Monday, October 24, 2011

Cloth Diapering Routine

Some mamas I know are seeking information on cloth diapering and I decided to just blog about it and have the info all nice and organized for people that are interested.  This is a post about a system I like and works for my family; but believe you and me, there are so many options unexplored on my part.  It really is about experimenting and finding what works for your baby because they come in all different shapes and sizes.  This is a list of things you might find helpful to aid you in cloth diapering:

 •   Diaper pail of some sort that has a lid.  

   Diaper pail liner so you will not have to rinse out the diaper pail each time.  I just throw the liner in when I am washing dirty dipes.  Just make sure you don't put it in the dryer.

   Wet bags to use for storing dirties in when you are out and about.  I have a few so that I can rotate through until I am able to wash them.  I also throw these in when washing dirty diapers. 

   Diaper sprayer that attaches to your toilet.  You can do without BUT makes it a lot easier to get the poo off once they start eating solids vs the dunking method. Not so much fun.

   Bac-out Stain and Oder Eliminator is a MUST have in my opinion.  After we rinse out a poopy diaper we spray it with the Bac-out and have excellent results in the enzymes eating the poo that clings to the diapers fibers and not to mention helps with the smell while it sits in the diaper pail waiting for the next wash. Also great to have around for general help in keep the kiddos clothes stain-free. We go through a lot of Bac-out, in fact joke about how we should buy stock in the company.

   Diaper friendly detergent.  I use Charlies Soap and have good results with it.  I use half the recommended amount  for diapers and they come out smelling clean.  We are on our third gallon in 14 months of using it to wash ALL laundry.  I think that is kind of impressive. I make sure to use recommended amount for my normal laundry by the way. 

   Gallon jug o' white vinegar to be used in the final stages of washing diapers.  Helps remove residuals of washing liquid and softens the diapers.

   Seventh Generation Bleach Alternative to add to the main washing cycle.  Charlies doesn't have any disinfecting qualities to it so I use a little bit of this every time. I also use hot water.
   Cotton Prefolds need to be washed and dried about 7 times before using them.  You don't need to use detergent after the first wash time when you do this. You are just getting them to shrink down and become more absorbent.  You will need approximately 2 dozen bare minimum to get started, or more if you don't want to do laundry as often.  When they are lil bitty they pee frequently (we averaged about 14 per day) so you will be changing diapers more often in the beginning. I have gotten all of my prefolds at Green Mountain Diapers and I love them!  I get the organic cotton variety and they are just top notch.  I also like that they are color coded so as you phase into larger sizes it isn't hard to keep them all separated.  

   Doublers are good to have in your diaper stash.  These are essentially inserts you put in the diaper. They are great to use once your babies bladder starts to mature and you will need more absorption power.  I use these during the nighttime and for when we are out and about.  My personal favorite are Baby Kicks' Joey Bunz made of hemp. 

   Snappis for your pre-folds.  This is the greatest invention EVER!  Say goodbye to using scary pins on a squiggly baby and hello to easy.  

   Diaper covers you will need and this is where it gets crazy because there are so many different choices.  In fact, I am going to have a seperate post explaining  the different options. Having a minimum of 5 covers is a good idea.  More just makes your life a little easier.  I personally LOVE Wild Child Woolies and Sustainablebabyish wool diaper covers.
   Cloth baby wipes are much better at getting the bum all clean in my opinion. They are great to have around for runny noses, dirty faces/ hands and just general messes lil ones make.  I have tried using the disposables and just don't care for them.  You can purchase these or make these yourself out of any soft fabric.  Flannel seems to be a preferred cloth for the DIY method.  I would have at least 4 dozen.  I purchased mine at Green Mountain Diaper.

   Wipes Solution is a good idea.  I make my own using a alcohol-free witch hazel with a bit of jojoba oil that I infuse with baby friendly herbs.  I just spray it on and wipe with a warm wipe.  I am in the process of working out some small details and should have available to purchase in the near future!  Sensitive baby butt tested.

I believe that is it for my list of essentials for cloth diapering must-haves.  What are some of your can't live withouts for cloth diapering?  Thoughts?  Suggestions? Look for my next post about the different type of cloth diapers available and more about what kind of diaper covers are out there.  

