Tuesday, January 7, 2014

What's In a Planet Wise Wet Bag?

Ok.  Let's get back to something lighter.  Lets chat about some cute cloth diaper related gear... it's kind of my zen place.  Since I am personally in the market for a great new Wet Bag, I think that's what we should talk about, and we're going to talk about my favorite kind.  Because that's how I roll, and what is the point of talking about a brand I don't like?  So there's that!

Have you heard of Planet Wise wet bags?  I love them.  For so many reasons.  Let me count the ways...

1.  They're adorable.  I mean really, really adorable.  There are so many prints that I'm having a hard time choosing which hanging wet bag to choose.  (ok-  it was difficult, but I just ordered the Laughing Leaf Hanging Bag.  So cute!)  

2.  They're durable.  I've had diaper-bag sized Planet Wise wet bags for two years now, and they are still just as perfect as the day I got them.  Definitely a worth-while investment.

3.  They fit every need.  Seriously though- Planet Wise bags come in so many sizes.  They have Wipes Pouches that are the perfect size for your cloth wipes folded in half or rolled up, and it even has a snap down feature that keeps them from wicking and getting things in your diaper bag wet.  Their small bags are perfect for a quick errand where you may need to change one or two diapers.  Their medium bag is my diaper-bag staple.  Big enough to fit several diapers and wipes, but small enough to fold up to a nice compact size, these are great for days out on the town.  The Large size has a snap-closure handle, and it will fit about a dozen diapers- perfect for weekends away.  Then there is the hanging wet bag.  Which I can't say enough good things about if you don't use a pail.  I just hang mine from a hook on the bathroom door, and it holds over two dozen diapers.  Perfect for your laundry needs.  

4.  They have tons of uses.  I know you aware that wet bags are a must-have item for cloth diapering, but what about other daily needs?  For instance, what do you do if your child has an accident and you need to transport soiled clothes?  Toss them in a medium sized wet bag!  What do you do with big wet beach towels and swim suits after you're done swimming?  Toss them in a large wet bag!  Wet, snowy boots driving you nuts?  I give you the Planet Wise large wet bag.  Did your child fall and hit their knees or head and you want to ice it to prevent a bump?  Stick some ice in a small wet bag.  Bam.  Problems solved.  *cue chorus of angels singing*  

  5.  They're affordable.  Topping out at $29.99 (for their enormous hanging wet bag), these are pretty great deal.  They're not going to break the bank, and you're not going to have to replace them very often at all.  A Planet Wise Medium Wet Bag is only $16.50.  Not bad.

Well I have wet bags on the brain.  I have been in desperate need of that extra hanging wet bag!  Seriously though- if you haven't checked out Planet Wise bags, you must.  They're definitely a cloth diapering/ every day parenting must have.

*Disclosure-  this is a sponsored post.  All opinions are honest and completely my own!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Not Alone

It's been almost a week since my miscarriage.  I'm not really sure how I'm feeling right now, actually.  Grief is a funny thing, and it's completely unpredictable.  Some days I go almost the entire day feeling ok, then one word will trigger these crazy emotions, and I lose it.  Other days are just a full day of sadness.  Thankfully I have a really great support system of friends and family that have been checking up on me, encouraging me, and praying for me.  I feel really grateful for that.

Actually, one thing I did not expect were the stories and encouragement from so many friends who have also lost babies.  I mean, I knew of a handful of friends who'd miscarried, but the sheer number... besides being completely heart breaking to see how many friends have gone through this, it also made me wonder...

How many women go through this silently without much support?  Because sharing is scary, really.  I happen to be a person with no filters, who would over-share even if the internet and social media weren't a thing, and I'm not really good with secrets (at least my own.  Don't worry, yours are probably safe with me), and I felt like I just had to let it out.  BUT not everyone feels like they can share, or open up about something like this.  Which is totally ok, but it's so hard to feel alone in something so devastating and life altering and isolating.  I mean, I had absolutely no idea that so many women I know and love have been through this too.

I'm not sure what I'm proposing here.  I'm not sure what the solution is.  I'm just saying that when we feel alone, in whatever situation or hardship we go through, we aren't.  We're never alone.  We're never the first to go through something, and we won't be the last.  I guess I just feel like when you go through something like this, at some point, eventually you have wisdom and insight to offer to someone else.  And that is an amazingly important thing.  Something that shouldn't be kept quiet and secret and locked away.  It is something to be shared and passed on.  I fear that we, as a society, are losing the passing on of wisdom and knowledge, especially about primal, spiritual, and biological things.  Mothering, birth, loss... these are universal experiences that so very many women go through, and yet they are things we feel so alone in.

