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Along Abbey Road | A Lifestyle And Family Blog : June 2013


Cloth Diapering: To Do Or Not To Do?

Isn't that a lovely photo chronology of Luke's life from birth to present all in diapers? Clearly the child spends the better part of his life in his skivvies, but hey, no qualms about that here. I fully support the (almost) nudist movement.

But, this post is more than just about pictures of diapers. I am here to talk about the poopy business of diapering. Cloth diapering! Dun, dun, dunnnn!

So, cloth diapering: to do or not to do with baby number two?

I've been thinking good and long about it, and I think I am going to give it shot, but before I dive head in to the pooperful world of extra laundry, of course I had to write a blog post about it. Where else am I going to get honest, tried and true feedback? 

Here are my reasons for giving cloth diapering a go:

1) Cost. We spent roughly $1,000 on disposable diapers the first year of Luke's life. I am not sure if that is an average or high cost for disposables (I can't tell you how many clean diapers were wasted from Luke straight up peeing on them and me freaking out, not knowing what to do or thinking to cover the line of fire... I mean, newborns are gifted projectile poopers and pee-ers). According to my research so far, we will spend roughly $500 on cloth diapering for the first year (or less depending if we don't cloth diaper a full year).

2) Diaper rash. Luke had awful diaper rash quite frequently for the first few months of his life. And oh how I hated it! I felt like a terrible mother that was subjecting my child to unnecessary pain and discomfort. His skin was and still is incredibly sensitive (like mine), so I am going to jump the gun on this one and assume the same issues might arise for this next little guy. From what I gather, cloth diapering eliminates diaper rash.

3) Experience. Now that we've jumped through the first-time parent hoops, I kinda sorta know what to expect with a new baby. It's not going to be a foreign, shocking, life-teetering experience like it was the first time around. Sure, it will be new to trod the unbeaten path of life with two kiddos, but I finally (after 18 months) am comfortable with changing diapers at least. I feel prepared and in control of what cloth diapering has to offer (lots and lots of poop handling) and I'm alright with it. Plus, I've always been curious what this whole cloth diapering hullabaloo is all about. And there's only one way to figure that out... just do it! Or in my case... just poo it!

4) This just in! I would like to update that after I spent all night researching more about cloth diapering, I totally failed to recognize how huge the environmentally-friendly aspect of cloth diapering. Obviously it helps, but I didn't connect how much impact just one child in disposable diapers has, let alone two! I found the Cotton Babies site, which is kinda like the cloth diapering holy grail to me now, and it mentioned that one child's soiled disposable diapers will reach the amount of one ton in a landfill. That's just gross. I have decided to try making the switch with Luke. Am I crazy? We'll see how he responds to it! There is no hurt in trying, especially since I will use whatever I buy for him with baby numero dos (and maybe it will make the transition to potty training occur sooner?).

After scouring the baby store selections and searching Amazon high and low, and I think I am going to go for pocket diapering. I could take it completely retro and go the old school cloth diapering route with prefolds and pins like my mom did with eight kids. EIGHT KIDS. Can you believe it? Now that's a lot of poo. But, yeah, I ain't touching that. But, bless your heart, mother. You are tough as nails! Anyway, I have decided on bumGenius pocket diapers. They are simple, cute, and a good price for what seems the most convenient way to cloth diaper (thanks, Amazon!).

Now that you've listened to me blab on and on about this topic, I am turning the mic over to you folks! What say ye about cloth diapering? Yay? Nay? What products do you love or despise? Any tips and tricks I am missing? Spill your poo stories! And I am now officially done saying poop for the 50th time (although it looks like I better get used to it...)

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Sprightly So Sale Extravaganza And Giveaway!

I wish I could say I am one of those moms that does it all, but reality settled in and I just can't. And guess what? I am okay with that. 

Finding out I was pregnant kind of put the whole running a store thing on the back burner, and now that Luke is running around like a wild thing, I honestly don't even have the time to give the store the attention it deserves. Ya feel me, mamas?

Sprightly So is my dream, and someday I will even get around to designing my own clothing line, but for now that dream gets to stay up in the clouds and my babies will be getting my undivided attention. And that's where my priorities should be.

And to you mamas that do do it all, I tip my straw hat that is hiding my messy hair to you. Teach me your ways?

For now, the remaining goodies in the shop are 50% off! Completely! All of the items are quite summer friendly, even those pull over sweaters and tops! So let's clear out this sucker, shall we? And thanks to everyone for supporting my dream and to those who helped launch Sprightly So. As a big muchas gracias to you all, I am giving away a dress or skirt of your choice! Enter in the widget below.

