It’s been a long time now since I’ve written a personal post. 2016 has been kicking our asses. Between that and having two crazy kids, I don’t have much time to give sitting down and writing about real life stuff, if that makes any sense. I’m actually fighting a nasty cold at the moment, which means that I have a bit of time to sit and just write.
Mason is 9 months old, almost 10 months. Liam has started school. How is this possible? Where has time gone? It’s been a pretty good transition, thankfully. Liam loves school and it’s been giving me a bit of a breather during an otherwise stressful time.
We have a lot of personal financial and family stuff going on that I don’t feel comfortable sharing here, but it’s been playing one hell of a toll on my anxiety and depression. Thankfully, my husband’s work has a great EAP program and I’ve been able to get some help. On top of that, I’ve started keeping a bullet journal. It has been amazing at keeping me calm, organized and a place to share what’s going on in my head in a pretty and creative way.
Bullet Journaling is kind of a checklist mixed with a day planner, mixed with a journal. It can be as simple or as involved as you want. It’s very very easy to personalize.
Beyond bullet journaling, I’ve continued to play with and test makeup and other products. I’m toying with the idea of making a youtube channel to compliment this blog, but I’m nervous about the amount of work it would take. I’ve started job hunting again, ideally looking for something either from home or close to home so that we can save on daycare costs by me being with Mason during the day.
So, I know this isn’t a really great update, but I wanted to let you guys know that I’m alive and ok, but not great. We are working on things to improve our situation, but nothing is coming very easily. Happy Fall everyone xo
I don’t know why 30 days make such a difference, but the sudden realization that we have less than half a year left before this little one turns 1 is crazy to me.
It has been a very busy month for us. June is always kind of a crazy time with events (including big brother finishing up his first karate session and graduating from dufferdoo), birthdays (I turned 33, for instance!) and anniversaries (Ours! 6 years married now). Being out and about didn’t slow Mason down at all. He has been getting more and more vocal, more mobile and more himself. He is growing so freaking fast!
Where we are now:
Diaper Size: Pampers Size 4, cloth diapers in size 2
Clothing Size: Depending on the brand, between 9-18months.
Favourite Clothes: Clothes are a struggle with this guy. He is smaller than Liam was, and shaped very differently. He HATES getting dressed and especially hates things going over his head and overalls.
Nicknames: Mace and Macey, bubba, small fry, turd, petit frite
Loves: Rolling, cobra pose, avocados, yelling, banging, splashing, chewing, bouncing, standing, his family, water, Tinga Tinga Tales on Netflix, Cole (the cat), his bunny.
Hates: His carseat and the car, medicine, getting dressed, sleeping.
Updates: His two middle bottom teeth finally broke through and now we are working on the uppers. He is CRANKY teething bear these days. We have been fighting yeast rashes and have had to use disposables while the battle wages. He has started moving around on his own. He rolls around a room, does circles and scoots backwards. He also takes a few steps if we support him standing. He loves to sit up on his own, but has a bad tendency to throw himself over when he’s ready to do something else, resulting in many head bumps. He has been hating naps and sleep lately, which makes for a very tired mama.
He is still refusing the bottle, but has started eating food. His favourites at the moment are avocado and apple slices and peanut butter. He HATES baby cereals and purees with a passion (a puking passion). Peaches seem to cause him to break out in little bumps. He’s finally starting to get a bit better in the carseat, but still doesn’t love it. I still wear him all the time, especially for naps because nothing else works for me. Bath time is his favourite thing EVER.
Half a year. Half a year since this little beastie joined our family and completed it. How is that possible? How has it already been so long? I’m sorry I haven’t really been doing these posts the last few months. Honestly, I’ve been struggling. Post Partum Anxiety has been kicking my butt, and was recently joined by Depression. Meds are being changed up and I’m looking into therapy, but it’s been a challenge. On top of that, there’s been a fair amount of drama and difficulties to deal with in the mean time. All that aside, we’re doing ok. I have great plans of doing some more reviews for you soon, and have even been thinking about starting to do some youtube videos!
Now, on to Mason.
