Saturday, January 16, 2016

Cloth Diapering in a Large Family

Cloth Diapering in a Large Family

    We decided by our third baby to start cloth diapering. It's become a love affair ever since. I have sold my stash and started over a couple of times. I have found what I love and what I don't. My husband has also learned what he loves and doesn't.
    We do not exclusively cloth diaper. I'm just gonna throw that out there right now. There are times where a disposable has its uses. Our number one reason has been when we are so backed up on laundry that adding a cloth diaper laundry load to the mix just shuts down my brain. If your little one gets a yeast infection/rash then using disposables while you bleach your diapers is a good idea.
    For the record, this stash shot below is enough for 3 toddlers in diapers. I have to wash after only 2 1/2 days. Personally, that's not enough. I would like to have a few more so that there is a rotation going and the diapers don't get used quite so often. It prolongs the life of the diaper that way.

    I did not include any of our newborn stash of diapers. Those will be in a different post. What is not pictured are the prefolds that I used to stuff the majority of the diapers. The stacked diapers along the back are one size pocket diapers. Now I am not a fan of pockets. I don't enjoy stuffing them for the most part. Every now and then it doesn't bother me, but mostly I dislike the inserts. But this time, I've been stuffing them with prefolds. Now my ALL TIME FAVORITE prefold, and I will use no other brands, are the Green Mountain Diaper cotton prefolds. (I also LOVE their workhorses too.)

Stash shot. Back row are all one size pocket diapers.

Extra inserts to add as needed.

Cute fleece covers. These are great to go over fitteds or prefolds.

These are just covers. They are size 2 so they are for 20-30 pounds.

These are fitteds. The one in the middle is my all time go to for overnights. The one on the right, I made myself.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Lots of Littles in Cloth Diapers

Pretty soon we are going to have 4 kids in diapers still.


Let that sink in for a minute.

Maybe ten minutes.

Yes, we are a crazy. But that has nothing to do with the size of our family. God had his hand in that. That is a WHOLE 'nother story for another day.

The twins are now 2 years old and not close to potty training. The little one is 9 months old. And the newest baby due in early February but making her appearance no later than January, will of course be in diapers as well. This will be the most kids at one time in diapers that we have had. Not a milestone I was looking to achieve. But go ahead and level us up and give us some gold starts or a bonus pack or something. *laughs*

So with this pregnancy, I have gone a little nutso on the organizing our home. We currently live in a 5 bedroom, 1600ish square foot house. Trust me, its not that big. Its actually quite small. We have, however, gotten a lot better at decluttering and letting go of excess "stuff". You know what I'm talking about. We all have it hidden somewhere in our homes. I still have some that I am having a hard time letting go of but need to due to lack of space to store.

But back to the nutso on the organizing...  I started out be rearranging our entire downstairs. (Well, not the kitchen of course.) Then rearranged it again 2 months later. Hubby did all of the heavy lifting. Then we rearranged all the bedrooms upstairs except for our master bedroom. Took bunk beds apart, sold them, bought different ones 3 months later, painted the bedrooms, then a month later took those new bunk beds apart. Those didn't work either.

The garage got completely cleaned out and made into a new usable space during this time also. I'm still need to get a portable air conditioner for this space before its really usable. The weather this week has started cooling down, so I could start using it now earlier than expected for where we live.

Then comes making room for changing diapers. Since we have 3 now in diapers and will be adding another one. We went from full cloth diapering to full disposable diapering. Then the twins started getting a rash again so I started cloth diapering them again. They've been cleared for a while now but the Hubs would rather use the disposable because its easier for him. (And easier for the kids too...) I have 2 diaper tables set up now since all the cloth diapers would not fit under one table. I am a bit of a cloth diaper fan. I like to have options. And I'm really starting to not like the pockets. I HATE stuffing those darn things. And unstuffing them for the wash. I have a few more things I need for the new baby. I sold the majority of my cloth diapers right before I found out I was pregnant with my last baby that is now 9 months old. So I'm having to restock. The good news is we now know what we like and don't like.

