Wife, Mummy, Nurse: 2011

29 December 2011

Happy FIRST Anniversary Helen and Mike!!

Read about the
favors at this post.
This time last year, we were in Northern Ireland for my cousin's wedding.  [You can read Helen's blog here.]  So, I've been looking at photographs and tearing up.  Drew and Jen, my SIL, were able to meet my Grandad, Uncle Colin and Auntie Mavis, and cousins.  They had already met my other aunt and uncle because Uncle Blair officiated our wedding.  Robbie and I were finally able to meet Arlene, my cousin Timothy's wife.

Unfortunately, I was not able to see the bride walk down the aisle because Charis had a cold and I had to take her out to the nursery.  But, God was good. I was able to see most of the ceremony because Charis fell asleep in my arms.  After the service we had tea and coffee with scones, whipped cream, and strawberries.  I loved Helen's idea to request that those who were invited send in postcards so she could put them on a wall.  I did not see this wall, but our contribution was a postcard of the Pittsburgh International Airport, since I left the real postcard in our van.

The reception was at the Everglades hotel.  It was lovely.  We had wine, listened to a jazz band, and danced.  At the Everglades hotel, we had the Christmas meal that we did not have, since we flew on Christmas day.

The time we spent in Northern Ireland last year was time that we treasure.

Top Left: Bridal party after the service.
Top Right: Mike [the groom] holding Charis.
Bottom Left: Gareth playing the piano.
Botton Right: Drew and I.  I have NO CLUE what we
were laughing about, but it was something.

28 December 2011

Neckwarmers and Scarves {Yarn Along}

I'm STILL knitting Christmas gifts-the Celtic Cable Neckwarmer [for my SIL] and a Sweeney Todd Scarf [for my dad].  I just started reading The Friendships of Women by Dee Brestin, but I only completed one chapter. Note: I did not knit the sweater Charis is wearing; it was knit by my mum as a Christmas gift to Charis.  Unfortunately, I can't find my camera battery charger and had to use Drew's camera.  I'm missing my DSLR.

I have a few knitting goals for 2012.

  1. Knit Christmas decorations throughout the year, i.e. Santa baby ornamentTiny elf [forget the Elf on the shelf!], Little christmas treePartridge or a pear tree ornaments, etc.
  2. Knit soakers and longies.  Using the Curly purly soaker pattern and Ruffle skirted soaker [I'd like to have this finished by March or April].
  3. Knit Christmas gifts throughout the year, such as BowtieLondonderry legwarmers, and Zigzag lace scarf.  This way, I'm not caught up frantically knitting the last few weeks.
  4. I'd also like to knit my first sweater and knit a small fair aisle project, but haven't decided which patterns to knit.  
What's on your needles and what are you reading this week?
Do you have any knitting goals for this year?
Join us for Ginny's Yarn Along.

26 December 2011

Tips on Flying with an Infant

It's so hard to believe that it has been a year since we landed in Northern Ireland so we could attend my cousin's wedding.  Time has flown by.  I am thankful that Drew and I decided to travel when Charis was an infant, because I cannot imagine travelling with an active toddler.  I want to list a few things that helped us when we traveled last Christmas on an airplane.

  1. If your baby appears to be suffering from ear pain during take of and landing, breastfeed [or give a pacifier or formula].  But if your baby's sleeping, let him sleep.
  2. Bring a baby carrier.  By doing this, you can have your hands free as you are moving through the airport and your baby can hopefully sleep when you're carrying him.  I bought a Boba baby carrier about two weeks before flying and had no regrets about taking it over with us.  I liked the Boba because it's easy to put on and multiple people can wear it, since it's not sized.  My 6 foot 6 inch brother wore my daughter in it a few times on that trip.  
  3. Pack a wet bag to take on the plane.  Since Charis was only four months old when we traveled, she was still exclusively breastfed and had at least TWO blowouts on the plane.  I was thankful for our Planet wise wet bag.
  4. Pack 2-3 changes of baby clothes.  [See above reason.]
  5. Bring bottled water on the plane, especially if you are breastfeeding.  Staying hydrated helps prevent jet lag and helps keep your milk supply.
  6. Bring an umbrella stroller.  I say this because umbrella strollers tend to be less expensive than other strollers, so if something happens to it, it's not a big loss.  I bought a used umbrella stroller at a thrift store and was able to check it in at the gate before boarding the plane.
  7. Rent, borrow, or bring a car seat with you.  Thankfully, my aunt was able to borrow a car seat from somebody at her church.  So this was one thing I did not have to worry about.
  8. Ask for help before boarding or before leaving the plane.  Most airlines have passengers with young children board first.  And try to relax and enjoy the flight.
What tips do you have for traveling or flying with an infant?
My brother carrier my daughter using the Boba carrier.
This was taken inside Grianan fort.

