Tuesday, December 29, 2015


There are quit a few online rewards site on the internet, and prior to using Swagbucks I had exactly zero interest in using any of them. They all seemed very gimmicky and annoying. However, I was nursing Mary one afternoon and reading a blog post about a mom who uses the Swagbucks website to earn herself one $5 Starbucks a month. My tired-mother-of-two-children-ears really liked the sound of that. So I got a wild hair and decided to give it a try.

I'll cut right to the chase: I've been collecting rewards since the middle of August and am days away from cashing in on a $25 Starbucks card! You can choose from 100s of gift cards, but I only have eyes for free coffee right now.

There are many ways to earn points on Swagbucks, but I use only two: the search function, and online shopping. I've installed the Swagbucks search bar on my browser, so each time I search the internet I might be rewarded with varying amount of Swagbucks. Searching the internet is something I already do on the regular, thanks to having two small children and constantly needing to find answers to things I have no knowledge of. I shop online by visiting the Swagbucks site first and then traveling over to the site where I will do my shopping. I get rewarded with Swagbucks for spending money online that I was already planning on spending. And then sometimes if I'm on hold on the phone and super bored, I'll do the daily poll on the Swagbucks site and try to earn a few extra points while I wait.

That's it, though. Search and shop. And now I get to enjoy free money to Starbucks. It's a known fact that coffee tastes better when it's free.

I'm telling you about this because someone told me about it, and I'm glad they did. Because free coffee. 

This is my referral link: http://www.swagbucks.com/refer/shansen212. If you sign up using that link, I'll earn 10% of any points you earn. Yay me, right? But also, yay you. Because you'll be well on your way to earning your own free coffee, and then you can boast to your friends about your free coffee and they can sign up and then you'll be busy earning free coffee and 10% of their points, too. Win-win!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Mary: 5 months

Mary has historically been a tough sleeper and while she did give us a reprieve for quite a few weeks, she back in another season of fussy naps and trouble going down and staying down at night. But - that's what these years with the little ones is full of and although we can do everything to set up her for good sleep, sometimes we just have to throw our hands up in the air and roll with what she's giving us. Sometimes that means bouts of crying, and other times that means someone is camped up in the nursery with her. I loveeeee when I randomly get the chance to snuggle her during one of her naps. We have a big cozy chair in her nursery and if she's having trouble sleeping during the nap she takes that coincides with Drew's afternoon nap, I quick scoot in there and scoop her up and just snuggle the daylights out of her. Although she has a true gift for picking the days I have mile-long to-do lists to tackle during their afternoon naps. Some days that makes me really frustrated at her, but the snuggles soon erase my bad mood because she is just so lovely and precious.

Mary is no longer swaddled for sleep. I'm really glad we stuck with transitioning her away from it, because it only took about a week and she was sleeping fine again without it. Our hope was that she would use the access to her hands to self-soothe, but it turns out she still just really likes her pacifier. She usually wakes once in the early night between 10pm-12am, and that when we go in and roll her over onto her tummy. We have a breathing pad set up under her mattress that would sound an alarm if she stopped breathing, so we feel comfortable rolling her over at this point. She clearly much prefers to sleep on her tummy, and she can roll over onto her back if she gets tired of her tummy. She's almost able to roll back to tummy, too, which will be really nice! We say that she "sleeps through the night" because she doesn't wake for feedings anymore; she only wakes if she's lost her paci and wants it back. The paci is a sleep prop we're okay with keeping around for right now because it works like magic to put her to sleep and that is really important to me during the day when I have Drew to look after too.

Her 4 month appointment went great. She's medium weight for her age, but super tall. Hello Hansen genes!

Nursing and bottle feeding before bedtime are going great. Right now she nurses every 4 hours during the day, and we just started adding in some oatmeal cereal at each mealtime with the family. The other night I unearthed all my materials for making and freezing baby food and got batches of sweet potato and butternut squash pureed and into the freezer for future use. Felt good to get that knocked out now before the holidays.

Mary is almost sitting up by herself; she can hold the position for a few seconds before tipping over. I know that once she can sit by herself that will unlock a whole new level of playtime abilities. Right now she does some independent play on a play mat on top of our bed every morning, and I plan to move that to a pack n play in our room once she can sit up and get better leverage with her toys.

