Learning the hard way

There’s a learning curve to this mama-ing thing.

It’s been almost nine years since my first little one was born, and in the time since it’s been nothing but a journey. Your first child is the test run- honestly and truly. By number three it’s old hat, but there are still bumps, potholes and wipe outs along the way. Probably it is safe to say that we never really hit expert credentials. It’s interesting to think how in life there are many many jobs that are learned and perfected. Being a mama is a constantly changing, constantly moving, constantly constant endeavor.

In the first year of my daughter’s life, eight/nine years ago, I learned many things. I had just graduated from college, moved back east from LA, gotten married, turned 23… And here she was. They simply handed her to me and wished me luck. My brand new husband and I stared at her in wonder. Who was this little handful? And she was going to be the life lesson neither of us had ever counted on. Her little eyes and tuft of black hair was our very own undoing. She taught us about baby fevers, teething, cloth diaper washing/using/experiencing, co-sleeping, intuitive parenting, attachment parenting, breastfeeding… You name it. At 23 I looked at this little creature with a mix of awe and amazement. She hurdled me out of my own childhood and into hers with a grace of an atom bomb.

 

Nine years later, she is still teaching me lesson after lesson. But I count my blessings with her. She is amazing with her sisters (I’ve had two more daughters since!). She is a best friend, mentor, idol, teacher, baby sitter, and more to the two little ones who follow her around with love in their eyes. I look at her and see all that I’ve learned along the way. Not only with learning how to be a mother, but with learning about MYSELF as a mother. These little girls teach me every day… what they need me to know on a practical note, but also what is flat out essential to living. They are wiser then I’ve ever been.

The most essential thing I’ve learned thus far about being a parent is to trust myself. That little voice that hounds away at you at three am? Yes. That one. The one that takes one look at your child and knows when they have a fever, when they have to use the bathroom, the source of the tantrum being currently thrown. I fear for the years ahead. Parenting teenagers will likely turn every hair on my head a distinct shade of white, just like it did for my own mother. Diapering and spit up, sure, got it. Maybe.

 

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15% OFF Storewide

black friday cloth diaper salesWe’re celebrating Black Friday thru Cyber Monday here at the Diaper Jungle!  Forget fighting traffic and crowds this Black Friday, stay home and shop cloth diaper sales on your favorite diapering brands: GroVia, Fuzzi Bunz, bumGenius, Kissaluvs, OsoCozy.  Don’t forget about the award winning Ergo Baby Carrier!  We also have FREE Shipping on all orders $99 or more within the Contiguous U.S. States!  Did I also mention our great cloth diaper detergent chart?  Find your favorite cloth diaper safe (and unsafe) detergents on our chart.  Relax, grab a tea or coffee and shop our sale today!

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I’m just gonna spray it….

Isn’t it miraculous that, with a plug and flip of a switch, we can vacuum a dirty rug? Or when we’re hungry for a warm meal we simply open a cold refrigerator, mix a few ingredients together and bake in a preheated oven? Modern convenience sure does make a mom’s life easy.

So besides my vacuum and kitchen appliances, I gotta give a huge shout out to my silent partner in crime. Always dependable, and by golly, I don’t know where I’d be without him. I’m of course talking about my diaper sprayer, Dagwood. What, you don’t name your appliances? Well, Dagwood and I are well-acquainted, so naturally he has a name. If Dagwood didn’t do his dirty job, it’d be a lot dirtier for the rest of us.

When I joined the millions of cloth diapering parents in the crusade for naturally swaddled bums, I’ll admit, I felt overwhelmed. Trying to understand different kinds of diapers and nervous about how I’d undertake the task (looking back I have to chuckle… the task that turned into an obsession, heehee!), I next learned about the diaper sprayer.

