Friday, December 31, 2010

Getting Ready for 2011!

Out with the old and in with the new!

Baby Magnus is gearing up for his first New Years and wanted to wish all of his internet friends a Happy New Year and all the best in 2011!

Christmas was great in the Magnus household - he is now swimming in toys! (me thinks too many :P ) But more important than the gifts was the time we spent together as a family.

Magnus' first Christmas was great with a Christmas morning Skype session with his grandparents who live over the mountains and spending time with the other side of the family who live in town. He was quite excited for a 10 month old - but understands that any time the family gets together it is going to be a good time!

As 2010 winds down and 2011 bursts out of the gate make sure you set your sights high for this coming year and embrace the family, friends and activities that you love.

Please be responsible this holiday season if you are celebrating with a few drinks! We would like to see all of you back here next year!

From Magnus and both of us, we all hope your Holiday Season is filled with family and friends and love.

Jay, Amy & Magnus

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Take the time to make some memories!

Halloween is a great photo opportunity when the kids get all dressed up!

But don't forget to take pictures of the little things every other day or so - some turn out great and others will remind you of your little one's firsts.

With the advent of a baby, one of the first things we did was get a new reliable camera to capture all of the glorious memories as they happened. We got the Cannon Power Shot Digital Elph - a great little point and click with 12.1 mega pixel resolution. Several months later we are still clicking away and the pictures are turning out great.

The main thing we were looking for in a camera was the speed that you can go from powered off and in the case to picture taken. The little ones move so fast (and they only get faster) that if you want to capture them doing anything you have to be quick!

The Cannon that we have also has a movie mode that is very decent - it doesn't replace a video camera but it does make video virtually Facebook ready - small enough file sizes with high enough resolution that you can see what is going on. Most of the times you are "in the moment" you already have the camera with you - just switch to movie mode and go!

Sometimes you need professional help
Even with a great point and shoot we found that one of us was always missing from the picture so today we met with a professional photographer to get some snaps of the little guy and our family.

The experience was great! If you are ever in need of a photographer in Kelowna, B.C. Canada, contact Michelle via her Facebook page here.

Have a Great Halloween and keep making those great memories!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

And The Winner Is...

Thank you to everyone for entering our first ever Blog Giveaway!

We had around 100 people enter the contest!

Baby Magnus had quite the fun time picking the winner!

And the winner of the 2 GroVia All-in-Ones, GroVia cloth wipes and GroBaby Bio Wipes was Jennifer!

Keep checking back in the future as we hope to have more give aways!

Congratulations Again to Jennifer!

The Martens Family

Monday, October 11, 2010

Cloth Diapering on the Go!

Don't forget we're having a great GroVia package giveaway. We'll be drawing the winner at random Saturday October 16th at noon PST. If you provided your email we will contact you. Good luck!

I'm going to visit one of my oldest and bestest friends tomorrow. Magnus and I will be making the trip (just a three and a half hour drive) down to the Lower Mainland of British Columbia and spending 4 days relaxing, shopping, and seeing the sights. I'm really looking forward to our getaway and I'm so thankful that my friend Sara who has 2 boys of her own is so hands on supportive. She'll gladly take my fussy little man when I'm needing a break and continually offers great advice and encouragement. We all need a friend like this and I hope once I've mellowed out a bit with motherhood I can offer the same support to my friends with new arrivals and little ones.

My only concern with this trip is that I currently CD. At home I wash every other day and have a diaper sprayer which I've come to depend on. We haven't had too many hiccups with CD'ing and have only gone away once for an overnight since we started and didn't have any issues. I'd love to continue CD'ing while away but I'm not sure if it's realistic to go 4 days without laundering. Will my GroVia cotton soakers get moldy (a few have said there is a possibility they might)? Will it be a regretful hassle (I've already got so many baby things I need to pack)? Will I be banished from visiting Sara as long as I'm CD'ing (I doubt I will but you never know ;-)? What is my motivation for CD'ing while away so long, am I doing it to prove something to myself and others?

