Friday, December 2, 2011

¡Ay! Que Alivio

During my first year of college, first semester to be exact, I wrote a paper for my ¨Español 101¨ Class... not my favorite class... but I am very proud of my paper.  I keep a copy of my one page paper with my New Testament, and yesterday it occurred to me to post it here :-) Hey, I only have one copy and if I lose it, I will not be a happy camper.

I apologize ahead of time to any readers who are not fluent in Spanish.  Here it is :

¡Ay! Que Alivio

¿Podria ser? ¿Es posible? ¿Como sabia este hombre lo que estaba pasando?  Hablaba, y cada uno de sus palabras eran contestaciones a mis preguntas.  Era como si alguien estuviera ultrajando mi mente.  Contestaba lo que sentia.  Lo que desde hace mucho tiempo me estaba inquietando.  Se que lo hice.  Todavia me acuerdo cuando lo hice.  De hecho, es algo que nunca podre olvidar.  Yo entendia exactamente lo que estaba haciendo.  Era muy joven, pero yo entendia, hasta te puedo explicar exactamente como fue, aunque, ultimamente, he tenido dudas.  Algo o alguien estaba causando pensamientos de inseguridad.  Sus palabras eran como una espada, apuñalando mi corazon.  Sentia conviccion y a la misma vez, una cotestacion a mi duda.  De repente senti una necesidad, una necesidad de pasar al frente, pero mis pies no se movian.  Senti temor de lo que fuera a pensar la gente.  No me movi, mi cuerpo empezo a temblar y no sabia porque, pero me imaginaba que tenia algo que ver con lo que iba a pasar.  No aguantaba mas, queria estar cien por ciento segura, queria borrar esa duda. Respire profundamente, me pare de mi asiento, baje las escaleras, y me dirigi hacia el frente.  Alli me encontre con una joven de la iglesia, el altar estabe lleno, vi que no era la unica con el deseo de librarme de mis dudas.  Me llevo a un rincon al lado del altar, le explique lo que me estaba pasando, y ella me enseño como podia estar cien por ciento segura.  Alli mismo, cerre mis ojos e incline mi rostro, y oramos juntas.  Inmediatamente senti un alivio, mi carga desaparecio, no quedaba ni una sola duda en mi mente.  ¡Yo sabia! Despues de muchos años de inseguridad, yo estaba segura de mi salvacion.





Friday, November 18, 2011

It´s the Little Things that Matter







Now this is something that I truly appreciate !!! 
I know that a certain few of you would too :-)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Why Cloth Diaper ???


I recently surveyed a few of my Facebook ¨Mama Friends¨, I wanted to know if they would consider cloth diapers, If they had no interest at all, or if they wanted to know a little more about it.  Well the results are as expected. The yes and nevers were equal, and a few mamas wanted to know more about cd´s.
How exciting :-) Together there were more mamas who would cloth diaper and mamas who wanted a little more info, than those who said no!


Lets get started


There are many reasons parents choose to cloth diaper their child/ren. 
The Top 3 are:
1.Cost Saving
2.Health
3.Environment

Cost 
Disposable
It is estimated that a baby will need @6,000 diapers during his first 2 years of life.
Lets say a baby uses 60 diapers a week at an average cost of @ .23 (store brand) per diaper, 60 diapers a week at .23 is $13.80,  multiply that number by 52 (weeks in a  year)   $13.80 x 52 = $717.60. Multiply the product by 2.   $717.60 x 2 = $1,435.20.
That is how much it will cost to diaper your child for 2 years, and hopefully your child is an overachiever and potty trains by age 2 (some do).
If you decide to have more than 1 child than multiply the that number by however many kids you do have.


(Keep in mind that as your baby gets bigger his diaper size will too, the price may stay the same as size 1 diapes, but the amount of diapers you get, will go down) 



That is a LOT of money !!!!!!!!!


Cloth 
You can go the most economical route, or you can go all out with cloth diapers.  Since we used a store brand for the estimated cost of disposable diapers, I am going to be using prefolds in our cloth comparison (second to cheapest option).


Prices of prefolds and covers can vary depending on brand and if you buy new or pre-owned.


To make things simple take the Econobum brand by Cotton Babies (The makers of Bumgenius) It is a great way to diaper your baby for less with a trusted brand name product.
A pack of 12 onesize prefolds, 3 onesize covers and 1 wetbag only costs $48.95. If you buy 3 (enough to wash every 3 days) you can diaper your child from birth to potty training for only $146.85.


