Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Food Terms

The Nourished Kitchen clears up some of the confusion about various terms that describe our food (i.e. organic vs. naturally grown, etc.).

If I had it all to do over again...

Another cloth diaper entry, because after 8+ months of fulltime cloth diapering, I'm still learning. We are loyal gDiaper users, because they worked great for our now 3 1/2-year-old daughter. Unfortunately, we have one and off issues with our son. Can't explain them. I just don't know. For various reasons, in addition to our gDiapers, we've also tried a variety of other diapers -- one of these here, one of those there. I have two new favorites.

One of the diapers I currently love is my GroVia. We only have one in our stash, with airplanes all over it. I love the fit on our son, the snaps are easy to use, and it's the kind of diaper that's easy for anyone to use.

The other diaper I'm a big fan of at the moment is my AppleCheeks. I also only have one of these. Also a great fit, easy snaps, and easy for anyone. This diaper is an envelope style (similar to a pocket, but the opening is in the middle of the diaper, rather than at the back) and comes in just two sizes. We are in the larger Size 2 now.

So just my two cents on the whole cloth thing. They say gDiapers work for everyone, and it's probably true, but it's more work for some babies than others. I'm a fan of GroVia and AppleCheeks now too.

Cloth Diaper Stinkies

It was bound to happen -- we got the stinkies. Ugh! Worst part? I caused it! I was reading something online, and the poster said something about since we're dealing with poop, etc., two tablespoons of Rockin Green wouuld be better than one. So I started using two instead of one. Hello, detergent buildup. Hello, stinkies!

We are working on getting rid of them. I put all the diapers in the laundry sink with a squirt of Dawn and then rinsed like crazy. That didn't work for some reason. I called for help. I ended up soaking everything overnight with Funk Rock and then washing with Rocking Green (1 tablespoon!). Now I use a tablespoon of Funk Rock with my prerinse cycle, a tablespoon of Classic Rock in my hot wash, and then I do another wash with no soap. I've done two rounds of washing since I decided to take action with my stinkies. I was told it might take me a little while to get rid of them completely. Each time, it's a little better.

Lesson learned. Sometimes, less is more!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Some Organic Resources

I've been meaning to post some resources for those of you wanting to know more about organic food. In setting up our co-op through Suburban Organics, I found this great resource page on their site. If you're exploring the site, it's under their "Learn" tab. Check out the page for lots of great info and resources on organic food.

If you are interested in joining our co-op, click on "Sign Up," please say Amanda Ehst referred you, and at the end it will ask if you want to join a co-op. We are listed under Butter Valley Harvest. Delivery is on Friday afternoons, and you would pick it up from our market during regular Saturday hours. You can choose items that you don't want and make substitutions, so don't worry, you can keep buying lettuce and tomatoes from us! ;) If you have trouble signing up, because it won't accept your zip code, just give them a call. They are super-helpful and will add you over the phone, so that your zip code is registered.

OK, it's cranky baby day. Hopefully that made sense, and I gave you enough information to get you started. Happy eating!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Organic Food Post MIA

I know some of you are looking for this post, and I just haven't gotten to it. Why is it that all our routine doctor, dentist, eye doctor, OB/GYN, etc. appointments end up squished into a little over a week's time? Juggling three kids and a husband and their schedules and then adding all that running around in... it's over now, but now I'm trying to catch up on everything I didn't get done. Anyway, sorry for the delay, MOPS readers, but it's coming!

If you are interested in an organic food co-op delivered to our market on Route 100 north of Bally, let me know. This would be through Suburban Organics, if you want to read up on the details.

Back to Basics series

I just had to share this series of entries by another mom blogger, because it answers some questions I've had. For the Mommas has lots of great moneysaving info, so you definitely want to check out the blog, but I love her Back to Basics series about what her price points are for buying and stocking up on various household items, from groceries to toiletries, etc. Prices vary depending where you are, but it's a good starting point. Hope this helps.

Mother of a Deal! And a Cloth Diapering Giveaway!

Here are three more deal sites I enjoy bargain hunting on -- and And coming soon... You can subscribe for email updates on the deals or just check it out frequently. Happy hunting, Mommas!

If you're into cloth diapering or thinking about giving it a try, you should definitely check out the sale on Mother of a Daily Deal. They have Oh Katy one-size pocket diapers in nine fun colors for only $11.99 instead of $17.95. They have flat-rate shipping and you can order up to 12 diapers. Receive an extra 10% off with code: yoyo10. Happy Shopping!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

My Cloth Diaper Laundry Routine

Here is how I wash my cloth diapers in my Frigidaire Frontloader Washer and Dryer. This is what works for me with my washer and dryer, my well water, etc. It may or may not work for you; everyone seems to have their own variations.

