Reason 827 of Why We Love Cloth Diapers

The coordinating cuteness of a cloth diaper outfit. So cute. So ecofriendly. So stylish. 

I LOVE getting to coordinate outfits around diaper prints. I love pineapples, so naturally, I buy all of the pineapple things. 

This cuteness overload brought to you by cloth diapers. 


Want these styles? Find them here:

Cloth diaper: http://www.liltulips.com

Pineapple hat: https://www.target.com/p/baby-pineapple-print-trucker-hat-cat-jack-153-aqua/-/A-52090467

Pineapple picnic blanket: https://www.target.com/p/yellow-fruit-bed-blanket/-/A-51515081?lnk=rec|slp|search_bought|slp|51515081|0

S’well water bottle: https://www.liltulips.com/products/sip-by-swell?variant=32212247886

Shirt: Sweet Southern Creations on Facebook 

Leggings: Lularoe 

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You Are My Sunshine: An Infertility Reality

Tonight this little cutie was having a difficult time falling asleep. He wanted to “cuddle with his blanket and mom.” Of course, I obliged even though I had already laid him down 30 minutes prior. These cuddles are not as frequent as they were when he was itty bitty. I find myself taking advantage of every moment like this. Constantly wondering if I will ever get to experience this amazing thing called motherhood again. 

I gently swayed back and forth with his big boy body in my arms. I whispered in his ear, asking him if he wanted me to sing him a song. He smiled and replied with, “yeah, Elmo’s song?”

“Of all the songs in the world he wants that one, really?” I thought to myself, yet I immediately smiled at him and started in with the “lalalas”. We sang another song. Then I started singing “You Are My Sunshine”. He quickly laid his head onto my shoulder and was deep breathing in my ear. 
I got through one verse. Then the tears began to fall. How truer are those words right now?

 “You are my sunshine, my only sunshine.” He is my only sunshine. He is my only. He is the brightest star in my day, in my world. I can’t help but wonder, question, and continue to pray. Will he be my only? Will we be blessed again? When? How? Why has it not happened yet?

“You make me happy when skies are gray.” Gosh, how I, how we have been struggling lately. Struggling to get pregnant, struggling with work, keeping up with life. However, this little boy manages to bring us bountiful joy each and every day. We are always happy to be with him. We are always happy he is ours. 

“You’ll never know dear, how much I love you.” Do children ever understand how deep the love of a parent runs? I know I didn’t. Not until I was a parent myself. 

“Please don’t take my Sunshine away.”

Praying. Praying that God will bless us with another sunshine to make our little sunshine shine even brighter. 

I continued whisper singing to him, with him smiling, and tears in my eyes and cheeks. Many people don’t know this, but we tried for a long time to get this miracle. We have been trying for quite some time for a second one. 

Why I Let Him Fall

Did you chuckle, or full on belly laugh too? It makes me chuckle every time. Go ahead and think I am a “bad mom” and then I will explain why I was right there and let him fall. And no, it is not because I was video taping. 

There are a few reasons why I let this happen and let similar things happen on a daily basis. First off, I knew he was safe. I knew he wasn’t going to get hurt. It wasn’t like I was allowing him to fall from the top of the climbing structure. He had also successfully climbed up the same structure unassisted about 27 times before I decided to record him. 

My second reason is that so many kids these days never experience failure or struggle. We seem to always be right there to help them, to swoop in and protect them. But one day they will go to pre-school, kindergarten, high school, college or into the real world on their own where we will not be there. (I know that’s scary and it sucks to realize that our babies will be there in the blink of an eye.) How can we expect them to handle failure and struggle without freaking out if they have never experienced it, even on the small scale? 

Also, I want my child to know that it is OK to make mistakes. I want him to be able to get back up and try again. And ya know what? In this video that is exactly what he did. He looked at me, I smiled back at him, he smiled back, he got up and climbed to the top by himself. At 16 months old my child has learned that fall doesn’t equate cry every time. Fall does equate get up. 

