Friday, April 30, 2010

Friday's Favorites

I don't have sponsors, but there are things that I LOVE which I'd like to share with you. So I came up with Friday's Favorites, an entry where I can tell you about something I use every day and just love. You may agree with my favorites, and you may think, "What is she, nuts??" but these are things that make my life better, easier, and in the end happier. So here's the first Friday's Favorites...

One of my favorite things is the Bum Genius 3.0 cloth diaper. When I researched which type of cloth diaper would best fit my needs, this one was the top of my list. But desire unfortunately equals cost and at about $20 each with tax, they are not cheap to invest in even considering the fact that we won't be buying disposable diapers every week. But to cushion the cost of the Bum Genius, I also decided to use tri-fold diapers with a Bummis cover. After about a year and a half of using cloth diapers, I've amassed enough BG to last 3 days, with the tri-folds lasting anywhere from 2-4 days depending on if we get poop on the cover half way through the day or not. It's quite a difference from when I first started using cloth diapers and was washing diapers every night. Now I can go about 4-5 days until it's time to wash.

So here's to the BG 3.0 which is a cloth diaper that grows with your child. They fit children 5-35 pounds and even after a year and a half of having some of them, the Velcro is still working albeit sticking to the other diapers when I get them out of the dryer.

Here are a few websites you can visit to purchase these diapers, or you can usually find a good deal (as in one free diaper depending on how many you purchase) on E-bay. The first website is the baby boutique that I usually buy mine at here in Oceanside, CA. They hold a quarterly Cloth Diaper Garage Sale in which you can buy used (but clean!) cloth diapers from other moms who are done with theirs. The second website is the baby boutique that my sister shops at in WI, they are a wonderful shop and I wish that they would franchise to southern California!

If you are thinking about using cloth diapers, make sure to do your research! Don't pick one just because someone thinks it's the best. You have individual reasons for why each product may or may not fit your lifestyle.

I hope you all consider using cloth diapers, even if you don't end up choosing them over disposable. But here are some numbers to consider: 250-500. That's how many years it takes for a diaper to decompose. I was being nice when I wrote the 250, because most sites that I looked at all said 500 years. But one website

did say 250-500 years. The Seventh Generation website (as in the cleaning products) has a post that says it takes air and water to decompose, so if in fact the diapers go into a landfill, they will never decompose. Yikes! I use about 8 diapers a day. I know that when I worked at a daycare in Japan (on a military base, so it was still American run) we changed diapers every hour. Depending on when the parents dropped the children off and picked them up, that's 9 hours/diapers. A day. Five days a week. (squinting my eyes while looking at you from the side) Think about it.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Genny's b-day invites

So at 4am this morning as I lay in my bed trying to fall back asleep but finding it useless with the pain in my lower back, I realized that Genny's birthday was only weeks away and my mom was coming the following week. I had planned on having Genny's birthday party when my mom was here, but didn't realize how close we are to that date. I had figured that I'd have the baby by now and would plan all the birthday celebrations after he's born. But since he's nice and comfy and seeming to stay in until at least his due date (6 days from today), I started planning the party and everything I need to do to get ready.

So today during nap time I made her invites. I'm not showing the back because they are pretty plain and even though I'm pretty sure everyone who reads this blog has my address, I'd rather not publish it for any future followers to have easy access to my address.

I wanted to get at least 6 invites done today so I can bring them to Kindermusik tomorrow and hand them out. I'm not sure if anyone from the class will come, but they are about the only kids that Genny has interaction with, so I figured why not?

But in making the invites I realized a valuable tip that I'd like to share with you all. When using glitter, do NOT have the fan on. You'll get glitter EVERYWHERE. One more valuable tip: When you see a spider crawling across the table your working on, make sure to get it on the first try or else it may fall to the ground, and as long and as hard as you look for it, it will blend in with the carpet and be lost forever. Then you get to spend the remainder of your crafting time wondering where it is and when it will show up again. Every little tickle you feel, every stray hair that brushes against your face, you will think it's the spider. So calculate your strike and get it the first time!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


This morning I woke up at 5am, thinking it was 6am. But after falling back asleep, I didn't get as long of a rest as my body probably wanted, so I woke up and hit the snooze several times, my asleep self convincing my mind that I could get away with taking a shower closer to lunch because I was going to go for a walk today anyway. Sleep self also told me that I could make oatmeal for breakfast which would give me lots of energy in case I went into labor. Not sure how that makes it OK to snooze it up, but then again sleep self doesn't always make sense.

