Saturday, October 31, 2009

Playing with poo

Happy Halloween!

Day 2 of cloth diapering went better than Day 1. One problem... the Snappis seem to bite through the Gerber prefolds and irritate baby's skin. Any tips from any of you cloth diaper veterans?

Also, there was no sign of any poo on Day 2, aside from some noise and fragrant air emitting from the fluffy end of my boy all day, so I knew I was eventually in for it. I will admit I was hoping it would happen at night (as in, when he's in a disposable) but it did not. As a matter of fact, he was up a LOT last night, screaming and squirming with, I think, a belly ache, because he needed to poop. I even had to take him for a drive at 1:30 this morning after 2 hours of screaming. Nothing would comfort him. The drive calmed him enough to let him sleep for a few hours, though.

(The evening's extended activities with screaming baby have prompted my "zombie" costume for Halloween: Still in PJs, fright-wig hair, unbrushed teeth, coffee breath, old-looking skin, dark circles, growls and groans).

So, this morning, I took off the disposable and put on a nice all-in-one with a Gerber prefold added because I knew the poo was coming! And as he sat in his high chair enjoying a Fiber One pancake, the grunting began in earnest, and there we had it.

So, my worst cloth diapering nightmare came true, on Halloween. How appropriate.

OK, so I'm being dramatic, but I knew when I made the commitment to switch to cloth that I would eventually be playing with poo. And play with poo I did.

I've heard people say they just shake the solid into the toilet. Well, what do you do when the solid has the consistency of peanut butter with various chunks of fruit and veggie in it (and a small piece of black thread that came from Lord knows where)? There was no shaking! I don't have a poo spatula (shudder) yet, and I think I've decided against a sprayer after hearing they often just cause more mess (Poo splash. No thanks!) So, I went for the old swish in the toilet method. And swished. And flushed. And swished. And flushed. Repeat, repeat, repeat. I was left with a soaked, still poopy diaper, but eventually got most of the chunkiness to go into the toilet. I think I did a good-enough job. We'll see.

And I touched a lot of poop in the process.

But holy cow... what on earth am I going to do if this occurs out in public?


Anyway, I said I was going to share my journey into cloth diapering, so there ya go. I'm still learning, and it's not going to be fun, and you get to hear all about it!

On the up side, after his healthy poo, baby boy is napping soundly in fresh fluff, so it must have felt good! :)

Friday, October 30, 2009

Thanks a lot Nana!

Lord help me.
Nana (My mother-in-law) came over bearing BLACK CUPCAKES!


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Green is my favorite color

Since I started this blog, and started reading blogs by other mommies, I have been taking small steps to make our household more eco-friendly. Many of the things I do now were inspired by other mommy bloggers.

Before blogging, I had reusable grocery bags, but forgot to take them more often than not. Now I take them every week.

I have recycled what I can locally for years, but now I have added #5 plastic as well, since I learned that Whole Foods stores accept them as part of a "Gimme 5" program.

I compost, and use the compost in a small garden to grow at least SOME of our own food. I have a brown thumb, though. I'm trying to "green" that up too! ;)

I buy local food as much as possible. I'd love to buy more organic, but it's hard to do when you're trying to keep your weekly grocery bill for a family of 4 to $100 or less.

I buy those twisty energy-saver lightbulbs.

We switched from paper napkins to cloth, and I'm in the process of switching to cloth diapers, baby wipes and feminine products. (Reviews pending. I'm in the testing process on a number of products)

I am trying to support more "little guys" like the work-at-home-moms on etsy who "upcycle" old sweaters into diaper covers, dryer balls and things like that. I LOVE etsy!

I'm working to switch to eco-friendly cleaning products such as soap nuts, hydrogen peroxide, vinegar and other "greener" options.

We use re-usable sandwich containers and steel water bottles rather than plastic baggies and disposable bottles. I would like to eventually get all the plastic containers (Gladware, Tupperware, etc.) out of my cupboards and switch to glass/Pyrex.

Winter's coming and the heat is down. We keep it around 63 all winter. We don't have air conditioning in the summer.

Any unused water (left in teapot, left in drinking glasses, etc.) is used in the houseplants rather than dumped in the sink.

We are TRYING to have only one bag of garbage a week. We are usually pretty close, and cloth diapering should help.

I'm trying to teach my kids to take all the same steps, and why we do it. For example, my four year old is the one who sorts the recycling.

Just thought I'd share what I'm doing! Maybe you could take some of these steps too?

First-child Friday

Babies are cute. They are small and squishy and precious and everyone wants to comment about them. They are photographed a lot and are always meeting one big milestone or another.

