Pucker Up 3

Swell & Good

Monday, April 30, 2012

30 days, 2,700 miles...

Our trip began on March 31st with a drive to West Lafayette, Indiana. RC and I went back to see friends at Purdue. Marie and Melanie both put us up for a night so we had more time to see friends. We had a great time and wish we had had more time to spare; however, we had to continue on our trip.

Checking out the trampoline with friends Ave and Eve!
St. Louis was the next stop to see Great Aunt Jellyfish (aka, my Aunt Julie)! We had one night and half a day to spare in St. Louis. It was filled with McAllister's Deli (I sure do miss that place!), Orange Leaf, a trip to Cotton Babies (Aunt Julie was introduced to a new whole world!), and a trip to the mall.

Great Aunt Jellyfish!
Our next destination was to see my family in Branson. We were able to spend a little over 2 weeks here. It was crazy 2 weeks. RC played with his cousins, we saw some of my high school friends and had a play date with their kids, went to soccer games, had a birthday party, and so much more! Everyday was jam packed with some activity or kids coming down to play. During this time RC learned to say "GO GO GO," popped his upper molars and became quiet the escape artist!

lunch with the kids. Grilled Cheeses! RC LOVED his. He ate half a sandwich plus extra crust from the others.
Nap time. Laying down to watch HOP.
J and his cake I made. He had just bought his iPad so we thought he would think an iPad cake would be pretty cool. He loved it!
RC LOVED his cake. His was the white angry bird.
RC pushing his 35ish pound cousin around!
We finally left on April 19th to head to Fulton, Missouri to see RC's newest cousin Liam. We spent a little over a week with my sister in law to help out while they began adjusting to life with a new baby. RC spent the time watching the new baby, being jealous when mommy held Liam, learned to say "bebee,"  began standing longer by himself and began working on more teeth!
Baby Liam
Sporting his cloth diaper! So cute!
During this entire trip RC kept saying "da da da da da" whenever he missed his daddy. We skyped, but it wasn't the same. Finally on the 28th we headed for home. Around the Louisville area though, we ran into a nasty storm and headed south several hours out of our way to avoid being in the path of the storms for the night. RC did great in the car. He doesn't mind it...too much. 

Heading away from Louisville as the storm started rolling in
Yesterday, the 29th, we finally arrived home after 30 days and around 2,700 miles later!
RC was so excited to see daddy and play with all of his toys! I guess the trip wore him out as he slept over 12 hours was up only a couple hours and went back down for nap!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The best dessert EVER!!!

Tonight as a special dessert for Trudy and Kyle, I made chocolate peanut butter lave cakes! Trudy and I had this dessert back when Richard was one month old and she came down to Branson and we went our for lunch at Chili's. We shared their chocolate peanut butter lava cake. It was one of the best desserts we had ever had. So for my visit, I decided we had to have lava cakes!

This is a super easy dessert to make. First you need the following:

plus, 1 cup of water, 3 TBSP peanut butter and 1 TBSP confectioners sugar, ramkins (or cupcake pan; regular or jumbo size). This recipe makes 12 regular cupcake lava cakes (adjust the number boxes of mix for amount you need).

Mix the batter as directed with the one cup of water. Pour mix into ramkins, cupcake pan, etc. Be sure you greased the pans first!!! Mix peanut butter and confectioners sugar together. This will help the peanut butter from separating while baking. Then pour in some of the Hershey's fudge and put a dollop of peanut butter on each.

Bake and cool as directed. Tip each cake upside down on plate and drizzle chocolate topping from mix on each. Finally add a scoop of your favorite ice cream and either hot fudge or hard candy shell to ice cream. Then ENJOY!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Mommy Talk Tuesday: Sleep

This week's Mommy Talk Tuesday from The Not-So-Secret Confessions of the Second Time Mom is on sleep! Sleep or rather non-sleep is probably the thing parents dread the most after having a new baby. For me, it turned out to not be so bad. In fact, in the very beginning, I had to set an alarm clock to wake RC to nurse him because he didn't want to wake. He probably would have slept through the night from day 1 if we would have been allowed to let him!

RC has continued to be a pretty easy baby. Around 8 weeks old he began sleeping through the night. By sleeping through the night though, I mean sleeping for about 8 hours. He first began with going to bed around midnight and sleeping until 8am (this wasn't a big deal for me as I generally don't sleep well before midnight anyway.). I decided to let RC make his own schedule. With being a SAHM and RC the only child, I figured things would probably work out easier if I let him do it himself. It didn't take long before he worked his way from midnight as his bedtime to around 8pm with still sleeping until 8am or later.

With him sleeping so long we ran into him waking due to peeing through his cloth diaper. It was time to find a nighttime cloth diaper combo to get him back sleeping through the night. We finally found a combo with a Flip cover, stay dry microfiber, and 2 hemp inserts. Another problem we ran into was him waking due to being hungry. He went from not nursing during the night to feeding every couple hours again around the 4 month mark. This turned out to be because he was getting bigger and not getting a full belly before bedtime anymore. He went on rice cereal at that point and the first night he had the cereal, he was back to sleeping through the night!

