Cleanliness is next to Godliness


I actually don’t believe that cleanliness is next to Godliness, because I shower every two to three days and can’t keep my house clean past a day, but still I do like to get Ari’s diapers clean. There are two complaints that are constantly in cloth diaper forums; nighttime diapering and wash routines. For now Ari survives in her organic flip inserts overnight, though we will probably start using hemp doublers as she gets older, and I think I have figured out a good wash routine. First thing you need to know when you are going to cloth diaper is what kind of water your city has. Columbia has very hard water, also you need to vary you wash routine based on if you have a top loader or front loader, we have a front loader. Sadly front loader and extremely hard water is the worse predicament to be in but it is doable if you do your research. Generally you want to have as much water as possible in the washer which is why a lot of people recommend a top loader, but I get around that by doing the first cycle on delicatesmor heavy duty with water plus and a prewash on warm with no spin cycle at the end. This is what allows me to get the most water in the tub for the diapers to soak overnight. I also add  3/4 a scoop of detergent to the wash compartment and 1/4 to the prewash. It seems difficult but only takes about a minute to get everything in and loaded. I start this cycle at night right after Ari goes to bed and is changed for the last time.

The load soaks overnight and then in the morning I start the actual cleaning cycle where I put the settings on a normal hot wash, prewash, and 3 rinses followed by a high speed spin. I put a full cap of calgon, 1/4 in prewash and 3/4 in wash, with two scoops of detergent, scoop and half in wash and half a scoop in prewash. If I am home when this cycle is done I put the inserts and wipes in the dryer and hang up the covers to dry immediately. Other wise they stay in the washer till I get home. This may seem like alot but once again it really does not take more then ten minutes, 15 if I sun them after they are dry.

Now for the things I like to use for my wash routine. I really like the Kissaluvs diaper pail liners. I have two of them, so while one is being washed I can have one in the pail. They are easy to empty the diapers into the washer and I really don’t smell anything when they are in there. I have three different wet bags the Fuzzibunz, Planetwise medium, and Kissaluvs. Plantewise is my favorite because it is big and keeps the smell in the best, fuzzibunz is my second favorite because of the strap, while Kissaluvs only fits two daipers max but keeps the smell in better then the fuzzibunz so it is a good bag for going to the mall or a short day trip but is not useful for a full day of daycare. I think the next one we get will be the Planet wise wet/dry bag. It is a little more expensive but it has a strap and extra pocket and yet still should hold in the smell like the other planet wise.

Lastly something that is a must have is cloth diaper detergent. Manufacturers highly recommend you using cloth diaper friendly detergent, meaning no optical brighteners, no fragrances, and clean rinsing. I used Nelly’s detergent at first but then I switched to Ruby Moon, which has some fragrance but it is clean rinsing though I do three rinses at the end to make sure all detergent gets out. You should use cloth diaper friendly detergent because otherwise you could get buildup which can make your diapers start smelling or repealing, meaning when they pee the inserts won’t soak it up. Actually the special detergent is good for your baby anyways because normal detergent can cause eczema which I battle with Ari constantly.

Something to remember with cloth diapering is that it is ok to have slight stains, once again sunning gets 99% of stains out. Stains do not mean the diaper is still dirty. At first the stains really bothered me but now that I know that the diapers are clean I only try and remove them when it is sunny outside.

 

 

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The Cloth Diaper Experience


So for those of you who have read my blog posts you know Matt and I, well I talked Matt into it, decided to cloth diaper Ari. This decision was made on cost, so much cheaper, and also environment, ten diapers a day don’t go into the trash. About two weeks after Ari was born our newborn diaper stash started to dwindle and I new the switch was near. I was both nervous and excited. Disposables were pretty nice, all I had to do was take them off and throw away. How would I deal with the diaper laundry? Would we end up wasting our diapers and just go back to disposables? Well 2.5 months later and back at work I can definitively say that I love cloth diapering. I do diaper laundry about three time a week and it is really not that bad. This is from someone that absolutely hates laundry. I wear clothes beyond when they should be worn so I don’t have to do laundry as often, but cloth diapers are different. There is no sorting and minimal folding. I look forward to doing diaper laundry on sunny days so that I can “sun” the diapers, it gets rid of the stains oh so very well.