Month 3: In his third Month, Mason met his fellow December baby friend, Phillip. One of my best friends, Crystal, has us over all the time and her sister is in my online December mom group. Our boys got to hang out. What else? Well, we tried Mason in the Jumperoo and he hated it. He also started popping his seat in the ring sling, which frustrated me to no end. He started to roll on to his side from his back. Mason also had his first Easter.
Month 4: Interacting with the world a lot more, loving toys, his playmat is his favourite thing. Holds his head up and tries to roll on to his belly. Begins teething haphazard, but hates teething toys. Tried the jolly jumper but doesn’t really get it. Totally in love with his brother, who turned 4 this month.
Month 5: plays peekaboo, starts giving aggressive kisses (grabs my face with his nails and open mouth kisses me). Chews on everything. Says mama when upset, and parrots “Hiiiiiiiiiiiii”, said Dada once. Rolled back to front and tries to crawl. Very frustrated he can’t move on his own. Takes a step or two if held up. Digging the circle of neglect and the jolly jumper now. We celebrated Mothers Day and went to the Agricultural Museum. Tried some fruit and veggies right before the 6 month mark. Had a very busy Victoria Day weekend with family and friends.
Where we are now:
Diaper Size: Pampers Size 4, cloth diapers in size 2
Clothing Size:Depending on the brand, between 6-12months.
Favourite Clothes: The cold weather had me loving one piece outfits for him. Now that things are heating up, I am LOVING cute shorts, rompers and onesies.
Nicknames: Mace and Macey, bubba, small fry, turd
Loves: Rolling, yelling, banging, splashing, chewing, bouncing, standing, his family, water, his bunny.
Hates: His carseat and the car, medicine, disposable diapers, getting dressed.
Updates: Still teething, no teeth yet. No soothers and no bottles yet. Sigh. Loves to mimic sounds he hears. We swear he can say mama, Dada and Hi. Doesn’t like the outdoors, but is getting better. Lots of wake ups at night again. He’s still in bed with me, which makes the lack of sleep survivable. Still gets worn daily. Loves to stand up (with support)
Welcome to part 4 of my Cloth Diapering series. We’ve talked about why you should try cloth, what the options are and what other bits and bobs you might need. Let’s talk about how I (as in me, Heather) cloth diaper as well as the basic How Tos for the Average Cloth Diaper-er.
Ok, so this is it. You have everything you need. It’s time to get started.
Organize your cloth stuff somewhere where you will be able to easily access it during diaper changes. Stuff your pocket diapers, have your snappies and wipes within reach. Basically, be ready for a baby bum.
Take one diaperless or stinky-butted baby or toddler and bring them to where ever you have gathered your diapering stuff.
Remove clothes and diaper you wish to replace. Cloth diapers that are soiled go in wet bag. If baby is eating solids, be sure to scrape/shake/spray poop into toilet first.
Pick the cloth you want to use.
Put it on the baby.
Smell something funky or hear complaining baby, start back at step 2.
About twice a week, take your wet bag of diapers to the laundry area of your choice, wash and dry. Start back at step 1.
It’s pretty simple, really. Oh, you want more details? Well, sure! I’ll do my best to take some pictures without flashing you poor Mason’s bits.
Prep Your Diapers
Wash all of your diapers, whether they are new or used. Follow the instructions provided by the brand for washing. Make sure to wash all of your like fibers together. So, hemp is washed with hemp, cotton with cotton, etc… This is important because hemp and bamboo have natural oils that may cause issues for your other materials after washing.
Prefolds needs to be prepped before use. This means washing them a few times or boiling them in a large stock pot. This opens up the fibers and makes them more pillowy and absorbent.
What I do: For new all in one or pocket diapers, I do one warm wash with an extra rinse, with detergent. I then do a dry in the dryer on medium or low, anything still damp goes out in the sun. For new prefolds, I boil them (like fiber with like fiber) and then toss them in the dryer. For covers, I wash them on a regular cycle with detergent and put them up outside to dry. Make sure when washing anything with velcro/hook and loop that all tabs are folded in so as to not catch and damage your diapers.
