Friday, January 30, 2009

How do you like the new format??

Thank you, thank you, thank you to Mandy for creating my new blog layout!! I think it's simply fabulous. Let me know what you think!

If you need a new look for your blog, you can get one and make a difference, too. Mandy will redesign your blog if you sponsor her in Bike MS: a 150-mile bike ride from Frisco to Fort Worth to raise money and help end Multiple Sclerosis (which her mom lives with). For more details, go to the site here!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

My Late Night Trip to Wally World

Tomorrow is pajama day at preschool. That meant that I had to run out to Wal-Mart tonight after the kids got in bed so I could get him some respectable pajamas. Scott won't let him go out in his current pajamas because they are getting too small. Unfortunately, all Wal-Mart had were short-sleeved pajamas in his size (5T), so Caleb will have to wear a shirt underneath his pajamas tomorrow.

The other reason I went to Wal-Mart tonight was to get some Cascade. Word to the wise: don't ever try Palmolive Eco+ dishwashing detergent!! Oh my gosh, that stuff has ruined our dishes. I bought it because I saw that it was phosphate-free, which is good for the environment, and it was cheaper than Cascade. But I admit that I did not read the back of the bottle well enough! When Scott started using the Palmolive, I kept asking, "What's that smell? Something smells like bleach." Surely this "eco-friendly" detergent didn't have bleach in it! But oh yes, it did.

I decided to live with the bleach smell until the bottle I bought ran out. But then after a few loads, I noticed that all of my black serving utensils have white film on them. And today, almost everything that we pulled out of the dishwasher came out with food still stuck on it. I'd had it! It's time to revert back to good ol' phosphate-laden Cascade, and Palmolive will be getting an email from an unsatisfied customer!

Potty Training, Day 13

Caleb really is doing well with the potty training. The first few days were hard. We started on a Friday, and it was Sunday before he actually used the potty. He'd sit there forever and do nothing (except say, "Read that story again, Mommy!"). I guess he slowly learned that we meant business and we were going to keep trying, no matter how long it took. He started to pee in the potty 2-3 times a day.

Over the weekend, on day 8, Caleb pooped in the potty. He did it again 2 more times on Sunday, and he's been fairly consistent about it ever since. (I can't believe I'm blogging about Caleb's poop, but...hey, it's a milestone!) Today, he used the potty (pee and poop) 6 times. He did have 2 accidents, but that's good progress. I'm encouraged.

Our biggest problem is preschool. I thought that he'd actually do better at preschool than he does at home, but it's not working out that way at all. The potty at school is one of those miniature toilets, so it's kid-sized, but it's not Caleb-sized. He just doesn't fit on it quite right. So, he's not comfortable on it, and he doesn't want to sit there. On Tuesday, he didn't pee at all from the time he left here at 8:45 until he got home (early release due to the ice) at 12:15. He held it so he could go on the potty at home. The bright side: at least he's learning how to hold it!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Yea, Mommy!

On Sunday night, I was running late to Awana. Yes, this happens often! Sundays are just jam-packed for us. We are at church in the morning from 9 until a little after 1, then we come home, eat, try to get Caleb to take a nap, try to get Isaac to take a nap, make sure I have everything ready for Awana, etc. Before we know it, it's time to leave for church again! Don't get me wrong, I love Sundays and I love serving at my church. I just always end up trying to cram too much into one day!

Anway, we were running late. Scott stayed home with Isaac, who was still napping. I finally got Caleb out the door and we arrived at church about 4:50. Awana starts at 5:00, so I didn't have time to take Caleb to his class before Awana started. So I took Caleb upstairs with me, gave him a ball to play with, and told him that Mommy was going to talk to the boys and girls for a few minutes, and to play quietly in the side of the room. I got Awana started as usual--pledges to the American flag and the Awana flag, announcements, and dismissal to their handbook groups. Caleb waited patiently and watched me, holding on to the ball.

When I was finished and the kids were leaving the room, I went over to Caleb. He held my hand as I led him to the back of the room to get his backpack. He looked up at me, wonder in his eyes, and said, "Mommy, you did a good job with the kids!"

