Monday, January 30, 2012

that cloth diaper post, pt2

I feel like I should lead with a disclaimer: I'm not a cloth diapering kind of girl.

At least I didn't use to be. There is a certain ick factor that goes along with having kids and I was the girl who thought I'd never be able to handle it. All of the things that come out of a baby grossed me out and I just knew I'd be doing things in the most prissy way possible.

But then I got pregnant. And thankfully, the Lord softened those parts of me and I got over myself. Or at least I'm getting over myself. Cute babies and reality will do that to you, I guess.

So let's talk cloth diapers, shall we? Here are the questions I got...

What kind do you use? We use the BumGenius 4.0s. They're one-size (meaning they grow with baby) and they have inserts. We were leaning towards the all-in-ones so we wouldn't have to stuff the inserts into the covers, but the 4.0s went on sale about a month before Jack was born, so we went with those instead. And honestly, I haven't really thought about it since.

How do we clean them and does the smell bother you? We wash them in the washing machine! Since he's exclusively breastfed, his dirty diapers aren't solid. You just do a rinse cycle before you wash to get the yuckies out and keep them from staining, then do the wash and another rinse. Once he's on solid foods and the diapers are a little more...substantial...they have sprayers that you attach to your toilet to get the yuckies off before you put it in the wash. Honestly, that stage is a little intimidating, so I'll have to let you know how that goes.

We have a trash can (with a lid) lined with a (washable) wet bag that holds the diapers until we're ready to wash them. That does a pretty good job of keeping the smell contained, but I usually sprinkle baking soda in there to help with that. The smell is more ammonia-like than anything, which is just kind of annoying, but not gross. Who knows how that will change once he starts having big boy diapers. And I just recently learned that baking soda can mess with the pH of the diapers, which can (and did) cause diaper rash. But a splash of vinegar in the rinse cycle takes care of that.

How many diapers do you have and how often do you have to do laundry? We have 18 diapers, which allows us to do laundry about every two days. Any more than that and the ammonia stench is a little more than I can handle, plus you don't want the diapers to get stained. However, the sun is like magic and if you lay the diapers in the sunshine, the stains disappear. It's pretty neat.

Also, in case you were wondering, we haven't noticed an increase in our water or electricity bill as a result of having to do extra laundry. I think the water bill went up maybe $2 compared to what we were used to? And when I compared Nov 2010 to Nov 2011 of our power bill, 2011 was $20 higher. But I think that's because we never had the heat on upstairs unless we had guests. But then his room was upstairs so of course, we ran it all the time.

Is it harder than disposable diapers? Honestly, aside from the extra laundry each week, the actual process feels no different. I guess I've gotten used to it, but I've never once wanted to go back.

You must get your smarts from your Daddy. Not a question, but yes. There's surely no other explanation for it.


Also, a few other things that I forgot to mention in the last post:
  • I use cloth wipes as well, because if you're throwing a diaper in a pail to be washed, you might as well put the wipes in there instead of having a separate trash can. You can buy them or use wash cloths, but I just sewed some flannel fabric scraps together. I made a solution of water, baby soap and baby oil and use a squirt bottle for that. Easy peasy. And that also saves money!
  • There are a ton of great resources out there for cloth diapering that answer all kinds of questions and will help you navigate things. Just start Googling and you'll be set.
  • Traveling with cloth diapers isn't that bad either. We have small and medium sized wetbags that I keep in my diaper bag to hold diapers until we get home and can put them in the pail to be washed. Instead of throwing the diaper away, we zip it up and take it home to be washed. But in full disclosure, if Jack didn't leak through ever disposable we've ever put on him, I probably would use those for overnight travel - only because it's a hassle to have to do laundry at someone else's house when you're there for more than just a weekend.
So there you have it. Our love affair with cloth diapers :) Hope that helped!

Friday, January 27, 2012

ten random things, v2

1. Y'all sure are curious about cloth diapers. I was planning on doing the follow up post yesterday, but there were so many good questions! I just want to organize my thoughts a little bit more. Otherwise, I'll just ramble on and on and on. You can still ask questions at the bottom of this post.

