3 years ago today I started cloth diapering

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This is Carter in his very first cloth diaper, a Happy Heiny pocket in large. He had such a cute bubble butt. I still have that diaper and he wears it often. Its actually one of the few that fit him well still! He has gone up and down and fit different ones over the past 3 yrs but he is not ready to potty train so he is still wearing diapers.

I had actually thought about it soon after our 5th baby was born. I had looked into things here and there but wasn’t sure where to start. Then I found the message board Diaperswappers. I got so much advice on what to start with. Now, unfortunately for me, my baby was a monster boy. He was huge and had giant thighs. I tried some one size diapers that just didn’t work, so the members at DS suggested going straight to larges. I was excited. My first day I had barely enough diapers to get him through the day.  I was changing him every hour because it is harder to tell when cloth is wet. I had to stop that quickly with so few diapers.

Its amazing how something so simple can change your life though. Everyone thought I was insane, but really they think that anyway just because I have 6 children. There have been times cloth has been hard, when Carter had the staph infection and we didn’t know and he was so sick I couldn’t barely find time to wash clothes let alone diapers. Or when Mason was born and I was in the hospital, but Mike said he would wash them and he did, both sets of diapers.

Now in theory you save money while cloth diapering. But in reality, most moms that cloth diaper become addicts and like to buy as many as possible. This is where I developed a problem. I love diapers. I love cute prints and as I diapered Carter I came to learn what diapers I liked, what worked the best and what didn’t. I sold some and bought many.

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Mason at a week old in his first cloth diaper. Look at those little legs.IMG_2213This is our stash. Top shelf are Mason’s and bottom is Carter’s. A lot of Mason’s came from Carter but were too small and now too big for him. Carter doesn’t have as many because he doesn’t need changed as often. We have a nice stash 😉

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My boys in matching diapers(well close to matching)

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The boys all wanted a picture together 🙂

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Being thrown up on at 3 am was not how I wanted my night to go.

My poor baby was a little fussy last night. Honestly I can’t remember if he was coughing or what, I think he might have been so I had him propped over my shoulder, when all of a sudden he threw up all over me. My back, him, the bed. He did it twice. And then fell right back to sleep. We think he has some food intolerances. I am breastfeeding and I eliminated dairy months ago. I also think he may have a nut issue. Great. So yesterday when we went to get Carter’s blood taken I had an egg salad sandwich. There are times I think he may have an egg issue then the next won’t.  So I was down to thinking it was either 1. he was coughing on phlegm and it made him throw up 2. a stomach virus(he also had what seemed to be diarrhea last night) or 3. egg issues. He has a nasty diaper rash too, he has never had a rash like this, bright red and everywhere. We use cloth diapers and I had to put him in pampers loaded with aveeno cream. It looks better but still there.

Now the egg salad is the question really. No on else in the house is sick( except this cold he & I have) and he doesn’t seem to be acting sick either. So either the egg salad had dairy in it, it did have big nasty onions, or he is not tolerating eggs anymore.

It has been so hard with him. trying to find what bothers him and finding foods I can eat. Just as I find something, it seems he can’t tolerate it. My husband’s family has food allergies and intolerances and it seems all 4 of our boys do also(6 year old is allergic to dairy). I nursed for 2 1/2 years while eliminating dairy before, I know I can do it. But now it gets hard! I can’t drink the almond milk I like because it bothers Mason, I can’t eat the granola bars I like. I know I can do this. I know I will for my little boy. But why does it have to be so hard? I feel so bad for them, I pray his isn’t going to be a life threatening allergy. I feel like we got lucky that Riley’s isn’t. He gets hives and behavioral problems but it doesn’t require an epi-pen and I don’t worry he will die if he has it accidentally.

I know those are things we won’t know for awhile. I am terrified to even begin solids with him because  I worry what will bother him. I have to get an idea of what is bothering him now before we even make that leap.

I just find it strange also our girls have no food issues at all! Nothing, but all 4 boys do,  one has lactose intolerance,  one dairy allergy, one who knows whats going on and now Mason) . Its like it was just the male gene or something. Anyone heard of this before?

We took Carter to get his blood taken today.

We had to drive about 45 minutes to get to a hospital that would test for Celiac disease for free. How silly is it that a simple blood test OHIP can’t cover? Maybe it isn’t simple but I think its ridiculous. Testing for this could rule out so many other problems that we wouldn’t need to go to the doctor over and over again!  Our local labs(either private or hospital) wanted $90-120 to do the test. Testing him is the only way to see if he has it. I am praying he doesn’t but even if it comes back negative he could still have a gluten intolerance. He had a good week last week, until today.

