Saturday, June 30, 2012

How to clean squirter bath toys

Destructo got three sets of squirty bath tub toys for Christmas.  He loves them, but I hate them because they are so conducive to growing mold inside them.  I squirt all the water out of them after each bath, but have still had problems with mold showing up.  I found this article on the Real Simple magazine website today and thought  I would share.

How to clean bath tub toys

This post is part of the Monday Mom Musings over at Jellibean Journals.  Check it out sometime.

Cloth diaper review-- Bumgenius 4.0

My second favorite diaper is the Bumgenius 4.0.  This is my go to diaper for nighttime use since I can customize the absorbancy to suit my son.  This is a one size pocket diaper and should fit Kai until potty training. 

Pictures from Kelly's Closet
These diapers come in either velcro or snaps.  It is a waterproof PLU shell with a microfiber lining (that is stay dry which is an added bonus for nighttime.)  It comes with a full size insert and a smaller doubler.  It comes in a variety of colors and designs with my current favorite being Albert which has all different equations on it and say I am a bumgenius.  Perfect for a science dork like me.
Photo from Kelly's Closet

At night, I stuff the diaper with a Joey bunz hemp insert behind the microfiber.  The reasoning for this is that microfiber is a quick absorbing material and that hemp can hold a lot of moisture.  I have had very good luck with this system until recently.  I think I am needing to replace my leg elastics though as they aren't as tight as they should be.  Bumgenius makes a refresher kit for this with elastics for the legs and back and replacement velcro tabs and also laundry tabs. 

Overall, I really like this diaper.  I will say though as Destructo has gotten into toddler hood, I have had some ammonia problems, especially in diapers he wears overnight.  Microfiber is notorious for this, especially in hard water so I am slowly moving away from the microfiber inserts and trying to use hemp or organic cotton inserts as finances allow.

And finally, here is my very own Captain Destructo modeling some of his Bumgenius 4.0's.

Check out these and many more diapers at Kelly's Closet or Sweetbottoms Baby (links in sidebar.)

You can see other cloth diapering info here:

This post contains affiliate links which compensate Adventures with Captain Destructo with a % of the sale. Using these links doesn't cost you anything extra, but it helps support this blog and my family. Thanks!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Blueberry pancakes and yard sales

I woke up in a mood to cook breakfast.  This happens about once a year so I figured I would go all out.  I normally hate hate hate cooking breakfast.  I decided that we would have blueberry pancakes, eggs, and bacon.  Super crunchy delicious bacon that I promptly begged my hubby to cook since I fail at cooking good bacon.

I quickly remembered why I don't cook pancakes or eggs as well.  I don't like cooking breakfast because it destroys the kitchen and then you have that to look forward to cleaning.  And Destructo hates my eggs.  He will eat other people eggs, but not mine.  What gives kid?  But the high part of it is that even though he didn't want my eggs, he at least tried a bite when I asked him to.  Huge win in this part of the woods.
Destructo's reaction to being told we don't put our feet on the table

I was going to go to the farmers market and got Kai all dressed and ready to go.  Then it occurred to me that farmers markets sell veggies and we have a ton of veggies right now.  Darn we will have to wait until next week.  Destructo didn't take the news that we weren't going bye bye very well.  So we decided that even though it was 98 degrees out and felt like 101, we would go to some yard sales.

But it all turned out well in the end since we got two new toys for Kai that I have wanted to get him for awhile.  He loves to color with pens that no matter where I put them, he finds.  I wanted to get a Fisher-Price Doodle Pro so when I have to take away the pen, I can give him this to draw on.  He loves it!  I also found a Thomas the Train where you push the train conductor down and it rolls forward.  I  have a that my aunt saved from my little cousin.  She is going to let Kai have it once he is big enough for it.  He loves trains so much right now.  Going to Aldi's for groceries is the highlight of his day because we almost always see a train while we are there.  I got both of these for only three bucks.

Finally, Destructo thought up a fun new game.  It is called boom and involves him kicking the crap out of me as hard as he can while I change his diaper and then laughing hysterically while screaming boooooommmmm.  I really enjoy it let me tell you insert sarcastic eye roll here.  What games do your little ones play that are so annoying, but oh so cute all at the same time?

This post contains affiliate links which compensate Adventures with Captain Destructo with a % of the sale. Using these links doesn't cost you anything extra, but it helps support this blog and my family. Thanks!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

These are a few of my favorite things-- Breastfeeding Style

So since my big post from yesterday was about my journey as a breastfeeding mom, I figured you might be wondering what products I have found to be invaluable on this year long adventure.  The most important thing I could have had was my Medela Pump in Style Advanced Breast Pump.  I had to go back to work when Destructo was 12 weeks old and to make nursing work, I had to pump 2-3 times a day to keep my supply up.  This pump is a double electric pump so it shortens the time it takes and worked very well.  I was able to store all my pump parts, bottles, etc.  in the tote bag and also my snacks.  It came with a battery pack which was nice the few times I needed to pump and didn't have access to electricity, think when I went to the Breeders Cup at Churchill Downs.  There customer service is also impeccable.  I dropped my pump and the face plate broke and they sent me a new one free of charge. 

