Tuesday, April 21, 2009

This is how we do it: Cloth

I have recently read a few posts on cloth diapers and a few friends have asked how we do them, so I thought I'd write it out here. I am trying to implement the "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" mentality and godly stewardship of our resources way of thinking into our home. So I guess we could call it "Go Green for God". Or, that's what we're trying to do at least. Here are a few examples of what we've been doing:
  • Cloth Diapers: Before Canon was born a friend of mine mentioned using cloth diapers. I thought the idea was horrible! Then, another friend actually used cloth diapers. She showed us how easy they were and how cheap they were and we were hooked! So, this is what we've done. I ordered 36 pre-fold diapers along with 6 covers for our little babies. I have since acquired 6 more covers and 6 smaller covers. I use the smallest ones as soon as the umbilical cord fall off. These last up to 10 lbs. My next size goes from 9-14 lbs. The pre-folds that I have in this size last until my kids are about 16 lbs. When my babies are solely nursing or on formula, I can put their diapers straight in the pail or straight in the washing machine. When they start solid foods I shake the poop into the toilet or rinse it out in the toilet. While pregnant, there were several diapers that I wanted to just throw away, but persevere! Ok, so after the 36 small pre-folds and 12 covers, we move to 24 large pre-folds with 6 covers. At night I use pocket diapers. I have 10 of these, I think. These are very easy to use. I would use them all of the time except for the cost. I acquired more pocket diapers when Boaz was born and I had two in diapers. So the 36, 12, 24 and 6 are the amounts recommended for one child, but they work for two children as well. At one pointe I did 3 loads a week, but now I wash twice a week. For washing, I dump the diapers in, then wash them on hot with a cold rinse. On my old machine I did a pre-soak cycle and sometimes I still do. In the spring and summer I hang my diapers out to dry, this makes them very white and very stiff. They still work great though. Otherwise I just dry them in the dryer withOUT a dryer sheet. Dryer sheets put a coating on the diapers that can irritate the skin. Some accessories that have made our diapering easier are cloth wipes, wet bags and cloth diaper pail liners. I have 3-4 dozen wipes. My MIL bought a dozen, then made the rest. They are just 8x8 pieces of cloth with a zig-zag stitch around the edge. I fold the wipes in half, stick them in a wipes bucket, put some liquid soap, tea tree oil and water in a cup and pour it over the wipes. Then, I add enough water to make them as damp as I like. The wipes can be thrown in the pail with the diapers and washed and dried exactly the same. The wet bags are cloth bags with a plastic coated liner (similar to a rain coat) and a zipper. They come in a few different sizes. The medium ones work best for us. I keep one in the diaper bag at all times. Canon has a small one in his backpack for accidents in his undies. When I use these, I dump the diaper in the pail, then throw the bag in. I have a couple that are hang dry only, other wise I dry them with the diapers. I have maybe 6 bags. We are not out very much, so 2-3 would probably suffice. I have 2 diaper pail liners. This is perfect for my wash cycle. One is in the wash while the other is in the pail. The liner is a plastic coated cloth with an elastic top. I use a trash can with a pop-up lid for my diaper pail and keep it in the bathroom. It doesn't smell unless it is open. I also use a dish bucket for transporting diapers from the bedroom to the pail. I often wipe out both the pail and bucket. I think that's all, just let me know if you have any questions. With this we are reducing our waste and our expenses.
  • Tissues: This might seem even more over the top, but oh well. We have been using our burp rags as "nose wipes" or "snot rags". With two little boys, and now a little girl, it seems that we never have a time when every one's nose is dry. So, instead of going through a box of tissues a day, we designate the "snot rags" in the morning and use one for each little all day long, then throw it in the dirty clothes basket in the evening. 
  • Cloth napkins: When Albert and I first got married I thought these were just for "fancy" occasions. Now they are for every day use.
  • Cloth nursing pads: This might really turn us into tree huggers, but it works for me. When Canon was first born I was using disposable diapers, disposable nursing pads and disposable pads. Our trash was over flowing every day. I found that disposable nursing pads were another way to cut down on trash. They do have to be changed out more frequently, but I'd rather change my shirt than have the nursing pad burst and have to clean up those little absorbent things. These are washed on cold and hung up to dry. A dozen or so of these is a reasonable amount.
That is a pretty good start on what we have done to reduce and reuse. What are some things you are doing to "Go Green for God"?

4 weeks old

(This was my dress when I was a baby)
I know, I know, I'm late. I thought about this post all day on Sunday and even took pictures of Olivia, but the day slipped by without a word. Then, yesterday I thought about being late and needing to post, and yet I did not. So, here we are today! Hope you enjoy!

