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Written by Mama Monday

Blog posts written by mamas on cloth diapering, green living, natural parenting.

Have you ever had this scenario happen? You’re with a group of parents, doing the small talk thing because you’ve just thirsties-one-size-pocket-babies-vert-4recently met each other and aren’t quite comfortable baring your heart and soul, when suddenly you find out by chance, that the woman who has been sitting kitty-corner to you the entire meal also uses cloth diapers on her baby. Your face perks up and you think to yourself, “Ah! A fellow cloth diaper user!” The conversation quickly changes from small talk to fluff talk and the two of you are quickly forming a close relationship…all based on your use of cloth diapers on your children.

See, that’s what I love about the cloth diaper community: You could seemingly have absolutely nothing in common with another parent you’re becoming acquainted with but the second both of you discover that you use cloth diapers there’s a bond. It doesn’t matter if the mother next to you uses formula or if the woman in front of you at the grocery store happens to co-sleep with all of her children in a family bed. You two have a common thread that ties you together: cloth diapers.

The bond of cloth diaper use is a strong one and I’ve been trying for a few months to figure out what it is about these adorable fluffy butts that can make even the most diametrically opposed individuals gush and rave about their favorite kind of cloth diaper. Perhaps it’s because using cloth diapers isn’t the norm any more? Or maybe it’s because there is a bit of a learning curve to taking care of your diapers that every caretaker experiences? Whatever the case, the cloth diaper community is one parenting community that’s hard to beat. I have seen countless mothers on my own blog’s Facebook page offer up advice to complete strangers simply because they were having a problem with their pocket diapers leaking at night. I have actually become better friends with a few women because we all use cloth diapers on our children.

thirsties-one-size-pocket-babies-hor-4I really believe that for me, part of the reason why I have successfully cloth diapered two children (with number three on the way) is because of the amazing community of cloth diapering parents. They are supportive and all want to see another cloth diaper using parent succeed. In today’s competitive world, that my friends, is a rare and wonderful find. So cherish your cloth diaper using friends, near and far, and remind them how much you appreciate their acceptance and help!

It was my daughter’s first Christmas. We were celebrating at my parents’ home; they live six hours away from us. Now, because Christmas Tree. Thirstiesof the distance between my home and my parents’, my husband and I trade off holidays between my family and his. Since it was my parents’ turn to host us for Christmas, my mother was beyond elated at the opportunity to make the holiday the best one we had all experienced. The house was beautifully decorated. Every meal was meticulously planned. Every i had been dotted and every t was crossed on my mom’s “to do” list. The only thing she needed was for the rest of us to arrive and then all of her hard work, planning and daydreaming about the special holiday would finally come to fruition. 

Our first few days were fun. We enjoyed the time together. My oldest son, Brennan, played in the snow with my sister and her husband. My daughter, Kendall, reveled at the lights on my parents’ huge Christmas tree. Christmas Eve morning arrived and we all eagerly waited with anticipation as we started preparing for our traditional Christmas Eve dinner – Norwegian Meatballs.

The only problem was that my mom started feeling under the weather that morning and my brother-in-law followed suit. It wasn’t your typical flu-like virus, with the sniffles and the shivers; no, it was that blasted norovirus (what most of us lovingly call the stomach flu). My family and I had already succumbed to the illness two weeks prior to Christmas so we were in the clear as far as immunity goes. My parents, sister and husband, however, weren’t so lucky and that morning started off what would be quite possibly the worst best example of best laid plans gone awry.

My brother-in-law made a trip to the emergency room because he became so severely dehydrated. Once we returned from the emergency room, my sister started her upheaval in the kitchen sink. Next, my dad fell prey to the nasty bug and that’s when you could definitely say that our dreams of a perfect Christmas were shattered.

Despite the ruined holiday plans, you can say that we all look back on that Christmas with a sense of humor. It was quite possiblySick at Christmas. Thirsties the “worst” Christmas we had ever had together but it was also the most memorable. It stands out in comparison to all of the “normal” planned out events of Christmases’ past. So if you’re celebrating Christmas this week with your family and you’ve got it all planned out down to the kind of cookies you’ll leave for Santa, take a minute to sit back and look around at the scene in front of you. Paying too much attention to the details in any special event often makes us miss the scene that’s right in front of us. The day goes by at lightning speed and before you know it, everything that was so carefully planned has quickly come and gone.

 

How will you take a minute to sit back and remember this special holiday time? Quiet your thoughts down just a bit and take in every detail that is in front of you. Memories aren’t made in the details, they are made in the story of the day.

Slow down Christmastime. Thirsties

Can we take a minute to talk about maternity clothes? I’ve got a beef with the brilliant person who designed mid-belly maternity pants. I mean, who, in their right mind, would decide to create maternity pants that have a tiny (in comparison to my growing maternal belly) elastic band, cover it in fabric and have it rest mid-belly on a pregnant woman? In theory it may seem like a great idea; you have this stretchy fabric that will allow the pregnant woman to wear the same pants through her pregnancy. Notice I said, “in theory?”

I don’t know; maybe some of you reading this will write back and say, “Bert! You crazy, hormonal woman! These are the greatest designed pants for maternity wear to come on the scene!” And you may be correct. One thing is certain, I am hormonal which tends to lead to some crazy thinking. Allow me to state my case:

Maternity pants line.ThirstiesThat blasted elastic folds over itself! I don’t think I’m alone in this because a few of my girl friends have had the same problem, but the dumb elastic band, the one that lets your belly comfortably grow, always ends up folded over in the middle. This creates an incredibly awkward looking bulge in the middle of my belly. It’s not like anyone else doesn’t notice the giant watermelon that’s protruding from my midsection but now they have this beacon of awkwardness directing their eyes…right…to…the money shot. I might as well be a sixth grader with a giant red pimple on the tip of her nose. (That’s happened to me before too.)

They make me want to don suspenders. Yeah, that’s right, suspenders. Have you noticed that the bigger the gut is on a man, the more likely he is to wear suspenders? I understand why because I have the same problem! The larger my belly gets the more likely it is that my mid-belly maternity pants are to fall down. I’m constantly hoisting them up, however, I have noticed that I can’t do it discreetly any more because the fabric begins to tear on the mid-belly section of my maternity pants. So now, I’ve got to grab onto the actual pant part of my pants and literally hoist them up. There’s no way to do this in a lady-like fashion and I’m a mom with young children. I don’t have time to excuse myself so that I don’t end up mooning the entire checkout line at the grocery store because I can’t seem to control my plumbers crack. Suspenders…they are the answer.Maternity Pants Hoist.Thirsties

Really, I’m just angry; because I purchased the cutest pair of maternity jeans online recently, from a place where I cannot return them and dagnabbit, well, you see my problems up above. I love everything about these jeans – the cut, the color, the embellishments, even the stitching. Every single time I wear them I’m constantly hoisting them up indiscreetly or trying to unroll the elastic that’s folded over yet again.

It’s really a rather unattractive event to witness. Imagine it, a woman who is pregnant with her third child at 17 weeks is standing in line in front of you. She reaches down to her pants and in a large, hoisting motion, lifts the pants up and over the midsection of her pregnant belly. You don’t realize this but she’s also lifted her underwear up too because the pull that gravity has taken on the pants is also causing her underwear to fall down. Oh, you didn’t know she was doing that? Woops! I only know this because I am that woman in the checkout line in front you. Only, maybe by then I’ll have bought myself a pair of suspenders so the whole scene can be avoided.

 

 

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Green up your holiday gift giving on Thirsties BlogIt’s the season of gift giving and what better time to buy some of those green products you won’t normally spend on yourself? I’ve been amazed by how much my lifestyle has changed since I started using cloth diapers on my babes. I’m more aware of what goes on my skin, my children’s skin, as well as the everyday household products we use. So think outside of the box and give your loved ones the gift of green and clean!

Clothes, Suds, and Dryer Balls - I think the easiest place to start greening up your laundry is by getting rid of dryer sheets with fabric softener. Those puppies are nasty little things when you look at everything that’s found in them!  (Click here for a detailed account of why I made the switch.) It may take some getting used to; your clothes may not feel as soft  because you’re getting rid the fabric softener and they won’t be scented. You know what though? Clothes shouldn’t smell like flowers or that fresh linen scent! Replace the dryer sheets with wool dryer balls. They not only do a great job of fluffing your laundry but they speed up drying times by moving the damp clothes around. For optimum performance you should have at least six balls in use. If you’re dying for that scented clothes smell try adding a drop or two of essential oils to your dryer balls.

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, Who has the Greenest Skin of All? Whatever you’re putting on your body is going to be absorbed directly into your bloodstream; after all, your skin is one of your body’s largest organs. Start out by changing your body wash/soap and switch it up for an all natural one. I use the website, Environmental Working Group, and their Skindeep Database to find the safest option for myself and my family. One of my favorite skin care products is a small mom-run business called Jenuinely Pure; its based out of Iowa and was founded on the principles of creating a truly natural product at an affordable price.

I also have finally found an all natural deodorant that works and that I like!!! I don’t know if buying someone deodorant is something everyone gift recipient would appreciate, however, with your armpits being the gateway to your lymph nodes, you have to be aware of what you’re putting there. I’ve tried a lot of natural and organic brands that just haven’t done the trick. By the mid-afternoon I’m stinking to high heaven! I love Primal Pit Paste. It lasts throughout the day and it is incredibly safe to use. Be forewarned though, this is a deodorant only. You should sweat, it’s a natural job of your body to get rid of toxins. At the same time using an antiperspirant plugs your sweat glands preventing them from doing their job.

Toys for all the Girls and Boys – Ever thought about buying natural toys for that little one of your gift list? With the scary realization back in 2007 that lead was found in the paint from toys manufactured in China, more and more parents are looking for all natural, made in the USA toys. A few that I’ve found and thought looked great are toys from American Toy Company (found here on Thirsties’ retailer Peapods in Minnesota), Glob Colors Fruit and Veggie Based Paints, Green Toys, and Sparklehearts, all natural beauty products for girls.

And naturally, there’s the gift of cloth…diapers! Think cloth diapers, wet bags, you name it!

thirsties_blog_wet-bag-pail-liner_featured-imageSure the wet bag is a “must-have” cloth diapering accessory; there are few that would argue with that statement. I, however, want to show you the unconventional ways to use your wet bag. Okay, so these are my ideas, no one else’s, but I think they’re unconventional. You’ve heard that you can use them for your wet and dirty diapers when you’re out and about. You can use one at the beach to put your wet swimming suit in for the ride home. What else can you do with it? When you put your mind to it, the possibilities are endless!

1. It’s winter and if you live in the northern part of the country a wet bag is the perfect pairing for that sledding party. It’s amazing how sopping wet those hats, mittens and scarves can get, especially once they’re in the car. Using a wet bag keeps everything contained so your car doesn’t get wet (or freeze on the inside!).

2. Keep those beverages cold! It’s hard to think about a need to keep beverages cool, I mean it was 30 degrees here in Minnesota today, however, when it’s hot and humid outside using a wet bag to transport drinks is not a bad idea. I think it’s easier to carry with you, throw in the back of the stroller or in the diaper bag.

3. Got make-up? Need to travel? Use the wet bag!! It’s washable, won’t leak, plus the prints are cuter than any make-up bag that I’ve ever seen.

4. You know how when you fly in a plane anything that’s in a liquid, gel or fluid form, will inevitably ooze out all over your suitcase? Now, I haven’t tested this out yet but I’m curious if you could put those items into a wet bag, check your bags and if everything would stay contained in the wet bag. My experience with wet bags tells me that this would work perfectly, however, the zippered part is what makes me wonder if its waterproofness would hold up to the pressure changes mid-flight.

Again, this are very unconventional ways to use a wet bag. I probably wouldn’t use a wet bag that I’m presently using for my cloth diapers but I would purchase another one to use for non-cloth diaper useage. And when I’m done using cloth diapers on my babies, when they’re no longer babies (I’ve still got a few more years left!), I can still use my wet bags. It’s like the cloth diaper accessory that’s forever useful.