Lanolin was a lifesaver in those first few sore weeks of nursing.  I liked the Lansinoh brand the best, although I have heard that there are more eco-friendly options out there I just had gotten a few tubes of this at my shower so this is what I used.  During the first few weeks, I truly felt like I needed to invest in stocks for breast pads for all the leaking I did.  I liked the Lansinoh brand of these as well although my goal next time is to find a washable brand that I like.  Anyone have any suggestions?  I also used the Lansinoh Breast Milk Storage Bags for storing the pumped milk.  I actually preferred the Medela Pump & Save Breastmilk Storage Bags, but the Lansinoh ones fit on the Playtex Baby Drop-ins Premium Nurser Bottles.

Until Destructo started showing a horrible preference for bottles, we used the Playtex nurser bottles with the slow flow nipple.  But once he started going on a nursing strike, I decided to try the The First Years Breastflow  bottles.  These actually helped Kai improve his latch and we used these from six months until he weaned off bottles just past a year old.  I used the slow flow (level one) nipples the entire time.

The Boppy Pillow was a lifesaver for me to help with positioning and what not at first.  I still use it to this day.  I also got two extra covers and a waterproof cover since he was a spitter upper when he was small.  I will actually buy another one if we have another baby to keep in the car for when we are out and about or at someone else's house.  Two other products that I used a lot (especially in the early days) were Milkies Milk-Saver  which allowed me to collect the milk that leaked during let down in the early days.  (I actually got nearly three ounces one time.)  Also, NUK/Gerber Warm Or Cool Relief Pack were a life saver.  You can heat them or freeze them and put them on when you are oh so sore at first.  I had a lot of clogged ducts and would heat these up and use them to help with that.

Oh and I just wanted to mention that the website is a wealth of info for new breastfeeding moms (and even those of us that are a year in!)  I also really liked the book The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding.  It is very pro breastfeeding and it's tone can be a little biased because of that, but it is a great source of information.

I am going to be doing posts in the near future about the early days of breastfeeding, common problems and their solutions, and being a milk cow aka being a working mom and pumping.  So stay tuned!

Edited to add:  I can't believe I forgot about the one product that most helped me keep my sanity when he was a newborn.  I bought a Salter 914 Electronic Baby and Toddler Scale to let me do a weighed feeding.  Now this is not nearly as accurate as the one the lactation consultants use, but it was accurate enough to let me make sure he was getting a few ounces.  When we were thick in the middle of not gaining well, I would do weighed feedings all day just to make sure we were coming somewhere near the 30 oz a day my pediatrician was recommending.

Linked up at:
Tuesday Baby
Thursday Favorite Things

 This post contains affiliate links which compensate Adventures with Captain Destructo with a % of the sale. Using these links doesn't cost you anything extra, but it helps support this blog and my family. Thanks!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Cloth diaper giveaway on Newly Crunchy Mama of 3

GiveawayThere is a Summer Cloth Diaper blog hop going on now and this particular prize is really nice.  It is 8 Fuzzibunz diapers, a diaper sprayer, and a wet bag.  Everything you need to get started.

Check it out if you are interested.

Wordless Wednesday-- My dog is more patient than I am

I owe the dog a lifetime of milk bones.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

My breastfeeding journey

I always knew I would breastfeed my child.  I just didn't know that it would truly be the hardest thing I have ever done in my life to date.  I wanted to throw in the towel and bust out the formula daily for the first six weeks.  It was painful and I had problem after problem.  But I will be the first to tell you today that I am not ready to wean 14 months in.  The closeness and bond that breastfeeding provides between me and my son is something truly special.  As I once read somewhere, my son will never in his life be breastfed again.

My breastfeeding journey started when I went into labor with Destructo.  I was in labor for 74 hours, 70 of which were completely unmedicated, and awake for 92 straight hours.  By the time he was finally here, I was so exhausted I couldn't think about anything but eating a meal and sleeping.  The family all wanted to see Kai and this was to be expected as they had been at the hospital 12+ hours at this point (and my mom had been there the entire day before on our first trip to the hospital.)  Oh and side note, I will do a blog post at some point on my entire labor.

Mistake number one took place right now.  I let all the family in to meet Destructo instead of nursing him while he was somewhat alert immediately after birth. Next time, I will nurse him/her before anyone is allowed in. But I was a first time mom who gave birth at 11:52 PM when no lactation consultants were on duty.  I had no idea how to get a baby to latch on.

Once all the family left, I tried with my husband's help to get Kai to latch on to no avail.  We finally crashed for the night to get some sleep, but it was very restless because of course Kai was noisy and had a strong sucking reflex. We didn't want to send him to the nursery and kept him with us.   Mistake number two was letting him suck on his hands instead of trying to get him to latch because I was so exhausted I just wanted some rest.

The next morning we immediately summoned the lactation consultants.  But by this point, the long labor and delivery had caught up with Destructo and he was impossible to wake.  The few times he expressed interest in nursing, we would get him up to me and he would just pass out cold.  No cold wash cloths, stripping him to a diaper, pumping his arms and legs, tickling his feet could keep him awake.  We were told to just do lots of kangaroo care and I did, but not to the point that I should have since I had a steady stream of visitors.  This was mistake number three.  Next time, I will probably just let immediate family visit the hospital and tell friends to wait until we get home to visit. 

