Friday, April 18, 2014

Honest Company {Diaper} Review

Throwing caution to the wind and embracing life as a mommy-blogger. I'm around a 2 foot tall human all-day, every day- this is it! But as always, I will write what I feel- there will always be a hodgepodge of things here. Thank you so much for reading and supporting me.

Since Thomas and I have been married, we've been making commitments to healthier living. It was a (sort-of) simple switch to start shopping the perimeter of the grocery store- focusing on fresh foods instead of packaged and processed things. We still love a good pasta dish and I occasionally sneak through and pick up some Cheez-its. When Miss Margaret came on the scene, I started to be conscientious about what we were buying. When I was pregnant, we switched over to more eco-friendly (and human-friendly) cleaners. Don't get me wrong, there was no part of me that missed bathroom cleaning, but with more and more organic/green/eco-friendly companies out there offering competitive prices, I'm happy to switch.

Oh, diapers. Many kuddos to the parents who cloth diaper- I understand in the long run it can be very cost effective, but my distaste for laundry runs deep. :) We've tried every big name diaper on the market and our current favorite is Target. But a while back, Zulily ran a deal on a delivery of the Honest Company diapers. I made a big gamble in ordering over 200 diapers I had never tried before! Turns out I didn't need to worry.

Okay, here are the details you want to know:
-Ordering from Honest Company, you pay $79.95 for 6 big packs of diapers (8 for the newborn size) and 4 packages of wipes.
-It's a subscription service. You can manage your delivery date online, just tell them when to ship it to you next (and you're free to cancel at any time).
-The diapers are free of lotions, fragrance, chlorine, and latex.
-You can choose up to 6 different prints (the box pictured above is our actual box- minus the wipes and other things we ordered).

And here's what I think about cost:
The elephant in the room for my family is the cost. All diaper packages have a different number of diapers based on size, where the diaper is being sold, and other mystery factors. I always look at cost per diaper to figure out what I'm really paying. For size one diapers (the cheapest size- you pay more for bigger sizes in all brands), I can get them for $0.15 each for the Target brand and $0.21 each for Swaddlers Sensitive (with Amazon Mom). It's a little harder to figure out with the Honest company, since they include wipes. If you bought the diapers and wipes individually, it'd be $103.50- so you save about 23%. Going by that, it's $0.24 a diaper with a subscription, without (buying a single pack for $13.95), it's $0.32. With the subscription, you're still paying an additional $16 for wipes- steep for 4 refills, considering I get 7 refills of Pampers Sensitive wipes in a box for less than $9 (again, with Amazon Mom).

So many numbers!

Margaret kindly offered to model for you.

But what about the product itself?
I really love these diapers. Way, way more than I expected to. I love the way they fit Margaret. Like the Target diapers, they have an elastic band at the back of the diaper- no gaping the way some other brands do. Check out the awesome fit in the picture above! They fit snugly around her thighs, but no red marks. We have had no leaks, no blowouts, and no diaper rash- not even a spot. I think my only qualm about the diaper itself is that the tabs must be on the diaper- you can't secure them on top of one another if your baby is on the small side. Overall, that hasn't been a huge issue, even though she's at the low end of the size 3 range. I love the patterns! (C'mon, who wouldn't?) Even Thomas liked picking out the anchor and the stars/stripes patterns. You also get an incredible number of diapers per box (even our size 3 diapers had 204 in a box)- factor this in when thinking about the price.

I'm really picky about my wipes. I've tried every fragrance-free version out there. I only buy Pampers sensitive. But I liked these- a lot. They work well in my OXO dispenser, they are thick and strong (without tearing), and I like that they're a little bigger than the average wipe.

The subscription service is great. Everyone who has read this blog knows that I am a loyal subscriber to Amazon Prime and a huge fan of the subscribe and save feature. No lugging big boxes of diapers and wipes to your car with a baby in tow. I think the Honest Company really gets it right by allowing you to change the date that your order is shipped based on when you need it. 

