Monday, November 23, 2009

Folding a prefold diaper: Jelly Roll Fold

Nobody likes a poosplosion. And little butterball breastfed babies can really erupt, let me tell ya. And it always happens in the most inopportune moments, like right before baby's baptism when you're rushing around trying to get ready, or sitting on your lap at the restaurant. Not nice.

For us sposies always leak the worst. When we are away for the weekend or grandma's babysitting and the boys are wearing sposies, I can almost guarantee we will need a couple changes of clothes (perhaps for mom, dad and grandma as well).

A well-folded prefold and a great cover can almost always prevent poosplosions - the jelly roll fold is my favorite defense. Here's how you do it (please excuse the blurry pics):

Lay your beautiful babe on the diaper. This is my youngest son at about 11 wks. Pardon the wipe in the middle - that's merely for discretion. If you have extra length you need to fold down, I prefer to do it in the back before I start so the little fold acts as an extra poo barrier.

Roll the edges in toward the middle.

You want to roll the edges in enough so you can bring the diaper up between the legs.

Then pin or Snappi in place! The last thing I would do, not shown here, would be to make sure baby's legwarmers and shirt are not tucked into the diaper, or they will get all wet! Then I either put on a diaper cover or wool pants and we are good to go!

Like the leg warmers? They are pretty easy to make yourself if you have a sewing machine. Stay tuned to future posts!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Easy, No Sew T-shirt Diaper!

A cheap, easy way to diaper: use a t-shirt! Whether you use "sposies" and forgot to buy them when you went to the store, or you use cloth and you didn't get your diaper load in soon enough, running out of diapers is not a pleasant event. But I know we sure have a lot of spare t-shirts sitting around our house. Alas, we have a use for them!

I actually really like the t-shirt diaper. No sewing, pretty easy to fold, quite absorbant, soft and comfy. And free. I think you could probably cloth diaper your child almost totally without cost if you simply used cloth t-shirts and bought some simple covers. (You could even make recycled wool covers for pretty cheap - but we'll save that for another day!). Anyhow, here's how I do it:

Lay your t-shirt out flat.

Fold it in thirds (the long way), so the arms are still sticking out on the sides.

Fold the top down so that the sleeves are folded to half width, and fold the bottom up to meet the top. You may have to adjust that part so it's the appropriate length for your baby.

Place your baby on the t-shirt and fold the bottom part up between his (or her) legs.

Bring the sleeves around to the front.

Pin or snappi in place! Easy peasy.

So dig out those old t-shirts and put them to good use! Your baby and your wallet will appreciate it.

Now, go enjoy those little ones while they're still little!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

brotherly love

OK, so we were at church on Sunday and I was holding Santiago (9 weeks now!) and chatting with a friend we don't see that often, Kelly.

Another friend was with us and holding Salvador. I asked Kelly if she wanted to hold the baby and she scooped him up in a heartbeat.

Kelly says to Salvador, "Isn't your little brother yummy?"

Salvador looked at her, looked at his brother, leaned over, and gave the baby a big, slobbery lick all the way up the face.

I guess he wanted to be able to answer the question accurately.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Why I love cloth diapers

Who ever thought that diapering your kid could be fun? I may be a little odd, but I get excited about diapers. Cloth ones, that is.

I love – absolutely love – that they save me tons of money. Yeah, if you buy the nice ones, the “Cadillac” of diapers, you might pay $400 or even $500 up front for your stash and supplies. It costs money to wash and buy detergent. But if I was using disposables, I’d probably spend $1500 or more (for one kid!) on diapers before I finally got my kid potty trained. Plus I have two boys, so who knows how long potty training might take! I love that I can use my cloth diapers for the kids that follow, however many there might be. Not sure they’ll last through eight kids, but probably through two, three, or four and my savings will be even greater. We’re on boy number two and going strong so far! Love, love, love that.

Know what else I love? Not taking a whole trash can full of diapers out to the curb. (Actually my husband usually does that part, but it’s the idea of it.) No one really knows how long it will take for a disposable diaper to decompose, because it’s likely that none of them have yet! On the website for the Real Diaper Association, it is estimated it will take 250 to 500 years for a disposable diaper to decompose. All those chemicals and plastic just sit there – and even grosser – they sit there full of human waste. Now that can’t be healthy! Considering that each kid produces like 5000 to 6000 dirty diapers and that most of the population uses disposables – that’s a lot of landfill space! I love that I’m not contributing to that pile (except for the occasional week of vacation or trip to Grandma’s house.)

I really love that all those chemicals, plastics, strange fibers and mystery gel are not touching my kid’s skin. With cloth, I know that what touches my boy is safe. Not just safe, but snuggly, too!

And there are so many choices. Pretty much any color you can imagine and your choice of snaps, Aplix (Velcro), pins or Snappis… I can choose from prefolds and fitteds to pockets and all-in-ones. Then there’s hemp, cotton, bamboo, velour, sherpa, french terry, microfleece, Windpro fleece. And lucky me! Every couple hours I get to pick out a new one.

I even love that cloth wipes are cheap and clean a kid’s bum soooo much better than traditional wipes. At first I was a little yucked out by the idea, but now I’ll never go back! Even my husband, who was very (very) hesitant at first, was also convinced the first time he tried them. Who would’ve thought?

