Tuesday, November 4, 2014

5,000 Fan Giveaway

We are so excited that we have reached our goal!! Welcome to Rock-A-Bums! This diaper is breaking the mold with our black lining and economical price!! While I want to continue to brag about this Rockin' diaper, today is a day to celebrate you! Here we go!! 

To Enter all you have to do is like our page, tag a friend who you would want to win, and fill out the Rafflecopter below!! It's that easy! To find our FaceBook page click here:) Good luck!!! We will be picking the BONUS 3rd winner if we can get to 5,100 by November 6th! So tag as many people in the Facebook post for more opportunities to win!!

Here are our Awesome Prizes!

1st WINNER: Cover of you choice, with 2 re-usable inserts, and a pack of our hybrids.

2nd WINNER: Cover of you choice, with 2 re-usable inserts, and a pack of our hybrids.


3RD BONUS WINNER: Cover of your choice2 reusable inserts, as well as a Amber Teething Necklace

*If you ever want to learn more about our unique diaper please check us out here*

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Father's Day Gift

Hi all!

 If some of you are down to the last minute and still unsure of what to get that leading father in your life...well, look no further! This is a SIMPLE, and CHEAP Father's Day gift!

I purchased 2 letters (D and A) at the craft store for less than $3, quickly spray painted them white, and then had our daughter take some adorable pictures with them!

Once I knew I had two good "D" ones and one good "A" one, I printed them up, and stuck them in a three sectioned frame (like the one HERE)

and BOOM, you're done!  Under $20 and TOTALLY cute!

If you have already gotten a Father's Day gift, what is it?  Share all your ideas!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Rock it UP

The time has finally come to RELEASE OUR PRINTS!!!

We know you are just as excited (if not more) than we are. The anticipation has been KILLING us, and we couldn't be more happy to see some little ones rockin' these prints. 

Make sure you enter our giveaway below because you will have a chance to WIN 9 covers (prints/colors/closures of your choice), 18 inserts, and 60 hybrid inserts.  You can enter daily to up your chances, so make sure you continue to check back!




Punk Plaid Green


Punk Plaid Pink


and......Blue Velvet


You can find all of our prints HERE

How to Enter the Giveaway:
1. Sign in to the entry form
2. Pick which blog sent you (or Not Applicable)
3. Enter as many of the possible points you can
4. Enter daily to get more chances!
5. Follow the blog links after the giveaway to find even MORE giveaways!

* 9 Covers
*18 Inserts
*60 Hybrid Inserts

*Giveaway is only open to U.S. residents and ends March 26, 2014

For more giveaways -

Check out these blogs, lots of them are giving away our print diapers as well!!  Giveaways GALORE! 

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Cloth Diapering a Newborn - Baby is on the way!

