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d + r = baby b


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Give me a P and GIVEAWAY!

I haven’t done many things to update Porter’s nursery since he was born. In fact, we didn’t even add anything to his nursery to make it more “boyish” after we brought him home. When we finished the nursery, it admittedly looked more like a boy room than a girl room. This was partially due to the green chalkboard wall that turned out to be much brighter than we anticipated. We thought it was going to be a more subdued lime green. If it was a girl, we planned to add some pink and girly accessories.

However, I did recently add an element to Porter’s nursery that I LOVE. It’s a P pillow from Chelsea’s etsy shop called Hydri. Chelsea creates the most adorable custom pillows.

Here’s Porter posing with his new pillow.

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Here’s another pillow Chelsea has for sale in her shop. Isn’t her son, Van, adorable?

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Chelsea also made these R + D pillows for our master bedroom. I’M IN LOVE WITH THEM.

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Lucky for you guys, Chelsea has agreed to give away a custom letter pillow!

To enter the giveaway, please do the following:

1) Visit Hydri and favorite Chelsea’s shop and comment on this post!

2) Like Chelsea’s facebook page.

You must do both to be able to enter!

For an extra entry, you can pin this giveaway on pinterest. Leave an extra comment in the comments section and include your pinterest URL.

Good luck! The giveaway will end on Monday, August 12 at 12:00 a.m. {central time}.

Winner will be chosen via random.org. All worldwide readers are eligible to win!

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Citrus Lane: A Review

Okay, so I love the new fad of monthly subscription services. If I could join a million of them, I would. My love for this fad started with Birchbox, and I’ve tried a few others as well [though Birchbox remains to be my favorite.] Anyway, when I discovered Citrus Lane, which is essentially a Birchbox for babies, I HAD to try it out.

It’s quite a bit more expensive than Birchbox, but you get much more. Each box is $25, and I signed up for a 3 month subscription. However, I had a $10 off coupon code, so I paid a little more than $20 per box. The thing I love about Citrus Lane is that it is customized based on the age and gender of the child. I loved knowing that I wouldn’t get a random headband in my box that I wouldn’t be able to use. I received my first box recently. Was it worth the $20? I think so.

Here’s what I got in my first box.

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On-The-Go from ZoLi: This is a stackable container for snacks or formula. You can stack them individually, as needed. I was checking out some of their other products, and I definitely am interested in trying some of them out. I’m especially interested in their sippy cup, ceramic food scissors, and fork & spoon set.  All of their products are safe and non-toxic. {$15.00}

Jittering Giraffe from Tiny Love: This toy is adorable. It’s one of those toys that hangs from a car seat bar. It’s LONG and Porter loves that because he can actually grab it and pull it.  {$8.49}

California Baby Travel size Aloe Vera {$3.24} and Shampoo & Body Wash {$0.67}: I love California Baby stuff, so I will definitely use these travel sizes! I figured out the cost of these based on their full size versions and how much was included in the travel size.

NurturMeals from Nurtur Me: This looks really cool. It’s food that comes in powdered or dried form. You simply add water, formula, or breast milk and mix. They are certified organic and gluten free. These would probably be great for traveling! {$1.49}

Little Buddy Wipes from Me4Kidz: I love these antibacterial wipes, and the package is small enough to throw in the diaper bag. {$2.49}

Postagram from Sincerely Inc.: Now, THIS is cool. Basically, this company turns Instagram photos or other photos off your phone into real postcards. This box gave me 10 free postcards! I can’t wait to send them to my friends + family! {$9.90}

The total value of this month’s box was $41.28.  Would I have bought all these things myself if I would have seen them at the store? Probably not, but I love trying new things, and it is worth more than double what I paid.

