Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Adventures in Products: Cloth Diapers

Before Rebekah was born, Daniel and I decided that we wanted to give cloth diapers a try. There are a wide range of reasons why a family may choose to use cloth diapers. Environmental reasons. Monetary reasons. Health reasons. We really did not have any one specific reason for wanting to do cloth diapers. I like the idea of less waste ending up in a landfill. Daniel likes that we know what is against Rebekah's bottom (he has pretty sensitive skin and is easily irritated by fragrances and chemicals and worried that she may be the same). And, let's be honest, we both like saving money!

When we are going to make an investment into something, Daniel is an amazing researcher. He likes to make sure we are getting the best quality at the best price. So he did A LOT of research on cloth diapers. And he found a brand of cloth diapers that we thought would work well for us. Grovia Hybrid Diapers.

Before I go any further, Grovia does not know who I am. This is not a sponsored post. I just wanted to share with you what is working for us. Grovia does have a referral reward program, so if you would like to try them, let me know! Ok, Go!

Info on the diaper:
The Grovia Hybrid Diaper is a 2 part diaper system. The outer shell and the inner pad. One of the things that we really like about the Grovia Hybrid is that when the diaper is wet, you can just change the pad by snapping it out and snapping in a new dry pad, reusing the shell and cutting down on the amount of laundry. Another reason why we picked the Grovia Hybrid is that the shell is also compatible with a disposable pad for when you are on the go and may not want to carry a soggy, wet cloth diaper around in your diaper bag.

Our diapering system:
We are currently full time cloth diapering Rebekah and have 14 shells and 26 pads. (Sometimes the start up cost of cloth diapers discourages peopleWe were VERY blessed to receive all of the shells and pad that we have a gifts from friends and family for either baby showers or Christmas gifts!) We also purchased a wipe warmer with 32 reusable wipes. I plan on doing a post just about the wipes, soon. I do a load of diaper laundry every other day. I wash all of the wipes, pads and shells together, and the dry only the pads and wipes. The shells air dry in less time than the pads dry in the dryer! I'm also planning on doing a post about my washing routine. So more to come about our cloth diaper adventure!!

Did you use cloth diapers? Do you have any tips for me as we learn more about the world of cloth?

Monday, February 16, 2015

Adventures in Reading: I Choose You Today

Valentine's Day was this past weekend.
Did you notice all of the extra 'love' segments, posts, videos, pictures, commercials that have been everywhere? 
I did.
It seems more and more over the top every year.
I saw a commercial encouraging men to show their love for their lady by buying her a 4 foot tall teddy bear. 
Oh, it was ONLY $99! 
(eye roll!) 
All I could think of was, "Where is the heck would someone keep such a huge teddy bear?"
I know, I'm to practical sometimes. 

Setting all of the 'commercialized' Valentine's Day mumbo-jumbo aside...I'm reading a book that I think I'm going to read every February from now on. It's about love.  
It's called I Choose You Today by Deb DeAromond.

We all make thousands of choices everyday. Simple choices like what to wear or what to eat. Big choices like where to go to college or what kind of car to buy. Meaningful choices like how to respond to a negative comment or when is the right time to speak and when you should listen. In Deb DeAromond's book I Choose You Today, she describes 31 Biblical choices that the reader can make in their marriage to make love last.

I have been using this book as a daily devotional - each day reading a chapter and trying to live that concept out in my marriage. Each chapter is about 5 pages long and includes an explanation of the choice for the day, a short example of how that choice can play out, Biblical references to support the choice, talking questions and a prayer. I really like the straight forward format of this book. It is a book that can be read alone, as a couple, or even in a small group setting. DeAromond writes speaking to married people, but I think this would be a great book for an engaged couple to read together, or even a single person with the desire to prepare their heart for marriage. 

Choosing to love, support, honor and trust my husband every day is one thing. Choosing to tell him that, and showing him, is the next step that DeAromond challenges readers to do. Some of the choices have been challenging for me - like chapter 10 - "I choose to be adaptable". The first line of that chapter made me laugh out loud...
"The only person who really likes change is a wet baby."
I am notoriously un-adaptable. I don't like change. I especially don't like last minute changes. I get very grouchy. And on the day that I read this chapter, wouldn't you know, God had it all planned out for me to practice showing my love by being adaptable! 

Weather you have been married 5 months, 5 years, or 50 years, I think that the practical ways to make love last described in this book are wonderful reminders for everyone. 
To learn more about this book, click the button below. 
I Choose You Challenge

I did receive this book free from Litfuse Publishing, however the above is my own true opinion. 

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Adventures in Rebekah: 6 Months Old

Dear Rebekah,

6 months. 1/2 of a year! What a big girl you are getting to be!

You are such a sweet girl, Rebekah. I just love spending each day with you! We spend most of our days playing, reading books, rolling around on the floor, jumping in your jumper and making fun noises. 

Here is your newest noise - it sounds like you are trying to beat box!

