Thursday, May 31, 2012

Marvelous May

Wow! I can't believe it is almost June! This month has flown by. There isn't too much to report that I haven't already, but I do love taking the time at the end of each month to recap the fun we have been having! Plus it is always fun adding a few more pictures of my little man. This month wasn't too exciting. We mainly just enjoyed the little things that happen every day. Of course, as I already recounted, we had Mother's Day and that was super fun for me. I enjoyed being spoiled by my hubby and little man.

Alexander and I had fun in the sun this month. The weather is really starting to warm up and it is just great being outside. We tried out his tricycle this month and he absolutely loves it! He is so cute in it. We were actually given the tricycle from neighbors when they were moving. We try to go on a walk just about every day. Sometimes we will put him in his tricycle and meet Dad as he walks home from work (Dad works half a mile from home, so he often walks to and from work). Yesterday, was our first visit to the pool too. Alexander just loves the water. I bought him a really cute Cars floatie that is shaped like Lightning McQueen. I have a few friends in the next complex over that have kids just his age. We have started going swimming together and he just loves it! Here are some pictures of us on our walk and swimming:

Well, I guess we should report some of Alexander's milestones this month too! He really is at a fun age because every day it seems he is learning something new! This month he got two more teeth, and that makes seven teeth total! It was a little funny because we didn't even notice his seventh tooth until it was quite visible. He must be adjusting to the whole teething process! He has been fascinated with his teeth lately and has been doing a few new tricks. Sometimes he will turn his tongue sideways to feel his teeth, and a few days ago, he started putting his bottom jaw forward so that he could tap his top teeth on his bottom teeth. His face is so funny when he is tapping his teeth together and it makes a loud noise sometimes. At first, I thought he was eating something off the floor, until Diane helped point out that he was just tapping his teeth together. Hopefully he outgrows this habit, so that he still has teeth when he is older :) This month he has come a long way. Last month he learned to crawl, and this month he is getting braver and braver. He can walk along the side of the couch when holding on, can stand with just one hand on an object, and crawls up people and the stairs. Yesterday, he even stood up without support! Scott told me he did this, and I was a bit of a skeptic until I saw him do it today! He stood up in the middle of the room and balanced for about five seconds or so. It was super exciting! He has also started waving good-bye, dancing, banging two objects together, and throwing objects like balls. One of our favorite things he started doing this month was looking under the crib or couch when a ball rolls underneath it. He gets down on all fours and puts his head close to the ground. It is so cute! He has also gotten really good with his pincher grasp and eating solids. We seem to try new foods every week and he loves to feed himself. Wow! He really did learn a lot this month. Below are a few more fun pictures we took throughout the month:
 He just loves playing x-box with Daddy!

 He still loves driving too!

 One of his favorite places to hold on to is the bar on the 
dining room table. He just loves to try and eat it!

 Daddy is such a good story-teller!

 Eating banana muffins that Mommy made! Yum!

One day, he got tired while eating and laid his head
down on his highchair table. So cute!

Well, I think that pretty much wraps up this month! Hope you enjoyed all the fun we have been having! Tune in next time for a secret that we have been keeping!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

She Did the Unthinkable: She Tried Cloth Diapers and Loved It!

Many of you may not know that I recently switched to cloth diapering. I have to say, when I first started I kinda kept it to myself that I started, because I wasn't sure how I would like it. In fact, before Alexander was born, I had friends who cloth diapered and I thought, "They are crazy! I would NEVER do that!" Well, here I am cloth diapering and loving it! How did I get from detesting the idea to trying it, you ask? Well, one of my mission companions, Rachel Johns (Formerly Rachel Ransom), did a blog about it and I was intrigued by her ideas about why she was doing it.

Let me start by explaining some of the reasons she cloth diapered. First there is the obvious answer, it is cheaper. Now that I have started, I completely agree! I finally built up our stash of cloth diapers to about 22 diapers. This allows me to wash them every other day, and still have enough for him to wear while they are washing and drying. That being said, I have spent a total of $341.15 to cloth diaper the way I choose to. Now that being said, I bought fun things like a diaper holder for my diaper bag, a special laundry bag, 22 diapers and  some extra night time inserts. You could easily cloth diaper for cheaper, if you are willing to wash them more frequently. I just figured that we plan to have four kids or so, and it was worth the investment. I have seen people quote that you could easily spend $1000-$2000 per year using disposable diapers, so $350 to be able to reuse even for a year sure does pay off! And I plan to use them for longer than that, and if they hold up long enough, on multiple children. That being said, this was never enough to convince me. I mean, sure, I wanted to save money, but not bad enough to deal with poopie diapers.

