Yes, They’re All Mine…

IMG_7193.JPGSo I don’t know about you guys who have more than one kid, but my kids don’t all look identical. Sure, they have lots of similarities and they will make the same stink face at me when they’re being boogies but they all have their own characteristics too.

For those who know me personally K & L could be twins if it weren’t for the five year age gap. M on the other hand is our blond beauty. She was our tiniest baby and continues to be our little peanut. She also just so happens to be our spitfire! She doesn’t stop going until bedtime and will often get “ouchies” multiple times a day.

I have three girls but they are not all the same. I’m sure any mom with multiple kids can attest to this.

That brings me to my annoyed rant. Why does it happen that every time I go shopping with all three of my kids do I get asked if they’re all mine?!

Who is shopping with other people’s cranky kids?!?

I get the M is blond and me and the other girls are brunette but I should not have to qualify my kids with our genetic background to strangers. Do I really need to tell them that she looks like my husband? Do I need to explain to anyone that my husband was a blond when he was a kid and my hair was much lighter then too?

But let’s just let that sit for a minute and think about a hypothetical, what about the mom who has adopted her little miracles? Why should they be asked to explain their family to anyone? Just because our kids may not carry the same genetics as us doesn’t make them any less ours!

In my case they are all mine. TRUST ME! If I was shopping with a cranky booty who was making a fuss you wouldn’t have to ask, I would be sure to let you know it wasn’t mine! Nope, I have a hard enough time shopping with my kids so I try not to bring other random kids with me to stores.

I don’t know if you’ve ever met a kid if you’re asking me if they’re all mine. Kids ask for everything. And they aren’t picky. They’ll ask a stranger for a toy if they think they’ll get it. So shopping with kids is a special kind of torture that parents are forced to endure. The constant asking for toys and snacks and anything shiny they may see.

I have fixed a lot of this with my girls because they know we’re not buying any toys until we’re being responsible for everything we have. But kids don’t have a filter so shopping with them is like walking across a field of landmines. You never know when they’re going to see something that will cause them to blurt out potentially rude and embarrassing comments.

So yes, when I go shopping they’re all mine. All three gorgeous girls who look and act so different all came from the same mommy. Trust me no one else is taking them shopping and I’m not borrowing kids to go get my groceries either!

Its not like I had a huge number either, three is kind of a normal number for kids. When I have my next kids asking might be more justifiable but still NOT OKAY.

If you see someone in a store shopping with kids smile, say something nice but let it go at that. Don’t question another mother about her family, at best it comes across as intrusive and at worst its rude!

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Summer Fun

As the school year slowly comes to an end (or more accurately rushes at me like a steamroller) I am getting excited for my summer ahead. This year I won’t only have my three awesome girls but I will have my friends three amazing boys hanging out with me so we’re going to have a full house!

My back yard is all set up and the pools are ready to be filled (once my husband mows the lawn lol). The sandbox has been filled with toys that probably should never have been brought outside and the freezer is loaded with ice pops. I live a very short distance from a park that is about to reopen and I am ready for the fun to begin!

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Since the inside of my house has been staying clean since I got rid of all the toys (yes I’m mean) the majority of our time will be spent outside or on our porch. We have everything we need now it just needs to be summer already!

K has only 2 more shirts hanging in her closet for school. TWO MORE DAYS! I think I might be more excited than her! The rest of her uniforms have been washed and put up so they don’t accidentally get destroyed during the summer (my kids are like ninjas when it comes to destroying things) and her bathing suits are all washed and ready to go!

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One of my girls favorite things to do outside is pretend to garden. We just got them an awesome set to use since their old ones got brittle in the hot Florida sun. They use their shovels and rakes to help daddy do his work and to just play in the sandbox. I like them having outside toys because it makes them want to be OUTSIDE.

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I grew up and spend 98% of my time outside, in Florida, so I know that it’s not a mean thing to do. I LOVED my childhood. We built forts out of fallen branches in the yard and looked for different bugs. I think just simply being left to explore on my own was the greatest thing in the world and most outdoor toys that I get tend to foster creativity.

