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Macgyver Mom

We’ll it happened again – motherhood has allowed for very little time, and I have been unable to post in such a long time!  We went home to Colorado in early July to visit and it has taken every bit of the last month to get things back in order and get out of the “vacation” mindset. The boys handled the 40 hour round trip drive as good as can be expected, and we only added an hour extra each travel day for diaper changes, and dog walking (yes we also took our dog). We had an amazing time, but as always with kids there was a funny story to share.

First I wanted to let everyone know that we successfully cloth diapered throughout the whole vacation! Four days of traveling by car, two nights in a hotel, and seven days split between three locations.  It took some planning but wasn’t a big deal. We used the Grovia system while on the road, and went back to our Fuzzibunz once we were in Colorado.  No messes in the car, no diaper rash, no packing cases of diapers, no problems at all.

This story of mine consists of baby wipes, Fabreeze, a breast pad and a comb – Macgyver Mom to the rescue.

One of the reason we had went home was so my husband could re-enlist his mom. She is also in the Air Force. It was a very special occasion, and a very rare one at that. The photographer on base has been taking pictures of re-enlistment ceremonies for 15 years and had never seen a mother/son one, so it was very cool. Julie, my mother-in-law had invited her close friends and co-workers, including a three star general she worked for and his wife. Bottom line there were several people we hadn’t seen in awhile and several important people to meet.  Side note – this was also the first time I was officially an “Air Force wife” as opposed to a girlfriend (there’s a huge difference as you know if you have an experience with the military, regardless of how much time you have been a girlfriend).

We shuttle through the building to the room where the ceremony takes place all seven of us along with a hyper three year old and a stroller. Imagine a maze with narrow hallways, no idea where you’re going and everything looking the same. In addition to all this maneuvering Julie, bless her heart, wants to introduce us to everyone along the way as well – more small offices and more stop and go.

We make it to the room. Felix and Julie are making their rounds talking with the guests. I get Dylan situated with snacks and toys, and Tillman has decided to wake up. Now I will tell you I had help. Aaron and Noel, my brother and sister-in-law are always more than willing to help, but as the moms will understand, when they’re your kids you’re always worried. I also gotten used to Felix and I doing things on our own, so sometimes I even forget to ask for help.

Tillman begins getting fussy, and whining. Dylan’s with Aaron and Noel. Felix comes over to make sure everything is okay. I was hoping Tillman would sleep through most of it, but no luck so I pick him up out of his car seat.

Imagine in slow motion: Mom reaches out to pick up baby. She pulls baby up to her. Baby reaches a vertical position and when inches away from Mom PROJECTILE VOMITS! Three separate times.

The ceremony hasn’t started. I just parked the stroller, we are settled in the front of the room, and I haven’t even met or said hi to anyone yet.

Felix stares in awe, and reaches to grab him to which I say, “Don’t touch him! I don’t need you getting dirty too!” Okay let’s be honest I probably snapped at him both of those comments. Once Tillman is done I set him down and clean his face. Lucky for him there was nothing on his clothes. Of course! I on the other hand am covered from my neck down. The only positive was that the dress I was wear was in a pattern that camouflaged the mess. I tried to be as discreet as possible while I handled it, and cleaned up with the above items. Baby wipes to clean the mess itself, although there wasn’t much hope for my dress, which had a silk liner on the inside that was now sticking to me. A breast pad was used to dry the mess that the wipes left. A comb was to brush out my hair that was also caught in the line of fire, and Fabreeze was to cover the spoiled milk smell that now was making me sick.

I had to sit through the whole ceremony, and lunch after in my “throw up” dress, wondering if the chemicals in Fabreeze would bother my skin or my brain more. I also made it a point to not get to close to any of the guest, so they wouldn’t recognize the smell that they use to freshen up their living room with. Thankfully, I didn’t have to say “Oh that no it’s not Chanel No. 5 that’s clean laundry scent.”

