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Entertaining Sunshine: Part One

Entertaining Sunshine: Part one

As baby Sunshine is getting older it’s both easier and harder to entertain her at the same time. She is more interactive and interested in her environment, but she also gets bored easily. As a stay at home Mom I am her primary playmate, so I have to work hard to keep her from getting bored with me. I am starting a series of posts sharing a few ways I pass the time and keep Sunshine entertained. This will be an ongoing series as her interests change, she grows, and I discover new ways to keep her engaged and entertained!

Funny Faces & Chatting

My little girl loves funny faces and babbling chats with me. I try to repeat the sounds she makes back at her, she really enjoys it. Recently she started blowing bubbles constantly, so I blow bubbles back! Easy, simple, fun. Sunshine also likes making faces at herself. Best way to do that aside from a mirror? My iMac’s photo booth application!

Us playing around in iMac Photo Booth.

Us playing around in iMac Photo Booth.

Baby Sign Language

I am teaching Sunshine a few basic signs like Mother, Father, milk, and eat. Next I want to start drink, more, diaper, Grandpa, Grandma, dog, and cat. She absolutely loves staring up at me while I sign to her. There are tons of free sign language sources online to get you started, and if you want in-person help you can look for baby sign classes near you.

Here are two of my favorite online resources:

Books and other High-Contrast Activities

Another obvious one, reading! Of course you should read to your child from an early age, but who says you can’t let your baby start reading in their own way as well? My favorite way to let my three month old “read” on her own is a high-contrast black, white, and red book. Look, Look!  by Peter Linenthal is her favorite. She also enjoys Baby Animals Black and White by Phyllis L. Tildes.

If you can’t afford a board book right now, then how about downloading and printing these cards from So Smart! So Smart also includes some tips on how to engage your baby. Another free resource comes from Fisher-Price: they have a plethora of free apps for baby available for iPhone and iPad. If you are comfortable with allowing your little one to look at screens (I personally don’t have a problem with it as long as it isn’t constant exposure), then these apps are awesome. Sunshine’s favorite baby app is the Fisher-Price B&W High Contrast App. It features adorable moving animals in black, white, and red and music you can turn on or off.

Checking out her Look, Look! book during a diaper/outfit change.

Checking out her Look, Look! book during a diaper/outfit change. Gotta love her facial expressions.

Babywearing

Babies love to watch what you’re doing. Why not wear baby around the house while you’re doing chores so she can watch? Sunshine loves watching me cook, clean, do laundry, dishes, anything really! She also enjoys the bonding time. I have a Moby and an Ergo carrier, but I just ordered my first woven carrier. I will let you know how that goes once that gets here!🙂

Sunshine looking around Sam's Club while she's in her Moby wrap.

Sunshine looking around Sam’s Club while she’s in her Moby wrap.

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Woolzies Dryer Ball Giveaway is Live!

Woolzies Dryer Ball Giveaway!

giveawaywoolzies

Enter for your chance to win these fantastic Dryer Balls!

Woolzies are an awesome way to save money and use a product that is Eco-friendly! These dryer balls are made of 100% New Zealand Wool and they soften your clothes and make them fluffy without the harsh chemicals that are released in the heat of a dryer!  They are also safe for people with wool allergies!  They separate the clothes by bouncing around and allowing them to dry static free!

See review of Woolzies Dryer Balls Here!

This giveaway is brought to you by Daleville Alabama Kitchen!
Daleville Alabama Kitchens received a box of these balls to do a product review.  
No payment was received other than the Woolzies Dryer Balls.
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Laundry Lesson Two: Sun your Diapers!

Lesson Two: Sun your Diapers!

Seriously, sun your diapers.  People told me to do this when I started cloth diapering and I thought eh, maybe it’ll work. Now, I am a sunning convert. I don’t do it with every single wash, but I do it as often as I can. There are actually a lot of benefits to sunning or line drying clothing. How do you do it? Well, it’s simple put your wet diapers or clothing outside in direct sunlight and leave it for a while. Make sure to keep them wet if you want to keep sunning them. So if you check back and the stains are still really bad, just wet them again and stick the diapers back outside. When you’re done you can either bring everything in and use it as is (assuming it’s completely dry), or finish it in the dryer.

Here’s a few photos from my most recent sunning session!

Diapers when I put them outside. I rewet them once, and I don't know what that is on the far left one. It's some kind of dirt that's IN the fabric, but it was there after washing. I am still trying to get that out.

