Sunday, May 26, 2013

What did I learn/ How did it go? - Day 7 #FlatsChallenge

I'm participating in this years Flats and Handwashing Challenge hosted by Dirty Diaper Laundry and today is the last day! Today's topic is: What did I learn/ How did it go?  Do I think others could do this and how could they make it work?

What Did I Learn?

Even though I had previously taken the Flats and Handwashing Challenge with Michael, I still learned some things this time around with Riley. I was worried that doing the handwashing with having Michael wanting to "help" wash dirty diapers. Since I decided to wash by hand in the tub, rather than using a camper style washer or some other contained washer, I didn't want to worry about Michael getting poop on his hands or getting in with the soapy, dirty water. But, I found that even washing with Michael in the bathroom with me and Riley in the bouncer next to the tub, I was able to wash and rinse out the diapers with no problems! Michael had a blast talking to me about the diapers and what I was doing. While he did want to help out, I just explained that since they were dirty diapers, I was going to do the washing and he could help me hang them on the clothes line. Riley did great and was happy as a lark to bounce in his bouncer, chewing on a teether and having mama and Michael talking. 

I also learned two new folds - the Jo Fold and the Diaperbag Fold. I really like the Diaperbag fold and have been finding myself "prefolding" my flats into a Diaperbag fold to use later. I already had a love for covers, but I have truly found a love for flats. I like the folding, I think that it is fun and actually, fairly relaxing. For me, there is a sense of accomplishment after I use one of the folds and then secure it on Riley.

I also found that flats can work overnight. Now, I did have 2 nights with leaks. One night was because I didn't get the cover snug enough around Riley's leg and the other night...I'm not sure. Overall though, 2 leaks isn't bad.  

How Did It Go?

I did it! Seven days without using a washing machine or a dryer on my diapers! I feel really good about doing it. It was a nice change of pace to not have to use my washer and dryer for loads of laundry. It was lovely to hang my diapers outside in the fresh air and sunshine. It felt good to re-learn some of the flat folds - like I was helping to preserve part of the history of diapers. 

I really like using flats and covers - it is such a simple, no fuss diapering system. There is also great flexibility on sizing and absorbancy. All-in-all, it went better than I thought it would. Mainly, I was worried about the poop and traveling with flats. It turns out, I didn't need to worry so much. With the poop, I quickly became very thankful for my diaper sprayer! It was so nice to be able to spray the poop right into the toilet. I think that exclusively breastfeeding helped, since it is water soluble. So, while the poop wasn't fun (is it ever?) it was manageable and much easier to deal with than I thought. 

Traveling with flats was actually just as easy as traveling with my regular rotation of diapers. I took a wetbag and put a few flats in it, some wipes, a spare cover and an extra wetbag for dirty diapers and I was ready to go! We were out for a whole day  at a zoo and I din't have any trouble changing Riley in the bathrooms! Totally doable! 

The only issue that I really had was with the handwashing. The first two days I did great - I washed a load every time I had 3-4 dirty flats and it was easy peasy. Then, I got busy (and a little "blah") about handwashing and things piled up. I really wasn't looking forward to washing a days worth of diapers at once! So, keeping up on the handwashing got a little overwhelming. I am definitely looking forward to using my washing machine again, because, it is so easy to put my diapers in, set it to wash and then walk away to forget about it. No swishing, scrubbing, swishing, dunking or wringing out.

Do I think others could do this and how could they make it work?

I definitely think that others could do this! Using flats and handwashing could work for a family and I don't think that it needs to be as overwhelming as you may think. I completely understand that not everyone wants to do this. But there are plenty of reasons to learn how to use flats and handwash. You could use flats and handwash diapers and clothes when you go camping, if there was a power outage, you don't have a washer or dryer or you can't afford disposables. 
Flat diapers are an inexpensive way to diaper your baby. Handwashing isn't always easy or convenient, but it is easy to do. All you need is a bucket or tub, water and detergent. Line drying is completely doable and you don't even need a full clothes line. I used a portable clothesline and it was super easy to take it in and out of the house to put my diapers outside in the sun. The clothes line folded flat and tucks away next to our fride and is out of the way when not in use. You don't need anything fancy or expensive to diaper a baby!

