More Contests!

I have found another blog about cloth diapers that does a weekly giveaway! I have already entered several times; maybe I will get lucky because this week’s prize is awesome! Check out The Cloth Diaper Whisperer’s Blog to enter to win in their Fluff Fridays giveaway.

Oh, and don’t forget to enter at the Cloth Diaper Blog too!

I Forgot To Mention

It was my previous post (that maybe I should not have posted) that reminded me that I haven’t told you all about our latest Craigslist purchase (BTW, Craigslist is the debil). Remember that 30′ camper I mentioned being stuck in? Well, I was referring to our 30′ camper that we bought a week and a half ago (I’m behind in my blogging. So sue me).

It wouldn’t be so bad if I didn’t have a sneezing fit every time I walked through the door. I don’t know what kind of furry creatures the previous owners had in that thing, but we have contacted them and they assured us they never had any cats in there. Hmmm. What else am I allergic to then?

SSL26825 The kitchen

SSL26832 The magical table that turns into a bed

SSL26826 The couch, which also turns into a bed. And oh look! There’s Emily!

SSL26817 The bathroom is so small, this is the best picture I could get.

SSL26818 This teeny, tiny toilet is hilarious!

SSL26815 And look at this rug that I found at (gasp!) the dollar store! For $2.50! I guess my hatred for the dollar store is over now.

SSL26837 And here is the bed where the furry creature must have slept, because the sneezing multiplies by 10 if I even think about going near it.

I won’t tell you how much we piad for it, but the people who sold it to us must be idiots for letting it go for so little. We got the deal of the century on this one.

And while I am talking about Craigslist, I cannot believe that I did not know about this until last night!

Fullscreen capture 6302009 15931 PM

Seriously? I can see the pictures before I click on the item? Denny is so going to leave me to be with his Craigslist wife forever now, I’m sure. If you want this same magical experience to happen for you when you look at Craigslist, you can download the program here.

Should-a, Would-a, Could-a

I constantly struggle with what could have been. With what I should have done differently. What I would do if I could go back and change things. This happens on a daily basis, with situations that are big and important, and with ones that should never matter at all. I regret the silliest of decisions, and although I try to let it go, I never can.

On a recent trip to Subway, I fought with myself over my decision to not get my sub toasted. I should have gotten it toasted. It would have tasted better toasted. I do this all the time at restaurants. Once my meal arrives, I constantly think about what I should have ordered instead. It happens with other purchases too. I should have gotten the shirt in a different color. I shouldn’t have bought Emily more clothes, she has enough. I should have put the money toward an Exersaucer instead. It never ends; it’s like the freakin’ Energizer bunny. These thoughts just keep going and going….

Like this upcoming weekend. It will be Emily’s first 4th of July. And her daddy will miss it. He is going 200 miles away to ride 4-wheelers for the whole weekend. Will he ever look back and wish that he’d done things differently? Will he regret missing her eyes light up as she watches fireworks for the first time? Or should I suck it up and go with him? Even though I will be stuck inside of a 30′ camper for 3 days, miserable and bored to tears? Will deciding not to go be a decision that I will ever regret?

And those are not the thoughts that bother me the most. It’s those major decisions that leave me at the breaking point; just one little nudge is all it will take to send me into a major meltdown.

Did I make the right decision to become a teacher? I love being a teacher, but at the time, it seems the answer is NO. I don’t have a job, and it isn’t looking like I will have one next year, either. If I could rewind the clock, I would stay on the path of becoming a nurse, and then a midwife. That was the plan. I tried as hard as I could. But looking back, I keep feeling like I could have done more. I could have hired a tutor. I should have studied more. But one dream got in the way of the other. I would have had to go to Atlanta to become a midwife. I would have had to leave my family, and most importantly, the man I wanted to marry. It would have been only for 2 years, tops. But at the time, it was unfathomable. At the time, 2 years seemed like forever, and Atlanta seemed worlds away, not the 4 hour drive that it actaully would have been.

Did I make the right decision? What did I give up in order to get what I now have? Would Denny and I have stayed together? Probably. Would he have come with me to Atlanta if I’d really wanted him to? Maybe. Would I be happier in that career than with the one that I ended up with? I don’t know, but all signs point to yes. Would I have my Emily, if things had gone differently? That is what it all comes down to. How can I regret any decision that I have ever made, knowing that one wrong turn might have steered me away from where I am right now? But if I’d never had her, I wouldn’t know what I would be missing. I might have had a totally different life. I sometimes wish that I did have a totally different life.