2. The house of rest is falling down on the job. Honestly, it feels more like the house of sad. I hate feeling so unsettled, it's drafty and I feel like my toes have been cold for three weeks and the sun won't shine. But don't worry, I'm working on ways to fill my tank, so to speak. And we're buying space heaters this weekend. So we'll be warm and happy, even if the windows always look like this:


3. I have the sweetest kid ever. This wasn't going to be #3, until I looked down where he's playing in his bouncy seat and saw him smiling at me. Good grief. That fills my tank for sure.

4. Anyone want a Rudy? Just kidding. But he's driving me nuts, being all cooped up and depressed and crazy. And yesterday, he chased the UPS driver out of the yard. I wish I was kidding about that. Anyone who knows this dog knows that he's harmless, it just didn't look like that to the UPS man. But when you creep up the back steps? In the dark? And then RUN when you see a dog? What do you expect, friend? I can almost laugh about it now, but in the moment I was mortified. 

5. Jack is learning what it means to feel frustrated. The more he's able to do, the more he gets annoyed when he can't do it. He knows he can grab toys now, so when he can't reach? Forget about it. Meltdown, coming right up.

6. Go Heels! Had to squeeze that in there :)


7. We got a house! I don't think I made that blog official, but it's true. Our offer was accepted last weekend. I can't wait to share more about it. I also can't wait to get my stuff out of storage and start feathering a new nest.

8. What's a girl gotta do to go to Hawaii? My parents were there last week. Andrew's parents and sister are there this week. Meanwhile, it's snowing here in CT. Andrew? Take me to Hawaii?

9. I think I'm addicted to coffee. I used to drink about half of a cup when I worked, but never really craved it. Now that Jack is here and thinks that the most fun time of the day is 5:30am? COFFEECOFFEECOFFEE.

10. I'm learning Photoshop! Re: #10 on last week's post, I went for it. I bought Photoshop Elements. It was on sale and I was feeling like I needed something to inspire me (see #2). So far, I'm LOVING it. It definitely requires patience, but I've found some great teaching resources out there. And I'm even working on a little blog redesign as a result. Hooray for new hobbies!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

that cloth diaper post


1. They aren't like the diapers from the days of yore. Gone are the rags and safety pins. These diapers look just like a disposable diaper, except fancier. And cuter. Which leads me to #2...

2. They're cute. The colors! The patterns! The fluffiness! I can't stand it.

3. They're cheaper in the long run. If you've heard anything about cloth diapers, that's probably the first thing you've heard. But it's so true. Here's a little breakdown that we did:

Picnik collage

Crazy, right? And that's assuming that you get good deals on cheap diapers. And that your kid is potty trained in 2.5 years. And it doesn't even account for the fact that you go through, ohhhh, 20 diapers a day when you bring them home from the hospital. AND you can use the same cloth diapers on future kiddos. Again I say, CRAZY.

4. Fewer leaks/blow-outs. Jack could NOT stay dry in disposable diapers. We weren't even planning on using cloth until we got settled in CT because I didn't know how traveling and moving would go of we couldn't just toss the diapers in the trash. But after going through three or four outfits a day, I was ready to give cloth diapers a try. AMAZING. He's had zero blowouts and only a handful of leaks - all of which were caused by being out too long without a backup diaper. So that was my fault. And at bedtime, I just double-stuff the diaper. So far, we've had no nighttime issues.

5. They seem to be more comfortable. When we used disposables, his little thighs always looked ouchie. And the diaper rash has been non-existent since we switched. Cotton for the win!

6. Fewer trips to the trash can. Oh my word, SO MUCH TRASH. I know that seems minor, but the last thing I wanted to do at the end of the day was bag up the diapers and take them to the trash can in the back yard. And I feel better about sending less to the landfill.

7. No yuck on his bum. Except for the obvious. The little beady things in disposable diapers that absorb moisture kind of creep me out. As do all of the other ingredients listed on the box. You know I'm all about keeping it natural around here.

8. You always have the next size ready. The diapers we got have several snaps that adjust to grow with the baby. They adjust in width and length - he's still on the smallest size in width and we've graduated up one in length. But he should be able to wear them until he's out of diapers, which I find really convenient.

9. Potty training is easier. I obviously can't attest to that, but I've heard several people claim it to be true. They say that because the cloth doesn't hide moisture like disposables do, babies know when they're wet and want to do something about it. Sounds good to me, but we'll see.

10. No emergency diaper runs. I love having complete control over my diaper supply without having to hurry up and place an order on Amazon. And let's face it, going anywhere with a baby takes days of preparation, so there is no "run in real quick" trip to the store. When I see that we're low, I just start a load of laundry. About an hour later, we have clean diapers.

