Thursday, September 30, 2010

Why I Cloth Diaper

I mean, really, could you not see this one coming? :) I figured I'd start the series with a pretty non-controversial topic, and by now you've probably learned how much I love to talk about fluff.
I actually wanted to cloth diaper my children before we even had kids. When Mike and I first got married, I worked in a daycare, taking care of infants. I changed more diapers than most people change in their entire lifetime. I figured cloth would be cheaper, and with breastfed babies, you might as well use cloth since their diapers are constantly leaking all over their clothes. But Mike told me I was crazy, and when Gehrig came along, he said no way to cloth.
So Gehrig was in disposables for the first year of his life (a fact that I hate now, thinking about all that wasted money). I had a friend who got into cloth diapers, and I once again brought it up to Mike, but we were on such a tight budget that we couldn't invest in a whole stash at the time. But I was still interested. Another friend recommended a bunch of good sites to me including diaperswappers. You can find some really good deals! And the mamas there are awesome--I wrote that I was really wanting to start using cloth, but we didn't have much money to start a stash. An awesome mama wrote me and told me that if I would just pay for the shipping, she would send me a box of diapers. I wasn't expecting too much since I didn't even know this lady, but when I got the box, I was ecstatic. She had sent me a whole stash--and they were good diapers too!
Mike still wasn't convinced about cloth, but he agreed to let me try it if he didn't have to change any. It was so much easier than I'd expected. And very addicting. The diapers are so cute, and every time you think of all those boxes of disposables you don't have to buy, you feel like a pretty awesome mom.
So the number one reason I cloth diaper is to save money. You can find really great deals, and cloth diapers have great resale value. You can sell them for almost as much as you paid for them. Mike, who, as you will remember, was so against them, now sings their praises to anyone who asks.
Another reason is our house no longer stinks since there are no dirty diapers sitting in the trash can. And they never leak--Logan has not gotten one stain on his clothes. So they're also helping save money on clothes too!
I have to admit that the fact that they're green is pretty low on my list of reasons, but it's still a good reason. We do need to take care of our planet!
And, of course, I use them because they're adorable. I absolutely love dressing Logan in just a t-shirt and a diaper (although those days are pretty much over since it's gotten cooler). I see pictures of babies in just disposable diapers and think, why even bother? Disposables aren't cute. Stick a cloth diaper on that baby--if only just for the picture--and it'll be ten times cuter.
So...does cloth diapering make me a better mother? Not necessarily--it makes me personally a better mother than I would be if I didn't cloth diaper since I feel that cloth is best for us. But it doesn't make me a better mother than another mother who doesn't use cloth. But it does make my babies cuter. :)

Why I Do What I Do

I know every mommy does things differently, and each one does what she does either because she feels it's best for her children (the vast majority, I believe) or because it's easy. Since Gehrig was born, I've made numerous decisions about the way I do things concerning him and our future children. Some of those decisions I've held fast to with Logan; other decisions I've changed either because I learned they just don't work in general or because Logan is a completely different baby than Gehrig was.
The blogs and forums I hang out on tend to be on the "crunchier" side of the spectrum of parenting--"crunchy" meaning different from the mainstream ideas of parenting--so quite often I'm made to feel like my parenting ideas aren't good enough or that I'm a cruel mother. I, obviously, feel that my parenting choices are the best, and I think some people might agree if they can hear (or rather read) the reasoning behind them. Thus this series begins.
I'm by no means telling you that you should share my philosophy. You do what's best for your children because I have definitely learned that every child is different. But researching different parenting ideas never hurt (or rather rarely hurts), and I hope this series will be a help rather than a stumbling block. Please feel free to comment and discuss why you agree/disagree with me, but remember, this is my blog so I'll always have the final word. :)


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Diaper Lust...

Thirsties has just released their new print covers, and I'm lusting after the blue one. I ADORE Thirsties covers anyway--Logan has never had a leak in his Thirsties. I had decided we didn't need anymore diapers since I've started making my own, but...we could always use another cover. Right? :)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Logan's New Hat

I taught myself to knit a little over a year ago, and I'm pretty addicted. I haven't had a lot of time to knit since Logan came along, but I'm starting to be able to get back into it. I'm definitely still a novice. I have learned, however, that even if a pattern looks super complicated, if I'll just start doing it, I can usually figure it out. One of the best sites for learning how to knit is They have videos and instructions for pretty much everything you would ever need to know.
I kind of made up this pattern because I couldn't find just a plain hat pattern for free. I think it turned out pretty well, although I did make it kinda long. The cutie wearing it makes it look good. :)

You can't see the hat too well in this one (our living room is super dark!), but his smile is so cute, I had to share it. :)

I love the colors! I ended up making it a little smaller than I intended so I'm not sure it'll still fit him this winter, but I do have enough yarn left to make him a larger one if I need to. Now I'm working on a pink one for my new niece due in November.

