Friday, July 31, 2015

My Favorite Cloth Diapering Products

Happy Friday everyone! Woo-Hoo for the weekend! 

On Wednesday I continued to talk to you about our cloth diapering experience and how we are KIND OF still using them and loving them. 

When I first started researching cloth diapers I was shocked and overwhelmed by the selection! WOW! There are so many brands and makes. Pockets, all-in-ones, Velcro, covered...the list went on and on! I began my research by using blogs! Other moms who gave honest opinions on what brands they liked better and why! I REFUSED to read a post sponsored by a brand that gave a blog mom free diapers. I wanted a very open and honest opinion. 

One of the best pieces of advice I got was to not get all one kind. Don't be married to one particular brand. And I am so glad that I did that. I got 3 different brands and I have definitely over the last year figured out what was my favorites. 

Since I relied on blogs for my research, it only made sense that I give my own opinion now to help out any future cloth diapering Momma's. 

First up, my LEAST favorite diapers... 

I have two types of bum genius diapers. Pocket diapers with buttons and pocket and all-in-one diapers with Velcro. I had read a lot of bad reviews about the Velcro but I opted to get a few because I figured the ease of them would help with getting Ryan on board. I was right, he usually grabs a Velcro diaper before any others. But I hate the Velcro! The all-in-ones take FOREVER to dry and the Velcro is already starting to wear out and may not last for the next baby. The tabs have a little spot to hold the velcro during the wash and it always lets go and stuff gets stuck to them. They are just overall not nice! 

The next one my least favorite list is the Fuzzibuns pocket diapers. I had read a few reviews about these and a lot of people LOVE them. I am not one of the people. I find the liner inside the diaper very hard to slip the insert in. It's almost as if it is sticky. In order to make the diaper bigger or smaller, you have to take them and flip the diaper inside out and move tiny elastics. The whole thing takes quite some time and is a pain in the butt. I like the fact that you can just throw the outside of the diapers in the dryer if you want but I usually hang them outside anyways. 

Next up, in second place is the bum genius pocket diapers with buttons! The insert is easy to slide in, you adjust the size fast during a diaper changes by outside buttons and they overall just fit nicely. The only reason this one does not come in first place is because of the insert. After a year the insert has gotten really shabby. It's not as absorbent and just hasn't held up as nicely as the first place diapers. 

Finally, in first place my absolutely favorite diapers....

The Blueberry pocket diapers with buttons!! I LOVE these diapers. One of the main reasons I bought these is because of the fun print. I got the gender neutral cow pattern and giraffe pattern. As time went on I realized more and more that I grab them first! They fit really nice (although a little fluffier than the others) and the absorbency is the best! They wash great and are super easy to stuff. If I ever need to buy a couple of extras this will be the brand that I go with! 

Some other essentials I bought and have held up great are TWO large wet bags! These are the bags that I put the diapers in after I change Sam. One hangs in his room. When it is full I take the whole thing and the wet bag and diapers go right in the wash. I got two of them because sometimes a wash isn't done by the time its time for the next diaper change. 

I also got TWO small wet bags. When we are out these little bags are awesome! They hold any liquid or smell and again you just throw it right in the wash when you have to do your diaper laundry. 

At the time I also got a bunch of cloth wipes but realized really quickly I hated them for bum changes! So instead, I use regular wipes and just throw the wipes in the trash. I do LOVE my cloth wipes though because they are super soft and were great for little burp clothes and as a nose wiper! I throw these wipes in the wash with Sam's clothing laundry and they are ready again for the next sniffle! 

I have about 20 diapers in total and that gives me LOTS so that I only have to do a load of laundry every 2-3 days. I honestly don't even notice the extra load now. It's just one of those things I excepted. 

And there is my cloth diapering stash! I am SO glad that on a whim I decided to go with cloth diapers. I really do love them. They don't bring any extra stress to our life they actually just became a part of our everyday parenting life. 

Have a great weekend! 


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Clothing Diapering - Where Are We At? - Part 1

Happy Wednesday everyone! I hope that your week is swimmingly going by! There is a heat wave here and while others are usually complaining about it, I can't help but quietly enjoy it. I sit in an AC office all day that feels like a meat cooler. When it is REALLY warm, the AC doesn't even help 100% and it warms up a little in the office. Its just very comfortable. 