Diapers when I put them outside. I rewet them once, and I don’t know what that is on the far left one. It’s some kind of dirt that’s IN the fabric, but it was there after washing. I am still trying to get that out.

And after! Please excuse the pink glow from my shirt. My husband was rushing me to go to our anniversary dinner, so I didn't get the best photo..but you get the idea. Stains are basically gone!

And after! Please excuse the pink glow from my shirt. My husband was rushing me to go to our anniversary dinner, so I didn’t get the best photo..but you get the idea. Stains are basically gone!

So why should you sun your diapers? Here are a few reasons.

1. Cut your electric bill, at least theoretically.

If you’re not using the dryer as often or as long then you’re cutting down on your electric bill. Maybe it’s only pennies saved, but hey every little bit counts! Some people don’t like that line-dried clothes feel “crunchy.” If that bothers you, you can still use the dryer afterwards to toss the clothes or diapers around with some dryer balls and get the clothes soft again.

2. Bye, bye stains!

Your stains should not be as bad after sunning, but often stains will be completely gone in just a few hours. If the stain is particularly troublesome you might have to up your game some by doing multiple sunning sessions or trying some stain-fighting additives like lemon juice. I haven’t tried using lemon juice yet, so no personal experience with that one. A word of caution: I know GroVia and a lot of other diaper companies do not recommend using most plant oil or substances on their diapers. Companies are often decently picky about what you can use to fight stains since the fabrics may be organic and “caustic substances” will destroy the fabric, so make sure it wouldn’t void your warranty to try any stain additive you’re considering.

3. Bacteria? What bacteria?

Sunning your diapers naturally kills nasty things on your diapers such as yeast. It’s a way to avoid having to use harsher substances to sanitize your diapers. The jury is still out about whether bleach even works 100% to sanitize diapers, but it probably kills most things. Either way the sun is a better natural, free solution without any gross chemicals! Even if you aren’t having a problem (a lot of people never do), it’s still a good idea to periodically sun your diapers to sanitize them just to be safe. Keep in mind you can sun wet bags and pail liners, too! I try to not leave them outside as long because I figure that long-term heat is probably bad for the PUL, but I still stick them out there for an hour or so at a time assuming it’s not raging hot. I’m not an expert though, so use your best judgment on how long you want to leave anything outside sunning.

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Woolzies Dryer Ball Giveaway

Woolzies Dryer Ball Giveaway!

giveawaywoolzies

Enter for your chance to win these fantastic Dryer Balls!

Woolzies are an awesome way to save money and use a product that is Eco-friendly! These dryer balls are made of 100% New Zealand Wool and they soften your clothes and make them fluffy without the harsh chemicals that are released in the heat of a dryer!  They are also safe for people with wool allergies!  They separate the clothes by bouncing around and allowing them to dry static free!

See review of Woolzies Dryer Balls Here!

This giveaway is brought to you by Daleville Alabama Kitchen!
Daleville Alabama Kitchens received a box of these balls to do a product review.  
No payment was received other than the Woolzies Dryer Balls.
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Bamboobies Review

When I started breastfeeding I used disposable nursing pads. While they served their purpose, I grew tired very fast of buying box after box after box. I have an oversupply and my boobs leak a lot. I mean…a lot. My baby is 3 months old and they’re STILL leaking a lot, does this ever end?! Anyway, I zoomed through a 100-count box of disposable nursing pads in just a few weeks. The money-saving side of me decided to look into other options. That was when I remembered Bamboobies, and I decided to give them a try. I purchased the Bamboobies reviewed here myself, Bamboobies did not provide them or request that I review their product.

Lucky for me Babies R Us was having a sale of buy one box get the other discounted (I think it was 20 or 40% off). So I was able to try out a mixed box of regular and overnight Bamboobies and an additional box of overnights for a discounted price. I thought I would probably need more overnights than regular Bamboobies because of my tendency to leak heavily.  So with no further ado, after months of using Bamboobies with a lot of success and putting them to the test on a road trip here are my honest opinions about Bamboobies!

If you can’t tell already I’m in love with them. They DO feel velvety soft and they are cute. One of my regular pairs washed up a little weird – a little rougher than the others, but even that pair is still soft compared to a disposable nursing pad. Oh yeah that’s the best part about them in case you didn’t realize by now, they wash and dry normally – no special care! I just toss them in my lingerie bag and put them in the washer with the rest of my clothes.

