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Rocky Love Affair

So the last few months have brought so many changes at our household. One of the most complex decisions that we have made has to do with starting solid foods...what age to start, what foods to start, how much to start with, to make or to buy...and then...the diaper changes.

For starters, I had every intention of waiting until Little Man was six months old before starting solids. However, around month four, it became glaringly obvious that he was in need of more substantial food then he was getting from breast milk alone. We consulted the doctor, and she agreed that even though he was at the beginning of the age range that they recommended, we should start solid foods. I felt sort of inadequate, but he was not gaining at the same rate he had been and he was up more and more, hungry, throughout the day. I went to the store and got some Earths Best Organic Brown Rice Cereal and at four months old, our journey started!

By the time LM was six months old, we had added fruits and vegetables into his diet. Life was hectic, at best, most days and I found myself needing to purchase his baby food. This isn't a jab at people who do, but because of how passionate my husband and I are about our food, I always thought that we would make his food. I did the research, and tried to buy the best, most flavorful and interesting foods that I could. (We were adamant about feeding him organic foods, just because we have the luxury of being that choosy. If budgeting is an issue, stick to the dirty dozen rule; I am no expert, but it seems that the same rules would apply to pesticide residues regardless of whether they are pureed or not! If you are interested, I'll add some lists below.) 

As he, and I, became more acclimated to the changes in his diet, it became more possible for me to make some of his foods. I have gotten a bit clever, if I do say so myself, about finding time in my day to make that a priority. I have also learned to cut myself some slack and keep several pouches of Plum Organics baby food around for the times that I just can't get food on the plate for him. I have learned to get over the "guilt" of feeling inadequate for providing food for him. If he was going to learn to enjoy food, it was more important, in my opinion, to find good foods that nourish his body and his love of food. Throwing something together last minute and driving myself crazy in the process wasn't going to teach him that, any more than opening a pouch; all I was doing was focusing on getting it done and not on spending time enjoying him and teaching him to enjoy his food. Some days, I'd get several veggies and fruits roasted and pureed, others I just made some extra of whatever we are having for dinner and mix it with something from a jar, and if it had been a "one of those days," you all know what I am talking about, he'd just get pre-made food. 

LM is now 8 months old, and we have just started to add proteins to his diet. He has some issues with skin irritation and eczema, so we are holding off a bit on diary, but other than that (and nuts and honey of course) he has almost full reign of the kitchen. I am still finding my groove and am learning everyday to allow myself the freedom that comes with doing what I can and not feeling guilty about it.

As mentioned in a previous entry, if you cloth diaper, do yourself a favor and get some diaper liners. Some people prefer the diaper sprayer, but that just isn't for me. The convenience of the the liners are unbeatable. You just pitch the liner into the toilet and you are done handling poop! Also, they are just great to have on hand if you need to use any sort of diaper ointment; there are no worries about what it might do the CD.
I'd love to hear what you guys are feeding your little ones! LM's first food was pureed sweet potatoes, and to this day its one of his favorites. Some other things that he REALLY seems to love are:

Roasted* Carrots, Apples, and Parsnips.

Strawberries and Roasted* Apples. 

Roasted* Pumpkin and Bananas 

Roasted* Peaches and Brown Rice Puree with Cinnamon

*I have found that roasting a lot of the fruits and veggies makes them more flavorful and sweeter. If I already have the oven on, I just throw them on an ungreased cookie sheet and let them get soft. 


Considering cloth? Just fiilling in an existing stash?

Its pretty obvious I have a CD compulsion. I love them, I love using them, and I also severely worry about their life span. I compulsively rotate the stash to make sure each item gets equal wear. I stalk the web looking for ways to get more of the diapers I love for cheap. So, when I came across this thread last night, I couldn't resist. I grabbed a few more shells and soakers for myself, and wanted to pass this along to anyone else who might be interested.

Th lister is selling off a pretty hefty stash-GREAT PRICES! And even better, the shipping was so reasonable.


Time to cop to the truth.

