Busy week!

Well, I had hoped to post more often..  But, we have made some progress with the house construction, so I have been busy with moving things around in-between baby things (diapers, nursing, laundry, etc etc).

I hope to post the dryer ball tutorial soon – I managed to make 4 of them and have been testing them this week. 2 are made from upcycled sweaters, and 2 are from a cheap skein of yarn I found at a craft store. I’m having a small issue with them, so I’m going to have to separate them and figure out if it’s the sweaters or yarn causing the problem.

We ordered more microfleece for liners. As it turns out, my little man burns through the 21 we had in a day. It made for some tense laundry moments, wondering if the dryer was going to finish before we ran out of his last liner or two. Thankfully we kept the remaining flushies around, so we had those to toss on a couple of times. New fleece showed up, however, and is all cut up and added to the stack. Advice is to buy at least 2 yards for your liners if you intend to use them every change and don’t want to do laundry at the exact same hour every day. Maybe some folks are that awesome at keeping a daily routine, but I’m sure not yet.

Also – Samhain is coming up! He’s too young to make memories, but I feel happy bringing him to celebrations. We agreed to raise him neutrally in terms of religion, but he’s still too small to remember – and I’m not quite comfortable yet with a babysitter option for that many hours. Until he’s a bit older, I’ll get to hold him by the bonfire, and listen to the drumming and chanting, pray for the Kindreds to watch over him. We did a beautiful Naming/Blessing ritual for him at the Autumn Equinox. I hope that one day when he’s older he decides to come with me to a High Day celebration and see what it’s all about – but I would settle for a healthy respect (if not love) of nature. Until he’s old enough to be sheltered from it, I’ll simply enjoy my time with him by the fires, and make memories enough for the both of us.

Autumn Stroll

Took Little Man out for a walk today. I’ve been trying hard to introduce nature to him as early as possible. As a side bonus, it’s good for me to get some fresh air and exercise also. We try to go to the nature preserve once a week, which has a couple miles of paved trails thru forest and prairie lands. I’ve felt horrible this week, though, so we’ve settled for a stroll around the neighborhood.

Fall is finally starting to do more than just flirt with Texas. We never get pretty leaves here, but a couple of them have turned colors other than green or dead brown. Acorns are all over the ground; houses are all decorated for Halloween. The weather here is still fickle, though. We left at 11:30, and it was chill enough to finally put him in his 0-3 month coat that had yet only lived in his closet. I’m glad it was finally useful before he grew out of it. Babywearing is awesome, but changing his clothes mid-walk is something I haven’t mastered with it yet.. so I think he was too warm when we got in. Add that to the list of motherly skills that need practice.

Little Man looking apprehensive in his fall coat.

Wordless Wednesday

Photo credit: Dishfunctional Designs

New Reusable Liners

So, we’ve been using flushable liners. Internet parenting boards claim that newborn poo, breastfed, is water soluable, thus a liner shouldn’t be needed. Well, I still prefer to get the cloth as clean as possible before chucking it into the washer. Thus, we have liners. (And a sprayer…)   So far we used BumGenius flushables and Bummi flushables.  They’ve been great, and catch most of his poo, even though at this point in his life it’s mostly liquid. The problem is, of course, they’re an extra expense we really don’t need right now. Make no mistake – it’s STILL cheaper than disposable diapers, even if we bought flushy liners every week. But I looked around for a better alternative and found fleece liners.

I bought 1 yard of CuddleDry microfleece. I found some that was marked down for a slight cosmetic reason (a mark on the fabric), so even with shipping cost it was less than $10. It arrived today, woot! Hubby and I discussed the size we like, and he prefers the Bummi liner size. I used one as a rough template and got 21 liners! They are an average of 12 inches long and 8 inches wide.

Fleece liners sitting on top of diapers for size reference – left is a fully snapped one-size, right is a small prefold.

Now we’ll still have something that catches most of the poo (and solids won’t stick to the fleece), something that will pass liquids thru onto the rest of the diaper (be VERY careful to get fleece that Wicks and not Repels – the CuddleDry stuff is wicking fleece), and it’s re-useable so our liner “bill” is gone now. As an added bonus, using cloth liners also allows us to use a cheaper diaper rash cream, as long as the liners get washed separately from the rest of the diapers.

End result : eco-friendly, saved us money. Fleece liners rock

Wool Dryer Balls

We have a big bag of wool scraps in the house. They’re left over from when I made the baby’s wool covers (longies and shorties) back when I was pregnant. None of the bits left are big enough to go into new covers, so I was using them to cut out appliques for the covers I’d sewn. Those came out cute – but time consuming! Since my Little Man has been born, I haven’t had the slightest chance of doing more applique. So, we have a bag of scraps.

