Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Cloth Diapers 202

[Special Edition Chelsea Perry Elemental]

Cloth Diapers. Honestly, I never thought I'd be "one of those moms", but I have grown to love them over the years. I wrote about them a little before here. This post is going to dive a little deeper into what, why, and how. I will also give you a list of essentials and answer FAQ.

What Cloth Diapers Do I Use?

I chose Bum Genius because: 
[1] they were the best selling
[2] they sold an option that adjusted to fit kids 7-35 lbs
[3] they came in cute colors


Bum Genius currently sells three types:


These diapers [now] only come in velcro. However, these diapers don't adjust to fit all weights, so you have to buy small, medium, and large as your child grows. This is probably the most ideal to own, but expensive to purchase 12 in every size for every child. Probably more practical for that tiny newborn phase if you use cloth then. [were $15.95...currently on sale for $9.95]

Elemental
I have been using Bum Genius 3.0 One Size for 4 years [no longer making] and this year switched to the Elemental. Elementals only come in snaps. They also come in 12 organic colors, plus this new designer line [shown above]. I own them in blue, green, white and orange as well. Hopefully one day pink! [$24.95]

4.0 One Size
This is their best seller, and rightly so. It's the upgrade to the 3.0 I used for 4 years. If you want a great diaper and a good price, this would be my recommendation. I used velcro [also called hook&loop], but now favor the snap version. It's a personal preference. Velcro goes on faster than snapping, but over the longer term I believe snaps wear out less. Snaps are also harder for the babies to take off. You are getting one diaper that will last from the infant stage to toddler phase[7-35lbs]. [$17.95]


Why I personally like the Elemental over the 4.0's velcro:

[1] Although the velcro fastens quicker, over time the velcro has worn out [you can buy a repair kit for $1, but I don't sew].
[2] The snaps stay on better even though they are a little harder to put on with a wiggling  baby
[3] I didn't want to stuff diapers anymore, the Elemental doesn't have an insert pad to slip into the diaper [the double liner is attached]. It's not that big of a deal, I did it for years, but I like the new option.
[4] I personally think the Elementals are less bulky
[5] Organic, but I don't really care too much if it's organic cloth or not


Why do I use them?

I hope this post is helpful to those considering using cloth diapers. It's not for everyone, and although it's "green", it was a financial decision for us. We were spending nearly $100-$200 a month on diapers for multiple small children, so we paid for our new diapers in just 2 months of going cloth.

How do I use cloth diapers?

I personally wait a few months before I use them because that whole newborn phase is transitional enough for our family laundry. Around 4-6 months I feel like they poop less and it becomes more solid so it's easier and less diaper changes. If I was to use cloth the first few months I'd suggest getting something more size specific, but again, it's a personal preference, I certainty know people who take the time to fold down the snaps to fit a smaller baby.




Both 4.0 & Elemental [regardless if they are a waist snap or a waist velcro] have snaps that adjust to fit babies 7-35 lbs. [Shown Above] However, I've found that if I wait till they are 4-6 months I don't have to adjust the size at all, but just tighten the waist as an infant and loosen it as they grow into a toddler. My kids have worn them until about 35 lbs [3 years old] and then indeed they are busting out of them. Time to potty train!

How often do you change them?

I change my diapers every 3-5 hours, leaning close to 4 most often. They rarely if ever leak and don't smell. They are a little more bulky than disposables so you have to be mindful when buying your kids clothes. I suggest a size up for pants or onesizes.

Do you ever use disposables?

I also feel no guilt about "hybriding it", meaning I might use cloth all day and then use a disposable at night, or outing, or for a babysitter, etc. I keep both around depending on my mood, but generally enjoy the cloth for saving money purposes. There is no rule that says you have to use them 100% of the time.

Why do you buy from cottonbabies.com?

I have been shopping with them for years and enjoy that they offer free shipping and competitive prices! They sell several types of cloth diapers, but I've always used BumGenius and been very happy. They also sell lots of natural products we enjoy.

Cloth Diaper Essentials:

[1] 12 diapers per child
The theory is 6 diapers a day per child, washing after two days. This does help with stains. I usually wash every 2-4 days. Again, that is the goal, but they can be expensive so I recommend buying just one or two and start supplementing them for nap or bedtime. Ask for them as presents and look out for deals. Slowly grow your stash overtime if you can't afford to buy them all at once. Sometimes cottonbabies.com offers a "seconds" sale so I recommend you use get on their email list and follow them on facebook. I've never personally bought off ebay or craigslist, but I know people who have successfully.

