Thursday, June 6, 2013

gDiaper Hybrid Review

A couple of weeks ago I went to visit my best friend and help throw her baby shower. While I was planning what things I would need to travel with my 20 month old, I decided to try out two hybrid systems. This first review will just focus on the disposable inserts and not the gDiaper reusable cloth inserts that you can also use with the system. As a cloth diapering fanatic, I was interested in a way to "cloth diaper" while I traveled. When I am at home, I still prefer my pockets, AIO's, and fitteds. But, I could easily place a prefold in the pocket of the gdiaper if I was really curious. Actually I am really curious, so I'll be testing this option out at nap time this afternoon with a prefold. (I'll update you all with results.)

UPDATE!!!!!

My dd had a poopsplosion of epic proportions this afternoon. I think she knew mommy was blogging and needed her to test out their ability to keep it all in (or she has gotten sick and ate a bunch of nopales yesterday which are basically natures laxatives). Holy crap, literally! Wow, that hasn't happened in awhile and it was no bueno. While the diaper did hold in all of the gift, it was so hard to clean. I put a small Sustainablebabyish prefold in the "pocket" and it didn't leak, but boy was it annoying to clean. A pocket or AIO diaper is  WAY easier to clean than a gDiaper with a washable insert. The only time it wouldn't really matter was if you were still ebf (exclusively breastfeeding). In that case you can just throw the entire diaper in your diaper pail and it will all come out in the washer. This time I had to get my hand in the toilet water. But to be honest, nothing really phases me anymore, so it wasn't horrible.

Pros

If you're really dedicated to cloth diapering, like a more breathable option than disposables, or, are like me and just extremely curious, this system is a good option. My daughter, as you know, poops in the potty. Well, lucky for all of you readers, she had a regression and pooped in this diaper several times, so I know how it works for holding poop in too!

-Cute prints and colors.

Is this not a.dor.able?!? 

















-The inserts are the better of the two brands I tried.
-The design keeps the PUL off of the baby, unlike most other hybrid systems.
-The liners can be torn apart and disposed of in the toilet! (I never tried, but it's a great alternative to throwing away another diaper into the landfill.)

Here are the instructions from the website. 







-Can be used as a nighttime solution for all ages.

Cons  

-Even though I bought the large inserts, I had to double up the inserts for nighttime :(
-Sometimes the waterproof snap in would get so soaked you needed to put a new one in, which I didn't have. Very annoying when traveling. I would recommend several extra snap-in liners if you are using these on a trip.
-The inserts are sold everywhere, so be sure you bring enough with you! You can't just run down to your local big box store to pick up the liners.


Unknown

-I have not tested these yet with runny newborn and/or EBF poop. Once baby #2 arrives, I'll update this post with my thoughts!
-I don't have the gDiaper reusable inserts, so I can't comment on those. This is eating me away a little bit, because when I review something, I want to review all of the options. Hey gDiapers, do you want to send me a newborn package with cloth inserts to review?!?!?!?!?! Haha...in my dreams.



Overall, I would say these are a great travel option if you are really opposed to spoosies. Taking these on trips I think would be a great space saver, cute option, and a way to keep up with your cloth diapering routine without the laundry. If you are curious enough to try these out, I would go over to the gDiapers website and take a look at their starter bundle. In it, you get two covers and a package of disposable inserts for only $40! Each gPant can run you from $18-$30 alone.



















I hope this helped those of you who are curious about the hybrid function of these diapers! Happy diapering!

Ps. Check out this video.


Monday, April 8, 2013

Cloth Diaper Trainer Review Part 2: Blueberry Trainer



















The big "musts" with training pants in my humble opinion are speed in getting them off, convenience, the child's ability to feel wet, usability without mommy or daddy's help, and similarity to underwear. Of course, I think these all change from child to child. Some kids will absolutely refuse to think of cloth trainers that look like diapers as anything other than another diaper. On the other hand, some kids don't care what the trainer looks like, and will easily transition from cloth diaper, to cloth trainer, to underwear. Even other kids (lucky parents) will transition from cloth diaper to underwear in a few days.

Let's all agree we hate those people and get back to our real parenting problem, potty training with a cloth diapered child.

Now, I have not fully trained my child to potty train, and I am not going to give advice where I have no expertise. I know what I know, and I hope that you find my review of this cloth trainer helpful in determining if it's the right fit for your little one.

Blueberry Trainer

For me, this trainer is perfect. I love it soooo much because it's like underwear. The reason I like it more than the one's with the snaps is that we really don't need the snap sided trainers thanks to EC or Elimination Communication. I've been putting my little girl on the potty since she was under a year, and we've pretty much eliminated any and all poopy diapers. Occasionally we have a few misses, but for the most part, it's poop in the potty. This is nice, but I feel like my laziness has really prevented us from taking full advantage of the EC program. I can't help but wonder if I had been more diligent, maybe she would be in underwear already!

Well, to be honest, I didn't really care to get her out of diapers. Let's face it, those fluffy butts are cute! Now with baby number deux on the way, I want to have the girls in matching diapers. I mean, how adorable would that be? And, with my new discovery of Good Momma Diapers, I'm really in trouble if that happens. Can you say buying tons of newborn diapers and one size diapers for matching diaper photo shoots because this stay at home mom has no life?

Haha. I can.

And it's an expensive sentence...

If your little potty trainer does still have quite a few poopy accidents in their pants, then I would say skip this diaper. You'll not want to take off a poopy pair of Blueberry Trainers and smear all of the "accident" down their legs. After a few dry heaves, then it's off to the shower to wash off all of that disgusting, oh my god do I see last nights dinner in that, beautiful gift that's been distributed up and down your little angels legs. And, if your child is as active during changes as mine, you might need to call in a hazmat unit to get the room cleaned up as well. Yuck!

Enough babbling, let's get to the good stuff.

Pros

-Similar to underwear, for the picky child that wants "big girl or big boy underwear."

-Layers of cotton terry (to feel the wetness), PUL, and micro-terry make these a great option to help catch one accident.

-Comes in S(22-28lb), M(25-35lb), and L(32-42lb) This is great, because they aren't super bulky or too big for my tall, slim daugher. We have a small, and it fits her 25 lb frame perfectly.

