Monday, October 28, 2013

He Walks!

At 16 months old Abraham has finally decided that moving while upright just might be a worthwhile venture.

He surprised us all when he took his very first 4 steps in front of his birthmom while we were in Louisiana a couple months ago, but I'd hardly gotten one out of him since then.  He didn't even have any interest in holding onto your hands and walking around with assistance.

He's one of the fastest crawlers I've ever watched though, so I wasn't too surprised that his busy little self didn't have time to mess with walking.  But all of a sudden, in the last week, he's willing to give it a shot.

In other news, I completely cannot handle his adorable little face in this picture.  It's even worth the amount of noise he makes with his new absolute favorite toy ever.  

And the hair?  I actually had him all set up to give it a trim this week and I just. couldn't. do. it.  I've decided to let it go long for a while until my heart can handle it. 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Family Pictures 2013

This year's photos were done by Chris and Amy Messenger.

I have almost 150 of these I have to pick from.  I'm in love with all of them.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Kid Drawings - A Portrait of Mommy

Just in case you were wondering what I look like these days, Evelyn is here to help you out.

I'm not sure whether to be flattered or horrified.  But I love it!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

We Do the Cloth Diaper Thing

Four years into cloth diapering, I feel ready to write about it.  I've read way too many sanctimonious cloth diaper blog posts to want to add to that.  The reality is that I don't think disposables are a bad thing; I don't care if people chose to use them.  But, cloth diapering has worked well for us.  I enjoy using them on our kids, and I think they can be great a great solution for diapering your kids bums.  So rather than tout the wonders of cloth diapers and demonize disposables, I'm just going to lay our what we do to make cloth work for our family.

First off, what we have.

I luuurve Bum Genius diapers.  They make several different styles, but I prefer the 4.0 pocket diapers.

The diaper is 2 parts: the diaper portion and the stuffing.  You can stuff it with any type of stuffing you like based on how heavy of a wetter your kid is and how long they will be wearing it.  I stuff mine with newborn sized cotton prefolds during the day because that will hold 2-3 hours worth of pee with no problems.  Overnight it gets stuffed with a larger bamboo/cotton prefold and a piece of microfiber because he's wearing that diaper for 12 hours so it needs to hold more.

Now, I need to store the diapers somewhere.  I like to store diapers both in the living room on the first floor and the nursery on the second floor.  I don't like having to go up or down stairs to get a clean diaper.  These cheap fabric boxes work great for containing the clean diapers.

For wipes, I use Thirsties brand Fab Wipes.  They are soooo soft.  I just wet them down with water when needed.

Dirty diaper storage is actually easier than one may think.  In the nursery I have an old 13 gallon garbage can with a pail liner in it that I drop the dirties into.

In the living room I have a wet bag that hangs on the side of the shelves that I stick the diapers in.

Poop.  The worst part about cloth diapering is the poop.  Poop that comes from an exclusively breastfed baby can go straight into the pail.  It's water soluable and will disappear in the wash.  Once you start on solids or formula though, you will have to get that poop into the toilet before you put the diapers in the pail.  You don't want that business in your washing machine.  Some people swear by diaper sprayers.  I've never tried one, so I can't say anything about them other than I don't trust Evelyn near a water spraying device in the house.  I just have an old plastic spatula that I use to scrape whatever won't plop into the toilet on it's own.  Most of the time it's no big deal.

Once it's time to actually wash the diapers, it's much simpler than you might think.  If you have an HE washer, it can be a lot trickier since they use so little water, but I have an old school top loader that I refuse to get rid of until we are done with the diapering years.

I dump the diapers out of the bag straight into the washer and throw the bag in with them.  I then run a cold pre-rinse to help rinse the pee out of the diapers and loosen up any solids so that when I actually wash them, the detergent can do it's job.  Once they are rinsed, I add some Tide up to the 1 or 2 line depending on how big the load is, a couple tablespoons of oxy clean, and fill the fabric softener holder with white vinegar.  I run a HOT wash and a double rinse to make sure all the detergent gets out of the diapers.  When they're done I throw them in the dryer on medium heat.  When they're all dry, I put the two parts back together and store them in their fabric boxes.

Bonus!  Cotton Babies, the makers of Bum Genius, are having a sale right now!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Evelyn: 5

My sweet, spunky Evelyn is officially 5.  Something about 5 just seems so big to me.  Maybe it's just because she's in the 90th percentile for height at 43 inches tall and a whopping 36 pounds.

This year has brought a lot of new firsts for her, the biggest of which is definitely starting school.  She's still loving school each day and I'm loving watching her learn new things.

She wanted to spend her birthday going to the zoo, eating lunch at her favorite restaurant (a burger joint that has gluten free options and are careful about cross-contamination), and then having lamb chops for dinner.  Yes, lamb chops.  She clearly takes after her dad more than her mom.

Here's her birthday interview for this year:

Who is your best friend? Greta and Pela

What is your favorite color? red and pink

What is your favorite animal? zebras and elephants

What is your favorite thing to do? Go to the zoo!

Evelyn is enamored with birds and is always checking out other people's bird feeders.  She got one of her very own for her birthday.  Such a classic 5-year-old birthday gift.

What is your favorite thing to wear? pajamas

What is your favorite food? strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries

What is your favorite TV show? My Little Pony

What is your favorite thing to do when we visit Iowa? Play with Abby (my parent's dog)

What is your favorite thing to do with daddy? Go to work with him.

What is your favorite thing to do with mommy? Help you cook.

What do you want to be when you grow up? A mom.

What do you want to say about yourself on my blog? That I'm gluten free and I like it.

That's a Hello Kitty cake (as if it's not OBVIOUS!).  Hello Kitty is a favorite around here.