Tuesday, 29 June 2010

FAQ: What was in your NB twin cloth diaper stash?

Believe it or not, I am asked this all the time. I love this question. It tells me that more and more mamas are considering using cloth. So, here you have it, my NB diaper stash for twins.
Three Dozen Orange Edged Prefolds from GMD, 10 KLOs, Four Drybees gone natural, 2 Newborn Bububebe fitteds, First class baby fitted, and green wahm mosaic moon fitted.

6 Sposoeasy XS, 12 BG 3.0 xs, 3 Magicalls S (I do NOT like these diapers), one chunky monkey aio. And the diapers in the right photo are all made by me: One daribums aio (not a fan of this pattern), one trimsies aio (LOVE this pattern), 3 fitteds.

Covers: 8 Bummis XS Superbites, two thirsties duo stage 1, Peas and carrots set preemie sized from olive janes. Wool: Longies from top to bottom: Dragonfly longies crocheted by me with pattern from here, two pairs of NB longies with Mosaic moon woodland tale and birthday boy colorways, knit by Mary's Little Knits. Blue/grey pair by HappyBumBaby, and the last pair I bought used and have no clue where they came from. Sock monkey longies hooked by Mr. And Mrs. Wooly Pants, sage green shorties crocheted by me with the honeysuckle soaker pattern from Here, and two unknown preemie soakers sent to me from a friend of mine.

Also, not pictured were a dozen WAHM preemie fitteds. We used these for about a month.

Now that I am through the NB stage, here is what I would recommend as a great nb stash for twins:
36 XS aios (both BG and sposoeasy are great)
12 fitteds (I liked all of them except the KL0s, these were not great for us)
6 wool covers
diaper sprayer (although poop from EBF babies can go straight in the wash)
Two wet bags
4 dozen cloth wipes and wipes solution

Friday, 18 June 2010

Fancy Fabric Fridge Frames

So father's day is literally right around the corner and as always, I'm a bit behind. I've racked my brain and why on earth is it that men are so very difficult to shop (or create) for? In my search for a great father's day gift I saw an etsy listing for some really cute little fabric covered picture frames that had magnets on the back and stick to your fridge. So, of course instead of ordering one, I decided to whip up a few on my own. They are super easy and there is no sewing involved! Here's the tutorial:

  1. Find a frame and trace it onto a piece of sturdy cardboard. If you don't have a frame to trace, use a ruler to create an outline in any dimensions that you like. Just make sure that the hole in the middle is big enough to see your photo, but not too big.
  2. Cut it out...simple! I used a box cutter and it worked great!
  3. This is optional, but I find that a little bit of heavy weight fabric between the cardboard and the pretty fabric makes for a better finished product. So, I used an old towel and cut it into strips. Using a hot glue gun, I attached them to the frame.
  4. Now, cute your pretty fabric a bit larger than your frame. Put it pretty side down on the table and trace the photo opening onto the fabric. Cut a small rectangle in the center of it and clip slits toward the inside corners of the frame. Don't clip too far. You can adjust it as you go. Oh No! You are seeing my sposies box! Don't you go assuming things now, this was just the box that some hand-me-down baby clothes came in. I'm still all about the cloth. :)
  5. With the towel side of the frame down against the wrong side of your fabric, very carefully pull the edges of fabric around and hot glue them to the cardboard. I did one side at a time, inside of the frame first and then the outer side. Make sure to pull it tight and to smooth out any wrinkles as you go. It doesn't have to look pretty on the back at this point...we will get there. When you get to the corners, fold and pull the fabric around them to get the look you want and hot glue it down.
  6. Find a picture you love and dam a teensy tiny bit of hot glue on one of the corners, just to keep it held in place. Be careful with this step. I somehow managed to burn myself here. :(
  7. Cut a piece of card stock to fit over the back of your frame to cover the messiness. I made mine a little smaller than the frame so that the backing didn't have a chance to peek over the sides. And, you guessed it- Hot glue the sucker down.
  8. And Holy Smokes, we are almost done. Next, (I'm sure you guessed it) hot glue some little magnets onto the back corners. Make sure to use strong enough magnets to hold up your frame.

Now turn that baby over, and look at what you made! What do you think? Will Daddy/Grandpa like it? What a way upcycle cardboard and use up some scraps from your stash!

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Planet 2x HE Ultra Laundry Detergent Review

Ah, the quest to find diaper detergent continues. While I really love the wahm varieties, such as Rockin Green and Crunchy Clean, I seem to always run out before I get around to ordering more. I have been searching for something great that I can find locally to fill in when I run out. Enter Planet 2x HE Ultra Laundry detergent. I was sent two sample sized bottles of this to try out and let me tell you folks, it's pretty darn good.

First of all, I do not have a HE machine and this worked fine. I used it for diaper laundry, so I didn't use a whole lot of it. A little bit goes a long way. I love that it is unscented and after doing the diaper laundry with Planet 4 or 5 times and line drying we didn't have any problems with ammonia build up or other stinky issues. I will be keeping a bottle of Planet on hand from now on and I'm pretty sure I will start using it on our regular laundry. One other thing to note is that their 50 oz bottle of 2x He detergent will do the same amount of loads as their 100 oz bottle of their ultra liquid detergent.

Here are a few other things you'll want to know about Planet. All of their products are hypoallergenic, biodegradable, not tested on animals, free of animal ingredients, unscented, phosphate free, and non-toxic to aquatic life. There are many other benefits to Planet products and I suggest that you take a moment to visit their website and read about them and their products.

