July 31, 2012

Evie's 16 Month Update

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July 30, 2012


While we were on vacation recently I learned that my child is fearless. For all of her caution in the first year of her life she has learned to explore now with reckless abandon. When waves struck her in the face she just laughed and squealed. When she fell in the sand she giggled, picked up and went on. After she played on the steps in the pool she climbed out and ran straight for the edge to jump straight in. It was momma heart stopping.
She is climbing, running and exploring like I've never seen. It's exhausting, but exhilarating this new facet of her personality. And, I love it.
{Ride 'em cowgirl!}

Stay wild. Stay fearless. Stay brave, baby girl. You make my heart so proud.
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July 27, 2012

We Went on Vacation & Used Cloth Diapers!

Last year when we went to Destin, FL for our annual beach vacation we brought a huge box of pampers swaddlers sensitive and a package of pampers swim diapers.

This was about three months before we started cloth diapering and we knew that the prices of diapers and supplies would be higher in FL so we brought them with us.

Even though we've been cloth diapering for almost a year, I considered doing that again this year. I figured we were on vacation so why worry with hauling the cloth diapers there and back. Not to mention the washing and drying and sunning, it would be far easier to buy some disposables and be done with it.
Then I remembered the commitment we made to cloth diapering and how much I really and truly love it. So from a now "experienced" on the road CD momma I'd like to share my experience and some tips, as well as things I wish I had done. All of this is assuming that you have laundry services available to you!

My first tip is to figure out the best way to pack your cloth diapers. On our weekend trips up to the lake we have been using a canvas bag to tote our diapers back and forth. At first I packed them all pre-stuffed. Then I decided that was too bulky and I started packing them in layers: the diapers first, followed by the new born inserts and then the regular inserts. (We use both the newborn and regular inserts because Evie is a heavy wetter).  While I was in FL I decided to try stuffing the diapers and then rolling them up then stacking them in the bag. This works best for us. I fit twenty one diapers easily in the bag this way.

Second, check your detergent. We brought our Rockin Green Classic Rock with us. Initially I thought about buying a few samples of Rockin Green Soft Rock, but decided against it. I wish I had gone with my gut. The water was a lot softer than I remembered. To combat any soap build-up issues I added an extra rinse to the cycle and that seemed to help a lot.

Third, figure out a drying system. We were very lucky that our house had a washer dryer unit. However with eight people sharing I didn't want to hog the dryer since we were already going to be using the washer for a considerable amount of time. Plus, I wanted to take advantage of that bright beautiful FL sunshine to sun our diapers. Since Chris and my brother drove my parents Yukon down from Tennessee/Mississippi I just loaded up our portable drying rack. Initially I considered bringing some twine and clothes pins, but since I was running out of time before we left and I didn't know the outside set up I just threw the drying rack in. It worked great, but next year will bring pins too as it tends to get windy, and I don't want to lose anything!

Fourth, don't buy swim diapers! Seriously, if you have enough in your stash don't even bother. I had planned on buying some cloth swim diapers, then decided since we use our BG 4.0 with snaps sans inserts at the lake as a swim diaper, we would use that. Then I waffled on that because I didn't want the sand in her diapers, or the chlorine from the pool. So, we used huggies swim diapers (all the store had) for the first few days. Then we noticed that Evie had a horrible rash. Her entire bum was bright bright red. It was awful. At that point I said screw it. I'm not doing this rash non-sense. We removed the regular insert and left the newborn insert in, just in case she had to pee on the walk to the beach. It worked great. I had no issues with the sand and just gave them a good rinse when we got out of the pool!

{Straight chillin' in my makeshift BG swimdiaper on the beach!}

Finally, find something to use as a diaper sprayer. Luckily this house had a hose with a sprayer outside. If I needed to I just walked over the edge of the deck, and sprayed it down to the swamp below. Sounds gross, but I figured no one goes in the swamp, a little baby poo won't matter, right?

