Wife, Mummy, Nurse: May 2011

31 May 2011

Day seven of flats and handwashing challenge

Day 7 complete!!  Flats and handwashing challenge finished.

Charis' night solution on Saturday night was a handmade diaper by her mummy.  It's actually a fitted pocket diaper.  In the pocket, I placed two flat diapers.  I placed her Sustainablebabyish wool diaper over it.  I was sorry to cover it up, but I needed to in order to keep the sheets dry.  I used a combination of patterns, such as Rita's Rump, Ottobre, and a bit of my imagination.

How did it hold up??  I was pleased to find out in the morning that there were no leaks.  I was not too sure how it would do overnight, especially since the leg openings were not as tight as I would have wanted.  But like I said, there were no leaks in the morning.  I think in order to make it less bulky I will buy some bamboo or hemp fabric since it's more absorbent than cotton.

The t-shirt I bought for $1.00 at Salvation Army last Wednesday.  If you look closely, "America" is written underneath the flower.  I decided to make this for Memorial Day weekend.  And I bought the fleece ages ago when Joann fabrics had Blizzard fleece $2.99/yard.  It was a very cheap diaper!!

29 May 2011

Days five and six of flats and handwashing challenge

Days 5 and 6 are complete!!  

Day 5

Flats soaking.
I was not able to update yesterday.  With Charis not feeling 100%, travelling home, and handwashing diapers, I was not able to blog.  Charis was throwing up May 27th from 1:00AM to 3:45PM; she was not bothered by it, but I was.  Something was upsetting her stomach and I couldn't do a whole lot.  I was concerned if she kept it up, she could get dehydrated.  Thankfully, since I'm a nurse, I know what symptoms to look for.

Last night when I arrived home, I changed Charis into a FuzziBunz diaper, nursed her, and put her to bed.  After this, I soaked the dirty diapers in cold water for about 45 minutes, washed them with hot water and let them sit in that another 30 minutes, and rinsed them out.

Day 6

Flats drying on balcony.
Not to many issues today.  I am thankful to be home, especially since the sun is present in the DC Metro region.  My flat diapers dried SO QUICKLY!!!

Charis did have a bowel movement.  Since I am home, I used the detachable shower head, sprayed off the BM remains into the bucket, and flushed the remains in the bucket down the toilet.  After giving Charis a bath, I used her the leftover water to soak the diapers.  And repeated last night's process afterwards.

On a side note: I am thrilled to have my camera back and hope you enjoy the photographs.

Origami fold.
Sorry, my daughter
likes MOVING!!
Playing with a Crystal
Light box.  Why do
I buy toys for her??

Diapers soaking tonight.

27 May 2011

Day four of flats and handwashing challenge

Day 4 completed

Confession: I did not wash my flat diapers tonight.  I plan on doing that tomorrow morning.  If necessary, I plan on using receiving blankets as flat diapers tomorrow.  Why didn't I wash tonight?  Because this is my last night at my parents' house and I wanted to spend time with them.  The diapers are soaking in cold water though.  So, hopefully it will be easy in the morning.  I was also sewing a diaper tonight for my daughter.  I plan on debuting it on Saturday night.

Tomorrow, I get to see my husband.  My daughter is crying and needs to be nursed.  Goodnight!!

26 May 2011

Day three of flats and handwashing challenge

Day 3 completed!!!

We're ALMOST halfway finished.  For which I am glad.  I miss washing cloth diapers in the washing machine (AKA one of my maids.)  No leaks today!!  If I had to wash diapers by hand everyday, I would use flats ALL THE TIME.  They definitely dry faster than any other diaper.

The BumGenius worked with a flat diaper folded up last night.  I'm currently working on something else to try out for a night time solution with my flat diapers (hopefully, it will debut on Friday or Saturday night), but I'm not going to give any hints until the project is complete.

The diapers are currently drying on the drying rack, and I'm going to bed.

24 May 2011

Day two of flats and handwashing challenge

Numero Dos:


Confession: I did not attempt to put my daughter in a flat diaper last night.  Instead, I put her in a BabyKicks prefold and covered her with a Sustainablebabyish knit wool cover and put fleece pants on her.  This morning when I woke up, Charis was completely dry.  This thrills me!!!  Normally, I put a disposable diaper on her because I have not found a cloth diaper that has worked for me at night.  Tonight I put her in a BumGenius 4.0 One-Size Stay Dry Cloth Diaper and have a combination of the insert and a flat diaper in the pocket.

When I woke up, the diapers were not completely dry; they were outside.  Thankfully, I had about five clean diapers that were not used yesterday.  By the time I was ready for the diapers used yesterday, everything was dry.

