My Little Miracle

The exciting story of God's very special gift to Mama & Papa…

Toddler Play Win!

Often when it comes to entertaining Quackaboy, we’re out of ideas to keep him busy. I stumbled upon a Facebook article on toddler play ideas and thought to give it a try!

One of it was easy as we had the items in our house already.

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CARDBOARD BOX.

A huge one. We gave him markers and colored pencils to draw on it while sitting inside. And Daddy added to make it look like a mini spaceship too.

Well, it was very successful and he was playing in it for over an hour. And the next day, and the next day too…

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From a spaceship, he made it into a car, and then into a house.

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Happy toddler = Happy parents!
(Dad gets to workout, Mom gets to make dinner, and Grandpa gets to rest)

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After the Christmas season, and playing with his Xmas toys, he has forgotten about the box. But we’re okay with that because any toy, over time, will become boring or too common for him. We have been saving an even bigger box for him to play one day when he gets really bored or when he just needs new stimulation.

Maybe by then time QB2 comes, the bigger box will be useful to keep him occupied a few hours! 😀

If you haven’t tried this with your toddler, GIVE IT A GO! 

Let me know how it turned out!

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CLOTH DIAPER UPDATE!

Hi guys!

Finally, I have an opportunity to make an update on our current cloth diapering routine. This time, I’m talking about cloth diapering a toddler. It’s all a different story from the last update I did which was in July 2014. I would say that it has been a drastic change and my views has changed a lot. Some diapers that I loved then, I no longer love now. Those which I though would be great, turns out not great at all!

There are many types of modern cloth diapers out there, and we love pockets. They are easy to use and easy to clean. Less problems with washing and drying and very versatile. You can stuff them with anything that absorbs! (yes, even old cut up t-shirts!). I like diapers that are waterproof. To me, it defeats the purpose of wearing a diaper if is gonna leak and get wet, yes? So fitteds are out for me. I love how cute fitteds are, but not for a toddler. For a smaller baby, yes. Because you change them so often anyway. Pockets may be troublesome to stuff, but I don’t mind the process. My pros weighs more than my cons. I love that they stain less (comparing to AIOs which mostly are cotton or bamboo inners which will stain unless using a liner) and very trim too.

So after cloth diapering for almost 2 years now, we have found a diaper (or two) that we love. And “we” meaning my husband and I. And I am gonna share why we love them.

Our NUMBER 1 choice is APPLECHEEKS! This brand is 100% made in canada and can only be bought in the West. No retailers in Asia has got them (yet) and I bought them in the U.S and Canada and ship them back here to me.

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Why Applecheeks?

1. They are easy to stuff.
You will know partly why people dislike pocket diapers is because they need to be stuffed before using. Applecheeks diapers has a wide opening at the center and makes stuffing very easy, even for big daddy hands! This is a plus for me because I don’t like it when my hand gets stuck inside a diaper with sticky PUL. On another note, you can also use Applecheeks as an AI2. Just lay the soaker/insert on top without stuffing.

2. They are easy to wash and dry.
Washing and drying is very important for every cloth diapering family. It is only with easy/good wash routines that you will be able to reuse your diapers. Applecheeks covers are really easy to spray (poop!) bearing in mind that toddler poop is so different from an infant’s. The inner micro fleece does not make poop stick on it as bad and they can easily be rinsed off (unlike cotton or bamboo or other natural material). This way, your covers will be very clean and doesn’t stain so much. I’ve had some stains on and off but they clearly go away after sunning. I do not use any liners inside my Applecheeks. These covers dry very fast and can be reused quickly.

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3. They are easy to put on an fit awesome.
Be it a newborn, infant or toddler. Applecheeks diapers are very easy to wear. You do not need to follow wing snap and hop snap like other brands. You can snap it however you like depending on the size of your baby and how it fits best. These are some of the examples.

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AppleCheeks

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As you can see, you don’t have to vertically match the snaps on either side, and you wont have a weird lop sided fit. The wings snap on perfectly and will not restrict baby’s movement.

4. They contain all messes.
This could be kinda subjective but in general, if you had a proper fit of this diaper, they contain all messes and does not leak. I’ve almost NEVER had a blow out on Applecheeks and even if it leaked, it was because I didn’t change Leo as often as I should. The insert you use will affect your leaky problems too. We had compression leak with microfiber and we never used it again. It is known that microfiber doesn’t work so well with toddlers because they move around a lot and compression leak is common with that material. The ruffles on Applecheeks must be turned out and on the underwear line for the best fit. it shouldn’t leak at all.