Of course, Rachel covered the environmental impact that disposables can make on the earth. I really, truly should care. But the reality is, I am selfish at heart. I care enough to recycle, but if it came to inconveniencing me, like when I lived in an apartment complex that only had one recycling bin all the way on the other side of the complex, well, my lazy nature set in, and I just threw it away. So this was by far no way the reason I decided to start cloth diapering! I just didn't care enough about the impact one child's poopie diapers could make on the environment. Hopefully you are a better person than I am, and if you are considering cloth diapering, this will be a point you consider longer than I did.

Rachel covered a few reasons why people are afraid to try, like they think it will be super gross (that was me) or like their husbands wouldn't be willing to try. She targeted these by explaining the process for cleaning them, and that if your husband is afraid to do cloth he probably wont help much with disposables either. I think she is right on both accounts. So first, how do you clean a cloth diaper? Well, maybe I should start by showing you a few pictures of the cloth diapers I use and how they work.

Below are a few pictures of what the cloth diapers look like when you buy them. I buy FuzziBunz diapers and absolutely love them! They come in lots of colors and have a great warranty. They are made with snaps which I prefer, since velcro can sometimes stick to everything in the wash. They come with one diaper, two inserts and extra elastic, in case the elastic starts wearing down. If you have problems with snaps, the waterproofing layer, or sewing issues, they will replace them forever! That means a lifetime guarantee! Not bad! If you want to know more about their diapers and their warranty you can visit:

Since I really want you to be able to see how they work, I took a lot of pictures of the diaper and the inserts. Here they are:

 So the diapers come with two inserts, the two on the left. You can order the one on the right for $3 more. During the day, I use two inserts total, one of the two on the right and the small one. The reason I like the one on the right so much is that it is super thin and amazing at holding water and not leaking. It is made of hemp and bigger so I can use it and one other insert at night or for longer times out shopping an guarantee that he won't leak! It is super awesome!

This is just a picture of what the diaper looks like. You can see there are a lot of snaps. This helps you to achieve the ideal setting. So if your kid has chunky legs, but a small tummy, you can adjust it to that and be sure it stays put (unlike velcro). The diapers also have elastic on the legs and waist that you can adjust with them as they grow. This diaper is what they call a One-Size diaper and could diaper a child from birth to potty-training. This makes cloth diapering even more affordable!

I took a picture of this side so you could see how soft the lining is (this one is a fleece lining, but the newer ones are made with a minky lining). The inside of the diaper (the green part) is lined with a plastic-like lining to ensure there are no leaks.
 You can see here that the diaper is now filled with the two liners. I have found it is easier to put in one insert at a time. It is really important to make sure the inserts lay flat, otherwise you can leave spaces and might experience leaking.
 Another important step is that you tuck the fleece lining over the inserts but under the elastic. This helps to make sure there are no leaks out the top. When you actually put the diaper on, it is a good idea to check all the sides to make sure it is on securely. It takes a few times figuring out the right adjustment for your kid, but once you figure it out, they are great at preventing leaks!

Finally, the above picture is what the diaper could look like all buttoned up. So now we get to how you clean the diapers. After a diaper is soiled you basically take out the inserts and put the inserts and the diapers into a laundry bag, and then they stay there until it is time to wash them. What about poopie diapers, you ask? Mostly, it isn't a huge deal. When Alexander was little, I could just put the poopie diaper right in the laundry hamper because they were really liquidy due to the fact that he was exclusively breastfed. And when he was breastfeeding and doing solids, the poop was pretty solid, so I would just dump them in the toilet and flush the toilet. Now we have entered a tricky situation where his poop isn't quite liquid but not completely solid. We really need to invest in a diaper sprayer. That would make his diapers easier to clean. And if I were still breastfeeding, I wouldn't have this problem. Unfortunately, I had to switch to formula last week because my milk supply was dropping and his weight was really low. I do think once his body gets used to formula, we will be fine again. Anyway, if I had a diaper sprayer, it would attach to the toilet and you could spray it into the toilet. So convenient!

