Cloth Diapers.

This is a very “only Moms will care” post, be forewarned.

I use cloth diapers. And I love the heck out of them. When I was extremely nauseous/sick earlier this pregnancy I just couldn’t handle them [too many smells! too much work!] and it saddened me.

The #1 reason I love them??? THEY ARE COST EFFECTIVE. Seriously, you can pay less than $500 to diaper 2++ kids. And you’d be out $500 in just 10 months of diapering one child in disposables (if you’re averaging one $50 case of diapers per month). Yes, there is more work required, but with kids you’re already doing tons of laundry so…what’s the diff? That’s how I feel anyway.

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first day in cloth, 3 weeks old!

There are a bajillion cloth diaper blogs and resources out there, which is why I haven’t felt the need to post anything about my routines and such. However, I have noticed a trend in these online sources….THEY ARE SO WORDY. Granted, there can be a lot to say about cloth diapers and wash routines if you care or are trying to solve a problem. But if you’re just curious or are a new Mom just starting out??? You don’t need to know all of that crap! [ha. ha. ha.]

So I present to you:

Rachel’s Condensed Cloth Diaper Guide [or, how I contain my child's excrement in a sanitary fashion]
complete with links to specific products, if you’re interested!

  1. I use covers and prefolds [or inserts].
    • Covers are waterproof and re-useable, as long as they are not slathered with poo inside
    • The prefold or insert is the absorbent part that collects the pee/poo. This is the part you swap out during a normal diaper change
    • I have about 5 covers in each size.
    • I have about 12 inserts for my 20 month old, and 18-24 prefolds for when she was younger
    • There are other types of diapers. All in Ones [AIO], All in Twos [AI2], and Pockets are the most popular.
  2. I also use cloth wipes. They are made of flannel cut into squares, and baby washcloths.
  3. If baby is exclusively breastfed, I don’t rinse the poo. It’s water soluble.
    • If baby is eating solids, I dump what I can into the toilet, I don’t worry too much if something won’t come off
  4. I store the diapers in a hanging wet bag, which I wash with the diapers.
    • I own two, so that I can have a clean one hanging while the other is in the wash
  5. I wash dirty diapers every other day. Here is my wash routine:
    • Dump dirty diapers into top-loading washing machine
    • Set water level to low, temperature to cold
    • Add a towel if there aren’t enough diapers to make up a small load (you want it to be like diaper chili, not diaper soup. but don’t take it all the way to stew, either. too much OR too little water can prevent diapers from agitating properly. HE/front loading washers regulate this for you automatically)
    • Sprinkle a small amount of regular Tide detergent, run a “casual” cycle (AKA quick cycle)
    • Add a full scoop of Tide, run a “heavy duty” wash cycle
    • Take diaper covers out to line dry, put inserts and everything else in the dryer
    • Run for 1-2 cycles on bulky/high heat
  6. If the diapers ever smell a little stinky after they’re clean, I dump some bleach into the bleach dispenser in the washing machine during my normal wash routine.
    • If that doesn’t take care of it, I soak the clean diapers in bleach for 30mins and run a wash cycle without soap
    • For a bleach soak I use approx 1T bleach per 1gal water
    • You can do a bleach soak in the bathtub or in a top loading washer

 

Ta-da! There it is. The condensed how-to guide, according to me. There is a LOT more I could say, but I won’t unless you’re curious! Feel free to ask any questions in the comments. I loooove talking diapers so much. So so much.

love, rach

Happy Halloween [and a playlist, too]!

Happy Happy Halloween, blog friends!

I hope you have all had an awesome time dressing up and eating candy. I know I have! I binged on candy all week and now I feel a cold coming on….coincidence? I’d like to think it is, because even if the candy thing is directly related to the cold thing, it ain’t gonna stop me from eating more Halloween candy ;)

Firstly, our costumes this year:

The Hundred Acre Wood gang (well, 3.5 of them)!

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Kanga+Roo, Pooh Bear (the nose picker), and Christopher Robin!