About a month into our cloth diapering we also switched to cloth wipes because I was tired of having a trash can and a diaper pail. Cloth wipes just added to my love of the cloth diaper experience. Everything gets thrown into the diaper pail together and it makes the load of cloth diapers feel like it is a full load. I started to make my own, didn’t work out, but ended up buying thirsties fab wipesitti bitti wipes and quilter’s nappies wipes. I love the thirties fab with a colorful side and white side. The itti bitti work great but I like the two different textures of the fab wipe better. Quilter’s Nappies wipes are made by a Wprk at home mom (WAHM) and are cheaper. They seem to work just as well as the thirsties and have fun designs on the flannel side. I ordered the flannel/velour wipes because they are 50 cents cheaper per wipe.  We have bum genius flannels too but they are not as soft and don’t work as well at cleaning up the mess. We usually only have to use one wipe, of the itti bitti or thirsties fab or quilter’s nappy, unless it is particularly messy. I also make my own wipe solution for the wipe warmer, a cup and half of warm water with a spritz of baby oil and baby soap as well as a few drops of tea tree oil that has already been diluted, poured over a stack of cloth wipes. In our diaper bag I take dry wipes and have a spray bottle with some of my wipes solution that I spray on the wipe or her bottom. I would say the cloth wipes is actually our limiting factor in doing diaper laundry because they are the things we are most likely to run out of first.

I also love the diapers we chose, Flip, they are so versatile and customizable. The ability to go from cloth inserts to disposable inserts is not even the main reason I like them. They are pretty trim and the ability to reuse the covers is amazing. I also love using their organic inserts for night time. Their normal stay dry microfiber can have an ammonia smell after Ari sleeps for 9 hours but the organic ones hold it all in and don’t knock me out when I go to change her in the morning. Also the ability to reuse the covers means that when I am trying to match her outfits I don’t have to worry about running out of a matching diaper. There is nothing cuter to me then a cloth diaper peeking out of her outfits. Lastly I love them because it saves me from having to dry the covers. Drying the covers is very bad on the elastic and causes them to lose their stretchiness faster. So the ease of separating the covers and inserts and only having to dry the inserts keeps our stash younger longer and cuts down on the drying time.

Talking of laundry, next post I will explain my laundry routine with a HE frontloader and hard water.

The diaper changing area. Flip covers are on the left, with extra wipes beside them, itti bitti inserts followed by miscellaneous diapers. Flip inserts we keep on the changing table to the right.

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We bought these hanging racks off amazon. They fold flat against the door and work very well to hang dry our covers and to hang the used but not dirty covers. I will probably get two more.

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Pictures of Ari

Eating everything in site

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She is a fantastic sleeper.

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Her first family picture. Notice the missing Aunt and Uncle on skype

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Grandma Flener has quite the posse of Great Grandchildren. Three in the last year alone.

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Matt and Aunt Emily starting her early on her guitar lessons

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I’ve got the right one baby


I have always known I was lucky to have found my wonderful husband. He his constantly supportive and uplifting in our relationship. He accepts me how I am and always calls me beautiful, even on my third day without a shower. About two weeks after we had Ari I realized just how blessed I was. I will tell the story from what he must of thought.

I had woken up one morning to feed Ari while Matt had gotten up to take a shower. There was a big wet spot under me and Matt asked what the spot was. I told him I had peed in the the bed. He responded, oh ok, and left to get his shower. After I finished feeding Ari, Matt had returned from the shower. I burped her, changed her, and then put her back to bed. I then proceeded to pull up the covers and go back to sleep. At this point Matt looked at me and asked, “Are you going to lay in that?”