Cons

Even though I love these diapers, I have some serious complaints.

-Really expensive! These things are ridiculously expensive at around $16.00 a pop! If you want to get several of these and you don't want to do laundry every day, you'll be paying quite a bit just for an intermediate phase.

- Most of the prints are for boys :( This is my biggest beef, because I would be willing to shell out the extra cash to get enough of these so that my daughter had "big girl" panties, and then my next daughter could also use them. I'm so annoyed with Blueberry because I want to get a bunch of these, but they have seriously left the girls out to dry print wise. Take a gander at the options from the Blueberry website.















What gives Blueberry? Why leave the ladies out? Have you not taken a look around you? Who is usually willing to spend more money on nice underwear? Women! Duh! I'm hoping in some alternate universe the people at Blueberry read this review and give us mommies with girls some more options! In the meantime I'm still putting my dd in her cloth diapers because she doesn't care if it's a trainer or a diaper. Lucky me! Yesterday we had an almost entirely dry diaper day. I'm a little sad actually...I'm thinking my dreams of matching diapers are not going to be fulfilled. Thanks baby girl for thwarting mommy's plans again!

-Cassandra


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Don't buy these diapers!

I hate it when I come across a diaper I don't like. Especially because I love them so much, I want all cloth diaper companies to do well. I have learned the hard way that just because you sell cloth diapers, doesn't mean you have a good product. In honor of another friend, Laetitia Knight, who is expecting a baby boy and thinking about cloth diapering, I'm bringing you the first installment of "Don't buy this..."!

Here are our culprits (one will not be pictured because it's mia) 















On the left you have the Sweet Pea pocket diaper, the right is the Bumkins pocket diaper, the bottom is the Baby Kanga pocket diaper, and the fourth which is not pictured is the bumGenius pocket with aplix, hook and loop, or velcro, for those of you who don't speak cloth diaper lingo. I hate all four of these diapers for one reason, and one reason only. Well, that's a lie, I hate some of them for several reasons. But, the point is,  they all leak! Ugh! The one job you have is to NOT leak, and that's exactly what you do. Even though you may have an innovative concept, at the end of the day, it doesn't translate into results, which at three in the morning on your third feeding of the night, is a necessity.

Sweet Pea One Size Pocket 



















I got this diaper for free after taking a class at a local cloth diaper shop. It was my first foray into the cloth diapering world, and I quickly learned that this was not only going to be possible for my family, but I was going to have a ton of fun doing it! The diaper I got was white, and while it was a one sized pocket, I didn't get to immediately try it out on my little 6lb 4oz baby girl. As soon as she grew out of her newborn diapers, I popped it out of the packaging, washed it per instructions, and began happily using it on my little girl. It wasn't until after she had started crawling around that the problems started. While she was in the relatively inactive phase of newbornhood, this diaper worked wonderfully. However, as soon as she became mobile, the fit stopped working and I had major leaking issues. The sides would typically be hanging down and her pants would be wet. Now, when I buy an one-sized diaper, I want it to last until potty training. Now, I'm stuck with three cute, albeit ineffective diapers. What makes this one great is that it has openings on both the front and back, which means you don't have to take out the soakers during a diaper change before you put them in the wetbag. Instead, the agitation of the washer makes them come out on their own, translating into a daddy friendly pocket!




















But, this innovation, while genius, does not outweigh the fact that this diaper is not a good diaper for the long haul. I also have another friend who texted me in exasperation after having similar problems on her three month old! These diapers will run you about $12-$15, which is really well priced, but in my humble opinion, not worth the headache. Shell out a couple of dollars more and go buy yourself a workhorse diaper that can last from birth to potty training.



















Bumkins One Size Pocket with Aplix 

This is the diaper I hate the most. Of all the diapers I've bought this past year and a half, this diaper has been the biggest disappointment. I was really surprised by how affordable it was, so I thought I'd buy two in a flower and butterfly print. Similarly built to the Sweet Pea diaper, this diaper has the openings on both ends to avoid taking out the soaker, effectively making it an AIO and daddy friendly.



















However, I'm not sure if  the leaking is due to the fit, or the fact that both of these diapers seem to be falling apart after minimal use. I quickly stopped using them back when Lucy was maybe five or six months. Considering she wore newborn diapers until two months, three months of use in a Very large cloth diaper rotation seems ludicrous. Every now and then her father will put her in this diaper, but because it's so flimsy and poorly constructed, she ends up with wet pants and me questioning why I don't just chunk the thing in the garbage. Maybe I'll keep them for the girls dollies, but for now, they go back in the drawer. Out of sight, out of mind, right?

Look at how awful the inside of this diaper looks and how flimsy the velcro is!
















Baby Kanga One Size Pocket 




















Another great idea, but severely lacking in execution, the Baby Kanga diaper is another unfortunate purchase. Maybe I got a defective diaper, and I hope that I did. I'm not sure why this diaper leaks. My only guess is the micro-fleece inside is to blame.



















It almost seems to repel liquid, which is curious. I don't use diaper rash creams, and if I do for any reason, I either put my daughter in disposables, or I use coconut oil. (We had one little rash in one spot that wouldn't go away, but finally has thanks to some over the counter medication!) Back to the diaper, it's got great fit, extra hip snaps to ensure that the sweet pea diaper problem of the sides coming down is not an issue, and even a zipper in front, which makes changing a pocket diaper the most convenient thing imaginable.



















What a great innovation! Now you don't have to possibly get poop on your hands (even though you're going to in disposables or cloth) when you change a pocket diaper. I may call the company and tell them my dilemma. I'll keep all of you updated, because it just seems too impossible that such a great diaper could give me this problem!


bumGenius One Size Pocket with Aplix

I love bumGenius diapers. They are such a great, versatile diaper with tons of options ranging from organic cotton AIO's, to the Flip, which is a great option for those on a budget. Whatever you think about bumGenius, please don't hate me for what I am about to say. Do not, I repeat, do not buy the velcro verson of these diapers. I have had such an awful time with these, I can see why people get so passionate about the velcro vs. snaps debate in the cloth diapering community. Just get the snap version and be done with it. I can't even put my daughter in this diaper because the velcro doesn't hold at all. Ugh. It's my mistake, and I am passing on this knowledge to you. I have tons of other diapers with velcro that I've been using for the same amount of time or longer that don't have this problem.

