Tag: shopping

Diapers, diapers, diapers!

Now that’s a charming title, right?

Diapers are a reality of living with babies. Well, I suppose unless you’re a proponent of Elimination Communication. (It’s a thing. Go look it up.) I’m pretty sure I couldn’t make that system work for me or our baby’s caregivers, so we’re sticking with diapers. For all of our kids, we’ve done a hybrid of cloth and disposable diapers. I get a lot of questions about why and how and what and what does this mean, so here’s my cloth diaper brain dump!

Cloth Diaper Brain Dump

Cloth diapers save us money in the monthly expenses of diapers, particularly since we live in a warm and sunny climate that doesn’t require additional dryer time. More on that later. Cloth also saves some landfill fodder, which is always good! Our use of cloth has slightly diminished with each child, partly due to time constraints. The biggest constraint, though, is who’s taking care of the baby. No, this isn’t a Daddy vs. Mommy thing … this is just the reality of Will’s business picking up and our younger kids being in preschool/Parents’ Day Out earlier than the older two were. I still love cloth diapers and plan to use them as much as possible with our new baby, too.

Jude @ Tiny
Newish Jude in a newborn Fuzzi Bunz

There are a LOT of different types of cloth diapers. I primarily use pocket diapers with snaps. They’re my favorites because you can wash them and dry them within a day, usually. All in one diapers are like pockets but don’t come apart, which means they take longer to dry. Some people get icked out by removing the insert from pocket diapers, but I see so much gross stuff as a mom anyway that this really isn’t that different! Some people use internal liners to make waste removal into the toilet (once they start eating solids) easier … I just felt like that was more $$ and trash in the landfill. (Even if it’s biodegradable.) I like snaps over velcro (also called aplix on diaper sites) because velcro wears out and kids can undo velcro! They also make diaper sprayers that connect to your toilet’s water line so you can spray solid waste directly into the toilet. THAT is tempting.

I used Fuzzi Bunz perfect size with Seth and Nora. Over the 4.5 years since I bought them (and used for 3 years!), the elastic wore out and needed to be replaced. I didn’t have time or patience to do that, so I switched to a few Rumparooz (which I love!) and BumGenius 4.0. There’s a a local boutique that I use for a lot of the more crunch-mama type things (non-lanolin nipple ointment, healing sprays and ointments for after birth, nursing bras, baby wraps/carriers, diapers) called Nurtured Family. It’s “local” to us … it’s northwest Houston, so still a good 45 – 60 minutes away from me. They are awesome. (Side note: They’ll also do nursing bra fittings for you, free classes on cloth diapering and baby wearing, and they’re great about swapping stuff out.) I got my Fuzzi Bunz there but to be very honest, I got my BG 4.0 at Buy Buy Baby, one at a time, with my periodic 20% off coupon. Then Nurtured Family had a big sale on the bulk order of diapers – Buy 5, get 1 free – and that was how I finished out my stash.

I think we have about 14-15 diapers, and that’ll usually get us through a day and a half while we do laundry. That’s during the early baby stages of lots of peeing and pooping, of course. Once they start on solid food and their systems shift to pooping less frequently (again, the Glamour of Parenting), you don’t have nearly as many. You could let them sit for a while in the wet pail while you build up a bigger load of laundry, but the stink always drives us to wash earlier than I’d like. That’s also because by the older age my kids are at preschool the majority of the time.

Jude napping in BumGenius
Jude napping in BumGenius

I’ve sent my kids to preschool in cloth diapers, and our caregivers were very accommodating. Even the best of intentions can sometimes lead to mistakes – parental or caregiver – like using diaper creams with the cloth diapers. Most creams will harm the absorbency of the diaper, so most of the time I default to disposable for during the day at preschool. I also tend to use disposable diapers once baby is sleeping longer at night, too. My kids all seem to be heavy wetters at night, and even double inserts can’t contain them sometimes.

The biggest “hardships” about cloth diapers are that most of the time you use a special detergent that won’t cause build-up. It lasts forever, though, because you’re only using it on diapers! I use the Rockin Green detergent. Never ever use fabric softener with your diapers! If you use liquid fabric softener on your other loads of laundry, you may want to think about switching to dryer sheets (or white vinegar) or doing a few loads without before you do your diapers. We found that the liquid fabric softener tended to leave a residue in the washer that would build up on our diapers. **Note: I’ve seen some sites start to recommend various Free & Clear detergents. Always check your diaper manufacturer’s recommendations. Those do NOT work well for my water hardness and diaper type.

We only line-dry our diapers (to save electricity and avoid softener build-up in the dryer), which is easy here in Houston. We put them on a sturdy drying rack or clothesline outside. They dry fairly quickly, and we have the advantage of the sun bleaching out the unattractive stains. 🙂 (It’s magic … try it on other stained clothing. Get it wet, dry it in the sun, and a lot of the stains will disappear.)

