Sometime in the next couple weeks, Scattered Seashells will be moving to WordPress.

What does this mean to you?

The link will remain the same, but if you're following via GFC, you'll need to find a new way to follow - Facebook, Twitter, Email, BlogLovin', or any other way.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Important Announcements!

Stay tuned on Wednesday for a special announcement... my blog is changing!

Originally today I was supposed to tell you about sending Brandon off to training, but he didn't make it into this class. I have him for another two weeks! Unfortunately, he'll be missing our anniversary. Army life, right?

Friday, April 27, 2012

Penny's Sleep Schedule

A couple weeks ago I read the 90 Minute Sleep Solution by Doctor Polly Moore. It was a quick read and had some practical advice on sleep. Basically, every person has a 90 minute cycle of rest and activity. While an adult doesn't need to crash after those 90 minutes, a baby needs a nap, so keep an eye out for it. As they get older those 90 minutes turn into three hours and to four and a half hours, and so on, between naps. Penny is still on the 90 minutes.

The back of the book had charts where you can write down the sleep and awake periods. I decided to give it a try. I had no idea if Penny had a pattern or not, and I love filling out forms, so why not?

After a few days, I decided I needed a better way to see how she was sleeping. I have too much time on my hands, apparently, because I devised a beautiful Excel sheet with colors and all! On the left hand column I put times. Every hour from midnight to seven, and then every 15 minutes from there until ten at night, then every hour. I chose blue for night sleep, orange for awake time and purple for naps.
After charting for a week, I decided that I wanted to see how the pattern went for another week. Control group, you know? And what a surprise, it's the same!

I discovered that on a typical day, Penny takes four naps - morning, lunch, afternoon and evening. They occur roughly at the same time. She wakes up around 7:15 am (and as I write this, we're getting awfully close to waking time!), and she goes to bed around 7:30am. Her naps are on average 45 minutes.

Not only that, I wrote down the times she woke up at night. If you can see in this little photo, it's a lot. See how much I'm getting up with her? Bleh.

After my two week experiment, I'm feeling more confident about things. I realized that in all, she is getting the proper amount of sleep appropriate for her age. Still haven't figured out why she's waking up at night crying, but I have some suspicions and a doctor appointment this afternoon to confirm/deny. I do like the fact that now I have a rough schedule on the day. I know what to expect and I can schedule my day around her naps. Freedom!

Maybe I should chart my own sleep? ;)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Featured Blogger?

I was thinking of starting a monthly featured blogger. I would send a list of questions to the blogger, they would fill it out, and be featured on the blog! Simple as that. That way we can connect with each other, learn a bit about another blogger, and maybe gain some new followers and friends.

So if you're interested, shoot me a comment or email me! I'll send you a list of questions and let you know when you'll be featured!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

You want to be a parent?

When you have a baby, your whole mindset changes. You stop thinking about you as much and start worrying about the baby. Suddenly you have this little person, this little human, who needs you every second of the day. It goes beyond the basics of feeding, changing and cuddling. No, now you're charged with the task of raising a functional human being. Wow.

It's easy being you. You know you. You know when you're tired, you go to sleep. When you're bored, you find something to do. You know your quirks, your habits, how you'll feel when it's raining and what food you like to eat. This little baby is it's own person, sure, but it's attached to you from the moment it has been conceived. Now you're not only stuck trying to figure yourself out, you're stuck figuring this thing out too.

You have some responsibility to take care of yourself now that you're an adult. Your parents have raised you, and hopefully did an okay job at it, and now you're on your own. If you decide to go to college, it's up to you. If you decide to do drugs, well, go for it, it's your body. Go pierce your ears ten times, wear shorts in the snow, and adopt a dozen cats. You have the power to control your life, good or bad. You can ruin your own life, and you can make it thrive.

You are allowed to mess up your own life, but don't think you have the right to do it to another.

You have this baby and you're sent home, everyone is happy, you have a cute little baby in your arms. But now you have the biggest responsibility of all - you have to raise this child. You have to make the important decisions for another human. It's not just your life you can ruin now, it's another persons. And not just any old person, it's your baby, your child, your flesh and blood. Whoa now.

Now you have decisions to make and it's all on you. From Day One: Vaccinate or not. Circumcise or not.  Co-sleeping, bassinet, crib in own room. Diapers. Formula or breastfeed. When to start solids. What toys to get. What clothes to wear. Stay at home, work. Childcare... nanny, babysitter, daycare, family.

