Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The return of the iced latte

So you may remember that I posted here about my newfound love of the homemade iced latte. Well. Sadly, our relationship turned out to be short-lived because the first week that I started enjoying one on my way to work every day, my child quit napping for his sitter. And I was all, "what the junk is going on here?" Until I realized I was pumping at work about an hour after finishing my little caffeinated pick-me-up and giving that milk to the sitter for the next day. To which I say, "duh, you moron." I did not consume a drop, not one single drop of caffeine while I was pregnant or while nursing, until my sleep deprivation drove me to the morning latte. Now, had I been consuming a moderate amount of caffeine all along, Sweets would have adjusted to it and it wouldn't have been a problem (or so I read). But the sudden addition of it to my daily diet wreaked havoc on his poor little system :( So after realizing that I was hyper-stimulating my kid, I quit my new addiction. Oddly enough, it was at this time that he started sleeping through the night. Thanks for throwing me a bone there, little buddy.

I've had several work functions to attend as we gear up to start the new school year on Friday and man has it been tough to get us up and out the door so early. And then, during one particularly bleary-eyed drive to school, it dawned on me. Sweetie Pea is weaned (more on that in a different post). The iced latte can be my morning BFF again! I happened to read a post about perfect iced coffee on an amazing food blog, and have just started making it this way, and let me tell you, it is so good I could cry. (You really should read that post I linked to because even if iced coffee isn't your thing, Ree is hysterical, and before you're done reading, I guarantee you'll be craving a frosty glass of java.) Anyway, here are the new keys to my success:
No more instant espresso. I've graduated to the real thing. Makes a huge difference in flavor, especially in combination with the cold brew method. Just smelling it wakes me up. Hmm, now I want a glass. Not good, considering it's 10:30 at night.
My coffee flavor of choice has long been caramel. The flavored creamer I was using was ok, but the overall effect it gave my latte was of fake milk with a splash of coffee. The actual coffee house syrup makes a world of difference. It is so nutty and deliciously buttery....mmmm.....
And THIS....this is the crowning touch. A little backstory on this contraption. I have a pretty serious obsession with crushed ice. I can't explain it. But I seriously LOVE it and sadly, we do not have an ice machine on the door of our fridge. When I was in the hospital having Sweets, they had the world's best crushed ice. Seriously, after actually having a baby the best part about having a baby was the crushed ice ;-) I drank so much delicious crushed ice water at that hospital. And I talked about their ice forever. Heck, I still talk about it. So last Christmas, this heavy box arrives on my doorstep. It's a present from my BFF and cousin, Sweets' Auntie M. And do you know what it was? A vintage ice crusher. If there's anything I love as much as crushed ice (besides my family and friends, of course), it's vintage stuff. It came with a note that said M wanted me to be able to enjoy my beloved crushed ice without having to have another baby to do so. This thing is a beast of a tool - its metal jaws make short work of turning cubes into tiny cold pieces of deliciousness that make my morning latte as perfect as any coffee house creation.

All this discussion of iced coffee has me jonesing for a glass pretty badly, but since that's not an option til morning, I'm off to find something to satisfy the craving....ice cream sammie (or two), perhaps?

Saturday, August 27, 2011

You know what we hate? (Part Two)

What's a Part One without a Part Two? Last week on a particularly frustrating day, I posted about all the stupid things men say that make us ladies crazy. It feels like a good time to follow that up with a short list of the stupid things they do, yes? So men, either listen up or head on out, if you prefer not to get cyber-slapped upside the head (but I suggest reading on, you might learn something ;).