(Keep in mind that as your child grows out of the newborn stage, he will most likely not be needing 12 diaper changes a day, so you can even get by with only 2 packs of the econobum and diaper your child for under $100)

Plus cloth diapers can be used on multiple children. I would add about $50 to the total for extras or replacements per extra child.  We will just round up to $200

So cost wise, it is a wise choice to use cloth, it is VERY healthy for your wallet :-)


Health
Disposable
It sounds kind of funny to say ¨Ingredients¨ when talking about a diaper, a diaper should be simple; however, when it comes down to what goes into the process of making a disposable, they are anything but simple.
Here are some of the ¨Active Ingredients¨ found in each disposable.


Per diaper: 
one cup of crude oil  - the plastic
four trees - the liner
chemically bleached non-woven fabric - the filler
sodium polyacrylate - a superabsorbent polymer gel added to the filler
adhesives and a soup of toxic chemicals, all fused together.


Disposable Diaper Ingredients
NBC12 covers diapering


It is almost impossible to live a completely toxic free lifestyle, but we can make better choices, especially when it comes to our little ones.


Cloth
There are various options available in modern cloth diapers. The materials used can be all natural; such as, organic cotton, hemp, bamboo or some people prefer using microfiber or Zorb inserts.  Either route, anything that touches your babies precious skin is soft and fluffy, no need to state ´cloth-like¨on the box... IT IS CLOTH !!!


ENVIRONMENT 
Disposable
Most people don´t think much about this, but disposable diapers take hundreds of years to break down. They say it takes from 250 - 500, and seeing as disposable diapers have only been on the market for a little over 50 years, that means, the first disposables are still intact, with fecal matter wrapped tightly inside, somewhere in a landfill.
Over 92% of single use diapers end up in landfills, and even though the instructions on the packaging states that all fecal matter should be flushed down the toilet before disposing of the diaper,,,lets be real here, how many moms do you know really take the time (have the time) to do that ??? I know I didn´t    :-Z


Our landfills can only hold so much, they are getting pretty ¨full¨and disposable diapers play a major part in their contents.




Cloth
Even though many people may argue that the water it takes to wash your cdiapers causes more of an impact on the environment... there is not a whole lot of research to PROVE it... and in my opinion, using water causes a lesser impact than throwing garbage into the ground :-)


To wrap up this LOOOONG post, using cloth is smart for your pocket, good for your babies health, and better for the environment.





Monday, October 17, 2011

Kitchen Breakdown :Z

At least twice a week I have what I like to call ¨A Kitchen Breakdown¨.

One of the challenges of living here, is living in a compact place :-) Hey, it could be worse, we could be on the streets.

It can be very frustrating ... Just a few dishes in the sink makes it look like a wreck. It is sometimes a hassle to cook since only one burner really works (The other one works, but it is a less than ¨simmer¨ setting)

So, as inspiration to remind me not to feel overwhelmed when I am having one of those moments... here are some pictures of my ¨Clean¨ kitchen :-)





Friday, October 14, 2011

Cloth Diaper Care

So how do you wash  and care for a cloth diaper anyway ?
Most people assume that washing cdiapers has to be rocket science... IT´S NOT !!! trust me.

For regular changing...
If the diaper is wet all you need to do is remove the insert (If you are using pockets) and place everything in your wet bag or diaper pail.

If the diaper is dirty and the poop is ¨plopable¨, than plop it into the toilet and place the diaper in the pail.  If the poop is not ¨plopable¨ than you remove as much possible (diaper sprayers come in handy right about now),  remove the insert, and place the diaper in the pail.


The basic wash routine is...
1. Cold Rinse - Rinsing your diapers out before the wash will remove any excess waste you were unable to get.  Be sure you use COLD water, or else you will just end up baking the waste into your diapers.

2. Hot Wash with detergent - Obviously this is the wash cycle,,, it washes your diapers :-)

3. Cold Rinse - An extra rinse will make sure that all the soap has been rinsed out of your diapers... you don´t want any build-up or else you might run into leaking and repelling.

I recommend starting off with this simple routine.  If you run into any issues, than tweek it to suit your needs....

For example.  Ivan is now a toddler and he eats a variety of different foods. When a persons diet changes, so does his waste, no different with toddlers. On diaper laundry day, I was noticing an amonia smell coming from the diapers. I had never had this problem before. So I decided to just strip my diapers (More on this later) to see if maybe I just had some detergent build-up. It worked for about 4 days, and once again I was smelling amonia.

I did a little research and found that this is a normal occurence with toddlers. Also it was summer time, and heat causes a quicker chemical reaction with urine... It turns it into amonia faster.  No wonder I was having amonia problems, the hook I hung my wet bag on was getting direct sunlight for atleast 7 hours a day. Now sunlight is great for diapers,,,CLEAN DIAPERS, not dirty diapers.