Now that is adorable. My son, the encourager. I think I smiled (inwardly, at least!) for the rest of the night.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

25 Random Things

I was tagged by a couple of people on Facebook, so I'm supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about myself. I'm following Mandy's lead and posting them on my blog as well. :)

1. Like my sister, I'm legally blind, but I'm 20/20 with contacts.
2. I'm "double-jointed" in my shoulders (really there is no such thing, but you get my meaning). Basically, I can jump rope with my arms.
3. I get upset when my husband wastes water when he's doing dishes or shaving, but then I take really long, hot showers. Yup, I'm a hypocrite!
4. I think that Charlie and Chocolate Factory (the old one) is incredibly scary. I also get scared of the flying monkeys in The Wizard of Oz.
5. I love the way my son says "hangleberger" instead of "hamburger."
6. I used to want enough kids so I could have my own soccer team. Sometimes I still want a whole bunch. Then I think about being out of the workplace for that long, and I panic.
7. Teaching kids about Christ is one of my absolute favorite things to do.
8. I was going to move to New York on my own in January 2003, but my plans changed when I started dating Scott and we got engaged in December 2002.
9. Both of our cars are paid for, and we're very proud of that (granted, my truck is almost 11 years old, but it still runs fine)!
10. I had my gall bladder removed when I was 22.
11. I believe in co-sleeping, babywearing, breastfeeding, cloth diapering, attachment parenting, and all sorts of other things I thought were crazy before I had kids of my own.
12. I quit my Master's degree in technical writing halfway through because one day during class, I found myself arguing passionately about the proper use of a colon. I figured it was time to reevaluate my life.
13. I look forward to the kids getting older so we can travel again. Next domestic stop: Washington, D.C. Next overseas trip: Italy!
14. I really like Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong. Listening to them makes me want to think, write, and drink coffee.
15. I wish I'd learned how to play chess when I was young.
16. I played clarinet and bass clarinet in band, but I should have picked something else. I always hated the taste of the reed. Even thinking about a reed now makes my mouth feel funny. (But my cool big sis played the clarinet, and of course I wanted to be just like her!)
17. I have sensory issues. I can't stand to touch things like velvet, fleece, velour, and other supposedly "soft" things. They give me the heebie-jeebies.
18. I don't like to be really late, but I don't like to be early. I like things to be in full swing when I get there.
19. I am incredibly pleased that I was able to pass down dimples to at least one kid. Isaac has one really big dimple on his right cheek. :)
20. When my blog grows up, I want it to be just like MckMama's blog.
21. I'm still not sure what I want to be when I grow up. Lately I've been thinking about going into the medical field.
22. My hair was really long and naturally straight. Then I had kids, and it got all wavy. I cut it short because I thought it would be easier, but I hate it and am trying to grow it back out again! (Moms, don't fall for the "short hair is easier" trap!!)
23. I like historical fiction. (Katherine by Anya Seton is my fav.)
24. I married my husband 2 days before his 30th birthday (I was 25).
25. It took an insane amount of time to think of 25 interesting things about me.

Potty Training, End of Week One

Well, we started potty training in earnest last Friday, 1/16. We have tried before, but we haven't been consistent with it and Caleb just wasn't too interested. Plus, it was so hard to potty-train with an infant around. It seemed like whenever Caleb needed to sit on the potty, Isaac needed to nurse or he was going to sleep. But this time, I do see progress! I think the big difference is that we are ALL ready for him to be potty trained now.

Here's what we've been doing that's been working. Unfortunately, I learned most of this by trial and error!

It's all about the training pants. Ditch the Pull-ups!
We bought some great training underwear. I've been quite impressed with the Imse Vimse training pants. Here's what I like about them.
  • They are organic cotton on the inside and outside, with a waterproof layer (PUL) in between.
  • They are absorbent enough to hold a small accident, but he definitely still feels wet.
  • Even when they leak, pee doesn't go running all over the floor or anything. His pants get wet with a big accident, but it's not a huge mess like it would be if we used plain underwear.
  • Being cotton on the inside, they are cleaning up pretty well in the wash. There are some very minor stains, but nothing bad.
  • They aren't bulky, they are comfortable, and they look like underwear. He's proud to wear them!
Those Pull-ups are awful for potty-training! He didn't ever feel wet, so he didn't care if he'd had an accident or not. That said, we do still use them during nap times and at night. It will be quite awhile before he is ready to sleep in underwear. We also use them if we're going to the store or somewhere that I know he's not comfortable using the potty yet. We'll phase that out over the next few weeks, I hope.