Thanks again for dreaming big with me. I love you people!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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A Random Thing Or Two-sday

Me | Shirt: F21. Skirt: LOFT (on sale!). Shoes: Qupid
Luke | Shirt: H&M. Tie: H&M. Shorts: Janie & Jack. Shoes: Salt Water Sandals.

1) Luke's outfit... ! There are no words. Right? Other than I literally kept cooing for the first 10 minutes after putting him in this garb for church on Sunday.

2) Fact: If you type the word "illuminati" backward into your URL box, followed by .com, it redirects you to the government's National Security Agency web page. Whhhhhaaaa? I am not one for conspiracy theories, but I tried it for the heck of it and it happened. And I kind of freaked out. Either some government tech dude thought it would be really funny to mess with all of the internet, or there really is a NWO and a UFO will probably suck me up out of the blue one night, only to tell me we really never did land on the moon after I have dinner with Tupac. And JFK.

3) Someone once told me they think Giada looks like a bobble head. I was all like, "nah, she is just cute and petitey-like" until I happened to flip to her cooking show a few days ago (purely for a second once-over on the bobble head situation). You guys, she does look like a bobble head! But a cute, petitey-like bobble head at that.

4) As I am currently writing this, Matt is in Luke's room singing him nursery rhymes and songs so he will hit the sack once and for all. I keep sneaking up to the door to spy on them. Those two are best buds. My heart is swelling to the point of combustion with wife and motherly pride over this little scene. It's practically poetic, I tell you!

5) Pepsi or Coke?

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Benny The Blind Chihuahua

Sunday evening is our designated family walk day. We love walking to the view point that spans the Pacific coast and letting Luke and Benny run free as the sun sets. However, there is one little hitch. If you have been reading this blog for awhile now, you probably know that Benny is our chihuahua. And he is blind. Blind as a freaking bat.

Luke loves Benny. Adores the little creature. Every morning he starts off his breakfast with his daily inquiry about his beloved puppy, "Ben-nnyyy? Oof-oof!" (that's "woof-woof" in partially coherent one-year old babble). However, a tumbly toddler chasing a 4-pound dog that can't see him coming can get a little dicey. Luke is learning to not run so frantically around Benny and to pet him softly, little by little.

As I watched them play, I realized I've never told the story about Benny. Officially, anyway. So get some treats and settle down for story time (don't worry, it's a short one).

Matt and I had been married for a few weeks and decided we needed a little fur baby. Being the dirt poor newlyweds we were, our apartment was teeny-tiny, so naturally we would need a teeny-tiny puppy. Ding, ding, ding!  Chihuahua it was to be!

The search on KSL began, and we happened upon the homeliest, buggy-eyed, crooked-eared chihuahua puppy. The so-ugly-it's-cute kind of thing going on. And he was the runt of the litter! Jackpot. Phone calls were made, puppy gear was purchased and soon we were meeting our newest addition in a parking lot in Salt Lake. 

Benny was beyond adorable. He fit perfectly into my cupped hands and I couldn't believe there were puppies that tiny! He whimpered and snuggled into my lap, although he was unusually skiddish.

A few weeks passed, and we realized something wasn't quite right. After countless efforts to play fetch or chase string, he still just sat there with a blank stare and didn't respond to any games. The trip to the vet a couple days later confirmed our suspicions that he was indeed blind. We had unknowingly bought a blind dog (that kind of thing would happen to us), but it was one of the best unintentional decisions of our lives. Benny is sweet and special and one of a kind! In fact, our next dog will quite possibly be another blind one. 

Because we love fur babies and support animal-friendly and cruelty-free products, I want to share with you the "Designed for Good" limited edition Method soap campaign. First off, all Method products are not tested on animals, use no animal by-products and are environmentally friendly. We use them in our home and I love, love love them. They smell yummy and are always designed with a sharp aesthetic appeal. Secondly, in honor of looking out for our furry companions, Method will donate 15% of sales on Soap.com to the ASPCA to help fight animal cruelty for the month of June and you get 20% off your first purchase using code PAWPRINT at checkout. You can also enter your animal pals into their photo contest to enter to win a $50 gift card to Soap.com. 

Can't wait to see your fluffy buddies and hear your pet stories! 

This post is sponsored by Method. All opinions are my own.

