Diaper Rite Premium Cover and Pail Liner Review

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Diaper Rite brand products are made exclusively for Diaper Junction and include prefolds, wipes, fitteds, wet bags, pocket diapers and more. I recently received the new and improved Diaper Rite pail liner and Premium one-size diaper cover to review and share with you! These two products are available in six colors; my pail liner is Stone (gray) and the cover is Grass (bright green).

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Here are the basic features of the Diaper Rite Premium diaper cover:

  • It’s made of waterproof PUL.
  • The inside of the cover has a flap at the front and back to help secure inserts or diapers. The back flap is elasticized for even better performance.
  • The inside is wipeable, which means you can reuse it a few times if it isn’t soiled with #2.
  • The rise features 3 rows of snaps, which translates to 4 size settings (three snapped up and one completely open).
  • The wings close with double snaps.
  • There are double gussets around the legs (a second, inner elasticized band)

WHAT I LIKE:

  • The elastic is very strong while at the same time the leg openings are snug and comfortable.
  • The double snaps at the waist help to keep the wings from curling back, and the wings stretch generously for a good fit.
  • It’s a roomy cover that fits well over fitteds, prefolds, flats or whatever else I feel like putting inside.
  • It’s performed great overnight with no leaking.
  • The elastic sewn inside the back flap helps hold inserts in place better (in my opinion) than other covers with regular flaps.
  • Diaper Rite offers a lifetime warranty on snaps and six months on defects in materials/workmanship.
  • It’s only $8.95.

WHAT I WOULD CHANGE: Like the Diaper Junction cover I reviewed last month (same company, different brand), this one has angled snaps at the waist, whereas I would prefer them to be straight up and down. I’m also hoping that more colors and prints will be released.

This is the Diaper Rite cover on Erik; in this picture he is 19 months old and 22 pounds. He’s got a Geffen prefold inside the cover.

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I also tried it on newborn Ingrid. Although there is a lot of extra fabric and it looks kind of saggy, I actually got a good fit around the waist, and the leg openings didn’t gape open at all. So, it works in a pinch and nothing leaks out, although I do prefer a trimmer cover in terms of looks. But it’s good to know this cover could work from birth to potty training for families who don’t have room in the budget for “newborn sized” diapers.

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You might be wondering how this cover compares to the Diaper Junction cover, since both are made exclusively for this company. Here’s a quick rundown:

  • Diaper Junction covers are made of TPU; Diaper Rite covers are PUL.
  • Diaper Junction covers do not have double gussets; Diaper Rite covers do.
  • Diaper Junction covers are $7.95 and come in more color choices; Diaper Rite covers are $8.95 and come in six colors so far.
  • Diaper Junction covers have a single row of snaps at the waist; Diaper Rite covers have two.

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And now the pail liner:

  • It’s made to fit 54 QT cloth diaper pails and 13 gallon trash cans.
  • It’s made of PUL with sealed seams.
  • The opening is made with heavy-duty elastic.

I use the liner with a smaller trash can and it works great. The lower profile pail enables me to keep it tucked inside our laundry room cabinet. The elastic truly is heavy duty and is super strong; the liner never slips or shifts in the pail, even when completely filled with diapers. The bag completely holds in wetness and I can turn it inside out on laundry day right into the machine so no diapers touch my hands. At just $14.95, it’s very competitively priced.

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Have you tried any Diaper Rite products? Visit Diaper Junction and just look at all the 5 star ratings they get!

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Cloth Diapering Your Newborn: Prefolds and Flats

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Using a prefolds or flats inside a waterproof cover is probably the most popular way to diaper a newborn, and the folding doesn’t have to be complicated. Prefolds and flats are very economical, ranging from $1 to $3 apiece; a small stash of 6 to 8 covers won’t cost you an arm and a leg, either (my favorite newborn cover is only $10). They also grow with your baby and can be used later for other things (doublers, burp cloths, cleaning rags, etc).

PREFOLDS

There are a lot of choices available when it comes to newborn prefolds. Besides the standard cotton diapers, you can find bamboo and hemp blends. I tested some of each kind. This photo comparison shows the difference in length when folded in thirds.

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Geffen hemp jersey prefolds are made of a super thirsty blend of 4 layers of 40% hemp and 60% organic cotton which is very soft and smooth. It doesn’t quilt up like regular prefolds. Each size has a different color of stitching at the edges. My orange-edged newborn prefolds are some of our most reached-for diapers simply because I don’t have to change Ingrid every 2 hours or so like I would with a regular prefold. They are also cut shorter and wider and fit perfectly in newborn covers. Overnight, our Geffens work great with a small doubler. And they are easy to use; simply fold in thirds and lay in a cover. The fabric does stain easily. You can find them at Dearest Diapers, Nicki’s Diapers and Kelly’s Closet.

