Saturday, July 31, 2010

The First Six Months--5 Lessons Learned

My son turned 6 months old on the 30th.  I can't help but marvel at how fast he's grown and how quickly he continues to develop.  In this short time, he's gone from a tiny 6 pound baby who barely knows what to do with himself to a strapping 20+ pound boy who can sit by himself, knows how to drink out of a glass, is able to ask for things, almost has standing by himself under his belt, holds his sippy cup, helps me dress him by putting his arms and legs through his clothes, and wants to copy everything everyone does around him.

What everyone says is true about it getting easier.  Post partum finally ended so I'm not an emotional, moody, cranky wreck anymore.  Since he can sit up by himself, it's easier to dress him, bathe him, and feed baby food.  His poops are on a pretty dependable schedule and are easier to get out of his cloth diapers than when he was a newborn.  He sleeps longer, often sleeping through the night, but he still has those nights where he's awake every 30 minutes.  Since he is able to entertain himself a little, he doesn't need to be held quite as often.  The nervous novelty of motherhood has begun to wear off, and I'm no longer afraid of every little thing.

As I emerge from the rite of passage that is the first 6 months as a mother, I have a few short words of advice for new and expecting moms as someone who has very recently been through this phase.

1)  Sleep when the baby sleeps.  You won't get it any other way.  The laundry and dishes can wait.  If you don't sleep, you'll burn out especially in the first 2-3 months.  As it is, you may not get more than 1-2 hours of sleep at a time and even less if you're breast feeding.  When I was nursing, there were days at a time when I didn't get more than 30 minutes of sleep in a sitting because my son would breastfeed for 45-60 minutes, fall asleep halfway through, take another 15-30 minutes to be sound asleep enough to put down, and I would only have another 30-45 minutes before his next feeding.  It was rough.

If a trusted friend of family member offers to help with chores or watch the baby for a bit so you can have an extra nap, learn to accept their offers with grace.  While we mothers want to do it all, we can't.  There aren't enough hours in the day to care for a newborn AND do all the housework.


2)  Don't let others undermine you and your instincts as a mother.  Moms don't pop out of a mold.  You don't have to do everything the way your mother or matrons in your life did it.  Follow your instincts and be true to your mothering style.  You'll be most comfortable doing what feels natural to you rather than trying to meet everyone's expectations and desires for the way you choose to care for your new infant.  You also spend more time than anyone else with your baby, so you are the expert when it comes to your child's habits, needs, and ways of communicating.  And, yes, your newborn will quickly learn how to communicate different wants, needs, and emotions.  It's amazing how articulate they can be even without speech!


3)  Everything in the world is NOT out to get your baby.  Contrary to all the information out there and the advice of concerned, well-meaning friends and family, it really just isn't that serious most of the time.  Yes, we need to take safety and health precautions.  But your baby won't die of SIDS if he wants to sleep on his stomach, especially when he's strong enough to turn his head on his own.  Your little girl won't get pneumonia if it's a degree or two colder than your grandmother thinks it should be in the house or bath.  If your little bundle of joy grabs something that touched the floor and puts it in his or her mouth, a sudden and fatal attack of dysentery will not ensue.  Yes, babies are more sensitive than adults, but if they were really THAT fragile, the world would be a lot less populated and no one born in the days before sterilized bottles, enclosed homes, and air filters would have survived.  Common sense, good judgement, and your motherly instincts are enough to make sound decisions in almost all of the situations you'll encounter in your daily life with baby.


4)  Get everything bigger than you think you need it.    I mean EVERYTHING:  clothes, bottles, car seats, the works.  Your little one will grow faster than you would believe and those cute tiny things will soon be too small.  My son outgrew the 4-ounce capacity of his newborn size bottles around 4 months.  Any day now he'll outgrow his 22 pound limit infant car seat.  He's already comfortably wearing 12-18 month clothes.  Most play pens are too small since he's over 26 inches long and the biggest ones I've seen are only 34-38" at the widest point, which doesn't leave much crawl space.  He was only able to use his swing for about 4 months, and he's almost too long for his baby papasan chair.  If we'd gotten him a bassinet, he would have outgrown it ridiculously fast.  Sadly, his little legs are almost too fat for his Bumbo chair, but I still recommend them because they're so useful.


