Friday, March 23, 2012

Jesus Loves The Little Children, All The Little Children of the World!

It has been several months since I have written in this blog, and since then I have given birth to a wonderful baby boy. In honor of that, I want to showcase the faces of God's beautiful babies from around the world:

Mongolia
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Peru
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Kenya
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France
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China
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Ireland
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Afghanistan
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Morocco
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And my little baby boy!

United States of America


"Jesus loves the little children
All the little children of the world!"

Here is the trailer to that movie "Babies", where a man followed the lives of four babies around the world, from birth to toddlerhood. Babies are babies, no matter where in the world, but it's still cute to see them in different cultures!!! I still haven't seen this movie, but I want to!



Thanks for reading! Please share or leave your thoughts in the comments!
God Bless You in the Name of Jesus †
♥Jenn

Thursday, March 22, 2012

A Mother and Her Son: Mary and Jesus

I love the Christmas song, "Mary Did You Know?". It always makes me cry for some reason. I think because it reminds you of how REAL Jesus is and was and how real Mary's pain must have been to see her son crucified, not yet fully understanding why.

Last summer, I bought a book at a library sale that had the lyrics to this song, written by Mark Lowry, and I was reading it to Jacob the other day. I read the introduction, where Mark explains how the song came to be. He wrote,
Can you imagine the bedtime stories Mary must've told Jesus? Stories of stars, stables, and singing angels. Stories of shepherds and wise men from afar. Stories of prophets and priests and promises. 
Can you imagine? She had been chosen to deliver God into the world. To nurse Him. To love him. To protect Him. And, like every mother, to teach Him. She taught Him how to talk. She changed God's diapers. She was chosen by God to raise the Son of God. And she watched Jesus grow in favor with God and man.
That got me really thinking and wondering. Now that I am a mom, I know what it's like and I wonder how it must have been like for Mary and Jesus.

Who was there when she gave birth? Was it just herself and Joseph? The Bible does not mention anyone else being there... Was it scary to give birth in a stable with no midwives? What was her labor like? How long did it last? Did Joseph know what to do when Jesus came out or did Mary have to somehow guide him through the process? Was Joseph "ready to be a Daddy" to the Son of God? How did Mary feel when she saw her newborn son, the holy and perfect Son of God Most High, swaddled in cloth and laying in a trough from which dirty animals ate? Was she confused at how it all turned out? Being turned away by the inn-keepers, did she just want to scream, "Do you realize that I am the chosen vessel that is to give birth to the Living God this very night?!"


Did baby Jesus keep them up at night? Did he grunt and squawk in his sleep? When did he start sleeping through the night? Did he learn to latch onto her breast right away to nurse or did it take them a while to learn together? Was he a gassy baby? Pukey baby? How often did he cry? Did she ever have to strip his clothes off and dunk him in a bucket of water because he pooped all over himself?! Did she get so exasperated sometimes that she threw her arms up in the air, crying "Help me Jehovah God!"

What were the prayers that Mary whispered in the ears of her baby Yeshua every night and every morning? What were the lullabies she sang as he drifted off to sleep? What were her tricks for putting him to sleep? Did she cradle him and swing as she hummed praises to God? Or was Joseph better at getting him to sleep? Did he walk the room with him?

Image credit. Check out the link because it has a beautiful poem also.

Did having a new baby give Mary and Joseph some marital bumps in the road until they "fell into a routine"? To whom did she go for advice? Her mother? Joseph's mother? Her cousin Elizabeth? Did she have friends that she could confide in when she felt tired or afraid? Or did she confess all her fears to God and no one else?

In his introduction to the book, Mark Lowry wrote:
There was no one to turn to for advice. She couldn't go to her mother and ask, "Mom, what was it like when you had your first virgin-born son?" No one had ever been down that road before. This was a first... and a last.
While, yes, that is true, I'm sure there were lots of questions her mother could answer for her. Like, "Is it normal for his poop to be this green? Do you think he's too cold? Do you think his circumcision is healing alright? Do you think he is ready to start eating solid foods?"  While we know that Mary was a teenager when she birthed Jesus, we don't know exactly how old she was. Maybe she had experience with newborns in helping raise younger brothers and sisters, or cousins. But it's so different when it's YOUR baby that you are responsible for and that you love! I'm sure she had questions like all new mothers do!

