Friday, August 26, 2011

Beginnings of beginnings

 Yesterday marked the hubs last official day of work at Hillsides (yeah!!) and the start of his next two months of working from home (yeah again!). To make the occasion we had over a few close friends/family and made a gigantic pile of sushi! Needless to say, we had a wonderful time marking the end of his 3 1/2 years of employment. For those of you who have always wanted to make sushi at home, but are intimidated by the process - just go for it! I highly recommend using a good sushi rice recipe but beyond that, just go for it!

Today, after realizing having a work from husband might be a little bit of work for me (all the predictions that my son would need a break from his dad's energy level were coming true as Kai asked to read books in response to Chris's suggestion they go outside and kick around a soccer ball), we decided to meet up with a couple friends and go to Eaton Canyon to splash around and cool off. Great decision! After a slip by a very pregnant & imbalanced me (seriously, try putting a 12 lb basketball under your shirt and then go for a walk in a stream) and a water snake spotting, we proceeded as planned.

We had a fantastic time, definitely cooled off, and Kai proved once again how stubborn and independent he is - absolutely fearless and willing to try anything, including jumping off a rock twice his height into water half his height.

Enjoy the pics from the day, I'll put some more up soon - we're headed to the beach tomorrow!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Cloth Diapers

When I was pregnant with Kai, I decided it would be a good idea to attempt cloth diapers. After hours and hours of research, both online and through conversation with other moms, I finally arrived at a conclusion: Soft Bums!  But before, I put in my plug for Soft Bums, let me first put in my plug for Why Cloth Diapers?!

* You'll save a couple thousand dollars over the course of your child's first couple years of life
(increased water cost accounted for & depending on when you potty train)
* They cause less rashes & irritation than disposable
* Less of an impact on the environment (you'll find both sides of this argument, but in general, cloth decomposes better than disposable)
* More incentive for YOU to potty train sooner (see blog on Elimination Communication). Who wants to be rinsing poopy cloth diapers when their kid is old enough to walk?
* According to my husband - 'social capital - other people are impressed by you' (sure, why not?)

After I explain why I chose Soft Bums, I'll also give you a couple personal tips on making cloth diaper use pretty painless.

Couple terms useful for reading this blog entry:
* Shell: outside piece of the cloth diaper assembly
* Insert: cloth placed inside the shell that absorbs whatever needs to be (hopefully!)
* Pocket: actual pocket on some shells where inserts can be placed (disadvantage - you have to wash the shell after each use)
* Snap-in Insert: insert lays on top of the shell, which ideally allows for the shell to be re-used multiple times before washing
* Pre-fold diapers: what you think of when you think 'cloth diaper' - what our mom's used

Here are my reasons for choosing Soft Bums over other brands such as Bum Genius or G Diaper (though many mom's I know love both of these):

* Soft Bums are incredibly similar to disposable diapers & therefore are incredibly easy to use both for you and for any baby-sitters, grandparents, or hubbies. Specifically, they velcro rather than snap.

* Soft Bums shells fit a wide range of weights (5-40lbs) so you don't have to buy various sizes of shells as your baby grows.

* Soft Bums Omni acts either as pocket shell or a snap-in, so you can choose which method works best for you.

* Soft Bums last, I've had the same 6 shells & 18 inserts for my son for over a year and they are all in good shape. You can also use any fabric for additional absorption including but not limited to pre-fold diapers.

While I highly, highly recommend Soft Bums, I would encourage you to do your own research knowing each mom has their own criteria and expectations.

As a conclusion, a couple tips for making cloth diaper use easy:
1. Don't start with cloth diapers from day 1, especially on your first baby. Give yourself a chance to adjust to your new baby. Plus, those first few baby poo's are yucky! and I would not want to clean it off a cloth diaper! Ease into it - try a couple during the day at first, then gradually shift to using them around the clock. Also, ease into using them in public.
2. Don't be afraid to use disposable. Disposable diapers are especially useful when the baby is first born, when you're traveling, if your baby is sick (intestinal illness especially), or if your baby has predictable and terrible bowel movements.
3. Have a soaking bucket. We bought a plastic trash can with a latchable lid for dirty cloth diaper shells & inserts. We fill it up with clean water & baby friendly detergent (Dreft or Method are our preferred detergents) and then just toss in dirty shells & inserts until it's time to wash a load of diapers. We have a top load washer so we just dump the entire contents of the bucket into the washer, put it on spin and then add detergent after the water has been wrung out of the diapers.
4. Get a wet bag. These completely sealable, plastic-lined cloth bags are perfect for containing the sight, smell, and extras of dirty cloth diapers when you're out and about or on short trips. Good ones are 100% machine washable so they can just go in with the diapers.
5. A word on poo: you will have to touch it if you do cloth diapers. Some moms use gloves & special buckets, others of us just wash our toilet often and do a rinse in the bowl - flush! If you're squeamish, you may want to ease into the cloth diaper arena even more slowly.

Hopefully all of this information helps as you make the decision to cloth or not :)

Enjoy the journey and let me know if I can help in anyway!


We are officially (pending safe arrival of baby #2) moving! After multiple job interviews and lots of decision making, Chris landed a job in Nairobi, Kenya. We're pretty excited to be moving and have already started many of the common moving 'to do's'. Baby #2 is due mid-September, but she's sure trying hard to come sooner! After 3 trips to the hospital with pre-term labor, she seems to have settled down for the past couple weeks. One more week and she's full term - ready to go! Assuming all goes well, we'll leave from Sacramento within the first couple days of November.

So, with all the changes I decided it was time to make a couple changes to my blog. It will be a conglomeration of thoughts, general happenings, recommendations, stories, and hopefully a good amount of photos. We know it will be very important for people to still receive personal updates from us, but this will hopefully be a great way for everyone to keep up to date with our day to day.

No commitments on frequency of blog posts, but I'll shoot for at least one a week. I'll also attempt to put together a section of blogs re: mothering as I've had a couple people ask for thoughts on potty training/cloth diapers/discipline(eek!)/juggling responsibilities. No guarantees on quality or quantity but I'll do my best :)

For now, here are a couple pictures from the past few weeks. Enjoy & I'll keep more coming!

Date night at Cha Cha Chili's in LA

 Kai's most recent creation - watch out kindergarten!

 Kai meeting his cousin Jennifer Zoe Hubbell

 Kai at Eaton Canyon 

Kai loves yogurt!

The Favorites