Don't ask--tell.
I never ask him, "Do you need to sit on the potty?" I say, "Yea! It's time to sit on the potty again!" Sometimes we do a little samba line on the way to the bathroom ("Let's go sit on the potty! Let's go sit on the potty!")

Set a potty timer.
Sometimes Caleb likes to argue when it's time to sit on the potty. He just doesn't want to stop playing or doing whatever he's doing. "No, five more minutes, Mommy!!" To solve that problem, I set the timer on the microwave for 20 minutes or so. When he hears it go off, he knows it's time to go try to potty.

Get into a routine.
We try to get him to go at specific times of the day. First thing in the morning, after breakfast, mid-morning, before lunch, after lunch, before nap, after get the idea. He still complains when we tell him to sit on the potty first thing in the morning, but soon it will become habit.

Keep a sticker chart.
We taped a sticker chart to the bathroom wall. It came from an Elmo Potty Time coloring book, but you can make your own, too. Here is what his chart looked like yesterday morning.

He gets a sticker every time he pees in the potty, flushes, and washes his hands. He'd get stickers if he told us when he needs to go, but he hasn't progressed to that point yet.

For every 10 stickers he gets on the chart, he gets a small "potty present" (a book that came as part of a kid's meal from Chick Fil-A, a ball, Play-Doh, etc.).

Make a big deal out of it.
When Caleb does pee in the potty, it's a big deal around here. We tell him how proud we are, we sing, we dance, we clap, we give him a sticker or some other small recognition. We try to use positive reinforcement whenever possible.

Ok, so that's what IS working for us. Here are some things that did NOT work for us, so you can avoid our mistakes!
  • A potty chair. When we started potty training the first time when Caleb was 2.5, we bought him a potty chair. For about a week, he didn't even want to sit on it. When he finally did, we found that he was way too big for it! So keep that in mind if you have a tall child like we do.
  • Pull-ups. I've already mentioned how they don't help because the kid can't "feel" when he is wet. (I do have to say that they are easier for parents, because they pull apart at the sides and make for easy changes. But they just aren't really conducive to potty training.)
  • Waiting for him to tell us when he needs to go. Yeah, it just isn't going to happen anytime soon!
So, today is technically part of week two, but I have to share what he did today. Today, I was an idiot and set the potty timer and forgot about it. I was in the shower when it went off. Caleb says, "Listen! I hear something! It's time to sit on the potty!"

I decided to take a chance, and I told him to go on to the potty and I'd be there in a few minutes. Well, he did it! He went to his bathroom on his own, took off his pants and undies, sat on the potty, and peed all by himself! I was so proud. He came running back to our master bathroom (sans underwear!), saying "I did it!"

Potty training is not easy, but I can see some light at the end of the tunnel. :)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Vignettes from Lunch

Caleb approaches Isaac, who is sitting in his high chair eating Cheerios, and says in a sing-song voice, "Isaac, don't drop Cheewios on da floor!"

Isaac throws one on the floor.

Caleb picks it up, looks at Isaac. Still in a cutesy voice: "I said, don't drop Cheewios on da floor, little boy!"

Caleb picks up the Cheerios off the floor and throws them in the sink.

A few minutes later...

Caleb, to me: "Isaac wants more banana."

Me: "How do you know he wants more banana?"

Caleb: "Cuz he signed 'more'." Caleb walks over to Isaac, who is oblivious, takes his hands and makes the sign for "more". Then he walks over to the other side of the kitchen, reaches up on the counter, and gets a banana. He brings it back and tries to peel it for Isaac.

Isaac is Feeling Better

Praise God, Isaac is doing better. He had his first fever-free day yesterday (that was 6 straight days of fever). His breathing is much better (no more wheezing!). He still has a cough and runny nose, but I think we're on the tail end of this illness. Yea!

From talking to other mothers, this is not uncommon to have several respiratory illnesses following a bout with RSV. Most of the kids stopped having problems after about age 2, so hopefully this will happen for Isaac as well.