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I know this summer we’ll undoubtedly have days where the weather just isn’t conducive with being outside and I have movies and games for those days but what kid would rather be inside in front of a tv than playing? Not mine.

We plan on taking day trips to the springs when my husband isn’t working and hunting for shark teeth on the beach (I’m a clear winner at this game!). We’ll spend lazy evenings in the pool and let the girls camp in the back yard.

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I am so excited to watch my kids grown and learn this summer! Now if only I could get K to want to homeschool as much as I do…

 

My Summer Checklist

I know everyone wants to be prepared for all the excitement ahead of us with summer break so I’ve put together a quick, most likely not complete, list of what I like to have on hand for our summer festivities.

This post contains affiliate links. That means that if you use the links provided, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I only link to products and brands I really love.

Bathing Suits – We live in Florida so one bathing suit just won’t cut it. Sometimes my kids wear 2-3 bathing suits a day just playing in the yard. So we need to make sure we have extras for the spontaneous trip to the pool or the springs.

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Water bottles – Again we live in Florida so we NEED to stay hydrated! That is why I LOVE this new Tervis tumbler my sister got me!

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Towels – Meh this is optional. It gets so hot here you practically come out of the water dried off. That might be an exaggeration but my kids rarely use towels I pretty much bring them to keep the car seats dry, which again isn’t necessary since it tends to be so hot they dry pretty quick.

Sandals  – This ground will burn the bottom of your feet right off! Even the sand on the beach can get so hot its abusive to let the kids walk across it without sandals.

Ice pops – Yep got a few boxes in the deep freezer! Cheaper than ice cream and less messy in the heat! The perfect snack any time of day in the summer!

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Bathing Suits – seems repetitive but I swear this is a legitimate entry on the list. This is solely for the purpose of being left in the van. These are rarely worn, they are left in the back of the van for days that we have no intention of doing anything near water but end up at the splash park or beach anyway. I’ve started letting the kids wear bathing suits under their clothes pretty much all the time but its always nice to know that they’re there just in case we need them!

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Sunglasses – These are important for EVERYONE in the family. Straining your eyes all day in the bright sun makes me tired. So unless I want to be in bed before the girls I need to wear mine when I’m outside. K and M steal mine all the time and L has kid ones that fit her.

Small pool for the yard – this is a MAJOR need. We don’t have a pool in our yard all the time because it is a drowning risk. But as the weather warms up we  like to get a kiddie pool out back. This year we splurged and got one with a slide. This is perfect for lazy days where I don’t want to go anywhere but the kids don’t want to be inside. I swear my kids would live in their pool!

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Sprinklers – Just like the pool this is super important. **Just make sure you run the water for a bit before the kids play in it since it comes out scorching when you first turn it on!** I can hook up my sprinkler and the kids will be entertained for HOURS. They run around laughing in the water and its a cheap way to fill the long summer days.

Indoor Games/Crafts – my kids are now at the age where they love board games. I like to put them up high so they are only taken down when I can play with them so they always seem special. I also like to have a few crafts planned and ready to go for when the weather isn’t too nice. **I do not entertain my kids all day. They have to use their imaginations and play by themselves more often than not, I just like to keep a few things on hand for when I want to do some crafting and they want to join me.**

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Quick Food – Don’t confuse this with fast food. Quick food is usually something I prepare on Sunday and portion out to use during the week. I have a bin of snacks that they can’t get to without me and I make quick lunches and dinners. During the summer I don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen making food for them so unless they want to cook and bake with me we grab some quick food and have a picnic out back.

Movies – I let them stay up later during the summer. They don’t get to watch a lot of tv in general so I save up movies they want to see and we’ll do late movie nights with them. We pile blankets and pillows on the floor and have a sleepover in the living room. Usually I will make some popcorn and we’ll all snuggle together and enjoy the show. I love that they don’t watch a lot all the time because it makes these times even more special.

I’m sure there are plenty of other things that can be added to this list but for my family this is our basic summer survival list.

 

Mean Mommie

IMG_7056I’d like to start off by saying, I LOVE MY FAMILY. I love my girls and everything about being their mom but sometimes I am a mean mom. I am not always my girls friend because I have to be the parent and sometimes that isn’t always fun.

