Thursday, November 17, 2011

What I wish someone would have told me about having a baby......

Ok, these next few posts might be a little TMI, so consider this your disclaimer.  If you don't want to know, don't continue to read.  Now that I am 5 1/2 months into raising a baby, I have a few things I have learned that I wish I would have known.  It would have made my life much easier, but I guess no one tells you these things so you can learn for yourself.  Who knows why, but I'm going to say it.  Keep in mind that every baby is different and this has been what has worked for us.  If I can help one new mommy, then I have done my good deed.  I will be honest though.  I had a very easy pregnancy and actually enjoyed being pregnant.  I never got uncomfortable, even in the last few weeks.  It was annoying having to pee every 15-30 minutes and I was considering getting some Depends.... I'm not joking.

 Contractions - You might think contractions are bad when they first start to get strong and come closer together.  You will probably fear they are going to get worse & really hurt.  Well, they do.  I remember the hospital staff telling me to come in when they got worse or if my water breaks.  All I could think about that was - really, these are going to get worse?!  I thought they were pretty bad already!  Once your water breaks, it's a whole new ball game and level of pain!  I can't remember the pain anymore, but I remember when I had contractions after my water broke, it was hard to walk or think or focus on breathing.  The contractions completely overwhelmed my body.  Surprisingly, in the car ride to the hospital I didn't yell, scream or even raise my voice.  I was pretty calm & didn't even cry.  When I got to the hospital & was waiting on my epidural I started to cry from the pain though.  No lie, the tears could have also been the rush of emotions coming to me - this is it, I was about to be a mom!!

Having a birth plan - My advice is if you have a birth plan, realize it can and probably will change.  That was my problem. I felt like I was open to anything if it came along, but then after it was all over, I realized I was very narrow minded and what I wanted was how it should be and I was not willing to budge.  Your baby will come when it wants and how it needs to come out regardless of how much you plan and try to prepare.  I was so dead set on not having a c-section that I didn't even read about them or do any kind of research.  Come to find out, that was a huge mistake on my part.  Perhaps if  read about it, I would have been prepared for the feelings I had.  You  can only do so much and you might need the assistance of modern medicine. 

Bleeding post delivery - The bleeding after delivery is sickening.  I felt like a gutted pig. I love how the books I read make it sound ok and not really a big deal.  It was so gross!  Be prepared knowing it can last up to 4 or 5 weeks.  Luckily mine only lasted 3 weeks.  Pads worked for literally 2-5 minutes.  In the beginning I was basically wearing a pee pad for dogs inside the "fancy" underwear they gave me at the hospital.  It works though.  Basically it was folded in between my legs and fanned out in the front & back and then the underwear held it in place.  As for the underwear in the hospital - I can only speak from the experience of having a c-section, but pack some with you to take home.  You (your insurance) paid for it so you might as well use it.  I wish I would have asked for extra ones to be honest.  For the first 2-3 weeks after a c-section you can't wear normal panties because it will dig into your scar.  Honestly I didn't go back to wearing normal panties until about 4 to 5 weeks.  I couldn't wear regular pants, shorts or skirts either & still can't for a long time.  Everything comes right to the level of the scar & will rub & dig into you.  If you have a c-section, make sure you have plenty of bottoms that don't have seams.  I wore a lot of cotton dresses around the house & when I went out for almost 6 weeks.  You would think with all the companies that make maternity clothes that someone would come up with clothes you can wear after delivery if you had a c-section.

Breastfeeding and increasing milk supply - I have so much to say about this that it gets it's own post!

Burping after feeding - In the beginning I didn't realize how important this was.  I would try & if she didn't burp immediately, I'd give up and lay her down.  Or she would burp once & I thought that was it.  She was spitting up a lot & I couldn't figure out why.  Now I burp her half way through a bottle (sometimes I use a bottle of pumped breast milk) and after each breast before switching to the next one.  She eventually will burp.  Sometimes up to 3 times.  Sometimes they are so loud I think I'm burping a grown man!  Now she hardly spits up.  I have noticed as she has gotten older she will hardly burp for me, but I guess she is getting more proficient at eating and takes in less air.

Nipple confusion - I am convinced this is the biggest crock ever.  I was petrified of giving her a pacifier in the hospital, so I told them I didn't want one to be used.  After a week of offering my pinky to her to silence her crying, we decided to try to let her try a pacifier.  She wouldn't take any we had at the house.  I noticed the ones they had in the hospital are those big soothies from Avent.  So we made the trip to our home away from home, Babies R Us, and bought a 2 pack of the soothies from Avent.  She took that one and loved it.  I didn't understand why because the Gumdrop pacifiers were the same shape.  I think the Avent ones might be a softer, squishier material, but the big thing is they hit her in the nose & it might simulate the breast touching her nose.  That's all I can figure, but she likes it and it calms her down.  As for bottles, I was scared for the same reason.  I heard so much about this nipple confusion and how if she was offered the bottle too early she would choose it over the breast because it flows faster & is easier to get milk from.  Well, I obviously had no choice but to feed her in a bottle in the beginning so we knew how much she was getting.  So when my parents were here, my mom fed her the bottle & Rob took off a week after they left so he fed her.  That way she didn't associate me with a bottle, only the breast.  Well, he had to go back to work & she had to be fed.  I fed her the bottle & she was fine.  She still takes my nipple without hesitation.  After talking to my friends and other moms, they found the same thing.  None of us know of anyone who actually had a kid with nipple confusion.  So why that info. is out there scaring moms is beyond me.  Now I do know at least six other moms who waited to try to give their baby a bottle or pacifier until after 6-8 weeks and all of their babies refused to take a bottle and/or a pacifier.

Amount to eat - When I asked my pediatrician she said every baby is different and didn't give me an exact number (how many ounces per feeding or per day she should be consuming).  Well, my baby isn't gaining weight but I didn't know how much she should be eating everyday.  I searched the internet & couldn't find an answer for babies over 5 days old.  The lactation class/group gave me the answer.  I have a chart with the amount they should be getting and at each age.  I put a picture of the chart in the bottom of this post.  If you can't read it, contact me on Facebook (link below on the right side) and give me your email address & I'll send it to you or your phone number & I can text it to you.  It was amazing once she started to get the amount she should be eating how much she gained weight daily.  She gained about an ounce a day.  It took her almost 4 weeks to get up to, stay at and increase in weight from her birth weight.  Babies are typically supposed to gain a pound from their birth weight by 1 month old & we were just finally getting up to our birth weight.  