You have figured out how to get where you want to go by rolling and skooching around - but no crawling yet. You love to look at books - your favorite books are Bear Snores On  and That's Not My Lamb. You do such a good job of sitting still and listening when momma reads to you. You like to look at the pictures and help mommy turn the pages. You LOVE water and get so excited when mommy or daddy turns on the shower or faucet. You giggle and wiggle so much, like you are going to burst with excitement. It's adorable! Mommy can hardly wait for summer time so we can go swimming at our local pool! 
Speaking of adorable - you looked adorable for your first Valentine's Day!

And everyone always thinks you are adorable at church - Mommy loves dressing you up for church. 

And you look adorable in your comfy clothes too
You hold on to the rails of your changing table when I'm changing you - it's pretty cute! 
We are still using (and loving) cloth diapers. We have a wipe warmer with little wash cloths in it - but sometimes mommy forgets to make more wipes when we are out. Your face is so funny when I have to use a cold disposable wipe on your bottom! I can tell you are wondering "what is going on?! why is that wipe so cold?!". Sometimes I wonder what you are thinking, and sometimes I'm pretty sure I know exactly what is going on in that sweet little head!

This month you started sleeping in your own room, in your big girl crib. 
It has been an adjustment for you and for mommy and daddy. 
And there have been lots of tears - from you and from mommy. 
It is very hard for mommy to let you cry!
But you are doing such a good job! You are leaning how to fall asleep all by yourself! 

You put everything you can grab into your mouth. And your grip is very strong! Your daddy got you a walker this month and while you have not quite gotten the concept of walking in it, you do like standing up like a big girl in it. 

You went sledding for the first time this month...

You were not the biggest fan of the snow. 

You also got to try real food for the first time this month. You have had rice cereal, bananas, and sweet potatoes. You are not really sure most of the time if you like the food or not, but you like holding your spoon and chewing on it. Mommy is excited to have you try more new foods this next month!

We love you more than words can say, Rebekah!!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Adventures in Life: Spilled Coke and Taylor Swift

I like technology. 
I will admit that I'm not the most tech savvy person. 
I just learned what snapchat was like last week. 

I am thankful we live in an age of Skype and FaceTime so family and friends don't seem quite so far away.
I enjoy my iPhone and the ability to type this blog post in bed while snuggling my sweet sleeping girl. 
I savor encouraging messages from friends on Facebook .... Or 'real' emails (not just junk email).

But lately I have found myself overwhelmed and, well, kind of disgusted by social media and the internet in general. 

Overwhelmed by the volume of information available and conflicting opinions with each new article. 
Shocked by the things some people say to each other behind the protection on their computer screen. (What ever happened to "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all?)
Annoyed by inaccurate or bias material being marketed (and accepted) as truth or 'fact'. 
Tired of all of the negative comments - when did it become the way to convince someone with a different opinion than you by attacking them with words? 

One of my favorite Super Bowl commercials was the Coca-Cola commercial. Did you see it? Where the computer tech spilled the Coke on a server and it made all the internet users happy. 

Ok, I know it doesn't work like that. But I kinda wish it did.

I guess in a world where anyone can write basically whatever they want online, there are going to be haters.... Gonna' hate hate hate. But I've just gotta shake it off. Shake it off. Oh, Taylor Swift, your songs get so stuck in my head! But Taylor is right!! I've got to shake it off and start a new way of thinking when it comes to the online world. 

The other day I came to the decision that when I want to research more about something (for example 'first foods to feed your baby'), I am going to start relying more on books and people I know in real life and less on on-line resources. (Don't get me wrong, I am still going to read blogs! I am just going to do more off line reading). 

It is SO easy and convenient to just Google things. But I have been finding that the plethora of opinions and information that appear on my screen just make me feel like I can never know the best answer or the right thing to do. I can read for hours and still be no closer to an answer. (One article says you should start with rice cereal as a baby's first food. The next article says you should NEVER EVER start with rice cereal.) I have often felt like I'm not doing the best thing for our daughter or our family because of what I read, and I do not want to feel that way.

While I do have things to learn (lots of things!) I know that I do make good decisions for our family. Our daughter is healthy and happy and growing. Am I always doing "the right thing" as a mother... Maybe not by some people's standards. But in each moment I am doing what I feel is right for me, or her, or us... And that's what matters to me. 

Can anyone relate? 

Sorry for such a serious post, I just needed to get it off my chest!
 Here is a cute little girl to cheer things up! 

Ok, one more...
(She can be such a goof!) 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Adventures in Life: #PinkNinja

I've had something on my heart for a while that I want to share with you all. 

If you follow me on Instagram (which you can do HERE if you would like!) you may have seen this picture a few weeks ago...

We got this cute shirt HERE. But this is much more than just a shirt...

A few months ago I started following Stephanie on Instagram. She is a new mother too. Her sweet little bundle of joy, Addison, was born with a heart defect as well as sacrococcygeal teratoma and has already undergone several surgeries. 

