Category Archives: Mummyhood

Pompano Beach, Florida

Lots of people say that travelling with a little one is never really a vacation, but rather just a trip – you still have all of your regular parenting responsibilities and duties to perform, just in a different place.

I kind of agree…but not entirely.

This was the first time we’ve gone to a sunny destination since becoming parents. Before Boo, we’d spend our sunny travel days exploring the area, repeatedly going to the beach, combing the beach for treasures, relaxing, reading, drinking rum punch (or local beer), and listening to the waves if we happened to be lucky enough to have scored an oceanfront rental.

Palm tree

With Boo, however, it was a very different experience. Much of our time was spent caring for our little man. We had to make sure he was eating, sleeping and safe. We spent far more time in our rental than usual – thank heavens it was large enough (thanks Mom and Dad!) – so we didn’t go stir crazy or trip over one another.

The grounds at the Wyndham Sea Gardens

Fountain on the grounds at the Wyndham Sea Gardens

Some of the grounds at the Wyndham Sea Gardens – our home away from home in Florida.

Because Boo is still refusing to put anything in his mouth, including table food, we generally had to go back to our condo for meals. Just to make things a little more interesting (ahem, difficult), he also decided that every meal had to begin with yogurt, otherwise he just wouldn’t eat anything. EVERY. SINGLE. MEAL.

And since we were already there for lunch, we generally stuck around for naptime, too….which wasn’t all bad since more often than not, Mummy and Daddy napped as well (that hot sun makes you tired…especially when you’re carrying around an extra 20 or so pounds of pregnancy weight).

Boo Boo napping on Mummy

But aside from ensuring Boo had his necessities, this trip was nothing like our regular routine.

Most mornings, while Boo had his initial glass of milk, we watched the sun come up over the ocean. Not routine.

Watching the sun rise

Our view each morning – that blasted building always just blocked the view of the sun rising up from the ocean itself.

Boo on the balcony in the early morning

Still in his PJ’s Boo was happy to wander out onto the balcony in between sips of milk (which happened to be all over his chin in this photo).

After everyone had eaten we all put on our bathing suits, got slathered in sunblock, and headed down to the beach. Our first full day in Pompano Beach just happened to be my birthday and when Boo had his very first experience seeing and being in the ocean. He loved it. He couldn’t stop smiling and giggling. I couldn’t have asked for a better birthday present. Every day following, we all went swimming (well…me and the hubby took turns swimming vs. holding onto the little man and swooshing him around the water). Not routine.

Boo Boo looking at the ocean for the first time with Daddy

Boo Boo smiling at the ocean

Boo’s first real look at the ocean with Daddy – he was delighted, and never stopped smiling.

Boo experiencing the waves with Daddy

Boo sat with Daddy and giggled each time the waves crashed into them…though he was a little less impressed when they splashed his face, he never lost that smile for long.

Family selfie on Pompano Beach

Afternoons were mostly spent on the Pompano Beach boardwalk where we got ice cream (little man still won’t eat it!), explored the park, and played in the splash pad. Not routine.

The Pompano Beach Boardwalk

Boo Boo exploring pinwheels with Daddy

Adjacent to the boardwalk (right near the ice cream shop) there was a very cool kite and novelty shop – Boo loved running around the place, as its owner tried desperately to get his attention, pulling out all the stops, including a giant bubble-maker.

Boo going down a slide head first

Still preferring to go down on his tummy, Boo made sure to make the rounds of the slides.

Boo splashing in a fountain

Half fountain, half mini splash-pad, Boo had a few impromptu runs through the water, trying desperately to catch it!

Heading home after running through the fountain

The first time we stumbled upon the fountain we weren’t prepared with a change of clothes…no matter – we put on a dry diaper and took the little man home as is! He definitely didn’t mind.

Evenings were probably the most similar to our regular routine…shortly after Boo had his dinner we put the little man to bed, and then passed out ourselves. I suspect, were I not pregnant, there might have been a little more time spent on the balcony drinking wine, rum punch or beer…but that’ll be for another vacation. So….kinda routine.

