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Pregnancy and child care

So disappointed

Jennie left this comment today on the Confirm Clearly post:

My husband just returned from Iraq this past november, & we have been trying to concieve ever since. Imagine my excitement last week when I took a confirm clearly pregnancy test & got a positive result! Just like the original story, told our children, told family, & friends. Only to have the dissapointing news 3 days later that we were indeed not pregnant! I was, & still am devestated! These tests are still on the shelves! This is so heartbreaking!!!!!!!!!!
Jennie Thomas
Ft. Wainwright, Alaska

I'm still getting comments from ladies who received false-positive test results using the Confirm Clearly tests. Comments like Jennie's just break my heart!

False-positives with home pregnancy tests are known to be very rare, only occurring after a miscarriage or due to medication. Women, like myself, are trusting a home pregnancy test, only to be shocked and disappointed to find out it was all a joke.

I haven't felt like even taking a home pregnancy test after our experience back in early November. I guess if we have another baby, I'll find out when I feel it moving. :) I didn't have a miscarriage, because I was never pregnant, but the experience causes lasting emotional scars.

Besides telling everyone I know about these horrible tests, I wonder what I can do? I feel like calling the company again tomorrow and complaining some more... even though they refunded my money. A refund doesn't make up for the devastating news that you were never really pregnant. And these tests are STILL being sold. Grrrr.

Quick and easy pre-folded cloth diapers

Flannel receiving blankets can often be purchased very inexpensively at thrift stores or garage sales. Read more for a photo tutorial of making pre-folded cloth diapers using receiving blankets!

Making fleece liners for cloth diapers

One of my fleece diaper liners

I know this is primarily a cooking blog, but can we have just one more laundry-related post this week? Thanks. ;)

One of the things I love about cloth diapers is that they're so adaptable. There are about as many ways of storing, folding, covering, soaking, rinsing, washing, and drying cloth diapers as there are cloth-diapered-babies! When I had my first baby, I thought cloth diapering was just done like my mom did it. Browsing websites and reading articles about cloth diapering made me quickly realize that I could tailor the basics to fit our house, my supplies, etc.

Cloth diapering is simple, but it seems my method is constantly changing, depending on the baby, the age of the baby (i.e. food type intake ;D), the time of year (yay for sun!), and even what goodies I can get for free/cheap (yay for baking soda!).

I've tried fleece diaper liners in the past, but didn't think they were worth the extra bother. After all, the more "pieces" I put in a diaper, the more things I have to hang on the clothesline! A couple of my friends had praised fleece liners, particularly for babies who are eating solid foods. The liners are also soft (much softer than line-dried diapers, most days!) and feel "dry" on the baby's bottom.

A few weeks ago, I decided to try fleece liners for Eliyahu. Now, here's where the frugal part comes in. You can make fleece liners from old fleece blankets. No sewing is required; just cut into rectangles. You can make the liners fairly narrow (like the one pictured) or as wide as your diaper.

In my recent de-cluttering efforts, I came across a number of unused fleece baby blankets. Being the type of mom who prefers cotton clothing and blankets for her babies, I had four or five fleece blankets and certainly wouldn't miss a few of them if they got "converted". ;) So, I made diaper liners! It's actually nice to put those blankets to good use. :)

Your questions answered: Frequency of washing cloth diapers

Some of my diapers, drying on the clothesline

Robin wrote to me and asked,

In your post on housekeeping, you mentioned that you do full loads of laundry, and you also said that you wash cloth diapers 2-3 times per week. Do you have full loads of diapers 2-3 times per week, or do you wash small loads? I am new to cloth diapering, and I am unsure what to do. I only have one child in diapers, so if I wait until I have a pretty full load, it will be at least a week, and the diapers will be very smelly. But, I don't like to do too many small loads because of the waste in running the washer for a small load. Can you tell me what you do?

Hi, Robin! Thanks for asking! I do usually have a full load of diapers after 3 days. I'm sure it depends on how frequently the baby/child needs changed, and my boys have always needed changed frequently. :)

When I had two in diapers, I had a completely full load every 2 days. Since we observe a day of rest each week (Sabbath), I washed diapers 4 times a week -- usually including both Thursday and Friday, even though I didn't have a full load on Friday. That way, I didn't have to wash them on Sabbath and I didn't run out of clean diapers.

