Chewy or Crunchy?

Have you heard the term “crunchy mom” or “granola?”  No?  Neither did I.

That is, until I had my second child almost three years ago.  Now, if you do any of the following, you may be Crunchy…

  • Gave birth at home – BY CHOICE!
  • Homeschool your children
  • Do not vaccinate your child
  • Do not believe in circumcision
  • Eat only organic foods
  • Buy “raw milk” and own chickens
  • The thought of eating your placenta doesn’t freak you out
  • Cloth diaper your babies
  • Babywear
  • Co-Sleep or bedshare
  • Forbid T.V. or any screen time for your children

…and can name a few other things I missed!

Ok, so maybe you don’t do ALL or most of these things, but you’re keen on some of them?  Well consider yourself, Chewy…at least, that’s what I like to call myself.  The ironic part about all of this, is that my ancestors and some of yours, have been doing these things since the beginning of time.  What we not call ‘attachment parenting,’ is what many parents in other countries do because that is what they’ve always done.

In the end, let’s stop getting caught up in names or fads, and…just love on your babies!

 

 

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Wool — Cloth Diapering

Wool? Like the hot, scratchy kind?? Yep!

Well, not all wool is scratchy. Believe it or not, wool can keep you warm, but it’s also breathable. Air is good for the bums!

We love our wool, even here in South Florida!

Some stay away from wool, for cloth diapering, because it’s intimidating. Once you learn how to do it, it’s so simple and can be less work. Oh and did I mention it’s the solution for a lot of parents who have a “heavy wetter?” That’s because wool can absorb up to 30% before it feels wet. You also don’t have to wash your wool every time, like you would your diapers. Use it for 2-3 weeks, continuously, and then wash it. Give your wool a lanolin bath and it can also repel urine!

Here’s a quick step-by-step tutorial on how to lanolize your wool.

You’ll need to following to do this:

Bucket or Sink (that you can fill)

Lanolin (You can even use the “nipple cream kind” in a pinch)

Emulsifying Cubes or Baby Wash

Small Glass Jar or Plastic Container with a cover

Bath Towel

 

Step 1 – Wash all wool, by hand, so it’s clean. No need to “scrub” it unless there’s poop spots. I use Ecos detergent to wash my wool, but I also have that on hand (from washing my baby carriers). I’ve also used a little regular detergent or baby wash. Anything to make sure there’s no urine or poop on / in the wool.

 

 

Step 2 – Take wool out, fill your sink with clean, lukewarm water and put wool back in. It’s take to make your lanolin mixture and bath!

Fill your glass jar with hot water. It doesn’t have to be boiling hot, but hot enough to melt the lanolin. Take a pea size amount of lanolin and put into the hot water, followed by half an emulsion cube or a squirt of baby wash).

Put the lid on and give it a good shake!!

You should end up with a milky, kind of soapy, liquid.

Open it carefully! (Remember from science class? Hot liquids that are shaken, create energy!)

 

Step 3 – Pour all of that into your lukewarm, bath of wool and mix everything around until he water is a little cloudy.

Leave it for about 30 min. Some say less, some say more…but I haven’t seen a difference. Go have a snack, or feed the baby and come back!

 

Step 4 – Drain the water, squeeze each piece, and remove as much water as possible but don’t “wring it out.” Open your bath towel and lay each piece on top.

Then roll the bath towel up, and put pressure on it to remove more water from the wool.

 

Step 5 – Lay all your wool flat, to dry. I usually lay them outside and then bring them in later, and lay them flat inside the house. Note — Your wool can take 24-48 hours to dry! Factor in this time if you need to use them.

Not too bad, right? Think you can handle it? No? Tell me what’s stopping you, or what you think the hardest part is?

Safer Co-Sleeping. Say What?

Do those two words even go together?  In the same sentence?  YES!

Here’s were my thoughts on co-sleeping:

Baby #1 – Hell no. It’s dangerous. [Setup a beautiful nursery while baby ended up sleeping in a bassinet in our room]

Baby #2 – Let’s setup the crib in our room. [Baby slept on my side of the room, in her crib until 17 months – WHEW!]

Baby #3 – “What crib? What nursery? I’m too exhausted and tired at this point.” [Baby sleeps in bed with me]

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First, lets define co-sleeping, since often times it’s misinterpreted.

Co-Sleeping is simply, “sleeping near to your baby,” literally.  For a lot of parents in other countries besides the United States, there isn’t a term to define co-sleeping because that is their norm, simply out of necessity.