Soiled diapers go into a dry pail. In our house, this is a white plastic "kitchen" trash can with a foot pedal with a Wahmies Pail Liner. I definitely recommend a can with the foot pedal; you won't always have a free hand with dirty diapers and babies around. :) Poopy diapers get rinsed with a diaper sprayer attached to the toilet before going in the can. I have two pail liners, so while one is in the wash, the other one is in the can. I also put a couple of drops of Tea Tree Oil on the little cotton square inside the bag. There is NO smell whatsoever in the nursery. Obviously, there's a little smell when you open the can to put another diaper in, but nothing outside the can. Nothing like what Ryleigh's room smelled like when she was in sposies.

Every two or three days I carry the pail liner down to the laundry room. I dump the bag into the washer, turning it inside out as I push it into the washer. This means I never touch anything except the outside of the bag, no dirty diapers.

I run a cold rinse cycle with a spin. I then run a second cold or warm rinse cycle with no spin. This is because I am using a front loader which uses less water. Diapers are meant to soak up water. By filling the diapers with water before the wash cycle, I get more water in the washer. I was getting stinkies when I did this without the first rinse and spin cycle. My theory is that I wasn't spinning the dirt away. So now I rinse and spin and rinse again.

Next I add my soap and run a heavy cycle, which is a hot wash with an extra rinse. I alternate using EcoNuts soapnuts and Rockin Green Classic Rock. If I feel like my diapers are starting to get a little stinky (I notice it sometimes in my overnight pocket diapers -- see post on my stash), I make sure I use the Rockin Green on the next load, and that takes care of it.

Finally, I do another warm rinse and spin. I added this step at someone's suggestion when I first started getting minor stinkies. I'm thinking about taking this step out, especially when I use the soap nuts. At least trying it.

My diaper covers, snap-in gLiners, and bamboo gFlappers get hung on a drying rack in the sun (outside in warmer weather, in my sunny dining room window when it's too cold for outside). The sun is AMAZING at getting out stains. Try it. When my gFlappers are mostly dry, then they go in the dryer, along with my cloth wipes, half inserts, etc.

That's it. It's really simple. It was more complicated to type this with a wiggly baby on my lap!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

My Cloth Diaper Stash

As more of my "real life" friends and acquaintances find out that our family uses cloth diapers, I get lots of questions about exactly what we use, like, don't like, etc. I thought I'd just answer all that here. (A separate post is coming soon with my wash routine.)

With our first-born, we used disposable diapers. I didn't know any better. :) When we were pregnant with our second daughter, we started examining our diaper options again. Since our first daughter, gDiapers had come to the United States from Australia. These seemed like a great idea, so we looked into them further. We were very excited about this hybrid diaper with cloth outer pants, a plastic snap-in liner, and a flushable/ compostable insert. We purchased a couple sets of little gPants, liners, and flushable inserts before our daughter was born. At the time, smalls were the smallest size available and started at about 8 lbs. Our daughter was just under 7 pounds at birth, so we used disposables for a few weeks until she gained some weight. We loved the gDiapers from the start. There is a bit of a learning curve for some, making sure the fit is right, not to overtighten them, etc. No big deal. We had no problem. And if you do have trouble, customer service at gDiapers is happy to help. Our daughter is now done with diapers and using the potty. We used the gDiapers with flushable inserts during her entire diapering life. With one exception.

I joined the gDiapers Yahoo group and started learning more and more about cloth and all the options out there. Somewhere along our journey, I got to a point where I thought I could handle cloth. By that point, though, we figured we were too close to potty training to make the cloth investment worthwhile. We got our flushable inserts through the Subscribe and Save program at, which was the best deal we found. Anyway, we found out we were pregnant again, and decided quickly that he'd be a cloth baby. We knew of the Nappy Shoppe from the gDiapers group. Sharni was a big help, and I ordered a few of her gFlappers in a couple different fabric options to try out on our daughter before we made our investment.

We decided on the all-bamboo gFlappers as our favorite diaper inserts and got a stash for our son. With help from Sharni, I decided to also invest in some Thirsties DuoWraps in size 1 for our newborn in case the g's were too big early on. My first child was 8 lbs 13 oz at birth and my second was 6 lbs 15 oz, so I really didn't know what to expect. There are now tiny g's for newborn babes, but I knew that there was a good chance our baby could be too big for them anyway. I was right; our son was 8 lbs 15 oz at birth.