We hate it when you DO any of the following:

  • Nap. Oh. My. Gawd. Can we ever really fully express how the sight of you sprawled on the couch drooling drives us to levels of insanity previously unknown to us? Man naps make our skin crawl. We would rather you take it in the bedroom so we don't have to stew about how you're the one who slept in this morning while we got up with the baby and yet here you are, two hours later, dead to the world and not even sorry about it. Call us irrational, call us illogical, call us crazy if you want to, just wake up. Now! Have you ever noticed who doesn't take naps? Moms. Yeah that's because we are trying desperately to use every moment of every day to our best advantage and if we stop to nap we are forgoing a sacred chunk of time in which laundry could get folded, veggies could get chopped, bills could get paid, and calls could get returned. Now I know what you're thinking, men. You're thinking "well, it's your own fault if you don't get a nap. You could take one if you wanted to." Au contraire, my friends, au contraire. Because you see, when (or if) you say to us "honey, why don't you go lay down?" it's completely meaningless unless followed by "I'll put the laundry in the dryer/call the insurance company back/pick up the playroom/brush the dog." An empty, half-hearted suggestion, said just because you think it's what we want to hear, is unfortunately useless because when (and if) we actually do try to lay down and rest as a result of it, all that's running through our mind is the endless list of things waiting for us to do when we get up. And who can sleep through that? Oh, that's right. You can.
  • Use the world as your hamper. Most of us women go to a decent amount of effort, in decorating our homes, to ensure that the living room/mud room/master bedroom doesn't resemble the inside of a laundry basket. So why then, are we constantly finding socks, belts, ties and button-down shirts scattered in all manner of disarray on our floors, over the backs of chairs, and next to the actual hamper? Please help us to understand this. Have we taken a decorative wrong-turn somewhere? Does something about the color we selected for the living room walls scream "drop your socks here!?" Now we know you may find the sight of our clothes scattered on the floor rather scintillating, but let us assure you, the feeling is not mutual. You know what's far more enticing for us? Clothes in the hamper where they belong. Sad but true.
  • Yell "honey, where's my keys/cell phone/wallet/that little piece of paper I put on the counter yesterday?" on a daily basis. We are well aware that we're moms, however we're not your moms. We are keeping a daily running list of things to accomplish that rivals Santa's list of nice kids, and the whereabouts of your crap is not really on our radar. Sure, every once in awhile we all misplace things, and that's fine, but when you make a daily habit of interrogating us over these trivial issues while we're simultaneously trying to feed the baby, feed the dog, make something resembling a grocery list and get ourselves out the door to work we get a little testy. So just remember where you put your stuff. Seriously.
  • Golf. Hunt. Play Fantasy Football. Meet Bob for a beer after work. Most of you men are going to read this and think "they don't want us to have any fun. It's not fair." Well, that's simply untrue. It's not that we don't want you to have any fun, truly. It's that we're jealous. Like crazy, green-eyed, been-stuck-in-the-house-with-the-kids-all-day jealous of how easy it is for you to walk out that door and get your Me Time. You don't ever have to worry about working around nap time, or missing a nursing session, or who's going to put the baby to bed. 'Cause your wife will take care of it. All of it. She is an amazing creature, your wife. And do you know what she would give her right arm for (besides Patrick Dempsey bearing a glass of Riesling)? A little bit of time for herself. That's why we get cranky when you call us on the way home and say you're meeting Bob for a drink, or why we're less than thrilled when you decide to join a golf league or spend your Saturdays in some freezing cold tree stand. We give our all to our families every single day and sometimes we get burned out. So know that we do want you to have your fun, but never, ever underestimate the gift you're giving us when you take over bath duty, or send us shopping with our moms, or take the baby with you when you make a parts run. What is it they say? If mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy? Largely true, boys, largely true. Now, where do we stand on Patrick Dempsey and that Riesling?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

It's raining dipes!

Sooooo my good friend DMC (kinda like Run DMC, she's that fly ;), upon reading my post about our transition to cloth diapers, promptly left me a Facebook comment saying that she had 24 brand new Happy Heinys pocket diapers that we could have. I'm sorry, what? It's not Christmas. It's not my birthday. You just want to give us an entire stash of brand new diapers? I tried to insist on paying her something for this pile of fluffy wonderfulness, but she wouldn't hear of it. And so, yesterday, it rained diapers on my living room floor as I unpacked 24 pocket diapers and 48 inserts!


THANK YOU DMC!!!

