Archive | January, 2012

We like to jump!

8 Jan

Baby E is LOVING his jumparoo. So I decided to have some fun with iMovie. Enjoy! 🙂

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Adventures in Cloth Diapering

8 Jan

When I was pregnant with Baby E, I started researching cloth diapers as an alternative to using disposables. I was looking for something affordable and fairly easy to use, and I like the idea of being a little more environmentally friendly. I was also interested in health benefits. I’d read a good bit about chemicals used in disposables, and while I don’t think they’re a huge threat, my goal is to limit unnecessary chemical exposure whenever I can. So I embarked on my mission to bone up on cloth diapering.

Holy cow! There are a ton of options when it comes to cloth diapering, and a whole vocabulary to learn! It was a little intimidating at first, but fortunately my favorite local baby store, Natural Baby, holds Cloth Diapering 101 classes, and that was the crash course I needed to get things going. If you live in Upstate SC and are curious about cloth, I suggest you go.

I found my cloth diapering solution through Cotton Babies, a great company which offers a variety of cloth diaper systems and tons of cute colors and patterns. I decided to go with Flip Diapers and Econobum because I was looking for a combination of cheap, effective and easy. I mostly use Flip, which is a hybrid system. Flips have one-size waterproof covers with snaps that allow you to adjust the size as your baby grows. They offer two kinds of absorbent inserts – a flat stay-dry insert and a folded organic cotton insert. They also offer a disposable insert for extra convenience. Econobum is a prefold/cover system that’s super-affordable. They’re just a simple one-size waterproof cover with an organic insert. I can mix and match between the two brands to meet my needs. I like to use the organic inserts at night because they hold more pee and the stay-dry during the day because they’re thinner.

Over all, it’s been a great experience. I am saving ridiculous amounts of money. My stash consists of seven Flip covers, two Econobum covers, 14 stay-dry inserts and seven organic cotton inserts. Since they’re adjustable, one-size diapers, I’ll use these same diapers until Baby E is potty trained. And if we decide to have another kiddo, the diapers are great quality and will last a second round. I spent a total of about $200 on my diaper stash. Not too shabby, considering Babycenter’s Cost Calculator estimates disposable diapers dinging you at $864 per year. And I think that’s a conservative estimate. Pretty major savings, especially over about three years!

I don’t feel like washing adds too much to the cost. We have an HE front-loader and I wash diapers three times a week. You do need to wash cloth diapers with special, additive-free detergent. I bought a bag of Rocking Green cloth diaper detergent for $12, I’ve been using it for five months and still have half a bag left.

When it comes to convenience, I find cloth to be comparable to disposable. I have very few leaks or blow-outs. Baby E stays pretty dry, even overnight, and we haven’t had any diaper rash so far. Smell hasn’t been an issue, either – I use a trashcan with an antibacterial wet-bag liner. When it’s time to wash, I just throw the wet bag and contents in the machine. Since Baby E is breastfed, rinsing diapers by hand isn’t necessary. And when he starts solids, I’ll use flushable, biodegradable liners for easy poop cleanup.

The last thing I love about cloth is that they’re way cuter than disposable. Here’s a pic of Baby E in his Flip at one month old. Pretty cute, right?
Flip Diapers
If you’re interested in learning more about cloth diapering, here are a few resources I found helpful:

FYI – I haven’t been compensated for this post and all views expressed are my own. However, I am entering it into a contest. The contest prize is a set of 12 bumGenius diapers for me and a set for one lucky commenter. So get to commenting and keep your fingers crossed that I win!

Crazy Paranoid Lady

6 Jan

Seems like there’s a crime spree going on in Greenville. This week, one of my dear friends was robbed mid-day while she was at work. The bastards destroyed her house, took a ton of stuff and lots of jewelry with sentimental value and left her feeling quite violated. Then, the little old lady who lives across the street from us was burglarized at night while she slept. She’s hard of hearing and apparently didn’t hear when they kicked in the door. Guess it’s a good thing she didn’t wake up – who knows what might’ve happened if she had woken. Fortunately, she wasn’t harmed.

Normally, I’m not too paranoid, and I’ve always felt pretty safe in our neighborhood. But The Hubs may go out of town for a couple of days in the near future, and I’m a little skeeved out. When I woke up for Baby E’s mid-night feeding last night, I couldn’t help but think about what I would do if someone tried to kick in my door in the middle of the night.

These thoughts crossed my mind a few years ago when The Hubs was an auditor and would travel for weeks at a time. Basically, my plan would be to hide in one of my carefully selected hiding places or quietly squeeze out the window and run like hell while calling 911.

But what would I do with a baby? Well that just throws a wrench in my crazy lady plans. Hiding obviously wouldn’t work, as Baby E usually isn’t quiet when I need him to be. I guess we would go out the window, but getting the baby out along with myself would add time to my escape. So I was sitting there in the dark planning window-escape logistics. If I heard someone trying to break in through one of the doors, I could hop up and lock the bedroom door. Then I would slip on shoes thoughtfully placed by the side of the bed, open the window, bust out the screen and grab the baby. But I don’t know if I could safely get the baby and myself out of the window at the same time. It’s not a very high window, but it’s old and doesn’t open all the way and I don’t know if both of us could fit through at the same time. So maybe I would need a large blanket or sheet so I could lower Baby E out then hop out myself. See…Crazy. Paranoid. Lady.

But what if there wasn’t enough time for all of that? The Hubs suggested barricading the bedroom door with a dresser and wedging it with the closet door. He also has a set of samurai swords. So, you know, I could go all Kill Bill on somebody’s ass. Which I guess would be fine as long as a gun wasn’t involved. I just don’t know if I’d be fast enough to deflect bullets with my samurai sword.

Beware, would-be robbers!

Aside from doing some rush training in martial arts, I guess I’ll just do the logical thing and triple-check door and window locks and make sure that the alarm system is fully armed when I go to bed. I haven’t been doing this because it involves motion sensors that I’m sure I’ll forget about when I stumble down the hall for a 4 a.m. diaper change. To my neighbors, I sincerely apologize in advance.

2012 Resolutions

1 Jan

I love new year’s resolutions. Sometimes I actually even keep them. For the past several years, I’ve made the habit of taking some quiet time on New Year’s Eve, reflecting on the past year and writing down my goals for the coming year. Aside from the ubiquitous weight loss resolutions, in the past I’ve set a lot of personal improvement goals ranging from taking art and creative writing classes to buying a home and trying for a baby. In the past, this has been a private ritual, but this year, I decided to make it a little bigger.

Growing up, we never had many family traditions, and I was always jealous of families that had cute little activities to mark holidays, birthdays, or other days of significance. Now that Baby E is in the picture, I want to start setting some fun traditions of our own. So for New Year’s, I suggested to The Hubs that we start doing family resolutions.  On NYE, The Hubs, Miss A (my step daughter who is visiting from Colorado) and I all wrote down a list of resolutions, placed them in an envelope and sealed them up. Next year, we’ll open them, read them aloud, and the person who accomplished the most, by percentage attained, wins a prize. I’m thinking maybe some kind of ridiculous crown and the winner gets to be King or Queen of the New Year and we’ll come up with some privileges that go along with the title…

If it all works the way I hope it will, this little tradition will allow us to share and set goals, hold each other accountable, and get a fun little peek into the minds of the kiddos on a yearly basis. I mean, when you ask a three-year-old what they hope to do in the next year, it’s bound to be funny, right? Of course, we’ll keep them over the years, so I’ll have something to embarrass Baby E with when he’s a teenager and Miss A when she gets married.

So here’s to a fun and productive 2012! Time to get crackin’ – I want that crown!