I'd like to leave you on a cute positive note. Here is my daughter playing with her moover pram sporting a cute itti bitti d'lish size medium. Happy Tuesday y'all!





















Friday, March 22, 2013

bumGenius Freetime Diaper Review

I don't know why it's taken me so long to do a review on this diaper. A few texts last night with a friend of mine over at Oh Audrey Sue, who is cloth diapering her new little baby girl reminded me that this review is long overdue. It all started with a discussion on pocket diapers and a certain brand of diaper that is leaking on her. I have had the same problems with that same diaper, and I feel her pain. While the idea of the diaper is genius, the execution is lacking. I'll review this diaper in a later post, along with two others that I loathe. Yes, I loathe them. 

Back to the BG Freetime, which in my opinion is a great option for those of you who want an AIO, but are also leaning towards pocket diapers because you can adjust the absorbency. In walks the geniuses over at bumGenius and their new (well, not really that new anymore) diaper, the Freetime. I bought the Albert print, even though my little Lucy is not a boy. It seems like it's one of those made for boys prints, but that didn't stop me one bit! Daddy was a scientist and girls can be just as cute wrapped up in faux chalkboard print with "I'm a Genius" and E=mc2 all day long. Besides, I think it's a lovely marriage between BG and the genius of Albert Einstein. Personally, I think they should run with that idea and start issuing Limited Edition prints featuring different great minds from our past and present. Let's inspire our baby butts to dream big and push the limits of human knowledge.

Outside (I've had this diaper for over a year and it still looks brand new!)















Inside panels lay over each other and can be used alone as an AIO. You can also place a soaker underneath the stay dry panels to up the absorbency, making this diaper so versatile and great for heavy wetters!













Pros

-Hybrid between an AIO and a Pocket, which makes it daddy friendly while still offering mommy a chance to adjust absorbency according to age.

-One size, which is very economical for those of you who are not wanting to spend a fortune on diapers. This one will last you from 8-35+ pounds.

-Great BG fit

-Stay dry interior

-Sewn in flaps of absorbency that bend to pinpoint absorbency for girls and boys. (Genius!)

-A great nighttime diaper for younger babies!

-Very stain resistant and resilient! I've had this diaper for over a year and it's still bright white after repeated use.


I don't know if you can see the panels on each of the flaps, but those fold over, creating a way for you to customize the absorbency in the front for boys or the middle for girls! 











Cons

-I have never been a fan of BG hook and loop diapers. I have had a serious loss of stickiness with the ones I have bought. If you do get one of these, be sure to get these in snaps if you're planning on using them a lot.

-I am also not a big fan of their snaps. I know it's picky, but they just don't snap as well as some other brands.

Since we have another little girl on the way, I'm thinking it's time to spring for two more of these diapers in honor of her arrival!

Here are my picks:

The Lovelace print is also super cute and I love the multicolored snaps! 












Dazzle is so pretty! I love how saturated the color is. 



















Well folks, that's all I have to say about the bumGenius Freetime diaper. That's it for another diaper review. If you have any questions or just want to rave about how much you love/hate this diaper, leave a comment! I love reading comments by other fluffy butt moms or those who are just curious.



Thursday, March 14, 2013

Workout totals,15 weeks

Sunday, March 3
Walking 2.5 hours with the family

Monday, March 4
Lindsay Brin Second Tri Cardio and Toning-35 min
Turbo Jam Cardio 20 min

Tuesday, March 5
Turbo Jam Cardio Party 2-43 min

Wednesday, March 6,
Tracy Anderson Pregnancy Project 3-56  min
(Holy cow that was hard!)

Thursday, March 7
Tracy Anderson Pregnancy Project 3-56 min

Friday, March 8
Turbo Jam Cardio-20 min
Prenatal stretching-5 min

Saturday, March 9
Nothing. Lazy day with the family.

I'm still tired, but this working out is really making me feel more in control of the pregnancy. I wish I enjoyed this process more, but at least I get a beautiful baby at the end to add to our family. I'm not showing yet, just getting thicker in the stomach region. I can still wear all my own clothes, but I tend to wear my pregnancy jeans because they are more comfy.

Norah is going to be smothered with love from all three of us. I know Lucy is just dying to have someone to play with!

Cloth diaper Trainer Review Part 1: Kissa's by Kissaluvs

It's been a long time coming on the post, and I apologize Jocelyn on my tardiness! A few months back I decided to wet my feet with a few cloth diaper training pant purchases. My daughter is only 18 months, but we've been doing EC for about 7 months, and I figured it might be the next step in the journey to potty training. Just as a disclaimer, I am not very religious about putting her on the potty after transitions. I know I could be better about it, but I'm not. Sorry EC gods, I know I've let you down.

Back to the stash. Currently I have three official training pants and one unofficial pair that I think would be a fantastic training pant. Here they are, can you guess the brands? Have you been checking out all the cute options as well?














Which one of these is not like the others? Three have side snaps. One is clearly like a pair of underwear, so it can't be that one. Given up yet? If you guessed the left one, you were wrong! If you guessed the gray one on the far right you were right! Bravo you fluff addict, you spotted the impostor! You may recognize this adorable piece of poop/pee catching goodness from a previous post.

Here are the diapers from left to right: Kissa's by Kissaluvs in 2T, Blueberry trainer in small, Grovia trainer, and our beloved Bottombumpers in the limited edition christmas print with an embroidered owl on the back.

I won't review all the trainers today, but I'll split them up for the sake of brevity. I can't imagine how long this post would be if I continued to ramble on and then did a review of each of the trainers. Without further ado, here is the first installment of cloth trainers

Kissa's by Kissaluvs

This trainer is really adorable. I fell in love with the owl print inside as soon as I saw it. Here is a link to the website where you can see all the adorable colors and prints these come in.















