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Monthly Archives: January 2012

The Low Down on the Down Low

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Elaine and I were talking today about our diapers and decided to do a joint blog post about our diaper system and how it is going and show you what it looks like. Yes that is kind of random first sentence, but we were really excited to have our washing machine fixed and now can dump the disposables and jump back on the cloth diapers. We decided that I would do the info and Elaine would later do a review.. so here we go.

As promised in an early post we were using disposable diapers while our machine was broken for about two and a half weeks. During that time we collected some of the diapers just to see what a weeks worth of diapers looked like- well here it is…

It is pretty disturbing and we know that these diapers will outlive all of us {and potentially our children’s children} in our landfills. Most experts agree that it takes at least 200+ years for them to decompose but even after all that time part of the diaper will live on. I’ve read that most babies go through about 6000 diapers in their first two years of life. Since he was born, Mason has been pretty consistent for about 13-14 changes a day. The photo on the left has about  98 diapers in it collected over one week; looking at his entire life, Mason would have filled up 17 garbage bags with nearly 1700 diapers. Two weeks of disposables were enough for us.

Yes we may use one here and there but we are trying to keep our impact minimal.

Before Mason was born we started our quest to find a cloth diapering system that worked for our us. There are a lot of different brands (BumGenius, Fuzzi Bunz Charlie Banana, EcoBubs, etc) and each has their own pros and cons. Unfortunately we didn’t know any friends that were cloth diapering so a lot of our research came from the internet- blogs, videos, and testimonials. After some contemplation we chose gDiapers, which offers a hybrid cloth and flushable option. This dual feature has been really helpful when we’ve been in precarious positions of running out of cloth inserts or traveling and not having a washing machine handy. The gDiaper system has been a great for us. We’ve grown through two sizes (the newborn and smalls) and I’ve been impressed with how well they hold the mess (no blow-outs yet.. knock on wood), how easy they are to clean, and that there have been no problems with his sensitive skin


So here is how the gDiaper process works in our house…

These are the outer covers for the diapers. They come in different sizes, colors, and patterns. We are currently using Mediums which covers 13-28 lbs. We have solid color patterns but if you look online they have some fancy prints and now even have matching tops for the covers.


The diaper assembly is quick and easy. Once flipped from the previous photo, the cover has a plastic liner that snaps in place. This liner helps create the shape of the of the diaper and also seals in wetness or whatever else may comes out. To the right of the cover and liner is the cloth insert. Made of a micro-fleece upper and a cotton/hemp underside, the soft insert fits into the liner and you are ready for the next step.


Next comes the squirming baby.  The new diaper is secured with two velcro bands and is pretty easy to put on him. Over the 3 plus months we’ve used them we’ve not had it un-velcro or come undone. This was a small concern of mine but in reality the velco is pretty strong and Mason probably won’t figure out the velcro for a while longer.

To prevent toddler hand from undoing the velcro gDiapers, unlike disposable diapers, velcro in the back. This takes a little getting used to but now it is really easy.


Here you can see the finished product.. well the finished new diaper part. You know that you’ve succeeded if the ‘g’ is on his butt.

The clean diaper may only last for a few minutes but it is pretty easy to figure out if he is wet. One sign is a crying baby and the other is a quick swab of the finger on the inside of his diaper. It may feel a little damp and then the whole process repeats.

{In order to have a happy photo shoot Mason’s diaper wasn’t changed, but he is getting better at the process}


Here is a photo of the disposable and flushable inserts next to a cloth insert. They are 100% biodegradable and can be flushed down the toilet, put into your compost bin, or just thrown into your regular trash. Not only are they cool in theory, but they are great in practice. We use these inserts when traveling and as a double absorber on Mason’s overnight diaper.

The insert rips apart and you empty the contents into the toilet give it a stir with a diaper plastic wand and it magically disintegrates. Then throw the liner in and it all goes down the toilet. Again your hands shouldn’t get dirty in the process.

To be honest I was a little skeptical of the flushable feature but it honestly works and there are YouTube videos to prove it (not ours). We even have a low-flow toilet and haven’t had an issue with disposal or pluming yet.

The entire thing is compostable which in general I’m down with, but composting our baby’s waste doesn’t sound that appetizing.


Here is a photo of our dirty diaper hamper. Our wet/soiled diapers and the occasional wet cover live in here until they go into the wash. This diaper pail is specific for cloth diapers and even has a place for an air freshener in the lid. We’ve never had gotten one and thankfully we’ve not had a problem with a smelly mess!

When we are on the go we have a wet bag that we purchased to hold dirty diapers until we get home. The waterproof bag has worked great and we haven’t had any issues with our to-go system.


Before we started using cloth diapers my biggest fear was about the poopy diapers. I have a pretty solid stomach but I didn’t want to deal scrubbing the #2 diapers clean. Purchasing a diaper sprayer was probably the best investment we could have made. It attaches right to your toilet and prevents messy handling and eases the disposal.  One warning is to pre-explain it’s purpose to your visitors as they may think that you’ve installed a funny looking bidet.


