Monday, July 22, 2013


This week I'm starting a four week challenge on to lose four percent of my body weight.  I'm competing with a group of moms from an online moms group.
I took my starting weight pictures today and after seeing those, I am so ready to lose the weight.

My starting weight is 205.8. To lose 4% I need to shed 8.3 lbs.

Let the fun begin...

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Saint Sebastian

For the mom's group at my church we are reading A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms and the saint for this week is Saint Sebastian. He is the patron saint of Athletes and the chapter talks about how being physically fit is an important part of being a mom.
I thought this was particularly relevant considering my last post. One paragraph stood out to me and I really like what it said.
When I glorify God by using the physical body he has given me, I tell him, my family, and myself that I am worth caring for. Just as the Bible states that the famous "Proverbs 31 Woman" was "girt about with strength," I need to be ready,willing, and able for the plans God has for me. (pg 41)
I need to remember that I am not only doing this for me but also for God.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Losing the Baby Weight

It's been two months since I had my sweet little boy and I just have to say, I love not being pregnant. I love being able to go on walks and tie my own shoes. I am so happy that I was able to grow an adorable baby boy inside me, but it is time to lose the baby weight.
When I had Peter he was born a 33 weeks so I missed out on most of the third trimester. This means I didn't put on a ton of extra weight and any weight I did put on seemed to fall off immediately after I had him. This time it's a completely different story.
My current goal is to fit into my fat jeans. That's right, we are completely ignoring the fact that deep under the piles of maternity clothes in the back of the closet there are skinny or even normal jeans, I just want to fit into anything that doesn't have an elastic waist band.
The double stroller has been my friend lately. Having it around is a constant reminder that I need to get out and move. So now in the morning, if there are no doctors appointments or play dates, we load up the stroller and go for a walk. About a half mile away is an elementary school with an awesome playground so we've been heading there a lot. I've even tried to do a little jogging on these trips but my abs always hurt or get really sore the next day so I think my body just hasn't recovered from childbirth yet.
I'm also trying to lose weight by eating healthy. I already have to eat gluten free and thanks to some digestive problems Joseph was having I also had to cut dairy and soy out of my diet. While looking for recipes I came across a lot about the paleo diet. Everything I read made a lot a sense in regards to health and diet so I am now trying the paleo diet.
Basically on this diet I am supposed to just eat lean meats, fruits, vegetables, and nuts. My biggest struggle so far is to get enough meat in, especially during breakfast.
I'm hoping that with the walks and eating well, in addition to taking care of two very small children, I will soon start to lose some of this extra weight that I have been caring around with me.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Two Months of Bed Rest

At any other point in my life if you were to tell me to go lay on the couch all day and watch TV, I would probably be okay with that, maybe even relieved to have a nice break. But today, I just want to get up and move.  In just a couple days I will reach the two month point of being on bed rest and I just can't wait for it all to be over.  I have come across such a wide range of emotions and feelings but one of the most difficult battles has been a physical one.
Before I went on bed rest I was trying to stay in shape. Gaining weight is a perfectly normal part of pregnancy, but I was trying to do my best to keep it under control.  I was going to the gym 2-3 times per week and spending my days chasing after an active toddler. I wasn't any sort of great athlete but I was trying to take care of myself.  In general, I felt pretty good. Tired, but good.
Today is a different story. My body still feels tired, but no longer in a good way.  I've gained 40lbs since the start of my pregnancy and I can feel it.  I know a good portion of the aches and pains come from being pregnant, but I can tell that it is more than just that.
I don't feel healthy, I feel like I have lost all the muscle that I was working so hard to gain.  My legs feel sluggish and weak and they get tired when I walk into the doctor's office from the parking garage on appointment days. I don't think I have any bit of stamina or endurance left and, frankly, that makes me nervous for childbirth and keeping up with a newborn and a toddler when the time comes.
My energy level has also taken a huge hit. I just feel tired all day long.  I've been avoiding napping during the day so that I can still sleep at night. When I first started bed rest I was actually suffering from insomnia because my body wasn't used to lying down all day. Lately, however, I just want to sleep all day long. My body doesn't want to wake up in the morning and I feel like I can just fall asleep at any moment.
My one saving grace has been my diet.  Tom has been a fabulous cook, and makes sure that there are always plenty of fruits and vegetables in the house. This has helped me hold onto the one bit of health that I have and it helps me to know that I've been giving the baby the nourishment that he needs. I won't lie and say that I haven't enjoyed a nice bowl of ice cream or two, but hey, you can't deny a pregnant woman everything.
One thing I have learned from all this is how much I truly want to be healthy.  In life, many people become unhealthy over time and don't realize that it is happening. Over the course of years many people slowly let it go. I feel like I gave it up in the a much shorter time frame. I want to remember this unhealthy, sluggish, and tired feeling so that I don't ever voluntarily enter it.
As a mom, I want to set a good example for my family and I need to take care of myself so that I can take care of them. I know I am doing what is best for my family right now, because I am holding my baby in and we have made it so much longer than people really thought I would when I was first put on bed rest. However, once this is over, and I get through the craziness of having a newborn, I am going to commit to taking care of myself and gaining back the strength I have lost.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Change of Plans!