Now, for some, that may look a little different.  Some may choose to bed share — having the child sleep in the same bed as the parent.  Others may choose to room share — the child sleeps in their own separate space, but in the same room as the parent.  Lastly, some choose a combination of these — maybe placing a bassinet or “side car” of some sort, in or right next to the side of the bed.

And guess what?  Did you know that the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) actually recommends that you share a room with the baby for AT LEAST 6 months, but ideally, a year.

You’re worried about SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome), right?  Interestingly enough, even Doctors and Researchers have NO CLUE why babies die of SIDS, hence, why it’s coined “sudden.”  In fact, a lot of deaths are incorrectly lumped into this category.

Here’s what Dr. James McKenna, a world-leading Dr who is recognized for his work with mother-infant co-sleeping in relationship to breastfeeding and SIDS, says:

“In sum, overwhelmingly, bedsharing deaths are associated with at least one independent risk factor associated with an infant dying. These include an infant being placed prone (on its stomach) and placed in an adult bed without supervision, or no breastfeeding, or other children in the bed, or infants being placed in an adult bed on top of a pillow, or who bedshare even though their mothers smoked during the pregnancy therein compromising potentially the infants ability to arouse (to terminate too little oxygen, or to terminate an apnea). Drug use and alcohol have historically been associated with poor outcomes for bedsharing babies so if drugs and/or alcohol are present, please don’t bedshare.”

Also, it’s been noted that many SIDS deaths occur when parents ACCIDENTALLY co-sleep with their child.  We’re all exhausted parents, right?  If co-sleeping is something you’re considering, check out these 7 tips on safer ways to co-sleep, a La Leche League International’s book, Sweet Sleep:

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Are you a co-sleeping parent/family?  What are your sleeping arrangements?

Elemental Joy Cloth Diaper Review

Cotton Babies recently sent an email, saying they were releasing a new cloth diaper brand…at a price that couldn’t be beat.

WHAT?!? Shut the front door!

They are the makers of Bumgenius diapers and Flip diapers, which are the majority of our stash. I quickly converted to diaper covers when I got tired of stuffing pockets, when my toddler was about 7 months old. That’s when I found a love for Flips.

Like most “mainstream cloth diaper brands,” the cost of the diaper can be a sticker shock to those interested in cloth diapering.

This is where the Elemental Joy comes in.

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Description

Honestly, nothing too fancy about it. At the time of purchase, there were 5 solid colors available and 3 prints (similar in design). I chose the “Stop” print.

It’s your average pocket diaper, with 3 rise snap settings. There is a large opening in the back, for easy stuffing. The inner lining is a stay dry suede cloth, just like the other Cotton Babies diapers. This diaper does not have double guessets.

What do I love?! They didn’t include your “typical microfiber insert,” instead, a cotton flat diaper “insert.” I love that they did this bc a cotton flat is more absorbent than a microfiber insert, you won’t get compression leaks, and you could technically use the flat in the traditional way with a snappi and snap the pocket diaper over it. I guess some may dislike this bc they have to fold the insert before stuffing, but you can also fold more where baby would need the absorbency!

The flat diaper insert measures 27″ x 27″ pre washed and approximately 24.5″ x 23″ after washing once.

Fit

The diaper says it fits babies from 8-35 lbs.

Here it is on my 16 lb, “bigger than average,” 4 month old:

I’d have to say that the cut is a “generous.” I like that the crotch/bum is a wide but I’m not sure this would fit an 8lb baby well. Even on the shortest rise, I think it’s a little too big (though I have no leg gaps on my baby).

Here is the fit on my 32 lb, average height and weight, 3 year old:

Budget

You can’t beat $8.55 right? Wrong!

If you buy 6 Elemental Joy diapers, it’s $28.75. That’s less than $4.80 a diaper AND INSERT!! For that price, I could make it work on a newborn 🙂

Performance

I put this on my little one as we headed out the door. I changed him about 3 hours later and not a leak in sight. Again, I didn’t think I’d have leak issues, unless there were fit issues since flat diapers are pretty amazing.

I also used this overnight on my toddler with the flat diaper insert, and hemp doubler. Granted, she’s potty trained in the day…I know she wet the diaper that night (possibly only once) and there were no leaks.

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If you’re in the market for an inexpensive, reputable-brand diaper, the Elemental Joy is definitely worth a try. For the cost, what do you have to lose, right??

