Monday, January 28, 2013

15 Months and Cloth Diaper Update

Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a 15 month old.

Joanna is independent, talkative, and social. Her favorite word is "no" and will respond to any question with it. No can mean yes, no, goodbye, and hello. She still says cat, dog, mama, dada, and occasionally says moo. Her favorite things are "walkies" with Grandma, hitting Daddy in the stomach, flying through the air, climbing stairs, chasing the cat, reading with Grandpa, and watching Elmo.

To celebrate her 15th month, Joanna contracted some kind of mucousy illness that made her a pitiful mess. She was very generous and decided to share it with me. It was really helpful to feel what she was feeling so I could help her. We bought a humidifier and some dissolving decongestant tablets. We've been using our Nose Frida, too - IT IS AMAZING. It sounds gross (and it is), but it is extremely effective at removing snot from a child's face.

Speaking of a sick baby, I just cleaned up after the worst aftermath bean-induced poo-slosion of my life. And the cloth diaper still contained it. The non-blowout inspired me to update you all about our diaper stash and my continued love for cloth diapers.

We received our converted diapers a few weeks ago and I am very impressed with the result! did a fantastic job and she was wonderful to work with. We ran into some postal issues and she had a family emergency of her own, so the total turn around time was a month rather than a business week. I'm still extremely happy with my experience!

The photo is a comparison between a bumGenius pocket diaper I bought new for Joanna and the same diaper that was given to us after going through 2 kids from birth to potty training.  There is pilling on the used one and some cosmetic wear, but it works just as well as my new one. They are just as absorbent and just as "blowout proof". The used diaper was originally a velcro (or hook and loop) that I had converted. You can really see the wear when you look on the inside of the tab and see what the velcro used to look like. There was zero "stick" left in the velcro so they were useless without being converted or having the velcro replaced. ( also replaces velcro if you don't want to convert to snaps!)

All in all, our experience with cloth has been simply lovely. Yes there is poop, yes there is pee, but I find myself having nothing but gratitude for the entire experience. It was a much easier transition than I anticipated. It is much more enjoyable than I expected.

Now when it comes to the running total, I hesitate on including the full cost of conversion. A friend of a friend gave us 30 used diapers for free so I gave away 5 to friends, I gave 11 to my sister in law, and then kept the rest. We converted 18 of my sister-in-law's diapers as a Christmas gift. If we're just talking about our own diapers, the cost of just conversion was $21. For the sake of our own stash, I'm only counting the $21 in our tally rather than the full $90. Spending only $21 to add 6 diapers to our stash? Don't mind if I do!

Personal investment: $384
Savings: $1,407
Return on Investment: $1,024

That's right! We broke the $1,000 mark!

Oh, cloth. I just can't quit you.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

My Favorite Recipes

And now we go to the kitchen to hear about what's cooking!

I contribute to several parenting blogs that frequently ask their writers for recipes. I am great with opinions and humiliating stories, but I'm horrendous at creatively cooking. If you can add water and pop it in the oven, I'm all for it. If I can take some raw ingredients and put them in a bowl, consider it done. So here are my favorite recipes that are fast, easy, and painless.

  • Breakfast for Dinner
    • Scramble some eggs, toast some toast, and defrost those frozen sausage patties you bought on sale a few months ago but never knew what to do with.
  • Pasta Salad
    • Boil pasta. Add italian dressing. Add other things like pepperoni or mozzarella cheese. 
    • Put in the refrigerator to chill. Or eat immediately. I won't judge.
  • Taco Night
    • Get taco shells and ground beef. Cook beef. Chop some lettuce and tomatoes and other toppings. Add hot sauce.
    • Promise yourself to make it again soon because you don't need utensils to eat it.
  • Crock Pot Anything
    • Throw random ingredients into a crock pot for 4-5 hours and pray it fills the house with a delicious smell.
  • Chicken and Rice
    • Add chicken to instant rice.
  • Chicken and Beans
    • Add chicken to a can of beans that you nuke in the microwave.
  • Chicken and Rice and Beans
    • Add more chicken to the leftover rice and beans from your previous chicken meals.
  • Frozen pizza
    • Add extra veggies on top so you feel better about yourself.
  • Hamburger Helper
    • Just add meat and water! 
  • Burritos
    • Take leftover ingredients from the week's meals and roll it into a flour tortilla.