Thank you for your prayers!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Great site for parents of young kids

Check out this site:

There are periodic drawings for really cool stuff. Right now, you can enter to win almost $1000 worth of Plan Toys. Caleb would LOVE this! Plan Toys is a great eco-friendly company with toys I feel good about giving to my kids. (Most of the gifts I bought for Isaac's birthday are from Plan.)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Isaac is Sick

Isaac has been quite sick the last few days. On Thursday afternoon, he took a really long nap in my arms, and I could tell he had a high fever when he woke up. Sure enough, it was over 103 degrees. He's had a cough and a runny nose since Wednesday, but by Friday morning he was wheezing terribly. You could hear him breathing from 10 feet away. He still had fever as well, so I took him in to the doctor on Friday afternoon.

Isaac already had RSV (a common respiratory virus, that can be potentially dangerous to infants) in October. With that, he had the same sort of wheezing, but he only had a low-grade fever. You shouldn't be able to get RSV again within the same season (kinda like the flu--you build an immunity to that strain), so we don't know exactly what this is.

At the doctor's office, he took two albuterol breathing treatments, then one pulmicort treatment (an inhaled steroid). He was still wheezing after that, but there was some improvement. Evidently his right lung is much worse than his left. We've been doing 4 albuterol treatments and 2 pulmicort treatments each day since then, plus lots of acetaminophin to keep the fever down as needed. Isaac has had periods of listlessness where he gets incredibly drowsy and irritable. He has coughing fits and doesn't sleep well, even though he's very tired.

Last night he had a decent night's sleep. He woke up this morning with minimal fever (99--his normal temp is in the 97 range like mine), and he's been more active so far. He still gets fussy easily. Normally, when he falls down or Caleb takes a toy from him, he will just get back up or keep doing what he was doing. But lately, it's the end of the world if something like that happens. He is just more on edge than usual.

We are monitoring him closely and are hoping he is on the mend.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Freebie--Thursday Only

FREE download of Suze Orman's latest book, 2009 Action Plan is available TODAY ONLY at I am a big fan of Suze's take on finance. If you have questions about whether you should be in the market, how to plan for retirement, whether you have enough to retire, etc., she's a great resource. (Her show is on CNBC on Saturday nights.)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Good sweet potato recipe

Last night I tried a new sweet potato recipe. I'm always trying to find new side-dish recipes, since I have a tendency to cook just one-pot meals. And sweet potatoes are so yummy and good for you (and cheap at Sprouts)! We tried this recipe for mashed sweet potatoes (with orange zest, fresh-squeezed OJ, cinnamon, and a tad of brown sugar and butter), and it was really good. Scott was disappointed when it was all gone!

Here's the recipe if anyone is interested: I really like!

Last week I tried the sweet potato recipe from Tyler's Ultimate, but Scott wasn't as keen on that. Too much honey. I think it would be really good, though, if you just use less honey. (

Anyone have any favorite recipes to post? Leave a comment!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Cloth Diaper Review: Tiny Tush Fitted Diapers

UPDATED 9/2/09: The Tiny Tush diapers were my first experience ever with a fitted diaper. I had never seen one in person, since I didn't know anyone then who used cloth diapers. As you'll see in the review below, I was very surprised by how bulky they were! But of course now I know that ALL fitted/cover options are bulky when compared with disposables. I actually really like the Tiny Tush now when paired with a wool cover. Tiny Tush and the BumGenius bamboo fitteds are my favorites.


When I ordered my diapers, I ended up ordering from 4 different places to take advantage of sales and get free shipping on everything. All my diapers have arrived with the exception of my Dream-Eze fitteds, so I'll talk about them in another week or so.

I washed all the fitted diapers and covers, and I set yesterday as my cloth trial date for those. I've already been using the SposoEasy all-in-one diapers, and those are FABULOUS. Loving them. But the fitteds...well, here's the review of one brand of fitteds I've tried.

Price: $12.55 each for Tiny Tush Trim One Size fitted diaper

Availability: and many other sites (this is a good place to check out sales at diaper sites)

How it works: Fitted diapers are just thick pieces of cloth, basically, that are sewn into the shape of a diaper. They close with either snaps or velcro. I worry that velcro might wear down in the wash, and it's easier for little hands to open, so I opt for snaps most of the time. (Snaps have drawbacks, too--they take longer to close, which is important to know if you have a wiggly baby.)

Fitteds require the use of a waterproof cover over them. Basically the fitted can get soaked, but the cover keeps the wetness from getting on the clothes. I know that we've been raised to think that's icky if there's something wet next to baby's skin, but it's actually pretty comfortable for them, and safer than having all the chemicals of a disposable next to the skin.)

