Thursday, March 26, 2009

Coming this summer!!!

In honor of my babe on the way I will be dedicating much of my blogging this summer to my new memes (as I mentioned in a recent post) about breastfeeding, babywearing and cloth diapering, along with a ton of great natural and attachment parenting product reviews and giveaways for mamas and babies! I have dubbed this little adventure:

Basically, each week I will introduce a new product focus that has something to do with babywearing, cloth diapering, breastfeeding, co-sleeping or pretty much anything else that helps parents to be natural and attached while raising their little ones! So far I already have some awesome products slated for appearance (including Sleepy Wraps and Rocky Mountain Diapers!) and am adding new ones every day!

The Summer of Baby Love will officially begin on June 8, 2009 and will continue all the way through the summer! If we are just having too darn much fun though, I may extend all the Baby Love into the fall and winter as well- we will just have to see! Make sure you grab a button for the party (left sidebar) so you can share the fun with all your friends! I really think it is going to be a great time and there will be lots of ways for my readers to get involved!

Also, if you have a product that falls under the above categories and would like to be featured during a week this summer, please e-mail me at chic_kenz @! I would love to get a lot of WAHM's in on the action!

So, rest up! This summer is going to be filled with Baby Love!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Baby in the Belly- 31 Weeks!

Well, here it is- the belly at 31 weeks!

It's... well... it's big! My husband made the comment last night that he doesn't remember me being a whole lot bigger than that when I had Roman, and I still have 2 months left! Ahhhh!!! And I haven't even gained a ton of weight yet, reasonable, but not a ton! I gained over 40 lbs with Roman, so we'll see! I am just carrying this babe so differently!

I can say that I have been a little bit more stable and pulled together this week- I don't know if my husband would say the same thing, but I am feeling a little bit more on my game. Yesterday was very productive for me- lots of nesting, cleaning and organizing. In fact, my trusty little sidekick even pitched in and helped me out far more than I ever expected! Here he is helping me mop!
He also helped me cart things up and down the stairs (a huge help!) and he pulls the clothes out of the dryer for me so I don't have to bend over (also very nice)! All in all we have been giving Roman more responsibilities, such as making his bed, putting his clothes in the laundry room and taking his dishes to the sink after meals. He has been doing really well with all of it and has even had a cheery attitude about it!

All Roman's progress with his new chores has given me high hopes for how helpful he will be after the baby arrives! We have been talking a lot about he can help by grabbing me diapers and being patient while I am nursing, and he seems to be responding well and understanding, at least in a small way, what is to come. He even told me a few days ago that he just wanted his brother or sister to be here! It was so sweet! I am sure the wait has seemed impossibly long for him!

Other than my cleaning and general planning for the birth, I have also been putting a dent in my knitting for the baby. I finished the "just in case it's a girl" newborn hat a few days ago, and the "just in case it's a boy" newborn longies are almost done! I hope to have both sets up in a Knit Bits meme by the end of the week, so stay tuned!

Until next week... wish me well... and pray that the stretch marks stay at bay!!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Who is Mama Kenz (aka Chic_Mama)?!?!

Alright- I meant to do this intro a few days ago for all you readers here from the Ultimate Blog Party, but somehow time just slipped through my fingers! Sorry about that!

So who is Mama Kenz (or otherwise known in internet circles as Chic_Mama)? Well, put simply, I am a mama to one almost-3-year-old little boy and another babe on the way in late May. I am a Christian and strive to bring my family up in the Lord. One of the ways I do this is through tot-schooling my son (home-pre-school) and eventually homeschooling him (and the otheres to come!). You can see more about our tot-schooling here.

I am also a birth and postpartum doula and am passionate about natural & attachment parenting, which I teach parents about through my company called Chic & Savvy Mamas. In the coming months I will be blogging more about these topics with my impending homebirth in May! After the babe is here I plan on introducing a few new memes, including a fun one about breastfeeding and another on cloth diapering! I will also be adding some tidbits in on all kinds of babywearing! So, if you are a mama of a babe- Mama Kenz Studio will be the place to be! You can also find my bloggings on all things green at:


Beyond all that, I enjoy blogging, reading and knitting to relax. I like few things better than a good cup of tea (or bowl of ice cream), a chick flick and my favorite current knitting project! In fact, as you may have noticed in my left side bar, I host a knitting meme right here at the studio! I will be posting one later this week, so if you want to participate stop back by and share in on the fun!
Knit Bits Meme

So, as you can tell, there is lots to come in the next few months (including some giveaways!) so be sure to check back!! Want updates straight to your inbox? If so, plug your e-mail into the feedburner subscription to my blog in your left sidebar and you will get all my latest posts, news and giveaways straight to your e-mail! Another great way to hear about my latest happenings is to become a follower (which could also get you some extra entries in upcoming giveaways!)!

I would also love if you added my button to your blog (find it in the left sidebar also!)! If you sign-up for any of my updates or add my button, I would love to hear about it in a comment! My promise to my readers is if they leave a comment I will always return the love (as timely as I can!)!

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed your stay and that I can be your gracious host someday again soon!

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Party Has Begun!!!

Ultimate Blog Party 2009

Can you believe it is already that time of year again! I know I can't! Even though it comes as a bit of a shock that time is moving so quickly (especially being pregnant- every little milestone on my calendar brings me closer to May! Ahhhh!), I am still incredibly excited for this blogging party over the net week! I am so looking forward to findng new and awesome blogs and making new friends in the blogosphere!

And then, of course, are the prizes! There are so many to choose from, it is hard to narrow down the ones I really like! However, after a little thought, this is how I have narrowed it down in order of "Oh, I want that!!!":
  • USC 66- Madre $50 Gift Certificate (donated by Madre)- as I near the end of my pregnancy I could really use this for both me and the babe to come!
  • #50 Paperlicious $50 Gift Certificate (donated by Paperlicious)- I would love to get some free birth announcements for the babe on the way! Paperlicious is my top pick, but I would take ANY of the anouncement prizes offered (#54, #107, INTL 16, INTL 50, USC 18, USC 19 or any of the others)!!!
  • #19- Target $50 Gift Card from Shoot Me Now- or any of the Target Gift cards for that matter (#21, #22, USC 56, or any of the others)
  • Any of the Shutterfly gift certificates (#99, INTL 22 or any of the others)
  • Any of the Amazon gift certificates (INTL 3, INTL 61, USC 15, USC 47 or any of the others)
  • Any of the Blog Makeovers or accessories (INTL 1, INTL 19, INTL 20, INTL 23, INTL 33, INTL 36, or any of the others)
  • Or any of these other prizes for me or my kiddos- #20, #58, #68, #118, INTL 31, INTL 65, USC 10, USC 11, USC 12, USC 35, USC 37, USC 52, USC 54, or USC 64!!!
Phewww... okay... that's a lot, but hey- if I can get ANYTHING I will be thrilled! You want in on the prizes and fun- go check out the party post at 5 Minutes for Mom (link at top)!! I hope to see you around the party! Let's mingle!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

In Honor of St. Patty's Day!

I was inspired today to hunt around my house and find every green diaper we own in honor of good old St. Patty's Day! So, here they are:

Left to Right, Top to Bottom:
Top Row
2 Camo-embellished infant prefolds
2 dyed infant prefolds
2 dyed newborn prefolds
1 pair of large wool shorties
1 pair of small wool shorties
1 medium Happy Heinys
1 Thirsties Fab Fitted (the other one is in the wash)
1 BumGenius 3.0 (grasshopper)
Middle Row
3 large Dream-eze fitteds
1 small Thirsties AIO
1 small Monkey Doodlez AIO
2 dyed size 0 Kissaluvs
Bottom Row
1 Forest Critters Newborn Nanipoo
1 Turtles Newborn Nanipoo
1 Chickens Newborn Nanipoo
1 Hawaiian Newborn Nanipoo
1 Polk-a-dot Newborn Nanipoo

Yup, that's it! I know, it seems like a lot but you have to remember that they are all different sizes. Plus, we have a fairly large number of green dipes since it is a pretty gender-neutral color and we don't find out what we are having (and we want to have more kiddos that they can work for).

The knit shorties are in the Perfection Pants Pattern, which actually just got re-released in a more stream-lined edition with lots of pictures to walk you right through! Any of you knitting mamas have definitely got to check it out!

If you want to purchase similar dipes to mine, you can find most of them right here:

One of the especially great things about Kelly's Closet is that you can earn reward points for everything you buy to get free merchandise, and who doesn't love free?! Kelly's Closet also has an AWESOME blog that hosts weekly giveaways (and a little extra green-giveaway for St. Patty's Day!)! This week you could win:

2-Clover Organic Velour Fitted Diapers
1-Thirsties Cover
8Pk bumGenius Bamboo Wipes

The Cloth Diaper Whisperer

Have some green dipes?! I want to see! Post a comment linking to your post!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Baby in the Belly- Week 30

10 Weeks Left!!!
Alright, lately I have been going through what I can only describe as doula-birth-syndrome! You see, I have been busy planning and thinking about my upcoming birth, and thinking about how much more knowledgeable and prepared I am this time around, and yet I can't help but feel that I am going to be an utter disappointment during this birth, that I am just going to fail miserably! It is silly and I know that many people have assured me this won't happen, but I just can't help but feel that way.

One of my doulas recommended that I write down all of my fears and then burn them or tear them up into small pieces. She then said to write down my ideal birth in terms of "I am going through this right now," instead or "I will go through this." I think it is a good idea and should probably do it in the very near future. I need to start visualizing this birth the way I want it to be and work on relaxation.

As I approach the end of my pregnancy I have also noticed myself becoming much more hormonal and forgetful. Last week was very trying, with a couple of break downs, but Roman assured me that "It's okay Mama! You'll be fine!" Hmmmm... where has he heard that before?!

Slowly but surely I am getting things more ready for this baby to come. I got quite a bit of decluttering & filing done in the office last week and finally started the boy pair of newborn-sized perfection pants (I don't know if it will matter though- my grandmother, who was sure Roman was a boy, very matter-of-factly told me this last weekend that I am having a girl! We shall see!). I also have all the diapers (that I have so far) washed and organized. The list of things left to do still stretches out for miles in front of me though, so somehow I have to find the time and, more than anything, energy to get it all done!

Physically I am feeling pretty well. My chiropractic appointments have made a world of difference with my back and hips, and other than feeling tired, I really don't have anything to complain about. The baby is still very active in the late evening and has been getting the hicups all the time! I have gained 25 lbs so far, but I am good with that, and Jer likes that I have a little more booty than usual! My two-week appointments begin this week with my midwife, which I think will make the birth seem even more impending, but I am excited for them as well! I think that is all for now- I'll try to have more pics for next week!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Dyed, Washed and Ready to Go!

Well, one thing on my long list of to-do's before the baby arrives is finally complete- the prefolds and Kissaluvs Size 0 fitteds are dyed, washed and ready for action! So, I thought I would give you all a little run-down on how the process went! Enjoy!

So, here is what they started out looking like- just your basic, unbleached Indian prefolds (from Mt. Diaper Store) and Kissaluvs Size 0s (from Kelly's Closet). I ordered 12 Kissaluvs, 12 Newborn Indian Prefolds, and 12 Infant Indian Prefolds to help round out my stash and fill in the gaps (don't worry- I'll be posting about the whole stash very soon ;-)!).
I decided to divide the dipes among 5 different colors (green, blue, purple, red, & orange)- 2 Kissaluvs, 2 Newborn pfs & 2 Infant pfs for each color, with a set left natural just cause sometimes an authentic cloth bum is nice too!

I dyed the dipes in two separate batches- blue, purple and green, then red and orange. I did this for a few different reasons. First, I only have so many large pots and sides to my sink. Second, I figured if the colors somehow got cross-contaminated at all, at least they were broken up into similar color families so the damage wouldn't be that bad. Luckly, there wasn't much cross-coloring (I'll explain in a moment!).

I used Dylon brand dyes, since they were what I was familiar with from previous dying experiences, and find the colors to be potent and vibrant, plus they are cheap and easy to find! The process is simple and involves first filling a large pot or stainless steel sink with enough hot water for you dipes to float freely. You then add salt to the water and pour in the dye (mixed with some water already). Here is the disolved dye going in the sink for the purple dipes:

From there you add your fabric. As you can see, the dye immediately adheres to the fabric, even adfter just a few seconds, so it is important to wear gloves and old clothes (especially if you are pregnant since I have found that a disporportionatly large belly tends to catch splaters more easily than normal!).

The instructions say to stir continuously for the first 15 minutes, then again for a minute or so every 15 minutes after that. I found this to be more essential when dying in a pot rather than the sink, as the fabric had less room to move in the pot and my green pfs did come out a bit blotchy in spots. Nothing horrible though, and on the bum I don't think you will ever notice.

So then you wait, and stir, and wait some more!

After you have let the dipes soak for the full hour the actual labor intensive part of the dying begins- the rinsing!! Ugh! This part seems to take forever! Just keep rinsing and wringing with cool-cold water until the water runs mostly clear. Once I felt like I had done a sufficient job rinsing them by hand I placed each color in a separate plastic bag to transpot them to the laundry room (a vital step that my pregnancy-brain caused me to leave out with the orange and red dipes, which lead to an unfortuante mis-hap that turned a few of the diapers I intended to keep natural... well... a little peach! Oh well!).