I was hanging some laundry on the line over the weekend and realized I never shared with all of you where we are with our cloth diapers, over 1 year later. 

When I first purchased our cloth diapers, I was blaming the impulse buy on pregnancy hormones. No one in my family or close circle of friends used cloth diapers. I really had no idea what I was doing and I had no idea how to use or clean them. 

I searched the internet for tips and tricks and before Sam arrived, I felt pretty prepared. I gave us about 6 weeks to get use to life with a baby before introducing cloth diapers into our daily routine. 

I haven't looked back since! For a full year at home, we used cloth diapers. I loved the ease of them. They were really not that complicated at all and poop is gross no matter what kind of diaper you use! I loved heading to a grocery store and not having to buy the expensive packs of diapers every trip. Sam was wearing cloth all day and then 1 disposable diaper at night. 

Then the day came for daycare. We were having a hard time finding a daycare that when we finally found "the one", we were too worried about scaring her away with the mention of cloth diapers. Sam wears disposable diapers now at daycare during the week (and during the nights) and is in cloth while at home on the weekends. We are o.k with that and I am just shocked and happy that we did a year of cloth diapering. 

Did I save any money buy cloth diapering my baby for a year? No, probably not but I know that if Ryan and I are blessed one day with another baby, that the savings will be huge if we use cloth for that child. What I love (and still love) about cloth is ease of them! I never worry about being out of diapers at home and I do feel like I am making a good environmental decision as well. Not to mention we don't have smelly diaper filled garbage bags every week! 

After using cloth for over a year I have figured out what works best for our family as far as the laundry goes. Usually I put the diapers on the night before since it is a 2 hour wash cycle. My eco-washer requires the extra time so that there is enough water. I use the heavy duty with an extra rinse cycle. I used to use the Rockin' Green laundry detergent but then I noticed it doesn't remove the smell 100%, so I started adding the tiniest amount of regular tide detergent. It works great and I have yet to have to strip my diapers yet. In the summer the diapers go outside to hang dry because the sun is an amazing bleach and in the winter it's on a hanging rack in our laundry room. 

 When everything is dry I bring the basket with me in front of a T.V and stuff away! Pre-stuffing your diapers before storing them is key to ease of use! I couldn't handle trying to stuff my diapers while dealing with a wiggly kiddo on the change pad! 

I have some cloth diapers that I LOVE and some that I HATE but they all really do work! But more on that on Friday..:) 

Happy Wednesday! 


Monday, July 27, 2015

Home Dates, July Date and Mama and Sam

Happy Monday everyone. I know that most people hate Mondays. In a way, I do as well. But to be honest, I spend a lot of my time on Sundays now preparing for the week ahead that I almost feel ready for the work week to begin! Suppers are pre-made, lunches made, laundry all done and everything set out for the morning. It's going to be an especially busy work week and I wanted to be prepared at home as best as I could. 

The weekend was awesome! I feel refreshed and sort of rested. Friday afternoon the gang from the farm loaded up onto a bus to head out for an afternoon of fun on the golf course. They have a round of golf, supper, prizes, drinks and music. Last year Sam and I joined them for supper but this year with daycare/bed time, I opted out and instead spent a quiet night at home with Sam. 

Bedtime snuggles, my favorite time of day with Sam! He is so cuddly lately. 

Saturday morning I purposely set my alarm at 5:30 (hour later than normal) just so that I could get up, get ready for the day and have a coffee while I read the local newspaper on the front porch. This has become my Saturday morning routine. I love that slow time to reflect and just relax. By the time Sam and Ryan started to stir, I was ready. When the boys were up and ready, we loaded up and headed out for a quick breakfast! 

We desperately needed groceries and I never got a chance to get them during the week. We got to store just as it was opening which is my favorite time of day to shop! I love having the store to ourselves! Sam was getting grumpy because it was naptime just as we were leaving and then had an awesome car nap on our way home. 

