Hopeful Thoughts


Archive for March, 2010

Week 21

I’ve just finished week 21 of my pregnancy, and I can’t really focus this post on all one thing.  So, we’ll consider it a summary of the week!

Spring has sprung in Denton, TX and you can see the proof all over the ground and feel it in the air.  The weather has been beautiful for most of the last couple of weeks.  (We don’t need to mention the freak snow storm that blew threw last Sunday morning when Ryan and I were out of town at my mother-in-law’s house.  That make the second snow we’ve missed this season.)  On the pretty days, my neighbor, Allison, and I have enjoyed walks around our neighborhood with her dog.  We didn’t have to venture any further than our front yard to see these beautiful Texas Blue Bonnets.  I’ll never consider myself a Texan.  I’m a Carolina girl forever, but I do love the Texas state flower.

BlueBonnets

When I haven’t been basking in the sunshine, I’ve been working to finish up some craft projects.  This week saw the completion of the giant stack of baby wipes and my first real knitting project.

wipeStackWipeEdge2
wipeEdge

The wipes are simple squares of flannel that I cut and stitched around using the zig-zag function on my basic sewing machine.  It should have been an easy project, but sewing machines and I do not get along well.  It took me many days of sitting for just a bit at a time to get through my pile of squares.  My machine constantly jams up.  The thread pops out of the bobbin feeder, breaks off from above the needle, or a myriad of other issues that cause me to stop mid seam to set things back up correctly.  I was SO READY to be finished.

Knitting is now one of my new favorite past times.  I learned the basics several years ago and managed to make a scarf that I wore when my husband and I traveled to Russia back in 2005.  I was happy to have that project done and decided I was pretty much done with knitting because it had been so difficult, and even painful.  However, something was tugging at me recently to just try one more time to create socks.  You may have noticed that I never posted a picture of the blue crochet socks from months ago.  That’s because they didn’t shape up right and I finally pulled them out altogether.  Well, today I can show you finished socks at last, but they are KNIT and not crochet!  It turns out that I never really learned my basic stitches correctly, and this project allowed me to figure this out and now knitting is almost as easy as crochet.  I’m looking forward to all the new types of projects this will allow me to do.

SockProgressFinishedSocks
OneFinished

And finally, here’s the belly shot for the week.  This was taken Friday, the end of week 21.

BabyBelly21

Why Cloth Diapers?

As most of my dearest friends already know, we are choosing cloth diapers for Baby Inselmann.  It’s been amazing to me to hear all of the opinions that people seem to have about cloth.  My goal here is to help people understand my reasons.  Feel free to make your own opinions, but here are mine!

Reason #1) The Environment

Cloth diapers reduce the amount of waste that I will be adding to the landfills.  I’m choosing organic cotton, so their production is even more friendly to the environment, and since they are cotton, they should degrade more easily when the few dozen diapers that I have do wind up too worn for use.

I’ve also taken the contamination of the water by detergent into account.  By the time I begin cloth diapering, I will have switched to a natural detergent that is low in cost, safe for sensitive babies, AND BIODEGRADABLE.  It’s even certified safe for SMALL bodies of water.  Too cool!  Check out Charlie’s Soap for yourself!  It’s amazing!  (A clean rinsing detergent is really important, as most detergents cause build up in fabrics over time, which can decrease absorbency of your diapers).

Reason #2) COST

My needs for cloth diapering will include the following (which I will be ordering from this site):  4 newborn covers at $11 each; 1 dozen newborn size organic cotton pre-folds for $25; 1 Dozen small covers and 3 dozen pre-folds,  FREE from my awesome sister;  8-12 Bummis Medium covers at $12.25 each, $98-$147; 3 dozen Medium size organic cotton pre-folds at $35 per dozen, $105; and flannel cloth wipes that I made, cost is for materials, about $8.   The newborn size diapers will also serve as doublers to increase absorbency for night time use, so that will be one less thing to buy.   The cost per load to run my washer and dryer is about $0.75, plus a bit for detergent, so we’ll say $0.90 per load.  This means I’ll spend about $94 on the extra two loads of laundry I’ll do each week for a full year.  That gives a total cost for diapering of about $423 for a whole year.  Assuming I diaper for the second year, too, I’m only adding the cost of another year of laundry, so we’re talking just over $500 for two full years of diapering.  If we have another kid, we only add the cost of the laundry since the diapers can be used again and again.