A while ago I read the book THE FIVE LOVE LANGUAGES by Gary Chapman and it was great. It really showed me a lot about myself and helped me to understand my husband better, but that’s a topic for another day. I am a giver. I show my love multiple ways but I find that the primary way I show love is by giving gifts and acts of service. That said I have shown my girls love by buying them things.

Almost every time we’ve gone to the store I get them something, a cheap toy or candy, something because I want them to know how loved they are by me. The problem is I’ve spent all my time giving them things and trying to have a good time that they have never learned to take care of those things.

It has been a constant battle to get them to not only clean their room but to keep it clean and at the end of the day, that’s my fault. They have been so overwhelmed with toys and books and clothes that every time they do anything it is like an avalanche of stuff. No matter how many times I’ve gone in and helped them clean and organize they have, or I should say had, too much stuff to keep in order.

Last night I was done. I was done fighting over clothes that found the floor before ever getting worn. I was done with their beds piled so high with toys they wouldn’t go to sleep at night and I was done with not being able to walk in their room since the floor was covered in toys.

I swept everything out of their room, EVERYTHING.

I took all the clothes out of the closet that they don’t need for the summer, their coats and sweaters. I left 3 dresses for each girl, 5 tee shirts and 3 tank tops. In their dresser they got 7 pairs of underwear, 3 pajamas and 7 bottoms (shorts and skirts).

I took ALL the toys. Every single toy that was in their bedroom was gone. I made them empty their beds, they got a blanket and a pillow and that was it.

In the past I’ve given them away or donated or thrown them out, but that wasn’t fair to anyone. I can’t afford to rebuy toys all the time so I bagged them all up and put them in the garage at my mom’s. As the girls learn to take care of their things they will have a chance to earn back their toys.

Now I would agree that it was extreme if this was not a recurring problem. At the time there were plenty of tears as I cleaned their room. When I had everything out of the room I assured them both that I loved them and they got their hugs and kisses and went to bed.

I wasn’t sure what to expect today. My girls don’t watch a lot of television because I find when they watch it more they tend to have bad attitudes so their screen time is super limited to the point where most days they don’t watch any.

What were they going to do all day?

L had toys in her room and there were 2 baskets in the living room with some more of L’s toys. I told M she could play with them but there weren’t any toys allowed in her bedroom.

You know what didn’t happen? There wasn’t fighting like usual.

Normally my girls fight over the same toy and now there were less toys, significantly less, and there weren’t the same fights. Normally by noon my house looks like a toy store blew up in my living room, and yet my house still looked like a house! M and L played nicely with the dolls that were in the living room, they ran and played outside like usual and they were happy.

When I picked up K from school I was sure there would be an attitude about how she wanted her toys back. Empty promises that she would clean up her room and take care of them.

Nope.

She walked into her room, turned to me with the biggest smile on her face and said, “my room is still clean!” She ran and gave me a hug then went to play outside with her sisters.

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Bedtime tonight was easy. They all happily cleaned up the few toys in the living room. I let them each take one of their stuffed animals back to keep in their beds and that was it. No fighting and yelling. They didn’t stay up for two hours after I put them to sleep playing in their beds.

K and M hugged their toys and obediently went to sleep.

I have felt for so long that we had too much stuff. It was overwhelming to me so I can just imagine how they were feeling. I didn’t want to take it away because I was so sure it would be too hard for them.

Ends up, they don’t care. They don’t care about the hangers full of clothes that they never wore and all those clothes in their drawers ended up on the floor because they were digging for the only thing they ever wore anyway.

My girls are happy just being kids. They played in the sprinkler in the back yard and then came inside to a clean house and an unstressed mommy.

Before I would be urging them to clean and reprimanding them for not taking care of stuff. I would yell about toys they didn’t put away and clothes that I washed five times that they never wore.

Tonight we all played outside together. We read night time stories and ate snacks. As K got into bed she said to me, “thank you mommy.”

I had to ask why.

She told me that it was so nice having a clean room and just having fun with me. I asked her if she was sad that I took all the stuff away yesterday and she told me that she didn’t miss it at all. She said she didn’t need all the toys because today she had fun.