We relaxed at home for the afternoon. I made the Golden Oreo Cheesecake bars like I mentioned. I brought some to a 50th birthday party. While they were delicious, I doubt I will be making them again anytime soon. There are A LOT of steps to this recipe. Too many and at this season of my life with a little one, I don't want to a recipe that is going to take hours to complete. 

We left the birthday party just as it started to rain to come home and give Sam supper and get ready for bed. While Ryan got Sam ready for bed, I got our special meal ready for our little "date" at home. We were trying the sticky chicken fingers  to have while we watched a Netflix movie. Well while mine didn't look as pretty as the ones on Pinterest, they were SO GOOD! We both went back for seconds and both agreed that these will become a weekend treat for us and begin to make them for frequently! They were spicy and sweet and creamy! Yum! A must try! 

Sam felt the same way about the thunder and lightening as I did! 

Sunday morning we relaxed and then eventually loaded up the car to do our July date! But more on that another time! 

Sam's newest thing is actually smiling for the camera! We tell him to say "cheese" and he does!

Sunday afternoon Sam napped and so did I after getting some meals made! Nothing better than a Sunday afternoon nap! Sam woke up and we headed out to enjoy the rest of the afternoon with water table fun and car drives! I love sitting back and watching Sam and Ryan together. Sometimes I feel like I could just bust from being so happy. 

After supper we went for a little walk and Sam discovered his shadow! It was hilarious to see him laughing at himself and giving "him" peace! 

While I know I am looking forward to the Fall, I am trying my best to appreciate the ease that comes with Summer. The time we spent outside, not having to dress Sam in layers and long nights! I really do appreciate Summer for the outdoor fun we get to have! 

How was your weekend? 


Friday, July 24, 2015

Things That Make Me Go "Woo Hoo"!

Can I get a "WOO HOO" for Friday? This was one weird week. Seriously, was it a full moon? It seemed that everything that could go wrong, did this week. I have been happily ending every night by sitting in silence and enjoying a glass of wine! Doesn't that sound like an alcoholic in the making? Yikes!

But as a friend always says to me, think positively! So that's what I am going to do! Because there are SO many great things that are in my life. Of course there are the big things; roof over my head, healthy family, food in the cupboards. But then there are some every day small things that I just love!

1- Netflix. Does a weekend go by that I don't mention Netflix somewhere in my post? Netflix has changed the way we have watched TV. So much that we have actually talked about getting rid of our regular TV! Honestly, if we had better internet were we could stream sports and other TV favorites, we would. In the mean time we always have the chance to have a movie night! One of my favorite weekly things is to go onto this website and see the newest releases! "My list" is ever growing with shows and movies that I want to watch!

2- A king sized bed. When I first took possession of my house, one of the first things I spent money on was a "big girl" bedroom set. It took me a long time to decided what style I wanted but one thing was for sure, I was getting a king size! Many years later and I am so thankful for that decision I made that day! I need my space when I sleep and nothing makes my heart more happy than bringing Sam into bed with us when he is still sleepy in the mornings for cuddles. I am sure our king sized bed will feel much smaller as our family grows.

3- Summer sales!! EVERY store seems to have their stores clearance at 50% off! It's been great for ordering Sam some stuff for his future wardrobe. I actually don't care if there are sharks and surfboards on his fall PJ's, as long as they fit and are warm! I've been really good at taking inventory of Sam's clothes and figuring out what he needs. I've discovered that I HATE it when he has too many clothes! They are harder to organize and keep clean. This Momma also saw this shirt early in the Spring but wasn't willing to spend the $30. At 50% off? Yup! Something in the cart for me too! So glad I waited until I could get it at a discount.
Embroidered Peasant Blouse
4- New recipes! I asked Ryan the other day what his most favorite meal was on our meal plan. Smart husband that he is, he said that he couldn't choose just one! He loved so many of them. If it were up to Ryan our meal plan would NEVER change and we would never try any recipes! But I need a little flavor in my life and switch things up! I love to try new recipes and see if there is something that can be added to our meal plan. The only problem with that, our meal plan is pretty set and there isn't a lot of opportunity to try to recipes! This weekend we'll have some time at home and I decided that TWO recipes will be attempted! I hope they are as delicious as they look! :) 

5- Usually, Sam cries his HEAD off when I go to pick him up from daycare. It's like he just doesn't want to leave and I'm ruining his life for taking him away from the play. This week, he has been excited for me to pick him up and coming to my arms! I still don't think he is ecstatic to leave his friends and the play but he doesn't push away from me and cry anymore. It's been a welcomed change! Woo Hoo!

