Got in late Sunday night from a wonderful weekend out east, celebrating one of my very good friends' getting married out in Long Island. We got up at 5am Friday morning to fly into Boston, where we spent the night with my parents, my sister, and grandmother and had an early birthday party for little L. We announced our pregnancy, I started crying tears of joy, and we celebrated over lots of cake and ice cream and the best veggie lasagna I've ever had. Saturday morning my girlfriend and fiance picked us up for the drive to New York while Landon stayed with my parents for the night (& went to the Big Apple Circus, lucky guy!) We had such a great time at the wedding, I'm not sure if it was my pregger hormones or what but my girlfriend looked the happiest and most beautiful I've ever seen her in my life and the ceremony was so lovely and I had goosebumps the entire mass. The reception was tons of fun, it had been forever since I last saw all my really good college friends, & I miss them already. Although it was kiddie cocktails for me all night, I thoroughly enjoyed the 5 course dinner complete with an arugula salad (my fave), a lightly breaded eggplant parmesan (so good) and a chocolate fondant dessert bar (I may or may not have spilled chocolate all over ma belly). Although sometimes I feel a bit socially awkward without a little alcohol in me, I had a blast showing off my new bump for the first time, catching up with everyone, had some really great sober (at least on my part) convos, and thoroughly enjoyed staying up until 4am without having to worry about a little one waking me up in a few hours, and without a hangover. We hit the road Sunday back to Boston, packed up Landon's little luggage, and we off to the airport to head back to Chicago within the hour. The weekend went by too quick but it was such a good time and I miss it already. & I am already planning a longer trip out east later this summer so I can see more of my friends and family. Some pics from our whirlwind weekend:
I tried to stay hush about this until we made it through the first trimester (for a few reasons, although some of you may have expected something was brewing if you follow me on Pinterest) but today is the official start of my second trimester with Baby Bauman # 2 :)) We are absolutely thrilled and can't wait to find out the sex in June, although I have a feeling I'm carrying a little girl ;) Very different pregnancy symptoms than when I was pregnant with L.....lots of morning/all-day sickness and my appetite/cravings are not even close to what they were with L. We shall see though, right now we are just extremely happy and feeling very blessed that we have what seems to be a healthy baby growing inside of me with a healthy and very strong heartbeat. She/he'll be a little Scorpio, due on 11/12/13, which is kinda cool. But right now I am finally starting to feel better and trying to stay focused on a healthy pregnancy, eating right, working out regularly, lots of yoga, and getting L ready to be a 'big broder' :)
Spent my weekend tending to a sick babe & working on Extract and got some new labeling and packaging underway plus a new body oil up in the shop! I think you are all going to absolutely love this new body oil - it's perfect to add into your bathtub or massage directly onto your skin just like you would body lotion to achieve a flawless, moisturizing, nourishing, & glowing effect all day long. And not oily or greasy at all!!
It's made up of entirely 100% organic expeller pressed oils (avacado oil, grapeseed oil, jojoba oil, sunflower oil, vitamin e oil, & lavender essential oil) and works for all skin types and especially well on dry skin. I have a special promo listing up for a custom oil cleanser as well as the body oil both for only $16 if you're interested!
And once we get some more money coming in next month I'm excited to purchase more supplies to extend my line to include bath salts, bath bombs, eau d'toilettes, and body scrubs - Very excited :)
Oh & Landon? He was up all night Saturday night coughing and came down with a fever and 102 temp yesterday....Up sick again last night but finally caught some peaceful, cough-free Zzzzs at 4am and slept until 11, waking up fever-free and cough-free. Finally :) We'll be spending the rest of the day low key & enjoying the sunny 65 degrees together outside B)
One of the biggest topics of interest I get from people who read my blog is in regards to cloth diapering. (You can read my first post on cloth HERE). So today I'm sharing with you everything else I've learned in my 2.5 years of navigating the world of cloth: the best kinds/brands, how to properly use, store, wash, & dry. I hope with these additional details and I'm able to answer some questions to make this all a little easier and maybe a little more appealing to you!
The Best Out There:
I have tried a lot of different brands and will say that the best (most absorbant, clean, cute patterns, and easy to use & clean) are Pocket Diapers by Rumparooz and Blueberry. I recommend pocket diapers versus the others out there (fitted, snaps, AIOs and prefolds) because you don't need to worry about or purchase any additional items, and they are very absorbent, easy to assemble and easier to use than the others, and they also clean much better than others. I strongly dislike Grovia and those other “hybrid" diapers, which may be tempting, as it was for me, since they are interchangeable with disposable pads, but they do not work well. (Read: very leaky & holds stains). And whatever you do, don't go out and buy the cheapo brands at Target or Babies R Us. I would strongly advise going for an all-in-one or pocket diapers, and I would also recommend snap button closures. The velcro ones aren't bad per say, but sometimes over time the velcro can start to wear, they're a pain in the butt if you forget to velcro them before throwing them in the dryer, and little ones can figure out how to pull them off - not a good thing. All that being said, Rumparooz and Blueberry have never once failed us. They have a ton of adorable patterns, they wash the nasties away extremely effectively, they are super absorbant for even bigger toddlers and bladders, they never leak, and always hold everything in.
