Circumcision - What To Do?

I just read a wonderful article about circumcision on one of my favorite blogs and thought I'd share it. Since we have 2 boys, we've had to address circumcision twice. The first time, as with many things, I had no idea what to do. I only knew what I was told and had Josiah circumcised. Only in hindsight did I wish I'd done otherwise. When we came home from the hospital each diaper change was so painful for the poor boy because his penis was so red and sore.

When I was pregnant with Liam, I really start reading about it and found that many of the reasons people decide to circumcise their children are often false and, in fact, most other countries do not circumcise, or at least, not as much as we do in the US. A study in 2000 showed that while 75% of boys in the US were circumcised, more so when born in hospitals, only 24% were in other countries (and you have to take into account religious affiliation, too). In hospitals, the doctors and nurses just seem to assume you will get the procedure done for some reason, though I can't understand why they would.

When we were in the hospital with Liam we were asked about having the procedure several times, even after we came home from the hospital the doctor inquired. It's really annoying and frustrating to have this decision made for you, like you are a bad mother for not getting your son circumsized. I don't get it!

I'm happy to report that Liam just turned 6 months old, is uncircumcised and so far his penis has not fallen off, gotten infected, or is it hard to clean. My only concern is that the boys will compare later, noticing differences, and have questions or jealousy issues, but we will address that when needed.

What was your experience? If you had/have a boy what did/would you do?

Wordless Wednesday- A Blast From The Past

I had to post this one since I just found it buried deep in a folder. :) This is when Josiah was about 21 months old, about a year ago, and he snuck into Aimee's bathroom only to find baby powder. I spent the rest of the day cleaning it off of him, the rugs, and his toys. lol! At least he had a good time!
For more Wordless Wednesday pictures OR to link up your own picture, go to 5minutesformom.com


Top Ten Tuesday

I have stolen this idea from another blogging mama, Danielle. Hope you don't mind, but I think it is a great idea and I plan to make a list each Tuesday.
Although each and every day of my life has become an adventure, having a 2 (almost 3!!) year old and a now 6 month old under one roof, I've also noticed a bit of monotony. Not he boring type of monotony, mind you. The type when the actions of the children repeat themselves or I say the same thing I just said the day before. Dare I say I have a routine? I won't go that far, but here are the top 10 things said on an almost daily basis:

10. "Play cars, Mama!" The boy is obsessed with cars, to say the least.
9. Liam's face completely lights up as soon as Josiah graces us with his presence around 10am every morning! He can barely make it 2 hrs without him! Then he continues to babble for the next 30 minutes, surely telling Josiah all the torture I've put him through.
8. What Josiah wants to eat for lunch every day: "a turkey sammich and go-fish", of course! Every day!!
7. Liam finds his Mama (or her face) so hilarious that he laughs himself into having hiccups.
6. I get whacked by a flying piece of playdoh, paint, or some other mess-making object. Josiah says,"Oh, sorry!" At least the boy has manners... sometimes.
5. Josiah says,"I'm prince charming. Go to sleep and snore!" After watching Snow White a week ago, he wants everyone to fein sleep only to be awakened by his smooch!
4. "Josiah, what are you doing in there?" His response: "Nothing!! Stay in there!"
3. Me: Nap time! Josiah: That's okay, I'm not tired.
2. "Where's Eman? Let's go get him!" Josiah can't stand when Liam is sleeping and waits impatiently to hear his first cry. Then, he springs from his chair and runs to his rescue. :)
1. Josiah says, "I wuv you sooo much!" I couldn't wait until he was old enough to tell me this and I absolutely love it.
Any ideas out there about future top ten lists? It's harder to come up with than I thought. :) Happy Tuesday, everyone!


Welcome Baby Soleil!

Congrats Laura and Shannon!!
on the arrival of your beautiful little girl, Soleil Elise! She decided to grace their presence a few weeks early, arriving around 2am on the 19th of March. Yes, that's my birthday, too, so I got quite the present!

