[around the house]

The last few days I have been busy working around the house.
I had been holding myself a pity party and decided to take a good friend's advice and just build a bridge and get over it.
That starts with making my house a cleaner, more comfortable place to live.

So today I have been keeping busy. First, I cleaned my fridge. It was so disgusting that I won't bother to show you the before pic. Just embarrassing.

Please ignore the very bottom down there. I still need to clean that part.
Here is a closer look:

Lunchtime! Peanut butter and jelly sandwich with a craisin face, wheat crackers and veggie chips on the side. He is having one of his eat every 15 minutes days so he had just eaten yogurt and turkey right before this.

After that I had some bananas that were getting dark so it was banana muffin time!
Love these muffins, they have never done me wrong.

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour (I use unbleached, you can use whatever. Wheat might even work as well.)
3/4 cup sugar [I'm so hardcore using regular old sugar! ;)]
3 bananas (I used 2 this time because it's what I had on hand)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup melted butter
1 egg

Makes about 12 large muffins.
Preheat oven to 350.
Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
In separate bowl combine bananas, sugar, egg, and melted butter. Sometimes I also add a hint of vanilla extract. Mix until it is as lumpy as you'd like. The more overripe your bananas, the creamier the texture.
Fold in flour mixture until well blended.
Pour into greased muffin pan or cupcake liners.
Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes.

By the way, I tried to take pics of the muffins baked, but they were all eaten before I had the chance. Oops.


[another crafty day]

I felt inspired to fix one of Rowan's wool soakers today.
I bought it for $10 and when I got it realized it was stretched out BIG time.
Here is a comparison of a normal sized s/m Luxe soaker and this super stretched one.

And here is what it looked like before altering it to fit Rowan:

The leg holes were humongous and would probably never have fit her properly.

Here it is after:

Fits her great in the legs so no worries about leaks.

And the bum!

Elephant applique made with upcycled wool sweater.

I also made a cute wool soaker with the same sweater earlier this week.
I actually made a pair of pants too but I don't have a pic of those yet.

This one is nothing special but it does the job!
I spent maybe $4 for the sweater a year ago and got a soaker, a pair of pants and probably enough left to make a smaller soaker to possibly sell. The Luxe cover cost me $10. So I paid $14 for 2+ soakers and a pair of pants. Not too shabby!


[taking it easy]

It's pretty easy going over here these days.
Watching my baby girl is more of a relaxed, joyful process than it was with my son.
When Ethan was 3 1/2 months old I got excited to try and feed him rice cereal.
Yeah, disastrous idea. He had no interest whatsoever in eating it, and didn't even take much pride in playing with it.
Now Rowan will be 6 months old in less than a week and this week I have started giving her tastes of foods from my plate.
I really wanted to try baby led weaning this time around, not to up my crunch factor but because I am really, really lazy at heart. I have no desire to make her separate meals and go through the whole baby food making process. (Though this could change at any time and I will be eating my words. LOL.)
So the other night we had tacos and I put some of the avocado in a little bowl and pumped a tiny bit of milk to mix in it to make it a little easier on her. My first attempt was just giving her straight smooshed avocado but I think it was a little too thick because she gagged on it and got frustrated. Oops!

By the way, this little girl? She will not let me feed her. She has to hold the spoon herself or she gets pissed, quick. I really need to invest in a mesh feeder for her.

I am kind of trying to be casual about this food business. She still nurses, a lot. She is by no means having meals yet. Some days I am not giving her any solids at all. She doesn't seem bothered by it.


[quest to cloth diaper for free]

I know you are skeptical.
I have talked in the past of how to diaper on a budget.
This isn't hard to do with amateur sewing skills. You can use kitchen towels as flats, receiving blankets (most people get plenty as shower gifts) as flats (and/or cloth wipes!), and you can use recycled wool or cheap fleece to sew your own covers.
You could easily make an entire stash from birth to potty training with these materials for about $50.