Pros

Side snapping
This is so important if you are just starting out the potty training journey. Chances are, it's going to take awhile before your little one is pooping in the potty. If that's the case, you'll really really want a side snapping option to keep any accidents (or misses) from being smeared down their legs. Isn't that just a lovely thought?

Pocket in the back-This is genius! It's like a pocket diaper, but flannel on the inside, so your pee monster gets a little added boost during nap time, or when you're just starting out. The flannel lets them feel wet immediately, meaning they still get the message without having to clean up a big mess afterwards.















Cute designs inside-This I think is genius! Who wants to poop or pee on all the cute owls, or monsters? Telling your child not to not poop or pee on their friends is a great way to get encourage them to ask you for the potty. I think having your toddler even pick out the prints they like is genius in really getting them involved in the process. And like most of you know, it's much easier to get a toddler on board when they have some control over what they are doing!

Microfiber liner and PUL outer layer-These two combos mean you can contain one accident, providing it's not too large, without wetting clothes. I think this would be the perfect pair of trainers to take out on your first errands out of the house.















Price- These are very reasonably priced at $15 each. For the quality and function, you could easily use these on several kids, or in the alternative, get a great price back on resale.

Cons

Sizing-If you practice EC, these trainers will probably be too big for your little ECer once you are ready to transition to a trainer. They only come in 2T and 3T. My daughter is wearing 2T clothing, but at 25 lb and with a slim build, these are not really feasible at the moment. Right now, they sit in her diaper drawer, waiting for the day when she will grow into them. The website says 20-32 lb, but my little Lucy is not able to wear these yet.

Design-If you little trainer is very perceptive, he or she may not be thrilled with the idea of "graduating" to big girl or big boy pants that look very similar to his other cloth diapers.

Overall, I think these trainers are a great addition to a family with a toddler who is a little on the chunkier side. The design is a great first trainer to get your toddler transitioning out of diapers and into trainers.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Workout totals, 14 weeks

Week two of my accountability posts and I'm feeling like this pregnancy is going to be better than the last. We found out on Friday we are having another little girl, which is fantastic! I was really surprised, but the OB  here in Mexico assured us that it is very common to find out the sex in the fifteenth week. For those of you not familiar with pregnancy weeks, you may be wondering why I wrote workout totals for 14 weeks, but 15 weeks here in the post. Well, like centuries, it's @ss backwards. No, I'm joking. Seriously though, this is a family show. Sorry for the added ampersat. Say I'm 14 weeks 3 days. That actually means that I have completed 14 weeks 3 days, meaning I am in my 15th week. Confusing, right? Well, try figuring out how many months you are every time someone asks you that question. Ugh, division, why must you haunt me the rest of my life?! So, this week I will be 15 weeks, ie, in my 16th week of pregnancy. If you really want to get confused, go look up luteal phases and all the things women do to try to conceive. We have to become doctors, mathematicians, chemists, witch doctors, and pill popping fiends to try to get pregnant.

In other news, I also want to rant a little bit about my OB. He is very nice, but really made me mad on Thursday. He weighed me in as gaining 4 kilos (2.2 lb to the kilo) in between my first visit which was at 7 weeks (?) and last Thursday, around 14 weeks. He told me I was gaining too much weight and that I needed to stop eating so much. Ugh! I have been working my tail off, and only adding in one more snack! I could have lost it I was so po'ed that he didn't believe me. Anyways, y'all are my witnesses, right? Well, the news had the opposite effect that he would have liked I'm sure. For dinner, I ordered a burger with fries. I ended up not being able to eat the burger because I had such bad nausea.Thanks karma. The next night I had Mike run out to the store and get me some orange Fanta (my strange pregnancy craving) and a pack of Bilbo knockoff Ho Ho's, and I had some chips. If I'm going to gain anyways, I might as well indulge, right?

Wrong, I know.

I'm over my anger and I'm not going to eat junk just to prove him right. I'm not a really strict dieter, but I do enjoy healthier food. I've been eating homemade baked oatmeal every morning, a salad for lunch, and then whatever Mexican food gets whipped up for dinner. I've added in one snack before my afternoon workout so I am sure that I have more energy. Hopefully some of the weight gain is muscle. My goal is just to have a healthy, fit pregnancy. If that means I go over the 25 pounds that my doctor is recommending, then so be it. I'm just going to smile and nod next time he berates me for weight gain and hopefully not run and console myself in hamburgers and ho ho's.

February 24-March 2

Sunday-Jennifer Wolfe's Prenatal Vinyasa Yoga 45 minutes

Monday-Turbo Jam Punch, Kick, and Jam 50 minutes

Tuesday-Lindsay Brin Second Tri Cardio and Toning-45 minutes
Pilates-5 minutes

Wednesday-Turbo Jam, 20 minute Cardio Booty sculpt & Abs-30 minutes

Thursday-Turbo Jam Cardio Party 2

Friday-Day off!

Saturday-P90X Chest and Back with Mike-50 minutes


Saturday, March 2, 2013

It's a.....


We're having a little girl! After much debate and thanks to an awesome friend Stef who didn't mind us stealing her precious daughter's name, we are proud to announce that Lucy's new sister is going to be named Nora Rose Leach. We're both so excited and I can't wait to meet our new addition!





Sunday, February 24, 2013

Fit pregnancy, here we go!

For those of you who don't know, I'm pregnant. Yay and well, boo...I have a love-hate relationship with pregnancy. I love the baby part at the end, but generally hate the act of being pregnant. Don't get me wrong, there are positives, but I for one, just feel like a prisoner in my own body. I don't get horrible morning sickness, and for the women who do, I salute you. If I threw up several times a day, this family would not be expanding past three. My friend Sally, a recent Dallas Moms Blog contributor, is my pregnancy hero. Check out her post on morning sickness. We were also pregnant at the same time two years back while both continuing to teach. I suffered from nausea and dizziness, while she was teaching all day long with a trash can in her hand! Superwoman. 

Before my first pregnancy I was working full time, coaching basketball, finishing up my second Masters degree, and trying to do Bikram Yoga several times a week.  When the news came that we were expecting our fist child, my hopes of doing a 60 day challenge were dashed. For those of you who are not Bikram yoga followers, the 60 day challenge is 60 consecutive days of Bikram Yoga. From there it was all down hill, as I stuffed my face for the next 9 months on any and everything I craved. 