The poor boy though, I felt terrible. His last blood work we did in our town. My husband took him because the baby was just born. He said that Carter did so good! And the lady doing the blood draw was great with him, I have been there and she is. So he went with us today and I waited in the waiting room. I could hear the screams. My heart broke and I wanted to cry. He cried over and over. He is a bit of an over reactor sometimes but Mike said that she wasn’t nice doing it and just jabbed it in. Seriously?! We went to a children’s hospital! He said she was definitely not the nurturing kind of person. I was so sad for my boy and I know now if he has to go get another blood draw he will not go willingly. This one he did so good, wasn’t afraid or anything. Maybe I will be lucky and he won’t have to get it done again.

And I got the appointment for him to see the gastroenterologist. Its not until Oct. 30 but we are on our way to figuring this out! I am still so confused with him. How could he have gluten issues if he had no diarrhea all week but still are gluten containing foods? So I don’t know how long it will take to get the results but we will find out soon.

I love waking up with a baby in my arms.

I know I am different than a lot of parents. But I co-sleep. Not the entire night if I have to, I do like some time on my own. My first three children I didn’t sleep with as much. I think I thought it was expected of them to sleep in their own bed. I would take them to mine if I couldn’t get them to sleep in theirs or it was early morning. But the second three have slept in my bed more than their own. I look at it like this, will I get more sleep with them in my bed or constantly waking up in theirs?  I also have anxiety over them not waking up. This wasn’t something I worried about as much with the first three but I do now.  Sometimes I obsess over it. I never really realized why but about a month ago I think I did. My little brother’s son passed away when he was 3 1/2, in his sleep.  This is my biggest fear, losing one of my babies. My heart breaks for my brother and sister and law and I can’t imagine how hard it was and still is for them. I could be wrong, but I think this is why I am terrified one of my babies will stop breathing at night.

But that’s not the only reason I sleep with them. I love to have their sweet snuggly little body in my arms. I love waking up and seeing that beautiful face smiling at me or touching my face. Now my 3 year old was a little difficult. He is a fondler. And he breastfed till the week before the baby was born. He was always, I say a bit abusive when he was nursing.  And he wanted to rub them and play with them, obviously that gets annoying. So at times, I would wake up to that. He still comes to my bed sometimes and tries to do this. But he is still little so I try to help him understand the fondling isn’t something he can do. But sleeping with me is ok as long as he doesn’t squash his brother.

I hear it from people though. They need to sleep in their own bed. But why? I don’t like sleeping alone. Why should I make my sweet little baby always sleep alone? I am trying to get him to nap in bed more, because I just can’t hold him all day long, but nights, I think I sleep more letting him snuggle with me.  And really, at this point, the more sleep I get the happier I am. And let’s face it, he won’t sleep with me forever, and the day I no longer have a baby in my bed will be a sad one.

Crock pot BBQ chicken

My mom had linked this recipe to me on Facebook and we tried it a few months ago. OMG, it is absolutely yummy. The first night I make it, I make egg noodles and we use the sauce and pour that over the noodles. Then when everyone is done, I shred everything that is left and mix it with the sauce. It makes the best sandwiches.

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Ingredients

  • 4-6 pieces boneless skinless chicken breasts (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 bottle BBQ sauce (The recipe I have called for Sweet Baby Ray’s, we always use that but with Carter’s stomach problems I am going to switch to a gluten free one, bbq sauce really bothers his stomach)
  • 1/4 c vinegar
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes(I have never used them)
  • 1/4 c brown sugar
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp. garlic powder

Directions

1. Mix BBQ sauce with vinegar, red pepper flakes, brown sugar and garlic powder.

        2.  Put chicken in the crock pot. Pour sauce mixture over chicken.
        3.  Cook on LOW 4-6 hours. I usually start mine late so I put it on high for an hour then turn down to low after that. I have waited till noon before starting and still had it done by 5.

I think I have actually missed hockey

My 10 year old son plays hockey from September to March, the 6 year old started last year too.  Justin has played since 1st grade and in the beginning I only watched him. The whole time. I still don’t completely understand the rules but I finally figured out what icing is 😉

So for the past 3 summers we have put him in 3 on 3 hockey. He loves it and it keeps him up where some of the kids who have been playing since they were younger are. And its a nice way to get out of the heat on a hot summer night, especially after we sit through Riley’s soccer games.

