Fluffy Bum Doesn’t Fit? Custom it Is!

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I never imagined I’d ever order my child custom clothes. I’m the kind of person who thrifts for everything from clothes to furniture and in a way even food. What I learned very quickly though about cloth diapering is that pants no longer fit the way they used to. It’s getting warmer so it’s not a huge issue since a cloth bum and tee shirt is alright to wear anywhere and since body suits can be bough a size bigger and be fine as well. We live in Maine though so we still have our days that are just too chilly. Yeah baby leggings work great too, but we only have one pair and they don’t go with everything. So… Maxaloones.

Maxaloones are these awesome pants that grow with your kiddo and they have a stretchy fabric circle over the bum so that cloth diapers can fit better without being squished (which can cause leaking). What makes them extra great is at the waist and feet there is breathable, stretchy fabric that can be rolled up or down to change the size. This one pair will last him at least another year.

I ended up commissioning Morgan, from Crabby Pants (they have custom diapers!), to make us a Mickey Mouse pair of Maxaloones and ended up splurging for the matching hooded tee shirt. We, all three of us, absolutely love this outfit!! It’s so comfy, just warm enough, and fits like a glove. Plus, I mean, it’s Mickey Mouse. Caleb’s favorite thing in the world is Mickey Mouse. Which leads me to the next thing I wanted to tell you, he is constantly asking to wear it and actually helps put it on which is very different from how he normally acts when it comes to clothing.

Yesterday we went to Papa’s, a local sub shop, and I took off the tee shirt part to avoid it getting stained and he instantly started whining to get it back. Never before have I seen my child want to wear clothing. Corey and I got a good chuckle out of that.

Things are just going so well. Caleb eats like a champ even though he’s still nursing. He sleeps through the night right by my side. Thanks to Brittney, my friend, we are now the proud owner of an Ergo and Caleb adores being carried in it. Being a crunchy and attached mother just makes my life so much easier and happier.

The First Leak-Still Loving Cloth

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For the first time ever, Caleb leaked through cloth today. I was so sad. What made it worse is he had to be in the ergo, had to take his pants off, and the fact he leaded was just disappointing. So what did I do about it? I went over to Eco Baby Boutique with my friends and got him a “cool dude” pair of baby leggings! These things fit really well, even over his ever so chubby thighs, diaper changes are a total breeze, and the best part is he can show off his ever so cute fluff bum.

Corey started off really reluctant to cloth. It started with, oh ew. Then he got to, I don’t know how to do it. Now his only real issue is with the cloth wipes so he still uses the disposable ones. When I first mentioned baby leggings to him it was a big no. I even made a pair… that was an even bigger no. When I came home with these today though he was totally into them. Yes, I totally picked the foot ball ones in hopes that he would like them and it worked.

Cloth has become a total blast for us. Searching out all the new patterns, trying to figure out the best deals and fit, and learning about the proper care is a new hobby for me. I’m still a newb when it comes to cloth but for all of my fellow newbs I figured I would share some of the things I’ve gathered from this wonderful new experience.

Brand wise price does not mean something’s better. The two cheapies I’ve tried (each about $5) are Sun Baby and Alva. I don’t really recommend Sun Baby as much as I’m not a fan of the fit and the bamboo inserts I like. On the other hand Alva diapers fit wonderfully, are super sturdy, just the right size, and the best part is you don’t have to buy six at a time. You can buy one and it’s all good. Another thing I’ve learned… CHARCOAL BAMBOO is the best kind of insert. You can get 8 for $20 on Alva’s website and you really should. It’s super cheap that way and they work the absolute best.

For a slightly more expensive brand but my absolute favorite, try out Sweet Pea diapers. Both their covers and All in One bamboo diapers are fantastic. They fit really well, have double elastic around the legs, and with double snaps they aren’t going to come off or roll down uncomfortably. At night all we do is double up on their prefolds in a cover and it lasts no problem till morning. I’m a little excited about this brand. They have really cute prints for both boys and girls (not that it matters) and they are really reasonably priced for such nice diapers. I’m meeting the people who make them next month and I can’t contain my excitement.

I hope that those of you questioning or thinking about cloth diapering take the dive. It’s a really great thing to do for the environment, your wallet, and your little one’s bum.

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SO COLD: Swimming?

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To say the least, everyone thinks that we’re crazy. This is just barely the beginning of warm, way too warm and humid, weather in Maine. That means that the water wont be warm enough for probably at least another month. Yesterday was 80 degrees out though and I was pretty determined to go swimming. Covered in sweat, not even owning a bathing suit, I told Corey I wanted to go down to the Rec. and secretly gathered Caleb’s swim stuff and towels.