So after I did another soak and got rid of the amonia smell, I changed up my washing routine...

MY CURRENT WASH ROUTINE

1. Every night, no matter if it´s wash day or not, Dirty diapers go into the washer for a COLD rinse cycle, this way I can make sure that as much urine is removed from the diapers between wash days.

2.  I store the diapers in a dark place - THE BATHROOM, and I dont close the bag. You probably think I am crazy not to want to shut the bag and lock all the smelliness in... But really, the more air is circulating through your diapers, the less smell you have, and since they are rinsed out... You really can´t smell them

WASH DAY
1. Cold rinse

2. Hot Wash with detergent

3. Hot wash without detergent

4. Cold rinse - If I have the time, If not I skip this step

So far so good, I have been able to keep the amonia away for a whole month :-)


*****
Striping your diapers...

Ever so often maybe, once a month or every few months, you should strip your diapers :-)
Overtime, diapers will get a little detergent build-up, you might notice a little stink after cleaning, or even some repelling.  This problem has a simple solution. STRIP YOUR DIAPERS:

TO STRIP YOUR DIAPERS

After you have cleaned your diapers, using your regular wash routine.

1. Put them in the bathtub, top loading washing machine, or in my case, Ivans big orange bath tub :-)

2. Add 2 Tbsp. of your detergent... I recommend Rockin´Green (I use this detergent and it smells soooo yummy)

3. Fill with HOT water,,,VERY HOT

4. Let the diapers soak for at least 1 hr. I recommend letting them go overnight.

5. Run a few hot wash cycles until you see no more suds.

6. Enjoy your fresh diapers :-)





This Weeks Favorites

While cleaning up the kitchen yesterday, I noticed Ivan was being really quiet , so I peeked around the corner to see what he was up to...

He loves his Dr. Suess book

Getting a closer look,,maybe if it wasn´t upside down it would be easier to read

Pretty edited picture.. without diaper laundry hanging over the side of the crib :-)

Big News !!!

We are expecting Baby #2 in April of 2012 :-)

Here is a week 14 belly shot ;-P

Excuse the clothespins on the curtain, It was pretty early inthe morning.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Breastfeeding in Public... Yeah or Nay???

We have been living in Spain for almost a year now.  Last year we arrived right at the end of summer, so this was our first ¨European Summer¨.  Most people think that Puertorican´s don´t wear enough clothes, but they have no idea what they are talking about.

I am ready for this summer to be over, not only because it has been scorching hot, but becasue I am so sick of seeing topless and naked people (So much that I close my eyes while I take a shower... just kidding !!!) I think I have seen every type of boob out there... white, black, pale, tan, huge, microscopic, wrinkly, taught, old, young... the list goes on and on.

When I just so happen to glance at a naked adult, it really just makes me want to gag. I think that what really ticks me off is when I see kids running around naked. I know that the excuse is ¨There just babies, it doesn´t matter¨ ... YES it does !!! It´s not like you are in the privacy of your own home, your out in public. The other day there was a boy that could´t be younger than 7 years old stripping down right in front of me, what in the world !!! It seems like people have forgetten to teach their children the importance of decency.
I have been told that I will grow accustomed to it... I hope that I never do.

Okay,,, so lets get back on track,, sorry, I needed to vent.

Breastfeeding in public is a touchy subject. Ever since the invention of the bottle, many people have come to the conclusion that there is no longer any need to breastfeed a baby anywhere else than your home.
Having the convenience of bottles has not only discouraged the act of breastfeeding, it has also encouraged formula feeding. Hey, why take the time to nurse your baby, when you can prepare a bottle and ask your mom or hubby to feed baby.

Bottles can be used in conjunction with breastfeeding.  Many moms have to, or choose to return to work after having their baby.  I admire moms who go to work everyday.  I have to be honest and say that I HIGHLY admire those that decide to continue to breastfeed and pump breastmilk while at work.  It is a job on its own, not only the time that it takes to actually pump milk, but the storage, cleaning, steralizing, and packing ... it all takes time.

There are also times when a breastfeeding mom, needs to go out for a few hours, run a few errands, or just have some alone time. A bottle can be a ¨sanity-saver¨ . The sticky situation in this case can be a baby who doesn´t want to take a bottle :-) Breastfed babies can be very picky, I think they are smart, They want the real thing !!!

