Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Cloth Diaper Carnival IV: Where did you learn about Cloth Diapers?

This post is part of the Cloth Diapering Bloggers and Dirty Diaper Laundry hosted Cloth Diaper Carnival that is held every month. Many bloggers get together and write about the same topic. This month is “Where did you first hear about/ see cloth diapers?”

When I first got pregnant Eli and I sat down, looked at our bills and decided if we could save up enough money, live frugally, breastfeed and cloth diaper I could stay home with the baby. I started looking on line for cloth diaper options. I never read any blogs or message boards about cloth diapers, only web stores. I've always been a big researcher when it comes to products so I'm not sure why I didn't want to get lots of options on what was the best. I did look at reviews posted on the stores web sites. I found Cotton Babies and was sold on the BumGenius 3.0's!! The web site is really great at explaining how to use and wash your cloth diapers. I felt the BG 3.0 looked easy to use and wash. Even though they have a hefty price of $17.95 each I thought it was worth it to not have to spend that amount over and over on disposables every week for years.
I ordered 3 white to take a look at them and make sure that's what I wanted. When I got them I thought they were great. I showed them to Eli, my Mom and my sister. They were all impressed on the quality and ease. This was it! So I bought 12 more in white. I thought if I bought all white I could keep them clean easier. At the time I was still working and trying to save as much money as I could so the $256.50 was not too hard to do. (As of now I can't imagine spending that much $ all at once!)
When I got my 12 in the mail I washed and prepped them all. My mom and sister helped me stuff them with the newborn inserts and I folded them and placed them neatly in a wicker basket with a lid to keep them nice.
I didn't get them out again until 2 months after Ethan was born! I'm not sure why but the disposables were so easy and being a new parent was really hard. With all the uncertainty we really didn't need to add cloth diapers in the mix!
I'm glad in a way because once I did start using them I did go through a period where I had to really learn how to use, store, wash, dry, stuff, deal with diaper rash, stinky microfiber, stains. And just when I think I have it all figured out, something happens that sends me screaming through the house leaving a naked boy crawling on the floor!
After I started using them I went in search of support and found so many great web sites where women (and men) love to talk about all the how to's of cloth. I learn something new every time I go in search of cloth ideas. There are so many different types, styles, fabrics, colors and patterns to choose from that it could make your head spin round and round!
I am already researching what the best diapers are for newborns so I will be able to cloth our next baby from the start! I know the next time around will be much easier because of every thing I have learned this past 10 months.
On a side note: I have had those BG 3.0's replaced by Cotton Babies 2 times now. It's the velcro. It stops working. It won't stick to the laundry tabs and then won't stick to close the diaper. There's nothing like waking up in the middle of the night to a screaming baby who has half a diaper on and pee all over the bed! Cotton Babies were very nice, telling me that some driers are hotter then others and that was damaging the velcro closures. They were happy to replace them all and told me to only line dry from now on. No problem!
The first time I sent in my 15 white ones and got back 15 new white diapers. Oh, they are pretty when you take them out of that bag! I knew I wanted to try out some different brands so I sold 5 of the new ones. After only a few months the remaining 10 started having velcro issues again! This was when the running and screaming and naked baby came in to play.
I called Cotton Babies back and in my nicest voice told them how much I loved the diapers (I do!) but how frustrated I was with the velcro. The lady was going to just send me replacement velcro that I was going to have to sew on myself but she wanted to talk to some one in charge because "they never have to replace replacements!". She called me back the next day and told me to send them in again and they would replace them all! In the notes line of the return form I asked if I could have a mixture of different boy/ gender neutral colors and they sent them!! Oh, how I love colored diapers!!
The velcro on the new diapers seems to be different then the last two sets I had. Its backing is harder and looks like it will hold up better. The laundry tabs are different, too. They are the loop part of the velcro instead of micro fleece. I'm really hopeful I won't have the same problems as before.
I have also changed my laundry detergent to Rockin Green and I love it!!! It doesn't have a strong smell and it gets the diapers and microfiber inserts sooooo clean and I don't have to do any extra rinses.
I wish I would have done a bit more research in the beginning, gotten more of a selection of diapers to start with and a few different colors. But I have learned so much and can't wait to get some more fun money to shop for more diapers!

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Two Down, One to Go!