So our newborn stash consisted of small gDiapers and Thirsties DuoWraps. We were happy with both, though our son outgrew the small g's ridiculously early (the solution was small liners inside medium gPants for quite a while), and it took a little while before we loved the Thirsties. The Thirsties are available in both snaps and hook and loop closures. Both have pros and cons; I honestly still am not sure of which I prefer.

Our daughter wore gDiapers her entire diapering life with no issues with fit, etc. I thought our son would be the same. Honestly, we had a few more challenges with our son, but we're good now. He seems to have a high rise and is a heavier wetter. Our daughter had no problems wearing gDiapers at night. Our son was quickly another story. GDiapers would not hold him overnight.

We started looking into night-time options and figured that pocket diapers might be the way to go. We found that Diaper Junction had a program where you could try many of the big name cloth diapers for 30 days and return any that didn't work. We decided to try BumGenius, Fuzzibunz, and Happy Heinys of the pocket diaper variety and Flips, which are more of a diaper cover/hybrid system. Part of the reason we chose these is that they are considered one-size and have adjustable rises. Unlike the gDiapers, we can stuff multiple inserts in these diapers for overnight. If you double-stuff gDiapers, the seal breaks and they leak. At least on our boy. Turns out we love all our pockets for overnight, so we kept them all and keep them in regular rotation. I can't honestly say that we reach for a Happy Heiny or a Fuzzibunz or a BumGenius over the other. Just whatever is on top and ready to go. We double-stuff the diapers and are good for the night. Our heavy wetter wears that diaper from about 10:30 pm until about 7:30 am, give or take.

The Flips we use in our regular daytime rotation, but especially if we are running longer errands, traveling, etc. If I know I need to go more than two hours between diaper changes, the Flip is great for double stuffing. In addition, we've also discovered WonderWraps on Baby Half Off, which we use the same way. We really like these, which are also one-size with the adjustable rise. These have a nice wide waistband, so they leave no marks at all. Some of our other diapers leave slight marks around the waist or on those chubby thighs. :) I should mention, I don't think the Flips and the WonderWraps would be very good on newborns, but we got these when our son was a little older, so I can't speak from experience.

So here's the summary:
DAYTIME ROTATION: gDiapers, Flips, WonderWraps
NIGHTTIME ROTATION: BumGenius, Fuzzibunz, Happy Heinys

All of these diapers get stuffed with the all-bamboo Flappers from the Nappy Shoppe. We are in love with our cloth diaper stash. Honestly, I would try more, because I just love all the colors and patterns available out there, but I can't justify the additional purchases. :) Hope this helps you understand what we do.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Natural Birth

I'm going to post my birth story a little later.  This is more about my personal journey to get to the birth of my son.  My girls were both born after Pitocin and an epidural, not a route I would have chosen necessarily, but the route that was chosen for me more by my medical providers and my lack of knowledge.  I know so much more now.  And have so much yet to learn.  But sometime during my pregnancy, I started really wanting to have Jaden with minimal medical intervention.

There are two books that helped me clarify my thoughts about the labor and delivery experience I desired for my third child.  The first is Birthing From Within by Pam England.  I was really impressed with how many different ideas the author presented without seeming biased toward or against any one.  She really encouraged me to be aware of all my options and find my way to what was right for me and my baby.  The other book, The Lord of Birth by Jennifer Vanderlaan helped me decide how my faith played into every aspect of my life, including birthing my baby.  This served as a guide for a lot of personal growth for me as I came to recognize how much God wants to be in every part of my life.  I have always believed babies to be a blessing from God, but I never gave much thought to His part in the details of their delivery before I read this book.  I encourage all expectant moms to read Birthing From Within and all Christian mothers to study The Lord of Birth.

Anyway, I was blessed to work with a wonderful OB team at College Heights and have an amazing delivery at Lehigh Valley Hospital -- Cedar Crest.  My labor started at home in the middle of the night (just like my girls) and progressed quickly and without intervention at the hospital.  The only thing that entered my system was a number of snow cones!  No IV, no Pitocin, no epidural... it was amazing.  I felt God's presence in the room as He ushered my son peacefully into waiting arms.  I won't tell you it didn't hurt, that there weren't moments I thought "I can't do this!!!", or that anything surreal and miraculous happened in terms of pain.  But the pain was temporary, my recovery much quicker and easier than when I had the epidurals with the girls, and I would choose this path over my former path again.

Jaden is calling.... more later on the birth story and on our cloth diaper journey.