Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Cloth Diapers are Easy and Inexpensive

Diapers. There is something most people don't spend much time thinking about. However, there are many people who think about them a lot. I am not just talking about manufacturers. There is a growing movement of people bringing back cloth diapers. I am now one of those people. I started using cloth diapers about 6 months ago and they are amazing! I learned many things that completely surprised me.

1. They take the same amount of time to change as a disposable, you don't need pins, you can get ones with velcro, just like disposables.

2. They work really well. I mean REALLY well. I did not expect this, but when Lizzie was just a new baby, we had several blowouts, just like with Anna. However, they were ALL in disposable diapers. Almost every time she pooped in a disposable it leaked on her clothes. So, I moved her into a larger disposable size, she still leaked. I am not saying she NEVER leaks in cloth, but, she VERY rarely does. However, not all cloth diapers are equal. I have tried some different brands. There were 3 kinds that did not work well, which I won't mention. The kind that worked really well, was Bumgenius. That is why I am brand loyal because use what works and sell the rest. That said, I have had some leaks in the cloth, but honestly, I have never had a poop leak!

3. They can save major money. I can get diapers cheap. I can buy disposable diapers on the military base and save a LOT. I chose to cloth diaper the most expensive way possible (without getting into crazy high end designer diapers). Also, my daughter is a super fast grower so she has grown out of them more quickly than expensive. I have purchased the cloth diapers called all in one diapers that are pretty much the same thing as disposables, only you wash them. I am talking sticky (velcro) tabs and buying different sizes. The fact that you have to buy different sizes is what adds to the cost. I bought my diapers from a company called cotton babies Financially, I have about broken even. They are a great choice as they have good diapers, and I mean really good, and also have free shipping which is a big reason why I went with them. But, I am planning on having one or two more children and can therefore pretty much diaper them for free (less the cost of laundry). Most people doing it this way would save probably $800-1000 birth to potty training. But like I said I can get disposable diapers cheap.

4. They can be even cheaper. I have dabbled in some other kinds of cloth diapers. I mean things I would never have imagined myself getting into. I bought some diaper covers that you have to put something inside; they need an insert (gasp, a second step). Now, I bought the diaper covers manufactuered by the same company, cotton babies (this time listed as flip covers) only these work from birth to potty training. I bought two covers and 12 of what you can put inside (what I chose is called prefold) I bought all of this on sale for around $40. That means I got 12 cloth diapers good from birth through potty training for $40. After that purchase and how easy it is to use this system (it takes maybe 3 seconds more per change to switch out the inside). So for a good well made diaper cover that still does not leak like the disposables normally do, you diaper your kid birth to potty training for about $200 less the cost of laundry. WOW~

5. They can be EVEN CHEAPER... sounds a lot like # 4. BUT, here is how it is different. Because the diapers are cloth AND they don't disappear, when you are finished with them, IF you take relatively good care of them, you can sell them. Check out ebay and look up completed listings. I looked up completed listings for used bumgenius all in one diapers. I found people selling them. One was for 5 diapers, with some staining. I did not dig around, I just went to the first one I could find, it will be different everyday. It went for $36! What does that mean? I bought on clearance as they no longer make my "model" of diaper. The diapers cost me $10 each. The listing I am talking about was for the same diapers I have and again, mine have NO staining. Do the math, If I were to sell 5 of them for $36 I would have spent $14. That is how much I pay for 60 disposables and since I have used each diaper at least 33 times thus far that gets me 165 changes and counting.

6. What about the poop? Well, if you have a kid, guess what you are going to deal with poop. Its a given. BUT, honestly it is not as gross as you are thinking. They even make these things called diaper sprayers that rinse all the poop into the toilet. I rinse all my poopy diapers at the end of the day. I expected to actually HATE doing it. I don't (ussually). Many times in fact I find it therapeutic (not always). Why? Because I am constantly amazed that modern diapers clean so well. Clothes I often can't get stains out of. Not one of my diapers has a stain, not one. If you rinse your diapers into the toilet, you don't touch the poop at all. It does not take that long either. We don't have a diaper sprayer, but we have a really strong power shower that I rinse them in, no one uses that tub for baths anyway and we rinse it out before we shower. We have a strainer in the drain to keep clogs out. Again, not really an added cost.

