Monday, March 25, 2013

Super Long Menu Planning Monday

Today I am linking up with Elizabeth form The young retiree and Jane from Adventures to Taingamala  for
Menu Planning Monday




* Sorry this is so long, I promise the next one won't be!  I guess tis really could have been two posts but oh well.


I don't seem to Menu Plan like the average person.  I figure out what I want to eat for the week, double any recipes that I am making that are getting low in the freezer, mark the ones that are time sensitive, and then cross my fingers I get to them all.

I would have taken a picture of my dry erase board that I have on my fridge but I doubt any of you could read my chicken scratch.  With hubby in the field I haven't had any desire to make it even remotely legible to anyone other than me. 

Basically I have four Columns:  Meals Planned, Freezer, Ready to go, and Shopping list


 Planned meals : These are meals that I would like to make or eat within the next week to two weeks.  I say 2 weeks max because lets face it I can get lazy and rely on freezer meals more than I should.  I also don't like to plan per day as I would rather eat something I am in the mood for than to eat something just because I planned for it.  I will do that if items are time sensitive (dairy, fresh veggies, etc) but I like flexibility in my menu.

*Spinach Stuffed Shells
*Italian Chicken Lentil Soup
Tacos
*Chef Salad
Homemade Mac and Cheese
Pizza (store bought frozen)
*Strawberry and Pecan Salad
Freezer Meal
Baked Egg Dish
Chicken Tortilla Soup
Blue Berry Pancakes
Chicken Salad Sandwiches

This week I have a variety of things that I would like to make.  The ones in Italics are meals I will be doubling.  The meals with Astrix before them are ones that have items that will spoil if not used sooner rather than later.  The Spinach Stuffed shells for example have ricotta in then that is quickly approaching its expiration date so I need to make them soon even if I don't plan to eat them right away.


Freezer: Click here to get more tips on my freezer meals.  This is exactly what it says it is.  I like to keep a running list of all the items in the freezer in my kitchen so that I know what I have and what I am getting low on.  Clearly I can't do anything with the spinach stuffed shells if I don't have any frozen sauce.  If there is no number next to the item then there is only one of that item left. I also double check myself when I go to meal plan for the next week (or two) to make sure that i didn't forget to take something off or add something.  Bad things happen in our house when this is wrong.  Obviously lg means large (for two people), sm means small (usually single serve), and ss means Single Serving)

Pizza (3)
Sauce
Gumbo (4 lg, 1sm)
 Italian Chicken Lentil Soup (6lg) I made these yesterday
Spinach Stuffed Shells (9ss) I made these Yesterday as well

large bag of fries
peas (2)
Chopped Spinach
Mixed Fruit
Blueberry Pancakes (4ss)

Shrimp (2)
Chicken (2lg, 2ss)
Fajita mix (2lg)
Crawfish (9 half pound packages)

To be honest my freezer is not stocked at all right now.  Since the move we had to use up so much so that we could transport the freezer without too many issues.  I typically like to keep 6-7 different homemade meals, 3-4 different crock pot prepped meals, and 2-3 different store bought meals.  Then various portioned meats and lots of frozen veggies and fruits.  When fresh veggies and fruits are available I buy in bulk, freeze and save for later.  I don't really do canned veggies.  I will for things I don't use very often or tomatoes products.  I however feel that the quality of them is not as good as frozen.  


Ready to Go:  I recently added this as I have found that between the pantry and the freezer I have items on hand to make a variety of different meals.  I try I keep a special section in the pantry for this stuff in particular.  Mainly because I know I will use up an item and then forget to take off the meal.  This is really only 3-4 meals but they will do when I don't want to go shopping or use up a freezer meal.

 Shrimp Scampi
Grandma's Bow tie Pasta meal
Tortellini soup

Shopping list : This is self explanatory.  

I do find that the more I keep up on this the smoother meal planning runs, we eat out less and there is far less waste at the end of the week.

__________________________________________________


This week I took the time to make meals I know I hubby is not a huge fan of as well as to start majorly stocking my freezer in preparation for this up coming deployment and the arrival of the little one.



I made a double batch of Spinach Stuffed shells.  They are super easy to make, double and freeze! Typically when I am making a freezer meal I will eat it that night for dinner or save some for the following night if I am making two things in one day.