And then there's the first child. Older, not as cute in the universal baby sort of way. Kind of forgotten.

I feel bad for Logan sometimes. The baby comes first a lot. I am constantly reminding him that he's still my baby, and he's the one who made me a mom.

So this post is all about my charming little man. He's 4 1/2 years old today. It's his half-birthday.

How did this

become this so quickly?

My little Logan is such a sweet, smart boy.

It's hard to get him to eat, but he likes what he likes, including pancakes!

and he eats his sandwiches crust-first

Lately he's been really into writing notes, so we write back and forth. Here are a couple from the other day.

"Dear Mom, I think you need to give Jordan a nap."
"Dear Mom, If you cook garlic shells for dinner I will give you Good and Plenties."

"Logan is the cutest kid I know and Jordan is the black bean kid I know to!"
(Jordan was chowing on black beans at the time and was covered with them.)

Also, he's at that age where he says cute things. At least, they're funny to me. Like last weekend I had the kids out back on the swing set and Hubby had run into town to get something for the bathroom. While we were on the swings, I heard hammering and I could see hubby's arm through the bathroom window.

I said "Oh, Daddy must be home. I hear him working on the bathroom and I can see his arm moving in there."

Logan replied, "Oh, wow Mom! You must have really good earsight!"

Happy Half Birthday Logan! I love you so so so so so so much!

Cloth diapering-Day 1

Good morning!

Sooo... Yesterday was my first day of cloth diapering Jordan from wake-up to bedtime. (It was also the grand arrival day of Tooth Number 5, so I got to HOLD that squirming, squealing fluffy butt all day!)

I am going to be honest here and say I was tempted at times to just throw a disposable on him. But I didn't. I know once I get going and figure out what kind of diapers to use, it will get easier.

One difficulty I didn't even think about was the added frequency of changing. I KNEW I would have to change more often but man! my son pees a LOT! Yesterday was a poo-free day, so at least I was spared that, but I was doing a lot of changing. And he HATES diaper changes, so he's always trying to roll away and he's complaining the whole time.

Another difficulty is just my lack of stash. I currently have a set of 12 TOTALLY CRAPPY Gerber pre-folds (and Snappis, which I'm not great at using yet but the results were better than when I tried to use pins!), then I have an all-in-one that I won on a blog giveaway but I think it's too tight around his thighs, and it always seems to leak. I have one Bum Genius 3.0, one Tiny Tush, Three contoured diapers (one bamboo fleece, one 2 ply hemp and one 4 ply hemp) with cute PUL covers from someone on etsy, three other etsy diapers, and then I have a fleece soaker, a set of wool longies and an Imse Vimse PUL cover that I haven't tried yet.

So, not really a lot to work with. Plus, the one AIO diaper is too tight and a couple others are too big. I'm finding that Jordan has chunky thighs, but a small waist, so I'm going to have to figure out what works. Even using the size charts, I have ordered the wrong size a couple times. However, it's wrong on the large side, so I'll just wait for him to grow into them.

So far, I prefer velcro to snaps, probably because I can adjust the waist more specifically, but I can't seem to keep the velcro from sticking to everything in the wash. It's VERY annoying, and I'm afraid it's going to tear up my diapers!

And then there's the matter of drying! I got some wool dryer balls from etsy and some plastic ones at Wal-mart to help dry these things, and i got a drying rack and set it up for the PUL covers, because I heard they should hang dry. I did my load of diapers last night after J went to bed, and I put the liners in the dryer and the covers on the rack before bed, and this morning it's like I just pulled them out of the washer. I keep putting them back in the dryer. I even put the covers in the dryer because they were still wet.

I am expecting two more diapers and a wool soaker in the mail, and then after I try those and get a little more acquainted with what I have, I will be getting some more of what works for me, except I can't get too many because I've already spent almost $200! (Of course, that's including the dryer balls and rack, which will be used for things other than diapers, so that's good.)

I'm also talking to someone on diaperswappers about buying a used diaper sprayer because my one incident with cloth diaper poo taught me that rinsing in the sink is utterly nasty, and being able to spray it into the toilet would be a MUCH more sanitary option!

I also need to get some lanolin and some sort of wash to treat the longies I got. Ugh, I guess I maybe need a poo spatula too.

So, I'm going to keep plugging along and hope it gets easier. I kind of found it to be a pain in the butt yesterday, but that's to be expected when I don't really know what I'm doing yet!

Here's a couple shots of my fluffy butt boy!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Jeepers, creepers, fluff n' stuff

Good morning everyone!