Image credit
Did she and her sisters, sister-in-laws, or friends sit and have "mommy talk"... telling stories of the funny or naughty things their kids said and did that day or how her baby Jesus mastered sitting up or said his first word? What was his first word?! When did he first smile? Was it just the cutest smile you ever saw that just melted your heart? Did her friends ever say to her, "What is it you are doing right that you have the most well behaved little boy we have ever met?!"

What kind of games did she play with him? Which one was his favorite? Did she teach him how to pray? Was he a mama's boy? Did his daddy make him toys in his carpentry shop? Which one was his favorite? Did he have any kind of security blankie or comfort toy that he couldn't leave home without? Or did he only rely on the comfort given to him by his Father in Heaven? What made him sad? What made him laugh?

Did Mary ever worry about him when he was off playing with his friends? We know that she did at least a little bit when he was twelve years old and he wandered off to the Temple, to be in "his Father's House". When did Jesus KNOW and fully understand who he was and what his Father's will was for his life? When he knew, did he ever want to tell his Mom, but didn't because he didn't want her to worry for him??


If we sit and wonder where our sons (and daughters) will be in the next 5, 10, 20 years, how much more so did Mary and Joseph. Even if Mary did ever have an inkling of worry, I doubt it lasted very long. She knew the voice of God and submitted her life to Him before she was pregnant, so I'm sure she also did after he was born. BUT - although Catholicism would like to say she is - Mary was NOT perfect. And we need to also remember that her son, Jesus, was fully God, BUT also FULLY human.

We will never know the answers to these questions... (Well, I suppose we can ask Mary when we get to Heaven, but I'd like to think that at that point we won't really care)... Nevertheless, I know that Mommy's are Mommy's and babies are babies, no matter where you go in the world and, I believe, no matter at what point in history.

I'm not sure why, but that gives me comfort to think about that.

Enjoy the video of the song "Mary Did You Know" below! (Not the usual version that's on the radio, but it's beautiful nonetheless!)

God bless!
xoxo
Jenn

Monday, March 19, 2012

Out and About on Main St in Keene NH!

This Saturday, Jon went into work for a couple hours and got the oil changed in my car, so he dropped Jacob and I off downtown in Keene. It wasn't as nice of a day as the days this upcoming week are going to be, but it was nice enough to get out and give my baby his first stroll around Main Street!

He actually slept the entire time, which was fine because we had to stay a little longer than expected because the people at Sullivan Tire took about 45 minutes to take my car in, even though we had an appointment scheduled! Anyway, I had a great time pushing him along, in and out of the shops.

I was going to use the front carrier because I was nervous the aisles in the shops would not be wide enough for the stroller, but it was great! We went into Hannah Grimes Marketplace and Your Kitchen Store, but since I took so many pictures there I will give them their own separate posts! Love those stores, but they're just too pricey for me! But that doesn't mean I can't gaze longingly and take pictures of things I like.... Although, I wish I didn't have to feel like such a weirdo taking pictures! What, you people don't want me to advertise your stores on my wildly popular blog that has sooo many readers?! (Sarcasm duly noted.)

Anywho, here are some pretty things that caught my eye as my baby boy and I made our way up and down (and up and down) Main Street.


MOE is a really nice clothing store at the end of Main St., right on the corner of Roxbury St. I love the clothes, unfortunately they are way overpriced. The always have a sales rack outside the store with clothes that are really inexpensive; the only thing is the clothes on the sales rack are not at all like the clothes in the store. They are like granny or hippie clothes. And all either size 0 or size 18... Umm OK!


Little Boutique is a children's resale store right off of Main St. at 16 West St.. They have really nice things, obviously for less than the retail price. Lots of clothes, toys, nursery accessories, some maternity clothes, cloth diapers, Melissa and Doug toys, anything and everything related to babies or kids. The store is VERY small though, so it wasn't too pleasant with a stroller. Also, every time I've gone in here, the owner's mother was watching the store and she seems to not know anything about any prices.. ever. Also, she seems kind of rude sometimes... It's weird. Maybe I'm just sensitive lol. One time though, I was in there and she was talking to a woman that she obviously knew or was friends with, and I literally stood there waiting to ask her a question for about 15 minutes. That's really a long time to wait for a worker to stop talking to a non-customer!! Anyway, don't get me wrong, it's a nice store and the owner was really nice when I met her. They have a Facebook Page too where they add pictures of new items when they come in. The page is called Little Boutique Children's Resale.