Have a great weekend! WOO HOO! 


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Summer "Blah's"

Happy Wednesday everyone! 

I know this title might come to a shock for a lot of people. How can any one have a "blah" feeling in the summer? I mean isn't the summer always so full of fun activities planned every weekend during this beautiful time of year? For sure! And that's what kind of gives me the feelings of "blah". 

Summer isn't actually my favorite season. I LOVE Fall and all the coziness that comes with it. I love the holiday season, baking, sweaters and scarves. 

It is no surprise that Summer is a busy time of year in our lives. Our lives typically revolve around work as we work through the summer and early fall season till snow starts to fly and we can no longer harvest sod. In the meantime, we participate in other events but we are tired! The crazy hours have caught up to us. The late weekend nights don't help either. We usually try to stick close to home as possible. You just never know when something is needed. 

While there is beautiful weather, everyone jams packs the days full of fun things to do. Most of the events I REALLY look forward to but then it gets to a point that your head is spinning with calendar organization, making sure that no important events get missed. 

We have gotten to the point of the summer where the weather is HOT! Too hot. When you live in a home that doesn't have proper air conditioning, you feel that summer heat. It has gotten to the point in the summer that when the weather gets too hot, we do all of our cooking out side and spend some nights sleeping in the cool basement. We are constantly juggling cooking and closing off rooms just so that the house stays below a certain temperature. It's exhausting. 

I guess I'm just over Summer (don't shoot me, ha ha!) and ready for a change of season already! I'm ready for beautiful fall colors, a cooler home, and less work stresses. Don't worry, I'll be back BEGGING for Summer by next February...;) 


Monday, July 20, 2015

Weekend Fun and Garden Harvests!

Happy Monday everyone! I hope that everyone enjoyed their weekend! It was a HOT one around home and when you don't have central air, it really effects the quality of sleep you are getting. But we are managing and hoping the heat breaks soon! We are getting really creative on ways to stay cool! Lots of shade, outdoor cooking and water activities! 

This weekend it was mostly Sam and I. Ryan was in town but participating in a ball tournament! Normally, it wouldn't be a big deal but he played 5 games! 4 of which were on Saturday. 

Friday night Sam and I chilled at home as Ryan was gone. When Sam went to bed I watched a movie and relaxed. I knew Saturday was going to be a busy day and wanted to be well rested! 

Saturday morning I made my boys a big homemade waffle breakfast! Ryan headed out to ball just as Sam was going down for his morning nap. After he woke up we headed out to watch another game. We were there to support Ryan but I have to tell you going to the ball field with Sam right now is a challenge. He has zero interest in the game and wants to just crawl around unsafe areas. He could see Ryan and would yell "Dada" but couldn't understand why he couldn't go out to see him. By the end of the game, I was exhausted and ready to head home for lunch! 

Sam went down for his afternoon nap and I had a busy 2 hours of chores! Sandwiches, laundry, suppers in the freezer and cookies. Eventually Sam woke up and I made supper. Ryan got Sam ready for bed while I get ready for a fun stag for friends/cousin. I went and picked up the babysitter and we gave her all our contact stuff. I have to say, she was an AWESOME babysitter and we will definitely be getting her again! 

We had a lot of fun at the stag and it was great to get out for the evening! 

Thanks Cheryl Dolan Art & Photography for the great pics! 

The next morning Ryan and I were pretty tired but Sam was very rested! We decided to all head to church and then have breakfast afterwards. While Sam was napped that afternoon I worked on my veggie garden! I am LOVING my garden this year! It is SO much easier to take care of. I am getting better veggies from it this year than ever before. This was my first pick of beans and there are still many more growing! I blanched and froze these beans for future meals. 

Sam woke up and we all had a left over pasta casserole that was in the freezer. It was just too hot to put much effort into cooking! 

