11.30.2011

Baby Products - dangers (please read) & what we use.

I've gotten many, many emails and comments asking what products we have settled on and if we like them. I thought I would do a post in response :) I'll include some pics and links as well.

I know there was new lately about Johnson & Johnson having harmful chemicals in their baby products. The fact of the matter is, many companies do :( I say harmful; many articles say toxic. Johnson & Johnson was targeted, but hopefully they, and many other companies, see the era of their ways, or better yet the government takes a stand for our kids. Anyone?

The two basic things we want to try to avoid for our tots..and even ourselves...are dioxane quaternium-15. These are both agents that help release formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is basically a preservative to help products last, but as a chemical, it's side effects are harmful and possibly cancerous.

Unfortunately, there are all sorts of alternative names, that companies are somehow allowed to use on their containers, that are basically these same things.

*****According to cancer.gov, HERE is a little info about formaldehyde.

So, while the actually name "formaldehyde" may not be listed in baby products, or any products, these other agents are formaldehyde releasing. So, basically they create formaldehyde in time, in the product. 

It can be hard to avoid them and I don't really think that's fair. I think more companies need to take pride in their products and protect the population, most importantly. There are studies, but so far it seems a lot of major companies are choosing to ignore them.

I know, you are thinking well everything has something bad in it. True, most things do, but not everything. If we think about how common cancer seems to be now, it starts to add up. Back in the day, babies had their bottoms wiped with a cloth and water, mineral oil and/or magic potion mix that was probably chemical free. They might have suffered from diaper rash more often, but now, because of chemicals in these "helpful" and "easy-to-treat" products, the risks of cancer are higher (probably as an adult) than they would normally be. I think so many healthy issues are due to environmental issues.

I'll get off my soapbox now, though I'm likely to return. it's just something I feel pretty strongly about and frankly, I wish I could do something about it. I know I can't exactly, so I just wanted to share so you all could make your best judgement and decisions. 

I pray everyday that these two will live healthy lives. If I can do something to help them see their grandkids or great grandkid, I'm happy to try.

Diapers - We are still using Pamper's right now. We don't like dry max. I have no clue how I managed to over buy. I stocked up before the babes arrived and I guess I thought they would be in size 1 for longer than they will be. I did order quite a bit on Amazon so I'm hoping some place local with do some exchanging with me.

My friend, Whitney, still really has me itching to do cloth diapers. See this post. I mean seriously? The girl has it down and has done her research!

If not cloth diapers completely, I may try the gDiapers, though they seem quite expensive. Has anyone tried them? They are covers with liners on the inside. The liners are biodegradable whereas disposable diapers are not.

Right now, we go through approximately 10-12 diapers per day. Both babies are regular with their poop and pee after they eat.

Diaper Pail - I really had it in my mind that we wouldn't want/need one of these. Well, those tiny baby poops don't stink too much, but just give it a few weeks. Now, I cannot IMAGINE having an open trashcan or something that doesn't seal shut concealing the stink! One of the reasons I originally didn't want one is because I know a lot of them have their own specific bags you have to use. I kind of thought that would be a pain. My mom picked up The First Years "Clean Air" one for us and you can use your own trash sacks! They do have filters that you can change out to help with odor. I keep a box of baking soda close by, hidden in a corner, to also help.



Clean baby - We started using the Burt's Bees from day one. Both babies had a little bit of baby acne so we used Aquaphor wash for a bit, but couldn't tell it made much of a difference so we went back to Burt's. The acne/bumps passed after a few weeks. Our ped told us it was pretty typical and that anything can irritate their skin. Now, when their little faces get irritated, I'm certain it's due to their hands rubbing them, daddy's beard or our kisses. It clears up quick!

Since Sloane has chubbier legs, once or twice I've noticed they were pretty red where her diaper rubs. I put some of Aquaphor on it and it seems fine the next time I look. Knock on wood, no diaper rashes or anything of the sort yet.

Wipes - We are still using and loving the Kirkland wipes. There have been no traces of the formaldehyde releasing chemicals in these. **After doing this post, it was brought to my attention that Kirkland wipes have nitropropane in them. I blogged a little bit about that here. Looks like we will be trying Seventh Generation as it's ingredient list appears to look the safest.


Pump - I use this Medela pump. I like it best because the actual machine part is small and not attached to the big bag.

