Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Trip to MD!

Abel and I just spent a week staying with my Mom and brother in Maryland. It was wonderful! He and I drove up on a Monday together, and Reed joined us on Thursday. We stayed until Saturday. I haven't spent that much time with my family since I was married, so it was great to see them for more than two days in a row. I sure did miss Reed, though!

Abel going for a swim in my mom's pool.

Snuggling with Mama in the pool :)

Family and friends came over two days to visit. This is Abel checking out Jacob, my cousin's son.

The boys <3

I wish my flash hadn't made this picture so white... I think it's really cute!

My cousin Michelle and Abel.

Visiting with the family.

Reed, Abel, and I with my grandparents, Grammy and Popouli.

Abel and Popouli having a chat.

Photo op with Abel!

One of the day's that we had family/friends over was Clee's 17th birthday! Happy Birthday, Brother!

Abel and my cousin Brianna. So sweet!

Abel relaxing with his Uncle Clee. They're pretty good buds. :)

Making sure his jump up thing works at his Yia Yia's!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Family Event at Church!

On July 31st, our church held a community outreach event in place of a Vacation Bible School this year. Reed was in charge of planning the games, which was a lot of fun to help him prepare. Many folks worked very hard to pull this event off, and I pray that God was glorified through our efforts!

Abel and I working the duck pond.

Reed's turn at the pond!

Jen and Dave at the popcorn.

Julie and Kristi making snow cones. I believe I had 2 :)

Hot dogs! Thanks, Libby and Kelli!

Shade under our brand new pavilion.

The line for ring toss, one of the 5 games we had.

There were lots of prizes to choose from-- like those airplanes.

Fun bouncy house!

I really wanted to do this water slide!

Dan the Animal Man came, and spoke about the Creator using His creation! This porcupine was my favorite.

Abel and Daddy watching the animal show.

Dan the Animal Man brought this guy, too!

Abel was pretty mesmerized.

What a wonderful day!

*Look again at the picture of the ring toss game. Do you see the house in the background? We're moving there in less than a month! Post on that coming soon!*

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Fluffy Bum

Daddy changing Abel's diaper

We cloth diaper.

And I LOVE it!

Before we were even pregnant, I began noticing that many of the mom blogs I read talked about cloth diapering. I didn't know anyone personally who did it, and I thought I'd stumbled on a small little group of weird women in my blog searches. The idea kind of sparked a 'hm' in my head, but I didn't give it much more thought than that for a few months. But by the time we were trying to get pregnant, I knew we'd be using cloth. I was intimidated, and knew I'd be less nervous if Reed was on board, too. We researched the different kinds together, and even before we knew if we were having a boy or girl, Reed was showing off our (already purchased!) diapers at dinner parties. Really!

2 month old Abel taking a nap in cloth

We decided to do cloth because of the money we'd be saving. And it's a good thing, too- we often joke that if we'd not done cloth, Abel wouldn't be wearing diapers at all :) The average family spend between 2,500 and 4,000 dollars on diapers, per child. (You can google this, but one site that does the math is here) We spent $326 on diapers that will last for probably 3 children, from 8-35 lbs. Now, Abel was a little guy when he was first born and didn't fit them for the first 2 months or so, but we'd been given some disposables and didn't have to buy many.

If we'd spent an average amount on disposables, $3,250, just for Abel we will have saved almost $3,ooo. THREE THOUSAND! Say he potty trains when he's 2.5. That's like making $23 a week just for cloth diapering! We'll save more with the next kid because we already own the diapers.

3 month old Abel in cloth

I honestly don't understand how women can call themselves frugal and not use cloth. Sure it's extra work, but isn't the frugal thing always more work? Couponing? Searching ads and waiting for items to go on sale? Breastfeeding? Cooking at home rather than going out? Why do so many women do these things, but think cloth is too much work?

Snoozing in cloth at an Easter Egg Hunt--- I promise he has tons of shirts, can't believe he's wearing the same one in all these cloth pictures I had! :)

I think that preconceived notions about how cloth diapering works is scaring too many women away. Diapers are nothing like the ones our grandmothers used! (Unless you want them to be, of course, they still make them.) We use a brand called SmartiPants that are one piece pocket diapers. They have a sleeve on the inside (a 'pocket') that you stuff with an insert that comes with it. The sleeve is opened at both ends, so that the insert agitates out in the wash-- no pulling it out when it's soaked and soiled!