5)  Less is more.  While it can be a temptation to try every gadget out there for babies, it will often end up being a waste of money in all honesty.  If your child is anything like mine, he or she would rather have less toys and more one on one time with you.  When it comes to toys and entertainment for my son, he really doesn't need that much.  I can count on one hand the favorites he will turn to again and again and still have fingers left over.  He would rather be with me than any toy I can buy or make for him.  There isn't a toy or video that can hold his attention for longer than 20 or so minutes on a good day, especially if he's playing or watching alone.  If he could talk, I'm sure he'd tell anyone that likes his toys and games much better when we play with them together.  More often than not, he's more interested in turning nontoys into his new play things and will derive more enjoyment out of them than most items that are supposed to be toys.  For example, he would rather have the mouse pad or the phone charger to chew than any teething toy in the house.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Thrifty Thursday: Great Sales on Kids' Clothes and New Coupons

Head to TheChildrensPlace.com for deep discounts on items in their summer sale.  Items start at $2.99 and are great for back to school clothing or stocking up for next summer.  With $5 shipping on every order no matter what size, it's worth checking out.

Kmart.com has great deals on baby and toddler items right now.  Get 10% baby and toddler gear, furniture, and bedding.  If you're looking for clothes, their sale items start as low as $1.79 on polo shirts, onesies, shorts, and more.  Plus get an additional 10% off these prices on all Little Wonders brand clothing and free shipping on all orders over $49.

As always, check out my coupon banner which can be found in my Thrifty Thursday posts and my blog's side bar for savings on Huggies diapers, wipes, groceries, and more!


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

DDT5 -- Choosing Diaper Fabric

There are a few things to consider when selecting fabric for a diapers.  The two main characteristics you want to think about are absorbency and comfort.  The cloth needs to absorb quickly and not irritate sensitive skin in a constant contact situation.

For absorbency, I've found that bamboo fabrics are are fast and hold a lot of liquid without a lot of bulk, cottons are very absorbent but tend to be very thick, cotton flannel is absorbent even though it isn't thick but doesn't tend to be the most durable with frequent washing, and fleeces are good at wicking away moisture for the driest feel.

The most comfortable, soft fabrics I've found are bamboo blends.  Bamboo velour is very soft and fluffy.  Bamboo fleece is some of the most luxurious I've felt.  Other benefits are the almost nonexistant shrinkage and the antibacterial properties of bamboo.  Cotton is also very comfortable, especially french terry which is also a very effective liquid absorber, but some flannels and terry can be on the rough side.  Fleece is hit or miss depending on what it's made out of and if it's anti-pill or not.  I've used polyester fleece remnants and some of them work well, but the ones that pill leave marks on my baby's skin.

Because various types of fabric are have tactile differences and do not interact the same way with moisture, I've found that there is not really one all-purpose fabric that is perfect for every diaper project.  Even though cotton, bamboo, and hemp can be very good at absorbing wetness, they aren't always good enough for heavy wetters or night time use.  Fleece tends to be the best for that and polyester is the driest feeling and fastest wicking.  Polyester fleece also releases waste quickly with no staining in my experience.  For reusable wipes and diaper liners, I've found that having a thick side (such as terry cloth or polyester fleece) and a soft side (such as cotton knits or bamboo fleece/velour) is best.  The thick side can be used for getting the bulk of the mess and the soft side for gentle clean up.  When used as a liner, I like to fold it so that the soft side or the driest feeling side, depending on the fabric used, is on the outside and the most heavily absorbent fabric is on the inside.  Ultimately, you'll have to decide what fabrics and combinations work best for you.

To read more about the types of fabrics people are using for diapers and the pros and cons, I found this article to be very informative:

http://www.thethreadedbranch.com/pages/newfabricsarticle.php



Thursday, July 22, 2010

Thrifty Thursday: Baby and Toddler Clothing Sales

Check the clearance racks at your local WalMart for $4 Carter's rompers in all sizes from infant to 24 months.  They were so cute that I couldn't resist!  I'm hoping he'll still fit in 24 months when it warms up next spring.  If not, we can layer long sleeves or leggings underneath when it gets cooler or save them for the random warm days during the Georgia winter.

Head to Diapers.com for savings on all baby clothes and shoes through the end of July.  Use coupon code JULYSALE for 10% off $50, 15% off $75, and 25% off $100.  As always, free shipping on all orders over $49 for double savings!

