After 5 years of being a stay-at-home mom, I found the wonder of mothering slowly starting to get crowded out by the mundane feeling. I realized our world seems to surround people with the negative, and complaining about blessings seems totally acceptable. So I decided to fight against that "normalcy" and focus only on the positive. I look back to my first year as a mom when everything was new and keeping house was fun and I aim to have that attitude again. This blog is my outlet to showcase the daily miracles that surround me in my blessed life as a stay-at-home mom so that I will never forget the wonder of it all.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Fall Cleaning

We've had mice. 

In the kitchen. 


We tried everything to save the cost of an exterminator.  They stole the food out of the snap traps without being pinned, they dodged the sticky mats, and they refused to eat the poison.  Enough was enough.  I had a half functioning kitchen.  Silverware was up with the glasses.  The drain tray held the contents of two full drawers.  And a few cabinets were closed and locked to be dealt with when I wasn't so grossed out.  So, the exterminator was called.  I kid you not, the morning the exterminator was to arrive, I noticed that the mice had FINALLY eaten into the little bag of poison.  I didn't even care anymore.  I just wanted them GONE!  At least the exterminator is spraying for bugs at the same time for no additional charge.  And if you've been to my house, you know we have a bug problem.  We've tried to embrace the daddy long legs.  After waiting 2 weeks to make sure there was no additional mouse activity, I started cleaning last night.  I could stand my half functioning kitchen no longer.  Its a SMALL kitchen to begin with and I was DONE digging through my drain tray to find the can opener.  Zac took the big kids shopping for Kian's first birthday present and I got Kian to bed and snapped those yellow gloves on.  I swear those could be used as compression gloves!  And I didn't even mind that my hands were sweating buckets, my kitchen was getting cleaned!  After lots of trashed paper drawer liners, lots of bleach, tons of Lysol, and drying time, I was finally able to get my kitchen back in order.  Nothing like mice to get you Fall cleaning.  By the way, I HATE sticky paper drawer liners.  We have press board cabinets (no I'm not lying) so that stuff NEVER stuck.  For six years, every time I put a cup in the cupboard and pushed it back, the paper would peal up with it.  ****rolls eyes***.  I've been eyeing cork roll but just couldn't justify the price in my beat up little kitchen.  In need of something last night, and not being able to leave the house to go buy anything due to a sleeping baby, I just found something I had a lot of...Birdseye cloth diapers that I once used as burp cloths.  I know, it sounds funny, but they made GREAT drawer liners!  And they somehow feel cleaner than a measly strip of paper.  I don't know why.  Anyways, I was such a happy Mama this morning in my sparkly and put away kitchen that I got right up and made all 3 kids Frog in the Holes for breakfast.  This is saying A LOT as I'm usually the "pour cereal in bowls half asleep" kind of morning Mama. 

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Taggie Bonanza!

Ok, I can't help myself.  These little lovies are so easy and fun to sew!  I thought I'd just share the ones I've done lately.  I was just asked to sew two for purchase.  That was pretty fun.  By the way, if you don't know what a Taggie is, its just a little lovie for baby.  Babies like them because they're small enough for them to handle and they love feeling all the tags.  I make mine crinkle and try to use multiple fabric types.  Babies love feeling the different fabrics and love making the taggies crinkle.  A lot of moms whose toddlers like to drag around full sized blankets like these taggies for their kiddos because they're easier to tote around but still give their toddler a feeling of security out and about. 


                Front                                                                                 Back

And a few Taggie sets.  One with cloth wipes and liners, and one with burp cloths.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Flip Cloth Diapers - Our go to travel cloth

Here is another way to cloth diaper that we've tried.  Basically, the Flip is like a pocket diaper without the pocket....if that makes sense.  The Flip cover is made of the same PUL material that a pocket diaper has as the outer layer.  It differs from a pocket because there is no fleece on the inside of the diaper.  You simply lay the inserts right inside the Flip and put on baby. 

Green Flip (without inserts) on left. Nubunz pocket on right.