Some great foodie places on Main Street! Fritz is known for their french fries and live music. Thai Garden has very friendly servers and the food is delicious. I don't like anything spicy or with that peanut sauce though, so I can't vouch for that. The Thai iced tea, however, is amazingly sugary deliciousness. The Works, previously named Bagel Works, is a small, local franchise that only uses fresh, natural and, when available, locally grown produce and meats, etc. Their bagels are so good and their sandwiches are worth the price you pay. Also, they always display local art/photography around the restaurant, so it has a nice artsy ambiance. Ye Goodie Shoppe is know for their amazing fine chocolates and candies. They obviously didn't want me to come in and try any of their samples, however, because I would've had to lug the stroller up a (short) flight of stairs to get in.


Mmmm... When I was at The Works trying to waste time, I got a sausage, egg and cheese on a poppy bagel for $3.39. Really good price for the quality of the sandwich. Not like Dunkin Donuts wicked greasy and fake breakfast sandwiches!! These sausages (and pork and bacon) are nitrite and nitrate-free!


It was a very fun day and I am looking forward to many more great walks like this with my baby boy now that the weather is nice!! I am so looking forward to showing him the world!!!

God bless!
xoxo
Jenn

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Rejoice Always and Give Thanks... Even at 3 a.m.

It's been soo difficult getting up in the middle of the night lately now that Jacob is sleeping 3-5 hours at a time. When he was eating every two hours throughout the night, and therefore only sleeping about an hour at a time, I don't think I was getting any REM sleep, so it was much easier for me to pop out of bed to feed him. Granted, I would often fall asleep in the chair while nursing, but that's beside the point! Anyway, lately when I get up I have been super grumpy and cranky!

At the Woman's Bible Study that I am doing at church (Stormie Omartian's Power of a Praying Woman), the verse to memorize last week was:
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
The other night, or morning, who knows, God knows.... anyway, I found myself saying "Rejoice always..." and then I thought (or more like the Holy Spirit gently nudged), "....even at 3 a.m."

Even at 3 a.m. when I hear the fussing of my baby boy as he wakes up hungry and I feel like a complete zombie walking to his co-sleeper...
Rejoice and give thanks that he woke up at all, that God is giving me more rest than previous weeks and that I have the means to even feed him.

Even when I am half-asleep, trying to change his diaper and his little arms are flapping like a bird taking flight and his legs are kicking a mile a minute like an Irish Riverdancer...
Rejoice and give thanks that God gave me a healthy boy who has arms and legs and who has enough energy to use them!

Even when we both come home from a long day and I decide to get some "skin time" in with my precious one, so I take off his adorable outfit and my shirt and we nurse together and it's oh-so-magical, just like you see on those "Breast is Best" pamphlets in the hospital, haha. I'm sitting there, thinking about this very blog post and things I should "rejoice always and give thanks" for, when my little boy starts to poop. At first it's funny, even cute, when I lift his legs to help him fart. Then it gets a little scary, because I know that "the big one" is coming (hadn't pooped yet that day!). I quickly put a burp cloth under his bum because we've had enough blowouts for me to not know better. And he keeps eating. And I wait. But, then I pull him up closer to me. I pull my hand away and look at it, and, you guessed it... blowout. Of course! Really no surprise. However, it is now all over my hands.


JOY.

The FIRST thought that came to my mind was: "Aww, geez, God, now what in the world can I be thankful for about this?!"

Well, when you ask God a question like that, He will answer you!

Rejoice and give thanks that:

1.) Our God is with us even in these day-to-day, gross moments... and He has a sense of humor, sometimes using very strange ways to teach us lessons lol
2.) I took his adorable outfit off and saved it from getting stained!
3.) I quickly thought to put the burp cloth down under his bum, otherwise it would be all over my pants!
4.) I was within reach of more burp cloths to wipe my hands off, so I didn't have to use the already poopy burp cloth.
5.) I have running water, soap and antibacterial liquid to clean my hands.
6.) I did get to spend some unpoopy, oh-so-magical skin time with my baby boy before this "event" happened :-)

The list could go on and on!

No matter WHAT the circumstance is, you can always find something REJOICE AND GIVE THANKS for! Even if you have to ask God to show you what it is.


Here's the adorable outfit that was saved!!

Is there a moment you can think of where everything seemed to go wrong and God showed you what to be thankful for? Did giving thanks to God make the moment seem more bearable?