Addison is a fighter. 
A ninja. 
A ninja in pink. 
And the proceeds from the #PinkNinja shirts go towards Addison's medical bills. You see, because of her medical conditions, Addison has been in the NICU since she was born. Her parents are hopeful that she will be able to come home with them soon, but until then Stephanie spends every day at the hospital caring for her sweet Addison. And after being in the hospital just 3 days with Rebekah - I can only imagine how much their medical bills are! 

I have never met Stephanie. She lives in Texas. She doesn't know who I am. Thanks to social media, I have been able to follow her story. And her unwavering faith in God's plan for her family has profoundly touched me and challenged me these past few months. 

Would you join me in praying for Addison, Stephanie and Matthew (that's Addison's dad and Stephanie's husband)? Stephanie has a blog The Vintage Modern Wife , which (understandably) has not been updated in a while, but does give some background info on Addison. 

And would you consider joining the #PinkNinja club?! If you go to the page, you will find shirts for baby all the way up to adult men/women. 

Hope you are having a wonderful Wednesday! 

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Adventures of Rebekah: 5 Months Old

Dear Rebekah, 

Every day when I wake up I am overwhelmed by how blessed I am to be your mommy. I didn't think it was possible, but I love you more every day. Your sweet sounds and beautiful smile are the perfect way to start each day. I miss you anytime I am away from you and am so thankful that your daddy works so hard so that I can stay home with you. Your giggles melt my heart. I can hardly believe you are 5 months old today! You are getting to be such a big girl! (You almost weigh 15 lbs already!) This past month you got to celebrate the birth of Jesus for the first time. And travel to Minnesota a second time. 

It was so fun to watch you gaze in wonder at all of the Christmas lights. You even used your cute singing voice at the candle light Christmas Eve service - it was adorable! Mommy may have gone a little overboard getting you several cute Christmas outfits to wear...

Most days it's just you and me while daddy is hard at work. I have had so much fun playing with you this past month.

You learned so many new things! Like how to roll to get places. You are happiest when you can roll around the room... But so far you can only roll in one direction, so mommy has to turn you around when you reach the end if the room. 

You discovered tags and love to put them in your mouth. You Taggie blanket keeps you entertained for quite a long time.

You love looking in the mirror and talking to your reflection. 

And you got a lot of new toys for Christmas. Mommy brings out a new one every few days to keep play time exciting! 

All of your playing makes you so sleepy! You have been doing much better with sleeping and naps (which makes mommy and daddy SO happy!). Most days you take a long morning nap and 2 short afternoon/evening naps. Sometimes mommy let's you nap in bed with her. Sunggeling in bed with you is one of my most favorite things. I love to watch you sleep - such a peaceful girl. You are just such a sweet little snuggle bug! I can't get enough of your eyelashes...

You have still been sleeping in mommy and daddy's room, but this next month you will start to sleep in your own room. 

You are growing up so fast, little girl! Your personality is growing every day. You are determined and pretty patient when trying to grab something or get somewhere. You love making people smile with your sounds. I often wonder what you think you are saying when you "talk" to me. The sounds you make are so deliberate sometimes, I'm just sure you are trying to tell me something. You love watching mommy and daddy. You watch us eat or cook or clean - you are such an observant girl - just taking in every move we make. 

I can hardly wait to see what new things you learn this next month! 

I love you so so much my sweet girl! 

(She was much more interested in trying to get the sticker or lamb into her mouth than she was in getting her picture taken!

Silly girl! 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Adventures in Tips: From The Plumber #5 ~ Preventing Frozen Pipes

It has been a while since we have had any tips from the plumber! 
(Did you know Daniel is a plumber?!)

Since the weather is SO cold here (and in many other parts of the country) I thought I would get Daniel to give you/me some tips about frozen water pipes. He does LOTS of work replacing frozen water pipes in the winter months...and it can be a HUGE mess...

The best thing to do is to take steps to prevent your pipes from freezing in the first place! 
(So today is prevention and next week will be what to do if you discover you have frozen pipes)

Tips to Prevent Frozen Water Pipes

Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing especially if the sink is on an exterior wall. Daniel almost always does this with our kitchen sink if we are going out of town in the winter. Sometimes he will leave them open overnight if it is going to be exceptionally cold. 

Often if we are going to be away for a few days we will set our thermostat a few degrees cooler to save energy - however to prevent frozen pipes - you should never set to a temperature lower than 55° F. It is worth paying a little bit for the energy it takes to keep the house that warm, rather than paying a lot to clean up the mess that frozen pipes can make! 

When the weatherman is forecasting exceptionally cold temperatures, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Think of rivers verses lakes - moving water prevents pipes from freezing, it just needs to be a trickle. 

Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage. Even heated garages, when the door is left open, can freeze. 

Make sure all exterior faucets are off and drained of water. One of the most common pipes to freeze is the one just inside the wall of a home that feeds the outside water faucet. Every spring Daniel replaces lots of these because they were not properly drained over the winter and have broken due to the frozen water expanding inside the pipe. 

Stay tuned for what to do if you discover or suspect your water pipes have frozen. 

Other Tips From The Plumber