Thursday, December 30, 2010

Let's Talk Diapers

I'm a planner by nature. I focus on goals and sometimes can't see past them. Once I found out I was pregnant, I started planning things we would need to buy, as well as parenting standards I wanted to implement. After finding out our daughter had Spina Bifida, the planning changed lanes into things we needed to learn, buy, or prepare ourselves for her condition. I didn't have a chance to consider if I wanted to use cloth diapers because I didn't know what factors were present for such a thought process. Then we learned that we had to start cathing her. Not to mention we were living in a townhouse that had public washers and dryers, not a conducive environment for washing diapers. Then we started looking for a house. Ah-Ha! We would have a washer and dryer ALL. OUR. OWN.

I started researching cloth diapers. Then I started using cloth diapers. Due to costs, I tried a few different kinds. Here is a run-down of what I like and don't like about the ones I've used.

Bum Genius
The Bum Genius is what I chose after researching diapers. It was, in my opinion, the Cadillac of clothe diapering. I liked the idea that it fit a child from 5lbs to 35lbs. I liked that they had a dry-wick covered super soaker (a term I coined) which ensured that the hiny stays dry.
Bum Genius comes in two different models. An AIO (all in one) which means that there is no insert to wash seperately. Then there is the One Size. When I was buying them, it was version 3.0, something I giggled to myself saying since I felt like it was a computer or a car. Now they are onto 4.0, something I salivate thinking about, wishing I had bought them instead of 3.0. But such is the life you live when you invest a lot of money in something that evolves.
The 3.0 features two super soakers, a long one that has three snaps which helps it 'grow' with your child. It also has the extra shorter super soaker which helps for overnight, or with trifolds which I will go into later. It also has Velcro, something I was adamant about having when I researched diapers. I couldn't imagine wanting snaps since I pictured the ease of the plastic breaking, the problems with sizing, and possible discomfort for a child when laying on their belly. If I only knew then...

Another downfall to the BG is that it can leak. The wonderful dry-wick fabric works so well that it can actually prevent wetness from going in. Something that makes me grunt and roll my eyes in frustration. Supposedly you can strip the diapers and it will help, but I'm still having problems. Genny isn't such a big deal because I cath her every 3-4 hours, so there isn't much liquid trying to break through that dry-wick other than when I'm controlling it, not to mention I can stab the catheter into the fabric, forcing a way in for the urine.

The 4.0 has a version of something I wish mine had: SNAPS! As stated above, I had considered snaps when choosing my cloth diapers, and decided against them. Boy was I wrong! The Velcro gets old. Ever had something with old Velcro? Not good. I have to choose leggings or jeans for Genny most days just for the fact that she needs something to help her keep her diapers from coming undone. You can also get the 4.0 in velcro, but let me just steer you away from that. Don't do it!

There are several ways to do trifolds. You have to start with a trifold (Uh, hello Kari, we're not idiots!) but then you get to choose a diaper cover. I have chosen Bummis and have liked them. But to repeat my earlier rant, the Velcro is a terrible idea unless you plan on replacing it or switching it out for snaps (more on that later). Bummis have great choices of colors and they have sizes from newborn (with a cut out for the belly button!) to extra large. I will be investing in extra large diaper covers soon since Genny is growing out of the BG 3.0 and she'll still need diapers until she's about five or six depending on when she's able to learn to cath herself.
Thirsties are another option. I just bought an adorable diaper cover for Glenn that has snaps and is a one size, which means that it will grow with him as he grows, something that equals less money spent on diapers and diaper covers. If this is your first intrigue into cloth diapers, let me explain how it will grow with him. There are snaps vertically: two females and at the top, one male. You can snap the male snap into the bottom female snap for a smaller baby. Glenn has the male snap secured to the top female snap, and soon enough will not need them snapped at all. The waist synching snaps have two male snaps on the backside flaps, and a continuous row of female snaps across the front belly portion. This allows adequate fitting each time.
You will need to choose a size for your trifolds. Glenn is wearing smalls right now, and will need mediums soon. Genny has been wearing larges for over a year now. I also inherited over a dozen cloth diapers from my MIL. They are super soft, but a little thin. To make them work for me, I implement the extra super soaker from the BG 3.0. I lay the trifold flat, put the small super soaker on near the edge, and fold over.

