Month: April 2012

making the switch to cloth diapers

When I was pregnant I decided that I wanted to use cloth diapers with Abby.   I remember loathing the side-eyes I would get from everyone when I told them this.    More often than not, their response was not positive, rather something along these lines:

  • Really?  CLOTH diapers?  Hope you like poop.
  • Why would you do that?
  • Um yeah, good luck with that. 

And my favorite:

  • Humph.  We’ll see how long that lasts. 

For some reason, I wasn’t intimidated at all about using cloth diapers.    To me it just made sense…I mean, in my mind the benefits completely outweigh the drawbacks (yes, that’d be the poop). 

The most notable benefit is obviously the cost savings.  On average, parents can expect to spend $2500 – $3000 diapering just one child.  With cloth, you obviously have a larger upfront cost when you purchase the diapers (for me, the cost was around $250 for 12 diapers), but that’s all the diapers you’ll ever buy!  And many people use the same diapers for second and third kids.  So yeah, I’d say there are some cost savings involved.    How could that not be a little intriguing?

Then of course there are other benefits too, like reducing waste (disposable diapers can sit in a landfill for 500 years), decreasing risk of diaper rash and facilitating quicker potty training.   And doesn’t it just seem like a nicer material to be next to your bebe’s bum?

The drawbacks of course are more laundry, less convenient when out-and-about, and of course needing to deal with the poopy diaper instead of just rolling it up and tossing it out. 

So, for these reasons I decided to give cloth a try. 

I went with the bumGenius Freetime – they’re an all in one (AIO) diaper which means you don’t need to stuff inserts or anything.   Oh yeah, and they’re cuuuuute!

Now here’s the catch:  I just started using these yesterday (Sunday).  Ha. 

I had done a bunch of research when looking for the perfect cloth diaper (mostly via other bloggers who use them), and several had recommended to wait and switch around 3 months.   Well, Abby is 12 weeks as of last Friday, so I decided it was time to do it.   I was also getting really tired of spending $20 on diapers every time I went to Target. 

And since we’re being honest…as excited as I was to start using them, I’ll tell you that I was pretty nervous to make the switch.  So many questions were going through my mind…like

  • How often do I need to change it?  I know they aren’t as absorbent as disposables, plus there is no yellow-that-turns-blue-strip to alert me of a wet one!
  • What do I do if we have a gigantic messy poop while I’m out running errands?
  • Do I dare try these overnight??!
  • How do I wash them correctly?
  • Are they going to leak all over the place and create more of a mess than anything?
  • What am I supposed to do with the wipes now that I can’t roll them up in the diaper into a nice little “throw away” package?
  • And let’s get real…how do you really deal with the poop?

It’s obvious I’m no expert on this yet, but I’m pretty darn excited to figure it out.   And since I just started this adventure, I thought I’d track my progress and keep you updated as I learn the “do’s” and “don’ts” of cloth diapering. 

Thrilling, no?

So far, Day 1 went great.  I stocked the changing dresser:

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And changed her every 2 hours – just to be safe and avoid any unnecessary leaking. 

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I’m guessing that with time, I’ll learn how often I really do need to change her.    Hopefully we can go a little bit longer than two hour stretches.  But for now, I’m playing it safe.

As for poop?   It wasn’t as bad as I thought.  We had one big one in the afternoon and I just rinsed off what I could in the tub, threw the diaper in my wet bag, and forgot about it.

I went through about 9-10 diapers yesterday which I simply threw in the wash after Abby went to bed.  I’ll do one cold wash, then a hot wash, and then throw them in the dryer so they’re ready for Monday.  (I’m using Charlie’s Soap).

And the wipes?  Well it’s easy enough to just gather them up and toss them in the trash…but I need some sort of receptacle next to the changing table to put them in.  Right now the closest garbage is in the bathroom next door, and I’m not really comfortable walking away from the changing table with Abby on it. 

Oh, and I’m still using disposables at night because there’s no way I’m messing with the chi of a baby that’s sleeping 7-8 hours straight at night.  No way Jose. 

So, looking back, I think the biggest adjustment has been remembering to change her proactively instead of reactively.   

My only complaint so far is that they are much bigger profile than a disposable, so she definitely has a bit of a “bubble butt” that she didn’t before.  And some of her outfits might not fit because of it.   But really, I find the bubble butt kinda cute, so it may not be the worst thing. 

So there you have it.  Day numero uno complete…and a success!

I’ll give it some time and return with an update for you.  

And to all of you naysayers who wonder “how long it will last?”   Well, I have a feeling it will last for awhile!