The Flip cover is a one size diaper with snaps on the front just like my one size pocket diapers.  The inserts which come with the Flip are long, allowing you to fold them in front for additional absorbency there for a boy, or fold them in the back for additional absorbency there for a girl.  If you have a tummy napping girl, you can fold the inserts up in the front during nap time.  It just depends on what you find works for you. 
We bought two Flips for our summer vacation to New York.  We hate disposables.  I can't believe we used disposables only on our firstborn, Logan.  We used disposables on both Kian and Felicity on our winter trip to Disneyland and they seriously leaked out of EVERY single diaper.  I'm amazed I had enough clothes to last the day for them.  We feared this happening on the plane to New York and so did NOT want to use disposables.  The Flip was a nice compromise because it comes with the option of disposable inserts.  We didn't take our cloth to New York because of luggage room, but also because we didn't know if you are allowed to wash cloth diapers in public laundry mats. 
We ended up really liking the Flips for traveling.  They never leaked.  The Flip cover can be used multiple times with new inserts at each changing.  I know, I was skeptical at first too, but it works!  So in the airplane, I'd throw out the little disposable inserts, put new ones in the same Flip cover, and put it back on Kian.  This ended up taking up less room to pack in the diaper bag than even disposables would have.  I checked at each change to make sure no moisture had gotten on the Flip cover and even though it never did, I usually wiped the inside down with my wipe really quickly.  The other benefit to traveling with the Flip is that I easily hand washed the Flip cover in the bathroom sink at night with a little soap and hot water.  I hung it on the shower curtain rod overnight and in the morning it was dry and ready to use.  I know it sounds weird but I'm telling you, except for the one time Kian had upset stomach poop, nothing ever leaked out of the inserts and onto the Flip cover.  Oh, and I didn't hand wash after the upset stomach poop....don't worry. 
The disposable inserts are less waste than a disposable diaper but if you even want to be more green, you can use the Flip cover with the Gdiaper biodegradable inserts.  I did this in New York as well.  Every part of the Gdiaper biodegradable insert is....well....biodegradable.  The wet inserts can even be composted, though I don't personally love the idea of having human waste of any kind in my compost.  Its a nice feature though.  Regardless, you can throw it out in the trash and it is completely healthy for our landfills.  It is also flushable if you want to go to the trouble of pulling apart the front layer from the back.  Actually, I shouldn't say trouble as I've never done it.  Our toilet is finicky and I don't flush anything more than T.P. so I haven't tried it.
As I mentioned in my pocket diaper post, you have to figure out which style of cloth diapering works best for your lifestyle.  For us, the Flip is only useful for travel.  You may wonder why someone would use disposable inserts in a cloth diaper cover instead of just using disposable diapers for every day use.  But we all have different needs.  For example, I think the Flip would work great for my missionary friend in the Philippines who has to burn all their trash (making disposables questionable), but fears the wet, muggy weather will make drying cloth diapers hard.  In this case, the Flip would be great.  There would be less to burn than a disposable if she used the disposable inserts.  And if she used the Gdiaper biodegradable inserts, they could just bury or compost most of them.  The downside is that the biodegradable and disposable inserts aren't too cheap.  But even if she put the microfiber inserts in the Flip, there would still be less to wash and dry than say a pocket diaper.  Pocket diapers even dry faster than All in One Fitted diapers (which I won't post too much about since I haven't personally used them).  All in One Fitted cloth diapers are made to be like disposables in the sense that they are just one piece.  No pocket full of inserts.  But because they are one piece, they are made up of TONS of layers of absorbent fabric sewed together.  I hear they take longer to dry for that reason.
We haven't used our Flips since getting back from New York but I do plan on using them while camping next month.  Again, they will be less bulk to pack as I will only take two covers, and I can just throw the Gdiaper inserts right into the trash.  Easy and green cloth diapering while traveling!

As a side note, the Flip cover is like any one size diaper cover in the sense that you can put it on top of anything.  Heck, I could lay an old fashioned prefold in there if I wanted to.  If time allows, I'd like to try sewing a diaper myself and using the Flip as the waterproof outer diaper cover layer.  I'll post that if I get around to it, but I just wanted to mention that here because its just another feature of the Flip.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Toilet Sprayer - God's gift to cloth diapering parents