I am contemplating using my GroVia Biosoakers which are like a disposable/compostable inset that goes in the shell. Many mamas use these Biosoakers for travel and when away from home. It's been suggested that I use the Biosoakers for the first few days then the cotton soakers for the last few just to ensure no mold. I'm on the fence really and will let you all know how it goes.

Obsessive mommy <3

Monday, October 4, 2010

Mama Stash!

This post is for the mamas but men if your curious go ahead and check it out.

I've never really been much of a tree hugger I love everything womanly about me kinda girl. Especially when it came to my period. Don't get me wrong though I can't say I loathe that time of the month either. But since it's return in the recent months and after having a baby I have to admit that I feel differently about my little friend and almost embrace it.

I was changing my "Always" a month and a bit ago and had an epiphany. If I'm using cloth for my son because I believe it's healthier for him and the environment why not cloth for me? As I bundled up my little package of waste I wondered what one cycles worth of disposable pad waste would look like. How about a year or even my reproductive lifetime?

I hopped on the web that night and began researching "mama cloth". I found testimonials of many women that had made the switch. Some even stating that cloth reduced uncomfortable period symptoms like cramping and heavy flow (things thankfully I haven't had to deal with). Really it didn't take much to convince me and if you read my first blog you'll know I'm a bit of an impulse decision maker (my GroBaby purchase that started our CD'ing journey). I made my purchase of "Pink Daisys" from "Swaddlebees" a company that also makes CD's and awaited my next period and my order (hoping the order came before Aunt Flow).

So my experience went well. The cloth I must say is a bit bulkier than disposable but I don't mind. I purchased the stay dry option and they were quite comfortable to wear. I just tossed the MC in the laundry and washed with no extra effort. On the heaver days I rinsed a bit prior to washing using our diaper sprayer. A couple of other ways to organize MC laundering are: wet pail method which involves tossing the MC in a pail of water changing the water daily or keeping a wetbag somewhere in the bathroom. Hanging on the shower curtain rod out of LO's reach. With both of these methods you can wash your MC as desired or all at once.

Overall I felt like this was a positive experience for me and I'm glad I made the switch. Like CD'ing and using cloth wipes it seemed more involved and complicated beforehand but is really no biggie. I think I'll add to my MC stash in the next while and would like to try some WAHM products. There are so many mamas out there that will custom make MC for you. Just another green idea that has come to positive fruition.

Embracing mamahood Mama

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Sharing the Love!

Anyone who is a fluff fan most definitely loves a CD giveaway. Katy Dibs has been blogging such giveaways for a while now: Between her blog and "Dibs" FB page she promotes natural parenting giveaways from small businesses and WAHM's check it out!

Fluff loving mama

Saturday, September 18, 2010

GroVia All in One Review and Giveaway!

I have 2 GroVia AIO's, a package of GroVia wipes and Biowipes I'd love to give away (really I'd like to keep them but feel I need to share my GroVia love). See the bottom of this post for details on how to enter.

If you've been following this blog for a while I must apologize as I left you hanging quite a few posts back. When we first started out CD'ing we were happily trucking along with the AI2 for daytime but sadly we went disposable for nights due to leaking and my laziness (who really wants to do a complete bed change at 3 am?).

Eventually we found success with the Dream Eze an AIO CD made by The Natural Baby Company (GroVia's parent company as well). This was a great nighttime CD but it's one fatal flaw was that it was not a one size system and I had only ordered medium (oh, and did I mention the Dream Eze had been discontinued and that is why I got them uber cheap).

Recently, I was able to purchase GroVia's AIO which is a lot like the Dream Eze but with some great improvements. Stretchy sides for a more custom fit, more trim design so no more fluffy bum, an extra snap in soaker for older babies heavy wetters and overnight, and adjustable rise with a couple of snaps so it's really a one sized system. I was so excited to put one of these on Magnus. I liked my Dream Eze but was going to LOVE the new AIO.

