He’s so Cute!

Apparently I dress my beautiful baby girl like a stylish little boy… all the time! We hear what a cute son we have so regularly that it’s become a joke in our house. This morning we had a good little chuckle about our “son”. I couldn’t pass on the opportunity to document.

This morning I got up before everyone (even the baby). Work has been pretty busy so I needed a few minutes to myself before the day started. When M started chirping around we all began our day. After feeding her I passed her to Michael so I could get a few things done before I had to go to the office. I went into Maryn’s room and picked out an outfit for her to wear for the day and tinkered around in there for a minute. I went downstairs and a few minutes later I realized Michael was getting her dressed. I went back upstairs and as I walked into her room he said, “I assumed you set those clothes out because you wanted her to wear them?”

“Yep!”, I replied semi paying attention to him.

Note: he is perfectly capable of getting her dressed and I have full belief that he can pick out a perfectly fine outfit for her, I was just trying to speed things up this morning and make everyone’s lives a bit easier.

“Alright he’s dressed” he said as he picked her up off of her changing mat… “and he looks so cute!!!!!” He was laughing hysterically then held her up for me to take her. For several minutes he carried on about how she looked just like like a rancher boy and that it’s no wonder strangers think she is a boy! We both got one heck of a laugh.

I thought she looked perfectly adorable in her cute plaid hand-me-down button up shirt from baby-Rachel! Between laughter, I told Michael to stop being ridiculous, to put the cardigan and bow that I set out too, on her, and to stop calling her a boy!

A few minutes passed and we both got over her outfit. Michael said he wanted to run to Starbucks before I had to leave so he packed up the baby and headed out. I needed to finish putting on my makeup and pick out an outfit for the day. I opened my drawer to see a blue plaid shirt sitting right on top. I started cracking up as I got dressed and topped my outfit with a white cardigan too.

Michael came home from Starbucks as I was packing up my lunch and as soon as he walked in he said, “awwww my boys look so cute today in their matching outfits!” We both laughed so hard we had tears in our eyes!

Lucky for you, every morning before I leave for work I take a picture with Mar. Feast your eyes on these little twinsters.

(It should be noted that I do not think we look like boys.)

(It should also be noted that it doesn’t bother me if people say she is a boy I just get a good internal chuckle over it. Sometimes I even respond “thank you, we love him!” Strangers don’t know and it makes me laugh… even when HE is wearing pink!!!)

(It should also be noted that although I have full confidence in him… Michael does NOT ALWAYS pick out good outfits…see gray headband with pink floral design and red romper with little dotted pattern below! Yuck. Good thing she makes up for it with those gorgeous eyes and chubby cheeks!)

First Time Mom Blog

I was on the phone this evening with my mother in law sharing a hilarious story about today’s mishaps caused by my “mom brain” (and my severe lack of sleep). When I finished telling her the story and we both caught our breath from cracking up she said, “that should be a story on a mom blog.” That was just the inspiration I needed to share this wildly entertaining “situation” I faced today. Because, well… I have a “first time mom” blog :-)!!!

I’ve been working from home all week which is an incredible blessing and quite the change of pace from the last few months of work. I find it especially refreshing to be home after a 10 day trip out of state. We’re working on establishing routines and trying to get some sort of normalcy around here. Being home to nurse the baby between conference calls, emails, and studying new material is all I need to ease my heart back into being away from her for 10+ hours a day here in a few more weeks. This morning I was working in the kitchen when Michael and Pickles came down to start their day. I told Michael I had to head down to the office to get some work done and wanted to talk through our game plan for the day. We decided that it would be best to pull some mama milk out of the freezer for Pickles and I could restock our stash by pumping on my commute to the office, just like I normally do.

I wrapped up a few tasks, packed up my bag (pump, lunch, work supplies, etc.) and got ready to head out. It’s important to understand that I have my “normal work schedule” morning routine down to a science. I have found (after lots of trial and error) the most efficient way to get out of the house quickly without forgetting a thing… and maximizing my time with the lady before work! Part of this routine includes hooking up my pumping parts to my boobs before getting in the car. It’s much faster to do this while standing at the kitchen counter than fumbling around in the car before leaving the driveway. Yes, I really do pump to and from work every single day! Although this morning wasn’t a “normal” day… I slipped back into my “normal” routine….just like riding a bike!