I was cloth diapered as a kid and my mom did not have a toilet sprayer.  Instead, she would toilet slosh poopy diapers.  And diapers that were really gross got left floating in the toilet for a good long soak.  Imagine retrieving that later on.  Thanks for doing that for me mom.  You're a better woman than me!
God bless the toilet sprayer!  I love this thing.  I have to say, the first time I used it I did NOT love it.  I held the diaper up too high and turned it on too hard and in a second I felt as if I'd just sprayed invisible poop particles all over my bathroom and myself.  Once sprayed clean, there I stood with a drenched diaper a whole room away from my diaper pail.  I avoided it for a while, only relenting to it when I had a situation that called for drastic measures.  In the last year I've learned how to use it and set up a pail next to the toilet for such situations.  Now I love it. 
Basically you must have a diaper wash pail in your bathroom RIGHT next to the toilet.  Make sure it is the kind that can be opened with a foot pedal.  You will also want a stash of cloth wipes in the bathroom within reach.  Lower the diaper into the toilet so that its almost touching the water line.  Gingerly press the handle down slowly so that you don't have a sudden burst of spray.  With my pocket diapers, I rarely need to use the toilet sprayer since the fleece sluffs the poop right off.  But every once in a while, a little encouragement is needed.  A lot of the time, one little spray is all that is needed to get it all to sluff right off.  Other times, like when baby is sick, a full dousing is called for.  Once sprayed off, open your diaper wash pail with your foot and put diaper in.  If its really drippy, grab a few cloth wipes to put under the drips while getting it into the pail.  The cloth wipes will absorb the water just fine.  Everything goes straight in to the pail and you're done.
Here's a picture of the kids' bathroom (which I can't believe I'm posting online).  I wanted you to be able to see my set up.  I'm a visual learner so I always go there.  You can see my foot pedal diaper wash pail there to the right of the toilet.  Its just an old trash can with a Target bag inside.  You don't need anything huge because if you're like me, not a ton of diapers will be going in there.  Most poopy diapers get emptied in the toilet leaving hardly anything on the diaper and no reason to spray so I just take it back into Kian's room and deposit it in my main diaper wash pail.  The thing hanging off the right side of the toilet is the toilet sprayer.  I like the convenient holder.  Always on hand are disinfectant wipes.  I don't usually get water spray on the toilet but I always wipe the rim down just in case.  Not pictured is the pile of cloth wipes which are usually just sitting in a stack on the back of the toilet.  I must have taken this picture on wash day.

Friday, September 17, 2010


I guess it was inevitable.  We've had our first rough day of homeschooling.  All three of us were at fault and the craziness just kept spinning until we all became severely overstimulated by it all.  I don't know what to do in such situations.  Do I stop for the day and try again tomorrow?  I mean, they're young enough that a missed day is no problem at all.  However, I didn't want to do this because I'm afraid that the kids will think that if they're having an off day, they can act up and Mommy will call it quits.  I tried to change tactics and went from more formal bookwork to an art project.  Still here, we failed.  The problem was lack of listening and problems following directions.  Logan wants to please so bad and wants to answer questions correctly to the point that I think it stresses him out and he sometimes spits out answers without really listening to the question.  I'm trying to teach him to stop and think before answering.  I think the next few weeks we will work heavily on art projects involving step by step direction following.  Art, because its not scary (as handwriting sometimes is) and my kids love it.  Plus, its an easy way to add to lessons.  Hopefully we won't fail with the art projects, like we did today, if I get them started on it BEFORE we are all already stressed out.  I'm hoping this was just a bad day.  So far, all the other days have been amazing, so we'll cling to that.  We chilled with some library books on birds and nests (our subject for this week) and all calmed down a bit.  Then we all apologized for our wrongs and agreed to put it behind us and move on with our day.  A good weekend to come and a fresh start on Monday sounds pretty great right now.  So does a night of sewing.  Maybe I can fit that in tonight......................................................................(dreaming)....................................

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Cloth Diaper Safe Diaper Rash Treatment

You won't want to use typical diaper rash creams with your cloth diapers.  If the fleece (the fabric against baby's skin) gets coated with cream such as A&D, Desitin, or the like, the diapers will wick moisture and leak.  Basically, these creams create a layer of waterproof substance on the diaper, not allowing moisture to be sucked down into the microfiber inserts.  A few times, if a rash was really bad, I have used a standard cream and then made sure to position the liner just right so that the cream didn't get on the diaper.  I then had to remember to throw out the liner at changing time though.  Honestly, this is not my favorite thing to do as I'm worried Kian will shift in a weird way and the cream will get on the diaper.  My kids have very sensitive skin and get diaper rashes easily, but actually, since switching to cloth, they RARELY have diaper rashes.  These days, I have found that when Kian DOES get a little red, a sprinkling of corn starch does the trick.  I learned this corn starch trick before I had kids when I was a babysitter.  Corn starch is cloth friendly.  My friend who also cloth diapers showed me how to pry the top off a baby powder bottle, dump out the baby powder, and pour the corn starch in there.  That works much better than my previous method of just storing it in a glass spice jar without a shaker lid.  The shaker lid is convenient.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Washing Cloth Diapers