I think a lot of my not wanting to deal with hockey, or any sport for that matter was because I had to drag all of my children out everywhere. And with a bunch of little boys that gets difficult. But now I have babysitters. Before the baby was born I was able to go to hockey games and sit and watch and enjoy them. So I actually started watching the game, not just my son! Sometimes I found myself trying to find him because I didn’t know where he was. I am not one of those moms that will scream and yell at their kid, the coach, the other team, etc. But sometimes I want to go punch those moms in the face.

Anyway, I lost the thought. I realized tonight as I sat holding my baby looking through the foggy glass and my boy, I have missed hockey. I love watching him play hockey. As much as I hate dragging things out or being stuck at the arena all night. Its a pretty exciting sport. I was raised a football fan. My dad watched football, the Cincinnati Bengals. That was his team, doing good or not, he loved them. Growing up, I always thought I would have boys that played football. I never imagined I would end up in another country where football wasn’t as big. Canadians like it I’m sure. We have even gotten to go watch the Buffalo Bills in Toronto two years in a row thanks to our cheerleading daughters. But hockey really is the Canadian sport. Its everywhere. And, even though I wish my boys played football, hockey isn’t so bad. I have met some really great families through Justin’s teams, people I never would have gotten to know otherwise.

And to top it off, he got a penalty shot tonight. So that excitement I felt before that was even more when I saw him skate over to the bench with a big smile on his face. He plays defense during the year and because he isn’t the fastest or most aggressive player, most of his scoring chances have been in the summer hockey. But seeing his sweet smiling face makes it all worth it.

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This is Justin two years ago but will always be one of my favorite pictures of him. He was trying to be silly and not smile for me but I caught him and that smile just lights up my day

July Citrus Lane review

I have been sick so I got my box but haven’t had the energy or time to try and get this done. So finally here is my Citrus Lane review for July for a 6 month old boy! Citrus Lane is a monthly subscription box that sends out age specific items. This was the box I signed up for the day my baby was born and have been getting it ever since.

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There was no card in my box this month, which is odd because there is always a card telling me what we got! I have seen this happened a lot this month, no clue why. Not really a big deal to me.

First we got a Tiny Love Tiny Smarts Jittering Activity Toy. It is really cute and my 6 month old loved it, the 3 year old did too 🙂 I do wish it wasn’t meant to be a clip on toy because it has a big hard clip on one end that you can clip on a stroller, I put it on the toy bar for our rocking chair he sits in but he likes to hold it. It was a nice little toy.  Amazon price $8.49Image

The next item is a Zoli on-the-go formula and snack dispenser. I love anything that stores snacks, however there were two snack containers sent out in Citrus Lane boxes and I wish mine was the other one. The one I got has 4 little sections and then a top(with a lid) that you can pour out. This would be perfect for a mom who uses formula but since I don’t, I would have rather had the other, the other one was a 3 sectioned container with a little handle. Now you get what you get and that’s the nature of subscription boxes. I will use this, no doubt.  I found this on Albee baby for $14.99.Image

Next was a pouch of powdered baby food by Nuturme. It says it is dried organic food. I guess it would come in handy if you were out and you could mix it with water. We got the carrots, raisins and sweet potato flavor. Since my baby isn’t yet eating solids I will put this away till he is.  I found an 8 pack of this on Drugstore.com for $13.49 so this makes the value of my one pack $1.69.Image

Next we got two samples from California Baby. I have always thought about trying their products so this is nice. I got a sample of aloe vera cream  and a sample of calming shampoo and bodywash. They are just sample sizes so a couple of uses so no real way to put a value on them.Image

There was also a card for 10 free Postagrams. I have never heard of Postagrams before so I had to look it up. Postagram is an app that can turn your cell phone photos into postcards and then mail it to your friends and family. Because I live far away from my family I love this idea! So I will definitely give it a shot and maybe end up using it after my 10.

Finally in my box I got a 1 oz packages of Moravian cookies. They are Meyer lemon flavor and I really want to try one, but they contain dairy and I have had to eliminate dairy while feeding the baby. So I may try to hang on to them or give them to the kids in the house that can eat dairy. I found this for sale on a bakery site (www.salembaking.com) for $1.99 for this size.Image

The total for this box not counting the 2 California Baby samples is $27.16.

This box costs $25/month, if you choose a 6 month membership you can get the box for $21 a month(billed up front) Save $10 off your first month’s box by clicking here

Overall, I think this was a good box. We will use everything in the box.