And while I had the camera out, I had to snap a picture of my handsome (big) little guy. I bought this shirt for him when he was about six months old and couldn't wait until he was big enough to wear it (it's a 3T). Unfortunately he's already almost in 4T so it's just about too small. :( Perhaps it'll be cool enough now for him to wear it a few times before he outgrows it completely.
By the way, he gets the whole not smiling for pictures thing from his daddy. :-/

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Yard Sale Finds

Last night was a rough one, but when Logan woke me up at seven, I couldn't resist hitting some yard sales instead of going back to bed like I usually would. It was pretty slim pickin's today, and every yard sale I found was amazingly crowded no matter how dinky it was (where were all these people when I had my yard sale??).
I did manage to find Mike some shirts though. He is so picky about his clothes, but he hates to go shopping. Nearly every time I've bought him new shirts or pants, he's hated them and ends up not wearing them. The result is that the shirts he does wear are completely worn out. So I figured I'd stop buying him new stuff and just see what I could find at yard sales. That way if he doesn't like them, we're only out a couple bucks. So here's what I found:

I got a wool sweater to make a soaker and some longies for Logan, a Chaps polo shirt, a Quest polo shirt, and a Dockers dress shirt all for $4.

I also found a Children's Place sweater for Logan, but I'm not sure if he'll be big enough to wear it before winter's over. If he's not, I can always take it to Once Upon a Child. :) And I found this Leapfrog phonics train set for Gehrig for $4.

It was a pretty successful day, and if Mike likes the shirts, I saved us about $40. And that's what I'm all about! Poor Logan got worn out from everyone exclaiming how cute he was. :)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Gehrig snippets v.3

Gehrig: I want somethin' eat.
Me: What do you want?
Gehrig: I a'know (apparently I don't enunciate very well because this is how he says "I don't know")
Me: Do you want pretzels?
Gehrig: No...
Me: Do you want cheerios?
Gehrig: No...
Me: Well, what do you want?
Gehrig: I a'know
Me: You can have pretzels or cheerios--which one?
Gehrig: Animal cookies!

My little two-year-old was just sitting on the couch, and all of a sudden he said, "I want a real gun, Mommy, please?"

I hate those sinks with the automatic water because I can never seem to put my hands in the right place to keep it on long enough to rinse. Apparently I voice my hatred because when we visited a family restroom and they had one of those sinks for kids, Gehrig couldn't get it to work either, and he kept exclaiming, "Oh, c'mon stupid wa-wer!"

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Just You Wait

I'll admit it; before I had Logan, I would look at moms with two or more kids who never seemed to have it together and think, wow, they're disorganized. I was sure I would have no problem adjusting to having two kids. A few people tried to warn me about how hard it was going to be, but I just brushed off their warnings thinking I had things completely under control. I'd been babysitting my whole life, and had taken care of tons of babies and kids in six years of working in daycare. Two kids was gonna be a breeze.
Wow, was I wrong.
I think my first inkling of my wrongness was when Gehrig first visited me and Logan in the hospital. The numbness from the spinal for my c-section was still wearing off so I couldn't move, and I watched helplessly as Gehrig tore around the room being his normal, hyper two-year-old self. He made me exhausted just watching him, and I wondered how I would have time to just enjoy and cuddle Logan like I wanted to.
I spent the first month feeling torn and guilty. I felt like neither of my boys was getting enough of my love or attention, and I didn't have any time to myself. I was exhausted with nighttime feedings for Logan and chasing Gehrig during the day. Logan was nothing like the sweet, calm baby Gehrig had been and spent most of the day screaming. If I was going to get anything around the house done, I had to do it during nap time which meant no nap for me. Mike was working all the time so I felt completely alone.
It seemed like my life of screaming newborns and terrible twos would never end, but at some point it did. I'm not even sure when--and some days it does come back, but thankfully it's not every day now. However, getting out the door is nearly impossible. I, who have been perpetually early my whole life, now run late nearly all the time. I try to only go one place when we go out so that I don't have to keep hefting my huge boys in and out of their carseats. And I have learned NOT to take Logan into any store in his carseat--it's a pain to put him in the sling just to run into Bi-Lo to get bread, but it's worth the hassle to avoid the screaming as I try to check out.
So you may look at me and think I'm completely disorganized and have no clue what I'm doing; that you'd do a much better job than I. That's okay. Just you wait.

