Baby Invitation – Travel / Old World theme

Hello – I’m just popping in quickly to interrupt all these Advent designs with a baby-shower post. I recently had the pleasure of designing some old world themed baby shower invitations for my sister-in-law.  The design is also up in my shop as of today for those of you who don’t want sports theme or elephants.
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Baby Invite Travel Front-01Baby Invite Travel Back-01
I also designed a few different printables for games that we played at the shower. I’m giving one away as a free download if anyone is planning a shower and wants to use this! It was fun to see how many people guessed correctly! Click the image below and it will open in a new window, you can then click to save to your computer. Happy shower-ing.
MarenLayneDesign Matching Game-01Answer key to matching game: from top to bottom: French, Hawaiian, Chinese, Dutch, Russian, German, Greek, Italian, Spanish, Japanese

Source of game

The Difference a Year Makes

Thought this was kind of a fun comparison to post — how much a baby changes in the first year. The photo on the left was taken when June was 6 days old.  The photo on the right was taken on June’s 1st birthday (which reminds me, I still need to post about that!).

June Year Comparison
Some noteworthy changes and characteristics are:
– her eye color changed from dark blue to hazel
– her dark hair lightened up to a strawberry-light-brown
– she now has 4 bottom teeth, 2 top teeth, and 2 currently pushing through
– she loves to feed herself finger food and dislikes being spoon-fed
– her favorite and most used words are “kitty” and “cheese”
– she is getting close to walking, but is currently satisfied with cruising along furniture
– she gives high fives, claps her hands, waves, and sticks out her tongue on command

I’ll spare you from more mom brags and just say goodbye for now. I will be back soon!

A Month of Cloth

As you may know, we started cloth diapering last month. I promised to keep you readers up to date, so, here is my experience (as a stay at home mom) thus far…

OVER ALL: I’m still really happy with my decision. I’ve been using prefolds with diaper covers. And for overnight, I use a pocket diaper, a special fleece lined diaper with an insert, so the bottom layer soaks up the moisture while the top layer stays dry.

LAUNDERING: June probably goes through 8 prefolds and two diaper covers (if she has a stool) a day. I wash diapers and covers together, every other day. So far, it hasn’t really been a hassle. First, I do a presoak for 20 mins. Then I wash on a cold cycle to rinse any poopy residue away. Then I add soap and wash on hot/cold. My diapers ALWAYS come out smelling clean. BUT, the poopy ones usually still have light stains. I’ve heard that setting them out in the sun will “bleach” the stains out, so I might try that. Not to mention, could save on the electricity bill. Currently, I dry them in the dryer on high heat.

DETERGENT: I was using baby Dreft (sold pretty much anywhere) detergent before I did any research. I wanted to see if I could make my own. After reading an article on how important the right detergent is and reading some negative feedback on making my own, I decided to order something else. This week I started using EnviroRite, which is free of Enzymes, Brightners, Dyes, etc, etc. This chart was helpful in helping me make a decision. But, only in the long run will I be able to tell you for sure if it does the job.

JUNE’S THOUGHTS: She doesn’t really seem to favor one over the other. I’ve heard from others, that babies notice the wet feeling more with cloth. But, last week, we stayed with my family at a cabin for the weekend. I decided to buy disposables for space-saving packing purposes (cloth take up a lot of room in the diaper bag!). When we got back home and went back to cloth, she didn’t seem disappointed. Sure, she’s only 4 months old, but, she does let me know when she has a poopy diaper. So, I know she’s aware of what’s on her bottom.

That’s all I have time for right now. Any other cloth diapering mom’s have any tips for stains?

Saving Money with Big Bums

We’ve started cloth diapering! It was actually a pretty easy decision. After attending the free class at Peapods, calculating the cost vs. disposables, and determining if I had the time for it, I said yes. I bought some used pre-fold diapers (cheapest route) and simple diaper covers for a really good price and have started using them. June doesn’t seem to notice a difference, even though they are much bulkier than the disposables. Her little tush is no longer little looking. In fact, I had to get out the bigger sized onesies so that they are long enough.

It’s only been a few days, but here’s my report so far, for those interested:
I’ve only had one “blow out” where I had to change her clothes. But, I’m pretty sure it’s because the size small is a tad bit big on her right now, so it isn’t as “leak proof.” But, already, this surpasses the ratio of “blow out” to “stay in” she had with disposables. It was pretty much an every day occurrence. She also had an overnight bed wetting once, and it was lack of responsibility on my part. I think she had that diaper on all night (bad mom).

She has two sizes right now, XS and Small. She’s close to being too big for the XS, but the smalls are a tad bit too big for her, still. I ordered a Thirsties Duo Wrap 6 pack, which have snaps that convert the diaper into two sizes, enabling you to use them longer on a growing baby. I’m hoping this will help with the size gap problem I seem to be having right now.

If you’re interested, check back for more updates on our adventures of cloth diapering!

A Bonnet, a Babe and a Backyard

I have to admit, other than running to the grocery store or Target, I don’t get out much with June. However, it is my intention to start getting outside more and enjoying the beautiful, warm weather. I took June outside the other day and we played on a blanket in the backyard. She was looking extra cute in her bonnet, so I decided to snap a few shots.

Daddy decided to pop outside, so I got a few snapshots of him with June.

And, of course, I couldn’t resist a shot with her myself.

Maybe next time you see us, our skin will be a little darker.

The Prettiest Thing I’ve Created Yet

I can’t help but think my daughter is the prettiest thing I’ve ever created. Probably since I had help. June turned 2 months old this past week and my friend and Minneapolis photographer, Amber of Amber Lianne Photography, captured some beautiful photos of her. She’s wearing a Dalida family heirloom passed down from her Auntie Faith. To see more photos or to check out Amber’s photography, visit her blog or facebook page!

8 Weeks

It’s hard to believe my baby is 8 weeks old! She has started smiling and making “happy” noises. There may have even been a giggle when she was in daddy’s arms.

This week my photographer friend was visiting and took some photos of June in the backyard. I can’t wait to see them and share them with all of you!

Also, I’ve decided to start Cloth Diapering. I went to a very informational and FREE class at Peapods last night. It’s a store that carries natural baby toys and baby care items. There are a variety of cloth diapers — from your traditional pre-folds to an easy all-in-one style diaper. Stay tuned for updates on this adventure!