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Time Has a Way of Slipping..

And it seems it has been a millennia since my last blog post.  Mamahood has a way of doing that.. time is a finicky thing when you are wrapped up in caring for wee ones.  It has been thirteen months, going on fourteen since the birth of my youngest son.  My eldest is now a junior in high school.  Indeed, how time does fly.  Stefen, my eldest, definitely makes me appreciate time with my youngest.  I know that it goes by in the blink of an eye.  It is important to slow down and cherish these moments that they are young and dependent on you.  Before you know it they will be independent young adults needing you less and less, getting ready to embark in the world on their own two feet with everything that you have taught them. Time.. oh time.  Not only do I need to slow down time in order to appreciate the moments I have with those that I love, I also need to find time for myself.

The life of a mother is seriously exhausting at times.  It is a never ending job with very little time for rest, at least in the beginning.  With that being said, this mama needs a vacation!  I am in serious need of recharge in order to continue moving forward with gusto.  This is a twenty-four hour job with very little downtime and all I can think about lately is sitting on a beach.  I just need to get away from the same 'ol, same 'ol rhythm that I find myself in.  Don't get me wrong, this rhythm has been good and very much necessary but I just need some spontaneity to feel a different kind of alive.  Just give me one hour on a beach alone and I could begin the journey back to my deeper self.  Where am I in all this mommy self?  How does one find time to reconnect with their deeper soul?  That is the hardest thing for me, how to turn off the mama and turn on the Amanthus.  How to RELAX!  How do you relax in midst the list that never seems to quit?  What do you do to reconnect with your deeper non-mama self?

Well.. need to end this post as I can hear Orlen has reached his limit with his papa.  Until the next time..

Monday, September 13, 2010

Man, I Love Boobies

I have to admit, breastfeeding has come with its challenges and  I think everyone has their hurdles.  It definitely was a bit of shock to the 'ol nipples. Yeow!  I just kept at perfecting his latch until we found what is now working for us. Then there is the energy it takes to feed a baby. There are definitely times you find yourself so exhausted you just wish you could detach a boob and hand it over to the papa.  Then there are the days he gets so boobay crazed you think he is never going to detach.  I imagine myself walking around with this ever growing baby hanging off one of my tittays.  Haha!  AND then I find myself enjoying the moments that make me feel so good about what I am doing. To be able to sit down and gaze at my lil nugget all snuggled up to my breast nursing away is pretty priceless.  I am in awe at how my body is made, providing nourishment to this growing chunk of a boy. As each lil roll of baby chub appears I am so tickled with joy at my accomplishment.  There are the moments in feeling strong in my femaleness. It's about being at the grocery store and finding myself with a hungry baby and all I have to do is pop a boobie in his mouth. Talk about convenience.  Doesn't get much easier than that.  Comes in handy hiking around these beautiful mountains with my lil' guy. Really do love my boobies.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

My Birthing Story

It has been awhile since I have blogged.  Everything has become a whirlwind and time passed by.  As things settle I feel ready to write about my uninterrupted birthing experience at home.  I feel very fortunate to have been surrounded by those I love, supporting me by being there and giving me sacred space.  I also am so thankful to have such skilled midwives trusting me to birth my baby as women of long ago. 

Things began to stir July 21st early in the morn.  My uterus was warming up at a slow pace. .  It could have been a tease (it was my guess date afternall) but it felt different. I went ahead and gave my midwives, mom and sister a call to let them know what  was up.  I rested and begin to prepare for the possible journey ahead. Zac and his mom Becky occupied themselves by preparing cucumbers to be made into tasty pickles.

Everything started to get  in sync and find rhythm, gently.. slowly.  I let my mom and sister know because they were traveling from a distance.  They were also bringing back my eldest son Stefen, he was visiting my mom.  They were on their way.

Eventually in the afternoon I began to get restless and Zac and I decided to go for a walk in our neighborhood. At that point things stopped and I became worried that I was having my mom and sister drive here for nothing.  What could I do?  It is the nature of birth. Upon returning I thought it a good time to begin my “birth project” which was to make and bake a blueberry pie.  I had fantasized about picking blueberries from the bushes in the backyard on Orlen’s birth day.  Alas, they were ripe and ready but the birds had gotten to them first.  Not enough to make a pie with.  Next year perhaps.  I made the innards of the pie and Zac made the crust.  I wouldn’t get a piece of that pie for a few days.  My body was feeling the waves again.