My son was a picky one, and it wan´t until he was past the 8 month mark that he grew out of it.  We tried a few bottles, including but not limited to... Milk bank, breastflow, avent, soothie, the bottles that came with my medela pump...which in the end, he didn´t mind.  Finally I splurged and payed 18 dollars for the  mimijumi, very hungry baby bottle... and it worked for us for the few times that we needed to bottle feed.
I love the packaging...If I remember correctly , on the side of the box it says, my mommys milk :-)

So cute, I really don´t know why I didn´t keep it :-Z
 Okay... once again, back on track.

The big debate,,, breastfeeding in public, yeah or nay? covers? no covers? nursing rooms? anywhere you want? discreet nursing? whiping the boob out?
There are so many diferent ways that moms manage to nurse their little ones in public. which at times can be very tricky :-) especially if your baby is fidgety.

I think that one of the reasons why it is such a big deal, is because we live in an unbalanced world.

I am a Christian and I believe that God created us all with a purpose, everything about us (our body) has a purpose as well.  When it comes to breast, they are dual purposed ;-) One of those purposes is most definitely asthetic (beauty, sexual, pleasing to the eyes).The other one is nurturing (to feed and console our baby) The imbalance comes when we fail to recgonize the dual nature of the boob.

Now, it is my opinion that the first purpose of the boob, was the asthetic ... God created Adam, put him in the Garden of Eden and when he saw that it was not good for man to be alone, he created him a help meet, EVE !!! (Here it comes) and when he saw her,,he said WO- MAN !!!  I had to put the joke in there ... Well I have no idea what he said or how he felt.  But I am pretty sure that he really liked what he saw, hey where did you think Cain and Abel and the rest of humanity came from.  Obviously, once Eve had her children, she breastfed them (boob purpose number 2).

The Bible is very clear about the fact that we are supposed to be modest in the way that we behave and dress.  I believe that this principal should be carried out in every aspect of our lives.  Yes, even when it comes to breastfeeding.

Just to fill you in, my son is almost 20 months old and he has not yet weaned.  He pretty much eats most foods you give him (everything a 1.5 year old can eat)  so we don´t nurse much in public anymore. If you haven´t read my recent post about Nursing in public , Oh The Places you will nurse... Move over Dr. Suess, than click on the link now. I have nursed many places, and I am about 95% sure that I have managed to do so in a modest way, WITHOUT COVERING UP MY CHILD.  If nursing covers are your thing, well than go for it. Covers never worked for us, I bought a really cute one and had to return it because the second I put it on, Ivan looked like he was having a panic attack :-) It was a little funny.

I am sure that many , if not most people don´t believe the way I do about nursing in public... and that is okay.

-Do I think that you should just whip out your boob and nurse your baby in front of everyone present? personally... NO. Would I give a bad look, and mock or bad talk a mom who does...NO.  I would probably defend her right for feeding her child. Hey, some woman can manage to do that without anyone knowing, I on the other hand have been very well endowed and believe me, It isn´t as pretty when your boob is bigger than your baby´s head ;-)

-Do I think that if there is a Nursing room provided than you should nurse there?  No, I think that Mom and baby should have the liberty to nurse where they please.



Breastfeeding is a natural thing and our unbalanced world needs to balance itself out. I think that Nursing moms play a big part in this. Lets face it, not everyone wants to see boobs, not every mom wants people seeing their boobs ... me ! and some people could care less. It´s ironic how most of those who don´t agree with public nursing, don´t mind lingerie adds ... which sometimes show even more skin.

The important thing is that we respect eachother. Which means, people around nursing moms, don´t stare, don´t give bad looks, don´t invade their space... just let them feed their baby. Nobody likes being stared at while they are eating.  Moms, respect the fact that others also have rights.  The world we live in is getting further and further away from modesty, breastfeeding is a beautiful thing; unfortunately, some people don´t realize it.  Let´s help them remember.




Saturday, September 17, 2011

Types of Cloth Diapers

I am going to start from the most basic (Old Fashioned) and work my way up :-)

Flats
Flat Diapers are pretty much a sheet of fabric. One ply. Quick dry time and the most cost effective you can get. So cost effective, you can even make them out of an old bed sheet or t-shirts that you already have.
Flat diapers fit a range of sizes, you just need to learn how to fold it onto your baby.  You can use either a snappi or diaper pins to secure it onto your child. Flat Diapers are not water proof and NEED a cover if you want them to be.
flat diaper