So upon awaking (and realizing that Genny was awake as well) I set out to make oatmeal. It's probably similar to oatmeal you've made or maybe just ate, but I thought I'd share my recipe for you in case oatmeal is one of those things that you may want to add to your breakfast menu, but don't have the recipe.

I start with old fashioned oats. (If you don't mind the price tag and you like the crunch, steel cut oatmeal is where it's at.) To make enough for myself and Genny, I boil 1.5 cups of water. Once boiling, I add 3/4 cup oats (but don't put them away, you'll be needing them again soon!). I turn the stove down to about med and let them cook. This is when I check out my pantry to see what I've got to add. I always add brown sugar, and today I added dried cherries and pecans. To Genny's I added the same except replaced pecans with walnuts. When the oatmeal is just about done, I add about 2 tbsp of oats, and take it off the burner. I add the brown sugar right away, then spoon Genny's into her bowl and put it in the freezer (she prefers cold food). It's such a wonderful breakfast that will keep you energized especially if you end up going for an uphill walk while pushing a stroller 8 1/2 months pregnant. :)

I hope you try out your own oatmeal, I didn't state this above, but the 2 tbsp of oats right at the end adds a crunch to the oatmeal that I prefer. Obviously you can omit that part if you prefer mushy oatmeal.

Happy Tuesday to everyone! And no, still no baby. Thomas says that I make such a nice home for him he wants to stay in as long as he can. It makes me feel good until I have to bend down to pick something up for the tenth time in a row and realize how much easier it would be to pick stuff up if I didn't have a boulder hindering my decent and ascent. But I just remind myself that we are very blessed that Glenn is healthy and doesn't have Spina Bifida like Genny. God bless everyone!

Monday, April 26, 2010


Well, for a few weeks now I've been working on bags for Genny and Glenn, ones that we can keep in the diaper bag but will have individualized items for each child. If you scroll down, I posted some pictures of the pacie bags I made around the same time I started working on these bags. They of course match. The bags were a bit easier than I had imagined, I made a sample bag out of some left over fabric in order to see if my vision was correct in how to make them. I made Glenn's bag first, but still need to finish it with a button and button flap. I had wondered how I was going to close the bags, at first I had planned on a zipper, but soon realized that it wouldn't be as easy as I thought. So after a few suggestions from friends and family, I settled on a toggle-style closure. I also put snaps on the sides of Glenn's bag to fold the sides in when all the room of the bag isn't needed. I'll post a picture of his bag when the toggle is finished. Above is Genny's bag, with a DVD next to it to show size.

Last night I also made two more burp cloths, which brings my count up to 7 total. I have one more to make, and think I will stop after that. Part of me wants to get an idea going on another project to start after I finish Glenn's bag and the burp cloth, but most of me realizes that I probably shouldn't start anything too labor-intensive since I'll be having a baby soon. Maybe I'll just work on some scrapbooking (everyone knows that there is no such thing as caught up!).

Sunday, April 25, 2010

No more Stampin Up!

Well, I've decided that my courtship with Stampin Up! must end. I've been a demonstrator now for 4 years and have reached my quarterly minimum mostly at my own cost each time. I thought that with buying a house and joining a comunity I would find enough revenue to continue, even in hobby status (making only minimums instead of a profit) but over the past year and some change, I've still needed to dip into my own pocket when push came to shove. Stampin Up! is still my go-to for scrapbooking, but I'll just have to sacrafice the 20% discount I got and only buy what I need instead of feeling pressure to buy the newest products in order to showcase them to customers.

So here is my final offer, my demonstrator status should be up in June (if I read the website correctly) so any final items you want to get my discount with, please let me know and we can put the order in before I stop.