Stefen, my mom and sister arrived early evening.  It wasn’t long after that, that Zac and I retreated to my room to rest.  At this point the hypnobabies scripts became very helpful.  It was much easier to relax as the birthing waves started to amp up.  I found myself moving into various positions to work with my body as it worked towards birthing our baby boy.  At some point I entered the birthing tub seeking more help in letting go.  Working through the birthing waves in water is the way to go ladies!  Weightlessness allowed me to just float and go further inside myself as everything continued to move forward. At this point Zac called the midwives and told them it would be a good idea if they made they way over here.

Now able to completely let go I found myself not in this world anymore, and time ceased to exist.  A powerful force rippled through my body with each contraction.  I sang out my song for Orlen, working to bring him into this world.  The birth continued to move forward.

I remember at a certain point during active labor feeling very tired, wondering if I could continue at this pace much longer.  All I wanted to do was crawl into my bed and fall asleep.  The pain was becoming overwhelming and I was starting to doubt myself.  I took a moment and shook off those feelings, telling myself I could do it; that all I needed to do was surrender to the process.  I remember that the word surrender resonated so strongly within me, giving me strength. It wasn’t long after that I felt a pop.  My water had broken.  I held onto that word surrender. Moments later I started to feel the urge to push and push I did.  I pushed and pushed and pushed.  I started to feel discouraged because I felt like I wasn’t making any progress.  I asked my midwives if there was something else I could do because this wasn’t working for me anymore.  They asked if I would like to go into the bathroom and sit on the toilet and I thought that sounded great.  I lifted myself out of the water ands scrambled for the bathroom.  I was afraid that I wouldn’t make it before the next contraction came on.    I sat on the toilet clinging to Zac for strength as each wave ripped through me and I continued pushing my baby out.  It was here I felt like I was starting to make progress and indeed I was.  It wasn’t too much longer that I pushed our son out into this world.  Becky quickly had me stand and our midwife caught our baby. Out he was sunny side up.  He was in my arms in seconds and all was right in the world.  The veil lifted and I was instantly snapped back from the land of birthing. 

Nearly twenty-four hours after the beginning of labor, Orlen was born at 4:55 in the morning, weighing 8 pounds and 4 ounces with a length of 20 inches.  He was welcomed into this world surrounded by much love.  

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Bustling I Go!

I have found myself inspired by my dear friend Colleen.  She is a crafter of amazing products that nourish your body from the outside-in. You can find some of her products at My favorites happen to be her oatmeal-honey soap, lotions, body butter and hair gel.  Looking forward to trying some of her baby products in the future =)

She has helped set me on the path to making my own cleaning products =)  Why not, right?  I have ordered some castile oil and borax for some upcoming household cleaners. The rest of what you need is pretty basic stuff you can get at any grocery store; i.e. baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice, etc.  It's going to be so much fun!  I also ordered jojoba oil and distilled witch hazel.  Going to make me some baby bum wash for my own cloth baby wipes.  Getting all "Little House on the Prarie" around here.  Going to try my hand at water bath canning for all of the tomatoes we will hopefully have.  I've been reading Well-Preserved by Eugenia Bone and feel like that wouldn't be too much to accomplish this summer.  AND I have been thinking about baking sweet treats.  Yesterday was about cookies and a few days ago was all about the idea of a blueberry pie made with freshly picked blueberries from our bushes out back.

By the way.. can you tell I am starting to nest hardcore?  Haha!  Everyday the house becomes more organized and a little more deeply cleaned.  It is my way of preparing for the arrival of our little one.  Starting to feel the energy build up inside me.. my body swelling with it as it prepares to birth a soul.  Fucking wild man.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Thirty-one Weeks

I am approaching 31 weeks in my pregnancy and the birthing experience is coming closer.  My body definitely feels engorged and my mobility is becoming more challenged.  It is so interesting being in this new body and experiencing all of these changes with such rapid progression.  The miracle of life indeed. 