This holiday season with her in our family is sure sweet. She's definitely more social than Drew; just today she skipped most of her naps (much to my dismay!) and hardly fussed at all until right before bedtime. She just wanted to be up and hanging out with us! I warned her that would not fly long-term - babies need their sleep!

We had a really fun little photo shoot this month - she's such a little muffin in front of the camera!

And here's one of Drew from 5 months old, just for fun :-)

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Guest Post: The Myth of the Breastfeeding Diet


It's BFBN Guest Post Day and today I'm really excited about this guest post from Emily at The Journey of Parenthood. Below Emily shares about the myth that all women loose weight while breastfeeding. I couldn't wait to read this post, as I am currently breastfeeding my 5 month old and my body has clearly and un-apologetically decided it's done shedding weight for the time being. You might remember at the time of the last guest post, I shared that I wasn't really a fan of the breastfeeding experience but that I do it because I am able to. Well - the Lord has really changed my heart about that! Over the past two months I've grown to cherish breastfeeding my baby, and plan to continue doing so past my original goal of 6 months. That means, however, that I will be wearing my postpartum "transition" clothes a bit longer than I had planned. So Emily's post is very timely for me right now. Our bodies are meant to be used, not preserved. So to that end, I'm using mine to sustain my baby - and embracing this squishy season before it's gone too fast.

If you like Emily's post below, be sure to also check out her recent post about losing the baby weight once you're done breastfeeding.

Preparing to nurse for the first time? These are my favorite nursing products.

And PS: today I'm sharing over at Team Cartwright about what goals to focus when bringing baby home.


It is awesome to see how well supported breastfeeding mothers our in society today! Women nurse in public with less shame and more support. Women pump during office hours and aren't hassled as often about the time away from their desks. Breastfeeding is becoming more and more common (According to the CDC, 45% of all mothers in 2008 were still breastfeeding at 6 months).

It's wonderful that breastfeeding mothers are getting more support. Breastfeeding is not easy. Let's be real, even if you formula feed motherhood is not easy! Being a new mom is scary. There is so much pressure. You have this little baby in your arms that completely and fully relies on YOU for everything. It's all so new and it's such huge adjustment that literally affects every aspect of your life.

How about we quit adding extra pressure to new moms? I can't even count the number of times as a new mom that I heard "Breastfeeding is awesome! It'll make the baby weight just fall off!" I'm not saying people don't mean well. I know it's a common thing that is said by people as well as published in our media outlets. Breastfeeding = Natures Best Diet Plan.

Except. It isn't.

Check out this from the La Leche League Site:
The Subcommittee on Nutrition During Lactation reports "On average, lactating women who eat to appetite lose weight at the rate of 0.6 to 0.8 kg (1.3 to 1.6 pounds) per month in the first 4 to 6 months, but there is a wide variation in the weight loss experience of lactating women (some women gain weight during lactation). Those who continue breastfeeding beyond 4 to 6 months ordinarily continue to lose weight, but at a slower rate than during the first 4 to 6 months."

Shocking huh? Let's break that down:

1. "lactating women who eat to appetite" - Is that majority of lactating women? Because I know personally I tend to eat more while I'm nursing. I get cravings that are almost worse than pregnancy ones and you know none of them are for healthy things like salad. The secret to staying awake for those middle of the night nursing sessions? Cosmic Brownies. So let's be real, a lot of nursing moms are eating "above appetite.

2. "lose weight at the rate of 1.3 - 1.6 lbs per month in the first 4-5 months" - I'm not trying to speak for everyone but I know I had a LOT more weight to lose than just a couple pounds after I gave birth to my babies. And losing 1-2 lbs per month sure as heck isn't "the weight falling off" either!

3. "there is a wide variation in the weight loss experience of lactating women" - So sure. Some women may lose more than that average 1-2 lbs per month. Some.

4. "some women gain weight during lactation" - There is the kicker! Guys. Not everyone has the weight "fall off" and not everyone even loses weight at all while nursing. Some people, they gain weight during the time they are breastfeeding.