And it goes on. What about schooling? Public, private, charter, even homeschool? What about activities? Soccer, baseball, dance, horseback riding, rock climbing? Haircuts. Sleep-overs. Birthdays. Bicycles. Field trips. Family trips. Learning. Exploring. Expanding. Going towards that ultimate goal of becoming a functional adult in society. And it's all on you.

Hey, no pressure. The lack of sleep, the diaper changes, the feeding and playing... well, that just feels like the easy part, now doesn't it?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Hey, Its Okay Tuesday!

I haven't done one of these in awhile. Why not? Link up with Airing My Dirty Laundry and check out her new blog design while you're at it!

Hey, It's Okay...

To still be contemplating doing some blog overhauls. Eh, it might not happen.

To not want to put the car seat on top of the shopping cart. What if it just falls right off? Scary.

To feed Winston early so he can stop bothering me.

To be sad that Penny's hair is lighter at the roots. I like her dark hair, I like that she looks like me!

To chart the baby's sleep cycles for two weeks - that'll be a blog post soon!

To keep the story you're working on open in the background. It makes it so that I work on it more.

To buy a new, two piece bathing suit 4 months after having the baby. I think I look pretty good still! Back to my pre-baby weight and hoping to lose more.

To not have much to say because I don't do much these days :P

To freaking love this face.

Monday, April 23, 2012

At it again

It was 2am on Thursday. I was sitting in the rocking chair with Penny in my arms, wide awake after getting up several times to calm her down. She was falling asleep and I was thinking, staring at the light on the baby monitor. An idea had popped in my head, a seed had been planted, and it was growing.

I'm contemplating, again, on changing my blog design and changing the name (and possibly switching over to WordPress). Don't get me wrong, I love this design. I chose most of the details and I approved it, so why would I want to change it? Oh, I dunno. The grass is always greener. I've been cheating on my blog and looking at other designs, seeing what interests me, what catches my eye. Sorry bloggy.

I have a couple reasons why I shouldn't change my design. One, I just freakin' bought this one only a couple months ago. Two, I have to spend money to get a design I like because I'm not good like that.

Hm. So I dunno. Oh, and the name change! B+C&Baby came about because I really had no other name and I needed to change it after Brandon came back from deployment. I like the name but I don't love it. And at 2am this one popped into my head: Scattered Seashells. I use CShels as my username for everything, so I thought it was kinda cute, especially since I'm always so scattered! I'm not so sure though.

This is all bouncing around my head! Not sure what I want to do at this point. I'll probably end up just keeping everything the same for now haha. What do you think?

Friday, April 20, 2012


I always said I was a mountain girl. If you've been to Colorado, and especially if you've lived there, you know what I mean. The crisp dry air, the towering purple mountains with their snow capped peaks, the crunchy grass under your feet. Colorado.

Our first move with the military was to Fort Benning, Georgia. This was my first experience of the South. Neither of us had been to the South (we had been to Texas and Florida, which are technically south, but we all know it's different). We weren't too impressed. Granted, we were there during the summer, but it was hot and muggy and full of bugs and... well, not our cup of tea.

And then we moved to Hawaii. I don't need to elaborate.

When I told people we were moving to Alabama we got a lot of laughs and a lot of "I'm sorry's". I laughed along with them and agreed. I know, I know, we're going back to the South! Wish us luck! Remember, my first and only experience had been Columbus, Georgia, and I was too excited to go back to the same type of place.

But as we drove through Alabama, I realized I was wrong. I started to actually like it.

Now I'm sitting here at my desk in front of the window, looking out onto my back yard. The sky is cloudy, the beginnings of the storm we're expecting tomorrow, but it's still sunny. It was cool enough earlier that I could wear jeans. We're lucky that we arrived during the spring when the weather is tolerable because even though I love it now, it'll get much worse as the days wear on.

I like it here. I love the green and the trees, they remind me so much of my childhood in Canada. I love the farms and the open fields and the run down towns. The people have been nice, much better than in Columbus, and the food has been good. (Ok, they could use a Chipotle, but I won't complain too much!).

I'm finding myself telling Brandon that I could live somewhere like here. I don't know if I want to go back to the cold, barren landscape of Colorado. I like the trees. I like the green. Goodness, the green! Expanses, fields and fields of green.

We've only been here six weeks but yes, I like it here. It's quiet, calm, and I like that. I'm glad we're here. This isn't so bad of a place after all!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Thursday Randoms

Scheduled: My scheduled posts aren't posting when I schedule them! Annoying!

