Monthly Archives: February 2011

Sunday Surf

Here are my Sunday Surf links for this past week.

via naturalparentsnetwork.com


How I Prep Clean Eats for the Week: Inside Sara’s Kitchen

5 Toddler Breastfeeding Myths That Drive Me Insane!

6 Steps to Mindful Mothering

Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

The Fine Art of Dying Your Hair with Henna

Chicken Pot Pie with a Savory Herb & Cheddar Crust

The Consequence of Using Consequences

My Scar Does Not Define Me, Part 1 & 2

Dealing with Birth Trauma

Tea Technique: How to Steep White Tea

Giveaway: Sacred Rose Herbal Tea


How I Cloth Diaper (Part 2)

Check out Part 1.

The big question with cloth is what do you do with poop? Let me start by saying I have a fear of toilets. Go ahead and laugh but I have since childhood. Clearly I would not be able to handle dunking a diaper in swirling, scary toilet water because of this. Some people do but they do not have issues like me, obviously. :) The great news is at the beginning, if your child is only breastfeeding, you don’t have to do anything. Seriously. Breastmilk just dissolves away. It’s totally fantastic. Once you start solids, or if you are using formula, it still isn’t a big deal. We use liners. Liners are sort of like toilet paper, but stronger and wider (depending on the brand you buy). You just stick them in baby’s diaper and, if they are soiled, dump it in the toilet and flush. Easy. Even a toilet-phobic girl like me can do that. If your liners have only been peed on, you can just stick them in the diaper pail with everything else. Once again, easy. You can actually wash them. Depending on the brand, they can last a good 2, 3, maybe 6 times of use. Seriously. My favorite part of all this is that the waste goes where it belongs: either in the laundry water down the drain or in the toilet with the rest of the sewage. It’s not sitting in my garbage can or in a dump somewhere.

bumGenius

So now that the big poop question is out of the way, you are probably wondering where in the world (and how) I store the soiled diapers. We have a plain old, standard step-on trash can with a lid. No need for expensive, specialty trash cans because, remember, your waste is not sitting in their (except for breastmilk poop, which isn’t all that smelly anyway). I bought 2 pail liners with drawstrings that fit right into the can. The type I purchased were from Nurtured Family but I don’t remember the brand. Basically these pail liners have a waterproof inner so nothing leaks. I bought 2 so while one is in the wash, the other can be used. So, with pocket diapers, you change your sweet baby, and take your soiled diaper to the can, take the inserts out and throw everything in the can. (You don’t have to touch the inserts generally. Just sort of shake them out into the can, then drop the rest of the diaper. With the bumGenius you may have to touch the flap that covers the opening but this is generally not soiled, so no big deal.)

What about going out of the house? Cloth diapering on the go is no problem. Just purchase a couple of wet bags (so if one is in the wash, you still have one) and a wipes case and your set. Really. The only issue is that the pocket diapers are bulkier than disposables. Because I always over-prepare, I usually always have a couple disposables in the diaper bag for emergencies and take 1 or 2 cloth with me. I also have an emergency stash of disposable wipes tucked away but bring 5 wetted cloth ones. It’s pretty rare that I’ve needed my disposable stash though, like I can probably count on one hand maybe, that rare. Anyway, I received my wet bags as gifts so I didn’t buy them but there are tons of places to buy these. And there are tons of super cute and fun designs out there for them, too. A wet bag is just a mini version of the pail liner. It has a waterproof inner and a zipper to keep smells in the bag. As far as soiled diapers, if you are somewhere with a toilet, that’s obvious but if not, I keep some scented bags in my diaper bag and put the soiled liner in the bag and flush it when I can. When you get home, make sure to put your cloth wipes away (or just keep dry wipes in your diaper bag and never have to worry about it.) Leaving wet wipes in your bag too long will make them mildewy. In the beginning I just kept dry ones in my bag with a bottle of water and wet them that way. When you get home, just dump the contents of your wet bag and the wet bag itself in the pail liner.