Overall, today went well, but I had two leaks and therefore two outfit changes.  I don't know if it's because I didn't get all the detergent out last night or what it could be.  Is there anyone else who had this problem today?

I also was able to use a flat diaper as a bib.  My parents, Charis, and I went out to Red Lobster for lunch to celebrate my dad's birthday.  I forgot Charis' bib.  So, I just pulled out a flat diaper and tied it around her neck.  In fact, it worked so much better than her regular bib because there was more of it covering her.

I am currently soaking the diapers in cold water and will handwash them in hot water.  Afterwards, I will rinse them with cold water, wring them out, and hang them out to dry.

Hopefully tomorrow, I will have better success with Charis's clothes staying dry.  Stay tuned to find out what happens tomorrow!!!

Note: I do NOT know Spanish, but my husband studied Spanish for his undergraduate and graduate work.  Cotton Babies, BabyKicks, and Sustainablebabyish have NO idea who I am.  But, I want to let my readers know what I have used in the challenge.

Day one of flats and handwashing challenge

When I originally signed up for the flats and handwashing challenge, I had not planned on being at my parents' house.  Of all weeks.  I'd prefer to be doing this at home instead of my parents.  Why?  Because I don't have to pay to do my laundry when I'm at their house, where as when I'm at our apartment, I have to pay to do laundry.  Am I still taking part?  You bet!!

How did it go?  Today was EASY.  I did not have any leaks.  Charis did not have a bowel movement.  Washing them took less than 30 minutes.

I plan to make a few changes though.  The biggest being, trying wash them twice a day, instead of waiting until the end of the day.  I only have 12 flats; so I want to make sure they are dry and ready and that Charis does not have to sit in a wet diaper waiting for a flat diaper to dry.

Note: I forgot to bring my camera card to my parents house, so unless I'm able to borrow a digital camera, you will not see any pictures of flat diapers until Friday or Saturday.






21 May 2011

What I am doing to help prepare for the flats and handwashing challenge?

A few of my readers may not know what a flat diaper is, so before I go further I want to answer that question.  When many people think of cloth diapers, they may first think of flat diapers.  It is what my mum used on us (and what our grandparents used on our parents).  I remember my mum put flat diapers (after folding them) on my wee sister.  My mother in law used them as well and brought them  A flat diaper is a square piece of fabric that is a single layer (approximately 27 inches X 27 inches), but after prepping them they are not a perfect square.

Last week, I received a package from Osocozy in the mail (my sponsor for the Flats and Handwashing Challenge) with 6 unbleached and 6 bleached flat diapers.  Thank you for sending them Osocozy.  I will give my readers a review of their diapers after the challenge.

First I had to prep them.  I decided to do this by boiling them.  I brought a pot of water to a rapid boil, then I placed the flat diapers in.  I boiled them for about 25-30 minutes.  After they finished boiling, I put them in the sink and rinsed them with cold water, wrung them out, and hung them on our drying rack.  Note of warning: Even though I prepped the diapers this way, be careful and stay with the diapers while they are boiling.  I was so nervous about something catching on fire.



Pad fold in Flip diaper
Secondly, I have been looking at videos online of how to fold flat diapers and place them on babies.  Thankfully, my daughter has been patient and has not squirmed too much.  So far the easiest is the pad fold.  I simply fold the diaper into quarters and then into thirds and place them in the diaper.  I prefer the Flip diaper for this method.


Four of the soakers
We are only allowed to use five covers.  I have decided they will be:
*Thirsties duo wrap
*Flip cover
*Bummis super whisper wrap
*Knit soaker I am making for Charis (from the Curly Purly pattern-for my night option).  I'm thinking about making a few pairs of fleece pants to put over the knit cover, but I'm not sure if that would be permitted.  Would it be considered a cover or not?
*Sustainable babyish knit wool cover (another night option, if I go to a fitted diaper or a hemp/cotton prefold)

I have four snappis (that I bought to use with my prefolds) and safety pins (that were given to me as a gift at a baby shower).  So far, I prefer using the snappis instead of the safety pins.  My washing routine will be done in the bath tub every night after my wee girl goes to sleep. 

What do I need to do before next week?
  • Practice the kite and origami folds
  • Finish knitting the Curly Purly soaker
  • Lanolize both soakers

Wee Charis in her Flip diaper!!!






18 May 2011

Guess who's 9 months old today!!!

I was looking at pictures of Charis today, and it is so hard to believe she was so much smaller.  My little baby girl is growing up, which is bittersweet.  I don't want her to stay a baby forever, but time has gone by so quickly. I need to treasure every stage she's at and not look for it to get away too soon.