Instagram: A little obsessed. All my phone photos are Instagrams nowadays. Follow me, I'll follow you: CShels.

New Phone: Loving it! I got an iPhone for my birthday finally and I've been messing with it ever since. I still have the same games (Words, Hanging and Scramble with Friends - username CShels) and some new ones, and tons of apps... ahhh can't get enough. So much cooler than my old phone. Sorry Droid.

Rainy Days: It's been rainy lately, but I like it. It never really rained in Colorado. It did in Hawaii and I liked it then too!

Earth Day Expo: Yikes, big flop. I went yesterday with Brandon in tow and Penny in the Ergo. We were pretty much the highlight of their days because no one else had really been there. A photographer followed us around. We got all kinds of freebies. We were interviewed. Brandon got pissy because he doesn't like Earth Day stuff. It was fun :P

Babies on computers: Penny has figured out my scroll pad so she's always messing with my webpages when I'm trying to work. I caught her on Pinterest the other day.

Creeper: Also caught her staring at me yesterday when I was sitting on the floor with my computer. I had to snap a piccy.
Sunday Lazy Day: I was tired after girls night like all weekend so we designated Sunday as lazy day. I didn't do much, Brandon went shooting, and then when he came home we watched two movies: I Am Legend and Chocolat. We wanted to order Thai but of course the place was closed. We ended up with Domino's and Brandon went all out - 3 pizzas, cheesy bread and lava cakes! That lasted like one day because we're pigs. I made Penny a chair out of a Boppy and a pillow, it was cute. She cried most of the night because of her teeth, poor thing.
Funny Texts from Mom: I'm compiling them because they're too good to be true. I don't know what I want to do with them... maybe a blog post? Maybe a book? Maybe a movie deal? ;)

30 Day Shred: It's going good! I've skipped a few days because I can.

Facebook: Check out my Facebook page! You can follow my April Photo a Day there instead of waiting for the catch-up blog.

Coming Up: My review of Alabama so far, a defense of Facebook, and other day to day things.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Evolution of a Blog

I started blogging four years ago. In fact, my first blog, Chantal's Blog, had its first post on March 15, 2008. I wasn't even married then, I complained about my mom, and I let my thoughts just spill out. Sort of how I do on this blog. B+C&Baby first began when Brandon deployed, and Day One was posted July 1, 2010. If you knew me back then, this blog was titled A Blog a Day While You're Away.

I've always called myself a military spouse blogger. It makes sense, I'm married to Brandon, who is in the Army, and sometimes my blog posts are military related. But in light of the MilSpouse nominations, I've started to evaluate where this blog really is. Can I even style myself as a milspouse blogger anymore? Or is there more to me?

I've noticed, as often happens, that since Penny came along, my blog has shifted into more of a mommy/baby blog. I write about what I know and about my life and right now my life is this little baby. Day in and day out I'm doing the mommy thing, while the milspouse portion of my life has taken a comfortable backseat. And there's nothing wrong with that.

I'm a little sad to see that my blog, in my eyes anyway, has drifted away from the Army part and more towards the Mommy part. I feel like I identified with the milspouse community and now I feel like I'm a bit of an outsider. I know what I could do to fix it, I could blog about Army stuff more, but I don't think I have much to add to the community that hasn't already been said. And anyway, I like blogging about our day to day lives here, even if it's all about the baby.

So hey, this little blog has changed a bit, but that's how things go. It went from no followers to over 200, from a blog complaining about my mom to offering helpful hints about cloth diapers. This blog has been through a wedding, college, moving Georgia-Hawaii-Alabama, and through a deployment and back. For the most part, I'm happy with the direction it has taken!

On that note, if you ever want to see some specific content, just leave me a blog post anywhere. I wrote those cloth diaper posts because of some interest. I'm always looking for new ideas!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Penny - Four Months

