Cloth Diaper Update

While I am sure that we do not have everything figured out yet about cloth diapering, I do however feel like we have learned so much in the past few weeks!

First off-- I still LOVE bumGenius diapers! Honestly, I think we started with the wrong brand and are now spoiled for forever... lol! My favorites used to be the Freetime diapers but I now love the 4.0s much better as a daytime diaper. I thought I would hate stuffing inserts but I actually love the fit and all so much better that it makes it worth it. The Freetimes (especially the ones with velcro) work great as our nighttime diaper since they have so many layers (and the velcro makes it easy to put on a baby in the dark).


Secondly-- I have found that I really do LOVE cloth wipes! However, Jon does not! So, we are keeping a supply of both regular wipes for him and I am using the Thirsties Fab Wipes.


Thirdly-- we love our grey chevron Planet Wise wet bag for keeping dirty diapers until washing them.


In regards to how we wash them-- I had a lot of different input from friends that cloth diaper about how they do their diaper laundry. I have tried every method I can think of from the size of the load, type of detergent, and the amount of rinse/wash cycles.

As of right now this is how we do it:

1. MEDIUM load for 6-8 diapers (any more water and I have found that they do not agitate enough... they just kinda float around). Apparently, every make and model washer is different in the amount of water that it fills with and this is just what works for us.
2. I run a COLD short cycle wash instead of the initial rinse that we used to run... It saves me from having to wash the diapers multiple times.
3. Then I run a HOT regular cycle wash with detergent.
4. I run an additional rinse cycle of cold water to make sure that all the detergent is out. After the rinse cycle I smell all the diapers to make sure they both do not smell like pee or detergent. If they smell like pee then I rewash in HOT and then rinse again but if they are only smelling of detergent then I simply rinse again (I have only done this once or twice).

I am washing diapers pretty much every day. I have tried waiting and washing every other day or every third day.... but I am an "empty laundry basket" type of person (I am always working on a load or two of laundry to keep my laundry basket empty of clothes too). We now have 12 bumGenius and 4 "other brand" diapers (obviously a total of 16 diapers) and if we go out of the house at least once a day (and for those occasions I use disposable diapers) this amount will last us approximately 2-2.5 days. So in theory, I could wait and wash them then... but I don't... I wash a load every day! Because of that, I feel like 16 diapers is plenty for us; however, I am interested in expanding my collection and trying new things so I am sure that I will buy at least a few more every month for a little while longer.

All in all, I am still so glad that we switched to cloth diapers and wipes!!!  I have found the best support in other moms who have been cloth diapering for much longer than I have been. I had NO CLUE how many people were already cloth diapering! It is so good to hear stories, advice, and just basic encouragement from other moms who have "been there, done that"! 

Fun fact of the day-- Jon was cloth diapered as an infant! Who knew!? :)



January Recap & Book Review

Since it is the first day of February and I still have not made my list of goals for this year :/  I thought I would just share what we have been up to these past weeks!

This past month has been crazy busy with the start of tax season for Jon, a week of out of town travel for him, and just the general busyness of being at home with the girls. The girls and I have enjoyed the cold weather and snow days by spending many hours playing toys, reading books, doing arts and crafts, and watching a good movie while snuggling on the couch! It has been a relaxing month from that perspective!

{via amazon.com}
One of my "love other" goals for myself this year (I will share my completed list of goals hopefully sometime in February) is to spend more time in my kitchen.... cooking and baking... to both feed my family well and to learn the art of hospitality. I have never loved cooking (I do love baking anything yummy) and honestly it is because I have never really learned to cook. Don't get me wrong, I can follow a recipe and usually it turns out ok; however, I don't feel confident in my abilities. 

One of my goals is to learn a lot of new meals to cook and the best things that I did this month to promote this goal was to read the book Bread & Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table with Recipes by Niequist. I read and re-read every page studying each recipe. This book is great because the whole chapter leads up to the yummy recipe at the end. I could almost taste the food as I read the book.

Another great thing about this book that I loved was the adaptability of the recipes. Niequist teaches the reader not only her recipe and how to cook it, but she also teaches how to adapt the recipe for particular tastes or diets. For instance, she used a lot of recipes that can be either regular or gluten free. This has been so helpful for me to learn how to change a recipe for the occasion.  

Niequist encourages the reader to make the recipe your own. This has been empowering for me to know that I can add or subtract certain ingredients or cooking styles. For example, our new family favorite recipe is the White Chicken Chili but I wanted something that would be both yummy and incredibly easy to make... so I adapted the recipe for crockpot cooking!!! And let me tell you-- it is incredible!

CrockPot White Bean Chicken Chili (adapted by me!!!)


       1.5 pounds frozen chicken breast
       12 oz jar of Trader Joe's Tomatillo & Roasted Yellow Chili Salsa
       4 cans white beans
       4 cups chicken broth
       (optional: 1 small can of diced green chilis)


{Shredded Cooked Chicken}
1. Lay the chicken breasts across the bottom of the crockpot
2. Pour 1.5-2 cups (depending on size of chicken breasts) of chicken broth over the chicken breasts
3. Cook on HIGH for approx 2 hours (or until the chicken can be "shredded" with a fork)

4. Shred all chicken with a fork
5. Add the remaining chicken broth (2-2.5 cups depending on what you used in step 2)
6. Add drained and rinsed white beans and jar of salsa (and the optional can of diced chilis for a kick!)
{All the ingredients have been
added and the chili is ready to
be cooked for the rest of the day}
7. Stir
8. Cook on LOW for the rest of the day (I cook mine for 6-8 hours)
9. Serve! I like to serve the chili with sour cream, cheese, and blue corn chips

Well, I hope you enjoy this adapted recipe as much as my family and I have! I would highly recommend this book as both a good read on the importance of fellowship around the table and a great resource for recipes! 

Hopefully, this next week I will share about the second book that I read in January (I actually loved it the *most* even if it wasn't about food!) and eventually about my goals for 2014!