And secondly, the thing I am stupidly excited about right now and what I have spent all of naptime compiling:

THE BEST CLASSIC ROCK HALLOWEEN PLAYLIST EVER

[and a link, in case the embed code isn’t working for you:  Classic Rock – Halloween ]

All of the best Halloween-esque classics. Spooky, weird, slightly creepy…this is my kind of Halloween soundtrack. It’s probably ridiculous how happy I am about putting this together. But anyway. You should listen to it, because it’s good stuff yo. Word to your mother.

be safe and have fun tonight, trick-or-treaters and party goers!

love — rach

Numba Two!

So I think I’ve told most people that read this blog already, but it may be a surprise for some of you….we’re having another baby! He’s due on February 24th (and we aren’t even telling our own mothers his name until it’s on the birth certificate ;) ). Woohoo! This somewhat explains my blogging hiatus, as I felt particularly awful for the first 13 weeks. Dairy made me sick for the first little while too, so even my ice cream reviews had to stop. I was also unable to exercise for a while so of course that Triathlon in August didn’t happen, therefore there was not much training to discuss. But I did become quite the Popsicle connoisseur, and nobody died! Success!!

Here are some photos and a pregnancy survey (yay surveys!), because I can’t think of an eloquent segway right now:

20 Weeks, Baby #2

I feel like I make this face a lot lately. Staring blankly at nothing...haha. My brain is a little slow sometimes.

I feel like I make this face a lot lately. Staring blankly at nothing…haha. My brain is a little slow sometimes.

How far along? 20 weeks (21 on Monday)
Total weight gain: I’m not sure, and I don’t really care. I don’t own a scale. I do know that I lost about 5-10lbs during the first trimester but have been gaining since then!

Maternity clothes? I’m actually buying some this time! Haha. See photos for evidence of my most recent purchases.
Stretch Marks? Just all the leftovers from Daisy :) no new ones yet, but I’m sure they’ll come.
Sleep? Still decent! I recently caved and bought a Snoogle. I don’t care if it’s a stupid expensive pillow, that was one of my top 5 life decisions.
Best moment this week? Daisy likes to sing “Happy” by Pharrell when she is in the bathtub. She has an octopus that is particularly happy (apparently), so she will pick him up and start singing “Happy! Happy! HAPPYYYY!” to him in her little singsong voice. Tonight I played the song for her and she went nuts. I laughed so much. I love her and I want to hit the pause button on life…well, on her aging process at least :)

Miss Anything? So I’ve got this Symphisis Pubic Dysfunction that’s been going on for about 6 weeks already. I miss being able to put on pants and shoes while standing up (balancing on one leg hurts like the dickens).
Movement? Yep! Been able to feel him for the past 6 weeks, too! It’s really neat.

Food cravings: Salty and vinegar-y, with the occasional “oh I need to eat that right now” feeling. Like today, I saw a bottle of Ranch dressing in the store and wanted some pizza + ranch to dip it in. The other day my neighbor talked about tuna sammies and a chocolate shake (not eaten together, haha) and I found myself wanting both foods shortly thereafter.
Anything making you queasy or sick: smells, when the Zofran is wearing off. I still take it about once a day. Miracle drug.

Gender: BOY!
Labor Signs: I can feel Braxton-Hicks occasionally, but that’s not really a labor sign (thank goodness. it’s still a bit early for that.)
Belly Button in or out? In…ish? My ultra-innie was superbly stretched last pregnancy and looks a little funky and folded now, so I can’t quite tell what it’s doing. Haha! I love my funky belly button.
Exercise? Walking as often as I can and running after my 19 month old err’day :) I was in a good yoga routine a few weeks back, I should get back to it…
Wedding ring on or off? On…sort of. I lost so much weight at first that it fell off constantly, so I took it off. Thought I stored it in my jewelry box. Went to put it back on a couple weeks ago, and it’s not there. So, I’m wearing a fake one…
Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy! Infinitely less moody than my previous pregnancy. Hallelujah.