God bless!
xoxo
Jenn

Monday, March 12, 2012

So, I Guess I'm a Bit of a "Crunchy Momma"...?!

Last night during Jacob's 1 a.m. feeding, I was exploring various Facebook pages that focused on parenting, etc., when I came across the Crunchy Mommas International page.

The Urban Dictionary describes the word "crunchy" as:
Adjective. Used to describe persons who have adjusted or altered their lifestyle for environmental reasons. Crunchy persons tend to be politically strongly left-leaning and may be additionally, but not exclusively categorized as vegetarians, vegans, eco-tarians, conservationists, environmentalists, neo-hippies, tree huggers, nature enthusiasts, etc. 
Now, I do not consider myself to be the crunchy-granola-type, though truthfully I do believe in conservationism and I have been called a tree-hugger once or twice.... but I digress. This definition is just not something that I identify with. So, I was surprised when I found this Facebook Page and found out what it means to be a "Crunchy Momma"... I identify and agree with a lot of these things - though some I have honestly no idea what they even mean... but I can't say I'd be against finding out what they mean and, if I agree with them, applying them to my parenting style!

If I would apply any adjective/label to myself it would be "eclectic." I just think life is too short to be radically attached to one way of living... with the VERY important exception of striving to radically love and obey Jesus Christ. And no, I don't think that's hypocritical - thankyouverymuch :-)

Anyway, I read the info section and it says:

This page is a community group for the extra crunchy mommas to gather. Too often we are on the outskirts of it all - being questioned, critiqued, having to answer to the natural way we raise our children, and justifying our peaceful parenting style. This page is not for debate or defense. It is solely for the gathering of *like-minded* primal mothering moms. Let's support and empower each other in our parenting endeavors. :) crunch crunch 


Mission: Some things we may have in common include, but are not limited to: 
(Note from Jenn: I bolded the things that I either wholly or partially agree with or that I currently do, plan to do or want to learn to do. I put a question mark next to the things that I don't know much or anything about, but that I am interested in investigating further. I crossed out the things that I am not totally on board with.)
Lactivism 
Intactivism 
Baby Cued Feeding 
Baby-Led Weaning 
Physiological Birth (?)
Mother/Baby-friendly Birth 
Homebirth 
Waterbirth 
Freebirth/Unassisted Birth (?)
VBAC . HBAC . VBAMC 
Babywearing 
Sleep Sharing/CoSleeping 
Nighttime Parenting (?)
Cloth Diapering 
Alternative Vaxing/Non-Vaxing 
Homeschooling/Unschooling 
Baby Signing 
Crafting/Knitting/Sewing 
Whole Foods/Organic Foods 
Home Cooking/Gardening 
Buying Local 
Vegan/Vegetarian Diets 
Montessori/Waldorf Education 
Natural Toys 
Animal Rights 
Human Rights 
Attachment Parenting 
Gentle Birth (?)
Gentle Mothering (?)
Peaceful Parenting (?)
Natural Family Living (?)



Hmmm.... I would say maybe I AM a bit of a "crunchy momma"?!

I think it would be fun and interesting to investigate these topics more, or to share my experience with them if I am currently doing them. I suppose I could also write a couple posts about why I am not totally on board with the Vegetarian/Vegan Diets and Animal "Rights".

So, I think I will tackle these topics maybe once a week?? I'll try my best!!

What is your opinion on some of these things? 
Do you consider yourself to be totally "crunchy" or just a teeny bit granola or not at all?!



God bless
xoxo
Jenn

Monday, March 5, 2012

Essentials of Cloth Diapering: The Basics

Alright, give me some grace with this post - This is only my third day cloth diapering so, there will be information that I may miss or might not know.

If you are thinking about ditching your costly and environmentally-unfriendly disposable diapers and moving into the unknown world of cloth diapering, there are a few things that you are going to need:
  1. Diapers 
  2. Well, DUH, but how many diapers should you get when cloth diapering?? It depends on which type of diaper you want to use: All-in-one Pocket Diapers or Prefolds using a Cover. (Technically there are additional types, but these seem to be the most widely used... please correct me if I am wrong!)