My goal is to diaper using the more mainstream diapers (think BumGenius, Fuzzibunz, and even knitted wool!) for free. If I can reach that goal, I will even try to profit off of cloth diapering my daughter.

I have thought about a lot of scenarios here.
Most of the time when people compare the cost savings of using cloth to the cost of using disposables they include the retail price of name brand disposables and wipes, or even factor in the cost of Diaper Genies.
Honestly, I don't even know anyone that uses a Diaper Genie.
Most of my friends who use disposables (including myself, for my still not night time trained three year old) use the cheapest brands possible and the cheapest disposables wipes possible.
So using these cheaper brands would cost far, far less than diapering a kid from birth to potty training using Huggies or Pampers.

Well what about buying used cloth diapers, or even seconds? I have done so and will do so in the future. Buying gently used or repairable diapers for almost free has helped me tremendously when it comes to building a diaper stash for our little one. I LOVE fluff as much as the next cloth diaperer but I'm uninterested in trendy diapers. Just give me something that contains the runny poo and looks a little cute and we're good. :)

Here is a summary of what is in our stash. Please keep in mind when I total the costs up I am including the price of selling what has been outgrown and also factoring in the price of shipping to the buyer. I have not yet calculated the cost of laundering the diapers but I plan on doing so soon.

As of yesterday, I have spent about $40 on Rowan's cloth diaper stash.
These diapers could carry her through potty training!
That would be impressive by any means but it is particularly impressive when you take into account how many diapers we have. I am not including the diapers leftover from my son because those haven't been included in the cost of her stash.

We have:

30+ pockets/all in ones. (includes BG, Tots Bots, FuzziBunz, Blueberry, Grovia and more!)

44 prefolds/flats. (includes Imagine pfs, Bummis pfs, econobum prefolds and various no name pfs.)

16+ fitteds (includes Bumstoppers, Pianissimo Cloth, and way more.)

9+ PUL covers (includes Blueberry coveralls, Grovia shells, Weehuggers and misc. covers)

4+ Wool soakers/shorties/longies

4 or so fleece soakers

And then we also have a bunch of accessories like cloth wipes, diaper pail liners, wetbags, snappis, pins, and rash cream.

So how did I score so much of this for free?
I just make sure I do my research when buying something.
I have found fantastic local deals. I have gotten free prefolds off of freecycle and a generous person also gave me a lot of her used diapers for free (which I in turn gave a bunch away to my friends in need).
Keep an eye on your local freecycle and craigslist. Often times you can find great condition cloth diapers for free or very cheap.

A lot of the free items I've scored really just have to do with being in the right place at the right time. Don't just settle for retail prices. If you are doing your diaper shopping primarily online, look around at different stores and even Amazon. I bought a great $25 diaper there for about $13 shipped. First quality, looks and works great.
If you use swagbucks or other survey/search sites for amazon giftcards this is a really easy way to build up your stash for free or cheap. At least 8 of our diapers have come from Amazon for free or as much as $5 out of pocket after using giftcards.

One of my luckiest deals was finding 1 Grovia Shell, 1 Grovia AIO, 1 FuzziBunz One Size, and 3 Grovia soaker pads - ALL NEW - for less than $10 total at a local consignment shop.
I don't live in a super crunchy town so this was a huge deal! If you keep your eye out you can find great deals like this too!


[rainy day crafts]

It actually rained last weekend!
As exciting as it was to finally get some relief from the constant heat and dryness, I started to get a little cabin fever.

So spur of the moment I decided to use some velour yardage I had been hoarding to make a baby blanket for Rowan.
I had just picked up a huge box full of fabric scraps a couple of days before from the free section of craigslist and was itching to use some of them.

Situated everything... this was a very rough draft, obviously.

And the finished product with my handsome model.

I think it came out pretty cute! Ethan likes it. Rowan doesn't have an opinion of course, because she's only 4 months old.
What do you think?



