Thursday, May 26, 2011

My thoughts on cloth diapers...

When I first started doing my research about cloth diapers, I came to the conclusion that I would not like prefold, flat or fitted diapers. Prefolds and flats just seemed too complicated, especially flats. Flats are just one big piece of cloth that you fold to make a diaper. There are many different folds depending on your preferences and the size of your baby. Prefolds don't require as much folding but there are still different techniques to get them on your baby. Once you have the flat or prefold on your baby you can either pin or snappi it in place. Once it's on you have to put a waterproof cover over it. That just sounded like a lot of work especially with a wiggly 7 month old. The most popular cloth diapers are pockets, all in ones and all in twos. Pockets and all in twos require you to "stuff" them with the absorbent insert. All in ones don't require any stuffing, but they take much longer to dry. Fitted diapers are just like all in ones but they require a cover because they don't have a waterproof layer. Fitted diapers, on average, are more expensive than the other options. There are some really cute fitted diapers out there though, but I didn't get why you would spend so much on such a cute diaper, only to cover it up. I ultimately decided on pockets and all in twos with mostly microfiber inserts. With my nice little stash, I hit the ground running and started cloth diapering my 7 month old. I loved how cute they were on his little bum and loved the fact that we were not sending as much trash to the landfill. I was very happy with my decision to cloth diaper!
Fast forward a few months to today and my views have changed slightly, although I am still loving cloth diapering and my pockets and all in twos...I am now in love with flats, fitteds and natural fibers too! My little man loves to be in his walker and bouncy seat, but we were having a LOT of compression leaks with our microfiber inserts. I started doing some research on compression leaks and learned that microfiber was notorious for being the cause of compression leaks. I had a few cotton prefolds that I had for inserts but I was slightly intimidated by them, although looking back, I am not sure why. I dug them out and gave one a try, it worked! No compression leaks! I don't have to change his outfit multiple times a day now! After that discovery, I started to look into what other options there were for natural fibers. I found a few hemp inserts that I decided to try and immediately loved! There was also the option of flats...with a little less hesitation than before, I decided to try them out. I learned that you can use flannel receiving blankets as flat diapers. I had quite a few of those laying around so I learned how to fold them and tried it. It was so trim and absorbent and much easier than I had imagined, I was in love! While doing my research, I learned that fitteds are mostly made with natural fibers and are good for wearing coverless so that the baby's bum can get some air. After a bit of a rash, I decided that a fitted diaper would be a good addition to my stash. It is so cute and soft and since it has snaps it is very easy to use!
I love all the different options that I have now that I have a bit of confidence using cloth! I have only been using them for a few months now but I am so happy with my decision and as you can see in the photo below, I think my little man likes them too!

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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sunday Snapshot: Mmmm...


























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Baby Blankets

I had a little time to myself yesterday so I decided to take full advantage and get some sewing done. With the baby more mobile now and with the dog running around, it is hard to get sewing done because I have to use the living room floor and coffee table to work.

With my alone time, I was able to get 2 blankets done! I wanted to make one for my little boy and one for a gift. I am in love with the minky bubble fabric that I found at Joann Fabric. It is so soft and warm and cuddly! I made one blanket today with the white minky bubble fabric for the back and a quilted blue/white/brown baby fabric for the front. The other blanket is the pink minky bubble fabric for the back and a dot/swirl flannel fabric for the front. I am happy with how they both came out and now I want to make one big enough for me to snuggle up in!
























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Tip Junkie handmade projects

Stay at Home 

Nation

Friday, May 20, 2011

Diaper Deals

Right now Kelly's Closet has a coupon code for a free diaper cover (guaranteed value over $13) with a purchase over $49. Just enter the code FLATSCHALLENGE at checkout. You can also get free shipping with a purchase over $49 (no code needed)! They are also offering double diaper dollars for a limited time, 2 points for every dollar spent! Points can be redeemed for store credit.
225 points = $10
500 points = $30
750 points = $50
1000 points = $75
They have great customer service and lots of product to choose from. It may be because I live in Maine (home of Kelly's Closet), but I have always received my orders very quickly. Lots of incentive to buy some diapers!

Have a great weekend and have fun shopping!