    All-in-ones are pretty easy. They're really very similar to disposables. They take longer to dry, however, because you cannot put the cover in the dryer and the all-in-one covers have cloth sewn into them! (The pocket diapers, such as the bumGenius all-in-ones also have an opening on the inside at the top so you can stuff in extra inserts for more absorbency.)

    bumGenius all-in-one-diapers
    You will need to make sure that you velcro the tab to the inside of the diaper
    so that it does not pull on anything in the wash!
    Prefolds have a cover that also cannot be put in the dryer, but they dry faster than the all-in-ones because you are not waiting for the cloth to dry. And of course, you can put the folded insert in the dryer. (You can also reuse the liner if it didn't get any poop on it!)

    econobum prefold diapers
    So, if you are using all-in-ones then you will want about 24, so that you have enough to not have to do laundry every day and because they take longer to dry, so you don't want to be stuck without diapers!  I would say that with the prefolds, I guess you'd also WANT 24 also, but if you are already doing laundry almost every day anyway (who isn't with babies or kids, right?) then you could do a pre-wash with the inserts only and then add in other laundry in a regular wash. So, really you could get away with about 18 prefolds. I think at least. Hey, I could be really wrong, like I said, this is Day 3 of cloths.

  3. Inserts or Doublers
  4. No matter which diaper you choose, you will want to invest in some extra inserts so that you can double up or triple up on the absorbency! 



  5. Somewhere to put dirty diapers!
  6. DUH again, but again it depends on which system you want to use! Some people like to soak the diapers in water and then wash them, while others use a dry pail system. Really, I'm not sure of the point of the wet system, besides trying to cover up the smell. But they sell natural sprays specifically for cloth diaper pails that do just that. I mean really. You're going to have to dump that water out before you wash them. That just seems all sorts of wrong to me. Blech. Nasty poopy water, in my opinion, is MUCH more disgusting than a pail of dried up poopy diapers.  We use the dry system - could you guess? It's just a tall plastic trash-can looking pail, with a waterproof liner on the inside. 


    When all is done and full, you just pull it out of the pail and dump it in the washer. You don't even need to touch the diapers. Also, if you tend to change your baby's diaper upstairs or somewhere else far away from the laundry room, you might want a largish waterproof bag to put the diapers in, so that you can just dump them in the pail when it's full. 

    This bag is inside out because it's drying

  7. Travel-size wet bags
  8. You'll want a couple or even a few of these for when you are out and about. I say "a few" only because it seems like you can only really fit a couple diapers in them. 

    You can't really tell the size from the picture,
    but it's about 10"x12"


  9. Drying system
  10. This is not so much something you have to purchase, but something you need to figure out. Last night, we just hung the diapers on some hangers in our bathroom.


    Like I said though, they take a while to dry, so to speed the process today I stuck a couple hangers in front of the pellet stove and a portable heater.  You could get one of those drying racks things, or what my sister-in-law does is she take a piece of rope, wire, string, whatever is strong enough, and she nails it to the top of a door (the nail is flush so you can still shut the door). She then attaches the diapers to the string with clothes pins. 

    I saw something really neat on Pinterest that I want my hubby to build:  

    Source: houzz.com via Jennifer on Pinterest


  11. Toilet Sprayer
  12. This isn't something you need right away, especially if you are breastfeeding, and it is really more of a "nice-to-have" than an essential. The poop of breastfed babies is mostly water. When they start eating solids then their poop becomes more, well, solid... and I'm-not-putting-all-that-in-my-dryer-GROSS. We got our sprayer with a gift card, but it was $50 at Dilly's for Kids. So, it was something we would NOT have purchased without the gift card!  

    In case you cannot yet figure out what I am talking about, it's something you hook up to your toilet and you take the gross poopy diaper and spray it with the sprayer so the poop lands in the toilet. 


    I can envision this going awfully wrong with poop spraying everywhere, but you would of course want to at least try to dump some of the poop out into the toilet first before you start spraying an entire diaper full of it. Yuck. Can you tell I am still a new mom? I don't care, it's going to take a while to get used to those big-boy nasty, nasty poopy diapers. 

  13. Cloth Wipes
  14. This isn't a necessity, but why would you use disposable wipes if you're not using disposable diapers? Plus, it helps fill the wash so you don't feel guilty about running the washer for so long with so little in it. We have two kinds of wipes. One kind is the Prince Lionheart Bamboo Cloth Wipes and I am not sure what the other is, but I will update this post once I figure it out. The Prince Lionheart ones are soft, but they fray easily. Make sure you keep them away from velcro items that you have in your laundry! The other kind are sooo unbelievably soft and super, super absorbent. I put not even two cups of water in a bowl, tossed three of those wipes in, and they absorbed ALL of the water and barely dripped when I picked them up. Pretty impressive!  If you are doing cloth wipes, then you might want to get a wipes warmer.

