Cloth Diapering: Initial Thoughts

My friends made fun of me when I first became pregnant because I had lots of ideas for how I wanted to raise my son and how I wanted to run my household once he arrived. Mainly, I did NOT want to use disposable diapers or disposable baby wipes. First of all, disposable diapers are so expensive! The prospect of spending $100+/month just on diapers was just not in our budget, so I wanted to find a way to save money on that. Secondly, they are so bad for the environment! They are not biodegradable and I don’t even want to think about how much human waste is seeping into the ground water from landfills. My friends teased me that I wouldn’t stick with the cloth diapers once I found out how hard they are to use. I still wanted to give it a try.

I was inspired to consider cloth diapers by John & Sherry Petersik of Young House Love. I appreciated how they broke down their cloth diapering experience and from what they described, it just didn’t seem that hard. I also talked to my parents and their generation about cloth diapers. I didn’t know it, but my parents didn’t use disposable diapers with any of my 3 siblings or I — they just couldn’t afford them. Same with my husband’s parents. Turns out, disposable diapering is a fairly recent phenomena. I figured, people have been cloth diapering for thousands of years so I could probably do it, too. We ended up buying the same Bum Genius Elemental One Size All In Ones the Petersiks use, but they are a little too big for our newborn Henry at the moment.

So, my wonderful and generous mother gifted us 6 weeks of a cloth diapering service for the first weeks of Henry’s life. This way we wouldn’t have to invest in newborn cloth diapers for just a short period of time. The diaper service goes more of the traditional cloth diaper route; that is, the cloth diaper with the “rubber pants” over them — today they’re referred to as diaper covers. I almost wish we went this route for our cloth diaper investment instead of the all-in-ones. They’re so easy to use; even my husband, who is a complete diaper novice, has no problems at all changing baby’s diaper.

I can definitely see why some people might prefer disposable diapers. We used disposable for the first two weeks of Henry’s life until we got the diaper service set up. It’s nice to just pull out a diaper, slap it on the baby and throw the old one away. They’re also a lot more compact than cloth so you can bring a lot more with you when you’re out and about with baby. But the cloth diapers aren’t that much more complicated to use than disposable and I find that I need to do a lot more laundry these days anyway, so throwing some diapers in the wash isn’t a lot more effort when I’m already doing laundry. Also, since I am a stay-at-home-mom for the moment (I have no plans to get a job anytime soon, but you never know about life) cloth diapering isn’t a big drain on my time. I can see how a house with both parents working away from home might not be able to cloth diaper, and I don’t even know if daycare centers would use cloth diapers. But for me and my family, it makes sense.

Another thing I decided on for baby was using cloth wipes. Again; I hated the thought of spending money on wipes and sending so much waste into landfills. Since I am handy with a sewing machine anyway and I had plenty of flannel fabric on hand, I went ahead and made a bunch of cloth wipes myself. All I have to do is spray a soap solution I made using Dr. Bronner’s soap on to baby’s bottom, then wipe away the waste. When I’m done with the wipe, I throw it into the wet bag hanging next to the changing table. I usually only need one wipe per diaper change. Once we start using our own cloth diapers they will also go into the wet bag, but right now we have a separate wet bag for the laundry service to pick up. And if you’re wondering about the poop smell, it’s not terribly noticeable (at least, not to me). I won’t go as far as saying that breastmilk poo doesn’t smell like some people claim, but it’s not a terribly pungent or overwhelming smell.

You may be saying, this is all well and good for when you’re at home, but what about when you’re on the go? It’s pretty much the same idea. I have a smaller wet bag I use for my diaper bag, so when I change the cloth diaper, I just throw the soiled diaper in there and then transfer to the big bag for laundry when I get home. I do stock my diaper bag with disposable wipes. I also have some disposable diapers in my diaper bag just in case we run out of cloth.

Anyway, these are my initial thoughts about cloth diapering after our first week of use. I’m sure things will change once we have to wash the diapers ourselves but for now, we’re really happy with our decision to cloth diaper.

Introducing: Henry Job

As you might have guessed, I fell off the face of the earth these past few weeks because my baby boy finally decided to make his entrance into the world!

Mama and Henry's first picture together

Mama and Henry’s first picture together

I went into labor at 3AM on October 13, 2015 when my water broke at home. It was just a trickle but I started having contractions so I figured we had better head to the hospital. When the nurse wheeled me into triage she asked me to get out of the wheelchair and change into a hospital gown so she could assess if I was really in labor or not. When I stood up, the trickle became a waterfall, lol! So they went ahead and decided I was in labor and assigned me to a labor and delivery room. 18.5 hours later, my son was born into the world.