If you cloth diaper and are trying to decide whether or not to use them on your vacation, I would encourage you to give it a try. Worst case you can run out for some sposies. It was easy and not time consuming at all. I threw the diapers in for a first wash as soon as I woke up. Then before we went to the beach (about an hour or so later) I turned on the second wash with extra rinse. After we came up for Evie's nap time I hung them to dry on the porch. Easy peasy and I only used about forty five minutes of my vacation! It was TOTALLY worth it for a rash free baby (not to mention the savings for our pocketbook)!

Let me know if y'all have any questions at all! I'll be happy to help or get you in contact with my friend Melissa who is super nice and basically a CD guru.

Evie sixteen months old. Our stash includes twenty four BumGenius OS 4.0s with snaps diapers and one Swaddlebees OS Simplex diaper (PS be on the look out for a review of this diaper and an AMAZING cloth diaper giveway from Bubbalooch {modern cloth diaper parties}! Squee!).
**Neither CottonBabies,  BumGenius, Swaddlebees or Rockin Green know I exist. I just happen to use their products and think they are awesome.**

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July 26, 2012

2012 Beach Re-Cap & Photo Dump Part 2

Here is part two of our fabulous beach vacation! This post is just the rest of the photos. If you want to see the rest read {PART ONE}
{Runnin' around the porch!}

{Playing in the water hose!}

{These little guys were everywhere! Peyton loved staring at them out the window!}

{A Destin tradition, eating drumsticks! Yum! She was not a fan of the ice cream. She just wanted the cone!}

{It tastes better from this end!}

{Those big baby blue eyes!}

{Sunset off the back porch!}

{The view of the causeway over the lake and to the boardwalk. I took this off our back porch!}

{And of course a family photo at The Back Porch!}

Tomorrow be on the look out for my post about what it takes to cloth diaper your kiddo on vacation! I'm super excited to share this with y'all!

Also, would you pretty please spare us a vote? We've fallen a little and I want to get back up again! Anyone else hearing that Chubawumba song in your head right now? I get knocked DOWN, but I get up again! Anyone? Crickets? Anyway, I'd really appreciate it! Thanks lovelies!

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2012 Beach Re-Cap & Photo Dump Part 1

*This is a long and photo heavy post!*

Like I mentioned earlier this week, we had a great time in Santa Rosa Beach, FL last week. It was Evie's first time to fly in an airplane, play in the sand, jump waves, eat crab cakes (and various other yummy beach treats) and try her hand at swimming. And? Despite my fears that Evie would be freaked out by all of the changes, my kid rolled with it and totally nailed them all.

The airplane was a way bigger deal for me than Evie. I've been flying in little (ie: six seats or less) airplane's since before I can remember. I think I was ten months old on my first flight. However, since then I've developed some real anxiety issues on take-offs. It was not fun but once we reached cruising altitude (7,000 feet) I was fine. Evie slept most of the way there and most of the way back so that was awesome! On the way back she woke up in enough time for a snack and beverage from her lovely stewardess (me).

Evie LOVES the sand. She had so much fun picking handfuls of it up and putting it in her bucket. She also LOVED when one of us would build a sand castle so she could knock it down. As was to be expected, there were more than a few grains of sand consumed (read: more like fistfuls) which she pronounced to be "Mmmm!". Although we kept her out when the waves were too rough, Evie adored the ocean too. I just knew she would! She would squeal and grin every time a wave passed under her floatie and she went up then down.
In terms of the swimming pool, Evie loved that too. After the first night splashing on the steps was not enough and baby girl would take off towards the edge and try to careen into the water. Only problem? She doesn't know how to swim. So yeah. We are definitely looking into swimming lessons, SOON.
We had a great time. It's amazing how much MORE you can do with a toddler than a three month old. Last year we didn't have nearly as many adventures. Chris and I spent maybe a total of two hours on the beach and I felt like I was tied to the house and the bottle. This year we went to the beach every single day, we had a three hour nap mid day to enjoy some time to ourselves and Evie got to enjoy some yummy sea food! We decided Big Kahuna's water park was still a little bit too old for Evie this year, but we are definitely taking her next year!
It was such a great week! Our family is never happier than when we are all together! Can't wait to go back next year!

