I’m moving!

Alright, It’s not as exciting as you think, we aren’t actually getting a new house or anything, butttttttt, this blog is moving and that’s pretty exciting! (for me at least.)

So, this will be the last post you see here at somethingswong.wordpress.com because my super handsome coder husband has helped me build my very own url over at somethingswong.com! Yay! Don’t worry, I’ll still be journaling my way through all of the things with similar posts to what you have been seeing here, it will (hopefully) be able to reflect a little more of my style, and you will be able to navigate around a little easier.

So, hop on over to the new and improved Some Things Wong and check out the latest post on all the things that are new and how to make sure you never miss a post. See you over in my new home sweet home!

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Carolina Balloon Fest

Last weekend we drove about an hour North to Statesville, NC to go to the Carolina Balloon Fest. We had never been before, but it sounded pretty fun and it wasn’t far away, so we figured we would give it a shot. As you will be able to tell from the pictures, it was a very cloudy and kind of rainy day. We were worried for a while that they actually wouldn’t be able to launch any balloons (womp womp,) but thankfully by the late afternoon the sky cleared up enough that they could! This post is a little picture heavy but I hope you won’t mind.

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Judah and Brandon in their matching plaid. We realized in the car on the way there that all three of us were wearing plaid. true hipsters.

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When the balloons weren’t launching there were several other things going on. There was a whole kids section with inflatable things and magic shows and laser tag. There were also tents set up with things that you could buy and several places to hear live music, and plenty of prime spots for people watching.
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There was no shortage of things to eat. This is Judah tasting his first funnel cake. It was no elephant ear, but they don’t really do those down here.

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We were really glad when the balloons started to go up. These first three were tethered down so that people could go up fifty feet and come back down. We saw several couples get engaged or who had gotten engaged. So sweet. IMG_0320

Here’s me showing off my plaid. And Baby Wong #2 as you can see, is not wasting any time getting noticed. 12 weeks and already showing a bit, about 4 weeks earlier than I showed with Judah.
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Judah pretty much just liked running around in the grass and meeting other babies. He was really great all day. IMG_6264

It was probably around 4:30 or 5 when they started launching and I would say we watched 30 or more take off. It was really cool. IMG_6271 IMG_6279 IMG_0339 IMG_6285 IMG_6286 IMG_6290 IMG_6303

After the launch, several more balloons inflated and then just sat there parked. Some had kind of funny shapes. IMG_6311

That big black one in the back left of this photo is kind of triangular shaped and is solar powered which is kind of cool.

IMG_6332After dark, several of the balloons were there to be a part of the nighttime glow. We left around 7:30 and overall, even though the weather wasn’t awesome, we had a really great time and I definitely think this will be something we try to do every year.

Carolina Renaissance Festival

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A few weekends ago we got some friends together to head to the Carolina Renaissance Festival outside of Charlotte. I have lived in Charlotte for over 6 years and I had never been. It had always seemed a little pricey and not quite something that I would enjoy. Oh my goodness was I wrong.

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Although the ticket to get in was 22 bucks, all the food and drinks and things to do were totally reasonably priced so I didn’t feel that bad about it after all. Plus, this place was huge! It seriously went on forever. We could have easily spent a whole day there.

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The people watching was superb. Plus there were all these free little shows going on along the street. There was magic, singing, comedy acts, glass blowing, fire breathers, ribbon flying, and full jousting was set up. It really was the real deal. Judah loved it all. There were a ton of rides and games for kids that I am sure he will enjoy next year. One of his favorite parts was watching people throw tomatoes at a guy who shouted insults. I have know idea why he liked it so much but he could have stood there laughing for a while.

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There was archery and axe throwing and other games for adults as well which was pretty fun. I think we shot 15 arrows for 3 bucks or something.

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If  you are still on the fence about going to the festival this year I would definitely recommend it. It is open every Saturday and Sunday in October and November. IMG_0221 IMG_0223 IMG_0228 IMG_0231

I’m so glad we went, and that our super awesome friends came too. I have a feeling this is something we may try and do every year. I love finding little gems like this around our area.

A bridal shower

This weekend I got to throw a bridal shower for my sweet friend, Erin, who is getting married on November 3.
I somehow convinced my darling husband that it would be a good idea to move our dining room table to the backyard for brunch, and somehow he agreed.
It was a small gathering of Erin’s close friends and we had a good time celebrating her. It was sweet and simple and I thought it turned out great.
Here are a few pictures from our morning together.

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Yay Erin! I can’t wait to dance at your weddin’.