You guys. I could just go on and on and on. In the spirit of not rambling, I think I'll plan another post to talk about what we have, how we do it, things we've learned, etc. And I'd love to answer any questions. In fact, here's a little question-asking device! Ask away!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

weekly snapshots (v7)

Picnik collage

+ The pacifier smiles get me every time.
+ I'm tired of sitting, Mama. I think I'll just lounge instead.
+ Three months old. Ack.
+ Little buddies.
+ Andrew came back from the deep blue and was exhausted. And since snuggling is Rudy's love language, they had a nice afternoon together.
+ Watching it snow.

Picnik collage

+ He's started resting his head on my shoulder after his morning feeding and it kills me. That sweet kid - my heart's melting just thinking about it.
+ Pleeeaaase let me sit with you guys. I promise I won't lick the baby.
+ A little tummy time.
+ I sent this picture to my parents and my dad said, "Where'd he get those ears??"
+ Bundled up for our walk. Jack loved facing outward in the Moby.
+ Snow day snack. A hotdog from a local diner. What else?
+ We drove by OUR house to see it in the snow. Can't wait to move in!
+ My first attempt at New England style clam chowder. Success! Recipe coming soon to a blog near you.

Thank goodness for camera phones, amen?

Friday, January 20, 2012

ten random things

{one} Andrew had his first underway earlier this week and was gone for a few days. I didn't say anything because it was all top secret and stuff. Kind of. But we sure did miss him around these parts. I took a bajillion pictures and videos of Jack and then pelted him with stories as soon as we picked him up. Good times.

s is for sub

{two} We made an offer on a house with a view and were outbid by someone else. MAJOR bummer. We made an offer on another house with the most ridiculous sunroom. Now, we wait. Seriously, I'm already picturing myself drinking coffee in there.


{three} SNOW! We've seen flurries here and there since our arrival two weeks ago, but they're calling for 6-8 inches this weekend. I'm thinking movies and coffee and soup, amen? I told Andrew we were going to be snowed in and he said, "Alright! That means we can't spend any money this weekend!"


{four} Rudy is de-pressed, y'all. Sad faces all around. Between Jack's arrival and our current yardless living situation, I think he's lost the will to live. And it's quite possible that he's going a little insane. Yesterday, he jumped around in circles for several seconds and then sat perfectly straight and still, staring into the kitchen. At nothing.


{five} I need to tell you more about cloth diapers because we are loving them. This morning, I was holding Jack and feeling his fluffy little bum and thought of like 10 reasons why I love them so. I'll put that on the docket for next week.


{six} I just finished The Art of Racing in the Rain about a week and a half ago and while it sounds ridiculous because it's written from a dog's perspective, I still cannot stop thinking about that book. So good.


{seven} You know what's scary? Driving in the snow and ice. You know what's really scary? Driving in the snow and ice with your sweet, sleeping babe in the backseat. With cars scattered all along the side of the road. That was our scene last night and I realized three things: a) I love that kid, b) he makes things more intense and c) I'm so thankful that we can afford a safe vehicle.


{eight} If you follow me on Pinterest, I've been blowing up your boards with all kinds of decorating stuff in preparation for buying a house. Sorry about that. Except, not really because IT'S SO FUN.


{nine} I think women need to be more brutally honest about what pregnancy, delivery and post-partum life are really like. Because it's not all butterflies and fairies and there's a lot that no one told me that came as a bit of a shock. Ew and ow. Related: I'm close to shaving my head because OMG the shedding. I'm going to be bald in a few days, of that I am certain.


{ten} I'm toying with the idea of taking a Photoshop class. For those of you who know how to use it, are there any resources I could use to teach myself? Or would a class be helpful? I would like to do a little more with the pictures we take and I'm also fascinated by graphic design. And who doesn't need another hobby?


The end. Happy Friday!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

on real community (and leaving it behind)

When Andrew and I were in college, we had an amazing group of Christian friends. I've tried many times to put those relationships into words, but it's never been easy. All I know is that I laughed harder, cried harder, dreamed bigger and talked more honestly with those people during those sweet four years. They were authentic and good-hearted and flawed - all of the things that makes that kind of community so good because it's so raw.