On Friday morning, January 11th, I woke at 5:30 am to some strong contractions 5-10 minutes apart.  Thinking it may have been warm-up contractions that I had similarly experienced on Thursday morning, I tried to ignore them by taking a warm shower to wash off the Henna design I had re-decorated on my belly the night before since it was starting to fade.  After my shower, I got back in bed feeling refreshed, but continued to feel contractions.  At about 7 a.m. my daughter woke up and came into our room for her morning nursing session.  She latched on as usual and…WHOA.  Two very strong contractions just a few minutes apart caused me to yank her off painfully.  “I think this is it,” I said to my husband, “I think we are going to have a baby today.”  He got my daughter a cup of soy milk as I called the midwife.  Learning of my situation, she told me it would be wise to call my cousin and her wife to take my daughter for the day, as was the plan for labor.   She advised me that often labor will not progress until other children are away because the caretaking position often interferes with birthing to protect moms from doing both at once.  She told me to call when my cousin arrives and she would be at my home shortly thereafter. 
I hung up and got to work packing my daughter’s overnight bag and getting my house set up with my husband’s support in-between contractions.  He was running around like a chicken with his head cut off…starting one thing but not finishing, then wondering what to do next.  He was so excited and nervous that he even forgot to look at the detailed list telling him EXACTLY what to do, step-by-step, before the midwives arrived.  On a side note, I might mention to the midwives that an MP3 to play as soon as labor starts, repeating each step about ten times before moving on to the next would be useful for husbands such as mine who lose all sense of organization when a baby is on its way!
By 11am, my cousin was at my house helping me through the somewhat stronger contractions, my daughter had left with my cousin’s wife to a family birthday party, my midwife had arrived, and my husband was STILL running around aimlessly trying to figure out what to do next.  The midwife got to work promptly, setting up the supplies and calmly requesting items and information from my husband to keep him on task.  Slowly, he began to relax, and we all settled down for some butternut squash soup I had prepared the night before during my extreme nesting session.  Every few minutes, in-between slurps of soup, I’d have to stop and get on my elbows and knees to get through a contraction, while my husband or cousin massaged my lower back.  The poofy ottoman and the birthing ball were my best friends during early labor.  Enya played soothingly in the background.
At about 1:00, 7 ½ hours in, we found I was 3cm dilated and 90% effaced, baby’s head at +2 station, meaning it was REALLY low and my cervix was very far behind it.  To help things along, the midwife pulled the cervix gently forward during two contractions, and within 30 minutes, I was in active labor.  Although it was a bit uncomfortable, I was very glad she had made the effort to help speed things along, as my legs and arms were already starting to give! 
By 3:15pm, I was exhausted already, but had the extreme determination to keep going.  I continued to prefer being on my elbows and knees on the floor, having a much harder time getting out of the position even though my knees and elbows were getting very sore.  However, when the birth tub was mentioned, I moved to my bedroom to labor on my chest and knees while they set up the tub in the living room.  At this point, I was 5 cm dilated, and things were progressing well.  I couldn’t get comfortable anymore!  I switched positions on the bed numerous times feeling like a train had hit me every time I moved into another position.  I concentrated on my breath and meditated through the time between contractions.  Everything I had trained for went out the window during contractions except a bunch of low and loud moaning noises to keep me focused.  It felt very animalistic at this point, and I had to keep reminding myself that my body was meant to do this.  Women have been doing this since the beginning of humankind, and I kept reminding myself that no matter how intense it got, it would never be more than I could handle.  My “Mindful Birthing” class had trained me to be “non-striving” which helped a lot at this point.  In other words, I focused on the here and now, getting through each one and not concentrating on when the next contraction would come or how much longer this process would take.  I just made my way through, one step at a time, and continued thinking this way through the whole labor.
At 4:30 I was reclining at the end of the bed when I experienced some awful heartburn.  At this point, I was down to one-word sentences, and upon mentioning heartburn, my now-very-coherent husband got me some coconut shavings in milk (my go-to cure for pregnancy heartburn).  Ahh.  At 4:40pm I was guided to the birthing tub.  Double, triple, quadruple ahhhh!  Upon hitting that warm, soothing water, all my muscles sighed in instant relief and pleasure.  It was as if suddenly I was returned to the womb myself.  The horse-trough tub (never used by horses, FYI) had foam insulating pads wrapped around the rim for comfort, and the water was the perfect soothing temperature.  All my aching muscles suddenly felt numb and relieved and I soon realized why laboring in a tub is so wonderful, especially after many hours tensing up my arms and legs and rug-burning my knees and elbows!  As Yanni played in the background, my cousin turned on all the electric flickering candles and placed them around the room as the sun began to go down.  As my husband braced himself on a stool behind me, I would grab his arms and pull at every strong contraction, which were getting even more painful.  However, in-between contractions during which my husband stated, I “pulled his arms off,” I would concentrate on slowing my breath and meditating, often drifting into dreamland between contractions for a few minutes at a time.  Amidst the pressure waves, there was peace and tranquility.
At 4:50 I felt the need for something sweet, so the midwife brought me a spoonful of honey, and 3 minutes later, it all came up!  Luckily, my cousin was super-fast with a bowl and managed to catch everything I ate that morning before it hit the water.  I was very thankful for her fast reaction time!  At 5:40 p.m., my cousin relieved my husband from his own back-breaking and arm-twisting labor of holding me up during contractions, and as my cousin endured my wrath, my husband did some yoga.  It was still very peaceful in the room.  At this point, I was very happy to be doing all this in the comfort of my own home. 