Just another eventful day in the life of a Mom. Moral of the story: Always have an emergency kit fully of seemingly ridiculous items on hand, in the diaper bag, purse, or car. Do not waste your time buying dry clean only pieces of clothing because the one time you decide it’s okay to wear them they will be put to the test and NEVER let your guard down because the minute you let your guard down…

Looks like Tillman’s saying, “Mom, I can smell you over here.”

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An [un]Healthy Obsession with Cloth Diapers

I can’t say exactly what drew my interest to cloth diapers to begin with, but when I was around seven months pregnant I began looking into it. I can honestly say this was the most overwhelmed I have ever been with information. There is SO much information on different types and different brands. I had no idea what did what and what pieces were needed for which ones. Then I got into how to prewash and day to day wash and then how to strip them. There were special detergents and bags, but was all of it necessary? I took a break and decided to think about it some more. I figured I had time and even if I did decide to do it I wouldn’t start until Tillman was a couple months old so diaper changes and amounts would be a little more consistent.

About a month after I had Tillman there was no talk of cloth diapers at all. I had already doubled my laundry load by taking on potty training Dylan. Turns out it was one of my random ideas that fizzled out just as quickly as it had come up. Enter styleBerry. Carolyn, my best friend, introduced me to a blog called styleBerry where a woman, Shawna talked about and EXPLAINED her cloth diapering process. It’s exactly what I needed. I needed to be walked through the actual process of it all with instructions and examples. With her experiences, insight, information, and videos it took me about 20 minutes and two blogs to come to the conclusion that I was indeed going to cloth diaper my child. All the questions and concerns – How do these work? How do you size them? How do you wash them? How do they compare to others? What about night time diapering? What about traveling? Completely answered. I’m so glad I found this information, and I will never go back to disposables. I feel that if people have the information simplified and give it a trial run they will not be disappointed.

When I had first mentioned that I was thinking about cloth diapering most everyone said, “Don’t do it,” or “Eww, I don’t want to touch poop.” It really is a lot easier than I think anyone knows. Do not let the buy in price or the washing intimidate you! I’ve had more blowouts with disposables, not to mention that potty training is WAY worse than cloth diapering.

The only thing that I didn’t really expect was that they would make Tillman’s butt bigger, so some of his clothes are a little tighter, and the 0-3 month clothes I was able to still squeeze him into will not fit anymore. Also don’t try and cut corners! Buy whatever brand makes you feel comfortable, but make sure to buy the wet bags(one for the diaper bag and large for the laundry room), the special detergent, and enough diapers/inserts. If you skimp it will make the process so much harder. I’ve placed three separate orders because I thought, “That’s probably not entirely necessary.” It is all necessary and makes for smooth sailing. When looking at prices remember it’s an investment that lasts the entire time your child is in diapers.

My husband, bless his heart, was a great sport about the switch. He knows that I throughly research my purchases, but the only real explanation he needed was, “We’ve spent close to $200 in diapers in the last 2 months. That’s $1200 a year in the garbage – literally.” He was hooked. He has even said how surprised he was with how easy they are. Although he has suggested that I have an unhealthy obsession with them at this point. It’s hard not to!

I love having a clean set of diapers every morning with no worries about running out, spending the money to buy new ones, finding random (clean) diapers randomly spewed throughout our house, storing the cases of diapers, the lingering smell of a dirty diaper in the trash, and lugging the dirties out to the garbage. Now that I think about it there was so much unnecessary work! Once I saw them in person it was all I needed such cute colors, and soft material. I’ve went from never even seeing a cloth diaper in person last Tuesday to being the proud owner of 18 as of today, and Tillman will have them the entire time he’s in diapers! Dylan fits in them perfectly, and once they all get here I plan on using one on him at night when he sleeps.

It is a lifestyle choice, but armed with through information and all the right tools it may surprise some people. It opened my eyes. If you have ever even considered using cloth I urge you to try it! Borrow a few diapers from a friend or buy a few to try out there are even stores who will allow you to do a trail run. For more information please visit Go, Baby Go (another styleBerry suggestion). They are so helpful in helping to answer all your questions. You’ll be hooked in no time. Fuzzibunz even offers a layaway plan! So there really are NO EXCUSES not to switch When it comes down to it what’s a couple more loads of laundry anyway.