Changing the Diaper & Preliminary Cleaning:
When you change your little one's cloth diaper, you can just take apart the wet ones and throw in a wet bag. (I would also recommend investing in a smaller wet bag for when you're on the go). I also sprinkle some baking soda in the bag to help eliminate some of the odors as they sit and wait for a wash.
The dirty ones are a bit more complicated to deal with, as you can imagine. I never bought one of those toilet fixtures. I have always used these squirt bottles that I got in the hospital when Landon was born, which I keep in my bathroom filled up and ready to use for the next pooper. I put on my plastic cleaning gloves, use my squirt bottles to get all the nasties off, and then throw in the wet bag. For what it's worth, I've heard you can find those toilet fixtures pretty inexpensively and they are very easy to assemble and use from the other cloth diapering mamas I've talked to, but this method has worked very efficiently for me.
If after rinsing off the nasties you have stains on the diapers, you can pre-soak with any cloth diaper laundry detergent, which I'll get to next.
Once your wet bag is filled up and you are ready to do a wash (note: I would not let these dirty diapers sit for any longer than 2 days or they will start to smell and stains will begin to set), you can throw them all in the washer to clean, turning the wet bag inside out in with it to wash so you don't even end up touching any dirty diapers. If you put baking soda in your wet bag this has amazing cleaning properties as well so it's a great cleaning agent for cloth to add in as well.
I then do a pre-soak in cold water (or a pre-wash in cold water with no detergent) and and then do the main wash with detergent in a hot water, on a heavy-duty cycle with an extra rinse. It's important not to start off with the first wash in hot water as it may set stains, but hot water will clean best for the second main heavy-duty wash. The extra rinse cycle is very important as it ensures all the soap is rinsed off the diapers, and helps eliminate odors caused by a build-up of detergents.
As for the laundry detergent or soaking detergent, do not use generic, store-bought whiteners or bleach. The bleach will shorten the life of your diapers and whiteners will damage waterproofing on the all-in-ones and diaper covers/shells. I have used a few different kinds of specialty laundry detergents for my cloth diapers but would highly recommend Rock 'N Green. I know it sounds like a pain to have to go out and buy special laundry detergent, but you can easily order online, and you can also use this detergent to wash normal clothes as well. It lasts a LIFETIME too. One package is good for up to 90 loads.
When you take the diapers out of the washing machine, they should smell fresh and clean. If they still smell of dirty diapers, even faintly, then rewash. Odors can mean that the diapers contain lingering bacteria, which can irritate your baby's skin or cause diaper rash.
You can throw in the dryer for a normal drying cycle to make extra fluffy and soft for baby's bottom, or you can hang air dry. When we lived downtown we had to pay for our laundry so I always air dried. Depending on your sunlight, they will dry within a day or two, and natural sunlight actually helps brighten whites and naturally remove stains. By air drying you are also saving power and electricity on the dryer load, so naturally more eco-friendly and it also helps preserve the life of your diapers. However, since we moved to the burbs and have our own washer/dryer unit, I've been drying in the dryer because it obviously dries them a lot faster and also leaves them much softer and fluffier for my precious little baby butt. Your choice. If you do dry in the dryer, do not use fabric softener, as it will wear away the diapers absorbency. I've also found that I need to run my dryer for longer - about 60 minutes to fully dry some of the thicker cloth diaper inserts. Some of the shells may not be recommended to put in the dryer, so always check the manufacturer's instructions beforehand.
When they are done drying, I put them all together and store in a basket near his changing table, and one or two in his baby bag, all ready for the next use.
Other Misc Notes:
- I would recommend having at least 8-12 cloth diapers in your stash. You don't need to get them all at once – you can order one and see how you like it before you order more.
- Don't feel like you need to cloth diaper all the time. I know it's a lot of extra work and just not managebale when you are traveling, when you have a babysitter or when they're in a child/daycare, and when you're just not feeling well and zapped of energy. I always keep a pack of disposables on hand and use in between washings and for when we are out and about all day.
- Intimidated by their price? Cloth diapers can seem like a big investment at first, running anywhere from $20-$25 a diaper, but when you look at how much you are saving versus disposables, you'll see it's worth it! (See the comparison HERE). You can also purchase gently used cloth diapers at a discount from some online merchants.
