Monday, October 29, 2012

Cloth Diapers: Traveling with Cloth

Most people I know do not like to take cloth diapers with them when they travel and I understand that as it is can be a total hassle. It is much easier when you are going out of town for the weekend or for a week to just pick up some disposables as you can just throw them away and not have to figure out washing, etc. For me it just depends upon the situation, sometimes I take disposable and sometimes I will take my cloth. In the summer I love to take my cloth diapers with me to camp when we travel as they dry easily, I have access to a washer and its cheaper. So I thought I would just share a few pictures and ideas if you want to travel with cloth.
  • When I travel with cloth I just take my diapers, detergent, and a big wet bag. I find a place to wash and hang them to dry.
  • You have to take into account if you are flying that you will have that extra weight in your suitcase...when we went to Guyana I decided to take them because they just throw their disposable diapers in the river--yuck. But if you are flying in the US you may have to consider doing disposable.
  • If you are thinking about going to a third world country feel free to read my posts on cloth diapering in Guyana: Article  and pictures I had to wash them by hand which was quite the challenge.

Cloth Diapering: Rashes and Wipes

I like to use cloth wipes with my cloth diapers it makes life easier because you can just throw the wipe in the dirty diaper and drop them both in the diaper hamper. However I will admit that I don't have quite enough so sometimes they are all in the wash or I am behind making them  up so sometimes I use disposable wipes.  But all that said I love my cloth wipes.

You can buy wipes or I just made some a long time ago out of flannel, just make them in a square or rectangle and serge around them and you have a wipe. I put mine in an old wipe container and then I make up a little mixture of baby soap, baby oil, a little alcohol and water (don't ask me the exact measurements--it is a little bit of this and a little bit of that) and I poor it on the wipes so they are ready to go. I know other people who leave their wipes dry and put their concoction in a spray bottle or peri bottle and when you are ready you can just put some on the wipe and then wipe their bottom. I haven't tried that method but I might, it's just whatever is your preference. You can also buy your cloth wipes or just use disposable.
Now as for rashes...Tirzah has a very sensitive bottom and so did Gideon so rashes is something I have had to deal with all of my cloth diapering experience...well actually I think the rashes are from teething as they don't get them when I am just breastfeeding or before teeth. Anyway, my kids get bad rashes when they are teething and it always makes me feel bad, here is what I have found:
  •  Sometimes I will switch to disposable diapers for a time so I can just lather their bottoms with some type of rash cream but even then it doesn't cure it right away as it just is part of teething. But it can help and so that is what I do sometimes.
  • I also find if you take one of your cloth wipes which are flannel and lay them down over the diaper and then put on diaper cream or I use neosporin sometimes it then gets on the flannel not the diaper.
  • I hear coconut oil works great on rashes and is fine on cloth diapers, I haven't tried it yet but I plan on trying it. 
  • Do not, repeat, do not use diaper creams on your babies bottoms and then put on a cloth diaper (unless it is a cream to use with cloth) as it will stain your diapers, I found that out the hard way as most of my bum genius have diaper cream stains...doesn't effect them just looks bad. 
Don't feel bad if you have to use disposable...sometimes I feel guilty but then I think about all the money I have been saving and there are just times I can't keep up with diapers or the rash is just too bad and I don't want to change my cloth every two hours and it is okay then to take a break and then go back when you are ready. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Disciplined Life Day 1&2

So I am starting the challenge of having a more disciplined life and using Crystal Paine's new book: 21 Days to a More Disciplined Life. I thought I would keep everyone updated on how I am doing with it by posting my challenges and accomplishments.

For day one I was to pick a small task to accomplish off my to do list and I chose cleaning off our chest at the end of my bed and I got that done! Then I was to take a mega project and plan out how to accomplish it in 21 days. So I chose to clean/organize/declutter/finish our guest room. I have been meaning to do that pretty much since we moved in, I need curtains and it needs to have a lot of stuff gotten rid of...so that is my project! I started yesterday by finishing going through fabric I want to get rid of and setting it aside and listing it on my blog.

Today I have to go through patterns I want to get rid of in my guest room...and I am choosing a habit to start implementing. I am going to try after every meal to at least clear all dishes and wipe trays and table and sweep if needed. So here it goes...