Like I said; I have absolutely no idea what I am proposing here outside of this; if we don't let these experiences be so taboo, then we won't feel quite so alone.  If we share (at least what we feel comfortable sharing) our experiences, maybe we can all heal a little faster.  I can't tell you why it helped to hear that so many of my friends had survived this loss, but it did.  It was so sad to see how many in number we were of course, but it wasn't just a "me" anymore, it was "we".  There's something powerful to be said for that.

So.  I'm still sad.  It's still a deep ocean, this grief, but now I'm not swimming it alone.  There are so many of you keeping me afloat with your prayers, your encouragement, and your simple yet profound "I've been there"s.  Somehow not being alone is really helping me.

If you feel alone, if you feel like you are drowning in your grief, your anger, your struggles... just know you're not.  You're not alone.  You're never, ever alone.

Thank God for that.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Grief and My Angel Baby

I don't know where to start this.  I'm not sure if I will post this.  Actually, I don't know if I can keep this in my heart, and I know I don't want to pretend that this never happened.

In the beginning/middle of November we found out I was pregnant.  We'd been trying for about five months, so obviously I was really excited.  Eisley is adorable with babies and just LOVES them, so it was time to make her a big sister.  I told a couple of friends who I would talk to about the trying process and my frustrations when another month would tick by and no pregnancy.  I just couldn't keep all of that joy to myself.  I was only two weeks pregnant when we found out, so it was super early.

The weeks flew by.  I have a toddler now, after all, and time with a toddler just doesn't ever seem to slow down.  I bought a few things for the new baby.  Some cute gender-neutral moccasins (even though I was convinced from the moment that stick showed two lines that this baby was a girl), a beautiful woven wrap to snuggle her up to me.  I was feeling tired, but good.  With Eisley I was nauseous all day every day for the first trimester, but I really very rarely felt sick this time unless I waited too long to eat something after I awoke in the morning.

If I'm being honest, that always made me nervous.  Especially since I felt so strongly that this was a girl.  You know what the old wives tales say about being pregnant with girls- you're sick as a dog.  But I just took it as a blessing.  A little (or big) mercy since I have to keep track of a super active toddler all day long.

Over Christmas we told all of our family.  They were so excited, and my heart just became more anxious to meet my beautiful baby and plan our lives as a family of four instead of three.  Driving home on that saturday after Christmas I was ten weeks, and I felt totally fine.

On Monday or Tuesday I started spotting lightly, and of course I completely freaked out.  I told God, "No way.  This is nothing."  But I think in my heart I knew that wasn't true.  I called my midwife, talked to some friends, and they all tried to reassure me that it was probably nothing, and just to take it easy, get some rest, eat good foods, and drink lots of water.  So that's what I did.  By Wednesday, New years day, I was having some more intense spotting and was getting really worried.  When I woke up to go to the bathroom at 3 am, I just knew.  I just knew that all of my hopes and dreams for this baby were just not to be.

I can't write about what it was like.  What happened to me.  But I will say that New Years day one was of the worst days of my life, and as much as I'd like to forget it, I know I never ever will.  I have never felt grief like this.  Of course I grieved when my grandparents died, but to lose a baby.

I mean, there are no words that can describe how it feels.  And to know that this is how too many of my friends have felt when they have lost their babies... my heart breaks even more.  I never in a million years thought that this would happen when I peed on those two little sticks.  I never thought that I would lose this baby.  But here we are, at 10 1/2 weeks, I am no longer pregnant.  Just devastated.

We named our baby.  I think the thought that broke me more than almost anything else was imagining our beautiful baby meeting Jesus without a name.  I'm not sure why that breaks my heart into a million tiny pieces, but it does.  Since we can't know the gender for sure we picked a name that I've always loved that can be for a boy or a girl.  I can't think of a middle name that works, but I feel like I need to.

Our angel baby's name is Avery.  I hate the thought of waiting so long to meet my baby in heaven, but my sweet friend who has also lost a baby sent me this quote, which comforted me a lot-

"... and to think, when her little eyes opened, the first thing she saw was the face of Jesus."