I had prepped my AIO's 5 times (I had heard they didn't need as much prepping as the AI2's) and we were ready for our first night. So Magnus slept really well that night but woke up wet. The following night was a wet one as well. Argh, I was getting frustrated. We tried 2 different boosters and Jay and I both had a go at putting the AIO on Magnus(really it's not complicated but we both have different ideas on what a good fit looks like). In my frustration I reached out to the best GroVia support I could think of, their Facebook page. In no time I got some tips and advice but none of it seemed to help and I wasn't feeling the love for my new AIO. This was really disappointing me as I love GroVia (yes, I'm a bit of a junky) and really wanted these to work. Thankfully someone reached out (thanks Amanda) by sending me a personal message suggesting I try prepping some more. Really, I hadn't thought it might be a prepping issue but I gave it a try. I prepped twice more and guess what. No leaks for the past 3 nights. My little guy likes to nurse at night (often 2-3 times) and the AIO is now lasting 12 hours. I should mention that we use the snap in soaker and a GroVia stay dry booster.

So on with the giveaway already! To enter you can do any or all of the below and tell me what you did in the comments of this post:

*Post a comment or question about GroVia or GroVia product on their FB page

*Follow my blog

*Share the giveaway info on your FB page or blog

So that's 4 possible entries (if your following this blog already considered yourself entered). The winner will be drawn at random on October 16th/2010. This contest is open to Canadian and US residents and I will cover shipping. Thank you GroVia for supplying the fluffy giveaway prizes!

Feeling generous Mommy!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Cloth Diapering Culture?

I must be radiating some sort of irrational love for cloth diapering or something. As when I was showing my stash to someone recently they told me it was probably just a fad. I had to bite my tongue as I was rather offended. I think though that our parents (at least the parents of those that wore CD's) and the general public must think we're crazy to be doing this by choice.

When I told my mom I was going to start CD'ing she gave me a kind of disgusted look and told me of her experiences CD'ing in the late '70's. Soaking CD's in buckets of bleach and then lugging that bucket into the apartment building's laundry room. Well, I guess from her perspective I would seem a bit crazy.

But, thankfully the times have changed. Aside from our modern laundry conveniences and better designed more absorbent CD's we have the internet to aid us. For me ordering my first CD's from an on-line store was just the beginning. As I was waiting for my GroVias to arrive I discovered the company's Facebook page which offered a wealth of information as well as customer service. Through this FB page I was able to trouble shoot my laundry routine, prepping, general CD use with other GroVia users and the company it's self. There are also websites like the Diaper Pin and Diaperswappers where you can post questions in a Forum and get responses from well experienced CD'ing mamas, research and check ratings of CD'ing products and retailers.

Since we started this blog we've had numerous inquiries as to how CD'ing is going and even people asking to see our GroVias. I met up with a bunch of mamas yesterday for a walk and was comparing fluff with one of them. Last weekend we ran into one of Jay's coworkers who is barley into his twenties and he asked how the CD'ing was going. So, some may mock, some may eye roll, but many seem to be interested and want to know more.

So if mamas (and dads too) whether your just starting out on a CD'ing journey of your own or want to experiment with a different product get on the web, Facebook, visit your local baby boutique (which is great for a more hands on experience), and just simply talk to other parents. There really is a great CD'ing culture out there.

Monday, August 30, 2010

It's Not Easy Being Green...Or Is It?

Having our son this past February has caused me to step back and really evaluate my consumer ways. This little baby so precious and small had begun to create waste even before he was born and doubled our household garbage within weeks of his birth. I remember sitting on the couch about a week before my scheduled C-section pulling tags and sticky labels off baby clothes in preparation for washing. I couldn't believe the packaging and even after I sorted through what could be recycled I was left with a pile of trash.

I have to admit though that when it came to shopping for my soon to arrive baby environmentally conscious products and packaging didn't matter to me. I was a mama on the prowl for the cutest, softest, most adorable, and lush baby swag I could find. I even spoke to several mamas during my pregnancy about CD'ing but I was convinced that even though disposables were not optimal they were what was best for me. But the irony is that most parents including myself would say they value the environment and want to do what's best for it and best for their children. Of course actions speak louder than words and I was well on my way to leaving little Magnus a legacy of trash.

