Welcome to our blog! In our home living life to the fullest often means we simply survive the day. We laugh, we learn, we cry, we play; we embrace chaos while pursuing sanity, and above all, we love fiercely.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Diapering extras and caring for your cloth diapers

I'd like to add a few more things about diapers before I retire this subject for a while and focus on the rest of our life! :)

Some extra things that are wonderful to have in the old diaper stash are diaper doublers and fleece liners. Doublers are wonderful for night time (and nap time if you have an extremely heavy wetter). The doublers I use are the Stay-Dry Hemp Fleece Doublers (found at Babyworks.com). I like to call them miracle workers. My children tend to be the wettest in the morning. If I don't use a doubler for his morning nap, Dominic almost always leaks out of his Best Bottoms. These particular doublers have a fleece lining on top, which wicks moisture away from baby's bottom, leaving him feeling dry while his diaper is wet. Although I want my kids to feel the wetness of their diapers (hoping this discomfort will encourage them at potty-training age), I prefer them to be comfortable at nap/night time so that we all get a little more sleep. :) You can buy fleece liners by themselves if you don't want the added bulk of a doubler, or if you already use a fantastic diaper that doesn't need any more absorbency oomph, but could use that "staying dry" power.

I know I mentioned cloth wipes before, but I'll mention them again. They are amazing! They will change your life! They are easy to use! They are amazing! Whoops, getting redundant. :) Seriously, though, cloth wipes will make your whole cloth diaper change that much easier. I generally only need one at a time, unless the diaper is particularly offensive, in which case I'll use two, and sometimes three. I am disposable-wipe deficient, so I tend to use about 5-8 disposable wipes on a poopy diaper. Cloth wipes are a quick rinse with a diaper sprayer.

Diapers - a more thorough look. :)

We've experimented with multiple kinds of cloth diapers since Sophia was born over three years ago. I mentioned before that we began with Chinese prefolds and Bummis Whisper Wraps. This system just didn't work for us. They leaked, and I'm not sure if it was just the covers or the diapers, but it was maddening. I had several different types of diapers that my sister-in-law had sent me, so I tried all of those. I spent hours on the phone with Babyworks trying to trouble shoot my diaper issues. In the end, after trying several things, we went with Bum Genius 3.0 pocket diapers. Now, these diapers are fairly expensive, but we only needed 18 of them because they're a one-size diaper. Very handy! We had to buy special detergent, but that one bottle lasted us the life of the diapers (two and a half years!). So, considering all costs, still WAY cheaper than disposables, not to mention much better for the environment.

When Sophia was 11 months old I was pregnant with Dominic. I knew I couldn't use her diapers for him, so I started researching again. As much as I had loved my Bum Geniuses, the velcro was just awful. After one year it was fading, catching everything in the dryer, shrinking, and not fastening. I decided to go for snaps this time. I ordered three of Kissaluvs organic hemp/cotton fitted diapers. With these I ordered to wool covers from Royal Buns. Both the diapers and the covers were/are excellent. The Kissaluvs are super absorbent, and the wool covers, of course, are amazing.

Let me just quickly tell you about wool covers. Wool is naturally antibacterial/antimicrobial, meaning it doesn't harbor bacteria or retain odors. Because of this, it only has to be washed once or twice per month. PER MONTH!!! That is, if it doesn't get soiled. Yes, you must generally hand wash. However, you put it in the sink with a little water and lanolized wool detergent, squeeze it a couple of times, and then let it soak for at least 15 minutes. Take it out, squish it with a towel, and lay it out to dry. Not very complicated, and honestly not too time consuming. Wool is the most amazing thing to use at night; with a good wool cover you are basically guaranteed a leak-free night, even with just a so-so diaper. In the morning, if the cover is damp inside and smells of urine, flip it inside-out, lay it out to dry, and by the evening, no wetness, no odor! It is AMAZING. If you do smell urine at the end of the day, it's time to wash the cover. Also, wool diaper covers are not like commercial wool. Commercial wool tends to be itchy and generally irritating, but wool diaper covers are untreated and soft, soft, soft. This also means they are incredibly breathable (read: not hot), so they can be worn in winter AND summer.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Finally conquering the blog scene...and working on peace

Well, I have a new look to the blog...finally. It took me quite a while to get a feel for how to set everything up so it would look both cool and symmetrical. That was actually quite a pain to do, setting up the symmetry. Anyhow, I'm at peace with it now, and excited about the new look! :)

This week I've been trying really hard to deal with anger and impatience, especially with my sweet kiddos. Life is stressful right now as Jared's busy, busy, busy with the semester in full swing, and I'm "semi" preparing us for a move - to a new place - that will be happening in December. We really love this house that we're in and its location in Lawrence, but the rent is ridiculous, so we're embracing frugality and moving into a two-bedroom place...somewhere.

Anyhow, I struggle, as I'm sure many people do, with impatience. Too often I snap at the kids when it's really not about them, it's about me. So frustrating. I've been reading lots of great stuff about using gentleness in the home, especially regarding learning (from homeschooling to simply reading aloud with the kids), and that is certainly helping me deal with and try to conquer my impatience. I've been reading lots of John Holt (this obviously has more to do with education than anything else), but it really transfers to how I handle the kids, as well. He was a smart man, that John Holt. Along the line of education, I've also been reading Suzie Andres' two books: Homeschooling with Gentleness, and A Little Way of Homeschooling. Excellent, excellent books, full of endless encouragement. I've also been reading lots of St. Therese, and I'm trying to get into An Introduction to The Devout Life, by St. Francis de Sales.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Our Cloth Diaper Experience - an Overview

At first I wrote a HUGE post on this....but it was just too much in one post, so here are some *quick* essentials from my point-of-view. I'll do more detailed posts later.

Sophia wearing her cloth diapers at about 15-16 months old
Diaper pail - a MUST. Ours is the Economy Diaper Pail from Babyworks.com. It locks in odors, it's large, and it's super easy to clean. Either I poor in a little Bac-Out and water, wipe and rinse, or I'll just rinse it out with water and set it out in the sun for a bit. I know lots of people who use wet bags for this job, but I prefer the pail - it never leaks!

Diaper sprayer - the Potty Pail. We started with the mini shower sprayer sold through Babyworks, but our current place has hard water, and it killed that sprayer (actually two). We now have the Potty Pail, and oh. my. gosh. It's fab. The pail means less spill, and no bending over (a God send when you're pregnant!). Also, it can double as a utility sink as there's a hole in the bottom and a stopper on a chain if you need it. The actual sprayer component is great, too. It's the most powerful sprayer we've seen. You can order the pail and sprayer separately - so if you choose to forego the pail, I highly recommend the sprayer on it's own.