I was not compensated for this review in any way other than receiving free samples of detergent to try. This review reflects my own honest opinions and I hope you find it helpful.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Baking bread and getting messy.

BTW, I will probably be out the rest of the week due to a small and not very fun household disaster. Don't worry, nothing is critically wrong and no one is sick or hurt.

Thursday, 3 June 2010

How I Nurse Twins

This post has been a long time coming. I've been meaning to post a little guide for expectant twin mamas (and any other curious folk) on breastfeeding twins, complete with discrete photos. So here it is. I talk to so many people that find it absolutely amazing that I am able to nurse two babies, and a lot of expectant twin mommies I've talked to are very sceptical in their abilities to do it themselves.

I have worked hard, through trial and error, to find a good nursing system that works for me. Granted, it may not work for you, but I hope that in some way it helps and encourages you to nurse your twins (or singleton). Also, I've got to say that I have not figured this out all on my own. I've talked to a couple different lactation consultants, my LLLI leaders, lots of mamas on thebump.com's eco friendly family forum (check us out, we are a lovely bunch of people), and most significantly-another local twin mama that has become a great friend and mentor. Ashley, thank-you for your help and I am so glad that I am getting to know you.

First of all I find it immensely helpful to gather anything that I might need ahead of time, because once I get the babies latched on, I am not getting up for anything. On my list of things to keep near me while nursing are a glass of water, a small snack, and my pillows. Notice that I did not include remote controls or the phone. I actually try to remember to turn off my phones while I nurse, as I find it incredibly distracting to myself and the babies. I don't watch t.v. while I nurse because it is also distracting and I like to limit the noise level. I have also gotten in the habit of putting a sign on the front door when I am nursing them or when they are napping, that says "Shh, babies are sleeping. Please do not knock, ring, or call. Try us again later."

Now I am ready to nurse. I have four pillows that I use: two nesting pillows from blessednest.com, one nest egg from blessednest.com, and one throw pillow that goes behind my back. I grab both babies and hold them against myself as I plop down on the couch. Hugging both of them against me with one arm, I wedge the throw pillow behind me in a way that gives me comfortable back support. Now, I place one nesting pillow on my right side and one on the left slightly over lapping in the center. I find it more comfortable to keep their heads elevated, so I shove a nest egg underneath both pillows, where they overlap. I really love the pillows from blessednest.com because they are filled with buckwheat hulls and you can adjust them to get the firmness where you want it. (think bean bag chair) I usually make it firmer under their heads and arrange for less hulls near their bum, which puts them in a great position.

Once my pillows are in place I put one baby on my right side and adjust him to a comfy position, playing with the firmness of the pillows until he seems to be in a good place. I latch him on. I repeat this with the other baby on the left side. They are head to head, kind of like two football holds, only supported with pillows. This position works best for us and keeps both babies happy. I have tried having them overlap or lay in the same direction against each other, but as they are getting older and more aware, they seem to become more easily bothered and distracted by each other. In my position they do grab at each others hands, but at least they aren't kicking each other. If you have problems with them grabbing at each other, I've heard the swaddling them so that their arms are tight against their bodies will help.

I highly suggest getting yourself a couple of blessed nest pillows. The two that I have pictured in this post are organic, and available for $87 Here. Mine are Pacific Grove and Key Lime. They are very very handy for nursing twins, or a singleton for that matter. I find them indispensable. Here is how I use the pillow if for some reason I am only nursing one baby.

My boys are seven months old now and are still nursing every two to three hours. When one twin is hungry, I feed them both, whether or not the other twin was acting hungry. I have a better let down this way and can give my "failure to thrive twin" a little boost of easy flowing milk. Another benefit of nursing them at the same time, is that it takes a lot less time overall. For months I was nursing them separately and it seemed like all I had time for was nursing. Now I have some extra time to devote to B Bear.

One other thing that I want to mention is that I have gotten myself used to nursing in public. I realized that if I want to be able to leave the house, I have to be able to nurse them. I bought a used ring sling from a friend of mine and take it with me everywhere. If you run into me out and about, you are likely to see me carrying or nursing one baby in the sling. To do this, I loosen the sling, and put in on with the rings on the opposite side from the breast I want to nurse on. Next, place the baby in the sling so that his bottom is cradled in the sling. Lean the baby so that his head is near your breast and tighten the sling. Then I latch him on. His feet stick out the other side and really the only thing the sling is holding are his bum and thighs. I never do this hands-free. Baby's head is cradled by my arm and we are tummy to tummy.

Good luck with nursing. You can do it, and it is so so good for your baby(ies). Remember that what works for me may not be the right arrangement for you. Play around with it and see what works for you and your babies. I hope that this was in some way helpful and that you are inspired to nurse away!

Note: I was not paid in any way other than being sent merchandise to review and mention the nesting pillows from the blessed nest. Their pillows are fabulous and that is my very own honest opinion.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Wordless Wednesday

This is what happens when your big brother has stickers in his art box.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Beautiful Finds on Etsy

I'm sure that if you are the type that is reading my blog, you have already discovered etsy. As summer approaches and we are finally enjoying some nice spring weather, I've been browsing etsy more often looking for pretty little summer things. I have so many items on my list of favorites right now, but I wanted to share a few of the pretty little things that I have marked. Click the photo to view the etsy listing. (by the way, none of these are from my shop, or the shops of anyone I know or am affiliated with)

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