We walked the fifteen minutes down to our local Recreational Park. I walked right past the play ground Corey wanted to stay on and straight into the water. Heck yes. It was cold; frigid even. Did it feel amazing though? Absolutely. Caleb, my little water baby, was so ready to dive right in after me so I had Corey put his swimmy diaper on him and his bathing suit. He ran right in, fell over, swam a little (which was pretty impressive; he kept his head up), and then ran right out. A few breaths later he walked right back in up to his thighs and smiled.

He was only really in the water a few minutes total and then stood just up to his ankles and splashed around. He wasn’t in any danger, I was right there with him and knew that even though it was cold it wasn’t TOO cold. If he had turned blue or had been shivering uncontrollably I totally would have taken him out. He had a total blast. I mean look at that smile! He was just about to run back in and was so pleased with himself and where we were.

Once again, this all comes down to trust. I trusted that if it was too cold for him, Caleb would have gotten out of the water. I trusted that he wouldn’t let himself get hurt by the water. I stood back and let him do his thing. Corey was at the ready with a towel and dry clothes just in case. Sure enough though, he had the time of his life in the “big puddle.” I’m so glad our little family got the chance to go out and have fun like that with one another.

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Outside the Box

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Kids are awesome. Dani is my niece that I put on the bus half the time. Usually Caleb is still sleeping by then (and Corey is sleeping right next to him) so he gets to stay home. Today though he got up with me at 6:30 so I decided to get him dressed and have him come with me. Goodness I’m so glad I did.

Dani and I always stand in front of these stairs/this ramp while we wait for the bus. While their was snow I’d throw her on top of the snow and chase her around a little but mostly it was just cold and we would just stand there and shiver. This morning though, these kids had an absolute blast. They were playing “tag” and the side walk was safe. They had to keep running up the ramp though and the stairs were off limits because they were too dangerous to run on.

The kids set all the rules, Caleb didn’t even try to run into the street, and for the whole ten minutes we were out there neither got bored. It was their imagination that fueled the fun. I could have said, “No, no, kids. That’s not our stairs. Stay down.” I could have said, “I don’t think so Caleb, those stairs are too dangerous for you.” I could have said, “It’s too dangerous being near the road, come stand with me.” I mean, Caleb’s only one. Trusting him to run around near a road makes me incredibly nervous.

I trust them though. I trust them to make good choices. I trust that Dani wont let Caleb get hurt. I trust that they wont be too loud in front of someone’s house. I trust that they are capable little people who aren’t going to get hurt from running around on a few stairs and a ramp. That trust allows their creativity to shine, for them to learn important things such as boundaries, and to grow as people in general.

I just wanted to share this happy little moment in my day. These kiddos make me so happy and proud to be a part of their lives.

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Touched Out

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Around a year old Caleb weaned himself at night. I have had some fabulous nights of sleep. Even better, he sleeps from about 11pm till at least 8am the next morning usually. Two naps during the day, nursing intermittently… it works really well for both of us. Yesterday though…

Caleb decided he needed a nap at nine last night, didn’t wake up when his daddy got home, and went straight from the nap to bed with me. Five this morning I was regretting that terribly. He was WIDE awake and wanted nothing more than to nurse, snuggle, play, and kick me out of bed so that we could go play in the living room. Once we got into the living room, the little man was a total boob hound. Finally…

I turned Doc McStuffins on the TV and I took a shower. I was feeling frazzled, angry, exhausted. I was mad at him for wanting to meet his basic needs. I was mad at myself for thinking how mad I was at him and I realized that being mad at him was ridiculous and horrible but I couldn’t help it. All I could think was how touched out I was. I didn’t get enough sleep, I didn’t get woken up nicely like usual, and I needed a break.

Hours later I’ve come to the conclusion that all of those feelings are okay. I didn’t act on them in any way that could hurt my child. I didn’t scream at him or say things that would hurt his feelings. I just went and took a shower. I took the time to walk away from the situation, calm down, and move on. When I got out of the shower I took him in my arms, nursed him peacefully, and funny enough he fell asleep for a nap. I’m absolutely convinced that the reason he was acting out was because he could feel my frustration and the energy was hurting him.

When you’re this frustrated, when you feel like you’re going to break, take a step back. Go do something for you. Put your kiddo in a safe and entertaining place first of course, but the best thing you can do for the both of you is to take the time you need.

