Friday, July 12, 2013

How I Cloth Diaper TWO Kids at ONCE!

I began my cloth diapering journey a little over a year ago.  I was one of those people who had heard of cloth diapering and considered it, but never thought I would actually do it.  That was until I met my dearest friend who is the owner of All About Cloth Diapers.  Autumn introduced me to cloth diapers and I fell in love with them!

So Jane was around 1 year old when I started cloth diapering.  Just adorable, and she is so BIG now!

Cloth diapers are not what they once were.  They are now modernized, and much easier to use. I have never really felt the burden of having to wash the diapers or finding time to, which was my main concern before I began.  I love the fact that I am saving money in the long run, since spending money on disposable diapers in not cheap and your are just throwing them in the trash.  My husband and I calculated that we would be saving hundreds of dollars a year by making this switch.  From a health perspective I like knowing that my baby isn't going to be wearing chemicals against her skin all day and night.  And cloth diapers are just cute and since I have to change diapers all day long I might as well like what I'm lookin at : )

Before Blaire was born I realized I was going to have to cloth diaper TWO children at once since Jane was still in diapers when she was born.  I wasn't too intimidated by this, but more wondering how it would pan out and if I was going to be worn out from washing diapers all day.

Well after experiencing two in cloth at once I can say, it really isn't much harder at all.  Have you ever wondered about how to do this? Well I'm about to show you a peek into how I make this happen : )

These are all the cloth diapers I currently use to diaper both girls.  "WHOA!" you may be thinking, but this amount gets me through washing every other day with some diapers left over.  So not quite enough to last me 2 days worth, but almost. A minimalist stash of diapers, just enough for what I need.

"Do you have a diaper sprayer, or do you have to dunk them in the toilet?"
I do have a diaper sprayer in our bathroom that I can use to spray poopy diapers with.  I don't find I have to do that very often, because Blaire is exclusively breastfed.  And that means her poopy diapers don't have to be sprayed since her poop is water soluble.  So I save that step, which saves me time.

"How often do you wash?"
I wash every other day, and that is doable for me.  I usually start the load first thing in the morning and go about my day.  I am usually done washing them around lunch time and then I hang the shells out to dry on the clothesline outside and dry the inserts in the dryer. 

"Do they share diapers?"
Although most of my diapers are one size, meaning they fit from around 8lbs-36lbs, my girls do not share the diapers.  With the exception of the Bum Genius 4.0's and the do share those.  This is just my own preference, as it would be totally possible to share a stash of one-size diapers between 2 children if that is what you have to work with.

Now a breakdown of who wears what : )

(Side Note: When Blaire was a newborn, I borrowed a stash of newborn cloth diapers since most babies don't fit into one-size diapers until they are a few weeks old.  Blaire began fitting into the Charlie Banana diapers around 3 weeks.  The newborn diapers are not pictured here.)

I change Blaire's diaper about 7-8 times a day.  She rarely wears the Bum Genius unless I am running low, but I have them pictured here anyways.  Plenty of diapers for her and soon she will be fitting into the medium Ragababes which are my favorite diapers : )  See I get excited about that kind of thing! I can just hear my sister calling me a dork right now....

Jane wears these and some of the other Bum Genius 4.0s if I am running low for her. 
I change Jane's diaper about 5 times a day, and she is about to be potty trained, although she doesn't know it yet : )

"Well how do you store all the diapers?"

 Blaire's Diapers are stored in plastic drawers in her room. 

  Also pictured are cloth wipes in the Huggies wipes container, and I just wet those with water when I need them. 

Jane's diapers are right outside of Blaire's room in a storage bin.  I like to keep them separated from Blaire's, and for some reason that is easier for me.  I like to compartmentalize my life : )
"Where do you put the soiled diapers?"

I have 2 large hanging wet bags that I rotate between, and I store the dirty diapers in them.  This is the closet door in Blaire's room and the bags hang nicely on that little knob.
"Who are these cute little girls?"

Here they are sporting Charlie Banana One Size.  You can see how the diaper fits from a tiny baby to a healthy chunky toddler.  Easy, fun, economical.
So this is in a nutshell how I manage to cloth diaper two children.  I hope this was informative, helpful, and motivational for you to begin your own cloth diaper journey!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Happy Birthday Jane!