Will I continue beyond the 3 month membership I already purchased? I haven’t decided. The subscriptions do cost less the more months you are subscribed. I’m not sure if Citrus Lane allows this, but it might be fun to start and stop memberships in order to do a 3 month membership once or twice a year. I do like the idea that I could save things from the box if I didn’t need them right away. I could use them in the future as gifts for Porter (birthday, Christmas, etc.) or I could give them to friends as well.  The coupon code that saved me $10 was a nice perk, and I’m not sure if I would have tried it out without the coupon code. If you join via this link, you’ll get $10 off your first subscription as well.

I can’t wait to receive my next box!

Have you tried any other subscription services? Were you impressed?

*This post is not sponsored by Citrus Lane nor did I receive compensation for this post {I wish!} All opinions are 100% my own.


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Nursery Decor: Children Inspire Design

When I was planning Porter’s nursery, one of my #1 goals was for it to be gender neutral. When I came upon this print from Children Inspire Design, I knew I had to have it.  Not only was it perfect, but with each print purchased, food was donated to children in need.

future-fortified-lowHere’s the print in the finished nursery!

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Anyway, I checked my email a few minutes ago, and BabySteals.com is offering some Children Inspire Design prints at a discount. I’m tempted to buy some more prints. Here are a few that are being offered. Sadly, the one in Porter’s nursery is not a featured deal.

51148_highres 51157_highres 51160_highres 51166_highresHurry! Deals on BabySteals.com do not last long!


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How We Cloth Diaper

I’ve already written about why we cloth diaper, but I haven’t given you details on HOW we cloth diaper. 99% of you don’t care (and I think I’m being generous when I assume that 1% of you do), BUT I’ve had some pregnant friends ask me for details, so I decided to write a post.

Before I give any details, I’d like to say that there are many ways to cloth diaper and dozens of types and brands. This is just how we do it and what works FOR US. I don’t know everything about cloth diapering, and when I started, I had a million questions. I turned to the internet and a good friend who was also cloth diapering and learned a bit along the way.

cdThe Goods:

We use BumGenius diapers. It is recommended that you have at least 24 diapers. We have closer to 30. I’d say we have around 20 BumGenius 4.0 diapers and 10 BumGenius Freetime diapers. The Freetime diapers are nice because the inserts are already attached, but they do take longer to dry. They are also a bit more expensive. The 4.0 diapers are nice, too, because since they are a pocket diaper, it makes it easy to stuff for nighttime to add extra absorbency.

We also use cloth wipes. It seemed easier, since we were already washing diapers anyway. You can use baby washcloths. I registered for BumGenius wipes and was lucky enough to get them. We use LuSa Baby Wipe Juice as a solution. I put it in a spray bottle and spray the wipe. I experimented with making some of my own cloth wipe solutions, but this ended up being my favorite. It is the easiest, because it just mixes up with water.

You can’t use regular diaper rash cream with cloth diapers, but there are plenty of cloth diaper safe options out there. We use LuSa Booty Balm. I am obsessed with this stuff.

We do not have a diaper pail. We bought a Simple Human trash can with a pedal and use that with a Planet Wise fabric pail liner inside. We have two pail liners, so we always have a clean one while the other one is being washed. If we’re out and about, dirty diapers go in a Planet Wise wet bag that easily fits into the diaper bag. We have three of these, because they get tossed in the diaper pail whenever we get home with the dirty diapers. When we’re traveling away from home for a few days, we use a larger wet bag, like this Bummis one.

We have a BumGenius diaper sprayer, but we haven’t had to use it yet. When I was trying to convince David to cloth diaper, he said he’d be on board as long as we had a diaper sprayer.

The Process:

When Porter pees or poos, the process is almost the same as changing a regular disposable diaper. If he was wearing a Freetime diaper, I don’t have to do anything. I just put the whole diaper in the diaper pail. If he was wearing a 4.0 diaper, the insert needs to be taken out prior to putting the diaper in the diaper pail. This doesn’t mean I have to necessarily touch the insert, though. There is a small tag on the insert, so I pull on that and the insert easily slides out. I’m not going to lie, sometimes I get poop on my hand when I do this, but I’m pretty sure that happens with disposables, too. The insert and the diaper goes into the diaper pail (with the liner). Even with poo, I do not have to rinse the diapers before putting them in the diaper pail. I know that sounds gross, but breast milk poop easily dissolves in water. There is no poop residue inside my washer after washing the diapers. When Porter’s poo starts to become more solid, we’ll need to dump the poop into the toilet before putting it in the pail. If it’s really nasty, we’ll need to spray it first with the diaper sprayer.

