week two and things just weren't 'clicking'.  The curriculum started with vowels.  I realized she just wasn't retaining the information. When I asked her what sound I made she had no idea.... if I asked her what sound I made in 'pig' she knew.... if I asked her what vowel was in 'pig' she had no idea. If I asked her what vowel is in 'pig' like in Indian (the word we used to learn the I sound).... she did know that. But only because I said Indian - not because she knew the sound.  She could associate the vowel with the word we initially learned it with but not beyond that.  It was a very frustrating process to both her and I - it was no longer enjoyable (which is what I really want my homeschool experience to be!).

While I was at the A Beka curriculum fair another young mother and I exchanged contact info. She later called me to tell me she didn't feel like she could speak freely in front of the salesman.  totally understandable. But she did not like the phonics section either and used a different book for reading... oh I wish she would have told me that before we bought all of it.... :( but oh well. Live and learn right?

So two weeks ago I went ahead and ordered the new book (Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons).  Then spent 4 days reading the instructions and mentally preparing for switching approaches to reading. So far it's going great!!!  We are on lesson 6 and only yesterday had a rough day with my little one not wanting to sit still and pay attention.  And those days are going to come and looking back on it all three of my children were wild and out of control - must be the cool weather!

But anyhow - I've come to realize already that things aren't going to be perfect, I'm going to have to tweak constantly and who knows maybe A Beka will work for my son or we'll have to go with a completely different program.  It's going to be a learning experience for me too - about myself and more about my children!

Does anyone have any thoughts on this book or the A Beka curriculum?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Fuzzibunz XS Newborn Review

I didn't start cloth diapering until Miss A was one, so Baby J was my first time cloth diapering an itty bitty!  But one of my favorite diapers when I started cloth diapering Miss A was our Fuzzibunz so when I was building my stash for Baby J, I made sure to stock up on the Fuzzibunz XS for newborns!  If you would like to read more about my initial findings with cloth diapering a skinny baby and our rocky start to cloth diapering Baby J, please see the Intro post here.

Fits:  4-12 pounds

This diaper comes in both Snaps and Hook & Loop versions.  I will be including both in this review.

Price Per Diaper:  (4/5 Stars)  This diaper retails for $13.95 in snaps and $14.95 in Hook & Loop.  Many of the AIO newborn diapers are more expensive than this, so this might save you a few bucks.  Being that this is a pocket diaper, you also have the added feature of being able to add other inserts to this in order to increase absorbency.

Leaks:  (2/5 Stars)  I have mad love for Fuzzibunz diapers, but for skinny newborns this diaper just does not work!  I tried this on Baby J as one of his first cloth diapers at 1 week old and there were HUUUUUUGE gaps around the legs.  Not small gaps like many of the other diapers...I'm talking a gap large enough to fit a whole other leg!!!  I didn't even try to use these for weeks.  In fact, I took the diaper back off as soon as I put it on him that first time, there was no use leaving it on with gaps like that!  Once we got up to 8 1/2-9 pounds, I tried using these again...there were still gaps!  The gaps were not near as large, but still too big to be able to use these!  It was not until Baby J reached 10-10 1/2 pounds that these diapers finally fit well and the manufacturer weight maximum is 12 pounds.  Once we were able to start using these, they were a favorite.  They fit nicely and were very absorbent. The Hook & Loop version and snap version had the exact same gap around the leg.  I was not able to tighten the H&L one to make the legs any tighter.

Fit:  (3/5 Stars)  It is hard to pick a numerical rating for fit, I will explain why.  As I mentioned above, these diapers were completely out of our rotation for a long time due to the leg gap.  This was a huge disappointment to me given my past love for this brand.  The label says that this should fit starting at 4 pounds, I cannot imagine how!!!  On my skinny guy, the snap version would have been out at first anyway due to the waist not fitting as well!  This diaper does not have overlap tabs, which I feel would make a huge difference!  The H&L version can be overlapped and therefore does offer a better fit on the waist but this does not fix the gaps at the legs.  Once my skinny little guy hit around 8-8 1/2 pounds, the waist started to fit well but the legs did not fit well until 10-10 1/2 pounds.  

Ease of Use:  (4/5 Stars)  These diapers are quite easy to use.  They are a pocket diaper so you do have to stuff them with the included XS insert.  The pocket is pretty small to stuff, so if you have large hands this might be a challenge for you.  They are quite easy to put on baby, the H&L is a cinch and the snap version does not have a ton of snap options to confuse you!  Washing is simple, just a quick unstuff and into the wash!  Also, these diapers wash EXTREMELY well!  I love how nice FB diapers wash!  They don't stain and wash back to white!