Production - A few people have asked, I've not had to supplement, but I've heard great things about Fenugreek. I ordered two bottles to have on back up in case I was ever doubting my milk production.

Storage Bags - I pump twice a day, one time makes bedtime bottles and the other makes milk to freeze. I use the Lansinoh breastmilk storage bags. I get them at Target. They are less expensive than the Medela ones. They are pre-sterilized medical grade and BPA free. I don't put any particular amount in each bag, which I may regret one day, but I put as much as I can in order to use as few bags as possible. I figure with two babies, I'll be able to utilize the milk in whatever increments it's stored.

Bottles - For the bedtime bottles, we use Dr. Brown's. For a while we used the Gerber First Essentials, and they did great,  but Knox & Sloane seemed to grow out of them. I do think Dr. Brown's helps with the gas. However, it could just be that they are a bit older now and their systems work better, too.

Each baby is now up to about 8oz of milk for the bedtime bottle. I pour the milk into the bottles straight from the fridge. I have short, fat measuring cup that is thick glass. I fill it up about half way and heat in microwave for 4 minutes and 30 seconds. I put the bottles in the hot water AFTER I take it out of the microwave. I do that when we start the bath water and the bottles are a good temp by the time the first baby is ready to eat. We like doing bottles at night to make sure they are getting full bellies and so Brent and I both can have that feeding/cuddle time with them.

Formula - As I've previously mentioned, Knox is my slow/lazy nurser. Our ped told us to put 3/4 a scoop of formula in his bedtime bottle. We were using Similac Advanced regular until I realized they had a Similac Advanced Organic.


Washing bottles and such - To wash the bottles and parts, as well as the bottles and parts for my pump, I use a bottle brush, JR Watkins soap and The First Years steam sterilizer. The cleaning brush I use, I only use on these things, no dishes or anything else. I wash with hot water and soap and then sterilize.


Med help - I don't really consider the below meds, though Knoxy is on Axid for his reflux, which seems to have gotten better.


The hiccups don't happen near as often as they use to. When they do now, it's typically in the morning. If they seem to last a while and start to annoy the babe who has them, we give Mommy's Bliss gripe water for that and it works well for us. It says it relieves stomach discomfort and gas as well. It's basically organic fennel and ginger.

Knox gets saline at least every other day. We have the Little Noses brand. I might should be giving it more. Sloane has probably only gotten some a few times, but Knox is a bit more stuffy. I don't always suction it back out, but when I do, I just use the bulb from the hospital. A few girls on Twitter have been mentioned the NoseFrida being really good, so I've been meaning to order one.

If you notice, tummy time is actually a good way to get boogers out as well ;)

We are trying some of the Vick's baby rub in the morning on Knox. I like to just put a little on the outside of his jammies. Brent also sits by a steam shower with him some mornings.

Lotion - I've not put any lotion on Knox & Sloane, but I do love Johnson's lavender bedtime lotion. Of course, knowing what I know now makes me nervous. I love the Shea Mountain baby lotion I posted here and I put it on myself daily, so if they needed some, I'd probably use it. 

Noise Machine - We use this HoMedics noise machine. I think we are going to get a second one in the nursery at the new house. I will say a noise machine that plugs in is the way to go. We had a smaller one with batteries, in addition, for a while. Man, we went through a lot of batteries.


We use the sound machine at night and during all naps.

(There is black electrical tape on everything because we keep the room completely dark at night.)

Humidifier - Crane Mr.Frog is our humidifier. Note: a humidifier only really works as it should with the door closed. I should close the door during the day when they nap, but I typically don't. It's usually closed from about 7:45 until we go to bed. We open it once we go to bed and the house is dark.


Purifier - We are using an Oreck purifier that I haven't taken a picture of yet. I'll be doing a review and giveaway for one of those soon!

Washing: We are using Method detergent and vinegar (on some loads.)I think both work well. The Method really doesn't take much. Vinegar helps with the smell on the burp rags and such. I may try setting some things in the sun if they have stains left behind.


Monitors - We have a Summer monitor with two cameras. It can hold up to four and I like that. I can view each one on mine. The only thing is the cord that chargers mine, stopped working. I have to use my computer and it's not convenient.  I might try to exchange it while in the moving process. Maybe we just got a faulty cord.
I just ordered an Angelcare monitor. We might try it as well as a Snuza if they are napping somewhere besides their crib.