Here’s how it went…I put the funnel looking part (technical term: “flange” But that’s too fancy for my taste) up against my boob (technical term: breast.. blah blah blah. At least I refrained from saying tit) and popped on the other part (no idea the technical term let’s just call it the connector) that just presses on the flange. This is absolutely the most important part because it is what plugs into the pump to get the milk flowing. Normally, I would screw on a bottle to the end of each of these connector parts and head out to the car. Today.. I forgot the bottle. Those of you nursing mamas out there are already shaking your head vigorously because you KNOW exactly where this story is going…

So I proceed to grab my 932 bags and strut my happy ass out to the car with my nips poking through this gizmo hanging out of my bra. Look all you want neighbors… I got a baby to feed. This mama is on a mission!

I plugged the pump in, connect the adaptor part to the sucking tubes.. and crank that pup up to full blast. I threw the car in reverse and set out for a quick little jaunt to the office. I felt really proud of myself as I felt a letdown start. I swear I chanted to myself “you’re a BOSS MAMA! Look at you go!!!! Big. Ass. Letdown wooooooo!!!!” When I started feeling my lap get warm.

I looked down to see Niagara Falls flowing mama milk all over my lap. ALL. OVER. MY. LAP. I FORGOT TO SCREW ON THE BOTTLES.

I flipped a U-ie and headed back home. I marched inside drenched in mama milk and announced that this was NOT yet the time to laugh. I changed my clothes. Screwed on some bottles. And cringed over the 2 oz of lost mama milk. We both got a good chuckle because seriously as annoyed as I was with my mom brain, who could resist laughing at a situation like this? I proceeded to send some video chats to a few of my mama milk friends to let them know of my huge blunder. Sometimes… it’s okay to laugh about spilled milk!

Polar Express 2017

Last Friday I took the day off work and we headed out for the most magical journey on the Polar Express with our sweet friends Brenna and Cory and their beautiful little bug! This season is incredibly magical now that we have Miss Pickles. The traditions we’re starting as a family and with our friends makes for exciting years to come. It’s days like this that I live for… the ones that make this season so so sweet! Here’s our sweet highlight video. We love you Brenna, Cory, and little bug!

A week with Pickles

I took a week off work for Thanksgiving and boy am I glad I did. I had a week of singing Christmas songs while dancing around the house with Miss Pickles. Oh what fun! I am so excited to kick off the holidays with a joyful pep in my step. Only a few more weeks and I get another week off for Picks first Christmas. This week was full of GOODNESS and joy!! We originally planned to go to Portland for Thanksgiving to meet up with our sweetest cousins. However, last minute we decided that some time home was just what we needed. We celebrated low key with some local friends that are also transplants from out of state. They brought their 7 month old BFF over and we had a grand ol time with our gluten free, dairy free, soy free, egg free and corn free feast. Our meal was shockingly delicious and full of the regular merriment! We all cracked up when our friends showed up both wearing plaid, just like the two of us! It was meant to be.

It was also a week of exciting new things. Miss Pickles started laughing, started sitting in her high chair, attended her first tailgate, and was dedicated at church. She also wen Black Friday shopping with us. We felt crazy… and festive! Next year I’ll be able to have a peppermint mocha… until then enjoy our festive photos!

Halloween 2017

Halloween has been a special tradition in our family since I was a kid. I’ve always looked forward to the fun of dressing up, eating too much candy, and picking out the perfect pumpkin at the pumpkin patch.

Michael and I have started our own traditions throughout the years. We have some friends in Southern California that host the most elaborate street gathering of chaotic Halloween goodness every year. For many years in the past I have played the “Queen of Halloween” witch role. This year it was time to pass the torch so I could enjoy Mar girls first Halloween and tend to her needs.