At 6:00 p.m. things started getting stronger, and I had a slight urge to push the baby out, but not extremely strong, so I mentioned quietly, “I kinda feel like pushing.”  Apparently that was the cue to see if we could get things moving again, and since I hadn’t urinated in many hours, they helped me out of the tub to the bathroom to see if that would help.  Upon entrance to the bathroom another strong contraction brought me to my hands and knees.  I wasn’t able to pee no matter how hard I tried.  The midwives helped me take my wet bra off and helped me to the bed to try something new.  Again, train wreck after train wreck trying to get into a comfortable position, but the contractions began to get very close together and even stronger.  Just when I thought it couldn’t get any more intense, it did! 
At 7:25 I found my most comfortable and successful position on my back with my husband holding one leg and my cousin holding the other, both giving me loving, supporting words of encouragement each step of the way.  I never had imagined I would give birth in the traditional on-the-back manner, but it was honestly the only position I could withstand after already spending 14 hours laboring on my hands, elbows, knees, side, etc.  I began pushing, concentrating on sending the baby down and squeezing my husband’s and cousin’s hands with all my strength even when I wanted to give them a break!  At 7:39 p.m. my water broke with a strong “pop” and gush, and everything started happening quickly after that.  At 8pm I kneeled at the edge of the bed, supported by my husband as I grasped and pulled on his neck.  They could see the baby’s head!  And I could see that this position was awfully uncomfortable for both my husband and me, so I got back to the back position on the bed.  At 8:40 I was making great progress at each push, and it felt satisfying and liberating to be pushing.  Honestly, the pushing was my favorite part of the whole experience.  It felt good to bear down and give every inch of every bit of strength I had left in my body to birth my baby.  At 8:53, the baby’s head was born and he immediately started crying before being fully born!  Everyone was in awe and my husband was obviously ecstatic and so amazed by the whole experience.  At 8:55, one of the midwives guided my hands under my baby’s arms and instructed me to give one last liberating push, and the baby was born into my own arms as I lifted the new being to my chest.  It was a moment I will never forget.  The pain instantly made way for pleasure, love, and happiness.  The room was suddenly filled with an otherworldly ecstatic joy emitting from every being in the room.  It was indescribable, the feeling I could tell we all had at that moment. 
After I had calmed the baby’s cries, I asked if it was a boy or girl.  I had already made a guess based on the baby’s face, but wasn’t certain, since as soon as I lifted the baby, the midwife had covered it with a receiving blanket.  They looked around at each other and one of the midwives said, “We don’t know yet.  Why don’t you find out yourself?”  How satisfying it was to be able to reach down myself and say, “I feel balls!  It’s a BOY!”
After the placenta was born, my daughter came back with my cousin’s wife and mother-in-law to meet the baby.  She was so happy.  She kept saying, “baby” and pointing to all his features, naming them in turn.  “Ears, nose, mouth, eyes…”  She couldn’t stop looking at him.  It was very sweet!  We then had a toast with champagne and sparkling cider (my husband even put sparkling cider in my daughter’s sippy cup so she could toast, too…her first bubbly drink ever) to a healthy baby boy and a wonderful home birth, and my midwives came in with a plate filled with bananas, cheese and crackers, and chocolate chips with a candle in the middle as they sang Happy Birth-day to me and my new son.  It was the most joyous moment of my life. 
After the umbilical cord was cut by my husband at 9:40 p.m., we put him in his first diaper…a Rock-A-Bums diaper in bright red, of course!  After that, he was weighed, and the newborn exam was given.  He was perfect in every way.  A ten on all apgars, 8 pounds even, and 19 5/8” long.  Throughout my labor, my midwives monitored his heartbeat and were pleased to find that throughout the entire process, there were never any decels, which can be common during pushing.  The little man is big and strong! 
Within an hour he was nursing well, and when my milk came in a few days later, he was nursing like a champ.  My daughter adjusted very well to the new baby, often wanting to hold him and share nursing time with him, patting him on the head or holding his hand while they both nursed.  Such a loving experience for both of my kids, and for me as well!  The midwives visited me again at day 1, day 3, day 5, and every week thereafter, checking on me and the baby and answering any and all questions, taking care of things such as the newborn exam and birth records for the state, and getting some lovely footprints on a home-birth certificate as a keepsake.  He has yet to visit a doctor’s office and I am happy to not have to take him to one yet.   The home-birth experience is by far one of the best decisions I have ever made. 
With a newborn, we go through way more diapers than a toddler, as expected. We have found that a wash every morning, and hang-drying diapers on our Ikea rack on the patio to be dry by evening, is the best situation for us.  My husband’s new daily morning job is starting a load of diapers and emptying the dishwasher, which makes the rest of my day go by smoothly while he is at school.  My daughter loves to help me unload the washer and hang the laundry each morning.  Since we have had the washer, our utility cost have gone up…bear with me here…TWO dollars!!!  That’s less than the cost of a single wash at the laundry room!  It has cost only two dollars for probably about 5-7 loads of diapers a week and 3 loads of laundry a week for the past 3 weeks.  The portable washer was such a great gift!  Now, compare washing a load daily IN MY OWN APARTMENT to the hassle of going to the store to buy disposables every week and that’s reason in itself to cloth diaper.  When my daughter was born, buying diapers weekly was such a hassle.  And then add new daddy with baby to the mix, and you get the credit card left at the store and an extra trip back to the store to get it (yes, this really happened)!  If that’s not enough reason to cloth diaper, add the cost of disposables and your own LARGE corner of the landfill and you will see my point.  Diapers should be changed as soon as they are wet if possible, to prevent irritation and rashes for baby.  This means at least 10-12 diapers (or more) each day for a while.  That’s a whole trash can of diapers OR a small load of laundry each day.  Which would you prefer?

