baby must haves // leg warmers

baby must haves -- leg warmersWith the arrival of No. 2 I’ve been thinking a lot about what my baby must haves are. (I have also been asked quite a bit by my first time mama to-be friends so I thought I would take this opportunity to write a few posts!) In no particular order lets start .

I love baby leg warmers! I think they are adorable for both boys and girls but my favorite thing about them is they make diaper changing a breeze. Especially in the early months when it feels like all you’re doing is changing diapers they make it so much easier. No need to squeeze a giant diaper butt into tinsy little pants. Because Evie was a summer baby she lived in them. A sweater and leg warmers in on cool mornings and evenings and just a onesie during the day.Ev leg warmersMy favorite brand so far has been Baby Legs – you can usually find them for a pretty good price on baby sale sites (infact I was already doing this post today and what do you know, they’re on sale over here!) They stay up but don’t leave marks, they come in great colors and patterns for both boys and girls and they ware really well (I’ve picked a bunch up at consignment stores and they still look great).Leg warmersSo there you have it, the first on my baby must haves list. Great for your little one or to give as a gift.

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baby month

nestingbaby monthJust after Christmas it finally hit me, we’re having a baby in less than a month! I finally had to kick my pregnant mind into gear because up until that point absolutely NO preparations had taken place to welcome the little guy into our lives. So while you have experienced a bit of silence for me over the last few weeks, I can assure you it has been everything but silent over here! There has been laundry FOR DAYS, freezer meal prep, re-organizing, crafting, cleaning, more cleaning, and nesting, nesting, nesting! Yeesh! My mind has been going a thousand miles a minute every.single.day. But I am pretty sure we can say that we are prepared for baby number two and now all we have to do is wait. I can only assume that things will continue to be a bit quiet around these parts as we welcome baby boy home but I do have a couple of tutorials that I am pretty excited to share with you so if he decides to postpone his arrival you might get to see a few soon! Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year!for the boy{Felt garland will be available in my shop soon! Burp cloth tutorial found here}

sometimes you just have to laugh

our not so baby babyI was laughing to myself this morning as yet another completely ridiculous phrase left my mouth, thinking ‘only from the mouth of a mom.’ At 16 months Everly is SO funny and I am so thankful that I appreciate her antics and actually laugh about them (most of the the time out loud but only after I have made a huge effort to be really serious about my instructions to her). I never would have imagined saying things like – ‘please don’t put your book in the bath’, ‘toothbrushes, socks and toys do not belong in the garbage’, and ‘please take your sandwich out of your ear’. Believe it or not these are things that are brining me so much joy these days. Especially when I choose to see them as the blessing of comedy that they are rather than getting frustrated that she’s not acting like an adult yet.

silly girl collageSo thankful for the moments of comic relief and such a funny little girl.

everly’s first birthday: the decor

If I do say so myself, this was a great first birthday. At first I’ll admit, I was a little overwhelmed by the responsibility planning my first child’s first birthday but after I got over the initial hump I had so much fun! Yes, this did happen two and a half months ago but as you may remember I was on a bit of a blogging hiatus. I figured there’s no reason for you to miss out on a perfectly good party just because I was out for the summer AND part of the reason I am blogging in the first place is so we can document all these great memories. I definitely did not want to skip this one

In general I’m not really big on ‘themes’. I wanted her party to be fun, colorful and just the right amount of girly so we decided to do a simple picnic in the park.
Because I couldn’t find any invitations I was in love with – and partly because I procrastinated planning until it was too late to order any – I decided to make my own and I was SO happy with how they turned out! They are also available in my shop!I set up some old folding doors my parents had in their garage to serve as a backdrop for the food tables. I really like how it defined the space and made it feel like a party rather than just a field. I kept the decor pretty simple, a few tables and crates from home, Everly’s high chair and little reading chair. The banners were made out of solid scrapbook paper with scrapbook letters and the garland hanging on the tables is made out of tulle puffs that I hope to have a tutorial up for soon.
We set up a lemonade bar which was a big hit. I set out a large pitcher of plain lemonade and had strawberry, raspberry and peach purees available for guests to mix their own drinks. I will definitely be using this ideas at future parties.
The guests had vanilla bean cupcakes with key lime frosting and Everly got her own baby birthday cake. I used the Baby’s First Birthday Cake recipe from this website because I was a little freaked out about the thought of her eating all that sugar. With a cream cheese frosting it actually turned out delicious!She was not super thrilled about being the center of attention…
But she did love her cake! What a pretty girl we can’t get enough of her!

cloth diapering: grovia

The other cloth diaper brand we use is:We came across GroVia a little late in the game. Our go-to cloth diapering store started carrying them after we already had a pretty well established stash of Fuzzibunz. I was initially drawn to them based on color choices alone – which is consistent with my reasons for choosing cloth in the first place. I have had a great experience so far with their customer service department – very helpful and friendly. Their diaper warranty seems to be quite comprehensive and straight forward though I have not had to take them up on it yet as we have had no problems with them in the 6+ months that we have been using them.