One of many flat diaper folds


Prefolds
Prefolds cost just a bit more than Flats. They were created to make the diapering process simpler, less folding than with flats, because they have less material. They have multiple layers, with more absorbancy in the wet zone.  They are reffered to as 2x6x2, or 4x6x4 etc. which means that a 4x6x4 has 4 layers on the left, 6 layers in the center, and 4 layers on the right. This is a very popular option, especially for newborns, who go through what feels like millions of diapers a day, and pretty much anyone who wants to diaper the cheapest way without so much folding.  You can find pre-folds in walmart and people use them as burp cloths. Your best bet is to buy on-line !!! gerber isn´t known for there quality prefolds, so don´t waste your time or money.
Prefolds are not water proof and NEED a diaper cover if you want them to be.
Prefold fastened with a snappi

Chinese Prefolds


Fitted Diapers
Fitted Diapers have the shape of an easy diaper (aio) but are not water proof, the whole thing is made out of absorbent material; making this a good idea for nighttime diapering. They sometimes have closures, but most likely won´t, you can use a snappi or diaper pins to fasten onto your baby. Another option is to just put a cover on top, this really takes care of the fastening onto your baby part and you wont need to use pins or snappi. Fitted Diapers are not water proof and NEED a diaper cover if you want them to be.
Fitted Diaper

Fitted Diaper


Diaper Covers
A diaper cover is what you place over the prefold, flat, or fitted diaper to add a water proof outer. Diaper covers are usually made out of one of 3 materials. PUL, fleece, or wool. PUL being the cheapest and wool usually the most expensive. They can all be used more than once (as long as they haven´t been soiled with you know what). PUL comes in either velcro or snap closures, fleece and wool are usually the pull up type, but ocassionally fleece covers have velcro or snap closures.
Fleece Cover

Wool Cover

PUL Cover

Pocket Diapers
Pocket Diapers are quick and easy. They consist of 2 parts, The water proof outer with a lining and  opening (either in the front or back) and the insert. Pocket diapers come with either velcro or snap closures  Pocket diapers are a convenient way to diaper your baby. They are quick drying and are very easy to use, no folding or pinning, just fasten onto your baby.
Pocket Diaper


All in One
The AIO diaper is the most convenient diaper out there. They are the most similar to there disposable counterparts. there is no stuffing the insert into the pocket, no pinning the diaper onto baby, no folding, no cover needed.  AIO´s are a one step diaper. You simply fasten the diaper onto your baby and Voila,  thats it !!!
All in One diaper

All in One Diaper
There are other variations to each of these categories, but this is the most general explanation I can give. Let me know if you have any questions.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Cloth Diapers ??? what? how ?

Lately I have been getting a lot of questions from friends and family about cloth diapers... How do you use them? What type of diaper is that? How about washing them? So, this is what I am going to do...

I am going to write a few posts about the basics... this way, I won´t have to write and re-write the same information for multiple people ( Not that I mind... It is my pleasure to help out,,, this will just make it quicker and easier for everyone ).

Topics I wil be covering :

1. What is a cloth diaper and the different types of cloth diapers
2. How do I care for my cloth diapers
3. Updated cloth diaper stash ( my diapers,,, favorites and not so favorites)
4. Cloth diaper accesories
5. Why you should really consider cloth diapering

This list may change :-)
stay tuned ...


Friday, September 2, 2011

This Weeks Favorites

Here are a few pictures from this week :-)

Rub-a-dub-dub Ivan´s in the tub :-)

Bubbles are yummy . . .

My big boy  18 mo. (This pic. was actually taken @2 weeks ago)

LOVE

From Daddy with love <3

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Oh The Places You will Nurse... Move over Dr. Suess

In my 18 months experience I have nursed in many different places,,, here are all the places I can remember.

1. Hospital
2. Home
3. Walking around the house
4. In the shower
5. At Church
6. In the car
7. Leaning over the car seat while baby was strapped in ... safety first
8. In Parking lots
9. In Planes
10. With certain family members watching very closely that even have to get close enough to touch Ivans´ head ... for future reference, I´d much rather you gave me some personal space ;-).
11. In a Bathroom ... Definitely the worst place to nurse, its ridiculous that people still offer the bathroom... but hey, when you don´t wear boob accessible clothing and you pretty much have to de-robe to nurse, this is sometimes your only option.
12. Dressing rooms
13. Nursing rooms
14. On a Bus
15. On a Boat
16. In Parks
17. On the side of the road
18. In a Complete strangers house when my car got flooded... thank God for breastfeeding. I didn´t get the chance to grab anything from the car except for baby, if it weren´t for my boobs, he would have been very hungry and unhappy for 3 hours.
19. At the Beach
20. At different friends homes

etc, etc, etc...

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

18 months ... and still breastfeeding !!!

I can´t believe that my little baby boy ( Yes I know he is a toddler ) is 18 months already.
I don´t know where time has gone, but it´s going fast!