We discharged from the hospital a day and  a half later even though we could have stayed an extra day since I delivered so late.  This was mistake number four.  I should have stayed that extra day and had Kai go to the nursery so I could get a little sleep before I went home.  But at the time I was ready to get home and thought it would be easier to sleep there.

We got home and the baby that was a good sleeper in the hospital immediately got his days and nights mixed up and didn't sleep for the next three nights.  Kai still wasn't latching well 24 hours after discharge and by Friday (we left on Wednesday) had stopped having wet diapers for over 12 hours.  We rushed him to the pedi and found he had dropped 12% of his birth weight.  The pedi wanted me to supplement with formula, but I argued and she agreed that if I was able to pump enough breast milk to bottle feed this would be fine.  This was mistake number 5.  While it was good that I pumped obviously to enable me to get a good supply going, bottle feeding was a mistake.  Hopefully this won't happen next time, but if it did I would get a supplemental feeder instead of using bottles from the get go.

I met with the lactation consultant when Kai was a week old and she got him to latch like a pro.  I thought this was the turning point, but once I got home I couldn't get him to latch once again.  So back to pumping I went.  I met with the lactation consultant again a week later and she showed me some new tips and tricks and things finally started looking up.  By 2 1/2 weeks, I had Kai nursing 50% of the time and it was getting easier every day.  And then, it all went south.

I got mastitis on both sides and spiked a 103-104 fever for three days.  I couldn't even care for my newborn baby.  I had to go stay with my parents for 48 hours so my mom could take care of Kai while my husband worked.  I had to go on antibiotics for this and they worked well and I started feeling better.  But this (while not really a mistake because I had no choice) was not-mistake number 6. I ended up getting a systemic yeast infection that got into my milk ducts.  For awhile, I didn't realize that this was why nursing felt like I was nursing a child with razor blade teeth.  When I did, I had to take diflucan pills for 2 weeks to get it to clear up.

The mastitis also caused my supply to completely tank.  I had to formula feed for a few feedings for two weeks and it broke my heart.  I was sobbing when he had to have that first bottle.  Let me issue a statement here that I do not think there is anything wrong with formula feeding if that is what you so choose.  But it wasn't what I chose.  It devastated me that I couldn't make something so natural work.  I had nearly decided to just pump because I couldn't take the pain of nursing anymore.  I had cracked, bleeding nipples.  I dreaded hearing Kai crying to eat because I knew it would be more toe curling pain.  I would sob throughout the entire feeding and be so glad it was over.
I made a deal with myself that if it didn't get better once the diflucan was done, I would quit.  But it luckily got so much better once the yeast was finally gone.  By two months he was nursing 90% of the time.  I was still pumping at night because he was quite a slow nurser and I could pump and bottle feed him in half the time.  By three months, (right before I went back to work) he was completely nursing except for the occasional bottle just to make sure he didn't start refusing bottles.  I got my supply back up by taking fenugreek and blessed thistle.  Oh and sometime around this time, I discovered that I had vasospasms and this makes nursing more painful as well.  But I quickly remedied that with a hot compress before nursing.

And then I went back to work and had to pump twice a day and this was such a challenge.  I had a lot of trouble making enough milk each day and thought many a times I would have to supplement with formula.  But I didn't and he turned 6 months and started solids and his milk demands went way down very quickly as he was a great eater.

And the rest truly is history.  We made it to my original goal of 3 months, then hit my next goal of six months, and then on May 9th, we hit my ultimate goal of nursing for an entire year ( minus the 19.75 oz of formula he had when I had mastitis.)  My new goal is to nurse until he decides to wean.   Destructo is still nursing three times a day at nearly 14 months.  I never thought I would nurse him past a year, but I just don't see a reason to quit just yet.  He still gets antibodies from the milk, some nutrition, and a whole lot of emotional comfort.  I am hoping that he will self wean within the next year as I would like to be done by two, especially if we decide to have another child.

It has been the hardest journey I have ever taken in my life.  But it truly was the most rewarding one all at the same time.  I will forever look back at the days I spent nursing my son as some of the best days of my life.  For the first six months of his life, I provided all of his nutritional needs.  I provided his favorite comfort source.  I taught him patience, gentleness, and kept him healthy all by nursing.

The health benefits of breastfeeding him will last a lifetime.   Studies have shown that breastfed kids are less likely to have allergies and asthma and since I have both, this was important to me.  In his first year of life, I only had to take Kai to the pediatrician twice once for gunky eyes because of blocked tear ducts and once for a cold that had this first time mom worried.  He had a handful of very minor colds and the only time he was very sick and running a fever was after his shots.  The doctor said he had a great immune system and that was why he ran such high fevers.  This made me feel great and like I was getting a reward for all my breastfeeding struggles.

 I know our nursing days are coming to a close.  In fact, just tonight he refused to nurse before bed.  I will be sad when it is done, but be glad that I have raised my baby to a little boy.  I just hope that I will know when the end is beckoning before hand so I can treasure those last few nursing sessions with my still a baby (if only in this mama's eye. ) Even when I am an old woman, I know I will look back on all those nights spent nursing my son in the rocking chair in his room and know that those were some of the best moments of my life even if they flew by in the blink of an eye.