bumGenius

Now we are too laundering your diapers. There are a lot of different ways people do that but I’ll just tell you what has worked well for us. I started out using Allens Naturally, which we were happy with, and now use Rockin’ Green (also happy with.) Whatever you decide to use, make sure it is cloth diaper friendly. You can’t just buy whatever at the grocery store. We wash every other day. I think leaving them to sit much longer than that is probably not a good idea personally. We have a little over 20 diapers (started out with 20) and that has worked well. I did wash every morning for awhile just because I wanted to but switched to every other day at some point. I should also say I have a top loader so these instructions would be different for a front loader. So I take my pail liner and dump everything into the washer, along with the bag. Then I run a full cold cycle. (Even if your diapers don’t look like they need the full amount of water, they do- the more water, the better.) Then I take a very small amount of detergent (I forget the exact measurement but I have the cup that came with my Allen’s Naturally and it has a line in the middle and I do half up to that line…it’s not much) for my second wash, which is a hot wash. After the hot wash, I do a cold rinse. (My washer has a cold rinse cycle, but for times when I’m using someone else’s washer without this feature I just turn the dial over to the rinse part if that makes sense.) Then it’s time to dry. You technically can dry everything but I prefer to only dry my inserts. The liners and covers I air dry on a drying rack. I found if I didn’t dry my inserts they would get hard and weird and take forever to air dry so I just dry them on low. I also dry my wipes and bags as well.

Around 5 months, we switched to a different system for night time. We hadn’t had any leaking issues until around then. I asked some cloth diapering friends their recommendations, and they unanimously agreed that I should use prefolds with covers for night time. Wool was mentioned as well but, I’ll admit, the care of wool intimidated me so I didn’t go that route. I bought some prefolds and Thirsties duo-wrap covers (these are two-size covers) and, when paired with one of my smaller FuzziBunz inserts, no more leaks! And there’s no need for diaper pins to get the prefold on. I use Snappis! (I’ve posted a review on the Thirsties covers you can check out.)

Thirsties Blackbird Cover

A great resource with lots of videos can be found at Mothering. This goes into all the different cloth diaper types that I didn’t go into.

Here is my list of supplies needed for cloth diapering with estimated costs. If you’re local, I will soon be doing a Local Focus post on the Natural Baby store where you can buy all of this stuff so be on the lookout for that.

I think this covers everything! Please feel free to comment with questions or, if you cloth diaper, share how you use yours!


How I Cloth Diaper (Part 1)

bumGenius in action

I get asked from time to time how I cloth diaper so I thought I’d create a post detailing what I do. My disclaimer is there are SO many different ways to cloth diaper that may be cheaper/easier/better for you and your family. This is what I decided on and what works great for us! We love our cloth diapers and have never looked back once we started.

My main reason for cloth diapering was honestly the economic factor. I remember the first time I bought a pack of disposable diapers for a baby shower gift I was appalled at how much they cost. I probably made my decision then and there that I would at least investigate cloth diapers. I just couldn’t imagine shelling out that much money on a regular basis once I had a baby. I also had some friends online that used them and that made it not seem so completely foreign to me. I was intimidated by the learning curve, but, since I had never changed a diaper period, I was going to have a learning curve no matter what.

Cloth diapers, of course, have many other benefits besides just saving you tons of money. Many of these benefits I wasn’t even aware of until I started using them myself. We started out with disposables just because I was nervous about all of the new things I was already going to be learning being a new mom. The diapers I chose also started at 8 lbs or so and I knew my little one was most likely going to be under that. Because of this, I did have a very brief experience with disposables so I was able to compare using each type. Cloth was just a MUCH better experience for me personally than disposables. I have to admit, this really shocked me. I had no idea how much better using cloth would be.

