Our Life with Cloth Diapers

After we committed to cloth on day 9 of Oakleigh’s life, we have never once looked back or regretted our decision. Cloth is so so easy once you have a routine…and the avoided waste…unbelievable. We have done a week long vacation, multiple overnight trips, and had success 100% in cloth. It took a little planning, and bringing along our own laundry soap, but I am happy to report that is working!

After researching all the options (and there are a TON of them!) we opted for the simple, basic diapering approach of prefolds and covers. We liked that these diapers were a natural fiber (100% cotton), uncomplicated, space efficient and just easy. The website greenmountiandiapers.com was a huge source of information and was where we ended up purchasing our diapers as well.

Two months before Oakleigh arrived, I ordered diapers and covers, and started the prep process. You have to wash these natural fiber diapers 7-9 times to get their absorbency optimized, so I was happy I had done the prep work ahead of her birth! Our first attempt with prefolds was not very skilled, and we were happy we had the workhorses as backup. Look how cute and tiny she was!

We started with:

  • 2 dozen newborn Cloth-eez prefolds (orange)
  • 4 newborn workhorse diapers (these are basically Cloth-eez prefolds that have been modified with elastic for a fitted diaper…we learned these are great in the car and for overnight)
  • 2 dozen cloth wipes (we just use plain water and these to wipe)
  • 4 covers (1 blueberry brand newborn size, the rest were size 1 Thirsties covers)
  • 1 dozen small prefolds (yellow)

This pretty much got us through the first two months. Around the two month mark the diapers were getting pretty small and we sized up to the smalls (yellow) and added another dozen prefolds and 10 workhorses in that size. We knew we were doing lots of overnight trips at this point and the extra workhorses were worth it to keep blowouts to a minimum on long car rides. The newborn cover no longer fits but the other Size 1s will still be going for a few more months.

Note on covers: we love the Thirsties covers! We also trued a Romperooz cover but it leaked where the tag was sewn onto the bum. The only issue we have had with Thirsties is staining on the inner leg gusset from poop. Most of the Thirsties covers have white elastic piping on the legs and this is a poor design from a user perspective. So when we ordered two more we opted for a designs with colored piping and these are now our go tos.

IMG_5457

Our wash routine is every other day (ideal) but we can stretch it to 3 days with this size stash. We wash on hot with biokleen liquid detergent, add an extra rinse cycle and dry for two cycles in the dryer. Zero problems with smell and they are squeaky clean every time! (this was a primary driver of us choosing natural cotton diapers rather than synthetic)

A sale prompted me to buy our next set, mediums. She is going through fewer diapers per day, and so I opted for 2 dozen medium prefolds (was seriously considering just one but decided we preferred the ability to stretch our laundry days), 6 workhorses and a dozen doublers. I am curious about adding Cloth-eez doublers for nighttime to hold her longer as she is sleeping longer stretches. I have heard good things and figured it was worth trying. Building this stash has been a bit of an investment, but the costs are up front, and we only seen a minimal bump in our utility bills from the extra loads of laundry. Plus we plan to use it on more than one kiddo, and as a friend said, we will have rags and cloths for life!

Have questions about our experience? I am happy to share! Cloth diapering has been a huge win for our family (and the planet) and I would love to get more families onboard.

***Our #1 resource with great information and products (no sponsorship…just a hardy recommendation from our experience!): www.greenmountiandiapers.com

Advertisements

DIY Blackboard Kitchen Countertops: An Update

Remember wayyyy back, like over a year now, when I introduced our grand plan to DIY our kitchen countertops? Well, that is still the plan and I am THRILLED to report that we are actually now working on that project.

The house remodel scope significantly morphed, and ended up going far past the kitchen and dining room, so we decided to finish up those other spaces (keeping our kitchen usable) and finally ending with it’s demo…and the long awaited counters!

If you don’t know the story of how we came to choose salvaged solid slate blackboards as our countertops, you can check that out here. These beauties (or rather, diamonds in the rough) have been leaning against our house for the past year, patiently waiting for their turn.

While they have been waiting, so have we. We always a knew that they would work as counters, but were still just assuming that we could successfully get off the old 1940s adhesive that is awkwardly stuck all over the slabs. If we could not get it off cleanly, we were going to have to come up with Plan B for counters…and that was NOT the goal.

After a super rainy start to spring, this week blessed us with some sunshine, and an opening to get outdoors, set up the sawhorses and get to glue removal. I need to keep baby away from all construction fumes, so this is a solo job for my sweet handy husband.

He set out with two main approached: a heat gun (borrowed from our local tool library) and Jasco Premium Paint and Epoxy Remover. Much to our excitement, the heat gun worked like a charm to pull off big blobs of glue and then the residue remaining dissolved with the chemicals…and a significant amount of elbow grease. We are planning to use the “natural” more textured side of these slabs and it is stunning to see them really clean. It is a huge weight off our shoulders to know that we have a solution that works!

Two down, maybe 6 more to go? We have roughly 35 slabs to work with (!) but only need 6 for the kitchen. Extras will be practice for cutting, other projects or maybe passing them along to other inspired DIYers.

The forecast promises more rain this week, but then we hope to get back to our lovely counters, finish glue removal, demo the kitchen and then cut the new counters to fit!

Seaglass for Climate Change Awareness

Last November I launched into a new phase of my artistic career: seaglass mobiles. In January I launched my Etsy shop and in June applied for my first art show.

