Monday, August 31, 2009

The Diapering Dilemma

Admittedly I have added my share of non-biodegradable, poo filled diapers to the landfill. I claim ignorance when it came to my first child. At the time I didn't know cloth diapers were useful for anything more than burp rags. Who in the world would even dream of using cloth diapers in this age of advancement???

By the time my second bundle of joy entered the world I was beginning to hear rumors of woman (my age and younger!!) using cloth diapers. What??? Why?? So after smiling a somewhat sarcastic, “why-would-anyone-in-the world-do-that” smile, I proceeded to buy and continue using my nicely packaged, easily disposed of diapers. At this point I admit there was this subtle nagging in the back of my mind that I quickly dismissed.

However, by the time I became pregnant with my 3rd little guy I couldn't ignore it anymore. I started calculating in my mind how many diapers per child I was disposing of and then multiplying that by the number of kids I wanted to have (at this point we want 6). So even though I had given into convenience with my first 2 it was time to make a change!! But what did that mean? Where does one go from here?

Well, I decided to take this desire to Wal-Mart and see what they had. I loaded two Gerber pre-fold diaper packages into my cart and went on my way. My friend introduced me to the Snappi, an amazingly wonderful invention that eliminates the nightmares of your baby screaming only for you to find out you had pinned their flesh into the diaper.

Now for diaper covers. I started with the Bummis super whisper wrap covers; which, by the way, I highly recommend.

Since then I have searched cloth-diapering websites and tried several different styles and brands. For those of you new to the cloth diapering world there are close to a zillion choices out there. My son is over a year now and I am always on the quest of the perfect cloth diaper. As a reality check you do have to change cloth diapers much more often than disposables but using cloth makes you feel as if you are doing something wonderful for your baby and the environment not to mention your savings account.

So what would I recommend? Well, my little guy is a heavy wetter. I have found a normal prefold (a bit bigger than the ones you get at Wal-mart) has worked very well, especially combined with a flat -fold at night. I bought some Mother-Ease diapers off craigslist and although I really like that they are not bulky my son seems to fill them up very quickly so I always use a liner and need to change them more often. My new favorite was a gift from Etsy. It is a contour diaper that is not bulky and exremely absorbant. I always grab these first. They are wonderful.

I have not yet entered the world of the All-in-One. I really like having the diaper cover. It seems to eliminate any leakage (in fact the only time my son has leaked is in a disposable diaper). I have both the Thirsties Diaper Cover and the Bummis Super Whisper Wrap and like them both. I have found 4 suits me well for both the newborn stage and the bigger stage. So check out these websites and strongly consider switching yourself. If you're not completely convinced yet start small. Get some cheap ones from Wal-mart and one or two diaper covers and try it for a month and see how it goes.

Here are some of my favorite sites:

And if you're extremely ambitious you can try to make some yourself. They really aren't hard to make at all. I used an old flannel sheet and made about 8. This website is extremely helpful.

Need help folding your pre-fold or flat-fold, check this one out:

Friday, August 28, 2009

Hard Times require a planner

Well, I've finally decided to dive into the blogging pool. It's amazing and sobering to think of having a forum for sharing thoughts. There's so much we can learn from one another.

It doesn't take a brain surgeon to realize and acknowledge that the economy is not doing so well and that is effecting everyone (except maybe the Olsen twins who are just excited to see more sales in their favorite stores). I am continually trying to eek out of my brain cells any smidgen of money making brilliance or at least money saving brilliance. One thing that I have found extremely helpful (who knows, maybe you will to) is scheduling. Yes, scheduling, specifically when it comes to meal planning and grocery shopping.
I'm not sure about you but I don't necessarily relish the idea of packing my three very energetic boys into a van, smashing them into a cart and traipsing all over the store for hours on end (not to mention all the sorry looks everyone gives me as they say, “You have your hands full!”). Because this has become such a time consuming outing, my desire is to give it as little time in my week as possible. This desire has led me to meal planning, list making and doing all my grocery shopping every other Tuesday.
So how does this concept become a reality? Well, the Monday morning of my grocery shopping week my planner and I have a little date. I pull out my handy-dandy recipe binder (a binder I have made up of my favorite and most economical recipes), my favorite pen, and my trusty planner and get to work. I schedule a meal for each night up until my next grocery shopping trip is scheduled and then proceed to make a list from those recipes.

Back to the recipe binder. This has made it a much less excruciating project. I have created a binder divided into Appetizers/Bread-Dough/Beef/Breakfast/Chicken/Desserts/Fish/Pork/and Miscellaneous (for all those great drink recipes you come across). Of course, you might have many more categories you would like to add to your gourmet repertoire but these are my humble attempts. These dividers have been a lifesavers They have tabs and folders in them so that recipe you printed out right before dinner on a rather hectic day can go into the folder to be filed later (or thrown out if your family ran screaming from the table). I collected my recipes from several great sites including and There are many more but these are the sites I keep going back to. They include recipes people have posted and others have tried and rated which is extremely helpful since I do not have the time or energy to run a test kitchen. It's nice to have them tested by others before I present the new substance to my husband and children.
So with your binder, planner, and favorite pen you are on your road to planning and saving so much time and money with your meals and shopping.