August 22, 2010: Taken the first Sabbath after she was born.
August 31, 2010: Back when I was wanting her to sleep through the night.  Oh wait, I still want that.  ;)

Charis HATED tummy time, now she always turns to her tummy to sleep.


14 May 2011

I'm so glad you were born Charis

In honor of Mother's Day, Cotton Babies has a contest going on right now where we are to write about why we are glad our children were born. For more information on the contest, go to I'm glad you were born.  I decided that I would write a brief explanation on why I'm glad Charis was born.



To my dear Charis,

After your daddy and I were married, we were trying NOT to conceive, but when I missed my period in December 2009, I knew I was pregnant. I started calling you our "wonderful surprise from God." Nine long months went by before you were born. The first time I held you, I cried.

Yes, it would have been "easier" on us (especially financially) if you were not conceived and born, but that is not what happened. We are THANKFUL you are here with us. You are a gift from God, and God has provided for us and our needs. Your birth has caused your parents' marriage to deepen; we now communicate more openly and freely. We have also been thrilled to see you grow and mature and look forward to many more years of being your parents.

I love to see you smile, laugh, talk, crawl, grow, pull on objects to attempt to stand up. I have loved you during the tough times as well, such as the frequent feedings, sleepless nights, and nursing you when I had mastitis and a cracked nipple. I love looking into your eyes and holding you. You are my "mini vacuum cleaner." I now need to work hard at caring for you and being a housekeeper. I am not a perfect mum, as I'm sure you're aware of, but God is gracious to me in giving us you. Charis Louise, I love you.
One Bible verse I would like to leave you with is Psalm 127:3, "Behold, children are a gift of the LORD, the fruit of the womb is a reward."

Note: I don't always like mentioning our daughter was a surprise because I feel guilty, especially when I hear about friends who have been trying to conceive for over a year. And I don't want my daughter to think that we did not want her. After we found out we were expecting, Drew and I were thrilled and would not have changed anything.  I also put my letter in "quotes" to distinguish the letter from the rest of the blog post.

10 May 2011

Gratituesday

One of my favourite websites/blogs is Heavenly homemakers, and every Tuesday they let other bloggers link up a post writing what they are thankful for (Note: I just broke a grammar rule by ending the sentence with a preposition.  You never end a sentence with a preposition.).  I think this is such a great idea.  Too often, I am worried or anxious about many things, but I don't pause to think and be thankful for what God has given me.

What are you thankful for this Gratituesday?  Write about it on your blog, then come link up with us here.  If you don’t have a blog, be sure to leave a comment letting us know what you’re grateful for!

I'm thankful for a few things.

  1. The grammar police are not monitoring this blog and grading the quality of the writing.  See the rule I broke above  :-D
  2. A balcony garden that contains cilantro, so I could make this Corn and black bean salad for dinner tonight
  3. Blueberry buckle with tea.  You can find the recipe for Blueberry buckle in yesterday's post.
  4. My husband and daughter.  <3
  5. AND most of all the salvation that God has given me

09 May 2011

B is for Blueberry

Blueberries are one of my favourite summer fruits, right behind strawberries.  I love going blueberry picking at nearby farms.  According to 12 Best Foods Cookbook by Dana Jacobi, "Blueberries contain the most health-protecting antioxidants of all fresh fruits and vegetables."  They also are cultivated with less pesticides and are the least perishable of all the berries.

Blueberry Buckle
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup milk
2 1/2 cups blueberries (I used frozen, but I'm looking forward to summer!!)
 
For the topping:
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
 
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F; butter and flour a 9 X 9 inch square pan.
2. Mix butter, sugar, and egg.  Add the milk and beat until light yellow and fluffy.  Stir in the flour mixture, then fold in the blueberries and spread in the pan.
3. Mix the topping ingredients with your fingers until blended, then sprinkle on top of the batter.
4. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs.

Note: I meant to make this today, but wasn't able to.  I plan on making it tomorrow and posting a picture of it!!  Hope you enjoy the recipe.

07 May 2011

The 38th Annual Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival

Today, Charis and I went to The 38th Annual Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival, and we're already planning on going again next year.  Okay, truth be told, I'm planning on going again next year, because this is what Charis did.  (See picture below.)

Counting sheep in her sleep.


But hopefully in time, she will begin to take interest in, like, enjoy, love all things wool and fiber, knitting, crocheting, creating patterns, and giving home made gifts (I especially like the last one).  Until that happens, I must be patient with her as she is cat like in unraveling my yarn.

I bought a total of 8 skeins of yarn.  And no, I don't yet have plans for ALL of them.  I plan on making a soaker for Charis with one of the skeins.  Christmas ornaments with two of the skeins.  The other five I bought because they were $2 each and I have no clue what I'll be knitting with them.  My new stash includes:

  • (1) Tahki Select Star 163 yards 60% Tactel nylon/40% polyester sinflex.  I have NO idea what I'll make with this one, but for $2, I figured, "Why not get it?"
  • (4) Ella Rae Classic Print 219 yards 100% Wool.  (2 in color 200 and 2 in color 209).  Again, I don't know what I'll make with these, but I can at least knit baby socks to give away if I can't think of anything else.
  • (1) Peace Fleece Violet approximately 200 yards 70% Merino wool/30% Mohair.  I plan on making a soaker for Charis from the Curly Purly pattern.
  • (2) Mirasol Tupa 137 yards 50% Merino wool/50% Silk.  (1 in color 800 and 1 in color 808).
Like I previously wrote, I would LOVE to go back next year.  Some things I will do similarly, such as: carry Charis in my Boba, arrive as early as I can, walk around to the different vendors before buying yarn, and bring my own water and food.  

Things I would do differently include: getting a festival flyer as soon as I walk through the gates (I got mine after being there for two hours), have a pen/paper handy (so when I see something I may want, I can write down the vendor, yarn, and cost), write down ISBN numbers of books I want (I can buy the few books I wanted cheaper online), bring sunscreen (I got burnt), and bring a hat for the pumpkin (AKA Charis).

For more information on the festival, go to http://www.sheepandwool.org/

06 May 2011

You might want to think twice before giving Orajel

FDA warns about teething medication


Last year, Hyland's teething tablets were discontinued.  I use Humphrey's teething tablets.  The FDA has issued a warning regarding giving Benzocaine (the active ingredient in Orajel) and its rare link to methemoglobinemia. 


So what's a mother to do with a teething baby?  Here's a list of some of the things I do.

  • Give my daughter rings that she can chew on.  I try to keep one ring in the fridge at all times.
  • I give my daughter Humphrey's teething tablets.  These are not the ones that were recalled, and they work wonderfully for my daughter!! 
  • Last resort.  I give Tylenol or Ibuprofen.  Not my preferred choice.  I only give if the above have not been effective.
Disclaimer: As always, if you have questions or concerns, please speak to a health care professional.  
This is what I have done that works for Charis.  

05 May 2011

Healthier Cheese Dip – a Velveeta and Rotel Recipe Knock Off!

Healthier Cheese Dip &#8211; a Velveeta and Rotel Recipe Knock Off!

I WANT to try this recipe!!! I LOVED grilled cheese sandwiches growing up (and would still readily go back to them, if it were not for the processed cheese food it is). Hopefully, I will make this recipe soon. Most likely I will wait a few weeks and take it to a church dinner or baby shower.

Happy Cinco de Mayo

If I had been thinking while doing meal planning and grocery shopping, I would have thought, "It would be lovely to have Mexican food."  But, that's not the case.  We are not having Mexican food for dinner tonight.  Instead, we're having chicken, lentil and rice mixture, and salad.  How boring is that, but I'm thankful that we have SO MANY choices when it comes to food and eating.  I can make Mexican another night.

03 May 2011

Three years ago

My brother and SIL(Robbie and Jen) were married.  Happy 3rd wedding anniversary!!  May God bless you with many more years of serving HIM together.

02 May 2011

A Few of My Goals for May :)

  1. Try a new recipe at least once/week.  Especially vegetable dishes.  We eat too many carbs and not enough vegetables.
  2. Write a letter/card to a friend daily.  This one I especially want to do.  Unfortunately, with e-mails, facebook, blogging, twitter, we can often fall into the trap that we don't need to work on maintaining our relationships with others and time goes by, we fall out of contact, and have little to no reason to keep those friendships up.  Another reason I want to do this, receiving a letter can brighten one's day.
  3. Sign up for the summer reading program at the library.
  4. Participate in the flats and handwashing challenge from May 23-20!!
What are your goals for this week, month, or summer??

A is for Avocado

Unfortunately, when most people think of avocados, they associate them with being fatty, and therefore, they want to stay away from them.  Yes, they contain fat, most of which is monounsaturated fat (the good kind of fat).  Avocados also contains folate, Vitamins B6, C, E, and K, fiber, and potassium.  To find out more benefits of eating avocados, go to http://www.avocado.org/

On Saturday, my husband and I had lentil taco salad, with rice, and guacamole on the side.  The guacamole recipe is so EASY.  When I first made it, I measured everything as suggested in the recipe.  Now, when I make it, I eyeball everything and do a taste test before serving it.

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.

Serve with tortilla chips or in our case with spinach, lentils, and rice.  Enjoy!!

I'm planning on starting an "Alphabet series."  On Mondays, I will be highlighting a food and a recipe that contains that food item.