Fitteds are what I think of as the "fancy" diapers of the cloth diapering market.
They tend to be made of the highest quality materials and have the cutest prints.
This is why they are so sought after.

I love fitteds for the reasons above. I love that they are highly absorbent and super easy to use.
I especially love that they are so adorable.

I know a lot of people don't "get" fitteds, since you do usually cover them up.
That is one of the drawbacks to them. They also tend to be on the more expensive side, so if you are cloth diapering to save money, using them isn't going to be your best option.

One of my favorite brands of fitteds is Bumstoppers.

This is a One Size fitted from Bumstoppers. I love how vibrant this print is.
When I got this sucker in the mail all I could do is press it up to my cheek and relish in the sweet, decadent squishiness.

Rowan is wearing her Bumstoppers on the middle snap setting. She is about 16.8 lbs in this picture.

Working with Becky is wonderful. She frequently does custom orders and is so helpful in ensuring you get exactly what you're looking for.
(P.S. for all you AI2 lovers - she makes those too!)



I heart prefolds so much.
They launder really well. They're durable. If you buy bleached you can soil to your heart's content and then bleach them when you want them looking their whitest again (or try sunning them!).
We have over 2 dozen prefolds that Rowan wears every now and then. I have a pretty large stash so admittedly we don't use them as often as the pockets, but I love my prefolds.

Currently Rowan is about 16 lbs and almost 4 months old.
She is outgrowing her clothes and diapers like crazy now.
In her "currently fitting" prefold stash we have Bummis Organic Cotton Infant prefolds (7-20ish pounds) and Medium (Yellow edge) Smart Fit Imagine Prefolds (12-25 lbs).

Bummis infant prefold on top of an Imagine medium prefold.

Rowan barely fits in her Bummis infant prefolds now that she is 16 lbs. I could see these fitting her snappied for maybe a pound more, but not longer than that. Trifolded, though, I think they might work until 20 lbs. The problem with that is she is going to outgrow her small covers soon and in a medium cover there would be less coverage.
I used these since she was about 11 pounds. They are super soft after prepping and fit beautifully in various small covers. The best deal is to buy a Bummis Diaper Kit and get a bundle of prefolds, covers and a fantastic wetbag for less than $170. Then sell all of those and size up when needed! You know me though, and I probably wouldn't personally drop that much money on a small stash, but I'm cheap like that. For people with some common sense it is a great buy, though, because the covers and prefolds are of great quality.

Rowan in a Bummis infant sized prefold, snappied. She is 16 lbs here.

The Imagine prefolds we have (medium size) I anticipate will fit us for many months to come. They are wider than most prefolds so they will be a lot easier to snappi, a problem I ran into with Chinese prefolds for sure and even GMD prefolds after a while.

Rowan in a medium Imagine prefold from Nicki's Diapers.

There are a variety of covers that I love and recommend for the "infant" stage but the ones I most often use are my small Bummis covers and my small Thirsties cover.
I can use both my Imagine prefolds and my Bummis prefolds, either snappied or trifolded, in either of these covers.

Bummis infant prefold trifolded in a small Bummis Super Whisper Wrap.

Bummis infant prefold trifolded in a small Thirsties cover.

The Imagine yellow edges can also fit in the same covers! The fit would be a little bulkier, though. Just to show that if you only have larger prefolds to work with you CAN fit them trifolded in a smaller cover.

Imagine medium (yellow) prefold trifolded in a small Bummis cover.

Medium Imagine prefold trifolded in a small Thirsties cover.


[thoughts on vaginal birth...]