Once I delved into CD'ing a greener way of thinking began to creep into other areas of my home and life. As we were unable to use fabric softener with our CD's I began to read about the long list of unnecessary and even harmful ingredients in dryer sheets and now we do without for all our laundry. We use wool dryer balls and yes our clothing isn't as soft as it once was but that is something we can live with. Also we now use cloth baby wipes for Magnus's little tushy. Cloth baby wipes only made sense as we throw them in the hamper with the CD's and no longer need a garbage in Magnus's room. We line dry more clothing and of course our CD's. I am thinking about cloth napkins, and researching greener cleaning and beauty products. A few days ago I ordered some Mama Cloth (yes, insert any eye rolls here, lol) as the waste from sanitary pads was bugging me. Ladies, just think about the waste we have each month multiplied by our "child bearing years"and then some. I'll let you know how it goes.

I encourage everyone to take the time to research and investigate some greener options for yourselves. Really, I'm not a modern hippie, just a convenience loving, sometimes lazy, chubby little mama that wants to be a better parent by greening up her lifestyle and home.

Green Mama...well trying to be ;-)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Making Waves!

I just don't know where the summer has gotten to - it seems like just a week ago that the weather started to get nice, now we are mere weeks from school starting. Some great memories of summer were made this year with Magnus - he loves his inflatable frog pool and anything that has to do with water.

I hear these horror stories of children who hate the bath but Baby Magnus loves it! that is not to say that teenage Magnus will be so inclined. ;)

Splashing outside in his pool was something that comes naturally to all children - they don't enter you life and make ripples they take over your life and make waves!

the expression "don't rock the boat" doesn't apply to kids. They will find a way to flip the boat, splash all day and make you laugh till your stomach aches everyday.

Get out there and enjoy the last few months of good weather!

U.S.S . Martens is about to set sail, so captain daddy best report to the poop deck, and change those diapers!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I Like Doing Laundry?!

Before Magnus, Jay and I were like frat boys when it came to laundry. Really I didn't mind washing/drying our clothes but what I lacked was motivation when it came to folding, hanging, and putting away. We lived out of the hamper mostly (hamper full of clean clothes and a dirty pile on the floor). I kinda hoped I'd do a complete laundry turn around once Magnus arrived. Thankfully I have as I've come to the realization that babies continually create dirty laundry and if you don't wash and put it away fairly quickly it will lead to some pretty frustrating situations.

Aside from a few weeks between the end of spitting up and starting solids we've been doing laundry almost every day since Magnus's arrival. On top of our regular household laundry I now do a load of CD's every second day.

For those who might wonder this is my wash routine (keep in mind it's not set in stone as I'm still experimenting). I keep the soiled cotton soakers (the absorbent part on my CD's) in a plastic garbage with a hands free foot pedal. Some of you might be surprised to know that there is no odor (I keep the garbage can in Magnus's room and I have no complaints as of yet ;-). There is no need to soak or prewash the CD's prior to wash day unless poop's involved. As Jay mentioned a few blogs back we have a front load washing machine (HE) and therefore washing CD's is a bit trickier. I do a cold wash no detergent on delicate (delicate as it uses more water and cold as not to set in any stains). I often add a few liters of water at the beginning of the detergent free wash. If Magnus cooperates and I remember I try to cancel the cycle before the final spin so that the CD's are still nice and wet for the next part. Next I do a heavy duty wash with a small amount of CD friendly detergent on warm cold rinse with an extra rinse. I often try to add a few liters of water to one of the rinse cycles during the heavy duty wash. Because it's nice and hot in the Okanagan these days I've been line dying the CD's (my most wonderful husband put one up just for me, check it out in the pic above).

I know this whole process may sound like a lot of work but once you find a routine that works for you it's not bad at all. Yes, I also realize that it doesn't seem very green to be adding extra water but if you look at the big picture our household is using less water overall since we started using our HE machine. The big problem with HE machines is that they really don't use enough water to rinse the CD's clean (I know there are some who CD and have no issues with their HE machines too). Any leftover soap residue can lead to stink issues, repelling (a loss of absorbency) and rashes for the little ones. I honestly love my front loader but if I knew three and a half years ago that I was going to CD I probably would have bought a top loader.

