Contributors


Mother of One
Julie Julie Ekstrom
Mother of Four with one on the way! @julesekstrom
   
Julie Chad Ekstrom
Father of Four with one on the way! @DaddyRooz
   
Julie Calley Pate
Mother of Two
   
Kanga Care
521 Violet St
Golden • CO • 80401
303.279.3864

Friday, February 22, 2013

Decoding the Mommy Blog

If you're new to cloth diapering, you've likely found some of the many online cloth diapering forums or popular mommy blogs in your research. Some sites are extremely helpful, hilarious and supportive. But they can also be really confusing if you're new to the cloth diapering lingo! For example,
"BTW, MIL thinks it's crazy that I NIP. IMO, she's the crazy one! Thankfully, DH agrees and totally supports me BF-ing the LO!"  
This translates to:
"By the way, my mother in law thinks it's crazy that I nurse in public. In my opinion, she's the crazy one! Thankfully, dear husband agrees and totally supports me breastfeeding the little one!" 
If' you've ever felt confused while reading any of those sites, here's a quick little reference tool to help decode mommy blogs!

  • AIO: All In One Diaper (like a Lil Joey)
  • AF: Aunt Flo
  • AFK: Away From Keyboard
  • AP: Attachment Parenting 
  • BF: Breastfed or Breastfeed
  • BIL: Brother In Law
  • BM: Breastmilk
  • BTDT: Been There, Done That
  • BTW: By The Way
  • CD: Cloth Diaper
  • CPF: Chinese Prefolds
  • DD: Dear Daughter
  • DH: Dear Husband
  • DP: Dear Partner
  • DS: Dear Son
  • DSQ: Diaper Service Quality
  • DW: Dear Wife
  • EBF: Extended Breastfeeding or Exclusive Breastfeeding
  • EC: Elimination Communication
  • FIL: Father In Law
  • FOE: Fold Over Elastic
  • FWIW: For What It’s Worth
  • FYI: For Your Information
  • HTH: Hope This Helps 
  • IMHO: In My Humble Opinion, In My Honest Opinion
  • IMO: In My Opinion 
  • IPF: Indian Prefold
  • IRL: In Real Life
  • ISO: In Search Of
  • ITA: I Totally Agree
  • KWIM: Know What I Mean?
  • LLL: La Leche League
  • LMBO: Laughing My Butt Off
  • LO: Little One (baby or child)
  • LOL: Laughing Out Loud
  • MIL: Mother In Law
  • NAK: Nursing At Keyboard
  • NIP: Nurse In Public
  • OC: Organic Cotton
  • OS: One Size
  • OTOH: On The Other Hand
  • PM: Private Message
  • PUL: Polyurethane Laminate
  • ROTFLMBO: Rolling On The Floor Laughing My Butt Off
  • SAHD: Stay At Home Dad
  • SAHM: Stay At Home Mom
  • SIL: Sister In Law
  • TIL: Today I Learned
  • TPU: Thermoplastic polyurethane (laminate used by KangaCare) 
  • TTC: Trying To Concieve
  • TTO: Tea Tree Oil
  • TTYL: Talk To You Later
  • UBCPF: Unbleached Chinese Prefolds
  • WAHD: Work At Home Dad
  • WAHM: Work At Home Mom
  • WOHM: Work Out Of The Home Mom
  • WWYD: What Would You Do?


Here are a few that we made up:
  • RAR: Rumparooz - as in this.
  • BWRS: Baby-wearing rock star
  • FF: Fluff Fanatic
  • WNSA: Who Needs Sleep Anyway?
  • AURD: Always Use a Recommended Detergent
  • MMTWGR: Mamas Make the World Go Round
  • KCHGYC: Kanga Care Has Got You Covered

Did we forget your favorite? If you have any to add (real or made up!), list them below in the comments!

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Thursday, February 14, 2013

What is Love?

Kids know what love is. It's a snuggly story after a warm bath. It's a chocolatey kiss after a sweet treat. It's summersaults and kisses for the boo boos that follow. It's making a new friend simply by asking, "Will you be my friend?" 

Happy Valentine's Day

If your baby is talking,  ask them what love is and share their answer in our comments below!
Love, Kanga Care

Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead.  
Oscar Wilde

Love is like a friendship caught on fire. In the beginning a flame, very pretty, often hot and fierce, but still only light and flickering. As love grows older, our hearts mature and our love becomes as coals, deep-burning and unquenchable.
Bruce Lee

I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.
Mother Teresa

A woman knows the face of the man she loves as a sailor knows the open sea.
Honore de Balzac

A man is already halfway in love with any woman who listens to him. 
Brendan Francis

At the touch of love everyone becomes a poet. 
Plato

Love does not begin and end the way we seem to think it does. Love is a battle, love is a war; love is a growing up.
James A. Baldwin

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Is Your Partner Skeptical About Cloth Diapering?