After we've had a chance to give these a test drive I'll be posting a review on them, so stay tuned :)

Monday, August 22, 2011

I have a confession to make.

Hi, my name is Stacy, and I love Wal-Mart. I know. I know. It feels so wrong. And yet every time I breeze through the sliding doors and into that shiny, fluorescent, mass-retail wonderland I get a little bit giddy. It all started in college, you see. I grew up in a suburb where there was no Wal-Mart (can you imagine such a place? Well, neither could Wal-Mart, 'cause they've gone and built two within a 10 mile radius of my hometown). When I went away for my freshman year (at a totally awesome liberal arts school that nothing will ever compare to) in a small rural town, pretty much the only thing we had was Wal-Mart. (And bars.) Going there was a totally viable and acceptable suggestion of something to do. You could IM your friends, who were probably sitting in the dorm room next door:
"hey, what r u doing right now?"
"nothing"
"want 2 go 2 wal-mart?"

And thus my love affair with this evil giant began. I totally understand the argument for supporting small/locally-owned businesses, and I try to do so whenever I can, honestly. Heck, my husband works for a small, locally-owned business and where would we be without his wonderful boss and the company he has built? But, I also enjoy saving money. Yes, I feel a (somewhat large) pang of guilt when I stop to consider the fact that I'm possibly saving money at the expense of someone who is working long hours for unfair wages somewhere in Asia (and taking jobs out of the US while they're at it). But take, for example, Sweets' new convertible carseat. I spent many, many hours researching and price-shopping for the model I decided on. I had a giftcard to one retailer that I intended to use towards the carseat, until I checked wallyworld.com and found that, even with the giftcard, I'd be paying $50 more to buy it from the other store. $50! That's not small change, people. Throw in the free shipping from Wal-Mart and you just can't beat the savings, unfortunately.

As if the low prices aren't enough to suck me in, there's also the fact that Wal-Mart has every.thing. It's one-stop shopping and that suits my lifestyle at this moment in time. If I need laundry detergent, a lemon, a plunger, mineral spirits, a paintbrush, sippy cups and a shower curtain liner, I can get it all and be out the door in 20 minutes or less (depending on the cashier ;). Today I just needed laundry detergent, but Sweets and I took a quick spin through the baby section and couldn't resist a couple of bargain buys:

Um, hello tiny cowboy boots. $3 on the clearance rack!

Come fall, Sweetie Pea is going to be the cutest little bear around, no?

But I want you to rest assured that no matter what your opinion of Wal-Mart is, this will never, ever, ever be me:

Saturday, August 20, 2011

You know what we hate? (Part One)

If you're a man, you and your Y chromosomes may want to stop reading this post now. 'Cause this would be the post where I complain about all the stupid man things you (mankind, collectively) do that drive us (womankind, collectively) up a wall. So let's get started, shall we? Disclaimer: if you're a man, and you didn't head on over to espn.com right now, consider yourself properly warned. Disclaimer to the disclaimer: Dad, if you're reading this, none of these things apply to you, because all men should be like you :-)

We hate it when you SAY:

