Well, we have a swamp cooler (also known as an evaporative cooler) which is basically a big pad with a water pump and a fan in a vented box on the roof. The pump drenches the pad, the fan sucks air through the wet pad, and the air is cooled through the magic of evaporation and blown through ducts into the house. It works like MAGIC when the humidity is less than about 20%...seriously, it was 100+ for the entire month of June, and for most of that time, we'd turn the cooler on for 10 minutes and have to turn it off because we were COLD. And our electric bill is like $30/month.
HOWEVER, once the monsoons hit at the beginning of July, the whole concept doesn't work so well. It just makes your house slightly cooler and a lot more humid. Right now during the day our house is mostly hovering around 85+ with 50-60% humidity. Not horrific, but super sticky and uncomfortable, especially with a tiny person who wants to live glued to your skin!! Oh, and we have 1940's crank-out casement windows, which are not window-unit friendly.
The ideal out here is houses with dual swamp and a/c...that way when the humidity is low, you can have awesome super efficient cooling (not to mention none of the annoying drying side effects of a/c) but in the middle of the summer when things get sweaty, you don't have to suffer. Someday........
Leigh, we also do not have AC. We live super close to the ocean, but when the breeze dies down it gets SO HOT. At times our upstairs can be 100 degrees easy. The worst month is August. So far, July has been amazing and I don't even miss not having air...but I know it's just around the corner! Last summer we had bible studies here and we had to sit outside and use paper plates as fans, it was slightly embarrassing...but I'm sure all our friends went home and were so grateful for their A/C units that they never really appreciated before! haha
Baby gear...oh yes we definitely have some faves around here. My Sleepy Wrap (I think it's called Boba Wrap now), Ergo for when they're older, muslin blankets...I use those for everything! What else...my co-sleeper, which has been through 3 kiddos now! We also love those little crib soothers, I think we have the Rainforest one...it lights up and plays music. AND I musn't forget our strollers! We have a double BOB, it's 5 years old and it still ROCKS and we can put all 3 boys on it PLUS all our gear and it rolls right along effortlessly. We also have a Phil and Ted's that we keep in the car for the mall/store or just quick trips. When I had Owen, that became my best friend because he could stay in his car seat and snap into the top, Josiah hopped into the bottom seat, and Jacob held onto the jogging strap. It helped me out so much. It's pretty beat up now, but we still love it and we'll use it for this baby too (even thought I want to buy a new stroller!). A few more things...my brest friend pillow for the beginning, then Boppy for later, Motherlove nipple cream, and Honest Company healing balm.
Oh yes, that My Breast Friend! How could I forget! Loved that thing...definitely need another! DH called it "the lunch counter" LOL! I should find out whether BFF is planning to pass hers along...
Our house can get up to 90 before the monsoon cools things down but after the humidity starts rising...fortunately we have no second floor or it would probably be unlivable for July and August.
sorry to lead off topic, but I'd definitely count a/c (at least in the bedroom for a summer baby) as something I couldn't live without. ;)
are those pillows really better than the boppy? I have tiny breasts that the boppy never lifted the babies high enough for me.
My boys love the rainforest soother, too. :)
WAY better, IMO, because it straps on around your waist. You can adjust it however you need it, and best of all, I could walk around wearing it and nursing, just using one arm to cradle the baby and using my other to actually do stuff. It was a total lifesaver in the early days, while she was light and before I mastered ring sling nursing.
Hahaha... just realized I created this post and forgot to answer it because we have been super busy the last two days.
The Boppy... I used my boppy for like 12 months the last time because DD2 was a lazy nurser... she wouldn't support herself at all and I still had to hold my boob with one hand pretty much during the whole feeding (my nursing boobs are large... could never really walk around and nurse much... wish I would have been able to master the walk and nurse/carrier thing. Maybe this time). And my baby carriers too. Moby at first and Ergo later.
My dad made me a cradle when I was preggo with DS and each of my kids have slept in that for the first 4-6ish months. I have it right by my side of the bed so I can reach out and touch them in the middle of the night. I LOVE having them there, but too afraid to cosleep as I NEED lots of blankets on me in the winter to stay warm.
I also have gotten a ton of use from our SwaddleMe blankets... all of my kids have LOVED to be swaddled. Just swaddle and they would fall asleep for naps. Think that may have replaced the pacifier for them... if they were swaddled, they would sleep. Also the bouncy seat at first has been great. With other kids running around the house, it is a nice place to put the baby to keep them safe from the others.
Oh and nursing pads... I tried cloth, but really didn't like them at all. Maybe because my nursing boobs are so large, but I always felt like they were the first thing people could see. I do think J&J's are my fav regular ones too.
And of course I LOVE my cloth diapers... love the patterns/colors we have, little to-no blowouts, no chemicals against babies skin, and not having to spend money weekly/monthly on disposable wipes/diapers.