As with the Fuzzibunz brand we tried both of the styles offered by GroVia. First up is the hybrid diaper.A hybrid diaper is a cloth diaper that can be used with either a reusable soaker pad or a disposable liner. This was the second thing that attracted me to this brand, I was thinking that the disposable option would be a good solution for traveling. Turns out that for longer trips where we do not have a washer and dryer accessible I think we’ll just use regular disposable diapers but more on that later.Similar to our main Fuzzibunz diapers these are a one-size diaper allowing you to use the same diaper from birth to potty training. Different than the Fuzzibunz – the diaper is adjusted using snaps only rather than having adjustable elastic around the legs and waist. Initially I was unsure that this would provide the correct fit but I have actually been very pleasantly surprised at how well the GroVia diaper has ended up fitting. The diaper is composed of a outer waterproof shell which is covered with a soft mesh layer inside and a removable soaker pad that looks like this.You purchase the shells and soaker pads separately. The soaker pads are always sold in a two pack. I found this odd before I started using them but the soakers are designed in a way that you can switch out the soaker and use the same cover for multiple changes. You can also purchase additional ‘boosters’ that lay on top of the liner allowing for extra absorbency. 
There are two snaps on each ‘flap’ that are positioned horizontally with many corresponding snap options across the front giving a very snug yet comfortable fit – these are the 12 snaps across the bottom in the photo on the right. The 9 snaps in the middle allow for vertical adjustments as your child grows – you will rarely adjust these. Thought the snaps my look a bit overwhelming once you have the diaper in front of you it makes a lot more sense. Promise. The soaker pad is connected with two snaps located on both the back of the insert and on the inside of the cover. Which means no stuffing! This makes these diapers very user friendly. It also keeps the soaker in place making it possible to reuse the cover. As I’m reading the description of the soaker pads on the GroVia site I’m thinking that we are using the ‘Organic Cotton Soaker’ rather than the ‘Stay Dry Soaker’. I think this because ours does not have a layer of micro fleece. The Soakers are slightly contoured with gussets on either side. I LOVE the gussets, they do a great job of keeping everything exactly where its supposed to be. They are lined on the back with a waterproof material so you can easily remove them without touching the anything wet or dirty. This also keeps the cover dry so reusing isn’t a problem. The second style of GroVia diapers we tried were the ‘all-in-one’.I’ll be brief with the description of this style of the GroVia because we only own one and quickly decided that it was not going to be the diaper for us. But I’ll at least fill you in on a few of the details. The all-in-one diaper is just like it sounds – all one piece. It is also a one size diaper which adjusts using snaps alone.Most diapers both disposable and cloth are put on by placing the two side flips on top of the main part of the diaper. For some reason this diaper is designed opposite, where the main flap is snaped onto the side flaps. Really, if its not broken GroVia, don’t fix it. The single most frustrating feature of a diaper, ever. Jake used it for the first time and refuses to use it again.
The ‘soaker’ is sewn into the diaper so there is no stuffing.It comes with an extra ‘booster’ which attaches with a snap and fold behind the sewn in soaker.The closures attach with two vertical snaps which in my opinion does not give as good of a fit as the horizontal snaps on the hybrid.

Our Pick
We much prefer the GroVia hybrid diaper. In fact, had I found these diapers before we were fully stocked up on Fuzzibunz we would have gone exclusively with the GroVia hybrid. Like I said, we own one of the all-in-one diapers and we use it as a last resort. They are awkward to use and leak the most out of all the diapers we have tried and are not holding up well. AND, though the hybrids seem more expensive, because you can reuse the cover and the soakers come in a two pack, they are actually less expensive per change (by about $5) than the all-in-ones.

Care for the Hybrid Diaper
The whole diaper goes straight into the washing machine. You can separate the cover from the soaker if you choose but it will wash the same either way. To extend the longevity of your diapers it is recommended that you let the covers air dry (they dry very quickly). I try to do this most of the time but sometimes everything gets thrown in together.

Why We Love the Hybrids
As I’m sure you can tell by my raving, we have had a great experience with these diapers. Just like  the Fuzzibunz we have had no blow-outs and no diaper rash. Different than the Fuzzibunz, we have never experienced any wicking of moisture onto clothes. Her clothes stay completely dry 100%! And because the cover and liner are separate there is still a soft, cozy feel around the legs and waist. We have had NO problems with snaps . They are holding up great and show no signs of wear, they are a different design than the Fuzzibuns. The color choices are far superior to the Fuzzibunz, very current and very cute – not a huge fan of the patterns but the solids are great! There is no stuffing with the hybrid which makes they much more user friendly and cuts back significantly on time spent getting them ready for use. And they do have the disposable option which I’m not that matters to us as we have used them and could live with out them but I have heard of people that like them and if you want more info on that feature of the diaper you can check out this blog, she does a great job explaining it.

Our Challenges
Really, in my opinion, these are very minor issues but I promised full disclosure. The thickness of the soaker makes it take much longer to dry than our other diapers but an extra ten or so minutes in the dryer usually does the trick. Because the soaker is made from cotton rather than a micro fleece it does not wick moisture. Which means baby feels wet when the diaper is wet. Everly doesn’t seem to mind this and I’ve heard that this promotes early potty training which I can’t speak to yet but I am a big fan of that! Finally, these are the bulkiest diapers that we have tried but I am fine with that because their functionality certainly makes up for it.

In summary, WE LOVE THE GROVIA HYBRID!

*UPDATE*
All of the things I said in this post were true, they were great when Everly was younger however, once Everly hit about 14 months (about 23 pounds) I began to have a lot of trouble with these diapers leaking. Everly drinks A LOT of water and I have found that the Grovias don’t hold nearly as much liquid as the Fuzzibunz. As she got bigger the insert stopped staying in place as well and began bunching in the front making the diaper leak even faster. With the bunching it allowed the cover to become saturated making me throw it in the dirty bag right away rather than using it again for multiple changes with new inserts. If you are planning on a very early potty training the Grovias might be great for you but once we hit the toddler/kid stage they have been a bit frustrating and I may not recommend them as your only diaper choice. But they do still come in great colors – still tempting I know!

The final brand we tried was bumGenius’ Flip diaper and I’ll do a very brief run-down on those next.

Related Posts
Why We Cloth Diaper
Cloth Diapering: The Newborn Days
Cloth Diapering: Fuzzibunz