Our sweet little Janie is 2!

It's amazing how they go from a tiny newborn...

To an oh so cute and energetic toddler in the blink of an eye!
To celebrate Jane's birthday this year, our family, Joey's parents, and our friends Blake and Amanda went to Chuck-E-Cheese.
Jane had the time of her life, and we don't think we have ever seen her having so much fun independent of Kay (who was a bit frightened of the giant robotic mouse).

Jane LOVES kitty cats, so of course we had to have kitty cupcakes.

She loved blowing out her candles!

I love my girl!

Jane also loves Blake and Amanda!  It's really cute to see how much she adores them and always asks "Where is Blake?" randomly.

Pops and Grammy were also there to celebrate and enjoy this sweet time with her.

So at 2 years old, some of Jane's favorites are...
Babies! And now she has her own real baby sister Blaire.
Playing with her babies in action.  She is so affectionate, and loves to feed, swaddle, rock, and put them to sleep.  You might often hear her saying "It's alright baby," or "Baby want meelk?" She is gonna be such a good Mama one day!
Of course she loves her BIG sister Kay (who she calls "Tay")
She is her copycat and her parrot.  Anything Kay does or says, you can be sure to see Jane following right behind her doing or saying the same thing.  I have no doubt it is because she loves her sister so much : )  It is funny that they are such opposites in so many ways, but when they are together Jane wants to be just like big sis.  We will see how long this copycat phase lasts : )
Her favorite songs are...Deck the Halls (we sing Christmas songs year round around here!) and Wheels on the Bus, (or Round and Round as she calls it)
She loves loves loves to read books and loves pretty much any book with babies, cats, or animals.
She knows her shapes, a few colors, and can sing her ABC's in a cute 2yr old way : )
 She has a definite strong willed streak in her, but will also be quick to obedience once told to do so. 
We have made great progress with bedtime routines lately, and that is just a sign for me that she is maturing more and more and learning to be independent from Mommy, who she still thinks she needs to be quite attached to : )
Janie, you are my sweet sugar and my sunshine.  Your toddler cuteness is too much for me sometimes, and I am savoring this season with you.  Happy Birthday Sweetie, Momma loves you!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Blaire's Water Birth- A slideshow

Blaire Eliana Bellington is here!
Born April 30, 2013 at 4:15 p.m.
8lb 9oz, 20.5 in

A quick rundown of the birth, but I will try to write out the full birth story later....
Active labor lasted only 4 hours, although I had early labor pains that last 3 days before we got the the birth center.  I had the water birth I wanted, and my birth team was amazing. 

There was a rare complication at birth called shoulder dystocia, but my midwife handled it amazingly well and pretty much saved both of us from further trauma and complications.  We praise God for his safety and provision.

I also want to thank Bekah Gooden for being brave enough to be in the room during labor and taking these sweet pictures : )

Also a thankyou to Blake and Amanda Farrar for babysitting the older girls for us and taking such good care of them.

We hope you enjoy the slideshow (don't worry no gory pics!) Just click on the link below.

Blaire's Water Birth 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Pregnancy at 35 weeks and Her Name...