"But what about your favorite baking recipes, Laura?" asked no one ever.

If I just add water, I'll make it. If it comes refrigerated and all I do is put it on a sheet and into the oven, I'll do it. If I can chop up fruit and put it in a big bowl, I'm game. If it involves more than 3 ingredients, I have to be very inspired before I attempt it.

I'm very thankful for my creative husband - he's the real cook in the family! He is innovative and adventurous when it comes to food. I sometimes help him in the kitchen, but I usually keep my distance so I don't muck it up!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Review and Giveaway: Nuby IcyBite Keys

This is a review I created when Joanna was 9 months old. My how time flies! We brought the keys back out now that Joanna is working on molars. She also likes to hold them in her hand while mommy has her car keys. Adorable.

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Joanna's nine month old mouth now has eight teeth. Rather than have a missing finger, I gave her a Nuby Icy Bite Hard and Soft Keys a few months ago that can go into the freezer for added numbing power. It's perfect!

This teething toy has 3 keys attached to a key ring that can link to other things. The keys have a gel that freezes like an ice pack so its perfect while her teeth are celebrating their arrival.  I've attached them to my baby carriers, stroller, car seat, or restaurant high chair. I can also wash them whenever I wash her bottles so they stay clean.

Joanna has discovered that she can make noise by shaking and hitting things. These keys don't disappoint. As you can tell from the first photo, she enjoys shaking the keys almost as much as biting them.

I personally like that it has bright colors that are gender neutral. I'm a huge fan of primary colors when it comes to kid items - pastels belong in a museum. A child's world is bright and full of new things - their toys should be bright and interesting, too!

And now you can brighten your own world with a chance to win this for your home! Nuby USA is once again sponsoring a giveaway on my blog and I am so excited about it. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I am a Mommy Blogger for Nuby USA.  I don't receive monetary compensation, but I do get to review products and keep them for free! I also get to give away their products - how fun is that? If you'd like to learn more about this and other Nuby Products, please visit

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Dear uterus

Dear uterus,

I know you're very excited to not have a baby stretching you out, but these monthly celebrations are far too rowdy. Can you take it down a notch?

We haven't been on the best of terms lately. I took pills to try and control you, and I know that was pretty Type A of me. My bad. But c'mon, that was so long ago! We've been through so much together. The least you can do is not make me hate being a woman this week.

Your carrying case

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

14 Months - Chatty Cathy

As we approach our behbeh's 14 month, we are faced with a barrage of talking, laughing, and walking. She's a jibber jabbering motor mouth, and sometimes it's in English.

Her current vocabulary includes:

  • Gah (cat)
  • Gaw (dog)
  • Baby (baby)
  • Ree (read)
  • Shoos (shoes)
  • Buh (book)
  • Oh she / Oh sha (what's this / what's that)

She's also repeated "Kim" when we introduced her to our friend's baby Kim, and she's repeated "Peh-tee" for pretty. She understands far more than she speaks. We're able to speak in complete sentences to her and she can pick up what we're asking of her or what we're telling her. It's incredible to see how much children pick up. We've been more careful about what TV shows we let her watch because we noticed she would get more whiny after watching certain shows where the characters whine to their parents (aka Caillou, etc). When we made a conscience effort to avoid those shows, her behavior changed back.

My favorite new trick is to run my finger over her mouth and make her sound like she's in front of a fan. She laughs and then does it to herself. I will get it on video one of these days.

Joanna is still in cloth and we've been able to add 2 new diapers to our stash! We also had a minor fiasco in getting our velcro cloth diapers converted into snaps. The converter is wonderful and has been working with us during our trials and tribulations. I underestimated how annoying it can be to send a package during the holiday influx. The converter also had an emergency of her own. A process that usually takes a week and a half took over a month. But it's okay! Because we'll soon have 6 newly converted diapers and my sister-in-law will have 18! (Which means she'll be able to cloth diaper full-time!) Yay cloth!

14 months. Crazy.