Sunday, June 29, 2014

Cloth Diapering Twins

So a lot of people have asked me about cloth diapering, and how we do it with twins.

My answer is really not that exciting, but here goes (because we all know that the internet needs another post about cloth diapering):

I don't think our method of cloth diapering is really any different than with a single kid, there's just more...diapering.  Right now we have a system, and both Tyson and I like it (yup, he is on board, too).  We tried a couple of things before finding what we liked.  What we do now works, and works well, and quite frankly I don't have the time/money/inclination to try anything else right now.

Here's a look at our "setup":

From left to right (across the front): extra/travel wet bag, prefolds, Snappis (on top of the prefolds), wool covers, wipes, and disposable diapers (just in case).  Also assorted creams, soap, lotion, etc.

Remember, we live in an apartment, so it's nothing extravagant.  Space is a premium, so it really is just that one little drawer in the top of the changing table.  Right now we have about 24 prefolds, which have to be washed every day, since we literally go through them in about a 24-hour period.  It would be nice to have maybe double that amount, but then we run into more issues: storing the clean ones (24 barely fit in the drawer as it is), storing the wet ones, since then we would need another wet bag because 24 more than fill up the large one we already have, unless we wanted to KEEP washing every day, etc., etc., etc. Since I am home every day, this works for us right now, and I rarely have to supplement with a disposable diaper from forgetting to wash them in time (I know it's time to wash when there are about five or six left).

(Note: We use cloth diapers exclusively when at home, but still use disposable when we go out because EASY.  Cloth diapers would take up a ton of space in the diaper bag that I do not have, since I'm already carrying things around for two little people plus myself.  Also when we are out-of-town visiting family we don't bother with the cloth diapers, because it would again be a pain to lug them all and have to deal with washing them all the time.)  

Anyway, when I was first researching cloth diapers I was slightly intimidated, because people were making it sound like a Big Deal, you have to wash them, prefolds are the option that are the MOST WORK, whine, whine, whine...

I don't know what those people were talking about.  They are almost no work.  Fold in thirds, place on baby, pin with a Snappi, (I admit that it took a couple tries to figure the Snappi closure out, (plus there are different variations) but now it's second nature.  If I would have had someone just show me how to do it the first time it would have been easier.  I figured it out from looking at pictures.), and throw on a cover.  I'm partial to the Sustainablebabyish Knit Underwoolies. We have five, and again, it might be nice to have a few more wool covers, but at forty bucks a, I'll deal.  Also they are almost IMPOSSIBLE to find in a size one, except for the boring colors, like gray.  It's ridiculous, there's practically a black market for freaking Underwoolies.  (It's because they work and are so dang cute.)  We have a couple of polyester covers also.  They work fine if all the wool ones are wet, but aren't something I really like for all day every day use (although they do contain poo explosions nicely).  Again, the wool covers are super easy.  They pull on, and only need to be washed every two weeks unless they get poop on them first (yeah...ours have NEVER made it two weeks before needing a wash).  Washing involves: 1. Rinse off poop with cold water.  2. Fill sink with warm water.  3. Add a drop (literally, you don't need that much) of wool wash.  4. Add cover and soak for 15 minutes.  5. Air-dry wool cover.  The end.  The most annoying thing is that after washing, the covers take a good 36 hours or so to dry, but it's really not that big of a deal.  If they get wet from pee they just need to air dry before reusing them again.  Washing the prefolds is also super easy.  1. Set washer to largest load possible.  Do one rinse cycle in cold water.  2. Keep washer at highest setting, add detergent (I use Tide Original for all diapers, adult clothes, and baby clothes, everything, and have not had a problem) and do a full wash/rinse cycle in hot water.  3. Highest setting still, one more rinse with warm water.  4. Dry in dryer.  The whole process takes maybe 1.5-2 hours with our washer and dryer.

I thought I was really going to like the all-in-one style diapers, but...I didn't.  Just like a disposable diaper?!?  Only you can re-use them?!?  Shut up and take my money!!!  Gah...I hated them.  I don't know if we didn't get the sizing right, or the washing or what, (even though we washed them just like the prefolds, and the prefolds worked fine while the all-in-ones always seemed to repel everything and/or leak), but they never really worked for us.  All the snap/rise options, and velcro vs. snaps, and did I pull it tight enough around their legs (spoiler alert: NO NEVER), and why are there so many snaps again?.  Also, did I MENTION THE SNAPS???  They also need to air dry if you don't want to completely wear them out, which took at least a good 24 hours.  And, as I said, they never really did the job. They were cute to take pictures in, and I do miss the a-freaking-dorable prints, but they weren't worth it to me.  Again, I didn't have the time or inclination to figure out why they weren't working, (because TWINS) and then the babies were big enough to move up to the next size diaper, so I just stuck with what I knew and ordered prefolds.