And don't forget about the coupon generator to the right for savings on groceries and home products.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

DDT 4 - DIY Cloth Diaper Supplies

Making your own cloth diapers and diaper covers isn't hard at all.  You might be surprised at the materials you already have in your home like old towels or old flannel pajamas that you can repurpose for diaper making projects.  It's great practice and will give you a feel for the absorbency levels of different types of fabric.

Even if you're using materials you already have, you'll probably need to supplement with a few other items to make anything outside of a basic prefold or contour diaper.  Here's a list of cloth diaper making basics and some of my favorite places to find them.



Basic Supplies

  • Fabric (flannel, terry cloth, french terry, velour, fleece with no more than 20% polyester content)
  • Elastic (1/4 inch garter, baby garter, Lastin, fold over elastic)
  • Hook & Loop (Aplix, soft Velcro, touch tape)
  • PUL fabric for covers and outer shell of AIOs and pocket diapers
  • High quality thread (use polyester for covers and items that need to be waterproof)



Suppliers

SewShoppe.com - They have almost everything imaginable for your baby sewing needs including diaper sewing notions that are difficult to find anywhere else, but shipping is a little high so it's not ideal for small orders

CelticCloths.com - PUL, fabrics, elastics, and patterns.  Great deals in their constantly changing clearance inventory.  You'll want to check this regularly.  Shipping as low as under $3.00 for small orders.

GreenThumbFabrics.com - They have some of the lowest prices for bamboo fabrics, but don't always have everything in stock.  A good value if you're not on a time limit.

NaturesFabrics.com - The best selection of organic fabrics I've seen in one place, and the prices are reasonable.  They recently added PUL to their inventory.  For those with very ambitious projects in mind, they also sell some of the best priced bolts of fabric I've found thus far.

DenverFabrics.com - Huge selection of conventional cotton fabrics and fleeces and everything else you might need for your nondiaper sewing projects.  Reasonable prices.  Frequent sales.

Etsy and Ebay - Find diaper cuts, remnants, or full yardage of PUL, fabric, and other supplies from other DIY moms selling their extras.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Size Matters

Usually in the 95th percentile for weight and height at each check up, it seems that I'm constantly facing a dilemma with my son's above average size.  At five and half months old, he's already about 21 pounds.  He lost a bit of weight during a teething week at the beginning of the month but quickly gained it back and then some. 

Before I became a mother, I used to think that preoccupation with the petite was reserved for adults.  I am, however, rethinking that as I've been researching exactly what it means to be in the 90+ percentile compared with the median weights for infants at various stages.

Even though my son is ahead of the curve, the median weight for a 6 month old boy is 18 pounds.  This is only 4 pounds away from the maximum weight limit of infant car seats which are ideally supposed to last until the child is 1 year old.  Many brands of infant clothing have a maximum recommended weight of around 19.5 pounds for 9 months sizes.  It seems that baby products are designed with girls in mind who have much lower median weights.  Since this is true, one would think that manufacturers would make different lines of products to accommodate the different needs of boys and girls, especially with clothing.  But they don't.  It's as if companies purposely under size their products so that consumers will have to purchase multiple items (often costly items) in order to span the entire period of use.

What about when it comes to play pens and the height limits on car seats?  The story is much the same.  I've blogged about my car seat woes, so there's nothing new there.  I've also been looking at play n plays, play yards, and play pens since my son is of the age where he needs to be contained to make sure he doesn't get away when I'm not looking.  The largest I've seen, however, is 34" on it's longest side, and it's not cheap.  My son is already over 26" tall.  That doesn't leave much room for crawling and exercise.  I was extremely disappointed because I have fun memories involving the extra large playpens from the days of yore.

Because of that, I've had to search for alternatives to the traditional play pens.  If you search for gate or fence style play yards, these start with dimensions of at least 36"x36" and most of them have optional extensions available for purchase.  The pros are that they are convenient, versatile, highly portable, often able to be reconfigured to the shape and size that best fits the room, and cost much less per square foot than traditional style play pens.  The cons are that they aren't padded in the walls, need a separate pad for the floor if your baby is still learning to sit up or crawl, and the selection and styles are limited.

In a world where manufacturer's capitalize on the fast growth of infants and small children by making products that run small and your child is already larger than average, a mom has to get creative sometimes.