There are other options out there, but these are the ones I've tried. If you are considering trying out cloth diapers (please do, disposable diapers don't break down for at least 250 years!) check your local baby boutique. I've mentioned before that mine, Babies in Bloom has a cloth diaper garage sale, a great way to try out different kinds of cloth diapers for a fraction of the cost. If you don't have a local baby boutique, you can check online for used cloth diapers. It may sound gross to someone who hasn't used them, but a double wash in hot water will kill anything you're worried about.

If you have any questions about cloth diapering, please feel free to comment, or if it's been a week or two, e-mail me. I enjoy giving advice and would hate for anything to be unclear.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Here are some photos of what we did today, Christmas Day.

This was the best picture I could get of the kids in front of the tree.

My son, in the Moby.

Genny waiting for dinner (smiling!!)

Uncle Adam and Glenn

Santa gave each of us (my mom, my sister and myself) a pair of these fun kitchy socks

Genny playing with her new ice cream cone set

Thursday, December 23, 2010

[No] Sleep... Part Two

Nope. No sleep. Yes, as my sister said in her comment, it's overrated. But at 10:08pm after having four out of the past six nights lacking in sleep, it's is underrated. I typed my frustration to my husband last night while Glenn screamed and cried. It was my first attempt at the Ferber method- something that we did with Genny and worked wonderfully. His reply (which I got this morning since the time difference is so great) was to do whatever it takes to make him/me sleep until we get home and then I can Ferberize him all I want. I took his advice before I read it- I went down and nursed Glenn to sleep and brought him into bed with me the first time he woke up. I liked his advice.

I think that's what I'll do.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


With the exception of last night, the three preceding nights were a blur of sleeping sitting up on the couch next to the pack and play, and getting up every time I lay down to sleep because Glenn was unhappy in some way. Putting him down was a terribly loud experience and I had to use the storage area of my sister's basement (where we currently reside) in hopes that no one else would wake from the loud protesting of sleep from my seven month old.

But I think I've got it.

I wasn't transitioning him to sleep. I was just taking a fully awake baby and nursing him until he was on the bridge of sleep and then laying him down. Last night I resorted to my old ways of keeping him up until 9pm. I got sleep! But I'm not fully satisfied with his sleeping. i just know that he can sleep more and I want to figure out how to get him to do it. Tonight I read him two books, then sang him a song while we cuddled, then after all that, I nursed him to the brink of sleep. Since then he's woken up three times (that I've had to help him go back to sleep) but I'm OK with that because all three were relatively smooth transitions.

Now the problem: I'm pretty awake even though it's 11:24pm and I'm planning on getting up at 6am.

Here's praying that Glenn does well again tonight...

So Fresh and So Clean

My husband bought me a great pair of stud earrings. They are paradot stones in a simple oval shape. Perfect for my bland style. :) They are the only pair I brought with me to Michigan because I feel that they go with everything (because no matter what I'm wearing, they match my eyes), so I didn't want to bother with any other jewlery.

Long story short, I washed and dried the earrings. In the washing machine and dryer. Yup. After I realized what happened, I ended up having to get one of them from the lint collection section using a baby spoon and some gum (thank you TV for the idea!).

Monday, December 20, 2010

Happy Birthday Christine

Today is my sister Christine's birthday. She is a crafter like me, but with three boys, she doesn't get too much down time to enjoy this hobby. She is, however, much more of a perfectionist than I am, so her crafts usually end up looking like something she purchased instead of made.

Ever since I realized how easy it was to make place mats, I've envisioned making some for her. And now she has our Aunt's gigantic dinning room table (that seats 12 when fully extended if I remember correctly). I did not make her twelve place mats. I made her eight.

One of the things I've realized about Christine's birthday is that since it's December 20th, there's usually no cause for giving her summer, spring or fall themed gifts. So since it's summer here year round, I picked out this fabric to bring a little summer to her winter, or to enhance her summer months.