Imagine SmartFit prefolds (same as Nicki’s GreatFit prefolds) are my second favorites! They are cut a little shorter and also wider than regular prefolds (see the GroVia and Bummis above) so you don’t have to fold down the back or front to fit in a cover; and more width means more coverage. Folding the edge down adds bulk and can make the waistband of a cover gape open a little. You can choose cotton or bamboo/cotton prefolds from Imagine; I prefer the bamboo blend as they are both softer and a little more absorbent. You can find SmartFit prefolds with FREE shipping both at Nicki’s and Diaper Safari.

GroVia bamboo prefolds are super soft, but for some reason not as absorbent as the Imagine SmartFit prefolds I tested. They are also longer, so to fit in a newborn cover I have to fold down either the front or the back, creating excess bulk. When folded in thirds, the GroVia prefold is also more narrow than the SmartFit. They are sold in packs of 3 and can be found at Sweetbottoms Baby (with free shipping), Diaper Junction and Kissed by the Moon.

Bumkins unbleached cotton prefolds are similar to many “standard” prefolds that you’ll find on the market in terms of size and absorbency. There are 6 layers of absorbency in the middle and 2 on either side. Their newborn prefolds are actually labeled “preemie” and have a limited size range of 5 to 9 pounds. Absorbency is average. They are also long and narrow, so they don’t fit as well in our newborn covers. You can find Bumkins prefolds in packs of 6 at Dream Diapers.

This photo shows how the shorter SmartFit prefolds are cut to fit into covers better:

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FLAT DIAPERS

Flat diapers turned out to be easier than I thought, especially when I created the Mini Pad Fold. I tested a couple of different flats from Nicki’s, and also tried using old receiving blankets but they were too big and bulky for my newborn covers.

Imagine unbleached cotton flats come in sizes small and large. The smalls I’ve used on Ingrid measure about 24×24.5 after washing and drying. They are softer than bleached cotton but comparable in absorbency. The edge seam is very low profile and doesn’t create much bulk at all when folded up.

Imagine bamboo flats are actually blended with cotton but are even softer! I’d like to replace all my cotton flats with these, and the price isn’t that much more. They look pretty much the same but the measurements for size small are a little different: after prepping they measured 22.5×26.5, so definitely not as square as the plain cotton flats. The shorter length actually helped them fit better in newborn covers, however, so I liked that. The edge seams on these are also low profile and don’t create excess bulk when the diaper is pad folded. The bamboo flats are slightly more absorbent, so this is another plus and the reason I use these more.

Imagine printed flats are made of cotton but come in several cute patterns. I tested the dino print on bleached (white) cotton. After prepping they shrank to about 24.5 inches square. Though adorable, they aren’t as soft as the unbleached cotton and bamboo flats. Their absorbency is comparable to any regular cotton flat diaper.

Here is a photo comparison of three different types of flats pad folded, so you can see the marked difference in length:

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And a photo of the small Nicki’s flat diapers mini pad folded and tucked into a newborn cover:

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Happy diapering!

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Newborn Cloth Diaper Reviews, and a BIG Giveaway!

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A new baby at Zephyr Hill means more newborn diaper reviews AND a giveaway! When Ingrid arrived, I was able to try some brands we didn’t have when Erik was born.

Here are the updated posts, grouped according to style:

Newborn Diaper Covers
Newborn Fitted Diapers
Newborn AIO Diapers
Newborn Pocket Diapers
Newborn Prefolds and Flats

For the giveaway, there will be two winners!

Grand Prize winner receives a package worth $130!

  • JuJuBe “Super Be” diaper bag: choose between the Shadow Waltz and Royal Envy prints
  • Sweet Pea Newborn AIO (gender neutral), courtesy of our friends at Sweet Pea Diapers!
  • Imagine Stay Dry AIO (Indigo)
  • Imagine Newborn Diaper Cover (Emerald)
  • Rumparooz Newborn Diaper Cover (Peacock)
  • Thirsties Duo AIO, Size 1 (Honeydew)
  • Thirties Duo Wrap, Size 1 (Aqua)
  • 3 Pairs of Snap-EZ Nursing Pads in Assorted Colors

Runner Up receives a $20 gift card to Nicki’s Diapers! It starts August 28th and ends at midnight on September 8th. Open to both US and Canada.

