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Carrie Elle

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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Fitted Diaper Love

When I first realized what a "fitted" diaper was, I was more than a little baffled by the concept.  For the uninitiated, a "fitted" is a diaper that is entirely absorbent and that requires a cover to be waterproof (versus a pocket diaper or all-in-one that has just an absorbent insert in the "pee-zone" but has a PUL cover).

I thought, "OK, these things are really cute, but are you telling me that I'm supposed to put *two* diapers on my baby every time I change her??"  Because that's all I could see - a cute diaper (they are cute, my can find them in the most adorable prints!) that would need to be covered (meaning, you couldn't see the print anyway...), thus requiring extra work and extra money and extra time.

But one day, as I was changing Claire's diaper and noticed her bottom was red, I thought to myself that it would be really great to have a couple of completely breathable diapers on hand that she could chill in whenever she had a bit of a rash.  I use Lollidoo Overnight Eco-pockets at night, and one of the main reasons I use these is because they are completely breathable; in fact, if Claire goes to sleep with an irritated bottom, she wakes up with clear skin - that is the beauty of this keeps everything in, and allows air to circulate, as well.  So, I found myself putting her in a Lollidoo during the day, which was fine and all except that I only have a few and for laundry's sake, needed to save them for nighttime.

So, I soon found myself online researching fitted diapers.

I bought a couple of "big-brand" fitteds and they did the trick.  If Claire had a red bottom, I just stuck her in the fitted and let her cruise around the house until the diaper felt damp, at which point, I changed her.

And then I discovered another amazing use for them.  NAP TIME.  Even my favorite pocket diapers will occasionally leak during naps (the result of odd sleeping positions that usually end up leaving a little gap around the leg).  This DRIVES. ME. NUTS.  My kids don't sleep as it is...the last thing I need is nap time being interrupted by a rogue diaper leak.

So, I started putting her in a fitted with a Flip cover for naps.  And ***VOILA!***  No more leaks.  Not even close.

At this point, the "need" to have more fitted diapers took over, and late one night, armed with a big glass of wine and the Etsy app opened on my phone, I went to town and bought a nice little stash of WAHM fitted diapers.

And friends!  I have been pleasantly surprised.

I love things that are unique, cute, and high quality.  And by luck (or my penchant for reading all the reviews of every product I even kind of consider buying), these diapers have all turned out to be absolute gems.  And so, I'd like to spread the fitted love and share with you my new favorite mom-made fitted diapers.


My first purchase was from Rumpeez.  I had already bought a couple of doublers awhile back, and I was so pleased with the quality that I wanted to try a diaper, as well.

These are cute, well-made, trim, easy (just two snaps!) and absorbent (bamboo and zorb).  I add the Rumpeez insert I bought and use a Flip cover, and we've got nap time all under control.  And to make them even more fabulous, they are very reasonably priced ($12.95 each!).

If I were going to have another baby, these diapers would make up the majority of my newborn stash.

Cheeky Cloth

My next stop in the Etsy diaper-spree was Cheeky Cloth.  OK, I'm not going to lie...I bought these for the cute factor.  And seriously...look at them!

The Very Hungry Caterpillar?  Are you kidding me?  How could I pass that up!

This is a one-size diaper, shown here on the medium setting.
And then, there's the ice cream and candy print...

You can see the squishiness!
These are so cute, it's ridiculous.  They are one-size diapers, and fit my 10-month-old (who is about 20 pounds) on both the middle and largest setting. They are soft, soft, soft!  They're not the most absorbent diaper I own, but when I need a little more absorbency I just add a doubler and problem solved!  These are pretty, sturdy diapers and also fall into the easy-to-use category (with just two snaps around the waist - seriously, too many snaps and Claire is over it).

Zany Zebra

One of the things I love about Etsy is that not only do you get something handmade and one-of-a-kind, but you get personal service from the person behind the product.  In the case of my Zany Zebra diaper (rainbow guitars! fun!), I got the diaper, a thank-you note, and a free wipe.  I love that personal touch!

This diaper has hip snaps, which make for a smoother look (no bulk across the tummy).  It's also very absorbent and has the cutest soaker (it has a sweet little flower stitched into it).  This diaper is a size medium and fits Claire on the smallest settings, but she has a tiny waist (uhhh, not that it appears that way in this Buddha-belly picture...) and this is a common issue.

Meg A Roos Design

I was confident that my diaper stash would not be complete without this blue and brown heart Meg a Roo's one-size fitted diaper, and I was correct.