The recipe is simple! This is a single recipe.  Not sure where I got it but it is the best I have found.

one roughly 15oz container of ricotta
one regular shredded Italian cheese mix
one roughly 15oz package for frozen spinach (thawed and as much water removed as possible!)
one egg
one box of shells
a drizzle of olive oil
1-2 cups of sauce (if not freezing)

Cook shells according to the directions but leave al dente add a bit of olive oil to the water! Mix ricotta, cheese, spinach and egg in a bowl.  Once shells are cooked drain and rinse with cold water.  You want the shells to be cold when stuffing them or it will begin to cook the filling. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and mix to keep the shells from sticking.  Remove any shell that is too damaged to stuff.  I place them in a bowl throw some sauce in and there is my lunch.  I typically put a mounding tablespoon of filling in each shell.  If you are going to cook the shells right away put them in an oven safe dish with sauce on the bottom.  Add your stuffed shells and cook covered at 375 for 30 minute or until the center of the shells reaches at least 160.  I then remove the cover sprinkle a bit of cheese and sauce on top and cook for until cheese starts to brown.

Now for freezing make the shells as directed above.  From there you can put them in a tin try with sauce if you intend to store them overnight and cook the next day.  If you would like to freeze them longer you can put them onto parchment paper that is taped to a tray or cutting board and place them in the freezer overnight.  If you are crunched for time 3-4 hours will work too.  Then place them in freezer bags by serving size.  I have found that 3-4 per person it a good serving size.  This could be more or less depending on who is eating them.  Make sure you label "needs Sauce" on the bags.  I have on more than one occasion found out that I didn't have any sauce on had after planning for this meal.

To cook from frozen place shells in oven safe dish with sauce on the bottom.  place in preheated oven at 375 covered for 30-45 minutes.  Cook until center of shells is at least 160.  Remove cover, add a bit of sauce to the top and sprinkle with fresh cheese if you have any.  let it melt, remove and serve.

Bump Update #6


Bump Update



How far along: 19 week, 1 day

Due Date:  August 18, 2013

Baby’s Size:  YAY the apps agree again!  The baby is the size of a Mango.   





Total weight gain:  As of this morning I am down 3lbs from my pre-pregnancy weight.  I am trying not to worry about this but it is what it is.   

Wedding Ring on or off: The ring has been off for a few weeks now but that's fine for now.

Maternity Clothes:  For pants I am.  I need to pick up a few maternity tops for the summer.  

Sleep:  I have had a few nights of decent sleep and I'll focus on that.



Best Moment this week:  Getting to see MudBug!  Oh and getting to have lunch with Hunter even though he was in the field.  

Worst Moment this week: It's a toss up between Hunter being in the field and the horrible headache I had last night.  It was terrible.     

Miss anything:  Having lots of energy!  I had a ton a few days where I had all the energy in the world but now my butt is dragging.   I have far too much to do over the next week that I can't be exhausted.   




Food Cravings/Aversion:  I am craving a cold cut sandwich.  One that I don't have to heat up!  My biggest aversion in bertolli soup meals.  I had one and boy oh boy did it not sit well with me.  What shocked me was that I normally don't mind them. 

Movement:  I am definitely feeling the baby move around!    

Gender: I am sooooo beyond excited that we now know.  I'm sorry but we won't be sharing this just yet.  We are waiting for the anatomy scan to confirm what we already know and then to tell family.  Well the family that wants to know anyway. 


Bump Picture:  Soon I guess I will have to take one these.  


Currently Reading:  I finished baby wise and I am in between books at the moment.  I will start reading a breastfeeding book soon.



Looking forward to:  I have an appointment coming up this week.  

This week’s Baby Task:  Clean up the nursery, organize what baby items we have, continue working on the baby's blanket, and get going on freezer meals. 





Friday, March 22, 2013

Team Pink or Team Blue

It's time to decide!  Are you on Team Pink or Team Blue?

I go in to get the gender ultrasound today.  We chose to pay for an ultrasound out in town strictly to see the gender.  We will also be getting an anatomy scan done through our post doctor however we were told that if they can determine gender they will but it was not a priority.  Well it's a priority to me.  I am also paranoid and would (hopefully) like two scans that say the exact same thing.  In a perfect world I would like both to be positive about what they see regardless of the gender.  I don't want them to have any doubt about it.  Granted like most parents we don't really care what gender the baby is as long as the baby is healthy. 


