Our Participation in the Great Cloth Diaper Change

participating-in-the-great-cloth-diaper-change

 

We had the awesome opportunity to participate in this years Great Cloth Diaper Change!

Taken by Mark Durant Photography
Taken by Mark Durant Photography

The Great Cloth Diaper Change is a non-profit organization that first started as a goal to make it into the Guinness Book of World Records, for the most diapers changed simultaneously. It has since become a great resource for families to gather and learn about the benefits of cloth diapering their babies!

We were lucky enough to have a change event close to us this year, and we excitedly made our way to it this past month. Bruce is a naturally sociable baby, and he made friends with the events photographer quickly 🙂

Taken by Mark Durant Photography
Taken by Mark Durant Photography

The GCDC was sponsored by some great cloth diaper companies, including Grovia, Spraypal, Rumparounds, GlowBug, and a variety of local sponsors.

Taken by my husband, before the Change
Taken by my Husband, before the “Change”

 

 

The event starts with a photo op for the diaper to be changed, a shot of the clean diaper, and then a photo after the change of the new diaper on the baby.

Taken by my husband...the diaper to be changed
Taken by my husband…the diaper to be changed

The group contributed 15 babies to this years overall total of babies changed, towards the new goal for the year.

 

 

 

Taken by my husband...after the change!
Taken by my husband…after the change!

 

Lots of great vendors had info and products set up, and they even did a raffle, which was great of us mommies to have a chance to win something diaper related, or non-diaper related, but totally for mommy.

I didn’t win anything diaper-wise, but got away with winning three bath sets just for myself!(Ryan didn’t get my excitement however, because who has time for a bath? Showers yes, but he’s right, this mama doesn’t get much soak time. One day…)

Taken by Mark Durant Photography
Taken by Mark Durant Photography

It was a really great opportunity to connect with other moms and learn more about different products out there! I am even happier that my whole family was able to attend and go with me. I think even Ryan had fun, although he was a little lost on some of the diaper stuff. He is 100% behind cloth, so I was really happy he shows an interest and wants to learn as well.

Taken by Mark Durant Photography
Taken by Mark Durant Photography

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Taken by Me
Taken my me 🙂

Some of these pictures are mine, some are the wonderful work of photographer Mark Durant (they are marked accordingly), which I have to thank for his work and collaboration with this blog-and apologize for my ham of a son for taking up so much of his time with the camera!

 

 

And I’d also like to thank the GCDC Organization for everything they do! Check out their site  where you can find more info on what they do, as well as info on next year’s change.

Taken by my Husband, after the change
Taken by husband, after the change
Taken by my husband-waiting to change
Taken by my husband, waiting to change

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Taken my Mark Durant Photography
Taken by Mark Durant Photography

Love Should Be Stronger Than Anger

Whoever said “Marriage is easy” was never actually married.  But nothing worthwhile is ever going to be easy, or without adjustment.
I have an amazing husband. I literally can’t imagine life without him.
But within any relationship,  there is going to come a time when you do question yourself and wonder,  “how do I put up with this person? “
I only think about this when my husband does something either stupid, or pisses me off.
Like the time I found a can of dip behind the toilet… and then under the couch cushion.. and then wedged between two books on a shelf. “I only hide it because I know you don’t like it. ”
The dip itself didn’t make me angry -although it’s a disgusting habit I wish he would stop-it was the fact not only would he hide it from me,  but he was so terrible at hiding things! It became humorous after a while so I told him that if he kept “hiding” stuff, I would make it disappear and then force him to ask me where it was. Then I could ask him in return why he needed to hide it so badly.
And then one afternoon when the baby was very new, My dear husband accidentally left a spit can next to my identical can of sweet tea and didn’t tell anyone. I only found it after expecting cool, refreshing Brisk, only to be greeted by a Wintergreen tobacco nightmare. The new house rule-don’t spit in anything that isn’t clear plastic.
He also has the innate ability to wake our son, not during just any kind of nap; but during one of those, “Yes he doesn’t nap much but he’s been going for 8 hours straight, can we please get ten minutes of peace” kind of naps. Baby is just barely finally down and its either the slam of the front door, or the loud, boisterous laughs at YouTube that ruin it.
“Sorry honey. “
None of these are really anything to get divorced over. Or even spend more than five minutes being upset about. But that’s how forgiveness should be-given so quickly, you don’t even have time to be mad.
And when you really love somebody, it’s easy to forgive them.
So he hides his nasty tobacco dip (like I’m not going to find it). He leaves disgusting spit-filled cans around for me to mistake as my drink. He wakes the baby. I still love him-and that’s more important than being mad for any amount of time and taking it out on him.
Even if we have an all out argument and both leave for separate rooms of the house until we’ve calmed down; it only lasts as long as it takes to realize that whatever we are fighting about, isn’t worth being that angry.
Now, not all things can be forgiven so easily-lying, adultery, theft. These are pretty big deals. But if you don’t already know how to handle and forgive the little things, how will you ever be able to deal with the big ones?
 