How did he go from this to that big boy in a year's time?

This post is part of the weekly breastfeeding blog hop, hosted by The Slacker Mom, and co-hosted by The Gnome’s Mom and Happiness Redefined. This week’s topic is “Check-In.”

Aloha Friday blog hop

Aloha Friday Blog Hop
I found this neat blog hop on Organized Chaos: Life of a Mom and decided to join in. You can find some neat new blogs to read and gain followers to your own blog if you want to join in. If someone follows you, pay it forward and follow them also. If you want to join, put the link code on your page and you will have the same list of blogs. If you are new to a site, put your blog address so others can follow you as well.

These are a few of my favorite things-- teething edition

Teething is the devil.  Any mom can attest to this fact.  Currently Kai has four teeth entirely in and just today I can see the fifth about to break the gums.  He is drooling far more on this particular one than any other.  And waking up wanting to nurse in the middle of the night all over again.  When will my child sleep through the night consistently?

Some invaluable things I have found for teething are: Hyland's Homeopathic Teething Tablets.  These little tablets are homeopathic little pills that dissolve in baby's mouth and help to reduce pain and inflammation.  They do seem to help and I like giving them so I don't have to give the other wonder drug Children's Advil as much.  (I hate giving Kai any more drugs than I need to, but he gets miserable at night when teething and wakes up many times a night sobbing.)

But something I have found that is natural and super cute is an Genuine Inspired by Finn Baltic Amber Baby Teething Necklace.  When worn on the skin, the heat of your body causes the necklace beads to release succinic acid which is absorbed through the skin and acts as an anti-inflammatory and a natural analgesic.  The lighter colored beads have higher amounts of succinic acid, as do the unpolished stones.  I have Destructo wear it around his neck as a necklace during the day and then at night I wrap it around his ankle under his PJ's (just because I was nervous about a necklace overnight.)  At first I wasn't sure that this really worked because it didn't seem to make a difference in his mood and fussiness, but that was because I didn't have him wearing it 24/7.  Once I gave it another go out of desparation and left it on all the time, his mood and teething crankiness got much better.  So I am a convert to amber necklaces magical powers.

If you were wondering what teethers proved to be a hit in our household, here is that answer. Vulli Sophie the Giraffe Teether is all natural rubber with food grade dyes so totally safe for baby to chew on.  Kai really like Sophie when he was very small and not able to really hold onto other teethers well.  He would chew on her ears, horns, and really wedge her feet on his gums.  

 is another super popular teether with Destructo.  Some other teethers of note in our house are The World of Eric Carle: The Very Hungry Caterpillar Teether, Baby Einstein Baby Neptune Rattle And Teethe, Nuby Icybite Hard/Soft Teeting Keys, and a green sprouts Ring Cool Soothing Teether.

When those teeth are really bothering him, Destructo lives up to his name and attempts to carve a hole in his crib.  The Convertible Crib Rail Cover and  Side Crib Rail Cover are really coming in quite handy.  We have a nice convertible crib that converts into a full size bed and Kai was destroying it.  So I got a set of these and he still chews, but it doesn't leave marks.  You can also attach teethers right to the rail protector to give the baby some toys to chew on while in the crib.  These are super easy to attach with Velcro and also have the added benefit of giving a little padding for when he decides to fall into the rail and bump his head.

Finally, once you start getting teeth you have to brush those chompers.  Kai hated this for the longest time until I hit upon this Colgate My First - Infant & Toddler Mild Fruit Toothpaste.  He likes the way it tastes and will easily let me brush his teeth now.  For any baby toothpaste you buy, make sure it is fluoride free until age 4 (according to my dentist at least.)

Teething is a miserable time for both mommy and baby.  There is nothing worse than your child up in the middle of the night shrieking and you aren't able to do anything about it.  The other tricks I have found that Kai likes are letting him eat frozen fruit or ice cubes (especially blueberries and cherries), sucking on a cold wash cloth, massaging his gums (although he only tolerates this sporadically), and ice cold water.

Linked up at:
Thursday Favorite Things

Disclaimer:  This post contains affiliate links.  They don't cost you anything, but help support this blog.  Thanks!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Top ten struggles I faced in my first year of being a mommy

Everyone knows that the first year of having a baby is the hardest.  I struggled just like any other mother does.  Here is my top ten list of struggles in my first year of being Destructo's mommy.

At the top of my list was 1) breastfeeding.  For something that is so natural and something every  mammal species does, it sure is hard.  I ran the gamut of problems in this area.  I had a 74 hour labor (70 with no pain meds) with Destructo and was exhausted when he was born as I had been awake something like 90+ hours at that point.  He was also exhausted.  He wouldn't latch on for about 2+ weeks and I had to pump and bottle feed.  Then once I finally got him latching more often than not, I got mastitis on both sides and ran a 103-104 fever for three days.  Yeast infections that go systemic because of the antibiotics, vasospasms, and low supply because of the mastitis all follow.  Then having to go back to work and pump while there and bottle feed all come into play.

Needless to say, it was all well worth it and I would do it all over again if I had to.  But I have learned valuable lessons from it.  But that is a whole other post worth of info.