Crystal's book is amazing and so helpful, pick yourself up a copy if you haven't so you can join me in becoming more disciplined!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Moneysaving Mom's New Book

Moneysaving Mom has written a new book called 21 Days to a More Disciplined Life and honestly it is coming out at just the right time! Since having Chloe I am now in the mood to getting more organized and trying to be more disciplined so I appreciate having some help! Her ebook came out on Tuesday and through today it is only $.99 so if you want to get it go here.

The book is quite amazing, it is down to earth and real which is what I need. In fact she even talks about having a new baby which messes up having discipline--right where I am! After every chapter she has assignments to help you start getting disciplined so I am going to take the challenge and try to do the assignments and projects in the book! I think it will be more like a month as I probably won't do it on weekends but I will try to update on here how the journey is going. If you want to join me go out and get Moneysaving Mom's new book while it is only $.99

Cloth Diapers: Laundry Time

So I have to admit that cloth diaper laundry is one of my favorite things besides the cuteness of cloth diapers on babies. So let me tell you what I have learned with my laundering of diapers.
  •  The way I do my laundry is I dump all my dirty diapers into the washing machine (I have an upright) and set the cycle on rinse and do it on cold. Then I do a wash cycle on hot/cold and add my laundry soap and water softner. Then I do one more rinse on hot/cold.
Don't they look so beautiful on the line?
  • Then I take them out and hang dry them. I like for them to be out in the sun of course and I love spring-fall for them drying but if the weather is not good I will hang them in front of the fire or on door jams.
  • The sun is very important as it bleaches diaper inserts and covers and of course the fresh air helps with smell as well.
Hanging on a door during rain!
  • I do not like to use the dryer with my diapers that often but sometimes I throw them in there to kill all the bugs during stink bug or lady bug days. I also will put them in there if I am in a crunch and don't have time for them to air dry. But don't put any type of fabric sheets in there as it will build up on the diapers and make them not as absorbent.
  • I have used three different types of laundry soap--I started with Charlie's Soap which seemed to do pretty well, then I used Rockin Green which I hoped would make my diapers smell good but it didn't seem to help and it didn't seem as effective for me. I now am using Tiny Bubbles which works well. I also learned recently that I need some Calgon water softner as we have hard water and so that makes soap ineffective in time. So this is what I use now in every load.
When Gideon was a baby helping me fold!
  • I have stripped diapers a few times when they start to smell...I've done vinegar...dawn (which helped)...but now I just use Calgon as I think I get build up from my water...also I feel like microfiber inserts just wear out and mine are three years old. So I am moving away from those to cotton!
  • This is the clothes rack we use in the winter especially to help dry diapers and clothes. I put them in front of our wood stove.  Diaper laundry is so fun!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Cloth Diaper Series: Things that have helped in cloth diapering

There are a few things that seriously help you to have around when you are cloth diapering.I don't use a whole lot of extra things but here is what I use:
  • A place to put your wet/poopy diapers until you can wash them--you need some sort of big wet bag that either zips/draw strings or I put mine in a trash can that has a lid. The wet bag helps contain the odor and helps things not to leak through. I tried a diaper geni at the beginning and that didn't work. I find it would help to have two wet bags, so you can just take the diapers and the bag and throw it into the wash and then put the other in the pail so you always have one in there...I just haven't made my second one yet. I will...

  •  It is also nice to have a travel wet bag that you can stick in your diaper bag so that when you are out and you need to change a diaper you have something to put your dirty one in--I also put my wet/dirty clothes from the kids in there and it keeps everything else in my diaper bag from getting wet!
  • Having a diaper sprayer is AMAZING! This is a sprayer like a kitchen sink sprayer that you attach to your toilet and then when you need to clean poop off your diaper you just spray it off! How easy is that? You can buy one online or my wonderful husband went to the hardware store and bought the supplies then put it together himself. I love my diaper sprayer--you don't technically need this at the very beginning as baby poop is different than when they start on solids...believe me!
  • Baskets to store your cloth diapers, I find that baskets work best for me. I tried a diaper stacker at the beginning and it worked okay but baskets are easier to pull out and see what you have. 
  • I also have a small store of liners to put in my cloth diapers in case I need to use some sort of diaper cream and I don't want it on my diaper...usually when a baby has a rash. Just nice to have on hand in case you need it. 
I think that is about all I really use with diapering...next I will talk about laundering cloth diapers--something I love to do!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Check out My Fabric for Sale

This is just a heads up that I am starting to list and price fabric, trim and patterns I have for sale...I"ve got about 1/2 of it done and will update when it is all done but to get to that page go up to the top and click the tab that says fabric for sale!