21 December 2011

Charis in Maya Wrap {Wordless Wednesday}

Charis on Monday, after her nap;
she was grumpy and wanted held.
She was beginning to come down
with symptoms of a cold, so I got
my Maya wrap and put her in it.
Then she was as happy as a lark.
Then she 

20 December 2011

Tea, Lemon, and Honey {Gratituesday}

I'm thankful for tea, lemon, and honey.  My husband, daughter, and I are suffering from colds-sore throat, cough, runny nose, malaise, etc.  So, I'm sipping on some tea.  I'm also thankful that God is the Great Physician.

Note: This photograph was not taken tonight.  It is one I took earlier.  This is how I usually take my tea, with a little bit of milk and sugar.  Milk is NOT my favorite thing to drink or add to tea when I have a cold.

I'm also grateful that my parents are able to come and spend the weekend with us.  I work on Friday, so they will watch Charis while my husband works.

Join us for Gratituesday.

17 December 2011

Kraynaks

I spent the week after Thanksgiving in Pennsylvania.  On November 30, my mother in law organized a small group to go to Kraynaks in Hermitage, PA.  This was my first time being there.  They have a Santa's Christmasland that is free and open to viewing.  Here are a few photographs.

We saw a Charlie Brown display.



The poor pumpkin was unsure of EVERYTHING.  
Every time I tried to get her out of the shopping cart,
she would fuss and start to cry.


There was a pink ballerina Christmas tree.
I would have loved this when I was a little girl.


A heart


We are in STEELER COUNTRY!!!


Overall, this was not my cup of tea.  It was OK, but if we didn't go next year, I would not miss it.  A lot of the decorations seem tacky.  More and more, I'm preferring homemade ornaments instead of ones that were made in China.  I'm also told by various people that they go because their children like it, but we'll see what we do next year.

[even though we did this on a Wednesday].

16 December 2011

A Few Breastfeeding Rules I've Broken {Breastfeeding Blog Hop}


One of the tiny regrets I have with the birth of my daughter is that I did not begin nursing her as quickly as I wanted [I started about 1-1 1/2 hours after she was born].  Yes, she was laid on my chest immediately after birth, but was quickly whisked away so they could do an APGAR and bathe her.

After I ate my dinner tray, the nurse gave me my daughter.  I positioned my daughter in the cross-cradle, and she latched on beautifully and stayed there for a few moments.  The nurse said, "Now, I want to show you different holds.  This is how you do the football hold and this is the cradle hold, which you may find more comfortable."  I was thinking, "Really??  This was going so well until you tried to intervene for what you think is better.  It's not."  The different holds she was showing me were seemed unnatural.  When she left, I quickly moved my daughter to the position that was most comfortable for me and was working for her-the cross-cradle hold.  This helped show me that there is not one correct position to breastfeed.  This was my first step in breaking some breastfeeding rules that were placed on by an outside source.

Many say [myself included until I had a baby], "Don't give your baby a pacifier until breastfeeding is well established."  I DEFINITELY broke this rule, about five days after she was born.  I nursed her on demand [and despise Babywise books], but there were times that she would cry right after I finished nursing, so I'd try to put her back on, but she didn't want it.  She wanted to be soothed.  I quickly decided to put a pacifier in her mouth and hold her.  For some a pacifier this soon may wreak havoc on breastfeeding, but for others it would be fine.

Now, people are astonished when they find out my almost 16 month old is still nursing, usually 2-4 times/day. Before Thanksgiving, it was usually just twice a day-morning and evening, but during the holidays, she wanted to be nursed more.  I think it's because she was not used to the environment we were in; she and I were away for about 10-12 days, out of our surroundings, and she needed more comfort.  Thankfully our pediatrician is supportive of breastfeeding.  He is not telling us to stop, but others say, "Isn't she a little old to be breastfeeding?"  No, she's not.  I'm not forcing it on her.  She clearly shows me she wants it by pulling on my shirt, putting her hands down on my breasts, etc.  I try to use the milk sign for her, but she hasn't used it herself yet.  Many people falsely believe that you must start weaning my their first birthday.  No, I don't, and I'm not going to.  If Charis does not want to be weaned, I'm not going to force the issue, especially since she's still getting the many benefits of breastfeeding.

This post was written as part of the blog hop, hosted by Life with Levi
This weeks topic is: Breaking the Rules.

14 December 2011

Knitting {Yarn Along}

I'm still knitting the Celtic Cable Neckwarmer.  It feels like the knitting has been going so slowly, but I need to keep knitting away because it's for a Christmas gift to my sister in law [Jen] in honor of memories made last December in Northern Ireland.

I'm still reading The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis.  Hope you enjoy one of my favorite paragraphs from this book:
It was a sledge, and it was reindeer with bells on their harness. But they were far bigger than the Witch's reindeer, and they were not white but brown.  And on that sledge sat a person whom everyone knew the moment they set eyes on him.  He was a huge man in a bright red robe (bright as hollyberries) with a hood that had fur inside it and a great white beard that fell like a foamy waterfall over his chest.
Linking up to Ginny's Yarn Along

12 December 2011

Charis's Longies are Finished and Guest Post

You may remember the longies I wrote about knitting here and here.  Well, they are finished [and have been for a few days]!!  And you can see the final result on my guest post at Sophie and Momma's blog.  Nathania currently has a "A Very Wooly Event" going on, to date it has four giveaways.