I can’t speak on dealing with a lying husband, a cheating husband, or a thief (Doritios and other foodstuffs don’t count). But I can speak on the little things, and no marriage will ever survive if you can’t handle that sometimes, your spouse is going to do idiotic, stupid, weird things that may piss you off.
But then again, remember that you yourself probably do the same kind of annoying stuff to them. And in the end, you both sleep side by side at night. As long as you can do that, happily, at the end of the day-what does it matter? Keep forgiving them and get in the practice of it. So that if anything big and major does happen, you’ll be able to survive it. Your love should be stronger than your anger.


love

Never judge a face by it’s smile

I am very guilty of exhibiting a “resting bitch face.”
I, like many others,  are often accused of looking; angry,  upset, depressed,  or even “stuck up”, if I’m caught off-guard, often lost in thought,  not smiling.
It’s a very common misconception they if someone isn’t smiling,  then something must be wrong.  And,  if like me,  you look naturally serious when you’re just thinking or walking down the street,  minding your own business,  you suffer from what is commonly known as “resting bitch face.” And like usually think that something must be wrong because you don’t have a big smile on your face all the time.
 
And no-I’m not depressed. I’m not chronically angry. Someone usually hasn’t just pissed me off,  and I’m not stuck up. I’m one of the more friendlier people you could encounter. And if I see you-I’ll smile. But when you catch me walking through Target with a shopping list and a million things to do,  I’m probably not going to have this big goofy grin stuck on my face. If I do,  rest assured it’s more than likely something really funny just happened.
But the misconception that, unless you are constantly smiling, you must be either mad or depressed,  is utter BS. You are allowed to look however you naturally look. If it’s taken as mad,  snotty, crazy, whatever-remember that the conception is someone else’s opinion in what they are seeing.  Not necessarily what you are exuding. Because everyone will have a different opinion on how they take you.
And there is no reason that you must keep this Joker-like smile going as to not offend or “scare” anyone,  if you don’t feel like smiling.  You can always tell when someone is forcing a smile on their face. Don’t make yourself genuinely uncomfortable just to give another person,  or even strangers in a crowd, a more “socially acceptable” face to interact with.
Yes,  it’s polite to engage in conversation with a smiling person,  but if you don’t like doing it,  I’d rather talk to you with a scowl in on your face if that’s how you naturally look. Because at least them you’re being yourself. Comfortable.
And say you are going through a depressed time,  or you are angry or upset. You have every right to be. You don’t have an obligation to anyone to drop what you are going through,  in order to fake cheerfulness in conversation. If they truly care about you,  they won’t want you to be uncomfortable,  or need to hide true feelings.
Of course if they truely care,  and know you,  they will also know that everything can be perfectly fine and you just don’t smile like a cartoon character with every interaction.
A smile shouldn’t ever be used to judge someone contentment. Some of the saddest people use a smile to mask their feelings and,  as they say,”fake it till they make it.”
So don’t judge that mom at soccer practice for a stony gaze across the field as the kids play. Maybe she doesn’t have the strength to fake joy today.  Maybe she’s just thinking about what to cook for dinner tonight. Either way she is probably really cool,  and the look on her face is no reason not to talk to her.

When You Realize You’ve Left Your Flock…

They say ‘Birds of a feather, all flock together…’ and the older I get the more I can see this as truth.

Everyone has friends and acquaintances in their life, that while you get along with them and enjoy their company, you might not always see eye to eye. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. It helps to learn and broaden your horizons to interact with different ideas and thoughts of others.

I have friends who are happily married – I have friends who are single. And then I have friends who do questionable things within their relationship to their spouse. It makes for funny conversation between my husband and I – our own little personal soap opera we can sit back and watch.

“I can’t believe she did that!”
“What do you think he’s going to do?”

Now when I was single, it was easier to listen to the drama, keep secrets, and create alibis. but once I myself was in a committed relationship, eventually what was once entertainment became more disturbing. Especially after my husband became friends with the same people. After a while, I could feel myself distancing from the ones I once considered like family. It wasn’t as funny to go out for a girl’s night, watch who was flirting behind their husband’s back, or cheating on their girlfriend, who was deleting phone numbers and texts like crazy so they wouldn’t get caught.