  • They are 100% cotton and are very cozy feeling.
  • These are "one size fits all" diapers. You can snap them down to make them smaller for a newborn, and you can leave them unsnapped for a bigger baby (Isaac is big enough that I leave it unsnapped).
  • So far, these seem pretty absorbent.
  • They come in cute colors.
  • 100% cotton means that they will wash cleaner and stain less.
  • There is an organic cotton version available for a little more money.
  • They have a snap-in doubler, or extra piece of cloth, for added absorbency. You can take it out for younger babies, or just use the snap-in by itself for a newborn inside a newborn cover.
  • I haven't had any leaks, and I don't expect to.

  • The name is just wrong! There is nothing "tiny" or "trim" about Isaac's tush when this diaper is on! They make Isaac have a HUGE butt. I mean, HUGE! Remember those Subway (I think it was Subway) commercials that mentioned the big "badongadonk?" Well, that's what we were calling Isaac yesterday. That, and "big booty boy," and many other alliterative names that I won't mention here. But the point is, those things just make his rear end incredibly big.
  • There is no way I'd take him out of the house in this fitted diaper and a cover. He doesn't fit in jeans or any "normal" clothes while wearing them. It's strictly a sweatpants only thing.
  • I don't buy the whole one-size-fits-all deal. If you snapped this down to make it smaller for an infant, it would be even bulkier than it already is. I would not use this on a newborn unless everything else I had in the house was dirty and this was my only option.

Bottom line (no pun intended): I don't mind using Tiny Tush fitted diapers with covers at home, but they are not practical for using outside of the house. They are just way too bulky. Hopefully I will find a brand of fitteds that really are trim.

(I will add some pics of Isaac with these on within the next couple of days. I was having camera issues on the day he wore them last.)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Isaac Update

Isaac is almost 12 months old now. It is so much fun to watch him learn and grow! Everyday there is something new. Here's an update on how he's progressing.
  • Walking (since 10 months, 0 days)
  • Running
  • Dancing (likes to bounce up and down, shake his head, wave his arms)
  • Crawling up stairs (since about 6 months)
  • Crawling up the slide on our play equipment (since about 10 months)
He's been talking since about 9 months, I think. These are the words he says, in the order he learned them:
  • Baba (for Caleb)
  • Dada
  • Isaac
  • Hi
  • Uh-oh
  • Mama
  • Bye-bye or bye
  • Nigh-nigh (night-night)
I'll update his stats after his one-year appointment, but right now he's about 22.5 pounds. He gobbles up food so quickly and puts away such a huge quantity of it, it's amazing he doesn't weigh more. He's tall for his age, but I'm not sure how tall he is right now.

His favorite activities:
  • Dancing to music
  • Being carried around
  • Playing with Caleb--they love to each push a walker or wagon and chase each other around the house. Isaac just giggles with delight!
  • Scavenging for food off the floor (he will eat anything!)
  • Playing with cars
  • Handing you toys, then taking them back
  • Being sung to
Things I love about Isaac at this stage:
  • He's super-cuddly and cute
  • His high-pitched squeals and all-out belly laughs
  • He understands a lot of simple statements/commands, so we can "communicate"
Challenges at this stage:
  • Keeping him off the stairs
  • Keeping him away from food crumbs on the floor/keeping the floors spotless (difficult when 2 kids are eating here)
  • Explaining to him that biting is not nice (and trying not to scream at him when he really sinks his teeth into your arm, leaving huge bite marks!)
  • Picking up after him when he decides to empty all the contents of drawers, boxes, bags, etc.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Date Night

Scott and I got to go on a date on Saturday night! We are trying to decide when we last had a date. We are thinking August, but it may have been before then. Anyway, we were waaaaaaaaay overdue! :) This date was actually to celebrate our 5-year anniversary...back in October.

Mom and Dad graciously came over to stay with the kids around 3:30, and they brought Sara and Matthew with them (my niece and nephew). Caleb loves to play with his cousins, so this worked out great! They all got to have a good time while Scott and I had a chance to be by ourselves.