5. "those who continue breastfeeding beyond 4-6 months ordinarily continue to lose weight, but at a slower rate than during the first 4-6 months" - I nursed my last baby for 13 ½ months. IF I had followed the average weight loss for a nursing mom then I "should have" lost maybe 15 lbs. Which isn't bad but losing 15 lbs over a 13 ½ month span of time is FAR from the weight "falling off" due to breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding is an amazing way to feed our babies. It's best for them, and an incredible experience for us as their mothers. The bond created during breastfeeding is something that nothing else can come close to comparing to. There are endless benefits to breastfeeding that benefit both mommy and baby. However, weight loss shouldn't be focused on so much in our culture. So often the "breastfeeding diet" is listed as one of the top motivations to breastfeed. Telling new moms that they will have their baby weight just disappear is unfair. It puts added pressure on a woman who already feels so much pressure. Let her enjoy the postpartum period. Let her figure out her path as a new mom. Let her accept that her body won't ever be the same and that that's okay. One day she will stop nursing that baby and when she does she can then figure out the best path to lose that baby weight.

For me personally, my body holds weight while nursing. I've come to learn that many women are like me! The more babies I have (I have 3) and the older I get (I'm now 31) and the longer I nurse (each baby I nurse longer than the one before) the more weight I hold onto and the more I struggle with losing it while breastfeeding. Every time I get pregnant I tell myself I'm not going to get wrapped up in the pressure of trying to lose the weight while I'm nursing but every time I find myself right back there. Looking in the mirror and hating what I see. Lacking the confidence I usually have. Feeling just straight icky about myself. When what I should be doing is enjoying my new baby. Savoring those nursing cuddles. And not letting the "breastfeeding diet" make me stress over what the scale says.

If you meet a new mom and find out she's breastfeeding please build her up. Give her words of encouragement. Remind her she's doing a great thing. And maybe even add a compliment in there about how great she looks. Because motherhood is beautiful and a few (or 10 or 20) extra pounds while breastfeeding our babies doesn't make us any less beautiful.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Family Blog

If you're a friend or family member - keep reading! If you're following along for the Babywise tips and resources, you'll want to skip this post.

Family and friends: I've moved all of the posts about our family life over to a new blog. The new blog is located here: hansenfamily.givingitgrace.com (if you click on that link and get an error site, try refreshing your browser page). This new family blog is where I'll be posting pictures from family events and updates on the kids. All of the existing family blog posts have already been moved over to the family blog, and I'll post any new family content on that blog moving forward.

So, to recap: Family blog is now at hansenfamily.givingitgrace.com

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Hansen life: November

I know this is predictable, but November flew by. I blinked and it was over. I think part of that happens when you are anticipating a holiday that falls toward the end of the month; the whole month leads up to that holiday and then the holiday happens and the month is over and it feels like it all happened with the span of a week.

Our month was smattered the usual variety of life with small children: doctor appointments, play dates, grocery shopping trips, visiting family, etc. Really the best part of the month was Thanksgiving weekend because we get to spend so much time together as a family!

Enjoying some garage/outside play while the weather still allowed for it. We've been having fun with boxes lately! 
Pretend airplane box
I took Drew on a mama + son day date to the Everett Children's Museum. Paid and arm and a leg to get in, and he wanted to spend the entire time at the train table which is just a larger version of what we have at home. Toddlers - ugh!

Finally pulled him away from the train table long enough to watch the motorized miniature train
The water room was fun!
These two are best buddies. Drew's new thing is dictating to papa what to draw and then he sits and watches.

I got to volunteer at the Night of Rest gala. Last year Kyle and I attended as guests, but this year I wanted to give my time and help out. They raised over $300K that night! Sadly, my night got cut short when I got a call from Kyle that Drew's arm was hurting and I needed to come home to take him to the ER (per the on-call doctor's orders).

Turns out Drew's elbow was partially dislocated from some roughhousing with papa earlier in the night. The ER doctor just popped it back into place and Drew was good as new!

The next weekend Kyle and I got to attend a fundraising gala for Hope for Life Ministries with some of Kyle's cousins. It was a fun night raising money with some really great people!

This month I started a new tradition of us making our own pizza on Saturday nights. Drew gets to help with the sauce and toppings and so far it's been a fun thing to do together as a family.

My view when I'm nursing sweet Mary.
Drew holding still and smiling for the camera - a rare sight!
Parenting hack - Mary transitioned perfectly from the car to inside the house in her car seat with her hat over her eyes. This was an accident, but it worked great!

This year we packed a shoe box for Operation Christmas Child through Samaritan's Purse. I hope to do this every year moving forward, and involve the kids in the process as they get older.

Mary's first pony tail!

I offered to watch my girlfriend's kiddos so she and her husband could have a date night. Our other friend came over with her own two kids to help me watch all the kids. We had four boys and two girls ages 3 years to 4 months. It was a chaotic but really fun night with all the kids! This is me reading all the boys some stories while my friend cleaned up some of the chaos.