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Monday, May 16, 2011

Using the power of the sun

My husband put a clothes line up for me in the backyard a few weeks ago and I finally got a chance to use it the other day! The sun does such a great job at getting stains out of my cloth diapers and it might just be me, but they seem so much more fresh when they have been blowing in the breeze. I am looking forward to a summer of line drying and hopefully saving some money on our electricity bill by not using the dryer as much. Here is a shot of some of the diapers drying in the sun and a shot of the little man who gets to wear them.































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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sunday Snapshot: Swinging into Spring


















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Monday, May 9, 2011

My first Mother's Day

I know it's been a while since I have posted but it is due to the fact that my computer is still broken. I now have a new way to post, but I will get into that later in this post.

This past weekend I celebrated my first Mother's Day. I spent the weekend at my parents house with my husband, baby and dog. We had a great weekend and beautiful weather. We were able to get out and take a walk around town on Saturday and my husband and I were even able to get out for a date night Saturday while my parents babysat.

Before we went out, my husband asked me if it was ok if the baby gave me his Mother's Day gift tonight instead of in the morning because he (the baby, who is 10 months old) was too excited to wait for the morning. I told him that if he was THAT excited then it would be ok if he gave it to me early. So my husband took the baby and they went and got my gift out and handed it to me. When I opened it, I discovered that I was the new owner of an iPad2!!! This is something that I had been talking about for weeks but did not think that there was any way that I would be able to have one since I don't have a job (well one that pays money that is). My husband told me not to expect something like this every year but he knew how much I wanted one and wanted me to know how much he appreciated everything that I do for him and our baby. Love him! So now I have a new way to blog and I am loving it!

That was a great way to start my first Mother's Day and Sunday proved to be just as good. We all got up Sunday morning and went out to breakfast. My Mother-in-law Joined us for breakfast as well. After breakfast we all went for a 5+ mile walk while the baby took a nice long nap in the stroller. After our walk we went back to my parents house for lunch. Shortly after lunch we packed up the car and headed home. That night, since it was still so nice out, we decided to grill and eat dinner outside. It was the perfect way to end a great weekend. I could not have asked for a better Mother's Day!

I have a few projects that I have been working on and a few that I can't wait to start. Now that I have a way to post, I am hoping to post about them soon. Thanks for reading and to all the other Moms out there, I hope you had a great Mother's Day as well!


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Sunday, May 1, 2011

Sunday Snapshot: A Walk in the Woods



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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

One problem and one solution

So my computer won't even turn on now so I think I need to get it some professional help.  I have to share a computer with my husband now and can't wait to have my own back! 

My computer chair has also seen better days.  My computer may be beyond my abilities to fix, but my chair is not!  Here is a picture of my chair before:
























This is my chair after! 























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Friday, April 15, 2011

First Family Vacation

This past week I have been on a family vacation in Washington DC.  We had a great time!  Here is a little peek at my week.

Watching the airplanes























First time on an airplane


















This is how 3 of the 4 flights went, the other one he was happy and playing :)























Napping at the museum























One of the beautiful trees we saw























Love that face!























I will have a lot of great memories from our first family vacation and I look forward to doing it again.  Now its back to reality and trying to catch up on housework!
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Sunday, April 3, 2011

Sunday Snapshot
























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Weekend Projects

My husband and I have been using Ziplock bags to hold all of our small electronic accessories (chargers, computer connection cords, extra batteries and cards, etc.) for years.  After I made the wetbags the other weekend, I realized that the smallest bag would be a great size to replace our Ziplock bags.  I found some scrap fabric and made a couple of cotton lined canvas bags.  The one I made my husband, the green one, is 8" by 8" and the one I made myself, the pink one, is 8" by 10". 



































Another small project I did this weekend was to make a couple of straps to connect toys and sippy cups to a stroller.  I had some ribbon and some mini anorak snaps that I was able to fashion into what I had envisioned.  Now, we won't be chasing down dropped toys and cups when we are out and about.







































Fun, cheap and easy...doesn't get much better than that!

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Tip Junkie handmade projects

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A few photos

My computer is acting funny so I was not able to put pictures in yesterdays post but I still wanted to share a few pictures, so here they are!

Here is my little boy in all his cloth diapered fluffiness!  He is wearing a Flip one-size hybrid type diaper in Twilight with a stay-dry insert.  I love the Flip diapers, so easy, trim and no leaks!  Kelly's Closet (located in South Paris, Maine, see right column for link!) carries this brand.  They run frequent deals that if you spend a certain amount of money, they will throw in a free diaper.  Right now (ending tomorrow) if you spend $79 you will get a free diaper with a guaranteed value of at least $22!  They also have free shipping on orders over $49. 























