Monday, October 25, 2010

30 Day Shred - Day 1 Complete!

So, on several recommendations, I am trying Jillian Michael's 30-Day Shred.  I usually can't stand video workouts, but staying home with a newborn forces me into these things.  And, walking around the neighborhood is getting really...really....REALLY boring.  In fact, I counted 10 houses for sale the last time I went for a walk.  That's how bored I was.

Anyway, the workout is only 20min long, and I bought some 5lb dumbbells to go along with it.  A year ago I probably could have completed the workout with 10 or even 15lb weights, but, 5lbs is tough for me these days. And, I even took a chance and went for 5lbs over 3lbs.

It consists of a short warm up, and then 3 circuits that have 3min strength, 2min cardio (we're talking jumping jacks and jump rope here) and 1min abs, and then a stretch session for cool down.  No rest between any of it (unless you cheat - which I had to in order to drink water, and also pick up a fussy baby.  Of course she sleeps 2hrs on mornings I don't try to get something done!).

The conclusion is I'm out of shape.  And, it's a pretty good workout for $8.  And, I did level 1.  There are 3 levels, and the rule of thumb is you do each for 10 days.  I'll check back in at day 11 and let you know what I think about Level 2.  My goal is to finish this before we go to NY for Thanksgiving.  I have enough days, so long as I don't cheat and skip out a day!

Friday, October 22, 2010

CD Review 1: Prefolds, Covers, and Snappi’s…Oh My!

When most people think of cloth diapers (those who aren’t familiar with them) probably think of safety pins and rubber pants.  Well, they have come a long way.

However, prefolds & covers are probably the most similar to the “old fashioned” cloth diaper.  The good thing is there is no more rubber or safety pins (unless you choose to use them).  The waterproof covers are now soft and come in a variety of super cute patterns & colors.

Prefolds are the diapers we have the most of.  Since Abby is still on her “poop after every feeding” schedule (where is my 1-poop-a-week breastfed baby??), they are the most economical option for us.  We have 27 of them.  24 are cotton, 3 are hemp. 

Our cotton prefolds are Punkinbutt DSQ (Diaper Service Quality) Chinese Prefolds.  We have 24 of these. 

What I Like:
1.       They are cheap.  24 gets us through about a day and a half of diapers right now.  They were only $12 for 6, so that’s $2 a diaper. 
2.       Some of them wash up super fluffy – each diaper seems to be an “individual” and I love when the super soft fluffy ones come up in rotation. 
3.       They are easy to Snappi together, and I can customize their fold to make better “poop pockets” if necessary.
4.       The covers that we use with them are super cute!

What I Dislike:
1.       They aren’t super-fast to put on.  Now, it doesn’t take forever, but, it’s not as fast as just snapping on a pocket or AIO diaper.  However, I don’t feel like I’ve “wasted” a diaper if she decides to poop immediately after putting on a fresh diaper. 
2.       Not all of the diapers are super fluffy.  Like I said, they seem to be “individuals” – some may have also been washed more than others, so I don’t like when one that’s not quite so soft comes up.  But, Abby doesn’t seem to mind either way, so I probably shouldn’t either.
3.       They are a two-step process, because you have to put a cover on them.  Ok, well you don’t have to, but, you will have a very wet baby and a wet mommy and a wet whatever you put the baby in if you don’t.  They are just cotton afterall. 
4.       When she has a wet diaper, that wetness is also against her skin on the inside.  No moisture wicking.
5.       They are sized – which, makes sense because you don’t want a ton of bulk on a little baby, but we will have to buy larger ones eventually.

Our hemp prefolds are from Babykicks.  We chose to throw three of these in our rotation.

                What I Like:
1.       They are more absorbent.  So, theoretically, we can leave them on longer because they will hold more pee.
2.       They are more moisture wicking.  You can feel when they’re wet, but, they’re not sopping wet in the same way the cotton prefolds are.
3.       They are bigger than the cotton prefolds.  They didn’t shrink upon washing.  So we will probably get to use these longer because it will take Abby longer to grow out of them.

What I Dislike:
1.       They are bigger.  Right now they are so big, they are too bulky on her.  But, this is a temporary problem at least.
2.       They are more expensive - $7/diaper.  I almost didn’t want to get any, but Steve thought we should at least try them all to see what we like.  But, I almost never use them, and Steve avoids them at all cost.  They are our “laundry day” diaper.  Not our best investment.  I would have preferred to use that $21 and get another pocket or AIO diaper instead.  But hey, we tried, and now we know.
3.       They do not Snappi together well.  The Snappi can’t “snag” the hemp very well.  I’m always worried it will fall apart inside the cover and we’ll have a blowout.  Maybe I’m doing it wrong, but, I dunno.  I think there is really only one way to Snappi a diaper!

Our diaper covers are made by Thirsties.  They are the Thirsties Duo Wrap, and we have 4 of these (Mango, Warm Stripes, Alice Brights, and Blackbird). 

                What I Like:
1.       They are cute! 
2.       They are really easy to put on.  And the Aplix (Velcro) holds nicely!
3.       They dry really fast.  So if my covers get dirty but I still have prefolds on the table, it doesn’t take long to hand wash one really quick and let it air dry out.
4.       They have double leg gussets.  This has saved us from many an infant poo blowout!
5.       The rise is adjustable via snaps.  Although, I dunno if it’s because Abby is long, or because the prefolds are a little bulky underneath, we’ve never actually felt the need to adjust the rise.  They stay unsnapped, and have since we bought them about a month ago.
6.       They are relatively inexpensive.  $13-14 each.  Paired with a prefold that’s only $15-16 a diaper.  Still cheaper than most pockets and AIOs.  