Nothing bonds a couple like welcoming a new little soul into the world together, but, not all couples see eye to eye when it comes to cloth diapering. If your partner isn't convinced, here are a few pointers to help move the discussion along from one of our cloth diaper experts and Kanga Care Guest Bloggers, Marie-Etta Collins of CheerfulHomemaker.com!



I was pregnant with my son when the topic of cloth diapers came up. We were planning for me to stay at home and were looking for ways to save money. I was not familiar with cloth diapers but was pleasantly surprised to see how modern and simple they looked. I was sold. There was only one little problem, my husband was not on board.

Like a lot of people, my husband had his reservations:

  • Would this really save us money? 
  • Were they really as easy to use as disposables? 
  • And most importantly: What about the poop?

Here are some common misconceptions about cloth diapers:

MYTH: Cloth diapers are more difficult to use than disposables.

FACT: Modern cloth diapers are just as simple to use as disposable diapers.

Cloth diapers have come a long way since the days of plastic pants and diaper pins. These days, the variety of styles available boggles the mind! You can use everything from prefolds and covers to all-in-ones, like this super easy to use Lil Joey pictured above. If you go with something like a Rumparooz pocket diaper or all-in-one, changing your baby's diaper is as easy as disposables!

The wash and care of cloth diapers is simple, too. Since they don't have any weird-smelling chemicals like disposables, since solid waste is flushed and since you don't have to wait a week for the trash to be picked up, cloth diapering ensures that odor is not an issue. If you do have odor issues, just toss them in the wash; problem solved! Anyone who has a newborn knows that doing a load of laundry is significantly easier than getting everyone out of the house to go buy more disposables!

My in-laws used cloth diapers on my husband and his sister. All he knew about were prefold diapers and plastic pants. He was flabbergasted when I showed him images of modern cloth diapers. All his life he had heard that cloth diapers were disgusting and a pain to use and here was proof that he was wrong.

MYTH: Cloth Diapers are expensive.


FACT: Cloth diapers offer significant savings over their disposable counterparts.

At first glance, seeing each cloth diaper's individual cost each can seem a bit daunting. After all, you need quite a few; 24 is the recommended number. Spending $500+ at once for diapers can be a bit overwhelming. If you use disposables, you will spend well over $1600 by the time you potty train your child, meaning, per child in cloth, you can save over $1000. If you use your cloth diapers for more than one child, the savings are increased.

We talked about using cloth diapers early on and were able to buy a few diapers at a time. While I was still working, I would take a little out of each paycheck and put it toward purchasing cloth diapers. Whenever I came across a great deal, I would use the money to make the purchase. By the time our son was born, we had a full stash of diapers. By purchasing a few at a time, we never had to use a huge chunk of our paycheck for them.

You can also create a registry or ask your family and friends to help you buy your cloth diaper stash instead of buying you dozens of receiving blankets and cute outfits that will only git for a couple weeks, anyway!

MYTH: You have to touch poop.

FACT: Poop happens.

If you spend any time changing diapers, it's likely that you will get poop on yourself at some point. This is a simple fact of parenting. It does not matter if you are using cloth diapers or disposables. Having experience with both kinds of diapers, I actually get poop on myself much less often with cloth diapers. Also, blow outs are almost non-existent with cloth diapers, whereas they are a fairly common occurrence for kids in disposables. For more on this pressing topic, see our post, "What About the Poop?!"

Cleaning the solid waste off of diapers does not have to be messy either. Many companies sell sprayers (pictured above) that attach directly to your toilet. This allows you to direct the mess into the toilet where it belongs without having to stick your hand into the bowl.



In the end, I was able to convince my husband to give cloth diapers a shot after telling him about all of the money we would save. That, and the promise that he would never have to wash diapers. It took him a while to warm up to the idea, but now he tells people how great they are!

If your partner has objections, sit down and talk with them. Visit a cloth diaper boutique that offers Cloth Diaper 101 classes. Make a list of pros and cons about each kind of diaper and find the right one for you. Ask friends with experience what it is really like to use cloth diapers.

Was your partner skeptical about cloth diapering? Do you have a story of converting a cloth diaper skeptic into a cloth diaper evangelist? We want to hear about it! Share your story in the comments below!

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Thursday, February 7, 2013

What About the Poop?!