Looking forward to: Everything! I’m so excited about life and so happy not to be feeling disgusting like I did almost my entire last pregnancy. But the next specifically new baby related thing I’m stoked about would probably be getting the cribs for the kid’s room! It’s going to look great. Fingers crossed Daisy continues to not know how to climb out of her crib. I’ll keep her in a cage as long as she’ll let me ;)

love, Rach

HALLOWEEN!!!

So guess what, guys. It’s my favorite season.

The season of PLANNING AND MAKING AWESOME HALLOWEEN COSTUMES!!!!!

I love love love the dressing up portion of Halloween. It is my favorite. And now that I have a husband and child to dress up in themed costumes with me?! MY LIFE IS COMPLETE.

While thinking about the costumes I am going to construct this year, I realized I neglected to post any photos of last year’s phenomenal family costume on the blog! The photos themselves are not very phenomenal — next time we’ll have to remember to take decent ones, but OH WELL.

Without any further ado, I give you….

KRONK, YZMA, AND BUCKY (squeak squeaker, squeak squeaken)!

 

First up - the most adorable Bucky the Squirrel ever. (her first Halloween!)

First up – the most adorable Bucky the Squirrel ever. (her first Halloween!)

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Close up of my Yzma makeup!

Close up of my Yzma makeup!

And my best Yzma face (I felt like I wasn't allowed to smile in this costume, haha)

And my best Yzma face (I felt like I wasn’t allowed to smile in this costume, haha)

obligatory adorable squirrel shot

obligatory adorable squirrel shot

the gang!

the gang!

my hubs is such a champ for wearing a skirt (don't worry, he had shorts on too)

my hubs is such a champ for wearing a skirt (don’t worry, he had shorts on too)

So, there you have it! The only photographic evidence in existence that we actually dressed like this in public. Haha!

The sad realization we had with these costumes, though, is that The Emperor’s New Groove is not NEARLY as universally well-known as it should be (in my humble opinion). I received many compliments along the lines of “I don’t know who you’re supposed to be but you look great!” and several people asked my husband if he was a Nephite. Luckily Bucky was usually correctly identified as some type of adorable rodent, even if she was confused for Chip&Dale a couple times. (Interesting observation: most kids would immediately understand if we merely said “Squeak squeaker, squeak squeaken!” )

I’ve saved the costumes of course, in hopes that one day we can bust them out again in a more cultured area where people know their Disney canon properly ;)

Here’s a clue about our costume theme this year:


if the original youtube uploader is infringing on Disney copyright by putting this video up I’m sorry for using it!

What are YOU doing this Halloween?!

love, rach

Oh and here’s a list of things I made for the costumes, for those who are interested! If you are trying to make a costume yourself and have questions, leave a comment!
KRONK: Crocheted hat (with floral wire and felt for the “stem”). Muscle shirt with felt appliques. Felt+velcro arm bands. Elastic waist wrap skirt. Long sash. He wore athletic shorts underneath and regular tennis shoes, because my hubs doesn’t ever wear sandals.
YZMA: Collar (made with floral wire, craft feathers, LOTS of hot glue, reinforced fabric, closes in the front with a snap). Painted cardboard earrings. Head wrap from an old t-shirt. I wore two sets of false eyelashes, and a black maxi dress borrowed from my Mom.
BUCKY: Hat (fuzzy fleecy fabric with ears attached and felt applique for the face). Puffy body (fuzzy fleecy fabric lined with an old t-shirt, sewn like a bubble skirt. Stuffed tail attached in the back). She wore a onesie and tights underneath.

The Neon Run!

So, two Saturdays ago, I ran my first 5k with some friends!!

It was a super fun neon-dance-party-pseudo-rave kind of thing. AKA, untimed, and a BLAST. (But I did still kind of try to time it and I think we completed it in 40ish minutes! Which is pretty dang good in my book. Haha). It was at Candlestick Park (where the 49ers used to play), and we even got to run through the stadium at one point! Not ON the field though…that would have been cool. And not on the stairs either…that would not have been cool. Hahahaa.