Feel free to share any HE CD'ing tips you may have. Like I said I'm still experimenting.

The Laundry Lady aka Mommy

Monday, August 16, 2010

Fathers Day #1 - In the Bag!

This past Father's Day was the best ever!

I will be honest I didn't really know what to expect on my first Father's Day, but it was a special day. And now I get to celebrate it each year with Amy and my special little guy -Magnus.

Before you think that I have gone all soft and mushy I gotta tell you one thing: Father's Day is not without it's swag!

Amy got me quite the surprise gift - a Diaper Bag!

Now as exciting as that sounds I must say that Diaper bags have come a long way since I was a kid. This ain't your Momma's old diaper bag! - this diaper bag is awesome!

This Diaper Bag was not just fashionable, but functional and customizable!

This leather bag is the Cadillac of diaper bags! There is a laptop pocket which comes in handy for Magnus and my Saturday hangouts, and the removable bottle pockets on the outside are super for bottles when you need them and snap off for when you don't. The bag has 2 full inserts that snap in with different pocket configurations and you would expect nothing less from the "famed" Petunia Pickle Bottom brand. (The guys may need to Google that one! or click here)

These great bags are great for anyone who just wants a cool looking bag that has some "diaper type options". Everything that is diaper bag specific can be snapped out leaving you with a great looking bag.

I used the bag without the inserts when I went on a 2 day work trip and it was great!

Thanks Amy and Magnus for making my first Father's Day great - and the bag will last a lifetime!

Till next time - Magnus's Proud Dad!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Epic Diaper Adventure of 2010

So any CD loving mama will tell you that there are very few things that compare to free fluff or really good deals on fluff. In saying that I and hundreds of other GroVia fans had the awesome oppertunity to purchase highly discounted GroVia/GroBaby's at a seconds sale a few weeks ago.

The sale was held on GroVia's parent company's website www.thenaturalbabycompany and was announced on GroVia's Facebook page. I tell you the presale frenzy was palpable. Swarms of fans crowding GroVia's FB page with posts of excitement in the days preceding the sale. I was one of them ;)

I have to admit the night before the sale I was awake lost in my CD'ing thoughts. What would be offered, what would I buy, would it be worth it to drive all the way to Washington to pick up my purchase (2 hours away)? I live in the southern interior of British Columbia, Canada and unfortunately The Natural Baby Company does not ship to Canada :(

The sale began a little bit after 09:00 on a Monday morning with a major glitch. I think the Natural Baby Company highly underestimated how many CD loving mamas there were waiting to pounce on the bargains and boy were there bargains to be had! Pages were taking minutes to upload or timing out, items went missing from checkout carts, and mamas went crazy hitting the refresh button over and over.... Needless to say after 40 minutes I finally managed to buy "seconds" soakers and shells at about a third of the cost. Now traveling to Washington state wasn't looking so bad.

This past weekend my husband, Magnus and I traveled down to Washington to pickup our new GroVias. We had a great mini vacation and no glitches CD'ing for the first time out of town. When I opened the box I was really impressed with the quality of GroVias "seconds" and can't tell why they were considered to be seconds. Thanks to this sale I was able to increase my stash enough so that I will be able to CD using GroVia exclusively through to my next baby.

Unfortunately, due to the technical issues some mamas were not able to have their orders fulfilled or had to make changes in quantity or color but The Natural Baby Company worked very hard to honor as many of the orders as possible. GroVia announced on their FB page that after the experience of this past sale they don't plan to offer seconds sales to the public anymore and I hope they change their minds.

Bargain loving Mommy!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Some Assembly Required

Cloth diapering is all about being organized and prepared - the actual execution isn't that bad at all.

There are a few things that Dads (or Moms) can do to make the transition easier:

String up a clothes line
This may seem a bit "Old School" but the sun is really the best chemical free way to get out the stains! For less than $15 I got all the needed bits at the hardware store. Just ensure you hang it high enough that other youngsters or pets can't reach the diapers, but not too high that you need a ladder to dry some diapers!