Would I want to handwash my diapers every day? No. I am thankful that I don't have to. But, if push came to shove and we couldn't afford diapers, especially the re-occurring cost of disposables, I would handwash diapers every single day rather than worry about my baby not having a clean diaper. I hope that challenges like this can help to open peoples eyes to the struggles that some face, as well as the re-usable options that cloth diapers provide. I absolutely love re-using Michaels cloth diapers with Riley. It is such a savings to not have to go out and buy diapers every week!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

A Flats Fold Tutorial - Day 6 #FlatsChallenge

I'm participating in this years Flats and Handwashing Challenge hosted by Dirty Diaper Laundry and today is an open topic day.

Over the past few days, I have gotten pretty comfortable with the same folds and have used them over and over. I have been using the Origami Fold, the Jo Fold and the Pad Fold. These few folds have become like clockwork to me. Before the challenge is over though, I really wanted to try something new. So, today I practiced with the Diaperbag Fold!

Diaperbag Fold Tutorial:

1. Spread your flat out.
2. Fold in the sides toward the middle.
3. Take the front and fold it up toward the middle.
4. Take one side by the corner and fold it toward the middle.
5. Take the other side and fold it toward the middle and overlap it onto your previous fold.
6. Fan out the back.
7. Fold down the back.
8. Take the front and fold it up.
9. Cross the tabs over and it's ready and waiting to go on your baby! You can either use Snappi's, a Boingo or pins to secure it.

Here's the Diaperbag Fold on little Riley!

He looks like a little Sumo Wrestler! Hehe :)

So far, I am really liking this fold. It still takes me a little to get it just right. I do like that I can "pre-fold" it and have it ready to go. It is a pretty absorbent fold too and is a nice, snug fit around little Riley's leg.

*I originally learned about this fold on Dirty Diaper Laundry*

Do you have a favorite flat fold? Anything new you've tried during the Flats and Handwashing Challenge?

Friday, May 24, 2013

What's Working for Me? -Day 5 #FlatsChallenge

I'm participating in this years Flats and Handwashing Challenge hosted by Dirty Diaper Laundry and today's topic is, What's Working for Me.

I am actually surprised at how quickly 5 days has gone by! In thinking about these past 5 days and what has worked for me, I have also had the opportunity to think about what hasn't worked as well for me.

So, what has been working for me? Flats! I have found a real appreciation for the simplicity of flats. I am loving how hard working flats are. I also am loving the 100% cotton flats and the bamboo and hemp blends (rather than synthetic materials) and am finding myself truly surprised at how absorbent they are. I haven't had any leaks during the day! I have mostly used the origami fold, jo fold and the pad fold. I have yet to try the diaper bag fold with little Riley. I really like the versatility of folds- you can do something easy, like the pad fold or you can get fun with your folds! I have used covers with Riley since he was born and only recently added pockets to his diaper rotation (not during this challenge, of course!). I have enjoyed using flats so much, that I have actually been toying with the idea of selling a good majority of my pocket diaper stash. *gasp!*

I also really love hanging my diapers outside. I definitely think that this is something I will keep doing after the challenge is over. Not only is it better for our energy consumption, but it brightens laundry and makes it smell super fresh! So, overall, the Flats Challenge is working pretty well for me. It's working well enough that I will definitely keep on diapering with flats and hanging my diapers outside.

On the flip side, there are some things that aren't working so well for me. Mainly, it's the washing part. It's not that I can't wash diapers by hand, it's more of a time thing. I was doing just fine the first few days when I would wash the diapers every time I had 3-4 dirty diapers. But then, I slacked a bit and let the diapers from the day pile up in the bucket. I had too many to wash in my little bucket, so I had to fill up the tub. It was much more time consuming and it just took the enjoyment out of handwashing. It's definitely best to stay on top of washing diapers, because once it goes for too long, it is overwhelming and then I just don't look forward to the washing.

The other thing that hasn't been working quite as well as I would have hope for has been night time diapering. Little Riley has woken up wet one morning and damp another. The other mornings he has been dry, so it's been about 50/50 for waking up dry. I'm still working on it though!  