This reason alone is why most people I know won't even consider cloth.  Or, its the main reason those about to use cloth get nervous about their upcoming cloth journey.  Let me tell you, I thought the same thing.  I remember sitting online with my husband looking at each other in disbelief that putting a soiled diaper in our washer was fine.  My husband kept saying, "are you SURE these don't have to be sloshed in the toilet first?"  Yep, that's what I'm saying.  That's the beauty of "new" cloth diapers.  The first time I changed newborn Kian and put his poop diaper straight into the diaper laundry pail, it felt weird.  But its true, the washer will get it all out.  I never used a toilet sprayer until he started eating solids.  And even then, God bless the toilet sprayer.  Don't be afraid of the toilet sprayer either.  I'll cover that in another posting.  OK, back to washing.  This is how I wash my pocket diapers.  If you are washing any other kind of cloth diaper, you can follow these same steps.
First of all, at the time I change Kian, I remove the inserts from the diaper and toss the diaper, inserts, liner, and wipes into the dirty diaper pail. 

See, its not scary once you open it up.  I personally think its kinda cute.  So I have a 13 gallon flip top pail from Target that was very inexpensive.  I own two pail liners made from PUL which I bought online for around $10 each.  I own two because when it comes time to wash, the pail liner in use at the time gets washed along with the dipes and the clean one goes in the pail.  I dump everything into the washer together.  No need to separate the parts of the diapers into different washes and no need to wash different brands or styles of diapers separately. 
Here's my wash routine;

1) Rinse and Spin (on cold) - This rinses out all the waste from the dipes.  If I know that this batch of diapers were exceptionally dirty (like when Kian had an upset stomach....sorry for the TMI) I will do an additional rinse and spin but I've only done that maybe two times.

2) Wash on Hot with detergent of choice - The hot wash sterilizes the diapers.  If you are using special detergent made for cloth diapers, follow the recommended amount on the box.  If you are using a general detergent, use 1/4 to 1/2 the recommended amount.  When we started out, I did SOOOOO much research on detergent.  I made a huge list of all the no-no ingredients and headed to Target where I found not one detergent that met the bill.  I tried the one that came the closest.....I believe it was made by Arm and Hammer....but after a month, the diapers were leaking.  So, I swallowed my fear and did what my cloth mama friends suggested and switched to Tide Free.  It works GREAT!  Since switching, the only time our diapers have leaked has been if we left the baby in the diaper too long.  Duh.  We have used Tide Free strictly with no problems for almost a year now.  On the box, it recommends filling to "line 1" for large loads.  I took a sharpy and made a line on the measuring scoop that was 1/4 of that and that is how much detergent we use per load.  Needless to say, detergent lasts forever in our house, adding to our savings by choosing to go cloth.

3) Rinse and Spin (on cold) with Vinegar - This last rinse and spin is just to get out any additional soap that may be left in the dipes.  Soap buildup makes diapers leak so you want to make sure its all out.  That's another reason why you only use 1/4 - 1/2 the recommended amount of detergent.  I have found that vinegar is my favorite secret weapon with cloth diapers.  It helps strip the diapers of soap.  If you are having leaking problems you can soak your diapers in vinegar overnight in the washer.  Since adding vinegar to my last rinse and spin, I have never had to do a vinegar soak for stripping.  I think it makes the diapers smell better too.  I don't measure, honestly.  I just dump some in.  I'm guessing its a cup or two.

4) Line Dry - I prefer to line dry my diapers and inserts.  I personally think they are more absorbent being line dried and they get naturally bleached by the sun.  I will pull out stained inserts from the washer and after being on the line, the stains are completely gone.  Plus, this is another money saver.  Line drying the dipes makes the elastic last longer too.  I don't love to hang dry my wipes and diaper liners.  Honestly, I just don't have enough clothes line room for the liners right now and they dry so fast anyways, I just throw them in the dryer.  The wipes get so starchy on the line I feel like I'm rubbing sand paper against my baby's bottom.  So I sift out the liners and the wipes and put them in the dryer.  After I hang my dipes and inserts, I start a load of clothing and once that's washed, I throw it in the dryer with my still wet wipes and liners and turn on the dryer.  Again, combining the wipes and liners with another drying load saves money and energy.