Buy a portable "Wet Bag"
These are great for transporting used diapers back to home base if you go out - they are quite inexpensive, but don't cheap out! A good quality Wet Bag will ensure that the dirty diaper payload and odor make it back home without leaking over everything.

buy a Jumbo "Wet Bag" for the change table
I would also suggest using this wet bag in conjunction with a "Foot Pedal" type of garbage can so it is hands free and odor locking. We have used the larger wet bag inside the garbage bin and it has been great at trapping odors and being easy to open when you have your hands full of wet items.

Make some Dryer Balls!
See our post on how to make your own dryer balls here!

Keep everything in arms reach
Having a consistent system whether it be drawers or shelves will save you from the "Baby Brain" nightmare of accidentally mistaking the Kleenex for baby wipes and toothpaste for bum cream!
Hey - it only happened once and it was 2 am!
Consistent placement of essentials such as wipes, extra wipes, diapers, shells, creams, lotions, bibs and outfits really makes each change smooth.

This really isn't something that you can make yourself and it does come fully assembled - but it will change your life. Once your little one can hold up their head pop them in the Bumbo and "Presto!" they can now see what is going on!
Set the Bumbo on the table when you eat, set the Bumbo on a counter while you do your morning routine, take the Bumbo to the park...Endless Possibilities!

And Many More...
These are some of the items we have found useful - there are plenty more, I will save them for another post.

"If the Women don't find you handsome they should at least find you handy!"

Daddy Red-Green

*please note, while a Bumbo may change your life it is no replacement for adult supervision which should be present at all times while the Bumbo is in use. Please read and follow all manufacturer's guidelines when using any product.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

I'm Beginning to Enjoy Cloth Diapering !?

Magnus has been in his GroVia's for 3 weeks now and things are going great! I have to admit though, after a couple of soggy nights in CD's I put Magnus in disposables at bedtime until recently. He sleeps so well and is only up once or twice to nurse which is fine but the thought of wrestling with wet crib bedding at 0300...well I'm sure you get my point.

Daytime use was going well and we had no leak issues. The AI2 system contained even the messiest of messes. I found that changing the soaker every 2-3 hours worked well for us (Magnus isn't a heavy wetter) and at times we managed going 4 hours between changes. His skin was nice and clear with no signs of irritation but unlike some Magnus had no problems with his skin when wearing disposables either.

The one funny thing I should mention but never considered beforehand is how CD's may affect clothing size. Magnus was still in 3-6 month clothing which was getting snug. Once we made the switch to CD's we had to make the jump to 6-9 month clothing(at 6 months he is 15.5 lbs and 24.5 inches).

I can now say and I know I'm not alone on this one, that I'm loving CD'ing. Sure it does take more time, organization, and work but it's something I feel good doing.

Cloth diaper loving Mommy!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Dads, Dares, Diapers, And Doo-Doo

I must admit that the very first diaper I ever changed was the diaper of my own child.

As a Dude I was quite proud that I had "Successfully avoided" diaper duty - even when dared to do the deed. Yes, I was quite proud - until I had a son.

Then as a Dad I had no option - I was on diaper duty, no way to get out of that one.

To all the soon-to-be dads out there: Any dad will tell you it honestly isn't that big of a deal.

Nature has a way of warming you up to the idea. The great thing about young breast fed babies is that their diapers are less smelly than most public washrooms, and there is a proportionately smaller volume of the Doo-Doo. (what do you expect the kid weighs less than your dumbbell for curls!)

Don't get me wrong it is not all a bed of roses and no matter what type/style/size of diaper you use there will always be a few "Epic Blowouts". You are trying to contain the poop of a living, breathing, squirming baby that sometimes takes after you a little too much!

I have come full circle from almost gagging at the thought of changing a diaper to laughing at the "Fountains" that occasionally pop up!

Poop Happens!

Dad has to go change a diaper now...