Now I have done 6 different old wives tales gender predictions tests just for fun and they are split evenly.

So far the majority of people are on Team Blue.  The reason for this is that my husband is one of 4 boys and his Brother has 2 boys, no girls.  The running joke is that they only produce boys.  I just think it's funny.  There are a few people on Team Pink but not many though.

The tally so far is...


15 for Team Blue

3 for Team Pink



What do you think this baby will be?

Thursday, March 21, 2013

400 Days

Today marks 400 days living in Louisiana.  Since the day we moved in life has been flipped upside down.  We adjusted to the hot hot weather, happily ended our two year infertility journey, Found out I am pregnant with our first baby, Watched sadly as close family friends moved away, Moved houses on our own, and now we are gearing up for the first deployment as a married (and expecting) couple.  So much has changed in such a short period of time.  Despite all of this change I am still beyond ready to leave here.

That's when a lovely bomb was dropped in our laps.  Yup we will be stuck her for 2 more years.  Two very long whole years.  I am trying to make the best of this news but it isn't sitting well with me.  I need a long vacation or a few long vacations to make up for this traumatic news.  This place is like a sink hole.  You get trapped here and can't get out.

To add to my already overwhelming stress there have been talks of possibly leaving the military.  While I know we will be just fine if this is what is decided I can't help but be nervous about it.  The unknown is quite scary.  Where will we live?  What kind of work is out there for Him?  Or me even?  With the economy as bad as it is, is now really the time to get out?  This is what has been keeping me up at night and this isn't even talks of getting out anytime soon.  I think for now I just need to take it as it comes and let go of what I can't change.

For now I will sit back, save some money and try to plan a nice vacation and some small weekend trips while we are here.



Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Maternity Clothing

I decided that it was time to start looking at maternity clothes.  Old Navy was having a sale so looking turned into buying.  Here is what I bought...

I picked up 2 pairs of jeans with the low waisted elastic band
 1 pair of Capri.  Sadly there were none without the full elastic.











Then I figured a neutral pair of shorts was needed.  Again there wasn't on without the full elastic.










I haven't done this yet but with the items I am returning I would like to pick up several of these in different colors.






These two active tops seemed like a great buy.  I plan to wear them over tank tops.










This last one was a bit of a splurge.  It was the highest priced item at $22.  can you tell I am cheap?  At any rate I think this was a good buy.










Ok so I am trying to get away without having to buy too much for this pregnancy.  What I do buy I am hoping will be more of a maternity staple.  Something I could use whenever we have a second.  What do you think would be a good addition to a maternity wardrobe? This baby will be born in the hot Louisiana summer as something to keep in mind.



Monday, March 18, 2013

Bump Update #5



Bump Update



How far along: 18 Weeks, 1 day

Due Date:  August 18, 2013

Baby’s Size: So the baby is somewhere in between these two. You take your pick. 








Total weight gain:  Don't hate me please.  Still nothing.  I doubt I will make my 2lb weight gain the doctor asked for.  I am eating a ton and it just doesn't seem to stick.  I feel like my body is re-porportioning the weight verses adding weight.  I know this will end one day soon but I am pretty freaked out that I haven't gained anything.  I expected to balloon up form the beginning.    

Maternity Clothes: For pants I am definately in maternity pants.  I just can't deal with the belly belt anymore.  As for tops I am able to still fit into my tee shirts and tank tops.  In fact I am planning on picking up a few more this coming week.  I am also waiting for Old Navy to have a sale on their maternity tank tops.  I am not quite sure how much longer the regular ones will fit me without looking crazy stretched out. 

Sleep:  It is official, I can no longer sleep on my back.  It causes my legs to hurt so I am stuck sleeping on my sides.  My left side mainly.  I really need to use the dang maternity pillow! 



Best Moment this week:  This is a toss up between finally getting a full nights sleep and realizing it has been 8 days since I have last dealt with morning sickness. Fingers crossed I have seen the end of this for some time.    

Worst Moment this week:  Having to re-arrange my schedule so that I can be responsible for the dogs full time to give hubby a break.  Those 5:30/6 am feeding are something I should be getting used to but I am not a morning person at all.  It probably doesn't help that I wake up in a daze, stumble through the house, let them out, feed them and then within 5 minutes of getting out of bed my head is hitting the pillow once again.  I am slowly working my away to staying up after they get fed in the morning.  On the plus side they are super confused and tired out by all of this which means calm content happy puppies throughout the day.  