2)  Lack of sleep.  I am sure this is up there on any new mom's list.  I was up for 92 hours while I was in my marathon 74 hour labor.  So I went into it exhausted.  Heck my entire last two months of pregnancy sucked sleep wise.  Then I had a baby who (like a lot of newborns) had his days and nights mixed up and stayed up all night.  Then he was just a typical breastfed newborn baby who was up every three hours to eat and it took a good hour to feed him and pump.  (Things got much better once breastfeeding worked.)

But Kai is a crappy sleeper overall.  From 2-4 months he slept great and I thought I was so lucky.  But he regressed and even now at nearly 14 months, it is a rare night that he doesn't wake at least once.  Even if he soothes himself back to sleep, I still wake and I am a crappy sleeper and don't always go back to sleep.  It is a vicious cycle.

3)  Challenging behavior-- Kai is a head strong little boy who is incredibly smart, but a lot of times chooses to use his smarts for trouble.  He has a temper the size of Texas and doesn't like to be redirected.  He is a challenge or a "spirited" child as many books call him.  Learning how to best discipline him, while not breaking his spirit has been  and will continue to be quite a challenge.  Anyone have any tips on good discipline tactics for a child like Captain Destructo?

4)  My labor-- 74 hours total, 70 with no interventions, having to cave and get an epi and pit because Kai's chin was caught.  Needless to say this was a huge disappointment and I still wonder whether I could have made it all the way med free.

5)  Postpartum depression-- While I never had this bad enough to seek help for, I suffered with this on and off for the first nine months of Kai's life.  One lesson learned is that next time, I will probably seek counseling if this happens again.  Luckily, it went away around nine months and I felt normal again.

6)  Anxiety--  I have always been an anxious person, but having a child who is completely dependent on me and who is so fragile and small really made it bad.  I could picture in great detail all the ways he could get hurt or sick or die.  Looking back, this probably went hand in hand with my PPD.  Luckily, I have learned to rely on God and put my fears in his hands and know he is totally in control of all things.  Prayer has really helped me to get through the anxiety spells.

7)  Working-- I never wanted to be a working mom.  It was out of necessity that I returned to work and I have struggled ever since.  I want nothing more than to stay home with my little man and know he is cared for exactly how I want him to be cared for 24/7.  Luckily for me, thus far he has been able to stay with family.  My sister keeps him two days, my mom one day, and my dad one day (and if you guys are reading this I am eternally grateful to you.)  I also cut back to 30 hours, 4 days so this helps me feel better about it as well.   Hopefully, once we have our second baby I will be staying at home finally!

8)  Time management-- I used to think I was busy back before kids.  Now I laugh at that thought.  I had so much time back then.  What did I even do with it all?  Learning to juggle all the hats that mothers are required to wear has been tricky.  I still don't seem to be able to squeeze it all in and find time for myself.

9)  Losing my identity-- This goes hand in hand with number 8.  I used to be Melissa the horse owner, racing enthusiast, and bird watcher.  Now a year before Malachi was born I lost my horse.  I still miss Ellie to this day.  I still follow horse racing, but not like I used to because as I mentioned above there just aren't enough hours in the day.  And good luck bird watching when you have the loudest child on the face of the earth with you.  I assume though that as time goes on I will either pick those hobbies back up or get new hobbies.

And finally, 10)  Cloth diapers-- I absolutely love cloth diapers and would not use disposables even if they were free.  I love knowing that no extra chemicals are sitting on my child's skin 24/7 and that I am not taking up space in landfills.  I love that I can show my personality through the designs on the diapers I use.  They are much more absorbent and an added perk is that they make my super skinny, but super tall kid's cloths actually work!  But there was definitely a learning curve and even still I am still learning.  My current issue is ammonia build up from the hard water mineral deposits that I am battling.  Anyone have any tried and true tactics to battle this?

 I wouldn't trade motherhood for a bazillion dollars.  But it is a daily challenge.  I imagine I will look back at this list when I am in throes of teenage angst with Destructo and laugh and think how simple life really was back then.  Kids grow up so fast.  I swear the first year went by in the blink of an eye.

What a difference a year makes.

This blog post is a part of the Ten Things Tuesday over at Many Little Blessings.  Check it out!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

How can Destructo saying no be so darn cute?

Destructo learned how to shake his head no this weekend.  He lets us know his opinions now all the time.  Okay Kai, let's get out of the bath.  He shakes his head no.  But it is so cute that I can't get mad at the "disobedience." 

He also got up close and personal with cows for the first time this weekend and loved them and would walk right up to them with no fear.  He was mooing the whole time.  The fun times of being a parent.

Overall, we were super busy this weekend, but had a blast. 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Timeline of a Breastfed Baby

I found this article on I Love Cloth Diapers (the Softbums blog.)  I really thought it was a good article about the pros of breastfeeding (and even hits on the pros of extended breastfeeding.)  Some days I am ready to be done breast feeding, but most days I am not.  I will miss this time of closeness and nurturing with my baby.  Plus the immune system benefits area awesome.  Knock on wood, Destructo has only had a handful of minor little colds.

