Day 2! 

If you want to read more about the challenge click here! Today is day two of the #bringflatsback flats and hand washing cloth diaper challenge and I am really loving it so far! Today I have washed diapers twice and hung them to dry while I did errands around town and cleaned up around the house and I was so surprised with our simple it was to wash and dry diapers.

The questions posed for day two is what is in your stash and how much did it cost? Everything we have used and will be using for the challenge was items we had on hand or ones we already use for diapering. The flats we are using are flour sack towels from Wal-Mart and a pack of  5 is less than $5 but our store has them in a pack of 10 and I normally grab a pick every few weeks to have on hand. We are also using three different brands of covers. The covers we are using come from Abby’s Lane, Nicki’s Diapers *aff link, and Buttons Diapers! The prices of these covers vary based off of brand and if I found them on sale or bought them second hand. We also have two snappi’s in rotation. The snappi’s come in a pack of 3 for $10 but we are missing the third one. I will probably add a hemp booster for our nighttime diaper because we sadly tried using just one fst last night and let’s just say all the sheets needed to be changed this morning.

Until next time,

The Rivers Family ❤

Buttons Diaper
Our stash for the challenge! We have a ton more covers and flats but this is what we’re using for the week!
Diapers out on the line drying!
First load of laundry for today!
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Day 1 of the flats and hand washing challenge

Today starts day one of the flats and hand washing challenge! I’m participating in the Flats and Hand washing Challenge hosted by Cloth Diaper Revival. This event will continue for seven days and we will being using flour sack towels and covers both of which were store bought rather than handmade. Rules for the post can be found here. We actually started last night with our nighttime diaper which consisted of a flour sack towel (fst) and booster since Mackenzie is a heavy wetter and sleeps 12 hours a night. Day one of the challenge includes answering the question why are we taking the flats and hand washing challenge and this was probably the easiest question for me to answer. The main reason why we are taking it is because one of the most asked questions we get is how to you wash diaper and the second most asked is how expensive is it. This challenge will show others how you can cloth diaper on a budget and even without a washing machine or dryer.

We had a very busy day today and it was a tad nerve wracking to be out and about using flats and covers since our normal diapers are pockets (pocket are allowed during the challenge but I really wanted to use just flats and covers). It was a lot easier than I originally thought and we didn’t have any issues using a few fsts and two covers. Tomorrow or maybe tonight will be washing day and Thursday will cover more about our hand washing routine! I’m so excited to participating in this challenge and cannot wait to see how this week turns out. If you have any questions leave them below and they will be answered during Friday’s blog post! Each day will have a different topic covered that relates to this challenge. If you want to read from others who are participating in this challenge check out these hashtags on social media #flatschallenge #bringingflatsback



Until next time,

The Rivers Family

Happy First Birthday!

Happy Birthday to our sweet little girl! I can’t believe that it has been a whole year since you made your grand entrance. This year has been the most amazing, tiring, and magical year of my life. For such a little girl, you have made the biggest impact in our lives. Hearing you cry for the first time was the most amazing sound in the world and now I get to spend my days watching you run and play. We have been on so many adventures and I know we are only getting started on all the adventures we’ll take as a family. You have brought so much love and joy into our lives and it is so hard to picture what life was before you were born. 

You were just a tiny 8 lbs 1 oz 20 inches long baby and now you’re 23 lbs and 30 inches long as a toddler! Every day that I watch you grow, learn, and explore teaches me more about myself and more about the person you are becoming. You are such a happy, smart, and funny child. You have dance moves that make us laugh and your hugs and kisses are something we don’t ever take for granted. There’s so much more I want to write and say but instead I’m going to lay here and enjoy nursing you one more time as a baby before you wake up and become a toddler. We love you so much Mackenzie! 

Until next time,

The Rivers Family 💜


11 month update

Happy 11 months sweet little girl!

You have grown up so much in the past month and I can’t believe that you are almost one years old. In the past month, you have become a pro at walking and running and every time we go somewhere you want to be put down to run and play. We have made so much improvement in your sign language! Right now you love to sign ‘more’, ‘milk’, and ‘all done’. You have become quite the adventurous little girl and give me a heart attack every time I see you climbing something new.

Some days you’ll sit by yourself with all your toys around you playing and exploring while other days you just want to snuggle with me and eat your milkies. We are still breastfeeding and have no plans to stop anytime soon. You love to eat everything we give you and can clear a plate i no time at all! We have finally found a sippy cup that you can use and you love carrying it around with you! You have a new found love for music and love to dance and sing to any song that comes on the radio. Right now, you love the songs from Moana and the Pretty Little Liars theme song. Your sleeping habits still haven’t changed and you love to sleep just as much as I do. Currently, you have two more bottom front teeth, two molers, and at least two top teeth coming in but they don’t seem to bother you at all.

Planning for your first birthday party is in full swing and I am looking forward to celebrating your first birthday with all our friends and family. It’s no surprise that our little mermaid is have a mermaid theme pool party for her first birthday.

Everyday when your Baba and I look at you we see how smart and beautiful you are and how you are turning into a toddler right before our eyes. You have been our greatest adventure and we are so lucky to be your parents. We cannot wait to see what this next month brings.


Snow day! March 11, 2016


 

Until next time,

The Rivers Family

 

10 month update

Mackenzie turns 10 months old today! Wow, I can’t believe how fast these past 10 months have gone by and that we are two months away from having a one year old. Every time I think about how fast our little girl is growing it makes me so sad but so happy at the same time. This month has been full of changes for Mackenzie. She has learned to walk and now is unstoppable! She loves playing with all of her toys and will spend the day pushing her walker or doll stroller across the house.