We spent one Saturday up at Warm Beach visiting my grandparents. They love our kiddos and are so sweet with them. My gram is such a hostess, always having yummy food and desserts for everyone. We got to sit and listen to my grandparents reflect on some of the details of their lives, and it was really precious. My grandpa has served his God, his country, and his family well. My grandma is selfless on a level that is hard to match. They are really wonderful people and I cherish them both.

Drew likes scrumming around the property!

Drew's starting to get into playing dress up. First order of business is of course influencing him to pretend to be a cowboy!

Found Drew "playing" brushing his teeth. I love that his idea of "play" is good dental hygiene.

Mary at Thanksgiving with cousin Addie and Auntie Julie
Kyle and I stole away for a day date at the Apple Cup game!

The sun was shinning!

Hansen sibling crew!

Over Thanksgiving weekend, Edmonds does a great little tree lighting ceremony. We went down early and rode the Holiday Trolley around town.

Family pic!

Then we had a quick donut at the Edmonds Bakery.

Next we stopped by the bookstore.

Then we gathered to sing carols before the lighting of the tree.

Santa shows up on a real firetruck, so we didn't get to see the tree lighting because once the firetruck showed up that was all Drew cared about. Which was fine by me! His smile was so huge when he saw the firetruck! They leave the truck out and let the kids climb all over it. So fun!

Then we grabbed dinner at El Puerto and Mary kept us entertained with her cuteness.

And Drew...well, it's really hard for toddlers to sit still at restaurants so he did a lot of sitting on dad's lap!
Trying to get a good family photo for our Christmas card

Mary was not having it!

Classic siblings already - they love each other, really!
The afternoon we spent down in Edmonds is one of my favorite times of the year. I love our little town and my little family. There was a time in my life when I was worried I would never get married, let alone have children. Then there were more times in my life when I was married and we were struggling to get and stay pregnant. So these afternoons spent together as a family are really, really meaningful to me. I thank God for these people he has blessed me with every day!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Bringing Baby Home: Goals for the First Four Months

When I was preparing to bring my second baby home, I sat down and wrote out a list of goals to help me get through the first four months (and beyond). The goals below are what I focused on, and having these decided ahead of time was very helpful! So if you're planning on bringing a baby home soon - especially if it's your second baby (hello Keri, Kaleigh, and JoAnna!) I think you'll find this helpful. Enjoy!

{ WEEK 1 }
goal: full feedings
Every baby is a sleepy nurser to some degree, so keeping a baby awake enough for a full feeding can be a real chore. Be prepared to really put in work. Ideas for keeping awake: change diaper, undress baby, gentle tickle, something cold briefly against their foot, sit them up. If you have older kids, plan ahead for a family member to take over the bulk of your responsibilities with the older kids for several days (even a week!) so you can put all the energy you can find into full feedings. I focused on this from the first feeding with both my babies and they naturally fell into a 2.5-3 hour feeding routine within 48 hours.

goal: full naps
This is really easy at first, because baby spends something close to 20 hours a day asleep. Most newborns have no trouble sleeping anywhere, but try to respect their slumber and set them up for nice, long naps with minimal disruption. If baby cries during a nap at this age, do respond. Check for dirty diaper, hot/cold, gas/burp before assuming it's hunger (especially if baby has just had a feeding). If baby only wants to sleep snuggled up with mom or dad at this age, go with it. Your goal right now is still just full feedings and full naps.

{ WEEKS 2 - 4 }
By now your milk should be in (if you're breastfeeding), and baby has likely fallen into a 2.5-3 hour feeding schedule with 8-9 feedings within 24 hours. Baby may have even condensed night feedings as they start to take more milk during the day. So the next goals are:

goal: eat wake sleep
As baby starts to spend a little more time awake toward the end of the first month, start to implement eating, wake time, and then sleep - in that order. These are called "cycles". It's okay if every cycle doesn't go in that order, but make this the goal. Avoid nursing directly to sleep unless it's a middle of the night feeding. Start keeping notes of when your baby eats, is awake, and sleeps. This will chelp when looking for changes in eating habits, assessing wake time needs, and keeping track of how many total hours of sleep baby is getting within a 24 hour period. You can follow along with what my two babies have done here: A Year of Babywise Schedules.