So now that you know what to do with the dirty diaper, here are some pictures of our diaper bags. The first one is the one we use for putting soiled diapers in when we are away. It is also plastic lined and can easily hold up to 3 diapers. I have never needed to hold more than that so I suppose it might be able to hold more. The second one is a diaper laundry bag. It is also plastic lined so the wet stuff stays in. It hangs on the doorknob, and when it is time to wash the diapers, I basically unzip the bottom of the bag and all the diapers fall into the washing machine. No extra touching! I love that fact. Then I do a cold rinse, and then wash them with half the amount of detergent and a little oxy clean on hot/cold. You can buy special laundry soap for your diapers, or just use one free of perfumes or dyes. I use Arm and Hammer Free because it is cheap and does the job. Below are the pictures of my diaper bags:

So, as you can see the laundering process is pretty easy. The diapers can all be dried in the dryer on the lowest setting, but I prefer to hang dry at least the actual diapers. Some days I hang dry the liners and some days I dry them in the dryer. It all depends on if I have been lazy and need the liners done more quickly. I wanted a way to hang dry the diapers, and was about to purchase a drying rack, when I went to the dumpster to dump out some trash and noticed pieces of a child's bed frame sitting next to the dumpster. I instantly got an idea as to how I could use them as a drying rack. So these are just two pieces tied together with ribbon. Maybe one day I will actually buy hinges and make it more practical, but for now, it works! Here are some pictures of my drying rack:

As you can see, the diapers come in LOTS of cute colors. They also have pink and purple ones, but we don't have a need for those colors yet. I also found a way to organize the top drawer of the changing table to easily hold everything and a few disposable diapers, in case I ever need them. We do plan to use disposables while traveling, so we still will use them a little bit. Here is my drawer:

Okay, so I have finally finished covering a lot of the basics about cloth diapering. But, I still have yet to tell you why I switched. Here it is: Rachel said that cloth diapers eliminated her daughter's blow-outs and diaper rashes. This was unbelievable to me! Alexander had an average of four blow-outs a day in disposables as a newborn, and one a day right before we started cloth diapering (only a few months ago). His blow-outs were so bad that they would often go all the way up the back and ruin his outfits. I found myself constantly scrubbing out poopie outfits and soaking them in oxy clean. If I didn't do this, they would be forever stained. So we constantly had a bucket for soaking his clothes in his bathroom. When she said this, I was willing to give it a shot. I showed Scott her blog and he was willing to try too. After all, we were already dealing with scrubbing out all his poopie clothes, so we figured cloth diapers would be no different. Well, I am happy to report that Rachel was right. Alexander rarely has diaper rash, and almost never blows out of his diapers. The only time he has it has been the amount the size of a small crayon, and that was due to us just not adjusting the diaper setting right. So we are happy to report that the soaking bucket is gone! 

The final verdict is that Scott and I both love cloth diapering. And I have to admit, I love how much money we are saving and will continue to save as we use these diapers on multiple children. Overall, the cost of scrubbing out the occasional poopie diaper is far outweighed by not having to scrub out Alexander's outfits, and knowing that we are saving tons of money!

What about wipes, you ask? Well, I went back and forth trying to decide if I wanted to go cloth for at least the wet diapers. Then I realized, I don't use cloth when I go to the bathroom, so if I can buy toilet paper, than wipes are okay too. Maybe I will change my mind, but that is what I have decided for now.

I was also curious about swim diapers. So below is a picture of a swim diaper I bought. Right now, FuzziBunz is also selling a spring diaper that is super cute and works as a swim diaper too. That one is the one in the pictures later, that Alexander is wearing.

 Okay, so let's there anything else I need to cover? Oh yeah! Two things to be aware of if you are considering cloth diapers: First, you need to change cloth diapers about every two hours to prevent leaks and keep your kiddo more dry. Second, they make your baby's but look bigger. Both aren't a huge deal, but just something I thought you should know!