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Good luck and thanks so much for helping me celebrate Ingrid’s arrival!

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Tiny Love 3-in-1 Rocker Napper Review & Giveaway

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The Tiny Love 3-in-1 Rocker Napper is a versatile piece of baby gear which converts easily from a seat to a napper and grows with your baby. I received a Rocker Napper in the brown and red design to review, and it came just in time for newborn Ingrid!

Here are the specs:

  • Three options: napper, tilted seat and inclined seat (pictured below) – a red lever on the back is used to adjust positions, and bars on the front and back of the legs allow you to switch from stationary to rocking.
  • Gentle vibrations (requires C battery)
  • Nine different tunes and lights (requires three AAA batteries)
  • Curved legs that allow you (or an older infant) to manually rock the seat
  • Two hanging toys
  • Washable bassinet and sleeping pad
  • Recommended from birth to 40 pounds
  • Measurements: the sleeping area is about 27 inches long and 13 inches at its widest; when in the completely flat (napper) position it’s about 10 inches off the floor
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It took about 30 minutes to assemble and was pretty straightforward with the exception of two small white plastic clips (“Part L”) that were pictured in the manual but no instructions were given as to their function. A call to Tiny Love revealed that they are anchors which go under the bottom of the seat to keep it from sliding. Tiny Love’s service department was very prompt and helpful and also sent me a set of complete instructions via email which explained exactly how to install and use the clips.

Ingrid sleeps very soundly in the Rocker Napper, and judging by its size I would say she’ll fit comfortably in it for a few more months.

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What I like:

  • If your baby falls asleep while in the seated position, you can gently and quietly adjust it down to the napper position without disturbance using the red lever on the back.
  • The seat and pad are very soft and cozy.
  • The music is appealing, not annoying at all, and the volume can be adjusted.
  • Even at the young age of just 3 weeks, Ingrid is already very captivated by the hanging toys, music and lights. I often find her gazing quietly up at them.
  • You can adjust the height of the toys by means of a velcro strip.
  • The arm which holds the toys swivels so you can move it out of the way.
  • The Rocker Napper is easy to pick up and move around the house.
  • Ingrid loves taking naps in it, and that’s just what I was hoping for!

What I would improve:

  • Young infants might need added support to sit comfortably; Ingrid is almost a month old but starts to slump to one side unless I anchor her with rolled blankets.
  • It’s low to the ground so it didn’t work bedside as I had planned because of having to reach way down. Young children will need to be closely watched when the baby is napping, since the Rocker Napper is well within their reach.
  • Hopefully, the next edition of the manual will have complete instructions and usage guidelines (not just pictures).
  • The rocking feature works better on hardwood floors than it does on carpet.
  • The size range for the rocker seat (up to 40 pounds) might be too broad; Erik is 18 months old and 24 pounds and has maxed it out (see photo below). But if you invest in the Rocker Napper right after birth, you’ll still get a lot of use out of it.

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Tiny Love is giving away a Rocker Napper, just like I reviewed, to one lucky reader in the US! Enter the giveaway below, and good luck!

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New Swaddles from Summer Infant, plus a Giveaway!

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It’s so wonderful to see more babies being swaddled these days, because it’s such a simple and time-tested way to help them feel cozy and safe. Summer Infant recently added two more products to their swaddling line-up, and sent an assortment of wraps for us to try on newborn Ingrid: the SwaddlePod, the SwaddleMe, the SwaddleMe WrapSack and the Wearable Blanket:

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With the new product additions, Summer Infant now offers 4 stages of swaddling options since a baby’s needs change over time. Here are the specs on each, plus my thoughts:

Stage 1: SwaddlePod [5-10 lbs] Mimics the womb and helps keep your baby safely on his or her back.

Made of soft cotton with a touch of spandex, this wrap fits very closely to my tiny little girl and makes her feel very secure. I like the zipper protector near the neck and the fact that the zipper goes both ways to make changes easier. I use SwaddlePod only when it’s time for a good long stretch of sleep because it works amazingly well; like many newborns, Ingrid needs regular waking for nursing, so I don’t want her sleeping too long!

Stage 2: SwaddleMe [7-20 lbs] Wraps your infant safely and securely for sleep until he or she starts rolling over.

I like this wrap even better than the SwaddlePod because of the adjustable wings. You make it as snug as you need to. The hook and loop attachments are secure without being scratchy at all. For diaper changes you simply unwrap the wings and open the pouch up.