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Happy 28th

Happy Birthday, Matthew, my old lug!

Can't believe you are practically 30! Shouldn't we be getting ready to retire soon or something like that?

These past 5 years with you have been the richest years of my life yet. Thanks for being born, ya hear? You make the lives of every single person around you more full, and Luke and I are lucky to be two of the closest.

I have a feeling this is going to be a great year. You deserve it! Thanks for working like a dog, loving like a saint, making cute babies with me, and acting like a 10-year old 90% of the time so life is always fun and certainly never dull.

We love you, birthday boy! And as Luke says, " Mooooo-wah!"

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This Face

This face. This face!

I am just going to take the next minute to gush about how much I adore this kid. This is what I greet when Luke wakes up from his naps. It starts with little chirps and odd babbling, and then I sneak in and his face lights up, causing my heart to spark on fire. 

I live for that light this hooligan brings me.

I love how Luke's smile radiates from corner to corner, and crinkles those twinkly eyes into little almonds. And those expressive faces. Whether that darned tongue is sticking out of his mouth or formed into an inquisitive little "ohhh," he wears his emotions on his sleeve (like someone else I know) and his personality is expanding by leaps and bounds by the day.

And to think that I get another one of these handsome devils. I couldn't be more blessed! I've said it before and I'll say it again -- I'll take twenty more, please.

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Style That Bump

Bump Stats:
Tiffany from I Am Style-ish: 24 weeks
Anna from In Honor Of Design: 38 weeks
Me: 19 weeks 
Lynzy from Sparkling Footsteps: 24 weeks
Emily from The Freckled Fox: 22 weeks

Top: Anthropologie (similar). Shorts: LOFT (similar). Wedges: ShoeDazzle. Handbag: H&M. Sunglasses: H&M.

Having a huge round ball in the middle of your body doesn't mean dressing with style gets thrown out the window with the rest of your pre-pregnancy pants. Yes, at times wearing a mumu for the remainder of the pregnancy seems like the right thing to do, but I am here to tell you it's a bad idea and dressing a bump can actually be cute. And bonus! Some things strangely look cuter when pregnant? A mystery to us all. But it happens, because after all bumps are cute (except when you get huge and just want that baby outta there)!

If you yourself are currently pregnant or are planning on getting a bebe in your belly anytime soon, this series is for you! The five of us blogging ladies will be bringing you a monthly rotation of how to wear a skirt, pants, shorts, a dress, and appropriate work wear.

My assignment for the month was shorts. I'll be honest, shorts are my least favorite when pregnant, but they are possible! I think wearing a mid-thigh length is the most flattering. It covers up the excess hip stuff that may or may not be going on, but is still cool enough for warm summer days. I like to wear loose-fitting, tunic type blouses because they are just plain cozy, but it's always a good idea to mix a fun print in there. Wearing a wedge elongates the legs and keeps it stylish and comfortable.

How about you? Do you wear shorts when pregnant? 

Be sure to stop by my fellow pregnant mamas' spaces on the interwebz to see more of how they are styling their bumps!

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And We're Having...

[The ultimate stinkface! I have a feeling we might have to get used to this look for the first few weeks...]

Oh boy, it's a boy! 

The good news is that I know how to do the boy thing. We've got it down pat! And we are over the moon thrilled to get another little rascal! Luke and the little guy are going to be best buds, regardless of that monster stinkface that would suggest otherwise (I kid... he was just being grumpy and I thought this actually made for an entertaining photo in light of the happy news!).

The bad news is that my gut needs a tune-up. Pun intended. But seriously, I really truly thought it was a girl, however I learned a very valuable lesson that every pregnancy is just plain different, no matter the gender! Duly noted.

Can I tell you how much my heart swelled seeing that cutie pie on the 20 foot screen? All of his precious fingers and toes were wriggling, and his face was and is the sweetest. Ahhh, I just can't wait to meet and snuggle the babe into the nook of my neck and nuzzle my nose into that delicious newborn scent. It's crazy how much you miss it, and how fleeting and tender those moments and days are with your little ones.

Now we have to figure out a name, which is a problem since Matt and I exhausted our lists in a matter of 30 minutes and couldn't agree on a single one. Not one! And this stresses me out, big time. Names are important! Boy names are the hardest, aren't they? Wish us luck, or this kid's name might end up legally being Bubba!

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A Random Thing Or Two-sday

Dress: Anthropologie (on sale!). Wedges: ShoeDazzle. Hat: Madewell (similar).