I turned 29.

You guys, I had a birthday and it was great. 🙂

We spent my actual birthday-day in High Point celebrating all of the Wong September birthdays, and it was really fun. There was even a pinata and I learned an important lesson….if I ever need something swung at really hard, I just need to call my sister in law.

 

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Brandon, knowing that I am a gift girl did really really well with these super amazing mixed media prints from one of my favorite artists. They had been sitting in my etsy shopping cart for months.

The following weekend, some of the Wongs came down to Charlotte to visit us/ babysit while we went out to birthday dinner with some of my friends. That morning, Kristin, Iliana, Brandon, Judah, and I went to the Lazy Five Ranch. It’s pretty much a drive through petting zoo. I don’t have any photos because Judah was fairly terrified once a cow with really long horns decided to stick his entire head in the window. I’m really glad we went though, it was fun. We spent the rest of the afternoon playing outside because it was so darn nice out!

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That evening we went out to roosters for dinner with our friends, and the next morning we had dim sum with the family.

Birthdays are great, and this one was no exception.

The Wongs and The West Coast

Well we’re back and mostly recovered from our week in Los Angeles. We went with only a few things planned and of course our days end up packed with things to do with friends and family which was great!

Judah (and his parents) survived his first plane ride.

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He did really well. Slept a little, played a little, ate a little, cried a little. All in all we were relieved. It was nice to have Brandon’s brother with us on all flights as extra help.

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You guys, we ate so much good food. That’s kind of what vacation is for right? My body isn’t so pleased with me now that we are back, but it really was delicious. Pictured above is In-n-out, Hawaiian shaved ice, Korean Tofu, Dim Sum, ice cream, Philipe’s french dip, and ohhemmmgeee, the pie hole. Go there people, just do it. We had a slice of chocolate ganache with a salted crust and a slice of earl grey tea pie. Mark my words, there will be pie in Heaven.

But, there is more in than LA than just food.
cali friendsWe saw so many friends! Our friend Kinsey whom I went to high school with and she went to Taylor with Brandon and I, lives in the Hollywood area and we got to see her twice, our friends the Canadas who live at Westmont, our friend Brian who is currently getting his doctorate (smarty pants) at UC Santa Barabara, Matt who also went to Taylor with us who lives in Santa Monica, and to end the world’s longest run on sentence, our friend Abby who was just passing through on a road trip from Ohio all took time our to see us and meet Judah. It was really really special seeing each of them and getting to see a little of their west coast lives.

Both sides of Brandon’s extended family lives in LA (the primary reason for visiting,) so we spent most of our time with them hanging out and catching up. My sister and brother in law and niece also came out for the week so that everyone could meet both babies at once.
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It was a really great time! Even though getting away from home for a week with a baby in tow can be stressful at times, it was totally worth it to have an adventure and see a lot of friends and family. I hope you all had a great week too, and a great Fourth of July!j and illy 2

Wong Family Photos

Recently we got together with Brandon’s side of the family to have family photos taken by Holly from Ricketts Photography in Greensboro, NC. We had a really fun time and I wanted to share a few of my favorites from the shoot. If you are in the Greensboro area and need a photographer you should check her out!

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A Surprise Party

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I have been very fortunate in the in-law department. My in-laws are awesome.
In the last year, they have celebrated 30 years of marriage, became new grandparents- 2 fold, and this month they are both turning fifty.
Because there is much to be excited about, my sister in-law and I decided to throw them a little surprise lunch soiree.
So last weekend, we invited some of Paul and Diane’s friends out to lunch to celebrate them.

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Judah got all dressed up for the occasion, and we drove up to High Point for the day.
We got to the restaurant and set everything up and I was getting really excited.
But when we saw Paul and Diane arrive for some reason I got super nervous. Probably because a few days prior Brandon and his brother were trying to convince me that they had found out somehow and it wasn’t going to be a surprise after all. But….They were totally surprised!

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The lunch was really nice and it was a really great way to celebrate a really deserving couple.

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Happy birth-aversary, or anni-birthday!

We love you Didi and Papaw!

Our First Year of Cloth Diapering: Part 2

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Welcome back to part two of our little cloth diapering series. If you still aren’t interested in reading about cloth diapers, go to youtube and search “prancercise.” You won’t regret it.
If you missed the first action packed feature don’t worry, you can find it here. This post will mostly be about the day to day care and what it really “looks” like to use cloth diapers.

Let me first say that I know I am going to forget to say some things so if I leave something out that you are curious about just ask me in the comments and I will answer there.

