Sunday, April 29, 2012

What's In a Name?

I am pregnant with my second girl.  And being 35 weeks along, I STILL do not have a name picked out for her.

Since my little bundle of joy is due in a few weeks, we are feeling the stress.

Having lived my whole life with an uncommon name, I liked the idea of my children having a different name as well.  It's always been a good thing to be out in public and know that if you hear your name called, it's you they're referring to.

My first little girl's name Luna, was easier to choose.  I had always liked the name 'Luna' ever since the first time I heard it 10 years ago while working in a daycare at Club Med Resorts.  Since it's an international company, there were a lot of different and unusual foreign named babies I came across, and Luna was a German babe (it also helped that she was super cute)!

It was easy to pick Luna as my first born's name- it was uncommon, pretty and means 'moon' in Italian and Spanish (Lune in French).

But I didn't think about what I would do if I had a second girl.  Now that the time has come, I have NO IDEA what I am going to name her.

My husband of course is more into the common names, so we have not been able to choose one that either of us like.  When I tell him I want an unusual name, he came home the other day and said, "what about Samantha?" Okay, as much as I love that name (it's the name of the main character of my favorite childhood show Bewitched), but uncommon? Don't think so.

So we are back to square one.

And so, I need your help!  Something different that will go well with Luna.  A name that by the time she's in Kindergarten, there won't be 6 of them in her class.  A name that won't get stares when you are yelling it at the playground when she's about to jump off the swing set. (Yes, there are a lot of pretty names on paper, but when they are said out loud?...hmmm).

So please help me. I know you all have baby names you love. I know you all want to help me name the little sweetheart inside me who is already giving me pressure, about to pop out. :)
Friday, April 20, 2012


Yes, I am one of those cloth diaper mommas, but with baby #2 almost on the way, I have wondered what I am going to do- stay with cloth or add disposables?

When I was first pregnant with Luna two years ago, I thought about cloth diapering because I had read a lot about how more and more people were doing cloth again, and how great it was for the environment.  Plus it helps them potty train sooner and is better overall for their bodies without all the chemicals found in disposables.  I researched cloth laundry services and soon realized I didn't want a diaper service where you share diapers. Yes, maybe they're clean but it still sounded unsanitary.

So we went out to the only diaper store in the Dallas area to learn more about cloth diapers: Babies Bottoms and More located in a mom's garage!  The owner went over all of the options: cloth diapers with covers and snaps, inserts, liners, all in one diapers, and two in alls.  It was enough to make my head spin!  We figured we would wait until my newborn was settled at home before I tried anything drastic.

After our baby was born we used disposables to make our life easier in the beginning.  They are the greatest invention, but I also felt like I was building my own landfill with the amount of waste we created in just one day.  We were taking out the diaper genie bags once a day!  So I researched some more and read about all the junk in regular diapers like these cancer causing toxic ingredients: bleach, PVC, formaldehyde, heavy metals, Sodium polyacrylate, etc.  Have you ever noticed those little crystals on your child's behind from the diaper? Yeah, those are some of those absorbing wetness crystals that cause all the bad stuff.

That's when we started purchasing the dye-free, chlorine free diapers.  My family thought we were crazy and going overboard, but hey, we were just being cautious.  But I still wanted to try the cloth diapers.

Disposables and wipes were going to run us 100$ a month and we learned that cloth diapers might be an investment in the beginning but will pay off in the end.

So we decided to go with the All-in-Ones when she was about 3 months old.  What are AIO's?

They are a cloth diaper and cover all built into one diaper!  You don't have to put on the cloth part, then a cover.  You also don't have to do the insert thing where you buy the reusable cover with the pocket and stuff the cotton cloth inside of it.  AND the AIO's have snaps and adjust while your baby grows.

We love the Bum Genius Elemental AIO, the best cloth diaper out there in my opinion!  You can get it on Amazon for 24.95$ if you click here: Single Bumgenius Elemental Organic Cloth Diaper All in One for Girls PINK.  We bought about 24 diapers and yes they may be expensive to get a set, but in the long run they pay for themselves, especially with other babies.  They last a long time!  I've even seen people selling them on eBay.