Friday, September 17, 2010


Since we first found out we were pregnant with both boys, Mike and I started praying for their salvation. We pray that they'll get saved as soon as they're old enough to understand and also that they'll always love God and be close to Him. Those are the two most important things to us. However, having grown up in a good Christian home (which is what we are striving to provide for our kids) myself, I also added on the prayer that they'll always be sure of their salvation. That is something that I struggled with until college, and I've found that many kids who have gotten saved at an early age struggle with that. I know how hard it is, and I really don't want that for my boys.
In case you didn't grow up in a Christian home and don't understand what I'm talking about, I'll share my own testimony. We moved to Singapore when I was four, and our family was involved in many outreach ministries. I heard the plan of salvation so much, I knew it by heart. When I was four, I was at a special children's outing at Pasir Ris park, and at the end of the day, one of the men taught a little lesson and then told everyone to bow their heads and close their eyes. He said if you'd never prayed the sinner's prayer before, you should repeat after him. I never had so I repeated after him. I promptly forgot about it for the next week or so.
As we were driving somewhere, I happened to think of it and told my mom I had gotten saved. When we got home, she took me into the bedroom and asked me a bunch of questions. I apparently answered them correctly 'cause she told Dad I knew what I was talking about.
I'm not sure how much later, but probably around a year later, an evangelist from America came to preach a revival. One night he preached about @#!*% , and I sat in my seat and cried because I knew that's where I was going. Everyone thought I was crying because my mom was in the nursery and I normally wouldn't leave her side. But when we got home I whispered to my mom that I didn't think I was saved. She sat down with me at the dining room table and read some verses to me, then she told me to pray and tell God that I wasn't sure if I was saved or not, but I believed that Jesus had died for me and I was a sinner, and I wanted to be saved. Now I truly know that is when I got saved.
But for years I would struggle with whether or not I really did get saved. Maybe I hadn't had enough faith or maybe I hadn't said exactly the right words. I'd get it settled and then a few months later, it would come right back.
When I was home on break from college one summer, I went with my parents' to their church in Virginia. The pastor wasn't even preaching on assurance, but he was preaching from Matthew 14 and as he read verses 30-31, I suddenly got it. It's talking about Peter walking on the water to Jesus and says, "But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?" I italicized "immediately" 'cause that's what struck me. Peter didn't have to say the right words or even have a whole bunch of faith; all he said was "save me" and immediately Jesus saved him.
I realized that God wants desperately to save us. He hasn't made it complicated that you have to do exactly the right thing in order to get saved; He's made it easy enough for a child.
I pray that Gehrig and Logan will realize this, and when they get saved, they'll know they're saved and they're saved by a God who loves them enough to reach down and save them the second they ask.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Adventures in Cloth Diapering v.2: CJ's BUTTer rocks!

So I tried using both Desitin and Aquaphor (not at the same time, of course) on Logan, but I had to use those with prefolds since they ruin any other type of cloth diaper. And neither of them managed to clear up his rash/redness. Then I got my CJ's BUTTer in the mail yesterday afternoon. After using it yesterday evening and last night, Logan woke up with the rash almost completely gone! Plus I put some on the little spots of eczema on his tummy, and they're gone too! This stuff is awesome. And the best part is, it works great with cloth. I've had no repelling or stains at all so far (I know I've only been using it for a day, but with Aquaphor, the diaper repelled within five minutes). According to Sew Crafty Baby (one of my two favorite cloth stores), CJ's BUTTer is also good for:

*dry/chapped skin
*rug burns (sore ‘crawler’ knees)
*mechanics’ hands and cuticles
*hang nails
*rub a small amount on your hands and use as a leave-in conditioner for your curls

I've heard wonderful things from everyone who's used it. And now you're hearing wonderful things from me. :)