Is this even making any sense?

I look at the lives of those around me, and I wonder if anyone else harbors any secret regrets inside. As a mother, I can guess that other mothers would not change one thing, based solely on their love for their children. They would take all of the abuse, all of the addiction, all of the sadness, the loneliness, the responsibility of raising their children alone (even though they have perfectly capable husbands there to help, they just don’t) just to have one second with their children. But fathers, I see them in a different light. Maybe that is because at the moment, I have never known a father who was worth a flip at being a father, except for my Granddaddy. He let me put bows in his hair without a single protest. He played countless games of Connect Four with me, when there were probably 100 other things he could have been doing. And from the stories my mother has told me, he was what all men should strive to be.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that Denny is abusive or struggling with addiction or mean or lazy or any of the above. He is a good man. He has just not yet realized that he is now a father, and that his life no longer revolves around only him. Or rather, that it shouldn’t. Or maybe his definition of the word father is construed. Maybe he thinks his job ended at conception, and the rest is all up to me. You learn by example, right?

And now I’ve said too much. I could simply hit “backspace” and make all of this go away. I could never hit “publish” and all of these thoughts would remain only mine. But I can’t do that. I have to get this off of my chest. Yes, Denny works outside of the home all day. And I work inside of the home all day. We both work, although I do know some people who would argue that what I do is not technically “work” and that I should be out working a 9-5 shift while Emily is raised by strangers in a daycare. (And before I became a mother, that was the plan, but as we all know, plans change. And I cannot bear to be away from her for more than a few hours at a time. As cliche as it might sound, I truly feel like a piece of myself is missing when she is not around.)

When Denny gets home each day, I want him to spend time with Emily. Not for my sake, but for hers. All of my life, I had an “absent” father. My parents were married and lived together. My father was home. But he was never really “there”. I know the pain of being less important to someone than the baseball game on tv or the buddies down at the bar. I have made many, many mistakes while trying to fill that void, searching for a man to give me the attention that I had always been starving for and never shown. And I want something different, completely opposite for Emily.

I want her to be more important to Denny than any 4-wheeler, truck or tractor. More important than any friend that calls and wants to work on a project or just hang out. More important than the uncut grass or the trash that is overflowing in the can. More important than me.

I want my husband to never look back wishing that he had done more with her. I never want him to regret that he didn’t spend enough time with her, didn’t take her enough places, didn’t teach her enough new things. And even more troubling is the fact that he might not ever regret any of it. It might not ever be as important to him as it is to me. So how do I get him to do all of that? I can’t force him. I can’t even ask him. I want him to want to all on his own. I want him to love her as much as I do.

I always thought that he would be a good dad. He was a great boyfriend. He’s a wonderful husband. And my Grandma always tells me that he reminds her of her Otis. So I always assumed that when we had children he would be the best father this world has ever seen. And for a while I wondered if all men were the same. I wondered if any father loved his kids as much as his wife does. And then as I watched his brother yesterday, I realized that their childhood had nothing to do with it. His brother is a good papa, and he teaches his children and plays silly games with them and spends time alone with them. So no, not all men are the same. Not even men from the same family.

As I checked my Facebook this morning, a friend of mine who is a brand new father left an update saying that his daughter was all smiles this morning and he didn’t want to leave her to go to work. Again, no, all men are not the same.

I read a lot of mommy blogs, and I am surprised at how many husbands get up at night to help with the baby, and how many times the mothers have gone away from the house, leaving the baby with the husband all alone. How do they do it? Do they possess some sort of magical powers that make their men helpful? Denny has kept Emily 1 time, for a whopping 3 hours. I can count the number of diapers that he has changed on one hand. And it’s been nearly four months. And he doesn’t get up at night, but then again, he doesn’t have the feeding mechanisms required, so I can’t really say anything about that one.

My heart is sad for my daughter. At times I wish that we had waited longer to have her, so that my husband could get everything that he wanted to do out of his system first. And then there are the times that I wonder if all of my earlier mistakes was my subconscious trying to tell me something that I didn’t want to hear.