With Rock-A-Bums diapers, we also have the ease of quick changes of diaper inserts at night-time (so easy and simple so we can get to sleep again faster), and the ability to use them on both our newborn and our toddler.  Here’s a little photo-shoot of my kids rockin’ their one-size Rock-A-Bums diapers!  It is amazing how well the same diaper will fit an 8-pounder and an almost 30-pounder!

I am happy to announce that everything is going phenomenally so far, and that my daughter is well on her way to being completely out of diapers, thanks to the cloth experience.  It’s all gone quite smoothly, aside from the first day on my own with two kiddos, but any mother of two will have those days, right?!  Here’s a glimpse into that first interesting day:

First I hear the all-too-common squirts coming from my son’s bottom. I wait about 5 minutes before changing him and then bring him to the changing table. As I am changing him, my daughter runs to go to her own potty to pee. As soon as I get his diaper off, my son surprises me with projectile breast-milk poo, squirting yellow goo all over the front of my shirt, himself, and the floor while spitting up milk all over his shirt at the same time. I get him in a new diaper and cleaned up and then help my daughter pour her pee in the big potty. Then the doorbell rings and I answer, with my poop stained tank top on of course...it's the maintenance man and some other guy to check the fire sprinklers. I ask him to wait a couple minutes while I put undies on my daughter. Oh man, talk about an intense 10 minutes!!!

Ah, the joys of being a mother of two!  Let the adventures begin!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Cloth Diapering a Newborn From Day One- Getting Prepared...