View from our balcony

The daytime view from our balcony.

We spent an entire week together. All three of us. All day long. Not routine – and such a fantastic deviation from our normal lives when Daddy is stuck at work all day long!

I actually believe this past week in Florida has been an awesome bonding experience between Boo and his Daddy. It was, after all, his Daddy who brought him into the ocean for the first time, and who was much better equipped to play with him in the water. I loved watching the two of them together. And with this time together, I think that Boo has formed a much stronger attachment to his Daddy – so much so, that he’s been crying whenever the hubby leaves the house (much to my husband’s delight, as he believes an upset and distraught little man is far preferable to an indifferent one!).

So was our trip the ultimate experience in relaxation? No. Not with a toddler to run after, keep busy, and care for.

Private beach

Was it a nice break from reality? Absolutely.

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Diaper Covers

A little while ago I confessed to being a pretty crummy cloth diaperer – but a cloth diaperer nonetheless! In that same post I promised to share some of my thoughts on the products I’d used so far in my first year-or-so of semi-successful cloth diapering. So here goes:

Two-size diaper systems

Thirsties
These were the first diaper covers I tried. Before Boo was born I’d done some research and liked the idea of their duo wrap 2-size system. Not being sure how this whole cloth diapering thing was going to turn out, I also really liked that they weren’t too expensive. So I bought a few velcro as well as a few snap covers to see which I liked best. And that was it. As a novice cloth diaperer, I didn’t want to get in too deep.

As mentioned previously, it took awhile for me to get the hang of cloth, and to be satisfied that it actually fit my Boo Boo (I know I keep saying this, but he was so small…he wore the newborn sized disposables for several MONTHS before we moved him up to size 1). Once I had the hang of things….I liked them. I liked how the Thirsties never had blow outs. I liked that I could wipe down the interior. I liked that his prefolds could be soaking wet, and not a drip leaked out.

And I still like them. We’re now using size 2 and, with other covers to compare, I can also claim to like them for being among the most trim, and fitting really well but not seeming tight (Boo has comparatively few elastic marks on his skin when I take them off).

The only things I dislike about them? Sometimes the excess material that isn’t snapped (basically, the fabric holding the too-big snaps) shifts out of the diaper. And the white fabric covered elastic around the legs and top of the diaper is a little prone to staining. That’s it.

Two thumbs up.

Applecheeks
Another two (actually now three!) size system, I inherited a pile of these from friends. I was excited to try them out, as they’re a local company, and get very good reviews (I never bought their size 1 diapers because the price tag scared me away at the time).

What initially threw me off about AppleCheeks was that there are no snaps to adjust the rise of the diaper. It’s just a matter of how tightly you snap it on. I thought this might be a problem….but nope. They do a great job holding everything in. The “ruffles” around the waist and legs – which I originally thought were kind of girly – actually seem to help accomplish this. They also seem to keep things snug without being too tight.

These were also the first diaper covers I tried with a micro-fleece lining which I worried would require more frequent laundering. And though you can’t wipe the insides down, if Boo has only had a pee (or a well contained poop), then it isn’t an issue and I can reuse them several times (I should note that I just place my prefold on TOP of the micro-fleece – I don’t stuff it into the pocket).

As for dislikes? They aren’t particularly trim. As Boo gets bigger, I’m sure this will become less of an issue – right now he’s still at the lower end of the size 2 weight range. Also, I’m not so sure how durable the elastics are. I had to retire all of my inherited diaper covers, as the elastics gave out (you know…when you stretch an elastic, you hear a crinkly sound, and it doesn’t stretch back?). I’m not sure if it’s because they were getting old, if it had to do with how they’d been previously washed, or how I washed them? Or maybe if they’d been stored near a radiator (before or after they came into my possession)? But they’re dead. I still went ahead and bought two news ones.

Thumbs up.

One size diaper systems

Bummis
I really wanted to like Bummis so that I could support another local Montreal business…so much so, that I went to their physical store location on St-Laurent Street to check them out. But as soon as I walked in there, with Boo strapped into the ErgoBaby, I felt….out of place. Like I somehow wasn’t cool (or crunchy?) enough. When I spoke with a saleslady to ask a few questions, her answers were short and curt. She also gave me the impression she didn’t like talking to me. It was not a nice shopping experience.

