Autumn Life Update

It’s been a long time now since I’ve written a personal post. 2016 has been kicking our asses. Between that and having two crazy kids, I don’t have much time to give sitting down and writing about real life stuff, if that makes any sense. I’m actually fighting a nasty cold at the moment, which means that I have a bit of time to sit and just write.

Mason is 9 months old, almost 10 months. Liam has started school. How is this possible? Where has time gone? It’s been a pretty good transition, thankfully. Liam loves school and it’s been giving me a bit of a breather during an otherwise stressful time.

We have a lot of personal financial and family stuff going on that I don’t feel comfortable sharing here, but it’s been playing one hell of a toll on my anxiety and depression. Thankfully, my husband’s work has a great EAP program and I’ve been able to get some help. On top of that, I’ve started keeping a bullet journal. It has been amazing at keeping me calm, organized and a place to share what’s going on in my head in a pretty and creative way.bulletjournal

Bullet Journaling is kind of a checklist mixed with a day planner, mixed with a journal. It can be as simple or as involved as you want. It’s very very easy to personalize.

Beyond bullet journaling, I’ve continued to play with and test makeup and other products. I’m toying with the idea of making a youtube channel to compliment this blog, but I’m nervous about the amount of work it would take. I’ve started job hunting again, ideally looking for something either from home or close to home so that we can save on daycare costs by me being with Mason during the day.

So, I know this isn’t a really great update, but I wanted to let you guys know that I’m alive and ok, but not great. We are working on things to improve our situation, but nothing is coming very easily. Happy Fall everyone xo

Cloth Diapering Part 4 – How Do I Cloth?

Welcome to part 4 of my Cloth Diapering series. We’ve talked about why you should try cloth, what the options are and what other bits and bobs you might need. Let’s talk about how I (as in me, Heather) cloth diaper as well as the basic How Tos for the Average Cloth Diaper-er.

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Ok, so this is it. You have everything you need. It’s time to get started.

  1. Organize your cloth stuff somewhere where you will be able to easily access it during diaper changes. Stuff your pocket diapers, have your snappies and wipes within reach. Basically, be ready for a baby bum.
  2. Take one diaperless or stinky-butted baby or toddler and bring them to where ever you have gathered your diapering stuff.
  3. Remove clothes and diaper you wish to replace. Cloth diapers that are soiled go in wet bag. If baby is eating solids, be sure to scrape/shake/spray poop into toilet first.
  4. Pick the cloth you want to use.
  5. Put it on the baby.
  6. Rejoice
  7. Smell something funky or hear complaining baby, start back at step 2.

About twice a week, take your wet bag of diapers to the laundry area of your choice, wash and dry. Start back at step 1.

It’s pretty simple, really. Oh, you want more details? Well, sure! I’ll do my best to take some pictures without flashing you poor Mason’s bits.

Prep Your Diapers

  • Wash all of your diapers, whether they are new or used. Follow the instructions provided by the brand for washing. Make sure to wash all of your like fibers together. So, hemp is washed with hemp, cotton with cotton, etc… This is important because hemp and bamboo have natural oils that may cause issues for your other materials after washing.
  • Prefolds needs to be prepped before use. This means washing them a few times or boiling them in a large stock pot. This opens up the fibers and makes them more pillowy and absorbent.

What I do: For new all in one or pocket diapers, I do one warm wash with an extra rinse, with detergent. I then do a dry in the dryer on medium or low, anything still damp goes out in the sun. For new prefolds, I boil them (like fiber with like fiber) and then toss them in the dryer. For covers, I wash them on a regular cycle with detergent and put them up outside to dry. Make sure when washing anything with velcro/hook and loop that all tabs are folded in so as to not catch and damage your diapers.

For used diapers, I do a bleach soak to sanitize. I fill my bathtub with water and add a very small amount of bleach. I then soak the diapers for a few hours. I then ring them out and run them through my regular wash routine.

  • Stuff your pocket diapers with whatever insert you want to use. Remember that if you want to use boosters or need to fold your inserts that boys need extra absorbency in the front and girls need it in the middle.
  • For Hybrid diapers, attach one of the inserts so that the diaper is ready to go. Have extra inserts near by for the following change.
  • Sort your prefolds by size
  • Snap your diapers or covers if you need to size them (ie: if you are diapering a newborn, you will need them snapped to the smallest setting. If you are diapering a toddler, make sure all the snaps are undone). One size diapers may have elastics in the legs that need to be adjusted as well.

Organize Your Space

Make sure your diapering station is all set to go. Everyone does this differently. Do what whats for you.