So that is it and you’ve seen everthing but our washing machine and clothes line. Overall I’d give the process a thumbs up for ease convenience, cleanliness, and ability to switch from cloth to disposable. If ever you’d like to practice your changing skills, please let Elaine or I know and we can work you in the rotation.

Cloth diapering is not scary and doesn’t have to be gross, smelly, or intimidating.

Thanks for reading and have a great day! Mark

Enjoy the blooper shots…

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My Baby Can Read!

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haha.  Not really.  But he CAN turn the pages! How cool is that!

He now official loves to be read to.  He pays attention most of the time.  He reaches for the book, he kicks his legs.

After a worrisome start, I’m so excited to have a child that likes books! (At least so far)

{this moment}

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{this moment} – A SouleMama Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

. . . . . . . .

Dr Mason


Last Night Wasn’t Perfect…

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But it was better.  And in the trial and error life of parenting… those are pretty good results!

Mark told you a little about how Mason’s first night in his crib was in his last post.

Let me tell you a little bit more…

So.  I’ll start this by making a confession.  Why this has become a “confession”… I’ll never fully understand.

They say that there’s pressure on parents, especially new parents, to act like everything about raising a child is sunshine and roses.  That the feelings and the know-how just flow seemlessly and any potentially negative event is just a drop in the pond.  I hear some new (and not so new) parents rant their frustrations with the inauthenticity of it all.  I’ve ranted about the inauthenticity of it all and revelled in times when a parent, new or seasoned, has been raw and honest about their difficulties.

But one thing I never realized before this past month or so was that the opposite pressure is there too.  Strangely… the pressure to complain, to wax on about the exhaustion and the lack of time to oneself, the sleepless nights, and the list of baby ailments.  It’s like being part of the club means you have to tout your war stories.  Show you know what it means to “rough it” with the best of them.

This is one of the reasons… that I never really wrote on this blog about how Mason has been sleeping 9, 10, sometimes 11 hours a night since my birthday.  It’s one of the reasons that I feel more comfortable telling people about it now… because he’s had a week of NOT sleeping such luxuriously long hours at night.  I’m in the club now, I can admit to previous good luck right?  There was  a rare occasion, before, when we would sheepishly mention our fabulous little sleeper, and would get a congratulatory response, and there always followed our sigh of relief, at telling our dirty little secret and getting a positive response.  But a great deal of the time, another parent’s response is something like… “Oh, well, you know that will change.”  or “Well we’ll see how long that lasts.”  Or I hear of parents who are consoling each other by saying things like, “Don’t worry, they’ll get their’s too.”

Instead of having to defend your good fortune, or dare I say, express pride in your parenting skills, rather than attribute it all to luck… it’s sometimes just easier to smile knowingly when a parent makes a reference like, “Some day we’ll sleep again, right?”

To wrap up this little tangent… Parenting is hard.  Parenting is also amazing.  Parenting is not the same for everyone.  There are a great many similarities, because we’re all humans raising baby humans.  But as many as there are different people in the world, there are different parenting styles, different temperaments of babes, different phases and patterns, and different moods for each hour, month or year of your child’s life (and yours)!  We would benefit far more from each other’s support, rather than each other’s watchful expectations.  We would also benefit far more from giving ourselves permission to simply be proud when we’re proud, and to struggle when we’re struggling.  Life, as well as parenting is a series of ebbs and flows.  Forcing a smile when we’d rather bawl, or pretending to gripe when we’re really feeling rather satisfied is just that desire to belong surfacing in a twisted way.  If we all excused ourselves from the pressure to fit in, we just might be able to fully enjoy and learn from all the amazing, beautiful, different palettes of life and beliefs and parenting examples there really are out there.

I lavished in the nights where Mason slept from 8pm till 7am.  They were glorious and they were frequent.  Right now… they are sorely missed.  I have a strong gut feeling (accompanied by the prayers that I’m correct) despite my lack of experience in this area, that this shift in sleeping habits is a result of teething.  Not that I think he’s going to pop out a couple of teeth at the ripe old age of three and a half months.  But let’s look at the bullet points:

  • People I’ve talked to and most readable material agree that the teething process can start  a month or more before teeth actually emerge.  (Often between months 3 & 5)
  • Drool abounds during this time, and now, more often than not, an outfit change is spurred on by a drool soaked collar rather than a diaper mishap.
  • I know babies like to stick things in their mouths in general… but Mason’s hands are constantly in his mouth, as are blankets and burp cloths and plush toys, our fingers and hands.  And he’s starting to chomp a little bit more rather than just suck on things.
  • He has been SUCH a consistently good sleeper since the beginning, and for the past week has been getting progressively more agitated in the night.  A couple nights of waking up once, a couple nights of waking up twice, and then two nights ago he was waking up EVERY HOUR between 11pm and 3am.
  • Most nights this past week there’s been at least one time in the night that he’s gotten so upset that he needed to nurse in order to calm down.  But most of the time when he’s woken up at night,he isn’t wet, he isn’t hungry, he isn’t even fully awake.  His eyes are closed tight and he just cries and cries, flailing arms, kicking legs, tossing his head.  The poor baby just seems SO uncomfortable and calms with some soothing, but there have been times when it’s taken both Mark and me holding his limbs still and a pacifier in his mouth for him to be able to fall back asleep.