    Honestly, I think Jacob is used to cold wipes now and it isn't something that's BAD for them, but I can imagine how much he would wake up in the middle of the night when I wipe his bum with a cloth that had been sitting in freezing cold water! I have the Prince Lionheart wipes warmer. It can also be used with disposable wipes, which is what I was doing. It keeps the disposables wet enough,but I feel like whatever is on a disposable wipe (alcohol? I don't know) gets washed off and the wipes feel kind of dried out. I haven't yet used it with cloth wipes, but I plan on it soon.


    This is what it looks like with cloth wipes in it.

  15. Laundry Detergent
  16. You can't use just any old detergent, unfortunately. Some detergents have ingredients that are too harsh on the diapers or that build up on the diapers and cause them to retain the odor and lose their absorbency. You will want to make sure that your detergent does not contain enzymes, brighteners, dyes, fragrances, softeners or bleach. The kind you buy will also depend on if you have a High Efficiency (HE) washer or a standard washer. We use Ecos Free and Clear Liquid.


    If you live in an area with hard water, then you will want to use RLR Laundry Treatment, Calgon, or Oxyclean.

  17. Diaper Rash Cream
  18. This is something you should have anyway, but, of course, there are certain kinds that you cannot use with cloth diapers. You want to check this ingredients and avoid anything with zinc oxide or cod liver oil in it. These ingredients will build up and again, will cause them to retain odors and lose absorbency. Unfortunately, this includes the ointment that's almost become synonymous with diaper rashes: Desitin. We actually need to go out and buy new rash cream, because we have Desitin.
Well, "that's it"! A lot more than plain old disposables and a Diaper Genie, but some say it's worth it. Again, still not sure if we're going to stick with it. Ask me again in four months when he starts eating solid foods ;-)

God bless
xoxo
Jenn

 

The Adventures in Cloth Diapering Continue!

So, quick update on the cloth situation here at the Bennett house:

The second night in cloths, he leaked again. All up the back and out the legs. He was in an older pair of bumGenius all-in-ones that are a little roomy on the legs, but nevertheless I chalked it up to the number of inserts we put in (2), so I thought, "Well, we can try again tonight with three inserts!" Just in case though, we went to church with the newer, tighter fitting bumGenius's. No accidents there!

BUT.... upon our return home, I changed him and put on another of the older ones. I really should have known better considering they were a little bit loose in the legs. AND considering he had still not pooped yet in about 36 hours, give or take.

So, we were nursing and I heard him start to poop.

I panicked.

I yelled to Jon to grab me a burp cloth and put it under his bum. He moved with lightening speed!  haha!!

I'll spare you the details, but basically it started oooozing out the leg and on to the burp cloth. Oh wait, that IS the details. Well, there you go... Wicked nasty. And fun.

And see, the difference between disposable and cloth: the disposable absorbs the poop more or less. The cloth, my friends, DOES NOT. *Shudders*

Needless to say, after we took care of that situation I removed all the extra inserts that we pre-stuffed into those older, stretched out, bumGenius's and I've been using the Econobum prefolds since, because the newer bumGenius's are still damp from the wash.

I am actually getting used to the prefold system. Although, I do admit that for anyone who has very fumbly hands like me, it will take a bit to get used to... especially when your baby is squirmy! It can be a bit frustrating when you're half asleep as well. I put them on him last night and he didn't leak... though I didn't want to risk it and I did change it in the middle of the night, so it's probably not a good test.

I also noticed that he throws up a lot more when I change his diaper with the prefolds. Sounds weird, but he always throws up every time we change his diaper (no matter when, before or after feeding), because you have to lift up his belly higher than his head when he is laying flat which makes it easy for the stomach contents to travel back up to the esophagus. Anyway, he throws up more now because I have to kinda push on his belly in order to fasten and unfasten the buttons. (You don't want to just pull them apart harshly because it will stretch or tear the fabric.)

So that stinks.

And what also stinks is how BULKY they are!!! Ugh, they make him look so SILLY.

See look.

Ignore how ADORABLE that outfit is. Look at how bulky they make him look! That isn't reason enough to not cloth diaper, but still....

”bulky

So, even though it's working out alright so far, I still am not totally sure if it's the right thing for us. I WANT to because of the cost savings and it will keep more disposable diapers out of the landfills, but I don't knowwww..... It's just a bit more work.... I know that sounds lazy... like I should just suck it up since it's only "a bit more work"... but.... we'll see.