July Kiwi Crate Review~Wonders of Water

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We got our July Kiwi Crate yesterday! This one is really fun. We didn’t get the little kiwi stuffed animal some got 😦 But I might order one for Carter.

The theme for this month was Wonders of Water. For those of you that don’t know, Kiwi Crate is  a monthly craft subscription box’s for ages 3-7. I get it for Carter and meant to add on Riley last month but forget. This is only our second month getting it. Carter loves it. You can add a sibling on for $7.95 and they get the exact same crafts the first child gets. I will give you more info on subscribing later.

When you open the box you see the card pictured above with the boxes theme. Turn that over and you have a cute little coloring picture and a sticker. Carter loves the stickers.

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When you take that out you see your two craft booklets.

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These will tell you all about the craft and the supplies it came with, directions to do it. This month’s crafts are my floating sailboat and my watercolor animals.

Here is everything that came in the box.

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The first craft: my watercolor animals we actually did today. 4 of my kids did this and it was so easy and they had fun. It was a nice thing to do when we got home from the doctor. And Carter shared his animals with his 6 year old brother, the older 2 got coffee filters and used those(the paper is the same material as a coffee filter

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It included extra paper that you can use later on to make more animals. Each boy did two and the older kids had their coffee filters.

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It was so fun to have them doing something together without fighting! And I was so proud of my 3 yr old for sharing all of the things he got in his box

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The second craft is called my floating sailboat. We haven’t done this one yet, I made him save it fir another day

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This crate also included two experiements!

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We are really enjoying our crates and I am so glad I signed up. The box is $19.95 per month, f you would like to sign up and save $10 click here.

Went to the pediatrician today

Although I still have no answers, I feel like we are one step closer to figuring this out.

She is a really sweet dr, too bad I have to drive an hour to get there. I took my 12 yr old to help with the baby, she was such a help, I couldn’t have done it without her. So Carter, the 3 yr old, is always very nervous with doctors, ever since he had an abscess as a baby and had to have surgery to drain it. He was so sick and went through so much that I think he associated that to being at the dr. Today he was ok at first, he played with the toys and was happy, even when we went in the room. She had a student dr. Very nice and pretty and Mason loved her 😉  But when she wanted to check Carter’s ears he had a breakdown. He caught a cold this week too so that didn’t help his mood.

The dr came in and we went over everything. The plan is to get him tested for celiac disease, there is a blood test, also checking iron because he is always so pale. His last iron was ok but she said a little low. I have to check our local hospital because the private labs charge for the celiac test and she said most hospitals won’t. She does not believe he has celiac because he is gaining weight and has had no blood. But there is obviously something not right. She is referring him to a gastroenterologist now because there is a 3 month waiting list after you get an appointment. I doubt it will be gone by then but I don’t want invasive procedures done unless absolutely necessary. She agreed and is going to send the referral. Basically, we didn’t accomplish much today but I feel better knowing we are starting. Carter has had a bad week with his stomach so I hope it gets better. The dr wants us to feed him normally but keeping him with the dairy alternatives. But I think after the blood test we may try to stick with gluten free products to see if it will help. I have noticed an increase in his problems when he has had gluten. So not a real update but kind of.

To the pediatrician we go

Tomorrow we get to go to the pediatrician for my son’s stomach issues. Our family dr had said they weren’t going to refer him until they got a stool sample results but apparently he went ahead and did it. I am so glad because they called and got him in very fast. They actually wanted us to come in that day but I live an hour away. I am a little nervous. I don’t know what to expect as far as what she will think is going on. But my poor boy has had diarrhea every day for 5 days now. It seems to be worse than ever. I am really leaning towards gluten being the culprit. The more I read on it the more his symptoms sound like it, so I am armed with questions. I hope she has some answers. My poor boy has a fear of doctors. When he was 7 months old he got a staph infection that resulted in a huge abscess. Bigger than anyone around had ever seen. But my dr kept telling me it was doing what it was supposed to. Until I took him in again and the dr was even a little freaked out. He told me afterwards he was septic and was very sick. We rushed to the hospital and had emergency surgery. It was a rough week and he was in and out of the hospital for the infection. After that he was terrified of any building that looked like a medical office for at least a year and a half. He recently started getting better but I always try to prepare him because going to a dr he hasn’t seen in 2 years might be scary. I am a bit anxious myself. I just hope this means we are on the way to figuring this out.