Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Cloth Diapering Twins Part 2: Inserts

See the first post in this series here.

I'm sorry it has taken me so long to get the next installment of the Cloth Diapering series up. If you want the honest truth, I have hesitated because we have been struggling over here with cloth diapering. It definitely takes some figuring out! I'm getting together a post of "what I wish I had known" to post as part of the series as well as a "troubleshooting" post. However, it is absolutely still worth it and we have got a really good thing going now! I love cloth diapering their cute little bums! It is so economical and the pros far outweigh the cons for us. I realize it's not for everybody, but it IS for us.

We have two types of inserts that I use. One I bought for the covers, and one I bought for the pockets. I like them both for different reasons.

First up: Osocozy Indian Cotton Prefolds

I bought these in the infant size off a recommendation from the friend that inspired me to cloth diaper in the first place. And, at first, I thought they were too bulky. NOT SO. They were pretty bulky when we started cloth diapering but my boys were 10 weeks old. And they were small. I still stuffed their diapers with them and they worked great. It took some figuring out how to fold them just right to fit their small bums, but I stuffed these into the covers and pocket folds alike. I got overwhelmed a couple times because my diapers were leaking and I couldn't figure out why. [There was a myriad of reasons, none of which were the prefolds' fault. I told you it takes some figuring out!]

Six months later, these prefolds are still going strong, and I actually need/want to buy another pack as soon as I can scrounge up the money! I have six pocket diapers we don't even use in our regular rotation because I don't have enough inserts to stuff them with! At only $2 a piece, these are definitely my go-to.

I absolutely love them. And in other news, I stuffed Nash's diaper with this and one of the inserts below and he slept twelve hours last night and woke up dryer than he has with a disposable on. The kid pees. A lot. We ran out of our last box of diapers we received as gifts at baby showers two nights ago. The boys have only been wearing disposables at night because I was too afraid to cloth diaper at night. I'd heard so many horror stories and I figured we had disposables anyway, we might as well use them up! But, that ended and last night, for the first time, the boys slept in cloth. And the slept SO GOOD. Normally Gray wakes up after 10 hours and I have to coax him back to bed. I've noticed a handful of times that his diaper is leaking and so he's wet and uncomfortable and cold and I had to change him. This morning, both boys had slept 12 hours straight and were perfectly dry! The diapers were full, but they were warm and dry and comfortable. I was so excited and encouraged. We won't be buying disposables for night time. So thank you to everyone who gifted us diapers! They got us through almost 8 months of baby-ness!

Second up: Thirsties Hemp Inserts [Love the sunflowers. lol. So classy.]

I bought these after I was so frustrated with my diapers leaking. I posted on a message board about how my boys' diapers are leaking and interrupting nap time. It was such a terrible week! I had worked so hard on making my cloth diapers and I thought everything was just worthless. I thought I had sewed them wrong. I was so ready to give up. Then, I found out my boys are heavy wetters. Honestly, when I exclusively breastfed them, they hardly ever pooped. They would just constantly wet their diapers like crazy. I didn't realize they were heavy wetters because I had nothing to compare to. And I thought that was the problem, so I bought inserts that absorbed faster thinking that would be the solution. I also bought Hemp Babies Diaper Doublers off a recommendation from the message board. And the two combined work really well. I have since figured out the problem and will post about it in the troubleshooting/what I wish I'd known post.

They are thinner and I like the boys to wear these to church so their pants don't look so bulky. Also, I like to pack diapers stuffed with these in the diaper bag because they don't take up so much room. They are slightly more expensive, so I really would buy the pre-folds and see how those work for your baby before splurging for these. They're nice to have around, but I won't be buying any more of them. I love them, don't get me wrong. And I'm glad I have them, but from a financial standpoint, I have to recommend the first prefolds. These are more than double the price of the prefolds.

Originally, the prefolds were for the covers and the inserts were for the pocket diapers, but now, I use the prefolds for the covers first and then stuff any pockets I can with them. I stuff the remaining pocket diapers with the inserts and hemp doublers. I have 12 prefolds, 8 inserts and 5 doublers. I stuff 20 diapers at a time to have on hand. I can't wait to get another pack of prefolds so I won't have to do laundry so often! Still, I wouldn't use disposables again. Once you try it, you'll never go back!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Rainy Afternoons

...there just really isn't anything quite like the feeling of a Texas rainstorm.

We got back from voting and going to the library yesterday just in time for the storm to really pick up. The boys took a quick nap. Gray woke up first. I fed him and took him outside to feel the water falling off our roof. He was mesmerized. Once Nash woke up and ate, we got out all the toys and just played in the dim light from the storm and enjoyed our warm cozy home.