Soleil arrived happy, healthy, and alert! With the help of Shannon, her doula and midwife, Laura was able to push through the labor pains and have a natural birth! I am so jealous! From what Shannon has told me, the doula and midwife were a wonderful combo, helping with any and everything even before labor, offering classes and any advice they could give. I encourage any mother-to-be to get a doula! I will get the info from Shannon and Laura if anyone is in the Athens (Georgia) area and interested. They had nothing but good things to say about the midwife and doula.

Welcome to our world, Soleil! We can't wait to come for a visit and finally get to see you! Don't grow up too quickly, though I know you will! They always do!

Here's a link to Soleil's blog. Talk about a technologically advanced baby! The birthing story is definitely worth a read. I love reading about each couple's experiences since they are always unique. There are also lots of adorable pictures and updates!


Wordless Wednesdays

Yum, yum, yum! Yarn is sooo good!


Cloth Wipe Solution Idea #2

Well, Josiah liked my first solution so much that he emptied it out in a bowl to "make soup". Lovely! I am amazed at how much energy a toddler puts into getting containers open and how much energy we parents put into keeping them out of containers only to inevitably fail! At least with these solutions, I know they are organic and will not harm little fingers, unlike the spray bleach cleaner I found earlier in the kitchen and disposed of very promptly.
Without further ado, here is solution #2, using Dr. Bronner's soap. I liked tea tree oil, but wanted to make something without the pepperminty smell that it has to offer. I like lavender!
Double Lavender Surprise
2-3 cups Water
2 Tablespoons Baby Magic Lavender Chamomile Baby Wash
1 Tablespoon Dr. Bronner's Lavender Oil Soap
1 Chamomile tea Bag
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
I put the tea bag in one cup of water and heated to a boil, letting it steep a few minutes. Then I added it to the rest of the mixture. Shake well!
I wasn't exactly sure about how much Dr. Bronner's to use since I'd only used the peppermint kind to make an organic ant spray last year (that worked very well, by the way). Anywho, it foamed up like crazy, but once it settled, it was fine. It does not break-out Liam at all and it smells yummy! Next time I am going to use pure lavender oil if I can get my hands on some. I added an extra cup of water to this one to make the foam lessen a bit so, I have a feeling this is going to last a while unless Josiah gets his little monkey paws on it again!
If you have any cloth wipe recipes, feel free to post! I'd love to try out some new ideas!


Rockin' Green Cloth Diaper Detergent

Before Liam was born, someone on Yahoo Answers recommended Rockin' Green Cloth Diaper Detergent. Something I didn't know about? My curiousity was immediately piqued so, I consulted my trusty detergent rating chart, but no Rockin'! Then, I found the Rockin' Green webpage through Google and several other rave reviews! Does anyone have anything negative to say about this detergent? Apparently not!

After Liam was born, had several tummy issues, and was eventually put on alimentum (giving him the smelliest watery poo ever) detergents continually failed to remove the awful smell. It was finally time to put Rockin' Green to the test!  I perused the webpage shop and couldn't believe the delicious scent selections! How could I choose? Well, with the affordable prices and wide variety of options, I choose a big 45/90 bag of Cherry Almond ($13.95), 2 sample sizes (of 7/14 loads) of Cherry Lemonade and Lavender Vanilla ($2.50/each), and 2 scent cards of Grape Soda and Mango Sorbet (.25/each) for less than $25 with shipping!! That's about $.11 a load!

I don't think I've ever been as excited to do laundry when I found my Rockin' Green in the mailbox! I quickly loaded some CDs into the wash for my preliminary cleaning, which called for 3 Tbsps, then another wash with just 1 Tbsp. Leaving the bag on top of the dryer, I could smell the delicious Cherry Almond wafting up the stairs into the living room. Yum! Impatiently I waited for the dryer to finish so I could take that first sniff. So many times I've sniffed the lingering scent of poo, an unwanted foe, but not this time! The diapers smelled faintly of the detergent, but mostly just smelled clean. Oh, how I love that clean smell, similar to how Charlie's Soap used to make them smell pre-alimentum poo and sensitive skin. :) It was wonderful!

Putting the CDs on Liam was the other test and, once again, Rockin' passed with flying colors! No break-outs or dry skin caused my the detergent! Woohoo! Plus, my other son, Josiah, absolutely loves the smell of all the scents and I have to keep it away from him or he hides the samples in his room. The little thief!