Bottles - Now here is where every baby is different.  When you buy bottles or put them on your registry, only get a single.  Don't get the starter packs or multiple bottles.  I found she doesn't like any of the bottles with big wide nipples.  She only will take the Dr. Browns bottles.  Once you find bottles your baby likes, then you can get the larger variety packs of it.

Cutting nails - You will be scared to death of cutting your baby, I know I was!  In the beginning, I would trim the nails when she is sleeping.  I'm not talking just got to sleep, but dead asleep where you can pick up an arm & it drops and the baby still doesn't wake up.  I have to cut her nails almost every other day because they grow so fast and she has a bad habit of clawing her face and pulling on the skin on her cheeks under her eyeballs.  I haven't cut her yet,  but I take my time and if she wakes up I stop.  I have noticed as she has gotten older I can trim her nails while she's nursing and she doesn't need to be asleep anymore.  Also, during the newborn time, try to get the long sleeve onsies that have the flip down mittens.  If it's too hot for that, then use socks on the baby's hands until you can get the nails cut.  The mittens they sell just fall off too easily.  I have been told their nails are paper thin and you can just peel them off, but that wasn't the case with Addison. 

Breastfeeding, Increasing milk supply and a "tongue-tied" baby

Contact me on Facebook (link below) about this if you have any questions.  I realize I am not a trained lactation consultant, but I might as well be!  I have been through the ringer on this one, but I'll give you a summary.

Breastfeeding - I am so pro breastfeeding it's not even funny & will do everything I possibly can to avoid formula.  No offense to the formula feed babies, this is just my opinion.  I am also VERY stubborn so I'm sure this played a role in my mission to have a breastfed baby.  Sometimes when you have a c-section it takes longer for your milk to come in.  From her first initial latch it hurt bad.  She basically bit my right nipple so hard it was bleeding on Day 1.  She obviously had a taste for blood because she wanted nothing to do with my left breast.  I ended up having to pump in the hospital.  Mainly to stimulate my left breast, but also to kick start my milk supply.  I was pumping every hour almost and getting mere drops.  I would then feed these drops via syringe to Addison. Which I was told this small amount of colostrum is "normal".  A baby's belly is the size of a small marble after being born.   You can feed several ways - directly from the syringe to the baby's mouth, through a tube that you place next to your nipple & control the flow via syringe or turn your pinky upside down (nail facing baby's tongue) to encourage sucking & place the syringe with milk in the corner of baby's mouth.  When I breastfed at the hospital, the lactation consultant gave me a nipple shield.  The one they gave me was made by Medela & it was amazing! Using this to feed her was an absolute must.  The pain was unbearable to try to feed her without it. Well, I still wasn't making enough colostrum & she was loosing weight.  Babies will normally lose weight after birth, but once it becomes 10% of their initial weight, they start to worry.  On Friday at birth she was 7 lbs. 3 oz. and on Sunday when we left she was 6 lbs. 8 oz. so she was getting close.  The only reason why they even let me leave the hospital with her was because by Sunday afternoon I had just pumped 7 mL when the discharge nurse came in my room and it wasn't just colostrum anymore.  It actually had breast milk in it.  If I wouldn't have been able to do that, I'm afraid they would have admitted her to the NICU and fed her formula.  Once we got home, I still had to take her to the doctors office for almost daily weigh ins.  She got down to 6 lbs. 7 oz. on Monday's weigh in, but then back up to 6 lbs. 8 oz. on Wed.  Her weigh kept going up and down.  She hardly gained, we were going to weigh ins several times a week.  I knew my milk would come in & I didn't want to supplement with formula.  Confession - I would sometimes feed her in the car before the weigh ins just to see the increase in the numbers so they would leave us alone.  By 2 1/2 weeks she got up to her birth weight, but then dropped back down to 7 lbs.  She stayed around 7 lbs. for another week. - not good.  Finally a friend of mine from my prenatal yoga class told me she was going to go check out the lactation group/class at the hospital she delivered at & wanted to know if I wanted to go with her.  Thank heavens she did.  It was twice a week & they weigh Addison naked, weigh her in clothes and diaper before she eats & then after she eats so you know how much she is getting during a feeding.  My parents ended up buying us the scales from Babies R Us so I could monitor her weight daily at home.  My pediatrician was almost worthless when it comes to giving me a direct answer and we have changed to a new pediatrician.  When I asked how much she should be getting everyday, she said every baby is different.  Well here I am thinking breastfeeding is going great because my kid has the correct number of wet & poopy diapers, she's eating and kind of gaining weight, just not very fast.  Well, she was starting to want to eat every hour and was fussy a lot.  I had already cut out dairy & cabbage from my diet thinking that was why she was so gassy & I didn't want to give her medicine for gas at such a young age if I didn't have to.  After going to the lactation group/class with my friend, I found out that the previous lactation consultant at the hospital should have explained things a little better.  She told me to feed on each side for at least 15 minutes. She failed to mention that I needed to start feeding on the breast I left off with at the last feeding so the baby can get the rich, fatty hindmilk that comes after the foremilk.  The foremilk is very watery & not filling.  This is why she was wanting to constantly eat & was getting gassy which made her fussy.  Once I changed that, she hasn't been gassy or fussy & her feedings immediately increased to at least 2 hours apart.  As she has gotten older (and had her tongue clipped - a different post) she eats about every 4-6 hours and is getting between  5-9 ounces per feeding.      

Increasing milk supply - Now, it took a long time for my supply to increase & I have tried everything!  In the beginning, I was taking fenugreek and blessed thistle supplements, drinking 3 glasses of Mother's Milk Tea a day, eating big bowls of oatmeal for breakfast and oatmeal cookies throughout the day, eating fennel in my salads everyday, drinking water with chlorophyll twice a day, pumping at least every 4 hours, pumping every time after I breastfeed, doing compression of the breasts when I breastfeed & pump and I still wasn't getting full or engorged.  One time we fell asleep (including Addison) for 8 hours and I still wasn't engorged or full.  At first, when she breastfed, she was only getting around an ounce from me, but I could pump another 4-5 ounces out after she fed.  I found out she might be tongue-tied and that is why it was still painful for her to feed (without the nipple shields) and she hasn't been able to get enough milk from direct feeding.  I shouldn't be able to feed her and still pump 4-5 ounces afterwards.  She was obviously not getting enough to eat at each feeding.  Even now at almost 6 months of breastfeeding, I don't get engorged or full unless it is a night where she sleeps for more than 9 hours and I don't pump it out.  

