Wednesday, January 28, 2009

My verdict: cloth dipes and homemade detergent

A couple of you have asked me to give you an update how I like cloth diapering and making my own detergent once I had the chance to give it a try.

As for cloth diapering, so far I love it! It isn't nearly as difficult as people think, nor as gross. First off, breastfed poop does not smell. So....for the first 6 months at least I'm not having to deal with smells or rinsing dipes at all. Just toss in the diaper pail (an old kitty litter bucket, which by the way is great for keeping smells sealed off) and launder every other day. Yes, the laundry machine does get it all out. The diapers are quite cute which is an added bonus. About the only thing I don't like about it is how bulky the diapers can be on a newborn. I am cheating at night and using disposables mostly because I already had them bought before I decided to go with cloth and also because they do hold more. You really have to pad the diaper up if you are going to use cloth at nightime. Man does their butt look big if you do that.

As for which type of diaper I like the best. I like the pockets and prefolds the same but for different reasons. Pockets are easier to get on and thus make for a quicker diaper change. However, they are a bit bulkier on a small baby and take more time to launder because of all the unstuffing and restuffing you have to do. Prefolds are much more trim and launder easily, but they can be tricky to get on, especially on a squirmy baby.

The entire reason I chose cloth was to save money and go green. I figure I will have saved 1,000 plus by the time I'm done this time around. If we add to our family it will be even more eventually. Also, in the interest of saving money I am making my own laundry detergent. Do I like it? Does it work? Yes, and yes. The lady I got the recipe from said it costs about 2 cents a load to use. Here's the recipe if you're interested:

3/4 cup borax
3/4 cup washing soda
1 bar ivory soap grated

After your ivory is grated put 6 cups of water in a pot and add the grated soap to it. Set to medium and let the soap completely melt. Once melted add the borax and washing soda and stir until dissolved. Next pour mixture into a 5 gallon bucket and add 1 quart of hot water to it and stir. Then add 1 gallon of cold water to the bucket and stir again. You can use it right away or wait a day. It will turn into a gel like mixture and you only need 1/2 a cup per load. I personally add about 35 drops of lavender essential oil to give it a slight sweet laundry smell. The water and gel will separate over time, just stir and it's good to go again. This batch should make 64 washes. If anyone tries it, let me know. I like it and I think it works great! Easy to make and cheap, can't beat that.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Out last month and a half

This is just a little of our last month and a half. The picture of the dress is the Easter dress I made for Kadyn. I still intend on adding a layer of lace to the bottom of the skirt to make it a bit longer. I'm afraid it won't fit her by the time Easter roles around. The picture of Liam and Kadyn was the first day they were reunited after my maternity leave. They were happy to be together. The big man playing the guitar is Jason, her uncle, Jeff's little brother. I think that's about all the explaining I need to do. Enjoy!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Got to check this out!

I found out about a website in our community's monthly community news magazine called Communities all over the nation can participate. Basically if you need something you can post an ad and if anyone in your community wants to get rid of what you need, they will give it to you for free. Or if you need to get rid of something, you can get rid of it for free. It's a way of going green and recycling. Turns out our community participates and tonight I will be having a carseat delievered to my doorstep for free! The little boy I babysit is outgrowing the one I bought for him off of craig's list and I really didn't want to drop another 50 bucks or more into another one. Put up and ad, and wala, two days later I'm getting one for free. Oh the luck! So....if you are trying to save money and need something, check out the sight. Perhaps your community participates too.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

I must be doing something right

This afternoon for lunch I gave Kadyn macaroni casserole. I was silently cleaning the dishes for about 5 minutes while Kadyn ate her lunch. All was silent and then out of no where Kadyn said "Thank you mommy!" I replied, "You're welcome." I was a little puzzled what I was being thanked for so I asked her what she was thanking me for. She pointed to her food. Then she said, "I appreciate it!" I thought to myself, I must be doing something right. Yea for me.

Friday, January 16, 2009

The Bean Jar

As you know from my last post, I have been having some trouble with Kadyn's behavior. I tried the super nanny approach one day, and all it got me was very frustrated. Kadyn ended that night with so many time outs I couldn't count them, a spanken, and a very tired worn out mommy. I prayed about it and the next morning an idea came to me.

