Saturday, August 29, 2009

RIP Top Loader Diaper Washing Machine

Just like every other diaper washing night, I load the diapers into their own washing machine, add the Charlie's Soap, and turn the dial to Super to start the soak. I pull the knob out to start and....mmmmmmmmmmmmm...... WHAT??? No sound of water, just a quiet.... mmmmmmmmmmmmm..........Panic takes over. My hand is shaking. I turn the dial to Regular, convinced that it's just Super setting that isn't working...mmmmmmm..... Fingers fumbling, I turn the size load to Medium. Yeah, that will fix it......mmmmmmmmmmmmm......One more knob to turn.  I know when I change the water temperature it WILL WORK...mmmmmmmmmmmmmm....  CRAP. CRAP. CRAP.  Figuratively and literally, because now I have to stick my hand in the wash basin and take all the crappy diapers out and put them in the front loader. Time to review the blog posts from last weeks Cloth Diaper Carnival on how to wash diapers in a front loader. I am telling my self this is only temporary. I KNOW my parents have an extra top loader in their basement they aren't using (thanks to an uncle that drives a garbage truck in a rich town) and it has my name written all over it!!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Give Aways With Prizes for Grown Ups!!!

For my friends out there with older kids, no kids, or who, like me, just want some stuff, check out these Blogs and enter to win!

Visit Sweeps4Bloggers to win a Two Leaves and a Bud Tea Sampler. Ends 9/5

Visit Sweeps4Bloggers to win a Zedena Designs Enamel Necklace. Ends 9/1

Visit Audrey's Give Away Blog to win reusable produce bags from Love for Earth. Ends 9/5 @6am

Visit A Giveaway Addicted Mommy to check out the great giveaway by CSN mattresses to win an organic mattress pad. Ends 9/1

Visit A Giveaway Addicted Mommy to win a pair of yoga pants from Hyde Yoga. Ends 9/2

Visit A Giveaway Addicted Mommy to win a New Wave Enviro prize pack. Ends 9/2

Visit A Giveaway Addicted Mommy to win a gift pack from Sun & Earth. Ends 9/5

Visit A Giveaway Addicted Mommy to win cleaning products from Ecover. Ends 9/3

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Wordless Wednesday- Caught in the Act

When Logan was a baby he shredded and ate newspapers and magazines. Sophie, she goes right for my cookbooks!


Friday, August 21, 2009

Let's Talk Dirty....

....dirty diapers, that is!

This Blog is part of the Cloth Diaper Carnival hosted by Kim at Dirty Diaper Laundry. Topic- What is your wash routine?

"Eewwww, I could never cloth diaper! Poop is sooooo grosss!". Heard it a million times when people found out I cloth diapered. Obviously from people who never had kids. Or whose kids were old and they blocked out the memories of poop-plosions, and diaper changes so messy poop gets under the nails. Poop happens whether the baby is cloth diapered or wears dispsosies. With disposies, how ever, the poop is discarded with the diaper, never to be seen or smelt again. So not the case with cloth diapers. At least in my case.

I am on my second kiddo in cloth diapers. Sophie is flying solo with the diapers now that Logan has been using the potty for about 4 months (YEAH!!! Toddler poops are THE grossest!), so I feel I have FINALLY found my perfect routine.

When I first started cloth diapering (almost 3 years ago) I used the wet pail method. I found the perfect trash bucket with handles and a cover. I filled the pail about 1/2 way with water and added about 1/4 cup baking soda. The problem with this was after a day or so of diapers, the bucket became too heavy for me to carry down the stairs to the basement. I'm not a wimp, but after a C-section it wasn't working. So dry pail it is. Oh, and FYI, I actually had to write "Dirty Diapers" on the cover of the pail after a couple of house guests mistook it for the actual trash bucket- cause I'm the crazy lady with the 28 Qt trash bucket in the bathroom.

So, here is the journey of the dirty poopie (I admit I had to spell check this word, several times, and refuse to use poo- pie) diaper. First, soiled diaper is swooshed in the toilet bowl. When done while flushing, there is extra water power to get off the soil. On a side note, I have not yet admitted to the hubby that the accidental flushing of cloth liners is why the toilet now clogs, so hold on tight ladies! Wet diaper is then tossed into the properly labeled "Dirty Diaper" pail. When pail is fairly full, or when I run out of my favorite diapers, it is brought down stairs to the washer.