What I do: My diapering area is in the family room, where we spend most of our time. I have one large bin for all of my diapers, one small bin for my extra inserts and bits and bobs. The pack and play has an attached organizer, in which I have wipes, bum cream and snappies. My wet bag is hanging near by and my diaper genie (for disposables diapers and wipes) is right there.

Put the Diaper on your Baby

  • As I mentioned up top, this is the straight forward part. Put the diaper on your baby.
  • All in Ones go on just like a disposable diaper if they are velcro, otherwise you just have to do the snaps to whatever size works for your baby.IMG_20160527_060616
  • Pocket diapers go on like disposable diapers, assuming you’ve already stuffed them. If not, do so.
  • Fitted Diapers are a two step process. First, put the fitted diaper on your baby (much like a disposable diaper). Once on, put the cover over top the same way. It will be quite bulky but super absorbent.IMG_20160525_110930IMG_20160525_111005
  • Hybrid diapers need their inserts snapped or tucked in (depending on the brand), and then you put them on babyIMG_20160525_083507
  • Prefolds can go on in a bunch of different ways. I suggest checking out this site for a few options. After the prefold goes on, put on your cover. Here’s a couple ways I do it:

With all of these, make sure that the insert covers all the parts it needs to cover, and that none of the inner fabric or fleece is peeking out the leg holes or out the top.

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Go About Your Life

  • Yep. Dress your baby and do your thing. You may find that you have to size up pants for them to fit on your kiddo’s adorable fluffy bum.  They also make snap extenders for onesies that you can get.
  • You may find that you need to change your baby more often. Babies feel wetness in cloth, where as in disposables the diaper falls away from their body. That said, you may find you need to check baby more often too, as the tell tale diaper sag doesn’t happen with cloth.

Change Your Baby

  • When Baby is dirty, it’s time to change that diaper. Unsnap or undo the hook and loop and the snappi if in prefolds. You can reuse the cover if the binding is unsoiled. Simply wipe the PUL or lining. If the binding is wet or has poop, throw it in the wet bag. For pocket diapers you need to remove the insert before washing, so I try to remember to remove it before putting it and the diaper in the wet bag. For Hybrid diapers, just unsnap the insert and reuse the cover if its clean.
  • Wipe with either a disposable wipe or a cloth wipe.
  • If you need bum cream, be sure to use just a tiny bit of cloth safe cream, like Eco Chic Movement or Substance.
  • Put on another adorable cloth diaper.

There you have it, folks! The basics on how to cloth. I hope this series has been able to help demystify cloth diapers for you. Please let me know if you  have any questions or a theme for another post in this series (or another series entirely!) Thanks for reading!

 

The rest of the Baby Basics Series:

Liam: 4 Years Old

birthday4

Oh man, have I ever been meaning to get this up sooner. I’m a whole month late. Geez. Can you believe my oldest is already 4 years old? Well, I’m sure you can. It’s not exactly magic. I’m in shock though. I swear he was a baby yesterday. Today he made himself a snack, got himself dressed and peed all over the bathroom floor.

It’s been a crazy year. Going from 3 to 4 is really a HUGE change. Kids go from babies to kids, just like that. He talks so much now, and has so many opinions. He sees and hears so much. He takes everything in. He’s so excited to start school in the fall and even started preschool this year in preparation. He looooooves dufferdoo. He’s also doing karate once a week, which is the best. We hang out with his friends as much as we can (as much as our schedule and my anxiety allows). His best friend is Isla, who happens to also be one of his oldest friends. He ADORES his cousins Cassidy, Elliot and Wesley. Watching him with his brother is my greatest joy. He is so protective of Mason. He loves him to pieces, even when it’s hard.

Now, for some stats and an interview:

Around 43.25″ tall (about 3.6 feet), 43lbs

Nicknames: Monkey, kiddo, turd, turdmonkey, buddy, baby, big guy.

Diapers: He uses the potty during the day and wears good nights at night.

Noms: This kid is fussy. This has not changed. We’ve been able to add a few food items to his diet, but not much. Seriously. The only things he will eat are: Peanut butter, cucumber, carrots, cantaloupe, milk chocolate, olives, chicken nuggets, french fries, cold uncooked hot dogs, pepperoni, pizza (sometimes), kraft dinner, bologna, satines, waffles, gold fish, ice cream, apples, bananas, frozen blueberries and strawberry yogurt.

It was pretty awesome reading last year’s post. It’s funny that every year I’m like “Oh god, this is the hardest age”. I will say they all have their awful bits and awesome bits. I love how independent he is now. He’s such a PERSON. He has his own likes, dislikes, reactions, emotions, etc… The hardest part is the sass that comes at 4. Oh man, it was like a switch. Suddenly he’s all backtalk, sass, and potty humour.