Check the article out if you want.  Timeline of a Breastfed Baby

These are a few of my favorite things-- Summer fun edition

Since summer has officially started, I figured I would share some of my favorite summer products.  When you are out in that hot, hot summer sun what could be more important than sunscreen?  First things first, I love this link to see which sunscreens get the best ratings for sun protection as well as ingredient safety.    EWG Suncreen report

The sunscreen I have found that I like best so far is Badger SPF 30 Sunscreen.  I paid 15 bucks for it at Publix.  I just saw it for 13.50 on Amazon.  It is SPF 30 and scores a one (which is good since it is a 1-10 scale) for ingredient safety.  It is very thick and stays on well and has a nice light scent.

My second favorite is California Baby SPF 30 + Sunscreen Lotion .  It gets a 2 on the ingredient safety rating scale and gets good to moderate scores for sun protection.  I much prefer Badger, but use this one occasionally when I forget to pack sunscreen and have to stop and get some since more stores carry it.

So once you have your sunscreen on you are ready for the pool.  The life jacket we have currently have is Stearns 3D Puddle Jumper.  Destructo is still a bit under the weight limit, but I can already tell we are going to like it.  It isn't as bulky as a regular life jacket and still allows him to use swimming movements easier.

We also have something similar to this:  Intex My Baby Float.  I think he would have liked it more last year when he was itty bitty.  Now he is a wild man who wants to swim on his own and actually be down in the water so he fights the restraint.

Picture from Kelly's Closet
Finally, what swim diaper goes under his adorable swim suit to help contain any unsightly pool accidents?  Why the Bummis swim diaper.  These run right around 15 bucks each and I have used them for two summers and have not had a poop leak yet.  The sizing runs slightly bigger than what they say on the sites sizing.  Destructo is still in a medium and probably will be all summer even though it says the medium is 15-22 pounds and he is right around 22 pounds now.
 The picture is of Kai last summer styling in his hat and turtle Bummis.  He was
so little then.  Time really does fly.

Chilling in my pool

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Destructo had a busy day yesterday

While I was at work, Destructo decided to accidentally drop my laptop in the floor (luckily the Boppy caught it) when he got tangled in the power cord while trying to get his balloon.  It dislodged (insert technical computer part here) which caused it to stop working.

He then managed to dump the entire bowl of dog water.  Then he was playing with a can of cherry coke and before my mom realized and got it from him, he dropped it and caused a hole in it.  Cherry coke was spraying everywhere.  Mom says she heard him saying ohhhh, ohhhh and trying his best to cover the hole with his hands to stop the spray of cherry coke.

Well done Destructo, well done.  After all that mess, my mom ended up mopping my floors to get it all up.  Score!

Oh and in other news, Destructo said his first sentence two days ago.  Sam was walking ahead of us carrying Kai's balloon and Kai pointed and said Dada baoooon.  I almost died from the cuteness.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Cloth diaper review Grovia style

Destructo is wearing a kiwi Grovia with snaps
What better diaper to do my first review on than my absolute favorite kind, the Grovia.  This diaper is a hybrid system which just means you can use the snap in soakers or you can use disposable, biodegradable inserts. The snap in soakers are made of either organic cotton (my favorite) or a stay dry soaker made of  hemp/cotton blend topped with a microfleece layer .  Both soakers contain a TPU backing with leg gussets to help contain the poop.
Pictures from Kelly's Closet

When the diapers are just wet, you can reuse the cover which makes for less diaper laundry.  I have had no ammonia buildup problems with these since they are made with organic cotton.  They are also very absorbent, especially when you pair the soaker with a doubler stuck behind the top layer.  The designs are adorable.  Currently, they are robots, bicycles, peacock, and woodland and solid colors.  But I have last years designs of owls and a country theme and love them.  Finally, these diapers are one-size meaning they will fit from 10ish pounds to 35-40 pounds.  They come in snaps and velcro.

Pictures from Kelly's Closet
Finally, if you are in the market for a disposable (but more eco-friendly) option, the shells can be used with the Grovia biosoakers.  They are fragrance, dye, and chlorine free and are compostable as well.  I have used them when we are traveling and I liked them.  They aren't quite as absorbent as I would like, but overall do the job well.  I have even used them overnight.  The one downfall is that they can bunch in the middle which has caused a leak or two.

With all this said, I highly recommend this diapering system.  They are slightly more expensive since you have to buy soakers and shells, but not by that much since you can reuse shells.  The only times I have had problems with leaks was when Destructo first started crawling and the soaker would bunch in the middle causing leg leaks.  But once he was out of that awkward army crawling stage that problem went away.  With the doubler, I can run errands for hours without leaks.  I don't use these overnight as he is quite the heavy wetter.  But in my book the biggest perk to the Grovia is the ease of use.  You just snap two snaps and the diaper is ready to go, no stuffing pockets.

Check out all the shell designs and other Grovia products at Kelly's Closet or Sweetbottoms Baby.

This post contains affiliate links which compensate Adventures with Captain Destructo with a % of the sale. Using these links doesn't cost you anything extra, but it helps support this blog and my family. Thanks!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Top ten things I never thought I would say

One year old addition.  Although these aren't in any specific order.

1)  Kai stop licking the__________________.  This blank could be filled with anything from dog, to floor, to window, to my leg.

2)  Please stop grabbing your junk.  You are getting poop everywhere.