Right now, Judah wears an average of 7 diapers a day and 2 to 3 of those usually end up stinky. If a diaper is just wet, it goes into the wet bag in his room to wait to be washed. (just fyi we still use disposable wipes even though I know there are great alternatives out there I just haven’t crossed that bridge yet.) This wet bag has an elastic top so it just fits over the bin like a trash bag. You can find wet bags in pretty much any size shape and color on amazon or your favorite baby store. We like the Planet Wise Brand.

If the diaper is dirty it gets the spray down with the diaper sprayer that is in our bathroom and we have another wet bag in there for those diapers. When Judah was a newborn and only breastfed, we didn’t have a diaper sprayer and unless it was d.i.s.g.u.s.t.i.n.g. I didn’t spray it or “dunk and flush” as they say in the cloth community, I just put it in the wet bag and then into the wash. Some people find this terrifying. Breastmilk is completely water soluble and we had no issues with poop in our washer, but if we did, we totally could have sprayed those too, no big deal. Now that Judah is eating solid foods, I don’t want that mess in my washer, so the stinky diapers get the spray down. You can buy diaper sprayers online, but Brandon watched some online tutorials and built ours on his own and it’s the bomb.

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We have just enough diapers to last us 2 days, so we wash diapers every other day. Let me be completely honest here: I do not follow all of the cloth diaper rules when it comes to laundry. (gasp) Some people soak their diapers before the wash, I do not. Some people start with a cold rinse, I do not. Some people use specific detergent made just for cloth diapers, I do not. Some moms swear by these things.  I think that those steps might be helpful if the diapers are especially stained or stinky, but we have not had issues with this, so we don’t, but if we did, we would. Does that make sense? I am just not all about extra steps if I don’t think they’re necessary. Capiche?

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Here is MY cloth diaper laundry routine. (not recommended for those that like to follow all of the rules.)
1. I dump all the diapers out of both of our wet bags into the washer and then also throw the wet bags in.
2. I use the “hot/cold” setting and the “extra rinse” at the end of the cycle.
3. I use a cap and a half full of purex free and clear laundry detergent. (the extra half a cap is probably not necessary I just think dirty diapers are yucky and deserve a little extra detergent.)
4. I hang them all to dry preferably in the sun. (Our neighbors love us for the window view of our house.) But most of the time they dry at night so they just dry on the rack in the laundry room.
5. done-zo.

Why do we use purex? Because I asked my friend Devan and that’s what she uses. 🙂 There are specific cloth diaper detergent and detergents made just for babies. I haven’t tried any of the ones made for diapers, and the ones made for baby seem to have more perfume and chemicals than the free and clear. But I am considering switching to detergent from the honest company in the future. Mostly because I like the company and what they are all about. While I am on this rabbit trail, you should probably go check them out and get a free bundle. Their disposable diapers are the cuuuutttest. I am thinking about ordering some for our upcoming trip to California.

They say if you let your cloth diapers dry in the sun it helps fight off stains…food for thought. Ours get dried in the sun about 40 percent of the time and we haven’t had any issues with stains. You can also put a little bleach in the water about once a month, but I haven’t had to do that either.

Ok, so what do I do if I am out and about running errands or at a restaurant? I am so glad you asked.
I have a small wet bag that lives inside my diaper bag for moments like this. We also have a medium sized wet bag for day or weekend trips to fit more diapers. If the diaper is just wet, I roll it up and stick it in the bag. I do the same with stinks if I know I will be home soon to take care of it, but if it’s gonna be a while I may “dunk and flush” wherever I am, but I truly hate doing that so most of the time I just pack it up tight (stink secured) and take it home with me to spray there.

Anything else you want to know? Just ask. 🙂 And for your viewing pleasure here is a much younger Judah’s fluffy bottom.

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Our first year of cloth diapering: Part One

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For those of you whom have not yet had the pleasure of meeting him, that is one of our dogs, Bruce Wayne. He has nothing to do with this post but was to lazy to get out of the picture.

Full disclosure: This entire post is about types of diapers. If you find this in no way interesting please check back tomorrow when I post about much cooler things like ghost riding my whip.
Ok that’s not going to happen, but it would be so cool if I did.

When we first decided we were ready to have a baby, we thought nothing of things like nursing vs. formula, purees vs. solid food, baby carrying vs. stroller pushing, disposable vs. cloth diapers. We just wanted to have a baby to squeeze and love. And then, when the time came to make these decisions we made them based on what we thought we could handle and what was best for our family. I figured since I was staying at home that we could give this whole cloth diapering thing a try. And for us, it’s been just fine.