“Lay in what?” I asked in confusion

“The pee”

I then burst out laughing. Matt wondered why I thought it was so funny. What had actually happened is that I dumped my water cup on the bed and I thought I said I peed in a sarcastic, joking tone. Matt did not catch the tone and actually thought post pregnancy I had lost control and wet the bed. It amazed me that Matt accepted that I wet the bag with no judgement whatsoever. No gross or how could you do such a thing. He understood that post pregnancy I might have some problems and would not make me feel worse about it. How did I get so lucky?

Following are some pictures of my hubby with the baby.

Matt thought he would be funny one morning and put Ari with my childhood stuffed animal Puffy. She ended up coughing milk all over him. I really don’t think puffy can make it through another childhood.20111103-115039.jpg

Ari had hiccups and was not happy about them.
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A standing fool
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Just chillin with her daddy
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Matt wearing her in our baby carrier, it’s a Beco Gemini. I would highly recommend this carrier. You can nurse while doing chores at home or discreetly while you are in public.As well as it has a hip belt so that you carry the weight on your hips and not on your shoulders.
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I can thank my Dad for showing me how a guy should treat a women. Because of his actions I was able to find a guy that treats me with respect and loves me for who I am and not what he can get from me. Happy Birthday, yesterday, Dad!!!!
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Life with Ari


I have a confession. When I first found out I was pregnant there was no excitement. Not only because I thought it was a bad time but also because I did not want to be a mom. I was not a fan of babies. When asked if I wanted to hold one I almost always declined. Matt was the one always willing to hold them. I had very little patience with a baby crying, mainly because I thought it was my fault, and if ever asked to babysit I would try and get out of it. Well I was pregnant and there was no turning back. I knew that most likely at the end of the 9 months I would have a baby and my indifference to babies scared me to death. I did not want to condemn a child to a mom that only dealt with her.

Now two months into having a baby all I can say is that I worried for no reason. I think everything Ari does is cute, including but not limited to, her smiles, farts, how she cries, her giggles, her burps, ravenous appetite and her poop. It was not instant love. When I first had her I still did not know what to think but I saw taking care of her as my duty. Slowly over these two months I have fallen for her more and more. Just the thought of putting her in daycare makes me want to cry. There is nothing more that I want most then to stay home with her, which I will eventually when Matt gets out of school. So for those of you who are not baby people and cringe at the thought of holding babies… I was you. I did not want to have a baby but it has slowly become the best part my life. I never would have thought that a smile from anyone would make my day, or that I would enjoy getting up early to feed her, or that buying her clothes would be more fun then buying for myself. I can say now that I love this kid and not feel like I am lying about it.

 

The face that I love so very much

 

 

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Arianna Birth Story


While gchating with a friend this morning I realized I had not posted the promised birth story. Well here it is. Just a warning it is very long so make sure you have plenty of time to read it.

Birth Story

When thinking and planning  for  the birth, Matt and I really hoped Arianna would come early. For both of us, school was scheduled to start on August 22nd , him with vet school and me at my Genetics TA position.  While we wanted her to come when she was ready, I was really praying that I would be like my mom’s experience and have her early to have time to transition into parenthood.  So, in an attempt to “help her decide,” on Monday of the 39th week (August 8) Matt and I went on a long walk with the dogs, drank some herbal tea, bounced on a yoga ball and tried a few other natural induction methods we had read might help the process along.  Up until that point I still wasn’t sure what a contraction actually felt like.  While a lot of people said it was really obvious and that I would know, I found out later that I had been having Braxton Hock contractions for a while, thinking they were Ari’s weird movements.   It wasn’t until later that I realized my mistake, as those same movements started happening regularly.