Anyone else using cloth diapers?   What advice would you give a newbie just starting out??

33 years old; it ain’t the end. but it sure ain’t where I began…

I’m 33 years old today; but that’s not what I would tell you if you asked. Our conversation would go something like this:

Friend: “How old will you be this year?”

Me: “32. No! Wait. 33? Crap, I don’t know. Husband, how old are you?”

Hubs: “I’m 34. You’re going to be 33.”

Me: “Oh yes. Right. I’m turning 33.”

I can’t seem to remember anything anymore, especially my age! Perhaps it’s because I can relate all-to-well to George Straight when he sings…”I still feel 25, most of the time…”

Except now I’m married.

And have a baby.

Weird.

Last year I celebrated my birthday with a post that revealed 32 juicy facts about me. I’m not really up to the task of coming up with 33 new random facts…so instead I thought I’d put together just a few thoughts I have about this upcomming year. How about six? (3+3=6).

Genious.

1. 33 will undoubtedly be the hardest year of my adult life. I know this already because I’ve spent the last 10 weeks with a little taster of what’s in store for me.

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2. 33 will also undoubtedly be the most rewarding year of my adult life. As hard as it’s going to be, I believe that it’s the most important job I’ll ever do. It’s hard to articulate or describe the intense love you have for your child. It’s different than the love you have for your husband, family or dog (hey, I really love my dog!).  And I’ll be the first to admit that when other parents told me this before I had Abby, I kinda thought, “well yeah, they’re your kid. Obviously you love them.”

No.

Now I understand. Being a mom is the most amazing feeling in the world.   It’s a fierce  love.  And in some ways I feel a bit bittersweet experiencing all of this, because now I truly understand what my mom must have felt for me. And it’s so special. It’s really formed a new connection to me and my mother, even though she’s been gone nearly 25 years.

I feel so lucky to have this time with Abby.

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3. I want need to make sure I don’t lose myself  in all of the changes happening in our lives. I still want to be me. I want to go on adventures with my husband, train for races, make our house a home, experiment with cooking and baking, spend time one-on-one with my husband, and blog! It will be hard. And I’ve already caught myself “not” doing something because I’m tired or because I don’t want to leave the baby. I want to make a conscious effort to retain a bit of me through all of this. Because it’s so easy to just give all of yourself to someone (or multiple people). I’ve always done this to some degree, but with a baby it’s so much easier to put yourself last. I’ve struggled with depression in the past and I know this will be a ticket right back to it if I don’t take care of me first.

It’s easier said than done, but it’s something I feel strongly about and will work towards.

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4.  I want to create an environment where Abby can learn and explore her passions.   Of course we’ll be toting her around with us camping, skiing, rafting, hiking and everywhere else; and we hope that she learns to appreciate them all….I still want to make sure she does what makes her happy in life.   I realize we are a ways off from this, but I want to remind myself everyday that my job is to guide her and make sure she has all of the right tools in her toolbox.   Not to force her into our type of lifestyle or beliefs.

For example.  Ya’ll know I hate birds. But I promise to let Abby form her own opinion on them. So long as she doesn’t want a pet parrot or something stupid.

5.   Speaking of passions…I want to explore my own.  Lately I’ve been feeling a little lost…as if I don’t really know what I’m passionate about anymore.   I look at my husband and he is passionate about so many things…especially hunting.  Many times I’m envious of that passion because I don’t feel strongly about anything like the way he feels about that. 

Maybe that’s ok.  But again, I want to explore and solidify how I want to spend my time and what I want out of life. 

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6.  I want to slow down.  It’s not important that the house is perfect, the dishes are washed and the bed is made.  Yes, I like those things done.  But it’s not worth stressing myself out over to make it happen.  I want to refocus on what’s really important:  Friends.  Relationships.  Family.  Memories.   

To do this, I’m going to stop reading some of my favorite DIY blogs on a daily basis, like Young House Love and Centsational Girl.  I love, love, love watching them transform and decorate their houses.  But it’s a double-edged sword because while reading them is inspiring and encouraging…sometimes they make me feel inadequate.  And it’s certainly not the bloggers intent.  It’s just me.   Well, it’s just me and apparently a few other people…here’s one of my favorite posts over at Jones Design Company.  What she writes in this post is a perfect reflection of how I feel. 

So, for now…I just need to slow down and focus on the present.  The things I do have instead of the things I wish I had.  This doesn’t mean I won’t work on our house or start a few projects (I am still dreaming of a patio in the back).  It just means they will happen on my own time, with my own vision.  Not because I’m feeling insecure about my reality when I read about someone elses.   

