Thursday, December 29, 2011

lots of haps

So, life has been sweet to us lately. Here's a quick recap:

  • Lia turned two and is becoming a crazy/fun toddler.
  • Siena is six months old and getting sweeter by the day.
  • The girls are really interacting more - Siena smiles every time Lia is around her.
  • Michael is working at Educational Sales Co. and also is the booking manager for Ike.
  • I just graduated with an Associate Degree in Respiratory Therapy and am currently looking for a job!
Woohoo! While in the in between period of school and looking for a job, I get to be home with my two special girls. It's so fun being the three girls - 

we go on walks...

we play outside...


we play with our new kitchen from Nina Tiffy...

we go to the park...

siena loves to be worn while I'm cleaning around the house...

we love on baby siena...

then we try to vacuum her...

we celebrate Jesus' birthday...

we give the sweetest smiles in the universe...

i love you my big girl...

and you too my littlest girl :)

"Life is wonderful... life is meaningful... life is full of... life is so full of love." ~Jason Mraz

Monday, December 5, 2011

cloth diaper giveaway!!

One of my favorite cloth diapering blogs, All About Cloth Diapers, is doing an awesome 12 Days of Giveaways. You need to go sign up NOW! Today's goodies are really awesome All-In-Ones and diapers that are babysitter/grandma/daddy friendly. Don't miss out on these great giveaways!!



Monday, November 7, 2011

Siena Clare

It's so much harder than I could have imagined to be away from you half of the week. I don't see your face for three whole days in a row, and the only moments we have together are in the middle of the night when I go to feed you. You are such a beautiful and precious sight that this fact breaks my heart to pieces.

You are the sweetest little baby girl in the world.

You love your sister more than words, I can tell in the way you look at her. She loves to hold your hands and dance with you.


You and Pablo are the sweetest. He wants to eat you up whenever he sees you.



Ez holds a special place for you in his heart.





You and Ez with your big sissies :)


And last but the least of all, your dad loves you more than anything. You are the most beautiful Siena in the whole world, and I can see it when he looks at you that he is struck by your peace and smile. You certainly warm his heart.


I love you, baby girl, and I miss you. I can't wait to see you at 2am. Greatest moments of my days.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

messiness

There are just some days when I make the silly mistake of allowing a type of behavior that I simply should NOT have allowed. Recently I had one of those days.

Acaiah and Ez were over to play... which is such sweet relief for Maraeca and me, as the girls will typically play with each other and then Maraeca and I have the chance to talk to another adult instead of just our two year olds.

While the girls were playing outside, Maraeca and I were inside with the two babes. We went out to check on the girls, and this is what we discovered:



And yes, instead of telling Lia "No, we don't throw tons of dirt onto our head," I grabbed my camera and took pictures. Why did I think this was acceptable behavior?! Who knows... but I definitely learned my lesson when I had to give that dirty, dusty girl a bath, then clean the bathtub, then give her another bath.

Nasty.


77/365

"But it's nice to say that we played in the dirt, oh dear, cause here we are. We're still here... what a beautiful mess this is." ~jason mraz

Monday, October 17, 2011

NB Cloth Diaper Info

I have quite a few friends that are pregnant right now that have been taking the dive into contemplating cloth diapering. I wanted to touch on a few things - words of encouragement (!!), advice, and just some general info on cloth diapering from the newborn stage as opposed to diapering an older baby.

First of all, hats off to you, mama, for taking the plunge into even thinking about cloth diapering. For whatever reason it may be, whether it be the chemicals in disposables, the money you will most definitely save, or the landfills piling up with tons of poop (literally) - you WILL face adversity, you WILL face skeptics, you WILL face the downright looks of disgust from your neighboring mamas. However, this is my time to say, "Well done." You are trying to do something different for your child that is for the betterment of their health and environment. I am most certainly not knocking disposable diapers (we still use disposables for various reasons), but I AM saying, you are taking a plunge into something relatively unknown, and I believe in you that you can do this.

I will have to say, though, that most people who are greatly against cloth diapers have NEVER seen a modern cloth diaper. They are generally thinking of flat diapers that you have to fold to find the best absorbency, wrap onto a squirmy baby, pin the diaper on (hopefully without pinning baby), and pulling some bulky plastic pants on. This is NOT modern cloth diapering. THIS is a modern cloth diaper, in all its [cutest] glory:



Some concerns that people have in regards to the newborn stage:

1. How many diapers do I need?

To diaper a newborn, we generally say you need approximately 36 diapers. This is you having enough diapers to launder every two days (as you are generally changing baby every 2 hours - or 12 times a day). If you go with a prefold/flat/AI2 system, you need 36 diapers (the absorbency part) and 4-6 covers. If you go with pocket/AIO diapers, you need 36 diapers total.