My current prefold stash cost me all of $56, which includes an order of 24 prefolds (size small) and two polyester covers.  The wool covers I've bought randomly over time, but say that's another $200 (the size ones go up to 18 pounds, so you get a lot of use out of them), throw in a couple dollars for the Snappis, and you're at maybe $300 total.  I figure that otherwise we would go through about a case of disposable diapers a week, so with my math skills, I calculate that we are saving approximately a CRAP TON of money.  Plus being do-gooders for the environment.  Yay!

Which reminds me that as another part of our saving money/better for babies/we're totally hippies scheme, we also use cloth wipes.  We wet one in the sink with warm water before each diaper change (sounds like a hassle, but it isn't), throw it in the wet bag with the diapers when we're done, and wash them with the diapers.  Some people are fancy and have separate wet bags for their wipes, or a wipe solution and whatnot, I said, we're just hipppies.  Keepin it simple.  We've noticed a huge difference in their little bottoms between using the cloth wipes vs. the chemical-laden disposable ones, and a little bit of water is really all you need to get their bottoms clean (at least right now while they are only breast-fed).  While we don't bring the cloth diapers with while we travel, we DO take the cloth wipes, since they don't take up that much space, we don't use as many, and they are easy to wash even with another load of laundry.

There's a lot more (WAY more) out there in the cloth-diapering world...pocket diapers, flat diapers, doublers/inserts, diaper liners, creams, diaper pails, not to mention that everything will probably change when they start eating solids...but, like I said, this is what works for us now, and it works well.

Holy crap I had no idea that I could ramble on this long about cloth diapers when our system is REALLY SO VERY SIMPLE and I thought I didn't actually have that much to say.  I could STILL keep going.  I'm going to stop while I'm ahead-ish and assume that I must have gotten all my most important points in already.


What everyone actually came here for: pictures of cute babies in cloth diapers.  Enjoy.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Life, Lately

First off, someone snuck in at night and replaced my teeny, little babies with ginormous, big babies.  

They grew, and they got huge, and now I'm about to pack up their second set of clothes (the 3-ish month-sized ones).  (Even though some of the 3-ish month-sized ones still fit really well.  And some of the 6-ish month-sized ones are too small, so they never even wore them because why would I have thought they would be in a 6-month size already? Seriously clothing companies, get your act together.  I'm looking at YOU Jumping Beans.) And by "about to pack up" I mean "just as soon as I remember to buy another container to pack their clothes away in".  

Second, and more seriously, my grandpa, "Pa", passed away.  He died on June 12th, at the age of 88, after being diagnosed with Alzheimer's over a decade ago and fighting a tough battle for the last couple weeks of his life.  He was a navy veteran, married to my grandma for 65 years, father to six, grandfather to twelve, and great-grandfather to another six.  It seems like there's nothing you can really say that doesn't sound trite and cliche at a time like this.  Even so, he was a great man, the funniest guy to be around, and everyone is really going to miss him.  He had phrases-little one liners-for every situation in life. Christmas was "Smismas", his favorite drink was a "Manhootan", and if someone belched, he might say, "If it comes up again, we'll vote on it!"  That or, "Good morning, Father!"  They made boards showing 88 of these "Redderisms", and we were still coming up with more of them later.

His funeral was beautiful, and really represented who he was.  My favorite part (can you have a favorite part at a funeral?  I did.) was the military part of his burial.  They saluted the hearse as it pulled up, played "Taps" in the distance, and folded up a flag which was then presented to my grandma.  Again, I can't explain in words how unbelievably awesome it was, but if you've ever seen something similar, you'll understand.

Pa and I, circa...oh, maybe 1990?  That bow is as big as my face.

Big Chip last year.  Fun fact: I was five weeks pregnant.  Though I didn't yet know with twins...

And he did get to "meet" the twins, back in April before he passed away, so I'm thankful for that.

On the day he passed away, we were already scheduled to travel to Iowa for a golf tournament for Tyson's grandpa, who also passed away earlier this year.  (We started out the year with all eight of our grandparents living, and now we each lost a grandpa.  Life is weird.)

As much as I could never live in Iowa, you have to admit that this is a pretty sight:

Although keep in mind that basically the entire drive is like that, so...yeah.  I realized that it's the first time in YEARS that we've gone to Iowa when it's green out, instead of in the dead of winter when it's just...white.  And brown.  But mostly white.  Bleeccchh.

Hanging out with their aunt and uncle.

Caden taking a snooze with Grammie, who insisted that she absolutely, positively, did not fall asleep.

The twins made no such claims, though, and also fell asleep on Grammie's bed.

Tyson and I didn't golf, but hung out in the clubhouse with the twins during the tournament.  They didn't seem to mind their confinement so much.