I’ll let the pictures tell the story:

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Shari, getting her war paint on

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Jayna, Shari, myself, Arica, and Brittney!

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Blacklight glow zone!

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Arica looked SO awesome. And her gel nails were glowing like crazy.

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BOOM.

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Dance partay!

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It was pretty awesome. And pretty much the closest any of us Moms are ever going to get to a rave…on a church night. Hahaha :)

Seriously, these ladies are awesome. I am so lucky to live exactly where I am, surrounded by them and countless other fantastic friends! Jayna and Shari are pretty much pro runners, Brittney has some impressive races under her belt, and Arica and I are super slow newbies. But they all slowed down to jog beside us (and encouraged us to try this whole running thing in the first place, haha)! Also I wore my craptastic old running shoes (glow paint was EVERYWHERE), and they were killing my feet/ankles halfway through. So Shari found out we wear the same size and she up and traded shoes with me so I wouldn’t hurt myself. Talk about giving the clothes off your back. Pretty sure I shed a tear for that one…or maybe that was just eye leakage from the wind in my face. Either way, I was touched : )

And as for that triathlon training….well, it’s going! This week was kind of a bust. But the two weeks prior were pretty decent! Brittney and I are training together. We run on our own, but we’ll swim and go on bike rides together after our kiddos are asleep. Actually, we’ve just done it twice so far….dang, it is so hard to feel like biking and swimming after a long hard day chasing kids. And it’s even harder to get the training done in the wee hours of the morning when your kids aren’t reliable sleepers yet. But we’ll work it out….I’m just happy to be training and to have a goal  to work toward! Someday I’ll complete a triathlon, even if I’m not ready this August.

Hope your summer is off to a fantastic start! We’re off to a family camping trip next weekend, I’ll be sure to take lots of pictures and tell you all about it ; )

love, Rach

Who AM I??

So, let me tell you all about how my life got flip-turned upside down…

Okay so it’s not really THAT dramatic. I didn’t get into any fights and I’m not moving across the country. I’ve just had a major change of heart.

Allow me to wax nostalgic on you here for just a sec.

When my sister was in middle school, she joined the track team and ran hurdles. I was inspired by her athleticism, and decided I should start running too. I had always hated running, but had gotten to the point of ALMOST not hating it once, when I had a friend to jog with in gym class.

So, I decided that my sister would run with me and that I would totally be the star of my high school track team next year. I started off with a great runner’s high!

I made it less than two blocks before being completely and totally wiped out.

And no, I’m not talking about city blocks. I’m talking neighborhood blocks, in our funky Seattle suburb, which really amounted to less than 100yds. More or less. I had no desire to go on, or to push through the pain, and I developed shin splints.

That story basically sums up my lifelong relationship with running.

But today – I find myself having gone running consistently for two months, beginning triathlon training today, and running my first 5k on Saturday. Also I went to a fancy running store and told them to tell me why my feet were hurting and then bought some expensive shoes (which I love).

WHO DO I THINK I AM?!?!??!?!?!!?!?!?

Now, this does not mean I am fast or athletic. I am down to a pretty consistent 12 minute mile, and that’s probably where I’m going to stay. I rarely run for over a mile, 2 miles is my max at this point, so yeah I’m a little nervous for that 5k. I still have little desire to push through the pain — I think my pain threshold might be slightly altered after bearing/birthing a child and this is why it’s easier for me ; ) Also, I have the raddest group of friends here, who are always encouraging me to be healthier and joining me for slow-stroller-jog-walks!

ANYWAY. Just wanted to let you all know I’ve apparently lost my marbles. Hopefully I’ll be able to take a break from my insanity often enough to update you on my adventures! Thanks for reading this blog of mine. You’re the best.

love, rach

TQFTMDMCCIC: In Space! [and a GIVEAWAY!]