{The first time we got to see Grampa's plane!}

{Oh, no big deal just my first time in an airplane! I'm ready to take off for the beach!}

{Family photo in the ocean!}

{Chillin' like a villian'!}

{Me, acting a fool to show Evie how fun the waves were! It worked! Oh the things we do for our kids!}

{Grinning at Nana!}

{I hate that this one is so blurry! But you can see how much she LOVED the beach!}

{Cutie! Uncle William photo bombing!}

{Family photo with a storm a' brewin'!}

{Playing with Grampa - who is now Papa - in the sand!}

{What do you mean it's nap time?}

{Sausage toes in the sand!}

{Checkin' out something!}

I'll be posting part two here shortly!

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July 24, 2012

Vocabulary Explosion

When Evie was about six months old her pediatrician made the offhand comment that she might be a late talker and it completely freaked me out. About that same time Evie started experiencing the ear infections that plagued her for months and months until we had the PE tubes inserted. During the pre-op examinations for the tubes an audiologist tested for hearing loss. I was stunned to learn that she had moderate hearing loss. It was like a punch in the gut to know that it was that bad.

When we initially discussed tubes with the pediatrician I asked Dr. Fes if the fluid could be causing the delay in her speech, and he said it was possible. I'll admit that I was very very worried about it. Chris and I constantly worked with Evie on her language. I can't count the number of times we played with her stacking cups, putting them INSIDE each other, knocking them DOWN and putting the PINK cup ON the GREEN cup. We read books to her, we danced and sang. And still all she said consistently was "dada" "dog" and "uh-oh". It had my momma brain going into overdrive bugging friends for tips, researching and constantly wondering, wondering.

Then a few weeks after the tubes went in and the glue like fluid was drained, Evie's vocabulary EXPLODED. I can't even count the number of words she knows now, but it is pretty amazing being able to hear her sweet voice say Mama! Not all of the words are super clear and she struggles with ending consonants, but she is communicating and learning!

Evie's Words at Sixteen Months Old
Thank You
Night Night
I am so proud of how far she has come in just two months!

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July 23, 2012

Vacation Hangover!

We have safely returned from Florida and are suffering from the classic vacation hangover. You know, the one where you consider quitting your job and becoming a beach bum? The one where you say, "Screw next year! Let's do this again next week!" Yeah, that vacation hangover. It was a whirlwind of fun and Chris and I are so missing the two sets of grandparents and uncle to help with the toddler girl. Le sigh. I guess all good things come to an end!
I'll be back over the course of this week to update on all toddler vacation related things, like you know, flying with a toddler, beaching with a toddler, packing for a toddler and cloth diapering a toddler.
So what have y'all been up to while I've been gone? I can't wait to catch up on your blogs this week!
Until then I leave you with this picture of my sand loving, wave jumping, adorable beach bug!
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July 20, 2012

Guest Post: Chelsey from The Halbert Homestead

Today as I am savoring my last day on the sugar white beaches of the Emerald Coast, Chelsey from The Halbert Homestead is filling in for me! Chelsey has some awesome tips on what to pack in your hospital bags! I love this list because I am just as likely to flip my lid if I am not properly prepared! I even made Chris a "Daddy in the Know" binder for the hospital. A post for another day, but that just shows you how much I appreciate posts like this one!


Hello faithful It's A Vol! Readers,
I am Chelsey, and I blog at The Halbert Homestead  our blog is about family life, my 2year old toddler Curtis, My ever growing baby bump {check out my weekly bump watch posts } DIY, Pinterest Recipes, and a bunch of randoms thrown in!