Uh Oh, Discipline Vs. Punishment

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Before Caleb was born Corey and I had this crazy idea about spanking. What was so crazy about it? We thought it was a great idea. Why did we think that exactly? Why did we think that hitting a small child who can’t fight back would be a good idea? Why did we have no problem with that when hitting any adult would be considered assault and have a chance of landing us in jail? Well, it’s what our parents, like most parents, did. We didn’t seem to have any negative outcome from being spanked.

Caleb was born and we fell in love and after hearing the argument against spanking of, why hit a child when anyone else would be illegal, we decided spanking was a huge no. From there I wanted a better reason than just a gut feeling for when people asked me why we wont spank. Here’s a great resource: https://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/pages/Spanking-Linked-to-Mental-Illness.aspx

That left us with the question of how to discipline our little boy. I started to research the different methods out there and something that really stood out to me was the difference between Discipline and Punishment. The easiest way to put it I think is that Discipline is teaching a child how to act the way they are expected to in a positive way rather than making them feel bad about themselves without really learning a lesson. Punishment is often associated with the negative and ends up with a child thinking, “Mommy’s so mean!” Discipline often ends with a child understanding what they have done wrong and learning how to be “better.” I’m no expert, I really can’t put into words as well as I’d like to the difference, but it is an important one.

Right now Caleb is 18 months old and kind of a trouble maker. He has no fear which unfortunately means my daily level of fear has gone up three fold. Climbing, all the time, is all he wants to do and frankly it just isn’t safe. He’s already gotten himself a good shiner from climbing on his desk and slipping as he tried to get down. How do we keep him from climbing on things when he wont listen, like any normal 18 month old, to our requests to do just that?

This is where Discipline comes in. Frankly there aren’t a lot of things you can do. We’ve already said no to spanking (which includes popping or slapping any part of his body.) He’s too young to really understand how serious I am when we say no. So what is there to do? Science has shown a big reaction like yelling or freaking out will only reinforce the action. Children are looking for a reaction. Good or bad, any reaction will make them want to do the action more. That’s not to say when they aren’t being safe that you should just ignore it.

The worst place my son like to climb is our tv stand. It’s narrow, the TV could tip on him, and it’s higher up than he could fall without being hurt. Whenever he climbs up there, which is getting less and less thankfully, I take him down without saying a word or without any expression on my face. I sit him down on the couch with me and that’s that. I know it doesn’t sound like much, but please remember that he is only a year and a half old at this point. How much does he really understand? Right now the best way to keep him safe and out of trouble is to take him away from the situations.

Same goes for when we are out in public. The whole, I’m not getting my way and want to throw a tantrum, thing started a couple of months ago. We ignore it and walk away. That fit ends within seconds. He gets himself together and follows us after he sees that he isn’t getting a reaction and that we’re leaving. We could make a big deal about it, try to drag him onto his feet, yell at him… It wouldn’t have the effect that walking away does.

So, what happens as he gets older? Right now I watch a five and ten year old regularly. I have to take a very different tactic with them. They can understand when I say no. They know right from wrong. Again, hitting isn’t even on the spectrum of a solution. What is a solution, and has worked amazingly on both of these kids, is something that just felt right to me. If they lie, don’t listen, throw a fit, or anything else that requires discipline I tell them in an even voice to sit down. The first week or two that I was watching them they would sit down and have a tantrum in the chair. Yelling, hitting it, telling me how mean I am. I’d let them throw the fit and I’d just wait. Eventually they’d calm down and I’d just talk to them. I’d ask if they knew why I asked them to sit down. The five year old usually just shrugged her shoulders but the ten year old would tell me why. Either way I would tell them why I asked them to sit, explain why I didn’t like that action, and I’d ask if they thought they should be doing it. If they said no, they could go do something else. The ten year old I’d sometimes have do a chore like take out the trash. After that they wouldn’t do the action again. Months later, working with this form of Discipline, the kids have many an amazing transformation with me. I wish I could say more, but just know that the ten year old has become a whole different person.

It seems so simple, it almost seems like it isn’t discipline, but it works. There is a term I’ve heard used that I really love. “Train UP a child.” This means to show them how you’d like them to act and rather than telling them no all the time, telling them what you’d like to see instead. One great example is going to the grocery store. Rather than going in and saying to the children, “Don’t touch anything. Don’t run away from me. Don’t ask for anything.” try a more positive approach. “Please stay with me. Hand on the cart please. Sorry, we aren’t getting that this time. I understand you are disappointed but not this time.” It’s amazing what happens when you parent in a positive way.

These little changes, these simple ways of disciplining children, have made my life better and a lot less stressful and I hope it can help you as well.