Were back from our trip to Oregon!!! I have to say it was the most beautiful place I have ever been. I really did not want to come home! (Maybe that was partly because I didn't have to cook or wash clothes the whole time we were there!) Eli gave his talk about coral to a nice sized crowd and was able to collect some sample of something? to bring home with us. Ethan had a great time also! He loves the sounds of the waves and was very happy most of the time we were there.
The small plane we took from San Francisco to North Bend. I was a little worried the first time out but coming back wasn't as bad!

This was about the time Eli got mad and told me to stop taking pictures inside the air plane. I'm still not sure why it bothered him......

Boats in the harbor.

The building where Eli gave his talk. I got a really fuzzy picture of the cottage we stayed in but it was great! It was right next door to this building and had picture windows on half the house so you could see the ocean and the harbor. WOW! We watched the sunset and sunrise and it was amazing. I watched the fishing boats catch crabs all day. It was so peaceful.

Here is Eli getting ready to give his talk. Ethan and I didn't get to stay. About the time Eli got up to start, Ethan pooped in his pants and started getting fussy. It was past time for his nap.

Ethan wouldn't take his eyes off the water. When Eli would walk around with him he would turn his head so he could see it at all times.

Eli collecting.

He tried putting everything in his mouth! We did let him touch quit a few plants we found on the beach.

Rock for lunch, yes please! (that's not me, by the way)

I made Eli stand by this tree so you could see how big it is! I don't think in the picture you can really tell but it was huge.

Ethan did a lot of pulling up and standing while we were there! Walking is just around the corner. Dinner our last night there! We had to have some fresh crab. The other is smoked tuna and some sort of other smoked fish. The tuna was wonderful! We came home with several cans of smoked fish to try out.
I got so many nature pictures that I'm going to do another blog with them. I really can't express the beauty and peacefulness of that place. I would move there in a heartbeat! I really don't think any of us wanted to leave.
But we did and now we (Ethan and I) are off to Oklahoma tomorrow! Wow, this month went by fast. Jee Jee is having her fall music program with her school kids and I want to take Ethan to the church's fall fest. I will try to post my diaper travels before we leave!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

My Mother's Story

Remember, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month!!!!!

Never in my 60 years did I think I would ever be asked to write about my experience with breast cancer!! I rocked along, happy as a lark, for all these 60 years. I felt sorry for those who had breast cancer and for those who lived and especially died from it.

I remember going to a funeral of a lady about my age a year or so ago who died after a very difficult time with it. Her grandson was in my Sunday school class, and I wanted to show him how much he meant to me by going. I walked in the door and they were handing out pink ribbons for us to put on our suits.

Well, here’s my story:

I always had my yearly mammogram on the week of my birthday, so I would remember, along with my pap smear and bone density test. ( It was always on Spring Break at school which helped.) From my early 30’s I had been taking either birth control pills or hormones for PMS. When there was the big scare over hormones causing breast cancer, I told everyone I would rather have quality of life than quantity. (Which I still believe is true in my case. I was really a B---- during PMS times.)

So, on my 60th birthday I went for my yearly mammogram. The next day they called me and told me I needed to come in for another mammogram. Well, I had had to do that once before, so no big deal. Scotty, my husband, rode with me so we could go and eat and shop after the mammogram. So they did the new mammogram and the tech asked me if I would like to see the shadows on my left breast. She said it could be cancer or just scar tissue, but the head of the department had me come into her office and told me I needed to see a surgeon, that the radiologist said these looked "suspicious". I said ok and she made me an appointment with Dr. Carter, who she said was the best in this field. This was all going rather well for me and I really wasn’t too worried about it until I walked out of her office to the lobby to check out. She came out, the tech who took the mammogram came out and everyone started hugging me. I looked at Scotty and he looked at me like to say, "What’s going on?" Needless to say, it was a hard day and week until I saw Dr. Carter.

We saw Dr. Carter, who took a biopsy. The nurse called me the next day to say it was hormone receptor breast cancer. She told me to look on the internet to find out about it and we scheduled a time to see Dr. Carter again. I was in shock, needless to say.

I had surgery in May to take out the tumor and five lymph nodes to make sure there was no cancer in them. There was not. I met with my oncologist, Dr. Robin and my radiologist oncologist, Dr. Zeigler, and we began radiation treatments. My treatments lasted until August 18th.