Penny - you're four months old!
It just seems like yesterday that you were a little newborn and look at you now, a third of a year old. I was extra excited about today because you finally had a doctor's appointment and we could find out your stats. Here they are: You are now 15 lbs 4 oz (86%), 24.5 inches long (61%), and your head is 41cm (53%). You are right on track! Your hair is so much longer and still brown, and your eyes are a pretty grayish-blue.
You wear 3 months and 3-6 month clothes, but 6 month sleepers because of your big cloth diapers. I think this next month I'll be washing your 6 month clothes because you'll start to fit in those soon. You're back in cloth diapers and we love it!
As usual, you're a great nurser. You like to eat every 2 to 3 hours. You still get distracted quite a bit, but you've learned to nurse quickly, so we aren't hanging around too long. The last few days you've decided that you want to be nursed to sleep too - maybe you decided that that is better than a pacifier?
Your nights are still bad and that's because you're teething. We had some luck with the amber teething necklace until I messed it up (whoops), but there's another one on the way and I hope you start feeling better soon. We have a good sleep schedule going, though. You nap four times a day (morning, lunch, afternoon, evening). You wake up around 7am and you go to bed between 7:30 and 8pm. Then you're usually up once during the night, if we're lucky, and more if your teeth are really hurting you. You've been sleeping in your own crib for almost a month now, and still sleeping on your side or belly.
Between naps, we have tons of fun! You like reading books and swinging on the swings. You started grabbing and reaching for toys so we're always offering something. You scream and squeal and talk to us all the time. You love to stand and look around, and you'd rather sit up than lay on your back. No rolling yet, but we're thinking this next month you will!
You laugh a lot these days. You love to be wiggled and tickled, and you like hanging out with us while we do our computer stuff. You would rather be outside than inside so I make it a point to go sit in the grass as often as we can. You love bath time right before bed, too. You're so cute all the time and we can't get enough of you!
Here we are, another month down, and tons to go. I love watching you grow up and every day brings a new adventure!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Guest Blog!

Hey everyone! Jumping on real quick this morning to let you know that I'm guest blogging today over at Flip Flops and Combat Boots. Check out what I had to say about our trip to Australia last year!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Girl's Night

I went on my first girl's night out since the baby! I've been slowly making some friends here and two of them happen to be my neighbors to the right and left. They mentioned earlier in the week that they were going to dinner and a movie, and did I want to go with? I was unsure at first because we had never given Penny a bottle before. But hey, no time but the present, right?

We tried the bottle on Tuesday and she took to it easily! I was set! So I pumped a bunch all week in preparation (she was only going to miss one meal, but I like to be prepared). By the time Friday came, I was ready.

I fed Penny, said goodbye to my little family, and went off! There were five of us in a little car, but it was fun. We ate dinner at a Mexican restaurant and then hit up the movies to see The Hunger Games. I have to say, that movie was MUCH better without a crying baby in my lap.

I didn't get home until past 11pm and was I tired. We ended up sleeping in a little bit this morning with Penny snuggled between us. I had a good time, though! I hope I can do it again, but not too often, I did miss my family.

A great story from last night. Brandon spent some time with the husbands and kids, and then he came home to put Penny to bed. After awhile he realized he hadn't seen the dog for awhile. He peeked in Penny's room and saw Dexter laying at the foot of her crib. He ran to grab the camera and managed to get a picture before Dexter jumped up. My sweet doggy, protecting his baby!

Friday, April 13, 2012

I've been sucked in!

My friend mentioned it the other day, how they opened up the 1940 census, and I took a look. And then I signed up for the 2 week free trial and I've been going wild ever since.

I love this. I've been wanting to find out more about my dad's side of the family for the longest time. I feel so disconnected from that side and I fear all the information will be lost, if I don't get on it soon. Armed with the names of my great-grandparents, I set on in! I found information about my grandparents (such as their full names, which I didn't know, and the names they went by!) and I've been digging deeper into finding my great-grandparents and further back. Wow!

I've also found a couple second cousins of mine up in Canada and we've been chatting. I love it!

I better get back on and save as many documents I can before my membership runs out. Hope your Friday the 13th is going well!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

More about cloth diapers...

I've gotten a few more questions about cloth diapers and I thought I'd go a little more in depth about the prep, washing and gear that you need.

Prep: Before you even use the cloth diapers, you need to prep them. Most of them are easy to prep. If you're using the pocket diapers (check out Friday's post for more details on those), then you just do one regular wash for them. See below for washing details. Those are prepped easily. Pre-folds are a little more work, but still fairly easy. Because of the nature of the pre-folds and their absorbency, you'll need to wash 4 or 5 times to get them prepped. This means doing a full wash on hot, without detergent, and then drying them afterwards each time. My diapers were prepped after about 4 washes, I believe.