I am praying about it.

Oh, also I actually have less usable diapers than I thought I would. I have 18 and then my sister-in-law brought a bunch of the really old ones (3 years old) this past Saturday so I thought I was all set. Turns out, the four Bumkins and one Fuzzibunz that I have are WAY too big and now I can't use any of the old ones until he is a bit bigger. So I have 13. That is barely enough to get through ONE DAY!!

So, like I said, I am really praying about it because I don't want to invest any more money into getting more diapers if it is not the right thing for us.

Ohhh also - and I know, blah blah you're a mom now you'll deal with much worse, but whatever, keep those comments to yourself lol - if you want to reuse the prefold liner then you have to take out the insert with your hands and your fingers get pee all over them. You don't necessarily HAVE to reuse the liner, but if you're like us right now and have less diapers than you need, then it kinda becomes a necessity to reuse the liner. I wouldn't reuse it if he pooped though.

So, that's that.

I guess it's still full steam ahead, since we don't have a disposable diaper to our name!

God bless
xoxo
Jenn

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Quitting Disposables Cold Turkey

A couple days ago I ran out of disposable diapers. Well, I actually have a full, unopened box of 180 size 1 diapers, but I was too afraid to open them because I think he is too big for them now...

When I was pregnant, I was totally gung-ho convinced I would do cloth diapering. I knew I would do disposables for the first few weeks when he was pooping all.the.time.... but I assumed I would then easily transition into cloths. Ha! Everything is only now beginning to be not so crazy and honestly, I didn't want something to come along and make it all crazy again. We didn't make a huge investment in the cloths - most are pre-owned, some we purchased 1/2 off, and accessories were given to us or bought with gift cards - so I felt like it wouldn't necessarily be a total waste of money.

But then the other night happened. I took too long to decide whether or not we should return the box of 1s and buy a box of 2s, and voila - no more disposables.

I thought of the verse that we're memorizing this week for Bible Study:

"In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:6

I surrendered control to God, even in something so minor as cloth diapering, and said alright God, please help me cause I'm a bit nervous!!

So, I braved it and grabbed the easiest looking cloth and stuck it on him for the night - the bumGenius all-in-one.


Easy enough to get on him. Much like a disposable!

When I changed him in the morning, I did notice that it leaked on him... Lesson learned to stuff it with a couple more cloth inserts when he wears one overnight. I also noticed that when thoroughly soaked, it reeks of urine, much unlike the disposable. Blech. The only reason it was soaked though is because I am not changing it when we nurse at night, so that he doesn't fully wake up - unless he poops of course!

So, in the morning, I dared myself to try the more confusing looking one - the Econobum one-size (a.k.a. button-up) prefold.


I don't know why, but those buttons were confusing! But I did it and now I not so scared anymore ;-)

I do like the bumGenius all-in-ones better I think, for now at least, simply because of the ease of use and the velcro tabs, but I threw a prefold on him again this evening.. just to keep things interesting!

I'm not that daring though, he's going night-nights with an all-in-one with two extra inserts.



Well, here begins the adventures in cloth diapering I guess... It's been easy so far, but ironically, the boy who poops all the time has NOT yet pooped in the cloth.

We shall see :-)

For those thinking about making the investment in cloth diapering, stay tuned for my next post with a list of some of the cloth diapering essentials that you will need to get started.

I'll let you know how it goes when he poops and when I have to wash them! Eeek!

God bless
Jenn
xoxo


Thursday, March 1, 2012

Start small, but start...

Alright, this is the ice breaker.

Almost 10 weeks without a blog post. I hope I'm back in action.

I was listening to Focus on the Family's radio program the other day and Joanna Weaver, author of "Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World" was giving advice on how to worship God in the busyness of life when it seems like you have so many other priorities instead of sitting still, knowing that He is God and worshipping Him in quietude every day. I didn't listen to the whole program, but one thing that caught my attention was when she said, "Start small, but start." For some reason, that really resonated with me . It's like the Chinese saying, "A journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step," but I like this one better because it's shorter and more to the point. It's more direct... like she was telling ME "Just start already! Stop procrastinating. Stop being a perfectionist. Start!"