But because I’d make the trek out there, I still went ahead and made a purchase. Only I bought less than I’d anticipated.

Impressions of their physical store location and salespeople aside, I’ve had one Simply Lite one-size diaper cover for a few months now and…I barely use it. It’s the second-to-last cover that I use when all of the other covers are dirty. Though I love the pattern (Elephant Tales), the fit isn’t particularly trim. I chalk this up to it being a one-size diaper cover and Boo being particularly slim – but that’s not really why I dislike it. I dislike it because the tags are on the front inside of the diaper – not particularly soft tags, that rub against Boo Boo’s belly. I also can’t stand how the diaper curls in upon itself. As soon as there’s no Boo to hold it open, the tabs immediately curl in and land in whatever happens to be on the prefold. Which means I either have to be extremely fast to catch them (and as an inept diaperer, we know that doesn’t really happen)….or else they get dirty and I have to wash what was a mostly clean and totally reusable cover. Finally, of all the diaper covers I have, the material on the Simply Lite seems the least breathable of them.

So yeah. Thumbs down on the Bummis.

GroVia
These are another one-size diaper cover, and what I initially noticed about them is that their overall shape is different from all of the other diaper covers I’ve tried. The wrap-around tabs that snap in front are much longer – making the sides of the diaper less bulky – and contributing to their being another rather trim cover.

Like the Applecheeks they have an interior lining – only theirs is just that – a lining. There’s no pocket. Rather, GroVia makes their own inserts that snap into place. I can’t comment on the inserts, as I don’t use them – I just use a prefold. The lining does seem to add a little extra friction, though, and helps keep the prefold in place.

The GroVia Snap Shells don’t have any leg gussets, ruffles or anything special to keep everything in….but they do (keep everything in). I sometimes worry that they’re not fitting tight enough at the belly, as there can be a slight gap when I’ve got a thick and folded over prefold in there. But so far, there’ve been no accidents, so I’m not complaining.

I quite like these ones. Thumbs up.

Blueberry
Yet another one-size diaper cover (yeah….I bought a bunch of one-sizes…I really didn’t want to have to keep buying larger diaper covers as Boo grew), the Blueberry Coveralls look very much like the Thirsties Duo Wraps…..only bigger. Much much bigger. These are probably one of the least trim diaper covers I’ve used. They tend to be pouffy, as there always seems to be a little extra fabric at Boo’s bum – even when they were snapped up to their smallest.

But apart from how big they look, they actually fit Boo pretty well. He has very few elastic marks on his skin when I remove them, and he’s had no accidents while wearing them.

Not an enthusiastic thumbs up, but thumbs up all the same.

Rumparooz
And finally the last one-size diaper cover in my stash. I have only one Rumparooz, and it is currently the very last diaper cover I use in my pile. It seems to have too much fabric. When I snap Boo into it, there’s always a bunch of folds bunching up where the cover is folded over to make it smaller.

And that’s just annoying. It also makes it feel bulky.

I do make it to my last diaper cover every once in awhile, though, and once I don’t need to snap it up so small, I’ll have to reassess how much extra fabric there is. I’d love to use it. It’s got to be the softest diaper cover I own.

So….I guess a temporary thumbs down until I can re-asses.

And that’s it as far as diaper covers are concerned. Because I’ve always seemed to struggle with the overall bulk/size of the diapers, I’ve never really used any of the boosters I’d purchased. They felt like overkill. I will, however, try to share my thoughts on the prefolds I’ve used, as well as cloth-friendly rash creams and detergent!

Stay tuned! (Well…only if you’re into that sort of thing, I guess.)