  • "But honey, I'm so tired." Here's a reality check for you: everyone is tired. Seriously, everyone I know. We are a universe of tired people. Let's face it, life is hard. Lots to do. Not enough time to do it. But are you expending energy making milk by just sitting there? Nope. And did you get up with the baby during the night and then work a full day at your job, and then come home and work your second full-time job caring for that baby, keeping some semblance of order in your kingdom, manage to get a nutrious meal on the table, a few loads of laundry done, and pack everyone up for the next day? Probably not (not in my house anyway). Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying you don't have every right to be tired like the rest of the universe. What I am saying is quit telling us how tired you are. It's simply a given. And definitely quit trying to use it as a reason not to do something (i.e "I'm too tired to give the baby a bath." C'mon, you can hear how dumb that sounds.) Try this simple experiment: next time you feel the need to tell us how tired you are, suck it up and instead say "Honey, how can I help?" I guarantee stellar results.  
  • "You have to tell me what you want me to do. I'm not a mind reader." To me, this is the ultimate cop out. Of anything. Let's try a little quiz. There's only one question, ready, here it is: you walk into the kitchen with an empty glass and go to put it into the dishwasher, but you see the dishwasher is totally full. You should:
  1. Put the glass on the counter, along with all subsequent dirty dishes.
  2. Throw the glass away. Buy new ones.
  3. Run the dishwasher.
          Most of you are pretty smart, men. You know (deep in your heart of hearts) that the correct response is #3. You don't need us to tell you to drop a Cascade packet into the detergent dispenser and press start. And here's a revelation - while you're away at work during the day, there isn't an army of housekeeping gnomes that show up and tell us how to keep a neat and orderly house. Through the magic of sight, we look around, see what needs to be done, and do it. It's really that simple. We're not asking you to read our minds. We're asking you to move out of La-La Land and join us in Realityville.
  •  "I really just need to relax." Men, do us a favor, and look at us, no, really look at us for a moment. We have spent our entire day saying things like "no, no, we don't lick the carpet," wiping poopy heinies and snotty noses, going without (without a shower, without lunch, without adult contact) and we probably have yogurt on our shirt from the circus that was feeding our child breakfast. We are rocking the same yoga pants and tired old ponytail we wore yesterday. We love it, please don't misunderstand us. Our kids make our world go round, but look at us and just try and tell us we couldn't use some relaxation. We know you could too, but we don't need the daily reminder. You know what would blow our mind? Walk in the door after work, take the sweet-potato-covered spoon out of our hand, sit at the table with the baby and say "Honey, you go take a bath, I've got this." I mean, if you want to throw some flowers and take-out in there too we're not going to argue, but really, it's more about recognizing how hard we work every now and then. 'Cause we work harder than you will ever know. Women are amazing.
Rant over.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Silly Songs with Mommy

Any Veggie Tales fans out there? Silly Songs with Larry? No...? Ok then. Before having a baby you would not have caught me dead singing. I'm far too self-conscious about my voice. But then I had a baby and he cried sometimes and I quickly realized that singing soothed him and soothed him fast. SO, bring on the tunes! I sing to Sweets alot, and most of my little ditties are either something I made up or a take on a familiar song that I've revamped. My own creations would make no sense to you though, so here are some of our "pop" favorites:

"If You Like it Then You Shoulda Put a Bib on It"
(to the tune of Beyonce's "Single Ladies/Put a Ring on It")

"Munchkin Man"
(to the tune of the Village People's "Macho Man")

"Your Bum"
(to the tune of Fergie's "My Humps" - I know! I'm not neccessarily proud of this one, and it always makes me think of Ross and Rachel on Friends, singing "Baby Got Back" to their baby girl)

"Sweetie and the Jets"
(to the tune of Elton John's "Bennie and the Jets")

"Stinky Bottom Boy"
(to the tune of Queen's "Fat Bottomed Girls." Please don't think I'm a bad parent.)

"Supercute"
(to the tune of Rick James' "Superfreak")

And while we're at it, let's talk about the nicknames Sweets' has accumulated in his first year of life. Currently, he goes by:

Sweetie Pea (obviously)
Sweets
Sweetie Peetie Pumpkin Pie
Bayboo
Baybooski (Polish for Bayboo ;)
Bayboosini (Italian for Bayboo ;)
Baybooska (Russian for Bayboo ;)
Sugar Bun
Blueberry Bottom Boy
Stinky Bottom Boy
Bean
Beaner
Beanhead
Little Bean
Sugar Bean
Buddy Bean
Butter Bean
Smoochie Poo
Smoochies
Peanut
Peanut Pie
Peanut Butter
Peanut Butter Bean Pie (just kidding. 'Cause that would be out of control. 'Cause the sheer volume of nicknames listed above is totally normal. Right.)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Question

Is there anything cuter than a cloth-diapered baby in a pair of varsity blue Babylegs?


I think not.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Double Recipe Tuesday!

