We spent our evening with Ballerina's friend Spider man and his family. It was a lovely night, we are left feeling very full and blessed. Clearly the little people had a blast!
Parenting is hard. I mean for real, it is the hardest thing I have ever done. Before I was married with children I worked in child care. I thought being a nanny was pretty much the same as being a parent. I couldn't have been more wrong.
Parenting isn't just about "watching" your kids, and it's not a lifelong baby sitting job. No, it's so much more than that. It is raising children to be responsible, thriving adults. In our home, it is raising kids in Jesus, to know and love him, to spread his love to others. It's teaching our kids responsibility, grace, humility, compassion, and yes even patience.
Patience. It's a virtue. It is something I severely lack in. I mean just ask my husband. There is a reason why we bumped our wedding up from June to January. I struggle with keeping an "even" temper, I struggle with showing my kids how to calmly deal with situations. I think most parents do, all you have to do is mention whining to a parent and they shake their heads in agreement and share a story of when their child was bit by the whiny bug. So how do we deal with remaining patient and calm as a parent? I've compiled a list of tips and tricks that I do and want to do next time I feel my temper boiling over. Feel free to add your own tips in the comment section!
1. Pray- I purposely put pray at number one. Why? It seems to me like prayer is always our last resort. When nothing else has worked we finally give it over to God. I remember times when I have been so frustrated that I vent and unload to God. EVERY time after I always think "why did it take so long for me to go to him in the first place?" I feel like we could really eliminate a lot of frustration if we give it to God when it is small, rather then when it has turned into a mountain. Plus, the great thing about our savior is that it is NEVER too late to come to him.
2. Get out- If you stay at home like I do, it is easy to go stir crazy real fast. Often the little people and I are grumpy because we simply need to get out of the house. Even if you are just going to a walk, playing outside or going for a drive, the change of scenery can be a great mood booster.
3. Scrub it out- Organization and cleaning does not come naturally to me. I would much rather have my mom do the cleaning. But since she lives 12 hours away and I am the mom now I have to do the cleaning (don't worry, Mr. Daddy pitches in too). I have our days on a schedule that I now look forward to the morning "scrub." There is something about washing a pile of dishes, or wiping down the counter tops that calms me. Maybe it is because I am beautifying my home, or maybe it is because I am creating a safe environment for my children. Don't be afraid to hand your child an un-paper towel and let them have at it. Soon you both will forget about your crankiness.
4. Fill your tummy/ hydrate yourself- I can not tell you how many times I have been having a rough day, then to realize that I hadn't taken in enough calories, or had enough to drink. Your blood sugar and health are important, your body NEEDS energy to keep up with your brood.
5. Vent- Call a friend, your mom, your mother's uncle's sister's fiance, anyone that you trust. Choose someone who can give you perspective, that will tell you like it is while being gentle as they do it. I have a great group of woman that I have vented to many times. I don't think I would have been able to make it through parenting two with out them.
6. Be consistent- It is no secret that Ballerina is the most high spirited child I have ever laid eyes on. Everything, and I mean everything is a fight with her. She has a mind of her own and we are still learning how to guide her in the best way. Mr. Daddy and I have learned that we HAVE to be consistent with her. She needs to have clear boundaries and consequences laid out in front of her. I'm not saying she doesn't push those, because trust me when I say she more than absolutely does. I am saying it is easier to learn and less trying on our patience when the consequences are set in stone.
7. Give grace- "Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you." Eph 4:32. Children are children. They are still people who need grace and forgiveness. Actually, they need MORE grace and forgiveness. Forgive them and move on, because that is what our father has done for us. He has clearly set the example of a loving parent. Let's follow his guideline and strive to parent more like him.
Parenting is hard. It is exhausting, and can be stressful. It is also the most rewarding job on the planet. We all struggle with setting an example of patience to our children, but don't forget that God has forgiven you. Do not walk in the condemnation of your sin. Simply learn from it, forgive, and try to do better the next time.
How do you remain patient and calm while parenting your children?
Here in New Hampshire we are expecting hurricane Sandy to hit us at any moment. Today I have been busy preparing for the storm by cooking dinner early, washing diapers a day early, making sure my basement is clean in case of flooding, breaking out candles/flashlights/ect, all the normal storm preparation.
