31 March 2013

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter!






Thank you for the inspiration, Pinterest.

29 March 2013

Cloth Diapering: Traveling with Cloth Diapers

Let's wrap up this cloth diapering series by talking about what it's like to use cloth diapers while traveling. In case you missed the previous posts in the series, be sure to also check out the basics, how to get started and care for your diapers, the Gilbertson family's experience, and our family's experience.

Just because you cloth diaper at home doesn't mean that cloth diapering is always the best option while you're away from home. I'm not talking about going to play group, the store, or even spending a night at Aunt Suzie's house; I'm talking about being away from home...like on an airplane and in another time zone away.

First, let me share how we decide whether we're going the cloth or disposable route on the road.

Will there be access to laundry?
    No --> Use disposable. We have a policy of not flying with dirty diapers because you never know when luggage may be delayed or smelly diapers may interest security screening dogs. Just, no.
    Yes --> Keep considering cloth.

How accessible is the laundry? If the laundry belongs to a friend/family member, are they okay with you laundering diapers in their machines?
    Coin laundry --> Use disposable. We don't want to risk damage to our diapers or the hassle of guessing how many drying cycles it'll take to fully dry the diapers.
    Laundry where we're staying --> Talk to the host about doing diaper laundry. If they're okay with it, keep considering cloth.

How long will we be gone?
    Less than 4 days --> It's probably not worth taking cloth diapers when one pack of disposables will cover the whole time and we'd barely have enough time to use and wash the diapers before packing up to go home again.
    More than 4 days --> Keep considering cloth.

At this point, we usually consider other factors, including the amount of space and weight we have in our luggage, the amount of times we'll be able to use the diapers while we're gone, and whether we'll have time to do diaper laundry while we're traveling.

So far, the only time we've decided to do cloth diapers during a trip away from home was when we spent more than a month in New Zealand. We stayed almost entirely with family (who were graciously supportive...or at least tolerant...of our cloth diapering) and knew that we'd be able to use the diapers over and over again while saving trips to the store for diapers and space in a landfill.

Next, let's talk about the pros, cons, and experience of cloth diapering while away from home.

Pros:

  • Using the same diapers as normal means consistency for the little one and you. You can largely avoid figuring out which brand of disposable will result in the fewest leaks/rashes, which is especially nice when traveling internationally. 
  • If you're traveling somewhere sunny, it's a good opportunity to get the diapers in the sun for some serious natural disinfectant. 
  • If you're going to access laundry for diapers every few days, you can pack fewer clothes and do some clothing laundry at the same place you're laundering diapers. 

Cons:

  • Diapers can get heavy and are certainly bulky, so they have the potential to take up a lot of luggage space and weight. 
  • You have to do laundry on vacation. Wah-wah. Then again, if you're a parent and you're traveling for any length of time, you'll be doing laundry anyway. Wah-wah.

As I mentioned, we took our cloth diapers to New Zealand and had a great experience. We used the itti bitti d'lish snap in ones. Because we can reuse the outer cover and only go through two or three per day, we took about half as many outer covers as we did inserts. I took two large wet bags so that one wet bag could be in the wash while we filled the other with another round of dirty diapers. We also used the extra wet bags to carry clean diapers while traveling between places.

As for laundry, I took a baggie of our Charlie's Soap, which we used most of the time (until I forgot it and my mother-in-law had to ship it across the country to us - thanks, Pat!). We didn't have problems with border security being nervous about our white powder, but I figured they'd be able to test it if we did have problems. I enjoyed being able to use different washing machines as we were shopping for a new machine at home, and using different features helped me narrow down what I liked and didn't like. I also loved (loved, loved, loved) being able to hang our diapers in the sunny New Zealand air. One afternoon on the line eliminated nearly six months of diaper stains. Awesome! And...I learned the hard way that we could have packed fewer clothes because we were washing diapers so frequently.

Overall, I'd definitely do it again, and I look forward to our next trip that is long enough to make it worth packing our nappies!

What about you - if you cloth diaper at home, have you done it while traveling? How did it go? Would you consider it in the future?



The rest of the cloth diapering series:
   The Basics
   Getting Started & Daily Care
   Kendra, Greg, & Kenley's Experience
   Our Experience & Product Reviews

27 March 2013

Madeleine - Week 39

Today is Madeleine's 9-month birthday. Unfortunately, our camera (or lens) is rather sick and decided to stop working before I was able to capture as good of shot as I'd like. At any rate, this week's photo shows Madeleine on the move, which is entirely accurate. She is mobile and curious. I love it!


22 March 2013

Spring Snow

What was that about spring?

We woke up to a beautiful blanket of snow with lots of fluffy flakes still coming down. This was Madeleine's first official snow because the only other snow we've seen this year was on the ground when we returned from New Zealand.






21 March 2013

Special Visitors

Madeleine has had a very social week, which is slotted to continue over the next couple of days.

Last night, the Midglets and a couple other friends came over, and I thought I'd share a few cute photos from the afternoon/evening. (For comparison, recall our last visit with them.)

Will

Tom

Preparing for GQ

Which two are brothers?