This diaper is the most absorbent of the bunch (just based on the diaper itself...they can all be made more absorbent with a doubler, but this diaper's soaker is nice and long and can be folded to make extra layers).  It also has a pretty soaker with a stitched-in design.  It's a one-size diaper and Claire wears the rise on the middle setting, but the waist gets snapped as tight as it goes - and it has eight snaps, so it's a little bit of work (I usually just snap six of them...if I snap any less, there is wing droop).  It's so cute and so absorbent, I imagine I'll add more when she gets a bit bigger (if I were going to add any more now, I'd try a sized diaper - I just think the one-size is a teensy bit large for Claire right now).

So there you have it!  My new favorite fitted cloth diapers, all made by WAHMs.  You now have my permission to go shopping and add a fitted diaper (or two, or three...) to your stash.  :)

PS - I was not compensated for any of this...I just really liked these diapers and wanted to share!

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Monday, May 21, 2012

The 21st of May

It's the 21st of May.  Claire is ten months old (which means I need to start thinking about her first birthday party...WHAT!?) and today, we were busy.

When I remembered it was the 21st (again! already!)...and that I was supposed to be taking pictures to document the Excitement of Our Daily Lives...I was kind of happy to realize that I only have to do this FOUR more times (OK, technically I could quit now, I guess, but I want to keep this up for a year and by golly, I'm more than halfway there and not stopping now!).

Today was a busy day, so I'll just break it down by activity rather than hour by mundane hour (you're welcome).

Guess who woke up bright and early, all smiles and giggles, at 6:30 AM?  Well, we know it wasn't me...and if you've been around Jack when he wakes up, you know it wasn't him...

It was Claire.

6:30 AM is the crack of dawn in my world, but I dragged my ass out of bed and for once (FOR ONCE!!) the house was spotless clean and there wasn't a thing to pick up.  And Jack was still sleeping peacefully.  So I did what the good housewife/mom would do, and I started cutting up some of the eight million pieces of produce I picked up at Sprout's yesterday so Jack could have a bowl of fresh fruit to munch on throughout the day.

A peach, a banana, a handful of strawberries and a basket of blackberries later, he had one good-looking bowl of fruit waiting for him.

He still wasn't up by 7:30, so I stuck Claire in her highchair and loaded her tray up with banana, peach chunks, and blackberry pieces.

Mmmmmm.  Claire approved.

Ten minutes later, she was covered head-to-toe in fruit mush, and I had a cleaning project after all.

To the bath!

I'm pretty sure she's wondering WHY I'M TAKING HER PICTURE instead of cleaning her off!

A morning bath was great fun!
Jack woke up shortly after and as I looked around my clean house, I only had one thought: "We must leave."  Because you *know* that a three-year-old and a ten-month-old are pretty much a clean house's Worst Nightmare.

So I asked Jack if he wanted to go the zoo, and he did.

Here's where I'm going to plug the other blog I write for...Today's Mama DFW.  I wrote about how much I enjoy the zoo a few weeks ago, and I thought it would be fun to go today before it gets to be completely miserable outside.

I loaded up the diaper bag and the picnic basket (because picnics are fun!) and slathered the munchkins in sunscreen, and it was off to the other side of Dallas for a morning at the zoo.

It was warm, yes, but we have annual passes so I never feel like we have to see it all every time we go.  We stayed for about an hour and a half...just long enough to visit the Children's Zoo, get attacked by the Lorikeets (no, really...three landed on my hat and got into a huge fight on my head and pulled my hat off and one pinned the other to the ground and started eating his wing while the third flew back to the the top of my head and started pulling at my hair and pecking at my ear while he screeched over and over again in excitement as his buddies brawled...awesome!), enjoy a picnic and ride the carousel.

I'm totally that girl who goes to the zoo to see the...horses.  This little fellow had quite the unique coloring.  I couldn't get his whole body in one shot so I took two and pieced them together...he kinda looks like he could actually be two different horses.
You'd think that a morning at the zoo would make for a nice long nap, but no such luck.  This was as closet to "napping" as we got.

He's awake.  I actually thought he was asleep when I took this picture, but, I was wrong.
While Jack rolled around on the couch watching Transformers, I put up laundry and simultaneously herded Claire.  Between pulling the toilet paper off of the roll (fun!) and ripping this nightlight out of the wall, she kept me pretty busy.  And that's just in our bedroom.

After "quiet time" - which is what we call it around here, even though it's rarely that quiet - I wanted to get out of the house again, and it was off to the pool.  

I should note that this is the first time I've actually gone swimming since living here!

It doesn't get any cuter than this bumblebee bathing suit.
But my day doesn't end there!

Back from the pool, I feed the baby and then change into my yoga clothes.  And I fill up this awesome reusable water bottle and am out the door.

And hi ho, hi ho, it's off to yoga I go!