I let him fall and struggle with other things too because babies and toddlers have amazing brain power. They are problem solvers. They can figure out how to do things in ways we wouldn’t have imagined. I want him to be a problem solver. I want him to realize he doesn’t have to solve a problem in the same way as someone else. 

I want my child to grow up to be determined to accomplish whatever he wants to accomplish. I want him to be able to be able to perservere because life isn’t easy. I want him to have the skills to problem solve and be creative when he needs to be. That is why I let him fall. 

5 Things I’ve Learned as a Cloth Diapering Dad

Cloth is not much more difficult than using disposables
Yes you do have to to spray out poopy diapers and wash the diapers. But with disposables you will have to deal with blowouts and extra laundry due to blow outs. Disposables also smell gross, something we hadn’t noticed before until we used cloth for a while and then used disposables on a trip.
Snaps vs. Hook and Loop (velcro)
At first as a cloth diapering dad hook and loop were way more dad friendly when it came to changing diapers. Though with time the snaps became not so scary and just as easy.
The support of dads
In all the social media groups there is great support for dads cloth diapering. If a dad has any questions about anything the women and other dads are very supportive and give great answers and feedback.
It’s not just a mom thing
Diapering a child as well as things like baby wearing, breastfeeding support and other general parenting things are not just the moms job. A dad is fully capable in doing all the things a mom can do and should help equally. As bonus when you help your wife with these things is makes her happy. ( Happy wife, happy life).
Prints, Exclusives and Fast fingers
After becoming a cloth diapering dad I’ve realized that cloth diapering moms can be a little crazy. The hype and then the disappointment when an exclusive print is not acquired is a bit nuts, but entertaining not the less. Bottom line is cloth diapers are reusable poop catchers that are a great alternative to disposables without the chemicals.IMG_20160710_203011_wm
Written by Chris
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3 Things We Can Do To Fix It

I HATE controversial topics. After pitter pattering back in forth in my mind all day I have decided that I need to make a post just to clear my head. I am not going to debate anything. I am not going to take a side. This isn’t about that at all. We are all sad. We are all upset. We are all hurting. America is hurting. It isn’t what it is supposed to be. I do not want my child growing up in this reality, and I know you do not want yours to either. We need to change it. This blame game, you don’t understand my side of the story BS needs to stop. We need to fix it. We need to make it better.

Respect. We can model and teach respect more effectively than we are doing.

Our country as a whole has respect issues. I hear people say that you have to earn it, but what are you doing to earn it yourself? We are not respectful of one another, yet we have this belief that everyone should respect us and feel empathy for the situation we are in. It’s not OK. People are setting this example for their children and it is only going to get worse. Respect works both ways. You have to act respectable to be respected. It is about your actions.

It is more than just respecting authority, elders, etc. It is also about respecting yourself. We are not modeling respect accurately for our children so they have no way to learn it. When you lash out at others verbally, physically or what have you, you are demonstrating a lack of respect for that person and for yourself. Our young teens in America think it is “cool” and appropriate to behave this way. We have set a horrible example of respect.

Before you act, before you open your mouth, before you type a comment on the keyboard, ask yourself if that is how you want to represent yourself. Are those actions or words something I will be proud of, are they something I want my child to hear/see/be represented by? Respect does not mean you have to agree with everyone and it will all be sunshine and rainbows. You can disagree with someone’s opinion and still respect them.

Bottom line, if we want to fix it we need to do a better job respecting others, respecting ourselves and teaching our children how to do the same. Respect.

Accountability. We can model and teach accountability more effectively.

We also have major accountability issues that need to be fixed as a society. When something happens everyone wants to point fingers yet no one wants to accept or admit blame. Even when something is a complete accident and truly nobody’s fault, people still want to point fingers. We have got to do a better job being accountable for ourselves, our actions and our words both good and bad.

Why is it so hard for people nowadays to admit when they make a mistake? Mistakes happen. It’s how we better ourselves. No one should be beat down for making a mistake. I make 27 mistakes every day. I admit when I make them, I learn, I move on. Be accountable. Model accountability for your kids.