Yesterday was kind of a busy day. Logan had school in the morning and then came home and we had lunch, then took off for a drive down to Rochester, which is, as far as I can tell, the closest place I could actually go to find a Bum Genius diaper! There was this sweet little eco-friendly baby store called Green Baby (they don't have a working Web site right now or I'd link it) and they had so much cute stuff! If I was loaded, I could have spent so much money in there!

I browsed for just a few and picked out a green Bum Genius 3.0 diaper, a light blue diaper of another type I can't tell you right now because it's in the baby's room and he's sleeping, and a striped PUL cover. I also got, at Wal-Mart, a lidded bucket for the dirties and a drying rack for the covers (and the inserts that take ages to dry!)

I also received three contoured diapers and three covers in the mail yesterday from someone on etsy, and I'm waiting for two more diapers, a wool cover and a set of wool longies. Once I get the ones I have on order, I plan to write up a review of all of them and how they work. I think I'm going to just use what I have for now (even though I don't have many) and see what I think before making any more purchases because it is getting expensive. I did, however, try one out from an etsy artist that lives in southeast Michigan and I really enjoyed both the cover AND the bamboo soakers. I just want to see how it does after a few wears and washes, but so far, that one has been my favorite.

I am realizing that a diaper sprayer would be a pretty good idea because I don't like rinsing poop in the sink. I wish I could find a good used one.

I REALLY wish I had done the whole cloth diaper thing with Logan so I could have gotten more use out of all this stuff!

Anyway, enough poop talk for now.

We met up with my friend and her kids at the mall and went to this place called Jeepers! It was $5 Wednesday so for only 5 bucks, the kids could ride all the rides they wanted. They had a blast! Logan's favorite was the bumper cars. He was just barely tall enough to ride them, and I wasn't sure he'd be able to drive it, but he did great! He quickly figured out how to maneuver the car wherever he wanted and he was pretty much the only kid that was actively going after other kids' cars and trying to bump them. Of course, with my digital camera not liking any situation that isn't bright natural light, and with a kid that was perpetually in motion, I didn't get great photos, but here are a few. (The red eyes are really really bad for some reason! I don't usually get red eyes with my camera. Maybe the kids were possessed!)

We were naughty and got McDonald's on the way home. I did, however, resist a pop and my old fave the ultimately bad-for-you filet o' fish and just got a plain hamburger and small fry and water. But then we stopped to get Hubby food when we were almost home (yep, two drive-thrus in one car trip. so sad!) and I got 2 pumpkin pies, one of which I ate. Mmmm...

Then, I took a bath in our tub. It was not really all that nice or fun or relaxing, though. The water was gray because I didn't rinse the drywall dust out of the tub, and we have no faucet so the water just kind of shot out of a pipe sticking out of the wall. Classy! Seriously, though. I took a bath in this:

Hopefully this bathroom drama will be resolved soon. It's just that little (or not-so-little) things keep popping up that hinder Hubby in his progress. It's a royal pain in the butt for him and he's SUCH a trooper! I love my hubby. *mush*

So, after my exquisite bath, I went to bed. Jordan only got up once to nurse (YEAH!)around 1 and when the clock went off at 4:45 I dragged my sorry butt out of bed even though I was having a perfectly fascinating dream in which I was Bella in New Moon. I got dressed, ate a banana, went for a 2.3-mile run, went to the gym, did 20 minutes of a weights circuit I wrote, took a quick shower, came home and here I am.

I think we might carve pumpkins today.

So, besides that and housework and being mommy, that's what's up!

Have a great day!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

I cooked fish!

Yeah! I cooked fish!

Big deal, right?

Well, fish/seafood is one of my favorite things to eat, but I never can seem to get it right. I adore salmon, but it seems like whenever I make it, it's kind of, well, fishy. And gross.

I am a big fan of Penzeys Spices Visit their Web site here and their most recent catalog had a recipe for maple glazed salmon.

I had a bag of frozen salmon fillets in the freezer, so I thought I would go ahead and give it a shot. I fully expected it to be gross like all the other times I've tried to cook salmon, but I'll be darned! It was good!

Not only was it tasty, and even looked good, but my SUPER PICKY FOUR YEAR OLD even liked it. No, strike that, he LOVED it. He kept making comments like "I love this salmon! It's great!" and "This salmon is the best food EVER!"

Even the baby was shoveling it in! (He's only 8 1/2 months old, but won't eat baby food at all anymore, but he chews... actually, gums... food really well, so I give him little pieces of whatever we're eating.)

So, anyway, I'm excited. I cooked fish! And it wasn't gross! And my WHOLE family liked it!