So, there are some pros so far and some cons, but overall, it has been easier than I thought and I have found a new appreciation for the simplicity of flat diapers and line drying really appeals to me.

Are you taking the Flats and Handwashing Challenge? What's working for you? Anything not working for you?

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Thoughts on Handwashing- How am I doing? - Day 4 #FlatsChallenge

I'm participating in this years Flats and Handwashing Challenge hosted by Dirty Diaper Laundry and today's topic is Handwashing.

I don't think that handwashing is all that difficult. It's time consuming, but not hard. I think that one of the things that I worry about is whether or not I'm using enough soap and getting the diapers clean enough. There's always the "sniff test" though and once the diapers are clean, I haven't smelled any residual pee or poof smell. So, that's got to be a good sign!

I was worried about how things would go with little Michael wanting to "help" me every step of the way. He wants to help wash the diapers, but since I wash them using gloves and don't use something separate, like a plunger, I'm not super comfortable letting him help me with the dirty diapers. He does get to help me hang them to dry on the drying rack, and that's fun! He is a super great helper and I love that his heart truly desires to be helpful.

Here's a look at how I was and dry my diapers:

Rinse diapers. If they're just wet, they get a quick rinse in the tub. If they're poopy, they get sprayed with the diaper sprayer in the toilet.
Warm soak.I fill my little bucket with warm water and 1/2 tsp of Allen's Naturally detergent, then I agitate the diapers for a bit and then let the diapers and wipes soak for approx 30 min.

Rinse. I dump the dirty water out and rinse the diapers.
Wash. I fill my little bucket with hot water and 1/2 tsp of detergent. I try to wash about 2-4 diapers at a time. More than that, and I have to use the tub, rather than my little bucket. I agitate, swish and scrub my diapers for about 15 minutes or longer, depending on how dirty they are. I may even let them soak for a bit. It just depends on how dirty they are.
Rinse, Rinse, Rinse. I dump the dirty water, then rinse the diapers under warm, running water for a few minutes. Then, I fill my bucket with warm water and swish and dunk to see if there are still any bubbles. Then I dump the water and rinse with cold water.
Wring Out Diapers. I wring out the diapers, as best I can and then take them downstairs to hang on my portable dryer.
Hang to Dry. I take my wet diapers and hang them on my portable clothes line in the sunshine. I make sure to use clothes pins, because I learned (the hard way) that they will blow off the clothes line and land on the grass. 
Let Dry. I am blessed that the weather here is so nice. All week it has been sunny, 80+ degrees and it has been breezy. Perfect weather for drying clothes! As the flats soak up the sun, they get nice and crisp and white!
Take Diapers Inside: Once dry, I bring them inside, take them off the clothesline and shake them out to shake out the crisp, stiffness. 
Fold and set aside for the next diaper change!

So, how am I doing? Pretty good. While I don't mind washing them by hand, it is a but time consuming. I have really come to appreciate my washing machine! One thing I learned is that when you wash gloves by hand with gloves, you need longer gloves! I am using regular dish/cleaning gloves and the length is a bit too short. So, when I am washing the diapers, some of the water sloshes up into my gloves. :p All-in-all though, I really do enjoy hanging my diapers outside! They smell so fresh! I really like being outside in the fresh air and it is really nice to think about the energy that I am saving too! 

Are you taking part in the challenge? How are you doing with handwashing?

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Nightime Diapering with Flats and a Funny Story - Day 3 #FlatsChallenge

I'm participating in this years Flats and Handwashing Challenge hosted by Dirty Diaper Laundry and today is an open topic day. 

Ahhh...night time. One of my worries was whether or not flat diaper would keep little Riley dry while he was sleeping. I was hoping to get through the nights unscathed and wake up next to a happy and non-soaked little boy. Well, after 2 nights in flats, the score is 

Woke Up Dry: 1 
Woke Up Wet: 1

Bummer. Sorry Riley. The first night was great. I used the Zabi Baby Bamboo flat diaper in an origami fold. I have actually put him to bed with this diaper before with great success. Well, I made sure that I washed it and hung it outside to dry yesterday, so I could use it that night. I did the same thing for night two: Zabi Baby bamboo flat diaper, origami fold, cover, pj's, done! Well, he woke up this morning and his diaper had leaked out the side. Rats. It wasn't a huge leak, but still. As I was changing him into a fresh diaper and a new outfit, I realized that the diaper wasn't as snug around his legs as it probably should have been. That's probably why it leaked. The flat was actually still dry a little in the back too! I am amazed at how much a bamboo diaper can absorb! Tonight I will have to double check my work and make sure that the diaper is snugger around little Riley's legs. Hopefully tonight we will be leak free!