However, my biggest worry with this storm is how the little people will react if the lights go out. Ballerina doesn't remember this ever happening and Lady Petunia is still too young to really grasp what may happen. While we have had conversations all day about what may happen I fear that this will really scare them.
So along with all of my normal storm preparation, I am making a list of activities for the little people to do, just in case the power does go out.
1. Crafts, crafts, and more crafts- provided we have enough daylight/ candle light, you really don't need any power to craft. We are stocked up on crayons, paints, play dough, clay, glitter the works really. I even have crafts like the picture below that I picked up at the dollar tree a few weeks ago.
2. Build a fort- Gather blankets, pillows, lovies, snacks, and build a giant fort in your living room. You can bring in flash lights and lanterns. Soon they wont be thinking about the lights being off, they will be picturing themselves camping deep in the forest of never never land.
3. Tell stories- Whether you tell you make up your own, reciting a fairytale, or sharing a story from your childhood. Your little ones will be engrossed in your tales. It doesn't matter if you think your story is lame, your kids wont! You can even break put the dress up clothes and act the story out!
4- Have a picnic- Invite Teddy and baby doll to a picnic! If you have already built a fort, what better place to have dinner? Let your little ones "set the table" and choose what they want to eat. They will love the idea of eating in your living room or where ever you decide to camp out!
5. Make up a game- I remember as a child we had a terrible storm one day. The lights were out for hours, my older brother and I were bored to tears. My dad found a bag of marbles and made up a game, which included finding the marbles with flash lights. Clearly this event is something I have always remembered. I hope to do something like this with the little people!
6. Play hide and go seek- Who doesn't love a game of hide and go seek in the dark? I know even the teenagers in our youth group love this game. Be sure to make sure no toys or shoes are on the floor, tripping in the dark is no fun!
7. Enjoy being a family- Power outages can be a scary time for kids and parents alike. However, it doesn't have to be. It can be a fun time that your kids always remember. Take the time while having the tv off, and emails unanswered to enjoy being with your family. Love each other and laugh lots to take the anxiety out of the situation.
I am praying that all of our fans and customers stay safe during this storm. I hope you enjoy your time waiting it out with your family.
The Real Cost of Cloth Diapering
When I first started to research cloth diapers (CD), I was shell shocked! Twenty bucks for a diaper? Please, how the heck is this cheaper? It's true that dropping the initial money on a CD stash can be quite a big investment, but it doesn't have to be! I would say that the average CD family pays $300 to $500 on CDs. Here is where they SAVE money. My stash is on the low side, and cost about $200.
A. They can be used for multiple children. Even if you buy all pink diapers and then have a girl next, you can sell the pink ones and buy boy/neutral diapers.
B. If you buy one size (OS) diapers they can last you through potty training.
C. You can resell them! Chances are you won't get all of your money back, but you may be able to make half of it!
**WARNING** Buying and selling CD's can become ADDICTING, just ask Mr. Daddy about my obsession. I make Lady Petunia a new cover every week...
How many do I need?
This really depends on what kind of diapers you want to try and when you are planning to start.
Newborn- So here is the thing, most OS diapers do not start to fit until 8 to 10 lbs. I don't think Lady Petunia fit in hers until she was 9 lbs, even then they were a tad big but still worked. So, many people buy a separate stash for the newborn phase. For prefolds and fitteds it is recommend to have 24 to 30 prefolds (if you are going to wash every other day, add more if you want to wash every third day). I would say you would want eight or so covers. The other popular choice for the newborn phase is all in ones (AIO). If you chose these 24 is probably a good amount to start with.
What I did- I did not use CD's on Lady Petunia until we got out of the tar poop faz, and her belly button healed. When I did start I used mostly G diapers (tiny and small), they worked great until she could fit in her OS flips. She started in full time in CD's (Flips and Bum Genius) when she was around four weeks old. Honestly if you are a new mom using disposables for the first couple of weeks is not a bad idea. You are probably going to be sore and exhausted that adding a couple loads of laundry may be a really big project. That being said, next time around I do plan to buy a newborn stash and use it. (Yeah, that was NOT a pregnancy confession.)