When we graduated and got married, Andrew and I tried to find that community elsewhere. We looked to church after church, but never felt that authenticity. We started to feel burned out by the predictability of it all. We knew the services and the music and the perma-smiles like the back of our hand and all we wanted, all we wanted, was to sit cross-legged in the middle of someone's living room and talk about Jesus. That didn't seem like too much to ask.

Eventually, we got complacent. Jaded, I think. And we just let it stay that way.

When we moved to Charleston, we needed that community again. The Navy was rocking our world and our marriage and what we needed was a group of people to build us up and pray for us and look after us. And we needed to do the same for them, because there is healing in that as well.

The day we walked into Grace Christian Fellowship, we'd only lived in that precious town for five days. We were tired from moving and unpacking and anticipating what was ahead and what we found there was invigorating. I felt like I'd taken a deep breath for the first time in months. Years, maybe. I can honestly say that it was the most genuine community that I'd ever witnessed. They were so real.

We spent a year and a half with that small group of family. We shared meals and prayed prayers and sat cross-legged in many floors together. We worked through scary things and rejoiced over happy things. They were the first to know about about a lot - I was just three weeks pregnant when I sat on someone's couch and told them all how scared I was. And when our boy came nine months later, they poured love and grace on us. For weeks.

We grew so much with them. We got our hearts all messed up, in the best way, and I am certain that the time we shared with them was intentional. We were being fixed up and prepared. We were being made better.

So in early December, when we stood in a living room while our closest friends circled around us to pray, it hit me what we were leaving behind. And a week later, during Jack's dedication service, those sweet souls laid their hands on us in prayer. I felt someone's hand on my shoulder and my heart broke. I didn't know whose hand it was, but I know it was Him. Weaving together a group of people so tightly that it gives amazing strength, but hurts so much when pulled apart.

I remember reading in Acts 20, about Paul leaving Ephesus, and it talks about how sad they were. And "what grieved them most" was that they wouldn't see him again. I've prayed so hard for relationships like that. But looking back on what we found at Grace, I see it there.

And though heartbroken as we are, we are so much better for it.

Picture 1

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

jack's first christmas

Late? Yes. Totally worth it so you can see more cute pictures of my kid? Aaaaabsolutely.

Here's the rundown:

1. Christmas with the Castrodales. Lots of snuggling with Jack, great conversation, 2-month birthday celebrating and even a trip to Drayton Hall. Jack was also dedicated that weekend (more on that later - I told you we had some catching up to do).
2. Christmas with the Johnsons. Lots of snuggling with Jack, relaxing and movie-watching. And apparently, lots of taking no pictures because I don't have a single one. Lame.
3. Christmas with my mom's family. Crazy, I tell you, but always worth every single second.

Picnik collage


Picnik collage

Things I was thankful for this Christmas: great time with family, lots of yummy food, lovely Charleston weather, the red KitchenAid mixer that my honey got me and the way my little boy was mesmerized by the Christmas lights.


Magical, I tell you.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

jack: three months




0-3 months? Yeah right. He's mostly 3-6 and even some 6 months.


Still a champ and believe me, I'm not taking it for granted. He goes down around 7pm or 7:30pm and sometimes he goes right to sleep, sometimes he gabs at himself for thirty minutes. Then he's up at 7am and ready to go!


He's started crying more intensely lately. He still doesn't cry a lot, but where he used to just fuss, now he CRIES. Like, frowny face and teary eyes and deep breaths before letting out a wail. It kills me.


The play mat with the toys hanging down (which he's started reaching for, by the way).
The first person to peek into his crib in the morning.
Being read to.


Being left alone in a room.
The car seat.
The Connecticut cold. I thought his eyes were going to bug out of his head the first time we stepped outside here.
Getting his diaper changed when he's hungry.


This kid, he makes me so happy.

But you know what doesn't make me happy? Accidentally deleting weeks 9-11 of his weekly pictures. WOMP WOMP. Oh well, there's always next month! :)

Monday, January 16, 2012

dear three-month-old jack


Dear Jack,

You are three months old today! I honestly can't believe it.

There's this thing that moms say about their kids. Each mom says it differently, but the gist is that their children make them happier than they could ever imagine. I used to hear moms say that and while I knew you would make me happy, I thought that what they were saying was a little cliche.


Oh, I had no idea.