I spoke with our mom about which types of colors to choose, asking what colors she has in her dining room. In the end I didn't heed any of her advice and went out on a limb, hoping that she loves this fabric as much as I do. I'm writing this blog in October, so that when her birthday comes I'll be prepared and will just have to click on 'post'. So we'll see if she ends up liking them or not. If she doesn't, I'll gladly take them back!

Sunday, December 19, 2010


We have boys amongst us.

Suttons Bay

Growing up, Boones was the iconic restaurant in Suttons Bay. It's known for it's Boone burger, and greasy food choices. As you made the bend into town it greeted you with a look of history. It's log cabin style and warm fireplace was cozy in the cold winter months (which in Northern Michigan has for about six months of the year), and sounds of laughter (usually alcohol induced) surrounded you as soon as you walked in. It's a cozy space, yet somehow holds quite a few people when busy. Some of my friends worked there, and we all ate there.

Saturday my family and I went to Suttons Bay, the town I grew up in. It's a postcard town and I loved growing up there. The school was small (I had 83 people in my class) and everyone seemed to know everyone else. We went to Boone's to eat lunch but also walked around town stopping in stores that we loved. My mother recently left a position which allowed her to work with some of the stores in Suttons Bay, and so she grew to know the owners and merchandise. We stopped into Lima Bean, a great shop that my friends and i frequented, and was subsequently purchased by a childhood friend of mine.

It was a nice visit, but shorter than I would have preferred.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Showering With A Baby

Yup, for those of you who read that title and said, "What?!" I shall explain.

Glenn and Genny needed baths yesterday but didn't get them. No specific reason, I just forgot and then my mom came over for dinner, so I wanted to spend time with her and A instead of breaking away to take baths.

A friend of mine always took showers with her babies. She claimed it was wonderful- they would play in the tub while she was showering, then when she was done she would wash them and they would get out together. She loved how it was a surefire way to keep an eye on the baby while she was in the shower, and then they'd both be clean.

None of what happened this morning happened in the wonderful fashion it did for her. It was terrible. I initially put him on the drain end of the shower, but the faucet was right there for him to bump his head. Plus he was getting soapy water splashed down on him. He kept looking up at me with his little eyes trying to blink away the water, a look on his face like why are you doing this to me? I moved him to the other end of the shower but the splashing water seemed worse. I ended up leaving him there, but pointing the shower head towards the wall and hurriedly showering so I could pick him up and wash him. Which leads me to my final point: a wet baby and a wet mommy equals a slippery holding situation. I was scared I was going to drop him, especially when I was rinsing him off.
My advice: Don't shower with your baby!

If you have a better way of showering with a baby, please post in the comments. It's something I would try again if given a better idea of how to do it. Until then, he gets his own bath!

Baby Glenn after his shower this morning.

My sister's eldest brought home his class pet for Christmas break. Darwin is a cute Ginny Pig and has created quite a stir in this house- everyone is acutely aware of his presence even though he doesn't do much. I must say though, he is quite adorable.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Wet, er, Slightly Moist Bag

One day my neighbor told me about her wet/dry diaper bag. A bag that has two zippered compartments, one for the wet diapers, and one for the dry. My jaw dropped. Genius!! I wanted to make myself one right away. Trouble is, I have several perfectly good wet bags that I can use while out and about. Then I started thinking about different uses for wet bags. There are so many reasons to have a wet bag. Soiled clothes while out and about (who hasn't been there, parents??), toys that are wet from playing at the beach, dirty diapers, moist snacks, the list goes on. Then I saw some bags for sale at Babies In Bloom that were exactly that. They even had a catchy title, Wet Happened. But they were expensive. So I started marinating a wet bag in my head. What material to use on the inside was a concern for me. I had asked my local JoAnn Fabric's store for a waterproof fabric before, and had sent them in a tizzy, trying to figure out what material may be waterproof. So I knew I was on my own. I did the only thing a girl like me does, I forwent any research and guessed. Yup, that's just me. I almost forgot to get the waterproof fabric when I was at the store. My number was called right when I realized I hadn't picked anything out, so I grabbed the first thing I saw that matched my clearance material for the outside.