Daddy and Henry

Daddy and Henry

Henry Job was born at 9:26PM on October 13, 2015 weighing 8lbs 13.5oz and measuring 22in long. So far he’s been a really great little baby, he hardly fusses (except during the “witching hour,” usually about 5PM-11PM each day) and sleeps really well as a general rule. He lost quite a bit of weight before leaving the hospital, but he’s been steadily gaining weight since then and now weighs over 9lbs.

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I’m really loving being a mom and learning my little guy’s personality. He makes so many funny faces when he wakes up. He’s only 3 weeks old as of today but it feels like it’s been months since he was born. Yesterday we made our first solo trip to the supermarket and it went real well, he slept through the whole thing. I’m still learning our new routine but it gets easier every day. And of course since I’m a new mom, I have tons of pictures of my baby, so enjoy!

The Big Reader

Another one of my hobbies is reading. I actually graduated from university with a BA in English, my focus was Victorian Literature. If you know anything about Victorian Literature, you know they liked to drone on and on and on, most of the books were very long and we were reading them at a pretty quick clip so I got to be a fairly fast reader. Depending on the book, it’s not unusual for me to finish a 100-150 page ebook in an evening. It makes me kind of laugh to look at my most current list of books read, given my background. I don’t read a whole lot of “literature” these days, I enjoy mysteries, romances, Young Adult novels, etc. Feel free to follow me on GoodReads to find out what I’m reading.

challenge Every year, GoodReads lets you pick a number of books you’d like to finish by the end of the year to “challenge” yourself. The last time I successfully completed a challenge was in 2011, my goal was 50 books and I read 60. My goal for this year is 50 and so far I’ve read 38 books, which apparently means I’m on track. I’m sure I’ll go off the rails again once the baby arrives.

This past week I took a break from quilting and read some books. I love reading on my ereader, a 1st edition Nook by Barnes and Noble. I believe my husband bought it for me for Christmas the year it came out. I love the e-ink technology, there is no backlighting at all which makes my eyes stressed and tired (and twitchy, I hate that!) This week I read 4 romances, a mystery and a finished a horror/thriller that I started a while ago. You can check out all of the books I’ve read this year here.

Usually when I’ve read a lot of light, fluffy books I try to buckle down and read a “serious” book so I’m not completely embarrassed by my reading list, lol. I read Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov earlier this year for that reason and absolutely hated it.

9810317Now I’ve decided to read Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. I haven’t spent much time with American literature and this was gifted to me earlier this year so I thought I’d give it a try. Most people probably wouldn’t consider this a “serious” read but it is considered an American classic anyway. It’s tremendously long so hopefully I can get through it!

Little Buddy

2015-09-18 08.15.13 Jetty sure has been cracking me up lately. For those not in the know, Jetty is our 6 year old dog. He’s a terrier mix and he weighs about 10 lbs. He’s a small guy, people always think he’s a puppy when they see him but he hasn’t been a puppy for some time now. In fact, DH and I joke that Jetty is becoming a teenager. He likes to hang out by himself a lot of the time and he’ll frequently leave a room when either of us comes into it! But lately he has been sticking closer to us. I took this picture the other morning when I got out of the shower and found he had made himself comfortable in bed with DH.

Recently, I put a baby gate up in the doorway leading from our kitchen/family room into our dining room/living room. Now that we have dark hardwood floors down, his light fur shedding is so much more prominent… we didn’t think of that when we chose the color. Oops! So I put the gate up so he wouldn’t be able to go into that room and therefore, I wouldn’t have to clean in there as much. The solutions an exhausted pregnant lady comes up with! That room is at the front of our house and he used to like to jump up on the sofa and watch the people go by (and bark at them) so I think he’s a little forlorn now that he can’t go in there.

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Some people say that animals are more sensitive to their humans when they’re sick and I know there are some animals like that… I just don’t think Jetty is one of them! But I have noticed him sticking closer by me the more pregnant I become. Maybe he is sensitive. Or maybe he’s just feeling attention starved since I haven’t been able to get down on the floor and play with him like I used to! I took this picture as I sat down at the computer this afternoon. He parked himself right below my feet. He hardly ever does that. With all of the work that’s been done on his body lately, DH can’t really get down and play with him either. We take him over to my in-laws house pretty regularly though and he gets to play with their miniature pinscher, they’re about the same size and best buddies.

He sure is a funny guy and we’re happy to have him around!