Cloth Diaper Series: What Diapers I use

I have gotten many questions over the years about my using cloth diapers and I have been meaning to write up some posts and never got around to it. I have struggled off and on using cloth diapers because they are not always the most convenient things but I do love them! So I am doing a series this week on the ins and outs of my cloth diapering experience, I will try to do links with explanations and pictures and put my own pictures as well. Please feel free to ask questions that I can address in my series.
Chloe in one of the fitted newborns without a cover
Reasons I cloth diaper: Cloth diapers are cute, economical and I guess I can feel good about not adding to the landfill in that department...:-)
Covers and Prefolds

My history with cloth diapering is as follows: I have been cloth diapering since about three months after Gideon was born. I started out with just one type of diaper Bum Genius one size pocket diapers. I started with 20 diapers and that seemed to do fine with one child washing them every couple days. When Tirzah came along I added to my collection by making some of my own pocket diapers in two different sizes--small and medium. They worked pretty well. However Tirzah has very sensitive skin and any time she teethes she breaks out in rashes and blisters and even though she still has it if she is in disposable diapers it isn't as bad so I will often trade off an on with cloth and disposable when she has a bad rash. I also started to run into some problems with my Bum Genius--I had used diaper cream on my kids that was not cloth diaper friendly early on and so I had some stains...then the microfiber inserts started to retain wet smells...it also takes a lot longer to dry pocket diapers. So when Chloe was on her way I started to rethink my cloth diapering and decided to add something new--covers and prefolds. These are cheaper, easier to wash and dry, you can get more use out of them, have cute covers and I find them just easier. So now I have my bumgenius and covers and prefolds. Now I will break down what exactly all that means in case you are brand new!
Gideon in a GI Joe cover

My cloth diaper stash:
  • I have 20 Bumgenius Pocket diapers that are one size meaning you can adjust it as your baby grows and use velcro. I have since decided I like snaps better than velcro as eventually the velcro gets very used, the upside of velcro is that you can make it fit the baby better. I also do not like the microfiber inserts any more...they are nice but sometimes can retain smell, mine don't any more due to the fact that I fixed my laundering problem...to be discussed in another post.
  • I have 5 flip diaper covers that are one size and use snaps. I did not buy inserts with them as I already had some inserts and I intend on making some more (once I get my serger going).
  • I bought 4 blueberry covers that are so cute and work great--I LOVE the gussets
  • I have about 4 random diaper covers that use snaps or velcro that people have given me.
  • I have 2 Thirsties diaper covers that are small for Chloe, they adjust a little bit and have velcro and I like them very much.
  • I also have 2 minky diaper covers that are medium--they're cute.
  • I have three newborn fitted diapers that I bought from someone locally and I love them but since they are just a newborn size Chloe is almost out of them and I'm glad I only bought three as she wasn't in them long. I'd rather use my prefolds, although these are so adorable! However you have to put a cover on so you can't really see it anyway.
  • I have three diaper covers I made that have flannel on the inside and move aside for an insert
  • I use prefolds mostly now with my covers. Prefolds are pretty much the old fashioned diapers that are now used for burp cloths. I was given all mine and some are the regular old fashioned white rectangles, some are big pieces of white cotton diaper fabric that I fold to fit the cover, some are burp cloths with prints on them, all of them work. I find with Chloe I don't have to use a snappi (a replacement for diaper pins) just yet but for Tirzah I do as she moves around a lot more and the prefold with move and get wadded up if not pinned in place. 
  • I also have 10 small diapers I made long ago and 10 medium size diapers I made, I usually stuff these with my extra microfiber inserts.
  I will address the supplies and accessories in my next post.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Winner of the Shutterfly Giveaway

The winner of the Shutterfly is #7 which just so happens to be Kelsey!!!! Hope you all enjoyed this giveaway and maybe in the future I can do more. Thanks for participating and definitely still use Shutterfly's sales and get some photo cards for Christmas!!!

Amazing Kroger Shopping Trip

So yesterday I had an amazing shopping experience at our local Kroger and the sales are just so amazing I had to take a picture and share! This is Gideon and Tirzah thoroughly enjoying going through all the groceries and building towers with the items! So I had to carefully plan out my shopping trip as I don't have a lot of time to spend at the grocery store and I wanted to do it just right. Kroger has a wonderful sale that consists of buying five specified items and getting $5 back, with coupons this made for even better deals where you could even make some money. Also some of the items had other deals going on inside the packages. Joshua dropped me off with Chloe and took the kids to the library so I could concentrate at the check out, which I had to because I had to do nine transactions as I rolled the $5 coupons I got by buying five items. I had a wonderful guy help me out at the self check out who was so patient with my huge stack of coupons! Some of my coupons were from the paper, some were from the internet and some Kroger had sent me--I had two free coupons. I think I had a coupon for everything except the garlic, milk, cake mixes and pizzas. Anyway, I strongly suggest you head out to Kroger this week and catch this sale and stock up! Here is a great website to help you out.