I own this, but it doesn't fit enough diapers for several children like I have, so I am currently using a trashcan and lid in the laundry room. I would like to invest in something like this. I haven't noticed an odor as long as I wash often and keep the lid on. You're going to laugh, but my current lid is a cardboard box top because I can't find my trashcan lid, ha.

[3] Pail Liner
I bought this and love it. I just throw it in with the diapers and it's cheaper than using trash bags like I did for years. Also, it doesn't leak or smell.

If it's a solid poop just dump in the toilet and throw diaper in the pail. However, use the sprayer to make the messy poops bearable. You simply attach and clean your diaper in the toilet.

Tip #1: always keep your mouth shut
Tip #2: lay the diaper in the toilet base, not the water
Tip #3: don't spray the water too, spray only the poop on the diaper, spraying the diaper and water will cause lots of spraying in which case refer to rule #1
Tip #4: if you want, squeeze out and wrap up to carry to diaper pail
Tip #5: obviously wash-your-hands

I use this in my diaper bag for outings. It's an easy and clean way to tote back a wet or dirty diaper. You can also use these if you have wet clothes or swimsuits, etc.

Questions:
I know you may have lots of questions, I'm going to refer you to Cottonbabies FAQ, but please feel free to ask me any additional personal questions regarding cloth diaper use that you can't find the answer to on there.

I do follow their instructions for washing and have used this list in the past to purchase my laundry detergent. I use to use Arm & Hammer Sensitive Skin Free [no scent] soap before we got an HE washer and now I anything HE & free.


It is a lot to learn, spend, and wrap your mind around, but I'd guess if you'd give it a try you'd enjoy saving all the money you do. Don't forget...they-are-cute-on!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Why Are You Always Asking For Votes?

I know some of you have been wondering...
Why are you always asking for votes on this site or that site? Let me explain.
As much as I don't particularly like it [and may even stop soon], it's a popular way to expose your blog to a larger audience...for free. I know that when I first started reading blogs I went to google and typed in "top popular mom blogs" and sites like topmommyblogs.com came up.

I say all this to say, 
your little clicks & votes
help me accomplish my goals for writing this blog.

Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory


Which are:
1-Preach the Gospel [of Love]
2-Encourage other moms*
3-Educate other moms*
4-Cataloge my daily adventures for our family
5-Keep up with family & friends [and make new ones!]


*Obviously, this blog isn't just for moms, I happily welcome all singles, married without children, men, or children [when appropriate] who might benefit from the posts.

I just wanted you to know, that although advertisements [that provide extra income] and freebies from sponsors are nice...they aren't my main agenda. Perks, but not my reason for my time invested.


I feel called to write, to share, to love. 

My real goal is to [hopefully] bring you The True Joy in the midst of your [possibly] chaotic day.

Laughter with a spoonful of seriousness.

Thank you in advance if you choose today, or everyday, to vote for me on these sites. My hope is that others can come to know Him greater & be encouraged by one other.


All you need to do to vote is click once on the links below.
It won't tell you that you voted for me, but it records it for me.
One Vote Allowed  A Day.



Top Mommy Blogs
Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory


Picket Fence Blogs



***

This one is a little funny, you have to click this link and then click where it says "Directions" and it will count the vote. Strange, but now you know.


Top Baby Blogs
Click To Vote For Us @ Top Baby Blogs Directory!




Thanks Y'all

Friday, November 26, 2010

I Ate This: Thanksgiving


You Capture Photo Challenge: I Ate This
$1 at TJMax
Nation "not eating...just licking"
Thanksgiving Noah's way [turkey+dr.pepper+computer]
My boys excitement over photo time...look at Moses
If only I could make them smile & be in the picture
What happens when I'm in the picture
I changed Moses face...the best I can do...oh well, love them anyways
Love my guys
Most especially this one
Photos taken by my little 9 year old brother, Noah

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thankful Thursday Top Ten -#17-

Thanksgiving Reflections





Thankful This Year For-

1. A redeemed marriage...repentance, love, romance, & wisdom
2. Moses being born...8 months ago
3. Family...through the ups & downs we're there for each other
4. Friends...new & old & best [April, Courtney, Sarah]
5. Dayton..exploration of a new city & of course income
6. Blogs...for all the laughs, tears, education & inspiration out there
7. Blogging...i've enjoyed the creative outlet & friends made 
8. Photography...along with #7, has been another great creative outlet
9. Riverstone Church...enjoyed the small groups, counsel & classes
10. Beth Moore bible studies...for getting back in the Word & loving it

***

Normally, I do thankful this week for, but it seemed only appropriate on the "day of thankfulness" to reflect on the 10 things in 2010 that I'm most thankful for. 