In case you missed the first post from Emma, you can get all caught up here :-)

BIG Changes: Less Stress and Home-based Prenatal Care

I can honestly say that this pregnancy has been so much easier and better than my first. It really has been a fantastic pregnancy. The lack of stress and hours on my feet has honestly made all the difference. You would think that with a toddler it would be harder, but I can spend hours reading her books, singing, going for walks to the park, and countless other activities that I feel helped my womb baby adjust to the sounds and activities of our daily life, while giving me the exercise I need to stay fit for an un-medicated home birth. Yes, the budget has been tight, but family time has been plentiful. I have enjoyed almost every moment of it (I have to say “almost” because yes, there are always toddler meltdowns and refusal-to-nap days, and finals week in which my husband has to be MIA all week long). 

Another benefit with this pregnancy has been the prenatal home-visits of my midwives. Unlike seeing an OB or a midwife in a doctor’s office or
clinic, my home birth midwives schedule to see me in my own home. My toddler can play with her own toys, help take my blood pressure, and even gets the chance to listen to the baby with the fetoscope. The midwives also let her lie down and pretend to do what mommy does, such as get her belly listened to. I don’t have to worry about being exposed to icky germs in a doctor’s office. If my daughter needs a diaper change, I don’t have to lug my cloth diapers around with me and can change her in the middle of a visit, or sit her on the potty to try on her own. The visits often last over an hour as we chat about questions and concerns and anything else on my mind at a leisurely pace, unlike traditional doctor’s visits in which I get 5 minutes to try to remember all the questions I have while trying to keep my daughter from opening all the drawers, ripping the paper off the exam table, and climbing the furniture. I can discuss my natural options without being judged, and get advice on tandem nursing for when baby is born. The midwives keep a prenatal record and provide information packets to read at my leisure, and all records are kept with me so I can browse them at any time (unlike a doctor’s office at which you must request them and often do not get copies until weeks later). I can honestly say I have been extremely happy with my choice of home birth this time around, and the reassurance and copies of research studies they have given me have helped me feel even more comfortable with my choice of VBAC (vaginal birth after c-section) at home. Often I am told of the risks and danger of home birth by friends and relatives, but being within a 10-15 minute drive to a hospital and midwives with plenty of experience transporting to hospitals in emergency, I feel perfectly safe. 

Placentas and Poop…Not the Best Combination

Have you ever been in an odd location and suddenly, a smell wafts through the air and you know you are doomed? That happened to me during our “Catch Class” for the home birth. It is a class for the daddies who need to know how to prepare for and “catch” the baby should the midwives arrive too late. This is another great benefit to home birth over standard OB care. If you should happen to push out that baby before they can arrive, your husband is trained and prepared with all the knowledge and supplies he needs to do the job himself! If my aunt’s husband were to have that type of training, unheard of in most standard care, my cousin would have been born safely at home instead of alongside the road in a car on the way to the hospital. I can’t imagine how uncomfortable it must have been for my aunt to try to get in the car with the water bag already starting to come out! Yikes! 

Anyway, back to the story…

Our “catch class” was held at one of the midwives’ homes with my family and another couple who had a toddler at about the same age as mine. I sat in the back with the two kids while my husband joined the other couple up front to get all the information without distraction. The kids played well together and the meeting went smoothly for all, until the placenta came out. No, don’t worry, I didn’t suddenly have my baby right then and there! The midwife took a placenta out of the fridge to show us how it looks and what to look for to make sure it all comes out intact. As she was showing us the parts of the placenta, I began to smell an awful, familiar scent. Yes, my daughter decided to blow out her diaper right then and there, staining and soaking through her pants in the process. As I frantically tried to contain it, the smell hit the front of the room, and I could tell that the observation of the placenta was a lot less bearable with the smell of me mopping up a giant mess behind them. I thought to myself at that very moment how I had wished I had put her in a Rock-A-Bums diaper that evening, because even though I had heard so much about this particular brand of diaper that she was wearing, I have constantly had problems with them leaking around the legs. I have found that the Rock-A-Bums diapers have wider area between the legs and with all those extra snaps, can be adjusted to
be tighter around my daughter’s skinny legs, making them pretty much leak-proof for poop explosions! So, lesson learned, and I survived with a great apology about the smell and an extra diaper and pants to put on my stinky child. Oh the trials and tribulations of motherhood. And on top of that, when I got home to rinse the diaper with my diaper sprayer, there was so much poop everywhere that half of it ended up IN the pocket. If she were to be wearing a Rock-A-Bums diaper, that would have been no problem, because unlike all my other pocket diapers that only open on one side, the Rock-A-Bums diaper has an opening on both sides, so the nasty mess gets rinsed all the way through and can’t possibly get stuck in the bottom. Again, lesson learned! That night, after cleaning up the awful poop-splosion, I put her in the Rock-A-Bums diaper for the first time and realized how nicely they fit. She was rockin’ that diaper! I became excited to try one on my newborn after the birth!