I felt for us the best choice was to go with one-size pocket diapers. The brands we registered for and purchased were bumGenius One Size Pocket Diapers, FuzziBunz One Size Pocket Diapers and Blueberry One Size Pocket Diapers. (The actual diapers we bought have now been replaced by these companies with improved versions.) Having a one-size diaper basically means you only have to buy, you guessed it, one size and it grows with your baby. These diapers have a pocket where you stuff an insert. The insert is very absorbent while the part that comes in contact with your child’s skin wicks away moisture and is soft. I liked the pockets because you can add more absorbent inserts or double up if you have a heavy wetter or for night time. The FuzziBunz diapers came with a small and large liner for each diaper and the bumGenius diapers came with a doubler (which just means it is a thinner liner you can double up with the regular liner) and an adjustable liner. The Blueberry diapers came with one liner that was half hemp and is also adjustable. (Hemp is fantastic because it is very absorbent but very thin at the same time.) The FuzziBunz diapers have snaps while the bumGenius has velcro. (Now you can order the bumGenius in snaps though.) The Blueberry diapers come in both snaps and velcro; we have some of each.

FuzziBunz

The next thing to consider is what you are wiping your baby with. Using disposable wipes with cloth diapers is a big pain because you have to dispose of them in 2 different places. Besides, if you are doing cloth diapers, it makes sense that you probably want to do cloth wipes, too. These you can totally make yourself with minimal effort. However, apparently I’m lazy because I didn’t. :) I registered for and purchased some from online. I know lots of WAHM’s out there make these to purchase as well. I reviewed the brands I have here on the blog so you can check that out if you’re interested.

There are lots of ways to use these wipes. Some families just use them dry, others use just plain old water and some parents make their own wipe solution. For me, I buy Baby Bits. They last a really long time. (For reference, I am just now going to be purchased my 3rd bag and my daughter is almost 2.) They smell delightful, too! I plan on doing a review of these soon here on the blog so I’ll link this post to that once I do. I store mine in an old disposables container from my earlier days and it works well. Some people store theirs in a wipe warmer.

That’s it for Part 1. Part 2 will discuss what to do with the poop, how to store and launder your diapers, cloth diapering on the go and night time cloth diapering. I’ll also give you a list of everything you need and approximate pricing.


High Cotton Restaurant Review

This was originally posted on Check, Please (which is now Melea Talks Food) the day after I had Marcella, March 23, 2009.

Saturday night my husband and I decided to squeeze in one last date night before our baby girl arrives (due date, this Sunday!) so we thought we would check out High Cotton. It was a rainy night so we opted for the complimentary valet parking and checked our coats and then we were off to our table. We had to go downstairs for our table (although I was offered the elevator because of my “condition” which I declined). Our table had a wonderful view of the Reedy River and also a view of the kitchen.

The staff was superb. Our server was very knowledgeable and professional. We were served warm rolls with butter which were okay, not anything special but not bad either. Josh decided to go with a cup of that nights Chef’s Selection soup which was Maine Lobster Bisque ($5) described simply as “buttery lobster meat, scallions”. It smelled delicious but was bland unfortunately.

 

For my entrée I ordered the Bourbon Glazed Eden Farms Pork Chop ($25) which was served with jalapeño cheddar grits, fried green tomatoes and country ham scallion jus. The grits were very creamy and delicious! I wouldn’t have known they had jalapeno in them if I hadn’t been told, though so, for me, they could have had more of a kick. The fried green tomatoes were excellent! The pork was quite good. They cook it medium unless you specific otherwise and it was as tender as a steak. It was a little too salty for me so I didn’t finish it, but Josh, who loves salt, gobbled up what I didn’t finish.

My husband ordered one of the Chef’s Selections of the night for his entrée, the Skillet Seared Striped Bass ($25). This was served with blacked eyed pea ragout, cornmeal fried oysters and sweet pepper relish. He said the oysters were wonderful and were worth ordering the dish just based on them alone. He isn’t a big fan of black eyed peas so didn’t eat all of those but he finished off the bass which he said was quite good. He said if he had to choose, he preferred the pork but both were very good.

We couldn’t leave without trying out their desserts. They all priced at $7.50 except for the Domestic Cheese Selection which is $11. My husband ordered the Double Chocolate Mousse Pie (white & dark chocolate mousse, Oreo cookie crust, milk chocolate anglaise) which was delightful. I ordered the Domestic Cheese Selection (yes, this was on the dessert menu, not an appetizer) which consisted of 1 piece each of Humbolt Fog, Thomasville Tomme, Marisa and Smokey Blue and was served with 4 toast points, fig jam and 3 slivers of pear and candied walnuts. The fig jam was the perfect complement to the bitterness of the cheeses. I was asked if I would like additional toast points when I had finished all of them and still had cheese left which I declined but thought was nice all the same.