Miss anything:  Some days I miss a glass of wine and others I don't.  Today is one of those days where I would like a glass of wine, a big bowl of pasta, and a chick flick... Actually I might just do everything except the wine tonight.    




Food Cravings/Aversion:  I have been craving spicy foods.  I can not wait for the Thai restaurant to open up again.  Bring on the red duck curry!  I am having serious aversions to Chips.  Lays flavored chips have not been sitting well with me at all.  So much for the sampler pack we bought.   

Movement: Some days I think I am feeling movement and then other days I am not so sure it is movement.  Lets just say I don't know how I would not be feeling any movement at this point but Honestly I am not positive if what I think it movement is movement.  Ugh So confused.

Gender: Still don't know. The anticipation is slowly killing me.

Bump Picture:  This one is going to have to wait a bit longer.  I still don't feel like I have popped just yet.  In the upcoming weeks thought I am sure this will likely happen.



Current Parenting/pregnancy Book:  I am reading Babywise.  Like every baby book I think its important to take what you like and leave the rest.  There are several good points throughout and then others I could do without.  I am however amazed at the misconception people have about this book.  I brought it up to a friend she started spewing all these incredibly inaccurate points "from the book," as she claimed.  It was obvious that she had never once really read this book.  I honestly don't believe that there is a baby book out there that I would take and use everything in it verbatim.  No parenting style is that clean cut.  I'll be writing a full review this up coming week when I finish it.   

Looking forward to:  Finding out the gender.  The 22nd can't come soon enough!  

This week’s Baby Task(s): Gather all the children's books for Hunter to read on camera.  Speaking of on camera, I need to find the camera and tripod for him as well.  I am also looking for a lamp, 2 magazine holders (for kids books) and I want to pick up 2 unpainted crates from Joann's to use for storage.  The room is small and my options are limited.  I am even thinking of taking the closet door off the hinges and putting up a curtain in its place just so that I don't have to worry about the door getting in the way of the glider.  There really is no good layout in this room.  hmmm... a post (with pictures) may be in order to help me with the layout. 





Sunday, March 17, 2013

Laundry overload

I have been backed up on laundry since we moved here.  To be honest I am never really sure I caught back up on it after the move.  I did enough to maintain and make sure Hunter had what he needed while I did load here and there I can honestly say I haven't been consistent with it at all.  And I mean from day 1 when I started doing my laundry.

I always waited until I was practically out and then did one whole day of nothing but laundry.  It worked when all I was doing was homework or being a nanny but I can't do that now.  Not when I have so many clothes that can't even be dried and definitely not with a baby on the way.  I think I really need to spend the next week catching up and then maintain from there.  I need to make sure I am doing a load every other day at least.  This whole being behind thing will only get harder once there is cloth diapers and baby clothes thrown into the mix.

How do you all do it?  Hunter is only allowed to touch the hamper marked regular.  Yes it really is marked with a label maker sticker and everything.  This is mainly his clothes but some of mine are mixed in.  They are the standard wash cycle and the standard dry cycle.  The only real complaint I have with him washing the regular stuff is that he over fills the washing machine.  We have a front loader so believe me its a challenge to do so.  I don't feel the clothes get as clean when they are overloaded.  However when it is mainly his items I will not say anything unless I am willing to wash them.

I refuse to let him touch anything else as he has ruined far too many of my good clothes that way.  He literally shrunk a dozen of my expensive sweater to child size.  Like toddler size by putting them in the dryer on high heat.  He claimed they could stretch out but we all know they never would.  I honestly believe men's clothes and women's clothes react to the washer/dryer in very different ways.

I am trying to let go a little bit on this.  He wants me to type up a list on how everything is to be washed and dried so that he can help me out with it.  I am going to do this but I am extremely nervous about it.  I honestly appreciate the help but I wonder if it will be more trouble than it is worth.

For starters I hate people folding my laundry.  As a kid I would refold everything.  I still do if someone even attempts to fold my laundry.  Hunter knows not to even attempt this from the beginning.  He is a smart boy.  Only if he starts taking over the laundry even for a few loads I will either end up refolding the laundry or have it sitting in a basket until I can fold it.  I don't know.