Image: Rasmus Thomsen / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Play Date

Last Thursday my son had a play date with a buddy he's known since the womb.  Ben is about 8 weeks older than my Davie.  The last time they saw each other was 2 months ago, and how it makes a difference!  At 3 months, Davie was tiny compared to 5-month old Ben.  Now 5 months old, Davie is taller and definitely fatter than 7-month old Ben.  My son is a little fatty!

Even though he sees other babies at the church nursery, his reaction was very different.  Part of the reason for that is because being in the nursery usually puts him in a coma for some reason.

During their reunion they kept smiling, holding each hands, and trying to grab each other's faces.  It's amazing how at this age they already know how to distinguish their peers and have an innate desire to interact with them.

video
(Please pardon the cleavage.  Davie had pulled my 
dress, and my brother, who was filming, doesn't notice 
my cleavage and didn't realize he was videoing it.)

My son is also learning from his brief time with the older boy.  In one afternoon, he picked up Ben's squealing chatter, filed it away in his brain, and surprised me with it the next day.  Who says babies can't pay attention and remember?

video

Friday, July 16, 2010

Our first solo road trip!

My son is 5.5 months old, and a prolific gurlger when he's upset.  During a tantrum, he let's all the saliva collect in the back of his throat and gurgles while he cries.  He does it so forcefully that he turns bright red and sometimes starts choking if he can't be made to stop.  Because of that, I've never gone on a drive longer than 45 minutes alone with him.  I prefer to sit in the back seat to keep him entertained and succored by his bottle when necessary.  Because I'm house sitting until the 23rd, I could no longer put off the mommy-baby road trip and we finally did it last Wednesday!

Orchestrating the preparations was a feat in and of itself.  Bringing everything a cloth diapered, bottle fed 5 month old needs for 10 days is no small task.  The gas tank was filled the day before, and some of our clothing was brought a few days ahead of time for an impromptu practice run with my mother.  The amount of bibs, blankets, towels, socks, and clothing he goes through between laundry days must calculated and packed.  All the bottles must be washed and packed with just the right amount prewarmed for the car ride and a couple of spares to go on while I was unpacking.  Laundry had to be timed just so in order for all the diapers to be washed and dry.  I admit it:  I used disposables to make this last bit happen.  No stinky diapers in the car!

Then the big day came, and it was a choreographed dance of loading the car during naps and arranging everything so that nothing dangerous for the baby or my car upholstery was in reach of his little hands but still keeping enough toys close enough that he'd have a nice assortment for the 1.5 hour drive.  All the essentials were placed in easy reach of the driver's seat and the departure was timed in the hopes he would fall asleep during the ride.

Well....he didn't fall asleep at all.  But he did, thankfully, quietly entertain himself for the first half of the ride with only minimal complaints that he didn't have a play mate and that he found his view less than interesting.  Meanwhile I was silently cursing the fact that you can't see your child in a rear facing car seat while driving and that keeping the seat in the middle like you're supposed to makes it hard to install any kind of usable mirror, and I vowed to myself to remedy this problem with some sort of wonderful, patentable invention that will make my son and I very rich one day.

Because he refused to nap, necessity, the catalyst by which genius is often born, demanded that I learn how to feed a baby in the backseat with one hand while driving, and must say that I can't wait until he can feed himself consistently in the car.  Then his primary source of entertainment, the play mat arch I had placed within his dangling reach, shifted against the car door.  At a stop light, I was able to shove it back toward him, but he didn't appreciate my efforts as much as I would have hoped.  He was not nearing point of gurgling yet, so I tried talking to him in the voices he likes and singing his favorite songs.  They didn't help.  I know that he somehow must be pacified without me stopping and holding him because the only way to make him stay in his car seat without a royal fit at that point will be to wait until he's sleeping.  And I refuse to capitulate like that.

In a last effort to prevent the gurgling-choking-face-flushing extravaganza, I rummage through my purse to find an Altoid container still in plastic wrap.  "Great," I think to myself, "He loves crinkly plastic sounds!"  For the remaining 20 or so minutes of the trip, I kept him entertained by rattling the tin and crunching the plastic.  At first, he even laughed every time it made a noise.  Even though he soon grew weary of it, he remained interested enough to refrain from going into a full blown tantrum.

Finally, we reached our destination.  He was hot, sweaty, and irate but gurgle and choke free.  Success!

In roughly a week, I get to do it all over again.....