2. Where do I store?

You have two options here: either buy a diaper pail from Wal-Mart/Target/Something Similar and use a pail liner to line the diaper pail OR get a hanging wet bag. Both of this options are lined with waterproof material so no wetness gets out of them. Wet bags generally zipper, while pail liners just line the pail (hence the name) - so I find that wet bags hold the smell in a bit better. Both are great options. 

I recommend having two of whatever system you go with - if you're washing one wet bag with your diapers, you have another wet bag for while you're washing.

3. How do I launder?

Laundering is much simpler than what you think. Really, it is. Newborn breastfed poo is water soluble, so it does not require any sort of rinsing before it is put into the washing machine. Once baby starts solids, you will need to invest in one of three options: a diaper sprayerflushable liners, or some rubber gloves to "dunk and swish" your dipes yourself. 

Diaper sprayer? Basically a bidet that connects to your toilet. When baby poos, you take the diaper to the toilet, spray off the poo, throw it in the wet bag. Simple. 

Flushable liners? Line your diaper with a flushable liner, baby poos, remove the flushable liner and throw into the toilet, throw diaper into wet bag. Simple.

Rubber gloves? Pretty self-explanatory.

After the dipes have filled your wet bag, head over to your laundry room. All pocket diapers need to have their respective inserts removed before washing, and every other system is pretty set to go. (Velcro? - affix to the "laundry tabs" the creative Diaper Creator has put on her diaper.)

1. Throw diapers in washing machine.
2. Cold rinse.
3. Add cloth diaper safe detergent (lots of options, my favorite: Rockin' Green)
4. Hot wash/cold rinse.
5. Rinse again.
6. Throw into dryer. (I recommend line drying covers and machine drying inserts, however, you can throw everything into dryer if that makes it easier for you.)

That's all folks!

4. What about the poop??

Again, newborn breastfed poo is water soluble, so it does NOT require any sort of rinsing before it is put into the washing machine. Once baby starts solids, you will need to invest in one of three options: a diaper sprayerflushable liners, or some rubber gloves to "dunk and swish" your dipes yourself. 

Diaper sprayer? Basically a bidet that connects to your toilet. When baby poos, you take the diaper to the toilet, spray off the poo, throw it in the wet bag. Simple. 

Flushable liners? Line your diaper with a flushable liner, baby poos, remove the flushable liner and throw into the toilet, throw diaper into wet bag. Simple.

Rubber gloves? Pretty self-explanatory.

5. What are the essentials?

You absolutely need: a baby (duh), cloth diapers (duhx2), and cloth diaper safe detergent. You don't want a detergent that has any enzymes, optical brighteners, fabric softeners, etc. Here is a great site to find out if your detergent is "safe."

6. Are there babysitter friendly diapers?

Yes. All-in-one (AIO) diapers as well as pocket diapers are probably the closest-looking to a disposable  diaper as they come. My favorites? The BumGenius Elemental OS, the BumGenius XS AIO (for newborns), the Swaddlebees Simplex 2.0, and the Fuzzibunz Sized diapers.


I understand this is a TON of information - we Mamas (especially new ones) can become overwhelmed. But have no fear! Be encouraged in your quest to do what you feel is right for your family and baby. You are not alone! I can promise you that :)

Please feel free, as always, to leave comments/questions/anything and I will answer anything! 

I will be updating on here for the next few posts on newborn cloth diapering, so please come back and periodically check up on my most recent reviews. I've posted one review on the Fuzzibunz XS Pocket Diaper, but I will be adding more!

NB cloth diaper reviews: Fuzzibunz XS Pocket DIaper

So Siena is around 4 months old (way past the "newborn" age), so I wanted to kind of do an overview of our experience cloth diapering her as a newborn.

Before I had her I always said "If I lived in a dream world with lots of money, I would buy all SIZED diapers to diaper my kids."

Sized diapers are diapers that are sized for a specific weight range. I love sized diapers as you get the best fit out of the diaper without having to worry about "sizing" it for multiple children (as I have two in diapers - Lia is 22 months and Siena 14 weeks).

Here is an example of a newborn "sized" diaper. This is an XS Fuzzibunz (4-12lbs) pocket diaper at 10 days old:




PROS:
  • Great fit for newborn
  • Snaps (so no messing with velcro in the wash/dryer)
  • Easy application
  • No leaks
  • Soft microfleece next to baby's skin
CONS:
  • Unstuffing pocket diaper before washing
  • Snaps on a newborn don't get the best fit, as you may be in between snaps
  • Small pocket opening makes it more difficult to re-stuff after drying
**If I had a chance to buy different newborn sized diapers, I would probably purchase velcro and an all-in-one option as opposed to a pocket. Velcro's pro: giving you the best fit on a little babe. All-in-one pro: you don't have to worry about unstuff/stuffing a very small pocket opening.