We here at Kanga Care answer a lot of questions; how to wash and care for cloth diapers, how to get a perfect fit on your Rumparooz cloth diaper, how awesome is it really to work for the coolest diaper brand on the planet... But the question we get most often, from those new to the idea of cloth diapering anyway, is the one nobody ever really wants to ask:

"What about the poop?!"

If you're new to the idea of cloth diapering, then you may be imagining a hellscape unlike any other, ravaged continually by swirling poop hurricanes and poop volcanos erupting without ceasing. Now, I can assure you: in parenting, you WILL encounter poop. But it will not be in the above scenario.

To help us answer this critical question, we've enlisted the help of one of our esteemed Kanga Care Guest Bloggers, Jill Iser of JBabyThoughts!


We used disposables for the first three months of our son's life, and guess what? He pooped. A lot. It often got all over me, most of the clothing he was wearing and anything within a one foot radius. When we switched to cloth, he still pooped--but the blowouts stopped.


Cloth diapers have stout gussets and waistbands, like the double gussets in the Rumparooz pocket diapers, Rumparooz covers and in the Ecoposh one-size fitteds, that put a disposable's gussets to shame and hold in a lot of messes that would obliterate a disposable. Since you're dealing with poop regardless of your diapering method, trust me, contained poop is much more manageable than everywhere poop!

Here's what you need to know about baby poop:


There are three stages that your baby will go through when it comes to poop. Things are getting real, huh? Just remember, the first time your brand new baby poops will be a moment of celebration--not disgust. It means that everything is working as it should!  Let's get started!

Stage 1: 100% liquid diet
For the first six months or so, your baby will be on a strictly liquid diet and their poop will reflect that. If you're lucky enough to be able to breastfeed, then the good news is that breastfed poo is minimal in both odor and volume and it is even water soluble. Just throw dirty diapers it in the wash! Really. Breastfed poop is mustard in color and may cause light, temporary staining. Keep reading for a solution to that! Formula fed infant's poop may have a different odor and consistency than breastfed babies. But even so, washing their diapers is easy!

Stage 2: Transitioning to solids, aka, the "peanut butter phase"
When you first introduce pureed foods such as rice cereal, apples or bananas, which is what a lot of moms start with, it can dramatically change the consistency of your baby's poop. As your baby’s diet goes from liquids to solids, they may go through a stage where their poo has more of a “peanut butter” consistency. There are several ways to deal with this (hopefully brief) stage.

  • You can simply use some toilet paper to grab as much gooey poo from the diaper as possible before it goes into the wash. This might sound gross, but by the time you're in this phase, you're so used to your baby's poop that it really doesn't seem like a big deal. 
  • You can buy a diaper sprayer that hooks up to the water shut off valve at the base of your toilet. Simply hold dirty diapers over the toilet and spray solids off the diaper into the toilet. The sprayer works like the one on the kitchen sink. Using a sprayer is completely optional and many find that they don't need one. 
  • You can try flushable or reusable liners. They catch solids and make clean up a breeze!

Stage 3: Solids 
As your baby becomes a toddler and eats more and more solid foods, guess what else gets solid? The great news is, solid waste rolls right off the diaper and into the potty which means you're basically washing wet diapers.


But what about...


Poop in the washer?
Solid waste goes in the potty, so the amount of poop going into the washing machine is really pretty minimal. Before I started using cloth diapers, I had to wash plenty of poopy clothes anyway! Washing on a larger load size means there is plenty of water to get everything clean and an extra rinse at the end helps! Plus, the water from your washing machine goes to the same place the water from your toilet goes, so you know that it will be processed appropriately.

Stains?
Who needs stain remover when you have sunshine? Here in sunny Southern California, the drying rack on our back patio is always the last step in washing. Any particularly soiled diapers make the top row and voila! stains are nearly or completely gone by the afternoon. Just be careful to not overdo it!

Daycare?
Some daycares are freaked out by cloth diapers and may even tell you that they are unsanitary. The truth is, there is literally NO difference (sanitation-wise) in poop wrapped in plastic in a trashcan than a soiled cloth diaper in a wetbag. And cloth diapers do not violate any kind of health code. No laws have been written to bar daycares from using cloth diapers. And more often than not, if you demonstrate how the diapers work, they will be more than willing to cooperate. Just make sure they know not to use diaper cream with your fluff!