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Parents today are so overwhelmed with EVERYONE telling them that if they love their kids they’ll get them all the latest toys, and I bought into that for a long time. We all want to give our kids the world. We don’t want them to not have all the things everyone else has.

So yes, I was mean, I took away their toys but I gave them back me. I gave them back a childhood filled with imagination and creativity. I gave them their time back to enjoy just being a kid. I am sure they’ll get some toys back but we aren’t going to ever have so many that they can’t take care of them again!

 

 

The Day After Mother’s Day

This weekend was amazing! My family went out of their way to spoil me and we got to spend time with our extended family as well. I wasn’t feeling great so I got to do lots of nothing which is exactly what I wanted.

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But that brings us to today… the day after Mother’s Day…

Today might be the day I dread most out of the entire year.

See yesterday, and all weekend, my family didn’t want me to lift a finger. They wanted me to relax and not worry about anything in the house, and really, how can I say no to that?!

Yesterday I was showered with hugs and kisses and sloppy cards that I will cherish forever and some awesome wall art my husband made for me with the girls. Yesterday I slept in until I could no longer ignore the screams from my girls and my husbands hushed voice trying in vain to quiet them.

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Today I woke up to all the laundry I should have done this weekend. Piles and piles of laundry that needed to be done, but not so badly that anyone else would do them for me.

Today I woke up to my girls room destroyed after I had spent hours cleaning and organizing it with them last week.

Today I saw that L had taken her diaper liners and strung them out about her room like beautiful crepe paper.

So today not only is it back to the grind for me but I feel like I’m behind the eight ball here. I don’t just have to run for my usual errands I have to try to catch up with all the stuff I should have done this weekend.

Holidays are awesome and I LOVE that my family cares for me so much that they want to make my day as special as possible but the day after a holiday is hard work!

Every other holiday its just a given that mom is going to be sneaking in a little work, making sure the dishes get done and the rooms don’t get demolished. Any other holiday its socially acceptable for a mom to organize that pesky corner in the living room that seems to collect blankets just like it would dust.

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But not Mother’s Day.

I don’t know if it’s just me but the day after Mother’s Day is a lot of work. It’s all the work I should have done on Mother’s Day but my kids didn’t want me to.

So today I will be folding the laundry and washing all our counters (seriously every counter is sticky, how does that even happen?!) and remembering that my family loves me so much they want me to relax all day on Sunday, but not quite so much that they’re going to pick up the slack.

And while I may dread today, I love my family and I wouldn’t want it any other way!

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A Letter To All The “Rockers” Out There

IMG_7177A few months back I heard about this awesome idea, rocking! Basically, for those who haven’t heard of the craze yet, you paint rocks and leave them for others to find. The idea would be for you to make some one else smile. You leave a little piece of happiness to brighten another persons day.

I LOVE THIS IDEA!

I was so excited the first time I went out with my kids and we found some. I explained that they couldn’t keep all of them since we didn’t have any to leave. So they could each keep one and the rest we hid again during the walk.

The girls had a blast.

I had a blast.

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I went and bought rocks to paint. We spend hours upon hours painting our rocks. Maybe they weren’t the prettiest. Maybe they weren’t anything to brag about but I knew that this made my kids happy and when someone else happened to come upon a painted rock randomly it would make them happy too. It didn’t matter if my daughter’s heart looked more like a blob, or if M’s were just singular colors that I later added sparkles to. My kids loved them and to them they were perfect.

We went on many walks just hiding our rocks all over the county. We didn’t post where or when we hid them. We didn’t put pictures on the Facebook page every time we painted rocks, or every time we found them for that matter. The idea was spreading happiness and that was happening.

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Then came the day that my rocks were found. Kids were excited no matter how badly chipped the paint had become, my first few attempts weren’t great. Still they were there and someone claimed them and that was cool.

I didn’t do it to see my rocks on Facebook. I did it with the intention of never seeing my rocks again, because they were happiness that I was spreading and to me that was the whole point.

The first few rocks that were found people grumbled because I didn’t label the back with the name of the Facebook group.