We are very blessed that this whole farm is surrounded with wild raspberry canes! All week long we have been taking drives after supper and getting "dessert". Sam LOVES raspberries and eats half the bowl on the drive back in home. We get a bowl like this every night! Yum! 

How was your weekend? 


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Simplifying Life

Happy Wednesday loves! I hope that you are all enjoying the week. Lately here on the farm our lives have been revolving around WATER! In order to keep our crop alive, especially in this extreme heat, the guys here are working endlessly on supplying water to the grass. It has been a pretty favorable year so far for moisture but there comes a point every summer where water is absolutely needed! 

Ryan can be one of the guys that helps with irrigation. The three of us were out the other night checking on one of the systems and I couldn't help but feel so blessed. Here I was with my husband, healthy baby boy and enjoying this beautiful summer evening. Sounding kind of corny, right? 

You see lately I have been thinking a lot about what is important in my life. The things that REALLY matter. So often I can get side tracked by media, possessions and trying to please everybody. I've kind of taken a step back this summer to really think about the important things in my life (besides family/friends). 

I've learnt that THINGS don't make me happy. So often there is something I "want" and I think that it is going to improve the quality of my life. In reality, it likely won't, at least not for an extended period of time. My quality of life is already AWESOME without anything added into it. But sometimes I need a reminder to appreciate the things I already have! My life is so filled with belongings that I probably don't appreciate the stuff I do have enough. 

I've been trying to be comfortable with nothing. I think there is an art to doing nothing! So often our lives are so busy that when a quiet moment arrives, we fill it with something to do out of fear of being bored or missing out on something exciting. I find it really hard to say "no" sometimes to events. My days (especially weekends) could be filled with many activities if I said yes to all of them, I would have no spare time! I've been trying to consciously not be running and scheduling every waking hour of our days. While there are events we will still participate in, we try to have down time together as often as possible. 

Oh, don't be fooled! I will still be as organized as ever but more often I have been looking at life and seeing how I can simplify it. Getting off social media during the evenings and weekends, having downtime at home, getting outside to enjoy walks while the weather is nice and remembering that I am already so blessed with an abundance of stuff.  


Monday, July 13, 2015

Weekend Life Is So Much Easier

Happy Monday everyone! One thought keeps coming to mind throughout this summer, life is much more flexible this year versus last year! 

Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't change last summer for ANYTHING but now that I am not tied to a nursing schedule, I feel as though I have that much more freedom! 

Last year, I was latched (literally) to Sam all the time. There was no where that I would be, that he wouldn't be with me. I wasn't pumping a lot at that point and what I did pump, I wanted to save that liquid gold. Ryan would join me for outings but before going into a store or restaurant, there would be some backseat nursing sessions! 

It was a great time in my life but this summer I am really enjoying the extra freedom that comes with not having to nurse Sam anymore. I am still in awe that I can go somewhere and not look at the clock and calculate when I need to return so that Sam can nurse or pump. 

Last weekend I went on a super fun bachelorette bus tour! I could go out, party a little (ok, a lot) and not have to worry about pumping (and dumping) when I got home! The fun is just that much more carefree! 

This weekend, I got to go away solo to a wedding reception. No more worrying about pumping enough for a late night bottle. 

"Hurray for the weekend!" 

The next morning? I got kicked out of the house for the late morning. My husband won "best husband of the year award" when he kicked me out of the house and told me to go have some me time. He sent me for a manicure and pedicure. The solo drive was heaven, my nails look REALLY pretty, I slowly browsed that local thrift store and then grabbed a quick lunch. I got home just as Sam was going down for his afternoon nap. I felt rejuvenated! But mostly I just kept marveling at the fact that I didn't need to nurse before and pump after I got home. I didn't have the uncomfortable feeling of feeling engorged from too long between feedings. 

For the rest of Sunday we relaxed, staying out of the heat and just enjoyed each others company! I am loving this carefree summer! Not only do I have a little freedom but I still get to spend lots of that time hanging out with my boys! 

How was your weekend? 


Friday, July 10, 2015

Sam Update - 13, 14 and 15 Months!

Happy Friday! I hope that you're weeks have been wonderful! I know mine was. Being at home with my boy has been awesome. By Wednesday we had gotten into our own little routine. It almost felt like I was back on Mat. leave. But Thursday and today I am back at work and missing his sweet smiles and sloppy kisses. So of course, today I need to talk about him! 

