Kaia Calhoun Photography is featured on Houzz today!

When you have an amazing designer of a sister-in-law Sarah ‘Calhoun’ Malhotra, you simply HAVE to get back on board as a photographer and writer for Houzz in order to show her beautiful work to the world!

Written and Photographed by: Kaia Calhoun Photography

Good Reads: June 2017

Favorite Authors Right Now

I read at least three books with Maisy every day.  We’ve read and reread every single book on her bookshelf probably at least 50 times each.  Love those books, but I’m so done reading them.  So, for the past several months we’ve been going to the library once every week or so and stocking up on books to read before naps and bedtime.  These are my top reads as of late.

Children’s Books

I love educational books.  I love books with rhythm and rhyme.  I love books that have amazing illustrations.  These two authors have it all!  As a result I’ve been grabbing any of their books off the shelves any time they are there.  I’m extra pleased both authors have, indeed, written several too.  I’d be so sad if there was only one!

Keith Baker

My favorite book of his:  LMNO Peas

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Jamie Lee Curtis

My favorite book of hers:  Big Words for Little People

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Why to: cloth diaper

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I cloth diaper my babies for great reasons

  • To save money
  • To protect the earth
  • And, to protect my baby from harmful chemicals

Save Money

We were blessed enough to receive most of our collection in gifts, free hand-me downs, or very cheap hand-me downs.  It helped that we didn’t want much else on our baby wishlist except for cloth diapers!  But, even if we did buy our whole collection, we’d still be saving money.  Here’s the math.

Cost of Cloth: $416.15

This is priced using Best Bottoms.

  • 9 covers
  • 21 inserts
  • 21 large inserts
  • 4 small overnight inserts for doubling (hemp)
  • 4 large overnight inserts for doubling (hemp)

These numbers get you through a 3-4 day wash cycle.

Cost of Disposables:  $1,596.88

And this is only if you have your baby potty trained at 2.5 years old and that you only use an average of 7 diapers every 24 hours.

This is priced using Seventh Generation diapers, from what I know of disposables they are in the low range for cost.  They are what we would buy if we bought disposables because they are the only brand that gets at A+ according to Better World Shopping Guide.

Brief moment on a soap box.

Vote with your dollar.  Stop voting for the naughty companies that are destroying our world.

Off soap box.

How long will it take for my cloth diapers to pay for themselves?

Less than 7 months.

Protect the Earth

The best thing you can do to be a good steward when it comes to diapering is to cloth diaper!  You will be saving all the energy that is wasted into our world in the manufacturing process.  You will save the resources that go into those diapers. And you save a disgustingly huge heap of diapers from rotting in a landfill.

Protect Your Baby from Harmful Chemicals

I quote:  “Dioxins and sodium polyacrylate, two of the chemicals found in disposable diapers, have either been linked to or have caused the following toxic responses: cancer, reproductive & infertility problems, asthma & respiratory distress, hormonal problems, developmental & cognitive problems, suppressed immune system, diabetes, endometriosis, allergic reactions, chemical burns, Chloracne…” (http://awesomebeginnings4children.com/the-harmful-chemicals-in-disposable-diapers/). These are just two out of the eight commonly known and used harmful chemicals in most disposable diapers.

Cloth diapers are all natural.  No harmful chemicals.

Do I hope this shortish blog post sways you to acquire cloth diapers for your children?

Absolutely.  There are some things in life I am more than certain are the best way to go, cloth diapering is one of them!  Let’s save some money while helping conserve our resources, protecting the world God gave us from any trash and chemicals we can, and protecting our developing babies from diaper toxins that leech into them through their skin.

More blog posts to help you start your journey into cloth diapering:

Cloth Diapering 101

Laundering Your Cloth Diapers 101

Lastly, after all is said and done here, I do not judge.  I love all my fellow moms no matter what path you take because it’s hard enough being a mom without feeling judged at every turn.  Continue to consider me a safe harbor to share any struggles, I’m always happy to listen and commiserate.

For those of you that do cloth diaper, why do you do it and what do you love most about it?

 

 

 

A Letter to Penny: Oh How You’ve Healed Me

7 Month Old Penny

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Dearest Penny,

I simply, completely adore you.  You are sweet, gentle, and easy-going. You so specifically and keenly adore me and only ever long to be with me.  You are a fast learner, so smart.