Any breastfeeding mama can tell you that after your baby is 6 months, the number one question they get is... ¨Are you still nursing?¨ or ¨So when are you planning on weaning?¨ Although people were pushing the solid food introduction on me before Ivan was 6 months old, I was lucky enough not to get this question until right before my son was 1 yr.  just about when he got his first tooth.

My dear mom (Who nursed me, a very demanding baby, past 1 year) was wondering what our plans were.
I´m glad it was my mom and not someone else who asked, because honestly, sometimes people make such a big deal about it, the funny thing is, most of the time they never breastfed and some don´t even have children.  My response to her went something like this... ¨Well,  Ivan does´t seem to be giving any signs of being ready to wean,  he isn´t crazy about solids yet, I am going to wait until he is 18 months and see were we are at, because honestly, the thought hadn´t even crossed my mind.¨  

If you read the post I wrote about my start in breastfeeding, than you know that the first few days were a struggle (Not to mention the first few months). I remember going into the WIC office for a scheduled checkup , the nurse asked me how nursing was going and if I was planning on nursing for 6 months, 1 year, or more.  At that moment I was completely struggling with soreness and I thought,,,wow, 1 year seems like such a long time from now, when is it gonna stop hurting, If I can make it to 1 year I will be glad.

Well it is amazing how 18 months have come and gone.  It is so true that the longer you breastfeed, the easier it gets.

Breastfeeding a toddler is VERY different from breastfeeding an infant !!! Here are some major differences (From my own first hand experience)

1. Breastmilk may not be the only source of your toddlers nutrition ( I say may not, because I personally know moms who don´t introduce solids until after 1 yr. and there toddlers are big and healthy, even though solids are not the main source of nutrition).

2. Toddlers don´t nurse as frequently or as long -or- Toddlers nurse more frequently just a shorter period of time.

3. Your Toddler can ask for it ... Ivan makes the sign for milk whenever he feels like nursing.

4. Toddlers are extremely acrobatic and seem to enjoy combining their love for moving and fidgeting with nursing :-) my personal favorite... NOT.

5. Nursing a Toddler can be great if he needs a chill-pill or a burst of energy.

These are just a few of the differences between nursing a toddler and an infant.

Most people think that If your baby can eat food and drink water, juice or any other animals milk, than there is no reason why your child should still be nursing, he is obviously only doing it for comfort.

Here are just a few benefits of extended nursing (Past 12 months)

Benefits for Baby include...

1. The Fat and Energy content in breast milk increases in milk from mothers who breastfeed for more than 1 year compared to mothers who breastfeed for less time.

2. Breastfed Toddlers are sick less often.

3.Breastfed Toddlers receive immunity boosting, vitamins and enzymes directly from their mom.

4. Breast milk adapts to suit your Toddlers nutritional needs, for example,

In the second year (12-23 months), 448 mL of breastmilk provides:
  • 29% of energy requirements
  • 43% of protein requirements
  • 36% of calcium requirements
  • 75% of vitamin A requirements
  • 76% of folate requirements
  • 94% of vitamin B12 requirements
  • 60% of vitamin C requirements

5. If that wasn´t enough, The flavor of Breast milk changes with the mom´s diet... what a wonderful treat !!! 

Benefits for mom include...
 
1. Extended nursing delays the return of fertility = no period for up to 1 year !!! Hallelujah !!!! My LMP was May 1, 2009 and Not including the 3 weeks of light bleeding after giving birth, my period was gone, gone, gone until January of 2011 :-) It was amazing !!!

2. Breastfeeding reduces the risk of ... Breast Cancer, Ovarian Cancer, Uterine Cancer, Endometrine Cancer, Osteoporosis, Rheumatoid Artharitis,,,, and it reduces the insulin requirements in diabetic woman.

3. Breastfeeding moms tend to loose weight faster. After 18 months I have to admit that I haven´t done any type of exercise other than walk everywhere... I have lost all of my baby weight and am below my pre pregnancy weight.  It took about a year for my body to get back to normal.

4. Breastfeeding, for the most part, forces mom to take a few minutes to just sit down and relax...(I am guilty of multi-tasking while nursing and I am sure other moms are too :-) but sometimes you´ve got to just give in and close your eyes for a minute or two).


There are many benefits for mom and toddler, too many to write down.  My opinions and thoughts about nursing have varied from time to time.  I have had days when I would rather not be nursing.


My closing thoughts... God created every part of our body with a purpose, He gave us breasts for many reasons, one of them being to feed our babies.  If He wanted us to stop when baby was 6 months or 1 year, than He would only give us enough milk to last for that long.  That is the miracle of breastfeeding, He left it up to Mom and Baby to decide when to stop. Now whenever someone asks me why I still nurse, the only response I have for them is... Why would I deny my child of something that was given to me, just for him?