How dare I leave a rock with no name on it for credit?!

How could anyone possibly just enjoy a rock without jumping on social media to pat someone else on the back?!

I explained then that I will not label my rocks. I was not “rocking” to grow a Facebook group, I was not painting my rocks so that I could even be part of the group. If someone found a rock of mine and wanted to label it themselves they could, because you know what? The minute I placed a rock to be found by someone else I stopped owning it! I didn’t do it for anything other than to spread a little joy in the world.

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I stopped following the page because more and more people would go and complain that their kids didn’t find any on a particular day. Or worse they labeled anyone who didn’t follow their “rules” a TROLL.

If you were to go on the page and ask they would nicely tell you, there are no rules. They ask that you label them to help other people understand the movement and I get that but other than that there aren’t any rules to follow.

There is no standard for how these rocks need to be painted. Just because one isn’t up to some imagined standard another has doesn’t devalue it. You don’t like the random blob my kid painted on a rock, just leave it there for someone else. Don’t go on Facebook with a to-do list for others telling them when their kids rocks aren’t “pretty” enough they should add something to it so it will be nicer for someone else.

If my kid paints a rock and they finish and think its beautiful there is no way I would change a thing on it! I will proudly place my rocks and if people don’t like them they don’t have to take them, or they can take them and repaint them to their standards, it doesn’t matter to me. What matters is that a person can look at the work of another and decide its not good enough to make another person happy. I’m not an artist but I am a person who loves others and I know that what I do and what my kids do will always be good enough! I think everyone needs to realize that about themselves too!

Just because you find a rock it doesn’t obligate you to leave one, or put that one back, or even mention it on social media. You can walk and collect every single rock you find and not leave one and you know what? That doesn’t make you a troll! That doesn’t make you a bad person because your kid is stoked to find rocks and wants to hang on to them all. Maybe you don’t proclaim your every breath on social media and that’s okay!

You can’t get mad when you leave something for someone else to find and you don’t hear what happens to it. You can’t control everything. When you place a rock with the expectation of hearing about it on Facebook. With the idea in your head that you want someone to post it so you can shout to the whole world what a great person you are then you have lost the whole meaning of this movement.

From the beginning it was about spreading joy and happiness with nothing in return.

So I am leaving the group. I am done with the games and judgement and the idea that someone can call a kid who might have nothing more to find joy in than a rock hunt, a troll. I will not be a part of the rock shaming or the condescending over ROCKS. Do you understand what I’m saying?! THEY’RE ROCKS! A grown adult can get their panties in a wad over a rock my 3 year old didn’t paint pretty enough?!

Now there are some good people in the group. Not everyone is complaining and judging but there has been enough to leave a sour taste in my mouth.

I will keep painting rocks, my kids love it. And you want to find a troll look no further. I will let my kids pick up each and every rock they see if they want to and there is nothing you can do about it, except stop. Either stop leaving them if it bothers you that much, or stop caring. Sure we rehome 99% of the rocks that we find, goodness knows I don’t need rocks in my house, but how do you know the ones that you’ve called trolls before aren’t doing the exact same thing?

Yes, I will paint my rocks, I will hide them, I will let my kids look until they’re contentment but I will not be a part of any group that can turn a beautiful thing into a control issue.

Leave a rock with no expectation except to make another person smile. In the end, that’s all that matters anyway!fullsizeoutput_577f

Crafting With K

Having three girls is so much fun! They’re all so different and its always a blast watching them learn and figure out what they really love to do. K is my oldest and she loves to craft with me!

I love to craft with her too, but it can be hard because she wants to go as fast as I do and sometimes doesn’t slow down to really learn what she needs to be doing. (I am exactly the same way so I often have to go back and relearn things I have been doing subpar in the past.)

This week is teacher appreciation week at K’s school and so I decided we would try our hand at crafting together again. Her teachers favorite animal is an elephant so today we tried making her an elephant pillow.

I freehand drew a pattern (which is probably where we went wrong to begin with!) and drew it out on freezer paper. K picked out the materials she wanted to use and we got started. Once it was all cut out and pinned I let her go at it with my sewing machine and then she stuffed it up. I made a quick tail and closed up the back.