Washing: Now this brings us to washing diapers! Once they're prepped, it's easy. I grabbed the diapers, toss them in the wash (I leave the inserts in the pocket diapers because 95% of the time the inserts get agitated out). First, I run a quick cold rinse. On my washer, it takes 15 minutes. And then when that's finished, I do a hot cycle wash with an extra rinse at the end. Then they're washed! Throw them in the dryer until dry, or hang them in the sun. The advantage of sun-drying is it naturally takes away any stains. The disadvantage is it takes longer. I usually just put the stained ones out in the sun.

Gear: There's not much gear you need for cloth diapers. Once you got the diapers, you're pretty set. Here's a couple things you'll need.

1. Snappi's: I mentioned these in my past post. If you're using pre-folds, you need these. Basically, they hold the diaper together. Definitely worth it and super easy to use. We have two and we really just need one.
2. Wet Bags: These are for storage. I have a big wet bag that I put in a trash can with a lid, and that's where I throw the dirty diapers before I wash them. You don't need anything but the bag, no soaking or anything. I also have a small travel-sized wet bag for my diaper bag for changes out and about. These are handy for all kinds of messes too, like dirty clothes or wet bathing suits.
3. Cloth Wipes: Now why use regular wipes when you can just wash and reuse cloth ones? I made my own but you can easily buy some. Heck, you don't even have to sew them like I did. Just cut up some t-shirts or receiving blankets, or towels, or use wash cloths, etc. You have tons of options.

4. Wipe Solution: Again, another easy one. I have a little spray bottle that I spray the wipes with before using. At first I was using plain water, because of sensitive bums, but now I use water with a few drops of tea tree oil and a couple drops of baby soap. It works great!

So there you have it, the stuff we use. Sure, it sounds complicated when you're just getting started. There is so much information out there, it can get overwhelming! But trust me, once you're doing it, it's so easy. Think of the money you save! Cloth diapers is one decision I'll never regret.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Whatcha Reading? Wednesday

It's been awhile since I did one of these. With the moving and all, it was hard to keep track of this stuff. And honestly, I haven't had much time to read these days. At night, I'm too exhausted, I just read a page or two and pass out. During the day, I'm too busy. Either Penny is awake and I'm playing with her, or she's asleep and I'm doing chores (or writing blogs...). If I have down time, finally, I pick up a book and read a bit.

This is what I'm reading:

The 90-Minute Baby Sleep Program (Dr. Polly Moore)

Yeah, another sleep book. So far I really like this one and it has tons of good, practical advice. I started implementing the 90-min deal a few days ago and so far, so good!
State of Fear (Michael Crichton)

Brandon has been trying to get me to read this for years and years. (Whatever, he still hasn't tried to read Pillars of the Earth!). Yeah, I'm like 50 pages in and I've been "reading" it for a couple weeks... but sleeping babies take priority. It is good so far. I do love a good Michael Crichton book. I'm pretty sure we own every single one of his fiction books...

Whatcha Reading?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Florida Trip

We went to Florida! On a whim on Friday night we decided to drive down to Florida. We literally live just less than two hours from the beach so we thought, why not?

Driving down, we realized that I hadn't been to Florida since I went to DisneyWorld when I was 9 or 10, and Brandon hadn't been since 2003! Imagine that. I also had no swam in the Gulf of Mexico since our cruise when I was 13-ish, and he hadn't been since 2004. I guess this trip was more epic than we expected.

Our first stop was Pier Park in Panama City Beach. It was super busy, not surprising for a Saturday. We found a good parking spot, though, and headed in to window shop. We stopped at BWW for some lunch, of course. Yum, buffalitos and chicken tenders! Penny was all decked out for our trip. (She looks pretty excited, huh? Haha she's so dramatic sometimes).

After lunch we browsed some more, stopping to play a shooting game and get some Italian ice. We also went into a couple stores, including the As Seen on TV store. Then we made our way across the street to take a walk on the longest pier in the Gulf (supposedly!). By this time Penny was getting tired and she cried for half of it, so we tried to carry her, but she wasn't having it.
Our next stop was the beach at St Andrew's State Park. It took us forever to get there (people kept crossing the street in front of us...) and of course, Penny was just in a bad mood. I insisted we change into our bathing suits but we never went swimming - the water was too cold! We've been a bit spoiled by Hawaii, I think. We realized that our beach trips are cut a little short by this baby of ours. She was just too tired and grumpy, we couldn't do much except lay in the sun for a bit. She did look super cute in her bathing suit, though.
And then it was time to go home! I sat in the back seat to help Penny relax. She only slept for a bit and for the rest of the trip home she did this:
That was certainly a stressful end to our trip! We're coming to the realization that we can't go on trips with her very often, not until she's figured out the whole napping thing. But hey, it was fun! Now Penny has been to 13 states in her first 16 weeks. What a traveler!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Flight School

Last Wednesday, on my birthday of course, Brandon had a mandatory FRG meeting to attend. The wives were encouraged to go but the guys had to go, so I figured, might as well. Luckily, Penny woke up from her nap just in time!