**Update: I found a link to a wonderful site where you can search for the criteria that you want in a cloth diaper and find all the brands and their information that meets that criteria!

Poop Factory

To say that my days are “full of sh…poop” would be an understatement. I feel that between a potty training three year old, a two month old pooping machine, and a dog who apparently poops for attention I am always cleaning one mess or another throughout the day. I look forward to spit up or throw up just so there’s something new in the mix that is the “poop factory.” To better get my point across allow me to share a 30 minute glimpse into my life.

4:00pm is a busy time in our house – Felix is about to be getting home from work, Dylan is getting antsy and running around in anticipation, Tillman is beginning his “Mom’s making dinner I want my dinner NOW” fit, and I’m in the kitchen trying to not burn myself while barking out orders “Dylan don’t play by the stove,” “Dylan don’t run my feet over with your cars,” or my favorite “Dylan don’t climb on the island and put your feet all over our food.” Every five minutes or so I’ll try to move Tillman into a swing or a bouncer or something to try and stop the crying, but usually it’s pretty chaotic.

On this particular day everything was moving right along rather mellow (which is why I should’ve known something was going to happen). Dylan had woke up a little later than normal from his afternoon nap maybe around 3:30pm, Tillman was lying peacefully on his playmat, and I was making dinner. I was toasting baguettes to accompany some cheese for appetizers, and was going to make lasagna. Dylan came upstairs and began playing with Tillman on the floor while I cut the baguettes. Felix came in around 3:45pm grabbed keys and went out to move cars. He was gone for maybe ten minutes:

Me: “Dylan let’s change you out of that diaper now that you are awake, and put your underwear on. Hurry! Hurry before Daddy comes!” 

Dylan: “Okay! Okay!”

I lay him down and take off his shorts. BLOWOUT!! The worst I’ve EVER seen! Up the back all over the shirt and shorts and now my carpet!

Me: “Dylan why didn’t you tell me you pooped? Is it in your bed?” 

Dylan: “No I pooped when I was playing, and I didn’t tell you cuz I was busy playing.”

I glance over and see Eddie frantically licking Tillman (Gag!). Yep – poop all over Tillman too, and my dog was eating it! In some magnificently magical way Dylan was not only able to produce enough poop to get it all over himself, his clothes, the carpet, Tillman’s playmat, Tillman, and now Eddie. I went over to survey the damage, and Tillman had Dylan’s poop on his leg, on his onsie, and in his hair. The playmat was equally covered, and Eddie (he’s a yorkie) had it in his beard.

Felix walks back into the house and just stares at the chaos that is happening. To which I respond with, “Don’t just stand there grab one!” I stripped Dylan and Felix put him in the shower. I stripped Tillman and Felix got his baby tub ready in the kitchen. I threw all the clothes, toys, and rags into the wash, and what happened while I was doing all of this? I burned the baguettes. Time check 4:00pm. My house had literally fallen apart in 15 minutes! I had myself a little cry mostly over my baguettes, a hug from my husband, and we both looked at each other and laughed. There’s not really anything else you can do at that point. What in the world just happened!? It was like a movie where you’re watching and you’re thinking, “This is so exaggerated it’s dumb.” Nope it happened in my house when I was literally 10 feet away.

I put in the lasagna, and finished washing Tillman and got him dressed, and wiped down Eddie. Felix took care of Dylan, and we were all eating dinner at 4:15pm. I looked over at Felix and said, “You would never have guessed we were going down in flames a half hour ago.” I feel that this is exactly what a life with children is about – organized, funny, out-of-our-mind chaos. Even if it’s not funny at the moment it will be. Just remember to laugh…eventually. I’m lucky to have a tag team partner in this craziness to not only help me, but to remind me to laugh. It eases the pressure and the stress and creates those amazing memories that we will recall when we get older and it’s just us two looking back on all the diaper changes, and baths, and dinners together or that one time when we made dinner while giving baths and changing diapers.