I think the best way to start this is to let him start doing the simple thing.  The towels, kitchen towel, bedding, and blankets until I am so beyond exhausted that I just give up and let him do everything.  To be honest I think I would prefer him to to cook or clean before he does the laundry.  Maybe that's the direction I need to take on.

Here's a sponge and there is the bathroom.  Have at it!

Friday, March 15, 2013

storytime

Since Hunter will be deployed for the first part of Mudbug's life, we were trying to think of a way to make his home coming a bit easier.  I knew exactly who to go to... My friend Sarah.  We have know each other for over 10 years and she is my go to person for all things military and parenting.  Long story short Sarah and I went to college together and she is the one who introduced me to my husband on a trip to see her boyfriend at a different school.  After graduation they had a beautiful military wedding and they now have 4 kids together.

The reason she instantly popped into my mind is because her husband has been deployed for 3 of the 4 of their children's births.  Yup she delivered all three without him there.  The first two she delivered without anyone there with her.   That being said she was the perfect person to ask for advice on our situation.

My biggest question for her was how do you make it easier on the baby when Hunter comes home?  This obviously is a big concern of mine.  Several months of just baby and I and then boom you add this other person into the mix full time that Mudbug won't really know.  So how do I make it easier.

She told me that it will be tough and the baby will cry and cling to me.  This much I expected.  I thought having him shadow me while taking care of the baby once he was back would work and then slowly let him take over.  Sarah thought this was a good plan but really only part of a plan.  I had forgotten that there were things I could do while he was away to make the transition easier for everyone.

The best thing she found that worked was having her Husband read several stories on camera.  She said that being able to see and hear their father helped them not be as intimidated by him once he returned.  Obviously it would be mainly listening at first but then they would move on to really watching.

I thought hubby would have shot the idea down without ever giving it a second thought.  Much to my surprise he actually liked it.  He told me to pick up a few books and he would do it when he had the time.  I asked him about what his favorite children's books were, like an idiot I expected an actual answer.  I forget that those not in education don't really know about children's literature.

After throwing several ideas his way I finally began to get something I could use.  Not a lot but between the two of us we have came up with what I think is a pretty decent list.  Early childhood books are short.  Like 2 words per page short.  So I wanted to find books of various lengths that Hunter could read.  Some short and some a bit longer but ones that he would be ok with reading.  Here is what we have come up with.  Oh and before all of my teacher friend and readers start barking that these aren't all age appropriate, relax I am aware.  My goal is not for them to fully understand the book but to get them used to Hunters' voice.
















As you can see there are several collection books.  I do not expect Hunter to read every book in the collection but to pick out the ones he likes best.  I also have a bunch of books from when I was little or from when I was teaching that he can pick from.  I know this looks like a long list but the time it takes to read these even slowly is not that long at all.  

What do you think of the list thus far?  

Have any of you done this with your kids?  Do you think it helped?



Thursday, March 14, 2013

The "D" Word

Yup the Deployment word has been dropped and hubby will be gone sooner than we anticipated.  Sooner as in he won't get to meet his child until after the baby is several months old.  You can see where some of my anxiety is coming from.

I am stuck in a state I want nothing more to get out of, expecting our first child, and will be delivering the baby here most likely alone.  Yup as of right now we are unsure of who exactly, if anyone, will be coming down to help me out for the birth.

In reality, the help that is needed doesn't so much have to do with me but with these two lugs.



I need someone to take care of my puppies while I am in the hospital.  As of right now, if no one comes down, the game plan is to drop them off at one of two kennels when the doctor tells me that "the baby could come any day now."  Yeah that could get expensive quickly.  Hubby isn't so keen on this idea because he has friends in the area who could help me out.  Yeah friends I have only met a handful of times and frankly don't feel comfortable calling them.  That is unless there is an emergency and I have no other choice but to that.


Now don't get me wrong I have had offers for people to come help me out.  Honestly none of them seem truly like they will work.  I can't and don't expect someone to put their life on hold and jump on a plane at a moments notice.  They give you a month window in which the baby can come so it's not like I am getting an induction where I will know the exact date.  Totally not realistic.  People have children of their own and jobs that take priority over me.  Like they should.