Oh more thing. If you are looking to buy these diapers you can get them at: I like their website because you can sign up for an account and earn 10% in store credit, every time you shop. Or you can get them a lot cheaper at their seconds store. It is where they sell diapers with minimal defects for a significant savings. That's where we bought most of ours and loved them. The seconds store website is: That store seems to constantly have a buy five get one free sale, which we used a couple of times. You can get the diapers and the inserts for about $5 cheaper a diaper, making them about $15 a diaper.

Well, if you have made it this far, I am impressed! This blog was super long, but I wanted it to be informative just in case any of you out there were wondering about cloth diapers! Below are some pictures of my cute little man in his new FuzziBunz swim diaper. He is just so cute! Enjoy!

Doesn't he just make you want to love 'em? Well, that is all for this post. Feel free to ask me any questions if you are curious! Tune in next time for a fun, but much shorter post :)

Mother's Day

Wow! This month has just flown by and I haven't really posted anything! I figured it would be nice to recount my first real Mother's Day! Last year was an almost Mother's Day, because I was pregnant with Alexander. Scott's family was so sweet and covered their entire coffee table with gifts for Alexander that they gave me on Mother's Day. It was super sweet!

This year we went out with Scott's parents (Russ and Diane), grandparents (Jim and Janine) and sister (Amy), to a Mother's Day breakfast at Kneaders. It was super yummy! They had a special going on Saturday, where you could get free french toast if you were a mom. So half of us got free french toast! Unfortunately, I neglected to take any pictures at the brunch, but it was a fun time.

Scott spoiled me for Mother's Day and got me cards from him and Alexander, a beautiful heart-shaped sapphire necklace, and some flowers. I still have neglected to take a picture of the necklace, so I will have to do that and add it here later. Alexander's card was super cute. It was a Cookie Monster card and it said "Cookies may be for sometimes....but you're an anytime Mommy!" It was fun because Alexander is super into Sesame Street right now. He watches it every morning after breakfast. Luckily we have Netflix, so it is easy to do!

For Mother's Day, we went to Russ and Diane's house for dinner. Amy made us dinner, and I brought the desert. I decided to take the lazy way out and let Wal-Mart do the baking. Since Russ doesn't like chocolate, and the rest of us do, we got a chocolate cake with vanilla cupcakes. They were super yummy. I think the best part of Mother's Day was that dinner wasn't ready on time. So we decided to eat our salad first, then dessert, then dinner. Super fun! Anyway, my Mother's Day was great. Below are some pictures for your enjoyment :)

 Well, that is all for this post. Tune in next time for something unbelievable!!!!!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Awesome April

Well, it looks like I have seriously slacked on my blogging, as of late! Hopefully I will be better next month. For now, I thought I would take a few moments to recap some of the fun things that went on last month. At first, it was hard to think of much besides Easter, but now that I have racked my brain, it seems there was a ton of stuff!

As we mentioned in the last post, Easter was great! We spent the day with Scott's family and had a blast helping Alexander hunt for Easter eggs. We are super excited for next year when he will get to run around and look for the eggs himself. It will be so much fun!

Another fun thing that happened for me this month, was that I got to visit some of my mission companions. Rachel Johns (formerly Sister Ransom) and I got together and went to check out the new mall in Salt Lake called City Creek. It is a super cute outdoor mall and reminds me of an upscale Redmond Towne Center. It was fun getting to see Rachel and her baby Kate. I have really gotten closer to Rachel since I got home because our babies are only a month apart, and it seems as though we have similar ideas on things we like to try for raising our little ones. So I love bouncing new ideas off her, and learning from some of the things she is doing. She is great! Later in the month, Rachel and I attended a baby shower for our mutual mission companion, Rachel Warner (formerly Sister Van Pelt). It was so much fun seeing her all cute and pregnant while we played with our babies. At one point during the baby shower we put Alexander and Kate next to each other and they were just playing and became the hit of the shower. It was so cute. Below is a picture of all of us together.