Pregnancy hormones can do numbers on you. Let me tell you. I could spend hours looking through pinterest at cloth diapers. Go on YouTube and watch videos on packing diaper bags, cloth diaper organization, cloth diaper stashes, ect. I got some great ideas to streamline and make things more efficient that way though.

God has really blessed us and its my job to make sure that everything runs as smoothly as possible. Because with the amount of people we have living in this house, it can get pretty chaotic pretty fast. I wish I was better at homemaking and cleaning though.
The dreaded before picture. How the kids put away clean diapers. :(
Top drawer. Diapers needs. Top shelf, more diapering needs. Cloth wipes go in the wipe warmer already soaked in solution.
Second drawer- disposables for the youngest, for the current needs.

Third drawer- disposables for the twins.

Bottom drawer- extra diapers that didn't fit in drawer. Extra disposable wipes, travel wet bags...
Left diaper table first shelf (left to right)- pockets unstuffed, covers, prefolds to fit the 9 mo. old.

Bottom shelf (left to right)- inserts for pockets (hemp and bamboo), inserts for pockets (cotton), prefolds to fit the twins.

Diaper table on the right, first shelf, left to right- homemade doublers and preemie prefolds, newborn workhorses, newborn covers.

Bottom shelf, left to right- potty trainers, fitteds and a wool cover in the back, box of extras.

We like to put our diaper pail in the middle for easy access from both tables. Dirty hamper is on the far left.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Low Supply Breastfeeding Mommas

I am writing this for those mommas who are pumping and/or breastfeeding and have a low milk supply. I have come across so much advice from so many sources on how to increase your milk supply. But a lot of that advice can actually decrease your supply to the point where you might lose it altogether.

Some of the medical conditions that could cause a low milk supply could be having PCOS, Thyroid Disorder, Insulin Resistance, Insufficient Glandular Tissue, and Diabetes. There are other issues going on that could also affect supply like the delay of your milk coming in, baby having tongue tie or lip tie, having latch problems, ect. Maybe you don't have the right breast pump, the flanges aren't the right size, there is a microscopic hole in the membrane, or any number of those fixable issues.

We are going to tackle the low supply due to medical issues.

If you are a breastfeeding mom and are having low supply issues you hear all the time to take Fenugreek. Drink Mother's Milk tea. There's supplements you can take to increase your supply! Eat oatmeal! Drink Ovaltine!

I will start with the issues I deal with. I have Hashimoto's which is Hypothyroidism.
With thyroid disorders a gluten free diet is highly advised. Also avoiding soy like the plague. And come to find out, fenugreek is also detrimental to your milk supply. So all those combination teas for increasing milk, supplements, and tinctures that are combo types made have fenugreek in them. Reading the ingredients list is so key.

I am also developing Insulin Resistance. The best thing for any "insulin dysregulation" problem (PCOS, Diabetes, Insulin Resistance) is diet and exercise. This may not cure PCOS, for example, but it will make it a little more manageable. Sugar is our number one enemy with insulin problems. So all these meal replacement and diet drinks are super bad. There is so much sugar in the premade drinks. Same with another popular recommendation... drink more Gatorade. This has too much sugar and will do more harm than good for milk supply. Ovaltine is a good example. Ovaltine has a lot of sugar, but also has barley in it. For diabetics (and thyroid disorders) whose bodies cannot tolerate breaking down gluten, these are bad. Oatmeal, Cream of Wheat, Malt O Meal, ect are actually bad things to eat to increase supply. And that includes Brewer's Yeast which is almost all lactation cookies out there.

If you think you have any of these problems, fear not... you can get help. Talk to your local IBCLC. Even if you are trying to get pregnant, currently pregnant, or already gave birth or adopted your baby. They are highly trained and can help you through the medical issues.

Now comes to the pumping advice. Now this is just as variable as the foods you eat above. Not everyone responds the same. From the foods you eat, the issues you face, how those interact within your body, your immunity, the supplements you take, to the pump you use and respond to. I will give you my own personal experience and you can go from there and decide for yourself. This is just to give experience from what I have learned from what I went through.