Here's a snippet of my post:
Before I started cloth diapering, the only knitting projects that I completed were scarves or wash cloths, but this all changed during my third trimester.  I would go onto Etsy and saw the prices of hand knit soakers and longies.  They were so cute, but my heart would sink at what I saw.  I read of the benefits of using wool, especially at night, but I was not prepared to pay the money that was asked.  Thankfully, I found a website that has numerous soaker and longie patterns on it-Ravelry-and many of them are free!!  
Go check out the rest of my post and the giveaways on Nathania's blog.

07 December 2011

Future Knitter?? {Wordless Wednesday}

Only if she can start reading
knitting patterns right side up.

Celtic Cable Neckwarmer {Yarn Along}

It's been almost a month since I wrote what I've been knitting for Yarn Along!! Since then, I've decided what I'm going to knit everyone for Christmas.  Two gifts are completed.  Two more are on there way to be completed.  I need to buy yarn for my FIL's gift, but other than that, all my yarn is bought.

I started knitting a Celtic cable neckwarmer over Thanksgiving.  I have not knit as far as I would have liked, but I quickly found out I need to be paying close attention to what I am doing.  It's my first time knitting using a chart, so I'm learning as I'm going along. Thankfully, I have not made any mistakes yet, and I'd like to keep it that way.  So this project will be "slow and steady."  I'm using Tahki Donegal Tweed.  I hope the recipient [I'm not going to mention who] likes it.

I'm going to start reading The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.  I figured if I was knitting Celtic cables, I might as well read a book by a man from Belfast. Actually, I'll take ANY excuse to read any of the Narnia books.

What are you reading and knitting?
Are you making homemade Christmas gifts?
Join us at Ginny's Yarn Along.

06 December 2011

Thanksgiving {Gratituesday}

My new kettle!!
It seems like it has been forever since I have written a personal post.  I was on vacation until getting home on Sunday night. It feels good to be back home in the comfort of our apartment.

I am thankful for...

  1. My tea kettle.  On November 21st, I accidentally let our old kettle boil dry!  My husband told me to put it on my Christmas list, but I drink anywhere from 2-4 cups of tea/day.  I decided I was NOT going to wait until Christmas to get a new kettle, so I bought one the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.  In case you were wondering, my current kettle whistles.
  2. My health.  On November 23rd and 24th, I was busy vomiting and having diarrhea.  [Sorry for the TMI, please remember I'm a nurse.]  But it made me thankful for the health I usually have.  I was thankful I got sick halfway on our journey instead of before leaving or the first hour or two.  My husband and I decided to keep trekking to PA.  
  3. My parents and siblings [and spouses].  They came to get Charis on Thanksgiving morning.  Drew and I were both sick.  I slept on the bathroom floor and Drew slept in the laundry room.
  4. My SIL and her husband.  Who were VERY understanding when I told them what I accidentally did to the carpet because I didn't make it to the bathroom on time.  It was after that vomiting incident I decided to sleep on the floor in the bathroom.  
  5. Rug Doctors and the fact that my SIL and her husband have one.  See #4.
  6. My in-laws. They are coming down this week to watch Charis since I work on Friday, and Drew is planning to work on his dissertation.  
  7. Amy.  My IRL friend.  I was able to see her last Friday [and her two boys] and buy some Christmas presents.  Double win!!
  8. Wolf Creek Yarns. My favorite yarn store.  I was able to go their twice.  I have most of the yarn bought for Christmas gifts.  Now I just need to knit them.  :-D
  9. Drew being able to stay in PA longer than we originally thought he would be able to stay.
  10. God.  He sustains and preserves me.  He has given me salvation and to Him alone I am thankful for all these things and people.
Hope you had a good Thanksgiving.

What are you thankful for?
Join us at Gratituesday.

#fluffyxmas winner is...

Trista Zollars!!  

Congratulations Trista.  Hope you enjoy everything as much as I have!!  Winner was e-mailed and has responded.

01 December 2011

Merry Fluffy Christmas Cloth Diaper Giveaway #fluffyxmas


Welcome to the 2nd Annual Merry Fluffy Christmas!!  There are over 30 blogs participating.  Each blog has a prize package worth over $50.00.  There is only one winner per blog.  The event runs from December 1-5, and there is only one winner per blog.
Prizes [Left to Right]: Bummas cloth wipes, Londonware diaper cover,
Hippeez fleece diaper cover, and Sweet Bobbins organic
bamboo fleece flat diaper

Prizes [Left to Right]: Baby Bee Haven diaper cover,
Leibert Family Creations pocket diaper, and
Sew Silly Designs $10.00 gift card


30 November 2011

Sew Silly Designs #fluffyxmas

My last #fluffyxmas sponsor is Sew Silly Designs.  Kammie is a WAHM with two children.  She founded her Etsy store July 2010.  Kammie sews and sells fitted diapers, AIOs, pockets, covers, and AI2s.  If you don't see what you are looking for, contact Kammie and she'll work with you to help you get what you want.