Tongue-tied baby.... to clip or not to clip - At the recommendation of 3 lactation consultants I made an appointment with a doctor to see if she is tongue-tied and to cut the frenelum if she is.  I wasn't going to get it cut, but now I think I am. Since he was the best doctor for doing this procedure, I would leave it up to his recommendation as to what we should do.  I was considering getting it clipped because she was getting enough milk by bottle of my pumped milk and breast feeding was basically supplementing the bottles.  But then I realized how much easier it would be on all of us if we didn't have to take bottles of milk in the cooler for her & dragging the pump around if we were going to be gone from the house for more than 2 1/2 hours. I'm sure I look pretty classy with a bottle between my breast (yes, in public) trying to warm up the milk from the cooler to feed her if we aren't somewhere I can microwave a cup of water. I even have to pump in the car when I'm driving.  If she is tongue-tied and it gets cut, she should be able to take more milk, and since I come equipped with the milk jugs already, there would be no need for bottles & coolers.  Since she would be taking more, if I pumped after she ate, it would tell my body to produce more milk, so then my supply would increase.  Then I could start freezing & storing some milk instead of playing catch up (basically what I feed her in a bottle is what I pump right after). Right now, my left side produces double of what my right side does. There could also be a chance she could develop a speech impediment due to the tongue-tie.  Let me tell you - even though I said I was going to do what the doctor suggests, that was easier said than done.  After his exam he said we should absolutely clip her tongue.  My emotions took over and I immediately began to cry.  He explained it would be a very quick (10 seconds) procedure and then we would put her on my breast and let her eat and she would forget all about it.  Sounds good right?  Well, it didn't go that smooth.  Once the procedure is done, it would have been nice to know that I would have to use a tongue depressor and stretch her tongue each feeding for the next two weeks.  If I didn't do these stretches every time she ate, her frenulum would grow back together and we would have to do the clipping again.  Below are the entries in my journal about her tongue clipping.

7.27.11 --- We decided to get her tongue clipped. Honestly I thought her feedings were getting better (she takes in more milk & I am able to nurse without nipple shields), so I was kind of shocked when Dr. Murphy said he would recommend it. I was slightly hesitant, but I know Dr. Murphy knows his stuff, so decided to proceed. 

She didn't cry as hard as I expected her to. I'm sure it didn't help that after he cut it & she kept bleeding he couldn't find the Afrin (it is supposed to constrict the blood vessels). 3 gauze pads later, she is still bleeding & crying. 

The first feeding in the office was not immediate. I tried to get her to latch on the right side several times. She was crying too hard & I couldn't get her to calm down. Thoughts of regret were in my head as I looked down at my breast covered in bloody slobber & my baby screaming her head off. Finally I got her to calm down with the help of the nurse giving her .6 mL of Tylenol. After 3-4 times, we got a good latch, but it still hurt a little bit. She took in about 1 oz. from the right side. I burped her & started the left side. After 3-4 tries, we got a good latch. It hurt less than the right side, but Dr. Murphy said it was a good latch. She got a little over 3 oz. from the left side. 

The next feeding at home (around 6 pm) she got about 3 1/2 oz. and there wasn't too much pain. We stretched her tongue before the feeding. 

Next feeding she started nursing on the right side. It took 6-8 tries before getting a semi-decent latch. It still hurt, maybe even worse than before the procedure. No position I tried made it feel better & she kept putting her hands in her face. It just seemed like she never opened her mouth wide enough. I stretched her tongue after the right side feeding and before the left side feeding. I noticed a small, white patch on her right side to the outside (left, closest to the cheek) and the diamond (where the cut is) looked like it had a small yellow area bordering the edges of the cut. Perhaps this is scar tissue or an infection. I will have the LC at Scripps look at it tomorrow. The left side initially hurt, but got a little better. She consumed almost 3 1/2 oz. 

So far I must say I regret the decision. I'm sure her mouth hurts, but as of right now she is eating less than she did prior to the procedure, I am having a more difficult time getting a good latch & it hurts when she nurses (possibly more now). 
7.28.11 --- The right side still hurts pretty bad, not just during initial latch, but the whole time. She is getting a little more milk than yesterday, but only from the left side. The right side is far behind. 

The whole incision area is yellow, so I guess that's normal for a mouth scab. I haven't seen the white patch at all today. 
7.29.11 --- It breaks my heart to have to use the tongue depressor every time she eats knowing I hurt her & that's why she's crying. 

It still hurts very bad (on the right side more). Very painful for initial latch & only eases up a little. She is getting a little more milk at each feeding today. I really hope this gets better soon. As of today, I still regret having her tongue clipped. 
7.30.11 --- It still hurts very bad on right side. I just can't seem to find a position where it doesn't hurt. She has the whole areola in her mouth, so I'm not sure why it hurts so bad. The left side doesn't hurt as bad. The initial latch is painful, but it gets better. I had to give her 1 feeding today in a bottle to give my sore nipples a break. She is getting more in a feeding now. Twice she got 8 oz.
8.4.11 --- I gave it a few days to see if I would get better & it has a little bit. It still hurts really bad on the right side for the first few minutes. 

She is eating more at each feeding & eating less times during the day. She also seems to be sleeping longer & there is more time between feedings. However, my milk production is getting lower. There are times where she has to eat for twice the time to get the same amount of milk she did for the previous feeding. 
8.13.11 ---- Today (6:40 pm feeding) was the very first time she got a perfect latch on both sides & it didn't hurt at all. I thought she wasn't even on because there was absolutely no pain. Hopefully this will be the norm from now on. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The many uses of coconut oil

I have used coconut oil on my face, body and hair as a moisturizer for a while now.  There's many other uses for it, but that's for another blog post.  For anyone who doesn't know, coconut oil comes in a glass jar and can be found in the cooking isle.  It is in a solid state as long as the temperature is cooler than 76 degrees.  Once it gets warmer than that, it melts into a liquid.

I use the oil on her skin as a moisturizer.  Her pediatrician even made a comment the first time she saw Addison.   She said she had never seen such beautiful skin on a newborn.  The best part about using the oil on your skin is it's not greasy and a little bit goes a very long way.  Not to mention it smells great too!

One Friday night we had to run some errands and same for the next morning.  I'm not sure which day it happened (my guess would be Saturday) but she got a tiny bit of diaper rash from sitting in a dirty diaper for too long.  Keep in mind we are using cloth diapers, not disposable.  Immediately after I saw the diaper rash I applied some coconut oil to her bottom and by the end of the night, the rash was gone!  I had read about coconut oil being great for diaper rash, but I could hardly believe how fast it cleared it up.  Now I just apply a very light layer of coconut oil every time I change her diaper.  Not only does it make clean ups a breeze, it seems to help the cloth wipe glide over her skin better.  After looking at other natural products for treating diaper rash, it makes sense to see 98% of them contain coconut oil. It is antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial.  It is also a safe alternative to use for diaper rash if you use cloth diapers.