Just wondering out loud here...
Why is there so much emphasis on vaginal birth?
Why are VBACs so lauded?
I can only see one reason: you feel like you weren't "in control" of your c-section and you want to take that control back.
Am I right? And not only are you supposed to desire a VBAC instead of a repeat cesarean, but it better damn well be unmedicated.
Epidurals are not shown to be harmful to the baby. They relieve you of your excruciating pain.
You can still get up and feel back to normal after pushing your baby out, you just have to wait a couple of hours for the numbness to wear off. It isn't like you will be doing much walking around after having an unmedicated birth, anyways. I know all I wanted to do after having my kids was lay in one place, maybe eat a little, nap a little, and nurse them. None of that required getting up.
I often hear that the recovery is easier for a vaginal birth. I was up and moving around normally less than a day after my c-sections. I felt great, my incision wasn't even very sore but I did have pretty bad gas pains. I hardly bled at all after having my daughter.
I hear from a lot of friends that they tore really badly or have pelvic pain months after their vaginal births. It doesn't exactly seem like a walk in the park.

Yes, it would have been nice to have my babies placed immediately on my chest.
It would have been great for my husband to have cut the cord. I did want those things, but it wasn't the end of the world that I didn't get them. They just weren't that important in the scheme of things. I don't know if I just take things in stride more than others or if I just don't "get it".



I've known about flats for a long time. I know they are typically what you think of when you think of cloth diapering "back in the day". I've always wanted to try them out but never wanted to spend the money on actual flats, lest I hate them, and I didn't have any receiving blankets leftover from my son's newborn days.
Luckily I was given a bunch of blankets from various people for my daughter.

Here is what I love about flats:
they're versatile.
easy to wash/dry.
fit a large range of sizes.
fairly absorbent if you add a little booster.
can come in cute prints.
pins well.
can be padfolded and laid in a cover if you aren't into pins or snappis.
easy to find things around the house to use as a flat.
the poo pocket - no EBF poo blowouts!

Here is what I don't like:
can be difficult to snappi (at least my blankets are).
sucks absorbency wise unless you add a booster of some sort. not a problem if you want to change very often (ie every little pee).
can be a pain to fold with a wiggly baby. wasn't a problem for me, though. just fold it before you bring your baby to the changing table if it's an issue.

Here's my stash of receiving blanket flats:

Nice and girly. :)

Here is the fold I used most often (in other words, the only one that worked, LOL).

Lay baby on top of that and pull middle up, pull sides in and pin or snappi.

This is my three year old wearing a flat:

I got him to cooperate by letting him photograph me while I took pics of him. :)

It looks a little messy because I'm a total flat newbie! I'm still trying to get the perfect fit and absorbency!
Here is my three month old with a pinned flat on, same fold. Don't mind the blurry pic, she won't ever stay still!

I'm really liking flats thus far. If they were super absorbent I would love them even more.
Maybe if I used ACTUAL flats made for diapering they would work a little better. ;)



I have been going back and forth trying to decide what exactly to do with this blog.
Do I just blog cloth diapers? Insert my opinion?
And I've decided this can be a personal AND cloth diapering blog.
Most cloth diapering blogs are uber-crunchy, bordering on obsessed with being "natural".
I know you are laughing because of the title of this blog.
It used to be exactly that, you are right. But no longer.

Here is what I'm not: Lactivist. Intactivist. Anti-Vaxer. Raw milk drinker. Chiropractor user. Homebirther. Vaginal birther. Homeschooler. Organic food eater.

Here is what I am: Breastfeeder. I breastfeed my daughter. I'll do so until one of us throws in the towel. It's just that matter of fact. It is a lovely bonding experience sometimes. Sometimes it fucking sucks. I'm not going to lie to you and tell you I love it. I don't think I'm better than you because of it.
A proud vaccinating mother. Don't let anti-science people scare you with their propaganda. Vaccinate your damn kids. :) My son wasn't vaccinated at all until he was almost three. I came to my senses and vaccinated my daughter from birth. Trust me, been there done that with the whole no vax thing.
C-Section lover. Loved my certified nurse midwives and loved the OB who performed the totally elective c-section at my daughter's birth. Love the hospital and the wonderful caring staff there. "Birth experience" means shit here. But for the record, I had lovely birth experiences. (BTW Love love this blog post about c-sections, check it out: http://itsabeautifulwreck.com/2010/01/cesarean-goddess-speaks-my-vagina-is/)