Another Project

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When I was working on the many flying geese units for my Sunburst Quilt, I thought about tossing the so-called “bonus triangles,” but there ended up being so many that I kept them in this tin. I know Ive heard of others using these HST and I thought I might, too. Lord knows I need more fabric added to my scraps pile [not really] so I hope I can come up with a project for these soon. Jean over at QuiltSocial has some good ideas. If you have any ideas feel free to share them! Hopefully this can be a project I can work on for some time like I intended for the Meet in the Middle project. πŸ˜› Oh well, best laid plans!

So Much For Taking My Time

Well, my Meet in the Middle project went way faster than I anticipated. It took me no time at all to cut out all of the strips I needed. I didn’t follow the instructions exactly… instead of finding 10″ long strips in my scraps stash, I grabbed a bunch of different sized strips and cut them to be 2.5″ wide and at most 10″ long. Most of my rows have more than 5 different fabrics in them, making the quilt a lot scrappier looking. Now I’m trying to decide on a background fabric.

The first picture is the fabric that I had in mind for this project. It’s a nice, dark charcoal grey. But the pattern calls for white fabric so I thought I’d pull out some white prints I have and see if I liked any of those. The second picture is a white print with navy blue stars, moons and planets. I kind of like how that one looks, too. The third picture is a white print with rainbow colored dots (if you click the picture you’ll be able to see it more clearly). The last one is a blue grid with rainbow colored hearts and stars on it. The last two fabrics are actually from my mom’s stash… she bought them for my nursery over 30 years ago! Who knows what she intended to do with them but clearly she never got around to it.

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Well, while I am deciding I can start cleaning up the mess I made going through my scraps… Getting this big ol body down on the ground and picking them up sure is going to be a challenge! Any volunteers? :)

A New Project

Another week is starting, which means I’m another week closer to meeting our little guy. I’m 38 weeks pregnant now which means I will go into labor any day now (I hope). My sister was late with both of her children and my mom was late with at least one of hers, so who knows when I will go into labor!

My best friend and I at her wedding this August, I'm 34 weeks pregnant.

My best friend and I at her wedding this August, I’m 34 weeks pregnant.

I was telling my husband the other day that I feel a little adrift and weird in this “in between” stage. All year I’ve had projects to occupy my time: last December DH was diagnosed with cancer again so we had his treatments to go to each week; that ended in August when he had his surgery. Now he’s at home recovering. Also in December my best friend’s now husband proposed, I helped her plan a winery wedding here in Temecula so that took up a lot of my time until the wedding happened on Aug 29. In February of this year I found out I was expecting our first child, so I was busy planning and making items for his nursery, his quilt and making quilts for family members before he arrived.

Now what am I supposed to do! DH is thankfully cancer free for the moment and recovering, so we’re only going to the hospital once a month instead of once a week; Vanessa’s wedding is over so I don’t have that to occupy my time; Henry’s nursery is done, his diapers are ready, his car seat is in the car, all of the little projects I wanted to finish before he made his entrance are done… I know I should be getting plenty of rest and I do try to, but I’m bored stiff!!

So I decided to start a new quilt, the Meet In the Middle/Springhouse pattern that Kelli & Jo over at Jo’s Country Junction wrote. It looks nice and easy and a great scraps buster. I have no expectations for finishing it anytime soon and I’m not going to push myself to get it done at any particular point. It will be nice to have something I can easily pickup as I have the time and inclination. Here’s my “Design Wall” this week:

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A pile of lovely 2.5″ strips waiting to be sewn together! I love the scrappiness of the original and I think mine will be even more scrappy. I might even use a dark background since I’m fresh out of white fabric at the moment.

I’m linking up over at Patchwork Times for Design Wall Monday. Click on over to see what others are up to.

Stash Report – 2015 Week 3

I had a finish this week so I can show some movement in my numbers! Woo hoo!

I also finished another couple small projects I mentioned in my stash report a couple of weeks ago, making flat sheets for Henry’s toddler bed. I’m probably jumping the gun a bit, but I have the fabric so I figure I might as well get started. I wanted to buy the fabric now before it sold out or became unavailable. He won’t be needing them for a couple of years, but it will be nice to have them done ahead of time instead of trying to find time to make them when I have a toddler running around. Why put off until tomorrow what can be done today, right? I used this tutorial from Sew Tessuti. It doesn’t have yardage requirements for a toddler bed, but I used 2 yards and that seemed to be enough. I made two flat sheets.

Week 3
Used this Week: 12.66 yards
Used year to Date: 22.46 yards
Added this Week: 0 yards
Added Year to Date: 5 yards
Net for 2015: 17.46 yards used

Thanks for stopping by! I’m linking up with Judy over at Patchwork Times.