The meeting was pretty informative. Brandon knew everything he was saying but he never tells me all the details, so it was nice to hear. The Major outlined exactly how flight school would go. How long each different class period would take (there are four) and what to expect during those times.

Wow, we're actually here. By this summer, Brandon is going to be flying a helicopter. Flying a helicopter. Now that is something!

I was reminded that this honeymoon period of ours will be over soon. He hasn't really had to work much since he got back from deployment last June. He's had half days and a lot of time off. Heck, since we PCS'd at the end of January, he hasn't worked more than three or four days. That's, what, over two months of Brandon time. It's been so nice to have him around to help with Penny and keep me company.

Flight school is going to keep him busy. He'll be up before the sun and back by dinnertime, and then spending the evening studying for the next day. This is a pretty intense class, and why shouldn't it be? He has to learn the ins and outs of flying a big machine through the air. Oh, but we're excited.

The one class I'm not so much looking forward to is SERE (Survival, evasion, resistance, escape) school. It's three weeks long and we won't have any communication at all. No calls, no webcam, no FB, no texts, no letters... nothing. And he'll be just miles away! As sad as it sounds, we've never gone more then ten days without talking to each other. At least I have my blog to keep me company, huh? I know Brandon is excited for this school, anyway, so that's a positive. It'll be my first time really taking care of Penny alone - I'm a bit nervous for some reason!

We're really happy to be here. This is what Brandon wants and the meeting just made me more and more excited for him. Sure, it'll be tough, but it'll be so worth it!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Friday, April 6, 2012


I'm pretty sure one of the most important baby items is diapers. The stores can entice you to buy all kinds of baby gear, but when it comes down to it, you need diapers.

We used disposables for six weeks there while we were moving. I was using Huggies on recommendations from most everybody and we found that they just kept leaking whenever she pooped. Annoying. We used Pampers Swaddlers for a bit, but they smelled funny. Heck, all the disposables smelled funny. Then that last weekend we bought some Luvs and discovered that they work fantastically on Penny. Oh well.

Now we've been back on cloth diapers since we got to Alabama. We're four months into using cloth diapers and I wanted to give you a little review on the brands we use! No, I wasn't asked to do these reviews or paid or anything. All my own opinion.

Pre-folds: We started on pre-folds, using the Bummis organic infant size with both Thirsties covers and wool covers made by Brandon's mom. These are the diapers your grandparents used, but modernized and made better. You don't need to use pins anymore, you use Snappi's, a diaper fastener thing. Since the pre-fold itself isn't waterproof you have to use a cover, hence the Thirsties or wool covers. These worked well for when she was a newborn because you can reuse the cover, as long as it hasn't been pooped on.
Now the pre-folds worked well for us for those first 6 weeks but I was anxious for her to fit properly in pocket diapers. Once we got to Alabama, we started exclusively using pocket diapers, only dipping into the pre-folds for emergencies. I <3 pocket diapers!!

Flip's: These are not technically a pocket diaper, but I'm sticking them down here. They're essentially a cover with an insert. They seemed a good idea and a good transition from pre-folds, but Brandon and I don't really like them. Sure, you can switch the insert, but only if she pees. Poop just gets all over the cover anyway. And they're hell trying to put on with messing them up because the insert just sits there. I only use them as a last resort. Some people swear by them though!