We decided to eat dinner at Jasper's, which the owner/head chef describes as "gourmet backyard cuisine." Holy cow, it was good! I'd heard about Jasper's from an article in a Frisco magazine, and the chef was actually on Iron Chef last year. (We are big Food Network fans here.) So, I knew we were in for a treat.

We got there about half an hour before our reservation and sat and had a glass of wine at the bar. We actually had an entire conversation without being interrupted by a child! In fact, there were no children in the place. (Ok, we did see two middle schoolers entering as we left for the night, but I'll pretend they were really short adults.)

So, here's the good stuff. After a calamari appetizer, here's what we had for dinner:

Scott: Pan-seared scallops, sea bass, and shrimp over black rice with Thai coconut curry sauce
Me: Almond-crusted rainbow trout with a cast-iron side of aged gouda and ham mac n' cheese

That macaroni and cheese was amazing. It was a meal in and of itself. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

So, Jasper's has made the short list of our favorite restaurants in the Dallas area (ranging from $ to $$$$):
  • Nana
  • III Forks
  • Jinbeh
  • Jasper's
  • Bread Winners
  • The Cheesecake Factory
  • La Hacienda
  • Del Frisco
After dinner, we skipped desert at Jasper's in favor of another place Scott had read about online. He said that it was called "Fireside Pies" and you can actually watch the pies being made. Sounded really good, especially on a cold night, so we walked through the Shops at Legacy and found it.

We walked in, and we noticed that it was extremely crowded. This didn't look anything like what I'd imagined--I thought it would be a small, cozy little place, but when we walked through the revolving doors, I saw TVs on the wall and heard upbeat music. A lady asked how many were in our party, and, being closer to her, I answered "Two." Scott was hanging back at the door, looking shame-faced. After a sniff of the air, he looked at me and whispered, "Umm....this is a pizza place."

Oh, my gosh. I wanted to burst out laughing, but I managed to compose myself enough to tell the hostess that we'd changed our mind and wouldn't need a table after all. She looked wounded and said, "Ok. But the food is really good!"

Someone should open up a pie shop there. It sounded good to us!

We walked over to Legacy Books and looked around (and had the world's worst mochas at the cafe there), then headed home to the kiddos. All in all, it was a good night. :)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

One of my favorite pictures from 2008

Caleb has turned into such a good big brother. You can tell that he genuinely loves Isaac. Here he is giving his little brother a big hug.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Sposo Easy

The two Sposo-Easy AIO diapers came on Saturday, and we tried them out. So far, I love them! I'll give it awhile before I write a full review, but so far I am very impressed. The inner cotton is SOOOOOO soft, and the diaper goes on just as easy as a disposable. I purchased them from, the manufacturer, and I was incredibly pleased with the service. The diapers shipped very quickly, the package included a hand-written thank-you note, the diapers were tied up with a cute little ribbon, and they added a free doubler (something you can put into a diaper to add extra absorbancy) along with my purchase!

I am anxiously waiting for my other diapers to arrive...

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Cloth Diaper Order

After using gdiapers for a few months (with and without cloth inserts), I've decided that it's time to try something new. So, I hit the internet and spent many hours over many nights pouring through the options.

HOLY COW, there are so many choices!

You've got prefolds, fitteds, covers, all-in-ones, and pocket diapers. When you decide what you want to try, you then have to decide what type--do you want all cotton? Organic cotton? Hemp? Bamboo? Velour? Fleece? Wool? The options go on and on.

After my research, here's what I decided to purchase and trial:
  • 2 Sposo-easy all-in-one diapers
  • 7 Dream Eze organic cotton fitted diapers
  • 5 Tiny Tush cotton fitted diapers
  • 2 All-together cotton fitted diapers
  • 2 Imse Vimse organic cotton covers
  • 1 Imse Vimse organic wool cover
  • 1 Aristocrat organic wool cover
I also finally bought some training pants for Caleb so I can get that boy out of disposable pull-ups. I hate those things! I'm ready for him to be potty trained. I bought 6 of the Imse Vimse organic cotton trainers (outer and inner layers of cotton, with a waterproof PUL layer in the middle).

Here are the factors that influenced my decisions:

  • All-in-ones: I wanted to try the Sposo Easy all-in-ones (AIO) because they are just supposed to be the best and easiest thing out there. They go on just like a disposable diaper, except they have either snap or velcro closures. The inside is super-comfy cotton. You can buy it in organic cotton, but it's an extra $4 per diaper, and I didn't spring for that this time. The best thing is that there is no assembly required since it's all-in-one!