I have used the original Medela Pump In Style, the newer Medela Pump In Style Advanced, Ameda Purely Yours Ultra, and even the Medela Symphony. I have pumped every 3 hours during the day and once or twice during the night. I've power pumped. I have pumped with this routine for almost 4 months for the last two of my pregnancies. Which both failed to produce anything near enough to feed my babies for a whole day. Not even a half of a day.

Currently I am pregnant again. And armed with the information I have come across with my previous pregnancies and experience and also with more info I have come across with this pregnancy here is what I learned about pumps and pumping.

Previously I was going on the advice of pumping every 3 hours during the day for 20-25 minutes at a time. I actually would pump longer and lasted about 30-40 minutes. From what I am gathering from other mommas who do not have a sufficient supply or over supply, this is advice is for maintaining supply. Its best to pump every 2 hours during the day and 3-4 hours at night with at least one pump during the prime time of 1 am and 4 am. During this window of time is when your prolactin level is the highest which signals the body to make more milk.

Now to the pump themselves. I am going to give the breakdown on the suction cycle and the suction strength here.

Spectra S1/S2 and 9 plus       cycle 30-46 RPM            suction 0-300 mmHg
Hygeia Enjoye                                 50-80 RPM                        50-240 mmHg
Medela Symphony                                                                     50-250 mmHg
Medela Freestyle                                                                        20-270 mmHg
Medela Pump In Style                                                                50-250 mmHg
Ameda Purely Yours Ultra                                                         50-250 mmHg

Now as you can see, a lot of them have about the same vacuum strength. The only one that is stronger is the Spectra. So if you are responding well to a pump and can supply for your baby without much struggle then any number of these pumps will work for you. Its just a matter of finding one you are most comfortable with and your body responds best to.

For some moms who have to struggle for every 5 mL of pumped breast milk, I have heard they have had their best output with the Spectra breast pumps. I have ordered mine and will use it when this baby is born this coming year.

I hope you have found this information helpful. As with anything you come across, you find what works for you and discard the rest. If you find that all this is too much and you just want to formula feed then that is what you do. Formula feeding your baby is not going to ruin your baby. *smile*

Stay tuned.
Medela Pump In Style

Hygeia Enjoye

Spectra S2

Medela Freestyle

Ameda Purely Yours Ultra

Medela Symphony 2.0

Spectra 9 plus

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Symptoms so soon?!

I realize that the last date of my last post was around when I conceived this pregnancy according to the online baby due date calculators. Since finding out, at about 4 weeks, I have been nauseas from the start but it only came in waves throughout the day. When I hit 6 weeks, the nausea turned into non-stop day and through the night. I haven't thrown up yet, but the inability to smell or even pass food by my mouth comes in sporadic moments that I must steal in between.

Then the day before Christmas Eve I come down with a terrible cold. A fever insued and broke on the same day, thankfully. Christmas Eve was still pretty bad but not as bad as the day before. Today is Christmas Day and I must say that I must be over the cold because the morning sickness is back in full force. So my body must be well enough to be over the cold.

Ahh, let's review the symptoms shall we? We've covered the morning sickness neverending. The hunger is besides itself. After I make myself eat something tolerable, a half hour later its like I haven't eaten in days and must eat now before I get even more sick. It's crazy! Oh the tiredness I feel as of late. I can sleep at night and still need one to two naps during the day. I must need the extra rest since coming down with this cold. This pregnancy is entirely different from my previous pregnancies.

What does all this mean exactly? God will reveal it in his own time. I am merely here to enjoy the journey. (But I suspect twins. Dare I say it out loud?)

Friday, November 16, 2012


 I have a ton of things I should be doing around the house today. But I think I should just take today and relax and rest my body. Today isn't a Sunday, but it sure has that Sunday feeling about it. It's nice outside for a change. I may wash the dog outside and let the kids play outside while I get that done. Some fresh air and sunshine does amazing things to us!

I wish I still could be carefree like my kids are when they are outside. I usually have like a gazillion things going through my head that I should be doing instead. Even though my body and soul cry out to slow down and to take it slower in my life, my mind refuses and it is wreaking havoc on my body. I MUST learn to slow down and NOT feel so guilty about it.