Bonus: If you look closely you can see Nash's two little teeth! He cut his first last Sunday and the second a few days later. Gray is happy to be all gums for the time being.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Anatomy of a Breakdown

I snapped these pictures in the span of 45 seconds. We're learning how to sit up on our own and we have *almost* got it. Nash I can leave alone for however long I want. He will flip over and play on his belly when he's done sitting up. Gray used to do the same. This afternoon though, he was having a tough time. He just kept toppling!

I realized I didn't have any pictures of his heartbreaking sad face, so instead of scooping him up, I just snapped away for a minute. I am so glad I have these!

Also, it should be noted that balls can fix any tragedy. Those footballs [THANK YOU DANICA] are magic in this house.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Designer Blogs!

Guess what?! I have some exciting news. As of tomorrow, I will be part of the Designer Blogs team and I am SO excited!

Blog Design, Custom Blog Design, Premade Blog Design

I have been loving all the blog design work that I had the past few years. It is a creative outlet like I never dreamed I would be able to manage from my own home. The issue is, I have these three super cute men in my home and they need me. Also, I don't really like doing all the invoicing, marketing, etc. that comes along with owning your own business. I would much rather DESIGN during naptime instead of sending out invoices or cluttering up this blog here with my latest designs. The fit couldn't be more perfect!

That being said:

I would love to create a beautiful, custom blog design for you. Just ask for Kristin [with a K!] on the order form, and they'll make sure I get your project.

Another majorly exciting part of working as part of the Designer Blogs team is that I can now offer premade blog designs starting at just $50 and templates starting at $15! Which means you get all the Call Me Kristin style without the hefty price tag. Win-win, eh?

Oh yeah, and did I mention that I'll be designing for Wordpress again?! I'm pumped!

Can't wait to work with you!

[For wedding design inquiries, please contact me.]

Thursday, October 18, 2012

All for a Spoon

This little spoon is so enticing. In fact, when it is just out of reach it is that much more important that it gets in my hand right this instant. Especially when it is precariously perched on top of a glass of strawberry milkshake mom made for me.

Who me?


But I don't like being messy!

On an unrelated note, I stumbled upon a trick that has really helped the boys learn how to feed themselves. And, get ready for it, it involves oats. [Who's shocked? Raise your hand.] I would put banana chunks and mango chunks and even steamed carrot chunks in front of the boys for them to grab and feed themselves with. Gray would try so hard but the food would just slide around and he would get frustrated, give up, and just gape his mouth open and whine until I came and fed him. This morning, I threw a handful of oats in the magic bullet, blended them up and used them to coat the fruit pieces.

Stress free eating.

Gray is a happy man. I absolutely love watching them figure things out. I try to let them think and solve the problem for themselves and only act when I know they have given it a good try and genuinely need my help with something. I am constantly blown away by how smart and capable they are if I just give them the chance.

Monday, October 15, 2012

At the Park

I realize the photos in this post are probably excessive. However I am smitten. Oh man. And so were the rest of the people at the park. We took a walk Sunday afternoon to the park and let the boys slide down a few slides when we caught sight of the baby swing. We figured they might like it. And oh, we were right. They had hardly been in the swing a minute before there was a crowd gathered commenting on how cute the twins were. Ah! I love them.

Cam took some Dad time with the boys while I made dinner. It was one of those days that just feel whole and rich.

It does my heart good to see us this way.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Seven Months Old

Call me cliche, but HOW IS THIS HAPPENING? Nash and Gray are getting so big. SO big. They are a blast. I thought for the longest time that when I had a baby six months would be the hardest milestone. When the boys turned six months and I didn't feel panicked about them growing up too fast, I figured I had beat the system. Lies. It happens at SEVEN months. I always say that keeping a good record of things brings peace because you can always go back to them and re-remember it all. So I'm hoping I feel better after this post is written. Regardless of how big and old my boys get, they'll still be mine. I do not look forward to the day when their world becomes bigger than our little family.

In the meantime, check out the rolls on these legs. Ooh, I could just eat 'em. They are also quite ticklish. I love it. [Nash]

We have been spending a great deal of time on the blanket. The boys are rolling and scooting and moving all over the place. No crawling yet, but they rarely spend time on their backs anymore.

They are also really really talking to each other more. Sometimes when I can't figure out why they're cranky, I realize I have had one or the other on my hip all day and they haven't spent enough time with each other. As soon as I set them down together, all is well. I love that they love each other.

Also, cloth diaper bums are the cutest. End of discussion.

We are drooling a LOT. I tried the whole bib thing for a while. However, I like bare chests better than bibs. So this is how Nash looked for about a week straight.

I've been trying to plan fun at-home dates for me and Cam. We have left the boys with a babysitter twice now, but we can't always afford to go out. So we do fun things at home. I've become a little more confident with how to get stuff done around the house while the boys are awake without feeling guilty because I'm "neglecting" them somehow. I think that comes with the territory of being a new mom. This time, we were making peanut butter cookies for a fondue night with Dad after the boys were asleep. So fun. And the boys loved all the sounds and colors in the kitchen. We have since spent a lot more time in the kitchen making treats and doing dishes. Or just staring at the dining room fan. That's a favorite too.