Stage 3: SwaddleMe WrapSack [7-20 lbs] A traditional swaddling sack that allows you to place your baby’s arms in or out of the wrap.

Being able to keep Ingrid’s arms inside or outside the sack makes this the wrap that I reach for most often. Even though she’s just a week old, she already likes to suck her fingers. And when I’m nursing her, I don’t want her to get too warm or cozy or she’ll fall asleep on me. Being able to wrap her with arms out is such a handy thing. This is a very versatile swaddler and definitely is the one I’d buy for a friend if I had to pick just one. Oh, and I LOVE the bumble bee print!!

Stage 4: ComfortMe Wearable Blanket [12-24 lbs] A wearable blanket that will keep your older infant warm and cozy without the need for loose blankets in the sleeping area.

Because of Ingrid’s size/age, I wasn’t able to test the wearable blanket, so I’ve put it aside for later.

You can click the photo for a larger image

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Here’s a quick recap of the Summer Infant swaddling system so you can see how they grow with your child. In addition, you can find plenty of helpful swaddling resources, at the Summer Infant website. Swaddles can be purchased on their website or at a variety of Summer Infant retailers – both online (like Amazon) and in stores.

Summer Infant is giving away a 4-pack of swaddles to one lucky reader, just like I reviewed! Giveaway is open to US residents only and ends Monday, August 25th. Good luck!

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Imagine Cloth Diaper Giveaway

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I’m giving away a cute gender-neutral Imagine Baby diaper set as part of the 3rd annual “Accessorize Your Stash in August” Giveaway Hop, hosted by the Blogging Mamas Network. All of the giveaways listed below follow this theme, so hop around for chances to win things like wipes, wet bags and more (including diapers). Be sure to enter the Grand Prize Giveaway which includes a QD Diaper Sprayer and a Planet Wise wet bag.

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My Imagine Baby prize package includes:

  • Waterproof one-size Imagine diaper cover in the “Trumpet” print
  • Matching Imagine “Trumpet” leggings – one size, fits most, cotton/nylon/spandex
  • Imagine washable fleece “stay dry” diaper liners

I like shopping for Imagine Baby over at Nicki’s Diapers because the covers always ship free, and there are SO many choices in this product line – diapers, wipes, leggings, prefolds, flats, AIO’s and even newborn diapers! Prices are super affordable, too.

This giveaway is open to readers in both the US and Canada and there are lots of FREE daily entries you can come back and claim. Good luck!

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So Easy Being Green, Viva Veltoro, the Blogging Mamas Network, and the Accessorize Your Stash in August participating bloggers are not responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill prize obligations.

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How to Check the Hardness of Your Water in 15 Seconds

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Are you curious about what type of water you have?

It helps to know if your water is soft or hard or somewhere in between when it comes to household concerns like laundry and maintenance. What type of detergent should you use? Do you need a water softener? Will your water heater be more prone to break down from mineral build-up? Your local plumber might be able to give you a rough idea of the water type based on a “grains per gallon” measurement. The scale of hardness, as defined by the Water Quality Association, is as follows:

Soft: 0-1 grains per gallon (gpg)
Slightly Hard: 1-3.5 gpg
Moderately Hard: 3.5-7.0 gpg
Hard: 7.0-10.5 gpg
Very Hard: over 10.5 gpg

But there’s also a simple and cheap test you can do at home. It costs just 99 cents and takes about 15 seconds: the Water Test Strip from Diaper Junction (aff):

It consists of a white paper test stick and a color chart which is printed right on the package:

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The water test strip from Diaper Junction is a cinch to use. Stick it under running water for 1 second. Shake off the excess water and then wait 15 seconds. Read the results by comparing the wet test strip to the color chart on the package.

My test result was right in the middle – the brown color equates to roughly 7 grains per gallon. According to the above scale, our water is “moderately hard.”

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If you’d like to get a water test strip for FREE, here are two options:

  • Receive a free test strip with any order over $20 at Diaper Junction; use coupon code 20TEST. That’s how I scored mine!
  • Request one from Water Boss.

Is your water hard or soft, or somewhere in between? Have you ever considered doing a test to get a definite answer?

 

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Smart Bottoms Newborn AIO Review

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Last week, Smart Bottoms released three new colors in their “Born Smart” newborn AIO: Lil Monster (purple and orange), Limelight (green and purple) and Crushin’ It (orange and green). I received a diaper to review on newborn Ingrid!

