Monthly Archives: August 2009

Laundry, laundry, laundry…

When we bought our current house a few months ago, it already has a HE front loader washing machine and a water softener system installed.

These two made for a very frustrating laundry experience thus far. We started with Tide HE liquid detergent for our (adult) clothes, and Nature Clean liquid detergent for DS’s clothes.  I used the recommended amount for HE light load on both, and there were always suds on the washer door even after a second or third (or fourth or fifth) wash cycle with no detergent.  Even after I cut the detergent amount to 1/2 of the recommended, I still had to do 3 or 4 wash cycles per load.

That’s far from “high efficiency,” and incredibly time consuming: every week, I have 2 loads of adult laundry (one each of whites and colours), 1 load of baby laundry, and 2 to 3 loads of cloth diapers.  With an average of 4 wash cycles, realistically I can only do 1 load of laundry every day.  That means I’m always doing laundry, every day.

When he commented I’m always doing laundry, I jokingly said to DH it might be something genetic: my grandmother used to launder towels for barbershops as a profession, and she is still on a mission to wash any and all clothes and linens in wherever she considers her territory (which unfortunately includes my home, and I constantly have to resist).  Now I am the one who’s always doing laundry.

I have since switched to using soap nuts and Nellie’s Natural laundry soda.  Both are considerably less sudsy, but I still do at least 2 wash cycles (plus a cold/cold prewash rinse with no detergent for cloth diapers) to make sure the clothes are well-rinsed.

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Today’s Baby Food Recipe: Baked Apple with Nutmeg and Chicken

I found out about wholesomebabyfood.com yesterday and I adapted one of the apple recipes (can’t find the link now) today:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Cut an organic royal gala apple into quarters and core.  Leave peel on.
  3. Place the apple quarters into a shallow baking dish.
  4. Fill the baking dish with enough water to cover most of the apple, but not covering the hallowed core.
  5. Sprinkle nutmeg into the core.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes.
  7. Remove apple pieces from the baking dish and let cool to touch.
  8. Peel the apple and cut into 1″ pieces.
  9. Puree the apple in food processor.

At this point, I poured the apple puree into baby cubes and freeze them, save for what I would use for the immediate meal.  I then took a baby cube of pureed chicken (steamed ground chicken) from the freezer, heated it up in the microwave, and added it to the food processor for further blending.

I was worried DS would not like this meal.  I mixed steamed sweet potatoes with chicken last time and he didn’t like it at all.  It’s also his first venture into spices.  Imagine my delight when he finished the whole meal. 🙂

Baby Food

I just realized I’m very–and I do mean very–behind on introducing new food to DS.

With his eczema flaring up again after about two weeks of clear skin, I’m at my wit’s end to what food he and/or I might have eaten which triggered it.

(It’s probably me, since it started again when I went on an all-hell-broke-loose diet around that time.  Another possible culprit is wheat/pasta.)

At 9 months, he really should be eating a lot more solid than just 1/2 to 1 jar/cube of baby food per meal, 2 or 3 times a day.  But then, at 21lbs/29″, he’s pretty big for a baby who eats so little solids.

More over, for a while, I fell back completely from making my own baby food to using jar food.  It was just easier and with more variety.  Also, even if he refuses, it wasn’t as frustrating and disappointing than when I spent 1/2 hour steaming and straining a pear only to have him not taking a bite.

As far as meat goes, he has only had chicken thus far.

I feel I’m running very behind.

Vacation with gDiapers

gDiapers is my first entry to “alternative” diapering.  I bought a starter pack, size medium, about two months ago, and I have never looked back.  (I have since bought more.  Way more.)

So when DH decided to surprise me with a getaway for all three of us last weekend–telling me on Thursday night that we were to leave on Friday afternoon, sending me into a packing frenzy up to the minute I left home–I chose to use gDiapers with flushies instead of my stash of AIOs and pockets and fitteds.

Using flushies was a balanced act between minimizing waste and convenience.  To say the truth, I was not too keen on keeping dirty diapers inside the car with me for hours in hot summer weather, even if they’re safely tucked inside a wet bag.

Since I always have this constant fear of running out of anything baby-related, I brought all 6 pairs gPants and a full case of flushies with me.  Obviously I didn’t use even 1/4 of the case.

The only complication was our visit to the beach.  I dressed him in the full gDiapers at the beach, complete with flushies.  I didn’t know better.  Luckily the flushie was only soaked but didn’t explode because he wasn’t in the water for too long. (My little guy HATES cool water.)

For our upcoming trips, I’ll probably still choose gDiapers with flushies over other solutions.

Cloth Diapering Experiement – Woolies

DS wearing wool shorties for the first time

DS wearing wool shorties for the first time

I purchased a few recycled wool covers from Someday Sarah’s Etsy store.  (Bonus points for her being a local WAHM!) After properly lanolinizing and washing them, I put a pair of shorties on DS on his 9-month-old birthday.  He was wearing a Jamtots snapless fitted underneath the shorties.

Once I made the jump, I found using wool covers isn’t much harder than using other cloth diapering system.  In fact, it was easier for me to wash them than figuring out the “right” way to wash my pockets and inserts–something I’m still experimenting, after 3 different detergents and stripping.

My biggest hurdle to cloth diapering with wool is actually finding affordable and adorable t-shirts to go with his woolies.  He has been wearing bodysuits but they would look awkward with a wool shorties underneath. 🙂

Babywearing

I have a Moby Wrap, a Hotslings, and a BabyTrekker.  Each has its own usefulness, but I could never figure out how to nurse in them.

Lately, as DS become more clingy, I found myself longing a mei tai, because I couldn’t figure out how to do back carry properly in any of my carriers neither.

So I bought myself a Kozy Carrier.  It’s nothing fancy, just a mei tai.  My mom, who only knew mei tai, showed me how to do back carry with it.  My hands are finally free to do chores!

Trying out the Kozy Carrier

Trying out the Kozy Carrier

Then I bought a Beco Butterfly 2 in Carnival print.  It’s pretty and comfortable–so much chicer (is that a word?) than the 10-year-old BabyTrekker I received for free.  The downside of the Beco is it becomes personal: I don’t want anyone else to mess with my strap settings.  Everyone else can choose between the Kozy and the BabyTrekker!


Cloth Diapering Day 3

Since I don’t have Original Dawn at home, I couldn’t strip my now clean-but-water-repelling diapers.  All other cloth diapers were dirty.  Besides, I was planning to go out today.  It was the perfect day to try the G-Flapper cloth insert for gDiapers.

The G-Flappers I ordered were all-bamboo.  I use the bamboo velour as top layer because it is the softest, but really any layer would do.

After I got home, I switched to Gro Baby.  I love their hook closure! (I haven’t tried the snap closure yet.)  Since the top part of the whole front panel is a very soft loop, I could easily put the diaper on DS despite his usual rolling and wiggling.  For better or worse, DS decided to poop in it while fighting sleep–luckily, everything was caught by the soaker pad, and I can reuse the shell with a clean soaker pad.

He is now wearing a Gro Baby with a booster pad on top of the soaker pad.  I suspect it won’t last through the night, so I already have another Gro Baby with booster pad lying by my bedside.