It was nice having the discount, but not worth the stress of wondering how I'm going to meet my minimums every quarter. I enjoyed all the classes I taught, and may still teach a class from time to time, but without the stress of having to make eveything SU! products.

I will try to send out a reminder as my demonstratorship comes to a close to remind everyone of my ending discount.

Thanks for the support over the years everyone!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Earth Day celebration

Well, Earth Day was a few days ago, but since today is Saturday, it seems that the county as well as some stores are celebrating it today. My baby boutique that I visit for my cloth diapers as well as Kindermusik classes held it's quarterly Cloth Diaper Garage Sale, an event where moms resell their cloth diapers that they no longer need/use at a fraction of the price. It's nice for new moms who are considering trying out cloth diapers for the first time because, like stated earlier, they are a fraction of the price which means that the moms can try out a few different styles before figuring out which ones they like the best and investing all that money in to the cloth diapers.
After checking out the cloth diapers available and deciding that I didn't need any, I went inside to see if I could find a bathing suit for Genny. Bathing suit is a loose term, as I prefer the rash guard style with sleeves (that's what happens when you work for a Dermatology clinic!) and then I usually just have her in a swim diaper for the bottom. I found a cute swim set a Target, but it was short sleeved and I was going to have to modify it since Genny's head doesn't fit through the hole.

I found the perfect rash guard and even a swimming diaper cover that matched. Pictured above is Genny in the rash guard, sans the diaper cover since it didn't fit over her BG 3.0 (Bum Genius 3.0 cloth diaper). She has her shirt for the day on underneath, so it may look a little funny. Babies In Bloom (the baby boutique) was giving away Plan Toy cloth bags (and boy are they HUGE!)as well as a fun recycling kit in which kids can learn which items go in which recycling containers. Genny is already having a blast with the new toys which is always nice because as I tell everyone, as long as she has a job, she's a happy girl.

Since I need to take the diaper cover back to get a different size, Thomas made a good point that I should take back the rash guard to get a gender-neutral color so that baby Glenn can use it when he gets big enough. *sigh* As much as I love the idea of pretty little Genny in a pretty pink swim suit, I guess he's right, and I'm taking the rash guard back as well. Oh well, once we get my income back, we can splurge on superfluous items just for their look. ;)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day

Happy Earth Day to everyone!!

When I was in 4th grade I learned about Earth Day. I was scared to death of what the world would be like if everyone didn't recycle. Then as any 4th grader will, I forgot about the day until the next year when we again celebrated it in school. I immediately felt guilty about the whole year going by and my not doing more. But again, I forgot. It wasn't until I was an adult that I started watching my carbon footprint, and as I started recycling, I found more and more to recycle. Today I recycle everything from the Jiffy corn muffin box to the plastic containers that my deli meat comes in. I make a pile of paper every day that sits on my dining room table until I end up in the garage, then it goes in the recycling bins. I have 2 bins for paper and one for plastic, but I always end up needing more that that, so I have a garbage can which I use for overflow. It's amazing how much junk mail I get and it all gets thrown into the bins. Every glass jar that I'm unable to re purpose, every paper and plastic packaging that something new comes in. It all ends up there, waiting to be recycled by the city.

My husband thinks that words like, 'green' and 'carbon footprint' are a laugh, he pictures hippies living in trees or pretentious people who only want to be viewed as earth friendly using them. But it's hard not to use those words when talking about a lifestyle. And this is my lifestyle, a green one (good thing he doesn't read this blog!). I use cloth diapers, bring my own bags to stores (although I do enjoy getting plastic bags sometimes to use for dog poop bags), and I unplug electronics when I know I won't be using them for a while. I'm not as earth friendly as some people, but I believe that I am more earth friendly than most. So on this Earth Day I ask you all to look at what you're throwing in the garbage. Can it be recycled? Just like any change in life, it just takes a little persistence before it becomes a habit.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


