Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Cloth Diaper Insanity - Part 3

Okay, so I haven't written about this in a while because I haven't worked on it in a while.  Honestly, I had to get away from it.  I was SO frustrated by working my booty off, only to have it leak everywhere EVERY time.

Fast forward about a month.

I did a lot of research.  I mean a LOT.  Fabric options.  Styles.  Patterns.  What's more absorbent?  What resists wicking?  How do you make it easy and adjustable?  Ugh.  My brain was about to explode!

And then my sewing machine died - as in "my 4 year old knocked it off the table and completely snapped the inner frame" died.  Dead.  Ka-blooey.  I borrowed my mother's 20+ year old Singer and was honestly terrified to use it.  I don't know what it is about using new-to-me equipment, but it definitely makes me procrastinate - maybe because I'm always scared of the learning curve.  Turns out I remembered exactly how to use it from when I used to sew on it as a kid.  Go figure ;)

So I got sewing and it felt so good to be sewing again.  I can't explain it.  The dread that I had waiting to work on this project again was perhaps unfounded.  I don't know.

I'm hoping it works this time.  I found basic measurements for different diaper sizes, and used that to draft my own pattern.  As part of an online garage sale group on Facebook, I was able to get some really inexpensive cloth diapers to use as inspiration - mainly seeing that they used double-sided velcro tabs to make adjustability easy and AWESOME!  I bought Zorb fabric online because it is supposedly the most amazingly absorbent fabric ever.  And also read that you should line the diaper cover with fleece because it's water resistant and will prevent wicking.   Oh, and I used snaps to attach the liner to the cover so that it doesn't shift around all over the place.

All of this put together makes a pretty cute diaper, and I'm really, REALLY hoping that it works.  We're putting it to the ultimate test tonight - overnight diaper.  I made the liner with a double layer of Zorb, a double layer of Birdseye cloth, and a bottom layer of polar fleece, to prevent more leakage.  If this thing doesn't work, then I'm almost to the point of thinking that nothing will.  Here's hoping we don't have a massive leak in the morning ;)

Want the whole history of my cloth diaper-making journey?  Check out parts 11.5, and 2.

***UPDATE - well, little man woke up around 4:30am (as usual) and was only a little wet on the front of his pjs.  This is actually very normal for him, even in a disposable, because the kid apparently pees a ridiculous amount for his size.  Seriously.  Like, a LOT.  Plus he has learned how to roll over and sleeps on his tummy all the time whether we want him to or not.  So...boy+tummy sleeping=front leakage.  There's no getting around this I've decided, so since I'm always washing wet and poopy clothes with disposables ANYWAY, I might as well go with the design I came up with and save myself some money.  The design, by the way, fits him REALLY well compared to the ones I bought online...which I pretty much can't stand.  Hmmm, maybe I CAN start selling these ;)  I'll post some pics later.***

Friday, May 17, 2013

Bachelorette Cookies

I got an order in for some zebra and turquoise bachelorette cookies, and I MIGHT have had a bit too much fun decorating them ;P  Here are some pics:

Have a sweet day! :D

Friday, May 10, 2013

You Know You're A Mother When...

Photo from a greeting card I found at the store forever ago.  Still pretty much my favorite picture ever...

In honor of Mother's Day, I thought I'd come up with a list of all the things I never, ever thought I'd hear myself say and do...until I gave birth to my children.  Enjoy :D

You know you're a mother when:

1.) you find yourself yelling "Get that cheesestick out from between your toes!"

 2.) you find yourself saying "Get your hands out of your pants!" ad infinitum...

3.) you pull 3 whole rolls of toilet paper out of the toilet - and you're not surprised in the slightest.  Angry?  Yes.  Surprised?  No.

4.) you dread the discovery of a writing utensil by your children, because it means that there will be new "artwork" on the walls...and the floor...and the furniture...and themselves.

5.) you walk out of the house without a bra and no makeup and don't even realize you're doing it because you've spent the last 20 minutes just trying to get the kids ready to walk out the door.

6.) you have no idea what that is in your hair.

7.) You have no idea where that smell is coming from, but you're pretty sure you're not going to like what you find.

8.) silence means trouble.

Why yes, that IS Desitin in her hair...and all over everything else.  Consequently, for a tip on how to get it out of hair, read this post.

9.) you find bits of something broken on the floor and can't for the life of you figure out what it came from - until you find said broken object and it makes you want to rip your hair out because it turns out it's the brand new toy your child just got for their birthday.

10.) it feels like a vacation not to have to haul all four children to the car just to drop one off at school.

11.) you feel like a fugitive on the run when you leave the house by yourself.

12.) using the bathroom becomes a spectator sport.

13.) your butt gets exposed to the entire church because your 3 year old wants to hide under your skirt.

14.) disgusting poop doesn't make you gag instantly anymore.

15.) you'll pick your kids' boogers with your thumbnail without thinking twice about it.

16.) you are completely unfazed by screaming and temper tantrums that are unaccompanied by blood or protruding bones.

17.) you wake up in the middle of the night with a foot in your face and a head resting on your butt.

18.) you are so sleep deprived, you pour your coffee creamer into the trash can instead of your coffee.