Well, as you know, I am currently serving in the Young Women's Presidency. I take every opportunity I can to find excuses to make fun deserts for them. Awhile ago, we had a karaoke night, and I made them microphone cupcakes using cupcakes, candies and ice cream cones. It was super fun. This month, we did a tea party for the girls and I made cupcakes that looked like cups of tea. I am definitely no cake decorator, but they still turned out cute. Below are pictures of the cupcakes and our tea party:

Another fun thing that I did this month was go to the Tulip Festival at Thanksgiving Point with my friend Kim, and her daughter, Kaylee. It was super fun! It ended up being a last minute decision to go, but I loved it. Last year, Scott and I went and really enjoyed it too! The only thing was that I was super pregnant last year, so it was nice to walk around and not get too tired and hot. The flowers were all so pretty! It was also fun watching Alexander as I took pictures of him. It was super hard because he wanted to play in the dirt and touch all the flowers. He is such a little boy!!! Below are a few pictures of us at the Tulip Festival.

Of course, we have to talk about all the new things Alexander learned how to do this month. It seems as if he has grown so much this month! The biggest milestone was that he learned how to crawl! The first time he crawled was April 14. It was actually kind of funny. Alexander loves my toes, so one day, I put them close to him when he was on the floor and slowly backed away, and the he crawled for the first time! I guess my painted toes have a bigger purpose than just looking cute! Even though Alexander has only been crawling a few weeks, he has done so much in that time. He learned how to get himself onto just his knees while next to the couch, and can now even pull himself to his feet while next to the couch or near a person. It is funny though, because he wants so badly to do it on his own that he will let go of the couch and try to stand on his own. Of course he doesn't have the balance down yet, so he usually falls. It is still super cute to watch. Another fun thing he is doing is trying to sing. We have a habit of singing to Alexander every night before bed. We usually sing him a lullaby type song and a hymn. Well, sometimes he will try and sing along, and a few weeks ago, he tried to sing at church. It was adorable! This month he also started making the "mama" and "dada" sounds. I don't think he associates it with us yet, but we try to encourage him to keep making those sounds. Lastly, he has started clapping when he is excited. It is so cute! Below are some pictures of some of these milestones this month, as well as some other cute things.

(This is a crazy picture...I know! But Scott loves blowing 
into Alexander's face and watching this reaction!) 
(Alexander HATES all green vegetables, so one 
night we were having green beans and I thought
it would be fun to try to let him feed himself and
he loved them. He couldn't get enough!) 

(This is Alexander's favorite ball. He chases it all around
the house. It is so cute!) 

(Alexander loves doorstops! He will go up and down the
hallway just playing with doorstops!) 
(Who needs toys when you have electronics?) 

(Alexander put himself in this position. It 
looks like he is in jail. So adorable!)

Well, not every growing moment is full of smiles and laughter. There have been a few hard things this month too. Alexander got both of his top front teeth in this month. He got them within two weeks, and the next one came in the beginning of May, with another to follow any day now. So he has been a bit cranky. Hopefully we will have a break from teething soon. He has also acquired many bruises this month. Since he started crawling, it seems that he runs into everything. But the worse bruise he received this month didn't have to do with crawling at all. He got it while swinging at the park. We were just hanging out and having fun, and out of nowhere this little boy ran right in front of Alexander as he was swinging. Alexander received a black eye, and the little boy got a goose egg on his head. Poor boys! After it happened, I wished I had super hero powers and could have stopped the whole thing, but I guess that is life! To the left is a picture of his first black eye.

Finally, I would like to wrap up this month with some precious moments of parenting! There were a few special moments this month that just melted our hearts. One of them was when Scott was leaving for work. Every day, we have breakfast together and have a group hug as Daddy is leaving for work. Well, one day, Alexander started crying after the hug. It was as if he knew Daddy was going to work and he wanted him to stay! So cute! The next two stories actually happened on the same day. A few days after Alexander started to crawl, Scott started chasing him around the house. It is so cute watching them. Anyway, after that first time, Scott said, "I have been waiting to do that ever since he was born, and now I finally can! I love that little guy so much. I never knew how great it is to be a Dad!" So sweet! That same night I was singing Alexander to sleep, and as is a common occurrence for me, I started making up a song to sing for him. I was singing about what a sweet boy he is and how much joy he brings to me. Before I knew it, I was describing all the things I love about him, and I was drawn to tears. I really do love my little man! I have to say, that my life feels perfect right now. I have an amazing husband, and a sweet little boy. I truly am blessed!

Well, you have finally made it to the end of this blog! Thanks for sticking it out with me! Next month I will try to update the blog more frequently, so that you don't have to read it all at once. Tune in next time for some fun walking memories!