Here's the recipe if you have any interest in trying it:

Mom & Dad's Maple-Glazed Salmon

4 6-ounce salmon fillets

1 tsp. Hungarian paprika
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground ancho pepper
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
(NOTE: I did not have all the above spices. I used Penzeys Northwoods Seasoning and Smoky 4S Seasoned Salt instead)

1/2 tsp. brown sugar (I didn't measure this. I just rubbed some on the fish)

1 tsp. sea salt

1 tsp. maple syrup (REAL maple syrup, please. Anything else is an atrocity. And again, I didn't measure. I just drizzled.)

Combine the spices and sugar. Sprinkle the fish with the salt then rub the sugar/spice mixture on it. Place the salmon on a broiler rack coated with cooking spray (I just put it on a cookie sheet lined with foil). Broil for about 12 minutes. Drizzle with syrup for the last couple minutes of cooking.

I served it with some baked butternut squash and some brown rice. SO YUMMY!

Body After Baby Week 4 recap

OK, time for my recap of Week 4 of the Body After Baby Challenge at Mama Notes.

I'm starting to feel like a broken record!

Well, actually, this week WAS a little better than the past two. I still suck at tracking my food, but I do kind of have an idea of what I should be eating in a day. And I still suck at snacking on not-so-great stuff in between.

Now I know what you might be thinking: Don't keep junk in the house! Well, I do have a little Halloween candy and stuff around but the things I snack on are often not necessarily junk, just high in calories. Like walnuts or almonds. We keep bags of those around because they're REALLY good for you... in moderation! I make Hubby some little containers of trail mix to take in his lunch every day. The problem is, if we have some left over, I will stick my hand in the bag every time I walk by and those calories add up fast! I wish I had a vending machine to keep certain snacks in and only had one token to use in it every day!

Holy crap! That would be an awesome invention! I'd call it the Dieter's Dream. It would run on special tokens, and the machine would actually dispense one token per day and you could use it to "buy" one item from the machine each day. I could have Hubby take the key to work with him or hide it. Don't steal my idea! :)

OK, back to Body After Baby.

As far as workouts, I've done pretty well I've actually been trading mornings with Hubby here and there and it feels pretty good to get my workout out of the way early, though getting up at 4:30 to exercise kind of sucks! I did some runs this week and also did single-arm and single-leg weight training to shake things up. Ouch! :)

This week's mini challenge was to do 50 crunches per day. You could earn up to 50 points per day for doing them. DONE! So, I got 350 points this week.
My points so far:
Week 1 (water drinking): 56
Week 2 (walking): 11
Week 3 (healthy meals): 17
Week 4 (crunches): 350

I was tempted by McDonald's this week. Over the weekend I realllllllly wanted one of their stupid pumpkin pies, which are sold 2 for $1, so you'd better believe I'd have bought two and ate them both! Yesterday I wanted a hamburger, fries and Coke from there so badly! Didn't do it, though.

I did have some less-than-stellar things through the week, particularly over the weekend. I had a fried shrimp and fries basket with Coke after soccer on Saturday, and I had a couple beers on Sunday night.

Anyway, it looks like last week's gain was very likely Mother Nature-induced bloat. I officially weighed in this week at 160.0. That means I am at a 3.5-pound loss, and THAT means I am actually only a half-pound short of my four-week goal. (My overall goal was to lose a pound a week during this challenge, which is what has been deemed a healthy loss when you're breastfeeding).

So, 160.0 puts me... 13.5 pounds away from pre-baby, which is where I want to be by the time we go to North Carolina in March for a friend's wedding. Hopefully this is attainable!

Anyway, the last couple weeks my post was kind of a bummer so I'm trying to keep a more positive attitude this week. Not sure yet what the Week 5 mini challenge will be, but I should find that out today.

On to Week 5!

I'm hoping to end the week at 158.5 (REALLY WANT to see the 150s again!) and I am planning to figure up some sort of circuit training to do 3 days this week. So far, I didn't get to work out on Sunday (thanks to the bathroom project) and I went for a 2.5-mile run yesterday morning.

Good luck to all the other participants! We can do this, right?

Monday, October 26, 2009

Lehmans recycled toys review and giveaway

GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED! Congrats to commenter #15, Gwenn S.

Many of us recycle, which is a very good thing, but have you ever wondered what becomes of those old milk cartons once they're shipped off to the recycling center?

Have you ever cringed when you hear about yet another toy recall due to it containing lead? (Honestly, WHO still thinks it's acceptable to paint toys with lead-based paint?)

Have you ever bought a brand-new toy, only to have it break that very same day, or week?

Well, I can answer "Yes" to all three of those questions, so I was just thrilled to see that one of my favorite companies, Lehmans, recently started carrying these neat, durable, Made-In-America recycled toys.