Now here ladies, is where I consider myself lucky. My house came with 2 washing machines!!! The previous owner did not want her husbands dirty work clothes washed with the rest of the laundry, so they had their own washing machine, which now belongs to the diapers. SWEET! I put the diapers in one by one to even out the weight in the machine (learned if I don't do this the machine falls off the plank it is on). I add Charlie's Soap, which is in fact, NOT soap. LOVE this stuff. First detergent I found that left kiddos rash free. Sometimes I add about 1/2 cup of Borax or Arm & Hammer Washing Soda. Both of these help with stain and smell. I put the dial on Super load and leave the hood up so they can soak for about 1/2 an hour before I close the lid and let the machine finish doing it's thing.

Now here is where I get a bit obsessive about the rinsing of the diapers. I then take them out of that machine, and put them in my new front loader where I rinse and spin them again. This actually helps lessen the drying time, as the front loader spins the heck out of them, leaving them less wet then the top loader. Then I toss them in the dryer. Yup, dryer. I am a germaphobe and no matter what people say, I don't see how the sun can kill all the yuckies on the INSIDE of the diaper. I am better convinced the dryer will cook them.

And that my friends, is the journey of the poopie diaper. In my house anyway. Now click on the blue "Click here" to get links to other Momma Blogs to see how they talk dirty. Ha, Ha, I'm cracking myself up....

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Taming the "Savage Beast*"

*AKA my little guy in the middle of a temper tantrum*

"Temper tantrum", "meltdown", "uncontrollable showing of emotions", whatever you want to call it, we have all been there with our toddlers. It can be as "mild" as a crying fit, or as violent as toy throwing. Either way, it is unsettling, and in me invokes a strong feeling of helplessness. As I mentioned in a previous post "Healing Myself", once I realized that Logan was feeding off my reactions to his distress, I could aid in the shortening or lengthening of his outburts. If I react with anger, frustration, and helplessness, he feeds off this and his emotions intensify, thus lengthening his suffering. Now, in order to be able to help him grow as a person and learn how to deal with his feelings, I first calm myself.

Which is great, because now I don't make the situation WORSE, but that still doesn't result in it's conclusion! I was still at a loss as to how to calm HIM! I mentioned my frustration to my meditation leader after a practice one day. She suggested that I get a bell and practice the sound of the bell with my son to calm him, in the same way as it calms us in our practice.
She recommended checking out Mindful Kids for more information.

The next day I was on Ebay looking for a bell,also called a singing bowl. I would recommend buying one in person so you can pick out the sound you like, but living in the Boonies where I do, Ebay it was. I narrowed it down to a few in my price range and let Logan pick out the one he liked. I explained to him that it was a bell to send love to his heart to remind him to take deep breaths to calm him down when he is feeling yucky. Basic enough explanation for an almost 3 year old.

We checked the mail every day and made it a big deal when we opened the package. I rang the bell and let him ring it a few times and explained to him again how it worked. When he is feeling yucky, angry or frustrated, I will ring the bell to remind him that he is loved and to take deep breaths and calm down.

It didn't take long before we were able to use our new bell. And of course, when I rang it he immediately calmed down and the tantrum was done. YEAH, RIGHT. This is what I was hoping for, but alas, not what happened. In fact, it took several instances that required the ringing of the bell before there was a noticeable difference. One day he just stopped and breathed! On another day, he asked to hear the bell before the tantrum EVEN STARTED!!Now I haven't had to use the bell for tantrums in a while. Whether he has out grown this phase, or has learned to calm himself down (I prefer to think the later!), I don't know. The bell worked for us. I am not saying it will work for everyone. But, if you are feeling as I was, what do you have to loose?

Don't forget to check out the Mindful Kids page. There are great activities to do with your kids to help them become mindful of themselves and their environment. Most of the activities are for older children, but can easily be adjusted to suit little ones. Also, I have started using the bell to help Logan relax at bed time. Ah, Bed Time, almost as fun for mom and toddler as The Tantrum!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Give Away Addiction

"Hi, my name is Tracey and I'm a Give Away Addict".