I created two containers. One was called the nice jar, the other is called the naughty jar. In the nice jar are 10 beans. The object is for Kadyn to keep all her beans in the nice jar. If she is naughty I take a bean out of the nice jar and put it into the naughty jar. If she gets up to 5 beans in the naughty jar I will take one of her toys. However, if she does some nice things or just impresses me by being very obedient, she can earn back some beans she lost. If by the end of the day she has all 10 beans in the nice jar, she can get 3 smarties (candy she loves). The idea is to set her up for success and motivate her to be obedient.

The first day went great! No time outs and she only lost two beans which she quickly earned back. The second day not as good but still not bad considering where she had been before the jar experiment. The third day, clearly the newness had worn off, but it hadn't lost it's appeal entirely. It certainly forces me to be more patient because I can't give her a consequence until 5 beans are in the naughty jar; clearly this is good for me too. If and when I do have to administer a consequence, I can rest assured I gave her plenty of opportunities to make the right decision. She got close today, she got up to 4 beans in the naughty jar, I was prepped and ready to take her favorite teddy, Louise, but she got her act together when it looked as though her beloved Teddy wouldn't be taking a nap with her soon. Although she doesn't always obey when I threaten to take a bean away, the entire time she has remained eager to earn her beans back. It was neat to watch her ask her daddy if there was anything she could do for him to earn her beans back. So even if this is the only thing that sticks with all of this, it's worth it. If anything it's given us a break from time outs which I was having to use soooo often that it was loosing it's effectiveness.

What's funny is that the day I started doing this I played, "baby" with Kadyn. I was the baby and she was my mommy. It was funny watching her imitate me. She really is a mini me. She's got my discipline tactics down to a science. She even threatened to take a bean away from me. She thoroughly enjoyed switching roles. It's interesting to see how your child truly soaks up all of you without you really knowing it. So if you want to know how your child sees you, switch roles and play baby. You may be surprised what you see.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Super Nanny to the rescue!

One of my New Year's resolutions is to be more patient with Kadyn. She has entered either what we call the terrible two's or the horrendous three's, I'm not really sure. She's really close to 3 years old and her development is more that of a 3 year old so I think it's probably the horrendous 3's. Anyways, she is really trying to push her boundaries by talking back to us, sassing us, ignoring our simple requests, and plain defying us. This is unchartered territory for us. Kadyn really has been fairly easy up to this point. I'm sure adding a new baby to mix might have egged it all on a little, but I know from talking to other mothers this is a phase that many go through.

Anyways, I decided to break out the old Super Nanny book to get some pointers. I practically could write that book because I have watched a lot of her shows, but I figured it couldn't hurt to refresh my memory. I am doing what she suggests, but I have modified it a bit over the last year or so. Thus, I will return to her format for discipline to see if it makes a difference. Here's how she suggests you do it.

1. Get down on the child's level (this is where I'm most guilty, hard to do with a nursing baby)
2. Tell the child what they did was naughty
3. Second offense repeat the prior only add in that if they do it again it is time out or to the naughty spot (I will be switching our naughty spot to a different more boring location)
4. Third offense is directly to naughty spot
5. After time is up get down on their level and tell them why they are in time out and ask for an apology (they say "Sorry that I......", not just the word sorry"

There is a modified version if your kid is really out of control she suggests you just tell the child to leave the room until he/she is ready to come back and treat you with respect and apologize. This is used for children who's issue is to get attention from you whether it be positive or otherwise.

My problem is I'm not really sure if Kadyn's issues are because she needs more attention from me or just wants to test her limits to see what she can and can't get away with. I realize that it's impossible for me to give her the same amount of attention I once did, but I'm still trying to fit at least one activity in a day if not our usual two that is just for her and me. I still put her down at night 75% of the time and take care of her basic needs 75% of the time. Jeff has been REALLY stepping in when I need it and that has been soooo nice.

One thing I can't do that some suggest is ignore the behavior. When she speaks to me in a bad tone I feel like if I ignore the behavior it would be sending the message that I am OK with being talked to in that manner. But then I wonder, if she is talking to me to get a rise out of me or get my attention, perhaps addressing it isn't the right thing to do. How in the world do you know the motives behind your child's behavior?

Well obviously I am still learning as a parent and have a long ways to go. Overall Kadyn really is a good kid, and I'm very lucky to have her in my life. When I look at other kids I see out and about I realize just how easy I really do have it and that what we are dealing with really isn't that bad. It's just new to us and it will take us awhile to figure out how to deal with it properly. Hopefully I will see some improvement in the next week or so if I stay consistent with my new plan.