Lehmans is a fantastic company that sells all sorts of things to help people live a simpler life.

Here's part of their story:
"Founded by Jay Lehman in 1955 to serve the local Amish and others without electricity, Lehman's ships old-fashioned, high-quality merchandise all over the world.
Jay's vision was to preserve the past for future generations. "I was concerned that some day the Amish would not be able to maintain their simple ways of life because these products would no longer be available," he said. His goal was, and still is, to provide authentic, historical products to those seeking a simpler life."
Click here to read more.

Many of the items Lehmans carries are tried-and-true favorites that are no longer easy to find in the stores, such as Smith's Rosebud Salve, which is something I hope to never be without. It's awesome stuff, and my favorite use is when I (or one of my kids) have a cold and my nose is raw from too much wiping. I will literally put some of the salve on my nose before bed and the rawness is completely gone in the morning!

Another favorite of mine from Lehmans is the vegetable peeler I have always hated peeling potatoes, but this little gadget does the job quickly, and with little effort. (AND IT'S LIFETIME GUARANTEED!)

There are also a number of items from Lehmans on my wish list. One of them is the natural peanut butter mixer (to mix in the oil that collects on the top of natural nut butters).

Another is the set of REAL bayberry candles (these are very hard to make AND to find). I'd love to get a set just to burn at Christmas every year!

So, yes, I think Lehmans is awesome and I have been a customer for years and will continue to be a customer for years to come.

But back to the toys.

I contacted Lehmans about these recycled toys when I heard about them, and they very generously agreed to send some out for my boys to put to the test. (NOTE: I did NOT pay for these, just so you--and the FTC--know!) The dump truck and tool set arrived on a rainy afternoon and the boys spent the rest of the day happily playing with them.

There are a couple parts of the tool set that are too small for Jordan, but he can play with most of the tools and he loves to put things in the dump truck, like dead leaves (when he's not tasting them) and the black walnuts that are dropping from the tree in our yard.

Logan has been having fun playing with both the dump truck and the tool set. He likes to pound in the nails and pretend to fix things with the tools. And yeah, sometimes he uses the saw to pretend he's amputating one of my limbs. I don't know what that's all about, but I play along anyway. Maybe he'll be a surgeon one day!

The toys are extremely durable, too. I don't think the boys could break them if they tried. And there's no lead paint, BPA or anything like that to worry about, either.


Lehmans is going to give one of my readers the opportunity to win one of the recycled toys (your choice of the tea set, dump truck or tool set), just in time for Christmas, Santa!

So how do you enter to win? Easy peasy.

Pop on over to the Lehmans Web site and browse around a bit. Then come back here and tell me a couple things you saw there that you found interesting and would like to try. Be sure to leave a valid e-mail address in your comment!

Want extra entries?

The following are worth 1 extra entry each:
(Please leave a separate comment for each entry and be sure to include an e-mail address each time)

Become a public follower of my blog, or let me know if you already are.

Follow me on Twitter (hikermom13)

Tweet this giveaway, with a link (can be done once daily)

Subscribe to my RSS feed

This giveaway will end on Thursday, Nov. 5, so you have just over a week to enter. I will choose the winner using and announce the winner here and will also e-mail the winner, and he or she will have until Saturday, Nov. 7 to get a mailing address to me or a new winner will be chosen.

Good luck!

Not-good mom!

Logan's new name for me when he's mad at me is Not-Good Mom.

Me: Logan, please eat your breakfast.

(five minutes later)

Me: Logan! Eat!

(five more minutes)

Me: Are you kidding me Logan?! Eat your friggin' food! You haven't taken two bites in the last ten minutes!

(five more minutes)

Me (having an aneurysm): Logan! Get your skinny little butt off the baby's head and get back on that bench and EAT. YOUR. FOOD. Or we'll never make it to school on time!

Logan: Fine, Not-Good Mom.

Yes, that's Logan's new name for me when I do or say something he doesn't like. I find it kind of funny actually.

But I don't know... I got to thinking this morning about ways that I am actually not a good mom sometimes. Lately I feel like I've been a less-than-stellar mother.

We haven't read together enough.
We haven't gone outside enough.
I am always "just a minute-ing" my kids.
I have put chores before children.
I have said "shut up."
I have been impatient and annoyed at normal child behavior.
I have lost my cool and yelled.
I have said "no" too many times
And so on...

So, I'm making it my mission this week to be more present and in-the-moment with my boys. It feels like they are growing up too fast and I think it's partially because I have not been fully THERE. Sure, I'm here, I'm with them all the time, but I'm also distracted by other things. I might sit on the floor to do a puzzle, but I might also be kind of watching a DVR'd TV show at the same time.