6. Diaper Rash. I use to think cloth diapers caused diaper rash, nope it is not the culprit. In fact, some people claim they get less rash in cloth as there kids are sensitive to the chemicals in disposables. In our experience it is about the same. I will admit that when my daughter had a rash, I froze, I was scared it was the diapers. But, then I trouble shot and found out there are different types of rash. She had a rash in her skin folds from sweat. When I put her in disposables it did not make it better. Diaper cream did. Lanolin did even better. I did put her in disposables when applying the cream as I am protective of my cloth diapers, and diaper cream can be used with them if you put either a disposable liner or a piece of fleece in between baby and diaper, but I didn't want to risk it. She has had rashes since that time. The worst one she got was while in a disposable. I also learned the magic combination of treating diaper rash, it works great. Alas, this post is not about rash but if you want to learn more check out askdrsears.com for great tips.

7. One of my friends said it can be addicting. I was not sure what she meant, now I know! At the end of the day when people want to relax, some people sit down and I watch a show or read a book. For months I sat down and looked at diapers. I probably read and learned more about cloth diapers than I would need to know for a masters thesis (literally). For some reason there is something about them that calms me and brings me peace. I am a little embarrassed to admit that when my sister (who had struggled to get pregnant for a long time) told me she was having twins, I was excited, REALLY excited. The next morning Bumgenius (a brand manufactured by cotton babies) came out with a new diaper (Freetime) and I cried a little. I was overwhelmed with joy. And no, I have not been paid to write this post. But like I said there is something about all this that just makes my heart happy.

8. It does not really take much more time than disposables. Once you have chosen the ones you want and purchased them. You read the washing instructions as you would with any new product and you are good to go. That being said you might think that sounds strange after reading #7. But if you are really just using the diapers and not addicted to seeing all the different products out there or watching videos of different features, or reading stories of people using diapers, or entering competitions on diapers... Like I said same amount of time to change. Rinsing adds a couple minutes a day. You throw them in a trash can with a lid, (I use one with the flap kind of lid that you can get at target and have never had any problem with smells) lined it with a type of bag called a wet bag as it holds wet things. Then two or 3 times a week walk the whole bag to the washing machine, put the whole bag in and turn it inside out. Turn it on a cold wash. when thats done put it on a hot wash with an extra rinse and dry them. So, It takes me about 3 minutes to put clothes in the was (if I have to empty the dryer). About 1 minute to push the button for the second cycle. So, all in all I spend maybe 10 minutes more a day on cloth diapers.

9. It is not an all or nothing thing. If you are not sure if it is for you, buy some. Be a part-time cloth diaper user. You will still save!

10. This is probably the big reason why I started in the first place. Environmentally I am sending nothing to the landfill (I do use 1 disposable at night, so other than that). If you want go be a bit "greener"it is a great choice. However, and a lot of people spend a lot of time debating his one, you will use more water and if you don't line dry them you use electricity for the dryer as well. Seriously people spend so much time comparing these factors it is crazy, even comparing the water used to manufacture disposables and gas to get them stores, vs. the cotton grown for the cloth, blah blah blah. For me, I don't want to throw things away, so I feel good about it.

11. I think they are cute. Well at least cuter than disposables, I like color.

12. Emergency Preparedness. Lose your job, blizzard, earthquake.... If you have reusable diapers, you won't run out. You can even learn to hand wash flat diapers and you would not have a problem if you don't have a washer/dryer.

One last thing, the daddy factor. At first my husband was a bit skeptical about the whole thing. However, one of his good friends use cloth diapers as well, same brand even, and so it seemed like something he was willing to try. I have heard often it is hard to get husbands on board. He said that he only uses the all in one (disposable style) because they are easy. Most of the time, I wash the diapers as well, being protective of them as I am, so honestly it is literally, no extra work for him. With the cover system, you could take a minute and put them together so they are ready and then they would be no extra step at a change.