The Magic of Chuck E. Cheese

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A few months back, Caleb and I were invited to a birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese. Like any neurotic mother, I was a little bit nervous about the incredible amount of people, germs, and the possibility of losing him in the crowd. What we found though was a whole different story…

This day was fantastic. Between the area for toddlers, including a game like whack-a-mole that Caleb loved, the pizza he got to devour (he ate more than any of the other kids and he’s the youngest by three years), and helping his mama play the foot ball game by handing me the balls the fun never ended. We were there for three hours and he never stopped going. It was very easy to let him run around and keep an eye on him without worrying about him running out the door since they black light stamp everyone to keep them inside.

The down side to the day? Oh my poor back. I now have lasting back pain from the amount of picking up my 25lb baby that happened that day. It feels like it’s been just a bit crushed. Was it worth it? In the long run probably not but I’d absolutely do it again. It’s a great, cost effective activity. Good food, great games, a play area… Go check it out!

Mommi Recipe #2

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Today for lunch I wanted to do something to use up these peppers before they went bad and I figured stuffed peppers would be easy enough. Only took about half an hour from start to finish.

Ingredients:

Spaghetti Sauce

Half a Chopped Onion

1 Cup of Rice

1lb of Hamburger

Two-Six Peppers

Seasonings of Your Choice (I used cajun and seasoning salt)

Instructions:

1) Preheat Oven to 350 degrees.

2) Brown Hamburger and Season to Taste

3) Cook Rice

4) Mix hamburger, rice, onions, and spaghetti sauce.

5) Cut off top of peppers and use a spoon to get the seeds out then rinse.

6) Spoon mixture into peppers and top with cheese if you want.

7) Bake for 15 minutes.

We had extra mixture but not peppers and made burritos as well.

“My Mama!”

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One of the funniest parts of my day is bed time. Corey will lay down with me and snuggle while Caleb plays. The thing is… After a few moments, Caleb notices that we are snuggling and he comes over and pushes us apart. He claims me so that his daddy can’t snuggle with me. We always end up laughing hysterically.

This morning I climbed out of bed and Caleb happened to wake up; much earlier than usual for him. He comes into the living room where I’m sitting and he climbs up onto me and wraps himself around me. All I can think is that he’s once again claiming me. I can just picture him saying, “My Mama!” It’s funny how that happens though; how our children get so attached to us, know us, and need us. It feels like a blessing to be so loved by this little person. He absolutely amazes me.

Sorry about rambling all sentimentally today, but I can’t get over this amazing gift I’ve been given and how sweet he really is. I just… I love him. I don’t know what else to say!

The Importance of Friendship

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After high school I really drifted away from any friends I used to have. More than that, after Caleb came I realized how different my “friends” and I really were and decided that parting ways would be best for both Caleb and I. That’s okay. Eventually though, without even knowing it, I found myself very lonely. All the play groups and classes in the world couldn’t make up for just plain out not having friends. For Caleb, he has his cousins and what not but they are all bigger than him. They aren’t on the same level as him which made it hard for both of them to really play and interact properly. I was feeling pretty bad that my child was as alone as I was. We have each other of course, and that’s enough for me, but I knew that having friends would be better for us both.

Well, one day I went to the crochet group I started and I met Amy. She brought her daughter Alyara with her and in the middle of our meet up had to nurse. It was an insta-connection. Alyara was only a month younger than Caleb and super cute. Amy’s friend Brittney ended up booking a Thirty-One party through me a few weeks later and all of the kiddos were invited. Caleb and Alyara met that night and oh my goodness they were adorable. He would hold her hand and snuggle up to her… and she’d put her hand out and push him right away from her. Oh yeah, we know who wears the pants in that relationship!

That night there was another kiddo present. Sharlett, Brittney’s daughter, who is only a couple of weeks younger than Caleb. They didn’t bond much that night but… the story doesn’t end there! The three of us started hanging out and our little ones did as well. Watching them play makes my heart sing. The way we feel says a lot as well. Caleb and I are both a lot happier and less lethargic having something to look forward to, aka our play dates. Sharlett and Caleb have found a special bond though. Both are charismatic kiddos who love the park and food. They play so well together and I can’t get over just how cute they really are. I mean… just look at this!

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So go make some friends mommies! You will feel so much better, you will not have as much stress, and your little ones will have someone to spend time with as well. I mean, hopefully at least. Just, don’t be alone. Loneliness can over take you and turn you into someone you don’t want to be. Friendship is important. It’s important to show your kids how to be a good friend. FRIENDSHIP.