Posted by: WoodElves / Category:

First, some cuteness. He always looks so alert and calm when we snap him in his car seat:

Second, a picture of me and hubs with his birthday cake. I only get to make one cake a year (now two, yay!) so I usually take the time to make something fun. This year it was a Beatles cake, just regular Betty Crocker cookbook carrot cake.

Ok, now on to the point of this post :D We have gradually been starting cloth diapering with Mac. We knew before he was born that we were going to want to cloth diaper to save money and since I stay home with him, I can cloth diaper without too much hassle. Also cloth diapers are a lot more advanced than they used to be, so they aren't as much work as they were in the old days. We also knew that we weren't going to start out cloth diapering to give us time to adjust to being parents and research out the cloth diaper system that would be the right fit for us. We like the idea of being able to buy diapers now and use them with all of our children - way more economical and less wasteful than using exclusively disposables.

Now I'm really spoiled because the online cloth diaper retailer Diaper Junction has their only store location here in Virginia Beach so I was able to go to the store and see and touch the different diapers in making my decisions. Also, I don't have to pay for shipping. The other nice thing is that right now, Swagbucks offers Diaper Junction $5 gift cards for only 299 Swagbucks. I'm able to get those and save $5 on each of my orders.

This is the bucket that I got to put the soiled diapers in until washday. It's just a Safety 1st Easy Saver diaper pail and I got it because several people wrote on the reviews that they use it for cloth diapers. I got a Planet Wise wet bag to put in it to hold the diapers. On washday, I throw the wet bag and all the diapers straight into the wash together. I got the diaper pail from Babies R Us using a 20% off coupon and a gift card. It usually retails for $20 which isn't bad at all compared to other diaper pails. The wet bag was $16.50 from Diaper Junction and I used one of my gift cards for that too.

Like I said, we've been starting out slow with cloth diapering. Right now I just have one Flip diaper cover and this Best Bottom diaper cover. The Flip was on Mac when I took this picture. I have enough diapers here to last more than one day so if I'm doing much cloth diapering, I'll have to wash them every day but I wanted to do some test runs before I bought too many more. I used my friend Hope's excellent diaper review post here which helped a lot with making some of my diaper buying decisions. I've been stuffing the Flip with these generic tri-fold diapers from Babies R Us and I got three size small inserts for the Best Bottom to use for my trials.

I like that you can use any inserts with the Flip and you don't have to buy their specific inserts or multiple sizes. You could stuff these with kitchen towels in an emergency - it doesn't really matter. The problem with this for me is that it's a little too much like old school cloth diapering and not quite as convenient since you have to fold and stuff. Also, Mac had a blow out in the Flip today and it seemed like it didn't do too much to protect him but I'm not going to pass judgment until I'm sure that it wasn't because I didn't have it snapped tight enough or that his legs are still too thin for the leg openings.

Here is the Best Bottom with one of the inserts snapped in. I really like that these snap in and don't involve any folding so that makes them more convenient to use. I will have to buy different sizes of inserts as Mac grows, but again, since I'm investing in all of our children here, that doesn't bother me too much. Depending on the inserts you get, they're about $4 each. The different size inserts also keeps it from being so bulky on the little guy. When I change him, I'll just pull the insert off, wipe out the cover, and following Hope's advice, let the cover air dry and I'll put the Flip on him for the next go round. That way I rotate the covers and let them air out between uses.

There are lots of other kinds of cloth diapers and it's pretty overwhelming to wade through them all and decide what's right for you. I decided that I wanted to go with these All-in-Twos so that I could wash the inserts and reuse the covers; and I wanted these brands that use the same cover as the baby grows and I don't have to buy several sizes of covers.

Right now I'm really liking the Best Bottom and foresee myself buying more of those and making them my primary diaper. We're still getting the hang of it and we use disposables at night still, because I haven't invested in any overnight inserts (which are thicker) and because David primarily changes him at night. Sometimes.

Lastly, for disposable diapering, I highly recommend this little diaper caddy:
When I went to set up the baby registry, my friend Rachel recommended I register for one and I'm so glad I did. Until I started cloth diapering, we pretty much never changed Mac at his changing table - we just carried this caddy around the house, plopped it down wherever we were, and changed Mac right there. We still have it in our room at night for night changes. It's so convenient to have everything so handy.

So far, cloth diapering has been quite manageable as we ease into it. As I learn more and get more diapers, I'll be sharing more about what I learn.

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Valentine's Baking

Posted by: WoodElves / Category:

What, you seriously didn't think I was the only domestic person with a blog to not cook something heart-shaped today, did you? ha! I made David some peanut butter cookies since I'm too poor this year to get his usual gift... that and I never really got around to looking for sales/deals on it.

I used the peanut butter cookie recipe from Laurie at Cookin Up North. The Crisco gives it a nice crispy edge but they aren't hard.

I just rolled the dough into a U and pressed into shape with the usual fork dipped in sugar and then pinched the tip with my fingers.

Then I added chocolate chips on top of some for me. David couldn't eat all those cookies by himself, anyway! I've only tested one slightly burnt one but am looking forward to attacking the pile tonight after dinner of Thai Chicken Bites & rice.

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Posted by: WoodElves / Category:

I can't believe how big my boy is already! He seems huge lying on my lap feeding. Feeding times have GREATLY improved and hopefully soon will be completely painless. Praise God! Those first weeks of feeding were the hardest thing I've ever done.

Mac hasn't been one for much of a sleeping schedule. He's starving about every 2-2.5 hours but naps are a lot less predictable. These days, carrying him in the Moby is the best way to get him to sleep & stay asleep, but that could change next week. He also has greatly improved in attitude - we are having much more happy time and smiles and are soaking every second up. He still has grumpy times, but so do I. In a split second, he can change from blissfully happy to miserable and vice versa. Also he's doing better in the number of times I can put him down and he not start crying right away, making for a very happy mama. I can do almost everything one-handed, but not everything!

Anyway, all this to tell you that last night after I fed him about 9pm, he was awake and happy and it would have been a great time to play with him. The problem was that David and I were exhausted. David is still recovering from his sore throat & cough and needs extra rest so he can get better all the way. I actually put my wide awake, happy little boy in the bassinet and went to bed... holding my breath because eventually he would start crying and I'd have to get up again to help him get to sleep. I like to take opportunities to let him try to achieve
sleep on his own but only to an extent! Well he kicked and flailed his little arms and made little noises and I reached over a few times to put his pacifier back in his mouth. But do you know, he never did cry, and eventually he went to sleep on his own.

I'm a very proud mom today. I know lots of moms have babies who go to sleep by themselves all the time but this is Mac's moment and I'm going to brag on him because it's my boy and my blog and I can. :D

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