Due to the fact that my mother is no longer apart of my life by choice she will not be coming down.  Nor will my dad, brother or sister in law (my brothers wife).  All of them would just make my life far too complicated which will not be good for anyone.

My mother in law (MIL) has offered to come down.  I am not so sure how I feel about this.  On one hand she doesn't have any children at home and I am sure she would be down here in a second if we asked.  She also only teaches from home which I don't think she will have any issues with rescheduling.  On the other hand there are certain things that could very much so more than ruffle my feathers.

For starters the women loves taking pictures.  The only problem is anything of me is ALWAYS the absolute worst pic in the world and that will be the one to make onto the family Christmas card.  Trust me it's happened many times.  And I am just not saying that.  She has very little boundaries when it comes to that. I has second degree sunburn on both shoulder and she insisted on taking a pic.  Guess which one made it up onto the fridge. Sure I can lay ground rules (Which believe me I will) like only pics of the baby.  Which I could care less how many she takes of the baby but I would like to try to pull myself together and relax for a bit before someone shoves an unwanted camera in my face.

Then there is my concerns with breast feeding.  I am very nervous about this and my MIL is super crazy into it.  Verbal advice from her is just fine.  I however don't need my MIL man handling my boob while attempting to breastfed for the first few times.  I would like this to be a private thing first off as I am extremely modest.  No one but a nurse or doctor will be in the room when I am feeding the baby.  Secondly, I don't want to feel like I can't ask for help if I need it from one of the nurse because of fear of offending her.

There is also something that Hunter threw out there that I am a bit uncomfortable about but haven't said anything about yet.  I asked what I could expect if my MIL / In-Laws came down after the birth.  He flat out said that the only time I will likely be doing anything for the baby would obviously be for feedings.  Um.... while I know she would like to love on her grandchild seeing as she won't get to see Mudbug much as they live states away, I would like time to bond with my child.  Especially in the first couple of weeks.  Call me selfish all you want but unless it was Hunter I am not really ok with that.  This is a far cry from what I thought would happen.  I foolishly assumed that she would come down and help me out with housework and cooking, that sort of thing.  You know what people really need help with right after having a baby.    Now if she was to come down say a month or so after the baby is born then it's all welcome.  I need to establish my routine before I feel like entertaining company.

I know it sounds like I am knocking her and in part I guess I am.  She is a kind sweet women who does not intend to be or do some of the things she does.  These are just things that personally rub me the wrong way.  Not everyone gets along 100% of the time.

Now my Sister in Law (Hunter's Brother's Wife)  Offered to come down as well.  This is a bit of a better option but not great.  She is very much like my MIL but is far more relaxed about everything.  She will follow any rules that lay down without question.  I will also not feel like I have to entertain her while she is here.  Point her in the direction of a few homemade freezer meals and she will be good to go.

On the downside she has two kids.  One will have to join her as she is still exclusively breastfeeding.  He is a doll to have around and by far the easiest going baby I have ever been around ever.  Her other son will likely stay with my In-Laws.  Not really a big issue to me at all seeing as I don't want anyone other than Hunter in the delivery room with me.  During labor sure but not delivery.  Then there is also the logistics of it all which brings us right back to square one.  It's the same problem we have with anyone coming down.

I even looked into midwives and doulas.  Honestly I am not too keen on the idea at all.  They are expensive and frankly for me I don't think they are worth the money.

As of right now I think our best solution is to face this on my own.  Throw the dogs in a kennel and hope for the best.  Prayer would be greatly appreciated.


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

We found a brand

A cloth diapering brand that is.  I know, I know, I know.  Those of you who are very into using multiple brands of cloth diapers aren't going to like this post.  So let me say please keep the negative comments to yourself about what I will be saying.

I have research, debated, and researched some more about which type of cloth diaper will work best for us.  It came down to All in ones (AIO) or Pocket diapers.  I talked it over with Hunter and we agreed that Pockets seemed to be the best fit for us because you can adjust the absorbency of the diaper to fit the child's needs.  I had to physically see them and feel them though to pick the brand that I wanted to invest in.

I met up with a few ladies in town to get their opinions and take a look at their cloth diapers.  I was able to narrow it down to Charlie Banana and Flip diapers.  Charlie Banana's is a relatively new brand that hasn't seemed to make much of a splash in the cloth diapering community.  On the flip side Flip is incredibly well known.  To me popularity doesn't phase me too much.  A good diaper is a good diaper.  They are also so very similar it didn't seem like much of a debate.  As you might have guessed.  We are going with Charlie Banana Cloth Diapers.  The look and feel of them coupled with the smaller price tag seemed to work for us.