Typing out the classic "Every family has to make their own decision." is true, but not as helpful in a review context, I suppose. For us, it's a lot to spend at once. But I have to say, I admire the commitment to keeping the lotions, fragrance, latex, and chlorine out of the diapers and their eco-friendly commitment as well. 

Per diaper, they are not that much more expensive than buying on Amazon with Amazon Mom. Wipes are way more expensive, but you can't get one in the subscription without the other. I'm impressed with the product and would definitely buy it again.

This was not a sponsored post. I paid for the diapers and wipes and all opinions are my own.

If you'd like to purchase something via the Honest Co., you can use this link. If you use it, I get a credit (to help me afford more of these awesome diapers). :)

We also purchased a swim diaper, fruit & veggie wash, and some dryer cloths, but I need to use them some more before I write a review. I'm also curious to try out more of their products. Have you tried anything by the Honest Co. yet?
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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Seven Months

Things to know about Margaret at seven months:
-Not crawling yet (thank goodness). Still sitting with even more confidence, rolling to get places, and slowly showing some interest in crawling (the wiggling and moving).
-Still doing well with solids and I'm happy to report, better with nursing as well. 3x a day with solids, and really as many nursing sessions as she wants. We keep a list of all of the foods she's tried on the fridge and it's really impressive! There isn't much that she doesn't like (beans), but mango is still her favorite. We are introducing lots of real foods too- small bits of strawberry, chicken, mandarins - really anything that isn't seasoned with salt or sugar that she's had before. Lots of people have asked me if I'm nervous about that... not really. We are very cautious with the size of the bite and the texture. She chews things up really well despite her lack of teeth and seems to really enjoy it.
-She's working really hard at picking up her sippy cup (usually just water, sometimes a tiny splash of apple juice) and she does a decent job. She's also working on picking up food (puffs and yogurt bites); she's pretty much mastered that. The problem is that she is only 50/50 on choosing to put it in her mouth. She likes to pick it up, observe it, and drop it over the edge of her high chair. Moby is loving this phase and frequently lays beneath her chair to wait.

-16 pounds, 12 ounces the last time I got on the scale with her (sometime last week). It's not the most accurate method - I weigh myself first, then get on the scale with her, but it gives me an idea.
- Miscellaneous: Still likes to nap three times a day, but I'm unsure how long that will last. Went to the beach last week and she loved it! Loved the sand, the wind, and wading in the tidal pools. We're going back tomorrow- just soaking up the time we have left in Charleston. Headed to the aquarium on Monday and I hope that she's going to love staring at the fish. She loves eating the little teething biscuits - it's one of her favorite things!

Things to know about parenting this month:
I've got nothing. Life is crazy and busy and awesome. We are eagerly waiting for Thomas' leave that starts in less than two weeks. So here are some more beach pictures:

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Wedding Song Dance Along

Breaking my (rather short) blogging sabbatical (hope you don't have any great expectations) for a quick little link up with the Camp, aka Camp Patton, aka Grace. If you are not following Grace and her merry brood, you should be. Go now. Or maybe right after you read this (any of the Julia Styles posts will make you cackle with toddler hilarity).

So here's the Wedding Song Dance Along
Maybe I want to do what bunnies do with you if you know what I mean...

Dancers we are not. I especially do not like dancing in front of people. It's like some sort of sick joke that observed dancing is part of wedding festivities. So with our first dance, along with many other things in our reception, we improvised.

We both love music- he loves country, I can't stand it. I love alternative/indie/rockish stuff and we compromise by shamelessly listening to top 40 in the car together.

When it came time to choose our song my mom suggested keeping it short, sweet, and not too slow. We settled on Ingrid Michaelson's "You and I."

It's sweet and short, and a little quirky- just like us. To add to the quirk, we danced normally (and poorly) in the beginning, but at the final refrain we did a choreographed little dance- miming the words. We managed to keep the choreography a secret but our family and guests loved it - and it was the perfect ending to our song. I only wish we had a video.