This is why I don't fit in anymore.
How very funny that when you "come out" about changing everyone turns their back on you.
I've toyed with this a lot in my head.
I had to walk away from a part of my life because I couldn't in good conscience keep smiling and nodding while I am screaming in disagreement on the inside.
I still watch from a distance. A part of me wants to call them up and hang out, because I MISS people. I miss bonding with other women. I just can't shake feeling ostracized so I am bowing out quietly.


[cloth diapering to save money]

I am SO excited to share my experience cloth diapering my kids!
With my son I tried almost everything out there.
I spent a lot of money buying everything I wanted for full retail price.
Now I know better! I will get into everything in more detail in future posts but here is how I have spent less than $70 cloth diapering my daughter so far.
If I had gone with disposable store brand diapers for her I would have already spent over $100 just on diapers alone (not counting wipes or other accessories)!

Amazon.com - I use the Amazon gift cards I earn from Swagbucks and survey websites to buy diapers! This is the best way to get free diapers if you are a stay at home or work from home parent with full access to a computer. I get at least 5-10 dollars in Amazon giftcards from Swagbucks alone each month.

Diaperswappers.com - A great site to buy/sell/trade cloth diapers and other goodies. It is very easy to bargain with people here and if you can work out a trade, even better! It is best to always ask for very detailed pictures and descriptions before going ahead with a transaction, though. While the transactions that work out are superb, the ones that don't are very discouraging.

Fixer-Uppers - If you have even beginner sewing skills you can pick up some diapers with shot elastic or bad velcro and fix them up like new! Replacing elastic is fairly easy in most diapers and velcro is also easily replaced with new velcro or snaps. I have bought plenty of diapers at $5 a piece or less (or FREE!) and fixed them up so they worked great.

Get creative - Receiving blankets make excellent flats, prefolds can be boosted with a wash cloth or microfiber insert, washcloths can be used as flats on a tiny newborn. You can pick up wool sweaters from Goodwill or other thrift stores/garage sales (or your own closet even) and turn them into wool soakers! You could easily make an entire stash out of recycled wool and receiving blanket flats if you wanted to.

I will be sharing pictures and helpful hints soon!


Things have changed!

It has been quite a while since I've written anything!
I would really like to start writing more, though, if only for myself and to remember all of the stages and phases my kids and my family go through.
It is amazing how quickly things have changed in just one short year.

Here is a quick breakdown of where everyone is at right now.

Still slightly crunchy. I never thought I'd backtrack on anything natural unless I got lazy but I have found myself doing just that. We still cloth diaper, I still intend on breastfeeding my daughter due in May. But I've also grown up a little and gotten more into science. I think being an atheist and a natural skeptic of sorts, this was the inevitable path I would walk down. I don't believe in not vaccinating any more. This little girl (pointing to belly) will be fully vaxed, and on time. I don't see a point in following an alternate schedule at all.
I was planning a birth center birth for her before she was even conceived. I have now concluded that out of hospital birth is way too much of a risk for me to take. I don't desire an "empowering" birth experience, I don't even desire a "natural" (drug free) birth. I am very much looking forward to my epidural, thankyouverymuch. And I will not be devastated if I have another c-section. People look at me like I've lost it when I tell them this. But it is just simply how I feel.
Anyways I feel like this alienates me a bit from my natural parenting friends. I don't have many friends to begin with so to think that some people might decide they're better off without me does disappoint me a little.

He is doing great! Talking up a storm, being absolutely goofy. He is a great helper around the house. He is almost completely day time potty trained now. He goes naked all day and uses the potty when he feels the urge. Right now we are only using diapers at naptimes and bedtime. I am so proud of my little man.