Pacis - Neither baby seems too attached to their paci. In fact, I don't think Knox has taken his in three or four days. Sloane mostly takes her when she gets tired and starts fussing or if she wakes up early. It helps her fall back to sleep. They use different ones as you can see. Sloane's is a Gerber one and Knox's is a MAM one. We have lots of cute WubbaNub pacis with the little stuffed animals, but neither can do the paci. I guess they may be too small and since we started them with different ones early on, they just don't work. Sloane will try.  It's funny, though, because she usually ends up wanting to pet the animal and play with it and it jerks the paci out of her mouth.


So, that's are little run down. No, we aren't perfect and I'm sure there will be unsafe things in products we are/will use. I know I can't protect Knox & Sloane from everything, but I can do my best to try on the things deemed harmful. I use products that aren't good for me and I know I eat things that aren't good for me, but I have made efforts to improve on that. I like the sulfate free shampoo and conditioner I use, but I do think it makes my hair a bit more frizzy than products containing it do, but supposedly, shampoo and conditioner are one of the most harmful things absorbed by our body.

Supposedly right? Wouldn't all the facts be nice? Why won't the government make these studies more public knowledge. I know they are still working on a lot of them, but from what I have read, a lot of information has turned into facts that certain things are harmful and yet they are still in most everyday products. I know people can make decisions on what they buy, but I also know a lot of people are simply unaware of what is actually in products.

I came across THIS not long ago and thought it was a good breakdown.

A lot of these chemicals give more side effects than people realize.

I'm allergic to p-Phenylenediamine. I haven't always been, but something happened a few years ago when my hormones change and I can't even begin to describe what it did to my skin. I've never fully posted the pictures because it happened about the time I started blogging. The dermatologist loaded me up on meds and I kept saying it has to be something in my hair washing out on my skin. I finally requested allergy testing and sure enough I had developed the allergy and was having a major reaction.

I hope this helps you or someone you know.

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11.28.2011

Monday Mish Mash & Your Cyber Deals

Hi friends!
  • I can't believe it's officially Christmas time! How did December sneak up on us so fast?  I feel like two weeks ago it was smoldering hot and I was awaiting Knox's & Sloane's departure from my belly. 
  • Thanks for the comments on my Thankful post. Yesterday, I was browsing around and came across my Thankful post from last Thanksgiving. It made me cry. What a crazy few years.
  • Last night I tweeted about maybe waiting a bit to to stop swaddling during the night. Well, a few hours later, we woke up to Sloane sucking her hand....like it was a paci. She broke out. So, looks like the time might be closer than we thought. We will also put them in their own cribs. I will also be getting the Angel Care monitors. I'm currently deciding which ones.
  • I'm starting to get a bit nervous about the new nursery being upstairs. I just don't want to throw them off from their sleep habits and such. I'd like to have them in their nursery at night, but I may see about keeping them downstairs in a pack n play during the daytime naps. I'll be emailing Laura, from Moms on Call, because I'm willing to bet she has good advice on this matter :)
  • I need to get the Treat Treats 14 week post up!
  • There is so much paperwork and gathering stuff when it comes to buying a house. Brent had to go to Target this morning to get more ink for our printer. Insane.
  • We went with this Samsung refrigerator. It was an amazing deal and hard to pass up. I can't WAIT for it to arrive!
  • I can't believe I've got to pack my entire house up. Soon. We are planning to start moving in December 10th!
  • Yesterday, we went to Lindsey's house to get some boxes for packing and to give her a housewarming gift. We drove the babes out there for a little car ride. When we got home, Knox was sound asleep, but Sloane was wanting to play. Yep, she is in the holiday spirit. Naturally. 
  • The new house has a walk in attic. We may actually finish it off. It's huge and will be so much better than the little hole in the garage ceiling. Anyways, I want to get these big silver tiered shelves to go in it. This is how I price shop. For instance, I took this at Target. What did we do before camera phones?
  • My sweet friend, Jane, is bringing dinner for tonight and I'm so excited :)
  • Do you all shop on Cyber Monday? I'm trying not to buy anything, but I may go ahead and get the Angel Care monitors on sale.
  • One of my sponsors, Monogram Chick, has a great special and her biggest discount today....