Well, the last post said that I was going to get organized.  Just kidding :)

Instead of organizing this house we decided that it was time to buy a house of our own.  I think it started when we gave up TV for lent.  We needed something to do in the evenings so we started house shopping.  At first it was just online and then we started going out to look at houses with our Realtor, Nora. Who knew finding a house would be so hard!?  At this point we have put 4 offers on different houses and none of them have worked out.  We are currently sitting in the back-up offer position on our most favorite house but I'm not going to hold my breath.  I think we have looked at 30 houses by now, and we really aren't that picky.

The inventory is pretty low right now because house prices are so low, so unless someone has to sell their house, they are waiting for the market to pick up.  I'm hoping that come spring time and sunny weather, more people will put their houses out there.

I know that I just need to trust in the Lord.  He has a plan for us and he is going to take care of us.  It was pretty hard to accept when we didn't get this last house.  I thought it was a sure thing but someone outbid us.  But it wasn't His plan for us.  I just need to keep reminding myself to trust is God because when we do, and when we put our life in His hands, everything turns out better than we ever could have planned.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Time To Get Organized!

Anyone who knows me knows that I am not the most organized person in the world.  I found a home organization challenge, 52 Weeks To An Organized Home, and decided that it's time to take action.  For accountability and motivation, I will post before and after pictures here every week.  Wish me luck!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Cloth Diapers are Easy, Inexpensive, and Perfect for My Family

My son Peter at 6 months in a bumGenius 4.0

My Cloth Diapering Experience
When my sister started cloth diapering her son I thought she had gone off the deep end.  But then again, her baby, Henry, did look super cute in them, so maybe she wasn’t that crazy.  When it came time to decide what type of diapers to use on our new baby,  my sister convinced me to try cloth.  Had it not been for my sister, I’m not sure that I would have found the amazing world of cloth.

 Henry sporting a bumGenius Clementine

I had lots of questions so I went online and did my research.  Cotton Babies was a wonderful resource to find answers to all the laundry, product, and sizing questions that I had.  I am also fortunate enough to live near a Cotton Babies’ retail store located in Vancouver, WA.  My pregnancy coincided with the store's grand opening sale which allowed me to start up my cloth diaper stash with some amazing deals.

The next step was convincing my husband that we should cloth diaper, and he is one of the biggest skeptics on cloth diapering that I have met.  I showed him some of the bumGenius diapers I had gotten from Cotton Babies, and he was impressed with the ease of them.  However, his biggest question and concern was “What do you do with all the poop?”

This was something that I was worried about too, but thankfully you can just throw the diapers in the wash.  He was a little grossed out at the thought of the poopy diapers being washed in the same machine that his shirts and pants are washed in, but I can honestly say we have never had a problem.

We started using cloth diapers once Peter weighed about 8 lbs and I've never looked back. As for my husband, he's adjusting well.  I secretly think he likes cloth diapers more than he will admit.

Henry and Peter (cousins) in matching diapers


While Peter was exclusively breast fed, his diapers could just be thrown into the wash.  Now that we have started solids, I just rinse the contents of his diapers into the toilet with a diaper sprayer.

One of the great things about cloth diapers that I have experienced is that I have never had a "blowout."  Disposable diapers just don't hold the poop in like cloth diapers do so people often loose their baby's adorable outfits to nasty poop stains.  Because the cloth diapers have elastic around the back and  the front,  the poop stays in.

I usually don't have to change Peter's outfit during the day because we rarely have leaks and don't have to worry about the poop.  I would most likely being doing extra loads of laundry each week of baby clothes  if I used disposables.  There really is a trade off, use disposables and wash poopy clothes, or use cloth and wash poopy diapers.  When you have a baby, there is no way to completely avoid the poop.
So about that laundry...  I can honestly say that laundry is one of my least favorite chores to do in the world.  But its okay, because cloth diaper laundry is super easy.   I do a load of diapers every two to three days.  I know that the official “rule” is that you should wash your diapers every other day so that they don’t stink but I've never had a problem. (I'm not always the best at staying on top of my chores list.)

   My cloth diaper laundry routine is this:
  •            Regular wash on cold with a little detergent.
  •           Re-wash on hot with detergent with an extra cold rinse.
  •             Hang up covers and diapers with hook and loop closures to dry. 
  •          Throw everything else in the dryer on hot.

