It’s All a Phase

It's All a Phase

Hey parents, I learned a secret today. It’s life changing. Are you ready for it?

It’s all a phase.

That’s right. Everything. The morning sickness. The cravings. The tummy flutters. The kicks and jabs. The hip and pelvic pain. The hospital stay. The terror of taking care of a new life. The heart-stopping fear. The fragility. The sleepless nights. The concern over not getting it right. The nursing. The pumping. The washing of bottles. The tediousness. The sweet smells. The not-so-sweet smells. The blood-curdling screaming. The wonder of discovery. The awareness. The schedules. The deviation of schedules. The sleeping-through-the-night. The not-sleeping-through-the-night. The illness. The cuddles. The cries for Mommy and Daddy. The smooshing of faces against the window when you come home. The crying when you leave. The clutching when you are near. The stream of IloveyouIloveyouIloveyouIloveyou and Mommymommymommymommymommymommy and nonononononononononono.

They are all phases. The good and bad. The ones that make us laugh our heads off and the ones where we want to just huddle up in a ball and pull a blanket over our heads and hide until forever.

They say to enjoy it all because it goes so fast. That’s true, it does. But remember that it’s all a phase. Things will ebb and flow. I’m not saying you have to love every minute. I certainly didn’t. Parenthood is hard and in many ways it is a thankless job. But one day your child will no longer insist on playing hide and seek by opening and closing the door to the bathroom while you are in it. Too soon you will put away the bottle for the last time (good riddance) only to one night wish for the ease of the bottle over that dreaded, leaky sippy cup.

As I sit here writing this, it is almost 10 PM and my children are still in their cribs jumping up and down refusing to fall asleep. But they are laughing harder than ever. And I am loving it. One day they will no longer want to share a room or delight in each other’s company. For now, I know that this is just a phase.

And I am enjoying it.

Surviving Toddler Allergy Testing

Well, we did it! David survived his marathon of allergy testing today. I was so proud of my 20-month-old baby boy. He did so well through all of it! Here’s some background:

David and Audrey were exclusively breastfed from birth until about 4-5 months old. I got sick around this time with a stomach bug, and my supply seriously dwindled, so we started supplementing with formula once every few days, only as needed. We found that this did a number on A & D’s stomachs when we didn’t have a regular routine with the formula, so after a few months, we did one bottle of formula a day, while still breastfeeding the rest of the time. We also introduced solid foods at 4 months old, per the suggestion of our pediatrician.

Around this time, we also started to see some rough skin patches on David. It wasn’t a lot, but it definitely was noticeable. We treated it with lotion, and we kept it contained, but it didn’t totally go away.

Last fall (about a year old), we noticed that David was scratching his ankles to the point of bleeding, and so we used lots and lots of creams, lotions, and even some steroid cream to treat it. It would go away temporarily, but it never fully healed.

Fast forward to this summer (about 18 months old). We started seeing that rough skin in more places along his legs, especially the ankles, back of his knees, and inside his elbows. We wondered if it was heat rash, but our pediatrician thought it was just eczema (keep it moist with lotions and the rest).

Then, just about a week ago, his legs erupted and were completely covered in red, raw, irritated inflammation. It was on his back and stomach too. He itched everywhere. He scratched so hard on his chest that he has a scar along his sternum. When it only seemed to be getting worse over the weekend, we went back to the doctor. When the pediatrician took one look at him, she recommended that we get allergy testing.

That was Monday. I was able to get an appointment for two days later… today.

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So, this morning at 7 AM, David and I left for our 7:15 appointment (Ok, well, if I’m going to be real, we left at 7:10 and got there at 7:20). This would be the longest amount of time that David and Audrey have ever been separated. I was actually more worried about that than the testing itself.

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Once we got there and got David’s height (33 inches) and weight (26 lbs), we met with the allergist, a sweet woman who used to be a pediatrician (great bedside manner). Side note: David fell in love and cried when she left the room. In talking to her, we came up with the list of what we would test (55 different possibilities). We gathered our gear and went to the testing room, where I took his shirt off and put on a baby gown with the Looney Toon characters.


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David was not a fan, and we ended up letting him go shirtless.

Once they had prepped the test, they came in and drew on his back. I had the iPad going with The Muppets, so he only squirmed from the tickle of the pen once.