I noticed on the inside of her right thigh a tiny red mark.  Initially it looked like it was just a mark left from her diaper maybe being too tight.  Every day we have about an hour in the morning and another hour in the afternoon with no diaper.  After all of this free time without a diaper, the marks were still there.  I decided to try a little coconut oil on it.  After about 4 applications, the red marks had faded to a pinkish color.  By the next day, the marks were completely gone and have never come back.

Addison also seemed to be getting a case of cradle cap. I started putting coconut oil on her head and it soon disappeared. Her cradle cap never got crusty and yellow.  It pretty much just looked like flaky, scaly skin.  After about a week and a half to two weeks of use and lightly brushing her scalp in a circular motion, the cradle cap was gone and beautiful peach fuzz was left on her head where her hair had previously fallen out.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Petunia Pickle Bottom Diaper Bag Review

I don't have any other experience with any other diaper bag, but I felt I should do a review of my diaper bag since I am so pleased.  I just figure if anyone is on the fence, it might help them to decide if they want one or not. I have a Petunia Pickle Bottom shoulder bag.  I chose this bag because I know how messy I can be and it has a glazed fabric (PVC free wipe-able material) on the outside, so it can easily be wiped clean.  I also liked the built in changing table station and it's great because the pad is removable.  Another nice feature is all of the pockets.  There is even a zipper pocket in the strap for your keys.   For me the bag is the perfect size.  It's not too big or small and fits everything I need on the go.

I am absolutely in love with this diaper bag and always get compliments on it!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Planet Wise Wet Bag & Diaper Pail Liner Reviews

 As promised from a previous post, here is my review for the Planet Wise wet bag.  I initially purchased a small wet bag for my diaper bag.  Within days of the birth of my daughter we were able to try it out.  She is exclusively breastfed, so her poo is watery and only has a faint odor.  After several outings and using the wet bag, I couldn't be more pleased with the performance.  I have put dirty wet and soiled diapers in the bag for extended periods of time and it doesn't smell at all.  Her diapers are wet, but not dripping with water, so I do not know the full extent of its leak protection.  I must be honest though.  When I first bought it, I poured a cup of water in it, zipped it up and shook it around with no leaks.  I'm pretty sure it will hold up to leaks if I ever need it to.  I like it so much I ended up buying a medium bag for upstairs (Pack and Play with a changing table in the living room) and a diaper pail liner for the nursery.  The diaper pail liner is elastic at the top and it stays wide open and uncovered with no issues of any odors.  The medium bag I keep zipped up halfway, but I used to keep it completely unzipped and had no issues with odor at all.  I now have to keep it zipped halfway to keep our Golden Retriever out of it.  I found out the hard way he likes to eat the soiled diapers and he will pull every single one out of the bag.  Once the soiled diapers are out of the bag, my little Chihuahua likes to roll around in them.  Yes, we have an interesting household.  No, it has nothing to do with the performance review of the wet bags, but I thought I'd give a fair warning to anyone that has dogs.  I can happen & it's pretty gross.  It's also not fun following a dog around after every time he poops to make sure all of the diaper has come out.  Of course, the first time my Chihuahua decided to roll around in dirty diapers, she pulled the soiled diaper out herself and proceeded to carry it to the middle of the living room and roll in it...... while I had company!  It was cute and funny watching her roll around and play with it.  That is until my guest asked what that was and I realized it was a dirty diaper!  Sick, sick dogs I tell ya!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

A self taught lesson - Sergers 101

I was so excited to get my next fabric shipment in and get started on my next round of cloth diapers.  This time I will be sewing microfiber inserts.  After I got all my new fabric washed and cut to size, I sat down in front of the serger ready for the next few hours of work.  Little did I know, this was about to turn into a project that would last for days! 

A little background on me & my serger - I recently (withing the last few weeks) purchased my serger from a lady on Craigslist.  I told her I would mostly be making cloth diaper inserts, so I needed a heavy duty, built to last machine.  That was one reason why I was interested in the serger she was selling.  It was a Pfaff Hobbylock 794.  Yes, it's an older serger, but that wasn't a concern of mine.  These sergers had great reviews and were made during a time when things were actually built to be used, abused and last a long time.  Now everything is light weight, breakable and need to be replaced every few years.  I was confident in my purchased and it had just been serviced and was in amazing condition.  The best part - it was already threaded!  I had been reading about how sergers were so hard to thread.  No lie, it made me a little scared and intimidated.  I was on a mission to find a serger that was already threaded and just waiting for me to put some fabric in it.  Before I left her house, she showed me how to used it, wished me luck with the rest of my pregnancy and made sure all of my questions were answered.  I got home and couldn't wait to get started.  I did a test run & my first insert actually impressed me.  I did it!  I looked great and took less than a minute to sew.  This was a dream come true for me.  I thought to myself about how much money I am about to save by making my own inserts and hopefully I will get good enough to make them for other people to buy.  I finished the rest of my inserts and put the serger away since I was still waiting for more fabric to be sent.