During this time is when I start waking baby to eat if it has been 3 hours since the last feeding. I am aiming to get 8-9 full feedings in baby's tummy within a 24-hour period, and baby's tummy can only handle so much milk at one time (usually 2-4 ounces). So I will wake to feed baby at the 3-hour mark even if they are still sleeping. If baby doesn't get all the ounces he needs during the day because he was sleeping, he will surely be waking at night to eat to make up for the lack of ounces during the day. For my babies, this also included picking a desired wake time in the morning and desired bedtime in the evening - and always aiming to anchor baby's day around those two feedings. Again, you can follow along with what my two babies have done here: A Year of Babywise Schedules.

goal: day vs. night
Babies are born with their days and nights mixed up. Make sure daytime feedings are done with the lights on and/or in a room with natural light coming in. The more daylight exposure during wake time, the better. At night time, keep feedings dark and boring. Dim lights, no chit-chat, minimal eye-contact. Just a snuggly feeding, and then back to bed. Put baby to bed for the night after the feeding that falls around 7-8pm; any feedings after that time should be considered nighttime feedings and should be boring.

A word about nighttime feedings: some people put their baby to bed after the 7-8pm feeding and then don't feed again until baby wakes for a feeding. Others sneak in and offer baby a "dream feed" between 10-11pm. A dream feed is done in the dark and the baby is woken just enough to take a feeding and then placed directly back in the crib after the feeding. Then they let baby sleep until he wakes naturally in the middle of the night for a feeding.

goal: pause
At this age, consider pausing a moment when baby cries during sleep. If you've given baby a sufficient feeding, changed diaper, burped, and put baby down to sleep in a safe place - chances are baby is just making some normal noises during sleep. Pause - and listen. Get to know the different cries your baby makes. Pausing will be super easy if you have older kids - most of the time you will have to pause before responding to baby because you'll need a moment to secure your other kid(s) before ducking into baby's room to assess his needs.

{ WEEKS 4 - 12 }
goal: sleep routine
Once feeding are established and you've gotten to know my baby a little better, implement a sleep routine that is done before each sleep. It can be very simple: dim the bedroom lights, close the curtains (make sure the room is black), diaper change, sleep sack or swaddle, sing baby a song while gently rocking to the point of drowsiness, and then place baby in their preferred sleeping place (crib, swing, rock n' play, etc) and then leave the room. Even if baby wakes a few moments later and refuses to sleep anywhere but your arms, all is not lost. Each time you do the sleep routine is one more chance you give baby to understand how the sleep routine works.

goal: progress through newborn sleep hierarchy
The newborn sleep hierarchy is:
  1. baby sleeping when she should (by any means necessary)
  2. in her own bed (or swing or rock n' play is okay too)
  3. and then falling asleep (and back to sleep) on her own
Once you've got a sleep routine in place, assess where you are at in the newborn sleep hierarchy. Expect to stay somewhere between step 2 and 3 for quite a while. It's a work in progress.

My experience with this: with my son, we did CIO at 7 weeks old to get him firmly on step 3. Despite it working, I regret doing that. I think I was too afraid of bad sleep habits that I led with fear instead of instinct. Hindsight taught me there isn't one bad sleep habit you can't undo later, and I wished I would have been less strict with him as a baby. With my daughter, I was very consistent with the sleep routine and we ended up only needing to do CIO one time (literally one night) at 6.5 months old.

{ WEEKS 12+ }
goal: get through 4 month sleep regression
After the 3 month mark I just work on maintaining the status quo until the 4 month sleep regression has passed. My only goal for the 4 month sleep regression is to not introduce new sleep props. I do not try to break baby of any "bad" habits during the 4 month sleep regression. So - if at 3 months baby will only nap or sleep in the swing, but baby is taking full naps and sleeping well in the swing - then the swing stays until the 4 month sleep regression is over! After the 4 month sleep regression, begin working on getting rid of sleep issues that will not work long term.
Two articles I like that have to do with 4 month sleep regression:

By this time, baby's tummy has grown and is increasingly able to handle more ounces at a time. Which means baby has begun condensing feedings (especially at night!) because they are taking more ounces with each feeding. You can confidently help baby move away from night feedings at this time, and also consider if their day time feedings can be farther apart as well. Your goal is roughly 25 ounces of milk within a 24 hour period. If your breast feeding and not sure how many ounces baby is getting, consider offering baby a botle of breastmilk at the 2nd or 3rd feeding of the day to see how much they are taking. Then pump your milk for that feeding to see how much you are putting out. Neither are a perfect representation of exactly how much baby is getting from your breast during a feeding, but it will give you a ballpark.