Oh let's get rich and buy our parents 
homes in the south of France
Oh let's get rich and give everybody nice sweaters 
and teach them how to dance
Let's get rich and build our house on a mountain
making everybody look like ants
Way up there
You and I
You and I

Funny story... I looked this up on YouTube last night and left it on his computer to find this morning. Thanks Grace, for making me write it all down!

Aren't we cute? (Yes.)

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Monday, March 31, 2014

Some time away

I've decided to take a little break from the blog. I haven't been posting very regularly anyway, but perhaps if I make it official, I won't feel so guilty about it. I'm not too sure where this blog is going, so I think I just need to step back for a bit and figure things out. I'll still be in periodically to post Margaret's monthly updates (7 will be here soon) because I really love looking back on those.

Thomas and I are waiting (not so patiently) for some Navy updates. One way or another we've got some big changes around the corner. We are all doing well, but while I'm still getting more sleep than I was six months ago, I don't know that life has gotten any easier. I love my life, but it is exhausting. Honestly, any spare moments go to veg out (reading blogs or watching a bit of tv with Thomas) or sew. Be patient and I'll return soon(ish).

If you're really, really, really going to miss me, I'll try posting a bit more on the Faith and Macaroni Facebook page (maybe some web links or photos) and I'm actually on Instagram a good bit.
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Sunday, March 16, 2014

Six Months

Can't believe we've made it this far.

Things to know about Margaret at six months:
-She is definitely using her ability to roll over to get places! Almost every time I go to get her up from a nap, she's making noise because she's on her stomach with her legs stuck between the slats on her crib. Goodbye, pet rock stage.
-Sitting! She has been sitting for about 1-3 seconds on her own for a while now, but a few days before she turned six months, she sat for about 10 seconds on her own. Every day she does more and more- usually only toppling over when she lunges after something. Of course, right before it happened, she had a major sleep regression for about a week. Waking for extra feedings and all sorts of un-fun things. As soon as she sat, she went right back to sleeping through the night.
-We've got our act together with solids now! She eats three times a day and every 2 days we introduce a new food. Today was peaches. She loves new foods and interesting combinations (check this out). We started out with organic jarred food, but as she's eating more in one sitting, I'm making a lot more baby food myself. It's easier than I thought and actually fun.
-Nursing has totally changed. I still get one great morning feed, but as she eats more food, I'm usually only getting sporadic 5 or 10 minute feeds. She really does prefer having solid foods. It's great having flexibility, but I have to say that I miss all of that quiet time that we spent together. Bittersweet.
-She was 16 pounds at her 6 month well visit.

-First haircut! Finally got rid of the mullet look and trimmed some bangs. The hairstylist had never cut a six month old's hair before and kept saying how weird that was but the sad part is that Margaret has needed a legitimate haircut since she was 4 months.
-It's amazing to watch her personality come out more and more. Her face is so expressive and the changes in these first six months are night and day. She loves to chat and is always making new noises every few days. She's started to mimic things that Thomas and I do, which is hilarious.
-This girl can demolish some food. Many days it feels like she's eating constantly! She nurses still between meals of solids and our pediatrician said that introducing baby puffs (the yogurt bites and the canisters of what look like puffy Cherrios) is fine and a way to help encourage motor development. She loves those, but we've also given her peas, green beans, various fruits, and even steak (really tender, in really small bites). My little toothless girl is quite adept at chewing, so we love giving her new things to try (that are well cooked and in baby-appropriate bites).
-Miscellaneous: can easily reach out and grab things- hand-eye coordination is improving. Still napping three times a day, sometimes a 4th powernap depending on how long the others are. Loves playing with paper, fabric, and really anything that's not a baby toy- and we've finally reached the age where she will cry if you take it away from her (not my favorite). Still very curious and observant. She has her chatty/blabbermouth moments (like her mamma) and her periods of quiet alertness, just observing everything that's going on around her (like me too).

