Cloth Diapering Myths – Week 3

Welcome back to yet another week of cloth diapering myths. So far we’ve covered the fact that cloth diapering isn’t actually complicated as well as the fruitless quest for the perfect diaper. If you are in absolutely no mood to discuss cloth diapering, take a moment instead to let me know what Justin Bieber is up to these days.

Now, on to myth 3.

Myth3

Myth #3: You can’t cloth diaper a foster/adopted baby

Yep. That’s an actual myth. I’m as surprised as you are. I know it doesn’t make much sense. I mean all babies poop right? It doesn’t really matter who gives birth to them, this is a function of a baby. So why wouldn’t you be able to cloth diaper an adopted or foster baby?

Yet this is a common concern.

There seem to be two (untrue) reasons behind this myth:

1) Babies who are adopted are usually formula fed, and you can’t cloth diaper a formula fed baby.

Number one is a pretty easy myth to dispel. It just isn’t true. I mean think about it. There was a point in time where most babies were formula fed and cloth diapered. Formula was so highly touted that many moms received a shot in the hospital to insure their milk wouldn’t come in. They then went home and forumla fed their babies. Disposable diapers weren’t yet a major thing, so guess where all those formula fed babies pooped. I’ll give you a hint, it wasn’t the toilet.

Breast milk poop literally dissolves in water. So if a newborn is exclusively breastfed it is super easy to wash diapers. But that doesn’t mean a formula fed baby can’t wear cloth. It just means that an exclusively formula fed baby’s poop may not dissolve as easily in water. This isn’t a big shocker. A baby on solids won’t have dissolving poop either.

2) Social services won’t approve of you cloth diapering a foster baby

This one is a little trickier. I had heard it a lot myself, so I actually asked our kid’s caseworker if there was some kind of ban on cloth diapering. She laughed and confirmed that cloth diapering was perfectly legal within our agency. I have personally known many foster parents, throughout many agencies, to cloth diaper and never have a problem with it. Occasionally you might meet a person within a foster agency who says you can’t cloth diaper, but this is likely not an actual rule.

If a specific person within the agency makes a big deal out of it, I would suggest you show them how simple, easy, and clean cloth diapering actually is. If they still aren’t sold, ask them for documentation stating the agency doesn’t allow cloth diapering. I doubt they will be able to produce it.

The place you are most likely to face confrontation is on parent visits if your foster child has them. Many birth parents are concerned about how their child looks. It is important to them that their child looks clean and well put together. Because the visits with their child are so short, birth parents have few ways of ascertaining if their child is well cared for or not. They have heard the foster care horror stories and maybe even experienced them at one point as a child in care themselves. To them, the child’s appearance is an indicator of how the child is treated. They want to see their child in stylish clothes, nice shoes, well kept hair, and skin. Consider this concern a display of love toward their child, and don’t take offense by it. My advice on how to deal with this when it comes to cloth diapering is to simply avoid the problem. Send your child to visits in disposable diapers. This will also give the birth parent a chance to change the diaper in a way they are familiar with. I am definitely not saying to lie, I’m saying just don’t bring it up. Cloth diaper at home and bring them to visits in disposables. Easy.

If the issue does come up and the birth parents have a problem, educate them kindly. Show them how to use your diaper system. Tell them how often you wash them. Let them know that cloth is often better for a baby’s sensitive skin. Remind them that you are happy to send the child to visits in disposables if that is what the parent is comfortable with.

I’m not big on confrontation, so if a birth parent was adamantly against cloth after all that I would probably consider switching to disposables. But the truth behind the myth is that at every agency I have ever heard of, cloth diapering a foster child is just fine.

The debt collectors are after me

I took out a small loan recently and it’s already coming back to haunt me.

I’ve never gotten a call from a debt collector before. Wendy Evans has. She (along with a prostitute named “Lauren”) had my phone number over 10 years ago. Her creditors still call her. Often. Since it’s my number now I’m usually the one left to handle the calls. I start like this “I’m sorry kind debt collector, but this isn’t Wendy Evans. She hasn’t had this phone number in over 10 years. I don’t know her or how you can get in touch with her but when you do find her you’re probably going to have to stand in line.” At which point the person on the other end of the phone says something along the lines of “Oh really? She listed this phone number 6 months ago when she applied for xyz.” At which point I say “If you ever *do* track her down, will you please tell her to stop pretending this is still her number?” At which point we both laugh. At which point we both hang up. At which point you’ve probably gotten the point that I’ve never had a creditor after me before, it’s always been Wendy. Until now.

Like most red blooded Americans I rarely carry cash. I just swipe that debit card anytime I need something. A hair cut. A coffee. A sweater at Target during the height of the stolen credit card number debacle. Ol’ Debbie gets a lot of action. I know Dave Ramsey believes otherwise, but I find it best not to carry cash. It’s just far too tempting when the ice cream man comes swinging around the neighborhood every night at 10PM*

Sometimes however, cash is necessary. It pains me to admit that when these occasions arise I often take borrow the money from my children. If the children are of speaking age I generally ask their permission. If they are not yet speaking, I just borrow it and make a mental note to pay it back before they do learn to speak. I have found going youngest to oldest is the best way to borrow. The younger the child, the less likely they are to be mad when I forget to pay them back right away. Last week I was already 15 in the hole with Hazel and 47 in the hole with Nariya when it dawned on me that I needed an extra $30 for the babysitter. Since the two youngest were tapped out I had no other choice but to move on to Will, my oldest and most money wise. He kindly lent me the extra $30 with the provision that I pay him back $30.01. Deal.

Unlike the other two, Will has not let me forget it. The second I walk in every day he asks if I’ve been to the bank yet. He tries to add a bank stop in to our daily routine (sorry honey but it’s a 3 mile walk from the park and I already have a blister). I found a note in my wallet this morning while taking my subway card out which said “Get Money.” I’m sitting at work now half expecting the phone to ring with a reminder from him. I’ve already paid off the interest (I had that penny ready the first time he asked) but it’s the $30 I keep forgetting. I officially understand how he was able to leave his lunch box in the lost in found for three weeks despite daily reminders and loving encouragement to bring it home. I’m remembering to pay him back now as I sit here, but the second I pass an ATM it just completely slips my mind.

He should probably start locking me out

He should probably start using that lock

*It has come to my attention that many people in our neighborhood believe this man is actually a drug dealer. I can tell you from personal experience he is indeed an ice cream man and while we’re talking about it let me recommend the chocolate cone dipped in cherry.

Is Justin Bieber still a thing?

I was wondering today if Justin Bieber was still a thing with young girls. I haven’t heard about him lately and my kids never cared for him that much. I mean don’t get me wrong, they know who Justin Bieber is and everything. Will claims to hate The Beibz with a fiery passion despite the fact I don’t think he’s ever heard a Justin Bieber song in it’s entirety. Nariya stated on more than one occasion in prek that she loved Justin Bieber. Come to find out she had no idea who he was, but had witnessed Karalyn kiss her Justin Bieber lunch box so many times that she assumed he was a guy worthy of her affection as well.

beiberbox

At this point my kids are pretty sure Justin Bieber is dead. Nariya apparently learned of Justin Bieber’s passing in kindergarten. I’ve told her before that this isn’t true, this is a rumor formulated by the h8rz to bring him down. But unfortunately when she get’s an idea, she’s pretty much stuck on it for life (kind of like that time she drank beer). Would you like to know how Justin Bieber died? Apparently he didn’t have enough food during hurricane Sandy. Except she can’t say hurricane and pronounces it “her-na-cane.” Would you like to know who started the rumor that Justin died in a Hernacane? Apparently it was Nariya’s kindergarten teacher Mrs. McGee. I asked her why Mrs. McGee would tell the class this, and she said it was to get them to pay attention in math. Can you picture it? “Sit down boys and girls, everyone listen. I have some bad news to share with you today. Justin Bieber died last year in Hurricane Sandy. There simply wasn’t enough canned food to go around. Now who wants to do some math problems?” As effective as this scenario might be, I still find it pretty unlikely.

So has that ship sailed? Is it now coasting alongside other former teen heartthrobs (I still love you Troy Bolton). I was realizing, and feeling a little grateful, that we may have missed the boat on the Justin Bieber craze.

 

Cloth Diapering Myths – Week 2

Last week I started a series on cloth diapering. If you are interested in cloth diapering I would highly suggest you read the first post before proceeding with this post. If you are not interested in cloth diapering I would highly suggest you read something else. Like this post where my daughter decided she wanted a pet bee.

Ready for myth 2? Okay here we go.

Myth #2: I need the perfect cloth diaper

A lot of people who start looking in to cloth diapering get confused by the different kinds of diapers. There seem to be 1,000 different kinds and they don’t really understand the differences. They get stressed by all these choices and the thought that they may spend money and buy “the wrong one” stops them from buying any at all.

I don’t think you need the perfect diaper, I think you just need to understand the different diapers.

Here is a chart I made with the 6 main kinds of diapers: All In Ones (AIOs), All In Twos (AI2s), Fitteds, Pockets, Prefolds, and Flats.

types of diapersIf you’re thinking they look alike, that is because they all do. They are all diapers.

I will note, because you can’t tell from a picture, if you open up a prefold it ‘s around 12×12 inches and is fairly thick. If you open up a flat it is much bigger and very thin. You fold the flat down to diaper size, the prefold is already about diaper size.

There are two main components to cloth diapers: The part that absorbs your child’s bodily functions and the waterproof part that keeps your child’s bodily functions from soaking their clothes.

Some diapers have these two things combined and some diapers have these two things separate. Here is a chart I made to help you understand the differences between the 6. Go ahead and click here if you need to see a bigger picture.

types of diapers info chartWhen people initially look in to cloth diapering many of them go straight for the All In One’s because they seem so simple. They can’t imagine using a prefold and having to fold it. All In One’s certainly have a great place in the cloth world, but I assure you that it probably took you longer to read how to put on a prefold diaper than it would take you to actually put one on your baby (once you’ve done it a handful of times).

Many people end up using a mix of the different diapers. Our goal was ease of use and ease of wash. Personally, we ended up going with pocket diapers for daycare, fitteds for nighttime use, and prefolds for home daytime use. This is what worked for us, but it might not work for you. All diapers all have their pros and cons. You just need to understand them so you can figure out what works for you.

 

Nariya’s first beer

Nariya asked me this morning if I remembered that time I let her have her first beer. How could I forget?

We aren’t big soda drinkers in this house. Or pop drinkers as you silly midwesterners might say. The kids can have the occasional soda as a special treat if that is what is being served, and if I’m nowhere nearby to give a lecture on sugar and caffeine content. We never buy the stuff ourselves. There are two main reasons for this:

1) Soda isn’t exactly the healthiest beverage on the planet

2) I have no self control

Due to the lack of icy cold carbonated refreshments under our roof, our kids haven’t had much recent exposure which is probably what led to the following interaction. Rob was working on a Sunday and the kids and I decided to stop by to say hello. Rob and his coworkers were all gathered around the table finishing up lunch when we arrived.

Rob’s coworker: Do you guys want a root beer?

Will (confused, looking back and fourth from the guy to me): Nah….

Rob’s coworker: Really? There’s one left that nobody drank. You and your sister can share it.

Will (still confused): No. No. I’m good. I don’t need that stuff.

Rob’s coworker: Okaaaaay. Nariya do you want a root beer?

Nariya: Sure!

Nariya takes the beverage and quickly begins guzzling it down at lightening speed. Everyone at the table smiles while observing what could be the world record for fastest soda consumed. Suddenly it dawns on Nariya that she has perhaps forgotten her manners.

Nariya: Thank you for letting me have beer!

There’s a moment of complete dead silence as we all wonder if she said what we think she just said. She takes another sip as every person in the room stares at her.

Nariya: I really love beer!

Yep, she had said what we thought she said.

Me: Honey it’s a ROOT beer. That’s a kind of soda. There’s no alcohol. It not a beer, it is a soda.

Nariya (disappointed): Oh…

Will (disappointed): Oh…

Me: Will did you say no because you thought it was beer too?

Will: Yeah. It’s a trick name.

Apparently those ‘just say no” campaigns have been working on Will, not so much on Nariya. She’s still convinced she had a beer too. And has stated it proudly on several occasions since.

This morning:

Nariya: Remember that time you let me have my first beer?

Me: ROOT beer

Nariya: Can I have beer again sometime?

beer

 

DVDs: My sole purpose in life

We’ve been having a babysitter pick the kids up and drive them to camp in the morning. Camp doesn’t start until 9:00, and that isn’t enough time for me to get to work. It’s really nice, because she also drops me off at the train station on the way.

(In the car this morning)

Babysitter: So what do you do for work?

Me: I work at a post production company. We basically do all kinds of post.

Babysitter: Oh okay. Because I asked the kids yesterday. They said your job was to put things on DVD.

Will (yelling from the backseat): Yep! Anything you want on DVD, she can put it there!

Me: Well… we do other stuff too. Like closed captioning and editing.

Nariya (confused): I thought the only thing you knew how to do was make DVDs.

Will (surprised): You can edit too? Wow. I didn’t know that!

Glad my children were paying such close attention to me when I visited their classes on career day! That was clearly a personal day well spent.

dvds

Born In Your Heart GIVEAWAY!

I’m really excited to share the Born in Your Heart jewelry line with you today. My friend Tammy Palmer’s 5 year old daughter Gloria came up with the design. Gloria is the youngest of Tammy’s 3 daughters and was adopted from China last May. She was born with Amniotic Band syndrome which effected all of her limbs. Gloria drew this picture for her mom one day and said “Look mommy, I was born in your heart!”

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Tammy loved the drawing and knew it was the perfect design for a jewelry line. She is currently running a kickstarter to help raise the funds to make this dream a reality. It is really a very sweet story and I would love for you to check out the video. Tammy is also sponsoring a giveaway of your choice of any one of Gloria’s jewelry pieces. These are such beautiful pieces and would make a great gift for any momma or child.

3 pieces

There are three ways you can enter today:

1) Like the Born In Your Heart Facebook page

2) Check out the kickstarter page and consider making a donation. Many of the rewards if you do choose to make a donation are actual pieces of jewelry. So it’s a win-win.

3) Share this blog post on your own blog, twitter, facebook, or pinterest page.

The second and third options can be done daily, so please check back on this post often!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Cloth Diapering Myths – Week 1

DSC_0549 watermark

When people hear we are cloth diapering the responses pretty much run the gamut with everything from “Oh cool, us too!” to “EWWWWW that’s disgusting! You touch poop!”

It’s one of those topics that everyone seems to have something to say about. Which is odd because it doesn’t really seem like that interesting of a discussion piece. I mean, it’s a poop catcher. What’s there to talk about? But talk is what people want to do. Although there is a lot of positivity, there is also a lot of negativity surrounding cloth. In fact, if I had a nickel for every time someone tried to talk me out of cloth diapering I’m pretty sure I would have a whole dollar by now. Maybe even a buck and a half.

The negativity usually comes from some misconception about cloth (like touching poop). Because of this, I thought I would do a small series on some of the myths of cloth diapering. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

1) I’m not an expert. My kid just wears them. We haven’t tried a million brands, or sewn them by hand, or done absorbency tests, or anything like that. These are just my opinions based on my experiences.

2) I ain’t judgin’ you and your disposables. I like cloth. A lot. If you don’t, just scroll on past these posts. No biggie.

Without further ado,

Myth #1: Cloth diapering is really complicated

I decided to start with this myth because it seems to be the most common one I hear. It’s also the most broad. And I get it, because I thought cloth diapering was complicated at first too. Especially when you start reading a little about it and hear all these words you’ve never heard of in a context you don’t have much experience with.  I’ll further break down some of the specifics in the coming weeks. But for now let’s get into the big picture.

Cloth diapers do not have to be complicated. Using them is very similar to using disposables.

Step 1) You buy your diapers (similar experience for both disposables and cloth).

Step 2) You put them on your baby (similar experience for both disposables and cloth).

Step 3) Your baby poops in them (exact same experience for both disposables and cloth).

Step 4) You put them in a bag (similar experience for both disposables and cloth).

Step 5) Here’s where things get a little different: With disposables you will have used a disposable bag in step 4, and now you will take that bag out to the trash can. With cloth you will use a wet bag in step 4 and you will take that bag down to the laundry room. If you are using disposables you will now repeat this process starting at step 1. If you are using cloth you will now move on to step 6.

Step 6) You wash/dry your diapers. You now begin the process again, this time bypassing Step 1 and starting at Step 2.

Long story short: Disposables cycle steps 1-5. Cloth cycles steps 2-6. Simple right?!

I know, I know. You’re more confused about how to wash them. Or exactly how to put them on your baby. Don’t worry. Those topics are just as simple as today’s topic and we will be dealing with them all in the upcoming few weeks.

Nariya’s newest pet aspiration

Nariya: I wish I could have a pet bee

Will: A bee? Like a bumblebee?

Nariya: Yeah a bee. I would put hats on it so it wouldn’t get sunburned…. I would put little jackets on it…. Pants that don’t get in the way of it’s stinger….

Will: Um… I think it’s time to get a book on bees from the library…

 

Sign the Change.org petition for The 4th Trimester Bodies Project

This last Spring I had the pleasure of being able to participate in the 4th Trimester Bodies Project. I keep planning to write a post about my entire experience and the way the project is still positively effecting me today, but haven’t had a chance yet. I do encourage you to click on the link to find out more about it. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

 

Welcome back.

That was amazing right?

 

Now, on to why I bring this up today. The 4th Trimester Bodies Project is under fire AGAIN and having images removed and accounts deleted on Facebook and Instagram AGAIN. I’ve been following this project for months and have seen the people at Instagram shut down account after account belonging to the 4th Trimester Bodies Project. They are shutting down and closing off a project that has had a positive impact on So. Many. People. They are stopping the project from reaching even more people who need to see it. They are basically sending the message that breastfeeding pictures as well as pictures of mothers (wearing no less than I was wearing at the swimming pool two weeks ago) are wrong. They are sending the message that perfectly innocent images of babies are wrong and equating the images to child pornography.

 

I’m hoping my readers will take a moment today to do a few things.

1) Go to change.org and sign the petition.

2) Share the petition with your friends and family.

3) Spend a few more minutes on the 4th Trimester Bodies Project gallery enjoying all the beautiful images that Ashlee Wells Jackson has captured

My final image from The 4th Trimester Bodies Project. Hopefully sharing this today will get my rear in gear for a proper post.

My final image from The 4th Trimester Bodies Project. Hopefully sharing this today will get my rear in gear for a proper post.