So, I'm going to try to be better.

Because I don't want to be Not-Good Mom anymore.

A new week!

How was your weekend?

Saturday was Logan's last soccer day. It was about 44 degrees, drizzling and windy. Fun. I bundled the baby up in his snowsuit and we went, since I've skipped the last couple due to the weather, but we were there about 15 minutes and the baby was crying because he was cold and wet, so I left and walked around KMart with him for about a half hour then went back to pick up Logan because Hubby didn't have the car seat in his truck.

My father-in-law took us out to lunch after soccer then it was back home so Hubby could work on the bathroom, where he ran into a REALLY ANNOYING SNAFU with a pipe. It had to be moved up about a quarter inch so the faucet could come through the prefab shower wall. That involved calling out a plumber. He was literally here for 10 minutes and it cost $150. CRAP!

So, Hubs spent the rest of the day working in the bathroom and then on Sunday morning he helped me get the kiddies ready and I took Logan to Sunday School and Jordan to church with me, then took both boys grocery shopping. Hubby stayed home to work on the bathroom some more. I took the boys outside for a while because it was pretty nice out. Got all my plant pots off the back deck, and transplanted half my strawberries. (I wanted to move them all but decided to leave half of them where they were until spring in case my transplanting killed the other ones. I didn't want to kill them all!)

After we were good and dirty, I took the boys over to the neighbor's for a three-in-one bath and shower event. What fun! Came home, had dinner, got the baby to bed, write my column, got Logan to bed, baby woke up and cried, got him back to bed and got myself to bed.

Baby was up at 1, so I nursed him (a habit I need to break. The kid will not sleep through, and I keep breaking down and just nursing because it's easiest) and went back to bed, but the baby was back awake at 2:30. I actually tried to ignore him. FOR TWO HOURS. And he stayed awake. But he was just kind of whining, not full-on crying. So I finally got up at 4:30, nursed him, gave him a sleep sack over his jammies (He felt cold. Maybe that's why he was up from 2:30-4:30? I don't know.) and put him back to bed. Then I went out for a 2 1/2 mile run and went to the gym for a shower.

And here I am.

So, our bathroom has walls and a tub but now Hubby has to do the whole mud and sand and mud and sand and prime and paint and paint and paint process. Then he's got to tile the floor. Then he's got to install the toilet and vanity and lights. And THEN, my friends, I shall have a bathroom again. I think maybe this week we might be able to use the tub for careful, non-splashy baths. Not positive about that, though.

Anyway, lots left to do, but Hubby is doing a great job and being very careful to do it right, and I appreciate that!

On to the week ahead. It's a typical week with school, swim, karate, etc. I have an appointment to get the boys some H1N1 shots on Tuesday (shhh... don't tell Logan!) and probably some sort of special Halloween play date with my best friend and her kids on Wednesday evening.

I also have a bunch of cloth diapering stuff coming in the mail. Diapers, covers, Snappis, wool longies, etc. Once I'm all set up, I will hopefully join the ranks of cloth diapering. I have three cloth diapers right now, but only one of them fits Jordan right. I have used it a few times and had my first cloth diaper poo on Friday. It was amazingly horrible. I had no idea how to deal with it. I had no system set up for getting rid of the poo. (And to add to the horror, when I Googled it, I saw the phrase "Some moms keep a spatula on hand for scraping the poop into the toilet." GROSS! But necessary, I have found!) I had to rinse the diaper in the sink because I had no where else to do it, and so I had little bits of undigested carrot in the sink. Seriously. NASTY! Then I had to mega clean the sink several times.

Anyway, I don't know if it's going to be as easy as some moms say it is or if I just have to devise a system for myself and then it will get easier. We shall see. I need to get all my supplies and such in place and then I'll give it a whirl. Aren't you excited? More cloth diapering talk to come! Lucky you!

I'll do my Body After Baby update later. Probably tomorrow. Not that there's a whole lot to update!

For now, I'm off. Have a great day/week/end of October!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Dahlia scarf review

One of the pieces in my Autumn Leaves Giveaway was this lovely autumn flower scarf made by Kathy at the Dahlia Scarves etsy shop.

Kathy was kind enough to make me a scarf as well (I did not pay for it), and it arrived about a week ago. I unwrapped it and boy, is it pretty! I wore it right away with one of my favorite sweaters, and it complemented the sweated perfectly. I wore it kind of in a cowl style:

I also wore the scarf in my hair to church this weekend, like a headband. It looked really pretty but I should have pinned it in, because Jordan pulled it off right in the middle of church, so I had flat "scarf hair!" Oops! I'll know better next time!