Big Mistake.

Fifty pounds later, it took me an entire year to get rid of all the baby weight. You can see my journey here. God bless Shaun T and Insanity. I can't wait to get back to my Asylum workouts and try out Asylum Volume 2! 

This time things are different. I haven't worked out every day, but my resolution is five times a week now that I'm out of the dreaded first trimester exhaustion. Before, I was lucky to get in a workout two or three times. This time around, I wracked my brain to figure out what I would do. I thrive with consistency and got very attached to my Insanity workouts. Most of you don't know, but I had a miscarriage back in October. It was early on and we at peace with what happened. However, I can't help thinking in the back of my mind, the extreme fitness routine I was trying to maintain played a part in the loss. Maybe I'm wrong, we'll never know. The one thing I do know is, I want to be more cautious this time. No Insanity Asylum for me.  

I've turned down the intensity quite a bit. My new workouts are a mixture of kickboxing, prenatal yoga, and prenatal weight lifting. I am still doing ab workouts, but I stop whenever I get crampy. Here is the list of DVDs I'm using to keep me in better shape this go around. 

Lindsay Brin's Complete Pregnancy Fitness Workout series by trimester

Turbo Jam (old school) 
-Turbo Scuplt
-20 minute workout
-Cardio Party 1 
-Cardio Party 2
-Ab Jam
-Punch Kick and Jam
-Booty Sculpt 

Jennifer Wolfe's Prenatal Vinyasa Yoga 2 DVD set 

Tracy Anderson Pregnancy Project (I'm still waiting for this one in the mail.) 

Once a week I will post my workouts, so I can keep myself accountable and hopefully inspire any of you other pregnant moms who are trying to also have a fit pregnancy!

February 

Week of the 17-23

Sunday
-Acapulco :) 

Monday
-Traveling 

Tuesday
-Turbo Jam 20 min
-Lindsay Brin Second Tri Cardio and Toning 45 min

Wednesday
-Turbo Jam Punch Kick and Jam 50 min

Thursday
-Turbo Jam 20 min
-Turbo Jam Booty Sculpt and Abs 30 min

Friday
-Turbo Jam Cardio Party 2 43 min
-Jennifer Wolfe Prenatal Yoga 15 min

Saturday
-Lindsay Brin Second Tri Cardio and Toning 45 min

Let's hope I can keep this up! 

Here I am at 13 weeks:




Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Meet my baby carriers!

It's no secret that I'm a baby wearing fool. I didn't  think I would be that hippy chick.  Breastfeeding, wearing long flowy skirts, and toting my baby around on me like I'm some sort of @...pardon my French, I meant pack mule. I am an American and I use a stroller damn it. That's where babies are meant to be placed until they can walk next to you like a drunk person. Then you put them on a leash. Duh! I was introduced to baby carriers at a cloth diapering store in Dallas, where I was doing a little research with a friend who was also dabbling in the fluffy butt arts. I saw one of the workers wearing her baby and the rest is history.

Being the obsessive compulsive that I am, I wanted to try several of the "best" carriers on the market. Now, this is by no means a complete list of the best, it's just the ones I deemed good enough to try. There are a few more that I haven't tried, but these are all basically variations on a theme. Just like cloth diapers, they are all similar in style and function.

Some of my fit mom friends and I were talking about carriers, and I got an idea. Since I am a stay at home mom now and have nothing to do all day but chase around my little toddler, I decided to have a little mommy daughter fashion show with her carriers. This turned out to be great because she is also teething and nothing says flexible like a teething baby!

Moby Wrap

While I loved this carrier for when my daughter was younger, now it just seems a little too constrictive for her. It's less comfortable than the soft carriers when they start getting heavier. I believe that I stopped using this one regularly after she got to be about 10 months. But, when I first got the Moby, around two months, I loved it. It felt the closest to being pregnant again, which strangely enough, I missed. The other problem with this carrier is that it is long and you have to be somewhere where it doesn't drag on the floor while you tie it or you have to be very careful. I usually would pre-tie the carrier on me before we left, as a way to avoid this problem.

Best ages: Birth-12 months or probably 18 lb, whichever comes first
Pros: Soft, feels like you're pregnant again
Cons: You feel the weight of a heavier baby on your shoulders and back more.























































Beco Gemini 

Boy do I love the look of this carrier. It's a little different than most of the soft carriers on the market in that it has a forward facing option like the Baby Bjorn. I know there is a lot of controversy out there in the baby wearing world about if you should do this or not. This post is not going to try to convince you either way. If you're baby wearing, you're probably already aware of this debate and will come to a thoughtful decision on your own. Okay, back to the carrier! I cannot get enough of this print. It's a little harder to match my clothes with, but I think it's a great summer print. It fits similarly to the Ergo or Boba, but the buckles are slightly different. If you're looking for a carrier just for mom, then I think this is a good option. I find it very comfortable, and so does my daughter. While we were doing the photos for this post, I had her in the hip carry and she immediately put her head down on my shoulder. Why don't you just melt mommy's heart right now? I love it when she shows love back. One of the many blessings of toddlerhood! The problem with this carrier is twofold for me. First off, it doesn't have a pocket in the front, which I feel like is a must. Since I don't use a purse anymore, I like being able to put my wallet in the front zipper pocket. If I could get Beco to do this, I would probably wear this carrier more than my Ergo. The second problem is it doesn't fit my husband very well. I don't know why, but it looks awkward on him, despite the super girly print. There is something in the shoulder area that doesn't work right with his frame.