Olivia's fourth week was pretty good. The weather was a little up and down, so we were in and out. Almost any day that we can get outside is good. We ventured out for our second walk as the circus. I'm not sure if I've explained the scene before, so I'll give you a glimpse today. When we go for walks, it's a little crazy. The boys ride in the stroller, which is a type of tandem double. I wear Olivia in my front pack carrier and one dog walks on each side of the stroller. I have tried several times to have Cheyenne walk on the right side of the stroller with Piper, but she is a left side walker. So, as you can imagine, we take up the whole path. People must pass us at their own risk. (Apparently my little sweety does not want to be talked about, as she has been crying since I started typing!) The people who probably get the best laugh at our walk are all of those driving by. I just can't help but wonder what they are thinking when they see my little circus on parade. Anyway, this walk went really well. Not a single bathroom break for the dogs and the kiddos relaxed and enjoyed the fresh air. I even got a bit of exercise and was not sore the next day. We did venture out for a walk the week before and I was sore for three days. There is a reason they put boundaries on exercise after having a baby!

I'm not sure what else we did last week, but a few discoveries have been made. Olivia seems to be regularly irregular with her BMs. She had one on Friday, then nothing on Saturday. Well, it seemed that she was storing everything up for a giant explosion Sunday morning. I just have to say that I'm glad Albert bit the bullet on that one! So, then there was one BM Sunday morning and the next one was Monday evening. Most newborns poop several times a day and they are much smaller. My pediatrician friend says this irregularity is ok and her daughter is also regularly irregular. I must admit that I enjoy changing wet diapers much more than dirty ones, but one giant one is quite a task!

Oh, and we attempted a photo session on Saturday. I need a little extra deodorant for these endeavors! That might be TMI, but I really have to work at things like this. I was hoping to get individuals of all of the littles, a good group picture and a picture of Olivia and Albert's arm. Everything turned out great except for our special Daddy picture. So, they will have another Daddy/daughter session this week. Maybe in our next house I'll set up one black backdrop  and one white backdrop and do my own pictures. It has to be less stressful! Well, we did manage to get some good ones and thankfully the store has an excellent military discount, so though it is stressful, I will probably go back.......

This was Olivia's first week in cloth diapers. It went pretty well. It's a little tricky to get the cover snug enough around her thighs and I don't really know when to change her since she's not pooping all the time, typically I change my newborns when they poop. Overall I enjoy cloth diapers much more than disposable. I have been having trouble with getting the wipe caught on the Velcro of the disposables and it has been a pain. So, I'm glad the pretty well be done with that. Now if I can just remember to change her frequently.

Here are some pictures of the kiddos from the last week. Hope you enjoy.

The day before Easter we went to the zoo. Olivia slept the whole time, with a bit of a break for some lunch. The  boys had a great time. Boaz took a bit of a nap, but Canon was ready to go the whole time! We packed a lunch and played at the playground before heading home. Canon slept on the way home, then both boys thought their cat-naps were sufficient for the day. 
Later that afternoon our next door neighbor set up an Easter egg hunt for the boys. Canon had a great time picking up all of the eggs. He shared a couple with Boaz. Bo was more interested in the neighbor's dog, Shelby. We had a fun time though.

Here's our trio on Easter morning. It was cold and raining, so Olivia didn't get to wear a pretty dress. Maybe next year! (I'm not sure why this is underlined, just ignore it!) We did have a fun time teaching Canon the true meaning of Easter. In order to teach the boys the true reason for Easter, that Jesus is ALIVE, we played with Resurrection Eggs and made Resurrection rolls. I have a couple of other ideas that will be implemented next year, but this was pretty good for the attention span of a 2 year old little boy. Though, when asked what the real meaning of Easter is, Canon shouts "to save the life!" I think that will work!
And, just for your enjoyment, here is a picture that I like and one of the last ones of me pregnant with Olivia. Enjoy!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

3 weeks old

Olivia's third week was quite full! She was supposed to have a weight check on Thursday, but we went on Tuesday because we were already out. I am happy to report that she weighed 8 lbs. 3 oz. on Tuesday. So, as of right now there is no concern for her weight gain. She has been nursing well and sleeping pretty well. She seems to have trouble burping at about 4:00 every morning. Maybe I'm the one having trouble waking up enough to burp her. Either way, we spend about an hour trying to settle her back into a good sleep. She did sleep for 6 hours one night this week. That was very exciting. 

