Sunday, August 29, 2010

CD Review: The Flip Diaper

I had heard a lot about the FLIP diaper system, so several months ago, I decided to give it a try. FLIP diapers consist of a waterproof one-size (adjustable) cover and a stay-dry insert (made of micro-fiber terry with a special suede top that wicks away moisture from baby's skin).

The Pros:
- Very trim diapers. Sometimes you need something that isn't so bulky, and these diapers definitely keep it slim.
- The inserts are wider than most, which I love.
- The one-size feature means this diaper will last longer. However, I don't think it really fits a 7-8lb baby very well. I would say this would fit best from 10-12 lbs up to 35lbs depending on the size and proportion of your child.
- There are little "pockets" to tuck the top and bottom of the liners into, but no large pocket to stuff, which means these are quick and simple to put on and take off.
- The insert can be thrown in a wet bag and the cover can be wiped off and reused, which means you save money- you can stock up on inserts and get by with 3-5 covers (for a toddler) a day.
- The cover seems to be a comfortable fit for my toddler. There are never any red marks around his legs, and the FLIP cover is among one of his favorites.

The Cons:
- The Stay-Dry insert sometimes bunches up. So far this hasn't caused any leaks, but it seems like this would be uncomfortable for the child.
- I'm not a big fan of micro-terry. Microterry seems to hold on to the stink and require more effort (stripping, etc). However, they do have another option made of 100% Oeko-Tex® certified organic cotton. I have chosen to use the FLIP cover with a prefold and a bamboo soaker, and this works best for us.

The FLIP disposable inserts:

It's nice to have a disposable option when out for extended periods of time or traveling. These inserts are pretty absorbant, but they wiggle around inside the cover because they are not as wide as the cover.

I solved this by putting a disposable insert on top of the Stay-Dry insert, which helped keep it in place and gave us a little extra reassurance in case we had a heavy-wetter moment.

FLIP recommends using a smaller snap setting to keep the insert in place. There are 18 disposable liners in each package, and my favorite store (Nurtured Family) sells them for $3.95 (most stores sell them for $4.95). This is a great price for a disposable option, in my opinion.

All in all, I love the Flip cover, and I think the organic cotton insert option is the one to go with. The disposable inserts have their time and place, but definitely not an option I'd use daily (kind of defeats the whole "cloth diapering" thing anyway, right?).

I will definitely be back to review these again when our little butterbean is big enough to fit them!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

"Wordless" Wednesday: The Birthday People

August 15th we three celebrated our birthdays. Mine was on July 31st, Hubby's was on August 6th, and my SIL (Tara) was born that very day 25 years ago! My Dad treated us to a delicious meal at a Mexican restaurant, and then everyone came back to our place (to see our new home) for cake! YUM!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

38 weeks!

Thirty-eight weeks, folks. Thirty-eight weeks. This pregnancy has been so eventful (Merikalyn's brain surgery and follow-up visits, finding out baby's heart wasn't complete and she had a cyst on the brain, then finding out our baby and our sweet Merika were completely healed, moving to a new home, celebrating bunches of birthdays, etc) and now things are slowing down and I am very eagerly anticipating little Miss Evangeline's arrival. (I think that's a run-on sentence. Forgive me!)

I thought I'd overload you with photos of "life" this post instead of writing a real entry, but I wanted to let you all know I'm still very much pregnant! :) Enjoy!

Dress up/pretend is a very big part of our lives. I mean, sometimes you just feel like being a cowboy...

Or a very posh lady.

And sometimes you just feel like sitting in a box, especially a box that has been decorated to look like a car.

Sometimes you just want to imitate Mommy.

And sometimes you'd like to pretend that you're not tired and ready to have this baby NOW, even though you know it'll likely be at least 2 more weeks.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Homeschooling doesn't always go as planned.

In fact, it rarely does.

This year has been "tough" on homeschooling. With Merikalyn's brain mass landing her in the hospital, this wonderful pregnancy, and moving... we've had a lot on our plate. My desire to homeschool through the summer didn't work out like I planned.

Thankfully, we're the kind of family that "goes with the flow", and our style of education is not to mimic the classroom, but to allow the kids to go at their own pace, learn in their own style, and be able to choose- for the most part- what they'd like to learn.

And, let me tell you, this has worked quite well for us. I am often amazed by their intelligence, especially when I realize they know something I never specifically sat down and taught them. This is how it works in our household, though. We try to teach as much as possible through real life situations. It's become such habit, we don't realize we are doing it. Of course, I feel all families should do this whether they home educate or not as it really reinforces concepts and teaches them that this information has a use in every day life.

When you use such a method, you'll see your children constantly learning (and even teaching themselves), even when you don't sit down and crack open a workbook. We have not had the time to go through our reading lessons (Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons), but I often find the kids snuggled on the couch with a book trying to read the words. They love to read signs and labels everywhere we go, and this is GREAT real-life application. This teaches the children that reading is more than just books and magazines, but is necessary in driving, following directions, and even grocery shopping.

I know that I often just want to do things myself (quickly!) or have some quiet time, but I have to remind myself that getting my children involved in the every day tasks and having those rambling conversations are very educational and necessary.

One thing that I LOVE... and wish I would have done sooner.... is having art and creative projects available for the children at all times. I believe this is why Keagan, at nearly three, has such great hand/eye coordination and is already (in my totally unbiased opinion) a great artist. He's great at tracing, drawing circles, and can stay inside the lines if he wants to (key words: if he wants). They are free to draw on their chalkboards and marker boards (I did hold the markers back until I knew Keagan could properly use them without me watching), color masterpieces with crayons (I have a bucket of coloring books and Crayolas set out), and various other fun doodley things. Paint, playdough, and other forms of art are fun to explore, but I do have to keep an eye on them, so these things are not left out for them to use any time, but we try to fit them in often.

I love the Montessori idea of having trays of activities for the kids. I use this method for Keagan, and even my older children, because I know it's just a lot of fun to walk into their education room and see fun activities awaiting you. I try to change them out on a weekly basis to keep it interesting.

This particular week we had clocks to play with, different kinds of stencils and rulers, tangrams, a fun little game of "magnetic facial hair", a tray with various activities like my old Rumor cell phone, which they love to "pretend text" on and a game of finger bowling. I set out a stack of books, a basket of wooden shapes, and a basket of colorful connecting blocks. The last shelf has Handwriting Without Tears wooden "sticks" to make letters (a favorite that is always on the shelf) and various other educational games and puzzles.

(We also have other shelves and baskets in this room stocked with goodies.) My kiddos love learning- and love getting new educational toys (really... they beg for them!)... and having these things available to them to access any time means that, even when homeschooling doesn't go as planned, they are still learning.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

[Not-So] Wordless Wednesday (Flash Back!)

Do you know who that is? It's me.... long ago. (Although, I'm sure, to my parents it seems like just yesterday!) Oh man, did I love that Whiz Kid "computer"! It was one of the "coolest Christmas gifts ever"!

I think I can almost hear my mom clearing her throat as a reminder to pull my skirt down!