Sure we would kinda laugh about it, shake our heads and my husband would say, “I’m so glad we are NORMAL.”

But after a while, I felt like I was condoning and even helping support the behavior. Relationships, and even families (and especially when kids are in the mix), suffer when two people are un-loyal and dishonest. It’s a domino effect. You may not even see it happening, but every action causes a reaction, and on down the line.

And it isn’t fair – it’s not fair to the person you are keeping a secret FROM; did they really do anything to YOU for you to not be honest to them about the things you know or even helping to conceal?

And it isn’t fair to you-to be put in a position of keeping someones lies from coming to light.

I’ll keep a secret if I must-but I will also first tell you, “I won’t tell nobody, but my husband don’t count.” Because that is the one person I cannot keep anything from. It even goes against our sacred bond of marriage for me NOT to tell him about my day. And if my day includes helping you tell your spouse you were with me, so they don’t find out you were actually at your “side guy’s” apartment, then that’s what I’m going to say to my husband.

The above scenario drives my point even farther: Its not fair to the one that the cheater convinces to cover them. That person is put in a position of having to betray a trust, one way or another. They either betray their spouse with untold secrets,  in order to be a “ride or die” kind of friend. Or they betray their friend by being honest to their partner. Secrets only go so far – and while you’re ready to cover your bestie and help her keep her marriage AND keep some strange on the side, your partner might not be.  Why force them to make that choice as well?

I prefer to socialize with honest people. Be it singles or couples. I don’t have any problems within my marriage,  and I believe positivity breeds positivity. Just as negativity breeds negative energy. And I don’t want the negative vibes to cross over.  So while they are my friend and I love and care about them,  I distance myself when they are doing things that they shouldn’t in a committed relationship. If I’m not around as much,  I can’t condone.  I can’t provide an alibi.  I can’t help that way.

If I get those late night calls asking for advice,  I can support and try to offer guidance. That feels better than saying,  “Go for it! YOLO!” And “Just say you were with me!”

Not only do I want someone to be happy and have a good marriage-but I want it for myself. And if they aren’t willing to work on it, and choose to be unfaithful,  then I don’t mess with them as much. It’s the only thing I can do to not only show that I can’t support the behavior; but I also can’t allow it to affect my relationship. I can’t allow myself to be put in the position of choosing who to betray.

 

So You Need A Name?

Picking out a name for your new baby can be one of the most fun, exciting, and creative things you will do in preparation of welcoming your child into the world.
It can also be one of the more frustrating,  tiresome,  and confusing tasks. I mean it is pretty important,  and it’s easy to get overwhelmed.
So here’s a few things to try and remember, that really helped me,  when it comes to choosing a name. We wanted something modern,  but not new age. Unique,  but not too popular. We started with….
Making a brainstorm list
I wrote down each name combination that came to mind, immediately. Even if I didn’t like it at the time. It helps to keep you organized,  keep track of what you have thought of, and then as you sift through options you might think of more. You may not like one suggestion at first,  but reviewing your list over and over,  you might find one particular name growing on you before long.
Explore inspiration
Reading, watching movies,  browsing the internet-keep your eyes open for different sources for inspiration that you might not have thought of.  Google helped me a lot as I was looking for different avenues in search of a name.
I once searched “comic book names” just as a goof after being overwhelmed with things I was finding on different baby name websites. It opened up a whole new realm of ideas!
Repeat As Necessary
The best advice I ever heard for picking a name came from a friend I worked with in South Carolina years ago. When deciding on a name,  be sure to say it a hundred times-the FULL NAME-if you aren’t sick of it, then it’s a keeper.
Makes sense,  because you are probably going to be saying, or even screaming, the full name if your kids over and over again for years, especially if they are naughty. I can still remember my friend mimicing her own test…
“Miguel..  Miguel…Miguel Carlos….MIGUEL CARLOS ESPINOSA! “
My cat became my guinea pig. And each name combo I came up with, I would yell repeatedly to test the “flow” of the name…
Bruce…Bruce…Bruce (insert middle & last name) x2…
After about twenty times, if I could still yell and like it,  the name stuck.  And that’s how we picked our son’s name.
The last piece of advice had definitely been the best for us. Now that I look back at that brainstorming list at some names I really loved at the time,  I can see how they didn’t pass the above test, and I’m not really that keen on them now. My son’s name fits his personality, and that’s what’s most important.
How did you go about picking a name? Did you try outside the norm or more traditional?