Present day - I started sewing my first insert and as I was on the last edge, the serger jammed.  I tried to coax the material out, but soon realized it wasn't budging.  I tried to cut loose the fabric with my scissors, but they were too big.  I ended up getting the box cutter out and slicing the fabric off of the right looper.  The good news - the fabric was free and the serger worked again.  The bad news - by doing this I cut the thread too.  My worst fear had just unfolded before my very eyes, I was going to have to thread the serger.  The positive side was I didn't have to completely rethread it, just the holes that were inside the machine.  You know, the holes that were kind of hard to get to.  To my shock and disbelief, I was able to rethread with no problem.  A pair of tweezers became my new best friend and together we made things happen.  Now, looking back I shouldn't have thought this, but I was so proud of myself.  I thought (yes, out loud - I put it out into the universe) that all the people who complained about rethreading sergers were sissies and it was easy.  Mistake #1 - I got cocky.  Don't worry, I immediately got my payback.  I started to finish my insert and didn't pay attention to the fact I didn't put the foot down after I put my fabric in.  Seconds after my foot touched the pedal, my right needle broke.  Lesson learned - be proud of your accomplishment, don't criticize others and call them names.  Luckily the lady I bought the serger from had also given me extra needles.  I followed the directions and took out the broken needle, but to make it easier, I had to take off the left one to get better access to the right needle.  Lesson #1 - pay attention to what the needle looks like BEFORE you take off the good one.  The directions said to make sure the groove in the needle was facing me.  Everything looked good, so I put my fabric in to finish my insert.  Awesome - I obviously did something wrong because the threads were loose and they used to be perfect.  I made sure not to even touch the thread tension dials.  I put a few test pieces of flannel through and the stitches were very loose and getting worse.  Maybe it was because my flannel was too thin?  So I put the microfiber insert back in, but it still didn't work.  It couldn't have been the microfiber, people sew microfiber everyday.  I went back to the flannel test pieces.  Soon, my left needle was only poking a hole in the fabric and wasn't catching the thread loop on the front side.  My panic finally began to set in when all of the 4 threads weren't interlocking anymore and just came out of the machine individually.  I took a break to rest my eyes and calm down.  A few hours later I came back only to become more frustrated when I still couldn't get it to work.  I started looking for sewing shops in the area that repaired Pfaff sergers.  I wanted to be prepared for the worst, even though I was not ready to give up.  The next day I came back, sat down and attempted to finally figure this out.  Frustration eventually got the best of me and I decided to completely remove all 4 spools of thread and rethread the whole thing and I even reset the thread tensions back to the "N" setting.  I was starting from the beginning, from scratch and I was determined to figure this out.  After rethreading I realized I had put the thread for the right looper (the one I cut when I jammed the serger) in one of the holes the wrong way.  I was hoping this would be the issue and now everything was solved.  I put the test fabric in - same thing was happening.  I couldn't get the left needle to catch.  When I took the fabric out and manually turned the wheel, I couldn't get the thread to interlock.  Maybe it was my thread tension?  I set the tension back to what it was before the issues.  Still not working.  Aaaaarrrrrggggghhhh! I was never going to figure this out!  I opened the bottom of the serger so I could watch the thread interlock.  I studied it's every move and then noticed that the left looper was only sometimes catching the thread coming off of the two needles and most of the time it was only grabbing the right needle's thread.  I saw the groove on the needles and wondered why would the groove need to face the front, when it looked like it needed to face the back of the serger to make it easier for the left looper to hook.  I took both of the needles off and took a closer look at the groove.  There are two grooves.  A very long groove that goes almost the entire length of the needle and a smaller groove on the opposite side.  The smaller groove is the only one I notice originally and it was the groove I had facing the front of the serger - it was the wrong groove.  Thank you directions for being so specific!  I turned both needles around, tightened them, threaded them once more and was ready to see if this was my issue.  Without any fabric, I manually turned the wheel and watched the left looper catch BOTH needle's thread EVERY TIME it came through.  This had to be my problem.  Time to put some fabric in and test my theory.  I had to hold back the tears of joy that were bursting to come out.  The threads were perfect and the serger was back to working 100%!!!  I couldn't have been more excited!  One, because I wasn't going to have to take it in to a repair shop to have it fix.  Two, because I was going to finally be able to finish these inserts (I'm due in about two weeks and the clock is ticking).  Most importantly, reason number three.  I figured it out all by myself and this was a huge accomplishment for me.  I'm too stubborn to give up, but I will make myself crazy trying to figure something out.  I needed to know how my serger worked, but didn't think I was ready for a crash course in Sergers 101.  I am very happy and proud of myself.  I learned how to completely rethread my serger, correctly replace the needles, to understand the exact operation and how it interlocks the thread and how to solve my own problems with it instead of relying on a repair shop to just fix it for me.  Things can only get better from here and soon I will be a pro with my serger!

---->Update 7.12.11 -  I'm no expert, but if you have questions about this serger please feel free to contact me.  I feel confident I know the machine well enough now to offer some help.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Cloth diaper inserts

I have been very busy these past 2 days making my own cloth diaper inserts.  So far I have made 24 inserts with 11 different combinations of absorbency.  I am still waiting for more fabric to come in, but I thought I would go ahead and get started.  The fabrics I used to make these inserts are organic bamboo fleece, microchamois and zorb.  The organic bamboo fleece I used is 85% bamboo and 15% cotton.  Bamboo is known for being naturally anti-bacterial, very absorbent and environmentally friendly.  The bamboo fleece is very soft and will stay soft even after all of the washes it will have to go through.  Microchamois is a fleece-like material that is super soft and goes next to the baby's skin.  It is considered a wicking fabric, so it will wick the moisture away from the baby's skin to keep them dry.  The zorb is a fairly new material.  It consists of tangled cellulose fibers from bamboo, cotton, viscose and poly micro fibers.  It is an extremely absorbent, yet compact, trim fabric.  I made 11 different combinations to test the absorbancy of the inserts so I know what works best for us and then I will make more of the best ones.  I will review the inserts and if anyone is interested, I'd be happy to make some for you too!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

5 Tips for a greener lawn

Summer time is just around the corner!  It’s time to get your yard ready for the weekend BBQ’s.  We all want a yard that all the neighbors envy.  So unless you are going the easy route and having a yard of astro turf, here are 5 tips to a greener lawn.

1 -   Mix up a secret tonic: Mix one can of soda, one can of beer, ½ cup of dishwashing liquid (not the antibacterial brands), ½ cup of household ammonia and ½ cup of mouthwash, pours the mixture into a 10-gallon sprayer and apply it to the lawn twice a month. How does it work?  The ammonia promotes growth and greens the lawn and the mouthwash kills bugs and grubs.

2 -   Aerate the lawn: Aerating is an often-overlooked aspect of lawn care. It does take a bit of extra time but it's worth the effort.  The soil beneath the lawn becomes compacted, making it more difficult for water and fertilizer to reach the roots of the grass. Aerating also lets oxygen into the soil, which can improve root growth. Not sure if the lawn needs aerating? Insert a screwdriver into a small area of the lawn, if it's difficult to penetrate, you need to aerate.  Pay special attention to high traffic areas like where soil tends to be more compacted.  You can find manual aerating tools at home improvement centers that are perfect for small lawns. If your lawn is too big to aerate manually, consider renting a power aerator or hiring a lawn-care firm to tackle the task.

3 -   Patch damaged spots: If you've got kids or pets then you've probably also got a few damaged spots in the lawn. In order for the new grass to blend with the existing lawn, it's important to patch the damaged spots as soon as possible. Start by removing the dead patches, loosening the existing soil and adding compost. Patch the damaged spot with grass seed or a fresh piece of sod.

4 -   Mow at the right height: Your lawnmower blade has different settings. Avoid the lowest setting, which keeps the grass looking like a military-issued crewcut. Instead, set the blade to 3 inches (the highest setting) to promote deep root growth. The deeper the roots, the thicker and healthier the grass and a taller lawn helps shade the soil and slows the water from evaporating. 

5 -   Sprinkle Epsom salts: Epsom salts help seeds germinate, increase chlorophyll production, deters slugs and other pests and helps supplement regular fertilizer by providing micronutrients to the lawn. The Epsom Salt Council recommends applying 3 pounds for every 1,250 square feet of lawn area using a spreader.