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Fun Begins

So summer began a little later than usual but before we knew it we were fully immersed in the Okanagan heat. For us that meant hanging in the mall having coffee, long walks in the evenings and play dates with Magnus's many girlfriends. I'm on maternity leave and for some strange reason feel like I'm going crazy if I don't get out of the house most days (many moms tell me this is normal). Our GroVia cloth diapers were all prepped, neatly organized on a shelf in Magnus's room and ready to go, but was I. In researching and chatting with other CD'ing moms I was really excited to get started. But also worried it wouldn't be as easy as promised and wouldn't fit into our busy lifestyle.

We decided to start our journey on a Saturday as Jay would be off work that day. I put a little kiwi colored diaper on Magnus and was happy with the way his already cute little bum looked in it. It fit well also (we got the hook and loop which is "like" velcro instead of the snaps).

Our first day went well. We had a few leaks due to us not tucking in the cotton soaker properly into the outer shell. But once we mastered the tucking all was well. Also, I think poor little Magnus had some tummy troubles that day as we had numerous messes requiring the soaker and shell to be changed. Magnus is still exclusively breastfed so his messes are messy regardless of CD type.

Magnus's first night in cloth was a wet one, sorry buddy. He woke up to nurse at 0300 and 0600 and was wet through to the sheets each time. So frustrating! In hindsight I think my cotton soakers (the absorbent part of my GroVias) weren't fully prepped. Might have had something to do with our front load washer using less water. In the nights following we went disposable and when online looking for a solution found out many moms have trouble CD'ing at night. But I was not one to give up easily.

Stubborn Mommy

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Optimal Absorbency!

With all the changes around here, I took some time to focus on the little things that make life great - like the investment in air conditioning and front load washers!

The front load washers are great for washing clothes and getting them all clean, but the one fatal flaw is that they don't use that much water. (This very fact was one of the key selling features only three years ago).

Apparently to "Prep" these cloth diapers you need to wash them 8-10 times and I understand that, there are certain natural oils that need to be stripped from the fibers for Optimal Absorbency. Washing new clothes to break them in is nothing new.

At 3:00 AM during a rough night you want every diaper's absorbency to be optimized! - Let me tell you!

Now to ensure that during this preliminary phase of CD'n (cloth Diaper'n) the diapers get fully saturated and rinsed super clean I see Amy adding in over a liter of Hot water to the final rinse of the diapers!

Top load washers use higher water levels and this isn't an issue and I think that the vast majority of people will have no issues with washing them normally even with High Efficiency (front load) washers - Amy is on crusade to ensure that our experience with "the cloth" will be as optimal as humanly possible.

Amy you are a testament to the lengths a mother will go through for her child. ;)

So far, no complaints from Magnus.

This is Daddy-O with a big 10-4.

Monday, July 19, 2010

It's All in the Preparation

About a week after I placed my order my cloth diapers finally arrived. I opened the box with giddy anticipation and couldn't wait to get started. But unlike most wearable purchases these diapers needed to be prepped first. Prepping? Well, these cloth diapers being made of organic cotton needed to be washed 5-6 times (in hot water) to strip them of their natural oils. Oils that would impede the natural absorbency.

So off to the laundry room I went with a hamper full of white fluffy cotton and a bag of special soap. Oh yeah, I should mention before I get too far. Cloth diapers need to be laundered in soap free of bleach, enzyme cleaners or fabric softeners. I ordered my soap (Rockin' Green, which is specially made for cloth diapering) from the same company as my GroVias. The nice thing about this soap is that a little (one tbs for HE machines and two tbs for top load) goes a long way. So $20.00 would last me 90 washes. Not so bad right?

The washing wasn't so bad but after the first couple dryer loads taking 80-90 minutes I wondered was this normal? Online I went, doing some research and posting some questions regarding dryer times on diapering websites and GroVia's FB page. It wasn't long before I realized this dryer time was "normal". Due to the high absorbency of the cotton, of course.

But there were a couple of tricks to speed things up. Apparently adding dryer balls (you can check out Jay's previous blog post to read about that as we made some ourselves out of wool yarn) and a few fluffy dry towels would speed things up. Guess what it did! Cut our drying time down to 60 minutes and I was happy with my "greener" drying time.