The Surprise Gift 

One day, just a week before Christmas, a UPS driver knocked on my door unexpectedly and said, “Oh good. Just wanted to make sure you were here before I brought the heavy box up the stairs.”
No more washing diapers in the tub!
With a confused look on my face, I told him he could bring it up. A few minutes later, here he comes, holding a box half his size and teetering slowly up to our 2nd floor apartment.
Poor guy, I was so shocked I forgot to even think of giving him some kind of tip for his extra efforts! Once it was in my house and the UPS man was gone, I glanced at the label. OMG. My mother-in-law had bought us the compact portable washer I had learned about through Ruby from her Rock-A-Bums blog as a great option for apartments in which there are no washer/dryer hookups! I was so excited I literally jumped for joy. My husband and I proceeded to hook it up with ease and wash our first load of diapers without having to use tons of quarters. A few weeks later, we got a 4-tier drying rack from Ikea for $25 to sun-dry our diapers on our patio. Finally, cloth diapering with very little cost and much less effort…and just in time for our newborn to arrive! Yippee!!! 

Next up: Blog #3: The Big Day: A Home Birth to Remember Forever

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Cloth Diapering a Newborn From Day One- Meet Emma

Read on to get to know Emma as she gets ready to add another little Rock Star to her family. She will be sharing with us her experiences cloth diapering a newborn.

Meet Emma

Cloth Diapering a Newborn From Day One

Guess who's pregnant!?!
Welcome to my fascinating 2nd birth story!  My name is Emma, and I am planning a home birth this time around, and to do many things quite differently than I did with my first child.  With my first baby, now a walking, talking toddler at 20 months old, I did not start cloth diapering until about her 2nd or 3rd month of life.  This time, we are preparing to cloth diaper from the very beginning, with very low income and coin-operated laundry!  It has been a fantastic adventure so far and there have already been some great (and some not so great) surprises along the way.  Let me begin by explaining a bit about my first experiences as a pregnant and new mom, and how with the 2nd baby, we have shifted our thinking and situations to have an entirely different experience the second time through.  Just goes to show how much you can grow and learn from the first baby and how quickly you can change a difficult situation to a positive and easier one.

My first pregnancy was in Hawaii. Just before I got pregnant, I was a teacher in a low-income school and I loved it.  I had taught 3 years of kindergarten by then and had developed a solid curriculum. My husband and I (newlywed that summer after 4 years together) planned to get pregnant at the beginning of the school year, so I had prepped all those little shape cut-outs, holiday prep, etc. for the coming year to make my pregnant teaching year the easiest possible.  That summer before school started, we had a fabulous wedding and were on the way to our honeymoon when I got the call that, unfortunately, the Families for Real program had been cut and since both teachers teaching it had 30+ years of experience, I was bumped from my position, regardless of how much they wanted to keep me (union protocol).  I was to be relocated to another school a few miles away and to teach 5th grade.  Upon returning and entering my new classroom, I found it gutted.  No curriculum.  Minimum supplies.  And on top of that, on the second floor with no AC in 85 to 90 degree year-round weather.  I went home crying.  All the work I had done to make my pregnancy easy was thrown out the window.  This was going to be a very stressful year.  But I had the drive, energy, and the determination to make it happen.  Until first trimester morning-sickness kicked in.