This Thanksgiving, I'm starting a new tradition of asking everyone at dinner what 10 things they are thankful for. I encourage you to do the same! 

***

Then...
Write about it & come back and tell us.
Or just write what you're thankful for.
You can do this one of two ways.

1-If you don't have a blog:
Comment below in comment section [anonymous or blogger user] with your 10

or

2-If you have a blog:
...write your post* 
...mention this blog & hyperlink back to this post
...grab my button
...use Mr. Linky below by clicking on "Click here to enter"

*You don't have to do it on Thursdays, you can do it any day of the week. 
*Call it whatever you want
*Get creative, you can use words, pictures, poems, vblogs, anything!
*Come back throughout the week and read others lists & make friends!
*Tell others to join




***



Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Black & White Wordless [#5]

Where boys hide their Oreos




Me: "Nation did you just get a cookie out of the kitchen?"
Nation: Looks down at his underwear and pulls cookie out
Me: "Hold on, let mommy grab the camera"

***

This just so happens to be my 100th post. I started this blog the day we arrived in Dayton, OH and tonight should have been the night we arrived home for good. We are home tonight, but not for good. Looks like we will stay there until the week of Christmas. 

Nevertheless, this blog ride has been so amazing I'm keeping with it. 
Thanks for reading [all 100 times]!

***

This post was apart of:

Monday, November 22, 2010

Don't Throw Away Saturday

If you've been following along, you know the last few Saturday's Charles has had to work. I'm not the type to sit around on the weekend while my kids tear up the house [and I am bored to death]. Even to the point that I'm willing to be a bit overwhelmed or even stressed out in public at the possibility of being entertained by a new surrounding. I highly recommend it.

Just don't do what a close friend of mine recently did... [you know who you are]...she just realized today she hasn't left her house in 12 days. Girlfriend! Get out! Please be praying for her y'all, I kid I kid. Love you friend.

So, Saturday I decided to take the kids to an indoor waterpark that looked promising even though I was a bathing suit & life vest short. We made due and headed down 75, which turned out to be a parking lot. So instead of going zero, and I do mean zero. We got off at Dayton mall for 2 hours. Chick-fil-a, Cookie Express and a Gap sale later we were back on the road.

I'm not much of a shopper, and even when I do, I'm more of an online shopper, but I couldn't pass up this 45%-90% every item in the store sale on our way to the car. Even with the kids...I managed to grab a few things.

I got three jean jackets for the boys, 3 Christmas sweaters for our pictures, 2 long sleeve swim shirts for next year, 3 new shirts for Nation, and a new pair of Robeez for Moses.



The kids took a mini nap on the way there, traffic was gone and we all made it out of the waterpark dressing room alive. It was $15 a person for a 3 day weekend pass. I think that's an awesome deal considering in Atlanta it's $30 for the day

I loved this place. It was a nice 85 degrees inside, no sunscreen needed, a bar, big screen TVs, several play areas [with gates!] and a lazy river. We took 4 trips to the bathroom before I even gave Nation something to drink if that gives you any idea of how much water he was swallowing while playing [eww]. Obviously I wasn't crazy enough to bring my real camera. 



The kids got up that morning before 7 am and it was nearly 7pm when we drove up that night so they went straight to bed and our angel babysitter came over while Charles and I went out on a date.

We had dinner at Cheesecake Factory [stalked someone leaving their bar seats and averted having to wait]. Dessert at Caribou Coffee, where Charles bought me a beautiful hot pink [on the outside and pink zebra on the inside] coffee sleeve.

The employees assured me that although they were cute, I was likely to throw it away with my cup on accident. Charles agreed that either that would happen or I'd loose it somewhere in the car. Y'all I'm determined to prove them wrong. 

Candra, note to self: Don't Throw it Away.



I didn't have a chance to shower before our date so my hair was still half wet from swimming. I'm ashamed to say I've never been one that's good with bobby pins, but it sounds like a great 2011 resolution. I did manage to make some type of bump to hide the hideousness of my hair. 

While walking to our movie, Unstoppable, we ran into [literally--coffee spilling and all] the guys from our crew. Charles' business is currently employing five contractors here in Ohio. 