Monday, May 2, 2011

A few tips to look good on a budget

As the economy took a dive, we have all had to cut back on certain things. There's no reason why we still can't look great - even on a tighter budget. Here are a few tips that will keep you looking amazing and not put a hole in your wallet.


Give yourself a weekly hot oil treatment -
Save a bundle by substituting jojoba oil for more expensive hair repair products. You can find jojoba oil in natural food stores like Henry’s, Whole Foods, etc. for around $10 or less.
·         Spread the oil liberally through dry hair
·         Put on a plastic shower cap and cover with a hot towel for 30 minutes
·         Wash hair completely (no need for conditioner) and rinse with cold water

Reduce redness, Get milk -
Soak a clean wash cloth in cold milk, lay down and lay the wash cloth on your face for 10 minutes.  The fats, proteins, amino acids and vitamin A in the milk will reduce redness and calm your skin.

Minimize under eye circles, Caffeinate your eyes -
Did you know tea bags can help to perk up tired looking, puffy eyes?
· Soak the tea bags in hot water for about a minute
· Then put them in ice water to cool for a few seconds
· Lie down and relax and put the tea bags directly over your eyes for 15 minutes


Mix your own whitener -
Make a paste from baking soda and a little water.  Brush your teeth with this paste a few times a month and it will help to remove superficial staining and whiten your teeth by a shade or two.

Keep teeth whiter longer -
If you are a fan of red wine, but not a fan of purple teeth, try this simple remedy.  While you are sipping your favorite red wine, snack on a few crunchy raw vegetables.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

What a weekend!

This weekend was dedicated to the little one in my belly. First, I have to thank my husband for being such a good sport and letting me drag him to these events.  Deep down I think he had a good time and I know he did it for me and to make me happy, which is very smart on his part.  I mean who really wants a pregnant lady mad at them? 

Saturday we went to the Your Natural Baby Fair.  It was a local event in San Diego that featured many local vendors that sell natural baby products or provide holistic services.  It was refreshing to see so many vendors that promote, support and cater to the health and well being of your family the natural way.  I am proud to have them in my community and wish them well with their businesses.  The classes and lectures they had were very informative and we learned a few things.

Sunday we made the drive to Santa Monica for the kick off event for Pregnancy Awareness Month.  The weather couldn't have been more perfect for the event since it was partially outdoors.  What a great event!  Celebrating motherhood and pregnancy with such a wonderful group of people was great - and being told I was a beautiful pregnant woman throughout the day was pretty amazing too!  They had a lot of great vendors at the event, the gift bags were terrific and everyone was so friendly.  One of my main reasons for going to this event was to meet Kim, the owner and co-founder of gDiapers.  After loads of research trying to find the best cloth diapering system for us, gDiapers blew away the competition.  I just had a few questions for her and this was my perfect opportunity to get to ask her face to face and learn more about the diapers.  She couldn't have been any sweeter.  She was very approachable and extremely knowledgeable on her product. She answered all of my questions, gave me tips and tricks about the diapers and showed me a few other products they make that I hadn't seen before.  I was already very impressed with the company and their product.  Her professionalism and kindness surpassed all of my expectations.  It was very refreshing meeting the owner of a company that actually appreciates it's customers.  Thank you very much Kim, you made my day and it was an honor meeting you.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Flushable liners for cloth diapers

I'll be honest, my husband doesn't seem 100% on board with cloth diapering.  I think he will eventually see how much money we will save and it isn't as hard as everyone says.  I am going to try to make it as easy on him as possible, so I have been researching flushable liners.  I know about gRefills, but I was looking for a flushable liner to use on top of the cloth insert.  Most of what I have read says that with newborns that are exclusively breast fed (which is what we are planning for) to not use these liners in the first few months because they will be messy.  The cloth tends to catch the water soluble waste better and there is less of a chance for explosions.....  Hmm, sounds interesting!  The first brand of flushable liners I'm going to try is made by Bummis.  It's their bio-soft flushable liners.  They come in a roll of 200 and will fit perfectly over the inserts in the gDiaper.  As for the newborn stage, I might use a fleece liner on top of the cloth diaper or no liner at all.  I will probably try both ways to see which works best.

***UPDATE*** While I was at the Pregnancy Awareness Month kickoff event in Santa Monica, I spoke with the owner & co-founder of gDiapers and they will be coming out with a flushable liner sometime in May.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Cloth've come a LONG way!

I was a cloth diaper baby and want nothing more than to use cloth diapers with our children, both because of the impact (or lack of) they have on the environment as well as our wallet.  In the past 30 years cloth diapers have advanced so much and now there are so many choices for parents.  After reading reviews, watching videos and talking to parents who cloth diaper their kids, I decided to go with the  gDiapers.  It's a hybrid diapering system, meaning you can use a cloth insert or a biodegradable insert.  The biodegradable insert can be flushed in the toilet or thrown away.  I plan on using the cloth inserts, but may on occasions use the biodegradable insert.  It is nice to know that if I happen to be out while using the biodegradable insert and I have to throw it away, it won't be sitting in a landfill for over 500 years. The insert breaks down in 50-150 days and that's something I can live with!  One of the best things about the biodegradable insert - wet waste can be composted.  We have a composter in our back yard, so this was a big plus for me.  I received my gBaby Bundle today and thought to myself how I couldn't have received a better delivery on Earth Day!  It includes 12 newborn tiny gPants, 6 small gPants and 80 disposable inserts.  FYI - the 6 small gPants come with the snap in liner included.  I ordered a pack of the liners just in case since I couldn't find any information if they did or didn't come with them.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Cloth diapering defined

Trying to figure out which diapering system would be the best took an extreme amount of reading.  I finally found the information below on the Zany Zebra Designs website.  They have the basic information and diaper lingo in one place.  Once you figure out which system you like best, then you can search for information on that particular type of diapering system. 

AIO - All in One

 AIO cloth diapers are shaped very much like disposable diapers with an hourglass shape and elastic in the legs and waist to keep messes inside. All-in-one cloth diapers consist a waterproof outer, an absorbent soaker, and a one-piece inner. They close with snaps or a hook and loop system similar to Velcro, called aplix or touchtape. All-in-one diapers come in different sizes to fit from birth to potty learning. There are two types of AIO: True and Quick Dry. AIOs are one-piece diapers that do not need a cover. This makes them one of the most simple types of cloth diapers.

