Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Cloth diapering

    Recently, I was in line at Babys R Us and a young couple, obviously expecting a child, was checking out in front of me.  They had a tower of disposable diapers in their cart, and their total came to well over $300!  A small part of me wanted to scream at them, "you should look into cloth!  You could nearly diaper your child from birth to potty training with that much money!"  So that price is a small exageration, but it really does ring true!  You can diaper your baby from birth through potty training for a fraction of the cost of disposables!  If for no other reason, you should look into it!  Help me spread the word!  Everyone knows someone who has a baby!  For me, it has become a small obsession to shop for, research, and spread the good word about cloth diapering.  But I have to be honest, it wasn't always this way for me.  I used disposable diapers for Lilly and never batted an eye.  Even when battling rashes that were obviously caused by a particular brand of diaper, I never even considered cloth.  Why?  Because I was uninformed.  I am convinced if two things changed, everyone (or nearly everyone) would be using modern cloth diapers.  1)  Information.  If people were informed about the whats, why's and hows of cloth, everyone would choose cloth over disposable.  and  2) Accessibility.  A friend offered to let me borrow a few cloth diapers and try them out, which convinced me to get some of my own.  And for the most part, cloth is only purchasable online.  This makes it difficult to convince someone to try it because its hard to think of making an investment without trying it out in person first.
There are so many reasons why I love cloth, and I think at least one of each of those reasons can speak to every mom.  They are environmentally friendly, cost effective, better for baby and stinkin' adorable (pun intended)!  For me, cost was a huge plus.  I started cloth diapering Ryley at 14 months old and my diapers still paid for themselves in about 5 months time.  She still uses cloth at night, and occasionally during naps, so it has been a huge savings for us.  Now, I have a stash of cloth diapers ready to go for baby #3!  I won't lie, I will probably buy a few new diapers after we find out the sex of the baby, but I know I will be saving a ton in money and for mother earth.  I know lots of moms are skeptical about cloth, and I was too, but it has been one of the best choices and changes I have made as a parent.  I would LOVE to answer anyone's questions about switching to cloth, and remember, its not too late even if you don't have a small baby! 

   Here are some cool links to check out with more info about cloth.  This first link is a blog post about the cost savings of cloth diapering.


This is a three part series put together by my friend Krista at The Playdate Crashers.  It REALLY breaks down some of the questions, concerns, costs, etc about cloth!  Krista was the "friend" I mentioned earlier in the post that let me borrow a few cloth diapers to give it a try!  I will always be thankful to her for that!


This blog is titled "Why I went cloth, and you can too!"  Very relatable!


  Now for some pictures!  Here are some adorable shots of my Ryley bug in her prized diapers! 

(Raspberry Knickernappies pocket diaper)

(Blue Stars Kawaii pocket diaper)

And here are my baby nephews Jude to the left, Pax to the right.  Jude is modeling a gray gdiaper and Pax a brown Fuzzibunz pocket diaper.

Last but not least, my adored "stash" of diapers pretty-ing up my laundry line!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Introducing Jasmine!

Back in June, our family cat Frankie was killed by a neighbors car.  Our girls were devastated.  He was a stray cat that was so sweet and lovable! 

Lilly had been asking for a kitten for a while now, but our excuse had always been, "but we already have a cat!"  Well, now that excuse didn't hold water, and shortly after Frankie died, they started asking for a kitten.  A friend at work told us she knew someone that had kittens and was getting them all fixed, and it would be free to us!  An excellent situation!  We agreed and the girls even went out to her farm to visit and pick out a kitten.  Lilly debated back and forth the merits of naming it Ariel for a girl or Sebastian for a boy.  The kittens were still too small to come home with us, so we had to wait.  A few weeks later, my friend came to me upset.  The lady was not going to give her kittens away after all, she had decided just to keep them! :(  Lilly was devastated when I told her, she cried and cried about her long lost stripey kitten. 
Fast forward to one week ago today.  A knock on our door, a neighbor lady with a tiny stripey kitten in a carrier.  City workers found it in the sewer drain being worked on near our home.  She thought the kitten might be ours.  Lilly squealed!  "My stripey kittie!!" It wasn't ours before, but now she is!  Lilly changed her mind about the name and decided on Jasmine, and we have been calling her Jazzy!  I feel like I scold the girls constantly to put her down, Ryley especially!  But Jazzy is such a sweet smart girl, tolerant of all the handling, also she's really getting used to the dog and already filling out some!  She has been a great addition to the family!  Best part?  Since I am pregnant someone else (aka Carl) has to do the litter box cleaning!
Here our some pictures of our little addition Jasmine!
Lilly has her playing dress up already!

Curious about bathtime!  She hopped up there herself!

So cute!!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

a fun filled MOPS weekend!

  MOPS.  Are you familiar?  And no, its not a handy (mostly unused in my house) cleaning utensil.  It stands for Mothers of Preschoolers.  It has become so close to my heart.  I joined MOPS at my sister in law's urging shortly after Lilly was born.  For me, it started as a morning off to get together with other moms, eat breakfast and chit chat.  However, the more I attended MOPS meetings, the more I loved it!  What a need MOPS filled in my life.  It's so isolating sometimes to have a small child and to stay at home with it all day--and for me, especially worse because it was winter time.  I recall mourning on days when MOPS was cancelled because of inclement weather!  Slowly, I took small leadership roles in my group.  Slowly, I gleaned more and more growth from the experience, both as a mother, a women and as a Christian.  Its a Christian based organization, but our group strives to make all moms feel welcome, regardless of their beliefs or affiliations.    Eventually, I accepted the role as coordinator of the group, and now with a great team of ladies behind me, we plan and prepare our monthly meetings.  From the outside it may seem like we are just a sort of moms group who get together and hang out once a month.  But we are so much more and I am proud of that!
   This past weekend reiterated to me how big and powerful MOPS can be.  It is an International organization, with more than 4000+ groups worldwide, effecting 14.3 million moms in over 30 countries (and those are 2009 statistics)!  Last night, I returned home from a fast-paced, fun-filled weekend of fellowship at the MOPS Int. Convention in Nashville, TN.  We stayed at the Opryland Hotel and spent Thursday, Friday and Saturday at workshops, concerts, hearing speakers and worshipping the Lord.  I grew up in the Catholic Church where loud "amens" never happened.  I now attend a fairly small church and let me tell you, there is NOTHING like worshipping with 3,000 women to live Christian music!  Its a totally new experience for me and there is nothing like it!  I made new friends and cemented existing friendships.  I laughed like I haven't laughed in sometime.  We all SLEPT IN one morning-it was 9:30 am CST (which is 10:30 am my time!!)  We walked like crazy, learned so much my brain was overflowing, and was recharged spiritually to the brim!!
  MOPS may not be as earth-shattering for you as it is for me.  However, what mom can't benefit from the friendship of other moms?  I guarantee you, there is a MOPS group near you!  You can check out http://www.mops.org/ and search for a group near you!  And don't think if you are a working mom, or don't have preschoolers anymore that you are left out!  There are now groups for mothers of school-aged kids called MOMSnext and are geared specifically towards those needs.  There are also groups that meet at night, during the day, and on the weekend.  There is a group for you! 
  This years MOPS theme verse is "God doesn't want us to be shy with his gifts, but bold, loving and sensible." 2 Timothy 1:7  All the discussion this weekend revolving around this theme verse reminds me that everyone has different gifts and talents, but they all deserve to be cultivated, cherished and shared!  So I encourage everyone to get out there, find yourself a MOPS group and get to sharing already!!