To make my day better, my phone rings as I'm pulling out of my driveway and it's my favorite yogi.  Jesika!  Icing on the cake.

Yoga is extra awesome tonight.  I am able to do a couple of poses that I was previously unable to get quite right, and this leaves me feeling pleased as punch.

My yogi euphoria is short-lived.  I walk in the door to the sound of (what else?) a screaming child.  Claire is tired, and hungry, and wants her Mama!  It's been a long day for all of us.

She nurses to sleep quickly and easily, for once, and Charles fires up the grill to make me a veggie burger slathered in avocado and some grilled zucchini.  Yum.  It was really, really good.  And I felt really good after I ate it, because it was healthy as it could be.  I remedied that, though...nothing a couple of cookies couldn't handle (to be fair, they were mostly organic and not that bad as far as cookies go).

And now?  Here I sit.  Typing away in high speed because I really want to get this done before Claire wakes up and maybe more importantly, I really want to go to sleep.

I.  Am.  Tired.

Goodnight, all.

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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Why I Think the "Mommy Wars" Are Ridiculous

Every once in awhile, I get an itch to write about something "real" - a controversial topic that people actually care about, something that incites real feelings and debate.  

But then, as I sit down in my chair and stare at the blank screen in front of me, my legs growing warmer and warmer as the laptop heats up, I realize that this actually requires brain cells.  And sometimes research.  And probably even logic, and clearly-formed sentences.  So, I just go about my business and post a picture of my horse instead of firing up the old brain and putting my speedy typing skills to good use.  

And then, there's the fact that I'm as non-controversial as they come.  Live and let live.  

And maybe it's from this - live and let live - that this post was born.

I am so freaking tired of hearing about the "Mommy Wars."  

I am tired of hearing about how women are pitted against each other, how women feel they have to justify their parenting choices, how women feel "judged" by other mothers.

Ladies!  GET. OVER. IT.  Put an end to this madness.  It starts with YOU (and me, and our get the idea).

When the media uses fighting words like, "Are you mom enough?" - IGNORE.  If you don't like it, if it doesn't sit well with you...don't buy it (figuratively or literally).  Sure, tell them you're unhappy...but don't let it cause you any physical distress.  They are words, strung together to invoke strong feelings and fuel one thing - profit.  TIME magazine doesn't care about you, they don't care about me...they care about all this buzz they've generated by firing up moms everywhere, moms who have jumped to the front lines to defend their decisions to breastfeed a toddler, or to formula feed from birth.  All of these moms somehow feel like this cover is pointing a finger at them, calling them out as failures because they either fed their child with a bottle or nursed their child for too long (I know this firsthand because I saw the cover and thought, "Oh great, they are going to make us breastfeeding moms look like a bunch of weirdos" and a friend saw the same cover and thought, "I don't appreciate being made to feel like less of a mother because I formula fed my children" - two different moms, relating the cover to two different experiences, and both taking something negative from it - yeah, I would say that cover stirred the pot).  

You can't win.  So don't try.

The media is not in charge of motherhood, and they cannot tell us what is right and what is wrong.  We, the mothers, are in charge of motherhood.  

Motherhood is not a battle - it's not Good Moms vs Bad Moms.  And even if it was a battle, with two clearly divided teams, it's still not worth it to fight because you will never be on the winning team all the time.  I imagine that if there would two teams, I'd shuffle back and forth between each one depending on how the day has gone.

No one else should have the power to make you feel like a bad mom.  Yeah, I sucks to be on the receiving end of another mom's stink eye or worse, the subject of her whispers to another mother...but let it end there.  You don't have to justify yourself to her.  You only answer to YOU (we are our own worst critics, but that's another post).

I'm not saying we all have to get along.  I'm not saying we should all like each other or agree with each other.  I'm not saying we're all good moms, and I'm not saying we're all bad moms.  We're just moms.  There doesn't need to be a war.  

If we could stop worrying about what everyone else is doing and focus some of that energy on our own family, I think we'd find that it really doesn't matter what so-and-so is doing, after all.  If we could look at a picture of someone else feeding her own child and think, "Oh look, that lady's feeding her kid the way she chooses to feed her kid and it has nothing to do with me and the way I feed my own kid," I think we'd be a step closer to ending these so-called Mommy Wars.  

And here is where I offer the only parenting advice I ever offer anyone - parent from the heart.  Do what feels right, and you'll never go wrong.  

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Monday, May 14, 2012

Grumpy Pony!

This is my pony, Seamus.  He is unhappy in this picture because he doesn't like having his feet trimmed.  But I think his look of annoyance is endearing.  So I made this and sent it to my friend, Jesika, because who doesn't like a crabby pony picture?

