a few of my favorites

Does anyone else feel a little torn between Instagram and blogging? Between phones and cameras? Lately when something catches my eye and I want to freeze it in time, I find myself freezing for a good minute or two first, trying to figure out if I should grab my camera from the office or my phone from my back pocket ... or if I'm really feeling crazy ... both?!

And then by the time I decide which device I want to use, the moment has passed. Porter has stopped making that funny face at Sherman, and Sherman has moved on to more important things like chasing squirrels.

Honestly, I think I'm starting to forget about my poor camera all together, which I warned you about. And if I do actually happen to grab my 18 lb camera (it is truly like carrying another baby around) and take it with me somewhere ... then I forget to whip out my phone for an Instagram picture. Oh the horror. And then there are those people who are super talented and download their camera pictures to their Instagram feed.
Slow down there kids, wait for me!

So until I get a better grasp on all of this social media stuff (yes, it takes me a very long time) ... here are a few of my favorite tiny pictures from my phone. Because I truly don't even know where my camera is at the moment.

Thanks for keeping it real, phone.
You've been fun so far.
I just really wish you'd start paying your own bills.



When Porter was about eight weeks old I remember Dan coming home from work one day and telling me that he had read an article talking about the benefits of dads wrestling with their kids (great bonding, sweet laughter and even emotional intelligence). So while Dan was telling me all about this new-found knowledge of his, he went and scooped up our eight week old babe and I swear if I wouldn't have stopped him he would have started wrestling baby P right then and there.
But I stopped him. 
That is, until last night. 
I figure 10 months is a good age to start roughhousing it a bit. 
Wrestling with his daddy. 
Or as my dad and I used to call it back in the day ... wraaastling.


cloth diapering

So I've been talking about writing a post on cloth diapers for about five months now. And now that I'm here ... I'm second-guessing the need to write this post at all. I should really be getting ready for bed instead. Or washing diapers. :)
But alas, here I am.
So here's what I'm going to do. 

I'm going to tell you to go read other blogs.

But really.
Why do the work if someone else has already done it for you?
That's my life motto these days.

Okay, enough with the Tah-Dah's. If you want to read some really great stuff about cloth diapering, check out these awesome posts by these amazing bloggers:

Now for just a few quick points of my own:
  • Consider buying used cloth diapers. I dare you. I spent a whopping $100 on Porter's diapers (diapers that he will most likely be in until he's potty trained). I bought RLR laundry treatment and stripped the diapers so they were just like brand new. We bought our 20+ used diapers from a friend and it was the best decision we have ever made. 
  • Our used diapers are BumGenius 4.0 Pockets. I absolutely love them. I also have a few of the BumGenius Freetime which I haven't had very good luck with. The inserts are sewn in (instead of pocketed) and they seem to slip around and cause leakage.
  • Put up a clothesline if you can. Drying under the gorgeous sun (whenever possible) saves time and electricity, and it truly does make everything white again. Hooray!
  • We started out using EcoSprout detergent but have recently switched to Honest detergent and love it even more. I prefer liquid over powder for some reason. But both have worked great for us.
  • I have two "sets" of everything so that while one "set" is washing, I can use my other "set" on baby P. For example, I have 22 diapers total but only use 11 at a time. Eleven of them are being washed while I use the other 11 on P (most people don't do this but I have found it helpful to always have at least 10+ diapers on deck).
  • I typically wash a load of diapers every other day and it truly is as painless as every cloth diapering parent will tell you it is.
  • Splurge on the Ubbi diaper pail if you wish. I can't say enough wonderful things about it. Like I mentioned here, it can be used for both disposable and cloth diapers (just put a regular trash bag in for disposable or a wet bag in for cloth).
  • Even though we knew we were going to cloth diaper, we started out using disposables to help reduce the amount of stress we would be taking on with our little newborn. Because, ya know, they're a newborn and they're STRESSFUL. Don't feel bad about using a few disposables in the beginning if you choose to do so.
  • We always have a few disposable diapers on hand just in case we need them. But I have P in cloth 99% of the time, even when we're out and about. I just make sure to grab my small travel wet bag and a few cloth diapers and we're good to go. Easy peasy. 
  • Consider cloth wipes! I'm not sure why, but a ton of people use disposable wipes with their cloth diapers. I started out doing this because everyone else was doing it (shocking, I'm a follower) ... but then decided to switch and I am so glad that I did. I bought 32 of these cloth wipes (three packages of 12) and always have more than enough. I love that you can just throw the wipes into the pail along with the diapers ... not to mention, less money and less waste.
  • Cloth is amazing for sensitive skin! We have had one heck of a time with Porter's skin (eczema, rashes, welts ... you name it) and cloth diapers & cloth wipes have been a life saver.
I never knew I'd have to deal with so much crap from these two. 
Literally. ;)