19.) you realize if you hear one more "I want" or "But, MOM!!!", you might legitimately lose your mind.

and finally....

20.) You know you're a mother spite of everything else listed, you'd still jump in front of a bus or straight up punch someone in the face if your child was threatened.

To all you lovely ladies investing all of yourselves into the future, one diaper change and peanut butter sandwich at a time, I salute you :D  Happy Mother's Day!

Monday, May 6, 2013

The Many Uses of Dawn Dish Soap

Photo courtesy of

I've said it before and I'll say it again - I'm a cheap mommy.  I need stuff to get clean and I need it to be done without breaking my bank.  Beyond that, I really don't like the idea of having lots of harsh chemicals in my home.  I've got four little ones, after all, and they are all VERY curious.  Let's just say that there have been several calls made to poison control in the past few years, and several gray hairs added to my head as a result.

So, I decided to start trying to make my own homemade cleaners.  I still use some commercial formulations (Melaleuca being my absolute favorite), but making some of my own has definitely cut down on costs.  I use the usual suspects - baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, and of course, Dawn dish soap  - in almost every recipe.  And it got me thinking.  I use this stuff a LOT, and thought I'd share all the different uses I have for them.  We'll start with Dawn.

Ah, that blue bottle of amazingness :)  (No, I'm not being paid to say that, either.  This is totally from my personal experience.  Though, Proctor and Gamble is MORE than welcome to pay me if they want to ;P)  Here goes:

#1: Getting Desitin out of hair

This is my oldest daughter when she was about 2 1/2 years old.  She found the tube of Desitin and decided it would be great to smear all over herself - AND her bed - AND the walls.  Apparently, she thought she could "shave" like daddy.  I bust out laughing when I walked in and saw her like this.  I promptly stopped laughing when I tried to wash her hair with regular shampoo and it. would. not. come. out.  She looked like she had gray hair all day until daddy got home and asked "Did you try dish soap?"  Uh, no, no I didn't.  It hadn't even occurred to me.  But it made sense.  They use it all the time to clean up animals who get stuck in oil spills.  So, we tried it and it got it all out :D

#2: Shower cleaner

I love the website One Good Thing by Jillee.  She has some amazing DIY cleaning solutions, and she will be listed in a lot of these ideas.  I found this shower cleaning solution on her site and I actually prefer it to the store-bought solutions I've tried.  I feel like my shower is cleaner and I like that there are no caustic ingredients.  Just a cup of hot vinegar (I use my Pyrex measuring cup in the microwave for about 2 minutes) and a cup of Dawn dish soap.  Really, it's just a 1:1 ratio, so you could do as much or as little as you wanted to.  Pour the Dawn into a spray bottle first (either measure and pour with a funnel or eyeball it.  I eyeball it), then pour the hot vinegar on top and swirl the bottle around to mix together.  Don't shake it!  It forms a gel that sticks wherever you spray it, and it lasts.  You can make it and leave it in your cleaning arsenal until it's all gone.  Keep in mind that you don't have to use a ton because as you scrub, it will lather up and get a lot of bubbles.  I may or may not have used a ridiculous amount the first time and spent 10 minutes just trying to rinse out the sponge at the end ;P

#3: Toilet bowl cleaner

See recipe above.  I just spray some in the toilet bowl when I clean the shower, let it sit for a few minutes while I clean the rest of the bathroom, then scrub a bit with the toilet brush and flush.  Love it!  Because it sticks, you can squirt it under the rim with a squeeze bottle used for condiments or candy making.  (Got the idea from here.  Brilliant!!)

#4: Magic Stain Remover

Again, One Good Thing by Jillee had this recipe for getting rid of yellow armpit stains on white tshirts. First, you need to know that yellow armpit stains do not mean you are disgusting and dirty - as my sister would have had me believe my entire adolescence.  It is actually caused by deodorant/antiperspirant buildup.  Jillee mixes up the paste and applies it with a scrub brush on the stains.  Let me just say that it worked VERY well!  I've also used it on yellow spit-up stains and a really nasty kid's chair cover.  Just be careful that if you use it more than once and let it sit for a really long time each time, like I did on the chair cover, the hydrogen peroxide will lighten the fabric slightly.  This also works on grease stains - even after they've been through the dryer.  It saved a pair of my pants from the scrap pile :)

#5: Liquid laundry detergent

Jillee has a concentrated and an unconcentrated recipe (I've tried the latter), and even has a tip on how to scent it.  I've not tried it yet, though.

#6: DIY foaming dish soap

Put about an inch of Dawn dish soap in the bottom of a foaming soap dispenser and fill to the top with water.  Swirl to mix.  I just reused the Dawn foaming container I had originally bought, but I think you can buy them by themselves.  Just not sure where.

So, there are 6 ways I use Dawn dish soap - wow, it sounds like a Jillee fan club newsletter ;P  Well, if it works, it works.  Right??  Hope these can help you out a bit :)

**08/13/13 - Ashlen commented below : "The blue Dawn can be used for getting rid of fleas on dogs too. Just the blue stuff though. If you do a Dawn bath every week or week and a half, you can stop using those nasty chemicals that cost way too much. Also, Dawn is really good for getting blood stains or other tough to clean stains out of clothing." 

I'll have to try that :D

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