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Then, when we were ready to begin, I sat on the table, he sat in my lap facing me, and we had two helpers: 1 on each side holding an arm and leg each. I have never seen someone poke someone so fast. Over 55 “scratches” on the back in under 2 minutes.

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David cried, but he didn’t thrash his head around or move at all. He was such a trooper. And when it was over, we had to wait for 20 minutes. My instructions were to make sure he didn’t touch or scratch his back.

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So we watched The Muppets. And then the nurse brought in a popsicle for David (his first since all the many I had while I was pregnant with him). He LOVED it, and we quickly got the second half. Even if it was loaded with sugar, he deserved such a treat.

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He scratched his chest constantly, but I figured it was better that he do that than try to scratch his back.

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After 5 minutes

 

Then after 20 minutes, we got the results. The baseline was a good strong measurement, so they were happy that the results would be accurate.

David is allergic to watermelon and mushroom (two plusses on the sheet).

He also shows signs of being allergic to coconut, turkey, peanuts, soybeans, grass mix, and weed mix.

When we finally were able to meet with the doctor again, she said, “Well I hope that this gives you some answers.” But it didn’t. I felt just as stuck. I mean, out of that list, he hasn’t eaten any of that in the past couple weeks. At least, not that I thought. I was convinced that it would be milk (he has really upped his milk and yogurt intake in the last month).

Then, as we talked, she explained that soy is in so much food. Even just a slight irritation to it could trigger something like what we are seeing with David. So it’s entirely possible that the soy did the trick. Also, the grass and weed mixes could come into play (we didn’t test all of the environmental allergens, as we wanted to focus on the food and dog/cat). Then, I had been using a homemade lotion with coconut oil in it. Typically, we should be able to use something topically if he is allergic to it (since these showed up as minor allergies), but with that on top of a reaction already, it probably did worsen everything.

So now comes the elimination. For the next 10 days, we don’t eat any of those. We have a special lotion and cream. He will have a steroid for the worst skin spots. He will be on an allergy medication. Honestly, it’s everything my crunchy and natural-mindedness is against. But I also know that we need to figure this out. So we will follow this advice, try it out, and then we can go from there once we see if this helps. After 10 days of elimination, we will have 4 days of a binge (or as much as we can have a picky toddler binge on certain foods).

After I got home, we looked through the pantry. We had armful after armful of food that contained soy. The bread that he eats every day (and has recently started craving) has soy in it. Two brands of his favorite crackers. The mac and cheese that he gobbles up. It started making sense. FINALLY I felt like we have figured it out.

So now we just wait and see. And thankfully Cheerios are still on the “can have” list.

Thank you so much to ALL of our friends and family who have offered supports and love and thoughts. I can’t tell you how much it means to us. We have been so blessed to have such healthy children, and this is truly the first “big” thing that we’ve had to go through. Thankfully, I’ve been through allergy testing, so I knew what to expect, and David handled it like a champ. He was so happy and cute and talkative and easy-going. He loved his mommy-David morning, despite the 2 minutes of pain. I was so proud of my big “baby boy.”

And just to see how quickly he bounced back, here is a video of him after we got back home.

Tips for a Successful First Birthday Party

Tips for a Successful 1st Birthday Party

Well, we made it through the first year! We did it with a few bumps, a couple bruises, and lots of laughs along the way.

As we started planning the twins’ first birthday when they were 8.5 months old (yes, I started early), I knew that I wanted a big shin-dig (after all, I turned the big 3-0 just two days before), but I also didn’t want to upset our wonderful rhythm of the day that we had established.

Here are some tips that I would recommend to anyone planning a first birthday party:

THEME: For the theme, we were going back and forth with so many different themes, and nothing seemed perfect. But then I came across the Up theme on Pinterest, and it just stuck. We had a sketch drawn of our house and people have added their thumbprints to it to look like balloons when they were at my showers or came to visit the babies, and so it just seemed too perfect. From there, I went a little crazy. You can see our entire birthday party featured on The Wise Baby (Up-Themed Birthday Party)

Adventure is Out There - DoyleDispatch.com

PHOTOGRAPHY: My biggest advice is to have a photographer come in for it (if you can put it in the budget). Even if it’s just a student photographer, it is worth it to not have to worry about taking pictures (or have family take pictures). That way, everyone can enjoy and someone else captures the memories… while YOU get to EXPERIENCE them!