5. They are worth my money 100%.
Yes, Applecheeks may not be the cheapest diaper available (especially if you factor in shipping and cost of inserts), but they lasted very long for me and still fits great. Applecheeks come in 3 sizes now (1,2 & 3).  I have used my size 2s for more than a year and they are still in excellent condition. Not to mention also that they have been fitting Leo from 7 months until now that he’s almost 23 months. The elastics are great, fleece is bright white, no tears or leaks.

We use our Applecheeks stuffed with their 2 or 3 ply bamboo insert or prefolds. We had just enough of their inserts but because of budget, we use prefolds mostly. Prefolds are way cheaper and they absorb just as good. Of course their bamboo ply is trimmer but unless you want to save money, Grovia prefolds are great. We love the Grovia ones especially because they are made from bamboo and cotton blend too, just like Applecheeks.

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Applecheeks bamboo insert is made of 70% bamboo and 30% cotton where as the Grovia prefolds are made of 55% bamboo and 45% cotton. In case you’re wondering, the Size 1 (newborn) prefolds fit into AC Size 1 covers and Size 1 (infant) prefolds fit into AC Size 2 cover. These were perfect for my stash.

So those are the reasons to LOVE APPLECHEEKS. I only wished I had tried them sooner and used Size 1s for Leo when he was a newborn. I will definitely stock up Size 1s for the nexy baby!

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The second favorite brand that we use in our stash is Grovia! (maybe you realized the hint earlier already?). We exclusively use only these 2 brands now. I particularly like the Grovia hybrid system (shell+soaker). I also have their AIOs but they aren’t fitting as great now that he’s almost 2. The hybrids fit better and still has a lot of room to grow.

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1. They are pretty trim.

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The hybrids fit really well and are very trim at the crotch and bum area. Absorbency wise, I have to change more often because the soaker gets full pretty fast for Leo. But they still hold well for a couple of hours.

2. They are organic cotton.
I started to dislike synthetic material and had lotsa stinks with them (especially microfiber). Grovia was one of my favorites because their organic cotton soaker was absorbent and did lot leave rashes or funny smells on them. Even though the hybrid system encourages people to use the shell twice and just change the soaker, I often change the whole thing and treat them like an AIO. I also love their AIO which is made from organic cotton too.

3. They have superb quality.
Grovia is probably one of the most well made diaper I’ve ever seen. Their prints/colors do not fade and feels very sturdy. I have had new and preloved ones, and their elastics have not worn out on me even after using for almost 2 years. I actually find no flaw in this diaper at all (except of course, pilling from Velcro which is normal). Their TPU material is great and had no leaks at all.

4. Their velcro is the best.

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I do not use any other velcro diaper except Grovia. After trying numerous velcro diapers, I find Grovia the best and doesn’t irritate baby’s skin. Their soft material is very comfortable and gives a great fit for all sizes of babies. I particularly love it for my toddler because he fits very well in the velcro and I can adjust it to fit better. I am thankful though, that my son has never try to undo his diapers, not ever on Grovia, but he has tried to with disposables and other brands. How, why is that?

5. They have very nice prints and colors.
Admit it. Sometimes we only look at prints or colors of each diaper. I have to say that I do like Grovia’s prints and colors too. They don’t look fake, or repeated or used in other brands. Very exclusive and super cute. This is a point for me because I am not a fussy person when it comes to color or prints. In fact, I don’t mind having the same diaper in the same color. But for Grovia, I want very single one of them!

So there you have it, my favorite modern cloth diapers and why I chose them. They work the best for us and I am slightly OCD when it comes to these things. I will only buy what I use and I will rotate them strictly so that each diaper is used equal amount of time. All those that were mentioned in my previous cloth diapering update has been sold or given away. It really depends on your baby which diaper is best. Gender, build, weight and height matters too. I hope this helps for those who are needing a review in these 2 brands. So keep trying… find the best that works for you and does not break your wallet 😉

if you’re a cloth diapering mama, please let me know what is your favorite and share it with me!

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Baby all grown up!

Leonidas has officially weaned. YAY 🙂 and BOO 😦 !!!