3)  Did you just make your cows bite me in the butt and moo at me?

4)  Please stop riding the puppy.

5)  Quit being a beaver and eating your crib.

6)  We do not eat the paint off the window sill.

7)  Stop eating ______________.  You can also fill this blank in with a wide array of things such as dirt, the dogs hair, rocks, sticks, Cheerios that he found under the couch.

8)  You may not play with knives.  Kai learned how to open the dishwasher and was intent on getting the most dangerous things out of it.

9)  You are really asking to be an only child son.

And finally, 10)  We do not hit momma, the dog, kick things, etc.  You know, because my child was going to be a perfectly behaved child.

So what are things you guys say that you never thought you would find yourself saying before having kids?

This post is part of the Top Ten Tuesday over at Many Little Blessings blog.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Types of Cloth Diapers

When I first decided that I was going to cloth diaper, I researched the heck out of all the different types of cloth diapers.  There are 5 different systems of cloth diapers.  The decision was easy to me because I knew I was going back to work full time and Destructo would have numerous caregivers.  So the diapers I picked had to be easy and very similar to disposables.  Other than ease of use, price and how much maintenance (washing, stuffing pocket, etc) played into the equation.

So here is an overview of the five different types of cloth diapering systems.

1)  All-in-ones.  The pros to this type of diaper is that it is what the title says all-in-one.  It is a waterproof shell with layers of absorbent material sewn right into the diaper.  So it is basically a reusable disposable diaper in function.

The cons to all-in-ones are price.  These are the priciest of any diaper option.  Drying time is also a con as they take a considerable amount of time to dry since it is numerous layers.  The other slight downfall is that it is hardest to customize these for extra absorbency.

 Examples of this diaper are the:  Bumgenius Elemental, Grovia All-in-One, and the Bottombumpers All in One.

2)  Pockets.  This type of diaper is a waterproof shell with a cloth layer sewn onto the shell with a pocket.  You stuff absorbable inserts into the pocket.  Pros to this diaper style are that they are basically a reusable disposable diaper (regarding how they go on the baby.)  They are less expensive than the All-in-ones.  You can customize the absorbency depending on what size/type of inserts you stuff into the pocket.  These also are very quick drying diapers since you dry them in their separate components (shell and insert/s.)

The cons to this style are that they take time to stuff the diaper.  (And trust me when it is ten o clock and you have to work the next day, sitting up stuffing diapers sucks.  But with that said, this is one of my two preferred diapers.)

Examples of this diaper are:  Bumgenius 4.0's, Kawaii's, and Rumparooz.

3)  All-in-twos/hybrid diapers    Pros to this type of diaper are that they typically have waterproof outer shell with a lay in or snap in absorbent soaker that you can change out reusing the shell if it is just a wet diaper.  The hybrid part is that these diapers also have an ecofriendl(ier) biodegradable disposable insert if this is the route you prefer.  I really like these when traveling where washing my regular cloth isn't really an option. 

Cons-- They are more expensive than regular pockets.    In my experience, the soakers take longer than pockets and pocket inserts to dry.  I have also not found these to be great for overnight diapers. 

Examples of this type of diaper are:  Grovia hybrid, Flip, and g-diapers.

4)  Fitted diapers  This type of diaper is paired with a waterproof cover.  Pros to it is that it is one of the more affordable methods to cloth diaper and also one of the most leak proof.   It is shaped like a disposable and is easy to use and the covers can be reused unless soiled.  

Cons to this type are it is a two step diaper process so if you have a wiggly baby it is like torturing yourself twice.  (I do good to get a diaper on my son once.)

Examples of this type of diaper are:  Itti Bitti fitted, Blueberry fitted, and Kissaluvs Marvels.

5) The final type of diapering system is truly those of our grandparents era. You use a flat/prefold and fold it onto the baby and secure it with a pin/snappi.  You then put a waterproof diaper cover over it.   Flats and prefolds are very economical.  You lay the flat/prefold in a diaper shell or fold it around the baby.  They hold up very well from birth to potty training and you can get them in a variety of materials.

Cons are that to me they were downright scary.  I could not seem to get folding down (although my hubby fared better.) 

Examples of this type are:  Econobums prefolds, Hemp Babies flats, and Kawaiis prefolds.

All of these diapers (and many more) can be found at: Kelly's Closet or Sweetbottoms Baby.  Check those sites out if you are interested in ordering them.  They constantly feature promos like free diapers and reward points that you can trade in for gift certificates.

Linked up at:
Tuesday Baby

This post contains affiliate links which compensate Adventures with Captain Destructo with a % of the sale. Using these links doesn't cost you anything extra, but it helps support this blog and my family. Thanks!

Playdough recipes

While lurking around the internet on different blogs, I came across this blog post from Organized Chaos:  Life of Mom blog.  It had three different playdough recipes if anyone is interested.  I know I have been wanting to make some safe playdough for Destructo in case he decides to eat it.  (Which he inevitable will.)
 Check it out at the link below.

Playdough Recipes

Saturday, June 16, 2012

These are a few of my favorite things

Sleep edition

So every mother of a baby or toddler knows that sleep is her new long lost best friend.  Here are some products I have found invaluable in Destructo's first year to help me gain a few (and by few I mean very few) hours of sleep each night.