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My bathroom buddy

Ladies Restroom sign from a New Brunswick gas station

So yeah…I knew having a baby would change me. That things I’d previously never contemplated doing would become commonplace. You know, things like wiping someone else’s nose (with or without a tissue), cleaning someone else’s ears, cleaning up someone else’s poops, getting peed on, and eating random bits of that someone else’s meal that they’ve either just splattered on me (it’s so much easier to just lick it off your hand or arm than get up and go to the sink – obviously, I’m very lazy) or haven’t finished.

Not that I’d do these things with or for just anyone. Of course it’s only for my Boo that I’ll do any of it (I can just imagine the reaction I’d have if my husband asked me to pick his nose for him).

As Boo has gotten more mobile, the more concessions I’ve had to make. One day I realized that I had a permanent bathroom companion.* He’d follow me in, and sometimes even shut the door to give us a little more “privacy” (so considerate). At first I thought it wasn’t going to be a problem – there’ve always been lots of interesting items to be pulled out of the drawers to keep the little man busy. He’s a particular fan of the pink calamine lotion bottle. He’s also taken it upon himself to be the official toilet lid closer and toilet bowl flusher (such a helpful little guy).

Until one day last week when that just wasn’t enough. He didn’t care what was in the drawers. He’d already pulled the shower curtain aside and thrown a whole pile of random stuff into the tub. And he’d already shut the door so he was stuck with me.

And me? I was stuck on the toilet, if you catch my drift.

So when my little man started freaking out and came to find comfort from me? What else was I to do? I picked him up and did my business with my toddler sitting on my lap.**

I guess there’s a first time for everything….I’m willing to bet it’s not the last time, either.

Sigh.

* I should note that if someone else is home and I happen to shut the door with, God forbid, Boo excluded from my bathroom trip, I get to do my business to the accompaniment of wailing and crying and knocking on the door.

** I should also note that (thankfully!) once he’d calmed down and I put him down, he allowed me to wipe up unencumbered.

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First Haircut!

Boo was born with a significant head of hair. He never lost any of it, so it just grew and grew. Though I tried to trim it a little from time to time…mostly his bangs, and sometimes at the nape of his neck…I kinda liked his hair long, and generally just let it be.

I thought his long hair was cute. A sort of messy surfer look that I loved running my fingers through when we cuddled.

Boo with his long hair

Boo playing with his hair

But ultimately it was constantly in his eyes (I sucked so bad at trimming his bangs that I’d wait far too long between attempts)…and it was starting to look pretty scraggly and dishevelled. So I made the decision to get it cut. Eeep!

On a recent visit to my parents’ my mom and I took Boo to Illusions Hair Design in the Kemptville Mall, where my mom’s hairdresser (Monique) gave Boo his very first cut:

Boo getting his hair brushed

Boo all prepped to get his hair cut

He was an absolute fidget, but a comb and my iPad (with the Peekaboo Sesame Street app) helped to distract him just enough so that he was manageable. His hairdresser only went “Oops” once when he moved abruptly just as the scissors went SNIP!

Boo behaving while having his hair cut

Mama and Boo looking at the hairdresser

The best – and most surprising – part? Apparently at Illusions, a baby’s (or toddler’s) very first haircut is free! When she told me there was no charge I stood there with my mouth hanging open for a few seconds while I processed the information. FREE! Plus, she took a small lock of Boo’s hair and put it in a little pouch for me, along with a cute little poem:

I got my first haircut,
as you can plainly see.
Mom says I look wonderful,
and that she is so proud of me.
I sat so tall and proud,
in that hairdresser’s chair.
And they even gave to Mom,
a small lock of my hair.
She says that she will keep it,
to remind her of this day.
Another milestone I’ve crossed,
in my life along the way.

Back at Nana and Gramps' house with his new haircut

I sure was proud of my little man!

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Confessions of an inept cloth diaperer

Right off the bat let me be clear about one thing…I’m not very good at diapering. Any diapering. But I’d had it in my head when I was pregnant with Boo that I wanted to give cloth a go. So I bought a bunch of prefolds, a few fitteds, some doublers and some covers. I also bought some disposables. Because.

When Boo was born, he was tiny. So tiny. With stiff legs (I’ve talked about his legs before). And I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how to fold and put on the cloth diapers so that Boo was lying flat….seriously. They were so bulky his middle was the highest point on his body. So I used my disposables and waited a bit for him to grow.