That's right friends, I have TWO recipes for you today. That's in celebration of the fact that I've recently received some very good feedback from a few different sources on my recipe posts. Thanks, peeps :) I'm so glad you're trying them and liking them, too!

First up: some muffin goodness. Sweets LOVES muffins. When he spots them cooling on the counter he's all :::frantic pointing::: "Ah! Ah! Gleeshlot!" :::more frantic pointing::: "Ok, honey you can have one later. They're too hot now." "Ha?" :::pointpointpoint::: He's partial to banana, so when I found this recipe for blueberry banana muffins, I knew it would be a winner. And it was!


Blueberry Banana Muffins
From www.onceamonthmom.com

2 ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup plain yogurt 
(I happened to have vanilla on hand, so that's what I used)
1/2 cup applesauce
1 egg
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup flour (I used whole wheat)
1 cup oatmeal (quick cooking or rolled, whatever you have)
1 cup blueberries

Mash bananas. Add yogurt, applesauce, and egg. Mix in baking soda, baking powder, sugar, salt, flour, and oatmeal. Gently fold in blueberries. Spoon into greased or paper-lined muffin tins and bake at 375 F for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Makes 12 - 15 muffins. What I really loved about these is that I had every last ingredient already in my kitchen and whipped up a quick batch while Sweets was taking his morning nap. Needless to say, there was lots of pointing when he woke up.

Ok, moving on to recipe #2. This recipe is also from Once a Month Mom, a new favorite website of mine. The creator of the site, Pam, is a proponent of cooking ONE TIME per month and strategically freezing the meals for later consumption. I haven't been able to make this strategy work for me yet, but I have been enjoying her monthly menus that utilize seasonal produce and aren't too fussy or complicated. This one is so healthy and so delicious, you won't even mind that it's all vegetables.

Roasted Vegetable Quinoa
From www.onceamonthmom.com

If you've never heard of quinoa (KEEN-WAH) before, I'd be thrilled if this recipe was your introduction to this super grain. Quinoa is similar to couscous, crazy high in protein, and as nutritionally complete as breastmilk!

2 cups sliced zucchini
2 cups sliced bell peppers (choose your color)
2 cups sliced portabella mushrooms
1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes
1 red onion, cut into small sections
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon house seasoning
*House seasoning = 4 parts kosher salt, 1 part black pepper and 1 part garlic powder
3 cups cooked quinoa
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning

Now, if you're lucky enough to live in a part of the country where you can shop at Wegmans, you can find awesome boxed mixes that include quinoa and an assortment of other grains. 


If not, I recommend moving to a location where you can shop at 
Wegmans ;-)

Coat diced veggies in olive oil, vinegar and spices. Roast on baking sheet at 400 for 20 minutes, flipping once halfway through. Meanwhile, cook quinoa. Combine vegetables with quinoa. Top with a sprinkle of feta cheese if desired. That's it! Easy! And the end result is mouthwatering:


I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as we do!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Walking and Squashes

Two totally unrelated things, I know. But if you combine them you get walking squashes, which appear in Sweets' beloved Veggie Tales. Anyway, that's not actually the point of this post  ;-)

For his birthday, Sweetie Pea got the Stride-to-Ride Dino by Fisher Price, and he's been tentatively checking it out ever since. Well, yesterday he got the hang of it in a BIG way and today? Today he's a pro. Check out this big walking man:

video

He's been pushing the dino around for like hours on end and he gets very mad when you try and interest him in something else. As in, go totally limp and shriek mad. Ok, ok, here's your dino back. Go to town. Independent walking is just around the corner, I think!

On another note, after a day of much-needed rain, our garden went bizerk.

And so it begins.

Now, I love zucchini, but after awhile I do struggle to figure out how to use it all up. You can only make so many loaves of zucchini bread. So this year I thought I'd try pickling it. If there's anything I love more than zucchini, it's pickles, so I have high hopes for this little experiment. But I'm completely open to other ideas - do you have any? What are your favorite things to make with zucchini? I'd like to try zucchini parm but I am against cooking anything parm at this stage of my life. No way would Sweets entertain himself through all that slicing, flour-dredging, egg-dipping, breadcrumb-coating, frying and baking. So if you have a secret (or not so secret) family (or internet) recipe that calls for zucchini, please share!  