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Thrifty Thursday: Sales for Crafty Moms

Since my last diaper blog was about making your own diapers, here are some current sales to make your diaper making and other craft projects lighter on the budget.  Enjoy!

www.sewshoppe.com - Your one stop shop for diaper making and other baby sewing projects.  They have the best selection of diaper supplies under one roof that I've found so far.

20% off entire purchase with coupon code STOREWIDE


JoAnn.com - A crafting superstore.  Find even more sales at your local JoAnn.

Up to 50% off all fleece
50% off all 54" home decor fabrics
Up to 40% off all papercrafting supplies
30% off all yarn
50% off one regular price item with online code WHF198
Free shipping on all orders over $25with online code EYD198


Celtic Cloths - A cloth diaper making and information website.  Find free patterns, great deals in their clearance items, and one of the lowest shipping prices out there!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

DDT 3 -- Free Cloth Diaper Patterns

Here are free downloadable patterns for anyone who wants to try their hand at make a few diapers.  Everything from AIOs, pocket diapers, contours, fitteds, and covers!

Rita's Rump Pocket Diaper - (patterns for covers, AIOs, contours, and more also available)
Little Comet Tails Not so Flat Wrap (I have personally used this pattern as a contour diaper and used it a starting point to create my own covers and AIOs.  It has a very generous cut, which is great as a contour.  For covers and AIOs, I have to trim it down in the crotch and/or lengthen the pattern for the best fit.)
Wee Weka Pocket Nappy (My personal favorite.  It didn't start fitting that well as a pocket diaper until my son was about 4 months old as the rise was too high.  Now that it does, it's a very nice slim fitting diaper even with night time stuffings.  I did, however, use the pattern to make a diaper cover with an adjustable rise, and it was the only cover I had the fit well for newborn use.  It still fits great even now.)

Come back next week for my favorite DIY cloth diaper supplies and suppliers!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Print Coupons from Cool Mom's Blog!

Just when you thought this blog couldn't get any cooler, my website was selected to host a new beta program that allows my readers to print coupons from my blog.  Now you can save money every time you read my blog by printing coupons from my new coupon banner.

New coupons available daily!  Just look for a banner like this one in my sidebar:



Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Thrifty Thursday: How to Save the Planet and your Wallet on Laundry Day

It's summer and the heat is on.  Or should I say the air conditioner is on?  While the air is on full blast, everyone could use a few tips and tricks to keep their energy bills down. Here are a few hopefully new ideas from me to you that will save energy, money, and wear and tear on your washer and dryer.


1)  This is probably a no brainer.  Use the coolest temperature setting possible on both the washer and dryer.  This will decrease the work done by the water heater and the dryer heating element.  Less heat in your appliances also means less radiant heat in your home which translates into less work for the air conditioner.  It's a moneysaving snowball effect!

2)  Wait until you have enough for a full load before doing laundry.  No matter what size load you wash, your washer and dryer use the same amount of time and energy to operate.  You'll save electricity, water, and time in the long term.

3) Use a residue free soap or try reducing the amount of regular detergent you use in the wash.  In many cases, you can decrease the amount of detergent by 25-50% without compromising cleaning power because of the caustic surfactants used in most detergents.  If you are washing an extra dirty load, agitate then let it soak overnight to loosen the grime before running a full wash cycle.  This will reduce or eliminate the need for an extra rinses when you do laundry.

4) Harness the energy of the sun to double task drying and disinfecting.  If you use high heat settings in the washer or dryer for disinfecting purposes, try an old fashioned clothes line.  The UV light emitted by the sun which causes sunburns is also a powerful antimicrobial death ray.  You'll decrease the amount of heat needed on laundry day, which will keep your home cooler and your wallet fatter.

5) Make your dryer faster by putting a dry towel or two in the dryer.  This is especially good for thick clothing and cloth diapers that dry more slowly than regular laundry.  The towel will wick water out of the wet clothes, allowing them to dry more quickly.  Since the towel is dry to begin with, the heat of the dryer will evaporate moisture almost immediately so that the towel can draw out wetness continuously.  A word of caution:  don't get too excited about this idea and overfill your dryer.  The wet clothing needs to be able to tumble freely in order for this to work.  Also make sure you don't use this method on clothes you want to keep lint free.