Anyway, this gorgeous chiffon scarf is pretty versatile and very fall-y with its brown leaves and brick red flowers. I love it, and want to thank Kathy for sending it to me and also for participating in my Autumn Leaves Giveaway Event.

Kathy has a lot of other pretties available for sale at her etsy shop, too. Click here to visit the Dahlia Scarves etsy shop!

You can follow Kathy on Twitter here.

She also has a blog, which can be found here.

If you're looking for a beautiful scarf to dress up an everyday outfit, something for a formal event, or need a gorgeous handmade Christmas gift for a special female in your life, visit the Dahlia Scarves shop and see what Kathy has for you. She also takes custom orders, so don't be shy about asking.

Friday, October 23, 2009

A dreary Friday!

Hello friends!

Well, it is an ugly, rainy fall day here in mid-Michigan. It's too bad because the leaves have reached their color peak. We need a bright, sunny day to appreciate them, but instead there is lots of rain and wind in the forecast, which means they'll likely all just fall and blow off the trees.

Took Logan to school today with a little friend. We found a woolly bear caterpillar on Wednesday evening and he's been living in Logan's little bug box the past few days, eating leaves and pooping. We'll probably snap a few photos of him after school today and then release him to go about his business outside. The kids are studying insects in school this month and are encouraged to bring in bugs to look at, and then release.

Spent some time last night on the couch with Jordan. He cried at about 2, I got up, popped him on the boob and laid us down and fell asleep. Woke up around 5 TOTALLY kinked up from sleeping in a weird position to keep baby from falling off the couch. Put him in his crib and went to our room only to find Logan in bed with my Hubby. Guess it was Sleep With Your Kids night at our house!

I am on my way to cloth diapering. I bought a set of pre-folds at Wal-Mart yesterday and figure if I don't like them, I can just use them as doublers in other diapers. I also am getting a few different diapers and covers from etsy to try out. I will be reviewing the different ones I try. I also want to order a couple better-known brands, like Fuzzi Bunz and Bum Genius because I've heard good things about them from several people. Just trying to decide if I should go with all-in-ones or fitted ones. I would like to try the Gro-Baby disposable liner ones for travel as well.

As far as money goes, it's seeming quite expensive to get rolling, but I figure if I use each diaper 20 times, it will have paid for itself as far as what it would cost to use disposables. Since I'm not getting a TON of diapers, I imagine I will reach that 20-use mark quite quickly.

NOTE: The above statement clearly indicates WHY I went into writing as a profession and NOT anything involving mathematics.

The correction: If I use each diaper 80 TIMES, it will pay for itself. That's based on a 40-pack of disposables costing about $10, and a cloth diaper costing about $20. Therefore a cloth diaper costs about as much as two packs of disposables, so therefore, in terms of cost, one cloth diaper = 80 disposable diapers. I don't know why I said 20. I am so math-dumb.

Carry on.

As far as bedtime, I will probably still use a disposable, since Jordan wets a lot in his sleep.

Sorry about all the cloth diapering talk lately! You'll just have to bear with me as I make this transition.

You wouldn't think that something so simple would cause so much confusion, but there are so many more options out there now than there were when I was cloth diapered. My mom needed flat diapers, pins and some rubber pants to cover them. That's all there was! Now there are flat, prefold, all-in-one, fitted, pocket, hemp, fleece, cotton, organic cotton, wool, bamboo, Zorb, PUL, velcro, pins, Snappis, this color, that print, and so on. SO MUCH TO DECIDE!

It's Friday! Logan's last day of soccer is tomorrow. Thank goodness, because the weather has been CRAP the past few times and it might be so tomorrow as well. Hubby will be working on the bathroom this weekend and will hopefully get us a functioning tub at least. That will be so nice!

So, anyway, it will be a busy weekend around here, but that's what life is all about!

Fitness-wise, I would have liked to get up and do a DVD this morning, but it just didn't happen. I was too tired. Everyone was, I guess, because I had to PRY Logan out of bed for school. I'll go to the gym tonight, though, for a workout (probably weights) and a shower.

Lots to do around the house today. Hopefully I can make a dent!

Have a great day everyone!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Cloth diapering interview with Samantha

So, I'm trying to make the leap from disposable diapers to cloth. It's something I wish I'd done right away when Logan was a baby but I just didn't. It seemed like a pain in the butt. Now Jordan's already 8 1/2 months old. I cringe when I think of all the toxic diapers I have sent to the landfill, but I guess switching late is better than never, right?