Here again are the specs:

  • 1 sewn-in organic cotton interior soaker plus a snap-in organic cotton soaker
  • Colorful waterproof PUL outer with an umbilical cord cutout
  • One additional set of snaps on the rise to give your newborn some extra growing room
  • Inner pocket for extra absorbency, if desired
  • Fits babies 6 to 16 pounds
  • Retails for $18

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Since the inner layers are made of organic cotton, I prepped this diaper like I would a prefold – with several hot washes. It took about six to reach full absorbency. To save energy, I prepped/washed it with my other diaper laundry, and then also a few times with my white loads (towels, underwear, socks, etc.).

What I Like:

  • The AIO style is so convenient when you’re busy with a newborn; nothing to fold or stuff.
  • It’s made in the USA.
  • The organic cotton soakers are very soft and smooth.
  • Drying time is normal since the soakers are not both sewn in the diaper.
  • The umbilical cord cutout fit just right under Ingrid’s belly button.
  • The second set of rise snaps allows your newborn to wear it longer.
  • The leg elastics are very gentle while still fitting snugly (note: you have to make sure no cotton material is peeking out the sides or moisture may wick out of the leg openings)
  • The inserts stay put in the wash so you don’t have to re-attach them. To me, this helps the diaper truly live up to being an AIO.

What I Would Change:

  • A hook and loop option for even quicker changes might be nice. Although I love snap diapers, velcro closure works great for squirmy, skinny little newborns.
  • More absorbency was needed for Ingrid if she wore this diaper for over 2-3 hours. Fortunately, the inner pocket opening makes it easy to add a small doubler from your stash. Compared to a flat inside of a newborn cover, the Smart One is less absorbent, but this is usually the case with AIO diapers. They are convenient and easy to use, but you’ll sacrifice a little in terms of absorbency.

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In addition to the 3 new colors, the Born Smart AIO is also available in Flamingo (pink), Bluebird (light blue), Duckling (pale yellow), Emerson (plaid print) and Ella (floral print). You can purchase online at Smart Bottoms or at participating retailers.

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Let’s Celebrate the New Baby with a bumGenius Chaplin Giveaway!

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Since we didn’t know our baby’s gender, I bought the Limited Edition “Chaplin” Flip cover when it was released last month.

We were blessed with a sweet baby girl. So I’m giving the Flip cover away!

Enter using the Rafflecopter form below. Giveaway ends in 6 days and is open to both my US and Canadian readers…good luck!

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Ingrid is Coming Home From the NICU!

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Ingrid Elizabeth arrived last Monday, July 28th after a six hour labor. She was “sunny side up” which hampered progress temporarily (and gave me an unrelenting backache). But once she turned it took just two pushes to deliver her. My water didn’t break until the very end and the midwife noticed some staining in the fluid. I remember we suctioned a couple of times from her nose and mouth, but otherwise everything looked good.

She was a lovely 7 pound baby with fair skin and a crown of pale gold hair, so the name Ingrid seemed to suit her perfectly! Ingrid is Scandinavian in origin and means “Hero’s Daughter.” Elizabeth is my maternal grandmother (may she rest in peace) and comes from the Hebrew meaning “the promise of God.”

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The next day, I got a routine follow-up call from the midwife, and I mentioned that Ingrid’s respirations were not slowing down to a normal rate of 60 or less. Because of what we knew about the possibility of meconium aspiration, she urged me to visit the doctor right away. Low oxygen levels and a chest x-ray confirmed pneumonia. That day was a scary one for us, since we lost our daughter Margaret to pneumonia. Was it God’s will that we go through that again with this little girl? While sitting outside the radiology room, I distinctly remember telling God “I can’t do this again.” Later, I apologized to Him for saying that. Didn’t He promise He would always be with me? Doesn’t He say that everything works together for good? Wouldn’t I be a hypocrite if in one breath I said I was open to God’s will, but with another put limitations on exactly what His will should be?

So I promised to be truly willing to accept whatever may come. And after about 5 days of respiratory support and 7 days of IV antibiotics, God has granted healing and Ingrid is coming home, ready to be loved and nursed and diapered and kissed and dressed up by her big sisters and brothers!

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Many of you have been praying for Ingrid and sending well wishes our way; what an undeserved blessing it is to have a circle of family, friends AND readers to bear you up during a trial. I thank God for all of you and look forward to posting this month about Ingrid’s progress, our stash of newborn diapers to review and a big newborn giveaway (hey, I kind of feel like celebrating)!!

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