I was sent a one size AI2 diaper to review.  When I received it, I saw that it was a Curious George print.  As a child, I loved reading Curious George.  This is a diaper I would definitely be willing to put on a boy if I have one later.  All of Kammie's diapers are made with a print outer layer, hidden layer of PUL, and an inner layer of cotton velour.  She has two snap in soakers that contain hemp fleece and the top layer is cotton velour for wicking properties.  The diaper has a three step rise and crossover tabs.  When I first received this diaper, I washed it three times before putting it on my daughter.  I had wicking the first 2-3 times she wore it, but the wicking has not continued.  I think part of this reason is because hemp takes 7-10 washes to reach full absorbency.  My daughter is 27.5 lbs., but I had to make the rise a little bit smaller on my daughter.  This diaper seems to run larger than many one size diapers which I am thrilled about because some of the one size diapers we have are beginning to run small on Charis.

Buy a cloth diaper for yourself from Sew Silly Designs or come back between December 1-5 and enter to win a gift code as part of the #fluffyxmas prize package.


Sew Silly Designs sent me an AI2 to review.
I was not compensated in any way
and all opinions are my own.

Leibert Family Creations #fluffyxmas

My next #fluffyxmas sponsor is Leibert Family Creations.  Vince and Jen are a family of six living in small town Nebraska; they homeschool their children and follow Christ.  Leibert Family Creations sell cloth diapers [both pocket diapers and fitted diapers] and cloth wipes.

I was sent a one size pocket diaper to review.  I love the print.  Recently, I've begun to really like animal prints, especially elephants and owls and the diaper has elephants on it!!  This one size diaper has a four step rise with PUL on the outside with cotton on the back.  The inside of the diaper has suedecloth which helps wick moisture away from Charis's skin.  The insert that goes in the pocket is approximately a 14 inch square of four layers of cotton terry, unfortunately it is not as absorbent as microfiber, but cotton is a natural material which I prefer.  I folded up the insert into thirds and placed it in the pocket.  Jen has some inserts that are made with cotton bamboo velour, so ask her about buying that insert separately.  The one downside to this diaper is it seemed smaller than most one size diapers I have, but it still fits and works for my daughter.  


Buy a diaper from Leibert Family Creations [ranging from $13-$18 for individual diapers.  If you don't see something you like, message Jen if you would like a custom diaper.  Come back between December 1-5 and enter to win a pocket diaper from Leibert Family Creations.


Leibert Family Creations sent a pocket diaper to review.
I was not compensated in any way and all opinions are my own.

29 November 2011

Baby Bee Haven #fluffyxmas

My next Merry Fluffy Christmas sponsor is Baby Bee Haven.  Baby Bee Haven is owned and operated by Heather a WAHM with two daughters.  She started sewing cloth diapers over three years ago after feeling,
Disappointed with the cloth diapers I used for my oldest daughter, and feeling guilty for all the waste I created using disposable diapers, I went on a quest for the perfect diapering system.

One of the first things I noticed about Heather's shop were all the cute prints.  Her cloth diaper covers are sized, and Charis weighs 27.5 lbs. [towards the end weight for the mediums, but beginning weight for the large covers].  Thankfully, I decided on getting a large cover for her.

Heather's diapers are made with 1 mil polyurethane laminate (PUL) liner and a 100% (preshrunk) cotton shell with an aplix closure.  There are laundry tabs to help prevent snagging of your other laundry.  Sizing is as follows: 
Extra small: 6-15 lbs
Small: 10-20 lbs
Medium: 20-30 lbs
Large: 25-35 lbs
Extra large: 35-45lbs

When I first received the diaper, my first thought was, "This looks small."  But, I was surprised and quickly saw it works very nicely with a prefold or flat diaper folded up into a pad [I wish I had this diaper during the flats and handwashing challenge].  The cover also fit over Charis's Thirsties duo fab fitted diaper.  I prefer aplix closures on diapers because it helps me to get a better fit on my daughter and it's a little bit easier, and this is no different.  I also like that Heather's covers are sized because it is truer to Charis's size.  I recommend Baby Bee Haven and will keep these covers in mind if I need to buy more covers.

You can buy a cover for yourself at Baby Bee Haven or you can enter to win one for a Merry Fluffy Christmas which runs from December 1-5.

Shop | Facebook 

Baby Bee Haven sent me a cover to review.
I was not compensated in any way and
all opinions are my own.