As I continue to grow, my body is sending a clear message that I need to stop working. The days I do work, that is all I am able to do.  I spend the rest of my day not moving.  It will be nice to have uninterrupted time to begin the last steps of preperation for everything to come, moving at my own waddling pace.  This last week I only worked Saturday and Sunday and found myself developing a nice routine during the weekday.  I slept in, made breakfast, showered and then to the river park to take Granger for a little walk around our loop.  I have enjoyed our quiet walks of contemplation together.  It really is so peaceful.  Perhaps I will switch it up this week and go on our walks first.  Early morning might be a nice change of pace, especially as it starts to heat up.  Must be mindful of my body temperature.  Once I return home the rest of my day consists of running errands, cleaning and organizing around the house with small breaks of rest in between as needed.  Oh, and eating.  Really loving food right now! 

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Twenty-five weeks now and feeling good!  Acupuncture along with all the spring sunlight and new growth has really helped me regain my energy.  Feeling more vibrant, I am getting out and being more active.  Hoping to go for a night of camping with a hike thrown in the next day.  Hopefully the weather will cooperate with our plans. Will be nice to be immersed in nature. Feel like I should take advantage of the time I have because soon I will have to put a lot of my outdoor activities on hiatus for a bit.  Hopefully my sensitive pregnant body can handle sleeping on a therm-a-rest.  Since it is car camping, I plan on bringing a nice amount of pillows.

These last few months I have been really striving to take care of my growing body and nurture all of the changes that have been happening.  One of the things I have treated myself to is a monthly prenatal massage.  I can't stress enough to all the pregnant ladies out there how wonderful it is to take care of yourself and baby in this way. You are reducing your stress level, training your muscles to let go of tension, and increasing blood and oxygen flow, which carries more nutrition to your baby. Even if you are not pregnant, I think it a wise choice to get a massage at least seasonally. Getting the blood and oxygen flowing helps remove toxins out of your body tissue, plus all the other various benefits it has to offer.  

A little over a month ago I began to experience sciatic nerve pain.  What a literal pain in my arse.  I immediately began to research what I could do to make this go away and found that it is one of the possible unpleasantries that come with pregnancy due to pressure from the baby and/or all the new weight bearing down on my back and pelvis.  I found certain yoga poses that gently stretch the piriformis muscle, which the sciatic nerve runs through.  I found a little relief by doing that.  Being on my feet while I worked wasn't helping me at all and would bring more pain at the end of the day.  Eventually I decided to make an appointment with a prenatal chiropractor.  I learned that prenatal chiropractic work does more than just manages pain, that the pelvic structure is directly related to the uterine ligaments and muscles.  Gentle adjustments to position the pelvis will allow for an optimal birth.  My pain and discomfort has diminished  and I continue to get work done in order to perfect my sacral alignment.  Once my bones are in balance I will be able to stop treatment until I get closer to my "guess date" and go back to make sure everything is in order for my birthing experience.  Studies have shown with prenatal chiropractic work that women have shorter labor times and less back pain during labor.  I will have to let you know how that works out for me.

Another way that I have been achieving balance in my life has been through prenatal yoga practice.  I had been using the "Shiva Rea's Prenatal Yoga" dvd until I started taking classes a couple of weeks ago at the West Asheville Yoga studio on Tuesdays.  In fact, I just finished a class and I feel invigorated.  I really enjoy being around the energy of other pregnant ladies that are on the same journey I am, making our bodies strong and ready for the birthing process ahead of us.  How blessed we are to be creating life within us.

I am now on my second lesson of five in the Hypnobabies Home Study Course.  It includes a workbook, birth partners guide booklet, quick reference booklet for labor, and 12 advanced hypnosis scripts along with daily affirmations on CD. The goal is to have a safe, unmedicated and comfortable birthing.  The workbook includes information on nutrition, comfort in pregnancy, birthing plans, optimal fetal positioning, breastfeeding, etc.  Right now I am learning how to enter self-hypnosis, deepen that state and begin creating hypno-anesthesia. So far, I am really enjoying the course and all that it is providing me.  Just one more way I am able to prepare myself positively for my upcoming birthing experience.

Well, I should stop blogging and finish preparing for our camping trip to Hot Springs tomorrow.  Going to *cross my fingers* and envision good weather for the next few days.