Michael and I decided to take a week of PTO and fly south for the last week of October. It was so fun to take the little chick on her first flight and spend a week with family in Michaels hometown. We didn’t want to anybody hyped up on seeing us should we have to bail out last minute. Therefore, we kept our itinerary hush-hush and only filled in 2 gate keepers on our hope to appear at the Halloween bash. We weren’t sure on a 3 hour car ride and how Miss Pickles would do while we were in town. Besides, surprises are way more fun! Miss Pickles did great on the flight and even better on the car ride down south. She slept the whole 3 hour ride from SLO to LA. WHAT LUCK!

We made a highlight video to show you some of the fun things we did while on the central coast and in LA. It sure is nice to “SLO down” every once in a while. We even snuck out for a date just the two of us while Miss Pickles snuggled the afternoon away with Grandma. The wine was good and the company was better.

Roloff Farms 2017

One of my favorite things in life is to create traditions. When Michael and I got married we started doing yearly things as a family like carving pumpkins and going to Alegria Street. Now that we have a little one the traditions we’ve created over the years have so much more meaning. We love sharing special moments with our little lady. This year we dragged some of our favorite PNW friends down to Roloff Farms for a fun filled day sharing our tradition and exploring the farm. We had a great time on the most beautiful fall day of all. We’re looking forward to making more memories as the years pass and our family grows. Enjoy our highlight video from our first family road trip and pumpkin patch extravaganza!

Ps. We survived 2 blow outs… (and even changed one on a hay bail). No one can poop on our pumpkin parade.. not even Miss Pickles

Pump the Jam, Pump it up!

It was my first week back at work and WOOF was it a doozie!!! I’m so glad I took PTO today so I can spend time with Miss Pickles and tend to her after her two month doctors appointment. Miss pickles got her first set of vaccines today and she took it like a champ. We’re watching her hoping she doesn’t get a fever and soaking in all of the baby snuggles. I love this little lady with my whole heart. I can’t imagine not being there for her appointments and I’m so grateful I have a work schedule that allows for me to be flexible for times like these.

I had a hard time last Sunday before returning to work. So hard, all I could do was distract myself. I created a million lists and organized the house. I tried my hardest to pretend Monday wouldn’t come. What do you know? Monday came anyway. More on Monday later. Sunday was full of tear festivals and weep shows. I did manage to be productive and get a few things done. I went to JoAnns Fabric to get a few things I need for her Halloween costume and organized lots of random things in our house. One of the places I organized was the cabinet under my sink. I pulled out a ton of stuff to throw away including an old pregnancy test box. If you remember the story from last November, I wanted to surprise Mr with the news so I stashed the test box under some stuff in the cabinet so he wouldn’t find it. Clearly I did a good job hiding it because almost a year later I’m just now discovering it.

So back to the trash can. I threw all sorts of trash away and went on with my day. A few hours later Mr. was up in our bathroom and I was downstairs nursing the baby. All of a sudden I hear quick movement coming from upstairs and I peeked around the corner to see his face in complete shock. “YOU TOOK A PREGNANCY TEST?!?” he said. I laughed so hard and explained that it was old. I now know where we stand on baby #2….

Monday wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. My co-workers were all really excited to see me and welcomed me back with hugs, high fives, and sweet sentiments. The biggest win? I didn’t cry! I was thrown back in full swing and didn’t have much time to think about missing the little one. I had lots to get done including lots of troubleshooting to get access to all of my systems again. Monday came and went with a blink. The rest of the week kicked my ass so hard. I knew being away from the little lady would be difficult and thought that would be the only challenge. Oh boy, was I wrong!

One of the hardest things about going back to work has been pumping. I’ve had a HECK of a time pumping. I find it frustrating and troublesome. I find the pump to be a chore. It feels time consuming and an inconvenience. I do my best to be productive while I am pumping and take my computer with me to my private room. I’m able to get work done which is nice, but the set up and clean up tasks are SO cumbersome. I also have struggled to produce enough to keep Maryn satisfied during the day. I know I don’t have enough freezer stash built up and we’re just all around struggling. It’s been a difficult transition to say the least.

With that said, I have started to find a rhythm. A few things have helped me get in the groove of pumping.