Nubunz: I bought the Nubunz early on when I found out they were having a sale. $5 for a diaper? Score. Against my original wishes, I ended up with four velcro diapers, not ones with snaps. The velcro hasn't been all that terrible and they go on like a disposable would, it's just annoying in the wash if they come undone. No real complaints about these diapers. I don't like adjusting the size with the snaps in the front, though.
ALVA baby: These are my other cheapo diapers. They work much like the bumGenius (see below), but I love the cool patterns they come in. Again, just like the Nubunz, I don't like how they adjust sizes with snaps in the front.

bumGenius When it came time to choose a pocket diaper, people steered us towards bumGenius or Fuzzibunz (below). It was right down the middle - some preferred BG and others FB. We got a bit of both to try them out. The bumGenius are nice, fit well and are nice and soft inside. Buuut like the Nubunz and ALVA's, they have those annoying size adjustment snaps on the front and I just don't like that. And they're harder to bottom around the waste for some reason, maybe because they only have two snaps. I don't know. I won't be buying more of these, but I still use the ones we have.
Fuzzibunz: I wanted to save my favorites for last. I love my Fuzzibunz. The key feature is the size adjustment - you adjust the leg gussets, not with snaps on the front. It makes the diaper look better and fit better. Also, they have three snaps on the top, not the standard two. It makes for a better waist fit. The inserts are just a little harder to put in, that's one complaint. But I liked these so much that I got extras!

There you have it, a review of the cloth diaper brands that I own. Really, cloth diapers have been the easiest and cheapest way to go about diapering for us. I'd encourage anyone to use them! And please, ask me any questions, if you have them.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Thursday Randoms

My week so far...

Crock Pot Week: What did you think of it? Have you tried any of the recipes? Let me know!

Gardening: On Sunday, I planted my garden! Three half whiskey barrels (that smell like Jack Daniels) filled with soil. I planted tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, bell peppers and tomatillos, as well as cilantro, parsley, basil and green onion. I plan on finding some mint and doing that too. I'll keep you updated as things grow. Check out my early morning gardening outfit - workout clothes.
Blogging: I've gotten into the habit of scheduling posts. I write them as they come to me and schedule them for certain days. All I have to do is make sure they show up, and post them on FB and Twitter. My only issue is when I have a random post that I need to post right then! Sometimes I do double posts, sometimes I just move the scheduled post. In fact, I started writing this post on Monday. Haha.

Sleeping Babies: Anything more cute than this? Check out that chubby squish face.
 Baby Sunglasses: Second cutest thing this week. She rocks them.
Working Out: Yep, it has begun. I started the Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred on Monday. Owie, that first day sucked. I took measurements and weighed myself - I'll have a post about this once I'm done at the end of the month. As long as I make it and don't hurt myself in the process like last time...

Baby Hair: Ok, more about Penny. Her hair has gotten LONG. I was checking out newborn photos of her and it was short. I might have to trim the back or something in a month or two so she doesn't grown a baby mullet.

One Month: On Saturday, we'll have been in Alabama for one month! More on that next week.

My Birthday: We went out to a pizza restaurant and it was tasty. Brandon drove me by the spa where I could go get my massage he surprised me with! I have that planned for the weekend. It was a good, relaxing day!
April Photo-a-Day: This is floating around the blogosphere. I decided to give it a whirl and take photos with my phone for a month! Yeah, I know I have a fancy schmancy camera. I still use it for all my nice shots! Check out my Facebook page for the photos every day or wait until the end of the month when I will showcase them all :)

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Happy Birthday!

It's my birthday today!!

I am now 25 years old, a whole quarter century.

Who would've thought? I'm all old now. ;)

We're having a nice lunch at a local restaurant, opening presents, eating cake...

And then in the evening Brandon has to go to a mandatory FRG meeting. Boo.

My one birthday wish? That this little baby sleeps good tonight!

Love that hair.
Hope you all have a good day on my birthday! 4-4 all the way!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

A Year Ago...

I did this:
And found out we were having this:
And less than 9 months later... this!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Bad Mommy

Today, I feel like a bad mommy. I'm getting so frustrated with this little baby of mine and I know I shouldn't. It's not her fault she isn't sleeping well, I know she's trying.

This weekend was rough. On Friday, she slept good. Well, good as in she finally fell asleep by 10pm, slept until about 3am, and then slept until 7:30am. That was nice. Saturday was bad. We put her down before 9, but then she decided to get up around 10:30 and stay up until midnight. I let Brandon sleep so he could take the morning shift and I sat on the couch with her. She managed to put herself to sleep on the couch, slept until 3:30 and then again until about 7. But I was TIRED.

Last night, she had a rough time falling asleep at first for her nightly nap. She went down at 7:45 finally, woke up at about 9, I fed her, changed her, and rocked her to sleep again. She woke up half an hour later, I rocked her some more, and she slept until midnight. And then until 2am. And then until 3:30am. I finally pulled her into bed, she slept until 5:30am, woke up crying, I rocked her some more, put her in her own bed, slept until 7:30...