For used diapers, I do a bleach soak to sanitize. I fill my bathtub with water and add a very small amount of bleach. I then soak the diapers for a few hours. I then ring them out and run them through my regular wash routine.
Stuff your pocket diapers with whatever insert you want to use. Remember that if you want to use boosters or need to fold your inserts that boys need extra absorbency in the front and girls need it in the middle.
For Hybrid diapers, attach one of the inserts so that the diaper is ready to go. Have extra inserts near by for the following change.
Sort your prefolds by size
Snap your diapers or covers if you need to size them (ie: if you are diapering a newborn, you will need them snapped to the smallest setting. If you are diapering a toddler, make sure all the snaps are undone). One size diapers may have elastics in the legs that need to be adjusted as well.
Organize Your Space
Make sure your diapering station is all set to go. Everyone does this differently. Do what whats for you.
What I do: My diapering area is in the family room, where we spend most of our time. I have one large bin for all of my diapers, one small bin for my extra inserts and bits and bobs. The pack and play has an attached organizer, in which I have wipes, bum cream and snappies. My wet bag is hanging near by and my diaper genie (for disposables diapers and wipes) is right there.
Put the Diaper on your Baby
As I mentioned up top, this is the straight forward part. Put the diaper on your baby.
All in Ones go on just like a disposable diaper if they are velcro, otherwise you just have to do the snaps to whatever size works for your baby.
Pocket diapers go on like disposable diapers, assuming you’ve already stuffed them. If not, do so.
Fitted Diapers are a two step process. First, put the fitted diaper on your baby (much like a disposable diaper). Once on, put the cover over top the same way. It will be quite bulky but super absorbent.
Hybrid diapers need their inserts snapped or tucked in (depending on the brand), and then you put them on baby
Prefolds can go on in a bunch of different ways. I suggest checking out this site for a few options. After the prefold goes on, put on your cover. Here’s a couple ways I do it:
Simply folded into a rectangle
Folded with a flared out poop catcher at the bum
Folded rectangle at the front
With all of these, make sure that the insert covers all the parts it needs to cover, and that none of the inner fabric or fleece is peeking out the leg holes or out the top.
Go About Your Life
Yep. Dress your baby and do your thing. You may find that you have to size up pants for them to fit on your kiddo’s adorable fluffy bum. They also make snap extenders for onesies that you can get.
You may find that you need to change your baby more often. Babies feel wetness in cloth, where as in disposables the diaper falls away from their body. That said, you may find you need to check baby more often too, as the tell tale diaper sag doesn’t happen with cloth.
Change Your Baby
When Baby is dirty, it’s time to change that diaper. Unsnap or undo the hook and loop and the snappi if in prefolds. You can reuse the cover if the binding is unsoiled. Simply wipe the PUL or lining. If the binding is wet or has poop, throw it in the wet bag. For pocket diapers you need to remove the insert before washing, so I try to remember to remove it before putting it and the diaper in the wet bag. For Hybrid diapers, just unsnap the insert and reuse the cover if its clean.
Wipe with either a disposable wipe or a cloth wipe.
If you need bum cream, be sure to use just a tiny bit of cloth safe cream, like Eco Chic Movement or Substance.
Put on another adorable cloth diaper.
There you have it, folks! The basics on how to cloth. I hope this series has been able to help demystify cloth diapers for you. Please let me know if you have any questions or a theme for another post in this series (or another series entirely!) Thanks for reading!
Oh man, have I ever been meaning to get this up sooner. I’m a whole month late. Geez. Can you believe my oldest is already 4 years old? Well, I’m sure you can. It’s not exactly magic. I’m in shock though. I swear he was a baby yesterday. Today he made himself a snack, got himself dressed and peed all over the bathroom floor.
