Wednesday, December 28, 2011

bumGenius Organic AIO - Cloth Diapering Question

Ok, so normally I have absolutely NOTHING bad to say about my cloth diapers.  I seriously LOVE them...I would never choose disposable over cloth, ever.  When I started cloth diapering, I chose the bumGenius Organic AIO (one size).  There are fewer chemicals (obviously), fewer leaks (proven by the number of leaks I had while using disposables on and off the first few months and how they stopped as soon as I put a cloth diaper on my son), and fewer smells (depends whether you prefer to smell chemically altered wet/dirty diapers or the real thing).  I only have one problem with them:
Do you see those holes along the side of the diaper?  Those holes started appearing when I had only used my cloth diapers around 5-6 months.  I'm not sure exactly why they are there.  My guess would be that the drying time is so long because they're AIO that the heat of the dryer (even on a low heat setting) is just too much for the cotton and it breaks down rather quickly.  BUT...really?  Not everyone lives in a climate where they can just hang their diapers up to dry every time.  If I hang them outside, they freeze solid within 5 minutes for 7 months (or more) of the year.  If I hang them inside, even with a fan blowing on them, they take around 20-24 hours to dry completely - and I even have to turn them "inside out" if I don't want the inside to be damp forever.

So I guess I have three questions:
-  Is this normal?
-  Has this happened to anyone else?
-  Is there a way of "patching" the holes or somehow preventing them from getting bigger every single time I do laundry?

I was hoping that these diapers would last through multiple kids (they were quite expensive - bumGenius's most expensive syle of diaper, chosen for the ease of use) but now I'm just hoping that I won't have to buy more cloth diapers or *sharp intake of breath* use disposables for the last few months until my son is potty trained.

Are there any other cloth diapering mama's out there?  Which cloth diapers do you use?  What do you love/hate about your diapers?  If you've cloth-diapered through multiple children, did you have your diapers eventually wear out and how long would you say that a diaper generally lasts??  As much as I love my bumGenius Organic AIO's for their look, ease of use, and fit, I must say, I am fairly disappointed that they started wearing out so quickly...

*Sidenote: I did try to get warranty, Cotton Babies was very willing to look at my diapers and consider them for warranty even if the diapers arrived after the one year warranty mark, but I had ripped a seam in all my diapers (there was a seam across the back of the sewn-in insert and I removed it to allow more airflow during the drying process - it did help) and I wasn't sure if that would affect the warranty and didn't want to be without my diapers for the month or two that it would have taken to mail away my diaper stash without being sure that they would be replaced.  Not having my diapers replaced on warranty is completely on me, and is not a hit on Cotton Babies (the makers of bumGenius products).

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

And other things...

Well, after the infamous pudding painting experience, and a more recent traumatizing first bubble bath for Levi (what is that stuff?!  Get it OFF of me!!!), I've finally found something that Levi loves and is enthralled with!  It's called "food-colouring-fun-in-the-bath."  Here's how it works: you run a bath.  You strip down the target.  You put said target into bath.  THEN, you direct the target's attention to a small bottle of food colouring being held just above their head, pointing down toward the bath water.  Squeeze slightly and *presto*!  One drop of food colouring goes into the bath water.  Target may not notice right away what has happened so you may need to point out the beautiful colour that is infusing their bath time with fun right before their eyes.  Target may attempt to "catch" the colour, which makes this activity even more fun as the colour will only spread instead of being caught!  Once target has tired of this first drop, try a second drop!  And a third!  The possibilities are endless (or at least endless until you've finished your bottle of food colouring and the bath water is no longer translucent because it is saturated with FUN).  Ta-da!  I will note, however, that green, yellow, and red food colourings may not be ideal choices.  To each their own, I guess, but don't say I didn't warn you...

What else have we been up to?  Hmm...well, Christmas is coming!  We will be celebrating Christmas as our family of 3 on Christmas Eve this year.  Then, after the church's Christmas Eve service, we will make the late-night trek to my parents' place to spend a couple days there with my family.  It is so nice that we will ALL be able to be together twice this year!  What a treat :)  Now that my sister is living back in Canada (as of yesterday), hopefully it can happen a bit more often.  Between Christmas and New Years, Nathan will be speaking at a summer camp staff retreat at a camp nearby.  Levi and I will be able to go with him and hopefully it will be a bit of a retreat for us as well as encouraging for Nathan as he really enjoys speaking at these types of events.  On New Year's Day, we will head out to Nathan's parents' place where we will spend two nights and celebrate the holidays with his family.  It is nice that everyone on this side of the family is within 90 minutes of driving so getting together is something that can happen fairly easily a few times a year!  So nice.

I have been busy crocheting (I've averaged about .75-1 toque EVERY SINGLE DAY since mid-October).  I've finished all my current outstanding Christmas sales, though, and now am only working on my own personal projects.  It's a nice change of pace.

Nathan has a week of holidays this week, but so far it has been spent doing alot of prep for his speaking engagement next week.  Hopefully he can finish that up sooner than later so that we can spend some quality family time together before he heads back to work in the new year.