This is even worse than when she was a newborn! I think that is what's frustrating me the most. When she was a newborn, it was simple - feed her, rock her, she eventually slept. Now, I try to rock her, she struggles. I tried swaddling, she struggles. I think, maybe she's hungry, but then she doesn't eat much. It's affecting her daytime naps too.

I know she needs to nap and sleep. I'm hoping this is all because she's starting to teethe. I just hate that I can't figure out exactly what she wants from me, you know? I feel bad because I sorta dread when she's awake because soon, I have to struggle to put her down for a nap. When she's awake, I just want to lay her down on her playmat so I can do other stuff. When she's asleep, I just veg on the couch. All because I'm so tired.

Don't worry, I'm just complaining a bit here, not seeking advice. I do look forward to the fun moments she has these days. The talking, the grabbing toys, the dancing... those melt my heart!

And really, look how cute this baby is. My Little Canuck!

Crock Pot Week: Tamale Chicken

This was actually the first meal I chose, but the last to be made! Thank you for hanging out this week while I outline my meals. They've been delicious and I definitely plan on using my crock pot more often. It's been so easy! Now on to today, I needed a Mexican style dish, of course :)

Tamale Chicken

1 medium onion, chopped
4 oz can chopped green chilies
2 tbsp oil
10 3/4 oz can cream of chicken soup
2 cups sour cream
1 cup sliced ripe olives
1 cup chopped stewed tomatoes
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
8 chicken breast halves, cooked and chopped
16 oz can beef tamales, chopped
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp pepper
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
fresh tomatoes
shredded lettuce
sour cream

Not pictured: Onions, cheese, fresh tomato, avocados. I didn't do too many changes, except I had three large chicken breasts that I cut up. And less sour cream, because I forgot to buy more.

1. Saute onion and chilies in oil in skillet.
2. Combine all ingredients except 1/2 cup shredded cheese. Pour into slow cooker.
3. Top with remaining cheese.
4. Cover. Cook on High 3-4 hours.
5. Serve with your choice of remaining ingredients as toppings.
 My Review: This was my least favorite meal and this so happened to be Brandon's favorite! I wasn't so keen on the ingredients, and I realized that when I was buying everything, but it was too late to back out then. If you've noticed in the previous posts, I like to buy as much organic stuff as I can find at the commissary. These ingredients had basically no organic products. The worse thing was the canned beef tamales - gross. But I followed the recipe, topped it with some fresh tomatoes and avocado, and baked some corn tortillas... it wasn't too horrible. Brandon devoured it and will probably be eating the leftovers.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Crock Pot Week: Shepherd's Pie

I haven't eaten much Shepherd's pie in the last fourteen years, because of a gross story. I won't go into the details, but let's just say it has something to do with sixth grade camp and a sickness going through the girls cabin. Yeah. But I decided to get over my fear and try it once again, because it truly was a food I loved growing up!

Shepherd's Pie

1 lb ground pork or beef
1 tbsp vinegar
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp hot pepper
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp chili powder
1 small onion, chopped
15 ox can corn, drained
3 large potatoes
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp butter
1/4 tsp salt
dash of pepper
Shredded cheese
 I didn't switch up the ingredients too much on this one. I used a few more potatoes, but they were all small, so it evened out. I didn't measure what went into the mashed potatoes, I just mashed until they were a good consistency. I didn't know what they meant by "hot pepper" so I threw some red pepper flakes in there. Oh, and I used cheddar as my shredded cheese. Other than that, I stuck to it pretty good.

Note to self: Make sure you thaw out the ground beef beforehand, especially if you don't have a microwave to help out ;)

1. Combine pork/beef, vinegar and spices. Cook in skillet until brown. Add onion and cook until onions begin to glaze. Spread in bottom of slow cooker.
2. Spread con over meat.
3. Boil potatoes until soft. Mash with milk, butter, 1/4 tsp salt and dash of pepper. Spread over meat and corn.
4. Cover. Cook on Low 3 hours. Sprinkle top with cheese a few minutes before serving.
My Review: Tasty! This was a hit! We had friends over when I made it and it was gobbled up, people went back for seconds! I'm starting to think I should've made more... Our friend brought over some lemon garlic green beans and they made a perfect side for the dish. This was fairly easy to make, so I think it'll be a good staple in the house!

Tomorrow, the last crock pot day, I'll be posting about Tamale Chicken.