Cloth Diapering Update

4 11 2011

Just in case any of you care how we are catching our daughter’s poop…

So, I imagined, pre-baby, that by now we would be 100% cloth, or, you know, 99.9% cloth.  But I also imagined I would have, you know, a front porch accessed by steps rather than a ladder.  Things turn out differently than we imagine, right?

Cloth or disposable? Hazel prefers neither.

First, let me share some of the challenges we’ve faced in our cloth diaper experience…

Challenge 1: we live in a tall, narrow house, which means that to get from where baby is napping down to the washing machine, I turn a half dozen corners on three flights of steps and cross the garage.  Assuming she naps.  And with the number of diapers we have, this means 6 trips up and down each day just for diaper laundry.

Challenge 2: I am still adjusting to rural living, which means bringing in wood and keeping the stove going constantly (that is where ladder-to-the-front-door gets in my way).  Also, there was that 6 hour stand off with the mouse.  Who left a trail of poop through our drawers, which I am still cleaning up.

Challenge 3: we’ve spent a total of nearly 3 weeks traveling since the baby was born.  Not enough cloth for a multi-day trip.

Challenge 4: some residual health concerns from Hazel’s birth have doubled the number of appointments we have to attend (the concerns were minor and have been addressed).

Challenge 5: severe reflux has made our days long and, at times, trying (as in, “No thank you, I don’t want to nap all day, and if you put me down I will scream myself into convulsions.  Or I might scream myself into convulsions anyway, just for a change of pace”), which needs a post all on its own.  Also, the cloth diapers are super bulky, and compress her tummy when she sits in them, possibly exacerbating the reflux.

And Challenge 6: our house in under construction, so to get to the washing machine, I have to take all those stairs and turns through an obstacle course of tools and detritus.  Also, due to the dust and noise, I have spent some of the time at my mom’s house, which means packing up all the baby necessities and my own stuff and wrestling a screaming, arching, wriggling baby into a car seat.  And a nail in my tire.

This seems to happen occasionally NO MATTER WHAT DIAPER she is wearing.

Which brings me to the lesson I have learned in cloth diapering: FORGIVE YOURSELF EVERYTHING, including that package of disposables you just bought.

Seriously, my mantra has been just doing a little bit still counts for something.  If I continued to hold my standard at the pre-baby 100% through all these challenges, I would have given up weeks ago.  Instead, I just remind myself that 6 cloth diaper changes reduces my waste by 6 disposables, and that’s making a difference.  My goal is still to get nearly 100%, but for now, I’m probably 75% at home and not at all on trips.  Maybe 50% overall?  Which feels significant to me.  Cutting our impact in half feels good.

As for the diapers themselves, Hazel is mostly in Fuzzibuns Perfect Size diapers.  It’s hard to get a good fit (I truly hope that she is enjoying her skinny thighs now, in case they don’t last), but we haven’t had any more blowouts with the cloth than with disposables – just lots of pee leaks if the diaper isn’t adjusted correctly.  My favorite diaper is our one Thirsties Duo.  It just fits her legs better than the FBs, and is a little trimmer.  The cotton prefolds with covers hold the least and are very bulky, but I use them to get through a whole day of diapering.

I have to say, the disposables are nice in that they are thin; Hazel is in a different size of clothing with her cloth diapers than in disposables, and her carseat has to be adjusted when she goes from one to the other.  They also are so absorbent that she can go a criminally long time between changes (only at night, and only when I am so exhausted that I fall asleep during her nighttime feedings).  They also pack nicely in the diaper bag – bulky cloth diapers are more challenging to fit if we are going to be out for a whole day.  I will probably always keep one in the glove compartment of the car for emergencies, and probably one in the diaper bag as well.

So that is our diapering adventure so far… With a year or two left to go…

Totally unrelated pic of Hazel practicing her brand new motor skills



38 Weeks: Commencements

2 09 2011

Ah… 38 weeks.  Full term.  Two weeks until the totally meaningless due date (there’s a 5% chance this baby will be born on that day).

A little over a week ago, I started gearing up for the final stages of impending-baby preparations.  You know, washing all the diapers and a selection of clothing, stocking up on tasty beverages for labor (the non-alcoholic kind – if only because alcohol can impair labor), packing a bag for delivery, and setting up baby’s things around the house.


Since when do Jason and I do “typical”?

Right.  So, Jason worked some financial magic, and last week we committed to residing the house, reroofing the house, and having new windows installed.  Okay, we really need this stuff done: we had snowing blowing in through the windows last winter, and we listened to our 30-year-old wooden shingles being blown off during storms.  These aren’t frivolous repairs.

But it’s going to take, oh, eight weeks, give or take a few days.

And we’ll have a baby in, say, a week or two or four.

Did I mention that some reframing of walls is included in this project?  And that there is already a freeze warning in effect for our area (um, goodbye summer, it was nice knowing you…).

Now the old roof is off, and left behind a thick layer of dust on, well, everything, including the baby’s changing table and freshly washed diapers.

And then I started working.

Because, when you are 0 – 37 weeks preggo, you think, oh, hey, working for the couple of weeks before my due date will distract me and give me something to do so I’m not bored.  Then the 38th week arrives, the alarm goes off at 5:30am, and you realize I was in no danger of boredom.  And then the cat gets an eye infection and has to be kept in the house all night, and he protests by punching you in the face every 30 minutes or so, claws extended, and it dawns on you that you are going to be exhausted with a messy house and no clean diapers unless this kid delays her entrance by about eight weeks.