Leo has been a boob fan for as long as I can remember in his first year. Nothing else could comfort him more than the boob and he’s never rejected it in any way. Around the end of October (then, 15 months old), I decided that I wanted to slowly wean him. Honestly, I wasn’t too serious about it. More like I wanted to just give it a shot and see how he would react. There were some supporting factors though:-

1. I am leaving for a trip for 5 days in Feb 2015 without him. It makes me worry just thinking how he’ll cope without me around. Which means, no nursing before sleep, in the middle of the night, and comforting him with it. He would wake up around 1-2- times at night, with eyes closed, crying… and only the boob can soothe him.

2. I just did not want to pump anymore! I loved my Spectra M1 and it has served me so well. I just didn’t want the hassle to find time/place to pump and worrying that I may not have enough for the next day (I don’t think that 1 bottle of 3oz is enough for him at daycare anyway). Also, the fact that I am more mobile now, travelling to different places for work and pumping/storing is getting really challenging.

So the main reason was because I’m travelling. And so I thought of giving it a try, slowly and steadily. I was going to nurse him at night still until he is ready, probably until early Feb when he turns 18 months. I knew for sure that he’ll still need milk-any kind of milk. I know many moms recommend fresh milk after 1, but he wasn’t a fan. I wasn’t going to deny him so I bought a pack of the basic Dutch Lady/Dumex Dugro 123 for him to try. He rejected it many times. I probably wasted a whole pack of it. Offering him and then throwing it away.

I would prep one bottle of breast milk and one bottle of the formula to daycare daily. Surprisingly, he accepted the formula (given by someone else and not me) and it has been going great for about 2 weeks. I had totally stopped pumping (no more freezer stash), and some days I would prep two servings of formula to daycare as well. Then, he was only getting breast milk at night or whenever he’s with me. I practiced the “Don’t offer, don’t reject” style. For some reason, one day I just decided to give him a bottle at night before bedtime. He rejected it altogether and would cry. He only wanted me. I can’t remember how long it was, but some time in November, he started accepting it. I will make around 5-6oz for him and he would happily take it, and fall asleep, on his own…

That is when my heart started to ache. I knew I wanted him to wean, but didn’t expect it to be so fast. I was targeting by January or something. Not nursing to sleep was a great deal to me. It was our bonding moment and moments for cuddles and snuggles and lotsa kisses. My heart was aching and I was sad. I actually don’t know what to feel or what I was feeling. Having said that, I still did nurse him in the middle of the night between 3-5 am if he wakes up. He would fall back asleep quickly. Slowly, my heart ached less as days pass by with this routine. I would still spend time with him as he is having his bottled milk and I would cuddle and pat him to sleep.

One day, he woke in the middle of the night and started crying. I offered the boob and he would suckle so hard, it started to hurt. It went on for a few days, I felt very uncomfortable and he would not unlatch! I still had milk, but maybe not as much as it was and a slower letdown. I figured he may be thirsty so I prepped a bottle of water for him. I offered it to him if he wakes and he started taking it more frequently and falls back asleep. It has been a week plus, maybe 2, that he’s been taking the water and no boob 😦

TODAY, he woke up happy and cheerful as he has always been. While preparing to go out, I realized that my boobs are probably slowly getting back to it’s normal size now and wondered if I still had milk. So I cradled him in my arms and offered him the boob. Guess what?

He suckled for maybe 2 seconds and then started smiling at me! I tried to offer again and said “nen nen”, he repeated after me and just stared in my eyes. He turned his head away, smiling and showing me a sign that he doesn’t want it anymore. It was TODAY, I knew for sure he has weaned a 100%.

Part of me is really happy, that my little baby has grown up and being more independent. He would take a bottle whenever and now, he actually looks forward to it and sometimes asks for it. I am happy that I can leave him in the care of someone else without concern (sometimes it’s nice to be able to have some time out alone!).

Another part of me is sad. Well, not sad, sad. But bittersweet. It has been a beautiful journey and an experience I will never forget! I am so blessed to be able to breastfeed him fully until 15 months. The process was quicker than I had expected, and less painful as I expected. We have achieved another milestone and it is time for new challenges and finding new ways to bond with him.

Here’s some moments of our breastfeeding journey :’) Thank you son, for the wonderful and precious experience. I love you!

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