I was told I wouldn’t need Dagwood till my Sprout was eating solids, and producing less “runny” output. “What? Wait. The output changes form? Eeeeeeewwwww,” I said. (Though nowadays, talking about baby and kid poo is like scratching a bug bite, it just happens.) “Yeah, you just spray it all out into the toilet.” I put that thought on the back burner.

So I was a little leery of inviting another appliance into the house. Not one for gimmicks, I prefer to keep it simple.

But oh. Oh, it was simple. Standing over the toilet with the diaper in one hand, all I had to do with the other hand was turn the nozzle on, pick Dagwood up from the toilet tank hook, and… spray. THAT’S IT. Of course, I quickly realized it’s also good to have a pail liner hanging near the commode so saturated diapers have somewhere to chill while awaiting the wash. After that, I was skating on clouds.

And you know what else Dagwood excels in? He not only sprays out countless messy messes, but he also helps me with the training potty. A few quick sprays and it’s clean again! Of course, we do disinfect it at the end of the day, but after each subsequent visit, Dagwood preps it for the next go. He is AWESOME!

I then realized that my daycare provider was probably suffering through continuous dunks and flushes (not to mention, using up more resources), so I got her one, too!

I have to laugh when I think of how it might have been when the first handful of houses began using vacuums. Perhaps they didn’t think they could ever go back to shaking their rugs out and using a broom. Perhaps many cloth diapering parents feel this same way after their first brush with a diaper sprayer. Perhaps somewhere out there, someone is giving their sprayer a proper name after carefully—no, lovingly—hanging that nozzle back on the toilet tank with a satisfied sigh.

Are you ready to welcome a new fuzzy bum into your house? Don’t forget your new bathroom appliance, as well. Trust me, when you reach for that nozzle, you will be a super hero.

Head on over to Diaper Jungle and purchase your own Dagwood today!

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Simple is Sometimes Better

Simple is Sometimes Better…

I never realized how wonderful prefold diapers were until I had tried all the other styles of cloth diapers on the market.  I was intimidated, indeed, by the rectangular shaped, “what do you do with this?” style diaper.  I tried All-in-One’s, Pocket Diapers, Fitted Diapers, Wool Cover, PUL Covers, Hybrids and then finally tried the good ole’ stand-by – The Prefold Diaper!  I discovered what satisfaction there was washing and caring for these diapers over their more complicated “cousins”. They are easy to wash & dry, because they can take a high temperature without harming the fabric.  I speed up the drying process, when using the dryer with Loo-Hoo dryer balls. While other diaper styles are great for other reasons, I love that prefolds are so simple and useful in more ways than just diapering!  They seem intimidating at first, until you see how easy they are to fold.  They wash up easy and they last a VERY long time.  No strings attached.  I didn’t need snaps or Velcro anymore (other than covers)!  Another great aspect is that they are very inexpensive.  Diapering on a dime.   I also love that I can use them in multiple situtations: inserts, diaper, changing pad, burp rag, painting with my toddler, cleaning up spills from the kitchen, dish rags, breast pads, face cloths, cleaning and so much more!  Simple is sometimes better.

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Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs

I was visiting a friend’s house the other day and noticed she had decorated beautiful Easter eggs. They were delicately adorned with swirls and beautiful colors that danced around each egg. I was intrigued. She explained to me how she used silk scarves to dye her eggs. Check out your local thrift store for some 100% silk scarves that you can use to cut up.

Here are the basic steps:
1) Prepare eggs by either “blowing out” the eggs. If you choose to keep the eggs intact, this works, too.

2) Cut silk to fit each egg. Tie silk with the ink side toward the egg, securing silk with rubber band.

3) Prepare pot for boiling. Add eggs & 3 tbsp. white vinegar.
4) Boil eggs for approximately 15 min on a steady heat.
5) Turn water off, let eggs set.
6) Drain water, remove eggs and silk.
7) If you want your eggs shiny, add some vegetable oil by rubbing on with a cotton ball.
Voila! Natural, beautiful & unique Easter eggs made that simple!

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