Best ages: 7-35 lb (10 less than the Ergo)
Pros: Very comfortable, a large selection of stylish prints, and 4 different ways to wear it!
Cons: Doesn't fit all body types as easily, lack of zipper in front, the way you tighten the straps is counter-intuitive

Option 1






























Option 2



































Option 3






























Option 4



















Ergo 

The Ergo carrier is my favorite for two reasons, and two reasons only. Well, okay, maybe three. First off, it has a zipper in the front, which for me is very important. It's my mommy purse/binky carrier. Secondly, it fits my husband well, which in turn means we can change out the carrier on one trip easily without having to either bring a second or me listen to him how he doesn't like how the Beco doesn't fit him. Less whining hubby equals more shopping time for mommy while daddy wears baby! I always take the opportunity to remind my husband that I gained 50 lb during pregnancy, and he shouldn't complain about how heavy it is to carry around our 25 lb toddler. So what if we live in a hillier place now. Suck it up! I was 50 lbs pregnant in 115 degree weather in Texas! Ergo doesn't have the same selection of cute carriers as Beco, but they do have quite a few. I've had my eye on the Zebra print for awhile now....Push present? Seeing as I am pregnant again, I think I deserve another carrier, right? And some more diapers! Well, we should probably find out the sex of the baby first.

Best ages/weight: 7-45 lb (10 more than the Beco) You must use the Infant Insert from newborn until 4 or 5 months.
Pros: Zipper in front, fits a wider range of body types, the buckles and straps are more sturdy than the Beco
Cons: The patterns aren't as cute or varied as the Beco.

Option 1




































Option 2




































Option 3 



















Ring sling(s) 

I'm just going to write a brief little blurb about ring slings since I honestly don't care for them so much. I really really really wanted to like them, but they just aren't as comfy or as stable as the other three options I just mentioned. There are a lot of options out there on the market, so take your pick. I have a BabyEtte in grey cotton that I didn't take pictures of and the Balboa Baby sling in black(see below).




































Best ages/weight: Newborn-25 lb
Pros: Better for newborns, but be sure you have them in the correct position or they could suffocate
Cons: They aren't as comfortable or as stable as the other options above, low weight limit

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Boosting your milk supply, does it really work?

There are a million articles I've read on this subject. When I had to start supplementing Lucy, the Pediatrician suggested that I drink Fenugreek tea three or four times a day. She had used the tea with great success and assumed that I would naturally have an increase in supply if I did the same. I don't know how many of you have tried the Mother's milk tea, but let me tell you, if you'd like to replicate the taste, go to your back yard, clip some grass and brew it up. Add the scent of maple syrup, but not the taste and you have yourself a cup of good ole' boob milk boosting tea.

One problem, it doesn't always work.

So I decided to take matters into my own hands and I researched online what I could do. I had already started eating oatmeal every morning, which I hate by the way, and upped my water intake up to the point that I was disgusted by the taste. I started drinking juice, milk, anything to change it up. I supplemented with Fenugreek capsules and blessed thistle AND bought the More Milk mixture from Whole Foods that tasted like grass vodka. I was mainlining all the "galactogogues" I could get my hands on. I took nursing vacations on the weekend, we did skin-to-skin every night in the tub and I slept with her in just a diaper against my bare chest for two months. Nothing worked. So I took the pumping route and I did something that probably aided in the decline of our breastfeeding relationship. I had been recommended the Avent bottles by my sister-in-law, who had a daughter several months older than Lucy. I decided that I would abandon my Tommy Tippee ones that I had registered for, and go with the Avent.  They had been recommended to her by a lactation consultant as the most breastfeeding friendly of all the bottles. (I am not sure if this claim is true in retrospect. I am going to buy several bottles and do drip tests before the next baby to put my mind at ease.)  Fast forward to my breastfeeding difficulties with Lucy, I did some more snooping online and came up with another major error I had made when Lucy turned two months. Naive me had bought the number 2 nipples for Lucy when she turned two months. I had been giving her faster flow nipples and had thus, encouraged her bottle preference. No one had told me earlier that breastfed babies should stay on the slowest flow nipple the entire time they are breastfeeding. The logic is that your own milk flow does not change, therefore the bottles should be similar to your own breasts. Stupid, stupid, stupid mommy.

Rookie mistake....ugh...

From there, I switched back to the number 1 nipples, but the damage had already been done. She stopped latching except for once in the morning. That was hard to deal with. There is nothing like the sight of your baby screaming in horror when you try to breastfeed them. I tried a supplementor, but she wouldn't latch. At that point she was too independent to get close to me and wasn't mindlessly rooting around anymore. After a bought of Rota virus when she was five months, I had completely dried up. I guess all the frequent trips to the bathroom to have my body do things I didn't know were humanly possible, my breasts had said "f-this" and decided to stop producing.

Looking back on everything that happened, I have done a lot of research. I mean, crazy, obsessive amounts of research on how you can boost one's milk supply. Every woman is different, and it seems that a lot of women have great results with Fenugreek and Blessed Thistle. Most take the capsules three or four times a day, usually several at a time. Most seem to believe four capsules three times a day plus one capsule of Blessed Thistle is the right combination.

So what about those of us who have tried this and didn't see an increase in supply? Well, there are a few at home remedies, and a few medical interventions.

At home
Lactation cookies with brewers yeast and oatmeal, some also put in Fenugreek (belch)
Dark beer
Goat's rue
Fluid, fluid, fluid
Make sure you are eating 500 calories more than you did pre-pregnancy. Now is not the time to start dieting.
Pump after every feeding for five minutes. The idea is that breastmilk is all about supply and demand.
Take a breastfeeding vacation-Lay in bed with baby and have them feed or suckle as much as possible for several days. Skin-to-skin is also helpful when doing this.

Medical
There are two drugs that are used most frequently with boosting milk supply, they are Domperidone and Metoclopramide. Both have side effects and I have read that the former is not used in the US. You should also talk to your pediatrician about the use of these and possible underlying causes that could effect your milk supply.

Here is a quote from the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine taken from this article on other causes of low supply:



Evaluate the mother for ‘‘medical’’ causes of hypogalactia:
Pregnancy, medications, primary mammary glandular
insufficiency, breast surgery, polycystic ovary syndrome,
hypothyroidism, retained placenta, theca lutein cyst, loss
of prolactin secretion following postpartum hemorrhage,
heavy smoking or alcohol use, or other pertinent conditions.
Treat the condition as indicated, if treatment is
available
12 (Level of Evidence II-2, II-3, and III).

I already have plans to try making a lactation cookie of my own that is not at all healthy, but tastes delicious. I've also heard of breastfeeding cupcakes, which could also prove to be interesting. I'll be working on those two in the next month, so stay tuned! Any guinea pigs want to test them out for me?