28 November 2011

Sweet Bobbins #fluffyxmas

Our next sponsor for #fluffyxmas is Sweet Bobbins.  Sweet Bobbins is an Etsy shop, run by Angela and Rene, that sells handmade cloth diaper accessories, including wet bags and wipes and flat diapers.  They don't just stop at making baby items; they also sew and sell items for moms, such as nursing covers and pads.  Angela and Rene are cousins living on opposite coasts in the US.  A few things that I love about Sweet Bobbins is they always pre-wash in warm water with free and clear soap that is safe for cloth diapering and if you don't see what you are looking for, ask them about making a custom order.


I was sent an organic bamboo fleece flat diaper for review.  I love bamboo, especially in cloth diapers.  The flat they sent me had primary rainbow serged edges with rounded corners.  The other thread choices for serging are: natural, pastel rainbow, primary rainbow, and pink rainbow.  Bamboo is four times more absorbent than cotton and has natural antibacterial properties.  It is so soft.  My daughter has been trying to take it out of the clean laundry basket to use as a blanket {so I'm thinking of getting her one for that purpose for Christmas}.  The flat diaper works nicely folded in a pad and just placed inside a cover.  When we're at home, I just use the origami fold, place my daughter on the diaper, use a snappi to fasten it, and let her run around without a cover.

Buy a flat diaper for yourself for $8.99 or come back between December 1-5 and enter to win a flat diaper from Sweet Bobbins.


Sweet Bobbins sent me a flat diaper to review.
I was not compensated in any way and all
opinions are my own.

Hippeez Fleece Diaper Cover #fluffyxmas

My next #fluffyxmas sponsor is HippeezHippeez is a WAHM-owned and operated Canadian cloth diaper company.  Hippeez diapers are handmade in Brampton, Ontario by Heather.  She started out making fitted diapers, but expanded to make other types of cloth diapers, including fleece covers and hand crocheted Little Fire wool soakers.

I received a large lilac purple fleece diaper cover from Heather.  Upon receiving it, I noticed that the cover is made with two layers of fleece, has encased elastic at the waste and legs, and has aplix, with fold back laundry tabs.

Over the past few weeks, I have seen why fleece is often called "the poor man's wool."  I am able to use this on my daughter overnight overnight over her prefold or fitted diaper and not have any leaks, while being able to get air to circulate to my daughter's skin.  I also LOVE that this cover has aplix because it's easy to put on my daughter, and I'm able to get a wonderful fit.

I would highly recommend buying one of Heather's fleece covers.  I love that they are custom made.  The only thing I wish was that she had more fleece options, but the options that she does have are cute.

You can buy a fleece cover now or you can enter to win a Hippeez fleece diaper cover for yourself as part of the prize package for a Merry Fluffy Christmas which runs from December 1st-December 5th.  



Hippeez sent me a fleece diaper cover to review.
I was not compensated in any way
and all opinions are my own.

23 November 2011

Londonware Fleece Soaker #fluffyxmas

Before I review the soaker I received from Londonware, this was my first time using fleece, and I was a wee bit nervous and fearful.  Yet, I wanted to try a fleece cover because I've heard people rave about fleece soakers and longies-both of which are sold at Londonware.  Thankfully, my fears were unfounded.

Londonware is run by, Wendy, a SAHM who currently has two children and is expecting her third.  She sells fleece covers, longies, shorties, and skirties in her shop, as well leg warmers, snack bags, and reusable gift bags.  Wendy also will do custom orders if you do not see something in her Etsy shop that you want, see her anti pill fleece prints and other fleece prints.


As I already wrote, I had no reason to be afraid.  I was sent a large fleece cupcake cover to review.  My mother in law who was visiting when I received it, remarked to me, "It's SO soft."  The first thing I noticed was the cute print, and the second thing was she had an extra piece of fleece sewn into the wet zone.  I immediately put in on my daughter at night.  There was no leaking overnight!!  It fit well over her flat diapers and prefolds, but not over her fitted diapers [which are a slightly more bulky].  But this was my fault, I measured my daughter over a prefold and forgot to take into account the bulkiness of our fitted diapers.  So, keep this in mind if you buy from Wendy, measure your son or daughter over one of their bulkier diapers.

A few things I like about fleece are its breathability, cost [it's less expensive than wool], and ability to be laundered without special care.  Wendy recommends that you launder inside out to prevent the fleece from pilling.

Buy a soaker for your child at Wendy's shop or enter to win a fleece diaper cover of your choice from Londonware  for yourself as part of the prize package for a Merry Fluffy Christmas which runs from December 1st-December 5th.  Go to Wendy's blog and enter to win Halo creations natural lip balm [ends November 25 at 12:00 PM].  [Giveaway has ended.]


Londonware sent me a Fleece soaker for review.
I was not compensated in any way
and all opinions are my own.

Charis and the Stethoscope {Wordless Wednesday}

22 November 2011

Bummas Cloth Wipes #fluffyxmas

As a cloth diapering mom, I can never have too many wipes.  There are so many uses of cloth wipes, such as cleaning up after eating, cleaning during diaper changes, washing my face, etc.