TIMING: Ours was from 12-2. The twins woke up from naps at 11, they got milk, got dressed, and then took family pictures at about 11:45. We kept them on their normal lunch schedule (they ate in front of everyone), because we didn’t want them to be cranky or hungry. Then they weren’t starving for the cake smash (I didn’t want them to have too much sugar anyway). Before the cake, we told everyone thanks for coming, and we also said that if anyone wanted us to open presents in front of them, we would be happy to do that, but otherwise we would open them privately. When they got tired, they went down for a nap and we could then visit and be baby free. It was perfect because we didn’t get them out of their schedule.

OPENING PRESENTS: Do yourself (and your family/friends) a favor. Don’t open presents at the party. As I said before, if someone wants you to open their present during the party, go for it! But no one needs to sit through opening gift after gift… and your 1-year-old doesn’t either! Just make sure to keep a good list and write a nice thank you note afterwards.

Yes, I am aware that our twins are now 19 months old, but I thought these were good tips, despite them being not totally applicable for us at this point. But now that we are on the other side of 1.5 years, we will be reusing these tips for the 2nd birthday party!

Adventures in Cloth Diapering: Our Setup

Adventures in Cloth Diapering- Our Setup

Now that we have a routine with our cloth diapers, I feel comfortable enough sharing what we do.

Every morning, Tim brings down the newly-cleaned diapers in the laundry bag. When I get downstairs, I put them away on our shelf.

And usually the twins help me to unload the diapers onto the ground at some point during the day.

During diaper changes, I will grab the two clean diapers that we need. I take the old diaper off (saying “Bye bye poo poo/pee pee!” if I’m changing Audrey, because she likes to say it with me) and put it aside. I then wipe (either with our homemade spray and cloth wipes or our disposable wipes. The dirty wipes go in a little trash bin on top of the changing table (if disposable) or in with the dirty diapers (if cloth). We might use our Grovia Magic Stick for some added help if diaper rashes are an issue. Then we put on the clean diaper and clothes, and we are good to go!

If there is a “poo poo,” we put it in the little trash bin with the disposable wipes. If it’s just urine, we just drop it in the dry
diaper pail.

At night, we take the diapers upstairs and load up the washer. As long as we start them when we put the twins to bed, we can change it over to the dryer, and we will be ready with clean diaper in the morning. We also wash their clothes at this time as well, so we always have their favorite clothes to wear. We also make sure to clear out the changing table trash bin each night too… that way we don’t have it get too full or stinky.

So there is our setup. Nothing groundbreaking, but it works for us.

Is there anything else you are wondering about how we make cloth diapering work day to day?

AHOYS Clothing Shop Review

AHOYS Tag

I wanted to post a little shout out to a great shop that creates adorable items for your little ones: A Heart On Your Sleeve. (AHOYS) Now, in full disclaimer, this is run by my cousin Jessie, but having been in the hand-made business myself, I am definitely very picky about how things are made and stand up with the needs of mamas and toddlers.

First of all, I love the adorable styles that AHOYS features: everything from vintage touches to whimsical designs and classic elements.  So many cute designs with more to come!
AHOYS Etsy Shop

Second, as I said before, the onesie was well made. It was a great quality onesie (so soft!!!) that was true to size, and the vinyl was not going anywhere. I was everything before the kids wear it, and I just turned the onesies inside-out, ran them through, and everything stayed put! I’ve talked to Jessie about her process, and she went through a lot of testing before she felt comfortable enough to start selling her gear. Not everyone does that amount of work beforehand!

In addition, they now carry American Apparel gear as well. I’m so excited for this!

And look at how cute these onesies are!!!

AHOY Clothing Virginia Shirts David

AHOY Clothing Virginia Shirts Twins

AHOY Clothing Virginia Shirts  Audrey

You can check out AHOYS Clothing on Etsy and Instagram. Do yourself a favor and get something great for your little one!

My Experience at #LillyforTarget

My Experience at #lillyfortarget

As soon as the look book was released, I was thrilled about the Lilly Pullitzer collection at Target. I have for years been in love with the bright colors and beachy feel of Lilly’s pattens and clothes. I’ve tried on the dresses dozens of times (those shift dresses just aren’t meant for someone with a small waist and big hips like me), drooled over the scarves, and even bought a phone case for my first iPhone.