All in all, we would rate it a 3 out of 5, only because the soup was bland, the bread was just okay and the prices were a bit high for the amount of food. We enjoyed our experience, all in all and would recommend it for a nice night out.


Nursing Poem

Wean Me Gently
by Cathy Cardill

I know I look so big to you,
Maybe I seem too big for the needs I have.

But no matter how big we get,
We still have needs that are important to us.

via breastfeeding.com

I know that our relationship is growing and changing,
But I still need you. I need your warmth and closeness,
Especially at the end of the day
When we snuggle up in bed.

Please don’t get too busy for us to nurse.

I know you think I can be patient,
Or find something to take the place of a nursing;
A book, a glass of something,
But nothing can take your place when I need you.

Sometimes just cuddling with you,
Having you near me is enough.

I guess I am growing and becoming independent,
But please be there.

This bond we have is so strong and so important to me,
Please don’t break it abruptly.

Wean me gently,
Because I am your mother,
And my heart is tender.


Women of Acts

I’ve had the privilege of attending 2 of the 3 Women of Acts events here in Greenville, SC. March 7th is their 4th event and I hope to be able to attend! If you are not familiar with this ministry, let me tell you about it! From the website:

Women had a significant role in the formation of New Testament Church. You remember

Tabitha (Dorcas) was a woman who helped clothe the widows and was ultimately raised from the dead.

Priscilla and Aquilla were there to help Paul and even exhorted Apollos in their layperson ministry.

Lydia was wealthy business woman who the Lord used to minister to Paul and Silas.

Keri from The Grace Post and her friend Kylee got this idea that they should get together and do something to help out in the community and help those in full-time ministry, just like the ladies of the New Testament did. That is when Women of Acts was born. More from the website:

We decided to get some Christian women in our community together for a girls night out. But it was not going to be an ordinary night at the coffee shop. We would not only enjoy chatting, coffee, and dessert but we would be joining together for a common purpose.

We are trying to put action behind our faith. Working to follow the example of the ladies who helped Paul in the early church. We hope to be modern Women of Acts.

The first event took place on April 19, 2010. Anne Sokol was the speaker. She shared her heart for the midwifery profession and her desire to help the people of Ukraine (where she ministers alongside her husband) to have safer more satisfying births. There was delicious food and coffee and we all ministered to Anne is various ways (writing notes of encouragements, donating to her ministry).

The second event raised funds and encouragement for Sarah Hudson. She is a veteran missionary who was home on furlough. The encouragement tree was filled with prayers and scripture for her to take home with her to Vienna.

The third event was a new shoe party for the children of Greenville county schools. A shoe registry was set up on the website and people signed up for specific children and brought their new shoes to the event. 33 shoes were collected and distributed to those in need! Money was also collected to pay for the physical needs of children in Greenville County. More delicious food and fellowship and Christian women coming together to provide hope.

The fourth event is a coupon challenge in conjunction with a food drive! You can find out more by watching this video and checking out their Facebook page. March 7th I hope to see some of you there! The event is being held at the Candleberry Inn in Greer.


Praying for Our Children

via heartofthematteronline.com

I saw a great idea from Life on Locust Lane to make praying for our children a daily habit. She links to a 30 day calendar from Mom and Loving It in pdf format that is free! You just print it out and she suggests putting it on your bathroom mirror. Each day has a different prayer for your child. Topics include kindness, salvation, peace, mercy and a heart for missions. It is available in English and Spanish.


Menu Plan for February 21st

Last week’s Valentine’s Meal was a big hit! My husband said it was the best meal he’s had in a long time. I think that’s a good thing. :) Here’s this week’s list!

As always, I use the weekly Publix ad to make my list to save money.