They are super absorbent and very easy to use.  Just snap and go.  And when you need to use a wipe, we also bought some cloth wipes to use that are like little washcloths.  I have a diaper warmer and I fold the wipes, run them under water to get them damp them store them in the warmer.  You can also buy or make your own diaper wash spray with almond oil and some lavender oil that we spray before we use a wipe.

So what do you do once they do their business?  We have a diaper pail which is a plastic trashcan (from Target)  that we put a laundry bag in to line it and toss the dirty ones in it as well as the wipes. With babies not on solids yet, you just toss the poopy diapers in and wash them.  Once they are on solids, you do have to just dump it into the toilet or we have a Bum Genius diaper sprayer attached to our toilet to wash them if needed.  It's really not that bad, trust me.

Then once it's full, you take the laundry bag and dump the bag and all the diapers in the wash. We have a front loader and it works great.  We do once cycle on cold, double rinse with no soap to just rinse out the diapers, then we do a second cycle with hot water, 2 scoops of soap and a second rinse.

The best soap we have found is Rockin' Green.  It gets everything out!  We use it for our laundry too and it comes in lots of different scents and depending on your water, either Soft Rock, Hard Rock or Classic Rock.  And with a front loader machine, we don't use much water at all.

How often do I wash? About every 2 days or very other day.  It's not bad, my washing machine does all the work!  And there is no folding, I just toss them in one of my child's drawers in her dresser.


As far as night time diapering, we did buy a couple of extra liners.  These are basically pieces of cloth that you put on top of the diaper to absorb more at night so they don't leak:







And in case you were wondering what to do when you are out in public and have a diaper change?  Sometimes if I know I am going to be out for awhile, like a trip to the zoo, I make sure my child is in a disposable.  But if it's just a trip to the mall and you need to change a cloth diaper, I always have a 'wet bag' (a mini laundry bag that zips) in my diaper bag to put the cloth diaper in and then you can carry an extra cloth diaper in your bag or bring some disposables to change into.  The wet bags come in some super cute fabrics too:







So there you have it.  Cloth diapering 101.   See? It's not so hard!  Ok, maybe you think I'm crazy now, but it really is so easy.

Now of course I still keep disposables on hand for my child's Mother's Day Out and when I know I'll be gone for awhile, or when traveling.  I still buy chlorine free ones and just found a new line by Jessica Alba called The Honest Co.  I ordered a free trial sample and loved them!  Click on her website if you want to order your free sample too.  They don't have any of the bad ingredients in most diapers and they come in lots of cute patterns.  Right now you can't order them individually, you have to sign up for monthly service of 80$ a month for a full supply of diapers and wipes, but they told me they'll be selling individual packages soon.  Check out the cute diapers that came in my sample:



So what to do when I have 2 children in diapers with one being a newborn? Yikes, I still don't know what I will do but I think I am going to give cloth diapers a try for both. I may purchase a few extra All in One's so I'm not doing laundry every day.  I will definitely start with disposables for my newborn the first week so I'm not too in over my head!

Oh and I have to add that I am in no way reimbursed by any products mentioned on here, I wish!  I've just felt like talking about how great cloth diapering has been and have been wondering what on earth I'll be doing with 2 in diapers very soon :)
Sunday, April 15, 2012

1st Play Therapy Moment

I apologize for not posting in awhile.  I have been one tired momma lately being 33 weeks pregnant and chasing a toddler all day long.  So after I put her to bed, I am usually curled up on the sofa in a coma for some much needed relaxation time and no time for blogging.

But, yesterday I was so excited to witness my child's first real play therapy experience during her imaginative play!

It all started a couple of weeks ago when my toddler was climbing our wooden outdoor playground with my husband.  He comes inside and tells me he thinks she has a splinter in her foot.  I have no idea why she was climbing barefoot, but apparently she was and somehow got a tiny piece of wood lodged on the bottom of her foot.