As I browsed among the countless cloth diapering blogs and pages, I kept hearing about dryer balls. It would seem the prevailing method of choice is to use wool batting or yarn (or unravel your sweaters for yarn), but I did find a small bit of advice for using your sweater scraps.

I’ll post a whole DIY tutorial at some point soon, complete with pictures, but I wanted to get at least 3 finished and test them out first. I spend a vast portion of my day tied to the couch because I’m nursing – so I only work on the dryer balls when Little Man goes into his milk comas, and get interrupted a lot with diaper changes and feeding/hydrating myself. All of that being said, it’s taken me a week to finish 2 balls! So…. hopefully I’ll get better at it, figure out some shortcuts, or manage distractions quicker. And if not, I should get the 3rd finished and start testing them sometime next week. Then I’ll post the tutorial and what I’ve learned from the process.

Wordless Wednesday

New Fluff

So, I discovered that there is a cloth diaper store here in the Dallas area. Not quite sure why it surprised me, but it did. After some pleading, hubby agreed to check it out with me. It was rather surreal, seeing a whole shop filled with things I’ve only seen on-line.

We agreed on a purchase, which stretched our budget to an uncomfortable tightness. (Turns out that 2 days later we had to replace all 4 tires on the car – sigh.) We bought 4 diapers, ranging from $10 to $17 each – 2 Thirsties AIO’s, 1 Asunta pocket, and 1 Sweetpeas pocket. It’s been an interesting experience, trying new styles and brands. I understand now why internet parenting blogs suggest that you start your cloth stash with a wide variety. The differences in fit and quality are pretty remarkable, even after just a few days of trying them out.

AIO Cost Laments

Our cloth diaper stash is working well – currently we’re using a hybrid of prefolds + wool covers (both of which I sewed myself), and some super cheap one-size pockets I bought from Ebay (Baby Land). Because of our budget, and because we weren’t completely sure cloth diapering would work for us, we had (and have) a very small budget for cloth. Hence the $2 a piece Baby Lands – which DO work, but they have well documented, and personally verified, issues with leaks.

They don’t leak every time, maybe once out of every 10 changes, but those odds are still annoying and mean that at least once a day I have unexpected additional laundry to do – and who wants that? All of that being said, they’re $2. I knew to expect leaks, and for the cost vs value, I don’t regret the dozen we bought. My lament is that I’ve thus far been totally unable to try any OTHER kind of AIO or pocket. Would they leak less? Fit better? Pocket easier to stuff? My curiosity compells me to places my budget doesn’t allow. Even sewing them myself would be more expensive than buying more Ebay diapers. And it’s not like they’re total crap – so it’s very hard to justify a $15 purchase on a mystery diaper that may or may not be awesome, where I could use that same money to accumulate 6 or 7 more cheapies that have their small expected issues.

Here’s hoping that eventually I’ll win one of these giveaways! It might be my only chance to try other kinds of AIOs.

A Blog is Born

Well… another Mom Blog. As a bit of background, I am a Stay At Home mother of an adorable 7 week old son. I am a Druid, which is to say I have a nature-based religion modeled after ancient Irish beliefs. I breastfeed, although supply issues mean that once in a while he does get the a supplimental bottle. I just started to cloth diaper – it took this long to start thanks to an epic ton of house construction, some illness I had after birth, and getting the hang of breastfeeding before tacking on additional difficulties taking care of a newborn.

All of that being said, I’m a fairly green parent. And since I’m not going back to work – boy! – we got a budget. My jobs are to take care of the baby, the house, and save us money wherever I can. This blog is a journal of my attempts to do that. I’ll also be posting about various giveaways – because who doesn’t want or need free stuff? I’ll keep the giveaway posts limited to cloth diapering or breastfeeding items (and any companies or fellow bloggers in those two categories are encouraged to follow or contribute). Until such a time as I host my own, they’ll be heads up posts that other websites are hosting.

The final thing I want to tackle in this journey is what my husband calls “Internet Parenting.” This is his first baby, and the first one of mine that came home with me from the hospital.. That being said, we’re somewhat clueless as all new parents are. Unlike older times, we don’t have a giant net of familial support to ask our questions, so we turn to our modern day information slave – the internet. This has been both awesome and terrible. We’ve learned a lot of really great things, and we’ve made some mistakes because of things we’ve found. All in all, we learned that nomatter WHAT you’ve decided to do as a parent, there is someone who wholly agrees with you, and someone who thinks it’s the worst thing possible. During this journal I’ll tackle some of the lessons I’ve learned, and review some options that the internets will suggest.

Newer entries »

%d bloggers like this: