PHANEROO \fan-er-o-oo\Greek: to manifest in word or deed.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

New Dining Table & Chairs

At last, we have found a new dining set for our now family of 6. I almost gave up hope on finding something that would work for us that was affordable. What I liked about it:

1) Solid wood and durable (according to reviews)

2) Could expand to seat up to 8

3) Dimensions fit our dining room

4) Black chairs give a modern spin on an old classic

5) Will coordinate with our antique buffet

6) Under $1,000

Of all places, we ordered it from Sam's Club. And since it's an online only item, I haven't seen it in person which makes me a little bit nervous. It should arrive next week. Hope to post real photos soon after we get it all set up.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

On My Own

Starting on Monday I've been on my own during the day with all four kids since BJ returned to work. We are surviving and thriving, although, it is busy, busy, busy! From the time I roll out of bed and my feet hit the floor I'm going like a mad woman - fixing snacks and meals, changing diapers, nursing Charlotte, getting out the Playdoh and paint, cleaning up the Playdoh and paint, wiping faces and hands, nursing Charlotte, putting on socks and shoes for outdoor play, holding, rocking, reading, breaking up squabbles, wiping hiney's (Schaeffer's particularly since he can't do that yet after potty), doing a load or two of laundry, picking up toys, nursing Charlotte, getting everyone down for naptime, preparing dinner, and the list goes on... It is non-stop. I cannot complain at all, though. Our Bible Fellowship has been bringing us dinner three times per week since we arrived home from the hospital. Huge BLESSING!! We will continue to get meals this week and some next week. Huge BLESSING!! And, I even got a 2-hour nap today. Yep, you read that right: 2 hours! I got the boys down for naps, Charlotte had been fed just before their naptime, and then I let Lily choose if she wanted to play in her room or watch PBS kids, and then I did a bee-line for my bed and napped for 2 hours. It was much needed. Now I'm getting a few minutes to update my blog and then get together Lily's schoolwork for tomorrow. After that it'll be a little quality time with BJ and then off to la-la-land and start all over tomorrow. The two things I haven't quite figured out how to do yet on my own: get a shower and do homeschool. Both of these are very important and will need to start happening, but I have given myself freedom from these two things this week while I see how our schedule plays out. Starting next week I will add these two things back in, I hope.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Cloth Diapering: The Process

I've had a few folks ask me questions about how I go about cloth diapering so I thought I'd detail it here for anyone who is interested. (Here are my previous posts about cloth diapering: Cloth Dipes 101 , Cloth Diapering Review, and Cloth Diapering). I guess there's a million different ways to go about it and caring for the diapers, but this is what works for us for now. Griffin and Charlotte are both in cloth so my loads are a little bit larger but they are still very small for our top-load washer (we ordered a high-capacity front-loader just last week and it should arrive in late March so some of these details may change based on how the front-loader cleans).

1. For Griffin I have 8 medium gPants diaper covers and 18 gCloth inserts. For Charlotte I have 8 small covers and 18 inserts. I could probably use 2 more covers for Charlotte since being a newborn she poops quite often (6-8 times per day) and because they are runnier it can get on the cover more easily. It works out so I have enough that I can wash covers and inserts on the second or third day. If I've waited much longer than that between washes the pail starts to get really stinky.

2. For Griffin's dirty covers and inserts I have a small garbage pail with a lid that I keep beside the kids' bathroom potty for when I need to swish out the solids in the potty. The wet ones can just go directly into the pail. I was using a wet pail (half filled pail with water and about 1/4 cup white vinegar), but now I just use a dry pail with a small garbage bag to line the pail to keep it clean.

3. For Charlotte's dirty covers and inserts I have an inexpensive diaper pail that I use dry with a garbage bag as a liner. Because she is exclusively breastfed there's no reason to swish out poopie into the potty so I keep her diaper pail beside her changing table. (FYI...breastmilk poopies are water soluble and not stinky).

4. On the second or third day I dump the contents of Griffin's and Charlotte's diaper pails into the washing machine and throw away the garbage bag liners. If you wanted to be really frugal and "green" you could use a re-usable liner that you wash with the diapers. I do a rinse and spin cycle first then do a regular wash cycle.

5. With Griffin's eczema and very sensitive skin, I have found that the type of detergent does matter. I use Arm & Hammer Essentials Mountain Rain scent. Walmart didn't have the fragrance free when I purchased last time or I probably would've done that one instead. I found this website to be particularly helpful in finding detergent that was inexpensive yet good for cleaning cloth diapers for sensitive skin babies. Once we get our HE washer I will consult this website's HE list and probably try Ecos detergent because it can be found at my local Sam's Club.
6. After washing and drying (I air dry the diaper covers so they don't get worn out) I sort them out and put the covers and inserts into Griffin's and Charlotte's changing table. I put together a few diapers (inserts into the covers) for Charlotte in advance because newborns hate to be naked and it just makes things go more smoothly and easily, especially at nighttime diaper changes.

7. For going out, I have a wet bag for Griffin and one for Charlotte. They have a pocket in the front to keep clean diapers in. I carry scented plastic bags to put the dirty stuff into before I place it in the wet bag. This keeps me from having to wash the wet bag everytime I use it. The plastic bags alone do not contain the smell of a dirty diaper but once they are zippered up into the wet bags you don't smell anything at all. And even after a few days in the wet bag (I know, gross! But I forgot one in the van one day) you cannot smell the dirty diaper. However, beware when you open! When I get home I take the dirty diapers out of the wet bags and put them into the pail ready to be washed.

Well, I think that's pretty much it. Pretty simple and I am totally enjoying not having to purchase disposable diapers anymore.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Just Today

Now that Charlotte and I are getting all settled in at home, my mantra has been "just today." It helps me focus on what's going on today, not tomorrow, not next week. Just today. It's easy to begin worrying over tomorrow and how I will possibly manage this household on my own when BJ returns to work in a week and a half. But, just today.

"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own" (Matthew 6:34). God knows me all too well and has given me everything I need for each moment. I love Him and thank Him for His perfect thoughtfulness and provisions.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Meet Charlotte Gray

Little Miss Charlotte Gray was born yesterday, Feb. 3, 2011 at 1:56 p.m. She weighed 7 lbs and was 20 inches long. She has lots of dark hair and very dark eyes. She is as precious as I had imagined.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Handmade Gifts for Charlotte

Charlotte is a very lucky little girl already. She has received some precious handmade gifts just for her. Even though she is numero quattro in our family she is as precious and as special as numero uno and these gifts are a reminder of that fact. Thanks to my dear friends and family who are making Charlotte's grand entrance a special moment.

Items pictured clockwise from top left: Set of 3 personalized embroidered burp cloths from Amanda; Pink crochet hat from Aunt Heather; Pillowcase dress from Susie; Bib and burp cloth set from Staci

The next time you hear from me on this blog will probably be when I post photos of Charlotte Gray! We are arriving at our luxurious suite at the hospital on Thursday morning at 6:00 a.m. to get labor and delivery underway. I am so excited to get to hold her in my arms for the first time.

And just in case you were wondering, Charlotte does not have a nursery yet so no fun nursery photos to post. She will be rooming in with BJ and me until Griffin is old enough to move out of his nursery and share a room with Schaeffer. That might be in 3-6 months or more. We will have to play that one by ear. But maybe meantime I can snap some photos of Charlotte's little set-up in our master bedroom. She is all set.