  • Fabric: I did not want anything but cotton next to my baby's bottom. I think it's the best thing for his skin. Cotton cleans up easier and stays softer than other materials. Also, I have some sensory issues, and I just get the heebie-jeebies when I touch certain materials (like velour, fleece, some polyester, etc.). So I stayed away from these materials for my own sake as much as Isaac's! I also am mindful that Caleb is very sensitive to polyester and synthetics (his skin turns bright red when his skin rubs against these fabrics--it's better now than when he was a baby, but still is an issue). I want to keep these synthetics away from Isaac, too, even though he hasn't had any problems yet (and remembering that I can use these cloth diapers for the next baby, who may have skin issues like Caleb).
  • Fitted diapers: Fitted diapers are basically what you would think of when you think of cloth diapers, but they are already "fitted" into the shape of a diaper, and they close with
    velcro or snaps so none of those pins are necessary. I chose some that are made of all cotton, but you can get them in hemp, fleece, velour, microfiber, or bamboo. They require a waterproof cover over them. I chose to go with fitteds rather than prefolds, which you have to fold to fit your baby and then pin together. Who has the time for that? If you do, more power to ya!

  • Covers: Covers are waterproof and go over a fitted diaper. I never thought I would get wool covers while living in Texas, but I did! After researching, they are the only natural, breathable option for covers out there. And they seem great for overnight--
    wool can soak up a ton of liquid and not feel wet. I also got some organic cotton covers, which are cotton on the outside and a wipe-off PUL on the inside. I debated about that PUL layer, but it won't touch Isaac's skin (the fitted will), so I don't think it will be a big deal. You can use covers a few times before washing. Wool covers can be used for a couple of WEEKS between washings! How crazy is that!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Cloth Diaper Review: Gdiapers

This will be the first in a series of posts about cloth diapers. I told my story of how I came to use gdiapers in the previous post.

Left: starter kit comes with 2 "little g" covers, 3 liners, and 10 flushables

Price: $24-27 for a starter kit (see pic), about $17 for extra covers, $15 for a pack of flushable inserts (between $.36 and $.45 per flushie, depending on the size)

Availability:, Whole Foods, and for the starter kits; covers in colors other than orange or vanilla bean currently have to be purchased at

How it works: Gdiapers are what they call a "hybrid diaper." It's not totally cloth, but it's not disposable either. It's kind of like Cloth Diapering 101. There's an outer cotton cover, an inner waterproof liner that snaps into the cover, and a flushable insert that goes in the liner. Yup--flushable. When your kid poops or pees in it, you just pull it out and flush it down.

Well, theoretically. You have to rip the sides off of the insert first, and say a prayer to Jesus that your toilet doesn't get clogged in the process. (Hey, He's God over the little things, too!) But it's fairly simple, and we've been using them with a good amount of success since June.

Left: an opened cover with a liner snapped into it (the flushie fits into this)

  • They are adorable!
  • The velcro fastens in the back, so it isn't easy for little fingers to pull off.
  • The inserts can be flushed down the toilet, thrown away (they will biodegrade quickly!), or composted (just the pee ones).
  • They have held up well after Isaac's 6+ months of use. A little fading and wearing down on the velcro, but definitely still usable for many months to come.
  • There are no fancy laundry routines required--you just wash the covers and liners in warm with the rest of your laundry.
  • You can reuse the cover several times before washing it.(The liner usually needs to be hand-washed in the sink after one use--just use a little soap and warm water. It dries very quickly, so you can just leave it out to dry.)
  • The g's are super-trim, so they fit nicely under regular kid clothing. Some cloth diaper systems are too bulky for normal clothes.
  • Their customer support rocks! You can talk to a real live person on the phone, or send an email and have it answered pretty quickly. Their headquarters are in the Northwest (Seattle area, I think), and they actually have planned events for g parents.
  • There's a great support group for g-parents on yahoo! groups.