And although it is too late to change anything now, I will always wonder what could have been. What should have been. What would have been different if only I had done something different. If. So much meaning in such a tiny, little word.

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Cloth Diaper Giveaway!

You can enter to win a Thirsties cloth diaper package at the Cloth Diaper Blog! The package includes 1 Thirsties Fab Fitted diaper, 1 Thirsties diaper cover, 1 Thirsties AIO pocket diaper and 1 package of 3 Thirsties Fab Doublers! The winner gets to choose their colors and sizes, too! I absolutely love my Thirsties covers I got last week (I will review them here later, along with my other purchases), so I highly recommend you go enter and try to get some for yourself! Or if you don’t need them, you can always send them my way! Now go enter!

To All My Lovely Readers

Since I have so many interesting blog posts, and so many readers who want to read all of those interesting blog posts, I have categorized my blog. So now it will be easier for all of you fans readers to find just exactly what you are looking for. All 3 of you.

What Else Could Possibly Go Wrong?

I better knock on wood. And cross my fingers. And pray and hope that the answer is “nothing”.

Today has been one of those Murphy’s Law days, in which “anything that can go wrong, will go wrong”. Thanks Murphy, whoever you are were.

It all started at 3:00 this morning when Emily woke up laughing. She was all party at my crib, 3 am and I was all no Emily, the party doesn’t start at 3 am, it ends at 3 am. Duh.

Then when we woke up for reals around 10ish, I noticed a God-awful looking rash on Emily’s arm, and it scared the crap out of me. I panicked. I took a picture of it. I sent said picture to my mom, because I knew she would know exactly what it was, because hello? Let’s just say she’s been around a few kids. But no. Strikeout. She is all like call the doctor! It’s your child! I know you hate talking on the phone, but you have to call! And I was all like ok, ok, I’ll call. Some time today.

So then I called, and had to wait a whole hour for a nurse to call me back. 1 whole hour? Emily’s arm could have fallen off in that time. It didn’t, but I’m just saying. It totally could have. The nurse told me to mark it and call back if I noticed any changes or spreading. So I marked it, and then took more pictures of it. See?

SSL26726

So since my morning was already fabulous, I decided “Hey, why not walk into the baby swing?” And that is exactly what I did next. Which resulted in some screaming, almost crying, a little bit of lip biting, a missing chunk of skin, some blood, and the loss of exactly 3/5 of a toenail. See?

SSL26724

Wow. I was on a roll. But it gets even better. You see, as I was making my lunch I burned my thumb. Sorry, I didn’t take a picture of that. Maybe some other time.

Then my MIL calls to tell me about a job opening – yes! a real live job! And to think that the governor put a freeze on hiring teachers. Poo poo on him. How will students ever learn without teachers? Anywho, I called the school to check it out (because the BOE is always majorly unhelpful and they suck monkey balls) and the secretary/receptionist/whatever they call themselves these days was all like You will have to call the BOE. I can’t give you any information. And I was all like But can’t you just tell me if the position is available? And she was all like go look on the BOE website. Ugh. So that is what I did. And lo and behold, I couldn’t believe my eyes! There is an opening! And it’s been vacant since May1! And even though it’s at the high school and I am only certified in Middle Grades, if they are desperate enough, they might hire me! So since I know the principal from my days as a substitute, I shot him a lovely, very professional-sounding email. And this, this is where things could possibly go wrong. I am trying very hard not to get my hopes up, but if you’re in any way religious, would you shout a little prayer up to God for me? Thanks, you’re a doll.

Ok, so back to my not-so-wonderful day. I took Emily to my in-law’s house to see a friend who was visiting, and Emily is all whiny and fussy and pulling at her ear. Great. That’s just perfect. So now we are both equally defective. Her with her bug-bitten/rashy arm and aching ears, and me with my scunt-up toes and 1st degree burns.

Thank the Lord that this day is almost over. At least I don’t have to cook tonight. (Thanks Mrs. Becky!)

Does This Cloth Diaper Make My Butt Look Big?

Uh, no, Emily. Not at all.

Ok, ok, yes it does.

