Monday, February 08, 2010

A Cloth Diaper Rant

We are going on a trip tomorrow.  And by we I mean just me and the girls (I have 3 under 5).  We will be gone for a month.  I have opted to use disposable diapers while gone.  In the past I have done these trips both ways (cloth or disposable, usually disposable for sort trips and cloth for long) and really cloth isn't  that big of under taking.  But this go around there are more children, my husband can't come, and I am not well going to visit family members that are even sicker.  So we are doing disposable.  I hate disposable.  They are flimsy and leak and cause rashes.  Does it seem at all right to anyone else that food products have to list all of their ingredients but not diapers?  I mean these are chemicals that we are putting next to the most sensitive  parts of babies for 24 hours a day for something like 3 years.  Shouldn't we get to know what those chemicals are? And what chemicals are going to the landfills for that matter? And if you are advertising your product as "natural wipes" all of the ingredients you use should be pronounceable by people even if they don't have chemistry degrees.

This is the third baby I have cloth diapered.  I didn't hate disposables with the first.  In fact, if we had had more money I might have never tried cloth.  But my husband was in grad school and cloth seemed like a great way to save money.  And it was.  By my last estimate I think I have saved about $4,000 these past 5.5 years.  (More than paid for that fancy washer and dryer that are downstairs).  With each baby I have fallen more and more in love with cloth diapers.  And I have also learned with works well and what is worth spending your money on and what isn't.  I wrote a review of diapers a while back and "reviewed" a brand that I hadn't tried but really wanted to.  Unfortunately they didn't work well at all.  And they were expensive to boot.  So first piece of advice- don't buy boutique diapers.  If they are so cute you can barely stand to put clothes over them chances are they don't work very well.  Any diaper that has cotton on the outside of the water proof layer (PUL) is prone to leaking, some more than others but they all have this design flaw.  Same with diapers that take ordinary material and convert it to waterproof.  They will be fine for awhile but you will have problems later.  If you want super cute diapers find a pattern online and make them yourself.  You will have the same design problems, but at least they will have  been inexpensive.

For the newborn/small infant stage pre-folds and inexpensive covers are my favorite.  You are changing their diaper so often that you don't need a bunch of bulk for absorbency.  In fact the first few weeks I use a baby washcloth and a piece of fleece for diapers.  After that my favorite (and the ones that have stood the test of time) are Mother Ease.  I have used both their one size diapers and their All-in ones.  Both have lasted through an amazing amount of use and have proven themselves as working incredibly well.  In fact I am still using the ones I bought when my first was a newborn for baby number three.  They are just now starting to lose some of their absorbency.  Which is to say they still work, but I have to change them more often than I used to.  Next month when I return from our trip I am buying more to replace diapers of a different brand that my little one has out grown.  (They were a gift and much appreciated, even if they don't work quite as well as motherease.) And from here on out I will never buy any other diapers except prefolds and motherease.  There simply is no point when they work so well and are so economical.

I wish more moms would give cloth a try.  You save so much money, you cut down on diaper rashes, your baby is exposed to less and it is better for the environment.  Basically, every one wins!  Yes, they are little more effort, but not that much.  And no chance of ever having to make a late night run to the store because you are out of diapers! Just toss them in the wash.  So if you are on the fence about this, give it a go.  You don't have to use them very long in order to break even and  then you can sell them and actually come out ahead, so even if you hate cloth diapering you are out nothing but a little time.  And I can pretty much guarantee that if you go with motherease diapers, you won't hate cloth diapering.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

I have a theory

That the vast majority of parents (approximately 76.9%) who have a television let their children watch about 2.3 times more TV than they will ever admit to watching to either their Christian or academic friends.  I'm certain of it.

On that note, did you know that 82.5% of statistics are made up on the spot?

Food for thought.

I wish I was funnier....

And that I had a funny blog.  But I am just not, and I don't.   I do better with passion and critique than humor.  And while I might say something sarcastic on here ever now and then that warrants a chuckle, this blog certainly isn't laugh out loud funny.  Maybe I should start posting clips from "The Big Bang Theory" on here, then you would laugh.  That show is fantastic.  But in the mean time, this blog might be getting temporarily funnier. Jon Acuff, the man behind the curtain over at Stuff Christian Like has offered to guest post on peoples blogs in the advance of his up coming book release.  (The book sounds great, looking forward to reading it).  He made the offer for anyone- whether you have 2 readers or 200, which I think is pretty cool. You can find a link to his site on my side bar under "it's funny 'cause it's true" which it is.  Evangelical Christendom as a sub-culture can be pretty amusing when you stop to think about it and I think it is good to be able to laugh at yourself.  So stay tuned.  My thoughts about the stay art home daughter movement are also forth coming.  Just in case you don't like to laugh.  In the mean tim, add Jon to you RSS feed, his blog is a great blend of humorinsightlove (for lack of a better word).  Anyway, go read.  He actually posts regularly.

And because you should watch this clip.....

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Well, so much for regular posting...

In December I had so many things I wanted to write about: further thoughts on children, on marriage, thoughts about Advent, about the Theotokos (mother of God) and evangelical fear of her, and just a general "family update."  None of that happened.  Oh well.  We had a wonderful December all the same, and January has been very crazy.

We have been renting a little (kinda run down) house for about a year and a half.  It wasn't perfect, but it worked.  Enough room for our stuff and close to work.  But it was on a death hill with a hidden driveway and no fence around the yard.  Not the most ideal circumstance when you have three small children who seem to not hate sunshine as much as you do.  So we have been keeping our eye on the paper for other rentals.  Ideally we would love to buy again (I miss home ownership for many many reasons) but we don't know if this job is long term or short term yet and would like to have a better idea of that before committing to a mortgage.  But on January 6 my husband found an add new to the paper that day about a house in the area we wanted, big enough for the whole crew, and even in our price range.  We saw it on the 8th and then moved in on the 16th.  All really fast considering on the 14th we didn't know we were moving and by the afternoon of the 15th I had maybe two boxes packed.  But we have an amazing church family and they came over Friday evening (one family) and then a whole crew saturday and just got it done.  Really amazing.  So now we are in this incredible new home that I love so much and that is starting to come together.  It is a lot more space than what we are used to and I have discovered that after over a year in a one story place that I am out of shape.  These stairs are killing me.  And they are trying to kill the baby.  She thinks she is hot stuff and one of the big girls  and just should go where ever they do.  Which means going up the stairs- usually quietly and fast when mommy's back is turned.  We just got our washer and dryer here yesterday.  So picture if you will a family of 5 (with one baby in cloth diapers) and 2.5 weeks of not doing laundry.  It is scary around here.  But my husband assures me he can get them all hooked up tonight.  Hurray.  Last week I bought the big girls new jeans just so we had enough clothes. (some might suggest going to a laundromat, to be honest it didn't occur to me....)

So that is the first part of the summary.  The second is that the girls and I are going to Idaho for a month starting next week to spend time with my Dad.  He is in the end stages of congestive heart failure, and although this might not be the last time we see him, there is a very good chance of it.  Both of my brothers will be there too (we all have the same dad, but different moms) and I am looking forward to all of being in the same place at the same time.  That has only happened once before and it was 16 years ago now.

All that to say, I have a lot I want to write about.  But might not for awhile.  Although I just saw the movie "The Return of the Daughters" and have much to say about it and would love to process that out loud here.

If you are still around, thanks for reading!