Here we are at 35's getting so close!
I realized I haven't done much updating this pregnancy, as this has been a pretty busy season in my life and not much time for blogging.
After we had the ultrasound around 20 weeks and found out the gender (girl by the way in case you didn't know!), they discovered a cyst they thought was on the umbilical cord.  It was suggested that I have a second ultrasound to take a closer look at this cyst and make sure it wasn't going to be a danger to the baby or to the pregnancy in any way.  During the second ultrasound, they were able to get a closer look and saw that it was actually on the placenta, not the cord, it had no blood flow in it, and that it shouldn't put the baby at risk in any way as long as she continued to grow according to her dates.  This was such a relief as we were really praying that this would turn out to be not a big deal!
So with that being is healthy and growing into quite the big girl!  She is very active, and a "stretcher" as I like to call her, as I don't remember my other 2 stretching out her legs the way she does...sometimes jabbing me with her little feet and jolting me a bit!
This pregnancy has definitely been the hardest on my body, especially after I somehow got a stress fracture in my left foot which took several months to heal...I also was low on my iron levels which was leaving me feeling pretty bad, but now that I have that leveled out I feel so much better! It is amazing how much just a small vitamin deficiency can effect so many areas of your health.  I feel pretty good right now though and am happy with where I feel physically, and feel prepared to face an all natural labor at a birthing center.  This new experience with midwives has been more than awesome, and I have learned so much from them it is crazy.  I just want to say, "This is my 3rd baby, and no one has taught me the things ya'll know about labor and birth!"  My full trust is in them and I am excited to face the challenge of natural labor, although my labor with Jane was anything but easy.
Also, many may not know this but I have been nannying part time since October, which is an added blessing for the income, but also added responsibility for this already tired Mama.  I am able to take the girls with me when I drive them to and from school, and it really is the ideal job for me being a stay at home mom.  I am so thankful the Lord provides the way he does, and the kids I nanny for really are great.
Did I mention we have a name for this new little girl? 
Yes...her name is Blaire Eliana.
Her name is very special in that she is named after my older sister who died shortly after birth from heart complications.  There would have been 3 sisters in my family. It is special for me to be able to name my daughter in remembrance of my sister who I will one day meet in Paradise, and that she will be the 3rd sister.
My best friend from high school's name is also Blaire, and so another reason we love the name. 
It is also a one syllable, which is a theme we might stick with for our kids.
Eliana is a name I have always loved, and it means "God has answered."
So there you have it!
I am soaking up these last days as a family of 4, and daily praying and trying to mentally prepare myself for Blaire's arrival.  My most challenging season may be ahead of me, but I know that His grace is sufficient for me, for His power is made perfect in weakness.  2 Corinthians 12:9
But what I have learned from hard seasons is...they can sometimes be the best seasons if we focus on ourselves LESS and on Him MORE. 
I'll remind myself of that when I'm up for the 3rd time at night to nurse a crying baby...truly a moment by moment focus. At least for a full time (sleep deprived) wife and mother it is : )
But I can't wait to do it all over again...motherhood is special and precious and a high calling and I thank God for redeeming me so I can pour my life out teaching my children to love Him, and to know Him. 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Jane at 20 months

Our little Janey girl is 20 months and it won't be long before she is 2!! 

At 20 months some of your favorite things are:

Baby dolls and babies.  You absolutely LOVE your baby dolls and are attracted to any baby you see.  You have gotten some good practice with your baby cousins and are very gentle and sweet with them, wanting to help give them their pacis or just to sit by them contentedly. I know you will be a wonderful big sister, although I think you will have to get used to Mommy holding another baby : )

You are very outgoing and love to be around people.  Every time we go somewhere you are waving at people and wanting to grab strangers just have a sweet congenial disposition and would have no problem kissing any stranger if I let you.  Most everyone is just charmed by your smile including Mommy.

We tell you all the time you are too cute for your own good.  Sometimes it is hard to discipline you when you give me this look...which is your "I know I just did something I wasn't supposed to.  Can I get away with it?" (this was right after you threw food off your high chair)

When you're not being mischevious you like to make us laugh. This is your "funny face"

 and your "fish face".

Your favorite foods are bananas, raw milk, blueberries, and you can be pretty hit or miss on most foods depending on your mood.

You love your sister, and you follow her around wanting to do whatever she is doing.  Sometimes you pester her, especially if she is watching a show and not paying attention to you.  You are still learning how to share which is probably the hardest thing to train you in right now.

You have a pretty short attention span, and can't sit still for very long but you do have certain favorite books you love me to read to you.  You love any book about cats or babies.  The only thing that can hold your interest for longer periods is and you will actually sit longer than 30 minutes for that.

You are really very smart, and your vocabulary has been growing and growing.  You love to tell people "Bess you" after they sneeze and that is just adorable.  You have learned to say please and thank you and can do small tasks such as throwing things away, cleaning up under your chair after you eat, throwing dirty clothes in the hamper, or putting your shoes away. 

You are still very much a "Mama's girl" and can still be very needy of me at times.  I think you will learn to grow out of that more once baby sister comes, although it will probably be a rough transition for you at first. 

I call you my "Sugar" because you give are so affectionate.  You would sit in my lap and rock most any time of day. Mommy loves you so much, and I am soaking up this time with you as my baby, although you know you always will be. 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Kay is 3 and 5 years of marriage!

This is a belated post I've been meaning to write since we've recovered from the holidays.

