Friday, December 28, 2012

The Cloth Diaper Chronicles: Getting Out the Nasties

Cam's diapers got a bad case of the nasties!  Every time they got wet, they would smell was gross.  I started doing some research and asked my cloth diapering friends for advice.  What I determined is that a) I wasn't using the best detergent to wash the diapers, b) I was using too much of it, and c) I'm using a front load high-efficiency washer that doesn't use enough water to fully rinse all of the detergent out.  I've been using All Free and Clear, but have since switched to Rockin Green which is specially formulated for use on cloth diapers, so I know I'm using the good stuff.  When I first started using cloth I read that you should use 1/4 the amount of recommended detergent per load of diapers.  Well, that's what I did...however, I realized that a normal "load" for a full-time cloth diaper-er is about 20 diapers, and I only have 10 or 11.  So, I'm pretty sure I had gotten a build up of detergent on my diapers that trapped smellies, and I found out that the only solution is to strip them.

How do you strip cloth diapers?  Well, I'm glad you asked :} First, you get on YouTube and you watch a bunch of how-to videos until you find one that seems reasonably do-able...I used this one, and I'm super sorry to the girl who made the other video I watched about boiling inserts, but I can't find it right now.  Then, well, you just follow the directions...

Anyway, there are so many different ways people strip their diapers, but I decided the method I would use for my diaper inserts was boiling.  I boiled them on the stove in batches (about 5 at a time for the size pot I had).  Fill the pot about half full and boil them for about 15 minutes, emptying and refilling the pot after each batch.  I read online that you shouldn't boil anything with waterproof lining or snaps because they could get damaged and shorten the life of your diapers, so I chose the soaking method for all my covers.  I filled the laundry sink with hot water and added probably about a teaspoon of blue Dawn and swished it around.  I let them soak for about 2 hours, then rang out everything and rinsed them in cold water and rang them out again.   Then I threw all of the boiled inserts and covers into the wash and put them through two cold rinse cycles.  And that's it.  The whole process took about 2 1/2 hours.  I didn't use detergent on them after they had boiled and soaked because they started out clean.  They're not quite dry yet, but when I took them out of the washing machine, they had no smell whatsoever!  So, now I feel like I'm getting a fresh start.  I hopefully won't have to strip them for a while (I've heard about every 3 months is common), and when I do, I will just soak everything (diapers and inserts) in some of the Rockin Green detergent for a couple of hours and that will be it. 

Boiling the inserts

Diaper covers soaking

So, now that I've probably bored you to tears, I will leave you with this...

  We're just lucky I guess ;}

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Baby Post- Week 36

 Here we are...month 9!  And let me tell you, I'm feeling every day that has passed. *whew*  This pregnancy has been so much more uncomfortable.  I'm pretty much constantly in's hard to walk (well, waddle), go up and down stairs, get in and out of bed or the car...yeah, all the time really.  The heartburn isn't very fun (although I had that with Cam, too).  I've been having Braxton Hicks contractions for about two weeks now.  They're basically "practice" contractions, preparing me and you for the real deal!  They're painless, but I feel a lot of pressure and my stomach gets really hard for a minute or makes it hard to move when I have one.  But I know you will be worth all of it!

So, feel free to come any day now, Baby Jude.  Mama's ready for you!!  You have a fully functional nursery, a carseat that has been installed and is ready to bring you home (complete with a super cozy cover from Carseat Canopy!), my bags are packed, and Grandma's on stand-by!  No seriously...any time :}

Here's what the carseat cover looks like

I've definitely been nesting for the past month or so, somewhat out of necessity, but luckily a surge of energy hit me about two days ago...I haven't even had a nap!  I've gotten all of my Christmas shopping done and everything wrapped, and our little basement apartment is clean and organized. Did I mention I'm super ready for you to get here? 

36 Weeks
Not too much else to going on right now.  I have a doctor's checkup this afternoon, so maybe I'll have an update to report!  In the meantime, here's a pic of Mommy and Big Brother (who needs a hair cut) :}
See you soon sweet boy!!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

The Cloth Diaper Chronicles: The Big Box of Fluff

Well, Black Friday strikes again this year., an online cloth diaper retailer, was having an awesome sale!  For $80 I got a set of 5 BumGenius brand pocket style diapers (including 5 newborn inserts, 6 regular inserts, 1 small wet bag and 3 cloth wipes)...but wait, there's more!  They were also doing a deal where if you spent over $79 you got a free gift: 1 Rump-a-rooz One Size (OS) pocket diaper, including newborn and regular inserts, 1 DiaperRite OS pocket diaper, also including both inserts, 1 small DiaperRite wetbag, and a $10 gift card to use on their website!  Who could pass that up?!  For a little perspective, for about $10 more ($90) I could get a supply of Cam's size Huggies diapers that would last roughly a month and a half...maybe close to two months.  These 7 diapers will last until Jude is potty trained!  That makes me happy :}
Here's the stash:

