Friday, October 9, 2009
So what's changed? As far as this blog is concerned:
1. My tiny baby girl is now a monster-sized almost-10-month-old, crawling and almost walking and eating big girl food and giving kisses and jabbering away.
2. I got a new washer and dryer, the fancy front-loading, energy-saving sort, and while it does work a good bit better than my old set (especially considering that my old set died, hence the purchase of the new set), I'll admit that I'm not as entirely thrilled with it as I wanted to be (but I can say that about almost everything in life).
3. I'm no longer that impressed with Crunchy Clean detergent. It still smells wonderful, and I'm using what I have as carpet powder, but I've gone back to liquid detergent for washing my actual laundry.
4. Still searching for the best detergent I can find. No luck yet.
5. I'm addicted to Goodmamas. I have something like 45 of them now. I have a Goodnight on the way to try, and I'm considering trying the One but haven't yet. But still, Goodmamas = NO LEAKS, and that is king.
6. I just enrolled in a Gourmet Cooking and Catering course. I'm not sure if it will go anywhere or not, but at the very least it will be fun while it lasts.
7. I've been working out with a personal trainer, and even though it's not easy on the wallet, I'm seeing some good results. 18.5 lbs of body fat gone in two months. I'm sure that number would have been even higher if I wasn't still eating everything I could fit between my teeth.
8. In trying to redefine myself and my life according to what makes me happy, I'm figuring out a way to spend more time doing the things I love: cooking (see #6), reading, writing, sewing, decorating, yoga. Perhaps you'll be seeing more of me around, and more of me being creative.
Monday, January 19, 2009
I have to admit, when I ordered these I thought they were pockets instead of AIOs (yes, I really am that unobservant at times), and when I received them I was a little disappointed. But, as I hadn't yet started diapering and I didn't know anything about it, really, I figured I'd give them a shot. And then once I had the baby, the rise looked far too high even if the rest of them would fit. But again, how was I supposed to know, so I tried them. As it turns out, I like them a lot more than I thought I would.
The absolute best thing about them is the most obvious thing--they're all one piece, which means no extra covers, no stuffing pockets, just snap and go. OK, technically there is an extra, smaller snap-in soaker, I just haven't used it--it snaps into the front, which seems to me like it would be more helpful for boys, which my little one is not. Just the same, they work fine without it and we haven't had any problems or leaks because of the absence of the additional soaker. In fact, we haven't had any problems or leaks at all. Also, since the soaker is only sewn at the back, drying time is about the same as the rest of my diapers (which are all pockets).
There are two small problems I've noticed, and they're not exactly problems, per se. First, as I mentioned the additional soaker is small, about half the length as the sewn-in soaker. I personally think it would be more useful if it were full length. Second, the snaps are slightly complicated. If you follow a set of directions (including pictures, that is) it's easy enough, but figuring it out on your own is tough. Remember how I thought the rise was too high? That was because I had them snapped wrong. But snap them the right way, which includes folding the doubled bit back under, and the snaps aren't quite far enough apart, plus the waist becomes a bit thicker and therefore bulkier.
Overall, I really do like them. As I said, no leaks at all, and once I figured out how to fasten them they fit my newborn fairly well. I will probably be ordering more of them, possibly with velcro instead of snaps (mostly because my husband prefers velcro, and because I want to see if they're less confusing), and I'll definitely be ordering more AIOs because of my good experience with the Mommy's Touch.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
All in Ones
I've tried a few All-in-Ones (AIO) and two have emerged as my absolute favorites.
- Blueberry Stuffable AIO (I think Blueberry discontinued their line, but Swaddlebees are from the same company and, based on my experience, I would say performance is equal). I've actually seen a few less than stellar reviews so I was a little concerned after I found a great deal and bought five, but now I'm wishing I had doubled my order! This is the only diaper that my husband actually put on and said, "Holy crap, Honey, buy more of these! I don't care what you paid for them, we need more." Only once have we had leakage and it was a situation where ANYTHING would have leaked. This has also contained all of my son's pooh-splosions. When stuffed with a hemp insert, this has proven to be a bulletproof night time diaper!
- The downsides? Microfiber isn't as forgiving as cotton and I have found myself doing extra rinses to make sure any detergent residue is stripped. Also, drying takes a long time. I end up running my dryer for two full timed sessions and sometimes the very inner portion is still a bit damp and I have to put the diaper on an impromptu rack for drying. (I'm going to get a real drying rack soon and eliminate about 7 hours of useage a week on diapers alone!)