Now for my funny story! So, the first day of the challenge, I didn't get a chance to wash my flats until late afternoon. I hung them on my portable drying rack in the last bit of sunshine in our backyard. It has been 80+ degrees and breezy here, so I was pretty confident that they would dry. Well, I got caught up with diaper changes, making snacks, dinner, playing, cleaning, feeding Riley, snuggling, reading books and all that fun stuff that goes along with toddlers and babies ...and totally forgot about the flats that were hanging outside. We went to bed, I woke up in the morning and realized that I left them outside! Whoops! I asked hubby if the sprinklers had gone off that morning. He thought that maybe it was one of the "off" mornings for our sprinkler, so he dashed outside and brought in the flats, No such luck! *Palm to forehead* They were sopping wet! Double rats! 

So, back upstairs they went for another wash and rinse. I have no idea where the water comes from that comes out of our sprinklers or if there is anything in the water, like chlorine or maybe it is even reclaimed water. Ewww. There was no way I was putting that on Riley's bum! Thankfully, with 18 flats, I still had enough for the day. Moral of the story: Even when your busy, take a peek outside before going to bed, to see if you left anything out there!

Are you taking part in the Flats and Handwashing Challenge? What do you do at night? Any funny stories from your flat diaper experience?

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

How did I Prepare for the Flats and Handwashing Challenge? Day 2 #FlatsChallenge

*This post contains some affiliate links*

I'm participating in this years Flats and Handwashing Challenge hosted by Dirty Diaper Laundry and today's blog prompt is: How did you Prepare?  List your supplies, where you bought them, how you made them, how much you paid, etc.

It was actually pretty easy for me to prepare for the Flats and Handwashing Challenge. Since I had done the Flats and Handwashing Challenge with little Michael when he was little, I already had the flats and Snappis. I also already had all the diaper covers I needed, since I have been using covers with prefolds, fitteds and flats with little Riley since he was born. Everything was clean and ready to go too, since it was all already in my rotation. I simply took my pocket diapers, fitteds and prefolds and put them away for the week. 

With Riley, it has been so nice to see how reusing our initial cloth diaper investment is saving us money now!  Now, that's not to say that I refrained from buying Riley new diapers! Buying some key, sized pieces for Riley's first few months was definitely needed. But, reusing the flats and Snappis from when Micahel was a baby has been great! I really love having everything that I need for Riley! I can really see how buying cloth diapers and then being able to reuse them can save you sooo much money! 

So, what am I using (or, rather, re-using)? Here's a list of my supplies and how much they would cost, if I had had to buy them:
18 Swaddlebees/Blueberry Flats ($16.95 x 3 packages of 6 = $50.85 ) *I actually received these for free from Swaddlebees for the first Flats and Handwashing Challenge*
2 Hemp Babies Flats ($7.50 x 2 = $15)
2 Snappis ($3.97 x 2 = $7.94)
2 Blueberry One-Size Coveralls ($16.95 x 2 = $33.90)
2 Bummis Super Whisper Wraps - Sz Small ($12.97 x 2 = $25.94 )
18 Thirsties Wipes ($11.75/package of 6 = $35.25 )
Diaper Sprayer ($44.95)
Sample of Allen's Naturally to wash with (I received this in a swag bag at the Great Cloth Diaper Change) ($1.73)
Small bucket to wash diapers in
Gloves (pack of 2 = $3.99)
Frost Drying Rack from Ikea ($14.99)

Total Cost = $247.53 
Divided by 2, since I've used them on 2 children = $123.76

Not bad! Of course, you can always choose less expensive wipes, covers or flats and not use a diaper sprayer. Then there is the cost of detergent, which is a reoccurring cost, and more, since you're not just using it for a week. I also didn't go out and buy all of these things at once. I slowly added to my cloth diapers as I had extra money and as I had a need. I also received some things for free, like the flats. If I was looking to start cloth diapering with flats and covers, I think a dozen flats would be plenty and 4 covers are nice, but I would probably start with 2 or 3 covers. I would also get cheaper wipes. Some of my supplies have been invaluable though, like the drying rack from Ikea. Best $15 spent! I use it all the time and not just for diapers. It is so nice to be able to take it outside and sun some whites or dry a small load of laundry.