It’s been a crazy year. Going from 3 to 4 is really a HUGE change. Kids go from babies to kids, just like that. He talks so much now, and has so many opinions. He sees and hears so much. He takes everything in. He’s so excited to start school in the fall and even started preschool this year in preparation. He looooooves dufferdoo. He’s also doing karate once a week, which is the best. We hang out with his friends as much as we can (as much as our schedule and my anxiety allows). His best friend is Isla, who happens to also be one of his oldest friends. He ADORES his cousins Cassidy, Elliot and Wesley. Watching him with his brother is my greatest joy. He is so protective of Mason. He loves him to pieces, even when it’s hard.
Now, for some stats and an interview:
Around 43.25″ tall (about 3.6 feet), 43lbs
Nicknames: Monkey, kiddo, turd, turdmonkey, buddy, baby, big guy.
Diapers: He uses the potty during the day and wears good nights at night.
Noms: This kid is fussy. This has not changed. We’ve been able to add a few food items to his diet, but not much. Seriously. The only things he will eat are: Peanut butter, cucumber, carrots, cantaloupe, milk chocolate, olives, chicken nuggets, french fries, cold uncooked hot dogs, pepperoni, pizza (sometimes), kraft dinner, bologna, satines, waffles, gold fish, ice cream, apples, bananas, frozen blueberries and strawberry yogurt.
It was pretty awesome reading last year’s post. It’s funny that every year I’m like “Oh god, this is the hardest age”. I will say they all have their awful bits and awesome bits. I love how independent he is now. He’s such a PERSON. He has his own likes, dislikes, reactions, emotions, etc… The hardest part is the sass that comes at 4. Oh man, it was like a switch. Suddenly he’s all backtalk, sass, and potty humour.
How old are you? 4
What is your favourite colour? Red
What is your favourite animal? Dinosaur
What is your favourite book? The Animals Alphabet
What is your favourite show? Sarah and Duck (Mummy would also add Paw Patrol, Teen Titans Go, and Curious George)
What is your favourite movie? Big Hero 6 (aka Hiro Hamada)
What is your favourite song? I don’t know
What is your favourite food? Bananas
What is your favourite snack? cheese
What is your favourite outfit? Shorts and soccor ball shirts
What is your favourite game? (goes to get Rayman Video game), Tag and What time is it Mr. Wolf
What is your favourite toy? Buzz Lightyear
Who is your best friend? Isla
What is your favourite thing to do? Play with everyone
What is your favourite thing to do outside? Play at the park
What is your favourite holiday? Tuesday and Halloween
As I mentioned there, Eco Chic Movement is a fantastic company headed by Dr. Alexis Reid – a chemical engineer, pharmacologist, toxicologist and naturopathic doctor here in Ottawa. I came across their baby line while working at Belly Laughs and really enjoyed it. When they gave me the opportunity to try a selection of their products, I was all over that!
So, their baby line is the line of products I’m most familiar with, simply because I sold them at Belly Laughs and use them at home. Let’s get to my review, shall we?
I’m very careful about using lotions on my kids because they have sensitive skin (just like their mama). This lotion was created with sensitive skin in mind. It doesn’t sting, it doesn’t have artificial fragrances. Now that Liam is getting a bit older and in to more things, I’ve been finding his hands, knees and elbows are getting dry. He loves using this lotion. It’s gentle, light, absorbs quickly and works great at moisturizing those dry spots. I appreciate that it has a pump, which keeps the product safe from those germy kid hands.
This is a beautiful product with a bunch of different uses. Mason had bad cradle cap and I was able to use this oil after baths, with a gentle comb scrape along the patches and now he is clear of all cradle cap. We also used it for baby massages (and for mama’s tired shoulders) before bed time. It has a really lovely scent that is really calming.
This cream reminds me a lot of the Earth Mama Angel Baby diaper cream that I used with Liam. It has worked wonders for the occasional red bum that Mason has had, and because it has no zinc, I feel comfortable using it with our cloth diapers. Also, it is super gentle and doesn’t upset the baby when we put it on those sore spots. A quick note: Because of the oil content, you may notice some little oil grains in the cream. Just rub the cream between your fingers and the oil will melt and go on baby’s skin smoothly.