I'm spending my time searching online for a knit pattern. I'm not sure what I want to knit. I have the yard. So I've been searching through ravelry's pattern database. Lovely ideas. There are so many. Lots of them have taken me to blogs. I love blogs. I find it hard for myself to blog regularly, but I love to sit every now and then and get inspired by what everyone in blog land is doing. There are some really creative people out there! I'm so amazed!

So I sit here with my laptop in my lap, my coffee with Pumpkin Spice creamer next to me, a movie on for the kids, and my trusty rottie lying on the seat next to me on the couch. So far, so good.

Saturday, October 06, 2012

This sense of being at home is important to everyone's well-being. If you do not get enough of it, your happiness, resilience, energy, humor, and courage will decrease. It includes familiarity, warmth, affection, and a conviction of security. Being at home feels safe; you have a sense of relief whenever you come home and close the door behind you, reduced fear of social and emotional dangers as well as of physical ones. When you are home, you can let down your guard and take off your mask. Home is the one place in the world where you are safe from feeling put down or out, unentitled, or unwanted. It's where you belong, or, as the poet said, the place where, when you go there, they have to take you in. Coming home is your major restorative in life.

these are formidably good things, which you cannot get merely by finding true love or getting married or having children or landing the best job in the world- or even by moving into the house of your dreams. Nor is there much that interior decorating can do to provide them. Making a home attractive helps you feel at home, but not nearly so much as most of us seem to think, if you gauge by the amounts of money we spend on home furnishings. IN face, too much attention to the looks of a home can backfire. And going for nostalgic pastimes- canning, potting, sewing, making Christmas wreaths, painting china, decorating cookies- will not work either. Ironically, people are led into the error of playing house instead of keeping house by a genuine desire for a home and its comforts. Nostalgia means, literally, "home-sickness."

What really does work to increase the feeling of having a home and its comforts is housekeeping. Housekeeping creates cleanliness, order, regularity, beauty, the conditions for health and safety, and a good p lace to do and feel all the things you wish and need to do and feel in your home. Whether you live alone or with a spouse, parents, and ten children, it is your housekeeping that makes your home alive, that turns it into a small society in its own right, a vital place with its own ways and rhythms, the place where you can be more yourself than you can be anywhere else.

Despite these rewards, American housekeeping and home life are in a state of decline. Comfort and engagement at home have diminished to the point that even simple cleanliness and decent meals- let alone any deeper satisfactions- are no longer taken for granted in many middle-class homes. Homes today often seem to operate on an ad hoc bases. Washday is any time anyone throws a load into the machine, and laundering skills are in precipitous decline. Dishes are washed when the dishwasher is full. Meals occur any time or all the time or, what amounts to the same thing, never, as people sevre more and more prepared and semi-prepared foods. And although a large, enthusiastic minority of home cooks grow more and more sophisticated, the majority become ever more common in the middle-class homes than they used to be. Cleaning and neatening are done mostly when the house seems out of control. Bedding decreases in refinement, freshness, and comfort even as sales of linens, pillows, and comforters increase. It is not in goods the the contemporary household is poor, but in comfort and care.

Household activities of all kinds are becoming haphazard, not only cleaning ,cooking, and laundering. Television often absorbs everyone's attention because other activities (such as music-making, letter-writing, socializing, reading, and cooking) require at least a minimum of foresight, continuity, order, and planning that the contemporary household cannot accommodate. Home life as a whole has contracted. Less happens at home; less time is spent there. Like the industrial poor of 1910, many people now, in order to work long hours with rare days off, must farm out their children for indifferent institutional care. People are tired, sleeping an estimated two hours less per night than people did a hundred years ago. There are fewer parties, dinners, or card games with friends in homes. Divorces break up countless households, and even in tact families frequent moves break ties to friends and neighbors. The homes that reemerge are thinner, more brittle, more superficial, more disorganized, and more vulnerable than those they replace. These plagues rain on the lives of both the rich and the poor. Many people lead deprived lives in houses filled with material luxury.