- Baby got diaper rash? You can still use diaper cream with cloth, but some do not work as well as others with cloth. For the most part, anything natural/organic will work fine, just avoid anything with cod liver oil or other fish oils. I use Burt's Bees and swear by it. Other mamas report really good things with Coconut Oil, Lansinoh, Corn Starch, breast milk, California Baby, and CJ's Butter.
- Most cloth diapers are adjustable to fit newborns all the way through toddlerhood. I didn't use them on my LO as a newborn, but there are easy snap closures to adjust to tiny bodies. So unlike diaposables, you don't need to continuously go up in sizes.
- Will this make me a slave to the laundry machine? No, it really won't. I wash a load of cloth diapers once every other day. With the amount of laundry my family goes through anyway it's really not a big deal and does not take up as much time as you may think.
Good luck & feel free to reach out to me with any questions!
It's been a long time since I've made smoothies, but with my new Ninja Blender I've been more inspired than ever to start whipping up some yummy, healthy new smoothie recipes in the mornings. (On top of other salsas, sauces, cookie dough, pizza crust, & bread - get ready!) This first smoothie recipe I came up with I like to call the Super Antioxidant Purple Monster. It's made with fresh grapes, strawberries, blackberries, spinach, vanilla yogurt, and hemp seeds. It's soo good and packed with tons of really great vitamins & nutrients, & ensures any little picky eaters in the house to get their fruits & vegetables in!
Remember it's always better to use fresh fruits & veggies with ice instead of frozen!
What You'll Need:
- 1 handful fresh spinach leaves
- About 1/3 cup fresh blackberries (I really just threw in a bunch of blackberries and am guesstimating it was around 1/3 cup...you can always add more or less to taste)
- 1/3 cup fresh strawberries (read above parenthesis)
- 1/3 cup fresh red grapes (read above parenthesis)
- 2 or 3 tablespoons hemp seeds (or other omega-3 substitute)
- 3 big dollups low-fat vanilla or plain yogurt (best option: Greek yogurt for extra protein)
- About 5 or 6 large ice cubes
- Optional protein powder if you're making a meal out of this
- Combine above ingredients in blender & pulse until smooth.
Yesterday I came home to the sweetest surprise on my doorstep, a package full of green skincare goodies from Dr. Bronner's. I was so pumped to try this stuff out. I carefully unpackaged everything and took inventory and placed everything away in the house/bathroom and got in the shower to try everything out. This was pretty close to an actual spa day for me, since Landon and Chris spent Saturday night with my brother in law, so the house was totally quiet, I got to take however long of a shower I wanted to, with no little bodies opening the bathroom door jumping in to join me. It was heaven.
I first used their organic castile liquid soap all over my body. This was my first time ever trying castile soap and I am officially hooked. This stuff is so amazing. It's the most cleansing body oil and literally dissolves the oil on your skin, without drying and still totally hydrating your skin. After that, I used their organic shaving gel, which was equally as amazing. I used to just use regular soap when I shaved but this stuff noticeably gave me a much better shave and my legs were smoother than ever afterwards. Win-win - no more soap shaving for me. After that, I shampooed and deep conditioned my dry, colored, dull winter's hair with their Lavender Coconut Deep Conditioner. The aroma that filled my shower and scalp due to this stuff was absolutely amazing. After relaxing in and inhaling in all these incredible new aromas and products, my shower finally started to lose hot water so I had to get out. Then I lathered my entire self up in their Patchouli Lime Body Lotion which was hands down the most amazing body lotion I've ever used. Not only did it smell absolutely amazing but it was uber hydrating and left my skin literally glowing. Seriously. That's never happened to me before.
So best shower experience to date. & not only do all these products smell like heaven and make you feel like a new woman but it is ALL certified organic and vegan. That means no pesticides, no chemicals, no parabens, and no animal by-products or testing. So you can mentally feel as well as you do physically :)
What's more, all of Dr. Bronner's products are Fair Trade Certified, which means they give their suppliers, farmers and workers around the world who produce their materials fair prices, living wages, and funding for local development projects. This means despite ups & downs in the market, their farmers and workers can rely on a fair payment, fair working and labor conditions, and help to lift themselves out of poverty. By buying Fair Trade Certified products, you are helping these local farmers by investing in their farms and communities, protecting the environment, and helping them develop the business skills necessary to compete in the global marketplace.
Such a great company, with such amazing products that I am so excited to continue to use and probably keep sharing with you. I definitely encourage you to go check out their site and order some of their stuff today!
Well my lil mumma's corner turned 2 years old this month. In honor of my blogiversary, I'm highlighting a few favorite posts each month from the the past year. I hope you've all enjoyed spending time here and looking forward to many more years with you all with much more in store :)
Thank you all so sincerely for sharing in this year and this time of our lives with me. My blog becomes more important to me as each day goes by and I truly appreciate all the support, love, connections, & relationships I've received through hosting this site. I'm looking forward to sharing much, much more with you all in Year 3.