"Infant jail isn't so bad after all!"

And we watched Grandma, Grandpa, Aunt, and Uncle (Tyson's mom, dad, brother, and (new!) sister-in-law) play some of their round.

Also Tyson tried his hand at hitting a drive...

Let us never speak of it ever again.

I was sort of bummed at first that I didn't get to golf (since I'm the Girl with the Milks), but then this happened:

So...yeah.  Those aren't golf balls out there, that's hail.

And that's...mostly it.

Oh yeah, and the twins turned four months old.  (Official update to come tomorrow, after their four-months doctor's appointment.)  (Probably.  Because: shots.  All the shots.)

"Dude, it's been four months.  Is she still taking all these pictures of us?"  (YES, because cute, coordinating crab outfits, guys!)

"Seriously, my hand and foot are so much more interesting than getting my picture taken."

"Caden, are you smiling?  Is this a serious shot?  What expression am I supposed to have?"

"Nonchalant it is then."


Monday, June 9, 2014

Post Weekend

aka "Look at Pictures of My Cute Kids (Because We Didn't Really Actually Do Anything This Weekend Besides Just Kind of Hang Out)"

This is the best picture I got of the two of them together the entire weekend:

Meaning that they both look (reasonably) happy, (mostly) upright, and not (too) blurry. And holy crap, look at the red hair on that girl.

Oh, the sun is finally giving you some good lighting for pictures?  Well I'm just going to completely fall over since I can't sit up yet jeez mom gracefully move out of the frame. Thanks, girl.



Can't get enough of those baby toes.  And how he looks like a freaking nine-month old when you take pictures of him from this angle.  I swear his legs aren't that long.

Daddy had to work FOREVER on Friday and Saturday, so this was us checking in with him, trying to look semi-cute and sane and not all HOLY CRAP WE'RE GOING ON OUR ELEVENTH FREAKING HOUR OF IT BEING JUST MOMMY AND THE TWINS AND LOOKING AT THE SAME FOUR(ISH) WALLS TOGETHER.  Also neither of them slept at the same time this weekend EVER.  (Just look at how menacing and evil and plotting they look up there.) One went to sleep while the other was awake.  Then the other one went to sleep just when the first one decided it was time to wake up.  Repeat.  Repeat.  Repeat.  Though at least they only do that during the day.  For the past few weeks they (not-so-humblebrag) sleep through the night, minus getting up around 3:00 to eat.  So they basically are in their beds from 7:00 or 8:00 at night to 6:00 or 7:00 in the morning.  It is FREAKING FANTASTIC. Someone asked me the other day when we were out shopping if I was getting any sleep, and I told her that heck yeah I am, so she wanted to know how I "trained" them to sleep and get up at the same time.  

Um...what the what?  I don't know.  Like, they just do their own thing?  And it happens to be the same thing at the same time?  Yes, I know I'm really lucky/blessed/some sort of wizard/etc.  Whatever, I'll take it. transition whatsoever to...

"What?  You want me to do something cute?"

"Like smiling?  Like this?  How's this?"


"Yeah, that was fun."

"How was that?"

Good job, girl.  Although your HUGE ASS SMILE up there actually makes you look pretty ticked off.  And it was hilarious.

Mr. Man had a more flirtatious smile going on:

And that was our weekend.  Mommy taking photos of cute babies doing cute things while Daddy did lots of smart math-type stuff.  The end.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Post (Wedding in San Francisco) Weekend

We were gone this past weekend for a trip to San Francisco for Tyson's brother's wedding. It was beautiful, especially the outdoor ceremony (something that doesn't usually fly in the Midwest).  If you ask Tyson, though, the most wonderful and important part was the best man speech.  * rolls eyes *


We actually left the twins with my parents for THREE WHOLE DAYS.  They were excited for their uncle and (now official!) aunt from afar.  

And while we absolutely missed them, it was nice in a way to get a break, too.  I'm not one of those people either who is like, "OMG I CAN'T LEAVE MY BABIES EVER!!!  YOU WILL HAVE TO PRY THEM OUT OF MY HANDS TO EVEN TAKE THEM TO SCHOOL!".  They were fine, and so were we.  And it was DEFINITELY better than bringing them along.  We avoided taking two babies through the airport, onto an airplane, bombarded by people (however well-meaning) everywhere we went, struggling with them in a new time zone, trying to get them to sleep, trying to get sleep ourselves, etc., etc., etc.  I still had to pump the whole time, though, which DID get pretty annoying (airplane bathrooms anyone?). Yeah, that was fun.

Also it meant that I could do things while we were there like get my makeup did (thanks to Richelle's connections!):

And have time to hang out with the exceptionally good-looking best man:

In conclusion: it was a fun (quick!) weekend, but I don't plan to leave these babies again anytime soon.  :)