Nap times are a bit trickery. In the beginning, of course, RC was like any other newborn. Later, he started taking only 2 maybe 3 times a day. Now, there are days that h one nap is a struggle, but only if when I can tell he is super tired and keeps fighting sleep. Most days he takes a nap no problem. Again since I let him tell me, sometimes that means nap time doesn't come until 4pm! This usually isn't a big, but sometimes does push his bedtime a bit later for that night.

RC is only a year old and later I do foresee some potential problems. Currently we are on a trip where he is sleeping on a twin mattress. In the middle of the night, he has begun waking and thinks it's play time. Later when we decide to move him from a crib to a big boy bed, I think we may have some issues with him getting up and playing in bed. I suppose if this happens and he is quiet, it might not matter too much. He does like to wake a play quietly in his crib for about an hour before he actually cries to get out.

So far with RC, I am not pushing anything and I feel it is working out well for us. When we decide to have number two, I hope things will work out the same way.

Monday, April 23, 2012

An amazing opportunity!

Have you heard of Thirty-One? I first learned about Thirty-One when RC was just a month old. I was back home visiting family when my sister asked me if I wanted to go to a Thirty-One party. I just looked at her and asked "Thirty-One what?" I checked out the website and said I'd go, but wasn't sure I'd buy anything. Boy was I wrong! All my spending money for my trip was gone in an instant! I kept the catalog and over the next month I kept looking through it and looking at the $99 consultant option. I discussed it with my husband and decided to give it a try. Thirty-One has given me the opportunity to get out of the house, have some me time, and make a little money for some extras in our life.
This opportunity can be yours too! Until May 31st, you can earn a $99 rebate by selling $1,000 in your first 30 days! This means your enrollment kit is virtually FREE!!! There are TWO kits to chose from now.

Either kit comes with $300 worth of product AND business supplies. By selling $1,000 in your first 30 days you will also get, at minimum, $250 in commission, earn the $99 rebate AND earn more free products with the startswell program!

Check out my site today and contact for more details!

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Celebrate | Encourage | Reward

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Real Diaper Week: Nighttime Solutions

Nighttime diapering can be a challenge when cloth diapering. Disposables are engineered to hold a lot of urine, however, many choose to cloth diaper to keep the chemicals and toxins away from their child.

Nighttime cloth diapering can be accomplished. First, layer layer layer. It may take multiple inserts to get enough absorbency for your little one to make the 8 - 12 hour sleep. Check out different types of inserts. Hemp is a great solution. It holds more inch per inch than microfiber, however, it doesn't soak up urine as fast as microfiber.

Our nighttime diaper solution is a Flip cover with aplix (velcro closure) with a stay dry microfiber and 2 hemp inserts. This provides our RC with 10 - 12 hours worth of absorbency. The downside, it makes for a pretty thick diaper. RC wears 2 sizes larger in jammies.

If you are having trouble getting the best nighttime solution, ask around. Check with your favorite retailer and see if they have suggestions on what to try. Don't give up. There's always a solution!

RC in his Tiny Tush Elite 2.0 All Star print

Friday, April 20, 2012

Real Diaper Week: Daycare + Cloth Diapers

So today's Real Diaper Week blog hop is on Daycare + Cloth Diapers. I don't have experience in this area since I am a SAHM. So instead I am going to point you in the direction of a resource instead! Just know that daycare + cloth diapers...can = harmony!

Check out this blog post by The Eco Chic for more on daycare + cloth diapers.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Mommy Talk Tuesday....err Wednesday!

Okay, so I am a day late getting to the Mommy Talk Tuesday. This week is on, what else during Real Diaper Week? CLOTH DIAPERS!!!

We made the decision to go with cloth diapers while I was pregnant with RC (our first and far). My hubby was excited...well after the initial shock...that we were going to have a baby. We both were kind of thinking the cloth route from the very beginning, but we were sold on them when we looked at the cost of diapering just ONE child and we want at least two or more. After doing research, asking friends and family on Facebook, we finally decided to go with a pocket diaper. My husband wanted cloth just as much as me, but when I showed him the options, he opted for the ease of the pocket diaper (because he doesn't have to stuff and prep them!!!).  We decided to take a friend's advice and get the BumGenius one size pocket diapers. These diapers, in theory, should last us from newborn to potty training.
The downside, the version I picked, didn't fit RC during his first 2 months. He was just too skinny and while the manufacturer says 8 pounds, it really means more like 10 pounds. Unfortunately, we had to wait until RC was 8 weeks old before starting with cloth. Just those 2 months worth of diapers was enough to make me hate disposables. Between the cost and the thank you!

We have learned a few things along the way. For instance RC's nighttime diaper routine is totally different than daytime. He needs a Flip cover with stay dry microfiber and 2 hemp inserts to make the 10 - 12 hours. This creates a large diaper...which means, much bigger jammies than he really is in. In fact, 2 sizes larger! This also means certain types of jammies to fit over the diaper better as well.