First, having a room to leave things set up in has been helpful. I’m able to leave a water bottle, the pump hooked up and plugged in, and have everything aside from the parts that get refrigerated in between feedings ready to go. This significantly improves my productivity pumping. Although I am able to work while I’m pumping it makes my time away much less.

I also discovered that a hands free nursing bra is LIFE. I’ve been wearing a tank top under my shirt so I can easily, quickly, and discretely hook up. I have a private room (duh) but it still feels weird to be at work and pump. Having an outfit that is quite literally entirely covered up makes it a little easier for me to relax.

I also found that pumping during my commute is AWESOME. I’m able to hook up in the car on the way to the office and get the first good haul while I’m in transit. AMAZING! I haven’t had any weird looks yet…

I also found that keeping a Tide Pen, paper towels, and hand sanitizer in my nursing bag is really helpful. The Tide Pen is helpful when I drip milk (it stains) unhooking. The other stuff is self explanatory.

Finally I learned that setting a timer is the most important thing. Keeping a schedule has helped me build back up my supply so I can keep the baby satisfied while I am away. I have a timer that goes off every 2 hours. I labeled my timers “Pump It Up!” I haven’t been able to keep up with my two hour plan, but I have been able to maintain a decent schedule.

The final thing that has made it a little easier is taking a picture with her before I leave each morning. There’s something comforting about looking at a picture of the two of us together during the day. It tricks my mind into knowing the days are short by simply wearing the same outfit I have on in the picture. It makes my time away from her feel just a tad bit shorter.

Being a working mama is NOT easy. It’s also not the end of the world. I’ve learned to give myself grace during this difficult time. I’ve had to skip the gym, eat cold leftovers, and race between meetings/multitask like a CHAMP…but I’m doing it. I’m learning… and growing…and being stretched beyond belief. 8 weeks is NOT ENOUGH TIME FOR MATERNITY LEAVE!!!!!!!!! But, we’re figuring it out. I am grateful for an amazing husband that gives the lady his undivided attention during the day. He sends lots of pictures and tells me their plans and status throughout the day. The best part is coming home to a happy husband and a happy lady.

Coping with Disappointment

As I prepare to go back to work on Monday disappointment has been at the forefront of my mind and an emotion weighing heavy on my heart. Learning to manage my disappointment is hard. Really really hard.

I had a conversation a few days back with a dear friend of mine about the expectations we set for ourselves as mamas, often times high and unrealistic, that lead to our own disappointment. Sometimes that disappointment manifests itself in unexpected ways such as crying in the middle supermarket over having to make a decision that is “best of the worst case scenarios”.

This conversation got me thinking… I’ve had a lot of time to think with the baby on the boob… as I work through all of the emotions that come with being a working mama.

I am a planning kind of gal as I’m sure many of you can relate. I love my calendars and schedules. I like to have goals and objectives and lists. Oh the lists. I KNOW I’m not the only one out there that writes to-do lists and adds completed tasks just to cross them off.

Get out of bed.

Brush teeth.

Drink coffee.

Drink more coffee.

Brush teeth again.

Go to work.

Drink more coffee.

Anyway, as I was saying.. I’m a planner. I like to have an idea of how things are going to go. I’m the type of gal that thinks about all of the things I need to accomplish in a day and then places the puzzle pieces together so that they make complete sense. I really pride myself on being efficient because wasting time is one of my biggest pet peeves. If I need to drive across town to pick something up, I’ll strategically plan 3 stops along the way to make the most of my time (and my gas because mamas on a budget!!) Planning keeps my sanity. Most of the time.

Most of the time a plan helps me stay organized and get things done in a logical and wise way. The downfall is learning to manage the disappointment that comes with failing plans.