Photo by mattox courtesy of stock.xchng

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

DDT 2 -- One Size Cloth Diaper Options for Newborns

It's Diapert Duty Tuesday again!  This week's topic is cloth diapering for newborns.  Newborns don't have much of a bottom and their legs are on the spindly side so it can be tricky finding the right diaper to fit properly without leaks and blowouts.  As previously mentioned in my other diapering posts, the best way to cloth diaper for the first 1-2 months are to use a separate diaper and cover to achieve the right fit for the newborn baby shape.  I primarily used prefolds, which are the most economical choice, but I also had a few homemade contour diapers that I still use.  If you can afford them, fitted newborn diapers are great because they're specially designed to sit low on the belly as to not irritate the umbilical chord and you can easily adjust them to create a custom fit for your baby.  I personally couldn't justify spending that much money on a lot of diapers that I would only use for 2-6 weeks, and I folded down the tops of the prefolds and contours to achieve a similar effect.

As I've been looking at cloth diapers to get ideas for my little boy who is on the cusp of moving to the toddler size diapers, I've seen a lot of great options for newborns that I'm definitely keeping in mind for any future children.  New companies are popping up with innovative, less cumbersome one-size designs, and established cloth diaper makers are revamping their diapers to stay competitive.  It's a win win for all of us tree hugging, planet saving, green living, cloth diapering moms!  Here are two of the one-size choices that interest me the most in terms of durability and sizing options.


Sprout Change One Size Diaper from The Willow Store

This diaper boasts a 5-40 pound weight range, making it the closest to a truly one size fits all diaper that I've ever seen and the only one that should fit just about all newborns even most preemies.  The cover is also reversible with two colors, so it's actually two covers in one.  The sleeves are made of your choice of microfleece or organic cotton and the inserts are made of organic hemp/cotton blend.  All this and made in the USA!

How it works:  The cover uses a series of snaps for the waist and adjustable elastic for the legs to create the right fit for your child.  You put the insert (basically a prefold) into the sleeve and lay it in the cover.  Looks very simple.  The sleeve helps wick moisture to keep baby feeling dry, is supposed to be easy to wash off, and keeps poop off the actual diaper.  You can double up on inserts for extra absorbing power.

These are on the pricey side at $24.95 for a complete 1 diaper system (1 reversible cover, 1 sleeve, 1 insert).  But you can customize your own package because all components of the diaper system are available for individual sale.  Individual covers are $16.95 for those who already have diapers but are looking to try a new cover or like the idea of a reversible.  Extra sleeves are $4.95 and may be used with your own diaper covers if you are excited by the thought of an easy rinsing layer that keeps poop off your diapers or allows you to use ointments and creams without diminishing absorbency.  The organic hemp inserts are $6.95 and may be used alone as prefolds or doublers with your existing diaper system.

Save 10% at checkout with the code CHANGE 





FuzziBunz® One size Diapers 

FuzziBunz is the company started by Tereson Dupuy, who is considered to be the mother of modern cloth diapering with her invention of the pocket diaper.  She has done some exciting new things to her one size diapers.  Gone are the unsightly rows of snaps that used to be the system for changing the size of one sizes--just one set of snaps for the waist and adjustable elastic in the legs for up to 8 different size settings!

FuzziBunz fits from 7-35 pounds, so it should fit most newborns right away or as soon as the umbilical chord falls off (usually within 2 weeks, about 10 days for my son).  The fleece lining is highly absorbent even during night time use and for older babies according to most users.  The adjustable elastic will give a better fit for your new baby than the snap adjustments in older styles of one size diapers.  The elastic is also easily replaceable without sewing or ripping out any seems.  The durable snaps, ease of elastic replacement, and high quality of materials means that these diapers will last for 3+ years even with heavy use and frequent washing.  If you plan to cloth diaper through multiple children, this is a solid and long lasting investment!

Individual diapers are about $19.95 though I've seen them for a little less at some places.  FuzziBunz diaper packs start at $59.95 for 3 at stores like Kelly's Closet, and Amazon has a 9-pack that includes a breast milk alcohol test kit for $175.

Free Shipping at Kelly's Closet for orders over $49
Free 2-day shipping on all orders for Amazon Prime members (30 day free trial available)

Friday, July 2, 2010

Freaky Friday: Future Baby Generator

Not my permanent Friday theme in case anyone was wondering.  But I did get curious last night if a baby generator would actually make a baby that looked like my son if I put in a picture of me and his father.  My virtual baby is not as fat, but it actually does kind of look like our son down to the hair type and eye color.  I think it's more what he'll look like as a toddler.  Freaky!