So yes, the cloth diapers are a bit bulky, but not too bulky. Her clothes still fit the same, so no worries about that. My only real complaint is the poops. Washing the poo out of a cloth diaper is not exactly my idea of fun, but with the sprayer, it’s not so bad. The high pressure shoots all of the poo right off! And if it is a really, really bad poop, I go outside and spray the diaper off with the hose. I guess it’s a good thing we don’t have (close) neighbors. I have found that if I don’t wash the diaper out immediately, but let it sit for a few minutes (but not too long), the messes are a lot easier to clean up. Plus, Emily only goes Number 2 once or twice a week now, so I don’t have very many dirty diapers to deal with.

Oh, one more negative. The covers that I ordered first were nothing like I expected them to be. They don’t even look the same as the picture of them on the website (I guess I should have contacted the company to complain, huh?). They are not white, but printed, and the prints on them are ug-ly. One has balloons, one has animals, and one has pastel colored zebra stripes that might have looked good in 1994. They are supposed to fit a 10-22 pound baby, but they are still way too big for Emily. To keep them from leaking, I have to roll the back down to make them smaller and fit more snugly. And the worst part of all is that they are cheap and falling apart. One of them is already completely torn apart and unusable, and the other two are on their way out. This, however, is my fault. I didn’t read reviews on these, and I bought the absolute cheapest covers available. The moral of the story: You get what you pay for.

I have since ordered more covers, and this time, I did my research. I went on several review sites to find the highest rated covers. And I tried to buy only neutral colors so that my future babies can use them too if they are boys, but the flower one was just too darn cute not to buy. (Yes, I said babies. Plural.) I decided to buy two Thirsties covers, 

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1 Bummis cover, product_image

and 1 Wonder Wraps cover (the purple one). wonder_wraps_sizing

The Thirsties had the highest rating, and I am super excited about the Wonder Wraps cover because it is one-size fits all! If I like it, I will probably just buy more of those and re-sell my other covers on a used diaper auction site. I also bought 3 more BumGenius diapers (and the last ones that I ever plan to buy. Well, this time around anyway) since they are easiest to use when Emily is away from home. We also only use BG overnight, since they are great at keeping moisture away from Emily’s bottom. But the best thing about BG diapers is that they DO NOT leak poop. No matter how much poo Emily has, it all stays in somehow, and that is what makes them worth every penny. All 1,795 of them.

We’ve been cloth diapering for about 2 months now, and I really do like it. It’s not that much work. I just rinse the diapers in the sink, toss them in a bucket in the bathroom, and when I have a load, I dump them in the washer. Seriously, it might take 3 extra minutes a day to deal with than disposables would. And as I’m sure you already know, they are environmentally friendly. No diapers are going into a landfill from this house anymore! I feel good about it, since I am starting to become more aware of All Things Green (I am planning on getting some recycling bins for our house very soon!).

Using cloth diapers has saved us a lot of money too. Since Emily was born, I have spent $155 on diapers, counting what I spent on the new batch of diapers and covers that I have not yet received.  Still, that’s not bad, considering that is all of the money that I plan to spend on diapers. Forever! Most of the disposables that we used were given to us, and many of the cloth diapers were gifts too!

Before I decided to buy more BGs and more covers, I tried a cloth diaper that I found on Etsy for $8. I don’t really like the Etsy diaper, but only because it has wings, and not tabs. The wing closures pull away and are hard to keep fastened, and Emily can take this diaper off if she doesn’t have clothes on. The tabs, on the other hand, stay put with no problem. (I don’t know if I am using the correct terminology here, so here is a picture so you can see what I mean.)

SSL26716The diaper on the left is the Etsy diaper, and it has fabric at the closure, which I call “wings”. The diaper on the right is a BumGenius, and there is no fabric at the closure, only the Aplix “tabs”.

The advantages of cloth diapering totally outweigh the disadvantages for us. Like I already mentioned, it is cheap! And environmentally friendly! And another thing which most people probably don’t think about (I know I didn’t) is the comfort factor. Do you and I wear disposable, paper and plastic underwear? No! We wear cotton – because it is comfy! I have also done a lot of research about the health benefits of cloth diapers vs. disposables (yes, there are some) and as it turns out, cloth is way better! There are too many dangers from disposables to list here, but there are a few websites that I recommend you read. The New Parents’ Guide, Zany Zebra  and Better For Babies all have lots of information about the benefits of cloth diapering.

It looks like we are going to be cloth diapering until little Em is potty learned! We love, love, love it!