Friday, August 5, 2011

And just like that...

...we're a cloth diaper family! Allow me to preface this post by saying that if you had asked me when I was pregnant, or at any point in Sweets' first oh, 6 months of life what I thought of cloth diapers I would have told you that people who use them must be a little crazy with a lot of time on their hands. Well, shame on me for thinking that without doing my research. Somewhere around the time that Sweetie Pea turned 6 months old, I started getting tired of shelling out for disposables every month. It is literally like throwing money away. I was annoyed. But every time I tried to consider cloth, I would fire up my computer to do some research, get completely overwhelmed in 4 minutes or less and that would be the end of it. With the summer at our house comes a tight budget, since I'm off from work, and then I really started to get annoyed at the monthly $35 drain from my bank account. So for a week straight, I devoted every nap time and every evening after Sweets was in bed to cloth diaper research. All those hours helped me to see that it was totally possible for me to put my kid in cloth without spending a fortune, and that I'll be saving BIG on the next kid because I can reuse everything. Score.

Now the thing about cloth diapers is that there are now so many styles and brands that it is easy inevitable to get overwhelmed. You want basic cotton diapers with a cover? Ok, would you like flat, prefold, contour or fitted? Indian, Chinese or organic? Wool or PUL covers? Snaps or velcro? Or maybe you'd like something a little less bulky and a little more user-friendly. Sure. You have your choice of pocket diapers, all-in-one diapers, hybrid diapers, all-in-two diapers, and an array of doublers, soakers, liners and inserts. It is seriously a universe of cloth diapers, people. Not just a world. In fact, if I was going to open up a cloth diaper store, I'd call it Cloth Diaper Universe ('cause that's not intimidating at all, right?).

So here's our journey so far, in case anyone is considering cloth diapering their future or current children. I've only been at it for maybe a month or so, but I LOVE it. And I was lucky because I braced myself for Hubs to think I was crazy when I wanted to switch, but he was totally supportive. Come to think of it though, that's probably because he hasn't yet dealt with a poopy cloth diaper. He may say "alright, where's the Pampers?" once he faces one of those.

Initially, I thought I wanted to simply do cotton prefolds and covers. Basic. Inexpensive. Adorable prints and patterns on the covers. So that's what I ordered to try out first: six Bummis organic cotton prefolds and two covers, 1 Thirsties Duo-Wrap and 1 Blueberry Coverall.    

Here's Sweets in his Thirsties Duo-Wrap cover over a prefold.

Hmm. While they're certainly soft and cute, prefolds and covers have a learning curve to them and perhaps weren't my best introduction to the universe of cloth. They're also very bulky (I believe the CD terminology is "fluffy") - like, so fluffy many of his shorts wouldn't fit. So back to Google I went and I discovered contour diapers - like a prefold, but contoured to baby's shape and much less bulky. So I ordered a Kissaluvs hybrid contour diaper to give it a whirl:

The contour diaper. I actually really like this one. It's super soft and absorbant, and much trimmer.

Modeling his contour diaper with a Blueberry coverall. Are those owls not so stinkin' cute?

Things I really like about the prefold/contour diapers with covers: they are very absorbant - we've never had a leak or a blow-out. The double gussets on the legs of both covers contain everything. Easy to launder, soft against baby's skin. I have both a snap cover and a velcro cover and I much prefer the snaps.

Things I'm not really into about this system: the bulk. The learning curve involved in getting a good fit. Cotton holds moisture, so it stays next to Sweets' skin. I made a bunch of fleece liners to wick the moisture away and they work wonderfully. 