Several things come to mind. First, the last 8 weeks I’ve had to cope with the fact that I had a medicated childbirth. I had high hopes of a “natural” (yuck yuck yuck) child birth. It wasn’t until I started following a gal on Instagram (Sarah, over at The Dainty Pear) and her thoughts on child birth that made me a little less frustrated with the outcome of our story. Sarah says something so empowering about childbirth that I wish everyone knew. She says “all birth is natural” and encourages us to refer to what many call a “natural” birth as “unmedicated” birth instead. This simple shift in language gave me so much peace about my (more than) 48 hour birth story. Before labor, my goal, was to have an intervention free birth. I am tired of hearing that I don’t need to prove anything and there’s no need to be a hero. It was never about proving anything or being a hero. It was a choice, I consciously made, with my husband, about my body, and our baby. It was a hope we had and wanted for our story. I tried to tell myself that epidural aren’t the devil and should I need one in birth I wouldn’t be disappointed in myself. As much as I tried to prepare for multiple different outcomes, and did a lot of work to avoid disappointment, deep down, I knew I would be disappointed. Sure enough. There I was. Mid labor, body horribly failing me, and struggling to manage disappointment. It sounds crazy 8 weeks out to still be struggling processing this. I know my baby is safe, and healthy, and here… and I know that’s what matters. But what also mattered to me was having an intervention free birth. When people say “all that matters is x, y, or z” it makes me feel like even more of a failure, like of course that’s what matters MOST. But guess what ALSO MATTERED to me was having an unmedicated birth. Trying to diminish my feelings is hurtful, even though I know that’s not the intent.

It got me thinking. What if we started saying “I know it was important for you to have an unmedicated birth. I’m sorry it didn’t go the way you wanted. I’m proud of you for loving your baby and honoring your body the way you did. You’re a rockstar mama and I’m proud of you”

What if we all learned to be more mindful starting with our words? It’s hard, and I’m the first to say.. I fail miserably at this… every day.

At CrossFit the other day a girlfriend of mine asked me a question that really touched me. She explained that she has a girlfriend (outside of our CrossFit community) that is having a really hard time managing unmet expectations. She was a passionate careeer woman who, like many of us, dedicated so much of her life toward her career and her success. She wasn’t the type of woman that imagined herself being a stay at home mom and did not imagine being hugely disappointed when it was time for her to return to work after having her baby. While, I expected the disappointment, there are so many parts of this narrative I can relate to. I’ve dedicated my whole adult life to achieving success in the work world and my job became so much of my identity. This friend of mine asked me what she should say to her friend. She wanted to know what I would want to hear if I were in that situation. Guess what? I AM in that situation.

My immediate thought? IF WE ALL COULD BE THIS MINDFUL! I explained all I want to hear from my friends is that they’re praying for me and they love me. I encouraged her to keep it simple and to remind her friend that she’s there for her and thinking of her during this extremely difficult transition.

I’m going back to work on Monday. I don’t want to hear that women do this all the time. I don’t want to hear that it’s not as bad as I think it is. I don’t want to hear “at least Maryn will be with Michael.” And I most certainly don’t want to hear “at least you had 8 weeks of maternity leave!”

I’m disappointed. I’m sad. I’m processing! This would not be our choice of plans. I know without a shadow of a doubt that the best of the worst case scenarios is that Michael is able to be home with her. Don’t be turned off that I call this a worst case scenario. We BOTH wanted it to be me. We know it’s great that it’s one of us that gets to be with her. It doesn’t make my disappointment and sadness any less. I want to be with her. I want to be home. I’m going to have a REALLY hard time going back. I know women do this all the time, I know I can handle it, I know it will get better, I know it’s great that Michael gets to be with her, and I know I got 8 weeks of maternity leave. Makes it NO. LESS. HARD. What helps is knowing that my tribe is praying for me and that I have a lot of people on my team that don’t make me feel like shit for being disappointed. What is also great? It’s great to not be told my feelings don’t matter. Essentially by saying “at least x, y, or z didn’t happen” is saying that persons feelings aren’t valid.

Giving my disappointment to God is hard. I pray through it multiple times a day.

A few things are keeping me afloat right now.

A few weeks ago Michael had me listen to this new Thomas Rhett song. Hello hormones, I sobbed my way through it. There is a line that is SO INCREDIBLY relatable. He says, “you make your plans and you hear God laughing, life changes!” Oh goodness how this speaks to my soul! (All of this is true BTW– Thomas and his wife Lauren adopted a baby from Uganda and then had a bio baby too. Cray. Beautiful. Tears. Yikes. Love. Wow. Tears). Oh how life changes. I love country music. Please go listen to that song. It’s so good!