Disposable diapers seem to sell for about $0.40 each, depending on the size.  I did an average cost of the smallest and largest per diaper cost to get this number.  I got my information from a bulk package that was on sale at diapers.com, just to be fair to those who shop cheap.  Estimating a use of about 8 diapers a day, this would cost $1168 per year.  Not to mention what will be paid for the wipes, which run about $0.03 each.  Using 1-3 per diaper change would work out to about 16 per day, adding another $175 to your diapering total for the year.  We’re at $1343 by now.  Over the course of  two years, we’ve spent close to $2700 on diapers!

Looks to me like I’m saving over $2000 by choosing to cloth diaper my one kiddo!  If we have a second, it’s even more!  What could I do with $2000????

Reason #3) Better for Baby

There are always exceptions to this sort of reason.  I know plenty of kids who’ve worn disposable diapers and haven’t had any diaper rash problems.  However, overall, babies in cloth diapers experience less skin irritation than those in disposables.  In addition, many sources show that kids in cloth tend to potty train sooner than those in disposables.

Reason #4)  They are EASY to use

Cloth diapers have come a long way since my mom used them on me.  You can still use pins and plastic pants if you like, but I’m not!  I will have an extra step when compared with disposables in actually putting on the diapers, but it’s really not that big of a deal to lay a cotton pre-fold into a cover before closing up the diaper.  We’re getting covers with hook and loop tabs, so they will be just as easy as disposables to put on.

As for washing, that’s easy, too!  Since I’m choosing to nurse, we’ll be able to throw all of our diapers right into the pail without any rinsing.  Nursing poop washes out just like yogurt!  We’ll be lining our pail with a waterproof, washable PUL bag.  On washing day, I’ll simply turn the bag inside out into the washer, leave it in the washer, too, and I never have to touch the dirty diapers.  I’ll run a cold pre-rinse, a hot wash, and an extra rinse at the end, then toss them all in the dryer.  You really don’t have to fold them, either.

Once Baby starts on solids, we will have to swish the solid waste out in the toilet.  Provided you do this ASAP after taking the diaper off the munchkin and BEFORE tossing it in the pail, this is really not a big deal.  It’s waiting that causes the big stink!  Personally, It’s worth it to me to swish poop if I get to keep my $2000!!

I hope that this blog has been helpful.  I’m excited about our decision and can’t wait for the little guy to get here!

Half Way There!!

This week marks the half way point to the arrival of our sweet Baby Boy!  I thought this would be a great time to share some of the things I have been doing to prepare for the little guy.

Pond Friends stacking toy

Pond Friends stacking toy

My first project was completed a few weeks ago while we were snowed in.  I knew I wanted to crochet something, but I have lots of crafty friends and he is sure to receive plenty of fuzzy yarn blankets to keep him warm, so I opted for a plush toy.  This pattern was available free from the Lion Brand web site.

Frog stand with pond base, dragonfly, ladybug and bumble bee.

Frog stand with pond base, dragonfly, ladybug and bumble bee.

I also have a few projects in the works.  My little guy has to have his very own flannel receiving blankets.  I’ll be getting a few of these form family as well, but you can never have too many.  They wash up great after spit up or diaper blow outs and only get softer over time.  Baby Boy Inselmann will get two made by his Mommy.  It was so much fun to be able to pick out prints with MY sweetheart in mind!  I’m currently trimming the froggy print in white and the bugs will be framed with a bright red.

blankets2Be

We’re planning to cloth diaper our little bundle, so another project in progress is flannel wipes.  Here’s the stack of white flannel waiting to be trimmed in a zig-zag stitch to prevent unraveling and to add a bit of color.  At the moment, I’ve only had time to trim about a third of this pile.  I had to take a break to rest my back after bending over the sewing machine for two days getting the first few done!  I’ll post final pictures when they are all done, as well as my thoughts on cloth diapering.

wipes

And, for those who are curious, here’s a more recent shot of the belly.  This was taken Thursday, so towards the end of week 19.

belly19

While Ridding my House of Dirt…

My house was in desperate need of clean floors.  Sweeping is not my favorite thing to do, but the dust bunnies were beginning to take over, so it had to be done.

So, I pulled out my “duster broom thingy” and the little duster pads and set to work.  After pushing the dirt around with THREE of the pads, I still had to go back with my regular broom and dustpan to finish the job.  As I clipped the third pad in place, I thought, “what a waste of time and money!”

I don’t have to stop in the middle of what I’m doing to replace part of my broom.  I don’t have to go back over what I’ve already done with another tool after I’ve used my broom.  I don’t have to buy refill pads for my broom.  I’m not creating  MORE trash in the cleaning process by throwing away those silly pads when I use my broom.

broomSwiffer SO WHY DON’T I JUST USE MY BROOM!!!!!!