AstronautIceCream_5

Okay, so this won’t be nearly as exciting as Muppets In Space, or as intense as watching Gravity in IMAX, or anything like that…But it’s still pretty dang interesting. I have eaten astronaut food, without even leaving the atmosphere. Or … Continue reading

TQFTMDMCCIC: Ding Ding Ding, We Have A Winner!

One of my best friends came to visit about a month ago, and on a trip into San Francisco we were set on hitting up the Ben&Jerry’s store along the waterfront. Until we came across this signage:

Norman's | Thin Mint

 

I took the bait, and boy am I glad I did! I’ve found a five-star flavor!Norman's | Thin Mint

THE SCOOP: Thin Mint by Mitchell’s Ice Cream. A  fresh, natural-tasting peppermint ice cream with dark chocolate shavings.

PROS: EVERYTHING. Light, fresh peppermint flavor that isn’t dyed green and doesn’t taste fake. With the most amazing texture. And high quality chocolate chips, that are the perfect texture to melt in your mouth!! Oh my. I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. Loved every last second of this cone.

CONS: I can’t purchase it just anywhere. The closest grocery store that carries it in the freezer section is Draeger’s in San Mateo! And if I ever move away from the Bay I’m straight outta luck.

OVERALL RATING: 5/5
And now my palate has been tainted, because I’ve finally tasted something that qualifies for five whole stars. My apologies for any further ice cream reviews – I promise I’ll try not to let my judgment be altered but I figured it’s only fair to let you know that it might be ;)

Since this was such a special find, I have a couple bonus categories/photos to share with you!

 

Norman's | Thin Mint

THE FELLOW TASTE TESTERS: This was the first time my darling daughter actually enjoyed ice cream! Before she’s just made nasty faces because it’s cold. Or maybe because it just wasn’t as delicious as this stuff. My BFF Maye was also here and taste-tested too!! But for some reason the only photographic evidence I have of our trip into the city together is the fact that you can see her shoes in the photo I took of the ice cream cone.

Norman's | Thin Mint

THE SHOP: Norman’s Ice Cream and Freezes. It’s adorable! Hidden in a little corner of a courtyard (in the Cannery), with that fantastic signage. I’m pretty sure the owner, Norman, is the one who served us, and he is a gem. “It’s a lovely day, huh? But not as lovely as you ladies or my beautiful wife!” Totally tipped him. You *can* purchase Mitchell’s ice cream at other locations, but I love this little place so much.

All in all, I’d say this day was one of the best days ever. It was enough to get both the “Best Day Ever” and “Everything Is Awesome” songs (a la Spongebob and The Lego Movie) both running through my head, because I am so mature and grown up when it comes to my mental my-life-is-awesome soundtrack.

love, rach
disclosure, again: ain’t nobody paying me to write this bidness.

[previous ice cream reviews can be viewed here!]

118 | 365

Rachel:

Slightly behind schedule edition of TQFTMDMCCIC (because I’ve misplaced my laptop charger and haven’t been able to write a proper post…) BUT here is this delightful review from my friend Keli! It’s a post from her 365 day photo blog – she’s taking a photo a day this year. She hasn’t missed a day yet and her photography is wonderful! Check it out, and thank you Keli!

Originally posted on Kel's 365- 2014:

118 | 365
118 | 365, a photo by kelsimad on Flickr.

HTC Incredible
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Velvia Filter
Instant Film Frame

Today’s photo is for Rachel and her TQFTMDMCCIC (The Quest For The Most Delicious Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream).

I have never liked mint chocolate chip ice cream and I hadn’t really thought about why until a few weeks ago. I just never wanted it. Well, someone in the house picked this flavor of Safeway’s Private Selection ice cream and I LOVED IT! I realized it was not the unnaturally green color or the mint that I didn’t like. It was the chocolate chips. I hate chocolate chips in ice cream. I hate how hard they are and how they stick to my teeth. This brand has crushed Oreo type cookies and swirls of fudge instead. DELICIOUS! Another funny thing is I only like Oreos in ice cream. I…

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