Also, even if you went out and bought everything I listed here for $250, imagine how quickly you would spend that on disposable diapers and wipes! Some families would spend that much in a few months on diapers and wipes. I have taken that $250 investment and used it for 2 diapering 2 children!

For this challenge though, all I spent was $3.99 for a pair of gloves! I had everything else!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Why I decided to take the Flats and Handwashing Challenge - Day 1 #FlatsChallenge

The Flats and Handwashing Challenge is here! I'm participating in this years Flats and Handwashing Challenge hosted by Dirty Diaper Laundry )with the help of little Riley). This event will run for a week, starting (today) May 20th and it goes until Sunday, May 26th. There are over 300 families participating (both bloggers and non-bloggers) in this event!

The basics of the rules are simple: I can only use flat diapers, I can't use a washer and I can't use a dryer. Whaaaat?!? Why? Why on earth would I give up the luxury or using my washer and dryer? Well, that's just it. A washer and a dryer truly are luxuries. Sometimes I take them for granted and I rarely think about the fact that there are people out there who struggle to come up with the money to take clothes to a laundry mat or who simply don't even have access to a washer or dryer. When I was growing up, we lived in the country and had a clothes line in the back yard. We had a dryer, but it only got used on rainy days. We hung our clothes on a clothes line and the sun and wind dried our clothes! They smelled fresh and clean and our whites were always white (thanks to the suns whitening powers). 

Now, you might also be wondering what a "flat" is and why I would want to use them. A flat diaper is that "old fashioned" diaper that uses a fastener of some kind (pins, Snappi, etc) and a waterproof cover. Flat diapers are made out of a single layer of fabric (usually cotton, although it can be any material as long as it is a single layer) and can be folded in a variety of ways to be fastened around your baby. They do require a waterproof cover to keep your baby dry. So why flats? Why not just keep using my regular pocket cloth diapers? Well, I've been thinking about that and in a word, simplicity. It would seem that pocket diapers or All-in-one diapers might be easier and in some ways, they are. They don't require folding, fastening or an extra cover. But, sometimes I think the less "fancy" flat diaper truly is a simpler diaper. It washes up easily and the large square shape lends itself to being very versatile in how you can use it and fold it for the most absorbancy.
I did the Flats and Handwashing Challenge with little Michael in 2011. He was a year and a half! 

I learned so much about folding flat diapers and washing by hand! I actually enjoyed the week more than I thought I would. But, diapering a year and a half old vs. a 5 month (almost 6 month) old, exclusively breastfed baby is a little different. First, I realized that I don't remember that many of the folds. Then, there's the poop...this should be interesting! At least bf poop is water soluble! Then, my other concern is trying to wash and clean these diapers with 3 year old wanting to help!
I decided to take part in the Flats and Handwashing Challenge in order to help bring awareness to the fact that there are families out there who struggle to provide clean diapers for their babies. There are families who balk at the price of disposables, but don't know there are other options out there. There are families who don't have luxuries like a washer, dryer or fancy cloth diapers, yet they may be unaware that there are affordable and reusable options. I hope to show that flat diapers are an affordable way to diaper your baby and that hand washing is absolutely doable. 

I hope you enjoy following along with me as I take this challenge! Do you have any questions for me about the challenge? Anything in particular you would like to see? Are you participating in the Flats and Handwashing Challenge?   