The diaper, opened. I pulled the insert out a little on the right so you could see it.

The material that lines the inside is designed to wick away moisture, which makes them easier to clean when the baby starts eating solids. The poop doesn't stick, because the side of it becomes dry! That way, you can just roll it off into the toilet! Whatever doesn't fall off on it's own will dissolve away in the washer. This means that grandma's days of dunking diapers into the toilet are over. Before baby eats solids, you can just toss the whole thing in the wash. We keep a dry pail on our porch, and I just toss 'em in there until I do laundry- about every other day, but I have enough diapers to go 3+ days.

The outside of the diapers are waterproof, and have snaps around the waist and on the rise to customize the fit. This works the best for us! We didn't have to spend more to buy diapers for each new size. Most diapers that work like the ones we have are about $17-19 a piece, but ours were $13. You still save money with the other brands, but not as much as we did!

The outside of our SmartiPants-- looks more complicated than it is!

I have 2 small wetbags that I take with me for diapers on the go. I carry one wetbag with a clean diaper, and just trade it for the soiled one if he needs a change. I also have made my own cloth wipes, which we found more convenient than using disposable (we can just toss the whole thing in the pail vs. having to fish out a disposable wipe from the diaper after a change- yuck!) I also spent about $10 on all the material we needed for wipes, which is about one month's supply of disposable wipes.

We are very happy with our diapering system. Of course, that is largely based on the brand of diaper we use.. there are many more out there more complicated than ours. Now that we've had Abel, I know 3 other moms that use cloth too, so I don't feel like it's very strange. I've noticed that recently even the disposable companies are coming out with patterned diapers, which look suspiciously like cute cloth diapers!

Whether you make a lot or a little, every family has to make decisions concerning their money. I believe it is my job as a wife to make Reed's paycheck go as far as possible. Even if he made 3 times what he does, I do believe we would still use cloth, just like I would still cook our meals, and buy items on sale. I just cannot justify the 'luxury' of literally throwing away money so that I don't have to do 2 extra loads of laundry a week.

Basket of clean diapers :)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Is it just me, or does God use lessons you think you've mastered to point out to you exactly what you haven't mastered?

Within days- seconds?- of posting this, several things I've been wanting went on sale. Reed was at work so I patiently waited for him to get home, excited to show him the new things I "needed." Good wife that I am (Ha!), I was planning on asking his permission to spend money on these things before I bought them. I believed I was truly asking him if we could buy them, not telling him that we were.

These weren't frivolous things, after all. New diapers for baby, in a color that I've been waiting months for that were FINALLY released. And these little things called BabyLegs that I've become mildly addicted to (more on that another time). Little things, nothing like the fancy jewelry I had just blogged about.

Well, Reed came home and thought about it. We're awfully tight on money right now, Reed had just taken some time off for church and family things (Priorities!) , making the typical 'not quite enough' paycheck smaller than usual. We'd bought a full supply of dipes before Abel was even born, and while it would be fun to have new colors, they're not necessary. And the BabyLegs? Totally just a fun purchase, even if he can wear them for longer than the typical 3 months that baby clothes last.

My heart fought back. You know I've been waiting on this brown diaper! If we used disposables, we'd be spending money on diapers this week anyways! And, I don't spend any money on clothes for Abel! (Reed' sister has passed on a whole wardrobe to us) One pair of BabyLegs is a fraction of the cost of a wardrobe! I've been planning on buying these things all day!

Oh, sin. Not only was I desiring to rule over my husband (Gen. 3:16) and make decisions for my family against his will (Eph. 5:23-24), I was also coveting (Col. 3:5). I knew he was making a smart decision. He was being rational. We don't have money for extras right now, no matter how small or practical they might be. But most importantly, I wasn't respecting my husband, and I was coveting things he had said "No" to.

Lord, please conform me to to Your image! I'm sick over this wrestling between what I want and what I know.

For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.
(Romans 7:15 ESV)