Yes, it’s true. I love cloth diapers. Some may call it crunchy, but I just call it smart. I think cloth diapering is so smart that I started my own online business. I know there are many parents out there who also believe that cloth diapers are a smart choice. Who knows. Take teh plunge, try some cloth and you might find that you love diapers, too!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Make your own almond butter!

I made my own almond butter today! I don't know why I never tried it before. It's pretty easy and waaaaaaaay cheaper than buying it at the natural food store.

Salvador is allergic to peanuts. Not the smell a peanut, go to the ER kind of allergic. Just a rash and swollen earlobes kind of allergic. Anyhow, the poor kid must get really sick of sunflower butter sandwiches and fake cheese quesadillas (he's allergic to dairy and soy, too), so I thought I'd try something different. I gave him almond milk a couple times this week with no apparent reaction, so I thought it might be worth trying the almond butter.

I got a one pound bag of raw almonds on sale for 2.99 at Kroger. Wooohooo! After nibbling on a few handfuls here and there (there is never enough food in the house for a nursing mama), I poured the rest in a frying pan, turned the heat on medium-low and browned them. I stirred them pretty regularly to make sure they wouldn't burn. You could also roast them in the oven at 350 degrees for a few minutes, stirring once or twice.

After they were lightly browned (and smelled delicious!), I poured them into my knock-off Magic Bullet thingie and blended them. It took quite a while because you can only run the thing for 5 seconds at a time (or you'll burn the motor). I had to shake and knock it on the counter repeatedly to keep it from sticking to the walls of the container. After a while, it started to kind of ball up and stick together and I added olive oil. Just a little at a time. I think I added 3 teaspoons of olive oil in total, but could have gotten away with less. The longer you blend the nuts, the moister (is that a word?) they become. They went from nuts, to a crumbly texture, to a course but floury texture, then a pasty texture, then a moist buttery texture! Be patient, it can take a bit of time to get creamy. I added a bit of salt (maybe 1/2 teaspoon) and sugar (2 teaspoons-ish) to the mixture, but those are optional.

I can't really say how long it all took because it went sort of like this: Blend a few seconds, shake, blend some more. Repeat. Move the diaper load from washer to dryer, forget about the nut butter, remember I need to change Salvador's diaper, Santiago wakes up, change his diaper, remember the nut butter, blend a few seconds, shake, blend, shake, blend, scrape sides, blend, put Santiago in my ring sling because my arm is getting tired, blend some more. Remember that I never actually changed Salvador's diaper. Go, put Santiago down, change Salvador's diaper. Forget about the nut butter again. Santiago is now hungry and wants to nurse and sleep. Remember the nut butter but can't get to it. Get Santiago to sleep but won't stay asleep because he probably has a wet diaper and hates to be wet. (Guess I can't blame him.) Change diaper, get him back to sleep. Go to kitchen to make sandwiches, remember the nut butter. Blend some more - it's looking pretty good! Finish the nut butter, and use it to make sandwiches. Yum! Tastes good, I must say.

And it only took all morning. But that's what happens when you have an 8 week old and a two year-old. Life happens. Everything takes forever. But that's ok. Those boys melt my heart.

You can make your own almond butter, too. Changing diapers isn't actually a part of the recipe, so it might not take you as long as it took me. The process would probably work for other nuts as well. You'd just have to experiment a little.

Better go get the diapers out of the dryer before Santiago wakes up!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Come along for the ride!

It's been one of those evenings. You know, the kind where you sit in the Kroger parking lot while your hubby runs into the store to buy bread and bananas because the cupboards at home are bare. (Because you barely have time to pluck your eyebrows, let alone time to cut coupons and go grocery shopping.) And you're nursing your 7 week old because he won't stop crying when he's in his carseat. Then you're changing all his clothes because he spit up all over, and his diaper, too, because it's been a while. Then he poops so you change it again. And he poops again, so you change it again. And repeat one more time.

Yes, four diaper changes in a 10 minute span, all on your lap in the front seat, while your two year old sits behind you "patiently" repeating "Help us, please!!!" because his shoe fell off and he can't get it back on. Yes, that's the kind of evening it has been.

And yet, here I am typing when I should be sleeping or hanging out with the man of my dreams, who just got my two year-old (Salvador) and my littlest one (Santiago) to sleep. So why am I on the computer?

Good question. I think because I know I'm not alone on this crazy, upside-down ride where society expects us to have it all together, and yet the reality is one of spit-up down my shirt and snot on my kid's sleeve. Oh, and I had broccoli for dinner so I'd better check my teeth.

I think at times, it's easy to feel isolated, and like what I am doing is inconsequential. Changing diapers doesn't feel earth shattering, nor does reading the same Diego book over and over again because it's my son's favorite. It's hard work, this thing of parenting. And it is indeed life-changing because love changes things. Love changes us and others.

I don't mean the ushy-gushy love of modern media, but the true, tough (when needed) yet gentle love that teaches young Salvador that it's not ok to punch his friend in the face when said friend tries to borrow his toy car. Nor is it ok to do summersaults during mass. The love we are called to is one that responds with patience when Santiago won't let me put him down while I'm trying to cook dinner, while at the same time Salvador is holding both my legs so tight that my yoga pants are starting to fall down.

Easy? No. Worthwhile and life-changing? Absolutely. Because we are, by the grace of God, forming little people. There are a lot of lessons to teach and so many yet to learn, so I count on this: "God's grace is sufficient for me, for power is perfected in weakness." 2Cor12:9

Will you come along for the ride?