1) Debating as to whether we should cut Luke's hair or let those locks grow and run free like he does. The only problem with letting it grow is that people always mistake him for a girl. How, I still can't seem to figure that one out, considering he wears boy clothes. I don't even dress him in that trendy, unisex, hipster crap (those leggings were a phase that I am officially OVER). He is just a well-styled little chap, and apparently he just keeps on getting prettier ;)

2) Fact: Lina Medina was the youngest person to ever give birth. She was only 5 years old. She gave birth to a boy on May 14, 1939 (source). Apparently she started having periods as an infant. This is one of those stories that is horribly disturbing and disgusting and makes me want to cry, but also fascinating from a medical standpoint that she gave birth to a healthy boy and maintained good health herself (physically, that is).

3) Matt is leaving for a business trip for 2 days and I am super bummed. I am a total pansy and hate sleeping by myself because I am a 25 year-old woman that is still afraid of the dark (it's my overactive imagination that gets the best of me).

4) Is anyone else concerned and puzzled that Brody Jenner still has Avril Lavigne's name tattooed on his arm? Like I already mentioned on Twitter, I am overjoyed that the Brodester couldn't say no to sound of reality TV calling his name and beckoning him and that ghastly tattoo to appear on the mother ship of all terribly addicting reality shows... (which is Keeping Up With the Kardashians if you don't melt your brain away with that rubbish like I do). But seriously, dude. Get rid of that tattoo already!

5) Would you rather have no teeth or no hands (no replacements allowed)?

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Boy Or Girl?

At precisely 6:40 PM tonight, we find out the gender of Baby Numero Dos. 

Like I said before, that feeling in my gut tells me it's a little girl, although that could just be wishful thinking to have one of each. I really am just pining for those frills and bows, though. It takes all my rational, straight-thinking will power to walk past the girls' section at the store. And 93% of the time when I can't help but stop, I reallllly have to tell myself to not buy those darling pink shoes, or that romper set that is $3 on clearance because I think it is a girl and even if it isn't a girl I am surely going to have a girl someday and $3 for that outfit is just too good to pass up and I could always give it away as a gift if I change my mind anyway. Yes, those are the rambling, run-on sentences that cram my mind. And it gets progressively worse each time we are out and about, so I think it's high time we get this gender thing in the bag!

Our official doctor ultrasound isn't for another 2.5 weeks, but for the sake of my sanity (and Matt's so he doesn't have to hear me hypothesize about how I just feel it in my bones that it's a girl, only to rebut it with, "it's a boy") we are going to one of those ultrasound only places. I hear they have big screens and couches and actually enjoy in the splendor and glee of the thrilling moment of the gender reveal, instead of the ogreish, terribly unenthusiastic announcement from the grouchy ultrasound tech at the doctor's office.

And let me list off the reasons why I think it's a girl.

a) I feel like my belly is much more more sticky-outy in front this time around
b) The morning sickness with this one has been wayyy more intense, and I even still get random bouts of it now in my second trimester (that most certainly was not the case with Luke) 
c) My hormones are making me bat-s*** crazy. Seriously. I don't have any other way of putting it. I am pretty sure that only a female growing another female can make you this breed of kooky-looney-certifiable-crazy
d) They say girls suck the beauty out of you, and let me tell ya, I have wrinkles and acne galore and my hair is already starting to fall out in front!
e) This pregnancy just feels different

So, now that I have convinced you it's a girl, I want your votes! What do you think? Boy or girl?

What gender is Baby Numero Dos?

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Tomato Basil Pepperoni Pizza

My wonderful friend, Jess, has this fun little feature on her blog called "Pizza Friday" where she comes up with the tastiest, mouthwatering-est pizza concoctions that only a true food lover can create. And she knows what good food is. These pizzas are something you would see on the menu of a gourmet pizza shop. I truly blurt out, "ohhh mmyyyy gawwwsshh" every time she posts the newest flavor of the week. Blackberries, pears, and honey? Umm yeah... I'll take 27 to go, because I am pregnant and all I want to do is eat my feelings in the form of anything that resembles bread.

The Trader Joe's pizza dough is what seals the deal for me. It is something I can whip up for my boys in about 40 minutes total and it is much tastier, cheaper (and hopefully a little bit healthier?) than a boring old Hot N' Ready from the local LC's.

In honor of Pizza Friday bringing my excitement about pizza on Fridays to an all-time high since pizza day in 4th grade (remember that stuff? Pretty sure that pizza was made of chalk paste and stale dog treats, but it was still so disgustingly delicious!), here is my version. 

