Category Archives: Baby

Thrifter

Last night, on a  whim, I decided to randomly browse the Hickam Thrift Store FB page. They periodically post pictures of things they have for sale in their store along with events and specials.  GOOD THING I DID! (of all days…) I found out last night that TODAY would be the $10/bag SALE!  Say whaaaaaaat?!  Yep, whatever could be squeezed into a brown plastic commissary  shopping bag = $10 (only including clothing, belts and shoes). SO, bright and early this morning, the kids and I headed out for some thrifty shopping! We are on a budget after all….

Finding one of the very last parking stalls in front of the thrift store, and “just” missing the opening doors rush at 9am, we all headed hand-in-hand into thrifting HEAVEN….a.k.a. chaos…( Excuse my lack of photographic proof…..I was too in-the-zone to take any pics “in” the thrift store!) Good thing Monroe was in the Ergo…there was NO way a stroller was getting anywhere in there…  Picking up our plastic shopping bags just inside the door, we all made a beeline to the baby section (Monroe has been in DIRE need of some new clothes lately, and the Target sale racks were yielding no good finds lately, so what a blessing to be able to hunt for treasures for her here!)  I went to town – Maya holding open her plastic bag as I filled it with adorable dresses for her.  That girl I tell you….she has a definite fashion sense. She made sure she had final approval before anything made it into her bag.  After hitting a dress jackpot for Maya, I again began looking for clothes for Monroe. There were a TON of newborn-6m baby clothes (for both girls and boys) and a lot of 3T and up clothes for girls, but I had the hardest time finding sizes in between for Monroe. Finally, after squeezing through the crowds, I found a bin with a few things for Monroe…a few items that she can wear now but most that are 12-18m. I was just happy to find great deals that the girls can both grow into!  Poor Milo. There was just nothing for him there. But that’s ok. He’s perfectly happy with his “comfy” Old Navy pants and would live in those and only those every single day if he had his way.  So, 45 minutes later and with a few extra add-ins, this was the result:

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(looks are deceiving – this was a massive Sears shopping bag…like the ones that hold comforter sets…and was about 1/2 full with over 40 items)

More specifically…I found clothes for Monroe (an adorable beach hat, bibs, dresses, sleepy outfits, tunics, etc):

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Clothes for Maya (umm….are you seeing that Flamingo dress?!):

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Super comfortable, just the right size wedges for myself:

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A pair of brand new slippers and sandals, along with a pair of white corduroy capris for my mom (not pictured)

All fitting into 2 bags! (@$10 each so $20 total!!) ….we could’ve probably squeezed more into those bags, but after 45 minutes of chaos, I think we all were more than happy to just buy what we had and escape the crowd! BUT, not before first letting the kids play in the toy room.  The way the Hickam Thrift Store is set up, there’s a cute toy room area tucked away just inside the main shopping area. Since toys weren’t on sale as part of the bag deal, there was NO crowd in that area.  Perfect because it gave the chance for us all to catch our breaths in there and the kids had a blast browsing/playing with all the neat 2nd hand toys.  Maya found this little princess, spinning, light-up toy and fell in love.

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At $1…I was sold.  She’s been playing with it all day. I think we’ve gotten a good dollar’s use out of it so far 😉

Milo’s been on a puzzle kick lately.  The way his mind works…he’ll sit there and try and try (sometimes for hours….literally!) until he figures things out – which makes puzzles perfect for him.  I saw this sitting in the corner and knew it would be right up his alley. He agreed (although in retrospect I think it’s too easy for him) and he held the puzzle in his lap all the way home where he quickly went to work.  At $3, it’s more than I would’ve “liked” to have spent, but still a deal nonetheless.

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All together, I walked out with a big shopping bag filled with over 40 clothing items, 3 pairs of shoes, a puzzle and a little toy, all for $25.08 (this is including tax)…knowing that that money was going to a good cause. (<—all profits from the Hickam Thrift Store go to helping community charities, local schools, military-affiliated non-profits)  I am ALL FOR getting a great deal “and” feeling good about it knowing others are benefiting as well 🙂

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Fluffy Bum

That’s what I call Monroe when I see her in her cloth diapers 🙂

Backtracking though, when Maya was 5 months old, after some much needed Cloth Diapering 101 info from a fellow military spouse in Florida, I took a leap of semi-knowledgeable faith and started cloth diapering. This time around, with Monroe, I knew from the get-go that I wanted to start her in cloth early on. However, I was weary of washing sticky black tar-ey poo out of cloth diapers (If you’ve ever changed a newborn’s 1st diapers…you know what I’m talking about!) so I intentionally  made the decision to start using cloth on her after the 1 month mark.

Monroe is now 8 weeks old.  Up until the 5 week mark, I used disposables exclusively. (Pampers, if you reeeeally wanted to know 😉 …..I would only buy them with coupons, and stocked them up throughout my pregnancy during sales, etc.)  Ever since her 5 week mark – for the past 3 weeks, she’s been in cloth! ….And I must say, I.Am.Loving.It!