- Dream Eze AIO How could someone NOT love this diaper. The Certified Organic Inner is super absorbent. The fit is so trim I can put Jamison in "regular" pants without sizing up on his already chunky frame. This has become my favorite diaper for out-of-town shopping trips! We've used it for night-time, but it would probably benefit from an added doubler for just a bit more absorbency for that 10 hour stretch (no leaks, only a tiny bit of wicking after 10 hours). Since it's cotton, it's more breathable than microfiber and it also generally has less issues with buildup. Due to the way the soaker is attached, drying time is about the same as with cotton pre-folds! (One full-time dryer session usually has the diaper mostly dry).
- Downsides? I'm going to have a hard time coming up with negatives for this one. I guess I could mention that (especially with a boy) you may want to take an extra few moments to make sure the attached soaker is comfortably covering what it needs to cover, especially if your little boy like to squirm and try to crawl away during his diaper changes. I have gotten into the habit of laying Jamison on the diaper, pulling the soaker into place, then snapping the diaper and finally, reaching down with a couple of fingers and giving the soaker a little tug to make sure it wasn't dislodged in his escape attempts.
I just splurged a bit and found the ultimate in squishy awesomeness- Peanutbutter & Ellie Baby 's PreFlats (I chose the Grae, so I could use a Snappi since I'm still a little leery of pins). I never imagined such a simple diaper could be so luxurious and so amazing. First of all, the diaper is incredibly stretchy, so even though it may look like it won't fit around a chunk; it will. And even more; it will fit the contours without gapping as your baby wriggles and giggles and contorts like a circus performer. I just received the order yesterday. I took the diapers out of the bag and I immediately got upset; why can I not have underwear so soft? Even my husband declared that his next pair of boxer-briefs needed to be made of bamboo velour! Seriously, the material is even softer than it looks on the screen. I threw the diapers (and included doublers) in the wash. The next sign I was going to love the diapers was the fact that they dried super-fast. Like, if you splurged on a stash of these, you may just save money on your drying time alone (just sayin', in case you needed to justify to a spouse or somethin'). Right out of the drier, I diapered the monkey and he scooted away before I could put a cover on him. Eventually, I did put a cover on, but it was a shame to hide his little bamboo-clad bottom!
I changed him into his night-time diaper and examined the PreFlat. The doubler was moist, but the diaper itself wasn't even damp (after a good 2.5 hours wear). Bamboo really is way more absorbent than cotton! The price may seem a bit high, but I did some comparisons and it ended up being pretty fair once I took into account the price included shipping and a doubler. Find another bamboo (or even hemp) diaper, include a doubler and add shipping and the price is going to be in the same ballpark. Maybe I shouldn't have said anything about this diaper. I may want to keep this information all to myself so I don't have so much competition when she restocks again....
Overall Favorite Website
As far as my good, old, trustworthy cotton prefolds; I know there are many wonderful retailers out there, but I have to mention that my favorite is probably Green Mountain Diapers. The owner compares the sizes so you really know what you need. When I was getting started, I bought my first dozen from another site and they ended up being way too big. Once I found Green Mountain Diapers I was able to locate exactly the size I needed and since I was able to see examples of different sizes on various babies, I knew how to expect the diapers to fit. The level of information is the same with everything carried in the store; you don't feel like you are clicking on some unknown product; you feel like you are in the store with the owner at your side demonstrating everything and helping you find the items that will best suit your needs and meet your expectations. Added bonuses: the service was top-notch and the order fulfillment and shipping were extremely fast. I heartily recommend this site to anyone looking to get started with cloth diapering.
Saturday, January 3, 2009
One thing I noticed was that the scent wasn't terribly strong out of the dryer. It was there, in a "bury your nose in the sheets and inhale and have happy dreams" way, but not an "in your face, smell me from a block away" manner. I consider that to be a positive considering the chemicals and manufacturing that go into heavily perfumed artifical product containing detergents. After all, that's the very thing I'm trying to get away frm!
I love the detergent. The Diaper Detergent really does get my son's diapers clean and I've been able to cut down on my rinses, too. The Regular Detergent has powered out everything my husband and kids have thrown at it, too. Not too shabby considering that includes dressing out a deer and stripping lathe and plaster from an old house; factor in a bloody nose and an upset stomach and I would say this detergent is a winner. As with any detergent, stains will need to be pretreated.
I also love the idea of ordering something hand made from a person; not a factory. I'm not even halfway through my stash and I'm already planning my next order!