I don't like to wait longer than 3 days simply because of the smell. Another thing I take into consideration is the weather. I prefer line-drying my diapers since the sun keeps them so fresh. If I have to do a slightly smaller load on one day, because rain is predicted for the next day, I usually go ahead and wash.

I try to conserve water, etc. but I guess using cloth diapers and hanging them out to dry is saving money, even if I have to wash a smaller load every week. I love cloth diapers, anyway, and my youngest gets a rash from disposables, so I guess I don't really have a choice, either. :)

Making homemade baby food

Kristy emailed me and said,

I have so enjoyed your blog in so many different areas! My question is in regards to baby food. Do you feed your boys table food straight from your plate mashed up, or do you make "specific" babyfoods for them? If so, how do you store them and do you have any "babyfood recipes" you can pass on?

I'm also curious as to when you decided to start feeding babyfoods/table foods to your boys. The typical 4-6 months? Do you wait for their cues? What has been your experience in this area?

Hi, Kristy! Thanks for asking! I'm happy to share about our experience and what has worked for us. :) As with anything, I definitely recommend education, research, and taking into consideration the individual needs of your child. Read more...

Playing with food

My friend Pinja commented on this post,

"I liked this post simply because it got me thinking about the subject of playing with your food. Tammy and Joshua, what are your views on this? Considering children, what is allowed and what is not? When having a dinner together, is it ok for a child to start forming their plate contents into smiley faces or turning their smashed potatoes and gravy into a volcano?"

Pinja, good question! :) We do allow our children to play with their food, to a certain extent. Two-year-olds are naturally very curious, and I just love seeing creativity displayed in everyday doings! :)

To be more specific, I don't allow Yehoshua (almost 3) to make messes with his food. He is a neat eater and knows that the food has to stay in his bowl. He also uses his silverware (actually, he will ask for silverware if I've forgotten, because he doesn't like to eat with his fingers!), stays seated close to the table, and wears a bib (which doesn't get very dirty, and is usually used for several meals in a row).

But, we like to call broccoli "trees", and spaghetti is "worms", and today, when we were making Dreamy Spaghetti for lunch, I taught Yehoshua how to slurp a long spaghetti noodle into his mouth. ;) This was while we were cooking, not at the table eating. You should have heard his giggles! :)

We do practice some manners (right now we're working on "chew with your mouth closed") but we're also willing to have fun.

I'd love to hear input from other moms out there -- what do you allow and NOT allow your children to do with food, or at the table? :)

Protecting crib mattresses

This week, I put a piece of card board in the bottom of my child's crib, to protect the mattress and prolong its life. Read about it (with photos)!

Food creations

Our food creations...

Yehoshua and I made these foodie guys a while back. They were fun to make and eat! I should do creative things like this more often with my children. The creature above was supposed to be a bunny. :)

Another food creature :)

Or, if you're a more adventurous type, you may enjoy a goofy face like this!

Getting it all "done"

Recently, Court asked me, "How do you honestly do it all?!" As happens in blog-world from time to time, we read the chronicles of someone's life (the tiny snippet placed in their blog!) and get it into our heads that they are perfect in everything they do, which leads (usually) to either jealousy and dislike, or unbalanced amazement and awe.  Tammy and Eliyahu

Crystal at Biblical Womanhood shared this post about "getting things done" (or, not!) and guess what! I've been there too! ;) My face still gets a little red when I get an unexpected guest and have to invite them in to a house littered with toys, laundry, and dirty dishes.

One guest spotted the pan of (cold) pizza left on the kitchen table and said, "Oh! Did I interrupt your meal?"

"Ummm, no. Actually, we ate lunch a few hours ago. I just never got the leftovers put away. Yet..." (Read more...)

Eliyahu's new car seat!

We finally decided on a car seat for Eliyahu after all our deliberations. I strongly dislike shopping for major purchases, particularly online. I like to be able to look at and touch the different products. (That's one reason I've shyed away from buying any cloth diapering things online.) And with major purchases, I always worry that I'm making the wrong choice.

But after lots of research and discussion, we decided that several factors also come into the picture. (Read more...)