I am supposedly cancer free. (I’ll know when we take another mammogram or CT scan in January.) I am a survivor!!!

What got me through it, you ask? My wonderful husband of 22 years, my kids, my grandson, Ethan, my family! But mostly Jesus Christ, my savior!! I wonder how people handle crisis in their lives without Him!!

I have learned to enjoy each day in life, to study God’s word more, to pray more, to love more, to not take for granted one day in my life!!

Thanks, Melissa, for asking me to write about this experience!! You were there when I needed you the most!!


*Thank you to my Mother for sharing her story. I love you!

Wordless Wednesday

Thought I'd jump on the Wordless Wednesday bandwagon!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

First trip down, One (or two) to go

We are back from our first trip of the month! We went to the Gulf Coast for Eli's departmental retreat. We stayed at a beach side lodge, ate a lot of fried food and Ethan and I came home a little sun kissed.
Both nights we were there, the group had a bonfire on the beach. Ethan stayed up till almost 10pm that first night but crashed on the walk back to the room.

He loved looking out at the ocean. It seems to be very calming to him. This was breakfast the first day. The lodge had a deck over looking the ocean that we ate on.

I think he would have sat here all day!

Eli listened to several scientific talks until lunch so Ethan and I took the opportunity to do some sight seeing. These looked like giant seahorse lollie pops to me!

Watch out! Don't get eaten by the shark!!!

I will defiantly need one of these to get around in when Eli and I move to our beach side home. Where do you put the car seat?

Safety first!

Then Ethan and I took a walk on the peer. It got very windy the further out to sea we got.

Then off to a nice walk on the beach.Lots of birds!! The red tide had come in a few days before we got there so there was a lot of dead fish for the birds to enjoy.

Then lunch with Dad. As I said before, we at a lot of fried food! It was free so I won't really complain. I just hope on our next trip to the beach we can have some seafood!

I think Ethan got more food on the ground then he did in his mouth! Eli and I were glad there were slits in the floor for easy clean up. No one will ever know we have a messy baby!

We hung out on the beach for awhile. All this time I never thought "I should put some sunscreen on my very white baby."!!!! So Ethan did get a little color on his cheeks and nose but I did put some aloe on it and it was much better the next day. It was just such a nice day I didn't even think of it!
We also self toured the Marine Science Institute but I got so many great pics that I will do a separate post for it.

The last morning we made one last trip to the ocean to get a bit more splashing in! Ethan is such a good kicker I think we need to get into some swim lessons as soon as we can!

We had a really relaxing and fun time and hope the retreat is held there again next year! We leave for our next trip on Thursday. This time we are flying! Wish us luck. The last plane trip to Folly Beach went really well but Ethan was about 5 months younger. Now that he is more active I'm sure he won't be content to sitting on our lap for a few hours during the flight.

I used gDiapers with their disposable inserts the whole trip and will use the same on the next. I will write a separate post on that experience.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Where is my Baby????

Why has my baby left me and been replaced with a little boy????? And when did it happen? I don't remember. I love my little boy and all the things he can do now! His little personality is really shining through, the good and the not so good:) We are off on our first trip of the month so I thought I'd leave you with a few updated little boy pics to tide you over for awhile.
He loves animal crackers!

Doesn't he look like a little DJ spinning his records?
He pulled up to a standing position today for the first time all by himself!!! Eli and I were in the kitchen and we looked and there he was, standing! I'm glad Eli was here for one of his "first". You'll have to excuse the huge bit marks on his legs. The mosquitoes just love him.

"Riding" his fire truck. He can sit on it by himself but Mom still pushes him around.

Here we are at the garage sale. It was really cold (for South Texas!).

This was the only hat I could find that would fit his big head! It's Eli's and he wore it when he was working in Antarctica!

Ethan showing off my "organized" fabric stash.

"Working" on his truck. He mostly likes to spin the wheels.

Not too happy to be wearing Mom's purple hat! This was before I found the red one.
Favorite time "naked time" after bath!

Dad time.

Oh! He found Dad's computer! Thankfully this one isn't plugged in.
He has also started crawling!!! One knee in front of the other and then a few spins on the bum and a good backwards scoot can get him just about anywhere he wants to go.
If anyone sees my Baby can you let me know because I'm getting a bit tired chasing this little boy around! And he's not even walking yet.


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