I have wanted to write this post for a long time. I was finally prompted to sit down and do it as Jen Labit from cottonbabies mentioned that all she wanted for Christmas was to tell people about cloth diapers. I have expanded my use of cloth to all kinds of different cloth products. Anyway, let me know if you are interested in learning more. I have so much more I can share with you. And if my lovely sister wants to give it a try, I would be so excited and more than happy to help you get started! I will enter this post in a competition and if I win some diapers I will spread the wealth, I don't need anymore, so I am more than happy to share anything with someone who wants to get started, either with one baby, or twins (hint, hint!).

Here are some photos of my diapers, check them out and see how easy they really are!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Our Anniversary!

Our 6th Anniversary was on July second. It was quite a busy day. That was the day we had Anna's birthday party as well, more on that in a later post.

Our Anniversary fell 16 days after Elizabeth was born. I was feeling good, but still a bit sore by the end of the day with the birthday party and what not. We decided that we would go out to a local restaurant, the Royal Oak Inn, which is the only restaurant in our village and happens to be delicious, which you can guess by the fact that it has been open for hundreds of years! Joan was kind enough to come over and watch the kidlets for us. We went for about an hour/hour and a half or so and Elizabeth did well to sleep the entire time we were gone!

The Royal Oak Inn has a few different rooms, one main dinning room and a few small side rooms. You might think the main room would be pretty busy but you would be wrong. Every time we go the side rooms are full and it seems like the main dinning room is empty. So we opted for a private main dinning room as no one else ate there, I guess people like to be close and cozy in the small rooms. Anyway, Drew got a Chili Burger and I ate a giant Yorkshire pudding with sausage and onion gravy. Drew got out a piece of paper and we talked about all of our previous anniversaries. Only we could not for the life of us remember what we did last year. Which was pretty disappointing. Then I figured I would look it up on the blog but when I did, I had not even written a post about it. Anyway, our anniversaries were as follows:
1st Anniversary: Went to St. Michaels, MD for the weekend
2nd Anniversary: Went to a cabin in Berkeley Spring, WV for a few days
3rd Anniversary: 6 days after Anna was born, went to Betty's in Harrogate, UK for Hot Chocolate
4th Anniversary: Did all kinds of things, Brimham Rocks, Betty's see post
5th Anniversary: The big Mystery???, UK
6th Anniversary: Royal Oaks Inn in Dacre Banks, UK

After our discussion Drew talked about how it would be neat to make one of those photo books you can do online of all the places and things we have done as a couple. We made a list of the trips and memorable things we would include. Then we just talked. It was very romantic and a lot of fun to have just the two of us for a little while!

After Diner we decided to treat ourselves to some delicious dessert, We shared a creme brulee and some hot chocolate fudge cake with ice cream. Even though it was much shorter than most of our previous Anniversaries, it was still really romantic and I am so grateful for having such an amazing husband who I love so much! Oh, and as for our fifth Anniversary, Drew remembered it a few days ago, we went on a date to a nice Indian Restaurant in town. I mentioned that I had a headache, or that my lips were chapped, so Drew ran across town to the pharmacy and got me whatever it was I mentioned.
5th Anniversary: Jinnah, Harrogate

I have such an amazing husband!

Our new house

This post is very late, but, here it is. Our move in April to our new place. Here are some pictures!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Happy Third Birthday Anna!

Dear Anna,

You are such an amazing girl! This year has been fabulous as your personality is in full bloom.

I have a very high level of respect for you and you make some amazing choices. You do the laundry often in order to earn money to buy toys or other things. I offer you an opportunity to do laundry if you want to earn coins and you always choose to do it! You can earn 10 pennies for each part of a load (filling the washer, changing the laundry to the dryer, and emptying the dryer) you can get 30 coins for load and if you did it quickly you can earn a 5 coin bonus! Last month you saved your coins all month because you decided you wanted to buy a peppa pig DVD. You always save part of your money in the bank and give part to tithing. I am so proud of how much you are learning to manage money.

You help clean up and will put away your laundry and toys if asked. Sometimes you make a mess but you always clean up when instructed. A few months ago you pulled everything out of the linen closet and put all away (with quite a bit of prompting) but the point is you did it without help!

Sometimes you make bad choices and have consequences but I am amazed at how well you handle them. If you lose a toy for the day you may cry for a minute but then you accept it and ask if you can try again tomorrow!