This may be one of my favourite products. I use this cream on everything. It’s rich, but gentle (is this the word of the day? I think it may be), and I feel totally fine putting this on Mason’s face when he needs it (he gets dry patches on his cheeks from the wind). I also use it on my face when my eczema flares up. I love the scent and the texture.
I was so excited to see this product. I suffered with eczema my whole life and my parents had nothing but prescription creams to deal with my trouble areas. It’s so great that we have some other options now! Mason, unfortunately, inherited my eczema (though thankfully, not to the same severity). I love having something in my arsenal to fight those flare ups. This cream is specially designed to treat skin conditions, as well as moisturize. It does have a unique odor, due to the natural oils, but it’s worth it when it means your baby gets some relief for the itchiness and discomfort. For the record, I also use this on myself when I flare up and find it helps without stinging. You will notice the area will get a little red, but this is normal.
I love this product so much. SO MUCH. I have tried so many baby washes and this is the first that doesn’t make my eczema flare up on my hands after bath time. It doesn’t upset Mason’s skin, either. It has a lovely relaxing scent and leaves the skin soft and clean. I love how it dispenses and how it foams up. Sooooo neat.
This isn’t currently on the website, but you should be able to see it soon. This is a baby safe sunscreen because it’s not a chemical based sunscreen. It’s a natural based sunscreen, with zinc oxide, a physical barrier sunscreen. You will notice that you need to rub it in more, and that it leaves a bit of a white cast, because it is a physical barrier cream. It’s spf25 and hasn’t ever upset my eczema, unlike many other sunscreens I’ve tried. I will say it doesn’t last super long, but it’s a great option for those who want to use a sunscreen on babies before 6 months and who want a more natural option. For more information, check out Dr. Reid‘s video here.
The only product that I haven’t yet tried yet is the chest congestion rub. If and when I do, I’ll make sure to share my thoughts!
Because I am now an Eco Chic Movement Ambassador, and really love their products, I have a discount code for you!
Please let me know about what you try. I really hope you love these products as much as I do. By the way, I want you to know that I am not being paid or sponsored to write this post in any way. They did send me the products to try and love the feedback of the community, but I am writing from my own honest experience and opinion. It’s important to me that I be 100% honest with you and make sure you know what’s up :)
Are there any other products that you’d like to see me talk about here? Shoot me a line and let me know!
It’s very odd to have depression some days. Yesterday, I broke down in tears to my husband “I feel like I don’t exist, or that I’m fading away. I’m invisible”. In that moment, I was desperate for people to see me, really see me. This morning, I woke up and the last thing I wanted was to be around anyone. I didn’t want to leave the house.
Spring is usually when most people start coming out of their winter blahs. For me, I struggle with loving the season while simultaneously hating how it reminds me of my mother’s death and Liam’s traumatic birth. Add to that that we have been having an incredibly difficult time the last few months…well…I’m not coping. Our financial situation is pretty dire, and I’m not using that word lightly. We are doing what we can to get by, but I feel a huge amount of responsibility for our situation as I am the one currently on maternity leave. On top of that, my husband’s health hasn’t been great and we have no answers. For people who have been surrounded by illness and death, we are both very anxious about this. There is just so much going on, all at once. The kids can feel it and see it, and are acting out accordingly.
I am pushing myself through it. One step at a time, day by day. I am barely able to adult, but I am doing the best I can to pay the bills, make meals and make sure the kids are dressed and don’t stink too badly. We have also added a new member of our little clan. Pat’s dear friend, A, has moved in with us for a while while she deals with some of her own difficult times. So, I’m sorry for being so quiet here and on social media lately. I just don’t know what to say or what to share at the moment.
I’ve been losing myself in beauty videos on youtube. Let me know if you want me to share any links, faves or any of my own stuff. I don’t think I can do videos at the moment with everything that we have going on, but I can certainly try to post more. It’s just tough with a velcro baby and velcro preschooler, on top of an ill husband. Mason’s 4 Month post is coming up in the next couple of days, and I also have plans to post about the Eco Chic Movement baby line soon, so stay tuned.
Thanks for understanding, y’all. I really appreciate you being there through the fun and the hard times.