When I was in 3rd grade, my maternal grandparents came to visit. I watched my grandmother knit and was fascinated. She taught me how to knit and the day that she left, I sat in school wondering how I was going to knit without a set of needles. I came home to find her set on the end table in the living room. Hoping, but being precocious, I said to my mother, "Mom, grandma left her knitting needles." My mother told me that she had left them for me. And so my love of knitting started. I'm not a fancy knitter, I make squares and rectangles. I don't make booties or sweaters, and I've never really had the want to do those things. I used to make squares and sew them together to form blankets, I made barbie blankets and scarves for my dolls. But since adulthood I've make only washcloths. My sister seems to love them so much that I try to make her as many as I can for her birthday and Christmas. So since my 3rd trimester, I've been trying to make as many washcloths as I can in preparation for those two holidays in December. I don't know how easy it will be to knit in the fall and winter, so the more I make now, the less guilty I'll feel for how many end up in her stocking and birthday box.

To this day I still use the needles my grandmother gave me to make my washcloths. This is the grandmother I named my daughter, Genevieve, after. We share the same middle name (as well as my mother and my daughter) and I've always felt a special bond with her even though I didn't grow up near her like the majority of my cousins. I get my red hair from her, and my nose as well. I also believe that I get my crafty side from her and my conviction in home-made things instead of store bought. I try to call her at least once a week, and have been sending her a card about once a week with a scratch off lottery ticket. She enjoys gambling and will take any excuse to go to the boats (she lives in IN which doesn't allow gambling, so they have 'boats' which are exempt from state laws).

Here's wishing you a wonderful Wednesday, I'm still waiting/wanting to go into labor.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Since I was young, I've always liked to have specific ways of doing things. I remember always wanting to be prepared, packing a tiny backpack (do your remember when those were in style??) with rope, snacks, water and matches when I would go hiking in my back yard. Since I lived in the woods with a swamp in the back I thought I'd need the rope and matches in case I got lost, and the snack and water also for those reasons. Packing for trips has always left me wondering why I brought so much stuff to riffle through when looking for my hairbrush or a specific shirt I know I brought. Even my 'purse' in HS was a giant bag that carried everything from band aids, to mascara, to an extra pair of underwear (yes, I did go overboard).

Since I got married, I've realized that my over-preparation was matched by my husband who, in his caring heart will opt for us to purchase more of something in order to accommodate others than for us to only buy what we need for ourselves. A good example is that when we bought our second car, he opted for a station wagon, knowing that it would fit more people in it as well as carry more cargo. This is why we bought a 6 passenger car before we knew we were pregnant, having it in anticipation of the second child as well as having room for when family comes to visit (once a year...).

So since I like to be so overly prepared, (and living in a 4 bedroom house with the best storage system in the garage EVER) I need to be organized in order to keep track of everything. So here are a few of my personal tips that you may be able to use to help organize your home so that you don't end up having to buy something twice just because you can't find it or didn't remember you had it.

Baby clothes

I started organizing baby clothes before my daughter (who is now almost 2) was born. We got a TON of hand me downs (thank you to everyone!) and since I had everything from 0-3 month to 18 months, I bought the tall Tupperware storage bins, used a piece of cardboard in the center to divide it in 2, and put one size on either side. I had everything up to 3 months out in her closet, but as Genny grew, I would take out the appropriate size and put the old size in the empty section, changing the tape to the correct size information. This has helped me save so much time and frustration, I can't even tell you.

So with baby boy, I'm doing the same thing. Currently I don't have quite as much as I did with Genny, so I just have one box with plastic grocery bags holding each size. I used a permanent marker to label each bag and also put how many outfits are in the bag. This will help me as he grows so that as I buy clearance items and add them to the bags, I can update the number of outfits and know which sizes in which I'm still lacking clothes.

I hope this helps you all! I know that once I realize an organization technique I can utilize, I feel a weight lifted off me because I know that I don't have to worry about at least one thing anymore.

*Another tip: I had all of my nursing bras, boppy, and 0-6 month baby toys in a tub also so that when I felt it was time to bring out the bras, I had the other items ready and didn't have to search everywhere for them.