From time to time I’d give his cloth diapers another try until Eureka! they finally fit! I should note, by this time I’d given up on everything but the newspaper fold, placed directly into the cover. No pins, no snappis…just the bare minimum. It got the job done, and I was happy. I was cloth diapering!

Boo Boo in Applecheeks

But I never got too fanatic about it. Sure, I was pleased to be saving money, and especially to keep our garbage to a minimum. But I still use disposables. At night, for instance…Boo proved too heavy a wetter, and I couldn’t match the absorbency and dryness of a disposable. And when we go visiting. As much as I love not creating waste at home, I also love not creating unnecessary laundry when I’m not at home.

And even though I’m not exactly committed to exclusive cloth diapering, I am over one year into it, and I think I’ve learned a few things along the way. So without further ado…

10 THINGS I’VE LEARNED ABOUT CLOTH DIAPERING (SO FAR):

  1. A squirming baby is difficult to diaper no matter what your diaper of choice.
  2. Coloured and patterned diaper covers are so cute. Like, incredibly cute. I don’t care how disposables try to emulate this cuteness factor (hello Honest Company!), they just can’t match the vibrancy or colour saturation of a diaper cover.
  3. A trim cloth diaper is like winning the lottery. A not-so-trim diaper means having to size up when putting my little man into pants (for real…depending on his diaper my Boo Boo fits into 6-12 month pants all the way up to 2T). Oh, and the word “trim” suddenly becomes a regular part of your vocabulary.
  4. The xylophone and Boo

  5. Velcro closures are wonderful. At first. When you have absolutely no idea what you’re doing, velcro is so much easier and faster to fasten. Later, though, you discover the ugly side of velcro. It snags everything in the laundry, and once your little one gets mobile, it can scratch their belly. Snaps are definitely the way to go once you’ve got your feet wet. You’ll also discover that aplix is the same thing as velcro.
  6. Snappis are the devil. Though they sound like a huge advancement over safety pins….actually getting them to hook, stay in place, and hold a prefold diaper on your little one? Never worked for me (of course, I’m an inept diaperer, so they probably work for other people).
  7. Sure, a fitted cloth diaper sounds easier. But unless you’re going for AIOs (all-in-ones), it means you’ve got TWO things to fasten – the diaper and the cover. Which turns out to be double the trouble (for me).
  8. Boo playing in his diaper

  9. Washing cloth diapers isn’t all that bad. Drying them, however, is the biggest ever pain in the ass. I mean, they’re made to be absorbent, right? So they retain a lot of water. So much that I have to run them through the dryer twice if I’m unable to hang them out to dry (which, let’s face it, only happens during the summer).
  10. You will, without a doubt, find yourself sniffing those “pee pee only” diaper covers a little too closely, as you attempt to determine if you can use it one more time before laundering.
  11. Don’t worry about the poo, it’s totally manageable. This is especially true once solids are started and you use a diaper liner. The foul stench of day-old urine, however…is like an assault on your nasal passage every time you open your wet bag. It is not for the faint of heart.
  12. It’s a miracle how blowouts can be completely avoided with a good cloth diaper cover…I think while Boo was exclusively breastfed, he had maybe one blowout while wearing cloth. Maybe. I can’t count how many he had while wearing disposables. Too many (I’ve blocked it out). This alone is reason enough to use cloth.

So there you have it. I’m pretty sure these 10 things are not the only things I’ve learned (surely?), but they’re what I’m sharing with you today. Got any more hard learned lessons on cloth diapering? Please share them in the comments!

Boo Boo in his wagon

In a future post, I’ll share my thoughts and review some of the actual products I’ve used.

In case you’re curious, the diaper covers pictured in the above photos are (in descending order): Applecheeks’ Lake Echo, Bummis’ Simply Lite Elephant Tales, Blueberry Coverall’s Monsters, and Applecheeks’ Steel Me (they’re barely visible in the above picture, but I just thought it was cute!)

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