I don’t know if any of those methods worked or just that my body was ready for a little nudge in the right direction.  Either way, at about 10 AM on that Monday morning I started feeling contractions around 5 minutes apart.  Though annoying, the contractions weren’t very painful and I was able to stay busy cleaning the house. (I wasn’t for sure it was real labor but I wanted the house to be clean when I got back) I also downloaded an iPhone application that would keep track of contractions – both their length and the time between them.  All of that day, they stayed steady at 5 minutes apart and 30-45 seconds in length, but their intensity didn’t really increase.  After deciding nothing was going to happen for a while, we went out to eat with Matt’s sister and brother-in-law, returning home with no changes in the contractions.  That night we readied for bed and told several people not to get too excited but to possibly be ready for a call.

Throughout the night, my contractions stayed five minutes apart, but started increasing in intensity, which of course meant that I found myself unable to sleep.  After attempting a bath and tossing  around in different positions, the only thing that allowed me to get some relief was sitting on a yoga ball with my head resting on the bed.  At this point, I started getting a little mad at Matt, jealous of the fact that he was sleeping blissfully unaware of my state.  I was really hoping that the sleepless night would not be in vain!  However, as the sun came up my contractions started slowing down. While still regular, they only came every 10 minutes and were less painful.  My friend Aimee came over later that morning, hoping that we would be going to the hospital soon, but as the day wore on there wasn’t much change.  After taking a nap for an hour, the contractions even stretched to 15 or 20 minutes apart.  At this point, I decided that this wasn’t real labor and tried to stop stressing about it, though Matt was still convinced it was real.  I quit tracking the contractions and we went to the mall where Matt got his wedding ring resized and I got a cinnamon pretzel.  We then went back home and watched a movie, in the meantime telling my parents not to leave for Missouri yet .

Finally, when I thought the contractions were just about to stop, around 7 they started picking up again.  This time every contraction seemed to get more intense and I had to stop what I was doing just to endure the pain.  I decided to take another bath to relax and still the contractions continued.  Amazingly enough, as I was getting out of the bath I noticed some blood!  Only then was I completely sure it was the real thing.  Still, I decided to try and relax a little bit before we called in the cavalry and got everyone too excited.  However, I was resting on the bed in the recommended Bradley method position, and began to really feel stronger and stronger contractions pushing her down, at a faster rate.  So just an hour after telling people to not get too excited, Matt began packing up the car for the trip to the hospital. Now, the contractions were 3-4 minutes apart and forced me to stop everything I was doing or saying to endure.  Thus, around 10:05 PM on Tuesday night we arrived at the hospital.  The nurse put us in triage for ten minutes where they confirmed I was 100 percent effaced and five cm dilated, after which they promptly moved us into labor and delivery.  Sadly, we then found out that our doctor would probably not be there for the delivery, because she was just coming back from vacation and wouldn’t be in until Wednesday morning.

My best friend Aimee arrived by the time we got into our new room. Around 11:30 pm, my water started to leak and after checking, the nurse decided I was 7cm dilated. Labor seemed to be moving a little too fast as Breezy, a friend who was going to photograph the birth for us, was still an hour away and my parents were four hours away.  It seemed like we would see Arianna early on August 10th.

Here, I need to say that the Boone Hospital nurses were pretty awesome to us! Not once did they ask me if I wanted an epidural and followed our birth plan to the letter.  They respected my wishes to keep the birth as natural as possible, which was a relief as I really didn’t want to discuss anything at this point in labor.  Well, contrary to what we thought at midnight, labor started slowing a bit, giving my parents  and Breezy time to get to the hospital.  At 3:00 am I hit 9 cm and puked two times.  The pain was pretty bad but I was able to manage it with deep relaxed breathing (thanks to Matt reminding me not to tense up).  Then an hour later I hit 10cm and the pain really multiplied!  Contractions started hitting me one after another with hardly any break, but yet I still wasn’t feeling any urge to push.  For the next 1 ½ hours, I was stalled at 10cm and at some point started wishing I could just stop labor all-together and go home and sleep!