Well, that's about all I can think of.  Oh wait, you're probably DYING to know what Levi has been up to lately!  Well, he's 14 months old and is walking, talking, dancing, pointing, asking, running, climbing, squirming, cuddling, reading, playing, rocking, throwing, and in general just MOVING.  He's a real joy (for at least a portion of every day) and we love him to bits. 

And that's our life in a nutshell!  I'm really hoping to get back into this blogging thing a bit more in the new year.  I've really missed it.  But now it's time to say goodbye and enjoy the last little bit of Levi's going-on-two-hours naptime.  Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

p.s-nope, no real pictures.  Sorry.  I'll try to get some up again in the new year :)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Pudding Painting

So...I thought it would be fun to shake up our daily routine around here and do some bathtub pudding painting one afternoon.  I made vanilla pudding and coloured it blue and purple (was supposed to be hot pink...oh well).  Then, after Levi's nap and lunch and outdoor adventure (aka. getting the mail and buying groceries), we stripped down - or at least the under 2 year old population in the house stripped down - got to work!  I put Levi in the bathtub, but there were still little puddles of water leftover from morning showers so the whole project started out with a slip in the tub and Levi almost landing on his back (I caught him) in cold, leftover shower-water.  There may or may not have been tears.  Now, I should have just gotten him out right then and saved the colourful pudding for afternoon snack.  But no.  I thought that might be robbing him of the greatest adventure of his lifetime!  So we did some finger painting.  Or at least I did some finger painting.  I'll let the pictures take it from here:

 Levi carefully (index finger and thumb on edge of container so as not to get dirty) put both containers on the edge of the tub.  The mess you see in the picture is compliments of mom, trying to show him how much fun it is to get messy...and did I mention that it tastes good too?!  He wasn't a fan.  He then proceeded to push the blue pudding off the edge and *SPLAT!* onto the floor. 

 "Mom!  Please get me out of here!  It's cold and icky and I just want OUT!"

 "Please, Mom?  Please can I come out now?"

 "Are you done taking pictures yet?  Can I come out?"

"Oh, ok.  You're going to run a nice warm bath for me.  This is good.  I can handle this.  Hey, I've never been in here WHILE the water is running...I'm going to try to catch it!  Annnnnd.....NOW.  Maybeeee....NOW.  Boy, this stuff is hard to catch..."

Ok, you'll have to forgive the cheesy Levi-commentary.  Parents just tend to have a hard time not putting words into their children's mouths.  (Alas, I'll have to work on it so that I do not continue to do this once he can speak for himself.)  It was an adventure and definitely broke up our routine, but I wouldn't say it's something I'll try again anytime soon.  I did discover that our boy prefers not to be dirty.  Face is good, hands is good, but it had better be food-dirtiness, and it's had better be there because I put it there and not there because mom is trying to rub slime all over me.  Haha.  I think what Levi needs is a little brother or sister so get right in there with him and show him how it's done.  Isn't the second sibling often much less worried about getting dirty and trying new things?  Don't worry, I'm not announcing anything.  I'm just saying, the thought crossed my mind as I was getting Levi cleaned up...maybe next time I try this, I'll have two little bodies to scrub clean afterward :)

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Christmas Letter 2011

Alrighty, I guess since Christmas is coming quickly, I should get this letter written!  What a year it's been, though.  Where to start?

When last year started, we had a 3 month old baby.  We were excited to put Levi in his Jolly Jumper for the first time, and were watching all his developments (daily!  is our kid the smartest ever?!).  I'm not sure what else we did.  I think we did alot of hanging out in the house, avoiding the cold!

This month officially marked one year of knowing that we would be expecting a baby in 2010!  As far as other things in life, it was fairly uneventful.  Levi was 4 months and also started sitting by himself at the end of February!  Nathan took a short homework break for Christmas so February brought the writing of his Master's thesis.  If my memory serves me right, I believe he wrote the majority of his 148 page thesis this month.  (If anyone wants a copy, by the way, I'm sure he would gladly send one out to you electronically!)

March was more homework for Nathan.  At some point he realized that he just wouldn't get any homework done at home with an increasingly aware and interactive baby, thus began Nathan spending his days in the Bethany College library.  Levi and I hung out at home, with one guaranteed outing each day to get the mail and pick up any groceries we may have been needing. :)  It was also the month when Levi started scooting around on his belly to reach whatever desirable toys were out of reach.

At the beginning of April, Levi and I packed up and flew to Indiana to visit my sister.  The trip was about 5 days long and we enjoyed seeing where she was living, and exploring some of the Amish shops nearby.  Shipshewana, anyone??  Levi was a perfect travel companion and an even better shopper.  He just hung out in the Moby wrap for an entire day of going in and out of stores.  We joked that I would be shocked if our next baby hates shopping because Levi is just so calm and happy when we're out!  April also brought the exciting development of introducing solids to Levi.  Took a few months for him to really catch on though...peas, anyone?