But then I started researching, and found myself more confused than ever. There are so many types, kinds, brands, and it's EXPENSIVE to just try one out and find you don't care for it. It seems like every mommy blogger is writing about different cloth diapers and some LOVE Brand A and HATE Brand B while others adore B and despise A.

What's a mom to do?

Well, I found myself with lots of questions, as I'm sure any mom making the switch does, and one of my favorite mommy bloggers, Samantha from Mama Notes, agreed to answer them.

Here's my interview with Samantha:

Q: How long have you been cloth diapering and how old is your child?

A: We've been using cloth since our son was 3 weeks old. We have been going strong since and now he is 7 1/2 months!

Q: Why did you decide to go with cloth in the first place?

A: The first thing that attracted my to cloth diapers was the idea of saving money. My husband and I are/were tight with money, so if we could save money any way, we were going to try it! We thought we could probably get a few for baby showers and such so we would hardly have to spend much at all on diapers! And we did, which was so nice! I also wanted to avoid putting chemicals on my baby if possible.

Q: Do you ever use disposables?

A: Yep! We use disposables at night. I haven't found a cloth diaper yet that I like using for nights. And, we don't have a ton of diapers as is, so I save them for using during the day.

Q: What kinds/types of cloth diapers have you tried?

A: Oh, I have tried tons. I have tried pre folds, snaps, velcro, one size, home made diapers, diapers made by big companies... lots!

Q: What is/are your favorites and why?

A: My favorite diaper are Fuzzi Bunz (snaps) and Bum Genius (velcro.) I like the Fuzzi Bunz a LOT! I love the snaps and the way they fit my son. The BG are nice too, but the velcro is starting to fray so those come in 2nd place behind FB. :)

Q: How many cloth diapers do you have?

A: We have 15 right now. I want/need more! My son just grew out of his size small Fuzzi Bunz so we have to buy size medium now.

Q: How many do you suggest a mom get when she's starting out?

A: Well, the more the better but you really only need 12 or so. The less you have just means you have to do more laundry. When we first started, we only had probably 10 diapers. I was doing laundry almost every night! It works, it's just nice to have more diapers.

Q: Do you also use cloth wipes?

A: Sometimes. I'm being lazy right now and using disposable wipes, although I don't know why. Using cloth wipes is actually easier when using cloth diapers because it allows you to throw everything in the wash versus putting wipes in the trash and diapers in a separate bin. The wipes I use are just baby wash cloths. They are nothing fancy and all I do is get them wet first!

Q: Do you find cloth diapers leak more than disposables?

A: Yes, some do. I have never had a disposable leak, but I have had cloth leak. A cloth diaper leaking could be a variety of things; too big of diaper, a detergent, a very heavy wetter... One of the reasons I use disposables at night is because I haven't found a cloth diaper that holds 12 hours worth of urine! I know there is a diaper system that works for this though because I have many friends that do use cloth at night and all the time.

Q: How do you clean your cloth diapers? What kind of detergent do you use? Do you put them in with your regular laundry or wash them alone? etc.)

I do two loads in the washing machine- one on cold and one on hot- and then hang to dry or dry in the dryer on medium setting. I use Purex Free and clear.(NOTE: Samantha appears to be re-thinking the Purex after being told it might not be the best choice for cloth diapers on her latest blog post.) They are washed separately from all our clothes. I explain my cloth diapering wash routine in detail here.

Q: Do you ever feel like you "play with poop" a lot? (I'm afraid of this!)

A: Not really. I'm just lucky right now though, my son only poops a couple times a week!

Q: What is/are the hardest or most challenging part(s) of cloth diapering?

A: Gosh, it really isn't hard at all! The hardest thing is putting the clothes in the laundry machine!

Q: What is/are the best part(s) of it?

A: Seeing my babe in a cute diaper. :) Knowing that I have spent my money wisely and that I'm doing what I can to help the Earth!

Q: How do you manage your cloth diapers when you're out for a full day or traveling?

A: I have a little wet bag and I just bring them with me! Instead of throwing them away, I put them in a little bag. If we're on vacation, I usually bring disposables.

Q: What advice do you have for a mom who's just starting out in cloth diapering?

A: Its fun! It really is not that much work, I promise! It's great for your wallet, baby, environment and it's just adorable!

End of interview.

Samantha's not kidding when she says it's adorable. Here's her little Lucas sporting a bright orange diaper in support of Oregon State University. Go Beavers! Isn't he the sweetest thing?

Check out Samantha's great blog, Mama Notes, (this is the one with the Body After Baby Challenge!) by clicking here.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wordless Wednesday (mostly): FALL KIDS

Well, on Sunday I shared the outtakes of our fall photo shoot. Here are a few that actually turned out OK.

See the outtakes post here.