They are a goofy bunch. Especially Santa [beard on the end]. We debated discussed last week how they all have me to thank for their job because I introduced them all to Charles either from college or church. The verdict is still out on this one. Either way, Charles is blessed to work with such great guys.


Saturday was so non-stop busy Charles took the kids Sunday to the Creation Museum [again] and then back to the waterpark while I...stayed at home for 9 hours and did a lot of nothing in silence and it was wonderful. Moses was here, but he doesn't really count. He just crawled, ate, napped and smiled.


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Who Playdates Are Really For

Playdate: [n] a play session for small children 
arranged in advance by their parents




Playdates are suppose to be for the kids, but a secret only moms know is...it's really for us. Our sanity. If you're a stay at home mom, you've experienced the moment of pouring out your soul to your 2 year old to have them reply... "More Juice." [Sigh] That's right, you are a human, but you're not an adult.

Conversations on the phone standing over a sink full of dishes or txt messages while folding laundry serve their purpose. Even facebook-wall-writing can feel like an intelligent conversation at times, but nothing compares to a real human being coming over to your house.

Yesterday, my new friend here in Dayton, Elizabeth, wrote her on wall "must-get-out" to which I quickly responded "must-have-company."

So by definition I suppose it wasn't pre-arranged, [20 minutes later she arrived with Starbucks in arms], but it gave me motivation in the middle of the day to get out of my pjs. 

The older boys took a nearly 3 hour nap [thank you Jesus], while our two little ones [Grace & Moses] played happily together on the floor.

The life of a mom. There is nothing like it. It has it's ups and downs, but one of my favorite things about being a mom is getting to hang out with other moms through out the week and call it "my job." Fellowshipping with women is always humourous and encouraging.

Do yourself a favor...invite someone over this week. 

Or Invite yourself over...
I did that a few years ago and ended up making a best friend.

Friday, November 19, 2010

What My Kids Will Remember

My mother & I both at 26. Myself & Moses and My mom & sister.


I don't remember if my mom was always caught up on the laundry. I don't remember if the dishes were piled high in the sink or not. I don't remember what meals we ate. I don't remember if there were crumbs on the floor. 

This is what I do remember---her rubbing my back before I'd go to sleep at night...her always praying for me to have sweet dreams.

I remember my mom nudging me to befriend the mentally handicap girl on our block. I remember her sending me to invite the poor neighbor girl to the beach with us. The girls' house smelled like smoke and she had a funny haircut. She was awkward and unpopular, but my mom taught me to love and accept...reach out...and play with her. This is probably the thing I've learned most from my mother.

If kids turn out like their parents, I wouldn't mind keeping this tradition...especially if it involves my kids lack of memory when it comes to the cleanliness state of our home. 

Yesterday, I was expecting company, all the dishes were put away, every bit of laundry folded, and the boys bathroom smelled like bleach instead of urine. That was an unusual accomplishment around here. But you know what? Nation's not going to remember that. Solomon and Moses most likely will not either. 

I wonder what they will remember though?

They might remember when I let them help make waffles, or when I let them peel the hard boiled eggs or when we played nintendo together. I suppose I hope most of all, 20 years from now Solomon will remember what he recited to me this morning, "Taste and see that the Lord is good, Blessed is the man who trusts in Him." 

Come to think of it, rather than just being able to recite it, I hope he's living it.

This is the hope that keeps me going on days when it's one thing after another. 

This has come together all too serious, here, laugh at this:

Me: "Nation what does trust mean?"
Nation: "It's just a really hard word, that's what it means"
Me: "Hard to do, not a just hard word. It means God is someone who will never let you down, always be there, bigger than you can imagine, it's safe to believe He'll always take care of you."

More important than letters, numbers, colors or shapes, I hope this is what Nation remembers.

I'm not suggesting you stop teaching your children, or cleaning your house. But when given the choice between another blog [or another show] and making memories for your child, you choose...them. With their memory in mind.

Of course, let's continue making space on the floor to walk, but let's not forget to actually sit on the floor...with them.



Let's not forget what they will remember most.

What the Lord will remember most.

You...showing them...Him.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thankful Thursday Top Ten [#16]


1. A husband who grammar checks my blogs
And when he doesn't, you are sure to find mistakes because I don't claim to be an expert in spelling, punctuation, or sentence structure. I'm hoping to learn when I have to teach Nation [ha]. Yes, I know, you shouldn't start a sentence with and.