Forgiveness. We can model and teach forgiveness more effectively.

This is two fold, you have to be able to forgive others and ask for forgiveness when you need it too. We love to hold grudges. Why? What good does a grudge do besides breeding anger and hate? People, we have got to do a better job of letting go and forgiving. How will we ever progress forward as a country if we can not move on.

If I tick my child off when he is in his teens, the last thing I want his him holding a grudge against me when he is in his 40’s. We have to teach them the power of forgiveness.

Back to accountability, when you screw up apologize and ask for forgiveness. Forgiveness is a powerful tool. It is good for the body, mind and soul.

 

Please. I urge you. Let’s fix ourselves. Let’s fix our families. Let’s help fix each other. Let’s help fix the hate in America. Let’s help make America what we want it to be for our children.

Let’s look at a couple of scenarios before I am done running my mouth. If my 16 month old sweet baby boy comes to me in 18 years and tells me that he wants to be a police officer I want to feel nothing but pride, not complete fear for his life. If that same sweet baby boy comes to me in 20 years with plans to marry (let’s face it though he is a mama’s boy and will never get married) a sweet African-American young lady I want to feel nothing but pride, not complete fear of what their children will have to live through.

 

 

5 Things to Consider Before Taking a Toddler to the Beach

The conditions may not be ideal. There are a lot of things to consider when it comes to the conditions. If your toddler is anything like mine on a sunny day he refuses to wear sunglasses and keeps a hat on in 30 second increments. He will either need to get used to squinting or get better at keeping things on his head. Temperature is another condition that comes to play. If it is hot, that sand can get hot quickly. Toddlers don’t always understand this right away, especially when they have recently learned to walk. The water may also be colder than comfortable. The water may also be too rough for safe swimming. Go anyway. Just be prepared. 

Sunblock. You will need to put it on. Try to get it on somewhere away from the sand. Sand + sunscreen + busy toddler = chaffing where you don’t want it. 

Food. Pack it. Your toddler will get hungry while there, even if you just fed him. Mess free foods that they don’t have to touch are great for the beach, baby food pouches, yogurt pouches just to name a couple. 

What to wear. Not just your child, you. Have you ever been around a toddler while wearing a bathing suit? You will want a suit that he can’t easily expose anything on you that you don’t want the entire beach to see. Think about a cover up that is easy to put on and take off too. 

He may actually hate it. Yup. What you can’t see in this picture is that my poor little guy is crying. He hated the sand, the water was freezing, he straight up hated it all. We had been at the beach 8 months prior and he LOVED the sand and the water. I was so excited to take him back and he hated it. 

Practical Father’s Day Gift

When it comes to gift giving for these sort of holidays, and you have multiple people to think about, I like to keep it simple and find a gift that will suit everyone, that is practical, meaning they will actually use it and reasonably priced. For Father’s Day I have to think about my husband, father, father-in-law and step-father-in-law who all have very vast interests. One thing they all enjoy (or at least we think they enjoy, or maybe their wives just make them do it) is grilling. They also all love your little guy, so he needed to be included in the gift too.

Here’s what you will need to make your own grilling platter:

DSC_0167

  • Rubbing Alcohol
  • Paint Brushes
  • Multi-surface/ceramic paint
  • plain white platter
  • paper towels

I purchased everything at Walmart. The platters were located by the other plates and dishes and cost $9 and some change. I purchased multi-surface paints, just be sure that you can use them on ceramics. These particular ones were 97 cents each.

Here’s what you will need to do:

  1. Per directions on the paints, clean surface with rubbing alcohol before painting.
  2. Begin painting. I started with the words, because if I messed up, or wasn’t happy with the placement, I could wipe it off with rubbing alcohol and start over without messing up any of the art work.DSC_0170

    3. Add hand and footprints. (Easiest if you have someone else to help you)

     

    DSC_01754. Paint the details. I tried to think of things that could be grilled and were easy enough for me to paint.DSC_0172

    5. Set the paint so that you can use the platters. There should be directions on your paint bottles. For these paints they needed to air dry for 1 hour, and then be placed in a cool oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. The other option was to air dry for 21 days, ain’t nobody got time for that!