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Sunday, May 6, 2012

Your Kids Don't Sleep? Neither Do Mine!

Hey, have you heard?  My kids don't sleep.

Yeah, I already know.  Because I talk about it ALL THE TIME.  Because it consumes my days and dominates my nights.  It causes me ridiculous amounts of stress and grumpiness and, well, sleeplessness.

OK, it's not that they actually won't sleep - more like, they refuse to fall asleep, won't even dream of staying asleep, and make it VERY CLEAR to me that they would prefer to stay up all day and be miserable than enjoy a peaceful nap in a cool, darkened room with the whir of a fan lulling them to sleep (seriously, what is the deal - who wouldn't want to take a nap like that!).

A rare moment that, even in the haze of the newborn days and moving, I was coherent enough to capture because I knew it would probably never happen again.  And I was mostly right.
When Jack was a baby, sleeping fitfully and waking frequently, I remember thinking, "It will be better soon!"  Surely, he would be sleeping through the night by the time he was a year old, right?  No?  OK then, by eighteen months...there was no way he'd still be waking up at eighteen months.  No?  OK, two?  Three?  FOUR???

Because he's three and a half now and still wakes up at night and wants his daddy to lay with him while he falls back to sleep.  And we oblige.

In part, because it's just easier than fighting it.

When we moved, we set up Jack's new room and made a big fuss about him having his own bed, in his own room.  He never slept in it alone though, because we were moving to a new house.  And he had a new sister.  All within a just a few days, his little world was turned upside down.  And that just didn't seem like the time to suddenly institute the "Sleep On Your Own, Kid" law that I always imagined we'd enforce.

And then there's Claire.  She sleeps with me.  Oh yes, she might take the occasional catnap in the crib.  But  for the most part, it's just easier to tuck her in next to me when I'm ready for bed.  Most nights, she wakes up several times to nurse.  Some nights, she's up so frequently I'm not even sure I slept when she decides to waken for the day (always bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, no less!).

And naps?  Ha!  Naps are...rough.

But for all the complaining I do about sleep (specifically, *lack* of sleep), I know this is temporary.  Jack waking up at night and needing some cuddles to fall back asleep is nothing compared to the frantic night-wakings and non-stop night-nursing of his babyhood.  And Claire, for all the stress her napping issues cause me, is far easier than Jack was - and for this I am grateful.

When Jack was a small baby (maybe six months), I had this dream.

I dreamt that I had nursed Jack to sleep and was sitting on the couch watching a show when all of a sudden I realized I'd been watching TV for over an hour and I didn't have the baby monitor with me (in real life, I carried the baby monitor with me everywhere I went if the baby was asleep).  I panicked - practically having a panic-attack in my dream - and ran back to my room, where I had left him sleeping peacefully in the middle of the mattress, surrounded by pillows.

But my baby wasn't there.  

In his place was a ten-year-old boy, my own baby grown up, crashed out in his parents' bed after a long day of doing whatever it is ten-year-old boys do.  And I felt my heart slow down and thought to myself, "Wow...he grew up fast."

And I think of this dream often.  But even then...even though I *know* they're growing up faster than I can blink, and that someday I really will miss these days (probably when I'm too old to remember how tired I was, but still!)...I still get cranky and stressed out over sleep.  Sometimes, I need a reminder from someone other than myself that this is just a flash in the pan compared to the rest of this Parenting Journey.

A few days ago I was reading "How Yoga Works," when I came across this passage:

And as I read this verse about yoga while I rocked my sleeping baby, I thought, "Oh!" and these words spoke to me.

I always whine to Charles that I just want these kids to sleep, already! - but the reality is, they will.  I won't always be rocking this sweet baby girl to sleep, and before I know it Jack will be a teenager and I'll be begging him to get out of bed so he can mow the lawn (yes!).  As my days run together and I wile away the hours tucked in bed next to my darling girl thinking about how this feels like it will never end, it's already happening.

It's not lasting.  It's hard to see it while we are living it, but the kids are growing.  Every day, Jack is one day closer to teenager Jack (and I'm guessing he won't want his parents sleeping with him when he's a teenager) and one day farther away from baby Jack.

And I guess that is the whole point of this post.  To remember that this is temporary.  The exhaustion, the crankiness, the kids who don't sleep - before I know it, the kids will grow into some opposite versions of themselves I barely recognize and I'll be reminiscing about the days when all I had to worry about was who needed a nap.

So for now, I'll keep complaining (I'm not gonna lie), but I'll also keep this little nugget of wisdom in my back pocket for those days when I am really, really down - Things that cannot last, seem to us as if they will.  And hopefully, these words can see me through the next three years - SURELY Claire will be sleeping by then...right?!

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