Prepping Fuzzi Bunz for Baby
Prepping Fuzzi Bunz for Baby

Another challenge of cloth diapers is the bulk of carrying them around. It’s not really that bad, though. I’ve also found that the Skip Hop Duo diaper bag has been great at carrying cloth diapers and all my other baby stuff around. It’s like a Mary Poppins bag, but it’s not enormously bulky! You also need some sort of bag to put wet diapers in. I’ve attached one of those dog poop baggie dispensers to put any sort of soiled diaper or clothing in. We also keep a gallon-sized ziploc in the diaper bag for soiled diapers.

So … there’s my brain dump! 🙂 Here’s a good link for learning some of the terminology. There’s a whole wide world of obsession out there …

Did you or will you cloth diaper? Which disposables are your favorites? I’m a Pampers Swaddlers fan, myself.

Stitch Fix #1 – Jumping that bandwagon

Yes, I jumped on the StitchFix bandwagon! After seeing a couple of people say they used StitchFix, I decided I needed help re-igniting my wardrobe. I’ve been in a six-year cycle of size ups and downs because of pregnancy, breastfeeding, and varying levels of activity, so I haven’t invested heavily in my wardrobe. Honestly, my maternity wardrobe was better than my standard wardrobe, especially this last time around. Loaned clothes and consignment shops were wonderful things.

So I signed up for StitchFix. Monthly stylist, mailed to your house, send back what you don’t like in a postage-paid envelope. Since my next fix is due this week, I thought I was probably overdue for the blog report on the first fix!

My style profile falls somewhere between classic and preppy, occasional touches of romantic and possibly tame boho, but don’t you dare go glam on me. I have plenty of t-shirts and casual wear, so I really wanted to focus on things I could wear to work that might also make me look less casual on the weekends.

Unlike lots of StitchFix blog reviews with cute pictures and stylish shots, you get quickie shots with the iPhone because I needed to pack it all up and send it back. Well, not all of it.

One thing I forgot to mention or didn’t think of mentioning: I hate a lot of colorblock. It’s too severe on me. I’m a lumpy curvy girl and straight colorblock lines don’t always work. So I hated this shirt. Another thing I forgot to mention: skinny pants on a short, curvy, lumpy girl don’t always work either. They were too long, too clingy, and didn’t help in a Stacy and Clinton sort of way. The necklace in this picture is my third item, and it was just boring to me. I can do boring. I need color and fun in accessories. So 3 out of 5, back to sender.

SF1: Colorblock Shirt

Item 4, this striped shirt with a metal bib. I actually loved this shirt. The fabric was wonderful, it felt good, and it even managed to cling and not cling appropriately. What I didn’t like: the metal bib. Hated it, actually. I tried to be open-minded and obviously failed. I reluctantly bundled that one back too.

SF1: Metal Bib Striped Shirt

Item 5: the Pomelo tie-front polka dot shirt. Finally! This was exactly along the lines of what I wanted from SF: a little whimsical and fun, more effort than a t-shirt but still casual, but something I could wear to work on a summer day or with a black skirt and be happy. Keeper! But not with those skinny pants.

SF1: Pomelo Polka Dot Tie-Front Shirt

As a matter of fact, I wore that polka dot shirt the next weekend in a family picture. I love it. Ignore my children glaring off into the distance. We did get some better shots of them.

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I like the process, I like the feedback opportunities, and I definitely like getting more ideas than my usual Target run or the Pinterest Impossibles. Hopefully this month’s fix will be a little more on target …

(Yes, I also have a referral link that gives me credit if you sign up through it. Use it if you like!)

My First WDW Marathon Weekend: Expo!

I came, I picked up, I shopped (sorry Will), and I got soaked.

Blurry picture of the huge vendor hall … it was great! I had a lot of fun browsing through the various booths and options. I may have had too much fun … I have a Raw Threads Minnie Mouse shirt to commemorate my first 10K, Yurbuds that I’ve been eyeing for a while, a visor from One More Mile that asks people to drag me across the finish line if they find me on the ground … oh, and some more sparkly hair ties from Bondi Bands. And a sparkle skirt. Oh well … at least I have my outfit for the Galveston Half next month!

20140110-025649.jpgThere was the requisite Minnie Mouse picture to get ready for the 10K the next day … Since Jude loves the Hot Dog dance so much (from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse), I had to try Minnie’s moves for my picture.
20140110-025710.jpgThen the heavens opened and the rain fell down. Seriously, it just started pouring like anything while we were in the Expo! The parking lot turned into a mud pit, leading us to joke that this was Disney’s first mud run. So I decided that we’d call it the Merida Challenge in honor of Disney’s own warrior/obstacle course/mud run. Ha.

 

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The Expo was tons of fun, and I didn’t even hit every possible booth! Believe it or not, I restrained myself. Too many things, too little money. Or too much budget restraint, take your pick!