 In addition, I found a very useful purpose for the scent cards. Put them in your diaper drawer or blanket drawer and everything in there will smell amazing within a day. All of my extra prefolds and miscellaneous dipes smell like grape heaven. Sometimes I just open the drawer to catch a whiff. You bet I am trying Grape Soda next time and YES, of course, there will be a next time. I am hooked on the green! 
I highly recommend this detergent to anyone who uses cloth diapers. I really can't say enough about it- great price, great for sensitive skin, great for cloth diapers, and a new Hard Rock formula for hard water is coming out in the very near future! Be sure to give it a try and get hooked, too! Right now there is a special 15% discount for the online store using the code 'Itscoming' and, if that is no longer valid when you are ordering, use the code 'tryit' for 10% off your first order! After you give it a try, let me know what you think!


Wordless Wednesday Cooking A Clown

I was in the kitchen making more cloth wipe solution and Josiah decided to stuff all of the  non-matching socks in a container and was dumping them out in the pans to "make a clown"!! He was also wearing a pot on his head saying he was a clown. Silliness abound, as usual!
To link to more Wordless Wednesday pictures, go to 5minutesformom .
It's a great way to get to know other blogging Mamas and for them to get to know you! Enjoy!


Prefold Perfection!

When my box from The Natural Baby arrived the other day, I received several items, but was most excited about the prefolds. I tried them once or twice before with Liam, but as a newborn he absolutely hated diaper changes so, prefolds were not a good option at that time. Now that he is a bit older and actually enjoys a fresh dipe, I thought we'd give them another go.
First, I gave them all a good intro washing (about 3 heavy washes) to make them nice and fluffy. Then, with snappi in hand, I was prepared to give it a try. Rebecca, from TNB, had previously shown me how to snappi them on and I was hoping I retained some part of that instruction, but as I sat in the floor with Liam, the poor boy waited and waited as I snappi'ed the prefold loosely together again and again. Grrr! I did note that even when they were a little loose around the legs, my thirsties covers still held in the pee very well, but I strive for perfection!
Where do I go to find out how to put together a prefold masterpiece? YouTube, of course! There are several ways to put together a prefold.

After watching a video via YouTube, I went back to experimenting on poor Liam. To my surprise, over the next few days I perfected my prefold! Woo!
My thoughts on prefolds?
Love them!! My mom used these on my 30 years ago and, with all the new cloth diapers available, I got diaper fever, wanting to try all of the expensive brands, but what was I thinking? Liam has yet to leak from a prefold, which is more than I can say for some of the other CDs. They are cheap and affordable (from $1-3), work very well, and clean faster and more efficiently in the wash. Oh, and they dry faster than the AIOs and Pocket dipes, too! I haven't found anything negative about them yet except that my husband won't go near them. I am just getting him on the CD bandwagon so, I think it will take a bit longer to get him to try prefolds.
Prefolds do take some practice, but it's really rewarding when you figure them out. It's a great feeling knowing you have mastered yet another part of mamahood, you know?
Have you tried prefolds? If not, why? If so, what has been your experience? Positive/negative?


Cloth Diaper Giveaways- Update & Ideas

As promised 2 weeks ago, I started registering for the many cloth diaper giveaways on several blogs found through twitter. In my OCD state, I have registered for 35 giveaways, mostly Cloth diapers (CDs) in all, sticking to only 5 blogs that have multiple giveaways going on. Out of those 35 giveaways, 13 have already ended.

Did I win anything? Yes! I actually won an AppleCheeks CD yesterday! And I just won a set of Bumma's cloth wipes on Monday! Woo!

Is it really worth the time and effort? Well, that remains to be seen. As the next giveaways end, spanding over the month of March, I will be able to tell. I have to admit, giveaway registering is not only addictive, but time-consuming. As far as money saving, yes, registering is worth it since I won a $25 cloth diaper without spending a penny!