AI2 - All in Two

AI2 cloth diapers are similar to AIOs except that the soaker in an AI2 is separate from the diaper body. Usually AI2 soaker is snapped to the diaper body, but it may be laid or sewn in also. AI2s do not need a cover because the diaper body has a waterproof outer layer. One advantage to AI2 cloth diapers is that the body and soaker separate for thorough cleaning and quick drying. Another advantage is that the soaker can be replaced if it wears out before the diaper body.


Contours - Contour Diapers

Contour diapers are hourglass shaped but do not have elastic in the leg or waist areas. They are very similar to prefold cloth diapers, but are easier to use because they do not need to be folded. Contour cloth diapers do not have attached closures so they must be fastened with a snappi or diaper pins. Contour cloth diapers do not have a waterproof layer so you will need a cover, unless you plan to let your child go coverless.


Contours - Contour Soakers and Inserts

Contour soakers and inserts are usually rectangular or hourglass-shaped and consist of several layers of absorbent fabric. Contour soakers are separate from the cloth diaper body and may be laid in, sewn in or snapped in to the back of the diaper. Usually QD contour inserts and soakers are left open on two or more sides so the absorbent layers will separate during laundering for thorough washing and quick drying.



 Many cloth diapering parents do not put covers over contours, flats, prefolds, or fitted cloth diapers when they are at home. Going coverless allows for better air circulation and is a cool option in warm weather. We let our son go coverless around the house in the summer, but our winters call for wool pants!


Diaper Covers

Diaper covers come in different styles and are made from various waterproof materials. PUL,  Windpro fleece, and wool are popular diaper cover materials. Diaper covers are used over contours, flats, prefolds, and fitted cloth diapers to provide a waterproof outer layer. Generally diaper covers consist of an hourglass shape with elastic in the legs and waist to keep messes inside. Some diaper covers fasten with snaps or a hook and loop system similar to Velcro, called aplix or touchtape while others simply pull on. Diaper covers come in sizes to fit from birth to potty learning, and when paired with prefolds or flats are a low-cost cloth diapering system.


Diaper Cover Clothing

Diaper cover clothing is known by many names. Longies, shorties, wool pants, wool shorts, soaker pants, and soaker shorts are some of the more common names. Diaper cover clothing is usually pull-on pants or shorts, although skorts, bloomers and capris are popular choices for girls. They are worn over flats, prefolds, and fitted cloth diapers to act as both a diaper cover and article of clothing. Diaper cover clothing can be knit from wool or acrylic yarn, or sewn from wool or fleece fabric. Diaper cover clothing is convenient because it replaces both a diaper cover and regular clothing.



 Doublers are similar to contour soakers but usually have less layers than a soaker and may be a bit smaller. They can be added to any cloth diaper to add absorbency for naps, long trips or if your child is going through a "super soaker" phase. Some doublers can be used as soakers inside newborn diaper covers or as inserts for newborn sized pocket diapers.


Fitteds - Fitted Diapers

Fitted diapers are very similar to a disposable diaper with an hourglass shape and elastic in the legs and waist to keep messes inside. Fitted diapers close with snaps or a hook and loop system called aplix or touchtape. Fitted diapers are not waterproof and usually require a separate diaper cover, unless your child is going coverless. Because the closures on fitted diapers keep them on without a diaper cover, they are a perfect choice for under wool or fleece diaper cover pants or shorts. Fitted diapers come in true, QD, and pocket styles, and sizes to fit from birth to potty learning.


Flats - Flat Diapers

Flats are probably the type of cloth diapers your grandmother used, and what most people picture when they hear the words "cloth diapers." Flats are large rectangles, usually made of a few layers of diaper gauze. They must be folded and fastened with diaper pins or a Snappi. Because they do not have a waterproof layer they must be covered with a separate cover, or wool or fleece diaper cover clothing, unless you choose to let your child go coverless. Flats wash and dry very quickly because they do not contain many layers of fabric. They are not the most absorbent choice of cloth diapers, but with diaper covers they are a low-cost cloth diapering system.



Inserts are the absorbent material in pocket diapers, and come in many different sizes, styles, and fabrics. By using different amounts of inserts and inserts of different fabrics, you can always provide the perfect absorbency for your child's needs. Inserts can be contour or trifold. Prefolds, flats, hand towels and other absorbent materials can also be used as inserts.



"Longies" is anotgher term for wool pants and usually refers to knitted or croched pants. For information about longies, please see diaper cover clothing.


Night Diapers

Night diapers can be as simple as doubled prefolds, or may be diapers made to meet the unique requirements of nighttime diapering. Most night diapers are more absorbent than regular diapers, and may be more bulky because of the extra absorbency. Pocket style night diapers are a great option because the absorbency can be customized to meet your child's changing needs.


PFs - Prefolds

Prefold cloth diapers are sometimes considered to be a step up from flat diapers. Prefolds are rectangles of absorbent fabric, usually serged on all four sides, similar to flats, but with extra layers of material in the center section. Prefolds need to be folded, then fastened with diaper pins or a Snappi. Prefolds need to be covered with a separate cover, or wool or fleece diaper cover clothing unless your child is going coverless. Prefolds come in several sizes to fit from birth to potty learning and when paired with diaper covers are a low-cost cloth diapering system. Prefold cloth diapers unfold in the wash for thorough cleaning and quick drying.


Pocket Diapers

 Pocket diapers are similar to disposable diapers with an hourglass shape and elastic in the legs and waist to contain messes. Most pocket diapers consist of a waterproof outer layer and a stay-dry inner layer of microfleece or suedecloth, however pocket-style fitted diapers without the waterproof layer are gaining in popularity. Pocket diapers and pocket style fitted diapers are often used at night because the stay-dry lining helps baby sleep better. Pocket diapers are unique because the front or back edge is left open for stuffing with an absorbent insert. The insert comes out of the diaper for thorough cleaning and quick drying, and can be replaced if needed without replacing the entire diaper.


QD - Quick Dry

 QD cloth diapers have an hourglass shape and elastic in the legs and waist to keep messes inside. The soaker in a QD diaper is separate from the diaper body and may be laid into the diaper, sewn, or snapped to the diaper inner. QD soakers come in trifold or contour shapes. One advantage to QD diapers is that the body and soaker separate for thorough cleaning and quick drying.



"Shorties" is another name for wool shorts. For information about wool shorts, please see diaper cover clothing.



Snappis are three legged plastic devices that fasten cloth diapers by grabbing the fabric with tiny teeth. Two legs are used to fasten the diaper horizontally and the third keeps the fabric from drooping in the front. Snappis are often used in place of diaper pins because they can be applied without worry about poking the child. Snappis do wear out over time and should be tested prior to each use.



