Day 5! Open topic

Check out the challenge here!

Today is an open topic and I’ll be touching base on something I’ll expand on in a later post. At first, I had no idea what i wanted to write about for today until I woke up and dreaded washing diapers today. It wasn’t because it’s time consuming, because it’s actually pretty quick. It wasn’t because drying takes forever, because it really doesn’t take long at all. But it was because I miss my old diapers and miss the convince for throwing them in the washing machine and dryer and letting the machines do all the work.

That’s when it hit me, this is what the challenge is really about. Many families struggle to provide diapers for their children and for some hand washing is the only way to provide diapers for their children. One of the purposes of this challenge was to show using cloth diapers can be easily done without a washing machine or dryer and that it could be done on a budget. As much as I love this challenge and what I am learning, I can’t wait for next week when we can get back to our other diapers and wash routine! If you have any questions feel free to leave them in the comments below. 


Until next time,

The Rivers family ❤

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Day 3 and 4

Day 3

Share your favorite fold!

Well I missed day 3 yesterday since we had a really busy day so today’s post will cover day 3 and day 4. The question for day 3 was to share your favorite flats fold. This was pretty easy since we only use two types of folds. We use the kite fold and pad fold. The pad fold is super simple and I think that’s why we use it most. We use a kit fold at night or if I think we’ll need extra absorbency.

Day 4

Share your wash routine!

I think I’m most excited about this because I actually really like washing diapers. We use a 5 gallon bucket from Home Depot and a plunger for our washing machine. Our first step is to rinse the diapers. Sometime I rinse them off in the sink then put them in the bucket, other times especially if I’m washing a lot of flats I put them all in the bucket and fill it with cold water. I use the plunger to agitate the diapers and do anywhere from 60-90 pumps with the plunger. I take all the flats, covers, and wipes out and rinse them and put them to the side. I empty the bucket and refill it with HOT water.

I put a little detergent (we use tide powder) and put the diapers back in the bucket. Now we start the washing cycle. I use the plunger to agitate the diapers again, using at least 90 pumps. I may or may not let the diapers sit for a few minutes before starting the wash cycle. I take the diapers out again, rinse the diaper off, empty the bucket and refill it one more time for a final rinse cycle. The final rinse cycle is done with COLD water and I, once again, do about 60 pumps with the plunger. Everything is rinsed and squeezed out and taken outside to line dry.

We have been very lucky that we have had amazing weather and I’m able to hang dry out diapers. I try and wash first thing in the morning so they’ll have more time to dry but for the most part my diapers only take a few hours to dry. The other day I did two washes and by the time I was done with the second wash of diapers, my first load of diapers was already dry!

Don’t forget to read about the challenge and other’s experiences here!

Until next time,

The Rivers Family ❤

Our drying line
Kite fold and pad fold as our nighttime solution
one of these was extremely poopy, can you guess which one?

our washing machine

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

 

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

 

Our journey with baby wearing 

Before getting pregnant, I had time to do tons and tons of research. I researched everything and anything I could about pregnancy and parenthood. My google history consisted of phrases such as, “home birth vs hospital birth or birthing center”, “which car seat is the safest”, “top baby names”, and “what baby carrier is the best”. Babywearing is not for everyone and some people do not understand why anyone would want their child strapped to them for x amount of time. But after hoping, praying, and tons of tears we were finally getting our chance at becoming parents and we were going to cherish every moment. I was finally carrying a little life inside of me. A little person that would be part of for the next 9 months (and then the next 18+ years).

I enjoyed every second of my pregnancy. All the false labor, the weight gain, the counting down until our little girl would arrive made her grand entrance worth it. Once Mackenzie was born we were finally able to put our baby carriers to use! We received many different baby carriers as gifts from our baby shower and our two most used ones are our Moby wrap and Tula.

The Moby wrap was amazing when Mackenzie was still a newborn. It was easy for me to use and kept her all nice and snuggled up while I got things done around the house. We used it for the first three months of her life. You will need the Tula infant insert if you plan on using your Tula with a newborn. The rolled blanket trick is not safe or recommend. Many parents use the infant insert for 6+ months so you’ll get a lot of use out of it! It is a little big and bulky at first but it wasn’t difficult for us to get use to using it.  

Right now our favorite way to wear is back carrying. Mackenzie loves riding on my back and looking out at everything around us. I have finally figured out how to get her on and off my back while we out by ourselves! 


Until next time,

The Rivers Family