So, despite my long summer vacation leading up to my due date, and all my good intentions for a well-organized home for my newborn, it turns out that I am going to start life with a new baby just like most other moms.  And just like most other moms?  I can’t wait.

War Declared

17 07 2010

I came home from walking the dogs to find Chris stalking about the garage with his hands in the air, softly cooing “Come here, little beetle.  If I wanted to kill you, you’d be dead, I just want to see you.  You’re my favorite kind of beetle.  Come here, little beetle.”

He did, eventually, catch the beetle.  After conducting a short photo session, he proceeded to carry the beetle around with him as he went about his business.

Later that evening, I was reaching between couch cushions in our garage when out flew a moth.

As I approached my bed a while later, a spider jumped – jumped – off the wall towards me.

There’s nothing like living with two amateur arthropodologists.  We are currently living in an ongoing construction project, so the garage door is always open to accommodate the pile of equipment and supplies that extends into the driveway.  The windows (screenless) remain open all night to cool the very warm house.  Doors to the house remain open due to the simple fact that nobody seems concerned with closing them.

So we have some moths.  We have spiders.  We have beetles.

I have witnessed, in the past, the hatching of many spider eggs.  Each one was a unique, amazing, and horrifying experience.  I have come to the conclusion that spiders’ breeding habits have evolved to take into account the fact that I am going to kill as many as I can see.  I don’t feel too bad killing every spider I see, because I figure there are a whole bunch in the proximity that I can’t see.

Jason and Chris want to save every one.

Including the black widow under the kitchen sink.

May you never live in a house with a black widow lurking under your kitchen sink.

I try, out of respect to the boys, to let these various little pets go about their business.  I’ve done a pretty good job, although that jumping spider had to go.

Then, last night, I was propped up in bed, holding my book, when I looked down and saw a scorpion.  On my rib cage.  In case you missed that: I found a scorpion nestled in the folds of my shirt on my ribcage.

I’m not typically a screamer, but I made an exception.

In came Jason, as I brushed the thing off and tried to squash it with my book.

“Don’t kill it!” hollered Jason.  “Don’t!  Don’t!  I’ll get something to catch him in, just watch him for me!”

He caught it.  He released it into the yard.

He returned and said, nonchalantly, “Shake out the pillows, they usually have friends.”

That’s it.

I have now adopted a ruthless anti-bug policy.  I’m no longer catering to the sensibilities of two grown men with the bug fascination of five year olds.  I dearly love them both, and am about to marry one, so I will do my best to conduct my war guerilla-style, with the hopes that they will not notice a significant reduction in the number of bugs they get to catch and identify.  But also in the hopes that there will be a significant reduction, in both bugs and scorpions.

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During the writing of this post, by the way, a crab-like spider crawled across the rug about six inches from my knee.  It was a casualty of war.

Summer Vacation: Day 1

17 06 2010

My first day of summer vacation was not exactly photo-inspiring.  It was a cold, drizzly day that didn’t feel like summer at all.  It did, however, feel like vacation.  I have been looking forward to the commencement of my first real summer vacation for nearly three years now, all through two summers of grad school.  It would have been nice to start it off with 80 degree, sunny weather, but I’ll take sleeping in until 9 in any weather.

I made it out to the new house/construction site by 11, and walked the property in a break between showers.

The flowers spoke of sunshine, even if the clouds told a different story.

I went back to my mom’s house to recover from my excursion to the paint store and the new house.  After a hearty meal and some quiet reading time, I eventually managed to leave the house again, this time to walk Charlie.  Naturally, we ended up in a heavy shower.  Charlie cared not one bit.

The sunglasses are pure optimism; the hood, required.  I wore my jeans and hoodie in deference to the weather, but determinedly wore my Chaco sandals – we leave for Costa Rica in just a couple of weeks, and need to be sandal-ready by then.  Obviously, I could use a pedicure, too.

That’s what walking in the mud gets you.

The highlight of my wanderings was this brilliant flower:

It was just growing along the curbside, and was so brilliant it hurt to look at it.  Notice the raindrops all around.  The sky was the same color as the sidewalk, so we were just surrounded by gray.  Then here is this little red flower, just humming with vibrancy.  Amazing.

Anyway, my to-do list included writing thank you notes for my bridal shower gifts, emailing several people who emailed me weeks ago, cleaning up my wedding invite list, starting a decent summer fitness routine, finishing a book that’s overdue at the library, and catching up on several years of inadequate sleep.

Didn’t get any of that done, but at least I took care of the most important chore of my life:

Can’t wait for Day 2.

Totally Beside the Point

20 05 2010

From: chris

To: jill

Subject: kitchen massing model

hopefully this is helpful, it’s difficult to frame interior spaces this small in a computer modeling program, but hopefully this gives an idea of the organization.



From: jill

To: chris

Subject: Re: kitchen massing model

Your computer modeling program makes my ass look fat.


OSHA Agents, Please Avert Your Eyes

20 05 2010

No cause for accidents now...

Pole Pedal Paddle Pre-Party (Px5)

15 05 2010

The guests begin to arrive...

...and make themselves at home...

...despite no kitchen floor... hot water... is still good.

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