My sweet Avery is being held and loved on by her Heavenly Father, meeting her great grandparents, her uncle Jessie, and her new BFF Ava.  I can't say that I don't feel hurt that I didn't get to hold her in my arms.  I can't say I don't feel cheated, and a little angry.  I can't say I don't feel absolutely and completely heartbroken, but I do have hope.  Hope that one day I will be able to hold my Avery in Heaven.  Hope that she (or he, but I really, really felt that Avery was a girl) is in the most beautiful, amazing place that has ever existed.  That she never felt the pain of this world.  Just love.  I hope in the deepest parts of my soul that she felt loved by me while she was with me.  But I know she feels love now.

So if you see me, and I burst into tears for no apparent reason- I'm just thinking of my Avery.  I'm just wishing she was here.  I'm just mourning that I never got to feel her kick and tumble in my tummy.  I'm mourning that I never got huge and had to sweat it out all the way to the end of July with an enormous pregnant belly.  I'm mourning that Eisley won't be a big sister yet this summer.  I'm grieving for my husband's pain and sadness.  I'm grieving for shattered dreams and little feet I will never kiss.  This grief is heavy and real and intense.  It comes in waves, and it's overwhelming.  I know we will be ok, but right now, I'm not.  I'm not ok.  I'm so devastatingly sad.

To all of my friends that have gone through this- I'm so sorry.  This is horrible.  I would never wish this on anyone, and I know there was nothing I really could have said or done to make it better, but I understand now.  I understand the emptiness, and the fear.  The fear that this will happen again.  Oh God, that fear is so real.  But I am trying to choose hope.  I'm trying to choose faith.  Our family could use your prayers, because I know this will be a long road.  I'm not looking forward to July 26th this year... I think that her due date will be another level of grief.  But I believe that God can use this for good in our family.  I believe I will meet my daughter one day.  I believe that God will bless us with more children.  I believe that He will heal my broken heart and bind up my wounds.

I do want to say before I finish this up that I am so grateful, so incredibly grateful for every single friend and family member that has prayed for us through this, brought us a meal, watched Eisley, encouraged our hearts, and loved us.  I wish Avery could have known you all.  Because you are all the best, and I love you.  So much.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Be Gentle on Moms. We're New Here.

I have been a stay stay at home mom for about two and a half months now (HUGE answer to prayer.  Thank God for a husband that works hard so that I can stay home.)  This was what I wanted from the moment I found out that I was pregnant.  It has always been my heart's desire to be home with my babies when we had them.  So I was obviously ridiculously happy and excited.

It's been the hardest two and a half months, well,  pretty much ever.

Honestly, I feel guilty just admitting that.  But let me break it down, because for the uninitiated I know that statement sounds really selfish.  And I suppose that maybe it is, but just a little.  Even my husband doesn't understand what I mean when I say that it's the hardest thing I've ever done.  I suppose complaining about being tired and overwhelmed isn't helpful, but in the moment I always find it difficult to put a cohesive statement together about why, exactly, it is that what I have always said I wanted is also something that drives me to tears.

So here we go.  Let me try to explain.

A mom is no one and everyone-  A mom is no one.  She is no longer the artist, the singer, the corporate lawyer.  She is not the hardest working woman in her office, or the most successful and celebrated anything to anyone anymore.  Whatever it was that a stay at home mom used to find her identity in, however she defined herself (outside of the Lord obviously) is gone.  Which is ok at first.  Imperceptible even.  The honeymoon phase of baby snuggles and the idea of "open days" only lasts so long.  Eventually in it's place the stay at home mom will probably find some grief.  To the outsider this part may not make a whole lot of sense, and I totally get that, because I didn't understand until I experienced it either, but stay with me here.  The mom often grieves or mourns over what feels like the loss or death of her self.

It's the little things, and they aren't always tangible or quantifiable, but it feels so easy to fade away into this mommy-haze.  Instead of thinking largely of her own and her husbands needs pre-baby, a mom might find an hour in a day to address her needs.  The most basic ones, usually.  It's a pretty intense death to self to go from girls-nights and coffee dates to simply feeling like you've gotten a break by showering alone, with no small child screaming on the other side of the curtain.

Some days you find yourself feeling like "woman" you no longer exists.  You are now "mom."  You change diapers, feed everyone, except yourself often, clean, do laundry, entertain, and occasionally you put on some makeup, and meet at the park with some other friends.  Mostly so you can all run after your children communally,  good luck holding an adult conversation.  You are no one, but you are also everyone.  You are a doctor, a sleep specialist, a food supply, a cook, a maid, a play-ground-referee, a chauffeur, a nutritionist, a comforter, a counselor, a disciplinarian, and anything else your child and spouse need on a daily basis.  You are everything to everyone, and sometimes that is an overwhelming reality.