Hopefully I can get back to reading these blogs regularly someday.  But for now, I need a break.

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So there you have it.  A little bit more serious than last years post I suppose, but me all the same.   I hope that I look back at this list often within the next year to make sure I’m staying on track.  

Isn’t it amazing what a difference a year can make?  Last year at this time I was just about to get pregnant.   This year I’m cuddling up to my little baby.

It kinda makes me wonder what I’ll be writing about one year from now…

Wait.   What’s that you say?  You want just one juicy random fact about me? 

Gosh. 

Well ok.

This is something I’ve only told a handful of people…and once you know I think you’ll understand why.   I love Court TV. 

Gah!  There.  I said it.  You know, like Divorce Court, the People’s Court, Judge Mathis, Judge Alex?!  Yeah.  Any of them will do.   I’m not exactly sure why I like to watch it…maybe it’s the drama or how ridiculous it is.   But it cracks me up!  I mean, on one episode, a dude was suing another dude over a game of Cornhole.  Ha!  Who does that?! 

So yeah.  It’s realllllly hard, but I do not let myself watch any CourtTV while I’m home now.  I know, I’m so composed. 

And there ya go.  I hope you’re happy!

 

p.s.  Once again I’ve borrowed the title of this post from a lyric in one of my favorite Jewel songs: Stephenville, TX.

as seen on…

Jumping jellybeans!    Two things.

One.  Abby’s nursery was featured on Apartment Therapy!  How cool is that?  Apartment Therapy is only like the place to go for home style/design inspiration.  In fact I used to peruse the featured nurseries on Apartment Therapy quite often to get inspiration for Abby’s room.   So really I couldn’t be more excited. 

I had to laugh however at one of the comments which basically said:  “I’m not sure if I love it or hate it.”   Ha ha…I guess a with a wider audience some wider criticism.    I’m ok with that. 

Bottom line is that I love the space and so does Miss Abby.   

If you want to check it out over at AT, click here!

Two.  Someone over at Olli and Lime (where I purchased the alphabet print from) spotted Abby’s nursery on AT, then posted about it on their blog.   I hope they weren’t offended that I said their print “was a biatch to frame.”   (well it was).  It’s still one of my favorite things in the nursery and worth the headache. 

If you want to check out their post, click here

So if you’re stopping by from Apartment Therapy or Olli and Lime….welcome!  You can read all about the nursery progress and projects on the “because I like you” tab under the Nursery heading.    Enjoy!  And I hope you stick around.

Happy Monday!

easter tree

Holy bananas…I’m back twice in one week.  Crazy train!

I’m not here for long, but I just had to share a little bit of Easter decorating that is going on around here. 

By some small miracle Abby slept for about an hour one afternoon earlier this week, and instead of cleaning, doing laundry, getting ready for the next “awake” time or getting myself ready for the day….I decided I needed a little break.  And I was oh-so-inspired by the box of Easter goodies my parents sent over. 

So I quickly put together a little Easter décor on our console table.  And by quickly, I mean as fast as I could go…because you never know when the baby is going to wake up and the last thing you want is to be caught mid-project.  Cuz you’ll likely never get back to it.

See all of these things I’m learning?   I have a good Random Ramblings post running around in my head.  Hopefully I’ll get to post that one soon for you!

Anyways, I digress and am wasting too much precious time, so I’ll get straight to it. 

Did anyone else have an Easter Tree growing up?

We did.

A simple collection of budding branches adorned with some cute Easter ornaments (and if you have some cute pastel lights) can be such a festive addition.  I never really thought much about it growing up, but I now that I talk to my friends I realize that maybe not everyone had an Easter tree.   Strange. 

So if you’re still wondering how to bring some Holiday into your house (or what in the heck an Easter tree looks like), break out your clippers and head outside.  It’s way too easy. 

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The branches were just a few I had on hand, stuffed in a vase full of split peas.  My parents sent over the ornaments, though you could make your own, or just use plastic ones I suppose.  

See how easy that is? 

The other items just seemed to fit as well.  We always have a bowl of M&Ms at our house for The Hubs although this time I broke out my springy flower bowl and got the Holiday candy. 

For throwing this all together last minute I’m pretty proud of myself.  Now let’s just hope it doesn’t stay up until Memorial Day. 

Oh!  And guess what else?  I got my craft on and made another mini-blind roman shade.  Remember when I made one way back when?

Well this one was for our front door so the pervs can’t look in when I breastfeed on the couch.  Yay! 

