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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Making diapers fun

So very shortly after even beginning to use cloth diapers, I now have an obsession with making them! I really had no desire to at first, the stuff I could buy would be much better than anything I could make, and I had no idea how to do it. But then I started thinking about the new baby and how these diapers we bought would not fit him until he was about 10 pounds. So for the first month I would either have to go back to disposables, or buy diapers that I would only use for a month. I wasn't really a huge fan of either option. So just for fun I started looking for some free patterns.

I found one that I adapted a little because I didn't like the leg gussets, and I have been obsessed with making diapers for the last 4 days! I think I have finally gotten the hang of it and last night I made really cute matching diapers for Nathan and the new baby

It's so much fun to be sewing again and using all kinds of cute prints to make the diapers, plus since it's actually saving us money I feel like I am being productive even though I am really just having fun. It's the perfect size project too, because they don't take that long to make. I finished almost 4 diapers yesterday just during Nathan's naps an after he went to bed. I love having a hobby again!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Keeping Nathan busy

Nathan has always been very active and interested in everything, from the day he was born he wanted to get up and explore things. Lately though more so than before he seems to be getting bored of being in the house and seeing the same things everyday, and it's becoming a struggle to keep him happy throughout the day! He's been crabby and whinny, but for no other reason than that he is bored.

So I went to the library this week, and decided that I was going to set up at least part of our day as though he were in school. Ok, that sounds weird, but what I mean is I am going to plan some different activities just for Nathan that are new and different from things we do everyday. I found some great books that were written for those running a day care. I actually should get out my teaching preschool books from BG and use some of those activities even though he is a little young.

It's all the basic stuff that I had already heard of or used before, but it was nice to have a list right in front of me of fun things for us to do. So far it's working out great! I need to collect or buy a few more items for some future activities, but all in all he is loving just exploring something different every day.

The real challenge now will be when the new baby comes and finding time to still do something new with Nathan every day. Hopefully he'll be excited about helping with the baby for a while, and exploring a new little person will keep him interested enough that I won't have a crabby little toddler and a new baby at the same time too often!

I'll try and post here as we try out new things and what he enjoyed the best, just need to keep those batteries in my camera charged.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

"Revive my heart, renew my soul..."

I've been thinking the last few days about my prayer life. I think that attending the Fest this weekend kinda of gave me a bit of a boost that I hadn't even known I needed. It was the first time in a long while that I felt completely joyful to the point of forgetting any kind of burden or responsibility, and I liked it a lot!

Don't get me wrong, it's not that I am not a happy person, I really am. I love my husband and my son and I experience joy and God's love for us as a family every day through them. I guess what I have been forgetting about lately is a more personal kind of joy, or prayer.

When I was at Franciscan I was really good at finding ways to make my prayer life and my life one and the same. Being part of a household and attending daily mass, not to mention being surrounded constantly by those also incorporating their faith into every day life made it easy.

Since I have left school, starting working, gotten married and had a baby it's not always so easy for me. It's not a bad thing that it's not right in front of me, in fact, I like the challenge of making it my own, but I still miss the community that I had at Franciscan.

During the Fest I talked to a great priest who recently graduated from the seminary and is now at his first assignment. It was kind of nice to hear him say it wasn't always easy for him either, and that even as a priest he had to make a conscious effort to do more than just go through the motions. His suggestions were to make it part of my daily routine again, not move on to the next thing until I have included some time for prayer. Even if it's going back to bed at 3am after putting Nathan back to sleep. I just need to find that time that is mine and God's and stick to it daily.

It makes a lot of sense in my head, I am definitely a creature of habit. I think tat is one of the reasons being a teacher works out so well for me. I like the daily schedule of what gets done when. So this is my new challenge for myself, find a way to have that time every day, and continue to search for ways to find joy for myself and my family.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Cloth diapers!

Once I started thinking about what it is going to mean to have two babies in the house, I did something that I swore I would never do in a million years... I started to research using cloth diapers.