    DSC_0223

    They came out great! I know that all the grandpas and my husband will love them!

    DSC_0231

Tips For Working Parents

Disclaimer: This post is not to bash or down play the hard work that stay at home parents put in.

Being a working parent can suck. It can. When you are at home you have the constant feeling that you need to be the best parent and forget about work. When you are at work you have the constant feeling that you have to be the best at your profession while constantly thinking about your child. It is a struggle. It is a balancing act. It is possible to do both and do well at both.

Both my husband and I work full time. We both have significant drives to work. His commute is about 20 minutes, mine is about 45+ minutes. We also have different days off, meaning he has off while I work, and he works every weekend. Here are some things that we have found help us stay sane at work and at home on a regular basis…wait, are we even sane on a regular basis? These tips would probably be helpful for anyone.

  1. Help each other out. This one is huge! Helping one another is truly the key. With both of us working one of us usually makes dinner while the other one plays with the kid. One of us packs up his bag for the next day, while the other one packs up his lunch. Neither of us complain. We never really tell each other no. If one of us needs help, or asks for something to be done, the other one just does it. It helps us to both be happier at home.
  2. Have a plan. For everything. Plan for the expected and the unexpected. Plan what everyone will wear the night before. If you have school aged kids, have them wear their school clothes to bed so getting dressed in the morning is argument free and thoughtless. Plan what you will eat for the day, for the week. Have a plan for what will happen if the kid is sick. Who will stay home? In our house, my husband is first in line for sick duty since he doesn’t have to write sub plans when he misses a day of work.
  3. Learn to let it go. Be okay when said plans do not work out. When things go wrong at work, let them go before you get home. When things go wrong in the morning at home, learn to let it go before you get to work. It’s not your kid’s fault you had a crappy day at work, just like it’s not your boss’s fault that your kid slept horribly the night before. There will be nights when you get NOTHING done at home. There will be dishes in the sink, or laundry piled high, but I assure you, it will be okay. Let it go, let it go!
  4. Find childcare you can trust. Find someone or somewhere you can take your child that you feel comfortable. As parents, we all worry a little bit when our children aren’t with us. That worry gets multiplied a thousand or more times over when we do not 100% trust who they are with. Visit childcare places when there are children present. Ask questions. Pop in. Be open with them about your expectations.
  5. Put down your devices. How much time do you waste on your device at home? This is an issue for us. Set aside a couple of hours each night that are device free. You would be shocked at how much more productive you can become.
  6. Early bedtime. Send those kids to bed early. Kids need more sleep than adults anyway. Bedtime in our house is around 7. Once he is down we get ready for the next day, taking care of any house work that needs to be done or personal things. This is also our time to be together. Sometimes, we just hop into bed, stalk Facebook, play some games, talk and go to sleep.
  7. Quit comparing yourself to others. Social media is the worst for this. We see an unrealistic picture of what other’s lives are like. Does it really matter what is going on in their house? Do what works for you and your family. Just because their child will have homemade cutesy Valentines to bring to school does not make her a better mom than you. Because he caught his son’s first steps on camera does not make him a better father than you.
  8. Continue to love what you do. You chose your job before you had kids. You loved your job. Remember why you love it, and continue to love it. Now, you are also a parent. Parenting is also a job. The most important job you will ever have. Love it. Love it when it’s fun. Love it when it’s tough. Be the type of person you would want your kids to be. They are watching.

The Top 10 Reasons Why You Should Consider Cloth Diapers

This is our first official blog post! It is also Earth Day. Before we had seriously thought about having a child, my husband brought up the idea of using cloth diapers. He had seen an add online. I thought they were cute. I agreed to consider them. This was about 3 years ago. Last year, we finally had our first little bundle of joy. We have been using cloth diapers successfully since he was a few days old.

smart bottoms superhero and fox

In light of Earth Day, here are our top 10 reasons why you should consider them too:

1.  Cloth diapers are better for the environment. The amount of disposable diapers sitting in our landfills is pretty disgusting when you really think about it. What gets even more disgusting is when you think about what is in those diapers and the proper way to dispose of human waste. Not to mention how long it takes for most disposable diapers to break down, they haven’t been around long enough for anyone to actually witness it.