When I think about the time I've spent as a mother, I honestly can't believe it hasn't been longer. The last three months have been hard and exhausting. But when I think about the time I've had with you? I can't believe how fast it's gone by! There's no way that the tiny, wrinkly little boy whose eyes were still kind of stuck together is already three months old. You're growing up right before me and it's amazing.


You are such a joy, Jack. Your dad and I comment regularly about how you make our lives so much sweeter just by being you. In the midst of all the crazy that's been taking place with the move, you keep us grounded. You keep us happy. You and your precious little smile that you flash so easily. The way you study things. The way you strum your daddy's fingers like a guitar when he's got you in his lap. Your chubby little cheeks. Your happy eyes. The way you talk to your jungle friends. And lately, your new laugh has me feeling like my heart might just burst right open.


I can't believe you're ours.

It's true, what those moms say. The joy you've brought to this house and this family is unspeakable.


Also, today is your Papa Johnson's 50th birthday! Pretty cool that you get to share this day with him, right? He adores you. And you always give him the biggest, slyest of smiles when he talks to you, so I think you like him, too. I'm pretty sure you two are going to be best buds.

Happy Birthday to you and Happy Birthday to Papa. We love you lots.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

weekly snapshots (v6)

Weeks 6 and 7 were skipped, due to a case of the Christmas crazies. But here's a little glimpse into what life has looked like for us over the last three weeks...

Picnik collage

+ That grin! It kills me.
+ Rudy enjoying the sunshine.
+ Fragle glass? Maybe it's extra strong!
+ Boxes. They were everwhere.
+ The movers are here!
+ And then they let all the warm air out of the house while loading up.

Picnik collage

+ Froggy PJs from Uncle Tyler.
+ Happy New Year!
+ Doing a little dreaming about kitchens.
+ Andrew has a lazy shoulder. Can you see which one it is?
+ Feeling his "softie" from Nonni. He's noticing textures now and it's adorable.
+ My favorite, favorite boys.

Picnik collage

+ Let the road trip begin! I think this is Richmond?
+ He was a total trooper. Just keep me fed, mama!
+ Rudy had the whole cargo area of the Jeep to himself. And he was a happy camper.
+ NYC!
+ George Washington Bridge
+ The first sign for CT.

Picnik collage

+ Ready for the cold weather!
+ Not a bad view from our rental house.
+ I don't really want to live on Hurlbutt Rd. Thanks, though.
+ Watchdog.
+ Snuggled up, watching Rudy play in the back yard while waiting for Daddy to get home.
+ Being entertained at the car dealership.

Also, in other baby news, check out Jack's newest trick:

And it gets louder every day.

These pictures make me happy, y'all. I love it.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

the house of rest


The few weeks leading up to our move were crazy. Some good crazy and some bad crazy, but mostly the kind of crazy that leaves you exhausted and a little bit emotional.

When we found out that our realtor had found a furnished beach cottage for us to stay in while we looked for a house, I couldn't wait to put my bags down inside those walls. The only pictures we saw were those that she snapped on her phone, but we knew it was going to be just what we needed.

A place to unpack while we got our bearings. A place to keep us warm. A place for us to rest.

I still want to take some pictures of this place, but we haven't been able to experience that rest just yet and so I'm waiting for an opportunity when I have nothing to do but get out my camera. It's been a lot of unpacking and house hunting and car shopping and Navy stuff and Jack stuff up in here.

In the meantime, picture the sweetest little cottage with a sunroom on the front. Hardwood floors throughout, a small but cozy kitchen, creaky stairs with three bedrooms at the top. It's not glamorous by any means, but it's home for now. And the surroundings are nice:


Soon. Soon, my friends, I will do nothing but sit on this squishy couch within these drafty walls, snuggled up by the fire with my favorite boys.

And we will rest.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

2011 in Review

What better way to recap the year than with pictures?

Monday, January 9, 2012

we're here! we're here!

We made it, folks.

We rolled in late Thursday night, slept at a hotel and hit the ground running on Friday. And now there is much to share. After all, the chaos started just days after Christmas when we were packed up. Then we went from house to house visiting family and friends for almost an entire week. Then we drove 10+ hours with a baby and a Rudy. Then we looked for a house. Then we collapsed from exhaustion.

Not really. But almost.

So get ready for updates galore! In the meantime, in case you're here for your Jack fix, I'll leave you with this:

Cutest. Kid. Ever.

It feels good to be back :)
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...