Rather than give you a review on something I haven't used and wont for a few months, This review by Bay Area Mommy can do that for you.

Image from Bay Area Mommy (dot) Net  This image is from her post that you can find by clicking the link above.

As you can see in the picture above the singles come with 2 inserts and adjustable leg gussets.  Something that will obviously help when using a diaper that can go from 6lbs to 30lbs. We took the plunge and purchased 5 packs (6 diapers in each pack) of the one size cloth diapers.  Below are the colors we picked out.  I tried to remain as gender neutral as possible.  Looking back I should have probably gotten two of the top left as the bottom left is basically the same only with pink instead of white.  Oh well If we have a boy I know which one will be a night time diaper.  Not pictured is a pack of all white.  That was obviously Hunters request.  If it was up to him we would have gotten all white.  I however like the color variety so I compromised with one white pack.



We will also pick up 1 (maybe 2) more pack(s) once we know the gender.  While the ones above can work for both I would like a few more boy or girl ones to the stash.  I say possibly two because I don't know that I can decide between the different gender packs.  Missing is one boy print pack.  Similar dark blue colors but throw in a med and dark green color diaper for the light ones.


Yes, it slightly killed me to know the mass amount up front price that we just dropped but I know in the end it will be well worth it.  Even if I my wallet is crying.


Ok those of you may be wondering why one brand.  To me this is simple.  I used only one brand of cloth diapers when I was a nanny.  The Charlie Banana brand most resembles that brand which is now nonexistent.  I used  that one brand for two completely different babies.  One was small and tiny.  I mean tiny like she was still in 3 month clothing at 7 months old tiny.  Then there was her brother.  A whopping 10lb baby from birth with the adorable rolls and chunks to prove it.  The same diapers worked equally as well on him as they did on his tiny sister.  To mean this means being a one brand cloth diapering family can work successfully.

I know others say that different brands worked for them better at different stages.  This could totally be true for you and your baby.  Where there times when I struggled to find the perfect combination of snaps and leg adjustments, you bet your butt I did.  There were leaks sure but when I paid closer attention to the fit and making small adjustments as needed I never had any major issues.  I am not quick to jump up and say we need to try a new brand because this one has been leaking for 3 days.  To me I need to sit down and figure out where I went wrong in the fit of the diaper rather than just moving on from it as I have heard several friends claim to do.  

Then there is also my small (jokingly, not real) OCD as the bottom of the list reason for one brand.  You see I believe that there is a reason that a company uses their insert with their diaper.  In order to get the results that the company is claiming then I would need to make sure that each and every brand of diaper got their specific insert.  To have to reassemble them on little sleep it would drive me nuts with multiple brands.  Even more so, it would drive Hunter nuts to have to do that as well.  Throw in having him, or me for that matter, in the middle of the night try to remember what snap combination worked for what diaper is a disaster waiting to happen.  I know myself well enough to know what will work and what won't.  That scenario won't work for anyone involved.

This may not be the popular choice when it comes to cloth diapering but it is OUR choice.  Please be kind enough to respect our choice.  When I put a question out there on a Cloth Diapering forum I got 200+ messages telling in increasingly disrespectful ways that my decision was wrong and why.  Frankly, if you intend to do that here your comment will be deleted.  It is ok to disagree with my decision as long as you do so in a respectful way.  I hate having to put this out there but sadly I feel its needed.   



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  If you didn't know you can pick them up at Target.  I however bought ours on amazon as they were a bit cheaper.  We have extremely high taxes here and with free shipping and no tax on amazon it made the most sense.  There was also a small sale on one of the boxes.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Making the decision to cloth diaper

This decision to me was pretty much a no brainer.  I wanted to use cloth diapers with our baby.  I had used them when I was a nanny, as per the mothers request, and it worked out extremely well.  She made cloth diapering a more relaxed thing to do.  If there was long trips or full days out and about I could use my discretion on incorporating disposables.  This is exactly how I plan to Cloth Diaper our child.  Gasp... we will have disposables in our house to use when needed, but I would like to cloth diaper as much as possible. As much that makes sense for us and our family.