Tomato Basil Pepperoni Pizza


1 package of Trader Joe's pizza dough (or use this yummy nummy gluten-free pizza crust recipe)
1 bottle of Trader Joe's pizza marinara sauce
1 cup of mozzarella cheese
1 tomato, finely sliced
1/2 cup of basil leaves
1 package of Trader Joe's pepperoni


Roll out pizza dough into a 10" circle after letting it rise for 20 minutes. Fold over edges to make a crust. Generously apply your marinara sauce, then layer on the basil leaves. Top with mozzarella cheese, and then add pepperonis and sliced tomatoes to the top. Bake on pizza sheet or stone for 12-15 minutes (or until crust is golden brown) at 450Ā°F. Enjoy!



Yours, Mine And Ours

1. Our sunblock and tanning essentials. Matt is a quarter Mexican so he turns the loveliest shade of brown you've ever seen. I am pale, pale, pale so I try my best to get some color (although Matt will always and forever put my "tan" to shame). Luke sits somewhere in the middle and has that perfect golden tan, and oh boy does it look adorable with that blond mop!

2. Our swim bottoms (if you look closely, you may see remnants of sand on the little tike's trunks).

3. Our beach footwear. Matt's flip flops broke and we are too lazy to go get new ones. But, Sperry's are a stylish man's beach essential, right?

Considering we spend every waking hour at the beach on the weekends and on the days that it's sunny, this pretty much sums up what we will be doing all summer. It's fun to keep track of Luke's growing feet, as these shoes are already getting too snug! Guess it's time to get him those salt waters! I lived in my white ones as a kiddo, and can't for him to get that sweet, criss-crossed tan line.

What do the little details look like in your life now that the sun is out and about?

I have been wanting to make this a linkup, and with the positive response to the suggestion, here it goes! I would love to see what makes you and your adorable family you! Link it up below and be sure to link it back to this post! Can't wait to see what is "yours, mine and ours"! :)



I Wouldn't Trade It For Anything

This is how a typical day looks for us. These candid shots are who we are. 

Luke stomping around sans clothes. Chairs tipped on their sides because someone thinks it's awesome and oh-so-hilarious to climb on the kitchen table and pretend its a trampoline. Reading books and stretching out in the sunshine peeking through the window.

I need to be better about capturing these standard, yet beautiful moments. With this pregnancy, things have kind of rushed by in a whirlwind. In a way I have been better at being present with Luke, but with that I've dropped using my camera as often and heavily rely on Instagram snaps to journal my days with Luke. That's all fine and dandy, but I love getting these priceless photos of little Lukey. They are perfection. And this is how I want to remember my days with him. Not perfectly posed shots, but silly, upside-down, diaper-only pictures. With a runny nose and bananas smashed in his hair. Boys are dirty and crazy, especially this little guy, and I just adore him. 

With that, I wonder about this baby in my belly. Who is she or he? What will they be like? Will they be calm and interactive like Luke, or high-energy and incredibly shy? Will Luke and Numero Dos be best buds? Or those siblings that have a love/hate relationship? Are these things that result as a matter of how Matt and I parent, or is it nature taking its course (that damned "nature vs. nurture" debate... it seriously has me in worry-wart mother fits)? Clearly, I am most likely over-thinking things a bit much, but I just want to be a good parent. There is obviously no such thing as the perfect parent, but I want my kids to feel encouraged, inspired, and unafraid to conquer the world. To feel loved and be able to accomplish extraordinary things based on their own insights and opinions because we allowed them to be their own individual, as a result of teaching them to have love, respect, and integrity for those in the world around them.

Being a parent is a tough gig. Sometimes I question myself and think, "why did I ever decide to get married and have kids?" I'd be lying if I said I never think that. Dwelling on the days of uninterrupted bliss is dreamy when I'm hiding in the bathroom from Luke for a breather because he has been screaming and crying all day. The hormones raging through my pregnant body (but really, they are truly raging, having a straight up rave in my brain) obviously add to my craziness and pity party-ness. 

But then I feel this baby give a little kick and a flutter, and Luke puckers up to give me one of his famous "mooo-wah" kisses. And I melt into a puddle of hormonal tears and don't even know where to begin with saying my prayers of gratitude for these delicate, amazing souls with which we've been abundantly and specifically blessed.

And that's the moment I realize I wouldn't trade it for anything in this world.

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