happy ten months to the boy with three last names

We have received so many sweet compliments in regards to Porter's name, so thank you for that! And also a lot of questions about where the heck it came from; some people believing that we named him after one of our favorite bars from college.

But I can assure you, we did not name our child after a bar.
Although I really do love that bar.

Porter is my mom's maiden name.
Gray is my mother-in-law's maiden name.
So ... we like to call him Porter Gray Jones.

He also answers to Baby P and Porter G.
And P Man.
And drool bucket.

Happy 10 months sweet baby P!
Now really.
Stop growing so fast.

tips for introducing baby to dog

The very lovely, pregnant and glowing Kate asked me a few days ago if I had any tips on how to introduce your new bundle of joy to your old ball of fur.
Lucky for you, I do.
Or lucky for the two of you who might actually be interested in this. :)
But first let's talk about what not to do.
Do not place a chocolate chip doggy cookie near your newborn in hopes to lure your 110 lb dog to them for a picture. Yes, it could make for a cute picture but your dog might then think their new sibling is a chocolate chip doggy cookie and eat them. Please do not do this. I'm not sure what we were thinking.

Here are some things I would recommend: 
  • Before meeting baby.
    • We made sure that Sherman was (somewhat) trained before bringing Porter home. Sherm is far from perfect but he knows the following commands:  Sit, Stay, Leave it, Drop it, Lay down.
    • Acclimate your dog to new noises that the baby will be making. We downloaded baby sounds from www.findsounds.com and played these daily for several weeks before Porter was born. Play these sounds while going about your daily business as if there is nothing different. Pretend like you don't hear that baby in the background screaming like a banshee. But trust me, you'll hear it. :)
    • We all know dogs love to smell. And it's super important that they get familiar with their sibling's scent as soon as possible. Make an effort to have someone go visit the dog (without baby) as soon as possible and take something with the baby's scent on it so that the dog can start sniffing away.
    • I've heard that it's best to not introduce baby and dog too quickly. There's no rush. This may not be an option for you, but Sherman's grandparents were willing to keep him for the week so that we could have a few days to get established at home with just Porter. It was a nice little break for all of us, including Sherm dog.
  • The big day.
    • Remember that both dogs and babies can sense fear and stress. Make sure to plan the introduction on a day when you have plenty of time to dedicate to the meet and greet so that everyone involved is calm and ... hopefully ... rested? Yeah right. You have a newborn!
    • As long as you feel comfortable with how your dog will react, let him sniff the baby as much as possible during that first greeting. If you're apprehensive, have one person hold on to the dog with a leash while doing this. We started off by letting Sherman sniff Porter's little toes and within about ten seconds he was licking his face. Oops. Probably a little fast, but we were pretty comfortable with Sherman and how he would react. 
    • The dog should show curious interest in the baby, but should not be obsessed with sniffing, licking, etc. Now for Sherman, he greeted Porter for about 45 seconds, then decided it would be more fun to chew on his bone. All dogs are different. Give your dog as much time as they need.
  • After meeting baby. 
    • As I always say to Dan ... "a tired dog is a good dog and a good dog is a tired dog." Don't forget to give your dog the attention and exercise they need and deserve. No matter how exhausted Dan and I were at the end of the day, Sherman always got walked no matter what. And he still gets one or two walks every single day. Porter and I would much rather stay around the house and play after his nap, but instead we go on a walk for Sherman. I would much rather blog in the evenings after Porter goes to bed, but instead I go on a walk for Sherman. Just remember that this transition isn't easy for your four-legged one either and try your best to give them some lovin' too. 

And most importantly ... have fun and take lots of pictures!
Just remember. No cookies by the baby. Geeez.