Sunday, August 18, 2013

bum genius v. flip v. econobum cloth diaper systems

BumGenius, Flip, and Econobum cloth diapers are all made by the same company, Cottonbabies.  These three diapers are VERY similar and I am going to point out the differences and similarities I see between the three brands.

Our experience:
I had purchased all three of these brands to try on Elliot.  Out of the collection our Flips have been the workhorse of them all.  We started using the Flips right away with Green Mountain prefold diapers in a simple trifold with a fleece liner (Elliot was 8lbs 11.8 oz, 20 inches at birth). As a new mom and dad this combination seemed pretty easy to do.  They have a lot of little pees and poos in the newborn stage and this helped keep laundry a bit lighter.  I also liked when the snaps were on the smallest setting the diaper didn't give him a huge fluffy but.

We still use our Flips.  Occasionally I will use them with a Green Mountain prefold with fleece liner or the Flip stay-dry insert during the day.  The Flip gets the most use in our home as a nighttime go-to diaper cover.  Out of allll of our other diaper combinations, the Flip + TotsBots + 2 or 3 Hemp Babies + fleece liner is our stay-dry-all-night solution.  Our second nighttime diaper option is a Thirsties + Flip organic insert + 3 Hemp Babies layered in prefold + fleece liner.

I did not use my bumGenius diapers in the beginning because I thought that they looked so big.  Even now at a few days shy of 5 months I think they look big on him (Elliot is 18lbs 10 oz, 29 1/4 inches).  But they are a good diaper and I think I will really like them in the toddler stage.  When I polled my YouTube subscribers, this brand was the overall subscriber favorite. The inside fleece has held up nicely to washing but I have not been impressed with the after-multiple-washes aplix on either the bumGenius or Flip.

The Econobum diapers are still sitting in a drawer, new in package.  I overbought cloth diapers and I felt that I did not need them considering my abundance of other choices.  I will be selling them or giving them as gifts.  I do think that they are a good diaper and I have heard excellent things about the prefold diaper that comes inside them.  If a person was on a very tight budget I think a stash that included Flip and Econobum diaper covers would be great!

Fluffy-bargain tip:
Cottonbabies sells their "seconds" several times per year.  These are diaper covers only.  I have bought from these sales a couple times and the quality is near perfect- usually I can't tell what made the item a "second."  As of August 2013, a BG second is $11.75, a Flip second is $7.25, and a 3-pack organic Flip prefold seconds are $17.95.  I personally have never seen Econobum on their seconds sale.

Do you have bumGenius, Flip, or Econobum in your cloth diaper stash?  What is your favorite? Are there any likes/dislikes you would like to point out to readers?  Please comment below with your experiences.

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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

coping with bittersweet milestones

In yoga we are taught that the root of suffering is attachment.  This doesn't mean not caring about the people/places/things in your life.  Living in the present moment, letting go, and identifying with the inner true Self, that shared collective energy (some call God), can reduce the suffering in your life.  The quote by Rumi resonated with me when I came across it by chance tonight.  Perhaps master yogis would say, "life in balance is learning to let go." How does a parent handle non-attachment?

As a new mother I never thought my heart would ache as much as it does to see my son grow up.  Of course, all parents want to see their children healthy and thriving.  But there is something terribly bittersweet as your child passes each developmental milestone.  Time goes insanely fast on baby-time and I feel each day is a celebration and mourning.

I am certain that infertility compounds this bittersweet dichotomy. I waited over four years to get this sweet baby boy in my arms.  And now in a mere 4 months he is trying his hardest to scoot around on the floor and grow up on me. Although I feel like I am doing a good job living in the present moment, milestones are met with a cheer and a tear. Somehow I must not be totally in the moment and I need to continue to search for where that moment-leak is at. Why do I hang on so hard? Is it the fear that life will never be as good as it is at this very moment?

I hypothesize that the only way to reduce this pain is to somehow fully accept and live in the present moment, meditate, and to not be attached to my son in his little body but instead to see him as his big Self. This is a lesson I am trying to learn daily and hope that I learn gently. 

Have you ever felt this bittersweet feeling and how do you cope?  Please comment below for other mothers searching for guidance and comfort.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

SuperMom Tag

1.  How many kids do you have/what age(s)?
My rainbow baby, Elliot, is 4 1/2 months old.  I also have 2 babies that miscarried.  Hope Allen would have been 3 this October and Sparrow Lee would have been 2 as of this past July.

2.  Do you feel like you have it "all together" everyday? Cleaning/laundry/beauty/etc?
Haha, no.  Not at all, but that is okay!  I do a great job with laundry and livable level of cleaning and beauty has gone out the door unless it is a wedding or some other reaaaally important event.  I'm learning to see my plain face as my beautiful face.

3.  When do you make time to shower? Day/night?
I usually shower late at night when Elliot is asleep. I'll admit there are plenty of days I don't get a shower, but that is getting better as he gets older.

4.  Do you wear makeup everyday?
No. I didn't before I had Elliot either. Funny thing is that I used to manage a makeup counter for a while in my early 20s and I was good at it, too.  I'm trying to learn to love the skin I'm in and not cover/alter it as much as I used to.  And now I'm just too tired and would rather spend the time playing with my son on the floor than in front of my mirror.

5.  Do you style your hair everyday? Or pony tail it?
No. My hair is super thick and takes forever to wash and dry.  If I air dry it takes 1-2 days for it to dry out.  I either straighten or use hot rollers in my hair once every 1-3 weeks.  The rest of the time it is pulled up in a pony or in bun.

6.  When do you find time to do your hair and makeup? When the kids are awake/asleep?
I don't. If I have to put a little on I will do it in a minute or two while Elliot is playing on the floor or my husband is watching him.  Under-eye concealer, mascara, brow powder, and lip balm are my quick makeup go-to items.  I do make time to do my skin care routine *almost* every day which consists of cleanser, anti-aging serum,  eye cream, and moisturizer.

7.  Do you workout? When?
Kind of.  I take Elliot for on walks in the baby carrier one to three times a day.  I also manage a yoga studio and try to practice 1-2/week.  Hubby works very long hours so that doesn't always work out.  I have a couple DVDs at home that I enjoy that occasionally get a wild hair and do them.  I also let the little things add up from moving naturally during outings like parking far from the entrance, taking the stairs, using a baby carrier instead of a stroller, etc.

8.  What is your household cleaning routine? Do you clean everyday?
I would love to say I have a regular schedule, but I do not.  I'm not a huge fan of structure- it makes me feel trapped. We do the regular maintenance things everyday and try to catch all the rest once every week or so.  I do well keeping up with the laundry though with ~3 loads per day.  Cloth diaper laundry is done every day at our house.

9.  Do you ever get overwhelmed with all the responsibilities as a mom?
Yes.  I'm still trying to find balance.

10.  How often do you have alone/"me" time? And how do you relax?
Rarely.  As far as outings alone, I can occasionally slip away for an hour or so.  Since Elliot's arrival I have been to a few massages and multiple studio yoga classes.  Long, hot showers are also nice escapes but those are often interrupted. I am also trying to reestablish my meditation practice. And lastly, my blog and Facebook are nice brain decompressing activities. I do take time to unwind every night.

In my opinion, putting makeup on, doing your hair, and cleaning are things that barely go into the"SuperMom" equation.  Creating new experiences, actively and patiently engaging your child, providing an emotionally and physically safe home, and more are all a much better measure of a "SuperMom."  Never-the-less, this was a fun and easy tag to do so I did it and now I tag you! Feel free to link up in the comments if you participate in this tag.