I was thrilled when Bummas said they were willing to sponsor me for a Merry Fluffy Christmas Giveaway Event.  Their wipes are 5" X 7" in size, and come in for color schemes The Wild Ones, The Calm Ones, The Girls, and The Boys.  Bummas uses 100% cotton [woven velour terry cloth].  The fabric is milled in the USA, and packaging and manufacturing are done in Southern California.

Unforutnately, I did not take a picture when I received
them, but I'm missing two wipes in this picture.
I received a set of The Wild Ones to review.  Upon receiving them, I felt how soft they were.  I also noticed how bright the colors were.  I was surprised at their size.  I didn't realize how small 5" X 7" was, but quickly saw that cleaning up poop was easier with a smaller wipe.  With bigger wipes, I sometimes feel like I'm losing control and actually spreading the poop around more, instead of cleaning it.

Picture on the left: Charis yesterday, after lunch before I cleaned her.
Middle picture: Charis inspecting the wipe I just used to clean her.
Picture on the right: Charis sniffing the wipe.
I love that Bummas:

  • Are reusable and reduce waste: Unlike disposable wipes where I can only use once and then throw away, I just wash the wipes, dry them, and they are ready to use again.
  • Do not shrink after washing them.
  • Are made of 100% cotton
  • Are made in the USA
  • Are versatile: They are not just for cloth diapering parents.  There are many uses for cloth wipes.
  • Are convenient: They do not take up a whole lot of room in my diaper bag, and I have found I can roll them up and put them in a small disposable wipe container.
You can buy Bummas in packages of 10 wipes for $16.99 [or for their Black Friday special order The Girls for just $10 + $2 shipping].  You can enter to win a set for yourself as part of the prize package for a Merry Fluffy Christmas which runs from December 1st-December 5th.

Like Bummas on Facebook | Follow Bummas on Twitter

Bummas sent me this product for review. 
I was not compensated in any way 
and all opinions are my own. 

A Photo That Makes Me Smile {All About Me in 30 Days}

Day 10: 


This cross stitch is hanging up in our bathroom.  One of my best friends [Amy] gave it to us as a wedding present.

The story behind it is: The year was 2004.  We were getting ready for the Extravaganza, the Tri-Rhos semi-formal dance at Grove City College every February.  I was flipping through Deuteronomy looking for the Bible verses I had told Amy and Rachel I wanted on my bathroom wall when it came time to living out of my parents house.  Finally I found it.  Amy took a mental note and 5 1/2 years later gave me this as a gift.  Thanks Amy!!  Yes, it's DEFINITELY hanging up on the bathroom wall.  Every time we have guests over, we take a "field trip" into the bathroom to show them this.

21 November 2011

My Dream House {All About Me in 30 Days}

Day 9: My Dream House


Before I begin, to be honest, I was dreading this post and writing it because this is one area I lack contentment in.  Drew and I do not own our own place.  We rent a one bedroom apartment.  We often hear comments such as, "You need a bigger place because you have a daughter."  Or, "Your daughter needs to have her own room." Or, "You need a bigger place so you can have more things or places to put those things."  As if having a bigger place will solve all our problems.  They won't.  I right this post reminding myself that this world is not my home.  My ultimate home is in heaven.  Having a smaller place has slowly taught me the importance of prioritizing.  Do I really need to keep this or that?  No, ultimately that's not important.  My mind needs to be focused on God and what He has done for me.


But with that being said, a few characteristics of my dream house are having a:

  • Front porch
  • Knitting/craft room
  • Enough space so I can have a garden and free range hens [Drew is warming up to the chicken idea.  This also means before we buy our own place, we need to look at laws re. chicken ordinances.]
I would also like to live in Pennsylvania, near a solid church, and within driving distance [less than 1 hour] of a Trader Joes.
These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city. [Hebrews 11:13-16]

14 November 2011

My Cloth Diaper Question...

One of my favorite blogs is Doable Diapers, which is written by Andrea.  She owns an online cloth diaper store called Doable Diapers.  Andrea recently started Mailbox Mondays: Questions from Readers on her blog.  This week, she took my question:
What type of diaper would you recommend to someone who has to pay every time they do laundry?
When I first looked at cloth diapering, I eventually decided to go primarily the prefolds with covers route for this reason she gave:
Prefolds are a really “safe” bet for the laundry mat because cotton is really easy to care for.  You don’t have to be as concerned about contracting build-up from someone else’s detergent left over in the machine.  Cotton prefolds are also inexpensive to purchase, so you can add a lot to your stash for a small investment.  So if one is ruined or left behind at the laundry mat, no worries! [Italics were added by me for emphasis.]
Check out the rest of her response to my question.