A mom deals with incredible guilt all the time- This one isn't exclusive to stay at home moms.  I felt a ridiculous amount of guilt while I was working too.  The reality doesn't change, just the source of the guilt.  When you're working, the guilt lies in not being there for your child.  Not tucking them in at night, not kissing their knees when they scrape them at the park.  The guilt of waving goodbye to your distraught child as your drop them off at daycare, your friends house, your parents house, wherever.  You feel guilty for missing things.

When you are a stay at home mom, the guilt stays, but the source of it changes.  You feel guilty that your husband feels more pressure to provide.  You feel guilty that the house isn't clean, and the dishes aren't done.  You feel guilty that some days, you want to be anywhere but home, and you feel guilty that you find you sometimes want to run from the house and just be alone.  You feel guilty for feeling any kind of desire to take care of your own basic needs and mental and emotional health.  You feel guilty because you (unnecessarily) believe that you should be able to turn off your own needs so that you can devote yourself to the needs of your family, but quickly find that to be an impossible task.

A mom is isolated-  I'm starting to see why large family units used to live together, or at least really close to each other.  Being a stay at home mom can be lonely.  Obviously I love love LOVE my daughter, and I am incredibly blessed, but sometimes you can go an entire day without any adult conversation, interaction, or company.  It can make you feel a little crazy.

We live in a society that doesn't value child-rearing-  We live in a society that places a higher value on careers, money, and possessions than on having and raising babies.  People don't understand why you would want to leave your job, making less money on a whole because of it so that you aren't able to buy as many things or go on as many trips, and they're not afraid to tell you and look at you like you're nuts.  Have more than 2 or 3 kids?  I bet you've heard someone "jokingly" ask you if you've ever heard of birth control.  That or they say "You know how you got this way, right?" when they find out you're pregnant again.  How disheartening.

Moms are judged.  All the time-  Moms are judged, by just about everyone.  Your kid throws a fit in the grocery store, you get head shakes and mean stares.  Your baby cries in church, you feel the silent pressure to leave the room.  Your baby is hungry while you're out and about, running errands that need to be run, or, God forbid, you are just OUT for the sake of going out so you sit down to nurse your baby and the dirty looks assail you constantly.

You're doing the best you can as a mom, and everywhere you look, someone is judging you.  Possibly the worst of it is when you feel like you are being judged by other moms, your family, or even your spouse.  It's easy to feel discouraged when nothing you do is good enough.  When your accomplishments and work is so intangible that it is so easily and often overlooked, while your "faults" (or maybe just those chores or errands you didn't get done in the day) are so glaringly obvious.

But here's the thing.

Here's the really important thing.

This is what I try to tell myself when I feel like no one notices how much of myself I pour out daily-  being a mom is hard, really really hard, because being a mom is being archetype of Christ to your family.

Every day I am dying to myself for the good of my family.  It hurts.  It really does.  But it's stretching me, changing me, making my heart capable of deeper love, deeper emotion, deeper strength.  I'm certainly not always graceful in my state of perpetual death-to-self (ok, most of the time I am not graceful in death), but it gives me such a deeper appreciation for the sacrifice of Christ.  That He died in every way for me.  Because I finally understand (though to such a smaller degree) the level of sacrifice laid down on my behalf.

Being a mom is a noble calling.  It is an awesome responsibility.  It is a 24/7 job in which you are never off duty, and that's a big adjustment to make.  I'll argue that being a mom, at least in your baby's early years, requires a level of adjustment that most mere mortals simply cannot understand.  Sometimes that even includes dads.  Of course dads feel the changes.  They have to work harder, it's more pressure, more responsibility.  They can't always chase their dreams the way they'd hoped to as an idealistic 18 year old man.  However, on a daily basis, their routine stays much more the same than a mom's.

Sometimes I'm jealous of my husband's alone time as he drives to and from work.

I'm pretty sure that's a hard thing to understand if you're not staying home 24/7.

I'm pretty guilty of complaining lately.  How tired I am, how overwhelming it can be to stay home, how frustrating my daughter can be.  I know it doesn't make sense to complain, because this is what I have wanted.  But I suppose that what I'm really doing is mourning.  And dealing with my guilt.  And feeling isolated, and judged.  Sometimes I'm flat out feeling under-valued and misunderstood.