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Moooo, moooo pump that milk



As promised, I will impart my pumping, no supply wisdom to those of you real moms who are struggling with juggling a newborn and figuring out how to balance breastfeeding and freedom. Now, when I saw freedom, I mean those precious moments at the beginning of newborn's life, when you really do feel like a cow. Sleep deprived, probably still in pain from whatever form of labor and birth you had, adjusting to this new being that is constantly glued to your body. You're in love and could stay lying on the couch forever watching your little precious bundle sleep. While at the same time, you're silently screaming inside to get out and move, but you just can't find the time to take a shower. Before I get to pumping, let me give you a piece of advice that was passed down to me from one of my mom friends while I was still pregnant. She told me, "Everyone tells you about how great breastfeeding is and that they feed every two hours. No one ever tells you that it takes them an hour to eat. That means you've got one hour of rest before the next feeding."

Just let that sink in.

Now, I don't want this to come off as anti-breastfeeding. I am very pro-bfing. I just want you to understand that you are really going to have to be mentally strong and prepared for the challenges you are going to face the first few months. We bed shared for the first three months, which made the late night feedings very easy. But, you may be one of the lucky ones whose newborn sleeps for three, four, maybe even six hour stretches right off the bat. If you are, just keep that between you, your pediatrician, and God if you believe in him. No mother with an infant wants to hear about your baby who is sleeping through the night by two months. We hate you behind your back and you don't want us to do that.

Okay, now what you've all been waiting for......pumping! What kind of pump should you get? How often should you pump? What do you do with the milk? Can you freeze it? Make ice cream with it? Should you start pumping early to build up a supply? Should you introduce the bottle early to get your baby used to the bottle since you'll be going back to work? What about bags or bottles? How do you thaw the milk? How long can it sit out? Breastfeeding hurts, why? My nipples are bleeding, I think I should stop. What is thrush? What is mastitis? When will my milk come in? I'm so frustrated, help!!!!

Those are a lot of questions and I'm not a doctor or a lactation consultant. However, I had problems with milk supply so I read my fair share of books, articles, and blogs about the art of breastfeeding. I'll let you know what I've found and point you to some practical solutions that I think will help you troubleshoot when you really do find yourself having issues.

1. Pumps

There are all manner of pumps out there on the market. If you have insurance, I would strongly recommend calling your insurance company and seeing if they will pay for your monthly rental for a hospital grade pump. They are the best on the market and will get the most milk out. You never know if you are going to have supply issues, and hey, why not get the best pump for free instead of spending hundreds of dollars on something inferior?

2. Shields

If you are going to go back to work to pump, you are going to have to determine when you will have time to pump, where you will be able to do it, how you will clean your equipment, and how you are going to store the milk. I was a teacher and was lucky enough to have my own room that I could use during my free periods. The downside was, I didn't have a private place to clean all my breast shields. I also am very lazy when it comes to doing dishes, so I decided to buy enough shields to last my entire day, avoiding the need to do embarrassing dishes in the faculty lounge.

If you can't afford to buy several sets of shields, just realize that you will need to sanitize them in between each use. Medela makes these awesome bags that will sanitize all your accessories in the microwave! Each bag can be used up to twenty times, so it's pretty convenient and economical. You could also buy one of the Avent sanitizers and keep that at your work if you don't mind having it sit around all day.

3. Storage

I'm just going to let La Leche League take the lead on this one. Here are the basic guidelines on how long you can keep breast milk in the fridge or freezer.

From the website:

Storage Guidelines

All milk should be dated before storing. Storing milk in 2-4 ounce amounts may reduce waste. Refrigerated milk has more anti-infective properties than frozen milk. Cool fresh milk in the refrigerator before adding it to previously frozen milk.
Preferably, human milk should be refrigerated or chilled right after it is expressed. Acceptable guidelines for storing human milk are as follows. Store milk:
  • at room temperature (66-78°F, 19-26°C) for 4 hours (ideal), up to 6 hours (acceptable) (Some sources use 8 hours)
  • in a refrigerator (<39°F, <4°C) for 72 hours (ideal), up to 8 days (acceptable if collected in a very clean, careful way)
  • in a freezer (-0.4 to -4°F, -18 to -20°C) for 6 months (ideal) up to 12 months (acceptable)
Here is the link to the web page.

Okay, now that you know how you should be storing your milk, here are your options and here is what I did.

a. Bottles v. Bags

This is personal and will depend on how much you are pumping and how much you want to store. If you are not the most productive cow, you might just go with bottles, since they won't be in your refrigerator for more than one day. If you go this route, you will need to use the bottles that correspond to your pump. I used Medela products, so I typically used the 5 oz bottles they sell. They also offer a nipple that you can attach to the bottle, which is convenient as you don't loose milk transferring it from one bottle to another. Medela also offers a nipple that attaches to these bottles called the Calma, which is supposed to simulate breastfeeding. I tried to use this nipple with Lucy, but she was already too far gone and went on a feeding strike. Next time, I possibly will use this nipple from the beginning and see if we fair better with transitioning between bottle and breast.


Bags on the other hand can be a great option for the high producing momma or for the low producing mom who wants to use a different bottle. Again, I am totally not a Medela spokesperson, but I used these products and can give you the pluses and minuses. The Medela Pump and Save bags are a great option if you don't get out 12 oz at a time, these can be a great option to pump straight into a bag and then freeze and thaw as needed. They have handy little adaptors to attach to your shields, so you skip having to use bottles, which means less dishes. If you are a big producer, you can also use the Lansinoh bags that hold twice as much, but they do not attach to the Medela shields.



4. Hands free pumping bra

God bless the hands free pumping bra. Now you can surf the Internet and pump! Go get one of the immediately if you are going to use an electric pump. Go now and thank me later. This is a great way to just relax and make pumping a little less boring. I have pumped for over thirty minutes using one of the these puppies.