To end my post, I just wanted to share a saying from one of my friends that at the time kind of irked me, but after I thought about it I realized how true it was. I was commenting to her about how I didn't have enough patience for all the boys I was watching. She replied, "You have patience, you just have to choose to use it." Simple really, but so true. We all know how to be patient. We don't need more patience, we just have to make the decision to use what we've got.

I'm not sure if Kadyn is acting this way for attention.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

For free, one crazy wiener dog!

Two nights ago we had quite the night. Brennan wasn't really in the mood to go down at her usual time so we didn't even get to sleep until 12:30. Then around 3 in the morning I here our dog rustling around. I try to tell him to get back in his bed. No can do. So I get up step in poop and pee. I'm furious by now. I clean it up and figure I mine as well do a diaper change and feed Brennan while I'm up so I don't have to wake again in another hour to do so. Just as I start to pick her up Kadyn yells "I have to go pee pee!" Jeff shoots out of bed to discover she wet the bed. To her credit we forgot to have her go to the bathroom before she went down so it really wasn't her fault. We finally get both kids taken care of and back in bed. 5:30 Brennan wakes to feed again and I wake to the nice aroma of dog vomit. By 9:30 a.m. I cleaned up at least 7 piles of dog vomit and by noon I added a couple round of dog runs to it. Geeze, what a night/morning.

Needless to say, it almost seems the dog is more maintenance these days than the kids. He has created some really bad habits since we've moved to springfield which include jumping on the table as soon as we turn our backs to eat food off of plates, throwing barking fits when Jeff leaves the house or a guest that he likes leaves the house, peeing and pooping on the rugs, eating our dirty undergarments, and getting into the trash. I have tried different approaches to retrain him but to no avail. I am at my wits end and seriously have considered finding him a different home, but who wants a dog with habits such as these? I feel like I owe the dog because once upon a time he helped me get through some lonely nights when Jeff was at work and I was alone in our house in the big city. He WAS my baby for many years until Kadyn came. And to his credit I have been a bit distracted and have forgotten to let him out to do his duties. Oh, what is a fur mom to do? Currently he is snuggled in his bed tied to our exercise bike until I know all the vomitting has stopped. He has managed to keep some food and water down since last night so I think he's on the road to recovery.

For me to even feel this way about our dog surprises even me. Anyone who knows me well knows my history with animals. I have always had a deep love for the little critters and the more the merrier. In my days I have had birds, horses, cats, dogs, hamsters, a rat, fish galore, toads, rabbits, and guinea pigs. I think I have just entered a phase in my life where my priorities have had to change. I feel guilty for even feeling this way about Brutus because no one gets a dog thinking, "Oh I'll keep him only as long as I want to and then get rid of him when he becomes too much work." He is part of our family and I would miss him a bit if he were gone, but at the same time it would be such a relief not having to watch my back wondering if I closed that door, or left food out where he can get to it, etc. etc.

Anyhoo, he's probably here to stay, I'm just going to have to be patient and see if I can't manage to fit in my schedule time for him. He was here first afterall. Piddle sticks!

Sunday, January 4, 2009


For Christmas Jeff had gotten me a beginner's palates video. I had mentioned I wanted to try it after I delivered and he remembered so got me the video. I tried it for the first time tonight. I was going to wait until I was 6 weeks postpartum but was too excited. I did pretty good until I got to the laying down routine. The bottom of my tail bone hurt so bad. I wasn't sure if it was the hard floor (have a yoga mat but it's thin) or maybe just still being sore from the epidural (hadn't noticed being sore there before the workout). But probably the most disturbing thing of all was the fact that I could not even do one situp. My ab muscles are....nonexistent? I made it about 30 minutes in and then gave up because my tail bone was hurting too bad. Maybe I started doing this too soon after birth? Anyways, I'm walking around an my legs are wobbly like jello so I'm thinking, it's going to be a long process getting back in shape this time. Ugh! At least I was amused seeing Kadyn try to do her exercises on the bathroom rug which we placed next to my yoga mat so she could feel like she was exercising too. So cute!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Blog worthy post

Jeff took Kadyn out shopping during New Year's Eve. While at target they decided to cruise through the Christmas clearance aisle. They picked up a couple packages of candy canes and Kadyn started shouting, "I want to suck it dada! I want to suck it dada!" Jeff said his cart wheels burned rubber all the way out of target. Had to post this, it was too funny not too. Hope all my readers had a good holiday and are having a good start the new year. Toodles!