Monday, September 13, 2010

Adventures in Cloth Diapering v.1

I've been cloth diapering for over a year now and still have dilemmas sometimes. Since I didn't start cloth with Gehrig until he was one, I'm experiencing diapering a newborn for the first time with Logan. From the time we started cloth with Gehrig until he was potty trained, he didn't have one diaper rash. So when Logan's "wet zone" became red and sometimes flaky, I wasn't sure what to do. I do know that you're not supposed to use regular diaper creams (like Desitin or vaseline) with cloth because they can make the diaper repel (not absorb liquid).
I'm pretty sure the rash is just really dry skin so I tried putting Aquaphor on it and putting a liner in Logan's diaper (an awesome Thirsties AIO I got in a trade on diaperswappers), but as soon as he peed, it all leaked straight out. So I learned not to do that again.
I asked a few of my Junebug mama friends on diaperswappers what they thought I should do since I don't have any cloth-safe diaper cream. They had some great suggestions, and one awesome mama messaged me and told me she'd like to send me a tube of CJ's BUTTer as a gift! I'm so happy because I really thought I'd have to spend some money on disposables--which I hate to do since we're trying really hard to get all our debt paid off.
So after talking to the other mamas, I'm pretty sure the rash is dry skin/eczema from using PUL covers when it's really hot. Logan tends to scream and squirm in his carseat, and the car I have to use while Mike's at work doesn't have air conditioning so I think that's what our problem is. Hopefully now that it's cooling down we won't have that trouble. In the meantime, I've been putting prefolds and MotherEase Onesize fitteds (also a gift from an awesome diaperswappers mama) without a cover on him when we're home during the day. And I'm looking forward to my CJ's BUTTer to help clear it up completely!
Stay tuned for further adventures...


Sunday, September 12, 2010

My First Giveaway

The giveaway has ended and the winner emailed. Thank you everyone who entered!

I'm not sure how much interest there will be in this, but I've decided to have my first giveaway. The giveaway is a pocket fitted diaper made from the Rita's Rump Pattern. I did modify it a bit to add velcro because I don't like dealing with pins, and snappis don't work very well with cotton fabric. It's brand new, has the cotton outer and a flannel inner. This diaper does need an insert; I can include one if you're new to cloth and don't already have one. It's also a fitted so it does need a cover. I don't have any covers to spare, but fleece pants work great too!

So here's how to enter: comment on this post for each entry--each entry needs to be in a separate comment. I'll randomly pick a winner on Sunday, September 19th.

1. Follow Pretty How Town--1 entry
2. A post about this giveaway on your blog (please post a link in your comment)--3 entries
3. Tweet about this giveaway--1 entry per tweet
4. Share on Facebook or another public forum--2 entries
5. If you found out about this giveaway from diaperswappers--1 entry
6. If you think my boys are cute--1 entry

Please enter so I can share the cloth love!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Yard Sale Finds and Bathtime

My family has always been crazy about yard sales and thrift stores. I remember when we were on furlough in America when I was a teenager, we would wake up at 6:00 to go out "yard sale-ing." I loved to go to yard sales, but I didn't like waking up that early or waiting to eat or go to the bathroom until we were sure we'd hit every yard sale there was. I'm not quite as die-hard as my mom or my aunt, but I do love to get up at a reasonable hour on Saturday and see if I can find any good ones.
I refuse to pay full price for kid's clothes. It's ridiculous. I generally don't pay more than $1 for any piece of Gehrig's or Logan's clothing (except diapers, of course *grin*). I know we save tons of money by buying their clothes used. Gehrig needs some fall clothes, and I've been hoping to find a good deal on some, and today I finally found a yard sale with 4T fall clothes. Here's some of what I got:

I was super happy to find the Gap sweatshirt with 32 (my very favorite number) on it! There's also a Children's Place shirt, an Old Navy shirt, and a brand new Osh Kosh B'Gosh shirt. And I also got a pair of Old Navy jeans and two pairs of Carter's fleece pajamas. All for $7! I would have gotten more if I'd taken more than $10 with me.

Another of my finds was this awesome toy in perfect condition for $.75!