Type of Cloth Diaper
Let’s get back to basics. What kind of diapering system am I using? I am using prefolds and covers. (with Maya I used BumGenius, Alva and Kawaii pocket diapers that required tedious stuffing of the inserts, and a longer drying time)  Prefolds are perhaps the type of diaper that most resemble diapers of long ago – you know, BEFORE disposables? (Did there ever exist such a time?! YES!)  These consist of a soft multi layered cotton cloth that you then fold up to fit inside a waterproof cover.  The cover has snaps and/or velcro that allow for adjusting the size to best fit baby. (I use Thirsties covers)  With this system, when you have a wet diaper, you only need to change the prefold (cloth part) – you can reuse the cover all day long as long as it doesn’t get soiled. If it gets slightly damp on the inside, simply give it a quick wipe, and you’re good to go! But I would hiiiighly recommend changing everything with a poppy diaper. I don’t mess with those… Here’s the covers I use:
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Now that you know the type of diaper I chose to use, I’ll move into how I prepped them, since you MUST prep the prefolds before use otherwise they won’t absorb adequately!

Prepping Cloth Diapers
Now, if you’re like me, the moment your cloth diaper goods arrive in the mail, you’ll want to start using them. Because, you know…a cloth diaper just sitting around waiting to be used isn’t doing anyone any good!  Sometimes I get so excited I tend to skip over a few details, BUT, you NEED to prep them. This is how my prefolds looked when I received them.  I purchased 2 brands: Osocozy unbleached cotton prefolds, and Diaper Rite organic cotton prefolds. 
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I made sure to carefully read the packaging care instructions on prepping the prefolds and also did some trusty Google-ing of my own to get the best comprehensive idea of how to prep these.  Good thing I did because I was able to learn a little trick that saved some time and water with my prepping.  Now, what kept coming up over and over in my prepping research was that in order for the prefolds to obtain optimal absorbency, they needed to be washed in VERY hot water.  Most people would just throw them in the washing machine, raise their water heater temp, and let the washer do its thing.  (Keep in mind it’s recommended to wash it this way 2-3 times (drying each time in between).  Well, to cut out 2 of those washing machine washes, I simply boiled my diapers on the stove in the biggest pot we had.

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I had to do this a few times to get through all the diapers, BUT I didn’t mind at all! I felt so accomplished because as I boiled each batch, I could see the water changing – all of the oils were getting released from the cloth.  Here’s the after shot of the water, so you know what I’m talking about:
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Next came throwing all these “stove prepped” diapers into the dryer – drying them fully, followed by another washing machine (HOT) wash and another dry. Make sure to empty out your dryer filter each time! You’ll be amazed at all the fuzz that comes off of these…  But, it yields fluffed up prefolds – as seen here:
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From the “prepping” process, these prefolds shrunk, quilted up nicely and grew in thickness about 2x’s! (I also gave my diaper covers a quick wash and line dried those to get them ready to use.)

Using Cloth Diapers
Satisfied that my “stash” was fully prepped, it was time to test it out on Monroe!
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I’m still learning about this whole process, but the way I use the prefold is to simply fold it into thirds, place it in the diaper cover, fold down the front of the prefold to make sure everything stays contained within the diaper cover, and snap (or velcro) it shut. So far, this is what works for me, and since Monroe’s not yet mobile, I don’t have to really worry about anything shifting or moving.  Within the next month of 2, I intend to start practicing other folds and I do have a couple “Snappies” waiting in the wings too (for securing these various folds that wrap the cloth entirely around baby’s bum)

Overall Review (so far…)
I must say, so far, I am LOVING cloth diapering Monroe with the prefold/cover system.  I tell Marv this all the time, but every time I do diaper laundry (usually every 2 days), I just think “ka-ching, ka-ching” (a money sound in case that wasn’t obvious…lol). Yes, it adds an extra load of laundry onto my ever growing pile of regular laundry, but I actually don’t mind doing laundry and LOVE saving money even more….  And with the price of disposables constantly on the rise (have you noticed how Pampers diapers boxes/bags are getting smaller and smaller yet the prices are going up?! Robbery I tell ya…..) I’m happy to have consistency in our budget.  My initial investment into my cloth diapering “stash” was about $200. This included:
– 24 size 1 prefolds,
-12 size 2 prefolds
– 5 size 1 Thirsties covers
– 4 size 2 Thirsties covers
– 1 Planet Wise large hanging wet bag
– 2 Planet Wise wet/dry medium sized wet bags
– 2 pack of Snappies
– 12 cloth wipes
– 2 spray bottles of cloth wipes solution
I anticipate this “stash” to last me until Monroe is basically out of diapers….maybe with a couple small purchases of extra prefolds, detergent, wipes spray etc. along the way.  But at a cost of roughly $60/month for disposable diapers, I should be breaking even by about the 3 month mark from using cloth, which makes me VERY excited! I’m all for saving the environment (landfills from poopy diapers) WHILE personally saving money! 😉  Marv even says this system so far is WAY easier than the pocket diapers we used on Maya and he has NO problems changing Monroe, although he does tend to lean towards using the velcro covers… 🙂  We’ve had no explosions or blow-outs since using these cloth diapers – everything stays nicely contained due to the elastic around the waist and legs which is GREAT.

