Happy 1st Birthday, Son!

To my third biological child — happy birthday to you!

It’s been said that the youngest child, or the last child, is the most spoiled.  They are typically the carefree ones, the risk-taker, because parents are less cautious by the time they have their third child (or last child).  I’m not sure if any of this is true just yet (except that we are definitely less cautious this time around).  One thing I do know, is that these last 365 days of the year have been THE TOUGHEST of all my parenting days.

“Have another baby,” they said.

“He’s cute,” they tell me.

I keep telling myself, “this won’t last forever.”

Except, when this baby isn’t like the others!  You would think we would know what we’re doing by the third baby, right?  Wrong.

I honestly, BARELY REMEMBER the first four months of his life.  I, we, were in literal survival mode.  Not only did we have a 2.5 year old to care for, but for 10 weeks straight, he would literally SCREAM for hours and hours and hours…and then some more.  Nothing worked — and I’m a babywearing, breastfeeding pro!  Or so I thought!  I had the most difficult time learning (yes, learning!) to breastfeed this boy.  It was painful.  It was tiring.  It was driving my insane.  Was I really going insane?  Is this what postpartum depression feels like??  As quickly as his screaming stopped, separation anxiety kicked in and now we have a STAGE 5 CLINGER.  Eeeek!

Life was getting crazy.  Hurricanes were coming (literally)!  I was losing myself and friendships.

But…

Here we are.  An entire year around the sun.  Though it was tough, I have SO MUCH to be grateful for.  I may have lost friendships, but I’ve also gained some beautiful friendships, too (something that many mothers will tell you, is difficult to do).  I’m volunteering and working in a community that I love.  We have a beautiful family and an amazing extended family that is always around.

So yes.  Nothing lasts forever.  But for now, I’ll celebrate this little guy that has completely changed our lives — Steele Lee Roy ❤

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?

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!

Thirsties Natural All-In-One Review

Everyone loves the ease of All In Ones (AIOs). But there’s one downfall to AIOs – though they may be easy to use, they are notorious for taking a long time to dry and difficult to add absorbency to, when your baby needs it. Admittedly, this is why I rarely use AIOs.

 Thirsties created another version of an AIO, a Natural All-In-One (NAIO) that everyone can love! 

Description: This diaper requires some prepping: 3 hot washes to use, and 8 for full absorbency. 

It is a similar cut as their other AIO, with 2 rows of rise snaps and a double row of snaps on the wings (this is also available in hook and loop / Velcro).

The insides of the diaper is what makes it unique – all natural cotton and hemp. There is a sewn in soaker that consists of 3 layers of cotton. Additionally, there are 2 flap-style soakers attached to the front, each made of 4 layers of organic cotton and hemp. That’s a total of 11 layers of natural fibers!!

The way the flaps are sewn in, allow for faster drying time and if needed, you could fold them to accommodate a boy or girl. You could also lay a doubler under or above the flaps to increase absorbency.

Fit: I used this diaper for my 2.5 year old toddler. I left all of the rise snaps open, and used the third set of double snaps in the waist. For a better comprehension of how it fits, her stats are as follows:  wears 3T clothing, 30 lbs, 36″ tall

I found this diaper to be extremely trim compared to most diapers. Though AIOs usually have a reputation of being more trim, the natural fibers allow for an ever better slim fit under clothing.

Performance: I expected this diaper to perform well, give the qualities of the natural fibers and the use of other Thirsties products. However, this diaper far exceeded my expectations! 

After being fully prepped, I put this diaper on my toddler before heading to a birthday party. We expected to be out for approximately 2-3 hours. By the time we left and included traveling to and from the party, it was closer to 5 hours that this diaper was on an active, drink-guzzling, toddler – and no signs of wicking or leaking!

Budget: Thirsties has a reputation of being affordable. The NAIO retails for $25.75 which is a little more than I would like to spend on an AIO. Realistically, most would not be able to comprise a large stash of these if they’re looking for an “affordable diaper” or cloth diapering due to their budget constraints. 

You can occasionally find Thirsties products on sale at retailers and couple that with Free Shipping to lower the costs.

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Overall, I was very pleased with this diaper. I would highly recommend that a few of these Thirsties NAIO be included in your stash for those long outings, and maybe even an overnight solution!