Ellie and I are getting into the groove of nursing, but she had a severe tongue tie that made it difficult at first. We’ve had to have it clipped twice, because the first time didn’t go far enough. Hopefully this will enable us to have a long and healthy breastfeeding relationship and will prevent any speech difficulties as she gets older.
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Graco. All opinions are my own and as always I only write about products I would personally recommend to a friend. Thanks so much to Graco for the opportunity to review this jogging stroller and car seat.
Graco‘s latest development in jogging strollers is the super easy to use FastAction Fold Jogger Click Connect. The name is more complicated than operating this stroller, I promise. True to its name, the jogger folds and unfolds in one step in one second. Amazing. If you’ve tried to manhandle your share of bulky strollers, you know this is a big deal.
The snack tray removes completely so you can clean it well. Y’all know those things get NASTY fast and are so hard to clean when you can’t remove them.
When you fold the jogger (in one step, in one second) it automatically locks and stands and stores upright. As you can see it is much less bulky than some competitors and is a great option for families with small cargo spaces or storage issues.
Favorite Features: the double cupholders, smart phone cradle, and reflectors for night time and early morning safety. What can I say, I’m a details kind of girl. Our previous jogging stroller did not have any of these features, and the cupholder and phone thing was an issue for me. If there is an emergency, I don’t want to have to dig through the basket under the stroller to find my phone.
Least Favorite Feature: the air filled tires. They provide a smoother ride than hard tires, but can also go flat requiring more maintenance.
**Thanks to Julie Harding Photography for the use of photos from the Dallas Graco Party.
Packing the hospital bag for baby’s birth can be a stressful undertaking, so I thought I’d share our checklist with y’all. This is our second go round, and we learned a few things last time. You can read some of my other pregnancy posts here. We are also at a different hospital this time so what they provide will be a bit different. The first thing any mama should do is get the list from your birthing center or hospital so you know what they will give you. Be forewarned though that nothing is free at the hospital and you will be billed for pretty much everything. My hospital does provide each mama with a birth ball for labor, which is handy since they are super awkward to tote around. I’ve found that the trickiest part of packing the hospital bag is that my wardrobe is pretty limited at this point, so there are things I can’t pack til the last minute. Our solution is to have a copy of our checklist on top of the suitcase so we can add those last minute items on our way out the door. I’m a chronic overpacker so I have to try hard to keep it under control for this situation.
Comfy Clothes – lounge pants, nursing tanks, soft cardigans
Giant Cotton Undies (in case they don’t have the giant stretchy ones)
Hair Dryer (didn’t use it last time, but I’m an eternal optimist)
Bathrobe (institutional towels – enough said)
Warm Fuzzy Socks (hospitals are cold)
Loose Fitting Shoes (last time my right foot looked like the Elephant Man)
Clothes to Wear Home (don’t overthink it – all eyes are on the baby)
Phone + Charger
iPad + Charger
Camera + Charger + Lenses
Makeup (see the hair dryer explanation)
Snacks (vending machines are expensive)
Boppy Nursing Pillow
Favorite Pillow (I’m a pillow snob.)
Cloth Nursing Pads (for chafing, not leaking)
Lanolin (see above)
Rice Socks (tube sock full of rice for heat/cold pack during labor & postpartum)
Tennis Ball Socks (tube sock with 2-3 tennis balls inside for massage during labor)
Going Home Outfit
Car Seat (installing it beforehand saves headaches)
Socks (are on our hospital’s check list)
Woombie Swaddler + Summer Infant SwaddlePod (so much easier than a hospital blanket)
Aden + Anais Muslin Swaddle Blanket (mostly for the drive home)
Headbands (purely for the cute factor)
Hats (again, hospitals are cold)
Hooded Sweatshirt or Comfy Jacket (he froze last time)
Warm Socks (see above)
3 Changes of Comfy Clothes
Snacks (he gets hangry if not fed often, a combination of hungry/angry at the world)
Drinks (to avoid vending machines)
What was/is your must have item for the hospital bag? How far in advance did you pack?
Shopping for your hospital bag? Check out the prices on some of our favorite items on Amazon:
I can’t believe we are really almost there. From here on out I’ll do weekly updates until our sweet girl arrives. Because we are trying for a VBAC and lots of people have lots of questions about what that entails, we’ll be live tweeting as much as we can during the birth. You can follow along on Twitter or on the Bare Feet on the Dashboard Facebook page for those updates when labor begins. You can read my other pregnancy 2.0 updates here, and read all my pregnancy posts here. This sweet baby could come any day now, and we are so ready to meet her.
Woohoo, three pregnancy updates in a row! We are on a roll, people. You can read my other pregnancy 2.0 updates here, and read all my pregnancy posts here. We are now entering the home stretch, and are sooo ready to meet our daughter. Because we are trying for a VBAC and lots of people have lots of questions about what that entails, we’ll be live tweeting as much as we can during the birth. You can follow along on Twitter or on the Bare Feet on the Dashboard Facebook page for those updates when labor begins.
What is one thing you wished you had packed/plan to pack in your hospital bag?
It might be time to bust out the old Birkenstocks from college, much to Jed’s horror.
“Minted is a global community of independent graphic designers and an online store that prints and sells the best of their designs in the form of paper goods.”
Minted’s independent designers come from 43 different countries, so the variety of designs is unparalleled. I found so many birth announcements I loved, then found myself looking at children’s and nursery prints, and birthday party invitations. There are thousands of fun options. Pricing is competitive, and if you subscribe to Minted’s email newsletter they often send out discounts and deals. One thing that really sets Minted apart is the quality of the paper. Maybe that sounds silly if you aren’t into paper goods, but my sister and I were discussing this and agreed that out of all the printing companies we’ve used, Minted has the highest quality products. She actually brought it up when I told her I was reviewing the company.