Inadequate housekeeping is part of an unfortunate cycle. As people turn more and more to outside institutions to have their needs met 9for food, comfort, clean laundry, relaxation, entertainment, society, rest) domestic skills and expectations further diminish, in turn decreasing the chance that people's homes can satisfy their needs. The result is far too many people who long for home even though they seem to have one.

--excerpt from Home Comforts by Cheryl Mendelson

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Our consumerism and materialism in our society has gotten way out of control! As you read this story that I am going to link, it is sobering to think that people are actually living like this and are not trying to change. This story of this shopaholic mom just says how bad it really is. I know people that are into "keeping up with the Joneses". Our family lives in southern California and it is extremely hard not to get caught up in what other people have. Sometimes you feel that if someone else has it why can't you, but then you take a step back and have a drink of reality. I have to constantly remind myself that people here can't even afford their house and car, much less the extras they charge. There isn't a person I know here that isn't in debt.
I know in our case, we absolutely despised living in debt. The fact that we couldn't pay a lot of our bills was killing our positive attitude on life. We have a handle on it now without going into too much personal detail. Our attitudes are much better now. I just cannot see how people can live in a constant state of stress like that. It's no wonder people are getting sick.
I urge you to read this story. Here is the link again. Just click on the link in blue.

Here's the same lady's story on Oprah. It gives a little more detail.

Public school vs. Homeschool vs. Charter School

Again, this year, we are trying to decide what is best for our family. We've moved into a new school area and have asked around about this school. The consesus is that this school is worse than our previous school. Great. (Insert sarcastic tone here.) The ONLY positive thing about this new school is that it is quite literally across the street from our house.

We've checked out the charter schools in our county and the registration is ridiculously early and already closed. There isn't a garuantee that the child enrolling is even accepted. There is a lottery. Either way, we are MONTHS past the deadline.

So it is homeschooling again this year.
Which to be totally honest, is what I wanted to do the whole time. I did not want to give up on my kid's education. I still want the best for them. In my quest to finding balance in my own life, we are going to keep the homeschooling going for them. We will make everything else work.

It's all about priorities.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Ever wonder what causes insomnia?  What do you do when you have insomnia? How long does it typically last for you?

Some nights I just lie in bed and will myself to go back to sleep. Some nights I lie in bed and read whatever book I am currently on. And on those nights when none of the above will work...  I head downstairs and try to occupy myself until I get tired.

And let me tell you, some of those nights I don't get tired and wind up staying awake all night and all day. I remember having those nights when I was a teenager. I never imagined that I would be an adult, a mom, a wife and still have those nights. I thought that was something only teenagers experienced. I had many of those nights as a teenager.

There would be mornings when my mother would come in my room to wake me up for school and she would stub her toe on my furniture because I rearranged my whole room while they were sleeping. I would organize my closet and my drawers. Or I would just write in my journal and listen to music quietly in my room when I was in middle school. In high school, I would call my friends. Well, the ones that I knew had a phone in their rooms. I didn't want to wake up their parents!

What to do as an adult... some things haven't changed. I still write, read, do something crafty, rearrange, organize... whatever my mind seems to be going non-stop about.

*the above picture is taken at Sea World of San Diego. The penguins is one of our favorite visits.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

This little man is stretching my mommy abilities. I thank God for him daily. But I also lean on God daily. His intolerances are hard to figure out. I am almost certain that this last test we did for eliminating gluten has a positive affect. However, now he is reacting to something else and sadly the only thing that we've given him is his standby... rice milk. The ONLY milk he can drink. (So far.) And he is COVERED. (sighs)

I wish there was someone that I could talk to that has the answers and has a ton of advice on how to do this. How do I still give him the nutrients, vitamins, minerals that he needs to function and grow? He is, once again, not growing. He's a smart fellow, but he has problems growing. God gave him to us and entrusted us to be his parents for a reason. I am learning and stretching daily.

As I sit here this morning, Little Man has fallen back asleep after a fitful sleep last night and an early morning. So now is the time to be researching what to do now.

Spend time with God this morning and He will direct your day.