K loves it and it’s cute enough for a 6 year old gift to her teacher but I’m not sure how much it really looks like an elephant.

Sometimes the things we make aren’t as important as the time we take to make them. I know that K learns a little more every single day and maybe her “elephant” isn’t perfect but it’s made with love.

In the future I know that K won’t need my help with making her skirts and toys, she’ll have learned what she can from me and maybe be showing her little sisters a few tricks. For now I’ll cherish the moments that she wants to sit with me and make gifts for her friends and family. I’ll enjoy these moments where she listens intently to all I tell her and earnestly desire to learn all I am saying.

 

My 4th Baby

No this isn’t a pregnancy announcement.

You see, I was pregnant but now I’m not. As my due date inches ever closer my empty stomach aches and consumes me. I should be huge right now with a baby kicking and rolling inside of me.

I should be picking out cute pajamas and packing my hospital bag but I don’t get to do that. I sit alone, watching pregnancy announcements and newborn pictures as I’m screaming on the inside.

My baby was wanted and prayed for and so loved. But I will never hold my baby. I will never look in his or her face and I will never know why.

As a culture we don’t talk about miscarriage. It seems shameful and embarrassing. Like it was a failure on my part. If I mention it I get a flippant remark like, oh you’re young you can try again. And I will, I will try again but that doesn’t make my little angel any less wanted or loved.

We don’t talk about the death of a tiny life because it might make other people uncomfortable. While I die silently on the inside I don’t want to say anything for fear that you might not want to hear it. And when I do say something I fear what your response may be.

I would love to tell you what the “right” response is but as far as I can tell there doesn’t seem to be one.

Everyone wants to talk about infertility, they want to talk about not being able to get pregnant, and to a degree I’ve dealt with that too, but miscarriages are shameful. We can say to the world loudly that we can’t get pregnant but God forbid we mourn the life that we loved with our whole heart that we will never meet.

We fear telling people when we get pregnant in case we lose the baby because it somehow embarrasses us. And because of this stigma of shame we mourn alone. We suffer through some of our darkest days ashamed to reach out for help.

Countless mothers have angel babies. I didn’t know until I became one of them. When you mention it to another mom all of a sudden she can release the grief she felt obligated to carry alone.

Many reading this are close friends of mine, and yet few knew that I lost my baby in October. Few knew that I should be welcoming another little miracle in just 3 weeks.

As the date inches closer I mention my baby more. I long to talk about the life that was so dearly wanted. I want to let others know they aren’t alone, its okay to talk about it.

Only when I was going through the loss of my precious baby did people closest to me confide their own losses to me. I am not ashamed of my baby who is now in heaven. I don’t know why it is this way, but I know that I will always love my little angel.

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5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Cloth Diapering

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  1. They aren’t as gross as you think they are.

I know what you’re thinking if you don’t cloth diaper… ew who wants to deal with the poop and wash them?!

To be honest that wasn’t my big issue. I just didn’t like the idea of my kids smelling faintly of pee that never goes away. I didn’t like the idea of stains, and yes their can be staining, on something I’m putting on my kids bum.

If you start when your baby is exclusively breastfed you can just wash the whole diaper, you don’t even need to rinse it! But even when your baby gets older if you get in a good routine of rinsing right away its no worse than cleaning your baby’s bum with a disposable. I promise you whether you cloth diaper or use disposable you WILL get poo on you, sorry but that’s part of what you signed up for when you became a parent.

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  1. Diaper rashes don’t have to be as common as they are.

I didn’t cloth diaper with my first and I didn’t start until my 2nd was older and her disposables were exploding all over her bed in a gross gel mess since she was such a heavy wetter.

My girls got rashes all the time. Like ALL the time!

At the time I was a new mom and it was normal. I expected it, I mean why else were people giving me tubs of diaper rash cream at my baby shower?! Obviously my kid was going it get a rash and I just had to deal with it when it came.

NOPE!

My girls got rashes because of all the chemicals in the disposable diapers. It didn’t matter if I left a wet diaper on M for 5 minutes or 5 hours she would get a rash. The wetness mixing with the chemicals on her sensitive skin was a recipe for disaster!