Your imagination is amazing! You are the best pretender I know. Often taking Mom and day on "vacation," or to "church," or "play group/preschool," using different rooms throughout the house. You transform the rooms of our house into elevators (which you refer to as lifts), airports (where we are even required to remove our shoes and put them on the "machine" as we pass through security. You love pretending to be characters from Peppa Pig, or the Gruffalo and as of late hot crocodiles (like any crocodiles near the space shuttle take off).

You love pretending to be a baby or playing with babies especially with your present baby.

[caption id="attachment_1062" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Present baby joined the family Christmas 2010"][/caption]

You also love anything do with baby Jesus and still in the middle of summer will pretend to be Mary taking care of baby Jesus, whom is often a girl, as is almost everyone in most of the stories you perform. Often you take baby Jesus to play group or preschool.

You are an avid reader. You love hearing stories and will often ask me to read to you. You even love longer stories that children your age often don't have patience for. Last summer you fell in love with the Berenstein Bears, whose stories are rather long. At bedtime you are allowed to chose two stories and you even now, a year later, often chose two Berenstein Bear stories which makes for a rather long story time!

You have developed several new friendships this year! You love playing with Jessica, Winter, and Maia from church. They all came to your birthday party this year! Sadly, in December your best friend, lily moved to America. But, you still were able to see her in June just before your birthday so we had a bit of pre-birthday cupcake party.

To help you learn about safety this year I made up stories that we tell in car about a little mouse called "safety mouse." You constantly learn from her example and if you are starting to do a behavior that is not safe I will make up a story about how safety mouse learned not to do it and you will internalize the story and often stop the behavior.

You have an amazing memory recalling all kinds of details including the lift we took to get to the beach in Whitby almost a year ago! You bring up things that happen once such as when I asked what you would like for dinner and jokinngly said we could have hot oats. Then I said that I was teasing as we don't have hot oats for dinner and you replied correctly that we had once, when we went to the pool with church people which was 3 months prior to the conversation!

You have loved the moon for a long time. You decided you want to go and visit the moon a while ago, before you even knew people had been to the moon. After you told me you wanted to go to the moon I showed you the video of the first moon landing. You decided you want to go as a family and jump on the moon.

Everyday that it is not raining you and daddy go outside to do "tight" which is one of your favorite things to do together!

In April we moved to a village outside of Harrogate and we moved just one house away from sheep pastures! You love going to visit the sheep and baby lambs (although they are not babies now)! You go and sing and sometimes play musical instruments for them!

You are an amazing big sister and ever since you found out we were going to have another baby you would sing to her, cuddle her, and kiss her while she was growing in my tummy!

[caption id="attachment_1068" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Holding a picture of your little sister at her ultrasound appointment!"][/caption]

When she was born you would always want to hold, huge or take care of her even though sometimes you are a little too strong and have not quite got the hang of being gentle yet. But you are constantly trying to get better. While I was in the bathroom this morning and the baby was crying I was a little worried as to what you were going to do when I was done and came quickly into the room I found you standing and singing to her to help her calm down And it worked! You started by singing the alphabet song but remembered that the baby loves Away in a Manger (most likely because you love it and sang it to her almost the whole pregnancy). Once you sang Away in a Manger Elizabeth settled down and listened.

You enjoy doing art projects. You love painting and doing a variety of different projects. We bought some wall stickers for you to use to put your projects up on the wall in your room. You room is very nicely decorated! You are very talented.

We have gone to some fun places this year. You LOVE to travel!

In September we went to Robin Hoods Bay and stayed in the Truck house! It was a lot of fun! You had a great time going to the seaside, having fish and chips, and looking around at local attractions. In October we took a train down to London and although I had morning sickness for the whole trip we were able to see a lot of fun things including the dwali festival, the sunflower seed exhibit at the Tate Museam, Shakespears Globe theatre, and Windsor Castle.

In December we were able to go see our family in America. You had a blast playing with your cousins and it was a lot of fun to see everyone.

In March we went to Bruges via what you call the boat hotel (ferry). We had a fun exploring the city and you especially liked eating Belgian chocolate, waffles, and fries!