"Soaker" can refer to two separate cloth diapering products. Often it refers to the middle layer in cloth diapers that absorbs wetness. An absorbent soaker can be contour, trifold, or true. The term "soaker" can also refer to a pull on style of diaper cover.



Trifold inserts and soakers are rectangles of absorbent fabric serged on all four sides and folded into thirds for use. Trifold inserts are stuffed into pocket diapers to provide absorbency. Some trifold inserts are large enough to be folded and laid into a cover like a prefold. Trifold soakers may be laid into cloth diapers or have snaps in the middle section to snap into a diaper body. Some trifold soakers have microfleece, suedecloth, or another fabric on the sections that touch baby's skin. Both trifold inserts and soakers unfold in the wash for thorough cleaning and quick drying.


True AIO or fitted

"True" is a term sometimes used to describe a cloth diaper that has its soaker sewn inside the the diaper body so the entire diaper consists of a single piece. True AIO diapers may take longer to dry than Quick Dry and some parents worry that they don't get as clean as diapers with a detached soaker. Because "true" style cloth diapers are one single piece they are a very easy transition from disposable to cloth diapers.


WIO - Wool in One

A Wool in One is not really "in One" because wool fabric requires different care than diaper fabrics do. WIOs are similar to AI2s, having a waterproof outer diaper body made of wool, and a detachable soaker in an AI2 separate from the diaper body. Usually a WIO soaker is snapped to the diaper body, it cannot be sewn in because of the different care required for each fabric. WIO cloth diapers are easy to care for because only the soaker needs to be laundered after each use, the wool outer does not. Like AI2s, the soaker of a WIO can be replaced if it wears out before the wool outer.


WI2 - Wool in Two

"Wool in Two" is a more accurate name for the diaper system known as a WIO.


Wool Pants, Wool Shorts

Wool pants and shorts are a type of diaper cover clothing. Generally they are made of wool fabric instead of knitting or crochet. Knitted or crocheted items are often called longies or shorties.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Wet pail, dry pail, no pail?! Decisions, decisions, decisions.....

Since we will using cloth diapers for our baby I am trying to decide which will be best for us - wet pail or dry pail.... or no pail.  I think each method has benefits and disadvantage so it will be an experiment for us. 

Using a the wet pail method basically entails having a bucket, tub or basin filled with water and some sort of solution mix for the dirty diapers to soak in before they are washed.  From what I've read this seems to be the best solution (pail filled 1/4 of the way with water, then add 1/4 cup of vinegar, 1/4 cup of Borax, 1/4 cup of Baking Soda or Arm & Hammer Washing Soda, 3 drops of Tea Tree oil.  You can add 2-3 squirts of Bac-Out Enzyme Stain Remover for heavily stained diapers).  With this method you wouldn't have to spend a lot of time with rinsing the diapers, you could just toss them into the wet pail.  The disadvantages (in my opinion) of this method is 1- you have to change the water and solution everyday and I plan on washing every 2-3 days.  If you don't change the water and solution everyday you could get a build up on the diapers. 2- It could get pretty heavy to haul around when you are ready to put the diapers in the wash (depending on where you had it located). 3-You would still have to get the diapers out by hand, but I guess you could use gloves if you wanted.  Let's be honest, I'm pretty open minded, but the thought of sticking my hand in poo water just doesn't sound that amazing to me.

Using the dry pail method consists of a flip top trash can with some type of liner or bag to hold the diapers.  I have read (but haven't smelled) that you don't even need a lid and sometimes letting the air circulate actually smells less than if you had a lid covering the dry pail.  To alleviate any smells you can sprinkle a little Arm & Hammer baking soda on top of the diapers.
There is also the method of using no pail and hanging a wet bag (or something similar) where you change the diapers.  You just put the dirty diapers in the bag and on wash day the diapers and the wet bag go into the laundry.  The only problem with this is how big your wet bag is or how many bags you have will be the deciding factor on how often the laundry gets done.

I am still undecided on either using a dry pail or using a wet bag.  We might go with the dry pail first and see how that goes.

Wet bag for the diaper bag

With all of the decisions I have to make at least one is easy.  The one thing I do know is I will need a wet bag for my diaper bag.  There were a few companies that caught my eye during my search for the perfect wet bag.  I scoured the internet for reviews from other parents and I have decide to go with a Planet Wise wet bag.   I watched a cup of water get poured in the bag and it didn't leak at all! That's pretty impressive if you ask me.  Not only are these bags good for storing dirty cloth diapers, but you can also put dirty gym clothes, wet bathing suits, etc. in the bag.  The best part is they are reusable and washable.

There is also a company that makes an odor eating patch you can toss in your wet bag and it helps to keep the ammonia smell at bay.  It's the Wee-Be-Gone patch by WeeHuggers.  The best part is, it gets "recharged" every time it gets washed.  I will keep this product in mind if odors start to develop.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


I have always been a thrifty, healthy, crafty, "save the planet" kind of girl.  I've been recycling since I was a kid, helped my parents and family with gardening and canning food, when we shop for groceries we buy fresh fruits, veggies and meat and mostly stay away from the boxed and canned foods, I make my own lotions, face creams and oils so I know exactly what is being put on my skin, we hand wash and air dry our dishes, we have a small garden and composter in the back yard and if I can make it instead of buying it I will. Currently I am a wife and a mother of five.  Grant it my five babies walk on all fours and are covered in hair, I'm still their mommy.  After becoming a wife I can easily say I have become more like a cat.  No, I don't lay around all day and only get up to eat and use the bathroom, I have been domesticated.  Those who knew me before can probably remember me saying I won't get married and I don't want kids.  It's truly amazing how one person can make you see life in a whole new way. We are expecting our first child in about a month.  Once I saw her tiny body on the first ultrasound, I fell in love all over again.  It's crazy how much love I feel for someone I have never even met.  I guess that's what being a mom is all about.  She has been a pretty good tenant so far, but I think she's ready to move out into the big "real" world.  Either that or she is doing some major renovations in there because there is a lot of bumping, rolling, pushing and shoving going on in there.  I can't wait to teach a younger generation to take care of and respect the planet. In preparing for our little one, we were shocked by how many products are out there.  I'm a pretty simple person and I was blown away by the amount of choice there are for every single product!  I have done so much research on so many products, but I think I am finally realizing every person and every baby is different.  Finding the right products for our baby will come down to basic trial and error.  I've set up a You Tube account to post my reviews of the products I've tried in order to help out other parents in their decision making.  I'm a hands on person and I know actually seeing a product and how it works helped me more than reading about it.  I have also started a website that has DIY tips and ideas, recipes and helpful website links. I am hoping it should be going live in a week or two.  My You Tube channel will also have videos of my DIY and natural cleaning products in action.