So here is what I got:
  • 5 Totino's Pizzas (send off for a $5 rebate)
  • 5 cake mixes
  • 10 boxes of potatoes
  • 4 shake n pour brownie mixes (I've been wanting to try these out)
  • 2 Old El Paso refried beans
  • 2 refrigerated cookie dough (send away for coupon for free pizza rolls)
  • 4 Cookie mixes
  • 3 Chex Mix
  • 4 Toaster strudel
  • 2 Fruit snacks
  • 4Fruit Roll ups
  • 1 lindor truffle bag (free)
  • 2 renuzit air freshners
  • 1 ragu sauce (free)
  • 2 bags of carrots
  • 1 bag of tortilla chips
  • 1 bag of doritos
  • Garlic
  • Milk
Grand Total: $21.61


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Don't Forget to Enter the $50 Shutterfly Giveaway!!!

Don't forget that I have a Giveaway going on for a $50 Shutterfly gift certificate. All you have to do is leave a comment on the post for Shutterfly! It ends tomorrow night so don't forget!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

My Friendship Box Arrived

I got my Fall Friendship box in the mail yesterday!!! Do you want to see what was inside? Of course you do!!! Below are the cute decorations and fall items...the cookie cutters and cupcake wrappers make me want to bake!!! And I happened to be decluttering and cleaning my living room yesterday so when the box arrived I was able to decorate my piano with fall things, I love the way it looks! So thank you Angela for the lovely box of fall! I found out that Angela is related to a friend of mine so that was fun!
So take a look and also make sure you go to my previous post and leave a comment to be entered into the Shutterfly gift certificate giveaway!








Family Picture and Christmas Cards (Giveaway!!!!!)

I love to have my family pictures taken early in the fall and I have been so blessed to have a wonderful sister who takes our family picture! I have to admit having three children makes it very difficult to get a picture where we are all looking and nobody is crying but guess what...it can happen!!!! So Bethie came over and took some pictures and then I started thinking about Christmas cards and my favorite place to get my Christmas Cards is Shutterfly!!!! I have used them ever since we got married through each year of our growing family. I use them for my photo books as well...but back to cards, I love the selection of cards that Shutterfly has for you to choose from, the ease of making the cards and how quick they ship the cards! Below are a few of my family pictures from this year and some of the Christmas cards I am thinking about...go to the bottom for information about winning a gift certificate to Shutterfly!





Don't you just love the pictures? Which card do you think I should use--#1, 2 or 3?

 Shutterfly ALWAYS has some special offers going on. (Currently 20% of cards with code CARD20 and free shipping on orders over $30 with code SHIP30)!

One lucky  reader will win $50 credit to spend at Shutterfly (does not include shipping and cannot be combined with other promos). Simply leave a comment (and make sure I have a way to contact you) to enter. (I'll accept entries until next Wednesday). Also if you are looking for someone to take your family pictures consider my sister Beth and you might want to do it soon as she is about to have a baby!

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. I was compensated in the form of free product, and Shutterfly is providing the prize for the giveaway as well. However, all opinions are of course my own.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

They love their sister!

And are all three just so cute!!!!!



Tuesday, October 2, 2012

SuperMom

Let me introduce you to a supermom if there ever was one...I grew up with my friend Bekah and she got married the year before I did...well now she is the mother of twin girls, another girl about to turn one and a baby due in about a month! All four girls! She is an amazing mother and I was so glad to be able to visit with her last week! I snapped this adorable picture...showing what a supermom she is!

Isn't she and her three girls just beautiful???
 I also got to visit with her older sister Rachel who is in town from Guatemala where she lives with her husband who lives there. He is born and raised in Guatemala and so they live there now. She is expecting a baby in January and was up here for a visit and baby shower...so I have some pictures of that as well.

Bekah, Anna (third sister), me and Rachel with one of Bekah's twins


Rachel holding Chloe


My friend Anne and Chloe

This girl loved cheesecake pops!