She was saying how we don't have to be such a perfectionists. She was referring to things like reading the Bible, but it applies to all areas of life. There's no need to have perfectionism stop you from doing something you want, need or should do simply because you're afraid that you won't be able to finish it the way you want or maybe you won't be able to finish ALL of it at once.

It doesn't have to be all or nothing. It can be a little at a time.

I can apply this to so many areas of my life right now.

So, this is how I have been starting, but starting small:

Reading the Bible & Women's Bible study: I downloaded a Bible app on my phone and it gives me a verse of the day. Not all the time, but often, I will pray over that verse and think about it when I check my phone. Our Bible study also has one verse to memorize per week. I write the verse on a small whiteboard that hangs over the changing table... so I read it several times throughout the day and uncountable times throughout the week! Also, while I don't do this everyday, I do read over the Bible study questions while I'm nursing Jacob. I can just grab my phone and check out the verses referenced in each question. I may not write the answers in my book, but I am thinking about and praying over the questions and answers! I don't have to feel guilty about not answering every single question. God isn't sitting there saying, "Oh you missed number 7 - you're not getting into heaven!" (haha that rhymed and I didn't even mean to.)  Even if it's reading one verse per day, God can speak volumes to you through one verse. His Word is so deep, there are so many truths that we can apply to our life through just one verse... and one day it might speak something different to you than another day!!

Cleaning up the house: Doing laundry and loading/unloading the dishwasher are my "staple" chores, but my house is just begging me for some TLC. So I've been trying to do little things here and there, like sweep one room and pick up things here and there. However, sometimes smaller cleaning steps can lead to bigger ones! Today, after I made myself lunch, there were a couple spots of sauce on the countertop. Instead of just wiping it up with just a paper towel, I got out the cleaning spray and thought, "Well, while I'm at it, I'll just clean this little area." One thing led to another and I cleaned that entire countertop, underneath the toaster oven, put away the recyclables, cleaned the microwave door, cleaned an entirely different countertop, put things away that were on the island, and cleaned the door to the dishwasher...... Seriously? Have I ever cleaned the door to the dishwasher before?? Maybe when we first moved in!! I was on a roll and it felt good!

Organizing my Craft room/Jacob's playroom (same room): Well, this is a daunting task. I've purchased organization "things" at Target and went through a couple boxes of craft stuff that have been in those very boxes since 2009... No joke. That's all I've done in that room so far besides gather ideas on Pinterest for DIY craft storage and play and learning room ideas, but ohhh I have good intentions!! One thing at a time...

and of course,

Writing in my blog: Is it bad that when I heard her say "Start small, but start", even though she was talking about worshiping God, I almost immediately thought about my blog?! Hope not :-) All day long, I write blog posts in my head... and I have used the excuse that I never get a chance to sit down and type it out. The truth is that I feel like if I can't finish a whole blog post in one sitting then I don't want to start it at all. So, instead when I do use the computer, I'm wasting my time using Facebook. Ugh. The life sucker.... Facebook is just so non-commital. I can walk away from it whenever I want (do I sound like an addict? haha... I can stop anytime!!). Using Facebook doesn't take much effort at all; I can use one hand to "like" posts and type short comments like "haha" or "lol." With blog posts I always have high aspirations and good intentions. I want it to be the best darn blog post I've ever written. I want to write tutorials, brag about my husbands super-delicious, super creative recipes, review ideas found on Pinterest, and share with you what I am learning in my Bible study and what God is teaching me in my life..... but I don't have to be discouraged when I can't do exactly that. Maybe sometimes (or often times) I can just upload a picture, give it a caption, share a quick thought and be done.

It can be short and sweet. There's really nothing wrong with that.

Ironically, the "start small" way that I used to start writing this blog post, was to not write it all! Yup, you read that right. I downloaded an app to my phone called "Note 2 Self". I spoke most of it throughout the day, walking around the house carrying Jacob or while nursing. Then you just email the text to yourself and copy/paste it here for editing and voila :-)

Now, to apply this philosophy to exercise........... Yeeeaa.... You mean carrying around a 12-pound baby all day doesn't count?? It must!

So, here it is.
The ice breaker.
Be back soon I hope.

I think if I keep the below verse always in mind, then things will just fall into place and if blogging is not meant to be a "priority" in my life right now, then I will accept that.

"Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you." Matthew 6:33 

God bless
Jenn

P.S. Here's my cutest little lovebug in all the land..... who just so happens to be waking up right now. Hey.. You're cool God, thanks for giving me this time... It means a lot and You know it :-)