The smell?!
The odor that you associate with dirty diapers isn't actually caused by the waste itself. It's caused by the reaction between the urine and the chemicals in disposable diapers. Baby poop really doesn't smell that strong and remember, you've dumped the majority of the waste into the toilet anyway. Using a diaper pail that allows fresh air to circulate (not airtight) will also allow the ammonia in the urine to evaporate and reduce odor significantly. If you find that you can smell the diapers, simply do a load of wash: problem solved! But most of the time, it shouldn't be a problem even for the most sensitive noses. Considering that disposables go into the trash, which only gets picked up once a week, families using disposables are definitely going to have more issues with odor. Many families throw dirty disposables in a trashcan outside because the smell is so offensive. You know who loves dirty disposables? All kinds of wild animals: raccoons, coyotes, stray dogs, etc. I've known more than a few people who had the job of cleaning up shredded, poopy disposables from all over the yard...in the rain.

Daddy? 
My husband really hated stage two, but he recognizes that cloth diapering isn't much different than using disposables just as long as I do most of the laundry! If your partner is a skeptic, stay tuned. We have some tips coming up just for you!

Flush the poop with disposables, too!

If you're new to cloth diapering, then the step of flushing solid waste away may seem like an extra, unpleasant task. But many disposable brands offer the same suggestion, as seen on this package of Seventh Generation disposable diapers. The debate of whether or not landfills can adequately handle solid waste like that continues, but either way, flushing solid waste means there is less poop in your house, and I think we can all agree that that is a good thing. 


Do you have a question about baby poop that we didn't answer? 


This is a no-embarrassment zone, so if you've got some weird question that's been bugging you, just ask in our comments below! 


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Monday, February 4, 2013

Help Bring Baby Home!

Meet the Ordelheides! They are hoping to add another child to their family and we want to help them! Please read their story and get to know them a little and learn how you can be a part of this amazing journey.

Love, Kanga Care



Two years ago, in January 2011, we were a family of four. We had our girl, we had our boy and we were living the American dream. Our company was successful, we had nice cars, we had no financial worry. That all changed when we heard God call us to adopt. He made it very clear that we were to be open to two children and that he would provide. It didn’t take us but a few days to jump in with both feet and say yes to this new adventure he was calling us to. We would abandon the American dream, sell what we could and cut our budget to bring our kids home!


After several months of paperwork here in the US we ventured to a small country in Eastern Africa, it was the country we felt calling our hearts. Prior to traveling we had a rough idea of how our trip would go, but that all changed when our driver failed to pick us up from the airport. After an hour trying to figure out what to do we found his number and we connected. We were taken to a guest house at which we were not planning to stay. At that house were two women who would forever change the face of our family! One woman was in the process of adopting from a particular baby home. She suggested we go visit. It was not a place we had planned on going, but there was another woman there from our state and we thought we’d go meet her. Upon arriving at the baby home I was asked to help feed the babies. Simple enough, right? In this moment my world changed. As I fed this malnourished, grieving child I felt God whisper, “This is your daughter.”


The next six months were spent saving every penny we could and selling all the “toys” we had, snowmobiles, motorcycles and extra vehicles. Those months were also high stress as we learned of the extreme corruption surrounding international adoption in the country our new daughter was in. We did some serious investigation into her story and the people in her story. We did not want to bring home a child who had a family who could care for her, or a child who was coerced away from her birth family. Unfortunately, in international adoption this is far too common. It was determined that there was no one for her in her country and so we proceeded.


In April 2012 we brought our daughter, Rosie, home! It was such a relief to be home with her. The next six months were the hardest six months of my life. Parenting a hurting, grieving child is physically demanding and emotionally draining. She was sad, angry and hurting and she took all those feelings out on us. We had late night rages and middle of the day melt downs, but we also had kisses, hugs and the building of a relationship. She is slowly learning to trust us, that we will not leave her, no matter how hard she pushes us.


You’ll recall that we felt God called us to be open to two children. We truly did believe this, yet after bringing Rosie home we were in no rush to start again. God was going to have to bring someone to us. 

In late November 2012 my husband was approached about shooting a video documentary with a mission team in Rosie’s birth country. He said yes, excited to visit her country again. We joked all that next week that perhaps my husband would meet our next child on his trip. One week later a picture of a sweet little face showed up in our inbox. This sweet face could not be ignored, he needed a daddy to teach him to pee standing up, he needed a mommy to teach him to cuddle and he needed sisters and a brother to color and play with. We said yes and away we went trying to see how fast we could get the paperwork done. We now sit with the paperwork completed and a financial hurdle to jump over. With Rosie’s adoption we were able to create cash flow to bring her home because we had about 15 months to prepare. This time we have 3 months and nothing left to sell. We have a generous community who has given more than we could imagine, but we still need about $6000 depending on travel costs. We are humbled by all the amazing people who have come into our lives, to walk alongside us, to help us bring our son home. We couldn’t be more grateful!