Hubby was on board with the idea for the most part.  He wanted me to make sure the decision would work for us and that it would be cost effective.  I showed him the numbers and he was all for it.  Take a second and go here to look at the cost breakdown.  We will be using pocket diapers so that you have a reference point.  I am not looking to do this to save the planet in doing this.  Sorry I'm not.  Just being real here about it all.  Sure it's a side effect of using mainly cloth diapers but saving money was the huge push.  Especially when we are looking to continue doing this for our future children as well.  The savings only multiply with the next child.  That money to me could be much better spend on things for us to do together as a family.

Another reason to cloth diaper is that I have extremely sensitive skin.  I always have.  From birth my parents have told me that the craziest things would cause rashes.  To this day I have issues with everything from shampoo, lotions, detergents, makeup and more.  All of which I have to be careful about what I use.  I fear our child will be the same way.  Even if they aren't as sensitive skinned as me, cloth diapering is a way of keeping them from having to deal with an issue right from the start.  I know I said I will be using disposables as well so those will be pampers sensitive swaddlers.  So far the best disposable I have researched on the market for sensitive skin.

The final reason to cloth diaper for us was a small piece of info that I found throughout my research on cloth diaper.  Kids who are in cloth diapers the majority of the time potty train faster than those in mainly disposables.  The little girl I was a nanny for, was potty trained fully by 2 1/2.  Night time and everything.  Sure this could just be a freaky occurrence but she was fully aware of when she was wet and when she was dry.  With a little charting and encouragement she started using the potty by 20 months rather consistently.  Personally I would like my child out of diapers as soon as they are ready for it.  If cloth diapers help move that along then its a huge bonus to us.

There are lists of reason to cloth diaper for us.  These are just a few of the reasons behind our decision.  I know it's not for everyone but for us it's a smart decision.  Now to pick which brand of pocket diapers it will be.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Bump Update #4



Bump Update



How far along: 17 Weeks, 1 day

Due Date:  August 18, 2013

Baby’s Size:  Ugh the apps disagree once again... I have no idea why this bothers me so much but it does.  However the baby is somewhere between the size of a sweet potato and an onion. 





Total weight gain:  Today I stepped on the scale and I am down 1/2 a pound.  Who knew especially with how much I have been stuffing my face lately.   

Maternity Clothes:  I am in maternity jeans.  I broke down and started wearing them this week since I found a pair that fits well.  I also got sick of worrying about my pants falling off even though I was using the belly band thingy.   


Sleep:  I have had several horrible nights of sleep due to allergies.  Thankfully last night I was able to sleep pretty well.  Thank you Humidifier and medicine.  Who knew I would need a humidifier in Louisiana. 


Best Moment this week: eek... Making our second big baby purchase.  Charlie Banana Cloth Diapers.  More on that later this week.  Lets just say I am hoping to not have to buy more than 2 boxes of newborn diapers before this baby moves into the cloth diapers.  

Worst Moment this week: Dealing with all of the mass pollen.  My nose was so stuffed up and for two days I became one of these mouth breathers.  Ugh horrible.   


Miss anything:  Not having to think about what I can and can not have to eat or what extra I have to do to make it safe for a pregnant women to eat.  Really microwaving deli meats is annoying me!    

Parenting advice: Can I say that I miss everyone and their mother staying out of your business?  Before I was pregnant not a single person cared what I ate or how much I exercised and now strangers feel its their right to voice their opinions.  Don't even get me started in family members....     

Food Cravings/Aversion:  I have been craving chips and salsa like it is my job!  Can't seem to get enough of them.  This baby does not like grapefruit.  At least not the fresh kind.     


Movement: I have felt some small fluttering.  Nothing consistent but then again it would be easy to miss if I wasn't paying attention. 

Gender: Still waiting but it's getting soooo close!  Honestly I am torn.  Some days I think the baby is a girl and other days I think the baby is a boy.  Regardless we will be happy.  I just want to know so I can finish planning and registering.


Looking forward to:  duh... finding out the gender!  Oh an planning the nursery decor out.  I found some cute ideas on pinterest and can't wait to use some of them!    

This week’s Baby Task:  Figure out when and how to tackle sanding and staining my old night stand so that it matches the nursery furniture.  I am also looking for some storage solutions ideas that we will be happy with.