 I just... can't... even...

Things to know about parenting this month: 
-I'm still waiting for the time to come where I don't somehow feel like I've been punched in the face daily. If that time does not come, please lie to me. Lie to me hard.
-Please take the above statement with a grain of salt. We're almost at the end of swings (3pm to 12:30 am, which is rallying to beat out mids [night shift] as my least favorite schedule of all time). Not having another parent to fall back on at the end of the day (when we're both cranky) seems to eat me alive. I know, I'm a big ol' wimp.
-Posts to come (hopefully soon, but no promises): things we are loving (toys, carseats, etc), a good photo dump (because I have so, so many), and a few other drafts I need to edit and hit publish on. Life continues to astound me with it's craziness, so bear with me as I find my footing. Until those come, here are some cute baby feet:

Follow me on Facebook. Follow my blog on Bloglovin'. Still can't get enough? Request to 
follow me on Instagram. I'm getting a lot better at documenting my life.

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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Baby Food Combinations

I know this is a pretty selective topic, so feel free to skip right on by if you're not in the thick of it or getting ready to start solids. There are plenty of resources devoted to making your own baby food (though I feel like I could just sum most of it up like this: steam and smash), but let me know if you'd like an overview or round-up of resources.

We are just now getting into combinations of baby foods. We started out with single foods: your typical carrots, squash, pears, and apples. And we've done some not so normal foods too, like mango and papaya and avocado. But these days, the world is your oyster. If you can find it in the produce department you can make it (and usually freeze it). I make the single foods and freeze them in little silicone ice cube trays. Then I store them in a dated and labeled ziplock bag in the door of our freezer. It's a great system that takes up very little room- as you can see above, they all stand up neatly next to each other. Then I just grab a few cubes and defrost for any meal.

But just a few short weeks later, Margaret was ready to move past the soupy purees and on to bigger things. I've also been trying very hard not to impose my palate limitations on my daughter. I want her to be exposed to as many foods and combinations as she wants, but it's hard to figure out those combinations. So after a little research (a few things we've tried, some pouches or jars we've gotten, and other ideas on the internet), here's my far-from-exhaustive list:

apple, (plum or blueberry or cherry or banana or grape or apricots)
banana and (raspberry or strawberry or blueberry or orange or kiwi or mango)
peach, (mango or apple)
pear, (mango or raspberry or blueberry)
mango, banana, orange

Apple and peach oatmeal
pear, apricot, barley
apple cinnamon oatmeal
banana cinnamon and brown rice
peach, berry oatmeal
plum, berry brown rice

Pumpkin, spinach
sweet potato, beets
squash, peas
carrots, broccoli (or peas)
green beans, peas, corn
green beans, zucchini, potato
peas, beans, spinach
butternut squash, carrot, chickpea
spinach, pumpkin, chickpea
broccoli, peas (broccoli is a very strong flavor, so when just trying it, add a little pear or apple to cut in some sweetness)

sweet potato, garbanzo, barley
broccoli, red lentil, oat
carrot, peas, kamut
spinach, lentil, brown rice
sweet potato, carrot, brown rice
sweet potato, white bean

pear, spinach and mango (one of Margaret's favorites!)
sweet potato, apple (or apricot)
apple, carrot (or broccoli)
apricot, peach, pumpkin
butternut squash, apple, banana
zucchini, banana
carrot, apple, mango (also carrot, apple, squash)
cherry, berry, carrot
blueberry, pear, carrot
pear, kiwi, spinach
kale, broccoli, mango
raspberry, spinach, greek yogurt
pea, spinach, apple
pumpkin, banana
apples, green beans, raisins
apples, carrots, parsnips
banana, blueberry, beet

apple, raisin, quinoa
blueberry, parsnip, buckwheat
pumpkin, coconut rice

If you have others that you love, please leave them in the comments section! I'll update this list. If you have any other questions about what we are feeding her and how we are doing so, also leave them in the comments- I love hearing from y'all!

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