So that's my drill.  It may seem like a lot but its not.  I just wanted to explain it as completely as possible so you know the purpose of each step.  Once you get into your routine, you will be able to do it in your sleep.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Cloth Wipes

When we first started cloth diapering, I joined Diaper Swappers ( and learned that a lot of the families that cloth diaper also cloth wipe.  We thought that was so weird.  But then as we dove into cloth diapering, we slowly started to come around to the idea that cloth wipes would actually be easier.  My friend had given me a few which I'd put in the back of a basket somewhere.  I dug them out, gave them a try, and never went back to disposable wipes.  Next thing I knew, I was finding every scrap of flannel in my and my mom's house to turn into cloth wipes. 

When we were using disposable wipes, we were shocked at the rate we were pumping through them.  I was disgusted by the amount of money being spent on cloth wipes.  It seemed odd since we had switched to cloth diapers in an effort to save money.  We found that we were changing the diapers and making a "go in the diaper pail" pile and a "go in the trash" pile.  We'd lay a wipe on the changing table just to pile the soiled wipes on top of.  Then we'd top the pile off with another wipe, wrap it all up, and throw it in the trash.  Then we'd grab the diaper and get the inserts out of the pocket and put that in the wash pail.  It was a lot of piles, plus wiggly baby or toddler on the table at one time.  Cloth wipes are easy because once you wipe the baby, you just put the soiled wipe in your cloth diaper and everything goes in the wash pail just as used disposable wipes are placed in disposable diapers and all goes in the trash.  Its convenient.  I personally think the cloth wipes do a better job too. 

The one exception where I DO use disposable wipes is with the poop of an older baby/toddler.  Infant poop can go straight into the wash and it all comes out.  So before Kian started on solids, I'd use cloth wipes and wipe all the poop off his tush and throw it right in the wash pail.  After he started solids though and had gobs of solid poop, well.....I don't like to put that in my washer.  So I use a disposable wipe for that.  Every other change though, I use only cloth wipes.

I think it confuses people because cloth wipes are dry.  I took the advice of my cloth diapering mentor friend (shout out to Sherri!) and saved the perinatal bottles from the hospital after Kian was born.  These have become my wipe solution bottles.  One at the changing table and one in the diaper bag.  I squirt a bit of solution on the wipe and then use just like a disposable wipe.  That's it.  Can't get much easier.  If you do not have a perinatal bottle, any small spray bottle or sports top bottle will work. You can use straight water as your solution but I like to put a bit of soap in mine as well.  I just use whatever liquid infant bath soap we have on hand.  I put a few drops in the bottom of the bottle and then fill the bottle with water and shake.  Right now my soap is lavender scented but when its not, I like to add a few drops of lavender oil to it too.  You do not have to do that at all.  I'm just a sucker for lavender and would make everything smell like it if I could, including my baby's booty. 
Below is a picture of my wipe box at my changing station.  The cloth wipes are stacked in a pile.  The clear squirt bottle is the solution bottle.  I also keep hand sanitizer in this box.  The spice jar is full of corn starch, which is my choice of cloth friendly diaper rash treatment, which I'll cover in a later post.  After this picture was taken, I started using a baby powder bottle for my corn starch.  I just dumped out the baby powder and put corn starch in it.  This works much better since I can shake it on.  This box sits on a shelf under the changing pad so everything is right there and handy.  I also have disposable wipes at the back of the box for when needed.  Pretty simple.

Some people don't like to use cloth wipes out and about but I prefer it.  I have a wetbag (a bag made of PUL used to transport dirty diapers home in) that I carry my wipes and solution in.  I also have a small bottle of hand sanitizer in the wet bag so its almost identical to the pictured system above that I have at home.  The wetbag holds everything together perfectly and on the off chance my solution leaks its no problem because its in a waterproof bag.  But that's only happened once. 

Cloth wipes save us money, especially considering all that we have were free.  How?  I just made them.  Its really simple.  Online, you can buy ones made with all sorts of fancy material (bamboo, terry, fleece) but unless your little one has sensitivities towards certain fabric, just use flannel.  Its cheap and super easy to come by.  My mom and I both sew, so when it came time to make our wipes, I raided both our material scrap boxes.  I also turned old flannel receiving blankets into wipes.  I had a few I didn't like and my friend handed down a few girly ones when she found out she was having a boy.  That's it.  That was enough to give me TONS of wipes.  Its enough to keep a stash on the changing table, in the diaper bag, and in the kids' bathroom next to the toilet sprayer.  I'll add a tutorial soon for those of you who want to make your own.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Teddy Bear Day