 Since I'm gearing up for the birth of our daughter in October, I thought I'd share what I plan on packing in our Hospital Bags. I learned a lot from my last hospital bag. Last time I had about 10 minutes to finish throwing stuff in a suitcase, because of pre-term labor and low fluid issues. I took so much unnecessary stuff, when we arrived it was like we were planning a month stay in our room. 

This time I will be prepared {read I will go insane if I am not prepared!}
 Below are 4 different collections. 1 for me, 1 for my Husband, 1 for Evelyn {yes we're cool like sarah and naming our baby Evie} and 1 labor bag. The labor bag is things I might want during labor, some or all of it might go unused but it's there if I need it. 

For Mom...

For Mom

1.Lounge Clothes for after birth. Why didn't I change out of the hospital gown after delivering? Live and learn.

2.Slippers you do not want to know what's on the floor in a hospital, ick.
3.Nursing Tank Not even going to bother with a nursing bra this time, a tank will be supportive enough for the first 2 days until my milk comes in. 
4.Iphone because we know the family will want pictures asap 
5.My Breast Friend I'm not sure why I didn't bring a boopy/MBF last time, it will be so nice to prop the baby up while I'm nursing in the hospital bed. 
6.Head Bands because who really wants hair in the face while laboring? not me!
7.Cosmetic Bag so when I eventually realize I look like a scary pale person, I can apply a little color ;) 

For Dad...

For Dad
1.Camera For all the "firsts"

2.Lounge Pants/Shirt Pretty sure the nurses will appreciate my husband not walking around in boxers at night.
3.Pillow Yes, we are bringing pillows. Call us spoiled, but when/if we do sleep we want to be semi-comfortable
4.Manly Cosmetic Bag So he can smell good :) 
5.Slippers My husband doesn't want to touch the icky floors either
6.Change of Clothes 

For Evelyn...Yes we are cool like Sarah and naming our kid Evie ;) 

Evelyn's Bag

1. Burp cloths. These you use from day one.
2. Going home outfit. Plus another outfit for afterwards. So 2 outfits total.
3.Hat/Socks Because October in Colorado mostly means snow 
4.Blanket keep her snugly in the carseat
5.Car Seat important if you want to leave with baby.
This is really *all* your baby needs. The hospital provides diapers, extra blankets, nose suction-er, thermometers, really everything you would need for baby. So don't over pack the baby bag. This is one of those "live and learn" bags, I packed way to much for Curtis.

The Labor Bag...
Hospital Bag 2
1. Clif Bars/Protein Bars now some hospital rules are no eating while in labor, thankfully my midwife lets some things slide. Also you never know when you will go in labor and your partner might be hungry. 
2. Gum if you can't/don't want to eat something to chew on like gum or even lollypops are a good choice to help change the flavor in your mouth during labor.
3. Laptop I put this in our labor bag for my Husband to mess around on if things are taking awhile. But I doubt we will pull it out until after delivery etc..
4. Chapstick Your lips get really dry from breathing through your mouth during labor stages. 
5. Ipod I will be making a labor-playlist for this baby, not sure if I will want to listen to it or not, but I want it on hand just in case it will help relax me.
6. Blanket I actually saw this on another blog, a woman brought a blanket from home to make her feel more comfortable and cozy during labor/resting times.
7. Aromatherapy/massage oil this is a new item to my labor bag, one of those "see if I like it in the moment" I thought it might be nice to have some calming scents during labor, or have my husband massage my back with some. 
8. Room Diffuser another new item to my bag, since you can't bring candles to a hospital, something that might smell up the room like a nice lavender scent instead of the hospital smell.   

So there you have it, our hospital bags. Not too much but just enough, and if we really do need/forget anything we can always send someone out to pick it up. 

Thank you so much Sarah for having me guest post. Love It's a Vol! and the readers! 
Be sure to come follow my The Halbert Homestead, I'd love for you to stop by and say hello!


Thanks for taking over for the day Chelsey! Your tips are great (I couldn't agree more with them) and, of course, I LOVE Miss Evelyn's name! ;) 

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