I don’t really want to talk about the beige-on-beige action.  You all know I’m terrified of color.   And you try picking something out when you’ve got a baby-on-the-verge of a meltdown while at the fabric store.  It’s worse than having your husband there with you.  haha!

I did a full tutorial on this project last time, so check out the link above if you’re interested. 

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Ok, I’m pushin’ it.  Over and out. 

Happy Easter!!

think spring!

Since I haven’t been able to write much (ok, at all) these past two months, you can imagine how delighted I was to find a guest post in my email inbox from my sister!

I haven’t forgotten about ya’ll, I promise.  I’m just taking some time to enjoy my little girl and adjust to our new lives together.   It’s amazing how fast the days fly by anymore.   Abby is doing great and growing like a little weed…don’t worry, her chubby cheeks haven’t gone anywhere yet.

So, for now, and with the promise of spring just around the corner…please enjoy this guest post from my sister Erin!   And she knows what she’s talking about folks…with a degree in Horticulture and owner of a landscape design business…this chica knows her stuff. 

Hello to all the loyal readers of Janna’s blog. It’s me again, Janna’s big sister, stopping by with a guest post. I bet you’re hoping for an update on baby Abigail, and as her Auntie, I’m here to tell you she’s pretty much perfect and absolutely adorable! However, today’s post is supposed to get you thinking about spring. Correction, I’m guessing that you’re already thinking about spring, so this post will hopefully get you ready to be a creative gardener.

You might remember Janna’s series of posts last spring on the Square Foot Garden that she and the Hubs researched, constructed, planted, tended to, watered and loved into successI had fun watching their garden grow and I learned a lot about the SFG technique. I know lots of you probably have your own wonderful garden to tend to, but some of you, like me, don’t have a big space to grow salad fixin’s. Enter the container garden.

I’m here to show you that containers are not just for pretty flowers, although I DO love pretty flowers, and they can be used to grow all sorts of goodies, especially if you get creative with your containers. Last summer I grew a variety of vegetables and herbs in containers throughout my yard. I mixed these containers in with my flower pots and it not only looked great, but it worked! Take a look below but please note that the photos were taken in June so some of the plants are still small (especially the basil…it was waiting for some summer heat!)

This is my ‘kitchen garden’ pot that sits right outside the side door to my kitchen. It has chives (that overwinter outside in the same pot), parsley, and basil.

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Here is a collection of containers; the wire basket is lined with a coir mat (available at most garden supply stores) that holds the soil in. The basket has snap peas climbing a bamboo tripod and red leaf lettuce around the base. The medium pot has spearmint growing for mojito night! Mint is an aggressive spreader so I recommend planting it in a large pot, ta-da problem solved! And the small pot has a sad looking basil plant that did eventually come to life and get larger!

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A strawberry pot has pockets up and down the sides and is perfect for growing strawberry plants. You can rotate the pot so that the sun exposure is even and you don’t have to worry about strawberry runners taking over your garden. I bought strawberry starts at the farmer’s market and planted a cilantro plant in the top. YUM.

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Here is another creative container. I had to beg, and I mean BEG my husband to keep this old fashioned claw foot bath tub for our yard. I attempted to do a quick spray paint job on the outside, which needs to be touched up, and I still don’t think he was happy about it, but look at how many things I can grow in here! We’ve got romaine lettuce, a cucumber plant, and three different types of tomatoes growing. I like the ‘Sweet 100’ cherry tomatoes, the’ Yellow Pear’ cherry tomato (looks just like it sounds), and we tried the ‘Early Girl’ standard tomato. All three produced, although the cucumber plant didn’t have quite as much luck.

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I also couldn’t resist sharing a photo from two summers ago, when my little farmer was helping with the tomatoes in the tub.

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The last photo is showing that you can incorporate garden and flowers in a group. I’ve got an old copper trough filled with green leaf lettuce as the backdrop, along with 2 pots of flowers. There’s a pink calibrachoa and a purple dahlia alongside. I think the green leaf lettuce really makes the pink and purple stand out. Fun.

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So there you go. If you don’t have a SFG or a big garden plot, start looking around your house and garage for containers that you can convert into garden pots. Be sure all your containers have drainage holes in the bottom (you might have to get out the drill) and put a 1” layer of rocks or gravel on the bottom before you add soil. Get creative with color and texture and see what you can come up with! Happy Spring!

Happy Spring indeed!  Doesn’t her edible container garden look amazing?   And how awesome to just “step ouside” and snip some chives for your eggs, or mint for your mojito.  I can’t wait to see what Erin plants this year with her little helper.  Thanks so much for the post sissy!