While I haven't been doing a monthly update on the blog of Sam, I have been taking monthly pictures! I love seeing the way he has changed month to month. 

Stats: Oh big boy, not too sure. We'll get you measured this month at a doctors appointment. One week I feel like you are a chunk and then next you seem to grow in height and slim out. 

Wearing: I bought Sam's summer wardrobe a big bigger so that it would last him the whole summer! The problem, now that items are looking a little on the small size. Most clothes are 18-24 months and the shoes are a tight size 5. He has outgrown all of his hats and now we have to get new ones! I also bought a bunch of 2T two-piece Pjs that should get him through the summer. 

Sam is still wearing size 4 diapers but I foresee that changing shortly. 

Sleep; Sam LOVES his sleep and like his Momma, is not a night owl. Up for daycare at 6:30 AM, nap 1 from 9-10, nap 2 from 1-3/4 and in bed and asleep by 6:30/7:00 PM. 

Eating: Out of house and home! Sam is not a picking eater at all! He has his favorites but for the most part he'll eat anything. He loves fruit, potatoes, yogurt, cheese, bread and peanut butter. The volume of food he eats sometimes astonishes me! 

Saying: Someone is very chatty. He is constantly "talking" but for the most part, I have no idea what he is saying. He can say, Mom, Dada, Tucker, Ball, Bye, Done, Grandpa, More, truck and tractor. 

Appearance: There are very few people who say that Sam looks like me! And I have to agree, he is just like his Daddy! He has my brown eyes but everything else is like Ryan. His brown hair has been lightening up a bit from the sun. 

Likes: Sam (thankfully) likes daycare. He is so excited to walk up to the door every morning! He also enjoys meal times, bath time, stories, anything with a wheel, walks and building blocks. He enjoys dancing and music. He still likes his soother for sleep time but is without it during the rest of the day. 

Dislikes: Being told "no" and being redirected to a new spot. He HATES getting his teeth brushed and bum changed. Also hates getting his face wiped. Unfortunately, Sam doesn't like the pool! We were so excited to introduce him to the pool again this year and he screams bloody murder everything he is in it! 


It's been a rough month in the teething department. On his first birthday, he had two teeth. Now, he has 10! That's 8 teeth in 3 months. Yikes! 

Someone is SO close to being a regular walker and took his first steps on June 24! 


While the adjustment has been easy, there are days that I can't help but feel so full of sadness and guilt. I worry some days that Sam won't look back fondly at the memories of me or will resent me for not staying at home with him. I worry what the long term effects will be of not being a stay-at-home mom. 

But mostly, my days are filled with pride and happiness. I absolutely LOVE being a Mom and even if I am not with him 24/7, he is on my mind all the time! In the afternoons I am watching the clock, itching till I can go and pick him up! He really is my little side-kick and I love hanging out with him! 


Ryan would argue that Sam is actually HIS sidekick. Which I understand. There will be a father/son bond that is strong between these boys. Thankfully, they always include me in their fun and I'm not always left out. Ha ha! 

But Ryan is always such a great Dad. He is very hands on with Sam. He still doesn't change many diapers but we are working on that! :) 

One thing about Ryan is that I know I can count on him to help in every aspect. Having him home with me is a comfort. A second pair of hands is so nice with a very active toddler! 


Dear Sam, 

It is hard to believe so much time has passed since your 1st birthday! When I look back on those photo's, you still look like a little baby. The way you have grown over the last 3 months is amazing! You are becoming a very independent little boy but you don't let me stray too far from your side! I can't even step into the kitchen without you crawling up beside me! Sometimes, it's not easy but then I remind myself that one day you won't need me at all. And I need to embrace and enjoy things as they are now! 

I am so thankful that you adjusted to daycare so well. It has made me going back to work so much easier. Knowing that you are having fun in a safe and loving environment, makes me feel better about being a working Mom. 

There is no doubt that life is much busier than 1 year ago but at the same time it is filled with so much more laughter and fun! You bring such joy to our everyday lives and make even the most ordinary days very exciting! 

I love you!