Friday, May 17, 2013

Thoughts and Musings from Little Michael

Little Michael is so observant of the world around him and I'm pretty sure he hears everything. Sometimes he says things that make me think, "Really!? He's only 3!" The other day, we were in the car and headed home, when we had the following conversation:

Michael: What color does green and orange make?
Me: Ummm...probably a brown-ish color
Michael: What does brown smell like?
Me: Well, colors don't smell, but things smell and things can be colorful. Like dirt. Dirt is brown and it smells earthy.
Michael: Is there dirt in outer space?
Me: I'm sure there is dirt in outer space! Dirt is everywhere.
Michael: Are there meteorites in outer space?
Me: Yes! Yes, there are meteorites in outerspace! 

So smart! I don't remember saying that meteorites were in outer space! I am constantly amazed at the thoughts he puts together and how our conversation went from color combinations to meteors! I'm sure every mom thinks her kids are super-duper smart and talented and clever... and I'm no exception! I think little Michael is all of those things and so much more!  

"Stealth Health Lunches Kids Love" Cookbook Review & Giveaway!

I feel that I am really blessed that little Michael likes to help me in the kitchen. When he hears me start to work on a meal, he usually drops whatever he is doing to come running into the kitchen to ask, "Can I help? Can you get my stool?" My little chef is a big help and he loves to wash, chop, stir, measure and mix. I really noticed, that over the past year, little Michael has gotten a little pickier about his food. Healthy foods that he would happily eat a year ago now take more effort to remind him that yes, he does in fact like this dish. One of the perks to having a little kitchen helper was that when he helped me cook, he was more eager to try the meal. If he says he doesn't want to eat something, I start talking about how he helped me make it. Did he remember how we chopped the veggies? Did he remember mixing up the sauce or dressing. Then he will get excited about how he helped mama cook and (usually) eagerly give the dish a try. After trying something new, I always ask, "What did you think?" and more often than not, he replies, "It's good!" Ahhh...success! Food and toddlers is such a delicate dance.

Since little Michael is such an enthused, budding young chef, I am always looking for recipes that are easy for him to help me with, healthy and yummy! So, when the opportunity came along to test out a new, kid-friendly cookbook, I was super excited! Stealth Health Lunches Kids Love by Tracy Griffith is a brand new cookbook that is full of healthy, fun and gluten-free sandwiches, wraps and other easy to make snacks and sauces. The goal with this cookbook is to make cooking easy through an emphasis on preparation, using healthy ingredients that you have on hand and providing simple recipes. When the process is fun for kids, eating their creations becomes fun too. 

I liked that these recipes are both healthy and gluten-free. Now, little Michael isn't on a gluten-free diet, but, these recipes are healthy, yummy and having a little less gluten in his diet isn't going to hurt him! I may even find a benefit to reducing some of the gluten he eats as I continue to make the recipes. I feel that there is definitely an increase of parents seeking gluten-free options. Some parents truly need gluten-free options for their families and some have simply chosen gluten-free as their style of eating. I love that this cook book is packed with so much variety! It really expands the gluten-free world and shows the creativity and fresh, healthy ingredients that you can cook with.

Little Michael and I have tested out a few of the recipes so far and one of our favorites has been the "AI CARAMBU!" Wrap and the "Green Slime"! Something about having a little boy and getting to tell him that we were going to make Green Slime to put on his lunch was just awesome! Even hubby perked up when he heard it! 

Little Michael and I had a great time making this for lunch and I was so impressed with how well he made his own wrap! I helped with the chopping, shredding and dicing (the knife-work), but he did the mixing, spreading and assembling! The Green Slime is super yummy as a spread for a wrap and it is also a tasty dip for carrots, pita chips and bell peppers! 

Little Michael and I have had some great fun in the kitchen and have discovered some new fun, healthy and easy dishes to make. Best of all, little Michael has really enjoyed eating these meals! One of my favorite things about this cookbook is that there is a picture for just about every, single recipe! It really helps me to know what a meal is supposed to look like when you are done, so I really appreciate all of the colorful pictures. This is a great and easy to use cookbook - whether you are looking for some gluten-free recipes or simply looking for a way to add extra veggies and other healthy ingredients into your kids meals.