13 November 2011

One of My Favorite Psalms

Psalm 122: 
I was glad when they said to me, "Let us go to the house of the LORD!" Our feet have been standing within your gates, O Jerusalem! Jerusalem— built as a city that is bound firmly together, to which the tribes go up, the tribes of the LORD, as was decreed for Israel, to give thanks to the name of the LORD. There thrones for judgment were set, the thrones of the house of David. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem! "May they be secure who love you! Peace be within your walls and security within your towers!" For my brothers and companions’ sake I will say, "Peace be within you!" For the sake of the house of the LORD our God, I will seek your good.
Hope you're having a restful Sabbath.

12 November 2011

This Photograph Brought Amusement

There was a Republican debate in South Caroline.
Where's South Caroline???

Note: Maybe I shouldn't be laughing at somebody's mistake, but I am.  Drew and I were laughing at this tonight.  :-D

10 November 2011

Cloth Wipe Solution

I made a new cloth wipe solution.  It is EASY!  You need:

  • 1 Tbsp. baby shampoo
  • 1 Tbsp. baby oil
  • 1 cup water

Mix everything together and put the solution in a bottle.  When using cloth wipes, squirt a small amount into the wipe, clean your baby, and enjoy the smell.

Note: I use Burt's Bees.  I love their Baby Bee line.  Sometimes, I use castile soap instead of baby shampoo.

Do you make your own wipe solution?
Can you share how it's made?

09 November 2011

Longies and Russia-Again {Yarn Along}


I'm still knitting the longies and reading about Russia that I posted last week.  Actually, I dropped a stitch, and haven't fixed it yet (and I'm not very good at going in with a crochet hook and fixing them).  I hate dropping stitches.

Do you know of any good knitting video tutorials that teach how to fix a dropped stitch?
Join us at Ginny's Yarn Along.

What's On Your Fridge?

I have a confession: Anytime I go to visit a friend, I look at two things, their books and their refrigerator.  You can tell by looking at a person's fridge, i.e. the amount of friends they have, how much they like order (or chaos), their schedule (and their childrens' schedule), what weddings they've been invited to, who they are praying for (because they have missionary photo cards), recipes they like, etc.

Here's a photograph of my fridge:

If you look at my fridge, a few things you will note:
1. My daughter LOVES her Leapfrog toy magnet, but I keep a lot of the magnets high up because she would throw them ALL on the floor if she was allowed.  "Every letter makes a sound. B says buh."
2. I still have the handmade Valentine card I received in 2010.
3. I gave my cousin maple syrup as a small wedding gift.  Note: She lives in Scotland (and blogs at MK Wings) where maple syrup is not as readily available or as cheap as it is in the States.
4. You might think that either Drew and/or I went to Westminster College, but you'd be mistaken.  We have a relative who teaches there.

What's on your fridge?

08 November 2011

Menu Planning November 7-13 {Plan It Don't Panic Meal Challenge}

Monday: We had stromboli.  You've probably picked up on the fact that I like stromboli and enjoy it!!

Tuesday: French onion soup/Crusty baguettes

Wednesday: Red lentil curry/naan bread

Thursday: Successful hamburger helper substitute/Greenbeans

Friday: Mexican style black bean burgers/Yogurt/Salad

Saturday: Potatoes/Meat/Dill carrots

Sunday: Pancakes and Bacon

Giveaway Events on Other Blogs

If you are new to cloth diapering or want to see what others say about different brands, then check out the upcoming giveaways on other blogs.
Eco Baby Mama Drama is having a "Falling into Fluff" event from November-December 2011 "in honor of baby Tates recovery from his battle with C-diff and us being given the Dr.'s blessings to get back into cloth diapers.
Life With My Littles and One More Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest are teaming up to have a "Newborns and Cloth Event." Both blogs are having reviews and giveaways on their respective blogs.  The event will run from November 11-December 2.  Be sure to check out both blogs and their giveaways. 

04 November 2011

Halloween Costume Idea

Next year, I'm thinking Charis will be Cat in the Hat for Halloween.  :)




We already have the hat.  Now, I'll just need to knit this Cat headband and wrist warmers or Cat ears and tail for her.

03 November 2011

Vaccines and The Greater Good Trailer

I rarely talk about my job outside the home, but I'm becoming more frustrated at the health facility where I work.  The other day, I had this message on my machine
Hi... I'm calling in regards to your flu vaccine.  Today is the final day for you to come in and get vaccinated or provide us with some documentation or we are going to have to take you out of the system.  If you can give me a call please and update me with your status...
In other words, if you don't get this vaccine, you'll be fired.  Is this legal?  And even if it is, where's my liberty in this matter?  What do I get to say in it?

Another thing that bothers me, when you get vaccinated you have to sign an informed consent.  "Informed consent is the process by which a fully informed patient can participate in choices about her health." http://depts.washington.edu/bioethx/topics/consent.html  And do I want to work for an organization like this that bullies their nurses into getting vaccinations?  No.  And would I be confident as a patient at this hospital?  No, I would not, which is why I will not be a patient there again (unless I'm in an emergency circumstance).  Not when they don't let their employees decide for themselves whether they should get the flu vaccine.


The Greater Good is streaming online for free this week.  Hope you go and watch it.  I'll put some of my notes up later regarding what I saw in the documentary.