Granted… we did just move him into his crib, so the fact that instead of just rolling over and reaching into the bassinet to replace a fallen pacifier has now turned into getting up to walk down the hall and replace a fallen pacifier is something to be noted.  But we expected a couple of those each night for a while.

Last night, we finally got our hands on some essential oils I’ve been wanting to try.  My friend Jenna (whose blog I will link to once she writes her first post 😉 ) has just started using essential oils as alternative medicine for her 1 year old in the past month, and has been blown away by them.  We used some on him last night before he went to bed… and while we didn’t get our nine or ten hours of sleep back… it was FAR better than it was the previous couple of nights.  We did have to jointly pin him down once, but he didn’t have to nurse the whole night for the first time in a week, because he didn’t fully wake up the whole night.  There were a couple other times he started to rustle and fuss and I had to go put the pacifier back in his mouth.  But I’m super excited to keep trying this oil, and hopeful that one day in the not too far future, we will be a household who is once again, blissfully asleep during the hours when the sky is dark.

Now off to collect my babe.  He’s become fascinated by his mobile.  Which makes his mama, who made it, very happy!

staring up at the mobile


oh yeah, more is going on

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Hi Everyone- hope you are doing well. Thank you for all of your comments- even though we might not respond to everyone we appreciate your kind words and messages. Questions are welcomed and we’ll fill you on the nitty gritty.


Here we go…
Elaine and I woke up this morning thinking that Mason’s first night in his own room and crib was a success. Mason woke up a couple of times, once for a new diaper and maybe twice to just to make sure we didn’t forget about him. Even though we were tired this morning we managed to laugh at our conversation right before bed.

To paraphrase:

{Setting 1030pm, I’m in bed with the lights off and Elaine walks in..}
Elaine: Do you mind if I turn on the light?
Mark: inaudible grunt
Elaine: (turns on light) I miss our baby..
Mark: (silence)
Elaine: I’m really gonna cry for days when he moves out.
Mark: (rolls over) You know that isn’t for a long time, right?
Elaine: Yeah I’ll just miss him a lot

In other news our washing machine is broken and our land lord is having a difficult time fixing it (long story). This is fine for our laundry, but makes cloth diapering impossible. For the past 12 days or so we’ve gone the disposable route and Mason is rocking the Sesame Street Crew Pampers collection. Elaine may get embarrassed with this disclosure*, but she has found it fascinating to collect every used diaper he’s gone through and stuff them into garbage bags. Don’t get me wrong it is a cool science experiment but it is a lot of diapers**. I’m not really sure what she is going to do with the bags but it really is scary to see how 15 small diapers a day adds up over a week and how long they will stick around our planet. Makes me happy that we will transition back to cloth as soon as the machine is operating.

This morning we also had a fun adventure to a Waldorf School open house. Elaine had been reading about them for a while and was pretty pumped to check it out their campus and learn more about the teaching philosophy. We both like hand’s on learning and have concerns about CA public schools and I’m just glad that we have a few more years to research and save.

One reason that we had to leave the open house early is that Elaine had to work almost all day today. Mason and I have had a lot of fun today enjoying tummy time, activity mat batting and the newest game of foot grabbing. The two of us have been talking for the last couple of weeks about an upcoming Radiohead concert and how excited we were to buy tickets and go with Elaine. He’s been staring at a concert photo of Radiohead since he was born so he is a big fan. Tickets went on sale this morning and we got pretty sad that Ticketmaster is beyond lame. Tickets for the show were basically sold out before they went on sale and needless to say- we didn’t get any. Online ticket brokers (scum of the earth scalpers) should not be able to get away with charging 3-4 times the face value of the ticket. Scalping is my pet peeve and yes this is my rant of the day- the concert experience is a glorious thing and it is sad when the business mentality screws over bands and true fans. The good news is that there are kind people who sell there extra tickets for face value. I’ve benefited many times from these true fans and have always vowed to never sell my extra tickets for profit. Karma (or Karma Police).

If you are someone who has extra tickets to the upcoming show- let me know and the karma circle will continue.


Hope your day is great and thanks for reading, Mark

* I was correct she was embarrassed
** very embarrassed

{this moment}

Posted on

{this moment} – A SouleMama Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

. . . . . . . .

in the looking glass

My baby’s growing up!!!

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This is Mason’s first night sleeping in his crib in his own room…

It’s bittersweet.

I’m both excited for a new little milestone

And feeling so sad that he won’t be sleeping right next to me!!

Wish us luck that he has good sleep tonight!

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