I also have been reminded of my favorite verse Jeremiah 29:11 which says, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” This verse has shown up in the most unexpected and beautiful ways throughout my life. As I prepare to go back to work I am reminded that God did not miss or forget this part of the story. I must thank my beautiful friend for reminding me about this simple truth. God has a plan, and He has been preparing me for it my whole life. And somehow He loves Maryn more than we do. For some reason, all of this is just the way God designed it to be. I must confess, my faith in this narrative is not as strong as it should be.

God, give me grace and help me trust you more. Your plan is greater than mine.

Recovery

I was so relieved to have my baby back in my room. After a sushi feast we finally were able to rest.

The nursing staff came in multiple times to check on both of us. I had no idea what the birth aftermath would be like. I was sore, my back was incredibly swollen and in pain from my epidural site and my leg was still numb. I felt puffy…and gross… and like I would never feel like myself again.

The first night we were able to sleep quite well. Maryn had to get her second round of antibiotics at 4:00 in the morning. She took it like a champ. I nursed her, and we all went back to sleep. The next few days were full of antibiotics, medical staff visits, and phone calls. We were a happy little family of 3. I did NOT want to leave the comfort of the hospital. I felt so safe. Every time I thought about discharge I cried.

On Monday it was time for me to get discharged, but Maryn was still a patient. We stayed in the room together and rested. Each nap I took I woke up completely drenched in sweat. It didn’t stop me from enjoying sweet baby snuggles. We had to carefully protect the IV on her foot so we were always using extra caution.

While we waited Maryn’s discharge we had two special visitors… my original doula who was back from vacation, and our dear friend who works at the hospital. Having familiar faces with us sparked a bit of confidence in me and I started to feel like I could indeed do this outside of the hospital walls.

As the hours passed Michael would comment about how excited he was to get home. I would have stayed in the hospital 2 more weeks if they would have let me. Maryn was progressing and all signs looked like we would be released after her last antibiotic treatment on Tuesday afternoon/evening. Her pediatrician did rounds, the hearing specialist came in to test her hearing, and we met with the Lactation Consultant several more times. Our LC is awesome! She is not only a former NICU nurse (and helped us understand a ton of stuff about Maryn’s breathing) but she also scheduled me for an hour long follow up appointment to check in on BF and invited me to the moms group every week. She is a brilliantly wonderful woman and a wealth of knowledge. I’m so grateful to have her on my team.

After Maryns final antibiotic treatment the nursing staff was FINALLY able to take out her yucky IV. We were SO glad to have that thing gone. Her foot was finally free!!! She was also able to be properly swaddled (with her foot inside) AND get her first bath. YAY! Everyone always talks about the “newborn” smell. It broke my heart and made me cry because my baby smelled like antibiotics (musky) coming out of her pores. She has never really had that “newborn” smell. I thought it was urine at first and asked the nurse why she was so stinky. The nurse giggled said she just needed her first bath. When she took Maryns swaddle off she explained that I was smelling the antibiotics leaving her pores. Poor baby. I was so excited for her to get cleaned up.

On Tuesday afternoon we packed up our belongings, signed a crap ton of papers, got our girl dressed in her “coming home uni”, and headed home. I cried. Uncontrollably. How could they send us home? They cautioned us about her breathing and told us once again about all of the signs of respiratory distress. It felt so weird to leave. I wasn’t ready!

The nurse buckled her into her car seat and walked us to the door. I remember having a hard time keeping up as they wheeled the cart out and I hobbled along behind. My leg was still numb, my lady parts felt like they were dragging on the floor behind me, and my stomach jiggled like a half full water balloon. We loaded up all of our goodies. They clipped off our security bands and Maryn’s alarm. They waved us farewell and off we went.

Cloth Diapering

Hi friends! Several of you who follow my personal Instagram have asked about our journey cloth diapering (CD). I figured I would write about our experience here and maybe inspire a few of you interested yet scared to commit folks to give it a try. It will also be helpful to have this documented for myself should we ever decide to have a second.