It's just really hard to put those things into a short fragmented sentence as I'm correcting my child for the umpteenth time after my husband gets home at night.

So here's one more thing that I'm going to put out there-

What a mom really needs is understanding, patience, and support.

Here's why.  A mom is a new creation, a newborn just as much as her baby.  Everything is new, scary, and unknown.  Thrown into the world without much preparation or support, and with the weight of the world on her tired and sleep deprived shoulders.  A mom is a child struggling to take her first steps, often with no one to hold her hand and steady her as she trips and wobbles.  A mom deserves grace.

I love this quote.  Maybe you've heard it, but it puts it so much more eloquently than I can, and this is how I will leave you.  I hope this post made sense.  I hope it feels hopeful.  I hope that if you're reading this, feeling the same things, that you feel now like you're not alone.  Because you're not.  You're just new.  Like me.

The moment a child is born, the mother is also

 born. She never existed before. The woman

 existed, but the mother, never. A mother is 

something absolutely new. 


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Cloth Diapering for $30- It Really CAN Be Done!

There's been a lot of talk lately about parents who are struggling financially re-using disposable diapers.  It's a sad reality for more moms and dads than anyone probably even realizes, and it's got to be something that leaves these moms feeling a little hopeless.

Food or diapers.

That's a decision I'm glad I've never had to make, especially if I didn't know that there were options out there other than disposable diapers.  So let me preface what I am about to say with this- you can diaper your baby for little to no money.  It may require sacrifices of time and convenience, but it can be done.  I'm not going to hit on all the nitty-gritty here because it is just too complex and it would take more than one blog post to do it.  I'm just going to give you some options, some real, useable options.  Because maybe you find yourself struggling to pay for diapers sometimes.  Maybe you don't see a way out, and maybe you don't think cloth is an affordable option.

It can be both a way out, and an cheap, doable option.

Ok, let's break it down.  You have one baby.  You want to wash diapers every two days, because really, every day is just not always doable.  You need enough supplies to get you through 48 hours plus some wiggle room.

Let's set a budget for ourselves.  We've got $30 to diaper our baby with.  30 hard-saved, fought for dollars.  I'm going to say $30 because it's about what you'd pay for a big case of name brand diapers when you factor in taxes.  We've got to come up with two days worth of diapers for $30.  Whew.  Here we go.

1.  Raid your closet.  I know most people have those t-shirts that they just can't wear anymore.  They've got holes in them, stains all over, and they just don't fit.  Those old t-shirts?  Use 'em as diapers.  Really.  They will function just like Flat Diapers, will be easy to wash, and quick to dry.  You can find instructions on different folds just about anywhere online.  cost- free

2.  Go to resale shops!  Search around and I bet you can find some old flour-sack dish-towels.  Do you know what those are?  Basically the same exact thing as flat diapers.  Don't have enough old t-shirts at your house to use as flats?  Pick some up here too!  My guess is that if you hit your resale shops on days where they had a sale, you could pick these items up for as cheap as $.25 each.  We'll guess a little more conservatively though to make sure we're being realistic just in case.  You pick up about 15 tees and towels for $.50 each.  cost- $7.50

So far we've spent $7.50 and found ourselves anywhere from 15 to 20 diapers (depending on how many old t-shirts you had around your house) for just $7.50.  $7.50!!!!

3. Use those flannel receiving blankets that you have sitting around.  Traditionally sized flannel receiving blankets are the perfect size to use as flat diapers.  Really.  I'm sure you can find some at a resale shop as well if you don't have any lying around.  My guess is you could get a pack of four for about $1.    Cost- free to $1

Ok!  So that puts us at a count of anywhere from 19 to 25 diapers depending on your resale scores, all for a cost of about $9.00.  woo!  That's enough to get one baby through about two days of diaper changes.  Now we need to figure out a waterproof barrier.

4.  Diaper Pins.  Gotta fasten those diapers!  Cost- $1.29

5.  Diaper Covers-  You have a lot of options here.  Some are obviously not going to fit into our budget.  Others will be perfect.  Bummis Pull On Diaper Covers are breathable PUL pull-on covers that cost only $6.50 each.  Pick up 3 and you can totally get through 2 days if you wipe down any messes in between changes.  You can also pick up a two pack of Gerber plastic pants to cover those diapers for about $5.00 a pair, they won't be breathable like the Bummis PUL option, but they are cheaper, so theoretically you could cloth diaper for even less than $30!  For this illustration lets go with the Bummis.  Cost- $19.50

Total cost for 2 days worth of cloth diapers- $29.79!!!