By the time I hit 3rd trimester, I was a wreck.  I was sweating nonstop through all my clothes.  I needed a fellow teacher to watch my classroom while I peed every hour.  I starved through the morning block and then scarfed down my food and collapsed during my break on my classroom floor for a nap and to relieve the elephant ankles that were forming due to standing too long on my feet.   Every night I would stay up way too late creating the next day’s curriculum or grading papers.  Or, I would fall asleep doing them and then wake up to finish at around 3am when the heartburn woke me up again.  It was a nightmare.  But I did survive.  However, my pregnancy was anything but easy.  My placenta started calcifying for unknown reasons, my fluid levels were extremely low, and my baby turned breech just when things started getting more hectic at school.  And then, at 28 weeks, I had preterm contractions.  I had to go on unexpected bed rest, and for a teacher, this is even more stressful than teaching to the end.  My OB got me on meds to stop contractions and I begged to go back to school to prep for my long term sub and get my students’ affairs in order once the meds started doing their job and after a week of bed rest.  It was the wrong decision to make.  At 32 weeks the contractions came back, and I was on bed rest again.  Then, at 35.5 weeks pregnant, the combination of low fluid and strong contractions caused my daughter’s heart rate to drop, thus resulting in an emergency c-section, when all I had wanted was a natural drug-free birth.  Although I ended up with a wonderful healthy daughter, it was not the experience I had hoped for.  I had decided that I would not go back to teaching, to the stress that may have likely caused my daughter’s premature birth, until after my 2nd child was born.  I did not want to go through that again.  We, as a family, decided that it would be best for all of us if I took time off to raise our daughter with a good start at home, and live on minimal income until I was ready to go back to teaching. 

My husband transferred to California to finish his PhD and by the time my daughter was 2 months old, we flew back to the mainland.  Due to all the changes, we used disposables her first few months of life.  Every day we cringed at how much waste they created and how much money we were wasting on something that would be used for a few hours or less and then thrown away.  We couldn’t wait to switch to cloth, and when we finally settled down, at 3 months old, my daughter was in cloth diapers we were given or bought used from friends.  We have never regretted our decision to switch to cloth.  Now at 20 months old, my daughter is getting very close to being potty trained (one benefit of cloth: early potty training!), but we are still using cloth diapers about ½ the time.  Due to my need for teaching and the extensive research I have done on caring for different kinds of cloth diapers, I started teaching a monthly “Cloth Diapering 101” class downtown last year to help mommas of all kinds get to know their cloth diapers, or to try out different types in our “lending library” of donated cloth diapers.  There are so many options out there, and every baby seems to have different needs!  I have found it interesting how much you need to know to cloth diaper.  And then I found Rock-A-Bums diapers, which seemed to make it easy to cloth diaper without all the how-to and mumbo-jumbo that takes almost 2 hours of explaining in my class.  New moms need easy, not complicated.  Especially with a newborn!  So I had 4 diapers shipped to me to test out on my toddler, and to try as the first diaper on my soon-to-be newborn.  I can use the same diapers for both my toddler and my newborn!  How easy and simple is that?!

Stay tuned for “The Adventures of Professor X: Mom’s experiences during Baby #2’s life in the womb and immediately upon exiting!”  I will continue with the changes we have made during my 2nd pregnancy, the differences between home birth midwifery and standard OB care, a few funny stories along the way, a surprise gift, a trial run of my new diapers on my 20 month old, and ending with the birth story of my new baby, named “Professor X” until born!  Will it be a boy?  A girl?  Will I get the home birth I planned for?  Only time will tell!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Feeding Your Families Healthy Meals When You Have Little Time to Spare

Our guest blogger is Mallory Crain from A Beautiful Surrender. Read on for some great tips on how even the busiest of families can still eat healthy!