Sure I like the environment as much as the next girl, and yes, I would do anything, no matter how hard, if it were better for my little man, but thats not the only reason I chose to cloth diaper. Its time to cop to it-I am CHEAP and LAZY. 

The cheap part is pretty obvious. I mean cloth diapering is WAY more economical than having to purchase disposables; that savings just gets exaggerated exponentially if you have more than one kid, by the way.  We used disposables on my little guy for the first three months, so this point is glaringly obvious to me. I mean, have you priced these things lately!  It seriously blows my mind that people have no problem spending a minimum of $25 a week on something that they KNOW they are throwing away…enough of that rant though.

The not so obvious truth about cloth diapering is that it caters to my lazy and minimalist tendencies.  I know what you are thinking…yes, I said cloth diapering is for the lazy. See, to me, working all day, then taking little man to the store, and carting his chunky butt around while spending way to much on diapers, then driving home, and unloading them both (which takes two trips, just so you know) is way more work then pitching the cloth dipes into the washer and letting the machine do all the dirty work (yes, horrible pun intended…i just couldn't help it).  And lets not forget to take into consideration the fact that I have the short term memory of a gold fish.  On more than one occasion, I have let myself run completely out of something…then forgotten about it…diapers included. Lets just say, diapers are NOT the sort of thing you want to wake up and realize you don't have any of before you head off to work.  Now, when my pail is full, I wash them. I either wash them or come up with creative places to stash the dirties. It makes me remember, and I have enough dipes in the stash that I never run out before the pail is full. It can't get any easier than that! 


The greener things in life…our go at a paperless kitchen!

So, inspired by our recent switch to cloth diapers, our family decided to green up other aspects of our life.  First item of order, PAPERLESS KITCHEN! I figure if we could mold our lives around the extra work associated with cloth diapering, we could add cloth napkins and un-papertowels to our routine. 

One thing I know about my family is that this would have to be easy enough to execute.  We already had kitchen towels that we use for drying our hands and dishes so that was taken care of, however, we could go through a roll of paper towels in record time!  That was going to be our biggest hurdle, replacing the napkins would be a simple as putting them in the napkin drawer and setting the out instead of paper ones with our meals.  I also figured that we were going to need enough of each to get through a week, that way we wouldn't ever be out of them.  It sort of defeats the purpose to be doing a specific load of laundry for these as well as for the diapers.  It would also hurt our routine if we had to go back to paper before I could get to the laundry.  So, armed with that knowledge, off to JoAnn Fabrics I went. 

For our un-paper products, I decided to use what I know about cotton and 
absorbency, and off to the utility section I went. I figured that I could use birdseye cotton; if it was absorbent enough for flat diapers, it had to be good enough to wipe muck off our hands and faces with!  To bulk up absorbency of our un-paper towels, I decided on birdseye for one side and cotton flannel for the other.  For the napkins, I just cut the birdseye into thirds by width and then measured the height to about twelve inches and overcast stitched all four edges.  For the towels, I cut the birdseye into thirds by width again.  For height, this is a bit more complicated, but I determined the height by dividing the width of the flannel.  That way I would end up with straight cuts on both fabrics. Once the towels were measured and cut, I sewed them together with about an inch and a half seam allowance and then overcast all four edges.  Once that was done, the family pep talk was given…ANYTHING you would use a paper napkin for (so really any informal family meal) you know use the white basic napkins, ANYTIME you would use our fancy cloth napkins we pull those out, and now ANYTIME you would reach for the paper towels you now grab the cloth ones. Everything is stored in the drawer below our flatware so its super easy to find and to use. 

Basically, the only other item we needed in our paperless arsenal was a tiny laundry style basket to keep under our sink next to the trash can…helped us keep the transition as easy as possible. Now, after dinner, we dump napkins in the bin and everything else in the trash can.  Anytime I am washing a load of laundry and its appropriate, I grab whatever we happen to have in the bin under the sink.  SUPER EASY!

And heres the math for those frugalistas out there…

I bought 4.75 yards of birdsye, 1.5 yards of flannel, and 3 spools of thread at JoAnnes.  Both fabrics are $4.99, but I had a 50% off coupon for one, the other was on sale 50% off, thread was 40% off.  So, I spent roughly $20 on materials.  A six pack of bounty paper towels costs roughly $8 at the grocery store.  Package of paper napkins is about $3. 