So I get the needle, sterilize it, and while my husband holds her, I quickly prick her foot and got the splinter out.  Of course she was crying and not happy, so I told her she had a booboo from the playground and mommy had to fix it.  I kissed her foot and told her it was all better.  She didn't want to walk on it for a few minutes but then was okay.

Weellll, the next week she constantly kept saying, 'booboo' and wanting me to kiss her foot and then held out her other foot for me to kiss.  Each day I was kissing her foot.  I think the poor thing was a little traumatized by it (okay I am exaggerating here), and she wanted reassurance.

But yesterday as we were playing together, she grabbed one of her dolls and brought it over to me.  She held out the baby's foot and asked me to kiss it!  She said, "booboo" and held out the foot! It was so adorable.  She then held out the other foot and wanted me to kiss that one.  She then walked away to put a diaper on the baby doll and that was it.

As I was sitting there a few minutes later, it dawned on me that she had just had her real first play therapy experience!!!  She had been through a little stressful experience of having a splinter removed, and she released her anxiety by playing it out with her baby doll!  She has not asked me to kiss her foot or the doll's since.

And that my friends, is what play therapy is all about.

Children communicate through their play.  They use toys as their words and play is their language.  Children can expresses themselves and any anxieties, worries, changes in the home (new baby), etc. through their play.  And play therapy doesn't have to be for the super serious trauma inflicted children either.  It is great for all children as they grow through life and have new experiences, they can safely play out what they have learned and witnessed through their play.

So what was my response to her play and how was it more play therapy vs just pretend play?  In play therapy we reflect feelings and do not judge or make long explanations.  So I reflected the baby's feelings of feeling hurt and sad and that she was now feeling better: "Baby feels sad and hurt.....You want mommy to kiss the baby's booboo."  And I also 'enlarged the meaning' by stating, "sometimes we get booboos and they hurt but then they go away.  Band aids and kisses can help make them feel better."

And in case you were wondering, no, I don't recommend using play therapy responses all day long with your child when the time comes.  I do make feelings statements with my toddler though here and there so she learns her feelings and use non-directive play at times (not labeling her toys but letting her do the labeling) and letting her guide the play.  Usually it's a lot of mommy being silly and having fun with my child kind of play all day long, but when the opportunity comes like yesterday, it feels so good that I can help her along.  So cute!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Feelings Worksheets

This week I once again tackled the topic of identifying feelings in my counseling group of school-aged girls.  I had exhausted all of my feelings worksheets with them already but was excited to come across this set of new ones I found.  Identifying feelings is one of the main goals in counseling kids, so it's a topic I come back to frequently (and I'm sure it will be a frequent blog post topic as well).

These feelings worksheets are mostly for school aged kids, but if you have toddlers I love the Kimochi dolls for learning about feelings that I mentioned here.

When I introduce feelings to kids, I usually start with a chart.  There are so many out there, I recommend looking at a few before you get one to make sure they fit with your child's learning capacity.  Some are black and white, some have over 30 on them, so find one that works for you.  If you Google 'feelings charts' then click on the images option, you can see a lot of the ones out there.

Or you can order one from Amazon here, that's a magnet and comes with a square where your child can put how they are feeling at that moment:

Mood Meter Magnet / Individual Feelings Chart (Emotions, Moods, Emoticons) How Are You Feeling Today?

The worksheets I found this week start out with a first page that lists all of the basic feelings and then asks the child to match the word to the face (you can find them at A Child's Place ).

The next few worksheets list each individual feeling and then asks the child to draw a picture of a time they felt the feeling and write about their experiences.

These are a great way to get your child to start talking about feelings!  Some children don't even know what some of the words mean, so it's also a great learning experience.

As a parent, you can get start with the main feelings chart and show it to your child.  Then you can introduce the worksheets once a day or once a week and have them do it as a fun activity so they don't view it as homework.  It would be a great one-on-one activity to do with your child as well, as you fill out one page and share your feelings and then have them do the same.  That way, they will see that sharing feelings is an easy thing to do with their mom or dad :)