First, let me say, I had to do a lot of work to convince Mr. M into cloth diapers. One of his biggest concerns was the wash routine… and I get it! That’s something you don’t have to worry about with disposables (call them disposables not “regular” diapers. CDs are “regular” too.) So how did I convince him? By doing my research, having a plan, and “selling” him on all of the benefits.

What research did I do? Well, I talked to my friends who have CD before me. My sister in law has been the BEST resource so far along with my girlfriend Christie a CD mama of TWO! These two women have answered a ton of questions for me. NOTE: I learned throughout pregnancy to not Google things. There is just way too much conflicting information out there and it stressed this mama out hard. Instead, I talk to my mom friends. (I also take advice from my two doulas, my midwife, our pediatrician, and our FABULOUS lactation consultant) outside of that I limit my Google searches to cat videos and crock pot recipes. It saves my sanity! If you’re into Googling things.. have at it! There’s a shit ton of info on CD. Good luck! As for myself, it’s just too much. I really focus on keeping it simple. My sister in law shared a few really great YouTube videos and Christie invited me to a Cloth Diapering Facebook page! I use the Facebook page sparingly because it’s an overwhelmingly large amount of info. Once my research was done I decided on a CD brand, made some purchases, and got to work.

We decided on pocket cloth diapers. Another mama friend of mine, Brenna, did a ton of research and also decided on pocket diapers too and recommended the brand Alva due to the cost/benefit/reviews she read online. She did the research, I trust her advice! We got a combo of Alva diapers and Bumgenius brands. I stuck with all solid colors because that’s what I like. I also purchased packs that are “gender neutral” because… I’m FRUGAL! More on that to come!

I purchased 2 packs of Alva CDs from Amazon with money we were gifted from family and our Bumgenius CDs were gifted by some friends. I also purchased reusable wipes and bamboo inserts from Amazon. In total, we have about 20 pocket diapers.

Why pocket? Because they’re easy and budget friendly!

What do you do?

To prep: First, find the right size for the “rise”. We have the smallest setting for our gal right now and snap them up. You don’t need to unsnap the rise each time you wash. This is only done the first time and whenever the babe grows. Then, stuff an insert in the pocket. I took my SILs advice and do this at night while the babe is asleep. It’s brainless work and can be done while zoning out. Brings a new meaning to Netflix and Chill.

To put them on: I found a great YouTube video that helped me understand what to do. Baby is happy, so are mama and papa!

To change a soiled CD: We use reusable wipes too and this is the most important part. This might seem crazy but let me explain. Being able to throw everything in one rubbish bin at the end of a changing is HUGE. Having to sort out soiled wipes from the pile of crap sounds like no fun to me. How do we do the wipes? Simple. Spray bottle with water. Spray the wipe and take it to the bum! We spray right before every change sesh. That eliminates having to prep wipes, avoids moldy situations, and all around saves time. After the change all you do is remove the soiled insert and toss it all in the rubbish bin. Note: rubbish bin has a reusable insert. This is also key!

To wash: I dump all of the soiled diapers (exclusively breast fed poops) straight from the rubbish bin into the washing machine along with the bag. We wash on a rinse and spin cycle on hot water with a tiny bit of detergent. When that cycle is done I add in a bunch of other laundry.. anything I want! At this point, there’s no crap! I promise. Wash with a normal amount of detergent and a matching amount of OxyClean. I wash on cold for the second round because often times I’ve thrown in my own clothes. My clothes are exclusively cold wash. The shell (outer layer) gets hung to dry. Breast milk poop stains. The diapers ARE NOT dirty! It’s not bad, but it does stain. To remove the stain? Hang them in the sun to dry. Live in the PNW? Hang them in your laundry room and get over the stains! The inserts, bag, and wipes all go in the dryer.

How often do we plan to wash? About every 3 days.

Does it stink? Not when they’re in the rubbish bin.

Are we exclusively CD? Nope! That would be stressful! We have plenty of disposables on hand. Sometimes disposables make sense… like traveling. We like to say we’re a “hybrid” family. Keeps us grounded 😉 haha…

Why do we have 2 rubbish bins? One is for CD one for disposables. The disposable bin (the smaller one) has disposable liners. The CD bin has reusable liners.