Interested in picking up a copy of Stealth Health Lunches Kids Love? You can buy the book at Barnes & Noble or


One lucky reader will receive one copy of the book, Stealth Health Lunches Kids Love by Tracy Griffith. ($19.99 value)

***Giveaway is open to the US only. Entrants must be 18+ years old. One entry per household. The winner has 48 hours to respond before another winner is chosen.*** Giveaway will end May 31st  at 12:01am EST. 
Entries go in the Rafflecopter form below! Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I was provided the opportunity to host this giveaway at no cost to myself. In exchange for this post, I received a digital edition of this book. This has not influenced my opinion of the product. I have sought to give my honest opinions and experiences on this product. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely my own.

Monday, May 13, 2013

5 Months Old!

 Little Riley-man is 5 (well, technically 5 and 1/2) months old now! He is such a happy little baby and loves laughing and braking out into smiles. His big brother makes him smile and laugh like crazy! He especially seems to enjoy watching little Michael run around. He watches him as if he's wondering why he can't do that too. Poor little Riley is teething like crazy! There is drool everywhere! Some days I go through 3 onesies in an afternoon because he gets so wet and soppy! 

Riley loves to grab onto his foot and roll from side to side. He has gotten really good at picking up toys or his paci when they are in front of him or if you hold it out for him to grab. He loves to be bounced and can really let out some good belly laughs when he's tickeled. He is turning into quite the talker too! He goos and gurgles, coos and even lets out some pretty loud squawks! He is starting to move toward to "potted plant" stage too! Oh my! He can sit up for just a moment before he rolls over to one side.


Riley has become really good at mimicking facial expressions. If you make a really big smile at him, his face will just start beaming! Riley has been playing peek-a-boo with us too! He will grab a burp rag or his little owl blanket and slowly cover his eyes. Then, sometimes, he waits for me to say, "Peek-a-boo!" and take the blanket off his eye or sometimes, he will take it off himself. Then he smiles and giggles! It is so cute!

Riley is still breastfeeding! Yay! I am so happy that we are at 5 and a half months and still going strong. We haven't started any foods yet. I have noticed Riley starting to watch me eat and he's giving me puppy dog eyes, as if he's trying to say, "feed me!" I'm not sure if we will start with purees at 6 months or maybe go with baby-led weaning. I haven't quite decided yet. 

I can't believe how quickly these last 5 months have gone by! Riley is getting so big! I especially notice how long he is when someone else is holding him. Slow down baby boy! Riley is such a happy little guy and he is definitely my little sunshine! Five moths have gone by - 5 months to keep getting to know about our wonderful baby boy!

Friday, May 3, 2013

The Little Hedgehog Cooks: Toddler Tofu Nuggets

The other night, I asked little Michael if he wanted chicken or tofu for dinner. He quickly answered, "Tofu!" I was trying to think of something different and fun to make for little Michael, when I came up with the idea to make him some Tofu Nuggets! I wanted something that he could pick up with his fingers or use his fork with and I wanted it to be a "dippable" item.

Here's how it all went down:

Little Michael wanted to help me make dinner, so, first we gathered our ingredients:
  • Flour,
  • 1 egg
  • Bread Crumbs
  • Spices (we used salt, pepper and paprika, but you could use any combo you know your little one loves)
  • Organic, Firm Tofu
  • Coconut Oil

 Next, we did our prep-work:
Step 1: Pour some flour into a shallow bowl
Step 2: Whisk 1 egg in a small bowl
Step 3: Pour some bread crumbs into a shallow bowl and then mix in spices

Step 4: Slice your tofu into large cubes (about chicken nugget size), then take a paper towel and firmly press onto the tofu to help absorb any extra liquid. (little Michael had fun doing this part!)
Step 5: Put a large pan on the oven on medium heat and melt 1 TBS or so of coconut oil in it

Time to make the Tofu Nuggets
Step 1: Dredge your tofu in flour (this is the part little Michael got to help with)

Step 2: Dip in the whisked egg
Step 3: Roll in the bread crumb mixture 

Step 4: Place in the pan on the stove, until the bottom is golden brown, then turn 

All done! 
Now, let them cool and put them on a plate for your little one with some fun dipping sauces and enjoy! Little Michaels dipping sauce of choice is hummus! Yum!

Does your little one have a favorite dinner meal or have you just discovered a new, easy to make meal?