Grant, Will, Tom, Madeleine

Also preparing for GQ

The scene after Madeleine was forced to return Tom's pacifier to him

What a fun time with our friends and babies!

20 March 2013

Madeleine - Week 38

Madeleine is growing, changing, and developing every single day. I can't believe how quickly her recent milestones have approached.

Just yesterday, she wasn't all that interested in crawling, but today she is crawling (military style) everywhere...especially when it's into trouble (electric sockets, anyone?). It seems like yesterday when we started going to mom/baby aerobics (mom does aerobics while wearing baby); at our last class she played on the floor with her friend, Jack, instead of being worn. Madeleine is obsessed with standing, though we lowered her crib mattress to its lowest setting after discovering that she could pull herself up on the middle setting. Speaking of obsessions, she has been really interested in pulling her socks off at every opportunity. I have a feeling that the devious look she gives me post sock removal is one I'll frequently see in about 13 years.

For today's photoshoot, we decided to honor the first day of spring...even though it is blustery outside. At least the pouring rain and wind are mixed with a healthy dose of sunshine. Who says it always rains in Seattle?


18 March 2013

Texas Forever!

Yes, the title of this post references Friday Night Lights, which is fitting because my bestie, Denaye, got me hooked on that show just before it was cancelled...and now she lives in Texas. Dallas, Texas is where Madeleine and I spent last week with Denaye, David, and their very patient dog, Lucy.

I had a spectacular time catching up with Denaye and David, eating fantastic food, seeing a few sites, and introducing Madeleine to two people very special to George and me. Sometimes I think that I take it for granted, but I really do treasure the fact that Denaye and I easily slip back into hanging out and chatting whenever we see each other. It's almost like we don't live 2000+ miles apart and see each other a few times a year at most.

I'll let the photos (and a few captions) do the rest of the talking.

Giddy for sunshine and fresh Texas air.

This girl is so happy to have Lucy in her hands, literally.







Madeleine was a bit skeptical of Uncle David, even during peek-a-boo.





Madeleine and Aunt Denaye

Aunt Denaye took Madeleine shoe cowgirl boot shopping.

Matching in Fort Worth

Big Flag. Little Girl.

Apparently longhorns are funny. 

Oh, and I suppose you want some evidence of Madeleine's crawling. Here it is:

video


Thanks for wonderful hospitality and memories, Denaye and David! We can't wait to see you in Seattle and visit you again in Dallas!

16 March 2013

St. Patty's Day Bunting & Frame

It's the day before St. Patrick's Day, and I just hung my frame and bunting on the door. Oops. 

The frame I used is the same one I used for Halloween, spraypainted antique brass. The bunting was a quick little sewing project using well under a quarter of a yard of cheap holiday fabric and some binding left over from another project. I attached it to the frame with hot glue. When I hung it on the door, I smiled and wondered why I'd procrastinated finishing such a simple project for so long. 



Does your eye go right to those drip marks on our door? Yeah - mine too. Getting rid of those is just one of the reasons I'm excited to have our door repainted in the not too distant future. Woohoo!

While I was outside photographing the door in my pajamas, I captured this glimmer of hope that spring is upon us. The first year at a new house is always an adventure as the garden changes throughout the seasons. 


Happy weekend! 

15 March 2013

Madeleine - Week 37

Apologies for the delayed posting. Madeleine and I spent part of this week in Dallas with our friends, Denaye and David (and their adorable Havanese, Lucy), and some technical difficulties prevented me from retrieving the photos from my camera until we returned.

Anyway, it was a HUGE week in Madeleine's life. On Tuesday, she took her first crawl in Denaye and David's backyard. She has also started to regularly demonstrate that she can go from laying to sitting and back again on her own. While Madeleine is still toothless, the swollen bumps on her lower jaw, unusual fussiness, and extra saliva indicate that teeth are not far away (although, haven't I been saying that since last year?!). Miss M continues to enjoy a wide variety of food; she ate pancakes, dill pickle, pulled pork, brisket, and smoked turkey while we were in Texas. Yum!

For me, this week was special because I got to introduce two of the most important ladies in my life to each other.

I'm also rather fond of this week's outfit and Amy Butler fabric, so let's move on to photos - shall we?





And a special thanks to this week's production assistants, Denaye and Lucy:


06 March 2013

Madeleine - Week 36

I'm happy to report that our pleasant little girl has returned! Madeleine was diagnosed with an ear infection last Thursday, and she started to return to normal within a few hours of the first dose of antibiotics.

Madeleine continues to work on moving forward, and I really feel that it's going to happen any moment now. She is very interested in moving and has started to put her knees under her bottom more consistently. Meanwhile, she is showing interest in pulling up on things and building leg strength for walking. Yikes!

This has been a very exciting week in the food department. Madeleine has shown a strong and somewhat sudden interest in finger foods. She particularly enjoyed steamed broccoli (that's my girl!) and tortillas. My latest batch of baby muffins (blueberry) was the most well received thus far. Although we're still feeding her some pureed foods, it is really thrilling to make her a version of whatever we're eating for dinner!

Although a bit lot out of focus, here's our girl:



I must also show this week's production assistants:

Grandma Janie & Madeleine

Madeleine & Sophie

Thank you for the adorable dress, Sally!!