According to our Clubhouse Jr. magazine, September 9th was "Teddy Bear Day."  We were busy packing for Felicity's birthday camping trip that day so school was pretty general and I didn't have a full day to devote to fun teddy bear projects.  So today we celebrated Teddy Bear Day with lots of teddy bear school activities.  We drew teddy bears (step by step direction following), colored pictures of teddy bears, ate peanut butter and honey bear sandwiches for lunch, did a gummy bear sorting and tallying activity, read books about bears, and made "Teddy Bear Gorp."  Logan also did some bear worksheets in afternoon school (our more formal school time when Felicity and Kian are napping).  Here are a few pictures from our day.  Our recipe for "Teddy Bear Gorp", which we altered slightly from the recipe in Clubhouse Jr., is below the pics.  Below the recipe is our bear reading list.  I read the first 3 books to the kids while they ate their lunch.  They are our FAVORITE books of all time.  If they're not in your home library, they should be!  A few other books from the list will be read with Daddy at bedtime tonight.  All around, a very fun Teddy Bear day.

I had these gummy bear sorting papers left over from when I was a student teacher.  First the kids colored their sorting pages.....

.....then they colored their tally sheet.

Next they sorted out their cups full of gummy bears.  We counted out each color and I wrote the results on their tally sheets.  This simple lesson incorporated colors, counting, direction following, adding, sorting, the concept of more than and less than, and more.  So easy. 


All their teddy bear work displayed for the kids to show Daddy when he gets home.

Teddy Bear Gorp

Combine in a paper bag;
1 Cup Cheerios
1 Cup Life cereal
1/2 Cup gummy bears
1/2 Cup M&Ms
1/2 Cup raisins
Handful of Honey Wheat pretzel twists

Have child shake the bag until contents are good and mixed. 

Bear Reading List

Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson
Bear Wants More by Karma Wilson
Bear's New Friend by Karma Wilson
God Gave Us You by Lisa Tawn Bergren
You're All My Favorites by Sam McBratney
The Snow Tree by Caroline Repchuk
No Trouble At All by Sally Grindley
Deep in the Forest by Brinton Turkle
We're Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen
......and any Berenstain Bears books of course

Moon Crayons

We did this activity a while ago, but it was fun so I thought I'd post it.  We use My Father's World for our main homeschool curriculum, and the Kindergarten curriculum basically does a letter of the week type plan.  For the week of M, we learned about the moon and its phases.  Our crayon supply had been driving me nuts because we had tons of broken bits and just WAY too many all together.  So Felicity, Logan, and I lined our muffin pan with muffin cups, peeled the paper off the tiny crayon bits (this occupied them for a GOOD long while, allowing me time to do the dishes and clean the kitchen....always nice), and put the crayon bits into the muffin cups.  The kids had fun deciding which bits to put together.  Then we put them in the oven.  I put it on a very low heat.  After a while, we took out the muffin pan and the kids were excited to see the crayons had m/ m/ m/ melted.  We set them on the counter to cool and they were later surprised again when they found them cool and solid.  This made for a great discussion on melting, liquids, solids, etc.  We removed our new crayons from the muffin cups and dubbed them "Moon Crayons" since they reminded Logan and I of full moons.  A perfect M activity!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Cloth Wipes and Toilet Training

Felicity has been potty trained for 4 months now.  She doesn't have accidents anymore and is very reliable.  Along with that, she is very independent.  She wants to take herself to the toilet.  I like that because with three kids, I can't be running in after her all day long.  She knows to call for my help after going #2, but I caught on to the fact that she was running to the toilet to pee, not wiping, and then just jumping down and rushing off to play again.  She couldn't figure out the toilet paper so just nixed it all together!  I haven't had to teach a 2 year old how to unroll toilet paper before because my first born is a boy.  Cloth wipes to the rescue!  I make sure to keep a pile on the back of her toilet anyways since that's where my toilet sprayer is located.  So I just showed her how to grab a cloth wipe, use it instead of T.P., throw it in the wash pail, and go!  She loves this because the foot pedal wash pail is super fun to open and I also sewed her up a bunch of girly cloth wipes, including a few Pooh Bear wipes, her favorite silly old bear.

Big Butt Baby Pants...DONE!

I finally had time to get around to these.  I don't know where I found the time.  I think time was found out of desperation.  Sewing is my therapy.  MY time. 
This first pair is just a practice pair.  I don't love the fabric.  I mean, its fine.  Nothing to speak of though.  But I had it in my scraps and figured if I totally bombed the first pair, they'd make fine pj pants.  There's a few changes I'll make next time.  I love the extra booty panel for my little man's junk in the trunk.  If you want the pattern, check out Made by Rae on my blog list to the right.  Oh, and by the way, by "junk in the trunk", I mean cloth diaper.  This pattern was designed for cloth diapered babies. 