Infant and up- This again depends on how often you want to wash, how often the child wets, and remember each kid is different. Different diapers work for different kids!
Prefolds/fitteds- 20 to 24, if you have a heavy wetter you probably will want more since you will have to change more often. Prefolds do not leave the baby feeling dry, ultimately they need to be changed more often.
Snappis- five or seven
All in Two's (AI2s)- At least six covers and 24 inserts
Wet bags- Two or three of each size, that way if you are washing and need to dispose of a diaper you can. Remember, you will want one for your diaper bag and will need extra for daycare.
Doubler/liners- This is preference and need only.
Diaper pails- Probably just one, but if you have a large house and find yourself changing diapers in more then one place then maybe get more.
Cloth wipes-50 to 100
What I have- This is after a year of cloth diapering.
All of my diapers are one size, with the exception of my fleece covers and longies.
36 flip stay dry inserts
6 Flip covers- Flips are my go to diapers.
2 Econobum covers
1 WAHM pocket- I shouldn't even count this diaper, no matter what I stuff it with, it leaks. It has been retired to the baby doll clothes, I often find it on various lovies. Our dog may have even worn it before...
1 Bumgenius pocket- with 3 microfiber inserts. This was my first ever cloth diaper!
1 Blueberry pocket diaper- Hands down, Mr. Daddy always picks this diaper.
2 Happy heinys pockets- I LOVE these diapers
2 Sunbaby pockets
2 fuzzibuns pockets
5 Fleece covers from Jubilee Baby Co.- They are so soft and are all we use at night.
3 Fleece Longies from Jubilee Baby Co.- Every time I put Lady Petunia in these she laughs and shakes her bum, I think they are her favorite!
10 Bummis fleece liners- I have hardly ever used these.
5 or so Bumgenius doublers
2 Hemp Babies doublers
Diaper pails- 0
Wet bags- 2 hanging large ones (Best bottom, planet wise) 1 medium (planet wise), 1 small (planet wise).
The medium and small wet bags go in my diaper bag, which is actually the size of a suitcase. I put all of my extra diapers and wipes in the medium, and if I change while out the soiled ones go in the small bag. This works great for my stroller because the Phil and Teds basket is rather small so it fits nicely.
Cloth wipes- 50ish, I am always making us new wipes. it is hard to get a count on them!
Would you like to see us carry more cloth diapers? What is in your diaper stash?
***NOTE- ALL PICTURES ARE TAKEN FROM COTTONBABIES.COM (a great CD website!)***
When I first began to research cloth diapering I became over whelmed by all of the options. I wasn't familiar with many of the terms, and it took me a while to figure out how everything worked. Today I want to easily break it down for you and make a convenient guide, a dictionary of sorts. I hope that I have gathered everything, if I have forgotten anything please let me know.
Cloth Diaper Dictionary
My favorite diaper products would have to be my fleece diaper covers and longies. Not just because they are our products, but because of how soft and breathable they are. I also think that they are Lady Petunia's favorite since she gets so excited when I put them on her.
What is your favorite cloth diaper product?
*Warning* Like all my blog posts these are my personal opinions! This is not meant to judge/hurt/ or make you feel guilty for the choices you have made/ are making for your family. It is just the reasoning behind my choice to cloth diaper. If you disagree with anything I welcome your comments. (In a nice respectful manner of course!)
So lets talk cloth diapers, like other CDing moms, is has become a hobby or mine, maybe even a passion.
And why? I mean really all they do is catch poo...
I completely admit that I first wanted to CD because of the cute factor. They come in every color/pattern you can think of, what mom wouldn't want that?
Aside from being so adorable CDng simply saves money. The average baby will use around $1500 (that is my math, which is probably wrong) worth of diapers. Now multiply that by every child you have. That is a whole lot of money that can be used for other things.
My cloth diaper stash cost around $300, my diapers are onesize so they will last through potty training. If we are blessed with more children then we will be able to use them again. In the end I will sell the diapers and be able to make some of our money back. Many stash's may cost more than mine, others may cost less. All in all it sure is a lot cheaper than $1500!