Monday – Sausage Potato Soup

Tuesday – Spaghetti with homemade sauce, garlic bread and Caesar salad

via Kraft

Wednesday – Chicken and Sour Cream Enchiladas with Spanish Rice and Salad

Thursday – Spicy Tuna Melt Pie with green beans

Friday – Calzones with steamed broccoli, cauliflower and carrots

Saturday – Ham and Cheese Melts with Poppyseed Mustard Sauce

Sunday – Cheesy Chili Mac

For more menu plans, check out the home of Menu Plan Monday, at I’m an Organizing Junkie.


Link Love for week of February 13

Here are some links to content I enjoyed this past week. Admittedly I didn’t read a lot this week.

Hope Does Not Put to Shame

Cloth Diaper Basics: Newborn Diapering

Do Breastfed Babies/Toddlers Need To Brush Their Teeth?

Bittersweet Chai Hot Cocoa

DIY Lavender and Honeysuckle Laundry Detergent

Check out Authentic Parenting, Maman A Droit, Navelgazing, Momma Jorje, The Parent Vortex, Hobo Mama, Motherhood Moments and Mama and Baby Love for more Sunday Surfing!


Yellow Elm: Giveaway!

Lisa Felt Headband

My first Yellow Elm product came from my mom. She bought my daughter a headband for her Candyland birthday party. I’ve been in love ever since! I have baby headbands, baby clips and clips and headbands for me, too! That’s why I’m so excited to offer a giveaway to celebrate 5,000 hits from Yellow Elm to share their wonderful products with you all, too! Scroll down to the bottom to check out the beautiful baby headband I’m giving away and to see how to win! (PS: Yellow Elm is local, too if you live in the Upstate of SC!)

I interviewed Yellow Elm owner Elizabeth Blanton to give you some more information about Yellow Elm straight from the source!

What gave you the idea for Yellow Elm and how did you get started?

I learned how to felt in a fiber arts class I took as an elective in college and immediately fell in love with the process. After making some large felt wall-hangings for the class, I used some leftover felt to make brooches as gifts for my friends and got a great response, so after college I decided to make more wearable art and see what happened with it. There has been a huge trend recently in crafts and handmade items and I’m so excited to be a part of that.

What do you love most about the pieces you make?

I love the uniqueness of each piece. I can never make two pieces exactly alike, so everyone who wears Yellow Elm can truly know they have an accessory that no one else has.

Baby Brooke Barrette

What’s your favorite collection?

My favorite is usually what I’m working on at the moment. I’ve just started making small brooches with beads on top in soft spring colors, and those are my favorites right now.

Do you have plans for any other products besides headbands and brooches?

Yes definitely! Jewelry, purses, hats, and scarves are all possibilities for future products. I’m working on a vintage line of headbands and brooches as well that I’m pretty excited about.

Do you prefer selling on etsy or selling to stores?

I love both for different reasons. It’s always fantastic to find a shop that is the perfect fit for Yellow Elm and I really enjoy working with shop owners to get just the right Yellow Elm pieces in their stores. I am so glad to have an etsy shop as well because I can reach so many people with the internet–people all over the world.

Do you have a favorite fellow etsy artist?

So many great choices I could never pick just one! I keep my “favorites” page on my etsy shop pretty current and always mark a favorite shop or item.

A Little Bit of All of It is giving away this precious baby headband!

headband1

Yellow Elm Baby Headband

It is a baby headband with a soft blue piece of felt on a bright blue fabric band, with a black & polka dot fabric button and some simple baby blue embroidery.

How to Enter

There are 5 ways to enter. You can do 1, a couple or all of them. Obviously the more you do, the better your chances of winning are. I’ll draw a winner randomly using random.org on March 17th! The winner will be contacted via email.

  1. “Like” A Little Bit of All of It on Facebook and come back and leave a comment here that you did with your FB name.
  2. Go to Yellow Elm’s etsy store and come back and leave a comment with the name of your favorite piece.
  3. “Like” Yellow Elm on Facebook and come back and leave a comment here that you did with your FB name.
  4. Subscribe to the Yellow Elm blog and leave a comment here that you did.
  5. Subscribe to this blog and leave a comment here that you did. (To subscribe, see the top righthand corner of the blog.)

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