  • Also, do you get GroopDealz emails?? They have TONS of specials going on right now for Cyber Monday. I love all their options and I think each one would make great Christmas presents. Here are just a few!

I was thinking, I'll do a linky and if you have a shop and are participating in Cyber Monday, you can link up! Happy Shopping!



Happy Monday!
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11.26.2011

Thankful

I didn't have time for the computer on Thanksgiving, but I'm thankful everyday, so I thought I'd post a little something now :)

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day and days following :)

I am incredibly thankful for the year we have had.

We have had some very sad moments this year, mostly experiencing Cohen's first birthday, but we have also had some of the best moments of our life. See below.

Though we are thankful for this year, it's not at all a year we ever expected. I thank God everyday for answered prayers. In the past three months, we've had two beautiful & healthy babies, Brent has gotten a new job, I became a stay at home mommy, we sold our house, we are buying a new house and I am so incredibly thankful for these blessings and their timing. We made it through Cohen's birthday and it was something we never expected to even go through, but I'm thankful. I'm thankful we had Cohen and he's safe and healthy now. Of course sometimes we miss him so much it hurts, but thankfully we are finding peace and experiencing things that have made our hearts very happy. See below.

I'm very thankful for our health.

I'm very thankful for our family. We have amazing families.

I'm thankful for these angel babies. I love them. I watch their slideshow and still cant believe my eyes. I'm so thankful for pictures as well. Obviously :)

We had a very nice Thanksgiving Day. My parents went to the DFW area, but we thought the babies were still a bit too young to travel this year. They really missed their grandma and grandpa, but got to hang out with their two other sets and lots of cousins.

Yep, the pumpkin spice whoopie pies were delicious. Brent's sister, Kate, made them.

Thanks for all the sweet comments on my post yesterday on the babies' team spirit outfits :) We had fun watching the game even though it didn't quite end as we had hoped it would.


I'm thankful today we just spent the day hanging with the babies and watching movies. We have watched Change-Up, Crazy, Stupid Love, part of Swimfan and You Again. Swimfan we saw on our first date :)

I'm thankful inspections on our house went well this past Wednesday. Inspections on our, hopefully, new house are this coming Wednesday.

Last, but never least, I'm so thankful for you all. You all have been so amazing. The comments, emails, tweets and such have meant so much to us! You have made it fun to share our little life journal :)

Be thankful :)

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11.25.2011

We are ready....

for the big game!

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Ours was wonderful. We are very, very thankful for our blessings. I'll do a recap of our week soon.

Happy 14 weeks to Knox & Sloane today :) 

As some of you may know, Arkansas plays LSU today. Knox & Sloane have lots of team spirit....

Knox is so congested :( He wasn't up for many pics, bless his heart.

Although we have won this game for the past four years, and that says a lot, I'm not holding my breath. I think Arkansas has gotten quite lucky this year, but is still a pretty good team. We tragically lost a player so I also know that's been a strain on the team.

I've always loved how much team spirit Razorback fans have. It's exciting and so fun. 

And because Sloane is honest, this is what she thinks of LSU ;)

#WPS ;)

*Onesies by Mary Kate's Monograms
*Sloane's bow by Turtle Feathers.
*Knox's hat is Mud Pie.
*Sloane's leg warmers by Fine Boutique.
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11.23.2011

Midweek Randoms!

