Posts in April 2011

Enter Mama-Geekdom: Cloth Diapers

I love research projects on the web. The last few months or so I’ve really been spending a lot of time getting to know cloth diapers. Thankfully I’m not the first in my group of friends to have children or experiment with foreign baby products. I’ve received tons of advice from a handful of friends who have ventured into cloth diapering with success. I’ve joined several review blogs to get the skinny even further. In fact, I have made search columns in TweetDeck to find posts with the hash tag #clothdiapers in order to discover daily giveaways. I think, perhaps, I’ve created a monster in myself.

I feel somewhat ashamed and guilty for venturing down this ridiculous road of research, but I just want to know as much as I can before diving head in, you know? I try to justify it by telling myself that I’m not this person or that person, who obviously is a stay-at-home-mom with nothing else to do but enter contests (yes, I see repeat names all over cloth diaper giveaways!). So far, I haven’t yet won a cloth diaper, but I sure as heck have won a 10-piece Crabtree & Evelyn gift basket and mIIr water bottle!

And to tell you the truth, I have come across some pretty reasonable deals. My also-pregnant friend, Julia, who is 3 weeks ahead of me, is kind enough not to make fun but to embrace my emphatic revelations. She is also contemplating cloth diapering, so I snagged a great (used) GroVia package for her to try before spending lots of money on a complete set. Additionally, I found a good deal of Charlie Banana diapers on zulily.com and scored a near-free bumGenius 4.0 diaper within days after.

Have no idea what the fascination is with cloth diapers? Well, for one, it’s more eco-friendly. It’s definitely a more expensive up-front cost, but you can purchase diapers that “grow” with your baby, so you’re not constantly buying new diaps. Also, they’re just so darn cute! Here’s what I know, briefly:

1) Prefolds: A slight upgrade to what you wore as a baby. It’s a genuine cloth diaper/burb rag with a prefolded (hence the name) and hemmed area to soak up as much diaper content as possible. You don’t have to use pins now. These cool things called Snappis work in its place, and then you have to put a waterproof cover over the top of the prefold. Cheapest route, hands down.

2) Fitted diapers: Like a prefold, you need a waterproof cover to go over these. It’s just a piece of cloth sewn into a diaper shape. I don’t understand why you would want to go this route. Seems too expensive and silly if you have to pay $8-10 per fitted diaper and then another amount for the covers.

3) All-In-Ones: The cloth diaper version of a disposable. You use once and toss in the washing machine. It’s one piece and waterproof. These are the most expensive, as you need LOTS in order to go through enough changes per day.

4) Pocket diapers: Like the All-In-One, it is one piece and waterproof, except that you have a built-in “pocket” within the diaper that you can stuff with reusable, cloth inserts. This is great when you need to adjust for overnights or heavy wetters. Some pocket diapers whisk away the moisture and soak up into the insert, so you can (sometimes) reuse the “shell” and refill with new inserts. My friends all recommend these.

5) Hybrid diapers/All-In-Twos: Basically, this is a more versatile combination of #3 and #4. You can line these shells with cloth inserts OR disposable/compostible inserts. They’re handy on vacations and when you’re in non-cloth diapering company.

Whew! I just tested my months of research. I must say, though, it’s difficult to know exactly what brand or type works best without Wes here to try them out. I can only guess from reviews, photos and prices what I like. I have an idea of what combination I think would work for us, but I’m not sure how quickly we’ll venture into these diapers. Most likely we’ll be a cloth-at-home, disposable-on-the-go family. My guess is that we’ll use disposables while he’s little and needs frequent changes (and frankly, we get used to him!), and then we’ll try what works for us as we get braver.

My awesome husband just brought me DQ after his Home Depot run. I think that pretty much says I’m done for the night. Score!

Posted: April 25th, 2011
Categories: Leah
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Comments: 1 Comment.

kill the water truck

Steven Shattuck says that rain barrels open up plenty of opportunities and eliminate the water truck from the downtown landscape.

Posted: April 21st, 2011
Categories: Steven
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April First Friday

Mission Accomplished!

We’ve been unable to attend a First Friday in several months, so we made sure to clear our schedules for April. Since we’ve got baby on the brain, we’ve been thinking specifically of pieces we’d like in Wes’ room. You may recall from an earlier post how we dubbed our theme robots & rockets. We knew First Friday would be the best time to hunt down Mike Altman and purchase one of his robot paintings! He doesn’t really have a studio in Fountain Square, but he certainly is around – we knew we could find him eventually.

After dinner at Maria’s Pizza, we headed over to New Day Meadery to see our friends Tia and Brett. If you haven’t stopped by New Day yet, you MUST! It’s such a fun location, and even if you’re not a big wine enthusiast (or even if you are!), you may find that you like a few of their wonderful, fruity meads. Tia & Brett are awesome people, anyway, so it’s worth the trip just to talk to them. No worries, I didn’t partake…

Leah & Mike Altman

Lo and behold, look who they’re hosting! Our very own Mike Altman had a show at New Day last night! Score. I love local artists. You get to really understand where they’re coming from, why they create what they do, and you might even get a back story on your selected piece. I had the opportunity to chat with Mike for a good 30 minutes. We told him that we were hunting him down for a specific piece for our nursery, and he was thrilled. He is a fun, entertaining, Christian father of 2 girls, ages 7 and 5. He gave me several good parental pointers:

1) Don’t buy stuff. People will give you all kinds of hand-me-downs. Keep the money for a college fund (or art).

2) Don’t find out the gender (if you can). That way the closest family members will buy you TWO sets of everything! You can return it, or just put your boy baby in pink. Who cares? He outgrows it in 3 weeks anyway.

3) Don’t be an anal parent. Relax. Make sure to be a part of your kids’ lives.

4) Try to avoid TV exposure (or limit the amount) before age 2. He says he’s done lots of research on how it ties in with ADD and how limited exposure leads to higher creativity and imagination.

5) This really should be the first one, but he gave it last. Trust God and lean on him.

Now, how can you NOT like a guy like Mike? Geez Louise. I love this city and the people in it. We share several mutual friends with Mike, and they all say how great he is. Now I know firsthand. Needless to say, we bought not one, but two robots for Wes’ room. One is truly gargantuan.

After a trip through Big Car and several creative minutes trying to figure out how to get the Big Robot within the Aveo and still have room for our friend Tyson, we headed home. Now that it’s morning, I’m anxious to get the nursery in order. Steven has asked me to start taping the room so he can paint over the painted-over wallpaper and get Wes’ robots on the walls.

Since we’re starting to get things ready, here’s a few before (or really, “in progress”) photos. Notice the robots!

That IKEA chair is surprisingly very comfortable. Pink Robot takes up a whole wall. He needs a name. The little green robot is Slyde.

A paper mache robot found at Homespun with two small paintings I put together based on the song “Would You Like to Swing on a Star.” We’ll head to IKEA soon to get some frames for them. These high-quality photos are taken from my phone, so you’ll really get to see a major difference once it’s all done and complete. I can’t wait!

In addition to these pieces of art, I have a few pending pieces coming, and I hope to commission my sister’s new vinyl lettering business/hobby to come up with a Bible verse regarding the heavens or something along those lines. I’m still brainstorming what would be cute in there.

Wesley, we’re almost ready for you!

Posted: April 2nd, 2011
Categories: Leah
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Comments: 5 Comments.


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