Here is a shot at some of the baby food I made recently, apple/pear/blueberry, so yummy!


















And just because he is so cute...


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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

You can be green and save green!

I don't necessarily consider myself a very green person, but I do like it when something I already do has added environmental benefits.  I like these things even more when it has an impact on my wallet, no matter how small.

Some of the biggest things that I do have come about because of my son.  The three biggest being, breastfeeding, homemade baby food and cloth diapers.

I think I always knew that I would breastfeed my children.  Not only do I feel that this is what is best for them but it is also FREE!  This was something that I really had to work for in the beginning.  Because my son was early he had a hard time latching and therefore, I had to pump and feed him with a bottle.  He eventually caught on and we no longer need bottles!  I understand that there are sometimes circumstances where breastfeeding is very difficult or even impossible and other mothers make the choice not to breastfeed and I feel that there is nothing wrong with using formula.  I give those momma's props for being able to get up in the middle of the night and to be awake enough to fix a bottle.  I had to do that for the first few weeks when I was pumping and to me that is a lot harder than the alternative!

Homemade baby food was not something I really thought about until I was pregnant with my son.  I have always really liked to cook and baby food is one of the easiest things that you can make.  I liked the idea that I would know what my baby was eating and where it came from.  I also liked that once he was ready to transition to regular food, the food wasn't going to taste any different from what he had been eating from day one, it was just going to be in bigger chunks.  The Today Show had a segment one morning where Norah O'Donnell and her husband Chef Geoff Tracy were promoting their book "Baby Love" which is all about food for babies and toddlers.  It was during this segment that I learned how much money you can save making your own baby food.  Commercial baby food costs around $.20 an ounce where as homemade baby food is typically under $.10 an ounce.  That is half the cost!  Making my own food doesn't really take that much time either.  I can spend less than a hour and have 2 weeks worth of food for my son.  You can do that while you are waiting for your dinner to cook in the oven!

Cloth diapering is NEVER something that I saw myself doing.  I knew of a few people who cloth diapered their children and honestly I didn't get it!  Why would anyone want to wash pee and poop off of anything when it is just as easy to throw it away?  (Writing that now, I can see how bad that sounds.)  It wasn't until I realized how much disposable diapers cost, how much trash they produce and how much stink they make that I started doing some research.  I found that there were a lot of advantages to cloth diapers.  After doing the math I figured out that it would cost roughly $1500 for 2.5 years of diapers, and most kids are not potty trained by 2 and a half.  You can get a good stash of cloth diapers that will last until potty training for under $200!  These calculations are just for the diapers, it does not include all the other diaper related stuff (wipes, creams, disposal fees, detergents, etc.).  Disposable diapers produce a lot of trash.  We probably doubled our weekly trash when we were using disposable diapers.  That is some HEAVY trash too!  Unless you take every single dirty disposable diaper outside, you are going to smell them.  I was surprised how little dirty cloth diapers smell.  Even in an open wet bag, I can only smell them if i stick my nose in the bag.  Washing the diapers is not nearly as bad as I had imagined it would be either.  It only requires a little extra work and I actually find that I would rather do diaper laundry than regular laundry.  The last advantage and one that I was surprised by the most, is how darn cute they are!  There are so many cute diapers out there and unlike disposable diapers, they don't get saggy!  I love my little fluffy bottomed boy!

I have a new found love for being green and I love that it is allowing me to save a bit of green in the process!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Patience

"Good things come to those who wait"
 A big part of saving money is having patience.  You can save a lot of money if you buy what you want or need when it is on sale.  The hard part is not letting your money burn a hole through your pocket.  If you can wait for something to go on sale, you are often rewarded.  The great thing about social networks (facebook, twitter, blogs, etc.) is that if you "like" or "follow" your favorite stores and brands, you will be one of the first in line to hear about their special sales and coupons.  A lot of websites also have newsletters that you can sign up for.  These newsletters are e-mailed on a regular basis and often have promotional deals associated with them, free shipping, coupons, etc.  The other way to find out about special sales is to be persistent and check their website often.  A lot of these special deals fall around holidays or special anniversaries.  So with only a little bit of effort and some patience, you might be able to save your self some big bucks!

Don't forget to "follow" my blog and "like" me on facebook so that I can help you find those good deals!

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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sunday Snapshot: The First Swim



















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