So, now I have 10 diapers in my rotation. 6 BumGenius 4.0 pockets with velcro tabs, 1 DiaperRite OS with snaps, 1 Rump-a-rooz OS with velcro, 1 BumWear (used- not sure what size) with snaps, and 1 EconoBum OS diaper cover (used).  I also still have two gDiapers, but I've decided they're now too small for Cam...they leave red marks, so I'll save those for Jude.  And I still have about 5 more diapers worth of inserts that were included in the stuff I bought used.  I'm still deciding what brand of covers or pockets to try out for those.  I really need to add more to my stash soon, but right now I'm doing ok with washing about every other day.  Still using disposables at night though.
Here's what I think of the brands I got from Diaper Junction:
Easy to use
Not super bulky
Reasonably absorbent inserts
Good fit
Inserts are the fastest drying of any I have
Inserts have held up very well in the wash
One leak so far, but I probably should have changed it sooner
Don't like the small wetbag- I have trouble getting it closed all the way
No other complaints really
Easy to use
Not super bulky
The wetbag has a zipper which is great for keeping in the diaper bag
Slightly less absorbent than BumGenius
Not real happy with the way the inserts have held up in the wash (still absorbent, but tattered looking around the edges)
One leak
It fits a little high on Cam (comes too far up on his waist)- smaller setting is too small
Easy to use
Super absorbent inserts and diaper (inserts get very wet, but the diaper itself feels almost dry- I think it's made of fleece...great for naptime and maybe overnight if I get brave enough to try that again!)
Very bulky
Same issue with the inserts holding up in the wash- tattered around the edges
I'd definitely order more BumGenius and Rump-a-rooz.  I'm not completely sold on DiaperRite; it just seems kind of middle of the road quality, but I looked and it is one of the less expensive brands.  I still want to try FuzziBuns, Kawaii, Thirsties, and least I still have that $10 gift card!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Toddler Post- Month 14

So, I realized that I've posted a good bit about the baby and about the ugly "D" word, but I haven't really given any updates on my sweet Cameron lately!  He's 14 months old and here's a little look at what he's been up to.

Hey guys, I think I found the perfect tree!

*sigh* He's not really talking yet...I was hoping Josh would get to hear him at least say Dada before he left, but no such luck :/  He is getting there though...he's so close!  When asked what a doggie says, he makes a high pitched humming sound ("hmm hmm hmm!"), and when asked what a cow says, he goes "booooooo" :}  And when he puts the phone to his ear he'll say his own version of hello...usually something like "a-oh" or "he-go" or "uh-o."  And, of course, he has his own baby language...his favorite word is "day-ga" and his conversations with himself usually revolve around it.
Pretty cute stuff!  Even though he's not really using words, he can understand them very well.  He will go throw something in the trash if I ask him to (sometimes he'll even leave it there :} ), he will give hugs and kisses and high fives when asked, and he knows where his belly button and mine are and likes to look at them frequently.  He knows baby brother lives in my tummy and will lay his head down on my stomach and "love" him :}  Even though I'm pretty sure he doesn't know what a "baby brother" is, it's really sweet! 

He mainly uses signs to communicate with us- he can do signs for more, all done, milk, eat, night night, and please (sometimes!)...even though it's not words, signing has made communication much much easier!

Right now, he's sleeping in the pack n' play.  Crazy, I know.  When we moved to Georgia, he and I got here before Josh, who had the crib.  So in those couple of transitional days, all we had was the pack n' play, and he slept all night!  After Josh got here we put up the crib and for two or three nights; it was back to getting up two or three times :{  So back in the pack n' play he went, and let me tell you how wonderful it's been since then!!  We've only had a few nights that required getting up, usually only once, but other than that, he's sleeping beautifully (and if any of you know Cam, you know what a blessing that is!).  And, of course, I'm saying all this while knocking on wood ;}  I have no idea what the difference is, but it's working, and why mess with a good thing?!

He's eating pretty well...his favorite foods right now are green beans and macaroni and cheese.  He went through a phase of not eating a whole lot about a month ago, but I think that was because of his teeth.  He's got seven teeth (four on top, three on bottom), and one top molar has partially come in.  Two bottom molars are working their way up as we speak!  He's been pretty calm about it though...mostly just chewing on his fingers a lot.

As far as motor skills go, he is walking backwards and on tiptoe (not at the same time!), and running pretty well.  He can easily dip a french fry into a small cup of ketchup (another one of his favorite foods!), and he's learning to stack things (i.e. make towers). 

His one vice is the bottle.  He's addicted...he still has to have one to go to sleep.  So he gets one bottle of milk for his morning nap, one bottle of water for his afternoon nap, and another of milk before bedtime.  The rest of the day he drinks water or juice from a sippy.  I know he's old enough to get rid of the bottle, but it makes him sleep so much better.  I've tried taking it away and making him fall asleep on his own, but he just doesn't sleep as well or as long :/  I know it's a really bad sleeping habit...but he won't need it forever!

That's all I can think of for now, other than he's loving being here with Grandma and Grandaddy and Great Grandma!  I know he misses his Dada, though.  His face lights up when he hears his voice or sees a picture of him :}  He's got such a sweet and energetic personality!  And he's pretty darn cute if you ask me!