Now, I’m sure not all kids have the same problems, my girls admittedly have very sensitive skin, but that doesn’t mean that I had to be okay with it.

When I switched to cloth diapers I didn’t get anymore rashes… AT ALL!

I knew from the beginning I couldn’t use the same diaper rash cream because it can effect the absorbency so I went out and bought expensive diaper rash cream waiting with baited breath for the first incident. It never came. Like NEVER. M has not had a diaper rash since we switched to cloth! L hasn’t had one diaper rash in her entire life I don’t think except the time we went on vacation and used disposable since I couldn’t wash them properly on the road.

If I knew from the time I was pregnant with K that she didn’t have to suffer through rashes that sometimes got so bad she bled, I would have done cloth from the very beginning!

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  1. How to properly wash my diapers!

This was one thing I tried to prepare myself for while I was contemplating the switch with M. I read blogs and watched videos and did my best to learn what I needed to for the switch.

When you are starting out you see articles about “stripping” your diapers and which detergents to use and which will apparently cause your diapers to self destruct they’re so useless.

I’m going to tell you right now all of the diapers that I bought brand new and followed the proper washing routine have never had to be stripped with the expensive soaps that are inevitably linked to the blogs.

Those who know me know that I exclusively use Lil Helper Diapers and they are so helpful they have made youtube videos that cover absolutely everything you will ever ask concerning cloth diapers.

Rather than try to write it all out here is a link to the CEO of Lil Helper Diapers explaining how to wash them. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zd6s4MC5qqQ

Now I don’t use any other diapers but if I did I would wash them all the same way since this is a very effective routine!

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  1. They’re no harder than disposable.

I think the idea of cloth diapers can be daunting.

Its not the norm. Admittedly it is much more accepted now than it was just a decade ago, it’s kind of become a trend, but that doesn’t take any of the mystery out of it for those who use what I affectionately call “paper diapers”.

The idea of going out of the house with cloth can feel overwhelming. What if they need a diaper change? What if they poop? What if they leak?

Now when you leave the house with a kid you’re going to need to change them. No matter how well I try and time things I always have to have extra diapers with me when I’m out. For a while I was taking cloth wipes with me but since I use water with mine and wet them as I use them at home it’s been easier to just buy wipes from the store.

The only “extra” thing that you really need when you cloth diaper is a wet bag. That is simply a bag that can hold wet things without getting everything it touches wet. In a pinch I’ve used a plastic bag from the store.

I like to tell all my friends they need a wet bag even if they don’t cloth diaper because they’re SO useful! I use mine for wet bathing suits and it my kids need a change of clothes I throw the dirty ones in there so whatever mess they’ve gotten into isn’t getting into my bag!

So you have your wet bag and you’re out with you fluffy bottomed babe and they poop…

It happens.

If I am in a store I go and change them, snap my diaper up so everything in contained and deal with it at home. If I am at my mom’s or sisters I’ll rinse the poop out there and put the diaper in the wet bag and move on.

So essentially it’s the same as a disposable. The only difference is you don’t throw it out, you tuck it nicely in a cute wet bag and then wash it at home. And I have never had the smell emanate from the wet bag while carrying a little bomb with me.

At home its even easier! I put all my pee diapers right into the hanging wet bag I use until I wash them and I rinse the poop right away and put them in the bag as well. I don’t need a diaper genie and I don’t need to worry about having my trash stink because the stink is down the toilet where it belongs!

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  1. Not all cloth diapers are made equally!

Now this is the big thing I REALLY wish I knew from the beginning. Just like Huggies and Pampers and Luv’s and whatever other paper diapers are out there, there are a lot of different cloth diapers.

Not only are there different brands but there are different types! So many to look at and choose from it can become cripplingly overwhelming! I bought so many different kinds when I started. I went on BST pages and bought whatever I thought was a good deal. I snatched up adorable prints oblivious to the type or if it worked for me.

Pocket diapers are the cheapest. They are fine to start out with if that’s what you can afford but to be honest I spent a decent amount of money to get a lot and then I gave them all away. GAVE THEM AWAY! So for me buying cheap didn’t save me any money!