What are your thoughts regarding vaccinations?
Have you seen The Greater Good?

Menu Planning October 31-November 6 {Plan It Don't Panic Meal Challenge}

I just realized that I had forgotten to post our meal plan for this week.  Last week somebody commented that I make some "fun fancy things."  That's not my goal, but I do like experimenting with new recipes.

Monday: Oven roasted sweet potato hash/Eggs  This sweet potato dish was new to me.  Drew liked it; he said, "Feel free to make that again."  :-D

Tuesday: Lentil taco salad/Guacamole
Mash 2 avocados with a fork.
Add 1/4 cup salsa. (Yes, I cheat.)
2 Tbsp lime juice (Note: Do this to prevent browning.  If you don't have limes, lemons work just as well.)
Add 1 Tbsp chopped onion and 2 cloves minced garlic.
Add dash salt, pepper, red pepper, and coriander to suit your tastes.
Wednesday: Sausages on a bun (They were from Trader Joes.  So, that makes it better.)  On Wednesday, I try to keep it as simple as possible, because Charis and I go to prayer meeting and often don't get home until 7-8 PM.  We would get home earlier, but I also try to grocery shop after prayer meeting.  Which means I want something quick and convenient that day.  It also means my meal planning is usually from Wednesday to Tuesday, instead of Monday to Sunday.

Thursday: Chipotle sweet potato corn chowder  Yes, sweet potatoes again.  I like sweet potatoes, and they're in season.

Friday: Stromboli and Fruit (Apples and Grapes) (I NEED to make this tonight.  Tomorrow, we will be travelling to Pennsylvania to go to the memorial service for Drew's grandfather.  We will be away on Saturday and Sunday.

Saturday: Away in Pennsylvania

Sunday: Away in Pennsylvania and driving back to the D.C. Metro area.

I'm linking up again with Stephanie @ Keeper of the Home.

02 November 2011

Hootie Pants and Book on Russia {Yarn Along}

As I promised yesterday, here are photographs of my latest knitting project.


I found the pattern on Ravelry, and you can get it here.  They're called "Hootie Pants".  I'm making these longies for Charis to put over her cloth diapers in the winter.  I'm using Paton's classic wool.  As you can hopefully see, they have owls just underneath the waist.  I'm hoping they'll fit her.

On the reading front, I'm hoping to start reading a book on Russia.  A few weeks ago, Drew and I went to a friend's house after church, and we were talking about Russia and the Soviet Union, and I realized I know very little about Russia and want to learn more.

01 November 2011

Knitting and YouTube {Gratituesday}

I am thankful for YouTube!!  I am knitting a pair of longies for Charis (hoping they'll fit).  And I came across short rows.  EVERY TIME I have tried to do short rows, I end up having holes in my knitting.  Not cool.  :(  So, I went to YouTube and found some helpful videos demonstrating Wrap & Turn (W&T).  So far, there are NO holes!!  The videos definitely helped.  I had seen words in print how to do W&T, but I'm a visual learner, I need to see before trying something new in knitting.



Note: I hope to post pictures of the longies tomorrow.  :-D

What is your only comfort in life and death? {Heidelberg Catechism Question 1} and Sermon Notes on Death

That I, with body and soul, both in life and death, am not my own, but belong unto my faithful Savior Jesus Christ; who with His precious blood has fully satisfied for all my sins, and delivered me from all the power of the devil; and so preserves me that without the will of my heavenly Father not a hair can fall from my head; yea, that all things must be subservient to my salvation, wherefore by His Holy Spirit He also assures me of eternal life, and makes me heartily willing and ready, henceforth, to live unto Him. {Heidelberg Catechism Answer 1}
John 11 Sermon:
Jesus demonstrates that He is the great Resurrector of mortal people and teaches the power of Christ over the grave.
As Christians, we don't really know what to do with grief, and we are mistaken if we think this:
  • Many Jewish friends gathered together to console Mary and Martha v. 19 and v. 31
  • The Jews thought Mary was getting up to go weep v. 31
  • Jesus himself expressed emotion over the realities of death.  He was deeply moved and troubled and He wept. v. 33-35, 38  Jesus' anger is directed not against unbelief, but against the death of Lazarus.  Jesus also did not weep because He missed Lazarus; Jesus knew He was going to raise Lazarus from the dead.  Jesus weeps with those who weep.  "Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep." (Romans 12:15)  Grief is the price we pay for living in a mortal world of love.  God made us to love and to be loved.
  • It is right to feel indignant towards death and to grieve.
    • Follow Christ in my grieving.
    • Feel free to weep, just as Martha and Mary did and my Redeemer did.  It is not my Christian duty to fight them off {I need to remember this one}.
Drew's grandfather died last Wednesday morning (around 12:30 AM); we do not know the state of his soul, only God does.  Pray that hearts will be softened at the memorial service (this coming Saturday November 5).  Pray for our witness to family members.