How does this all work?You find giveaways on other blogs and answer a series of questions, one at a time, while completing the tasks (following them on twitter, becoming a fan on facebook, etc.). Some allow you to tweet once a day for an extra entry and on others you can tweet every hour! Can you imagine someone sitting at home doing this all day? Apparently people do!
I'm learning tricks of the trade as a I go along and if they work for me, I'll pass them along.

If you are interested in trying out some giveaways for yourself, these are the 3 of my favorites with some great giveaways!
1. Mama Dweeb - Annie is a wonderful blogger and has taken time out to also talk to me about how to improve my blog so, I am very grateful. She also wrote about me in a post! I feel special. Right now she has 2 great giveaways going on. You can register to win a Mother Ease CD and also these creative onesie gifts wrapped beautifully by Baby Bunches !

2. Loves Jurns 3

3. Minnesota Mama's Must-Haves- She has many giveaways, but I only register for CDs and related items!


Aloha Friday!

The weekend is finally here and it's time to sit back, relax, and enjoy life! Kailani at An Island Life has a really fun meme. It's a great way to link up, hop around new blogs, and find some new friends. All you do is post a simple question on your blog and go answer other people's questions on their blogs!
What do you look forward to the most as the weekend nears?
My Answer:
I look forward to doing something with the entire family like going to the park, ice skating, or visiting other friends and family. It's the time of the week when we get to be on the go!
Have a wonderful Weekend!!!

One of My Favorite Stores

Liam has been in need of newer, bigger cloth diapers for about a week so, I figured it was about time to start stockpiling Medium CDs. One part of our order came today and we all lit up with excitement! Since before Liam was born I've been buying most of my CDs at The Natural Baby and have been so pleased with the help and service we've received. Rebecca and her husband, Tripp, run the online store as well as a beautiful store on Main Street in Watkinsville, Georgia (my hometown!), only a few miles from Athens and UGA.
We registered for our baby items online and when we came into town for our shower, we finally got to stop by the store and peruse the aisles of cloth diapers, baby accessories, organic clothing, and even home goods. When we were in town she even offered to open the store on Sunday just for us since we weren't coming back until after Liam was born! Rebecca and her husband toured me around the store, led me to must-have baby items, and also took the time to demonstrate via teddy bear how to put on the prefold correctly with a snappi!
Liam outgrew several diapers before I could even get the tags off and wash them so, I gave Rebecca a call and asked if she would allow an exchange. Surprisingly, the answer was yes! Not only that, but she happily put in a special order to get the types of cloth diapers we use since they were not in stock! You can't get better customer service than that!
I highly recommend this store! Some of their items may be more expensive than other stores, but I've come to learn that customer service is worth a few extra dollars. Plus, I like to support my local businesses. There aren't many natural baby stores, especially catering to those of us who use cloth diapers, around the area or in Georgia for that matter! Also, for those of you who live in the Athens area, The Natural Baby offers Baby Sign Language classes on weekends.


Wordless Wednesdays

For More Wordless Wednesday Pictures go to Mama Dweeb's blog! She also hosts great giveaways!


Does Your Little One Only Sleep Upright? This Product is For You!

If your baby is anything like my 5 month old, (s)he will not sleep any other way than in an upright position. No bassinet, no co-sleeping, no crib will do; Liam will only sleep in his car seat, but at 5 months old, it's about time to move the boy to his own room with a sleeper that's more appropriate.

After searching endlessly for the right product I came across a review on one of my new favorite blogs! The Fisher Price Newborn Rock n' Play Sleeper is an upright sleeper that meets all the requirements of a bassinet, is portable, and light-weight! Oh, and did I mention it is only $50 on Amazon? With a 20% Rewards Members coupon at Babies R Us, we only paid $40 so, it was quite a bargain! It has a weight limit of 25 pounds, but will give us at least a few more months to figure out what to buy next. :)

What's the verdict? Liam is very happy with his new sleeper! In fact, Monday morning he woke up at 7am for a feeding, went back to sleep and didn't wake until almost 10am. Many times I go to check on him and he's just hanging out in his sleeper, happy as a clam! That never would have happened in his car seat! Liam highly recommends this product to any baby who likes to sleep upright or needs a nice portable rocker to play/nap in during the day. A+!!