This past week I was featured in the Museum of Northwest Art’s SURGE Climate Change Awareness show. It was an honor to be a part of this wonderful exhibit both with beauty and a purpose.

My piece was the largest I have made (so far!) 8 feet long and 6 feet tall! That is a lot of glass. For this particular project I crowd sourced seaglass from collectors around the world to further enhance the message of impact. All of us love to collect, and are directly impacted by the rising and changing seas and tides.

Playing in the Dirt

Nothing beats a weekend that feels FULL and rewarding and not rushed! That never seems to happen! After being gone most of the week, I was ready to be home this weekend. Friday night was pretty late for this sleep deprived traveler, but fun none the less. We went to Matt’s parents house for a combined birthday dinner. We had planned to spend the night, but decided that we really just needed to be home and I was pretty excited to sleep in my own bed after a week in hotels.

Saturday morning we slept in till 10:30. As in SLEPT that long! It felt so good to really feel refreshed waking up after a long night at home. We took a quick trip into town for groceries and then came home to cook and clean before our friend’s Benny and Lana arrived for dinner. We had a great meal full of lots of laughter and catching up over rum cake.

Sunday morning we woke up and this time headed to town for birthday treats for Matt. We stopped by Snapdragon for pastries, and then over to the hardware store for the big yellow wheelbarrow his parents got him as a gift. Thank goodness the mini is good at hauling stuff! We had no problem getting our newest homestead addition home on the roof bars.

After breakfast and coffee we trekked out into the yard to finish tearing out the old garden and prep it for winter. We removed at least 10 loads of gravel, a TON of brick boarders, more old plants and FINALLY got it leveled and planted with a winter cover crop. The existing garden layout was so inefficient we just decided to start over. It was a long day of dirty work, but it looks fabulous!

 

I settled in for some homework time while Matt finished in the yard, then we took another break to ease sore muscles in our newly fixed and (thanks to Matt!) immaculately cleaned hot tub!

Ah, what a weekend. Today is Matt’s birthday, and he was hoping to have it off for Veteran’s day but no such luck. I drove him to work this morning (the water taxi does not run on holidays) and so extra time together is at least a small condolence for having to work. It is hard to believe it is almost winter! I feel ready to curl up in the house and snuggle with my little family in front of the fire.

Cat Toilet Training Update: As I mentioned a few weeks back, we are toilet training our cats! This weekend we started the cats on their training potty in the upstairs bathroom and so far so good. We think they were holding it most of Saturday or going outside, but by this morning seem to be pretty comfortable with the new (first step) situation. We will be at this stage for another week or so, but so far no accidents and we still have two happy cats!

Return of the Eggs

I am going to start and end this post with the same statement: I cannot wait to have our own chickens.

I have been on an egg hunt. Organic? Free range? (which is debatable on what that actually means) Vegetarian fed? Normal? White? Brown? Each time I go to the grocery store I am disappointed with what I get. Regardless of the egg I choose, it is usually pretty bland, light colored and just, well, blah.

We had chickens for a few years when I was growing up, and THOSE are the eggs I want. Rich yellow yolks, fresh, multicolored eggs. Just look at this difference!

Farm Fresh vs Conventional Eggs - Side by Side

 We are able to have chickens in the city…our neighbors just got some actually…but Matt and I don’t want to start that project just to move them (hopefully!) later this year to a new house.

So in the meantime I am still on a quest. We needed eggs this week and I choose the organic eggs at Costco. Major disappointment. I will be returning them today. Luckily I do have a friend that brings eggs into the city from her parents farm, so I can pick up 2 dozen this afternoon. Maybe I will start making more of an effort to get to the farmers market too.

I cannot wait to have our own chickens.

What’s Making me Smile

There are a few beautiful things that I have come across recently that I thought I would share.

This great blog, Naturally Ella, elegantly laid out with inviting, healthy recipes.

The Story Company, importing fair trade products from artisans in developing countries. I ordered these two beautiful necklaces this week as my promotion treat 🙂

Amisha Necklace

Joy Necklace

GRIT magazine. I am addicted to the website and just subscribed to the magazine. Matt and I are getting more excited everyday to have our homestead dream on Vashon start! For now, we are doing our homework.

Jazz apples with natural peanut butter. What else needs to be said?

We pay off the car this week. Woot!

Spring is in the air. Not quite here yet, but on the way. You can taste it.

Spring break is in two weeks. TWO WEEKS and I will be 1/3 through my MBA. Although we are not jetting off to Mexico like we planned, but do have some fun dates planned for break…including VIP tickets to see The Kiss during Trader Joe’s Silent Film series at the Paramount. This is one of our favorite annual events and going VIP for free is even better!

Teardrop Camping Trailers

Pinned Image

Thank you, Sunset magazine. You have given me a new obsession: tear drop camping trailers. We love to camp, and love to rough it with backpacks and minimal comforts. However, there are times when we have talked about a longer trip. A trip that would probably require more stuff than we can fit in the mini…not to mention setting up a tent night after night gets old. Hence, my newest obsession: teardrop trailers. These cute, lightweight trailers keep it to the bare essentials…a place to sleep and cook…but take out the mess and hassle of unpacking every night. Plus, for a PNW gal, the idea of waking up in a dry place rather than a rain soaked tent sounds mighty tempting! Plus, you can pull these guys behind a mini! How cute is that!

Yes, we will get one someday…it is on the bucket list.