You really can diaper your baby for $30, and instead of buying disposable wipes, just cut up some t-shirts or receiving blankets, wet them, and use those instead!  These diapers could be hand-washed, or done in a washer and dryer at home or in the laundry mat.  It may not be the glamourous option, but it is a heck of a lot better for baby, and you won't have to decide between food and diapers again.

Spread the word cloth addicts, because this could save a lot of mommies a lot of heart-ache.

Oh, and if you're one of those mommies who struggles to buy diapers for your baby- you are a super-hero.  You are doing the best you can for your baby.  You are a great mom, and I know it is hard.  But I applaud you, because I know you must make a million sacrifices for your baby.

Monday, July 8, 2013

The Uncomfortable One.

It's been a while since I've really gotten personal on here.  Life, you know, sometimes it pulls you away from things.

So since I've last written I have been able to quit my job and be a stay at home mom.  It's been about two weeks, and it still feels like maybe I'm just on vacation or something, but I know that it will sink in soon.  Of course I have to give credit to my extremely hard working husband, because the man has worked himself raw to get us here.  He is a great man, and I certainly know I am blessed.

The thing is- I'm still discontent.  My heart is in rebellion against me, and it really sucks.  I should be happy.  I mean, I got what I wanted.  I have a great husband, a sweet and hilarious daughter, and now I get to stay home with her.  We have more than we need, most of what we want, and yet here I am, disgruntled and a little depressed.  Which I know sounds ungrateful.  Of course that makes me feel badly too.

I think I've gotten to this point where all the things I use as a crutch to make myself "happy" without putting in the time and the work that it takes to have a real and meaningful relationship with The Lord are finally losing their luster.  Not that any of those things are bad in and of themselves, but my heart is a charred piece of coal without Jesus, sucking energy from my husband, my daughter, my friends, all in an effort to make my life feel meaningful.  Then when I have sucked all there is to pull out of these things, I just feel dejected.

My husband and I experienced a significant amount of spiritual abuse at our old church, and even though it's been years and I like to tell myself that we're over it, in reality we aren't.  When you trust and love someone and they talk about you behind your back, spreading rumors and breaking down your longstanding relationship with their own insecurities... it hurts.  So we pushed away from God, because really, how the heck could He let this happen?  I mean really, these were our spiritual leaders, family, and friends.  This was the church.

This was not the way it was supposed to be.

So in the very beginning of our marriage, from the very first day when we should have been learning about each other, how to relate to one another, how to work out our issues, we were dealing with this horse poop.  I often feel like we were robbed of our first year or two of marriage.  We can't get that time back, and the damage has been done.  It's not that it can't be fixed, I'm just mad that there is anything to fix in the first place.  It's crappy.  It really is.

The thing is, how can you really work on a relationship if you don't work on yourself first?  And how can you expect your spouse to work on themselves when you don't take the time to work on yourself?  It's a big messy merry-go-round, and I want off the ride.  I want to have a heart that doesn't let the little things throw me off course, because really- my kid is going to throw tantrums, and my husband is going to piss me off.  But those should be little things, and they shouldn't end my day, you know?

 So this is me, saying publicly what I need to say, and if you're reading this, you know I'm talking to you.

You should feel ashamed of yourself.  We loved you and your family and trusted you, and you manipulated us, abused us spiritually, then set yourself up as the martyr when we finally said enough is enough.  The constant drama, guilt trips, and accusations took our focus away from what was most important, and I know you saw it.  Instead of leading us to the Lord, you led us to gossip and complain, because bitter hearts love company.  I can't blame you for the state of my heart of course, and I don't, but I hope you know that when you are leading young people spiritually, you have a responsibility.  You can't take that lightly because the Lord doesn't take it lightly.  You hurt us, and it was wrong.

That being said, I forgive you.  And I hope you can take a look at your own heart and take steps to get it right with the Lord too.  Because life is too short to live it in bitterness and unforgiveness.

SO.  Here we go.  I'm tired of being unhappy.  And I'm tired of letting my happiness rest on other peoples' shoulders.  It's really not fair to either of us.  I'm so blessed... I don't want to take any of it for granted.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Smart Snugs Simple Snug All in Two Review & Giveaway

Alright fellow cloth diaper addicts- I've got a review of a brand spanking new product for you today!  Oh- and a giveaway!  woo hoo!!