So I was excited to be able to find more affordable options at Target! I didn’t put the date on my calendar, I didn’t make shopping lists based on the look book. I just thought “if it’s meant to be, I’ll pick something up.”

So the morning of The Release, I woke up, rolled over, and picked up my iPhone… just like any day. I looked at Facebook and saw the first #lillyfortarget post. Someone was standing in line. Oh my! I forgot that today was release day!

It was a Sunday. Stores would open in 20 minutes. The kids were happy and not yet out of their cribs, and we all slept well the night before. I mentioned the release to Tim, and he said that if I wanted to try to head to a store, I could. He would get the kids downstairs and feed them breakfast.

So I got dressed (no shower) and did some calculating in my head. Strategically, I didn’t want to go to a Target store in the preppiest area of town. Instead, I would go to the one that was a little further away from The Prep Zone (a name that I just gave it- I’ve never heard that area of town called that before). I would have the best luck there.

I got to Target at 8:10. The parking lot was practically empty and no line. SCORE!

I got a parking spot right up in the front. SCORE!

I started walking in and saw a friend of mine from college who has two adorable and well-dressed daughters. I asked her how the sale was, and she said that it’s all gone. WHAT?

10 minutes after the store opened, and it was ALL gone.

I walked in to Target and saw the big flamingo hanging from the ceiling. And the rack underneath. And the teenage girls and women standing by it. And it was empty. They were waiting for people to return items to the rack if they decided they didn’t want it.

So, it seemed like my Lilly run was a bust. Oh well! I was a little sad, but happy to have a morning at Target where I wasn’t pushing a stroller.

So I just decided to browse around and go look at the patio furniture (we are hoping to redo our back deck soon). When I got to that section, I saw a group of women congregating and talking with overflowing carts of Lilly.

I just offhandedly said the following to them: “Are you going to keep everything that you picked? I’m a mom of twins and rarely buy anything new for my daughter, and I was hoping to get her a Lilly for this summer.”

They all said, “No,” and I totally understood.

And we exchanged a few other words about the sale and how they got everything and they were so nice!

Then one woman did the unthinkable.

“Actually, I don’t think my daughter will wear this. If this fits, you can have it.” It was a white tunic top with pink embroidery in 2T. The perfect size. I was so overwhelmed that I gave her a big hug along with a big thank you.

Then she did the unthinkable x2. “Oh, and this will be too long for her. Would it work?”

What the what? I got 2 Lilly items in the exact size I needed? That woman got another hug.

And then another woman in her group turned to someone else who had empty hands (who was evidently someone she only met that day). “You know, I really don’t need this one as well. You can have it.”

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As I made my way to the checkout, I realized how silly this all way. We were grown women drooling over (and in some cases crying over) clothes. I mean, really??!!!?? But then I also realized how sometimes it’s nice to treat ourselves to something a little girly, especially for those of us that are usually covered in Cheerio dust and old milk.

Once I got home, I showed Audrey her new outfits. This girly girl immediately made me put the dress on over her PJs. Have I mentioned how much I love her?

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And David pouted because he wanted new clothes too.

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When I got back home, my amazing cousin (who lives in California) posted that she had heard the buzz, gone to the Target, and gotten a few pieces that she wouldn’t be using. Oh my gosh, I jumped on that so quick! What adorableness we scored! Mommy Daughter Twinsies!

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So what did I learn from this experience?

1. Women can be cutthroat.

2. Women can also be kind and giving .

3. We should be teaching our daughters (and sons) that we can try to seize an opportunity if it comes to us, but we shouldn’t cry over sold-out-Lilly-for-Target.

Guest Post: Safety Tips from KidCo

The following post hits very close to home as we have two toddlers that are not walking… they are running and climbing and pulling and reorganizing. I’ve always had the “pool of blood theory” which I inherited from my mom (everything will end in a pool of blood), so safety has always been so important to us. As we are starting to feel comfortable letting the twins run through the downstairs on their own, these tips are so important.