Washing:  (5/5 Stars)  As I mentioned above, these wash SO well!!!  Even pesky EBF poop came out on the first wash!  No staining here!!!  These are a cinch to wash, just unstuff the pocket, toss them in the wash, in the dryer (or hang), then stuff the insert back in, and ready to go!  The MF inserts do retain some staining...but no one sees that except mom! ;)  On the H&L version, after washing, the tabs tend to curl which can look funky under clothing, snag on clothing and open, and tend to come undone easily.  I like the H&L for fit issues but do feel that FB needs to redesign their H&L.  Also, make sure to TIGHTLY secure your H&L tabs for washing, these have a tendency to come undone in the wash as well!

Overall Performance:  (3/5 Stars)  I love Fuzzibunz diapers and I really thought this would be a home run for us.  Most people (Like Me!) would read that these fit from 4 pounds and would think they would fit any size baby well!  Wrong.  I was so sad when I discovered how BIG they are!  My guy was 7-12 at birth and dropped to around 7 pounds at his lowest.  I would have never guessed that a diaper meant to fit from 4 pounds would be so big on a normal (but skinny) size baby!!!  Big :( on this one!  These are still a great NB diaper!  I still recommend them highly...but only to those who have a fairly good idea that their newborn is going to be chunky!!!  The H&L does offer a tighter fit around the waist but I am not a huge fan of this H&L since it did tend to come undone quite easily both on baby and in the wash.  The snap version does not go as small around the waist, but you avoid the issues that you have with the H&L.  Both had the huge leg gaps.  So the decision is up to you if you like H&L or snap.  Both have pros and cons.  This is a nice diaper, unless you create skinny humans!

Total Stars:  21/30

Friday, October 5, 2012

Mommy Time

We all give of ourselves 24/7 as mothers, whether we work outside the home or are stay at home moms.  It's what being a mother is.  Once that baby is born, it's like you are constantly giving of yourself.  It's one of the most special and rewarding jobs we can have to be a mother.  That said, we need to make sure we are taking care of ourselves as well.  Sometimes it's just so easy to get into a rut and not do anything that is just for us.  I have been feeling that rut lately.  I have been feeling very overwhelmed.  Being pregnant with two children is no small task.  C started half day PreK this year, and it's been a big adjustment for us all.  Mama doesn't have as much energy or patience while she's pregnant either, which isn't helping much.  So I've been trying to find times where I can get away and just be me for a bit.

 My local town had a consignment sale a couple weeks ago.  Two of my closest friends and I went there for only a couple hours.  It was so nice being away with adult friends and having no kids to wrangle.  We all felt so refreshed heading back to our lives.  We vowed we needed to do this again, and much more often. Today we'll be taking a trip to a bigger town that has lots of shopping and yummy restaurants.  Since my sciatic is bothering me so much, we'll probably only hit a few stores instead of the whole town like we used to.  That will be just fine, and we'll stop for lunch somewhere tasty and get to sit and relax!  We won't have to cut up anyone's food or entertain someone while we wait for our meal to be served. Ahh, sounds wonderful!  We get together a good bit, but it's always with our children.  There is just no way to really talk like we'd like, when wrangling kids the whole time. 

I have been thinking lately a lot about taking more time for myself, and trying to come up with some ideas.  Baths are something I very rarely do, but recently bought some fancy handmade bath salts.  It's not running off, but it's a time to get away and leave my cares behind while I shut and lock the door behind me.  A has preschool once a week for two hours, and on the days I'm not volunteering there I've done things for myself as well.  I like to splurge on a yummy cappuccino or hot chocolate.  Shopping kid free for two hours, can be just as much of a treat!  My husband and I had to have my mom watch the kids a few times recently so we could do something, one day was an ultra sound, the other a public school auction.  While she had them we took the time to grab a bite to eat somewhere we never take the kids.  It was at a bar, so to avoid the smoke we sat out on the porch.  It was so nice to feel completely like an adult, not just a mom.  The first day A had preschool I went to the mall and got a pedicure.  It was so strange to be free, but it really makes such a difference in my ability to mother my children.  When I am refreshed and renewed I'm ready to take on the kids and not lose my cool constantly. 