I hang dry diapers on a rack in the laundry room.

And that’s it.  I love cloth diaper laundry because I don’t have to worry about pulling everything out of the dryer the second it is done.  Most my diapers have pockets that I stuff but the nice thing is I can stuff the diaper 5 seconds before I put it on my child, so if I put off stuffing the diapers, it's ok. Even though it drives my sister crazy that I don’t neatly fold all my diapers all the time, my baby still always has a dry diaper and a clean bum.

bumGenius 4.0

These are my favorite diapers.  These diapers are very easy to use and are "daddy friendly."  You can adjust the size of the diaper so that it grows as your baby grows.  In figure 1 below, the diaper sizing snaps are in the small size, and in figure 2 they are in the large size.

Figure 3 shows the insert for the diaper.  It's folded over into the small size.  Because we have a boy we stuff the folded size into the front of the diaper for extra absorption but for a girl you would put that at the back of the diaper.  Figure 4 is the pocket that you stuff the insert into.
figure 1

figure 2
figure 3
figure 4

Cost Analysis 

Another wonderful aspect about cloth diapering is that you save money.  And because cloth diapers can last through the diapering of multiple children, the more babies you cloth diaper, the more money you save.  So lets do some math to see just how much we can save:

There are three basic diapering solutions for you and your babies diapering needs; disposable, cloth diapers (to wash at home,)  and cloth diapers with a diapering service.  For my calculations I am going to assume that the average baby is potty trained at two and a half years and that an average their diapers is changed 6 times a day, which is a very conservative estimation.

For the disposable diapers I am basing it estimate off of Costco's Kirkland brand diapers because that is what my husband and I would be using if we went that route.  I researched the Tidee Didee Diaper Service in Portland and used their prices for the estimate.

As you can see, using a stash of bumGenius 4.0 diapers is the cheapest way to go and the diaper service is by far more expensive.  The nice thing is that we started cloth diapering with our first child.  Hopefully, we will have more children in the future, and we can use the same diapers over for them with no added expense.

Edit:  I also wanted to point out that you can save even more money on cloth diapers if you use prefolds and covers like the econobums.   Going this route you could cloth diaper a baby from birth to potty trained for only $100.  You can't beat that.  Also, in the cost analysis I said you would need 24 bumGenius 4.0 diapers, this is pretty conservative.  A lot of people prefer to have 18 diapers and I have even heard of people getting by with 12.

Tips on Cloth Diapering
  • You don’t have to be Super Mom.  I am far from perfect and I do just fine.  If you forget to put your diapers in the wash after on the second day, don’t freak out.  Just wash them the next day, they will be just fine.
  • Make sure you use the laundry tabs on the diapers.  If you don’t fasten them, you will pull a big blob of cloth diapers out of the wash all at once which isn’t very good for your diapers and will be a pain for you.
  • Get a wet bag or two.  I use the ones here and I love them.  They have a zippered dry section and a wet section so they will hold both your clean and dirty diapers. 
  • Get a garbage can with an easy open lid for dirty diapers.  Mine has a lid that swings open with one touch so you can dispose of dirty diapers with one hand. 
  • Find a pail liner that works for you.  I really want one of these from Cotton Babies but right now I’m just using a nylon draw string bag I got in the sporting good section at my local store. 
  • When buying a changing pad cover, don't get a terry cloth one.  We got one because it matched all our other nursery stuff but the hook and loop closures on the diapers kept snagging the on terry cloth.

      Goals for Cloth

           Writing this post has inspired me to make some changes.  First off, I still use disposable wipes.  I've kept thinking that I need to get cloth wipes but I just keep putting it off.  I've heard of  people using a diaper warmer to keep moist cloth wipes in at the changing table.  I've also seen people make their own spray to wet the wipes with before using them.  My first goal is to start using cloth wipes. They are super easy to make or really cheap to buy.  I will keep you all posted on my venture into using cloth wipes.

            My second goal is to invest in a few more diapers.  Cotton Babies just came out with a brand new diaper called the Freetime All-in-One diapers. Once they are in the retail stores I will have to head  over to Vancouver to check it out. 
            Finally, I would really like to influence a few people into trying cloth diapers.  I don't want to guilt anyone into it but I just want to let people see Peter in his adorable diapers.  Hopefully people will see how easy they are and try them out for themselves.

      Peter is in new "Albert" diaper

           Comment Below
         I wrote this entry to enter a contest for Jenn Labit, owner and founder of Cotton Babies.  I have not received any compensation for writing it but I could win 12 cloth diapers and if you leave a comment YOU could win 12 cloth diapers too.  Let me know what you think of cloth diapers.