All in all, I guess you could say I’m a cloth diaper cheerleader now.  I’m still learning as I go, but if you have ever thought about using cloth, have questions about it, or can even give me some advice, I’m here to help/answer/listen!

 

Honest after-baby insights – ENCORE!

Monroe is  just about five and a half weeks old now, so I thought it was time to add on to my previous blog/YouTube video and touch upon some honest insights that I’ve thought of since that last post.

Covered in this video will be things like – strangers wanting to touch baby, hair problems, sweat…again…, and life with multiple kids (combatting jealousy, etc) “newness” wearing off,  and not forgetting YOURSELF! But first off: daily dose of Monroe 🙂 I can’t believe just how BIG she’s getting!

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First off, let me expand on a concept that I briefly mention in this video, but talked more about in the last “After Baby Insights” video as seen HERE….about SWEAT! (specifically night-time sweat) Now, I’ve never actually “researched” this, but I would assume it’s due to hormonal (?) changes and our bodies trying to return to their factory settings? Who knows, but in any case, it happens. At just over 5 weeks out, I still wake up for Monroe’s early morning feed drenched! Like…we’re talking having to change my shirt amount of sweat. Gross I know. It’s more of the “cold sweat” sweat, so not “as” gross, but still.  Lol, anyways, if this happens to you, know that you’re not alone! If it doesn’t happen to you, then just know that I’m here looking on in envy 😉  But in all seriousness, every time I wake up to nurse Monroe (2-3x’s a night) I make sure to drink a glass of water for 2 reasons: 1) I’m nursing and need to stay hydrated to maintain my supply and 2) I figure if I’m sweating so much at night, I want to make sure I don’t sweat out my hydration that I’m putting in due to my nursing, lol.  Anyways, ENOUGH about sweating! On to the good stuff…here’s my “Honest after-baby insights, Encore edition” video 😛

Honest after-baby insights

Little Monroe is now just 1 day shy of making 3 weeks old. It’s amazing just how quickly she’s growing!  Since I’ve gone through this a couple times before, I figure it may be insightful to some to share some of the things I’ve picked up along the way – things people don’t necessarily tell you – after you have your baby.  Watch the video below for my “Honest after-baby insights.” 🙂


I forgot to mention in the video – another thing that “most” people don’t tell you is that when you have a breastfed baby, it’s not uncommon for them to go up to TEN days without pooping!! WHOA.  With Milo, I was so concerned that I kept calling his pediatrician. Well, after about 7 days….explosion.  Maya was the same way but I think she made it to 11 days?  So far Monroe’s stretch has been 5 days.  The pediatrician said that when babies are breastfed, their bodies absorb almost ALL nutrients, so there’s just not much poop leftover that needs to come out. If they’re having enough wet diapers, then they’re not concerned too much…as long as their poo is liquidy whenever it “does” come out. Sorry if this is TMI, but a mustard consistency is what I’m familiar with, lol.  I ALWAYS try to be prepared and pack an extra outfit in my diaper bag just in case though as the days between poopy diapers increases….you never know when that explosion day is going to come! 😉

Here’s your pic fix of Miss Monroe…such a sleeping angel!

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Must have newborn essentials!

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In the world of baby, it seems like every other company these days is trying to make a quick buck off of new parents by marketing EVERYTHING as a baby “must have” item.  With Milo, I fed into that to a certain extent because I just had no clue! I read baby books, signed up for registries and followed their “suggested” items lists (that were endless!), and tried to read Amazon reviews as best I could. DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY BABY ITEMS ARE ON AMAZON by the way?!  Eye opening.

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Well, 3rd time’s a charm right?  Being as this is our 3rd go round (refer to random pic above of all the kiddos), I feel that I’ve been able to pick up lots of 1st hand knowledge along the way. I’m still learning things as I go, finding new products here and there but feel that I’ve generally got a good grasp on what items worked for us and what other items just took up space and cost lots of money.

Hopefully this video can shed some light into what “I” personally have found to be newborn/baby essentials!  Amongst the world of baby gadgets and gizmos, these are all items that I definitely will keep purchasing with every subsequent baby or…..lets face it I will just SAVE all these items because it hurts to spend money on the same things time and time again when they’re used for such short periods of time…(and we want more kids 😉 )

* in the video I think I called the nursing pillow My “best” friend nursing pillow….that should be “My BREST friend nursing pillow”