GroVia contest!

Here is another contest folks.  Everyone knows how much I love my GroVia diapers and BioSoakers, here is a chance to win them!  Included in this contest is a GroVia shell, cloth wipes, and a 20ct box of BioSoaker. 

Thanks Cloth Diaper Whisperer & good luck mommas!

The chain of events....

So last weekend marked the beginning of two seemingly unrelated events - the launch of our cloth diaper wipes and Little Man's foree into solid foods.  Not sure that this was the best way to do things, but our life changes are often times born out of shear necessity. 

We had decided to work our way through the disposable wipes in our stash before we started using the cloth version, and this gave us the ability to ease into the cloth diaper world.  For some reason, and its completely lost on me now, it seemed extra gross to use cloth wipes when we were beginning this adventure, not to mention more difficult when it came to hitting the road.  Looking back, thats just silly.  

Around week two, it donned on me that the longer we used disposable wipes, the more likely it would be that someone, out or habit, or ignorance, would end up throwing one of the disposable wipes in our pail with the diapers. If you are reading this and thinking that that isn't the end of the world, then you clearly have never done it. To be honest, we never had either (knocking on wood currently), however, I can just imagine how this would go down. There would be me, an enormous pile of cast off lint roller tape at my side, as I attempt to remove all the disintegrated wipe lint from my entire diaper stash.  Its just not like me to continue to tempt fate like that.  Combine my over developed sense of fear with my practical side, and it just seemed like this was the next logical step.  Transitioning to cloth wipes would mean that we could remove the other pail in the babes room; its sole purpose at this point was to catch used wipes.  Also, as the stigma associated with using cloth, and the lack of knowledge on the subject, changed, so did my fear of the cloth wipe; realistically this isn't any more gross than what we were doing, and in fact, this transition has streamlined the changing process.

As I mentioned in my last post, I stumbled upon some cloth wipes on clearance, so I purchased about 40 wipes in total.  All of mine are knit terry on one side and fleece on the other, and while I am not sure how these compare to the others (since they are all I have right now), I can say that these seem to work amazingly! The terry is great at gripping nasty messes and the fleece is wonderful getting into the nooks and crannies since its softer on the skin, and since we have started solid foods, they have really gotten a workout this week.  Part of me is glad that these two events happened simultaneously because it gives me a realistic appreciation of the cloth wipe experience, the other part of me is thinking that it would have been easier to just go for it before hand….

Anyways, I am currently "making" about 20 or so wipes in the nursery at a time.  I take a recycled Huggies wipes container and fold my wipes over each other to create the pop up effect. We started out just using some water to clean LM's bum, but that tended to leave him a little pink, so now I am diluting California Baby Diaper Area Wash 10:1; its really a wonderful cleaner - smells AWESOME, not too perfumey, does a fantastic job of cleaning, and because of the Tea Tree, Calendula, and Lavender oils, it has some anti-microbial properties.  You could certainly use a spray bottle and make them as you go, but LM is already such a mover and shaker (plus, he seems to especially like the freedom that comes with peeing sans diaper), so I prefer to have the wipes locked and loaded.

I got a humorous email from my friend Heather…HI HEATHER…this morning and she was kind enough, if you find brutal honesty kind, and I do, to remind me that "all poop is not created equally."  What I am dealing with right now is not an accurate representation of what we will be handling in the months to come.  Also, I have been strongly advised to purchase some diaper liners, this is advice that I intend to heed.  

I suppose I'll start with Gro-Via BioLiners first, but for now, off to make some baby food for LM's breakfast!


Bummis Swim Diaper Contest

This is a giveaway for the same swim diaper that we use...the rest doesn't look that bad either! Bummis is wonderful, don't get me wrong, but free is even better.

Feed Your Stash Friday: July 16-22, 2010

Good Luck mamas! And don't forget to check back every week for their "Feed Your Stash" giveaways.