When he was a newbie, he liked to be swaddled.  I am a swaddling failure.  I mean I couldn't wrap a baby to save my life.  Whatever was I going to do?  In comes this handy product:  Summer Infant swaddleme.
He would wear this all nice and cuddly to bed and it would keep his arms from moving too much and startling him awake.

Once he started breaking out of the swaddle around six weeks, we moved onto a regular sleepsack.  I preferred this kind:  Halo sleep sack.
Both the swaddleme's and the Halo sleep sacks come in cotton (organic and non organic varieties) and fleece.

To provide white noise which helps him to this day sleep more soundly, I invested in this:  Homemedics sound spa.
It has six different sounds (our favorite is the ocean) and three different little discs you can put in to project onto the ceiling.

 Kai has two favorite comfort objects.  The first one is his frog lovey.  Frog Lovey

And then there is his beloved seahorse.  He liked it from the time he was a week old.  (And just as a side note, none of these comfort objects were in his crib when he was asleep until he was closer to six months.  I just had to take photos since he really liked them.)  The Fisher-Price Ocean Wonders Soothe and Glow Seahorse Blue comes in blue or pink and lights up and play soothing classical music and ocean sounds.  Now that Destructo is older he turns it on and off all night when he wakes up.  It cracks me up to hear it across the monitor just randomly at night.

And finally, to make mommy sleep better at night I highly recommend getting a Summer Infant Day & Night Baby Video Monitor with 5" Screen - White.  I could not function without it as I like to check on him when I wake up at night and it is so nice to see that he is sleeping soundly and by sleeping soundly, I mean still breathing.  I challenge you to find one new mother that doesn't check this when the child has slept particularly well one night.  I lucked out and got a used  for 35 bucks at a consignment sale.  This particular model doesn't have zoom or the function where the baby can hear you when you talk, but it has good quality picture and sound.

Now if only these things had made Captain Destructo the world's best sleeper.  I was blessed with a child who sleeps just like me.  A night where neither one of us wakes until morning would truly be a small miracle.

Linked up at:
Tuesday Baby
Thursday Favorite Things

This post contains affiliate links which compensate Adventures with Captain Destructo with a % of the sale. Using these links doesn't cost you anything extra, but it helps support this blog and my family. Thanks!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The utter destruction left behind in the wake of Destructo

Captain Destructo says, "Mission accomplished."  Even the monkey was a victim of the extreme force that rivals the destructive force of a tornado or a hurricane.  And what isn't visible in this picture is the trail of electrical socket covers.  Those little flimsy pieces of plastic don't stand a chance to Captain Destructo's cunning mind.  Notice Gabbie surveying the aftermath.  She took cover in the bookcase cabinet until the storm had released it's fury and was nothing more than a light shower (aka in his crib.)

This post is linked over at MOB Society and also Weak and Loved's Messy Mom Jobs.  Check them out sometime.
MOB Society

Messy Mom Jobs

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Cloth diapering

I knew I wanted to cloth diaper before I ever even decided to have a baby. I am a researcher by nature and years before Kai was even a thought had been researching the best types of cloth diapers for our family and the ways to care for them. I knew it would have to be nearly as convenient as disposables since I work full time. Pocket diapers seemed to fit the bill.

There are many different trial packages one could try, but I went about it a different way. I bought one or two of the most popular pocket diapers tried them out and saw first hand which ones I preferred.  In future posts I will review the different types of diapers I have used and include pictures.  Long story short, I most prefer Grovias with the organic cotton soakers and Bumgenius 4.0's with velcro for nighttime use.

But to start at the beginning, what are the advantages of cloth diapering?  First and foremost in my eyes is the money savings.  I went with one of the more expensive styles of diapers and my stash probably cost around 700 total.  I sold the diapers that I didn't like and made 200 of it back.  After calculating how much disposable diapers would cost for a year, I realized that after the first year the diapers would pay for themselves .

My second reason for using cloth diapers was the health benefits for the baby.  Disposable diapers are made with many chemicals that I wasn't comfortable putting next to my baby's delicate skin.  Chlorine being one of them.

Third was a purely vane reason in that they are adorably cute.  I mean fire trucks chasing little flames?  What could be cuter than that.  The above picture is actually a picture of Destructo in his very first cloth diaper fluffy butt.
Destructo wearing  a Lil Joey

There are varied other reasons that go with cloth diapering as well.  They don't take up space in landfills as disposable diapers do.  They are cooler than sposies.  There is no nasty diaper pail smell since you flush any solids right away.  Cloth diapered children tend to potty train earlier.  All in all, the benefits far outweigh any inconvenience people might complain about.

Posts about cloth diapers yet to come:
Reviews of different brands
These are a few of my favorite things-- diapering edition
Newborn diapers

This post contains affiliate links which compensate Adventures with Captain Destructo with a % of the sale. Using these links doesn't cost you anything extra, but it helps support this blog and my family. Thanks!


So I have decided to start a blog about the day to day adventures with
my own Captain Destructo.  Upon seeing that adorable face, one might be fooled into believing that he is innocent and can not possibly be capable of destroying a room in two seconds flat.

 Believe me looks can be deceiving.