I finished the bag today, and was trying to figure out how to test it out. I was talking to my sister and verbalizing different wet food I could use, when the idea dawned on me to just saturate a washcloth with water (silly me thought it needed to be something sticky or messy or colored) and set it on the counter. I did. It leaked. So I guess it will be a moist bag, and I'll have to make sure to wring out any wet clothing I put in it. For it's size it's meant for food, so I'm not sure how often I will put clothes in it, but we'll just see.


This year I decided to make stockings for us. I thought it would be nice to have matching stockings, and I thought, how hard could that be? It wasn't that hard, but as it turns out, I am not good at making the exact same thing more than once. I'm not surprised, I had a feeling that they would all be different. But what takes the cake is the super fat girl stocking that will most likely go to Genny (because why would I need a super fat stocking?). Poor Glenn will most likely make a fuss every year about how Genny's stocking is bigger, and why is his so small. But that's in the future, and until he realizes that his is smaller, I will smile when I look at our hearth -wait, we don't have a hearth... Um... Our bookcases?- and see our matching stockings hanging together. I did make sure to get enough fabric in the event that we have another little one pitter-pattering around, but we have yet to seriously discuss that.

Edit note: My sister started laughing pretty hard when she read, 'super fat girl stocking'. But then I said, "No, super fat stocking for a girl." So we laughed together as I quickly logged onto blogger and wrote this edit note. So now we're clear. :>

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


This is how deep the snow is in the front yard- it goes up to my knee!

Eating snow

Ok, Thomas. Here are some pictures of the kids playing outside. :) Genny had a blast sledding and Glenn pretty much just sat there in the sturdy sled watching everyone and everything. Even though Genny was super tired and cranky today, she had fun for a little while outside. :)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Thomas told me that I hadn't posted any pictures of the outside with the snow. So here you go, babe! I had planned on taking the kids outside to play, but today is my laundry day and I'm washing Glenn's snowsuit, so I wasn't able to. Hopefully tomorrow we will all go outside and play so I can get some pictures of how much snow we have compared to how tall Genny is. :)

Snow Day!!

Monday was a snow day for the boys here at my sister's house. We also ended up hanging out with Aaralynne for a few hours so my mom could go into work and get some stuff done she couldn't do from home.

My sister's family is spending their first winter here in Northern Michigan, and from what they say it's quite a bit different than Wisconsin. The amount of snow we got over the past three days has made it to the total accumulation that they normally get in Oshkosh. Her husband seemed like he was in his typical mode, making sure the driveway was snow-blowed several times (he said he did it five times in one day!) and figuring out what to do about the snow on the roof that would lead to ice which can damage the roof itself. All of these things I've never had to consider thinking about, but they are in keeping with a typical Northern Michigan winter.

So what do we do on a snow day? Why play outside of course! Well, not us Alfords, but my sister's boys sure did make some plans about building a snow fort and going sledding. Her oldest started on the snow fort with his friend, and her middle son was playing at a friend's house for a while.

Us Alfords did what we normally do. We played inside (the cold winter is not conducive to a baby's survivability) and Genny discovered scissors! My sister's middle son had been practicing his cutting, and Genny took up where he left off. I taught her how to hold the scissors and she spent at least a half hour cutting paper. She also discovered colored pencils and had a blast coloring. I think I know what Santa may be putting in her stocking...

Genny sure does love her yogurt!

Glenn's new favorite pastime, pulling to stand. (especially on the dishwasher)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Santa At The Fire Station

Since Genny's uncle Chris works at the local Fire Station, we went there today to see Santa. We also saw Sparky, a giant dog (man in a dog's costume) which scared the living daylights out of Genny. She subsiquently was on the constant lookout for Sparky and had to be in my arms clutching me when he was within ten yards. But she did seem to enjoy Santa, so we were able to get a good picture of her and Glenn.

Genny driving the fire truck with Aunt Christine in the background

Glenn driving the fire truck

Genny traumatized by Sparky