  1. How old are you? 4
  2. What is your favourite colour? Red
  3. What is your favourite animal? Dinosaur
  4. What is your favourite book? The Animals Alphabet
  5. What is your favourite show? Sarah and Duck (Mummy would also add Paw Patrol, Teen Titans Go, and Curious George)
  6. What is your favourite movie? Big Hero 6 (aka Hiro Hamada)
  7. What is your favourite song? I don’t know
  8. What is your favourite food? Bananas
  9. What is your favourite snack? cheese
  10. What is your favourite outfit? Shorts and soccor ball shirts
  11. What is your favourite game? (goes to get Rayman Video game), Tag and What time is it Mr. Wolf
  12. What is your favourite toy? Buzz Lightyear
  13. Who is your best friend?  Isla
  14. What is your favourite thing to do? Play with everyone
  15. What is your favourite thing to do outside? Play at the park
  16. What is your favourite holiday? Tuesday and Halloween
  17. What do you want to be when you grow up?  Daddy

Happy Birthday, baby. I love you so much.

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Welcome to the Halloween Party!

Welcome to the Halloween Party folks!  For those that missed my previous post about this, I’m participating in the lovely Domestic Witch’s Halloween Blog Party. For the month of October, I will be posting off and on about Halloween and Samhain. To start things off, I figure I should probably talk about what Halloween and Samhain mean to me.

As a child, my parents were never really big holiday people. We didn’t go all out for anything, except maybe Christmas. Halloween was one of those annoying events that my mother dreaded having to deal with. I can understand it now, but at the time, I was always so bitter that I never got a cool costume to wear, though she did try her best to dress us up as best she could with a minimal budget.

A couple of my costumes:

A...bear?

This time, a carebear!

Despite this lack of real interest on their part, I’ve always loved it. I was sort of a weird kid. I was the storyteller of my grade, so I was always invited to sleepovers to scare the crap out of my friends. I would make up these incredible scary stories out of no where and had a great love of monsters and legends. I read a lot of children’s gore (Fear Street, goosebumps, Christopher Pike, etc…). I also absolutely LOVED dressing up and playing pretend. Halloween, of course, became my favourite day of the year.

At the age of 14, I finally recognized that I was pagan and suddenly my favourite time of year took on a whole new meaning. It was no longer just Halloween, but now Samhain. I took over decorating my parents place and handing out candy. I researched and celebrated whatever way I felt suited. By the age of 16, I had a small group of friends that participated in an annual tradition of a nice dinner and ritual. Once I had my own apartment, me and whoever was my roommate at the time would play hosts and take the whole event very seriously. When I turned 19, I also started attending the annual Witches Gathering, hosted by the Ottawa Pagan Community at a local club.

Me, at the Witches Gathering, in 2003? Dressed as Ophelia

Me, ready for WG 2004, dressed as "Autumn"

WG 2005. I'm on the far right, dressed as Amalthea from The Last Unicorn

WG 2007, Retro costume.

WG 2009, me as a Gypsy

This Halloween is still undecided. I don’t have a costume (I don’t even have a potential costume in mind. How sad is that?) We shall see. It’s hard, facing Samhain, when you’ve just lost someone close to you. It is the very reason I didn’t go in 2006 (my grandmother) or 2008 (my father).

Samhain/Halloween is a truly magical time of year for me. I’m not sure what the correct term is for someone like me (I’ve heard Greywalker, psychic, and sensitive), but I have a very close connection with the dead. I’ll save that for another post, but the point is that this is a time that I feel the veil is very thin. I can feel the dead around me, and while some would find this tarrying, usually it’s a comforting time for me. It’s a time of paying respect to your ancestors. It’s also exciting and full of energy. It’s like New Years Eve, a time ripe with possibilities. It’s a time that I embrace the darker parts of myself, while making plans for the new year. I reflect back and give thanks for all of my blessings and try to recognize all of the lessons that I’ve learned.

It’s a time when I feel a little less freaky. Everyone gets a little witchy and dark around Halloween, as well as creative and outgoing. The incredible costumes I’ve seen on my friends have always amazed me. It’s a time when I feel very connected with my surroundings and the community. It’s a party. It’s a joy, just as much as it’s a time for reverence and contemplation.

I’m excited at this chance to share my Samhain experience with my readers. I hope you enjoy everything I have to share :D I plan on sharing a bit about myself and my traditions, as well as some tips and recipes. Please let me know if you have any questions for me or topics you’d like me to address.