I didn’t like stuffing them and I didn’t like that the kinds I got would leak. I’m telling you though I bought whatever was a good “deal”. I tried just about every brand there is out there and then one day I stumbled across a review for Lil Helper Diapers.

In the review it stated that they had a “God Forbid Clause” where if you bought them and then you lost the baby they would refund you all your money no questions asked. It was a risk free way to try their diapers. The pure sweetness of that had me sold. I bought a pack of them and from that day forward I was hooked.

Slowly I replaced all of my diapers that I had previously bought. I donated them to different foundations, mailed them to moms from my mom’s group and gave what I had left to a friend at church.

If I had done better research I would have only bought Lil Helper Diapers and saved so much money! I have used the ones I have now through potty training M and with L from birth! They are so cute and soft and they have charcoal inserts so there is virtually no staining!

I guess as a little extra I’ll give you a number 6. for what I wish I knew before cloth diapering. I really wish I knew how much I would love it!

I love seeing my girls toddle around with a fluffy bum. I love just throwing a tee shirt on them and having them “dressed”.

I love that even when money gets tight I never have to worry if we’re going to have enough diapers.

I love that my girls NEVER have rashes anymore!

I love that L gets excited to pick out her diaper in the morning and she loves them just as much as I do.

Maybe cloth diapering isn’t right for everyone, and that’s fine, but maybe, just maybe, it’s worth looking into!

The Link below is my personal referral link for Lil Helper Diapers if you are interested in checking them out! Or even if you don’t use my reference link you should check them out!! http://www.lilhelperdiapers.com

http://go.referralcandy.com/share/HCBD76Q

Days Like Today

There are some days where I feel like I have it all together, and then there are days like today.

Today I have scrolled through my Facebook feed not really reading anything, hoping for a good enough distraction to justify the multiple baskets of laundry waiting to be folded on my couch.

Today I have tried to convince my kids that cartoons in mommy’s bed all morning would be fun just so could try and squeeze in a few more minutes rest (spoiler alert – it didn’t work).IMG_5640

Today I only read one chapter in the Bible because I was too distracted to even focus on the words.

You know what? That’s okay.

Some days we need to take it easy and relax, enjoying our kids where they are. The laundry will wait for me to get to it later (although I secretly wish it would put itself away…) while I cherish watching M play in the living room.IMG_2377

I can sit here and close my eyes listening to her beautiful voice as L takes her nap.

Later I will put on Andrew Wommack Ministries and listen to him preach the word of God as I tackle some laundry. Maybe I will sneak into bed early tonight when I get the girls down.

I have learned in my almost seven years of being a mom that there is definitely a balance. Some days I’m like a supermom. I have the house spotless, I cook amazing meals that everyone loves. I have the kids bake sweets with me and at the same time manage to make them new skirts or hair bows or whatever they seem to be asking for.IMG_6528

Those days there is no laundry sitting on the couch and I want to workout rather than nap. Those days I chase the girls in the sprinklers in the back yard and plan elaborate dinner picnics for them to enjoy outside.

Days like today make those days more special. Today is an average day. The house isn’t dirty but it’s nothing to brag about. Today I have a roast ready to go into the oven for dinner and I might even make some quick rolls for the meal.

The key is to remember that days like today balance those days where it feels like you can do everything. Days like today aren’t less special because there is magic in watching your kid use their imagination, having conversations with their toys. There is magic in resting in the knowledge that your worth isn’t based on what you do or don’t do accomplish in any given day.

There is magic in the days like today because M will smile up at me and I know that she is so secure in my love for her. I know that she doesn’t worry about the clutter on the couch or what she’s going to eat. Even when I don’t feel like I’m doing my best, my girls know that I will never let anything happen to them and they don’t need a super mom, they just need me.

When you’re having a day that maybe you don’t feel like you’re doing enough for you or your kids, just look at their perfect faces. Just smile at them and cherish the beautiful moment where they emanate their love right back at you. Even on your worst days you are all your kids need and you are enough!IMG_5555.JPG