Regular Pair

A pair of regular Bamboobies on top of an Overnight pair.

A pair of regular Bamboobies on top of an overnight pair

The regular have a special heart-shaped design that both looks cute and fits nipples better than the average disposable nursing pad. You can wear the hearts up or down depending on your breast and nipple shape. The shape combined with the thinness make regular Bamboobies virtually invisible under clothes. Even though the pads feel thin, they absorb a ton of liquid since they’re made of a bamboo fabric blend. Bamboo is becoming a very popular fabric because it is soft and incredibly absorbent at the same time. The backing is milk-proof, so even when they’re full Bamboobies do not leak from the back. They actually leak out the sides when they’re full.

Back of regular Bamboobies. Top: Light pink, Middle: Hot pink, Bottom: Black

Back of regular Bamboobies Top: Light pink, Middle: Hot pink, Bottom: Black

I tried wearing one pair of regulars on a road-trip. On a prior 7-hour road trip I used disposables and I was able to use one pair the whole time successfully; however, it is important to note I stopped to nurse multiple times during the trip. On my Bamboobies test trip it was a 2.5 hour drive, but no stopping. So by the time we got settled in at the in-laws house for me to nurse it had probably been 4 or 5 hours since baby ate last. I actually leaked through my shirt on the side I hadn’t nursed yet wearing the regular Bamboobies. The milk didn’t come out the back, it came through each side of the heart onto my bra and then my shirt.

I was a little disappointed, but then again I also wasn’t 100% sure the regular pair would hold up to heavy leaking over a long period of time. So lesson learned: on a roadtrip wear the overnight Bamboobies or change halfway through to a second pair. That being said, on a normal day out and about or just around the house I’ve had luck with regular Bamboobies. I haven’t experienced any leaks yet on the average day. If you aren’t a heavy leaker, you’d probably last on a long trip with no problem.

Pros:
  • Virtually invisible under clothes
  • Cute colors that work well with virtually any bra and clothing (hot pink, black, light pink)
  • Heart-shaped design
  • Thinner and as a result less noticeable to you as well
  • Super absorbent
  • Silky smooth
  • No special care, just wash and dry normally
Cons:
  • Not as absorbent as overnights (but they’re not supposed to be), so if you leak heavily you’re going to potentially need a few pairs to get through the day
  • You need to be diligent about changing any leak-proof backed nursing pads once they are full because long-term exposure to wetness on the nipple could create a thrush problem. I’d argue that long-term exposure in a disposable could also lead to thrush as well, but I guess the main difference is breathability factor and a lot of people are more likely to change a disposable faster than a resuable nursing pad.

Overnight Pair

overnightbamboobiepicmonkey

Top: newer pair a few weeks old, bottom: pair used for over two months

Overnight Bamboobies are more of the traditional circular shape. They are also considerably thicker (though still not super bulky) and will absorb a lot more. I’ve never needed more than one pair of overnight Bamboobies to get through the night, so my stash primarily consists of overnights because I figured I can leak through a pair of regulars faster on a long day. You CAN see the overnight pairs through a bra/shirt if it’s tight fighting, so they’re not much different from disposable nursing pads as far as visibility goes.

Back of overnight Bamboobies

Back of overnight Bamboobies

I am happy to say I’ve never leaked through the overnights in one night; however, I have filled up a pair of disposable nursing pads in the same amount of time. I’ve only had leaking issues with the overnight Bamboobies if I didn’t have them in my bra correctly when I fell asleep. Newborn-related fatigue’ll do that to ya.

stainedbamboobiepicmonkeyAs you can see in the bottom pair they wear pretty well, but do stain sometimes. I am not sure if the stain is breastmilk or Lanolin, but my guess is it’s Lanolin. The stains do not bother me because the Bamboobies still function and feel the same.

Pros:
  • Very absorbent, even more than regular pairs, so awesome for heavy leakers
  • Still silky smooth
  • Need less of them since they last longer between time to change them
  • No special care, just wash and dry normally
Cons:
  • Visible through form-fitting clothes
  • Not as many colors, only comes in a light blue color
  • Takes just a little longer to dry in the dryer since they’re thicker

So that’s my take on Bamboobies! What do you think of them, have you tried them? I’d love to hear your experiences!

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