After trying these out for a week or so I knew I didn't want them to be my full-time choice. So back to the drawing board. I was interested in diapers that use inserts - they looked really trim and easy to wash and dry. And THEN I discovered gdiapers. O.M.G. They are so cute and they have a G printed on the butt, which happens to be our initial, so it's like a monogram. A monogrammed diaper? I could die from the adorableness. This system consists of a soft "gpant" cover, a plastic snap-in liner and a hemp/cotton insert. 

I could squish him he is so cute in these dipes.

They're adorable, but they're not perfect by any means. The system is among the priciest, which doesn't appeal to me for full-time use, and though they contain messes very well, the plastic liner does leave red marks on his legs. The gdiapers are soft and trim though, so I'll forgive them some of their flaws.

I will say that finding the right cloth diapers for your child is largely trial and error. So for the sake of "trial" I ordered a few Flip diapers because I had heard great things about them. And? I heart them. Affordably priced, nice selection of colors, super soft and absorbant inserts that wash and dry beautifully. 

Here's Sweets "helping" me put his laundry away in a Flip diaper. 

The Flips are my favorite so far. They're made by the makers of BumGenius (possibly the leader in cloth diapers) and they are very user-friendly. A nice soft cover over a cotton/microfiber insert. When the insert gets soiled, you swap it out for a fresh one and reuse the cover, as long as it's clean. These now make up the majority of our stash, supplemented by the gdiapers and the prefolds with covers. 

We are still using disposables at night, because we have a huge box of them to use up, and because I was a little afraid of cloth for nighttime diapering. Could they really hold up for 10 hours? Well, I am happy to report the answer is yes! After more deliberation, I decided a pocket diaper would be our best bet for nighttime. The new Charlie Banana diapers have gotten terrific reviews, so I ordered one up for a test run. Loooooooove Charlie Banana! They come with two microfiber inserts and are lined with incredibly soft microfleece. We put it to the overnight test this week and it passed with flying colors.

And it doesn't hurt that my kid looks ridiculously cute in them either ;-)

I'd be lying if I said that figuring out what works for us and building up a cloth diaper stash was easy. It wasn't. And in the beginning it added up to a TON of extra laundry because I didn't have much to work with, so I was constantly washing them. But now we've gotten into a groove, and I feel great about it. As happy as I was with Amazon Mom, they won't be getting my $35 diaper donation every month anymore! 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Birthday Party for a Big Boy

Well, Sweets' first birthday party has come and gone, and I have to say, I'm a little relieved. It was an emotional day, and a crazy one, leading up to the party. But all in all, we had a fabulous time celebrating with our family and friends. I'll spare you my sob story about how I can't believe he's already one and just give you the good stuff!

Now if you've been reading my blog for any length of time, you know that sleep is not really Sweets' thing. But he napped so well on his birthday (which was really like a gift for mommy ;) that he was late to his own party! BUT, I can't complain, because he was in a great mood!

Our little family :)

The birthday boy enjoying his dinner.

video
Singing happy birthday and getting his first chance at that cake!

Being a ham for the crowd.

It was like he couldn't believe his good luck that we were letting him eat that whole cupcake!

Cake ended up in his hair, in his ears, all over his clothes and highchair...it was a sticky mess. But you only turn one once!

Sharing his sticky, mushy cake with mommy.

Working on his giant pile of presents. Notice how he's half naked? Yeah, his shirt didn't survive cake-a-pa-looza.

He got so many wonderful gifts!

Do you think I got any photos of all my hard work on the food, decorations or cake? Nope. I was running around like a crazy lady. All I managed to get was this shot of the favors - s'mores on a stick. They were yummy!

Yeaaaaaaaah, we're going to need a bigger house.

THANK YOU so much to everyone who came and celebrated with us! It meant so much to us to have you there. A very special thanks to my mom, who took the entire day off of work to help me with all the last minute prep (and waited around at the house for the sleepy guest of honor to wake up!), Hubs' grandma for making her famous baked beans (there were very few survivors), and my in-laws for helping with the food and showing up like a band of party-planning angels just when I needed them! I hope you enjoyed your first birthday as much as we did, Handsome Boy!  

Monday, August 1, 2011