2. Boys who get free cake
This week we went to our favorite bbq place here and the ladies thought the boys were so adorable they gave them free chocolate cakes.

3. New blog design
By far one of the most amazing things I received this year from Charles. I am Christmas morning excited about what she did for my blog.

4. I'll be in GA this time next week
Can someone say Thanksgiving break? Can someone not say 8 hour drive home?

5. Amazon.com's wish lists
I've been using these for years for birthdays & holidays. Especially with the universal wish list option it's an great way to compile all the things online you want for yourself and your family in one place. Also helpful for friends and relatives who otherwise buy you undesirables ask.

6.God's continued work in our marriage
Some days the things God prunes back are rough, but I feel like I'm blooming more than ever and our marriage is flourishing. I didn't say it didn't hurt, but it's going to be beautiful.

7. God teaching me "All excess is rooted in emptiness"
I knew getting into this Beth Moore bible study God would "clean house" in me, but what He's freeing me from makes it tolerable. Apparently [sarcasm here] any unhealthy attachment or addiction is just misplaced worship. I guess no more running to Ben & Jerry instead of the Holy & Spirit.

8. Fun holiday wishlists
Look here & here. Please tell me if you know of any more...I love to "online window shop."

9. God's healing
Solomon woke up at 1 am last night and told me he threw up. He did. Immediately my mind thought about two things. This & earlier this Fall when we all got The Black Plague. I am happy to report that no one else is sick and Solomon was 100% today. You better believe I think Jesus healed him & I'm overly thankful.

10.  Sarah Palin's new show
Okay, put your political views aside. I like [some] reality TV shows and I like her. I am not into politics [I should be more], but she's got an adorable accent I can't resist. I love her hair and I am falling in love with Alaska. I'm adding Alaska to my places-I-need-to-go, first up, Greece, obviously! [What about you?]

***

Every Thursday, I'm inviting you to join me in being thankful. 
You can do this one of two ways.

1-If you don't have a blog:
Comment below in comment section [anonymous or blogger user] with your 10

or

2-If you have a blog:
...write a post about things you're thankful for this week*
...mention this blog & hyperlink back to this post
...use Mr. Linky below by clicking on "Click here to enter"

*You don't have to do it on Thursdays, you can do it any day of the week. 
*Call it whatever you want
*Get creative, you can use words, pictures, poems, vblogs, anything!
*Come back throughout the week and read others lists & make friends!
*Tell others to join




Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Blog To Brag About


How excited is Mommy about her new blog design?


Hmm...


...probably pretty excited


I don't know?


More excited than Christmas morning?

***YES!***

I would like to introduce you to Jessica, a blog designer I stumbled upon last week while checking out a blog hop I participate in. Please check out her site, A Blog To Brag About, if you're at all interested in upgrading your blogger account. She has a sweet deal going on right now that I took advantage of. She's not finished with my site yet, but I love what she's done so far!


Black & White Wordless [#4]


...busted 
eating my rice
at least he was cute enough to use the high chair on the floor



***
This post was apart of these photo challenges:


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Underwater Eight Ball

 Some days...we just don't get out enough. 

And man, if we don't, I feel guilty.

Even though being at home affords them more play time indoors and outside, I still feel strongly compelled to get them to a park everyday. 

Boys need to run.



I'm going to say it again: I miss the backyard. 

This is what happen on our way to take out the trash before I cooked dinner. We walked back by the pool [now covered] and we found their goggles by the coke machines. 


Of course, they had to wear them the rest of the evening.


Then on our way back to the apartment we were going to check the mail, but...


...we got distracted by the pool table.


Since we hadn't really gotten out much I decided to make the most of it and let them mess around [gently] with the billiard balls.


They were being too adorable so I went and grabbed my camera. 
[The light was difficult in there.]


If I hadn't realized it yet, I was reminded right then...
I have three mobile children.


I never really played pool until I met Charles. He's a shark. Don't let him fool you. It was quite the perk when we were dating. I thought is was so cute how good he was at it. He's taken me to play a few times, but since he's kept me pregnant most of our marriage we've been avoiding the "smoke cages" more often than not.


He had a pool table as a child. I know one day [soon], he'd love to own a pool table. Although I can already imagine the things the boys would do with that table and all those glass balls. I hope the game room will be padded and everyone has a helmet.

***

Show some love and vote for me here 
click on "IF SO THEN CLICK ON HERE TO VOTE"

***

Also, this post was submitted to:
 Sweet Shot Tuesday & The Happiness Project

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