Does Porter’s room smell like pee and poo? I get this question a lot, and to be honest, no, it doesn’t. The diaper pail (garbage can) has a lock on it, but honestly, we don’t lock it 99% of the time. I do have some freshener things that I put in the bottom of the pail (NOT the liner) but the same freshener has been in there since day 1 and I haven’t switched it out, and it doesn’t stink.

The Washing: 

People assume that washing the diapers is the worst part. Honestly, it’s really easy. I wash every other day, and even while the washed diapers are drying, I have enough diapers. Like I mentioned, we have close to 30 diapers. I’m sure we’d be fine with 24 (or less), but since Porter was going to be at a sitter, I wanted to 100% make sure we had enough clean diapers at all times.

When I put the diapers in the wash, I don’t have to touch the diapers. I open my washer and just turn the pail liner inside out as I’m dumping it inside. The liner goes in the wash, too!

We have a HE washer and dryer. I didn’t know this until I started doing research about cloth diapering, but apparently it is much more difficult to get cloth diapers REALLY CLEAN with a HE washer.  HE washers use less water, which makes it more difficult. Anyway, I do a heavy duty cycle with a pre-wash and extra rinse. The pre-wash, adds more water in there. My washer has a pre-wash detergent dispenser, but I don’t put any detergent in that dispenser. The pre-wash is just with water and it basically gets them all sopping wet.  The only detergent I use is in the main wash dispenser. The entire cycle (with the pre-wash and extra rinse) takes 1 hour and 26 minutes to run. Once it’s done, I put the inserts, cloth wipes, and pail liner in the dryer and hang dry the shells (outer part of the cloth diaper.) In the summer, I put the shells and inserts outside. Not only does the sunshine dry them faster, but the sun also acts as a natural bleach!

I’ve experimented using a few different detergents, and I’ve liked all of them. Just like diaper rash cream, your cloth diaper detergent must be made specifically for cloth diapering.

Charlie’s Soap is great because you can use it on all your clothing (it’s even gentle enough for baby’s stuff!) and it gets high ratings when it comes to cloth diapering. For HE washers, you only need a tablespoon, so it lasts forever.

Ruby Moon is great if you want something scented. This stuff got my diapers really clean. When I was using this, I still used Charlie’s for everything else.

Country Save is known for how well it cleans cloth diapers. This can also be used on everything! I like this, too. It makes my diapers so soft!

Sometimes cloth diapers need to be stripped if they have detergent build up. This is a tricky topic when it comes to cloth diapering, and I’m really NOT the right person to ask about stripping diapers. I’ve used Mighty Bubbles a few times when I thought that maybe my diapers needed to be stripped, but I’ve never really known for sure. Again, there are millions of ways to strip cloth diapers, and I’m sure I’ll end up experimenting with that as well.  This is what Cotton Babies (the makers of BumGenius) recommend for stripping. I’ve used this method once, and it seemed to work just fine.

The Assembling: 

When everything’s dry, the Freetime diapers just need to be folded up because the inserts are already attached. The 4.0 diapers need to be stuffed. I do this at night while watching tv or relaxing on the couch with David. It only takes a few minutes, and I really don’t mind it.

And that’s it! I really love cloth diapering, and I’m quite passionate about it (more so that I ever expected myself to be!)