Confession of the day: I wore lounge pants to the commissary today. I'm not typically the type of person who thinks this is OK, but I used the excuse that I'll be 38 weeks pregnant tomorrow. (but I still regret it a little...)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Cleaning and trying to have a baby

Today was motivated cleaning day. I sat down for about 10 minutes right after I put Genny down for her nap to eat some strawberries and sugar (thank you Kate for the idea!) and then I got to work. I swept and mopped the tile, cleaned up the dog throw up in my bedroom (that I found as soon as I went in there), swept and mopped the sun room, and picked up dog poop in the back yard. Thank goodness for a pooper scooper! We've had our two neighbor dogs over quite a bit lately (Kate and Jake landscaped their front and back yard so playing in their back yard isn't quite as acceptable anymore since we still have a crap-tasticly barren back yard in which they can roll around and dig all they want with out it looking much different). So needless to say the amount of dog poop back there is a little overwhelming when you don't get to it every week. I gave up after filling 2 plastic grocery bags full and decided I'd try again tomorrow if sleep doesn't beckon too convincingly. The goal is to get most of it picked up before the rain at the end of the week. Plus I won't be going back there anytime soon after the baby is born. Count in the vacuuming I did and all in all I did pretty well in the cleaning department today. Let's see how much more I can get done tomorrow...

I put some effort in to trying to go into labor today. Kate from next door had her baby on Saturday, and even though I've felt ready for a few weeks, just seeing that tiny baby boy makes me want one! And since I'm getting one within the next few weeks, I can quote Veruca Salt by saying, "I want it NOW!" Of course I probably shouldn't quote her exactly, because I want him now, not it. Anyway... I drank some tea that Kate gave me that's supposed to help thin the cervix, I went for a long walk (I made sure to walk up hill as much as I could since I heard that helps) and then I came home and tried out some pressure points that are supposed to help induce labor. I had false labor the other day from all the exertion I put on my body going to the dog park with a 70lb dog who doesn't get into the car on his own and a 2 year old daughter who I carried and chased around the whole time. Here's hoping for REAL labor!

I had a surprise visitor just now, a coworker who was dropping off a baby gift for baby boy. Bridget is a coworker who only works 2 days a week, but she's a great asset to DMG every time she's there. She's the kind of worker who is always looking for things to do to stay busy. I enjoyed working with her over the past year and getting to know her. She has 2 children and I get all of her hand-me-downs from her daughter. It's such a blessing to get all the clothes and toys she gives us. I actually end up sending most of them to my mom for Aaralynne to wear first, then she sends them to me for Genny. It's a nice system.

Friday, April 16, 2010


So I'm a creative person. I like making things. From scrapbooks to washcloths to sewing projects. Granted, I don't have any training in almost all of the projects I tackle, and most of the time I do end up creating something that looks like a 3rd grader made it, but I've been thinking in recent months that I'd like to share these other aspects of my life through this blog. Not just keep posting stamping-only blogs. So here is my first non-scrapbooking entry.

I've been a sewing MACHINE lately! When I first found out I was having a boy, the gender-neutral theme of the nursery went right out the window. I went to Jo Ann Fabrics and picked out some boy-themed fleece for burp cloths. I just started making the burp cloths in the past few weeks, (I'm now 37 weeks pregnant) but for Genevieve I used cloth diapers for burp cloths, and since I'm using almost all of my cloth diapers for actual diapers, I didn't want to confuse which was which. So here are a few of the burp cloths I've made, I know they're not perfect, but since they're not gifts, I didn't see the point in spending any more time on them when I have so much else I'd like to get done sewing-wise. The one on the left was the first one I made, so there is no binding.
Also shown are some little bags I made for the diaper bag, the striped one will be for baby boy, and the flowered one for Genny. These are small bags that we'll keep pacies in so we don't mix them up or lose them. I put a stamp pad next to them so you can judge the size. I'll be making larger bags with the same pattern for the kid's individual items in the all-purpose diaper bag. This is an organizing technique that I'm trying out to ensure we always have what we need for each child. We can put appropriate snacks, toys and books in each bag so that when baby boy is crying I can grab his bag and get what he needs instead of routing around in the diaper bag for 5 minutes. Let's hope it works!