[caption id="attachment_1075" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Chocolate Museum in Bruges"][/caption]

You participated in a variety of activities this year. You continued taking swimming lessons and have learned a lot in the past year, your confidence in the water has grown a lot and you have even floated by yourself a few times (for just a couple of seconds).

You took a jo jingles class earlier in the year and had a lot of fun with the songs and dancing. You especially liked raising money for the sick children by participating in the sing-a-thon.

[caption id="attachment_1073" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Sing a Thon"][/caption]

You had your first term of classes at the little gym and love them! You talk about the little gym all the time.

[caption id="attachment_1074" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="The Little Gym"][/caption]

In April you had a big step as you started preschool and play group! You LOVE going so much! Sometimes you don't even care when I come to pick you up because you are so busy doing other things!

[caption id="attachment_1067" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="First day of Preschool bringing Gruffalo's Child to show"][/caption]

This year truly has been full of wonder and excitement. Watching you grow has brought us great joy. I could go on on but I think it is sufficient to say that we are so glad you are part of our family! We love you so much! Thank you for being you!


Mommy and Daddy
Peppa and George Pig
Mommy and Daddy Hot Crocodile
Gruffalo mommy and Gruffalo daddy
et. al.

Sunday, February 27, 2011


Drew got called into work tonight and I had thought to go to sleep a while ago, but then I decided to jump on the computer for a minute. It has been a nice peaceful evening and one minute turned into two etc. Then I found myself reading some blogs and enjoying them so much. I know I am really not a very consistent blogger but I thought I would share some things.

We will be moving to a new house in April. We are going to be moving to a 4 bedroom house close to where Drew works and about 25 minutes from where we currently live. It is a home in a little village. It is on the edge of the village very close to fields and the beautiful rolling green hills of North Yorkshire. The house is located pretty much in the center of 3 local schools all about a mile away. So Anna will start school in a village school meaning there will be about 45 to 70 kids for the whole school!

The village we are moving to has a small general store and a playgroup/nursery school both of which are just a few blocks from our home.

This will be a totally new experience for us as we have only ever lived in a city, but we welcome the change.

I hope to be able to post some good pictures but those will have to wait until April as we have a lot to do to get ready for our move.

We are also headed to Belgium in two weeks! So needless to say that March will be a busy month for us! We are very excited to go to Bruges which is sometime called the Venice of the north. It will be a fairly quick trip, but it is a very small city. But it looks beautiful!

Drew is also starting to teach his first College class on the 22nd, so, I think we are going to have our work cut out for us this month!

Now, if I can just get over this cold and get some more energy because it looks like I am going to need it this month!

Friday, January 28, 2011


I constantly talk to my daughter about her choices. She is two and a half we always talk about things that are good choices and things that are bad choices. Tonight she make a choice that made me so proud. We were at McDonald's for our traditional family Friday night ice cream date. Anna always gets an ice cream cone. Drew and I had finished eating and she accidentally dropped her cone on the floor. We all looked at each other. Drew said that he would wipe it off, knowing the loss of the cone would make her very sad. I simply said that I did not think that it was a good choice because it was on the floor and might have germs that would make her sick. Anna thought about it and she looked me in the eye and choose to throw it away! No complaining no looking back. I was so proud of her to give up something she wanted because it was not the best choice (at least in my opinion). When she was making her choice I kind of felt like she was looking at me and thinking, I trust you to help me make good choices. It was just a really cool experience.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Perfectly Balanced

Do you ever have a day where if life were a graded test you feel like you would have aced it? Yesterday was like that for me. Nothing spectacular happened. I woke up and Anna and I watched some video clips from a church website. I really felt spiritual. The entire day I was patient even in the midst of having a child who was not at her most balanced. I didn't shout as little one made her mistakes I just told her consequences for her choices and it worked out well. I felt in complete harmony with my life. I had energy probably because I exercised. I didn't feel sick, sad or anything else negative. I felt peaceful, probably because I took the time to be spiritually uplifted. I felt loved probably because I took the time to talk with friends and my husband. I felt grateful for the blessings in my life. But more than anything else I just felt a perfect balanced. When do you feel perfectly balanced?