I have never been the kind of mom who plants my flag in one camp or another and then vows to fight for her side until the day she dies. Some moms are this way and that’s fine for them. They feel strongly about certain things ( baby wearing, breastfeeding, immunizations…) The list goes on and on, I am just not that way. I am more of a “let’s give this a whirl for a while and see how it pans out” kind of girl.

With cloth diapering, I am very glad we made this choice right now because it works well for us and saves us some money. If we have one, two, three, four, five, more kids down the road, I may change my mind. And I am ok with that, and I won’t be disappointed in myself for throwing in the towel when or if the time comes to do so if that’s what I feel is best for my sanity/ my family. And please don’t think that a disposable diaper has never touched Judah’s little bum. That’s not true either, sometimes all the cloth ones are still wet from the wash, or we aren’t hard core enough to use them when we go out of town, or we don’t want to submit the church nursery workers to what happens if he makes a stink in a cloth diaper.

I have had A LOT of questions about cloth diapering in the last year, and until now I didn’t feel well equipped to answer them because I was such a newbie. Now, after a year under my belt I still can’t answer all of the questions, but I can tell you what I have done and what I know.  So this is going to be a 2 part series. Today I will write just about the types of diapers we use, and then I will write another post on the care and cleaning and logistics of actually cloth diapering a baby.

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We use 3 different types of cloth diapers. There are about a bajillion brands and types out there. We asked around, did a bit of research and settled on these.

1. The BumGenius Brand 4.0 One Size Pocket Diaper

2. The Flip Hybrid Diaper System

3. The BumGenius Brand  Freetime All-In-One Diaper

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The first type of diaper we use are  The BumGenius Brand 4.0 One Size Pocket Diaper. That insert on the right gets tucked into a pocket in the cover on the left. We have 6 or 7 of these and initially we thought we would only use this type. We like them a lot. We have had hardly any leaks. We use 2 inserts at night time and that does the trick for the most part. You can’t really see the snaps but they snap shut  easily and have 3 different adjustments for size. The only thing that I don’t love about these is pulling out the insert before it goes in the wash. It gets pretty wet but they need washed separately so it must be done. Plus after the wash, these type have to be re “stuffed” adding an extra step to the laundry part, but honestly stuffing them isn’t that big of a deal especially since we only have one baby.

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The second type of diaper we have is The Flip Hybrid Diaper System. From the outside, all three diapers look the same with adjustable snaps. This one is different from the first because there isn’t a pocket. The insert just lays right inside of it and touches the baby’s skin directly. It’s made of a different, safer, material. We have 3 covers and about 15 inserts I think. What is nice about these is that you can can take out the insert if it gets wet and reuse the cover. These were extra nice when Judah was younger and it seemed like he was peeing  all day long. Now, they aren’t my favorite. He can’t wear them at bedtime or nap time because he is a heavy wetter at those times and he gets soaked, and if he makes a stink, chances are it’s going to get on the cover anyway and the covers are a pain to spray off with the diaper sprayer (more on that in part two).  But, it is still nice to be able to not stuff them on laundry day and we still use them a whole lot.

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The third type of diaper we use is The BumGenius Brand  Freetime All-In-One Diaper. The above photo shows what it looks like all folded up like the baby wears it, and then stretched out. Basically, it doesn’t have a pocket like the 4.0, it has an insert like the Flip, but it’s sewn in directly to the cover. Hence the name: All-in-One. It’s all one piece.
These diapers weren’t on the market until a few months after Judah was born and we had plenty of diapers so I thought we wouldn’t ever have any. Plus, I read some reviews and people were saying that even though you don’t have to stuff them, which is nice for laundry, they take an extra long time to dry so it wasn’t worth it. Then one day I was at Target and someone had bought these online and then returned them to the store so there were two of them on clearance in an incorrect box for a ridiculously cheap price and I grabbed them up. So, we only have 2 of them, but I love love love them. It just makes sense. It’s exactly like a disposable diaper, as in, no stuffing or reusing, you just throw it in the laundry instead of in the trash. We don’t have leaking issues with them and I don’t have to stuff them on laundry day, Plus, they do not take longer to dry on the rack than the other ones. so #winning. If we continue to cloth diaper future babies I will definitely be investing in more of these.

So there you have it. The pros and cons to all three that we use. I feel like cloth diapers have come a long way in the past decade or so and it will be interesting to see what happens with them in the coming years as well. Stay tuned for part two of this riveting series.

Here is a a link to part two of the series.