  • The flushies are expensive--more than a disposable diaper.
  • You can use cloth inserts in the liner instead of the flushies, but I always get leaks when I do this. (I still do it, but I just know I'll have to do more laundry that way.)
  • The snaps often leave red marks on Isaac's skin, no matter how tight or loose I fasten the g.
  • I don't trust these overnight or on long shopping trips. They just aren't as absorbant as a regular diaper, so we still use disposables for those times. Tried and true g mums will put two flushies in there at night, but that just gets too pricey for me.
  • Whenever a kid poops in a gdiaper, you're going to get poop on the waterproof liner. That means that you're going to have to unsnap the liner and wash it in the sink. Yup, that means you often get poop on your hands. If that totally grosses you out, then gdiapers are not for you.
  • The waterproof liner does lose its "waterproofness" over time. Ours are still okay, but not as good as they were when we first bought them. I still don't have a problem with leaks when using the flushies. But eventually we'd need to wash them in a product like Nic Wax to get that waterproofness (is that a word?) back.

Overall Impression:
Gdiapers are a great introduction to cloth diapers. If you have the money to pay for the flushables, and you don't want to worry about dealing with the particulars of washing cloth diapers (since g's go in your regular laundry), go for it! It's definitely much better for the environment than disposables.

For me, I can't afford the flushies, and I'm not opposed to doing extra laundry. I'm researching other options, but these cute little g's will have a special place in my diaper stash.

If anyone needs a coupon for these, I have several. Just let me know and I'll mail one out to you for free.

Our Cloth Diaper Jouney

It all started in May 2008 when I got an email from stating that they were now carrying something called "gdiapers", and they thought I might be interested since I had bought baby stuff from them before. Usually I ignore emails like that, but this one caught my attention. I started reading, and I learned that your normal disposable diaper spends 500 years in a landfill. Holy cow!

I am probably like most parents out there, and I hadn't even thought of using cloth diapers. It just wasn't an option. Who wants to swish poopy stuff in the toilet or deal with diaper pins and rubber pants? But when I heard about gdiapers, it just changed my way of thinking completely. Cloth diapers have come a long way, and they are actually pretty cute and user-friendly now (not to mention better for your baby's bottom than all those synthetics in a plastic diaper).

I have become much more eco-minded since I got that amazon email. I had not bothered to think much about the environment before then. But when I started reading--and reading and reading--and becoming more conscious of what kind of environmental impact I was having, I just couldn't sit by and do nothing anymore. I certainly couldn't use disposable diapers exclusively anymore, knowing that all of those diapers will sit there in a landfill for the next 500 years (for my great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandkids).

I am going to write out my reviews of the different cloth options I try. I'll start with gdiapers in my next post.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Christmas Eve 2008

I had such a good time on Christmas Eve. Mom, Dad, Grandma, Angela, and Rich came over around 4/5ish and we sat around eating some appetizers. Then we all went to our church's Christmas Eve service at 6:00. WOW! The church was completely packed. I think our new sanctuary seats something like 4000, but even that couldn't hold everyone. The choir loft was even stuffed. We ended up standing up against a wall in the back. Next year we'll know to get there earlier if we need seats I was content to stand in the back and sing carols about Jesus, swaying to the music with Isaac.

Christmas 2008

We started out the day at our house. It was the first time EVER that I haven't woken up at my parents' house on Christmas morning. But we all ended up enjoying our first round of Christmas at home. It's kind of fun to create new family traditions.

We got to Mom and Dad's around 12:30 and had a wonderful lunch there with everyone--even Mimme Scott and Grandmama. After lunch, we opened more presents. I have rarely seen a room so chaotic as that one as we all opened presents!

Caleb really "got it" this year, so it was by far the best Christmas since we've had kids. He can tell you that Christmas is all about "baby Jesus" and that we celebrate His birthday on Christmas. But he also knows that Santa comes and brings presents to good boys!

We bought Caleb several food-related presents this year, in the hopes of inspiring him to eat better. Scott cleaned out the old play kitchen that has been in our garage for a year or more. It used to be Sara's when she was little. We got Caleb some new wooden play foods, and Santa brought him wooden pots and pans. He is having a blast playing "little chef." Mostly he makes us grilled cheese sandwiches.

Mom and Dad bought Caleb an easel and accessories to go along with it. It's so cool. I think he'll enjoy that for many years to come. The most thoughtful gift we received this year, though, was the apron/smock for Caleb to wear while working on his art projects. Mom bought the smock, and then Rich painted Caleb's name and a train on it. It is SO precious. You can see it in the pic here. Thank you, Rich!!