What are some ways you take a break from being mom and just treat yourself?  My challenge to you all is to try to do at least one thing a week that's only for you and no one else!  Let's vow to start taking better care of US!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Tots Bots Tiny Fit Review

A new kid on the block, and one with a HUGE following, is the Tots Bots line.  These All in One diapers made in Scotland (ah, my ancestry!) have really become a go-to diaper for many moms and babes!  I had bought a few of the Easy Fits to use with Miss A and while I liked them, I was not in love with them.  But because they are such a huge hit with so many, I decided that I just had to try them with Baby J.  If you would like to read more about my initial findings with cloth diapering a skinny baby and our rocky start to cloth diapering Baby J, please see the Intro post here.

Fits:  5-12 pounds

Price Per Diaper:  (3/5 Stars)  Since these diapers are not made in the USA (or China either) they do come with a slightly higher price tag.  This diaper retails for $18.95 per diaper.  The average price for an AIO newborn diaper is $13-16, so this diaper is not a huge amount over the average, but it does add up!  However, for the extra money, you are getting a well made, AIO, and easy to use diaper made from an environmentally friendly company.

Leaks:  (3/5 stars)  I must just have bad luck with these diapers.  So many people swear by these diapers and that they are leak proof.  Both my OS and these Tiny Fits leak for us.  For short periods, of course there were no problems.  But for nap/night time use they just did not hold enough pee!  My son would leak out the front and out the legs.  We just did not have good luck with these.  This diaper is an AIO diaper but designed with an attached insert.  This is great for washing since it agitates out, dries easily, and is right there to tuck back in but it is also great for absorbency since you can fold/tuck the length of the insert to whatever position you need the added absorbency.  We tried everything and still could not get the excellent bullet proof diaper that I have heard so much about! :(

Fit:  (4/5 Stars)  I love the aplix on this diaper.  It is made for newborns, so the diaper is nice and small and the aplix just gives you that perfect waist fit!  Plus the aplix is super sticky and the laundry tabs do not release in the wash.  However, on my skinny little guy, there was quite the gap in the leg openings which led to frequent leaks and not being able to use this diaper until about 8 1/2-9 pounds.  Once we got to that weight, the diaper fit nicely everywhere but we had the leaking issue. :(  Baby J was also rather long, and these had trouble going under his cord stump until it fell off.  I would not recommend using this diaper until your baby's cord stump falls off.

Ease of Use:  (5/5 Stars)  This diaper is extremely easy to use!!!  It honestly cannot get easier!!!  If you are looking for a simple easy to use newborn diaper, this one gets my endorsement for that!  Since it is an AIO, there are no parts to find/lose.  You just toss it in the wash, the insert agitates out, it is a breeze to dry, and then you just fold and stuff the insert back in, and VOILA you are ready to go!  No fuss!

Washing:  (4/5 Stars)  Like I said above, this diaper is quite simple to wash!  And it is very easy on dry time!  This is one AIO that can definitely hang to dry with no problem!  My only complaint was that the inside was quite prone to staining.  A little sun took care of this, but if stains bug you this is not the diaper for you!

Overall:  (3/5 Stars)  I wanted to love this diaper.  I don't know why the Tots Bots don't work for us!!  I have read a ton of reviews on this diaper and it seems to have a Love/Hate following.  I would say that it is a 70/30 split of people who absolutely love these diapers and people who don't.  It isn't like most diapers that have a middle ground.  I did not find the diaper to be particularly absorbent and it did not fit Baby J well until almost 9 pounds, but I did think that it had a really nice fit after he hit 9 pounds.  If you are a Tots Bots fan and you don't have skinny babies, this might be the one for you!

Total Stars:  22/30

Monday, October 1, 2012

Dinner and No Time!

 I had zero chance to work on Cub and Aubers' Halloween books this weekend, so that will be a sneaky post slid in between some of these other lovely lady bloggers!  If I can manage to get the sewing machine out while D goes to sleep, that is ; ) 

I did manage to crock pot some dinner.  I made "Chicken Pizza" and oh my gosh it was incredible!!  I brought the extra for I made dinner for 3 and lunch for me---and the pot did all the hard work!

Crock Pot Dinner Day 1:
Chicken Pizza!!  A big huge shout out to Stephanie O'Dea at Crockpot 365 for this recipe!  It was super yummy and took 15 minutes of prep while D was watching some Cars 2.  Next time, I'll probably add some more veggies (I left out the pepperoni.)

Tonight is "Beer Can Chicken" in the pot...Daddyguy's job.  We'll see : D  (He's actually a pretty amazing cook believe it or not!)

<3 Jen