The boys are really good nappers. These super soft "heaven" blankets [as my mom calls them] were made by their "Meme" [Cam's mom.] and are a must for any nap or bedtime. [Still trying to figure out a good way to get them through the washing machine every week. At this point I just bank on a skipped nap... Because by the time I get them up, nursed, fed, and changed there isn't enough time to get them washed and dried for the next nap. Anyhow, I'm sure it'll work out soon.

Melt my heart. I love a dad and his boys.

We found these high chairs on craigslist for $15 and $20. I'm so glad we have them. The boys spend a good deal of time in them. I made them some oat + banana cookies and we've been practicing feeding ourselves...that is until I realized that the reason Nash was constipated is because oats and bananas can cause that. [rookie parenting...] So we haven't eaten them in a while. Things have since leveled out so I'm tempted to make them again because they both absolutely love them and it made for a fun afternoon snack.

One time, Aunt Lindsay sent us a package of fun new books to read because her Lillie is getting too old for baby books. The books were extremely well received. We read all of them in one sitting on the couch. We tasted a lot of them. And then we realized the package had been wrapped in brown paper. Oh boy. Endless entertainment.

We had to taste that too. Clearly we like eating.

Oh my beautiful boy. [Gray]

Wrestling is a favorite now too. Nash is big into grabbing hair. My hair, Dad's beard, Gray's hair. He also likes grabbing cheeks. Gray, on the other hand [also likes hair] but prefers arms. It is hilarious to watch them try to grab each others limbs and hair and faces. I have had to stop the rough housing every now and again because we still need to learn how to be nice. But I am all for letting them be boys. I hope they get used to playing and rough-housing. I hope they skin their knees and break a bone once in a while. I hope they get mischievous. I hope they concoct schemes with each other. I hope they get into trouble. Trouble is one of the best ways to make friends. And I hope they are best friends.

For a while, Nash was the only one rolling over consistently. Gray would scooch around on his back. I would lay the boys down on their backs together and Nash would flip over to play with Gray and inevitably land on his stomach. And then one day, Gray decided to beat Nash to the punch. I had laid them both down and then ran downstairs to take care of their diapers. When I came back up, they looked like this. And neither knew quite how to react. It made me laugh.

And so it begins. You have to be wary of the quiet ones, I think. Gray has been lying in wait to wreak some havoc. I laid the boys down and gave Nash a frozen mango pop. He had been teething and I was out of ice, so frozen mango was the next best thing. I watched Gray stare at it for about a minute and then reach right over and snatch it out of Nash's hands. Nash totally freaked out. How do you teach two infants to share?! I just went and got another mango pop. ha.

I finally snagged a couple pictures during our thrice daily train break. Seriously, EVERYTHING stops when the train goes by. They don't touch their toys, they stop eating. It's so wonderfully boy-ish to me. I love it. I love that it runs right through our backyard. I love how serious they get. I love that the trains are short. I love that it makes this deep rumbling sound that makes their little eyes get wide. I love that sometimes the cars are super bright colored. I love that every now and again a little tractor goes across the tracks, and it gets the same hero's welcome as a full fledged train. I also love that they never run in the middle of the night. And that most of the time, they coincide with mealtimes. Win-win.

We also love when Daddy comes home. Dad is working SO hard at school right now. He leaves before the boys get up every morning and comes home [hopefully] in time for dinner, but sometimes it isn't until bathtime or even after bedtime. He is totally rocking his schoolwork though, so I can't help but be bursting with pride over the whole thing. And he spends so much more time with us than I thought he would going into this Chiropractic School. I am in awe of how he manages and balances everything. To have a husband and father who can be away all day long and then come home and act like there was never anything on his mind but his girl and his boys is a priceless and rare thing. He is incredible. We are so lucky.

This is what our mornings look like. I get up and nurse the boys and then we come downstairs for some strawberries and couscous. After that, I try to clean the kitchen and the boys play in their high chairs. I love that we are not really in a hurry to get dressed for the day. They are rarely up for more than 90 minutes before they're ready for their morning nap. And if they're still in their pajamas at that point, I get them dressed before putting them down. But I have always been one for relaxed mornings.

Every now and again I can hear the boys talking to each other when I'm not around. Every time I come in the room and ask what they're talking about, Gray gives me this look. "Uh, MOM, we were TALKING." At which point I say "sorry to interrupt" and kiss their cheeks and let them be. They don't resume their conversation until I'm out of sight. It is so funny to see their personalities. I told you, you have to be wary of the quiet ones!

Beautiful, beautiful Nash. I can't get enough of his little chin. And those big blue eyes. Oh melt me.