You are so beautiful.  Your deep blue eyes calm me as if they were made of quiet, lapping ocean waves.  They are so captivating and life-giving I can’t look away from you.  Your smile fills me up with warm tingles, butterflies, and a bubbly pleasantness all at once and, in turn, inevitably lights my own face up in a returning smile.  You’re pale, marshmallow arms and legs are buttery soft and perfect for all day squishing and snuggling.

I love the way you always look for me when someone else is holding you.  I love the way you hold a gaze with me.  I love the way you turn into me and seek to embrace me in a squeeze with your tiny wingspan the minute we start heading upstairs to enjoy some pre-nap nursing and snuggles.  I love the way you light up, ear to ear, the minute I peek my head in the door to get you from a nap.  I love the way your arms and your legs pump in excitement when I pick you up.

It’s hard to say what I love most about you, I truly love all of it equally and with every fiber of my being.  But what amazes me the most about you is how peace-giving you are to me.  Something about you grounds me in the center of the best me I can be.  Something about you brings me peace and calm even when I normally would be a raging storm.

You have been a healing presence.  From pregnancy, to labor, to birth, to babyhood.  Ever since you were conceived you changed me completely.  The pregnancy hormones that surged through my being to develop you did something equally amazing at the same time, corrected my postpartum depression overnight.

I remember the day everything changed.  I remember waking up that morning to my 5am wake up call of a first born daughter and saw the world in a golden light and felt a skip in my step.

And then in labor you gave me a second miracle, a natural home birth that was much shorter and more rewarding than my previous experience delivering Maisy.

Your third miracle was your first breath.  You fought for that breath with the cord around your neck and after… until you, and I, could breath easy.

Your fourth miracle was simply being you.  I found so much joy in being your mother from the moment I pulled you into my arms with that last push.  I loved you immediately and so completely.  You made me understand why babies are so wonderful and so loved.  You made me want this babyhood stage to never end.  You are so pure and so perfect.  You are so reasonable and sweet.

With all this gushing about you I feel I have to mention that I also love your sister ferociously – just as much, though very differently.  She is the fire that was built to refine me.  You, dear Penny, are the peace sent to calm me.  When I look at you I feel God whispering to me, “she is your gift.”  And my heart whispering back, “thank you for this gift.”

I love you with all my heart and always will.

Love,

Mommy

 

June Newsletter – Keeping up with Kaia

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JUNE NEWSLETTER

My head is spinning!  Truthfully, I’m having some trouble coordinating all these amazing things I get to be a part of while working around my husbands also crazy schedule and still ensuring I’m not missing out on any quality time with my family.  It looks a lot like this… 50 hour work week with day care, 10-20 hour work week with photo sessions and editing, stubbornly refusing to miss out on the bedtime ritual ever, and keeping the Sabbath VERY holy and doing as little as possible so I can just BE with my family and recharge for the week ahead.

June is a crazy and blessed month!

  • I’m now freelancing for Madison Magazine and the Madison Children’s Museum
  • Still photographing 2 – 5 pieces for BRAVA Magazine per month
  • Back to freelancing for Houzz.  Photographed the wonderful Sarah‘s house and excited to share that link once the post is up – she’s an interior stylist… check out her website and HIRE HER!
  • We have some more awesome kids joining our day care crew for the summer.
  • Photographed Julia‘s amazing birth and baby boy and I can’t wait to share some of those images with you lovely friends.
  • I’m in the thick of wedding photography season and I’m photographing portraits right and left.  My schedule still has some gaps but is nearly full so if you need photography you’d better snatch me up quickly!
  • My gorgeous Maisy is turning three in a couple of weeks!  Excited to share pictures of this party with you too!
  • My garden is all in and we’re waiting to see seedlings from the latest round of seeds!  Tried a new approach this year and I’m very excited to share pictures and successes (crossing my fingers) from all of it!
  • Chickens also have a new set up.  And I still need to officially get portraits of my lovely ladies up on the blog.  Chickens are the coolest.  Seriously.  I’ll take a chicken over a dog any day.  Crazy thing for this dog-lover to say!

It’s BUSY here, but so awesome!