After 3-5 hot washes (and then also fully drying) of each color separately, the colors were finally fast and no longer bleeding in the wash! Yeah! One more wash with all the dipes together and the process was complete! Check out my handy work and the glorious colors that will be adorning my babe's bum in a couple of short months:

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

An Interview With Roman! (Highly Insightful!)

So there is a note circulating on Facebook for you to interview your toddler about yourself and I thought it would be funny to see just what Roman would have to say about me, so we gave it a go! Here it is...

1. What is something mommy always says to you?
Roman: It's mama's belly! (he was seeing my profile picture while answering) Come out the baby! And it be a superhero baby!

2. What makes mommy happy?
Roman: Happy with your belly!

3. What makes mommy sad?
Roman: Sad with your baby is your cry (apparently everything relates to the baby or the belly!)

4. How does your mommy make you laugh?
Roman: blazubadubadubazoobdoo! Haha- I talkin' to you!

5. What was your mommy like as a child?
Roman: Umm... I don't Know! I gonna go downstaris and daddys gonna give me my red truck!

6. How old is your mommy?
Roman: You too old!

7. How tall is your mommy?
Roman: Your tall with the ceiling!

8. What is her favorite thing to do?
Roman: You like to do flips! With my big Ya-Ya (a song he likes)!!!

9. What does your mommy do when you're not around?
Roman: I don't know! I do know- Ice cream!

10. If your mommy becomes famous, what will it be for?
Roman: For a baby!

11. What is your mommy really good at?
Roman: You're really good and I just love you!

12. What is your mommy not very good at?
Roman: Your not very good with your belly (once again, looking at the computer!)

13. What does your mommy do for a job?
Roman: A trailer hitch!

14.What is your mommy's favorite food?
Roman: Your favorite food is all gone!
Mama: But what is it?
Roman: It's the food babies eat when they're hungry.

15.What makes you proud of your mommy?
Roman: I don't know.

16. If your mom were a cartoon character, who would she be?
Roman: You a character with my Sesame Street!

17. What do you and your mommy do together?
Roman: Umm... I don't know.

18. How are you and your mommy the same?
Roman: Ummmm... I love you!

19. How are you and your mommy different?
Roman: I love you different!

20. How do you know your mommy loves you?
Roman: What? I love you and another one I say I love you and a not done! Nine! (you got me! Your guess is as good as mine!)

21. What does your mommy like most about your dad?
Roman: What you do with my daddy is go home.

22. Where is your mommy's favorite place to go?
Roman: Go Hawaii!!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Spring Cleaning! Get your Green on!

Well, this first week of March kicks off a lot of green-spring-cleaning carnivals around the blogosphere! I wouldn't want you to miss out on the fun, giveaways, tips and general motivation to get your home clean for spring, so here are my favorites:

Green Clean Week


Also, it just so happens that today I was going to post about the safety (or lack there of) of chemicals we use in cleaning and drying our clothes, and Katydid and Kid wrote her first post all about homemade laundry detergent! So, definitely check that out!

Alright, now on to my real post for today- laundry chemicals! I was recently asked why we don't use dryer sheets and my answer is simple- chemicals! Dryer sheets leave a waxy film on your clothes- that is what makes the fabrics slide across each other easily and thus reduce static. Also, this waxy film is filled with the fragrance that is left on your clothes, and we all know what fragrances contain (phthalates anyone?). Basically, this film is a sticky enough substance that it can actually pose a fire risk to your dryer if you don't regularly scrub it off your lint screen with soap, water and a stiff brush (such as a toothbrush).

So, let's think about this for a minute- these chemicals rub off the dryer sheets onto our clothes. It then only stands to reason that they then rub from our clothes onto our skin. Since our skin is our largest organ, and we know it readily absorbs what is placed on it, the only logical conclusion is that we are constantly absorbing the chemicals on and in our clothes (the same principle applies to fabric softener and the detergents we use). In fact, there are many medications these days being prescribed in cream and patch form because our skin is such a good absorber of chemicals! Moreover, for people prone to bladder infections and skin irritations, doctors specifically recommend to first change your laundry chemicals and ditch the dryer sheets before more medical steps are taken!

Personally, especially with all the recent publicity on the dangers of phthalates (which are in most every product that lists "fragrance" as an ingredient), using conventional laundry chemicals and dryer sheets just isn't worth it to me! I would much rather make my own detergent or buy a product I know I can trust (such as Counrty Save or Charlie's Soap), use vinegar in place of softener, and throw some dryer balls in to keep things soft, rather than put the health of myself and my family at risk. If nothing else, it is something for your brain to chew on for a while! Happy Green Spring Cleaning!