What about night time? Does he leak through his diaper? Even when Porter sleeps 11-12 hours at night, when his diapers fit correctly, 99% of the time, he does not leak through his diaper. At night we use a 4.0 diaper and we add an extra insert. This makes the diaper extra bulky, but it works for us. I have some Thirsties hemp inserts and I also have some Baby Kicks inserts. I like them both, but I think I like the Baby Kicks better. Now that’s not to say we haven’t had any leaks at all, but most of the time leaks have been due to needing to change the size of the diaper. For instance, his thighs have recently slimmed down and aren’t as chunky as they used to be. Thus, the diaper was fitting a little larger and he was leaking. I changed the size of the diaper and our problem was solved. Even with the smaller diaper, he would occassionally leak during a nap, so I have been double stuffing during naps and at night, and we’ve been fine.


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Top 10 Baby Products

Porter is turning 6 months (WHAT? How has he been alive for HALF a year already?!) next week. While I still consider myself to be a novice when it comes to being a mom, I also feel like I have learned a few things along the way. (However, most of the time I admittedly have no idea what I’m doing.)

I have had MANY friends who have recently had babies or who have recently announced their pregnancies. When I was pregnant, I remember asking many friends for baby product advice, and it seems that the tables have turned because many people have recently been asking me what I would recommend. Thus, this blog post was born. In no particular order, here are my top 10 baby products/ items.

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[Links to products are below]

Rock-n-Play: Okay, this thing is amazing, awesome, incredible, [insert other favorable adjective here.] Porter slept in this for his first 8 weeks, and he loved it. I loved having it close to my bedside, and if he fussed (and wasn’t wet or hungry) it was nice to be able to reach out to rock it back and forth. It’s also great for traveling. We visited a friend last weekend and it was our first trip away from home with P man. He hadn’t slept in his rock-n-play for nearly 4 months, but he slept like a champ and barely even fussed when we put him down for bed. It also folds up easily, so it’s easy to store.

BumGenius 4.0 or Freetime diaper: I wrote a little bit about cloth diapering before, but I am SO glad cloth diapering worked out for us. BumGenius diapers are phenomenal and Porter very rarely gets a diaper rash/irritated. He wore a disposable swim diaper last weekend and he was so red and bumpy after only being in the diaper for thirty minutes. He also wore a regular disposable for about an hour a few weeks ago (David’s mom had some and we were considering using disposables while we traveled) and he immediately developed a rash. Plus, I love all the fun colors and his bum looks SO cute!

Swaddle Sleep Sack: Porter loved to be swaddled, and we tried and used many different swaddling products. They all have their pros and cons, but we really liked the Halo swaddling sleep sacks.

Marpac Noise Machine: No joke this is hands down the best noise machine ever. Two different friends recommended this to me and this thing is a life-saver. When Porter was a few weeks old, we went through a time when it was VERY difficult to get him to go to sleep at night time. We had a cheapy noise machine I had registered for, and we also had the Sleep Sheep and neither of those were doing the trick. To get Porter to go to sleep at night, Porter had to be swaddled. Then either David or I would hold him and rock him with one arm and hold my hairdryer on full blast with the other. Every time he woke up at night, we had to do this routine again. Once we had this noise machine, it became so much easier to put him to bed. This thing is so soothing (so much so that I want to buy one for OUR bedroom). It’s small, too, so it’s easy to travel with and won’t take much storage space when it needs to be stored away.

Snug-a-bunny swing: There are a million baby swings out there, and they probably all do the same thing, but we really love his Snug-a-bunny swing. Porter LOVES looking at himself in the mirror (Hopefully he grows out of this…) and it will swing in different directions.

Angelcare Baby Movement and Sound Monitor: This is perfect for any paranoid parent. Porter’s room is literally on the opposite side of our house, so once we moved him to his crib, I really began to appreciate this  monitor. It comes with a sensor that goes underneath the mattress and it detects the baby’s breathing movement. If the sensor stops detecting movement for 20 seconds or more (baby stops breathing or moves off of the sensor) it will alarm. There is a little pendulum on the baby monitor that moves back and forth, which indicates that it is detecting movement. Thus, I can wake up in the middle of the night and check to make sure the pendulum is moving instead getting out of bed. I’ve been known to go stare at him while he’s asleep, so this doesn’t eliminate all paranoia, but it sure does help.