**EDIT** I was thinking about this - and, we only have 4 covers for 27 prefolds.  So, the cost is actually less, since we don't use them one for one (they dry out in between uses). So, that means we have 1 cover for every 6.75 diapers.  That brings the total cost to about $4.50 per diaper.  I was WAY it is definitely a cheap option!

What I Dislike:
1.       So far, nothing!  These are wonderful!  Well, ok – if there is one thing I dislike, it’s that they aren’t one-size.  We have “Size 1” which fits up to 18lbs, after that, we need to go up to “Size 2.”  So, if we continue to use prefolds (which, since they are cheap we probably will), we will need to invest in more covers.

So – there is my assessment of prefolds.  Our prefolds anyway.  There are a ton of other types of prefold diapers and other brands of diaper covers that we haven’t (and probably won’t ever) try out.  So, if any of you out there CD and have an opinion on something that you think is better (or worse!) feel free to comment and let me know!

Oh – by the way, this is a Snappi:

We have two.  They work similar to how those little metal things that come with Ace Bandages work.  They have little teeth that grasp the fabric, and they’re stretchy so they pull the sides & crotch of the diaper in tight!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Cloth Diapers - Our Stash & Why

We talked about the idea of using cloth diapers before Abby was even born  We even talked logistics of installing a diaper sprayer, and wondered what guests would think of it.  We got a little overwhelmed when we first started looking into the idea, as the information out there is overwhelming.  Aplix or Snaps? Pockets or AIOs? Prefolds, covers, snappi's.....WTF?  Too many choices and too much lingo in a world I was very unfamiliar with.

So, for the first month of Abigail's life, she was in what the "CD" world (CD = Cloth Diaper) calls "s'posies" (aka disposables).  We got a bunch of diapers as gifts, and I bought a few boxes before she was born.  Well, we had one box of Newborn (NB), and the rest size 1's.  Everyone said that they won't be in NBs long cuz they grow so fast.  She was in NBs for 3 weeks.  Meaning, once or twice a week we had to go out and buy diapers, even though I had about 5-6 packages of perfectly good size 1's laying around.

Do I dare mention, that we went through 15-20 diapers a day?  We're down to about 10-12 now, but that is still a lot.  Enough that a box of 76 size 1's would last us about 6 days.  That's not even a full week.  And, at $20/box, it was getting expensive (I'm not even including wipes in that cost).  We're living off of one income til February, so we need to cut corners.

We probably spent almost $100 on diapers & wipes in those 1st 3 weeks.  Not to mention, how annoying it is to constantly be running to the store to pick them up.  You have to plan in advance when you think you might run out.  Then, you also run the risk of having an overstock of a size you can't use.  Luckily, Abby only had 2-3 "blowouts" during the end of her NB stage.  We were lucky, and were at the end of a box anyway.  I can't imagine what we'd do if we just opened a box, and a few days later, had to switch sizes, leaving a ton of diapers we can't use behind.

Side Note:  I hate Pampers, and how their stupid mesh linings ALWAYS stuck to her bottom.  I felt like I was ripping a band aid off her bum every time I changed her.

So, we took the plunge.  Another new mom that was in our birthing class, and who I see weekly at Breastfeeding Support group informed me about a local Work-At-Home-Mom (WAHM) who sells cloth diapers.  Her name is Jen Starks, and she is the owner/operator of Ecological Babies.  I sent her an email, and the 3 of us went over to her house.  She introduced us to all the different kinds of cloth diapers, pros & cons of each, helped us figure out how many we'd need, and also told us about necessary accessories (wet bags, pail liners, diaper rash creams, etc) that we'd most likely need.  She spent 2 hours with us.  A week later, we placed an order!

Here is our stash:

21 prefolds (though, we need more since our daughter is a $hit-Machine as Steve likes to say)
4 Thirsties Duo Wraps (covers the prefolds - we're waiting for one to become available in stock)
2 Thirsties Duo Diapers (waiting on one of these still also)
1 BumGenius 4.0 
1 Fuzzi Bunz
1 Grovia All-In-One
1 Happy Heiny's (still waiting here also)

I'll go over the differences between each and which we like best and why in future blog posts.

Monday, October 11, 2010

First Smiles

So, Abby has learned to smile.  She'll even smile back sometimes.  She'll also smile at really inappropriate times. Like during diaper changes at 3am.  Yeah kid, you're cute, but I still plan on trying my hardest to ignore your cute little noises while I go back to sleep.  Otherwise, this mom will have negative energy for when your "witching hour" (which is really several hours, anytime between 4pm and 10pm) strikes.

This is what her idea of fun at 3am looks like:

You can see more photos of her smiling (and enjoying her swing) on our Shutterfly site.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Blogging Again...maybe...

Well, here I am. Again. Trying this whole blog thing.
We have a photo site set up for Abby on Shutterfly, but, it doesn’t have the capability to allow much for verbal blogging. So back to WordPress it is.
Now that I have a little better grip on “motherhood” I should have time to write. Some time anyway. I already have a list of topics I’d like to address. Luckily, I can blog from my iPhone. The only downfall is that it’s a PITA to try and type anything of great length on there. Also, I do not think I can add links to my text. Perhaps it will be good for drafts at least.
Some of the topics that you’ll get to read about:

  • Breastfeeding
  • Babywearing
  • Cloth Diapers
  • DIY Baby Projects (hairbows, cloth wipes, tutus, etc)
  • Miscellaneous Family Stuff
Anyway – welcome everyone! Enjoy (hopefully)!