2. When you use cloth diapers you are exposing your baby’s most sensitive parts to fewer chemicals. What exactly are disposable diapers made out of? Diaper companies are not required to list what is in their diapers. Isn’t that kind of crazy to think that we don’t even really know what we are putting on our babies when we use disposables? Some common things found in disposables include polythene film (similar to plastic wrap), polypropolene, wood pulp that is usually bleached with chlorine, sodium polyacrylate, dyes to get the pictures/size on the diaper and sometimes perfumes. Some little bums are too sensitive for these materials.

With cloth diapers, you can choose what type of fabric you want against your baby’s skin. Many brands of diapers use natural, organic fibers. Some cloth diapers leave a soft stay-dry fleece against your babies skin. Would you rather have the feeling of a disposable or soft fleece against your bum?

Not to mention, our little guy is 14 months old. He has very light, sensitive skin. Guess how many diaper rashes he has had that have lasted longer than one diaper change? None.

3. Using cloth diapers is a fabulous way to support small businesses. Many places that sell cloth diapers, such as Kelly’s Closet, are run by families, or small groups of moms. I love that every time I place an order I am supporting their business, their family, their well-being. When you shop small the customer services is second to none. I love getting my “fluff mail” and having handwritten notes in it from the owners of these small businesses. Many retailers including Kelly’s Closet, offer reward points and freebies for purchasing too.

4. Cloth diapers help save money in the long run. There is an upfront cost with cloth diapers. However, there is not a weekly need to buy diapers when you go grocery shopping. There is no need to clip coupons and try to find the best deals.

Many have argued that we are not saving money due to the upfront cost and the increase of water use.  While we dealt with the upfront cost, by the time our baby is potty trained we will have spent significantly less. Our water bill has increased by about 2 dollars a month, but we also added a new person who also wears clothes, and needs clean towels and bedding.

We will also be able to use these same diapers on our next children. This is where it will really save money.

You can also re-sell cloth diapers after they are used. Some even increase in value. I swear, it’s like Beanie Babies all over again! There are numerous groups on Facebook for the B/S/T of cloth diapers, they are also popping up on eBay. I joke that when we sell our diapers we will get to go to Disney.

5. Cloth diapers create less “blow-outs”. We have been using cloth for over a year and have had one big “blow out” due to user error. ONE. ONE!!!! And let me tell you, dealing with poop in a diaper meant to contain poop is a heck of a lot easier than dealing with poop that is all up the back and out the legs of your newborn. This, to me, is where cloth diapers really set themselves apart. Back elastics are amazing.

6. You will never run out of diapers if you use cloth. If you do, you just wash them. Then you have nice clean diapers all over again. This is also huge if you are on a tight budget.

7. Cloth is just cuter. Ok. I lied. This is really where cloth sets itself apart. It is so stinking cute! You can have dragons on your diaper! You can have ducks, dogs, cats, trucks, flowers, anything! And you can reuse them! They are so stinkin’ cute. Want to make your professional baby photos look even cuter? Put the baby in a cloth diaper! You can match them to outfits, dresses, the options are endless.

8. Modern cloth diapers are much different than what most people think. When people hear you are doing cloth they assume pins and plastic pants. That is not what the diapers are like anymore. They are convenient and sometimes all in one piece that you just put on your baby like a disposable diaper.

9. Cloth diapering can almost become a hobby. Once you discover what works best for your family, your routine,  what style or brands you like, you might become addicted. You will want to collect them all.

10. The cloth diapering community is pretty darn amazing. Words actually don’t even describe how amazing this community is. I have met some of the most awesome moms and we have become friends through Facebook groups. Some of them I have never met in person, some I have. We all support one another, it is like a family. I probably talk to them more frequently than I do my “real” friends.

smart bottoms Heinrich

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