Quick Zip Sheets: Oh my goodness. These are amazing. My sister’s best friend recommended these to me, and I am SO glad I listened to her. You know how annoying it is when you change your own sheets and how you have to remove the fitted sheet from your mattress? You’d think that it’d be ten times easier to do that on a smaller, baby mattress…WRONG. First of all, if you’re in a situation in which you need to change the sheet, one of three things has probably happened: baby has spit up all over sheet, baby has peed all over sheet, or baby has pooped all over sheet. When one of the said things happens, baby is usually upset hysterical and crying. If this happens while both parents are at home, one parent can hold the baby, while the other changes the sheet. However, if only one parent is at home, this becomes increasingly more difficult.  These Quick Zip sheets were designed to zip on/off and it really is SUPER easy and quick to change a sheet. They advertise that it is easy enough to do one handed. I’m not sure about that, but it’s still really easy. The set only comes with one sheet, though, so I’d recommend getting at least one extra sheet.

Mama & Papa chair: I don’t really remember why I registered for the Mama & Papa chair instead of a  Bumbo, but I did (probably because I think the Mama & Papa chairs are slightly cuter.) Anyway, this has come in handy more recently (4-6 months.) When we sit down at the dinner table, Porter sits in this so he can be with us while we eat. When he starts solids, we might start him in this before we transfer him to his high chair. It comes with a detachable tray. We also bought an activity tray that suctions to the tray, and he is obsessed with this thing. It can literally keep him occupied for 30 minutes sometimes (and trust me, that’s a long time.)

LuSa Booty Balm: This is all natural and is cloth diaper safe. Yes, it’s expensive for diaper rash cream, but it works amazingly well. Anytime Porter has been even the slightest bit red, we’ve use this and it goes away fairly quickly.

Medela Double Electric Pump: This would obviously only be helpful for breastfeeding mamas, but this pump is relatively quick and gets the job done. Having a double pump is the way to go, especially if you ever have to pump away from home (like at work) and need to get it done quickly. I would recommend the Medela steam bags for cleaning/sanitizing at night. I’d also get an extra set of pump parts, so you can have one clean set. While we’re at it, I’d get this hands free pump bra. I thought it was nonsense, too, but I had to pump and eat lunch at the same time, so it was the only way I could do that. TMI? Probably.

So…there you have it. It was difficult for me to narrow it down to 10 items, and I’m sure once Porter starts eating solids and becoming mobile that I’ll add a bunch more things to my “must have” list.


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Snot Sucker

When you’re a mom, you do some things that you don’t want to do. I don’t want to wipe poopy butts; I don’t want to do laundry every 12 seconds (okay, not really, but it seems that way); and I especially do not want to suck my baby’s snot out of his nose. But guess what? I do it. And guess what? I use this:

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Now before you go all “Ewwww!” and “Gross!” on me, the picture is a little deceiving. Yes, I suck Porter’s boogers and snot out of his nose, but there’s a filter in this little contraption. His snot never actually enters my mouth, which I think really needs to be clarified for a lot of people. When I first saw this product, I thought it was totally disgusting as well. But then a few moms recommended it to me and so I registered for it, and someone bought it for us (a really awesome someone…Thanks, Jody!) I never knew if I’d ever have to use it, but in the past (almost) 5 months we’ve used it quite a few times. However, none of these times were as successful or important as last night (err…this morning) at 3 a.m.