I created 2 inspiration boards for you to check out a few of the options I’m considering for Mini Bear. These are five of my favorite birth announcements, and 3 of my favorite art prints. I can’t decide which I like the best.
I ordered Christmas cards from Minted, and fell in love with their free addressing service. You enter your recipients’ addresses and choose the font, and your envelopes arrive addressed for you. Genius. I’m excited to check this off the list before Mini Bear arrives so that all I’ll have to do is add her photo and birth stats.
Head over to Minted and pick out your favorite products and enter to win a $50 credit on the Rafflecopter form below. You don’t need to have a blog or a Facebook profile to enter, just an email address.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
This is the first post in my Baby Bloom Blog Event series. Stay tuned for more reviews, giveaways, and baby themed good times here on Bare Feet on the Dashboard.
**I was not paid for this review and all opinions are my own. I did receive products in exchange for a review.
It is has been a shamefully long time since I’ve posted an update on pregnancy #2, and I have a myriad of excuses you don’t want to hear. The most common are: I didn’t fix my hair or put on make up so I can’t take a picture or Jed’s not home so I can’t take a picture. I apologize for the photo quality above, but I cannot procrastinate another day or this child will be here. Poor second child, already lacking the documentation of the oldest child. It stops today. I’m 32 weeks along and feeling great most of the time. Here’s the rundown:
We are now almost 2 years into this little cloth diaper experiment. I’ve learned so much and am still picking up new info every week. I’ll probably get the whole thing totally mastered by the time Mini Bear potty trains. Today I’m sharing with you the top five things I’ve learned from our first 20+ months of using cloth.
1. Diapers We Love:
If you read our about Great Cloth Diaper Trials you know that we’ve tried and tested 11 different kinds of cloth diapers. We are now up to 14. Out of control. Not all of the brands we tried worked for us, but we do have a few that we absolutely love and we are always looking to try more. Our all time favorite brand is Softbums. We’re obsessed and they make up the bulk of our diaper stash. We also love the Bumgenius 4.0 and Freetime. We use our Bumgenius Elemental, but the drying time takes it from a love to a like. I love Apple Cheeks diapers, but Jed is not as big of a fan. I loved the 1 size two AC we had so hard the elastic is now busted. Anyone want to fix it for me? We love our Bummis swim diaper, and our Bunzuke bandana diaper is still in the rotation as well. That Bunzuke is so cute and hard to find I will never give it up. The rest we’ve sold. Which brings me to #2.
2. The Cloth Diaper World:
Did you know there is a whole underground world of cloth diaper people out there? We DO exist. There are Buy/Sell/Trade groups and fan pages on Facebook for every major brand. There are local cloth diaper swaps. There are forums where you can learn everything you every wanted to know about every diaper on the market. I’ve sold all of our used cloth diapers we didn’t love because they work really well for other people. I’ve bought used diapers from people who didn’t like our favorite brands. There are cloth diaper meet ups and mom groups in most major cities. The cloth diaper world is amazing, and I love being part of it. Before we started this experiment, I looked to blogs to learn everything I could. That’s why I now post about what I’ve learned to share with you.
3. The Laundry:
The cloth diaper laundry is no longer intimidating. You can read about our original simple cloth diaper laundry routine here. We just switched to Rockin Green detergent because of a hard water issue at the new house. Our new routine is one cold wash, one hot wash, extra rinse. We use 1 TBSP of Rockin Green in both cycles. That’s it. Then we hang the dipes up to dry and dry the pods and inserts on low. We now have the routine down pretty well and do a load every other day and never run out, even giving the diapers overnight to dry.
4. Over Night Cloth Solutions:
We struggled with this for a LONG time. Bear is a super heavy wetter and I thought we would never find the right fix. Bear would literally explode an over night disposable diaper, but we couldn’t find a cloth solution that worked either. Finally after begging for help from Twitter and Facebook friends as well as in cloth diaper forums, and visiting my two local shops, we have found a solution that works for our super heavy wetter. We use a waterproof cover (Rumparooz and Tiny Tush), two Grovia bamboo prefolds with one of them folded in half towards the front, two microfiber inserts (one in half towards the front and one flat on top of everything else), and two fleece liners covering the microfiber. It makes the fluffiest booty you’ve ever seen, but it works.
5. Cloth Diapering Really is Easy, Cheap, and Doable
It’s true. Maybe not for everyone, but it is true for me. I had many doubters when I first started talking about cloth, but thankfully I’m stubborn enough to prove them wrong. If you are interested in using cloth diapers, do your research and go for it. Don’t buy all one brand though, because that brand might not work for your babe. There are a few specific things that have made it easier on me as we have gone on. Our diaper sprayer is magnificent. We bought the Bumgenius diaper sprayer and have it attached to the toilet in one of our bathrooms. We keep our diaper pail beside it and after the dipes get sprayed they go straight into the potty. Totally easy. We use a simple Ikea pail with a lid. The other thing that makes it easier is having a bigger stash. We wash every other day and let them dry overnight, and still have enough to make it through. It just makes my life better if I’m not doing laundry every day, and is totally worth the investment. You can do this. If you want to. You will save around $2000 per kid and thousands of disposable diapers from the landfill (which don’t biodegrade for over 500 years!). I believe it’s worth it.
Do you use cloth diapers? If so, what’s one thing you’ve learned from cloth diapering?