goal: wean from "dream feed"
If you are doing a dream feed (the 10-11pm feeding), you'll want to think about weaning baby from this around this time if your baby has dropped all other nighttime feedings. My preferred method for weaning is offering only one side for a week, and then dropping cold turkey. If bottle feeding, just reduce the bottle size.

goal: transition out of swaddle
Somewhere around 4 months old you'll likely want to stop swaddling. Baby is probably working on rolling over soon, and the startle reflex is mostly gone. Even if baby loves the swaddle, once they start rolling you'll have to ditch it anyway so might as well start now and be done with it by the time baby starts rolling.

These are the priorities I focus on for myself the first 3 months after bringing baby home:
  • milk supply: extra pumping session, managing oversupply, nursing issues, etc
  • healthy diet: lack of sleep and poor diet is a lethal combo for your emotional stability
  • water: if breastfeeding, 8 ounces with every nursing session
  • physical healing: let those birth wounds heal!
  • say "no" to literally everything: ignore texts, don't return calls, maybe don't even check your email...there is nothing more important during this time than getting yourself, your baby, and your family stabilized 
  • no additional chores: if you have older kids, this will almost take care of itself because you will literally have zero time for anything extra and will care 0% about doing any chores
  • rest whenever you can: duh - but seriously, do it
  • establish routines and rhythms: as dad prepares to go back to work, do a practice day where you see what it will be like without his help, and if you have older kids try to sit down and map out what your day will look like so there is some semblance of routine and calm for all the kids and you know where the trouble points will be (maybe the kids watch a little extra TV during this season so you can work on those full feedings with baby)

Hudson Baby Swaddle Blankets (way cheaper than aden + anais!)
Soothies (for sore nipples during early breastfeeding)

For a complete list of what you need to welcome baby home, I recommend checking out Lucie's List.

This post contains affiliate links.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Mary: 4 Months

I could write for hours about how much we love little miss Mary. This girl never stops smiling! She is just so darn friendly, it's hard not to just spend every waking minute smiling at her! These days she's loving her jumperoo because she can "stand" in it and bounce. I recently got her set-up at the dining room table in a high chair during meals and she just sits at the table and smiles at everyone during meals. The rest of the time she hangs out on her play mat, in the bumbo chair, or in someone's arms (because she's so squishy and we just want to hold her all the time!).

We stopped swaddling her for naps and sleep over the weekend and are hoping that will help with her middle of the night wake ups. Last night it did help (!) so we're hoping to finally say goodbye to middle of the night visits to re-insert her paci (and by we, I mean Kyle...bless). She appears to have buzzed right through the 4 month sleep regression. I had to put her in the swing a few times, but now we seem to be back to normal. Doing the sleep routine with her from day 1 has really helped things. Oh the things you learn by trial and error on your first child...sorry Drew!

Her flat spot appears to no longer be flat, but I'm going to have her ped check it out at her 4 month appointment this week.

She's still nursing well, and I've added in a bottle feeding for her final feeding of the day so that she could get better at taking a bottle. That worked, and is really great because now we have some additional freedom in the evening to trade who puts which kid to bed, or for us to have a date night. I didn't really care for the nursing experience with Drew, but for some reason I'm loving it with Mary. Perhaps it is because our days can seem so chaotic with the two kids, and everything feels like it slows down when I'm nursing Mary. I nursed Drew for 6 months, and I'm hoping to nurse Mary longer than that.

We're doing the cloth diapers with Mary and not having any issues withe diapers. I would say I do cloth about 60% of the time with her. The only real issue I'm having is with her clothes. She is so tall that she's already in 9 month clothing! With the cloth diaper on, the 9 month clothing is tight because the diaper adds a little length in her crotch. But the 9 month clothing is too wide for her, so 12 month clothing would be even more wide and baggy. So sometimes I put her in disposable diapers just so her clothes will fit better and she'll last longer in the 9 month size clothing she has.

Lately I've been daydreaming about all the things I want to teach Mary about as she grows. She has no idea yet how special it is to be a woman, and I am so thankful that I am the one who gets to teach her all about it. Kyle loves the daylights out of her, and watching him love her gives me just a glimpse of what the Father's love must be like for me.

Ok, here are some pics!