A few days ago we noticed that Porter had quite a few audible boogers in his nose and his nose was quite runny. His snot was clear, though, so we weren’t worried about him being sick.  We’ve used our snot sucker a few times in the past few days, but this morning at 3 a.m. he woke up screaming. David went to go put his pacifier in to see if that would appease him, and most of the time this works. However, in this case, the pacifier wasn’t going to do any good, because Porter was so stuffed up and chock full of snot and boogers. He was coughing and swallowing his snot, so yeah, I’d be crying, too. Let me tell you, those bulb suckers just don’t work very well. The few times we’ve used that thing, barely anything has come out. So, David held Porter down while I operated the snot sucker, and the amount of snot that came out of his nose was unreal. I don’t know if that much snot has ever come out of MY nose. It was disgusting and fascinating at the same time, but Porter could breathe a heck of a lot easier after using it.

So, it may be disgusting, but I’ll use the snot sucker over a bulb sucker any day.


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Baby Poo and Cloth Diapers

Yes, we are using cloth diapers. Yes, we wash them ourselves. No, it’s not difficult or disgusting.

Even before we got pregnant I knew that I wanted to cloth diaper. Whenever I would tell people this, I received far more negative feedback than positive. I received a lot of negative comments like “Well, good luck with THAT.” or “Let’s see how long that lasts. You’ll have more important things to worry about.” People assumed I was talking about the old school pre-folds with pins (not that there is anything wrong with those). However, cloth diapering is MUCH easier now than it was when we were babies. I only had one friend who had any experience with cloth diapering, and I picked her brain A LOT (Thanks, A!) while also conducting my own research, and I am happy to report that I am SO glad we decided to cloth diaper. As a new parent, I find myself questioning some of our parenting decisions on a daily basis–because, hey, we don’t know what we’re doing at all–but cloth diapering is not one I’ve second guessed in the slightest.

Reasons why cloth diapering is just plain awesome:

Reason #1:  It’s green!  The primary reason I wanted to cloth diaper was due to the environmental advantages.  I’m not a “green freak” or anything, but I am probably more green than the average person. I like to use eco-friendly products when possible, and I really REALLY like to recycle. I remember reading that it takes a disposable diaper 250-500 years to decompose.  Additionally, while the numbers vary, I read that on average, a baby will go through 4,702 diapers in the first two years of life. Think about how many babies we have in this world and how many diapers are filling up our landfills! It makes me feel good that I’m not contributing to that.

Reason #2: It’s cheap! Now, at first it doesn’t seem cheap at all. It definitely depends on the brand of diapers you choose and how many you buy, but we spent about $600-700 on our cloth diapers and other necessary materials, which, yes, at the time seemed like a ton of money. We use two different types of Bum Genius diapers which range from $18-$20ish a piece. I know that seems expensive, and I guess it is, but the average baby costs about $2500 to diaper for two years. This varies depending on the brand of disposable diaper, but either way the savings is significant. And, if we have more kids and continue to cloth diaper, that’s even MORE savings!

Reason #3: It’s easy to do and not that dirty. Notice that I did not say that it’s clean. People assume that if you cloth diaper and you wash them yourself that you must love dealing with baby poop and have nothing better to do with your time. If you have a baby, you are dealing with baby poop regardless of HOW you diaper. I promise you that I do not touch poop any more than the average mom who uses disposables. Now, when Porter’s poops start to become more solid, it will get a tad more difficult and maybe a bit more messy, but it won’t be that bad. And as far as washing goes, it literally takes ONE extra load of laundry every two days. With a baby, you do laundry constantly anyway, so it’s not really more laundry. The only thing that might be a tad annoying to some people is the “stuffing” of the diapers. This process is quick (few minutes tops) and can barely be called an additional chore.  Everything about cloth diapering is easy…REALLY! Even David says so. Also, we’ve NEVER had a poop blow out in our cloth diapers. We didn’t start cloth diapers until Porter was about 5 weeks old, and we had many blow outs in the various disposable diapers we used before we started cloth diapering.

Reason #4: It’s healthier. Babies who are cloth diapered have fewer diaper rashes. They also tend to potty train faster. Bonus!

Reason #5: They are so darn CUTE! See below. I may have gone a little overboard with the pictures. 🙂

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Oh my word…look at that face!

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His tush is pretty cute, too. 🙂