5. Pumping schedule: When do I start?

I'm not a lactation consultant. I started pumping maybe a week after my daughter was born, to try giving her a bottle. In retrospect, I think that was foolish. My daughter ended up expressing a bottle preference and I can trace that back to the first bottle feeding and my low supply. You don't know if your little one is going to express a bottle preference, so I say, wait until right before you are going to go back to work, or two to three months before you introduce a bottle. If you don't care if your supply wanes or not, then give a bottle. It's really a personal choice. I'm just hoping to outline my mistakes, so others can learn from them.

6. How often should I pump?

Ideally, you should pump whenever you would normally breastfeed. If you are trying to boost your supply, pump after every feed for at least five minutes. Working moms will probably not have a schedule that allows them to pump whenever their baby is actually feeding. In this case, do what you can. It's better to pump more frequently than to pump for long periods of time. You need to relax while you're doing it. A little funny tidbit about breastfeeding is that you need to have an emotional reaction to have "let down." The release of oxytocin is what causes let down and is harder to achieve with your pump. So, keep photos of your baby around and visualize holding him or her, while imagining "waterfalls of milk." I kid you not I read that in a breastfeeding book. I don't remember which one, but I've always found that imagery hilarious. Unfortunately, no matter how many Niagara Falls of breast milk I envisioned, I never had an increase in supply.

7. When to introduce the bottle.

The question that has a million answers. I'm going to answer it from a mom whose daughter expressed a bottle preference early on. If you can, hold off giving a bottle for as long as you can (and a binky). I would wait until two weeks before you return to work. Also, try not to give your little one the bottle if you can, so your baby doesn't associate bottle with mommy. I started my daughter out with the bottle after a week with pumped breast milk. By four months, she was down to one early morning feeding and by five months, she had completely weaned herself. I had a really hard time with this and went through anger and feelings of rejection. Breastfeeding was important to me and I didn't want to give up that special time with my daughter. Just know that if you are enjoying breastfeeding, try and establish the best relationship you can with your baby before giving a bottle. You won't know you have a baby that is going to express a bottle preference until it happens. By then it might be too late. You just never know, and if you don't want to risk it, don't give the bottle for at least two or three months.

8. A pain in the boob

Engorgement, nipple pain, bleeding, mastitis. Breastfeeding can be really painful and there are a number of problems that cause each of them. Most breastfeeding pros will say that an improper latch is the cause of breastfeeding pain. Other moms I've talked to say that it wasn't the latch, they just had to get used to the feeling and for their nipples to toughen up. By the way, breastfeeding in the first few days has an added perk of shrinking your uterus back. However, the way this happens is by way of contractions...Remember those? For some women, this can be quite a shock to feel the baby latch on the first time and feel those dreaded things you just finished having! My mother remembers having to pull me off several times because the pain was too excruciating at first. Other women don't feel as bad or have copious amounts of pain meds to numb the pain. I had a c-section because my daughter was breech, and I was so drugged up, I couldn't remember if I was having conversations in my head or with the people around me. I'm so thankful to my mother and husband who kept my daughter and I both safe while I was recovering.

If you are suspicious your pain is caused by a bad latch, call up that lactation consultant that you already have or go down to your local La Leche League meeting and pick the brain of some of the other moms.

Finally, Mastitis is something every mother should be aware of. Thank God my OB explained to me the symptoms during a prenatal visit and begged me to call him as soon as I had them so he could get me on antibiotics. God bless him and God bless antibiotics. Sorry for all the gods, I just really really really had a hard time with Mastitis and the treatment made me feel a million times better. It basically feels like the flu, and having a baby while having breast pain, flu like symptoms, and working full-time can be beyond draining. Talk to your doctor about the warning signs and what you should do if you suspect you have it. Do this BEFORE you have your baby. You'll thank me when you get it on the weekend. 

That's all I have for now on pumping. Next blog I'll write about how to try and boost your milk supply. I say try because I did almost everything you can think of and I never was 100% EBF (exclusively breastfeeding). I have a couple new tricks up my sleeve for next time, and I'll share them with those of you who are suffering or have suffered in the past with low supply. To the rest of you future and current mommies, good night and happy pumping!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Breastfeeding?

In honor of my best friend announcing her pregnancy and entering her second trimester, I thought I would write about breastfeeding from the perspective not usually heard from in the breastfeeding blogosphere. If you have read any of my earlier posts on this subject, you will know that I had a hell of a time with milk supply. I was lucky enough that Lucy latched on great from the get-go. In that, I am truly grateful. However, by one month we started supplementing, and by four months, she had completely weaned herself. It was really hard for me to deal with, and I tried everything to get her to come back to b-fing. Everything, except for two things, that probably would have either saved our relationship, or saved my milk supply at six months when I completely dried up.

1. Have a lactation consultant who will make HOUSE CALLS. I am yelling that in print because I talked to several on the phone and I didn't get anything out of the phone calls that I didn't already know. Believe me, I became a booby expert after we started having issues. My goal in life was to be a milk machine, and instead, I just started to smell like maple syrup. I am sure that some of our problems with reflux and my little hungry hippo could have been solved had we had someone who could come over and help me coax my daughter gently back into breastfeeding.

2. Find a local La Leche League group and GO! Why I didn't do this, I will never know. I should have gone while I was pregnant and started learning and building a support group before I ran into problems. To be honest, I didn't really know. I read the La Leche League book, The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding while I was pregnant. It helped me understand more of what to expect from this new frontier, but it can come across condescending at times, especially if you run into serious problems.

The best advice I can give to someone who is on the fence about breastfeeding is talk to someone who has done it, or is doing it that you respect. This choice is very personal, and breastfeeding is not for everyone. It can be an amazing experience if you are open to it. It can also leave you heartbroken when it doesn't work out. Welcome to motherhood.

That being said, most problems can be solved with the right support system. I may look into asking my pediatrician for a prescription for Reglan or Domiperidone next time around. Whatever you decide to do, just know that your child will grow up happy and healthy with formula or breast milk. Regardless of what you may read, you are not going to poison your baby if you give them formula. However, breastfeeding can be one of the most amazing moments you will ever have as a mother, and if you want to give it a try, I say go for it! You may run into bumps, but with a good support system around you, you'll hopefully sail over them with ease. Later I'll post about pumping. I was a working mom, and I turned pumping into a science and so can you!