Finally 2 days later we were ready to go "live".

Sunday, July 18, 2010

My This Sure is Getting Complicated

So it turns out that committing to cloth diapers may have been the easy part. Before I could slap a cloth diaper on my adorable son's heiny there were a few things I needed to do first.

I would need to buy a diaper pail and liner, wet bags for the soiled nappies when on the go, and possibly a bigger diaper bag. Well maybe I wouldn't need a bigger, newer, prettier diaper bag but a girl can wish right? All these items were easily found at a local baby boutique. The diaper pail ended up being a kitchen garbage can with a foot pedal for under $20.00 at Wal-Mart.

That wasn't so bad...

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Great Balls of Crazy!

Things keep getting Crazier!

First there was getting used to the idea of cloth diapers, and now this!

Apparently there is an unwritten rule that cloth diapering slowly takes over your sanity...

After rolling an entire ball of wool into a tighter ball of the wool and then placing them in a nylon stocking, we head to the laundry room.

Felting giant balls of wool in the dryer is just one way to spend an evening. These gigantic wool balls will be washed several times and then dried repeatedly to attain that certain quality that will allow them to bounce around in the dryer for years to come.

The simple concept behind the dryer balls is that they work like agitators for the cloth diapers and speed the drying process.

I am all about making this process as quick as possible. :)

So if you are ever over at our place and you hear noises coming from the laundry room don't ask me if that is the sound of my fuzzy balls bouncing around in my nylons.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Ready To Take The Plunge?

Since having our son Magnus this past February I was taken aback by the amount of laundry and diaper waste this one little person had created. Every now and then the thought of switching to cloth diapers crossed my mind. I found myself saying numerous times how green I thought Jay and I were but crossing the line into the land of smelly reusable cloth seemed inconvenient and besides other than the waste issue we had no problems with disposables.

Then on my morning ritualistic cruise through the "mommy bargain" sites I came across a deal on an "all in one" cloth diaper. Hmmm, a bargain my new found Mommy guilt would not let me pass up perhaps. I quickly snatched up 7 mediums (Magnus's current size) before anyone else beat me to it. That morning I had decided we were switching to cloth, sorry Jay.

It wasn't until I began to do some on line investigating that I found out the company had rebranded and therefore the design of the diapers had been changed. I realized then that the large size counterparts to my yet to arrive purchase might be hard to find. Would I have to "stalk" the bargain site in hopes of the diaper coming up for sale again? Or worse yet was I desperate enough to buy some secondhand? Yes, in my investigating I discovered that there is a giant on line cloth diaper following with mamas swapping and selling new and used diapers. After reading experienced cloth diapering mamas posts I also realized 7 diapers would not be enough, oops.

Finally after a day or so of frantic research I decided to go with the newly rebranded GroVia. An "all in two" system of a shell with an organic cloth soaker that could snap in and out with ease. This seemed like the perfect system for us. I placed my order from an on line company in Ontario and eagerly awaited it's arrival.

Impulsive, well meaning Mommy

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Big Surprises come in small smelly packages?

All of my worst nightmares have culminated into that little sweet sounding oh so green idea "We should switch to cloth diapers."

I know my loving wife of nearly 12 years means well... I am positive this isn't some sort of mean trick to torment me - or is it?

She broke the news after ordering a "small set" of cloth diapers from some website where they spin organic cotton into gold. The meager starter kit was over $400.00 (CND)!!!

Being ever so logical I quickly broke down the math... I guess it will save us money in the long run, or will it?

I found out while the diapers were already enroute there were some hidden costs to our new "little experiment"(and I am not just talking about HST). The diapers needed to be 'pre-washed' 3-4 times before you can use them, and they don't just go in with the rest of the clothing - they need special laundry soap, which means we might be doing a lot more laundry soon! Additionally there are only certain types of diaper cream that are 'permitted' with the new system.

I still haven't seen them in action (they are still on their way), but when I do there are layers like unions to consider: shells, liners and boosters - this is going to be quite the experiment!

Both me and Amy will keep you posted with updates on the blog about everything Magnus!

Surprised Daddy