Saturday, September 11, 2010

A Quick Note On The Fuzzibunz One Size Diaper

I just wanted to clarify that the Fuzzibunz one size diaper does not have the snaps in the rise.  Instead, the elastic in the legholes can be pulled tight to fit around tiny thighs, or let out to fit around chubby thighs.  There are a few different settings. 

They say this can fit baby from birth to potty training but I have only used it on the medium setting.  I do not like this set up for a one size diaper because when diapering two kids, I would not go to the trouble of changing the elastic depending on which kid I was diapering.  It was easier to take a few seconds to snap up the rise on my Nubunz or Kawaiis if I was changing Kian, or leave the rise unsnapped if I was diapering Felicity.  I guess if you were using them on only one kid, it would save you the job of snapping up the rise, but again, that takes seconds.  I have a feeling this diaper would fit a newborn but be a lot of bulk and fit very high up on their belly.  But I can't say for sure until we have another newbie one day.  Just thought I'd clarify though in case you were considering these as a one size option.  I'd go a different route if diapering multiple kids.

Friday, September 10, 2010


DONE!  And it went great!  For those of you who don't know, we jumped into homeschooling this year by deciding to do full preschool with Felicity, and of course, Kindergarten with Logan.  I did preschool with Logan but on a "when we can fit it in" basis and just using stuff I'd saved from when I taught.  I decided to do full preschool with Felicity because I think it will be beneficial to her speech delay and, well, what else am I going to do with her when teaching Logan?  So anyways, here's a few pictures from our first day at it.  Good memories all around.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Little Mama Set

I'm so excited to give this "Little Mama Set" to Felicity for her 3rd birthday!  She's such a good little Mama and I wanted to make her a set of Mama supplies to encourage her nurturing skills through play.  First off, of course, were cloth diapers.  I was just going to make her a set of 3 but I got carried away when a friend let me use some of her minky.  So, Felicity's dolls now have fancier cloth diapers than her little brother.  I think her set ended up including 8 diapers.  A few were minky, one is a true vintage strawberry print that I scored at a yard sale, and one is even the left overs from the curtains that hung in my childhood bedroom.  If you have diapers, you have to have wipes.  I bought a box of flushable wipes at Target.  They come in a box that looks just like a baby wipe box, only smaller.  I traced the wipe, added a seam allowance, made her a set of 11 out of my flannel scraps, and put them in the little wipe box after we used up the wipes.  Now since she watches me cloth her brother, I couldn't give her a wipe set without a bottle to hold her air wipe solution.  I got a small travel liquid container at Target for under a buck.  Also in the travel section I bought a small bottle of baby powder.  I pried the top off, emptied it out, and glued the top back on.  To make a changing pad I just took some scrap prequilted batting and sewed a top onto it using another scrap.  I put all her Mama supplies in a little basket to keep it all together.  I'm looking forward to playing Mommies with her.  Girls are so fun to sew for!

One Size Pocket Diapers

There are sooooo many ways to cloth diaper a baby.  There are different styles, materials, and brands, and it can be very overwhelming at first.  Basically, when deciding to go cloth, you have to figure out what style will work best for your lifestyle.  So, a little research will be required.  Personally, we chose to use one size pocket diapers.  I'd love to try different styles just because I love cloth diapering, but seeing as we went cloth to save money, I'm trying to just keep to what we have since our stash very completely meets our needs.  We chose to use one size pocket diapers because we knew we would be cloth diapering two kiddos at once for a period of time.  Pockets also met my husband's requirement of having a diaper he'd never have to "toilet slosh."  Also, since we were going cloth to save money, it made sense to buy diapers that grew with baby instead of needing to buy a complete new stash for each growth stage.  My original stash will have gone through 3 kids by the time we are done.  We started cloth diapering Felicity when she was 2, Kian has been in cloth since day one, and we hope to have another baby one day.  We were generously given $300 as a baby shower gift while I was pregnant with Kian and this $300 bought us the stash we use today and all the other cloth supplies needed.  So $300 to diaper two babies from birth and a toddler for 6 months?.......that's a HUGE savings!!!!!  So multiple kiddos in cloth and money is what formed our decision to use the one size pockets. 