  

I know that when Ivan is 16 years old he won´t be asking me for the car keys with a side of breast milk :-) and I know that this will be over before I know it.  For now, I am going to cherish it.  This is the one time in his life that I have something that he really needs and only I can give him. What a special gift.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Look Before You Leap..or Sit

So, everytime I go into a public restroom, or any restroom that is, I go through my mental checklist:

1. Clean
2. Toilet Paper
3. Door Shuts
4. Look before you sit

It finally paid off !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Look what was waiting for me AT HOME !!!!!! Boy am I glad I looked ;-P
He was a lot bigger than the picture shows :-Z
Moral : LOOK BEFORE YOU SIT

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

I Performed a Miracle :-)

And I have pictures to prove it !!!

I recently watched a tutorial on youtube from jenmarissa, showing how to make a laundry board.  At first I didn't take much interest in it, because I don't really have a laundry problem.  However; when I walked into my parents room and saw my Dad's dresser, I was reminded of his weakness... folding laundry and putting it away.


Almost immediately, her tutorial popped into my head.


So I made a laundry board, and I have to say...
I LOVE IT. I totally want to make one for our house when I get back.  I love how it makes everything the same size, and everything fits in your drawers just right.  It is easy to make and easier to use.

Here is the MIRACLE:
Before... I had already taken everything off of the top shelf.
 FYI: The top shelf alone was 2 black garbage bags full of shirts...WOW

After, I can hear Angels singing The Hallelujah Chorus :-)

So there you go, I am a laundry board convert.

Cousin


A.S. and Ivan... they love eachother



What a big boy.

Grandpa messing around with Ivan.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Flats and Handwashing Challenge...Day 7

Finally, the pictures  I promised.  These were taken with  a camera phone, not too shabby.

Here is the Bucket Washer that I made.  I didn't bother scraping the dried cement off of the outside, but I assure you, the inside is squeaky clean.

Almost clean.

Hooray for Rockin' Green Orangevana....smells soooooo good.

"T-shirt" Flats Hanging in the sun...I had to run out 5 minutes later,,, Hurricane season has not given me a break this week.

Thank God for a drying rack.

The 2 rows of snaps on the Bg's helped keep the diaper from drooping below Ivan's tummy.

Fb's drooped a bit.
We did it.  One whole week of Flats and Handwashing.
I was tempted to cheat today, Sundays are non stop for us and I woke up feeling crappy, but we did it... how could I give up with just a few more hours to go.

This was a definite learning experience and  I am very thankful for the convenience of modern cloth diapers and washing machines !!!

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Friday, May 27, 2011

Flats and Handwashing Challenge Days 1 -4

Wow Day 4 is already gone, this challenge is flying by.

So far so good. I never would have thought that using flats could be this easy.  I am really considering incorporating flats into my cloth diaper stash.

Flats
As I mentioned in my previous post, I have been using the re-purposed t-shirts.  Lucky for us, my Dad was cleaning out his closet and I am even more lucky to have an x-large Dad.  I can only presume that a small t-shirt is less absorbant :-) The pad fold is easy and works great.

Covers
I have been using my un-stuffed pocket diapers. 3 Bumgenius and 2 Fuzzibunz. I much prefer using Bg over Fb.  Bg has 2 rows of waist snaps which has helped to keep the diaper up and not droop low as with the Fb.  This could be due to the fold I am using.

Dirty Diaper Storage
After using my wetbag on Day 1, I decided that it would be much easier and I would have less to wash if I just stored the Dirty diapers in the bucket washer.

Hand Washing
Thanks to the Bucket Washer, hand washing hasn't been all that bad.  It does however, take a little more effort, time and elbow grease.  I predict that at the end of this challenge I am going to have perfectly toned arms.


I am amazed at how good this is going.  It feels great to know that if this was my only option, I could totally do it.

I will try to get some pictures in tomorrow.  They will most likely be from a cell phone :-) But something is better than nothing.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Flats and Handwashing Challenge... What am I doing to prepare?

I have  decided not to purchase anything for this challenge... except for a new plunger :-)

Heres what I plan on using

Flats
I am going to re-purpose some cotton T-shirts and maybe some bed sheets.

Diaper Covers
Empty pocket Diapers

Wash
I am in the process of making a bucket washer and will be using my rockin green detergent.

When I first read about this challenge, I wasn't sure that I would be able to participate due to the lack of materials...then I realized, that this is about making due with what you have.