Finally my nurse figured out the reason that I was stalled – I had a second bag of waters that had not broken!  She decided to have me start pushing to see if the pressure would cause it to break.  So for an hour I pushed,  yet still the water did not break.  Eventually, the on-call doctor came in to do it manually (it seriously sprayed all over her!) and I was finally able to start making progress in pushing Arianna out!  (A silver lining to this is that my doctor came in from vacation right after the on-call doctor broke my water)  And I really loved my doctor! She not only coached me through how to effectively push, she calmed me down and joked with me. Also, maybe best of all, she let Matt help deliver our baby.

So at 8:04 am on Wednesday morning, after an hour of pushing and straining (with a lot of encouragement from Breezy, Aimee, and Matt), Matt and my doctor pulled Arianna out into the world in about two seconds. It happened so fast I could hardly believe it when they put her on my chest. That part was nothing at all like I had expected.  I was still in pain, but shock was my main emotion as I held her. The baby I had been carrying for 9 months and had been in labor for 46 hours with was in my arms!  It was surreal but so amazing!  After the shock, my first thought was that she was not ugly as per expected, seeing that most newborns look like aliens immediately  after delivery.  In fact, she was beautiful and so precious as she was crying there on my chest that I couldn’t help tearing up too (I learned later that Aimee and Breezy were crying too and even Matt teared up).  Since this is an absurdly long story and I need to end, I just want to say that three weeks after the fact,  I can honestly say that I would go through the whole process again willingly.  During labor I was mad at Eve for eating the forbidden fruit, and told Matt  that we were adopting the rest of our kids but the whole thing was worth it.  Giving birth to my baby girl was an truly amazing experience that neither Matt nor I would have missed for the world!

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Arianna is here!!!


So I realized that some people might not have heard the big news from this week. So, for those who don’t know, our daughter Arianna was born Wednesday August 10 at 8:04 am. She was 8 lbs and 19 in long. Matt and one of my best friends, Aimee, were an awesome support team as well as the photographer from our wedding Breezy Torres, who is also one of my great friends, cheered me on while she took pictures. Arianna, Matt, and I are doing well, though a little frazzled sometimes (as you might guess).  Here are a few pictures for your viewing pleasure from this last week. I am working hard on the birth story but it is taking a lot longer than I thought. I hope to post it soon.

39 weeks one day and when I was in early labor on Monday night

Delivery Photos

Arianna this week

Going-home outfit….Isn’t it cute???!!!

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Nursery almost done


My great and talented friend Aimee painting the tree

Finished product. There is two birds in the painting. One sitting on the tree and one flying towards the crib. Also I painted the engraved tree design brown on the table beside it. Since we have a brown crib I wanted to find a way tie in the white furniture with the brown crib.

Matt practicing

Bella getting jealous of Brego. Hopefully she gets over it before the baby.

Arianna’s picture beside the glider.

Changing table with cloth diapers!! The diaper covers are on the shelf while the inserts are in the brown bin beside the changing table. Tried to keep the bins brown to go with the crib, also I received some cute magnetic daisies that had a place in the middle for pictures. I put the brown fabric from the curtains in them instead.

You can see the diaper pail, closet and door to the hallway.

Closet with the organization shelves we did, well Matt did. Almost all of her clothes are going in the dresser and the ones that need to be hung do not need 4 feet, so we added layers of shelves and hanging rods to better serve our purposes. So much more useable storage and they can be moved around. You can also see the newborn diapers we are using until her cord heals and she gets big enough for the cloth diapers.

This next pic is the area of the room that is not quite done yet. I made the dust ruffle from the left over curtain material.  The blanket, which fits the room so well, was made by some women at my grandma’s church. I really wanted a white crib and was going to have Matt paint this one but after much discussion we decided it was better leave it brown because of time to paint each slat and durability of the paint, we can’t bake it on like they do for white cribs.

Close up of curtain and dust ruffle fabric.

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