 

From the very first moment you meet and hold your baby, keeping them safe and secure impels your every thought and action.  You have picked the perfect nursery colors, the safest car seat, the safest stroller, the softest onesies, and the most comfortable organic absorbing diapers.  You have researched for hours the best formula, or have chosen breast feeding.  After all, the smallest person you know has now become the biggest part of your world.

You observe their development, celebrating the first smile, the first time they sleep through the night, the first time they sit up on their own.  That big milestone of first steps is just around the corner.  Your camera is ready and you are ready to hit the “Post” button.  STOP!  Exactly how much time have you spent researching and assessing the safety of the environment for which they are about to have free reign?  Safe and secure, at the top of the list – not quite.

Did you know that falling TV’s and tipping furniture is the number one cause of serious injuries, and sometimes devastating consequences for small children?  Window falls is at the top of the list as well. The cleaning supplies and utensils in your cabinets and drawers are just as concerning as the electrical cords and outlets that draw the attention of your baby who is now mobile. Wait a minute, why wasn’t this information as readily available to you as the 42 features on that stroller you purchased?

Child proofing your home is one of the most important steps you can take to ensure their safety once they become mobile.  The best way to evaluate how to make their home a safe environment is by going through this easy check list:

Get on our hands and knees and look at every room from your baby’s perspective.  Electrical outlets, cords, and stairs are all areas that need to be secured.

  1. Stairways: Make sure you purchase hardware mounted gates for top of stairs.  If you have a basement, be sure that stairway is secured along with your main staircase.  Pressure mounted gates are fine for bottom of stair protection and between rooms.  Garage attached to your home?  That doorway is definitely in need of a gate!
  2. Doors and windows: Now is the time to secure the windows in your child’s room.  Both window stops and window guards provide the necessary protection.  Choose what best fits your personal security.
  3. TVs and Furniture: All televisions in your home should be secured to prevent tipping.  Dressers in baby’s room, as well your bedroom and any other tall piece of furniture should be secured to prevent topping over.  Once your child becomes mobile, curiosity will be the catalyst to provide climbing skills.
  4. Drawers/Cabinets: All kitchen, bathroom and utility room drawers and cabinets should be secured to prevent your child from accessing dangers of cleaning supplies, utensils, medication, and so much more.  Drawer and cabinet locks are available in both screw mount and adhesive mount installations.  Don’t forget to secure your appliances as well.  Little one’s begin exploring and their view and excitement do not include safety precautions.
  5. Kitchen: All those cabinets and drawers!  As mentioned in #5 – so many dangers to be secured.  Additionally, the stove.  Most injuries involving stoves are from pots of boiling water or hot soups being pulled onto curious little ones.  A stove guard should be installed in all homes with small children.  In addition, always use the back burners as a first choice.  This prevents little hands from getting burned from hot surfaces at the front of the stove.  When cooking, handles should be turned in so no accidental spills occur.
  6. Bathroom: Toilets pose the danger of drowning.  Your toddler is top heavy and curious.  There is a variety of toilet locks on the market.
  7. Furniture: Once your baby starts crawling and can pull themselves up – well, they go down just as easy.  Those sharp edges of tables, and counter tops can easily injure your child.  Corner and table protectors come in a variety of colors and sizes.  Most can even be mounted on the bottom side of counter edges which provides added protection for little ones.
  8. Doors: When you child becomes mobile, their curiosity to the outside world is forefront.  Installing door locks not only prevents them from quickly getting outside, but it can also keep them out of rooms in the house where they should not be.  Also protective products that get placed in door hinges help prevent little fingers from getting closed in doors.  There are a variety of products on the market including locks for bi-fold doors.
  9. Fireplaces: Beside the danger of getting burned, most fireplace hearths are made of hard surfaces which can cause bumps and bruises to little ones, and worse yet head injuries.  A safety gate installed around the hearth or wood burning stove will prevent these injuries. There is also padded safety products designed especially for the raised hearths – perfect for those seasons when the fireplace is not in use.
  10. Cribs and Beds:  As your little ones become mobile, getting out of their crib becomes an achievement – and much stress for you.  Installing a convertible crib rail will prevent them from falling out and getting injured while sound asleep.  And when they awake, they can safely come looking for you.  If your child is ready to transition to a “big” bed, bedrails will keep them protected from falling out of bed, and still allow for their walk down to the hallway to bunk with mom and dad.