OK, I will readily admit that I am a Blogging Newbie, but how did I not know PEOPLE GAVE STUFF AWAY?!!! And GOOD stuff too. Stuff that I WANT. Stuff that I NEED! I spent most of my day today on the computer bouncing from Twitter to "Follow", Facebook to "Become a fan", and back to the Blog with the object of my desire to leave comment, after comment, after comment. The more comments, the more entries.... What else do I need to do to leave a comment? Sign up for email alerts from said Blog- done it. Now my in box is on fire, as I am alerted every time someone else is after the object, OK, OBJECTS, that I have my eyes on. What else? Back to the list of entry requirements. I have left so many comments today I am wondering if I would have improved my vocabulary by looking up the meaning of all those squiggly words I had to type to "verify" my comment. Are those real words anyway? Let me tell you, after the 50th time they were starting to look real! Hey, ya know what? If I post links to those giveaways in this post, I can enter again!! Some of the contests end tonight at midnight, or earlier, so there might be time for you to enter too..... ;)

Dirty Diaper Laundry- Booroi Diaper Cover, ends 8/24

My Four Monkeys- Hazelaid Giveaway, ends 8/17

Mission Mommy- See Kai Run Shoes, ends 8/17

Kiddies Corner Deals- sponsored by CSN Rugs $40 (or under) rug of your choice, ends 8/10 AND a Crayola Creativity Pack (make sure to go to to print out coloring pages!), ends 8/14

The Cloth Diaper Report- Britax carseat, ends 8/12

Two of a kind, working on a full house- Kushies Safari Organic Sleeper, ends 8/10

Is that all?? There must have been more....

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Carrot Chocolate Chip Cookies

It's a cool day in my neck of the woods. A great day to bake some cookies. Here is my favorite "healthy" cookie recipe. Gotta sneak those veggies in any chance I get!

Carrot Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 eggs
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup fat free milk
1/3 cup canola oil
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup quick cooking oats
1 cup grated carrots
1 cup raisins

In a large bowl, beat eggs, brown sugar, milk and oil. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, baking soda, and nutmeg. Add to egg mixture and mix well. Stir in chips, oats, carrots, and raisins. Drop by heaping teaspoonfuls onto baking sheets covered with nonstick cooking spray. Flatten slightly. Bake at 350 for 10-13 min or until golden brown. Remove to racks to cool. Makes about 7 dozen.

Sometimes I substitute some of the all purpose flour with wheat flour- the cookies just end up a bit squishy.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Wordless Wednesday- Cheap Mommy :)

My double stroller.

The kiddos sitting in their favorite toys.

The play pen.

Monday, August 3, 2009

World Breastfeeding Week: The Code

This week has been designated as World Breastfeeding Week by The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA). The theme chosen for this year is Breastfeeding: A Vital Emergency Response- Are you Ready?. Living in New England where *knocks on wood* natural disasters are rare or "minor" compared to the rest of the world, I never considered emergency preparedness in breastfeeding as an issue. Actually, I never "considered" it at all. But what if I was a mother in Siri Lanka after the tsunami of 2004 who has been nursing my child for 9 months. Being in a high stress situation, if I was given formula in a care package by a medical aid volunteer, and shown in a class how to use it, would I stop? Would I see using formula as an easier way deal with my situation?

This is where the International Code of Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes or "The Code" comes into play. The Code was put together by the World Health Organization with the aim "to contribute to the provision of safe and adequate nutrition for infants, by the protection and promotion of breastfeeding, and by ensuring the proper use of breastmilk substitutes, when these are necessary, on the basis of adequate information and through appropriate marketing and distribution".

The Code is violated at almost every emergency situation, mostly due to lack of knowledge. Article 6.2 of the Code bans promotion of products within the health care system. This includes medical aid workers. It is seen as promoting formula over breastfeeding. Article 6.6 provides that donated supplies only be used or distributed for infants who have to be fed breastmilk substitutes. If The Code is followed and monitored, as a mother in Siri Lanka, I would never have been tempted to stop breast feeding.

This is why the WBW theme of Emergency Preparedness is so important. Getting out the knowledge that The Code exists, and ensuring that volunteers and health care workers are properly informed will give mothers the support they need to continue breastfeeding through a disaster situation.

The Code of Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes does not pertain only to emergency situations. To read it in full visit The International Baby Food Action Network site where I got this info from.