I hope you all are having a wonderful Thanksgiving week!!!
  • Thank you again for the sweet comments on the announcement as well as the pics I posted last night :) I can't help myself and the picture taking. In fact, I'll probably take a few more today!
  • Today, we have inspections on our current house! Brent's home doing some things and I'm about to start mounds of laundry. This afternoon, we are going to run over to the hopefully new house to get some measurements for appliances.
  • Thank you for the appliance feedback on here and Twitter.
  • Brent has warned me he is NOT carrying my piles of magazines over to the new house. Needless to say, I have a lot of magazines to go through.
  • How cute are our new friends, Clark & Eddie? I picked them up at CVS and love them.They are 3 1/2 feet and have great detail!
  • I've had lot of people email me the last few days about our Elton 'Warhol' picture. Brent's mom did ours, but our friend, Jessica, now does them now here.
  • One of my friends, Jordan, had her twins yesterday! They were due in February so they are quite early. They are doing well, but please add them to your prayers if you will. 
  • I've already started thinking about moving announcements. I'm going to work with a super sweet gal on them and I can't wait. I know, between the babies' announcement, Christmas cards and the moving cards, I'll need to get another job to buy stamps! Also, if it weren't for those adding up, I'd mail you all one :)
  • Do you all have anything you are going to buy on black Friday? My dad has gone and hit early sales for years, but I've never jumped on wagon. I almost did one year for a pink Dyson, but didn't. We are typically in the Dallas area for black Friday, but this year we stayed home since Knox & Sloane are still pretty small. We may go look for appliances early. 
  • I'm loving the December issue of Southern Living. I'm not letting myself by any 'stuff' for myself, but if I were, the pie carrier and the chevron drawer liner are awesome. 
  • The only thing I had on my Christmas list was the Keurig, but really, I can go without it since we will be getting some things for the new house!
  • Because I can't help myself, another pic in the pumpkin outfits. Sloane's face cracks me up...
  • If you are interested in still taking part in a book exchange, leave a comment with your email address. I have a few girls on Twitter that are still look for people to participate.
Hope you all have a great day! :)
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11.22.2011

Pumpkin Heads

:) :)




We love our festive fall clothes :)
*The onesies were made my Mary Kate's Monograms.
*Sloane's headband is by Two Little Lovelies.

Thank you all so MUCH for the sweet comments on the announcement :) I'm glad you all like it!
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Babies Announcement :)

{front]
{back}

I LOVE LOVE LOVE how the twins' announcement turned out! It's exactly what I had in mind :) The sweetest faces in the whole world.

We carried out the nursery and baby shower colors and patterns :) I adore the pictures. Brent's mom took them. One of my best friends, Allison of Sylvia Rose Design, designed it. PERFECT :)
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11.21.2011

Brayla Bees giveaway winner & discount code :)

Thank you all for the kind words on the house post earlier today! You guys are so sweet!

Also, thank you for entering the Brayla Bees giveaway!

Brayla Bees is offering a discount code! You will get 10% off if you enter "HAPPY HOLIDAYS" :)

The last day to order for the holidays is November 30th!

A winner was picked randomly....

Whitney from TBoff & Willis.....

Congrats, lady! :)

Email me for details!

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New House!

What a week we had!

As you may have read in my previous posts, we put our house on the market in October. It was October 15th to be exact. It was almost four weeks before we had a call. Yes, I was a little bit shocked just because I thought the house looked good in the pictures. Biased, maybe ;) It's such a cute house and I think we have it fixed up nicely. Not to mention the new tile we should have put in years ago, which I love. Our first showing was scheduled for last Wednesday evening. Thursday evening, our realtor called and asked if we could be out by the end of the year. Actually, December 14th to be exact. Um, sure! So, Brent and I freak out a bit and then do some negoatiting with the buyer and come to an agreement. Our house goes under contract.

In October, we started looking around at houses. We found a few, but most sold. We found one we really liked, but didn't want to get our hopes up because we had no idea when ours would sell. On Saturday, we went and looked at it first, followed by about twelve others. Luckily, we found three we really liked. However, the first one we felt right. By the end of the night, some negotiating had been done and we are now under contract to buy a house we really, really love!

We are scheduled to close on both houses on December 14th! I'm hoping and praying everything goes well during inspections and such. I may start packing a bit now, or I may wait until inspections are done. From this Friday, inspections should be completed within ten days.

The new house is less than a mile from where we are now. We are very thankful to be staying in the same area.

I'll miss my trees this year, but we will put up a smaller one in the new house once we get there, even if it isn't up long :)

Talk about a very thankful Thanksgiving. This year all together makes me cry happy tears.

The new house is one we can grow into and plan to stay at least 8-10 years. I have visions of new wall & trim colors, lighter kitchen cabinets and a few other things here and there. It's been very well taken care of and I can't wait for it to be our home!

If you have any input on washer, dyers and/or refridgeorators, feel free to share :) Part of our deal was leaving ours in our current house. We may also need a new stove top. We are leaving gas for electric so we will see.

More house pictures here.

Thank you all for the prayers and sweet words!

Don't forget, I teamed up with Home Depot to share with you all some things our family does in hopes to be more "green" :) Check that out here.

Brayla Bees winner will be picked and announced later today.

Happy Monday!
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