Feeding Your Families Healthy Meals When You Have Little Time to Spare 

No matter what stage of parenting you are in, chances are getting healthy food into your kids amidst busy schedules is tough. Whether you are busy surviving with a newborn or driving kids to and from school and sports you just don’t have time to get elaborate meals onto the table. How many of us, in a moment of panic as your three year old is shouting that he is hungry, run to the nearest fast food joint or packaged product? I think most of us would raise our hands.

Guess what?

Not only is it possible for you to give your kids (and you!) healthy foods even when your schedule is crazy, but you can totally ROCK it without giving up too much of your precious time.

Don’t get me wrong. You will have to use up a bit of time, but with a bit of planning you will feel so much more ready to conquer your days.

Let’s start from the beginning. PLANNING MAKES PERFECT. You can choose how much time to put into planning, but start thinking of healthy foods that your child will eat. I know this may be hard for some children, so you may have to get creative, but just start making a list. This includes packaged items (i.e. protein bars or string cheese). It will also be helpful to have snack sized plastic bags and/or various sizes of storage containers.

Next you will need to go grocery shopping for your items and then prepare any food that you have purchased. Prepping it early makes it so much easier to grab the healthy stuff versus the packaged cookies in the cabinet. Trust me. Take your vegetables and slice them and put them into snack size portions into your plastic bags. Portion out your fruit. I found a plastic storage bin in my house and then just lined all of the baggies in there. Then, when I need to grab a snack for the kids, I just open up the fridge and grab a bag. If I had to take the time to cut them as I am running out the door I would have given in to the cookies. See where I am going there? Yes, it may take you 10 minutes to prep everything, but quickly you’ll see how much time it saves later on!

Speaking of plastic bins, I have a second one in my fridge that saves me SO MUCH TIME. It is my sandwich making basket. In it I have our meat, cheese, peanut butter, jelly, mustard, and mayonnaise. Yours may or may not look the same depending on what kind of sandwiches your family likes to eat. When it is time to make lunches, I just pull the one basket out, grab the bread, and throw together sandwiches. I used to despise making sandwiches because it felt like it took forever to pull everything out and put it away. Not anymore. You can also make a snack basket (you could also combine this with the basket full of veggies I spoke of earlier). Cut up slices of cheese or add in string cheese or any other snack item that your kids love that can easily be found when needing a quick healthy snack.

Many packaged foods are not all that healthy. Convenient, yes, but not always the best choice. So, in order to ensure my kids are eating healthy I do make some of their foods. The cost savings are a big bonus too! This is our favorite protein bar to make. It is so simple. I was so intimidated to try it at first, but I have found that even my daughter loves to help make them. So, on a day where we aren't quite as busy, her and I grab the ingredients and make them together. It gives us some quality time, teaches her a little more about cooking, and helps me accomplish getting a healthy snack made. I know cooking with kids can feel daunting, but as soon as your child is old enough, try it. Eventually you both will be working alongside each other and making delicious meals.

What about dinner? The meal that always seems to be so tough to get on the table. Why is it that children seem to choose that time to have complete meltdowns? They must have a secret code. I bet you know what I am already going to say. Planning and prep! Meal planning. It is a lifesaver on those busy nights. Just look at the calendar and see what you had already planned out. No thinking involved. Making the meal plan may not be your favorite activity (or maybe it is), but find a time where the kids are quiet….feel free to laugh at me…and just start writing out your favorite meals. Let your family members weigh in on their favorites and add them in as well. I also love making freezer meals. It is time consuming, but oh how I love it on those busy days. Also, let me profess my undying love for my crockpot. It still amazes me that I can throw some ingredients into a pot and then not think about it until dinner time and VOILA! Dinner for the family that is delicious and I can pretend like I spent hours cooking it. Don’t worry, your secret is safe with me.

Okay, so repeat after me…

PLANNING and PREPARATION are worth my time in order to save time and stress later!

Now go rock those healthy meals!