Another thing we learned was our first mistake...nothing for newborn diapering. I now know better and will be prepared for number 2 with newborn covers and prefolds! In fact, I recently bought several covers and a stack of prefolds (thought number 2 is not in sight) for my sister in law to use for her son (due any day now) and then she will gift them back to us when it is time!

Other things I have learned is a good wash routine is key. We wash hot rinse, hot wash, cold rinse and dry only inserts, bags, and wipes. All diaper shells get line dried to ensure they last many many years.

You might think that handling a cloth diaper is gross, but it really is not any worse than a disposable. With the right tools and mindset it is simple, saves TONS of money, the environment, is better for baby, and are super cute!

I am a loyal shopper and my favorite cloth diapering store is Abby's Lane. They have a great rewards program, great customer service, and best of all FREE shipping on all size orders! They also have great giveaways which I love. Once I won one of my pail liners just for ordering on Winging it on Wednesday! They have a blog to with tons of information at Cloth that Counts. There are many other resources and shops out there. My favorite brand so far is BumGenius and Flip. I have tried Tiny Tush and Rumparooz as well. We will be getting a GroVia soon to try. Now that I am more familiar with cloth diapering, I am slowly branching out to a few other brands to test out.

Have questions? Just ask!

Real Diaper Week: Diapering on a Budget

Cloth diapering can be done on a frugal budget. Instead of me going into detail on frugal cloth diapering, I'm going to give you two great articles that do a much better job that me: Frugal Cloth Diapering, It All Started with a Snappi and How to Cloth Diaper Your Baby for only $50.

Instead I am going to tell you why we chose to cloth diaper. We chose to cloth diaper primarily for the amount of money we will save throughout the diapering years. We plan to have at least 2 kids which means we will save approximately $3,500!!! Our diapers can be reused for each child and will last many years if they are taken care of (which of course they are!). We can also sell our diapers when we are finished with them. The best thing about cloth diapers for resale is that they hold their value. We will be able to resell our diapers for just a few dollars less per diaper than we paid for them!

Cloth diapering is a great way to save money and the environment. Do your research ahead of time to decide what style diapers you want. If you can spend a little more money per diaper you will have more options. If you are on a super tight budget check out covers and prefolds.

Don't forget to find giveaways as well or when you place orders, most places have days you can get a free diaper just for ordering. My favorite retailer is Abby's Lane. They have giveaways all the time. Many you do not have to purchase to win. Their blog, Cloth That Counts, is also great to follow for giveaways and great diapering news.

RC at 1 month

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Real Diaper Week: Save our Landfills

Day two for the Real Diaper Week blog hop is environmental awareness. Did you know the average child goes through over 5,000 disposable diapers. Just think, most families will go through 5,000 - 10,000+ diapers. A family with 4 children...that's over 20,000 diapers hitting our landfill!!! Disposables diapers can take 500 years to decompose.

Cloth diapers can be washed and reused, handed down from child to child, given to a friend or sold to someone that can't afford brand new cloth diapers. By using cloth diapers on just one child, you can keep 5,000 disposables diapers out of our landfills for the next 500 years!!!

Check out my Real Diaper Week: Cloth 101 to learn how to get started with cloth diapering. It's easy, economical, earth friendly, and they are super cute compared to disposables!
RC in a BumGenius Freetime in the super cute Einstein print
 9 months

Monday, April 16, 2012

Real Diaper Week: Cloth Diaper 101

This week is Real Diaper Week. Did you know there was one? Cloth diapers are a great alternative to disposables. I'll post more later this week on environmental. Today is about the ease of cloth diapering and getting started.

1. Do your research and ask around to see if you have friends, relatives, or neighbors that cloth diaper.

2. Find a local retailer or online retailer that is great for answering questions. My favorite is Abby's Lane. You will want someone that will help with upfront decisions and if you have issues later with fit, etc.

3. Decide if you are going to purchase everything at once or buy a few things at a time. When we started, we set aside a little money each week and then made one huge purchase.

Cloth diapers have come a long way. They now are much closer to a disposable for putting on your child, are made with waterproof materials to keep the wetness in, and come in super cute colors and prints!

So what the heck do you need to get started? The basics are some covers & prefolds, pocket diapers or all in one diapers. My favorite: pockets for daytime and covers at night. You will also want wet/dry bags for the diaper bag, pail liners & trash can for dirty diapers.

 My favorite cover by Flip and also my favorite pocket diaper by BumGenius
Another pocket diaper. This one by Tiny Tush.

Other great items: cloth wipes (can just use water for cleaning), disposables liners (for those that don't want to spray solids out of the diaper), diaper sprayer (for those that don't mind spraying out the solids and don't want to spend the extra money on the liners!).

When we first looked into cloth diapering we heard things like: "it isn't worth the trouble," "you'll probably give up soon after starting," "your hubby won't help with changing the baby. Today, a year later, we are still going strong and plan to continue with any other children that we have.

Happy CDing!

My RC in his BumGenius. 1 year