You all know that I like Smart Snugs Diapers.  A lot.  They're cute, affordable, and work like a charm. So when they contacted me with the opportunity to review their new All-In-Two diaper line, along with a few other bloggers, of course I was excited.  Being an almost strictly pocket diaper and all-in-one diaper fan, this was a great chance to try something new.  Plus the diaper cover they sent me is black!  Every baby should have a LBD (little black diaper)!

The new Simple Snug AI2 is a cover-style system with stay-dry micro-fleece pockets in the front and the back of the diaper to hold the inserts securely in place while also keeping the sticky PUL away from your baby's body.  Speaking of inserts, there are 5 that you have to choose from.  Yeah, 5.  That's a lot of great options!  The covers also have double gussets to keep messes inside the diaper and not on your baby's clothes.  And like all Smart Snugs diapers, they have hip snaps and fold-over tabs that will ensure that this diaper will fit your baby for a long long time.

The insert that I was sent to test out with my new Simple Snug AI2 was the 6 Layer Bamboo Cotton with Gussets.  This insert is soft.  Really really soft.  I know that it's got to feel great on Eisley's little tushie, and that's important to me.  It's also really absorbent.  One 6 Layer insert is plenty for nap time protection.  It didn't quite get us through the night, but Eisley has been drinking a whole lot of milk before bed time lately, so the only thing that tends to get us through is a hemp pre-fold tri-folded in a pocket diaper.

Anywho, in case you're wondering exactly what is inside of the 6 layer bamboo insert, check out this handy dandy graphic from Smart Snugs.  Two layers of thirsty bamboo cotton, three layers of microfiber, and a bottom layer of waterproof PUL which will let you switch out your inserts without wiping your cover very often.  Which is awesome because I think that is what keeps me from using more covers and prefolds.  The cleaning up of messes in between uses.  I'm actually pretty lazy when it comes to diapers, so I typically like to just toss a dirty diaper right into the wet bag.  With these, I have no problem just tossing the insert into the wetbag and popping a new one into the cover.  Easy as pie.  Which is an expression I've never fully understood because making a pie isn't super easy.  But I digress...

 The only thing I'm not sure I am in love with are the gussets on the insert.  The gussets don't seem to grab the four inside layers, and so it always seems a little bunchy when I pull the inserts out of the washer and dryer.  I don't like when my underpants get all bunched up, so I tend to think my daughter must not like it either, so for me the bunching is con to this insert.  It's not a deal breaker, with some effort I've been able to get everything smoothed back out, but in the future I'd love to see these inserts made with the gusset grabbing onto each layer.  If that happens, I'll be a convert.

If you're not wild about the gussets on the insert, there are also non-gusseted options that will be just as absorbent and soft.  The inserts also come in charcoal bamboo in place of the bamboo cotton.  I do love  options!

Ok.  So here are the details-

Price- $14.99 for a Simple Snug cover with wipeable PUL inside that can be used for multiple diaper              changes.
          $19.50 for a pack of three Cotton Bamboo Inserts with Gussets

Options- 6 great colors to choose from as well as two different pocket materials.  (note that the charcoal bamboo pockets or Nature Snugs are $18.99 instead of $14.99)  5 different inserts to choose from!

Pros-  Great fit that covers a huge range of weights and sizes thanks to the overlapping tabs and cross-over snaps.

The black color is awesome.  Seriously, why haven't I gotten a black diaper before now?  All of their colors are vibrant and gorgeous.

The covers can be used for multiple diaper changes and you can use so many different Smart Snugs inserts, prefolds, flats... just about anything in them.

The stay dry pockets really do keep the inserts in place, and keep baby comfortable.

These are affordable and fairly priced.

Cons-  The gusseted inserts are a little bit bunchy.  You have to mess with them a bit to get them to lay nice and straight.

There are only 6 colors!  With colors that vibrant, I'd love to see some more modern options like a deep teal, hot pink, and some less primary colors.  This isn't really a con as much as a wish for more.

Overall-  I really like the new Smart Snug Simple Snug AI2.  I think I'm going to have to add more to my stash because these are so easy and work so well.


Here's the Review!  It goes live on July 1st!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer-  I was not compensated in any way for this review.  I was sent a diaper for review, but all opinions are my own.  Your experience may be different than my own.