I recently got called to the Young Women's organization in our church. I am the Personal Progress advisor. It pretty much means I get to be a perpetual EFY counselor. Boom. Best calling ever. Either way, part of that means I go to activity night on Wednesdays. After my first one, I came home and the boys were asleep. It was SO HOT in our house that Cam put them to bed in t-shirts instead of jammies. I went upstairs to kiss them when I got home and found Nash like this. Oh my gosh. I laughed so hard. We took a few pictures and then straightened him out.

Oh! Those thighs. I feel like he looks so big and grown up in this picture. Almost like a toddler. Gray is a big boy. I love his chub. I love how thick and strong he is. I love feeling his hands and feet. They are pudgy in the best way. He has such squishy cheeks. And his mouth gapes open when he sleeps, just like his dad. Add his fuzzy hair to the mix and I just can't even take it. He is perfect in every sense of the word.

Conference Saturday morning was a little rough on the boys. It was a super chilly day [THANK YOU TEXAS for making me a little less homesick!]. We had a wonderful morning with pancakes on the couch and dressed in our comfies. The boys were so groggy! We got them up and fed them before the opening session. They napped through most of it. Oh it was wonderful. I love general conference! Crazy to think that last conference they were just barely home from the hospital! And that a year ago I didn't even know what they looked like. Time goes so fast.

That chilly night, we dressed the boys in some fuzzy sleepers. And they got the sillies.

Conference Sunday was another snuggly day. I have accepted that at this time of my life, the best use of my time is not taking notes during conference like I normally do. I got maybe a page out of the whole weekend, but I cuddled my sweet boys and listened as best I could and I felt the spirit just as strong, if not stronger. Just the other night, we had some friends over. They watched the boys while we went to go pick up a new-to-us washer and dryer because ours...died...[lame.] We got to talking and somehow in the middle of the conversation I said "I really love being a wife and mom." Y'know how sometimes when you say something out loud it just reaffirms how strongly you actually believe it? This was one of those times. I got an e-mail a while ago from a college friend who mentioned that she loved seeing someone actually love motherhood and all that comes with it. And oh, I do. I really, really do. I wouldn't trade it for anything. And it brings so much joy to me that the way I live and act and think reflects that.

Nash and Dad during conference. He had Nash laughing so hard! The boys get so silly when Dad is around. I think they were pretty jazzed to spend so much uninterrupted time with him. It was a much needed break for everyone.

My sweet, content Gray baby. Sometimes when I put my forehead against his he grins into my eyes so big he scrunches up his nose. It is the best. After the Sunday Morning session of General Conference, Cam took us for a family drive through one of the nicest neighborhoods in Dallas. We commented on the beautiful homes and landscaping and picked out little signs of just how lavish these people live. It's not for me. I have no desire to live like that. I like managing my own home too much. And if we ever had money like that I can think of a ton of other places to spend it than on a mansion home and landscaping. [IVF grants for starters.] But it sure is fun to see all the detail. It's like peeking into a whole 'nother world. And I absolutely love houses. We drove around for a couple hours and then drove by the Dallas temple. The boys were sleeping by the time Cameron agreed that we should probably take a few pictures of them now that they can sit up on their own and we were around some seriously beautiful lawns and flowers and trees. So no pictures. But it was one of those times that your heart just feels content. And the small bite in the air didn't hurt either. Texas almost gave me a true fall day. And it couldn't have been timed better. I wore a scarf and a sweater and we didn't even turn on the A/C in the car.

Speaking of sitting up on their own... [Also, please notice Gray's "boxers." Again, cloth diaper cuteness. I may sag his pants intentionally next time. don't hate.]

They were playing and sharing together so nicely! And this is the first time they have sat up on their own at the same time! I was so proud of them. I took almost 50 pictures of just this one occurrence. I was so excited! They were pretty proud of themselves too. And then I brought the toys out and things got serious. Ha.

The day they turned 7 months, we donned our adventure hats and went to get a library card and check out some books.

Caption contest. Go. :)

We took the boys out to dinner [with an awesome coupon] to Humperdink's. It was wildly successful, so I had to take a picture. We ordered, fed the boys their dinner while waiting for our food and then enjoyed our meal. The boys got a little fussy after they finished eating, but it wasn't bad at all. I loved being out with all three of my boys. I love how well behaved they are and how handsome.

Cam and I still go in to kiss them goodnight every night before we go to bed. And sometimes I have to take a step back from the situation and realize that yes, this is really my life. this is really my home. those are my boys. I am their MOM. They are closer to a year old than newborns now. And yeah, writing down the details calms my heart. I am so in love. I couldn't be happier. The house isn't always clean. The boys aren't always happy. Things go crazy every now and again. Sometimes I get so overwhelmed with everything that I actually do nothing. But at the end of the day, we have the best life. The very, very best life.