How can you help?


  • Give directly to the family through their PayPal account.
  • Help us give to them: On Friday, February 8th, we are donating HALF of our sales towards this amazing family. Mark your calendars, get ready, and SHOP this Friday!


  • Learn more about this family's journey on their blog!
  • Send them your love by leaving them a comment below!

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Friday, February 1, 2013

First Friday Birth Story!
This month: Heather Stillinger and her baby girl, Rose

We love birth stories! Each one is unique and amazing. If you'd like to share yours, you can use the button below to submit it. We will read (and probably cry) over each one, and then post one on the first Friday of every month! 


Mama: Heather Stillinger
Baby: Rose
Due Date: Friday, April 22, 2011
Birthday: Sunday, April 24, 2011
Visit her Blog

I started having contractions Friday evening, but they were only 2-4 an hour and I was very aware that they could come and go, so Justin and I decided to wait and see...

Friday night I woke up twice with pain from contractions, but I was able to go back to sleep, so we just decided to wait and see...

Saturday we went out for breakfast with my dad and did our grocery shopping, contractions were still coming, but irregular and not very painful, so we kept waiting...

After we got home Saturday I made dessert for Easter at my parent’s home, we watched a movie, and took a nap. At 6:30 the contractions were more consistent and started to get a bit painful. So we called the birth center and spoke with the midwife on call. She gave me some advice on positions to ease the pain and since the contractions were still about 10-15 minutes apart asked that I call when they were about 5 minutes apart. Justin and I tried to settle in for the night, but it was a rough one!!

I did not sleep and neither did Justin...all through the night the contractions got stronger and closer together. I tried lots of different positions to increase my comfort and found that just breathing and focusing on one contraction at a time worked the best for me.

Sunday morning around 4 am I was having contractions about 5-7 minutes apart and it was starting to get intense. I called the midwife and we again talked about what was going on and how I was coping. We decided I would call again when I consistently had contractions every 5 minutes.

Between 4 am and 8:30 am was really a difficult time for us. I will be totally honest here, I was in much more pain than I thought I would and I had no idea if I was even close to having a baby. I felt I was losing my confidence to have a natural birth.

At 8:30 am the contractions were making it hard for me to breathe so I asked Justin to call the midwife and say I was ready to come in to be checked; she agreed and we decided to meet at the birth center at 9:30 am.

The car ride to birth center was again time for some soul searching... was I making the right choice for this birth? I decided that if we went and I was not more than 5 cm, that I could probably not make it to the pushing stage without some other type of intervention.

Sooo we go to the center and I was 8 cm! And my water had broke! This made me cry; I was close! Honestly I had already been feeling the urge to push, but just thought this could not really be the case. I had not given my husband any warning that I was feeling like pushing. He says that if I had, he would have driven faster!

We went to a birthing room and Nancy (the midwife) called in the nurse on call and Jami (a therapeutic message student). Nancy did not tell me until later, but she was not sure everyone would make it in time! I received a dose of antibiotic for my GBS and just kept breathing through the contractions. Bev (the nurse) and Jami arrived within the hour. Nancy and Bev went about getting things ready for the birth and Jami relieved Justin) in massaging my body.

Justin decided to tell our parents we were at the birth center. He was able to send a text to my parents, but then things really got moving and he never finished his text to his parents, because I was ready to push!

I had four contractions about 5 minutes apart and was able to get 3-4 pushes with each contraction. Justin said I turned purple/blue with a couple of them and I did have a popped blood vessel in my eye...but I could see her and oh, I just wanted to meet her so badly! Nancy gave me great encouragement during the pushing and everyone helped me relax and focus between contractions. It was about 20 minutes and then... ROSE WAS BORN!!!


I was able to help pull Rose out and then she was immediately put on my chest. Justin cut her umbilical cord. I was super emotional...lots of crying.

Justin called our parents and they arrived at the birth center around 3 pm to meet the newest member of the family. There was lots of cuddling and kisses! Our parents left around 4:15 pm and we finished taking care of packing up and left ourselves around 5 pm to take our Rose home.

After the birth a nurse came to our home on Monday and we received a call every day of that first week to offer support and answer any questions. The support we received from the birth center has been wonderful and really given us the ability to feel confident as parents.

Again, I’ll be honest here...it was more intense and wonderful then I expected. I am so happy with our decision to have a natural birth at the birth center and would love to encourage other people to consider it.


- Heather

Thanks so much for sharing your birth story Heather! Rose is adorable. Pinch her cute little cheeks from all of us at Kanga Care! xo

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