Have you tried these yet? Which color / print is your favorite?

Finally.

I did a thing.

To some, it may not seem like a big thing. But to me, it is. Maybe it’s because I dragged my feet and took longer than I expected to…but I finally completed my accreditation.

I am, officially, a La Leche League Leader.

I breastfed my 3 children, but each had very different struggles. I wish I had a support group 11 years ago.

Thankfully, I found a LLL group (and many other groups after), to help me. Everyone seems to think that breastfeeding should be easy. If you prepare for job interviews, driver license tests, and birth, why wouldn’t you prepare to breastfeed?

I never thought that I’d be able to help other mothers feed their babies, because what did I know?  Well, the little I knew then, was enough to propel me to learn more.  A special thanks to the ladies who helped me to achieve this goal…you know who you are!

Now, I get to continue helping moms breastfeed their babies!

XOXO Baby Carrier Lite

It’s always fun to try out new baby carriers, especially, when they seem to be the perfect match for where you live. Here in South Florida, it’s hotter than Satan’s armpit, and the humidity makes you smell like a wet dog! And although babywearing is hot in general, check out this XOXO Buckle Wrap Lite!

This “Lite” version is perfect for our climate, and beaches! Yep it’s a water carrier too! Some of the cool features?

  • Breathable mesh keeps baby cool (and the wearer)
  • Doubles as a water carrier
  • Wicks away moisture, keeps you dry
  • Defends against 87% of UVA / 95% of UVB rays

XOXO Baby Carrier introduced “the buckle wrap” at the International Babywearing Conference in 2016. When wearing a baby in a traditional woven wrap, you have to create “a seat” for baby, then continue the carry and tie off. For new parents, this can be intimidating and hard to accomplish.

With the XOXO carrier, there is a buckle waistband that takes the guessing out and is easily adjustable. Once it’s buckled onto you, you can place baby in and continue wrapping them. Easy peasy!

Which is your favorite color? Gray or Teal?

Veteran’s Day

Vet Check

Today we get to honor Veterans. For our family, that means Daddy Daley.  When I met my husband, he was still in the Army but no longer active duty.  After spending 8+ years in the military and most of that career, as an Army ranger, we’re incredibly thankful that he’s one of the blessed ones who made it home.  For many former military members who served during wartime, though many came home, they’re still “fighting to return to normalcy.”

It’s ironic to pay homage to a military, government, and country who asks these men and women to “make a check payable to the USA, in the amount of ‘up to, and including their life,'” yet in return, a lot of them have to fight that same government and country to take care of their lives.  But as they will tell you, they didn’t serve with the expectation of getting anything in return.

They are selfless.  They are brave.  They are courageous.

They are U.S. Veterans.

Happy Birthday To Me

35 trips around the sun.

420 months.

133, 225 days.

18,396,000 minutes.

Well when I put it like that, it sounds like a LONG time!  Each year I get just a little bit closer to being “over the hill.” But instead of harping on how old I feel or am, I decided to jot dot things I’ve accomplished in the last year, along with things I’m grateful for.

I added another tiny human to our family. That’s a pretty big deal, right? Just after turning 34 last year, we unexpectedly found out we were expecting.  So, I spent most of my last 52 weeks, growing a little one on the inside.  And…I’ll spend the next few years still growing this little guy on the outside. #IMakeChocolateMilk

I became a SAHM (stay-at-home-mom), again. This isn’t quite an accomplishment, as it is a blessing.  Most of my friends are in the prime of their careers, hustling and bustling in Corporate America. I chose, again, to take some time off and raise my littles. It’s time I’ll never get back again, so I’m grateful that my husband and family have the privilege to do this.

I also became a Certified Babywearing Educator. Yes, this is a real thing.  Thanks to the Center for Babywearing Studies, I spent 5 days learning more about babywearing that I thought I knew.  Of course people have been wearing their babies since the beginning of time…but it was amazing to learn a lot of the “why’s” of babywearing.

I started a cloth diaper loaner program. This was jump started from a cloth diaper group that I use to admin, however, it also made me realize there was a great need for it.  A lot of nationwide programs will loan a small stash of cloth diapers to parents receiving government aide.  We know that that can create a gap for parents who make “too much” to receive any government assistance, but still not enough to cover basic necessities.

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So…while “the days are long, but the years are short,” here’s to ANOTHER FABULOUS YEAR!