Nathan was finally done his Masters degree!  He officially has a Master of Arts majoring in Theology.  Levi and I were so proud of him for finishing in the originally planned two years.  Plus, this meant that I got my husband back!  Nathan being a student for the first half of 2011 was hard, but also incredibly perfect for the first year of Levi's life.  While Nathan had homework to do, he also had a flexible schedule, so when I was up all night with Levi, Nathan was able to get up with Levi in the morning and give me an extra hour or so of sleep.  That just wouldn't have been possible if he'd needed to be at work at 9am!  Anyway, back to grad.  We flew down to Fresno, CA to be part of the graduation ceremonies.  Our parents joined us down there for the festivities and it was also wonderful to catch up with friends from our year living down there in 2009-2010.

While Nathan graduated in May, he still had a few requirements to finish up before being completely DONE.  He finished up these requirements at the end of June/beginning of July with a trip to LA with some classmates.  In June, our question of "what's next?" was answered as we were asked to candidate at a church we'd applied to and a couple weeks later were officially asked to fill the position.  As I'm trying to keep details like our complete names and locations to a minimum on this blog, I'll just say that the church we are working at is an answer to prayer.  The town and church that we are a part of is more than we ever hoped or imagined it would be.  Like I say when people ask how we've settled, "we are 100% sure that we are exactly where God wants us right now and that is a wonderful feeling.  It's been home right from the start."  Just days after being asked to fill the position at the end of June, we drove to our new town and bought a house!  This, too, was an answer to prayer.  After moving half a dozen times in the past two years, we were really hoping to be able to move straight into a place where we could see ourselves being long-term but weren't sure if this would be possible having just been students for the past two years with no regular income.  Praise God the funds were there and we were able to purchase a home!

July was a vacation month for us.  We spent time with friends and family, and ended the month with a family gathering/reunion with my mom's entire side of the family to celebrate my grandma's 85th birthday.  I think there were only three families missing...and that's pretty good considering the number of families who could make it!

We moved into our house on August 2.  The first two weeks of the month were spent unpacking and exploring our new town.  Nathan started work at the church on August 15.  We soon realized that it was just as perfect a fit for him as it seemed and he's been enjoying work ever since!

I'm not sure what there is to say about September.  Levi continued to grow.  Every couple days I would be reminded of the previous year when we spent the whole month of September waiting for Levi to make his appearance.  Lots of memories of a big belly, trying to get labour started, and getting up 12 times a night to use the bathroom...what a long month it was in 2010.  This year, we continued to get settled into our house, though it soon felt like we'd been here forever.  Church programs started up.  Levi and I did alot of playing as Nathan is gone during the working day for the first time in Levi's life.  Life is good!

Levi celebrated his birthday on October 8!  He started walking instead of crawling days later (though he had been taking steps for a couple months already).  He is suddenly more of a little boy than a baby!  We had both of our families here to celebrate his birthday as well as thanksgiving and Levi's baby dedication at church.  We also had a couple out of town friends here for the weekend.  We were so glad to have our house full of people we love!  I should probably also include that this month Nathan was finally able to buy his first motorbike!  He and my dad made a road trip out to Edmonton area with a truck to pick it up from my uncle's garage (with permission, of course).  This is also the month that, after almost 2 years of having an online shop, my home business "Uniquely Me Design" really took off and started making me busier.  I make handmade gifts and sell primarily through my etsy shop (  Shameless plug, I know.  Sorry :)  It's been fun to be able to use my skills to provide other people with quality handmade items.  It's been a great creative outlet as I had been holding myself back, not wanting every.single.item in our house to be made with a crochet hook and yarn!

We made quick trips out of town to visit both parents this month.  With being so close (4 hours to my parents, 1.5-2 hours to Nathan's parents) we try to see each set of parents/grandparents once a month, though sometimes that just doesn't happen with the busyness of life.  Levi had his first bout of sickness in November which resulted in a trip to the emergency room while visiting my parents.  His fever lasted 5 days in total...not fun.  While at the hospital, the mother of one of my good friends (a nurse in town) was ever-so-kind and took care of Levi so well.  It was nice to have a familiar face while waiting to find out what was making Levi feel so down.  Nathan continued to be busy with work this month...lots of evenings which is quite typical of pastoral ministry.

December brings with it anticipation of the holidays!  We are blessed to be able to spend time with both families this Christmas season, including all of our siblings!  It is SO nice to be closer to family than ever before in the time we've been married!  Levi and I have been doing a bit of Christmas baking together.  Levi is walking all over the place, climbing, dancing, eating, "talking", and is just such a joy!  He certainly keeps us busy but we wouldn't have it any other way.  Our Christmas tree is up (still...Levi has been respecting it and all its ornaments - except the ONE that I have given him permission to play with...we can't expect him to not touch the tree at all, now can we?  Where would the fun be in that??) and it's beginning to feel alot like Christmas!

With all that said, I'm sure Levi will be waking up from his nap anytime now and wanting some lunch.  So, from our home to yours, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  May God bless you richly in the coming year!

Nathan, Niki, and Levi

p.s-Oh, and yes, Nathan's head is cut off in our family picture (top of the blog).  I truly thought it just made for a cozy effect but Costco didn't even print it right away because they thought it was a mistake.  Oops.  What do you think?  Is it ok??