We had a wonderful Christmas and traveled over 1000 miles between families!  That's a lot of time in the car folks but we made it praise the Lord.

Paw-Paw got them a pink jeep.  Kay actually pushed the petal but wouldn't steer. Hopefully not an indication of later driving practices : )

 Fun times with Rosey.

Then some time spent with the other cousins...all 8 of them!

And.....on December 29 the hubby and I celebrated our 5 year wedding anniversary as well as Kay turning 3 years old!!!!

Yes we share our anniversary with our firstborn and we don't mind a bit.  3 years ago she was born on our 2 year wedding anniversary and our marriage has never been the same....for some reason people seem to think children ruin marriages, but that just hasn't been the case for us.  Our marriage has had its ups and downs of course, but marital bliss didn't fizzle once the children came.  Quite the opposite is true. That is a whole other topic of course : )

We had a small birthday celebration during our time with Joey's side of the family.  Kay and her 1 year old cousin Molly shared the spotlight. 

It seems like right when she hit 3 so many things have changed for her.  She is no longer a little toddler but a little girl!

Kay at 3 loves...

 Candy...I try not to indulge her love often

 Helping Mommy in the kitchen....

Her Daddy...she is truly a "Daddy's girl".  (Here she begged to take a nap on daddy and of course he didn't object)

Pink...she is obsessed with pink.  
Anything girly...princesses, dresses, tea-sets, you get the picture.
Beans and rice is a favorite food
Watching shows
Dancing and twirling.  Some of her dance moves are hilarious.
Playing "hide and seek" which is a regular game before bedtime at our house.
She loves "preschool" and loves to learn.  She is learning to read and put letters together.

Kay continues to be one of the sweetest children I know, with the sweetest little voice still that I never want to grow up and leave.
She has the singing voice of an angel, and is constantly asked to "perform" from family but rarely will because she is too shy.  
She has really come out of her shell with people and I think her sister has helped with that.  She now loves to wave "Hi" at strangers and be as friendly as ever.

I just love you so much sweet girl.  Our relationship is so precious to me and I look forward to seeing you grow and blossom this next year.  You are the joy of my heart : )

Also while we were in Tyler Joey and I celebrated our 5 year wedding anniversary!  

We had a special night away while Grammy and Pops kept the girls.  We ate at our favorite restaurants, did a little shopping, watched Les Miserables, dreamed of future plans, and slept in (which for me these days equates to around 8:00 a.m. but hey it was wonderful!)

I can't believe it has been 5 years.  We are completely different people now then we were 5 years young and still learning about each other.

Now after 5 years...we are more "in love" than we ever have been.  And have been through hard times that have brought us closer as we have had to struggle to "love" at times.  Dying to self and putting his needs above my own.  Learning to love when it is hard and seeing the fruit the Lord brings.

And the truth is, after 5 years, I still smile every time you walk in that door.  

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

It's A......

IT'S A GIRL!!!!!!!!!!!
Surprise! 3 girls in this house.  I can hardly believe it!  Joey and I are thrilled to think of another sweet darling to add to our mix.  
We initially had our ultrasound and had the lady put the gender in an envelope which we gave to our friends Blake and Amanda.  They were going to wrap up a cute little gift to surprise us which we thought we would wait until Christmas to open.
Well..........let's just say the anticipation was too much for me : )
So we decided to open it early!  Blake and Amanda put so much thought into the gift, with 3 different boxes for each daughter and poems to go with them.  With the 3rd tiny box holding the surprise!
I must say I really thought this was going to be a boy, but just thinking of another girl just makes me so happy!  The Lord is so perfect in His plans, and we cannot wait to meet this little one.
Here is my baby bump at 20 weeks.  Halfway there! 
We are seeing a midwife for this birth and our hopes are to birth at a birthing center in San Antonio.  The whole experience so far has been so wonderful and I am excited and prayerful for a safe and healthy delivery.  This will be my 2nd VBAC (vaginal birth after cesearean), with Kay being a c-section and Jane being my first VBAC. 
Will try to update more often, hopefully more after the holidays.  There is so much to be excited about right now, especially the birth of our Savior Jesus!
Just a silly side note....while taking the baby bump picture I discover this.  Is that shampoo?? Why yes it is.  Boy do I have my hands full!  But wouldn't want it any other way : )