Here's the low down on the pockets.  The outside material is waterproof PUL.  The inner material against baby's skin is fleece.  There is a pocket in between these two layers which is accessible by an opening at the rear of the dipe.  "Inserts" get stuffed into this pocket.  The inserts we use are made of microfiber.  The microfiber inserts are absorbent while the fleece against baby's skin is a stay dry material.  So, when baby wets, the microfiber inserts suck the moisture into themselves and away from the fleece layer resting against baby's skin. 
I add an additional rectangle of fleece, as pictured below, which is called a liner. 

I do that for two reasons.  1) My babies have really sensitive skin so an extra layer of stay dry material works great for them.  2) If the poop is just too nasty to deal with, or you are out and about and are changing baby in the car where you can't dump the poop in the toilet, just throw the liner out....poop and all.  I should add here that since fleece is a stay dry material, it sluffs poop REALLY well.  After baby starts eating solids and their poop is more solid, I can literally just take the diaper to the toilet and dump the poop right in, leaving my diaper with nothing more than a skid mark left behind.  Of course, not all poop is that solid so I would highly recommend getting a toilet sprayer.  I would be lost without that thing.  I have never toilet sloshed a diaper and have never scraped poop off a diaper with a trowel.....though I'm asked often about both those things.  I make my own liners by just cutting rectangles of fleece.  No sewing involved.  Check the remnants box at your fabric store for cheap fleece.  Hmmmmm....can I say poop more in this paragraph?  CRAP!

Most pocket diapers are sold with 2 inserts. Some people like to use one insert for day time use and two for at night. I use two all the time. I don't care how big my baby's booty is. I'm all for more absorbency.

Having said I don't care how big their booty is, I will say that we primarily use two brands of pocket diapers; Nubunz and Kawaii. The Kawaii are very thick, very absorbent, and very huge when stuffed with both inserts. They are bomb proof. I don't usually need THAT much protection during the day so we've gotten into the routine of using the Kawaiis at night (Kian sleeps in them for at least 12 hours a night with no leaks ever) and the trimmer (yet still big) Nubunz during the day. I must say the Kawaiis are harder to fit into standard baby clothes but since we use them primarily at night, its no problem.  They are excellent night time diapers!

Nubunz on left, Kawaii on right.  Both snapped to medium rise.

The pocket openings vary by brand. I prefer the Nubunz opening as opposed to the Kawaii and the Fuzzibunz because the Nubunz opening does NOT have elastic. It is wide enough to shake the liners right out into the laundry pail. The Kawaiis have elastic enclosing the liners in. They can not be shaken out. I have mastered the skill of using one of my cloth wipes like a glove to just barely reach in the pocket and get the top of the inserts to pull them out. Not my fav but we only use the Kawaiis at night so I'm doing this at home as opposed to out and about, so it works just fine. The Fuzzibunz pocket opening does not have elastic but the inserts fit so tightly in the pocket, you can not shake them out easily. Because of these reasons, the Kawaiis and Fuzzibunz aren't as easy to stuff as the Nubunz. But don't get me wrong, its not hard at all. Neither of us mind stuffing pockets at all. Some people do and don't buy them for that reason. Zac can't stuff the Kawaii and Fuzzibunz with his big hands but he can do the Nubunz. Oh, and if you have no idea what I'm talking about, "stuffing" a diaper is when you take your freshly washed inserts and stuff them into the freshly washed diapers so they're ready to go on baby.

One size diapers have a few rows (usually 3) of snaps down the front of the diaper.  Snapping the rows together shortens the rise of the diaper for newborns and little babies.  Unsnapping gives a longer rise for toddlers.  The waist has snaps along the whole front for the same reason.  These diapers will fit babies 5 lbs to 30 something pounds.  I don't remember what poundage they go up to because my daughter was out of them before she weighed 30 pounds but they are meant to meet all your diapering needs from newborn to potty training.

Yellow snapped to small, light green snapped to medium, blue snapped to large.

Most pocket diapers do NOT need a plastic waterproof cover to go over them.  This is because the outer part of the diaper is made with PUL. 

Pocket diapers need to be put in the laundry pail after every use.  No part of this diaper can be used multiple times without washing before the next use.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Laundry Monster

I have a laundry monster.  I used to always have a couch piled with laundry that I constantly widdled away at.  That is, until Kian found a love for freeing the couch from its laundry prison. 

Resting after the effort and admiring the fruits of his labor, clean laundry covered in dog hair.

Sunday, September 5, 2010