Remember, your child depends on you to keep them safe and secure.  They are only little for such a short time.  You will not be able to protect them from everything.  There will be skinned knees, fat lips, and the disappointments that will bring tears to their eyes.  As they develop from infants to toddlers and start to explore their world, that you call their home – make it safe!


Lorraine Parisi is the Marketing Services Manager for KidCo, Inc.  In addition to her ten years’ experience in the juvenile products industry, she has personally enjoyed 25 years of being a mother and the hands on experience with her 20+ nieces and nephews which  includes a newborn.

“In 25 years of raising my daughter and son, I have never met an age I did not like.  And I have found that in the heart of a mother, no matter how old your children are, you always want to keep them safe!”

Adventures in Cloth Diapering: Finding a Nighttime Solution

Adventures in Cloth Diapering- Finding a Nighttime Solution

When we started our cloth diapering adventure, we knew that we would start small and work our way up as we felt comfortable. I was ok with using cloth diapers every now and then (hey, even 1 CD a day would save us money in the long run). Well, pretty soon after starting, we decided that we loved it so much, and we now have a 2 day supply of diapers (AIO, hybrids, covers/prefolds, inserts, and some pockets), 2 large wetbags for the diaper pails, a variety of travel wetbags, liners, and a variety of other items that we can use for CDing.

One thing we had yet to figure out was the nighttime solution. We loved cloth so much during the day, and it seemed to be a shame to have to go back to disposables at night. But we just hadn’t found something that worked for us. Don’t get me wrong, we had tried amazing diapers and gotten a lot of great advice, but we just hadn’t found something that works for our babies or us as a family.

Overnight Diaper Rental

Not that we hadn’t tried. Thanks to Franklin Goose‘s rental program (try a style of diaper for 4 days for free!!!), we had been able to sample quite a few choices. There were things that we loved about all of them, but there were things that didn’t work for us, too. While I don’t want to discourage anyone from trying these options (what doesn’t work for one person might work wonders for the next), I will just post a little information about each style. Again, I would highly encourage you to seek out Franklin Goose (if you are in Virginia) or your local CD store to see if they have a similar try-before-you-buy program.

Charcoal Aio

AIO charcoal: Charcoal is a very absorbent material in a waterproof shell. These can be worn directly against the skin. Because of its dark color, you won’t see stains. Charcoal also has anti-microbial and anti-bacterial properties as well. This makes it a great option for little ones with sensitive skin (along with its great absorbency).

Organic Cotton

AIO organic cotton: These are absorbent as well and comfortable for the baby. When soaked with urine, the material can be heavy and become stiff, but it absorbs a lot of liquid. It may stain. You may want to place a fleece liner against the skin so that the baby doesn’t feel the wetness directly up against the skin.

Cotton Pocket

Organic cotton pocket: These use the same material as the AIO organic cotton, but you can stuff the pocket with the organic cotton. The part that touches the skin is a soft fleece and helps to wick away moisture. The diaper itself is extremely trim on its own (one of the trimmest that you can get).. Depending on how you stuff it, these can get bulky, but they stay very very absorbent.

Hemp Fitted

Hemp fitted with waterproof cover: This is where you have a fitted diaper made out of hemp, topped with a waterproof cover. The hemp is extremely absorbent but not waterproof, so the cover provides the protection from leaks. Because it is a fitted diaper inside the cover, it doesn’t have the chance to move around like if you used a prefold inside. The hemp, however, becomes scratchy and rough to the touch after washed multiple times, so you need to have a barrier between it and the skin. You can also dry it in the dryer to help it be softer, especially if you use wool dryer balls.

Cotton prefold with wool cover: You can fold the cotton prefold in a variety of ways, attach it with a Snappi, and then cover it with a wool cover. Wool must be lanolized and treated differently than other cloth diapers, but it keeps all of the moisture inside while still allowing breathability (unlike the other cover materials).


 

Just when we had given up hope, I went back to Franklin Goose to chat about the issues that we had with the other nighttime options. They were so wonderful and helpful and supportive. I felt lost and truly ready to just stick with disposables (though I really didn’t want to), and then we got another option…

Cloth Fitted

Cotton fitted with waterproof cover: This is finally what worked for us! We tried it out for two nights without any leaks or issues, and we knew that we had our nighttime solution! They were perfect for us! We could use the Thirsties covers that we already had, and once we invested in 2 diapers for each child, we were set! Another benefit to the Sandy’s fitted diaper is that it is huge! This is a diaper that will certainly last long into potty training and beyond as needed (we may just need bigger covers).