Let me see if I can recap our week. Albert went back to work on Monday. Monday was spent at home enjoying each other's company........ ha! And trying to figure out how I am going to keep up with my normal tasks while tending to three littles. Tuesday was very full. Canon had an eye appointment at 9:30 a.m. We managed to make it to Target and the gas station and still arrive 15 minutes early. That was quite exciting. We determined to just observe his eyes for the next 6 months and recheck him in October. Then, we headed over to the pediatrician's office. After getting Olivia's weight checked, we headed home for lunch. After dinner our dear friends came over to meet Olivia. We always enjoy spending time with them and introducing our sweet girl to our friends. Wednesday was spent at home and we went up to church for dinner. Thursday and Friday were spent at home. On Thursday I revisited "Managers of Their Homes" and developed a new schedule for our little brood. So Friday I was anxious to put it into action. Our Friday was fantastic. We accomplished so much. Saturday was spent enjoying each other and the beautiful weather at the zoo. 

Olivia is such a sweet baby. She just rolls with the punches for the most part. She has been wanting to be held a bit more in the morning. And, she's awake for about 1 1/2 hours in the morning and again in the evening. Otherwise she's just sleeping and eating and snuggling!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Two nights ago

Thursday night around 8:00 we received a phone call from Albert's squadron wondering if we were safe. Safe from what? we wondered. The girl on the other end informed us that a city that marries up to the base was on fire. WHAT? We turned on the news immediately and found a huge wild fire about 5 miles east of us. Apparently it started burning around 2:00 pm. At the time we started tuning in, they estimated 50-100 homes completely engulfed in flames. The fires were so hot and so numerous that the fire department had to just stand by and watch them burn. It was too windy to use helicopters and the water buckets, then night swept in.  I'm not sure of the number of homes that were burned, or the final survey of the damage, but yesterday the news reported that these fires were set intentionally by a few teenagers. This fire stretched 10 miles and completely destroyed everything in it's path. My jaw dropped when I heard that it was started on purpose. 

I don't have any deep thoughts to share on the matter, just sadness for the families and thankfulness for God's grace. This is what we all deserve because of our sin, remember Sodom and Gomorrah? Yet God sees fit to save us from completely destroying ourselves. What an amazing God we serve!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

2 weeks old

2 weeks old
Our little sweety is two weeks old today. This week has been a bit less eventful, but still out of the ordinary. Albert was down with the flu for 3 days. That wasn't fun for him or the rest of us. The boys had a VERY hard time staying away from him. I'm not sure how much rest he got, but eventually his fever broke and he was able to interact a bit more. Hopefully this week will be full of everything except illness!

Olivia took her first trip to the grocery store. She slept the whole time and the few people who got to peek at her thought she was a cutie. One lady, upon hearing that Olivia was my third, loudly asked me if we were done or if we were going to wait a while for the next one. I'm still not sure why people feel these are appropriate questions. 

Here's our most recent family picture.

And here is Canon's latest adventure. While Albert way laying in bed, Canon went in our room to go potty. While sitting on the toilet, Albert hears "I'm sorry Daddy." Albert went in to find his watch sunk in a toilet of pee. We have had several good laughs over this, and Albert gave his watch several good washings.

Saturday, April 4, 2009


Just a quick note to let you all know that we are all well again! More tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Crazy Days

Are we going to have a dull moment again in our lives??? At this point, my answer is "no". We seem to be running into one thing after another. Boaz and Olivia had well baby check ups yesterday morning. The good news is that Boaz is doing well. His lungs were as clear as a whistle and his ear is getting better. He weighed in at 23 lbs and is 31 1/2 inches long or tall. The bad news is that Olivia has not gained any weight in a week. Last Wednesday when I took her to the doctor, the nurse in training said Olivia weighed 7 lbs 15 oz. Later the same day a home health care nurse weighed her and she weighed 7 lbs 5 oz. The same nurse weighed her with the same scale the next day and said her weight was 7 lbs 4 oz. At the doctor's office yesterday, she weighed 7 lbs 5 oz. Our doctor said she should be gaining an ounce a day. So, I will be bringing her back for a weight check next Thursday. Until then, I am nursing her, then giving her an ounce or so of milk in a bottle. She is so sleepy that feeding her at all is a task. Most of the time I have to wake her up at the three hour point. This is no easy task either! She'll nurse pretty well for a little bit, then she's out! The good thing about a bottle is that I can push it in her mouth with a bit more force. She tries to hold her gums together, but eventually I get it in and she drinks about half of it. Please pray that her weight is up a healthy amount next week.

Along with the littles having trouble, Albert has the flu. On Monday we found out that Boaz had the flu. His blood was drawn on Friday, so he was much better by the time we found out. Albert seemed to start coming down with it on Monday and has been in bed the last two days. I can only guess that this is what I had when Olivia was born. Hopefully all of our energy will be restored quickly, I'm not sure how much longer we can hang on in these conditions!