Why bamboo inserts? Well, microfiber feels yucky on my hands when I’m stuffing them. Haha. Okay that’s not the only reason but it sure is true. Bamboo inserts have killer reviews for absorbency. We’ve used double stuffed microfiber (aka 2 microfiber in one shell) and bamboo (just 1). Both work for our lady. Even overnight. At this point we haven’t had any leaks with either microfiber or bamboo. Note: microfiber come with the shell. Bamboo is an additional cost kinda like an upgrade of heated seats in your car. In my opinion both bamboo inserts and heated seats are nonnegotiable upgrades. (I swear I’m frugal!! #balance)

What about butt cream? Yep! It matters. Has to be CD safe. We like what we call “bum chapstick“. Her butt was a red, tender, and rashy mess with disposables. After switching to CD not only has she not blown out of ONE single CD (a daily occurrence with disposables) but her bum looks clear and perfect!

What happens when she eats solids? We have a plan for that too. Check back in a few months!

Why hang the shell dry? Well I read it make the elastic last longer. Remember I’m cheap :-). I don’t want to buy more in the off chance that the dryer weathers them. I know a few families that dry the shell in the dryer. They recommend a low heat setting to prolong the life of the CD.

What do you do when you’re out and about for the day? Well, I have the diaper bag packed with disposables. M wears CDs out of the house and if she needs to be changed while we’re out we have a wet bag to store the dirty CD until we’re home. We also don’t scoff one bit about slapping a disposable on. It’s rare our day to day adventures are so ambitious that we have to do a diaper change anyway.

Cloth diaper overnight? Yep! No leaks yet.

What about fitting that fluff butt into clothes? Yep. Stuffed sausage. Just like her mama. If it bugs you, size up. Most often her clothes fit. Not sure if that’s just because our 7 week old chunky monkey is already in 3mo clothes? But 3mo clothes fit her fluff butt… some are just more sausage like than others.

When to start? I was planing on 3 months. That’s when the baby is big enough to fill out a CD and avoid the newborn sizing challenges and potential frustrations. It also saves from having to buy special newborn CDs. There was so much happening in the beginning (first 10 days really) I didn’t want to frustrate myself and end up giving up. After talking to a few mamas (and our LC) at our moms group I decided to start sooner than I anticipated (6 weeks) because our lady is a chunky monkey and size wise, was perfectly ready to start. I dedicated an entire week to figure out our CD routine and promised myself if it didn’t go well I wouldn’t throw in the towel right away. I expected a lot of trial and error. Turns out, it was an incredibly easy transition and we didn’t have any frustrations when we started a few days ago.

Is Mr. onboard? Yes! All it took was a little pep talk and figuring out all of the details and logistics myself so that I could teach him the ropes.

Why cloth diaper? For the most part.. it comes to finances! It’s so much cheaper even with the initial investment up front. I shopped for deals and found out what makes the most sense for our family. I limited my stash to solid neutral colors so we can use them with multiple children boys or girls. Note: let’s be honest I put black diapers on my baby girl and I’d most certainly put a lavender diaper on a baby boy. I have no shame in that game! There are other huge benefits with my decision to CD, it’s better for her bum, better for the environment and CD babes tend to potty train faster. CDs are also freakishly adorable NOT a driving factor but(t) it’s an added bonus. See what I did there?

I think that’s about it! At the end of the day, we made a choice and you can too! We love our CDs! We also know many families that love their disposables. That’s okay with us… and our decision too CD should be ok with you, too. With that said, if you’re even the slightest bit interested in cloth diapering, but intimidated by the amount of work it seems to be, I’m here to tell you… YOU CAN DO IT. I’d say, over the course of the week it adds maybe 30 extra minutes to our normal routine. That’s a few minutes here, a few minutes there with most of that time being spent stuffing the shell while chatting with the hub or watching Pioneer Woman. The laundry? We have to do it anyway… it’s really not bad. One load every 3 days? Totally manageable! If you’re interested, give it a try! You too can be a hybrid family. It will keep you grounded 😉