If this doesn't catch your attention think on this.
The *average* diaper package has lets say 30 diapers in it. Modestly that is 3900 in a landfill PER child( (once again, my math...) If you have two kids, that is 7800 diapers! It is estimated that it takes 250 to 500 YEARS for the diapers to decompose. If you believe that God created this earth like I do, that's not really a good way to be taking care of it like we should be. (I could write a whole post on this alone, think on this God created the earth he then created man in his image. If we are supposed to be like him shouldn't we take care of HIS creation?)
Did you know that disposable diapers contain CHEMICALS? That is what you smell when you walk down the diaper isle.The real diaper association says this,
"Disposable diapers contain traces of Dioxin, an extremely toxic by-product of the paper-bleaching process. It is a carcinogenic chemical, listed by the EPA as the most toxic of all cancer-linked chemicals. It is banned in most countries, but not the U.S..1
Disposable diapers contain Tributyl-tin (TBT) - a toxic pollutant known to cause hormonal problems in humans and animals.2
Disposable diapers contain sodium polyacrylate, a type of super absorbent polymer (SAP), which becomes a gel-like substance when wet. A similar substance had been used in super-absorbency tampons until the early 1980s when it was revealed that the material increased the risk of toxic shock syndrome by increasing absorbency and improving the environment for the growth of toxin-producing bacteria.3
In May 2000, the Archives of Disease in Childhood published research showing that scrotal temperature is increased in boys wearing disposable diapers, and that prolonged use of disposable diapers will blunt or completely abolish the physiological testicular cooling mechanism important for normal spermatogeneisis."
Is this really something that you want your child wearing EVERY day for at least two years?
I'll also add this Ballerina wore disposable diapers up until four months away from potty training(something I very much regret.) The kid had rashes ALL the time, I mean all the time. Lady Petunia wore sposies (a cute nick name) until her cord fell off, she was very red for much of that time. Since I put her full time in Cloth diapers (going on 17 months now) she has hardly ever had any rashes. (When she does we treat it with Shiny Heiny Bum Butter, that takes care of it right away.) That alone convinces me that I made the right choice.
In the end we chose to cloth diaper full time because it works for our family.
Why do you use cloth diapers? If you don't why do you use sposies?
Back to my original statement, look how cute that fluffy butt is! This is a collection of Lady Petunia through out her 16 months of life. Some of our diapers are flips, econobums, bum genius, sunbabies, happy heinys, blue berry, and of course our fleece covers from Jubilee Baby Co.!
Recently Ballerina has been on an artistic journey. Through this journey she has colored on many things, she decided that our breezeway aka summer playroom, needed a touch of flare. Ballerina used chalk to decorate the doors and walls, even the carpet. Thankfully with an un-paper towel and some water the chalk came off easily.
Crayon however is a different story. She decided to color a master piece on the windows, and on the wall. The un-paper towel and water took the crayon off the windows, I just needed to scrub it a little. However, the wall art was not budging. I tried an orange vinager mixture, Mrs. Meyers soap, and just plain water. None of those even touched the crayon.
I then remembered a number of years ago watching a day time show, and they had mentioned using plain tooth paste to take crayon off.
The art project
Pretty talented if I do say so myself.
I grabbed our tooth paste. I only had this in the house (and strawberry toms of Maine), I would suggest using just a plain white tooth paste that is not grainy.
I smeared it over the crayon, the little people had a lot of fun helping me
I let it sit for about ten minutes, then wiped it off with a dry un-paper towel.
Tada! Good bye crayon. Hello clean wall (minus the dirt, of course!)
A year ago Ballerina was having a play date with her friend Spider man. They were playing in my kitchen while I got Lady Petunia to sleep. Ballerina was able to hack the child safety locks under my sink, and pull out a bottle of bathroom cleaner with bleach. Spider man began squirting her. Her clothes were ruined and worse her skin was covered with bleach and other harsh chemicals. That is the day when I decided that there must be a way to thoroughly clean my home without risking the health of my family. I began to research natural/safe cleaning solutions and was surprised to find something that was sitting right on my lazy susan. Vinegar.
Vinegar can be used for an extraordinary amount of everyday uses.