See the resemblance?





Like I said, not exact but pretty close for a computer generated image using some sort of photo manipulation software and a bit of probability to determine the actual features.  But it has the same whispy hair, same eyebrows, same eye color, same lips, similar eye shape, similar nose, and the same overall head shape minus the fluffy, fat cheeks.  When he loses the baby fat, he'll probably look more like the generated image.




How Does It Work?

Face detection technology like FBI uses in investigations is what makes this possible.  Boy have we come a long way!  At the particular website I went to (www.MorphThing.com), you can upload your own photos, pair one of your photos with something from the celebrity image library, or use two of their celebrity pictures to morph.  For a bit of twisted entertainment, you can morph two people to make an adult face or you can try their beta baby maker.  They even have a random morph selection for those who can't help themselves. Random morphs available for viewing during my visit included Saddam Hussein + Munch's The Scream, Gollum + Angelina, and Zhang Ziyi + Michael Jackson.  More freakishness.

The process involves mapping the general outline of the face and important distinguishing features including the eyes, nose, lips, hair line, and jaw.  If you upload your own pictures, you must do this yourself.  Photos from their library are already prepared for morphing.  If you choose the baby maker, it will ask you the race of the parents before generating the final image.  I started from scratch with two photos and it probably took me about 10 minutes from start to finish including the wait time while the software "morphed"my baby.

There are a few websites that do this, but most of them require a fee or subscription.  MorphThing was free though.




And now.....




















I know you're thinking it.


















I know you just have to find out.



















Ok...here it comes....

















Are you sure you're ready?


















Brace yourself.....



























All I have to say is that I hope this isn't accurate, or my son may end up with a complex.  It's Friday.  Go have some fun.  Fun Friday...get it?

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Great Coupons for Moms and Babies


From now on Thursdays will be Thrifty Thursday, the I'll blog about any coupons, sales, and discounts that I've found.  In an effort to simplify and organize the way I do my blog posts, I'll be devoting each day of the week to an ongoing topic.  So far we have Diaper Duty Tuesdays and Thrifty Thursdays.  If you have any suggestions or requests, leave a comment or send me a message.

Now without further ado....



Head to Coupons.com for printer-friendly savings on the following and more!

$3 off Huggies Snug and Dry diaper pack (60 count or larger)
$1.50 off Huggies little swimmers
$2 off Huggies wipes (320 count or larger)
$2 off Huggies Pure & Natural Diapers
$2 off Goodnites jumbo pack or larger
$1 off Desitin
$1.50 off Aveeno hair products
$2 off Aveeno lotion
$1 off Campbell's soups
$1 off Listerine
$1 off Opti-free contact solution
$1 off Renu contact solution
$1 off Organyc feminine products
$1 off Burt's Bees toothpaste
$.40 off Nature Valley granola bars
$1 off Nature Valley granola nut clusters
$1 off All brand Oxi-Active detergent (28 loads or larger)
Free Sears portrait collage + 20% off entire purchase + no session fee
2 pair glasses $88.99 at JCPenny



Smartsource.com has a coupon for $4 off 2 Huggies Little Movers/Little Snugglers diaper packs.



Here are some coupons and discounts from Diapers.com.  Check their website for even more coupons on Tide detergents, Bounty paper towels, and more.  Additionally, you can use manufacturer's coupons and formula checks by sending your coupons and packing slip for the eligible purchases to Diapers.com, P.O. Box 483, Jersey City, NJ 07303.  They'll give you a credit on your next order.

Free shipping on all orders over $49
$10 off any diaper order for first time customers
$2 off any one case of Huggies Diapers with coupon code HUGGIES3
$3 off any one case of Seventh Generation Diapers with coupon code 7NTHGEN2
$2 off any Avent, Born Free, Dr. Browns 2 or 3 pack feeding bottles with coupon code BOTTLE3
$4 off any single 14 oz. or larger jar of Desitin, Boudreax's, or Aquaphor diaper rash ointment with coupon code RASHJAR2


These coupons are available for one-time use per household and expire on 12/31/2010.  If you are a first time Diapers.com customer and you appreciate the savings I just passed on to you, let me know by using this referral code at checkout NBDE6587.  Once you place your first order, you'll receive a referral code too and you'll get a $5 credit for every new customer you send their way.