Now when I was younger my mom used cloth diapers on my twin brothers, I still have bad memories of folding the diaper just right and then pinning the sides before sliding on a pair of plastic pants. Not really fun or easy to do. But I recently found out that cloth diapers now are so much different! There is a huge emphasis on style and convenience, and no one actually uses pins anymore even if they do choose the old school prefold style diapers.

It was almost overwhelming when I first starting looking. There are literally hundreds of different brands and styles and kinds of diapers out there. I was totally lost and had no idea where I wanted to start. Plus, in the long run they save you tons of money, but I didn't want to spend a lot on trying out diapers that I wouldn't like or want to use in the end. Thanks to the cloth diapering group on facebook I found a website with a program where you can try out 6 different kinds of cloth diapers for 3 weeks and then send them back for a full refund minus a $10 program fee! It was such a great way to try out these diapers first hand and see what I really liked. For anyone who is interested here is what I thought of the different kinds I tried.

BumGenious pocket one size diaper

So a pocket diaper is kind of like a disposable diaper in fit and in how you put it on the baby with the only difference being that there is a pocket inside that you stuff with inserts to absorb any waste. What's great out this is that they dry fast and that you can put as much or as little inside the diaper depending on how heavy of a wetter your baby is. We LOVED this diaper and ended up choosing this for our babies. I've been using them full time for almost a week now and it's just so easy and never leaks!

Thirsties all in on pocket diaper

This is a lot like the BG only it has some padding built in so you can choose not to stuff it if you don't want, though it can also be stuffed with more if you need it. I really loved the fit of this diaper, it only leaked once but I had two diapers leak that night so maybe I was just doing something wrong. It is not one size so you have to buy a whole new set every time your baby goes up a size. I might have considered getting these if I had the money to buy each new size since they fit so well.

Fuzzi Buns pocket diaper

This was another pocket, but not one sized like the BG. It worked OK, it uses snaps in the front to close it instead of Velcro and I found it frustrating to get onto my wiggly baby who didn't even want to stay still for the Velcro! Also since it's not one sized I wouldn't want to keep buying more. I have heard these diapers work better for newborns though since they are not as bulky. I have a feeling we will just use disposables for the new baby until he reaches 10 pounds or so and they fit a little better.

Thirsties Fab Fitted

This diaper was very absorbent and I never had a leak, however it used a diaper cover since the outside was not waterproof and I did not like the cover in my trial pack so I didn't use it as much. I think with a nicely fitted cover this would be a great diaper, especially for smaller babies.

Chinese Prefolds

These are your typical old school cloth diapers. I hated them at first and never wanted to use them, however the more I practiced with them they were not so bad. Like I said before no one really uses pins anymore, so there was this thing called a snappi that just hooks into the diaper and holds it in place. They were kind of bulky but I blame my wrong sized cover for being too big. I might even consider using these with the new baby for a while because they are cheap and after some practice not all that hard to use.

Overall I was very impressed with how advanced cloth diapering has become! Anthony was a little skeptical at first, but after thinking about how much money we will be saving and then actually trying the diapers for a little bit even he is starting to agree that they are pretty easy to use.

Well Nathan just woke up from his nap (way too short!) so the updating will have to continue later.

Family update

Hmm it's been quite a while. I think I stopped blogging around the time Nathan started crawling and getting into everything. Well we are on to walking now! And this post is definitely taking place during his nap time.

Also I never updated that we are having baby #2 in about 3 months! The ultrasound showed that there will be another little boy, so things are about to get even crazier around here. I am anxious e how Nathan is going to react to someone else in his personal space with his mom and dad. He has always been fairly attached to us, but it's starting to reach a new level with me. He follows me around all day and if I leave the room even to just get a drink or go to the bathroom he becomes hysterical. So we will see how he likes it when someone else is literally attached to me all day long!

As I mentioned at the top Nathan is walking! It's still not his fastest or preferred mode of locomotion, but he is trying more and more every day to at least start out walking before he looses his balance. Sometimes this is after 2-3 steps and sometimes he makes it all the way across the room! It's so much fun to watch him stand and walk on his own, it still looks unnatural to me!