This is what I would buy: 


http://www.zoolikins.com/bumgenius-3.0-aio-cloth-diaper.html


I will continue to be doing reviews of our past diapers, so check back!

Friday, October 14, 2011

blueberry fingers


76/365

You love to swing... You love blueberries... but you call them "strawberries" ... You look like you're praying here but you are really pretending to wash your hands... You are seriously one of the most beautiful creations I've ever seen... I can't believe He lent you to us.
The luckiest in the whole world.


cool wind in my hair


75/365



Tuesday, October 4, 2011

lions, ditches, and tina, oh my!

Recently, our Besties came over to visit us. By Besties I mean: my best friend Maraeca, Lia's best friend Acaiah, and Siena's best man, Ezra. They always bring us so much joy when they come by - such a welcomed break from our day-to-day. Here is Ezra and his mommy - who happens to be explaining Acaiah's Halloween costume (which is an adorable lion costume! And she has the "roar" down so well) :)


After this crazy game of charades with Maraeca and Ez, the girls ventured outside in the HOT HOT sun! (Thankfully, tomorrow's high will be 87! Can't wait!) The girls love to sit (yes, just sit) in the car that Nina Tiffy gave to Lia. Somehow, who knows how, because the girls aren't so great at steering themselves around the yard, Acaiah got stuck in our little ditch area! It was so funny because Maraeca, Tina and I were all inside and we looked out and there was little Acaiah, "help! help!"

Of course, I had to snap a photo before we did any "help! help!"ing.


After THOSE shenanigans, the girls ventured into our little "grotto" area. 

When Michael and I first saw the house, we thought the little grotto outside was awesome (by awesome , we mean hilarious and holy at the same time). The grotto is a place where we plan to put a Mary statue (that may be Mike's Christmas present as we have yet to get a Mary statue - and if I don't type it out here I will totally forget). But, since we don't have a Mary statue to safeguard our grotto, we just have Acaiah and Lia. Which is ironic, because they are becoming less and less holy by the second because they are 2 year olds are on a mission to be as rebellious as ever ;)


Look at this mischievous face!! You know she's planning something :) But still, can't help the cuteness. Like for reals.


This day of fun was just another day for us - another day of giggles and sighs and everything in between. These moments have been shared so much with our beautiful friend Christina. Tina (what the kids like to call her) is truly an incredible, magnificent creation from God. She is the epitome of what generous, unconditional love looks like. From the moment she was around our family, she gave all of herself to love on Cecilia, and eventually, Siena as well. I have never seen someone so open to children as much as she is. It's really unbelievable.

Not only has Tina brought so much light to our girls' lives, she has continually brightened Michael's and mine. I feel so blessed to have met such an incredible person - that the Lord would see it fitting to show me the light that she is. It can only be from Him and through Him that I was given her as a gift to my life. With that, I know that He sent her here and into my life to teach me, as all of the people in my life do. And the things I have learned from her - about cooking, about serving, about adventure, about delighting in my children... these are all things I hope to grow on from now to kingdom come.

We (I) will truly miss her more than she knows. I will always be grateful for what she has taught me, and I can't wait to take many a trip to Nashville to learn even more.



74/365

"Alongside the sadness, I was feeling something else. I was feeling free."

Monday, October 3, 2011

Saturday, October 1, 2011

free


73/365

"in Your freedom i will live."

Friday, September 30, 2011

the freshest air

A few weeks ago, Mike and I decided to pack up the kids and take our very first family vacation :) My grandparents own a cabin up in Munds Park, just 17 miles south of Flagstaff. We drove up there right after my niece Anisa's bday party. We had a blast at her 2nd birthday party which was at a jumpy house place. Here are my parents holding their two youngest grandkids:


And here is the birthday girl with my bro and sister-in-law and sweetest ever, Pablo: 


In case you can't see Pablo's adorable onesie, here is a close-up:


Isn't it so sweet?? I want a boy JUST so I can get a faux tie onesie. In a few years, of course ;)

Anyway, we went to Anisa's bday party and then packed up and headed up to Flagstaff. It was a little bit warmer than expected, but we had a blast. It was so nice to see Lia out of our home environment and out in the fresh air. At night it was freezing so for a couple nights Lia got into our bed and cuddled up with us (more like kicked me a lot, so much that I proceeded to sleep on her mattress on the floor). Oh, but the cuddles!! ;)

We went to the neighborhood park with Grandma and enjoyed our special times together...


First family vacay = success for sure.


72/365

"Who will tell whether one happy moment of love or the joy of breathing or walking on a bright morning and smelling the fresh air, is not worth all the suffering and effort which life implies."

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

the evolution of a fall


being rebellious sitting on the tables while watching your favorite tv show = pure joy


mom asks "please get down from the tables."


the collision


...the world is literally over...


back to favorite tv show.

oh the life :)

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