I haven't bought batteries for it yet, but Gehrig's had a blast all day, carrying it around and singing into the microphone. This was the kind of toy the rich kids had when I was little. :)

And now...bathtime. Logan has decided he loves baths (as opposed to screaming the entire time like he did up until a few weeks ago), and he's so cute splashing with his little feet. Unfortunately, as soon as I started recording this video, he got fascinated by the dishwashing liquid. And his little washcloth didn't keep him completely covered *blush*. This is my first time putting a video on here so I hope it works!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Gehrig snippets v.2

I try to get Gehrig out of the house to a playground or somewhere he can run around as often as possible. He loves trying to play with the big kids, but mostly they just ignore him (which makes mommy very sad). However the past two days we've gone to the mall playground, older kids have included him in their games. It's funny to watch because, since he's the same size as them, they expect him to understand how to play hide-and-seek or tag. His version of hide-and-seek, however, was to cover his eyes for a couple seconds then run and hug the little girl he was playing with. And his version of tag is to push the nearest person and yell, "TAG!" The poor kids get frustrated, but I find it quite amusing. :)

Today we drove past a car lot that had balloons tied to every car. Gehrig loves balloons and immediately started listing the colors of balloons he saw ("I see green balloon, red balloon, green balloon, lellow balloon..."). Then he got really excited and yelled, "I can have those balloons! I can hub 'em! And Queeze 'em!" Seriously, I have no idea where he gets this stuff from!

Every night since he was tiny, I've sung "Jesus Loves Me" to him before he goes to bed (Mike sings along when he's home). The past two nights, Gehrig has held an imaginary microphone to my mouth as I sing. Not sure where that came from either.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

To shelter or not to shelter?

I'm a missionary kid and grew up in a pretty sheltered, very conservative home. Singapore (where I grew up) is more conservative than America anyway so it wasn't too hard for my parents to keep us kids sheltered from the world.

I actually never thought of myself as being sheltered. We knew what we believed, what we did, and what we didn't do. I was not unhappy or didn't feel deprived in any way. I only realized I'd been sheltered when my husband informed me of it. :)

Now, as a relatively new mother, I'm trying to figure out what my parents did right. So many of my peers have gone insane now that they're out on their own--some of them come from extremely conservative, sheltered homes and some from liberal, unsheltered homes. That scares me because I want my boys (and any other children we might have) to always be good and be close to God. I want to be best friends with them while still maintaining parental authority--I think that's part of the key to my parents' success.

Mike and I have discussed this extensively because I worry about it every time I see a disgusting commercial, a gross new movie, or even homosexuality on Nick Jr. The world is such a horrible place--how do I protect my babies from it without making them run wild after they leave our house? We've come up with a few ideas, but I'd welcome more from you more experienced parents!

1. Be a good example of being close to God. How will kids know how to be close to God if they don't see their parents close to Him? I personally had the most amazing examples in the world.

2. Be consistent. If you have standards for Sunday that are different from your standards for the rest of the week, kids are going to get confused. You should have the same standards no matter who's around. Now, you also have the keep the stumbling block principle in mind so it can get kind of sticky, but you can explain that to them.

3. Be genuine. Don't have standards "just because." You need to have reasons for why you do what you do. What's wrong with women wearing pants? What's wrong with going to the movies? What's wrong with rock music? Kids will test you on everything, so make sure you know why your standards are so high.

4. Make church more important than anything else.

5. Keep bad influences out of their lives as much as possible. This is the thing I worry about the most--we're so surrounded by evil today, how can I catch all of it before it gets to them? I'm already planning ways. Thankfully technology has made it easier. :)

6. Pray! answer my question, I would say shelter, definitely. But don't go crazy and disallow everything under the general heading of "appearance of evil." Too much unfounded sheltering can push kids even further away.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

We are potty trained!

After a long and grueling process, Gehrig is finally fully potty trained! We've made numerous trips out in underwear (yesterday we were in the car for about an hour), and he has stayed dry! Woo-hoo! I know he'll still have accidents, but he really surprises me how long he can hold it. He's just like his mommy, he doesn't like to use public bathrooms so he'd rather just hold it until he gets home. :)
He has been wearing pull-ups to church, but we just ran out and as I was at the store debating which brand to spend $10 on, I realized, he doesn't need them. So tonight will be his first time going to church in underwear, but I'm sure he'll do an awesome job.
So, what have I learned from potty training?

1. You can't dilly-dally about it, you have to just do it.

2. Pull-ups are truly a waste of money--I just bought them for church, but he knew he could pee in them. They were just like diapers to him. He wore underwear at home and did much better.

3. You can't force it--if they're not ready, it won't work.

4. Pee and poop happen. If you'd told me how many things in my house would get peed on before we started potty training, I would have freaked.

5. You feel like a pretty great parent when you see your little two-year-old running around the playground with the waistband of his Diego underwear peeking out just a little above his shorts.