I don't have any pictures for this post, but I will update ASAP

Good luck to everyone else participating !!! Wish me luck :-)

Friday, May 20, 2011

Flats and Handwashing Challenge !!! Why am I doing it

My next adventure in Cloth Diapering... The Flats and Handwashing Challenge !!!


Now, flat diapers are not very appealing to me, and I don't think that I would choose them as my main diapering  choice.  That being said, The recent post by Kim at dirtydiaperlaundry.com reminded me of how important it is to know what to do when in need.

We are in a crisis !!! Millions are unemployed, and struggle to keep a roof over their heads and food on their table.  If that wasn't bad enough, it seems that all of the "can't live without" items are the most expensive.  It is amazing how much you have to pay for healthy foods, fruits and vegetables. 

Usually after finding out that your pregnant and the initial glee settles, your mind starts to race..."How am I going to pay for everything?" better yet, "How am I going to pay for all of those diapers?".  For many the solution is cloth diapers, for many more cloth isn't considered or feasible. What if you can't even afford to do that? what if you don't have a washer? then what? would you go to a laundrymat? laundrymats are pretty pricey in some places.

Some parents make the decision to leave their baby in a dirty diaper a little bit longer to stretch out their diaper supply. Heck, most disposable diapers claim to keep baby dry for up to 12 hours, what's a few more. I'm sure that some parents buy these diapers and plan on using 2 to 3 a day to make sure they have enough diapers until their next pay check.  Some parents find themselves forced to take part in risky practices; such as, leaving baby in the same diaper for hours, drying wet diapers with a hair dryer or scraping out soiled diapers and re-using them.

I believe that every parents wants the best for their child.  I know how it feels to see your disposable diaper pile get lower and lower and lower.  I am blessed to have stumbled upon modern cloth diapers and snatched up a few when I had the chance.  However, if I needed to diaper my child in the most inexpensive way possible, I would greatly appreciate any information and training I could get my hands on.

The Flats and Handwashing Challenge is just that, a challenge to moms and dads everywhere.  One week of diapering old school, using flat diapers and handwashing !!!!  The challenge will begin on the morning of May 23rd and end the evening of May 30th.  

This is going to be a radical difference for me, I have never even used prefolds. I can't believe how excited I am to do this.  It's funny, I keep thinking of how excited our grandmothers must have been to STOP having to use flats, and here i am excited to use them. I know that almost everyone reading this post must think that I have gone insane.  Maybe I have :-) who cares. 

I hope that by participating in this challenge, I can encourage others to do what is best for their baby.  Diapering your baby doesn't have to cost over $2,000 (The average cost of diapering one child frrom birth to potty training). All you need is a little determination and ingenuity.

At the end of the week I will definitely fill you in on how it went.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Guess What ???

I am in Puerto Rico !!!  I know I hadn't posted anything about leaving,,, it was a surprise. 
I am happy to be able to visit family and friends, I will be here for 2 months. 
We already miss Daddy :( but I know time will fly and we will be back in Spain in no time, so I am focusing on enjoying the company I have here, it's not everyday I get to spend time with the fam.

Hopefully in a few days Ivan will be totally on P.R. time,  I think I'm there already.
Our trip went great, I'll write some more about that in a future post.
I will try and keep up while I'm on vacation :)

Have a great Sunday !!!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Guest Blogger

Hey everyone,,, just wanted to let you know that I had the opportunity to contribute the The Cloth Diaper Whisperer´s Blog.

Here is the link
http://www.theclothdiaperwhisperer.com/2011/05/cloth-diapering-in-very-small-studio.html

Hope you enjoy.

Thanks again Kelly´s Closet !!!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

A few reasons why living Spain is AWESOME

1.  We still have a King, Queen, and the rest of the Royal Family.
2.  Flamenco
3.  History everywhere
4.  Siesta
5.  Paella
6.  Health Care
7.  Real Madrid Futbol Club
8.  Obviously, WE WON THE WORLD CUP !!!
9.  Night Life (When I say night life, I don´t mean the partying, I mean the wonderful fact that
at 11pm I can walk home because everything is well lit and people are still out and about !!!)
10. Public Transportation (Train, taxi or bus are all readily available and at an affordable price)

Friday, April 29, 2011

This Weeks Favorite

These pictures were taken on Easter Sunday 2011
They almost didn´t happen.  After Church Ivan decided to step in some dog poop, and since that wasn´t enough he kneeled down in it too :-)
Not to worry, we were able to wash and line dry his pants just in time.

Running up the ramp.

This was the almost perfect shot... mama needs practice.

So handsome.

Climbing up the stairs.

These shoes always fall off ... good thing I have cute socks.

B/W xoxoxo