Franklin Goose Bag

Disclaimer: I did not receive compensation for this post. I have utilized Franklin Goose’s rental program, and may receive products for the purpose of testing and reviewing. All thoughts remain 100% my own.

A Roadtrip, an Anniversary, Passover, and Easter

We have had a very, very busy few weeks!

I took my first road trip away from the twins, and I survived! Tim’s mom Pat and I went up to New Jersey to surprise his cousin at her (surprise) baby shower. We drove up one morning, went to the shower, and then drove back the next day. It was exhausting, but a fantastic trip (and great to know that we can all survive when Mommy goes away). Tim, his dad, and his grandfather were on duty, and they did a great job with the kids! Plus, I got plenty of pictures throughout the two days, so I knew my kids were happy, healthy, and safe! Although we were gone for less than 36 hours, we managed a 6-hour car trip, a quick (and cold) trip to the beach, stories from Pat’s childhood (I absolutely LOVE to hear background about someone’s childhood and past, especially when we can visit those places), a visit with extended family, the shower (surprise!!!), breakfast at a great diner, and then another 6-hour car trip (and a stop at a favorite store on the way back to see their new improvements in a new location).

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The very next weekend, we were so lucky to be able celebrate two very important holidays: Passover and Easter. We had my entire family over for our Passover Seder, where we were able to do the entire seder and 10 songs in under an hour! And we had (relatively) happy toddlers the whole time. WIN! Big huge props to my mom for doing all of the cooking and prepping and bringing them to our house so that we could keep the kids comfortable and make it easier on us. Thank you!

Then on Sunday, we went Tim’s family’s church (well, the fellowship hour after the service), where the twins could meet many of Tim’s parents’ friends. Then we went back to the Doyles’ house for an Easter egg hunt and some playing.

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Oh, and in between Passover and Easter was our anniversary… so of course we had to take a trip to the local zoo so that the kids could see the animals. They loved it so much we may become members so we can go often.

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I love springtime because of the holidays, time spent outside and visiting, and the fact that summer is almost here! But, man, is it busy and exhausting! Still, I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Adventures in Cloth Diapering: Washing Disposable Diapers

Adventures in Cloth Diapering- Washing Disposables

Ok, I’m actually shocked that this is the first time that we have washed a disposable diaper. But it’s gross. And everywhere. And it was a poopy diaper too. Ick. Here’s what happened…

We use our big diaper pail to keep the dirty cloth diapers and the kids’ clothes, and we wash them all each night. We put the poop, disposable wipes, and disposable diapers in a separate bin to throw away each day. Well, this week I was a little tired, and I threw away one of the disposable diapers that I used on David (he had a rash that needed to be treated with some products that can’t be used with the cloth diapers). I didn’t realize my mistake until after we ran through the diapers and clothes in the wash.

At 11:30 PM, Tim went to move the diapers into the dryer, and I heard a loud sigh and groan. I walked over to Tim and the washer, to find him with a handful of jelly pellets. I immediately knew what had happened. That’s from inside the disposable diaper. Ugh!

We quickly went to work. I started scooping out the jelly pellets and other dirt and grime (did I mention that that diaper was a poopy diaper too?) from our front-loading washer and Tim researched how to remedy the situation. That jelly substance was ALL OVER the cloth diapers, cloth wipes, and clothes. Here’s what our research told us to do:

  1. Clean the solid substance as much as you can out of the washer.
  2. Run it through the rinse cycle 2 times with nothing in it (no items and no soap).
  3. Run it through 1 bleach cycle to clean it.
  4. Run your washer as normal.
  5. Try to shake off as much of the jelly on the clothes as possible.
  6. Put the clothes in the dryer. The lint trap will catch most of the dried residue.
  7. Once the washer is clean, run the clothes through the washer and dryer again.
  8. You may have to strip your cloth diapers.

This happened last week. I am happy to report that after doing this cleaning, all diapers are good to go and we haven’t had any problems since!