We are still breastfeeding and she is doing amazing at eating everything we give her. We are still trying to figure out how to give her water and my milk since she doesn’t take bottles and we haven’t had any luck with the tons of cups we have tried in the past.

We have been so lucky to have such an amazing little girl and I can’t believe we are starting to plan her first birthday! We love you Skylar Mackenzie!


My journey with postpartum depression

For months now, I have been going back and forth on this blog post. I would type out what I wanted to say or what I was feeling only to delete it. I would read other blogs about mothers struggling with postpartum depression (PPD) and think they are so strong to be able to write about what they are feeling. It has been 9 months of fighting my PPD/PPA and I’m still extremely nervous to make this post public and talk about my struggle with PPD.

When Mackenzie was born, it was the most amazing feeling ever. We were finally parents. Everything we hoped, wished, and prayed for finally came true as we held this little girl in our arms. The next few weeks were a blur but I could feel myself getting more and more agitated and upset with every little thing. I spent most of my days crying for no reason and wondering what was wrong with me. I would stay in bed all day just nursing Mackenzie and only getting up to change her diaper. Every day I was falling deeper and deeper into a hole and I was so unsure of how to dig my way out of it. I heard about baby blues and thought “Okay that’s what I have and this will just pass.” But that wasn’t the case, at least not for me. I went to my 6 week postpartum check up and filled out the questionnaire about how I was feeling and even before this I just knew what I was going through wasn’t normal. I could have lied and said everything was great but I knew it wasn’t and I knew I needed help. I was finally admitting to myself and other that I had postpartum depression. I was diagnosed with PPD and given a few options on ways to help treat it. One of those options was medication and with my midwife we agreed this would be the best start for me. I have since been off the medication for many months now but some days are still extremely difficult for me.

Looking back at pictures and videos from when Mackenzie was first born or those first few weeks is still hard for me. There are some things I just don’t remember about her birth and coming home. There are things my mind has blocked out. Many of those early days were a blur. Sometimes I can look at the picture and remember what was going on that day but other times it’s a blank.

If you know someone who has recently had a baby, please reach out to them. Even if you are just checking to see how they are doing. I struggle with my PPD alone and it was very hard. My support system was very limited and not having anyone to talk to or relate to made it more difficult for me to find my village. I am so lucky I had my wife there by my side every step of the way. She was and will always be my number one supporter and without her by my side I don’t know how I would have made it through everything. I am very lucky I was able to get the help I needed and can enjoy Mackenzie was enjoy her growing up. She is my entire world and I would do anything for her which makes writing this post even more important to me. I want others to know they are not alone, they do not have to go through motherhood or parenthood alone, asking for help is not a sign of weakness. Sometimes asking for help will be the strongest thing you will ever do. I plan on writing more about PPD in the future but in the meantime I will leave some resources below but I am always available to talk.

Postpartum Progress Website

Facts about PPD

The APA and PPD

Until next time,

Angela

 

Baby Led Weaning

We decided that we would NOT do baby food or baby cereal with Mackenzie when she was finally ready to start solids. We always knew we would never do baby cereal but finding out about baby led weaning just made it more clear to skip all baby food. We found out about a method called baby led weaning (BLW) and it was perfect for us! BLW is not a new concept but you could imagine the looks we got when people found out our 6 month old was eating whatever we were eating. Her first meal was chicken, rice, and peas. Here are other great ideas for BLW meals. No baby mush just straight table food. The first few weeks were hard since she wasn’t really interested in eating. She did a lot of playing (aka throwing food all over the floor) and lots and lots of gagging, which is completely normal.

BLW is done when the baby is around 6 months old, they can sit up unassisted, they have lost their tongue-thrust reflex, they developed a pincher grasp, they are ready and willing to chew, and eager to participate in mealtime. Teeth are not a requirement for BLW. Mackenzie just got her first two teeth a few weeks ago and has been able to eat everything we have given her without any issues. Recommendations say these should all be meet in order to start BLW but each child is different so some of these ‘requirements’ might not appear until the baby is older. Looking back on it we could have held off a little bit on giving Mackenzie food but now at almost 9 months old she eats any and everything you give her.

With BLW, babies feed themselves instead of being spoon fed. But what about foods that need spoons? Well that’s easy, you preload the spoon and give it to your baby and they feed themselves. With BLW, babies learn to chew their food than swallow and they control how much food they eat. It’s pretty awesome watching a 6 or 7 month old eating table food. The only foods to avoid are honey and foods that are choking hazards such as nuts. New studies now say the earlier you introduce foods the less likely of food allergies.

BLW is messy, but that’s to be expected. We bought this highchair from IKEA and it is very easy to clean. We just take it to the shower and hose it off. Mealtime is usually just done in a diaper so if she does get messy we just bathe her. Learning the difference between choking and gagging was hard at first but after the first few times it was clear she did a ton of gagging. After reading and talking to many parents who do BLW, I think the biggest piece of advice I have seen is to learn the difference between the two. I love that we are able to give Mackenzie what we are eating and learn about what she likes and dislikes. We have only had one slight allergic reaction since we started but I’m hoping when we try again it will go a little better!

Food sizes by age for BLW
Choking vs gagging


Until next time,

The Rivers Family